Benjamin Crispe

Benjamin CRISPE (1610 – 1683) was Alex’s 11th Great Grandfather; one of 8,192 in this generation of the Shaw line. Benjamin Crispe’s family story would have been appropriate for the pilgrim tabloids:

– Morton’s Merrymount, the antithesis to the intolerant Puritans
– Infamous Maypole revels
– Daring maneuvers against the Dutch
– Squaw sachem deals
– Pig stealing
– Illegitimate children
– Murder trials
– Playing cards for money
– Adultery punishments
– Increase Mather quips
– Indian Attacks
– Dog feet gnawing
– Daughters lost to the convent
– And prodigal sons

Benjamin Crispe – Coat of Arms

Benjamin Crispe was born about 1611 in Frisby, Lincolnshire, England.   He gave his age as about forty-five in 1656, about fifty-two in 1662 and about seventy-seven in 1683. This produces a bracket of 1606-1611 for his birth. His parents were Richard CRISPE and Dorothie THOMSON.  His parents were married 1610 in Maidstone, Kent, England. He was servant of Maj. Gibbons and probably came over with him in 1630 or 1631.  He married Bridget [__?__].   After Bridget died around 1677, he married Joanna Goffe on 29 Nov 1680.    Benjamin died in betweeen 5 Nov 1683 and 21 Dec 1683 in Watertown, Mass.

Bridget [__?__] was born in 1615 in England. Bridget died 13 Mar 1675 in Groton, Middlesex, Mass.

Joanna Goffe was born 1614 in Frisby, Lincolnshire, England.  She first married William Longley, a prominent citizen of Groton.  Joanna died on 18 Apr 1698 in Charlestown, Mass.  Her son William Jr.  married Benjamin’s daughter Deliverance.  See below for the story of how William and Deliverance were killed in an attack on Groton in 1694.

Joanna Goffe Longley Crisp Headstone – Phipps Street Burying Ground Charlestown, Suffolk County, Massachusetts

William Longley first appears upon the records of Groton June 21, 1663, when with Capt. James Parker and others, he voted against the proposal to give Rev. Samuel Willard the use of the house and lands devoted by the town to the purposes of the ministry. There are numerous indications that the first William Longley was not in accord with the attempted ecclesiastical despotism of the day. He was selectman at Groton in 1665, and town clerk in 1666 and ’67.

Groton was destroyed by Indians in the spring of 1676 and its inhabitants dispersed. William Longley and his family went to Charlestown, where they remained for a year or two and where he had a grant of land. Some members of the family were also in Lynn during this period. He returned to Groton with a large proportion of the old inhabitants, and rebuilt his house there. At Groton William died 29 Nov 1680. His widow, Joanna, married, about 1683, Benjamin Crispe, survived him, and died at Charlestown, probably at the home of one of her children, April 18, 1698, age. 79. Her gravestone is still standing in the old Phipps street burial ground, Charlestown, where the remains of many of her descendants also lie. In her will she remembered her three grandchildren who had been carried captive by Indians in 1694. It contains the following clause:

Item. I give and bequeath unto my three grandchildren y* are in captivity, if they return, these three books, one of them a bible, another a sermon book, treating of faith, and the other a psalm book.

Children of Benjamin and Mary:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Elizabeth CRISPE 28 Jan 1636/37 Watertown, Mass. George LAWRENCE
29 Sep 1657
28 May 1681
Watertown, Mass;
she was 44.
2. Mary Crispe 20 May 1638
William Green
ca 1704
Dunstable, Mass.
3. Jonathan Crispe 29 Jan 1639/40
Joanna [__?__]
Deliverance Pease (Daughter of Robert PEASE – The Former)
Groton, Middlesex
bef 25 Oct 1680
Watertown when his father administered his estate
4. Eleazer Crispe 14 Jan 1641/2
Elilzabeth [_?_]
10 Apr 1726
Groton, Mass
5. Zechariah (Zachary) Crispe 21 Jan 1645
Watertown, Mass
Did not marry, but had an illegitimate child with Mary Stanwood.  He was bound to pay for Mary Crispe’s support.
6. Mehitable Crispe 21 Jan 1645/6
7. Mercy Crispe ca 1648 Robert Parish
11 Apr 1667 Chelmsford, Mass
bef 1 Apr 1686
8. Deliverance Crispe 1650
William Longley
15 May 1672 Groton
27 Jul 1694
Groton, Mass
Deliverance, her husband and five of his children were massacred by Indians. Three children taken into captivity.

Benjamin was a mason by trade. He was literate as he signed a deed, rather than using a mark.

Servant of Maj. Gibbons, 1630 or ’31, and probably came over with him, 1629; proprietor of Watertown, 1636-7;

Edward Gibbons (c. 1600 – 1654) arrived in the Massachusetts colony about 1623, possibly as an indentured servant to Captain Wollaston or to Thomas Morton, or possibly in the company of Robert Gorges. He lived for a time at Morton’s Merrymount (Mare Mount) settlement and trading post in what is now Quincy, MA and was likely present at the infamous Maypole revels there in 1627.  After Morton was arrested and deported for consorting with and trading guns to the natives, Gibbons joined the new Puritan church and settlement in Boston circa 1630. He served in the Massachusetts militia and was a leader in the Pequot War (1637-8). He was eventually promoted to Major-General, outranking even Myles Standish!

[The story of Merrymount is an interesting counterpoint to the intolerant Puritan.  Thomas Morton (c. 1579–1647) was an early American colonist from Devon, England, a lawyer, writer and social reformer, famed for founding the colony of Merrymount and his work studying Native American culture.

Morton spent three months on an exploratory trip to America in 1622, but was back in England by early 1623 complaining of the intolerance of certain elements of the Puritan community. He returned in 1624 as a senior partner in a Crown-sponsored trading venture, onboard the ship the Unity with his associate Captain Wollaston and 30 indentured young men. They settled and began trading for furs on a spit of land given them by the native Algonquian tribes, whose culture Morton is said to have admired as far more ‘civilized and humanitarian’ than that of his ‘intolerant European neighbours’. The Puritans of the New England colony of Plymouth objected to their sales of guns and liquor to the natives in exchange for furs and provisions, which at that time was technically illegal (although almost everyone was doing it).  The weapons undoubtedly acquired by the Algonquians were used to defend themselves against raids from the Northern Tribes, however, and not against the fearful colonists. The trading post set up by the two men soon expanded into an agrarian colony which became known as Mount Wollaston (now Quincy, Massachusetts).

Morton fell out with Wollaston after he discovered he had been selling indentured servants into slavery on the Virginian tobacco plantations. Powerless to prevent him, he encouraged the remaining servants to rebel against his harsh rule and organise themselves into a free community. Wollaston fled with his supporters to Virginia in 1626, leaving Morton in sole command of the colony, or its ‘host’ as he preferred to be called, which was renamed Mount Ma-re (a play on ‘merry’ and ‘the sea’) or simply Merrymount. Under Morton’s ‘hostship’ an almost utopian project was embarked upon, in which the colonists were declared free men or ‘consociates’, and a certain degree of integration into the local Algonquian culture was attempted. However, it was Morton’s long-term plan to ‘further civilize’ the native population by converting them to his liberal form of Christianity, and by providing them with free salt for food preservation, thus enabling them to give up hunting and settle permanently. He also considered himself a ‘loyal subject’ of the British monarchy throughout this period, and his agenda remained a colonial one, referring to Book 3 of his New English Canaan memoirs as a manual on ‘how not to colonize’, in reference to the Puritans.

Morton’s ‘Christianity’, however, was strongly condemned by the Puritans of the nearby Plymouth Colony as little more than a thinly disguised heathenism, and they suspected him of essentially ‘going native’. Scandalous rumours were spread of the debauchery at Merrymount, which they claimed included immoral sexual liaisons with native women during what amounted to drunken orgies in honour of Bacchus and Aphrodite. Or as the Puritan Gov. William Bradford wrote with horror in his history Of Plymouth Plantation: “They … set up a May-pole, drinking and dancing about it many days together, inviting the Indian women, for their consorts, dancing and frisking together (like so many fairies, or furies rather) and worse practices. As if they had anew revived & celebrated the feasts of ye Roman Goddess Flora, or ye beastly practices of ye mad Bacchanalians.” Morton had transplanted traditional West Country May Day customs to the colony, and combined them with fashionable classical myth, couched according to his own libertine tastes, and fuelled by the enthusiasm of his newly-freed fellow colonists. On a practical level the annual May Day festival was not only a reward for his hardworking colonists but also a joint celebration with the Native Tribes who also marked the day, and a chance for the mostly male colonists to find brides amongst the native population. Puritan ire was no doubt also fueled by the fact that Merrymount was the fastest-growing colony in New England and rapidly becoming the most prosperous, both as an agricultural producer and in the fur trade in which the Plymouth Colony was trying to build a monopoly. The Puritan account of this was very different, regarding the colony as a decadent nest of good-for-nothings that annually attracted “all the scum of the country” to the area. Or as Peter Lamborn Wilson more romantically puts it, ‘a Comus-crew of disaffected fur traders, antinomians, loose women, Indians and bon-vivants’.

But it was the second 1628 Mayday ‘Revels of New Canaan’, inspired by ‘Cupid’s mother’, with its ‘pagan odes’ to Neptune and Triton, as well as Venus and her lustful children, Cupid, Hymen and Priapus, its drinking song, and its erection of a huge 80 ft. Maypole, topped with deer antlers, that proved too much for the ‘Princes of Limbo’, as Morton referred to his Puritan neighbours. The Plymouth Militia under Myles Standish took the town the following June with little resistance, chopped down the Maypole and arrested Morton for ‘supplying guns to the Indians’.  He was put in stocks in Plymouth, given a mock trial and finally marooned on the deserted Isles of Shoals, off the coast of New Hampshire, until an ‘English ship could take him home’, apparently as he was believed too well connected to be imprisoned or executed (as later became the penalty for ‘blasphemy’ in the colony). He was essentially starved on the island, but was supplied with food by friendly natives from the mainland, who were said to be bemused by the events, and he eventually gained enough strength to escape to England under his own volition. The Merry Mount community survived without Morton for another year, but was renamed Mount Dagon by the Puritans, after the ‘evil’ Semitic Sea God, and they pledged to make it a place of woe. During the terrible winter famine of 1629 residents of New Salem under John Endecott raided Mount Dagon’s plentiful corn supplies and destroyed what was left of the Maypole, calling it the ‘Calf of Horeb’ and denouncing it as a pagan idol. Morton returned to the colony soon after and, after finding most of the inhabitants had been scattered, was rearrested, again put on trial and banished from the colonies without legal process. The following year the colony of Mount Dagon was burnt to the ground and Morton shipped back to England.  Check out wikipedia for the rest of Morton’s story and battles with the Puritans.]

In Oct 1635, Lieutenant Edward Gibbons and Sergeant Simon Willard. took a small bark (canoe) to the mouth of the Connecticut with 20 carpenters and other workmen. Perhaps Benjamin Crispe accompanied.   Gov Winthrop had learned that the Dutch were planning to occupy the mouth of the  Connecticut River at Pasbeshauke and sent Gibbons’ expedition to counter the Dutch.  The expedition landed near the mouth of the river, on the west bank in present-day Old Saybrook, on November 24, 1635 and located the Dutch coat of arms nailed on a tree. They tore down the coat of arms and replaced it with a shield painted with a grinning face. They established a battery of cannon and built a small fort. When the Dutch ship returned several days later, they sighted the cannon and the English ships and withdrew. Winthrop renamed the point “Point Sayebrooke” in honor of Fiennes (Viscount Saye) and Lord Brooke.

Edward Gibbons was present with Governor John Winthrop when the Puritans negotiated with the Indians for the sale of land in Charlestown, MA and surrounding areas. He is depicted as one of four settlers involved in a local WPA mural: Purchase of Land from the Indians by Aidan Lasell Ripley, 1934, in the Winchester MA Public Library.  He was evidently on good terms with many Indians; the “Squaw Sachem” gave as a gift for his friendship a large parcel of land near the Mystic River in present Winchester and Arlington, MA to Edward’s son, Jotham Gibbons. He was granted a large tract of land in present Winthrop, MA, where he built a house.

Edward Gibbons is depicted on a Mural in the Winchester MA Public Library

The Squaw Sachem (i.e. woman chief) of the Massachuset tribe ceded all the lands of her tribe, excepting her homestead (which was bounded on the east by the Mystic Lakes and on the south by Mill Brook), to the English Puritan settlers of Cambridge , for “twenty and one coates, ninten fathom of wampom, and three bushels of corne”. Three epidemics of European diseases and warfare with the Abenaki tribe from the north had greatly reduced the number of men in the Massachuset tribe. The survivors were too few to defend their land against the invaders from England and had little choice but to agree to the contract. The Squaw Sachem (whose name is unknown) died in 1658.

Gibbons was also a ship owner and trader. There was a curious incident in the West Indies in which he was either illegally trading with French privateers or his off-course ship was released with his cargo and provisions by a “friendly” French pirate captain who knew him from Piscataqua (NH), where Ambose Gibbons (possibly brother of Edward) had settled.

Later in life he lost much of his fortune by backing the French La Tour’s settlement ventures in Arcadia (Canada) in exchange for a mortgage on a fort in Newfoundland. His widow Margaret tried to recover the money in court.  His children were: Jerusha, Jotham, Edward, Edward, Metsathiell, and John.

Back to Benjamin Crispe

A ‘Mr. Crispe’ came on the Plough in 1631 and settled briefly at Watertown, the same year and place where Benjamin Crisp is first seen. This is suggestive, but may be mere coincidence.”

A Massachusetts Bay record, dated 22 March 1630/, say, “It is ordered, that Beniamyn Cribb, John Cable, & Morris Trowent shall be whipped for stealing 3 pigs of Mr. Ralfe Glovers”.  Benjamin Crispe deposed in 1656 that 25 years ago he was a servant of Major Gibbons. This suggests to Anderson  that this record for Benjamin Cribb is in fact for our Benjamin Crisp: a servant caught behaving badly with other servants  Savage has assumed this identification, without noting the discrepancy in spelling.

6 May 1646 – Admitted Freeman in Watertown, Mass

25 July 1636 – Granted twenty acres in Great Dividend in Watertown.

28 Feb 1636/37 – Granted three acres in Beaverbrook Plowlands.

26 Jun 1637 – Granted three acres in Remote Meadows,

10 May 1642 – Granted a sixty-four acre farm

Benjamin Crispe is on the 6 May 1646 list of freemen.

25 July 1636 – Benjamin was granted twenty acres in Great Dividend in Watertown,.

He was granted three acres of plowland on 28 Feb 1636/7 and three acres of meadow on 26 Jun 1637. He was granted a 64-acre farm on 10 May 1642.

25 Sep 1666 – “Benjamin Crispe of Watertown, mason,” joined by “Bridget Crispe, his wife,” for a valuable sum of money sold to Thomas Boyden of Groton four parcels of land in Watertown: seven acres of upland and buildings; twenty acres of Great Dividend; twelve acres in Lieu of Township; and a 53 acre farm.

13 Apr 1681 – The Watertown selectmen ordered that Benjamin Crispe have “the charge of the meeting house committed to him to sweep and ring the bell and what else is needful to be done to fasten the doors and windows when the exercise is done” For taking care of the meeting house, he was to receive an annual salary of 4 pounds, 10 shillings, and was also to be the keeper of the pound. He was then, by his own estimate, in his 70s. Quite remarkable he was still working at that age, which would have been a positively ancient age in the 17th century.

In the Watertown Inventory of Grants, Benjamin Crisp was credited with six parcels of land: seven acre homestall; twenty acres of upland in Great Dividend; nine acres of upland beyond the Further Plain; one acre of meadow at Beaver Brook; four acres of Remote Meadow; and three acres of plowland in the Hither Plain [Beaverbrook Plowlands] In the Composite Inventory Benjamin Crisp held four parcels of land: seven acre homestall; twenty acres of upland in the Great Dividend; nine acres of upland beyond the Further Plain; and a sixty-four acre farm

1656 – He deposed that he was a ‘servant to major Gibbons 25 years agone,’ or in 1631. Major Gibbons was that Edward Gibbons who began his New England career with Thomas Mortion at Merrymount, regarded by the Pilgrims as the fount of all evil, and who, having been converted at the ordination of Mr. Higginson at Salem in 1629, rose very high in the Puritan government of Massachusetts Bay.”

25 Sep 1666 “Benjamin Crispe of Watertown, mason,” joined by “Bridget Crispe, his wife,” for a valuable sum of money sold to Thomas Boyden of Groton four parcels of land in Watertown: seven acres of upland and buildings; twenty acres of Great Dividend; twelve acres in Lieu of Township; and a fifty-three acre farm.  (Since the Lieu of Township land was the same as the upland beyond the Further Plain, and since the farms, as finally surveyed, were somewhat smaller than originally granted, these four parcels are the same as the holdings more than twenty years earlier in the Composite Inventory.)

Benjamin Crispe, returned from Groton to Watertown, as early as 1681. The selectmen of Wat., on May 24, 1681, chose Benjamin Crospe, in room of Goodman Bloise, to take care of the meeting-house, salary £4 10 s., also to be pound-keeper. He m. for his 2d wife Joanna, wid. of William Longley, Sen., of Groton.


1. Elizabeth CRISPE (See George LAWRENCE‘s page)

2. Mary Crispe

Mary’s first husband William Green was born about 1640 in England.

Mary’s second husband Robert Parish was born 1635 in Cambridge, Middlesex, Mass. His parents were Thomas Parrish and Mary Danforth. He first married 22 May 1663 in Groton, Middlesex, Mass. to Seaborne Bachelder (b. Dec 1634 in Charlestown, Worcester, Mass. – d. bef. 1667 in Charlestown, Worcester, Mass.) Robert died 1794 in Chelsea, Suffolk, Mass.

3. Jonathan Crispe

Jonathan’s wife Deliverance Pease was born 16 Oct 1664 in Salem, Essex, Mass.  Her parents were Robert PEASE – The Former and Sarah [SEDGWICK?].  Deliverance died 27 Jul 1694 in Groton, Middlesex, Mass.

Jonathan was in Groton in 1664 when he owned a house-lot of 28 acres with and addition thereto, 3 acres in the general field, 5 acres in the Flaggy meadow, 3 acres at Massabogue brook, and 2 acres in the Angle meadow, all compared and approved by the selectmen 27 Dec 1664. In 1675 he was of Dunstable.  He was a soldier in King Philip’s war.  When Groton was attacked, Jonathan was paid £2:10:6 for his service on 24 Apr 1676.

Groton was destroyed on 13 Mar 1675/76 and many of the surviving citizens left town, returning two years later to rebuild.

5. Zechariah “Zachary”  Crispe

Zechariah served in King Philip’s War (including duty at Groton garrison)  Zachary was  charged with the murder of Edward Lewis, but was acquitted by a jury in 1675.

Zachary did not marry, but had an illegitimate child with Mary Stanwood.  He was bound to pay for Mary Crispe’s support.  Mary was born ca 1654 in Gloucester, MA. and died on 3 Mar 1674 in Gloucester, MA.  Her parents were Philip Stanwood (ca 1630-7 Aug 1672) and  Jane Whitmarsh (ca 1623-18 Aug 1706).

Homicide: Dorothy Jones, Maurice Bret, Zekariah Crispe m. Edward Levis
Weapon: Hit over the head with a quart pot & died 24 hours later.
Relation: Household Boarder by Boarder
Court Term: 9/1675

Indictment Suffolk files 26747, vol. 212

“We the Grand Jury for our Soveraigne Lord the King do present & Indict Zachariah Crispe of Grotin for not having the feare of God before his Eyes and being Instigated by the Divil did in the house of the late Morgan James of Boston murder the late Edmond [or Edward] Lewis a Lodger in the house on or about January or February last contrary to the peace of our Soveraign Lord the King his Crowne & Dignity the laws of God and of this Jurisdiction soe find this Bill and send [?] him to futher tryall In ye name of ye Jury: William Spark”

File 1422: Testimonies in the Death of Edward Lewis, 9/1675.

Rachel Codner (age 26) sometime in hard weather this winter, Dorothy Jones brought her some “exceedingly” bloody linen to wash: sheets, aprons, handkerchiefs, & several napkins. “upon sight of which” wit. asked DJ’s maid about it. DJ’s maid (HH) said “her masters nose bleed; butt ye deponent replied shee could not think itt could bee so.” Addendum: Hannah Hinckman, DJ’s maid, owned that she had carried the linen to RC, & that RC had asked her how it had become so bloody.

Samuel Marcy (36): latter end of December, Edward Lewis & Maurice Bret had a falling out at the Coffee House in Boston. “I stepped between them–to part them-upon which severall words passed & Marice gave mee a challenge, & gave out threatning words against said Lewis, which I doo not perticularly remember.”

Richard Knight (50): March last, as he was about to go away fr. Dorothy Jones’ house, heard DJ make “a bitter exclamation & complaint against Marrice Brett for gameing & disorder in her house & said that shed knew enough by him to hang him or bring him to the Gallows.” She repeated the same in his & MB’s presence in April.

Joseph Bristo (17) & Mary Right (51): said Hannah Hinckman told them that if Maurice killed Lewis “it was not in a passion but it was in cold Blood.”

John Taylor (27): coming to Dinely’s shop on Saturday morning, some in the shop said Lewis was lately gone to bed in the Coffee chamber “fuddled or drunk.” Went to see him; found him in bed, “in a strange posture,” with his hat over his head & the rug partly pulled over his coat, speaking faintly, as if he were “sick or drunck.” Found Zecariah Crispe in the room with Lewis.

Dorothy Jones: says she did not know that Edward Lewis was killed in her house, but she knew about the sheets, & claims that “shee is troubled wdith convulsion fitts & doth often bleed.” Only she & her husband were in the house, to her knowledge. Admits that she and Maurice Betts “had words severall times together but never said that Shee could tell which would touch said Morris his life, but that hee hath done many things which did not please her at about cleering the house in Season. She doth not know but that Folber [?] might report that her house was as bad as Goodwife Thomas’s.” Says she has not washed for 18 yrs. without bloody linen. She does not deny that she has quarreled with MB, but she denies that she ever quarreled with the deceased. She remembers a quarrel one night b/w Mosely and Brest, but not b/w the deceased. & Brest. “She knew Morrice to starle as if he had been affrighted & that hee kept his sword by his bed” & he said “he had reason to do so.” She fears that MB “had a hand in Lewis his death.” Has no knowledge of why no inquiry was made after EL disappeared. // the night of the alleged murder, Morrice “asked for another quart of wine & told him that he should not have one drop more that night upon which Morrice abused her in his words. That Edward Lewis went from her house on Saturday in ye afternoon.” d.d. 4/23/1675

Hannah Hinckman: wit. lived 3 mo. with Dorothy Jones — only saw Edward Lewis once, when he was asleep in a bed in his clothes in the house on Saturday & “lay there the night before.” Never heard of any quarrel b/w EL & MB until Monday. Says that the bloody sheets came from her master & mistress’s room, not from EL’s. She knows “nothing of gaming” in the house. “She owns that shee did wish she had never been in said Jones her house for ye bad reports that have been of it whereby shee hast lost ye love of her freinds & that her [mistress] had been a very ___ [Cass?] woman.” d.d. 4/23/1675

Samuel Johnson (24): about a fortnight ago, wit. came into Mrs. Jones’s house one night & she “called him into a room & discoursed with him about Morrice Bree & told him that the sd Morice was very cross & had carried it very uncivilly to her since her husband dyed & said he had not need carry it soo cross to her Shee knew of that which could hang him if she would.” d.d. 4/23/1675

Samuel Mosby: about 10 weeks ago, wit. was in company with Edward Lewis, Maurice Betts, & Mr. Sedwick and Capt. Weaver at night at the coffee house. Witness fell asleep. “when he awaked he saw Morris Breck and Ed: Lewis quarreling they having bin at card playing and ___ he parted them, and took uip Lewis his quarrell.” Zachary Crispe told witness the week following that EL “was gone to ____.” Saw EL Friday about 4 o’clock: says that MB “took up a pot or candlestick” and struck EL.

MB: says they were playing cards for money. Denies that he had a quarrel with EL or that he was in company with him on the night in question.

Andrew Gibs: took up a had at Mr. Gib’s wharf the Sat. before Mr. Gib’s died, Jan. 17. That was a week after EL was at the coffee house. “Mr. Atkinson said he knew the hat and that he had formerly sold such a hat to Lewis.”

Arthur Mason: “he met Capt Mosly with his Sword, onhje Day and a little after Morris Breck came with a Sword, and Morris Breck went into the Common, and they ware intended to fight. Said Mason hindered them, Capt Mosly & Morris told mee the ocasion of the quarrel was Mosle’s taking another mans part.” MB had gotten the sword at 1am one night at Pollard’s, saying he needed it because he was going away.

Records of the Court of assistants of the colony of the Massachusetts bay … By Massachusetts. Court of Assistants.

1675 – Dorothy Jones being Comitted to prison in order to hir tryall was brought A the barr & being presented and Indicted by the Grand Jury holding vp hir hand at the barr was Indicted by the name of Dorothy Jo[a]nes for not having the feare of God before hir eyes & being instigated by the diuill did murder the late Edward Leuis a lodger in hir house some times in January or february last Contrary to the peace of our Soueraigne Lord the King his Croune & dignity the lawe* of God & of this Jurisdiction the Jury after pernsall of ye Indictment & euidences in the Cafee produced brought in their virdict they found hir not Guilty

Maurice Bret being in like manner Comitted to Prison was brought to the barr & holding vp his hand was Indicted by the name of maurice Brett of Boston for not hauiug the feare of God before his eyes & being instigated by the Divill did in the house of morgan Jones or elswhere murder the late Edward Leuis a lodger in the house in or about January or february last Contrary to the peace of our Soueraigne Lord the King his Croune & dignity the lawes of God & this Jurisdiction = after ye Indictment & euidences were Comitted to ye Jury, the Jury brought in their virdict they found ye prisoner at the barr not Guilty

Zeckariah Crispe being Also Comitted to the prison as Jones & Bret was brought to the barr was Indicted by the name of Zekariah Crispe of Groaten for not hauing the feare of God before his eyes & being Insticated by the Divil did in the house of the late morgan Jones or elswhere in Boston murder the late Edward Leuis a lodger in the house in or about January or february last contrary to the peace of our Soueraign Lord the King his Croune & dignity the lawes of God & of this Jurisdiction. the Indictm’ & euidence alike Comitted to ye Jury who brought in their virdict they found the prisoner not Guilty.

Note: One of the defendants, Maurice Bret, was found guilty of adultery with Mrs. Mary Gibbs of Boston. (Assistants, 1: 56) on 19 Nov 1675, just a couple months after the murder case.

Maurice Brett was Indicted by the name of Maurice Brett now of Boston for not hauing the feare of God before his eyes being instigated by the divil did on the [blank in the original] day of [blank in the original]  last Comitt Adultery with mary Gibbs contrary to the peace of ou’ Soueraigne Lord the king his Crowne & dignitye the lawes of God & of this Jurisdicon To wch Indictment he pleaded not guilty put himself on trjall on God & the Country After the Indictment & euidences in the Case produced were read Comitted to the Jury the Jury brought In their virdict they found him not legally Guilty but Guilty of very filthy carriage  The Court Considering the Case sentenct him to goe from hence to ye prison & thence to be Carrjed to the Gallows & there wth a Roape about his necke to stand half an hower & thenc tied to the Carts tajle & whipt seuerely wth thirty nine stripes and that he be banished this Jurisdiction & kept in prison till he be sent away paying the prison chardges A he is dischardged

Mary Gibbs the wife of * Gibbs of Boston for ye same fact was alike Indicted guilty and found & had the like sentence banishment excepted

In the Case of maurice Brett for his Contemptuous Carriage Confronting the sentenc of this Court was sentenct to stand in the pillory on ye morrow at one of ye clock his eare nayld to ye pillory & after an howrs standing there to be cut of & to pay twenty shilling for his swearing or be whipt wth ten stripes.

Increase Mather, “Diary,” in Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, ser. 2, 13 (1899-1900), 340-374, 398-411.

CAS DRO in MA (400-1): 9/14/1675: the ferry boat coming from Charlestown sank in the midst of the river. 14 passengers & 3 horses on board. John Shadock of Watertown was drowned. “He had been wonderfully preserved in the fight w ye Indians when Capt Beers was killed. It is said that just before this evil befel him, he had been in ye Tavern inveighing against the Magistrates & that he was in drink when drowned. In the same boat Crisp was a passanger, who was lately tryed on [ ] suspicion in respect of the Murder committed in the winter. not evidence enough to take away his life. He was bid not to go into the boat because of the danger, but he derided saying He yt was born to be hanged, will never be drowned, & he was not drowned, though in such guilt. It is to be feared yt at last hanging may be his Portion.”

7. Mercy Crispe

Mercy’s husband Robert Parrish was born in 1635 in Cambridge, Middlesex, Mass. His parents were Thomas Parrish and Mary Danforth. Robert died 5 Sep 1709 in Chelsea, Suffolk, Mass

8. Deliverance Crispe

Deliverance’s husband William Longley was born in 1640 in Frisby, Lincolnshire, England. His parents were William Longley and Joanna Goffe. William was killed in an Indian attack 27 Jul 1694 in Groton, Middlesex, Mass.

Deliverance aged 20, testified with Benjamin Crispe in the suit of Cooper vs. Parish in 1670, and it is probable that she was his daughter, unless she was the wife of his son Jonathan, otherwise unknown.

The first of the French and Indian Wars, King William’s War (1689–97) was the name used in the English colonies in America to refer to the North American theater of the Nine Years’ War (1688–97, also known as the War of the Grand Alliance). It was fought between England, France, and their respective American Indian allies in the colonies of Canada (New France), Acadia, and New England.

27 Jul 1694 –  Deliverance and her husband were killed in an Abenaki Indian attack.  Early in the morning of the attack on William and Deliverance Longley’s home the Indians turned Longley’s cattle out of the barnyard into the cornfield and then lay in ambush. The stratagem worked. Longley rushed out of the house unarmed, in order to drive the cattle back, when he was murdered and all his family either killed or captured. The bodies of the slain were buried in one grave, a few rods northwest of the house. A small apple tree growing over the spot and a stone lying even with the ground, for many years furnished the only clue to the final resting place of this unfortunate family, but these have now disappeared…..Lydia, John and Betty were the names of the 3 children carried off by the Indians, and taken to Canada.    Lydia was sold to the French and placed in the Congregation of Notre Dame, a convent in Montreal, where she embraced the Roman Catholic faith, and died July 20, 1758. Betty died soon after her capture from hunger and exposure; and John remained with the Indians more than 4 years, when he was ransomed and brought away. At one time during his captivity he was on the verge of starvation, when an Indian kindly gave him a dog’s foot to gnaw, which for the time appeased his hunger. He was known among his captors as John Augary. After he came home his sister Lydia wrote from Canada urging him to give up the Protestant religion; but he remained true to the faith of his early instruction.

It is said that daughter Jemima was scalped and left for dead during the attack, but survived and later married and had children.

William and Deliverance Longley Memorial – The inscription reads: Near this spot dwelt William and Deliverance Longley with their eight children On the 27th day of July 1694 the Indians killed the father and the mother and five of the children and carried into captivity the other three

The monument can be found off Longley Road in Groton, Mass.  The monument was erected in the autumn of 1879, at the expense of the town of Groton, Mass, on land generously given for the purpose by Mr. Zachariah Fitch, the present owner of the farm; and it was dedicated with appropriate exercises on Feb. 20, 1880

Joanna, the widow of Benjamin Crispe, and mother of William Longley, made her will April 13, 1698, (admitted to probate in Middlesex Co., Ma. the following Dec.) and in it she remembered these absent children: “I give and bequeath unto my three Grand-Children that are in Captivity if they returne, these books one of them a bible, another a Sermon booke treating of faith and the other a psalms book”.

John Longley returned about the time when the grandmother died; and subsequently he filled many important offices both in the church and the town.  It is said he took kindly to life among the Indians, notwithstanding hardships, and, had it not been for determined efforts on the part of his relatives and the Massachusetts government, he would probably have become an Indian chief.  He was ransomed by the government and, with great difficulty, induced to return to civilization.  He remained with the Abenaqui for 4 years. According to his deposition given in 1736, he spent the last 2 ½ years of his captivity as a servant to Chief Madocawando of the Penobscot tribe.

Madockwando Portrait

Madockawando (c. 1630 Maine – 1698) was a sachem of the Penobscot Indians, an adopted son of Assaminasqua whom he succeeded. The Penobscot lands, lying east of Penobscot River, were a part of Acadia, which was given back to France in 1667 by the Treaty of Breda, though the English claimed that the country between the Penobscot and the St. Croix River was included in the Duke of York’s patent. The Indians were brought under French influence by Jean-Vincent d’Abbadie de Saint-Castin, known as Castin in the New England Chronicles. Castin settled among them, and married a daughter of Madockawando.

When King Philip’s confederacy rose against Plymouth Colony, the eastern Indians and the English settlers in Maine and New Hampshire became involved in war. The Penobscots were the first to treat for peace among the Indian tribes, and offered to enter into an alliance with the English. Articles were drawn and subscribed at Boston on 6 November 1676, and the peace was ratified by Madockawando. The English, however, found a pretext for renewing hostilities. The Indians were successful, and destroyed all the English settlements in that part of Maine.

In 1678 a treaty was made at Casco whereby the English were permitted to return to their farms on the condition of paying rent to the Indians. The peace was kept until the territorial dispute with France was brought to an issue in 1688 by Gov. Edmund Andros, who arrived among the Penobscots in a frigate, plundered Castin’s house, and destroyed his fort. The Indian chiefs took up the quarrel, being abundantly supplied with arms by Castin, attacked the white settlements, and thus began King William’s War. Madockawando took a prominent part in the atrocities of this war.

When the English built Fort William Henry at Pemaquid he hastened to Quebec to carry the intelligence to Frontenac, but divulged it to John Nelson, whose messengers warned the authorities in Boston of Iberville’s expedition. In 1693 the English gained Madockawando’s consent to a treaty of peace, yet he was unable to persuade the chiefs who were under the influence of FrenchJesuit emissaries, and was compelled to recommence hostilities. The Indian war continued for more than a year after the Peace of Ryswick had been concluded between France and England, until by the Treaty of Casco of 7 January 1699 the Penobscots acknowledged subjection to the crown of England. In the later operations Castin was their leader, Madockawando having been, perhaps, one of the chiefs treacherously slain by Capt. Pascho Chubb at a conference at Pemaquid in February 1696.

When he was ransomed from captivity, accounts record it was very much against his will.  He became, instead of a great Indian Sachem, a respectable deacon of the church and leading citizen of Groton, Mass. Like his father and grandfather, he was the town clerk during several years. After his four year captivity, he had a long and successful life. He married, first, about 1705, Sarah Prescott, the daughter of Jonas Prescott and Mary Loker Prescott. Sarah died Mar 8,1718 at Groton,MA.  He married, second, on Nov 30,1720 at Lancaster,MA, Deborah (Wilder) Houghton. She was the widow of Robert Houghton Jr.

Children(by first marriage): Sarah Longley Woods, William Longley, John Longley Jr, Jonas Longley, and Lydia Longley Farnsworth.

Children(by second marriage): Zachariah Longley, Joseph Longley, Jonathan Longley, Zachariah Longley, Nathaniel Longley, Robert Longley, and an infant daughter.

John Longley Headstone – Inscription: Here lies buried Ye body of Deac John Longley who departed this life, May Ye 25th AD l750 in Ye 68th year of his age.

“Dictionnarie Genealogique des Families Canadiennes depusis la fondation de la Colnis jusq’s nos jours” par l’ Abbe. C. Tanguay, A. D. S., Quebec, Canada, MDCCCLXCXI, p. 623:

Lydia was separated from her brother and taken to Villa Marie (Montreal), where she was offered for ransom to the French. Lydia’s ransom was paid by Jacques LeBer, a distinguished, wealthy resident of Montreal, in whose household she was gently cared for and treated with kindness and consideration. For two years she lived and moved in a world so foreign to any she had ever known, and then, by her own decision, reversed her principles, and united with the Catholic Church. On April 24,1696 shortly after her twenty-second birthday, she was baptized into that faith and given the name of Lydia Madeleine.

Within the year Lydia was admitted to the Congregation as a novice and on Sept. 19, 1699 took her final vows, and as Soeur Madeleine de la Congregation de Notre Dame, became the first girl of United States birth to become a Roman Catholic nun. In 1722, she was living on the Isle of Orleans, near Quebec, in the convent of the Holy family, of which it was supposed she was the Mother Superior.

On July 21, 1758, almost sixty-four years after her capture, Lydia Longley de Ste. Madeleine, Englishwoman of the Congregation of Notre Dame, died in her eighty-fifth year, and was buried in the Chapel of the Infant Jesus in the parish church in Montreal. Monique Lanthier, Montreal historian, states: The first church was demolished in 1830. The bodies were then buried under the new church and remained there until 1855 when they were moved to the new cemetery on Mount Royal, Notre-dame-des-Neiges-Cemetery. This is the largest cemetery in North America. There are almost 1,000,000 buried there.

Lydia’s Baptism Record

“Tuesday, April 24, 1696 – ceremony of baptism performed on English girl, Lydia Longley b. April l4, l674 at Groton, MA a few miles from Boston in New England. She was the daughter of William Longley and Deliverance Crispe, protestants. She (Lydia Longley) was captured in the month of July 1694 by the Abenaqui Indians and has lived for the past month in the house of the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame. The godfather was M. Jacques Leber, merchant; the godmother was Madame Marie Madeleine Dupont, wife of M. de Maricourt, Ecuyer, Capt. of a company of Marines; she named the English girl Lydia Madeleine.

Signed: Lydia Madeleine Longley

Madeleine Dupont


M. Caille acting curate

Sister Madeleine died at the house of the Sisters of the Congregation de Notre Dame, July 20, 1758, at the age of 84 years. Her remains and those of Sister Marguerite (who was her relative, Sarah Tarbell, of Groton) were buried in the little cemetery connected with the convent.


From Sarah Hildreth 1958 

Who begot thee?: Some genealogical and historical notes made in an effort to trace the American progenitors of one individual living in 1903 … By Gilbert Oliver Bent 1903

This entry was posted in 13th Generation, Historical Monument, Immigrant - England, Line - Shaw, Storied, Violent Death and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Benjamin Crispe

  1. Pingback: Untimely Deaths | Miner Descent

  2. Pingback: George Lawrence | Miner Descent

  3. Pingback: Unusual Names | Miner Descent

  4. Pingback: Crimes and Misdemeanors | Miner Descent

  5. Pingback: John Diamond | Miner Descent

  6. Pingback: Edmund Hobart | Miner Descent

  7. Pingback: Robert Pease – The Former | Miner Descent

  8. Pingback: Robert Pease – The Former | Miner Descent

  9. Pingback: First Comers | Miner Descent

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s