Rev. Robert Peck

Rev. Robert PECK (1580 – 1658)  was Alex’s 11th great grandfather, one of 4,096 in this generation of the Miner line.  He was known for what the eminent Norfolk historian Rev. Francis Blomefield called his “violent schismatical spirit.” Peck lowered the chancel railing of the church, in accord with Puritan sentiment that the Anglican church of the day was too removed from its parishioners. He also antagonized ecclesiastical authorities with other forbidden practices.

The Pecks were exceptional among our ancestors having a coat of arms at the time of their immigration
Eric Peck says “The crest is almost correct. I believe the center rose is actually white to represent the house of York. This is on my hand painted crest that I have”

Rev. Robert Peck was born at Beccles, Suffolk, England, in 1580. His parents were Robert PECK and Helen BABBS. He was graduated at Magdalene College, Cambridge; the degree of A. B. was conferred upon him in 1599, and that of A. M., in 1603.  He married Anne LAWRENCE 21 May 1603 in Hingham, Norfolk, England.  He was set apart to the ministry, inducted over the church at Hingham, Norfolk County, England, January 8, 1605, where he remained until 1638. when he fled from the persecutions of the church to this country after the crackdown by Archbishop Laud.

The College of St Mary Magdelene, Cambridge

Robert and Family sailed for America in the ‘Diligent‘ of Ipswich (master John Martin – left in June and arrived Boston 10 Aug 1638 with about 100 passengers) and joined settlement of Hingham – many important residents went with him (Buck, Chamberlain, Cooper, Cushing, Foulsham, Stephen GATES, James , Joseph PECK, Ripley and Tufts).  Joseph PECK, Robert’s brother, is also our ancestor and sailed with second wife and four children (Joseph, Nicholas, Simon, and Rebecca) plus two men servants and three maid servants. Robert took his wife Anne (nee Lawrence) their children including -Joseph and Robert and/or Thomas and Ann) and two servants.

Rev. Robert Peck was a Puritan in Hingham, England at the time the Archbishop was seeking to make the Church the supreme agency in the government. Among other rulings, he forbade the right of assembly. It was for this offense that Robert Peck and his people were disciplined. Peck had been repeating the catechism with a group of his parishioners, and with them had sung a psalm. He “had infected his parish with strange opinions”. A man could be fined, exiled, perhaps banished or killed for like offenses. Many charged with similar offenses had already fled to Holland or the Americas. Peck was a marked man, three times reported to Parliament and had to answer to Bishop Wren for each charge. And in 1635 Peter Hobart [son of our ancestor Edmund HOBART who immigrated two years before in 1633- and a group from Hingham, England left for Massachusetts to found the New Hingham.   Some of the offences for which Robert and his followers were persecuted include catechised his family and singing a psalm in his own house on a Lord’s day evening.  When some of his neighbors attended, his lordship (Bishop Harsnet) enjoined all who were present to do penance, requiring them to say, “I confess my errors,” etc.

Robert Peck became rector of St Andrews Church in Hingham, Norfolk, England on 6 Jan 1605.  He was forced to flee to America in 1638, but returned in 1641.

Those who refused were immediately excommunicated, required to pay heavy costs.  According to Brooks “Lives of the Puritans” this  appears from the bishop’s manuscripts under his own hands.  He says, “he was driven from his flock, deprived of his bencfice, forced to seek his gread in a foreign land.”

In 1636 Robert was in trouble with superiors – some of his flock objecting to Roman Catholic influence broke into church and caused destruction – Robert was held responsible- also his holding of prayer meetings in private houses was against church law so he was called before a consistory court in Norwich and charged with “contumacious disobedience to the orders and ceremonies of the church”. He refused to subscribe to the ‘new articles ‘ and was excommunicated- his living sequestered. 18 months later (1638)9+ Robert became teacher at the church and assisted its first minister , Peter Hobart.

The cost to those who emigrated was steep. They “sold their possessions for half their value”, noted a contemporary account, “and named the place of their settlement after their natal town.”  The cost to the place they left behind was also high: Hingham was forced to petition Parliament for aid, claiming that the departure of its most well-to-do citizens had left it hamstrung.

Robert’s son Joseph, daughter Anne and two servants came over with him.   After Anne died, he may have married Mrs. Martha Bacon, widow of James Bacon, Rector of Burgate in 1630 in Hingham, Norfolk, England, but other stories say Anne lived until 1648.  He married his last wife, Martha Honeywood Aug 1648 in Hingham, Norfolk, England.

Robert Peck – Signature

He remained here until the long Parliament, or until the persecutions in England ceased, when he returned resumed his Rectorship at Hingham, England.  Mr. Hobart says he returned October 27, 1641; Mr. Cushing, the town clerk says his wife and son Joseph returned with him; His daughter Anne remaining here. She married Captain John Mason, “the conqueror of the Pequots.”

Robert’s  remaing parishioners in Old Hingham missed him. They petitioned Parliament to allow him to return. And in 1641, Rev. Robert Peck did return to his church in Old Hingham. In 1654 Peck was appointed on a Parliamentary Commission to “eject the scandalous, ignorant and inefficient minister and schoolmasters of Norfolk and Norwich.” He died 10 Aug 1658 in Hingham, Norfolk, England and was buried near his wife and his church.  His funeral sermon was preached by Nathaniel Joslin and was published.

Robert Peck – Headstone – Hingham Cemetery, Norfolk, England Findagrave created Created by: Dave Peck

Anne Lawrence  was born in 1582 in Hingham, England.  Her parents were John LAWRENCE and Elizabeth HERNE.  Anne  died at Hingham, England and was buried there August 30, 1648.

Martha Watson may have been born 1584 in Beccles, Suffolk, England.

Martha Honeywood was born 1590 in Hingham, Norfolk, England. Her parents were George Woodward (1549 – 1598) and Elizabeth Honeywood (1561 – 1631) She first married Rev. Francis Bacon, Rector of Burgate. in 1619 in London. In her husband Robert Peck’s will he states “I give to my now wife Martha Pecke 40 ls. to be paid wthin twoe months after my decease. Martha died 1658 in England.

Martha’s first husband was rector of St Mary’s Church Burgate, Suffolk

Children of Robert and Anne:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Robert Peck bapt
23 July 1607
11 Apr 1648
2. Thomas Peck 6 Sep 1608
Beccles,  Suffolk, England
1668
Mass
3. Joseph Peck 22 Apr 1610Beccles, Suffolk, England Mrs. Alice (Heath) Burwell?
12 Sep 1650, Milford, CT
.
Mary Richards
1669
New Haven, CT
Returned to England or
26 Feb 1700/01 Milford, CT
4. Benjamin Peck 29 Sep 1611
Beccles, Suffolk, England
1656
Mass
5. Samuel Peck 13 Sep 1614 Died Young
6. Nathaniel Peck 13 Sep 1614 Deliverance [Bosworth?] 1658
Mass
7. Samuel Peck 1 Mar 1615/16
8. Daniel Peck 8 Jun 1616 8 Jun 1616
9. Anne PECK 1 Nov 1619
Hingham, England
Maj. John MASON
Jul 1640 Hingham, Mas
30 Jan 1671/72 Norwich, CT

I  thought this was Robert Peck’s portrait, but actually it’s  his contemporary Richard Mather (1596-1669)

Another version of Robert’s nonconformity in England

In 1600, Robert was 20 years of age. He was an inducted over the parish of Hingham on 8 Jan 1605 in Hingham, Norfolk Co., England. He was educated at Magdalene College: A.B. in 1599, and A.M. in 1603 in Cambridge, England.

Following ministers Rev. Robert Peck and Rev. Peter Hobart, 143 people emigrated from the parish of St. Andrew between 1633 and 1640; a further sixty-two left neighboring towns and villages.

Peck had a long record of non-conformity. A man of presbyterian leanings, like his younger Hingham-born colleague, “the old fox,” as he was known to the bishop’s officials, had been convicted as far back as 1615 of teaching the Puritan scruples against the requirement “to kneel when they came into church” and of saying “it is superstition to bow at the name of Jesus.” In 1622 he and twenty-two “saints” were charged with conventicling.” Like Cotton at Boston, Lincholnshire, he appears to have been acknowledging a church of the elect within the wider St. Andrew’s congregation. This elite of the saved  probably obeyed the summons of a special ringing of the church bell when the vicar was to pray and preach. A different toll signified the despised Book of Common Prayer services.

The last straw for the church authorities was Hingham’s response to the Laudian injunction that proper altars at the east end should replace the central communion tables. To Puritans this smacked of the return of the Papist Mass. In St. Andrews an altar was obediently placed at the east end, in a specially dug pit!

Even after his suspension in 1636, Peck continued to hold secret services for the elect. According to the family pedigree, his grandfather had similarly gone underground during the Catholic persecutions of Queen Mary’s time. The faithful supported him and his family with voluntary tithes.

Only the threat of summons before the draconian Court of High Commission in London drove the elderly minister and his devoted followers into exile in 1638. Some fellow villagers had already moved to New England, notably Edmund Hobart, who after a few years in Charlestown had settled in 1635 at Bear Cove on the south shore of Massachusetts Bay where he was joined by his son, Rev. Peter Hobart, who had ministered at Haverhill, Suffolk. That year Bear Cove was renamed Hingham — “New Hingham” would prove as independent and ornery as Old. The church retained its presbyterian bias among its congregationalist neighbors and fiercely asserted its local rights in the 1645 militia case, creating a constitutional crisis in the colony.

Genealogical History of the Descendants of Joseph Peck by Ira B. Peck 1868″.

Robert Peck was a talented influcntial clergyman, a zealous preacher, a nonconformist to the superstitutioons ceremonies curruptions of the church for which he was persecuted driven from the country. Brooks, in his lives of the puritains, gives many facts of interest in relation to him. In particularizing some of the offences for which he his followers were perscuted, he says, “for having catechised his family, sung a psalm in his own house on a Lord’s day evening, when some of his neighbors attended, his lordship (Bishop Harsnet) enjoined all who were present to do penance, requiring them to say, I confess my errors,” etc.

Those who refused were immediately excommunicated, required to pay heavy costs. This, Mr. Brooks says, appears from the bishop’s manuscripts under his own hands. He says, “he was driven from his flock, deprived of his bencfice, forced to seek his gread in a foreign land.”

Cotton Mather in speaking of his says,

He was by the good providence of heaven fetched away into New England about the year 1638, when the good people of Hingham did rejoice in the light for a season; but within two or three years, the invitation of his freinds of Hingham, England, pursuaded him to return to them, where being though great in person for stature, yet greater for spirit, he was greatly serviccable for the good of the church.

He arrived here in 1638. In relation to his arrival, the town clerk at Hingham here says: “Mr. Robert Peck, preacher of the gospel in the Town of Hingham, in the County of Norfolk, old England, with his wife two children, two servants, came over the sea settled in this town of Hingham, he was a Teacher of the Church.”

Mr. Hobart, of Hingham, says in his diary, that he was ordained here teacher of the church November 28, 1638. His name frequently appears upon the records of the town. He had lands granted him.

In Bloomfiled’s history of Norfolk is an allusion to Robert Peck, evidently prejudiced, as incorrect in other respects as it is in its dates.

Excerpt from the book “Genealogical History of the Descendants of Joseph Peck by Ira B. Peck 1868”

Rev. Robert Peck, the brother of Joseph the ancestor, was born at Becceles, Suffolk County, England, in 1580. He was graduated at Magdalen College, Cambridge; the degree of A. B. was conferred upon him in 1599, that of A. M., in 1603. He was set apart to the ministry, inducted over the church at Hingham, Norfolk County, England, January 8, 1605, where he remained until 1638. when he fled from the persecutions of the church to this country.

He was a talented influcntial clergyman, a zealous preacher, a nonconformist to the superstitutioons ceremonies corruptions of the church for which he was persecuted driven from the country.   Brooks, in his lives of the puritains, gives many facts of interest in relation to him. In particularizing some of the offences for which he his followers were perscuted, he says, “for having catechised his family, sung a psalm in his own house on a Lord’s day evening, when some of his neighbors attended, his lordship (Bishop Harsnet) enjoined all who were present to do penance, requiring them to say, I confess my errors,” etc..

Those who refused were immediately excommunicated, required to pay heavy costs. This, Mr. Brooks says, appears from the bishop’s manuscripts under his own hands. He says, “he was driven from his flock, deprived of his bencfice, forced to seek his gread in a foreign land.”

Cotton Mather in speaking of his says, he was by the good providence of heaven fetched away into New England about the year 1638, when the good people of Hingham did rejoice in the light for a season; but within two or three years, the invitation of his freinds of Hingham, England, pursuaded him to return to them, where being though great in person for stature, yet greater for spirit, he was greatly serviccable for the good of the church.

He arrived here in 1638. In relation to his arrival, the town clerk at Hingham here says: “Mr. Robert Peck, preacher of the gospel in the Town of Hingham, in the County of Norfolk, old England, with his wife two children, two servants, came over the sea settled in this town of Hingham, he was a Teacher of the Church.” Mr. Hobart, of Hingham, says in his diary, that he was ordained here teacher of the church November 28, 1638. His name frequently appears upon the records of the town. He had lands granted him.

His family as seen upon the chart consisted of nine children. His son Joseph daughter Annd came over with him. He was twice married. His first wife Anne, died at Hingham, England, was buried there August 30, 1648. His second wife was Mrs. Martha Bacon, widow of James Bacon, Rector of Burgate.

He remained here until the long Parliament, or until the persecutions in England ceased, when he returned resumed his Rectorship at Hingham, England.

Mr. Hobart says he returned October 27, 1641; Mr. Cushing, the town clerk says his wife son Joseph returned with him; His daughter Anne remaining here. She married Captain John Mason, “the conqueror of the Pequots.” Her children were, Priscilla, Samuel, John, Rachel, Ann, Daniel Elizabeth. Samuel married for his second wife, his second cousin Elizabeth Peck daughter of Joseph Peck, of Rehoboth, Mass.

He {Rev. Robert Peck}died at Hingham, England, was buried in his churchyard there. His funeral sermon was preached by Nathaniel Joslin published.

Children

3. Joseph Peck

Joseph’s first wife Alice Heath was born in 1612 in Hertfordshire, England. Her parents were William Heath and Agnes Cheney. She first married John Burwell 24 Jun 1635 in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England. John was previously married two times in England before his marriage to Alice. They came to America and settled in Roxbury, MA before moving to Wethersfield and then Milford, CT by 1639. The church records recording his admission to the church in July of 1641 have the entry “John Burwell of Hertfordshire, husband to Alice”. The family had lot no. 44 consisting of 2 acres. After John died 17 Aug 1649 in Milford, New Haven, CT, Alice married Joseph Peck 12 Sep 1650 in Milford, CT and had three more children. Alice died 19 Dec 1666 Milford, CT.

John Burwell Memorial Milford CT

Joseph’s second wife Mary Richards was born about 1631 in Hartford, Hartford, CT. Her father was Thomas Richards of Waterbury, CT (1600-1639) She was admitted to the church in Milford 26 Nov 1669. Mary died 26 FEB 1700 in Milford, New Haven, CT.

Joseph was admitted to the Milford Church in May of 1652. Joseph was first in New Haven, admitted freeman, then removed to Milford.

Joseph Peck 1701 Milford Cemetery Milford New Haven County Connecticut, USA  — No grave marker remains.  Picture of the inscriptions on the bridge over the Wepawaug River running through Milford. The Founder’s names were placed here.

Children of Joseph and Alice:

i. Elizabeth Peck bp. 27 July 1651 Milford, m. 29 Dec 1677 to Sgt. Thomas Hayes and removed to Newark, N.J.

ii. Joseph Peck b. 20 March 1652/53, d. 1 Mar 1731, m. 27 Jan 1678/79 Mary Camp.

Feb. 8, 1702/3 Ens. Joseph Peck’s name appears on an “Indian Deed to the Proprietors of New Milford”, as part of a committee of seven Milford men that purchased the land for the plantation of New Milford.   

Ens. Joseph Peck, Samuel Clarke, Jr. & Jonathan Law are appointed a committee to meet with Stratford men who claim part of the New Milford land.

Joseph, Jr. was prominent in civic affairs and in the colonial militia, in which he served as lieutenant from the time of receiving his commission until 1709.

Lieut. Joseph & Mary were the parents of 11 known chldren, one of which was Samuel Peck, a Captain in the Revolutionary War.

Lt Joseph Peck ” Here Lyes the Body of / Lieut. Joseph Peck/ Deces’d March the 1st 1731/2 in the 79 year of his age”  Milford Cemetery Milford, New Haven, CT

iii. John Peck b. 4 Mar 1654 Milford, CT

Children of Joseph and Mary

iv. Mary Peck, b. 29 April 1670 Milford, bp. 1 May 1670, m. William Northrup, bp. 9 June 1667 Milford, d. 1728, son of Joseph and Mary (Norton) Northrup Anna bp. 25 Aug 1672 Milford.

6. Nathaniel Peck

Nathaniel’s wife Deliverance [Bosworth?] was born about 1615 in Engalnd. Deliverance died 30 Apr 1675 in Sawnsea, Bristol, Mass

Nathaniel was an original purchaser in Hingham Mass in the 1635 land grants. Nathaniel’s wife Deliverance died 30 Apr 1675 in Sawnsea, Bristol, Mass.

9. Anne PECK (See Maj. John MASON‘s page)

Sources:

http://boards.ancestry.com/surnames.peck/545.614/mb.ashx

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~greenefamily/greene/pafg1731.htm

http://our-royal-titled-noble-and-commoner-ancestors.com/p355.htm#i10641

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18 Responses to Rev. Robert Peck

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  5. John Peck says:

    I am looking for any info as too the orgen of the Peck family. Are you aware of any anestors for ” William (sir, of Wickhambrook)Pecche” born 1059; died 1100.

    • markeminer says:

      I also found that there are three possible origins of the Peck surname. The first was a metonymic occupational name for someone who dealt in weights and measures, either as a civil official responsible for ensuring that goods were sold at the correct weight, or a corn merchant, one who dealt in “pekkes”. A pekke was a medieval measure of dry goods and equivalent to eight quarters of twenty eight pounds each. This was a large weight, but one that was used even into the 20th century in England. The second source is from a variant of Peak, a topographical surname for someone who lived by a pointed hill. Here the derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th century word “peac”, meaning a point. Thirdly the name could be locational from the Peak District of Derbyshire, and as such was derived from the descriptive word “peac-land”. The first recording is from the occupational source of the name.

    • markeminer says:

      Now I have found sources that complete the twenty generations between John Peck was born about 1126 in Belton, Yorkshire, England and our Rev. Robert Peck. Lots and lots of Richards, Johns, Roberts and Thomases!
      http://our-royal-titled-noble-and-commoner-ancestors.com/p355.htm#i10641
      http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~greenefamily/greene/pafg1649.htm#87548

  6. markeminer says:

    Ira Peck, author of the 1868 book “Genealogical History of the Descendants of Joseph Peck” found an 18th Century book called. ‘Bloomfield’s history of Norfolk. ” that included a detailed Peck genealogy chart found in that book’s front. Apparently this chart contains 22 generations from Rev. Robert’s ancestors back to John Peck Esq. of Belton, Yorkshire, England who married the daughter of Melgrave, However he only copied generations 18, 19, 20 and 21 into his book, going back to Rev. Robert Peck’s great-grandfather, John PECK Esq. of Wakefield, England {# 18 on chart} married Joan daughter of John Arne of Trickley. Apparently, there’s more, but I haven’t found it.

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  13. Dave Peck says:

    It should be noted that the photo of Rev Robert Peck’s grave in Hingham,
    England is one that I took in 2010. It is a likely candidate for his stone but not a certain one.
    Also I would like to know the source of the drawing of Rev Robert Peck in religious garb. He refused to wear the surplice.
    Thanks,
    Dave Peck

    • markeminer says:

      Hi Dave,

      Thanks for the photo, I footnote the gravestone photos by putting a link to the findagrave.com record on the date of death.

      Several ancestry.com personal pages had this portrait which they claimed was Rev. Robert Peck. Last night I discovered it was actually a portrait of Richard Mather (1596-1669)

      Thanks for the heads up,
      Mark

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