Born: 06 FEB 1610 Braintree, Essex Co, England
Occupation: He and his father were successful merchant tailors in England in the early 1600s.
Marriage: 18 MAY 1627 to Anne Marsh Braintree, Essex Co, England
Immigration: MAR 1630
Place: From Aston Parish, Northamptonshire Co, England to Boston, Massachusetts
Note: Richard and his wife Anne Marsh, decided to follow the Puritan Minister, Thomas Hooker, under the leadership of John Winthrop, to Plymouth, Massachusetts. In March 1630 they boarded the ship “Mary and John” as part of the ‘Winthrop Fleet’. There were approx. 16 ships, and 1000 people in the first group. After a rough crossing, they mistakenly landed at Nantasket. After walking for one week, they made it to Dorchester, Massachusetts.
Freeman: Requested 19 October 1630 [ MBCR 1:80]. Admitted Plymouth freeman 2 January 1632/3 [PCR 1:6]; in “1633” and 7 March 1636/7 Plymouth lists of freemen [PCR 1:4, 53]; and in Plymouth section of 1639 list [PCR 8:174].
Moved: 1631 to Plymouth, Massachusetts
Note: In a letter of 6 February 1631/2 from the governor and assistants of Plymouth to the governor and assistants of Massachusetts Bay on various matters of mutual interest to the two colonies, Bradford, in listing persons who had moved from Massachusetts Bay to Plymouth, included “Richard Church [who] came likewise as a sojourner to work for the present; though he is still here resident longer than he purposed; and what he will do, neither we nor I think himself knows. But if he resolve here to settle we shall require of him to procure a dismission; but he did affirm to us at the first, that he was one of Mr. Webb’s men, and freed to go for England or whither he would, the which we the rather believed because he came to us from Wessagasscusett upon the falling out with his partner” [ WP 3:65].
Court: In the settlement of a lawsuit on 3 January 1632/3 Richard Church was the assignee of William Bennett, the successful plaintiff [PCR 1:7]. Richard Church was plaintiff in civil suits in Plymouth court on 4 February 1638/9, 7 September 1642, 4 June 1652 and 3 March 1662/3 [PCR 7:11, 31, 59, 105, 108].
Occupation: Carpenter [ PCR 1:69]. (On 16 February 1632/3 Richard Church hired William Baker to work for him for seven months as a sawyer [PCR 1:8]. On 23 July 1633 William Mendlove bound himself apprentice to Richard Church for seven years “in the trade of carpentry” [PCR 1:15].)
Estate: Assessed £1 16s. in the Plymouth tax list of 25 March 1633 and £1 7s. in the list of 27 March 1634 [PCR 1:11, 28].
Birth of Daughter: ABT 1636
Name: Elizabeth Church
Moved to: 1636 Hartford, Connecticut
Note: They ran into more trouble again, because of the religious views of Massachusets clergyman. The difference was settled when Hooker led about 100 followers (Richard and Anne Church included*) to form a new settelment called Hartford, Connecticut, in 1636. This colony put Hooker’s principals into practice when it adopted ‘The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut”, sometimes called the first written constitution.
Offices: Plymouth petit jury, 7 June 1636, 5 October 1640, 1 March 1641/2, 1 November 1642 [PCR 1:42, 7:17, 28, 32]; Plymouth grand jury, 7 March 1636/7, 4 June 1639, 1 March 1641/2, 7 June 1642, 7 March 1642/3, 1 June 1647 [PCR 1:54, 126, 2:34, 41, 53, 116]; appointed arbitrator in a civil dispute, 7 August 1638 [PCR 7:9].
Military: 07 JUN 1637
Note: Volunteered for service in Pequot War, 7 June 1637 [PCR 1:60].
Place: Hartford, Connecticut
Note: Was an original proprietor.
Court: Richard Church was surety for Mark Mendall/Mendlove on 12 July 1637 and on 4 December 1637 [PCR 1:63, 69], on 4 June 1645 for Matthew Fuller [PCR 2:87], and on 2 March 1646/7 (as “Richard Church, of the Eale River, planter”) for George Wright [PCR 2:113, 121, 127].
Land: Granted forty acres “at the head & on the south side of Eele River Swampe,” 4 December 1637 [PCR 1:70]. On 3 June 1647 Richard Church exchanged this parcel with Manasseh Kempton, receiving in return “a parecel of land next adjoining unto the said Richard Church his lot” and also a small piece of meadow [PCR 12:144]. Granted one acre and a half of meadow “lying up the river, betwixt the two Mannamett Ponds,” 7 August 1638 [PCR 1:92]. On 9 April 1649 “Richard Church senior” sold to Robert Bartlett “an house and land lying at the Eel River near Plymouth aforesaid with all the meadow land” [PCR 12:165].
Birth of Son: ABT 1638
Name: Joseph Church
Founder’s Monument: 1639
Note: Richard’s name appears on the Founders Monument in Hartford Conn. He drew 12 acres of land in the first division.
Land Map: 1640
Place: Hartford, Connecticut
Birth of Son: ABT 1640
Name: Benjamin Church
Court: On 2 June 1640 several people residing at Eel River were presented for not building a bridge there according to order, and repay 50s. to Richard Church and Robert Bartlett (perhaps for undertaking some of the work themselves) [PCR 1:156].
Birth of Son: ABT 1642
Name: Nathaniel Church
Note: Richard volunteered and served as Sargent in the Pequot Indian War.
Details: In Plymouth section of 1643 Plymouth Colony list of men able to bear arms [PCR 8:189].
Birth of Son: ABT 1644
Name: Charles Church
Birth of Son: ABT 1646
Name: Caleb Church
Birth of Daughter: 22 JUN 1648
Name: Abigail Church
Moved: 1649 to Eastham
Land: On 13 July 1649 “Mr. Thomas Prence of Nawset” sold to “Richard Church … of Nawset … carpenter” and Anthony Snow of Marshfield, feltmaker, “a certain tract of upland and marsh meadow in the limits of Green’s Harbor alias Marshfeild” [PCR 12:176].
Education: His inventory included “books” valued at £1. Made his mark as witness to a deed of 1 June 1649 [PCR 12:181].
Land: On 22 October 1650 “Richard Church sometimes of the town of Nawsett … carpenter” sold to John Dingley of Marshfield, smith, his half-share in this parcel of land [PCR 12:197].
Note: One of the original members of The Church of Hartford.
Birth of Daughter: ABT 1652
Name: Sarah Church
Land: On 24 January 1652[/3] Thomas Joy of Boston, carpenter, and Joan his wife sold to “Richard Church of Charlestowne, carpenter,” one half the corn mill at Hingham, with one half the land and other appurtenances thereto belonging [ SLR 2:77].
Moved: 1653 to Charlestown
Moved: 1654 to Hingham
Birth of Daughter: Mary Church
Birth of Daughter: 22 MAR 1656/7
Name: Deborah Church
Note: Richard was made Freeman in Connecticut.
Moved: 1659 to Hadley, Massachusetts
Note: Because of a religious squabble withdrew from Conn. with 60 other persons to form the town of Hadley, Massachusetts. One of the original citizens to sign the agreement on Apr 18, 1659 at Goodman Ward’s home in Hartford agreeing to settle Hadley, MA
Moved to: 1660
Place: Hadley Twp, Hampshire Co, Massachusetts
Land: On 2 July 1667 Plymouth court “do admit of Richard Church to come with the ancient servants for a share of land at Saconett” [PCR 4:159].
Land: On 29 October 1668 Richard Church was one of four men permitted to seek out “a parcel of land … lying at Namassakett Pond” [PCR 5:5].
Will: Dated 25 December 1668 and proved 26 January 1668/9, “Richard Church of Hingham” bequeathed to “my beloved wife Elizabeth Church … the remainder during her natural life” (after debts are paid); after her decease remainder to “be equally divided amongst my children only my son Joseph to have a double portion … by reason of the lameness of his hand, whereby he is disenabled above the rest of my children” [ SPR 6:21].
Death: 26 DEC 1668 in Dedham
Note: [ DeVR 11], probably on a visit to his son Caleb. In his will, written the day before his death, he calls himself of Hingham, but the witnesses are all of Dedham.
Buried: Old Hadley Cemetery, Hadley, Hampshire Co, Massachusetts
Inventory: The inventory of “the estate of Richard Church of Hingham deceased,” taken 1 January 1668[/9], totalled £365 14s., of which £270 was real estate: “the dwelling house with the barn, orchard & houselot containing six acres,” £110; “half a tide mill,” £100; “his share of the ironworks at Taunton,” £50; and “2 acres of land lying by the mill,” £10 [SPR 5:116].
Parents are Richard Church and Alice ?