Rev. John Davenport, D.D.

Is your surname Davenport?

Research the Davenport family

Rev. John Davenport, D.D.'s Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Rev. John Davenport, D.D.

Birthplace: Coventry, Warwick, Warwickshire, England
Death: March 15, 1670 (72)
Boston, Middlesex County , Massachusetts Bay Colony (apoplexy)
Place of Burial: Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Henry Davenport, of Coventry; Henry Davenport; Winnifred Davenport and Private
Husband of Private and Elizabeth Davenport
Father of Susan Jane McGuffy; Thomas Davenport, of Dorchester; John Davenport, of New Haven and Joseph Davenport
Brother of Barnaby Davenport; Edward Davenport; Christopher Davenport and Henry Davenport

Occupation: co-founder of the Colony of New Haven
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Rev. John Davenport, D.D.

  • A history and genealogy of the Davenport family, in England and America, from A. D. 1086 to 1850 .. (1851)
  • Issue of Richard Davenport, ( No. 58.)
  • (60.) I. Edward Davenport of Coventry, who married a daughter of John Harford, Alderman of Coventry. In 1534, he was chosen to the city office of Chamberlain, and in 1540 to that of Sheriff. In 1550, he was chosen Mayor of Coventry, and during the time of his Mayoralty overruled all this county.
  • Issue of Edward Davenport, (No. 60.)
    • (61.) I. Henry Davenport, of Coventry, who married, 1st, Winifred, daughter of Richard Barnabit. She was the mother of his issue. His second wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas ___ of Gloucestershire. He was chosen Sheriff of Coventry, in 1602, and seems to have succeeded his younger brother as Mayor, in 1613.
    • (62.) II. Christopher Davenport, who married a daughter of William Hopkins, Alderman of Coventry. He was chosen Sheriff, in 1593; and Mayor, in 1602. [On Thursday, about 2 o'clock, March 24, 1603, deceased Queen Elizabeth, at Richmond, when Hon. Mayor Davenport proclaimed James I. King of England. Harl. MSS.]* Christopher Davenport
    • founded what is now known as the Bablake School. This is one of the most celebrated of the free schools of Coventry, and for nearly two centuries and a half has furnished a thorough system of instruction to a large number of youth. Its funds are also used for the maintenance of a certain number of superannuated teachers.* It derives its name from a small sheet of water near which the school is located, called Bablake, from the circumstance of a babe having there been drowned. The master of this school is still appointed by the General Charity Trustees of Coventry. A portrait of Christopher Davenport is to be seen in St. Mary's Hall, which stands a little south of St. Michael's Church, with those of other benefactors of the city. In these rooms are also to be found many ancient paintings, figures, arms, &c. : also half-length portraits of Queen Elizabeth, James I., Charles I. : whole lengths of Charles II., James II., &c. : William and Mary (copies) in their coronation robes: originals of Anne, George I., George II., and Caroline, in their coronation robes, &c.
    • Issue of Henry Davenport, (No. 61.)
      • (63.) I. Barnabas Davenport of Coventry, who married Mary, daughter of Simon Glover, by whom he had issue, Christopher, Anne, and Elizabeth.
      • (64.) II. Edward Davenport, who married Sarah, daughter of John White, Alderman of Coventry, by whom he had issue, Christopher, Winifred, Elizabeth, and Phillipa.
      • (65.) III. Christopher Davenport, who married. Frances, daughter of John Higginson, by whom he had one daughter, Elizabeth.*
      • (66.) IV. Henry Davenport.
      • ' (67.) V. John Davenport, who married Elizabeth Wolley.
      • ' Issue of John Davenport, (No. 67.)
      • [The following account of these two brothers is principally drawn from Wood's Athenae Oxonienses, and Biographia Britannica. The numbers are given in inverted order.]
        • (69.) II. Christopher Davenport, second son of John, by Elizabeth Wolley his wife, was born in the city of Coventry, Warwickshire, in the year 1598, and in grammatical learning there educated.
        • (68.) I. John Davenport, eldest son of John, and grandson of Henry, was born in the city of Coventry, in the year 1597, and in grammatical learning there educated.
  • __________________________
  • 'John Davenport (April 9, 1597 – May 30, 1670) was an English puritan clergyman and co-founder of the American colony of New Haven.
  • Early life
  • 'Born in Manchester, Warwickshire, England to a wealthy family, Davenport was educated at Oxford University. He matriculated at Merton College in 1613 but migrated to Magdalen College two years later, eventually leaving Oxford before completing his degree.[1]
  • 'His father was Henry Davenport (d. May 29, 1627), draper, alderman, and Mayor of Coventry, son of Edward Davenport, Mayor of Coventry (1551), and Margery Harford. His mother, Winifred Barnaby (1569 - April 12, 1597), is most probably a descendant of William I of Scotland and of Henry I of England and a direct descendant of an illegitimate son of Henry II and Rosamond de Clifford.[2]
  • Career
  • 'After serving as the chaplain of Hilton Castle he became curate of St Lawrence Jewry in London. In 1624 he was chosen vicar of St. Stephen’s Church, in Coleman Street, London. In 1625 he returned to Oxford for further studies, receiving an MA and BD.[3] He became an associate of John Preston, a leading Puritan teacher and scholar, and edited his works for posthumous publication. His efforts to organize the re-purchase of "lay-impropriations" for the support of rural clergy were frustrated by Bishop William Laud and condemned by the Court of Exchequer, as were also his efforts for the relief of Reformed clergy displaced by war in the Palatinate. In 1633 he resigned from the established church and moved to Holland.
  • 'While in Holland, it is believed that he was the model for several portraits by Rembrandt, which are now thought to be self portraits of Rembrandt.
  • 'In 1637 he acquired the patent for a colony in Massachusetts and sailed with much of his congregation for Boston.The group chartered the "Hector" of London. On June 26, 1637, John Winthrop recorded the arrival of the group from London at Boston. In March of 1638 he co-founded the Colony of New Haven along with his classmate, Theophilus Eaton, a wealthy merchant from London who became the colony's first governor. He was a large proponent of education in his colony and is often credited with the co-founding of Hopkins School.[4] As a burgess, he was an important figure in the colony up until his departure to Boston in 1668. He unsuccessfully opposed the incorporation of the New Haven colony into the reorganized colony of Connecticut under a royal charter in 1667.
  • 'Davenport was a life-long advocate of the rigorous Puritan standards for church membership and for the strict qualifications for infant baptism, which he believed should be administered only to the children of full church members. His time in Holland had been disrupted by a controversy with his supervising pastor John Paget over this issue, and it led to his withdrawal from the Puritan church in Amsterdam. In New England, he was a staunch opponent of the recommendations made by the Synod of 1662, known as the Half-Way Covenant, which proposed that the children of "half-way" members (those who had been baptized as infants but who had not given evidence of a "conversion" and been admitted to full membership) be allowed to receive baptism.[5]
  • 'In September 1667, after the death of their pastor, John Wilson, the First Church in Boston invited Davenport to be their new pastor.[6] A minority in that church opposed the invitation, objecting to his rejection of the compromise on infant baptism. Convention required that Davenport secure a release from his former congregation before accepting a new post, and the church in New Haven was reluctant to let him go. Still, he moved to Boston in the spring of 1668, and eventually produced excerpts of a letter from the New Haven church that appeared to grant his release. He was installed as pastor of the First Church in December 1668, but a faction opposed to his appointment sought to withdraw from the church to form a new congregation. A council of clergy from local churches endorsed their request, and they formed the Third (or Old South) Church in May 1669.[7] On May 19, 1669, Davenport preached the Election Sermon before the General Court in Boston, using the occasion to condemn the actions of "Councils" that interfered with the liberty and administration of individual congregations. Perhaps instigated by this sermon, the Deputies (the lower house of the General Court) named a commission to investigate the actions of the founders of the Third Church and the ministers who had endorsed the separation. However, the Assistants (the upper house) blocked any action, including the publication of Davenport's sermon at public expense. Later that summer, it was discovered that the release letter from New Haven had been severely redacted to give an impression that was not perhaps warranted, though Davenport's First Church rejected charges that they had been misrepresented.[8]
  • 'Davenport's appointment to the leading church in New England and his inflammatory election sermon brought to a head the simmering disagreements over the compromise settlement of the Half-way Synod. But Davenport died the following year; Increase Mather, the other leading Anti-Synodist, experienced a change of heart; and Synodist deputies swept the election of 1671, ending the temporary crisis.
  • 'Davenport died in Boston of apoplexy March 15, 1670, and was buried in the same tomb as John Cotton in King's Chapel Burying Ground.
  • Legacy
  • 'Yale University's Davenport College is named in his honor. Even while the Yale University itself was formed by the Rev. John Davenport. Both President George H. W. and George W. Bush attended Davenport College and were proved by DNA evidence to be related to John Davenport as well as descended from Thomas Davenport.[citation needed]
  • 'Recently, DNA evidence has proven that his grandfather, Edward Davenport of Coventry, was descended from the Davenports of Henbury.[citation needed] In addition, the DNA evidence has established his descent from Ormus de Davenport, of Cheshire, and also his relationship to the present day Lord Bromley Davenport.[9]
  • 'Notable descendants include brothers John and James Davenport, who were Congressmen, Abraham Davenport, the "Dark Day" poem, Archibald Cox, the Watergate Special Prosecutor, and Maxwell Perkins, the editor.
  • See also
  • New Haven, Connecticut
  • History of Connecticut
  • Robert Seeley
  • References
  • 1.^ Lecture by Francis J. Bremer, Ph.D., at the Stamford Historical Society, April 17, 2005
  • 2.^ Gary Boyd Roberts. The Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants to the American Colonies or the United States, 1st edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2004, pp. 422-3, 479-80; and Frederick Lews Weis, et al. Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America before 1700, 8th edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2004, line 230A, p. 205. See Roberts, pp. 422-3, for discussion of Barnaby's ancestry.
  • 3.^ Francis J. Bremer, “John Davenport: The American Career of an International Puritan,” Lecture at the Stamford Historical Society, April 17, 2005; online at
  • 4.^ Chronicles of Hopkins Grammar School: 1660-1935. Thomas B Davis. Quinnipiack Press, New Haven, CT. 1938
  • 5.^ Perry Miller, The New England Mind: From Colony to Province (Cambridge, 1953).
  • 6.^ Richard D. Pierce, ed., The Records of the First Church in Boston 1630–1868 (Boston, 1961), p.62.
  • 7.^ Arthur B. Ellis, History of the First Church in Boston, 1630–1880 (Boston, 1881)
  • 8.^ Robert G. Pope, The Half-way Covenant: Church Membership in Puritan New England (Princeton, 1969).
  • 9.^ Davenport Surname DNA project
  • External links
  • A SERMON Preach’d at The Election of the Governour, AT BOSTON IN New-England May 19th 1669. Online edition
  • Genepool: Saint Stephen's page
  • M'Clure, Alexander Wilson, The lives of John Wilson, John Norton, and John Davenport (1846)
  • "Sketch of the Life and Writings of John Davenport," by Franklin B. Dexter, *Papers of the New Haven Historical Society, v. II (1877), 205–238.
  • Hilton Castle, Durham An actual engraved image of Durham Castle can be found here, with links back to the London Genealogy page.
  • gives several references as to the death date of Davenport.
  • Davenport DNA study
  • ______________________
  • 'The Magna Charta Sureties, 1215: The Barons Named in the Magna Charta, 1215 ... By Frederick Lewis Weis, William Ryland Beall
  • The Magna Charta Sureties, 1215: The Barons Named in the Magna Charta, 1215 ... By Frederick Lewis Weis, William Ryland Beall
  • Pg. 159
  • ***
  • The parentage of Edward Davenport is not known.
  • ***
  • 13. EDWARD DAVENPORT, Mayor of Coventry, 1551; m. Margery, dau. of John Harford, alderman of Coventry.
    • 14. HENRY DAVENPORT, Mayor of Coventry, 1613, alderman for life, 1621, bur. Coventry, co. Warwick, 29 May 1627; m.(1) c. 1585, WINIFRED (122A-15), d. by 1619, dau of Richard Barnaby.
      • ' 15. THE REVEREND JOHN DAVENPORT, B.D., bp. Coventry, 9 Apr. 1597, d. Boston, Massachusetts, 11, 15 or 16 Mar. 1669/70; Oxford Univ., 1625; a founder of the New Haven Colony in Connecticut, and minister of the First Church there, and later of the First Church in Boston; m. c. 1634 Elizabeth, who came to America with him & d. Boston 15 Sept. 1676 ae. 73. (See Jacobus, New Haven Gen. Mag. 3: 522.).
  • ---------------
  • 'The Stamford Historical Society Presents
  • 'Portrait of a Family: Stamford through the Legacy of the Davenports
  • 'John Davenport 1597–1669/70 “The Founder”
  • 'New Haven Colony began in the conscience of John Davenport. Born in 1597 in Coventry, Warwickshire, England, John Davenport attended Oxford but left before obtaining his degree, for lack of funds. He began preaching at a private chapel in Hilton Castle, near Durham, in 1615. Fours years later he was a curate at a London church when he returned to Oxford for his B.D., and was then vicar at St. Stephens in London.
  • 'Davenport had become acquainted with several Puritan families, including the Veres, which prompted opposition to his position within the church, although he proclaimed his total conformity to church doctrine. He remained with his parishioners during the great plague of 1625.
  • 'Close association with the Puritans, becoming spiritual adviser to Lady Mary Vere in 1629, led to his being condemned by higher church powers whose anti-Calvinism under Archbishop William Laud, led to Davenport’s decision to leave England. He sailed for the Netherlands in 1633 where he resided for four years. During this interval he remained in correspondence with a friend of his youth, Theophilus Eaton, a London merchant, who, like Davenport, was interested in eventually migrating to New England.
  • 'He married Elizabeth [ ] in England prior to 1619. Their son John, Jr., born in April 1635 at The Hague, later died in Boston. In 1637 the Davenports and Theophilus Eaton sailed to New England, first arriving in Boston, and then proceeding to New Haven in 1638. With Davenport as pastor and Eaton as governor, the colony began, not politically aggressive but adhering strictly to the law – first of the church, and then the colony. Here Davenport was acknowledged leader of the community, ruling his congregation with a strong hand. Since voting was limited to freemen of the church, his influence included the entire colony.
  • 'After a prolonged series of controversies within the Church at Wethersfield, Connecticut, a group of those most dissatisfied met with Pastor Davenport and Governor Eaton. The group formed a company and agreed to peacefully separate from Wethersfield and embark upon establishing a new town on land recently purchased from the Indians by the New Haven Colony. In the spring of 1641 they proceeded to this place called Rippowam, later renamed Stamford.As the movement to absorb the New Haven Colony into Connecticut grew stronger, Davenport was one of two signers of a letter to the General Court urging a delay in the action. When the proposal became reality, Davenport believed his life work was lost. Shortly thereafter he accepted a call to the pastorate of First Church in Boston, but the New Haven church was reluctant to have him leave. His endeavors for release caused dissension in the Boston church, leading to a split in the congregation which resulted in the formation of the Third Church.
  • 'John Davenport died in 1669/70 and is buried in King’s Chapel Burying Ground, Boston.
  • On display in the exhibit:
  • A Complete History of Connecticut, Civil and Ecclesiastical, From the Emigration of Its First Planters from England, In MDCXXX, To MDCCXXIII
  • Benjamin Trumbull, 1797
  • 'It includes a portrait of John Davenport engraved by Amos Doolittle. Doolittle, a noted engraver, produced prints of battles at Lexington and Concord after Ralph Earl, 1775, and a great variety of maps, book illustrations, and portraits.
  • Loan, Pequot Library
  • 'John Davenport: The American Career of an International Puritan by Francis J. Bremer
  • --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • Christopher Davenport, also known as Franciscus a Sancta Clara [1], (b. 1598, at Coventry, England, d. 31 May 1680) was an English Catholic theologian, a Franciscan Recollect, and royal chaplain.
  • Life
  • Christopher Davenport was the son of 'Alderman John Davenport and Elizabeth Wolley', and from the grammar school at Coventry went to Dublin where he spent fifteen months, leaving it 22 November, 1611. In 1613 he and his brother John Davenport proceeded to Merton College, Oxford, entering as "battelers" and taking Cook's commons; but the warden required them to enter as commoners or to leave the college; whereon in 1614 they migrated to Magdalen Hall. Here Christopher became B.A. on 28 May, his Dublin residence being allowed to count.[2] John subsequently became a noted Puritan divine and emigrated to New England, where with a band of colonists he founded the city of New Haven, Connecticut (1638).
  • ________________

  • 5th son of Henry and Winifred (Barnabit) Davenport
  • Free Grammar School of Coventry
  • Oxford
  • began preaching at HILTON CHAPEL near Durham (1615-1619)
  • curate of St Lawrence Jewry, London, Cheapside
  • vicar of St. Stephen's, Coleman St.
  • persecuted by Archbishop Laud, he went to Holland
  • preached in Presbyterian Church in Holland
  • returned to London
  • came to America with Rev. Theophilus Waaton on the ship "Hector" (Boston, June 1637
  • went to Quinnnipac (New Haven) april 1638
  • Helped found Hopkins Grammar School which ultimately became Yale College

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Birth: 1597 Coventry Warwickshire, England Death: Mar. 15, 1670 Boston Suffolk County Massachusetts, USA

This stone marks the graves of the ministers of the First Church of Christ in Boston

"Appletons' cyclopaedia of American biography, Vol. II, New York, D. Appleton and Company, 1887"

"Davenport, John, clergyman, b. in Coventry, England, in 1597; d. in Boston, Mass., 15 March, 1670. His father had been mayor of the city. He was educated at Oxford, and became chaplain in Hilton castle, near Durham. Subsequently he preached in London, and later became minister of St. Stephen's church in Coleman street. Here he became celebrated not only for his high accomplishments as a preacher, but for very faithful discharge of his pastoral duties. In 1625 he returned to Oxford and passed his examinations for the B.D. and M.A. degrees. During the following year, in conjunction with Drs. Richard Sibbs and William Gouge, the lord-mayor of London, and others, he devised a plan to purchase 'lay impropriations," from the profits of which a number of ministers should be maintained over destitute congregations. But Archbishop Laud regarded it as favorable to the cause of non-conformity, and procured its condemnation, with the confiscation of the money to the kin's use. A few years later Davenport was summoned before the archbishop and subjected to considerable trouble and expense on account of his puritan principles. About this time John Cotton had resigned his charge, with a view of escaping to America, and Davenport, after an interview with him, became convinced of the desirability of withdrawing from the Established church. He then resigned from ST. Stephen's and near the end of 1633 removed to Holland, where he became the colleague of Rev. John Paget, pastor of the English church in Amsterdam;; but, as he objected to the promiscuous baptism of infants, he relinquished his pastoral work and conducted private classes until 1635, when he returned to England. Meanwhile he had been actively concerned in obtaining the patent of the Massachusetts colony, and had contributed both money and time in its aid. A favorable account of the success of the colony having reached him, he sailed on the "Hector," reaching Boston on 26 June, 1637. He was heartily welcomed, and was regarded as an important aid in sustaining the interests of religion. During August of the same year he sat with the famous synod of Cambridge. In March, 1638, with many of the families that had accompanied him from England, he sailed from Boston to Quinipiac, which they afterward named New Haven. The party reached their new home on 14 April, and on the following day, which was the Sabbath, Mr. Davenport preached under the branches of a large oak on "The Temptations of the Wilderness." In June of the following year "all the free planters" met in a barn for the purpose of holding a constitutional assembly. It was resolved that only church members should be burgesses, and Davenport was chosen one of the "seven pillars" to support the civil government. His carefulness in regard to the admission of members to the church gave him also the keys of political power. When the regicides, William Goffe and Edward Whalley, were flying in 1660, he concealed them in his own house for more than a month, and delivered a sermon, for the purpose of enlisting sympathy in their behalf, from the text "Make thy shadow as the night in the midst of noonday, hide the outcasts, bewray not him that wandereth." He continued in New Haven until 1667, when, on the death of John Wilson, he was invited to succeed him as pastor of the first church in Boston. This call he accepted, and was installed on 9 Dec., 1668. The "half-way covenant," which had been adopted by the synod held in Boston in 1662, provided that all persons who had been baptized in their infancy, and who, on arriving at years of discretion, would recognize their covenant obligations, should be allowed to bring their children for baptism. This Mr. davenport was unwilling to accept, and he vigorously opposed its execution; consequently some of the members withdrew from the first church, and were organizied into the "Old South church." The controversy continued between the two churches for many years, but Mr. Davenport died of apoplexy soon after it began, and was buried in the tomb of his friend, John Cotton. He published many sermons, theological tracts, and controversial pamphlets, and also "Instructions to Elders of the English Church" (1634); "Catechism containing the Chief Heads of Christian Religion" (1659); and "A Discourse about Civil Government in a New Plantation" (1673)."

Family links:

 Elizabeth Wooley Davenport (1603 - 1676)*
 John Davenport (1635 - 1677)*
  • Calculated relationship

Burial: Kings Chapel Burying Ground Boston Suffolk County Massachusetts, USA

Edit Virtual Cemetery info [?]

Maintained by: Graves Originally Created by: Dirtnapper Record added: Sep 10, 2002 Find A Grave Memorial# 6767414

Davenport's will includes in its inventory of his property: "One servant boy, £10" (3).

view all 14

Rev. John Davenport, D.D.'s Timeline

April 9, 1597
Coventry, Warwick, Warwickshire, England
April 9, 1597
Coventry, West Midlands, England
April 9, 1597
Coventry, Warwickshire, England, United Kingdom
April 9, 1597
Holy Trinity, Coventry, Warwickshire, England
Herne Hill, London, Middlesex, England
Age 27
Oxfordshire, England
Virginia, United States
April 15, 1635
The Hague (Den Haag), Den Haag Municipality, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands, The Hague, The Hague, South Holland, The Netherlands
June 26, 1637
Age 40
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts Bay Colony, British Colonial America