History of Springfield, MA
It was required that all deputies must be orthodox in religion and it was "ordered that no man, although a Freeman, shall be accepted as a deputy of the General Court, that is un-sound in judgment concerning the many points of the Christian religion, as they have been held forth & acknowledged by the generality of the Protestant orthodox writers, or that is scandalous in his conversation or that is unfaithful to the government."
The names of those who represented Springfield up to the close of the first century are given in full, so far as can be ascertained, as follows:
Deputies to the General Court from Springfield.
1650. Edward Holyoke 1651. Henry Smith 1652. William Davis 1653. Capt. Humphrey Atherton 1654. Not represented. 1655. Not represented. 1656. Elizur Holyoke 1657. Not represented. 1658. Not represented. 1659. Capt. John Pynchon 1660. Edward Holyoke 1661. Elizur Holyoke 1662. Capt. John Pynchon 1663. Capt. John Pynchon 1664. Not represented. 1665. Not represented. 1666. Capt. William Davis 1667. Elizur Holyoke 1668. Lieut. Thomas Cooper 1669. George Colton 1670. Capt. Elizur Holyoke - one session. 1671. Capt. William Davis & George Colton 1672. Capt. William Davis 1673. Capt. Elizur Holyoke 1674. Capt. Elizur Holyoke 1675. No record of an election.
1676. No record of an election. 1677. George Colton 1678. No record of an election. 1679. No record of an election. 1680. Samuel Marshfield 1681. Joseph Pynchon 1682. Joseph Pynchon 1683. Samuel Marshfield 1684. Samuel Marshfield, - one session. 1685. No record of an election. 1686. No record of an election. 1687. No record of an election. 1688. No record of an election. 1689. Henry Chapin 1690. No record of an election. 1691. John Holyoke 1692. John Holyoke 1693. Major John Pynchon, chosen and afterwards elected an Assistant. Succeeded by his nephew, Benjamin Davis of Boston. 1694. Benjamin Davis of Boston. Objected to by Gov. Phipps, on the ground of being a non-resident. Succeeded by Nathaniel Bliss. 1695. Abel Wright 1696. Luke Hitchcock 1697. Luke Hitchcock 1698. Luke Hitchcock 1699. John Hitchcock 1700. John Pynchon, 3d. 1701. John Hitchcock 1702. John Hitchcock 1703. John Hitchcock 1704. John Hitchcock 1705. John Hitchcock 1706. Joseph Parsons 1707. Lieut. Joseph Stebbins 1708. Joseph Parsons
1709. Major John Pynchon 1710. Col. John Pynchon 1711. No record of an election. 1712. Col. John Pynchon 1713. Luke Hitchcock 1714. Col. John Pynchon 1715. Luke Hitchcock 1716. Luke Hitchcock 1717. Lieut. Joseph Stebbins 1718. Capt. Luke Hitchcock 1719. Capt. Luke Hitchcock 1720. Capt. Luke Hitchcock 1721. Lieut. Joseph Stebbins 1722. Capt. Luke Hitchcock 1723. John Pynchon 1724. William Pynchon 1725. Lieut. William Pynchon 1726. Samuel Day 1727. Samuel Day 1728. Samuel Day 1729. Samuel Day 1730. william Pynchon 1731. William Pynchon & William Pynchon, Jr. 1732. Capt. John Day 1733. ~~~ 1734. William Pynchon, Jr. 1735. William Pynchon, Jr.
EARLY INHABITANTS - WHEN THEY CAME.
The years in which the early inhabitants of Springfield were supposed to have settled, have been variously stated by writers of local history, but, except in a few instances, the dates so given have been largely conjectural. The date of the first mention of a settler's name in such records as the writers had consulted would be stated as the time of his arrival, but later investigations have shown an earlier period in many instances than that given, and in a number of cases the precise year of settlement has been established. Mr.
Thomas B. Warren, to whom I am greatly indebted for the following table, has made a more extensive research than any predecessor and he has been able to make many corrections, as well as additions, to what has been published.
He has also added the date of removal or death, which is given in this table for the first time. Where the precise date of any settler's arrival could not be ascertained, the year given in connection with his name refers to the first mention of it in the records, but his coming here could not have been long prior to it.
The list embraces all who came here previous to 1663 who remained long enough to become in some degree identified with the settlement, even if they did not take up a permanent abode, but a majority remained, and their descendants are still numerous in and about this region.
The Early Inhabitants.
1636 - William Pynchon. Returned to England in 1652. 1636 - Matthew Mitchel. Did not remain here. 1636 - Henry Smith. Returned to England in 1652 or 1653. 1636 - Jehu Burr. Removed to Fairfield, Conn. 1636 - William Blake. Removed to Dorchester. 1636 - Edmund Wood. Removed. 1636 - Thomas Ufford. Removed. 1636 - John Cable. Removed to Fairfield, Conn. in 1641.
The above signed the agreement dated May 14, 1636.
1636 - Thomas Woodford. Removed in 1639. 1636 - Samuel Butterfield. 1636 - Jonas Wood. 1636 - John Reader.
The preceding were granted land May 16, 1636.
1636 - Richard Everett. Witnessed Indian deed. Removed to Dedham. 1636 - Joseph Parsons. Witnessed Indian deed to Pynchon. Appears here next in 1645. Removed to Northampton; afterwards returned and died here in 1683.
1636 - John Allen. Witnessed Indian deed to Pynchon. 1636 - Thomas Horton. Witnessed Indian deed and died here, 1641. 1636 - Faithful Thayler. Witnessed Indian deed. Did not remain. 1636 - John Townes. Witnessed Indian deed. Did not remain. 1636 - John Pynchon, son of William. Was 14 years old when he came here with his father. Died here, 1703. 1637 or 1638 - Rev. George Moxon. Returned to England 1652. 1638 - John Searle. Died here 1641. 1638 - Thomas Merrick. Died here in 1704. 1639 - William Warriner. Died here in 1676. 1639 - Rowland Stebbins. Removed in 1656 to Northampton where he died in 1671. 1639 - Thomas Stebbins, son of Rowland. Died here in 1683. 1639 - John Stebbins, son of Rowland. Removed to Northampton in 1656; died there in 1679. 1639 - John Leonard. Killed by the Indians in 1676. 1639 - Robert Ashley. Died here in 1682. 1639 - John Woodcock. Went to Connecticut. Died 1642. 1639 - John Allen. 1639 - John Burt. Rated, but never came here. 1639 - Henry Gregory. Went to Connecticut in 1642. 1639 - Samuel Hubbard. Went to Newport in 1648. 1639 - Samuel Wright. Went to Northampton in 1656 and died there in 1665. 1639 - Benjamin Wright, son of Samuel. Went to Northampton. 1639 - Samuel Wright, Jr. son of Samuel. Went to Northampton in 1656. 1639 - James Wright, son of Samuel. Went to Northampton in 1656. 1640 - Henry Burt. Died here in 1662.
1640 - Jonathan Burt, son of Henry. Died here in 1715. 1640 - David Burt, son of Henry. Removed to Northampton in 1655 and died there in 1690. 1640 - Nathaniel Burt, son of Henry. Died here in 1720. 1640 - Elizur Holyoke. Died here in 1675. 1640 - John Dibble. Died here in 1646. 1641 - John Noble. Died here in 1641. 1642 - Samuel Chapin. Died here in 1675. 1642 - Henry Chapin, son of Samuel. Died here in 1718. 1642 - Josias Chapin, son of Samuel. Died at Braintree, 1683. 1642 - David Chapin, son of Samuel. Went to Boston. 1642 - Japhet Chapin, son of Samuel. Died here in 1712. 1642 - Richard Sikes. Died here in 1676. 1643 - Alexander Edwards. Went to Northampton in 1656 and died there in 1690. 1643 - John Dover. 1643 - Morgan Jones. Died here in 1643. 1643 - Francis Ball. Drowned here in 1648. 1643 - Thomas Cooper. Killed by the Indians in 1675. 1643 - James Bridgman. Went to Northampton in 1655 and died there in 1676. 1643 - Roger Pritchard. Died at New Haven in 1671. 1643 - Judah Gregory. Died in Connecticut. 1643 - William Branch. Died here in 1683. 1643 - John Matthews. Died here in 1684. 1643 - John Harmon. Died here in 1661. 1644 - Benjamin Gooley. Died here in 1684. 1644 - Miles Morgan. Died here in 1699. 1644 - Abraham Munden. Drowned in Enfield Falls in 1645. 1645 - William Vaughan. 1645 - william Jess. Drowned in Enfield Falls in 1645. 1645 - Francis Pepper. Died here in 1685. 1645 - John Burrhall. 1645 - Griffith Jones. Died here in 1676. 1645 - James Osborn. Died at Hartford in 1676.
1646 - George Colton. Died here in 1699. 1646 - John Clark. Died here in 1684. 1646 - Thomas Reeve. died here in 1650. 1646 - Richard Exell. Died here in 1714. 1646 - Margaret Bliss, widow of Thomas of Hartford. Died here in 1684. 1646 - Nathaniel Bliss, son of Margaret. Died here in 1654. 1646 - Lawrence Bliss, son of Margaret. Died here in 1676. 1646 - Samuel Bliss, son of Margaret. Died here in 1720. 1646 - John Bliss, son of Margaret. Died here in 1702. 1646 - Edmund Haynes. Died here in 1646. 1646 - Thomas Thomson. Removed. 1646 - Reice Bedortha. Drowned her in 1683. 1646 - Hugh Parsons. [See Footnote] Tried in Boston for witchcraft and found not guilty. Went to Watertown and died there in 1675. 1646 - John Lombard. Died here in 1672. 1646 - George Lanckton. Went to Northampton and died there in 1676. 1647 - Rowland Thomas. Died here in 1698. 1648 - Thomas Sewell. Took the oath of fidelity on 6th of February, 1649. 1648 - Samuel Marshfield. Died here in 1692. 1649 - Anthony Dorchester. Died here in 1683. 1649 - Henry Walkley. Went to Stratford, Conn. 1649 - Nathaniel Brown. Went to Middletown in 1650. 1649 - Benjamin Munn. Died here in 1675. 1649 - Thomas Miller. Killed by the Indians in 1675. 1649 - Jonathan Taylor. Lived here but died in Suffield in 1683. 1649 - William Brooks. Went to Deerfield and died there in 1688. 1650 - John Dumbleton. Died herein 1702. 1650 - John Stewart. Died here in 1690.
1650 - Edward Foster. Died here in 1720. 1650 - Samuel Terry. Died at Enfield, Conn. in 1731. 1650 - Hugh Dudley. 1650 - Richard Maund. 1651 - Benjamin Parsons. Died here in 1689. 1651 - Nathaniel Pritchard. Went away after 1691. 1651 - John Lamb. Died here in 1690. 1653 - Mr. Hosford. 1653 - Thomas Bancroft. Was dead in 1684. 1654 - George Alexander. 1654 - Simon Beamon. Died here in 1676. 1654 - Obadiah Miller. Date of death unknown. 1654 - Abel Wright. Died here in 1724. 1655 - Simon Sackett. Died here in 1659. 1655 - Thomas Gilbert. Died here in 1662. 1656 - John Gilbert, brother of Thomas, desired grant of land at Westfield but it was never taken. 1656 - Thomas Noble. Went to Westfield and died there in 1704. 1656 - William Morgan. Drowned here in 1663. 1656 - John Riley. Died here in 1684. 1657 - John Bagg. Died here in 1683. 1658 - John Wood. Removed in 1660. 1658 - John Stiles. Died at Windsor in 1683. 1658 - Joseph Crowfoot. Supposed to have died at Northampton in 1678. 1658 - Thomas Day. Died here 1711. 1658 - Richard Fellows. Died at Hatfield in 1663. 1659 - Rev. Pelatiah Glover. Died here in 1692. 1659 - John Scot. Died at Suffield in 1690. 1659 - Tahan Grant. 1659 - Nathaniel Ely. Died here in 1675. 1659 - Samuel Ely, son of Nathaniel. Died here in 1692. 1659 - Peter Swinck, negro. Died here in 1699. 1660 - John Keep. Killed by Indians in 1676.
1660 - Quince Smith. Given liberty to stay two months in town from Dec. 18, 1660, when he was warned to depart the town. 1660 - Mr. Hooker. Preached here a short time and went away. 1661 - Charles Ferry. died here in 1699. 1661 - Elizabeth Hitchcock, widow of Luke of New Haven, died here in 1696. 1661 - John Hitchcock, son of Elizabeth. Died here in 1712. 1661 - Luke Hitchcock, son of Elizabeth. Died here in 1727. 1661 - Jeremy Horton, son of Thomas. Died here in 1782. 1661 - John Horton, son of Thomas. 1661 - John Harmon, son of John. Died here in 1712. 1661 - Samuel Harmon, son of John. Died at Suffield in 1677. 1661 - John Dorchester, son of Anthony. Died here in 1705. 1661 - James Dorchester. Died here in 1732. 1662 - John Petty. Died here in 1680. 1662 - John Henryson. Went to Haddam, Conn. and died there in 1688. 1662 - William Hunter. Killed by the Indians in 1676. 1662 - James Taylor. Died here in 1720. 1662 - Thomas Mascall of Windsor, admitted. 1663 - Hugh Mackey. Had seat in church. 1663 - Thomas Thomson, a boy, had seat in church. Belonged to Windsor. 1663 - John Barber. Died here in 1712.
CLERK OF THE WRITS.
The Clerk of the Writs was an official which the General Court required each town to elect, subject to confirmation at the next session of the County Court. It was his duty to issue summonses and grant writs of attachment in civil suits,
and to enter in the town books a records of all births, marriages and deaths. For a summons he received a fee of two pence; for a writ of attachment, three pence; for record-a birth, marriage for death, three pence. Henry Burt was the first Clerk of the Writs chosen for Springfield, having been elected by the town on the 29th day of the third month, 1649.
The records of births, marriages and deaths are in his handwriting from his appointment in 1649 to 1662. The following are the names of the persons, with their terms of service, who held that office in Springfield:Henry Burt, 1649 - 1662. Died in office.
Thomas Cooper, 1663 - 1676. Killed by the Indians when Springfield was burned.
Samuel Holyoke, 1676. Died in office.
John Holyoke, 1677.
Everyone who has had occasion to search the early records in various New England towns has noticed the difference in their completeness and intelligent statement of the various transactions which occurred, and how much is due to the recorders for a careful statement of those events which have become of the greatest interest to thousands of descendants in tracing the part which each inhabitant took in founding the towns and in making that history which now stands forth as a bright example of intelligent and conscientious en-deavor. The records of Springfield are much more complete than any other in the first settlements on the Connecticut River, and much is due to Henry Smith, the first Recorder, who served from 1636 until his return to England in 1653. Elizur Holyoke, who soon succeeded him, appears to have been equally painstaking, but his duties were more perfunctory in their execution and reflect less of the feeling and opinion of the towns-people in their doings when assembled in public meetings. The following are the names of the Recorders and their terms of service from 1636 to 1736:
Henry Smith 1636-1652. John Pynchon 1652-1655. Elizur Holyoke 1656. In the absence of John Pynchon. John Pynchon 1657-1660. Elizur Holyoke 1661-1676. Died in office. John Holyoke 1677-1680. Daniel Denton 1681. John Holyoke 1682-1695. John Pynchon, Jr. 1696. Jonathan Burt 1697-1700. John Pynchon, Jr. 1701. John Holyoke 1702-1711. Pelatiah Bliss 1712-1715. Joseph Warriner 1716. Pelatiah Bliss 1717-1727. William Pynchon, Jr. 1728-1736.
THE GOOD SENSE OF THE COMMON PEOPLE PREVAILED.
Looking backward from this period of time we find but little in the town records to indicate that William Pynchon had an active part in the administration of the town's affairs. Undoubtedly he was looked to for counsel and suggestion, but after the first few years the details were entrusted to others, who appear to have been fully equal to their various duties. Returning to England in 1652, he left nothing except the record of his duties as magistrate and the transactions connected with the publication of his book and the burning of it by the authorities in the market place at Boston, to show from our present point of view, any impression which he made upon the life of the community. That he was a man of ability and one who exerted a powerful influence in the earlier work of the Colony, there can be no doubt. But after the settlers had once secured a foothold, neither the withdrawal of a few nor the death of any single indi-vidual, would have broken up the settlement. The law of average prevailed, and there was sufficient cohesive force in the leading spirits
to have successfully worked out the problem of self-government, and brought any question that might have arisen, to a successful issue. The sternest problem which at any time, with perhaps a single exception, confronted them, was simply oneof food and clothing, -material subsistence. When the Indians in treachery came down upon the settlement it was the average opinion and the average courage which saved the inhabitants and it was this spirit which rebuilt the town.
Transferring the business of the town from the whole body to a chosen few, the selectmen, did not relieve the inhabitants of responsibility. It was the duty of every man in the settlement who was an "admitted inhabitant" to be present at the annual town meetings and to take part in its affairs, to either agree or express dissent. May 7, 1645, this vote was passed:
"It is voted and agreed upon by ye generall consent of the Plantation that if any inhabitant shall be absent from any town meeting upon any sufficient warning given them, or shall withdraw from the meeting before there be a full discharge, without a sufficient excuse or leave, he shall be liable to pay half a bushel of Indian corn for every such defect. It was voted to be a sufficient warning if publik noticement is given after a lecture to meet in the afternoon."
It would appear that even this vote did not produce the desire effect, for the fine was increased the next year to one bushel. The inhabitants were required to be present "when the blessing is desired," indicating that town meetings in the early years were opened with prayer. This law, as laid down by the town, was kept in force for many years, but the fine was finally reduced to sixpence. At the town meeting in April, 1665, there were no less than fifteen voters absent, but the majesty of the law was sustained. The founders swerved not from the decrees which they had laid down for the governing of the town. The foremost as well as the humblest, from Deacon Chapin down to John Matthews, who used to beat the drum for Sunday meetings, came in for his share when delinquent.
Added Footnote by Janice Farnsworth
Bond's Watertown (p. 391) Parsons (Passant) Hugh Parsons of Springfield, where he has son Samuel b. 1649, died in Watertown June 18, 1675 aged 63. His widow, Ruth Parsons died in Water-town, Aug 8, 1676 & her estate adm. by her children, Edmund Bloise & Ruth, his wife. June 12, 1681, Ruth, wid. of Edmund Bloise sold to Henry Godding lands which had belonged to her father, Hugh Parsons. see also Geneal. Reg. II., p. 232)
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