Join us every month for an update from Robert Charles Anderson, detailing the Winthrop Fleet Tour.
August 15-25th, 2012
Winthrop Fleet Passengers from Little Waldingfield, Suffolk
Martha (Rainsborough) Coytmore, Forth Wife of John Winthrop
Massachusetts Bay Company: The Precursors [Part III]
GREAT MIGRATION TOUR TO ENGLAND
15 TO 25 AUGUST 2012
Issue #7 March, 2012
Little Waldingfield, Suffolk, is just three miles northwest of Groton, with the parish of Edwardstone in between. The wealthiest family in this parish were the Appletons. Samuel Appleton, baptized at Little Waldingfield on 13 August 1586, came to New England in early 1636 and settled at Ipswich [Phoebe Tilton Anc 75-77]. Other Little Waldingfield families preceded Appleton to New England and sailed with the Winthrop Fleet.
In late 1629 or early 1630, John Winthrop wrote to "our loving friend Mr. Gager at Litle Waldingfield in Suffolk," inviting him to join the 1630 migration in order to exercise "his abilities in the Art of Chirurgerye [Surgery]" [WP 2:199]. William Gager did make the migration, but died not long after arrival, on 20 September 1630 [GMB 722-24]. He was baptized at Little Waldingfield on 15 June 1592, and he and his unnamed wife had nine children baptized there between 1618 and 1630. Only one of these children, son John, survived; he resided at New London and married about 1647 Elizabeth Gore.
John Gosse was baptized at Little Waldingfield on 18 February 1582[/3], son of Thomas Gosse [TAG 82:295-307]. He married about 1625 and with his wife Sarah had three children born before 1630. The couple must have resided somewhere other than Little Waldingfield during the late 1620s, for the children were not baptized there. Upon arrival in New England in 1630, he settled at Watertown and died there in early 1644 [GMB 795-98]. Only one of his children, daughter Phebe, survived; she married at Saybrook in 1649 Robert Bull.
John Dillingham was baptized at Cottesbach, Leicestershire, on 13 July 1606. His whereabouts for the next quarter century are not known, but he did sail for New England with the Winthrop Fleet as a single man, where he was admitted to Boston church during the winter of 1630-1 [GMB 547-50]. He made two trips back to England during the next four years, on the second of which he married at Assington, Suffolk, on 18 February 1633/4 Sarah Caly, daughter of Thomas and Thomasine (Gosse) Caly of Little Waldingfield. Sarah’s mother was sister of John Gosse discussed in the previous paragraph [TAG 82:295-307]. When John Dillingham and his wife returned to New England in 1634, they settled at Ipswich. John died soon after, and Sarah was dead by the summer of 1636. The couple had one child, a daughter Sarah who was born about 1634 and married about twenty years later John Caldwell.
John Winthrop’s third wife, Margaret (Tyndal) Winthrop, died at Boston on 14 June 1647. Winthrop was by this time fifty-nine years old, and all of his surviving children had reached adulthood.
Stephen Winthrop, the eldest child of John and Margaret (Tyndal) Winthrop, had married by 1644 Judith Rainsborough, daughter of William Rainsborough of London. Judith had an elder sister, Martha Rainsborough, who had married Thomas Coytmore on 14 June 1635 at Wapping, Middlesex. This couple had one child baptized and buried at Wapping in 1636, soon after which they moved to Charlestown, Massachusetts [TAG 32:15-16; Waters 158-71; Muskett, Suffolk Manorial Families , 1:155-59]. Perhaps Judith Rainsborough had accompanied the Coytmores when they came to New England.
Thomas Coytmore was shipwrecked off the coast of Spain and died on 27 December 1644. Therefore, by the time John Winthrop’s third wife died, Martha (Rainsborough) Coytmore had been a widow for two and a half years; for about the same length of time she had been sister-in-law to Winthrop’s son Stephen.
On 20 December 1647, John Winthrop and Martha Coytmore entered into a marriage contract, and were married soon after [MBCR 2:232-36]. By this union, John Winthrop became his son’s brother-in-law. Curiously, for such a prominent event, there is no surviving record of the marriage itself. (Some secondary sources give the impossible date of 4 December 1647, but this derives from a misreading of a nineteenth-century account of the family [GMB 2040].) John and Martha had one child, a son Joshua who was baptized at Boston on 17 December 1648 and died there on 11 January 1651/2 [GMB 2041].
After John Winthrop’s death on 26 March 1649, Martha endured another three years of widowhood. On 10 March 1651/2, she married at Boston John Coggan, less than two months after the death of his second wife [GMB 403]. Coggan died at Boston on 27 April 1658 and Martha about 24 October 1660: "One Mrs. _____ Cogan, a gentlewoman that had lived in good credit, and before thought to be very pious, poisoned herself" [Hull 195-96].
Two of Martha’s brothers, Thomas and William, played a prominent role on the parliamentary side during the English Civil War [Whitney R. D. Jones, Thomas Rainborowe (c. 1610 — 1648), Civil War Seaman, Siegemaster and Radical (Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2005)].
As we noted in the last issue of Tour Talk, by 1627 the Dorchester Company was essentially moribund. Late in that year, however, a few of their number approached the Council for New England again and obtained another patent. This document itself does not survive, but portions of it are incorporated in the royal charter for the Massachusetts Bay Company that was issued a year later, on 4 March 1628/9 [MBCR 1:4]:
the said Council ... have, by their deed, indented under their common seal, bearing date the nineteenth day of March last past, in the third year of our reign [1627/8], given, granted, bargained, sold, enfeoffed, aliened, and confirmed to Sir Henry Rosewell, Sir John Young, knights, Thomas Southcott, John Humphrey, John Endecott, and Symon Whetcombe, their heirs and associates forever, all that part of New England in America aforesaid which lies and extends between a great river there commonly called Monomack, alias Merriemack, and a certain other river there called Charles River, being in the bottom of a certain bay called Massachusetts, alias Mattachusetts, alias Massatusetts Bay.
As Frances Rose-Troup notes, with regard to these six patentees, "[t]o fulfil the requirements of the Council for New England it was necessary to obtain the guarantee of gentlemen of blood who White easily found among his neighbors, some of whom had been members of the Dorchester Company" [ John White , p. 107]. The two knights played no further part in the colonization efforts, and may have been included only for window-dressing. The other four men are seen more or less frequently in later records relating to New England, especially Humfrey and Endicott.
The most interesting of these six men is John Endicott. Humfrey had already been associated with the Dorchester Company for many years, but this is the first appearance of John Endicott. Principally because of this connection, his origin has been sought in the West Country, but a number of clues indicate that he may have been from the east of England. At various points in 1629, Mathew Cradock, London merchant, refers to Endicott’s wife as "my good cousin" and notes that Endicott has at some time in the past benefited from the ministry of Samuel Skelton of Tattershall, Lincolnshire [MBCR 1:383, 386]. The question arises, then, of whether Endicott was recruited by Rev. John White or by Mathew Cradock.
This line of inquiry leads to another unanswered question about these activities in early 1628. Although the patent of 19 March 1627/8 was taken out in the names of a group of West Country men, was there at that time already an agreement that the London and East Anglian merchants and ministers would take over the running of the Company? The evidence on this point is slim, but there is a document dated at London in May 1628, the original of which no longer exists, of "sundry men [who] owe unto the general stock of the adventurers for plantation intended at Massachusetts Bay in New England, in America, the sum of two thousand one hundred and fifty pound" [ John White , pp. 111-12]. The first two names on this list, seen here for the first time in connection with migration to New England, are "Richard Saltonstall, knight," and Mr. Isaac Johnson, Esq.," each of whom contributed £100. The remaining thirty-nine subscribers pledged £50 each, and among them were such men as Hugh Peter, Mathew Cradock, Increase Nowell and Richard Bellingham.
One other scrap of evidence demonstrates that these men were not simply contributing money, but had also taken over the reins of the New England Company. Another document, the original of which has not survived, is a letter of instructions to Endicott, dated 30 May 1628 and signed by many of these same men, including Cradock, Nowell and Peter [Hutchinson 1:10].
The surviving records of the Massachusetts Bay Company actually begin with the minutes of the last few meetings of the New England Company, a month or two before the granting of the royal patent. In these records, Cradock and the other London and East Anglian leaders are in control, and had apparently been in that position since the previous May. The records of the settlement activities of these men at this level appear seamless over this period when the Company was transitioning to the 4 March 1628/9 royal patent. We will continue our inquiries in the next installment with a look at the work of the Company in 1629.
Bob Anderson, Tour Leader
Sandi Hewlett, Assistant Tour Leader