Pilgrims from Fordington

The EAMES Family

(Also spelt EMES in many records or AMES)

An Account of the life of Captain Anthony Eames (1595 – 1686)
Churchwarden of St Georges Church & Constable of Fordington Manor

©Compiled by Michael Russell OPC for Fordington December 2009
(Revised March 2010 - updated May 2011 with additional information on Jonathan Eames (1628-1702) minor updates May 2014)


St Georges Church circa 1845 (1)


Anthony Eames was born circa 1595 in Fordington Dorset, the youngest of five children of Thomas & Millicent Eames. He emigrated to America in 1633 and this an account of the facts that have survived to come down to us about him and his immediate family.  His ancestry has been extensively researched in America over many years and there is some variance in information recorded by different descendants so I have chosen to work from original documentation and concentrate upon his life before emigration where I have greater expertise.
Grandparents:

Few records survive for Fordington from this period and unfortunately the parish registers were all destroyed in antiquity. We do however have some badly damaged bishops transcripts (2) from which it is clear that the family was well established in the parish in the 16th century. The paucity of original records at this date make it impossible to be sure but the snippets that survive do offer some grounds for speculation. Anthony's grandparents are said to be John Eames and his wife Joan but the only evidence I have so far been able to locate to support this is the burial of a ‘Jone Emes’ in Fordington on 7th June 1588 when she was described as ‘a widow’ and an ‘olde woman’.  John & Joan are given as the parents of Thomas Eames who was almost certainly born in Fordington around the year 1549 well before our records commence. There were undoubtedly other members of the family in Fordington, most notably a Richard Eames who had a son Thomas (whom I will call junior) baptised there in 1605. Richard was probably a younger brother to Thomas and Richard's son Thomas (junior) also raised a family in Fordington of which records survive for three children. Significantly they were named Joane Eames, possibly named after Richards mother (born in 1635) Grace (born in 1637, died 1689), and a son John Eames possibly named after Richards father who was baptised in Fordington on 13th January 1638/9 . Unfortunately he died at the age of 36 as far as we know unmarried and was buried in Fordington on 15 Sep 1675. Nothing else is known about descendants from this side of the family.
Parents & Siblings:
Thomas (c1549-1618) & Millicent (c1551-1614) Eames (3)

The marriage of Anthony's parents predates the start of the Fordington marriage register which begins late in the year 1577 (4) the year Francis Drake began his famous circumnavigation of the globe. There is plenty of evidence however to prove that Thomas & Millicent Eames raised a family of at least five children in Fordington between 1578 and 1595. Other children were no doubt born to the marriage, particularly between the birth of Alice and John, but either they died or left no visible trace among the surviving records. The absence of children named after themselves might mean Alice was not their first child but again the lack of evidence of their presence in subsequent years where more records survive has led me to assume that Thomas and Millicent probably married around the year 1576. A clue as to how the family lived and their social class comes surprisingly from Letters of Administration granted on the death of their son John Eames. This is significant as John was Thomas & Millicent's eldest son and would therefore have inherited his estate from his father. The Letters of Administration were issued by the Court to "Jonathan Emes of Fordington in the County of Dorset Yeoman". He was John's only son and heir. When John died an inventory of all his household goods, chattels and other possessions was drawn up for the Court by John's nephew Edward Eames and this makes it clear that John was also a Yeoman. See notes below on John (1586/7-1662) with a link to the transcribed record. A Yeoman had a distinct social position at this date. It rested below that of a 'gentleman' who employed servants to carry out all the work of running the household and attending to the land. A yeoman and his wife would put their own hands to running their house and holdings which would be larger and more prosperous than those of a general husbandman but often still be prosperous enough to employ a servant(s). The standing of Yeomen is reflected in the use of the word for the local volunteer force where they were mounted on their own horses, as distinct from the militia (i.e. infantry).

The inventory apart from personal possessions reflects this standing. For example in one room we have a standing bed and a half bed; in another a feather bed and fluke bed; in a third another standing bed followed by a fluke bed which was possibly for a servant. As such we have a house with a number of distinct rooms far above the general run of the mill houses for husbandmen. He also had 3 horses, 3 cows and a heifer and was in possession of 6 acres of wheat and nine acres of Barley in the common field as well as other small areas of land under cultivation. This wealth and social standing almost certainly came from his father Thomas.

With this information to hand the lives and subsequent events surrounding their children begin to make much better sense. We know from the bishops transcripts that 'Mellysent' was buried in Fordington in the year 1614 followed by her husband Thomas in 1618 which of course is when John would have inherited his estate.

    Their five known children were:-

  1. Alice Eames (1578-?) Her baptism appears in the Bishops Transcripts for Fordington for the year 1578.. Unfortunately the whole of the right hand side of the document (where the actual dates of baptism were) is missing. Nevertheless the words ‘Alice EAMES the daughter of Thomas Eames’ at the start of the line is very clear, and from the position in the years listing it is likely that she was actually baptised around September or October 1578. I can trace nothing else about her and the most likely explanation is that she died between 1579 and 1584 when the burial (and baptism) records are missing.

  2. John Eames (1586/7-1662)  His baptism is recorded at Fordington on 12 January 1586/7. As the eldest son he would have inherited his fathers estate in 1618 which appears to have firmly rooted him in Fordington for the rest of his life. I have not been able to locate his marriage but we know her name as Lucy (Lewse) EAMES from her burial and Letters of Administration issued on her death to her son in 1665. Assuming they married the year before their first child was born (i.e. in 1619) he would have been 32 years old. Although this is 5 years older than average for a man to marry during this period it fits exactly with the firm convention then in place that young couples delay their marriage until they could afford to set up their own household. The death of his father and his inheritance therefore seems to have precipitated his marriage to Lucy. We know from the Dorset Quarter sessions (6) that John EAMES was called to attend the Sherborne Assizes held between 10th and 12th April 1632 to be appointed Constable for the 'Manor of Fordington', a post held by his younger brother Anthony in 1630, but for a reason that is not stated was pardoned service. The bishops transcripts for St Georges church also show that in 1635 he was churchwarden there. They had two children (7) :-

    1. (a) Ruth Eames  (1620-?) bap Fordington 1 January 1620/1 - nothing else known.
      (b) Jonathan Eames (1628-1702) bap Fordington 14 Sep 1628 buried there 6 May 1702

    Unfortunately, from our point of view, John Eames died in the year 1662 as the parish records have not survived for that and surrounding years. It was of course the year of the 'great ejectment' following the 'Act of Uniformity' when over 2,000 clergymen lost their living. Dorchester with its history of non-conformity was affected more than most with not only Rev. Joshua Churchill the rector of St Georges church, but also Rev. George Hammond, the rector of Holy Trinity and St Peters in Dorchester and the Rev William Benn the rector of All Saints, all being ejected. Luckily the Letters of Administration over John Eames estate have survived (8) and I have placed a transcription on this site. Administration was granted in October 1662 and an Inventory drawn up by his nephew Edward Eames and presented to the court on the 17th November 1662. As outlined above this shows a comfortable standard of living for the times and administration of his estate went to his son and heir Jonathan. Lucy EAMES was buried in Fordington on 11 May 1665, an inventory of her wearing apparel drawn up on the death of her husband and Letters of Administration of her estate given to her son Jonathan in July 1665 have also been transcribed.

      Their only son Jonathan Eames (1628-1702) was witness to the Will of William Barnes a Yeoman in Fordington in 1658 so already a respected member of the community at the age of 30. Jonathan also died intestate and I have recently (January 2011) obtained a copy of the Letters of Administration for his estate and transcribed it for this site as well. From this its clear that he married a Mary (c1637-1733) who survived him taking control of his estate.(35) Mary appears to have survived until 8th July 1733 when she is buried in Fordington at the age of 96.

  3. Richard Eames (c1588-c1634) (3) He was born c1588 once again when the parish registers are missing so we do not have a baptism date. He married however on 5th June 1615 in St Georges Church Fordington to an Alice Sprague (c1597-1668). She was the eldest of six children of Edward & Christian Sprague, and had been born in Upwey (9) which lies just 3 miles south of Dorchester on the road to Weymouth. Her father, a prosperous fulling mill operator and farmer, was still a relatively young man in his late 30's when he suddenly became very ill. On his deathbed on 6th June 1614 he hastily wrote his 'Will' ; he must have died almost immediately as probate was granted only seven days later. Alice, the eldest, was 17 when her father died and left her the sum of £50. With the children still young his widow Christian needed to secure her families future. As Alice still needed her permission to marry she no doubt had a hand in arranging the marriage to Richard Eames which took place a year after Edwards death. The fact that she agreed to the marriage suggests that Richard aged about 27 had already been set up with his own smallholding and she felt comfortable that Alice would be well provided for. Richard and Alice had only one child, a son they called Edward probably in remembrance of Alice's father (see below).

    The two families seem to have got on well with Alice's presence in Fordington drawing her younger brothers to the town where they rapidly fell under the influence of the charismatic Rev John White. By now he was a very influential character being largely responsible for masterminding the restoration of Dorchester after the great fire of 1613. In October 1616 they were presented with a new Rector in the shape of another staunch puritan called the Rev Edward Pele who soon became friends with John White and shared his ideals. In 1620 the sailing of the Mayflower gave a new direction to John White's vision of a godly community and turned his attention towards what was happening in New England. In 1623 her brother Ralph Sprague married in Fordington just as the Rev White was formulating plans for a new plantation in New England. The following year John White formed the Dorchester Company and for the first time gave real substance to these plans. A set back for the family occurred in 1625 with the death of Alice's younger brother Chistopher Sprague who was buried in St Georges graveyard by the Reverend Pele. The following year however another brother, Edward Sprague, seems to have married and raised a family in Fordington as three children are baptised there (Elizabeth Sprague 1627-1631; Edward Sprague 1630; William Sprague 1633) . In 1628/9 John White's vision was to result in her brothers (Ralph, Richard and William) sailing to New England and it was the stories that came back from Massachusetts after their emigration that inspired Anthony Eames to go as well in 1633.

      (a) Edward Eames (1618 -1685) their only child was baptised at Fordington on 25 December 1618. He married there on 31st January 1638/9 to Elizabeth Tapp (1605-1675) the daughter of Robert Tapp who had been baptised in Fordington on 6th Dec 1605 making her thirteen years his senior, but still only 33 years old at marriage. They had one daughter named Elizabeth after her mother who was baptised in Fordington on 27th November 1639.  On 28th Dec 1669 she married John Bunne in Fordington. As we have already seen when Edward's uncle John died in 1662 he drew up the inventory of his possessions. His wife was buried in St Georges churchyard on 20 Oct 1675, the same year Edward was churchwarden there. He died in 1685 being buried on 5th December.

    I have not been able to locate Richard Eames death but according to American research Alice was granted administration of Richard’s estate on 3rd May 1634 (10). The burials registers for that year are missing. Alice remarried in Tincleton Dorset on 20th December 1638 to a John Holland . and died there being buried on 3rd May 1668. Just before her marriage, on 9 Aug 1638, she was living at Pomberry Mill near Dorchester (11).

  4. Anne Eames (c1593/4-?) If she was the average age for women of 25 when she married she would have been born in 1593/4. Bishops Transcripts for most years around this date were destroyed in the great fire at Blandford in 1731. We have her marriage however to a Thomas Rose in Fordington on 14 January 1618/9 .. Anne appears to have had four children:-

    1. (a)Thomas Rose (1619-1628) Baptised 19 Dec 1619 Fordington he died at the age of 9 being buried in Fordington on 7 April 1628 as Thomas son of Thomas Rose.
      (b) Hannah Rose (1622-?) Baptised Fordington 20 Oct 1622
      (c) Lydia Rose (1625-1631) Baptised Fordington 5 Mar 1625/6 she was buried there on 12 Apr 1631 her death being recorded in the Bishops Transcripts by Anthony Eames who was churchwarden then.
      (d) Thomas Rose (1630/1- ?) named in memory of his younger brother who died in 1628 he was baptised in Fordington on 23 January 1630/1

      I have carried out a separate study of this family and the summary of the evidence assembled about them strongly suggests that they emigrated to New England with Anthony Eames arriving in Charlestown about 1633 and settling in what is now called Scituate. The two families continued to live close to one another with two of Anthony's daughters marrying and settling in Scituate(5). See Pilgrims from Fordington - The ROSE Family

  5. Anthony Eames (c1595 - 1686) The subject of this account - See below:-

Anthony Eames (c1595 – 1686)
Churchwarden 1622, 1627, 1631 & Constable of Fordington Manor 1630

We know from his age at death that Anthony Eames was born in 1595. Nearly all the Bishops Transcripts for Fordington for the period 1589 to the end of the decade were among those that perished in the great fire at Blandford in 1731. A few water damaged pages survive which relate mainly to 1592 and the second half of 1594 but none for 1595 so we are unlikely to ever locate his baptism. Nor do I have any references to his education. As the son of a Yeoman he would not have attended university and this seems to be confirmed by the absence of any of the Eames family in the University Alumni. What we do know is that he was educated to a good standard and rapidly gained respect and trust within the tight knit community in Dorchester. He was appointed for example as churchwarden of St Georges on several occasions. There were always two churchwardens and these were rotated, one being appointed by the vicar (The Rev Edward Pele) and the other by the parishioners. In either case it was a vote of confidence. One of his tasks, apart from levying rates, would have been to act as a witness on the transcribed parish registers for each year that the Rector had to submit to the Bishop and his name appears on records that survive for the years 1622, 1627, and 1631. The first two returns seem to be in the handwriting of the Rev Edward Pele and the third by the Rev Robert Turchin example signatures given below being taken from the 1627 return but I have added images of all three returns to the baptism transcriptions as the signature on the 1622 return appears to be different.



So if he was not educated at University where would he have gone. At this date there was only one main school in Dorchester where the sons of the more wealthy traders and yeomen were sent and that was the Dorchester 'Free School'. William Whiteway the diarist was born in 1599 and attended the school from 1606 to 1615 which I would suggest was typical of the time so Anthony probably attended between 1602 and 1611. Another reason I think Anthony was there was the fact that the schoolmaster was the Rev Robert Cheeke who soon became firm friends with the Rev John White when he arrived in 1606; Anthony was then at an impressionable age of around 11. He was still only about 18 when the school was destroyed along with most of Dorchester in the great fire of 1613 and we know from William Whiteway what an impression that event made upon everybody that witnessed it, so he would have experienced at first hand John White and Robert Cheeke's efforts at creating a new godly community. With Rev. Robert Cheek as his schoolmaster, Rev. Edward Pele his rector, and the Rev. John White the Patriarch we have three of the main drivers behind the formation of the Dorchester Company and emigration to New England. They were closely involved with one another and as churchwarden he would have been involved with them on a regular basis. It is easy to see how as the youngest son of a Yeoman who needed to establish himself, he would have been swept up in their enthusiasm and drawn into emigration.

Marriage to Margery Pierce - circa 1616

Lets not get ahead of ourselves. Anthony is said to have married a Margery Pierce (12 ) about the year 1616. Unfortunately Bishops Transcripts for Fordington are missing for 1616 and 1617 but they are said to have had 8 children between 1616 and 1632. Again records are intermittent, but I can clearly identify at least five of these children in the Fordington Baptism Registers (John baptised 24 Jan 1618/9; Persis bap: 28 Oct 1621; Elizabeth bap: 13 Jun 1624; Justus bap: 29 Apr 1627 and Margery bap: 5 Dec 1630), and I give more detail about these and their other children at the end of this biography.

Anthony was about 23 years old when his father died and his eldest brother John inherited his estate in the year 1618. As I mentioned above I think his sister Alice died young and Anne married to Thomas Rose just seven months after his fathers death securing her future. His elder brother Richard was already established and married to Alice Sprague who gave birth to Edward Eames in December of that year (1618).

Constable of Fordington Manor - 1630

Another example of Anthony's standing in the community was when he was sworn in as Constable for the Manor of Fordington at the Quarter Sessions held in Sherborne from the 6th to 8th April 1630. Two of the eight justices sitting at the sessions and before whom Anthony was sworn in were Sir Francis Ashley (1569-1635) and John Brown JP (1582-1659), both of which invested in the Dorchester Company.

In Dorset at this time Constables were selected by the Manor Court and it was a compulsory appointment. Once they had been summoned they had to appear at the next Court for their area (Sherborne) and, unless they had a solid excuse such as being infirm, they were sworn in to serve for 12 months. In a busy township like Fordington which often had to deal with events spilling over from Dorchester it could be quite an onerous and time consuming task. They had to report, and take action, on a great many matters. Among them felonies committed, escaped prisoners, riots, disputes and unlawful assemblies, non attendance at church, commercial irregularities, licensing of ale houses, compiling Juror’s lists, drunkenness etc. They would normally have had assistants who would have dealt with unauthorised building of additional cottages or dovecots, vagabonds, intruders, militia Muster Rolls, taking lewd women to court and detaining refractory fathers of bastards.

The position of Constable therefore required someone of good standing and well respected in the community. In looking at the selection lists before the Courts they often seem to have chosen Churchwardens. The constables for Dorchester were not appointed by the JP's but by the Corporation, but a good working relationship would have been necessary given their close proximity and because many people lived in Dorchester but worked or frequented the Inns in Fordington or vice versa. Over a third of all the issues dealt with by the Constables of Fordington and Dorchester were drink related which is not surprising given the fact that nobody drank water because of the risk of infection. Even the children drank a weaker ale. According to David Underdown in his book 'Fire from Heaven' in 1629 there were thirteen licenced ale sellers in the town, a number that grew to around twenty over the next ten years. Some of them kept large and impressive establishments like the 'George' the Antelope, the Crown and the Rose. The Ship kept by William Wilson, was somewhat less respectable to judge by the number of reports of disorders there, but such things were not unknown even at the George. Some ale housekeepers were respectable men like Robert Lawrence and Matthew Swaffield. The book gives much more detail but the cheaper less respectable alehouses were often in Fordington. In addition to these were a number of illegal establishments. Sir Arthur Ashley's casebook records for example all manner of problems with Nicholas Hellier of Fordington in the period up to 1618 (when he appears to have been imprisoned) as it was a base for poaching (even of swans and herons) and for many other kinds of iniquity. The crossover between Dorchester & Fordington is perhaps illustrated by the respectable Robert Lawrence. He was a shoemaker by trade but ran his alehouse from his house in Dorchester. His son Christopher Lawrence was to become rector of Langton Matravers in 1656-8 and Winterbourne Came from 1658 until ejected for non-conformity in 1662. Roberts other son John Lawrence however was a respectable yeoman who lived in Fordington but was also a licenced ale keeper there.

The three Churches for Dorchester and that of Fordington have always worked closely together and we have already heard about his relationship with Edward Pele and John White. In 1629 into this mix arrived a real firebrand of a Minister in the shape of the Rev. William BENN a new Rector for All Saints Church. As can be seen from John Speeds map of 1611 the parish of All Saints adjoined that of Fordington so as constable & churchwarden he would have known Benn and had to deal with the many issues that would have arisen between them. Apart from anything else the town goal was in All Saints parish so he would have known and committed prisoners to Thomas Devenish the keeper of the goal to await trial.

It was at this juncture that Anthony decided to emigrate. We already know of his close involvement with not only the Rev John White but other enthusiastic supporters of emigration, like Robert Cheeke and the Rev Edward Pele. Anthony was well informed about the settlement and the opportunities that were arising there from letters sent back to his sister-in-law Alice from her three brothers who went in 1628. He would have known for example that Ralph Sprague had been selected to sit on the first ever Jury empanelled in Charlestown and that he and his brother Richard were both made 'Freemen' in 1631. Just how close this relationship was is evident from the third brother William Sprague's subsequent marriage to his daughter in 1635 only a year after he was to arrive in Charlestown. I also believe that another big incentive for Anthony was that settlers were being promised ownership of land. Although the Eames Family were Yeomen and well established in Fordington there is no mention of any of them actually owning land in England. This would have been rented which is why it does not appear as an asset in the inventory of their possessions raised following his brothers death. The ruling class in Dorchester, apart from the clergy, were gentlemen who owned land around Dorchester. As Yeomen none of them ever appeared in the list of 'Freemen' of Dorchester let alone broke through to become a 'Capital Burgess' or 'Alderman' who ran the town. Emigration therefore afforded a much greater and more rapid opportunity to own large amounts of land and take part at the highest level within these newly forming communities.

Emigration to New England - 1633

We can be absolutely sure about when Anthony, his wife Margery and their children emigrated as we have consistent and definitive information in the lead up to his departure. For example their daughter Margery Eames was baptised in St Georges Church in Fordington on 5th December 1630. We also know that Anthony served as Constable of Fordington Manor that year and his term of office was completed in April 1631. He was churchwarden of St Georges that year acting as witness to the Bishops Transcripts return completed at the end of the year (i.e. 25 March 1631/2). As an aside on that return under the date of 14th January 1631/2 there is recorded the baptism of a bastard child to Agnes Watts and as constable for Fordington Manor he was probably responsible for the order against Thomas Hunt which was later appealed by him as Thomas Tizar was the father. Anthony & Margery's final child Abigail is said to have been born in Fordington about 1632 but unfortunately baptism registers for that year (and 1634) have not survived.

Genealogists in America maintain that they have located documents about a tithe case held on 12 April 1632 when Anthony declared himself ‘to be of Fordington in Dorset, a Yeoman, where he had lived from infancy, born there and aged about 40 or thereabouts’ (13). I have not so far located the original source in England for this record but its importance stems from the fact that it adds confirmation that Anthony and his family were still in Fordington at that date and that he is referred to as a 'Yeoman' which is the same occupation as his brother John.

The final and most conclusive piece of information comes from the excellent “John Winthrop Society” in America as this includes lists of passengers of some of the pilgrim ships with details of the ports and sailing dates. Anthony Eames is shown to have embarked on the ship “Recovery” [also referred to as the ‘Recovery of London’] which sailed from Weymouth on 31st March 1633 for New England. We can be confident about the authenticity of this entry as the information comes from the Records of the Exchequer held at the National Archives at Kew in London [Ref: PRO:E190/875/8]. These were the “Port Books” completed by the Kings Remembrancer and they recorded the head of each group that embarked(36). Anthony Eames name appears on roll 20. The Master of the vessel was Gabriel Cornish, and his passengers were recorded as ‘Planters carrying with them household goods, clothing and provisions for themselves, their wives, children and servants, valued at £920 and allowed to pass free of customs by His Majesty's patent [Ref Coldham pg 107].

Here again we have an example of the extent to which John Whites vision was affecting the lives of everybody around him. The information I have already placed on line about the 119 investors in the Dorchester Company shows the extent and ease with which he moved through the very top echelons of Dorchester Society and how he galvanised the wealthy to share and invest in his vision. It is the way he systematically set out to bring it about however that is just as impressive. The transportation of settlers, although always carrying some risk in the 17th century, was no rash adventure. It was not chance that formed his partnership with Richard Bushrod who had for many years been operating a successful fishing business from Cape Cod as this brought hard practical experience to the proceedings. The third, and arguably the most important ingredient, however was the people he sent and it was Yeomen like the Eames family that he turned to as a means of ensuring that the new community had within it men who were self sufficient, educated, godly and had hard practical experience of the land, raising livestock and making a success of a smallholding.

Charlestown - New England - 1633





For their life in America I have consulted many published works about families settling in New England including an account written in 1967 by Bradley Duane Eames called “An Eames Branch”  It is available on film 0547081 from The  Church of Latter Day Saints. Other sources consulted include : A Genealogical Dictionary of The First Settlers of New England, Before 1692,Volume #2,By James Savage: Frothingham's "History of Charlestown" and others quoted below.

Their Journey to New England would have taken about 3 months(14) so they probably arrived in July 1633. They settled initially in Charlestown in what is now Massachusetts and quickly re-established their relationship with the Sprague brothers. Several American genealogical works refer to him as a 'proprietor' of Charlestown so it would appear that he was granted land there in 1634(15). The first documentary evidence of their presence in Charlestown occurs on the 10th February 1634/5 when Anthony signed the “Selectmen Government Agreement” along with Richard & William Sprague(30). This agreement effectively set down the means by which 'Freemen Citizens' of Charlestown were to select their representatives for Government. (29)

Another individual to arrive in Charlestown in 1633 was Edmund Hobart (c1570-1646) a native of Hingham in Norfolk who arrived with his wife and sons Edmund, Joshua and Thomas Hobart.(16) By 1635 the steady stream of settlers arriving meant expansion into nearby areas. On the 8th June 1635 Edmund Hobart was joined by another of his sons the Rev Peter Hobart (1604-1679) who had with him his wife and 4 children. (27) Edmund and his four sons together with many of the settlers from their own town in Norfolk, and others that had arrived in Charlestown, decided in 1635 to establish their own settlement and moved permanently 19 miles south east from the Charles River to an area where they had already made a temporary settlement called 'Bare Cove' which they promptly renamed Hingham after their home town in Norfolk. Here Edmund and each of his four sons were granted land.(16) As can be seen from this link Peter Hobart is credited as the founder of Hingham Massachusetts where he established a congregational church and according to his gravestone served as its Minister for 44 years before his death at the age of 75 on 20th January 1679. One of Peter Hobart's mentors back in Norfolk had been the Rector of Hingham the Rev Robert Peck (1579/80-1656). He was a staunch puritan who had graduated at St Catharine's College Cambridge (17) in 1598/9 but transferred to Magdalene College in 1603 before being ordained deacon and priest at Norwich on 24 February 1604/5. After serving as curate of Oulton in Norfolk he was appointed Rector of Hingham in Norfolk a post he held until emigration in 1638. Peter Hobart had also graduated at Magdalene College in 1629 and following the establishment of their settlement in 1635 and being aware of difficulties in England he wrote back to Robert Peck inviting others to join them.

Move to Hingham Massachusetts - 1636 (28)

Meanwhile Anthony’s eldest daughter Millicent Eames was engaged to William Sprague the youngest of the three brothers and they married when she was 5 months pregnant in Charlestown on 26th May 1635. She duly produced the first of their 11 children, a boy, whom they named Anthony Sprague after her father and had him baptised in Charlestown on the 2nd September 1635. Anthony's wife Margery Eames is formerly recorded as being admitted to the Charlestown Church 13 days later,(18) but the family were soon encouraged to move to Hingham where in 1636 a plot of land was granted to them on the lower plain.(16) From the outset Anthony appears to have been one of the foremost citizens of Hingham. He was admitted a 'Freeman', on 9th March 1636/7, was frequently a town officer, and represented the town in the general court in the years 1637 to 1639 and 1643 to 1644. The representative in the years 1639,1640 and 1642 was Edmund Hobart.

Between 1635 and 1638 Robert Peck's position in England became untenable. He is described by Bloomfield in his history of Norfolk as " a man with a violent schismatic spirit who led a movement within the church of St Andrew in Hingham in opposition to the established Anglicanism of the day". When things finally came to a head with Bishop Wrenn he knew he was about to be removed and he and a number of his parishioners decided on emigration. On 10th August 1638 the ship 'Diligent' arrived in New England from Ipswich carrying over 100 settlers mainly from Hingham under Robert Peck's leadership. Also on board was an individual called Bozoan (or Bozoun) Allen (c1617-1652) and his wife Anne who originated from Lynn in Norfolk. This brought the population of the town to about four hundred with over half originating from Norfolk. The Cambridge Alumni then records Peck as being "Teacher of the church at Hingham Massachusetts from 1638 to 1641.

On the 13th of January 1638 Anthony Eames was one of the Deputies of the General Court who signed the charter granted by Winthrop for the 'Military Company of Massachusetts' that was later renamed the 'Ancient and Honourable Artillery Company', the third oldest chartered military organisation in the world. Another important character that settled in Charlestown in 1635 was Robert Sedgwick a successful merchant from Woburn in Bedfordshire and he was made captain of the Charlestown Militia in 1640 whilst Anthony Eames was appointed as a Lieutenant in the Hingham 'Train Band' (i.e. Militia).

The phrase 'train band' comes directly from Elizabeth I and her concern for the defence of England. In 1558 two Acts were passed revising each mans responsibilities for providing arms, armour and horses. The men of the nation were divided into ten groups, Those with incomes of £5-£10 per year had to have a coat of plated armour, a steel cap, a longbow with arrows, and either a bill or a halberd. Men with an annual income of £10-£20 had to find the same, but with a harquebus instead of a bill or halberd, and a morion instead of a cap. Additional armour had to be supplied by the gentry, and the scale of requirements went on up to the men worth £1000 per year or more, who had to provide 16 horses, 80 suits of light armour, 40 pikes, 30 longbows, 20 bills, or halberds, 20 harquebuses and 50 steel caps or helmets. From time to time, all men liable for service were called, with their arms, to musters; and from 1570, men who were both fit and keen underwent regular training in small units. Consequently it became the custom to distinguish in muster certificates between trained and untrained men and so arose the term 'Trained Bands' .

From 18 April 1588 in Dorset, Devon and Cornwall, service in the militia became the responsibility of the Duke of Bedford and as can be seen from the preceding link was well organised. Anthony's appointment as a Lieutenant in New England would have been a natural development of using his experience gained in England from his service with the militia. Because of his rank in society and annual income he would have been required to provide his own horse and served in what was later to be called the Yeomanry to distinguish it from the infantry. Whether he held a command in England we will probably never know but he would have served and understood the way in which citizens were organised for the defence of the nation and local communities.

In 1641 Anthony also assisted in laying out the boundary line between Massachusetts Bay and the Plymouth Colonies.(19) and on 12th June 1643 he entered into a partnership to operate the first ever Corn Mill near the cove in Hingham for the use of the town. They were granted permission on condition that they paid for any damage which might be caused by' flowage'. His partners were Samuel Ward and Bozoan Allen who had arrived on the 'Dilient'.. Samuel Ward (c1593-1682)(20) was another settler from England that had received substantial grants of land on the lower plain at Hingham and had been elected 'Freemen' and 'Deputy to the General Court' in 1637.


Impeachment of Deputy Governor Winthrop 1645 (21)



John Winthrop 1588-1649

In the year 1645 Anthony Eames was involved in a local incident in Hingham which was to not only shatter the existing harmony within the settlement and result in long lasting divisions in the community but escalate into a major confrontation between his opponents and the authorities in Boston and end with what later became known as the 'impeachment of John Winthrop' a magistrate and that year Deputy Governor of the Colony. It is not my intention to add to this debate only relate that Anthony was involved at the beginning so I have drawn the following account from "The History of Boston inc Suffolk County Massachusetts 1630-1880 .(22 & 23) there is a much longer account in the History of Hingham Plymouth County Massachusetts by Solomon Lincoln junior published Hingham Caleb Gill jnr, Farmer & Brown 1827 which is out of copyright and freely available to view on google Books. For ease of reference I have appended as a separate document the relevant pages for those who wish to know more.

But the most signal event of this year (1645) was what has sometimes been called "the impeachment of Winthrop." The story is told so well by Dr. Palfry, in his History of New England that we are unwilling to give it any other words than his:-

"A dispute, local in its origin, and apparently of slight importance for a time, but finally engaging at once the military, the religious, and the civil authorities of the colony, was bequeathed by Endicott (1st Governor of the Colony) to his successor. The train-band of the town of Hingham, having chosen Anthony Eames to be their captain, 'presented him to the Standing Council for their allowance.' While the business was in this stage, the soldiers altered their minds, and in a second election gave the place to Bozoun Allen. The magistrates, thinking that an injustice and affront had been offered to Eames, determined that the former election should be held valid until the Court should take further order. The company would not obey their captain, and mutinied. He was summoned before the church of his town, under a charge of having made misrepresentations to the magistrates. He went to Boston and laid his case before them. They 'sent warrant to the constable to attach some of the principal offenders [Peter Hobart, minister of Hingham, being one] to appear before them at Boston, to find sureties for their appearance at the next Court.'

Hobart came and remonstrated so intemperately that 'some of the magistrates told him that, were it not for respect for his ministry, they would commit him'. Two of those arraigned with him refused to give bonds, and Winthrop sent them to jail.

"So the affair stood at the time of Dudley's accession [Thomas Dudley took over from Endicott as Govenor of the Colony in 1645]. Hobart and some eighty of his friends petitioned for a hearing before the General Court upon the lawfulness of the committal 'by some of the magistrates, for words spoken concerning the power of the General Court, and their liberties, and the liberties of the church'. The deputies on their part complied with the request, and sent a vote accordingly to the magistrates for their concurrence. The magistrates 'returned answer that they were willing the cause should be heard, so as the petitioners would name the magistrates whom they intended, and the matter they would lay to their charge. The petitioners agents who were then deputies of the court thereupon singled out the Deputy Governor [Winthrop], and two of the petitioners undertook the prosecution'. The magistrates were loath to sanction so irregular a proceeding; but Winthrop desired to make his vindication, and the petitioners were permitted to have their way.

"The day appointed (14th of May 1645) being come, the Court assembled in the meeting house at Boston, Divers of the elders were present, and a great assembly of people. The Deputy Governor [Winthrop] coming in with the rest of the magistrates placed himself beneath and within the bar, and so sat uncovered'. At this 'many both Court and the assembly were grieved'. But he said that had he taken what was the fit place for an accused person and that if he were upon the bench, it would be a great disadvantage to him, for he could not take the liberty to plead the cause which he ought to be allowed at the bar.'

In the full argument that followed, the Deputy Governor 'justified all the particulars laid to his charge; as that upon credible information of such a mutinous practice and open disturbance of the peace and slighting of authority, the offenders were sent for, the principal by warrant to the constable to bring them and others by summons, and that some were bound over to the next Court of Assistants, and others , that refused to be bound, were committed; and all this according to the equity of the laws established, and custom and laws of England and our constant practice these fifteen years'".

The matter was under debate, says Palfry, for more than seven weeks, with only one weeks intermission, and was at length adjusted by an agreement on all hands for a complete acquittal of Winthrop, and for the punishment of all the petitioners by fines, the largest of which was twenty pounds, and that of the minister two pounds.


The people of Hingham returned home as divided as when they went to the trial. Anthony also returned to Hingham and took office as Captain in the Militia. Bozoun Allen left Hingham for Boston where he ran a successful business until his death in 14th Sep 1652. Anthony also moved again (24), this time to Marshfield Hills in Plymouth Colony when on 10th December 1651 he and his son Mark bought a house and 100 acres of land lying upon the North River from Francis Godfrey. Godfrey had bought the land from the Southworth brothers (Constant and Thomas) in 1648, who were orphaned when their mother fell from the Mayflower and drowned and were then raised by Governor Bradford. For many generations the Eames family continued to live there. Anthony was deputy to the general court at Plymouth from 1653 to 1658 and again in 1661 and became a member of the council of war. He was admitted freeman in the Plymouth Colony on 7 Jun 1653 and served the town as moderator.

His wife Margery died in Marshfield and was buried on the last day of the year 1662. Anthony lived another 24 years by which time he was 91 years old. He was also buried at Marshfield on the 6 October 1686.

Their 8 Children:-

[Note:- regarding Hannah Eames also being a child of theirs - see genealogical note 32 below]

Their children were all born in Fordington and emigrated with their parents to America arriving about July 1633. Apart from the five children for which we have baptism records there is documentary evidence in America about three others as detailed below (32).

1. Millicent (Millisaint) Eames (c1616-1695/6) The eldest of their children was named after her paternal grandmother. Her baptism appears to have occurred when Parish Registers for Fordington are missing and is estimated to be c1616 (as per genealogical note 32 below). She married in Charlestown Suffolk Colony Massachusetts on 26 May 1635 (the year after their arrival)  to William Sprague (1609-1675) (24) the youngest of the three brothers from Upwey Dorset. He had been in New England since 1628 and was then thought to be about 26, only a year shy of the average for men to marry in England.

Millicent had known the Sprague family all her life as her fathers elder brother Richard Eames (1589/90-c1634) had married Alice Sprague (1597-1668) from Upwey, and they had settled in Fordington in 1615. Alice Sprague’s  younger brother Ralph Sprague (1599-1650) also married and settled there when Millicent was about seven so she grew up with their children. In some accounts of the family Millicent is said to have been betrothed to William Sprague in England but this seems unlikely to me as William emigrated with two brothers to America arriving in Salem on the ship Abigail in 1628 when Millicent, still in England, would have been only 12.  They did however marry within 12 months of her arrival in New England when she was still only about 19 and we know letters were carried back and forth to New England in the Pilgrim Ships, so perhaps they did reach an understanding.

William & Millicent had the first of their 11 children (Anthony Sprague) baptised in Charlestown 2 Sep 1636 before they moved, along with her father Anthony Eames, to Hingham where they were granted land. William is known to have visited Hingham by boat as early as 1629 so may well have been the main architect behind both families relocation. His house lot according to the 'Sprague genealogy' was on Union Street 'over the river' and one of the pleasantest in Hingham.(33) Throughout the period 1636 to 1647 the 'Old Grant Book' of Hingham records many parcels of land and meadow being granted to him by the town. William was elected as a 'Selectman of Hingham' in 1645 and about 1650 his father-in-law Anthony Eames moved to Marshfield. The following year on March 28th 1651 he purchased from Thomas Hammond 'Planter' a dwelling house with 5 acres of land adjoining his own homestead together with other lands in that locality. Also 20 acres on the opposite side of the river against the end of Thomas Hammond's dwelling house. He was made Constable of Hingham and collector of the town rates in 1662 (18 & 26) and died in 1675 leaving a very detailed Will, making his wife executrix. Millicent lived another 20 years and was buried in Hingham on 8th February 1695/96 when she would have been close to 80.

2. Mark Eames (c1617-1693) Mark was born in Fordington about 1617(32) when baptism registers are missing. He emigrated in 1633 with his parents to Charlestown moving with them to Hingham in 1636. He and his father were granted land in Hingham in 1645.  He was married there on the 26 May 1648 to Elizabeth Andrews and they had their first child John Eames baptised in Marshfield Plymouth Colony on 6th September 1649. The following year he bought a house there with his father and on 1st January 1652/3 he is recorded as an appraiser of the estate of Robert Waterman of Marshfield. He and his father were also witnesses to the Will of a John Rogers of Marshfield on 1st February 1660/1. Mark became a Deputy to the General Court in 1662 and held this post for fourteen of the next 20 years. He also appraised the estate of a Thomas Little on 1st July 1672 and was witness to the Will of William Ford of Marshfield which was sworn before Josiah Winslow the Governor on 30 Oct 1676. More importantly he is specifically mentioned in his sisters (Persis) Will where she refers to him as her brother, so there is plenty of documentation substantiating his place in the family

He served as an ensign and later as a lieutenant in the militia during King Philip’s Indian War (1675-1676) and was second in command under Captain Peregrine White whom history books credit as being the first white child to be born in New England, having been born on the Mayflower a month after the ship arrived.

King Philip’s war is named after the main leader of the Indians, called Metacomet or Pometacom but known to the English as “King Phillip” (See sketch left) . It was an uprising of the Algonquian Tribes who the colonial historian Francis Jennings estimated killed nearly 7 of every 8 Indians and 30 of every 65 English settlers. King Philip's War was proportionately one of the bloodiest and costliest in the history of America and it is surprising that it is largely forgotten in modern times.

Mark and Elizabeth appear to have had 11 children in all which i have not researched, although 5 are mentioned in his will. Mark died in Marshfield Massachusetts shortly after his Will was written on 12th Jul 1693 and he named Elizabeth as his executor. Administration papers however issued 19th October that year show that she died a few days before Mark.

3. John Eames (1618-1641) baptism appears in Fordington Parish Registers on 24th January 1618/19. He died at the age of 22 being buried in Hingham on 3rd November 1641. Unlike several other members of the family there is no mention of violence surrounding his death which was well before the Indian War, so I suspect this was from some form of sickness.

4. Persis Eames (1621- 1662) (25) She was baptised in Fordington in St George’s church on 28th Oct 1621. The name Persis is unusual and comes from the Bible, perhaps another indication of the importance of religion in their lives. In the Bible Persis was a Christian woman in Rome whom St Paul salutes as “beloved and as having laboured much in the Lord” . Persis married a  Michael Pierce (?-1676) in 1645 at Scituate Plymouth Massachusetts and they purchased land there at Conihassett in 1647. Their house was on the Cohasset Road one mile from the north meeting house at the well known place where Elijah Pierce of the sixth generation was still living in 1831(25). Scituate was also where Thomas Rose and his family were living since before 1640. On 28th May 1659 in answer to a Court Petition her father Anthony Eames refers to "his sonne in lawe Michaell Pearse."  (Ref X1) Michael & Persis had 13 children between 1645 and 1662, the first (which died) and the last were both named Persis after her. Her death is recorded in the Journal of Rev. Peter Hobart, in Hingham Plymouth Colony Massachusetts "Dec. 31, 1662, Michaell Perces wife dyed."


Siege of Brookfield - King Philips War

Her husband remarried in 1663 to an Anna and was commissioned as a Captain by the Colony Court in 1669. Unfortunately he was ambushed and killed on 26th March 1676 at Pawtucket  by Canonchet Indians at Attlebro Gore during King Philip’s war. There are a number of accounts of this famous battle referred to as ‘Pierces Fight’ when he was slain with 51 soldiers and 11 friendly Indians. Thomas Rose's grandson John Rose was one of the slain. His Will dated 15th Jan 1675 was proved on 22nd July 1676 and starts with 'Being, by the appointment of my God, going out to war against the Indians, I do ordain this my last Will and Testament’

5. Elizabeth Eames (1624-1692) She was baptised in Fordington St Georges Church on 13 Jun 1624. After emigration to Charlestown she moved with her parents to live in Hingham in 1636 where she married a farmer called Edward Wilder on 1 Apr 1651. Edward was the son of the widow Martha Wilder whose father died in Shiplock Oxfordshire shortly before Martha and her children emigrated to New England. He was 5 years older than Elizabeth and they had 11 children in Hingham (Elizabeth 1651/2; John 1653; Ephraim 1655; Isaac 1656; Jabez 1657/8; Abia 1659; Mehitable 1661; Abigail 1662; Anna 1664; Hannah 1665/6; Mary 1668) . In the History of Hingham written in 1893 it says that Edward and Elizabeth were the ancestors of all who bear that name in Hingham and the vicinity. Edward had his first grant of 10 acres of land at Hingham on 8th October 1637 so like the Eames family he was an early settler and he would have known Elizabeth since she was 12 or 13. He subsequently received other grants of land from the town including a tract situated next to that given to his mother in 1638 which was located at or near the junction of Main and Pleasant Street. He also owned all the land between Tower's bridge and Wilder's bridge

Elizabeth's seventh child was Mehitable Wilder born in 1661. Mehitable is another biblical name [original spelling Mehetabel] which means “Favoured by God”. She married in 1692 to Joseph Warren, a grandson of Richard Warren that had sailed on the Mayflower, but Joseph died in 1696 leaving Mehitable a young widow. It needs to be remembered that the famous Salem Witchcraft Trials were in 1692.


There is the following account on ‘New England Ancesters.org ‘


Salem Witch Trials 1692

Mehitable after the death of her husband returned to Hingham and there came under the charge of being a witch, but was saved from the usual consequences of the unjust accusation by the interposition of some sixty of her neighbours who subscribed to the following:

Hingham the 7th of Feb 1708

‘whereas we under-written, have heard that there are scandalous Reports of the widow Mehitable Warren of Plymouth, we knowing that she was brought up in this place, & in her younger time had been a person of great affection before she was married, and hath lived in this town divers years in her widowhood & we never have had any thought or suspicion, nor have never heard that any amongst us have had the least suspicion that ever she was guilty of the sin of being a witch or anything that may occasion such suspicion of her’.

To this her physician, Dr. Nathaniel Hall, also added his testimony thus:

Hingham, February 10th, 1708

‘I having had knowledge this eleven years of the above named Mehitable Warren being her physician do know that she has been a woman of great afftiction by reason of many distempers of body but never heard of bad thought that ever she was guilty of any such thing as above but contrary wise did and do believe that God gave her a sanctifled improvement of his afflicative hand to her’ - Nathaniel Hall & Ann Hall

Elizabeth's eleventh child was Mary Wilder born 5th April 1668 in Hingham Plymouth Massachusetts. She married her 1st husband Francis Le Baron 6th Sep 1695. There is also an interesting account about him as follows:-
‘In the autumn of 1694, a French privateer, cruising on the American coast was wrecked in Buzzard's Bay near Falmouth. the officers and crew were taken prisoners, and marched to Boston. In Plymouth, Francis Le Baron the surgeon of the ship, was detained by sickness. He could not speak English and the people about him could not speak French but Dr. John Cotton the minister of the town talked with him in Latin and became interested in him. He performed what seemed at that time a wonderful surgical operation on the landlady of the inn and as there was no physician in Plymouth the selectmen of the town petitioned Lieut. Gov. William Stoughton then acting governor, that Dr. Le Baron might be permitted to tarry in the town of Plymouth. The petition was granted and he practiced medicine and surgery there till his death. He was a Roman Catholic and always wore a cross upon his breast’.

Elizabeth's husband Edward Wilder died intestate on 18th Oct 1680 from a malignant fever. Elizabeth was 68 when she died on 9 Jun 1692 in Plymouth Massachusetts.

6. Justus Eames (1627-1706) He was baptised in Fordington, St Georges Church, on 29 Apr 1627 and he married a Mehitabell [Mehitable] Chillingworth on 20 May 1661 in Marshfield Plymouth (26). She was the daughter of Thomas Chillingworth and Joane Hampton. His father Anthony Eames acknowledged a deed of land to his son Justus Eames on Jun. 28, 1670. I have not investigated their 8 children, the first 4 with the names Anthony, Millicent, Margery and John. His Will is dated 27 May 1697 at Marshfield Massachusetts (Lysander Salmon Richards, History of Marshfield, Memorial Press, Plymouth, 1901.) and refers to the last 5 of his children. Although I have not seen the transcript done on 15 August 1923 by Eames Sawyer it is reported to state that his estate was not proved until 20 May 1706 in Plymouth County MA so I have used this date for his death.

7. Margery Eames (1630-1659) Named after her mother she was baptised in Fordington, St Georges Church, on 5 Dec 1630. She married on October 20, 1653 to a John Jacobs (26) the son of Nicholas Jacobs and Mary Gilmer who had been born in Hingham on 26th Feb 1629/30.  They had 4 children before Margery died on 7 Apr 1659 at Hingham.  Their first child called John Jacob junior was born on 20th Oct 1654 but slain by the Indians near their house on the 19th April 1676 during King Phillip’s War (see comments under Abigail Eames below).

John remarried to a Mary Russell on 3rd Jan 1661 and had another 11 children. John was a Selectman in Hingham in the years 1662;1665;1683;1686;and 1689. He contributed towards a new meeting house there and was a member of the Ancient & Honourable Artillery Co being an officer in 1682. John died 18th Sep 1693.

8. Abigail Eames (c1632-1709/10) No record of her exists in England but she is said to have been born in Fordington about 1632. Twenty Five years old was the average age of marriage for women in England in the 17th century and is certainly possible as baptism records for that year have not survived. Her mother Margery seems to have generally had over 30 months between births, perhaps suggesting that she was born later in 1633. They sailed from Weymouth on 31st March 1633 so its even possible that she was born during the voyage. Another reason this might have happened is that she appears to have been named after the ship ‘Abigail’ in which Ralph, Richard and William Sprague (together with the 1st ever Governor of the Colony John Endicott) had sailed to the New World in 1628. [The Winthrop society refers to the 'Arbella' but the memorial plaque at Weymouth harbour to commemorate the sailing refers to the Abigail. Their expedition carried all the hopes of the puritans for a new and better future and as they were sailing to join them perhaps a birth on board the 'Recovery of London' held special significance for them. This is all however speculation.

Her existence at all stems from the will of Capt. Michael Pierce whose first wife was Persis Eames her elder sister and the mother of all his children as detailed above. In his will he named as overseers "my brother Mark Eames and my brother Charles Stockbridge" [Plym. Col. Wills 3:2:8]l. The inventory of Charles Stockbridge's estate was taken 23 Feb. 1683/4 and after debts were paid amounted to over 292 pounds. Division of the estate names Charles, eldest son, Thomas, Joseph, Abigail wife of Henry Joselyn, Sarah and Elisabeth; wife Abigail, the house and mill until Samuel the youngest son is of age, then Benjamin to have them. Although no record of the marriage was found, evidence exists in Plymouth Deeds 1:113, deed dates 31 Mar. 1691 in which Nathaniel Turner and wife Abigail "who is administratrix of the estate of her late husband Charles Stockbridge deceased" sold certain lands.

She therefore seems to have married first Charles Stockbridge (1633-1683) about 1657. They settled initially in Boston where their first child John was baptised on 2 Dec 1659, but unfortunately he was buried there 14 months later on 1 Feb 1660/1. They may also have lived for a time in Charlestown as their second child Abigail was baptised there just 3 weeks later on 24 Feb 1660/1, but perhaps after the trauma of a recent child death Charlestown may have had special significance for them as the place Abigail Eames first set foot on American soil. In any event their third child another boy they again named John was baptised back in Boston on 29 Sep 1662. By 1664 they had certainly moved to Scituate in Plymouth County Massachusetts where the last 6 children were born.

Scituate was of course where Abigail's sister Persis the wife of Captain Michael Piece lived with her family, Thomas Rose and his descendants were also in the town. Charles Stockbridge and Michael Pierce are often recorded after one another in the town records and there can be no doubt they were close friends. Michael Pierce and John Rose were killed 26 March 1767 but the Indians continued to attack the settlements intent on driving them out. There is a good account of the attack on Scituate (input 125 in the box provided at the top of the screen to go to page 125) on 20/21 May 1676 which started with the killing of Margery Eames son John Jacob at Hingham on the19th. It clearly shows that Charles Stockbridge house was the main garrison in the town to which the inhabitants gravitated when under attack. It was Palisaded on three sides, the fourth being defended by the the mill pond. It was here that the indians stood and fought for several hours and made many efforts to fire the buildings but they had a constant supply of water from the mill pond. The indians are said to have sustained heavy losses from the well directed shot from the garrison within which Persis and Abigail are likely to have taken refuge with their children. Many were killed that day and many houses set alight so it was clearly a desperate fight for survival.

Abigail remarried after the death of her first husband to a widower called Nathaniel Turner. She died at the age of 78 and was buried at Scituate in May 1709/10.


Genealogical Notes:
  1. There are many pictures of St Georges church on this site which show the church after it was extended in 1908 but this one depicts the church around 1845 when it was still much as Anthony would have known it.
  2. The Parish Registers for Fordington perished in antiquity. Some Bishops Transcripts survive but those that have were damaged in the great fire of 1731 in Blandford. Clearer images of these badly damaged records were sent to me on disc by the Church of Latter day Saints during 2009 on loan as part of the OPC transcription project. The original church Film number however is 1279496/7 and this can be ordered and viewed at any CLDS church with a family history center attached. Transcriptions with a ref to the CLDS Film image is available on this site and for more important events I have provided a link direct to the transcription.The Registers start in the year 1577; the following years are missing 1579-1584inc; 1589-1590 and most of 1591; 1593; most of 1594, 1595-1602; 1609-1613; part of 1616; 1617; 1629; 1632;1634; 1636; 1640 to 1663 inc.
  3. Where year of birth is unknown it has been estimated (identified by use of the letter 'c' for circa before the year) as being 27 years old for a man and 25 years old for a woman. These are averages applying to the Tudor period (1485-1603) for England. See the 'History Today' website under 'Courtship in Tudor England' and many others. It continued however during the House of Stuart (1603-1714). the ' Oxford Illustrated History of Britain' states regarding the Stuart Period" In all social groups, marriage was usually deferred until both partners were in their mid twenties and the wife only had twelve to fifteen childbearing years before her. The reason for this pattern of late marriage seems to be the firm convention that the couple save up enough money to launch themselves as an independent household before they wed. For the better off, this frequently meant university, legal training, an apprenticeship of seven years or more; for the less well off a long term of domestic service, living in with all found but little in the way of cash wages. I have tested this against the few cases where we know the baptism and marriage dates of people in the family. Anthony Eames own children are a good example. John of course died aged 22 unmarried. His daughter Persis was 24, Elizabeth 27, Justus was 34 and Margery 23. Other marriages seem to also hold true. Anthony's brother John bap 1586/7 married about 1619 when he was 32, more important it was the year after he inherited his fathers estate and became financially secure. Anthony Eames himself appears to have been about 21. His brother Richards son Edward Eames was only 20 when he married but he was an only child and his father had died 4 years earlier so again was financially secure.
  4. There is an IGI record for their marriage in St Georges church Fordington which gives a date of 26 June 1573. As this predates the start of the marriage register, and no surname has been given for Millicent, and the entry has been made by a member of the church rather than taken from an actual register as a part of their transcription programme I have ignored it until such time as some evidence can be produced to authenticate its source. Some American genealogies give her surname as Brewster but no source is quoted and its acknowledged that her surname is uncertain.
  5. Persis EAMES who married Michael Pierce of Scituate in 1645 and raised 13 children there and Abigail Eames who moved there by 1664 and had 6 children there.
  6. The Dorset Quarter Sessions Order Book 1625-1638 - A calendar edited by Terry Hearing and Sarah Bridges & published by the Dorset Record society Volume 14 2006 - Pages 123 (Anthony) & 199 (John)
  7. Some genealogies also credit John Eames with an earlier birth of a Kathy Eames bap at Fordington on 1 Jan 1619/20. No such baptism exists in the surviving Bishops Transcripts so I have ignored it.
  8. They are preserved in the Wiltshire and Swindon Archive Catalogue - their ref P5/1662/39.
  9. Some accounts refer to her birth as being in Fordington between 1592-1594. The Fordington Bishops Transcripts have survived for the whole of 1592 and half of 1594 and her baptism is not listed there, transcripts for the rest of that period were destroyed in 1731. I am aware of speculation that the Sprague family originated from Fordington but I have not found any evidence to date of their presence in the town prior to Richard's marriage to Alice in 1615. From her fathers Will written in 1614 it is clear that he had been running his fulling mill business for some time in Upwey and her brother Ralph is referred to as being 'of Upwey'. According to the Dorset History Center Parish Registers for Upwey only survive from 1654 and all Bishops Transcripts were destroyed in the Blandford Fire of 1731 which means we are not going to get definitive evidence. Lacking Alice's baptism it is possible that she was older than her 18 years depicted above but she certainly married younger than the average age of 25 for women. This is understandable however given the death of her father and her mothers need to see her future properly secured and the fact that she was marrying an older man capable of providing that support.
  10. Source quoted in America is English Origins: Dowty article, Dowty, Ruth Sprague, "3 May 1634 Alice Eames granted administration of Richard's estate", and " "20 Dec. 1638 Alice Eames married John Holland in Tincleton", Volume III, 2nd Series, page 295. I do not have sufficient time to try and authenticate these statements but I note that there is a John Holland, a fuller by trade, of Tincleton who was licenced at the Dorset Assizes in 1630 to sell ale. Tincleton lies under 5 miles east of Dorchester, not far from the river Frome. Alice's father was a fuller by trade so this seems feasible.
  11. See The New England historical and genealogical register: 1897, Volume 51 comments made about Will of Richard Warren . This may be referring to 'Poundbury Hill'
  12. Most American genealogies seem to accept that his wife was called Margery Pierce (or Prisse) and this stems from documents held in America. For example Michael Pierce refers to Anthony Eames as his father (i.e. father in law). I can locate a James Pierce a husbandman in Fordington in 1617/8; the only Margery Pierce was a spinster in 1623 and clearly not Anthony's wife. The two sources I have come across so far in America are (1) to do with Hannah Eames, alleged daughter of Anthony, who married to a Tomas Wilder in MA USA. A source for the WILDER family identifies the wife of Thomas WILDER as the daughter of Anthony EAMES and Margery PRISSE but does not give a source. We do know her name was Margery as its referred to in a number of documents including her admission to the church in Charlestown in 1635. see Note 12 below. (2) New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial--A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of Commonwealths and the Founding of a Nation; William Richard Cutter; Clearfield Co., NY, 1915." Also Sprague Families of America page 124
  13. Refer to The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England 1634-1635, Volume II, by Robert Charles Anderson, George F. Sanborn Jr., and Melinde Lutz Sanborn (2001, Boston), pages 387-92, for information concerning the immigrant family.
  14. The Journey of the 'Arbella' which actually carried the Governor John Winthrop and took place 3 years earlier took 101 days. The account of their journey on this link brings home just how much they were at the mercy of the winds and weather.
  15. For Example "New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial--A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of Commonwealths and the Founding of a Nation; William Richard Cutter; Clearfield Co., NY, 1915." pg. 1027 ". Also 'An Eames Branch' already referred to
  16. See the History of the Town of Hingham Massachusetts published by the town in 1893 Vol II page 334/6. Edmund's surname in English parish registers has often been spelt 'Hubberte'. His son Peter's university record for example is recorded under 'Hubberd' and 'Hobart'. In America 'Hubbard' or 'Hobart' Note:- Although many originated from Hingham his son Thomas Hobart came from nearby Wymondham.
  17. Cambridge University Alumni 1261-1900.
  18. Sprague Families in America", by Dr. Warren Vincent Sprague, page 124. 1629: History of Hingham", Volume II, Genealogies, by George Lincoln, 1893, repr. 1982, page 163.The Sprague Family: from Dorset to Massachusetts and Gibraltar", by Joan Watkins, 1992, correspondent.
  19. The Pioneers of Massachusetts: A Descriptive List, Drawn from Records of the ... By Charles Henry Pope: page 149: patents Petition 2(4)1641 (L)
  20. Samuel Ward genealogy at http://kristinhall.org/fambly/Ward/SamuelWard.html
  21. Extract from Cambridge University Alumni. John Winthrop or Wintrope College: TRINITY Entered: Easter, 1603 Born: 12 Jan 1587 Died: 26 Mar 1649 Matric. pens. from TRINITY, Easter, 1603. S. and h. of Adam (1567), of Groton, Suffolk, Esq. B. at Edwardstone, Suffolk, Jan. 12, 1587-8. Adm. at Gray's Inn, Oct. 25, 1613; adm. at the Inner Temple, 1628. Succeeded as Lord of the Manor of Groton, 1623. Attorney of the Court of Wards and Liveries, 1626. Influential among the Puritans of Essex and Suffolk; became interested in the Massachusetts Bay Company, 1629. Super-intended the organisation and transportation of a Colony to New England. Sailed thither with a company of over 1500 souls, Apr. 8, 1630. Founded Boston. Elected first Governor of Massachusetts, 1630; re-elected, 1631-3, 1637-9, 1642-3, 1646-8; Deputy Governor, 1636, 1644 and 1645. Kept a voluminous manuscript journal of public events called ‘The History of New England.’ Believed in an oligarchy, not a pure democracy, in the Government. Arranged more than any other the social state of Massachusetts. Distinguished by his religious piety, magnanimity and public spirit. Married four wives. Died at Boston, Mar. 26, 1649. Father of Forth (1626). (J. G. Bartlett; D.N.B.; Suffolk Manor. Fam., I. 26.)
  22. The Memorial History of Boston inc Suffolk County Massachusetts 1630-1880 Volume 1 pages 133/5. A digital version of this work can be viewed on line from the Church of Latter day Saints Library Catalogue using 'Title search'. Click on the entry to be taken to a choice of 4 volumes or use the following link Memorial History of Boston
  23. Another extensive genealogy consulted was "An Eames Branch" written by Bradley D Eames a copy of which can be viewed at the Church of Latter Day Saints Film number 0547081. This records 12 generations of decent from Thomas Eames, Anthony Eames father. This is a little out of date as written in 1967. We now know for example more about Anthony's time in Fordington and which ship he sailed upon. It also refers to the 'minister being removed by the court and sent back to England'. Peter Hobart was the minister fined (only £2) but I have not come across any ref to his being removed from his position which I doubt the Court had the power to do, and in any case seems to be belied by Hobarts gravestone in Hingham. According to the Cambridge University alumni Robert Peck on the other hand returned to England as he was reinstated as Rector of Hingham in Norfolk in 1646 so perhaps some confusion arose concerning him. He also refers to a daughter of John Eames 'Kate' bapt 1620. As demonstrated above her name was Ruth. Unfortunately this small error has led to a number of people including 'Kate' as a third child of John's in their family trees. We also know more about the life of Richard Eames who did not marry twice - but his wife Alice did remarry after his death. This is nevertheless a valuable account of later generations of the family for those interested in following that line.
  24. Sprague Families of America page 124-127 - also New York Biographical Dictionary, Heidgerd, William. Also Note 28 below Page 163/4
  25. Persis Eames --- Extract from "The New England Historical and Genealogical Register: , Volume 56 1902 By Heritage Books" : In Websters International Dictionary Boston Massachuesetts:- "PIERCE/EAMES. - The Will of captain Michael Pierce of Higham, (1645) and Scituate, as printed in the Pierce Genealogy by F.C.Pierce (1889) mentions "my father James," and "my brother Mark EAMES." In Mass Bay Colony Recrords Vol VI part 1 page 380 under date of May 28 1659, is an answer of the Court to the petition of Anthony Eames in which is named "his sonne in lawe Michaell Pearce". It would seem that the first wife of Michael Pierce was a daughter of Anthony Eames of Hingham and Marshfield. Her death is recorded in the Journal of Rev peter Hobart "December 31 1662, Michaell Perces wife dyed". Virginia Hall Cambridge Mass USA"
  26. Genealogical Dictionary of the First settlers of New England showing 3 generations of those that came before 1692 on the basis of Famers Register by James Savage pub Balitimore 1860/2. Also Marriages from the early records of Marshfiels Mass Also Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 for Marshfield
  27. Hobarts Journal
  28. History of the Town of Hingham Published by the town 1893 In 3 Volumes; Volume 2 Genealogical Page 208; EAMES: Anthony, Hingham 1636, the same year had a house plot granted him on Lower Plain; was deputy 1637,1638 & 1643; frequently a town officer, and involved in the military difficulties of 1644-1645. (Lincoln's History of Hingham) (It also gives some info on his children:-) John died 3 Nov 1641. Mark, had a grant of land in Hing.1645. He m May 26 1648. No further rec. Margery dau of Anthony m Oct 20 1650 John Jacob. Elizabeth dau of Mark m Dec 5 1672 Andrew Lane. Jerusha of Mf'd [Marshfield] prob dau of Anthony and Mercy (Sampson) m Sep 11 1711. Thomas Sayer, Jr Elizabeth of Mf'd [Marshfield] dau of Anthony Sen, m Edward Wilder of Hing. [Note:- Index shows following ref to members of Eames Family Vol ii Pages 16, 82, 126, 208, 218, 260, 263, 294, 372, 413. Vol iii pages 45, 73, 86, 143, 164, 183, 194, 278, 312.]
  29. Historical Sketch of Charlestown in the County of Middlesex and Commonwealth of Massachusetts; read to an assembly of Citizens at the opening of Washington Hall 16th Nov 1813 by Josiah Bartlett MD Boston: extract Page 3 " Among the intrepid advocates of civil and religious freedom, who encountered the dangers of the ocean, and the greater danger of the wilderness, were niine or ten persons (*among whom Ralph Sprague with his brethren Richard & William are particularly named in the record) who in the summer of 1628, travelled by land from Naumkeak, now called Salem, and under the authority of Governur Endicot, constituted this place an English settlement. (i.e. Charletown which he goes on to say was founded by the genral court March 3rd 1635.)
  30. I have provided a link to "The memorial history of Boston, including Suffolk County, Massachusetts, 1630-1880, in four volumes". Anthony Eames is only mentioned on page 389 a copy of the original document is also provided on page 388a.
  31. Sprague Families of America page 131
  32. Anthony Eames additional children:- These are usually recorded in family trees as Millicent born circa 1616, Mark c1620, Hannah or Anna c1622 and Abigale c1632. I have not so far located the basis on which these dates were originally estimated and some at least are wrong. Mark and Hannah for example certainly were not born then as records are complete and there is no baptism. Yes I am sure they were baptised and given the family background which I have set out at great length there is absolutely no basis to assume they would have been baptised elsewhere in England.

      The gap between the known baptisms (like that for the Rose family) is remakably consistent but has its own timespan. Persis was baptised 33 months after John; Elizaberth 32 months after Persis, Justus 34 months after Elizabeth, with Margery 44 months after Justus (but with records missing for 1629). However we estimate births, reality is likely to be somewhat different, but averages and patterns of birth are the best tools we have. We have to assume that these children fell into the period when records are missing. If we look at a similar timeframe between births & match to missing records we have Mark born circa 1616 and Millicent circa 1613. this would place Anthony and Millicent's marriage back to about 1612 and if his estimated birth of 1595 is correct? he was only 17 which is very young for the time and seems unlikey. An alternative is that the earlier children were born closer together: July 1616 for Millicent and Sep 1617 for Mark would be 14 and 15 months apart. A third alternative might be twins born c1616? Millicent was certainly the eldest apart from taking her grandsmothers name she was married a full eight years before Mark, ten years before Persis with the others later up to 1661. Whilst the average age at which women married in England at this date was 25 (see note 3 above) this convention would not necessarily have continued to apply on a new continent under very different circumstances where communities were much smaller. In Millicent's case we have an additional pointer in that she was 5 months pregnant when she married just a year after arrival. We know that Millicent knew William Sprague well before his departure to New England and that the families reunited on arrival in 1633. Whilst therefore convention may have dictated that they would wait to marry if in England, William was already making a name for himself in New England and circumstances may therefore have precipitated the marriage when she was still quite young. I have therefore tentatively estimated Millicent's birth like others before me to be c1616 but Marks as c1617 and left these notes so that as more information comes to light estimations can be refined or replaced with fact.

      Although Hannah (or Anna) Eames is also widley quoted to be another child of Anthony and Margery as far as my research has been able to discover they are all based upon one of three contentions. First that she was born in Fordington circa 1622. Bishops Transcripts are complete for the period 1617 to 1628 and she simply was not baptised there during that period. There is no reference to the birth of a Hannah or Anna Eames in Fordington prior to their departure in 1633. Second that she was married in Charlestown to Thomas Wilder in April 1640. The Source for this is said to be the 'Book of the Wilders' by the Rev Moses H Wilder published in 1878. Ref to some of its text can be viewed at http://www.wilderfamilies.com/thomas.html where more background is given. Fortunately however the full text is available in the CLDS Library and has been digitized. On page 10 it refers to Thomas Wilder being received into the church in Charlestown in March 1640 and marrying an 'Anna ----------' and it is noticeable that the surname is missing. They had children from 1642 remaining in Charlestown until 1659 when they moved to Lancaster. Page 12 refers to his estate being left to Anna and his 3 sons and 2 daughters but not even in the index is there mention of Anna's surname. Even the wilderfamilies website acknowledges some problems with her surname as it includes ref to "+Clemens, Marriage Records Before 1699, 1926 and Genealogy Magazine, July 1930. where it states "However, she was not the daughter of Anthony and Margery Eames, as that Anna Eames married William Ford and lived with him to an old age. Some say Thomas married Anna Johnson of Boston, a sister to Elizabeth who's husband Robert Mears, in his will, called Thomas Wilder of Lancacter his brother". It is also relevent that we know for certain that the Eames family were not in Charlestown in 1640 and there is no mention of her in sibling wills or histories of the towns like Hingham or Scituate where other children of Anthony appear. If there was a Hannah she would have gone with her family to Hingham in 1636 and much more likely married there as Elizabeth Eames who certainly was a daughter of Anthony and Margery Eames did. She is mentioned on pages 145, and 325 by the Rev Moses Wilder as having married Edward Wilder of Hingham and I have no problem with this assertion as it is supported by other evidence inc ref in the History of Hingham pages 153/155..

      At this point it is worth noting that it now seems likely that Hannah Rose the daughter of Thomas Rose and Anne Eames who was indeed baptised in Fordington on 20 Oct 1622 also emigrated arriving in Charlestown c1633 but was in Scituate before 1640. This is a much more likely candidate as we have her baptism in Fordington, and she grew up alongside Elizabeth Eames who was of a similar age and probably emigrated with her to Charlestown. What is more Elizabeths older sister Persis married Michael Pierce in Scituate in 1645 and raised a large family there. Later her sister Abgail also lived in scituate.

      I have also looked at the Third contention that Hannah Eames married William Ford. William ford senior seems to have been a Miller by trade living in Duxbury in 1643 who moved to Marshfield about 1652. I can locate his death in Marshfield burials records on 23 Sep 1676 and that of his widow Anna Ford on 1st sep 1684 but there is no source given anywhere that I can locate for the contention that he married into the Eames family. Anna Fords birth date is also given as circa 1614 which again would push Anthony Eames marriage back to a date which seems unlikely. Until more information comes to light I have to assume that the existence of Hannah Eames is pure speculation and I have not therefore included her in the above account.
  33. The History of the town of Hingham , Plymouth County, Massachuesetts by Lincoln, Solomon (1804-1881) published 1827. states on page 45 that his house was 'on the south side of Pleasant street'.
  34. The History of Scituate Massachusetts from its first settlement to 1831 by Samuel Deane page 325
  35. If Jonathan followed convention he would have married Mary in the mid 1650's. All the records of Fordington are missing from 1640 to 1663 (inc) so there is no hope of locating the marriage or any subsequent baptisms in the parish. The records from 1664 do show Eames families in Fordington and given that Anthony emigrated and his brother Richard only had 1 son Edward (who only had a daughter Elizabeth), its likely that these families descend from Jonathan. In addition to Mary two other signatures appear on the Letters of Administration for John and a Jonathan EAMES. These are most probably his older sons but I have located only the following records. Children of this marriage would have been born from circa 1655 and marriageable circa 1680 so the following are most likely two of his children. :-

      The following records survive relating to a Mark and Mary Eames :- (2nd Jan 1681 Hannah daughter of Mark and Mary Eames buried -- 21st Aug 1681 Edward son of Mark & Mary Eames baptised -- 11 March 1686 John son of Mark & Mary Eames baptised -- 4th Oct 1687 Elizabeth daughter of Mark and Mary Eames buried). Clearly other records are missing and there is an earlier burial for a Mary Eames on 12 Oct 1680 which might be their daughter named after his wife. Mark was of course the name of Anthony's son that emigrated to New England with him so perhaps an understandable choice of name for Jonathan to use.

      On 7th January 1683 a Thomas Eames the son of a Jonathan & Mary Eames was baptised in Fordington. (I have assumed this is another son as its unlikely that this could be Jonathan (1628-1702) himself as he was 55 years old by then and his wife Mary was 46 and there is no evidence of continuous births.We also have the signature of Jonathan on the Letters of Administration. Fordington records show the burial of five Mary Eames between 1680 and 1733 )
  36. The names of the 26 families listed were as follows (I have included in brackets the more common spelling of these names in Dorchester). Joseph Androes (Andrews?); Thomas Biscombe (Bascombe?); William Browne; Mary Coggen; Robert Dible; Antony (Anthony) Eames; John Elderman; Robert Elwell; Jonathan Gillet; Sarah Hill; John Hardy; Ezechia Hore (Whore?) Thomas Long; Thomas Newbery (Newbury?) ; Daniel Norchat; Elizabeth Parkman; David Phippen; John Pinney; George Pl-----; John Pope; Thomas Shaw; Thomas Swift; Stephen Terry; Thomas Wakeley; John Woolcocke; John Wotts (Watts?);


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