Rev. John Wilson

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About Rev. John Wilson

First Minister of First Church of Boston

JOHN WILSON was born about December, 1588, at Windsor, Berkshire, England. He is the son of Rev. WILLIAM D.D. and ISABEL (WOODHALL) WILSON, Canon of Windsor, grandson of WILLIAM WILSON of Welbourn, Lincolnshire, England, and great-grandson of WILLIAM WILSON of Penrith, Cumberland, England.

He was prepared at Eton and entered King's College, Cambridge in 1602. He left the College as a result of his interest in the Puritan movement and entered one of the Inns of Court to study law, but finally returned, under his father's influence, to the University, where he obtained a degree at Christ College of B.A. in 1606 and M.A. in 1609.

He preached at several places a short time, and was chaplain in several families, then preached at other places in Suffolk County until about 1620. He was located at Sudbury in that County for about ten years, but was prosecuted and suspended for non-conformity and in 1630 joined the emigration to New England, coming over on the "Arabella" with Gov. Winthrop. When the First Church of Boston was organized Jul. 30, 1630, he was installed as teacher, but returned to England in April 1631, to get his wife and children, who came over in May 1632. He was made a freeman of the colony Jul. 3, 1632, and was installed as pastor of the First Church of Boston, Nov. 23, 1632.

In 1634, he returned to England again to settle the estate of his brother, Edmund, and came back again to America in October 1635, where he remained until his death, Aug. 7, 1667. He was strict in his own orthodoxy, but a devoted preacher and respected generally.

His homestead was in Boston, Suffolk, MA, on the northwest corner of the present State and Devonshire Streets, but he had several other grants of land from the General Court. The town of Boston made a grant to him Dec. 8, 1634.

He received a grant of 750 acres, bounded on the east by the bay on the north or northwest by a line not far south of present E. Squantum Street in Quincy and including all the upland west of present Hancock Street, and north of it to Milton Line, on the west, and on the south by a small brook called Stand Brook, later Sachem's Brook and now completely covered over (along Brook Street, Wollaston, to the bay), and including a large swamp from which the brook ran. He soon built a house and it, or a successor house, stood until 1857 on present Linden Street, Wollaston, near the junction of Hancock Street where the cellar hole on the south side of Linden Street was visible until after 1900. A sketch of the typical salt box or lean-to house is included in Whitfield's "Homes of our Forefather's", and "Chapel of Ease", by D. M. Wilson, 1890.

He sold the farm May 31, 1667, and confirmed the sale in his will of the same date, equally to his son, Rev. JOHN WILSON of Medfield, and daughter Mary, wife of Rev. Samuel Danforth of Roxbury. JOHN and Mary made a division of the land in 1687, JOHN taking the southern part which remained in the possession of his descendants for many years afterwards.

JOHN and ELIZABETH are both buried in a tomb in King's Chapel Burying Ground, in Boston.

Family

Ca 1616 John married Elizabeth Mansfield (5355) , daughter of John Mansfield (2089) (1551 to 1553-ca Jul 1601) & Elizabeth (-Feb 1633/4). Born ca 1592 in Oxfordshire. Elizabeth was baptized in Henley-On-Thames, Oxfordshire, on 3 Dec 1592.75 Elizabeth died in Boston, MA ca 1658.16 Buried in Kings Chapel Burying Ground, Boston.

Elizabeth came to New England in 1632, two years after her husband.75
Their children include:

  1. Dr. Edmund Wilson (ca 1617-17 Aug 1657). Married Elizabeth. She married 2nd to Nicholas Blake.
  2. Rev. John Wilson (ca 1624-23 Aug 1691). Married Sarah Hooker.
  3. Elizabeth Wilson (ca 1630-Feb 1650/1). Married Rev. Ezekiel Rogers, his second wife.
  4. Mary Wilson (12 Sep 1633-13 Sep 1713). Married 1) Rev. Samuel Danforth 2) Joseph Rock.

References

  1. https://mathcs.clarku.edu/~djoyce/gen/report/rr02/rr02_033.html#P24694
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Rev. John Wilson's Timeline

1588
December 1588
Windsor, Berkshire, England
1599
1599
England
1599
England
1609
1609
Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts, USA
1611
1611
Dunnington, Lincolnshire, England
1614
1614
England
1617
1617
Henley On Thames, Oxfordshire, England
1621
September 1621
London, Middlesex, England
1623
1623
Windsor, Berkshire, England