Deputy Governor Matthew Gilbert

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Matthew Gilbert, Jr.

Birthdate: (81)
Birthplace: England
Death: circa 1680 (73-89)
New Haven, New Haven, CT
Place of Burial: New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Matthew Gilbert and Mary Gilbert
Husband of Jane Gilbert
Father of Boy Guilbert; John Guilbert; Sarah Howe; Sarah Todd; Rebecca Guilbert and 4 others

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Immediate Family

About Deputy Governor Matthew Gilbert

He was one of the founders of New Haven, Connecticut.

Husband of Jane(Baker) GILBERT. Arrived in Boston 26 Jan 1637 then migrated to New Haven Colony 1638. Was Deputy Governor from 1661-1663. Has a Stone Marker "M. G. 1680".

Families of Ancient New Haven by Donald Lines Jacobus, pg. 88, 642

"Dep-Gov. of NH Colony"

The American branch of the family was planted by Governor Matthew Gilbert (1599-1679), who came in the good ship “Hector,” landing in Boston, Massachusetts, June 26, 1637, with Governors Eaton and Hopkins, and Revs. John Davenport and Thomas Buckingham and Deacon William Peck. He was one of the first settlers of New Haven in the fall of 1637 becoming one of the famous “Seven Pillars” to found Church and State. He was deputy governor of New Haven, 1661-63, and he was the first deacon of the Old First Church, and was buried just back of it on the Green next to Dixwell the regicide. Deputy Governor of the colony in 1639.

Cemetery notes and/or description: Now a National Historic Landmark, Center Church on the Green is situated right on the New Haven Green. It is the oldest church in New Haven, founded in 1638, and was previously known as First Congregational Church. The present building dates from 1814 and was built over part of the burying ground. Some gravestones remain in the basement crypt, and may be visited from 11 am to 1 pm Thursdays and Saturdays for tours. Many people were buried on the green; in 1821 almost all of the remaining outside monuments were moved to Grove Street Cemetery (at Grove Street many of those tombstones are around the inside wall in alphabetical order.)

MATTHEW GUILBERT. " Matthew Gilbert, [father of Mary Augur, Robert's wife,] was one of the foremost men in the settlement (New Haven). He is supposed to have come from London, but of his birth, parentage or previous history nothing is known. In 1639 he was chosen one of the two deacons of the First church, which office he held until 1658 when he voluntarily re- signed. He was one of the ' seven pillars ' selected to bear up both


Church and State. From an early period for a long term of years he was in civil affairs second only to Gov. Eaton. On his broad shoulders were laid the burdens of Magistry and in those days the office was no sinecure. He was first Deputy Magistrate of New Haven Colony and afterwards Guilford and Milford were comprehended in the jurisdiction. He was afterwards Dept. Governor, a change in name only, not in office. No name except that of Gov. Eaton appears more frequently in the records in connection with public business and with high and difficult

trusts. It is impossible to resist the conclusion that he was a man in whose integrity, piety, strong common sense and large capacity for public affairs his fellow citizens reposed entire confidence and with perfect safety — a confidence that was never shaken. He died in 1680, his property being rated at ^T6oo. The mysterious letters M. G. chiselled on the rude grave- stone near the Center Church, there is now little doubt were the modest epitaph of the first Dep- utv Governor of New Haven Col-

Concerning where he lived, the same writer states: " The squares bounded by Church, Chapel, State, and Elm Streets, and by State, George, Church, and Chapel Streets were mostly occupied by Londoners. The first of these two squares was the Davenport quarter and was divided into ten distinct allotments. One of these, the lot of Matthew Gilbert, was on the S. W. Corner of this square." 2

Somewhere on this lot a small piece of land was given by- Matthew Gilbert to his son and daughter, Robert and Mary- Augur, upon which they probably lived for over twenty-five years. The marriage into such a famity implies that Robert Augur was of good social standing.


Mr. Mathew Guilbert His last Will & testament.

I Mathew Guilbert, senio r having my understanding and memory yet through ye goodness of god continued, yet being under great paynes even to ye stopping of my breath sometimes which makes me think of

1 It is not positively known that this stone -with the inscription "M 80 G," is the gravestone of Mathew Guilbert, though it is supposed to be so.

8 New Haven Historical Papers, p. 121. The Matthew Gilbert Lot, by E. L. Cleave- laud, D. D.

3 Probate Records, N. H. vol. 1., p. 183.


a sudden change, doe therefore make this as my last will & testam' this fourteenth day of ye eleventh month commonly called January, one thousand six hundred and seventy-nine. Imp r I doe give up my soule into the hands of Jesus Christ my redeemer, for I know whom I have believed & am persuaded y 4 he is able to keep that which I have com- mitted to him against that day. and my body to a comely buriall, in hope of a joyful resurrection, whereof he hath given this assurance in that he raysed him from ye dead.

1st, that estate which the Lord hath been pleased to continue to me (who giveth and taketh blessed be his name) my will is that it be thus disposed: After just debts be paid (which by this my will I provide not for) I give to my deare & loving wife one half of my personall estate be it more or less, and to take her half in those things y f she shall judge most usefull for her, to be hers to dispose: And I doe give to my loving wife my dwelling house, orchard and barne with all y e conveniences belonging thereunto, during her natural life or widdowhood: And I give her foure acres of land in y e quarter commonly called Mr. Davenport's quarter neare my pasture, and five acres & a half in y e necke, & one half of my eight acres of meadow lying on this side in y e salt meadow, & I give her five acres of my meadow on the Island: And I also give her twenty acres on the playnes beyond Ed: Dormans, except my two sons would take it in to themselves, which by my will they may, provided they pay or cause to be payd to their mother ten pound, or else to lay out this twenty acres: this housing and land to improve as she sees best for her comfort, but if it should please god to follow her with aflixion in her widdowhood, that y e improvement will not yield her convenient supply my will is that she may sell some parcell or parcells of land to supply her necessitys: but if the wise disposer of all things should dispose of her in marriage, that then y e one half of my dwelling house lott and barne be delivered to my son Samuell Guilbert to possess & all y e land remaining in her hand at her marriage be kept to be disposed of according to this will. Item. I give to my son, Mathew Guilbert, an acre of my house lott with y e chimney wall & cellar & y e new house (though built by my estate to my great damage in my condition) upon these conditions: first that he pay or cause to be payd unto my two daughters twenty pounds sterling to witt: ten pounds to Mary Auger & ten pounds to Hannah Parker within four years after my death. 2>y, that he set up and maintain a sufficient fence between his lott and his mothers lott during her widdowhood: to cut short, I joine my two sons Mathew Guilbert & Samuel together in y e dividing of my land: I give to my son Mathew half my land butting on the mill lane & to Samuell y e other half; and to Mathew halfe y e land in the litle quarter & to Samuell y e other halfe. I give to Mathew half of my ten acres of land y 1 lies neare y e mill necke & Samuel y e other halfe. I give to Mathew halfe of five acres & a halfe of land lying on y e west side & to Samuell the other halfe: I give to Mathew thirty three acres of my land on y e playnes & Samuell thirty three more: (if the)- will not pay the foremen- tioned sume to their mother and soe possess all): I give to my son Mathew


seven acres of meadow in y e salt meadow lying on y e north side of y e Creeke: I give my son Samuell foure acres of meadow lying on the south side of y e creeke: y' piece of meadow to be equally divided between his mother and hee: And I give to Samuel five acres of meadow on y e Island: and I give to Samuell my dwelling house, lott and barne to be his after his mothers death shee dying in her widdowhood: but if she change her condition then to possess one half as before mentioned: I give to my two sons Mathew & Samuell Guilbert the one half of my personal estate, to be equally divided between them: that land which my loving wife has for her improvement her life, at her death I give to Mathew. Y e five acres of meadow on y e Island, and to Samuel the foure acres of meadow which lyeth next to his own foure acres given by this will, and that land in y e quarter of the necke which my loving wife hath to im- prove, my will is that at her death she dispose of it to my daughters children, as she shall see best, either to sell the land and divide the money, or as she shall see most for their advantage.

I give to my cousin Sarah How twenty shillings. I give to my grand child John Guilbert one acre of meadow lying on the north side of the seven acres given to Mathew & I doe constitute and make my loving wife my sole executrix. This my last will I signe and seale in the presence of these witnesses.

William Peck, b me> MaThew guilbert [Seal].

Thomas Munson.

The affidavit of the witnesses follows; also the inventory of his estate which amounted to ,£504 13s. nd. Appraised by James Bishop and Moses Mansfield.

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Deputy Governor Matthew Gilbert's Timeline

April 1644
Age 45
New Haven, New Haven Colony
Age 45
New Haven, New Haven, CT
Age 46
New Haven, New Haven, CT
April 7, 1646
Age 47
New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut
April 15, 1649
Age 50
New Haven, New Haven, CT
June 11, 1651
Age 52
New Haven, New Haven, CT
April 1653
Age 54
New Haven, New Haven Colony
June 12, 1655
Age 56
New Haven, New Haven Colony