Rev. Richard Denton II

Is your surname Denton?

Research the Denton family

Rev. Richard Denton II's Geni Profile

Records for Richard Denton

681,569 Records

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Share

Richard Denton, lll, Reverend

Also Known As: "The Immigrant"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: St. Albans Abbey, St. Albans, Hertordshire, England
Death: Died in West Hempstead, Essex, England
Place of Burial: Yorkshire, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir Richard Denton and Lady Susan Sibella
Husband of Helen Windebank
Father of Richard Denton, IV; Rev Denton II; Sarah Denton Thorne; Timothy Denton; Daniel Denton and 4 others
Brother of John Denton; Alice Denton; Susan Denton; Margaret Denton and abraham denton
Half brother of Jonah Denton

Occupation: Reb, Came to America in 1630, returned to England in 1659. Rev. Richard Denton may be thte person who established the Presbyterian Church in America., @occu00024@, Clergy
Managed by: Jocelynn Elaine Oakes
Last Updated:

About Rev. Richard Denton II

Reverend Richard Denton was born on Saturday, 5 April 1603 at Yorkshire Co., England. He was christened Saturday, 19 April 1603 in Halifax, Yorkshire Co., England, emigrated to America between 1630 and 1635 [7] but returned to England [10], leaving his children behind, and died in Essex, England in 1663. [3, 4, 5]

The first Presbyterian minister in Colonial America, [7] Rev. Denton came from the Parish of Owram, North England on the ship James c. 1633. [1, 5] The general opinion among members of the Denton family is that all of the Dentons in the United States are his descendants. [6]

The famous preacher Cotton Mather wrote of him: "Rev. Denton was a highly religious man with strong Presbyterian beliefs. He was a small man with only one eye, but in the pulpit he could sway a congregation like he was nine feet tall." [2]

His tombstone bears the following inscription in Latin: "Here lies the dust of Richard Denton. O'er his low peaceful grave bends the perennial cypress, fit emblem of his unfading fame. On earth his bright example, religious light, shown forth o'er multitudes. In heaven his pure rob'd spirit shines like an effulgent star." [4]

Parents: Father: Richard DENTON b: ABT 1556 in Worley, Hertshire, England and Mother: Susan Sibilla b: ABT 1562 in St. Albans Abbey, St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England.

Marriage 1: Helen WINDEBANK b: 1 FEB 1596/97 in Hurst, Herlot, Berkshire, England on: 16 OCT 1611 (conflict data: 1621) in Marden Parish, Wiltshire, England. Died in England. ?

Children:

  1. John DENTON b: 1618 in Yorkshire, England
  2. Sarah DENTON b: 1623 in Wiltshire, England
  3. Daniel DENTON b: 10 JUL 1626 in Coley Chap, Halifax, Yorkshire, England
  4. Timothy DENTON b: 23 JUL 1627 in christening in Parish Church of Bolton, England
  5. Nathaniel DENTON b: MAR 1627/28 in Turton, Bolton Priory, Lancaster, England c: 9 MAR 1628/29 in Parrish Church of Bolton, England
  6. Richard DENTON b: 1620 in Halifax, West Riding, Yorkshire, England
  7. Samuel DENTON
  8. Phebe DENTON b: 29 SEP 1634 in Stringston, Somersetshire, England
  9. John DENTON b: 1636 in Hempstead, Long Island, Queens, Nassau County, New York

Weblinks:

Biographical Summary:

A graduate of Cambridge in 1623, and acknowledged by many as the founder of Presbyterianism in America, Rev. Richard Denton came to New England in 1635. [7] Before coming he was a preacher in Halifax England. [8]


In his book, "The History of the Clergy in Middle Colonies" author Weiss makes reference to the religious conflict of early Connecticut which resulted in Rev. Richard Denton moving on to Hempstead, Long Island, New York in 1644. He settled there in the midst of a large Dutch colony. However, there were also many English settlers living in the area without benefit of religious guidance. With these scattered members for a church, Rev. Denton established the first Presbyterian Church in America. This church was so successful that soon the Dutch neighbors began attending services there. [9]

History shows some controversery developed when Rev. Denton began to baptize some of the younger children of the Dutch who did not agree with all the Presbyterian beliefs.

From "Narratives of New Netherland, 1609-1664" a letter to the Classis of Amsterdam from Johannes Megapolensis and Samuel Drisius dated August 5, 1657: 'At Hempstead, about seven leagues from here, there live some independents. There are also many of our own church, and some Presbyterians. They have a Presbyterian preacher, Richard Denton, a pious, godly and learned man, who is in agreement with our church in everything. The Independents of the place listen attentively to his sermons: but when he began to baptize the children of parents who are not members of the church, they rushed out of the church."

The history of Hempstead, Long Island makes many references to the Dentons and their marriages and big families. The men were active in the local militias fighting the Indians and they developed excellent military experience that prepared them for officer commissions when they moved on to the Virginia frontier.

From "Narratives of New Netherland, 1609-1664" a letter to the Classis of Amsterdam from Johannes Megapolensis and Samuel Drisius dated August 5, 1657: "At Hempstead, about seven leagues from here, there live some Independents. There are also many of our own church, and some Presbyterians. They have a Presbyterian preacher, Richard Denton, a pious, godly and learned man, who is in agreement with our church in everything. The Independents of the place listen attentively to his sermons; but when he began to baptize the children of parents who are not members of the church, they rushed out of the church."

Genealogy Notes Rev Denton:

The records on Rev. Richard Denton are very sketchy, and the authorities and genealogists do not always agree. However, George D.A. Combes, using notes prepared over a period of years by Wm. A.D. Eardeley, Esq, seems to have the most authentic version. According to Mr.. Combes, a full copy of the manuscript notes of Wm. A.D. Eardeley is in possession of the Queens Borough Public Library at Jamaica, New York.

Many of the actual dates of birth, marriage or death are not actually ascertainable. When only the year date is given, the reader is to assume that the date is only a suggested probability. If the full date is given, it has been taken from some record believed authentic. If the date is given as before or after a certain year date, such date is fixed by deduction from some authentic document.

The parents and ancestry of Rev. Richard cannot yet be identified with certainty, as there were several of that name located at Warley, in the Parish of Halifax, York, where he was born. It is possible to identify with reasonable certainty the baptism of Rev.. Richard, to identify his father, one of his sisters, and very definitely to identify the baptismal dates of five of his children.

Venn gave Rev. Richard's birth date as 1603; in all probability this was taken from his College records at Cambridge. The only baptism date of a Richard at Halifax in that year was on April 10, 1603, the parent being listed as Richard Denton of Warley. There was also a baptism on Dec. 21, 1600 of Susan, a daughter of this same Richard of Warley.

Venn also states that Rev. Richard received his B.A. from St. Catherine's College (or Catherine Hall), Cambridge University, England in 1622/3, was created a Deacon at Peterborough on March. 9, 1622/3, and made a priest on June 3, 1623. As this information was probably taken from College records, it should be authentic.

(According to information on film #057, Latter Day Saints Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, Rev. Richard was born 1586 at Yorkshire, England, was 61 years old in 1647 at Hempstead, N.Y. (according to Long Island History), and was married in 1623/4.)

Mr.. Combes states that Rev. Richard's marriage does not appear among those of the Dentons at Halifax, nor is it recorded at Bolton, Lancashire where two of his children were baptized. Probably he was married not long before he became minister at Turton, a small place about four miles north of Bolton. This would put the probable date of his marriage as between 1624 and 1626. The baptismal dates for five of his children are known, two at Bolton, Lancashire and three at Coley, Halifax, from 1627 to 1634. It is know that three of his children, Nathaniel, Samuel, and Daniel, came to the U.S., probably with their parents in 1635.

There is no known record of the name of Rev. Richard's wife in this country, though he himself is frequently mentioned, so perhaps he was a widower by the time he came to America.

Although he is referred to as the first minister at Hempstead, N.Y. in a deed at Stamford in 1650, in which he disposed of his property there, he refers to himself as of "Mashpeag" on Long Island. There are two documents at Albany, signed by him, dated from Mashpeag and Middleborough in l650-l. He is said to have preached to the English soldiers at the Fort in New Amsterdam, probably about the time of the Indian troubles in 1643-5.

(According no Thompson's Long Island History, by 1650 the orders to attend church could not be enforced, and his wages had not been paid.)

Rev. Richard was engaged to act as minister at Hempstead in 1658, from a contract on the Town records.

The history of Hempstead, Long Island makes many references to the Dentons and their marriages and big families. The men were active in the local militias fighting the Indians and they developed excellent military experience that prepared them for officer commissions when they moved on to the Virginia frontier.

Footnotes:

[1] No ship record has been discovered. Conflict info: He was found on a passenger list in 1630 on the 'James.' / He emigrated from an unknown place 1630. with Governor Winthrop in the ship called 'Arabella'.

[2] A comment on Rev. Richard is found in Cotton Mather's "Magnalia Christi" vol. 1, p. 398 ".... Among these clouds was our pious and learned Mr. Richard Denton of Yorkshire, who, having watered Halifax in England with his fruitful ministry, was then by a tempest tossed into New England, where first at Weathersfield and then at Stamford, his doctrine dropped as the rain, his speech distilled as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass. Though he were a little man, yet he had a great soul; his well-accomplished mind, in his lesser body, was as an Iliad in a nutshell. I think he was blind of an eye, yet he was not the least among the seers of Israel; he saw a very considerable portion or those things which eye hath not seen. He was far from cloudy in his conceptions and principles of divinity.

[3] From another letter dated Oct 22, 1657 the same writers continue: "Mr. Richard Denton, who is sound in faith, of a friendly disposition, and beloved by all, cannot be induced by us to remain, although we have earnestly tried to do this in various ways. He first went to Virginia to seek a situation, complaining of lack of salary, and that he was getting in debt, but he has returned thence. He is now fully resolved to go to old England, because of his wife who is sickly will not go without him, and there is a need of their going there on account of a legacy of four hundred pounds sterling lately left by a deceased friend, and which they cannot obtain except by their personal presence."

[4] About 1659, he is said to have returned to England, taking a church in Essex, at which place he died in 1662/3. Most authorities agree with this date and place. Thompson on says "On the tomb erected to his memory in that place is a Latin inscription... Venn's Cambridge Alumni also agrees, saying he died in 1662 at Hempstead, Essex. Yet, inquiry at that place shows no such tomb there, and it appears that Rev. Richard was not a rector or curate there in 1660 to 1663. However, Hempstead, Essex was strongly Puritan. In the hope that Rev. Richard had left a Will in England, a search was made for the period between 1660 and 1680. It was thought that perhaps the reason for Daniel Denton's trip to England in 1670 was to settle his father's estate, but the records apparently do not show it. It seems strange that historians have been so mistaken about the burial place of Rev. Richard Denton, but there is no stone memorial to him at Hempstead, Essex, England.

[5] From New England Genealogical Reg. 11/241: Rev. Richard Denton came to American from the Parish of Owram, North England on the ship "James." He lived in Wethersfield and Stamford, Connecticut. The J.S. Denton papers show baptismal records of Nathaniel and Timothy sons of Rev. Richard Denton "in Parish Church of Bolton, England." Rev. Richard worked first with the famous preacher, Cotton Mather.

[6] From an unnamed history of the Denton family: The general opinion among members of the Denton family is that all fo the Dentons in the United States are descendants of Rev. Richard Denton. Our research seems to substantiate this, for we have found only two instances where other Dentons lived in America and neithers of these left heirs named Denton. From New England Genealogical Register 11/241: Reverend Richard Denton came to America from the Parish of Owram, North England on the ship "James". (Note: Some say his ship was the "Arabella")

[7] In 1630 the first Presbyterian minister reaches America: the Rev. Richard Denton settles in Wethersfield, Conn. More than You probably want to know about the Presbyterian Church in the USA

[8] The Cambridge University listing for Richard Denton says: "Sizar of St. Catherine's Easter, 1621, b. 1603 in Yorks, B.A. 1622-3, priest 8 June 1623. Deacon at Peterborough 9 March 1622-3. Curate of Coleys Chapel, Halifax, for some years." ("Sizar" is defined as an undergraduate student.)

[9] The plantation of Wethersfield, of which Mr. Denton was the leader, as well as the minister of the Church, was prosperous, and its numbers greatly increased. But, in 1641, another conflict for democratic rule caused some twenty-five families, led by Mr. Denton, to make another move. This brought them to Stamford, within the boundaries of the Colony of New Haven. Of the twenty-five families who came with Denton to Stamford, the names of eighteen are found later in the Hempstead list of 1647.

Again at Stamford, Mr. Denton's uncompromising democracy, or Presbyterianism, came in conflict with the New Haven rules that none but church members should vote in town meetings.' In 1643, representatives were sent out to investigate the land and the conditions across the Sound, on Nassau Island, as it was then known, within the jurisdiction of the more liberal Dutch government. This resulted in their obtaining in the following year, from Governor Kieft, the patent for the town of Hempstead.

The settlers promptly formed a central community, which was called the "Town Spot," and which developed into what is now the village of Hempstead. There they constructed a "Fort," and the meeting house was built within it. As was the custom in New England, this meeting house was built upon the town's "common land," at the public expense, and as authorized by vote in the town meeting. It was used not merely as a place of worship on Sundays, but was also the place for holding town meetings, and for conducting the business of the magistrates. The minister was chosen by the town vote, and his salary was fixed and raised by a rate assessed upon all the inhabitants. It was, doubtless, in this little first meeting house that the first legislative Assembly of the Province of New York was held in 1665, called together by Col. Nickol, after Charles II had granted this territory to his brother, the Duke of York. This Assembly was composed of delegates from New York, from Westchester and the towns of Long Island. The celebrated code, known as the "Duke's Laws," was enacted here.

During the sixty years which constituted the first period of the history of Hempstead's Church, there were three ministers duly chosen and resident in the town. The first of these, the Rev. Richard Denton, who brought the people here, and exercised a large influence in the formative years of the settlement, remained with them until 1658, when he resigned. The last mention of Mr. Denton's name upon the Town books is on March 4, 1658, when a rate was made for the payment of his salary, at the rate of f174os. per quarter. Shortly afterwards he returned to England where he died in the year 1662. History of Christ's First Presbyterian Church of Hempstead, Long Island, New York

[10] As no mention is made of his wife in his Connecticut years it is not clear when she died or where.

Sources:

Whitley, Edythe J. R. Some of the Descendants of Rev. Richard Denton. McMinnville, Tenn: Womack Print. Co, 1959. Print.find in a library

Notes on sourcing:

original "overview" data came from from http://www.acun.com/dentons/revedento.htm - 22 Nov 98- Denton web site, which verifies and adds to information on Richard Denton already gathered from numerous sources over the past 20 years.

-------------------- http://books.google.com/books?id=064ybBytdDcC&pg=PA147&dq=denton+genealogy&hl=en&ei=kHr8S5SrEoK8lQeatNnvDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=denton%20genealogy&f=false

http://dentonofhempstead.blogspot.com/ -------------------- Jonah DENTON was born in 1677 in Hempstead, Nassau Co., NY. If interested in more generations, contact CalOwen@@mediaone.net and I'll send you what you want Parents: Samuel DENTON and Mary Rock SMITH.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jonas DENTON was born in 1658 in Hempstead, Nassau Co., NY. He died in 1717 in Frederick, Shenandoah Co., VA. Jonas, his family and cousin Jonathan Seaman moved west along an oldtrail fromNew York through Carlisle, PA, crossing the Potomac Rivernear where Peter Stephens ran a ferry. Later Robert Harper established Harper's Ferry there. From this point, the Dentons skirtedover to Winchester. Jonas bought 3,100 acres fromJoist Hite on March26, 1735. The other Dentons probably made their settlement official bypurchasing land from the Hites. The new home was near the Great Roadfrom the Carolinas to Philadelphia (now U.S. Highway 11), cut out bythe Indiansyears before.

If interested in more generations, contact CalOwen@@mediaone.net and I'll send you what you want Parents: Samuel DENTON and Mary Rock SMITH.

Spouse: Jane SEAMAN. Jane SEAMAN and Jonas DENTON were married in 1695 in Hempstead, Nassau Co., NY. Children were: Robert DENTON.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Joseph DENTON was born in 1771 in ,Hardy,Virginia. He died in 1840 in ,Sullivan or Martin,Indiana. Parents: Jacob DENTON and Mary CLAYPOOLE.

Spouse: Mary Polly JAMES. Mary Polly JAMES and Joseph DENTON were married in 1794 in ,Jefferson,Tennessee. Children were: Andrew B DENTON.

Spouse: Charity "Catherine" BAILEY.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Margaret DENTON52 was born about 1402. She has Ancestral File Number 9HFV-1F. Parents: .

Spouse: sir Richard COPLEY. Margaret DENTON and sir Richard COPLEY were married about 1419. Children were: Lionel COPLEY.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Margaret DENTON was born on 10 January 1589/90. If interested in more generations, contact CalOwen@@mediaone.net and I'll send you what you want Parents: Richard DENTON Jr. and Susan J SIBELLA.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Margaret DENTON was born about 1607 in Tyne River,Kent,England. She has reference number LT9B-MW.

Spouse: Francis WARDE. Margaret DENTON and Francis WARDE were married on 23 August 1627 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Martha DENTON was born in 1681 in Hempstead, Nassau Co., NY. If interested in more generations, contact CalOwen@@mediaone.net and I'll send you what you want Parents: Samuel DENTON and Mary Rock SMITH.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Martha DENTON was born in 1706.

Spouse: George JULIAN. Martha DENTON and George JULIAN were married in 1726. Children were: George JULIAN.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mary DENTON was born on 12 January 1822 in ,Harrison,Indiana. Parents: David DENTON and Elizabeth GWIN.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mary Smith DENTON was born in 1668 in Hempstead, Nassau Co., NY. If interested in more generations, contact CalOwen@@mediaone.net and I'll send you what you want Parents: Samuel DENTON and Mary Rock SMITH.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mrs. John 1345 DENTON15,16 was born about 1352. She died Deceased.

Spouse: John DENTON. Mrs. John 1345 DENTON and John DENTON were married.16 Children were: Thomas DENTON.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Nathaniel DENTON was born on 9 May 1628 in Turton, Bolton Priory, Lancashire, England. He died on 18 October 1690 in Jamaica, Queens Co., NY. Nathaniel was the first Town Clerk of Jamaica, L.I., NY: "Records ofthe Town of Jamaica, Long Island, vol. I, Page 1. A Town Meeting headof ye Town ye 18th of February 1656. Daniel Denton chosen to write &enter all acts and orders of public concernment of ye Town and is tohave a daie's work a man for ye said employment. It is voted &concluded by ye Town y whosoever shall fell any trees in yue highwaysshall take both top and body out of ye highway. It is further votedand agreed upon by ye Town y whosoever shall kill a wolfe within yeboundary of yeTown shall have feiveteen shillings for every woolf.Likewise it is agreed uponby ye Town that whereas they have theLittle plains by purchase and patent within their limits to maintaintheir rights & privileges in ye said place from any such as shall goeto deprive y off it & soe to make use off it as they shall se cause.These taken out of ye ould towne book by me, Nathaniel Denton, Clerk."Nathaniel applied for land at Elizabethtown, NJ in 1664 but probablydied at Jamaica. Nathaniel was baptized later in life on March 9,1682. If interested in more generations, contact CalOwen@@mediaone.net and I'll send you what you want Parents: Richard DENTON III and Helen "Eleanor" WINDEBANK.

Spouse: Sarah SMITH.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Phebe DENTON was born on 29 September 1634. If interested in more generations, contact CalOwen@@mediaone.net and I'll send you what you want Parents: Richard DENTON III and Helen "Eleanor" WINDEBANK.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Phebe DENTON was born in 1745. Parents: Abraham DENTON and Mary ODELL.

Spouse: William PLUMLEE. Children were: Isaac PLUMLEE.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Phoebe DENTON was born in 1634. If interested in more generations, contact CalOwen@@mediaone.net and I'll send you what you want Parents: Richard DENTON III.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Phoebe DENTON was born in 1679 in Hempstead, Nassau Co., NY. If interested in more generations, contact CalOwen@@mediaone.net and I'll send you what you want Parents: Samuel DENTON and Mary Rock SMITH.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Rebecca DENTON was born in 1827 in ,Harrison,Indiana. She died on 5 September 1883 in ,,Indiana. Parents: David DENTON and Elizabeth GWIN.

Spouse: Barnett STALCUP. Rebecca DENTON and Barnett STALCUP were married on 28 June 1845 in ,Crawford, Indiana.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Rebecca DENTON was born on 17 December 1841. Parents: Allen DENTON and Hannah ANDERSON.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Rebecca DENTON was born about 1849 in Ark..

Spouse: James William OFFIELD. Children were: Harriet Louisa OFFIELD, Henry Lee OFFIELD, Charlie F. OFFIELD, Robert OFFIELD, Edna OFFIELD, James OFFIELD, Ira OFFIELD, Nancy Ann OFFIELD.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Rebecca A DENTON was born in 1822 in ,Orange, Indiana. Parents: Andrew B DENTON and Rebecca OSBORN.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Richard DENTON was born in 1517 in Halifax, Yorkshire, England. He died after 1561 in England. If interested in more generations, contact CalOwen@@mediaone.net and I'll send you what you want

Spouse: Gennett BANYSTER. Gennett BANYSTER and Richard DENTON were married on 10 September 1547 in Halifax, Yorkshire, England. Children were: John DENTON, Janet DENTON, Richard DENTON Jr., Samuelis DENTON.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Richard DENTON Jr. was born in 1557 in Worley, Yorkshire, England. He died on 8 December 1619 in Hertfordshire, England. Name Prefix:<NPFX> Sir Name Suffix:<NSFX> Jr. If interested in more generations, contact CalOwen@@mediaone.net and I'll send you what you want Parents: Richard DENTON and Gennett BANYSTER.

Spouse: Susan J SIBELLA. Susan J SIBELLA and Richard DENTON Jr. were married on 6 July 1581 in Halifax,Yorkshire,England. Children were: John DENTON, Thomas DENTON, Alice DENTON, Susan DENTON, Margaret DENTON, Richard DENTON III.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Richard DENTON III was born on 5 April 1603 in Halifax, Yorkshire, England. [NEED TO DEFINE SENTENCE:Unknown-Begin] [NEED TO DEFINE SENTENCE:Unknown-Begin] He died between 1662 and 1663 in Essex, England. He was in First Presbyterian Minister in US. Richard was in Presbyterian. Name Prefix:<NPFX> Rev. Name Suffix:<NSFX> III In 1623, Richard Denton was graduated from Cambridge University, andsettled in an established Church of England in Halifax, where heremained until 1630. While in Cambridge, Denton becameinterested inthe debate about church policy led by Cartwright. Denton did notleave the Church of England at the outset. However, his seven yearsin Halifax made it clear that he could no longer remain in the ordersof the Church of England. With followers from this church, Coley'sChapel in Halifax, Yorkshire, England, he started for New England inthe Puritan exodus of 1630-1640. They stopped first in Massachusetts,then moved to Weathersfield and Stamford. In 1643, a committee fromRev. Denton's settlement went to Long Island to spy out the land.They met with the Indian chiefs of Marsapeague, Mericock and Rockawayand received from them a conveyance of two-thirds of Great Plains, nowknown as Hempstead Plains. The above document is a 1740 copy of theagreement of November 18, 1643. Robert Fordham and John Carman arementioned in this document, as is MicahSmith. In 1644, Rev. RichardDenton led the migration from Stamford to Hempstead, Long Island, NY.November 13th, 1643. A graduate of Cambridge in 1623, andacknowledged by many as the founder of Presbyterianism in America,Rev. Richard Denton came to New England in 1635. Before coming he wasa preacher in Halifax England. From England, the CambridgeUniversity listing for Richard Denton says:"Sizar of St. Catherine'sEaster, 1621, b. 1603 in Yorks, B.A. 1622-3, priest 8June 1623.Deacon at Peterborough 9 March 1622-3. Curate of Coleys Chapel,Halifax, for some years." ("Sizar" is defined as an undergraduatestudent.) In hisbook, "The History of the Clergy in the Middle Colonies" authorWeiss makes reference to the religious conflict of early Connecticutwhich resulted in Rev. Richard Denton moving on to Hempstead, LongIsland, NY in 1644. He settled there inthe midst of a large Dutchcolony. However, there were also many English settlers living in thearea without benefit of religious guidance. With these scatteredmembers for a beginning, Rev. Denton established the firstPresbyterian Church in America. This church was so successful thatsoon the Dutch neighbors were attending services there. History showssome controversy developed when Rev. Dentonbegan to baptize some ofthe younger children of the Dutch who did not agree with all thePresbyterian beliefs. The history of Hempstead, Long Island makes many references to theDentons and their marriages and big families. The men were active inthe local militias fighting the Indians and they developed excellentmilitary experience that prepared them for officer commissions whenthey moved on to the Virginia frontier. From "Narratives of New Netherland, 1609-1664" a letter to the Classisof Amsterdam from Johannes Megapolensis and Samuel Drisius datedAugust 5, 1657: "At Hempstead, about seven leagues from here, therelive someIndependents. There are also many of our own church, andsome Presbyterians. They have a Presbyterian preacher, Richard Denton,a pious, godly and learned man,who is in agreement with our church ineverything. The Independents of the place listen attentively to hissermons; but when he began to baptize the children of parents who arenot members of the church, they rushed out of the church." Fromanother letter dated Oct. 22, 1659 the same writers continue: "Mr.Richard Denton, who is sound in faith, of a friendly disposition, andbeloved by all, cannotbe induced by us to remain, although we haveearnestly tried to do this in various ways. He first went to Virginiato seek a situation, complaining of lack of salary, and that he wasgetting in debt, but he has returned thence. He is now fully resolvedto go to old England, because of his wife who is sickly will not gowithout him, and there is need of their going there on account of alegacy of four hundred pounds sterling lately left by a decea Parents: Richard DENTON Jr. and Susan J SIBELLA.

Presbyterian Heritage Center at Montreat

The Rev. Richard Denton

(1603 - 1662)
   The Rev. Richard Denton was one of the first Puritan/Presbyterian ministers in the country. He was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1603. He graduated at Cambridge University in early 1623, and was ordained a Deacon at Peterborough, March 9, 1622/3, and a Priest June 8, 1823. By the intolerant spirit of the times which led to the Act of Uniformity, he felt compelled to relinquish his charge, and to emigrate to America. This was before 1638. Mr. Denton first came to Watertown, Massachusetts. Then he moved on to Wethersfield and in 1641 his name appears among the early settlers of Stamford, Conn. In 1644 he is recorded as one of the original proprietors of Hempstead, Long Island. A part of his flock accompanied him from England and also settled with him as their pastor. Thus a Puritan/Presbyterian Church was established in Hempstead, Long Island in 1644. Rev. Denton had some disputes with his congregation about its failure to pay him his due, and was in Middleboro (Newtown) Long Island, 1650-54, and then journeyed to Virginia to find more lucrative employment. By 1657 he had returned to Hempstead and served the church until 1659, when he returned to England, and spent the latter part of his life in Essex, where he died in 1662. He had five children, four sons and one daughter. 
   Before Rev. Denton left Hempstead the church was troubled with sharp contentions among the congregation between Independents and Presbyterians/Puritans. In 1657 Governor Stuyvesant visited Hempstead, and used his influence to persuade Rev. Denton to continue his ministry there, his own Church affinities inclining him to favor the Presbyterian form of government. But the troubles increasing, Rev. Denton left, and the Independents gained control and had a stated supply for a number of years. Then through these continued dissensions, the large increase of Quakerism, and the establishment of Episcopacy under the English rule, the Presbyterian Church gradually declined and passed out of sight as an organized body. The Rev. Mr. Jenney writes, September, 1729: "A few Presbyterians at Hempstead have an unordained preacher to officiate for them, whom they could not support were it not for the assistance which they receive from their brethren in the neighboring parish of Jamaica." 
view all 18

Rev. Richard Denton II's Timeline

1603
April 5, 1603
St. Albans, Hertordshire, England
April 10, 1603
Halifax, Yorkshire, , England
April 18, 1603
Worley, Halifax, Yorkshire, Eng
April 19, 1603
Halifax, Yorkshire, England
April 19, 1603
Halifax, Yorkshire, England
April 19, 1603
Halifax, Yorkshire, England
1620
1620
Age 16
Halifax, Yorkshire, England
1623
1623
Age 19
Dorset, UK
1623
Age 19
ENGLAND
1626
1626
Age 22
UK