Invasion of Canada – 1775

The Invasion of Canada in 1775 was the first major military initiative by the newly-formed Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. The objective of the campaign was to gain military control of the British Province of Quebec, and convince the French-speaking Canadiens to join the revolution on the side of the Thirteen Colonies.

One expedition left Fort Ticonderoga under Richard Montgomery, besieged and captured Fort St. Johns, and very nearly captured British General Guy Carleton when taking Montreal.

The other expedition left Cambridge, Massachusetts under Benedict Arnold, and traveled with great difficulty through the wilderness of Maine to Quebec City. The two forces joined there, but were defeated at the Battle of Quebec in December 1775

American Attack on Quebec

Montgomery’s Expedition

General Richard Montgomery (1738-1775)

Montgomery’s expedition set out from Fort Ticonderoga in late August, and began besieging Fort St. Johns, the main defensive point south of Montreal, in mid-September. After the fort was captured in November, Carleton abandoned Montreal, fleeing to Quebec City, and Montgomery took control of the city before heading for Quebec with an army much reduced in size by expiring enlistments. There he joined Arnold, who had left Cambridge in early September on an arduous trek through the wilderness that left his surviving troops starving and lacking in many supplies and equipment.

In May 1775, aware of the light defenses and presence of heavy weapons at the British Fort Ticonderoga, Benedict Arnold and Ethan Allen led a force of colonial militia that captured Fort Ticonderoga and Fort Crown Point, and raided Fort St. Johns, all of which were only lightly defended at the time.  Ticonderoga and Crown Point were garrisoned by 1,000 Connecticut militia under the command of Benjamin Hinman in June.

Nathan BALCOM (1741 Attleboro – 1787 Attleboro)

Nathan Balcom was part of Capt Sedgwick’s company, Col. Benjamin Hinman ’s regiment which went from Winchester CT to Fort Ticonderoga in 1775.’

Fort Ticonderoga from Mount Defiance

With the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, Hinman  was commissioned in May 1775 as a captain of the 4th Connecticut Regiment. In May 1775 Benedict Arnold had stabilized Fort Ticonderoga which had been captured by the Americans. On June 17, 1775 Hinman arrived with a thousand troops from Connecticut to rebuild the fort. Because of his rank he claimed authority but Benedict Arnold objected until the three man committee of inspection including Silas Deane from Congress told him he must allow Hinman to command. Benedict Arnold later disbanded his troops and returned home.

4th Connecticut Regiment– Authorized 27 April 1775 in the Connecticut State Troops. Organized 1-20 May 1775 to consist of ten companies from Litchfield and Hartford Counties. Each company to consist of 1 captain or field grade officer. 2 lieutenants, I ensign, 4 sergeants, 4 corporals, 1 drummer. 1 fifer, and 100 privates.

COMMANDER: Colonel Benjamin Hyman (Hinman) May 1, 1775-Dec  20,1775.

Adopted 14 June 1775 into the Continental Army.  Took part in the Invasion of Canada, Battle of Quebec (Autumn and Winter 1775). Two companies from this regiment were garrisoned at Fort Ticonderoga.

Disbanded in December 1775 in Canada, less two companies disbanded 19-20 December 1775 at Cambridge, Massachusetts. These latter two were Lieutenant Colonel Ozias Bissell’s and Captain Hezekiah Parsons’ Companies, which stayed behind to serve at the Siege of Boston.

The Siege of Fort St. Jean, conducted by American Brigadier General Richard Montgomery on the town and fort of Saint-Jean in  Quebec  lasted from Sep  17 to Nov 3, 1775.

After several false starts in early September, the Continental Army established a siege around Fort St. Jean. Beset by illness, bad weather, and logistical problems, they established mortar batteries that were able to penetrate into the interior the fort, but the defenders, who were well-supplied with munitions, but not food and other supplies, persisted in their defence, believing the siege would be broken by forces from Montreal under General Guy Carleton.  On Oct 18, the nearby Fort Chambly fell, and on Oct 30, an attempt at relief by Carleton was thwarted. When word of this made its way to St. Jean’s defenders, combined with a new battery opening fire on the fort, the fort’s defenders capitulated, surrendering on Nov 3.

The fall of Fort St. Jean opened the way for the American army to march on Montreal, which fell without battle on Nov 13. General Carleton escaped from Montreal, and made his way to Quebec City to prepare its defences against an anticipated attack.

Arnold’s Expedition

Benedict Arnold (1741-1801)

Benedict Arnold, who had been rejected for leadership of the Champlain Valley expedition, returned to Cambridge, Massachusetts, and approached George Washington with the idea of a supporting eastern invasion force aimed at Quebec City.  Washington approved the idea, and gave Arnold 1,100 men, including Daniel Morgan‘s riflemen, for the effort.   Arnold’s force sailed from Newburyport, MA to the mouth of the Kennebec River and then upriver to Fort Western (present day Augusta, Maine).

Arnold’s expedition was a success in that he was able to bring a body of troops to the gates of Quebec City. However, the expedition was beset by troubles as soon as it left the last significant outposts of civilization in present-day Maine. There were numerous difficult portages as the troops moved up the Kennebec River, and the boats they were using frequently leaked, spoiling gunpowder and food supplies. The divide between the Kennebec and the Chaudière River was a swampy tangle of lakes and streams, where the traversal was complicated by bad weather, resulting in one quarter of the troops turning back. The descent down the Chaudière resulted in the destruction of more boats and supplies as the inexperienced troops were unable to control the boats in its fast-moving waters.

Ebenener’s FOSTER‘s son Bartholomew died on the way to the Siege of Quebec in Oct 1775

Benjamin NEWCOMB’s grandson Tryal Tanner (1751-1833)  was a sergeant in Gen. Arnold’s disastrous campaign in Canada, and in common with all the soldiers with him, suffered incredible hardships in the retreat of 500 miles. At the close of this campaign he enlisted in a Continental Connecticut regiment as a lieutenant and was promoted to the adjutancy of the regiment, and in this capacity was in the battle of Monmouth.

Thomas JEWELL III’s grandson Joseph Jewell (1759 – 1812) was a private in Capt William H. Ballard’s company, Col. James Frye‘s 10th Massachusetts Regiment May 1775, It served in the Siege of Boston until its disbandment at the end of 1775. Col. Frye’s report of Oct 6 1775 places Joseph Jewell as having gone on the Quebec Expedition

John BRADLEY (1736 Haverhill, Mass – bef. 1830 New Brunswick, Canada)

A tall strong man with a fiery temper, John joined Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain boys in Vermont. When the Revolutionary war began, Bradley was with Ethan Allen at the capture of Ft Ticonderoga.

The Flag of the Green Mountain Boys is still used by the Vermont National Guard

When Benedict Arnold started his march through Maine, Bradley was chosen as a scout and hunter. Arnold expected to find enough wild game to feed his men, but game was scarce. After hunting all day, Bradley returned with only one partridge. Arnold sent for him and called him a worthless loafer. Bradley talked back to the commander who then drew his sword, which Bradley knocked from his hand. The fighting continued and Aaron Burr came with a file of soldiers and had Bradley arrested and bound to a tree. A man had been shot that morning and Bradley had no doubt that he would also be shot. He finally managed to twist the straps free from his wrists and attempted to escape. A guard tried to stop him and he killed the guard. Bradley had no weapons and his enemies were behind him as he ran into the woods. (See more of Bradley’s fantastic tale on his page)

By the time Arnold reached the outskirts of civilization along the Saint Lawrence River in November, his force was reduced to 600 starving men. They had traveled almost 400 miles through untracked wilderness. When Arnold and his troops finally reached the Plains of Abraham on November 14, Arnold sent a negotiator with a white flag to demand their surrender, but to no avail. The Americans, with no cannons, and barely fit for action, faced a fortified city. Arnold, after hearing of a planned sortie from the city, decided on November 19 to withdraw to Pointe-aux-Trembles to wait for Montgomery, who had recently captured Montreal.

Battle and Siege of Quebec

On Dec 2, Montgomery finally came down the river from Montreal with 500 troops, bringing captured British supplies and winter clothing. The two forces united, and plans were made for an attack on the city.  Three days later the Continental Army again stood on the Plains of Abraham and began to besiege the city of Quebec.

The Battle of Quebecfought on Dec 31, 1775 , was the first major defeat of the war for the Americans, and it came at a high price. General Richard Montgomery was killed, Benedict Arnold was wounded, and Daniel Morgan and more than 400 men were taken prisoner. The city’s garrison, a motley assortment of regular troops and militia led by Quebec’s provincial governor, General Guy Carleton, suffered a small number of casualties.

Governor Carleton had escaped from Montreal to Quebec,  and last-minute reinforcements arrived to bolster the city’s limited defenses before the attacking force’s arrival. Concerned that expiring enlistments would reduce his force, Montgomery made the end-of-year attack in a blinding snowstorm to conceal his army’s movements. The plan was for separate forces led by Montgomery and Arnold to converge in the lower city before scaling the walls protecting the upper city. Montgomery’s force turned back after he was killed by cannon fire early in the battle, but Arnold’s force penetrated further into the lower city.

Death of Montgomery

Arnold was injured early in the attack, and Morgan led the assault in his place before he became trapped in the lower city and was forced to surrender. Arnold and the Americans maintained an ineffectual blockade of the city until spring, when British reinforcements arrived.

In the battle and the following siege, French-speaking Canadiens were active on both sides of the conflict. The American forces received supplies and logistical support from local residents, and the city’s defenders included locally raised militia. When the Americans retreated, they were accompanied by a number of their supporters; those who remained behind were subjected to a variety of punishments after the British re-established control over the province.

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William Boynton

William BOYNTON (1580 – 1615) was Alex’s 11th Great Grandfather; one of 4,096 in this generation of the Miller line.

John Boynton – Coat of Arms

William Boynton was born 1580 Knapton Wintringham, Yorkshire, England. His parents were William BOYNTON and Janet WOODE. He married Elizabeth Janet CHAMBERS 1 Apr 1607 in Knapton Wintringham, Yorkshire, England. William died 2 Jul 1615 in Knapton Wintringham, Yorkshire, England

Elizabeth Janet Chambers was born 1581 in Knapton Wintringham, Yorkshire, England. Elizabeth died in 1640 in Rowley, Essex, Mass.

Children of William and Elizabeth

Name Born Married Departed
1. William Boynton 1605
East Riding, Yorkshire, England
Elizabeth Jackson
1630 in England
8 Dec 1686
Ipswich, Essex, Mass
2. Anne Boynton 1606
Knapton, Wintringham, North Riding Yorkshire
3. Edward Boynton 1608
Knapton, Wintringham, North Riding Yorkshire
1 Apr 1609
Wintringham, Yorkshire, England
4. Margerie Boynton 1610
Knapton, Wintringham, North Riding Yorkshire
5. John BOYNTON 1614 in Knapton, Wintringham, North Riding Yorkshire Elinor PELL
21 Feb 1643 in Boston, Mass.
18 Feb 1669/70 in Rowley, Mass.

William was the youngest son and executor of his father’s estate.

William’s Ancestry

Parents – William BOYNTON was born about 1545 in Knapton, Wintringham, York,  He died on 2 Jul 1615 in Knapton.   m1. Janet WOODE; m2.  Margaret [__?__]. Left second wife Margaret as widow. Four sons: Francis who died at Knapton in 1638, Daniel of East Heslerton, John, William. Two daughters: Anne and Margaret.

Grandparents – Roger BOYNTON was born in 1518 in Knapton, Wintringham, York, Eng. He died in 1558 in Knapton.   He married Jenet WATSON in 1540 in England. Four sons: James, Richard, William, Edmund. One daughter: Alice.

Great Grandparents – James BOYNTON was born about 1495 in Wintringham, Yorkshire, Eng. He died about 7 Mar 1542 in Wintringham. He married Jane [__?__]. three sons: Roger, William, and Christopher)

2nd Great Grandparents – Robert BOYNTON  was born about 1465 in East Heslerton, York, Eng. He died in 1526. He married Mary Agnes STROPE. Four sons: John of East Heslerton, Richard of Newton who died in 1539, William a priest, and James.

3rd Great Grandparents – Sir Christopher BOYNTON of Sadbury was born about 1445. – Had estates in Heslerton, Newton, and in the Parish of Wintringham. First married Elizabeth Wanford. One son William died without issue. His second wife was Jane STRANGEWAYS, daughter of Robert STRANGEWAYS of Kelton. Two sons: Sir Christopher and Robert. Two daughters: Elizabeth and Jane.

4th Great Grandparents – Sir Christopher BOYNTON was born in Sadbury, Yorkshire, England. He married Elizabeth COIGNES who was born in Ornesbury, England and was daughter of Sir John COIGNES of Ormesbury

5th Great GrandparentsSir Thomas BOYNTON of Acklam  m. Isabel NORMANVILLE, daughter of Sir William NORMANVILLE of Kildwick. Two sons, Henry (eldest and heir from whom descends present Baronet) and Christopher.  This is where the ancestry of immigrants John and William split from Sir Matthew Boynton, 1st Baronet who financed their expedition to found a settlement in what became Rowley Massachusetts settlement.

By his will dated 25 Jan 1460, and proved at York 15 Oct 1461. Sir Thomas left an annuity to his two sisters, Elizabeth and Alice, 100s. each out of his land in Boynton-on-the-Wold ; and all his goods he leaves to Isabel his wife and Henry his son, and appoints them his executors.

6th Great GrandparentsWilliam BOYNTON, of Acklam. William married Jane HARDING, daughter of Simon HARDING.

Children of William and Jane:

i. Thomas  

ii.. Elizabeth, mentioned in her brother’s will.

iii.. Alice, mentioned in her brother’s will.

Twenty years and two kings after his father lost his head in a Percy rebellion, William Boynton appealed to Henry VI for the return of the family lands. William was heir to his brother Thomas who died without issue.  He presented a petition to the King that two messuages [A dwelling house with outbuildings and land assigned to its use in other words a farm], three cottages and sixteen bovates  of land in Boynton which his father Henry had assigned to his brother’s wife, Margaret, in dower, might be restored to him.

Farm-derived units of measure

Farm-derived units of measure.

  1. The rod is a historical unit of length equal to 5½ yards. It may have originated from the typical length of a mediaeval  ox-goad.
  2. The furlong (meaning furrow length) was the distance a team of oxen could plough without resting. This was standardized to be exactly 40 rods.
  3. An acre was the amount of land tillable by one man behind one ox in one day. Traditional acres were long and narrow due to the difficulty in turning the plough.
  4. An oxgang was the amount of land tillable by one ox in a ploughing season. This could vary from village to village, but was typically around 15 acres. Bovate is another word for Oxgang.   [16 bovates would have been about 240 acres or about 100 hectares]
  5. virgate was the amount of land tillable by two oxen in a ploughing season.
  6. carucate was the amount of land tillable by a team of eight oxen in a ploughing season. This was equal to 8 oxgangs or 4 virgates
  7. Knight’s Fee – 9 Carucates – A knightly fee was supposed to be sufficient for a knight to support himself and family.

This property had been forfeited through Henry Boynton’s revolt against King Henry IV, and was still in the King’s hands. William petitions for the restoration of the manor of Roxby and the moiety of the manor of Newton-under-Osenburgh, and of a messuage, a cottage, five bovates and forty acres of land in Snainton, North Riding, Yorkshire. All this property had been forfeited by reason of his father’s revolt.

William’s Appeal:

1425. Membrane 13d.
June 11. Westminister.

Commission to Robert Tirwhyt, John Preston and James Strangways, or any two of them, to hold inquisition in the county York, and certify the result into the chancery, relative to a petition presented by William Boynton, as follows: A certain Ingelram de Muncels by deed within the time of legal memory, gave with Alice his daughter in marriage to a certain William de Boynton, who did marry her, and to their heirs of their bodies, 2 messuages, 3 cottages, and 16 bovates of land in Boynton, co. York, by the name of 3 carucates of land in Boiunton, the whole being in the demesne  [The land which was retained by a lord of the manor for his own use and support, under his own management, as distinguished from land sub-enfeoffed by him to others as sub-tenants.] except 2 bovates which Henry, son of Peter held; which 2 bovates are part of the said 3 carucates, together with a capital messuage in the said town.

By virtue of which gift the said William and Alice were peaceably seised in the time of king Edward I, and from them the right of the premises successively descended to Ingelram, their son and heir, Walter, his son and heir, Thomas, his son and heir, Thomas son and heir of the said Thomas, Henry son and heir of the said Thomas son of Thomas, Thomas son and heir of the said Henry, and, the last named Thomas dying without heir of his body, to William Boynton the petitioner, his brother and heir. But the premises came into the hands of Henry IV because it was found by inquisition taken at Gysburn on 24 Juanary, 10 Henry IV, before Thomas de Santon, escheator in the county of York, that Margaret late the wife of Thomas de Boynton, knight, held in dower on the day of her death, 2 messuages, 3 cottages and 16 bovates of land in Boynton by assignment of Henry de Boynton, knight, with reversion to him and the heirs of his body;

and this Henry on 10 July, 6 Henry IV, at Berwyk on Tweed, rose against his said king, for which insurrection and for holding the castle of Berwyk on Tweed against the king’s power, he was adjudged to death; by which forfeiture the said messuages, cottages and bovates after the death of the said Margaret, came to the hands of Henry IV, and are still in the king’s hands. Now the Henry de Boynton mentioned in the inquisition is the same person as Henry the petitioner’s father, and the petitioner prays that right may be done him in the matter. By p.s.

The like commission to the same on another petition presented by the said William as follows: A certain fine was levied at Westminister in the quinzaine of Michaelmass,  [Michaelmas was the feast of St Michael the Archangel – 29 Sept – and the Quinzaine of any feast was the day two weeks later – in this case, 13 October (‘quinzaine’ means ‘fifteenth’, i.e. the fifteenth day after the feast, including the feast day itself in the calculation).]  14 Edward III, before John de Stonore and his fellows, then justices of the common Bench, between Thomas son of Walter de Boynton and Catherine his wife, plaintiffs, and William Moubray, clerk, deforciant, whereby the said Thomas and Catherine recognised the manor of Rouceby and the moiety of the manor of Neuton under Osenburgh, co. York, to be the right of the said William Moubray, by their gift;

and the said William Moubray, in return, granted the premises to them and the heirs of their bodies; of virtue of which fine they were seised, and from them the right descended successively to Thomas their son and heir, Henry his son and heir and so forth as above.

The said manor of Rouceby was granted for life to Elizabeth, late the wife of the said Henry, by letters patent of Henry IV by the name of the town of Rouceby, with the appurtenances;

and after her death came into the hands of Henry V, and is in the king’s hands; and the moiety of the said manor of Neuton came into the hands of Henry IV by virtue of the said inqisition before Thomas de Santon. By p.s.

The like commission on a petition by the same William Boynton relative to a messuage, a cottage and 5 bovates and 40 acres of land in Snaynton, co. York, granted by deed by William de Boiunton to Ingelram his eldest born son and Margaret his wife and the heirs of their bodies, by the name of all the land which he had in the town of Snaington in desmesne, free service, bondage and cottier service (cotagio) with all foreign tillages (forinsecis culturis) which he had in the same town, whereof the said Ingelram and Margaret were seised in the time of Edward I. From them the right descended as mentioned in the last commission but one, the land being in the king’s hands by virtue of the inquisition before Thomas de Santon, already twice mentioned. By p.s.

Calendar of Patent Rolls, Henry VI, 1422-1429, printed for his Majesty’s Stationery Office, pp. 301-302.

the Authorization of return of the land.

July 14. 1427. Westminster. Membrane 2.

To the escheator in Yorkshire. Order to give William Boynton brother of Thomas livery of two messsuages, three cottages and sixteen bovates of land in Boynton;

as upon the finding of an inquisition, taken in York castle 7 August 3 Henry VI before Robert Tirwhit, John Preston and James Strangways by virtue of a commission to them addressed, that Ingram de Muncels by writing made after the time of memory gave the premises to William de Boninton in marriage with Alice his daughter, to them and the heirs of their bodies, by name of three carucates of land in Boninton, namely all in demesne except two bovates held by Henry son of Peter which are those three carucates, together with a capital messuage there, that they were thereof seised by the form of the gift in the time of King Edward I, taking the esplees as in letting of messuages and cottages, the corn, herbage and other kinds of issues amounting to half  mark and more, that from them the right descended, and ought to descent to Ingram as their son and heir, and from him to Walter as his son and heir, and from Walter to Thomas as his son and heir, and from Thomas to Thomas as his son and heir, and from Thomas son of Thomas to Henry as his son and heir, and from Henry to Thomas as his son and heir, and from Thomas son of Henry, for that he died without issue, to William Boynton as his brother and heir, that the same came to the hands of King Henry IV for that it was found by inquisition, taken at Gysburne 24 January 10 Henry IV  [1409] before Thomas de Santon then escheator, that Margaret who was wife of Thomas de Boynton knight at her death held the premises in dower by assignment of Henry de Boynton knight with reversion to him and the heirs of his body, that on 20 July 6 Henry IV  [1405] Henry de Boynton rose in insurrection at Berwyk upon Twede, contrary to his allegiance, that he was convicted of insurrection and of holding Berwyk castle against that king’s power, and was adjudged to death, that by reason of his forfeiture the same pertained to King Henry IV after the death of the said Margaret, that they are the same which are specified by William Boynton in his petition to the king, that Henry de Boynton named in that inquisition was the same as Henry father of William Boynton, and that by letters patent on 5 March 10 Henry IV that king committed to Christopher de Boynton the keeping of the same;

and after upon petition of William Boynton brother of Thomas, praying that the commission to the said Christopher should be revoked and livery of the premises given to the petitioner, the king ordered the sheriff to give the said Christopher notice to be in chancery at a day now past in order to shew cause wherefore the commission to him in respect of the premises ought not to be revoked etc., and the sheriff returned that he gave him notice accordingly; and at that day the said Christopher came not, wherefore by advice of the justices, serjeants at law and others of the council learned in the law it was determined that the same should be revoked in respect of the premises, and William Babthorp suing for the king came and alleged that divers charters, muniments etc. affecting the king’s right were in the treasury it was said, in the keeping of the treasurer and the chamberlains, and it seemed good to the justices, serjeants at law and others of the council aforesaid that before further proceedings were taken in that cause the king should be fully certified concerning the same, if any there were, and at request of William Babthorp and the said serjeants the king commanded the treasurer and the chamberlains to make search of records, rolls, memoranda, charters, muniments etc. in the treasury in their keeping which concerned the premises, and at days now past to certify in chancery what they should find, and they did certify that search was made, and none were found, and deliberation being had with the justices etc. it was after determined that livery should be given to William Boynton.

To [the same]. Like order, mutatis mutandis, concerning a messuage, a cottage, five bovates and 40 acres of land in Snayton, upon a finding that after the time of memory William Boninton by deed gave the same to Ingram his firstborn son and to Margaret his wife and the heirs of their bodies, by name of all the land of William de Boninton in Snaington in desmesne and free service in bondage and cottage with all foreign culture which he had there, that they were thereof seised taking esplees to the amount of 20s. and more, that from them the right descended to Walter etc. (as above), that the said messuage, cottage, close and five bovates were held in dower by Margaret who was wife of Thomas etc., and that the keeping thereof was committed to Christopher de Boynton etc. (as above).

June 28. 1427.

To [the same]. Like order, mutatis mutandis, concerning a moiety of the manor of Neuton under Ounesbegh, upon a finding that a fine levied at Westminster in the quinzaine of Michaelmas 14 Edward III between Thomas son of Walter de Boynton and Katherine his wife plaintiffs and William Moubray clerk deforciant of the manor of Rouceby and a moiety of the manor of Neuton under Osenbergh, whereby the plaintiffs acknowledged the right of the deforciant, and he made a grant of the said manor and moiety to them and the heirs of their bodies, that they were thereof seised, taking the esplees as in letting of messuages, corn, herbage, mowing of the meadow, falling of wood and underwood, rents, arrears etc. (as before), that the late king granted the manor of Rouceby to Elizabeth who was wife of Henry Boynton for her life, by name of the town of Rouceby which was of the said Henry and was forfeit by reason of his rebellion that after her death, the same came to the late king’s hands and is yet in the king’s hand, that the said moiety came to the hands of King Henry IV etc. (as before), was held in dower by Margaret who was wife of Thomas, and the keeping thereof was committed to the said Christopher (as before).

July 14. 1427.

To the same. Like order, mutatis mutandis, concerning the manor of Rouceby.

7th Great GrandparentsSir Henry BOYNTON of Acklam was beheaded on 2 Jul 1405 at Berwick-on-Tweed Castle. m. Elizabeth MERRIFIELD, daughter of Sir John MERRIFIELD

Alternatively, Sir Henry married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Conyers, of Sockburne, in the Bishopric of Durham ; she afterwards became the wife of John Felton.

He had joined Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, Thomas Mowbray, and Richard le Scrope Archbishop of York who had taken up arms in the Northern Rising against Henry IV in 1405. They were defeated and Henry was executed with 7 others.

A mandate was issued to the Mayor of Newcastle-on-Tyne to receive the head of Henry Boynton, “chivaler,” [Archaic. a knight.] and to place it on the bridge of the town to stay there as long as it would last, but within a month another mandate* was issued to the Mayor to take down the head, where it was lately placed by the King’s command, and to deliver it to Sir Henry’s wife for burial.

Sir Henry  was young and unexperianced, probably in his late twenties, when he succeeded his grandfather Sir Thomas in 1402 and inherited the Boynton family fortune.  He was suspected to be in the interest of Henry (Percy) Earl of Northumberland and his son Henry Hotspur, who had taken arms against the King, Henry IV, for in the fourth year of his reign, when the battle of Shrewsbury (Jul 21 1403) was fought. (See Henry IV Part 1 where  Hotspur was slain)

John Wockerington, Gerald Heron and John Mitford were commissioned to tender an oath to this Henry de Boynton and others,  to be true to the King and renounce Henry, Earl of Northumberland and his adherents

Yet two years after the Percys defeat  at the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403,   Sir Henry was involved in the Northern Rising against Henry IV.

In 1405 Northumberland, joined by Lord Bardolf, again took up arms against the King. The rising was doomed from the start due to Northumberland’s failure to capture Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland. Scrope, together with Thomas de Mowbray, 4th Earl of Norfolk, and Scrope’s nephew, Sir William Plumpton, had assembled a force of some 8000 men on Shipton Moor on 27 May, but instead of giving battle Scrope parleyed with Westmorland, and was tricked into believing that his demands would be accepted and his personal safety guaranteed.  (For Shakespeare’s take on this meeting in Henry IV Part 2 Act IV Scenes i-iii, see my post   Shakespearean Ancestors.)

Henry IV Part 2 Act IV Scene 3

Henry IV Part 2 Act IV Scene 3

Once their army had disbanded on 29 May, Scrope and Mowbray were arrested and taken to Pontefract Castle to await the King, who arrived at York on 3 June. The King denied them trial by their peers, and a commission headed by the Earl of Arundel and Sir Thomas Beaufort sat in judgment on Scrope, Mowbray and Plumpton in Scrope’s own hall at his manor of Bishopthorpe, some three miles south of York.

The Chief Justice, Sir William Gascoigne, refused to participate in such irregular proceedings and to pronounce judgment on a prelate, and it was thus left to the lawyer Sir William Fulthorpe to condemn Scrope to death for treason. Scrope, Mowbray and Plumpton were taken to a field belonging to the nunnery of Clementhorpe which lay just under the walls of York, and before a great crowd were beheaded on 8 June 1405, Scrope requesting the headsman to deal him five blows in remembrance of the five wounds of Christ.

Although Scrope’s participation in the Percy rebellion of 1405 is usually attributed to his opposition to the King’s proposal to temporarily confiscate the clergy’s landed wealth, his motive for taking an active military role in the rising continues to puzzle historians.

Pope Innocent VII excommunicated all those involved in Scrope’s execution. However Archbishop Arundel failed to publish the Pope’s decree in England, and in 1407 Henry IV was pardoned by Pope Gregory XII

Reconstruction of Berwick Castle

Reconstruction of Berwick Castle

Meanwhile Sir Henry fled to Berwick  Castle.  Henry de Boynton was  beheaded on 2 Jul 1405 along with six other knights who were captured when the castle at Berwick upon Tweed was taken. Henry Percy escaped into Scotland.

Ruins of Berwick Castle Today

Ruins of Berwick Castle Today

A mandate was issued to the Mayor of Newcastle-on-Tyne to receive the head of Henry Boynton, “chivaler,” [Archaic. a knight.] and to place it on the bridge of the town to stay there as long as it would last, but within a month another mandate* was issued to the Mayor to take down the head, where it was lately placed by the King’s command, and to deliver it to Sir Henry’s wife for burial.

Tyne bridge, Newcastle-Gateshead Today

Tyne bridge, Newcastle-Gateshead Today  — Not the one where Sir Henry’s head was placed

After the insurrection had been crushed Henry IV inserted into the record of Parliament the perfidy of Henry Percy. Among the indictments was the claim that Henry Percy had appointed Henry Boynton to negotiate for him with the kings of Scotland and France. Whether he engaged in negotiations or was only appointed to engage in negotiations is not clear from the text. But it suggests a close — if surreptitious — working relationship. A relationship that cost Henry Boynton his head.

Sir Henry’s property, the manor of Acklam in Cleveland, with all members being forfeited and in the King’s hands, was granted to Roger de Thornton, Mayor of Newcastle-on-Tyne but in the following August*” a grant was made for life to Elizabeth, late the wife of Henry Boynton, who had not wherewithal to maintain herself and six children or to pay her late husband’s debts, of the towns of Roxby and Newton, late the said Henry’s and forfeited to the King, on account of his rebellion, to hold to the value of £20 yearly, and there was granted to her also all his goods, likewise forfeited, to the value of £20, and she must answer for any surplus.

The Percy Rebellion (1402–1408) was three attempts by the Percy family and their allies to overthrow Henry IV:

  • Battle of Shrewsbury (1403). King Henry IV defeated a rebel army led by Henry Hotspur Percy who had allied with the Welsh rebel Owain Glyndŵr. Percy was killed in the battle by an arrow in his face. [In hand to hand combat with Prince Hall in Henry IV Part I]. Thomas Percy, 1st Earl of Worcester, Sir Richard Venables and Sir Richard Vernon were publicly hanged, drawn and quartered in Shrewsbury on 23 July and their heads publicly displayed. The Earl of Northumberland flees to Scotland.
  • Archbishop of York Richard le Scrope lead a failed rebellion in northern England (1405). Scrope and other rebel leaders including  Sir Henry BOYNTON are executed. The Earl of Northumberland again flees to Scotland.
  • Battle of Bramham Moor (1408). The Earl of Northumberland invades Northern England with Scottish and Northumbrian allies but is defeated and killed in battle.

Children of Sir Henry and Elizabeth:

i. Thomas (1393-1424), son and heir of Sir Henry,’ aged 12 in 1405, married Margaret, daughter of Peter Mirfield, and died without issue.

ii. William 

iii. Henry

iv. Elizabeth, m. Thomas Marton, of Marton-in-Cleveland.

v. Jennett m. John Wydysforth.

vi. Another child.

8th Great Grandparents – Sir Thomas de  BOYNTON ( – 1381/86) was lord of Acklam,  in the North Riding of Yorkshire. Thomas died  in the lifetime of his father.   He probably married twice. (m1.) A daughter of the house of Conyers, by whom he had no issue.

(m2.) Margaret  SPEETON, daughter of John SPEEDTON, of Sawcock.* She died in 1409. By her Sir Thomas had issue, two sons, Henry, and Christopher.

Village of Acklam  Ryedale district of North Yorkshire, England although it is historically part of the East Riding of Yorkshire. It is situated approximately 19 miles north east of York city centre

Village of Acklam Ryedale district of North Yorkshire. Although it is historically part of the East Riding of Yorkshire. It is situated approximately 19 miles north east of York city center.

Sir Thomas was Lieutenant and Constable of Carlisle under Henry Percy, son of the Earl of Northumberland in 1383.  Carlisle Castle, still relatively intact, was built in 1092 by William Rufus, and having once served as a prison for Mary, Queen of Scots

He is probably the Thomas Boynton, Kt., who held one acre of land at Smithpole, in Little Burdon, in the parish of Bishopwearmouth in the time of Bishop Hatfield.

His family had held land in Boynton and added land in Acklam and Roxby to their holdings as early as 1230. Thomas’ family , was moderately wealthy and they were distinguished persons in the history of the county. Just north of Acklam was County Durham. The Prince Bishop of Durham had his own army, money, taxes, and justice system. Thomas served as sheriff of Durham for bishop John of Fordham, 1385-1387, and also for Walter of Skirlaw from 1391 to 1401. He also served as escheator for bishop Walter.

In addition to his work for the bishop of Durham Thomas worked with the Percys in several ways, but, apparently, not economically. The North Riding Boyntons did not hold land from the Percys  nor are there any economic charters that involve them. However, they clearly knew each other and worked together in other arenas. Thomas visited the castle at Alnwick in 1376 to celebrate a religious holiday. He worked with Henry Percy on the Commission of Peace for the North Riding of Yorkshire. They were both members of the Commission in 1385 and 1386.

When Hotspur, the son of the earl of Northumberland, became warden of Carlisle in 1390 he appointed Thomas Boynton constable of the castle  . The king said that Hotspur could take advantage of “meadows, pastures, and fisheries” that other wardens had used. It seems likely that Thomas could take part of that as the constable. Thomas Boynton and the Percys do not seem to have shared land other than the land valued at 1 s. per person he shared with Henry Percy and 31 other families. Since he was twice on the Percy list — the charter in 1376 and the roll of 1388 — he must have been involved in Percy led battles against the Scots. And there is one other bit of evidence that he was a warring person. In his will he made provision for his “armaments.”

Children of Sir Thomas and Margaret:

i. Henry

ii. Christopher – Died on the Saturday before the Feast of St. Lucy, 30 Henry VI (1451), and Sir William Bowes, Kt., and John Ruddeston, clerk, were seized of Castle Levington to the uses of his will.’m. Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir to Sir Robert Conyers, of Ormesby, in the County of York, and by her had a son Christopher

Christopher founded the Sedbury branch of the Boynton family. He was an executor of his father’s will, and is said to have been guardian to his nephew Thomas, son of Sir Henry Boynton
in the time of Henry IV.

Christopher Boynton, Henry’s younger brother, took up law, and threw in with the Nevilles, the other distinguished family from the north. He had a long and distinguished career as a public lawyer. He was the lawyer who could make a quorum for the Commission of Peace in the North Riding. He served on the Commissions of Peace, Assize, and Gaol Delivery in Durham. He was on retainer to the city of York, and he served the king on many ad hoc commissions.

In 11 Henry IV (1410) there was a Commission issued to Christopher Boynton and others to inquire into the capture of salmon and fry in the Rivers Humber, Ouse, Don, Aire, Derwent, Wharf, Nidd, Yore, Swale and Tees, contrary to the statute of Westminster, and to punish offenders. Later, in 1414, he was one of those who had to inquire into the report that certain lands, held by John de Darcy, chivaler, and Elizabeth, late the wife of Philip, late Lord of Darcy on the days of their deaths, were more than were specified in the inquisitions taken.  In 1417 he was on a Commission concerning walls and ditches in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

During the same year he was one of the Commissioners of array for the defense of the realm during the King’s absence in foreign parts,’ and in 1418, he acts as escheator in the County of York. In 1419 he is called upon with others to treat about a loan to be paid to the King for the resistance of the malice of the King’s enemies; in 1422 with others he is “to inquire into the report that whereas divers progenitors of the King, Kings of England, in the first foundation of the Hospital of St. Leonard, York, granted to the master, brethren and poor people of it, a thrave of corn [24 sheaves] each year from all ploughs in the Counties of York, Lancaster, Westmorland and Cumberland for the maintenance of the said brethren and poor people, and Pope Alexander III confirmed the alms, and the master and brethren have had the same, nevertheless divers men of the said parts, religious and others, refuse to render the thraves to Robert FitzHugh, clerk, now master, and the brethren. And during the same year Christopher Boynton with William Stapulton are to survey all defects in the Castle of Carlisle and the other houses and buildings of the Castle, and the walls of the town, and report thereon.s We hear no more of this Christopher Boynton until in 1439-40 he is party to a deed relating to the Manor of Quicke in Sadleworthfrith.

9th Great Grandparents Sir Thomas de BOYNTON of Acclam (known to be alive between 1340-1402) m. Katherine ROSSELLS, daughter and co-heir of Sir Gifford ROSSELLS of Newton-under-Roseberry. Lord of the ancient demense in Boynton of Acclome and Aresome (in right of his mother) and of Rouseby, Newton and Swaynton (by his wife).

There is a fine dated in the quinzane of Michaelmas 14 Ed. Ill (1340) between Thomas, son of Walter de Boynton, and Katherine his wife plaintiffs, and William Moubray, clerk, deforciant, whereby the said Thomas and Katherine recognized the manor of Roxby and the moiety of the manor of Newton under Osenburgh to be the right of the said William Moubray by their gift, and the said William Moubray in return granted the premises to them and the heirs of their bodies.* There is another fine in 1340, between the same, but coupling Acklam with Roxby, whereby Thomas and Katherine and the heirs of their bodies are to hold the said properties, with remainder as to Acklam and Roxby to
the heirs of the body of Thomas, with remainder to his right heirs ; remainder as to Newton to the heirs of the body of Katherine, with remainder to the heirs of the body of Thomas, with remainder to the right heirs of Katherine.

Sir Thomas’s will is dated 26th July, and proved 6 Sep 1402. He desires to be buried in the Church of Acklam.

In 1366 Sir Thomas had free warren in Acklam, Airesome, Roxby, Newton, Stainton and Boynton.’

Children of Sir Thomas and Katherine:

i. Thomas   died before his father.

ii. Henry, who used a trefoil on his seal.

iii. Elizabeth, mentioned in her brother’s will.

iv. Alice, mentioned in her brother’s will.

10th Great GrandparentsSir Walter de BOYNTON 14 Edward III Knighted 1356 in the service of the Prince of Wales in Brittany — m. Katherine ALTON, daughter of William ALTON

Lord of Acklam.’ He was in the service of the Black Prince in 1356, and had the King’s letters of protection. He is mentioned in a grant of land to Handale Priory in Cleveland,” and also in a deed without date concerning land in Roxby, naming a yearly payment of a pair of spurs at a penny price.* He is mentioned as receiving the honor of knighthood and being lord of the manor of Roxby .

Children of Sir Walter and Katherine

i. Thomas.

ii. John, mentioned in his brother’s will. He is probably the John who witnesses a Thornholm deed in 1412.

iii. William.

11th Great GrandparentsIngelram (Ingraham) BOYNTON (c. 1300 – c. 1340) m. Margaret GRINDALL

Held three parts of a Knight’s fee in Acklam, Linthorpe, Thornton, Marton, Tollesby and Roxby. His father, Sir William Boynton, had given him (his eldest born son) and Margaret his wife and the heirs of their bodies, by the name of all the land which he had in the town of Snainton in demesne, free service, bondage and cottier service [cotagio) with all foreign tillages {forenescis culluris) which he had in the same town whereof Ingelram and Margaret were seized in the time of Edward I.-

In 1310 Ingelram de Bovington gave to the canons of Helagh Park in frank-almoign, a toft and croft in Marton in Cleveland, which he bought from William, son of Aylmer, in the town of Marton, paying yearly to the donor and his heirs one penny at Easter.*

In Dugdale I p. 427, there is a confirmation of a gift of land by Engeram de Bovington to Handale Priory .

12th Great GrandparentsSir William BOYNTON (known to be alive 1249 – 1310) aged 60, 21st March, 3 Edw. II (1309-10). m. Alice de MONCEAUX (Muncels) daughter of Ingelram de MONCEAUX (Muncels) who married for her second husband William de Percy . This lady in her widowhood gave two oxgangs of land in Boynton to Nunappleton Priory.

There is a Release by Alice de Monccll, widow of William de Bovington to Sir Richard de Percy of all lands she had in dower in the vill of Herghum (now Arram) on Hull, and in return Percy paid Ingelram, her eldest son, 40 marks of silver to free him from the debts (ad quieiandum se de Judaismo) he owed Aaron and Manasser and other Jews. (Dodsworth. MSS. Ixxiv. lid.)

‘ In 1262 he appears as a juror, and 22nd October, 1279, he appears with others who say that Peter de Brus held of the King in chief sixteen Knights fees, whereof Roger de Merley held two in Burton Annes and elsewhere, William de Bovington one fee and half a carucate of land in Acclum.

In 1277 he made a grant of lands in Scaling whereby he obliged his tenants there to grind all their corn at his mill.’ According to Kirkby’s Inquest, p. 56, William de Bouyngton and John de Munceus held five carucates of land in Bouyngton. The same authority (p. 127) says that William de Bovington held three parts of a fee in Acklam, Linthorpe, Thometon near Stainton, Marton, Tollesby and Roxby, where ten carucates make a fee et redd, hallivo domini regis pro fine iijs {noteijs).

In the time of Henry VI a claim was made of the lands forming the gift of Ingelram de Monceaux to Alice his daughter. It is stated that Ingelram de Muncels by deed, gave with Alice, his daughter, in marriage to a certain William de Bojoiton who did marry her, and to the heirs of their bodies, two messuages, three cottages and sixteen bovates of land in Boynton, in the County of York, by the name of three carucates of land in Boynton, the whole being in demesne except two bovates which Henry, son of Peter held, which two bovates are part of the said three carucates together with a capital messuage in the said town. By virtue of which gift the said William and Alice were peacably seised in the time of Edward I and from them the right of the premises successively descended.’

Children of Sir William and Alice

i Ingelram

ii. Walter, died without issue.

13th Great Grandparents – Ingraham BOYNTON (known to be alive 1222 – 1254) m1. Joan de ACCLUM, daughter of Roger de ACCLUM and widow of Peter de Amunderville Ingelram; m2. a daughter of William St. Quintin, of Harpham

Ingelram and his wife Joan, are mentioned in a Lincolnshire fine. It appears that three weeks from Easter Day, 6 Henry III (23rd April, 1222) there was a fine between Geoffrey, son of Baldwin, plaintiff, by Ralph de Warevill, put in his place, and Ingelram de Boynton and Joan his wife, deforciants, of two carucates of land in Orreby, to wit, of all lands and tenements which the said Ingelram and Joan held in dower of the said Joan, in Lindsey, of the inheritance of Peter de Amunderville, whose wife the said Joan was. And concerning which Geoffrey complained that IngeJram and Joan deforced him of the said tenement against an agreement made between them. Ingelram and Joan acknowledge the said agreement, and let the said land to farm to the said Geoffrey and Peter de Bath for twelve years.

In Michaelmas term 1254, the King commands the Sheriff of York for Ingeram de Bounton (inter alios) to answer to the King with his body together with the executors of Ada de Baylloll for debts to the said Ada in part payment.’

Sir Ingelram de Boynton was seated at Acklara and amersed fifty marks in 1245-6, and in 1248 granted a lease of lands to the miller of Scaling. [Amerce means to punish with an arbitrary penalty, or to punish by a fine imposed arbitrarily by the discretion of the court.]xxx

Ingelram and Joan his wife witness a deed of William, son of Roger de Acclum concerning land at Cleatham, and later confirm the same land to Durham Monastery. His seal which is attached to this deed, at Durham, bears a fess between three crescents differenced by a label of three points and the legend-|-SIGILL INGERAM DE B0V[INT]VNE.

Children of Ingelram and Joan

i. William

ii. Michael

iii. Joan

iv. Margaret

14th Great Grandparents – William de BOYNTON, son of Walter Boynton (I) known to be living in  1206, and is mentioned in Yorkshire fines of that year. He married and had two sons and two daughters:

i. Ingelram.

ii. Henry, who married a daughter of Adam Wastneys

iii. Jane, married to Sir Robert Octon. Kt.

iv. Ursula, married to Sir Roger Welwick, Kt.

15th Great GrandfatherWalter de BOYNTON, (Bovington) (known to be living 1182-1206)  Between 1182 and 1197, bought of Riches de Arnallia, two bovates of land in Arnallia (now Arnold), which he gave to Meaux Abbey, Walter’s brother William confirmed the gift. Walter was party to a fine about land in Burnby in 1201. In 1206 he was a justice itinerant, and held property in Yorkshire, and was one of the indententes named by the King to Robert de Stuteville, Sheriff of Yorkshire. He gave a bovate of land in Bempton to Bridlington Priory, and with William, his son, exchanged seven bovates of land and two tofts in Willardby with the Prior and Convent of Bridlington for six bovates in Bovington.

Walter married and had two sons and possibly a third, namely : —

i. William

ii. Rabod or Rabot, to whom his father, with the assent of William, his son and heir, granted land in Rotsea. Rabot gave a toft and fishery in Rotsea to Guisbrough Priory, and released the Canons from an annual payment of fourpence halfpenny which they used to pay to him,’ he also gave a bovate of land in Tibthorpe to Guisbrough Priory.

iii Geoffrey.


1. William Boynton

William’s wife Elizabeth Jackson was born in 1618 in Rowley, Essex, Mass. Her parents were William Jackson and [__?__].  Elizabeth died 1687 in Salisbury, Essex, Mass.

William, Elizabeth and William’s brother John immigrated  to Massachusetts  in 1638 on the ship John of London with the Rev. Ezekiel Rogers of Rowley, England, near Hull. and his followers, about 20 families from Yorkshire.   John and William’s cousin Sir Matthew Boynton (Wiki) (26 Jan 1591 – 12 Mar 1647),  helped finance the Rowley expedition. John and Sir Mathew were cousins, but not close ones. Their common ancestor was John’s 6th Great Grandfather – Sir Thomas Boynton whose will was proved at York on Sept 6 1408. He had two sons, Henry (eldest and heir from whom descends present Baronet) and our ancestor Sir Christopher.

William Boynton was from Yorkshire, England and was a planter, weaver, tailor, and teacher.    The earliest mention of a school in Rowley, Mass is 3 Feb 1656/57, when William was engaged by the town as a teacher for the term of seven years. This church then agreed to loan him £5, for enlarging his house for the accommodation of his school. He usually received £2 10s. yearly for sweeping the meeting-house, and for ringing the bell. He probably taught here for about twenty-four years, when he was followed, in 1682, by Mr. Simon Wainwright; after whom the Rev. Samuel Phillips was employed as a teacher.

Children of William and Elizabeth:

i. John Boynton  b. 19 Dec 1640 Rowley, Mass; d.  26 Mar 1665

ii. Elizabeth Boynton  b. 11 Dec 1642 Rowley; m. 9 Nov 1644 to John Simmons

iii. Zachariah Boynton b. 11 Oct 1644 Rowley; d. 4  Aug 1660

iv. Joshua Boynton  b. 10 Mar 1646 Rowley; d. 12 Nov 1736 Newbury, Mass);  m1. 9 Apr 1678 Newbury, Mass to Hannah Burnap (Barnet?) ( –    12 Jan 1722 ); m2. 29 Nov 1725 to Mary Daniels (Styles?), ( – 28 Jul 1727); m3.  30 Oct  1727 to Mary, widow of his cousin John Boynton

Joshua was a farmer and soldier in Narragansett wars 1675.

v. Mary Boynton b. 23 Jul 1648 Rowley;  m. 5 Nov 1670 Salisbury,  Mass. to John Eastman.

vi. Caleb  Boynton b. 7 Apr 1650 Rowley; d. 1696 Ipswich, Mass.; m. 24 Jun 1672 Newbury, Mass. to Mary Moore

vii. Sarah Boynton b. 1 Dec 1652 Rowley; d. 8 Aug 1654 Rowley

William Boynton gave a farm to each of his children in his lifetime. William Boynton joined the expedition (with his brother John) under the auspices of Sir Matthew Boynton in 1638 to settle in New England. While Matthew Boynton remained in England and joined the fortunes of Oliver Cromwell, the remainder of the party left Hull in the autumn of 1638 on the ship “John of London” and landed at Boston later the same year.

Many of the families were wealthy and they purchased a tract of land between Newbury and Ipswich. They took possession of the land in April 1639 and named it Rowley (Massachusetts) in honor of their minister Mr. Ezekiel Rogers who had been a preacher at St. Peter’s church in Rowley (Yorkshire, England) for many years.

5. John BOYNTON (See his page)

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Review of Sources of Boynton Family History – An introduction to those sources with appropriate warnings about how to read them and what to take seriously and what not to take seriousl

An account of the Boynton family and the family seat of Burton Agnes” –   by the Rev. Carus Vale Collier M.A., F.S.A. Rector of Langton, Yorkshire (Formerly Curate of Burton Agnes) 1914 — Carus Collier had two advantages over earlier Boynton genealogists: 1) the publication of medieval documents by county historical societies and the English government; 2) records privately held by the Boynton family. By 1900 the Yorkshire Archaeological Society had published 44 volumes of medieval records from Yorkshire in its Record series, and the Surtees Society had published 119 volumes of medieval records from northern England in its record series. The English government had published summaries of medieval government documents — patent rolls, close rolls, fine rolls, pipe rolls, inquisitions post mortem, ancient deeds, feudal aids and others — in great numbers. Collier had access to a wealth of published materials that had not been available earlier. In addition, the Boynton family had a substantial collection of deeds, wills, and other documents at Burton Agnes. The collection of more than 1,600 documents was deposited with the library of the University of Hull later in the 20th century. Many of those records are now available from the library on the internet. Collier also had a long standing interest in medieval history [obituary], which prepared him for documents in latin and the esoterica of medieval relationships. The result is the best documented account of the Boynton family available. The focus is almost wholly genealogy; the documentary evidence is used to substantiate the description of who begat whom. It leaves how Boyntons went about their lives to others. It is a little known book. It is infrequently cited, and we could find it in only two libraries — one in the U.S. and the other in York. The chapters about Boynton genealogy are available here. [Collier on Boyntons] With the benefit of records published later in the 20th century one can conclude that Collier was incorrect at some points, but considerably fewer than those who preceeded him.

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Jehan Coursier

Jehan Coursier (1635 – 1663) was Alex’s 10th Great Grandfather; one of 2,048 in this generation of the Miller line.

Jehan Coursier was born about 1635 in Île De Re, France.  He married Anne Perroteau before 1649 in Ste Marie De Re, Charente, Poitou-Charentes, France.  Jehan died 1663 in Île De Re, France

Anne Perroteau was born in 1630 in Île De Re, France. Anne died 1663 in Île De Re, France,

Children of Jehan and Ann

Name Born Married Departed
1. Anne COURSIER c. 1649 Rene REZEAU  22 Jun 1670 in Ste. Marie De Re, Charente Maritime, France. 18 Feb 1719 Elizabethtown, Union, NJ.
2. Marie Coursier 1660 in Île De Re, France Daniel Jouett 1679  Île De Re, France 1732 Elizabethtown, New Jersey

A text from the Protestant Museum in La Rochelle indidcates that Daniel and Marie Jouet were part of a group of Huguenots led by: Ezechial Carre – pastor of the colony, studied in Geneva, served 2 churches in France-Mirambeau in Saintonge and La Roche-Chalais,  Pierre Berthon de Marigny, and Pierre Ayrault – doctor from Angers.    These French Church New York City baptisms show a close connection between the two couple Anne & Rene and Marie & Daniel in the early 1690’s.

1691 Nov 01; To Daniel Jouet and Marie Courcier, Jean; Witnessed by Rene Rezeau and Suzanne Ratier wife of ??? Doucinet 1693 Feb 05;  To Daniel Jouet and Marie Coursier; Elisabeth; Witnessed by Pierre Filleux and Suzanne Rezeau (Rene and Anne’s daughter?) 1695 May 05; To Daniel Jouet and Marie Coursier; Anne; Witnessed by Rene Rezeau and Anne Reseau

Children (2nd Gen)

1. Anne COURSIER (See Rene REZEAU  ‘s page)

2. Marie Coursier

Marie’s husband Daniel Jouett was born about 1660 in Île de Ré, France, near the Huguenot center of La Rochelle. Daniel died 13 Oct 1721 in Elizabethtown, Trenton, New Jersey.

He was of an old Norman family of Huguenot origin settled in Touraine,  His grandfather was  the noble Matthieu de Jouhet, Master of the Horse (Grand Écuyer) to Louis XIII of France, Lord of Leveignac, and Lieutenant in the Marshalsea of Limousin.

In 1685, Louis XIV issued the Edict of Fontainebleau, a revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Under the Edict of Nantes, Protestants were granted certain civil rights. Louis XIV’s new edict declared Protestantism illegal, and after its issuance, hundreds of thousands of Huguenots fled the country. The violence done to Huguenots in France prior to the Edict of Nantes is counted among history’s worst atrocities.

Among those Huguenots who escaped the violence that was sure to follow the Edict of Fontainebleau were Daniel Jouet, his wife, the former Marie Coursier, and their children Daniel and Pierre. Daniel Jouet was a sailmaker by trade. Daniel and his wife initially emigrated to London, England after the Edict of Fontainebleau. In late 1686 or early 1687, they received five pounds sterling to “go to Carolina” from the French Committee, who oversaw dispensation of funds to needy Huguenots in England. They would not leave for Carolina until 1695. First, they moved to Plymouth, where their third child, a daughter named Marie, was born. In 1688, they emigrated to Narragansett, Rhode Island.

In 1689, the Jouets relocated to New York City where their fourth child, Ézéchiel was born. Ézéchiel, another son Jean, and two more daughters, Élisabeth and Anne, were baptized in the French Church in New York. By 1695 the family “suddenly and surprisingly” left for Carolina at last. They petitioned for naturalization in 1696, but did not remain in Carolina long before once again relocating to Elizabethtown, New Jersey. Daniel Jouet’s will was proved on Oct 10, 1721. Daniel Jouet’s rootlessness is explained by Bertrand Van Ruymbeke as “symtomatic of the post-Revocation exodus and of the displaced Huguenots’ unusual capacity for mobility”

Children of Marie and Daniel (Gen 3)

i.  Matthew Pierre Jouett b. c. 1681 in Lisle De Re, Aunis, France; m.  Susannah Moore (1707– 1772); d. Jun 1746 in Hanover Co. Va.  Matthew Jouett patented large tracts of land in Hanover in 1732.

ii. Daniel Jouet Jr. b. c. 1681 in Lisle De Re, Aunis, France; m. 1697 in Ile De Re, France to Marie Cavalier d. Feb 1749 Elizabethtown, Essex, New Jersey

Daniel Jouet Jr’s son  Cavalier Jouet  remained in New Jersey; he was raised by his grandparents, Daniel Jouet and Marie Coursier Jouet. He was imprisoned for his Loyalist sympathies, but escaped behind British lines in New York. His property and estate were confiscated, and he emigrated to England. He returned to America in 1792 to attempt to regain his property, but was apparently unsuccessful and returned to Rawreth, Essex in England, where he died in 1810.

Cavalier Jouet’s son Xenophon Jouet was also a Loyalist. He fought as ensign in the New Jersey Volunteers during the Revolution, then moved to Canada following the war. Our Rezeau descendants were also Loyalists and were removed to Canada after the Revolution. (See Nathaniel PARKS for details).

iii. Pierre Jouet b. 1683 Lisle De Re, France; d. 17 Dec 1743 Albemarle, VA

iv. Marie Jouet b.1685 in Plymouth, Devon, England; m. 1700 in Elizabeth, Union, New Jersey to William Dixon; d. 1713 Elizabeth, New Jersey,

v. Ezechial Jouett b. 2 Apr 1689 in French Church, New York; d. 1696 New Jersey

vi. Jean Jouet b. 28 Oct 1691 in New York; d. Virginia
Baptism Record 1691 Nov 01; To Daniel Jouet and Marie Courcier, Jean; Witnessed by Rene REZEAU and Suzanne Ratier wife of [__?__] Doucinet

vii. Elizabeth Jouet b. 28 Dec 1692 in New York; m. Absalom Ladner (b. 1667 – )
Baptism Record – 1693 Feb 05;  To Daniel Jouet and Marie Coursier; Elisabeth; Witnessed by Pierre Filleux and Suzanne Rezeau (Rene and Anne’s  REZEAU’s daughter)

viii. Anne Jouett b. 2 May 1695 in New York; d. 7 Jun 1711
Baptism Record – 1695 May 05; To Daniel Jouet and Marie Coursier; Anne; Witnessed by Rene REZEAU and Anne RESEAU

Daniel’s son Matthew, settled in Virginia. He was an imposing figure at 6’4″ and 220 pounds and contemporary accounts describe him as muscular and handsome.  Jouett’s family, based in Albemarle County, was very active in the revolutionary cause.  Among the earliest entries on the Court records of Albemarle in 1745, is a notice of the death of Matthew Jouett, and the appointment of John Moore as his executor.

Albemarle County, Virginia

Matthew’s son John Jouett Sr (Gen 4) and grandson John Jouett Jr  signed the Albemarle Declaration, a document renouncing King George III signed by 202 Albemarle citizens. During the Revolution, John Jouett Sr. supplied the military with meat for its rations, and his four sons all served in the military, including one who was killed at the Battle of Brandywine.

John Jouett, who was for many years a prominent citizen of Charlottesville.  In 1773 John purchased from John Moore one hundred acres adjoining the town on the east and north, and at that time most likely erected the Swan Tavern, of famous memory. Three years later he bought from the same gentleman three hundred acres south of the town, including the mill now owned by Hartman. In 1790 he laid out High Street, with the row of lots on either side, and by an act of the Legislature they were vested in trustees to sell at auction, after giving three weeks’ notice in the Virginia Gazette. He kept the Swan until his death in 1802.

John “Jack” Jouett Jr (Gen 5)

John Jouett Jr. is perhaps a more famous Patriot than he, however. Captain John “Jack” Jouett (wiki)  (1754 – 1822) was a politician and a hero of the American Revolution, known as the “Paul Revere of the South” for his late night ride to warn Thomas Jefferson, then the Governor of Virginia, and the Virginia legislature of coming British cavalry who had been sent to capture them.  Google Map Directions of Jack’s ride (of course he didn’t take I64 because the Whitecoats were on the highway)

The only known depiction of Jack Jouett Jr. made while he was living, a silhouette by his son, Matthew

Jack Jouett’s Ride

On June 1, 1781 British General Cornwallis learned from a captured dispatch that Gov. Thomas Jefferson and Virginia’s legislature had fled to Charlottesville, Virginia, the location of Jefferson’s home, Monticello. Virginia’s government had escaped to Charlottesville after Benedict Arnold, who had defected to the British, attacked Virginia’s capital, Richmond.

General Cornwallis had the Virginia Government on the run from Richmond to Charlottesville

Cornwallis ordered Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton, “Bloody Tarleton” the Continental Army called him, to ride to Charlottesville, Virginia and capture Gov. Jefferson and the Virginia legislature. Tarleton hoped to capture Jefferson and the many notable Revolutionary leaders who were Virginia legislators, including: Patrick HenryRichard Henry LeeThomas Nelson, Jr., and Benjamin Harrison V. On June 3, Tarleton left Cornwallis’s camp on the North Anna River  with 180 cavalrymen and 70 mounted infantry of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Tarleton marched his force covertly and planned to cover the last 70 miles to Charlottesville in 24 hours, an incredibly fast maneuver designed to catch the politicians completely unaware.

The Ride Begins

Many contend that Jack Jouett's Ride was far more important than that of Paul Revere.

Jouett, twenty-seven years old, lay asleep on the lawn of the Cuckoo Tavern  in Louisa County, Virginia on the night of June 3, 1781. During the night, he heard the sound of approaching cavalry and spotted the “White Coats,” the British cavalry led by Colonel Tarleton. Jouett correctly suspected that the cavalry was marching to Charlottesville to capture Virginia’s government. Jouett knew that the legislature was completely undefended. Very little fighting had taken place on Virginia soil from 1776 to 1780, so most of Virginia’s forces were deployed elsewhere. The British had only recently begun significant campaigns in Virginia, so few forces were in the state except a small group led by the Marquis de Lafayette, who was far from Charlottesville. With no possibility of defense, the only hope for Jefferson and the legislators was advanced warning and escape. Jouett quickly mounted his horse and, at about 10 P.M., began the 40 mile ride from Louisa to Charlottesville. With the British cavalry on the main highway, Jouett had to take the rough backwoods trails to the overgrown Old Mountain Road with perhaps only the full moonlight to guide him and still ride fast enough to beat the British.

Tarleton’s Travels

At 11 P.M., Tarleton paused for a three hour rest at Louisa Courthouse. He began his march again at about 2 A.M. He soon encountered a train of 11 supply wagons at Boswell’s Tavern bound for South Carolina where Nathanael GREENE led the main branch of the Continental Army in the South. Tarleton burnt the wagons and continued onwards.

Lieutenant-Colonel Banastre Tarleton by Sir Joshua Reynolds

Around dawn, Tarleton reached the plantations of Castle Hill, Doctor Thomas Walker‘s home, and splinter group of British arrived at Belvoir, the home of his son, Continental Congress member John Walker. Tarleton captured or paroled various important figures at the two plantations. Various legends have sprung up about the stop at Castle Hill. Supposedly, Dr. Walker prepared an elaborate breakfast (including alcohol), for Tarleton in order to give more time for Jefferson and the legislature to get warning of the cavalry. Tarleton’s account says he did pause at Castle Hill for a half-hour rest, but the story of Walker’s ploy is probably apocryphal.

Dr. Walker prepared an elaborate breakfast (including alcohol), for Tarleton in order to give more time for Jefferson and the legislature to get warning of the cavalry.

Jouett’s Warning and Monticello

Jouett’s route took him through a ford of the Rivanna River at the town of Milton. At about 4:30 A.M., he crossed the ford and ascended the mountain on which Jefferson’s Monticello sits. At Monticello, Jouett awoke Jefferson and his guests, several Virginia legislators. (According to the Giannini family, descendants of Jefferson’s gardener, Anthony Giannini, noted early riser Jefferson was in the gardens at Monticello with their ancestor when Jouett arrived.) Jefferson rewarded Jouett with some fine Madeira. Jouett then left to travel the extra two miles to warn the town of Charlottesville.

Jack Jouett Warning Thomas Jefferson as he was preparing for breakfast. Jack played by Stuart LilieJefferson by Colonial Williamsburg's Bill Barker

Jefferson did not rush. He had breakfast with the legislators, and began making arrangements to leave. He spent two hours gathering his papers together. When Captain Christopher Hudson rode to Monticello to warn of the imminent arrival of the British, Jefferson sent his family to Enniscorthy, a friend’s estate about 14 miles away. He himself continued to prepare to leave, setting a horse outside his estate for a quick escape.

Jefferson checking Charlottesville with his telescope for signs of the British.

Within a couple hours of Jouett’s departure, another American rider came. Captain Christopher Hudson told Jefferson that enemy troops were immediately behind him, working their way up the mountain to Jefferson’s home. Jefferson decided to check. He strapped on a light sword, walked to a vantage point away from the house and trained his telescope on the city. He saw no activity. He was walking home when he noticed that the sword was missing. Assuming he had dropped it, Jefferson retraced his steps to his viewing point and took another look at Charlottesville. Tarleton’s red-and-green uniformed men filled the streets.

Jefferson jumped on a stallion and flew into the woods, bound for the Shenandoah Valley, eighteen miles west beyond the Blue Ridge. He disappeared just as an enemy detachment reached his front door. Jefferson spent the night at a nearby home.  The British detachment sent to Monticello was led by Captain Kenneth McLeod. Upon their arrival, the British found Jefferson’s slaves hurriedly hiding his valuables.

Jouett and Charlottesville

After Monticello, Jouett rode to the tavern where most of legislators were staying, the Swan Tavern (owned by Jouett’s father). The legislators decided to flee and reconvene in Staunton, 35 miles west, in three days, June 7.  Jouett’s warning allowed most legislators to escape, but seven were caught.

Tartleton captured a few people, among them legislator and frontiersman Daniel Boone. He detained them briefly, and paroled them. The British did comparatively little damage. Monticello was unharmed, though some wine disappeared. Tarleton left Charlottesville on June 5. With his departure, the British considered the matter closed. Cornwallis wandered to Yorktown, where General George Washington trapped his army in October and forced its surrender.

Jouett displayed more heroics and helped General Edward Stevens escape. The general was recovering from wounds he received at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. From the Swan Tavern, Jouett rode with Gen. Stevens as he made his escape, but the wounded Stevens could not ride fast enough to keep the British from catching up.  Fortunately, Jouett had the eccentric habit of dressing in ornate military costume, and Stevens was dressed in shoddy clothing. British cavalry assumed that Jouett, dressed in a scarlet coat and wearing a plumed hat, must be a high military officer, so they ignored the shabby Stevens and chased Jouett, who successfully eluded them. Stevens later returned to the battlefield to lead a brigade of 750 men at the Siege of Yorktown.

Aftermath and Honors

In Staunton, the legislature elected Thomas Nelson to be the next governor, since Jefferson’s term had actually expired on June 2.

Recognizing its debt to Jouett, the legislature passed a resolution on June 15 to honor him. The legislature resolved to give Jouett a pair of pistols and a sword in gratitude. Jouett received the pistols in 1783,  The state’s poverty explains why Jouett got the pistols in 1783 and the sword twenty years later in 1804.

Jack Jouett has, for the most part, fallen through the cracks of history. Jouett has retained some recognition including an elementary school in Louisa County, Virginia and a middle school in Albemarle County named in his honor. Many contend that his ride was far more important than that of Paul Revere. However, Revere’s ride had the benefit of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem to enshrine it in the American consciousness. In an attempt to help promote Jouett’s memory, the Charlottesville Daily Press published the following poem on October 26, 1909:

“Hearken good people: awhile abide
And hear of stout Jack Jouett’s ride;
How he rushed his steed, nor stopped nor stayed
Till he warned the people of Tarleton’s raid.

The moment his warning note was rehearsed
The State Assembly was quickly dispersed.
In their haste to escape, they did not stop
Until they had crossed the mountain top.
And upon the other side come down.
To resume their sessions in Staunton Town.

His parting steed he spurred,
In haste to carry the warning
To that greatest statesman of any age,
The Immortal Monticello Sage.

Here goes to thee, Jack Jouett!
Lord keep thy memory green;
You made the greatest ride, sir,
That ever yet was seen.”.

Later life

His wife was Sarah Robards, a sister of the first husband of President Jackson’s wife.   In 1782, Jouett moved to what is now Kentucky. A family story says that, on his way to Kentucky, Jouett heard a woman’s screams coming from a house. He burst into the house and found a wife being abused by her husband. He attempted to help by knocking down the husband, but the wife did not appreciate his involvement and struck him over the head with a pot. The pot’s bottom gave out, and the pot became stuck around Jouett’s neck. Jouett fled the scene and travelled 35 miles before he found a blacksmith to remove the pot.

Mercer County, Kentucky

Jouett settled in Mercer County. He served as a Virginia state legislator and, when Kentucky became an independent state, a Kentucky state legislator from Mercer and later Woodford County when he moved there. Jouett was a prominent citizen of Kentucky. He had friendships with Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay. In business, he focused on livestock raising and breeding, importing animals from England.

While in Mercer, Jouett married Sallie Robard. Together they had 12 children, including the famous painter Matthew Harris Jouett.

Jack Jouett died March 1, 1822 at his daughter’s house in Bath County, Kentucky.  He is buried in Bath County at the “Peeled Oak” farm in an unmarked grave. The site of the grave was lost until the 20th century.

The Jack Jouett House  is open today for docent led tours.  It is six miles southwest of Versailles on McCowan’s Ferry Rd. Follow the signs from downtown to High Street which becomes McCowan’s Ferry Rd. Go six miles and turn right onto Craig’s Creek Rd.

Matthew Harris Jouett (Gen 6)

Matthew Harris Jouett Self Portrait

Matthew Harris Jouett (wiki)  (1788 Mercer County, Kentucky,  – 1827 Lexington, Kentucky) was a well-known artist, especially for his portraits of Thomas Jefferson and other patriots.

Matthew Harris Jouett's portrait of Thomas Jefferson

Matthew’s father sent him to Transylvania University and encouraged him to study law, but Matthew spent much of his time painting. The frustrated father commented “I sent Matthew to college to make a gentleman of him, and he has turned out to be nothing but a damned sign painter.”

Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834), about 1825, by Matthew Harris Jouett

Jouett served as a lieutenant of the 28th infantry in the War of 1812. He was promoted to captain. After the war, he studied portraiture and went to Boston to study with Gilbert Stuart in 1816. Jouett painted in New Orleans, Natchez, Mississippi, and Kentucky. He was commissioned by the Kentucky legislature to paint a portrait of the Marquis de Lafayette. Jouett also painted Thomas Jefferson.

Henry Clay 1818 by Matthew Harris Jouett

Jouett was the father of James Edward Jouett, a naval officer.  Matthew Jouett is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery.

James Edward Jouett (Gen 7)

James Edward Jouett,(1826 – 1902), a naval officer. James served with Admiral David Farragut and was immortalized in Farragut’s famous quote “Damn the torpedoes! Four bells! Captain Drayton go ahead! Jouett full speed!”

James Edward Jouett

Rear Admiral James Edward Jouett , known as “Fighting Jim Jouett of the American Navy”, was an officer in the United States Navy during the Mexican-American War and the American Civil War. His father was Matthew Harris Jouett, a notable painter, and his grandfather was Revolutionary War hero Jack Jouett.

Born near Lexington, Kentucky, Jouett was appointed Midshipman 10 Sep 1841. He served on the African coast on the Decatur with Matthew C. Perry and on the John Adams during the Mexican-American War.

American Civil War

At the beginning of the Civil War, Jouett was captured by Confederates at Pensacola, Florida but was soon paroled. He then joined the blockading forces off Galveston, Texas, distinguishing himself during the night of 7 to 8 November 1861 in the capture and destruction of Confederate schooner Royal Yacht, while serving on USS Santee. Jouett later commanded the Montgomery and R. R. Cuyler on blockading duty and in September 1863 took command of the Metacomet.

Damn the Torpedoes

In the Battle of Mobile Bay, 5 August 1864, Jouett’s ship, the Metacomet, was lashed to Admiral David Farragut‘s flagship Hartford as the ships entered the bay. Monitor Tecumseh was sunk by an underwater “torpedo“, but the ships steamed on, inspired by Farragut’s famous command: “Damn the torpedoes! Four bells! Captain Drayton go ahead! Jouett full speed!”Metacomet was sent after two Confederate gunboats, and in a short chase Jouett riddled Gaines and captured the Selma.

Post-Civil War and last years

Jouett had various commands ashore and afloat after the Civil War, taking command of the North Atlantic Squadron in 1884. In 1889 he commanded a naval force which forced the opening of the isthmus of Panama, threatened by insurrection.

Admiral Jouett was named President of the Board of Inspection and Survey and served from June 1886 – February 1890.

Rear Admiral Jouett retired in 1890. A special act of Congress granted him full pay for the rest of his life as a reward for his brilliant service  He lived most of his remaining years at “The Anchorage,” Sandy Spring, Maryland. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery section 1, site 85A.

Three ships in the United States Navy have been named USS Jouett in his honor..


Posted in 12th Generation, Line - Miller | 1 Comment

William Fiske III

William FISKE III (1663 – 1745) was Alex’s 8th Great Grandfather; one of 256 in this generation of the Miller line.

William Fiske was born 30 Jan 1663 in Wenham, Essex, Mass. His parents were William FISKE II and Sarah KILHAM. He married Marah [__?__] William died 10 Dec 1745 in Andover, Essex, Mass.

Marah [__?__] was born 1668 in Ipswich, Essex, Mass. Marah died 13 Dec 1760 in Tewksbury, Middlesex, Mass.

It appears there were two first cousins, William Fiske’s daughter and Joseph Fiske’s daughter, both named Ruth, born a couple years apart  who both immigrated to New Brunswick.  Many genealogies mix these two women up, but it’s not possible that the same woman was mother to both Richard Estey’s children and David Kilborne’s children because they were born at the same time.  It”s more likely that William Fiske’s daughter was our ancestor, but I’m including posts for both families.

Our Ruth Fiske was born 20 Aug 1707 in Andover, Mass.  Her parents were William FISKE and Marah [__?__].  She married Richard ESTEY on May 7, 1728.  Ruth died in 1787 Sheffield, Sunbury, New Brunswick, Canada.

The other Ruth Fiske was born 18 Oct 1709 in Ipswich, Mass.  Her parents were Joseph FISKE  and Susannah Warner.   She married David Kilburn on 6 Mar 1730/31. Ruth and David had 10 children between 1734 and 1748 so it is not possible that the same woman was the mother of both Richard Estey’s and David Kilburn’s children.   This Ruth died in June, 1774 in Sheffield, New Brunswick, Canada.

David Kilburn was born 12 Mar 1688/89 in Rowley, Essex, Mass. His parents were Samuel Kilburn and Mary Foster. Another clue that David was Joseph Fiske’s son-in-law is his brother Jedediah Kilburn married his wife Ruth’s sister, Susanna Fiske. David died 25 Oct 1775 in Sheffield, New Brunswick, Canada.

Children of Richard and Ruth:

Name Born Married Departed
1. William Fiske 30 Nov 1695
Wenham, Essex, Mass
2. Ruth Fisk 15 Feb 1697
Wenham, Essex, Mass
14 Apr 1704
Wenham, Essex, Mass
3. Lydia Fisk 1698
Wenham, Essex, Mass
4. Mary Fisk 2 Oct 1699
Wenham, Essex, Mass
14 Apr 1704
5. Joseph Fisk 6 Sept 1701
Wenham, Essex, Mass
Mary Sitton
5 Oct 1728
Enfield, Hartford, CT
14 Feb 1705?
Andover, Essex, Mass
6. Ebenezer Fisk 15 Aug 1703
Wenham, Essex, Mass
Susannah Buck
10 Jan 1730
Andover, Essex, Mass.
24 May 1783
Reading, Middlesex, Mass
7. Jonathan Fisk 1705
8. Sarah Fiske 5 Jun 1707 in Wenham, Essex, Mass 14 Jun 1707 in Wenham, Essex, Mass
9. Ruth FISKE 18 Oct 1709 in Wenham, Essex, Mass Richard ESTEY
7 May 1729
Ipswich, Mass.
Sheffield, Sunbury, New Brunswick, Canada

The Fiske Family by Albert Augustus Fiske, 1867

William Fiske, eldest son of Dea. William, resided in Wenham until about 1710, when he removed to Andover, Mass. By wife, Marah, he had sons William (born 1695), Joseph (1701), Ebenezer (1703), Jonathan, and daughters Sarah, Ruth, Lydia and Mary. All these were living in Andover in 1726, and had property distributed to them by deed from their father, who died there in 1745, in his 83d year. His wife Marah (often called Mary) was living in Andover as late as 1734, as appears by her signature to a deed of that date.


5. Joseph Fisk

Joseph’s wifew Mary Sitton was born about 1705 in Pomfret, Windham, CT. Her parents were Benjamin Sitton and Lydia Kibbey. Mary died 15 Feb 1734 in Enfield, Hartford, CT.

6. Ebenezer Fisk

Ebenezer’s wife Susannah Buck was born 8 Jul 1705 in Woburn, Middlesex, Mass. Her parents were Ephraim Buck and Esther Waget. Susannah died 28 Mar 1754 in Tewksbury, Middlesex, Mass.

9. Ruth FISKE (See Richard ESTEY‘s page)


Posted in 10th Generation, 90+, Line - Miller, Missing Parents | 7 Comments

William Collier

William COLLIER (1585 – 1671) was Alex’s 11th Great Grandfather in two ways, through his granddaughters Mercy Freeman and Sarah Howes, making him  two of 4,096 in this generation of the Shaw line.

William Collier Coat of Arms

William Collier was born about 1585/1586 in Southwark, Surrey, England. His parents were Abraham COLLIER and [__?__].

“One of the last public services rendered by Mr. William Collier was a testimony given by him, 16 April 1668. . . It will be seen to be of great value from the fact that it is the only document so far as known in New England which gives any idea as to the time of his birth. It reads as follows: – ‘Mr William Collier aged 85 or thereabouts Testifieth . . .’ ” – Anna C. Kingsbury, A Historical Sketch of William Collier, (Self-published, 1925).

William was a London merchant. Records refer to his as a grocer and owner of a brew house in London. In his youth, he was apprenticed to William Russell for eight years and was entered and sworn in the Gorcers’ Company of London on 16 August 1609. He married Jane CLARKE 16 May 1611 at St. Olave, Southwark, Surrey, England. He was a member of Worshipful Company of Grocers  and the Company of Merchant Adventurers  and helped finance the Leiden Separatists in founding Plymouth Colony.  After the partnership between the Pilgrims and the Adventurers was terminated, he came to Plymouth himself, sailing with four daughters (Sarah, Rebecca, Mary and Elizabeth) on the ship Mary & Jane in 1633.

Once he arrived in the colony himself, he took a prominent role.  He served as magistrate and as Assistant Governor for 28 years.  He was a businessman, and assisted in settling the accounts of the Merchant Adventurers and other colony business.  He was the richest many in the colony.  He was admitted freeman in Plymouth 1 Jan 1633/4 and removed to Duxbury in 1639.William died after 29 May 1670 (in list of Duxbury freemen) and before 5 July 1671 (administration granted on estate).

Jane Clarke was born 20 Oct 1591 in London, Middlesex, England.  Her parents were NOT John CLARK and Elizabeth HOBSON.  I think some hobbiest filled in John and Elizabeth for lack of anything else.  Jane died after 28 Jun 1666 when she consented to a deed made by her husband in Plymouth Colony.

On 19 Nov 1645 Nathaniel Warren, son of Richard Warren married at Plymouth Sarah Walker. On 7 Jun 1653 “Mrs. Jane Collyare in behalf of her grandchild the wife of the said Nathaniel Warren” petitioned Plymouth Court in a land dispute. The petition suggests this grandchild was kin to her and not to her husband William Collier. John Insley Coddington has suggested that when William Collier married her, Jane Clark was a widow, and that by her Clark husband she had a daughter who married a Walker. Coddington further suggests that the Sara, daughter of William Walker, who was baptized at St. Olave’s, Southwark, on 10 Nov 1622 was the grandchild of Jane Collier who married Nathaniel Warren. If this solution proves to be correct, it would also explain the 1650 land transaction in which William Collier granted to “my kinsman William Clark”

Children of William and Jane

Name Born Married Departed
1. Mary COLLIER bapt.
18 FEB 1611/12
St Olave, an area of south-east London in the London Borough of Southwark.
Gov. Thomas PRENCE
1 Apr 1635 Plymouth, Plymouth County.
5 Nov 1688 Eastham, Barnstable, Mass.
2. Hannah Collier bapt.
14 SEP 1613
St Olave
31 Aug 1625 of Plague
St Olave
3. Rebecca Collier bapt.
10 JAN 1614/15
St Olave
Job Cole
15 Mar 1634 in Plymouth, Plymouth, Mass.
29 Dec 1698
Duxbury, Plymouth, Mass
4. Sarah Collier bapt.
30 APR 1616
St Olave
Love Brewster (wiki) (son of Elder William BREWSTER)
15 May 1634 in Plymouth, Mass
Richard Parke
1 Sep 1656 Duxbury, Plymouth, Mass
26 Apr 1691
Plymouth, Mass
5. John Collier bapt.
18 MAR 1617/18
St Olave
24 Aug 1618
St Olave
6. Elizabeth Collier bapt.
09 MAR 1618/19
St Olave
Constant Southworth
2 Nov 1637 Duxbury, Plymouth, Mass
7. John Collier bapt. 23 MAR 1619/20
St Olave
6 Aug 1625 of Plague
St Olave
8. Catheren Collier buried
13 Jan 1621/22
St Olave
9. James Collier bapt.
16 Mar 1622/23
St. Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey, Surrey
24 Aug 1624
St Olave
10. Martha Collier bapt.
28 Mar 1624
St. Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey, Surrey
30 May 1625 of Plague
St Olave
11. William Collier 1625 12 Aug 1625 of Plague
St Olave
12. Liddia Collier bapt.
8 Mar 1626/27
St Olave
12 Mar 1625/26 of Plague
St Olave

Death records in the St. Olave parish indicate there were other children, namely Catherine and William, and that the Plague of 1625 probably took the life of Martha, John, William, Hannah and Liddia who all died in 1625.

St Olave's Exterior

St. Olave’s  became redundant and was demolished in 1926.  It located at the foot of the steps leading down from London Bridge Station to Tooley Street where a millennium ago St. Olaf saved the city of London from its and his enemy, the Danes.  Olav Haraldsson, an early King of Norway, attempted to convert his people to Christianity and was martyred for his trouble in 1030. Before this, in 1014, he was a prince and an ‘ally’ (ie mercenary) of King Æthelræd II ‘the Unready’ fighting the Danes. They were occupying London Bridge. He is said to have tied his long-boats to the bridge supports and rowing away pulled it down.

The Nursery Rhyme London Bridge is Falling Down records the story. St. Olaf was converted to Christianity in England and took the faith home to his native Norway, where, after his death in battle against his old enemy, the Danes, he was adopted as the country’s Patron Saint. His bones rest in Trondheim Cathedral.

St Olave's Interior

John Hunt demonstrated that William “Collyer” was apprenticed to William Russell for eight years and was entered and sworn in the Grocers’ Company of London 16 Aug 1609. John Arnold, dyer, and William Hurdman, pewterer, were sureties for William Collyer for two years beginning 15 Aug 1612.

William was a Grocer and the owner of a brew house in London.  Since his parish church was on Tooley Street near London Bridge, maybe his brew house was too.  Here’s a listing of historical London public houses, Taverns, Inns, Beer Houses and Hotels in Southwark St Olave, Surrey,  London.

William became a partner in Southwark with “Mr. Monger” and was sworn a free brother of the Grocers’ Company 3 Mar 1627/28.

Grocers Coat of Arms

The Worshipful Company of Grocers is one of the 108 Livery Companies of the City of London. It is ranked second in the order of precedence of the Companies and, having been established in 1345, is one of the original Great Twelve City Livery Companies.

The Company was founded in the fourteenth century as the Guild of Pepperers, which dates from 1180. The Company was responsible for maintaining standards for the purity of spices and for the setting of certain weights and measures.    In 1428, two years after founding its first hall in Old Jewry, the Company was granted a Royal Charter by King Henry VI.  It is said that the Grocers’ Company used to be first in the order, until Queen Elizabeth I, as Honorary Master of the Mercer’s Company, found herself in procession, after her coronation, behind the Grocers’ camel which was emitting unfortunate smells. As a result, the Mercers’ Company were promoted.

Today, the Grocers’ Company exists as a charitable, constitutional and ceremonial institution which plays a significant role in the election of the Lord Mayor and the Sheriffs of the City of London.   The Company also maintains banquet and conference facilities at Grocers’ Hall in Prince’s Street, next to the Bank of England.

The Merchant Adventurers

William was also a member of the Merchant Adventurers. The Company of Merchant Adventurers of London brought together London’s leading overseas merchants in a regulated company, in the nature of a guild. Its members’ main business was the export of cloth, especially white (undyed) broadcloth. This enabled them to import a large range of foreign goods.

In June 1619, after declining the opportunity to settle south of Cape Cod in New Netherland, because of their desire to avoid the Dutch influence, the Leiden Congregation obtained a land patent from the London Virginia Company, allowing them to settle at the mouth of the Hudson River. They then sought financing through the Merchant Adventurers, a group of businessmen who principally viewed the colony as a means of making a profit. Upon arriving in America, the Pilgrims began working to repay their debts.

We know that the merchant adventurers invested between £1200 and £1600 before the Mayflower sailed. We also know that the Pilgrims were dangerously short of supplies. Shares were issued, each worth £10. The merchant adventurers bought their shares. The adult colonists – who were, after all, putting life and livelihood on the line – were each given one share and given the option to purchase more shares.

Using the financing secured from the Merchant Adventurers, the Colonists bought provisions and obtained passage on two ships, the Mayflower and the Speedwell. Though they had intended to leave early in 1620, difficulties in dealing with the Merchant Adventurers, including several changes in plans for the voyage and in financing, resulted in a delay of several months.

In 1621, the second ship, the Fortune, arrived in time for the first Thanksgiving. It carried a letter from the Merchant Adventurers chastising the colony for failure to return goods with the Mayflower that had been promised in return for their support. The Fortune began its return to England laden with £500 worth of goods (£83,000 as of 2010), more than enough to keep the colonists on schedule for repayment of their debt, however the Fortune was captured by the French before she could deliver her cargo to England, creating an even larger deficit for the colony.

The first letter known to have borne the name of William Collier was one written from London, Apr. 7, 1624. by James Shirley, Thomas Brewer, William Collier, Joseph Pocock, Thomas Fletcher, John Ling, William Thomas, Robert Reayne, and reads as follows: —

“To our beloved and right well esteemed friend Mr William Bradford Governour these, but inscribed thus: To our beloved friends Mr. William Bradford, Mr. Isaac Allerton, Mr. Edward Winslow, and the rest whom they think fit to acquaint therewith.

Two things (beloved friends) we have endeavoured to effect, touching Plymouth plantation, first, that the planters there might live comfortably and contentedly. 2d that some returns might be made hither for the satisfying and encouragement of the adventurers, but to neither of these two can we yet attain At a word, though we be detected of folly, ignorance, want of judgment, yet let no man charge us with dishonesty, looseness or unconscionableness; but though we lose our labours or adventures, or charges, yea our lives; yet let us not lose one jot of our innocence, integrity, holiness, fear and comfort with God.

And, thus ceasing for this time to trouble you further; praying God to bless and prosper you, and sanctify all your crosses and losses, that they may turn to your great profit and comfort in the end, with hearty salutations to you all, we lovingly take leave of you, from London, Apr. 7, 1624.

Your assured lovers and friends

In 1625 a letter was written by some of the Adventurers, William Collier among them, stating that “joint-account” had been closed, that £1400 remained due on it, and that goods to meet this should
be shipped to them as trade permitted. They had consigned to Edward Winslow and Isaac Allerton a stock of cloth, hose, shoes, leather, etc., and four black heifers which were to be sold on the account of these Adventurers at seventy per cent profit. The line of dry goods was poor in quality and did not sell well. The names of three of the black heifers, which sold very readily, were Raghorn, the Smooth-horned Heifer and the Blind Heifer. One of the Adventurers, James Shirley, sent as a gift a red heifer to be kept for the benefit of the poor of the colony.

Arber, in his Story of the Pilgrim Fathers, states that these Adventurers who were about seventy in number were from different walks in life, “not a Corporation; but knit together by a voluntary combination, in a Society, without constraint or penalty; aiming to do good, and to plant Religion.

William Collier appears on the 1626 list of adventurers in Bradford’s Letter Book . Bradford records that Mr. Allerton [Isaac ALLERTON] “in the first two or three years of his employment, he had cleared up £400 and put it into a brew-house of Mr. Collier’s in London, at first under Mr. Sherley’s name…”.

The number of investors was initially about fifty, but began to drop substantially as various internal disputes arose.  From a letter written in 1626, we learn the names of the remaining Merchant Adventurers:

John White Samuel Sharp Thomas Hudson
John Pocock Robert Holland Thomas Andrews
Robert Kean James Shirley Thomas Ward
Edward Bass Thomas Mott Fria. Newbald
William Hobson
[William COLLIER’s
mother-in-law was
Elizabeth HOBSON.]
Thomas Fletcher Thomas Heath
William Penington Timothy Hatherley Joseph Tilden
William Quarles Thomas Brewer William Penrin
Daniel Poynton John Thorned Eliza Knight
Richard Andrews Myles Knowles Thomas Coventry
Newman Rookes William COLLIER Robert Allden
Henry Browning John Revell Laurence Anthony
Richard Wright Peter Gudburn John Knight
John Ling Emmanuel Altham Matthew Thornhill
Thomas Goffe John Beauchamp
[son-in-law of
Edmund FREEMAN Sr.]
Thomas Millsop

For the first 7 years, everything remained in the “common stock,” owned by all the shareholders. The common stock would furnish the Pilgrims with food, clothing and tools. At the end of the 7 years, the shareholders (Pilgrims and merchant adventurers alike) would divide equally the capital and profits (lands, houses and goods).

In the meantime, the Pilgrims planned to engage in businesses such as lumbering and fishing, sending wood and fish to England to be sold.

In actuality, however, instead of sending back goods, the Pilgrims had to ask the merchant adventurers for even more money, again and again and again. The Pilgrims’ debt became very large very quickly. The merchant adventurers were NOT happy and the Pilgrims agreed to buy them out.

The year 1626 marked a change in the manner of negotiations between the Adventurers and the Planters. In November of that year a “Composition” was signed by forty-two Adventurers, William Collier among them, agreeing to recover from the Planters £200 a year for nine years. These names are preserved in Gov. Bradford’s letter-book heretofore mentioned. Shirley, writing from Bristol, Eng., 19 March 1629/30, says of William Collier,

“For Mr. Collier verily I could have wished it would have sorted his other affairs, to have been one of us, but he could not spare money, and we thought it not reasonable to take in any partner, unless he were willing and able to spare money, and to lay down his portion of the stock; however, account of him as a sure friend, both ready and willing to do you all the offices of a firm friend.”

In 1631, James Shirley, in a letter, mentions putting a certain sum into the brew-house of William Collier in London.

So beginning in 1628, the Pilgrims were to pay the merchants £200 a year until they had paid £1800.

By that time, with the extra money invested in the struggling little colony, the debt may have been as high as £7000. The merchants decided, however, that they would rather be sure of having some of their investment returned, instead of running the risk of losing it all.   After much financial problems, the flailing company reorganized in 1628, with James Shirley, Richard Andrews, John Beauchamp, and Timothy Hatherley, and a large group of Plymouth colonists buying out the remaining shareholders.

Although the money to be repaid was not nearly as much as they had borrowed, it was still a large amount of money for the Pilgrims. One of the ways they found to make the money they needed to repay their debt was through the fur trade, particularly the trade in beaver fur.

And where were the best furs to be found? In Maine, where Native Americans had been hunting beaver for generations. By 1625, the Pilgrims had established a fur-trading business in Maine with a permanent trading base on the Kennebec. They then extended operations farther north, moving into the Penobscot area, territory already claimed by the French. When the Pilgrims received their official boundaries as determined by the Warwick/Bradford Patent of 1629, a significant grant of land in Maine was included. This was as much “Plymouth Colony” as the town of Plymouth itself!

William in America

Evidence as to the time that William Collier arrived in the Plymouth Colony is furnished by three letters from England in 1633, — one from Emmanuel Downing [son of our ancestor George DOWNING] and another from Francis Kirby, dated 18 June, and the third from James Shirley, 24 June of that year.

The letter written by Emmanuel Downing is “To his very loving cozen Mr. John Winthrop at the Mattachusetts in New England,” and subscribed “Your very lovinge Uncle Em: Downinge.” He sent love to Mr. Collier among others.

Francis Kirby, in his letter to his friend John Winthrop, Jr., writes, “I hope you have received the goods I shipped in the Mary & John per Mr. Collier, wherin I sent all the things you wrote for but sope ashes & old musket barreles, which were not to be had;”

Shirley, too, stated, 24 June 1633, that his last letter was “sente in ye Mary & John by Mr William Collier,” etc.

After the partnership between the Pilgrims and the Adventurers was terminated, he came to Plymouth. He immediately took a prominant position in the Plymouth Colony and was Magistrate and assistant Governor of Plymouth Colony for 28 years. He was a businessman and assisted in the settlement of accounts with the Merchant Adventurers and handled the business of the colony. He was commissioner at the first meeting of United Colonies in 1643 and served on the Council of War.

He was among the first purchasers of land in Duxbury, Mass. and was the first settler in Duxbury. He was the wealthiest man in the colony, as he paid the highest taxes.” He settled in the southeastern part, near Standish and Brewster. He also had land west of North hill (granted 1635), and a tract called Billingsgate.

William Collier Timeline

1 Jan 1633/34 – Admitted freeman Plymouth

25 Mar 1633 – “Mr. Collier’s men” assessed 18s. in Plymouth tax list

27 Mar 1634 – “Mr. Will[iam] Collier” assessed £2 5s. The list numbered eighty persons. Of these William Collier and Edward Winslow had the same rate, the highest. The rates of the other seventy-eight were all under £2.

1 Jul 1633 – In allocation of mowing ground on reference is made to ground “that Mr. Collier hath”

1 Oct 1634 Committee to assess colony taxes, Wiilliam Collier was appointed with others on a committee to treat with the partners about trade, and, with Capt. Miles Standish, Jonathan Brewster, Wiilliam Palmer and Stephen Tracey for Duxbury side to lay out highways.

1635-37, 1639-51, 1654-65 – Plymouth Colony Assistant, In less than a year after Collier arrived in Plymouth Colony he was chosen Assistant to Gov. Bradford, From that time until 1665 He was appointed to that position of trust, with the exception of three years, 1638, 1652 and 1653, serving twenty – eight years in all.

5 Jul 1635 – Mr. William Collier was granted a parcel of land in the woods called North Hill, with some “tussicke march ground” The bounds to this land were set by John Alden, Christopher Wadsworth and William BASSETT as late as Feb. 1638/9.

2 Mar 1635/36 – Committee to lay out highways, for “Duxbery side,”. Committee to view farm land,

7 Mar 1636/37 – In list of freemen

6 Aug 1637 – William Morris, of Royston, in the county of Hertford, butcher, having been indentured 4 Apr 1637 to William Collier, gentleman, for five years, was, by the consent of Mr. Collier, assigned to “dwell and abide as a servant with Love Brewster, of Ducksborrow, yeom,” for the residue of the five years of service due to Mr. Collier. Love Brewster had become the son-in-law of Collier by marriage to his daughter Sarah, 15 May 1634.

6 Mar 1637/38 – Committee to set bounds for Scituate, The Governor, Mr. Prence, Mr. Collier, Mr. Alden, Mr. Browne and Mr. John Rowland were appointed, “to view that porcon of ground on the north side the Sowth River, and if they finde it more beneficiall for farmes to Scituate then to these pts, then to allot them; if not, to reserue it.”

1639 – In Plymouth section of list of 1639 (where his name is crossed out and reentered in the Duxbury section) In Duxbury section of lists of 1658 and 29 May 1670 (where his name is crossed out and marked “deceased”

4 Feb 1638/39 – Committee to view North Hill and set bounds,

5 Mar 1638/9 – The Court ordered Mr. Edward Winslow and Mr. William Collyer “to take a view of the heigh wayes towards Greenes Harbor and Scituate from Plymouth, and to cause them to be amended that are in decay, or to alter them to more conveniency and either of them to call one or two w’ them to do yt.”

7 Nov 1639 – William Collier subscribed to the agreement between the inhabitants of “Duxborrow” and George Pollard “late inhabitant of the town of Stokeclere, yeoman” and William Hiller of New Plymouth, carpenter”

1640 – Collier was called upon with others to view and lay out lots at Green Harbor or north of the South River. Among those to receive lands were William BASSETT, William Wetherell, the Southworth brothers, Thomas PRENCE and Daniel Cole. The name of Rexhame was given to the Green’s Harbor lands by 1641, but in 1642 that locality became known as Marshfield. The southeastern part of Marshfield retains the name of Green Harbor, the portion of the town, probably, to be first developed.

1641 – The relations between James Shirley and others in England with the partners in Plymouth had become trying. To the end of coming to an agreement, Shirley wrote a letter to Mr. John Atwood and Mr. William Collier, two of his special acquaintances, in 1641, —

“Sir,  My love remembered, &c. I have writte so much concerning ye ending of accounts betweexte us, as I profess I know not what more to write, &c. If you desire an end, as you seemeth to doe, there is (as I conceive) but 2. waise, that is to parfecte all accounts, from ye first to ye last, &c. Now if we find this difficulte, and tedious, haveing not been so stricte & carefull as we should and oughte to have done, as for my owne parte I doe confess I have been somewhat to remisse, and doe verily thinke so are you, &c. I fear you can never make a perfecte accounte of all your pety viages, out, & home too & againe, &c.

So then ye second way must be, by biding or compounding; and this way, first or last, we must fall upon, &c. If we must warr at law for it, doe not you expecte from me, nether will I from you, but to cleave ye heare, and then I dare say ye lawyers will be most gainers, &c.

Thus let us set to ye worke, one way or other, and end, that I may not allways suffer in my name & estate. And you are not free; nay, ye gospell suffers by your delaying, and causeth ye professors of it to be hardly spoken of, that you, being many, & now able, should combine &: joyne togeather to oppress & burden me, &:c. Fear not to make a faire & reasonable offer; beleeve me, I will never take any advantage to plead it against you, or to wrong you; or else let Mr. Winslow come over, and let him have such full power & authority as we mav ende by compounding; or else, ye accounts so well and fully made up, as we may end by reconing.

Now, blesed be God, ye times be much changed here, I hope to see many of you returne to your native countrie againe, and have such freedom & libertie as ye word of God prescribs. Our bishops were never so near a downfall as now; God hath miraculously confounded them, and turned all their popish & Machavillian plots &c projects on their owne heads, &c. Thus you see what is fitt to be done concerning our perticulere greevances. I pray you take it seriously into consideration; let each give way a little that we may meete, &c. Be you and all yours kindly saluted, &c. So I ever rest,

Your loving friend,
(Signed) James Shirley
Clapham, May 18, 1641

On the 15th of the following October articles of agreement were made between the partners, James Shirley, John Beacham and Richard Andrews, of London, merchants, and William Bradford, Edward Winslow, Thomas Prence, Myles Standish, William Brewster, John Alden & John Rowland, with Isaac Allerton in a trade of beaver skins and other furs of New England. Differences had arisen about the charge of two ships, “The White Angele, of Bristow,” and “The Frindship, of Barnstable.” John Atwood, with the advice and consent of William Collier, for and in behalf of James Shirley, and with William Bradford, agreed that Shirley should give release and William Bradford and others be bound for the payment of £1200 in satisfaction of all demands. The following year this “long and tedious bussiness came to some issue though not to a finall ende with all ye parties.”

1643 – Plymouth Commissioner to United Colonies,

1643 – Edward Winslow called “Mr. Collier” “my partner” in a letter to John Winthrop. Winslow also reported that “Mr. Collier [was]… absent to our grief” at the vote over liberty of conscience in Plymouth Colony in 1645.

7 Mar 1642/43, 10 Jun 1650 – Committee to treat with Massachusetts Bay, The Court afterwards considered it proper to make further preparations for defence; and a committee, consisting of Mr. Collier, Mr. Winslow, Mr. Hatherly, and Capt. Standish, were sent to Massachusetts Bay to conclude on a junction with them in their present state of affairs ; and of this number Winslow and Collier were afterwards authorized to subscribe the articles of Confederation. This union was fully consummated and concluded, and the articles signed at Boston, May 19, 1643, Connecticut and New Hampshire being also included in the compact; and this era of the Confederate union of the Colonies, may be properly looked upon as the grand epoch, when the germ of the present American Republic first appeared in embryo.

Aug 1643 – Commissioners, Mr. Edward Winslow and Mr. William Collyer were ordered to procure a standard bushel and half-bushel measure, according to the Massachusetts Bay standard, that the measures be uniform. At the same August Court two each from Plymouth, Duxbury and Marshfield were appointed to revise the laws of the Plymouth Colony, “that such as are necessary may be established, such as are vnnecessary may be repealed, and such as are defective may be altered, and such as are wanting may be pared, and penalties to be fixed to eich law as far as may be; that upon the approbacon of them by the Court they may be confirmed at the Genall Court.”

27 Sep 1642, 10 Oct 1643, 1 June 1658 – Council of War – In 1643 constituted a council of war: the Governor, Mr. Winslow, Mr. Prence, Mr. Collier, Mr. Hatherly, Mr. John Brown, Mr. Wiihani Thomas, Mr. Edmund Freeman, Mr. William Vassel, Capt. Staudish, Mr. Thomas Dimmack, Mr. Anthony Thacher. A sale of moose skins was then ordered to furnish means for procuring powder and lead ; and then they passed the following order : ” The first Tewsday in July the ma^f^’s meete and eich Towne are to send such men as they shall think fit to joyne with them in consult about a course to saveguard ourselves from surprisall by an enemie.”

2 Jun 1646 – Coroner,

7 July 1646 – Committee to draw up the excise

1 June 1647 – The certificate of election of William Bradford and John Browne as Commissioners from Plymouth Colony was signed by William Collier, along with Myles Standish and William Thomas.

20 Dec 1648 – John Balden bound himself to “Mr. William Colliar of Duxburrow” for a term of five years, in return for which Collier was to give him “meat, drink and clothing, lodging and washing, and at the end of four years’ service … a heifer of two years old”

June 1649 – Committee for the letting of trade

6 Mar 1649/50 – William “Colliar” made over his right to a ten acre parcel of upland in “Duxborrow” to “my kinsman William Clark”

5 June 1651 – The court of agreed that payment should be raised for Mr. “Collyar” for his service as magistrate. They were still going about raising this money 29 June 1652.

3 July 1656 – Auditor

3 June 1657 – Committee to review the laws

7 June 1659 – At court, “In regard that Mr. Collyare, by reason of age and much business on him, cannot attend the country’s business at courts but with great difficulties, the Court have appointed the Treasurer to procure him a servant, and do allow him for that purpose the sum of £10”

6 Dec 1659 – At court “Josepth Prior” was summoned to answer the charge of Mr. William “Collyares” that Prior was guilty of “pilfering and purloining practices, and other unworthy carriages relating thereunto, viz. in alluring a young maid, a kinswoman to Mr. William Collyares, to help him … to sundry things pertaining to the said Mr. Collyare, without knowledge of or leave from Mr. Collyare or Mis[tress] Jane Collyare, his wife” . Mr. Collier was called to the next court to prosecute the case.

6 Dec 1659 – Upon the Court records appears the following:; — “Mr” Willam Collyare oweth the state of England the sume of £20″ Goodwin designated him as “the richest man in the Colony.”

1660 – Mr. Collier was licensed to sell “strong water” to his neighbors in Duxbury; and it can be justly considered that one, who is well known to have been one of the wealthiest among them, would not have selected this as a means of gain, but rather at the instance of the magistrates, who well knew him to be a sober and discreet man, and one who would not be likely to sufffer any transgression of their laws.”

3 Oct 1662 – “Mr. Collyare” complained that the records of his grant at the North Hill were lost and could not be found, and the court ordered that the land be viewed and the report of it be recorded

2 July 1667 – The court agreed to a grant of thirty or forty acres of land for Mr. William Collyare’s grandchild, “that grand child who is now servicable unto him”

2 Mar 1668/69 – The court granted him fifty acres in the tract of land at Namassakett

5 Jul 1671 – The court appointed Gov. Mr. Constant Southworth, Mr. Thomas Clarke, and “Benjamine Barlett,” or any three of them to administer the estate of “Mr. William Collyare,” deceased

29 Oct 1671 – The court ordered that “Daniell Cole” was to have all such particulars out of the estate of “William Collyare” that are extant

He was one of the fifty-eight Purchasers [PCR 2:177].


1. Mary COLLIER (See Gov. Thomas PRENCE‘s page)

3. Rebecca Collier

Rebecca’s husband Job Cole was born 1605 in St Olave Southwark, Surrey, England. His parents were James Cole (1584 – 1630) and Mary Deleble (1584 – 1605). Job died 5 Jun 1672 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass

The will of Zaccheus Cole of St Olave, Southwark, citizen and grocer of London, named mother Frances, brothers Nathaniel, John and Daniel Cole, and appointed brother Job Cole executor. The location of Zaccheus Cole in the same parish as William Collier, Job Cole’s future father-in-law, makes it likely that this is the correct family.

Will of John Cole, proved at Plymouth 7 Jan 1637/38, names brother Job Cole, sister Rebecca [possibly Job’s wife, Rebecca Collier], Elizabeth Collier, and “my brother Daniel” and and left legacies to “each of Master Collyer’s men,” Edward, Joseph, Arthur, Ralph and John. Partly on the basis of this document Stratton suggests that Job Cole may have been one of “Mr. Collier’s men” who appear in the Plymouth tax list of 25 March 1633. If this is the case, then Job Cole was probably included in the household of William Collier in the tax list of 27 March 1634, less than two months before Cole married Collier’s daughter.)

Job Cole, apprentice in New England of William Collier and then his son-in-law, was likely the brother of Zaccheus Cole. This connection and others are discussed in TAG 42:119-21.

Job Cole Timeline

28 Oct 1633 – The estate of Richard Lanckford owed Job Cole 3s. 9d.

18 Feb 1634/35 – Job Cole owed the estate of Thomas Evans an unspecified amount

4 Jun 1638 – Granted “a parcel of land on Duxborrow side, when they are viewed,”

2 Jul 1638 – Granted forty acres upland, with some meadow, at Green’s Harbor

6 May 1639 – The service of Thomas Gray was transferred from John Atwood to Job Cole

3 Mar 1639/40 – Admitted Freeman in Plymouth

1639 list of Plymouth freemen – Job Cole is entered first in the Duxbury section, then is crossed off and added to the Yarmouth section of the same list He is then found in the Eastham section of the lists of Plymouth freemen of 1658, 29 May 1670 and 1683/84

2 Mar 1640/41 – Duxbury constable (replaced during the year)

6 Jun 1643 – Plymouth grand jury

1643 – In Yarmouth section of Plymouth list of men able to bear arms

5 Jun 1644 – Deputy for Yarmouth to Plymouth General Court (apparently replaced during the year),

7 Jun 1648 – “Naussit” [Eastham] constable

2 Oct 1650 – “Jobe Cole of … Nawsett” sold to Thomas Chillingsworth of Marshfield, shoemaker, land at Marshfield, being about forty acres of upland and six acres of meadow.

13 Aug 1651 – “Job Cole of Eastham” sold to Christopher Wadsworth of Duxborough “a house and land lying against a place called Morton’s hole with meadow and fencing.” Rebecca acknowledged this deed

6 Jun 1654 – Eastham surveyor of highways

8 Jan 1680[/1?] Samuel Cole of Eastham sold to Samuel Smith of Eastham “all that my parcel of meadow or marsh ground lying and being in the township of Eastham … which was granted unto my father Job Cole by the town”

5 Apr 1710 – The Barnstable judge of probate ordered that “whereas it appears to me that there is some land & meadow laid out lying at Little Billinsgate in Eastham to the name or heirs of Job Cole late of said Eastham now deceased & not yet settled or legally disposed of and it appearing to me that Rebecca Nickerson widow daughter of said deceased hath not had anything material of her deceased father’s estate and was at some charge in supporting of her mother after the decease of her father the said land and meadow is therefore settled upon and ordered unto the said Rebecca Nickerson”

4. Sarah Collier

Sarah’s first husband Love Brewster was born 1611 in Leyden, Holland. His parents were Elder William BREWSTER and Mary WENTWORTH. Love died 31 Jan 1650 in Duxbury, Plymouth, Mass.

Sarah’s second husband Richard Parker was born 8 Aug 1609 in London, Middlesex, England. His parents were William Parke and Mary Manning. He first married 1628 in St Butolphs, Middlesex, England to Margery Crane (b. 1595 in London – d. 31 Mar 1656 in Cambridge, Mass.) Richard died 12 Jul 1664 in Cambridge, Middlesex, Mass.

At about 9 yrs. old Love Brewster came to Plymouth, MA from England aboard “The Mayflower“. He  became a freeman and was a volunteer to fight in the Pequot War of 1637, but at that time, volunteers from his county were not needed. He raised his family in Duxbury, Mass, volunteered for the milita under Captain Myles Standish and lived out his life in that town. His wife Sara survived him for about 30 more years. Together they had 4 children.

Love’s servant Thomas Granger,  (1625? – September 8, 1642) was the first person hanged in the Massachusetts Bay Colony (the first hanged in any of the colonies of New England being John Billington) [Our family relationship  to Billington isn’t especially close, he was Richard MARTIN’s  daughter-in-law’s grandfather, but the first Englishman to be convicted of murder in what would become the United States is a noteworthy black sheep.]

Granger the first known juvenile to be sentenced to death and executed in the territory of today’s United States.   Graunger, at the age of 16 or 17, was convicted of “buggery with a mare, a cowe, two goats, divers sheepe, two calves, and a turkey”, according to court records of 7 September 1642

Graunger confessed to his crimes in court privately to local magistrates, and upon indictment, publicly to ministers and the jury, being sentenced to “death by hanging until he was dead”. He was hanged on September 8, 1642. Before Graunger’s execution, following the laws set down in Leviticus 20:15 (“And if a man shall lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast”), the animals involved were slaughtered before his face and thrown into a large pit dug for their disposal, no use being made of any part of them  .An account of Graunger’s acts is recorded in Gov. William Bradford‘s diary Of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647.

Will of Love Brewster, Oct. 6, 1650:

“The last will and Testament of Love Brewster Deseassed exhibited at the general Court holden at New Plym: the 4th of March 1650 upon th e oath of Captaine Miles Standish

Witnesseth these psents that I Love Brewster of Duxburrow in New England and in the goverment of New Plym: being in pfect memory doe ordeaine & appoint this to bee my last will and Testamente And first my will is that if the lord shall please to take mee out of this life that my body bee buried in a decent mannor and that my funerall expences bee taken out of my whole estate; Next my will is; That all my Just and lawfull debts bee paied out of the Remainder of my said estate allso I give unto my Children that is to say Nathaniell, William, Wrasteling and Sara each of them a kettle and further my will is that my three sonns shall have each of them a peece that is to say a gun; allso I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Sara Brewster all the Residue of my whole estate both goods and Chattles and land at Duxburrow for her bringing up of her and my Children the time of her life and after her decease I doe give the aforsaid lands to my eldest sonn and heire apparent Nathaniell Brewster and in Case god should take him away out of this life without Issew I give and bequeath the said lands to Duxburrow to my second sonn William Brewster and in like case to my youngest sonn Wresteling Brewster; And for those books I have that my wife would destribute them to herselfe and Children at her discresion allso my will is and I doe by the same give unto my three sonns equally to be devided amongst them all such land as of Right due to mee by Purchase and first coming into the land Which was in the yeare 1620 allso I doe make Constitute and appoint my beloved wife Sara Brewster sole executrix of this my last will and Testament in Witnes Whereof I have put to my hand and Seale this sixt of october 1650

Winess heerunto
Love Brewster
Myles Standish”.

6. Elizabeth Collier

Elizabeth’s husband Constant Southworth was born 1615 in Leyden, Sholland, Netherlands. His parents were Edward Southworth and Alice  Carpenter .  His paternal grandparents were Sir Thomas Southworth and Rosamond Lister.  His maternal grandparents were our ancestors Alexander CARPENTER and Priscilla DILLEN.  Constant died 10 Mar 1679 in Duxbury, Plymouth, Mass.

Constant Southworth Pedigree

Constant, born in Leyden and was about fourteen years old when he came over in 1628 with his brother Thomas. Settled at Duxbury, was a volunteer in Pequot war, 1637. Had five daughters and three son. He was for seventeen years deputy from Duxbury and for sixteen years was the Colony’s treasurer. Was commissary in King Philip’s war although then sixty-one year old.

Constant’s Public Service

2 Jan 1637/8 – Freeman. In Duxbury section of Plymouth Colony lists of freemen of 1639, 1658 and 29 May 1670

7 Jun 1659 thru 3 Jun 1668 – Colony treasure.

7 Jun 1670 thru 5 Jun 1678 – Assistant Plymouth

3 Jun 1652, 6 Apr 1653, 7 Jun 1653, 6 Jun 1654, 8 Jun 1655, 3 Jun 1656, 1 Jun 1658, 7 Jun 1659, 6 Jun 1660, 2 Oct 1660, 4 Jun 1661, 3 Jun 1662, 1 Jun 1663, 8 Jun 1664, 7 Jun 1665, 5 Jun 1666, 5 Jun 1667, 3 Jun 1668 – Deputy (from Duxbury)

7 Mar 1653/54, 3 Oct 1659 Deputy (from Plymouth)

2 Mar 1640/41, 1 Jun 1641, 5 Jun 1644 – Duxbury constable,

1643 – In Duxbury section of Plymouth Colony list of men able to bear arms

5 Jun 1644 – Grand jury,

4 Jun 1645, 3 Jun 1656, 6 Oct 1659, 1 May 1660, 13 Jun 1660, 2 Oct 1660, 5 Feb  1660/1, 1 Jun 1663 – Committee to divide lands and settle ways

7 Jul 1646 – Ensign

1 Jun 1647, 8 Jun 1649, 4 Jun 1650, 5 Jun 1651 – Committee member

Jun 1649 – Committee to treat the letting of the trade

6 Jun 1654 – Committee to supply towns and soldiers

7 Aug 1655 – Committee to organize the mending of: Joanses River bridge

5 Mar 1655/56 – Committee to consider the trade at Kennebeck

1 Jun 1658 – Committee to oversee the building of a house of correction

1 Jun 1658, 2 Apr 1667, 2 Jul 1667 – Council of war

1 Mar 1658/59 – Committee to negotiate the ownership of Hogg Island with Rhode Island

6 Oct 1659 – Committee to settle the bounds of Taunton

10 Jun 1662 – Duxbury invoicer of liquors, powder, shot and lead

1 Jun 1663 – Committee to settle the bounds of Sandwich and Plymouth

27 Jul 1664 – Committee to organize the mending of Barstowes Bridge

3 Oct 1665 – Committee to oversee the purchase of lands from Indians

1 May 1666 – Committee to organize the mending of Penquine Hole.

5 Jun 1678 – Committee to revise laws

Constant’s Estate

6 Oct 1636 – Land was granted to Mr. William Bradford “for Constant & Thomas Southward, the land now in occupation of George Sowle”

6 Apr 1640 – “Constant Southwood and Thomas Southwood, his brother … [were] granted fifty acres apiece of upland … at the North River, with proportionable meadow ground”

10 Nov 1646 – William Hillier of Duxbury, carpenter, sold to Constant Southworth of Duxbury, planter, his right in “the mill at Duxbury standing upon Stonie River being in partnership between him and Georg[e] Pollerd late of Duxbury,” being a half share

2 Feb 1646/47 – Constant Southworth sold to William Bradford of Plymouth “all his lands & meadows lying at the Island Creek”

26 Feb 1648 – “Constant Sowthworth of Duxbery and Thomas Sowthworth of Plymouth his brother” sold to Francis Godfrey of Duxbury, carpenter, one hundred acres of land at the North River

7 Jun 1665 – “A competency” of land was granted to four men, including “Mr. Constant Southworth” at Namasskett

In his will, dated 20 Feb 1678/79 and proved 7 June 1679, Constant Southworth Esq. of Duxbury bequeathed to

“my dear and loving wife Elizabeth Southworth for and during the term of her natural life my dwelling house with the outhousing and mill belonging unto it and all my uplands and meadows” in Duxbury or Marshfield, along with £50 and some furniture;

to “my son Edward Southworth after the decease of my aforesaid wife Elizabeth my aforesaid dwelling house with the outhousing and mill belonging to it and all my upland and meadows” in Duxbury and Marshfield, along with £12;

to “my son Nathaniell Southworth the one half of my share of lands that lyeth near Taunton called by the name of the freemen’s lands”;

to “my three daughters Marcye Freeman, Allice Church and Mary Alden my other one-half of the freemen’s land”;

to “my daughter Elizabeth Southworth” moveables “provided that she do not marry Willam Vobbes,” otherwise to have 5s.; to “my daughter Presilla Soutworth” moveables;

to “my son Willam Southworth” moveables; to “my grandson Constant Freeman all those my lands and meadows that I have at a place commonly called Pawomett” in Eastham;

to “my sons Edward and Nathaniell and daughters Elizabeth and Presilla equally all my part of the profits that shall or may arise by the fishing at the Cape”;

wife Elizabeth to be sole executrix and residuary legatee, to be assisted by sons Edward and Nathaniel.

The inventory of Constant Southworth, taken 15 Mar 1678/79, was totalled, but the arithmetic is incomprehensible and impossible. A list of real estate, without valuation, was appended: “about twenty-five acres of land in the town of Duxburrow whereon standeth his dwelling house and barn and one grist mill”; “a parcel of land at the North Field the quantity we know not”; “several parcels of meadow lying in the towns of Duxburrow and Marshfield about 12 acres’; “one share of land in a place commonly called the freemen’s land near Taunton”; and a “parcel of land and meadow at a place commonly called Paomett in the town of Eastham” .


A historical sketch of William Collier (1925)

History of the town of Duxbury, Massachusetts : with genealogical registers”

Posted in 13th Generation, First Comer, Immigrant - England, Line - Shaw, Tavern Keeper | Tagged | 7 Comments

First Comers

Under the original agreement with the “merchant adventurers”, those who came and worked as partners in the Plymouth venture would all benefit from the 1627 Division of the colony assets. While we tend to give the Mayflower passengers special consideration as “The Pilgrims” (a term they did not use to denote themselves that came into use at the end of the 18th century), the Plymouth colonists classified all those who arrived on the first four ships alike, and referred to them as the “Old Comers” or “First Comers” (which also included a few stragglers such as Phineas Pratt)

Our ancestors are indicated by  First LAST  such as  Elder William BREWSTER,

Elder William Brewster on US Capital Dome – The painting of William Brewster is part of a thematic representation in the President’s room of the Senate Wing, signifying Religion. The other themes are: Discovery (Christopher Columbus); History (Benjamin Franklin); and Exploration (Americus Vespucius).

The Speedwell

The Speedwell had a colorful history. Originally named Swiftsure, she was built in 1577 and took part in the English defeat of the Spanish Armada. She was renamed Speedwell in 1605. At sixty tons she was only a third the size of Mayflower.

The ships shown in this seascape are the approximate size of the Pilgrims’ ill-fated ship, the Speedwell. — Ships in Harbor (Dutch seascape) By Abraham VerWer (1585-1650).

The Congregation and the other colonists finally boarded the Speedwell in July 1620 in the Dutch port of Delfshaven. The Mayflower arrived in Southampton, England, to rendezvous with the Speedwell and to pick up supplies and additional passengers. Among the passengers to join the group in Southampton were many Pilgrims including Elder William BREWSTER, who had been in hiding for the better part of a year, and a group of passengers known to the Leiden congregation as “The Strangers”.

This group was largely made up of passengers recruited by the Merchant Adventurers to provide governance for the colony and additional hands to work for the colony’s ventures. Among the Strangers were Myles Standish, who would be the colony’s military leader, Christopher Martin, who had been designated by the Merchant Adventurers to act as Governor for the duration of the trans-Atlantic trip, and Stephen HOPKINS (wiki), a veteran of a failed colonial venture that may have been the inspiration for Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

The departure of the Mayflower and Speedwell for America was beset by delays. Further disagreements with the Merchant Adventurers held up the departure in Southampton. A total of 120 passengers, 90 on the Mayflower and 30 on the Speedwell, finally departed on August 15.   Leaving Southampton, the Speedwell experienced significant leakage, which required the ships to immediately put in at Dartmouth. After repairs were completed and a further delay ensued awaiting favorable winds, the two ships made it only two hundred miles beyond Land’s End before another major leak in the Speedwell forced the expedition to return again to England, this time to the port of Plymouth.

The Speedwell was determined to be unseaworthy; some passengers abandoned their attempt to emigrate, while others joined the Mayflower, crowding the already heavily burdened ship. Later, it was speculated that the master of the Speedwell had intentionally sabotaged his ship to avoid having to make the treacherous trans-Atlantic voyage.

William RING, Mary RING and Thomas BLOSSOM were  among the passengers who could not fit aboard the Mayflower when the Speedwell was deemed unseaworthy.

At Dartmouth, on August 17th, after leaks forced the ship into port, one of the separatist leaders,  agent Robert CUSHMAN wrote that “Poor William RING and myself do strive who shall be meat first for the fishes, but we look for a glorious resurection.” When the “Mayflower” set out alone on September 6th, neither William nor Mary were aboard.

William RING returned to Leiden and died there sometime between 1620 and 1629. Mary RING and were children including Susannah arrived in Plymouth in 1629 or 1630 most probably on the second Mayflower, which also brought Thomas BLOSSOM and his family,  sailing from Gravesend in March, and landed at Salem Mass on 15 May 1629.

The Mayflower

Mayflower Replica

The Mayflower, carrying 102 settlers, left Plymouth on September 6, 1620, without the Speedwell, and sailed for the New World with a land patent allowing them to settle specifically at the mouth of the Hudson River. The voyage took almost two months as it was drawn out by strong westerly winds and by the Gulf Stream. Turbulent seas and storms added to this delay.

John Howland was pitched overboard. Painting by Mike Haywood

In one such episode, John HOWLAND was thrown overboard, but managed to grab a topsail halyard that was trailing in the water and was hauled back aboard safely. Land was sighted on November 9 off the coast of Cape Cod. The Mayflower made an attempt to sail south to the designated landing site at the mouth of the Hudson but ran into trouble in the region of Pollack Rip, a shallow area of shoals between Cape Cod and Nantucket Island. With winter approaching and provisions running dangerously low, the passengers decided to return north and abandon their original landing plans.

The location in Cape Cod Bay settled by the Plymouth Colony was outside the territory of the London Company, which had granted its patent. The northern coastal territory had been granted to the Plymouth Company, but this patent fell into disuse after the failure of the Popham Colony. It was reorganized under a sea-to-sea charter under the Plymouth Council for New England. The actual Plymouth Colony would obtain land patents from the Plymouth Council in 1621 and in 1630, but it was governed independently from the Council under the Mayflower Compact.

MayflowerPassenger List

The Pilgrims — Leyden congregation and families The Strangers — Planters recruited by London merchants and Hired men
* Mary NORRIS ALLERTON, wife (Newbury, Berkshire) died 25 Feb 1621, reportedly in childbirth, baby was stillborn.
Bartholomew, 7, son (Leiden)
Remember, 5, daughter (Leiden)
Mary ALLERTON CUSHMAN, 3, daughter (Leiden), the last survivor of the Mayflower company
* John Hooke, (probably Norwich, Norfolk) age 13, apprenticed to Isaac Allerton
William Bradford, (Austerfield, Yorkshire) (later married Alice Carpenter Southworth – daughter of Alexander CARPENTER)
* Dorothy (May) Bradford, wife (Wisbech, Cambridgeshire) Fell the side of the Mayflower and drowned.

Dorothy Bradford comes to America By Annie Bissett

Many historians, suggest that Dorothy may have committed suicide due to despair over her separation from her only son John and fear of settling in a dangerous wilderness.  John Bradford Jr. later immigrated and married Martha Bourne, daughter of  Thomas BOURNE
Elder William BREWSTER , (Doncaster, Yorkshire)
Love/Truelove , 9, son (Leiden)
Jonathan, 7-8, (Scrooby, Nottinghamshire)
Wrestling , 6, son (Leiden)
Fear, daughter m. Isaac ALLERTON. as his second wife
Richard More, (Shipton, Shropshire), brother to Jasper and Mary More, age 6, indentured to William Brewster
* Mary More, (Shipton, Shropshire), sister to Jasper and Richard More, age 4, indentured to William Brewster, died during the first winter
* John Carver (Son of James CARVER) Died of sun stroke in April 1621
* Catherine (Leggett) (White) Carver, wife (Sturton-le-Steeple, Nottinghamshire) Died in May or June 1621
Dorothy [__?__], teenager, maidservant of John Carver.
John HOWLAND (Fenstanton, Huntingdonshire), age about 21, manservant for Governor John Carver
William Latham, age 11, servant/apprentice to the John Carver family
* Jasper More, (Shipton, Shropshire), brother to Richard and Mary More, age 7, indentured to John Carver, died in 1620 while the ship was still anchored at Cape Cod harbor
* Roger Wilder, age under 21, servant in the John Carver family
* James Chilton (Canterbury)
* Mrs. Susanna Chilton, wife
Mary , 13, daughter (Sandwich, Kent)
Francis COOKE
John , 13, son (Leiden, Netherlands)
* John Crackstone Sr., (Stratford St. Mary, Suffolk)
John Crackstone, son
Louise Crutcher, , wife
Jack Crutcher, son
* Moses Fletcher, (probably Canterbury, Kent)
* Edward Fuller, (Redenhall, Norfolk)
* Agnes Carpenter Fuller, wife (daughter of Alexander CARPENTER)
Samuel , 12, son
Samuel Fuller, (Redenhall, Norfolk), (brother to Edward)
* William Butten, age: “a youth”, servant of Samuel Fuller, only person who died during the voyage
* John Goodman
Desire Minter, (Norwich, Norfolk)
* Degory Priest
* Thomas Rogers, (Watford, Northamptonshire)
Joseph, 17, son
* Edward Tilley, (Henlow, Bedfordshire)
* Ann (Cooper) Tilley (Henlow, Bedfordshire) wife of Edward and aunt of Humilty Cooper and Henry Samson
Henry Samson, 16, (Henlow, Bedfordshire) child in company of his  aunt
Humility Cooper, 1, (probably Leiden,) baby daughter of Robert Cooper, in company of her aunt
* John TILLEY  (Henlow, Bedfordshire)
* Joan (HURST) (ROGERS) TILLEY, wife (Henlow)
Elizabeth TILLEY, 13, daughter (Henlow, Bedfordshire) Her parents had died the first winter and she had become the foster daughter of Governor Carver and his wife who were childless.  She married John HOWLAND
* Thomas Tinker
* Mrs. Thomas Tinker, wife
* boy Tinker, son,
* John Turner
* boy Turner, son,
* boy Turner, younger son.
* William White
Susanna White , wife widowed February 21, 1621, subsequently married Edward Winslow – first Plymouth wedding
Resolved White, 5, son, wife was Judith Vassal
Thomas, (Great Yarmouth, Norfolk)
Peregrine White first white child born in in New England. Married Sarah Bassett, daughter of William BASSET.
* William Holbeck, age likely under 21, servant to William White
* Edward Thompson, age under 21, in the care of the William White family, first passenger to die after the Mayflower reached Cape Cod.
Edward Winslow, (Droitwich, Worcestershire)
* Elizabeth (Barker) Winslow, wife
* Ellen More, (Elinor), (Shipton, Shropshire), sister, age 8, indentured to Edward Winslow
George Soule, 21-25, servant or employee of Edward Winslow
* Elias Story, age under 21, in the care of Edward Winslow

John Billington, (Spalding, Lincolnshire) [Our family relationship  to Billington isn’t especially close, he was Richard MARTIN’s  daughter-in-law’s grandfather, but the first Englishman to be convicted of murder in what would become the United States is a noteworthy black sheep.]
Eleanor Billington, wife
John Billington, 16, son
Francis Billington, 14, son
* Richard Britteridge,
Peter Browne, (Dorking, Surrey)
* Richard Clarke,
Francis Eaton, (Bristol, Avon )
* Sarah Eaton, wife
Samuel Eaton, 1
Richard Gardiner, (Harwich, Essex)
Stephen HOPKINS, (Upper Clatford, Hampshire)
Elizabeth (Fisher) Hopkins, wife
John Guild,  (Essex)
Constance HOPKINS, 14, daughter by first marriage (Hursley, Hampshire) She married Nicholas SNOW. Their son Mark married Jane Prence, daughter of Gov. Thomas PRENCE
Giles Hopkins, 12, son by first marriage
Damaris Hopkins, 1-2, daughter married Jacob Cooke, son of Francis COOKE
Oceanus Hopkins, born en route
Edward Doty, (Lincolnshire) age probably about 21, servant to Stephen Hopkins
Edward Leister, (Kensington), aged over 21, servant to Stephen Hopkins
* Edmund Margesson,
* Christoper Martin (Billericay, Essex)
* Mary (Prower) Martin, wife
* John Lancemore, (Shropshire or Worcestershire), age under 21, servant to the Christopher Martin
* William Mullins, (Dorking, Surrey)
* Alice Mullins, wife
Priscilla Mullins, 18, daughter
* Joseph Mullins, 14, son
* Robert Carter, teenager, servant or apprentice to William Mullins, shoemaker.
* Solomon Prower, (Billericay, Essex)
* John Rigsdale,
* Alice Rigsdale, wife
Myles Standish, (Chorley, Lancashire)
Rose Standish, wife
Richard Warren, (Hertford, England)
Gilbert Winslow, (Droitwich, Worcestershire), brother to “Pilgrim” Edward Winslow but not known to have lived in Leiden.
Men hired to stay one year
John Alden, (Harwich, Essex) – considered a ship’s crewman (he was the ship’s cooper) but joined settlers
* John Allerton, was listed as a hired man but was apparently related to  Isaac Allerton.
Richard Ely, hired as seaman,
William Trevore, hired as seaman
George Kerr – Carpenter
The Mayflower likely carried a crew of about 25 or 30. Unfortunately there was no list of the names of the crew members recorded, so only a few names are actually known.
MASTER: Christopher Jones
While the Pilgrims were exploring Cape Cod and Plymouth Harbor, the shallop was caught in a storm and Clark brought them safely ashore at an Island, which is to this day known as Clark’s Island.
MASTER’S MATE: Robert Coppin
At least two dogs are known to have participated in the settling of Plymouth. In Mourt’s Relation Edward Winslow writes that a female mastiff and a small springer spaniel came ashore on the first explorations of what is now Provincetown.

* Died the first winter 1620/21

Other Deaths
Thomas English
Thomas Williams
Alice Closford, October 24

Four of the those listed as family servants were small children, given over by Samuel More of Shropshire into the care of senior Mayflower Pilgrims. This was all due to scandal involving the children’s mother and her husband Samuel’s effort to dispose of the children by sending them away to Virginia as indentured servants. Long ago, Richard More and his siblings were even thought to have even been parentless London street waifs, but in 1959 a 1622 document revealed the whole scandal and the reason behind the children being sent on the Mayflower.

The Mayflower was kept tied up there all through the first winter to provide shelter. Even then, half the pilgrims died during that first winter of exposure and starvation. Once the cold had gone, the Mayflower set sail for England with her holds empty. This did not make the company happy at all and produced the small relief effort on the Fortune.

One Congregation

 Pastor Robinson, who continued to shepherd the flock in Lieden until such time as the Society was able to send over to America others of the congregation.

Two such embarkations took place prior to the death of the pious old preacher in 1625, and the remaining members embarked in subsequent voyages about 1630. The ship “Fortune” in Nov 1621, brought over twenty-five members of the church besides children; and in Aug 1623, the “Ann” and “Little James” carried across sixty more church members in addition to children.

The Pilgrim church in Leyden and its transported membership at New Plymouth in America continued as one body. The branch in the New World never chose a pastor so long as Pastor Robinson was living. During the interim, Elder Brewster presided over the spiritual concerns of the struggling congregation at Cape Cod until 1629.

The Fortune

In Nov 1621, one year after the Pilgrims first set foot in New England, a second ship sent by the Merchant Adventurers arrived. The “Fortune,” a small ship carrying only 35 passengers, left England in July 1621 and didn’t arrive at Plymouth until November 10th of that year.  On arrival they found that half the “Mayflower” passengers had not made it through their first winter in Plymouth.   The Fortune was only 55 tons, compared to 350 tons for the Mayflower, too small to carry anything more than what was needed for the journey.   As the ship had arrived unexpectedly, and also without many supplies, the additional settlers put a strain on the resources of the colony. Among the passengers of the Fortune were several additional people of the original Leiden congregation, including Elder William BREWSTERs son Jonathan and Edward Winslow’s brother John.

Vessels – Fortune – 1. Captain’s Charthouse 2. Quarterdeck 3. Great Cabin 4. Steerage 5. Capstan 6. Main Deck 7. Fo’c’sle 8. The Tiller Flat 9. Beakhead 10. The Tween Decks 11. Anchor Windlass 12. Main Hold

The Fortune also carried a letter from the Merchant Adventurers chastising the colony for failure to return goods with the Mayflower that had been promised in return for their support.

The Fortune began its return to England laden with “cargo of good clapboard as full as she could stow, and two hogsheads of beaver and other skins” which showed the great potential for settling in America,  £500 worth of goods (£83,000 as of 2010), more than enough to keep the colonists on schedule for repayment of their debt.

On the crossing, the Fortune had been blown off course and found itself in French waters where the French navy captured the unarmed ship and held it and crew captive for several weeks, creating an even larger deficit for the colony. Once the French realized the English would never pay for their freedom, they took what cargo was aboard and allowed the ship and crew to continue the voyage to England

The Fortune carried only twenty-one passengers. These were not pilgrims themselves. In fact, the company had hired them specifically because they were adventurers. They had agreed to locate treasure and this they would share with the company. The company sent with them, instructions for the pilgrims to follow (which they did). The pilgrims were to house these men, and care for them.

This passenger list is based on the 1623 Division of Land, compiled by Charles Edward Banks in Planters of the Commonwealth, and by the information found in Eugene Aubrey Stratton’s Plymouth Colony: Its History and its People, 1620-1691.

Fortune Passenger List

John Adams
Elizabeth BASSETT (Wife)
William Beale
Jonathan Brewster [son of Elder William BREWSTER]
Clement Briggs married Joan Allen, daughter of George ALLEN
Edward Bumpas
John Cannon
William Conner
Robert CUSHMAN |
Thomas  CUSHMAN, (Son)
Philipe de la Noye
Stephen Deane married Elizabeth Ring, daughter of William RING  Their daughter Miriam married John WING II as his second wife Their daughter Susannah married Nicholas SNOW‘s son Stephen
Thomas Flavell & Son
[__?__] Ford
Martha Ford (Wife)
Martha Ford (daughter)
John Ford (son)
Thomas Flavell & Son
Robert Hickes (his daughter Lydia Hicks married our ancestor Edward BANGS,though we descend from his second wife Rebecca HOBART)
William HILTON Sr.
Bennet Morgan
Thomas Morton [our ancestor Benjamin CRISPE was a servant of Edward Gibbons  at Morton’s  free-loving Merrymount in the 1620’s],
Austen Nicolas
William Palmer
William Palmer (son)
William Pitt
Gov. Thomas PRENCE
Moses Simonson
Hugh Statie
James Steward
William Tench
John Winslow
William Wright

Ann & Little James

In July 1623, two more ships arrived named the Anne, under the command of  Master, William Peirce, and the Little James  with her Captain, Emanuel Altham, and Master, John Bridges ten days later, carrying 96 new settlers, among them the wives and children that had been left behind and  Leideners,  including William Bradford‘s future wife, Alice Carpenter Southworth (daughter of Alexander CARPENTER)

Ann and Little James

Some of the passengers who arrived on the Ann were either unprepared for frontier life or undesirable additions to the colony and returned to England the next year. According to Gleason Archer,  “those who remained were not willing to join the colony under the terms of the agreement with the Merchand Adventureres. They had embarked for America upon an understanding with the Adventurers that they might settle in a community of their own, or at least be free from the bonds by which the Plymouth colonists were enslaved. A letter addressed to the colonists and signed by thirteen of the merchants recited these facts and urged acceptance of the new comers on the specified terms.” The new arrivals were alloted land in the area of the Eel River, known as Hobs Hole, which became Wellingsley, a mile south of Plymouth Rock.

Anthony Annabal, wife
Jane Annabal, and children: Sarah, Hannah
Edward BANGS “Edward Bangs, from Panfield, Essex Co., Shipwright.”
Robert Bartlett
Fear Brewster (married Isaac ALLERTON as his second wife)
Patience BREWSTER; (daughters of Elder WILLIAM BREWSTER)
Mary Bucket
Edward Burcher
Deacon Thomas CLARK
Christopher Conant
Hester COOKE (joined her husband and son, both Mayflower passengers), and children: Jane, Jacob, and Mary
Godbert Godbertson
Sarah (Priest) Godberston, and children: Marrah Priest, Sarah Priest , and Samuel.  Sarah and Digory Priest’s son John married Sarah Allerton, daughter of Isaac ALLERTON
Anthony Dix
John Faunce married 1633 to fellow passenger Patience Morton, daughter of George MORTON
Mr. Pierce’s two servants.
Joshua Pratt
James Rand
Robert Ratcliffe and his wife
Nicholas SNOW his son Mark married Jane Prence, daughter of Gov. Thomas PRENCE
Alice Carpenter (Daughter of Alexander CARPENTER) (m1. Edward Southworth) (m2. Gov. William Bradford)
Francis Sprague, and either his wife or daughter Anna, and daughter Mercy.  His son John married Ruth Bassett, daughter of William BASSETT.
Barbara — (Standish)
Thomas Tilden and wife
Stephen Tracy His son John Tracy married Mary Prence, daughter of Gov. Thomas PRENCE
Ralph Wallen and wife Joyce,  (After Ralph died, Joyce married Thomas LUMBERT as his fourth wife.)
Goodwife Flavell
Edmund Flood
Bridget Fuller
Timothy Hatherly
William Heard
Margaret Hickes and her children (wife of Robert Hickes, who came in the Fortune): Lydia, Phoebe, Samuel and Ephraim
William HILTON’s wife Mary [__?__] and children: William HILTON Jr., and Mary
Edward Holman.
John Jenny
Sarah Jenny, and children: Samuel,Abigail and Sarah
Manasseh Kempton [son of George KEMPTON] (2nd husband of Juliana CARPENTER  MORTON )
Robert Long
Experience Mitchell m. Jane Cooke, daughter of Francis COOKE
George MORTON,  and his wife Julianna CARPENTER MORTON KEMPTON, and children: Nathaniel, Patience, John, Sarah, and Lt. Ephraim MORTON
Thomas Morton, Jr.; son of Thomas Morton, who came in the Fortune
Ellen Newton
John Oldham and his sister, Lucretia.  Lucretia married Jonathan Brewster, son of Elder William BREWSTER
Frances Palmer; wife of William Palmer, who came in the Fortune
Christian Penn
Elizabeth Warren, wife of Richard (Mayflower), and children: Mary, Anna, Sarah (married John Cooke, son of Francis COOKE John was the last male survivor of the Mayflower passengers.) , Elizabeth, and Abigail

Ignatius Thompson’s “Genealogy of John Thompson” says he came to America in “the third embarkation,” a company under the patronage of Thomas Weston, a merchant of distinction in London. The company contained 60 or 70 men, some of them with families. Among them was John TOMSON, then 6 years old. They landed at Plymouth early in May 1622. However, there seems to be some errors in Ignatius’s account.

What is properly called the “third embarkation,” the “Little James and Anne,” actually arrived in Aug 1623 with 60 passengers. There were other other arrivals, the “Sparrow” in May 1622, with seven passengers, was indeed sent by Thomas Weston. Still another arrival was the “Charity and Swan” in Jul 1622, also sent out by Thomas Weston, with sixty colonists bound for Wessagusset or Weymouth, which stopped at Plymouth with letters from Mr. Weston stating that he had quit the “Adventurers.” John Thompson may have indeed arrived in May 1622 as Ingnatius Thompson said, but this was not termed the “third embarkation.”

In September 1623, another ship carrying settlers destined to refound the failed colony at Weymouth arrived and temporarily stayed at Plymouth. In March 1624, a ship bearing a few additional settlers and the first cattle arrived. A 1627 division of cattle lists 156 colonists divided into twelve lots of thirteen colonists each.  Another ship also named the Mayflower arrived in August 1629 with 35 additional members of the Leiden congregation. Ships arrived throughout the period between 1629 and 1630 carrying new settlers; though the exact number is unknown, contemporary documents claimed that by January 1630 the colony had almost 300 people.

In 1643 the colony had an estimated 600 males fit for military service, implying a total population of about 2,000. By 1690, on the eve of the dissolution of the colony, the estimated total population of Plymouth County, the most populous, was 3,055 people. It is estimated that the entire population of the colony at the point of its dissolution was around 7,000.  For comparison it is estimated that between 1630 and 1640, a period known as the Great Migration, over 20,000 settlers had arrived in Massachusetts Bay Colony alone, and by 1678 the English population of all of New England was estimated to be in the range of 60,000. Despite the fact that Plymouth was the first colony in the region, by the time of its annexation it was much smaller than Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Our ancestors or their close relatives had almost half the lots in early Plymouth – (George Soule was the grandfather of John TOMSON’s son-in-law, not close enough to get a #)

Our ancestors or their close relatives had almost half the lots in early Plymouth – (George Soule was the grandfather of John TOMSON’s son-in-law, not close enough to get a #)

Saints and Strangers

Besides the Pilgrims, or “Saints”, the rest of the Mayflower settlers were known as the “Strangers”. This group included the non-Pilgrim settlers placed on the Mayflower by the Merchant Adventurers, and later settlers who would come for other reasons throughout the history of the colony and who did not necessarily adhere to the Pilgrim religious ideals. A third group, known as the “Particulars”, consisted of a group of later settlers that paid their own “particular” way to America, and thus were not obliged to pay the colony’s debts.

The presence of outsiders such as the Strangers and the Particulars was a considerable annoyance to the Pilgrims. As early as 1623, a conflict between the Pilgrims and the Strangers broke out over the celebration of Christmas, a day of no particular significance to the Pilgrims. Furthermore, when a group of Strangers founded the nearby settlement of Wessagussett (later Weymouth), the Pilgrims were highly strained, both emotionally and in terms of resources, by their lack of discipline. They looked at the eventual failure of the Wessagussett settlement as Divine Providence against a sinful people.


Posted in First Comer, History | 9 Comments

Everard “Greenleaf” Digby

Everard DIGBY Esquire (1414-1461)  was  Alex’s 17th Great Grandfather; in the Miner line.

Since our Digby ancestors really were knights, their coat of arms belongs on each of their pages.

Everard “Greenleaf” DIGBY was born 1415 in Stoke Dry, Rutland, England.  His parents were Simon DIGBY  and Joan BELER. He married Agnes CLARKE on 1439 in Stoke Dry, Rutland, England. Everard died 29 Mar 1461 at the Battle of Towton, West Riding, Yorkshire, England.

St Andrew’s Church Stoke Dry Rutlandshire contains several Digby effigies

Dating at least from the Norman period, Stoke Dry Church was largely rebuilt during the 13th (west tower) and 15th centuries. Although small, the church has many interesting features – a carved Norman arch, a 15th century oak rood screen and tombs belonging to the Digby family who once lived in Stoke Dry. Of special note are the splendid medieval wall paintings which show the martyrdom of St. Edmund.

Above the north porch is the priest’s room or parvise. Reached by a narrow staircase from the north aisle of the church, it is said to be where Everard Digby planned the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605.  There is  little truth in this tale however. Although Sir Everard Digby was one of the plotters he did not live at Stoke Dry at that time.

Agnes Clarke was born 1419 in Stoke Dry, Rutland, England. Her parents were Francis Clarke and  Agnes Flore 1st husband was Richard Seddall. (Nichols says he was 2nd husband.)

Agnes Digby St Andrew’s Stoke Dry Rutland — c. 1479 Slab fragment of a lady wearing a steeple headdress -lost Inscription is recorded as
‘Hic jacent Ricardus Digbi & Agnes uxor ejus qui quidem Ricardus obiit xvii° die mensis Octobris & Agnes obiit penultimo die mensis Octobris A° Domini m . . . ccc . . . septuagesimo nono, quorum animabus propicietur Deus Amen’ 

Children of  Everard and Agnes:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Everard DIGBY Esq. 1440 in , Leicestershire, England. Jacquetta ELLIS
Stoke Dry, Rutland
Feb 1509 in Tilton, Leicestershire, England.
2. Devorguila Digby
3. John Digby
4. Margaret Digby William Skeffington

Everard was High Sheriff of Rutland 1434

Everard Digby, in the reign of Edward IV, was killed, together with his three brothers, fighting for the house of Lancaster at the battle of Towton 29 March 1461. His seven sons fought for Henry VII at the battle of Bosworth Field 22 August 1485.

Manor of Stokes Dry

Stok (xi cent.); Stokes, Dristok, Drie Stok, Stokedreye (xiii cent.).

Stoke Dry Rutland

Stoke Dry borders on Leicestershire, and though mainly in Wrandike Hundred, a small portion known as Holy Oaks Liberty extends into Stockerston parish in Gartree Hundred (co. Leic.). The parish covers an area of 992 acres of rich loam and is nearly all under pasture. The land rises from the Eye Brook, which forms the county and parish boundary on the west, to over 500 ft. above the Ordnance datum in the north of the parish at Stoke Great Wood.   In 2007 it had a population of 39. With only 14 homes this is a quiet village with its mediaeval church dedicated to Saint Andrew.

The small village lies on the west side of the road from Uppingham to Kettering, and is prettily situated on the western slope of a ridge with a fringe of trees on its south side. The church is on the east side of the village street, with the rectory to the south of it. On the opposite side of the road is the Grange, which probably belonged to the Knights Hospitallers.

Stoke Dry was the ancient residence of the famous and ancient family of Digbys,  but nothing now exists of the house they formerly occupied. There remained until about 1871, behind some farm buildings south-east of the church, what appears to have been part of the stabling, or other outbuildings, of the Digby manor house. This consisted of an oblong stone building measuring internally about 48 ft. 6 in. by 16 ft. 6 in., and apparently of late 16th or early 17th century date. It had been long used as a farm store, and the internal partitions and dividing walls removed.

The tenants of Stoke Dry formerly had common rights in Beaumont Chase, which lies to the north-west of the parish, and they received compensation in lieu of them under the Inclosure Act for Liddington in 1798.

Much of Stoke Dry is now covered by Eyebrook Resevoir

STOKE (DRY) was entered in the Domesday Survey as pertaining, with Snelson and Caldecote, to the Bishop of Lincoln’s 2 hides in Liddington (q.v.). The bishops of Lincoln had as tenants at Stoke Dry in the 13th century a branch of the family of Neville. Gilbert de Neville, who held five knights’ fees of the Bishop of Lincoln in 1156 and 1166, was holding lands in Rutland in 1158.  He died before 1169, leaving a son Geoffrey who died in 1193 and was succeeded by his son Henry. At the death of Henry in 1227 without issue, his property went to his sister Isabel, wife of Robert Fitz Meldred, and so to the Nevilles of Raby. (Hasculf de Neville with Christine his wife, who held lands in Rutland in 1250,  probably belonged to a cadet branch of these Nevilles. Hasculf de Neville had four sons: Robert, Thomas, Peter and Stephen.  Robert sided with the Baronial party, and after the battle of Evesham in 1265 his lands in Stoke Dry were seized but restored to him in the same year.He settled his lands on his son Thomas and his heirs, with remainder to his brother Thomas.   His son Thomas was dealing with lands in Stoke Dry in 1297  and died in 1303.   One part of his property in Stoke Dry went to Theobald, son of Peter de Neville (d. c. 1276), brother of Thomas’s father Robert, and the other to John son of Stephen de Neville, another brother of Robert.   The Bishop of Lincoln claimed the land as an escheat on account of the outlawry of Peter, but Peter, before his outlawry in 1272, had enfeoffed his son Theobald, who was in the king’s service in Scotland. The Nevilles seem to have maintained their right to the property  and, probably for assurance of title, conveyed the two estates in 1304 to Walter de Langton, Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield.   In 1313 John de Neville granted the manor of Stoke Dry to Roger de Morwode and his wife Joan (probably John’s daughter) and their issue, with remainder to his own heirs. John de Neville of Stoke appears, however, in a commission of oyer and terminer in 1316. The Bishop of Lincoln and Roger de Morwode were in 1316 assessed to an Aid for Liddington, Stoke Dry, Snelson and Caldecote.

Roger de Morwode was succeeded by his son another Roger,   and in 1368 William, son of the latter Roger, recovered seisin against Thomas de Stanes, parson of the church of Upminster, and John le Rous of Howes,   to whom William de Burton and Eleanor his wife, probably the mother of William de Morwode, had previously conveyed the manor.  In 1379 William de Morwode and Lora his wife were dealing with lands here,   and in 1383 Nicholas de Morwode of Stoke Dry was killed by Richard, son of Richard, son of Robert of Stoke Dry.

William de Morwode, who had settled the manor on his wife Lora, died seised of it in 1386, leaving a son and heir William aged 18.  In 1391 Richard Salyng and Lora his wife, evidently the widow of the elder William de Morwode, levied a fine of the manor with John, Edmund, and Robert Morwode and others.  William Morwode of Stoke Dry appeared in a plea of debt in May 1398,   though in 1395 John Wakefield of London held the manor,   possibly as mortgagee. In 1419 it was held by Roger Flore of Oakham, several times Speaker of the House of Commons, and John Clarke of Whissendine, both of whom were executors of the will of William Dalby, founder of the hospital of St. John and St. Anne at Oakham.  Roger died in 1428, when John Clarke had sole possession. His son Francis married Agnes, daughter of Roger Flore.

Francis died in 1435 in his father’s lifetime,  leaving a son Francis who died in the following year, and a daughter Agnes who became his sole heir and married Simon, alias Everard DIGBY of Tilton;   thus the Digbys came to Stoke Dry, which they made their chief seat. Everard was killed at the battle of Towton in 1461 and was succeeded by his son Everard, who married Jacquetta ELLIS (d. 1496).  They had a son Everard, who succeeded to the property on his father’s death in 1509.   He married Margery, daughter of Sir John Heyton, kt., of Norfolk, and died in 1540, when his son Kenelm succeeded. Kenelm was dealing with the manor in 1553  and conveyed it in 1574 to his son Everard, charged with payments after his own death to Katherine, Elizabeth, Ursula and Bridget his daughters.  He settled the manor in 1588.  He died in 1590. His wife Anne, daughter of Sir Anthony Cope,  was still living at Stoke Dry at the death of their son Everard in 1592, who had settled on his wife Mary, daughter of Francis Neale of Keythorpe (co. Leic.), his manor of Tilton in that county.  Mary, too, survived Everard, who left a son and heir Everard, then in his fourteenth year.  The younger Everard’s wardship was bought by Roger Manners, lessee of the manor and of Holy Oaks,   who transferred it to Mary, Everard’s widow. Everard [the Gunpowder Plot Conspirator], who was knighted in 1603, married Mary, daughter of William Mulsho of Gayhurst or Gothurst (co. Bucks),  and was a prominent person at the court of James I, where he came under the influence of the Jesuit Gerrard. He settled the manor on his son Kenelm in 1604.  Being attainted and hanged for high treason for his share in the Gunpowder Plot in 1606, his lands were taken into the king’s hand.  Sir Everard’s wife survived him for a widowhood of nearly fifty years, and Holy Oaks in Stoke Dry, demised by her in 1645, was still under sequestration for her recusancy in 1653, by which date she was dead.

The manor passed under the above entail to Sir Everard’s son and heir Kenelm, aged two at his father’s death. He was dealing with it in 1624,  but his mother’s Gayhurst property, where he was born, became his principal seat. He was knighted in 1623, married a wife of extraordinary beauty, Venetia, daughter of Sir Edward Stanley of Shropshire, and was made Gentleman of the Bedchamber, Commissioner of the Navy, and Governor of Trinity House by Charles I. In 1628 he defeated the Venetians with a squadron equipped at his own expense.   His philosophical and scientific work brought him fame on the Continent and at home, and even, later, the friendship of Oliver Cromwell, though he was imprisoned and banished and his estates sequestered for his Royalist activities.

In 1639 he mortgaged the manors of Stoke Dry and Tilton to Daniel Harvey, Elias (or Eliab), Michael, and Matthew Harvey.  The transaction was allowed by the sequestrators in 1645, but after his banishment in 1649 it was the subject of petitions from 1650–1653 by claimants on his estate.  These petitioners included his mother, his father’s brother George Digby of Standon (co. Staffs), Eliab Harvey, who was guardian of the late mortgagee’s son Daniel, and his own son John Digby, who became his heir after the death of his eldest son Kenelm in 1649.  In 1655, with Daniel Harvey and his wife Elizabeth and Elias Harvey and his wife Mary, he conveyed the manor to John Morris for purposes of settlement.  Kenelm Digby died in 1665. His son John, who was buried at Gayhurst in 1673, left two daughters as co-heirs, Mary (or Margaret Maria), who married Sir John Conway, second and last bart. of Bodryddan (co. Flint), and Charlotte, who married the Conways’ kinsman, Richard Mostyn. Mary died in 1690, Charlotte in 1693–4. In 1704 Sir John Conway and Richard Mostyn obtained an Act of Parliament for the sale of the Digby estates.

The Battle of Towton was fought during the English Wars of the Roses on 29 March 1461, near the village of the same name in Yorkshire. It was the “largest and bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil”.  According to chroniclers, more than 50,000 soldiers from the Houses of York and Lancaster fought for hours amidst a snowstorm on that day, which was a Palm Sunday. A newsletter circulated a week after the battle reported that 28,000 died on the battlefield. The engagement brought about a monarchical change in England—Edward IV displaced Henry VI as King of England, driving the head of the Lancastrians and his key supporters out of the country.

The Battle of Towson by Richard Caton Woodville (1856–1927)

Henry was weak in character and mentally unsound. His ineffectual rule had encouraged the nobles’ schemes to establish control over him, and the situation deteriorated into a civil war between the supporters of his house and those of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York. After the Yorkists captured Henry in 1460, the English parliament passed an Act of Accord to let York and his line succeed Henry as king. Henry’s consort, Margaret of Anjou, refused to accept the dispossession of her son’s right to the throne and, along with fellow Lancastrian malcontents, raised an army. Richard of York was killed at the Battle of Wakefield and his titles, including the claim to the throne, passed to his eldest son Edward. Nobles, who were previously hesitant to support Richard’s claim to the throne, regarded the Lancastrians to have reneged on the Act—a legal agreement—and Edward found enough backing to denounce Henry and declare himself king. The Battle of Towton was to affirm the victor’s right to rule over England through force of arms.

On reaching the battlefield, the Yorkists found themselves heavily outnumbered. Part of their force under John de Mowbray, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, had yet to arrive. The Yorkist leader Lord Fauconberg turned the tables by ordering his archers to take advantage of the strong wind to outrange their enemies. The one-sided missile exchange—Lancastrian arrows fell short of the Yorkist ranks—provoked the Lancastrians into abandoning their defensive positions. The ensuing hand-to-hand combat lasted hours, exhausting the combatants. The arrival of Norfolk’s men reinvigorated the Yorkists and, encouraged by Edward, they routed their foes. Many Lancastrians were killed while fleeing; some trampled each other and others drowned in the rivers. Several who were taken as prisoners were executed.

The power of the House of Lancaster was severely reduced after this battle. Henry fled the country, and many of his most powerful followers were dead or in exile after the engagement, letting Edward rule England uninterrupted for nine years, before a brief restoration of Henry to the throne. Later generations remembered the battle as depicted in William Shakespeare‘s dramatic adaptation of Henry’s life—Henry VI, Part 3, Act 2, Scene 5. In 1929, the Towton Cross was erected on the battlefield to commemorate the event. Various archaeological remains and mass graves related to the battle were found in the area centuries after the engagement.


1. Everard DIGBY (See his page)

4. Margaret Digby

Margaret’s husband Sir William Skeffington (c. 1465-1535), lord deputy of Ireland, belonged to a Leicestershire family and was sheriff of Leicestershire and Warwickshire under Henry VII. He was master of the ordnance and a a knight of the shire (Member of Parliament) for Leicestershire from 1529–1535 in the reign of Henry VIII., and in 1529 was appointed deputy in Ireland for Henry’s son, the duke of Richmond, the nominal lord lieutenant of that country.

Sir William was born in Skeffington, Leicestershire. His brother John was the patriarch of the Massareene family. He was appointed High Sheriff of Leicestershire and Warwickshire for 1508, 1515 and 1521 in the reign of Henry VII and was knighted by that king for his services. In 1523, he received from Henry VIII property near Tunbridge that had belonged to the executed traitor Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham.

He was appointed in 1529 deputy in Ireland to Henry’s son, the duke of Richmond, the nominal lord lieutenant of that country.  He crossed over in August 1529, but his power was so circumscribed by instructions from Henry that the head of the Fitzgeralds, Gerald, 9th earl of Kildare,, and not Skeffington, was the real governor of Ireland. This state of affairs lasted for three years and then in 1532 the deputy was recalled.

In 1534, Kildare being in prison in England and his son Thomas, afterwards the 10th earl, being in revolt, Skeffington was again appointed deputy , at approximately 70 years of age. After some delay he landed at Dublin in October 1534 and marched at once to relieve Drogheda, but further progress in the work of crushing the rebellion was seriously delayed by his illness. However, in the spring of 1535 he was again in the field. He took Maynooth Castle, killing and executing the entire garrison. The heavy artillery used by him on this occasion earning for him his surname of “The Gunner”; he forced some of Kildare’s allies to make peace and captured Dungarvan.

William died in Dublin on the 31st of December 1535, and was buried in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. He was succeeded by his eldest son Thomas.

He was last Roman Catholic to hold the office either of Lord Deputy or Lord Lieutenant, with the exception of the Duke of Tyrconnel in 1687-1689 and Lord Fitzalan in 1921-1922.

He first married Anne’s great aunt Margaret, daughter of Everard “Greenleaf” DIGBY William Skeffington was so fond of Digbys, that when she died, he married her great niece Anna, the daughter of Everard’s grandson John Digby of Kettleby.

William and Margaret had four sons, including Sir Leonard Skeffington, who would hold the post of Lieutenant of the Tower of London. Sir Leonard is credited with having invented the “Scavenger’s Daughter“, which was a torture device used in the Tower during Henry VIII’s reign Following Margaret’s death, William Skeffington married secondly, Anne Digby, a daughter of Sir John DIGBY of Kettleby and his wife, Katherine Giffin. This marriage produced two further sons and three daughters.


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