CAPTAIN WILLIAM HATHORNE
WILLIAM HATHORNE, the father of Captain William Hathorne, was the son of William and Sara, of Binfield, Berkshire Co., England, born about 1607, and came to this country with Winthrop, in the Arbella, in 1630, and settled first at Dorchester, where he was a land holder, and appears prominently in affairs in the earliest days of the settlement, and until 1636, when he removed to Salem. He was admitted freeman in 1634, and was chosen deputy in 1635 and 1637, and from Salem many times afterwards; and when, in 1644, the "House of Deputies" elected a Speaker for the first time, he was elected, and served in that position for several years afterwards. He was elected Assistant in 1662, which office he retained until 1679, and the history of the times in which he lived shows him to have been one of the most able, energetic, and widely influential men in New England, in his day. He was mentioned as present at the great "training" at Boston, 1639; was commissioned Captain of the company at Salem, May 1, 1646, and Major before 1656. See also "Wonder-working Providence," p. 109. While he was evidently narrow and bigoted in his religious theories, and arbitrary and intolerant in the administration of affairs, both of church and state, he was the zealous and fearless advocate of the personal rights of freemen as against royal emissaries and agents.
The investigations of our Mr. Waters, in the English Archives, have revealed the Hathorne ancestry in England as given above, and from additional data gathered by him and others, we have room for the following brief statement, tracing the descent of the distinguished Nathaniel Hawthorne of our own day from this eminent ancestor.
William2 Hathorne brought with him to this country his wife Anne, by whom he had children:
i. A daughter.2
Major William Hathorne died in 1681, in his 74th year. Will probated June 28, 1681; mentions son William lately deceased, and Sarah the widow of the same, and her heirs; appoints wife Anne sole executrix.
JOHN2 Hathorne, distinguished both in civil and military affairs, serving as Captain in the war with the Eastern Indians, the Colonel of a regiment, and in the expedition of 1696 chief commander; admitted freeman 1677; Deputy, 1683; Assistant, 1684-1711 (except in Andros's brief rule), and is remembered unhappily as the most intolerant and cruel of the judges in the witchcraft delusion. He had, by his wife Ruth (Gardner):
Other descendants of Major William,1 through other lines of descent than John and William, Jr., are scattered over the whole country, and bear both forms of the surname,
Capt. WILLIAM2 HATHORNE, son of Major William, and the subject of this sketch, has, in all published accounts known to me, been very strangely overlooked by being identified as one with his father. My attention was first called to the error of that supposition by the mention of his "father" in his letter from Casco, Sept. 22, 1676. I found that he was engaged at the Eastward from September 6th up to November 10th, and that his father, Major William, Assistant, was present in his place in the General Court at Boston most of that time; that administration upon the estate of Capt. William was granted to his widow Sarah, February 4, 1678-9, Daniel Gookin and William Hathorne (Major) being the Magistrates. Major William died 1681, and in his will mentionshaving given his son William land at Groton which he confirms to his widow Sarah and her heirs.
In the expedition of December, 1675, against the Narragansets, as has been previously noted, Capt. Hathorne was appointed lieutenant of the company under Capt. Joseph Gardiner, and when that brave officer fell, at the great "Fort Fight," he succeeded to the command of the company, which he held during the remainder of that campaign, and, as we have seen in that chapter, most of that company were paid off as having served under him.
In August, 1676, Capt. Hathorne was again called into service (as has been noted in several previous chapters), to take command of the forces sent to the Eastward.
After the surrender of the great body of Indians at Cochecho was accomplished in September, Capt. Hathorne immediately pushed forward with his forces towards the East. He had a force of four companies besides his own, numbering, probably, in all, nearly four hundred men; his own and Capt. Sill's men numbered one hundred and thirty, and, together with Capt. Hunting's company of forty Indians, made up the Massachusetts quota, to which Major Walderne was expected to add about as many more of his own men and recruits in Yorkshire, these last two companies to be under Capt. Charles Frost of Kittery, and the whole force under Capt. Hathorne as Major. This "army" marched from Berwick to Wells on Sept. 8th, where they probably were delayed for a day or two, organizing for the march and deliberating as to the marching to Ossipee, where it was rumored that a large force of Indians with their women and children were gathered in an old fort which some traders had built them as against the Mohawks, and where were a good many English captives taken just before from the plantations, from Kennebec to Casco. This expedition was the plan of General Denison, but discretionary power had been given Capt. Hathorne, and as rumors of large bodies of Indians still threatened the people that remained shut up in their garrisons in some of the seaside towns, who would perhaps fall upon these nearer places if they should withdraw, it was finally decided to go to the relief of the threatened towns. They accordingly marched from Wells to Winter Harbor, and thence by water passed to Blackpoint, and thence to Casco, where they arrived on the 19th, and on the 22d the Captain sends the following letter:
CASCHO 22d Sept. 1676.
your Honrs Humble Servant
I have found no reference to the place which Capt. Hathorne's troops occupied during their stay at Falmouth, but as it appears that the Neck had been deserted, and the outlying residents driven away and their homes destroyed, it seems probable that those who had fled to Blackpoint and vicinity for safety, mostly returned with the troops to Munjoy's Garrison, and among these were probably George Felt and those others who, on Sept. 23d, ventured in boats upon "Munjoy's Island" (to secure some sheep left there in their flight), and were all cut off by the Indians who were concealed there, lying in wait. Felt and his companions made a desperate resistance, having fled to the ruins of an old "Stone House," but were overpowered and destroyed. This was in plain sight of our forces, who lacking boats sufficient, were entirely unable to prevent the sad issue of this attempt, against which Capt. Hathorne had earnestly protested, there being no sufficient vessel to carry over an adequate guard, and a large body of the enemy known to be in the vicinity. Our Indian scouts were out after the enemy constantly, and captured those referred to in the letter, and evidently did nearly all the really effective work, for which, however, but little credit was given them by the English, except suspicion of carelessness or treachery and cowardice; and yet Capt. Hathorne's next letter protests against the withdrawal of these same Indians. It was very hard for the English to learn that their unwieldy troops and clumsy methods were no match for the quick-moving and wary enemy, who fled before the advance of the troops, and then dodging around them, struck a blow in the rear. Two days after the tragedy at Munjoy's Island, another party struck a sudden blow at Wells, and anon at Cape Neddick, which occasioned the immediate return of the forces to that place, as will appear by the following letter:
WELLS : 2 : 8 : 1676
2dly Major Pembleton att Winter Harbour wth Whome I would have left some men; as Also wth Mr. Warrin they made these objections; The Majrs were these: That he could not subsist long, & he had as good remove while he had something as to stay while all was spent, Therefore unlesse Country sends a supply or Maintaine ye Garrison there; he cannot hold out, Mr. Warrin is otherwise minded but I cannot Enlarge, supposing Majr Clarke can Inform your Honrs, Since our Comming Heither we have consulted ye Millitia, who Informe us that the mind of this towne In Genll is to leave the place, & though ye Honrd Court or Councell have formerly given an Ordr concerning them; In paticulr yett yy now begg that itt might be renewed & that your Honrs would Ordr as to these Numbrs of Garrison Souldiers, Soe to maintainance, they being poore yet many of them willing According to Abillity, The next thing I shall trouble your Honrs wth is ye disatisfaction that is amongst our selves, about ye drawing ye Indians off, & Majr Waldens libberty to Command off Capt. Frost, wch he pretends to have, the wch are two thirds and more of ye Army, Capt. Sells Company & myne being not above .9. or .10. fyles now who are judged here not more then is necessary to Garrison this towne & York, we would be bold to speak our minds further, & Crave that your Honrs may not be offended at us, or Receive from others false Information, The Indians thus drawne off by themselves as long as they have only Indn Speritts, will doe little or noe service for ye Country who In tyme of Ingadgment ever took ye English for there bullwark, & will not Charge to Any purpose until ye Enimy ffly, I think some of us have had tyme to be Aquainted wth there manners As to my selfe I would Humbly Request your Honrs to call me home; though I have An Earnest desire to doe god & ye Country service, yett there is a Straing Antypathy in me Against lying in Garrison, Here is many of our Company sick of violent distemprs one of myne is dead & two others I much feare, The Lord derect your Honrs & give us your servants prudence to Act by your Ordrs According to his good will and pleasure.
After the return to Wells there was delay and uncertainty about preparations for the march to Ossipee, until the news of the capture of Black point and the threatened approach of the victorious Indians put the troops upon the guard of the towns near at hand. Capt. Hathorne and his forces remained in these parts in service until November 1st, when in company with Capt. Sill he set forth upon the long delayed march to Ossipee, where they arrived after a very hard march of four days, finding never an Indian on the way or at the Great Fort. The Captain sent a party of his men up some twenty miles farther, but without result, and having burnt the fort, the companies returned to Berwick, where they arrived on November 9th. In the meantime, the treaty with Sachem Mugg had been concluded, and the troops under Capt. Hathorne were soon dismissed.
It will be remembered that the latest credits contained in Hull's accounts are September 23, 1676, so that the men serving under the Captain in this expedition had credit in a later Journal, which is now lost. For earlier credits see ante, p. 166.
The following petition explains itself:
To the Hond Generall Court now Assembled in Boston; 1679;
The prmisses considered your peticoner humbly craves, this hond
Court would be pleased to order speedy payment of the arrears due to her late husband, in such proportion as yor honors in wisdom shall judge convenient.
And yor peticoner (as in duty bound) shall pray
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