William Carpenter Sr

William CARPENTER Sr. (1575 – 1638 ) was Alex’s 12th Great Grandfather, one of 8,192 in this generation of the Shaw line.

William Carpenter – Coat of Arms

William Carpenter was born about 1575 in England. He was of Newtown, Shalbourne Parish, Wiltshire, England, by 1608, when he became a copyholder (semipermanent leaseholder) at Westcourt Manor.  He,  with son William and the latter’s family, embarked at Southampton, Hampshire, on the Bevis. The preamble to the ship’s passenger list indicates that by 2 May 1638 “they had been some Dayes gone to sea”. They landed  at Boston in June or July 1638.  Nothing more is known of the father, William, in Massachusetts and he is presumed to have perished either in passage or shortly after arriving in the new world.

Shalbourne, completely in Wiltshire since 1895, previously straddled the line separating Wiltshire and Berkshire, with Westcourt comprising the Wiltshire part of the parish (Shalbourne Map); the Hampshire border was/is about four miles away. It is
likely that William was born in one of these three counties.

Shalbourne Parish

The record of William’s renewal of his Westcourt tenancy on 22 June 1614 gives his age as 40 (Westcourt Recs 7). The passenger list of the Bevis, the ship on which he left England, is dated 2 May 1638 and states William’s age as 62  From these facts is calculated a birth year of about 1575.

A William Carpenter was baptized in the parish of Great Coxwell, Berkshire (now in Oxfordshire), on 5 May 1576, son of Henry Carpenter (GCPaR). Evidence that this is more than coincidence has not been found. But since Great Coxwell is only twenty map miles due north of Shalbourne, further research in the vicinity of the former place is

DEATH: The latest known record of William1 is the aforementioned Bevis passenger-list
entry of 2 May 1638. His namesake son, William  CARPENTER, settled at Weymouth probably in 1638 and certainly before 13 May 1640, when he was admitted a freeman there.  That William was not made a freeman at the same time was perhaps because he had died.

MARRIAGE: Despite claims to the contrary, the identity of William1’s wife (or wives) is uncertain. His having emigrated only three months after the death of Alice Carpenter, who was buried at Shalbourne on 25 January 1637[/8], suggests that she had been his wife (though not necessarily William2’s mother); it is possible, however, that she was an unmarried sister or daughter .

A William Carpenter married at St. Thomas the Martyr, Salisbury, Wiltshire, 18 April
1605, Mary Bath . Christopher Batt, a tanner of [New] Sarum (i.e., Salisbury), Wiltshire, was one of the Carpenters’ fellow passengers on the Bevis. Records of the Batt family of Salisbury, however, indicate that he and a Mary Batt of appropriate age (baptized at St. Thomas 7 Aug. 1584, daughter of Richard and Agnes (Danyell) Batt) “would be no more than distant cousins” . It has not been established that William1 Carpenter was the man of that name who married Mary Bath.

Children of William and Alice:

Name Born Married Departed
1. William Carpenter Jr. ca. 1605
Wiltshire or Berkshire, England
Abigail BRIANT
on 28 Apr 1625 at St. Michael and All Angels Church in Shalbourne Parish, Berkshire, England.
7 Feb 1658/59
Rehoboth, Plymouth Colony (that part now Rumford, East Providence, RI)

OCCUPATION: The Bevis passenger list describes William Sr.  as a carpenter . That his copyhold included not only a messuage (house and adjoining land) with a garden but also a small number of acres in nearby common fields indicates that he was
also a husbandman (subsistence farmer)

EDUCATION/OFFICES: William “Crpentr,” church warden, signed with his mark a glebe terrier (describing lands belonging to the Shalbourne vicarage) dated 6 June 1628 (SVGT). William2’s obvious literacy excludes him from consideration as the subscriber

CHILDREN: The only known child of William Sr.  Carpenter is the son named with him in his record of tenancy at Shalbourne Westcourt and with whom he emigrated: the eventual William Jr.  Carpenter of Rehoboth. The Carpenters’ Encyclopedia of Carpenters 2009 main database’s attribution to William Sr.  of additional children, through alleged wife Mary “Batt”  is unsubstantiated. .

COMMENTS: The will of Robert Carpenter of Marden, Wiltshire, dated 12 January
1606[/7?] and proved 21 May 1607, names (among others) adult sons William and Richard. It has been claimed that these brothers were William Sr. Carpenter  and RichardA Carpenter of Amesbury, Wiltshire (father of William1 of Providence, R.I.). While it is not impossible that William Sr. of Shalbourne was the son of Robert of Marden, evidence of it has not been found; it is unlikely that Richard of Amesbury was Robert’s son. Genetic testing of agnate descendants of William of Shalbourne and Richard of Amesbury has established with a high degree of probability that the two were in fact related but far more remotely than generally believed.




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4 Responses to William Carpenter Sr

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