Judge John Mulford

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Hon. John Mulford

Birthplace: of., Cadbury, Parish of Chulmleigh, County of Devonshire (now Devon), England
Death: after 1686
of., East Hampton, Suffolk, New York
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Southcott Molford, III and Sarah of Maidstone
Husband of Anne Mulford; Hannah Mulford and Friedeswiede Mulford
Father of Thomas Mulford; Capt Samuel Mulford; Hannah Conklin; John Mulford, Il; Mary Miller and 1 other
Brother of Thomas Mulford the Virginian and William Mulford Sr.

Occupation: Judge, Chief Magistrate
Managed by: Ruth Deutschkron
Last Updated:

About Judge John Mulford

John was the son of Sarah of Maidstone and Thomas Southcott Mulford --surviving son of Thomas and Susan Southcott Molford of Cadbury although misreported in Visitations of Devon as having died without offspring. (Modern historians do not find the Visitations to be fully reliable in such matters, unless supported by other records not based on the Visitations. This is because the Visitations, like census records, often relied on nothing more than mere hearsay.)



JUDGE JOHN MULFORD was born 2 September 1604, Cadburye, South Molton, Devonshire, England, to Thomas Southcott Mulford (1571-1646) and Sarah Southcott (1551-1639.)

He married

  • (1) *Anne Sparkes; Feb 2 1634, Saint Mary, Guildford, Surrey, England
  • (2) Friedeswiede Osborn, 1650, Long Island, NY;
  • (3) Mary Lavnder. (((??? Not if his widow was Friesewiede)

There are claims that John’s parents, Thomas and Sarah’s sons, *John, William, and Thomas, died in England, because they joined the Puritan rebellion. They were outcasts, written off as presumed dead, but they had immigrated to New England. They missed the early skirmishes between Puritan and Royalist factions in England by immigrating. They immigrated about 1639.

Their first child was born at Eastham, Cape Cod, Plymouth Colony, in 1640. In 1643, age 36, he resided in Southhampton, New York.

It is believed that John Mulford (1606-1686) and his (younger?) brother William Mulford were at Salem, MA by 1638 (maybe as early as 1635). It seems that John Mulford (1606-1686) was married and that children were born to this union. Agawan (a place teaming with fish) was purchased from the Indians and on 29 May 1643 John Mulford (1606-1686) was granted 2 acres there "vpon the playne" (according to Records of Southampton) that became Southampton, NY. On 07 Mar 1644 he represented Southampton's third ward on the Whale Commission. On 08 February 1648 John Mulford (1606-1686) sold his Southampton land, including the thatched house he had built on it, for 30 shillings. John Mulford (1606-1686) purchased land called "Maidstone" (soon East Hampton) on 29 April 1648 when he and eight others signed a deed purchasing the land from the Indians there. They began to settled the land by 1649. This purchase of the land that became East Hampton (about 3100 acres at that time) was made official on 16 April 1651 when 30 pounds 4 shillings 8 pence was given by the purchasers to the governors of New Haven and Connecticut who were purchasing agents for the Monhansuck and the Montaukett and the Corchate and the Shinecock Indians who received 20 coats and 24 hoes and 24 hatchets and 24 knives and 24 looking glasses and 100 muges for their land. The Indians reserved the right to fish and hunt on the land. The land was divided into 34 lots (noted in the 07 July 1652 entry in the town records), but not all of them were "taken up.” John Mulford received a "twenty-acre lot, with all privileges and appurtanances belonging to such allotment" which included an 11-acre house lot and "commonage" or shared land. Additons to houselots were made 14 May 1651 when each owner was directed to stake out additional land to "the rear of their lots.” John Mulford's land was on the northwesterly side of the street. To the north was Thomas Thompson's land which was later purchased by John Mulford (date not known) and then passed to his son Samuel Mulford. On 17 November John Mulford was alloted an additional "two ackers of land, given him on the plaine.” The "East Plaine" land was later laid out and allotted and John Mulford received more of this land. The "Great Plaine" was divided also and John Mulford on 10 Jun 1652 received 5.5 acres which included an area the Indians called "Apoqupgue." In 1652 the "Little Plaine" was divided and John Mulford received 4 acres there. On 05 July 1653 John Mulford received a 4 acre portion of the meadow land at Accobonack. On 08 May 1652 the town records show that John Mulford received some of the money he had contributed to the original purchase back as other purchasers made their contributions. In 1651 John Mulford helped set up the church at East Hampton (Calvinist) and they had a building by 1653. These Calvinists set up their communities so that all worshipers lived within one-fourth of a mile of the church as a center. John Mulford and other residents were farmers and realized that they would need people with other skills in their town and so sent inducement-offers (land or houses or rate exemptions) to get a weaver, carpenter, blacksmith, and others to move to East Hampton. On 03 October 1650 at the first town meeting the town selected men for "The Court of Three Men" (magistrates/judges) and John Mulford was one of them. These men met at 8am on the second day of the first week of each month "to try all cases according to order and to consider of those things that might concern the public good.” They also performed marriages which were civil contracts at this place and time. John Mulford remained in this position for many years. All public business was transacted at the Town Meeting which all citizens were expected to attend or pay a fine. Several citizens missed the 13 May 1651 meeting (on purpose to facilitate the purchase of the drum) and their fines were used to purchase the town drum. The drum was an important factor in the life of the pioneer town. It was used to call people to meetings and to church services. On 18 September 1654 a town constitution was accepted that it is believed John Mulford had a hand in preparing. East Hampton existed as an independent settlement or nation until 1657 when it joined Hartford, Windsor and Wethersfield when it joined the colony or confederacy of Connecticut (and therefore a member of the general confederation of the four United Colonies of New England, Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven) for the purposes of counsel and defense. John Mulford was the first Deputy to represent East Hampton at the General Court of Connecticut in 1658. He also served as Selectman and JOP in 1658 at East Hampton. John Mulford was also Deputy to the GC at of Connecticut at Hartford in 1664. All of this time the Dutch had governed the area including East Hampton. Charles II, King of England, disregarding the claim of the Dutch to New Netherland, gave to his brother the Duke of York the whole country from the Connecticut River to the Delaware River. The Duke sent a fleet under Colonel Richard Nicolls to enforce his claim. In September 1664 the Dutch surrendered without bloodshed and their governance passes into the hands of the English. The name New Amsterdam was changed to New York, in honor of the Duke, and the towns in Easter Long Island were taken away from the jurisdiction of Connecticut and incorporated with the colony of New York under Richard Nicolls as the first English governor. In March 1665 Governor Nicolls convened a meeting of two deputies for each town in Long Island to organize his government there. This area he called Yorkshire and it was divided into "ridings.” The towns in Suffolk County formed the "east ridings" ("riding" used this way was a corruption of "trithing" which meant the third part of a county) and a JOP was appointed by the governor. John Mulford was appointed JOP for East Hampton and took the oath of allegiance 03 May 1665. The towns had to "secure patent" for their lands according to a 13 March 1666 order and had to pay the governor to have their land "confirmed" to them. On 13 March 1666 East Hampton had its town's possession "confirmed" to Mr. John Mulford, justice of the peace and 6 of his associates. The Netherlands again took over New York and the governance of Long Island in 1673 (during this time East Hampton and the rest of Long Island re-established alliance with Connecticut), but lost it back to the English in 1674 (and ultimately forced East Hampton and the rest of Long Island to be allied with New York again) at the conclusion of England's and France's 1672-1674 war with The Netherlands. John Mulford "attended to town affairs" for East Hampton through governance by the Dutch and the English and through alliance with Connecticut and New York. As "one of their foremost men" he served as Selectman/Townsman (from 1650 - 1663), judge/JOP (1669 until his election to judgeship in 1674), and as Deputy to General Courts. As another English governor sent an order requiring East Hampton to pay taxes without representation, John Mulford and 3 others signed a 01 October 1685 address to the new New York governor demanding representation "as a fundamental priveledge of our English Nation" and the expression of a fear that in the event of the denial of such a privilege "our freedom should be turned into bondage, and our ancient privileges so infringed, yt they will never arrive at our posterity.

John Mulford at almost eighty years of age fearlessly sought the freedom of representation upon which the United States would soon be founded.

John Mulford's (1606-1686) will was dated 04 December 1683 and it was proved 19 October 1686. He was probably buried in the Southend Burying Ground, but the wooden markers of the time did not survive. His will mentions second wife Friedewiede and carefully divides his large estate between her and his children.

(Sources: Genealogical Dictionary by Savage, 1860; Colonial Ancestors and Descendants, by Uri Mulford, 1920; James Cory and Susan Mulford, by C. H. Cory, 1922; Lineal Ancestors, by C. H. Cory, 1937; by J. H. Jones, 1907.) Judge John Mulford died in 1686, at East Hampton, Suffolk, New York, at age 81.


The Mulfords Come to America

In 1639 John and William Mulford sailed from England to America aboard the Plough. The two Mulford brothers arrived at Salem, Plymouth Colony, less than twenty years after the 102 Pilgrim's landing aboard the Mayflower.
In July 1640 John Mulford established the first English settlement on Long Island, York at Southampton. John Mulford purchased the land from the Montauk Indians for £30, 4s, 8d Sterling. On February 8, 1647/8 John and William Mulford established East Hampton, Long Island, New York, along with eight other families. The other pioneer families were led by Joshua Barnes, Robert Bond, John Hand, Daniel Howe, Robert Rose, John Stratton, Sr., Thomas Talmadge, Jr., and Thomas Thompson.

During this time they fought off several Indian attacks and were in constant territorial disputes with the Dutch settlers in New Amsterdam. The original ten families were soon joined by two dozen families lead by Thomas Baker, Charles Barnes, William Barnes, Samuel Belknap, Nathaniel Bishop, Richard Brookes, Thomas Chatfield, Ananias Conklin, Ralph Dayton, Fulke Davis, William Fithian, Lion Gardiner, Joshua Garlick, Stephen Hand, William Hedges, Jeremiah Meacham, John Miller, John Osborne, Thomas Osborn, Thomas Osborn, Jr., Samuel Parsons, Richard Shaw, William Simonds and Jeremiah Veal. Together, these English families established the English settlement of what would become New York. The settlement was led by three judges: John Mulford, Thomas Baker and Robert Bond.

The Plymouth Pilgrims became famous due to Governor Bradford, sometimes called "the father of American History" who recorded the Pilgrim's exploits in his book Of Plimoth Plantation. The history of the founders of New York, on the other hand, is largely limited to treaties, church and land records. Nevertheless, their contributions may be far more significant as they were literally the founding fathers of this Republic.


ANNE SPARKES was born 3 April 1614, in Surrey, England, to unknown parents. She married Judge John Mulford. She immigrated to New England.

We do not know when or where Anne Sparkes passed away.

Child of Judge John Mulford and Anne Sparkes:

1.Thomas Mulford was born about 1640, of Eastham, Cape Cod, Plymouth Colony to Judge John Mulford (1604-1686) and Anne Sparkes (1614- .) He married (1) *Elizabeth Barnes, 1663, in Eastham; (2) Hannah Williams, 1679 (question year,) in Eastham. Thomas Mulford died 8 June 1706, Eastham, Barnstable, Province of Massachusetts, age 66.

John Mulford married, 2nd, Friedeswiede (widow of William Osborn), but she was not the mother of any of his children. All the children were by his first wife, identified as Hannah Howell of Southampton, according to various clues, the daughter of Edward Howell, founder of Southampton. An early victim of the fanaticism which eventually bewitched Salem, Massachusetts, Hannah died in infamy and for this reason was forgotten in most family recollections.


  • Jeannette Edwards Rattray, East Hampton History. East Hampton, Long Island, New York: Country Life Press (1953), page 475 link to PDF
  • Pelletreau, William. Records of the Town of Smithtown, Long Island, N.Y. (1898) Archive.Org
  • Anna Sparkes, b 1614, Marriage to John Mulford Feb 2 1634 Saint Mary, Guildford, Surrey, England
  • The New England Register,: Volume 34 1880. By New England Historic Genealogical Society Staff. “Descendants of John Mulford.” Page 172. GoogleBooks
  • ”Indian Whalers on Long Island, 1669-1746” by John A. Strong. link
  • https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/20180859/john-mulford “Husband of Hannah F Friedeswiede ; AE 80 ys. One of the earliest settler in this town in 1649.”
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Judge John Mulford's Timeline

September 2, 1604
of., Cadbury, Parish of Chulmleigh, County of Devonshire (now Devon), England
Eastham, Cape Cod, Plymouth Colony
August 31, 1644
East Hampton, Suffolk County, New York, United States
East Hampton, Suffolk County, NY, United States
East Hampton, Suffolk County, NY, United States
East Hampton, Suffolk County, New York, Colonial America
Age 81
of., East Hampton, Suffolk, New York