Edward Bates (c.1586 - 1644) MP

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Nicknames: "Edward of Boston", "Edward Bate"
Birthplace: Boston, Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom
Death: Died in Massachusetts, United States
Occupation: Operated cider mill, cooper. See notes: Arrived from England September 4, 1633 aboard the ship Griffin
Managed by: Thomas Edward Shirley
Last Updated:

About Edward Bates

Edward Bates arrived in Boston from England September 18, 1633 onboard the Griffin. On that ship were 100 passengers, including Anne Hutchinson who would play a part in his life. Edward came as a servant to Thomas Leverett, [a lawyer Alderman from Boston, England who had come previously with John Cotton and would also

be an Elder in the First Church of Boston], ("In the 9th month (1633) List to First Church . . . Edward Baytes, Anthony Harker, our brother Thos. Leverett's men servants." Memorial History of Boston, page 567) but he soon earned his freedom, and became a freeman in 1637. He married Lydia Fairbanks and embarked on a brief but colorful life in the new Boston.

Edward was excommunicated and disarmed for heresy as a follower of Anne Hutchinson. She was a strong and good woman who tended the sick, offered aid at birthing and dying, and believed in a personal relationship with God. She led discussions and prayer meetings, infuriating the men clergy who banished her from Massachusetts Bay Colony. Her followers were allowed to remain but were branded "heretics" and allowed no rights or property, including weapons. It must have been a fearful punishment in that society. Edward eventually recanted and was allowed back into the fold. He is mentioned several times in the Boston Town Records. He was given 14 acres of land on Pullen Poynt (now the town of Winthrop, where a Bates Road still exists). He almost lost the land because he sailed off to Sable Island to hunt instead of tending to the required house building but the town fathers relented and gave him an extension of time.

Pullen Poynt Necke

"Allottments of Edward Baytes 14 acres of upland and marsh together: bounded toward the North by the allotment of Wm. Stidson, toward the South by the allotment of Thos. Matson & toward the West by the said highway." City Document No. 46, par. 21

His only child, John, was born in 1641 and baptized in the First Church of Boston. The date and circumstances of Edward's death aren't known, but in 1645 his widow married William Fletcher in Concord. -------------------- Although some discrepancies as to the arrival of Edward Bates at Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony occur in different texts, it seems that this is due to the similarity of arrival dates of the ship Griffin in the consecutive years of 1633 and 1634. The first voyage, which arrived September 4, 1633 piloted by Captain John Gallup, carried (among others) John Cotton and Thomas Leveritt. Edward Bates and Anthony Harker are mentioned in period documentation as being man servants of Leverett, Harker becoming a Freeman in 1636 and Bates in 1637. Most likely Bates and Harker were indentured to Leverett in order to pay passage to Boston, each taking several years to pay off the debt, thus becoming Freemen. The second voyage of the Griffin arrived September 18, 1634, and it was on this voyage that William and Ann Hutchinson and their family arrived. A closer reading of the following text reveals the discrepancy, my notes are highlighted. The photo above show the home that Edward and Lydia built in Chelmsford, MA. It was later called Captain Fletcher's House (apparently he was not even a Captain) and was razed in 1914. PBR

Edward Bates and Lydia Fairbanks Edward Bates and Lydia Fairbanks are immigrant ancestors of Oliver Bates. Edward Bates arrived in Boston from England September 18 4, 1633 onboard the Griffin. On that ship were 100 passengers, including Anne Hutchinson by my readings Mrs. Hutchinson would have arrived on the second voyage of the Griffin which arrived at Boston September 18, 1634 who would play a part in his life. Most on the Griffin were likely followers of Reverend John Cotton who had already made his way to Boston. John Cotton would have been aboard the Griffin when it arrived September 4, 1633 On the passenger list was the Reverend Jonathan Lothrop who had conducted separatist services in Edgerton, Kent and London, and the Rev. Zachariah Symmes of Canterbury, Kent. From The Planters of the Commonwealth by Charles Edward Banks: It is a puzzle to imagine what things occupied the time of these emigrants for ten weeks on the crowded decks of the small vessels which took them across the three thousand miles that lay between the continents. Even to-day with our many permitted diversions time hangs heavily. Certainly those residents of the rural hamlets left nothing of interest behind them, and so missed nothing in their drab lives when exchanging their pithless parochial existence ashore for the monotonous doldrums of a swaying deck at sea. Ships carrying religious groups, like the Mayflower or the Arbella, indulged in daily services when their spiritual leaders 'exercised' the Godly in prayer and sermon. We can readily believe that Mistress Anne Hutchinson furnished enough excitement aboard the Griffin when she engaged the Reverend John Lothrop and the Reverend Zachariah Symmes in theological bouts, but these were exceptional ships, as the vast majority of emigrants came without ministerial leaders to entertain them. If the voyage were stormy, they were obliged to go below decks and kill time in the darkness. Doubtless they went to bed at sundown, as there was no way to light the decks. They rose at the break of day to begin another round of nothing in particular. We do not know how much Edward Bates may have been involved in the religious discussion that most likely occurred on the Griffin but we do know that he found something he liked in what Anne Hutchinson had to say, if not then, in the near future.

From The Bates Bulletin (Series VII, Volume II, Spring/Summer 1995) by Mary Jean Evans - Edward of Boston and His Descendants: Free-Thinkers, Heretics, Patriots:

Edward came as a servant to Thomas Leverett, see note below [a lawyer Alderman from Boston, England who had come previously with John Cotton and would also be an Elder in the First Church of Boston], but he soon earned his freedom, and became a freeman in 1637. He married Lydia Fairbanks and embarked on a brief but colorful life in the new Boston.

Edward was excommunicated and disarmed for heresy as a follower of Anne Hutchinson. She was a strong and good woman who tended the sick, offered aid at birthing and dying, and believed in a personal relationship with God. She led discussions and prayer meetings, infuriating the men clergy who banished her from Massachusetts Bay Colony. Her followers were allowed to remain but were branded "heretics" and allowed no rights or property, including weapons. It must have been a fearful punishment in that society.

Edward eventually recanted and was allowed back into the fold. He is mentioned several times in the Boston Town Records. He was given 14 acres of land on Pullen Poynt (now the town of Winthrop, where a Bates Road still exists). He almost lost the land because he sailed off to Sable Island to hunt instead of tending to the required house building but the town fathers relented and gave him an extension of time. His only child, John, was born in 1641 and baptized in the First Church of Boston. The date and circumstances of Edward's death aren't known, but in 1645 his widow married William Fletcher in Concord. Mr. Fletcher raised John along with the children he had with Lydia: Joshua, Lydia, Samuel and Paul. Thus began the Bates history in Chelmsford. All of the children were presented to the church in Chelmsford in 1656.

John was about 15 years old. Like his biological father, Edward, he became a cooper and is mentioned several times in town records for doing diverse jobs such as "mending the stox" and repairing the town sundial. He married Mary Farwell in 1668 and began to raise a family. At one point, he applied for permission to build a pew in the church. Permission was granted, "providing it don't damnifie the alley." Like his father, he was also something of a free spirit, frequently in trouble with the pious congregation and with the minister of the church, the Reverend John Fiske. The minister kept a detailed notebook documenting all of the important events in the congregation. John's name comes up several times, along with that of his half-brother Joshua. These young men got in much trouble together, refusing to go to church,creating disturbances, and not showing proper contrition. A Mrs. Fletcher, probably their mother, was mentioned for speaking too freely about her children, calling them "rogue, rascal and hell-bound." She was admonished for this as was Joshua, but John was excommunicated.

However, when he was called upon to serve in the army as a Lieutenant in the Chelmsford Garrison in King Philip's War, he apparently thought again about his "state of grace" and sought to make amends. The Rev. Fiske details this in the last entry of his notebook, dated May 7, 1675. "John Bates he being pressed to go upon his country's service against the Indians came in the morning to me touched with his sin and his condition in regard of the church censure…not knowing how God would dispose of him…" After a few tries the Rev. Fiske was finally satisfied with the confession and John was welcomed back into the congregation.

The John Bates family was quartered in one of the garrison houses for protection during the war. Fortunately they did survive and prospered. They were given considerable land and built a house and a cider mill. Their children were John Jr., Mary, Elisabeth, Lidiah, Sarah, and Rebecca.

John Jr. married Deborah Spaulding in 1693. They had eight children, Deborah, Hannah, Mary, Betty, John (whose name appears on the Chelmsford monument), Jonathan, Robert and Edward. In 1702 they bought land at what is now 26 Worthen Street and built a house which stood until 1915. Tragedy struck in 1722 when smallpox spread through the family, killing many of them. The town record of April 23, 1722 makes explicit the understanding of contagion: ordering the quarantine of the family, building a wall across the road leading to their property, and posting a warning. The devastation of the family can be seen in the dates of many of the Bates graves in Chelmsford. John Sr. and John Jr. died within a month of each other as did several others. Presumably the quarantine of the family succeeded as there is no record of an epidemic in the town at the time.

Edward had married Mary Snow in 1719 and was living in Westford, thus escaping the disease that destroyed the family. Mary Snow Bates was the first public school mistress in Westford. Their oldest child, Oliver, had married Ruth Wright but died without issue of wounds received at the battle for Concord Bridge. Other children were Joseph, Betty, Sarah, Hannah and John.

John, born in 1722, married Martha Foster, daughter of Deacon Moses Foster. This couple began a westward trek across Massachusetts. They lived in Lunenberg, Ashburnham and Shelburne, with John holding town offices in each place. They had three daughters: Phoebe, Mary and Martha and eight sons: Jonathan, John, Edward, Moses Foster, Oliver, Samuel, Sampson and Robert, all of whom fought in Revolutionary War. John himself drowned in the Deerfield River in 1775, perhaps in a battle.

With the end of the war came the end of the Massachusetts history of much of this Bates line. Moses, Oliver and Jonathan and perhaps others moved to Vermont or New York and succeeding generations gradually settled in western territories. There are no records to tell us if the lives o these later generations were as free-spirited as those that preceded them but the pioneer life surely required that independence and strength.


-------------------- Please note "In the 9th month (1633) List to First Church . . . Edward Baytes, Anthony Harker, our brother Thos. Leverett's men servants." Memorial History of Boston, page 567

Pullen Poynt Necke "Allottments of Edward Baytes 14 acres of upland and marsh together: bounded toward the North by the allotment of Wm. Stidson, toward the South by the allotment of Thos. Matson & toward the West by the said highway." City Document No. 46, par. 21

Anne Hutchinson "Whereas the opinions & revelations of Mr. Wheelwright & Mrs. Hutchinson have seduced and led into dangerous errors many of the people heare in New England insomuch as there is just cause of suspition that they, as others in Germany, in former times, may upon some revelation make some suddaine irruption upon those that differ from them in judgement for prevention whereof it is ordered that all those whose names are underwritten shall before the 30th day of this month of November, deliver in at Mr. Cane's house at Boston, all such guns, pistols, swords, powder, shot & match as they shall be owners of, or have in ther custody, upon paine of ten pounds for every default to be made thereof, which armes are to be kept by Mr. Cane until this court shall take further order therein.

The names of Boston Men to be disarmed -" The nineteenth name on the list was that of Edward Baytes. - Massachusetts General Court Record, Nov. 20, 1637

Record of First Church "John, son of Edward, age about 14 days, baptized at First Church January 23, 1641-2."

"For three different offences our brother, Edward Baytes, was excommunicated November 20, 1642", but "upon his repentance openly confessed" he was "again received into fellowship April 28, 1644.

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

References: The History of Chelmsford by W. Allen, The Notebook of Rev. John Fiske, published by the Essex Institute, The History of Chelmsford by Waters and town records.

Winthrop’s Diary records the 4 September 1633 arrival of the Griffin as follows:

SEPT. 4. “The Griffin, a ship of three hundred tons, arrived (having been eight weeks from the Downs)… In this ship came Mr. Cotton, Mr. Hooker and Mr. Stone, ministers, and Mr. Pierce, Mr. Haynes (a gentleman of great estate), Mr. Hoffe, and many other men of good estates. They got out of England with much difficulty, all places being belaid to have taken Mr. Cotton and Mr. Hooker, who had been long sought for to have been brought into the high commission; but the master being bound to touch at the Wight, the pursuivants attended there, and, in the meantime, the said ministers were take in at the Downs. Mr. Hooker and Mr. Stone went presently to Newtown, where they were to be entertained, and Mr. Cotton stayed at Boston.”

Less than a week after arriving, John and Sarah Cotton were admitted as members of the church of Boston, and their son, Seaborn, was baptized. The pastor of the Church of Boston, John Wilson, had received his Masters from King’s College Cambridge but later lost his fellowship for nonconformity. Prior to migrating with Winthrop, Wilson had studied more than he had preached. On 10 October 1633 while the Church of Boston kept fast, John Cotton was selected teacher and a friend of Cotton’s from Boston, Lincolnshire, Thomas Leverett, was selected as ruling elder.

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Edward Bates's Timeline

1586
1586
Boston, Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom
1606
November 26, 1606
Age 20
Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire, England
1633
September 4, 1633
Age 47
Passenger to Boston on the Griffin
1633
Age 47
1638
March 9, 1638
Age 52
Massachusetts
1638
Age 52
Weymouth, Massachuttes
1640
1640
Age 54
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States
1641
January 15, 1641
Age 55
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States
1644
April 28, 1644
Age 58
Massachusetts, United States
April 28, 1644
Age 58
Boston, Massachusetts