John Cutt, 1st President, Royal Province of New Hampshire

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John Cutt

Birthplace: Wales
Death: April 05, 1681 (67-68)
Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire
Place of Burial: Portsmith, Rockingham, New Hampshire
Immediate Family:

Son of John Cutts and Bridget Baker
Husband of Ursula Cutt and Hannah Starr
Father of John Cutt; Elizabeth Cutt; Hannah Waldron; Mary Penhallow and Samuel Cutt
Brother of Baker Cutt; Walter Cutt; Robert Cutts; Ann Sapp and Richard Cutts

Occupation: Merchant, President of Province of New Hampshire, First President of New Hampshire
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About John Cutt, 1st President, Royal Province of New Hampshire

CUTT, John, colonial governor of New Hampshire, born in England in 1625; died in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 27 March 1681.

Arrived in Strawberry Bank [now Portsmouth, NH] sometime prior to 1640. The first mention of him is when he moved in to "the Great House" at that location. He was followed later by his brothers Robert and Richard and sister Ann. They may have been related to William Cutt who was taxed in Saco, Maine in that year and Lawrence Cutt who is mentioned in the tax records for Portsmouth for 1646. The family were merchants involved in the West Indies trade and Robert spent some time there.

John initially established himself in Portsmouth, NH as a merchant, becoming also a farmer and a mill-owner, and acquired a large property. During the union with Massachusetts he was sent as deputy to the general court, and was one of a committee from Portsmouth appointed under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts and against the claims of Captain John Mason. Charles II appointed him president of the province in 1679, and continued in that office until his death, when he was succeeded by Richard Waldron.


John Cutt (1613 – 5 April 1681) was the first President of the Province of New Hampshire. John Cutt was born in Wales, emigrated to the colonies in 1646, and became a successful merchant and mill owner in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He was married to Hannah Starr, daughter of Dr. Comfort Starr of Boston, a founder of Harvard College and a surgeon who emigrated from Ashford, Kent, England. Starr is buried in King's Chapel Burying Ground, Boston.

On 1 January 1680, John Cutt became the first President of the royal Province of New Hampshire, when New Hampshire was first separated from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Cutt was the head of the seven-member royal provincial council. An early copy of the document appointing Cutt and his council is now preserved by the State of New Hampshire.

Soon after his appointment he fell ill. On 1 March 1681 the provincial Council and General Assembly designated 17 March 1681, "A day of public fasting and prayer." The Council and Assembly believed Cutt's illness and the recent sighting of a comet were signs of "divine displeasure." The day of fasting and prayer was unsuccessful, as John Cutt died on 5 April 1681.

After his decease Richard Waldron was named acting President.


John Cutt was accompanied from Wales to Portsmouth by two brothers, Richard and Robert. A descendant of brother Robert Cutt was Hon. Hampden Cutts (as the family styled themselves, with the 's' in succeeding generations) of North Hartland, Vermont. Hampden Cutts married Mary Pepperrell Sparhawk Jarvis, daughter of William Jarvis of Weathersfield, Vermont, and the man who introduced merino sheep to America. Cutts's wife Mary Jarvis was herself a descendant of John Cutt through her father.

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John Cutt, 1st President, Royal Province of New Hampshire's Timeline

June 30, 1663
November 30, 1664
July 29, 1666
November 17, 1669
November 17, 1669
United States
- March 27, 1681
Age 67
Province of New Hampshire
April 5, 1681
Age 68
Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire