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Richard Hutchinson of Salem, Massachusetts

This drawing of Richard Hutchinson's plow is from an unknown source. [Please email Dave Carlsen if you know the source of the drawing.]

Richard Hutchinson was born in Arnold, Nottinghamshire, England in 1602. His date of his birth is ascertained from a deposition on file in the office of the Essex County Court, Salem, Mass., where in a case of Cromwell vs. Ruck, 1660, he states his age as being 58 years. He married his wife Alice Bosworth on 7 Dec 1627, in Cotgrave, Nottinghamshire. His first four children, Alice, Elizabeth, Mary and Rebecca, were born in England, all except Rebecca in Nottinghamshire.

He emigrated to America in 1634, with his wife Alice, and four children, and settled in Salem Village, now Danvers, in the vicinity of Whipple and Hathorne's hill. There is some evidence, however, gleaned from the town records of Salem, that he may have primarily settled in the town proper, from the fact that in July 25, 1689, one Philemon Dickerson was granted four poles of land "neere Richard Hutchinson's house, to make tan pitts and to dress goates skinnes and hieds." As tanning was not known to have been carried on in Salem Village at so early a period, much time has been spent in discovering this locality, but without avail; as after this, his name seems to have disappeared from the records of Salem.

He and his wife were members of the First Church, Salem, as early as 1636, on whose records he is first mentioned in connection with the baptism of his daughter Abigail.

The first official notice made of him is in the town records, when it is stated that in recognition of his public spirit, as being the possessor and introducer of the first plow brought into this country, he was granted one hundred and forty acres of land by the town authorities.

In 1636, Mr. Hutchinson received a grant of 60 acres of land from the town, and Apr. 3, following, 20 acres more. In the same year he was appointed on a committee to survey Jeffrey's Creek (now Manchester), and Mackerell Cove. April 17, 1637, it was voted "that in case Ric'd Huchenson shall sett up plowing within 2 years he may haue 20 acres more to bee added to his pportion." This appears to be in consequence of the great scarcity of ploughs, there being but thirty-seven in all the settlements. In 1648, at Salem Village, he bought of Elias Stileman, his farm of 150 acres, for £15. He then sold half of it to Nathaniel Putnam in 1651.

After his first wife's death, he married Oct. 1668, Susanna, widow of Samuel Archard.

The records do not show him to have been officially engaged in many matters of public trust, but he was undoubtedly a man of indomitable perseverance, great vigor of mind and physical endurance, a strict disciplinarian in religious affairs, a thorough agriculturist, and as he had amassed a large landed estate, he had, before the close of his life, divided much of his property among his children.

On the decease of James Standish, Mr. Hutchinson was appointed administrator. Richard later married his widow, Sarah Standish. At his third marriage he must have been at least 79 years of age, and certainly 66 on his second.

His will was signed Jan. 19, 1679, and proved Sept. 28, 1682. He died on 11 Feb. 1681/1682. His widow survived him, and shortly after married for her third husband, Thomas Roots, of Manchester, whose Will was proved Nov. 27, 1683. She was living as late as March 1683-4.

His will stated in part that his wife was to be made comfortable for one of her age by Richardıs son Joseph; to have what she had when they married if she wished to remove; he bequeathed property to son-in-law Anthony Ashby and daughter Abigail, his wife; son-in-law Daniel Boardman and daughter Hannah, his wife; sons-in-law Nathaniel Putnam, Thomas Hale and James Hadlock; grandchildren Bethia Hutchinson and Sarah Hadlock; servant, Black Peter. His son Joseph was appointed executor.

The preceding is compiled from three sources:

_The Hutchinson Family: or the Descendants of Barnard Hutchinson, of Cowlam, England_, compiled by Perley Derby, Essex Institute Press, 1870, Salem, Massachusetts, pp. 6-7.

_The Pioneers of Massachusetts, by Charles Henry Pope, pp. 249-250.

_Story of the Hutchinsons_, by John Wallace Hutchinson," published in 1896.

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Last Updated 28 May 2003