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James Leonard

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Pontypool, Monmouthshire, Wales, (Present UK)
Death: Died in Taunton, Bristol County, Province of Massachusetts, (Present USA)
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Leonard and Lydia Leonard
Husband of Mary Leonard (Martin) and Margaret Leonard (Ford)
Father of Major Thomas Leonard; James Leonard, Jr.; Abigail Kingsley; Joseph Leonard; John Leonard and 8 others
Brother of Philip Leonard; John Thomas Leonard, of Wales; Henry Leonard; William Leonard; Leonard Leonard and 5 others

Occupation: Iron Manufacturing, proprietor of Taunton Ironworks, iron master
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About James Leonard

James Leonard was allowed to keep an "ordinary" (bar) in Taunton. Thelicense was revoked in 1664/5, but later conveyed to his son, Thomas.

James Leonard frequently entertained Massasoit and King Philip, whojourneyed from Mt. Hope to the hunting grounds at Fowling Pond. FowlingPond is in Raynham, was one mile north of the Ancient Iron Works onpresent-day King Philip's Street near the end of Mill Street. FowlingPond was said to be two miles long and three-quarters of a mile wide inKing Philip's time, but today has disappeared. James repaired their gunsand conferred favors that led to a lasting friendship. King Philipconveyed to James Leonard about two hundred and fifty acres atMattapoisett Neck in Swansea in October 1665, but the deed was lost bythe Plymouth Court. Tradition says that out the outbreak of KIngPhilip's War in 1675, Philip gave strict orders that his men were neverto harm a Leonard (although young Uriah Leonard was almost shot by KingPhilip's men early in the war, a bullet having passed through his hat ashe rode his horse to escape an attack). It is conjectured that becauseof the Leonards Taunton was not attacked during the war. (Philip'sorders were actually not to disturb certain families including those ofJames Leonard, John Brown, and Capt. Thomas Willett, all of Taunton --Hurd, p. 346). 
One peculiarity to check out: although several Leonards were officers inthe militia of the time, there's little mention of Leonards fighting inPhilip's War. Bodge in Soldiers of King Philip's War mentions Jacob asserving under Capt. Woodworth, Thomas credited under Capt. Thomas BrattleOctober 19, 1675, and Thomas at Lynn, August 24, 1676. More researchneeds to be done on the activities of the Leonards during Philip's War. 
One of the garrison houses used during King Philip's War was the SamuelLeonard house erected in 1653 by James Leonard at the site of Taunton'sAncient Iron Works Company now in Raynham. A memorial plaque marking thespot is located seven-tenths of a mile east from Route 44 along the southside of Route 104. One of the garrison houses used during King Philip's War was the SamuelLeonard house erected in 1653 by James Leonard at the site of Taunton'sAncient Iron Works Company now in Raynham. A memorial plaque marking thespot is located seven-tenths of a mile east from Route 44 along the southside of Route 104. James came to America in 1643. Erected first forge furnace in Plymouth Colony (Taunton, MA)     Photo added by Gr. Grandson- Elwin C. Nickerson- /ECN/

James Leonard frequently entertained Massasoit and King Philip, who journeyed from Mt. Hope to the hunting grounds at Fowling Pond. Fowling Pond is in Raynham, was one mile north of the Ancient Iron Works on present-day King Philip's Street near the end of Mill Street. Fowling Pond was said to be two miles long and three-quarters of a mile wide in King Philip's time, but today has disappeared. James repaired their gunsand conferred favors that led to a lasting friendship. --------------------

There is uncertainty as to when and how James Leonard first came to America.

The Land Patent Books of Virginia, Book 1, page 23, shows Robert Bennett granted 700 acres...for transportation of 14 persons, including James Leonard, June 26, 1635. One theory is that James came first to Virginia,then to Maryland, then to Providence, then to Lynn.

  • Source: The Leonard Dictionary, Volume III (manuscript). Duplicate record August 18, 1637.
  • Another source is Charles Edward Banks' "Topographical Dictionary of 2885 English Emigrants to New England 1620-1650," Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Co., 1963, 3rd edition, p. 148, citing Various References: NEGR 5/104.

Apparently, employees and recruits of John Winthrop were sometimes not listed as passengers, since they were not paying passengers on those particular vessels crossing the Atlantic.

He arrived before 1650 from Pontypool, Wales, although some sources say he first came to Providence, RI, in 1645. He was paid for bringing his goods from Providence by the Lynn/Saugus Ironworks in 1651.

On January10, 1645/6 in Providence, 25 acres of land were granted to a number of inhabitants, including James Leonard, but his name had been crossed out. He was the Ironmaster of Taunton, having first participated development of the iron works at Braintree and Saugus.

But there appear to have been Leonards in the Pontypool area since the early 1600's. A Thomas Leonard mentioned in deed of July 29, 1633, bordering lands of John Powell, John Gerbon, and Phillip Morgan in Trevethin (Parish near Pontypool, with a bridge near swamp and pool there in 1490 -- pool later became forge pond). An ironworks was in operation before 1634, and there's a record of a complaint against John Wylde forfailure to collect monies from it, instead selling iron at a discount to his friends. Thomas Morgan was recorded as selling charcoal to it in1640.

The works were apparently owned by the Hanburys, probably Richard. August 1618.

  • Thomas, son of Jacob Leonard, was baptized January 9,1699;
  • William, son of Jacob Leonard, was baptized July 23, 1696;
  • Gwenllian, wife of Thomas Leonard, buried March 15, 1656;
  • Mary Leonard married Alexander Lewis January 26, 1656;
  • a son of Philip Leonard was born October 27, 1656.
  • Sarah, daughter of James Leonard, baptized September 1, 1705;
  • Ann, daughter of James Leonard, baptized March 13, 1702.

Local records include a mention of a Thomas Leonard in 1790, a John and Mary Leonard who died at age 84 in 1774.

These indicate there were Leonards and ironmaking in the Pontypool area after James and Thomas left. These Leonards had names identical to or similar to those who emigrated to America. There was even a Theophilus Leonard, iron refiner,who died March 31, 1900 in nearby Pontnewydd, Wales, perhaps just a coincidence.

  • (Source: old documents at the Monmouthshire County records office near Pontypool, October 2003. A researcher with more time could probably find some interesting material here.)

Elisha Clark Leonard paid 5 pounds to a clergyman in Pontypool to check the records for James and Henry, but he reportedly found nothing. GML reported that later researchers found nothing about them either. So the theory is that James and Henry were not in Pontypool very long.

Probably James and his young family (and his older brother Henry) were also ironworkers in the Bilston, Staffordshire (Cheshire?), area prior to their immigration. Bilston became a center of the "Black Country" iron industry. George Marston Leonard includes a note on one of his tables that "James, son of Thomas, son of Henry of Billston, Staffordshire..."from McKenzie, Colonial Families, Vol. IV. Apparently, the Leonards left a claim to the ownership of some heavily mortgaged ironworks there, moving on as the mining districts became less productive.

Years later (1821?) an ironworker in Bilston by the name of James Leonard sent a letter to James Leonard, ironworker in or near Taunton, MA stating that the extensive iron works there in Bilston belonged to the Leonards. The Leonards in Taunton decided not to undertake the expense of an extended suit to regain the works. The Leonards may also have been involved in some of the ironworks in Somersetshire, England, and Pontypool, Monmouthshire, Wales, as well.

James Leonard was but a short time at the Saugus Ironworks and at Braintree for a longer time. At sale of the Braintree works, he became a partner. With the invitation from Taunton, he moved there, erected a forge and furnace, and continued as master workman, a position he held for the rest of his life.

ECL believes Oliver Purchase was the one who induced Henry and James along with Ralph Russell to come to Taunton. He conveyed the two hearths at Taunton to his sons, Thomas and James, and they in turn conveyed them to their sons. He purchased a lot on Mill River and erected a one-hearth forge, which he called Whittinton Forge. His son Joseph was the masterworkman at Whittinton Forge. His two other sons, Benjamin and Uriah, were also trained as "bloomers."

About 1682 James Leonard built a house for himself a short distance from the Taunton (Raynham) Ironworks on the north side of the road. It was a gambled roofhouse two stories in front and running back to one story in the rear. When he died in 1691, he left an estate valued at 500 pounds, a very respectable sum in those days (from Elisha Clark Leonard and George Marston Leonard's unpublished manuscript).

More about the involvement of James and Henry Leonard in early ironworks in Massachusetts and New Jersey can be found in Bill Barton's articles,"The Establishment of the Iron Industry in America," "Pre-AmericanAncestry of Our Leonard Ironworkers," and "Leonard Siblings Henry, James,Philip, Sarah, and Thomas in America and Some of Their Descendants,"<freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~bart/LEONARD1.htm>,

James Leonard was allowed to keep an "ordinary" (bar) in Taunton. The license was revoked in 1664/5, but later conveyed to his son, Thomas.

James Leonard frequently entertained Massasoit and King Philip, who journeyed from Mt. Hope to the hunting grounds at Fowling Pond. Fowling Pond is in Raynham, was one mile north of the Ancient Iron Works on present-day King Philip's Street near the end of Mill Street. Fowling Pond was said to be two miles long and three-quarters of a mile wide in King Philip's time, but today has disappeared. James repaired their gunsand conferred favors that led to a lasting friendship.

King Philip conveyed to James Leonard about 250 acres at Mattapoisett Neck in Swansea in October 1665, but the deed was lost by the Plymouth Court. Tradition says that out the outbreak of KIng Philip's War in 1675, Philip gave strict orders that his men were never to harm a Leonard (although young Uriah Leonard was almost shot by King Philip's men early in the war, a bullet having passed through his hat as he rode his horse to escape an attack). It is conjectured that because of the Leonards Taunton was not attacked during the war. (Philip's orders were actually not to disturb certain families including those of James Leonard, John Brown, and Capt. Thomas Willett, all of Taunton --Hurd, p. 346).

One peculiarity to check out: although several Leonards were officers in the militia of the time, there's little mention of Leonards fighting in Philip's War. Bodge in Soldiers of King Philip's War mentions Jacob as serving under Capt. Woodworth, Thomas credited under Capt. Thomas Brattle October 19, 1675, and Thomas at Lynn, August 24, 1676. More research needs to be done on the activities of the Leonards during Philip's War.

One of the garrison houses used during King Philip's War was the Samuel Leonard house erected in 1653 by James Leonard at the site of Taunton's Ancient Iron Works Company now in Raynham. A memorial plaque marking thespot is located seven-tenths of a mile east from Route 44 along the southside of Route 104.

Another traditional story is that Philip's head was deposited in the basement of Leonard's house for safekeeping before being sent to Plymouth. However, none of the early historians indicated anything but that the head was sent directly to Plymouth for display. (Philip was shot by Alderman, a Sakonnet Indian, on August 12, 1676, in a swamp at the foot of Mt. Hope in Bristol. His head was set on a pole in Plymouth and stayed there for a generation. For more on King Philip's War, see Eric B. Schultz and Michael J. Tougias, "King Philip's War: The History and Legacy of America's Forgotten Conflict (Woodstock, VT: TheCountryman Press, 1999)."

ECL notes that James had 68 grandchildren. A chart gives those present at a Thanksgiving family party in 1690, and I've checked all the grandchildren alive then against the chart (there were 45 living in 1690).

Account of Estate of James Leonard of Taunton dtd. August 24, 1697. Agreement about estate among Isaac and Hannah Dean, Joseph Leonard, Uriah Leonard, Thomas Leonard, Benjamin Leonard, James Leonard, John and Abigail Kingsley, and Isaac and Rebecca Chapman. (1:44).

William Reed Deane in "Genealogical Memoir of the Leonard Family" listsall of the children but John (NEHGS Reg. 1851:414(3).

  • James LEONARD and Mary Jane MARTIN were married in 1640 in England.[2]
  • Mary Jane MARTIN2 (daughter of Isaac MARTIN) was born before 1625.
  • She died on 25 Feb 1663/64 in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA.
  • She was also referred to as Margaret and Jennie Martin. A family of Martyns lived in Newport, not far from Pontypool. Henry Martyn, yeoman,1573, John, William, Thomas, Morgan, Mary, Edmund, Catherine,
  • 1583.William was keeper of the keys in Newport.

Further research at Newportand the Monmouthshire County Records Office might turn up a relationship, although church records in that area do not go back to this era.

--source: http://www.bradsport.com/jamesleonarddescendants1107/b1684.htm#P6254

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

Settler

Colonial Daughters of the 17th Century (26031) --------------------

James Leonard sent aletter to James Leonard, ironworker in or near Taunton, MA stating thatthe extensive iron works there in Bilston belonged to the Leonards. TheLeonards in Taunton decided not to undertake the expense of an extendedsuit to regain the works. The Leonards may also have been involved insome of the ironworks in Somersetshire, England, and Pontypool,Monmouthshire, Wales, as well.

James Leonard was but a short time at the Saugus Ironworks and atBraintree for a longer time. At sale of the Braintree works, he became apartner. With the invitation from Taunton, he moved there, erected aforge and furnace, and continued as masterworkman, a position he held forthe rest of his life. ECL believes Oliver Purchase was the one whoinduced Henry and James along with Ralph Russell to come to Taunton. Heconveyed the two hearths at Taunton to his sons, Thomas and James, andthey in turn conveyed them to their sons. He purchased a lot on MillRiver and erected a one-hearth forge, which he called Whittinton Forge.His son Joseph was the masterworkman at Whittinton Forge. His two othersons, Benjamin and Uriah, were also trained as "bloomers." About 1682James Leonard built a house for himself a short distance from the Taunton(Raynham) Ironworks on the north side of the road. It was a gambled roofhouse two stories in front and running back to one story in the rear.When he died in 1691, he left an estate valued at 500 pounds, a veryrespectable sum in those days (from Elisha Clark Leonard and GeorgeMarston Leonard's unpublished manuscript).

More about the involvement of James and Henry Leonard in early ironworksin Massachusetts and New Jersey can be found in Bill Barton's articles,"The Establishment of the Iron Industry in America," "Pre-AmericanAncestry of Our Leonard Ironworkers," and "Leonard Siblings Henry, James,Philip, Sarah, and Thomas in America and Some of Their Descendants,"<freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~bart/LEONARD1.htm>,

James Leonard was allowed to keep an "ordinary" (bar) in Taunton. Thelicense was revoked in 1664/5, but later conveyed to his son, Thomas. James Leonard frequently entertained Massasoit and King Philip, whojourneyed from Mt. Hope to the hunting grounds at Fowling Pond. FowlingPond is in Raynham, was one mile north of the Ancient Iron Works onpresent-day King Philip's Street near the end of Mill Street. FowlingPond was said to be two miles long and three-quarters of a mile wide inKing Philip's time, but today has disappeared. James repaired their gunsand conferred favors that led to a lasting friendship. King Philipconveyed to James Leonard about two hundred and fifty acres atMattapoisett Neck in Swansea in October 1665, but the deed was lost bythe Plymouth Court. Tradition says that out the outbreak of KIngPhilip's War in 1675, Philip gave strict orders that his men were neverto harm a Leonard (although young Uriah Leonard was almost shot by KingPhilip's men early in the war, a bullet having passed through his hat ashe rode his horse to escape an attack). It is conjectured that becauseof the Leonards Taunton was not attacked during the war. (Philip'sorders were actually not to disturb certain families including those ofJames Leonard, John Brown, and Capt. Thomas Willett, all of Taunton --Hurd, p. 346).

One peculiarity to check out: although several Leonards were officers inthe militia of the time, there's little mention of Leonards fighting inPhilip's War. Bodge in Soldiers of King Philip's War mentions Jacob asserving under Capt. Woodworth, Thomas credited under Capt. Thomas BrattleOctober 19, 1675, and Thomas at Lynn, August 24, 1676..

One of the garrison houses used during King Philip's War was the SamuelLeonard house erected in 1653 by James Leonard at the site of Taunton'sAncient Iron Works Company now in Raynham. A memorial plaque marking thespot is located seven-tenths of a mile east from Route 44 along the southside of Route 104.

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James Leonard's Timeline

1621
1621
Pontypool, Monmouthshire, Wales, (Present UK)
1640
August 21, 1640
Age 19
Taunton, (Present Bristol County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts), (Present USA)
1640
Age 19
Pontypool, Torfaen, Monmouthshire, Wales, (Present UK)
1641
August 8, 1641
Age 20
Staffordshire, England, (Present UK)
1643
1643
Age 22
Taunton, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States
1645
1645
Age 24
Taunton, Bristol, MA
1647
October 25, 1647
Age 26
Taunton, Bristol, MA, USA
1652
1652
Age 31
Taunton, Bristol, MA
1653
1653
Age 32
Taunton, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States
1658
1658
Age 37
Taunton, Bristol, MA