Edward Erasmus Bobet, Sr. (1626 - 1675) MP

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Nicknames: "Edward Babbitt"
Birthplace: Wales
Death: Died in Plymouth, (Present Plymouth County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts)
Cause of death: Killed by Indians during King Phillip's War
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About Edward Erasmus Bobet, Sr.

Born in Devonshire, England. Immigrated to Plymouth at a young age. Married Sarah Tarne on 7 Sep 1654 in Boston, Suffolk Co., MA. Killed in King Phillips War. The name at that time was Bobet.

Buried where he was killed. Much later the stone was removed and placed in Historical Hall, Tauton, MA. On the stone: Edward Bobbitt Kld June 1675.

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EDWARD BOBET & THE POKANOKETS

      Relations with Indians were to have a particular significance in the life of Edward Bobet.  Edward Bobet is documented in the court records of Plymouth in 1649 -- "At the Generall Court holden at Plymouth aforesaid, the sixt day of June 1649xxxWee p-sent Edward Bobbit, of Taunton, for receiving pay for stolen wampon (wampum)".  The source notes that "opposite the charge is the official entry -- cleared".  As with the 1668 civil litigation initiated by the Indian Powas against Peter Pitts, reference to Edward Bobet's indictment obscures more than enlightens.  Lacking the service of court reporters, one can only speculate regarding the particulars and validity of the charge / charges against Edward Bobet.  In a society notably lacking in currency, wampum was an accepted substitute for currency.  The introduction of metal drills by English colonists ultimately led to mass production of wampum, with concomitant inflation and the debasement of wampum as a means of exchange.  In contrast to the Native peoples, the English colonists never fully comprehended the metaphysical qualities ascribed to wampum by the Native peoples.
      As with Peter Pitts, Edward Bobet was also an early American real estate developer.  In partnership with John Hathaway and Timothy Holloway, Edward Bobet purchased a four hundred acre tract of land in 1658 summarized as extending from Taunton westerly to Rehoboth, "together with the meadows, woods, waters, and all the benefits, priveleges, emoluments, profits, and immunities thereunto appertaining and belonging to have and to hold to them and their heirs forever".  That this tract was purchased from the Pokanoket people is self evident.  The specific financial details of this transaction, however, are notably not referenced in "The Babbit Family History", nor whether the sellers were satisfied with the transaction.  Provisions regarding the unrestricted use of "the meadows, woods, and waters" were to prove particularly problematic.
      A significant source of increasing tensions between the English colonists and the Native peoples was the "free range" livestock of the English colonists.  Cryptic reference is made to Edward Bobet being chosen a member of the "Grand Enquest" of Plymouth Colony in 1668, specifically tasked "to view the Damage done to the Indians by the Horses and Hoggs of the English".  Whether any corrective action or restitution was ever offered to the Native peoples as a result of this "Grand Enquest" is indeterminate.  Ironically, no less a luminary than Metacom / King Phillip himself had adopted commercial swine production as an economic activity in the 1660's, incurring the ire of the colony's farmers as "the sachem was able to sell his pork for less than the colony's farmers"!!!
      Upon commencement of King Phillip's War in June 1675, the security of the Bobet family home was necessarily untenable.  Edward, Sarah, and their nine children took refuge in the garrison at Taunton.  "The Babbit Family History" and other sources reference Edward Bobet's untimely demise at age fifty.  Per "The Babbit Family History" -- "According to this tradition Bobet returned to his house to secure some necessary article -- perhaps the cheese hoop, as the story says:  he was accompanied by his dog in the thought that perhaps warning of prowling savages would be given by it.  He secured the needed article and was on his way back to the fort when he became aware of his pursuit by Indians; he climbed a tree and was effectually hidden, but his faithful dog disclosed his presence and his life was forfeit of his hazardous adventure.  His grave is in a private yard, near Berkley Bridge, and is thought to be the spot where he was killed.  The spot was marked by a bronze Memorial Tablet in 1911 -- its cost being defrayed by small contributions from his descendents, from all over the United States and Canada".
      An apocryphal post script is later included in "The Babbit Family History", to the effect that "on one (militia) training day there appeared among the spectators one of the Indians who had killed Edward Bobet.  This Indian was perhaps intoxicated, boasted of this fact to Edward Bobet, Jr., who at a later date avenged his father's death".  As with many an apocryphal tale, specific dates and details of this incident and aftermath are notably lacking.

Extracted from Chapter 1 of "The Pitts Family Chronicles" -- "Ye Ancient Inhabitants of Taunton" Charles Phillip Pitts, M.A. / 2011

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Edward Erasmus Bobet, Sr.'s Timeline

1626
1626
Wales
1654
September 7, 1654
Age 28
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
1655
July 15, 1655
Age 29
Taunton, (Present Bristol County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts)
1658
March 20, 1658
Age 32
Taunton, (Present Bristol County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts)
1660
March 9, 1660
Age 34
Taunton, (Present Bristol County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts)
1663
September 15, 1663
Age 37
Taunton, (Present Bristol County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts)
1665
December 15, 1665
Age 39
Taunton, (Present Bristol County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts)
1667
January 20, 1667
Age 41
Taunton, (Present Bristol County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts)
1669
April 15, 1669
Age 43
Taunton, (Present Bristol County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts)
1671
August 7, 1671
Age 45
Taunton, (Present Bristol County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts)