William Aspinwall (c.1605 - c.1662) MP

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Birthplace: Manchester, Lancashire, England
Death: Died in United Kingdom
Occupation: Notary and civil officer
Managed by: Andrea Twiss-Brooks
Last Updated:

About William Aspinwall

William Aspinwall (1605 – c. 1662) was an Englishman who emigrated to Boston with the Winthrop Fleet in 1630 and played an integral part in the early religious controversies of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Life

At the time of the Antinomian Controversy Aspinwall took the side of the adherents of Anne Hutchinson and John Wheelwright, aided in drafting their famous petition, and departed with them to Rhode Island (at Portsmouth where he signed the covenant of formation) in 1638, but moved to New Haven in 1641. By 1642 Aspinwall had rehabilitated his relations with the Boston authorities and soon began to acquire employment in many jobs there that involved the recording of official documents. It was declared by the Boston court in 1644 that Aspinwall "shall be a public notary for his jurisdiction," and he continued at this post until 1651 when he returned permanently to England.

As a skilled surveyor, he joined a group of other Boston merchants who embarked on an unsuccessful expedition up the Delaware in search of furs. He was one of Boston's delegates to the Cambridge Synod of 1646.

Relations ran afoul for Apinwall again in Boston, and in 1652 he sold his property and returned to England where he was living in Cheshire as late as April 13, 1662. Upon his return to England he became one of the Fifth Monarchists, a radical religious sect that had a brief existence in the turmoil of the Commonwealth of England.

Works

He was well educated and published politico-theological tracts following his return to England, where he may have attended one of the lesser inns of court in London. Aspinwall compiled the Boston Book of Possessions, listing the property of every freeman of the city.

Aspinwall's notary records were published in 1903 by the Boston Record Commissioners: A Volume Relating to the Early History of Boston Containing the Aspinwall Notarial Records from 1644 to 1651.

Sources

  1. The Aspinwall genealogy. Compiled by Algernon Aikin Aspinwall, Washington, D.C. Published by the author. Published 1901 by The Tuttle Co., Printers in Rutland, Vt .
  2. The Great Migration Begins
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William Aspinwall's Timeline

1605
1605
Manchester, Lancashire, England
1628
1628
Age 23
1630
September 26, 1630
Age 25
1630
Age 25
New England
1630
Age 25
New England
1631
December 25, 1631
Age 26
1632
1632
Age 27
1632
Age 27
1633
September 30, 1633
Age 28
Dorchester, Norfolk, Massachusetts
1638
1638
Age 33