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Account of the English Homes
of Three Early
" Proprietors " of Providence
William Arnold, Stukeley Westcott
By FRED A. ARNOLD
Member of the
Rhode Island Historical Society
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PROVIDENCE, R. I.
PRESS OF E. A. JOHNSON & CO
Gov. Benedict Arnold
An Account of the English Homes of Three
Early "Proprietors" of Providence
On June 24, 1635, there arrived in Massachusetts Bay a
group of neighbors, nearly all related, either by blood or mar-
riage. They had sailed from Dartmouth in Devonshire May
1 of the same year, all but one of the party, William Car-
penter, coming from Ilchester, in southern Somersetshire or
within about five miles of that place. The leader of the party
was William Arnold whose 48th birthday was the day of their
arrival. His oldest son Benedict one of the party, a lad 19
years of age at that time, has given us the only account that
we have of their embarkation, in his own family record,
written probably soon after his removal to Newport in 1651.
which begins as follows.
"Memorandom. We came from Providence with our
ffamily to Dwell at Newport in Rhode Island the 19th of
November, Thursday in afternoon, &. arived ye same night
Ano. Domina 1651.
Memorandom my father and his family Sett Sayle ffrom
Dartmouth in Old England, the first of May, friday &.
Arrived In New England. June 24" Ano 1635.
Menim. We came to Providence to Dwell the 20th of
April 1636. per me Bennedict Arnold."
No other account of the sailing of this vessel, its name, or
passenger list, has been found either in Old England or New.
Gov. Winthrop records that within six weeks from June 4
1635, there had arrived in the Bay 15 ships with store of
passengers and cattle, but gives the names of only two, the
James, Captain Graves, and the Rebecka, Capt. Hodges.
Much complaint was being made at this time in England, and
stringent laws and orders passed in order to prevent the sail-
ing of passengers without registration. But while we have
no official list of those coming with William Arnold's family,
sufficient evidence has been found to show that the following
persons may have come on the same vessel or if not on the
same ship, certainly at about the same time and from the
same locality ; that upon arriving in New England, they sep-
arated for a while, each family in its own way seeking a good
location for settlement and that while so engaged in the fall
and winter of 1635, they met with Roger Williams and others,
his friends then planning a new settlement, abandoned plans
of there own partially made, joined forces with him, and so
became among the first settlers and proprietors of Providence
— they were William Arnold, aged 48. son of Nicholas and
Alice (Gully) Arnold of Ilchester ; his wife, Christian Peak,
aged 51, daughter of Thomas Peak of Muchelney, anciently
Mochelney ; their children Elizabeth Arnold, aged 23. Bene-
dict Arnold, aged 19. Joane Arnold 17. Stephen Arnold 12.
Thomas H), and Frances Hopkins 21, children of William and
Joane (Arnold) Hopkins. William Man, husband of Frances
Hopkins, William Carpenter, son of Richard Carpenter of
Amesbury, Wiltshire, husband of Elizabeth Arnold. Stukeley
Westcott 43. of Yeovil and his Wife name unknown with
children, Robert Westcott, Samuel Westcott, 13. born at
Yeovil Mar. 31 1622 Damaris Westcott, later wife of Bene-
dict Arnold ; Amos Westcott, 4. Mercy Westcott, and Jere-
The evidence upon which this list of names and places is
based is, first the "family record" brought from England by
William Arnold, Second a deed from William Carpenter,
recorded at Providence, third, researches made in the summer
of 1902 at Northover, Wells, and elsewhere in England, by the
late Edson Salisbury Jones Esq. of Port Chester, N. Y. and
fourth the Bishop's Transcripts of Somerset parish records now
being published by Mr. D welly of Hants, Eng. The "family
record" of William Arnold, preserved and extended for six
generations in the family of his son Gov. Benedict, and cov-
ering a period of two hundred and twenty three years, was
found in 1878, by the Hon. Isaac N. Arnold, president of the
Chicago Historical Society in the hands of Mr. P. A.
McEwan Esq. of Windsor, Canada, and is printed in the N.
E. Gen. Register for 1879. Vol 23, p. 427. I quote the portion
that seems to have been written by William Arnold himself,
and gives only records of baptisms and births. No marriages
"A Register, or true account of my owne agge, with my
Mother, my Wife, my Brothers and Sisters, and Others of
my f rinds and acqauntance.
1. Imprimis Alee Gully the Daughter of John Gully of
Northover. Who was my Mother, was Baptized ye 29:
2. Tamzen, my Sister was Baptised the 4° of Jany. 1571.
3. Joane Arnold, my Sister was Baptized the 30° of
November in the yeare 1577.
4. Margery Arnold, my Sister was Baptized the 30 of
August, 1 581.
5. I William Arnold, their Brother was Borne the 24 of
6. Robert Arnold, my Brother was Baptized the 18th of
7. Elizabeth Arnold, my Sister was borne the 9 of April,
8. Thomas Arnold my Brother, my Mother in lawes Sonne,
was Baptized the 18 April, 1599.
9. Elenor Arnold, my Sister was Baptized the 31 ° of July,
The age of my Sister Tamzens Children.
1. Robert Hacker was Baptized the 22 of Jany. 1597.
2. Francis Hacker was Baptized the 24 of Jany. 1599.
3. John Hacker their brother was Baptized the 25 ° of
4. William Hacker was Baptized the 31 ° of October, 1604.
5. Alee Hacker was Baptized the 25 of August, 1607.
6. Mary Hacker was Baptized the 4th of March, 1609.
7. Thomas Hacker was Baptized the 7th of April, 1616.
1. Christian the Daughter of Thomas Peak of Muoheny
my wife was Baptized the 15 of February, 1583.
2. Elizabeth Arnold our Daughter was borne the 23 of
3. Benedict Arnold her Brother was borne the 21 ° of
December, 161 5.
4. Joane Arnold their Sister was borne the 27 of Feby,
5. Steven Arnold their Brother was borne the 22° of
The age of my Sister Joane's Children.
1. Frances Hopkins was Baptized the 28 of May, 1614.
2. Thomas Hopkins her brother was Baptized the 7 of
3. Elizabeth Hopkins was Baptized the 3 of July, 1619.
The age of some of my Brother Thomas Children.
1. Thomas his Sonne was born the 3 of May, 1625.
2. Nicholas Arnold was Baptized the 15 of January, 1627.
1. Tamzen Holman was Baptized the 16 Deer, 1619.
2. Mary the Daughter of Julian Kidgill was Baptized 24 °
Jeremiah Rhodes the Sonne of Zachary Rhodes was borne
at Pawtuxet the 29° of ye 4 month commonly called June in
Anno Dom. 1647."
It is in evidence that this record was known in other branches
of the family before this printing-, but it does not seem to have
come to the general attention of others, and has not received
the recognition its importance deserved, perhaps from the fact
that no corroborative evidence was then known or could easily
be procured, short of an expensive trip to England with much
hard work. It was not until 1902, that any successful attempt
was made to verify it by a search for the Northover record with
which it commences. In that year Mr. Edson Salisbury Jones
a descendant of Thomas and Phebe (Parkhurst) Arnold of
Watertown, Mass., and Providence, R. I., who had been en-
gaged for several years in genealogical research in New Eng-
land, visited Somersetshire, located the only place known to
English gazetteers as Northover, found its rector at Liming-
ton, (he being in charge of both parishes), and saw the ancient
register with the original entry of the baptisms of Alice
Gullye, and Tomsine Arnold, William Arnold's mother and
The following account of his visit to Somersetshire, is
quoted from letters of Mr. Jones to the writer in 1914-15:
"When I was there in 1902, I devoted all the time I could to
Arnolds'. On this visit, I rushed by express train from Can-
terbury, Kent, to London, got a bite, then by train to Yeovil,
5 miles south of Ilchester. Next morning, hired a pony and
cart and drove to Northover through Ilchester (they are small
places adjoining; Limington is about 1 mile east). I was in
the locality only half a day (working all the time). Rector of
Northover and Limington was the same man, living in latter
place. Saw him and earliest register of Limington (Began
1681). Northover register was in hands of a church warden
there (began with sparce entries in 1531)- Rector of Ilchester
was away, but clerk got out first extant register (began 1690),
at former's house. I also searched the Yeovil register (began
1563) — devoting all the time that the curate could give me. A
Thomas Arnold was married there 1572 to Agnes Bowden ;
and a Mary in 1578 to Tom Collins. No other Arnolds seen.
But, Stukly Westcott had a son, Samuel, baptized there
March 31, 1622. You give Stukely as a Devonshire man, hut
my notes from Judge Bullock's Westcote Genealogy have —
born 1592 probably in Co. Devon. I never learned why the
Judge made the guess, and recall nothing really suggesting it.
Don't say that the Yeovil Stukly was the Providence man. but
the item shows that one of the name was of Co. Somerset in
This letter shows that in this vicinity he found only two
parish registers, at Northover and Yeovil, with dates earlier
than 1635, but later at Wells he found in the "Bishops Tran-
scripts" many returns from St. Mary's, the parish church of
Ilchester — from 1595 to 1635 — The finding of the original reg-
ister of Northover is to us the most interesting fact connected
with his search here, containing as it does the baptismal rec-
ord of Alice Gully, and Tomsine Arnold, the mother and sister
of William Arnold, names and dates agreeing to the minutest
particular, and thus conclusively proving the accuracy of the
William Arnold "family record," and with the additional in-
formation, now for the first time found, that the father of
Tomsine and William, was Nicholas Arnold Jan. 4, 1 571 .
(1571/2) 15 Elizabeth, this being the earliest recorded date so
far found in the direct line in this branch of the Arnold fam-
ily. These facts cannot be too strongly stated; such evidence
would be received as final in any court of law in England.
The Arnold entries found are as follows: "Baptizat, Alice
lilia John Gullye 29 Septembris A° D m 1553. Tamsine filia
Nicholas Arnolde 4 January A 1) m 1571." (The mother,
>ister and father of William Arnold.) No other Arnold bap-
tisms arc found, although the entries appear to be complete
for several years; the real reason being that between the birth
of Tomasine in 1571, and Joane in 1577 their father Nicholas
bad removed with bis family into the compact part of Ilches-
ter and established himself there in business, as a Merchant
tailor. The only Arnold marriages found are those of "1558 —
Margaret Arnold and Christopher Tuck. 1603. Margery
Arnold and Thomas Curnard." (The latter being the sister of
William, horn in 1581.) No Arnold burials are found at
Northover before 1700. John and Alice Gully the parents of
Alice Arnold were propably born there before 1508, the last
year of the reign of Henry VII., before the era of registration
had commenced in England, but the Northover records show
the birth to them of 8 children before that of Alice in 1553,
the burial of 3, Elizabeth, Robert and Christian between 1543
and 1546, and the burial of a grand daughter lone, the daugh-
ter of John Gully, Jr., in 1550. From this last date we ap-
proximate the birth date of John Sen., John Gully Jr. was
buried 1559, his mother and father, "Alice Gullye ye wife of
John Gullye n° Aprilis Anno Dm 1583° aged about J$, John
Gullye was buried 15 Septembris Anno Dm 1591 " age about
81. At this latter date their grand son William Arnold, 4 years
old was living at Ilchester. All of the Gully family except
Alice (Arnold,) are buried in the church yard of "Old St.
Andrew." The records furnish us nothing more than these bare
names and dates, to throw any light upon their history or
character. We only know that they were of strong, virile
stock, raised a large family and lived here four score years,
during one of the most interesting and important periods in
English history, that of the reformation, which redeemed it
from popish rule, and placed the Church and nation under the
supremacy of the King.
A short sketch of the location, and the times in which they
lived will be of interest and perhaps serve as a background for
what little personal knowledge we have gleaned of them from
The little parish or hamlet of Northover is on the Foss
road, on the north side of the river Ivel, at its crossing by
the ancient Roman ford, and is really only a suberb of Ilches-
ter, on the south side of the river, with which it is now con-
nected by an arched stone bridge. The living is a vicarge in
the deanery of Ilchester. Its church, "St. Andrew," has a
square tower with four bells, and is in sight of, and but half
a mile distant from "St. Mary Major" in Ilchester.
The rector of St. Andrew, at the date of the baptism of
Alice Gully, 1553, was Thomas Mayster, who held that office
48 years, from his appointment in 1508, until his death, Aug.
18, 1556. Her parents, John and Alice Gully, were born about
the time of his appointment and may have been christened and
married by him ; It is certain that all their children were
recorded in his time. His incumbancy, commencing in the
last year of '"he reign of Henry VII., covered the entire reign
of Henry VIII., 38 years; 6 years under his son "the boy
King" Edward VI. and 3 years of that of his daughter, the
"Bloody Queen Mary," who came so near restoring the popish
regime that had been overthrown by her father.
During this time he saw the destruction of the monasteries
and Abbeys of the old religion, .the supremacy of the Pope
overthrown, and the substitution of that of the King pro-
claimed ; he had been already in office 30 years when the royal
injunction of Henry VIII. was issued, making it the duty of
the clergy to keep a parish register. He commenced his regis-
ter that year and continued it until his death in 1556. Mr.
Jones says, it commenced with sparce entries in 1531, those
before 1538 being some privately kept by him before receiving
the order. Mr. R. E. Chester Waters in his "History of Par-
jsh Registers in England," says that but 812 of these registers,
commenced in 1538, have survived the negligence of their legal
guardians, and of these, 8 only have been discovered with
dates earlier than 1538, those of St. James, Garlickhithe, St.
Mary Bothaw, of London and 6 others, which begin in 1536.
As the Northover register antedates all of these, it must be
the earliest extant register in England. The injunction of
1 538, was sent by Thomas Cromwell, Lord Privy Seal, to all
Bishops and Curates throughout the realm "charging them
to God that in every parish church the Bible of the largest
volume should be placed for all men to read on : and that the
Curate of every parish should keep one book of record, which
book he shall every Sunday take forth, and in the presence
of the church wardens or one of them, write and record in
the same all the weddings, christ'nings and burials made the
whole week before ; and for every time that the same shall
be omitted, shall forfiet to the said church 4 shillings, 4
The Wardens were not appointed by Rectors as assistants
but elected by the parishioners, to see that he attended to his
duties, and to attest his returns. The first records commenced
under this order were written on paper, and it was soon real-
ized that something more durable was necessary, and so Oct.
25, 1597, a new ordinance respecting registers was adopted at
Canterbury and approved by Queen Elizabeth under the
Great Seal. Under this "every parish was to provide itself
with a parchment book in which the entries from the old
paper books were to be fairly transcribed and signed by the
minister or church wardens, to be kept in a sure coffer with
three locks, of which the minister and wardens was to keep a
key ; and for further security against loss, a true copy of the
names of all persons, christened, married or buried in the year
before was to be transmitted to the bishop of the diocese
within a month after Easter to be preserved in the Episcopal
archives." A note in Vol. 1., Somerset Parish Registers,
Northover marriages, page 14, says, "The earliest register is
a transcription parchment, made in 1598, by Thomas Lover-
ige, Vicar, of the paper Register that began in 1534. Three
entries appear to be of the date 1531."
It was this transcript, that Mr. Jones found at Northover
in 1902, and it was from this same book that William Arnold
before embarking for the new world, copied the baptism of
"Alee Gully the daughter of John Gully 29, Sept., 1553,"
adding so lovingly, "who was my mother."
Having finished his search of the two old records of North-
over and Yeovil, and finding that at Ilchester, Limington, Yeo-
vilton and Muchelney there were no records earlier than 1635 ;
Mr. Jones then went to Wells to examine the "Bishop's
Transcripts" there, and see if they contained any additional
information from this locality. This was a new field, and his
search here was amply rewarded. First he found that the
"Transcript" was not a record hook, such as was kept in the
parishes, but that they were the original yearly reports,
usually in the full autograph of the Rector or Vicar and
attested by the church wardens, and filed, not recorded, just
as received. From Ilchester he found very few remaining,
and many of these badly mutilated and much decayed. Evi-
dently the clergy in many years had failed to make returns,
and the bishops had at times neglected their care, while many
more had been destroyed during the wars of the Common-
wealth and James II.
From the few he did find, he copied the following items,
in some way connected with his search :
1594, June 30. Earliest record. "1595/6 Feb. 15, christened
Mary, daughter of Melchiseck Joanes." He was warden
with William Arnold in 1622, and had then been living here
more than 26 years. "1595, Oct. 5. Married, Robert Hacker
and Thomasine Arnoll." See baptism of their oldest son Rob-
ert, Jan. 22, 1597/8 and six more children on family record.
"1595, Oct., Burial, Agnes d. of Nicholas Arnoll." Not on
family record, probably died young. "1596, April 25. Burial,
Alee W. of Nicholas Arnoll tailer." (mother of William.)
These items have since been printed by Mr. Edward Dwelly
in Vol. II., Wells Transcripts, p. 31, with this note, "The
above three years are written on paper now very much
decayed and are not signed." 1616, christened, April 7,
"Thomas son of William Hopkins" (son of Joane Arnold,
see family record.) 1622, December 22, Baptizat, "Stephanus
filius William Arnoldi, 1622/3 Janury 26, Sepultus. Nicha-
This transcript of 1622, has not as yet been printed by Mr.
Dwelly but will be soon, with others already copied. It is the
first time that the name of William Arnold has been found
on a public record, and strange to say, in it, under his own
hand, as church warden, he attests the record of the baptism
of his youngest son Stephen, and the burial of his father
Nicholas. Through the kindness of Mr. Dwelly, I am enabled
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[The dark mark at top is no doubt due to nut gall or other solu-
tion applied to document to make it more legible, while helping to
obliterate it in the photo, it makes writing clear in original. The 8
items before "Elizabetha filia Thome Bartlet" are given on the fol-
lowing page (I translated them when copying from original so can-
not give literatim copy) It is one of the few instances I have come
across where the human eye can read writing easier than the camera.
The blur was on the transcript when I copied it but by getting the
skin at various angles the items were deciphered with a little care.]
Elizabetha filia Thome Bartlet baptizat prima die Novembris.
Stephanus filius williami Arnolde baptizat vicessimo sexto die decem-
Dorothea filia Thome Avorde baptizat quinto die Januarij.
Elizabetha filia Richardi Hancocke baptizat decimo nono die Januarij.
Gratia filia Williami Hopkins baptizat septimo die Februarij.
Robertus filius Johanis Hacker baptizat vicessimo die Februarij.
Francisca filia Gervasii Saunders baptizat octavo die Martij.
Thomas filius Williami Spracklin baptizat nono die Martij.
Maria filia Johais Sims baptizat eodem die nono Martij.
Edvvardus filius Edwardi Howman sepultus decimo nono die Aprilis.
Rose James sepulta fuit vicessimo quinto die Aprilis.
Alicia Bartlet uxor Stephani sepulta vicessimo quarto die Maij.
Joana Gullie sepulta fuit tricessimo die Maij.
Richardus Mannsell sepultus vicessimo primo die Julij.
Elizabetba filia Thome Golde sepult vicessimo quinto die Julij.
Gawin filius Johais Sharlocke sepultus tricessimo primo die Julij.
Maria serva Walteri Glover sepulta duodessimo die Augusti.
Alicia Lacie vid : sepulta vicessimo secundo die Septembris.
Ambrosius Baunton sepult vicessimotertio die Septembris.
Joanna Philips vid : sepult : fuit quinto die Octobris.
Nicholaus Arnolde sepultus vicessimo sexte Januarij.
Maria filia Stephani Geiland sepulta quarto die Martij.
Thomas Pawley sepultus vicessimo primo die Martij.
1622. _ Mariages.
Henricus Collens et Elizabetha Brangwell nupt. sexto die Maij
Williamus Lockier et Deanes Jeanes nupt duodecimo die Maij
Jasper Alambert et Maria Hodges nupt decimo octavo die Julij
Chnstopherus Bennct et Thomas,. n nupt septimo die Novembris
pr me Johnne Ravens
, . , . _ . rectore de Ilchester
melchesadeek Jones I ,
William Arnold ) church wardenes
Cicely daughter of John.
Joanna daughter of John Ourbury (Overbury).
Thomas son of William Dawe. May 6.
Walter son of Walter Glover.
William son of Robert Morris Aug. 6.
Edward son of Dawber als Trowe Sept. 21.
Angell daughter of John Smith Sept. 28.
Thomason daughter of Edward Bartlett Oct. 26.
Elizabeth daughter of Thomas Bartlet baptised 1st day of November.
Stephen son of William Arnold baptised 26th day of December.
Dorothy daughter of Thomas Avorde baptised 5th day of January.
Elizabeth daughter of Richard Hancock baptised 19th day of January.
Grace daughter of William Hopkins baptised 7th day of February.
Robert son of John Hacker baptised 20th day of February. [1622/3]
Frances daughter of Gervaise Saunders baptised 8th day of March.
Thomas son of William Spracklin baptised 9th day of March.
Mary daughter of John Sims the same day 9th of March.
Edward son of Edward Howman buried 19th day of April.
Rose James was buried 25th day of April.
Alice Bartlet wife of Stephan buried 24th day of May.
Joan Gullie was buried 30th day of May.
Richard Mannsell buried 21th day of July.
Elizabeth daughter of Thomas Gold buried 25th day of July.
Gavin son of John Sharlock buried 31st day of July.
Mary servant of Walter Glover buried 12th day of August.
Alice Lacy widow : buried 22nd day of September.
Ambrose Baunton buried 23rd day of September.
Joan Philips widow : was buried 5th day of October.
Nicholas Arnold buried 26th day of January. (1622/3)
Mary daughter of Stephen Geiland buried 4th day of March.
Thomas Pawley buried 21st day of March.
Henry Collens and Elizabeth Brangwell married 6th day of May.
William Lockier and Deanes Jeanes married 12th day of May.
Jasper Alambert and Mary Hodges married 18th day of July.
Christopher Bennet and Thomason married 7th day of November.
by me John Ravens
Rector of Ilchester.
Melchizedek Jones ) , , ,
,„•„■ a ij r church wardens
William Arnold )
to give reproductions from photographs of this record, and
also the churches of "St. Mary" at Ilchester, and "St.
Andrew" at Northover, where his parents and grand parents
arc buried. In the Probate Registry of Wills, lib. 43, fol.
5, is found "The Will of Nicholas Arnold."
In the name of god Amen the 18th Day of January, 1622,
I Nicholas Arnold of Ilchester in the Countie of Somersett,
Tayler, Doe make & constitute and ordeyne this my last will
& testament in manner & forme following: First I revoke
recall & Disanull all former wills made before the Date of
this my last will.
Item. I give & bequeath my soule into the hands of god
my blessed saviour and redeemer hopinge by him alone to be
saved and my body to be buried in Christian buriall at the
Discretion of my executrix.
Item. I give and bequeath unto Grace Arnold my wief all
my goods movable and immovable w'thin and wth thout
Dores to thintent she shall guid & bringe up my two youngest
Daughters, her children, and when it shall please god to take
her out of this mortall lief to Dispose the said goods at her
pleasure unto theis two children.
Item. I make & ordeyne the said Grace my wief my sole
and only executrix to this my last will & testament to see my
Debts and funeral chargs paid and Discharged. Alsoe I Doe
by theis presents constitute ordeyne and appoynte my sonne
Warn Arnold & Ambrose Chappell my frend over seers to
this my last will & testament. Witnesses hereunto John Raven,
Proved at Wells, 28 July, 1623. Inventory £7. 16s. 5d.
Going back to the transcripts, we find, 1623, Oct. 18, Burial,
"Margaret W. of Thomas Arnold," If this is the first wife
of Thomas, the half brother of William, he soon married (2)
Jane — and had sons, Thomas, 1625, and Nicholas, 1628, as
shown in the family record. "1635, Oct. 15, Baptised, George
son of Thomas and Jane Arnold." This son George was born
more than six months after his unckle William had sailed
for New England. No proof has been found that his father
Thomas the half brother of William, ever emigrated, or that
Thomas' children died young, as stated by Somerby and Aus-
tin, but without any evidence of record by either. The Thomas
Arnold who was in Watertown, Mass., before July, 1636, and
who removed about 1656 to Rhode Island, is not that half
brother, but is probably the son of Richard, and grand son
of William and Katherine Arnold of Kelsale Co., Suffolk,
about 20 miles N. E. of Ipswich where his wife Phebe Park-
hurst, daughter of George Parkhurst was baptised 29 Nov.,
1612, and where they were probably married. Plis cousin
Richard Arnold, Goldsmith, London, in his will 8 Nov., 1644,
leaves a legacy of 20 shillings to be paid to "Thomas Arnold
who is now supposed to be in New England or some other
part beyond the seas" or to his assigns. No other Thomas
Arnold appears in N. E. before 1644. See N. E. His. & Gen.
Register Vol. 48, p. 374; Vol. 68, p. 2>72> and Vol. 69, p. 68.
1635 Jan. 15, (1635/6), "Burial Jane W. of Ambrose
Chappell" (Overseer of Will of Nicholas Arnold.)
This last item concludes all the record evidence found by
Mr. Jones during his visit of 1902 at the close of which he
writes, "in the time I devoted to the matter I could not find
the father of Nicholas Arnold of Ilchester ; more investiga-
tion is necessary. I do not pretend to have covered the whole
field, let somebody do better." But the mine has been dis-
covered and the leade is very promising ; Mr. Dwelly who
commenced publishing the Wells Transcripts in 191 3 is work-
ing the same vein, and cannot fail I believe to uncover much
more material to be added to that already secured. From
the Somerset records already collected, in spite of some larg
gaps, the following pedigree of the Arnolds of Northover is
1. Nicholas Arnold, the testator of 1622, was born about
1550. He appears on the register of Northover, Co. Som-
erset, as the father of Thomasine Arnold, 4 Jan. 1 571/2,
and was buried at Ilchester 26 Jan. 1622/3. He married
before 1571, Alice, daughter of John and Alice Gulley who
was baptised at Northover 29 Sept. 1553, and buried at II-
chester 25 April 1596. Married (2.) before 1599. Grace
who survived him.
Cbildren by first wife:
I. Thomasine, bap. 4 Jan. 1 571/2 at Northover. Mar-
ried, 5 Oct. 1595, Robert Hacker at Ilchester. Chil-
dren: 1. Robert, bap. 22 Jan. 1597/8. 2. Francis,
bap. 24 Jan. 1599/1600. 3. Jobn, bap. 25 Oct. 1601.
4. William, bap. Oct. 1604. 5. Alee, bap. 25 Aug.
1607. 6. Mary, bap. 4 March, 1609/10. 7. Thomas,
bap. April 1616.
II. Joane, bap. 30 Nov. 1577 at Ilchester, and was buried
10 March, 1621/2 at Yeovilton, in the church yard of
"St. Bartholomew." Married before 1613, William
Hopkins of Yeovilton. Children: 1. Frances, bap. 28
May, 1614. Came with her husband, William Man,
to N. E. in 1635, and died 26 Feb 1700 at Dartmouth
Mass. Children : Abraham and Mary.
2. Thomas, bap. 7 April, 1616. Came with his sister
Frances Man, and their uncle William Arnold, and died
1684 at Littleworth, in the township of Oyster Bay,
Long Island, N. Y. where he had gone during the In-
dian War. Children : W'illiam and Thomas. He was
the great grand father of Gov. Stephen Hopkins, Signer
of the Declaration of Independence, and Esek Hopkins,
who was the first Commander in Chief of the American
3. Elizabeth, bap. 3 July, 1619.
III. Margery, bap. 30 Aug. 1581 at Ilchester and mar-
ried 1603 Thomas Burnard at Northover.
IV. William, born 24 June, 1587 at Ilchester.
V. Robert, bap. 18 Oct. 1593. (No more.)
VI. Elizabeth, born, 9 April 1596. No baptism or burial
is recorded. As her mother Alice, was buried at Il-
chester the 25th of the same month, it seems probable
that both died in child bed, and were buried in one
Children by second wife Grace .
VII. Thomas, bap. 18 April, 1599, at Ilchester. Mar-
ried before 1623, Margaret , who was buried
18 Oct. 1623, at Ilchester, married (2), Jane....,
Children by second wife: 1. Thomas, born, 3 May,
1625. 2. .Nicholas, born, 15 Jan. 1627/8. 4. George,
bap. 15 Oct. 1635.
VIII. Elenor, bap. 31 July, 1603.
IX. A daughter mentioned in fathers Will but not
William Arnold (Nicholas), born 24 June, 1587, at Il-
chester, where he was Church Warden in 1622, died prob-
ably in the early spring of 1676, at Pawtuxet, Rhode Is-
land, during the Indian War. He married before 1610,
Christian, daughter of Thomas Peak of Muchelney
Somerset, who was bap. there, 15 Feb. 1583/4. and died
after 1659, at Pawtuxet.
I. Elizabeth, born, 23 Nov. 161 1. at Ilchester. died after
7 Sept. 1685. at Pawtuxet. Married, before 1635, Wil-
liam son of Richard Carpenter of Amesbury, Wiltshire,
who died 7 Sept. 1685, at Pawtuxet. Children: 1. Jo-
seph. 2. Liddea. 3. Pricilla. 4. Silas. 5. Benjamin. 6.
Timothy. 7. Ephraim.
II. Benedict, born 21 Dec. 1615, at Ilchester, died 19
June, 1678, at Newport, Rhode Island. Married 17
December, 1640, Damaris daughter of Stukley West-
cott at Providence. She was born about 1620, prob-
ably at Yeovil, Somerset and d. at Newport after 1678.
He removed to Newport 19 Nov. 1651, and 19 May
1657, succeeded Roger Williams as President of the
Colony under the Patent. In 1663, he was named in
the Charter of King Charles II, as the first Governor,
holding that office by seven re-elections until his death
in 1678. Children: I. Benedict, b. 10 Feb. 1641/2. 2.
Caleb, b. 19 Dec. 1644. 3. Josiah, 22 Decern. 1646. 4.
Damaris, 23 Feb. 1648/9. 5. William b. 21, Oct. 1651.
d. 2T,, Oct. 1651. Named for his grand father William
and the first death in the family after their emigration,
jnst as his father was about to move to Newport, he
was probably buried at Pawtuxet. 6. Penelope, 10 Feb.
1652/3. 7. Oliver, 25 July, 1755. 8. Godsgift, 27 Aug.
[658. 9. Freelove 20 July, 1661.
III. Joane, b. 2"/ Feb. 1617, at Ilchester, d. after 11 Feb.
1692/3. Married (1) Zachary Rhodes of Rehoboth,
Mass. as early as 7 March 1646. who was drowned
"off Pawtuxtt Shore" late in 1665. M. (2) 11 Jan.
1665/6. Samuel Reape of Newport, who d. after 11
Feb. 1692/3. Children by first husband: 1. Jeremiah,
b. 29 June 1647. 2. Malachi, 3. Zachariah, 4. John,
b. about 1658. M. 12 Feb. 1684/5. Waite, d. of Re-
solved and Mercy (Williams) Waterman. 5. Peleg, b.
IV. Stephen, baptised 22 Decern. 1622, at Ilchester, died
15 Nov. 1699, at Pawtuxet. Married 24 Nov. 1646.
Sarah, daughter of Edward Smith of Rehoboth, Mass.
She was born 1629 and died 15 April 1713. at Paw-
tuxet. Children: 1. Esther, b. 22 Sept. 1647. 2. Israel,
b. 30 Oct. 1649. 3- Stephen, b. 27 Nov. 1654. 4. Eliza-
beth, b. 2 Nov. 1659. 5. Flisba, b. 18 Feb. 1661/2. 6.
Sarah, b. 26 June, 1665. 7. Phebe, b. 9 Nov. 1670.
No public record had been found of the birth or marriage
of William Arnold, nor of the birth or baptism of any of his
children, until the Ilchester transcript of 1622, signed by him
as church warden, giving the baptism there of his youngest
son Stephen, as of Dec. 26, 1622 (four days later than his
birth as given in the family record), and the burial of his
father Nicholas. This is of course easily explained by the
entire loss of all the earlier Ilchester registers, but the Well's
transcript of [596, giving the record of the burial at Ilchester
of "Alice wife of Nicholas Arnold taller." is like a flash
from a light house illuminating the whole situation. It is the
key that explains why the name of Nicholas Arnold appears
and disappears from the Northover records, with the one
entry of the Birth of his daughter Thomasine in 1572, shows
where he went, and the reason of his removal. The explana-
tion is that at the time of his marriage he was working at
Northover as a journeyman tailor, having already served
seven years as an apprentice, and desiring to go into business
as a merchant, he moved across the river half a mile into a
larger community, the compact part of Ilchester, established
himself as a merchant tailor and carried on that business there
from about 1575 until his death in 1623. It was the common
usage at this period for men, on legal documents, to add their
title or occupation, but it was unusual if not unique to do this
in case of a wife as was done by the Rector Joseph Collier
A. M., in recording the burial of Alice as the wife of Nicho-
las Arnold toiler in 1596. John Raven A. M., who wrote and
witnessed his will in 1622/3 a ' so called him tailer. It could
only mean that he had become and remained an influential
merchant, and a member of the Gild of Taylors in Ilchester
nearly 50 years.
In this period the trade gild was an important feature,
formed for the association of all the members of a given
trade, for its regulation and support. No person could work
at any trade in any capacity unless he belonged to its gild.
These trade gilds grew to be very influential in local politics
taking to a great extent the place that political parties do, at
the present time. From their ranks were taken the mayors,
burgesses and aldermen, both in small towns and large cities ;
they became very wealthy, and built magnificent gild houses,
in all the great cities, those of London, Bristol, Exeter, and
many other places remain to-day, next to the great cathe-
drals and churches, the finest buildings in England. These
trade gilds should not be confounded with the older church
gilds, devoted entirely to religious work, that disappeared
with the destruction of the monasteries and nunnerys under
the edict of Edward VI. Nor should they he compared with
the lahor unions of to-day, organized as a class, to fight
against their employers, another class, like an army of pri-
vates clashing against their officers for control. In the trade
gild, master, journeyman, and apprentice were banded to-
gether for the protection of his trade, not his class. They
were chartered by the Sovereign, with many privileges, recog-
nized by the church ; each had its patron saint, that of the
tailors being St. John the Baptist, whose feast day was their
election day, and celebrated with great displays. A curious
account of one of their festival occasions at Wells is found
in Phelp's History of Somerset, on the occasion of a visit of
Queen Anne the wife of James I in 1613. As Nicholas
Arnold was living, and an active member of his gild at that
time, he may have been present as a participant or spectator,
and this description gives us some idea, of the manner of the
man, and under what conditions and surroundings he lived
at Northover and Ilchester from about 1575 to 1623.
"The order and manner of the shews by the masters and
wardens of every trade and occupac'on within the citie or
buroughe of Welles, as it was presented before the Queenes
Matie in Welles, upon Fridaie the XX° daie of Auguste,
Anno D'ni 161 3.
"It is ordered that the Mayor and his brethren shall attend
in their scarlet gownes neere about Brownes Gate, and the
residue of the XXiiij or to attend likewise in person in blacke
gownes, and the residue of the burgesses to attend likewise
in their gownes and best apparell ; and this be done by the
oversight of Mr. Mayor, Mr. Baron, and Mr. Smyth.
"The Hammer-men, which were the carpenters, joyners,
cowpers, masons, tylers and blackesmthes. And they pre-
sented a streamer with their armes ; and Noath building the
arke ; Vulcan workinge at the fforge ; Venus carried in a char-
riot, and Cupid sittinge in her lapp with his bowe bent; a
Morrice daunce; the Dragon which devoured the virgins.
"The S'hermen and Tuckers, and they presented a streamer
with their armes.
"The Tanners, Chaundlers, and Butchers and they pre-
sented a carte of old virgins, the carte covered with hides
and homes, and the Virgins with their attires made of covv-
tayles, and braceletts for their attires made of cowtayles/ and
braceletts for their neckes of homes sawed and hanged about
their neckes for rich Jewelles. Their charriot was drawne
by men and boys in oxe skins, calves skins, and other skins.
"St. Clement their St, rode allsoe with his booke. And his
Frier rode allsoe, who dealt his almes out of Mrs's bagge
(which he carried very full of graynes) verie plentifullie.
Acteon with his huntsmen.
"The Cordyners, who presented St. Crispian and —
both of them sonnes to a kinge, and the youngest a shoemaker,
who married his master's daughter. They allsoe presented a
morris daunce, and a streamer with their arms.
"The Taylors, who presented a streamer, Herod and
Herodias, and the daughter of Herodias who dannced for
St. John the Baptists hedd ; St. John Baptiste beheaded.
"The Mercers, who presented a streamer; a morris
daunce of young children; The giant and the giantesse ;
Kinge Ptolemeus, with his Queene and daughter which was
to be devoured by the Dragon ; St. George with his
knightes, who slew the Dragon and rescued the Virgin ;
Diana and her nymphes carried in a charriot, wdio tured
Acteon to a Harte."
I have here shown where Nicholas Arnold was, and what
he was doing from the time he disappeared from North-
over, soon after the birth of his daughter Thomasine until
we find the record of her marriage, at Ilchester, and the
next year 1596, the death there of his wife. He had now
been established there as a merchant tailor for about 20
years, and the sudden death of his wife and her infant child
was not only a sad blow to him, but out of it grew some
great changes in the future plans of his children. — He was now
left with a family of four children, the oldest of which was
Joane, just of marriageable age 18, Margery 14, William 8, and
Robert 2. Joane remained with her father until she was 36
years of age, and although he married later a young wife
Grace, Joane was indeed the foster mother of his young sons,
William and Robert.
Between William and Joane there grew up a most tender
relationship. They were both married about the same time,
as is shown by the birth dates of their children, Joane died
suddenly, early in the same year 1622, with their father
Nicholas, leaving three small children between the ages of
2 and 7. She was buried at Yeovilton the home of the
family of her husband William Hopkins. William Arnold
now the head of the Arnold family at Ilchester, seems to
have taken her children into his own family of little ones
of about the same age, and when he emigrated in 1635,
they accompanied him to New England.
What has been accomplished since 1902, by Mr. Jones
and Mr. Dwelly is the finding at Northover of the early
parish register giving the date of baptism of Alice Gulley
the mother, and Thomasine Arnold the oldest sister of Wil-
liam, as the daughter of Nicholas Arnold, fully confirming
the "family record" and giving us for the first time the true
name of their father. Next the finding at Wells of the Il-
chester transcript of 1595/6 showing that Nicholas Arnold
and his family had been living at Ilchester, where he had
been in business as a Merchant tailor since about 1575, the
date of their removal from Northover, and that all his chil-
dren except Thomasine were born there. Next the Ilches-
ter "transcript" of 1622, with the autograph signature of
William .Arnold as church warden, showing that he was
there, a child 8 years old, when his mother Alice died in
[596, and in 1622 when his youngest son Stephen was born.
The very fact of his election as warden in 1622, is sufficient
to show that he must have been long there and well known,
and as all his four children were born in the II years between
 1 and io_>_>. it follows that they were all born there, al-
though the records of all but one, Stephen, have disap-
To connect these three generations of the Arnold and
Gulley families for about 127 years, from John Gulley's
birth about 1508, to William Arnold's emigration in 1635,
with the English history of their time, we note, that John
Gulley's life, beginning in the last year of the reign of
Henry VII, lasted through that of Henry VIII, 38 years,
Edward VI, 6 years, Mary Tudor 5 years, and 23 years of
the reign of Q. Elizabeth, until his death in 1591, about 83
years of age. His daughter Alice Arnold born in 1553 the
first year of Mary Tudor's reign, lasted through that, and
48 years of the reign of her sister Q. Elizabeth. Her hus-
band Nicholas Arnold born about 1550, lived through
those reigns, and to the 20th of James I., while William
Arnold born the 29th of Queen Elizabeth, lived through the
reign of James I., 22 years and emigrated 1635 m tne Iot h °f
Charles I. All of William Arnold's children were born in
the reign of James I.
Going back to the William Arnold "family record," let us
examine some of its peculiarities. He does not mention his
father, or give any marriages or burials. He gives the bap-
tisms, or christenings of his mother, and all her children except
himself and the infant sister Elizabeth, and then in his own
case gives only the births of himself and his children. Why
does he make this difference? In 1622, he served one year as
church warden, under the tutelage of John Ravens, A. M., an
educated man, and Rector at Ilchester, and it was to him a
school in which he learned not only the system of parish reg-
isters and diocesan returns, but also to realize the great value
to himself of keeping a family record as he was contemplating
the possibility of emigration. His father had not kept a rec-
ord himself and so the son went to the two registers of Il-
chester now lost, and Northover close by, and accessible to him,
for he could have found them nowhere else, and copied the
baptisms. Then he took a step in advance of his times, and
began to keep a family record, beginning with his own birth,
1587, which was continued in one line of his family for four
generations. Here we see in the case of his son Stephen,
listed in the family record as born 22 Dec. 1622, and on the
transcript, as baptised, four days later, 26 Dec. 1622 (the rule
being that all children should be baptised three days after birth
or on the succeeding Sunday). Comparing these two records
and those given of the baptism of his mother and sister in the
family record and 011 the Northover register, agreeing as they
do so exactly, gives us the greatest confidence in the reliability
of the entire family record. While some records supporting it
are still missing, not one has been found which weakens
or disproves a single statement in it. the one record explaining
and showing the connections with the other. Taken together
they compleitely prove that William Arnold and all his children
were born in Ilchester, Somersetshire, and lived there until
their departure for New England in 1635. Just as surely and
completely, it disproves all the fables and errors of family
tradition, that have grown up and been spread broadcast be-
tween that date and 1850, seeming to show that they were
born and lived elsewhere. Savage thought that they were
born in Co. Nottingham, but offers no evidence to support his
opinion. Mr. H. G. Somerby says that William Arnold was
the son of Thomas Arnold of Cheselbourne, Co. Dorset, by
bis first wife Alice, daughter of John Gulley of North Over,
in the parish of Tolpuddle, a short distance from Chesel-
bourne, gives him a brother John, and makes Elizabeth, the
youngest daughter of Alice Gully, the daughter of Grace -.
the second wife of Nicholas Arnold, and marries her to John
Sayles, Jr. No record evidence is given to support these state-
ments. None exist. lie did not go to Northover, Somer-
setshire, where he would have found the Gully records, there
then, and there now. There is no place called North Over
in Dorset, or in any other county in England, excepting
Somerset. There is no record showing that Alice Gully mar-
ried Thomas Arnold, or had a son John born in 1585. Mr.
Somerby carried with him from America the W. A. "family
record" then printed, with instructions to find a father Thomas
for him. The most regrettable feature in Somerby's work is,
that in the absence of any English record, known here to dis-
prove it, so reliable a genealogist, as Mr. John O. Austin was
lead to accept and use it in his dictionary, although neither
give any record evidence. Very rarely has Mr. Austin
accepted another's statement, unless he has himself seen evi-
dence to support it.
The Rev. Charles T. Brooks, in his "Old Stone Mill at New-
port," suggests still another birthplace for the Arnolds, namely,
Leamington, Warwickshire. This pamphlet was published at
Newport, by Charles E. Hammett, Jr., in 185 1. It is an ac-
count of a controversy between certain "Antiquarians" at
Brown University, Providence, and "one of the oldest inhabi-
tants of Newport," as to whether the old mill was built by the
Northmen, or by Gov. Arnold, and has been commonly called
the Mill Hoax. Both sides of this controversy accuse the
other of filling their communications "with fabulous stories,
founded on deceptions, entirely without foundation." These
accusations were true, and about the only truth in the pam-
phlet. Mr. Brooks only suggests that Gov. Arnold may have
seen mills of this kind in his youth, as he was living in Eng-
land at the precise period with Inigo Jones who designed the
"Leamington Mill," and again page 84, he says, "The Chester-
ton Mill is only 5 miles from Leamington in the west of Eng-
land from which part we have ascertained the Arnold's came."
The Arnolds did come from the west of England, but War-
wick is in the centre. Mr. Hammett, who printed this book
in 1 85 1, in his Bibliography of Newport of 1887, says, "At
the time of writing this hook much labor was bestowed on an
attempt to ascertain the exact birthplace of Gov. Arnold, but
without result. About 20 years later (T871) Dr. David King
visited England and found satisfactory proof that he was
born in Warwickshire." Neither Brooks, Hammett nor King
have given a single record to substantiate their statements,
and yet there is not a Newport historian to-day that ever
mentions the Stone Mill or Gov. Arnold in connection with
it, but what repeats the old hoax, that he was horn in Leaming-
ton, Warwickshire, because in his will he mentions his Lem-
mington farm. The record evidence I have given that he
was born in Ilchester near Limington shows this Warwick-
shire story to be pure fiction.
Stukeley Westcott whose initials S. W. stand first on the
proprietors deed of 1637, at Providence, was in Salem where
he was received in 1636, and in 1637 had a one acre house lot
laid out to him, the record showing that his family then con-
sisted of eight persons. And as the names of only five of
his children appear later on Rhode Island records, he must
have lost one by death, perhaps Samuel, after 1636. At
Providence, he signed the agreement of 1640, for a form of
civil government, and about 1645, ne removed to Warwick ;
and in 165 1 his daughter Damaris went with her husband
Benedict Arnold to Newport. His oldest son Robert bought
land soon at Quidnessett, and was killed there, during King
Philips War, the other children all dying at Warwick. We
cannot without further research say with certainty where he
was born, or lived before coming to New England in 1635.
Hon. Jonathan Russell Bullock, who published in 1886, "The
life and times of Stuckley Westcott," says — "He was born
in England about 1592, probably in Co. Devon, and died at
Portsmouth, R. I., 12 Jan. 1676/7, aged about 85." These dates
are taken from the unsigned will, made the day of Westcott's
death. Judge Bullock gave much time himself to the work
of investigation and had the co-operation of more than a score
of persons, both here and in England, who had done more or
less work in the same line, before him, among whom was Sir
George Stuckley, of Stuckley, Baronet, the present owner, by
succession of Hartlarid Abbey and Affeton Castle, West
Worlington, Devon, the seat of the Stuckleys in England.
He suggested that the name implied that he was a descendant
of St. Ledger Westcot who about the year 1300 married a
daughter of the Stuckleys of Affeton. This place is on a
stream called the Lesser Dart, ahout 10 miles W. of Tiverton
and 15 miles N. W. of Exeter in Devonshire.
Thomas Westcott Gent., in his "View of Devonshire 1630,"
says p. 271, Affton, the seat of the Worshipful family of
Stuckeley stands between the two Worlingtons East and West.
It came to Stuckeley grand son of St. Leger who also owned
Westcot wherein lived a tribe of the name. A grand son Sir
Hugh Stuckeley lived here in 36th of Henry VIII. (1545),
owned "Westcot," and had two grand daughters named Da-
maris. His Arms — Argent, a chevron between 3 escalops
sable, a crescent. The arms here given, describe the arms
on the tombstone of Benedict Arnold, Jr. The oldest son
of Gov. Benedict at Newport, whose mother was Damaris
Westcott, except that the crescent has been changed to a 5
pointed star, one appearing at the top of the chevron and
another at the top of a helmet on the crest. The Arms on this
stone have always been called "Arnold Arms" by those who
have seen it, but it seems more likely to have been "Westcott."
The Arnold arms on the tomb of Hon. Oliver Arnold in the
North burying ground in Providence, as well those found by
Gov. Samuel G. Arnold in the Herald's College in London,
are described thus Gules, a chevron ermine, between 3 pheons
Before 1900, every county in England had been combed to
find the name of Stukeley Westcott, without success, until in
1902, Mr. Edson S. Jones found the name at Yeovil, as the
father of a son Samuel, baptized there March 31, 1622. This,
without support of record, does not prove that he was the
Stukeley who came in 1635 to New England, but circumstan-
tial evidence very strongly favors that conclusion. The name
of Stukeley, and of Westcott is common in Devon and Somer-
set, but the combination of these names has so far been found
nowhere, before 1622 at Yeovil, and so far as we know is
unique, and the name of his daughter Damaris is also very
unusual. In Westcott's "Devonshire," containing thousands
of family names, Damaris appears but twice, and both times
in Stuckley families near Affton. At the time of the Yeovil
record, Damaris was about two years of age and of course with
her father there. About five miles down the river Ivel, at
Ilchester, was living her future husband Benedict Arnold a
lad of J. Both came to New England in 1635 an( l to Provi-
dence in 1636 or 3J, where they were married in 1640. In
165 1, with five small children born in Providence, they re-
moved to Newport. Here Benedict was chosen President, the
highest office in the gift of the Colony, under the first Charter,
before 1663 ; and that year under the second Charter granted
by King Charles II. he was chosen the first Governor, which
office, he contined to hold, with the exception of 6 years, until
his death 19 June 1678. His wife Damaris survived him, and
both lie buried in the plot appointed in his will, as "being be-
tween my dwelling house and my stone built wind-mill." Dur-
ing the progress of the Indian war of 1675/6 Stukeley West-
cott now 84 years old, wifeless and infirm, was carried to the
house of his grand son Dr. Caleb Arnold in Portsmouth, while
two of his sons, Amos and Jeremiah, were granted temporary
lots of land on the nearby island of Prudence for the support
of their families, as were many of the refugees from the main-
land. On the 12 of January 1677; seeing his end approaching
the aged man attempted the making of his will, which was
drawn up under his direction, but never signed ; night approach-
ing, he was persuaded by his g. s. Caleb Arnold to wait until
morning, expecting his sons from Prudence, but before their
arrival he had passed away and his remains were carried
across the bay, the war now over, and laid beside his wife at
their old Warwick homestead.
William Arnold whose name appears second upon the
"Initial deed" at Providence, upon his arrival in Massachusetts
Bay, June 24, 1635, found a party from Hingham, Co. Suffolk,
lately arrived, and about to establish a new township to lie
called Hingham which was done September 18, William Arnell
appears as Xo. 13. on the first list of those who "drew
house lots from the Cove on the north side (if the road to Fort
Hill." If he reallv intended to settle here, he soon changed his
plan for in 1636 we find him in Providence where he was as-
signed a home lot in the row of lots on North Main St.. north
of Star St., the east end of this lot is now covered by a part
of Hope reservoir. Here he probably built and lived a shorl
time for a contemporary (\t:ci\ of land in this vicinity is
bounded on William Arnold's "Wolf trap" evidently built by
him for protection of his cattle. The initial deed of [637,
which made him one of 13 proprietors of Providence was fol-
lowed by another which divided all the meadow ground on the
Pawtuxet river between the same 13 persons and about [638
William Arnold and William Carpenter with their families
settled here at the ford or indian wading place, where the
Pequot trail crossed the Pawtuxet river. This ford is quite
a distance up the river from the present centre at the falls and
the bridge, and lies a few rods only below the present bridge
on Warwick Ave. From this ford northerly the "Pequot road
was made the dividing line between William Carpenter's home-
stead extending from it, west to Pauchasset river, and that of
William Arnold extending from it, easterly to the salt water.
Later Arnold's son Stephen, and son-in-Law Zachery Rhodes
settled at the falls, where with Joseph Carpenter they built a
corn mill and laid out to it a road through the woods northerly
(now Broad St.) which joined the Pequot rath, near the pres-
ent Junction of Broad St. and Warwick Ave. Upon this
homestead, situated very much as was his old home at Ilches-
ter at the Roman Ford on the Ivil, William Arnold passed tf
years, until July 1675, when the horrors of King Phillip's
burst in all its fury upon the Colony. The story of what hap-
pened to him, is best told by an affidavit made by his young
nephew Major William Hopkins, the original of which is pre-
served in Prov. Town papers, 0268. "Oct. i(>. [678 William
Hopkins aged 31, testified before John Whipple, Asst. that at
the beginning of the war, and at the desire of some neighbors,
he went to Pawtuxet to try to persuade William Arnold to go
to some garrison or down to his son Benedict's, at Newport,
on account of the danger he was in. That he. William Arnold,
refused to go to Newport, but would go to Providence, but
afterwards said that that was too far, but be would go to his
son Stephen's garrison, so presently his son Stephen went to
bis father and desired his father to goe to his garrison, and
the sayd William Arnold did goe along with his son Stephen
and this deponent to his son Stephen's Garrison."
The "garrison" to which William Arnold was carried in such
a feeble condition, and now 88 years old, and where he prob-
ably died, was the Mansion house of his son Stephen, whose
homestead covered nearly all the land west of Broad St. to the
Pawtuxet river, and from the falls, north to the swamp where
the brook from the east runs under Broad St. to the river
The driveway to his house from Broad St. is now Lockwood
St., and behind it now stands the Rhodes' Casino, and the
canoe club houses. On the bluff at the north end of this home-
stead farm, overlooking the swamp was the burial lot of
Stephen Arnold's family. This burial lot has now been built
upon, the only grave stones upon the lot those of Stephen and
Sarah (Smith) Arnold, were removed about i860, to Swan
Point Cemetery. As this Stephen was the last survivor of the
emigrant party of 1635, I give the inscription:
"Here Lies the Body of
Aged yy Years
Deceased 15TH Nov
During the summer and fall of 1675, nothing of a serious
nature occurred at Pawtuxet, until in December, detachments
of the Massachusetts troops under Gen. Winslow, on their way
to the "Swamp Fight" at Kingston, encamped at the gar-
rison, and were supplied by Stephen Arnold with provisions,
the requisitions made by Gen. Winslow were paid by Mass.
some years later. January 27, 1676, after the Kingston fight,
300 Indians attacked Pawtuxet, burning William Carpenter's
outbuildings, corn and hay, and drove away 180 sheep, 50 bead
of neat cattle, and 15 horses. William Harris, whose farm
adjoined Carpenter on the west at Blackamore Pond, in a
letter (Vol. 10, 171, R. I. His. Soc. Collection), describes this
attack as following one on Rehoboth and Providence, "And
then went to patuxet & ther burnt some houses and an empty
garrison and fought against another, and shotl tire upon ar-
rows forty or fifty but ye English put them out, and in ye
night time went ther way." This attack did not drive away
the Stephen Arnold garrison, but in March a still larger party
of Indians swept through this part, and Harris writes again
"the enemy hath burnt all ye houses in Warwick all in patuxet
and almost all in Providence and the inhabitants are gone
some to one place and some to another."
During one or the other of these attacks all the buildings on
the Harris farm were burnt, his son Tolleration, and a servant
were killed, and Wm. Carpenter lost "his son William Jr. and a
servant; Carpenter and Thomas Hopkins probably going to
Oyster Bay. Long Island, where both had children living. No
hint has been discovered as to where Stephen Arnold went at
this time, with his wife and seven children. It seems probable
that his father William, in his great age and feeble condition
had died and been buried by the side of his wife Christian and
grand-son William, at Pawtuxet, as his name is not men-
tioned among the refugees at Newport or Long Island but
this is conjecture. Callender refers to his death as about 40
years after the settlement of 1636.
Nov. 3, 1677, Gov. Arnold at Newport, calling himself
"Benedict Arnold Senr. Eldest son and heire to William
Arnold late of pautuxett," made a warrantee deed, on the
nominal condition of one hundred Pounds to his "Brother
Stephen Arnold of Pawtuxett afore saved," of .all Land of our
sayd father being within the Bounds of patuxett, between
patuxett river and Providence bounds" &c.
This was not an uncommon way at this period of settling an
intestate estate, and shows that as soon as the war was ended
and civil government restored, a mutual agreement between
William Arnold while living, and his two sons, was honorably
carried into effect by the legal heir under English law. after
We do not know with certainty the birthplace or age of Wil-
liam Carpenter the third mem'ber of our party who was as the
head of a family named in the initial deed as one of 13 propri-
etors of Providence. Assuming that he was about the same
age as his wife, Elizabeth Arnold and born before 161 1, he was
about 60 years of age and had been living at Pawtuxet more
than 30 years when 14 Dec, 1671 he made a deed of free gift
to his sister Fridgswith Vincent of "my dwelling house and all
what land belongith to me adjoining to the said house the
which said house is standing in the town of Amestmry in Wilt-
shire and in a street commonly called Frogg lane, my sister
being an inhabitant of the said town, the which said house did
in the original belong to my father Richard Carpenter now de-
ceased, but fell to my right as I was the son and heir of my said
father." It does not necessarily follow that Richard was in
Amesbury in 161 1, or that William was born there, although
possible. Fridgswith Carpenter married Thomas Vincent be-
fore 1635, and had children: — Thomas, bap Oct 18, 1635, 2.
William, bap June 17, 1638, and 3. Joan. William and Joan
Vincent came to Providence about 1660, where Joan, married
John Sheldon that year, and received a deed of land from her
uncle William Carpenter Aug. 2, 1660 — May 31, 1670. Wil-
liam Vincent was married to Priscilla Carpenter his cousin by
her father William Carpenter, assistant. Jan. 20, 1676, his
house was attacked by about 300 Indians, his son William, and
a servant killed, two hundred sheep, 50 neat cattle and 15
horses carried off, and his buildings left in flames, but saved
by the defenders.
April 25, 1683, he made a confirmatory deed to the heirs of
the 13 original proprietors of Pawtuxet lands, calling himself
the last survivor and owning three shares. His will, Feb. 10,
1670, was proved Oct. 1, 1685. He died Sept. 7, 1685, and was
buried on his homestead by the side of his wife Elizabeth
In Dwellys' Wells parish transcripts, Vol. II., at Nettle-
combe, 15 miles west of Taunton, I find some records that seem
to connect in some way with a John and Richard at Salisbury
7 miles from Amesbury. I give it, hoping to a&sisl further
Married, Sept. i, 1606, Air. Richard Carpenter and Mrs.
Christened, Oct. 28, 1607, Susanna, dan. of Mr. Richard
Carpenter. Clarke, (i e. Minister.)
On the same register occurs the unusual names of Fridiswade
Clark, 1607, and Frediswade Davis, 1640.
In Somerset Wills, 11.109. I find the will of Richard Car-
penter, Pastor of Sheviock Devenport (near Plymouth), Aug-
ust 9, 1625. Proved Feb. 17, 1627/8, by the relict, Susan
Carpenter daughter of John Trevelian Esq. of Nettlecombe,
mentions, son John Carpenter, student at Exeter College,
Oxon, eldest dau. Susan, dau. Mary, my son Richard, 3d, dan.
Ann, 4th dau. Elizabeth, 3d. son Edward, 5th dau. Sarah, 4th
son, and youngest child Thomas, my brother John Carpenter of
Salisbury (1628), and 3 sisters Jane, Ann & Agness.
The Rev. A. W. Phelps, Rector of the church at Amesbury,
Wilts, writes Oct. 25, 1800, "The register has — 18. Oct. 1635
baptised — Thomas son of Thomas and Frittisweed Vincent. 17
June William son of Thomas and Frittisweed Vincent. The
first book of Amesbury records begin 1610 and end 1638, has
Elizabeth d. of John Carpenter bap. Nov. 30, 1628. John, son
of John Carpenter bap. Aug. 5, 1632. Margaret, dau. of John
and Joan Carpenter bap. March 2, 1635 ; and Richard Car-
penter buried Sept. 21, 1625.
William Man, who came with his wife Frances Hopkins in
1635, was town clerk of Providence in 1646, (see Prov. town
papers 07), and died before 1650. His son Abraham, was
wounded in the Indian war, and was allowed by the Colony
Oct. 29, 1684, £3 for the curing of his wound. His widow
Frances Man removed to the home of her daughter Mary, who
had married John Lapham at Dartmouth, Mass.. where she-
died 26 Feb. 1700 aged 84.
The parishes whose records prove them to have been the
homes of our emigrants, are situated on the little river Ivel or
Yeo, a branch of the Parret. The valley of the Ivel is de-
Church of St. Mary Major, Ilchester
Nicholas Arnold and wife Alice, parents of William Arnold, are buried
in this yard. William Arnold and all his children were baptized here.
scribed in Camden's Brittania, Edition of 1610 — (about the
date of Wm. Arnold's marriage) as follows: "The river Ivel
springeth in Dorsetshire and no sooner entereth Somerset but
he giveth name to Evil (Yeovil) a great market town, which
rose by the decay of Ilchester, and taketh into him a rill, near
which is Camelet a steep hill, hard to get up : on the top whereof
be tokens of a decayed castle, surrounded by triple rampires of
earth and ditches, enclosing many acres of ground. The in-
habitants name it, King Arthur's Palace: Near by is Cadbury
where K. Arthur defeated Saxons in battle. At the junction of
these two rills, lie Yeovilton on the north bank, and Liming-
ton on the south, and runneth on a mile to Northover, and
Ilchester, called Ischalis by Ptlomee, and Ivelcestre by Nin-
nius, and by others Pontavel-coit (Ivel bridge in the Wood),
and Givelcestre, at this day of small account for its antiquity.
At the time of the Normans coming in, it was well populated,
at one time having 107 Burgesses. A little beneath by Lang-
port the rivers Ivel and Pedred (Parret) running together,
make between them the island called Mulcheney that is to say
the Great Island. Wherein are to be seen the defaced wall and
ruins of an old Abbey." The map accompanying this article is
from Camden 1610.
Muchelney, the island at the junction of the rivers Ivel and
Parret, was the home of Christian Peak, William Arnold's
wife. Retracing our steps up the Ivel five miles is Northover,
the home and burial place of John and Alice Gully, and just
across on the south bank, Ilchester, where Nicholas Arnold was
a Merchant tailor about 47 years, and where he and his wife
Alice are buried, and where William Arnold and all his children
were born. A mile further up the river on the north hank is
Yeovilton the home of William Hopkins, where his wife Joane
was buried in 1622, the sister and foster-mother of William
Arnold. Across the river on the south side is Limington with
its parish church, "St. Mary Virginis," and its ancient Free
Grammar School, where Thomas Wolsey, afterward Lord
Cardinal, and Primate of England, was both curate and school-
master from 1500 to 1509, and where the children of the Gully,
Arnold, Hopkins and other families of the neighborhood were
In his will Gov. Arnold mentions his Lemmington farm,
named evidently from some place near his English home.
When he wrote this word Lemmington. in its broad Wessex
pronunciation, he meant Limington in Somerset, and not Leam-
ington in Warwickshire, or Lymington in Hants, places that it
is not at all likely that he or his father William, ever saw.
From the date 1623, of Nicholas Arnold's will, until his de-
parture in the spring of 1635 for New England, William Ar-
nold's name does not appear on any Somerset record. On his
own "family record" the latest English date he gives is that of
the baptism of Nicholas, the son of his half brother Thomas,
We can only conjecture when and where he gathered his
iarge party together with their baggage and supplies, or the
route they took from the valley of the Ivel, to their point of de-
parture. The nearest and most practicable route would be
from Ilchester through Yeovil, Crewkerne, and Axminster to
Exeter, and then turning south, down the Devonshire coast, by
Teignmouth and Torquay to Dartmouth, a seaport about 25
miles east of Plymouth and the same distance south of Exeter.
A modern writer Mr. Charles G. Harper in "A summer tramp
from London to Landsend" thus pleasantly describes it. "A
waft of more spacious times has come down to us, and lingers
yet about the steep streets and strange stairways, the broad
caves and bowed and bent frontages of Dartmouth. An air in
essence salty, and ringing with the strange oaths and stranger
tales of the doughty hearts who adventured hence to unknown
or unfrequented seas, or went forth to do battle with the
"The mouth of the river widens into a deep, land-locked har-
bour with an entrance to the English Channel through a narrow
opening between tall cliffs. Here to guard it there were built
in ancient times, the twin-towers of Dartmouth and Kingswear
Castles, facing one another across the water, and between them
was stretched an iron chain drawn taut by windlasses in time
"The parish church of St. Saviour, is old and decrepit and
rendered dusky by wooden galleries, a wonderful and almost
inconceivably picturesque building, without and within and
what is not often seen nowadays a very much unrestored
church. It is closely girdled with steep streets, paved with
painful but romanic looking cobbles, and the churchyard rears
itself high above the heads of wayfarers in its narrow lanes.
The doorway of the south porch has a gate or grille of
wrought iron dated 1631."
Ancient ironwork, south door of St. Saviour's
Church, Dartmouth, Devon.
In this quaint old seaport, some of our party must have
spent several days, in the process of collecting their goods, and
loading their vessel, and although they were strangers, here-
only for a few days, I cannot help fancying that the steep
streets of Dartmouth the last spot of English earth upon which
their feet were to tread, its ancient St. Saviour church with it>
then new gate, the beautiful harbour where had lain only a few
years before them, the ships of Drake and Raleigh, and the .May-
flower and Speedwell of the Pilgrims, never faded entirely from
their memory. While their eyes rested upon these last scenes
in the home land, the minds of the young people, Joane Arnold,
soon to become the mother of all the Rhodes' of Rhode Island,
Damaris Westcott later to be the first lady in the Colony, as
the wife of Gov. Benedict Arnold, and their younger brothers
and sisters were perhaps thinking more of the village greens of
Ilchester and Yeovil, remembering that it was the first of May.
Mayday, "the maddest, merriest day of all the glad new year"
in England, and that their playmates from whom they were
now separated were engaged in the happy songs and dances so
dear to their young hearts ; while the older ones were more
likely turning their thoughts toward the unknown sea with
some doubts and misgivings mayhap, but yet with stout hearts
and strong hopes facing the great adventure that lay before
them in a new world.
Stephanus filius Williami Arnolde baptizat Vicessimo Sexto die decembris.
per me Johnne Rauens
rectore de Ilchester
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