John Webster, 5th Gov. of Connecticut Colony

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John Webster

Also Known As: "Governor John /Webster", "Governor of Colony of Connecticut 1656-7", "Gov"
Birthplace: Cossington, Leicestershire, England
Death: Died in Hadley, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
Cause of death: fever
Place of Burial: Old Hadley Cemetery, Hadley, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Matthew Webster and Elizabeth Webster
Husband of Agnes Webster and Agnes Webster
Father of Lieut. Robert Webster; Matthew Webster; Margaret Horton / Hunt; William Webster; Thomas Webster and 5 others
Brother of Faith Webster; Annis Webster and Avis Webster
Half brother of John Webster, Sr. and Thomas Webster, II

Occupation: 5th Governor of Colonial Connecticut - Founding Father of Hartford, Governor / Founder, Governor of Connecticut, Fifth Governor of Connecticut (1656-57), 1st settler of Hartford/magistrate for many years/1655 Governor of Connecticut, Gov
Managed by: Roy Gilbert Halliday
Last Updated:

About John Webster, 5th Gov. of Connecticut Colony

Honorable John Webster was born 16 August 1590 in Cossington, Leicestershire, England and died 5 April 1661 in Hadley, Massachusetts of a fever. He was buried April 1661 in Hadley, Massachusetts in The Old Hadley Cemetery. John Webster was the fifth governor of the Connecticut Colony (1646).

Brief Biography

This Webster family settled at Watertown, Massachusetts in the early 1630s and moved to the present Hartford in 1636, probably with Rev. Thomas Hooker’s group; he was one of the original Hartford landowners. He was there a magistrate, Deputy Governor, Governor, and one of the Commissioners of the United Colonies. He was an influential member of the church in Hartford, took a deep interest in the controversy which agitated that and other churches, and was one of the leaders of the Hadley Company. When Hooker died, his congregation became split, first over who the successor would be, then over the liberalized baptism policy the new minister supported. Webster was part of the dissenting group that broke away and moved to Hadley, MA.



  • “Governor John Webster and wife, Agnes Smith Webster, came to Massachusetts Bay Colony in a year not certainly known, but understood to have been about 1630-33. He removed from Newtonwne, now Cambridge, Mass. to the present site of Hartford, Conn. in 1636 presumably with the Rev. Thomas Hooker and his historic party.”
  • source: Are We Related? A Kenney Family Genealogy, p. 14 by Frances Pollard Reed
  • John Webster was the Fourth Governor of Connecticut.
  • source: 'Are We Related? A Kenney Family Genealogy', p. 16 by Frances Pollard Reed


John Webster: 18th Governor of the Colony of Connecticut

Life and Death

Here is a short read on Governor John Webster, taken from Wikipedia:

Webster was born in Cossington, Leicestershire, England, the son of Matthew Webster (1548–1623) and his wife, Elizabeth Ashton.[1] He traveled to the Massachusetts Bay Colony with his wife and five children in the early 1630s, settling in the area of Newtowne (now Cambridge, Massachusetts). He left in 1636, in all probability with Thomas Hooker and his adherents, to settle Hartford, Connecticut. His first public office was as a member of a committee that joined with the Court of Magistrates in determining the course of war with the Pequot Indians. He was chosen from 1639 to 1655 to be magistrate, and in 1655 he was chosen as Deputy Governor of the Colony of Connecticut. In 1656 he was elected governor, and he served as first magistrate from 1657 to 1659.

In addition to his service as Governor of the Connecticut Colony, John Webster was one of the nineteen men representing the towns of Hartford, Wethersfield, and Windsor in 1638-39 who participated in the drafting and adoption of the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, a document that is widely acknowledged as establishing one of the earliest forms of constitutional government.[2]

A split amongst the church members in Hartford grew when the current minister at the First Church in Hartford, Samuel Stone, declared that the requirement that stated only parents that had both taken communion should be allowed to have a child baptized would be removed, and non-communicants would be allowed to vote. John Webster, among others, were a part of a council that agreed that this was not acceptable. Reverend Stone chose to ignore this sentiment, and the issue was taken up with the General Court in Massachusetts. The Court ruled that although Reverend Stone had been too strict in ignoring the majority of his parishioners, he was right in liberalizing the baptism ritual. It was also found that those who disagreed with Stone could remove themselves to a location in Massachusetts to practice how they saw fit. This eventual location chosen was Hadley, Massachusetts, and in 1659, a new community was built there. Webster lived there for less than two years, for in 1661 he contracted a fever and died.


Gov. Webster's Will (Retrieved from

In the Northampton, Mass., Probate Records, pages 20 and 21 is recorded the following instrument, attested as a true copy of the last Will and Testament of Mr. John Webster, late of Hadley, deceased.

" I John Webster late of Hartford in the jurisdiction of Connecticut being weak of body yett sound of mind and having my perfect understanding doe ordayne this to be my last will and testament in manner following--

"Imprimis. I comitt my soule into the hands of the Almighty and most mercifull hoping to be saved by the alone meritts of the Lord Jesus Christ being washed with his blood and clothed with his righteousness and sanctifyed by the Holy Ghost. Amen.

"My body also I bequeath to ye earth to be interred with comely bureall (if at this time I be taken out of this world) in some part of the New Plantation on ye east side of the river at Northampton. Moreover my worldly goods which the Lord hath blessed me with and left me as a father's portion, I bestow as followeth.

"To my Deare and beloved wife Agnes Webster I give one bed and comely furniture for ye same. As also my house and lands in Hartford all the profitts of the same during her natural life. And upon her decease all shall come into the hands and be at ye disposal of my executor.

"Item, to my son Matthew Webster I give the summ of ten pounds.

"Item, to my son William Webster I give ye summ of seventy pounds.

"Item, to my son Thomas Webster I give ye summ of fifty pounds.

"Item, to my daughter Marsh I give ye summ of twenty pounds.

"Item, to my daughter Markham I give ye summ of forty pounds.

"To my grandchild Jonathan Hunt I give the summ of forty shillings.

"To my grandchild Mary Hunt I give ye summ of ten pounds.

"To all my grandchildren else in N. England I give ten shillings a piece.

"To Mary the wife of William Holton of Northampton in part of recompence for her great love and paynes for me I give forty shillings.

"To my son Robert Webster I give all the remainder of my estate of one kind and another, whom also I doe appoynt and ordayn to be my sole and full executor of this my last will and testament.

"My will further is that the foresaid legacys should be paid within fifteen months after my decease soe farr as my personall estate (that is all my estate besides houses and lands) will reach and the rest within eighteen months after my wives decease.

"Which of the legacys shall be paid first or how much of them I leave to the discretion and faithfulness of my son Robert desiring yet if there appears any difference he would in it take and act by the advise of my loving friends Nathaneell Ward and Andrew Bacon who have beene acquainted with much of my mind herein. Only my just debts I would have first paid before ye legacys as also my funerall expenses.

"My lott at the New Plantation with ye accommodations thereunto belonging and I give to my sons William and Thomas upon condition of their inhabiting there as I myself was engaged to doe which is also my desire they should---

"and soe doing to have it equally divided between them.

"In witness hereof I have sett to my and this present 25 of June 1659.

JOHN WEBSTER in the presence of John Russell, Eleazar Mather

Gov. John Webster's widow, Mrs. Agnes Webster, died six years later, probably in Hartford, in the year 1667.




Other interesting links:

Connecticut State Library:

Find A Grave:


(f/g) John Webster Birth: Aug. 16, 1590 Death: Apr. 5, 1661 Hadley Hampshire County Massachusetts, USA

John Webster served as the Governor of the Colony of Connecticut in 1656. He was born on August 16, 1590 in Cossington, Leicestershire, England to Matthew Webster and Elizabeth Ashton. He married Agnes Smith November 7, 1609 in Cossington. They had five children prior to immigrating to New England in the early 1630's and two more after their arrival. They first settled in Watertown, Massachusetts and moved to Hartford, Connecticut in 1636, as one of the original landowners in Hartford. He held significant public offices including: Assistant to the General Court of the Colony of Connecticut from 1639 to 1655; Commissioner to the United Colonies of New England, 1654; Deputy Governor, Colony of Connecticut, 1655; Governor, Colony of Connecticut, 1656; Chief Magistrate, Colony of Connecticut, 1657; and Magistrate, Hadley, Massachusetts, 1660. He was one of the leading members of the First Congregational Church of Hartford. A religious dispute arose and John Webster was among the dissenting group. This ultimately led to a group leaving Hartford in 1659 for Massachusetts with John Webster as one of the leaders. He first settled in Northampton and later moved to Hadley, where he became a magistrate. He died of a fever on April 5, 1661. His wife, Agnes, returned to Hartford where she died in 1667.

Grandchildren by daughter Margaret who married Thomas Hunt. Following the deaths of their parents, Jonathan and Mary were sent to Massachusetts to live with their maternal grandparents, John and Agnes (Smith) Webster.

Jonathan Hunt Mary Hunt

Family links:

 Matthew Webster (1564 - 1592)
 Elizabeth Ashton Webster (1566 - ____) 
 Agnes Smith Webster (____ - 1667)
 William Webster (1614 - 1688)*
 Thomas Webster (1616 - 1686)*
 Robert Webster (1619 - 1676)*
 Anne Webster Marsh (1621 - 1662)

Burial: Old Hadley Cemetery Hadley Hampshire County Massachusetts, USA Created by: the moo Record added: Jul 30, 2006 Find A Grave Memorial# 15090482 -tcd



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John Webster, 5th Gov. of Connecticut Colony's Timeline

August 29, 1585
Cassington, Leicester, England
August 16, 1590
Cossington, Leicestershire, England
August 16, 1590
., Cossington, Leicestershire, England
August 16, 1590
., Cossington, Leicestershire, England
August 16, 1590
Cossington, Leicester, England, England
August 16, 1590
., Cossington, Leicestershire, England
August 16, 1590
., Cossington, Leicestershire, England
August 16, 1590
., Cossington, Leicestershire, England
Cossington, Leicestershire, England
February 11, 1609
Age 19
Cossington, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom