Rev. Peter Bulkeley

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Peter Bulkeley

Also Known As: "Peter Bulkley"
Birthdate: (77)
Birthplace: Odell, Bedfordshire, England
Death: March 09, 1659 (77)
Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
Place of Burial: New London, New London County, Connecticut, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Rev. Edward Bulkeley and Olive Bulkeley
Husband of Jane Bulkeley; Grace Bulkeley and Jane Bulkeley
Father of Mary Williams; Richard Bulkley; Rev. Gershom Bulkeley; Eleazur Bulkeley; Dorothy Bulkeley and 14 others
Brother of Frances Welby; Judith Mellowes; Martha Mellowes; Nathaniel Bulkeley; Sarah St. John and 12 others

Occupation: Minister, Reverand Puritan
Immigration Year: 1635
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Rev. Peter Bulkeley

Peter Bulkley, son English clergyman Rev. Edward Bulkley, was a dissident preacher who sought religious freedom and helped found Concord, Massachusetts. Peter was born 31 January 1582 at Odell, Bedfordshire, England; he died at Concord, Massachusetts on 9 March 1658/9. He married (1) on 12 April 1613 in Goldington, Bedfordshire, England to Jane Allen (baptised 17 January 1587 Goldington - died 8 December 1626 Odell), daughter of Thomas Allenn, gentleman and Mary Hassilden; and (2) Grace Chetwode (1602 - 1669) on April 1635 at Bedford, Bedfordshire, Engalnd

Marriages and Children

  1. Jane Allen (1587 - 1626) married 12 April 1613 Goldington, Bedfordshire, England
    1. Edward Bulkeley (christened 12 June 1614 Odell, Bedfordshire, England)
    2. Mary Bulkeley (1615 - 1616)
    3. Thomas Bulkeley (1617 - 1658)
    4. Nathaniel Bulkeley (1618 - 1628)
    5. John Bulkeley (1619 - 1689)
    6. Edward Bulkeley (born 1620 Odell, Bedfordshire, England) [questionable]
    7. Mary Bulkeley (christened 1 November 1621 Odell, Bedfordshire, England)
    8. Joseph Bulkeley (1623 - 1659)
    9. George Bulkeley (1623 - 1658) [questionable]
    10. Benjamin Bulkeley (1624 - 1659)
    11. Daniel Bulkeley (1625 - 1648)
    12. Jabez Bulkeley (1626 - 1629)
    13. Richard Bulkley 26 October 1629 Odell, Bedfordshire, England [questionable; appears to have been born after the death of Jane Allen on 8 December 1626]
    14. David Bulkeley 1632 Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts [questionable; appears to have been born after the death of Jane Allen on 8 December 1626 - and three years prior to the Bulkeley emigration to Massachusetts]
  2. Grace Chetwode (1602 - 1669) married April 1635 Bedford, Bedfordshire, England
    1. Gershom Bulkeley (1636 - 1713)
    2. Eleazur Bulkeley (born 1638 Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony)
    3. Dorothy Bulkeley (born 2 June 1640 Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony)
    4. Peter Bulkley (born 12 June 1643 Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony)

Biographical Sketch

At age 16, Peter Bulkley entered St. John’s College at Cambridge, then succeeded his non-conformist father as rector of Odell. He was married 12 April 1613 in Goldington, Bedfordshire, England to Jane Allenn [1]. Jane was baptised 17 January 1587 in Goldington [2]; died 8 December 1626 in Odell. Jane's parents were Thomas Allenn, gentleman and Mary Hassilden[3].

By the early 1630s, Bulkley’s preaching and refusal to wear the prescribed vestments and make the sign of the cross had gotten him in trouble with Archbishop William Laud. Desiring freedom from religious restrictions, he decided to practice his brand of Puritanism across the Atlantic in New England.

Accompanying Rev. Bulkley to Massachusetts was his second wife, Grace Chetwode, and his sons, John, Benjamin and Daniel. His younger son, Thomas, may have come at a later date. His son Peter was probably born in Massachusetts. The Bulkley entourage included several of his followers, and arrived in America aboard the Susan and Ellen in 1635. They were founders of Concord, Massachusetts

Rev. Peter Bulkley was known for his knowledge of Latin and his poetry. He wrote one of the first books published in New England and died at Concord, Massachusetts on 9 March 1658/9. His will was dated 14 April 1658 with codicils added 13 January and 17 February 1658/9, was presented at court 21 June 1659 [4]. Some of his descendants spell the surname as Bulkeley.


[1] Confirmed by the Goldington Parish Register

[2]Cited as Jane d Tho Allenn, gent.

[3] In the parish record for Goldington, the author comments that there are 14 different ways to spell Haselden, which means Mary's spelling is just one way.

[4] Register copy: Middlesex Probate Records 1:204-210 but probate file does not contain original documents. The will is published in "Middlesex County in the Colony of the Massachusetts Bay in New England Records of Probate and Administration October 1649 - December 1660, by Robert H. Rodgers; NEHGS, 1999.

Cambridge University Alumni: B.A. from ST JOHN'S, 1604-5. S. of Edward, D.D. (1555). B. at Odell, Beds., Jan. 31, 1582-3. M.A. 1608. Fellow, 1605. Incorp. at Oxford, 1610, as Buckley. Ord. deacon and priest (Ely) June, 1608. Canon of Lichfield, 1609. University preacher, 1610. R. of Odell, Beds., 1610-35. Emigrated to New England, 1635; leader of the party which founded the town of Concord. Pastor of Concord till his death, Mar. 9, 1658-9, aged 73. Author, religious. Father of Edward (1629), brother of Paul, above. (D.N.B.; Vis. of Beds., 1634; J. G. Bartlett.)


"He arrived in Cambridge in 1634 or 1635 and was the leader of those resolute men and self-denying Christians who soon after "went further up into the woods and settled on the plantation at Musketaquid Concord." Here he expended most of his estate for the benefit of his people; and after a laborious and useful life died March 9th, 1659, in his 77th year. Mr. Bulkeley was remarkable for his benevolence. He had many servants, on whom, after they had lived with him several years, he bestowed farms, and then received others to be treated in a like benevolent manner. By great familiarity of manners he drew around him persons of all ages; and his easy address, great learning, and eminent piety, rendered his society pleasing and profitable to all. Persons seldom separated from his company, without having heard some remark calculated to impress the mind with the importance of religion. Though sometimes suffering under bodily infirmities, he was distinguished for the holiness of his life, and a most scrupulous observance of the duties of the Christian ministry. He avoided all novelties in dress and wore his hair short. Being strict in his own virtues, he was occasionally severe in censuring the follies of others. He was considered as the father of his peo- ple, and addressed as father, prophet, or counsellor by them, and all the ministers of the country. Had the scene of Mr. Bulkeley's labors been in Boston, or its immediate vicinity, and not, as he expresses it, "shut up" in this remote spot, then difficult of access, his name would have appeared more conspicuously in the published annals of the country. He was a thorough scholar; an elevated devotional Christian; laborious in his profession; and, as a preacher, evangelical, faithful, and of remarkably energetic and persuasive 1 elocpience. He often wrote a series of sermons on a particular book or passage of Scripture. One of these series on Zachariah !»: 11, was published as "The first born of New England," and passed through several editions. The latest edition bears the following title, "The Gospel Covenant, or The Covenant of Grace Opened."

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30. PETER*18 BULKELEY (EDWARD*17, THOMAS*16, WILLIAM*15, HUMPHREY*14, HUGH*13, JOHN*12, NICHOLA*11 LE BIRD, THOMAS*10, DAVID*9, HUGH*8, DAVID*7, RICHARD*6, HUGH*5, CHARLTON HUGO*4, HUGO*3, HUGO*2, CARLTON HUGO*1) was born January 31, 1581/82 in Odell, Bedfordshire, England, and died March 09, 1657/58 in Concord, Massachusetts.

He married JANE ALLEN April 12, 1613 in Goldington, Bedfordshire, England. She was born January 13, 1587/88 in Goldington, Bedfordshire, England, and died December 08, 1626 in Odell, Bedfordshire, England.

Notes for PETER BULKELEY: Jane married Peter Bulkley April 1, 1613 at Goldington, Bedfordshire. In the Bulkeley Genealogy of Peter Jacobus, she is called "a most virtuous gentlewoman". Her nephew, Sir Thomas Allen was Lord Mayor of London. Mrs Jane Allen Bulkeley, who did not emigrate to the New World, is descended from several monarchs of England (and elsewhere).

The most recent monarch Jane Allen Bulkeley is descended from is King William I of Scotland (d. 1214), as follows:

William I the Lion King of Scots = (a daughter of Richard Avenal)

Isabel of Scotland m. Robert de Ros

Sir William de Ros m. Lucy FitzPiers

Sir William de Ros m. Eustache FitzHugh

Lucy de Ros m. Sir Robert de Plumpton

Sir William de Plumpton m. Christiana

Alice de Plumpton m. Sir John Boteler

Alice Boteler m. John Gerard

Constance Gerard m. Sir Alexander Standish

Oliver Standish m.

Grace Standish m. Ralph Faircloth

Lawrence Faircloth m. Elizabeth

Thomas Faircloth m. Millicent Barr

Mary Faircloth m. Thomas Allen

Jane Allen

Rev. Peter Bulkeley Birth: 31 JAN 1582/83 in Odell or Woodhill, Bedfordshire, England. Death: 9 MAR 1659 in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts Bay Colony

Note: B.A., St. John's College, Cambridge,. 1604/5, M.A. 1608, ordained Deacon and priest June 1608, Canon of Lichfield 1609, University preacher 1610. Married (1) at Goldington, Bedforshire 12 Apr. 1613, Jane Allen, da. of Thomas Allen, Gent., by Mary Fairclough. They had 7 sons.

Douglas Richardson, _Plantagenet Ancestry_, p. 163-65

Rev. Peter Bulkeley, 50, of Odell, county Bedford, Mrs. Grace Bulkeley, 30, John Bulkeley, 15, Benjamin Bulkeley, 11, Daniel Bulkeley, 9, Priscilla Jarman, 10, Elizabeth Taylor, 10, and Anne Lieford, 13, were on the list of passengers on the SUSAN AND ELLEN, Edward Payne, Master. She sailed in May, but the date of her arrival is not of record. No certificates of residence accompanied this list. (The Planters of The Commonwealth in Massachusetts, 1620-1640, page 134)

Father: Edward BULKELEY b: 1540 in Woore, Shropshire, England Mother: Olive IRBY b: 1547 in Goldington, England

Married: 1) Jane ALLEN b: 17 JAN 1587 in O'Dell, Bedfordshire, England c: 13 JAN 1588 in Goldington, Bedfordshire, England Married: 12 APR 1613 in St. Mary's Church, Goldington, Bedford, England

Children 1. Edward BULKELEY b: BEF 12 JUN 1614 in Odell, Bedfordshire, England c: 12 JUN 1614 in Odell, Bedfordshire, England 2. Mary BULKELEY b: 24 AUG 1615 in Odell, Bedfordshire, England 3. Thomas BULKELEY b: 11 APR 1617 in Odell, Bedfordshire, England c: 13 APR 1617 in Odell, Bedfordshire, England 4. Nathaniel BULKELEY b: BEF 29 NOV 1618 in Odell, Bedfordshire, England c: 29 NOV 1618 in Odell, Bedfordshire, England (* William BULKEY b: ABT 1619 in Prince George, MD or Westham Essex England......*Questionable) 5. John BULKELEY b: 17 FEB 1620 in Odell, Bedfordshire, England c: 6 FEB 1620 in Odell, Bedfordshire, England 6. Mary BULKELEY b: BEF 1 NOV 1621 in Odell, Bedfordshire, England 7. Joseph BULKELEY b: BEF 4 MAY 1623 in Odell, Bedfordshire, England c: 4 MAY 1623 in Odell, Bedfordshire, England (?) George BULKELEY b: 17 MAY 1623 in Odell, Bedfordshire, England 8. Daniel BULKELEY b: BEF 28 AUG 1625 in Odell, Bedfordshire, England 9. Jabez BULKELEY b: BEF 10 DEC 1626 in Odell, Bedfordshire, England. Buried: 2 Dec 1629

Married: 2) Grace CHETWOOD Married: 15 APR 1634 in Odell, Bedfordshire, England

Children Rev. Gershom BULKELEY b: 6 DEC 1636 In Concord, MA Eleazer Bulkeley b: 1638; a member of the class of 1658 at Harvard College, but did not graduate. Named in his father's Will. Dorothy BULKELEY b: 2 June 1640 in Concord, MA Peter BULKELEY b: 12 JUN 1643 in Concord, MA

See the book "Rev. Peter Bulkeley; an acct. of His Career, His Anc. & Anc. of his Two Wives & His Relatives in Eng. & New Eng"

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Message rec'd: "Dorothy BULKELEY b: 2 Aug 1640 [should be 2 JUN 1640] in Concord, MA, m. Jonathan Wade 9 Dec 1660 in Ipswich, MA"

[Rev.] Peter Bulkeley was born in Woodhil (or Odell), Bedford, England 31 Jan 1582/3, son of Rev. Edward and Olive (Irby) Bulkeley.[1] • Christening: 30 June 1583 Odell, Bedfordshire, England • He received his BA in 1604/5 from St. John's College, Cambridge, England; his MA in 1608. Incorporated at Oxford 1610. [2] • Occupation: Minister [3] • He succeeded his father, the Reverend EDWARD BULKLEY, as Rector of Odell, Bedfordshire, England, in 1610 and continued to serve there until his emigration to North America in 1635. • He arrived in Massachusetts on the ship Susan & Ellen in 1635.[4] and settled in Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts. • He was co-founder of Concord, Mass. and first co-minister with John Jones of the Church of Christ in Concord, 1636. [5] • There is much information on him in Concord, Massachusetts. (Peter Bulkeley and His Times, by Elizabeth Lowell Everett). • A Bulkley portrait hangs in Concord Museum. Last Will & Testament

These notes on Peter Bulkeley's will are taken from Robert Charles Anderson's Great Migration.[7]

Dated 14 April 1658, codicil 13 Jan 1658/9; 2nd codicil 26 Feb 1658/9; proved 20 Jun 1659, in the 76th year of his life... • to my son Edward Bulkley... • my son John... • my daughter-in-law, widow of my son Thomas deceased... • my son Eliezur... • to my son Peter... • to "my Lord Oliver St. John Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas"... [Oliver St. John was nephew of Peter] • to "my cousin Mr. Samuel Haugh" • to my daughter Dorothy L150 of English money which I have in England, in the hands of my son John, the most part thereof came to me and my wife by the death of one of my wife's sisters..." • to my dear wife & her heirs by me begotten... "should any of the children be disobedient, she to have power to alter their legacies" • my loving brethren [by blood or church?] Robert Merriam and Luke Potter, the failthful deacons of our church, & William Hunt & Timothy Wheeler" overseers • [2nd codicil] to son Edward • [2nd codicil] to my son Gershom

"On 30 September 1663, Grace Bulkeley, relict of Mr. Peter Bulkeley of Concord, sold three quarters to Timothy Wheeler and one quarter to George Wheeler of all her property in Concord, excepting ten acres intended for Mr. Edward Bulkeley..." [8] Family He married (1) in Goldington, Bedford on 12 April 1613 Jane Allen, daughter of Thomas and Mary (Fairclough) (Haselden) Allen [Bulkeley Gen 42; NEHGR 52:252-53, 257]... He married (2) in April 1635 Grace Chetwood [Bulkeley Gen 58 citing a contemporary letter of John Blackiston provided by Charles E. Banks (FOOF 1:707)], "a virtuous daughter of Sir Richard Chetwood" and Dorothy Needham [Magnalia 1:403]. See also NEHGR 9:45.[9] Children with first wife: 1. Edward, bp Odell 12 Jun 1614; St. Catherine's College, Cambridge, 1629 [Venn 1:250]; m. Lucian ___ [NEHGR 58:201-02, citing PCLR 5:293-94]. Preceded the rest of the family to New England by one year. 2. Mary, bp Odell 24 Aug 1614; bur there 13 Jan 1615/6 3. Thomas, bp Odell 13 Apr 1617; m by 1640 Sarah Jones, dau of Rev. John Jones [TAG 71:52-54] 4. Nathaniel, bp Odell 29 Nov 1618; bur there 11 Feb 1628/9 5. John, bp Odell Feb 1619/20; m1 in Odell 19 Mar 1650/1? Anne Try; m2 (license) in Harrow-on-the-Hill, Middlesex, 6 Sept 1667 Elizabeth (____) Okes of East Smithfield; m3 Avis _____ 6. Mary, bp Odell 1 Nov 1621; no further record 7. Joseph, bp Odel 4 May 1623, called "Benjamin" in passenger list in 135; living in 1658; d.s.p. 8. Daniel, bp Odell 28 Aug 1625; predeceased his father 9. Jabez, bp Odell 24 Dec 1626; bur there 2 Dec 1629 With second wife: 1. Gershom, b abt 1636; m in Concord 6 Oct 1649 Sarah Chauncy 2. Eleazer, b abt 1638; named in 1663 division of father's land; no further record 3. Dorothy, b Concord 2 Aug 1640 [CoVR 1]; living unm at time of father's 1658 will 4. Peter, b Concord 12 Aug 1643 [CoVR 1]; m by 1670 Margaret ____ "Despite the fact that Mather indicates Peter had nine sons and two daughters with his first wife, Jacobus found no record of the ninth son [Magnalia 1:403]. Others have added children George, Richard and William to his progeny with his first wife, but offered no evidence [Wethersfield Hist 2:147-151]."[10]

view all 29

Rev. Peter Bulkeley's Timeline

January 31, 1582
Odell, Bedfordshire, England
June 12, 1614
Age 32
Odell, Northamptonshire, England
August 24, 1614
Age 32
Odell, Bedford, England, United Kingdom
April 13, 1617
Age 35
Odell, Bedfordshire, England, (Present UK)
November 29, 1618
Age 36
Odell, Bedfordshire, , England
February 6, 1619
Age 37
Odell, Bedford, England
December 1, 1621
Age 39
Odell, Bedford, England, United Kingdom
May 4, 1623
Age 41
Odell, Bedfordshire, England
May 17, 1623
Age 41
Odell, Bedfordshire, England