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Founders of the Saybrook Colony (1635-1660)

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Founders of the Saybrook Colony

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Brief History

From Old Saybrook, Connecticut

Old Saybrook, located at the mouth of the Connecticut River, was the home of Algonquin Nehantic Indians for years before Europeans arrived. They were peace loving Indians who farmed in the area and had a village at Saybrook Point. Around 1590 the peaceful Nehantic and other gentle Algonquin tribes living in the Connecticut River Valley were conquered by the Pequots, a warlike tribe from the north.

The first European to sail up the Connecticut River was Adrian Block who, in 1614, was sent by the Dutch West India Company in New Amsterdam on an expedition to explore, map and claim the eastern coast of “New Netherlands” for the Dutch. In 1623, fearing English competition, the Dutch deposited a small group of Dutch men and women at Saybrook Point to establish a permanent colony. After a few miserable months, the settlers gave up and returned to New Amsterdam.

In 1631 the Earl of Warwick, president of the Council for New England, signed a unique deed of conveyance, called the Warwick Patent, to 11 of his closest friends and/or relatives, including the Viscount Saye and Sele and Lord Brook. A year or so later, four more gentlemen became patentees, including Colonel George Fenwick. Saybrook Point was included in this patent that gave the 15 lords and gentlemen a vast segment of New England stretching from the Narragansett River along the coast line south to about Greenwich, and west from these two points to the Pacific Ocean.

In 1635 the Warwick patentees commissioned John Winthrop Jr. as the first Governor of the Connecticut territory. In 1635 Winthrop, learning that the Dutch were planning to permanently occupy Saybrook Point, sent a small vessel with 20 men and orders to seize control of the Point. Arriving on November 24, 1635 the Englishmen quickly put ashore with two cannons to ward off any attack by the Dutch or the Indians.

Engaged by Governor Winthrop to build a fort and lay out a town at the Point, Lieutenant Lion Gardiner sailed in March 1636 for the Point with supplies and 12 men to build the fort. Governor Winthrop arrived a month later and shortly thereafter named the settlement Saye-Brooke in honor of Viscount Seye and Sele and Lord Brooke.

While not the oldest town in Connecticut, Old Saybrook is the oldest town on the Shoreline as well as the oldest English town name in Connecticut. The fort was the earliest in the Connecticut Colony and the Gardiner’s son, David, was born at Fort Saybrook in 1636--the first child of European parents born in Connecticut.

For more in-depth history, contact the Old Saybrook Historical Society, (860) 388-2622 or the Frank Stevens Archives Building at (860) 395-1635 or visit them at 350 Main Street at the William Hart House. aybrook and became the present day towns of Lyme, Old Lyme, Westbrook, Chester, Essex and Deep River.


From CTGenWeb The Founders of Saybrook Colony, 1635-1660

  • Adgate, Thomas
  • William Backus "The Immigrant"
  • Bagley, John
  • Beaumont, William
  • Beckwith, Matthew
  • Bingham, Anna Stenton
  • Birchard, John
  • Bliss, Thomas
  • Bowers, Morgan
  • Branch, Arthur
  • Brockway, Wolston
  • Bull, Robert
  • Bull, Thomas
  • Burchard, Thomas
  • Bushnell, Francis, Jr.
  • Bushnell, Richard
  • Bushnell, William
  • Butterfield, Samuel
  • Chalker, Alexander
  • Champion, Henry
  • Chapman, Robert
  • John Clark, of Hartford, Saybrook & Milford
  • John Clark, Jr.
  • Clarke, Joseph
  • Codman, Robert
  • Collett, Elizabeth
  • Cornish, James
  • Dudley, William
  • Dunk, Thomas
  • Edgerton, Richard
  • Endecott, John
  • Fenner, John
  • Fenwick, George
  • Fitch, James
  • Frend, John
  • Gallop, John, Jr.
  • Gardiner, Lion
  • Gibbons, Edward
  • Green, John
  • Griswold, Francis
  • Matthew Griswold
  • Hanchat, Thomas
  • Higginson, John
  • Huntington, Christopher
  • Huntington, Simon
  • Hurlbut, Thomas
  • Hyde, William
  • Ingham, Joseph
  • Jennings, Nicholas
  • Jones, Samuel
  • Jope, William
  • Lake, Margaret
  • Large, John Laribee, Greenfield
  • Lay, Edward
  • Lay, John, Sr.
  • Lay, Robert
  • Lee, Phoebe
  • Lee, Thomas
  • Lees, Hugh
  • Leffingwell, Thomas
  • Lord, William
  • Lynde, Simon
  • Marvin, Reynold
  • Mason, John
  • Mitchell, Matthew
  • Nichols, Robert
  • Olmstead, John
  • Sergeant William Parker
  • Pell, Thomas
  • Robert Perigo
  • Peters, Hugh
  • Peters, Thomas
  • Plum, John
  • Post, John
  • Post, Stephen
  • Lieutenant William Pratt, II, Co-Founder of Hartford
  • Reynolds, John
  • Rogers, James
  • Rudd, Jonathan
  • Rumble, Thomas
  • Sanford, Zachariah
  • Seeley, Robert
  • Shipman, Edward
  • Spencer, John
  • Stanton, Thomas
  • Tilley, John
  • Tousland, Richard
  • Tracey, Thomas
  • Tully, John
  • Uncas
  • Underhill, John
  • Wade, Richard
  • Wade, Robert
  • Waterhouse, Jacob
  • Lt. William Waller
  • Colonial Gov. Thomas Welles
  • Westall, John
  • Capt. John Whittlesey, Jr.
  • Willard, Simon
  • Gov. John Winthrop, Connecticut Colony
  • Winthrop, Stephen
  • Wood, George
  • Woods, John
  • Worthington, Nicholas

Source: "The Founders of Old Saybrook Colony and Their Descendants 1635-1985", compiled by the Old Saybrook Founders Committee, 1985.

Further reading