Edward Johnson (c.1598 - 1672) MP

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Records for Edward Johnson

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Birthplace: Canterbury, Kent, England
Death: Died in Woburn,Middlesex,Massachusetts
Occupation: Came to Norwich from Seabrook 1663, 1st General Historian of New England/ Author, Captain in the Colonial Army
Managed by: Howard (Jim) Andersen
Last Updated:

About Edward Johnson

From an unknown source;

"Captain Edward Johnson was born in 1599, and before emigrating to New England, resided at Herne Hill, near Canterbury, County of Kent, England. His Will indicates that he was possessed of a comfortable estate consisting of a farm and two other pieces of property. On embarking from England with his family he is classed as a joiner. This may have been in part of evasion, as no one above the rank of mechanic or serving man was allowed to leave without special permission. As several of his sons and grandsons were shipwrights and carpenters, it is not improbable that he carried on the business of shipbuilding at Herne Bay. However, he did not engage in any mechanical occupation after his arrival in New England.

   Early in April, 1630, Capt. Johnson, without his family, embarked in one of the ships of the fleet which brought Governor Winthrop and his company to Massachusetts Bay. The records show him trading on the Merrimac River, and it is probable that he came for traffic and adventure and that he returned to England in the summer of 1631.
   He returned with his family, in 1636, a zealous Puritan and in full sympathy with the religious system of the Massachusetts Colony. His ruling motive was no longer business or pleasure but in building up a Puritan Commonwealth in this western world. Embarking this time at Sandwich, the nearest seaport at which there was foreign travel, he settled temporarily at Charleston. From that time to the day of his death the Records of Charlestown, of Woburn, and the Colony are filled with his name and deeds.
   He was of the committee of the Charlestown church "for the erecting of a church and town" at Woburn and was the first Recorder (town Clerk). He was generally known as the father of the town. May 10, 1643, he took his seat in the General Court as deputy from the town of Woburn, the first session of the court after the incorporation of the town. For thirty years he was not only town clerk and representative in the general court, but he usually was Chairman of the Selectmen and occupied some prominent place on commission and committees, especially legal and military committees.
   Captain Johnson had evidently given considerable attention to military matters in England, and there acquired the rank by which he has since been know. Soon after his second arrival we find his name in the Charlestown Records with the prefix of Captain, a title of honor which in those days was not given at random. On becoming a deputy to the General Court, he was placed on nearly every military committee. These were intrusted with most extraordinary powers such as inspecting fortifications, levying fines, collecting arrearages, etc. He gathered and drilled a squad of militia at Woburn soon after its settlement, and always held a command in the militia of the Colony. He was often sent out on expeditions to treat with or overawe the Indians and to deal with troublesome neighbors. His name scarcely ever appears in the Massachusetts Records without his military title.
   For more than two hundred years, tradition has ascribed to him the authorship of Wonder Working Providence, a quaint and anthentic narrative of events connected with the settlement of Massachusetts Bay. It is acknowledged to be the most important book on the Massachusetts Colony that was printed during the first hundred years after the settlement. The fraudulent use made of this work in the collection known as the Gorges Tracts for a time robbed the author of the credit due him, but the true authorship has beyond a doubt has been established by Dr. Poole, the famous librarian."

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Letter on Hatch & Johnson stationery, dated Sept 29, 1903: Dear Father, ...today I received a letter from John Johnson...it seems Capt Edward Johnson who came over in 1630 had a son Jojm (as this J Johnson sayy) born in England who married Bethiah Reed and had lots of children now the name Bethiah or Bathiah I see the last child of John Johnson born Aug of 1705 is named Bethiah Johnson named I think after her grandmother. I think it looks now the John Johnson we know of was the grandson of capt Edward Johnson although it is hard just yet to tell...Ever your afft son, Isaac -------------------- Captain Johnson authored the well known History Of New England, printed in London, England in 1654. Commonly called the Wonderworking Providence. In 1630 he moved from Herne Hill, a parish in Kent, England and settled in Woburn, MA., which he represented in the General Court from 1643 to 1671, excepting the year 1648. He was once the Speaker of the House of Representatives. -------------------- Information about Captain Edward Johnson to come...

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Capt. Edward Johnson, immigrant's Timeline

1598
September 16, 1598
Canterbury, Kent, England
September 16, 1598
St. George, Canterbury, Kent, England
September 16, 1598
St. George, Canterbury, Kent, England
September 16, 1598
Canterbury,Kent,England
September 16, 1598
Canterbury, Kent, England
1613
June 20, 1613
Age 14
Canterbury, Kent, England
1616
April 7, 1616
Age 17
Canterbury, Kent, Eng
1618
March 29, 1618
Age 19
Canterbury, Kent, England
1619
November 7, 1619
Age 21
<East Concord, , Nh>
1620
1620
Age 21
St George, Cantebury, Kent, Eng