William Salisbury (1622 - 1675) MP

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William Salisbury, of Denbigh & Swansea's Geni Profile

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Birthplace: Denbighshire, Wales
Death: Died in Swansea, Bristol, Massachusetts
Cause of death: Killed in King Philip's War
Occupation: Herdsman
Managed by: Judith Ann Owen
Last Updated:

About William Salisbury

William Salisbury, the first of this line who came to America from England in 1648, was born in Wales, doubtless in Denbighshire, son of John Salisbury of Llanrhaidr, Wales, 14th Generation. He disposed on May 12, 1656, that he was 34 years of age, and if this be true he was born in 1622. He was in Dorchester as early as 1648. He was, for a time, herdsman of the town cattle.

He settled in Milton, formally part of Dorchester and he signed an agreement regarding the parsonage land May 18, 1664. He moved to Swansea, Massachusettes as early as 1671, being the first of the name in the town. A list of the men of Swansea, eight soldiers recorded at Plymouth, includes the name of William and John Salisbury. They were the first victims of King Philip's War. Both were buried June 24, 1675. John was doubtless the unmarried son of William.

William married Sussannah, who was admitted to full communion at the Dorchester church, 7 May 1677, and was dismissed to the Milton church 18 September 1681. Another marriage year is listed as 1658 (Robert Grover). Per Cutter: widow Abigail married, June 9, 1676, Williston of Milton. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

King Philip’s War (1675-1676)

An excerpt from "Plymouth Colony, Its History and People, 1620-1691," by Eugene Aubrey Stratton (ISBN-0-916489-13-2)

It actually appears that the first man killed in the war was an Indian. John Easton, deputy governor of Rhode Island, wrote a narrative in which he described events in the Swansea area of 23 June 1675. The Indians were looting various deserted houses when two white men, an old man and a boy, appeared on the scene.

Seeing three Indians run out of the house, the old man told the boy to shoot, which he did. One Indian was hit, but got away. Later, some Indians came to the garrison and asked why they shot the Indian, letting them know that he had died. The boy said it was no matter. Some of the others tried to let the Indians know that they did not feel so callous about the death, but the Indians went away in haste. Easton wrote that the next day, 24 June, Indians returned and killed the boy who had shot the Indian, his father, and five other white men.

A contemporary letter from an unidentified Boston merchant to a friend in London reported something similar, saying that a man at Swansea, his wife, and his son of about twenty were shot by Indians. The wife was defiled by the Indians, who also "skinned her head, as also the son." Richard LeBaron Bowen, in his history of Rehoboth, noted that records showed only one father and son killed, William and John Salisbury, on 24 June.

Thus, Bowen concluded that John Salisbury started the war, prompted by his father, whom Bowen called "a third rank inhabitant of Swansea." However, as is shown by her appearance in later records, Mrs. Salisbury did not die in this fight, which brings into question whether Bowen’s supposition is correct.

Vital records sent to Plymouth by Nicholas Tanner, Swansea town clerk, showed that nine males were buried on 24 June: Gershom Cobb, Joseph Lewis, John Salisbury, John Jones, John Fall, Nehemiah Allen, Robert Jones, William Lohun, and William Salisbury (a tenth, William Hamon, was killed later and buried on 29 June).


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William Salisbury, of Denbigh & Swansea's Timeline

May 12, 1622
Denbighshire, Wales
Age 25
Dorchester, Norfolk, MA
Age 33
Plymouth Colony
August 14, 1659
Age 37
Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts
Age 36
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts
Age 37
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts
Age 38
Milton, Dorchester, Massachusetts, United States
April 27, 1662
Age 39
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts
May 18, 1665
Age 43
Milton, Norfolk, Massachusetts
May 17, 1666
Age 44
Milton, Norfolk, Massachusetts