Thursday, March 19, 2015

John Meigs and wife Thomazine Frye Meigs of New Haven

On my Grandfather Fairchild's side, my 10th great grandfather is John Meigs or Meggs of Guilford and New Haven, Connecticut. He is the son of Vincent Meigs who came with his family from Dorset/Devon, England in 1639 to Connecticut and settled in the New Haven area. John married Thomasine Frye.

John is famous because on the night of May 12, 1661 he rode from Guilford to New Haven to warn the regicides Whalley and Goffe who were hiding at Rev. Davenport's that agents of the King were on the way to arrest them. Whalley and Goffe had been among Cromwell's men who sentenced King Charles I to death. Once Charles II ascended the throne, he planned revenge on the men who had had his father beheaded.

John Meigs supposedly helped them hid in Judges Cave on West Rock where they escaped justice. There is a plaque there to commemorate the occasion.

His daughter Elizabeth married Richard Hubbell through which the line descends to the Glover family in Newtown, then to the Fairchilds.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Edward Gove of Gove's Rebellion

On my son's paternal side through his mother's Fitz/Dearborn side we have Edward Gove. He was born in London, England but came to New England as part of the Great Migration. He came to Salisbury, Massachusetts where he married Hannah Partridge and became a large land owner.
He moved to the new Province of New Hampshire (Hampton) where eventually he, along with many others, came into dispute with Edward Cranfield, the new Governor of the province. Cranfield was greedy and corrupt.
From the Lane Memorial Library website - By 1683 Gove was a person of considerable property, lieutenant of the military company and somewhat popular, and as Randolph, an English devotee of Mason, affirmed, "a leading-man and a great stickler in the late proceedings of the assembly." He resolved, almost singlehanded, to redress his own and others grievances. "He makes it his business," said Randolph, "to stir the people up to rebellion, by giving out that the governor as vice-admiral acted under the commission of his royal highness, the Duke of York, afterwards James II, who was a Papist and would bring Popery among them; that the governor was a pretender and his commission was signed in Scotland. He endeavored, with a great deal of pains to make a party, solicited many of the considerable persons in each town to join with him to secure their liberties. Gove declared "that his sword was drawn, and the he would not lay it down till he knew who should hold the government." The governor, having received information of his movements, immediately sent messengers to Hampton and Exeter with warrants for the constables, requesting them to arrest Gove, but fearing this show of opposition and that Gove's party might become too strong for the civil power, he forthwith ordered the militia of the whole province to be in readiness.
Gove undoubtedly expected that when his arrest was attempted, there would be resistance and then a general uprising. At first he eluded and repulsed the marshall (who was a local man) and others who attempted to arrest him in Hampton, and hastened to his men at Exeter. He suddenly returned to Hampton Jan. 27, 1683, with twelve men, all being mounted, and nearly all being of Hampton, armed with swords, pistols and guns, a trumpet sounding, and with his sword drawn, riding at their head. They entered the town and Gove, seeing no demonstration in his favor at his appearance, lay down his arms and gave himself up to the authorities of the town, as did the others. They were taken into custody by the militia, except the trumpeter, who escaped. They were imprisoned and heavily ironed. When Governor Cranfield was informed of the arrests, he was mounting his horse to lead a part of the troops in pursuit of Gove and his party.

Edward Gove was the only one who's arrest for high treason was permanent. He was eventually sent to the Tower of London in England to be hanged, drawn and quartered. He stayed there for about 3 years but was eventually pardoned by King James II and sent back to New England. He died in Hampton in 1691.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

William Hamilton, first whale killer

William Hamilton is my 8th great grandfather on my Grandma Fairchild's side. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland and came to Massachusetts around 1668. He is famous for being the first person to kill a whale while living on Cape Cod. Being persecuted for killing the whale, by the inhabitants of the Cape, as one who dealt with evil spirits.'" In a slightly different rendition of the story, told by historian Gertrude Wickham, William's family was "driven away as witches." He moved to Rhode Island where he married Mercy or Lucy Berry. In their old age they came to Danbury, Connecticut where he died in 1749 at the advanced age of 103. Supposedly he died in his chair at the home of his son-in-law, Thomas Benedict.