About Richard Blinman
From "Memoirs of the Plymouth Colony," by Hon. Francis Baylies:
"Gov. [Edward] Winslow, the founder of Marshfield, often visited England; he induced several Welsh gentlemen of respectability to emigrate to America, amongst whom came the Rev. Richard Blinman, in 164, who was the first pastor of Marshfield. Some dissensions taking place, Mr. Blinman and the Welshmen removed to Cape Anne in less than a year. In 1648 Bliuman went to New London, in Connecticut, of which place he was the pastor ten years. In 1658 he was at New Haven, and soon after returned to England, after having received in 1650 an invitation to settle at Newfoundland. He died at the city of Bristol, England."
From The Rev. Richard's rocky road to fame by Carol Sommer. January 3, 2012
In 1650, New London was Pequot Plantation and the United States wasn't even a glimmer in a Founding Father's eye. New London was primitive and dangerous. It took optimism, courage and a sense of purpose to be here.
The settlers had cleared land, cut roads and built a mill. They'd appointed fence-viewers, highway clearers and a constable, but they needed a minister. When a search committee extended an invitation to Rev. Blinman in Massachusetts, Richard seized the opportunity to leave Cape Ann, a place tainted by violence, vice and charges of witchcraft. Richard's pastorates there had been marred by dissension.
Many of Richard's friends came with him to New London - people who'd followed him from Britain. They settled on "New Street" (later Cape Ann Lane, today's Jefferson Avenue). New London awarded Richard a generous salary and built a meeting house, but this story doesn't end happily because a minister who gets into shouting matches with his parishioners and seems to have self-serving motives is on a troubled course.
When Richard heard that Massachusetts was being petitioned to accept Stonington into their colony, he resigned in a huff, went briefly to New Haven, then returned to Britain.
Before leaving, Richard sold off most of his extensive holdings. He graciously gave a parcel to the Indian educator, William Thomson, telling William the gift was a token of his affection.
When Richard got home I wonder if people said, "We told you so. That New World business was bound to flop."
The membership of the First Congregational Church of New London, United Church of Christ dates back to 1642, when the congregation first settled in Gloucester, Massachusetts. It later moved to this city, with two members and one pastor serving as Governor of Connecticut.
The Blynman Party
the Blynman party came from Wales, mainly from Monmouthshire, and very likely in the year 1640. They first appear at Plymouth and next at Marshfield (then called Green's Harbor), Massachusetts, USA, but remained there only a short time before they removed to Gloucester. The members of Rev. Mr. Blynman's party were largely, it is supposed, members of his church, at Chepstow, Monmouthshire, before his ejection therefrom. They accompanied him over the ocean, kept with him at Marshfield, then at Glouchester, and about 1650 went with him to New London, Connecticut. They were farmers and mechanics who found Gloucester, which was then a little more than a fish station, and unfavorable place for their occupation, hence their removeal to New London. "Govenor Winslow, the founder of Marshfield, often visited England; he induced several Welsh gentlemen of respectability to emighrate to America, amongst whom came the Reverend Richard Blinman, in 1642, who was the first pastor of Marshfield....
- (New London; anti 1/2C)
- 1627 - John THOMPSON's will was probated in 1627 at Canterbury, England. The son, Thomas, mentioned in the will was probably by a former marriage. Children of John and Alice THOMPSON were: Mary THOMPSON m. Rev. Richard BLINMAN of Gloucester, Mass; Dorothy; Bridget THOMPSON, born 11 Sept. 1622, m. 1640 George DENISON; Dorothy THOMPSON m. Thomas PARK of Wethersfield, Conn.; Nathaniel; and Martha. Wildley, Anna Chesebrough, GENEALOGY of the DESCENDANTS of WILLIAM CHESEBROUGH (1903), pp.518-519."
- The Rev. Mr. Blinman, who had been the minister of Gloucester for eight years, was engaged to become the minister of the Pequot Plantation. A party of his friends proposed to move with him, and came on to make preparatory arrangements, Oct. 19, 1650. It appears that James Avery went back to Gloucester, sold his possession there to his father, and in 1651 returned to New London. In March of that year the principal body of these eastern families arrived. Capt. James acquired large tracts of land at what is now Poquonoc Bridge, Groton, east of New London. About 1636 he built the hive of the Avery's at the head of Poquonoc Plain, a mile and a half from the river Thames. In 1684, the old Blinman edifice, first church of New London, the unadorned church and water-tower of the wilderness, which had stood for thirty years, was sold to Capt. Avery for six pounds, with the condition that he should remove it in one month's time. According to tradition, the church was taken down, its materials carried across the river, and added to the house he had already built at Poquonoc. In spite of this analytic and synthetic process, the ancient dwelling seemed to have retained some of its sacred character, for a century later it was occupied until July 21, 1894, when a spark from a passing locomotive ignited its well-seasoned frame, and in a short time only the ancient chimney remained to mark the spot of this historic house of Eastern Connecticut. (from History of Stonington, page 200)
- "Who will say, in view of these diary records of Mr. Miner, that no church existed in New London before October 1st, 1670; and further, Mr. Blinman after he left New London and in contemplation of his return back to England in 1659, sold his house and lot at New London to William Addis, and his farm at Harbor's Mouth to John Tinker. In these deeds the form used is "I, Richard Blinman, late pastor of the Church of Christ at New London." As early as 1654 Mr. Obadiah Bruen, one of the most prominent men of Pequot, and Town Clerk at the time, in a written memorandum speaks of Mr. Blinman as "Pastor of the Church of Christ at Pequot," ... Mr. Blinman was an educated man, and an ordained minister of the Protestant Church of England, a Puritan of the straightest sect, and knew beyond the possibility of a doubt the difference between the minister of a town and the pastor of a Church." (from THE FIRST ORGANIZED CHURCH IN NEW LONDON COUNTY by HON. RICHARD A. WHEELER. Read before the New London County Historical Society, at its Annual Meeting, Nov. 26th, 1877.
- Winthrop Papers, vol.5, Massachusetts Historical Society, (Boston: The Merrymount Press, 1943). Transcribed in Hans Rollman, "Anglicans, Puritans, and Quakers, in Seventeenth-Century Newfoundland", unpublished paper presented to the Atlantic Canada Studies Conference, St. John's, May 1992. Revised by P.E. Pope. http://www.colonyofavalon.ca/index.php?view=article&catid=47%3Ahistorical-docs-1597-1726-&id=179%3A22-august-1659-reverend-richard-blinman&tmpl=component&print=1&page=&option=com_content&Itemid=76
- The Rev. Richard's rocky road to fame
- Calkins Family Association Official Web Page
- Captain William Keeney (b. 1601, d. 1675)
- Rev. Richard Blinman of Marshfield, Gloucester and New London Author: Isaac J Greenwood Publisher: Boston, Printed by D. Clapp & Son, 1900. Notes: "Reprinted from the New-England historical and genealogical register for Jan. 1900."
- History of the Town of Stonington, County of New London, Connecticut: From ...By Richard Anson Wheeler. Page 200, 620.
- Genealogies of Connecticut Families: From the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Volume 1 (Google eBook). Genealogical Publishing Com, 1983 - Connecticut - 2443 pages. Page 176.