Rev. Obadiah Holmes, Sr.

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Obadiah Holmes, Sr.

Nicknames: "Obadian Holmes", "Rev.", "The Baptist Martyr"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Reddish, Manchester, Lancashire, England
Death: Died in Middletown, Aquidneck Island (Present Newport County), Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
Place of Burial: Holmes Lot, Middletown, Newport County, Rhode Island, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert Hulme/Holmes, Jr. and Katherine Holmes (Johnson)
Husband of Catherine Holmes
Father of Jonathan Holmes, II; Mary Holmes; Martha Audley; Elizabeth Cooke; Samuel Holmes and 10 others
Brother of John Holmes; Samuel Holmes; Nathaniel Holmes; Robert Holmes (Hulme); Joseph Holmes (Hulme) and 1 other

Occupation: Glass Maker/Weaver, Minister, owner of glass factory, Baptist Minister, Anabaptist leader and preacher, Glassman (Manufacturer of Glass), reverend/pioneer who landed in Salem, Manufacturer of Glass at Newport, RI, Reverend, glassmaker and weaver, Rev.
Managed by: Gene
Last Updated:

About Obadiah Holmes, Sr.

Obadiah Holmes is an ancestor of President Abraham Lincoln. "Ancestors of American Presidents", Gary Boyd Roberts, NEHGS, 2009

http://www.citereh.com/p10.htm#i430 Rev. Obadiah Holmes1 (M) b. circa 1606/7, d. 15 October 1682, #430

Rev. Obadiah Holmes was the son of Robert Hulme and Katherine Johnson.1,2 Rev. Obadiah Holmes was born circa 1606/7 at Reddish, Cheshire/Lancashire, England.1,3 He was baptized on 18 March 1609/10 at Didsbury, Lancashire, England.1 He married Katherine Hyde on 20 November 1630 at Collegiate Church, Manchester, Lancashire, England.1,3 Rev. Obadiah Holmes died on 15 October 1682 at Newport, Newport, RI.1

    

He was a Baptist. The Puritans were irritated by the Baptists who refused to baptize babies and added further irritation by insisting on baptism by immersion only. The Baptists were multiplying rapidly and the Massachusetts authorities were alarmed to the point of considering armed suppression of the Baptists in Rhode Island. Obadiah, John Clarke, and John Crandall were arrested by Massachusetts authorities as they visited a sick friend in Lynn. Clarke protested their heavy fines and Governor Endecott replied that Clarke "deserved death" and "was worthy to be hanged." Why? Because they were Baptists - believing in religious freedom, local church authority, and baptism by immersion only. Holmes refused to pay his fine since he was not guilty of any crime whereupon the Rev. John Wilson, pastor of the Boston Church, hit him and asked God to curse him. Holmes was severly whipped (thirty lashes) and carried his scars for life. Holmes said later about the whipping: "...having joyfulness in my heart, and cheerfulness in my countenance...I told the magistrates, 'you have struck me as with roses.1,4' " He was a glassmaker and weaver.1

Holmes was so highly regarded in the Rhode Island colony, that during the devastation of King Phillips War in 1676, the General Court put out a request for the "advice and concurrence of the most judicious inhabitants" of the colony. Among the 16 prominent Rhode Islanders named was Obadiah Holmes.

Children of Rev. Obadiah Holmes and Katherine Hyde:

  • Lydia Holmes
  • Hopestill Holmes
  • Jonathan Holmes b. Unknown, d. 1713
  • Mary Holmes b. 1638, d. a 1690
  • Martha Holmes+ b. 13 May 1640, d. 30 Dec 1711
  • Samuel Holmes b. b 1642, d. 1679
  • Obadiah Holmes b. b 1644, d. Unknown
  • John Holmes b. 1649, d. 1712

Source: http://www.citereh.com/p12.htm#i430

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

http://genforum.genealogy.com/cgi-bin/pageload.cgi?Mordecai,Lincoln::salter::1043.html

The book also shares some of the personal life of Richard SALTAR and his wife, Sarah BOWNE. There is a bit of info about their children. In addition, you can learn more about Sarah’s father, John BOWNE (including his touching last letter to his children); and Sarah’s maternal grandfather, Obadiah HOLMES. (Obadiah HOLMES (around 1606 - 1862) was a preacher, who stood firmly for his beliefs. He once withstood a severe whipping rather than back down.) ~ From other information I have gathered, Obadiah Holmes briefly had one of the first glass factories in America. His ‘glass house’ was in Salem, Massachusetts. He is another very interesting ancestor.) ~ John BOWNE, Sarah’s father, should not be confused with John BOWNE, a Quaker, from Flushing, N.Y.

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

Rev. Obadiah Holmes was born in 1606 in Manchester, England and baptized, March 18, 1609/10 at Didsbury, England as the son of Robert and Katherine Hulme, who were married at Stockport, near Manchester, Oct 8, 1605. Since Obadiah later became a glassmaker and a weaver, it may well be that "bookish" interest was minimal in his early years. He relates that he had been neglectful and strayed from his religious duties and responsibilities for a period of five years. If this was the case, he certainly atoned for it later in his life. His mother's illness and death proved a turning point. "It struck me that my disobedient acts caused her death, which forced me to confess the same to her - my evil ways." Two months after his mother's death, he took Catherine Hyde as his wife. They were married in Manchester's Collegiate College Church on 20 Nov 1630.

Obediah attended Oxford University in England, was one of the founders' and builders of the Baptist Church in Rhode Island. He was a friend and contemporary of Rev. Roger Williams, Rev. John Clarke, and Elder John Crandall. For one hundred years after his birth the name was written as "Hulme" but in the 18th century took the form of Holmes.

Rev. Obadiah Holmes was educated, but it can not be said for sure that he graduated from Oxford University. In mature years he regretted he had given his good mother concern about himself and his ways as he passed from boyhood to manhood. If his troubles were religious errancy, he bravely atoned. The decade of the 1630's so disheartened England's Puritans that they left their homeland in shipload after shipload to create a newer and purer England far away. These were the years of the Great Migration and Obadiah Holmes also "adventured the danger of the seas to come to New England." Holmes and his wife probably sailed from Preston (just north of Liverpool), down the River Ribble, across the Irish Sea, and into the open Atlantic. They had an extremely stormy voyage that prevented them from entering Boston harbor until six weeks had passed. Soon after landing at Boston in the summer or early fall of 1638, they made their way up the coast and settled at Salem, Massachusetts.

In 1638 he, his wife Katherine Hyde and their son Jonathan, about 3 years old, sailed from Preston, near Liverpool, England  for America.  After a tempestuous voyage of six weeks they landed in Boston Harbor. By January, 1639, they were in Salem; on the twenty-first of that month Holmes received one acre of land for a house and a promise of ten more acres "to be laid out by the town." The young Salem settlement encouraged Holmes and his co-workers in the development of what may have been the first glass factory in North America. They made the common window glass. Holmes performed other duties befitting a good citizen and often served on juries during his years of residence at Salem. 
In March 1640, Obadiah and Catherine became members of the Salem church. Obadiah soon found himself disliking the rigidity of the established church. Nor was it his inclination to keep silent in the midst of religious discussions. He soon decided the church and civil laws could not be tolerated any longer. Obadiah's decision to move was probably more influenced by the fact that the church and civil authorities would not tolerate him. 

Before Oct of 1643, Obadiah had taken an option in the newly created community of Rehoboth 40 miles south of Boston. He sold his holdings in Salem by 1645, removing himself and his family to Rehoboth the same year. There he was elevated to the status of freeman in 1648. Both Obadiah and Catherine participated in this church's public worship, presided over by Samuel Newman. Obadiah soon found that he had not removed beyond religious and other controversies when making his second settlement in the new country. It took three years for the membership of the Rehoboth church to become divided on doctrinal and legal lines and become aligned behind the minister and Obadiah as the respective leaders. Obadiah's conversion to the distinctive views of the Baptists was developed here. Baptized with the "new baptism" along with 8 others, Obadiah took the irrevocable step toward separation from New England's official way and he became the leader of the Schismatists.

The climax must have come to a head in 1649 for that is the year on October 29 that Obadiah entered suit for slander against Samuel Newman, the minister. The slanderous suit stated that Obadiah had committed perjury in some court proceeding. On the 2nd day of Oct 1650, he, with others of Rehoboth, were indicted by the Grand Jury at New Plymouth for holding meetings on the Lord's day from house to house, "contrary to the order of the court". The burden of the petition was that the dissident group (Holmes and 8 others) had set up a separate and irregular church meeting in opposition to the orderly, approved, and established congregation led by Rev. Samuel Newman. All such schismatical activity, the petitioners urged, should cease forthwith.

The court responded mildly enough, by ordering the group (in Holmes' words) "to desist, and neither to ordain officers, nor to baptize, nor to break bread together, nor yet to meet upon the first day of the week..." Holmes and his followers would not find peace in Plymouth nor in Massachusetts Bay, so once more he sold his house and lands and moved to Newport, Rhode Island, hoping that he had left behind for good the meddling civil magistrates, the condescending clergy, the intrusive and insolent laws.

Obdiah became the leader and preacher, and in Newport RI, he enjoyed freedom of conscience. Later he was involved in the Boston persecutions where he was even subjected to thirty lashes at the whipping post.

No history of the Baptist Church is complete without that story of Rev. Obadiah Holmes as founder and builder. Here is how the "Descendants of Elder John Crandall" record one famous incident in the life of Obadiah Holmes. "July 21, 1651 it is recorded "John Crandall, with John Clarke and Obediah Holmes, spent the day with William Witter, of Lynn Massachusetts, he by reason of his advanced age, could not undertake a journey. The spent the day in religious services and were apprehended by two constables at the insistence of the Massachusetts authorities, while Mr. Clarke was preaching, and the next morning they were sent to prison in Boston. For the dire offense of holding this little meeting, Obediah Holmes was fined, imprisoned and whipped by 30 lashes at a whipping post placed near the old State House at Boston, on Saturday, Sept 5, 1651. He was 45 years old at this time. John Crandall & John Clarke were sentenced to pay a fine of 5 pounds, or be publicly whipped. (Obediah refused to pay the fine, and refused an offer of payment of his fine by Elder Crandall & Rev. Clarke.) They were released from prison on promise of appearing at next court." This incident prompted Rev. John Clarke to write the pamphlet "Ill News From New England" published in England in 1652. "The Great Migration Begins"

Notes: "Obediah Holmes was perverted in faith and excommunicated therefore, with John Clark & John Crandall, sentenced to heavy fine or whipping, went to Rehoboth, thence soon to Newport, had five more children, was a preacher from 1652, died Oct 15, 1682 in his 76th year. Of his descendants in 1790, the estimate was 5000"

This confirms that Rev. Obediah Holmes recovered from this punishment and eventually returned to Rhode Island and resided on his Middletown farm on the Seconnet River about 5 miles east of Newort. There he became the Pastor of the 1st Baptist Church of what is now Middletown, RI. He served this church until his death.

Obadiah Holmes has his place in the wider domain of freedom of religion and conscience which Americans enjoy today. He died October 15, 1682 at Newport, and his wife died about two years later, in the Spring in 1684. Both are buried in the old Holmes Burying Ground located about 5 miles east of Newport, RI. They had seven sons and three daughters. One daughter, Lydea, married John Bowne and they had a granddaughter who married Mordecai Lincoln - great grandfather of President Abraham Lincoln. Mary, another Daughter of Rev. Obadiah Holmes, married John Brown and their Daughter, Martha married Rhode Island Governor Joseph Jencks.

The Rev. Holmes was one of the 12 patentees named in the original patent from the Duke of York for the Monmouth grant which included Monmouth County and parts of Middlesex and Ocian Counties of East Jersey, dated April 8, 1868. However, he never became a resident of East Jersey although his son, Jonathan, was a founder of Middletown, Monmouth Co, East Jersey.

Here is another telling of the story of Obediah Holmes, & his will, from Sam Behling/internet:

Obadiah Holmes was born in Northern England around the year 1607. His birthplace lay in the rural area of Reddish, five miles southeast of the center of Manchester. He was the second son of Robert Holmes and Catherine Johnson Holmes (the family name was at the time more commonly spelled Hulmes or Hullme.) Baptized in Didsbury Chapel on March 18, 1610, he grew up in a farm family of eight or nine children. Since Obadiah later became a glassmaker and a weaver, it may well be that "bookish" interest was minimal in his early years. He relates that he had been neglectful and strayed from his religious duties and responsibilities for a period of five years. If this was the case, he certainly atoned for it later in his life. His mother's illness and death proved a turning point. "It struck me that my disobedient acts caused her death, which forced me to confess the same to her - my evil ways." Two months after his mother's death, he took Catherine Hyde as his wife. They were married in Manchester's Collegiate College Church on 20 Nov 1630.

The decade of the 1630's so disheartened England's Puritans that they left their homeland in shipload after shipload to create a newer and purer England far away. These were the years of the Great Migration and Obadiah Holmes also "adventured the danger of the seas to come to New England." Holmes and his wife probably sailed from Preston (just north of Liverpool), down the River Ribble, across the Irish Sea, and into the open Atlantic. They had an extremely stormy voyage that prevented them from entering Boston harbor until six weeks had passed. Soon after landing at Boston in the summer or early fall of 1638, they made their way up the coast and settled at Salem, Massachusetts.

By January, 1639, they were in Salem; on the twenty-first of that month Holmes received one acre of land for a house and a promise of ten more acres "to be laid out by the town." The young Salem settlement encouraged Holmes and his co-workers in the development of what may have been the first glass factory in North America. They made the common window glass. Holmes performed other duties befitting a good citizen and often served on juries during his years of residence at Salem.

In March 1640, Obadiah and Catherine became members of the Salem church. Obadiah soon found himself disliking the rigidity of the established church. Nor was it his inclination to keep silent in the midst of religious discussions. He soon decided the church and civil laws could not be tolerated any longer. Obadiah's decision to move was probably more influenced by the fact that the church and civil authorities would not tolerate him. Before Oct of 1643, Obadiah had taken an option in the newly created community of Rehoboth 40 miles south of Boston. He sold his holdings in Salem by 1645, removing himself and his family to Rehoboth the same year. There he was elevated to the status of freeman in 1648. Both Obadiah and Catherine participated in this church's public worship, presided over by Samuel Newman. Obadiah soon found that he had not removed beyond religious and other controversies when making his second settlement in the new country. It took three years for the membership of the Rehoboth church to become divided on doctrinal and legal lines and become aligned behind the minister and Obadiah as the respective leaders. Obadiah's conversion to the distinctive views of the Baptists was developed here. Baptized with the "new baptism" along with 8 others, Obadiah took the irrevocable step toward separation from New England's official way and he became the leader of the Schismatists.

The climax must have come to a head in 1649 for that is the year on October 29 that Obadiah entered suit for slander against Samuel Newman, the minister. The slanderous suit stated that Obadiah had committed perjury in some court proceeding. On the 2nd day of Oct 1650, he, with others of Rehoboth, were indicted by the Grand Jury at New Plymouth for holding meetings on the Lord's day from house to house, "contrary to the order of the court". The burden of the petition was that the dissident group (Holmes and 8 others) had set up a separate and irregular church meeting in opposition to the orderly, approved, and established congregation led by Rev. Samuel Newman. All such schismatical activity, the petitioners urged, should cease forthwith. The court responded mildly enough, by ordering the group (in Holmes' words) "to desist, and neither to ordain officers, nor to baptize, nor to break bread together, nor yet to meet upon the first day of the week..." Holmes and his followers would not find peace in Plymouth nor in Massachusetts Bay, so once more he sold his house and lands and moved to Newport, Rhode Island, hoping that he had left behind for good the meddling civil magistrates, the condescending clergy, the intrusive and insolent laws.

On July 16, 1651, John Clarke, John Crandall and Obadiah Holmes journeyed from Newport into MA, coming to the town of Lynn on the 19th of that month. The purpose of the visit was to bring spiritual comfort and communion to one William Witter, a blind and aged fellow Baptist who had invited the three to come to his house. The broader purpose was, of course, an evangelical one: to tell of the new baptism and its import to all who would hear. And indeed the word was proclaimed, converts were baptized, the elements of the Lord's Supper were served - all of this done privately in William Witter's home.

On Sunday, July 20, two constables entered the house. "With their clamorous tongues" they interrupted Clarke's discourse, "telling us that they were come with authority from the Magistrates to apprehend us." Clarke asked to see the authority for so rude an intrusion, "whereupon they plucked forth their warrant, and one of them with a trembling hand read it to us." The three Rhode Islanders were placed under arrest and taken to the local "Ale-house or Ordinary", Anchor Tavern, to be fed and to await their scheduled appearance before the local magistrate, Robert Bridges, early the next morning.

One of the constables suggested to the 3 prisoners that if they were free, then all might go together to the Lynn church for evening services. Clarke replied (humor presumably intended) that if they were free, none of this awkwardness would have happened. Yet, he said, we are at your disposal and if you want us to go to church we will go to church. Off they went, but on the way Clarke informed the constable that if forced to attend "your meeting, we shall declare our dissent from you both by word and gesture." Believing this to be a problem for sacred officers, not civil ones, the constable held his peace. Upon entering the church, where services were already underway, the three visitors took off their hats, "civilly saluted", sat down, and put their hats back on again. This action was more than rude; the replacing of hats was an open declaration of disapproval of whatever was being said or done. The constable quickly snatched three hats from three irreverent heads and afterwards, the three were returned to the tavern where they were "watched over that night as thieves and robbers." In the morning, after a brief appearance before Robert Bridges in Lynn, the itinerant evangelists were sent to Boston for trial.

They were committed to the common jail. The mittimus, or court order for commitment to prison, indicated essentially four complaints against the "strangers". They had offended by (a) conducting a private worship service at the same time as the town's public worship; (b) "offensively disturbing" the public meeting in Lynn; (c) more seriously, "seducing and drawing aside others after their erroneous judgment and practices"; and (d) "neglecting or refusing to give in sufficient security for their appearance" at the next meeting of the county court.

The trial before the General Court began one week later. The trial itself was so swiftly consummated that the accused hardly knew it was done. We were examined in the morning, wrote Clarke, and sentenced in the afternoon - sentenced "without producing either accuser, witness, jury, law of God or man..." It was the assumption of Governor Endicott and his assistants of the guilt of the accused and cut off any defense when Holmes and Clarke tried to speak. The members of the court shot questions at them, or made statements to them, which showed their guilt prejudged. The violence of some of the bystanders, in the presence of the court, and without its rebuke, went so far that Holmes was assaulted, struck, and cursed by Rev. John Wilson. This happened while Holmes was in the custody of an officer, in the presence of the court, and within the protection of the law.

The penalty which the law provided was banishment. But what sort of punishment is it to "banish" persons who already live in another jurisdiction? Obviously, some other manner of rebuke had to be meted out, whether the law made provision for it or not. Clarke, clearly the spokesman and leader of the group, was fined £20; Crandall, as a tag-along and largely silent companion, was fined only £5. But Obadiah Holmes, already under the cloud of excommunication from the church in Rehoboth, received the largest fine of £30. All the fines provided for a hard alternative: to be paid in full or else the culprit was to be "well whipped". Until the fines were paid or satisfaction otherwise received, all three were to remain in jail.

"The sentence of Obadiah Holmes, of Seaconk, the 31st of the fifth month, 1651.

"Forasmuch as you, Obadiah Holmes, being come into this jurisdiction about the 21st of the fifth month, did meet at one William Witter's house, at Lynn, and did here privately (and at other times), being an excommunicated person, did take upon you to preach and baptize upon the Lord's Day, or other days, and being taken then by the constable, and coming afterward to the assembly at Lynn, did, in disrespect to the ordinance of God and his worship, keep on your hat, the pastor being in prayer, insomuch as you would not give reverence in vailing your hat, till it was forced off your head, to the disturbance of the congregation, and professing against the institution of the church, as not being according to the gospel of Jesus Christ; and that you, the said Obadiah Holmes, did, upon the day following, meet again at the said William Witter's, in contempt to authority, you being then in the custody of the law, and did there receive the sacrament, being excommunicate, and that you did baptize such as were baptized before, and thereby did necessarily deny the baptism before administered to be baptism, the churches no churches, and also other ordinances and ministers, as if all was a nullity; and did also deny the lawfulness of baptizing of infants; and all this tends to the dishonor of God, the despising the ordinances of God among us, the peace of the churches, and seducing the subjects of this commonwealth from the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and perverting the straight ways of the Lord; the court doth fine you thirty pounds, to be paid, or sufficient sureties that the said sum shall be paid by the first day of the next Court of Assistants, or else to be well whipt; and that you shall remain in prison till it be paid, or security given in for it: "By the Court,

"INCREASE NORVEL."

They were not without friends and sympathizers, however. The friends of Clarke and Crandall speedily raised the amounts of their fines and paid them. The fine of Holmes was higher and required a little more time to raise the amount, but his friends were ready to pay it. When he learned what they were proposing to do, he promptly forbade the payment of the fine, making it a matter of his conscience and scruples.

After another week, Clarke was released when friends paid his fine. John Crandall put up bail and went home. So only Holmes remained in prison, adamantly refusing to pay his fine or to let others pay it for him. The court's explicit alternative awaited him - to be "well-whipped". The 5th day of Sep 1651 came and he was taken from the jail, stripped naked down to the waist - he refused to aid by touching even a button of his clothing - tied to the post and publicly whipped. 

There were thirty strokes, with a three-cord whip, held by the executioner, not in one hand, but in both hands. The strokes did not follow each other quickly or lightly. They were laid on slowly and with all the strength of the officer wielding the instrument of torture. Throughout, there was not a groan or murmur from the victim. The first sound from his lips were the words to the magistrates, who stood about as witnesses, "You have struck me as with roses."


After his release from jail, Holmes returned to Newport and in 1652 succeeded Dr. John Clarke. He became the second minister of the first Baptist Church in America. The church at Newport was his permanent charge for more than thirty years until his death on October 15, 1682.

Reference to his will is found in a list of seventeen wills (between 1676 and 1695) that were presented to the court in 1700, by parties interested, the law requiring three witnesses, and these wills having but two. He was buried in his own field, where a tomb was erected to his memory (in what is now the town of Middletown). His wife did not long survive him.

Last Will and Testament of Reverend Obadiah Holmes

These are to signify that I, Obadiah Holmes of Newport on Rhode Island, being at present through the goodness and mercy of my God of sound memory; and, being by daily intimations put in mind of the frailty and uncertainty of this present life, do therefore - for settling my estate in this world which it has pleased the Lord to bestow upon me - make and ordain this my Last Will and Testament in manner following, committing my spirit unto the Lord that gave it to me and my body to the earth from whence it was taken, in hope and expectation that it shall thence be raised at the resurrection of the just.

Imprimis, I will that all my just debts which I owe unto any person be paid by my Executor, hereafter named, in convenient time after my decease.

  • Item. I give and bequeath unto my daughter, Mary Brown, five pounds in money or equivalent to money.
  • Item. I give and bequeath unto my daughter, Martha Odlin, ten pounds in the like pay.
  • Item. I give and bequeath unto my daughter, Lydia Bowne, ten pounds.
  • Item. I give and bequeath unto my two grandchildren, the children of my daughter, Hopestill Taylor, five pounds each; and if either of them decease, the survivor to have ten pounds.
  • Item. I give and bequeath unto my son, John Holmes, ten pounds.
  • Item. I give and bequeath unto my son, Obadiah Holmes, ten pounds.
  • Item. I give and bequeath unto my grandchildren, the children of my son Samuel Holmes, ten pounds to be paid unto them in equal portions.
  • All these portions by me bequeathed, my will is, shall be paid by my Executor in money or equivalent to money.
  • Item. I give and bequeath unto all my grandchildren now living ten pounds; and ten shillings in the like pay to be laid out to each of them - a bible.
  • Item. I give and bequeath unto my grandchild, Martha Brown, ten pounds in the like pay.

All [of] which aforesaid legacies are to be paid by my Executor, hereafter named in manner here expressed: that is to say, the first payment to [be] paid within one year after the decease of my wife, Catherine Holmes, and twenty pounds a year until all the legacies be paid, and each to be paid according to the degree of age.

My will is and I do hereby appoint my son Jonathan Holmes my sole Executor, unto whom I have sold my land, housing, and stock for the performance of the same legacies above. And my will is that my Executor shall pay unto his mother, Catherine Holmes, if she survives and lives, the sum of twenty pounds in money or money pay for her to dispose of as she shall see cause.

Lastly, I do desire my loving friends, Mr. James Barker, Sr., Mr. Joseph Clarke, and Mr. Philip Smith, all of Newport, to be my overseers to see this my will truly performed. In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal, this ninth day of April, 1681.

Obadiah Hullme [Holmes][Seal] Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of Edward Thurston Weston Clarke

(Edward Thurston, Sr., and Weston Clark appeared before the Council [of Newport], December 4, 1682, and did upon their engagements [pledges] declare and own that they saw Obadiah Holmes, deceased, sign seal and deliver the above written will as his act and deed; and, at the time of his sealing hereof, he was in his perfect memory, according to the best of our understandings. Taken before the Council, as attested. Weston Clarke, Town Clerk.)

References

  • Baptist Piety, "The Last Will & Testimony of Obadiah Holmes", Edwin S. Gaustad, Christian University Press, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1978.
  • The Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island, John Osborne Austin, Genealogical Pub. Co., Baltimore, MD, 1969, (previously pub. 1887), pp. 103 - 104.
  • TAG - The American Genealogist, Vol. 19, No. 4, Additions & Corrections to Austin's Genealogical Dictionary of RI, G. Andrews Moriarty, Demorest, GA, April 1943, p. 224.
  • The Wightman Heritage, Wade C. Wightman, Gateway Press, Baltimore, MD, 1990, pp. 288 - 304.
  • Plymouth Colony, Its History & People 1620 - 1691, Eugene Aubrey Stratton, Ancestry Publishing, Salt Lake City, UT, 1986, p. 306.
============================

Birth: Mar. 18, 1610 Didsbury Lancashire, England Death: Oct. 15, 1682 Middletown Newport County Rhode Island, USA

Obadiah was educated at Oxford University. Upon arriving in America he was admitted to membership in The Church of England in Salem, MA. On Mar 24, 1639, he established a glass foundry, the first in America to make window glass. However, he became a victim of religious persecution, was excommunicated from the church at Salem, and in 1646 moved his famiy from Salem to Rehoboth, MA. On Oct 2, 1650 Obadiah Holmes and others of Rehoboth, were indicted by the Grand Jury at New Plymouth for holding meetings in their homes on Sunday. This indictment prompted his move from MA to Newport, RI. There he became a colleague of Roger Williams, and the 2nd minister of the first Baptist Church in America.

He was christened at Didsbury, Co.Lancashire on Mar 18,1609/10, the son of Robert Hulme Jr and Catherine Johnson Hulme.

He married Catherine Hyde on 20 Nov 1630 at Manchester, Co.Lancashire, England.

Children: John Holmes, Jonathan Holmes, Mary Holmes Brown, Lydia Holmes Bowne, Martha Holmes Odlin, Samuel Holmes, Obadiah Holmes Jr, John Holmes, Joseph Holmes, and Hopestill Holmes Taylor.


Family links:

Children:
 Jonathan Holmes (1633 - 1712)*
 Lydia Holmes Bowne (1637 - 1693)*
 Martha Holmes Odlin (1640 - 1711)*
 John Holmes (1654 - 1712)*

Spouse:
 Catherine Hyde Holmes (1608 - 1682)
  • Point here for explanation

Inscription: "In Memory of the Rev. Obadiah Holmes Baptist Minister from Great Britain who died October 15th 1682 in the 76th year of his age"

 

Burial: Holmes Lot Middletown Newport County Rhode Island, USA


Edit Virtual Cemetery info [?]


Maintained by: Kevin Avery Originally Created by: Superkentman Record added: Jun 05, 2007 Find A Grave Memorial# 19730766

-------------------- Member of Special Governor's Council, King Philip's War Representative, RI at Newport and Portsmouth -------------------- Baptized 18 March 1609/10.

1639, December 11- He had two acres granted at Salem, MA.

1644, June 31- He drew Lot #37 in a division of wood land at Rehoboth, MA.

1646- Moved to Rehoboth, MA and became a member of of Rev. Newman's church.

1648, June 7- Propounded for Freeman.

1649- Grand Jury.

1650- He and eight others separated from the church at Rehoboth, MA after having disagreements with the church leaders, and moved to Newport, RI about this time. They were baptized , and Mr. Holmes became Pastor.

1652-until his death in 1682- Pastor of the First Baptist Church at Newport, RI.

1656- Freeman.

1656-58: Commissioner.

1675- He wrote an account of his life addressed to his children. He alludeed to his honored parents as having brought up three sons at the University of Oxford, England.

Siblings: John bapt. 3 May 1607-matriculated at Brasenose College, Oxford, England 18 November 1625, Joan, Samuel buried at Stockport, England 2 November 1613, Samuel who earned a B.A. at Brasenose College, Oxford, England on 17 May 1636, Nathaniel, Robert, Joseph buried at Stockport, England 13 June 1623, and Joseph mentioned in his father's will dated 1640. -------------------- 1639- Immigrated to Salem, MA.

He was an anabaptist of Rehoboth, MA, Plymouth Colony and was forced out of the Rehoboth church by Smuel Newman. Also, he was presented with others at the Plymouth Colony Court, 2 October 1650, for continuing meetings upon the Lord's Day from house to house in Rehoboth, MA contrary to court order. He left Rehoboth and settled in Newport, RI , where he later suceeded John Clarke as pastor of the Newport church.

1651- He visited Lynn, with Dr. Clarke and John Crandall, and for his religious views was unmercifully whipped with 30 lashes at Boston, MA. -------------------- One of the constables suggested to the 3 prisoners that if they were free, then all might go together to the Lynn church for evening services. Clarke replied (humor presumably intended) that if they were free, none of this awkwardness would have happened. Yet, he said, we are at your disposal and if you want us to go to church we will go to church. Off they went, but on the way Clarke informed the constable that if forced to attend "your meeting, we shall declare our dissent from you both by word and gesture." Believing this to be a problem for sacred officers, not civil ones, the constable held his peace. Upon entering the church, where services were already underway, the three visitors took off their hats, "civilly saluted", sat down, and put their hats back on again. This action was more than rude; the replacing of hats was an open declaration of disapproval of whatever was being said or done. The constable quickly snatched three hats from three irreverent heads and afterwards, the three were returned to the tavern where they were "watched over that night as thieves and robbers." In the morning, after a brief appearance before Robert Bridges in Lynn, the itinerant evangelists were sent to Boston for trial.

They were committed to the common jail. The mittimus, or court order for commitment to prison, indicated essentially four complaints against the "strangers". They had offended by (a) conducting a private worship service at the same time as the town's public worship; (b) "offensively disturbing" the public meeting in Lynn; (c) more seriously, "seducing and drawing aside others after their erroneous judgment and practices"; and (d) "neglecting or refusing to give in sufficient security for their appearance" at the next meeting of the county court.

The trial before the General Court began one week later. The trial itself was so swiftly consummated that the accused hardly knew it was done. We were examined in the morning, wrote Clarke, and sentenced in the afternoon - sentenced "without producing either accuser, witness, jury, law of God or man..." It was the assumption of Governor Endicott and his assistants of the guilt of the accused and cut off any defense when Holmes and Clarke tried to speak. The members of the court shot questions at them, or made statements to them, which showed their guilt prejudged. The violence of some of the bystanders, in the presence of the court, and without its rebuke, went so far that Holmes was assaulted, struck, and cursed by Rev. John Wilson. This happened while Holmes was in the custody of an officer, in the presence of the court, and within the protection of the law.

The penalty which the law provided was banishment. But what sort of punishment is it to "banish" persons who already live in another jurisdiction? Obviously, some other manner of rebuke had to be meted out, whether the law made provision for it or not. Clarke, clearly the spokesman and leader of the group, was fined £20; Crandall, as a tag-along and largely silent companion, was fined only £5. But Obadiah Holmes, already under the cloud of excommunication from the church in Rehoboth, received the largest fine of £30. All the fines provided for a hard alternative: to be paid in full or else the culprit was to be "well whipped". Until the fines were paid or satisfaction otherwise received, all three were to remain in jail.

They were not without friends and sympathizers, however. The friends of Clarke and Crandall speedily raised the amounts of their fines and paid them. The fine of Holmes was higher and required a little more time to raise the amount, but his friends were ready to pay it. When he learned what they were proposing to do, he promptly forbade the payment of the fine, making it a matter of his conscience and scruples.

After another week, Clarke was released when friends paid his fine. John Crandall put up bail and went home. So only Holmes remained in prison, adamantly refusing to pay his fine or to let others pay it for him. The court's explicit alternative awaited him - to be "well-whipped". The 5th day of Sep 1651 came and he was taken from the jail, stripped naked down to the waist - he refused to aid by touching even a button of his clothing - tied to the post and publicly whipped.

There were thirty strokes, with a three-cord whip, held by the executioner, not in one hand, but in both hands. The strokes did not follow each other quickly or lightly. They were laid on slowly and with all the strength of the officer wielding the instrument of torture. Throughout, there was not a groan or murmur from the victim. The first sound from his lips were the words to the magistrates, who stood about as witnesses, "You have struck me as with roses."

After his release from jail, Holmes returned to Newport and in 1652 succeeded Dr. John Clarke. He became the second minister of the first Baptist Church in America. The church at Newport was his permanent charge for more than thirty years until his death on October 15, 1682.

Reference to his will is found in a list of seventeen wills (between 1676 and 1695) that were presented to the court in 1700, by parties interested, the law requiring three witnesses, and these wills having but two. He was buried in his own field, where a tomb was erected to his memory (in what is now the town of Middletown). His wife did not long survive him.

-------------------- http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~sam/obadiah.html -------------------- Upon arriving in America he was admitted to membership in The Church of England in Salem, MA. On Mar 24, 1639, he established a glass foundry, the first in America to make window glass. However, he became a victim of religious persecution, was excommunicated from the church at Salem, and in 1646 moved his famiy from Salem to Rehoboth, MA. On Oct 2, 1650 Obadiah Holmes and others of Rehoboth, were indicted by the Grand Jury at New Plymouth for holding meetings in their homes on Sunday. This indictment prompted his move from MA to Newport, RI. There he became a colleague of Roger Williams, and the 2nd minister of the first Baptist Church in Newport,RI, taking the leadership of the church while Pastor John Clarke, M.D. was England.

He was christened at Didsbury, Co.Lancashire on Mar 18,1609/10, the son of Robert Hulme Jr and Catherine Johnson Hulme.

He married Catherine Hyde on 20 Nov 1630 at Manchester, Co.Lancashire, England.

Rhode Island Deputy Governor and Chief Justice John Gardner was a great grandson of Holmes, as was Deputy Governor Elisha Brown, but his best known descendant was United States President Abraham Lincoln, whose connection with Holmes was published by J. T. Holmes in his 1915 genealogy of the family

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obadiah_Holmes -------------------- Descendant President Abraham Lincoln -------------------- SOURCE: The American Family of Rev. Obadiah Holmes by Col. J.T. Holmes and James Taylor

Baptist Minister Attended Oxford in England, but did not graduate Publically flogged for his religious beliefs

Birth: Mar. 18, 1610 Didsbury Lancashire, England Death: Oct. 15, 1682 Middletown Newport County Rhode Island, USA

Upon arriving in America he was admitted to membership in The Church of England in Salem, MA. On Mar 24, 1639, he established a glass foundry, the first in America to make window glass. However, he became a victim of religious persecution, was excommunicated from the church at Salem, and in 1646 moved his famiy from Salem to Rehoboth, MA. On Oct 2, 1650 Obadiah Holmes and others of Rehoboth, were indicted by the Grand Jury at New Plymouth for holding meetings in their homes on Sunday. This indictment prompted his move from MA to Newport, RI. There he became a colleague of Roger Williams, and the 2nd minister of the first Baptist Church in Newport,RI, taking the leadership of the church while Pastor John Clarke, M.D. was England.

He was christened at Didsbury, Co.Lancashire on Mar 18,1609/10, the son of Robert Hulme Jr and Catherine Johnson Hulme.

He married Catherine Hyde on 20 Nov 1630 at the Collegiate Church in Manchester, Lancashire, England.


-------------------- Sailed to Boston Mass in 1638. Settled in Salem and then moved to Plymouth.

view all 57

Rev. Obadiah Holmes, Sr.'s Timeline

1607
March 8, 1607
Manchester, Lancashire, England
1609
March 18, 1609
Age 2
Didsbury, Lancashire, England
March 18, 1609
Age 2
March 18, 1609
Age 2
Didsbury,Manchester,Lancashire,England
March 18, 1609
Age 2
Didsbury, Manchester, Lancashire, Eng.
March 18, 1609
Age 2
Didsbury, Manchester, Lancashire, Eng.
1610
March 18, 1610
Age 3
Didsbury, England
1628
1628
Age 20
Salem, Essex, Massachusetts
1630
November 20, 1630
Age 23
Manchester, Lancashire, England
1633
June 23, 1633
Age 26
Stockport, Manchester, Lancashire, England