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Blanche Hull's Geni Profile

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Blanche Hull (Pudley)

Also Known As: "Blanche Hull"
Birthdate: (41)
Birthplace: Devon, England, United Kingdom
Death: Died in Yarmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Wife of Captain Tristam Hull
Mother of Mary Holley; Sarah Allen; Joseph Hull; Capt. John Hull and Hannah Blish

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Blanche Hull

History

A short time after Tritram's death his widow Blanche was married to a Capt. William Hedge, who was old enough to have been her father, and from whom she soon separated.

    Blanch is frequently named on the records as a woman whose reputation was not creditable to her herself, her family or her friends.
    The law put the onus on a woman to cry out for help if she was being propositioned against her will. In March 1656 John Gorum was fined forty shillings "for unseemly carriage toward Blanche Hull at an unseasonable time, being in the night." Blanche Hull was fined fifty shillings "for not crying out when she was assaulted by John Gorum in unseemly carriage towards her." Both Gorum and Blanche were married at this time, Gorum to Desire Howland, eldest daughter of John Howland and his wife, Elizabeth Tilley Howland, and Blanche to Tristram Hull. The court evidently considered Blanche to have been a willing participant rather than a victim.
    Not all desertion ended in divorce, and it was rare for a wife to be cut off in her husband's will, but when Captain William Hedges of Yarmouth drew up his will in 1670, he left his second wife, Blanche Hull, widow of Tristram Hull, only a token twelve pence, "full eleven pence more than she deserved". And "also what I have received of hers shall be returned to her again," because she had deserted him.  after his death his widow, Blanche was married to a Capt. William Hedge, who was old enough to have been her father, and from whom she soon separated.

Source: http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~sam/hull/tristram.html

Court Records

March 2, 1651/1652; PCR 3: 4-5:

Wheras John Willis, of Duxborrow, complained that his daughter in law, Rebeckah Palmer, was molested and hindered in performing faithfull service vnto her mr, viz, Samuall Mayo, of Barnstable by the wife of Trustrum Hull, of Barnstable aforsaid, the Court haue sent downe order by Roger Goodspeed, grand juryman, of Barnstable aforsaid, to wrarn the wife of ye said Trustrum Hull to desist from such practises any further, as shee or any other that shall soe doe will answare for her not appeering at this Court nor her attornie, to answare the suite comenced against her by the said John Willis.

Source: "The Plymouth Colony Archive Project"

__________________

Capt. Tristam Hull and Blanche had (probably) 6 children:

  1. Mary, born September 30, 1645. She married Joseph Holway/Holley 11th day, 5th mo, 1657. [But she was only 12!]
  2. Sarah I, born October 18, 1647 in Yarmouth; died in infancy (possibly 16478) in Yarmouth, Barnstable, MA.  Probably the daughter of Tristram. Hull Family of America has her as d/o Rev. Joseph, but Phyllis Hughes, in a note to her article on the Rev. Joseph [Hull Family Association Journal, V. 16, #1, Spring 2006, p. 15 - note 32], explains that she is on the Yarmouth MA register for Marriages and Burials for 1647 - and the Rev. J was in York, ME that year.
  3. Sarah II, born March 30, 1650. She married Joseph Allen.
  4. Joseph, (our next ancestor) born June 1652 in Barnstable, Barnstable, MA; died 1719 in South Kingston, Washington, Rhode Island.
  5. John, born March 04, 1653/54; died March 30, 1733. He married Alice Tiddeman October 23, 1684 in Horsleydown Meeting of Friends.
  6. Hannah, born February 07, 1655/56 in Barnstable, Barnstable, MA. She married Joseph Blish September 09, 1674 in Barnstable, Barnstable, MA.

Blanche was possibly a somewhat lively person, frequently involved in broils and difficulties [this is a note on the Family Group Sheet provided by Phyllis - I think it applies to Blanche, but perhaps it applies to Tristram himself].  In 1646, John Garham was "presented" for "unseamly carriage toward Blanch Hull at unseasonable time being in the night." 

She remarried shortly after Tristram's death and her second husband William Hedge, at his death, cut her off with only 12 pence because she "had dealt falsely with him in the covenant of marriage and departed from him."  [The Hull Family in America puts it this way: "A short time after his [Tristram's] death his widow was married to a Capt. Hedge, who was old enough to have been her father, and from whom she soon separated."]

BAD BLANCHE HULL

Fellow geneablogger Heather Wilkinson Rojo and I have discovered many cousin connections between our families, so I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised when I discovered another one in her post today at her Nutfield Genealogy blog. It's sort of an indirect one, and it involves someone who isn't a direct ancestor. Still, this person is involved in one of my favorite stories about my ancestors.

Heather's post today was about her ancestor the Reverend Joseph Hull. In the list of his children was  "3. Tristram, born about 1623, married Blanche Unknown". "Blanche Unknown" is our connection. 

My ancestor William Hedge of Yarmouth, Massachusetts, married the widow Blanche Hull. It was his second marriage as well, and I am descended from his unnamed first wife. It may have been a marriage of convenience but for whom it's hard to say: all the accounts I've found of the pair say that William was a much older man than Blanche. On the other hand, Blanche was a widow and remarriage offered her some stability and protection.  Whatever the case, things did not go well for the couple and Blanche left William sometime before he died in 1670.

Blanche was involved in a case of impropriety during her marriage to Tristram Hull. In Volume Three of "Records of the colony of New Plymouth, in New England" there is this entry for the Court Session of 5Mar 1655:

"Wee prsent John Gorum for unseamly carriage towards Blanch Hull att  unreasonable time, being in the night,

Wee prsent Blanch Hull for not crying out when shee was assaulted by John Gorum in unseamly carriage towards her upon her own relation." (p97)

John Gorum was fined forty shillings; Blanche was fined fifty! Keep in mind that "unseamly carriage" could have been something as simple as a kiss or a hug but Blanche got the higher fine. Now at this time she was still married to her first husband Tristram Hull and since their marriage continued until his death perhaps he forgave the incident. In fact, he left her one hundred fifty pounds in his will. Tristram Hull died in 1666.

When I first started researching my family many sources had Blanche as the mother of my ancestor Elizabeth Hedge, but since Elizabeth was supposedly born in 1647 and Blanche was still married to Tristram Hull at that time that's obviously incorrect.

So sometime after the death of Tristram in 1666 Blanche married William Hedge. Although legally the marriage lasted four years, it was actually shorter. In his will of 30Jun 1670, at the very end is this final bequest:

" And whereas Blanche my Wife hath dealt falcly with mee in the Covenant of Marriage in departing from mee, therefore I doe in this my Last Will and Testament give her twelve pence, and alsoe what I have Received of hers my will is shal be Returned to her againe. "

 (Hawes, James W.   No.44 Library of Cape Cod History & Genealogy: Captain William Hedge of Yarmouth  C.W. Swift, Publisher, Yarmouthport, Ma, 1914)

I hope that included her one hundred fifty pounds!

Time and history have been less kind to Blanche. Amos Otis in his Genealogical notes of Barnstable families, Volume 2 (F.B. &  F.P. Goss, Publishers & Printers, Barnstable, Ma, 1890) had this to say about her, followed by a footnote:

"Tristram Hull was a prominent man in Barnstable. He was of the board of Selectmen, and held other offices of trust. His wife was named Blanch, and is frequently named on the records as a woman whose reputation was not creditable to herself, her family or her friends. In 1655 she married for her second husband Capt. William Hedge of Yarmouth, but the change in her residence did not improve her manners. Capt. Hedge cut her off with a shilling  in his will, full eleven pence more than she deserved.*

•A question may arise whether it is right to publish such passages as thls. Some squeamish persons object. I think It not only dearly right; but unjust to suppress them. Is it right that the reputations of such persons as Martha Foxwall, Capt. John Gotham, and Capt. William Hedge, should suffer because they unavoidably came in contact with a bad woman? I think not. History is of no value when the exact truth is suppressed. No line of distinction can be drawn between not telling the whole truth and the wilful misstatement of facts"  (p.28)

But if (as Otis claims) Blanche was such a bad woman, why didn't her first husband deal with her in his will as her second husband did in his?

As I said, this is one of my favorite stories about my ancestors. And since I'd never noticed that footnote by Amos Otis before I saw it todat, I'm left with another tantalizing mystery:

Just what did Blanche Hull do that would tarnish the reputation of a lady named Martha Foxwall?  

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Blanche Hull's Timeline

1625
1625
Devon, England, United Kingdom
1645
September 30, 1645
Age 20
Barnstable, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States
1650
March 30, 1650
Age 25
Barnstable, Plymouth Colony
1652
June 2, 1652
Age 27
Yarmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States
1654
March 4, 1654
Age 29
Barnstable, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States
1656
February 6, 1656
Age 31
Barnstable, Barnstable, MA
1666
1666
Age 41
Yarmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States