Archive for the ‘013966. Henry Withington’ Category

Withington’s Abstracts of English Wills

24 August 2009 Leave a comment

Source: Lothrop Withington, “Withington’s Abstracts of English Wills,” New England Historical and Genealogical Register 54[1900].

[page 93]

ARTHURE WITHINGTON, Ashburne, Countie of Derbie, shoemaker. Will proved 23 May, 1631. To Nicholas SPALTON, and John SPALTON (daughter and sonnes of the said Nicholas) 12d. each. To Elizabeth TOWNSON 10s. To Nicholas SPALTON the younger and Margaret SPALTON (daughter and sonne of the said Nicholas the elder) 3s-4d. each. To my brothers John WITHINGTON and Theophilus WITHINGTON 5s. each. To god children 12d. each. To every one who hath been or is my apprentice 12d. each. To Danyell BEECHRAFTE the younger 40s. To Christopher WATSON, Richard WALTON, Georg TITTENTON, and John ALLSOPP 12d. apiece in token of my love, hopeing they will carrie me to the church. To my neighbor Raffe FROST the elder 12d. To Isabell BENTLEY my servant 5s. Rest to loving wiffe Isabell, executrix.

[page 94]

Witnesses: William CHADWICKE, Sydney GORE, John BULLOCKE. Inventory £151-12s-7d. (including debts from John FLOSKETT the elder, John ALLSOPP, and Phillipp JACKSON, gents) by Edward BUXTON, John ALLSOPP, George RIDG, Richard WALTON, and George TITTENDON 14 April, 1631.

Consistory of Lichfield and Coventry. File for 1631.

[This is one of several WITHINGTON wills at Lichfield. I send it because of the conjunction of WITHINGTON and BATE. Another Anne BATE was daughter of our Henry WITHINGTON of Dorchester, and mother of the distinguished BATES family of Massachusetts. Although it is not such a great distance from the home of the WITHINGTONs in Lancashire to Derby, it seems a very far way from the home of the BATEs in Kent. Nevertheless our emigrant families had often some remarkable skips about in old England before taking the great plunge for New England. I take SPALTON to be vulgar corruption of SPALDING.—L.W.]


[page 95]

JOHN DISBOROUGH, Mildenhall, County Suffolk, husbandman. Will 27 June, 1569; proved 25 July, 1569. To be buried in Mildenhall churchyard. To poore of towne of Mildenhall 12d. To reparation of church of Mildenhall 12d. To wife Jane her goods brought into house at marriage. To wife’s son William MARSHAM fether bed, etc., etc., etc. at 21. To wife’s daughters Elizabeth and Jane bedding etc. If said William my sonne [sic] die, goods to his brothers Thomas MARSHAM and Henry MARSHAM and sisters Elizabeth and Joan MARSHAM, sons and daughters of Jane my wife. Wife Jane to occupy copyhold from Our Lady the Queen till her son William is 21, then to William. Have made surrender to Henry MARSHAM and Thomas EAGLE coppieholders of said mannor till William is 21 etc. Residue to wife Jone executrix. Friend Henry MARSHAM, supervisor. Witnesses: Henry MARSHAM, Thomas EAGLE, Christopher DALLISON.

Archdeaconry of Sudbury, Register “Peade” (1568-69), folio 107.

JEFFRY DISBOROWE, Whadden County Cambridge, yeoman. Will 16 March, 1622/3; proved 10 May, 1623. To son Bruno DISBOROWE[torn] per annum for education at the school and university during life of his mother. To Bruno, James, Willyam and John 100 marks each. To two daughters Agnes and Rose £50 each. [If wife Rose die before son Bruno is 21 and lands go to heir, I grant to these four, my two brothers James and John, and brothers-in-law Thomas PENTLOW and John BONNER, to use of three sons, James, Willyam, and John, etc., etc. To poore of Whaddon—all erased.] Residue to wife Rose, executrix. Witnesses: Clement SENTLOE, Thomas SENTLOW.

Archdeaconry of Ely, Liber 7 (1611-1623), folio 317.

[page 219]

RICHARD WITHINGTON, clerk, Boulder, Kent. Will 5 Oct., 1626; proved 5 Nov., 1626. Lands in Sway and Lymington to brother Richard WITHINGTON, Jr., Cowshott Castle, executor. To cozen Margery TURNER £5. Witnesses Richard KNOLES, William LAKE.

Hele, 122.

NICHOLAS WITHINGTON, London, merchant, intending to travel to West Indies. Will 14 March, 1619/20; proved 9 March, 1623/4. All to loving cozen Henry HELMES and Margaret his wife, executors. Witnesses Jo: HARRISON, James DELMEN, Ben: BOLTON, Richard LANGFORD.

Byrde, 25.

[The above parson was doubtless the Dorset youth of 21 who matriculated at Lincoln College, Oxford, in 1581. His brother of the same name was a soldier at Calshot Castle (at the point of Southampton Water, opposite Cowes), whose will I gave in the REGISTER, Vol. 51. Margery TURNER should be the wife of Richard PAUL of Massachusetts, last wife also of our Henry WITHINGTON. Nicholas the merchant is a well known character, being one of the pioneers of the East India Company, and his ungrateful treatment by his employers is the subject of a memoir more than once reprinted. it now seems that, having explored the east, Nicholas died following the sway of empire westward. the brevity of his will is annoying. He may possibly have been the youngest son of Dr. Oliver WITHINGTON. L.W.]


Notes and Queries: Henry Withington

15 June 2009 Leave a comment

Source: William B. Trask, “Notes and Queries: Henry Withington,” New England Historical and Genealogical Register 41[1887]:443.

[page 443]

HENRY WITHINGTON.– It is mentioned in the January number for this year, pages 83, 84, that James BATE, Jr., born in England about 1626, married Ann, daughter of Henry WITHINGTON, one of the ruling elders of the church in Dorchester, and one of the selectmen of the town, died Feb. 2, 1666-7.  His inventory mentions “two shares in the iron works at Tanton, not yet prized.”  The above paragraph may appear somewhat ambiguous.  He refers to Henry WITHINGTON, not James BATE, Jr., in regard to death and inventory.


Ancient Iron Works of Taunton

15 June 2009 Leave a comment

Source: Capt. John W.D. Hall, “Ancient Iron Works of Taunton,” New England Historical and Genealogical Register 41[1887]:281.

[page 281]

The REGISTER for January last contains the following remarks introducing a genealogical record and deed (see page 83), viz.:

“In the article by John W.D. Hall in the REGISTER for July, 1884, on the Ancient 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 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.”

The paper referred to is a deed of James BATTE, Jr., of a share and a quarter in said works to Henry WITHINGTON, of Dorchester, in 1655 – which states that “in the year of our lord, 1653, the inhabitants of tanton did erect and begin certayn iron works, and did rayse a stock at that present for the furtherance of Sayd Works of about £600 or upwards,” &c.  See the article on page 85 of the January REGISTER.  The paper of the writer in the REGISTER for July, 1884, stated clearly on the authority and record of Oliver PURCHIS, town clerk and scribe, that “certain inhabitants of Taunton put themselves in to be proprietors in the bloomerie, in 1653-’4,” by raising a stock at that time – giving their names.  That BATTE deed corroborates the record of Oliver PURCHIS, then made.  Irrefutable facts and records show that it required three years to complete the works for the manufacture of iron.

Three years ago the writer examined the BATTE deed, but not one line or sentence could be seen in it to justify the opinion that iron was manufactured there in 1653, nor before the date assigned (1656) by Capt. LEONARD.  The reader will observe the date of the deed, 1655!

On the authority of the record of Capt. Thomas LEONARD, who was there during the years of building and preparing the iron works, also as forgeman, clerk and manager over sixty years (from 1653 to 1713), the writer stated in the July REGISTER, 1884, that “the manufacture of iron began anno 1656.”  He now submits the case to the judgment of the readers of the REGISTER.

Ancient Iron Works in Taunton

10 June 2009 Leave a comment

Source: J.W.D. Hall, “Ancient Iron Works in Taunton,” New England Historical and Genealogical Register 38[1884].

[page 265]

A history of the early iron enterprises in Massachusetts is not our purpose, as the subject has been exhausted in elaborate data and dissenting opinions, but rather to present a few interesting facts and incidents relative to the origin, progress and successful managemnt of the ancient Iron Works of Taunton, derived from antiquarian researches and reliable records.  Traditions, which do not bear the test of investigation, have crept into histories and census reports relative to the origin and management of these works; but let them pass.

It has been generally admitted that the first iron works enterprise in this state for the manufacture of bar iron from native ore was commenced on the banks of the Saugus River in Lynn, in 1643, by a company under the auspices and influence of John WINTHROP, Jr., son of Gov. WINTHROP, with an English capital form London of £1000, and skiled workmen imported for the purpose; that another iron enterprise was soon after started in “Brantry” by the same company, and that Boston donated 3000 acres of common land as an encouragement “to set up iron works on the Monanticut River” in that town, where ore had been discovered.  It is also alleged that an unexpected scarcity of ore and incompetent management in their infancy was followed by disaster to these enterprises, and that after spending a large amount, about £10,000, the company partially suspended operations in Lynn and Braintree, in the latter place in 1653 and in the former a few years later.

Iron ore had been discovered quite abundant in the flats bordering on Two Mile River and other localities in Taunton, and the enterprising Pilgrim settlers considered the field open for the establishment of a “bloomerie” on that river.  It was also learned that Henry and James LEONARD, skilled iron workers from Wales, who had been employed for several years at the works in Lynn and at Braintree by the Winthrop company, might be induced to come to Taunton and aid in the practical working of iron.  Accordingly in October, 1652, preliminary steps were taken to establish the first iron works in the Old Colony, in Taunton, and the following was the record, Oct. 21, 1652:

“It was at a town meeting conferred and agreed upon between the inhabitants of Taunton and Henry LEONARD of Braintree:

Imprimis  It was agreed and granted by the town to Henry and James LEONARD, his brother, and Ralph RUSSELL, free consent to come hither and join with certain of our inhabitants to set up a Bloomery Work on the Two Mile River.

“It was also agreed and granted by a free vote of the town, that such particular inhabitants as shall concur together with the said persons in this design, shall have free liberty from the town so to do, to build and set up this work, and that they shall have the woods on either side of the Two Mile River, wheresoever it is common on that side of the river, to cut for their cord wood to make coals, and also to dig and take moine or ore at Two Mile Meadow, or in any of the commons appertaining to the town, where it is not now in propriety.”*

In accordance with the above preliminary action, the leading citizens of Taunton interested in the enterprise, formed a stock company, inviting

* Baylie’s Historical Memoir of the Colony of New Plymouth, Part ii. p. 268.

[page 266]

capitalists in other places to join them in carrying the project into effect without the aid of English capital – and they succeeded.  To obtain the shareholders required some length of time; but the precise date when they were obtained has not been fully ascertained, nor is it known when the brothers LEONARD and Mr. RUSSELL came from Braintree.  Probably it was soon after the suspension of the iron works there in 1653.  Nor is there any record that Henry LEONARD or Ralph RUSSELL were employed in these works.  They had land “set off to them” by the proprietors “as encouragement,” but they did not remain to occupy it.  RUSSELL went to Dartmouth and soon after was engaged in starting iron works at “RUSSELL’s Mills.”  Henry LEONARD was at Lynn in 1655, says Newhall the historian, and some years later was engaged with his sons by a wealthy company of Salem in an iron works at Rowley Village.  He afterwards went to New Jersey, and, it is said, successfully engaged with a company in the manufacture of bar iron.  He has left in that state numerous descendants, among whom are men of ability and of prominent standing in business and the professions.

A documentary relic of the early date above referred to, recently found among the ancient papers in the handwriting of Oliver PURCHIS, who was town clerk at the time, makes the following record preparatory to the organization of the Iron Works Company in 1653-4:

“The names of those who hath put in themselves to be proprietors in the Bloomerie, viz: – Hezekiah HOARE, Thomas GILBERT, Richard WILLIAMS, Walter DEAN, George HALL, Oliver PURCHIS, James WALKER, John TISDALL, Wm. PARKER, Mr. GILBERT senr: Peter PITTS, Richard STACEY, John COBB, William HODGES, Nath’l WOODWARD, Timothy HOLLOWAY, James BURT, Edward BOBETT, Jonah AUSTIN, sen’r, John PARKER, Samuel WILBORE, Miss E. POLE, Jane POLE.”

Additional records show the names of William POLE, Timothy LINDALL of Salem, his son-in-law, Nicholas WHITE, senr., Richard STEPHENS, John TURNER, Thomas LINCOLN, senr., Anthony SLOCUM, James LEONARD, Thos. ARMSBERY, Joseph WILBORE, Henry ANDREWS, John HALL, James PHILLIPS, Francis SMITH, Geo. WATSON, Gov. LEVERETT and Major Edward TYNG of Boston, Nath’l PAINE, senr., and Stephen PAINE, Jr., of Bristol, Benedict ARNOLD of Newport, Richard THAYER of Braintree – contributing from £20 to £5 each, for whole, half and quarter shares.

The building of a suitable dam across “Two Mile River,” where was previously a bridge; preparing the timber for the necessary buildings; obtaining from abroad the hammers and heavy iron machinery and tools required for operating the “bloomerie” for the manufacture of bar iron, occupied a long time before the practical working of the same.

The following confirmatory record in a ledger* of Capt. Thomas2 LEONARD, son of James,1 who was with his father a “bloomer,” and became the “clearke” and manager in 1683, indicates the time the works commenced, as follows:

* [Footnote] This ledger was found in the old mansion built in 1750 by Dea. Elijah3 LEONARD, grandson [sic] of Capt. Thomas,2 who had carefully stored the books transmitted to him by his father and grandfather, when he built the house.  It was the birthplace of Capt. Edward LEONARD, who resided there seventy years, and of Rev. Elijah LEONARD, of Marshfield, who died in February, 1834, after a forty-five years’ pastorate, and the father of Rev. Geo. LEONARD, who died in July, 1881, after a pastorate of thirty years in the same Marshfield church, and who inherited the old place in Raynham from his uncle Capt. Edward.  It was sold a few years ago to Mr. John SPINNEY, who in preparing to remodel the old mansion discovered the books deposited there one hundred and thirty years before.  It was destroyed by fire shortly afterwards.

[page 267]

“An accompt of who hath been clarke of Taunton Iron Works ever sence George HALL was first Clearke, and some others joyned with him for a time, which begun Anno 1656.  Also, what product the works hath made from year to year.”

By this record, which has descended through two hundred years, and whose authority is undoubted, it is shown that the manufacture of iron was commenced “Anno 1656.”  On a page of this ledger are two columns of figures, indicating the years and the product of the works fifty-eight years, from that date, to the death of Capt. Thomas in 1713.  The first line reads thus: “1656 – George HALL clearke, John TURNER working ye forge.”  Three years no iron was shared.  “1659, 400 shared.”  “1660, a ton of iron sould to buy goods, whi: were devided.”

At this time an arrangement was made by the shareholders by which the works were leased to George HALL and his associates, Hezekiah HOAR and Francis SMITH.  The lease of this transaction, recently discovered among the papers of Capt. Thomas LEONARD, thus sets forth in substance the agreement:

“This present writing, dated April the first, anno domini, one thousand six hundred and sixtie, witnesseth:  that whereas the Companie in partnership in the Iron works or bloomerie, erected and maintained in working use within the plantation of Taunton, in the Colony of New Plymouth, did by themselves and their attornies, generally consent and agree, that ye said works should be let for a term of five years; to begin after ye stock of coles is now being wrought out – yielding and paying to ye whole companie aforesaid, (not one partner at all excluded) yearly during said term the full summe of four tunne of iron:” – “that said George HALL, Hezekiah HOAR and Francis SMITH having embraced, accepted, and received said tender, and rent of ye works, according to ye said propositions named,* themselves being partners” – and “to whom full libertie was then and there given, that they might take into this contract with themselves whom they liked of.”  They accordingly took into partnership:  William POLE, Walter DEANE, Joseph WILBORE, John DEANE, Anthony SLOCUM, Thos. LINKON, senr, Wm. PARKER, James LEONARD, Jonah AUSTIN sen’r, John PARKER, Peter PITTS, James PHILLIPS, Henry WITHINGTON, of Dorchester.  “The rest of said company in partnership, do by these presents ratify, confirm, establish, promise and make good and effectual to the s’d George HALL, Hezekiah HOAR, and Francis SMITH, the said contract, and do hereby give them full power and right to act, or cause to be acted or done in and about said iron works in every particular case during ye said term without interruption, molestation or hindrance of ye partners, provided that they truly and faithfully perform their engagements in the premises…. And the said partners, Wm. POLE, Walter DEANE and others, doe likewise covenant, promise and engage themselves, unto said George HALL, Hezekiah HOARE and Francis SMITH, to carrie out said contract as one man, with faithfulness, according to their wisdom and abilities; that they will endeavor to prevent all damages and support each other in all cases, whether in charges of payments or troubles of lawsuits and walk together in love and peace in the light of God, without superioritie one over another.”

“In witness whereof they herewith to one seal set their several hands the day and year above written:

GEORGE HALL,         HEZEKIAH HOARE,            FRANCIS SMITH,                    [Seal.]

Wm. POLE, Henry WITHINGTON, Jno. DEANE, Wm. PARKER, Walter DEANE, Peter PITTS, Joseph WILBORE, James PHILLIPS, John PARKER, Anthony SLOCUM, Thos. LINKON sen., Jonah AUSTIN.”

“In presence of


Resuming the old ledger records.  George HALL held the position of manager and clarke thirteen years (excepting James WALKER held the office a year) until his death in October, 1669, and “John HALL to ye end of ye year.”

*Drawn by James WALKER, Richard WILLIAMS and John TISDALL, of said company.

[page 268]

“1670, Henry ANDREWS clearke.”  “1671, John HALL, thence to 1675 when (says the record) the Indian [King Philip’s] War began and many coals burned in the woods.”  “1676 – the works garrisoned – great rates – many coals burned.”  (No iron shared three years.)  “1677, Israel DEAN clearke, ye beginning, John HALL ye end of ye year.”  HALL continued until 1683, and was succeeded by Capt. Thomas LEONARD, during whose thirty years’ management occured most of the transactions and “orders” recorded below in connection with this brief history of the most important enterprise in the early days of the Old Colony.  He was an able, self-educated man; he held military commissions from Ensign to Major in the Bristol County regiment; was the leading magistrate; presiding justice of the County Court, 1685 to 1693; clerk of the Taunton North Purchase proprietors, over twenty years; filled various town offices; also performed the duties of physician.  He died in 1713, at the age of 70, leaving, besides a large estate, the Middleboro’ and Chartley Iron Works, a large quantity of official papers and miscellaneous relics, preserved with remarkable care during his eventful life.*

Dea. Samuel3 LEONARD, in Oct. 1713, succeeded his father Capt. Thomas after many years of successful management.  Another ancient ledger contains an instructive record of the transactions in the business during his charge; many pages are filled with items of the bar iron “circulating medium” and barter trades, similar to those appended.  On the division of Taunton in 1731, the iron works locality fell to the new town of Raynham, and that town owned half a share.  Dea. LEONARD died in 1745, after thirty-two years’ service, owning several shares.

Dea. Samuel LEONARD, Jr., was the successor of his father in the management of the iron works.  He had, during his four years’ management, purchased a large number of whole and fractional shares, securing nearly a majority of the stock.  He died in 1749, leaving a large incumbrance on the works and a declining stock.  He left 12 shares, valued in his inventory at £660 of the common currency.†

Dea. Elijah LEONARD, who had been at the “Chatley Works” in Norton, succeeded his brother in 1749, as clerk and manager.  He soon afterwards built, a short distance east of the forge, the mansion referred to.  He remained in charge of the business until 1777.  During the last twenty years the shares had been depreciating in value, owing to the increasing price of coal, and the declining production of good ore, in competition with the New Jersey ore which contained a much larger percentage of pure iron, and was worked by competing establishments.  With a depreciating currency and other obstacles, the iron business waned, the works hardly met expenses, the shareholders received trifling or no dividends, and the shares were relinquished at great sacrifice.  the incumbrence on the works finally resulted in the sale of a large portion of the shares to Dea. George LEONARD, brother of Dea. Elijah, who in 1770 disposed of them (7½ sixteenths) to

* The salary of Capt. Thomas was £8 the first year, and from 1684 to 1713 it was £11.  His successor received the same amount.  From 1742 to 1745, and thereafter, “ten hundred of iron was voted for salary.”  They also received a percentage on the iron manufactured.  The works made from 20 to 30 tons annually, which brought from £400 to £675, averaging about $100 a ton of our currency.

† In 1749 £1 sterling, or “old tenor,” was worth £11 of Massachusetts currency.  An oz. of silver, 6 shillings par value, stood at 66 shillings of that currency.  Thus rapidly approaching “flat money,” which was consummated by the United States national currency in paying off the soldiers of the revolution thirty years later, which became reduced to £1000 for £1 sterling, or about $1 per bushel.

[page 269]

Josiah DEAN for £90 – which shows a great reduction from the inventory value in 1749.  At subsequent sales in 1777, at low figures, of other shares, with a portion of the real estate, Mr. DEAN became the purchaser.  From the original shareholders the changes were numerous from year to year, and to attempt a record would require much time and space.  Many of the sons, and descendants of the third generation from the original owners, held shares during the hundred years and more of the progress of the old iron works, until they passed into the hands of the new owner.  The price of them varied from £22 to £20 the par value; thence to £10, and finally, before the close, to £5 per share, or any price takers would give.  Thus terminated the LEONARD management, which had been conducted from 1683 by Capt. Thomas and by his son and grandsons nearly one hundred years, a large portion of the time upon the agency system, inaugurated in 1656, as above described.

Having purchased a controlling interest in the “old iron works,” Hon. Josiah DEAN took possession in 1777; he converted the bar iron forge, or “bloomerie,” into a rolling mill and nail works, where also copper bolts were rolled and made for ship-building, &c.  It was the first copper bolt manufactory in this region.  After conducting the business about forty years he died in 1818.*  He was succeeded by his son Major Eliab B. DEAN, who in 1825 changed the nail works into an anchor forge, which was continued in that heavy line of iron manufacture by him and his son and successor, Theodore DEAN, about forty years, when the works were suspended.  About a year ago the old buildings were demolished, and the privilege, dam and foundation walls alone remain of the ancient Taunton Iron Works of two hundred and twenty-four years–the oldest successful iron manufactory in New England.

The pioneer settlers during a long period of the last and preceding century after the iron works were started, were seriously embarrassed in their increasing business transactions by the scarcity of money.  They had but a small amount of specie, chiefly brought by emigrants who came across the ocean here to make their homes.†  No banks had been established – no “Land bank” capital had evoked even “new tenor bills;”‡ no Bank of England or “old tenor” notes were in circulation, although the pioneers owed allegiance to “His Majesty James” the despot, and the edicts of his tyrannical subservient Sir Edmund ANDROS were borne until patience ceased to be a virtue.  Therefore a dernier resort to bar iron, manufactured at the Taunton Works, as a “circulating medium of exchange,” to supply the great deficiency.  Iron made from the native bog ore of the creeks and swails of Two Mile River, and “Scaddings moire” became more valuable than gold – an important factor in daily traffic.  It entered largely into the transactions of business, as is shown by the subjoined brief letters, orders and replies, couched in expressions of genuine old-time courtesy, from managers, shareholders and patrons of the ancient iron works.  These amusing and interesting scraps were found between the leaves of Capt. Thomas LEONARD’s ledger of two hundred years ago, the pages of which are filled with the records of which these scraps were vouchers:

* Hon. Josiah DEAN was a member of Congress in 1807-9, and town officer and magistrate for many years.

† During the year 1652 a mint for coining silver money was established in Boston by the colony, and the first pine-tree shillings made from silver imported from the West Indies.  This made but a small supply of specie.

‡ Paper money was first issued in Massachusetts in 1690, but in very small quantity for the demand.  The bank of England was established 1694.

[page 270]

The veterans Deacons Richard WILLIAMS and Walter DEAN, Hezekiah HOAR, Shadrach WILBORE the second town clerk, Increase ROBINSON, Joseph WILBORE, James WALKER, John RICHMOND, Peter PITTS, James PHILLIPS, Richard STEPHENS, John HALL, Peter WALKER, and the sons of many successors of ownership of shares in the iron works, appear in the collection, also Rev. George SHOVE and Rev. Samuel DANFORTH, third and fourth ministers of Taunton; John POLE, merchant of Boston, son of Capt. William and nephew of Elizabeth; Benedict ARNOLD, son of Gov. ARNOLD of Newport, R.I. (who married a Taunton woman, daughter of John TURNER); Nathaniel PAINE and John SAFFIN of Bristol, Judges of Probate; and John CARY, Register; Dea. Samuel TOPLIFF, Philip WITHINGTON and John BIRD, selectmen of Dorchester nearly two hundred years ago; the polite John BAKER, son of Richard; Richard THAYER, son of the first settler and Mistress Dorothy of “Brantry;” Peter NOYES of Sudbury, Capt. Thomas LEONARD and his son Major George of Chartley Works, not to be outdone in “loving phrase” by his father; and others.  Schools were scarce in those primitive days, and many wealthy business men made their “mark;” therefore errors in orthography, unique expressions and ancient idioms may be excused.  The first order is from one of the founders of Taunton and promoters of the iron works, who draws an order to pay a grocer’s bill:

Ensigne Tho. LEONARD, please to pay to Bar: TIPPING nine shillings & three pence in iron, as money:

from yr friend,


Taunton 16: 1st 1685-86.”

Deacon Walter DEAN’s order.

“Ensign Thomas LEONARD, Please to pay ye bearer hearof one hundred of Iron yt is due on Mr SHOVEs act. to my wife your friend.

Taunton ye 16 of ye 1st mo. 1685-6.         Your friend,


Thomas LEONARD, clarke of the Iron Works of Taunton:

Sr pray pay to Joseph CROSSMAN, on hundred of iron as money, & this shall be your discharg: this ye 13th Janurae, 1683.


Tanton– 84.”

A letter from some friendly parishioner in 1683, addressed to the third minister of Taunton, and accompanying order, reads thus:

“For the Rev. Mr. George SHOVE, pastor of the church of Christ in Taunton: These:”

Ensign LEONARD, pray deliver to John HODGES or his order one hundred and half of iron on account of yr friend


March 14, 83-4.”

John CARY of Bristol, Register of Probate, responds to a polite request to credit a hundred of iron:

Loving ffriend, John CARY, these may inform you that if You please to Credit Richard BURT as much as comes to a hundred of Iron, I will be responsible to you, & Rest your Log ffriend,


Taunton Dec. 30, 1683-4.”

Insign LEONARD, be pleased to pay to this bearer, James TISDALL, the asseats of the above written bill, by which you will oblige Your friend,


January 2, 1684.”

An order from an early settler to pay the schoolmaster’s rate:

Ensine LEONARD, I pray you let Mr GREENE have four shillings more in iron, as money, and place it to my account.        June 20, 1684.


“Capt. LEONARD, pray pay to John WETHEREL iron 9s. and 6d. and set it to my account.


Ensigne LEONARD, pray deliver to Nathl CODDINGTON as much iron as comes to 4s 5d at ye rate of 18s. per O.


Taunton Sept. 4, 1685.”

[page 271]

He was son of John DEANE, senior, and the first birth among the pioneer settlers of Taunton.

Increase ROBINSON, one of the early settlers on Dean Street, gives a credit order for iron to pay his minister, Rev. Mr. DANFORTH:

Captain LEONARD: SIR, I would intreate you to pay James TISDALE ye sum of 2-7-6 in iron at 22s. per hund. and make me Deptr for it on ye acount of ye Credit Mr DANFORD gave mie on your book.

Your ffr’d


Tanton ye 23d March 1688-9.”

Thomas2 WILLIAMS (son of Richard1) sold an ox to one Nathaniel SMITH, and the following orders ensued for payment:

Nathaniel SMITH, this is to desier you to pay to my Mother WILLIAMS three hundred & half a qur. of iron which is part of ye price of ye ox which you bought of mee.


Taunton yn ye 16th of Oct. 1693.”

On the opposite side of the above Mr. SMITH ordered the iron:

Capt. LEONARD, I pray be pleased to pay to old mother WILLIAMS 3 hundreth & half a quarter of Iron.


Dorchester, May 15, 1696.

“Worh’ysfull Sir:

After my service to your Honour, these are only to desire you to Send the income of my interest in the works by Lt ROBINSON and these shall be the recept for the same.  And if I could know when you come to Boston, I should be willing to discourse wth you in point of sale (it being at such a distance from me) if your self is inclined to buy.  I remain yr humble servant,


Deacon TOPLIFF orders iron for the half share due Dorchester:

Captin LINARD – pray please to deliver to this bearer, Philip WITHINGTON, 200 and half of Iron, the which, by your information, is due to Dorchester:  In so doing you will much oblige us your asured friends:  Dated in Dorchester 2 Aug. 1699.


Capt. LEONARD delivers 200 and half on the order for 1797-’98 [sic].

Taunton April 1, 1700.

Capt. LEONARD I desire you to give John KING credit upon works book for 20 shillings of iron as money.  Your friend to serve


An order from Rev. Samuel DANFORTH, the fourth minister of Taunton, to pay his “servant mayd.”:

To Captain Thomas LEONARD,

Sr I would pray you to pay Elizabeth GILBERT (my late servant mayd) the sum of thirty shillings in iron at 18 sh. pr Cent: to her or her order – & place it to my account *** pr yr friend and servant


Dated Tanton, March 11, 1703-4.

Here is one of his business orders: Rev. Mr. DANFORTH wants iron to buy nails.

To Capt. Thomas LEONARD in Tanton:

Sr I have got Thomas WILLIS to go to Bridgewater to fetch me some nails from Mr. MITCHELL’s this night: & pray to let him have 200 of iron to carry with him to pay for them: of which, 100 on acct of Edward RICHMOND; 5s. worth on acct. of Thomas LINKON, son of John LINKON, by virtue of his note herewith sent you: for the remainder I may by yr leave be yr debtor for a while till I have another note from some other to ballance against it: & remain yr obliged


26 8mo. 1702.

Capt. Thomas LEONARD:

Sr – Give credit to William BRIGGS (son of Wm BRIGGS grand-senior) & to Thomas BRIGGS his brother, for the sum of two shillings and four pence in iron at 18 pr Cent. & make me Debtor for the same in Yr book: This 2shis 4d is to pay theyr iron part of theyr Rate to the Ware bridge.


Dated July 15, 1703.

“to be pd to Increse ROBBINSON, Constable for the use aforesd.”

Order for iron “for the ministry of Dorchester.”

Capt. Thomas LEONARD of Taunton :–

Sir: These lines may inform you yt the Selectmen of Dorchester, would desier

[page 272]

you to deliver unto Sargt. Philip WITHINGTON all that iron, wh is due from the Iron Works to the ministry of Dorchester, and in so doeing this shall be discharg.  Dorchester the 26 of March 1705.


for the name and with the consent of the rest of the Selectmen.”

Mr. WITHINGTON receipts for the product of the half share, 700 of iron for 1699, 1700, ’1, 2, and 3.

The genuine autographs of many of the early settlers are among these unique scraps of iron history, and are now in the possession of the writer.

To illustrate the annual divisions of iron to shareholders, the following cases are cited from the old ledger records, from 1683 to 1713, and later in Dea. Samuel’s records.

The oldest original shareholder was Richard WILLIAMS, who received in 1683 for his one share £3 6s.; for 1684-5, £4 8s. each year; for 1686 and 87, £3 6s. each; for 1688, £4 8s.; for 1689-90-91, £2 4s. each year, mostly in bar iron, or barter thereof at the stores of Bartholomew TIPPING of Taunton, John POLE of Boston, Benedict ARNOLD of Newport, and other sources, butchers, shoemakers, weavers, &c., discounted at the iron works.  Mr. WILLIAMS died in 1693, and his widow continued to receive the product share, through her son, who succeeded to his father’s business, tanning, from 1691 to 1700 each year 2 C. to 4 cwt.; in 1701 2 C.; 1702, £3 2s.; in 1703, £1 10s.; in 1704, £0 8s.; 1705, 13s 2d., about the same for five years; in all 500 wt. of bar iron at 20s. per hundred; discounting meeting house, town, school master and county rates, and store pay, by the clerk of the iron works, and occasionally a few shillings in money.  Dea. WILLIAMS was annually credited “£2 10s. for a hide for the bellows.”

The town of Taunton held half a share, and to illustrate the amount others received, owning half shares, – in 1683 £1 13s. was shared, or, “1 C. 2 qrs. in iron, on Deacon Walter DEAN’s order for the school master, Mr. GREEN;” for 1684, “£2 4s. in iron, delivered on Dea. DEAN’s order for same rate;” for 1685, £2 4s.; 1686, “£1 13s. paid by Dea. DEAN for ammunition;” for 1687, £1 13s.; 1688, £2 4s. in iron; 1689, £1 7s. 6d.; and 1690, £1 2s. to Dea. DEAN’s order to pay the meeting house rate of £2 15s.  From that during the ten years to 1700, the average was £1 2s.; partially in money ordered by Dea. DEAN for school and other rates, or in iron bartered.  The amount of iron and money shared differed from the above in some cases, but iron was as much in demand as money, and as available in Boston and Dorchester as in Taunton.

The following illustrations from the ledger pages show the manner of conveyance of iron to shareholders in Boston, Dorchester and elsewhere.  “June, 1685, delivered to Nicholas WHITE, sen’r, to carry (through the wilderness) to Major E. TYNG, 7 C. of iron, also to Madam LEVERETT* of Boston 7 C. of iron; for Peter NOYES of Sudbury 5 C. 2 qrs. in bars, for John BAKER of Dorchester 3 C. 2 qrs. and for Samuel CAPEN 3 C. 2 qrs. for Dorchester church, as their due for 1683-84.”  “In November 1686, delivered to same to carry to Mrs. TYNG and Madam LEVERETT of Boston 4 C. and 12 lbs. each, for Mr NOYES of Sudbury 3 C. 2 qrs.; for Mr BAKER 205 lbs. and for Mr CAPEN’s order 205 lbs. as their share for 1685.”

Thus, without long repetition of other cases, for twenty years or more, the annual transportation of iron (occasionally a little money) to shareholders, varied from year to year as the product of the iron works varied.  The record, however, shows a gradual decline during the succeeding years.

* Widow of John LEVERETT, governor of Massachusetts 1673-79.

[page 273]

In 1700, delivered to Wm. THOMAS of Plymouth 5 C. of iron for Madam LEVERETT; same amount for Mrs. TYNG of Boston, as their shares for two years, “marked L, for John POOL of Boston.”  “To Philip WITHINGTON per order of Selectmen of Dorchester, just 7 C. of iron for the four years, 1699 to 1703.”  Also, “per order Dea. Sam’l TOPLIFF, for the Dorchester Church, 1 C. and half of iron for the years 1704, 5, 6 and 7, being £1 13s. each year.”  “in 1720 & ’21, £1 2s.; in 1722 & ’23, nothing; from 1724 to 1732, 11 shillings each year, for Dorchester.”  Other half shareholders same amount, or £1 2s. per share.  Here ends the old ledger accounts, transferred to later books, of which whole columns are filled with the details.


James LEONARD, senior, purchased of William HAYLSTON in 1666 about ten acres of land on Mill River, with a water privilege, where he afterwards erected a forge or “bloomerie,” “with one hearth,” for the manufacture of charcoal iron, called the “Whittington Forge,”* which was in operation in 1678.  His three sons, Joseph, Uriah and Benjamin, having served in the Taunton Iron Works at the “refining and bloomerie” trade, worked the forge.  They also had a grist-mill at the same place.  This was the location of James LEONARD’s iron works.

James died in 1691, and the Probate record (Book I.) describes the division of his property by agreement of all the heirs.  Joseph2 “to have one fourth of his father’s iron works,” with some adjacent land, and “to pay 20 shillings in money, and 400 of iron annually to his mother-in-law;” Uriah “to have the rest of the Whittington Iron Works, dwelling house and land,” and “pay 600 of iron per annum to his mother-in-law Margaret as long as she continued his father’s widow;” James2 to have some tracts of land, “the old home lot,” and “his father’s half share in the Taunton Iron Works,” also £4 9s. more from the estate; Benjamin2 to have certain parcels of land named, the shop tools, old iron, his father’s clothing and as much more from the estate as to make £26 9s.  Abigail2 and John KINGSBURY, Rebecca2 and Isaac CHAPMAN, and Hannah2 and [photocopy illegible] DEAN (daughters and husbands) to have certain tracts of land and proceeds of sales from the estate, to make for each £26 9s.  Thomas to have the dwelling house near the iron works on Two Mile River, after the death of his mother-in-law, and to administer the estate, to pay all bequests to the heirs, and have the remainder.  One third of all the movables were assigned to Widow Margaret, she “to reside in the house where she lives as long as she remains a widow.”  To all of which she agreed.  She died in 1701.

Joseph2 died in 1692, leaving widow Mary, executrix, and four children – his “brother Thomas and Deacon Henry HODGES to be overseers,” to assist in settling the estate.  A few years later James,3 son of Capt. James, succeeded as a partner and to the management of the Whittington Iron Works; and they were “to pay the widow Mary 600 of iron annually during her life, while the works stand.”  […]

* “Whittington,” the original name, changed to Whittenton and legalized.  A record in 1669 says, “Whereas, James LEONARD, forgeman, hath an intent to set up a small Iron Works to go by water on Mill River, above the Saw Mill, and whereas the land on the opposite side belongeth to Lieut. George MACY, and may be overflowed by a dam;” said MACY “hereby grants to James LEONARD the right to build a dam and make use of the water to overflow any part of his land by paying so much annually as any indifferent rational man shall judge.”

Goodwin and Allied Families

16 May 2008 Leave a comment

Source: E.C. Finley, “Goodwin and Allied Families,” Americana 21[1927]:317.


Arms — Gules, a fess chequy or and azure.

Crest — A lion’s head erased.

MottoSapere aude. (Dare to be wise.)

The WITHINGTON and BRYANT families trace their relationship through the marriage of Josiah BRYANT, the fifth in descent from Abraham BRYANT, the immigrant, with Sally WITHINGTON, daughter of Edward and Eunice (TUCKER) WITHINGTON. Edward WITHINGTON was the sixth generation in descent from Henry WITHINGTON, the immigrant ancestor of the WITHINGTON family. The genealogy of the WITHINGTON family is a most interesting one.

I. Elder Henry WITHINGTON, the immigrant ancestor, was born in England, in 1558. He settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts, where he became prominent in religious affairs. There is a tablet to his memory, which contains the following: “Elder WITHINGTON was a man that excelled in wisdom, meekness and goodness.”

II. Richard WITHINGTON, the son of Elder Henry WITHINGTON, was born in England, in 1618, and came with his father to America. He took the Freeman’s oath in 1640; became a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in 1646; and was ordained a deacon in 1669. He married Elizabeth ELIOT, a niece of John ELIOT, the noted “Apostle to the Indians.” (See ELIOT III.) She was born at Nasing, England, in 1627, and died in 1714, at the age of eighty-seven years.

III. John WITHINGTON, the son of Richard and Elizabeth (ELIOT) WITHINGTON, was born July 1, 1649, and died in 1690. He leaned towards military life, and became captain of a Dorchester (Massachusetts) Company in PHIPP’s mad expedition to Canada in 1690, from which he never returned. One account says that he and most of his company were supposed to have been lost at sea.

IV. Samuel WITHINGTON, son of John WITHINGTON, was born in 1684, and died in 1726. He married Abigail PIERCE. (See PIERCE IV.) …

Henry Withington of Dorchester, Mass.

9 May 2008 Leave a comment

Source: Frederic Scherer Withington, “Henry Withington of Dorchester, Mass., and Some of His Descendants,” New England Historical and Genealogical Register 75[1921].

[Note: Please see also “Henry Withington of Dorchester, Mass.: Additions and Corrections.”]

[page 142]


1. HENRY1 WITHINGTON, of Leigh, co. Lancaster, England, and Dorchester, Mass., the ancestor of most of those of the name in the United States, was baptized in the parish of Leigh, co. Lancaster, England, 22 Feb. 1589/90, the son of George and Margaret Withington, and died at Dorchester, Mass., 2 Feb. 1666/7. He married first, at Leigh, in Sept. 1615, ANNE LEECH, who was buried at Leigh 26 Sept. 1621, daughter of Richard and Anne (Yate); secondly, at Leigh, 30 Sept. 1622, ELIZABETH SMITH, who died at Dorchester, Mass., 16 Feb. 1660, sister of Thomas Smith, a well-known merchant of London; and thirdly, at Dorchester, in June 1662, MARGERY (TURNER) PAUL, who died at Dorchester 20 May 1676, widow of Richard Paul of Taunton.** A deed of settlement from Henry1 Withington to her is dated 25 June 1662.

*The author will be pleased to receive any further information or, if possible, to answer any inquiry relating to the Withingtons or allied families. He may be addressed at 401 Kraft Building, Des Moines, Iowa.

**All places mentioned in this article are situated within the present limits of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, unless another State or region is indicated in the text or may be easily inferred from the context. The present name of a town or of that part of a town in which an event mentioned in the text occurred is usually given in parentheses after the earlier name.

[page 143]

With his second wife, Elizabeth (Smith), and his four children, he came to Dorchester, probably in the same ship (the James) with Rev. Richard Mather and his company, arriving 16 Aug. 1635.

He was one of the signers of the covenant by which the Dorchester church was founded, and was the first ruling elder of the church, continuing in that office for twenty-nine years until his death. He was one of the selectmen of Dorchester in 1636, and was otherwise prominent in the affairs of the town and church, though there appears to be no record of his having been made a freeman. He shared in the division of lands in Dorchester, was a blacksmith by trade, and was one of the founders and original shareholders in the first ironworks in the American Colonies, on Mill River in Taunton, evidently intended by their original founder and operator, James Leonard, Sr., to be named for Henry Withington, notwithstanding the corruption of the name to “Whittington” and “Whittenton.” He purchased, 23 Apr. 1638, and occupied the house built on the lot in Dorchester formerly owned by Matthias Sension (or St. John), who went from Dorchester to Windsor, Conn., and was one of the founders of the church there.

Many records attest the fact that he was universally beloved, respected, and trusted. Rev. Richard Mather called him “Beloved Friend,” and made him overseer of his will in 1664. Rev. Samuel Danforth said of him: “A man that excelled in wisdom, meekness and goodness.”

In his will, dated 8, 11 mo., 1664, he says that he is “about the Age of 76 yeares or vpon 77.” The inventory of his estate amounted to £850. 17s. 3d. (REGISTER, vol. 16, pages 52-54.)

Children by first wife, baptized at Leigh, co. Lancaster, England:

i. FAITH,2 bapt. 13 Oct. 1616; came with her father and stepmother to New England; d. at. Dorchester 3 Feb. 1688/9; m. about 1639 RICHARD1 BAKER, said to have been born in co. Kent, Eng., about 1614, d. at Dorchester 25 Oct. 1689. He came first to Boston as first mate of the ship Bachelor, leaving England 18 Aug. 1635, and lived in Dorchester after his marriage. He was a brother of Thomas1 Baker of Roxbury and an uncle of John Baker of Boston. He was admitted freeman in 1642, was a selectman in 1653, a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in 1658, and in 1668 was elected ruling elder of the church in Dorchester but declined to serve. He was an ancestor of Walter7 Baker, the chocolate manufacturer of Dorchester, whose grandfather, James5 Baker, bought the original chocolate mill of Henry5 Stone (6, ii, 4). (REGISTER, vol. 43, pp. 279 et seq.) Children: 1. Mary, bapt. 14 Feb. 1641; d. 27 Aug. 1714; m. in 1664 Samuel2 Robinson, bapt. 14 June 1640, d. 16 Sept. 1718, s. of William.1 2. John, bapt. 30 apr. 1643; d. 26 Aug. 1690; m. 11 July 1667 Preserved Trott. 3. Sarah, bapt. 22 June 1645; d. 13 Oct. 1688; m. 22 Feb. 1664/5 James2 White, s. of Edward1 (vide infra, 3). 4. Thankful, bapt. 19 Mar. 1646/7; m. William Griggs. 5. Elizabeth, bapt. 27 Oct. 1650; d. young. 6. James, bapt. 30 Apr. 1654; d. unm. 30 Mar. 1721. 7. Elizabeth, bapt. 20 July 1656; m. William Pratt of Weymouth; they set out for South Carolina 22 Oct. 1695. 8. Hannah, b. 9 Jan. 1662; d. 18 Sept. 1690; m. 5 May 1685 John2 Wiswell (Enoch1).

2. ii. RICHARD, bapt. 3 May 1618.

[page 144]

Children by second wife, probably born in London, England:

iii. MARY, b. about 1623; came with her parents to New England; d. at Cambridge 26 Mar. 1697; m. 23 Feb. 1643/4 THOMAS2 DANFORTH, b. 20 Nov. 1623 at Framlingham, co. Suffolk, Eng., d. at Cambridge 5 Nov. 1699, s. of Nicholas1 and Elizabeth. He was representative from Cambridge in the General Court, 1657-8, assistant, 1659-1679, deputy governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, 28 May 1679 to May 1686, president of the Province of Maine during the same period, and associate justice of the Superior Court of the Province of Massachusetts Bay from 1692 until his death. He strongly opposed the infamous proceedings against alleged witches. He was also president of the Board of Commissioners for the United Colonies, and from 1650 to 1669 was treasurer of Harvard College, to which he made bequests. Children: 1. Sarah, b. 16 Apr. 1645; d. 29 Oct. 1645. 2. Sarah, b. 11 Nov. 1646; d. in 1723; m. Rev. Joseph Whiting. 3. Mary, b. and d. 2 Apr. 1649. 4. Mary, b. 28 July 1650; d. after 1725; m. (1) Solomon Phipps; m. (2), as his second wife, Thomas Brown of Sudbury. 5. Samuel, b. 5 Oct. 1652; d. unm. in London, Eng., of smallpox, 22 Dec. 1676. 6. Thomas, b. 16 Dec. 1654; d. unm. 19 Dec. 1675. 7. Jonathan, b. 27 Feb. 1656/7; d. in Apr. 1657. 8. Jonathan, b. 10 Feb. 1658/9; d. unm. 13 Nov. 1682. 9. Joseph, b. 18 Sept. 1661; d. 2 Oct. 1663. 10. Benjamin, b. 20 May 1663; d. 23 Aug. 1663. 11. Elizabeth, b. 17 Feb. 1665; d. 4 July 1721; m. 3 Oct. 1682, Francis Foxcroft. 12. Bethia, bapt. 16 June 1667; d. 21 Sept. 1668.

iv. ANNE, b. about 1625; came with her parents to New England; d. at Huntington, Long Island, in 1700; m. about 1647 JAMES2 BATES (or BATE), bapt. at Lydd, co. Kent, Eng., 19 Dec. 1624, d., probably at Huntington, Long Island, in 1692, s. of James1 and Alice (Glover). They moved to Haddam, Conn., and, apparently, to Huntington, Long Island. Children: 1. Samuel, bapt. 19 Jan. 1648; d. 28 Dec. 1699; m. 2 May 1676 Mary Chapman. 2. John, b. about 1650. 3. Hannah, b. about 1652; bapt. at Haddam 7 Mar. 1669. 4. Elizabeth, b. about 1654; m. about 1673 Thomas Spencer. 5. Alice, b. about 1657; d. young. 6. Mary, b. about 1659; d. young. 7. James, b. 15 Apr. 1662; m. Mary —–. 8. Margaret, b. 17 July 1664; m. William Spencer. 9. Mary, bapt. 11 Mar. 1666; m. 18 Aug. 1685 Samuel Hough.

2. RICHARD2 WITHINGTON (Henry1), of Dorchester, baptized at Leigh, co. Lancaster, England, 3 May 1618, died at Dorchester 22 Dec. 1701, “Aged about 84.” He married, about 1648, ELIZABETH2 ELIOT, baptized at Nazeing, co. Essex, England, 8 Apr. 1627, died at Dorchester 18 Apr. 1714, daughter of Philip1 and Elizabeth (Sybthorpe) and niece of Rev. John Eliot, the Apostle to the Indians.

Richard Withington came with his father and stepmother to New England, was admitted a freeman 13 May 1640, was elected a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in 1646, was deacon of the church in Dorchester in 1668, and was elected several times as a selectman. He was always active and prominent in public affairs.

Children, born at Dorchester:

3. i. JOHN,3 b. 1 July 1649.

4. ii. EBENEZER, b. 7 Sept. 1651.

5. iii. HENRY, b. 2 Oct. 1653.

iv. ANN,* b. 24 Aug. 1656; d. at Dorchester 21 Sept. 1723; m. at Dorchester, 13 Nov. 1679, as his
second wife, JAMES2 BIRD, b. in

*In the records of the First Church of Dorchester her name is entered incorrectly as Elizabeth.

[page 145]

Feb. 1644, d. at Dorchester 1 Sept. 1725, s. of Thomas1 and Anne…

6. v. PHILIP, b. 26 Mar. 1659.

vi. CONSTANT (or CONSTANCE), b. 16 Nov. 1661; d. s.p., probably at Falmouth (Portland), Me., about 1720; m. RICHARD BROADRIDGE Falmouth, Me. …

vii. ELIZABETH, b. 16 Apr. 1666; d. at Dorchester 12 Aug. 1700; m. at Dorchester, in 1691, JONATHAN2 HALL, b. at Dorchester 8 Apr. 1659, d. there 29 Dec. 1718, s. of Lieut. Richard1 and Elizabeth (Collier)…

7. viii. JOSEPH, b. 15 June 1668.

3. JOHN3 WITHINGTON (Richard,2 Henry1) of Dorchester, born at Dorchester 1 July 1649, died in 1690, being drowned, with forty-six others of the Dorchester military company, of which he was captain, in the expedition of Sir William Phips against Quebec. He married, about 1672, ELIZABETH3 PRESTON, born about 1653, died at Dorchester 19 Nov. 1722, daughter of Daniel2 and Mary. She married secondly, 13 Feb. 1695/6, as his second wife, James2 WHITE, who died 11 Nov. 1713, son of Edward.1 James White’s first wife was Sarah2 Baker (1,i,3), daughter of Richard1 and Faith (Withington).

John Withington was made a freeman 7 May 1673, and was a selectman of Dorchester for three years.

Children, born at Dorchester:

i. MARY4, b. 2 Dec. 1673; d. 15 Sept. 1676.

ii. ELIZABETH, b. 5 Aug. 1676; d. at Dorchester 24 Dec. 1765; m. about 1700 HUMPHREY ATHERTON, b. at Dorchester 26 Jan. 1672/3, d. at Stoughton (Canton) 2 Feb. 1748, s. of Consider and Anna (Annable.) Children: 1. Elizabeth, b. 14 Apr. 1701; d. probably 27 Mar. 1747; m. 29 May 1718 Ebenezer Maudesley, b. 19 May 1695, d. 22 Mar. 1773, s. of Ebenezer and Elizabeth. 2. Humphrey, b. 5 June 1707; d. 17 Nov. 1786; m. (1) 1 Oct. 1730 Anna Field, who d. 6 May 1748; m. (2) 21 Dec. 1749 Mary Graham. 3. Anna, b. 3 May 1710; d. about 1761; m. Edward Belcher. 4. John, b. 3 May 1714; d. 4 Oct. 1785; m. in 1741 Rachel Wentworth. 5. Consider, b. 9 Feb. 1716/17; m. 2 July 1744 Mary Bailey.

[page 146]

iii. MARY, b. 10 Mar. 1678/9; d. 1 Oct. 1679.

8. iv. RICHARD, b. 1 Aug. 1680.

v. SILENCE (twin), b. 15 Jan. 1682; d. 29 Jan. 1682/3.

vi. SUBMIT (twin), b. 15 Jan. 1682; d. 3 Feb. 1682/3.

9. vii. SAMUEL, b. 4 May 1684.

viii. HANNAH, b. 19 Dec. 1686; d. at Dorchester 30 Apr. 1768; m. 16 May 1708 JOHN3 BAKER, b. 25 Nov. 1671, d. 9 Oct. 1746, s. of John2 (1,i,2) and Preserved (Trott). Children: 1. Hannah, 9 June 1709; m. 29 Dec. 1730 Benjamin Clapp. 2. John, b. in 1711; d. young. 3. James, b. 24 May 1713; d. 18 Nov. 1776; m. 14 Dec. 1738 Priscilla Paul. 4. John, b. 28 June 1715; d. in Nov. 1798; m. (1) 7 Feb. 1738 Sarah Wiswell; m. (2) 2 Feb. 1790 Jane Wheeler. 5. Thomas, b. 3 May 1717; d. 28 Dec. 1745; m. 26 July 1739 Ann Mattock (vide infra, 8, ii). 6. Elijah, b. 14 May 1720; m. Hannah Puffer. 7. George, b. 13 Aug. 1724; d. 4 Mar. 1810; m. (1) 23 Feb. 1747 Ruth Williams; m. (2) 11 Apr. 1753 Mary (Wiswell) Jones (vide infra, 5, i, 3); m. (3) 2 Oct. 1777 Susan Viles.

ix. SUSANNAH, b. 18 Feb. 1689/90; d. 14 Oct. 1762; m. at Dorchester, 11 Aug. 1708, PRESERVED CAPEN, JR., b. 10 Apr. 1686, d. 18 Oct. 1757, s. of Preserved and Mary (Payson). Children: 1. Preserved, b. 12 May 1710; d. 29 May 1710. 2. Preserved, b. 2 Nov. 1711; d. 18 Apr. 1721. 3. Mary, b. 7 July 1714; d. 16 Oct. 1714. 4. Ebenezer, b. 15 Apr. 1716; m. 9 Nov. 1736 Elizabeth Leeds. 5. Susannah, b. 20 Jan. 1717/18; m. (1) 16 Jan. 1745 Charles Harvey, who d. 15 Nov. 1762; m. (2) 16 Dec. 1777, as his third wife, Nathaniel Langley, who d. 22 Oct. 1779. 6. David, b. 3 Apr. 1720; m. 18 Sept. 1746 Relief Evans (5,iii,4). 7. Elijah, b. 23 Mar. 1721/2; d. 1 Aug. 1722. 8. James, b. 2 June 1723; d. 22 June 1723. 9. Elijah, b. 6 June 1724. 10. Mary, b. 16 July 1729; d. unm. 19 May 1746.

[page 149]

8. RICHARD4 WITHINGTON (John,3 Richard,2 Henry1), of Dorchester, born at Dorchester 1 Aug. 1680, died there 18 Mar. 1748. He married in Boston, 15 May 1707, SARAH ATHERTON, born at Dorchester 8 May 1683, died there 14 Mar. 1762, daughter of Consider and Anna (Annable) and sister of Humphrey Atherton, who married her husband’s sister, Elizabeth Withington (3, ii).

Children, born at Dorchester:

15. i. HOPESTILL,5 b. 2 Sept. 1707.

ii. JOHN, b. 10 Apr. 1710; d. s.p. at Dorchester 22 Apr. 1785; m. (1) at Dorchester, 22 June 1737, SARAH CHILDS, who d. at Dorchester 10 Mar. 1778; m. (2) at Dorchester, 12 Nov. 1778, ANN (MATTOCK) BAKER, widow of his first cousin, Thomas4 Baker (3, viii, 5). John Withington was a soldier in the Revolution, serving as a private in the same regiment and company as his brother Hopestill.

16. iii. SAMUEL, b. 16 May 1714.

17. iv. EBENEZER, b. 2 Mar. 1718/19.

18. v. JOSEPH, b. 22 Jan. 1723/4.

9. SAMUEL4 WITHINGTON (John,3 Richard,2 Henry1), of Dorchester, born at Dorchester 4 May 1684, died 15 Dec. 1726. He married at Dorchester, 11 July 1715, ABIGAIL PIERCE, born at Dorchester 20 Aug. 1694, died there 23 May 1761, daughter of John and Abigail (Thompson). She married secondly, 21 Oct. 1729, Joseph4 Weeks, born 19 Oct. 1701, died 22 May 1751, son of Joseph3 and Sarah (Sumner).

Genealogy of Richard Baker

7 May 2008 Leave a comment

Source: “Genealogy of Richard Baker,” New England Historical and Genealogical Register 43[1889].

[page 279]

RICHARD1 BAKER, the first American ancestor of those known distinctively as the Dorchester family of Baker, arrived in this country from England in 1635. The date may be fixed with precision as November 28 of that year. In his journal of current events, Gov. Winthrop notes the arrival at Boston on that day of a vessel which he describes as “a small Norsey bark of twenty-five tons;” and he adds, “her passengers and goods all safe.” This phrase, “Norsey Bark,” was for some time after the original publication of the “Journal,” a mystery to the historians; but the later issue of Winthrop papers*, including the letters written by Edward

*Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th Series, vol. vi. p. 325 et seq.

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Hopkins in London to John Winthrop, Jr., solved the mystery, for Hopkins, in referring to the same vessel, calls it a “North-sea boat.” He also used the word “barque” in designating the vessel. It is from these letters of Hopkins that the first information as to Richard Baker is derived, and they explain very clearly the circumstances of his coming to these shores. Edward Hopkins was the agent in London of a colonizing company or association, the chief members of which were Lord Say and Seal, Lord Brook, Lord Rich, Sir Richard Saltonstall, and others of influence politically and socially. They had obtained a grant of territory which included what is now the State of Connecticut, and were anxious to get military control of the region by establishing a fort at the mouth of the Connecticut River in anticipation of a like movement on the part of the Dutch of New Amsterdam, who also claimed possession or rights of trade there.

To this end the projectors needed a stanch vessel of light draft to ply between Boston and the mouth of the Connecticut during the building of a fort. This North Sea boat, which was named the “Bachelor,” was obtained, and a master and crew of eight in all were engaged to sail the vessel across the sea and on coastwise voyages here during the construction of the fort. The vessel was laden with material, iron work, etc., suitable for such construction, as the invoice contained in Hopkins’s letter shows. Four passengers were taken, Sergeant Lyon Gardiner, a military engineer; his assistant, and the Sergeant’s wife and maid. The letter of Hopkins containing the first mention of Richard Baker is dated London, Aug. 18, 1635, and states in the postscript that the Bachelor was cleared from Gravesend below London on that day. It gives the names of the master and crew, Richard Baker being second in command, or “master’s mate.” The wages to be paid each and the terms of their employment are also stated. The letter was addressed to John Winthrop, Jr., the agent of the company in this country, and, as it was foreseen that he might be in Connecticut on arrival of the vessel in Boston, the alternative was added, “or, in his absence, to the worshipful Jno. Winthrop the elder, at Boston aforesaid.” Hopkins speaks somewhat in derogation of a part of the crew, for which, as appears, he had good reason, and remarks in an explanatory way that “it was not easy here to get any at this time to go in so small a vessel.” He remarks incidentally that “the master hath a desire, as he tells me, to continue in the country.” He does not say that of the master’s mate, with whom (Richard Baker being then a young man of not much more than one and twenty) he probably held no conversation. But the reasons effective with the master in the matter would likely to be so with the mate, and, if they related only to pursuit of the mariner’s calling, there were with the latter other not less potent reasons.

At the last moment, when the barque was at Gravesend, four of the crew, whom Hopkins names, renounced their contract so far as it provided for service on the vessel in New England. “Whereupon,” he says, “being put to some straits I was in a manner constrained to yield to their desires.” Of the other four, one of whom was the master’s mate, he says that they, “sticking to the former agreement, will be able, I conceive, with small help more, to sail the barque in the country.” On the back of the next letter from Hopkins, dated London, 21 Sept., 1635, is a memorandum in the handwriting of John Winthrop, Jr., of four items, one of which reads: “3 bills of exchange of 30 li to be paid to Rich: Baker.” These bills, forwarded by a vessel sailing a month later than did the Bachelor, indicate sufficiently on the part of the person in whose favor they run, not merely a desire but a purpose to continue in the country.

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This recital of remote, and, in part, unimportant facts of record is pertinent here as evincing to those who will chiefly be interested in this genealogy that their common ancestor came to America under circumstances highly creditable to himself. They give proof that he was a man of great courage and of skill and resources in the mariner’s art; that in an exigency which men of small soul took advantage of he was on of those who did equity by “sticking to the former agreement”; and that he was of a frugal habit, preferring to take passage where he would have nothing to pay out, but a considerable sum in pocket at the end of his ocean and coastwise voyages. The bills of exchange may also be taken as evidence of a like habit in money matters while he was yet in his native land.

The next date of record of Richard Baker is November 4, 1639, when he became a member of the church in Dorchester. It is probable that he was married about that time. His wife, Faith Withington, is recorded under her maiden name as a member of the same church of earlier date. She was a daughter of Henry Withington, the ruling elder of the Church. The office was one of much honor, and various facts show that the family of Withington was one of social distinction. Mary, a sister of Faith, married Thomas Danforth, who became deputy governor of the colony. Near relatives of Richard Baker were Thomas Baker, his brother, a resident of Roxbury and owner of the historical tide-mill there; and John Baker of Boston, a nephew of both Richard and Thomas, who in different documents describes himself as “smith” and “mariner.” These descriptive appelations do not indicate that he was merely an employé in either business. He was a prominent and enterprising citizen of the metropolis, and carried on business extensively. He died a comparatively young man, about twenty years before either of his uncles, and his inventory shows that he had acquired property in shipping and real estate amounting to £799, a considerable estate for that period.

It does not appear of record that Richard Baker assisted in sailing the Bachelor coastwise, but his contract required him to do so if the owners desired. It is certain, as appears in others of the Winthrop letters, that the vessel was thus employed. If he was in that service, a part, at least, of the interval between 1635 and 1639 is accounted for. In the records of Dorchester, very soon after the latter date, he is put down as a considerable owner of real estate in that town. His homestead was a tract of land fronting southerly upon the road now called Savin Hill Avenue. The site of his dwelling-house was undoubtedly that of the building known to the contemporary generation as the “Tuttle Mansion.” He added from time to time to the original area by purchase of adjoining lands.

One of these additions appears to have been a tract on the northwesterly slope of Savin Hill, where, up to a recent date, stood two dwellings known from time immemorial as the Baker houses. One yet remains. That which has been demolished was in all probability the house which Richard Baker, as he states in his will, built for his son John. The statement is made in connection with a bequest to his son of adjacent lands. Richard Baker bequeathed his homestead estate to his son James, who lived a bachelor. He in turn bequeathed it to his nephew John Wiswall, and the property remained in possession of the Wiswall heirs until 1826, when it was sold to Mr. Tuttle. The premises referred to as bequeathed to John Baker continued uninterruptedly in possession of some of his descendants till the year 1872.

Richard Baker was made a freeman of the colony May 18, 1642. He

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became a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in 1658. In nearly every year from 1642 to 1685 his name is of record as exercising some office in the town administration of Dorchester. He appears not to have aspired to the highest station, and during only one year, 1653, is he recorded as a selectman. In 1668 he was elected a ruling elder of the church, but declined the office. Both in the town and the church records his name appears from time to time with those of others who were among the principal citizens in the making up of important committees. He was a proprietor in all the “Divisions” of town lands subsequent to the date of the “Great Lots.” The “Divisions” covered much the larger area. The inventory of his estate amounted to £1,315 15s. He died Oct. 25, 1689; his wife died Feb. 3, preceding. Children:

  • i. MARY,2 chr. Feb. 14, 1641; m. Samuel Robinson; she d. Aug. 27, 1714.
  • 2. ii. JOHN, chr. April 30, 1643; m. Preserved Trott.
  • iii. SARAH, chr. June 22, 1645; m. James White, Feb. 22, 1664; she d. Oct. 13, 1688.
  • iv. THANKFUL, chr. March 19, 1646; m. William Griggs.
  • v. ELIZABETH, chr. Oct. 27, 1650; d. young.
  • vi. JAMES, chr. April 30, 1654. As stated, to him was bequeathed the homestead estate of his father; this comprised considerable tracts of land adjoining and near to the dwelling house; he appears to have been a prosperous farmer; only once did he take a public office, that of viewer of fences of common corn fields; he died, single, March 30, 1721.
  • vii. ELIZABETH, chr. July 20, 1656; m. William Pratt of Weymouth, Mass.; they resided in Dorchester for a while, and went thence with the church organized in that town, Oct. 22, 1695, for missionary purposes in South Carolina; they had a daughter Thankful, born in Weymouth Oct. 14, 1683.
  • viii. HANNAH, b. Jan. 9, 1662; m. John Wiswall, May 5, 1685.

2. JOHN2 BAKER (Richard1), son of Richard and Faith, was born in Dorchester and was christened, as appears by the church records, April 30, 1643. He married Preserved Trott, July 11, 1667. He lived at Savin Hill, in the dwelling house already referred to. The site is about two rods south-easterly of the present boundary of the street, and, in an air line, about 260 feet due north-east from the centre of the highway bridge over the Old Colony railroad. The house was occupied as a barrack for American troops during the siege of Boston. John Baker owned a large area of farming land, though his homestead tract was comparatively small. He appears to have been an efficient townsman, and served during a succession of years in different town offices. He died Aug. 26, 1690; his wife died Nov. 25, 1711. Children:

  • i. SARAH,3 b. Aug. 12, 1668; m. Oliver Wiswall, Jan. 1, 1690.
  • ii. MARY, b. Nov. 10, 1670; d. Jan. 26, 1670.
  • 3. iii. JOHN, b. Nov. 25, 1671; m. Hannah Withington.
  • 4. iv. JAMES, b. Aug. 4, 1674; m. Judith Maxfield.
  • v. MARY, b. Aug. 24, 1676; m. John Minot, May 23, 1696; she d. Feb. 15, 1716.
  • vi. THANKFUL, b. April 13, 1679; m. Hopestill Capen, Aug. 4, 1702; she d. Dec. 6, 1761.
  • vii. HANNAH, b. July 22, 1682; d. Aug. 9, 1683.
  • viii. ELIZABETH, b. July 18, 1684; also called “Betsey”; d. single.
  • ix. HANNAH, b. July 11, 1687; d. Nov. 12, 1690.
  • 5. x. ABIJAH, b. Feb. 25, 1690; m. Hannah Lyon of Milton, Mass.

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3. JOHN3 BAKER (John,2 Richard1), son of John (2) and Preserved, was born in Dorchester, Nov. 25, 1671. He married Hannah Withington, May 16, 1708. His dwelling house was situated on “the great country road,” so called, now Washington Street, in Dorchester. The site is three or four rods east of that street, and probably projects slightly upon the southerly sidewalk of the present Melville Avenue. The premises were bought by John Baker of William Stoughton, as appears by deed of March 30, 1698. The house was occupied by the descendants of John Baker down to a date within the recollection of the oldest persons now living. It faced south, with the west end towards the road, and was of two stories in front, the long slope of the northerly roof making it to be one story in the rear. He owned extensive farming tracts adjoining and in the vicinity. He died Oct. 9, 1746; his wife died April 30, 1768, aged 82 years. Children:

  • i. HANNAH,4 b. June 9, 1709; m. Benjamin Clapp, a great-grandson of Capt. Roger Clapp, Dec. 29, 1730; they lived in Stoughton, Mass., after 1740; she d. there.
  • 6. ii. JAMES, b. May 24, 1713; m. Priscilla Paul.
  • iii. JOHN, b. in 1711; d. in infancy.
  • 7. iv. JOHN, b. June 28, 1715; m. 1st, Sarah Wiswall; m. 2d, Jane Wheeler.
  • 8. v. THOMAS, b. May 3, 1717; m. Ann Mattox.
  • 9. vi. ELIJAH, b. May 14, 1720; m. Hannah Puffer.
  • 10. vii. GEORGE, b. Aug. 13, 1724; m. 1st, Ruth Williams; m. 2d, Mary Jones; m. 3d, Susan Viles.

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8. THOMAS4 BAKER (John,3 John,2 Richard1), son of John (3) and Hannah, was born May 3, 1717. He married Ann Mattox. As appears by deed bearing date, June 1, 1738, he bought of Ebenezer Mawdsley a dwelling house and ten acres of land bounded westerly by the highway leading to Boston, southerly by land of John Baker, easterly by Capen, and northerly by Robert Searle, Jr. The description is sufficient to fix it as contiguous to the land which John Baker bought of William Stoughton, and fronting on “the great country road.” Thomas Baker died Dec. 29, 1745; his wife died Oct. 5, 1758. Children:

  • i. SARAH,5 b. Nov. 24, 1739; m. Abram Wheeler, Nov. 15, 1759; she d. Feb. 11, 1776.
  • ii. HANNAH, b. Aug. 3, 1741; m. John Clapp, Nov. 29, 1764; the same described in the Clapp genealogy (p. 228) as “John Old Times”; she d. Aug. 10, 1779.
  • iii. ANN, b. Oct. 5, 1744; d. Oct. 6, 1757.