Rev. Stephen Batchelder, of Hampton

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Rev. Stephen Batchelder

Also Known As: "Bachiler"
Birthplace: Barton Stacy, Wherwell, Hampshire, England
Death: before October 31, 1656
Hackney, London, Middlesex (now Greater London), England
Place of Burial: London, Middlesex (now Greater London), England
Immediate Family:

Son of unknown father of Stephen Batchelder and unknown mother of Stephen Batchelder
Husband of Ann Batchelder; Christian Weare Bachiler; Helena Mason; Mary Bailey ("The Scarlet Letter") and 5th wife of Stephen Batchelder
Father of Nathaniel Batchelder; Theodate Hussey; Deborah Wing; Stephen Bachiler "the younger"; Rev. Samuel Bachiler and 2 others

Occupation: religious minister
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Rev. Stephen Batchelder, of Hampton

Surname has also been reported to be:

Reverend Stephen Bachiler or Batchelder

From Lane Memorial Library collection on Stephen Bachiler:

The Reverend Stephen Bachiler founded the town of Hampton in 1638-9 at the age of about 77 years. He probably died in London in 1656 (not in Hackney in 1660 as is so often reported). Although his origins in England are unknown, he led a long and colorful life. Much has been written about him, a lot of which is untrue or inaccurate. Several short biographies of him can be found on this website through the links below. For the latest up-to-date and authoritative information, read the section on him in "The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633" by Robert Charles Anderson and published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston in 1995. All references that may be found in various places on the Internet to his "father" Philip Bachiler are incorrect and should be ignored or, preferably, corrected. Much research has been done to search for his parentage in England, but to date there has been no success.


The Non-Conformist of Hampton

© Virginia Marin

Jun 8, 2001


While reading through a collection of family folktales not long ago, I came across several concerning one of my more colorful progenitors. When one is researching for interesting tales concerning his ancestors, he will invariably come across some who have left a wash of color on the culture of their time. Sometimes the marks are colorful because the person was colorful. Such is the case with one of my early progenitors, the Reverend Stephen Batchelder, Non-Conformist of Hampton, New Hampshire...

...Stephen Batchelder, variously spelled Batcheller and Bachiler, was not only a Non-Conformist - he was a leading Non-Conformist who settled the town of Hampton and is reputed to have named it.

Born in England in 1561, he matriculated through St. John's College, Oxford and studied for the ministry. He was named, at an early age, to be vicar of the Church of the Holy Cross and St. Peter. Being unable to conform to the Church of England, the spirited Reverend found himself in continuously troubled waters.

From this time onward, his life was one legend after another; one myth after another; one sordid and questionable truth after another. The Mythos of Stephen Batchelder, whether true or untrue, followed him for the remainder of his long life. He was excommunicated in England for refusing to follow church rules which often made life difficult for its members.

On the death of Elizabeth, in 1603, James I, of the House of Stuart, came to the throne. In January, 1604, the famous Hampton Court Conference was held, when King James uttered his angry threat against the Puritans, "I will make them conform or I will harry them out of the kingdom." The next year the king's threat was carried out against Reverend Batchelder. He was furiously harried after his excommunication. Of Batchelder, Governor Winthrop remarked that Bachiler had suffered much at the hands of the bishops.

At some point in 1631, Batchelor went to Holland to seek religious freedom and to visit his children. It was here that his daughter, Theodate, had met Christopher Hussey who became enamoured of her. He sought her hand in marriage and Batchelder consented to the union only if they would accompany him to America. Theodate Batchelder and Christopher Hussey are my 9-times-great-grandparents and Stephen my tenth. I have not researched Stephen Batchelder's parentage because records are missing. Some have said that all traces to Reverend Batchelder were destroyed by King James, who detested him to the core.

The three left Holland for Boston in 1632, aboard the William and Francis, with sixty passengers. The voyage was to last eighty-eight days before docking at Boston. Among Batchelder's fellow travelers was Governor Winslow of Plymouth.

Now, shortly after the William and Francis reached the high seas, strange things began to happen on board. The first reported happening centered around Governor Winslow, who was not given to hyperbole. As the tale goes, he was awakened from his sleep by noises in his cabin. Recognizing King James, the Governor was hesitant to reveal his awakeness. King James, or a ghost of the King, was most definitely present and going through Winslow's belongings.

The next night, Reverend Batchelder was visited by the ghost of King James who shackled him to his sleeping bunk. Unable to move or summon deck hands during the night, he returned to a restless sleep. At first light, Batchelder found his cabin in utter turmoil. Everything had been tossed around or torn into shreds.

For the remainder of the crossing, strange things continued happened on board. Food disappeared - as did several of the ship's crew. It was evident that the wicked James was not to leave them alone, but two days prior to docking, James vanished and never bothered any of them again.

Batchelder was admitted a freeman and served the colony of New Hampshire by pastoring several colonial churches. He continued, however, to have difficulty in conforming to a set of religious laws for which cause he had left England. Poor Mr. Batchelder often found himself without a church or income.

Early on, however, Batchelder did have money, not wealth, but money with which he purchased land. He founded the town of Hampton which he named. In Hampton, the clergyman was called to a small church where he remained for a long period. The settlers of Hampton being more progressive and open-minded than their other Puritan and Pilgrim brothers, readily accepted the Reverend's preachings and teachings. From here, Batchelder's belief in individual religious freedoms gave impetus to his one-man crusade to reduce the bondage of religious oppression on the faithful.

As the Reverend aged, he sorely missed the land of his birth. He returned to England and died near London in 1660.

Whoever considers that Stephen Batchelder's life was wasted because he obtained neither riches nor temporal honors knows little of the manner in which reform is accomplished. One thing for which he bitterly contended is, today, universally conceded - the separation of church and state. We know now that he had that firmness which rendered him utterly unmovable regardless of consequences to himself, when conscious that his motives and judgment were right. He was determined and unmoving in his belief that church and state should be separate. His vision is realized today. Like Anne Hutchinson and Roger Williams, this old grandsire was generations ahead of his time.

Stephen Batchelder was a progenitor of the poet Whittier, and of President Richard M. Nixon. Without Stephen Batchelder the world would never have known another of his descendants - that notable orator, politician and statesman, DANIEL WEBSTER. Daniel's grandmother was Susanna Batchelder.

Living on the frontier, Daniel Webster was compelled to depend on his mother for his early education. The one thing that Daniel was unable to do was speak before his school. He was therefore sent off to college at fifteen years of age in order to learn to speak.

He studied law, graduated Dartmouth College in 1801 and was admitted to the bar in Boston in 1805. After his father died he moved to Portsmouth, New Hampshire where he undertook a leading stand at the bar. In 1813, Daniel Webster entered Congress as a representative from New Hampshire.

In March of 1840, Daniel Webster wrote to his son, Fletcher: "I believe we are all indebted to my father's mother for a large portion of the little sense which belongs to us. Her name was Susannah Bachelder; she was the descendant of a clergyman and a woman of uncommon strength of understanding. If I had had many boys I should have called one of them Bachelder."

from Virginia Marin's web page (1997)''

"Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time".

Family: Batchelder

Reverend Stephen Batchelder (Batcheller, Bachiler) was a leading non-conformist who settled the town of Hampton, New Hampshire and is said to have named it. He was born in England in 1561.

From St. John's College, Oxford, he was fortunate, indeed, to become a vicar at an early age. Of his early ministry, little is known. Stephen was ejected from his vicarage post in 1605 and was persecuted as one of the earliest of the non-conformists.

On the death of Elizabeth in 1603, James I, of the House of Stuart, came to the throne. In 1604 the famous or infamous Hampton Court Conference was held, when King James stormed out against the Puritans: "I will make them conform, or I will harry them out of the kingdom." The next year the king's threat was carried out against Stephen, and he suffered much at the hands of the bishops.

In 1631, Stephen went to Holland to visit his children. It was here that his daughter, Theodate, met Christopher Hussey, who became enamoured of her. He sought her hand, and Stephen consented to the union only if they would accompany him to America.

Mr. Bachiler left England for Boston in 1632 aboard the William and Francis, with sixty passengers. After eighty-eight days they landed at Boston. Among his fellow travelers were Governor Winslow of Plymouth and a Mr. Richard Dummer. A relationship existed between the Bachilers and the Dummers no one to date has been able to trace. Records have been found in which Dummer referred to Stephen Batchelder as 'cusson'.

During Stephen's time in the Colonies he seemed to be followed by trouble, and by women both single and married. This coat-tailing swathed him in unrelenting problems for the remainder of his life. Stephen had four wives: 1. Ann Bate; 2. Christian Weare; 3. Helen Mason; 4. Mary Beedle.

The names of four children of Stephen Bachiler are known with certainty:

1. Deborah b. 1592 married Rev. John Wing

2. Stephen b. 1594

3. Ann b. 1601 married a Samborn

4. Theodate b. 1588; died 10/20/1649 at Hampton, New Hampshire; married Christopher Hussey

Whoever considers that Stephen Bachiler's life was wasted because he obtained neither riches nor temporal honors were obtained by him knows little of the manner in which reforms are accomplished. One thing for which Stephen bitterly contended is universally conceded - the separation of church and state. We know now that he had that firmness which rendered him utterly unmovable regardless of consequences to himself, when conscious that his motives and judgment were right. He died near London in 1660.

Virginia Marin,


For an excellent reference on Stephen Batchelder, refer to Pierce, Batchelder Genealogy, Conkey Company, Chicago, 1898. On the web, Jo Thiessen maintains an excellent Batchelder page.


Our Fascinating Ancestor, Stephen Bachiler

A Presentation by Eleanor Campbell Schoen

Solomon and Naomi Cox Reunion, May 22, 1999

(Reprinted here with permission of the author)

Stephen Bachiler was born in 1561, and according to World Family Tree, his birth took place at Wherwell, Hampshire, England. I knew nothing of Stephen Bachiler's parentage, but my daughter accidentally came across a father for him on the internet, and it named his father as Philip Bachiler, born 1535; and a mother, Ann, born in Flanders; and their natural son to be Stephen Bachiler, born 1561, with spouses Christian Weare, Helena Mason and Mary Beedle. However, George F. Sanborn, founder and genealogist of the Sanborn Family Association, having investigated this, and having found no proof, rejects it.

There is record Stephen Bachiler's entry to St. John's College, Oxford University, 17 November 1581, at the age of twenty-one. He was admitted as a Bachelor of Arts, 3 February 1585/6.

The leading profession for college graduates in that day was that of Clergyman, and Mr. Bachiler determined to study for the ministry, at that time being a member of the established church.

Apparently, the time between his graduation from Oxford in February 1585/6 and 17 July 1587, was spent in preparation for his lifework. On the day last named, the death of Edward Parret, vicar of Wherwell in Hampshire, made a vacancy. Mr. Bachiler was presented with the place by William West, Lord de la Ware , and became vicar of The Church Of Holy Cross and St. Peter. (This Lord de la Ware was the father of the Lord for whom Delaware was named.)

The village of Wherwell stretches along the westerly bank of the Test Stream (called a troutful stream), in Hampshire, three and one half miles from Andover. Wherwell Abbey was home of three, possibly four English Queens renowned for their extraordinary beauty. In 986, Wherwell Abbey was founded for The Benedictine Nuns in penitence for bloodshed by Aelfrida, in which she was concerned. Aelfrida was the wife of Edmund the Magnificent, King of England. She was our ancestress.

The story was thus told: "and in the place, which by the inhabitants is called Wherwell, founded The Church of the Holly Cross, beseeching Christ, that He who was wounded on the memorable cross, shed His blood for the redemption of men, might deign to grant her the pardon purchased by His death, His wounds, and by the shedding of His blood rich in graces."

Today, there is practically no trace of the old church. Of Mr. Bachiler's life at Wherwell, little is known. We only know that he remained there until 1605, for on the ninth day of August 1605, John Bate, A clergyman, was appointed Vicar of Wherwell . A vacancy existing because of "The ejection of Stephen Bachiler" , the last Vicar. Not much more is known of his life in England at this point until the spring of 1632, when he sailed for New England. But, in 1593, he was cited in Star Chamber for having "uttered in a sermon at Newberry, very lewd speeches tending seditiously to the derogation of Her Majesty's government."

Queen Elizabeth had an act passed against the Puritans in 1593 which gave the authorities the right to imprison the Puritans for failure to attend The Anglican Church. (Star Chamber was formerly an English Court of Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction of Westminster. It had jurisdiction over forgery, perjury, riots, maintenance, fraud, libel, and conspiracy, and could inflict any punishment short of death. This court was abolished in 1640. Its process was summary and often iniquitous (especially in the time of James I and Charles I). Jurors were punished for finding verdicts against the crown. This court approximated the methods of The Spanish Inquisition in extracting testimony.)

Mr. Bachiler was excommunicated from the church, and so no church record exists showing his abiding places. Probably he preached to different congregations, not in a settled way, but when he could avoid the persecution of the church people.

Occasionally we get a glimpse of his location. In 1610, he appears to still be a "Clergyman of the County of Southampton". And on 11 June 1621, Adam Winthrop's diary says that he had "invited Mr. Bachiler, the preacher" to dine with him, presumably at Groton in Suffolk.

Some of the parishioners of Barton Stacy in Hampshire, a few miles east of Wherwell, listened to his sermons at some time before 1632, for we find that Sir Robert Paine petitioned the council, stating that he was Sheriff of Hampton in that year and was also chosen church warden of Barton Stacy, and that some of the parishioners, petitioners tenants, having been formerly misled by Stephen Bachiler, a notorious inconformist, had demolished a consecrated chapel at Newton Stacy, neglected the repair of the parish church, maliciously opposed petitioners' intent(that he should repair the church at his own expense), and executed many things in contempt of the canons and the Bishop.

On the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1603, James VI of House of Stuart (son of Mary, Queen of Scots), ascended the English throne as James I. In January 1604, the famous Hampton Court Conference was held. When King James uttered his angry threat against the Puritans to Dr. Reynolds, the Puritan leader, "I will make them conform or I will harry them out of the Kingdom".

The presbyters or elders in the Scottish Church had always been a throne in James' royal side, so, when a delegation of bishops and other churchmen, including four Puritans, presented the list of requests for church reform at Hampton Court, he would only grant a few. To show that he meant business about his threat, James imprisoned the Puritans who presented the petition.

Thus James sealed his fate and that of the country; virtually signing the death-warrant of his son, Charles. If James had been less interested in showing off his theological knowledge; less frightened of falling into the Presbyterians hands (dissenters from whom he had escaped in Scotland); less consumed with his own idea of divine right at the Hampton Court Conference; and more willing to listen or accede even in a very small way to the moderate demands made by the reforming party within the reforming party within The Anglican Church, then probably, extreme radical Puritanism would not have come into being, and the Puritans who beset his son Charles would not have "harried him out of the land" via the headman's axe.

One good thing came out of the Hampton Court meeting. James accepted a proposal by one of the Puritans that the Bible then used, differed too much from the original Greek and Hebrew, and should be rewritten. James ordered that the most learned scholars at Oxford and Cambridge Universities work on translating a new Bible from the original languages. This resulted in the King James Bible (authorized version) still used today. The Pilgrims, however, used the Geneva Bible, first published in 1560, just after Elizabeth came to the throne. (This Bible has just been reprinted -- 1998, and has Puritan notes in the margin).

The dissenters were called Calvinists in Holland, Presbyterians in Scotland, Huguenots in France, and Puritans in England. Many went to Holland for refuge.

The next year, the King's threat was carried out against Stephen Bachiler. Winthrop said that Mr. Bachiler had suffered much at the hands of the Bishops, and in August 1605, he was replaced at Wherwell -- one of over one hundred who lost their pastorates because of James. Mr. Bachiler was among the first.

Mr. Bachiler embraced the "Puritan Doctrine" against the union of the church and state. He was considered a liberal Puritan, zealous of human rights. However, it seems that to the end of his life, he was constantly stepping on the toes of his parishioners.

It is thought, by some, that during the years from 1607 to 1620, Rev. Bachiler took refuge in Holland. We know his son-in-law, Rev. John Wing, husband of Mr. Bachiler's daughter Deborah, was pastor of an English church in Middleburgh, Holland, until he returned to England just prior to his death.

In the year 1622, there are records of land transactions near Newton Stacy, England, by Mr. Bachiler; so it is known that some time prior to 1622, he returned to England -- if he ever did leave England except for visits to Holland.

During the year 1629, a colonizing society "The Plough Company" was encouraging emigrants to go to New England. Mr. Bachiler invested one hundred pounds in the company (and loaned them more). He was determined to leave England for New England. It was during this year that Rev. John Wing, husband of Deborah Bachiler, wrote his will in London, and died 4 August 1630. Deborah, now a widow with three grown sons, made the decision to emigrate to America with her father. The three sons of her sister Ann, wife of Rev. John Sanborn, were also to make the journey with their grandfather.

Mr. Bachiler's daughter, Ann Sanborne was widowed by the time she was thirty. She remarried secondly by a license issued at Rochester, in Strood, Kent, on 20 January 1631/2 (Strood, Kent, Parish Register, Kent Record Office, Maidenstone, Kent), as "Mrs. Anne Sanborne" to "Mr. Henry Atkinson".

A suit was brought against John Bate, son of Rev. John Bate, thus establishing the basis of family connection between Bate, Bachiler, and Mrs. Atkinson, among others; also giving evidence that Stephen Bachiler's first wife, Ann, mother of all his children, was possibly sister of Rev. John Bate, Mr. Bachiler's successor at Wherwell in Hampshire. This was discovered by Charles Edward Banks in an English court record (Court of Requests, Public Record Office, London, Req. 2/678/64, dated 2 November 15th Charles I (1639)) and preserved by Charles Hull Batchelder in his extensive manuscript collection on the family at The New Hampshire Historical Society in Concord [NH]. A photocopy of the original large vellum document of this suit, and a careful transliteration of it, were received by George Freeman Sanborn, Jr., who is the founder and first president of the Sanborn Family Association (Founded 1984). (Source: The New Hampshire Genealogical Record, whole number 29 -- January 1991 -- Volume 8, Number 1, Pg. 14).

The "Plough Company" was made up of a group of dissenters. Some time during 1629/30, they named Mr. Bachiler their pastor. The "Plough Company" applied for a land grant in Maine. This effort was spearheaded by Richard Dummer, who is often called a "kinsman" or Mr. Bachiler. Richard Dummer, in a letter to Nathaniel Bachiler (son of Stephen, addressed him as "cussin".

Richard Dummer's first wife was Stephen Bachiler's step-daughter, being a daughter of Rev. Thomas and Helena Mason. Mrs. Helena Mason, widow, became Mr. Bachiler's third wife, and is the one who accompanied him to America. Her daughter was Frances Mason Dummer.

There are gaps in the English career of Stephen Bachiler. It would appear that he lived at Wherwell for most of the years from his induction there as vicar in 1587 until 1614, and that he then resided in Newton Stacy from 1614 to 1631. Shortly before his departure for New England.

He apparently lived briefly at South Stoneham, Hampshire, after disposing of his land at Barton Stacy, for that is the residence he gave for himself and his wife, Helena, (age 48), and his widowed daughter, Ann Sanborne (age 30), then living in "ye stand", to go to Flushing, Holland, for two months to visit his sons and daughters". This request was made 23 June 1631. Previously his daughter, theodate (theo-dah-tay) and her husband, Christopher Hussey, had been dispatched to the new world. It may be that Deborah Wing, his daughter had to returned to her old home in middleburgh, Holland.

Flushing is in Zealand near Middleburgh. Probably Mr. Bachiler's children and grandchildren were on the island of Walcheren, which contains both Flushing and Middleburgh.

Mr. Bachiler had three sons: Nathaniel who was a merchant; Stephen, who served as chaplain to Sir Charles Morgan in Holland; and Samuel, who was a minister in Sir Charles Morgan's fighting regiment in Holland. That same year Samuel was offered a pastorate in Flushing, but he declined. He preached "in the Armie" at Danger-Leager, and to the English at Gorinchem and Amsterdam. He wrote a book in 1625 of meditations on ....

Deuteronomy 23:9-14 "When the host goeth forth against thine enemies, then keep thee from every evil thing -- for the Lord God walketh in the midst of thy camp to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy; that he seeth no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee."

There is a three-page preface to his book addressed "to all my deare and loving countrymen in service to the states of the United Provinces, the Honorable Officers, and all honest souldiers of the English Nation residing in the Netherlands, and specially (as service bindeth me) to those of Gorcum in Holland."

On 9 March 1632, the Bachilers boarded the ship "William and Francis" from London; Rev. Bachiler and his third wife, Helena; his widowed daughter, Deborah Wing, and her three sons, Daniel, John, and Stephen; also three Sanborne grandsons (Stephen, John, and William).

From the "Planters of the Commonwealth", passengers and ships, page 96 -- "ship: William and Francis". Mr. ____Thomas, Master. Left London 9 March 1632. Arrived New England 5 June 1632, with about sixty passengers (per John Winthrop, Journal I, pp. 80,81). Rev. Stephen Bachiler of Newton Stacy, County Hampshire, England; Mrs. Helen Bachiler; John Sanborn, William Sanborn, Stephen Sanborn. (no mention of Deborah and her three sons. Perhaps they were listed separately or came on another ship).

The crossing was difficult. They were at sea for eighty-eight days. At this time, Mr. Bachiler was seventy-one years of age.

The cargo Mr. Bachiler brought with him is as follows:

  • Four hogsheads of peas,
  • Twelve yards of cloth,
  • Two hundred yards of list,
  • Oaken furniture,
  • and a collection box.

Rev. Stephen Bachiler's personal chair, now on loan at the New Hampshire Historical Society. [Editor's note: The Bachiler chair was on loan to the New Hampshire Historical Society from 1958 to 1986. The loan was returned to the heirs of the lender in 1986 at their request. The chair was then sold by the heirs and is now (2010) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City

Upon arrival in New England, Mr. Bachiler and his party proceeded to Saugus (now Lynn), Massachusetts, where his daughter, Theodate, and her husband, Christopher Hussey resided.

On his first Sunday in Lynn, Mr. Bachiler baptised four children. The first white child born in Lynn was Thomas Newhall, who was presented first for baptism. It has been said Mr. Bachiler put him aside and said "I will baptise my own child first", meaning Stephen, son of Christopher and Theodate Hussey.

Before Mr. Bachiler had been preaching four months at Lynn, he came under "suspicion" of having independent ideas, which he was not willing to yield to the dictates of others. The General Court passed the following order: "3 October 1632, Mr. Bachiler is required to forebear exercising his gifts as a pastor and teacher publiquely in or pattent, unless it be to those hee brought with him, for his contempt for authority and until some scandles be removed." It was considered "scandlous" to conduct worship in any way not approved of by the rulers, but, after five months the prohibition was removed, and he was free to gather a church in Massachusetts.

He went on to preach in Massachusetts Bay Colonies, including ipswich, yarmouth and Newberry. At Ipswich, he was granted fifty acres of land. His stay there was short. During 1637-8, he settled in Yarmouth, about one hundred miles from Ipswich. At that time, he was seventy-six and he went all the way on foot in a very hard season.

Mr. Bachiler was a tall and sinewy man, with prominent features. Especially his nose, a very dark complexion, coarse black hair in his younger days, white in age, mouth large and firm, eyes as black as sloes, features long rather than broad, a strong clear voice, rather slow of motion and speech, simple in dress, obstinate and tenacious of his opinions to a marked degree, a powerful preacher drawing largely from scripture, impress the hearers with the uncommon power and sanctity of his sermons, strong in his friendships and in his hates. (From: "The History of Hampton, N.H." by [Joseph] Dow).

In Newberry, he received a grant of land in 1638. It was soon after this, the General Court of Massachusetts gave him liberty to begin a plantation at Winnacunnet. It was at the request of Mr. Bachiler that the name of Winnacunnet was changed to Hampton. (Ref: New Hampshire Provincial Papers, Vol. I, Pg. 151) Soon after going there he sold his land in Newberry, and in 1639, as pastor at Hampton, he was granted three hundred acres of land for a farm, in addition to his house-lot.

Sometime during his stay in Hampton, his house burned and he suffered great loss. The greatest loss was his library. It was valued at two hundred pounds!

The church Mr. Bachiler organized at Hampton is now the oldest Congregational Society in New Hampshire and the second oldest continuous church fellowship in the United States. The original church was a frame building 40 feet by 22 feet. It was a plain building without chimney or stove, with pulpit, and seats, which were probably without backs, where men and women sat apart. (The first year they worshiped in a structure of logs.)

The period from 1638 to 1644 was a time of vast differences between Mr. Bachiler and his parishioners. He was prohibited from preaching. In fact, he was excommunicated!

In a letter addressed to Governor John Winthrop, he complained bitterly of Timothy Dalton, teacher at the Hampton church of which Mr. Bachiler was pastor:

"I see not how I can depart till I have, God forgive me, cleared and vindicated the cause and wrongs I have suffered of the church I yet live in; that is from the teacher (indeed) who hath done all and been the cause of all the dishonor that hath acrew'd to God, shame to myself, and griefs to all God's people. By his irregular proceedings and abuse of the power of the church in his hand by the major part cleaving to him, being his countrymen and acquaintance in old England.

"The teacher's act of his excommunicationing me would prove the foulest matter, both for the cause alleged of that excommunication, and the impulsive cause (even wrath and revenge), and also the manner of all his preceding throughout to the very end; and lastly, his keeping me under bonds."

During April of 1647, Mr. Bachiler left Hampton and removed to Portsmouth, New Hampshire (then called Strawbery Banke). Winthrop wrote in his journals that Mr. Bachiler had to that time esteemed the pure life, but at the age of eighty, solicited the chastity of his neighbor's wife. Winthrop added that Mr. Bachiler then had "a lusty comely woman as his wife" (Helen).

All of Mr. Bachiler's children were by his first wife, Ann, who was possibly a sister of Rev. John Bate, who replaced Mr. Bachiler at Wherwell. Stephen Bachiler, Jr. called John Bate, Jr. "Cousin".

A case in Star Chamber reveals that Stephen Bachiler still resided in Wherwell in 1614. George Wighley, a minister and an oxford graduate, accused Stephen Bachiler, his son (Stephen), and John Bate of Wherwell, clerk, and others of libelling him by means of verses ridiculing him. In the course of the complaint, Wighley quotes John Bate as saying he would keep copy of the poem "As a monument of his Cousin's, the said Stephen Bachiler the younger, wit, who is in truth his cousin". (Star Chamber Proc. James I, 297/25, 1614)

(Stephen Bachiler, the younger enrolled at Oxford at the age of sixteen. He was expelled from Magdalene College, Oxford as the author of libellous verses.)

Mr. Bachiler's second wife was Christian Weare, widow. They were married at Abbots Ann, 2 March 1623/4.

His third wife was Helena Mason, widow of Rev. Thomas Mason. They were married 26 March 1627. She accompanied him to America, and was the "lusty comely woman."

Shortly after his removal to Strawbery Banke, Mr. Bachiler's "usual good sense" seems to have deserted him. He was now a widower and obtained for a housekeeper, a young widow, whom he called "an honest neighbor." He commented to John Winthrop that his neighbors seemed to think it unseemly -- so he married her, and the match was very unfortunate. It must have taken place when he was eighty-six or eighty-seven years old. She was sixty years younger than he was. Her name was Mary Bailey, widow of Robert Beedle, a fisherman/farmer, by whom she had two children -- a daughter, Elizabeth, and a son, Christopher.

The exact date of Stephen's marriage to Mary is unknown, because he performed the ceremony and failed to publish it, an omission for which he was fined ten pounds, later lowered to five pounds.

Mary began an affair with their young next door neighbor, George Rogers, and having been found out, she was subsequently sentenced by the Georgiana (York) Court to be flogged and branded with the letter "A". George Rogers also was to be flogged with forty stripes save one. Mary was to receive hers at the first Kittery Town Meeting six weeks after the birth of her child by George Rogers. The court also ordered Stephen Bachiler and Mary to live together as man and wife, or else! Instead, he took refuge with his grandson in Hampton.

Stephen Bachiler wanted to escape this woman, and England seemed the place to go, for political affairs in England had changed. The commonwealth had been established and Oliver Cromwell had become Lord Protector. It has been said that Mr. Bachiler and Cromwell had been friends. Whether that was true or not, his friends were now at the head of affairs in England now and his enemies had been defeated. His son-in-law, Christopher Hussey, helped fit him for the journey back to England in 1654.

In June 1654, the court ordered Thomas Hanscom, age 31, "not to live with Mary Bachiler". Further investigation reveals Mary's plight. At the October 1651 adultery trial, both she and Mr. Bachiler sought divorce, but were denied it. By that time, Hanscom was living with Mary, her legal husband was in England, where he remained until his death. Mary had found an attractive man from the Hanscom shipbuilding family, but was barred from legally marrying him. Finally, Mary was granted a divorce in 1656 (ironically, Stephen Bachiler was buried just seventeen days after Mary was granted the divorce). She told the court that Stephen had gone to England where he had taken another wife (absolutely no records confirm this), and she said she needed freedom to remarry for assistance in raising her two ailing children, and to conserve her estate. In 1657, she married Thomas Turner and became a respectable, successful, church-going woman, active in community affairs.

A book written in 1910 states that Mary Magdalene Bailey Beedle Bachiler Turner was the woman upon whom Nathaniel Hawthorne patterned Hester Prynne in "The Scarlet Letter". The evidence is strong that Hester Prynne was a character derived from Hawthorne's extensive knowledge of the history of Kittery in colonial times.

Reports that Mr. Bachiler died in Hackney, Middlesex in 1660, aged one hundred years, appeared in print, but long ago were disproved. These were based partly on tradition that he lived to a great age, and partly on a hasty conclusion made in error by someone reading material published in the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Vol. VIII - fourth series (Boston, Mass.: the Society, 1868, pp. 583-584. This error showing him dying in Hackney, aged one hundred years, was caught many years ago and corrected in "additions and corrections" to the Genealogical Dictionary (Supra 781).

Some years ago, Philip B.Simnonds of Little Compton, Rhode Island (who discovered he had nine lines of descent from Stephan Bachiler), engaged the services of Brooks and Simpson, Ltd., of London, a highly reputable genealogical research firm, to discover more about Mr. Bachiler's origins and his death. The results were published by Rosemary E. Bachelor in Machias, Maine, in the Bachelor Family News-Journal, 4(April 1974): 5, and show that a very comprehensive search was made to verify previously known or surmised facts respecting Stephen Bachiler.

Nothing promising was found until they searched Boyd's Index to London Burials and found several Stephen Bachilers. One of these appeared to be the correct one, and they wrote: "However, a 1656 entry at Allhallows Staining, London, states, "Steeven Batchiller, Minister, that died at Robert Barber's, was buried in the new church-yard October 31, 1656." John Goode was parish rector 1654-1662, so this entry does not relate to the rector of the parish, and would appear to be our client's ancestor."

George Freeman Sanborn, Jr., from 1984, directed the English research carried out by Michael J. Wood, Esq. of London, and Mrs. Mary Rumsey of Alton, Hampshire. "Among many other things I asked Mr. Wood to look up was The Court of Requests Record and transcribe it in its entirety. I also asked him to verify the Brooks and Simpson Report."

At The Guildhall Library in London, Mr. Wood read the earliest surviving parish register of Allhallows Staining (Ms. 17824) covering marriage, christenings, burial, etc., 1653-1710, and for burials only, 1653-1670. Since it is known from records in this country that Rev. Stephen Bachiler was still in New England in 1654, the date of commencement of the burial register of Allhallows Staining was not a problem. Mr. Wood also found the following: "Steeven Batchiller, Minester that dyed att Robert Barber's was buryed in the new churchyard Octob 31th 1656."

"Because the alumni directories of both Oxford and Cambridge Universities reveal only two people named Stephen Bachiler (our Stephen Bachiler and his son), it is concluded that in all probability, the above record refers to the aged founder of Hampton, New Hampshire."

"The Churchwardens" accounts for Allhallows Staining survive from a very early date, and reveal another bit of information (MS. 495613 Guildhall Library, London). Receipts included payment for burials, and the payments took the form of donations, poor relief, and the like, as well as routine expenses. On page 193, for the year 1656, Mr. Wood found:

"Receipts by Richard Pockley, Church Warden; received for Stephen Bachiler's knell one shilling six pence." The receipt of one shilling six pence for Rev. Bachiler's knell is in the midst of receipts described as for burials, but there is no mention of payment for burials only. It would thus seem (were this not contradicted by the Parish Record itself) that he was buried elsewhere, and only the tolling of the bell was performed for him at this church. Very few other entries are for knells.

Evidently, then, Rev. Stephen Bachilder was buried in the church yard of Allhallows Staining on 31 October 1656, above ninety years.

The church of Allhallows Staining stood on the west side of Mark Lane near its northern end, just south of Fen-Church Street. The church was taken down in 1870 when the parish was united with the parish of St. Olave Hart Street. The tower of Allhallows staining built in the fifteenth century was preserved, and a small pleasant garden created around it.

In 1873, when the churchyard situated in Star Alley, Mark Lane was laid out as a garden, the old gravestones, with three exceptions, were covered with earth, but an accurate plan had been made of the church yard, indicating the gravestones in their several positions,s and a copy of all the legible inscriptions was annexed to the plan. A copy of the plan, with the inscriptions was preserved among parish records of Allhallows Staining. Evidently none could be found for Mr. Bachiler.

Mr. Bachiler was a man of rare physical and intellectual vigor. Winthrop classed him among "honest men."

Rev. Cotton of Boston in a letter said, "I find he was a gentleman of learning and ingenuity, and wrote a fine and curious hand."

Stephen Bachiler's children were:

  • (1) Nathaniel b. 1590 Wherwell
  • (2) Deborah b. 1592 Wherwell
  • (3) Stephen b. 1594 Wherwell
  • (4) Theodate b. 1596 Wherwell
  • (5) Samuel b. 1597/8 Wherwell
  • (6) Anne b. 1600/1 Wherwell

It is written, "Whoever considers Stephen Bachiler's life was a waste, because he did not obtain riches nor temporal honors, knows little of the manner in which reforms are accomplished. One thing for which he bitterly contended is universally conceded. The separation of church and state is recognized as unquestionably right by all his opponents, and his firm stand in behalf of the liberty of New Hampshire loses nothing because it was unsuccessful. Success would have left in doubt his firmness in standing out when the consequences were certain to be his practical destruction and utter ruin."

Stephen Bachiler was not faultless, but he was a dedicated and courageous man -- our ancestor.

The Sanborn Association is also continuing its research on the Bachiler Family.

The Sanborn Family Association

  • 24 Thornton Street
  • Derry, New Hampshire
  • 03038-1628

[Eleanor Schoen, 13077 Bradwell Avenue, Sylmar, CA 91342-3802] {22 May 1999}


Stephen Bachiler From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Stephen Bachiler (c. 1561 -€“ 1656) was an English clergyman who was an early proponent of the separation of church and state in America.

An early graduate of Oxford (St. John's College, 1586), he was vicar of Wherwell, Hampshire (1587–1605) when ousted for Puritanical leanings under James I. In 1630 he was a member of the Company of Husbandmen in London and with them, as the Plough Company, obtained a 1,600 mile² (4,000 km²) grant of land in Maine from the Plymouth Council for New England. The colony was called "Lygonia" after Cecily Lygon, mother of New England Council president Sir Ferdinando Gorges. Bachiler was to be its minister and leader. Although the settlers sailed to America in 1631, the project was abandoned.

Bachiler was 70 years old when he reached Boston in 1632, and gathered his followers to establish the First Church of Lynn (then Saugus). He incurred the hostility of the Puritan theocracy in Boston, casting the only dissenting vote among ministers against the expulsion of Roger Williams. Despite his age, he was uncommonly energetic, and throughout some two decades pursued settlement and church endeavors, always engaged in controversy and confrontation with Bay Colony leaders.

In 1638, Bachiler and others successfully petitioned to begin a new plantation at Winnacunnet, to which he gave the name Hampton when the town was incorporated in 1639. His ministry there became embroiled in controversy when Timothy Dalton was sent to the town as "teaching assistant" by the Boston church after New Hampshire was absorbed by Massachusetts in 1641. Shortly thereafter, Bachiler was excommunicated by the Hampton church on unfounded charges of "scandal", but protested to Governor Winthrop and was later reinstated. In other respects, Bachiler's reputation was such that in 1642, he was asked by Thomas Gorges, deputy governor of the Province of Maine, to act as arbitration "umpire" (deciding judge) in a Saco Court land dispute between George Cleeve and John Winter.

By 1644 Cleeve had become deputy governor of Lygonia, a rival province to that of Gorges' in Maine established from a resurrected Plough Patent, and asked Bachiler to be its minister at Casco. Bachiler deferred, having already received a call to be minister for the new town of Exeter. Once again Massachusetts intervened in his affairs when the General Court ordered deferral of any church at Exeter. Frustrated in his attempts at a new ministry, Bachiler left Hampton and went as missionary to Strawbery Banke (now Portsmouth, New Hampshire) probably that same year 1644. While there, he married in 1648 (as fourth wife) a young widow, Mary Beedle of Kittery, Maine. In 1651, she was indicted and sentenced for adultery with a neighbor. Denied a divorce by the Massachusetts Court, Bachiler finally returned to England about 1653. He died near London, and was buried at All Hallows Staining on October 31, 1656.

Perhaps the best summation of his career is in the biographical entry in Robert Charles Anderson's The Great Migration Begins (NEHGS, Boston 1995): "Among the many remarkable lives lived by early New Englanders, Bachiler's is the most remarkable."


Page updated: June 01, 2009

Rev. Stephen Bachiler from the Lane Memorial Library website

The Reverend Stephen Bachiler founded the town of Hampton in 1638-9 at the age of about 77 years. He probably died in London in 1656 (not in Hackney in 1660 as is so often reported). Although his origins in England are unknown, he led a long and colorful life. Much has been written about him, a lot of which is untrue or inaccurate. Several short biographies of him can be found on this website through the links below. For the latest up-to-date and authoritative information, read the section on him in "The Great Migration Begins : immigrants to New England, 1620-1633" by Robert Charles Anderson and published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston in 1995. All references that may be found in various places on the Internet to his "father" Philip Bachiler are incorrect and should be ignored or, preferably, corrected. Much research has been done to search for his parentage in England, but to date there has been no success.

  • Stephen Bachiler entry from the book "Piscataqua Pioneers : Selected Biographies of Early Settlers in Northern New England" published in 2000 by the Piscataqua Pioneers organization of the Seacoast.
  • "Our Fascinating Ancestor Stephen Bachiler" by Eleanor Campbell Schoen, 1999.

  • "Reverend Stephen Bachiler of Hampton: Some Additional Information", by George Freeman Sanborn, Jr., 1991.
  • "The Reverend Stephen Bachiler - Saint or Sinner?", by Philip Mason Marston, 1961.
  • "An Unforgiven Puritan", by Victor C. Sanborn, 1917.
  • "The Hard Case of the Founder of Old Hampton : Wrongs of Rev. Stephen Bachiler", by Frank B. Sanborn, 1900.
  • "Rev. Stephen Bachiler", an earlier article by Victor C. Sanborn, 1898.
  • Rev. Stephen Bachiler by Charles E. Batchelder, 1892.
  • "Father and Founder of the Town", from Joseph Dow's History of Hampton, 1892.
  • The Dalton and Batcheller Pedigree, by William H. Whitmroe, 1863.
  • Excerpts on the Rev. Stephen Bachiler from the History of Lynn by Alonzo Lewis, 1829.
  • Stephen Bachiler's Coat of Arms
  • A Red-hot 'A' and a Lusting Divine: Sources For The Scarlet Letter, New England Quarterly article from 1987 which examines the possibility that Bachiler's fourth wife was the inspiration for Hester Prynne in Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter.
  • Batchelder genealogy titles at Lane Library by Pierce, Batchelder, and Greene.

One of these titles (Batchelder, Charles H. Batchelder/Bachilder genealogy through Rev. Stephen Bachiler's son Stephen Bachilder : (A correction of the work on this family by Pierce) [manuscript] / Compiled by Charles Batchelder through 1936 ; edited and prepared by Carl W. Brage, 1985) is available online on the library's website.

  • The Sanborn Genealogy by V.C. Sanborn has a long section on Rev. Bachiler.



By Newton Marshall Hall

Hampton was fortunate in having among its early pastors men whose ability was recognized throughout New England. Stephen Bachiler, the first pastor and the founder of the town, deserves more than a passing mention. He was a man over whose life hangs the shadow of a mystery. Was he stern and morose, subject to violent outbreaks of passion? Did he carry through life, like Arthur Dimesdale, the burden of a secret sin? Was his old age blackened by scandalous conduct? Or was he a man of heroic mould, moved by a serene and dauntless purpose, who life was at last thwarted and ruined by the attacks of relentless enemies? There is ground for each of these views in the scraps of legend and history which have come down to us.

He was born in England in 1561, and was accordingly an old man when he settled at Hampton. An early dissenter, he "suffered much from the bishops," and in common with other Puritans found refuge in Holland. He may have witnessed the sailing of the Mayflower; at all events, an adventurous and restless spirit like his could hardly have failed to be aroused by the stories of the new land of freedom, which must have been eagerly told in the little colony of refugees. A company of which he was the pastor and leader was formed to follow in the Mayflower's wake to New England. This organization was called the "Company of the Plough," perhaps because a plough was prominent in the Bachiler coat-of-arms.

All preparations were made for departure, when sudden misfortune fell upon the project. Through a dishonest agent all the property of the company was lost. Dismayed by the disaster, Bachiler returned to England. But a romance had been going on in his family, which was destined to have far-reaching consequences. Christopher Hussey, a young Quaker of Dorking, had fallen in love with Theodate, Stephen Bachiler's fair daughter. However liberal the Puritan preacher might be in other respects, he was orthodox on the subject of Quakers. He would have no broad-beavered follower of Fox in his family, and he sternly forbade the match.

The young Quaker may have reflected that there were creeds many but only one Theodate Bachiler, for he renounced his religion and married the Puritan's daughter. After such unfaithfulness to his beliefs, it is a little singular that he should have become the ancestor of the Quaker poet Whittier.[2]

The young couple bravely set their faces westward. They made a home in Lynn, and two years later were followed by Bachiler and several members of the little church which he had previously founded in Holland, and which he immediately reorganized at Lynn without the permission of the colonial government.

Quarrels arose, which resulted in the summary removal of Bachiler from the colony. Followed by his devoted church, he started on foot in the dead of winter to found a colony at Yarmouth on the Cape. The enterprise ended in failure, and must have been attended with much suffering.

Returning to Newbury, the grant of Hampton was secured, and its settlement successfully accomplished. After such desert wanderings the fair fields of Winacunnet must have seemed like the promised land to the travel-worn and buffeted little church. But even here there was to be no peace for the aged pastor. Shortly after the settlement, Timothy Dalton was chosen pastor's assistant, or "teacher," as he was universally called. The two men were not congenial; jealousies and bitterness arose, and for the next eight years the church seems to have been in a continual brawl.

The majority of the church finally turned against their old leader; he was charged with immoral conduct, disgraced and excommunicated, and although afterward restored to fellowship he was never permitted to resume his office.

It is at this period that Whittier pictures his "half mythical ancestor," in "The Wreck of Rivermouth."

"And Father Dalton, grave and stern,

Sobbed through his prayer and wept in turn.

But his ancient colleague did not pray,

Because of his sin at fourscore years;

He stood apart, with the iron-gray

Of his strong brows knitted to hide his tears."

The parish records of the unromantic suburb of London, Hackney, show that "the ancient Stephen Bachiler of Hampton, New Hampshire," died there in the one-hundreth year of his age.

From the glimpses we have of him, we may infer that the founder of Hampton was a bold and original spirit, tenacious of purpose even to obstinacy. He must have possessed some strong and winning traits of character, or he never could have retained so long the loyal devotion of his followers. There can be no doubt, however, that the fairer and more attractive side of his nature was marred by occasional lapses of judgment, and even by serious irregularity of conduct. He seems to have lacked at critical times that moral dignity and self-control essential to religious leadership.

Of Timothy Dalton we know very little. He was in good repute with the authorities of the province, and he seems to have had the confidence of the majority of the church in his controversy with Stephen Bachiler. At his death the town records commended him as "a faithful and painful laborer in God's vineyard."


Michelle Boyd's outstanding compilation of documents on the Hussey & Bachiler families ( includes:

Stephen Bachiler

Stephen Bachiler was born 1561. Robert Charles Anderson gives his place of origin as South Stoneham, Hampshire, England. He matriculated at St John’s College at Oxford on 17 November 1581 (B.A. 1586) and became the vicar at Wherwell, Hampshire, England in 1587. Stephen married first — —[1], second the widow Christian Weare 2 March 1623 in Abbots Ann, Hampshire, and third Helena, the widow of Rev. Thomas Mason, 26 March 1627 in Abbots Ann, Hampshire, England.

At some point in his career, he refused to conform and was dismissed. The Bachilers lived in Holland for several years and came to America on the William and Francis, which sailed from London 9 March 1632 and arrived in Boston 5 June. Stephen was 71.

Stephen and his family settled in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts. Here, he was admitted a freeman 6 May 1635 and became a minister of a church. There is a highly disputed story that one of his first duties there was to baptize several children, including his own grandson, Stephen Hussey. It is said that he was given Thomas Newhall first as he was older than Stephen Hussey. The reverend put Thomas aside and said, "€œI will baptize my own child first."€

After four months, there was a complaint about “some irregularities in his conduct”. On 3 October 1632, at the court at Boston, he was ordered to "€œforbeare exerciseing his giftes as a pastr or teacher publiquely in or Patent, unlesse it be to those he brought with him, for his contempt of authority, and till some scandles be removed."€ On 4 March 1633, he was allowed to preach again. However, about 1635, several members began to leave his congregation and a council of ministers was held on 15 March. The matter was not reconciled and another meeting was scheduled. Stephen told those who had left his congregation to write their grievances, but when they refused, he tried to excommunicate them. The ministers returned to Lynn and decided that "€œalthough the church had not been properly instituted, yet the mutual exercise of their religious duties had supplied the defect"€. The strife continued and Stephen requested and was granted a dismissal from the congregation for himself and the members who had come with him from England. Stephen continued to preach to those who had come with him. The people of Lynn complained, the magistrates forbade him to continue his ministry, and, in January 1636, he was brought to court in Boston, where he was ordered to leave Lynn within three months.

He is said to have gone to Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts. In the winter of 1637, traveled with some friends 100 miles on foot to Mattakeese (now Yarmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts). He had planned to establish a town and church but was unable to do so and went instead to Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts. On 6 July 1638, he and his son-in-law were granted land there. On 6 September 1638, he was granted permission to start a settlement at Winnacunett (now Hampton, Rockingham, New Hampshire). Stephen and Christopher sold their land in Newbury and moved to Hampton in 1638. Stephen once more became the minister of his own church. However, there was a division in the town between his supporters and the supporters of Rev. Timothy Dalton. In 1641, Stephen was excommunicated for "€œirregular conduct" and his house and most of his property was burned down. His communion was restored but not his office. By 20 April 1647, he settled at Strawberry Bank (now Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire). Stephen, then about ninety, married third Mary€” in 1650. He was fined for not publishing the marriage according to law. The marriage was not a happy one, as later in the year, Stephen and Mary were brought to court regarding their relationship and, soon afterwards, Stephen returned to England. Mary petitioned for divorce 14 October 1656 and accused him of committing bigamy in England. There is no evidence that he actually did marry another woman. Stephen most likely was the "Steeven Batchiller Minester that dyed att Robert Barbers"€ who was buried 31 October 1656 at Allhallows Staining Church, London, Middlesex, England.[2]

Stephen's children by his first wife are:

1. Nathaniel Bachiler, married 1) Hester Mercer and 2) Margerie —.

2. Deborah Bachiler, born about 1592[3], married John Wing.

3. Stephen Bachiler, matriculated at Oxford in 1610, ordained deacon at Oxford 19 Sep 1613.

4. Samuel Bachiler, a minister at Gorinchem (Gorcum), South Holland, Netherlands, married — —.

5. Ann Bachiler, born about 1601[4], married 1) — Samborne and 2) Henry Atkinson 20 Jan 1631/2 in Strood, Kent, England.

6. Theodate Bachiler, married Christopher Hussey.


1. International Genealogical Index, extracted from original source by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

2. Sanborn, George Freeman, Jr., "Rev. Stephen Bachiler of Hampton: Some Additional Information", The New Hampshire Genealogical Record, Vol. 8, No. 1, Jan 1991.

3. Lewis, Alonzo, History of Lynn, Boston: J.H. Eastburn, 1829.

4. Sanborn, F. B., The Hard Case of the Founder of Old Hampton: Wrongs of Rev. Stephen Bachiler (Read by author, at Bachelder family reunion, Seabrook, N. H., August 9, 1900).

5. Dow, Joseph, History of the Town of Hampton, New Hampshire, Vol. I, (Published posthumously) Salem, MA: Salem Press Publishing & Printing Co., 1893.

6. Sanborn, Victor C., Stephen Bachiler: An Unforgiven Puritan, Concord, NH: New Hampshire Historical Society, 1917.

7. Pierce, Frederick Clifton, Batchelder, Batcheller Genealogy, Chicago: Conkey Company, 1898.


Rev. Stephen Bachiler of Hampton: Some Additional Information:

The Hard Case of the Founder of Old Hampton: Wrongs of Rev. Stephen Bachiler:

The Interwoven Pastorates/Father and Founder of Our Town:

Stephen Bachiler: An Unforgiven Puritan:

Photos of a plaque at Founders Park in Hampton, NH:

Our Fascinating Ancestor, Stephen Bachiler (with a photo of Stephen's chair and a copy of his signature and seal):
       ==Extracted Marriage Records==
       Spouse:  CHRISTIAN WEARE
       Marriage:  02 MAR 1623
       Abbotts Ann, Hampshire, England
       Spouse:  HELENA MASON
       Marriage:  26 MAR 1627
       Abbotts Ann, Hampshire, England

Source: International Genealogical Index, Marriage records, extracted from original source by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: (Batch # M136501, Dates: 1561 – 1875, Source #1041195, Type: Film, Printout Call #6900636, Type: Film).


Excerpts from Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins (1995), pp. 61-69


Stephen Bachiler

  • ORIGIN: South Stoneham, Hampshire
  • MIGRATION: 1632 on William and Francis [WJ 1:93]
  • REMOVES: Ipswich (supposedly) 1636, Yarmouth 1637/8, Newbury 1638, Hampton 1639, Portsmouth 1644
  • RETURN TRIPS: To England permanently by late 1650 or early 1651
  • OCCUPATION: Minister
  • CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: Member of Lynn, Newbury and Hampton churches during his ministry in those places (but see COMMENTS for further discussion).
  • FREEMAN: 6 May 1635 [MBCR 1:371].
  • EDUCATION: Matriculated about 1581 at Oxford from St. John's College, and received his B.A. 3 February 1585/6 [Foster 1:53].
  • OFFICES: On 28 June 1641 at Saco four men were chosen as arbitrators in a dispute between GEORGE CLEEVE and JOHN WINTER, and in case those four men could not agree, Stephen Bachiler was to be "€œan umpire for the final ending of the said controversies"€ [Trelawny Papers 269-72, 319].
  • ESTATE: Many secondary sources state that Bachiler was granted fifty acres at Ipswich in February 1636, but evidence of this has not been found in the town or colony records. On 6 July 1638 Bachiler was granted land at Newbury [Newbury Town Records].
  • Steven Bachiler sometimes of Hampton€ was granted seven parcels of land at Hampton: nine and a half acres of upland for a houselot; five acres of upland added to the houselot; four acres of swampy ground; eleven acres of meadow; four acres of meadow; two hundred acres of upland, meadow & marsh for a farm; and eight acres of upland in the East Field [NEHGR 46:160-61, citing Hampton town records].
  • On 20 April 1647 "€œSteven Bachiler late of Hampton in the County of Norfolk in New England & now of Strabery Bank for ... love and affection towards my four grandchildren John, Stephen & William Samborn & Nathaniell Batchiller all now or lately of Hampton"€ deeded to grandson John Samborne "€œall of my dwelling house & land or ground whether arable, meadow & pasture or other ground with their appurtenances together with all the buildings, commons, profits, privileges & immunities whatsoever to the same or any part thereof belonging or in any wise appertaining, the greater part thereof being now or lately in the tenure, possession or occupation of the said John Samborn & other part thereof not yet particularly appointed by the town &c. (excepting out of this grant the land with the appurtenances which I formerly sold to William Howard & Thomas Ward)," said John Samborne to pay £20 apiece to each of the other three grandchildren [NHPLR 13:221].
  • BIRTH: About 1561 (aged 70, 23 June 1631 [Waters 520]; aged 71, 5 June 1632 [WJ 1:93]; about 76, late March 1636/7 [WJ 1:313]).
  • DEATH: Buried 31 October 1656 at All Hallows Staining, London [NHGR 8:14-17].

(1) By about 1590 [Anne?] _____, who was closely related in some way to Reverend John Bate, Bachiler'€™s successor as vicar of Wherwell [see COMMENTS]; she died sometime between about 1610 and 1624. (Although this first wife'€™s given name is stated to be "€œAnne"€ by many authorities, there is no record evidence to support this.) (2) Abbots Ann, Hampshire, 2 March 1623/4 Christian Weare, widow [GDMNH 81]; she died before 26 March 1627. (3) Abbots Ann, Hampshire, 26 March 1627 Helena Mason, widow (of Reverend Thomas Mason) [GDMNH 81]; she was aged 48 in 1631, so born about 1583 [Waters 520]; died by 3 May 1647 [WP 5:153]. (4) by 14 February 1648 Mary (_____) Beedle, widow of Robert Beedle [Kittery Hist 95-96]; she soon left her husband, and cohabited with George Rogers at Kittery (see below).


With first wife

i. NATHANIEL, b. say 1590; m. (1) Hester Mercer or LeMercier [Batchelder Gen 110-15; NEHGR 27:368, 47:510-15]; m. (2) by 1645 Margery _____ (on 9 April 1645 "Margerie Batchellor"€ the widow of Nathaniel Bacheler of Southampton, Hampshire, was granted administration on his estate [PCC Admon. Act Book 1645, f. 22]); he did not come to New England, but his son Nathaniel did, and resided at Hampton.

ii. DEBORAH, b. about 1592 (aged 32, 22 June 1624 [Waters 520]); m. by 1611 John Wing [Waters 519-20]; she and her children came to New England in the late 1630s and resided at Sandwich.

iii. STEPHEN, b. about 1594; matriculated at Oxford 18 June 1610 from Magdalen College, aged 16, son of a minister, from Southampton [i.e., Hampshire] [Foster 1:53]; "€œStephen Bachiler of Edmund Hall" was ordained deacon at Oxford 19 September 1613 [Bishop'€™s Register, Diocese of Oxford]; with his father, accused in 1614 of circulating slanderous verses [see COMMENTS]; no further record.

iv. SAMUEL, b. say 1597; lived at Gorcum in Holland, where he was a minister, and had a wife and children.

v. ANN, b. about 1601 (aged 30 in 1631 [Waters 520]); m. (1) by about 1620 _____ Samborne; m. (2) Strood, Kent, 20 January 1631/2 Henry Atkinson.

vi. THEODATE, b. say 1610; m. by about 1635 CHRISTOPHER HUSSEY.

ASSOCIATIONS: RICHARD DUMMER of Roxbury and Newbury married first Jane Mason, a daughter of Reverend Thomas Mason, and resided late in his life at North Stoneham, Hampshire; Stephen Bachiler married as his third wife Helena Mason, widow of Reverend Thomas Mason, and resided just before his departure for New England at South Stoneham, Hampshire. These marriages made Bachiler the step-father-in-law of Dummer, and explains their close connection in the activities of the Plough Company.

COMMENTS: Stephen Bachiler led a most interesting life, filled with unusual twists and turns far beyond the norm. In the ensuing paragraphs we take a chronological tour of his nine decades, attempting along the way to resolve certain problems of interpretation.

As noted above, Stephen Bachiler entered college about 1581, and received his B.A. in 1586. On 17 July 1587 he was presented as vicar of Wherwell, Hampshire, and remained at that parish until he was ejected in 1605 [NEHGR 46:60-61, citing Winchester diocesan records]. Bachiler began his long career of contrariety as early as 1593, when he was cited in Star Chamber for having “uttered in a sermon at Newbury very lewd speeches tending seditiously to the derogation of her Majesty’s government” [NEHGR 74:319-20]. Upon the accession of James I as King of England, nearly a hundred ministers were deprived of their benefices between the years 1604 and 1609, and among these, as noted above, was Stephen Bachiler [Kenneth Fincham, Prelate as Pastor: The Episcopate of James I (Oxford 1990), p. 326].

Bachiler was living at Wherwell late in 1606 when he was a legatee in the will of Henry Shipton [NEHGR 74:320]. A case in Star Chamber in 1614 still refers to Bachiler as of Wherwell, and adds much other useful information about the family. George Wighley, a minster and Oxford graduate, accused Stephen Bachiler of Wherwell, clerk, Stephen Bachiler, his son, John Bate of Wherwell, clerk, and others of libelling him, by means of verses ridiculing him. In the course of the complaint Wighley quotes John Bate as saying he would keep a copy of the poem "as a monument of his cousin's the said Stephen Bacheler the younger his wit, who is in truth his cousin"€ [Star Chamber Proc. James I 297/25, 1614].

Another suit, this time in the Court of Requests, although not entered until 1639, bears directly on many points in Stephen Bachiler’s life in England, and will be treated here, out of chronological order. In 1639 Henry Atkinson of London, gent., complained that five or six years before John Bate, gent., living in Holland, had borrowed £4 from "€œSamuel Bachiler late of Gorcem [i.e., Gorcum] in Holland aforesaid Minister,"€ after which Bate instructed Bachiler to collect the debt from Dorcas Bate, mother of John, and widow of Reverend John Bate, minister, deceased. Bachiler assigned the debt to Atkinson, who had married Bachiler'€™s sister, and Atkinson was unable to collect the debt from Dorcas Bate. John Bate had also borrowed money from "€œNathaniell Bachiler of Southampton Merchant (one other of the brothers of your subject'€™s wife)" and this debt had also been assigned to Atkinson to collect from Dorcas Bate. The latter was abetted in avoiding payment of the debt by her son Gabriel Bate, and her son-in-law and daughter Robert and Anne Southwood. Atkinson noted that his wife's father [i.e., Reverend Stephen Bachiler] had obtained the living of Wherwell for John Bate the father, and that the latter had refused to pay to the former twenty marks a year out of the living or benefice, as had been agreed [PRO REQ2/678/64].

On 28 April 1614 Stephen Bachiler was a free suitor of Newton Stacey at the view of frankpledge of the Barton Stacey Manorial Court, and was a free suitor of Barton Stacey at the court of 2 October 1615.

On 19 February 1615[/6?] Edmund Alleyn of Hatfield Peverell, Essex, bequeathed £5 to "€œMr. Bachelour,"€ and Stephen Bachiler was one of the witnesses [Waters 518-19]. On 11 June 1621 Adam Winthrop, father of Governor JOHN WINTHROP, reported that "Mr. Bachelour the preacher dined with us"€ at Groton, Suffolk [WP 1:235]. Although this might conceivably be the younger Stephen Bachiler, who had been ordained as a deacon late in 1613, the man referred to in these records is more likely the elder Stephen. Since he is well recorded as a resident of Newton Stacey both before and after this time, he must have made occasional visits to East Anglia.

The Hampshire feet of fines show that "Stephen Bachiler, clerk,"€ acquired land in Newton Stacey in 1622 and 1629, and sold it in 1630 and 1631 [Batchelder Gen 76-77]. While at Newton Stacey (a village within the parish of Barton Stacey) Bachiler had managed to incite the parishioners of Barton Stacey to acts that came to the attention of the sheriff, who petitioned for redress to the King in Council; the complaint described Bachiler as "a notorious inconformist" [NEHGR 46:62, citing Domestic Calendar of State Papers, 1635]. In summary, while there are gaps in the English career of Bachiler, it would appear that he lived at Wherwell for most of the years from his induction there in 1587 until 1614, and that he then resided in Newton Stacey from 1614 until 1631, shortly before his departure for New England.

Bachiler apparently lived briefly at South Stoneham, Hampshire, after disposing of his land at Newton Stacey, for that is the residence he gave for himself and wife on 23 June 1631 when he was applying for permission to travel to Flushing in Holland "to visit their sons and daughters"€ [Waters 520].

At about this same time Stephen Bachiler allied himself with a group of London merchants to form the Plough Company, which had obtained a grant of land in the neighborhood of Saco. The Plough Company managed to send two groups of settlers to New England, in the Plough in 1631 and the William & Francis in 1632, but they were never able to occupy their patent, and the company soon failed. (For a full account of this ill-starred enterprise, see V.C. Sanborn, "€œStephen Bachiler and the Plough Company of 1630,"€ The Genealogist, New Series, 19 [1903]:270-84, and the sources cited there.)

Shortly after his arrival in New England in 1632, Stephen Bachiler settled at Saugus (later to be called Lynn), where he immediately began to organize a church. Over the next four years Bachiler and a portion of his congregation were repeatedly at odds with the rest of the congregation and with the colony authorities, and by early 1636 Bachiler had ceased to minister at Lynn [GMN 1:20].

In addition to this ongoing conflict (which became a recurring feature of Bachiler'€™s career in New England), two stories of dubious validity are associated with his stay at Lynn. First, a fictional diary describes at length Bachiler'€™s physical appearance, to the extent of informing us that he had "an unseemly wen on the side of his nose which presses that member in an unshapely way"; this is just part of the imaginative invention of Obadiah Redpath (a pseudonym of James R. Newhall, whose non-fictional writings were not much more reliable) [Lin: or, Notable People and Notable Things in the Early History of Lynn ... (Lynn 1890, earlier editions of which carried the title Lin: or, Jewels of the Third Plantation), p. 65].

Second, this same source, and others, relate the following story: "€œOn the first Sunday at Lynn, four children were baptized. Thomas Newhall, the first white child born in Lynn, was first presented. Mr. Bachiler put him aside, saying "I will baptize my own child first,'€™ meaning Stephen Hussey, his daughter'€™s child, born the same week as Thomas Newhall"€ [NEHGR 46:158]. There is, in the first place, no contemporary evidence for this event. Then, in the brief list of baptisms apparently performed by Bachiler at Lynn, Newbury, and in his early days at Hampton, the earliest entry is for John Hussey, son of Christopher and Theodate (Bachiler) Hussey, whereas if the above story were true we would expect Stephen Hussey to be at the head of this list. This story would seem to be a typical nineteenth-century creation.

After his departure from Lynn, Bachiler is supposed to have resided in Ipswich, and to have received a grant of land there in 1636 or 1637, but no contemporary evidence for this has been found. Bachiler'€™s next adventure occurred in the winter of 1637/8, for Winthrop tells us in his journal, in an entry made in late March of that year, that "Another plantation was now in hand at Mattakeese [Yarmouth], six miles beyond Sandwich. The undertaker of this was one Mr. Batchellor, late pastor of Sagus, (since called Lynn), being about seventy-six years of age; yet he walked thither on foot in a very hard season. He and his company, being all poor men, finding the difficulty, gave it over, and others undertook it"€ [WJ 1:313].

Bachiler then resided for about a year at Newbury, where he received a grant of land on 6 July 1638. Bachiler also seems to have been able to organize a church at Newbury (or to keep in existence the church that he had earlier organized at Lynn). In a letter dated 26 February 1643/4 the minister, recounting his various experiences in New England, told how "€œthe Lord shoved me thence [i.e., after his arrival in 1632, and the failure of the Plough Company] by another calling to Sagust, then, from Sagust to Newbury, then from Newbury to Hampton" [WP 4:447]. Later in 1644 Winthrop pointed out that "Mr. Batchellor had been in three places before, and through his means, as was supposed, the churches fell to such divisions, as no peace could be till he was removed"€ [WJ 2:216-17]. These records indicate that Bachiler headed churches in three towns (Lynn, Newbury and Hampton), or possibly that the church organized in Lynn had a continuous existence as it moved to Newbury and then to Hampton [see GMN 4:20-21 for a more detailed discussion of these possibilities].

In the summer of 1639 Stephen Bachiler and some other families, many of them from Newbury, began the settlement of Hampton, and Bachiler was soon joined there by Reverend Timothy Dalton, who shared the pulpit with him. As had happened throughout his life, controversy soon arose. In 1641 Winthrop reported that Bachiler "€œbeing about 80 years of age, and having a lusty comely woman to his wife, did solicit the chastity of his neighbor's wife"€ [WJ 2:53], and this led to an attack on him by Dalton and a large portion of the Hampton congregation. These charges were apparently not resolved at the time, but in 1643-4, when the town of Exeter invited Bachiler to be their minister, the affair was raised again, and this was sufficient to prevent his removal to that church [GMN 4:21-22].

At about this time Bachiler'€™s ministry at Hampton ceased, and he soon moved to Strawberry Bank [Portsmouth], where he remained until his return to England.

On 9 April 1650 at a Quarterly Court held at Salisbury, "Mr. Steven Bacheller [was] fined for not publishing his marriage according to law."€ At the same court it was ordered "€œthat Mr. Bacherler and Mary his wife shall live together, as they publicly agreed to do, and if either desert the other, the marshal to take them to Boston to be kept until next quarter Court of Assistants, to consider a divorce.... In case Mary Bacheller live out of this jurisdiction without mutual consent for a time, notice of her absence to be given the magistrates at Boston"€ [EQC 1:191].

On 15 October 1650 at a court at York "George Rodgers & Mrs. Batcheller [were] presented upon vehement suspicion of incontinency for living in one house together & lying in one room"€ [MPCR 1:146]. At a court at Piscataqua [i.e., Kittery] on 16 October 1651 the grand jury presented "George Rogers for, & Mary Batcheller the wife of Mr. Steven Bacheller minister for adultery"; George Rogers was to have forty strokes, and Mary Bachiler "for her adultery shall receive 40 strokes save one at the first town meeting held at Kittery six weeks after the delivery & be branded with the letter A" [MPCR 1:164]. This child born late in 1651 or early in 1652 was apparently the Mary Bachiler who later married William Richards, and even though the Dover Court on 26 March 1673 awarded him administration of the estate of Stephen Bachiler [NHPP 40:287], she would not have been his daughter. (See MA Arch 9:28 and NHGR 8:14 for more on Bachiler'€™s fourth wife.)

Stephen Bachiler returned to England after these events, and most secondary sources claim that he made that trip in 1654 when his grandson Stephen Samborne returned to England. On 2 October 1650 "€œSteven Bachiler"€ witnessed a deed between Christopher Hussey (grantor) and Steven Sanborn and Samuel Fogg (grantees) [NLR 1:19]; this is the last certain record of Bachiler in New England (unless the "Mr. Batchelder"€ who was presented at court on 28 June 1652 for being illegally at the house of John Webster is our man [NHPP 40:87-88]).

Although a number of records in New England between 1651 and 1654 mentioned Stephen Bachiler, none of them necessarily implies that Bachiler was still in New England, and a few indicate that he was not in close proximity to the courts in question. In a court held at Hampton on 7 October 1651, Francis Pebodie sued Tho[mas] Bradbury for "€œissuing an illegal execution, for or in behalf of Mr. Batcheller, against the town of Hampton"€ [EQC 1:236]. On 14 October 1651 the Massachusetts Bay General Court ordered that "€œin answer to a petition preferred by several of the inhabitants of Hampton, for relief in respect of unjust molestation from some persons there pretending power for what they do from Mr. Batchelor, it is ordered, that whatsoever goods or lands have been taken away from any of the inhabitants of Hampton, aforesaid, by Edward Calcord or Joh[n] Sanbourne, upon pretence of being authorized by Mr. Batchelor, either with or without execution, shall be returned to them from whom it was taken, & the execution to be called in, & no more to be granted until there appear sufficient power from Mr. Batchelor to recover the same, to the County Courts, either of Salsbury or Hampton"€ [MBCR 3:253]. Apparently John Sanborn and others were pursuing the interests of Stephen Bachiler in his absence, but without a proper power of attorney. It might be argued that he was in Strawberry Bank [Portsmouth], but unable to come to Hampton, but there is no indication that he was ill or unable to travel at any time in his long life, and the more likely explanation is that he was already in England by October of 1651. At a court held at Hampton on 3 October 1654 "€œMr. Batcheller'€™s letter of attorney to Mr. Christopher Hussie [was] approved"€ [EQC 1:372].

Most secondary sources state that Bachiler died at Hackney in England in 1660, but more recent research has shown that Stephen Bachiler died in London and was buried on 31 October 1656 [NHGR 8:14-17].

Among many remarkable lives lived by early New Englanders, Bachiler'€™s is the most remarkable. From 1593, when he was cited before Star Chamber, until 1654, when he last makes a mark on New England records, this man lived a completely independent and vigorous life, never acceding to any authority when he thought he was correct. Along with Nathaniel Ward of Ipswich, Stephen Bachiler was one of the few Puritan ministers active in Elizabethan times to survive to come to New England. As such he was a man out of his times, for Puritanism in Elizabethan times was different from what it became in the following century, and this disjunction may in part account for Bachiler's stormy career in New England [Simon P. Newman, "€œNathaniel Ward, 1580-1652: An Elizabethan Puritan in a Jacobean World,"€ EIHC 127:313-26]. But Nathaniel Ward did not have anything like as much trouble, and most of Bachiler'€™s conflicts may be ascribed to his own unique character.

Savage includes among the children of Stephen Bachiler sons Francis and Henry, for whom there is no evidence. These phantom sons derive in part from a misinterpretation of a 1685 letter from Stephen Bachiler to Nathaniel Bachiler [Batchelder Gen 110-11], which refers to "€œour brother Francis Bachlir."€ As the two correspondents are grandsons of the Reverend Stephen (sons of his son Nathaniel) and not sons, it follows that Francis Bachiler was also a grandson.

Of the known children of Stephen Bachiler, only Theodate and Deborah came to New England. CHRISTOPHER HUSSEY is supposed to have married Theodate Bachiler in England and to have sailed to New England in 1632 with his father-in-law, but, as will be analyzed in more detail in the treatment of Hussey himself, there is no evidence that he was in New England before 1633, and it may be that his marriage to Theodate did not occur until 1635. Deborah Bachiler married John Wing, and after his death came to New England with her children, in the late 1630s. Ann Bachiler married a Samborne, and eventually her three Samborne sons joined their grandfather at Hampton, although the date of their arrival is not known. Stephen'€™s son Nathaniel did not come to New England, but Nathaniel'€™s son Nathaniel did. The Reverend Stephen's two other sons, Stephen and Samuel, did not come to New England, nor, apparently, did any of their children.

BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: In 1892 Charles E. Batchelder published a four-part study of Reverend Stephen Bachiler [NEHGR 46:58-64, 157-61, 246-51, 345-50]. For the most part this is a simple chronological presentation of the evidence available at that date. In the third installment, however, the author devotes much space to a spirited but unconvincing defense of Bachiler against the claim made by Winthrop that one of the grounds of the Hampton church'€™s dispute with Bachiler was an attempt '€œto solicit the chastity of his neighbor'€™s wife."€

In 1898 Frederick Clifton Pierce published Batchelder, Batcheller Genealogy. Descendants of Rev. Stephen Bachiler, of England, a Leading Non-conformist, Who Settled the Town of New Hampton, N.H. and Joseph, Henry, Joshua and John Batcheller of Essex Co., Massachusetts (Chicago 1898), cited in this sketch as Batchelder Gen. This volume includes a long sketch of Stephen Bachiler (pp. 75-115 [including the accounts of his children]), which, as is typical with this author, contains much information of dubious validity, very poorly organized. Embedded in the list of the immigrant'€™s children, between the daughter Deborah and the son Stephen, are several accounts of Reverend Stephen Bachiler prepared by other authors, mostly published in various town histories [Batchelder Gen 95-109].

Since the three Samborne brothers of Hampton and all their descendants are also descendants of Reverend Stephen Bachiler, V.C. Sanborn, when he compiled the Sanborn genealogy, included an account of Bachiler'€™s life [Genealogy of the Family of Samborne or Sanborn in England and America. 1194-1898 (n.p. 1899), pp. 59-66]. Like all of his work, Sanborn'€™s writing on Bachiler is careful and accurate.

A curious book published in London in 1661 included a supposed coat of arms for Stephen Bachiler, which included a punning reference to the Plough Company (Sylvanus Morgan, The Sphere of Gentry: Deduced from the Principles of Nature, An Historical and Genealogical Work, of Arms and Blazon ..., pp.102-03). This was certainly not a properly granted coat of arms, but something invented by the author for his own literary purposes.

Sources cited above:

WJ    John Winthrop, The History of New England from 1630 to 1649, James Savage, ed., 2 volumes (Boston 1853). Citations herein refer to the pagination of the 1853 and not the 1826  edition, even though the index to the 1853 edition continues to use the 1826 pagination.

Foster Joseph Foster, Alumni Oxonienses: The Members of the University of Oxford, 1500-1714 ..., 4 volumes (Oxford 1891-1892)

Trelawny Papers The Trelawny Papers, James Phinney Baxter, ed., in Collections of the Maine Historical Society, 2nd Series, Volume 3 (Portland, Maine, 1884)

NHPLR New Hampshire Provincial Deeds, New Hampshire Division of Records Management and Archives, Concord, New Hampshire

Waters Henry FitzGilbert Waters, Genealogical Gleanings In England, 2 volumes (Boston 1901)

Kittery Hist Everett S. Stackpole, Old Kittery and Her Families (Lewiston, Maine, 1903; rpt. Somersworth, New Hampshire, 1981)

PCC Prerogative Court of Canterbury, England

PRO Public Record Office, London, England

Batchelder Gen Frederick Clifton Pierce, Batchelder, Batcheller Genealogy. Descendants of Rev. Stephen Bachiler, of England, a Leading Nonconformist, Who Settled the Town of New Hampton, N.H. and Joseph, Henry, Joshua and John Batcheller of Essex Co., Massachusetts (Chicago,1898)

GMN Great Migration Newsletter, Volume 1 through present (1990+)

WP Winthrop Papers, 1498-1654, 6 volumes, various editors (Boston 1925-1992)

MPCR Province and Court Records of Maine, 6 volumes (Portland 1928-1975; volumes 1-3 rpt.

                                        Newburyport, Massachusetts, 1991)

NHPP Provincial Papers, Documents and Records Relating to the Province of New Hampshire

                                         from 1686 to 1722, 40 volumes, Nathaniel Boulton, ed. (Manchester, N.H., 1867-1943)

NLR (Old) Norfolk County, Massachusetts, Deeds

GDMNH Sybil Noyes, Charles Thornton Libby and Walter Goodwin Davis, Genealogical Dictionary

                                         of Maine and New Hampshire (Portland, Maine, 1928-1939; rpt. Baltimore 1972)

MBCR Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England,

                                        1628-1686, Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, ed., 5 volumes in 6 (Boston 1853-1854)

NEHGR New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Volume 1 through present (1847+)

EQC Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts, 1636-1686, 9

                                       volumes (Salem 1911-1975)

EIHC Essex Institute Historical Collections, Volume 1 to present (1859+)


Source: Noyes, Sybil, Libby, Charles Thornton, and Davis, Walter Goodwin, Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire, Portland, Maine: The Southward Press, 1928.

Page 41 (1632)

The Reverend Stephen Batchelor, with his family, arrived at Boston on Thursday, the fifth of June. He came in the ship William and Francis, captain Thomas, which sailed from London on the ninth of March, with about sixty passengers. He immediately came to Lynn, where his daughter resided, and fixed his abode here. He was now 71 years of age. In his company were six persons who had belonged to a church with him in England; and of those he constituted a church at Lynn, to which he admitted such as were desirous of becoming members, and immediately commenced the exercise of the ministerial duties, without installation. One of his first ministrations was to baptize four children, born before his arrival; two of whom, Thomas Newhall and Stephen Hussey, were born the same week. Thomas, being the oldest, was first presented, but Mr. B. put him aside saying “I will baptize my own child first.”

Page 42 (1632)

Mr. Batchelor had been in the performance of his pastoral duties about four months, when a complaint was made of some irregularities in his conduct. He was arraigned before the court at Boston, on the third of October, when the following order was passed. “Mr. Bachelr is required to forbeare exerciseing his giftes as a pastr or teacher publiquely in or Patent, unlesse it be to those he brought with him, for his contempt of authority, and till some scandles be removed.” (Source: Col. Rec.)

Page 43 (1633)

In the course of a few months, Mr. Batchelor so far succeeded in regaining the esteem of the people, that the court, on the fourth of March, removed their injunction, that he should not preach in the colony, and left him at liberty to resume the performance of his public services.

Page 51 (1635)

The dissentions which had commenced in Mr. Batchelor’s church at an early period, began again to assume a formidable appearance. Some of the members, disliking the conduct of the pastor, and “withall making question whether they were a church or not,” (Source: Winthrop) withdrew from the communion. In consequence of this, a council of ministers was held on the fifteenth of March. Being unable to produce a reconciliation, they appointed another meeting, and went to attend a lecture at Boston. Mr. Batchelor then requested the disaffected members to present their grievances in writing, but as they refused, he resolved to excommunicate them, and wrote to the ministers at Boston, who immediately returned to Lynn. After a deliberation of three days, they decided, that although the church had not been properly instituted, yet the mutual exercise of their religious duties had supplied the defect.

Page 53 (1635)

The difficulties in Mr. Batchelor’s church did not cease with the decision of the council, but continued to increase; till Mr. Batchelor, perceiving no prospect of their termination, requested a dismission for himself and first members, which was granted.

Pages 54-57 (1636)

Mr. Batchelor had been readily dismissed from his pastoral charge, in the expectation that he would desist from its exercise or remove from town ; instead of which, be renewed his covenant with the persons who came with him from England, intending to continue his ministrations. The people opposed this design, and complained to the magistrates, who forbade his proceeding. Finding that he disregarded their injunctions, and refused to appear before them, they sent the marshall to compel him. He was brought before the court of Assistants, at Boston, in January, and discharged on engaging to leave the town within three months. There are reasons for supposing Mr. Batchelor to have been censurable; but the court seem to have been somewhat arbitrary in compelling him to leave the town.

The Reverend Stephen Batchelor was born in England, in the year 1561, and received orders in the established Church. In the early part of his life he enjoyed a good reputation, but being displeased with some of the ceremonies of the Church, and refusing to continue his conformity, he was deprived of his permission to perform her services. The Church has been much censured for her severity, and all uncharitableness and persecution are to be deprecated; but in ejecting her ministers for nonconformity, after they had approved her mode of worship, and engaging themselves in the support of her doctrines, the Church is no more censurable than all other communities, with whom the same practice is common. On leaving England, Mr. Batchelor went with his family to Holland, where he resided several years. He then returned to London, from which place he sailed on the ninth of March 1632, for New England. He came to Lynn about the middle of June, and continued his ministerial labours, with interruption, for about three years. He was admitted a freeman on the sixth of May, 1635, and removed from Lynn in February, 1636. He went to Ipswich, where he received a grant of fifty acres of land, and had the prospect of a settlement; but some difficulty having arisen, he left the place. In the very cold winter of 1637, he went on foot, with some of his friends to Matakeese, now Yarmouth, a distance of about one hundred miles. There he intended to plant a town and establish a church; but finding the difficulties great, and “his company being all poor men,” he relinquished the design. He then went to Newbury, where, on the sixth of July, 1638, the town granted to him and his son-in-law, Christopher Hussey, two portions of land which had formerly been given to Edward Rawson, Secretary of State, and Mr. Edward Woodman. On the sixth of September, the General Court of Massachusetts, granted him permission to commence a settlement at Winicowett, now Hampton in New Hampshire. In 1639, the inhabitants of Ipswich voted to give him sixty acres of land on Whortleberry Hill, and twenty acres of meadow, if he would relinquish their previous grant of fifty acres, and reside with them three years; but he did not accept their invitation. On the fifth of July, he and Christopher Hussey sold their houses and lands in Newbury to Mr. John Oliver, for “six score pounds,” and went to Hampton, where a town was begun, and a church gathered, of which Mr. Batchelor became the minister. He had not resided there long before dissentions commenced, and the people were divided between him and his colleague, Mr. Timothy Dalton. In 1641 he was accused of irregular conduct, and was excommunicated. Soon after, his house took fire, and was consumed, with nearly all his property. In 1643, he was restored to the communion, but not to the office of minister. In 1644, the people of Exeter invited him to settle with them ; but the General Court of Massachusetts, on the twenty ninth of May, sent an order to forbid his settlement till they should grant permission. On the twentieth of April, 1647, he was at "€œStrawberry Bank,"€ now Portsmouth, where he resided three years. In 1650, he married his third wife, being then nearly ninety years of age, and in May, was fined by the court, ten pounds, for not publishing his marriage according to law; half of which fine was remitted in October. In the same year the court passed the following order, in consequence of a matrimonial disagreement.

"It is ordered by this Court, that Mr. Batchelor and his wife shall lyve together as man and wife, as in this Court they have publiquely professed to doe, and if either desert one another, then hereby the Court doth order that ye Marshall shall apprehend both ye said Mr. Batchelor and Mary his wife, and bring them forthwith to Boston, there to be kept till the next Quarter Court of assistants, that farther consideration thereof may be had, both of them moving for a divorce, and this order shall be sufficient warrant soe to doe, provided notwithstanding, that if they put in £50, each of them, for their appearance, with such sureties, as the Commissioners, or any one of them for the County shall think good to accept of, that then they shall be under their baile to appear at the next Court of assistants, and in case Mary Batchelor shall live out of the jurisdiction, "€œwithout mutual consent for a time,"€ that then the Clarke shall give notice to magistrate att Boston of her absence, that farther order may be taken therein." € Soon after this order, Mr. Batchelor returned to England, where he married his fourth wife, his third wife Mary being still living. In October, 1656, she petitioned the court, in the following words, to free her from her husband.

       "To the Honored Govt Deputy Governor with the Magistrates and Deputies at the General Court at Boston.
       The humble petition of Mary Bacheler Sheweth.
       Whereas your petitioner having formerly lived with Mr. Steven Bacheler a minister in this Collany as his lawfull wife & not unknown to divers of you as I conceive, and the said Mr. Bacheler upon some pretended ends of his owne hath transported himselfe unto ould England for many years since and betaken himselfe to another wife as your petitioner hath often been ..."


Surname has also been reported to be the following:

Date of death has also been (erroneously?) reported to be 1632, 1633 and 1660.

Married to Ann Bates in 1586 - Berkshire, England;pz=timothy+michael;nz=dowling;ocz=0;p=phillip;n=batchelder

"The Great Migration Begins (1620-1633)" names the 6 children of Stephen as Nathaniel, Deborah, Stephen, Samuel, Ann and Theodate. "All the children of whom we have record were by his 1st wife" (Batchelder, Batcheller Genealogy: Descendants of Rev. Stephen Bachiler.  By Frederick Clifton Pierce)


Rev. Stephen Bachiler arrived in Boston on William and Francis on June 5, 1632.

Stephen was at Magdalen College in England in 1610.

vicar of Wherwell

Date of death has also been (erroneously?) reported to be 1660.


view all 35

Rev. Stephen Batchelder, of Hampton's Timeline

June 23, 1561
Wherwell, Hampshire, England
Age 19
Age 19
Age 28
Wherwell, Hampshire, England
Age 28
Wherwell, Hampshire, England
June 23, 1591
Age 30
Wherewell, Hampshire , England
Age 32
Wherwell, Hampshire, England
Age 35
Wherwell, Hampshire, England
Age 38