Richard Derby was born 16 September 1712 in Salem, Massachusetts, United States to Richard Derby (1679-1715) and Martha Hasket (1680-1740) and died 9 November 1783 Salem, Massachusetts, United States of unspecified causes. He married Mary Hodges (1713-1770) 3 February 1734 in Salem, Massachusetts, United States.


When he was only twenty four years old in 1736, Richard Derby was master of the sloop Ranger which was about to set sail from Salem to Cadiz and Malaga. This was at a time when Britain was not on good terms with America and tried to interrupt good business. This did not stop Mr. Derby as he set sail in this ship that most likely not armed. After the previous successful voyages Richard Derby set sail for the Island of St. Martins in the Caribbean in 1739; which is when he became master and also became a part owner of the ship Volant. He only sails a few more times and retired from the sea and then became a prosperous merchant of Salem, Massachusetts.

Part of Winter's Island also known as Obear or Palmer's Head was "leased for a thousand years" to Mr. Richard Derby in 1755 at one shilling a year to help improve the commerce of Salem. "But the lease was cut short in its purchase by Mr. Oliver M. Whipple, of the Derby family, and in 1839 paid Salem &152.83, being an annual rent of one shilling for the period remaining of the one thousand years. On the spot where the wharf and warehouse long stood there is an establishment for the storage of powder."

During the French and Indian War from 1756-1763, Capt. Richard Derby was the owner of three ships, the Antelope, Lydia and the Ranger as well as three brigantines, which were used for piracy or privateering, because they were small and more maneuverable. His three sloops of war were all outfitted with eight to twelve six-pound cannons or guns as they are were referred to back in those days. The ships themselves weighed up to two hundred to three hundred tons. The ships also were equipped with four guns below dec for close encounters with the enemy. Capt. Derby also had correspondents in England whom he would wright to, Booth & Lane.


Offspring of Capt. Richard Derby and Mary Hodges (1713-1770)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Richard Derby (1736-1781)
Mary Derby (1737-1813) 1737 26 November 1813 Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States George Crowninshield (1734-1815)
Elias Hasket Derby (1739-1799) 16 August 1739 Salem, Massachusetts, United States 8 September 1799 Salem, Massachusetts, United States Elizabeth Crowninshield (1736-1799)
John Derby (1741-1812) 7 June 1741 Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States 5 December 1812
Sarah Derby (1747-1774) 4 October 1747 2 September 1774 John Gardner (1736-1816)

Notable American Descendants

Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General
Ω Birth
₪ Wedding
¶ Death