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NameRev. John PECKHAM157,535
Birth8 Apr 1595, Boxgrove, Sussex, England
Death5 Jan 1680, Middletown, Newport Co., Rhode Island
Spouses
Birthabt 1607, Westhorpe, Sussex, England
Death30 May 1651, Newport, Newport Co., Rhode Island
Marriage20 May 1638, Newport, Newport Co., Rhode Island
ChildrenMary (~1642-1695)
 Thomas (~1644-1709)
 William (~1647-1734)
 John (~1645-1712)
Birthbef 10 Sep 1623, Glatonbury, Somerset, England
Deathaft 1670, Newport, Newport Co., Rhode Island
Marriage1648, Newport, Newport Co., Rhode Island
ChildrenSarah (~1651-1727)
 Deborah (1653->1707)
Notes for Rev. John PECKHAM
Note: Wm. E. WRIGHT: "Greene & Lewis"; private; Houston, TX; 1991; p372. WEAVER genealogy.
John Peckham, immigrant ancestor and founder of the family, was a native of England and emigrated to America at a date unknown. He was admitted an inhabitant of the Island of Aquidneck, R. I.,March 20, 1638, which is the first record of him in the New World. He later removed to Newport, R. I., where he became a leader of great prominence in the affairs of the Baptist church. He became a freeman at Newport, March 16, 1641. In 1648 John Peckham was one of the ten male members in full communion in the First Baptist Church of Newport, having been one of its founders in 1644. He resided in that part of Newport which later became Middletown, and was made a freeman there in 1655.A stone marked "J P" on the land of William F. Peckham in Middletown is supposed to mark the grave of John Peckham. He married (first) Mary Clarke, the sister of Rev. John Clarke, of Bedfordshire, England, and Boston and Newport, an associate of Roger William's. He married (second) Eleanor. John Peckham died after 1681, and prior to 1700. His will bears the date January 6, 1681.
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Wm. E. WRIGHT: "Greene & Lewis"; private; Houston, TX; 1991; p372.
WEAVER genealogy.
Peckham Genealogy, The English Ancestors and the American descendents of John
Peckham of Newport, RI 1630 by Stephen F. Peckham 1977 LDS 929.2P33

Sailed to America from England in 1634 landing at Plymouth.

He was a man of considerable wealth shown by his founding of Newport, Rhode
Island and buying land as far north as Middletown, and there he lived. He also bought a square mile of land which he named "Little Compton" for his home town in England and so it is to this day, Little Compton, Rhode Island.

John Peckham, 1595-1681, came from England to Boston with Sir Henry Vane in
1634. He probably met there Mary Clarke who had come there with her own brother Doctor John Clarke. They were among the group with Ann Hutchinson who settled Portsmouth, at the north end of Rhode Island. In 1638 he was an inhabitant of Newport. His residence was in that part of Newport which became Middletown,and a stone marked J P marks his grave.

John Peckham was, in 1634, Chaplain to the Earl of Hertford, who at that time was William Seymour, later Duke of Somerset. We next hear of John Peckham in Rhode Island in 1638. We have no record of any description of what occupied his attention during the years between the two dates. We can, however, from what preceded and what followed these dates, conjecture with a large degree of probability the events of his life.

William Seymour, Duke of Somerset, was one of the most powerful nobleman of the reign of Charles the First. One of his most familiar country seats was Pentworth, about twelve miles north of Chichester, in the neighborhood in which the Peckhams lived. A Chaplain to a nobleman of this character would be brought incontact with many of the leading spirits of that age. The Duke enjoyed, during the whole of Charles the First's reign, the confidence of his King, with the exception of the episode of his marriage with Arabella Stuart, which proved to be more unfortunate for the lady than for him. There is no doubt that as Chaplain to this nobleman, John Peckham made the acquaintance of Sir Henry Vane the younger. Sir Henry Vane the elder was Comptroller of the Household of Charles the First, and consequently intimately associated with the King. He lived on the Old Peckham Manor which his great-grandfather had purchased or inherited from the heirs of William Peckham, who was Cup Bearer to Archbishop Thomas Bourchier. This site was the home of the Vanes from the middle of the Fifteenth to the middle of the Eighteenth centuries. Sir Henry Vane the younger was born and reared there.

There can be little doubt that the extreme theological views which were formulated in the mind of Sir Henry Vane during his early years, became the convincing arguments that turned John Peckham from his allegiance to the Church of England. These more or less extreme views may be described in the language of that day as those of a Baptist Lollard.

No doubt John Peckham came to Boston with Sir Henry Vane in 1634. He probably met there Mary Clarke, who had accompanied her brother, Doctor John Clarke, to Boston at about the same time. Their acquaintance resulted in their marriage, of which no record can be found; probably in consequence of the fact that as Baptist Lollards both families were outside of the Boston churches, which were then strictly Congregational and antagonistic to the Lollards.

While there are no records to be found in Boston, all the circumstances attending the subsequent life of the Clarkes and Peckhams and their relations to each other, tend to make these suppositions almost certainties. As a clergyman of the Church of England, having taken very strict vows of ordination, John Peckham would be reluctant to take an active part in theological acts or discussions which would ally him openly with the party who opposed the English Church. We, therefore, reach this conclusion that John Peckham and Mary Clarke were married some time during the administration of Sir Henry Vane as Governor of the Massachusetts Colony, and, that having formed this connection with the Clarke family, he did not return to England with Sir Henry, but remained and followed the fortunes of the Clarkes at Rhode Island.

Until quite recently the marriage of John Peckham and Mary Clarke (sister of Doctor John Clarke), was a matter of supposition supported by purely circumstantial evidence. The late researches of Mr. Byron J. Peckham in the early records of Bristol County, Massachusetts, at Taunton, have settled by absolute record evidence the question of this marriage.

While his name does not appear in the list of those disarmed in Boston, nor among the followers of Wheelright, nor was he one of the signers of the Portsmouth Covenant, yet he must have been one of the party known as the Ann Hutchinson Party, who founded a settlement on the north end of Rhode Island, which became the town of Portsmouth. His lands were allotted along with those of William Freeborn and John Coggeshall, who were among the first settlers of the Island of Aquidneck, or Rhode Island, where, on May 20th, 1638, his name appears in a list of those who were admitted inhabitants of Newport. In 1640 the bounds of his lands were established. On March 16th, 1641, he was admitted a Freeman. In 1648 he was one of the ten male members of the First Baptist Church of Newport in full communion. This same year Eleanor Peckham, his second wife, was baptized. His residence was in that part of Newport that finally became Middletown and a stone marked "J.P." is supposed to mark his grave. A reference to his Will is found in a list of Seventeen Wills (between 1676 and 1695), which were presented to the Court in 1700 by the parties interested; the law requiring three witnesses and these Wills having but two.

Concerning Mary Clarke, John Peckham's first wife, the line of whose descent has been established, a Bible which belonged to her brother, Doctor John Clarke, which contains several generations preceding and following their advent in America, is still in existence.

Concerning the second wife of John Peckham, Eleanor Peckham,almost nothing is known. Her name is entered as Eleanor Peckham upon the register of the First Baptist Church of Newport as having been baptized in 1648. No reference is made in this entry to her being the wife of John Peckham. It is assumed,rather than proved, that she was at that time his wife, but there are several circumstances which point to the conclusion that she was born Eleanor Peckham and was a distant cousin of her husband. From records of the Lysle Family, a prominent family of Hampshire, England, in the seventeenth century, it appears that Eleanor Lysle married a Peckham of Chichester. Her nephew, John Lysle, was the John Lysle whose name appears first in the list of regicides of Charles the First. The family of Peckhams into which she married removed to the north of Chichester, holding several manors there for several centuries. The name Eleanor appears among the descendants of Eleanor Lysle and her husband, and are the only Eleanor Peckhams to be found in English records. It would appear that two Peckham wives were born into this family. One the wife of Robert Peckham, brother of John, who located in England, and she probably came to New England with the other members of Robert Peckham's Family, most of whom returned to England; but one of them,John, located in Sudbury, Mass., and in 1687 went with his intended wife, Dorothy Good enough, from Sudbury to Bristol,R.I., where they were married in St. Michael's Church, Bristol,an Episcopal Church, and the following year became the parents of a boy, John Peckham, of whom no further record exists, they having in all probability found Puritanical New England at that time an uncongenial place of residence for Episcopalians, and inconsequence returned to England. The other was a sister of the first, Eleanor, who came to Rhode Island and remained as John Peckham's second wife. Besides this conjecture, we have the evidence which follows: In a letter addressed to Mrs. Caroline E. Robinson by her friend and cousin, Mrs. Harriet A. Staunton, Mrs. Staunton states- "last summer a Mrs. Neale came here to see me; she was from Kansas, was a Boomer (see Austin), and she said that on the wife's side way back, there was a Peckham. You will see that the First Matthew Boomer had a wife, Eleanor, and that John Peckham gave bonds for her in 1671; also Nicholas Cottrell. John Peckham's second wife was Eleanor, and Stephen,their son, and his wife, Mary Peckham, named a daughter Eleanor. If you know anything of these early Boomers, they lived in or about Fall River some time, Mrs. Neale states, then in Western Connecticut. Nicholas Cottrell's wife was Dorothy Pendleton, whose sister, Eleanor Pendleton, married William Walker, daughter of James and Hannah Good enough Pendleton."

Of course these conjectures are mere straws and they are given for what they are worth. The Peckhams as a family in the seventeenth century were reformers in England, and were, as has been shown, connected by marriage with the active reformers, of all grades. From the regicides to those who were indifferent to this question.

John Peckham was the second son in a family of four sons and several daughters. There seems to be every reason for supposing that, upon the settlement of his father's estate, he received a considerable sum of money, which may have been given him without any particular consideration for the fact of his birth or heirship as the son of his father, or it might have been as a consideration (after the early death of his elder brother and of his son who succeeded him for a few years), for his remaining outside of England. Be that as it may, he made large purchases of land on three separate occasions. They were: 1st, a part of Petaquamscot Purchase after 1660; 2nd, the Westerly Purchase in 1661, and 3rd, the East Greenwich Purchase in 1677. In addition to these purchases it is stated by Austin (who does not give his authority), that he purchased in 1640 a tract of land a mile square, in what is called Little Compton, R.I., which was then apart of the domain of the Plymouth Colony. This tract remained to his descendants until about 1830. There he built a house. This house was of humble proportions, but in it six generations of Peckhams were born. It has lately been allowed to fall into decay, and the land around it grown into forests.

In many of these purchases John Peckham's sons were associated with him, and later his grandsons, by purchase or inheritance,acquired the ownership of tracts that ranged across southern Rhode Island from Stonington, Conn., to New Bedford, Mass. A large part of the area covered by New Bedford, Mass., was,during the early part of the eighteenth century, the homestead farm of John Peckham's son, Stephen. His grandson, Benjamin,owned very extensive tracts in what is known as Matunock on the southern shore of Rhode Island adjoining Long Island Sound. The great-grandchildren of John Peckham were among the settlers of Stonington, Conn., and other towns of eastern Connecticut;Westerly, Charlestown, Hopkinton, North and South Kingston, East Greenwich, Situate, Gloucester, Providence, Jamestown, Newport,Middletown, Portsmouth, Tiverton, and Little Compton, RI., and of Dartmouth, Westport, New Bedford, Rehoboth and Petersham, Mass. The succeeding generation emigrated to Dutchess County and central New York. These migrations are of extreme interest. They were commenced by John Peckham's eldest daughter and her husband, and his grandson Daniel, settling at Westerly at the mouth of the Pawcatuck River. Soon after, Benjamin, one of the oldest grandsons of John Peckham, made a settlement in the southern part of the mainland of Rhode Island. These settlements were before the French and Indian War. In this war quite a number of John Peckham's descendants took part. Then followed the Revolution, in which quite a number, in proportion to the whole number then living, were active participants. Following the Revolution, they migrated from Dartmouth and from Westerly to Dutchess County, New York. These emigrants were for the most part members of The Society of Friends and Seventh Day Baptists. Immediately after the Revolution, a number from the families then residing in Westerly and a lesser number from those residing in New Bedford and Newport, R.I. settled in what was then an Indian Country just west of the Catskill Mountains,in Shenango, Herkimer and Oneida Counties, New York. These families established the branch of the family known as the New York Peckhams. Still later, in the early part of the nineteenth century, a considerable number from all the families then bearing the name, both in New England and in New York State,migrated to the western counties of New York. Since that time the family as a whole has shared in the migrations which were common to all of the inhabitants east of the Mississippi, until at the present time the descendants of John Peckham are found,literally, located from Maine to California.

In a deed dated May 30th, 1651, from Joshua Coggeshall and his mother, Mary Coggeshell, to Walter Connigrave, the land is described as bounded "on land granted to Mary Clarke, now Deceased, some time the wife of John Peckham," the grant referred to was made previous to 1644. Mary Clarke was a sister to the four brothers, Carew, Thomas, John and Joseph, and was born in 1607. There are reasons for believing that Mary Clarke was mother of John Peckham's daughter, Mary who married Tobias Saunders, and of his four sons, John, Thomas, William and James. No dates are on record as to the birth of James Peckham. The birth dates of all of John Peckham's children may have been recorded in the early records of the Town of Newport, but, as is well known, these records were submerged in a vessel near Hellgate in the East River, for nearly a year during the Revolution, and in consequence are now nearly illegible. The order of birth of John Peckham's sons can be only surmised. It may be approximated from the birth dates of their children,which would clearly indicate that there were two sets of children, one marrying and having children between 1660 and 1680, and the other giving birth to children after 1690.

Evidently, Mary Clarke was the mother of Mary Saunders, John,Thomas, William and James Peckham, and that Eleanor Peckham was the mother of Stephen, Clement, and the other daughters. Based upon these suppositions, the children have been placed in the order found in the following list of John Peckham's children.


Eleanor Peckham ws the second wife of John Peckham and was probably a distant
cousin.

Notes for ELEANOR PECKHAM:
Eleanor was a distant cousin of John Peckham.

I) John Peckham, immigrant ancestor and founder of the family,was a native of England and emigrated to America at a date unknown. He was admitted an inhabitant of the Island of Aquidneck, R. I., March 20, 1638,which is the first record of him in the New World. He later removed to Newport, R. I.,where he became a leader of great prominence in the affairs of the Baptist church. He became a freeman at Newport, March 16,1641. In 1648 John Peckham was one of the ten male members in full communion in the First Baptist Church of Newport, having been one of its founders in 1644. He resided in that part of Newport which later became Middletown, and was made a freeman there in 1655. A stone marked "I P" on the land of William F. Peckham in Middletown is supposed to mark the grave of John Peckham. He married (first) Mary Clarke, the sister of Rev. John Clarke, of Bedfordshire, England, and Boston and Newport, an associate of Roger William's. He married (second) Eleanor. John Peckham The founder of the American branch of the Peckham family is thought to have been a direct descendant of Sir George Peckham, of the reign of Queen Elizabeth. He was the progenitor of the majority of the Peckham families in America today. Arms - Ermine a. chief, quarterly, or and gules. Crest -An ostrich proper Blot to - Tentanda via est.

The Peckham families of Rhode Island are among the oldest and most prominent in the Commonwealth. Prior to 1700 they were among the large land owners of Rhode Island, figuring in the Pettaquamscott purchase of 1660, and the Westerly purchase of 1661, and the East Greenwich purchase in 1677. Their holdings were in Southern Rhode Island, and extended into Massachusetts;their descendants passed into the old Bay State, Eastern Connecticut, and Central New York, many, however, remaining in Newport and Providence counties, R. I. Many of the descendants of the founder, John Peckham, have risen to great prominence in the State, in the professions and in the fields of business and commerce. The line herein dealt with is that of the late Felix Peckham, Jr., of Newport, R. I., a well-known business man and financier of that city in the latter half of the nineteenth century. died after 1681, and prior to 1700. His will bears the date January 6, 1681.
Last Modified 16 Sep 2004Created 17 Jan 2012 using Reunion for Macintosh