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 John Benjamin

John Benjamin

Death 14 Jun 1645 (aged 59–60)
Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 32247942 · View Source
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BAPTZ: 12MAR1585 St. Bartholomew, Chalvington,
Heathfield, Sussex County, ENG
MARRD: 1619 ?Cranbrook, Kent, England
-----------------Abigail EDDY
DEATH: 14JUN1645 Watertown, Middlesex County,

..John BENJAMIN & family arrived Boston Harbor Sunday evening, 16SEP1632, after a 12 week voyage aboard the 'Lion' from Plymouth, England. His voyage to the New World may have been induced by the fact that his friend, Governor WINTHROP, had preceded him by two years and that his wife had two brothers already in Massachusetts.

County Sussex, England

In 1634, he was appointed a constable in Cambridge by the General Court of Massachusetts which made him the chief executive officer of the town & was a position of prestige & honor.
In 1642, he owned the largest homestall in Watertown MA(Boston Vicinity) & it was referred to by Governor Winthrop as "...unsurpassed in elegance & comfort by any in the vicinity..."
On 7APR1636, John's home was severely damaged by fire in Newtowne with his extensive library also damaged. On November 7, 1634, he was excused from military training on account of age and infirmity but was required to have at all times arms for himself and servants.
In his will written on 12JUN1645, two days before death, he bequeathed:

-to his wife: two cows, forty bushels of corn, one part flower of all his household stuff & in an amendment he provided that she would be able to gather firewood from his lands as long as she lived. * Son, John, received a double portion over his brothers & sisters who were to divide his property equally with the provision that their mother was to occupy the house and three adjoining acres as long as she lived.

John Sr.'s estate consisted of a house and meadow next to the mill, a lot, house & 60 acres(homestall), 10 acres of meadow near Oyster Bank, 10 acres in Rocky Meadow, 8 acres in Great Dividends, & 16 in Watertown. The inventory was valued at £297 which was a great estate for those times. (See Bicha & Brown for BENJAMIN English Ancestry)


-1 John c1620ENG-22DEC1706MA m 1650MA Lydia ALLEN
-2 Abigail 1624ENG-1704MA m1 c1641MA Joshua STUBBS
m2 165?MA John WOODWARD
-3 Samuel 1628ENG-25SEP1659CT m Mary ?
-4 Mary c1629ENG-10APR1646MA
-5*JOSEPH 16SEP1633 MA-1704CT m1 Jemima LAMBERT
-6 Joshua 06MAY1642 MA-06MAY1684MA m 1682MA Thankful STOWE
-7 Caleb 1643 MA-08MAY1684CT m c1670 Mary HALE
-8 Abel c1645 MA- ?1710MA m 06NOV1671MA? Amity MYRICK
-- #5 b.CambridgeMiddlesexMA #6-8 b.WatertownMiddlesexMA


[Ruben M, Benjamin, The Benjamin Families from Columbia, New York: (Bloomington, IL: Pentagraph Prtg. and Sta. Co., 1911), pgs. 9-10.]

JOHN BENJAMIN. the first of that name in America, emigrated from England in 1632. He was born about 1598, and his home is said to have been in Lower Hereford, near the Welsh border. In 1619 he married Abigail, daughter of Rev. William Eddye. Vicar of St. Dunstan's Church. Cranbrook. County Kent. England.

John Benjamin, with his wife, four children and a younger brother Richard, came over in the Ship "Lion," captain,
Mason. .""The Lion brought,''- says Governor Winthrop. "one hundred and twenty-three passengers, whereof fifty were children, all in health."" They were twelve weeks on the voyage, eight weeks from Land's End. and arrived in Boston
Harbor. Sunday evening. September 16, 1632.

Richard, the younger brother, first settled in Watertown, Mass., where he became a proprietor in 1642. In 1663 he removed with his family to Southhold. Long Island.

John Benjamin was one of the proprietors of New Town (Cambridge). Mass., and made his first settlement there. He was made freeman. November 6. 1632. and was chosen Constable by the General Court. May 20. 1633.

Besides the right of suffrage. freemen enjoyed advantages in the division of lands and before the representative system commenced they were all members of the General Court. The principal qualification for this privilege seems to have been church membership. (History of Dorchester, p. 27.)

The Constable was formerly both in England and the Colonies, the chief executive officer of the Parish or Town. (Century Dictionary.)The time was when the best men in an English parish held in rotation the office of
Constable. He was once the head man of his village community. The Constable and four chief inhabitants of a parish constituted its board of local government (Supplement to Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 2. p. 380.)
John Benjamin owned six acres of land in New Town, on which he built a house which Governor Winthrop said "was unsurpassed in elegance and comfort by any in the
vicinity. It was the mansion of intelligence, refinement, religion and hospitality."

On April 7, 1636, Winthrop notes: "Mr. Benjamin house burnt, and £100 in goods lost."

John Benjamin was of New Town in October, 1636, and settled in Watertown, about the year 1637. His homestaid of sixty acres in Watertown was situated east of Dorchester Field and bounded south by Charles River. He owned three other tracts of eighteen, eighty, and twenty-four acres. He died in Watertown. June 14, 1645. His will is recorded in the
probate office for Suffolk county, Mass. Abigail, his widow, probably made her home in Watertown until about 1654. when she went with her daughter, Abigail, to Charlestown, Mass., where she died May 20, 1687, aged 87 years.

Children of John and Abigail Benjamin - John, Abigail, Samuel, Mary, JOSEPH, Joshua, Caleb, Abel.

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  • Created by: H BRAUN
  • Added: 17 Dec 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 32247942
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Benjamin (1585–14 Jun 1645), Find A Grave Memorial no. 32247942, ; Maintained by H BRAUN (contributor 46848471) Unknown.