Col. Benjamin Church

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Benjamin Church, Esq.

Also Known As: "Hon. Benjamin Church"
Birthdate: (79)
Birthplace: Plymouth or, Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts
Death: January 17, 1718 (79)
Little Compton, Newport County, Rhode Island
Place of Burial: Old Commons Burial Ground, Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Richard Church, of Hingham and Elizabeth Church
Husband of Alice Church and Alice Church
Father of Capt Thomas Church; Elizabeth Church Little; Thomas Church, Esq.; Benjamin Church; Edward Church and 9 others
Brother of Elizabeth Church, (died young); Elizabeth Hobart; Joseph Church; Richard Church, Jr.; Nathaniel Church, I and 9 others

Occupation: Soldier, frontiersman
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Col. Benjamin Church

Children of Richard Church (ca 1608 - 1668) & Elizabeth Warren:

  • 3. Col. Benjamin Church, b. circa 1640 at Plymouth or Duxbury, MA; m. Alice Southworth.


Benjamin Church was a prominent leader in King Philip's War. Church is the author of "Diary of King Philip's War, 1675-76."

King Philip's War ended when Philip was killed by a Wampanoag soldier in Captain Benjamin Church's force.

Colonel Benjamin Church (c. 1639-January 17, 1718) is considered the father of American ranging.[1] He was the captain of the first Ranger force in America (1676).[2] Church was commissioned by the Governor of the Plymouth Colony Josiah Winslow to form the first ranger company for King Philip's War. He later employed the company to raid Acadia during King Williams War and Queen Anne's War.

Church designed his force primarily to emulate Indian patterns of war. Toward this end, he endeavored to learn to fight like Indians from Indians.[3] Americans became rangers exclusively under the tutelage of the Indian allies. (Until the end of the colonial period, rangers depended on Indians as both allies and teachers.)[4]

Church developed a special full-time unit mixing white colonists selected for frontier skills with friendly Indians to carry out offensive strikes against hostile Indians and French in terrain where normal militia units were ineffective. His memoirs "Entertaining Passages relating to Philip's War" were published in 1716 and are considered the first American military manual.

There is much information concerning Col. Benjamin Church.

Gravesite et al.

Benjamin was the first ‘Englishman’ to settle at Little Compton in 1675. He was a hero in King’s Philip’s War. He was involved early on in the war at Pease Field Fight in Jun 1675, later in the massacre at the Great Swamp in Dec 1675, and he lead the expedition that resulted in King Philip’s capture in Aug 1676. For a popular introduction to King Phililp’s War including Benjamin’s involvement and excerpts from his diary, see King Philip’s War: the history and legacy of America’s forgotten conflict, by Eric B. Schultz and Michael J. Tougias, Countryman Press, Woodstock, VT, 1999.

Benjamin dictated to his son Thomas his story published in 1716 as Entertaining Passages Relating to Philip’s War. Various editions have been published including The History of Philip’s War, Commonly Called the Great Indian War of 1675 and 1676, edited by Samuel Drake in 1829 and reprinted in 1989 by Heritage Book, Bowie, MD. See also the Diary of King Philip’s War, 1675-76, with an introduction by Alan Simpson and Mary Simpson, Lockwood, Tiverton, RI, 1975.

Awesome Grave Marker study:

Benjamin In 1692, under the direction, and money of, Phips he was to assist in the building of Fort William Henry, an English fort on the frontier with Acadia, at Pemaquid.

Read about Phips (Privateer and Bounty Hunter)

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Col. Benjamin Church's Timeline

Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts
March 26, 1665
Age 26
Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island, United States
Age 34
Duxbury, Bristol, Massachusetts
Age 35
Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States
May 12, 1676
Age 37
Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island, USA
Age 38
Little Compton, Newport County, Rhode Island, Colonial America
Age 39
Age 39
Age 41
Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island, USA