Captain Thomas Bull. Sr.

Is your surname Bull?

Research the Bull family

Captain Thomas Bull. Sr.'s Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Captain Thomas Bull, Sr.

Birthplace: Southwark, Middlesex, England
Death: October 12, 1684
Hartford, Hartford County, Connecticut Colony
Place of Burial: Hartford, Hartford County, Connecticut, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of William Bull and Jone Bull
Husband of Mary Bull and Susannah Bull
Father of Deacon Thomas Bull; Jonathan Bull; David Bull; Susannah Bunce; Bunce Bull and 5 others

Occupation: Early settler of town of Hartford, Connecticut
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Captain Thomas Bull. Sr.

Thomas Bull was one of the founders of Hartford, Connecticut in 1636. He was twenty-five when he arrived on the ship 'Hopewell' from England on September 11, 1635, according to the passenger list. His actual date and place of birth are not known for certain.

From "Descendants of Thomas and Susannh Bull of Hartford". Thomas Bull sailed from Sandwich, England on the "Hopewell", Captain Babb commanding, on 11 September 1635. Thomas Bull, aged 25, was included among those to be transported to New England in Captain Babb's ship "p. Cert. from the Ministers & Justices of their conformitee in Religion to our Church of England and yet there are no Subsedy men." They have taken the oath of Alleg: and Supreme: His name appears in the middle of a family group of Millars and Heaths from Hertsfordshire near Bishops Stortford.

His exact date and place of birth are still uncertain. The above record would indicate that he was born in 1610. However, Spencer Miller demonstrated years ago that the ages on this ship's list are inaccurate in various instances. In April 1681 Thomas Bull testified that he was then about 75 which suggests he was born in 1606. Data compiled around 1849 by William S. Porter of Hartford for Elizabeth Bull gave his date of birth as 1606. Records in one branch of the family, source unknown, state that he was born 10 June 1605.

There were seven children, but the dates and order of their birth are not complete. According to some, Thomas was the third child and Ruth the oldest. We have some baptism records and also the medical journal of John Winthrop who lists: David, as age 10, 1660; Jonathan, 12 and Abigail 8, in 1660/1; Thomas, 17 in 1663; Ruth, 21 in 1664 and 24 in 1667.

In any case, Thomas Bull landed in the Massachusetts Colony in 1635 and remained either in Boston or Cambridge until the following spring when he was enrolled in a company of volunteers sent to aid the new settlement in Connecticut. 'On Tuesday, May 31, the company of 35 men with twice as many wives, children, servants, started on its pilgrimage along the Indian Path (to Hartford). Hooker carried letters to the younger Winthrop from his father the governor, who took advantage of the opportunity to send also, in charge of Lt. Thos. Bull of the company, assisted by one of Winthrop's servants, six cows, four steers and a bull, which were to be delivered to his son at Saybrook.' Lt. Bull was later described by Winthrop as 'a godly and discreet man.'

In volume I of the Colonial Records of Connecticut, we find that Thomas Bull served under Capt. John Mason in the Pequot war in 1637. [New England colonists feared the Pequot Indians of the Connecticut River valley more than any other Native Americans of the area.] The Pequots, after invading the Connecticut River valley, passed southeastward toward the Thames River and the present boundary of Rhode Island, through several Indian tribes who occupied this land. The war lasted three weeks and was not an easy one for the new settlers. The soldiers under Capt. John Mason, Capt. John Underhill and Lt. Robert Seely, along with some Pequot who were allies, attacked and burned the Pequot fort at Mystic on 5 June 1637. They burned alive between 600 and 700 inhabitants. They pursued survivors, captured most of the surviving Pequot, and sold them into slavery in Bermuda. According to Capt. Mason's report, Arthur Smith was wounded in firing the fort so that he was unable to move out but 'was happily espied by Lt. Bull and by him rescued.' Another story is that Thomas Bull had an arrow shot into a hard piece of cheese in his pocket, which 'may verify the old saying: a little armor would serve, if a man knew where to place it.' It was Thomas Bull who found the musket marked "J.W." at Pequanocke belonging to the murdered John Wood who was killed at the river's mouth.

Land was granted to five of Capt. Mason's companions for their service against the Pequots. The land originally granted in 1642 was described as 500 acres in the Pequot country, apparently meaning the vicinity of Pequot Harbor. This was later set as land north of Black Point on Nahantick Bay. The grant being neglected and the land otherwise occupied, the General Court in 1650 transferred the soldiers' grant to Niantecutt, lying at Sargent's Head. As laid out this included a tract secured to Indians under Chief Obed. This 100 acres of Obed's land on the south was exchanged for 200 acres to the north. The Indians sold their 100 acres to the proprietors of the grant 9 March 1691/2. A few days later, Joseph and Jonathan Bull, who were apparently sole proprietors sold the entire 700 acres to Nehemiah Smith of New London. In his will in 1684 Thomas Bull had called this property the 'Great Swamp Land I received from the Country.'

Hartford town records show that Thomas Bull was married in 1643 to Suzannah whose last name is unknown as is the exact date and place of the marriage. She was born in 1610 and died in Hartford 12 August 1680. Both Thomas and Suzannah Bull are buried in the old Center Church Burying Ground. Theirs are the oldest stones still standing: 'Here lyeth the body of Capt. Thomas Bull, who died October 1684. He was one of the first settlers of Hartford; a lieutenant in the great and decisive battle with the Peqots at Mystic May 27th 1637; and Commander of the Fort at Saybrook in July, 1675, when its surrender was demanded by Major Andross.' Thomas Bull's name is included among the 101 inscribed on the Founders Monument, erected in memory of the first settlers of Hartford.

view all 17

Captain Thomas Bull. Sr.'s Timeline

Southwark, Middlesex, England
September 11, 1635
Age 25
Sandwich, England
Hartford, Hartford County, Connecticut, (Present USA)
Hartford, Connecticut Colony
Hartford, Connecticut Colony
Hartford, Connecticut Colony
Hartford, Connecticut Colony
Hartford, Hartford County, Connecticut Colony, (Present USA)