Francis Billington (c.1605 - 1684) MP

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Francis Billington, Mayflower passenger's Geni Profile

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Birthplace: Spaulding, Lincolnshire, England
Death: Died in Middleborough, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
Occupation: m. 7/16/1634
Managed by: ROBERT SCOTT HERNAN
Last Updated:

About Francis Billington

Birth: About 1606, possibly near Spaulding, Lincolnshire.

Marriage:

Christian (Penn) Eaton, July 1634, Plymouth.


Death: 3 December 1684, Middleboro.

The Billington family may have originated from around Cowbit and Spaulding, in Lincolnshire, England. Francis Longland named young children Francis Billington son of John, and Francis Newton son of Robert, as heirs. In 1650, a survey of lands indicated that Francis was "about 40" and living in New England. Francis' himself stated in a 1674 deposition that he was 68 years old, so he was about 14 years old when he made the voyage on the Mayflower to Plymouth in 1620 with his parents John and Eleanor, and older brother John.

Francis was clearly an active and troublesome youth. He nearly caused a disaster onboard the Mayflower shortly after arrival, when he shot off his father's musket inside the Mayflower's cabin and sent sparks raining down near an open barrel of gunpowder. After he got to shore, he climbed up a tree and spotted a "great sea," which turned out to be a lake that even today is still known as "Billington's Sea". He and one of the Mayflower's crewmembers went to explore the sea, but became alarmed when they saw some abandoned Indian houses (they were alone with only a single gun).

Francis' father was hanged for murder in September 1630, and his brother John had died not to long before. In July 1634, Francis married Christian Eaton, the widow of Mayflower passenger Francis Eaton who had died the previous year autumn. Christian brought three of her own children, and one step-child from her deceased husband's previous marriage, all under the age of 14. With Francis Billington, she had nine more children. They raised their family at Plymouth, and moved in their later years to Middleboro, where they both died in 1684.

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From SIGNERS OF THE MAYFLOWER COMPACT by Annie Arnoux Haxton Pt.! The Billington boys were uncontrollable. The Billington boys were not persons to be suppressed or reduced to the subordination of extinction. The situation on the ship was one their hearts craved and the spirit of April Fool's day was not regulated by the calender. Francis Billington climbed a tree and discovered a body of water in the distance. It proved to provide a great quantity of fresh water and perpetuated his name as the Billington Sea. In 1634 he married Christian Penn, widow of Francis Eaton. they proved to be a thriftless pair ; Their growing family of eight children seemed to be too much for them and they were forced to bind most of them out to secure means for their existence. Francis was occasionally fined and sued and once had the choice of a whipping or a fine of 20 pounds.If the sentence was carried out I greatly fear the family exchequer would require the whipping, However as the years went by he was on committees, boards of reference and other organizations which gave evidence of his standing in the community. For more information on this family look under John Billington his brother and John and Eleanor Billington his father and mother.

http://pharmacy.isu.edu/~cady/genealogy/PS07/PS07_039.HTM

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BILLINGTON, FRANCIS-The son of John and Eleanor Billington, Francis accompanied his parents on the 1620 Mayflower. See the three articles under his father for his probable English origin and his American descendants. When the Mayflower was anchored at Cape Cod, "one of Francis [sic, should be John] Billington's Sons [presumably son Francis], who in his Fathers absence, had got Gun-powder, and had shot of a peice or two, and made scuibs, and there being a fowling peice charged in his fathers Cabbin, shot her off in the Cabbin, there being a little barren of powder halfe full, scattered in and about the Cabbin, the fire being within foure foote of the bed betweene the Deckes, and many flints and Iron things about the Cabbin, and many people about the fire, and yet by Gods mercy no harme done" (Mourt's Relation, p. 15). The same source, p. 26, relates how Francis Billington climbed a tree and saw what appeared to be a great sea, but on close inspection it turned out to be a very shallow pond, which is called to this day the Billington Sea. He married Christian (Penn), the widow of Francis Eaton, in July 1634 (PC R 1:31). Source: Plymouth Colony Its History & People 1620-1691 by Eugene Aubrey Stratton

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Francis Billington, the sole surviving son: John's son Francis was one of the first Pilgrims punished for premarital sex. How he and Christian Penn were 'caught' is unknown; their first child Elizabeth wasn't born until a year, to the month, after their marriage. He lived at Plymouth until 1669; then he moved to Middleboro and lived on land granted to him as one of the "First Comers." (Plymouth Colony LR 1:344; 3:129 (Francis Billington) He lived there until his death, except for a few years when he took refuge at Plymouth during the King Philip's War. On 18 April 1642 he apprenticed his daughter Elizabeth (Plymouth Colony Record 2:38) and 14 Jan 1642/3 he bound-out son Joseph, "aged vi or vii" and two daughters, probably Martha and Mary, one five years old and the other even younger. (Plymouth town records) Bradford in his History (446) stated in 1651 that Francis Billington had eight children. In his old age, Francis was dependent on his son Isaac for support and died intestate. No probate record appears, although Isaac petitioned the probate court in 1703/4 for title to his father's Middleboro lands, stating he had had sole care of his parents in their old age. (Plymouth Co. PR) A Plymouth County Court case of Sep 1722, brought by Isaac's daughter Desire (Billington) Bonney and her husband, James, proves that Francis Billington died intestate

leaving issue, two sons and five daughters [see below]. Isaac as the eldest undoubtedly got a double portion as there were a total of eight

shares in the estate. (Plymouth Co. CT Records, 1686-1859, 5:145) A 1719 quitclaim deed from Francis's grandson, Francis Billington (Family #12) reading "my father Francis and grandfather [unnamed] Bilington" seems to imply a son Francis, Jr. But in the absence of any mention of such a son in contemporary Plymouth records, coupled with the fact that Francis's deed evidently transferred the shares of Joseph Billington, we conclude that the deed contains a clerical error. The original must have read "my father Joseph and grandfather Francis Billington." (Ply. Co. LR 14:255) Indications are that the seven children named in the Bonney suit and their progeny were the only survivors of Francis Billington. A more detailed account has been published in the Mayflower Quarterly 52:137-44;

and The Genealogist 3:231-2 vol, 1980.) American families from New Plymouth,~1620 to1790+

__________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________

History of the Town of Middleborough:

"Francis Billington is a son of John Billington, who is a disreputable passenger of the Mayflower, the first settler of Plymouth publicly executed in October 1630, for lying in wait and shooting a young man named John Newcomb. Francis was about fourteen years old when he landed at Plymouth with his parents, and was one of the two passengers of the Mayflower who settled in Middleboro. He is remembered as the discoverer of Billington Sea in Plymouth, in 1621, although Goodwin thinks his father deserves that credit. While climbing a tree, the week before, he had seen what appeared to him a great sea, and on that day, with a mate of the Mayflower, set out to examine his discovery. After travelling about three miles, they found two lakes, with a beautiful island in the center of one, about which the early writers were lavish in their praise. He volunteered in the Pequot War, but was not called into active service. He was one of the twenty-six men who made the purchase of land from the Indians in 1662, as well as the Sixteen Shilling Purchase. He married, July 1634, Christiana Penn Eaton, the widow of Francis Eaton. "They proved a thriftless pair and were forced to bind out most or all of their eight children."* He died December 3, 1684. aged eighty years. His son Isaac Billington, was one of the original members of the First Church, and died December 11, 1709. aged sixty-six years.**" *Goodwin, Pilgrim Republic, p. 344

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"It has often been pointed out that almost all we know about the Billington Pilgrims was written by William Bradford, who obviously disliked and criticized the entire family from the beginning. The Billingtons were not in sympathy with the aims and tenets of the Plymouth church, but one wonders that they were not more cooperative with those in authority who struggled to establish and maintain such a fragile colony on the hostile New England shore. John Billington, however, stoutly supported individual independence and freedom of speech, raising the voice of opposition when he disagreed with the rule of government. He and his descendants surely contributed to that integral part of the American character!"

Source: Mayflower Families Through Five Generations

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

BILLINGTON, FRANCIS-The son of John and Eleanor Billington, Francis accompanied his parents on the 1620 Mayflower. See the three articles under his father for his probable English origin and his American descendants. When the Mayflower was anchored at Cape Cod, "one of Francis [sic, should be John] Billington's Sons [presumably son Francis], who in his Fathers absence, had got Gun-powder, and had shot of a peice or two, and made scuibs, and there being a fowling peice charged in his fathers Cabbin, shot her off in the Cabbin, there being a little barren of powder halfe full, scattered in and about the Cabbin, the fire being within foure foote of the bed betweene the Deckes, and many flints and Iron things about the Cabbin, and many people about the fire, and yet by Gods mercy no harme done" (Mourt's Relation, p. 15). The same source, p. 26, relates how Francis Billington climbed a tree and saw what appeared to be a great sea, but on close inspection it turned out to be a very shallow pond, which is called to this day the Billington Sea. He married Christian (Penn), the widow of Francis Eaton, in July 1634 (PC R 1:31). Source: Plymouth Colony Its History & People 1620-1691 by Eugene Aubrey Stratton

__________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________

Francis Billington, the sole surviving son: John's son Francis was one of the first Pilgrims punished for premarital sex. How he and Christian Penn were 'caught' is unknown; their first child Elizabeth wasn't born until a year, to the month, after their marriage. He lived at Plymouth until 1669; then he moved to Middleboro and lived on land granted to him as one of the "First Comers." (Plymouth Colony LR 1:344; 3:129 (Francis Billington) He lived there until his death, except for a few years when he took refuge at Plymouth during the King Philip's War. On 18 April 1642 he apprenticed his daughter Elizabeth (Plymouth Colony Record 2:38) and 14 Jan 1642/3 he bound-out son Joseph, "aged vi or vii" and two daughters, probably Martha and Mary, one five years old and the other even younger. (Plymouth town records) Bradford in his History (446) stated in 1651 that Francis Billington had eight children. In his old age, Francis was dependent on his son Isaac for support and died intestate. No probate record appears, although Isaac petitioned the probate court in 1703/4 for title to his father's Middleboro lands, stating he had had sole care of his parents in their old age. (Plymouth Co. PR) A Plymouth County Court case of Sep 1722, brought by Isaac's daughter Desire (Billington) Bonney and her husband, James, proves that Francis Billington died intestate

leaving issue, two sons and five daughters [see below]. Isaac as the eldest undoubtedly got a double portion as there were a total of eight

shares in the estate. (Plymouth Co. CT Records, 1686-1859, 5:145) A 1719 quitclaim deed from Francis's grandson, Francis Billington (Family #12) reading "my father Francis and grandfather [unnamed] Bilington" seems to imply a son Francis, Jr. But in the absence of any mention of such a son in contemporary Plymouth records, coupled with the fact that Francis's deed evidently transferred the shares of Joseph Billington, we conclude that the deed contains a clerical error. The original must have read "my father Joseph and grandfather Francis Billington." (Ply. Co. LR 14:255) Indications are that the seven children named in the Bonney suit and their progeny were the only survivors of Francis Billington. A more detailed account has been published in the Mayflower Quarterly 52:137-44;

and The Genealogist 3:231-2 vol, 1980.) American families from New Plymouth,~1620 to1790+

__________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________

History of the Town of Middleborough:

"Francis Billington is a son of John Billington, who is a disreputable passenger of the Mayflower, the first settler of Plymouth publicly executed in October 1630, for lying in wait and shooting a young man named John Newcomb. Francis was about fourteen years old when he landed at Plymouth with his parents, and was one of the two passengers of the Mayflower who settled in Middleboro. He is remembered as the discoverer of Billington Sea in Plymouth, in 1621, although Goodwin thinks his father deserves that credit. While climbing a tree, the week before, he had seen what appeared to him a great sea, and on that day, with a mate of the Mayflower, set out to examine his discovery. After travelling about three miles, they found two lakes, with a beautiful island in the center of one, about which the early writers were lavish in their praise. He volunteered in the Pequot War, but was not called into active service. He was one of the twenty-six men who made the purchase of land from the Indians in 1662, as well as the Sixteen Shilling Purchase. He married, July 1634, Christiana Penn Eaton, the widow of Francis Eaton. "They proved a thriftless pair and were forced to bind out most or all of their eight children."* He died December 3, 1684. aged eighty years. His son Isaac Billington, was one of the original members of the First Church, and died December 11, 1709. aged sixty-six years.**" *Goodwin, Pilgrim Republic, p. 344

__________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________

"It has often been pointed out that almost all we know about the Billington Pilgrims was written by William Bradford, who obviously disliked and criticized the entire family from the beginning. The Billingtons were not in sympathy with the aims and tenets of the Plymouth church, but one wonders that they were not more cooperative with those in authority who struggled to establish and maintain such a fragile colony on the hostile New England shore. John Billington, however, stoutly supported individual independence and freedom of speech, raising the voice of opposition when he disagreed with the rule of government. He and his descendants surely contributed to that integral part of the American character!"

Source: Mayflower Families Through Five Generations

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

The Billington family may have originated from around Cowbit and Spaulding, in Lincolnshire, England. Francis Longland named young children Francis Billington son of John, and Francis Newton son of Robert, as heirs. In 1650, a survey of lands indicated that Francis was "about 40" and living in New England. Francis' himself stated in a 1674 deposition that he was 68 years old, so he was about 14 years old when he made the voyage on the Mayflower to Plymouth in 1620 with his parents John and Eleanor, and older brother John.

Francis was clearly an active and troublesome youth. He nearly caused a disaster onboard the Mayflower shortly after arrival, when he shot off his father's musket inside the Mayflower's cabin and sent sparks raining down near an open barrel of gunpowder. After he got to shore, he climbed up a tree and spotted a "great sea," which turned out to be a lake that even today is still known as "Billington's Sea". He and one of the Mayflower's crewmembers went to explore the sea, but became alarmed when they saw some abandoned Indian houses (they were alone with only a single gun).

Francis' father was hanged for murder in September 1630, and his brother John had died not to long before. In July 1634, Francis married Christian Eaton, the widow of Mayflower passenger Francis Eaton who had died the previous year autumn. Christian brought three of her own children, and one step-child from her deceased husband's previous marriage, all under the age of 14. With Francis Billington, she had nine more children. They raised their family at Plymouth, and moved in their later years to Middleboro, where they both died in 1684.

http://www.mayflowerhistory.com/Passengers/FrancisBillington.php

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Voyaged to America on the Mayflower

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On the passenger list of the Mayflower(with his parents). -------------------- Arrived here on the Mayflower -------------------- Arrived on the ship, "Mayflower."

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Francis Billington, Mayflower passenger's Timeline

1605
1605
Spaulding, Lincolnshire, England
1620
1620
Age 15
Plymouth, MA, USA
1634
July 16, 1634
Age 29
Plymouth, (Present Plymouth County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts), (Present USA)
1635
July 10, 1635
Age 30
Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
1636
February 2, 1636
Age 31
Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts
1636
Age 31
Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
1638
1638
Age 33
Plymouth, Ply, Massachusetts, USA
1640
1640
Age 35
Plymouth,Plymouth,Massachusetts,USA
1644
1644
Age 39
Plymouth, (Present Plymouth County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts)
1648
June 8, 1648
Age 43
Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA