Richard Champney

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Richard Champney

Birthplace: of, Stisted, Essex, England
Death: Died in Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Husband of Jane Champney
Father of Esther Danforth; Samuel Champney; Lydia Hastings; Daniel Champney; Sarah Barrett and 3 others

Occupation: yeoman
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Richard Champney

"Elder" Richard Champney was born by about 1604 (based on estimated date of marriage); he was a yeoman from Stisted, Essex, who came to Massachusetts Bay in 1635 on the "Defence," in Rev. Thomas Shepard's company (disguised as "John Shepard, husbandman") [Hotten 99]. Champney, his wife Jane & daughter Esther settled in Cambridge MA. He died in Cambridge after 26 Nov 1669 &(will written) & 14 December 1669 (inventory of estate valued at £1449 16s)

Date of birth might be 1600.

Place of birth has also been (erroneously?) reported to be Lincolnshire, England.

Married by about 1629, Jane ____; living 30 Jun 1669 (date of husband's will); they had 8 known children. Richard was presumably related to John Champney of Cambridge, probably a brother. 

Date of death has also been (erroneously?) reported to be November 26, 1669.

biographical notes

He and his wife left England with the Reverend Thomas Shepard on the ship "Defence" about the 10th of August 1635 bound for Cambridge/Newtowne. He is not listed on ship's register, but presence is supported by other records. The ship arrived at Boston on October 3, 1635. Upon their arrival in Cambridge they found many houses empty because many people had left to go to Hartford with Hooker. Richard Champney was selected a Freeman 25 May 1636.

Early Cambridge records show that Champney owned three houses in 1635/36. On 25 September 1637 he purchased his house from William Wadsworth (lot 13) on the West side of Holyoke St. Wadsworth moved to Hartford to join Rev. Hooker. Later Champney purchased a home (lot 5) at the corner of Harvard Street and Field Lane, previously owned by John White.

Richard Champney was elected Ruling Elder of the Reverend Shepard's church (First Church of Cambridge) in 1636. He held this office until he died.


In his will, dated 30 June 1669 and proved 21 December 1669, "Richard Champney of Cambridge" bequeathed to "my loving faithful wife Jane Champney ... the two best rooms in my dwelling house, entire to herself, with liberty of the cellar room for her use while she remains my widow" and some cattle and household goods, "and in case she do marry again, then she shall have only that part of our household stuff which she brought with her to me, on our marriage ... and in lieu of the thirds of my house & lands I do give her fifteen pounds per annum during her life"; to "my 3 daughters - Ester Convars, Mary French & Lidea Champney" £100 apiece and "all those lands lately granted and laid out unto me by the town of Billerica, to be equally divided among them"; to "Harvard College ... as an expression of my willingness to further the education of youth in all Godly literature" "those lands lately laid out unto me by the town of Cambridge near to the falls on Charles River, containing forty acres"; to "Daniel Gookin the eldest son of the worshipful Captain Dan[iel] Gookin" £5; to "Nathaniel Mitchell son of the Reverend Mr. Jonathan Mitchell, pastor of the Church of Christ in this place," £5; and the residue to "my two sons Samuel Champney & Daniel Champney," with detailed division of the lands, they to be executors; witnesses: William Boardman, William Barritt [MPR 3:139-41, Case #4240]. An undated codicil included additional bequests, to "my son John Hastings four acres of marsh adjoining to Goodman Devotion's marsh"; and to "Josiah Converse one load of hay yearly" [MPR 3:142, Case #4240].


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Richard Champney's Timeline

Stisted, Essex, England
Age 23
Age 24
June 21, 1629
Age 25
Probably England, (Present UK)
September 1635
Age 31
Cambridge, Massachusetts Bay Colony
November 1639
Age 35
Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts
Age 39
Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts
March 9, 1644
Age 40
Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States
Age 40
Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA