Tuesday, June 28, 2011

HUMPHREY ATHERTON 1617-1661

[Ancestral Link: Harold William Miller, son of Edward Emerson Miller, son of Anna Hull (Miller), daughter of William Hull, son of Anna Hyde (Hull), daughter of Mehitable Marvin (Hyde), daughter of Deborah Mather (Marvin), daughter of Samuel Mather, son of Richard Mather, son of Catherine Atherton (Mather), daughter of Humphrey Atherton.]
Humphrey Atherton Grave,
Old North Burial Ground, Dorchester, Massachusetts


Humphrey Atherton Grave,
Old North Burial Ground, Dorchester, Massachusetts


Head Stone
16 September 1661, Dorchester, Suffox, Massachusetts
Dorchester Burying Ground


Humphrey Atherton



Epitaph Humphrey Atherton 1607-1661


North Dorchester Burying Ground, Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA - historic photo



Birth: September 4, 1608, Lancashire, England
Death: September 16, 1661, Boston Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Major General Humphrey Atherton
PARENTS: Edmond Atherton and Mary Rudd from Winstanley, Lancashire, England
WIFE: Mary Wales from Winwich, Lancashire, England. Married before 1627.
CHILDREN BORN IN ENGLAND: Jonathan Atherton, Catharine Atherton, Elizabeth Atherton Isabell Atherton, John Atherton
CHILDREN BORN IN DORCHESTER, SUFFOLK COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS: Mary Atherton, Margaret Atherton, Rest Atherton, Increase Atherton, Thankful Atherton, Consider Atherton, Hope Atherton, Watching Atherton, Patience Atherton
CAUSE OF DEATH: Thrown from his horse in Boston Common
EPITATH: HERE LYES OUR CAPTAIN AND MAJOR OF SUFFOLK WAS WITHALL A GODLEY MAGISTRATE WAS HE AND MAJOR GENERALL TWO TROUPS OF HORS WITH HIM HERE CAME SUCH WORTH HIS LOVE DID CRAVE TEN COMPANYES OF FOOT ALSO MOURNING MARCHT TO HIS GRAVE LET ALL THAT READ BE SURE TO KEEP THE FAITH AS HE HATH DON WITH CHIRST HE LIVS NOW CROWND HIS NAME WAS HUMPRY ATHERTON

Humphrey Atherton was admitted as a freeman at Dorchester on May 2, 1638. He began his Massachusetts military career as a member of the artillery company in 1638, was promoted to Lieutenant in 1645, to Captain in 1650, to Major 1652, and to Major General in 1661. Robert de Atherton lived in the time of King John 1199–1216. From this we trace down through the centuries to Humphrey Atherton who was born Lancashire, England, about 1609, and came with his wife (Mary Wales) and their t young children, in the ship, James, from Bristol, England, in 1635, to Dorchester, in New England. ... At about the time when Humphrey Atherton arrived with his young family in Dorchester, the larger part of the Dorchester Church, with its pastor, removed to Windsor, Connecticut, and Humphrey Atherton, with his brother-in-law, Nathaniel Wales, assisted Richard Mather, (Rev) (who came in the same ship with them) in nurturing the Dorchester Church back into thrifty life again. As the years went on, Humphrey Atherton became more and more a prominent in the town and the colony, ... In 1644 there were "wardens" appointed to take care of and manage the affairs of the first public school in Dorcheser. Blake in his Annals says that "they were to see that both the master and the scholar performed their duty, and to judge of, and end, any difference that might arise, between master and scholar, or their Parents, according to sundry rules and directions there set down." Humphrey Atherton was one of the first wardens, who were chosen for life. Thus was inaugurated the public school, which had no precedent in America. In 1645, £250 was raised to build a new meeting house, to replace the earlier one (which was a rude building, thatched with straw, with a stairway on the outside), and Humphrey Atherton was one of those chosen to attend to this matter. He had decided taste for military affairs, organized the first training band in Dorchester in 1664, was early a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, was its captain 1650 to 1658, commanded the Suffolk regiment with title of major general, was chief military officer in New England, many years Selectman and Town Treasurer, deputy to General Courts 1638–1641, in 1659 was Speaker, and had great experience and skill in treatment of the Indians. Capt. Johnson in his "Wonder-working Providence" speaks of Humphrey Atherton as a "lively courageous man," and says:— "Altho he be slow of speech, yet he is down right for the business, one of cheerful spirit, and entire for the country." In 1645 the commissioners of the United Colonies appointed a council of war, placed Capt. Miles Standish at its head, with Humphrey Atherton as one of his colleagues. He is said to have been "a man of courage and presence of mind," for when he was sent with 20 men to Pessacus, an Indian sachem [chief] to demand the arrears to the colony of 300 fathom of wampum, Pessacus put him off for some time with dilatory answers, not suffering him even to come into his presence. Atherton finally led his men to the door of the wigwam, entered himself with pistol in hand, leaving his men without, and, seizing Pessacus by the hair of his head, drew him forth from the midst of a great number of his attendants, threatening, if any of them interfered, that he would despatch them. Pessacus paid waht was demanded, and the English returned in safety. Gen. Humphrey Atherton had a grant of 500 acres at Nonotucke, beyond Springfield, Mary 26, 1658 — given to him by the General Court in recognition of his public service, Nonotucke being the Indian name for the region about Hadley and Hatfield. This grant interfered with other grants previously made, and so, in Nov. 1659, the Court granted an additional 200 acres (700 in all) which were relocated at Waranoke, now Westfield. The estate of Gen. Humphrey Atherton after his death, included in the inventory a "Farme of seven hundred acres at Waronoco." The death of Major General Humphrey Atherton, by accident, in 1661, deprived the colony of one of its principal men. "While returning home in the dark after reviewing his troops on Boston Common his horse was struck by a stray cow. In the collision he was thrown and killed. Sept. 16, 1661."
found on findagrave.com




From Hope Atherton and His Times, pp. 3–7:Robert de Atherton lived in the time of King John 1199–1216. From this we trace down through the centuries to Humphrey Atherton who was born Lancashire, England, about 1609, and came with his wife (Mary Wales) and their t young children, in the ship, James, from Bristol, England, in 1635, to Dorchester, in New England. ... At about the time when Humphrey Atherton arrived with his young family in Dorchester, the larger part of the Dorchester Church, with its pastor, removed to Windsor, Connecticut, and Humphrey Atherton, with his brother-in-law, Nathaniel Wales, assisted Richard Mather, (Rev) (who came in the same ship with them) in nurturing the Dorchester Church back into thrifty life again. As the years went on, Humphrey Atherton became more and more a prominent in the town and the colony, ... In 1644 there were "wardens" appointed to take care of and manage the affairs of the first public school in Dorcheser. Blake in his Annals says that "they were to see that both the master and the scholar performed their duty, and to judge of, and end, any difference that might arise, between master and scholar, or their Parents, according to sundry rules and directions there set down." Humphrey Atherton was one of the first wardens, who were chosen for life. Thus was inaugurated the public school, which had no precedent in America. In 1645, £250 was raised to build a new meeting house, to replace the earlier one (which was a rude building, thatched with straw, with a stairway on the outside), and Humphrey Atherton was one of those chosen to attend to this matter. He had decided taste for military affairs, organized the first training band in Dorchester in 1664, was early a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, was its captain 1650 to 1658, commanded the Suffolk regiment with title of major general, was chief military officer in New England, many years Selectman and Town Treasurer, deputy to General Courts 1638–1641, in 1659 was Speaker, and had great experience and skill in treatment of the Indians. Capt. Johnson in his "Wonder-working Providence" speaks of Humphrey Atherton as a "lively courageous man," and says:— "Altho he be slow of speech, yet he is down right for the business, one of cheerful spirit, and entire for the country." In 1645 the commissioners of the United Colonies appointed a council of war, placed Capt. Miles Standish at its head, with Humphrey Atherton as one of his colleagues. He is said to have been "a man of courage and presence of mind," for when he was sent with 20 men to Pessacus, an Indian sachem [chief] to demand the arrears to the colony of 300 fathom of wampum, Pessacus put him off for some time with dilatory answers, not suffering him even to come into his presence. Atherton finally led his men to the door of the wigwam, entered himself with pistol in hand, leaving his men without, and, seizing Pessacus by the hair of his head, drew him forth from the midst of a great number of his attendants, threatening, if any of them interfered, that he would dispatch them. Pessacus paid what was demanded, and the English returned in safety. Gen. Humphrey Atherton had a grant of 500 acres at Nonotucke, beyond Springfield, Mary 26, 1658 — given to him by the General Court in recognition of his public service, Nonotucke being the Indian name for the region about Hadley and Hatfield. This grant interfered with other grants previously made, and so, in Nov. 1659, the Court granted an additional 200 acres (700 in all) which were relocated at Waranoke, now Westfield. The estate of Gen. Humphrey Atherton after his death, included in the inventory a "Farme of seven hundred acres at Waronoco." The death of Major General Humphrey Atherton, by accident, in 1661, deprived the colony of one of its principal men. "While returning home in the dark after reviewing his troops on Boston Common his horse was struck by a stray cow. In the collision he was thrown and killed. Sept. 16, 1661." Epitaph on his tombstone at Dorchester: Here lyes our Captaine, & Major of Suffolk was withall; A Godly Magistrate was he, and Major Generall, Two troops of Hors with him heare came, such worth his love did crave; Ten companyes of Foot, also mourning, marcht to his grave. Let all that Read be sure to keep the Faith as he as don, With Christ he lives now Crowned, his name was Humpry Atherton.
found on ancestry.com


Life of Humphrey Athertonearly settler of Dorchester, Massachusetts in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. As a major general, he held the highest military rank in colonial New England. He organized the first militia in Massachusetts and was active in the governance of the colony. He is recognized for the acquisition of native lands, the persecution of Quakers and the apprehension and conviction of heretics (hanging of witches). He died from head injuries sustained from a fall from his horse; the misaligned Quakers stated his death to be God’s visitation of Wrath.
found on ancestry.com


EpitaphHERE LYES OUR CAPTAIN AND MAJOR OF SUFFOLK WAS WITHALLA GODLEY MAGISTRATE WAS HE AND MAJOR GENERALLTWO TROUPS OF HORS WITH HIM HERE CAME SUCH WORTH HIS LOVE DID CRAVETEN COMPANYES OF FOOT ALSO MOURNING MARCHT TO HIS GRAVELET ALL THAT READ BE SURE TO KEEP THE FAITH AS HE HATH DONWITH CHIRST HE LIVS NOW CROWNDHIS NAME WAS HUMPRY ATHERTON
found on ancestry.com


Notes on Humphrey AthertonHistory of the Town of Dorchester, BY A COMMITTEE OF THE Dorchester Antiquarian and Historical Society. 1859
Humphrey Atherton. The first occurrence of his name on the Church Records is in 1636. Farmer says he came from Lancashire, but gives no authority for it. One of his descendants, Charles H. Atherton, says he arrived in Boston in the ship James, Capt. Taylor, August 7, 1635, and states he was married when between fourteen and fifteen years of age, his wife then being between thirteen and fourteen, and that they brought children with" them, but docs not give any authority for the statement. No record by which his age could be ascertained has ever been found; but as he was admitted freeman, and was a grantee of the Neck lands, in 1637 *he must have arrived at his majority at that time. He early showed a decided taste for military affairs, and soon became a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, was its captain from 1650 to 1658, and commenced the first train band formed in Dorchester in 1644. He commanded the Suffolk Regiment, with the title of Major General, and was the chief military officer in New England. He served many years as Selectman and Town Treasurer, and was deputy to the General Court in 1638 and '41. In 1659 he was chosen Speaker while he represented the town of Springfield (inhabitancy not then being requisite for a deputy). He was afterwards an Assistant. He was much respected for his religious character and public spirit, and often employed by the colonial government in civil and military affairs.He had great experience and skill in the treatment of the Indians, with whom his public duties brought him in frequent contact. He manifested much humanity and sympathy for their ignorant and degraded condition, but exercised great energy and decision of character when necessary. His efforts to instruct them were referred to in the New England Confederation, and Eliot applied to him in behalf of the Neponset tribe. He assisted Lieut. Clap in laying out for them a tract of land at Punkapog, not exceeding six thousand acres. In 1644 he was sent, with Captains Johnson and Cooke, to Narraganset, to arrest and try Samuel Gorton fo rheresy. It is hoped that Gorton's complaint of his treatment on his way to Boston is exaggerated; for he says, in passing through Dorchester, a large concourse of persons assembled, with several ministers, to witness the passage of the troops, and that the prisoners were stationed apart, and volleys of musketry fired over their heads as a token of victory. He was employed in several expeditions against the Xarraganset Indians; and when they became tributary to Massachusetts, he was several times sent to collect the tribute of wampum. He and Edward Tomlins were sent to treat with Miantinomo, a sachem of the Nanugansets, and questioned him on the Ten Commandments. In 1645 the commissioners of the United Colonies appointed a council of war, and placed Capt. Standish at its head. Mason, of Connecticut, Leverett and Atherton, of Massachusetts, were his colleagues. Captain Johnson, author of the Wonder-working Providence, speaks of Atherton as a lively, courageous man, and says," Altho he be slow of speech, yet is he down right for the business, one of cheerful spirit, and entire for the country." His death occurred September 16, 1661, by falling from his horse at the south part of Boston, and his character and station are commemorated in the following poetic effusion from his grave-stone. Here lyes ovr Captaine, and Maior of Svffolk was withall; A Godly Majistrate was he, and Maior Generall, [crave .Two Trovps of Hors with him heare came, sveh worth his love did Ten Companyes of Foot also movrning marcht to his grave.Let all that Read be sure to keep the Faith as he has don.With Christ he lives now Crown'd, his name was Hvmpry Atherton. He lived on the south side of the way to the Calf Pasture, now Pond street, near where that street intersects with the Turnpike. His children were—Jonathan; Rest, born 1639, married Obadiah Swift,15 (1) 1660-1; Increase, baptized 2 (11) 1641, died at sea; Thankful, born 1644, married Thos. Bird of Dorchester, 2 (2) 1665; Hope-, born 1646 was minister of Hadley; Consider, married Ann Anibal, 19 (10) 1671; Watching, born 1651, married Elizabeth Rigbee, January 23, 1678; Patience, born 1654; Mary, married Joseph Weeks, 9 (7)1667. Charles H. says there was a Katherine, and that there were twelve children in all. Administration was granted his oldest son Jonathan, and Timothy Mather, James Throwbridge and Obadiah Swift, three of his sons-in-law. His inventory was £900.
From: History of the Town of Dorchester, BY A COMMITTEE OF THE Dorchester Antiquarian and Historical Society. 1859
found on ancestry.com

Story of lifeMajor Gen. Humphrey Atherton was born in 1609 in Winwick Parish, Lancashire, England. He was the son of Edmund Atherton. Humphrey married Mary Wales, daughter of John Wales. Major Gen. Humphrey Atherton and Mary Wales immigrated in 1635 to Dorchester, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, on board the James out of Bristol, England. He became a member of the Ancient and Honorable artillery Company in 1638. Major Gen. Humphrey Atherton became a freeman on 2 May 1638 in Dorchester, Suffolk County, Massachusetts. He was promoted to Lieutenant in 1645, Captain in 1652, Major in 1652 and Major General in 1661. He served in 1653 as the Speaker of the House. He served in 1656 as the commander of the military forces of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, succeeding General Robert Sedgwick. He died on Saturday, 17 September 1661 in Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, at age 52 years. He was killed by a fall from his horse on Boston Common, when on his return from a military review on the Common at about 1 o'clock in the morning
found on ancestry.com

LEAVING ENGLANDMAY- AUGUST 1635
Richard Mather Emigrates to the Colonies

"In the autumn of 1634 Captain John Smith, who had been a first settler in Dorchester, returned to Liverpool to bring back his family. He found that his pastor RICHARD MATHER had been expelled from Toxteth near Liverpool by Archbishop Laud. To escape punishment, Mr. Mather decided to emigrate to America with Captain Smith. Many other puritans were recruited: among these were Stephen and John Kingsley of Cheshire. [HUMPHREY ATHERTON and NATHANIEL WALES I were also on the ship, James, with their families. Atherton and Wales were kinsmen, and Atherton and Reverend Mather came from nearby villages and were old friends.]

In RICHARD MATHER's Journal we find a detailed account of the voyage. To avoid arrest, Mr. Mather went in disguise, wearing a cloak which was probably that of a Yeoman. He and his family rode in a coach to Bristol. They waited for favorable winds and set sail in May [1635] on The James with Captain Taylor in command. On board were one-hundred passengers and twenty-three sailors. In the hold were horses and cattle. For food they had bread, buttered peas, bacon and bag-pudding made with raisins and currants. They also had pottage of oatmeal well buttered. During the voyage, the sailors caught a bright colored dolphin and three porpoises which were cooked and served. Mr. Mather said the meat "tasted like the fat meat of a hog". Winds were unfavorable so the voyage was a long one. When near the New England coast they encountered the worst hurricane ever recorded. Their anchors and cables were lost: their ship was tossed upon a high rocky ledge on one of the Isles of Shoales where it remained stranded. The sailors feared that the ship was doomed, but the Puritans knelt down and prayed that God would save them from death. By an act of Providence mighty waves arose from the depths of the ocean and released the ship from its perilous position. Then the winds subsided, the rains cleared and the sailors hastily made new sails and steered their ship to Boston Harbor. They arrived in Boston on August 17, 1635."

Edna Hartshorn Deane. Amos Kingsley 1768 - 1847 A Biography and genealogy from ancestor John Kingsley to descendants in 1960. Printed by Fort Schuyler Press, Inc., Utica, New York. 1961. Pg.20-21.

TRIP FROM ENGLAND TO THE NEW ENGLAND COAST
found on ancestry.com

Major Humphrey AthertonATHERTON, HUMPHREY, Dorchester, came, it is supposed, from Lancashire; was admitted freeman 1636; member of the ar. co. 1638, its captain in 1650; representative 1638, nine years, until 1651; assistant 1654 to 1661, eight years, major-general on the death of Robert Sedgwick in 1656. He d. 17 Sept. ("about one o'clock, A.M." says a manuscript not of John Hull) 1661. Boston records also say he d. the 17th, although the inscription copied into Alden's Coll. of Epitaphs, says the 16th. Tradition reports his death to have been caused by a fall from his horse, in consequence of riding over a cow, while attending a military review on Boston common. His children were, Jonathan; rest, born 1639; Increase, born 1641; Thankful, born 1644; Hope, born 1646; Consider; Watching, born 1651; Patience, born 1654. Johnson describes Major Atherton as "one of a cheerful spirit, and intire for the country." His descendants still remain in the county of Norfolk. Source: The First Settlers of New England, Surnames, A-B, Pg 20

Major Humphrey Atherton, of Dorchester, 1636; freeman, May 2 1638, and of the artillery the same year, its sentative nine years, from 1638, but not in succession; major-general in 1656, died September 17, 1661. Source: New England Families, Vol. I, Genealogies and Memorials, Pg 93

Lancashire
Name of the Emigrant: Atherton, Humphrey
English Parish Name: Atherton (Leigh)
Ships Name: New England Town: Dorchester, Milton
Various Reference: N.E.G.R., 35/67
Source: Topographical Dictionary of New England, Emigrants from England to New England, Pg 87

Humphrey Atherton, 1636, came perhaps from Preston, in Lancashire; was freeman 1638. Assistant 1664, Captain 1650, and 1656 he succeeded Sedgwick as Major-General. He had issue Jonathan, Catharine, Rest, Increase, Thankful, Hope, Mary, Watching, Patience, Consider. Source: Guide to the Early Settlers of America, Pg 17
found on ancestry.com

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