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Richard CHURCH  

Born: ABT 1608
Died: 27 DEC 1668 in Dedham, Hampshire, MA 1
Buried:
Residence: 1631 Plymouth, MA
Residence: 1630 Weymouth, MA
Residence: 1649 Eastham, MA
Residence: 1653 Charlestown, MA
Residence: 1654 Hingham, MA
Occupation: 1630 Carpenter
Public Service: 7 AUG 1638 Appointed arbitrator in a civil suit 204881@

Children With Elizabeth WARREN, Married: 4 OCT 1632 in Plymouth, Plymouth Co. MA
Richard CHURCH Born:
Died:
Elizabeth CHURCH Born: ABT 1636
Plymouth, MA
Died: 3 FEB 1659
Hingham, Plymouth Co. MA
Joseph CHURCH Born: 1638
Plymouth, MA
Died: 5 MAR 1710
Little Compton, RI
Benjamin CHURCH Born: 1640
Plymouth, MA
Died: 17 JAN 1718
Little Compton, RI
Nathaniel CHURCH Born: 20 SEP 1640
Plymouth, MA
Died: 5 MAR 1707
Scituate, Plymouth, MA
Caleb CHURCH Born: 8 AUG 1642
Plymouth, MA
Died: 1 JAN 1722
Watertown, Middlesex, MA
Hannah CHURCH Born: 8 AUG 1642
Plymouth, MA
Died: 2 FEB 1696
Plymouth, MA
Lydia CHURCH Born: ABT 1646
Plymouth, MA
Died:
Charles CHURCH Born: ABT 1646
Plymouth, MA
Died: 30 OCT 1659
Hingham, Plymouth Co. MA
Abigail CHURCH Born: 22 JUN 1647
Plymouth, Plymouth MA
Died: 25 DEC 1677
Hingham, Plymouth Co. MA
Sarah CHURCH Born: ABT 1652
Died:
Deborah CHURCH Born: 22 MAR 1657
Hingham, Plymouth Co. MA
Died: 17 JAN 1690
Scituate, Plymouth, MA
Mary CHURCH Born: 30 APR 1662
Duxbury, MA
Died: 30 APR 1662
Duxbury, MA
 
Notes: Notes for Richard Church:
RICHARD, b. 1608m arrived at Boston, 1630; freeman, 1632; and from 1633to 1649 inc. a resident of Ply. Mass. Subsequently he was for a short time at Eastham, removing thence to Charlestown. Jan. 24 1653, he purchased of Thomas Joy "one halfe or moytie of his Corne mill standeing vpon y c Ryuer called y e towne Coue in Hingham. It is with y e damme head & streame thereunto belongeing and halfe y e lott of Lande Lying there unto contayyneing fower or six acres w ch was formerly y e lands of Abraham Martyn," etc. (S. R. Vol. II. Pp. 82, 83). Richard , without doubt, was a resident of Hingham during the remainder of his life. He m. ab. 1636 Elizabeth, dau of Richard and Elizabeth (Jonah) Warren, who, in 1620, came to Plymouth in the "Mayflower". She d. in Hing. 4 Mar, 1670. He d. at Dedham, 27 Dec. 1668, "though he was buried in Hing., and his will was made here." "Carpenter," Selectman in 1665. Resided on the spot now owned and occupied by heirs of the late Col. Charles Lane, on North St.

Richard Church, of Plymouth, Massachusetts, was born in 1608 as a deposition made by him shows:

"The Deposition of Richard Church aged about 56 yeares this Deponent saith that hee being att worke about the mill the 19th. day of august hearing of a Cry that the man was killed; hasted presently and healped to remove the earth from Thomas ffish who being much bruised thereby was gott to bedd and in four dayes and a halfe Dyed; and further saith not." Made at Sandwich 25 Aug. 1664 and recorded in Plymouth Coll. Court Orders, Vol. IV. p. 92 (Mayflower Descendants IV-152).
He came to America probably in 1630 since the Council of Massachusetts Bay Colony voted to admit him to the status of freeman on 19 October 1630. He is supposed to have come 8 April 1630 in the fleet with John Winthrop, later Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, but that is merely conjecture.
There is no record of the appearance, character or state of education of Richard Church, but the fact that he was invited to become a freeman the year of his landing makes it certain that his social position was known or that he arrived with introductions or endorsements that won him immediate recognition as a sober citizen, a church member, and a loyal subject of the King.
Richard left that Colony without taking the oath and went to Plymouth where he became a freeman on 4 October 1632. Apparently there inquired about his status and a letter dated 1631 from Gov. Bradford of Plymouth to Gov. Winthrop of Massachusetts Bay gives a glimpse into the strict oversight which the early settlers maintained over new arrivals, a supervision necessary to weld a heterogenous mass of immigrants into an effective commonwealth:
"Richard Church came likewise ass a sojournour to worke for ye present; though he is still hear resident longer than he purpossed; and what he will doe, neither we nor I think himselfe knows; but if he resolve here to settle we shall require of him to procure a dismission; but he did affirme to us at ye first that he was one of Mr. welb`s men and freed to goe for England or whither he would ye which we rather beleued because he came to us from Wessagasscussett [Weymouth] upon ye falling out with his partner." (Mayflower Descendants, IX-I).
The freedom to go "whither he would" indicates that he was not an indentured servant, but was an independent adventurer. No trace of Mr. Welb (Webb?) has been found. The partnership spoken of may have been land speculation at Weymouth. Later, Richard bought land which was granted to Gov. Winslow in Seconnet, now Little Compton, Rhode Island, which was still in the possession of his descendants as late as 191
The first significant fact that the records disclose about him is that he was assessed on 166 pounds at Plymouth in 1632-3, two years after landing -- a considerable sum that places him among the wealthiest class of the Pilgrims, if that term could be applied to any of them. Winsor, in his History of Duxbury, gives the taxes levied in 1633. William Collier and Gov. Edward Winslow are rated at 2 pounds 5 shillings each, Richard Church and four others at 1 pound 7 shillings each, placing him second in position of wealth. His financial independence supports the assertion by his great-grandson, Dea. Benjamin Church, that Richard "with two of his brethren, came early to New England as refugees from the religious oppression of the parent state." Garrett Church of Watertown, Massachusetts, is supposed to have been one of the brothers and he was the progenitor of an important family. Dea. Benjamin makes the mistake of saying that the founder of the Plymouth family was named Joseph, and this may be the third brother, who, for some reason, did not become established in the New World.
Richard entered with vigor into the public activities of the colony. He served on the "Grand Enquest" several times both in Plymouth and in Duxbury, and many other civic appointments show that he was a valued member of the community. He served in the Pequot War of 1643 as a "voluntary" with the rank of sergeant, apparently without pay. He was enrolled earlier than this, for in the General and Special Orders of the Court on 7 June 1637 appointing Leift. William Holmes as commander and Mr. Thomas Prence as council of war can be found "the names of the Souldiers that willingly offer themselves," and Richard`s name is among the firs
Richard married Elizabeth Warren, daughter of Richard Warren who came to Plymouth with the first settlers on the Mayflower in 1620. Elizabeth was not with her father, but came with her sisters on the Anne in July 1623. On the same ship with them was Roger Conant who selected the site of Salem, Massachusetts, and was put in authority over that settlement for two years.
Richard`s marriage in to the Warren family may suggest something about his social standing. Richard Warren was one out of ten (of 41) signers of the Mayflower Compact who were distinguished by the title "Mister.", Myles Standish being called "Captain." Elizabeth, Richard Church`s mother-in-law, was usually styled "Mistress," a title not at all common then.
Richard Church was a carpenter, and apparently a very good one, for the Plymouth authorities employed him immediately in making a gun carriage for the defenses on Fort Hill and, with John Tomson, in building the first church in the colony -- although he had to sue to get paid. He probably learned his trade recently as a young apprentice in England, for he was just 22 years old when he arrived in Plymouth.
As early as 1632, Richard was taxed 1 pound 16 shillings "or to be paid in corn at six shillings a bushel," a valuation that shows the high cost of provisions in the colony. Another of his deals throws light on the difficulties that accompany the scarcity of a circularting currency. He sold a house and land for 25 pounds and it was stipulated that payment was to be "a Rid oxe yt they call his name Mouse for 8 pounds and ten shillings, commodities 6 pounds. Residue to be paid next yeare following either in cattell or in commodities or in merchants pay
On 24 January 1635, he bought half-interest in a "corne mill" at Hingham, Plymouth Colony.
Richard lived in Plymouth from 1633 to 1649, was taxed in Duxbury in 1637, and was at Eastham the same year, Charlestown in 1653, and finally at Hingham in 1668 where he probably lived the rest of his life. He is also noted at Dedham, but it is doubtful whether he made any real settlement at either Eastham or Dedham.
Richard died in Dedham where he was on a visit "Sabbath day erly in the morning," and is buried in Hingham, Massachusetts at a spot now covered by the highway leading to the Old Steamboat Wharf and near the water. He left a modest estate, but since he probably granted inheritances to each of his eleven children as they reached majority or were married, it is likely that his estate was much greater than indices show it was at his death. His will is concise:
"I Richard Church of Hingham, having perfect understanding, yet visited by sickness of body, order this my last will. Debts pay`d then my will is that my wife, Elizabeth Church, shall enjoy the remainder during her natural life. And when it shall please God that she shall leave this life my will is that what Estate I shall leave her that shall not be necessarily Expended for her maintenance shall then be equally divided amongst my children, only my sonn Joseph to have a dubble portion, that is twice as much as any of the rest of my children, by reason of the lameness of his hand, whereby he is disinabled above the rest of my children for the getting of a livelihood. I ordain my sonn Joseph to be my Executor."
25 Dec 1668 Richard X Church
The witnesses were Joshus Fisher, John Farebank, Sr., and John Farebank, Jr. The will was presented for probate 26 January 1669. The fact that Richard signed by a mark may not necessarily indicate lack of education, so much as weakness of body. The will is dated three days before his death.


FIRST GENERATION.

I. RICHARD CHURCH, 1608.. Came to New England in
the fleet with Governor Winthrop in 1630. Was made freeman
Oct. 19, 1630, but did not then take the oath. Removed from Wey-
mouth to Plymouth where he was made freeman Oct. 4, 1632. He
married Elizabeth, the daughter of Richard Warren, in 1636, and
lived at Eel River in Plymouth. Gave deed to Robert Bartlett,*
March, 1633. He was taxed at Duxbury, 1637. He was a car-
penter by trade, and with John Thompson was engaged to build the
first Meeting-house, and the first gun carriage in Plymouth in 1637.
In 1649 he sold his estate at Plymouth. Was at Eastham in 1649;
at Charlestown in 1653; and at Hingham in 1657. At Sandwich,
in 1664, he gave an evidence in which he called himself fifty-six
years old. He was often a member of the " Grand Enquest," and
frequently made referee. He served as sergeant in the Pequot War. -

* Bee it knowne vnto all men by these Prsentes yt I Richard Church have sould vnto
Robert Bartlet all the right and title yt I the sd Richard hath in house and houseing and
land with all the meadow ground with the addition yt hee had of goodman Kemton at
the Eel River, and bee is to heave Cubert and bime and all the shelves and benches yt
are in the house and all the ladders yt are about the house, and the said Richard Church
doth bind himselfe his heairs and asynes to Ensure all yt the sd Richard Church hath
sould to Robert Bartlet yt no man shall not trouble him for it, but the said Richard
Church is to take his corn of from the ground and to threash it in the barn in fourteen
days and he is to heave the plancks yt are in the barne.
And the said Robert Bartlet is to give vnto the sd Richard Church for his house and
land the full sum of twenty.five pound In maner and form foloing, a Rid Oxe yt they call
his name Mouse for eight Pound and ten shil, and six pound to bee payed at Mr. Paddies
in Comodities, and the Resedue to be paid the next yeare foloing in the last of Septem-
ber either in Catell or in Corn or in merchants pay, if in Catell they must be prised, if in
corn it must bee at the price currant, if in merchants pay hee must take It as hee Receveth
it, and merchants pay is to bee paid in`linnen and wollen and shooes and stockens heere
at Plymouth if thay be there to be had, if not hee is to take It in the other pay.
And Elizabeth the wife of Richard Church aforsd the Day and Yeare above written
Did acording to order give her free and. full consent vnto the sale of the house & land
and theire several apurtenances aforesaid acording to the tearmes and conditions above
mentioned.
(Morton`s Memorial, page 478.)


ORIGIN: Unknown
MIGRATION: 1630
FIRST RESIDENCE: Weymouth
REMOVES: Plymouth 1631, Eastham 1649, Charlestown by 1653, Hingham 1654
OCCUPATION: Carpenter [ PCR 1:69]. (On 16 February 1632/3 Richard Church hired William Baker to work for him for seven months as a sawyer [ PCR 1:8]. On 23 July 1633 William Mendlove bound himself apprentice to Richard Church for seven years "in the trade of carpentry" [ PCR 1:15].)
FREEMAN: Requested 19 October 1630 [ MBCR 1:80]. Admitted Plymouth freeman 2 January 1632/3 [ PCR 1:6]; in "1633" and 7 March 1636/7 Plymouth lists of freemen [ PCR 1:4, 53]; and in Plymouth section of 1639 list [ PCR 8:174].
EDUCATION: His inventory included "books" valued at £1. Made his mark as witness to a deed of 1 June 1649 [ PCR 12:181].
OFFICES: Plymouth petit jury, 7 June 1636, 5 October 1640, 1 March 1641/2, 1 November 1642 [ PCR 1:42, 7:17, 28, 32]; Plymouth grand jury, 7 March 1636/7, 4 June 1639, 1 March 1641/2, 7 June 1642, 7 March 1642/3, 1 June 1647 [ PCR 1:54, 126, 2:34, 41, 53, 116]; appointed arbitrator in a civil dispute, 7 August 1638 [ PCR 7:9].
Volunteered for service in Pequot War, 7 June 1637 [ PCR 1:60]. In Plymouth section of 1643 Plymouth Colony list of men able to bear arms [ PCR 8:189].
ESTATE: Assessed £1 16s. in the Plymouth tax list of 25 March 1633 and £1 7s. in the list of 27 March 1634 [ PCR 1:11, 28].
Granted forty acres "at the head & on the south side of Eele River Swampe," 4 December 1637 [ PCR 1:70]. On 3 June 1647 Richard Church exchanged this parcel with Manasseh Kempton, receiving in return "a parecel of land next adjoining unto the said Richard Church his lot" and also a small piece of meadow [ PCR 12:144]. Granted one acre and a half of meadow "lying up the river, betwixt the two Mannamett Ponds," 7 August 1638 [ PCR 1:92]. On 9 April 1649 "Richard Church senior" sold to Robert Bartlett "an house and land lying at the Eel River near Plymouth aforesaid with all the meadow land" [ PCR 12:165].
On 13 July 1649 "Mr. Thomas Prence of Nawset" sold to "Richard Church ... of Nawset ... carpenter" and Anthony Snow of Marshfield, feltmaker, "a certain tract of upland and marsh meadow in the limits of Green`s Harbor alias Marshfeild" [ PCR 12:176]. On 22 October 1650 "Richard Church sometimes of the town of Nawsett ... carpenter" sold to John Dingley of Marshfield, smith, his half-share in this parcel of land [ PCR 12:197].
On 24 January 1652[/3] Thomas Joy of Boston, carpenter, and Joan his wife sold to "Richard Church of Charlestowne, carpenter," one half the corn mill at Hingham, with one half the land and other appurtenances thereto belonging [ SLR 2:77].
On 2 July 1667 Plymouth court "do admit of Richard Church to come with the ancient servants for a share of land at Saconett" [ PCR 4:159]. On 29 October 1668 Richard Church was one of four men permitted to seek out "a parcel of land ... lying at Namassakett Pond" [ PCR 5:5].
In his will, dated 25 December 1668 and proved 26 January 1668/9, "Richard Church of Hingham" bequeathed to "my beloved wife Elizabeth Church ... the remainder during her natural life" (after debts are paid); after her decease remainder to "be equally divided amongst my children only my son Joseph to have a double portion ... by reason of the lameness of his hand, whereby he is disenabled above the rest of my children" [ SPR 6:21].
The inventory of "the estate of Richard Church of Hingham deceased," taken 1 January 1668[/9], totalled £365 14s., of which £270 was real estate: "the dwelling house with the barn, orchard & houselot containing six acres," £110; "half a tide mill," £100; "his share of the ironworks at Taunton," £50; and "2 acres of land lying by the mill," £10 [ SPR 5:116].

BIRTH: About 1608 (deposed 25 August 1664 aged about 56 [ PCR 4:85; MD 4:152]).
DEATH: Dedham 26 December 1668 [ DeVR 11], probably on a visit to his son Caleb. In his will, written the day before his death, he calls himself of Hingham, but the witnesses are all of Dedham.
MARRIAGE: By 7 March 1636/7 [ PCR 1:54; TAG 60:129-30] (and probably by 14 March 1635/6 [ PCR 1:41, 56, 152]) Elizabeth Warren, daughter of RICHARD WARREN ; she died Hingham 9 March 1669/70 [ NEHGR 121:124].
CHILDREN:
i ELIZABETH, b. about 1636; m. Hingham 8 January 1657/8 Caleb Hobart [ NEHGR 121:107].

ii JOSEPH, b. about 1638; m. Hingham 13 December 1660 Mary Tucker [ NEHGR 121:111].

iii BENJAMIN, b. about 1640; m. 26 December 1667 Alice Southworth [ NEHGR 121:121 (giving date of marriage but not name of bride)], daughter of CONSTANT SOUTHWORTH .

iv NATHANIEL, b. about 1642; m. 1666 Sarah Barstow (on 8 June 1666 Nathaniel Church and "Sarah Barstow alias Sarah Church" each owed £5 to the colony treasury, presumably for fornication, as their eldest child was b. Scituate 16 December 1666 [ PCR 8:116-17]).

v CHARLES, b. say 1644; d. Hingham 30 October 1659 "killed by the overturning of his cart" [ NEHGR 121:110; TAG 60:131].

vi CALEB, b. about 1646; m. (1) Hingham 16 December 1667 Joanna Sprague [ NEHGR 121:121], daughter of WILLIAM SPRAGUE ; m. (2) by 8 June 1680 Deborah _____ [ MLR 7:283-84]; m. (3) Watertown 6 November 1691 "Rebaca Scottoo" [ WaVR 64], probably widow of John Scottow of Boston [ TAG 60:135].

vii ABIGAIL, b. 22 June 1648 [ MD 15:27, correcting PCR 8:4]; m. Hingham 19 December 1666 Samuel Thaxter [ NEHGR 121:119].

viii SARAH, b. say 1652; m. Hingham 8 December 1674 James Burroughs [ TAG 60:137, citing HiTR 1:33].

ix MARY, d. Duxbury 30 April 1662 [ NEHGR 121:113].

x DEBORAH, bp. Hingham 22 March 1656/7 [ NEHGR 121:106]; no further record. (See TAG 40:101, 60:131-32 for discussions of her possible fate.)



COMMENTS: In a letter of 6 February 1631/2 from the governor and assistants of Plymouth to the governor and assistants of Massachusetts Bay on various matters of mutual interest to the two colonies, Bradford, in listing persons who had moved from Massachusetts Bay to Plymouth, included "Richard Church [who] came likewise as a sojourner to work for the present; though he is still here resident longer than he purposed; and what he will do, neither we nor I think himself knows. But if he resolve here to settle we shall require of him to procure a dismission; but he did affirm to us at the first, that he was one of Mr. Webb`s men, and freed to go for England or whither he would, the which we the rather believed because he came to us from Wessagasscusett upon the falling out with his partner" [ WP 3:65].
In the settlement of a lawsuit on 3 January 1632/3 Richard Church was the assignee of William Bennett, the successful plaintiff [ PCR 1:7]. Richard Church was plaintiff in civil suits in Plymouth court on 4 February 1638/9, 7 September 1642, 4 June 1652 and 3 March 1662/3 [ PCR 7:11, 31, 59, 105, 108].
Richard Church was surety for Mark Mendall/Mendlove on 12 July 1637 and on 4 December 1637 [ PCR 1:63, 69], on 4 June 1645 for Matthew Fuller [ PCR 2:87], and on 2 March 1646/7 (as "Richard Church, of the Eale River, planter") for George Wright [ PCR 2:113, 121, 127].
On 2 June 1640 several people residing at Eel River were presented for not building a bridge there according to order, and repay 50s. to Richard Church and Robert Bartlett (perhaps for undertaking some of the work themselves) [ PCR 1:156].
BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: The definitive article on Richard Church was published by Robert S. Wakefield in 1985 [ TAG 60:129-39]. He analyzed in great detail the list of children for Richard Church, and discarded four alleged children included in many previous accounts of the family [ TAG 60:138-39]. We concur in this, and differ from his treatment only in a few minor and insubstantial places: We do not include even as a possibility the questionable son Richard, for whom there is no documentation, and we differ slightly in some of the estimated dates of birth, where we place no reliance at all on LCVR .

FIRST GENERATION.

I. RICHARD CHURCH, 1608.. Came to New England in the fleet with Governor Winthrop in 1630. Was made freeman
Oct. 19, 1630, but did not then take the oath. Removed from Weymouth to Plymouth where he was made freeman Oct. 4, 1632. He married Elizabeth, the daughter of Richard Warren, in 1636, and lived at Eel River in Plymouth. Gave deed to Robert Bartlett,* March, 1633. He was taxed at Duxbury, 1637. He was a carpenter by trade, and with John Thompson was engaged to build the first Meeting-house, and the first gun carriage in Plymouth in 1637.
In 1649 he sold his estate at Plymouth. Was at Eastham in 1649; at Charlestown in 1653; and at Hingham in 1657. At Sandwich, in 1664, he gave an evidence in which he called himself fifty-six years old. He was often a member of the " Grand Enquest," and frequently made referee. He served as sergeant in the Pequot War. -

* Bee it knowne vnto all men by these Prsentes yt I Richard Church have sould vnto Robert Bartlet all the right and title yt I the sd Richard hath in house and houseing and land with all the meadow ground with the addition yt hee had of goodman Kemton at the Eel River, and bee is to heave Cubert and bime and all the shelves and benches yt
are in the house and all the ladders yt are about the house, and the said Richard Church doth bind himselfe his heairs and asynes to Ensure all yt the sd Richard Church hath sould to Robert Bartlet yt no man shall not trouble him for it, but the said Richard Church is to take his corn of from the ground and to threash it in the barn in fourteen days and he is to heave the plancks yt are in the barne.
And the said Robert Bartlet is to give vnto the sd Richard Church for his house and land the full sum of twenty.five pound In maner and form foloing, a Rid Oxe yt they call his name Mouse for eight Pound and ten shil, and six pound to bee payed at Mr. Paddies in Comodities, and the Resedue to be paid the next yeare foloing in the last of September either in Catell or in Corn or in merchants pay, if in Catell they must be prised, if in corn it must bee at the price currant, if in merchants pay hee must take It as hee Receveth it, and merchants pay is to bee paid in`linnen and wollen and shooes and stockens heere at Plymouth if thay be there to be had, if not hee is to take It in the other pay.
And Elizabeth the wife of Richard Church aforsd the Day and Yeare above written Did acording to order give her free and. full consent vnto the sale of the house & land and theire several apurtenances aforesaid acording to the tearmes and conditions above mentioned.
(Morton`s Memorial, page 478.)



 
Richard CHURCH
ABT 1608 - 27 DEC 1668

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Sources

1.Title: Mayflower Planters Cape Cod Series Vol II, Political, Economic and Social England, 1580-1620
2.Title: New England Ancestors.org
Page:
Military: 7 JUN 1637 Pequot War
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