Capt. Richard Hunnewell

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Capt. Richard Hunnewell's Geni Profile

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Richard Hunnewell

Also Known As: "Honeywell;"
Birthdate: (58)
Birthplace: Saco, York County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
Death: October 6, 1703 (58)
York County, Province of Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Son of Roger Hunnewell and Bridget Hunnewell
Husband of Elizabeth Stover; Joanna Hunnewell and Elizabeth Hunnewell
Father of Patience Hathaway; Roger Hunnewell; Elizabeth Hunnewell; John Hunnewell; John Birdsey Hunnewell and 2 others
Brother of John Hunnewell and Israel Hunnewell

Managed by: Private User
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About Capt. Richard Hunnewell

"When mowing on the marsh at Greenleaf's Point, Richard Hunnewell spotted the movements of Indians on Blue Point. Separated from them by the river and a considerable body of marsh, he concluded that he was not in danger and placed his gun by a saddle of hay. While mowing at some distance from his gun, an Indian had crossed the river and under its bank crept up through the thatch and secured Richard's gun. Richard, at length seeing his desperate situation, continued his mowing as if he had not discovered the Indian. When the Indian had advanced to within a few yards, Richard swung his scythe, cutting off the Indian's head. He held up the head, brandishing it in view of the other Indians challenging them to come over as he would serve them in the same manner." (History of Saco and Biddeford, Maine, George Folsom, Saco, 1830)

What caused Richard Hunnewell's hatred of Indians? Tradition has said that his first wife, Sarah Adams, and children were massacred by Indians on the spot where the little red house stands at the forks of the road near Plummer's Neck. Richard, after seeing the vision of his murdered wife, swore an oath of vengeance and "hunted and slew the Indians as if they were wild beasts."

Richard built a home around 1702 which is still standing along Black Point Road. It is the oldest house in Scarborough, and one of the oldest in Cumberland County, Maine.

It is Richard's military career that furnishes the greatest of his accomplishments. He was first a farmer, then became a selectman around 1671, and later in 1680 was the constable of Scarborough. The remainder of his life seems to have been spent in the service of the military beginning in the Indian King Philip's War (1675-76).

The first account of this service is that on October 12, 1676 he was an inhabitant of the historic Black Point Garrison, just prior to its surrender. In August, 1677 he was a Corporal and soon gained promotion to Ensign in 1689 while serving under Captain Joshua Scottow. By 1681 he was serving under Sergeant Major Richard Walderne who was under Major Brian Penolton in the York Regiment.

No further record was found until July 2, 1687 when Richard was commissioned a Lieutenant by New England Governor Sir Edmund Androse. One November 11, 1689 he was ordered to command twenty soldiers at the "Blew Point", Black Point and Spurwinck Garrisons. During this period, he served under the command of Major Benjamin Church, the well known Indian fighter, who was in command of the forces at the Eastward (Maine).

In 1690 there were skirmishes which eventually led to the complete depopulation of the area. In one of these at the Saco River near Winter Harbor, Church wrote in a letter dated September 17, 1690, "At the skirmish Lt. Hunnewell was shot through the thigh." In a letter dated November 27, 1690, Church wrote, "My kind respects to Maj. Frost, Capt. Walton, Lieut. Hunnewell, with due respects to all Gentlemen by friends in the Eastward parts..." On August 7, 1691 Richard, as Lieutenant and "Pilott", was reported wounded "in the late expedition Eastward."

Richard was promoted to the rank of Captain on July 24, 1693. In 1696, again with Major Church in the expedition to St. John, the only mention of this being found in the latter's account, which speaks of Captain Hunnewell as "one of the commanders of the forces belonging to the Eastward parts."

His wounds seem to have been rather serious, as in 1697 he petitioned the General Court that he,"for some time hath been employed in his Majesties and this countries service against the common enemy, in which service he hath been wounded several times in his arm by divers shot, which rendered him incapable of any servile labor whereby to produce a lively hood for himself and poor family with children who are now in great want of necessaries..." He signed this petition by his mark, and was granted then pounds "for his present relief."

The Indians at length sought their vengeance against Richard, the "Indian fighter." Perhaps it was inevitable that he came to an end at their hands.

"On October 6, 1703 Captain Hunnewell and a detachment of some twenty men, unarmed and without thought of danger, sauntered from the stockade to fetch their cattle or swine and work in their meadows at Black Point. At the southerly end of Massacre Pond a body of some 120-200 savages lay in ambush. In one concerted effort they way-laid and killed the Captain and nineteen of his men. Only one, John Boden, who escaped by flight, survived. The body of the deceased Hunnewell was horribly gashed and mangled. The slain were buried together in a single grave and covered with a high mound of earth. 'The Great Grave' was conspicuous for many years and is noted upon an old map."

Above from "Honeywell Heritage, edited by A. Parks Honeywell"

On September 7, 1703 the selectmen of Portsmouth NH bound twin brothers Israel and Richard Hunnewell Jr (alias Nason) aged about one month to George Vaughn, Esq. for 24 years by advice and consent of Joanna Nason, the natural mother. The mother alone was haled into court, so the fathers name is not of record, but suspicion is strong that he was the military hero Captain Richard Hunnewell, who set feminine hearts aflutter. Cpt. Richard was born abt. 1645 and lived in Scarborough. He was the son of Roger who came from Devon County, England, and was in Boston in 1650, and in West Saco in 1653. Cpt. Richard was killed by Indians in 6 Oct 1703. Joanna Nason was the daughter of John and Hannah (Heard) Nason. The Twins (Hunnewell) were received into covenant of South Church in Portsmouth 23 Feb 1729 and were taxed in 1730-32. Israel was of Berwick 1736-49 and served in Cpt. Moses Butler's Company in the Louisberg Expedition. Israel went to Wiscasset before 1751. On 13 July 1775 Israel conveyed to his son Israel, the farm in Wiscasset where he then lived. The date and place of his marriage and all information of his wife is unknown.

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Capt. Richard Hunnewell's Timeline

August 1645
Saco, York County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
April 1656
Age 10
Saco, York, Maine, USA
Age 24
Dartmouth, Bristol County, Massachusetts, Colonial America
Age 30
Scarborough, Cumberland County, Maine, Colonial America
Age 34
Scarborough, Cumberland County, Maine, Colonial America
April 1684
Age 38
Scarborough, Cumberland County, Maine, Colonial America
August 1703
Age 58
Portsmouth, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, Colonial America
August 1703
Age 58
Portsmouth, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, Colonial America
October 6, 1703
Age 58
York County, Province of Massachusetts