Saturday, February 19, 2011

John Bean and the Battle of Worcester, 1651

John was born in Scotland around 1634. In 1651, at the age of sixteen he was a
young soldier in General Monk’s army in 1651 which went forth with the
design to place Charles II as king on the throne which was vacant by the
execution of his father King Charles I. On Septamber 3, 1651, roughly
12,000 Royalist, Scottish troops were holed up in the English town of
Worcester. This battle became known as the "Battle of Worcester". During
the 10 hour battle roughly 3,000 Royalists were killed and 7,000 taken
prisoner. John was captured by English Soldiers led by Oliver Cromwell and
was jailed as a prisoner of war, likely at Tuthill Fields prison in London.
In 1651, he was released from prison on condition that he be deported to
the colonies as an indentured servant. Indentured servitude usually lasted
7 years. John's ship landed in Boston. John worked for Nicholas Lissen in
his sawmill as an indentured servent in Exeter, New Hampshire. Alexander
Gordon also worked for Nicholas Lissen, although not as an indentured
servant.John Bean, Henry Magoon, and Alexander Gordon were lifetime friends
and lived very similar lives, all being captured in battle and marrying the three
daughters of Nicholas Lissen.
In October 10, 1664 he married Nicholas Lissen's daughter, Hannah
Lissen in Exeter, New Hampshire and was given twenty acres of land as dowry
by his father-in-law. Hannah and John had three children. Hannah died in
childbirth of their third child. John eventually married
Margaret and had another 9 children.

John was of the signers of the New Hampshire petition. In
1675 he may have enlisted in the colonists army to help defend the colony
against the Indian chief, King Philip. In 1695, John may again have
enlisted in the army, serving in Capt. Kingsley Hall's company in "King
Williams War". John died in Exeter, New Hampshire in 1717 at the age of 83
and is buried in the Church Yard of the Congrestional Church.
"The tax lists and other sources of information show that Exeter also
profited by this chattel slavery, as Nicholas Lissen of the latter place is
credited with being master of some of the Worcester prisoners."

Bean states that an expatriate Scotsman by the name of Nicholas Lissen "was
operating two lumber mills near Exeter, N.H." in 1651.
Following Stackpole, he states that "the seven men who were indentured to
Nicholas Lissen were: John Bean, John Barber, Alexander Gordon, John
Sinclair, John Hudson, John Thompson, and Walter Jackson. All were to be
lifetime friends of John Bean."

John Bean is the 8th great grandfather of my mother-in-law, Connie.


Anonymous said...

I'm tracing my family history and am interested in Alexander Gordon. I saw another site that said he was an indentured servant, and note your indication that he was not...I'd love to know your source. Thanks.

lisamc67 said...

Hi, I have connections to Margaret lissen and I was wondering if you had any info on their son Daniel bean.

lisamc67 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gerald said...

Warfare is a fascinating subject. Despite the dubious morality of using violence to achieve personal or political aims. It remains that conflict has been used to do just that throughout recorded history.

Your article is very well done, a good read.