SCITUATE, PLYMOUTH, MASSACHUSETTS
Adams, Annable, Barker, Cobb, Cooke, Cudworth, Curtis, Davis, Ensign, Garrett, Hallett, Hatherly, Hyland, Johnson, Lothrop, Parker, Randall, Stockbridge, Tilden, Turner, Vassall, Wade, Whitcomb, Willard, Williams
Scituate is a small town, half way between Plymouth and Boston. Its name comes from Satuit brook, which runs into the harbour: Satuit means "cold brook".
The earliest known European settlers, some arriving before 1628, were
the "men of Kent" from county Kent, England. William Gillson,
Anthony Annable, Thomas Bird, Nathaniel
Tilden, Edward Foster and Henry Rowley. On 12 Apr 1633 the Court ordered
lands to be laid out and the first lands -- those on the second cliff
-- were divided between William Gillson, Anthony
Annable, Edward Foster and Henry Rowley. On 2 Aug 1633 the settlers
began to lay out a compact and defensible village along what they called
"Kent Street". Houselots along the street were given to Edward
Foster, William Gillson, Henry Rowley, Humphrey Turner
(who chose to live on his farm outside the village in Colman's Hills),
Henry Cobb and Anthony
By 20 Feb 1634, Mr. Lothrop and 30 members of his church, mostly from London, had arrived. Many others joined them, including more men from Kent. Mr. John Lothrop was allocated 20 acres next to Humphrey Turner's farm in Colman's Hills. Lots alongside Meetinghouse Lane were assigned to George Lewis, John Hewes, Walter Woodward, Richard Foxwell and Isaac Chittendon. Lots in Greenfield were assigned to Samuel Fuller, Bernard Lombard and Goodman Hoyt. Lots alongside Greenfield Lane were assigned to William Hatch, Samuel Hinckley and Nathaniel Tilden. Lots alongside "drift way" Lane were assigned to Isaac Stedman, George Kendrick, Daniel Standlake, John Lewis and George Lewis (or, perhaps he was given a choice of this one or the one on Meetinghouse Lane). William Hatch, Isaac Robinson and John Hanmer had land assigned to them in Colman's Hills. Also living in Scituate then were Isaac Stedman, Mr. William Vassall, Mr. Thomas King and Resolved White.
The First Church of Scituate had a falling out with its minister, Rev. John Lothrop, over which mode of baptism -- immersion or sprinkling -- was appropriate. Rev. Lothrop left Scituate for Barnstable, taking half of the congregation with him. Those left voted -- barely -- to replace Rev. Lathrop with the brilliant Rev. Chauncey of Plymouth, who later became President of Harvard. Rev. Chauncey preferred to immerse infants into frigid water; Mr. William Vassall was opposed. William and his supporters met separately; both Chauncey and William claiming that their group was the First Church and the others the separatists. Chauncy, who was apparently rather hot tempered made a lurid account of William's behaviour to the neighbouring churches and complained that he was in fear of his life. The Plymouth elders asked for reconciliation; the Massachusetts Bay Colony supported the right of William's group to form their own church. They did so, appointing William Witherall of Duxbury, who in his nearly 40-year ministry performed over 600 "sprinkling" baptisms. [R. M. Fewkes' provides an interesting and amusing account of the episode on the First Parish of Norwell website.]
The first establishment of bounds was done by a 7 Mar 1642 court order. Scituate was bounded on the northwest by the boundary line between Plymouth Colony and Massachusetts Bay Colony and the exact location of this boundary was the subject of much dispute. Indian Head River and its continuation, the North River, provided an eastern boundary. Within the bounds of Scituate was a large tract known as the Conihassett Grant that had been granted in 1637 to four gentlemen, known as the Merchant Adventurers of London: Mr. James Shirley, Mr. John Beauchamp, Mr. Richard Andrews and Mr. Timothy Hatherly. This grant was also subject of much dissension as there were already many settlers within its boundaries. Mr. Hatherly purchased the grant from the other three adventurers, reserved a quarter, and divided the rest into 30 shares which he sold for £180 to the "Conihassett partners". As many of these partners were settlers who were already resident, this represented an amicable solution.
|Mr. Charles Chauncey||Thomas Chambers||John Williams, Sr.||James Cudworth||Joseph Tilden||Henry Merritt||Thomas Rawlens|
|Thomas Tarte||John Hoar||Richard Sealis||Thomas Ensign||Thomas Chittenden||John Stockbridge||John Allin|
|Thomas Hiland||John Whetcomb||John Woodfield||Edward Jenkins||John Hallett||Ann Vinall||William Holmes|
|John Whiston||Gowin White||John Daman||Rhodolphus Eellms||Richard Man|
In 1656 Mr. Hatherly was granted a three-square-mile tract for his dealings with the Conihassett Partners and shares were sold to John Otis, Matthew Cushing, John Thaxter and Edward Wilder.
The first Quakers arrived in New England in 1656 and the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony took a dim view saying, "Here hath arrived amongst us several persons professing themselves Quakers, fit instruments to propagate the Kingdom of Satan." It recommended banishment and, eventually, torture and death. Among those who opposed the oppression of Quakers were Timothy Hatherly, James Cudworth and Isaac Robinson, the son of the Pilgim pastor in Leyden. For their support of the Quakers, prominent men were removed from the government and disenfranchised. In Scituate, Rhodolphus Elmes was fined 10 shillings for being at a Quaker meeting, William Parker was fined 40 shillings for allowing a Quaker meeting at his house. In 1660 Robert Whitcomb and Mary Cudworth were fined 10 pounds for having a Quaker marriage. In 1671 William Randall, Sr., John Palmer and Henry Ewall had their goods confiscated for refusing to pay the minister's tax. In 1671 Josiah Palmer was fined 10 shillings for saying that Mr. Witherel's church was the church of the devil. Ens. John Williams, one of the officers who replaced James Cudworth after he lost his command of the Scituate military company for his leniency toward Quakers, was fined forty shillings for entertaining a foreign Quaker and allowing a Quaker meeting in his house. He retained his command, however, when he claimed that he had been hoping to reform some of the Quakers.
This history is from Deane (2002) and Stratton (1986).
REFERENCES for Scituate:
Damon, Sarah R. and Turner, George C., "Records of the Second Church of Scituate, Now the First Unitarian Church of Norwell, Mass.," New England Historical alnd Genealogical Register 57, 1903, 82-86, 178-184, 318-324.
Deane, Samuel, History of Scituate Massachusetts, Digital Scanning Inc, 2002. Online: Google Books.
Stratton, Eugene Aubrey, Plymouth Colony: Its History and People 1620 - 1691, Salt Lake City, Ancestry, 1986.
No author, Vital Records of Scituate, Massachusetts to the Year 1850, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, 1909.
Otis, Amos, trans., "Scituate and Barnstable Church Records," New England Historical and Genealogical Register 9, 1855, 279-287; 10,1856, 37-43, 345-351.
W. H. W., "Early Marriages and Births in Scituate, Mass. Prior to 1700," New England Historical and Genealogical Society 18, 1864, 285-287.; 19, 1865, 219-221.
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