Birthbef 26 Feb 1626/27, South Kilworth, Leicestershire, England
Death6 May 1709, Warwick, Kent Co., Rhode Island
Birthabt 1620, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
Death27 Nov 1708, Warwick, Kent Co., Rhode Island
Marriageabt 1648, Portsmouth, Newport Co., Rhode Island
Notes for John (Spouse 1)
"The Greene Family and it's Branches"; by Lora S. La Mance; Mayflower Publishing Company, Floral Park, New York, 1904, p 49.
MAJOR JOHN GREENE "of Occupasuetuxet " (John'), eldest son, was born at Salisbury, County Wilts, England, and baptized at St.Thomas's Church, August 15, 1620. He came to New England with his parents in 1635, and remained with them in Providence till his father's removal to Warwick, R. I., in 1643. He afterward settled on the Occupasuetuxet farm, the fine estate inherited from his father, and then known as " Greene's Hold, " which remained in possession of the family for one hundred and forty years, from October 1, 1642, when purchased from the Indian Chief, Miantonomi, till October 6, 1782, when it was sold by the grand-children of Major John Greene to John Brown of Providence.
During the early settlement of Providence, John Greene, Jr. (as he was then called), was associated with his father, and both were proprietors of home lots there on Town Street (now North Main), extending as did the other home lots to Hope Street. These Providence interests were all transferred to John, Jr., in 1640 (or 1644 ?). He was one of the witnesses to the sale of Shawomet by Miantonomi, Chief Sachem of the Narragansetts, to his father and associates, January 12, 1642. After their removal to Warwick he was almost continuously in public affairs. He became a large land owner in his own right as well as by inheritance, and was prominently active in all interests of town and Colony. It was written of him at a later period: "He was a man of great weight of thought, sharpness of wit, aptness of action and adroitness of understanding."
In early life he was Town Clerk I and Surveyor. On several occasions he was sent as Agent for the Colony to England, and for nearly fifty years he filled the highest public offices. He was a member of the Colonial Assemblies (or Commissioner), Deputy, Assistant, and Deputy Governor under both charters. Major John Greene was one of the twenty-four named in the permanent charter obtained from King Charles 11., 1663, and one of the ten Assistants provided for in that charter. He was a member of the most important committees, and was one of those commissioned to determine the boundary lines of the Colony with the Colonies of Connecticut and Massachusetts. He visited England during the Andros administration and presented a petition to the King "in behalf of the towns and places" in his Majesty's Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, "representing the people of those towns and places," as the government of the Colony under the charter had been abolished during Andros's administration. He was appointed one of Andros's Council under instructions from the King.' There is no record, however, to show that he attended the Council. September 6, 1686, in a deed to his sister, Mary Sweet, he mentions being "bound for England again and being absent for some time there is no probability that he ever attended a meeting. He was present as Assistant in the last Assembly held before the assumption of the government by Andros, May 28, 1686, and was in the first Assembly after Andros's fall in the same capacity, being among the first to reestablish the government under the old charter of 1663. He was Captain of the militia for eight years and "Major for the Main" for seven years (1683--86, 1690-91, 1696),commanding all the trained bands on the mainland in Rhode Island, the highest military rank in the Colony, though not, as the historian of Rhode Island states, equivalent to that of major-general. The militia did not amount to more than a battalion-a major's command. His political record is as follows:
Representative to General Court for twelve years, 1652-63.
Deputy for five years, 1664, 74, 77, 80.
Assistant for twenty-five years, 1660-90.
Warden for Warwick, 1658.
General Recorder (Secretary of State), 1652-3-4.
General Solicitor, 1655.
Attorney General, 1657-8-9-60.
Deputy Governor for eleven years continuously, 1690-I700, when he retired from public life at the age of eighty years.
The late Dr. Henry E. Turner of Newport wrote of the Deputy Governor as follows: "As judged in the light of his period by those who knew, there can be no doubt that whatever was done by John Greene was done in good faith; and no name is better entitled than his to the respect and gratitude of every true Rhode Islander."
"No man has been more honored in public life. That he received the abuse of some of his contemporaries is not to his discredit, as the high estimation in which he was held by those who knew him best is evidenced by his continued election to places of honor and trust, till in his old age he sought rest from public life and engaged the remainder of his days in quietness on the lovely borders of Narragansett Bay."
The Deputy Governor died in Warwick, November 27, 1708, and was buried on the eastern part of his homestead farm (now " Spring Green where his original headstone is in good condition.
Major John inherited from his father, by will dated December 28,1658, and proved January 7, 1659, "that neck of land called Occupasuetuxet and all meadows that belong thereto with a little island adjoining, all of which was purchased of Miantonomi on Oct. 1, 1642 "; also, all his father's right in the purchase of Providence Plantations. The "home-lot" which formerly belonged to his step-mother, Alice (Daniels) Greene, he sold after his father's death. Major John left a large estate to his posterity. His will, made December 20, 1706, was proved November 27, 1708, his wife being made executrix. He married, about 1648, Anne, daughter of William and Audrey Almy of Portsmouth, R. I., born in England about 1627. William Almy is said to have come to America with Winthrop, but soon returned to England for his family, embarking with them in the Abigail from London in 1635 for New England. He first settled at Lynn, Mass., but early removed to Sandwich, where he had a grant of land. In 1642 he sold his place to Edmund Freeman and removed to Portsmouth, R. L, where he had a grant of land in 1644. He appears to have been a man of considerable influence and is said to have been a member of the Society of Friends. He was born in 1601 and died in 1676. His will, dated February1676, was proved April 23, 1677, in which he mentions his "daughter Anne," who married John Greene, Deputy Governor of Rhode Island.
Anne (Almy) Greene died May 6, 1709, in her eighty-second year, about six months after her illustrious husband, and was buried beside him on the farm. Several of their descendants, whose headstones are well preserved, are buried near them. The tombstones of Major John Greene and his wife, said to have been made in England, bear similar workmanship to those in the Newport Cemetery which were made in that country.
There is a picture of his gravestone in the Warwick cemetery book. It has a skull at the top and was carved by John Stevens I of Newport.