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Capt John Allen, Jr

City of Norwich, Norfolk, England
Death 27 Mar 1675 (aged 59)
Charlestown, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial Charlestown, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Memorial ID 46472394 · View Source
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Capt. John Allen, Jr., son of John Allen "the dyer" and his first wife Rebecca, bapt. Jan. 7, 1615/6 at St. Martin at Palace parish church in Norwich, England. Capt. Allen followed his 10-year older brother Rev. Thomas Allen (bapt. Aug. 26, 1608) to Charlestown, Mass. by 1640. It is uncertain whether Capt. Allen m. his wife Sarah before crossing the Atlantic Ocean or after he arrived in Charlestown.

Capt. John Allen was very involved in town and Mass. Bay affairs as well as concerning land claims in present-day Maine. He was a wealthy merchant involved in shipping between England, America and the West Indies and at his death is said to have been the wealthiest man in Charlestown.

Briefly digressing, Capt. Allen's brother, Rev. Thomas Allen of Norwich, England and Charlestown, Mass., was associate pastor of the Charlestown Church under Rev. Zachariah Symms. He m. 1) circa 1639 in Charlestown, Anna Sadler, widow of Rev. John Harvard, the namesake of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. and settled Harvard's estate, which included the bequest that Rev. Harvard's personal library be given to the then fledgling Harvard College. Rev. Allen returned to Norwich, England during the English Commonwealth era of Oliver Cromwell (1651-1658) where he m. 2) Joanna (Blake) Sedgewick, widow of Maj. Gen. Robert Sedgewick. Sedgewick was also of Charlestown and had returned to England but d. May 24, 1656 as Commissioner of Jamaica under Oliver Cromwell.

During the period of 1651 to 1658, Rev. Allen published in London the sermons and religious writings of the late Rev. John Cotton of the First Church of Boston, Mass. In 1656 in Norwich, Rev. Allen wrote a flowery endorsement in Latin of a work published that same year in Latin by the writer's ancestral uncle, Dr. John Robinson then residing in Norwich, eldest son of Rev. John Robinson, pastor of the 1620 Mayflower pilgrims. Backtracking Rev. Allen's endorsement resulted in uncovering the 1631 probate record in Norwich of Rev. Thomas and Capt. John Allen's father. Ironically, Rev. Allen was baptized in 1608 in Norwich in a parish church a mere six blocks from the different parish church in which Dr. John Robinson was baptized in 1605.

Rev. Allen died in relative obscurity Sept. 21, 1673 in Norwich, England. Like other "Independents" (Congregationalists) in England, he was severely restricted in his church affairs after Cromwell's death and the restoration of the Anglican Church of England.

On the other hand, Capt. John Allen of Charlestown, Mass. d. testate and of record Mar. 27, 1675. In his self-written will dated Feb. 1, 1672/3 at Charlestown, in which he called himself "aged fifty seaven yeares or therAbout being in health and pfect memory & understandinge," he appointed wife Sarah sole executor, with Capt. Thomas Lake and Capt. Laurence Hammond overseers. To his four living children (Samuel, Thomas, Elizabeth and Rebecka) their portion of the estate was to be received when they came "either to the condition of marriage or age of judgment."

Wife Sarah survived her husband and recorded numerous deeds for sale of property in Charlestown as "executrix of the estate of my husband Capt. John Allen late of Charlestown, mariner, dec'd." She was living in Charlestown Oct. 8, 1698, the date she appeared to acknowledge her last recorded deed of sale, accompanied in the deed by daughters Elizabeth Blagrove and Rebecca Goodrich. Elizabeth acknowledged the deed on the same date (Oct. 8, 1698), but Rebecca did not formally appear to acknowledge her signature until 1705.

Capt. John Allen and wife Sarah had the following eight children b. in Charlestown (Charlestown vital and church baptism records):

• i. John Allen, 3rd, b. Oct. 16, 1640 (bapt. May 30, 1641); he was a student at Harvard College in 1656/7, but is not mentioned in his father's Feb. 1672/3 will.

• ii. Sarah Allen, b. Aug. 11, 1642; d. in infancy Dec. 10, 1642.

• iii. Mary Allen, b. Feb. 6, 1643/4, d. in Charlestown May 13, 1672; m. Nathan Rainsford Nov. 28, 1665, son of Edward Rainsford, ruling elder of the Boston First Chh., who d. before Apr. 3, 1676. They had three children but all three d. in infancy.

• iv. Elizabeth Allen, b. circa 1651, d. in Bristol, Mass. (now in Rhode Island) Mar. 25, 1709; m. 1) in Charlestown Mar. 11, 1673/4, Capt. Nathan Hayman, who d. in Bristol, Mass. July 27, 1689. Their dau. Elizabeth Hayman was the wife of Rev. William Brattle of Cambridge, Mass. and mother of Gen. William Brattle of French & Indian War fame. Their dau. Grace Hayman was the wife of John Otis the 4th of Barnstable, Mass., King's attorney, Probate Judge of Barnstable County, Mass. and member of the King's Honorable Council from 1747 until his death in 1758. The widow Elizabeth (Allen) Hayman m. 2) June 18, 1690 in Bristol, Mass., Nathaniel Blagrove, who died June 26, 1744 as recorder and Judge of Probate for Bristol, Rhode Island.

• v. Samuel Allen, b. Nov. 29, 1656, d. betw. Feb. 1672/3, when called the eldest son in his father's will, and 1683, when only his brother Thomas and sister Elizabeth consented to the sale of family property by their mother Sarah in Charlestown; no known marriage or children.

• vi. Sarah Allen, b. May 11, 1659; d. an infant the following July.

• vii. Rebecca Allen, b. Feb. 1659/60 (day missing in the record); m. Mar. 28, 1678 in Charlestown, Mass. (by Rev. Mr. Danforth) John Goodrich of Wethersfield, Conn. (the marriage is recorded of record in the Wethersfield, Conn. vital records.)

• viii. Thomas Allen, b. Aug. 4, 1667 (bapt. Aug. 4, 1667), d. of fever in Charlestown May 5, 1694, Æ 27; no known probate record, marriage or children.

There is no specific record of where Capt. John Allen and wife Sarah are interred, but it is assumed they are interred in Charlestown's oldest cemetery, Phipps Street Burying Ground, whose existence predates their death.

Edited and expanded 6/3/2016

Family Members






  • Created by: Don Blauvelt
  • Added: 8 Jan 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 46472394
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Capt John Allen, Jr (16 Jan 1616–27 Mar 1675), Find A Grave Memorial no. 46472394, citing Phipps Street Burying Ground, Charlestown, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Don Blauvelt (contributor 46932939) .