3804. Gov. Thomas MAYHEW
(81) was born on 31 Mar 1592/93 in Tisbury, Wiltshire, England. He
was baptised on 1 Apr 1593 in Tisbury, Wiltshire, England. He died on 25 Mar
1681/82 in Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, Dukes Co., MA. He was buried in Tisbury,
Dukes, MA. IMMIGRANT Occupation: Merchant. Governor of Martha's Vineyard.
Born Tisbury, England in 1591/2; settled Watertown, Mass. 1633; removed to Martha's
Vineyard 1647. He was the 13th generation from William Mayhew of Goldynglane,
St. Giles, Cripplegate, England, who received a grant of tenement in Manor of
Talmage's Parish of Brockley, Suffolk, England 1399-1400. (McCoy)
Banks, History of Martha's Vineyard, Vol 1 Of the childhood, education, and early business training of Thomas Mayhew of Tisbury, nothing definite is known. It is presumed that he lived in Tisbury during his youth, and was educated in the parish school under the care of his parents. When his father died, he was twenty-one. We know that he became a merchant, but not where he served his apprenticeship. Daniel Gookin, who knew him personally, says he was "a merchant bred in England, as I take it at Southampton." This seaport town was, in that period, one of the most important commercial centers in England, ranking with Bristol as secondary to the great port of London. Among the great merchants of London, Mr. Matthew Cradock was an early adventurer in American Colonial enterprise and was among the first to support the companies engaged in the colonization of New England. In the course of business it is to be supposed Mayhew became known to Cradock and thus laid the foundation for their later business relations. At the accession of Charles the First in 1625, Thomas Mayhew was thirty-two years old and had probably been in business for himself for about a dozen years, since his father's death. Before 1618 he had married a woman whose name has come down by tradition as Abigail Parkus. Tradition further names her as a member of the Parkhurst family of which George Parkhurst of Watertown, Mass., was the first New England representative in 1643. George was the son of John Parkhurst of Ipswich, England, a clothier, and his sisters, Deborah and Elizabeth, came to this country with him, and were later residents of the Vineyard, the former as wife of John Smith and the latter of Joseph Merry. So far no documentary or recorded confirmation of this tradition has been found, although considerable effort has been spent trying to determine the likely place of the wedding.
Hubbard goes on to quote and summarize Banks:
The couple had only one
known child, who would later become the Rev. Thomas Mayhew, missionary to the
Indians. No other children are known, or when or where the mother died. In 1628,
the records of the Massachusetts Bay Company contain a reference to trade with
Thomas Mayhew as follows: March 16, 1628 Bespoke of Mr. Maio at 10 1/2 p yrd
for beds & boulsters 20 bed tikes, Scotch Tikeing 3/4 broad & 2 1-16
long & 1 1/2 yrds wide: 11 yrds each bed and boulster. (Mass Col. Records,
I) In two years Mayhew determined to follow to New England the "beds &
boulsters" he had sold for the emigrants to the colony. In 1631, Matthew
Cradock hired Mayhew to go to Massachusetts to act as his agent, making his headquarters
at Medford, where he had built a "greate stone house." Whether Mayhew's
wife came with him or had died before 1631 is not known, but he presumably brought
his young son with him when he emigrated. The first mention of him in the colonial
records is when he appears as chairman of a committee appointed by the Court
to settle the boundary between Charleston and Newton in March, 1631/2. As this
record is the report of the committee, it must have been appointed at an earlier
date in the previous year, so he would have arrived sometime in 1631. For the
next three years he attended to his employer's business and was admitted a freeman
by the General Court on May 14, 1634. At this period, he began the erection of
a mill for his principal ... Probably in 1634 he married a second time, but
whether he found his new wife in New England or returned home to England for
her is not known. Savage, who is usually quite accurate, states that the marriage
occurred in London, but on what authority is not known. (Genealogical Dictionary,
III, 337. None of the published London parish registers have a record of this
marriage.) His new wife was Mrs. Jane (Gallion?)* Paine, widow of Mr. Thomas Paine,
a London merchant. In London Banks found references to a Gallion family, to which
she may have belonged. She brought into the household two children from her former
marriage. Thomas Paine had left considerable estates in England for his children
Thomas, Jr. and Jane, both minors. Jane was the older of the two and was probably
about five or six at the time, Thomas Mayhew, Jr., was about fifteen at the time.
In later years, these two were to marry. Their first child, Hannah was born
in Medford in 1635. In this year, also, he bought a one-half interest in the
mill built by his master, Cradock, and himself. The purchase price was 200 pounds,
for which Mayhew gave a bond and a mortgage for 400 pounds with conditions that
if the price was paid the bond should be void. He turned his efforts to milling
which, according to a man who knew him, "in those times made him a great
profit." Late in 1636, his second daughter was born, and was named Bethiah.
He was made representative to the General Court this year (a legislature for
the Massachusetts colony), and was returned every year until he removed to Martha's
Vineyard in 1644-45. During the years he served as representative, his name appears
on many important committees. During these years he was acting as miller, a merchant
and politician, but apparently none of these jobs was very remunerative, and
he was not a very good business man. About this time, Matthew Craddock, Mayhew's
principal was becoming dissatisfied with Mayhew's handling of his investments
in New England. In his anger, he wrote a letter to Gov. John Winthrop pouring
fourth his grievances. From all the circumstances, according to Banks, it does
not appear that Mayhew had been guilty of any breach of trust, and no action
was taken on Craddock's hysterical letter so we may conclude that the crux of
the complaint was poor business judgment at the most. Craddock's new agent, John
Jolliffe, arrived in New England in late 1636 or 1637, and terminated Mayhew's
employment. Therefore, in 1637, Mayhew and his family left Medford, and moved
to Watertown. There he had investments of his own, and for the next seven or
eight years he was actively identified with that town. He was chosen selectman
in 1637 and was also elected as Deputy to the General Court to represent his
new home in the Colonial Assembly. In 1638 he was again chosen selectman and
re-elected as Deputy to the General Court. At the same session he was appointed
a commissioner, which office was a local magistrate or justice of the peace for
trying small causes, the first official of that kind accredited to Watertown.
Another daughter was born to him, probably early in the year, who was named Martha.
In 1639 he was reelected to all of his offices, and his fourth daughter, Mary
was born. He also purchase the other half of the mill from Cradock's new agent,
Nicholas Davidson, and mortgaged it back to Cradock with six shares of the "Wear,"
for L240. The investment must have been a losing one, for in less than a year,
on April 28, 1640, he sold the entire property to Deputy Governor Thomas Dudley
for L400, subject to the mortgage to Cradock. Dudley paid the money to Cradock,
but apparently Mayhew never paid the first 400 pound mortgage to How, because
at How's death in 1644, this bond of Mayhew was one of the assets of the estate.
This is a hint of the financial troubles which led him to take a risk on Martha's
Vineyard. Although he was reelected as selectman and as a Deputy to the General
Court in 1640 and 1641, there are occasional references to financial disputes
between Mayhew and other businessmen... Apparently the toll bridge that he
had constructed was also a loss, for it was absorbed by the towns in December,
1641. He was given 150 acres of land on the south side of the Charles River,
perhaps in payment. [* This correction was received on 20 Aug
2012 from the Martha's Vineyard Museum's genealogist Catherine M. Mayhew: "Gov
Thomas married Jane (Galland) Paine, not Gallion - another of Banks'
On the English Origins of the Mayhew name:
In Rev. Canon Mayo, vicar of Long Burton, Dorset's Genealogical Account of the Mayo and Elton Families (London, 1882) there is the following account of the Mayhew name:
As an English family name it is most frequently met with in the South and West of this island, and few parish registers in the Counties of Hereford, Gloucester,Wilts and Dorset can be opened without presenting us with examples. It is spelt in many ways, varying from the extended form of Mayhowe to that of Mao, and often, as it will frequently appear, clipped down and reduced to May to the loss of its concluding syllable. One lesson is taught by the diversity and variety, viz.: -- the identity of Mayhew and Mayo, and from this consideration a ray of light is thrown upon the derivation of the name. An early occurrence of the name, and in its extended form is found in Glover's Roll of Arms, supposed by Sir Harris Nicholas to date from Between 1245 and 1250. Herbert le Fitz Mayhewe is there mentioned as bearing "party d'azure & de goulz one trois leonseaux rampant d'or," and Woodward in his History of Wales, page 415, narrates that account to the old copy of S. Davids Annals. The Welsh slew Sir Herbert Fitz-Mahu apparently in 1246, near the castle of Morgan Cam. The same Roll of Arms gives the clue to the origin of the name as a Christian name; in the case of Mahewe de Lovayne, Mayhew de Columbers and Maheu de Redmain. There can be little doubt that it is here a soften form of Matthew. Bardsley in his "English Surnames" mentioned two other instances, Adam fil. Maheu, and Mayhew de Basingbourne, from the Parliamentqary Writs. Shakespeare in King "Lear" Act III, scene 4 says: "The Prince of Darkness is a Gentleman Modo he's called Mahu."
In the Records of the Commissioners for the United Colonies, there appeared a letter, now in the Connecticut Archives, (Conn. Col. Records, 1678-1689. pp. 504-506) written by Governor Mayhew, sealed with arms which, upon examination, proved to be the arms, with a mullet for difference, of the Mayhew family of Dinton, Wiltshire, a county family of considerable distinction. These facts, taken in connection with the bestowal by Mayhew of the names of Tisbury and Chilmark on two adjoining towns on Martha's Vineyard, and the fact that Tisbury and Chilmark are adjoining parishes in Wiltshire, and separated by a few miles only from Dinton, made it quite evident that this locality was the one which should reveal his family connection. The parish registers of Tisbury are extant from the year 1563 and include the marriage of his parents, Mathew Maow and Ales Barter on Octo. 2, 1587 and his own baptism on April 1, 1593 (Thomas, Son of Mathew Maho). The entry of the baptism of Thomas, son of Mathew Maho, April 1st, 1593, probably within a few days of his birth, is not absolutely conclusive evidence of identity with our Thomas, but taken in connection with the facts relating to the reappearance on Martha's Vineyard of the names of Tisbury Manor (which is situated in the parish of Tisbury, England) and Chilmark the adjoining hamlet, and the name of Matthew, which for succeeding generations appeared in the Martha's Vineyard family, it becomes one of those cases where an affirmative conclusion is clearly inferential.
Savage says: First at Watertown. Born early in 1591, came in the Griffin, 1633, if we might so infer from the fact of his taking his oath as freeman May 14, 1634 when Gov. Haynes and Gov. Brenton, besides Cotton, Hooker and Stone, passengers in that ship were admitted. But that inference would be wrong, for in Colonial Records I. 95 is a report signed by him and two other gentleman for setting out the bounds between Watertown and the new town on March 6, 1632, and in July 1633, he was appointed administrator of of Ralph Glover, while Cotton and fellow passengers did not arrive before September next, so that he must have been here in 1631, and he served as a merchant at Southampton, England as Bond relates, and here as representative 1636-44 except 42, was active in trade, first at Medford, afterwards at W. but was induced to remove to the Vineyard about 1647, where he was proprietor's Governor and preacher to the Indians above 33 years. Died 1681, six days only before being 90 years old. It is indistinct pronouncement by tradition that first wife who died in England had been Martha Parkhurst and second was probably brought with him, Grace, widow of Thomas Paine of London, and by her he had Hannah, Bethia and Mary. It is not known that he had any sons but Thomas who he, as brother of the former wife brought from England but some uncertainty is felt as to the relation of father and I do not concur with Bond, 857, in making Jane the last wife of Thomas the elder, but think her widow of the son, nor do I believe that it was the son who was, in 1647, chosen by Thomas Paine, then 15 years old, as, with his wife Grace, guardians for him (McKay)
For more current information on this family, see: Anderson,
Robert Charles, The Great Migration Begins; Immigrants to New England
1620-1633; Volumes I, II & III. (Great Migration Study Project), p. 1243-6.
He was married to Abigail\Martha? PARKHURST? before 1620 (Anderson says, "by about 1620").
3805. Abigail\Martha\___? PARKHURST\___?(755)
(753) was born about 1600 in Hampshire Co., England. She died before
1631 in England. McKay has first name of Abigail/Martha; McCoy has Abigail;
Conover has Martha.
Anderson's "The Great Migration Begins" volume II
(1995, p. 1244) maintains that proof of the name of Gov. Mayhew's 1st wife does
not exist. The name of his first wife is listed only as 2 blanks, as in: "(1) By
about 1620 ____ ____, she died before 1635."
Banks says that there is no proof of the marriage, but tradition says her name was Abigail Parkus. Further particularization of this tradition says she was of the same family as George Parkhurst of Watertown, Massachusetts who came over with his sisters Deborah and Elizabeth. Their father was John Parkhurst of Ipswich, England, a clothier. Deborah and Elizabeth both came to reside on Martha's Vineyard, Deborah as the wife of John Smith and Elizabeth as Joseph Merry. (McKay)
Anderson's "The Great Migration Begins" volume II (1995, p. 1244) maintains that proof of the name of Gov. Mayhew's 1st wife does not exist. The name of his first wife is listed only as 2 blanks, as in: "(1) By about 1620 ____ ____, she died before 1635."
1902 i. Rev. Thomas MAYHEW Jr..
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