John Prescott (1604 - 1681) MP

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Place of Burial: Lancaster, Worcester County, MA
Birthplace: Standish, Lancashire, England
Death: Died in Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts
Occupation: Founder of Lancaster; Blacksmith
Managed by: Thomas Edward Shirley
Last Updated:

About John Prescott

John Prescott was a founder of Lancaster, Massachusetts. He was born around 1605 in Shevington, England and died 20 Dec, 1681 in Lancaster, Massachusetts. He is buried in Old Settlers Burial Yard, Lancaster, Worcester Co, Massachusetts.

Parents: Ralph Prescott b. before 16 Jun, 1569, d. 24 Jan, 1608/1609 and Elene (?) b. circa 1580, d. 18 Nov, 1643

  1. Marriage: Mary Gawkroger (alias Platt) (b. 7 Feb, 1607, d. 20 Oct, 1688) Apr 11 1629 (ALT date: 21 Jan,1629) in Wygan, Lancashire, Sowerby, England. She was the fourth child of James and Martha (Ainsworth) Gawkroger, and was baptized at Sowerby, Halifax parish, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, 15 Mar, 1607.

John and Mary (Platt) Prescott had eight known children. The first five of their children were born in England except their child Hannah, who was probably born in Barbados, West Indies, 1639. They were:

  1. Mary Marie Prescott b. Feb 24, 1630, d. Feb 23, 1718 married Thomas Sawyer
  2. Martha Prescott+ b. Mar 11, 1632, d. Jan 24, 1656 married John Rugg
  3. John Prescott Jr.+ b. Apr 1, 1635 married Sarah
  4. Sarah Prescott b. 1637 married 1 Richard Wheeler, 2 Joseph Rice)
  5. Hannah Prescott b. 1639 married John Rugg widower of Martha
  6. Captain Jonathan Prescott+ b. circa 1643, d. Dec 5, 1721 married 1 Dorothy Heald, 2 Elizabeth Hoar, 3 Rebecca Wheeler, 4 Ruth Brown
  7. Lydia Prescott b. Aug 15, 1641 married 1 Jonas Fairbanks, 2 Elias Barron Jr
  8. Captain Jonas Prescott+ b. Jun 30, 1648, d. Dec 31, 1723 married Mary Loker

General Note

There appears to be bad info on the internet connecting this John back a long ways to Standish, etc. Reliable sources invalidate such a line.

Family Notes

John Prescott had a numerous family of descendants, many of whom have been persons of great ability and distinction. His great-grandson, Colonel William Prescott, was chief in command at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Another descendant was William H. Prescott, the famous historian of the 'Conquest of Mexico,' 'Conquest of Peru.'

John and Mary were in Watertown, MA in 1640 and moved from there to the Nashaway Plantation in 1643 which was later to become Lancaster. Jonas was born here before Lancaster was incorporated so his birth was registered in Groton. There is a son Joseph in some records (probable there was no son & his existence is due to clerks error in early history of Concord MA). There may have been two other children who died in infancy in England.

Of John Prescott's ancestry much has been written but not all with proof. He was of a Lancashire family.

Mary's alias "Platts" appears to come from English lands by that name that passed down through the Gawkroger family. It appears in New England publications as Mary Platts but there is no doubt that she was the daughter of James and Martha (Ainsworth) Gawkroger.

Her father was (in the sixth generation) a descendant of the John Gawkroger whose name occurs in Yorkshire records 1447-1505, and who, on the 10th of August 1487, surrendered certain land called Platts to a grandson and namesake, John, son of Richard. Holders of the land down through the succeeding generations were styled, as was the custom of the country, Platts, but in court documents Gawkroger alias Platts. Except legally, the names could be used interchangeably. If Mary Prescott's father were, by inheritance or purchase, owner of such land (which seems doubtful) and locally called Platts, nevertheless his will, proved October 6, 1628, was made under the name of James Gawkroger.

Biography

John Prescott left England to avoid persecution. In 1638 he landed at Barbadoes, where he bought land. In 1640 he came to New England and settled in Watertown. In 1643, with Thomas King and others, he purchased 'Nashaway' (a part of which is now Lancaster), and became one of the earliest settlers.

Nourse, in his 'Annals of Lancaster' says the town would have been named 'Prescott' had its founder been a freeman; but he had never given public adhesion to the established church covenant, and was therefore incapable of voting or holding office. In 1669, however, he was admitted freeman. He was a farmer, blacksmith and millwright.

John Prescott was a heroic figure in the early history of Lancaster and Groton. He brought with him a metallic coat of mail, which he sometimes wore when dealing with the savages; this served to impress them, as his force, capacity and judgment did his white neighbors. Nourse calls him an 'ideal pioneer' a 'true builder of the nation.'

He distinquished himself for bravery and leadership in the Indian Wars. He served in the garrison at Lancaster and in the defense of the town against the Indians on August 21, 1675 and February 10, 1676.

At the time of his death, in 1683, his family had become one of the wealthiest and most influential in Massachusetts.

Gravesite

Original grave marker:

JOHN

PRESCOTT DECASED

Memorial stone erected long time aft John Prescott's death:

Here with his children about him lies John Prescott founder of Lancaster and first settler of Worcester County born at Standish, Lancashire, England died at Lancaster, Massachusetts, Ded 1681. Inspired by the Love of Liberty and the Fear of God, this stout-hearted pioneer forsaking the pleasant vales of England took up his abode in the unbroken forest and encountered wild beast and savage to secure freedom for himself and his posterity his faith and virtues have been inherited by many descendants who in every generation have well served the State in war, in Literature, at the Bar, in the Pulpit, in Public Life and in Christian Homes.

Weblinks

Sources

  • New England Ancestry of Dana Converse Backus, Compiled by Mary E.N. Backus, New England Ancestry of Dana Converse Backus, (Printed for Private Distribution, Newcomb & Gauss Co., Printers, Salem, MA, 1949). http://www.familytreemaker.com/_glc_/1603/
  • William Prescott's 1870 "Prescott Memorial."

Comments

  • FLW LINE 34. John Prescott was naturalized; Blacksmith - Made his own armor. He Inputs on this line from John UP are found in F.L. Weiss' 'Sixty Colonists who came to America' book.

  • Learned the trade of blacksmith in Shevington from kinsman, Richard. Worked as a blacksmith in Sowerby, Parish of Halifax, Yorkshire, England. Emigrated first to Barbados, then to America about 1636. Settled in Lancaster in 1640. Survived the Indian massacre of 1676.
  • First had land in Watertown, MA, but later assumed leadership in the Nashaway Plantation in (now) Worcester Co., MA.
  • Arrived about 1640 to Watertown, MA. One of the founding fathers of Lancaster, MA. Descendants were published in The Prescott Memorial up to about 1870.
  • John Prescott, the father of Mary--and possibly Robert, who is also listed on rolls of Barbados church and Christ Church in Va., along with Mary Elizabeth Prescott Weeks, Thomas Weeks, and Hobs (Hobbs)Weekes-was the founder of Lancaster, Mass.
  • Possibly was the one who sailed from Sowerby, Yorkshire, England.
  • According to some sources, John came from England to Barbados in 1638, 'thence' to Watertown in 1640. Given information on the Sawyer family, it would seem that John and Mary had children in England, prior to coming to the colonies. IF Mary was actually born in Sowerby, this helps to cement the family connection to Ralph and the line back to the Royals.

-------------------- John Prescott was a blacksmith from Sowerby, in the parish of Halifax, west riding, Yorkshire, England.

John came from England to Watertown, Massachusetts about 1640 with his wife and four children. In 1645 or 1646 they removed to the foundation of a new settlement of Lancaster, Massachusetts. John Prescott took the oath of allegiance in 1652, but was not admitted freeman before 1669, was with his family removed shortly after the doleful day of 10 February 1676 and the town was wholly abandoned for several years so that no white man lived between the towns on the Connecticut River and thus on the Concord. In 1682 the number of families was not more than one-third as large as seven years before. But of these, Prescott was one.

Buried in Old Settlers Burying Ground, Lancaster, Worcester Co., MA. -------------------- http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=sapeel&id=I25016

ID: I25016

Name: John PRESCOTT 1 2 3 4

Sex: M

Birth: ABT. 1612 in Standish, Lancashire, England 5 1 2

Death: DEC 1681 in Lancaster, Worcester Co., MA 6

Reference Number: 25735

Note:

John Prescott was a blacksmith from Sowerby, in the parish of Halifax, west riding, Yorkshire, England.

John came from England to Watertown, Massachusetts about 1640 with his wife and four children. In 1645 or 1646 they removed to the foundation of a new settlement of Lancaster, Massachusetts. John Prescott took the oath of allegiance in 1652, but was not admitted freeman before 1669, was with his family removed shortly after the doleful day of 10 February 1676 and the town was wholly abandoned for several years so that no white man lived between the towns on the Connecticut River and thus on the Concord. In 1682 the number of families was not more than one-third as large as seven years before. But of these, Prescott was one.

Buried in Old Settlers Burying Ground, Lancaster, Worcester Co., MA.

Father: Ralph PRESCOTT b: 1571 in Shevington, Lancaster, England

Mother: Ellen HELEN b: 1575 in England

Marriage 1 Mary Platt GAWKROGER b: 15 MAY 1607 in Sowerby, Halifax, Yorkshire, England

Married: 11 APR 1629 in Sowerby, Halifax, Yorkshire, England 7

Children

Child PRESCOTT b: 1630 in Sowerby, Halifax, England
Child PRESCOTT b: 1631 in Sowerby, Halifax, England
Mary PRESCOTT b: 24 FEB 1630/31 in Sowerby, Halifax, England
Martha PRESCOTT b: 11 MAR 1631/32 in Sowerby, Halifax, Yorkshire, England
John PRESCOTT b: 1 APR 1635 in Sowerby, Halifax, England
Sarah PRESCOTT b: 1637 in Sowerby, Halifax, England c: 16 APR 1637 in Sowerby, Halifax, England
Hannah PRESCOTT b: 16 APR 1639 in Barbadoes Islands, West Indies
Lydia PRESCOTT b: 15 AUG 1641 in Sowerby, Halifax, England
Jonathan PRESCOTT b: 1643 in Lancaster, Middlesex, MA
Child PRESCOTT b: BEF. 1645 in Sowerby, Halifax, Yorkshire, England
Joseph PRESCOTT b: 1645 in Watertown, Middlesex, MA
Jonas PRESCOTT b: 16 JUN 1648 in Lancaster, Middlesex, MA

Sources:

Title: World Family Tree Vol. 5, Ed. 1

Author: Brøderbund Software, Inc.

Publication: Release date: August 22, 1996

Note: Customer pedigree.

Repository:

Media: Family Archive CD

Page: Tree #0947

Text: Date of Import: Jul 10, 2000

Title: rugg.FTW

Repository:

Media: Other

Page: Tree #0947

Text: Date of Import: Jul 10, 2000

Note: Burial notice

Title: Genealogical Guide To Early Settlers of America

Repository:

Media: Book

Page: page 437

Title: Colonists Who Came To New England between 1623 and 1650, 1969, Frederick Lewis Weis

Author: Frederick Weis

Repository:

Media: Book

Page: page 34

Descendants of John Rugg

Title: The Descendents of John Rugge

Author: Ellen R Rugg

Publication: Frederick H. Hitchcock, Genealogical Publisher, 105 West Fortieth St., New York City

Note: Ellen R Rugg of Leominister, MA

Repository:

Note: Buffalo New York Public Library

Media: Book

Title: The Prescott Memorial

Author: William Prescott

Repository:

Media: Book

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John Prescott's Timeline

1604
May 1604
Standish, Lancashire, England
1604
Of Standish, Lancashire, England
1604
Shevington, Standish, Lancaster, England
1605
1605
1629
February 24, 1629
Age 24
Sowerby-Bridge, Halifax, Yorkshire, England
April 11, 1629
Age 24
England
1630
March 7, 1630
Age 25
Sowerby, Yorkshire, England
1632
March 11, 1632
Age 27
Sowerby, Halifax, Yorks, England
1633
January 1633
Age 28
Sowerby, Yorkshire, England
1633
Age 28
Sowerby, Yorkshire, England