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[Reprinted from the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, April, 1906.] 



Richard'^ Scott was the son of Edward^ and Sarah (Carter) Scott, 
and was born at Glemsford, Suffolk, England, in 1607. Edward Scott 
was of the Scotts of Scott's Hall in Kent,* who traced their lineage through 
John Baliol to the early Kings of Scotland. Richard Scott's wife was 
Catharine,! daughter of Rev. Francis Marbury and his wife Bridget Dry- 
den, daughter of John Dryden, Esq., and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of 
Sir John Cope. Col. Joseph L. Chester says (ante, vol. xx., p. 367) " It 
will be seen therefore that Ann Marbury Hutchinson, by both parents, de- 
scended from gentle and heraldic families of England." Of course the 
same could be said of her sister Cathai-ine, and of her husband. 

Richard Scott and his wife probably came to New England with the 
Hutchinson party on the Gri^n in 1634. Winthrop writes, '' Nov. 24, 
1634, one Scott and Eliot of Ipswich, was lost in their way homewards 
and wandered up and down six days and eat nothing. At length they 
were found by an Indian, being almost senseless for want of rest." But 
if this refers to Richard Scott, he might have come in Winthrop's party. 

Richard Scott was admitted a member of the Boston Church, Aug. 28, 
1634. He next appears of record at the trial of his sister-in-law Ann 
Hutchinson, March 22, 1638, when he said, " I desire to propound this one 
scruple, well keepes me that I cannot so freely in my spirit give way to 
excommunication whither it was not better to give her a little time to con- 
sider of the things that is ... . vised against her, because she is not yet con- 
vinced of her Lye and so things is with her in Distraction, and she cannot 
recollect her thoughts." 

He next appears in Providence. What was then included in the " Prov- 
idence Plantations " is now embraced in the towns of Woonsocket west of 
the river. North Smithfield, Smithfield, Lincoln, North Providence, Johns- 
ton, Providence and Cranston. Before 1700, the settlements centered in 

*In the Register, vol. xxxi., p. 345, will be found a review of "Memorials of the 
family of Scott of Scott's Hall in the County of Kent," by James Renat Scott, Lon- 
don, 1876. 

t In the Register, vol. xx., page 355, in an article on the Hutchinson Family, there is 
much relating to Ann Marbury Hutchinson, and incidentally to her sister Catharine 
Marbury Scott. In vol. xxi., p. 283, is an account of the Marbury Family with the will 
of the Rev. Francis Marbury. In vol. xxii., p. 13, is the pedigree of Richard Scott, 
the article containing much that later researches have proved to be erroneous and 
reaching conclusions wholly erroneous. In vol. xxiii., p. 121, is an article on the an- 
tiquity of the name of Scott. In vol. li., p. 254, will be found the will of George Scott 
of London, England, a brother of Richard Scott, which furnishes absolute proof of the 
ancestry of Richard Scott. 

what is now the city of Providence, with farms extending north up the val- 
ley of the Blackstone river, west of Pawtucket and Lonsdale. Cumberland 
was then a part of the Massachusetts town of Rehoboth. 

There is no record evidence of the time when Richard Scott first ap- 
peared at Providence. Familiar as I have been from childhood with the 
Blackstone valley, and after a careful study of the subject for many years, 
I have reached the conclusion that a mistake has been made in identifying 
Providence with Moshasuck. I believe that the latter settlement, while 
within the original limits of Providence, as first laid out, was about a mile 
west of Lonsdale, and a short distance west of Scott's Pond, where Richard 
Scott, Thomas Arnold, Thomas Harris, Christopher Smith, and others who 
became Quakers, made a settlement, which was begun before Roger Williams 
planted at the spring, the water of which still flows into a trough on Canal 
Street in the city of Providence. At Moshasuck, Richard Scott owned a 
very large tract of land, some of which remained in his descendants for 200 
years, which included what is now Saylesville and Lonsdale and the land 
between them and around Scott's Pond. It became the Quaker settlement, 
as distinguished from the Baptist settlement at the head of Narragansett 

The first document to which Richard Scott affixed his signature was the 
so-called Providence Compact,* which is pasted on to the first page of the 
earliest book of Records of the city of Providence. It is stated that when 
these records were copied in 1800, there was opposite the page on which 
the famous compact is inscribed an entry bearing date August 20, 1637. 
This date has been assumed to be the date on which the compact was signed. 
Until I obtained a photograph of this instrument, I supposed it was drawn 
up by Roger Williams and signed by the then citizens of Providence, but 
it is in the handwriting of Richard Scott, who was the first to sign it. He 
also signed for William Reynolds and John Field, who made their marks. 
Then, using the same ink, Chad Browne, John Warner and George Ric- 
card signed. Then, using another ink that has faded, Edward Cope, Thomas 
Angell, Thomas Harris, Francis Weekes, Benedict Arnold, Joshua Winsor, 
and William Wickendeu signed. Here are thirteen names, but not the names 
of the thirteen proprietors of the town of Providence, nor one of them. 

It appears to me as almost certain that William Arnold and others had 
located at Pautuxet, and Richard Scott and others had located at Mosha- 
suck, before Roger Williams and others crossed over from Seckonk, in 
June, 1636, began building near where St. John's church now stands in 
Providence, and named the settlement Providence. It is equally certain 
that Roger Williams secured from the Indians a deed that covered, or was 
afterwards made to cover, the land on which William Arnold and Richard 
Scott had located, thus sowing the seed for the perpetual feuds that existed 
between Roger Williams and his " louing ffriends and Neighbors." In 
1637, Richard Scott went to Boston and married Catharine Marbury. Re- 
turning to his home in Providence in March, 1638, he drew up and signed 
the celebrated compact, expecting that Roger Williams and his fellow suf- 
ferers, fleeing from the persecution of the triumphant Boston party, would 
all sign it, and thus found a commonwealth absolutely divested of the 
theocratic principle. In this he was mistaken. William Arnold, and his 
party, were joined by Stukeley Westcott, Thomas Olney, Francis AYeston, 
and Richard Waterman, who had been banished fi'om Salem, and they 
forced or persuaded Roger Williams, October 6, 1638, to deed to them an 

* A slightly i-ccluced facsimile from a photograph accompanies this article. 

tindivided interest in the town of Providence. In this, Richard Scott and 
his friends who signed the compact had no share. Finally, those who 
signed the compact and those who were grantees under the deed from Roger 
Williams, with others who had arrived meantime, joined in an arrangement 
by which they became " Purchasers of Providence." Under this agree- 
ment, the neck between Providence harbor and the Blackstone river was 
divided into town lots and distributed to 54 purchasers, of which Richard 
Scott was one. His lot was next north of Roger Williams, and extended 
up over the hill north of Bowen Street. 

The conclusion therefore is inevitable, that whatever credit belongs to 
the author of this celebrated instrument belongs to Richard Scott alone, 
and that Roger Williams not only had nothing to do with it, but refused to 
sign it. It reads as follows : 

" "We wliofe names are hereunder defirous to inhabitt in ye towne of proui- 
dence do promife to fubiect oui'selves in actiue or paffiue obedience to all fuch 
orders or agreements as f hall be made for publick good of o"^ body in an or- 
derly way by the maior confeut of the prefent Inhabitants maifters of families 
Incorporated together into a towne f ellowfhip and others whom they fhall ad- 
mitt into them 

only in ciuill things." 

January 16, 1638, Winthrop notes, "At Providence things grow still 
worse ; for a sister of Mrs. Hutchinson, the wife of one Scott, being infected 
with Anabaptistry, and going last year to live in Providence, Mr. Williams 
was taken (or rather emboldened) by her to make open professson thereof, 
and accordingly was rebaptized by one Holyman, a poor man late of Sa- 
lem." There is no other evidence that Catharine Scott had, or wished to 
have, any influence upon Roger Williams. They never agreed, and upon 
two occasions Roger Williams had her, with other wives of his neighbors, 
arrested, but he did not carry his suits to a conclusion before the Court. 

On the 27th of 5th month 1640, Robert Coles, Chad Browne, William 
Harris, and John Warner, were chosen Arbitrators to draw up what is 
known as the " Combination," which is a sort of agreement for arbitration 
for the adjustment of differences between " louing ffriends and Neigh- 
bours." Two of these arbitrators signed the compact, and two were gran- 
tees under the deed from Roger Williams, and the agreement adjusted dif- 
ferences between the Pawtuxet men, the Providence men, and the Mosha- 
suck men. The Combination was signed by 12 who signed the compact, 
by Roger Williams and 8 grantees under the deed, and 18 others. Richard 
Scott was one of the signers of the Combination, which contains the follow- 
ing clause, " we agree As formerly hath ben the liberties of the Town : so 
still to hold forth Libertye of Conscience." 

From 1640 to 1650, the Scotts appear to have been quiet and prosperous 
citizens. They sold their town lot and moved out into the country, upon 
their lands at Moshasuck. Richard^ Scott shared in all the allotments of 
land, and acquired a large estate. Patience Island, in the Bay, was deeded 
to him " aboute ye year 1651," by Roger Williams. 

The children of Richard^ and Catharine were : 


John," d. 

1677; m. 

Rebecca Browne. 




Christopher Holder. 


Hannah, b.l642; d. 

July 24, 1681 ; m. 

Walter Clarke. 


Patience, b. 1648 ; 


, Henry Beere. 


Deliverance, d. 

Feb. 10, 1G76; m. 

William Richardson. 


Richard (?). 


Some time in 1656, Christopher Holder, a Quaker, came over from Eng- 
land and visited Providence. It is a tradition that Richard^ Scott, his wife 
and daughters, soon became converts to the new faith. There is nothing 
to indicate that John^ Scott was ever of that faith. Although the evidence 
concerning the identity of John Scott's wife is by no means certain, I think 
there is very good reason for believing her to have been the daughter of 
John and Sarah Browne of Old Swansea, who were baptists, members of 
John Myles's church. It is known that there was a second son, and there 
is reason for believing his name was Richard. 

The daughter Mary^ and Christopher Holder formed an attachment, and 
when two years later he was arrested in Boston on the charge of being a 
Quaker, and sentenced to lose his ears, Catharine Scott and her daughter 
Patience, then 11 years old, went to Boston to comfort the young man in 
his trial. The story is thus told by George Bishop in his " New-England 
Judged, by the Spirit of the Lord " : " And Katharine Scot, of the Town 
of Providence, in the Jurifdiction of Rhode-Ifland (a Mother of many Chil- 
dren, one that had lived with her Husband, of Unblameable Converfation, 
and a Grave, Sober, Ancient Woman, and of good Breeding, as to the Outr 
ward, as Men account) coming to fee the Execution of the faid Three, as 
aforefaid [Christopher Holder, John Copeland and John Rouse, all single 
young men, their ears cut o&. the 7th of 7th month 1658, by order of 
John Endicott, Gov.] whofe Ears you cut off, and faying upon their doing 
it privately, — That it was evident they were going to act the Works of 
Darknefs, or elfe they would have brought them forth Publickly, and have 
declared their Offence, that others may hear and fear. — Ye committed her 
to Prifon, and gave her Ten Cruel Stripes with a three-fold-corded-knotted- 
Whip, with that Cruelty in the Execution, as to others, on the second Day 
of the eighth Month, 1658. Tho' ye confeffed, when ye had her before 
you, that for ought ye knew, fhe had been of an Unblameable Converfa- 
tion ; and tho' fome of you knew her Father, and called him Mr. Mar- 
bery, and that fhe had been well-bred (as among Men) and had fo lived, 
and that fhe was the Mother of many Cliildren ; yet ye whipp'd her for all 
that, and moreover told her — That ye were likely to have a Law to Hang 
her, if She came thither again — To which fhe anfwered, — If God call us. 
Wo be to us, if we come not ; and I question not, but he whom we love, 
will make us not to count our Lives dear unto our felves for the fake of his 
Name — To which your Governour, John Endicot, replied, — And we shall 
be as ready to take away your Lives, as ye fhall be to lay them down — 
How wicked the Expreffion let the Reader judge." 

The whip used is thus described by Bishop. " The whip used for these 
cruel Executions is not of whip cord, as in England, but of dryed Guts, 
such as the Base of Viols, and with three knots at the end, which many 
times the Hangman lays on with both his hands, and must needs be of 
most violent Torture and exercise of the Body." 

Afterwards the daughter Mary^ visited her lover in prison, but the Bos- 
ton people sent her back to Providence without a whipping, a remarkable 
exercise of mercy for them, although they kept her in prison a month. In 
the spring of 1660, Mary^ Scott and her mother went back to England, 
and on Aug. 12 she was married there to Christopher Holder. In a letter 
dated Sept. 8 of that year, Roger Williams wrote to Governor John Win- 
throp of Conn., " Sir, my neighbor, Mrs. Scott, is come from England, and 
what the whip at Boston could not "do, converse with friends in England, 
and their arguments have in a great measure drawn her from the Quakers 

and wholly from their meetings." Catharine Scott's death is recorded in 
the Records of Friends at Newport, which is absolute proof that she died 
in full standing among them. 

Feb. 26, 1676, Richard"^ Scott confirmed a deed, made many years before, 
of Patience Island to Christopher Holder and his wife Mary. A copy of 
this deed will be found in the Register, vol. xxii, page 13. 

Richard^ Scott's daughter Patience*^ married Henry Beere, who was mas- 
ter of a sloop running between Providence and Newport. His daughter 
Hannah^ married Walter Clarke, son of Jeremiah and Frances (Latham) 
Clarke, who was one of the Quaker Governors of the Colony. 

In 1666, Richard Scott was chosen from Providence a deputy to the 

In 1672, George Fox visited New England and preached in Newport, 
R. I., with great acceptance, which greatly disturbed Roger Williams. In 
1676, Roger Williams published in Boston, a book entitled " George Fox 
digg'd out of his Burrowes," which for scurrilous abuse has few equals, and 
which, when considered as the production of an apostle of Liberty of Con- 
science, is one of the most extraordinary books ever printed. In 1678, 
George Fox published in London, " A New-England Fire-Brand Quenched, 
Being Something in Answer unto a Lying, Slanderous Book, Entitled 
George Fox Digged out of his Burrows, &c. Printed at Boston, in the 
Year 1676, of one Roger Williams of Providence in New-England." It 
seems that George Fox addressed letters to William Coddiugton and Rich- 
ard Scott, two of the most eminent Quakers in Rhode Island, and whom 
he had probably met at Newport, and asked them what manner of man 
Roger Williams was. They both replied at length, George Fox inserting 
the replies in his book as an appendix, from which I copy as follows : 

" Friends, 

Concerning the Converfation and Carriage of this Man Roger Williams, 
I have been his Neighbour thefe 38. years : I have only been Abf ent in 
the time of the Wars with the Indians, till this prefent — I walked with 
him in the Baptifts Way about 3 or 4 Months, but in that fhort time of 
his Standing I difcerned, that he muft have the Ordering of all their 
Affairs, or elfe there would be no Quiet Agreement amongft them. In 
which time he brake off from his Society, and declared at large the 
Ground and Reasons of it : That their Baptifm could not be right, be- 
caufe It was not Adminiftred by an Apoftle. After that he fet up a Way 
of Seeking (with two or three of them, that had deffented with him) by 
way of Preaching and Praying ; and there he continued a Year or two, 
till Two of the Three left him. 

That which took moft with him, and was his Life, was. To get Honor 
amongft Men, efpecially amongft the Great Ones. For after his Society 
and he in a Church-Way were parted, he then went to New-England,* and 
there he got a Charter : and coming from Bof ton to Providence, at Sea- 
conk the Neighbours of Providence met him with fourteen Cannoes, and 
carryed him to Providence. And the Man being hemmed in in the middle 
of the Cannoes, was so Elevated and Tranfported out of himfelf, that I 
was condemned in my felf, that amongft the Reft I had been an Inftrument 
to fet him up in his Pride and Folly, And he that before could reprove 
my Wife, for asking her Two Sons, Why they did not pull of their Hats 
to him ? And told her. She might as well bid them pull oft' their Shoos, 
as their Hats (Though afterward fhe took him in the fame Act, and turned 

* He went to Old England. Is not the New a mistake ? 


his Reproof upon his own Head) And he, that could not put off his Cap 
at Prayer in his Worfhip, Can now put it off to every Man or Boy, that 
puis of his Hat to him. Though he profeffed Liberty of Confcience, and 
was fo zealous for it at the firft Coming home of the Charter, that nothing 
in Government muft be Acted, till that was granted ; yet he could be For- 
wardef t in their Government to profecute againft thofe, that could not Join 
with him in it. as witnefs his Prefenting of it to the Court at Newport. 

And when this would not take Effect, afterwards when the Commiffion- 
ers were Two of them at Providence, being in the Houfe of Thomas 01- 
ney. Senior of the fame Town, Roger Williams propounded this Question 
to them : 

We have a People here amongft us, which will not Act in our Gotern- 
ment with us ; what Course fhall we take with them ? 

Then George Cartwright, one of the Commiffioners asked him. What 
manner of Persons they were ? Do they Live quietly and peaceably 
amongft you ? This they could not deny ; Then he made them this Anfwer : 

If they can Govern themselves, they have no need of your Government. 

— At which they were filent. 

This was told by a Woman of the fame Houfe (where the Speech was 
fpoken) to another Woman, whom the Complaint with the reft was made 
againft, who related it to me ; but they are both Dead, and cannot bear 
Witnefs with me, to what was fpoken there. ***** 

One particular more I fhall mention, which I find written in his Book 
(paw. 7.) concernmg an Anfwer to John Throckmorton in this manner : 
To which (faith he) I will not Anfwer, as George Fox Answered Henry 
Wrio-ht's Paper with a fcornful and fhamef ul Silence, — I am a Witnefs for 
Georo-e Fox, that 1 Received his Anfwer to it, and delivered it into Henry 
Wright's own hands ; [Yet R. W. has publifht this Lie So that to his for- 
mer Lie] he hath added another fcornful and fhamef ul Lie ; And then 
concludes, That they were his Witneffes, that he had long faid with David 
(and he humbly hoped) he fhould make it good that he hates and abhors 

Providence in Richard Scot." 


Richard Scott seems, from the meagre records that have come down to 
us, to have been a quiet man, attending to his own affairs, and having little 
part in the squabbles that disturbed the " louing ffriends and neighbours," 
which 80 often claimed the attention of Roger Williams. 

There is no record known of Richard Scott's death, but from collateral 
evidence he is supposed to have died quite suddenly in the latter part of 
1G80 or early in 1G81, leaving his affairs in considerable confusion. Cath- 
arine Scott died at Newport, R. L, May 2, 1687. 

In Podge's "Soldiers in King Philip's War," the name of Richard 
Scott appears in such manner as to make quite certain the presence of two 
persons bearing that name. In those accounts, Richard Scott, cornet, and 
Richard Scott, private, were both paid for services, Aug. 24, 1676. The 
services extended from December, 1675, to Aug., 1676. From these ac- 
counts it also appears that John^ Scott served from June, 1675, to Aug., 
1 676. Richard^ Scott, the younger, who is mentioned, but not named, in 
his father's letter to George Fox, no doubt perished, unmarried, in that ter- 
rible struggle. 

John* Scott, who survived King Philip's War, had married, about 1661, 
Rebecca Browne. He took the oath of allegiance May 30, 1667, and was 

a juryman April 27, 1668. He paid taxes of £1-0-0 in 1671. He was 
acquiring property and rapidly becoming a prosperous citizen when he was 
shot by an Indian, on his own doorstep, and mortally wounded, dying in a 
few days, about June 1, 1677. As both Richard and John Scott's names 
are not in " A List of the inhabitants who Tarried in Providence during 
Philip's War — 1675," it appears probable that the entire Moshasuck 
quaker settlement went to Newport during that struggle, and that John 
Scott and his family returned too soon for safety. 

The children of John^ and Rebecca, all born in Providence, probably at 
Moshasuck, were : ■*. '"" ' *'^ ^ ^ ■■ 

1. Sarah,* b. Sept. 29, 1662. 

2. John, b. March 14, 1664 : d. 1725 ; m. Elizabeth Wanton. 

3. Mary, b. Feb. 1, 1666 ; d. 1734. 

4. Catharine, b. May 20, 1668. 

6. Rebecca, b. Dec. 20, 1668; d. young. 

6. SiLVANUS, b. Nov. 20, 1772 ; d. Jan. 13, 1712 ; m. Joanna Jenckes. 

The son John* lived in Newport, with his grandmother and aunts, be- 
came a merchant and carpenter, and married Elizabeth, daughter of Ed- 
ward and Elizabeth Wanton. This Wanton family furnished five colonial 
governors, and are known as the " Fighting Quakers." 

The widow Rebecca remained in Providence, and took up the task of 
straightening out her late husband's affairs, a task to which was soon added 
the tangled affairs of her father-in-law, Richard Scott ; and there she mar- 
ried, April 15, 1678, John Whipple, Jr., who was one of the prominent 
men in the Providence colony, and had held nearly every office in the gift 
of the town, from constable to town clerk and moderator of the Town 
Meeting. He became blind, and several years thereafter, Dec. 15, 1700, 
he died. 

Jan. 7, 1701, the widow Rebecca Whipple presented a will to the Town 
Council for probate, and was appointed administrator of her husband's es- 
tate, but delayed the settlement for nearly a year, until she and John 
Whipple's daughters and their husbands, on the one part, forced a deed of 
partition with young .John Whipple, on the other part. 

The youngest child of John* and Rebecca Scott, who was about six years 
old when his father died, Uved with his mother in .John Whipple's house. 
He became Major Silvanus* Scott, and early in life entered into the poli- 
tics of the town, becoming nearly as prominent in his generation as his 
step-father had been before him. He married, about 1692, Joanna, daugh- 
ter of Joseph and Esther (Ballard) Jenckes. His wife was a sister of the 
Governor Jenckes so noted in R. I. annals in the first half of the 18th 
century. I have not learned that either Silvanus* or Joanna* Scott were 
Quakers ; but many of their descendants were, and still are, of that faith. 
Their great-grandson Job Scott was, in the latter half of the 18th cen- 
tury, one of the most noted Friends' ministers then living. 

The children of Sylvanus* and Joanna were : 

1. JoHX,^ b. Sept. 30, 1694; d. July — , 1782; m. Mary Wilkinson. 

2. Catharine, b. March 31, 1696; m. Nov. 1718, Nathan- 

iel Jenckes. 

3. Joseph, b. August 15, 1697 ; m. Elizabeth Jenckes. 

4. Rebecca, b. February 11, 1699; m. 1718, John Wilkin- 


5. Esther, b. December 5, 1700; m.Dec. 14, 1721, Thom- 

as Sayles. 

6. SiLVANUS, b. June 20, 1702 ; d. young. 


7. Joanna, b. December 11, 1703; m. May 10, 1724, Da- 

vid Jenckes. 

8. Charles, b. August 23, 1705 ; m. Dec. 16, 1713, Free- 

love Oluey. 

9. Sarah, b. June 15, 1707; d. 1753; m. Oct. 9, 1726, Ste- 

phen Hopkins. 

10. Jeremiah, b. March 11, 1709; m. Eebecca Jenckes. 

11. Nathaniel, b. April 19, 1711; m. Mercy, daughter of 

Edward, 3 (Edward, ^ Christopher^) and Mary Mowry Smith. 

The only records of the Scott family that appear on the Providence 
Records are the birth dates of the children of John^ and Rebecca. It is 
probable that all of the homes and the records at Moshasuck were burned 
during King Philip's War. The records at Providence barely escaped. 
The Friends' records at Newport and East Greenwich begin in 1676; 
those at Union Village, Woonsocket, in 1719. 

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