William CHASE Sr. (1607 – 1659 ) was Alex’s 12th Great Grandfather; one of 8,192 in this generation of the Shaw line.
William Chase was born about 1600 in England He married Mary TOWNLEY before 1621 in England. William, Mary and William Jr. emigrated in 1630 in the Great Migration with Gov Winthrop. William died in May 1659 in Yarmouth, Plymouth Colony.
The surname Chase is derived from the French “chasser” to hunt, and the family has been prominent in England since the first use of surnames. The seat of the family in England was at Chesham, in Buckinghamshire, through which runs a rapidly flowing river called the Chess, whence the name of the town and perhaps also of the family.
One theory is that William Chase was born on 4 Jan 1607 in Hundrick Parish, Chesham, Buckingham, England His parents may have been Aquila CHASE and Sarah JELLIMAN. However, Aquila’s immigrant sons Thomas and Aquila Chase,whose English ancestry is traced to remote antiquity, are believed to be cousins of William Chase, the immigrant ancestor not brothers. Aquila married Martha (Sarah?) Jelliman on 11 Jun 1606 in Chesham, Buckinghamshire which squares with a 1607 birth for William, but leaves him too young to be William II’s father in 1621.
Another theory is that William was born in 1595 in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, England and his parents were Aquila’s brother and sister-in-law, Robert CHASE (1565 – 1601) and Jean TOKEFIELD (1565 – 1591). However, that cousin William died in 1639 in Yarmouth, Mass.
A fourth idea is William was born 19 Feb 1605 Rogate, Sussex, England and his parents were Benjamin CHASE (1570 – 1643) and Helen HARVIE (1570 – 1618). However, Benjamin and Helen married 11 Jun 1606 Wivenhoe, Essex, England and in either case William would have been to young to be William CHASE II’s father in 1621.
Mary Townley was born on 5 Mar 1603 in Norfolk, England. Her parents were John TOWNLEY. and Mary (Marjerie) [__?__]. There was a sixteen year gap between the births of her children William and Mary because she was “much afflicted by a long and tedious affliction. She had a paralytic humor which fell into her backbone, so that she could not stir her body, but as she was lifted, and filled her with great torture, & caused her backbone to go out of joint, & bunch out from the beginning to the end of which infirmity she lay 4 years & a half, & a great part of the time a sad spectacle of misery. But it pleased God to raise her again, & she bore children after it”. Mary died on 6 Oct 1659 in Yarmouth, Barnstable, MA
In October 1659 a coroner’s jury including John JOYCE “having made search and inquiry, according to our best light and understanding, into the cause of the death of Mary Chase, viz: of our town of Yarmouth, do with joint consent present, the day and year abovesaid, that we can find no other but that she died a natural death through inward sickness, as is evident to all men naturally.”
Children of William and Elizabeth:
|1.||William CHASE II||15 Jun 1621
Chesam, Buckinghamshire, England
|27 Feb 1685 in Yarmouth, Mass|
|2.||Mary Chase||15 May 1637
|28 Oct 1652
|3.||Benjamin Chase||c. 1640
|27 Feb 1686|
Mary’s father, John TOWNLEY was born about 1576 in Norfolk, Eng.. He died in England. John married Mary (Marjerie) [__?__] in 1556 in Buckingham, England.
Mary’s mother, Mary (Marjerie) [__?__] was born about 1580 in Norfolk, England.
William was a carpenter-housewright
(On 25 November 1639 Thomas Starr of Duxbury sold to Andrew Hellot of Plymouth a house and land in Yarmouth, and as part of the agreement stated that “The frame of the said house is to be made & set up with a chimney and to be thatched, studded and lathed (daubing excepted) by Will[ia]m Chase” )
1630 Resident Roxbury, Suffolk Co., Mass
14 May 1634 Elected freeman Roxbury, Suffolk Co., Mass
1638 Resident Yarmouth, Barnstable, Mass
5 Mar 1639 Elected Constable Yarmouth, Barnstable Mass
William Chase was one of Rev. Stephen BACHILER’s company, who spent the winter of 1638, at Mattacheese, and the only one who remained after that unfortunate enterprise was abandoned. He fenced in a portion of the lands in “Old Town,” (as that part of Barnstable, then Yarmouth, was called,) and claimed it, when the settlement of the town was made. He mortgaged this land to Stephen Hopkins in 1642, and disposed of it in 1648. He was appointed a Constable in 1639, serving but six months, being involved in difficulties growing out of his opposition to Mr. Matthews. In 1640 he was censured by the Court, for his language against the minister, and ordered to depart the colony in six months, but the order, for some reason, was not enforced. His name appeared again in the Court records, in a civil case, connected with a difference with Mr. Nicholas Simpkins, and he was presented by the Grand Jury in 1654, for driving a yoke of oxen five miles on the Lord’s day, during time of service. In 1645, he enlisted as a drummer in the expedition against the Narragansetts, and received 5 shillings extra pay.
William was carpenter by trade, and his agreement to build a house for Dr. Thomas Starr for £5, which was afterwards sold to Mr. Andrew HALLETT (our ancestor), is preserved. Mr. Chase was not in accord with the body of the settlers, being more latitudinarian in his notions than accorded with the sentiment of the times. His numerous descendants in this section of Massachusetts are derived from John, second son of William, Jr., who came with him from England.
CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: Admitted to Roxbury church as member #13: “William Chase, he came with the first company, 1630. He brought one child his son William, a child of ill qualities, & a sore affliction to his parents. He was much afflicted by the long and tedious affliction of his wife; after his wife’s recovery she bare him a daughter, which they named Mary, borne about the middle of the 3rd month 1637. He did after that remove (intending) to Situate, but after went with a company who made a new plantation at Yarmouth”
EDUCATION: Signed his will by mark.
OFFICES: first Yarmouth constable, 5 March 1637/38, 4 June 1639
Yarmouth surveyor of highways, 3 June 1657
In Yarmouth section of 1643 Plymouth list of men able to bear arms
ESTATE: On 8 June 1642, William Chase, in consideration of a debt of £5 which he owed to Mr. Stephen HOPKINS (our ancestor), mortgaged to Hopkins “all that his house and lands in Yarmouth containing eight acres of upland and six acres more lying at the Stony Cove”
As part of the settlement of disputes over Yarmouth land, made on 14 May 1648, it was ordered that “Mr. Hawes (our ancestor Edmund HAWES) shall enjoy 8 acres of upland or thereabouts, in the West Field, which he bought of Goodman Chase” and “there was granted also to John Darby to have six acres of meadow in the Easteren Swan Pond Meadowe, in lieu of 4 acres due to William Chase, for a debt the town owed him”
MARRIAGE: By about 1620 Mary Townley. She was admitted to Roxbury church as member #29: “Mary Chase, the wife of William Chase.
In October 1659 a coroner’s jury “having made search and inquiry, according to our best light and understanding, into the cause of the death of Mary Chase, viz: of our town of Yarmouth, do with joint consent present, the day and year abovesaid, that we can find no other but that she died a natural death through inward sickness, as is evident to all men naturally”
ASSOCIATIONS: Late in his life William Chase was frequently associated with Robert Dennis and his wife Mary. On 3 October 1654 Robert Dennis acted “in the behalf of William Chase” in settling a debt. Mary Dennis witnessed the will of William Chase, Robert Dennis was one of the appraisers of the estate, and Robert Dennis was ordered to divide the estate. This is merely suggestive, and may only reflect a friendship developed after having resided for several years in Yarmouth.
COMMENTS: Banks derives this William Chase from Wivenhoe, Essex, citing only “Banks Mss.”; this is certainly the right area for an early Roxbury resident, but it should not be accepted without further research.
William Chase’s appearance as constable of Yarmouth on 5 March 1638/9 implies that he had settled there in 1638 as one of the earliest inhabitants. Eliot’s use of the word “intending” to describe the move to Scituate suggests that he was joining with Reverend John LOTRHOP and his party, who were at that same time making the move to Barnstable, as further evidenced by the burial of his daughter Mary at Barnstable, entered in Lothrop’s records.
7 Oct 1639 - The settlement of the town had hardly commenced before difficulties sprung up in the church. As early as Oct. 1639, the court record says, “Edward Morrell being sworn, deposeth and saith, that -William Chase- -(at his return home from the court, when Mr. Matthews and he were together) did report that Mr. Matthews had nothing to say for himself, and that he marvelled how any durst join with him in the fast ; and further said that some being in presence with the magistrate, did hold up his hand and cried, ‘ Fie ! for shame! ‘ ” Mr. Chase had been appointed Constable in June preceding, and superseded in September, presumably for opposition to Mr. Matthews. He was subsequently arraigned for his language towards the minister, was censured by the court, ordered to find sureties, and to depart the place in six months. Dr. Thomas Starr and Mr. Andrew Hallet became his sureties, but the sentence of the court was never carried out.
There are other reports that Mr. Mathews was an incompetent Minister. Rev. Marmaduke Matthews was born in Swansey, Glamonshire, Wales, in 1605, matriculated at All Souls College, Oxford, Feb. 20, 1623, and came to New England in Sept., 1628. He is spoken of by Gov. Winthrop as a “goodly minister,” and is enumerated by Morton in the list of “those godly and able gospel preachers with which the Lord was pleased to accomplish and adorn the colony.” He was by some regarded as able and devoted, but by all as lacking in discretion. It is said that he lost at one time the approbation of some able, understanding men, among both magistrates and ministers, by “weak and unsafe” expressions in his teachings. This was followed by a thorough scrutiny of his preaching, by the General Court, which resulted in his being admonished. “But,” says Rev. Mr. Dodge, “no one can read his petition for re-instatement, without the conviction that whatever expressions he may have uttered, that might not have appeared to his serious contemporaries, as becoming the gravity of the clerical charcter, he was not wanting in the essential qualities of a good minister.” He fell upon troublous times. After a stormy ministry, Mr. Matthews left this town for Hull, about 1645, and was afterwards in Maiden, where he was cited to appear in Court, for “uttering unsafe and unsound expressions,” and fined j[, 10, and the Maiden church was cited for settling him without the approbation of the magistrates. When the marshal endeavored to satisfy the judgment against Mr. Matthews he "found nothing but his library." He afterwards returned to England, and died in his native place in 1683.
The trouble did not end there. Rev. Joseph Hull, who had exercised the office of minister at Barnstable before Mr. Lothrop came to the place, was invited to preach in Yarmouth, by those who were dissatisfied with Mr. Matthews's ministry, with which invitation he complied. Mr. Hull was thereupon excommunicated by the Barnstable church, " for wilfully breaking his communion with us and joining himself with a company at Yarmouth to be their pastor, contrary to the advice and counsel of our church. " The court ordered that a warrant be issued to some constable at Yarmouth to apprehend Mr. Hull, if he should attempt to exercise the ministry or administer the seals, and to bring him before the court ; but Mr. Hull desisted, acknowledged his error, and was received again into fellowship with the church.
The pioneers of the town of Yarmouth were soon joined by others, and before the close of 1640 not far from twenty-five families were established here. The region around " Stony Cove," now the " Mill Pond," was occupied by Andrew Hallet, Thomas Starr, William Chase, Gyles Hopkins, Robert Dennis and Joshua Barnes.
1 Sep 1640 - "William Chase, of Yarmouth, is censured (for his miscarriages against Mr. Mathewes, and disturbance of the proceedings of the church, court, & country), to find sureties for his good behavior during the time of his abode there, which is six months, and then to depart the place." "Will[ia]m Chase, of Yarmouth, planter” posted bond of £40, and his sureties were Thomas Starr of Yarmouth, chirurgeon, and Andrew Halott of Plymouth, gentleman the bond was renewed, at £20, on 2 March 1640/1
2 Jun 1640 – “Nicholas Sympkins, Peter Worden, and Will[ia]m Chase are granted a warrant to attach and divide the goods of one Phillips Woodall, left in the said Nicholas Sympkins hands, who is departed the government some time since, being severally indebted to them & others, and to make satisfaction so far as the said goods will extend, to themselves and others”
17 Jun 1641 - In the year 1641, an inferior tribunal was established for the convenience of the three towns of Sandwich, Yarmouth and Barnstable. Mr. Thomas Dimmock of Barnstable, Mr. John Crowe of Yarmouth, joined with Edmund FREEMAN of Sandwich, who was one of the Assistants of the Governor, were appointed to hear and determine all causes and controversies within the three townships, not exceeding xx shillings. A special term of the colony court was held in Yarmouth June 17, 1641, the following being a full report of the proceedings:
At a court held at Yarmouth, the 17th day of June, in the 17th year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord, Charles, by the grace of God of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, King, &c. before Edward Winslow, Miles Standish, and Edmund FREEMAN, gentlemen, three of the Assistants of the government aforesaid, by virtue of the order of the General Court of the first of June last past, whereby the said Winslow, Miles Standish, Edmund Freeman and John Browne, or any two or three of them, were authorized to set the bounds of Yarmouth and Barnstable, and to hear and determine all causes and controversies amongst the inhabitants of Yarmouth, Barnstable and Sandwich which shall come before them, &c.
The differences betwixt Nicholas Sympkins and William CHASE, by consent of both parties are referred to the arbitrament of Mr. Mayo and Mr. Thorn. Dimmack, and have entered into an assumpsit of £5 to each other to abide their award, and it’s to be ended within a month next coming.
It is ordered by the Court that Mr. Andrew Hellot shall pay Massatumpaine one fadome of beads within two moons, besides the nett he alledgeth the said Massatumpaine sold him, for the deer that Mr. Hellot’s son bought of him about two years since.
It is ordered by the Court that Walter Devile shall pay to Massatumpaine for mending of the hole in his kettle, which the said Devile shot with his gun ; it’s to be paid within one moon next ensuing.
Whereas there was complaint made by William Chase, that Nicholas Symkins had so set his fence that he hath taken in some small part of the lands of the said William Chase, which upon view appeared to be so — it is now ordered and concluded by the Court that notwithstanding the fence shall stand as it is now set, and that Mr. Anthony Thacher, for peace sake, will allow the said William Chase as much land out of his own lands, of those lands which lie next to the said Chase’s lands, and the land so taken by Nicholas Symkins aforesaid shall be his owne. And the said Nicholas Symkins is to allow the said Chase a little parcel of meadow lying next to the said Chase, from the end of his fence by a straight line to a creek easterly, provided that the said William Chase do fence in the same by March next ensuing.
6 Jun 1654 – The grand jury presented “Will[i]am Chase, Seni[or], of Yarmouth, for driving one pair of oxen in the yoke upon the Lord’s day, in time of exercise, about five miles”
4 May 1659 Will
William Chase, of Yarmouth, the elder, being aged and sick in body, but of perfect memory, thanks be to the Lord, do make my last will and testament, as followeth: First, I give and bequeath unto my son Benjamin, after my decease, on heifer claf and two steer calves, of a year old and upwards; also I give to my son William, who hath had of me already a good portion, the sum of five shillings, to be paid in any good pay, if he demand it. All the rest of my goods, cattle and chattels, I give and bequeath unto Mary, my wife, together with this my dwelling house, the land and all the appurtenances thereunto belonging: as also half of my lot of land at the Bass pond, which I bought of William Palmer, a middle line made, and that half part next to Darbey’s I give unto her, Mary, my wife aforesaid, as also my orchard and land I bought of Goodman White, now in my possession, all unto her use and disposing during her natural life, if she continue a widow, and when she dies, to dispose oa third part of that estate God shall leave her, as she shall thing good; the other two parts to our son Benjamin’s part; but if it shall please God that she shall marry, my will is that she shall have a third part of that estate, and the other two parts to be to our son Benjamin aforesaid. Also I do make my wife Mary aforesaid, the executrix of this my last will and testament, and do appoint my neighbors Robert Dennis and Richard Taylor, tailor, overseers of this my last Will and Testament and have hereunto subscribed my hand this 4th day of May, 1659.
The Connecticut magazine, Volumes 3-4 By William Farrand Felch, George C. Atwell, H. Phelps Arms, Frances Trevelyan Miller Jan – Dec 1897
1. “William Chase, he came wth the first company, 1630 he brought one child his son william, a child of ill qualitys, & a sore affliction to his parents: he was much afflicted by the long & tedious affliction of his wife; after his wives recovery she bare him a daughter, wch they named mary borne aboute the middle of the 3rd month, 1637. he did after yl remove intending to Situate, but after went wth a company who made a new plantation at Yarmouth.” “Mary Chase, the wife of William Chase, she had a paralitik humor wch fell into her back bone so y* she could not stir her body, but as she was lifted, and filled her wth great torture, & caused her back bone to goe out of joynt, & bunch out from the beginning to the end of wch infirmity she lay 4 years & ahalfe, & a great Pt of the time a sad spectakle of misery: But it pleased God to raise her againe, & she bore children after it.” (N. E. H. G. R., 1881). Such is the quaint language of the first church in Roxbury,. now Boston Highlands, Mass., of which the Rev. John Eliot, “the Apostle to the Indians,” was pastor.
William1 Chase died between May 4 and 13, 1659, in Yarmouth. Mary, his wife, was found dead in October, 1659, and a coroner’s inquest being held, it was decided she died a natural death. Dr. O. W. Holmes described, in one of his characteristic letters, her restoration to health from the singular malady mentioned on the above church records. William1 came over in the fleet which brought Governor Winthrop and his colony. October 9, 1630, he applied for admission as a freeman, and on May 14, 1634, he took the freeman’s oath. He was one of Mr. Stephen Bachilor’s company, who spent the winter of 1638 at Mattacheese (Yarmouth),and the only one who remained after that unfortunate enterprise was abandoned. He fenced in a portion of the lands in “Old Town” (as that portion of Barnstable, then Yarmouth, was called), and claimed it when the settlement of the town was made. In 1639, he was made constable in Yarmouth, where he resided until his death. He was constable but six months, being involved in difficulties growing out of his opposition to Marmaduke Matthews, the pastor. In 1640, he was censured by the court for his language against the minister, and ordered to depart the colony in six months; but the order, for some reason, was not enforced.
Mr. Theodore R. Chase, of Detroit, Mich., says: ” William was at first a staunch Puritan. Later he evidently became much unsettled in his religious beliefs from association with Quakers, and the constant efforts of the Pilgrims at Plymouth to make trouble for him in various ways. He evidently, at home, in Yarmouth, was a man much esteemed, as he filled minor public offices and was the head of the military organization for defense against Indians. It is very probable that he either named Yarmouth, or it was so named out of compliment to him and others from Yarmouth, England.”
In 1642, he mortgaged his land to Stephen Hopkins, and disposed of it in 1648. “The difference between Nicholas Sympkins & William Chase by consent of both parties are referred to the arbitrament of Mr. Mayo & Mr. Thom. Dimmack, & have entered into an assumpsit of £5 to each other to abide their award, and it’s to be ended within a month next coming—June 17, 17th year of Charles” (1642).
He was presented by the Grand Jury, in 1654, for driving a pair of oxen in yoke on the Lord’s Day, in time of service, about 5 miles.
In 1645, he enlisted as a drummer in the Narragansett expedition, and received 5 shillings extra pay. He was able to bear arms in August, 1643. He was a carpenter by trade, and his agreement to build a house for Dr. Thomas Starr for £5, which was afterwards sold to Andrew Hallet, is preserved. In 1657, he was one of two surveyors of highways. His “farm fence ” is designated as a boundary in several deeds and other documents. He was not in accord with the body of settlers, being more latitudinarian in his notions than accorded with the sentiment of the times. He resided near Stony Cove, Yarmouth. The Yarmouth Register for July 15, 1847, says: “Jonn Crow, William Chase, William Nicholson, Thomas Howes, Yelverton Crow, Nicholas Simpkins, Thomas Starr, John Hall, William Hedge and Edward Sturges sustained excellent characters as men and citizens, and at any and all times such men would command respect. Of such men the first church in Yarmouth was composed, and their posterity may well feel an honest pride that they are the descendants of so worthy an ancestry.”
October 28, 1645, Yarmouth sent out for thirteen days to the ” Narrohigganset” expedition William Northcoate, William Twyneing, Teague Joanes, Henry Wheildon and William Chase, drummer. (Plym. Col. Rec.)
1. William CHASE II (See his page)
3. Benjamin Chase (b.1640)
Benjamin’s wife Philippa Sherman was born 1 Oct 1652 in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, Rhode Island. Her parents were Philip Sherman and Sarah Odding. Her sister Hannah (b. 1647) married Benjamin’s nephew William Chase (b. 1645). Philippa died 1731 in Yarmouth, Barnstable, Mass.