Capt. William Basset, Sr. of Lynn, MA

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William Bassett, Sr.

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Dorking, Surrey, England
Death: Died in New Haven, CT
Immediate Family:

Son of Roger Bassett and Unknown Mother of William Bassett
Husband of Hannah Dickerman and Sarah Bassett
Father of Mary Basset de Rich, Salem Witch Trials; William Bassett Jr.; Elisha Bassett; Elizabeth Bassett Proctor, Salem Witch; Sarah Elwell and 6 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About William Bassett, Sr.

From Bassett Family Branches Org:

Below is additional information from the Bassett Family Organization on William Bassett of Lynn, MA.

I also have DNA results from the Bassett family DNA project. If anyone is interested in these DNA results (that tie to the William of Lynn line), please let me know and I will be happy to email them to you.

FIRST GENERATION

4B. The Family of William Bassett

The immigrant ancestor of the Bassett family of Lynn, Massachusetts and Salem County, New Jersey, was William, who came to New England at the age of 11 in 1635. His parents, Roger Bassett and Ann Holland, were married in St. Martin's Church, Dorking, County Surrey, England, on 27 Apr 1623. The marriage record still exists there, as does the baptismal entry on 30 May 1624 for William, who apparently was their only child. After the early death of her husband, Ann (Holland) Bassett married Hugh Burt. The marriage took place sometime after 3 Oct 1628, the day of burial of Ursellah Burt, Hugh's first wife. Hugh Burt, his wife Ann, William Bassett and Edward Burt registered as passengers on the ship Abigail 17 Jun 1635. The family settled in the colony of Massachusetts Bay. Hugh Burt's name is found among the original inhabitants of Lynn who were given land in 1638. He received 60 acres. William Bassett is said to have married, about 1646, Sarah Burt, the daughter of his stepfather, Hugh. No mention of her thus far has been found in ship passenger lists, nor is her baptism recorded with other of Hugh's children in St. Martin's Church. Early histories of Massachusetts mention the wife of William Bassett of Lynn, stating that she was Sarah Burt, daughter of his stepfather. William and Sarah lived on Nahant Street, and this property was owned by their descendants when the History of Lynn, by Lewis and Newhall, was published in 1865. During the Indian wars William Bassett was an ensign in Captain Gardner's company from nearby Salem. Later he became a captain. For his services in this capacity he was awarded by the General Court a grant of three acres 128 poles of land. In Lynn and Essex County records he was called "Quartermaster". He served many times on the jury for trials in the Quarterly Court, was a constable of Lynn, a selectman, and was among those citizens who signed for the purchase of land from the Indians in 1686. In 1689 he was a member of the Council of War with Major Benjamin Church of Scarborough, Maine. All children were born in Lynn, Massachusetts and were all living at the time William Bassett made his will 10 Feb 1701. William Bassett died 31 Mar 1703. The date of Sarah (Burt) Bassett's death is not known.

+ 4B1. William Bassett - born around 1647 in Lynn, Massachusetts, married Sarah Hood.

+ 4B2. Elisha Bassett - born around 1649 in Lynn, Massachusetts, married Elizabeth Collins.

+ 4B3. Elizabeth Bassett - born in 1650 in Lynn, Massachusetts, married John Proctor.

+ 4B4. Sarah Bassett - born in 1651, married Thomas Elwell.

+ 4B5. John Bassett - born Sep 1653, married Mary.

4B6. Miriam Bassett - born Sep 1655, married Ephraim Sandy before 1701.

+ 4B7. Mary Bassett - born Jan 1657, married Michael Derrick.

4B8. Hannah Bassett - born 25 Feb 1660, married John Lilley of Woburn.

4B9. Rebecca Bassett - unmarried in 1701.

4BA. Samuel Bassett - born 18 Mar 1663/4.

4BB. Rachel Bassett - born 13 Nov 1666, married Ephriam Silsbee, son of Henry and Dorothy Silsbee, of Salem on 23 Jan 1693. WILL OF WILLIAM BASSETT, proved and allowed 22 May 1703

"In the name of God Everlasting Amen: I William Bassett Senr. of Lyn in ye County of Esex in Newengland being of good & perfect memory & Rationally Disposed And having attained to ye years of a good old age & being very sensable of ye decay of nature & ye many Distempers & Infirmities that do attend my outward (mein?) not knowing how soone my great & last chang may come have therefor taken this opportunity to settle ye affaires of my family & so leave this as my last will and testament. Impr: as for my precious mortall soul I freely resign it to him that gave it & to my Redeemer Jesus Christ which by his precious blood hath ransome my soul from Death. as for my body which is fraile I comend it to ye dust willing a decent Interment thereof suitable to my Rank & quality. Although worms my skin destroy yet in my flesh I shal see God - Amen. As for the disposall of my outward Estate which God of his Goodness hath given mee - my will is that after my funerall charges & lawfull debts bee paid I bequeathe to my deare & loving wife who hath bin carefull of mee & industrious in her place for ye procurement of what outward Estate I have I bequeath unto her the Improvement of my whole Estate during her naturall life and all the moveable estate in my house which is mine to be at her disposall - as shee shall see cause: Item: I give to my eldest son willm Bassett all ye housing land meddowes marshes and movalbes within y bounds of Lyn township or Elsewhere to bee at his absolut disposall: further it is to bee under stood that my son willm Bassett is to pay out of such Estate all such Legasies as I shall give to ye rest of my children as followeth: Item: I give to my son John Bassett five pounds in mony: Item: I give to my son Elisha Bassett fivetie shillings in mony: Item: I give to my son Samuel Bassett fivetie shillings in mony: Item I give to my daughter Elizebeth Bassett allias Richards forty shillings in mony: Item: I give to my daughter Sarah Elwell fortie shillings in mony: Ittem: I give to my daughter Merriam Sandy fortie shillings: Ittem: I give to my daughter Mary Ruck fortie shillings in mony: Ittem I give to my daughter Rachel Silsbe fortie shillings in mony: Ittem I give to my daughter Rebeckah Bassett fortie shillings in Mony: Ittem I give to my Hannah Lille fortie shillings in mony-- and if any of ye above named Children Except my son Willm should then to be divided Equaly amongst them all. It is to be understood that these legasies are to be paid with-in a one yeare after my disease and my wives and my will is that neither str? nor waste be made But to the end foresaid. Ittom my will is that my son William Bassett bee sole Executtor to this my last will and testament. Heare unto I have sett to my hand and seale this tenth day of february in the yeare of our 1701. Sighned William Bassett with a seale-- Wittnessed by Before sighning it is to be understood that my son William Bassett is to have my whole Estate as is above mentioned to him & his heirs for ever." Witnesses: Samuel Johnson, Lois Rogers, Ezekiel Rogers.

Will of Ann (Holland) Bassett Burt, mother of William Bassett (Written 8 Jun 1664; Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County)

My will ist that William Bassett Jr. should have one of my cows, and John Bassett should have one cow, and Elisha Bassett should have on cow, and that Samuel Bassett should have the steer. And it is my will that these children should have the profit of these cattle and the principal when they be 18 years old, and I give to Elizabeth Bassett a new feather bed, a bolster and a pillow and a pillow bear (case), a blanket and a rug, and I give Sarah Bassett my old feather bed, a bolster and pillow and pillow bear, a blanket and a tapestry covering, and I give to Merriam Bassett, a copper kettle, a table cloth and 1/2 dozen napkins and a ewe sheep, a hand towel, and I give to Mary Bassett my biggest iron pot, a long table cloth and 4 napkins and a hand towel, a ewe sheep; to Hannah Bassett 2 iron pots and a warming pan and a pair of sheets and a pair of pillow bears and a ewe sheep; to Ellen Bartrom, a ewe lamb and to Hannah Bartrom, a ewe lamb and I give to the wife of William Bartrom my black broadcloth suit and one pewter basin, and I give to Liddi Burrill 5 shllings or a ewe lamb, and my will is that their goods should not be used until the children doth reserve them and that these girls should have the profit of their sheep and the principal when they come to age. Witnesses:Francis Burrill and William Crofts.

The inventory included household items, one cow and 10 sheep. Total value 47 pounds, 2 shillings, sixpence.

=================================

Sharon Fehr: from email dated May 12, 2008

Google "Salem Witch Trials."

Page 7 ELIZABETH ROUNDY [9] CAPTAIN JOHN GRAY [9] Elizabeth's great-great-grandfather CAPT WILLIAM BASSETT [5] and SARAH BURT [5] (the half brother and sister) had several of their family fall victims of the hysteria of the Salem Witch Trials. Their daughter Elizabeth and their son William's wife Sarah were imprisoned for witchcraft and Elizabeth’s husband, John Proctor, was actually convicted as a wizard and hanged on Gallows Hill August 19, 1692, probably a victim of false accusations. CAPT. WM's son JOHN BASSETT [6], a Quaker, a cooper and a shoreman is our ancestor. --Sharon Fehr -------------------- William was an ensign in the company of Captain Joseph Gardner of Salem in the Indian War and was in the "swamp fight". He was among those citizens who signed for the purchase of land from the Indians in 1686. He was at the council of war with Major Benjamin Church at Scarborough, Maine on 11 Nov 1689.

He was elected Sergeant in the Lynn, Essex co., militia by 20 October 1675 and served at that rank in Captain Joseph Gardener's company on the expedition against the Narragansett from December 1675-February 1676, during King Philip's War. Gardener's company fought first in The Great Swamp Fight. This battle was centered around the fort which the Narragansett had built in the Great Swamp, near what is now West Kingston, RI. The fort not only served as a base for the Narragansett people, but was also a place of refuge for any Wampanoag & Nipmuc refugees from the war with the English. Hidden agendas were revealed and frayed nerves snapped on 15 December 1675 when first a Narragansett named Stonewall John came to the English at Wickford, RI, ostensibly to sue for peace. However, he had brought with him a band of warriors who remained hidden in the woods, raising suspicions amongst the English that he was, in fact, there to assess the strength of the colonial military & fortifications. Needless to say, peace negotiations were not successful. At the same time, John Bull's garrison -- located 9 miles south of Wickford, RI - was attacked and destroyed in a Narragansett raid. Fourteen or fifteen English were killed and tensions rose further amongst the English troop. These two incidents, combined with dwindling food supplies led the English military to what they perceived as necessary action. Thus, on 19 December, with one "Indian Peter" acting as their guide under threat of hanging, they proceeded to the Narragansett fort. By virtue of what is now accepted as poor leadership by the Narragansett leader Canonchet, the fort was overrun by the English. The overcrowded conditions meant that, once the wigwams were fired, many Indians were driven to their deaths.

While the overall battle was an unexpected success for the English, they lost many officers in the fight -- three Captains, several Lieutenants and many other officers. One was Captain Gardener, who fell, mortally wounded, nearly at the feet of Captain Benjamin Church.

Regardless of these experiences, William Bassett, Sr. stayed in the militia. By 29 June 1682, William Bassett had made Quartermaster. He had been elected Ensign by the time he served on an Essex Grand Jury on 28 November 1682. During the King William's War -- otherwise known as the War of the Grand Alliance of England & Spain against France -- it is generally accepted that he was the "Captain William Bassett" who accompanied now Major Benjamin Church to a council of war at Scarborough, ME on 11 November 1689.

   Three of William & Sarah's 12 children were touched by the Salem Witch Hysteria prosecution. Their oldest daughter, Elizabeth, who married John Proctor, lost her husband and everything they had built together. Two of her children were arrested, tortured and tried and she, herself, was convicted and sentenced to death. Only her pregnancy prevented her execution. By the time she had given birth, the Hysteria was over and she was not hung. William, Jr.'s wife, Sarah [Hood], was also arrested, tortured and tried for witchcraft. Finally, William Sr. & Sarah's daughter Mary, wife of Michael De Rich, was also arrested, tortured and tried for witchcraft. Why this family was so plagued by this hysteria would make for an interesting investigation. The only clue is William Bassett, Sr.'s signature on a petition against John Hathorne for serving strong drink. It is possible that either this John Hathorne or a near relative was the same John Hathorne who was one of the Salem Hysteria judges.
   Heinous as the Salem Witch Hysteria was, it was also a pivotal moment in Colonial history which changed American Jurisprudence to this day. Read, especially, the case of Elizabeth [Bassett] & John Proctor. Sheriff Corwin of Essex County, MA was especially sadistic in his attempts to extract "confessions" from the accused. In his letter to the Boston clergy, John Proctor describes the hog-tying of his teenage son in an attempt by Corwin to extract a confession of witchcraft from him. This was apparently not out of the ordinary for Corwin. (Legend has it that a curse was laid by Giles Corey upon anyone who holds the office of Essex County Sheriff...and enough odd events have befallen those who have done so to keep the legend alive into the 21st century.) Regardless, changes to the way juries were chosen, confessions were obtained and -- most importantly -- that one was innocent until proven guilty (instead of the traditional other way around) were implemented after this judicial monstrosity. In addition, the use of "spectral evidence" and humiliating "physical examinations" in search of marks of the devil fell out of favor in American courts after this time.

He came to America at age 11 on the "Abigail" with his mother and stepfather, Hugh Burt and lived in Lynn, Massechusettes. He married his stepsister, Sarah Burt, daughter of his mother, Anna Holland and her 2nd husband, Hugh Burt.

As an adult, William became a Husbandman. William was constable of Lynn, a selectman. -------------------- Again from the Basset Book: The immigrant ancestor of the Basset family of Lynn, MA and Salem Co, NJ, was William, who came to New England at the age of 11 in 1635. His parents, Roger and Ann Holland were married in St. Martin's church, dorking, County Surrey, England on 27 apr 1623. The record still exists as well as the baptismal record for William on May 30, 1624. apparently their only child. Nothing is known of the family background of Roger and Ann. Roger died in England and Ann came to America with her new husband, Hugh Burt on the ship Abigail 17 Jun 1635. (http://genforum.genealogy.com/elwell/messages/357.html)

From the Bassett Family of Lynn, Mass & Salem Co, NJ by Catherine Soleman Chandler, Downers Grove, IL. Jul 1964: Sarah Bassett, b. Lynn Mass 1651, daughter of William and Sarah (Burt) Bassett. No date given for her death. She married Thomas Elwell 23 Nov 1675, Gloucester, MA. William Bassett was the son of Roger and Ann (Holland) Bassett of Dorking, County Surrey, england.

(http://genforum.genealogy.com/elwell/messages/198.html) -------------------- 1635 "Abigail" -------------------- Apparently Wm's father had died in England and his mother remarried Hugh Burt so he was raised with and married his step sister, Sarah Burt... -------------------- The family of Quakers and was involved in the witchcraft trials in Salem. William's daughter Elizabeth along with her husband was concemned to death in the witchcraft trials. She was released but he was executed in 1692. -------------------- William Bassett is said to have married, about 1646, Sarah Burt, the daughter of his stepfather, Hugh. No mention of her thus far has been found in ship passenger lists, nor is her baptism recorded with other of Hugh's children in St. Martin's Church. Early histories of Massachusetts mention the wife of William Basset of Lynn, stating that she was Sarah Burt, daughter of his stepfather. William and Sarah lived on Nahant Street, and this property was owned by their descendants when the History of Lynn, by Lewis and Newhall, was published in 1865. During the Indian wars William Bassett was an ensign in Captain Gardner's company from nearby Salem. Later he became a captain. For his services in this capacity he was awarded by the General Court a grant of three acres 128 poles of land. In Lynn and Essex County records he was called "Quartermaster". He served many times on the jury for trials in the Quarterly Court, was a constable of Lynn, a selectman, and was among those citizens who signed for the purchase of land from the Indians in 1686. In 1669 he was a member of the Council of War with Major Benjamin Church of Scarborough, Maine. All his children were born in Lynn, Massachusetts and were all living at the time William Bassett made his will 10 Feb 1701. William Bassett died 31 Mar 1703. The date of Sarah (Burt) Bassett's death is not known.

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Capt. William Basset, Sr. of Lynn, MA's Timeline

1621
1621
Dorking, Surrey, England
1624
May 30, 1624
Age 3
Dorking, Surrey, England
1646
1646
Age 25
Lynn, Essex, MA, USA
1648
November 7, 1648
Age 27
Lynn, Essex, MA
November 7, 1648
Age 27
Roydon, Norfolk, England
1649
March 8, 1649
Age 28
Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts
1649
Age 28
Lynn, Essex, MA, USA
1650
1650
Age 29
Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts
1651
1651
Age 30
Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
1653
November 1653
Age 32
Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA