Tobias Saunders (1630 - 1695) MP

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Birthplace: Probably England, (Present UK)
Death: Died in Charlestown, (Present Washington County), Province of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, (Present USA)
Managed by: Kira Rachele Jay
Last Updated:

About Tobias Saunders

Tobias Saunders came to America from England. Before coming to America he was a soldier, one of the King's Life Guards. Charles H. Green says that he was a captain in Oliver Cromwell's army. He and three brothers came to America, date unknown. In 1643 he was living in Taunton, MA, and at Newport, RI in 1655. He was one of the purchasers and one of the first settlers of Westerly in 1661. He held a quarter of a share in the division of the land, in September.

In Nov 1661 he was arrested with Robert Burdick and Joseph Clark and carried to Boston, examined, tried, fined and imprisoned until they should pay the fine and find sureties of the peace.

He joined the Newport Seventh Day Baptist church and the members living at Westerly frequently held meetings at his house before the meetinghouse was built. 17 Sep 1679 he took the oath of allegiance. He was Justice of the Peace and sometimes performed marriage ceremonies. His wife was Mary. She was born in 1643 and was also a member of the Newport church.

Tobias and John Crandall were appointed "conservators of his Majesty's peace" immediately after the incorporation of Westerly. Tobias was a member of the Town Council, and affixed his name or mark to town documents of the town of Westerly.

His will was written 9 Aug 1688 and he died in 1695. The inventory amounted to F147 12s. Tobias lived just over the range of hills to the south of the old Westerly meeting house. He is supposed to have been buried in the Clarke burying ground near the old Westerly meetinghouse. -------------------- SOURCE 1

History

ancestor Rev Lawrence Saunders not a sabbath keeper. Christian martyr burned to death outside the city of Coventry, England Sabbath Day, 9 Feb, 1555

Tobias soldier of the King in Old England, one of King's Life Guard. He was a freeman in Newport 1655. Arrested for buying land from Indians in Westerly, RI, imprisoned. Compromise reached over disputed territory in Westerly, RI.

Tobias was deputy to Gen Assembly of RI from Westerly many terms and was active in Newport church. States strong man of his day who stood steadfast, endured persecution and imprisonment not only because of the land disputes but also on acct of their religious freedom guaranteed to the residents of RI, but not couch safe to the CT settlers where the Puritan church was to all intents the state religion.


From THE FIRST 100 YEARS-PAWCATUCK 7TH DAY BAPTIST CHURCH, Utter Co, 1940 pp 284-85.

SOURCE 2

Geneaology and History

Spouses/Children:

1. Peckham, Mary Clarke-[24317]

2. Peckham, Mary Clarke-[24317]

   * Saunders, Elizabeth C-[23584]+
   * Saunders, John-[25395]+
   * Saunders, Edward-[24756]
   * Saunders, Mercy-[24847]
   * Saunders, Benjamin-[24771]
   * Saunders, Sarah-[24785]
   * Saunders, Susannah-[24828]
   * Saunders, Stephen-[35392]+ 

Saunders, Tobias-[24710] 1061

   * Born: 1622, Amersham, England
   * Marriage: (1): Peckham, Mary Clarke-[24317] in 1661
   * Marriage: (2): Peckham, Mary Clarke-[24317] in 1661 in Newport, Newport, RI
   * Died: 2 Sep 1695, Westerly, Washington, RI at age 73
   * Buried: Clarke Burying Ground, Westerly Meetinghouse 
 General Notes:

AFN: 8NR5-0P

1. TOBIAS1 SAUNDERS1 was born Abt. 1622 in England2,3,4, 5 , and died August 1695 in Westerly, Washington, RI. He ma rr ied MARY PECKHAM Abt. 1661 in Westerly, Washington, RI.

Notes for MARY PECKHAM:

See article by Louise Prosser BATES in NEHGR Vol. 63, p 1 9 8 regarding

the wife of Tobias SAUNDERS. Mrs. Bates in this article sh o ws by a

series of probate records that Mary, wife of Tobias Saunde r s, was a

niece of Rev. John Clarke, and that James Peckham of Litt l e Compton,

R.I. was uncle to her children. She, therefore, must hav e b een a

sister of James Peckham, and her other must have been a si s ter of the

Rev. John Clarke.

Children of TOBIAS SAUNDERS and MARY PECKHAM are:

2. i. ELIZABETH2 SAUNDERS, b. 1662, Westerly, Washingto n , RI; d. March 03, 1730/31.

3. ii. JOHN SAUNDERS, b. Abt. 1669, Westerly, Washingto n , RI; d. 1746, Stonington, CT.

4. iii. EDWARD SAUNDERS, b. Abt. 1672, Westerly, Washing t on, RI; d. Abt. January 1731/32, Westerly, Washington, RI.

5. iv. MERCY SAUNDERS, b. Abt. 1677, Westerly, Washingto n , RI; d. Westerly, Washington, RI.

6. v. BENJAMIN SAUNDERS, b. Abt. 1682, Westerly, Washing t on, RI; d. 1733, Westerly, Washington, RI.

vi. SARAH SAUNDERS, b. Abt. 1684, Westerly, Washington , R I; m. (1) ISRAEL LEWIS; m. (2) ISRAEL LEWIS.

7. vii. SUSANNA SAUNDERS, b. 1688, Westerly, Washingto n , RI; d. 1733, Westerly, Washington, RI.

8. viii. STEPHEN SAUNDERS, b. Abt. 1690, Westerly, Washi n gton, RI; d. November 1746, Westerly, Washington, RI.

Tobias Saunders came to America from England. Before comi n g to America he was a soldier, one of the King's Life Gua rd s. Charles H. Green says that he was a captain in Olive r Cr omwell's army. He and three brothers came to America , dat e unknown. In 1643 he was living in Taunton, MA, an d at New port, RI in 1655. He was one of the purchasers an d one of t he first settlers of Westerly in 1661. He hel d a quarter o f a share in the division of the land, in Sep tember.

In Nov 1661 he was arrested with Robert Burdick and Jo s eph Clark and carried to Boston, examined, tried, fined a n d imprisoned until they should pay the fine and find sure ti es of the peace.

He joined the Newport Seventh Day Baptist church and t h e members living at Westerly frequently held meetings a t hi s house before the meetinghouse was built. 17 Sep 167 9 he t ook the oath of allegiance. He was Justice f=of th e Peace a nd sometimes performed marriage ceremonies. His w ife was Ma ry. She was born in 1643 and was also a member o f the Newpo rt church.

Tobias and John Crandall were appointed "conservator s o f his Majesty's peace" immediately after the incorporat io n of Westerly. Tobias was a member of the Town Council , an d affixed his name or mark to town documents of the to wn o f Westerly.

His will was written 9 Aug 1688 and he died in 1695. T h e inventory amounted to F147 12s. Tobias lived just ove r th e range of hills to the south of the old Westerly meet ingho ue. He is supposed to have been buried in the Clark e buryin g ground near the old Westerly meetinghouse.

 Noted events in his life were:

1. Ancestry LDS: AFN: 8NR5-0P

Tobias married Mary Clarke Peckham-[24317] [MRIN:2349], daughter of John Peckham-[23607] and Mary Clarke-[15962], in 1661. (Mary Clarke Peckham-[24317] was born in 1643 in Newport, Newport, RI and died in 1695 in Westerly, Washington, RI.)

 Marriage Notes:

Reference Number:6561

Tobias next married Mary Clarke Peckham-[24317] [MRIN:2350], daughter of John Peckham-[23607] and Mary Clarke-[15962], in 1661 in Newport, Newport, RI. (Mary Clarke Peckham-[24317] was born in 1643 in Newport, Newport, RI and died in 1695 in Westerly, Washington, RI.)

SOURCE 3

English Origins of Tobias Saunders of Westerly, Washington Co., Rhode Island

1940 Vol. 29, No. 4, pp 583-588

CONNECTICUT NUTMEGGER: Vol. 29, No. 4, pp 583-588. Paul A. Saunders, 'The English Origins of Tobias Saunders of Westerly, Washington Co., Rhode Island'. The following information concerning Tobias Saunders is from 'The First Hundred Years -- Pawcatuck Seventh-day Baptist Church'; Utter Co.; Westerly, R.I.; 1940; pp 284-85. 'Tobias Saunders first appears in the records of Taunton, Mass., in 1643 and is thought to have died in 1695, as his will was proved on the second of September in that year. Although he was a member of the first Seventh-day Baptist Church in America at Newport, his ancestor, Rev. Lawrence Saunders, was not known to have been a Sabbath-keeper. He was one of the Christian martyrs burned to death outside the city of Coventry, England, on Sabbath Day, February 9, 1555. Tobias Saunders was a soldier of the King in old England and at one time was one of the King's Life Guard. He was made a freeman in Newport in 1655 and on September 9, 1661, received a quarter of a share in the division of the land at Misquamicut, as Westerly was then called. Almost immediately he was in the midst of trouble as he, his father-in-law [NOTE: see notes for his wife, Mary Peckham, not Clarke], Joseph Clarke, and Robert Burdick laid claim to Southertown (Southertown included the later limits of the town of Stonington [CT] and much of Westerly) which both Connecticut and Massachusetts claimed as theirs. All three were arrested November 1, 1661, by William Palmer, constable, but Joseph Clarke was freed later. Saunders and Burdick were both placed on trial before Governor Endicott and associates November 14, 1661, in Boston. Their defense was that they had bought the land from the Indians by the authority of the Court of Rhode Island. Bonds were set at one hundred pounds each and in the absence of surety, they were committed to prison for trial in May 1662. At that time they were fined forty pounds each and Rhode Island was notified to send in the fines, but they were kept in jail two years. Later Connecticut was given a new charter giving Southertown to her and Massachusetts retired from the contest. Still later a compromise was reached in England whereby Connecticut relinquished her claim to the disputed territory in Westerly to Rhode Island. Tobias Saunders, Robert Burdick, Joseph Clarke, and John Crandall were a few of the strong men of their day who stood steadfast, endured persecution and imprisonment not only because of the land disputes but also on account of the religious freedom guaranteed to the residents of Rhode Island, but not vouchsafed to the Connecticut settlers where the Puritan church was to all intents the State religion. Tobias Saunders was a deputy to the General Assembly of Rhode Island from Westerly many terms and was active in the Westerly congregation of the Newport church ...' Lyle S. Saunders: Saunders genealogy; typescript @ Westerly Public Library. Charles Denison: 'Westerly Settlers -- No. 7'; typescript @ Westerly Public Library. NOTE: Three of his daughters died of small pox as adults. Member of the Sabbatarian Church, Newport, RI, From 1671 to 1836 Lived in Newport and Westerly, Washington Co., Rhode Island Savage Gen Dict - Tobias, Taunton 1643, removed to Newport there was one of freemen in 1655, and of Stonington 1669, yet on the RI side of the river now Westerly and had to sustain many years the claim against CT usurpation. His wife Mary is the daughter of the first Joseph Clark of Newport. NEGHR vol 14 p24 Tobias with Robert Burdick arrested by MA authorities for trespassing upon their jurisdiction in Boston until fine of 40 pounds was paid. vol 15 p64 Children: John, Edward, Stephen, Benjamin,Susanna, Elizabeth, Mercy. Will 9 Aug 1688. He was moderator of town meeting 4 Jul 1695 but at 23 Aug Meeting referred to as deceased. 'Founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony' by Sarah Saunders Smith, an early member of DAR. Published in Pittsfield, Mass. in 1897. 1638. Also came Tobias Sanders, one of the King's life guards, and brother of Christopher. He came to Boston, but 1643 settled at Newport, Rhode Island.

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Tobias Saunders's Timeline

1630
February 6, 1630
Probably England, (Present UK)
1661
1661
Age 30
Newport, (Present Newport County), Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, (Present USA)
1661
Age 30
Westerly, Washington, RI, USA
1662
1662
Age 31
Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island, USA
1663
1663
Age 32
Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island
1669
1669
Age 38
Westerly, Washington, RI
1669
Age 38
Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island, USA
1671
1671
Age 40
Westerly, Washington, RI
1672
1672
Age 41
Westerly, Kings County (Present Washington County), Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, (Present USA)
1674
December 19, 1674
Age 44