Deacon Peter Noyes

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Peter Noyes

Birthdate: (66)
Birthplace: Foxcotte,Hampshire,England
Death: September 23, 1657 (62-70)
Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States
Place of Burial: Sudbury, MA
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Noyes; Thomas Noyes; Dorothy Blake and Dorothy Noyes
Husband of Elizabeth Elizabeth Noyes
Father of Thomas Noyes; Joseph Noyes; Peter Noyes; Dorothy Haynes; Elizabeth Noyes and 2 others
Half brother of Wife of Thomas Hapgood; Anne Francis; Dorothy Waterman and Thomas Noyes

Occupation: Yeoman
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Deacon Peter Noyes


Peter Noyes came in the "Confidence," 1638, from Southampton, latter part of April aged 47, with son Thomas, 15; daughter Elizabeth and three servants. He is called yeoman, but after arrival, gentleman. He was from Penton- Weyhill, in Herefordshire, which is near Andover. Peter went home after a short visit or exploration pleased with what he saw at Watertown, and next year came again in the "Jonathan", with his children Nicholas, Dorothy, Abigail, and Peter, several friends, John Waterman, Richard Barnes, and William Street, Elizabeth Plimpton, and Agnes Blanchard, who were his servants as he paid for their passages, and Agnes Bent, (who paid for herself), daughter Agnes, Thomas Blanchard's wife with her husband.

Blanchard's wife and infant daughter died on the passage, 15 days out, and Barnes's grandmother died the American side of the Banks.

He had share in the first division of lands. in his town, and again in the 2d and 3d, made 1640, was freeman 13 May 1640, selectman 18 yrs. rep. 1640, 1, and 50. Deacon of the church. Three years before hid death in 1657 he gave his estate in England to his eldest son Thomas, and in his will, of which Thomas was made executor, made the day before his death, he names other children, Peter, Joseph, Elizabeth, wife of Josiah Haynes, Dorothy, wife of John Haynes, Abigail, wife of Thomas Plympton, daughter-in-law Mary, wife of his son Thomas, and kinsman Shadrach Hapgood.

Peter Noyes, who emigrated in 1638, came from a nonconformist family in southwestern England. He rented out part of his English property to his sister, partly to obtain money to pay for his family's passage. After he sailed in 1638, he retained possession of a house and land near Andover in Hampshire. This property provided Noyes with an annual rent of about £20 during his lifetime and, after his death in 1657, supplemented his three sons' portions.

Noyes also held land in copyhold in Weyhill, Hampshire; : "On the twenty-sixth of March, 1638, Peter Noyes, yeoman of the parish of Weyhill, Hampshire, gave his land back to the Lord of the Manor. No longer would he help his Hampshire neighbors erect fences around the common fields in the spring or watch the plow teams turn furrows in the rich loam. Noyes had decided. He was taking his eldest son to visit New England in the expectation of moving his family from Weyhill forever"... "Noyes was destined to be a founder of a New England town, a leader of men in every sense of the word. As such, he was to be responsible for over six hundred and fifty separate 'orders,' carrying the weight of law and often of power of life and death over his townsmen. For a yeoman from a small West Country village, this was an awesome challenge.

"Peter Noyes chose this role deliberately. He was not 'harried out of the land.' Far from it. He took his steps cautiously but firmly; he had courage. and he had vision. He could easily have remained with the Tarrants and the other members of his own family, none of whom favored the activities of Archbishop Laud and his 'popish' ceremonies.

"Noyes did not rush away impetuously either. Members of another Noyes family, undoubtedly related to Peter, had been deeply involved in the religious controversies of the period and had left five years previous from Weyhill in Cholderton, Wiltshire, their activities must have been well known to Peter. "The Cholderton Noyes family had been in the midst of the struggle over church reformation. The Reverend William Noyes, an Oxford graduate, had died in 1622, and the rectorship of the village church had gone to his son Nathan, also an Oxford Bachelor of Arts. Nathan's uncle, Robert, was a prominent yeoman in the town, as was his older brother Ephraim, But the two younger brothers had drunk deep of the Nonconformist brew, despite the fact that James had followed his father and elder brother to Oxford. Perhaps their cousin, the Reverend Thomas Parker, had fanned their rebellious spirits, for James, aged twenty-five, and Nicholas, aged eighteen, had decided to forsake Cholderton for Massachusetts. "The records do not say whether these members of the family had visited Peter Noyes in Weyhill or had passed through the village on their way to their port of embarkation, London. They do state, however, that the families knew one another.

"By 1637, then, Peter Noyes had heard news about New England. But however impressed, Peter displayed the shrewdness which characterized many of his later actions. During the year 1637-1638, he rented two of his four properties in Weyhill to his sister Dorothy, wife of John Waterman in Tangleu, Southampton, probably to gain money for his passage and expenses. Then taking £80 from a Mrs. Agnes Bent in Weyhill, who wished to accompany Peter in due time, Noyes sailed from Southampton in April, 1638, in the ship 'Confidence,' taking three servants, his eldest son and daughter, and his neighbor, John Bent. Noyes had not forgotten, however, to retain property near Andover, which paid him a yearly rent of about £20. "On arrival in Watertown in 1638, Noyes was granted plowland, meadow, upland, and an outlaying lot of seventy acres. Impressed by the possibilities of the area, Noyes returned to Weyhill to dispose of all business. He gathered his family, old Mrs. Bent, and a few others, then headed back to New England."

1. Col. Henry E. Noyes, ed., Genealogical Record of Some of the Noyes Descendants of James, Nicholas and Peter Noyes (Boston, 1904), I,43-44.

Both men finally settled in Newbury, Massachusetts. Both became freeman, while Nicholas served as deacon of the First Church and deputy of theGeneral Court. A deposition of 1652, a copy of which is in the Weyhill Rectory MMS, attests to the fact that both Nicholas Noyes and other inhabitants of Newbury, Massachusetts knew various families in Wehill, Hants.,and knew of the details of their trips to New England.

2. Weyhill Rectory MMS. Indenture of P. Noyes, 1652: Middlesex County Court, Registry of Deeds, III 292-293; Middlesex County Probate Records, VIII, 425.

47 years of age when he emigrated in 1638. (VR spells Noyse.) Came at the age of 47 on 'Confidence' of London, 200 tons, John Jobson, Master. Left Southampton 24 April 1638. Mentions all his children except Nicholas; wife's name Abigail

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Deacon Peter Noyes's Timeline

August 30, 1590
Andover, Charleton, Hampshire, England
Age 32
Foxcotte, Hampshire, England
Age 33
Weyhill, Co. Hampshire, Eng
Age 33
Weyhill, Hampshire, England
Age 34
Foxcotte, Hampshire, England
Age 36
Foxcotte, Hampshire, England
Age 37
Probably Penton, Hampshire, England
Age 41
Penton, Southampton, Hampshire, England