James Chilton, "Mayflower" Passenger

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James Chilton

Also Known As: "James Chylton"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: St. Paul, Canterbury, Kent, England
Death: Died in Onboard Mayflower, Plymouth Harbor
Cause of death: Died in Cape Cod Harbor while on the Mayflower
Place of Burial: Cape Cod, Barnstable, MA
Immediate Family:

Son of Lyonell Chilton and Isabell (Edith?) Isabell Chilton
Husband of Susanna Furner Chilton, "Mayflower" Passenger
Father of Isabella Chandler; Joel Chilton; Mary Chilton; Elizabeth Chilton; James Chilton and 4 others
Brother of Margaret Chilton; John Chilton; Alice Chilton and Anne Chilton
Half brother of Annis Furner; Thomas Furner and Susannah Furner

Occupation: Tailor
Managed by: Jocelynn Elaine Oakes
Last Updated:

About James Chilton, "Mayflower" Passenger

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

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

James Chilton (c. 1556 – 18 December 1620) was an English Separatist who came to America aboard the ship Mayflower. He was a signer of the Mayflower Compact, and was probably the oldest Mayflower passenger.

Biography

James Chilton was born around 1556, almost certainly in Canterbury, Kent, England.[1][2] Nothing is known of his youth. His father, Lyonell Chilton, was a yeoman in Canterbury,[3] and served two years as churchwarden of St. Paul's Parish Church there.[4]

In 1583, James Chilton received the unusual privilege of being made a freeman "by gift," by Canterbury's mayor. As a freeman, Chilton became a "Merchant Tailor" in Canterbury's Company of Woollen Drapers and Tailors.[5] Around this same time, he married and began a family.[6] While he would eventually have at least ten children, only three are known to have lived to adulthood.[7]

From 1584 to 1600, Chilton was charged and fined several times in Canterbury, for offenses ranging from selling food or drink without a license to beating a man with a stick.[8]

[edit] In Sandwich

In 1600 or 1601, Chilton and his family moved twenty kilometres east, to Sandwich, Kent.[9] Sandwich was becoming a center of Separatist activity, and was home to several future members of John Robinson's Leiden church.[10]

The first evidence that the Chilton family had its own Separatist views appears in 1609. In late April, Chilton's wife was among four people that secretly buried a dead child, without having the Church of England perform its mandatory burial rites. When the burial was discovered, the group rejected the need for the mandatory rites, calling them "popishly ceremonies and of no other force." For this defiant act, Chilton's wife and two of the others were excommunicated from the Church of England on 12 June 1609.[11]

Sometime between 1609 and 1615, Chilton and his family left England and joined John Robinson's congregation in Leiden, Holland. Chilton's oldest daughter Isabella was married in Leiden 21 July 1615 (New Style).[12]

On Sunday, 28 April 1619 (New Style), Chilton's house in Leiden became the scene of a small riot, due to a case of mistaken identity. Shortly after Chilton returned home from church, about twenty boys assembled and began throwing things at his house, shouting that Arminians were meeting there. When Chilton confronted the crowd, he was struck in the head by a large cobblestone, and was knocked unconscious.[13][14]

When the ship Mayflower set out for North America in 1620 with members of the Leiden congregation, William Bradford recalled that the passengers included "James Chilton, and his wife, and Mary, their dougter."[15] At about 64 years old, Chilton was probably the oldest passenger on the ship.[16] Chilton's other two known surviving children, 21-year-old Ingle and married 33-year-old Isabella, remained behind in Leiden.[17][18]

When the Mayflower Compact was drawn up on 11 November 1620, Chilton was one of the signers.[19]

James Chilton died on 8 December 1620, while the Mayflower lay anchored in Provincetown Harbor.[20] He evidently died of disease, as Bradford reported that he "dyed in the first infection."[21]

   * Chilton's wife also died during the first winter, "in the first infection."[22]
   * Chilton's daughter Mary, who was left an orphan at Plymouth, survived and later married John Winslow, brother of Edward Winslow.[23]
   * Chilton's daughter Ingle married Robert Nelson in Leiden in 1622. No further record has been found of her.[24]
   * Chilton's daughter Isabella came to Plymouth Colony around 1630, with her children and her husband, Roger Chandler.[25]

See also: http://www.pilgrimhall.org/chiltonjrecords.htm

JAMES CHILTON IN 17TH CENTURY RECORDS

James Chilton : English background

"James Chilton, tailor, was listed as a freeman of Canterbury in 1583. He married before 1587 just possibly Susanna Furner, daughter of his step-mother and her first husband Francis Furner. Seven children were baptized in Canterbury to James, then about 600 the family moved to neighboring Sandwich where three more children were baptized, including youngest daughter Mary, who was baptized at St. Peter's in 607."

Robert M. Sherman, ed.,

Mayflower Families through Five Generations : Volume Two

(Plymouth, Mass. : General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1978), p. 3

James Chilton : Mayflower Passenger

"The names of those which came over first, in the year 1620, and were by the blessing of God the first beginners and in a sort the foundation of all the Plantations and Colonies in New England; and their families...

"James Chilton and his wife, and Mary their daughter; they had another daughter that was married, came afterward."

William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647,

ed. Samuel Eliot Morison (New York : Knopf, 1991), p. 441-3.

James Chilton : Signer of the Mayflower Compact

"I shall ... begin with a combination made by them before they came ashore; being the first foundation of their government in this place. Occasioned partly by the discontented and mutinous speeches that some of the strangers amongst them had let fall from them in the ship : That when they came ashore they would use their own liberty, for none had power to command them, the patent they had being for Virginia and not for New England ... And partly that such an act by them done, this their condition considered, might be as firm as any patent, and in some respects more sure.

"The form was as followeth : IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith, etc Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the First Colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, Covenant and Combine ourselves together into a Civil Body Politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod, the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France and Ireland the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini 1620."

William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647,

ed. Samuel Eliot Morison (New York : Knopf, 1991), p. 75-76.

The Death of James Chilton

Governor William Bradford, writing in 1650 :

"And seeing it hath pleased Him to give me [William Bradford] to see thirty years completed since these beginnings, and that the great works of His providence are to be observed, I have thought it not unworthy my pains to take a view of the decreasings and increasings of these persons and such changes as hath passed over them and theirs in this thirty years ....

"James Chilton and his wife also died in the first infection, but their daughter Mary is still living and hath nine children; and one daughter is married and hath a child. So their increase is ten."

William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647,

ed. Samuel Eliot Morison (New York : Knopf, 1991), p. 443-7.

See also: http://www.mayflowerfamilies.com/mayflower/james_chilton.htm

The CHILTON/FURNER alleged marriage has been reproduced many times in genealogies since 1962. The baptism of Susannah FURNER may be found in the parish register of St. Paul's church, Canterbury as follows:"Susan Furner the 5th daye" November, 1573. The CHILTON's first child Isabell was baptised on 15th January 1586. Using old style dates, Susan would have been only 12-1/2 years old at the time of her marriage to James CHILTON, then about 29 years old. She would have been only 13 at the birth of Isabell. This is highly unlikely therefore, until evidence has been submitted for their marriage, Mrs. CHILTON's identity has not been proven and remains a mystery.

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

In 1620, James Chilton departed England for Massachusetts on the Mayflower with his wife, Susanna, and daughter, Mary. He was one of the three men who died at sea during the crossing. His wife, Susanna, died that first winter in Massachusetts. Over half of the passengers died that first winter. His daughter, Mary Chilton, survived and celebrated the first Thanksgiving in November 1621.

Details on the Mayflower, it's Passenger List, and those that died within the first year can be found at the following links:

Mayflower:

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

Passengers List:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_passengers_on_the_Mayflower#cite_note-Willison-1

List of Mayflower Passengers who died the first winter:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Mayflower_passengers_who_died_in_the_winter_of_1620_-_1621#cite_note-Women-2

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

James Chilton was born in England about 1556 and lived in Canterbury. He was the son of Lyonell Chylton and his first wife whose name is unknown. Lyonell's second wife, Isabell Furner, had two children, Thomas and Susanna Furner. Listed as a freeman of Canterbury in 1583, James Chilton was a tailor. He married before 1587 and his first seven children were born in Canterbury. The last three were born in Sandwich where the family had moved about 1600. Here, James and his family became part of the separatist movement that escaped to Leiden to escape persecution. James Chilton was the oldest passenger on the Mayflower, and a signer of the Mayflower Compact. Sadly James passed away aboard the Mayflower in December of 1620. His wife died soon after. His youngest daughter Mary, though, survived and married John Winslow. In 1650, Governor Bradford wrote that "James Chilton and his wife also died during the first infection, but their daughter Mary is still living and hath nine children; and one daughter is married and hath a child. So their increase is ten. In popular legend, James' daughter Mary was the first person to step out of the ship onto Plymouth Rock.

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

James Chilton, a tailor by trade, was the oldest Mayflower passenger, and one of the first to die after reaching the New World. He was born and raised in Canterbury, Kent, England and around 1600 moved to Sandwich, Kent.

By July 1615, and probably as early as 1610, James, his wife, and at least some of his children were living in Leyden, Holland. On 28 April 1619, James Chilton and his daughter Isabella were caught in an anti-Arminian riot and James was hit in the head with a brick, and required the services of the town surgeon, Jacob Hey.

He came on the Mayflower with his wife and daughter Mary. James and his wife died the first winter, leaving their daughter orphaned; she probably joined with the household of Myles Standish.

Mary Chilton came on the Mayflower at the young age of 13, and popular legend gives her the distinction of being the first female to step ashore at Plymouth. She married John Winslow, who came in the ship Fortune in 1621, and was the brother of Mayflower passengers Edward Winslow and Gilbert Winslow.

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

Mayflower passenger with wife and daughter, Mary

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JAMES CHILTON, d. Dec. 6, 1620, and his wife d. soon afterwards. He left no sons. Issue:

Isabella, bapt. at St. Paul's, Canterbury, England, Jan. 15, 1586-7; m. at Leyden, July 21, 1615, Roger Chandler and left three daughters and perhaps other children.

Mary, came in 1620, and m. Oct. 12, 1624, John Winslow, son of Edward and Magdalene (Ollyver) Winslow of Droitwich, England, and brother of Gov. Edward Winslow of the " Mayflower."

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

In Canterbury

James Chilton was born around 1556, almost certainly in Canterbury, Kent, England. Nothing is known of his youth. His father, Lyonell Chilton, was a yeoman in Canterbury,and served two years as churchwarden of St. Paul's Parish Church there.

In 1583, James Chilton received the unusual privilege of being made a freeman "by gift," by Canterbury's mayor. As a freeman, Chilton became a "Merchant Tailor" in Canterbury's Company of Woollen Drapers and Tailors. Around this same time, he married and began a family. While he would eventually have at least ten children, only three are known to have lived to adulthood.

From 1584 to 1600, Chilton was charged and fined several times in Canterbury, for offenses ranging from selling food or drink without a license to beating a man with a stick.

In Sandwich

In 1600 or 1601, Chilton and his family moved twenty kilometres east, to Sandwich, Kent. Sandwich was becoming a center of Separatist activity, and was home to several future members of John Robinson's Leiden church.

The first evidence that the Chilton family had its own Separatist views appears in 1609. In late April, Chilton's wife was among four people that secretly buried a dead child, without having the Church of England perform its mandatory burial rites. When the burial was discovered, the group rejected the need for the mandatory rites, calling them "popishly ceremonies and of no other force." For this defiant act, Chilton's wife and two of the others were excommunicated from the Church of England on 12 June 1609.

In Leiden

Sometime between 1609 and 1615, Chilton and his family left England and joined John Robinson's congregation in Leiden, Holland. Chilton's oldest daughter Isabella was married in Leiden 21 July 1615.

On Sunday, 28 April 1619 , Chilton's house in Leiden became the scene of a small riot, due to a case of mistaken identity. Shortly after Chilton returned home from church, about twenty boys assembled and began throwing things at his house, shouting that Arminians were meeting there. When Chilton confronted the crowd, he was struck in the head by a large cobblestone, and was knocked unconscious.

On the Mayflower

When the ship Mayflower set out for North America in 1620 with members of the Leiden congregation, William Bradford recalled that the passengers included "James Chilton, and his wife, and Mary, their dougter." At about 64 years old, Chilton was probably the oldest passenger on the ship. Chilton's other two known surviving children, 21-year-old Ingle and married 33-year-old Isabella, remained behind in Leiden.

When the Mayflower Compact was drawn up on 11 November 1620, Chilton was one of the signers.

James Chilton died on 8 December 1620, while the Mayflower lay anchored in Provincetown Harbor. He evidently died of disease, as Bradford reported that he "dyed in the first infection."

What became of Chilton's family

Chilton's wife also died during the first winter, "in the first infection."

Chilton's daughter Mary, who was left an orphan at Plymouth, survived and later married John Winslow, brother of Edward Winslow.

Chilton's daughter Ingle married Robert Nelson in Leiden in 1622. No further record has been found of her.

Chilton's daughter Isabella came to Plymouth Colony around 1630, with her children and her husband, Roger Chandler.

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

BORN: About 1556 (he stated he was 63 in a 28 April 1619 Leyden document), probably Canterbury, Kent, England, son of Lyonell Chilton and his second wife (her name is unknown).

DIED: 8 December 1620, on board the Mayflower

MARRIED: probably about 1586 based on baptism of first known child. Her name is currently unknown. The claim by John Hunt in The American Genealogist 38:244-245 that his wife was possibly Susanna Furner has been recently disproven on the basis of the discovery of Susanna Furner's baptism record, which indicates she was far too young (only 12) to be married and having children in 1586. See Michael Paulick, "The 1609-1610 Excommunications of Mrs. Chilton and Moyses Fletcher--Mayflower Pilgrims" in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, volume 153 (October 1999) for further information on this.

James Chilton

Breaking News! (November 1999). An excommunication record, and a few additional Chilton records, have recently been discovered and will be published later this month. For more information on these discoveries, click here.

BORN: About 1556 (he stated he was 63 in a 28 April 1619 Leyden document), probably Canterbury, Kent, England, son of Lyonell Chilton and his second wife (her name is unknown).

DIED: 8 December 1620, on board the Mayflower

MARRIED: probably about 1586 based on baptism of first known child. Her name is currently unknown. The claim by John Hunt in The American Genealogist 38:244-245 that his wife was possibly Susanna Furner has been recently disproven on the basis of the discovery of Susanna Furner's baptism record, which indicates she was far too young (only 12) to be married and having children in 1586. See Michael Paulick, "The 1609-1610 Excommunications of Mrs. Chilton and Moyses Fletcher--Mayflower Pilgrims" in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, volume 153 (October 1999) for further information on this.

CHILDREN:

NAME BIRTH / BAPTISM DEATH / BURIAL MARRIAGE

Isabella bp. 15 January 1586/7, St. Paul, Canterbury, England unknown Roger Chandler, 21 July 1615, Leyden, Holland

Jane bp. 8 June 1589, St. Paul, Canterbury, England unknown unknown

Mary b. prob. Canterbury, England bur. 23 November 1593, St. Martin's Parish, Canterbury, England unmarried

Joel b. prob. Canterbury, England bur. 2 November 1593, St. Martin's Parish, Canterbury, England unmarried

Elizabeth bp. 14 July 1594, St. Martin, Canterbury, England unknown unknown

James bp. 22 August 1596, St. Martin, Canterbury, England died young unmarried

Ingle bp. 29 April 1599, St. Paul, Canterbury, England unknown Robert Nelson, 27 August 1622, Leyden, Holland

Christian bp. 26 July 1601, St. Peter, Sandwich, England (daughter) unknown unknown

James bp. 11 September 1603, St. Peter, Sandwich, England unknown unknown

Mary bp. 31 May 1607, St. Peter, Sandwich, England bef. 1 May 1679, Boston John Winslow, bet. July 1623 and 22 May 1627

NOTE: Mary Chilton's baptism has been erroneously published as 30 May 1607 in numerous sources. I have verified with the original parish registers that the correct date is 31 May 1607.

ANCESTRAL SUMMARY:

(3). Richard Chilton married Isabel (---) and had son,

(2). Lyonell Chilton who married a second wife, name unknown and had son

(1). James Chilton of the Mayflower

Will of Mary (Chilton) Winslow

BIOGRAPHICAL SUMMARY:

James Chilton, a tailor by trade, was the oldest Mayflower passenger, and one of the first to die after reaching the New World. He was born and raised in Canterbury, Kent, England and around 1600 moved to Sandwich, Kent.

By July 1615, and probably as early as 1610, James, his wife, and at least some of his children were living in Leyden, Holland. On 28 April 1619, James Chilton and his daughter Isabella were caught in an anti-Arminian riot and James was hit in the head with a brick, and required the services of the town surgeon, Jacob Hey.

He came on the Mayflower with his wife and daughter Mary. James and his wife died the first winter, leaving their daughter orphaned; she probably joined with the household of Myles Standish.

Mary Chilton came on the Mayflower at the young age of 13, and popular legend gives her the distinction of being the first female to step ashore at Plymouth. She married John Winslow, who came in the ship Fortune in 1621, and was the brother of Mayflower passengers Edward Winslow and Gilbert Winslow.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Thanks to Michael R. Paulick for obtaining a copy of James Chilton's signature from the Leiden Archives, and providing a copy to the Mayflower Web Pages.

SOURCES:

Robert Moody Sherman, Mayflower Families for Five Generations: James Chilton, Richard More, and Thomas Rogers, volume 2 (Plymouth: General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1978).

John G. Hunt, "Origins of the Chiltons of the Mayflower," The American Genealogist, 38:244-245.

Robert C. Anderson, The Great Migration Begins, 1:353-355 (Boston: New England Historical and Genealogical Society, 1995).

Mayflower Web Pages. Caleb Johnson © 1999

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

James Chilton was the oldest passenger on the Mayflower, with the

possible exception of Elder William Brewster. James was born before

1563 in Canterbury, Kent County, England, where the surname appears in

the annals as far back as 1339 when Robert Chilton was a representative

to Parliament from Canterbury. James' grandfather Richard Chilton of St.

Paul's Parish, Canderbury, in a will dated and proved in 1549, mentioned

his deceased wife Isabell, and bequeathed the bulk of his estate to his son

Lyonell.

The will of Lyonell “Chylton,” a yeoman of considerable property

residing in St. Paul's Parish, dated 7 Sept. 1582 and proved 13 Feb.

1582/3, named sons John and James Chilton; daughters Alice, Anne and

Margaret; wife Isabell and her children--Thomas Furner and Susanna

Furner. To son James he left two tenements in Canterbury. Isabell was

evidently a recent second wife of Lyonell, and not James' mother (whose

name is unknown).

James Chilton, tailor, was listed as a freeman of Canterbury in 1583.

He married before 1587 just possibly Susanna Furner, daughter of his

step-mother and her first husband Francis Furner. Seven children were

baptized in Canterbury to James, then about 1600 the family moved to

neighboring Sandwich where three more children were baptized, including

youngest daughter Mary, who was baptized at St. Peter's in 1607.

Here he undoubtedly met Moses Fletcher, who was destined to be a

fellow Mayflower passenger, as well as other Pilgrims who later went to

Holland, and so was drawn into the Pilgrim movement.

From 1607 to 1620 we lose sight of James, but since his daughter

“Ysabel Tgiltron spinster from Canterbury” was married in Leyden,

Holland in 1615, and probably a second daughter Ingle, listed as

“Engeltgen Gilten,” was married there in 1622, it is likely that James took

his family to Holland, where Leyden betrothal records include several

Pilgrims from Sandwich and Canterbury. On the other hand, James

Chilton's name has not been found in Leyden as owner of property, as a

citizen, as friend of a betrothed couple, or even as witness at the betrothal

of his own daughter. Possibly this apparent lack of record might be

ascribed to the difficulty the Dutch had with writing the name Chilton.

Descent from James Chilton has been proved through only his eldestdaughter Isabella and his youngest daughter Mary. “Engeltgen Gilten”

mentioned above, who married Robert Nelson, could not be followed

further. None of the other children appears to have lived to maturity.

Governor Bradford wrote that among those on the Mayflower were

James Chilton and his wife, and Mary their daughter; they had another

daughter that was married, came afterward. In 1650 he wrote “James

Chilton and his wife also died in the first infection, but their daughter

Mary is still living and hath nine children; and one daughter is married

and hath a child. So their increase is ten.” James died on 18 December

1620, scarcely a month after signing the Mayflower Compact--the only

signer who died at Cape Cod. His wife shortly followed him, dying

during the First Sickness at Plymouth sometime after 21 January 1620/1.

At thirteen Mary Chilton was thus left an orphan at Plymouth. No

record reveals with whom she spent the next few years, but perhaps for at

least a part of the time she was a member of either the Alden or the

Standish household; in the 1623 land division “Marie” Chilton received

her share (undoubtedly three acres--one for herself and one for each

parent) between the shares of John Alden and Myles Standish. By the

time of the cattle division of May 1627, Mary had married John Winslow,

and the couple were included with John Shaw's group.

References: NEHGR 63:201. TAG 38:244-5. STODDARD pp. 100,

120, 124. FAM OF PILGRIM pp. 60-1. BANKS ENGLISH ANCESTRY

P. 45. BRADFORD'S HIST (1952) pp. 442, 446. Mq 26(4):2, 27(l):5-6;

33:43-5; 38:101-3; 40:6-13; 43:56. SAVAGE 1:379. LEYDEN DOCUMENTS

pp. 21, 48. PLYMOUTH COLONY RECS 1:9; 12:4, 11.

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He and wife and daughter came over on Mayflower -------------------- Mayflower Passenger -------------------- Oldest of the "MAYFLOWER" passengers. Died before reaching land.Daughter, Mary, was the first female to reach the shore of the New World. The orphan,Mary, was granted land in the community of Plymouth between Captain John Bradford and Miles Standish.

view all 50

James Chilton, "Mayflower" Passenger's Timeline

1556
1556
St. Paul, Canterbury, Kent, England
1563
1563
Age 7
1563
Age 7
1563
Age 7
1563
Age 7
1563
Age 7
1563
Age 7
St Paul's, Canterbury, Kent, England
1563
Age 7
1563
Age 7
1563
Age 7