The Boormans hide from spies in the colonies

Of Cabbages and Kings


When my 17-year-old granddaughter, Kindsay Dow, studied genealogy, she showed me what she had discovered about our ancestry, and I became interested. I discovered all authorities did not always agree on specifics.

What you are reading shall be called a story, until found otherwise.

William and Sarah Boorman lived on a farm in Biddendend, Kent, England around 1700.

William could fix a broken wheel, shoe a neighbor’s horse, fix a leaky roof, among many other things.

One thing he could not do was keep his secrets to himself. He liked to meet friends at the local pub.

They would gather around and listen to him. However, he forgot one thing, King George sent spies throughout the countryside to listen, especially to William Boorman.

That night the spies pulled William from his bed, muffled him with a rag, tied him with course rope, and dragged him toward a muddy pond, yelling, “William Boorman is a traitor! William Boorman is a traitor!”

Sarah spent anxious days worrying; would she ever see him again?

At midnight, Big Ben, the 13-ton bell in the clock tower, struck midnight. Sarah heard a scratching at the door.

She slowly opened the door, and William stumbled inside. She wrapped him in a blanket, and fed him porridge as he mumbled, “We are leaving. We are going to the colonies.”

Sarah frantically gathered fruits and a jug of water along with some bread and ground oats.

“That is enough,” William said. “Somebody might try to steal what we have.”

On a foggy morning, they climbed aboard the ship, The Devonshire, to the steerage compartment, along with 306 other passengers.

It was dank and dirty, and Sarah began to wonder what if something was to happen to them? What if...

At last, after endless days, a bell from above signified their approach to land.

William and Sarah walked down the plank, into the sunshine and fresh air.

“We’ve made it to the colonies, thank God!” Shall we let William and Sarah tell the rest?

Luella Dow is a Cheney-area author. She can be reached at


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