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being the record of the posterity of
Frederick Clifton Pierce
3860. REV. THOMAS FOSTER, b. England; m. there Abigail Wimes, dau. of Mathew, of Ipswich, England.
In the name of God Amen the xxijth day of September in the xiiijth yeare of the raigne of our Sovereign lord Chartes by the grace of God of England Scotland France & Ireland King defender of the faith de Annoque dni 1638. I Thomas Forster of Ipswich in the countie of Suffolk Clarke being sicke in body but of good & p'rtect remembrance God be thanked therefore doe ordain & make this my last will & testa. ment in manner & form following First and most principally I'doe most humblie comend my soul to God and most stedfastly believing in and through the only death merits and passion of Jesus Christ my alone Saviour & all sufficient Redeemer to have free pardon and remission of all my sins & to be an inheritor with him in his everlasting Kingdom prepared for his elect before the beginning of the world And my body to the earth from whence it came And as for that small estate which God of his goodness hath lent me in this life I doe by his divine permission dispose thereof as followeth that is to say I will and bequeath my messuage or tenement wherein I do now inhabit and dwell situate in the parish of St Matthew and the parish of St Mary at the tower in Ipswich or in either of them to my executors hereafter named and to their heirs and assigns to the use intent and purpose that they do within one year next after my decease make sale thereof for the best price that can be obtained And the monies for which the same shall be sold I will shall be devided in form following, viz. : to my son Richard Foster £20. To my son Thomas Foster £20 to my son William Foster £20 the remainder of the monies shall be equally devided between and among my three daughters Sarae Smith the wife of John Smith Elizabeth the wife of William Ferris and Jane Ladbrooke widow I will and bequeath to the said Jane Ladbrooke my great chest in the hall the bedstead feather bed and all the furniture thereonto belonging except the red blanskett standing in my hall chamber Item I give and bequeath unto the said Elizabeth Ferris iny daughter the black trunk standing in the said hall chamber and the bedstead and bedding and all the furniture thereunto belonging standing in the butterie chamber with the said red blanskett And I further give and bequeath unto my said two daughters Elizabeth and Jane all such firing of wood brome and coals as I shall have at the time of my decease Item I give unto the said Richard my son my great backed leather chair standing in the parlour Item I give unto Robert Ladbrooke my grandchild ny great joined chair in the parlour and also the handle bedstead and bed with all the furniture standing in the butterie chamber All my other household stuff linen brass and pewter and movables whatsoever I give and bequeath unto my said three daughters Sarrae Elizabeth and Jane to be equally devided amongst them And I will and my mind is that all my apparel and all my books shall be sold and the monies thereof arising to be equally devided amongst my said two daughters Elizabeth and Jane And all other my monies debts and goods whatsoever not by me herein before given (my debts probate of this my last will and funeral expenses discharged) I will shall be and remain to my said two daughters Elizabeth and Jane to be equallie devided And of this my last Will and Testament I do ordain and make the said Richard my son and Jane my daughter my executors And thus giving all honour praise and glory to God Alinightie I conclude this my last will and testament-His testibus, John Lambe, John Hawys—Executed by mark. Proved December 5, 1638.
(Commissary and Archdeaconry
Court of Suffolk-Filed Will, s. a.) He d. in England in 1628. Res., Biddenden and Ipswich, England. 3861. i. RICHARD, b. in England, abt. 1595; m. Patience Bigg. 3862. ii. THOMAS, b. in England, abt. 1600; m. Elizabeth -3863. iii. WILLIAM, b. in England, in 1618; m. Susanna —, and Anne
3864. iv. SARAH, m. John Smith.
3861. RICHARD FOSTER (Thomas), b. England, prob. at Biddenden, abt. 1595; m. there Patience Bigg, a sister of John Bigg and of the husband of Rachel Bigg. She was b. 1595.
17 Aprilis, 1635 This p'ties hereonder expressed are to be transported to New England imbarqued in ye Elizabeth Wm. Stagg Mr. Cert. from the Minister and Justices of the Peace of their conformitie to the Church of England, they have taken the oaths of Allegeance and Supremacie. Such is the heading in the entry in the Rolls office Chancery Lane, London, signed by Patience ffoster, aged 40, and son Hopestill ffoster, aged 14.
In 1635 there arrived in Massachusetts many ships with passengers from England, and the plantation at Dorchester attracted its full share of them. This year there arrived among the passengers in the “Elizabeth" Patience Foster and her son Hopestill.
In 3 Mass. Hist. Coll. viii, 261, is extract from the record of London custom house, where these names, with that of Rachel Bigg, 6, are given. Of the accuracy of this part of the copy a genuine doubt being felt. By kindness of the official keeper of that record at Westminster, a fac-simile was obtained, for 'a few lines, and thus its exactness proved. That another numeral, perhaps on the left, perhaps on the right, of the figure 6, denoting the years of Kachel Bigg was omitted by the clerk, in 1635, must be evident to all, for in her will, Nov. 17, 1646, she calls husband aged, and names her nephew, Hopestill F., probably the fellow passenger, to whom she makes bequest. See 3 Mass. Hist. Coll. x, 131. —Savage.
"All of these facts point to certain conclusions, viz. : That prior to '1639 Patience Foster was a widow, and as there is no mention of her husband's death here, nor of his being alive here, it seems indisputable that he never came here; but that her son, Hopestill, was made a freeman, church member and a husband in 1639. As I have said, if he were only fourteen in 1635 this would be marvelous; but if the custom house entry of age was wrong, as it was in regard to his grandmother, Rachel Bigg, there is no inconsistency. In fact I incline to think the age given him was seventeen instead of fourteen, and then he would be twenty-one when he took up these responsibilities in 1639. Mr. Savage, in his transcript of these list of emigrants, has pointed out numerous instances of evident mistakes in the ages given, all recog. nized in other ways as children of Capt. Hopestill Foster and his wife, Mary, daughter of James Bates, and of course the same three named by their grandmother, Rachel Biggs, in her above will of November, 1646. Now Captain Hopestill was presumably married in 1639, the same year that the freeman was admitted, and that he was made a church member also. In Dorchester Town Records, as printed, p. 28, in the division of lands, widow Foster had an acre next to Mr. Bates, at the Neck, in January, 1637-8; in March, 1637-8, she has two acres and thirty rods. In 1641 (p. 45) persons putting horses on the Neck were to report to Hopestill Foster; in 1644 Hopestill Foster was one of three to settle with John Glover. From that date we trace Captain Hopestill, of Cranbrook, deceased. I omit many other interesting references. Now, the widow, Rachel Bigg, in 1646 mentions her 'nephew, Hopestill Foster, and his children, Thankful, Hopestill and Patience. In regard to the word “nephew" I made a surprising blunder, treating it as equivalent to son-in-law, and meaning by it the husband of Patience Foster, who came over with Mrs. Bigg, in fact the word "nephew' in English wills of that date means very often, if not invariably, "grandson " See on this point the standard dictionaries. This makes everything harmonious. (I) Mrs. Patience Foster, the emigrant of 1635, was doubtless a widow, and the christian name of her husband was Richard. Her son (2), Hopestill Foster, born 1620, or 1621, was the first of these names in Dorcester; was the nephew, i. e., grandson of Rachel Bigg, and in 1653 he and his cousins, the Stowes. divided the lands of their deceased uncles, Smallhope Bigg and John Bigg," both of Kent. Against this is only the tradition, or idea, that Patience Foster's husband was named Hopestill, and that he came to Dorcester, substantiated by the fact that a Hopestill Foster was a freeman May 22, 1639. Art. Co., 1642, and selectmen 1645. (I do not find a selectman then, it being an error for 1655.) These offices seem beyond the reach of a boy born in 1620. But look at the other side. In the Dorchester Church Record, we find admitted prior to November, 1639. Rachel Bigg Patience and Hopestill Foster. In the same record, Thankful Foster, bapt. Dec. 27, 1640, "married to Mr. Baker, of Boston." Later note on the church record: Hopestill Foster, March 10, 1644. Patience Foster, July 16, 1646.
"Though considerable has been written about Capt. Hopestill Foster, much was incorrect, and I must confess to have been one of the blunderers. This is especially in regard to the idea that his father came to New England. The true record begins with the fact that on April 17, 1635, he embarked on the 'Elizabeth,' of which William Stagg was master. I agree with Mr. Savage that the age of Rachel Bigg was a clerical error, and that she was the Rachel Bigg whose will of Nov. 17, 1646, is in our Suffolk wills, and which is annotated by me in the Register, vol. 29. p. 253. In the same notes will be found the will of John Bigg, of Maidstone county, Kent, England, dated March 27, 1941-2, proved Feb. 7, 1642-3. He mentions his mother, his sister Foster and his brother Stowe, all three in New England; cousin James Bates, of New England, his brother Smallhope Bigg."-Whitmore.
“Savage says that Hopestill Foster came to Dorchester in 1634, or a little earlier, and had his wife Patience, etc. This is probably an error. It is quite probable that the husband of Patience Foster never came to this country, and that his name was not Hopestill, but Richard. Patience Foster, who came to this country in 1635 with her son Hopestill, aged fourteen, and her mother, Rachel Bigg, aged six (probably an original clerical error for sixty), was called widow Foster at the assignment of Neck lands, in Dorchester, in 1637. Smallhope Bigg, of England, mentions in his will his mother, Rachel Bigg, and his sister, Patience Foster, and Elizabeth Stowe, living in New England. He leaves to Hopestill Foster, 'son of my sister,' three hundred pounds. Again, he mentions Patience Bigg, alias Foster, wife of Richard Foster, and Elizabeth Bigg, alias Stowe, wife of Richard Stowe. This last is a clerical error, for he has already spoken of 'my brother John Stowe.' Vol. 38, p. 60. John Bigg, brother and chief heir of Stanhope Bigg, in his will, dated March, 1641, mentions his mother ‘Rachel, his sister Foster, and his brother Stowe (whose wife is probably now deceased), living in New England. A certain portion is to be given eventually to Hopestill Foster and the sons and daughters of Stowe. To these he is evidently uncle. Vol. 29. pp. 253-240. In Rachel Bigg's will, Nov. 17, 1640, Suffolk Wills, 1-89. she mentions her son-in-law John Stow and her pephew Igrandson] Hopestill Foster; Thankful, his daughter; Hopestill, his son; and Patience, his daughter. This is probably the order of their ages [the sisters). The first mention of Hopestill Foster in Dorchester records is I of I mo., 1641, when he was made fence viewer. This was at the March election. As he must have been at least twenty-one at this time he must have been born as early as March, 1620. In 1635 his age was given as fourteen. (Will, July 19, 1676 ) He died Oct. 14, 1676, aged fifty-six. (Sewall.] [Hopestill, Jr., mentioned on p. 145 of Dorchester, is son of this one.) He was made freeman in 1643. He married Mary Bate, daughter of James Bate, who was called 'cousin' by John Bigg, and who with all his family came over in the same ship with Hopestill Foster and his mother. She died Jan. 4, 1702-3, aged eighty-four years. [The ages of the Bate family as given in the ship list are as follows: James Bate, fifty-three; Alice Bate, fifty-two; Lydia, twenty; Marie, seventeen; Margaret, twelve; James, five. She was probably older than her husband."-Miss Mary Pierce, of Weston.
Sept. 14, 1653, Hopestill Foster signs an agreement in relation to land of deceased, uncles Smallhope Bigg and John Bigg, of the county of Kent, in Old Eng. land. The lands were in Crambrooke, Withersham and Lidd.-See Boston Probate records.
Vol. 51, p. 194, Archæology Cantiana (Vol. 20, London, 1893), prints an abstract of Kentish administrations, 1604-1649, extracted from the Act Books of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, from which the following is taken:
“Fol. 166; name of deceased, Foster Richard (relict Patience renounses), Parish Biddenden; to whom granted, John Bigg, maternal uncle of Mary, Hope. still and John Foster, children, minors; date, 1630, 3 May."
Albert C. Bates, Hartford, Conn.
202 High St., Hartford, Conn., Aug. 16, '98. Dear Sir: Absence from the city must excuse delay in acknowledging yours of the 6th. I have no special interest in, or special material concerning, the Foster family. My only interest was an effort to establish a connection between the Bigg and Bate families in England.
Albert C. Bates. Mr. F. C. Pierce.
These parties, April 17, 1635, hereunto expressed are to be transported to New England, imbarqued in Elizabeth. Certificates from Ministers and Justices of the