A most immediate problem facing Micaiah Perry at the end of his apprenticeship in 1663 was earning a living. We do not know precisely when he went into business for himself or what his activities were during 1663-1666. We only know that by 1665 or 1666 he had embarked on the trade with Virginia. 1 We can only speculate about what sort of connections his family might have retained there from his grandfather's trading days in the 1620s and 1630s. The most lasting decision of Micaiah's early trading years was joining in partnership with Thomas Lane, an association that was in existence by 1673 and was to last until Lane's death in 1710. 2
Micaiah Perry's commercial and obscure antecedents did not prevent him from finding a partner from a distinctly different milieu. Thomas Lane was sprung of the minor gentry, being the younger son of Thomas Lane of Dodford, Northamptonshire, where his family had been established at least since his great-grandfather's time. The family, if not noticeably affluent, was eminently respectable; his grandfather was a pluralist clergyman and his uncle a fellow of Exeter College, Oxford. (One imagines that the partners might have met through the Owens.) Northamptonshire was conspicuous among the counties of England for its numerous resident gentry. Some of them, like the Lanes of Dodford, had large families and it was reportedly very difficult for younger sons to establish themselves on the land in such a socially crowded county. Some younger sons, like the Lanes just mentioned, sought careers in the church; other in trade or colonization. Thomas Lane had an uncle who settled in Barbados and two brothers who settled in Jamaica. Other Northamptonshire gentry houses sent scions as planters to Virginia, including the Wash
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Publication information: Book title: Perry of London:A Family and a Firm on the Seaborne Frontier, 1615-1753. Contributors: Jacob M. Price - Author. Publisher: Harvard University Press. Place of publication: Cambridge, MA. Publication year: 1992. Page number: 19.