John Grosvenor, Sr.

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John Grosvenor, Sr.

Birthdate: (51)
Birthplace: The Friars, St. Leonard Parish, Bridgenorth, Shropshire, England, UK
Death: September 27, 1691 (51)
Roxbury, Boston, Suffolk Co., Massachusetts
Place of Burial: West Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of William Gravenor, Jr., Gentleman and Susanna Grosvenor
Husband of Esther Grosvenor, (twin)
Father of William Grosvenor; Capt. Leicester Grosvenor; John Grosvenor, Jr., Rev.; Moses Grosvenor; Susanna Shaw and 4 others
Brother of Lettice Levigne; Leicester Ensign Gravenor Grosvenor; Grace Billingsley; Gerald Gravenor; Mary Harrison and 3 others

Managed by: Private User
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About John Grosvenor, Sr.


was born January 02, 1640/41 in The Friars, St. Leonard Parish, Bridgenorth, Shropshire, England, and died September 27, 1691 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass. He married ESTHER CLARKE About 1672 in Watertown, Middlesex, Mass., daughter of HUGH CLARKE and ELIZABETH.

Notes for JOHN GROSVENOR: I. Probably born at Bridgnorth, Shropshire, England., in 1640; died at ROXBURY, Mass., Sept. 27, 1691. He was one of the original purchasers (from Capt. James Fitch for 30 pounds) of the Mashamoquet tract of land (15,100 acres), in northeastern Connecticut. Johns share of 502 acres comprised the site of the present village of Pomfret together with Prospect Hill, Sharp's Hill, and Spaulding's Hill. His home in Roxbury with four acres of orchard and pasture stood in the N.E. corner of the present Tremont and Parker Streets. He died before settlement at Pomfret began; but his widow and children settled there.

He married, about 1672, Ester Clarke, daughter of Hugh and Elizabeth Clarke of Roxbury.

She was born, probably at Watertown, Mass., about 1651; died at Pomfret, June 15, 1738. children: - William (1673 - ); John (1675-1710); Leicester (1677-1759); Susanna (1681- ); a still-born child (1683); Ebenezer (1684-1730);Thomas (1687-1730); Joseph (1689-1738).

From the notes of Horace Chipman Grosvenor, my grandfather, and Oliver Gay Grosvenor, around 1930's or 1940's.



His name probably was spelled Gravener. The family in England flourished in the parish of Claverley derived its name from the hamlet of Gravenor, appearing in the earliest records as "de Gravenor."

JOHN GROSVENOR OF ROXBURY, MASS., HIS FAMILY AND ANCESTRY states "In April, 1918, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register published an article entitled "The English Home and Ancestry of John Grosvenor of Roxbury, Mass.," in which the writer, Mr. Daniel Kent, effectually dispelled some of the myths in which romanticized tradition had previously enshrouded this subject. A brief account of the man and his immediate family will be given- - -

"Of John Grosvenor himself, little is known. He was in Roxbury as early as 1672; but how long he had been there, we are not told. By occupation, he was a tanner. He held the office of town constable. According to his gravestone, he died Sept. 27, 1691, in his 49th year. He seems to have been prosperous, for his widow, as administratrix of his estate, furnished a bond of 700 pounds.

In May, 1686, with five other men, (Samuel Ruggles Sr., Samuel Ruggles Jr., John White, Samuel Gore), he purchased from Capt. James Fitch of Norwich, Conn., the Mashamoquet tract of land, comprising 15,100 acres in the northeastern corner of Connecticut (which included the territory of the present towns of Pomfret, Brooklyn, and Putnam and the parish of Abington, Conn.). The price was 30 pounds. The deed stipulated that they should immediately take in six more partners and that 2 shares should be reserved for Capt. Fitch himself, making a total of 14 shares. The disturbed conditions which attended the regime of Gov. Andros delayed the enterprise, so that no division of the tract into separate holdings was made until March, 1694. John Grosvenor being dead, his share was allotted to his widow (502 acres and comprised the land where the village of Pomfret now stands and the hills which surround it, including Prospect Hill, which faces the east, and the commanding eminences called Sharp's Hill and Spaulding's Hill on the west.).

Perhaps the fact that three of her children were under 10 years of age at the time made it seem unwise to expose them to the hardships of a life in the wilderness. However that may be, in the fall of 1695, Mrs. Grosvenor sold her property in Roxbury and bought a farm at Muddy River, now Brooklyn. They sold this farm in April, 1701, and removed to their wilderness estate. By the year 1713, a considerable settlement had grown up on the Grosvenor portion of Mashamoquet, and it was deemed advisable to incorporate. The village received the name of Pomfret. In the task of subduing the wilderness and in the subsequent life of the community, the Grosvenors bore an important and honorable part."

On 1/28/1684 John Grosvenor's father-in-law, Hugh Clarke of Roxbury, confirmed to him by deed a grant made about 1672 of land on which John Grosvenor's house stood and the land on which his tan yard and tan house stood. (Suffolk Deeds, lib. 13, fo. 328.) (The original deed is in the possession of Benjamin H. Grosvenor of Pomfret, Conn.)

Esther Grosvenor was appointed administratrix of the estate of her deceased Husband, and on 2/17/1691/2 filed her bond for 700 pounds. On 9/16/1695 she sold 6 acres called Rock Pasture, the "Rightful Inheritance of Hugh Clarke late of said Roxbury deceased and by the said Esther Grosvenor purchased of his son John," and 3 1/2 acres, the "Rightful Inheritance of aforesaid John Grosvenor... together with Mansion house, barn, etc." On the same day she and her son William "and all other Heirs of the said John Grosvenor" purchased 65 acres at Muddy River, now Brookline, Mass., together with a dwelling house, the consideration being 312 pounds. On 10/7/1695 they purchased 30 acres at Muddy River, "together with the house, fruit trees, wood," etc., the consideration being 150 pounds. On 4/15/1701 Esther Grosvenor, William Grosvenor, Gentleman, and Susannah Grosvenor of Muddy River, and John Grosvenor of "Mashamnggabuck" in New London Co. Conn., sold "their Farm Tract" at Muddy River.(Suffolk Deeds, lib. 17, ff. 261, 262, lib. 31, fo. 198, and lib. 33, fo. 188). About this time, probably, the Widow Esther Grosvenor went with her family to Mashamoquet in Connecticut, where she resided for the remaining years of her life. The road to Hartford and Windham passed through the Grosvenor land, near the first Connecticut resident of the family, which was on the western declivity of Prospect Hill,near the site afterwards occupied by Col. Thomas Grosvenor's mansion house. Mrs. Grosvenor was a woman of great courage and energy, and was held in high esteem by the early settlers of Pomfret. It is a family tradition that she was skilled in tending the sick. The so-called (old Ralph Sabin homestead at Sabin Corner, now(1950) owned by Capt. Hugh Goodhue, U.S.N., a descendant of the family) "Sabin" house, in which she died, is still standing, and is owned by her descendants. Her sons aided in bringing the large possessions of the family under cultivation, and identified themselves early with the growth and interests of the town. "Folklore and Firesides of Pomfret, Hampton and Vicinity" by Susan Jewett Griggs (1950) pp.30,31

No name is more outstanding in the history of Pomfret settlement than that of John Grosvenor. John Grosvenor, one of the wealthiest of the twelve proprietors of the Mashamoquet Purchase of 1680, had emigrated from England with his wife, Esther, and six grown sons-- William, John, Leicester, Ebenezer, Thomas and Joseph, and a daughter Susanna. (he married and children were all born in Roxbury, Mass.)

John Grosvenor's death occurred before the settlement of the new Purchase in 1700. His wife and sons took possession of his allotment, although he had been commissioned by the Company at the time of the purchase to visit Norwich and pay to Major John Fitch the thirty pounds purchase price of the the fifteen thousand one hundred acres, comprising the Mashamoquet Purchase.

More About JOHN GROSVENOR: Buried: 1691, Eustis Street Graveyard, Roxbury, Mass. Baptized/Christ.: January 02, 1640/41, Bridgenorth, England

Notes for ESTHER CLARKE: "FOLKLORE AND FIRESIDES OF POMFRET, HAMPTON AND VICINITY" by Susan Jewett Griggs pp 7,8,30,31 In the division of plots Mrs. Esther Grosvenor chose some of the finest land on Pomfret Hill, and a tract of land in the Ragged Hill section, on the Post Road.

Mrs. Grosvenor was endowed with great courage and energy, and although she had been gently reared in England, like a true pioneer endured the hard life cheerfully. Skilled in the care of the sick, for many years she was the only medical practitioner. Once, when alone, her home was invaded by a company of Indians, who threatened to take a boiling pot of meat from the fire. In spite of their violent demonstrations, she defended her dinner, and held them at bay with a broomstick until the arrival of her son, Ebenezer.

The story is also told of her strength in searching for and finding a new born calf in the woods, after the men had given up the search, and returning triumphant, with the calf rolled in her apron.

Esther Grosvenor died in Pomfret in 1738, at the age of 86. She retained her health and vigor to a remarkable degree, walking to and from Pomfret Meetinghouse, more than a mile, every Sabbath. Her last days were spent at the old Ralph Sabin homestead at Sabin Corner, now owned by Capt. Hugh Goodhue, U.S.N., a descendant of the family.

This house is one of three built by Esther Grosvenor, Construction was begun in 1696, and finished in 1725; a remarkable example of colonial architecture, the old timbers still there, and the shutters that were used when the house was built. The outer walls are lined with brick, as protection against Indian attack. The estate has ever been in the Grosvenor and Sabin families.

The Esther Grosvenor house stood on Pomfret Street, and burned in 1913, while being used as an Episcopal Rectory. Maps of 1856 show it as owned by job Williams, Town Clerk. From: Roxbury, Mass. Land and Church Records, City of Boston, Record Commissioners. p. 211 On February 13, 1673 she was excommunicated from the church and on September 2, 1673 she was reconciled to the church and solemnly owned the covenant.

More About ESTHER CLARKE: Buried: June 15, 1738, Wappaquian Burial Grounds, at the foot of Prospect Hill, Pomfret, Conn.


Children of JOHN GROSVENOR and ESTHER CLARKE are: 2. i. WILLIAM16 GROSVENOR, REV., b. January 08, 1672/73, Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass.; d. Bef. July 26, 1721, Charleston, South Carolina.

 	ii. 	  	JOHN GROSVENOR, JR.1,1, b. Abt. June 06, 1675, Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass.; d. July 22, 1710, Brookfield, Worcester, Mass.; m. SARAH HAYWARD, January 27, 1708/09, Concord, Middlesex, Mass. or Brookfield, Worcester, Mass.

John, Baptized June 6, 1675; He was a farmer of Brookline and Brookfield, Mass., came to Brookfield in 1701. At this time his mother moved to Pomfret. John was killed by Indians at Brookfield, Mass., while working in the hay field (Bowen) with five others while making hay, July 22, 1709. Married at Concord, Mass., Jan. 27, 1708/9, Sarah Hayward, daughter of John and Anna Hayward of Concord. She was born at Concord, June 16, 1689. John was also of Mashamoquet, later known as Pomfret, in Windham Co., Conn. John bought land in 1707 in Brookfield, Mass.

3. iii. LEICESTER GROSVENOR, CAPT., b. 1676, Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass.; d. September 08, 1759, Pomfret, Windham, Conn.

 	iv. 	  	MOSES GROSVENOR, b. 1678, Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass.; d. February 05, 1725/26, Pomfret, Windham, Conn.

This Moses may or may not be a child of John and Elizabeth, but a son of Ebenezer.

4. v. SUSANNA GROSVENOR, b. February 09, 1680/81, Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass.

 	vi. 	  	INFANT GROSVENOR, b. April 21, 1683, Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass.; d. April 21, 1683, Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass..

1683, stillborn.

5. vii. EBENEZER GROSVENOR, SR. SERGT., b. October 09, 1684, Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass.; d. September 20, 1730, Pomfret, Windham, Conn.

6. viii. THOMAS GROSVENOR, b. June 30, 1687, Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass.; d. February 06, 1729/30, Pomfret, Windham, Conn.

 	ix. 	  	JOSEPH GROSVENOR, b. September 01, 1689, Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass.; d. June 20, 1738, Pomfret, Windham, Conn.



Buried: 1738, Sabin Cem., Pomfret, Windham, Conn.

Source: Downloaded Mar. 2011 from

Prominent Descendant: Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor LDD (married Elsie May Bell, Alexander's daughter) Oct 28, 1875, Constantinople (now Istanbul), Turkey> Edwin Augustus Grosvenor Prof. (married Lillian Hovey Waters) Aug 30, 1845, Newburyport, Essex, Massachusetts, USA> Edwin Prescott Grosvenor MD (married Harriet Ward Sanborn) Sep 07, 1820, North Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts> David Augustus Grosvenor Sr. Dr. Dec 08, 1784, Pomfret, Windham, Connecticut, USA (married his cousin Sally Grosvenor Jul 29, 1779, Scituate, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA daughter of Ebenezer Grosvenor III Rev. Mar 06, 1738, Pomfret, Windham, Connecticut, USA and Elizabeth Clark Sep 25, 1737) >Asa Grosvenor Capt. Rev. (married Hannah Buckley Prescott Hall) Apr 06, 1745, Pomfret, Windham, Connecticut, USA> Ebenezer Grosvenor Jr. Col. (married Lucy Cheney) Dec 12, 1713, Pomfret, Windham, Connecticut, USA > Ebenezer Grosvenor Sr. (married Anna Marcy) Oct 09, 1684, Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA > John Grosvenor Sr. (married Esther Clarke) Jan 02, 1641, The Friars, St. Leonard Parish, Bridgenorth, Shropshire, England.

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John Grosvenor, Sr.'s Timeline

January 2, 1640
Bridgenorth, Shropshire, England, UK
January 8, 1673
Age 33
Boston, Suffolk, MA, USA
June 6, 1675
Age 35
Boston, Suffolk, MA, USA
Age 34
Roxbury, Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
Age 37
Boston, Suffolk, MA, USA
February 9, 1681
Age 41
Boston, Suffolk, MA, USA
April 21, 1683
Age 43
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
October 9, 1684
Age 44
Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
June 30, 1687
Age 47
Roxbury, MA