Lt. Col. Israel Stoughton

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Lt. Col. Israel Stoughton

Birthplace: Coggeshell, Essex, England
Death: Died in Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England
Cause of death: fever
Immediate Family:

Son of Rev. Thomas Stoughton and Katherine Stoughton
Husband of Elizabeth Stoughton
Father of Rebecca Tailer; William Stoughton; Israel Stoughton; Susanna Starkey; John Stoughton and 2 others
Brother of Mary Manfield; Capt. Thomas Stoughton; Anne Stoughton; Elizabeth Chamberlain; Rev. John Stoughton and 1 other

Occupation: Army officer, mill owner, Asst. to the General Court
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Lt. Col. Israel Stoughton

Lt. Col. Israel Stoughton was baptized in Great Coggeshall, Essex, England, 18 February 1602/3, the son of Rev. Thomas and Katherine (_____) Stoughton. Came from Rotherhithe, Surrey to Massachusetts Bay in 1632. He settled in Dorchester, but returned to England in 1644, involved in "the hazard of warre." ; He left a will on 17 July 1644 at London, England and died in Lincolnshire: "death from fever at Lincoln in 1645."

He married in Rotherhithe, Surrey, England, 27 March 1627, Elizabeth Knight. She died at Dorchester on 6 August 1681. They had seven children.


He was a member of the Massachuesetts Company which was sent to America by King Charles II to make a settlement in the colonies. He returned to England in 1644 to fight for Cromwell as a Lieutenant Colonel in Rainsborough's Regiment and died there in 1644 at Lincoln.

When in New England he was one of the founders of Dorechester. Suffice to say he held a position of influence and power in both the town and the colony and was actively engaged in the political affairs of Dorchester. On Oct. 3 1633 he obtained the right to erect a mill where in was ground the first corn ever to be ground by water power in New England. The mill is now being utilized by the Walter Baker Chocolate Company.

Israel had a large argument with Winthrop and was censured and disqualified from holding office for three years but the people of Dorchester rose to his support and unsuccessful petitioned for the General Court for the remission of the sentence.

This dissension hastened teh departure of many of the original settlers to Windsor, Connecticut. This caused a serious problem for the government which relented finally and removed the ban on Israel in May 1636/ He was named Capital of Dorechester Train Band 7 and reelected as an Assistant to the General Court. He was named by the court to command the Pequot Expedition and hastened to reinforce the battle lines during the decisive battle of Mystic Fort during which the Pequot were nearly annihilated. This opened up the entire coast line for settlement and the areas on into the interior toward Manhattan. Capitan Stoughton and his troops returned home in triumph.

Founded Dorchester Massachusetts. He was the Commander of an expedition in 1637 against the Pequots. He held several positions on behalf of the English government in New Hampshire, and returned to England to serve as a colonel in the English army in 1644.


ISRAEL STOUGHTON - Great Migration Begins sketch

  • ORIGIN: Rotherhithe, Surrey
  • MIGRATION: 1632
  • FIRST RESIDENCE: Dorchester
  • RETURN TRIPS: Returned to England in 1644 and died there.
  • CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: Admission to Dorchester church prior to 5 November 1633 implied by freemanship. Elder, 1641 [DTR 44].
  • FREEMAN: 5 November 1633 (as "Mr. Israell Stoughton") [MBCR 1:368].
  • EDUCATION: Although not known to have had university education, Israel Stoughton was clearly highly educated, as evidenced by his writing many letters to the Winthrops [WP 3:264-65, 435-36, 441-44, 478-79, 480-83] and a booklet on an important point of Massachusetts Bay politics [T.H. Breen, The Character of a Good Ruler: Puritan Political Ideas in New England, 1630-1730 (New York 1970), pp. 66-67, 71-72].
  • OFFICES: Deputy to General Court for Dorchester, 14 May 1634, 4 March 1634/5, 7 December 1636, 18 April 1637 [MBCR 1:117, 135, 185, 191].

On 4 March 1634/5, "[w]hereas Mr. Israell Stoughton hath written a certain book which hath occasioned much trouble & offense to the Court, the said Mr. Stoughton did desire of the Court that the said book might forthwith be burnt, as being weak and offensive.... It is ordered, that Mr. Israell Stoughton shall be disenabled for bearing any public office in the commonwealth, within this jurisdiction, for the space of three years, for affirming the Assistants were no magistrates" [MBCR 1:135, 136]. On 23 May 1636 "Mr. Israell Stoughton, by order of Court, is restored to his former liberty, & made capable of bearing such office in the commonwealth as he shall be called unto," and on the same day he was made a magistrate "to keep the particular court" for Boston, Roxbury, Dorchester, Weymouth and Hingham [MBCR 1:175].

Assistant, 17 May 1637, 2 May 1638, 22 May 1639, 13 May 1640, 2 June 1641, 1642-44, 10 May 1643, 29 May 1644 [MBCR 1:195, 228, 256, 288, 319, 2:33, 66]. Committee to order things for the good of the country [MBCR 2:41]. Appointed to purchase goods, 27 September 1642 [MBCR 2:31].Dorchester selectman, 27 June 1636 [DTR 16]. Assessor, 2 June 1634 (as "Ancient Stoughton") [DTR 7]. Justice for Pascataquack, 7 October 1641 [MBCR 1:343]. Ensign, 5 November 1633 [MBCR 1:110]. Sergeant, 14 May 1634 [MBCR 1:119]. Overseer of the Dorchester Fort, 3 September 1634 [MBCR 1:124]. Captain for Dorchester, 9 March 1636/7 [MBCR 1:190]. Chosen by lot to go against the Pequots, 17 May 1637 [MBCR 1:195]. Resigned as Captain of Dorchester, 13 May 1640 [MBCR 1:290]. Sergeant Major, 7 October 1641 [MBCR 1:343]. His taxes were remitted in return for military service against the Pequots, 20 November 1637 [MBCR 1:215]. Loaned two demiculveren [arms], 27 September 1642 [MBCR 2:31]. Admitted to the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in 1637 [HAHAC 1:31].

ESTATE: His proportion in the neck was twenty six-acres, three quarters, one half rod, and his second proportion in the cow pasture was a similar size, only twenty rods [DTR 29].

On 1 April 1634 he was allowed to build a mill, a weir and a bridge over Neponset River and to sell the fish he caught there at 5s. per thousand [MBCR 1:114]. On 14 May 1634 he was granted a farm [MBCR 1:121]. On 25 September 1634 he was granted one hundred and fifty acres of meadow [MBCR 1:130, 207].

In his will, dated 17 July 1644 (with no date of probate), Israel Stoughton bequeathed to "dear and worthily honored wife" an assortment of land and moveables; to "eldest son Israel a double portion unless he prove himself unworthily," in which case the double portion should go to William, and if he should also prove unworthy, then to "the next son, John, or if yet there be another, him to be judged of as above"; "in case my number be seven (as I hope) Israel is to have two parts of the seven, then the remaining five parts to be cast again into seven parts, if I had seven children all, or six parts if six all ..."; to "son Israell one-fourth part of [my] small library, & unto John another fourth part, & unto W[illia]m the other half, for his encouragement to apply himself to studies"; to Harvard college two hundred acres and some other lands; provisions made for "my dear mother" [meaning his mother-in-law, the widow Knight] [SPR 1:50]. The inventory of the estate of "Lieutenant Colonel Israell Stoughton deceased" was taken 2 April 1650 and was untotalled. There were nearly thirty parcels of land, totalling more than a thousand acres [SPR Case #96].

On 31 August 1649 "Mrs. Elizabeth Stoughton of Dorchester" sold to Thomas Holbrooke of the same, husbandman, her rights in part of a lot beyond Neponset River containing thirty acres [SLR 1:198-99]. The overseers of her husband's estate consented to this sale.

Israel Stoughton died considerably indebted to the country, and the general court ordered on 18 October 1645 that if Mrs. Stoughton "bring two sufficient men or more to answer the country for what her late husband stands indebted ... to the satisfaction of the auditor, she shall be discharged therefrom by the auditor general" [MBCR 2:140].

  • BIRTH: Baptized Great Coggeshall, Essex, England, 18 February 1602/3, son of Rev. Thomas and Katherine (_____) Stoughton.
  • DEATH: Lincoln, England, 1644.
  • MARRIAGE: Rotherhithe, Surrey, England, 27 March 1627 Elizabeth Knight [TAG 33:108]. She died at Dorchester on 6 August 1681 [DVR 30].


  • i ISRAEL, b. say 1628; drowned spring 1647 ("Mrs. Stoughton's eldest son" cast away with others from a small vessell [RChR 189-90; TAG 29:201-02; HAHAC 1:153-54]).
  • ii [SUSANNA?], b. say 1630; m. by 1650 George Starkey [William R. Newman, Gehennical Fire: The Lives of George Starkey, an American Alchemist in the Scientific Revolution (Cambridge 1994), pp. 51-52].
  • iii WILLIAM, b. say 1632; Harvard College 1650 [Sibley 1:194]; d. unm. 7 July 1701, having presided at the Salem witchcraft trials [DAB].
  • iv HANNAH, b. about 1637 ("Here lies interred the body of Mrs. Hannah Minot wife to Mr. James Minot & daughter to Col. Israel Stoughton Esq. who deceased March 27 1670 in the 43 year of her age" [NEHGR 4:166 (age at death should probably be 33); DVR 27 (which does not give the age)]); m. Dorchester 9 December 1653 James Minot, son of GEORGE MINOT.
  • v JOHN, bp. Dorchester 10 March 1638[/9] [DChR 151]; d. Barbados [DChR 151] by 16 May 1665 (when his brother William described himself as "son, and only heir, of the late Israell Stoughton" [SLR 4:284]).
  • vi REBECCA, bp. Dorchester 29 August 1641 [DChR 153]; m. Dorchester 25 August 1664 William Tailer [DVR 21].
  • vii THOMAS, bp. Dorchester 30 July 1644 (or soon thereafter) [DChR 157]; no further record.

ASSOCIATIONS: Several attempts have been made to identify the siblings of Israel Stoughton, but some problems remain. Ralph M. Stoughton in 1953 and Genevive Tylee Kiepura in 1957 and 1965 (with comments by Donald Lines Jacobus) have reviewed the evidence [TAG 29:193-204, 33:105-12, 41:30-35]. THOMAS STOUGHTON of Dorchester and Windsor was an elder brother of Israel Stoughton, and their brother Rev. John Stoughton, although he did not come to New England, did marry the widow of the Rev. Ralph Cudworth of Great Coggeshall, Essex, and Aller, Somersetshire, thus making Thomas and Israel stepuncles of James Cudworth of Scituate.

Two sisters of Thomas and Israel also came to New England. Judith, who married first Henry Denman and second _____ Smead became a resident of Dorchester [TAG 29:198, 41:30-35]. Kiepura did not believe that Judith was a sister of Thomas and Israel, but Jacobus did. Neither of these researchers was aware of the baptism at Burstead Magna, Essex, on 3 July 1599 of "Judith Throughtone ... the daughter of Thomas preacher of the word of God"; in other diocesan records we find that the minister at Burstead Magna was assisted from 1594 until 1600 by "Thomas Stawghton," these being the "lost" years between his ministry at Naughton, Suffolk, and at Great Coggeshall, Essex. Thus, Israel and Thomas did have a sister Judith, and so the doubts expressed by Kiepura are relieved.

The identity of the second sister has recently been determined by Jane F. Fiske. On 14 May 1645 the General Court "upon weighty reasons moving, it is ordered that Mrs. Chamberlin, widow, sister to Mr. Israel Stoughton ... shall be allowed ... either a cow or five pounds" [MBCR 2:113]. Fiske has demonstrated that "Mrs. Chamberlin, widow," was Elizabeth Stoughton, who married first John Scudder and second Robert Chamberlain. After the death of her second husband in 1639, the widow came to New England, with children by both husbands [TAG 72:295].

Several members of the family of Elizabeth Knight, wife of Israel Stoughton, also came to New England, including her mother, the widow Elizabeth Knight, her brother, Rev. William Knight, and two sisters, Mary, wife of Thomas Clark, and Ursula, wife of David Yale [TAG 33:108-12].

COMMENTS: On 2 November 1637 he was appointed to take charge of Mr. Wheelwright, who was to "render himself to Mr. Staughton, at his house, to be kept till he be disposed of" [MBCR 1:207]. On 10 May 1643, on the advice of her husband, Mrs. Stoughton was authorized by the General Court to sell £304 worth of goods to pay by the first return ship [MBCR 2:39].

BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE: Aside from the articles noted above, the most important publication on the Stoughton family was published by Ethel McLaughlin Turner and Paul Boynton Turner in 1958 [The English Ancestry of Thomas Stoughton, 1588-1661, and His Son Thomas Stoughton, 1624-1684, of Windsor, Connecticut (Waterloo, Wisconsin, 1958)], and includes extensive material from English records.

The Great Migration Begins Sketches PRESERVED PURITAN

RE: Israel Stoughton in TAG 7:333

Inventory includes a very large set of land holdings. This included 5,636 acres in Dorchester and many other parcels. Debt due to his estate includes one from William Knight. He had a diverse portfolio (Modern Portfolio Theory in 1652?), 26 shares in the ship America, half of the Boston Tide Mills. Israel leaves a sealed box to Francis Willoughby to be opened until he returned or died. In it contained his will....

The footnote shows in 1633 he was granted him the right to build the tide mill on the Neponsit River. Said to be the first even built in the colony! Cites NEHGR 5:378 and Stephen Deane's "Water Worke to Beste Corne" in Plymouth 1632.

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Lt. Col. Israel Stoughton's Timeline

February 18, 1602
Coggeshell, Essex, England
February 18, 1602
Coggeshall, Essex, England, United Kingdom
February 18, 1603
Age 1
Coggshell, Suffolk, England
Age 25
Age 25
Age 27
September 30, 1631
Age 29
April 1637
Age 35
Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States
Age 36