Rev. Thomas James, Sr.

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Thomas James

Birthdate: (87)
Birthplace: Boston, Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom
Death: February 13, 1683 (87)
Needham Market, Suffolk, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of John James and Alice James (Ingoldsby)
Husband of Elizabeth James and Olive James
Father of Mary Hancock; Peter James; Rev. Thomas James, Jr. and John James
Brother of Mary Mellowes
Half brother of Jeremy James

Managed by: Private User
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About Rev. Thomas James, Sr.


ORIGIN: Lincolnshire MIGRATION: 1632 FIRST RESIDENCE: Charlestown REMOVES: Providence 1637, New Haven 1639, Virginia 1642, New Haven RETURN TRIPS: Returned to England permanently in 1649 OCCUPATION: Minister. CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: "Thomas and Elizabeth James" were admitted to Boston church as members #149 and #150, which would be just before 14 October 1632 ; on 14 October 1632 "Thomas James and Elizabeth his wife" were dismissed in order to participate in organizing the new church at Charlestown ; on 2 November 1632 Thomas and Elizabeth James were admitted as founding members of the Charlestown church . "Mr. James" and "Mrs. James" were on 10 March 1646/6 assigned their seats in the New Haven meeting house . FREEMAN: 6 November 1632 . New Haven, 11 June 1640 . EDUCATION: Matriculated at Cambridge, pensioner from Emmanuel, 1611, B.A. 1614-5, M.A. 1618 . OFFICES: Appointed to a Charlestown committee to divide the commons, 1635 . ESTATE: Surrendered five acres on Mystic Side, Charlestown, 1635 . He had a proportional share in the hayground of seven, which was increased to eight, 1635 , and had a share of six in 1637 . He held five acres Mystic Side, 1637 . On 10 June 1637 "portions of grass and meadow" were laid out to several men, including "our neighbor James" . (This may be the same meadow referred to on 8 October 1638 by Roger Williams and mentioned on 29 August 1640 as having been "laid out the last year" to five persons, including Thomas James .) In a deed dated 23 November 1663 John Whipple describes a boundary as "a home share of land formerly belonging unto Thomas James (formerly an inhabitant of the aforesaid town of Providence) but now in the possession of John Throckmorton" . On 8 October 1638 Thomas James became one of the original "13 proprietors of Pautuxet" . On 20 March 1639/40 "Thomas James of Providence sold to William Field of Providence his lands, rights and privileges in Providence" . On 9 February 1645 William Field of Providence sold to William Carpenter land "lying between the top of the hill and the fresh river called Pautuxett River at Pootatugock ... which I bought of Thomas James, John Throgmorton and Thomas Olney" . On 27 March 1665 William Field of Providence sold to "Zachary Roades of Pautuxet" two shares in "the neck of land called the long neck lying below the falls at Pautuxet" and "a little island circumferenced with part of Pautuxet River, being called the vineyard, ... which said shares did formerly belong unto ... Francis Weston & Thomas James" . On 21 March 1669 Thomas Olney Sr. bequeathed to his son Epenetus Olney five acres on the south side of Wanasquatuckett River, which had been the right of Thomas James . On 3 November 1639 it was "ordered that Mr. James shall have Francis Parrott's lot" in New Haven . On 23 October 1640 it was "ordered that Mr. James shall have his meadow at the lower end of the Neck" . (These same two orders were recopied a few years later, with the added description of "Mr. James" as "sometime an elder in the Bay" .) In the survey of New Haven households and estates carried out about 1640 "Tho James sen." had a household of five and an estate valued at £200, but with no assessment. He had twenty-two and a half acres in the first division, four and a half acres in the neck, twelve and a half acres of meadow, and fifty acres in the second division . On 2 October 1649 "Thomas James passeth over to Richard Hull" six acres and a quarter of meadow, five acres and a half and twenty rods of upland in the Yorkshire quarter, five acres and a half and twenty rods in another location, and "half his propriety in his second division, not yet laid out." On the same day he sold to Robert Johnson "the same proportion of meadow and upland as before expressed to Richard Hull . On 5 February 1655/6 "Mr. Wakeman by order from Thomas James passeth over to Thom Johnson the house and home lot of the said Thom which is over against Mr. Wakeman's lot" . In his will, dated 5 February 1682 and proved 13 February 1683, "Thomas James of Needham Market, clerk," bequeathed to "my son Thomas James of Easthampton in Long Island in New England in case he be living at the time of my death, all my books and such of my household goods and clothes as can or may conveniently be sent over thither, but in case my son Thomas shall not be living ... the same shall be equally divided amongst all my grandchildren or great grandchildren"; "my messuage in Needham Market wherein I dwell shall be sold and the monies arising therefrom" given to "Mr. John Fairfax £5"; to "Mr. Paul Brooke Senior £5"; "Elizabeth Frewer widow now with me £10 ... and she to occupy my house for one year after my decease"; £10 to be paid to the binding out of three poor widow's lads in the town of Needham provided the said widow Frewer's lad be one of the three, out of the affection the inhabitants have born to my son in my affliction"; £10 to the executors; residue to "my son Thomas if living"; "£3 to the poor of Needham"; executors Edmund Fernly, gent. and Paul Brooke, clothier . BIRTH: Baptized Boston, Lincolnshire, 5 October 1595, son of John and Alice (_____) James . DEATH: Needham Market, Suffolk, between 5 February 1682 (date of will) and 13 February 16834 (probate of will). MARRIAGE: (1) Fishtoft, Lincolnshire, 20 April 1620 Olive Ingoldsby, daughter of Anthony and Dorcas (Bulkeley) Ingoldsby ; she apparently died by 22 April 1627, the date of her father's will, which names her children by Thomas James, but not her . (2) By 1632 Elizabeth _____, who evidently predeceased him, since she is not provided for in his will. CHILDREN:

With first wife

i THOMAS, b. about 1622; m. (1) by about 1648 Ruth Jones, daughter of Rev. John Jones (eldest child b. about 1648 ; in will of 17 January 1664 Rev. John Jones bequeathed to daughter Ruth James ); m. (2) 2 September 1669 Katharine Blux, widow .

ii JOHN, b. by 1627 ; d. soon.

With second wife

iii JOHN, b. Charlestown 18 January 1632 ; bp. there 9 January 1632/3 ; no further record.

iv NATHANIEL, bp. New Haven 1 August 1641 ; no further record.

ASSOCIATIONS: Rev. Thomas James was the brother of Mary (James) Mellowes, wife of Oliver Mellowes, who resided in Braintree. The first wife of Rev. Thomas James was daughter of Rev. Anthony and Dorcas (Bulkeley) Ingoldsby, which brought him into the large kinship network centering on the Bulkeleys, several of whom came to New England . COMMENTS: On the passenger list of the William & Frances the first entry is the unlikely name of "Thomas Thomas" . It has been suggested by several authors that this hides both THOMAS WELD and Thomas James, both of whom would have been evading the dockside authorities, and the former of whom is known to have been on this ship . Dorothie Wooll of Clipsham, Rutland, widow, bequeathed in her will of 16 December 1636, among other gifts to "friends in New England," £5 to "Mr. James" . "Mr. Tho James" was admitted an inhabitant of Charlestown in October 1632 "shortly after whose arrival the inhabitants of this town that were members of the church that removed from hence to Boston, were now dismissed" in order to organize a church at Charlestown . James was in the lists of Charlestown inhabitants dated 9 January 1633/4 and January 1635/6 . In late March 1634 Winthrop reported that "Satan ... stirred up a spirit of jealousy between Mr. James, the pastor of Charlton, and many of his people, so as Mr. Nowell, and some others, who had been dismissed from Boston, began to question their fact of breaking from Boston, and it grew to such a principle of conscience among them, as the advice of the other ministers was taken in it, who, after two meetings, could not agree about their continuance or return" . On 11 March 1635/6 Winthrop further stated that some "occasions of difference had fallen out between the church of Charlton and Mr. James, their pastor. The teacher, Mr. Simmes, and the most of the brethren, had taken offense at diverse speeches of his (he being a very melancholic man, and full of causeless jealousies, etc.) for which they had dealt with him, both privately and publicly; but, receiving no satisfaction, they wrote to all the neighboring churches for their advice and help in the case, who, sending chosen men (most elders) they met there this day, and finding the pastor very faulty, yet because they had not proceeded with him in a due order - for of the two witnesses produced, one was the accuser - they advised, that, if they could not comfortably close, himself and such as stood on his part (if they would) should desire dismission, which should be granted them, for avoiding extremities; but if he persisted, etc., the church should cast him out" . Although the final resolution of this controversy is not known, Thomas James soon left Charlestown and settled at Providence. About 1639 he wrote from there to Governor John Winthrop, with two requests: first, "if a place called Seaconke be in your patent ... I may have liberty (if God give me a calling) to have your favorable allowance and sit under your gracious protection"; and second, "that I may obtain so much as common equity and natural justice requireth ... that I never be punished in any kind causa inaudita before I am convicted or have liberty to speak for myself in a judicial way" . James was not called to Rehoboth, but soon removed to New Haven, where he had travelled late in 1639 . In September 1642 a letter was sent from several persons in Virginia to the authorities in Boston, requesting that "a supply of faithful ministers" be sent to them. On 7 October 1642 William Thompson of Braintree, John Knowles of Watertown andThomas James of New Haven were sent on the mission, from which Knowles and James returned the following year . (Hubbard also described this mission, relying largely on Winthrop .) Thomas James had apparently also studied medicine, for in describing to Governor John Winthrop the murder of an Indian by four Englishmen in the summer of 1638, Roger Williams noted that "Mr. James and Mr. Greene endeavored, all they could, his life; but his wound in the belly, and blood lost, and fever following, cut his life's thread" . In Bradford's version of this episode Roger Williams "took Mr. James, a physician, with him. The man told him who did it, and in what manner it was done; but the physician found his wounds mortal and that he could not live, as he after testified upon oath before the jury in open court. And so he died shortly after, as both Mr. Williams, Mr. James and some Indians testified in court" . In discussing the Indian deed for Providence, William Harris stated that Thomas James had been the scrivener who prepared the document, and described him as "a man of learning and wisdom ... once pastor of the church at Charlestown" . On 16 March 1645/6 "Mr. James" was included in a list of men who "upon their request & their occasions being known to the court, had leave for to depart the court" .

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Rev. Thomas James, Sr.'s Timeline

October 5, 1595
Boston, Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom
October 5, 1595
Boston, Lincolnshire, England, (Present UK)
October 5, 1595
Boston, Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom
February 1625
Age 29
February 13, 1627
Age 31
Mouton, Lincolnshire, England
Age 31
February 13, 1683
Age 87
Needham Market, Suffolk, England, United Kingdom
June 18, 1686
Age 87