Family Origins

The English Origins of the "Mary and John" Passengers related that Robert of this genealogy was of yeoman stock. Upon his death in 1573 he was described in parish records as a "clerk" which normally meant he was a cleric. Since he was married, he either was of a minor order which did not require celibacy, or he was ordained after the break with the Catholic church. His predecessor in the Awliscombe church was installed on May 11, 1554.

Although Robert's son Radford studied at Exeter College, Oxford as early as 1581, supposedly he did not receive his B.A. until 1599. He was instituted as vicar of Islington, Devon, on July 1, 1597, received his M.A. in 1603, and became the minister for the city of Exeter. However, parish records at Exeter disclosed his ordination as priest on June 15, 1583. In 1586 he was admitted to the rectory of the church of Trisham. Radford resigned his position at Islington in 1621 and was succeeded by Christopher Warren.

Ordination records of 1597 Exeter, Devonshire, revealed "Deacon and Priest: John Maverick literatus 29 July." In 1615, having received his M.A., John was admitted to the rectory of Beaworthy. He appeared to have died by the time of his brother Radford's 1622 will.

Brother Alexander's wife, Alice Crabbe, may have been the "Alice Mavericke als. Tucke widow" who was buried in Awliscombe on December 16, 1607.

In his will Radford referred to Peter as his eldest brother, so Peter was probably born circa 1550. According to ordination books, Peter was ordained as deacon in a private chapel at the Bishops Palace in Exeter on January 15, 1573/4 and became a priest on March 16 of that year. He was admitted to the "Perpetual Vicarage of Aulscombe" on the resignation of Richard Bacon, clerk, the last incumbent, and was there in 1580. He was succeeded after his death by John Hassard.

One of the entries in the ordination books referred to him as "Peter Bull alias Maverick" and another referred to him as "Peter Maverick alia (sic) Bull." Institution Books at Exeter for 1580 read "Peter Maverick alias Bull, clerk." While no explanation for the two names has been found, there are several possibilities. The most reasonable explanation was that as the eldest brother, in reality Peter was a step-brother. Peter may have been the child of his mother's first marriage. But in that case, Robert would have been the father of Peter.

In 1577 Peter Maverick married Dorothy Tucke, daughter of tenants of the Mayor of Exeter. Perhaps Dorothy was a relation of the "Alice Mavericke als. Tucke widow" referred to above. Peter and Dorothy produced two sets of twins. Both sets died shortly after birth.

According the English Origins of the "Mary & John" Passengers, Peter met a violent death circa 1616. However, no details were given.

His son John was baptized on December 28, 1578 in Awliscombe. John attended Exeter College at Oxford where he received his B.A. on July 8, 1599 and his M.A. on July 7, 1603. John had been already ordained as priest at Exeter, Devon County, on July 29, 1597. Based on her genealogical research reported in the April, 1915 NEHGR, Elizabeth French believed John may have been curate to his uncle Radford who was vicar at Ilsington. John married Mary Gye there on October 28, 1600.

The Maverick family, in particular Radford Maverick, may have been related to the Gye family. In "The Ancestry of Mary Gye, Wife of Rev. John Maverick", John G. Hunt reported that Mary's great-uncle was Nicholas Radford, a noted judge who was murdered circa 1455 and suggested that Radford Maverick might have been named after Nicholas or some other member of the Radford family.

The Gye family owned land in Ilsington where Radford Maverick became rector, and Robert Gye gave a large sum of money to him to raise Gye's daughter Mary. Hunt reported that Radford Maverick gave Mary in marriage to "his german-cousin" John Maverick.

Hunt claimed that in the 16th and 17th centuries that "cousin-german" meant "first cousin". However, in a codicil to his 1622 will, Radford Maverick referred to "Radford my brother John Mauericke's son" as his cousin. So Radford referred to his nephew as "cousin". In addition, the nephew Radford mentioned in the will was a true "cousin-german" to the John Maverick who married Mary Gye.

On August 30, 1615 John Maverick was inducted to the rectory of St. Albans, Beaworthy in North Devon County. He resigned that post on December 4, 1629 and, according to The English Origins of the "Mary & John" Passengers, the family resided near Honiton until their immigration. On March 24, 1629/30 John was chosen a teacher of the puritan church at Plymouth, England.

John, Mary, and their children (Elias, Mary, Moses, Aaron, Abigail, Antipas, and Margaret) emigrated to New England on board the "Mary & John" on March 20, 1629/30 from Plymouth, England. Their son Samuel had already emigrated to New England.

In his "Some Passengers of the 'Mary and John' in 1630," John Hunt related that the early settlers from Dorchester "included two unlike clerics, John Warham, a nonconformist, and John Maverick, a conformist." While many of the group came from Exeter, Maverick "lived forty miles off" at the time. But along with Warham, he became the religious leader of the group.

According to The Founding of Harvard College, the Mavericks were with the group containing John Warham and other West Countrymen who settled Dorchester, Massachusetts. While at Dorchester; along with Warham, Gaylord, and Rockwell; John signed early orders for distribution of land.

There was evidence that John had been intending to remove to Connecticut when he died suddenly at Dorchester on February 3, 1635/6. Winthrop wrote that John was a "man of very humbel spirit, and faith full in furthering the work of the Lord her, both in the church and civil state."

His wife Mary was found to be living with her son Samuel in 1665. Furthermore, Samuel sent his mother's regards in a 1666 letter to Sir William Morrice.

John's son Elias Maverick and his wife resided first in Chelsea and then in Charlestown, Massachusetts, where he joined the church. John's daughter Mary married Rev. James Parker of Weymouth and moved to Portsmouth, New Hampshire and, before James' death, to Barbadoes. Abigail married John Manning of Boston and removed to Charlestown, Massachusetts. Antipas was a merchant on the Isles of Shoals and then removed to Kittery, Maine and finally, to Exeter, New Hampshire.

John's son Moses Maverick first married Remember Allerton who emigrated to New England aboard the "Mayflower" in 1620. His second wife was Eunice Roberts, a widow. After leaving Dorchester, Moses removed to Salem where he became a freeman on September 3, 1634. The next year he was at Marblehead, Massachusetts and was there for most of the rest of his life. He served on the Grand Jury in 1645 and 1649. In 1645 Moses Maverick and David Carwethan acted as attorneys for William Walton, John Peck, and other Marblehead residents in a trespassing court case against Phillip Alke, Thomas Dyer, and Christopher Rogers. In 1647, Moses sued John Legg and his wife Elizabeth for defamation of character. And then in 1636, he rented Noodles Island from the General Court and was in charge of it while his brother Samuel was in Virginia. But by 1650 he was back purchasing land in Marblehead.

His informal will, with no signature or witness, was presented by his second wife Eunice at Ipswich on March 30, 1686. He remembered his wife and four daughters - Elizabeth Skinner, Remember Woodman, Mary Ferguson, and Sara Rosman. He also referred to Moses Hawks, the child of his deceased daughter Rebecca; and to Samuel Ward, Abigail Hinds, Mary Dollabar, and Martha Ward, the children of his deceased daughter Abigail. His children objected and it was held over until the next court term. The will was administered on July 15, 1684, docket number 1472. The will may not have been accepted, but Eunice was made administratrix of the estate. Edward Woodman, husband of Remember, petitioned the court three times demanding an accounting of Moses' estate. The final settlement of the estate wasn't made until November 29, 1698.

According to The English Origins of the "Mary & John" Passengers, the motivation of John's probable son Samuel for emigrating to the New World was not religious. He was an Anglican who emigrated long before his parents and in his "Briefe Description of New England" he wrote about his observations upon his arrival in 1624. In 1625 he fortified a house at Winnissimet (Chelsea) "with a Pillizado and fflankers and gunnes." Hart, in Commonwealth History of Massachusetts, reported that in 1627, only blacksmith Thomas Waldorf / Wolford at Charlestown, "prelatist" Samuel Maverick at Noodles Island, recluse clergyman William Blackstone at Boston, and the small group at Cape Ann lived between Plymouth Colony and New Hampshire.

So Anglican Samuel Maverick was already established when Winthrop's Fleet arrived in 1630. On June 17, 1630, Winthrop recorded in his journal his first contact with "Mr. Maverick."

The Puritans had arrived too late in the season to plant enough to survive and Endicott's group had little to spare. So Samuel helped keep many of the new settlers from starving during that first winter. Then, when small pox attacked the Indians in 1633, Samuel cared for them.

Massachusetts Bay: The Crucial Decade, 1640-1650 claimed Samuel became a freeman in May, 1631, before church membership became a qualification. However, French claimed he did not become a freeman until October 2, 1632. He was listed in Volume 1, page 74 of Colonial Records, as the lone person to take the oath on October 2, 1632. On May 18, 1631, a John "Mavericke" had taken the oath. Then in April, 1633, claimed Samuel may have received a grant of Noodles Island. However, Hard had reported Samuel was living on Noodles Island as early as 1627.

He married Amias, the daughter of William Cole, a shipwright from Plymouth; and the widow of David Thompson, an apothecary. Amias had first married Thompson in St. Andrew's Church, Plymouth, Devon County, England. According to Elizabeth French, Thompson went to Piscataqua in 1623 and to an island in Boston Harbor later known as Thompson Island in 1626. He died there in 1628.

In the 1674 book An Account of Two Voyages to New England, John Josselyn wrote that on July 10, 1638 he "went a shore upon Noddles island to Mr. Samuel Maverick the only hospitable man in all the Countrey, giving entertainment to all Comer grate's." He stayed with Samuel for several days before starting out towards Maine. Then from September 30 into October, 1639, Josselyn was again entertained by Maverick.

In 1632 a Mr. Pynchon (probably William Pynchon) paid Samuel Maverick a month's wages. In April, 1633, the Court of Assistants recognized Samuel's ownership of "Noddles Island upon payment of a quitrent of 'either a fatt weather a fatt hogg or eleven shillings'." On Noodles Island he operated fishing, trade, and farming businesses. Darrett Rutman described the farm as having a "mansion house, millhouse and mill, bakehouse . . . outhouses barnes staples." Then in 1634, a committee was set-up to divide Maverick's Noodles Island grant among the people. Each adult mail received two acres and each youth one acre. However, Samuel appeared to have stayed on his Noodles Island farm.

In addition to his land on Noodles Island, Samuel had numerous grants of land from Massachusetts to Maine. In 1635 he spent nearly a year in Virginia.

Samuel Maverick was admittedly, an oddity. In addition to helping the natives, he was an early slave holder and was fined heavily for sheltering suspected adulterers who had escaped from prison. In fact, according to Rutman, one of Maverick's three slaves claimed to be "a Queen in her own Countrey."

As a member of the Church of England and a supporter of the King of England, Samuel was not the most popular settler in Massachusetts and was in constant opposition with the government.

In 1647, Massachusetts was no democracy. Samuel, along with a number of other prominent men sent a petition to the General Court protesting the lack of civil liberties. The petition signers were fined for maligning the government, for slandering the church, and, later, for conspiring against Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Samuel returned to England complaining bitterly. While there, he wrote to the King that he had lost all of his civil and religious liberties and warned the King that there were thousands of his subjects in the same situation.

However, in 1664 Samuel Maverick returned to Massachusetts as one of Charles II's four royal commissioners; along with Nicolls, Cartwright, and Carr; to settle affairs in New England and to rid the New Netherlands of the Dutch. They were to make the citizens accept changes in the charters and to place their militia under authority of the crown. The commissioners were sent because the King had heard the Puritan governments had been trampling on the rights of non-Puritans and had not been properly supportive of the crown. The commissioners were to be champions of the English and Indians. By strengthening the rights of the English in New England, it was hoped the commissioners would strengthen the King's support. In The Invasion of America, the commissioners' arrival was called "a new era." Although they were "but four persons without any of the paraphernalia of power except the royal seall . . . they spoke and acted with the confidence of men who can summon power in need."

The arrival of the commissioners and their mission was to be a surprise. But Maverick couldn't wait. As soon as he arrived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, a few days before their arrival in Boston, Samuel Maverick dashed off a note to Captain Breedon in Boston. Maverick instructed Breedon to go to the governor and tell him what was in store for the colonists. Maverick had been in the New World before any of them and, simply because he was different, he had been forced to move, was fined, and was finally imprisoned. Suddenly he was the man in charge and he felt the need to gloat. So by the time the commissioners arrived in Boston, word had spread, and Endicott and his people were ready for them.

Some colonists quibbled, some evaded, and some pretended to be loyal in an attempt to deceive the commissioners. But few cooperated with the commissioners. When Samuel proposed eight changes in civil and religious law, Massachusetts refused to accept any of them. Eventually, the commissioners gave up.

Unsuccessful in Massachusetts, Samuel Maverick finally settled in New York after the Dutch had left. He was accorded a house there as a reward for his fidelity to the King.

Judy Jacobson, Massachusetts Bay Connections

1 comment:

  1. Peter,
    I'm enjoying reviewing your blog. I'm working on a book about David Thomson that will also touch heavily on Samuel Maverick. I've had four articles published in the UK entitled, David Thomson, The Scottish Founder of New Hampshire, a Gentleman and Scholar.
    Genevieve Fraser