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Matthew Mayhew

Birthdate: (62)
Birthplace: Martha's Vineyard
Death: May 19, 1710 (62)
Martha's Vineyard, Dukes County, Province of Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Son of Rev. Thomas Mayhew, Jr. and Jane Sarson
Husband of Mary Mayhew
Father of Matthew Mayhew; Mary Bryant; Thomas Mayhew; Zaccheus Mayhew; Bethiah Clarke and 3 others
Brother of Thomas Mayhew, III; Rev. John Mayhew; Jerusha Wing; Jedidiah Smith; Abiah Mayhew and 3 others
Half brother of Samuel Sarson and Mehitabel McCoy

Managed by: Kathleen Allison Culver
Last Updated:

About Matthew Mayhew

Gov. Matthew Mayhew (Mathew Mayhew) is the eldest son of Thomas Mayhew Junior (died at sea in 1657). Title "Governor" listed in various early records, e.g., The Encyclopaedia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information, Volume 29, Hugh Chisholm, [Cambridge] University Press, 1905, page 105.

Matthew attended Harvard but dropped. Then, returned to Martha's Vineyard to assist his grand-father Gov. Thomas Mayhew. In 1681/2, Matthew succeeded his grand-father in civil and military honors. His missionary work was taken by his younger brother John Mayhew. But Matthew occasionally preached to the Indians.

"March 25,1682: Governor for Life Thomas Mayhew died, and his position of control over Martha’s Vineyard and Adjacent Islands passed to his grandson Matthew Mayhew. The grandson, an astute observer, would forsake titles such as “Governor for Life” and get himself appointed Chief Magistrate — a position in which he would be able to exercise nearly as total an authority as had his grandfather without nearly so much of a hassle."

Matthew and his grandfather were made Lord of Manor of Martha's Vineyard.

"He became a very important man in the politics of the Island and took his grand-fathers' place when he died. (Gov. Thomas Mayhew) He represented the Island, in NY before Gov. Lovelace, in respect to submitting to the jurisdiction of the Duke of York over the Island. He was the first secretary of the General Court of the Island held in 1672, and one of the assistants to the Governor. He also held at different time the office of Register of deeds (1672) , High Sheriff (1683), Judge of Probate (1697), Register of Probate (1685), besides continuous service in the office of Justice of the King's Bench. Upon the death of the aged governor, he was commissioned "in the stead of that worthy Person Mr. Thomas Mayhew his (grand) father Late Deceased to the cheif supplying the Defect by another of the Name." While not specifically designating him as governor, his functions were identical, and he is termed in the Provincial Records as "Chief Magistrate" of the Island.

Source: 1. Charles Edward Banks, M.D., "Annals of Edgartown--History of Martha's Vineyard, Vol. II," pp 79-84.


3. William Thomas Davis, "Bench and Bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Volume 2, Boston History Company, 1895," page 362.


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Matthew Mayhew's Timeline

Martha's Vineyard
November 29, 1674
Age 26
Kittery, York, Maine, United States
October 31, 1677
Age 29
Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard, Province of New York
May 25, 1680
Age 32
Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard, Dukes County, Province of New York
May 5, 1683
Age 35
Chilmark, Dukes, MA
Age 36
March 5, 1685
Age 37
Martha's Vineyard, Dukes County, Province of New York
Age 40
Edgartown, Dukes, Massachusetts, United States
Age 42
Dukes,, Massachusetts, United States
May 19, 1710
Age 62
Martha's Vineyard, Dukes County, Province of Massachusetts