Timothy Ruggles (1685 - 1768) MP

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Birthplace: Roxbury (within present Boston), Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
Death: Died in Rochester, Plymouth County, Province of Massachusetts, (Present USA)
Occupation: Minister, Reverend
Managed by: Charles Edward Glendinning
Last Updated:

About Timothy Ruggles

TIMOTHY RUGGLES (son of Samuel Ruggles, Jr. and Martha Woodbridge) was born November 3, 1685 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass., and died October 26, 1768 in Rochester, Plymouth, Mass. He married Mary White on December 27, 1710 in Rochester, Plymouth, Mass.

HE graduated from Harvard College 1710 and was ordained pastor of the church in Rochester 22 November 1710.

He held a high rank in the ministry, and was preeminently a man of business. He was a apparently more active and efficient than any other individual in promoting the settlement of Hardwick, Massachusetts.

Through his influence and exertions, six sons and a daughter of his own family, five sons and a daughter of his sister Patience, wife of James Robinson (also their father and mother, late in life), and many members of his parish, were among the early settlers of Hardwick. On behalf of the proprietors he personally visited the town several times, both arranging the financial affairs of the people and ministering to their spiritual wants. He died in office as the sole pastor of the church 26 October 1768, aged nearly 83. In the epitaph on his head-stone he is described as "an Able Divine, and a Faithful Minister. Having a peculiar talent at composing Differences and healing Divisions in Churches, he was much improved in Ecclesiastical Councils." (Paige, p. 481)

(Samuel Ruggles') son, the Rev. Timothy Ruggles, was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, November 3, 1685, and married Mary White, the daughter of Benjamin and Susanna White. He graduated from Harvard College in 1707, and was ordained pastor of the Rochester church in 1710, which office he held until his death which occurred October 26, 1768. He was a great worker in the community and much beloved. (The Loyalists of Massachusetts, p. 225)

1. Graduation, 1707, Massachusetts. Harvard College

2. Ordination, 22 Nov 1710, Rochester, Plymouth, MA.

TIMOTHY RUGGLES married Mary White, daughter of Benjamin White and Susanna, December 27, 1710, Rochester, Plymouth, Mass.

Children of Timothy Ruggles and Mary White are:

Timothy Ruggles, b. October 20, 1711, Rochester, Plymouth, Mass, d. August 4, 1795, Roseway, Wilmot,Annapolis, Nova Scotia, Canada.

On March 30th, the second minister of Rochester First Congregational Church, Rev. Timothy Ruggles (1685-1768) came to visit along with two of his deacons, John Freeman and Roger Haskell, and another parishioner, Noah Sprague.

Rev. Ruggles led the church from 1710 until his death in 1768. A second meetinghouse was built in 1717. It was located where the Memorial Rock stands on the little triangle near the Plumb Library.

Each Sunday morning people came from all parts of Old Rochester, which included Marion, Mattapoisett, and part of Wareham at that time. They came on foot and horses with saddles and pillions behind for the ladies. The horses were tied during the service to the pine trees that surrounded the meetinghouse. After working all week from sunrise to sunset, they came to meeting dressed in their humble homemade clothes,

Some came because they must or they would be reprimanded. Most came because they liked meeting friends and neighbors. The men swapped stories about crops and cattle, while the women talked of spinning, weaving, children, and new patterns for their quilts.

Over 300 people joined the church during Rev. Ruggles pastorate. The meetinghouse became greatly overcrowded, but the formation of a second precinct church in Mattapoisett in 1736 helped alleviate the situation. Then, in 1739, thirty-three members and their families left to form a new church at Wareham.

Meanwhile the town was growing thus church attendance continued too grow as "The Great Awakening", a religious revival swept the country in 1740 to 1742.

Deacon Roger Haskell and Deacon John Freeman watched over the moral character of the members and kept a vigilant eye on ‘Sabbath-breakers". It was also their responsibility to keep order at meetings and keep parishioners from nodding off during the long sermons. At other times the deacons were sent out to members’ homes to inquire why they were not attending public worship on Sunday. It seems the deacons’ duties also included prying into member family’s affairs to find out what their living expenses were to ensure a proper contribution went to the church.

According to Deacon Freeman, it was his duty to "set the psalm" at meeting. The was no music in church at that time. The Old Bay Psalm Book was used, but few people had books so the psalm was "lined out" as it was called. The congregation would follow the deacon and sing the psalms one line at a time.

A controversy arose between Rev. Ruggles and Noah Sprague in 1739. It seems that Mr. Sprague had taken salt hay from a stack owned by Rev. Ruggles and Deacon Samuel Winslow. Although he admitted to taking the hay and giving it to his cattle, Mr. Sprague would never make the confession of sin demanded by the church body and they suspended him. He asked for a council of pastors to settle the matter, but no final decision was given and eventually the case was buried and Mr. Sprague was restored to the "charity and communion" of the church. Sprague was left with a great resentment over what had transpired.

He felt that this and other actions of Rev. Ruggles were in many cases extreme and unnecessary and presented a paper of grievances against the pastor and other members. Reconciliation had become impossible, so Mr. Sprague and his supporters eventually left the center church and formed a full parish in North Rochester in 1753.

The First Parish decided to build a new meetinghouse higher up on the common in 1760. This was owned by the parish, not by the town as the previous buildings had been.

Before Rev. Timothy Ruggles died in 1768, Rev. Jonathan Moore came to assist him at this meetinghouse. Rev. Moore then became the next pastor.

Laurel Logan:

from http://www.members.tripod.com/animegrabs/famtree/fam00100.htm

Timothy Ruggles

Born: 3-Nov-1685

Died: 26-Oct-1768

Spouse: Mary White

Children: Nathaniel Ruggles

Degree: 1707 A.B., Harvard College

Graduated from Harvard College 1710 and was ordained pastor of the church in Rochester 22 November 1710. Timothy the father held a high rank in the ministry, and was preeminently a man of business. He was a apparently more active and efficient than any other individual in promoting the settlement of Hardwick. Through his influence and exertions, six sons and a daughter of his own family, five sons and a daughter of his sister Patience, wife of James Robinson (also their father and mother, late in life), and many members of his parish, were among the early settlers. On behalf of the proprietors he personally visited the town several times, both arranging the financial affairs of the people and ministering to their spiritual wants. He died in office as the sole pastor of the church 26 October 1768, aged nearly 83. In the epitaph on his head-stone he is described as "an Able Divine, and a Faithful Minister. Having a peculiar talent at composing Differences and healing Divisions in Churches, he was much improved in Ecclesiastical Councils." (Paige, p. 481)

(Samuel Ruggles') son, the Rev. Timothy Ruggles, was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, November 3, 1685, and married Mary White, the daughter of Benjamin and Susanna White. He graduated from Harvard College in 1707, and was ordained pastor of the Rochester church in 1710, which office he held until his death which occurred October 26, 1768. He was a great worker in the community and much beloved. (The Loyalists of Massachusetts, p. 225)

--Laurel Logan

Laurel Logan:

from http://freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~dav4is/people/RUGG2087.htm

RUGGLES, Timothy, jurist, was born in Rochester, Mass., Oct. 20, 1711; son of the Rev. Timothy and Mary (White) Ruggles; grandson of Capt. Samuel Ruggles of Roxbury and Martha Woodbridge, his wife, who was a granddaughter of Governor Thomas Dudley.

He was graduated from Harvard in 1732; studied law, and established himself in practice in Rochester. In 1735 he married Mrs. Bathsheba Newcomb, widow of William Newcomb and the daughter of the Hon. Melatiah Bourne of Sandwich. He removed to Sandwich, Mass., in 1740, and there remained, with increasing reputation and a constantly increasing list of clients, till 1753, when he removed to Hardwick. He was an impressive pleader, his eloquence enhanced by his majestic presence. His services were in constant demand in adjoining counties, where his principal antagonist was Col. James Otis, then at the height of his fame. At the time of his settlement in Hardwick he had accumulated a liberal fortune, and entered upon a style of living commensurate with his standing and affluence.

He was appointed judge of the court of common pleas in 1756, and from 1762 to the Revolution he was chief-justice of that court, and served as a special justice of the provincial superior court, 1762–75. He was repeatedly elected a representative in the general court of Massachusetts, and while the armies were in winter quarters was speaker of the house, 1762–63.

He was commissioned colonel in the provincial forces under Sir William Johnson, and was second in command at the battle of Lake George in 1755, where he distinguished himself for courage, coolness and ability. In 1758 he commanded the third division of the provincial troops under Abercrombie in the attack on Ticonderoga. He served as brigadier-general under Amherst in the campaign of 1759–60. In 1763 he was appointed by the Crown "surveyor-general of the King's forests," as a reward in a measure for his military services in the French and Indian war.

He was a delegate to the first colonial (or Stamp Act) congress of 1765, which met in New York, October 7, and was elected its president, but refused to sanction the addresses sent by that body to Great Britain, for which he was publicly censured by the general court of Massachusetts. He was led by a sense of duty "in the halls of legislature and on the platform to declare against rebellion and bloodshed." He was appointed man-damus councillor, Aug. 16, 1774, and in 1775 left Boston for Nova Scotia with the British troops and accompanied Lord Howe to Staten Island. His estates were confiscated, and in 1779 he received a grant of 10,000 acres of land in Wilmot, Nova Scotia, where he engaged in agriculture. [A] daughter Mary married Dr. John Green of Green Hill, Worcester, Mass. Judge Ruggles died in Wilmot, Nova Scotia, Aug. 4, 1795. BDNA

His daughter Bathsheba ¤ married Joshua Spooner, ¤ of whom she was convicted of murdering.

--Laurel Logan

view all 19

Rev. Timothy Ruggles's Timeline

1685
November 3, 1685
Roxbury (within present Boston), Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
1707
1707
Age 21
Rochester, Stratford, New Hampshire
1710
December 27, 1710
Age 25
Rochester, Plymouth County, Province of Massachusetts, (Present USA)
1711
October 20, 1711
Age 25
Rochester, Plymouth County, Province of Massachusetts, (Present USA)
1713
May 19, 1713
Age 27
Rochester, Plymouth County, Province of Massachusetts, (Present USA)
1715
July 5, 1715
Age 29
Rochester, Plymouth, Ma
1718
June 23, 1718
Age 32
Rochester, Plymouth, Ma
1719
January 1, 1719
Age 33
Rochester, Massachusetts, United States
1721
January 6, 1721
Age 35
Rochester, Massachusetts, United States
1723
August 30, 1723
Age 37
Rochester, MA