9. Thomas* French
"Thomas French, Jr., b. Nov. 27, 1608, and his sister Alice, boardedthe Arabella with the Winthrop Fleet and sailed to Massachusetts. Theywere joined about three years later by their sisters Dorcas and Susan,who were servants for the Winthrop family, like Alice. Thomas was ahumble tailor when he married Mary Scudamore, who was a member of theprominent family. Thomas, Jr. and Mary lived a long life together inIpswich. Thomas fought in the Pequot war, for which he obtained someland. He left a will and we have the inventory of his property. At thetime of his death he owned five sheep, three lambs, four cows andeight swine. Settlement to the west was hindered by Indians, whokilled some Frenches and drove others back from the frontier." [FFAChart 1]
On April 8, 1630 The Arbella departed Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, andarrived at Salem, Massachusetts, June 13 and following days. Flagshipof the "Winthrop Fleet"
Sources: J. B. Threlfall, "Thomas French of Assington..." NE1-1GR1988, 250-252. [Edith Lillie Bartley listing] , Robert CharlesAnderson, "The Great Migration Begins" Vol 1, Ipswich Vital Records,
Possibly from "Fifty Families from Essex County, England", sent byMara French, book by John Threlfall: " Thomas was baptized 27 Nov.1608 at Assington, Sufrolk, England. He came to New England with theWinthrop Fleet of eleven ships carrying about 700 colonists, whichsailed from Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, in April and May, 1630, and whicharrived in June and July following. The first of these ships landed atSalem on 13 June. Thomas French first settled in Boston and presumablywas married there about the next year, 1631. His wife is identifiedonly as Mary. Thomas French was made a freeman of the colony on 6 Nov.1632. About 1634 he moved to Ipswich and appears there on record firstin 1635 in the following land records.
20 April 1635-There was Granted to Thomas Scott ... Likewise an houslott in Mill Streete havinge Thomas French on the Southeast.
20 April 1635-There was Granted to Robert Mussey ... likewise an houslott in Mill Streete lyinge betweene Thomas French and Richard Jacob.
20 Feb. 1636/7-There was granted to Serg. French ten acres of uplandat the hither end of a Neck lying beyond Reedy marsh, to be laid outby the lott layers. Granted to Sedent French, a parcell of upland andmedow containing about three acres on the South side of th River,adjoyning his planting lott.
From these we know that his house was on Bridge Street just off MillStreet.
About 1637 his parents and his younger brother and sisters joined himat Ipswich. Three sisters had crossed over to New England earlier.
Thomas French fought in the Pequot War in 1637, for in 1672, hepetitioned the colonial government for a grant of land northeast ofSalisbury in behalf of himself and eight other Ipswich men who hadbeen of service in that campaign."
Brian Berry: " His name [Thomas French, Jr.] appears on the list oforiginal members of the First Church of Boston between those of JohnWinthrop, Jr. and his wife."
Thomas took the Freeman's Oath in Boston 6 Nov. 1632. He was in Bostonwhen, "this 17th of the first month Called March, 1634" John Strattonwrote to John Winthrop, Jr. "in Aggawaam per Jno. Gallopps boate" that"I have putt my sister a suite of Moyheare to making att Goom.Frenches, she were best gett the taylor to take her Measure and sendper Jno. Gallop." (Winthrop Papers, Vol. III, pp. 156-7). Agawam,later Ipswich, had been planted by John Winthrop Jr. and twelve othersin 1633). From this, and from a 1647 deed, we know he was a tailor.
His will, dated Aug. 3, 1680, was proved 28 Sept. 1680; inv. 25 Aug.1680.
There is no record of Thomas and Mary's marriage, but seven childrenare known, the conception of the first is consistent with a marriagein MA in 1631.
England in the 17th century was a land beset by religious strife.Unlike our country today, this strife was intertwined with thepolitics of the day and led to a rebellion and the beheading of aKing. It led to a country led by Oliver Cromwell.
The Puritans who landed in America were able to keep out of thisstrife. They were not involved with the "Separatists" who wished tobreak from the Church of England. They wished to reform the churchfrom within, but found that the conservative elements were tooentrenched and they were unable to make any significant changes.Realizing this they looked around for an alternative which would allowthem to worship the way they would like to.
One alternative was the Massachusetts Bay Company. This company wasone of many formed, and approved by the King, to settle and exploitthe New World. While looking into this company, the Puritans found onesignificant item in the companies charter, which was invaluable totheir aims. The Charter for the Massachusetts Bay Company did notspecify where the Board of Directors would meet. Most, if not allother, companies charters called for their Board of Director meetingsto be held in London where they would be under the direct influence ofParliament and the King. The Puritans realized that if they gainedcontrol of the Massachusetts Bay Company they would be able to use itto settle in the New World where, because of this omission, they wouldbe able to effectively control their own destiny. They would in effectbe able to rule the colony from the New World rather then from Englandwith all of its politics and external influences.
The Puritans bought control of the Massachusetts Bay Company and beganto plan for their religious colony in the New World. One thing theyhad to do was weed out any individuals wanting to go to the New Worldin a quest for financial gain rather then as a Puritan. John Winthropwas selected as the leader for this settlement.
On April 7, 1630 the first four ships left London for the New World.These ships were followed by a number of others over the next fewmonths. These ships included the flagship "Arbella", the "Ambrose",the "Talbot", the "Jewel", the "Charles", the "Mayflower", the"William and Francis", the "Hopewell", the "Whale", the "John andDorothy", the "Rose" and the "Success and Trial". About one thousandsettlers left England for the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
The first winter proved to be exceedingly harsh as about two hundredpersons died. It had been so bad that another two hundred opted toreturn to England in the following spring. The colony only surviveddue to the leadership of John Winthrop. Not only did he prove to be aninspired leader but he helped stave off starvation by buying supplieswith his own money. This venture proved costly to John Winthrop bothfinancially and personally. Three of his children died in the NewWorld.
Despite these early problems the colony prospered and thousandsfollowed the initial fleet to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. ThePuritans were able to rule this colony themselves according to theirreligious tenants. While the Puritans eventually lost power, theirinfluence has continued to affect not only New England but also theentire
Data taken from the Internet. Sources; The Planters of theCommonwealth by Charles Banks (Riverside Press, Boston, 1930), TheWinthrop Fleet by Charles Banks (Riverside Press, Boston 1930).
Will of Thomas French, Sr.
In the name of God, Amen. I Thomas French Senior of Ipswich being weakof body yet of perfect understanding and memory doe in case of deathmake this my last Will and Testament. In the first place I commend mySoul into the hands of Almighty God who hath redeemed it by theprecious blood of his Son; and 1 commit my body to the Earth, whenceit was taken, to be buried in a Christian decent manner by my friendsin hope of a blessed resurrection to eternal life. And as for myoutward Estate which God hath graciously given me in this world I doethus dispose of it:
Inprimis, I give and bequeath to Mary my beloved wife the Bed whereonI use to ly, with all the appurtenances and furniture belongingthereto. Moreover, I give to my son Thomas French my cloak andclose-coat. Also I give to my son John French one Cow, which is tomake up the full summe of thirty pounds which I formerly promised himfor his Portion. Also I give to my daughter Mary Smith, one Cow. Andto my son Samuel French, I give and bequeath he bed where he usuallylieth, together with the Bedding and Bedstead belonging to the same.Further, as concerning my lands at the Pequod lots, and my divisionlot of marsh at Plum Island, my will is that my sons Thomas and SamuelFrench for and in consideration of twenty pounds by them engagedaccording to to order unto my son Ephraim French as the remaining partof this portion (which summe of twenty pounds is almost all paid, andthe remainder due upon demand), I say my Will is that those my twosons Thomas and Samuel shall possess and enjoy the said Pequod lands,and division-lot of marsh to themselves and to their heirs forever, tobe equally divided betwixt them.
Furthermore, I give and bequeath to my sonn Thomas French my dwellinghouse and homested with all the appurtenances and priviledges thereofand belonging thereto, and also by Lot lying in Labour-in-vain fieldscontaining twelve acres more or less; with all the rest of my cattell,stocke of all sorts and moveable goods (not disposed of by this mywill and testament) and to my son Samuel I give and bequeath two acresof upland joyning to Joseph Quilter's and two acres of meadow-groundat Reedy marsh; to be possessed by them respectively after my decease,provided always and my will is that my son Thomas French doe give fulland free libertie to Mary my wife his mother to abide ad dwell in thesaid house and to make use of any room or rooms thereof for herconvenient accommodation therein; as likewise to make use of all orany such moveable as I doe now leave in the hands of my son Thomas(not disposed of) as my be necessary ad convenient for her use andoccasions from time to time; and all these during the term of hernatural life, and after her decease my son Thomas shall deliver to mythree children John, Samuell and Mary three of the biggest pewterdishes which shall then be left and remain that is to say, to each ofthem, one.
Provided also, and my will is that my two son Thomas and Samuel doecarefully provide for their mothers comfortable maintenance andlivelyhood and what is requisit thereto during her natural life; eachof them allowing thereto proportionally to that part of my Estatewhich shall be by them received by vertue of this my testamt. And ifthrough any neglect of failure, this may. of maintenance should not beto their mother's satisfactin and content, my Will is, that those mytwo sons Thomas and Samuel shall allow to their mother ten poundsyeerly; nine pounds thereof to be paid by Thomas and twenty shillingsby Samuel, in such pay as shall be suitable and necessary for hercomfortable maintenance and livelyhood. And further, if it shall pleasGod to exercise her with much prevailing weakness or continuingsickness that the aforesaid then pounds should not suffice to defraythe charges of her expenses, my Will is that (over and above the tenpounds, and according to the like rate of proportion) those my twosons Thomas and Samuel shall supply her with necessaries suitable asher condition may require, that she be not exposed to suftlering forwant of what ought and might be procured for her. Also my Will is thatmy Lot in Labour-in-vain fields, and the two acres of meadow at ReedyMarsh shall stand bound respectively to my said wife during hernatural like as securitie for the true performance of this my Will asrespecting her maintenance by my two Sonns; and after he decease, thesaid lands (except what shall bee alienated (if any so be) by means ofthe securitie aforesaid) to remain to each of those my Sonns and totheir heirs forever as is before mentioned and declared. And lastly, Idoe name, appoint and constitute my son Thomas French to be the soleExecutor of this my last will & testament.
August 3 1680
Witness: (no signatures)
Proved in Ipswich Court 28 Sep 1680, by Mary French and Samuel French.
[all the above information from the French Family Association Chart 1]
There are several IGI marriage records, only 2 are noted. These, likethe FRENCH IGI records conflict as to place and date but put it at1630-1631 in Massachusetts.
The parentage of Mary Scudamore is in question. A birth date of 1612is obviously impossible based on the death date of her father. IGIFilm 2034596 shows a Mary Scudamore, christened in 1612 in Gloucester,Essex, MA with parents William Scudamore and Elizabeth Clarvo.Unfortunately, IGI records also show the marriage to be about 1614 or1615 in either Gloucester MA or Gloucester, England (which of courseconflicts with a 1612 birth date for Mary).
Ancestral file showing Mary's parents to be William Scudamore, b. 1564(AF 8MGZ-3J) and Frances Lechmere, b.1568 ( AF 8MGZ-4P) appears to bein error.
Mary. She married _______ French "of Boston in New England", accordingto Mayes Visitation. She and her children are remembered in the willof their uncle William Scudamore in 1636. [She is frequently said tohave married Thomas French (born 1608, died 1680) of Ipswich, EssexCounty, Massachusetts, and to have died his widow on 8 May 1681 at
Ipswich. If this should be so she would have been several years olderthan her husband and approaching 90 years of age at her death. Thisidentification, for which no proof has yet been found, is to bereceived with considerable caution. [Warren Skidmore]
20. Thomas French
Thomas French, b. abt 1635, married Mary Adams, and they had fourdaughters and three sons in Ipswich. Their only son with children wasWilliam, who moved to New Hampshire. William married Abigail Wigginand their six sons, including Bradstreet French, all had children. Thedescendants of William and Abigail are numerous, and tended to remainin New Hampshire and neighboring states. [FFA Chart 1]
22. Sarah French
"Sarah French was brought into court 30 Sept. 1656 by Sgt. French toaccuse Hackaliah Bridges of getting her pregnant, but he wasdischarged; then John Fargison and Sarah, both of Ipswich, weresentenced to be whipped for "uncleanness together", he was also introuble for stealing from his master and lying. He was probably one ofthe Scot prisoners of Dunbar or Worcester. Both then disappear fromthe record. She must have died before 1680 since she was not named inher father` s will of that year, unless she had been disowned." [FFAChart 1]