Home > 013966. Henry Withington > The Iron Works at Taunton in Plymouth Colony

The Iron Works at Taunton in Plymouth Colony

Source: Walter K. Watkins, “The Iron Works at Taunton in Plymouth Colony,” New England Historical and
Genealogical Register

[In the article by John W.D. Hall, Esq., in the REGISTER for July, 1884, on “The Ancient Iron Works of Taunton,” the commencement of the manufacture of iron in that town is assigned (page 269) to the year 1656. The following paper shows that the works there were erected and begun in the year 1653, but whether the proprietors succeeded so early as that in the manufacture of iron is not definitely stated, though it is probable that they did. James Bate, the grantor, was a son of James Bate of Dorchester, who died in the latter part of the year 1655, and of Alice his wife, who died 14. 6. 1657. See abstract of the will of James Bate, REGISTER, v. 297. James, Jr., born in England about 1626, married Ann, daughter of Henry Withington, one of the ruling elders of the church in Dorchester, and a selectman of the town; died Feb. 2, 1666-7. His inventory mentions “two shares in the iron works at Tanton, not yet prized.”

The Church Records of Dorchester furnish us with the baptisms of three children of James Bates, namely, Mary, James and Margaret, as follows. “(1) 54 or 55. Mary Bates, dau. of James Bates was baptized, her father being then [from] home gone, For England by waye of Virg[inia] — her Grand Father Elder Withington gaue her a name.”

“James sonne of James Bate 20 (2) 62.” “John sonne of Samuel Clapp and Margeret dau. of James Bate 19 (4) 64 ye wif of the latter being a member.”

There was a Samuel Bates baptized in Dorchester, 19. 4. 1648.*

Enoch Wiswall, the first witness, was a son of Thomas of Dorchester and Cambridge, and nephew of Elder John of Dorchester and Boston. He was born in England, probably about 1633. He was a brother of Ichabod, minister at Duxbury. He married Nov. 25, 1657, Elizabeth Oliver, daughter of John Oliver, of Boston, “the scholar.” They had twelve children, one of whom, Samuel, born Sept. 2, 1679, H.C. 1701, was minister at Edgartown, Mass. Enoch Wiswall, the father, died Nov. 28, 1706. See REGISTER, xl. 59.

Manasseh Armitage, says Savage, “a son of H.C. 1650, whom gladly would I find some, the minutest story of, as date of birth, or who was his father, or anything else more than in the Magnalia, iv. 137, where he is marked by a star as evidence that he was dead, 1698.”

Mr. Sibley, in his Harvard Graduates, ii. 67, states that Manasseh “was son of Thomas Armitage, of Lynn, Massachusetts, who came from Bristol, England, in 1635, in the James, with Richard Mather and others,” was subsequently in Sandwich, Mass., Stamford, Conn., Hempstead, L.I., Oyster Bay in 1653, afterwards of Hempstead.

* James Bates, who in 1741 was of Hempstead, Queens County, Long Island, went from Hingham, Mass. He was probably a son of James, of that place, who in his will of 1689, mentions sons James, John, Joseph, Benjamin, alludes to “their brother Clement,” and speaks of his own daughters Ruth and Rachel Lincoln. James Bate, of Hempstead, on the sixth of October, 1714, revokes the power of attorney given by him to his “brother Benjamin Bate, formerly of the Town of Hingham, but now of the Town of Dorchester.” This revocation was acknowledged in Durham, Conn., same day. He then appointed his son in law, Thomas Walters, of Haddam, attorney in the place of his brother Benjamin, which appointment was acknowledged by said Bate in the county of New Haven, same day. All which is recorded in Lib. 28, fol. 171, Suffolk Deeds, Boston.

James Bate also made a conveyance, Oct. 6, 1714, to his said son in law, Timothy Walters, of Haddam, county of Hartford, Conn., of lands in Hingham, “whether descending from my father James Bate, formerly of Hingham, deceased, or from my uncle Benjamin Bate, late of Hingham, deceased.” Also, “land in Hemstead, made over to me by my mother in law, Sarah Carle, formerly of said Hemstead, deceased, and Jonas Holstead, Joyntly, formerly of said Hemstead, deceased. Also all dues from my brother [blank] Bate, formerly of Hingham, now of Dorchester.” This deed was entered on record May 10, 1750. Suffolk Deeds, Lib. 78, fol. 102. See Barber’s Historical Collections of Connecticut, page 515; Hinman’s Early Puritan Settlers of Connecticut, page 152; Savage; MS. of the late Hon. Isaac C. Bates; Conn. Colonial Records.

Of the third witness to the deed, James Walbridge, or Wabridge as it is here written, strange to say, I have learned nothing. See Temple and Sheldon’s Northfield, Mass., 558, 559. Also Gardner’s Wales, Mass., Centennial, page 26; Caulkins, Norwich, Conn.; Jenning’s Bennington, Vt., 275-7.


Artickls or Covenants made & agreed Vpon betweene James Batte Junior of Dorchester wthin the mathacustes Bay one the one prte & Henry Withington his Father in Law in Dorchester on the other prtie the 1 of the moneth called September in the yeare of our lord 1655 as Followeth

Inprimis wheras in the yeare of our lord 1653 the Inhabitans of the Towne of Tanton in new plimoth (the Sayd James Batte then lyving an Inhabitant in Tanton among them) did Erect & begin certayne Iron workes wthin the Sayd plantation; & did rayse a stocke at that pesent For the Furtherence of the Sayd works of About Six hundred pound or vpward wherof Twenty pound & ten shillings becomes the share portion or part of the Sayd James: & Since then ther hath beene an Augmentation of Fiue pond a share & moreover the Sayd James did Bye a quarter Share of william wetherel of Tanton Aforesayd as Aperes by a Deed made over, by him the said william wetherell to the Sayd James Batte bering the datte August the Eleventh one thousand Six hundred Fiftye Fyue witnesseth herby that I the Sayd James Batte: do Sell & delyver vp my whole Tytle & clayme in the aforesayd Share in the Iron workes at tanton. as well that wch I bought of william wetherell as my owne poper Share : in Consideration of 31 pond–17s & 6d being Fully Satisfyed & payd by the Sayd henry my Father in law vnto me the Sayd James Batte before the Sealing herof: & herby do Bynd my Self my heres or Assignes nor any For mee nor myne to make Clayme or Tytle thervnto : but do wholly Resigne it vp as Afforesayd to the Vse of the Sayd Henry & his Assignes For ever.

Item I the Sayd James Batte do also (For Consideration already receued) Sell vnto the Sayd Henry: the whole half of my Comons that belonged to my house in Tanton wch I Bought of John Avery of windsore in Conecthecu: And did leaue Vnsould when I came away From Tanton : I Say Sould to him the Sayd Henry to be Inioyed by him & his Assignes For ever to be Aplyd For the Vse of the Iron workes by him or For pastor or as he the Sayd henry shall most Se need or haue ocation therof; wthout disturbanc From me or any by my means In wittness hereof I the Sayd James Batte haue Sett my hand & Sealle the day & yeare being Aboue written.

Signed Sealed & by the Sayd James delyvered in the prsence of vs

Enoch Wiswall
Manassah Armatage
James Baker [Seal]
James Wabridge

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