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 • West Greenwich
 • Kent County
 • Rhode Island
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Theophilus Whale
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Birth: 1616
Screveton
Nottinghamshire, England
Death: Feb. 14, 1720
West Greenwich
Kent County
Rhode Island, USA

Theophilus Whaley, immigrant ancestor and founder, was born in England, of an opulent family about 1616, and received a unuversity education. His remarkable reticence in regard to his family and early history has left us only the fact that "till he was eighteen years old he knew not what it was to want a servant to attend him with a silver ewer and napkin whenever he wanted to wash his hands." When nearly twenty years of age, under official auspices, he came to America, and served as an officer in the Indian difficulties in the Colony of Virginia. In personal appearance he was full six feet high, of a strong though not heavy frame, and preserved his erectness to his one hundredth year. Returning to England after his experience in Virginia, he served in the memorable Parliamentary wars, and was an officer in a regiment of guards that participated in the execution of King Charles I in 1649. But on the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, the political situation induced him, as it did the regicide judges qnd others, to flee the country. Again he came to Virginia, where the most we have learned of him is that about 1670 he married Elizabeth Mills, and here probably four of his children were born. On account of religious dissentions, as he was a Baptist, and from variances with the Royalist, possibly fearing the consequences of being known as a participant in the execution of Charles, he removed with his family from that colony and came to Narragansett, Rhode Island, about 1680. Here he settled near the head of Pettaquamscut pond in South Kings Town, on what was known as the farm of Colonel Francis Willitt. His first abode was very humble and he lived by fishing, weaving and teaching. Here his three children, Martha, Lydia, and Samuel, were born. Theophilus Whaley later opened a private school of high order. He could speak Hebrew, Greek and Latin, all of which he desired to teach his grandson, Samuel Hopkins. Among the Narragansett settlers he was conspicuous as a gentleman of manners, talents, attainments, and character, though he habitually shrank from public notice, and was not disposed to be communicative about affairs in England or in the colonies. He preferred the life of a student and a recluse. He did much service to the planters as a penman in executing their deeds and papers and in teaching their children. Distinguished men from Boston and other parts of the country visited him, and it is believed supplied him with money. A Captain Whaley once entered Naragansett bay in his ship and, landing, called Theophilus Whaley's residence, where there was a cordial meeting. Facts like these, coupled with his persistent silence in regard to his English history, awakened the suspicion, which finally grew into as accepted opinion, that he was of the Whalley family and had altered his name lest he should be detected. Hos wife died about 1715, aged seventy years. His daughter, Martha, became the wife of Joseph Hopkins, and the mother of Judge Samuel Hopkins. In his last days, leaving his old home in South Kings Town, he lived with his daughter in West Greenwich, where he died about 1719, aged one hundred and three years, and was buried with military honors on Hopkins Hill, in what has since been known as Judge Samuel Hopkins' lot. The grave may be found about six miles southwest from East Greenwich Court House. 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Elizabeth Mills Whale*
 
 Children:
  Martha Whaley Hopkins (1680 - 1773)*
  Samuel Whaley (1689 - 1782)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Theophilus Whale Lot
West Greenwich
Kent County
Rhode Island, USA
 
Created by: Arthur Nott-Hopkins
Record added: Jun 15, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 71386900
Theophilus Whale
Added by: Rick O
 
Theophilus Whale
Added by: rbutler0415
 
Theophilus Whale
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Rick O
 
 
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- Nancy Howard
 Added: May. 15, 2014
RIP my 8th Great Grandfather.
- Bob Gilbert
 Added: Feb. 4, 2014
Theophilus Robert Whaley, my 8th great grandfather. A man that I wish I could have met.
- ForeverHisAngel
 Added: Jan. 10, 2014
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