Thomas Roberts, Sr., Governor of Dover

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Thomas Roberts, Sr.

Nicknames: "Thomas Roberts of Woolaston", "Gloustershire"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Woolaston, Gloucestershire, UK
Death: Died in Strafford County, New Hampshire, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Baronet Thomas Roberts; Thomas Baronet Roberts, Sr.; Lady Frances Thurtle Roberts, Btss and Frances Roberts
Husband of Rebecca Roberts
Father of Hester Martin; William Roberts; Lt. John Roberts; Thomas Roberts, Jr.; Anne Philbrick / Marston and 6 others
Brother of Sir Walter Roberts; Frances Roberts; Thomas Roberts, of Glassenbury; John Roberts; Elizabeth Culpepper and 5 others

Occupation: Colonial Governor of Dover, Gov., Governor of New Hampshire
Managed by: Erin Spiceland
Last Updated:

About Thomas Roberts, Sr.

EVERYONE PLEASE READ THE FIRST TWO SOURCES FIRST THREE PARAGRAPHSm Thomas of Glassenbury.......Once again...Thomas was son of John of Woolastone Gloucester

Please go to this site. http://home.netcom.com/~fzsaund/roberts.html

Thomas is not son of Thomas of Glassenbury but John of Woolastone Gloucester. This is repeated several times below

I have entered into sources three documents/articles

Children:

  • 1. John Roberts (1408- )
  • 2. Walter Roberts (1438)
  • 3. Thomas Roberts (1494- )
  • 4. Walter Roberts (1526-1580)
  • 5. ______ Roberts
  • 6. Sir Thomas Roberts (1559-1627)
  • 7. John Roberts Thomas Roberts (1600-1673)

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Source: U.S. and International Marriages Records, 1560-1900

Many files have Thomas Roberts & Frances James as the parents of Gov. Thomas Roberts; however, not according to the following source:

The New England Historical & Genealogical Register, Vol. 61 (1907), p. 166, provides an abstract of original records published by Rev. Dr. Everett S. Stackpole, a noted genealogist. He checked the original records of the Fishmonger's Company, London, and found Gov. Thomas Roberts's father to be John Roberts ... Not Thomas Roberts listed above.

Refer also to The Colonial Era History of Dover, NH by John Scales, p. 302; Mackenzie's book, Colonial Families of the United States, Vol.2, p. 619; and the Genealogical Dictionary of Maine & New Hampshire by Noyes, p. 589. Thus - Gov. Thomas Roberts father was John Roberts (of Woolaston, England).

---

"Colonial Era History of Dover, New Hampshire"..p. 302:

Thomas Roberts was born in England about 1600, according to deposition. Rev. Dr. Everett S. Stackpole imparts the information he had learned on "excellent authority" that Thomas Roberts was apprenticed to a fishmonger of London, as "son of John Roberts, of Woolaston, Co. Worcester 29 April 1622, and probably came over at once, as an apprentice to Edward Hilton, and lived within a stone's throw of Hilton's House, on Hilton Point. He was not married at the time of coming over, but probably was married in 1627. The maiden name of his wife is not known, but there is a tradition she was sister of Edward Hilton. Further than that we know not.

As regards to his ancestry the following may be of interest and worthy of preservation in these pages. In Mackenzie's book "Colonial Families of the United States" Vol.2, pages 619 et seq. is given the genealogy of the Roberts family in England., and it is traced back to AD 1482, ten years before Columbus discovered his first island in the West Indies.

Among the descendants is given Sir Thomas Roberts of Glassenbury;

  • born AD 1560;
  • buried 20 Feb., 1627;
  • Knighted 23 July 1603;
  • created a baronet 3 July 1620;
  • Sheriff of Kent, 1623;
  • married Frances James, who died Feb. 1648; she was daughter of Martin James Esq. of Imarden.

Their children were:

  • 1. Sir Walter;
  • 2. Thomas;
  • 3. Frances;
  • 4. William, who emigrated to Maryland, and has distinquished descendants there;
  • 5. Elizabeth:
  • 6. John;
  • 7. Ann

Those who have investigated the matter think there is a strong probability that the second son, Thomas, who emigrated somewhere, is the Thomas Roberts who came over and helped colonize Dover. There is no positive proof, but a strong probability, that Governor Thomas Roberts, of Hilton Point, was the second son of Sir Thomas Roberts, who was knighted in 1603, and created a baron in 1620.

At the March, 1640 elections, Thomas Roberts was chosen Governor or President of the Country in place of Gov. John Underhill. He held that office until Dover (then Northam) came under Massachusetts rule in 1642.

Later he held various minor town offices; he was a regular member of the church for many years, but was inclined to be liberal in his views, so when the Quaker missionaries came to Dover he favored giving them a fair hearing and opposed having the women whipped, as they were by order of the court. He died bewtween Sept. 27, 1673 and June 30, 1674 those being the dates of his will and its probating.

When Mr. Roberts removed from Hilton Point to the neck, he located his house on the high bank of Fore River, Dr. Quint, in his Memoranda, describes it as follows: " He located himself on Fore River, on land now (1851) forming a part of the Jerry Roberts estate; the spot is still identified. It is nearly in a direct line, east of the house now (1851) on that estate. " The land had been in the continuous possession of the Roberts family to that time.

This land is now (1923) owned by Mr. William M. Courser. The house was built in 1825; the former house was burned in 1824. This farm remained in possession of the Roberts family until near the close of the nineteenth century. It came down in regular line of descent from Thomas Jr., the younger son of Governor Thomas, their names are Thomas 2, Nathaniel 3, Moses 4, Thomas 5, James 6, Jerry Sr. 7, Jerry Jr. 8, who was living in the house when Dr. Quint wrote his Historical Memoranda.

The farm owned by the late Howard Millett Roberts's sons, Fred and Stephen W., came down to them through uninterrupted succession from father to son, as follows: Sergt. John Roberts. eldest son of Governor Thomas (his house was near the big elm tree;) his son Joseph 3 (who had the tannery;) his son Stephen 4 (who had the tannery and kept a public house (ordinary);) his son Joseph 5; and his son Hanson 6; and his son Howard Millett Roberts 7 (who was born Aug 15 1832).

Joseph 5 Roberts, who was born in 1747, built the house about 1780 which was known as the Hanson Roberts house during the 19th century. It bore that name because Mr. Hanson Roberts was born in it in 1793 and lived there during a long life. It is one of the finest old houses in Dover and most beautifully located. Dr. Quint, in his Valuable Memoranda, which he obtained from Mr. Hanson Roberts in 1851, speaks of this house and locates the dwelling as follows: "The old house stood sixty rods northeast from the southwest corner of the house" (Hanson Roberts House.) That measurement makes the spot a few rods east of the big elm. The tannery was south of the homestead.

During many years, in early times, there was a road along the bank of the river, from the road that went from High Street down to Beck's Slip (1640), later known as Hartford's Ferry, to a point north of the Thomas Roberts Sr. residence, as the records say, up to the sheep pasture, and there were several houses along the road or lane as it was called.

The oldest cemetery in Dover is in this section of Dover Neck, between the Hanson Roberts Farm and High Street. Here are the graves of all the first settlers; very few of them are marked. Gov. Roberts' grave is in the northeast corner, and now has a slate stone, suitably inscribed, that marks the spot; just west of it is the marked grave of his grandson's grandson. Thomas Roberts made his will, dated 27 Sept. 1673. Since it was probated 30 June 1674; he probably died in 1674, as it was the custom to probate the wills soon after the death of the testator. He left a wife named Rebecca.

---

From Noyes et all, Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire. p. 589.:

Thomas Roberts, of Dover, (New Hampshire) is said to have come with the Hiltons, which is very probable as he was a fellow member of the Fishmongers Co. of London with Rdw. Hilton, both marked 'in New England' in a list of 1641. It is presumed that he is that T.R., son of John Roberts of Woolaston, apprenticed 29 Apr. 1622.

In 1639-40 he was elected 'President of the Court," an office of agency for the Bristol Co., the proprietors of Dover, from which fact he is sometimes called 'Gov.' although the territory under his authority was only one town. Signed the Dover Combination, 1640; gr.j. 1643, 1646,1656.

Various deed, grants and suits Sewall's 'History of the Quakers' states that he rebuked his sons for their official cruelty to that sect. His name appears on Mr. Corbett's petition of 26 Jul 1665. It appears in Dover petition dated 'Northam, 4 1 month, (1640) concerning N.H. coming under the rule of Mass. before the patentees are heard from. His name appears on the 'Dover Combination."

He received lot #1 in the distribution of 20-acre lots laid out in 1642. He appears on the Dover tax lists of 19 Dec., 1648, 8 Dec., 1649, Dec, 1650. He is listed as a freeman able to vote, and having taken the oath of fidelity (no date). He appears on the Dover tax lists between the dates of Jul 1657 and 1666.

He was a member of the inquest for one Hannah Stokes 21 Sep. 1674. He was listed in sham land grants surreptitiosly entered into the Dover records as of 1659-60. He is listed in a document showing the distances of inhabitants to the old meeting house. (none of the afore-mentioned documents are displayed.)

In 1670 he gave land to sons John (5) and Thomas (12), and in 1671 half his remaining estate to his daughter Sarah Rich. Will, 27 Sep. 1673 -- proved 30 June 1674, giving his homestead to Richard Rich and naming him his executor, names children:

  • 1. John b. ab. 1628.
  • 2. Thomas b. ab. 1635.
  • 3. Hester, m. John Martyn (7).
  • 4. Anna m. 1st James Philbrick (1), m. 2d William Marston (11).
  • 5. Elizabeth m. Benjamin Heard (2).
  • 6. Sarah m. Richard Rich.

Gene Hubbard 8th great grandson of Gov. Thomas Roberts:

  • John Roberts (1408-___)
  • Walter Roberts (1438)
  • Thomas Roberts (1494-_)
  • Walter Roberts (1526-1580)
  • _____ Roberts
  • Sir Thomas Roberts (1559-1627)
  • John Roberts
  • Thomas Roberts (1600-1673)

Burial: First Settlers Burial Ground, Dover, Stratford Co., New Hampshire

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

"Thomas Roberts is one of the founding fathers of New Hampshire, with Edward Hilton an original settler in Dover in 1623, the first permanent settlement in New Hampshire.

He was, with Edward Hilton, a fellow member of the Fishmongers Company of London and was sent to establish a fishing station under the auspices of the Council of New England, the Council which had been granted most of northern New England by King James I.

He was elected 'President of the Court,' an office agency for the Bristol Company, the proprietors of Dover. He signed the Dover Combination October 22, 1640 and in March 1640 was chosen Governor, or President, of the County in place of Governor John Underhil, a position he held until Dover (then Northam) came under Massachusetts rule in 1643.

He served on the grand jury 1643, 1646 and 1656. In 1661 he was fined by the town of Dover for missing meetings for thirteen days and ordered to forfeit one cow. In 1662 he publicly rebuked his sons, both constables of Dover, for their harsh treatment of the local Quakers.

It is presumed that he is that T. R., son of John Roberts of Woolaston, apprenticed 29 Apr 1622. In 1639-40 he was elected 'President of the Court,' an office of agency for the Bristol Co., the proprietors of Dover, from which fact he is sometimes called 'Gov.' although the territory under his authority was only one town.

Various deeds, grants and suits. He received lot #1 in the distribution of 20-acre lots laid out in 1642. He appears on the Dover tax lists of 19 Dec 1648, 8 Dec 1649, Dec, 1650. He is listed as a freeman able to vote, and having taken the oath of fidelity [no date]. He appears on the Dover tax lists between the dates of Jul 1657 and 1666.

He was a member of the inquest for one Hannah Stokes 21 Sep 1674. He was listed in sham land grants surreptitiously entered into the Dover records as of 1659-60. He is listed in a document showing the distances of inhabitants to the old meeting house. [none of the afore-mentioned documents are displayed.]

In 1670 he gave land to sons John and Thomas, and in 1671 half his remaining estate to his daughter Sarah Rich. Will, 27 Sep 1673--proved 30 June 1674, giving his homestead to Richard Rich and naming him his executor, names children:

  • John b. ab. 1628.
  • Thomas b. ab. 1635.
  • Hester, m. John Martyn.
  • Anna m. 1st. James Philbrick, m. 2d William Marston.
  • Elizabeth m. Benjamin Heard.
  • Sarah m. Richard Rich.

Thomas Roberts was born in England about 1600, according to deposition. Rev. Dr. Everett S. Stackpole imparts the information he had learned on "excellent authority" that Thomas Roberts was apprenticed to a fishmonger of London, as "son of John Roberts, of Woolaston, Co. Worcester 29 April 1622, and probably came over at once, as an apprentice to Edward Hilton, and lived within a stone's throw of Hilton's house, on Hilton Point. He was not married at the time of coming over, but probably was married in 1627. The maiden name of his wife is not known, but there is a tradition she was sister of Edward Hilton. Further than that we know not.

The oldest cemetery in Dover is in this section of Dover Neck, between the Hanson Roberts Farm and High Street. Here are the graves of all the first settlers; very few of them are marked. Gov. Roberts' grave is in the northeast corner, and now has a slate stone, suitably inscribed, that marks the spot; just west of it is the marked grave of his grandson's grandson.

Thomas Roberts made his will, dated 27 Sept 1673.Since it was probated 30 June 1674; he probably died in 1674, as it was the custom to probate the wills soon after the death of the testator. He left a wife named Rebecca."

Gene Hubbard, 8th great grandson of Gov. Thomas Roberts in USGenArchives, Dover, NH

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

He came to America in 1623 and married Rebecca Hilton four years later in Dover Colony. -------------------- Not a son of supposed father Walter of Glassenbury, Kent. Walter's son died unmarried 23 Feb 1623. See Burke's Commoners -------------------- http://www.theharmons.us/harmon_t/b1668.htm#P73114

Thomas ROBERTS10 was born in 1600 in Woolaston,Gloucestshire,England. He was christened on 22 November 1612 in Cranbrook, England. He died on 27 September 1673 at the age of 73 in Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire. Thomas has reference number 24061. Parents: Thomas ROBERTS and Frances JAMES. Parents: Sir Thomas ROBERTS and Frances JAMES. Parents: Thomas ROBERTS and Frances JAMES. Spouse: Mrs. Rebecca ROBERTS.

Spouse: Rebecca HILTON. Rebecca HILTON and Thomas ROBERTS were married in 1627 in Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire. Children were: Hester ROBERTS, Jane ROBERTS, John ROBERTS, Anna ROBERTS, Sarah ROBERTS, Elizabeth ROBERTS, Thomas ROBERTS JR [SGT], Hester ROBERTS, Ann ROBERTS, Elizabeth ROBERTS, Sarah ROBERTS, Thomas ROBERTS, Hester ROBERTS, Anna ROBERTS, Elizabeth ROBERTS, Sarah ROBERTS, Thomas ROBERTS, Jane ROBERTS, Anna ROBERTS, Hester (Esther) ROBERTS, Elizabeth ROBERTS, Sarah ROBERTS, Hesther ROBERTS, William ROBERTS, Ann ROBERTS, John ROBERTS, Anna ROBERTS, Anna ROBERTS.

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Thomas Roberts, Sr., Governor of Dover's Timeline

1600
1600
Woolaston, Gloucestershire, UK
1612
November 22, 1612
Age 12
Cranbrook, Kent, England
November 22, 1612
Age 12
Cranbrook, Kent, United Kingdom
November 22, 1612
Age 12
Cranbrook, England
November 22, 1612
Age 12
Cranbrook,,England
1614
August 6, 1614
Age 14
Durham, Strafford, New Hampshire
1614
Age 14
Durham,Strafford,New Hampshire,USA
1622
April 29, 1622
- present
Age 22
London, England
1626
1626
Age 26
Dover, Stafford, New Hampshire
1628
1628
Age 28
Dover, Strafford County, New Hampshire, United States