Captain John Underhill

Is your surname Underhill?

Research the Underhill family

Captain John Underhill's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Share

John Edward Underhill

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Baginton, Warwickshire, England, (Present UK)
Death: Died in Oyster Bay, Nassau County (Long Island), Province of New York, (Present USA)
Place of Burial: Mill Neck, Nassau County, NY, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Captain John Underhill; John Underhill; Honor Leonora Underhill (Pawley) and Honora Underhill
Husband of Elizabeth Underhill; Elizabeth Underhill and Heylken de Hooch
Father of Nathaniel Underhill; Deborah Townsend; Hannah Alsop; Elizabeth Smith (Underhill); David Underhill and 6 others
Brother of Lettice Bulgar (Underhill) and Petronella Lupold (Underhill)

Occupation: Quaker, Captain
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John Edward Underhill

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_John_Underhill

John Underhill (7 October 1597 – 21 July 1672) was an early English settler and soldier in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the Province of New Hampshire, the New Haven Colony, New Netherland, and later the Province of New York. He is most noted for publishing an account of the Pequot War of 1636-1637 and for participating in destructive attacks against Native Americans during the Pequot War and during Kieft's War.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Life and Activities of Capt. John Underhill

Edited from "Underhill Genealogy," by Jossephine C. Frost (Mrs. Samuel Knapp Frost) Brooklyn, NY Vol. 1

Published Privately by Myron C. Taylor in the interests of The Underhill Society of America, 1932

    The English Ancestry of Capt. John Underhill has been established back to and including Hugh Underhill, keeper of the wardrobe to Queen Elizabeth in Greenwich Palace, examined, and passed, by the College of Arms in London and traced to armigerous Underhills of Ettington in Warkickshire and their predecessors of the thirteenth century. As to the year of his birth, legend varies between 1597 and 1600; as to place, tradition locates it at Baginton, near Kenilworth (Killingworth) in Warwickshire.
    The mother of Capt. John Underhill was a widow living in Holland in 1618, and it should be conceded that he was residing there with her at that time, but no authentic evidence is found concerning him until Nov.28, 1628, on which date the Betrothal Records of Gorinchem and the Hague testify to his betrothal to Heylken, daughter of Willem de Hooch of the former place and in each entry he is described as a Cadet in the Guard of the Prince of Orange. As a sequel to those entries, the marriage of the couple on December 12, 1628, is recorded in the records of the Kloosterkerk at The Hague. He makes one other appearance in the Dutch records there on Feb.26, 1630, when he signs a document stating his acceptance of the division of his wife's father's estate.
    Capt. John Underhill is first mentioned in New England, when, on Aug.27, 1630, he joined the first church. In Vol.11. of this publication the editor states he was first mentioned Sept 7, 1630, but she had not at that time seen the First Church Records. Just when he arrived in New England is not definitely known but that he came with Winthrop is generally conceded and it is stated in Vol.11. of The Life and Letters of John Winthrop that he (Winthrop) sailed from England April 8, 1630.
Helena, wife of Capt John Underhill, did not join the church until 15, 10 mo., 1633, probably because of her inability to speak the English language and on the 29, 10 mo., 1633, their maid, Margery Hinds, became a member.
    On Sept 7, 1630, the Court of Assistants of the Massachusetts Bay Colony met in Charlestown and authorized Underhill be provided with food, money and house rent as the chief military authority of the Colony with Daniel Patrick, who shared the fifty pounds maintenance. He was made Captain before May 18, 1631, and as such was expected to attend Governor Winthrop on his official visits, to arrest notable offenders and locate with others, convenient places for forts on Castle Island, Charlestown and Dorchester. In May 1634 he was elected Deputy to the General Court and on 7 mo. 1 day, 1634 is listed one of Boston's Selectmen.
When he sailed for England in November, 1634, the ostensible reason given by Winthrop was that he "had leave to visit his friends in Holland," but circumstantial evidence indicates that his real mission was to secure considerable additions to the warlike stores of the colony in view of the fact that armed conflict with England was anticipated. He did, at any rate, procure a generous supply of gun-powder from one friend of the colony; and had returned to Boston before September, 1635. During the ensuing winter he was empowered by the General Court to impress labor for the erection of forts and to direct the distribution of ordnance to various vulnerable places on the coast and one of the other specific duties assigned him was the arrest of his friend, Roger Williams, who had taken refuge in Salem, but when the officers arrived there he had fled to more congenial shores to the south to escape punishment by the Puritans for his liberal religious views and became the founder of the Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.
    In August, 1636, Capt. John took a prominent part in the punitive expedition to Block Island and he was the eleventh signer on the original roll of membership of The Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Boston in 1637, although they did not receive their charter until 13 of 1 mo., 1638. On the 1 mo., 9 day, 1636/7, he was chosen Captain by the General Court "for the country's service" in view of the grave danger which threatened the colony from the Pequot Indians. He proceeded to Say-brook Fort and with Capt. John Mason, was the chief instrument in their complete destruction. However on 2 of 9 mo., 1637, he was discharged from further service but was to have a quarter's pay for a gratuity, but at this same meeting of the General Court he was censored for "putting his hand to a seditious writing," was disfranchised, put from the Captain's place and disarmed. The "seditious writing" was the signing of a petition in favor of Rev. John Wheelwright who had given great offence by a liberal Fast-Day sermon and sentenced to be banished.
    Early in 1638, Capt. John sailed for England and on March 24 was in negotiation with the Committee of Providence Island to enter the service of the company in a military capacity. On April 26 his pamphlet, "Newes from America," was entered at Stationers' Hall, London. He had returned to Boston by August first for on that day he sold his house and land there but on the 6 of 7 mo., 1638, the General Court decreed his banishment. He followed Rev. Wheelwright to the neighborhood of Dover and Exeter and ere long was elected Governor of that community, a post he occupied until March; 1640. During the short period of his stay there he was seeking a new abode, for on Sept. 8, 1639, as Governor John Underhill, he asked permission to dwell with the Dutch in New Amsterdam. It was granted him but he did not abide in that neighborhood until several years later. 
    In 1640 he was excommunicated by the First Church of Boston, only to be shortly restored to its membership, it having been realized by Winthrop and his colleagues that his actions had been woefully misjudged. Towards the end of 1641, in view of disturbances at Dover and uncertainty as to his future, his thoughts again turned towards the Dutch and on Jan.16, 1642, he leased a plantation in  Flatlands, which it does not appear he occupied. At the instigation of the Church in Boston who fitted him out with a pinnace to remove himself and family, he was led to locate in Stamford and on the 5 of 2 mo., 1643, he was elected Deputy from there to the General Court of New Haven. By October of that year his services had been requisitioned by Director Kieft for aid against the Indians and in February of 1644 he was in chief command of the force which destroyed the Indian encampment near Greenwich. For those services Kieft made him two grants of land, one being Meuteleers Island, in later years known as Bergen Island and the other a plot on Manhattan Island now occupied by Trinity Church-yard, on which land he took up his abode prior to May 25, 1644. On May 24, 1645, he was elected a member of the Council of New Amsterdam and the same year one of the Eight Men who were elected to adopt measures against the Indians. The Bergen Island property did not come into his possession until May 14, 1646. There is every evidence that he expected to make that place his permanent home, but when Director Stuyvesant came into power, he appointed him Sheriff of Flushing, April 27, 1648, and he removed to that town where he was elected a Magistrate in 1651 and served as such in 1652, but in April, 1653, on learning that the Dutch were plotting with the Indians to attack the English, his relations with Director Stuyvesant became strained and he was imprisoned in New Amsterdam for hoisting the Parliamentary colors and "addressing a seditious paper to the people of Long Island." His incarceration was of short duration and the charges against him were dismissed, the natural outcome of which was that he left Flushing for Newport, R. I., where he offered his services to the Commissioners of the United Colonies in "the common cause of England against the Dutch," and on May 19, 1653, the General Assembly of Rhode Island commissioned him Commander-in-Chief on land with full power to act On June 27, 1653, he seized the Dutch post between Saybrook and Hartford for the English, with permission of the General Court of Hartford. This fort, known as The House of Hope, had long hampered the development of Hartford and had been fortified by the Dutch in 1641. Peace was declared in 1654 and during the short period affecting the foregoing events he had taken up his residence in Southold, L. I., certainly residing there in March of that year and owning property located partially where the Savings Bank now stands. In 1658 his first wife, Helena, died there and there has recently been erected to her memory a small slate stone, to harmonize with those of the pioneers still standing in the Presbyterian Cemetery in that place.  * (see notation regarding this passage at the end) Early in the following year he married Elizabeth, daughter of Lieut. Robert and Elizabeth (Fownes-Winthrop) Feake, and sold his property in Southold on April 1st to Thomas Moore. In August of that year he was a resident of Setauket, otherwise known as Cromwell's Bay. Elizabeth Fownes Winthrop was a cousin and widow of Henry Winthrop, son of Governor John Winthrop, said Henry losing his life by drowning shortly after his arrival in New England. Just when Capt. John Underhill located in Oyster Bay is not definitely known, but probably in 1661. Certain it is, the inhabitants there on March 1, 1664/5 appointed him a delegate from that place to the Convention in Hempstead where a body of laws and ordinances for the future government of the Province were promulgated, which continued the laws of the Colony until October, 1683. On April 22, 1665, he was appointed Surveyor of Customs for Long Island and later High Constable and Under Sheriff of the North Riding of Yorkshire on Long Island, by "His Highness the Duke of York." Besides being the intermediary between the colonists and Governor Nicolls with reference to taxation and other matters, the Matinecock Indians especially referred to him as their chief advisor and on Oct. 1, 1666, he presented a petition on their behalf to the Court of Assizes. In recognition of those services they conveyed to John Underhill one hundred and fifty acres of land, the original deed of which is now preserved in the custody of Myron C. Taylor, whose summer home stands on part of that allotment. Prior to April, 1667, Capt. John had been seeking the approval of the Governor for naming that territory Killingworth, to which he had acceded, even the Indian deed being dated "Killenworth," prior to the Governor's written consent. Sometime previous to March 14, 1666/7, Capt. John had asked relief from his military duties for on that date the Governor agreed writing, "by reason of of yor yeares & other cares that attend you, I do allow of your excuse and leave you to your owne Liberty." On Feb.24, 1668/9, Governor Lovelace wrote the inhabitants of Killingworth and Matinecock in reply to one received "by the hands of Captain Underhill," regarding the residents of those places requesting independence of Hempstead, and this appears to be his last official act. He made his will in Killingworth and died there 21 of 7 mo., 1672, and was buried in what is now known as The Underhill Burying Ground, located in Locust Valley, L. I., being a part of the acreage presented to him by the Indians in 1667 and where an imposing monument marks his burial place. Close. by and on a part of the original Indian grant is "Killing-worth," the home of his best known living descendant, Myron C. Taylor.
    Numerous letters from Capt. John Underhill are preserved in the Winthrop Manuscript owned by the Massachusetts Historical Society and photostats of each one are in the possession of Myron C. Taylor, only two or three being used in this publication. Letters vainly sought by the editor were undoubtedly destroyed in Greenwich, Conn., or in Boston as per the following minute found among the many scraps of paper left by the Winthrop family. It reads as follows: "The eating teeth of time devours all things. A Hogshead of Ancient Papers of value, belonging to our family lost at Greenwich in New England; a barrell full of papers Burnt in a warehouse at Boston." The date is partially destroyed, only the last figure, "8," is readable.  The handwriting is of the period of the seventeenth or early eighteenth century.

The following relevant information was emailed to LIG by John Fitton - jfitton@rochester.rr.com

  • The below highlighted reference was to Elizabeth Fones-Winthrop-Feake not the daughter Elizabeth. Elizabeth Fones-Winthrop-Feake was one of my 11th Great Grandmothers. She was quite notorious because after she was abandoned by her mad husband Robert Feake, she married William Hallet (after which Hallets Cove was named). Peter Stuyvesant granted her a divorce from Robert.

RE: "Early in the following year he married Elizabeth, daughter of Lieut. Robert and Elizabeth (Fownes-Winthrop) Feake, and sold his property in Southold on April 1st to Thomas Moore. In August of that year he was a resident of Setauket, otherwise known as Cromwell's Bay. Elizabeth Fownes Winthrop was a cousin and widow of Henry Winthrop, son of Governor John Winthrop, said Henry losing his life by drowning shortly after his arrival in New England.


 

--------------------

  • ** Please do not merge in profiles belong to Paul. He says his tree his just for his family.****

Captain of the Troops for the Puritans.

--------------------

Prefix: Captain

Birth: ABT 1597

Note:

   Pearsall, Clarence E., [View Citation] [Table of Contents] [Page Numbers]
   History and genealogy of the Pearsall family in England and America
   San Francisco: H.S. Crocker, 1928, 1915 pgs.
   page 1065 vol 2
   http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~nnnotables/indx.html?o_xid=0022468880&o_lid=0022468880&o_xt=13174552

Marriage 1 Helena KNEGER b: in Holland

 

Children

  1. John UNDERHILL

Sources:

  1. Type: Book
     Author: Clarence Pearsall
     Periodical: History and Genealogy of the Pearsall Family in England and America
     Publication: H. S. Crocker, San Francisco 1928
     Page: 1915 pages
     Page: Chapter 30, Section 3, Page 1065 

--------------------

Prefix: Captain

Sex: M

Birth: ABT 1597

Note:

   Pearsall, Clarence E., [View Citation] [Table of Contents] [Page Numbers]
   History and genealogy of the Pearsall family in England and America
   San Francisco: H.S. Crocker, 1928, 1915 pgs.
   page 1065 vol 2
   http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~nnnotables/indx.html?o_xid=0022468880&o_lid=0022468880&o_xt=13174552

Marriage 1 Helena KNEGER b: in Holland

Children

  1. John UNDERHILL

Sources:

  1. Type: Book
     Author: Clarence Pearsall
     Periodical: History and Genealogy of the Pearsall Family in England and America
     Publication: H. S. Crocker, San Francisco 1928
     Page: 1915 pages
     Page: Chapter 30, Section 3, Page 1065 

--------------------

Religion: Quaker

Served under Captain Miles Standish

Church Organizer

Colony Governor, New Haven, Connecticut

1605-1608 Lived in Bergen-op-Zoom, Netherlands. After Feb. 26, 1630, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, Long Island, New York, and Dover, New Hampshire.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Captain John Underhill

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Underhill (7 Oct, 1597 – 21 July 1672) was an early English colonist in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and a soldier known for his great charisma, his excellent military leadership, and as one of the bravest men of his day. He is most noted for making the New Netherlands and Long Island secure from attacks by Native-Americans in the Pequot War of 1637 and another on Long Island in 1644.

Biography

Early life

Captain John Underhill was one of three children of Sir John Underhill (1574-1608) and Leonora Honor Pawley. His great-grandfather Sir Hugh Underhill was Keeper of the Wardrobe for Queen Elizabeth at Greenwich and his grandfather Thomas Underhill held the same position for Elizabeth's favorite - Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester at Kenilworth Castle.

The younger John was born in 1597 in Baginton, Warwickshire, England. Sir John Underhill and his family had to escape to The Netherlands after a failed plot by the Earl of Essex to overthrow the Queen. There they stayed in Bergen op Zoom, a heavily fortified city in The Netherlands. Sir John Underhill was Sergeant in the Company of Captain Roger Orme. He died there in October 1608 and is buried in the Church of St. Gertrude.

Following his fathers death John Underhill and his siblings lived with his mother and a group of Puritan exiles. While there he received military training as a cadet in the service of Philip William, the Prince of Orange. He also married a Dutch girl, Helena (Heylken) de Hooch on 12 December 1628 in the Kloosterkerk, The Hague, Holland[1] There they had one child before emigrating, Deborah Underhill, and two other children after emigrating - Elizabeth (born 1635) and John Underhill (1642-1692).

The Massachusetts Bay Colony

In 1630 Underhill was hired by the Massachusetts Bay Colony with the rank of captain and asked to help train the colony's militia. He and his Dutch wife emmigrated that year. In May of 1634 he was appointed to the General Court, and in July was elected a selectman for Boston. He started the first construction of the fortification on Castle Island at Boston.

Early in 1636 he was sent to Salem to arrest Roger Williams who was viewed by the Puritans as a heretic. But, Williams had already fled to Rhode Island. In August 1636 Underhill led an expedition to Block Island.

The Pequot War

In September of 1637 he headed the militia as it marched out to the Pequot War. They first went to the Fort at Saybrook. Joining with Mohegan allies, and Connecticut militia under Captain John Mason, they attacked the Pequot fortified village near modern Mystic. They set fire to the village, killing any who attempted to flee. About 400 Pequots died in what came to be called the Mystic Massacre. He led other expeditions that joined in hunting down the surviving Pequots. Underhill published an account of his service as Newes from America; Or, A New and Experimentall Discoverie of New England; Containing, A Trve Relation of Their War-like Proceedings These Two Yeares Last Past, with a Figure of the Indian Fort, or Palizado (London, 1638).

The Wandering Years

But, within a year of these exploits, he in his turn, fell to the Puritan drive for conformity. He had signed the Boston Petition supporting minister John Wheelwright, who had been censured for a sermon. He was removed from office and disenfranchised in 1637, banished along with Anne Hutchinson in 1638, and excommuniated in 1640. After a fruitless trip to England in search of employment, Underhill returned to Boston where he sold his house and land and joined Wheelwright who settled in Dover, New Hampshire. His mother and her second husband Morris moved to Exeter. In Dover, Underhill soon rose to the position of Governor despite letters from Governor John Winthrop to citizens of that community denouncing him.

In June 1641 Underhill's banishment was repealed and in September that year he was acquitted of a charge of adultry. Still finding no gainful employment in Boston, following the baptism of his son John III in April 1642, he leased a tobacco plantation in Flatlands, Long Island, in New Netherland, though apparently never occupied that land.[2]

Instead he moved to Stamford, Connecticut, where he was named a Freeman in 1642, a Deputy to the General Court of the New Haven Colony in 1643, and Justice of the Stamford Court. Following Indian raids in 1643 he was hired by the New netherlands Board of Eight Selectmen to attack Indian settlements.

Dutch Service

In May of 1644 Underhill took up residence in New Amsterdam. His plot of land is now the site of Trinity Church in Manhattan. Later that year he led New Amsterdam's forces in a reprise of his attack during the Pequot War. The Indians on Long Island built a fort called Fort Neck in what is now Massapequa. Underhill attacked and burned the Massapequan fort, killing about 120 Indians. The war started because the leader of the Indians Tackapausha claimed he sold the Dutch use to the land, but not the land.

Upon returning to Manhattan, in 1645 Underhill was elected a Selectman to the Council of New Amsterdam. That same year he was named one of Eight Men to adopt measures against the Indian. While preparing to occupy Bergen Island, he was assigned to Flushing instead by Governor Peter Stuyvesant. He was appointed sherrif of Flushing in 1648 and magistrate from 1651-1653.

There in 1653 he turned against Stuyvesant, accusing him of being a tyrant. As Flushing's leader, Underhill issued a proclamation calling for the overthrow of the government: "We declare that it is right and proper to defend ourselves and our rights, which belong to a free people, against the abuses of the above named government." Just as many of his descendants would enumerate George III's wrongdoings, so he described Stuyvesant's; he had for example, imposed magistrates on the people of Flushing "without election or voting." In conclusion, he declared, "This great autocracy and tyranny is too grievous for any brave Englishman and good Christian any longer to tolerate Accept and submit ye, then, to the Parliament of England."

Return to English Service

After being imprisoned for a brief time he was released. Upon hearing of Dutch plans to ally with some tribes to attack the English settlements, Underhill brought word of this to the colonies in Connecticut. The General Assembly of Rhode Island named him Commander-in-Chief and authorized him to seize a Dutch settlement named the House of Hope at Hartford. When the First Anglo-Dutch war was finally resolved (in 1654), he returned to Long Island. There he leved in Southold, Setauket, and finally in Oyster Bay where he lived out the remainder of his years. Appropriately this place was on the edge of the New Netherlands and far enough out of reach of Massachusetts Bay and other colonies to give Underhill a hard earned respite from war, conflict, and religious intolerance.

Retirement to Oyster Bay

John eventually retired to a large estate (Kenilworth or Killingworth) at Oyster Bay, Long Island. There he would carry a few more titles before his death, including Delegate of Oyster Bay to the Convention in Hempstead in 1664, Surveyor of Customs for Long Island in 1666-1666, High Constable and Under Sheriff of the North Riding of Yorktown on Long Island, and Chief Advisor to the Matinecock Indians who presented a petition to the Council of Assizes in 1666. After which the Matinecock conveyed 150 acres of land to Underhill in Oyster Bay where he finally settled.

Following the death of his first wife and mother in 1658, he married his second wife Elizabeth Feake on 2 December 1658, in Oyster Bay. Feake was a Quaker and converted John to Quakerism before he died.

Elizabeth Feake and her family, much like Underhill, had an important role in the shaping of Colonial America. The daughter of Elizabeth Fones[3] and her second husband Robert Feake, Fones was the subject of much consternation for marrying her third husband William Hallet while her second husband Robert Feake was still alive[4].

Hannah Feake, the second daughter of Robert Feake and Elizabeth Fones and sister of Elizabeth Feake, would go on to become an important figure in the fight for religious freedom in Colonial America. Governor Peter Stuyvesant banned the rights of Quakers to assemble and worship. On 27 December 1657, thirty townsepeople of Flushing, Queens, signed the Flushing Remonstrance protesting this ban. The ban was later tested when Hannah, being a Quaker minister herself, held services in her own home. Her husband was arrested and returned to England, only to be released and allowed to come back again, contributed to the principles codified a century later in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights granting religious and political freedom to all citizens.

Captain John Underhill and Elizabeth Feake had five children: Deborah (1659-1697), Nathaniel (1663-1697), Hannah (1666-1757), Elizabeth (1669-1704), and David (1672-1708). Son Nathaniel Underhill settled in Westchester County, New York where he became a prominent citizen and the progenitor of a large number of descendants. There are several streets in Westchester County named for Underhill and his descendants.

Captain John Underhill died on 21 July 1672 and is buried in the Underhill Burying Ground in Locust Valley, New York.

John Underhill's many descendants are represented by the Underhill Society of America.[5]

Children:

Deborah, b. 1659; d. 1698; m. ca. 1676 Henry Townsend (c. 1649-1718)

Nathaniel, b. 1664; d. 1710; m. Mary Ferris

Hannah, b. 1666; d. 1757; m. 1685 Richard Alsop (1660-1718)

Elizabeth, b. 1669; m. Isaac Smith (b. 1657)

David, b. 1672; d. 1708; m. first UNKNOWN, second Hannah

Life and Activities of Capt. John Underhill

Edited from "Underhill Genealogy," by Jossephine C. Frost (Mrs. Samuel Knapp Frost) Brooklyn, NY Vol. 1

Published Privately by Myron C. Taylor in the interests of The Underhill Society of America, 1932

The English Ancestry of Capt. John Underhill has been established back to and including Hugh Underhill, keeper of the wardrobe to Queen Elizabeth in Greenwich Palace, examined, and passed, by the College of Arms in London and traced to armigerous Underhills of Ettington in Warkickshire and their predecessors of the thirteenth century. As to the year of his birth, legend varies between 1597 and 1600; as to place, tradition locates it at Baginton, near Kenilworth (Killingworth) in Warwickshire.

The mother of Capt. John Underhill was a widow living in Holland in 1618, and it should be conceded that he was residing there with her at that time, but no authentic evidence is found concerning him until Nov.28, 1628, on which date the Betrothal Records of Gorinchem and the Hague testify to his betrothal to Heylken, daughter of Willem de Hooch of the former place and in each entry he is described as a Cadet in the Guard of the Prince of Orange. As a sequel to those entries, the marriage of the couple on December 12, 1628, is recorded in the records of the Kloosterkerk at The Hague. He makes one other appearance in the Dutch records there on Feb.26, 1630, when he signs a document stating his acceptance of the division of his wife's father's estate.

Capt. John Underhill is first mentioned in New England, when, on Aug.27, 1630, he joined the first church. In Vol.11. of this publication the editor states he was first mentioned Sept 7, 1630, but she had not at that time seen the First Church Records. Just when he arrived in New England is not definitely known but that he came with Winthrop is generally conceded and it is stated in Vol.11. of The Life and Letters of John Winthrop that he (Winthrop) sailed from England April 8, 1630.

Helena, wife of Capt John Underhill, did not join the church until 15, 10 mo., 1633, probably because of her inability to speak the English language and on the 29, 10 mo., 1633, their maid, Margery Hinds, became a member.

On Sept 7, 1630, the Court of Assistants of the Massachusetts Bay Colony met in Charlestown and authorized Underhill be provided with food, money and house rent as the chief military authority of the Colony with Daniel Patrick, who shared the fifty pounds maintenance. He was made Captain before May 18, 1631, and as such was expected to attend Governor Winthrop on his official visits, to arrest notable offenders and locate with others, convenient places for forts on Castle Island, Charlestown and Dorchester. In May 1634 he was elected Deputy to the General Court and on 7 mo. 1 day, 1634 is listed one of Boston's Selectmen.

When he sailed for England in November, 1634, the ostensible reason given by Winthrop was that he "had leave to visit his friends in Holland," but circumstantial evidence indicates that his real mission was to secure considerable additions to the warlike stores of the colony in view of the fact that armed conflict with England was anticipated. He did, at any rate, procure a generous supply of gun-powder from one friend of the colony; and had returned to Boston before September, 1635. During the ensuing winter he was empowered by the General Court to impress labor for the erection of forts and to direct the distribution of ordnance to various vulnerable places on the coast and one of the other specific duties assigned him was the arrest of his friend, Roger Williams, who had taken refuge in Salem, but when the officers arrived there he had fled to more congenial shores to the south to escape punishment by the Puritans for his liberal religious views and became the founder of the Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

In August, 1636, Capt. John took a prominent part in the punitive expedition to Block Island and he was the eleventh signer on the original roll of membership of The Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Boston in 1637, although they did not receive their charter until 13 of 1 mo., 1638. On the 1 mo., 9 day, 1636/7, he was chosen Captain by the General Court "for the country's service" in view of the grave danger which threatened the colony from the Pequot Indians. He proceeded to Say-brook Fort and with Capt. John Mason, was the chief instrument in their complete destruction. However on 2 of 9 mo., 1637, he was discharged from further service but was to have a quarter's pay for a gratuity, but at this same meeting of the General Court he was censored for "putting his hand to a seditious writing," was disfranchised, put from the Captain's place and disarmed. The "seditious writing" was the signing of a petition in favor of Rev. John Wheelwright who had given great offence by a liberal Fast-Day sermon and sentenced to be banished.

Early in 1638, Capt. John sailed for England and on March 24 was in negotiation with the Committee of Providence Island to enter the service of the company in a military capacity. On April 26 his pamphlet, "Newes from America," was entered at Stationers' Hall, London. He had returned to Boston by August first for on that day he sold his house and land there but on the 6 of 7 mo., 1638, the General Court decreed his banishment. He followed Rev. Wheelwright to the neighborhood of Dover and Exeter and ere long was elected Governor of that community, a post he occupied until March; 1640.

During the short period of his stay there he was seeking a new abode, for on Sept. 8, 1639, as Governor John Underhill, he asked permission to dwell with the Dutch in New Amsterdam. It was granted him but he did not abide in that neighborhood until several years later.

In 1640 he was excommunicated by the First Church of Boston, only to be shortly restored to its membership, it having been realized by Winthrop and his colleagues that his actions had been woefully misjudged. Towards the end of 1641, in view of disturbances at Dover and uncertainty as to his future, his thoughts again turned towards the Dutch and on Jan.16, 1642, he leased a plantation in Flatlands, which it does not appear he occupied. At the instigation of the Church in Boston who fitted him out with a pinnace to remove himself and family, he was led to locate in Stamford and on the 5 of 2 mo., 1643, he was elected Deputy from there to the General Court of New Haven. By October of that year his services had been requisitioned by Director Kieft for aid against the Indians and in February of 1644 he was in chief command of the force which destroyed the Indian encampment near Greenwich. For those services Kieft made him two grants of land, one being Meuteleers Island, in later years known as Bergen Island and the other a plot on Manhattan Island now occupied by Trinity Church-yard, on which land he took up his abode prior to May 25, 1644. On May 24, 1645, he was elected a member of the Council of New Amsterdam and the same year one of the Eight Men who were elected to adopt measures against the Indians. The Bergen Island property did not come into his possession until May 14, 1646. There is every evidence that he expected to make that place his permanent home, but when Director Stuyvesant came into power, he appointed him Sheriff of Flushing, April 27, 1648, and he removed to that town where he was elected a Magistrate in 1651 and served as such in 1652, but in April, 1653, on learning that the Dutch were plotting with the Indians to attack the English, his relations with Director Stuyvesant became strained and he was imprisoned in New Amsterdam for hoisting the Parliamentary colors and "addressing a seditious paper to the people of Long Island." His incarceration was of short duration and the charges against him were dismissed, the natural outcome of which was that he left Flushing for Newport, R. I., where he offered his services to the Commissioners of the United Colonies in "the common cause of England against the Dutch," and on May 19, 1653, the General Assembly of Rhode Island commissioned him Commander-in-Chief on land with full power to act On June 27, 1653, he seized the Dutch post between Saybrook and Hartford for the English, with permission of the General Court of Hartford. This fort, known as The House of Hope, had long hampered the development of Hartford and had been fortified by the Dutch in 1641. Peace was declared in 1654 and during the short period affecting the foregoing events he had taken up his residence in Southold, L. I., certainly residing there in March of that year and owning property located partially where the Savings Bank now stands. In 1658 his first wife, Helena, died there and there has recently been erected to her memory a small slate stone, to harmonize with those of the pioneers still standing in the Presbyterian Cemetery in that place. * (see notation regarding this passage at the end) Early in the following year he married Elizabeth, daughter of Lieut. Robert and Elizabeth (Fownes-Winthrop) Feake, and sold his property in Southold on April 1st to Thomas Moore. In August of that year he was a resident of Setauket, otherwise known as Cromwell's Bay. Elizabeth Fownes Winthrop was a cousin and widow of Henry Winthrop, son of Governor John Winthrop, said Henry losing his life by drowning shortly after his arrival in New England. Just when Capt. John Underhill located in Oyster Bay is not definitely known, but probably in 1661. Certain it is, the inhabitants there on March 1, 1664/5 appointed him a delegate from that place to the Convention in Hempstead where a body of laws and ordinances for the future government of the Province were promulgated, which continued the laws of the Colony until October, 1683. On April 22, 1665, he was appointed Surveyor of Customs for Long Island and later High Constable and Under Sheriff of the North Riding of Yorkshire on Long Island, by "His Highness the Duke of York." Besides being the intermediary between the colonists and Governor Nicolls with reference to taxation and other matters, the Matinecock Indians especially referred to him as their chief advisor and on Oct. 1, 1666, he presented a petition on their behalf to the Court of Assizes. In recognition of those services they conveyed to John Underhill one hundred and fifty acres of land, the original deed of which is now preserved in the custody of Myron C. Taylor, whose summer home stands on part of that allotment. Prior to April, 1667, Capt. John had been seeking the approval of the Governor for naming that territory Killingworth, to which he had acceded, even the Indian deed being dated "Killenworth," prior to the Governor's written consent. Sometime previous to March 14, 1666/7, Capt. John had asked relief from his military duties for on that date the Governor agreed writing, "by reason of of yor yeares & other cares that attend you, I do allow of your excuse and leave you to your owne Liberty." On Feb.24, 1668/9, Governor Lovelace wrote the inhabitants of Killingworth and Matinecock in reply to one received "by the hands of Captain Underhill," regarding the residents of those places requesting independence of Hempstead, and this appears to be his last official act. He made his will in Killingworth and died there 21 of 7 mo., 1672, and was buried in what is now known as The Underhill Burying Ground, located in Locust Valley, L. I., being a part of the acreage presented to him by the Indians in 1667 and where an imposing monument marks his burial place. Close. by and on a part of the original Indian grant is "Killing-worth," the home of his best known living descendant, Myron C. Taylor.

Numerous letters from Capt. John Underhill are preserved in the Winthrop Manuscript owned by the Massachusetts Historical Society and photostats of each one are in the possession of Myron C. Taylor, only two or three being used in this publication. Letters vainly sought by the editor were undoubtedly destroyed in Greenwich, Conn., or in Boston as per the following minute found among the many scraps of paper left by the Winthrop family. It reads as follows: "The eating teeth of time devours all things. A Hogshead of Ancient Papers of value, belonging to our family lost at Greenwich in New England; a barrell full of papers Burnt in a warehouse at Boston." The date is partially destroyed, only the last figure, "8," is readable. The handwriting is of the period of the seventeenth or early eighteenth century.

--------------------

Captain John Underhill

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Underhill (7 Oct, 1597 – 21 July 1672) was an early English colonist in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and a soldier known for his great charisma, his excellent military leadership, and as one of the bravest men of his day. He is most noted for making the New Netherlands and Long Island secure from attacks by Native-Americans in the Pequot War of 1637 and another on Long Island in 1644.

Biography

[edit]Early life

Captain John Underhill was one of three children of Sir John Underhill (1574-1608) and Leonora Honor Pawley. His great-grandfather Sir Hugh Underhill was Keeper of the Wardrobe for Queen Elizabeth at Greenwich and his grandfather Thomas Underhill held the same position for Elizabeth's favorite - Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester at Kenilworth Castle.

The younger John was born in 1597 in Baginton, Warwickshire, England. Sir John Underhill and his family had to escape to The Netherlands after a failed plot by the Earl of Essex to overthrow the Queen. There they stayed in Bergen op Zoom, a heavily fortified city in The Netherlands. Sir John Underhill was Sergeant in the Company of Captain Roger Orme. He died there in October 1608 and is buried in the Church of St. Gertrude.

Following his fathers death John Underhill and his siblings lived with his mother and a group of Puritan exiles. While there he received military training as a cadet in the service of Philip William, the Prince of Orange. He also married a Dutch girl, Helena (Heylken) de Hooch on 12 December 1628 in the Kloosterkerk, The Hague, Holland[1] There they had one child before emigrating, Deborah Underhill, and two other children after emigrating - Elizabeth (born 1635) and John Underhill (1642-1692).

[edit]The Massachusetts Bay Colony

In 1630 Underhill was hired by the Massachusetts Bay Colony with the rank of captain and asked to help train the colony's militia. He and his Dutch wife emmigrated that year. In May of 1634 he was appointed to the General Court, and in July was elected a selectman for Boston. He started the first construction of the fortification on Castle Island at Boston.

Early in 1636 he was sent to Salem to arrest Roger Williams who was viewed by the Puritans as a heretic. But, Williams had already fled to Rhode Island. In August 1636 Underhill led an expedition to Block Island.

[edit]The Pequot War

In September of 1637 he headed the militia as it marched out to the Pequot War. They first went to the Fort at Saybrook. Joining with Mohegan allies, and Connecticut militia under Captain John Mason, they attacked the Pequot fortified village near modern Mystic. They set fire to the village, killing any who attempted to flee. About 400 Pequots died in what came to be called the Mystic Massacre. He led other expeditions that joined in hunting down the surviving Pequots. Underhill published an account of his service as Newes from America; Or, A New and Experimentall Discoverie of New England; Containing, A Trve Relation of Their War-like Proceedings These Two Yeares Last Past, with a Figure of the Indian Fort, or Palizado (London, 1638).

[edit]The Wandering Years

But, within a year of these exploits, he in his turn, fell to the Puritan drive for conformity. He had signed the Boston Petition supporting minister John Wheelwright, who had been censured for a sermon. He was removed from office and disenfranchised in 1637, banished along with Anne Hutchinson in 1638, and excommuniated in 1640. After a fruitless trip to England in search of employment, Underhill returned to Boston where he sold his house and land and joined Wheelwright who settled in Dover, New Hampshire. His mother and her second husband Morris moved to Exeter. In Dover, Underhill soon rose to the position of Governor despite letters from Governor John Winthrop to citizens of that community denouncing him.

In June 1641 Underhill's banishment was repealed and in September that year he was acquitted of a charge of adultry. Still finding no gainful employment in Boston, following the baptism of his son John III in April 1642, he leased a tobacco plantation in Flatlands, Long Island, in New Netherland, though apparently never occupied that land.[2]

Instead he moved to Stamford, Connecticut, where he was named a Freeman in 1642, a Deputy to the General Court of the New Haven Colony in 1643, and Justice of the Stamford Court. Following Indian raids in 1643 he was hired by the New netherlands Board of Eight Selectmen to attack Indian settlements.

[edit]Dutch Service

In May of 1644 Underhill took up residence in New Amsterdam. His plot of land is now the site of Trinity Church in Manhattan. Later that year he led New Amsterdam's forces in a reprise of his attack during the Pequot War. The Indians on Long Island built a fort called Fort Neck in what is now Massapequa. Underhill attacked and burned the Massapequan fort, killing about 120 Indians. The war started because the leader of the Indians Tackapausha claimed he sold the Dutch use to the land, but not the land.

Upon returning to Manhattan, in 1645 Underhill was elected a Selectman to the Council of New Amsterdam. That same year he was named one of Eight Men to adopt measures against the Indian. While preparing to occupy Bergen Island, he was assigned to Flushing instead by Governor Peter Stuyvesant. He was appointed sherrif of Flushing in 1648 and magistrate from 1651-1653.

There in 1653 he turned against Stuyvesant, accusing him of being a tyrant. As Flushing's leader, Underhill issued a proclamation calling for the overthrow of the government: "We declare that it is right and proper to defend ourselves and our rights, which belong to a free people, against the abuses of the above named government." Just as many of his descendants would enumerate George III's wrongdoings, so he described Stuyvesant's; he had for example, imposed magistrates on the people of Flushing "without election or voting." In conclusion, he declared, "This great autocracy and tyranny is too grievous for any brave Englishman and good Christian any longer to tolerate Accept and submit ye, then, to the Parliament of England."

[edit]Return to English Service

After being imprisoned for a brief time he was released. Upon hearing of Dutch plans to ally with some tribes to attack the English settlements, Underhill brought word of this to the colonies in Connecticut. The General Assembly of Rhode Island named him Commander-in-Chief and authorized him to seize a Dutch settlement named the House of Hope at Hartford. When the First Anglo-Dutch war was finally resolved (in 1654), he returned to Long Island. There he leved in Southold, Setauket, and finally in Oyster Bay where he lived out the remainder of his years. Appropriately this place was on the edge of the New Netherlands and far enough out of reach of Massachusetts Bay and other colonies to give Underhill a hard earned respite from war, conflict, and religious intolerance.

[edit]Retirement to Oyster Bay

John eventually retired to a large estate (Kenilworth or Killingworth) at Oyster Bay, Long Island. There he would carry a few more titles before his death, including Delegate of Oyster Bay to the Convention in Hempstead in 1664, Surveyor of Customs for Long Island in 1666-1666, High Constable and Under Sheriff of the North Riding of Yorktown on Long Island, and Chief Advisor to the Matinecock Indians who presented a petition to the Council of Assizes in 1666. After which the Matinecock conveyed 150 acres of land to Underhill in Oyster Bay where he finally settled.

Following the death of his first wife and mother in 1658, he married his second wife Elizabeth Feake on 2 December 1658, in Oyster Bay. Feake was a Quaker and converted John to Quakerism before he died.

Elizabeth Feake and her family, much like Underhill, had an important role in the shaping of Colonial America. The daughter of Elizabeth Fones[3] and her second husband Robert Feake, Fones was the subject of much consternation for marrying her third husband William Hallet while her second husband Robert Feake was still alive[4].

Hannah Feake, the second daughter of Robert Feake and Elizabeth Fones and sister of Elizabeth Feake, would go on to become an important figure in the fight for religious freedom in Colonial America. Governor Peter Stuyvesant banned the rights of Quakers to assemble and worship. On 27 December 1657, thirty townsepeople of Flushing, Queens, signed the Flushing Remonstrance protesting this ban. The ban was later tested when Hannah, being a Quaker minister herself, held services in her own home. Her husband was arrested and returned to England, only to be released and allowed to come back again, contributed to the principles codified a century later in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights granting religious and political freedom to all citizens.

Captain John Underhill and Elizabeth Feake had five children: Deborah (1659-1697), Nathaniel (1663-1697), Hannah (1666-1757), Elizabeth (1669-1704), and David (1672-1708). Son Nathaniel Underhill settled in Westchester County, New York where he became a prominent citizen and the progenitor of a large number of descendants. There are several streets in Westchester County named for Underhill and his descendants.

Captain John Underhill died on 21 July 1672 and is buried in the Underhill Burying Ground in Locust Valley, New York.

John Underhill's many descendants are represented by the Underhill Society of America.[5]

Children:

Deborah, b. 1659; d. 1698; m. ca. 1676 Henry Townsend (c. 1649-1718)

Nathaniel, b. 1664; d. 1710; m. Mary Ferris

Hannah, b. 1666; d. 1757; m. 1685 Richard Alsop (1660-1718)

Elizabeth, b. 1669; m. Isaac Smith (b. 1657)

David, b. 1672; d. 1708; m. first UNKNOWN, second Hannah

Life and Activities of Capt. John Underhill

Edited from "Underhill Genealogy," by Jossephine C. Frost (Mrs. Samuel Knapp Frost) Brooklyn, NY Vol. 1

Published Privately by Myron C. Taylor in the interests of The Underhill Society of America, 1932

    The English Ancestry of Capt. John Underhill has been established back to and including Hugh Underhill, keeper of the wardrobe to Queen Elizabeth in Greenwich Palace, examined, and passed, by the College of Arms in London and traced to armigerous Underhills of Ettington in Warkickshire and their predecessors of the thirteenth century. As to the year of his birth, legend varies between 1597 and 1600; as to place, tradition locates it at Baginton, near Kenilworth (Killingworth) in Warwickshire. 
    The mother of Capt. John Underhill was a widow living in Holland in 1618, and it should be conceded that he was residing there with her at that time, but no authentic evidence is found concerning him until Nov.28, 1628, on which date the Betrothal Records of Gorinchem and the Hague testify to his betrothal to Heylken, daughter of Willem de Hooch of the former place and in each entry he is described as a Cadet in the Guard of the Prince of Orange. As a sequel to those entries, the marriage of the couple on December 12, 1628, is recorded in the records of the Kloosterkerk at The Hague. He makes one other appearance in the Dutch records there on Feb.26, 1630, when he signs a document stating his acceptance of the division of his wife's father's estate. 
    Capt. John Underhill is first mentioned in New England, when, on Aug.27, 1630, he joined the first church. In Vol.11. of this publication the editor states he was first mentioned Sept 7, 1630, but she had not at that time seen the First Church Records. Just when he arrived in New England is not definitely known but that he came with Winthrop is generally conceded and it is stated in Vol.11. of The Life and Letters of John Winthrop that he (Winthrop) sailed from England April 8, 1630. 
Helena, wife of Capt John Underhill, did not join the church until 15, 10 mo., 1633, probably because of her inability to speak the English language and on the 29, 10 mo., 1633, their maid, Margery Hinds, became a member. 
    On Sept 7, 1630, the Court of Assistants of the Massachusetts Bay Colony met in Charlestown and authorized Underhill be provided with food, money and house rent as the chief military authority of the Colony with Daniel Patrick, who shared the fifty pounds maintenance. He was made Captain before May 18, 1631, and as such was expected to attend Governor Winthrop on his official visits, to arrest notable offenders and locate with others, convenient places for forts on Castle Island, Charlestown and Dorchester. In May 1634 he was elected Deputy to the General Court and on 7 mo. 1 day, 1634 is listed one of Boston's Selectmen. 
When he sailed for England in November, 1634, the ostensible reason given by Winthrop was that he "had leave to visit his friends in Holland," but circumstantial evidence indicates that his real mission was to secure considerable additions to the warlike stores of the colony in view of the fact that armed conflict with England was anticipated. He did, at any rate, procure a generous supply of gun-powder from one friend of the colony; and had returned to Boston before September, 1635. During the ensuing winter he was empowered by the General Court to impress labor for the erection of forts and to direct the distribution of ordnance to various vulnerable places on the coast and one of the other specific duties assigned him was the arrest of his friend, Roger Williams, who had taken refuge in Salem, but when the officers arrived there he had fled to more congenial shores to the south to escape punishment by the Puritans for his liberal religious views and became the founder of the Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. 
    In August, 1636, Capt. John took a prominent part in the punitive expedition to Block Island and he was the eleventh signer on the original roll of membership of The Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Boston in 1637, although they did not receive their charter until 13 of 1 mo., 1638. On the 1 mo., 9 day, 1636/7, he was chosen Captain by the General Court "for the country's service" in view of the grave danger which threatened the colony from the Pequot Indians. He proceeded to Say-brook Fort and with Capt. John Mason, was the chief instrument in their complete destruction. However on 2 of 9 mo., 1637, he was discharged from further service but was to have a quarter's pay for a gratuity, but at this same meeting of the General Court he was censored for "putting his hand to a seditious writing," was disfranchised, put from the Captain's place and disarmed. The "seditious writing" was the signing of a petition in favor of Rev. John Wheelwright who had given great offence by a liberal Fast-Day sermon and sentenced to be banished. 
    Early in 1638, Capt. John sailed for England and on March 24 was in negotiation with the Committee of Providence Island to enter the service of the company in a military capacity. On April 26 his pamphlet, "Newes from America," was entered at Stationers' Hall, London. He had returned to Boston by August first for on that day he sold his house and land there but on the 6 of 7 mo., 1638, the General Court decreed his banishment. He followed Rev. Wheelwright to the neighborhood of Dover and Exeter and ere long was elected Governor of that community, a post he occupied until March; 1640. During the short period of his stay there he was seeking a new abode, for on Sept. 8, 1639, as Governor John Underhill, he asked permission to dwell with the Dutch in New Amsterdam. It was granted him but he did not abide in that neighborhood until several years later.  
    In 1640 he was excommunicated by the First Church of Boston, only to be shortly restored to its membership, it having been realized by Winthrop and his colleagues that his actions had been woefully misjudged. Towards the end of 1641, in view of disturbances at Dover and uncertainty as to his future, his thoughts again turned towards the Dutch and on Jan.16, 1642, he leased a plantation in  Flatlands, which it does not appear he occupied. At the instigation of the Church in Boston who fitted him out with a pinnace to remove himself and family, he was led to locate in Stamford and on the 5 of 2 mo., 1643, he was elected Deputy from there to the General Court of New Haven. By October of that year his services had been requisitioned by Director Kieft for aid against the Indians and in February of 1644 he was in chief command of the force which destroyed the Indian encampment near Greenwich. For those services Kieft made him two grants of land, one being Meuteleers Island, in later years known as Bergen Island and the other a plot on Manhattan Island now occupied by Trinity Church-yard, on which land he took up his abode prior to May 25, 1644. On May 24, 1645, he was elected a member of the Council of New Amsterdam and the same year one of the Eight Men who were elected to adopt measures against the Indians. The Bergen Island property did not come into his possession until May 14, 1646. There is every evidence that he expected to make that place his permanent home, but when Director Stuyvesant came into power, he appointed him Sheriff of Flushing, April 27, 1648, and he removed to that town where he was elected a Magistrate in 1651 and served as such in 1652, but in April, 1653, on learning that the Dutch were plotting with the Indians to attack the English, his relations with Director Stuyvesant became strained and he was imprisoned in New Amsterdam for hoisting the Parliamentary colors and "addressing a seditious paper to the people of Long Island." His incarceration was of short duration and the charges against him were dismissed, the natural outcome of which was that he left Flushing for Newport, R. I., where he offered his services to the Commissioners of the United Colonies in "the common cause of England against the Dutch," and on May 19, 1653, the General Assembly of Rhode Island commissioned him Commander-in-Chief on land with full power to act On June 27, 1653, he seized the Dutch post between Saybrook and Hartford for the English, with permission of the General Court of Hartford. This fort, known as The House of Hope, had long hampered the development of Hartford and had been fortified by the Dutch in 1641. Peace was declared in 1654 and during the short period affecting the foregoing events he had taken up his residence in Southold, L. I., certainly residing there in March of that year and owning property located partially where the Savings Bank now stands. In 1658 his first wife, Helena, died there and there has recently been erected to her memory a small slate stone, to harmonize with those of the pioneers still standing in the Presbyterian Cemetery in that place.  * (see notation regarding this passage at the end) Early in the following year he married Elizabeth, daughter of Lieut. Robert and Elizabeth (Fownes-Winthrop) Feake, and sold his property in Southold on April 1st to Thomas Moore. In August of that year he was a resident of Setauket, otherwise known as Cromwell's Bay. Elizabeth Fownes Winthrop was a cousin and widow of Henry Winthrop, son of Governor John Winthrop, said Henry losing his life by drowning shortly after his arrival in New England. Just when Capt. John Underhill located in Oyster Bay is not definitely known, but probably in 1661. Certain it is, the inhabitants there on March 1, 1664/5 appointed him a delegate from that place to the Convention in Hempstead where a body of laws and ordinances for the future government of the Province were promulgated, which continued the laws of the Colony until October, 1683. On April 22, 1665, he was appointed Surveyor of Customs for Long Island and later High Constable and Under Sheriff of the North Riding of Yorkshire on Long Island, by "His Highness the Duke of York." Besides being the intermediary between the colonists and Governor Nicolls with reference to taxation and other matters, the Matinecock Indians especially referred to him as their chief advisor and on Oct. 1, 1666, he presented a petition on their behalf to the Court of Assizes. In recognition of those services they conveyed to John Underhill one hundred and fifty acres of land, the original deed of which is now preserved in the custody of Myron C. Taylor, whose summer home stands on part of that allotment. Prior to April, 1667, Capt. John had been seeking the approval of the Governor for naming that territory Killingworth, to which he had acceded, even the Indian deed being dated "Killenworth," prior to the Governor's written consent. Sometime previous to March 14, 1666/7, Capt. John had asked relief from his military duties for on that date the Governor agreed writing, "by reason of of yor yeares & other cares that attend you, I do allow of your excuse and leave you to your owne Liberty." On Feb.24, 1668/9, Governor Lovelace wrote the inhabitants of Killingworth and Matinecock in reply to one received "by the hands of Captain Underhill," regarding the residents of those places requesting independence of Hempstead, and this appears to be his last official act. He made his will in Killingworth and died there 21 of 7 mo., 1672, and was buried in what is now known as The Underhill Burying Ground, located in Locust Valley, L. I., being a part of the acreage presented to him by the Indians in 1667 and where an imposing monument marks his burial place. Close. by and on a part of the original Indian grant is "Killing-worth," the home of his best known living descendant, Myron C. Taylor. 
    Numerous letters from Capt. John Underhill are preserved in the Winthrop Manuscript owned by the Massachusetts Historical Society and photostats of each one are in the possession of Myron C. Taylor, only two or three being used in this publication. Letters vainly sought by the editor were undoubtedly destroyed in Greenwich, Conn., or in Boston as per the following minute found among the many scraps of paper left by the Winthrop family. It reads as follows: "The eating teeth of time devours all things. A Hogshead of Ancient Papers of value, belonging to our family lost at Greenwich in New England; a barrell full of papers Burnt in a warehouse at Boston." The date is partially destroyed, only the last figure, "8," is readable.  The handwriting is of the period of the seventeenth or early eighteenth century.
view all 22

Captain John Underhill's Timeline

1597
October 7, 1597
Baginton, Warwickshire, England, (Present UK)
1628
December 12, 1628
Age 31
Den Haag, Rhynland (present Zuid-Holland), Holland, Republiek der Zeven Verenigde Nederlanden (present The Netherlands)
1629
1629
Age 31
1629
Age 31
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA
1630
1630
Age 32
Boston, MA
1630
Age 32
Boston, MA
1636
1636
Age 38
Boston, MA, USA
1642
April 11, 1642
Age 44
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA
1645
1645
Age 47
1659
September 29, 1659
Age 61
Flushing or Vlissingen, Nieuw-Nederland