Birth: 15 APR 1596 (baptized) Pitminster, Taunton Deane Borough, Somerset, England
Occupation: Merchant from Pitminster, Somersetshire
Birth of Daughter: ABT 1620
Name: Mary Richards
Birth of Son: ABT 1625
Name: John Richards
Birth of Daughter: ABT 1626
Name: Ann Richards
Birth of Daughter: 16 JUN 1627
Name: Alice Richards
Place: Pitminster, Somerset, England
Birth of Daughter: ABT 1630
Name: Hannah Richards
Birth of Son: ABT 1632
Name: James Richards
Details: He came to America in 1633 on the “Mary and John”, first residing in Dorchester, Massachusetts
Place: Dorchester, Massachusetts
Birth of Son: ABT 1634
Name: Samuel Richards
Birth of Son: ABT 1636
Name: Joseph Richards
Birth of Son: ABT 1638
Name: Benjamin Richards
Lived in: 1639
Place: Weymouth, Massachusetts
Religion: Admitted to Weymouth Church by 13 May 1640
Details: Was admitted a freeman on this date.
Note: He returned to England in 1640, 1646, and 1649, and perhaps other occasions.
Will: 17 DEC 1650
Details: The will of Thomas Richards of Weymouth was made at the house of Thomas Loring, in Hull, Mass., 17 December, 1650, and was proved 28 January, 1652/1.
Thomas Richards “of the town of Waymouth in New England being at this present [illegible] the 17 December 1650 in the town of Hull in New England aforesaid in the house of Tho: Loringe, being weak and sick in body” bequeathed that “when my son John come home my whole estate shall be cast up what it comes to and my sons John and James and Samuell and Joseph and Benjamine shall have all of them alike, double portions to my daughters out of it, my son John shall have no more than one of the rest because I have been at greater charge with him than with any of the other[s]”; “my daughter[s] Mary and Ann and Alce and Hannah shall have half so much as my sons all alike, only my daughter Mary shall have £10 more than any of the other”; “my wife shall have a competent and sufficient maintenance allowed her out of my estate, that is to say £35 a year … during her life”; “I do give to brother Thom. Loring £5 for the charge and trouble they have been at with me”; to “Thomas Prosser £20”; “my son John shall have my sons Joseph’s and Benjamine’s portions in his hands until they be twenty and one years of age”; overseers “my son John and Thomas Loringe and Nicolas Baker both of Hull [sic].”
Death: ABT 1650/51 Weymouth, Massachusetts
Goods Inventoried: 18 and 25 JAN 1650/51
Details: Thomas’s goods at Weymouth, Massachusetts, and Boston were inventoried. £1300 17s. 11d. including £200 in real estate: “his house & land and orchard and mill £200.” This very detailed list includes many items of clothing, obviously a merchant’s stock, and “thirty-six swords.”
Parents are: Thomas Richards and ?
Birth: 1602 Dorchester, England
Husband’s Inventory: 28 JAN 1650/51
Details: The inventories were sworn to by Mrs. Richards. An account rendered by her mentions debts due to “mr ffermace of Plimouth,” to Thomas Hinckley, to Ephraim Hunt and to Captain Standish of Duxbury.
Court Petition: 28 JAN 1650/51
Details: “To the Honoured Court at Boston: 28: (11) 1650
Wheras our deare father Mr Thomas Richards late of Waymouth: dyed and left a will but appoynted no executors of the same: We whose names are underwritten doe humbly desire this Honor Court that our deare Mother mrs Welthian Richards: late wife of our deare father deceased: may have power granted by this Court to improve the estate that our father left untill our Brother John Richards shall returne hether he being now in England: or in case of his not returninge untill the Court shall thinke good to dispose otherwise And that our dear Mother may returne an Inventory into this Court of the whole estate of our said father deceased and also be bound to give an account of the said estate upon all demands: That so the estate may be ordred for our good & the payment of our fathers debt: Thus not doubting of your fatherly care for the fatherlesse we humbly take leave
mr Thomas Hinckley desires
ye same by his letter
mr wilm Bradford also
desires ye same by his letter
It is also the desire of us whose names are underwritten: whome m, Richard hath chosen Overseers of his last will
Thomas Loringe Nico Baker”
The Wills of Thomas and Welthian Richards 91
Note: 03 DEC 1651
Details: John Richards acknowledged himself satisfied with his mother’s management of the estate.
Thomas Richards would appear to be of Dorchester, Eng, and came to New England in the 1630’s, settling in Dorchester with Welthian and several children. According to a bio in NEHGR 23:29, he was a much respected merchant and bore the title of “Mr.” He died between 1650 and 1651, the dates between which his will was executed and proven. He was the father of eleven children.
Accused of Witchcraft: 1653/54
Details: Welthian Richards was threatened with the charge of witchcraft, having in the heat of passion threatened terrible things would happen to those she was angered at, they later falling victim to various unpleasant fates. Thomas Thacher, writing in her behalf to John Wilson and others from Weymouth 27 February 1653/4, indicated that she took Christian care of her children and that “God hath so blessed [them] that five or six of them have approved themselves to one church or other, and been readily entertained into their fellowship. Three of whom are now asleep in Jesus. Three survive. One more with us gives great hope of a thorough work on his heart.” Her case does not seem to have been brought forward.
Will: 03 JUL 1679
Details: “Welthean Richards of Boston …, widow,” bequeathed to “my eldest son John Richards all that my dwelling house & land adjoining scituate in Boston,” along with £300 of mine which has been in his hands; to “my son James Richards” £250 of mine which has been in my hands; to Thomas Bradford £5, to Alice Bradford £60, to Hannah Bradford £40; to Mercy Bradford £10, to William Bradford Jr. £20, to John Bradford £10, to Samuel Bradford £5, to Melatiah Bradford £5, to Mary Bradford £5, to Sarah Bradford £5, “these ten above last named being children of William Bradford of Plimouth Colony & my daughter Alice deceased”; to Samuel Hinckley £20, to Thomas Hinckley Jr. £30, to Sarah Bacon £10, to Hannah Glover £5, to Mellatiah Crocker £5, to Bathshua Hinckley £5, to Mehitable Hinckley £5, to Mary Wyborne £5, “these eight last mentioned being children of Thomas Hinckly of Plimouth Colony & my daughter Mary deceased”; to Ephraim Hunt and John Hunt, “sons to Ephraim hunt Sr. of Weymoth & my late daughter Anne,” £5 apiece; to “the daughter of Mary Wiborne abovesaid £5, & to her son £10; to the son of Hannah Glover £5; to John Bradford’s two children £5 each; to Samuel Hinckley’s child £5; to Sarah Bacon’s two children £5 each; to “my son James’s six children” 20s. apiece; to Thomas Hunt’s two children £5 apiece; “more to Alice & Hannah Bradford £5 each to put them in mourning at my funeral”; various philanthropic bequests and bequests of household goods to some of the children and grandchildren named above; “my loving son John Richards to be sole executor and residuary legatee.”
Death: 1679 Boston, Massachusetts
Will Proved: 04 NOV 1679
Parents are unknown