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The Adventurers
of the Massachusetts Bay Company
1630


The following are the known adventurers (founding investors) of the Massachusetts Bay Company from the time of the granting of the Royal Charter, 1628, to the sailing of the fleet of 1630. The Company was what we now would call a closely-held corporation, and almost all the investors, as well as we can determine, can be classed among about an half-dozen groupings by pre-existant ties of family, business, vicinity of homes, or coöperation in Puritan religious and political activities and causes. Of 127 known adventurers, about a third emigrated with their families to New England between 1628 and 1640. Many of the others sent some of their children to take up residence on the lands they claimed.

The adventurers who established families in the new Commonwealth before 1633 are not listed here, because information about them may be found elsewhere in this Web site (on the pages b-data.htm, c-data.htm, etc.). They are Simon Bradstreet, William Coddington, William Colbron, Samuel Cole, Thomas Dudley, John Endecott, Rev. Francis Higginson, Roger Ludlow, Increase Nowell, Abraham Palmer, Rev. George Phillips, William Pyncheon, Edward Rossiter, Sir Richard Saltonstall, Samuel Sharpe, Rev. Samuel Skelton, Elias Stileman, William Vassall, and John Winthrop.

Generally speaking all these adventurers were successful London businessmen, or landed gentry from the Counties of the eastern coast or the southwest of England --- the same areas which had long been the stronghold of Christian reformism, and where the Puritan armies were later mustered by Cromwell. The Massachusetts Bay Company cannot be regarded in the same light as earlier commercial American ventures, as its motivation was primarily religious and political in the context of the brewing Puritan Revolution. The donations of these adventurers were generous enough to found and sustain the Colony, and their only recompense was a claim to some raw wilderness acreage --- not vast estates, but just sufficient (granted usually at 4 to 8 acres per pound sterling*) to make a living should the time come when flight from murderous, inquisitional religious and political persecution be necessary.

As it came about, around 1640 the reformist Christian forces in Parliament began to prevail, and flight from England was no longer necessary. Many of the adventurers listed below were prominent in the English Revolution.

The families are included to the best of our knowledge. Clearly, we haven't listed all the vital information which must be available about these prominent founders of the Massachusetts and English Commonwealths. We seek the help of researchers to fill in the blanks. Thanks!

* The English pound sterling (divided 20 shillings to the pound and 12 pence to the shilling) in those times had about the purchasing equivalent of $1000 of today's currency, based on a skilled 17th century English craftsman's day's wage of one shilling, and the ha'penny price of a loaf of bread or a pint of beer. Thus this raw undeveloped land was valued at about $125 to $250 per acre. The adventurers donated between £50 and £400 each.


Abbreviations:
a=ante(before); b=born; c=circa(about); d=died; dau=daughter (of) ; emig=emigrated to MBC; GCMB=Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay (a.k.a. the Massachusetts Bay Company); int=interred(buried); inv=estate inventoried(after death); m=married; p=post(after); unk=name unknown; wd=will dated; wp=will probated; x=christened

bart=baronet, esq=esquire, gent=gentleman, Rev=Reverend minister
CT=Connecticut; MBC=Massachusetts Bay Colony; ME=Maine; RI=Rhode Island

All dates are original Julian calendar (wherein Dec 31, 1630 was the day before Jan 1, 1630/1 and Mar 24 1630/1 was the day before Mar 25, 1631 ).

Where the date of birth or christening is not known precisely, the English Origin can be assumed to be traditional or conjectural.

Some later marriages (where the wife was past childbearing age) are not shown here.
Daughters of the adventurers are listed by their adult married names, when known.
An asterisk after the date of arrival in the MBC indicates that the person soon returned permanently to England.

(John?) ABRIE
Born .
Died .
English Origin .


Thomas ADAMS
Born .
Died p1647
English Origin Wem, Salop; London
Occupation draper
Father Thomas
Mother Margaret Erpe
Spouse Ann, dau Humfrey Mapled of Printon, Essex
Nota bene Alderman of London


Samuel ALDERSEY
Born c1582
Died wp 13 July 1633
English Origin Aldersey, Cheshire; London
Occupation haberdasher
Father John
Mother Anne Lowe
Spouse Mary van Oyrle of Antwerp
Children John, Mary Crane, Anne Eyre, Elizabeth Lee, Margaret Bletchingdon
2nd Spouse Margaret Offspring,widow Kedward


Richard ANDREWES
Born .
Died .
English Origin London
Occupation haberdasher
Nota bene Alderman of London


Sir Thomas ANDREWES
Born .
Died p1651
English Origin Feltham, Midds; London
Occupation leather-seller
Father Robert
Mother .
Nota bene Sheriff, 1642, and Lord Mayor of London, 1649 - 1650.
Also one of the Virginia Company, 1609. Purchased Durham Castle, 1649.


Rev. Henry ARCHER
Born .
Died .
English Origin London
Occupation minister
Nota bene Chaplain of the GCMB. Author of Personal Reign of Christ on Earth (1642)
Link ExLibris explains Archer's stance as a "fifth monarchist."


Andrew ARNOLD
Born .
Died .
English Origin Somerset?


William BACKHOUSE
Born c1593
Died 30 May 1662
English Origin Swallowfield, Berks
Occupation scientist, alchemist
Father Samuel, MP for Windsor, Berks
Mother Elizabeth Borlase
Spouse Ann Richards
Children Flora, m William Bishop of S Warnborough, Hants


Daniel BALLARD
Born .
Died p1645
English Origin .
Occupation .


Sir Nathaniel BARNARDISTON
Born .
Died wp 28 Sep 1653
English Origin Ketton, Suffolk
Occupation knight


(Robert or son Richard?) (Rev. John?) BATEMAN
Born .
Died .
English Origin .
Occupation .


Richard BELLINGHAM, gent.
Born 1592
Died 7 Dec 1672
English Origin Boston, Lincs
Occupation gentleman, magistrate
Came to MBC 1634
Father William, Esq. of Bromby Woods, Lincs
Mother Frances Amcotts
Spouse 1 Elizabeth Backhouse, sister of William (above)
Children Samuel
Spouse 2 Penelope Pelham, sister of Herbert (below)
Children John (no issue)
Nota bene later twice Governor of MBC


Mr. BILSON
Born .
Died .
English Origin .


(John?) BOWLES
Born .
Died .
English Origin .


Job BRADSHAW
Born .
Died .
English Origin Westminster
Occupation .
Father Joseph
Mother .


Joseph BRADSHAW
Born .
Died wp 4 Jan 1632/33
English Origin Westminster
Occupation .
Father Joseph
Mother .
Spouse Elizabeth
Children Joseph, Benjamin, John


Sir William BRERETON, bart.
Born 1604
Died 1661
English Origin Malpas House, Cheshire
Occupation knight , magistrate
Father Sir William Brereton of Handford
Mother Margaret Holland
Nota bene Member of Parliament, one of judges who condemned King Charles.
Biography A brief biography of Brereton, by Michael Wiesner.


Francis BRIDGES
Born .
Died wp 23 June 1642
English Origin Clapham, Surrey
Occupation .


John BROWNE
Born .
Died .
English Origin Roxwell, Essex
Came to MBC 1629*
Nota bene expelled from MBC for factionalism


Kellam BROWNE
Born .
Died wp 15 Fb 1657/58
English Origin Roxwell, Essex
Occupation .
Nota bene a signer of the Cambridge Agreement


Samuel BROWNE
Born .
Died .
English Origin Roxwell, Essex
Occupation .
Came to MBC 1629*
Nota bene brother of John, above; also expelled for factionalism


(Thomas?) BURNELL
Born .
Died .
English Origin .
Nota bene a William Burnell Came to MBC, 1630


Richard BUSHROD, gent.
Born c1570
Died 1 July1628
English Origin Sherborne and Dorchester, Dorset
Occupation haberdasher, MP for Dorchester, 1626
Father John
Mother Margery
Spouse Dorothy Watts
Children Capt. Richard, Thomas, John, Anne, Samuel, Elizabeth, Dorothy


A. C.
Born .
Died .
English Origin .
Nota bene perhaps Anne, widow of John Clement of Shenfield, Essex.


Joseph CARON
Born .
Died .
English Origin London
Occupation skinner?


Mr. CLARKE
Born .
Died .
English Origin .


Edward COOK
Born .
Died .
English Origin Dunmow, Essex; London
Occupation apothecary
Came to MBC .
Father Richard
Mother .
Spouse .
Children Robert, to MBC by 1638
Nota bene Assistant of GCMB


Christopher COULSON
Born .
Died a1660
English Origin .
Nota bene GCMB Assistant


Matthew CRADDOCK, gent.
Born .
Died wp 4 June 1641
English Origin Stafford; London
Occupation skinner
Came to MBC 1629*
Father Matthew
Mother Dorothy Greenham
Spouse Damaris, dau Richard Wyn of Shrewsbury
Children Damaris Andrewes
2nd Spouse Rebecca, dau Thomas Jordan of London
Children Matthew
Nota bene GCMB Governor, Member of Parliament


Robert CRANE
Born .
Died wp 21 Sep 1646
English Origin Great Coggeshall, Essex; London
Occupation grocer
Father Robert
Mother .
Spouse Mary, dau Samuel Aldersey


William CROWTHER
Born 4 Dec 1580
Died wp 29 May 1658
English Origin Neenton, Shropshire; London
Occupation haberdasher
Father John
Mother Margaret
Spouse Katherine, dau Richard Fox
Children George, William


William DARBY
Born c1588
Died 1649
English Origin Dorchester, Dorset
Occupation mercer, magistrate
Nota bene a William Darby proprietor at Roxbury, MBC 1643; d1683


Rev. John DAVENPORT
Born 9 Apr 1597
Died 15 Mar 1669/70
English Origin Coventry, Warks
Occupation minister
Came to MBC 1637
Father Henry
Mother Winifred Barnaby
Spouse Elizabeth Wooley
Children John, Joseph
Nota bene a founder of the New Haven Colony


Richard DAVIS
Born .
Died .
English Origin Denbigh?; London
Occupation merchant, vintner


Emanuel DOWNING, esq.
Born x 12 Aug 1585
Died p1645
English Origin Ipswich, Suffolk; London
Occupation lawyer of the Inner Temple
Came to MBC 1638
Father George
Mother Dorcas Blois
Spouse Lucy Winthrop
Children George, Ann Gardner, Lucy, John, Dorcas, Theophilus


Henry DURLEY, esq.
Born .
Died .
English Origin Buttercomb, Yorks
Occupation .
Father Sir Richard
Mother Elizabeth, dau Edward Gates


Theophilus EATON, gent.
Born c1590
Died 7 Jan 1657/58, New Haven CT
English Origin Bucks; London
Occupation merchant
Came to MBC 1637
Father Richard
Mother Elizabeth Sheapherd
Spouse Ann Lloyd
Children Theophilus, Hannah Jones, Samuel
Nota bene a founder of New Haven Colony, later Governor of CT


Charles FIENNES, esq.
Born c1605
Died .
English Origin Sempringham, Lincs
Occupation gentleman
Came to MBC 1630*
Father Lord Thomas, 3rd Earl of Lincoln
Mother Elizabeth Knyvett
Nota bene a signer and possible author of the Humble Request.


Francis FLYER
Born .
Died .
English Origin Utoxeter, Staffs; Brent Pelham, Herts; Roxwell, Essex
Occupation merchant
Father Matthew
Mother Elizabeth, dau John Crouch of Cornbury, Herts
Spouse Martha Boothby of St.Antholins


Edward FOORD
Born .
Died wp 6 Jan 1641/42
English Origin Kynver, Staffs; London
Occupation leather seller, merchant


George FOXCROFT
Born .
Died p1644
English Origin Cambridge; London
Occupation merchant
Father Richard
Mother Alice Hodson
Nota bene GCMB Assistant


John GLOVER, esq.
Born .
Died .
English Origin London
Occupation barrister
Father Roger
Mother .
Spouse Jane, dau Francis Dorrington of London


Rev. Josse GLOVER
Born .
Died 1638
English Origin Groton, Suffolk; London
Occupation minister
Father Roger
Mother .
Spouse Sarah Owfield
Children Roger, John, Sarah, Elizabeth, Priscilla
Nota bene died at sea to en route to MBC, 1638


Thomas GOFFE, gent.
Born .
Died .
English Origin London
Occupation merchant
Spouse unk
Children Samuel (in MBC 1639)
Nota bene GCMB Deputy-Governor


John GOODWIN
Born .
Died wp 19 June 1638
English Origin East Bergholt, Suffolk
Occupation clothier


Mrs. Anne HARVEY
Born .
Died .
English Origin .


George HARWOOD
Born .
Died p1638
English Origin Thurlby, Lancs; London
Occupation haberdasher
Father William
Mother Elizabeth Greenham
Nota bene GCMB Treasurer


Thomas HEWSON
Born .
Died .
English Origin London
Occupation merchant


Joseph HILLS
Born c1602
Died 5 Feb 1687/88
English Origin Maldon, Essex
Occupation woollen-draper
Came to MBC 1635
Spouse Rose Dunster
Children Joseph, Gershom, Mehetable
2nd Spouse Hannah Bulkeley (widow Mellowes)
Children John, Samuel, Nathaniel, Deborah, Abigail; also Wayte, Hannah
Nota bene of Newbury, MBC


Daniel HODSON
Born .
Died .
English Origin Newcastle; London; Epping, Essex
Occupation clothier
Father William
Mother Emma, dau Thomas Kerrey of Newbury, Berks
Spouse Katherine, dau Edward Saunders
Children .
2nd Spouse Agnes/Anne (widow Hutt), dau Richard Josselyn of Roxwell, Essex


Atherton HOUGH, gent.
Born c1590
Died 11 Sep 1650
English Origin Boston, Lincs
Occupation gentleman
Came to MBC 1633
Spouse Elizabeth Bulkeley
Children Samuel
2nd Spouse Susanna
Nota bene an Assistant of the MBC


William HUBBARD
Born 1605
Died wp 19 Aug 1670
English Origin Tendring, Essex
Occupation .
Came to MBC a1630
Spouse Judith
Nota bene probably same as came 1635 Came to MBC with family


John HUMFRY, esq.
Born 1597
Died 1653
English Origin Dorchester, Dorset
Occupation gentleman
Came to MBC 1634, returned 1641
Father Michael Humfry,Esq., MP for Dorchester 1626.
Spouse unk
Children Theophilus, Thomas, Joseph, Lydia, Dorcas, Sarah
Nota bene Assistant of the MBC


Thomas HUTCHINS
Born .
Died .
English Origin .
Nota bene GCMB Assistant


Edward IRONSIDE
Born .
Died .
English Origin .


Sir Brian JANSON
Born .
Died .
English Origin London
Occupation knight
Father Brian
Mother Anne, dau Robert Lee of Beaconsfield, Bucks
Spouse Mary, dau Henry Breres of Lancs
Nota bene GCMB Assistant


Isaac JOHNSON, esq.
Born x 1601
Died 30 Sep 1630
English Origin Sempringham, Lincs
Occupation gentleman
Came to MBC 1630
Father Abraham
Mother Anne Meadows
Spouse Arbella, dau Thomas Fiennes, 3rd Earl of Lincoln
Nota bene GCMB Assistant


Robert KEANE
Born 1595
Died 23 Mar 1655/56
English Origin London
Occupation merchant tailor
Came to MBC 1635
Spouse Ann
Children Benjamin


Thomas LEVERETT
Born c1585
Died 3 Apr 1650
English Origin Boston, Lincs
Occupation .
Came to MBC 1633
Spouse Anne Fitch
Children Jane, Capt. John, Anne Addington


John MALBON
Born .
Died .
English Origin .
Occupation ironworker


Nathaniel MANESTY
Born .
Died .
English Origin London


Thomas MARSH
Born .
Died p1645
English Origin London


Abraham MELLOWS
Born c1570
Died 1638
English Origin Boston, Lincs
Occupation .
Came to MBC 1633
Spouse Martha Bulkeley
Children Oliver, Elizabeth, Abraham, Catherine, Sgt. Edward, Anne


Peter MILBURNE
Born .
Died .
English Origin St.Dunstans, London
Occupation mariner
Nota bene Master of the Arbella


Rev. Matthias NICHOLS
Born c1586
Died wp 10 Oct 1631
English Origin Dorset
Occupation minister


Rev. Philip NYE
Born .
Died .
English Origin .
Occupation minister
Nota bene GCMB chaplain


Joseph OLDFIELD
Born .
Died .
English Origin .
Father Roger
Mother Thomasine, dau John Moore


Mr. PAYNTER
Born .
Died .
English Origin .


Herbert PELHAM, esq.
Born c1600
Died 1674 (Buers, Suffolk)
English Origin Boston, Lincs
Occupation gentleman
Came to MBC 1635
Father Sir Herbert
Mother Penelope, dau Thomas, Lord de la Warre
Spouse Jemima, dau Thomas Waldegrave
Children Waldegrave, Edward, Nathaniel, Henry, Penelope Winslow, Anne, Katherine Clark, dau Eliot/Tolliot
2nd Spouse Elizabeth, widow Harlakenden


Mr. PEMBERTON
Born .
Died .
English Origin .
Nota bene a Mr. James P. applied 1630 freeman; claimed Pemberton's Island by 1628 grant


William PERKINS
Born .
Died probably a1641
English Origin London
Occupation merchant tailor
Spouse Katherine
Children Rev. William (emig 1631) of Roxbury, MBC


Richard PERRY
Born .
Died wp 11 Jan 1649/50
English Origin Exeter, Devon; London
Occupation merchant tailor
Father Richard
Mother .
Nota bene GCMB Assistant; a Richard, Jr.in Charlestown 1639


Rev. Hugh PETER
Born 1599
Died 16 Oct 1660
English Origin Fowy, Cornwall; London
Occupation minister
Came to MBC 1635
Spouse Elizabeth (widow Reade)
Children .
2nd Spouse Deliverance Sheffield
Children Elizabeth Barker
Nota bene Godfather to John Winthrop, Jr.


John POCOCK
Born .
Died p1648
English Origin London
Occupation woollen-draper
Nota bene an Assistant of the GCMB


Thomas PULISTON
Born .
Died .
English Origin Wallington, Flint; London
Occupation draper
Father John
Mother Jane Perry
Spouse Martha, dau John Doughty, Alderman of Bristol


John REVELL
Born .
Died wp 8 Jun 1659
English Origin London
Occupation fishmonger
Came to MBC 1630*


Sir Henry ROSEWELL
Born .
Died .
English Origin Ford Abbey
Occupation knight


Owen ROWE
Born .
Died p1636
English Origin London
Occupation silk-merchant


Thomas SHARPE
Born c1585
Died p1636
English Origin London
Occupation leather-seller
Came to MBC 1630*
Spouse Tabitha
Children dau, Thomas
Nota bene Assistant of the MBC; house in MBC burned, he returned to England


John SMYTH
Born .
Died .
English Origin .
Nota bene perhaps the famous Captain of Virginia, and Admiral of New England?


Thomas SOUTHCOTE
Born .
Died .
English Origin Mohun's Ottery, Devon
Nota bene a Thomas applied to be freeman, 1630


John SPENCER
Born .
Died .
English Origin .


William SPURSTOWE
Born .
Died wp 20 Dec 1644
English Origin Shrewsbury; London
Occupation mercer
Father Thomas
Mother Katherine
Spouse Damaris, dau Henry Parkhurst


Thomas STEVENS
Born .
Died .
English Origin London
Occupation armorer
Nota bene a Thomas, ironmonger, age 12 to Boston 1635


Richard TUFFNEALE, gent.
Born .
Died wp 1 Sep 1640
English Origin Southwark, Surrey
Occupation brewer
Father Richard
Mother .
Spouse Elizabeth, dau William Humphries, esq.
Children Sir John
Nota bene Member of Parliament


Samuel VASSALL
Born .
Died 1667
English Origin Stepney, Midds; London
Occupation draper
Father John
Mother unk (wife 2)
Nota bene an Assistant of the GCMB


John VENN
Born .
Died p1644
English Origin Lydiard St. Lawrence, Somerset; London
Occupation merchant tailor, soldier
Father Simon
Mother Maude Lawrence
Spouse unk
Children Thomas (in MBC by 1644)
Nota bene GCMB Assistant; officer under Cromwell


Thomas WADE
Born .
Died .
English Origin Northampton
Children Jonathan (emig 1632)


Thomas WALDEGRAVE
Born .
Died .
English Origin Buers, Suffolk
Father Thomas
Mother Elizabeth, dau Robert Gurdon of Assington
Spouse Margaret, dau John Holmstead of Halstead, Essex
Children Jemima Pelham


Capt. Henry WALLER
Born .
Died int 31 Oct 1631
English Origin London
Occupation soldier


Rev. Nathaniel WARD
Born c1585
Died p1646
English Origin Suffolk
Occupation lay minister, lawyer
Came to MBC 1634
Children John, Susan Firmin, James
Nota bene author of the Liberties of New Englishmen


Mr. WARREN
Born .
Died .
English Origin .


George WAY
Born .
Died 1641
English Origin Dorchester, Devon
Occupation glover


Francis WEBBE
Born .
Died p1656
English Origin .
Occupation miller
Came to MBC .
Spouse unk Aldersey


Nicholas WEST
Born .
Died .
English Origin .
Nota bene a signer of the Cambridge Agreement


Simon WHETCOMBE
Born .
Died .
English Origin London; Sherburne
Occupation woollen merchant


Charles WHICHCOTE
Born .
Died .
English Origin London
Occupation .
Father Christopher
Mother Elizabeth, dau Edward Fox


Edmund WHITE
Born .
Died wp 19 Feb 1632/33
English Origin Powick, Worcs; London
Occupation haberdasher


John WHITE, esq.
Born .
Died .
English Origin London
Occupation barrister


Rev. John WHITE
Born 1575
Died 1648
English Origin Dorchester, Dorset
Occupation minister
Nota bene a prime mover in the settlement of New England


Richard WHITE
Born .
Died .
English Origin .


Daniel WINCH
Born .
Died .
English Origin .


Mr. WOODGATE
Born .
Died .
English Origin .


Nathaniel WRIGHT
Born .
Died .
English Origin London
Occupation merchant
Nota bene GCMB Assistant


Sir John YONGE
Born .
Died .
English Origin Colyton, Devon
Occupation knight


James YOUNG
Born .
Died .
English Origin London
Occupation merchant

 

Richard YOUNG
Born .
Died .
English Origin London
Occupation haberdasher


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