William Woodcock Sr.

William WOODCOCK Sr. (1586 – 1638) was Alex’s 10th Great Grandfather, one of 2,048 in this generation of the Shaw line.

William Woodcock  Immigrant Ancestor

William Woodcock  was born 1586 in London, Middlesex, England.  He was the son of William WOODCOCK .  He married Alice WASHBURNE.  William died 12 Oct 1638 in London, England.

Alice Washburn was born Jan 01, 1595 in London, Middlesex, England; died 1688.  She was the daughter of Robert WASHBURNE and Mary HERIOT.  Alice died

Children of William and Mary:

Name Born Married Departed
1. William WOODCOCK 1610
Oct 1648
Hingham, Norfolk, Mass.
Mary [__?__]
10 Dec 1663
Rehoboth, Mass
17 Oct 1703 in Attleboro, Mass.
2. Thomas Woodcock  1612
 After 1674
Boston, Mass?
3. Samuel Woodcock 1617
London, England
4. Daniel Woodcock 1620
London, England
5. Mary Woodcock 1622
Robert Bridges
6. Sarah Woodcock 1625
London, England
7. John Woodcock 20 Jul 1627
London, England
Sarah Curtis
bef. 1645
Roxbury, Mass
Joanna [__?__]
 20 Oct 1701
Attleboro, Mass



1. William WOODCOCK (See his page)

2. Thomas Woodcock

the family tradition is that “three brothers Woodcock came to this country from England about the middle of the 17th century, and settled at Attleboro. They were evidently men with some ready capital. The manuscript records at Attleboro, give a history of John Woodcock, and the proprietor’s records of Rehoboth mention a William, and a Thomas Woodcock appears in Boston in 1674 as a citizen.

7. John Woodcock

John was baptized on 20 Jul 1627 at Saint Antholin Budge Row, London, London, England and it shows his parents as William and Alis “Alice” Woodcock. The baptism records for his siblings are located at the same Saint Antholin Parrish.

John immigrated  20 Mar 1635/36 , with the Hull Company and is recorded as a husbandman aged 34, from Broadway, Co Somerset.  “Bound for New England, Waimouth, ye 20th of March, 1635, John Woodcock from Dorset–2.” He was the only one of that surname among the list of passengers there recorded. He was evidently a lone adventurer starting for the New World. We are led to believe that he was at the time of sailing about 22 yrs. of age.

John’s first wife Sarah Curtis was baptized  20 Jul 1627, St Antholin Parish Church, London or 05 Aug 1627 in Nazeing, Essex, England.  Her parents were William Curtis, Sr. and Sarah Eliot. Sarah died 29 Nov 1676 in Attleboro or Rehoboth, MA. Christening:
Immigrant Ancestor: 10 Mar 1635/36, England, Somerset, to MA
Migration: 10 Mar 1635/36, England to Massachusetts

After John died, his second wife, Joanna [__?__] married James Fowler, at Attleboro.

John Woodcock and family established a small settlement in North Attleborough in 1669, which subsisted on agriculture, fishing and hunting. By 1670, Woodcock had received a license to open a tavern. The settlement was attacked during King Philip’s War, with two killed and one home burned, but the garrison house which Woodcock had built survived the attack. The Woodcock-Garrison house was used as sleeping quarters for George Washington on his army’s march to Boston to rid the city of General Thomas Gage’s troops. The Garrison house is still open for tours and is an especially popular destination for field trips by local school children.

The old garrison house was torn down in 1806 and a large building was erected in its place, probably reusing much of the old wood. The addition was moved back a little to where it is located today and became a tavern. It was later turned into a dwelling house known as the “Aunt Cynthia Hatch House” a

Woodcock Garrison House all dressed up for Christmas

John Woodcock in Roxbury and Springfield

There is some doubt whether the John Woodcock in Roxbury in the 1630’s and 1640’s is the same person who built the first garrison house in North Attleborough in 1669.  Some doubt the connection because the early John was a rough character. The Roxbury records were destroyed by fire in 1652.

In the summer of 1635, William Pynchan of Roxbury received the consent of the general court of Mass. Bay to remove to the Connecticut river and despatched two men, John Cabel and John Woodcock, to “The Wilderness” for the purpose of erecting a habitation and preparing for those who were to follow. These men erected a structure on the west side of the Connecticut in the Meadow, which from this circumstance was subsequently called “House Meadow.” The house was doubtless occupied by Cabel and Woodcock during the summer, but being informed by the Indians that the site was subject to overflow, it was abandoned and a new location selected, and a house was erected on the east side of the river. The location of the first house is described in an entry made by John Holyoke in the Register of Deeds, 1779, “as that meadow on the south of Agauam river where the English did at first build a house, also where the English kept their residence who first came to settle and plant at Springfield now so called.”


William Pynchon, Founder of Roxbury and Springfield, Mass.

It seems quite probable that the John Woodcock here mentioned is the emigrant that left Waymouth on the 20th of March, 1635. That he was identical with John Woodcock of Rehoboth, the first American ancestor of the Woodcocks of Eastern Mass., is a question that has not been settled.  In comparing the histories of Woodcock of Springfield and Woodcock of Rehoboth a difference will be noted in the temperament and capabilities of the two men.

While living at the “new plantation” established by Pynchon, Woodcock was noted for his litigation and it is easy to follow him in the court records for the seven years that he made his home there. He was allotted a lot of land by the first proprietors. The size of the lot “8 rods wide” establishes the fact that Woodcock was a single man at this time, as married men were allotted “12 rods wide.”

The following is copied from the court records of William Pynchon, who was authorized by the General court to try causes:

14 Nov  1639 –   “A meetinge to order some towne affairs and to try causes by jury.

The Jury–Henry Smith, Henry Gregory, Jo Leonard, Jo Searles, Samuel Hubbard, Samuel Wright.

The Action–John Woodcock complains against Jo Cabel in an action of the case for wages due to him for certaine work he did to a house that was built in Agauam side for the plantation.

The Verdict–The jury finds for the defendant, but withal they find the promise that Jo Cabel made to the plaintiffe to see him paid for his work, firme and goode. But as for the five days in cominge up with John Cabel, we find them not due to be paid, for he came up not purposely, but in his coming he aimed at a lot each end of his he did attain. Moreover we do agree that John Cabel is ingaged to the plaintiffe for work done about the house, yet we also judge that Joe Woodcock is fully satisfied in regard that he hath had the use of the ould (indian) ground and of the house all that sommer as far as Joe Cabel had himselfe.”

2 Jan 1640 -“Rev. Mr. Moxon complained of John Woodcock for slander, Woodcock having accused the reverend gentleman of taking a false oath against him at Hartford.”

Then follows two suits of Woodcock vs. Gregory about a pigge and hogge. These trials are dated Feb., 1640, and Sept., 1640.

15 Feb  1641  – Robert Ashley complained of Woodcock for not delivering a gunn that the plaintiffe had purchased of him. Jan 5th, 1642.

In a 2nd division of plantinge ground single pfsons are to have 8 rods in bredth maryed pfsons 10 rod in bredth, bigger familys 12 rod, to begin upward at ye edge of ye hill. John Woodcock 8 rod in bredth. This shows Woodcock to have been a man with no family. His name does not appear again on the records of Springfield after Jan. 5th, 1642. Francis Ball is referred to as the owner of this lot (first occupied by Woodcock) in a report on the town records made in Feb., 1644.

From the County and Probate Records at Northampton Feb. 12th, 1690, Widow Abigail Stebbins testified “that her first husband, Francis Ball, bought of John Woodcock allotments in Springfield, and paid five pounds for his labor, and what he had done,” and at the same time Thomas Merrickesen, one of the ancient planters and settlers of Springfield, further confirmed Ball’s title to the land. This home lot that Woodcock sold to Ball for £5 was situated on the south side of what is now Elm street, and is now occupied by the Chicopee bank building, the Court Square Theatre building, Hamden County court house and many other buildings.”

Referring again to the case of Moxon vs. Woodcock the plaintiff claimed £9 and 19s. damages, and Woodcock being found guilty, £6 and 13s. was awarded. A few days after this, “John Searles, constable of Springfield” was required by the magistrate “to attach the body of John Woodcock upon an execution granted to Mr. George Moxon.”

Moxon seems to have persisted in getting satisfaction and carried the case up to the General court at Mass. Bay. In the “Bibliographical Sketch of the Colonial Laws of Mass., 1630 to 1686, we find

“Present, the Governor Wm. Winthrop, Increase Nowell,  the 12th, 3rd mo. 1642. John Woodcock for his many  miscarriages was censured to be whipt.”

Pioneer of North Attleboro

John Woodcock first appears of record in Rehoboth on the 28th, 4th m., 1647, when he is allotted by the proprietors the land before granted to Edward Patteson. He was living there as early as 1654, probably for some years previous. The precise date cannot be ascertained. He came from Roxbury, where he owned real estate. He was admitted a freeman there in 1673. He also had a grant of land in May, 1662, for a small house near the church at Rehoboth, for “Lord’s day.”

The first settlement within the bounds of the present [1886] town of Attleborough was in the neighborhood of the Baptist meetinghouse, where Hatch’s old tavern still stands. It was commenced by Mr. John Woodcock, his sons and their families, soon after the first division in 1669. Here he built a public house on the “Bay Road,” and fortified it as a garrison, and laid out lands to the amount of about three hundred acres, which afterwards made an excellent farm. At this time and subsequently he took up in several parts of the town about six hundred acres, part on his own shares, and the rest on rights which he purchased of Roger Amidown, James Redeway, Andrew Willett, etc. A part of this six hundred acres was on Bungay River, where Bishop’s shop once stood, and this he conveyed to his son Jonathan, with the ” saw-mill thereon standing.”

Woodcock built his house in 1669 and was licensed the following year to open a public house or tavern. He was warned to “keep good order” and that “no unruliness or ribaldry be permitted there.” Woodcock’s house was just one of several “garrison houses” built for protection against possible Indian attacks. Similar “garrison houses” were located in settlements such as Dedham, Seekonk and Swansea. In a cruel twist of fate, Woodcock’s “garrison house” failed to offer protection for a member of his own family. In April 1676, during King Philip’s War, Woodcock’s son, Nathaniel, was killed by Indians while working in a nearby corn field. The Indians cut off Nathaniel’s head and stuck it on a pole in front of the house. Nathaniel Woodcock was buried where he fell, and his grave is now in the center of what would become the Woodcock Cemetery.   Here is a Google Maps view, though the oldest existing headstone is dated 1755 and there are no Woodcock stones remaining.
Here is the letter John wrote asking for reinforcements

“Honored Governor and Council: I make bold to inform your honors that God has been pleased to give the heathen commission to break in upon us, who have slain two of my family, and another of my sons sorely wounded, shot with several bullets in the shoulders, but in the midst of our afflictions, God has shown us mercy. I was encouraged to keep my station by our authority, but of a sudden they were pleased to call off my garrison soldiers, and not giving me any warning, and I am in a great strait what to do. We are but fourteen of us, and but six that can bare arms, and most of us sick. I would intreat your honors to consider our afflicted condition, and send me some assistance for the present, until my family is able to draw off. And as my house and family have been serviceable to the country, I desire that I may not be forgotten by both colonies, but would intreat your honors to send me half a dozen men to relieve my family, for if I were able to go away I could not carry my provisions away with me. I have near a hundred bushels of corn in my house besides other provisions, and I bless God for it. And am very loth to go away and leave it to the heathen. We do judge that there is not above twelve or fifteen Indians that have have done all this evil, to our neighbors at Wrentham, and I would intreat your honors to send me a surgeon to dress my wounded son. I hope there is no danger to come if they come by night, Not to trouble you any further at present, begging your prayers, hoping God will move your hearts with compassion speedily to send us some relief, so I rest. Yours to serve in what I may,

April the 26th, 1676

At a meeting of the Council held at Boston, the 17th of June, 1676, at eight of the clock:

The Council being informed that the Indians are skulking to and again about Wrentham, Woodcocks (or Mount Hope) and having done mischief to the English. It is ordered that the Major of Suffolk issue out his orders forthwith for such a party as he judgeth is fit and necessary to repair to Dedham on 2nd day next early and range the woods to and again for the disarming, destroying and distressing of the enemy, wherever they find them, committing the conduct of that party to whome it seems mete. Ordering that each soldier be completely armed with firearms and ammunition, and provisions for four days. Past by the Council.

Instructions for Capt. Bratts

“Ordered to take 20 of his troops with such officers as he may choose, and an officer and ten troopers of Lieut. Haley’s troupe, and march to Dedham, where are ordered to be an officer and eighteen foot soldiers mounted from Dorchester, 6 from Roxbury and 24 from Dedham, with an officer. All appointed to be at Dedham, the rendezvous, this day at 4 p. m. S. C.

You are to march with your troopers and dragoons to be at John Woodcock’s by midnight, where you shall meet an Indian Pylot and his file of musketeers which pylot was engaged to bring you upon Philip and his company, who are not above 30 men as he saith, and not ten miles from Woodcock’s. Be sure to secure your pylot to prevent falsehood and escape. In case you meet not with a pylot at Woodcock’s you are to send to Mr. Newman at Rehoboth and let him know of your being there.”

Woodcock’s house was occupied for a garrison. It was licensed in 1670, according to the following record :—

“July 5th, 1670. John Woodcock is allowed by the Court to keep an Ordinary at the ten mile river (so called) which is in the way from Rehoboth to the Bay ; and likewise enjoined to keep good order, that no unruliness or ribaldry be permitted there.”—Old Col. Rec.

John’s name first appears in the Rehoboth records ” the 28th 4th mo. 1647,” when he bought the lands of Ed. Patterson. ” The town gave to John Woodcock the lot before granted to Edward Pateson.”  He also had a grant of land in May, 1662, for a small house near the church for ” the Lord’s day,” and he was living in Rehoboth as early as July 28, 1662 — probably for sometime previous — though the precise date of his settling there cannot be ascertained.

He came there from Roxbury, where he owned real estate, but where he had previously lived is not known. John was admitted a freeman of that town May 14, 1673.

Woodcock was a man of some consideration in those days, his name frequently appearing in town offices and on committees. June 2, 1691, he was chosen ” Deputy to the General Court” from Rehoboth, and at several other times.

He held Indian rights in very low estimation. On one occasion he took the liberty of paying himself a debt due to him from a neighboring Indian, without the consent of the debtor or the intervention of jndge, jury, or sheriff, — for which achievement he received the following sentence from the Court, — an example of the rigid justice of the Puritans:

” 1654 John Woodcock of Rehoboth, for going into an Indian house and taking away an Indian child and some goods in lien of a debt the Indian owed him, was sentenced to set in the stocks at Rehoboth an hour on a Training day, and to pay a fine of forty shillings.”—Old Col. Rec, Court Orders, Book 3d.

John Woodcock, Sen., died October 20, 1701, having arrived at a very advanced age in spite of the many attempts which had been made by the Indians to destroy him. It is said that after his death the scars of seven bullet holes were counted on his body. He was an inveterate and implacable enemy to the Indians — the cause of which will hereafter appear in the notice of some events in Philip’s war. In encounters with them, on several occasions, he ran imminent risks of his life. He was foremost in all enterprises the object of which was the destruction of the Indians. He was a very useful man as a pioneer in the dangers and hardships of a new settlement, being cunning in contrivance and bold and active in execution.

Woodcock’s Garrison was a well-known place of rendezvous in the great Indian war, and was probably for some years the only house, excepting its immediate neighbors, on the ” Bay Road,” between Rehoboth and Dedham, though this was then the main road from Rhode Island, Bristol, and Rehoboth to Boston. The Bay road extended first from Rehoboth through what is now ” the city,” to West Attleborough, north to Woodcock’s, thence over Ten Mile hill to Jacob Shepardsou’s in what is now Foxborough, thence through Dedham and Roxbury to Boston.

This ” Garrison” was one in a chain of fortifications extending from Boston to Rhode Island. There was one in Boston, one in Dedham at Ames’ corner, Woodcock’s in this place, one at Rehoboth. situated in the centre of the ” Great Plain,” on the borders of which the first settlements were principally located, another at Newport on the Island, and perhaps others in the intermediate spaces. It was a famous place on this road — a convenient public house for travelers as well as a well-known station in Philip’s war. It witnessed many a military force on its march to the defence of the colonists, and such often halted and encamped there on their route overnight, and sometimes longer while waiting for additional forces. Companies were sometimes ordered to rendezvous there to wait the arrival of other troops who were to accompany them, and then the solitary places of the wilderness were enlivened by the tread of armed men and the sounds of martial music.

After the Indians had commenced the war by open hostilities, having killed several persons in the settlements near Mt. Hope, ” The government of Massachusetts,” says Mr. Baylies, ” promptly resolved to send assistance to Plymouth,” and on the 26th of June a company of infantry under command of Captain Henchman and a company of horse commanded by Captain Prentice marched for Mt. Hope ; and notwithstanding certain signs of ill omen which they fancied they saw in the heavens, which had great influence over the popular mind in that superstitious age, ” they continued their march, and reached the house of one Woodcock, (now in Attleborough) distant about 30 miles from Boston, before they halted. It was then morning, and they resolved to wait there the arrival of Capt. Mosely with his company of volunteers.” Mr Baylies says that” Mosely was a man of an intrepid spirit, and an excellent soldier. He had been a buccaneer in the West Indies, and had resided at Jamaica. The sounds of war revived his enthusiasm for deeds of enterprise and danger.”
In the course of the day he arrived at the rendezvous at Woodcock’s, with a company of one hundred and ten men, volunteers, amongst whom were ten or twelve privateersmen with dogs. This must have been a stirring scene in the lonely situation at Woodcock’s. On the second day they reached Swansey.

On the Narragansett Expedition which was appointed for the next December, the three colonies of Plymouth, Connecticut, and Massachusetts united in furnishing military forces to be under the command of Josias Winslow, of Plymouth, as general.

Here again Woodcock’s was a place of rendezvous for the Massachusetts portion of the army. Her force consisted of six companies under the command of Captains Mosely, Gardiner, Davenport, Oliver, Johnson, and Major Appleton, who commanded this portion of the force, and who, on the ” 9th Dec. 1676 marched with them from Dedham to Woodcock’s, the wellknown place of rendezvous, 30 miles from Boston, and there encamped for the night.” His companies numbered four hundred and sixty-five foot, and one company of horse under command of Captain Prentice, so that the whole number must have been over five hundred. This was a large army for the infant colony of Massachusetts forty-six years only after the settlement at Boston. They marched over the ” Oulde Bay Road.” Here they rested, and then marched on to Seekonk, where they met the army of Plymouth Colony, under General Winslow, and where the two forces were united and moved on their way to the great Narragansett fight. These same forces must have rendezvoused at Woodcock’s on their return.

While armies in their marches halted there and great men of the colonies in their travels stopped there, this house is often mentioned by historians. The celebrated Judge Sewall relates in his ” Diary” that on his return from Rehoboth he dined at Woodcock’s with fellow travelers on boiled venison, which was probably just such a dinner as they chose in those days, and would not be unacceptable at the present time.

Madame Knight in her famous journey from Boston to New York lodged there overnight, and speaks of her fare. This was considered a perilous journey in olden times, and required eight days to accomplish. Madame Knight traveled on horseback with a servant, business of importance requiring her presence in New York. A sketch of this adventurous journey would afford a better knowledge of the condition of the country and its inhabitants than any formal description.’

This ” Oulde Bay Road ” was the first main road laid out in this part of the country, and all travel would necessarily pass by this ” Ordinary ” in those early days, which might be called the dawn of the New England life and civilization. It is a delight to go back in imagination and view the landscape that surrounded the traveler, and the novel scenes of early colonial life. Mile after mile of almost trackless woods filled with bears, deer, and the other denizens of the forest, with here and there a gleaming lake or sparkling river glinting in the sunlight; the plodding wayfarer on foot with his heavy staff; the rider on horseback clad in the quaint costume of the time; and anon, a little opening in the wilderness with a single log house or a small cluster of rude buildings, where rest and refreshment could be obtained for man and beast.

As one traveler dismounts, or another wearily shifts his heavy burden to the bench by the open door, we can see the dwellers of the hamlet slowly gathering one by one to hear the news from the outside world, a faint echo of whose events just reaches these secluded places; or the women collecting about the pedlar to hear the latest fashions of the towns described, and to barter for some of the contents of the pack by his side.

Woodcock had a large family, with a number of laborers and assistants; there must have been fully fourteen in the entire family. He had a smith on his place, barns, a garrison house of large size, sons’ houses, etc., so that his place made quite an opening in the forest and furnished social relief to the lonely and weary journeyers. There was on such a route more travel than one would at first suppose, for emigrants were from time to time going from town to town and settlement to settlement, seeking eligible situations or locations, and messengers on business matters or the municipal and military affairs of the colonies must have frequently passed to and fro.

This stand, so long owned and occupied by Colonel Hatch, and still called by his name, is the oldest in Bristol County — a public house having been kept on the spot, without intermission, from July 5, 1670, to about 1840 — during a period of one hundred and seventy years. It is situated on the Boston and Providence turnpike, now often termed ” the old turnpike road.”

Mar 1681 –

“….  and they granted to John Woodcock a parcel of land as nere the place where the meeting house shall stand as may be conveniently had, that he might sett a small house up fore theire refreshment on the Sabbath day when they come to attend the worship of God.”

Some historian has described these Sabbath day houses as follows: “A Sabbath day house was a hut in one end of which horses might be sheltered, and in the other end was a room having a fireplace, and furnished perhaps with a bench, a few chairs and a table. Here the owner arrived soon after the first drum, and if cold, kindled a fire. Here they deposited their lunch and any wraps that might be superfluous in the meeting house. Hither they came to spend the intermission of worship.

When John Woodcock built the Garrison house at Ten Mile river, he was eleven miles from the Rehoboth church, and only two miles from Wrentham.    In the petition to the General court for authority to incorporate the town of Attleboro in 1694, the committee, of whom John Woodcock was chairman, mention was made of the inconvenience of going so far to Rehoboth to worship God, especially in stormy weather.

17 Feb 1693/94 – John Woodcock (with Joanna l his wife) sold for £390 money in hand received to John Devotion, of ” Muddy River, formerly of Boston.” a tract of land containing two hundred and ten acres, being ” at a place commonly called ten mile river, by a highway called Wrentham lane,” etc., ” with the mansion or dwelling house, barn, and all other out-housing and buildings (the Smith’s shop only excepted standing on the river) ; “Also about thirty acres lying on the northwest side of the country road formerly given to his son, John Woodcock, bounded by Ten Mile River, etc., with his son’s dwelling house and barn on the same. ” John Devotion took quiet possession of the same April 9th 1694, in presence of Nathaniel Brentnall, William Chaplin.” In this conveyance to Devotion is the following curious item:

” Also, all the said John Woodcock, his right to, and privilege in, a house and pasture at Wrentham for accommodation of his family and horses on Sabbath days and other public times, as occasion may be.”

As we have seen, he formerly had a house at Rehoboth for a similar purpose. From this and other records it appears that Woodcock and his family were very attentive to public worship.

Woodcock laid out the ancient burying-ground near his house. In the above-mentioned conveyance is the following reservation : ” Except a small parcel of at least six rods square or the contents thereof, for a burying place, in which my wife and several of my children and neighbors are interred, with liberty for my children and neighbors to come upon and make use therof forever as occasion may be.

Children of John and Sarah

i. Samuel Woodcock b. ca 1645 in Roxbury, MA; d. 28 Apr 1676 in Rehoboth, MA Killed in an Indian attack on his home during King Philip’s War .; m. 3 Jan 1668/89 n Rehoboth, MA. to Mary Newman

ii. Sarah Woodcock b. ca 1646 Rehoboth; d. 29 Nov 1726; m. 11 May 1663 in Concord, MA to Thomas Estabrook, son of Joseph Estabrook & Anna Brainard, Born ca 1643. Thomas died on 28 Jan 1720/1 in Concord, MA.

iii. John Woodcock b. ca 1649 Roxbury, Mass; d. 10 Jul 1718 Dedham, Mass; Brothers John and Israel married their wives on the same day.  On 21 Feb 1672/73 John first married Sarah Smith, daughter of Francis Smith (-12 Aug 1690) & Elizabeth [__?__], in Rehoboth, MA. Born on 5 May 1655 in Boston, MA. Sarah died in Swansea, MA, on 16 May 1676; she was 21.

On 5 Nov 1682 in Dedham, Mass, John second married Sarah Judson,  M Sary, the Daughter of Samuell Judson & Mary his wife, was borne ye 34 of the 5 mo. 1651. Sarah died in Dedham, MA, on 18 Mar 1717/18; she was 66.

iv. Israel Woodcock b. ca 1652; d. 10 Jul 1718; On 5 Nov 1682 Israel married Elizabeth Getchell in Dedham, MA. Israel Woodcock & Elizabeth Gatchel was married the 5:9:82.

v. Mary Woodcock b. 9 Mar 1650/1 Roxbury, Mass; d. aft 1697 Medford, Mass; On 29 Nov 1676 when Mary was 25, she married Samuel Guild, son of John Guild & Elizabeth Crook, in Dedham, MA. Samuell Guild & Mary Woodcock married the 29th 9th 1676. Born on 7 Nov 1647 in Dedham, MA. Samuell, the Son of John & Elizabeth Guild, was borne the 7 of the 9 mo. 1647. Samuel died in Medfield, MA, on 1 Jan 1729/30; he was 82.

vi. Thomas Woodcock b. ca 1657 Roxbury, Mass; d. ca 1707 Bristol, RI;

vii. Nathaniel Woodcock b. ca 1660, Roxbury; d. 28 Apr 1676 Attleboro; Killed by Indians while working in a nearby corn field. The Indians cut off Nathaniel’s head and stuck it on a pole in front of the house. Nathaniel Woodcock was buried where he fell, and his grave is now in the center of what would become the Woodcock Cemetery.

viii. Deborah Woodcock b. ca 1663 Roxbury; d. 23 Mar 1717/8 Dedham; m. 23 May 1683 in Dedham, Mass to Benjamin Onion. Benjamin died ca 1719.

ix. Jonathan Woodcock b. ca 1668 Roxbury, Mass; d. 7 Dec 1736 Attleboro, Mass; m1. On 23 Aug 1694 in Attleboro to Rebecca Martin; m2. 14 Dec 1698 in Attleboro to Mary Williams. His conveyed a part of six hundred acres that was on Bungay River, where Bishop’s shop once stood, with the “saw-mill thereon standing.”









Posted in 12th Generation, Historical Site, Line - Shaw, Public Office, Tavern Keeper, Violent Death | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

John Dryden

John DRYDEN (1525 – 1584) was Alex’s 12th great grandfather, one of 8,192 in this generation of the Miner line.  His son Erasmus was made a Baronet, and two of his descendants were   literary stars of the 17th and 18th Centuries.  He was great grandfather of John Dryden (1631 – 1700) and the 2nd great grandfather of Jonathan Swift (1667 – 1745).

John Dryden Coat of Arms

John Dryden was born about 1525.  His parents were David DRYDEN and Isabel NICHOLSON.  He married Elizabeth COPE in 1553 in Canons Ashby Parish, Northamptonshire, England..  John died on 30 Sep 1584.

Elizabeth Cope was born about 1529.  Her parents were Sir John COPE and Bridget RALEIGH.     Elizabeth died 30 Sep 1584.

Children of John and Elizabeth

Name Born Married Departed
1. Anthony Dryden
2. Sir Erasmus Dryden 1st Baronet (Wikipedia) 29 Dec 1553 Frances Wilkes
bef. 1580
 22 May 1632
3. Mary Dryden Abt 1555-1556
Connons, Ashby, Northampton, England
Francis Foxley
of Foxley, Northamptonshire
7 Dec 1617
Foxley, Northampton, England
4. Edward Dryden Abt 1556
Canons Ashby, Northampton, England
5. George Dryden Abt 1557
Canons Ashby, Northampton, England
Katherine Throckmorton 1591
6. John Dryden Abt 1559
Canons Ashby, Northampton, England
7. Elizabeth Dryden Abt 1561
Canons Ashby, Northampton, England
8. Bridget DRYDEN 1563
Canons, Ashby, Northampton shire, England.
bef. 1591
Lincolnshire England
Thomas Newman
2 Apr 1645
Berkhamsted, Hartford, England.
9. Stephen Dryden Abt 1567
Canons Ashby, Northampton, England
10. Emma Dryden Abt 1569
Canons Ashby, Northampton, England
11. Nicholas Dryden ca. 1571
Canons Ashby, Northampton, England
Mary Emyley  12 Jan 1608/09

We can trace Elizabeth’s Cope’s ancestry back 12 generations to EDWARD I.  (Check out my EDWARD I  post for thumbnail sketches of some interesting characters)

File:Canons Ashby House - Front.jpg

Front of Canons Ashby House

Elizabeth was sole heiress of Sir John Cope, through whom the Drydens inherited Canons Ashby House,  an Elizabethan manor house located in Canons AshbyDaventry, Northamptonshire, England. It has been owned by the National Trust since 1981, although “The Tower” is in the care of the Landmark Trust and available for holiday lets.

File:Canons Ashby House - Rear.jpg

Rear of Canons Ashby House

It has been the home of the Dryden family since its construction in the 16th century. The manor house was built in approximately 1550 with additions in the 1590s, in the 1630s and 1710; it has remained essentially unchanged since the 1710s.

John Dryden had married Elizabeth Cope in 1551 and inherited, through his wife, an L-shaped farmhouse which he gradually extended. In the 1590s his son, Sir Erasmus Dryden completed the final north range of the house which enclosed the Pebble Courtyard.

The interior of the house is noted for its Elizabethan wall paintings and its Jacobean plasterwork.

The house sits in the midst of a formal garden with colourful herbaceous borders, an orchard featuring varieties of fruit trees from the 16th century, terraces, walls and gate piers from 1710. There is also the remains of a medieval priory church (from which the house gets its name).


2. Sir Erasmus Dryden – 1st Baronet Dryden

Erasmus entered Magdalen College, Oxford in 1571 aged 18. and was demy from 1571 to 1575 and fellow from 1575 to 1580, being awarded a Bachelor of Arts on 11 June, 1577. In 1577, he was student of the Middle Temple.    He was High Sheriff of Northamptonshire in 1599 and in 1618.  Erasmus, a strong Puritan and London grocer, purchased a  the Dryden Baronetcy on 16 November 1619.  In 1624, Dryden was elected Member of Parliament for Banbury in the Happy Parliament.

Children of Sir Erasmus and Frances

i. Mary Dryden m. Sir Edward Hartopp, 1st Bt., son of William Hartopp and Eleanor Adcock.

ii. Elizabeth Dryden m. Sir Richard Philipps, 2nd Bt., son of Sir John Philipps,1st Bt. and Anne Perrot.

iii. Erasmus Dryden  buried 18 Jun 1654; m.  Mary Pickering, daughter of Reverend Henry Pickering, on 21 October 1630.  He lived at Tichmarsh, Northamptonshire, England. Erasmus and Mary had fourteen children including

iv. Sir John Dryden, 2nd Bt.  d. bef. 11 Nov 1658; m1.  Priscilla Quarles, daughter of unknown Quarles; m2. Anna Parvis, daughter of Henry Parvis; m3.  Honor Bevill, daughter of Sir Robert Bevill, on 3 July 1632.

He succeeded to the title of 2nd Baronet Dryden, of Canons Ashby, co. Northampton [E., 1619] on 22 May 1632.  He held the office of Member of Parliament (M.P.) for Northanptonshire.   He held the office of High Sheriff of Northamptonshire in 1634.

v. William Dryden buried 24 Dec 1660; m. [__?__] Cave.      He lived at Farndon, Northamptonshire, England.

4. George Dryden

George was left land in Adstone by his father. George married Katherine Throckmorton as her second husband. Katherine was the daughter of Clement and Catherine (Neville) Throckmorton of Hasely, co. Warwick.   She married first Thomas Harby of Adston [Adstone, Northamptonshire].  She married third John Wilmer of Shrowley.  Katherine was a first cousin of Lady Elizabeth (Throckmorton) Raleigh.   Lady Elizabeth was Sir Walter Raleigh‘s wife, and a Lady of the Privy Chamber to Queen Elizabeth I of England. Their secret marriage precipitated a long period of royal disfavour for Raleigh. I don’t know how closely George’s grandmother Bridget Raleigh was related to Sir. Walter.

Robert Peake the Elder (ca. 1551-1619): Elizabeth Raleigh. ca. 1600

8. Bridget DRYDEN (See Francis MARBURY‘s page)

Bridget Dryden was born in 1563 in Canons, Ashby, Northamptonshire, England. Her parents were John DRYDEN (1525 – 1584) and Elizabeth COPE (1529 – 1584). Bridget was sister of Sir Erasmus Dryden,1st Baronet (1553–1632)   If I count my relatives correctly that makes them second cousins once removed.  John Dryden was also a second cousin once removed of Jonathan Swift.  After Francis died, she married in 1620 in London to Thomas Newman. Bridget died 02 Apr 1645 in Berkhamsted, Hartford, England.

11. Nicholas Dryden

Child of Nicholas and Mary Emyley

i. Elizabeth Dryden m.  Thomas Swift. Children of Thomas and Elizabeth include:





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Francis Marbury

Francis MARBURY (1555 – 1611) was Alex’s 11th great grandfather, one of 4,096 in this generation of the Miner line.  According to wikipedia, he was a Cambridge educated English clergyman, school master, and Puritan reformer now remembered as a playwright and the father of Anne Hutchinson.

Francis’ daughter Anne Hutchinson (1591-1643)  is probably the most influential woman in Colonial American history. It was very rare during those times for a woman to have an independent impact on history (unless she was Royalty – including Pocahantus) for hundreds of years after her life.   Abigail Adams was famous because of her work with her husband.  I can’t think of anyone who surpassed Hutchinson until Susan B Anthony (1820-1906) which was over two hundred years later.  Can can you think of any woman in between who surpassed Hutchinson?

The story of Francis Marbury helps explain how her character was shaped.  He probably focused on his daughters education when he was under house arrest unable to work.  Francis wasn’t a big theological dissenter, but he did say the clergy was stupid and uneducated under the administration of a pompous Bishop of London and wrote a satirical play while imprisoned at Marshalsea Prison (of Charles Dickens fame).

Francis Marbury Coat of Arms

Francis Marbury was born 27 Oct 1555 in Alford, Lincolnshire, England, though he may have been baptized at St. Pancras, Soper Lane, London, on 27 Oct 1555.  His parents were William MARBURY (1524 – 1581) and Agnes LENTON (1528 – 1581). He first married  about 1580 to Elizabeth Moore, and had three children with her. By the time he was released from prison for the last time, he was a widower and chose to move from Northampton. He married Bridget DRYDEN before 1591 and they settled in the town of Alford, Lincolnshire.    Francis died 14 Feb 1611 in Alford, Lincolnshire, England.

Bridget Dryden was born in 1563 in Canons, Ashby, Northamptonshire, England. Her parents were John DRYDEN (1525 – 1584) and Elizabeth COPE (1529 – 1584). Bridget was sister of Sir Erasmus Dryden,1st Baronet (1553–1632) grandfather of the poet John Dryden.  If I count my relatives correctly that makes them second cousins once removed.  John Dryden was also a second cousin once removed of Jonathan Swift.  After Francis died, she married in 1620 in London to Thomas Newman. Bridget died 02 Apr 1645 in Berkhamsted, Hartford, England.

Children of Francis and Elizabeth

Name Born Married Departed
1. Elizabeth Marbury c. 1581 buried
4 Jun 1601
Alford, Lincolnshire,England
2. Mary Marbury c. 1583 buried
29 Dec 1585
Alford, England
3. Susan Marbury bapt.
12 Sep 1585
Alford Lincolnshire, England
[__?__] Twyford burried


Children of Francis and Bridget:

Name Born Married Departed
4. Mary Marbury 1588
Alford, Lincolnshire, England
18 Apr 1643 St Mary, Woolnoth, England
5. John Marbury bapt.
15 Feb 1588/89
6. Anne Marbury bapt.
17 Jul 1591
William Hutchinson
9 Aug 1612
St Martin Vintry, London, Middlesex, England
20 Aug 1643
Pelham Bay, New York
7. Bridget Marbury  bapt.
8 May 1593
15 Oct 1598
8. Francis Marbury  bapt.
20 Oct 1594
Judith [__?__] 18 Mar 1638/39 in St. Mary Woolnoth, London.
9. Emme Marbury bapt.
21 Dec 1595
John Saunders
9 Mar 1613/14
St. Peter, Paul’s Wharf, London, England.
10. Erasmus Marbury bapt.
15 Feb 1596/97
11 Anthony Marbury bapt.
21 Sep 1598
 9 Apr 1601
12. Bridget Marbury bapt.
25 Nov 1599
13. Jeremuth Marbury bapt.
31 Mar 1601
Alford, England
14. Daniel Marbury bapt.
14 Sep 1602
Alford, Lincolnshire, England
19 SEP 1611 Alford, Lincolnshire, England
15. Elizabeth Marbury bapt.
20 Jan 1604/05
9 Mar 1613/14
St. Peter’s, Paul’s Wharf, London
16. Anthony Marbury 1608
St Martins, Vintry, London, England
Alford, Lincolnshire, England
17. Dr. Thomas Marbury 1607
St Martins, Vintry, London, England
18. Katherine MARBURY  1610 Richard SCOTT
7 Jun 1632 in England.
2 May 1687 in Newport, Rhode Island.


Thousands of Americans can claim the Marbury family’s lineal connections to their royal and noble ancestry, from William the Conqueror through Edward I. These ancestors include John, King of England, who signed the Magna Carta in 1215 at Runnymede, as well as many of the barons who witnessed his signature on that famous document. All later kings of Spain, Holy Roman and Austrian emperors, most later English and French kings, all kings of Prussia and Russian czars, beginning with Alexander I, are distant cousins as well.

Alex’s 12th Great Grandfather and Francis’ father, William MARBURY, of Birsby in Burgh-upon-Bain, co. Lincolnshire, gentleman, was born ca 1524 as he is listed as age one in 1525. He was matriculated as a fellow-commoner from Pembroke College, Cambridge in Easter, 1544. He married Agnes LENTON, daughter of John LENTON, esquire. In his will dated Jan 26, 1580/81 and proved Nov 16, 1581, Williams bequeathed to the poor students of Oxford and Cambridge, to “cousins” (probably means grandchildren) Thomas, Edward and George, to son Francis, during his mother’s life, to daughters Mary and Katherine, to daughter [Anne Blox]holme, to wife Agnes, to second son Edwards, to eldest son, William.

Alex’s 13th Great Grandfather and Francis’ grandfather Robert MARBURY of Girsby in Burgh-upon-Bain, Lincolnshire, was born probably about 1490, and mentioned as “neve” in the will of his uncle Robert who leaves him lands in Lowick, Oldwyncall, Islip, Denford and Boygstoke.

Robert married Katherine WILLIAMSON, who was born about 1508, the daughter of John WILLIAMSON and Jane ANGEVINE. On Jan 26, 1518, “…the aforesaid jurors further say that the aforesaid John Williamson died on the 24th day of March in the fourth year of the present lord King (1512/13) and that Katherine Williamson is the daughter and next heir of the same John Williamson and is of the age (at that time, i.e., 1517/18) of this inquisition of nine years and above, and is now committed by the lord King to the wardship to Thomas Hennage, esquire…”

It is possible that Katherine (Williamson) Marbury died in childbirth, as she died on Aug 11, 1525 at the age of about seventeen years, leaving her husband Robert Marbury and a son William, three-quarters of a year old in 1525.

The jurors of the inquisition into the estate of Katherine Marbury, taken at Horncastle on June 12, 1526 said that Katherine had died on August 11, 1525 alone seised of and in…”the messuage, five acres of pasture and forty ares of arable land…called Northorpe in Hemingby…and of and in two tofts (also in Hemingby)…and…one messuage and five acres of pasture…in the town and fields of Boston next to the stream called Old Fen Dike…and one messuage, 23 acres and 3 roods of land lying in Gattoft in Leake in a certain place called “the Hungate” next to the church of Leake..and in ten acres of land…in Wrangel…” As extended, these lands were worth together £2, 14s, 10d. yearly. “…and the aforesaid Katherine; being so seised…took as her husband Robert Marbury esquire, whereby the aforesaid Robert and Katherine were seised thereof in the right of the same Katherine; and the said Robert and Katherine had issue, lawfully procreated between them, a certain William Marbury and…the aforesaid Katherine died seised…and the aforesaid Robert Marbury survived her, and is still living, and remains entered as tenant, by the law of England by reason of the aforesaid offspring…and that the aforesaid William Marbury is the son and next heir of the same Katherine Marbury, and is of the age at the time…of this inquisition of three quarters of a year and above.”

This record confirms that Katherine Marbury and Katherine Williamson are the same person, for her lands in Hemingby, Boston and Leake correspond to the tenements held by her grandfather, Alexander Williamson or his son John, her father.

Robert Marbury was present at the English Court. In the funeral of Henry VII in 1509, he was a yeoman to the King’s Grandame (that is, Henry VIII’s grandmother, Lady Margaret Beaufort).

Lady Margaret Beaufort (1443 – 1509), later Countess of Richmond and Derby, was the mother of King Henry VII

In 1510, as yeoman usher of the Queen’s Chamber, he had a grant to be feodary (A vassal or feudatory – i.e. one who holds land of an overlord on condition of homage) of the duchy of Excester within county Devonshire, during [the King’s] pleasure. In 1513, as Robert Marbury Jr. he was a feofee [a trustee who holds a fief (or “fee”), that is to say an estate in land, for the use of a beneficial owner]., along with Robert Marbury Sr. (his uncle), John Lenton (father of his son’s future wife), and John Marbury, clerk. In 1514, his cousin William Blount, 4th Baron Mountjoy, was the Queen’s Chamberlain. In the same year, Robert Marbury, yeoman usher of the Queen’s Chamber, was feodary noted above, for life. In 1517, he was appointed to be sergeant at arms, with 12d. a day in consideration of his services to Queen Catherine of Aragon.  In 1526, his yearly wage as serjeant at arms in the Royal Household was £18 5s., i.e. still 12d. a day.

Francis' grandfather Robert Marbury served yeoman usher of the Queen's Chamber for Henry VIII's 1st wife, Catherine of Aragon

In the Lincolnshire Rebellion of October 1536, Robert Marbury appears as follows: In the examination of Sir Edward Maddison before the King’s Council…Maddison, with his brother John Maddison and both his sons, then went up into Castrefeld to see the number of rebellious and there met Sir William Askew and Marbery the serjeant and one Boneteene of the Exchequer. The rebels took them all except Boneteyne and Marbury… In a letter from Sir Robert Kyrkham to [our ancestor] Richard CROMWELL: … “Yesterday night late” he was at Stanforde with Sir William Parre and others when Marbery and Madyson, the King’s servants came in, having escaped from the rebels who they say are 20,000…”

Robert died on August 5, 1645. His will made July 28, 1545 was proved on Sep 28, 1545 in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. His executors were “my brother Thomas Merbury, my cosyn John Merbury, my well beloved mother in law mistress Jane Woodfurth and my son William Merbury…and my son William is to have all my goods and land moveable and immovable.” There were many bequests. A curious feature of the will is the reference to his first grandchild , Francis’ brother Robert:

“Item. I will that Robert Merbury the first begotten son of my son William Merbury shall not inherit no part parcell or portion of my rent lands within the counties of Lincolnshire, Darbyshire and Northamptonshire. Item. I will that if my son William Merbury have hereafter issue lawfully begotten that they shall inherit the aforesaid lands, that in nowise the aforesaid Robert Merbury the son of the said William Merbuy shall not inherit any…portion of the foresaid lands…Robert Merbury was born in the month of June in the 37th year of the reign of our sovereign lord king Henry [1545, the month before the date of the will] at Old Wynkle in the house of his grandfather, John Leynton, gentleman. I bequeath to (this?) Robert Merbury forty pounds to be paid to him at the age of 21 years. Item. I will that if my son William Merbury has no issue lawfully begotten as god forbid then I will that my brother Thomas Merbury shall inherit all my foresaid lands and the heirs of his body lawfully begotten. Payment to the said Robert Merbury if he lives to the said 21 years other fourty pounds of sterling money and he to make to the said Thomas and his heirs a release of all such lands as he can make any title to of inheritance.”

Probably the unfortunate infant Robert had some obviously incapacitating birth defect, mental or physical, that would make his inheriting land impractical.

Two inquistions into the estate of Robert Marbury were taken, one in Lincolnshire, the other in county Northampton. In response to the writ dated October 15, 1545, the inquisition into the estate of Robert Marberye who held lands of the kind in chief was taken at the Castle of Lincoln on (15?) October 1545. The jurors said that Robert Marbery had died on August 7, 1545 and that William Marbery was the son and next heir of Robert Marbery his father and also the son and next heir of Catherine his mother, the wife of the aforesaid Robert, of all the aforesaid lands. The other inquisition into the estate of Robert Marburye calls him of Girsby, county Lincoln, esquire. It was taken on October 28, 1545 at Wellingborough, county Northampton. The jurors said that Robert Marburye had died at Girsby on August 7, 1545, at which time William Marburye, the son and heir, was of the age of twenty-one years and more. Robert died seised of three tenements in Lowick, county Northampton, and five in Slipton, Dentford, Woodford, Aldwinkle and Islip, as extended, with a total yearly value of £8 16s. The lands in Northampton were willed to him by his uncle Robert Marbury.

Alex’s 14th Great Grandfather and Francis’ great grandfather William MARBURY, of Lowick, Northampton county, England, esquire, was born ca 1445-53. That he was a man of considerable social standing and prestige in Northampton county is indicated by the fact that he is first mentioned in 1473 as an executor of the will of John Stafford,1st  Earl of Wiltshire,  the youngest son of Humphrey Stafford, the powerful 1st Duke of Buckingham.

William Marbury married about this time into the prominent family of Blount. His wife Anne BLOUNT, daughter of Sir Thomas BLOUNT and Agnes HAWLEY, was niece of Sir Walter Blount, Lord Mountjoy, K.G., who in 1467 had married Anne Neville, the widow of Humphrey Stafford, Duke of Buckingham. The character of Westmorland in William Shakespeare’s plays Henry IV, Part 1Henry IV, Part 2, and Henry V is based on Anne’s father Ralph de Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland..

Sir Walter Blount, his wife Anne, Duchess of Buckingham, and William Marbury were co-executors of the will of Anne’s son, John, Earl of Wiltshire. In the will, dated April 21, 1473, the Earl of Wiltshire made William a guardian of his only son, Edward, then age three [ and later Sir Edward Stafford, 2nd Earl of Wiltshire (1470 – 1498)] “Also I will pray William Marbury to be attendaunte to my sonne and he to have rule about him.” It was William’s brother, Robert, however, who attended the second Earl in the capacity of gentleman-usher for a period of twenty-five years. In 1494, Edward, the new Earl of Wilshire, alienated the noted old manor of Drayton to William Marbury, et al.

Five years later the Earl died. William Marbury was present when he made his will, and, according to later testamentary proceedings, the Earl entrusted his will (which was “sealed with a signet of gold”) to William Marbury. Marbury in the will is referred to as being enfeoffed of lands in co. Northampton. He, Robert Whittlebury, esquire, and Thomas Montague, gentleman, were made co-executors of the will, and under its terms were directed to form two chantries, one at Lowick, co. Northampton, the other at Pleshy, co. Essex, where the Duchess of Buckingham, the Earl’s grandmother, was buried in 1480. Pleshy was where William’s son, Humphrey, undoubtedly named after Humphrey, Duke of Buckingham, was installed later as minister.

The tomb of Edward Stafford, 2nd Earl of Wiltshire, in St Peter's Church, Lowick

From about 1500 on William Marbury’s name appears quite frequently in the records. From the time of the death of the Earl (1499) until his own death, he, individually, received and held the profits and income of the manors of Drayton and Lowick, his brother Robert holding the former and Robert Whittlebury the latter after his decease. He was an executor of the will of Henry Verr of Great Addyngton (Henry Veer is mentioned in the will of Robert Marbury). From July 9, 1500 to December 8, 1506 he is shown by the Patent Rolls to have been a Commissioner of the Peace at various times for the following counties: Leicester, Lincolnshire, Northampton, and Rutland. On Mar 1, 1500/01 he had founded the chantry at Culworth under the will of Edward, Earl of Wiltshire.

The exact date of death of William is not known. In the Inquisition Post Mortem on the Earl of Wiltshire, William Marbury is shown to have held the manors of Drayton and Lowick from 1499 to October 1 [1512], 28 Henry VII. It would seem that William Marbury died shortly before October 1 [1512], 28 Henry VII. But Henry VII reigned only 24 years! We know, however, that William Marbury was living December 8, 1506, the date he last became Commissioner of the Peace for co. Rutland and was deceased before August 8, 1513, the time of his brother’s will. A subsequent reference to the Inquisition to the church at Lowick being vacant 24 Henry VII suggests that 28 was an error for 24. Assuming this to be true, William Marbury died shortly before October 1, 1508, a date which, if not correct, is certainly approximate.

Anne Blount, who had been born between 1453 and 1462, died on Nov 20, 1537. The inquisition into the estate of Ann Marbury, widow, was taken at Boston, Lincolnshire, on March 14, 1537/38. Long before her death, she had been seised of her contingent shares of the inheritance of Robert Blount, esquire, deceased, as one of his (three) sisters and heirs. When Anne died, her son and heir Robert Marbury, esquire, was aged fifty years and more. Her estate, as extended, consisted of one third of each of fourteen tenements having a net yearly value of £15 10s. 10d. and one farthing.

Alex’s 15th Great Grandfather and Francis’  2nd great grandfather John MARBURY of Cransley, Northampton county, England, was an armiger by trade. He became a sheriff of Northampton Nov 4, 1433. On Jan 12, 1447/48, John and Thomas Marbury, esquires, witnessed a deed relating to territory in Cransley. John Marbury, esquire, died shortly before Oct 22, 1460, for in the Patent Rolls of that date there is a pardon to “John Marbury late of Cransley, Northampton, esquire, for not appearing before the justices of the Bench to answer the dean and chapter of the new Collegiate church of St. Mary,” Leicestershire.

This John is probably identical with the John Marbury, whom Robert refers to in his will as father, for Cransley is about ten miles from where Robert lived, and no other John Marbury of this period appears in Northampton records. His other son, William, who in 1501 as one of the executors of the will of Edward, Earl of Wiltshire, founded a chantry at Culworth, saw to it that the chantry was founded for the souls of “Johannis Marbury et Elianorae uxoris suea.” Robert Marbury in his will of August 13, 1513 asks prayers to be said for the souls of his father, John Marbury, and his mother, Eleanor. The daughters of John and Eleanor have not been positively ascertained, but their sons have

Back to Francis’s Biography

Francis Marbury matriculated at Christ’s College, Cambridge in 1571, but is not known to have graduated.  About 1571, Francis Marbury began to teach and preach at the church in Northampton near the estate of his future wife Bridget Dryden.

Francis was ordained deacon on Jan 7, 1577/78. Although Francis himself was a brilliant Anglican clergyman and schoolmaster, he soon found that many of the Anglican ministers were not well educated but appointed to their positions by the ruling bishops for political reasons. As a young man he was a “hothead” and collided with the church authorities, and in particular with Bishop of London John Aylmer, over the issue of the provision of well-educated preachers.  His reformist preaching led to two years imprisonment in the Marshalsea

John Aylmer

Aylmer called him an “overthwart, proud, puritan knave” in November 1578, and sent him to the Marshalsea, after hearing Marbury’s views on financing preachers by mulcting (fining) the bishops: “A man might cut a good large thong out of your hyde and the rest, and it would not be missed”.

Francis’ nemesis, John Aylmer was born at Aylmer Hall, Tilney St. Lawrence, Norfolk. While still a boy, his precocity was noticed by Henry Grey, 3rd Marquess of Dorset, later 1st Duke of Suffolk, who sent him to Cambridge, where he seems to have become a fellow of Queens’ College  About 1541 he was made chaplain to the duke, and tutor of Greek  to his daughter, Lady Jane Grey (the nine day queen)

Alymer’s first preferment was to the archdeaconry of Stow, in the diocese of Lincoln, but his opposition in Convocation to the doctrine of transubstantiation led to his deprivation and to his flight into Switzerland. While there he wrote a reply to John Knox‘s famous Blast against the Monstrous Regiment of Women, under the title of An Harborowe for Faithfull and Trewe Subjects, etc., and assisted John Foxe in translating the Acts of the Martyrs into Latin. On the accession of Elizabeth he returned to England. In 1559 he resumed the Stow archdeaconry, and in 1562 he obtained that of Lincoln. He was a member of the famous convocation of 1562, which reformed and settled the doctrine and discipline of the Church of England.

In 1576, just a year or two before his run in with Francis,  Alymer was consecrated Bishop of London, and while in that position made himself notorious by his harsh treatment of all who differed from him on ecclesiastical questions, whether Puritan or Roman Catholic. Various efforts were made to remove him to another see. He is frequently assailed in the famous Mar prelate Tracts, and is characterized as “Morrell,” the bad shepherd, in Edmund Spenser‘s Shepheard’s Calendar (July).   Aylmer’s work, particularly his characterisation of England as a mixed monarchy, oligarchy and democracy, would be important to later English constitutionalists.  His reputation as a scholar hardly balances his inadequacy as a bishop in the transition time in which he lived.

In 1578 Francis was given a public trial, of which, during a period of house arrest, he made a transcript from memory. He used this transcript to educate and amuse his children, he being the hero, and the Bishop of London being portrayed as a buffoon.

In the Marshalsea, Francis wrote an allegorical play entitled The Contract of Marriage between Wit and Wisdom in 1579.  It was a moral interlude or “wit play”, following The Play of Wyt and Science by John Redford, and an adaptation of its sequel The Marriage of Wit and Science.

The Vices in post-Reformation morality plays are almost always depicted as being Catholic. At times this depiction is achieved through their physical appearance. For example, Vices in post-Reformation morality plays would be dressed as cardinals, friars, monks, or the pope.  Often times, the Vice in post-Reformation plays admits that Catholic theology is flawed, and that by being Catholic the Vice is committing treason. Moreover, Vices often appear ignorant and naive, especially when it comes to their biblical understanding and knowledge of the New Testament.

Three two-storey buildings in a staggered row, each with mullioned windows and the central one with a four-columned entrace. Three standing men converse in the courtyard in front, and two men sit at a bench, one drinking and gesturing.

The Marshalsea prison occupied two locations, the first c. 1329–1811, and the second 1811–1842. The image above is of the first Marshalsea in the 18th century.

The Marshalsea was a prison on the south bank of the River Thames in Southwark, now part of London made infamous in the works of Charles Dickens. From the 14th century until it closed in 1842, it housed men under court martial for crimes at sea, including those accused of“unnatural crimes”, political figures and intellectuals accused of sedition like Francis Marbury, and—most famously—London’s debtors, the length of their stay determined largely by the whim of their creditors.

Run privately for profit, as were all prisons in England until the 19th century, the Marshalsea looked like an Oxbridge college and functioned as an extortion racket. For prisoners who could pay, it came with access to a bar, shop, and restaurant, as well as the crucial privilege of being allowed out during the day, which meant debtors could earn money to satisfy their creditors. Everyone else was crammed into one of nine small rooms with dozens of others, possibly for decades for the most modest of debts, which increased as unpaid prison fees accumulated. A parliamentary committee reported in 1729 that 300 inmates had starved to death within a three-month period, and that eight to ten prisoners were dying every 24 hours in the warmer weather.

In fact, Marbury found himself imprisoned three times before age 23 for preaching against the incompetence of English ministers and thus by implication, the British monarchy.  He  spent time far from London in Northampton, and Alford, Lincolnshire, unable to preach.

Francis was married for the first time about 1580 to Elizabeth Moore, with three children. By the time he was released from prison for the last time, he was a widower and chose to move from Northampton. He married Bridget Dryden before 1591 and they settled in the town of Alford, Lincolnshire, about 140 miles north of London.  He was the curate [deputy vicar]   at St. Wilfred’s Church  In 1585 he also became the schoolmaster at the Alford Free Grammar School, one of many such public schools, free to the poor, begun by Queen Elizabeth. The school is still in existence and currently has 563 students.  The school motto is Cor Unum Via Una which translates as “One heart and goal are we,” and is also the title of the school song.


Francis taught at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Alford still in existence more than 425 years later

St. Wilfrid's Church, Alford

The Marbury home was a busy one, as Bridget Marbury gave birth over the years to fifteen children. By 1590, Francis was again in trouble over his quarrels with the Anglican leaders. They accused him of being a Puritan and, even though he won his trial, he was forbidden to preach again for several years.

In 1590, Marbury once again felt emboldened to speak out against his superiors, denouncing the Church of England for selecting poorly educated bishops and poorly trained ministers. The Bishop of Lincoln, calling him an “impudent Puritan,” removed him from preaching and teaching, and put him under house arrest Without employment, he tended his gardens and tutored his children, reading to them from his own writings, the Bible, and John Foxe‘s Book of Martyrs, which, with its gore, was fascinating reading to the Marbury children.  This experience must have been very important in the strong religious conviction  his daughter Anne Hutchinson later displayed in New England.

Somehow the family was able to survive, perhaps from borrowing from the Drydens.  Marbury, who had become desperate without a job, pleaded to church officials that he wasn’t a Puritan, and to return him to his posts.  He wrote to the new the Bishop of London, and also asked other ministers to vouch for his good character.

Finally, in 1594, he was permitted to once again preach and teach. From this point forward, Marbury resolved to curb his tongue, and not openly question those in positions of authority, and eventually he was promoted with a position back in London.  He became lecturer at St Saviour, Southwark. With the support of Richard Vaughan, the Bishop of London, he was rehabilitated and moved to London.  On June 24, 1605 Francis was finally ordained a priest and the Marbury family moved to the heart of London where Francis was installed as Rector of St Martin Vintry on October 28, 1605.  Here his Puritan views, though somewhat muffled, were nevertheless present and tolerated, since there was a shortage of pastors.

In 1608, he took on additional work as rector of St Pancras, Soper Lane several miles northwest of the city, traveling there by horseback twice a week.  In 1610 he was able to replace that position with one much closer to home, and became rector of  St Margaret, New Fish Street only a short walk from Saint Martin in the Vintry. Francis was holding two of these offices simultaneously when he died shortly before February 11, 1611. His nuncupative will, made June 25, 1610, was proved February 14, 1611. In it he left 200 pounds to each of his twelve living children and stated that the girls must stay with their mother until they married.

87 parish churches were destroyed in the Great Fire of London of 1666.  51 were rebuilt, but 35 were not including the three where Francis had been rector.

Central London in 1666, with the burnt area shown in pink.

In 1670 a Rebuilding Act was passed and a committee set up under the stewardship of Sir Christopher Wren to decide which would be rebuilt.  St Martin Vintry  parish was united with that of St Michael Paternoster Royal.    St Pancras, Soper Lane parish was united with that of St Mary-le-Bow.  St Margaret Fish Street Hill  received many gifts from the pilgrims who passed it on the way to and from London Bridge. Following the fire it was united to St Magnus-the-Martyr

Bridget Dryden, was the daughter of John Dryden and Elizabeth Cope, large estate owners in central England. Many in her family were Puritans, and at least one relative had been imprisoned in the Tower of London for suggesting religious reforms.  Bridget Marbury spent much of her time helping others. She was a skilled midwife, and assisted the women of the community whenever they were giving birth. As she grew older, Anne accompanied her mother on these goodwill visits, and in time she herself became a midwife.


6. Anne Marbury

Anne Hutchinson (1591–1643) was one of the most prominent women in colonial America, noted for her strong religious convictions, and for her stand against the staunch religious orthodoxy of 17th century Massachusetts. She was a Puritan whose religious ideas were at odds with the established Puritan clergy in the Boston area, and her popularity and charisma created a schism in the Boston church which threatened to destroy the Puritans’ religious experiment in New England. Creating the most challenging situation for the ruling magistrates and ministers during her first three years in Boston, she was eventually tried and convicted, then banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony with many of her followers.

Anne Hutchinson figures prominently in an excellent book , The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell.

Anne is a key figure in the study of the development of religious freedom in England’s American colonies and the history of women in ministry. She challenged the authority of the ministers, exposing the subordination of women in the culture of colonial Massachusetts. Although her religious ideas remain controversial, her implicit rejection of state authority to prescribe specific religious rites and interpretations, was later enshrined in the American Constitution. The State of Massachusetts honors her with a State House monument calling her a “courageous exponent of civil liberty and religious toleration.”

Anne Hutchinson Massachusetts State House Monument

Born in Alford, Lincolnshire, England, Anne was the daughter of Francis Marbury, an Anglican minister with strong Puritan leanings,  he was also a school teacher, and when under house arrest, he used his time to teach his children, and Anne grew up with a far better education than most girls, who generally had few educational opportunities in 16th century England.

The Marburys lived in Alford for the first 15 years of Anne’s life, and with her father’s strong commitment to learning, she received a better education than most contemporary girls, and also became intimately familiar with scripture and Christian tenets.  While education at that time was almost exclusively offered to boys and men, one reason that Marbury may have focused on teaching his daughters is that his five oldest surviving children were all girls; another reason may have been that the ruling class in Elizabethan England began realizing that girls could be schooled, looking to the example of the queen, who spoke six foreign languages.

As a young adult living in London, she married there an old friend from Alford, William Hutchinson, and the couple moved back to Alford where they began a family and visited various churches in the area. Hearing of a dynamic young preacher named John Cotton in the market town of Boston, Lincolnshire, about 21 miles away, the couple went to hear him preach, and thereafter made the difficult trip by horseback at every opportunity. Enamored with Cotton’s preaching, Anne Hutchinson was distraught when Cotton was compelled to emigrate following threats of imprisonment for his Puritan messages and practices.

Anne’s husband William Hutchinson was born 14 Aug 1586 in Alford, Lincolnshire, England. His parents were Edward Hutchinson (1555 – 1631) and Susanna Kealle (1564 – 1645). He was the grandson of John Hutchinson (1515-1565) who had been Sheriff, Alderman, and Mayor of the town of Lincoln.  William died in 1642 in Boston, Suffolk, Mass.

In 1634, after the birth of her 14th child, Hutchinson followed Cotton to New England with her husband and 11 living children, and soon became well established in the growing settlement of Boston, in the English colonies. She was a midwife, and very helpful to those needing her assistance.  In 1637, Anne delivered a stillborn, deformed baby of her friend and future Boston Martyr, Mary Dyer.  Puritans believed that birth defects were punishments for the parents sins. See below for the story of Mary and Anne’s troubles with the Puritan authorities.

She was very forthcoming with her personal religious opinions and understandings. Soon she was hosting women at her house once a week, providing commentary on recent sermons, and sharing her religious views, including criticism of many local ministers. These meetings became so popular, that she soon began offering meetings to men as well, to include the young governor of the colony, Harry Vane, and up to 80 people a week were visiting her house to learn from her interpretations and views of religious matters. As a follower of Cotton, she espoused a “covenant of grace,” while accusing all of the local ministers (except for Cotton and her husband’s brother-in-law, John Wheelwright) of preaching a “covenant of works.” Several ministers complained about Hutchinson to John Winthrop, who served several terms as governor of the colony, and eventually the situation erupted into what is known as the Antinomian Controversy, resulting in Hutchinson’s 1637 trial, conviction, and banishment from the colony.

Anne Hutchinson Preaching

With encouragement from Roger Williams, Hutchinson and many followers established the settlement of Portsmouth in what would become the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. She lived there for a few years, but after her husband’s death, threats of Massachusetts taking over Rhode Island compelled her to move totally outside the reach of Boston, into the lands of the Dutch. Sometime in 1642 she settled with her younger children in New Netherland near an ancient landmark called Split Rock in what would later become Bronx, New York City. Here she had a home built, but tensions with the native Siwanoy were high, and following inhumane treatment by the Dutch, the natives went on a series of rampages known as Kieft’s War, and in August 1643, all but one of the 16 members of Hutchinson’s household  including six of her children were massacred during an attack.   The lone survivor, nine-year old Susanna Hutchinson, was taken captive, and held for several years before being returned to family members in Boston.  For more on this conflict, see the story of our ancestor Hendrick Thomasse Van DYKE (1610 – 1688) who commanded an attack during Klieft’s War.

7. Erasmus Marbury

Erasmus  matriculated at Brasenose College, Oxford on 12 Apr 1616, age 19. He received his BA from there on 6 Jun 1616 and his MA on 9 Jul 1619.

10. Jeremuth Marbury

Jeremuth matriculated at Brasenose College, Oxford on 11 Jun 1619, age 18.  He received his BA from Exeter College, Oxford on 23 Jan 1622/23.

13. Anthony Marbury

Anthony matriculated at Brasenose College, Oxford on 20 Oxford 1626, age 18.  He received his BA from Pembroke College, Oxford on 22 Feb 1627/28.

14. Thomas Marbury

Thomas was a doctor in London.

15. Katherine MARBURY (See Richard SCOTT’s page)






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Rev. Henry Dillingham

Rev. Henry DILLINGHAM (1568 – 1625)  was Alex’s 11th Great Grandfather; one of 4,096  in this generation of the Shaw line.   Two of his children, Edward and John were early immigrants.

Dillingham – Coat of Arms

Henry Dillingham may have been born in 1568, Dean, Bedfordshire, England. His father was William DILLINGHAM (c. 1527 -24 Feb 1602/03, Cotesbach, Leicestershire, England) and Kathrina MARSTON. He married Oseth [__?__] in 1591 in Cotesbach, Leicestershire, England.  After Oseath died, he married Margaret [__?__]. Henry died 4 Dec 1625, Cotesbach, Leicestershire, England at age 57 and was buried 9 Dec 1625, Cotesbach, Leicestershire, England .

St. Mary’s Church, Cotesbach, Leicester, England – Henry Dillingham Rector of Cottesbach who was also patron of the living of Bitteswell in 1606. His son Edward was a Gentleman landowner of Bitteswell before emmigrating to Massachusetts in 1632.

Oseth [__?__] was born in 1568 in Cottesbach, , Leicestershire, England. Oseth died 16 Jun 1609 in Cottesbach, Leicestershire, England

Children of Henry and Oseath:

Name Born Married Departed
1. John Dillingham baptized
17 Sep 1592
Cotesbach, Leicestershire England
2. Henry Dillingham 17 Feb 1592/93
Cotesbach, Leicestershire England
29 Jul 1609
3. Edward DILLINGHAM  baptized on 6 Dec 1595 at Cotesbach, Leicester, England Ursula CARTER at Cotesbach, Leicester, England, on 14 Feb 1614/15.  between 1 May 1666 when he wrote his will and 5 June 1667 when it was proven in Sandwich, Plymouth Colony.
4.  Gilbert Dillingham bapt.
24 Oct 1597
Cotesbach, LeicestershireEngland
19 Aug 1609
5. Mary Dillingham 5 May 1600
Cotesbach, Leicestershire England
21 Oct 1609
Cotesbach, England
6. Catherine Dillingham c. 1600 William Allen
of Burrow, Leics
7. Martha Dillingham 29 Jan 1601/02
Cotesbach, Leicestershire England
11 Jul 1609
Cotesbach, England
8. Oseath Dillingham 12 Feb 1602/03
Cotesbach, Leicestershire England
9. John Dillingham 13 July 1606 Cottesbach, Leicestershire Sarah [__?__] 1635
Ipswich, Mass

Repeated tragedy struck in 1609 when his wife and four of his children died within 4 months.

Rev. Henry Dillingham was the rector of Coltesbach in Leicester and also owned a freehold estate in the neighboring parish of Bitteswell.

Notes prob by Dean Dudley Edward Dillingham … Most probably the son of Edward Dillingham Gent Freeholder in 1630 (see Nichols History of Leicester Vol 4 Part 1 Page 42) Son of Rev Henry Dillingham Rector of Cottesback who was also patron of the living of Bitteswell in 1606 (ditto p 47) Rev Henry Dillingham of Cottesback d.Dec 9 1625 and on his monument is “Henry Dillingham qui his sepullus est Dec 9 1625”. He was Rector of the Parish of Cottesback from 1607 until Dec 1625 (ditto p 148,150). Edward Dillingham of Sandwich named his eldest son after his own grandfather the Rector. Notes by ED Later it seems to have been figured out that Edward Dillingham Gent Freeholder was in fact the immigrant. He married and had one of his sons in England. His brother John came here in 1630 with Gov Winthrop; Edward followed in 1632. Rev Henry b c1555 Rector 1607 d 1625 Edward Gent b c1580 Edward Immigrant b c1605 m c1626 Emigrant 1630 Deputy 1642 d 1667 Henry his son b 1627 in England Rev Henry b c1570 Rector 1607 d 1625 Edward Immigrant b c1600 m c1626 Emigrant 1630 Deputy 1642 d 1667 Henry his son b 1627 in England The latter seems more likely, since all the generations of our family run more than 30 years. The former requires that the Rev Henry was 52 years old when he became Rector. If we could find the Rev Henry’s date of birth it would probably settle the question completely. [WE DID! He was the second of four brothers and was born in 1568, son of William.] But Margaret Haile says Henry received his BA from Christ’s College (Cambridge) in 1574/5; MA 1578; ordained Deacon and Priest 1581; Rector of Cotesbach 1581; died there December 1625. This makes him born c.1550 and getting on when Edward was born 1595, but certainly more likely his father than his grandfather. Based on these arguments I show The Rev Henry as the father of Edward, both Gent Freeholder and Immigrant. Why would a freeholder emigrate? Maybe because the Puritan son of a Church of England clergyman was uncomfortable in England under Charles I, or perhaps because he saw the civil war coming (it started in 1644, I think) and didn’t want to disagree with his father, whom he chose to honor by naming his son Henry. The Reverend Henry Dillingham was born during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and died (Dec 1625, from his tombstone) during the reign of Charles I. [DILLIN.GED]

1602 Document signed Rev. Henry Dillingham


6. Catherine Dillingham

In 1619 William Camden, Clarenceux King of Arms, made a Visitation of the County of Leicester, and recorded pedigrees of many families. The Dillinghams were not so honored, but two of them married above their station and appear in the Allen and Marstone pedigrees. William Allen of Burrow, Leics married Katherina (or Catherine) daughter of Henry Dillingham of Deane. Was this our Henry? He might have moved from Deane to Cottesbach afterward; alternately this might have been his cousin. Winthrop Alexander has the same source: “William Allen of Burrow, county Leicester, aged 26 in 1619, married Katherine, daughter of Henry Dillingham of Dean. Their first child was born 1619.” Alexander does not identify her father Henry as the father of Edward, etc. and lists his eight children by name. Katherine would fit in the middle of these. Moreover, Henry was Rector of Cottesbach in 1600. Henry father of Katherine may be a cousin of our Henry. [DILLIN.GED]

9. John Dillingham

Edward’s brother John Dillingham also immigrated.  While Edward lived in Plymouth, John was up north in Ipswich.

John Dillingham, brother of Edward, sons of Henry and Oseth. Edward was appointed his executor 6 Sept 1636. Arrived in Plymouth either with Edward or earlier. Possibly John in 1630, Edward in 1632. From a Caldwell genealogy: John Dillingham was from Leicestershire, and came in the fleet with Winthrop. He was first at Boston. He received his title and was made a freeman in 1630. His name appears in Ipswich in 1634, the year following the settlement of the town by Winthrop and twelve others. In November 1634 he had a grant of six acres in Ipswich, lying on the west side of the town and the north side of the great swamp. He sold marsh lands to William Payne. He probably died in 1635. Mr. Savage says that “dead” is written against his name (No.71) in the list at Boston. At the time of his death he had an adventure of 604 pounds 3s 11p on board ship Sea Flower. He left a wife, Sarah, and two children, Edward and Sarah. The wife and son very soon followed him to the grave. July 10, 1636, Widow Sarah Dillingham, made her will being then “weak and sick.” Edward, the son, was then dead, and the little Sarah was committed to the guardianship of Richard Saltonstall, Esquire and Mr Samuel Appleton. Winthrop Alexander quotes historical documents about John and his wife Sarah at some length. (pp 249-253). [DILLIN.GED]

The New England historical & genealogical register and antiquarian …, Volume 7 By New England Historic Genealogical 1853

[Edward Dillingham, gent. Freeholder of Bitteswell, Co. Leicester Eng., about A. D. 1600. Arms :—Argent, ten fleurs de lis   Thomas Dillingham living at. Over Dean, A. D. 1600, had sons, viz.—1 John born 1600, D. D. 2. Theophilus born 1602, Master of Clare Hall, Camb. A. D. 1654, left posterity. Rev. Thomas, of the same family, was Rector of All Saints, Barnwell Co. Northampt. A. D. 1618, left posterity. William wrote a Life of Dr. Chadderton. The family were very numerous in the Parish of Dean about A. D. 1600. • D. D.}

John immigrated in 1630, first living in Boston and then Lynn 1632, and Ipswich 1634. He visited England in late 1631, visiting Essex at least, and returning to New England by 1632. He married by 1634 (and possibly during his visit to England in 1631-2) Sarah Caly; she died at Ipswich between 14 July 1636 (date of will) and 6 September 1636 (court order on estate).   John died betwen Dec 1634 (grant of land in Ipswich) and July 1636 (will of wife Sarah).

He was admitted to Boston church as member #71, which would be in the winter of 1630/31.

FREEMAN: Requested 19 October 1630 and admitted 18 May 1631 (both times as “Mr. John Dillingham”).

EDUCATION: Sarah Dillingham made provision in her will for the education of her daughter Sarah, and the estate papers contain references to payments for the child’s education, and to books which belonged to her .

OFFICES: Jury in trial of Thomas Dexter, 3 May 1631 [MBCR 1:86].

ESTATE: In November 1634 granted “six acres of land, lying at the west end of the town [Ipswich] on the south side of the great swamp”; on 29 December 1634 granted sixty acres of meadow in Rock Meadow, also thirty acres of upland adjoining to it [Ipswich Town Records].

Since John Dillingham died about 1635, and his wife within a year or so, the records of their estates are totally intermingled. In 1645, when most of the accounts had been settled, the General Court ordered that the “wills of John and Sarah Dillingham with the inventory shall be kept by Mr. Nowell and Hibbins and Richard Saltonstall discharged [MBCR 2:145; EPR 1:10]. This implies that only one inventory was taken, apparently after both husband and wife had died; the will of John Dillingham has not survived, although that of Sarah has.

On 14 July 1636 “Sarah Dillingham of Ipswich widow” made her will, bequeathing to “my only child Sarah Dillingham my whole estate in land and goods (except such particular legacies as hereafter are named),” but if she dies before marriage or before reaching the age of twenty-one, the estate is to be equally divided among “my mother Thomasine Caly, my brothers Abraham Caly and Jacob Caly, my sister Bull and my sister Bast, the wives of John Bull and John Bast, and my sisters Rebecca Caly and Emme Caly,” all of whom are now living in England; to Mr. Ward, pastor of the Ipswich church, £5; to Richard Saltonstall Esq., £10, and to Mrs. Saltonstall his wife a silver bowl; to Mr. Samuel Appleton, £5, and to his wife a silver porringer; Mr. Saltonstall and Mr. Appleton to be executors [EPR 1:3-4].

The undated inventory, apparently of the estate of both John and Sarah Dillingham, totalled £385 14s. 5d., of which £130 was real estate: “the house with the appurtenances, viz. fencing, apple trees with other fruits in the gardens with 30 acres of uplands, 60 acres of meadow & 6 acres of planting ground near the house,” £130 [EPR 1:4-5].

1645 – Our ancestor John PERKINS was appraiser to the estate of Sarah Dillingham.

John Perkins’ signature on Sarah Dillingham’s Inventory

On 6 September 1636 the General Court ordered that “Mr. Dudley, Mr. Endecot and Mr. Bradstreete, or any two of them, should examine the accounts between Mr. Richard Saltonstall and Edward Dillingham, and report on the estate of John Dillingham and his wife, deceased” [MBCR 1:177; EPR 1:6]. Edward Dillingham, brother of John, had apparently been bequeathed one-third of the estate of John Dillingham in the latter’s will, and nearly ten years passed before he and Richard Saltonstall settled all outstanding differences, with Saltonstall accusing Edward Dillingham of taking unfair advantage. During this time there were several allowances made to the surviving child, Sarah Dillingham, for her maintenance and education. In 1645 the court allowed Richard Saltonstall £924 2s. 1d. from the estate. Also, Dudley, Endicott and Bradstreet were replaced as commissioners by Increase Nowell and Thomas Mayhew, and Mayhew himself was later supplanted by William Hibbins [EPR 1:5-10; WP 3:384].

ohn Dillingham’s movements during his brief span of years in New England are not well recorded, but the following itinerary is suggested. His appearance in several records in late 1630 and early 1631 (request for and admission to freemanship, admission to Boston church, service on criminal trial jury) all point clearly to his arrival in 1630 as part of the Winthrop Fleet. His only residential connection is with Boston, based on church membership, and this is probably where he spent his first year or so in New England.

In late 1631 John Dillingham appears to have made a trip to England, probably returning to New England in early 1632. In a letter of 20 June 1632, James Wall of Witham, Essex, writing to John Winthrop Jr., speaks of “one Mr. John Dillingham of your plantation that had many goods and all the cows I was to receive, and he owed me money but would not speak me when he was here in England, though he was within 2 miles of my house and spoke with some of my kinsmen,” and then goes on at length about how the debt should be recovered [WP 3:80].

Aside from the implication that Dillingham was in England in late 1631 or early 1632, we may have here a clue as to the time of his marriage and the origin of his wife. We know from her will that John Dillingham’s wife Sarah was a Caly, and there may be some relationship with the Thomas Caley of Little Waldingfield in Suffolk, another correspondent of John Winthrop Jr. Note also that Henry Jacie, for many years a close neighbor of the Winthrops in Suffolk, in a letter of 12 June 1633 to John Winthrop Jr., sends his regards to “Mr. Dillingham of Rocksbury” [WP 3:128]; whether this reference represents an actual brief residence of John Dillingham in Roxbury, or simply confusion on Jacie’s part, we cannot tell.

After his return to New England in 1632, Dillingham seems to have taken up residence in Lynn. On 3 September 1633 the General Court appointed commissioners to hear the differences among John Dillingham, Richard Wright and Thomas Dexter, the latter two being associated with Lynn at this date [MBCR 1:108]. On 4 March 1633/4 the General Court ordered that “Mr. Dillingham shall be rated for the cattle he is possessed of, of Mr. Downeings” [MBCR 1:112; see WP 3:91, 163]; Emanuel Downing’s business interests in New England were carried out in Lynn, prior to Downing’s own arrival. Furthermore, John Dillingham’s elder brother Edward, when he came to New England about 1635, sat down at Lynn.

While John Dillingham was not in the list of the first twelve allowed to settle at Ipswich, he must have followed soon after, for he was receiving grants of land there in 1634.

Savage, and some others writing on John Dillingham in later years, have stated that John Dillingham had a son Edward, who had died by the time of Sarah (Caly) Dillingham’s will in 1636. There is no record evidence for this, and it probably derives from a misreading of the complicated estate proceedings of John and Sarah Dillingham, which frequently mention John’s elder brother Edward Dillingham.

Children of John and Elizabeth

i. Sarah Dillingham, b. say 1634; m. about 1654 John Caldwell (named son Dillingham Caldwell) [Augustine Caldwell, Caldwell Records (Boston 1873), pp. 9-13].



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Puritans v. Quakers – Trials & Tribulations

There’s a kind of sucker punch in many presentations of American history, wherein we are told that the Puritans left England for America because they had suffered religious persecution—and then the Puritans persecuted other religions here!  We’re given the impression that they were looking for freedom of religion and then denied it to others.

In the 1650’s several of our ancestors became Quakers and enduried escalating fines,  prison, banishment, whipping and ear cutting.   Some of these ancestors were closely involved when four Quakers were condemned to death and executed by public hanging for their religious beliefs in Boston in 1659, 1660 and 1661.   Richard SCOTT’s daughter Patience, in June, 1659, a girl of about eleven years, having gone to Boston as a witness against ‘the persecution of the Quakers, was sent to prison; others older being banished.  Today we ask, “What kind of people put an 11 year old girl in jail? ”

In our 2011 imagination, the Quakers are the conscientious objector good guys while the Puritans are the hypocritical tyrants.  Almost any book you read about the Massachusetts Bay Colony gives you the feeling that the moment those people set foot on shore in America they started betraying their own values. Objectivity is hard to come by when you’re reading about the Puritans.  Is our modern perspective accurate?

Navigate this Report
1. Puritan Perspective

2. Quaker Perspective
3. Trials & Tribulations

4. Boston Martyrs
5. Aftermath

3. Trials and Tribulations

It’s interesting to note that many of the our first Quaker converts were the children of New England’s early civic and religious leaders.

The Humble Immortals and Lt. Robert Pike

1653 – George MARTIN and Theophilus SHATSWELL were two of the fifteen “humble immortals” who, in 1653, stoutly and successfully maintained for the first time the right of petition for the subjects of the English crown.  Lt. Robert Pike, of Salisbury, (son-in-law of Joseph MOYCE)  an influential citizen, had denounced a law passed by the General Court, for which he was convicted, fined and disfranchised by the General Court.  Lt. Pike, a prominent town official and later a member of the General Court, denounced the law forbidding to preach if not Ordained. Which law was aimed at Joseph PEASLEE and Thomas Macy, believers in the Baptist Doctrine, with Quaker tendencies. The autocratic General Court resented this and Lieutenant Pike was fined over thirteen pounds and bound to good behavior.   This punishment caused many citizens of Salisbury and the surrounding towns to petition for a revocation of the sentence.  This offended the Court still more, and the signers were called upon to give “a reason for their unjust request”.  Out of the seventy-five who signed, the above mentioned fifteen alone refused to recede or apologize, and they were required to give bonds and to “answer for their offense before the County Court”.  Their cases were never called to trial, and they thus, by their firm stand, laid the foundation for these rights, which are now granted in all the civilized world.

Joseph Peaslee

Joseph PEASLEE  was a lay preacher as well as a farmer, and was reputed to have some skill in the practice of medicine. In the recognition of these natural gifts, he was, undoubtedly, made a citizen of Salisbury “Newtown.”

Later this gift of preaching made trouble in the new settlement and history for Joseph.  Soon after he removed to “Newtown,” the inhabitants neglected to attend the meetings for worship in the old town and did not contribute to the support of the minister. They held meetings for-worship at private houses, and in the absence of a minister, Joseph Peaslee and Thomas Macy officiated.The general court, which had jurisdiction over territory from Salem, Massachusetts, to Portsmouth, New Hampshire (was called Norfolk county), soon fined the inhabitants of “Newtown” five shillings each for every neglect of attending meetings in the old town and an additional fine of five shillings each to Joseph and Macy if they exhorted the people in the absence of a minister. This decree was not heeded. Meetings were held and Joseph and his friend continued to preach. The general court made additional decrees and fines, which also were not heeded.

Ralph Allen

1657 – Ralph ALLEN, his brothers, William and Matthew, as well as his brother-in-law, William Newland, were in trouble with the authorities at one time or another because they were Quakers. Ralph  had numerous difficulties with the authorities because of his conversion to the Quaker faith in 1657. In 1658, he was deprived of his vote in town meeting. In 1658 and 1659, he had  £68 in goods taken from him for refusing to swear to oaths and for attending Friends Meeting. In 1661, he was jailed in Boston.  They were liberated by order of Charles II who came to the Throne in 1660, but were taken from the jail and whipped through several towns before being set at liberty.

Ralph and William were called to serve on the jury but declined to take the oath. They were arraigned before the Court for having “disorderly” meetings at their houses. It was the old story of religious persecution. The charge was based on the fact that a few Friends had met in silence to wait upon God. Assembling like this was viewed by the magistrates as a grave offence and each was fined 20 shillings with an order they should find sureties (bond) in the sum of  £80 for their good behavior in the following six months. If they agreed to this, it would imply acknowledgement of the offence and agreement to stop their Quaker worship, so they unhesitatingly refused to comply. They were then put in jail for five months. After two and a half months in jail, they were offered their freedom if they agreed not to receive or listen to a Quaker but this they promptly refused to do.

Ralph Allen and six of his brothers and sisters continued with their Quaker meetings. The local ministers and magistrates seemed to have especially singled out the Allen family…they were the only individuals required to take the “oath of fidelity.”

See Elder George ALLEN‘s page for the stories of Ralph’s Quaker siblings.  George Sr. was an Anabaptist.  Maybe that’s why many of his children became Quakers.

Ralph’s brother George was fined on 8 June 1651 for failing to serve as a juror, and on 7 Oct 1651 both he and Hannah were fined for failure to attend public worship. George was also fined on several occasions for refusing to take the Oath of Fidelity to the King.

In 1675, however, records indicate that George changed his mind and took the Oath of Fidelity. 23 Feb 1675 – The town recorded the name of George Allen among those who had established their right to the privileges of the town. It may be that the town was admitting him to the franchise which had been taken from him for becoming a Quaker. The list of those voted to have a just right and interest in the town privileges included George Allen plus Caleb, Frederick, John, William, Ralph, and Francis Allen.

George may have been reprimanded by the Quakers for his 1657 marriage to Sarah who was not a Quaker, and later, on 3 June 1687, he acknowledged his wrongdoing. In 1683, George’s relationship with the Quakers of Sandwich became strained over the marriage of their daughter, Lydia, to Edward Wooley who was not a Quaker. [unconfirmed single source]

Ralph’s brother William and William’s wife Priscilla were very active and outspoken supporters of the Quaker movement, and over the years they were often fined for holding meetings and for entertaining visiting Quakers in their home. Aside from the monetary fines, William and Priscilla also had property seized, and on several occasions William had to endure whipping.

The Sandwich Friends Monthly Meeting, held at William Allen’s 4:3mo.: 1683 records on page 33. the intention of marriage of William Gifford to Mary Mills. “both of Sandwich”. At the same meeting, Gifford contributed 50 shillings to the meeting for the purchase of a cow. The marriage took place at the Meeting of 16 day 5mo.: 1683, the couple “having expressed their intentions at two meetings”. Both, again, are called of Sandwich”, and both signed the certificate (not by mark). It is interesting to note that there were thirty witnesses: [our relations are in boldWilliam and John NewlandGeorge. William, Francis, Jedediah, Zachariah AllenStephen WingEdward Perry, Lodowick Hauksie, Jedediah Jones. Thomas Grennell, Isaac Turner and John Goodspeed. Also Rose Newland: Susannah, Hannah and Elizabeth Jenkins: Priscilla, Hannah, Mary and two Elizabeth Allens; Lydia Gaunt, Jane Landers, Sarah Wing. Mary Perry, Mary Hauksie, Experience Goodspeed and Mary Turner. But none of the children of William Gifford signed the document, nor did James Mills, brother of the bride.

In one instance in 1661, Sheriff George Barlow of Sandwich [father-in-law to William’s brother Francis] went to William’s home while William was in jail in Boston. Having already seized the majority of William and Priscilla’s moveable property, Sheriff Barlow went into their home and took Priscilla’s last cooking pot and bag of meal. Upon doing so he sneered;

“Now Priscilla, how will thee cook for thy family and friends, thee has no kettle.”

Priscilla then replied;

“George, that God who hears the young ravens when they cry will provide for them, I trust in that God, and I verily believe the time will come when thy necessity will be greater than mine.”

Edward Perry and Mary Freeman

1654 – By the time Edward Perry, son of our ancestor Edmund PERRY was 23 years old, he had moved to the little town of Sandwich, where many of the Quakers settled.

His name first appears in the records of Sandwich, Plymouth Colony, for November 1652 when he was a member of a committee to acquire and store fish for the town’s use. In 1653 he was appointed a grand juryman. He was surveyor of highways in 1657, 1658, and 1674.

Due to his Quaker beliefs, when Edward married Mary Freeman [daughter of our ancestor Edmund FREEMAN],   he refused the services of the authorized magistrate, choosing a Quaker ceremony instead.  On March 7, 1653/54, the Court fined him five pounds for not being legally married and ordered him to have the marriage ratified. He refused and at the next session of the Court, on June 6, 1654, the Court ordered “Edward Perrry, for refusing to have his marriage ratified before Mr.Prence according to order of Court, is fined five pounds for this present Court and so five pounds for each General Court that shall be during the time of his said neglect for the future.”

Note that Edward employed a Quaker wedding ceremony in 1654, 3 years before the first Quaker congregation was established in Plymouth Colony, and 4 years before he formally joined that organization. The Quaker religious movement had been going since the late 1640’s, so there is nothing strange about him being a practicing Quaker before a Quaker “meeting” (congregation) existed in his area. The fact that his father-in-law, a very tolerant Puritan, was Lt Governor helped to deflect some of the Puritan anger, but the fines were still massive.

The Plymouth Colony records contain an entry for 7 Mar 1654 under the heading of “fines”: “Edward Perry, for unorderly proceeding, contrary to order of the Court, about his marriage, is fined five pound.” On the same date: “Thomas Tupper, for his negligence in not causing Edward Perry, of Sandwidg, to bee by him orderly married, being by the Court appointed to merry persons there, was required henceforth to desist, and is not intrusted with that business any more.”

On 6 Jun 1654 the Court again imposed a fine: “Edward Perry, for refusing to have his marriage rattifyed before Mr. Prence according to the order of Court, is fined five pounds for this present Court, and soe five pounds for every Generall Court that shall bee during the time of his said neglect for the future.”

On August 1, 1654, Edward was again fined. The final outcome of the conflict isn’t know but Edward’s difficulties didn’t cease.  At the beginning of June 1658, he and thirteen other men from Sandwich appeared before the Court to give reason for refusing to take the oath of fidelity. Because of their religion, they replied that it was unlawful for them to take the oath. The Court fined them 10 pounds apiece.

About 1657, he joined the newly formed Society of Friends. In 1658, the Quakers in Sandwich began having monthly meetings and the Court issued the third decree against them. It forbid, under severe penalties, holding or attending meeting. Following the decree, the fines and complaints against Quakers became so numerous that in June (1658), a marshal was chosen to help the constable.  That October, Edward and ten other men appearaed before the Court “to answer for their refusing to take the oath of fidelity and remaining obstinate.” The Court fined each of them ten pounds. In addition, “Edward Perry for using threatening speeches to abuse the marshal is fined to the use of the colony twenty shillings.”

Regularly throughout the years Edward’s name appeared in the court records. In 1658, 1659, and 1660 he and other Quakers were fined for refusing the oath of fidelity. In 1659 he was fined for “using threatning speeches” to the marshall. In 1663 he was called to account for a “rayling letter which hee wrote to the Court”. Nevertheless, he was respected enough to be appointed to share in community duties.

March, 1659/60 – The Court summoned Edward and six other men to answer about whether they would take the oath of fidelity. Edward and another man didn’t appear. The men who did appear said that they had not been duly summoned. There isn’t a record of them being fined.

13 Jun 1660 – The Court summoned Edward and eleven other men and asked them if they would take the oath. After all of the men refused to do, the Court fined them five pounds each. That is the last record of them being summoned or fined for refusing to take the oath of fidelity. The cause for some of the relief from fines and punishments appears to be due to interference from King Charles.

Arthur Howland and Elizabeth Prence

1657 –  Arthur Howland Jr.,  an ardent Quaker and son of Arthur HOWLAND Sr., was brought before the court.  Elizabeth Prence, daughter of Gov. Thomas PRENCE (also our ancestor)  and Arthur Howland Jr., fell in love. The relationship blossomed and matrimony seemed inevitable. However, it was illegal and punishable by court sanction for couples to marry without parental consent. Thomas Prence urged Elizabeth to break off the relationship, but to no avail. He then used powers available to him as Governor. Arthur Howland, Jr., was brought before the General Court and fined five pounds for

inveigling of Mistris Elizabeth Prence and making motion of marriage to her, and prosecuting the same contrary to her parents likeing, and without theire mind and will…[and] in speciall that hee desist from the use of any meanes to obtaine or retaine her affections as aforesaid.”

2 Jul 1667 – Arthur Howland, Jr., was brought before the General Court again where he “did sollemly and seriously engage before the Court, that he will wholly desist and never apply himself for the future as formerly he hath done, to Mistris Elizabeth Prence in reference unto marriage.” Guess what happened! They were married on December 9, 1667 and in time had a daughter and four sons. Thus a reluctant Thomas Prence acquired a Quaker son-in-law, Quaker grandchildren and innumerable Quaker in-laws of Henry Howland.

22 Dec 1657 – Arthur, his brother Henry and Henry’s son Zoeth were called before the Plymouth court to answer for entertaining a Quaker, and suffering and inviting sundry to hear said Quaker.  They were fined for using thier homes for Quaker meetings.’   The families of Arthur Howland and his brother  Henry, were two Plymouth families most identified as practicing Quakers. The families ceased attending Plymouth religious services and allowed their homes for the conduct of Quaker meetings.  Throughout his life, Arthur’s brother John HOWLAND (also our ancestor)  remained faithful to Separatist belief and practice, but his compassion for Quakers is not known.

1659 –  Arthur Jr.’s freeman status was revoked and in 1684 he was imprisoned in Plymouth.

1669 – Arthur was arrested for neglecting to pay his minister-tax; due to his advanced age and low estate he was excused from paying.

Sandwich Quakers

In 1657, “the people called Quakers” made their first appearance in Sandwich. In Bowden’s “History of the Society of Friends in America,”it is mentioned that two English Friends named ‘Christopher Holden  (See Puritans v. Quakers – Boston Martyrs) and John Copeland came to Sandwich on the 20th of 6th month ,1657, and had a number of meetings, and that their arrival was hailed with feelings of satisfaction by many who had long been burdened with a lifeless ministry and dead forms in religion. But the town had its advocates of reliigous intolerance and no small commotion ensued.” The Governor issued a warrant for their arrest, but when a copy of the warrant was asked for by William Newland at whose house the meetings had been held, it was refused and its execution was resisted. A severe rebuke and a fine was then inflicted upon them. The two prisoners were sentenced to be whipped, but the selectmen of the town declined to act in the case and the marshal was obliged to take them to Barnstable to find a magistrate willing to comply with the order.

Tradition reports that many meetings were held at a secluded spot in the woods which from the preacher’s Christian name was afterwards known as “Christopher’s Hollow.” Numerous complaints were made against divers persons in Sandwich for “meetings at private houses and inveighing against magistrates;” and several men and women were publicly whipped for “disturbing public worship, for abusing the ministers,” for “encouraging” others in holding meetings, for “entertaining the preachers and for unworthy speeches.”

Robert Harper

It seems probable that much of Edmund PERRY’s son-in-law Robert Harper’s land and personal property was taken from him because of his refusal to take the oath of Fidelity and for absenting himself from the authorized church worship. His name appears at the head of a list of Quakers, with fines of £44.  It may be that because of this he had few worldly goods to leave, as no record of the probate of his estate has come to light, nor can we find the date of his death.

1 June 1658 – Robert appeared before the court for failure to take the “oath of fidelitie”, and was fined £10  on at Plymouth, Plymouth Co., MA, New England.

2 Oct 1658 – Robert Harper was fined £5 for refusing to take the “oath of fidelitie”, along with twelve others of Sandwich, and was fined £5.

7 Jun 1659 – Robert appeared before the court for failure to take the “oath of fidelitie”, and fined £5  at Plymouth, Plymouth Co., MA, New England.

6 Oct 1659 – Robert appeared before the court for failure to take the “oath of fidelitie”, and fined £5 at Plymouth, Plymouth Co., MA, New England.

8 or 13 June 1660 – Robert Harper was fined fined £5 for refusing to take the “oath of fidelitie”. This fine was imposed by the court in regards to the 7 Mar 1660 appearance. on  at Plymouth, Plymouth Co., MA, New England.

2 Oct 1660 – Robert was convicted for refusing to take the “oath of fidelitie”, at the General Court in Plymouth; fined £6 at Plymouth, Plymouth Co., MA, New England.

2 Oct 1660 – Robert Harper and Deborah Perry were fined £4, “for being att Quakers meetings”.

1 Mar 1663/64 – Robert Harper appeared before the court for “intollorable insolent disturbance” and was ordered to be publicly whipped at Plymouth, Plymouth Co., MA, New England.

Henry DILLINGHAM and Elizabeth PERRY 

1659 – Henry DILLINGHAM and his wife  Elizabeth PERRY were early adopted the Quaker faith and suffered persecution in common with others of that sect.  Henry was son of  Edward DILLINGHAM  and Elizabeth was the daughter of Edmund PERRY., The trouble seems to have begun about 1656. In 1657 neither he nor his father appears on a list of those subscribing to support the minister.

Sandwich was the site of an early Quaker settlement. However, the settlement was not well-received, as their beliefs clashed with those of the Puritans who founded the town. Many Quakers left the town, either for further settlements along the Cape, or elsewhere.

7 June 1659 – Henry was fines 50 shillings “for refusing to serve in the office of constable,being chosen by the town of Sandwich”In the same year he was again fined 2 pounds, ,10 shillings.

In 1659 he was fined 15 Shillings ” for refusing to aid the Marshall in the execution of his office” (relating to Quakers) and in the same year his wife was fined 10 shillings for being at a Quaker’s meeting.

Henry seems later to have mortified his views,or possibly the authorities had grown more tolerant,as in 1666 he served a constable.

Daniel and Stephen Wing

Daniel and  Stephen Wing, two sons of John WING refused to take the “oath of fidelity,”not on the ground that they declined all oaths, but because this particular oath pledged them to assist in the execution of an intolerant enactment.

Among the fines inflicted on Daniel Wing we find March 1658 for entertaing Quakers, 20 shillings. For refusing to take the oath of fidelity, £5. imposed 4 times: Oct 1658, Oct 1669, Mar 1660, Jun 1660. December, 1658, excluded from the number of freemen.
For refusing to aid the marshal, £10.

Indeed, so generally were the laws against free worship condemned in Sandwich, that the constable was “unable to discharge his duty by reason of many disturbent persons there residing,” and itwas enacted that “a marshal be chosen for such service in Sandwich, Barnstable and Yarmouth.” In 1658 a list was made out by the Governor and other magistrates of “certain persons who refused to take the oath of fidelity” and for that reason had no legal right to act as inhabitants. They were, therefore, each fined five pounds to the colony’s use, and it was ordered that each and every one of them should henceforth have no power to act in any town meeting till better evidence appeared of their legal admittance, nor to claim title or interest in any town privileges as town’s men, and that no man should henceforth be admitted an inhabitant of Sandwich, or enjoy the privileges thereol, without the approbation of the church and of Mr. Thomas PRENCE (the Governor and also our ancestor), or of the assistants whom they shall choose. Many were summoned to Plymouth to account for nonattendance upon public worship, and distraints were exacted from these recusants in Sandwich to satisfy for fines to the amount of six hundred and sixty pounds. Of these fines Daniel Wing paid not less than twelve pounds.

Up to this time Daniel Wing, with others who acted with him appear simply as friends of toleration and resisters of an oppressive law. But it was not long before he and most of these sympathizers became active converts to the persecuted sect. “In 1658 no less than eighteen families in Sandwich recorded their names” in one of the documents of the Society. Writers of that period (1658-60) say: “We have two strong places in this land, the one at Newport and the other at Sandwich; almost the whole town of Sandwich is adhering towards them,” and the Records of Monthly Meetings of Friends show that “the Sandwich Monthly Meeting was the first established in America.”  Its records extend as far back as 1672, which is earlier than any other known in this country. It was not until the accession of King Charles the Second (about 1660) that these proceedings against the Quakers were discontinued by the royal order, and the most obnoxious laws were repealed in the colony of Plymouth, when we are told that “the Quakers became the most peaceful, industrious and moral of all the religious sects.” la the fervor of religious zeal, and while smarting under severe injuries, they doubtless at this early period provoked the authorities by indiscretions which none ofIheir successors inthe faith would attempt to justify, and yet every descendant of the Puritans must regret that those who had themselves suffered so much for their conscientious convictions should have inflicted such severities upon dissenters from their own views.

Daniel Wing officially declared his affiliation with the Quakers who had established a Friends meeting at Spring Hill in Sandwich, the first in America, and between the months of March to December, was arrested and brought before the Courts a total of five times and fined extensively. By October of that year, he, his brother Stephen, Thomas Ewer, and six others were not only no longer legally given admittance into the town of Sandwich, but risked execution, for on the 19th of that month, the Court order was passed that “banish both resident and visiting Quakers by pain of death if they return”. Ingeniously, however, by early December with the aid of his brother John, Daniel with foresight had his estate confirmed to his children in order to escape the fines levied due to his Quakerism, thereby preserving his home and personal assets, and in light of the Southwicks, his family, as his seventh child, Beulah was born just a month later.

Daniel embraced the new Quaker religion and suffered greatly under the Quaker persecution. The constant fines had come to the point where he was afraid of losing his homestead. In order to escape that fate, he had his estate probated during his lifetime and given to his children. This event has caused much confusion to family historians ever since.

Stephen Wing, with his brother Daniel, embraced the new Quaker faith around 1658. He was repeatedly fined for his beliefs, but not to the same level that his brother faced. After the Quaker percecution ended Stephen became the Town Clerk for Sandwich. Stephen was probably the last surviving original settler of Sandwich. He died on 24 APR 1710. He almost certainly lies in an unmarked grave at the original Friends’ Cemetery at Sandwich.

Rose Allen Holloway Newland

2 Oct 1661 – Rose Allen HOLLOWAY Newland and her second husband, William Newland, were fined 10 shillings for being at a Quaker meeting, and that same year, William Newland was complained of for having entertained a Quaker in his home.

Anthony Colby and Thomas Macy

1661 – The year after Anthony COLBY’s  death, his widow, Susannah sold 60 acres near Haverhill, MA to her son Isaac to pay for her board. From the public divisions she received land in 1662 and 1664. In the latter year she married William Whitridge, a carpenter from Gloucester, and he died in 1669. In the meantime, Susannah had to defend her homestead against the claim of Thomas Macy from whom it had been purchased. At about the time of the sale, Macy had fled to Nantucket to escape the penalty of sheltering two Quakers during a thunderstorm, but later he denied the sale and tried to expel the widow and her family by legal process. He was unsuccessful and the premises were in the possession of Susannah’s descendants as late as 1895. In 1678, the son of Thomas Macy was deeded half of all the lands remaining in consideration of services rendered to the widow, and in 1682 the homestead was deeded to Susannah’s son, Samuel Colby, who cared for her during the infirmities of old age.

259 Main Street, Amesbury, MA The Macy-Colby house is open on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm during the summer. Other times are available by appointment. To arrange an appointment contact: Kathy Colby 978-388-3054 colbykathleen@verizon.net

Captains Of Industry Or Men Of Business Who Did Something Besides Making Money – James Parton 1884 – 1891

In August 1659 in Salisbury, Mass, Thomas Macy was caught in a violent storm of rain, and hurried home drenched to the skin. He found in his house four wayfarers, who had also come in for shelter. His wife being sick in bed, no one had seen or spoken to them. They asked him how far it was to Casco Bay [Maine]. From their dress and demeanor he thought they might be Quakers, and, as it was unlawful to harbor persons of that sect, he asked them to go on their way, since he feared to give offense in entertaining them. As soon as the worst of the storm was over, they left, and he never saw them again. They were in his house about three quarters of an hour, during which he said very little to them, having himself come home wet, and found his wife sick.

He was summoned to Boston, forty miles distant, to answer for this offense. Being unable to walk, and not rich enough to buy a horse, he wrote to the General Court, relating the circumstances, and explaining his non-appearance. He was fined thirty shillings, and ordered to be admonished by the governor. He paid his fine, received his reprimand, and removed to the island of Nantucket, of which he was the first settler, and for some time the only white inhabitant.

William Hammond

William HAMMOND’s independence in religious matters  may have made him unpopular with his more puritanical neighbors, although he does not appear to have been so unpopular as some of his most intimate friends. His near neighbor and most intimate friend appears to have been John Warren, who came from the same locality in Suffolk County, England, and between whose family and his own there appears to have been considerable intimacy for several generations prior to the settlement in America.

On occasion there were fines “for an offense against the laws concerning baptism,” and “for neglect of publick worship” 14 Sabbaths at 5 shillings each. Warnings were given “for not attending publick worship”.

27 May 1661 – The houses of “old Warren and goodman Hammond” were ordered to be searched for Quakers, for whom they were known to have considerable sympathy. Considerable independence in religious matters, great love of liberty and sympathy for all who are persecuted for conscience sake seem to have been inherent family traits for generations past. It is probable that William Hammond and his intimate friend, Warren, were both inclined toward the religious teaching of Roger Williams, but were too conservative to subject themselves to the persecution that his more radical followers were compelled to endure. This view is supported by the fact that many of their descendants were rigid adherents of the Baptist Church. The tendency, however, in this family has been toward great liberty of thought in religious matters and many of the descendants have been connected with the Unitarian and Universalist denominations, while many in the later generations have held membership in no church

Daniel Butler

Thomas HOWES’ son-in-law, Daniel Butler was arrested by marshal George Barlow for entertaining a strange Quaker in his house and for resisting arrest, for which the court sentenced him to be whipped on 13 Jun 1660.

At a court of 5 Oct 1663, “Mr. Thomas Hawley complained against William Allen and Daniell Butler… to a damage of £40, with all other damages, for taking away his mare in a violent and royetous maner.” The jury found for the plantiff and awarded fifty shillings damages and costs “if the mare and colt delivered to the plaintiffe. otherwise £16.” This item is interesting for two reasons: (1) As we have seen, Thomas Butler had appeared on behalf of his son Daniel in the tar case of 5 May 1663. This would imply that Daniel Butler may have reached his majority between the two dates, so that his father was not responsible for the son in Oct 1663. (2) The implication is that the parties concerned did not consider this a case of theft. One wonders whether this mare may not have been one which was taken from the Quakers by the marshall since, if so, the question of maral ownership by Hawley may have been in doubt, which would explain the comparative mildness of the award to the plaintiff, as well as the wording of the entry. William Allen was a leader of the Quaker faction.

With the outbreak of the Pequot War in 1675, Daniel Butler was required to serve in the militia. As a Quaker he could not do so, and was fined £8 as a “deliquent soldier” 10 Mar 1675/6.

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Puritans v. Quakers – Aftermath

There’s a kind of sucker punch in many presentations of American history, wherein we are told that the Puritans left England for America because they had suffered religious persecution—and then the Puritans persecuted other religions here! We’re given the impression that they were looking for freedom of religion and then denied it to others.

In the 1650’s several of our ancestors became Quakers and enduried escalating fines, prison, banishment, whipping and ear cutting. Some of these ancestors were closely involved when four Quakers were condemned to death and executed by public hanging for their religious beliefs in Boston in 1659, 1660 and 1661. Richard SCOTT’s daughter Patience, in June, 1659, a girl of about eleven years, having gone to Boston as a witness against ‘the persecution of the Quakers, was sent to prison; others older being banished. Today we ask, “What kind of people put an 11 year old girl in jail? ”

In our 2011 imagination, the Quakers are the conscientious objector good guys while the Puritans are the hypocritical tyrants. Almost any book you read about the Massachusetts Bay Colony gives you the feeling that the moment those people set foot on shore in America they started betraying their own values. Objectivity is hard to come by when you’re reading about the Puritans. Is our modern perspective accurate?

Navigate this Report
1. Puritan Perspective

2. Quaker Perspective
3. Trials & Tribulations

4. Boston Martyrs
5. Aftermath

5. Aftermath

The executions of Mary Dyer in 1660 and William Leddra in 1661, both in Boston, caused an amazing addition to the number of converts to Quakerism. The same year monthly meetings were established in several places in New England, and not long afterwards quarterly meetings were organized.

On hearing of the death of Leddra, Charles II. sent an order to Endicott to stop the persecutions and to send all accused persons to England for trial.  In 1684 England revoked the Massachusetts charter, sent over a royal governor to enforce English laws in 1686, and in 1689 passed a broad Toleration act.

King Charles’ order was sent by the hand of Samuel Shattuck, a banished Quaker, who appeared before Governor Endicott with his hat on. The incensed governor was about to take the usual brutal steps to send him to prison, after ordering an officer to remove Shattuck’s hat, when the latter handed the magistrate the order from the throne. Endicott was thunderstruck. He handed back Shattuck’s hat and removed his own in deference to the presence of the King’s messenger. He read the papers, and, directing Shattuck to withdraw, simply remarked, ” We shall obey his Majesty’s commands.” A hurried conference was held with the other magistrates and ministers. They dared not send the accused persons to England, for they would be swift witnesses against the authorities of Massachusetts; so they ordered William Sutton, keeper of the Boston jail, to set all the Quakers free. So ended their severe persecution in New England; but the magistrates continued for some time to whip Quaker men and women, half naked, through the streets of Boston and Salem, until peremptorily forbidden to do so by the King.

After Massachusetts had suspended its laws against Quakers, Parliament made a law (1662) which provided that every five Quakers, meeting for religious worship, should be fined, for the first offence, $25; for the second offence, $50; and for the third offence to abjure the realm on oath, or be transported to the American colonies. Many refused to take the oath, and were transported. By an act of the Virginia legislature, passed in 1662, every master of a vessel who should import a Quaker, unless such as had been shipped from England under the above act, was subjected to a fine of 5,000 lbs. of tobacco for the first offence. Severe laws against other sectaries were passed in Virginia, and many of the Non-conformists in that colony, while Berkeley ruled, fled deep into the wilderness to avoid persecution.

By 1671 Quaker founder George Fox had recovered from his prison ordeals and Margaret had been released by order of the King. Fox resolved to visit the English settlements in America and the West Indies, remaining there for two years, possibly to counter any remnants of Perrot’s teaching there.  After a voyage of seven weeks, during which dolphins were caught and eaten, the party arrived in Barbados on 3 October 1671.  From there, Fox sent an epistle to Friends spelling out the role of women’s meetings in the Quaker marriage ceremony, a point of controversy when he returned home. One of his proposals suggested that the prospective couple should be interviewed by an all-female meeting prior to the marriage to determine whether there were any financial or other impediments. Though women’s meetings had been held in London for the last ten years, this was an innovation in Bristol and the north-west of England, which many there felt went too far.[3]

Fox wrote a letter to the governor and assembly of the island in which he refuted charges that Quakers were stirring up the slaves to revolt and tried to affirm the orthodoxy of Quaker beliefs. After a stay in Jamaica, Fox’s first landfall on the North American continent was at Maryland, where he participated in a four-day meeting of local Quakers. He remained there while various of his English companions travelled to the other colonies, because he wished to meet some Native Americans who were interested in Quaker ways—though he relates that they had “a great dispute” among themselves about whether to participate in the meeting. Fox was impressed by their general demeanour, which he said was “courteous and loving”. He resented the suggestion (from a man in North Carolina) that “the Light and Spirit of God … was not in the Indians”, a proposition which Fox refuted.  Fox left no record of encountering slaves on the mainland. [Our Quaker ancestor Edward WANTON owned a slave]

Elsewhere in the colonies, Fox helped to establish organizational systems for the Friends, along the same lines as he had done in Britain.  He also preached to many non-Quakers, some but not all of whom were converted.

Fenwick, one of the purchasers of west Jersey, made the first settlement of members of his sect at Salem. Liberal offers were made to Friends in England if they would settle in New Jersey, where they would be free from persecution, and in 1677 several hundred came over. In March a company of 230 came in the ship Kent. Before they sailed King Charles gave them his blessing. The Kent reached New York in August, with commissioners to manage public affairs in New Jersey. The arrival was reported to Andros, who was governor of New York, and claimed political jurisdiction over the Jerseys. Fenwick, who denied the jurisdiction of the Duke of York in the collection of customs duties, was then in custody at New York, but was allowed to depart with the other Friends, on his own recognizance to answer in the autumn. On Aug. 16 the Kent arrived at New Castle, but it was three months before a permanent place was settled upon. That place was on the Delaware River, and was first named Beverly. Afterwards it was called Bridlington, after a parish in Yorkshire, England, whence many of the emigrants had come. The name was corrupted to Burlington, which it still bears. There the passengers of the Kent settled, and were soon joined by many others. The village prospered, and other settlements were made in its vicinity. Nearly all the settlers in west Jersey were members of the Society of Friends, or Quakers. One of the earliest erected buildings for the public worship of Friends in New Jersey was at Crosswicks, about half-way between Allentown and the Delaware River.

Roger Park

In 1690 Roger PARK lived in a Quaker settlement on Crosswick’s Creek, but he traveled so often to Wissamonson [Woodbridge] to study medicine under old Indian squaws and medicine men that his path was called “Roger’s Road.”

Richard Scott

1660 – While Richard SCOTT was the first Quaker resident of Providence. His wife seems to have changed her views after a time. Roger Williams said, September 8, 1660, in a letter to Governor John Winthrop, of Connecticut:

“What whipping at Boston could not do, conversation with friends in England and their arguments have in great measure drawn her from the Quakers and wholly from their meetings.” .

Scott was a deputy to the general assembly in 1666. He was an earnest Quaker. In a letter published in 1678 in George Fox’s book, A New hugland Firebrand Quenched,” in answer to Roger Williams’ “George Fox Digged Out ot His Burrow,” Scott arraigns the petty vanities of Williams.

Edward Perry

1665 – Edmund PERRY’s son Edward’s legal troubles didn’t end with King Charles’ legal protections. In 1665, he was fined for writing a “railing letter to the Court of Plymouth.” In 1658 -60, his fines amounted to 89 pounds, 18 shillings and several head of cattle – at the time five pounds was considered a fortune. Edward’s fines were the heaviest imposed in the colony.

Edward published religious writings between 1767 and 1690, with titles such as “A Warning to New England,” “To the Court of Plymouth, this is the Word of the Lord,”  “A Testimony Concerning the Light,” “Concerning True Repentance,” etc. The “Warning to
New England” was a series of visions and prophecies against the sins of the day.  The Court fined him £50 for such words as “The Voice that called unto me: Blood
toucheth Blood, and Blood for Blood. The Word spoken: O, what lamentation shall be taken up for New England to Countervail or equalize Abominations in drunkenness, swearing, lying, stealing, whoredoms, adultery and fornication, with many other Abominations, but above all Blood, Blood, even the Blood of My Children, and servants which my cruelty and cruel hands have been shed in the midst of her.

Edward Wanton

As a teacher of Quakerism Edward WANTON was quite successful,  and soon gathered a large congregation, and won many  followers from the prominent families of the town. He had  nothing to fear now, except the minor persecutions, as corporal punishment, in this connection, was forbidden by King Charles.  In 1676, the Society became so numerous as to necessitate the building of a house of public worship, and a small piece of land was purchased that year, of Henry Ewclly and a house erected. This was located on the site of the garden of the late Judge William Gushing. Later, another house of worship was erected on the Wanton estate. This house is now in Pembroke, part of it having been removed, and now occupied as a residence by Charles Collamorc. The remainder is still used by the Society of Friends, who worship there, having at the present day between twenty and thirty mcmbers.  Tradition says the house was moved from the old Wanton estate to its present location, via North Rivcr, on “gundalows.”

Tradition says the Pembroke Meeting House was moved from the old Wanton estate to its present location, via North Rivcr, on "gundalows."

The Pembroke Friends Meetinghouse is an historic Quaker church at Washington Street and Schoosett Street in Pembroke, Massachusetts.   The meeting house was built in 1706 by Robert Barker with later 19th-century additions. It is the oldest Quaker meetinghouse in Massachusetts and the third oldest in the United States. This meetinghouse was used by local Quakers from 1706 until 1874 when the meetinghouse was closed and the Quaker meeting was moved to the Sandwich Meeting. Today the Meetinghouse is owned by the Pembroke Historical Society and is used during the summer months by area Quakers.

One of the many persecutions Wanton and his followers were subjected to, was, in ” 1678 Edward Wanton (of Scituate) for disorderly joining himself to his now wife in marriage in a way contrary to the order of Government is fined £10;”

1671 – Westbury, NY Meeting House

Robert TITUS’s son  Edmond came to Nassau Co., NY in 1650 and became prominent in the Quaker movement.  He settled in Hempstead, Nassau Co., NY by 1658 when he was given 10 acres on a list compiled on Nov. before moving to Westbury, Nassau Co., NY. As described in the book, Adam and Anne Mott, Their Ancestors and Descendants,

“A meeting had been established at Westbury, when the place was still called Plainedge, on the 25d of 3d month, 1671. The meeting was to begin on the 25th of 4th month, and so every fifth First day, and was held at Westbury or ‘Plainedge,’ at the house of Edmond Titus. Other meetings were held on the intervening First days at other Friends’ houses in other neighbourhoods at Jericho, Bethpage, &c. After the coming of Henry Willis in 1677, the meetings were sometimes held at his house instead of the house of Edmond Titus in Westbury. In 1697, the Monthly Meeting revised the rule, and it was directed that ‘a meeting shall be held every five weeks, on the First day, to begin at Edmond Titus’, the next First day at Jerusalem, the next at Bethpage, next at Jericho, and next at Hempstead. Traveling ministers, when they reached Westbury, usually stopped at the house of Edmond Titus, and after the coming of Henry Willis they sometimes stopped with him

John Rogers – founder of the Rogerine Quakers 

Matthew BECKWITH’s son Mathew Jr. had a rather interesting marital history.  Elizabeth Rogers, daughter of Mathew Griswold, was the widow of Peter Pratt.  She remarried to John Rogers,  the founder of the Rogerine Quakers on 17 Oct 1670.  She was granted a divorce from her husband, John Rogers, 12 Oct 1676.   In 1691 she married Mathew Beckwith Jr.   She had children by each husband. In 1703, Rogers made a rash attempt to regain his divorced wife, then married to Beckwith; Beckwith complained that he laid hands on her, declaring she was his wife, threatened Beckwith that he would have her in spite of him , all of which Rogers confessed to be true. But he defended on the plea that she was really his wife. In June, 1703, Mathew Beckwith, Sr appeared in court and swore that he was in fear of his life of him.

The Rogerenes (also known as the Rogerens Quakers or Rogerines) were a religious sect founded in 1674 by John Rogers (1648–1721) in New London, Connecticut.   Rogers was imprisoned and spent some years there. He was influenced by the Seventh Day Baptists and the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and opposed the Established Puritan church. Rogerenes initially held to a Seventh Day (Saturday) Sabbath, but over the years began to regard each day as equally holy. Their disdain for Sunday worship often brought them into sharp conflict with their neighbors. Increasingly they adopted a Pacifist stance, including war tax resistance,  which further brought them the ridicule of the larger community. Some of the Rogerenes left Connecticut and migrated to New Jersey settling in parts of present-day Morris County. One such group settled in what is presently the Landing section of Roxbury Township, New Jersey near Lake Rogerine, then known as Mountain Pond in about 1700. Another smaller group of Rogerenes in about 1734 settled on the eastern side of Schooley’s Mountain near present-day Hackettstown, New Jersey.  Rogerene worship services continued through the early 20th Century in Connecticut.



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Puritans v. Quakers – Boston Martyrs

There’s a kind of sucker punch in many presentations of American history, wherein we are told that the Puritans left England for America because they had suffered religious persecution—and then the Puritans persecuted other religions here!  We’re given the impression that they were looking for freedom of religion and then denied it to others.

In the 1650’s several of our ancestors became Quakers and enduried escalating fines,  prison, banishment, whipping and ear cutting.   Some of these ancestors were closely involved when four Quakers were condemned to death and executed by public hanging for their religious beliefs in Boston in 1659, 1660 and 1661.   Richard SCOTT’s daughter Patience, in June, 1659, a girl of about eleven years, having gone to Boston as a witness against ‘the persecution of the Quakers, was sent to prison; others older being banished.  Today we ask, “What kind of people put an 11 year old girl in jail? ”

In our 2011 imagination, the Quakers are the conscientious objector good guys while the Puritans are the hypocritical tyrants.  Almost any book you read about the Massachusetts Bay Colony gives you the feeling that the moment those people set foot on shore in America they started betraying their own values. Objectivity is hard to come by when you’re reading about the Puritans.  Is our modern perspective accurate?

Navigate this Report
1. Puritan Perspective

2. Quaker Perspective
3. Trials & Tribulations

4. Boston Martyrs
5. Aftermath

4. Boston Martyrs 

In 1649, John Endicott succeeded John Winthrop as Governor in and he was far more intolerant of religious dissention. He feared that if he permitted the Quakers to express their views in Massachusetts Bay Colony, the whole structure of the Church-State partnership might collapse.

Gov. John Endecott

Jul 1656 –  Two Quaker missionaries, Anne Austin and Mary Fisher landed in Boston  to bring the message of the “inner light” to the New World and immediatley became targets of the civil government.   These two members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) left England, where Fisher had suffered beatings because of her beliefs, and sailed to Barbados. After apparently finding success in Barbados, the two missionary women set sail in July 1656 aboard the Swallow. They landed in Boston and immediately became targets of the civil government. Deputy-governor Richard Bellingham, in charge during the absence of Governor William Endicott, ordered the women confined to the ship. Their books and belongings were taken and searched. News of the heretical views of the Quakers had preceded these women across the Atlantic. Ann and Mary had brought approximately 100 books or writings with them, and these were burnt, and the pair cast into prison. Fines were levied against anyone speaking to them, and the women were stripped and searched for any evidence of witchcraft, and their prison window was boarded up so that no one could see them.

One man, Nicholas Upsall, came to their rescue, and paid the fine either to be permitted to speak with them and/or provide them with food. The women were kept confined in this manner for five weeks, then shipped back to Barbados. Governor Endicott is reported to have stated that he would have had the women beaten. Fear of the Quaker “heresy” was indeed great. Ann Austin and Mary Fisher were persecuted before there were any laws enacted against the Friends in America

On August 9, 1656, the port authorities were alerted to search the Speedwell as it entered Boston Harbor before anyone landed. The passenger list had “Q’s” beside the names of four men and four women, and Endicott ordered these eight brought directly to Boston court. Christopher Holder (later to marry Richard SCOTT’s daughter Mary) and John Copeland led the group and they dumbfounded Endicott and the local ministers with their familiarity with the Bible. More irritating to Endicott was Christopher Holder’s knowledge of the law. When they were marched off to jail, Holder and Copeland made immediate demands for their release, stating that there was no law that justified their imprisonment.

Gov. John Endecott

Governor Endicott knew this was true. There was nothing in the Massachusetts Bay Colony Charter which permitted the imprisonment of anyone merely on grounds of their religious beliefs, and so he devised a tactic to get rid of the Quakers. The Massachusetts General Court met in mid-October of 1656 and 1657 and succeeded in passing several laws against “the cursed sect of heretics … commonly called Quakers” which permitted banishing, whipping, and using corporal punishment (cutting off ears, boring holes in tongues). On October 14, 1656 the Court ordered:

That what master or commander of any ship, barke, pinnace, catch, or any other vessel that shall henceforth bring into any harbor, creeks, or cove without jurisdiction any known Quaker or Quakers, or any other blasphemous heretics shall pay … the fine of 100 pounds … [and] they must be brought back from where they came or go to prison.

After trying to cover all the loopholes in any possible entry to Boston, the Court addressed what it would do with anyone who persisted successfully. It was decided that such a person should go to the House of Correction and be severly whipped, kept constantly at work, and not allowed to speak to anyone. They set up certain fines: 54 pounds for having any Quaker books or writing “concerning their devilish opinions,” 40 pounds for defending any Quaker of their books, 44 pounds for a second offence, and the “House of Corection for a third offence … until there be a convenient passage for them to be sent out of this land.” These laws were read on the street corners of Boston with the beat of drums for emphasis.

Christopher Holder and John Copeland sat in their cells where they could hear the rattling of the drums and realized they were going to have to leave on the next available ship departing for England.  After eleven weeks Holder, Copeland and the other six Quakers of the Speedwell were deported to England, but they immediately took steps to return.

In October 1656  Massachusetts Bay Colony established the following law:

“Whereas there is a cursed sect of heretics lately risen up in the world, which are commonly called Quakers…” upon entering within a jurisdiction, “shall be forthwith committed to the house of correction, and at their entrance to be severely whipped, and by the master thereof be kept constantly to work, and none suffered to speak with them…” and it is ordered “that what person or persons soever shall revile the office or person of the magistrates or ministers, as is usual with Quakers, such person or persons shall be severely whipped, or pay the sum of five pounds.”

Mary Dyer’s return to New England in 1657 was ill-timed.  Upon her return to America from England, unaware of the new laws,  Mary Dyer, accompanied by Ann Burden, made a stop-over in the Massachusetts Bay Colony on her journey home to Rhode Island so that Ms Burden could settle the estate of her deceased husband in Boston.  Mary Dyer and Ann Burden were arrested almost immediately upon setting foot on Massachusetts soil as undesired missionaries of the outlawed religion.  Despite their protests, they were kept in jail incommunicado in darkened cells with boarded up windows. Mary’s books and Quaker papers were confiscated and burned. Mary finally was able to slip a letter out through a crack to someone outside the jail, but it took a long time to reach William Dyer in Newport.

Two and a half months later, Governor Endicott was startled when William Dyer barged into his home, demanding that his wife should be freed immediately. While Endicott knew that William had been disenfranchised by Boston, he was still highly respected by the Boston authorities for his prominent position in Rhode Island. They would have to free Mary Dyer because of William’s prestige, but only on a condition. William was put under a heavy bond and made to “give his honor” that if his wife was allowed to return home, he was “not to lodge her in any town of the colony nor to permit any to have speech with her on the journey.” Under no condition should Mary ever return to Massachusetts.

Back in Rhode Island, Mary became a prominent Quaker minister, traveling over the new country. Preaching “inner light,” Mary rejected oaths of any kind, taught that sex was no determinant for gifts of prophecy, and contended that women and men stood on equal ground in church worship and organization. In 1658 she was expelled from New Haven for preaching.

At the end of 1658 the Massachusetts legislature, by a bare majority, enacted a law that every member of the sect of Quakers who was not an inhabitant of the colony but was found within its jurisdiction should be apprehended without warrant by any constable and imprisoned, and on conviction as a Quaker, should be banished upon pain of death, and that every inhabitant of the colony convicted of being a Quaker should be imprisoned for a month, and if obstinate in opinion should be banished on pain of death. Some Friends were arrested and expelled under this law.

Meanwhile, Christopher Holder and the seven other banished Quakers had returned to England. Christopher wasted no time in getting in touch with George Fox,  in order to secure a ship for a return trip to New England. While Mary was being rebuked in New Haven, Christopher Holder and John Copeland were being ordered to leave Martha’s Vineyard. Hiding in the sand dunes for several days, they met up with friendly Indians who volunteered to help them cross over to Massachusetts.

They landed in Sandwich where they found a community of people unsettled in their religious affiliations and had who had just lost their minister. Holder and Copeland were received with enthusiasm by about eighteen families who were ready to become Quakers. Many of these families were our ancestors and their relatives.  You can see their stories in my post Puritans V. Quakers – Trials and Tribulations.

Finding a beautiful dell by a quiet stream in the woods, they called their enchanted hideaway “Christopher’s Hollow,” a name which has remained with the place. (See Google Maps Christopher Hollow Road). A circle of Friends gathered together and sat on a circle of stones to share their religious convictions. It was the first real Friends meeting in America, and the start of regular meetings.

Happy with this success, Holder and Copeland moved from Sandwich to Duxbury, from town to town in Massachusetts, leaving fifteen converted Quaker “ministers” in their wake. Eventually, Governor Endicott got wind of their activities and alerted scouts throughout New England to arrest them, but they remained free until they walked into Salem, Endicott’s home town.

When Holder arrived at the Salem Congregational Church, he listened to the sermon of the day, then arose from the rear of the church to challenge what had been said and present Quaker alternatives. One of Endicott’s men seized Holder, hurled him bodily to the floor of the church and stuffed a leather glove and handkerchief down his throat. Holder turned blue, gagged, and gasped for life. He was close to death when Samuel Shattuck, a member of the congregation, pushed Endicott’s man aside and retrieved the glove and handkerchief from Holder’s throat and worked hard to resuscitate him. A lifelong friendship between Shattuck and Holder started at that moment.

Preceding Ms. Dyer’s and Ms Burden’s arrest by two days, Holder, Copeland and Shattuck were all taken to Boston prison.  Starved, beaten and whipped, the three men spent the next two and half months in jail. Shattuck was freed by paying a 20 shilling bond. Holder and Copeland were brought before Endicott who ordered that each should have thirty lashes. After several months, they were released from prison, but were soon to return.

Also jailed were Holder and Copeland’s host, Salem church members, Lawrence and Cassandra Southwick . Though Lawrence was released, his wife remained imprisoned for seven weeks for having in her possession a paper written by their guests.

Shortly after their release from jail, Christopher Holder and John Copeland first went to Martha’s Vineyard but was turned away by Thomas Mayhew, and then on August 20, 1657, arrived in Sandwich where they were welcomed by many families.  On April 15, 1658, Endicott’s spies arrested them in the middle of a meeting and marched them to Barnstable where they were stripped and bound to the post of an outhouse. With the standard three-corded rope, they were each given 33 lashes until the bodies ran with blood. The Friends of Sandwich stood in horr as “ear and eye witnessses” to the cruelty.”

After recovering from the scourging, Holder and Copeland returned again to Boston on June 3, 1658 where they were once again arrested. On September 16, 1658 by the order of Governor Endicott, Christopher Holder, a future son-in-law of Richard SCOTT, had his right ear cut off by the hangman at Boston for the crime of being a Quaker. Richard’s wife, Katherine MARBURY SCOTT  (Anne Hutchinson ‘s sister), was present, and remonstrating against this barbarity, was thrown into prison for two months, and then publicly flogged ten stripes with a three-corded whip.   Mrs. Scott protested

“that it was evident they were going to act the work of darkness or else they would have brought them forth publicly and have declared them offences, that all may hear and fear.”

For this utterance the Puritan Fathers of Boston

“committed her to prison and they gave her ten cruel stripes with a three-fold corded knotted whip” shortly after “though ye confessed when ye had her before you that for ought ye knew she had been of unblamable character and though some of you knew her father and called him Mr. Marbury and that she had been well bred (as among men and had so lived) and that she was the mother of many children. Yet ye whipped her for all that, and moreover told her that ye were likely to have a law to hang her if she came thither again.”

To which she answered:

“If God calls us, woe be unto us if we come not, and I question not but he whom we love will make us not to count our lives dear unto ourselves for the sake of his name.”

To which vow, Governor icott, replied:

“And we shall be as ready to take any of your lives as ye shall be to lay them down.”

On October 19, 1658, the Massachusetts authorities during a stormy session had passed by a single vote a law banishing Quakers under pain of death.

June 1659 – Two Friends, William Robinson and Marmaduke Stephenson, felt called to go to Massachusetts, although a new law imposed the death penalty on Friends.  Richard SCOTT’s daughter,  Patience , only eleven years old at the time, went to Boston as a witness againt the persecution of the Quakers, and was sent to prison; others older being banished.

“and some of ye confest ye had many children and that they had been well educated and it were well if they could say half as much for God as she could for the Devil.”

This prompted Mary Dyer to return and protest their treatment. For this action, she was put back in jail. Dyer was released after her husband wrote a letter to Endicott.

William Dyer wrote a letter to the Massachusetts authorities, dated August 30, 1659, chastising the magistrates for imprisoning his wife without evidence or legal right. “You have done more in persecution in one year than the worst bishops did in seven, and now to add more towards a tender woman,” wrote William, “… that gave you no just cause against her for did she come to your meeting to disturb them as you call itt, or did she come to reprehend the magistrates? [She] only came to visit her friends in prison and when dispatching that her intent of returning to her family as she declared in her [statement] the next day to the Governor, therefore it is you that disturbed her, else why was she not let alone.” (Click here to read full text of William’s letter.)

On Sep 12 1659, the Quakers were released from prison and banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony under threat of execution should they return. Nicholas Davis and Mary Dyer obeyed, but Robinson and Stephenson felt it their duty to remain and continue their ministry, deteremined to “look [the] bloody laws in the face.” Within a month they were again arrested. When it was learned Christopher Holder was again in jail and threatened with further torture, Mary Dyer, Hope Clifton and Mary Scott (future wife of Christopher Holder and Anne Hutchinson’s niece) walked through the forest to Boston from Providence to plead for his release and that of others. Mary Dyer was arrested while speaking to Holder through the prison bars.

There was no mistaking the moves of Holder, Robinson, Stephenson and Mary Dyer. They deliberately challenged the legal right of Endicott to carry out the death penalty. Doing what their compatriots were doing in England, they returned to the field as soon as they were released, willing to lay down their lives, if necessary, yet never striking a blow in retaliation. Passive non-resistance and religious appeals constituted the ammunition and weapons of this Colonial Quaker army. They had all been banished with the assurance that if they returned death awaited them.

On Oct 19 1659 Mary Dyer was brought before the General Court with Robinson and Stephenson. Asked why they had returned in defiance of the law, they replied that “the ground and cause of their coming was of the Lord.” When Gov. John Endicott pronounced sentence of death, Mary Dyer replied, “The will of the Lord be done.” “Take her away, Marshal,” commanded Endicott. “Yea and joyfully I go,” responded Mary Dyer.

That week in jail, Mary, William Robinson and Marmaduke Stephenson sat in their cells writing pleas to the General Court to change the laws of banishment upon pain of death. (Click here to read the full text of Mary’s letter.)

On October 27, the three Quakers were led through the streets to the gallows with drums beating to prevent them from addressing the people. Robinson and Stephenson were hanged, but Mary Dyer, her arms and legs bound and the noose around her neck, received a prearranged last-minute reprieve as a result of intercession of Gov. John Winthrop, Jr. of Connecticut, Gov. Thomas Temple of Nova Scotia and her son.

Mary Dyer, her arms and legs bound and the noose around her neck, received a prearranged last-minute reprieve as a result of intercession of Gov. John Winthrop, Jr. of Connecticut, Gov. Thomas Temple of Nova Scotia and her son.

Back in her cell, Mary composed another letter to the General Court, from which comes the inscription on her statue at Boston: “Once more the General Court, Assembled in Boston, speaks Mary Dyar, even as before: My life is not accepted, neither availeth me, in Comparison of the Lives and Liberty of the Truth and Servants of the Living God, for which in the Bowels of Love and Meekness I sought you; yet nevertheless, with wicked Hands have you put two of them to Death, which makes me to feel, that the Mercies of the Wicked is Cruelty.” (Click here to read this second letter in its entirety.)

On October 18, 1659, William Dyer, Jr.’s petition on behalf of his mother to Mass. authorities, was thus answered: “Whereas Mary Dyer is condemned by the General Court to be executed for her offence; on the petition of William Dyer, her son, it is ordered the said Mary Dyer shall have liberty for forty-eight hours after this day to depart out of this jurisdiction, after which time being found therein she is to be executed.”

Mary returned unwillingly back to Rhode Island. She was accompanied by four horsemen who followed her fifteen miles south of Boston. From there she was left in the custody of one man to escort her back to Rhode Island.

Once home, Mary longed for the companionship of other Quakers. She busied herself across Long Island Sound on Shelter Island where a group of Indians had approached her, asking if she would hold Quaker meetings with them. Although Mary was out of danger in this environment, she was not content. She made it known that she must return to Boston to “desire the repeal of that wicked law against God’s people and offer up her life there.” In late April, 1660, in obedience to her conscience and in defiance of the law and without telling her husband, she returned once more to Boston.

It took a week for the news to reach William Dyer that Mary had left Shelter Island. Quickly, he wrote again to the magistrates of Boston. (Click here to read William’s moving letter.) Governor Endicott received the letter and presented it to the General Court. Too bad if William was having trouble with his wife. She was giving them trouble, too. She had no right to come back and defy their orders. The General Court summoned Mary before them on May 31, 1660.

“Are you the same Mary Dyer that was here before?” Governor Endicott asked her.”I am the same Mary Dyer that was here at the last General Court,” she replied.

“You will own yourself a Quaker, will you not?”

“I am myself to be reproachfully called so,” Mary said stiffly.

Governor Endicott said, “The sentence was passed upon you by the General Court and now likewise; you must return to the prison and there remain until tomorrow at nine o’clock; then from thence you must go to the gallows, and there be hanged till you are dead.”

Mary Dyer did not flinch. “This is no more than what you said before.”

“But now it is to be executed,” said Endicott. “Therefore prepare yourself tomorrow at nine o’clock.”

“I came in obedience to the will of God to the last General Court desiring you to appeal your unrighteous laws of banishment on pain of death,” said Mary, “and that same is my work now, and earnest request, although I told you that if you refused to repeal them, the Lord would send others of his servants to witness against them.”

“Are you a prophetess?” asked the Governor.

“I speak the words that the Lord speaks in me and now the thing has come to pass.”

Endicott reached his saturation point and, waving to a prison guard, yelled, “Away with her! Away with her!”

At the appointed time on June 1, 1660, Mary was escorted from her prison cell by a band of soldiers to the gallows a mile away. Apprehensive that a gathering crowd might become uncontrollably compassionate, the Magistrates took every precaution to cut off communication between Mary Dyer and her followers. Led through the streets sandwiched between drummers, with a constant rat-a-tat-tat in front and behind her, Mary Dyer walked to her death.

When Mary Dyer returned to Boston, protesting the harsh laws against the Quakers, she was arrested again. Once more, she was sentenced to hang.

Despite these precautions, some of the followers were able to get close enough to appeal to her to acquiesce in banishment. “Mary Dyer, don’t die. Go back to Rhode Island where you might save your life. We beg of you, go back!” “Nay, I cannot go back to Rhode Island, for in obedience to the will of the Lord I came,” Mary said, “and in His will I abide faithful to the death.”

At the place of execution the drums were quieted and Captain John Webb spoke, trying to justify what was about to happen. “She has been here before and had the sentence of banishment upon pain of death and has broken the law in coming again now,” he said. “It is therefore SHE who is guilty of her own blood.”

Mary contradicted him. “Nay, I came to keep bloodguiltiness from you, desiring you to repeal the unrighteous and unjust laws of banishment upon pain of death made against the innocent servants of the Lord. Therefore, my blood will be required at your hands who wilfully do it.” Mary then turned towards the crowd and continued, “But, for those who do it in the simplicity of their hearts, I desire the Lord to forgive them. I came to do the will of my father, and in obedience to this will I stand even to death.”

Pastor Wilson cried, “Mary Dyer, O repent, O repent, and be not so delued and carried away by the deceit of the devil.” Mary looked directly at him and said, “Nay, man, I am not now to repent.”

John Norton stepped forward and asked, “Would you have the elders pray for you?” Mary responded, “I desire the prayer of all the people of God.” A voice from the crowd called out, “It may be that she thinks there is none here.” John Norton pleaded, “Are you sure you dont’ want one of the elders to pray for you?” Mary answered, “Nah, first a child, then a young man, then a strong man, before an elder in Christ Jesus.”

Someone from the crowd called out, “Did you say you have been in Paradise?” Mary answered, “Yea, I have been in Paradise several days and now I am about to enter eternal happiness.”

Captain John Webb signalled to [our ancestor] Edward WANTON (1632 – 1716),, officer of the gallows, who adjusted the noose.  He was “so affected at the sight” of Mary’s courageous sacrifice “he became a convert to the cause of the Friends ” He was a prominent Boston shipbuilder who converted to Quakerism and moved to Scituate, Massachusetts in 1661. The Wanton family was among the most prominent families of colonial Rhode Island, Two of his sons, one nephew and one grandson become Governors of Rhode Island and were known as the “Fighting Quakers.”    Three years later Wanton was arrested in Boston for holding a Quaker meeting in his home.

Mary needed no assistance in mounting the scaffold and a small smile lighted her face. Pastor Wilson had his large handkerchief ready to place over her head so no one would have to see that look of rapture twisted to distortion – only the dangling body. As her neck snapped, the crowd stood paralyzed in the silence of death until a spring breeze lifted her limp skirt and set it to billowing. “She hangs there as a flag for others to take example by,” remarked an unsympathetic bystander. That was indeed Mary Dyer’s intention – to be an example, a “witness” in the Quaker sense, for freedom of conscience.

Mary Dyer

Despite all the frantic attempts of the Boston magistrates to rid themselves of the challenging Quakers, they failed. Mary’s death came gradually to be considered a martyrdom even in Massachusetts, where it hastened the easing of anti-Quaker statutes. In 1959 by authority of the Massachusetts General Court, which had condemned her nearly 300 years before, a bronze statue was erected in her memory on the grounds of the State House in Boston. A statue of her friend, Anne Hutchinson, stands in front at the other wing. The words of   Mary Barrett Dyer, written from her cell of the Boston jail are engraved beneath:

My Life not Availeth Me
In Comparison to the
Liberty of the Truth’

Mary Dyer - Massachusetts State House Statue

William Leddra

William’s home was in Barbados, but he is said to have been by birth a Cornishman; and his occupation, it appears, was that of a clothier. We find him engaged very early in visiting the West Indies as a minister, and in 1657 he proceeded in that character to New England.

Reaching Salem [in July 1658], William Brend and William Leddra were warmly welcomed by the few faithful Friends of that place, with whom they were favored to hold several meetings to their mutual refreshment and comfort.

On First-day, the 20th of Fourth Month, they attended one held at the house of Nicholas Phelps, in the woods, about five miles from Salem. A magistrate of the town hearing of the intended meeting, came with a constable, for the purpose of breaking it up, and securing the two strangers; but failing in his purpose, he left the company, with a threat that he would prosecute the Friends who were present. From Salem the two gospel messengers traveled to Newburyport, where also they had some religious service. Their passing thus from place to place, in the very heart of the Puritan population of New England, and by their powerful ministry making converts to the doctrines they professed, aroused the fears of the local magistracy to this new state of things.

After leaving Newburyport, they were soon overtaken by a zealous ruler of the place, who arrested them and carried them to Salem. The court, which was then sitting in the town, had the Friends brought up for examination. Here they were interrogated respecting the doctrines they were promulgating, but their answers were so clear and convincing, and they appealed so effectually to the consciences of the magistrates, that the latter confessed they discovered nothing heretical or dangerous in their opinions.

The court, however, told the prisoners that they had a law against Quakers, and that law must be obeyed. An order for their committal immediately followed, and in a few days they were removed to Boston prison. Six Friends of Salem were also committed for having attended the meeting at the house of Nicholas Phelps.

William Brend and William Leddra, who were deemed special offenders, were separated from their companions. They were placed in a miserable cell, the window of which was so stopped, as not only to deprive them of light, but also of ventilation, while all conversation between them and the citizens was strictly forbidden. The jailer, following the cruel course which he had pursued towards Thomas Harris, refused to allow them an opportunity of purchasing food,  though they offered to pay for it. But he told them, it was not their money, but their labor he desired. Thus he kept them five days without food, and then with a three-corded whip gave them twenty blows. An hour after he told them, they might go out, if they would pay the marshal that was to lead them out of the country. They judging it very unreasonable to pay money for being banished, refused this, but yet said, that if the prison-door was set open, they would go away.

The next day the jailer came to W. Brend, a man in years, and put him in irons, neck and heels so close together, that there was no more room left between each, than for the lock that fastened them. Thus he kept them from five in the morning, till after nine at night, being the space of sixteen hours. The next morning he brought him to the mill to work, but Brend refusing, the jailer took a pitched rope about an inch thick, and gave him twenty blows over his back and arms, with as much force as he could, so that the rope untwisted; and then, going away, he came again with another rope, that was thicker and stronger, and told Brend, that he would cause him to bow to the law of the country, and make him work. Brend judged this not only unreasonable in the highest degree, since he had committed no evil, but he was also altogether unable to work for he lacked strength for want of food, having been kept five days without eating, and whipped also, and now thus unmercifully beaten with a rope. But this inhuman jailer relented not, but began to beat anew with his pitched rope on this bruised body, and foaming at his mouth like a madman, with violence laid ninety-seven more blows on him, as other prisoners that beheld it with compassion, have told ; and if his strength, and his rope had not failed him, he would have laid on more; he threatened also to give him the next morning as many blows more. But a higher power, who sets limits even to the raging sea, and has said, “to here you shall come, but no further,” also limited this butcherly fellow; who was yet impudently stout enough to say his morning prayer. To what a most terrible condition these blows brought the body of Brend, who because of the great heat of the weather, had nothing but a serge cassock upon his shirt, may easily be conceived. His back and arms were bruised and black, and the blood hanging as in bags under his arms; and so into one was his flesh beaten, that the sign of a particular blow could not be seen; for all was become as a jelly. His body being thus cruelly tortured, he lay down upon the boards, so extremely weakened, that the natural parts decaying, and strength quite failing, his body turned cold. There seemed as it were a struggle between life and death; his senses were stopped, and he had for some time neither seeing, feeling, nor hearing; till at length a divine power prevailing, life broke through death, and the breath of the Lord was breathed into his nostrils.

Now, the noise of this cruelty spread among the people in the town, and caused such a cry, that the governor sent his surgeon to the prison to see what might be done; but the surgeon found the body of Brend in such a deplorable condition, that, as one without hopes, he said, his flesh would rot from off his bones, before the bruised parts could be brought to digest. This so exasperated the people, that the magistrates, to prevent a tumult, set up a paper on their meeting-house door, and up and down the streets, as it were to show their dislike of this abominable, and most barbarous cruelty; and said, the jailer should be dealt withal the next court.

But this paper was soon taken down again upon the instigation of the high priest, John Norton, who, having from the beginning been a fierce promoter of the persecution, now did not hesitate to say, “W. Brend endeavored to beat our gospel ordinances black and blue, if he then be beaten black and blue, it is but just upon him; and I will appear in his behalf that did so.” It is therefore not much to be wondered at, that these precise and bigoted magistrates, who would be looked upon to be eminent for piety, were so cruel in persecuting, since their chief teacher thus wickedly encouraged them to it.

24 Mar 1661 – After several other arrests and jailings, William Leddra stood at the foot of the tree where he was to be hanged. As his arms were being tied he said, “For bearing my testimony for the Lord against deceivers and the deceived, I am brought here to suffer.” His final words were, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

A few moments later, he became the last Quaker to swing in Boston for the crime of returning from banishment. Even the court acknowledged that it “found nothing evil” in William. Even so, he had suffered beatings and banishment for preaching in Massachusetts. When he dared to return in 1660, Puritan authorities arrested him. The charges against him were typical. He had sympathized with the Quakers who were executed before him; he had refused to remove his hat, and he used the words “thee” and “thou,” which, to Quakers, implied the equality of all people. William lay in prison all that winter without heat. But on the last day of his life, chained to a log in a dark cell, he wrote to his wife:

“Most Dear and Inwardly Beloved, “The sweet influences of the Morning Star, like a flood distilling into my innocent habitation, hath filled me with the joy of [God] in the beauty of holiness, that my spirit is, as if it did not inhabit a tabernacle of clay. Oh! My Beloved, I have waited as a dove at the windows of the ark, and I have stood still in that watch, wherein my heart did rejoice, that I might in the love and life speak a few words to you sealed with the Spirit of Promise, that the taste thereof might be a savor of life to your life, and a testimony in you, of my innocent death.”

Edmund PERRY’s son-in-law Robert Harper,  a prominent Quaker in Boston caught Leddra’s body under the scaffold when the hangman cut it down. For this sign of respect toward his dead friend, Robert and his wife, were banished. Our Quaker ancestors were also hounded in the courts.







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