Rev. Stephen BATCHELDER

Rev. Stephen BATCHELDER

Male 1561 - 1656  (~ 95 years)

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  • Name Rev. Stephen BATCHELDER 
    Title Rev. 
    Born 1561  England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Graduation 1585/6  Oxford, Oxfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    St. John's College 
    Emigration 1632  South Stoneham, Hampshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Aboard the William and Francis 
    Immigration 1632  Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Living 1636  Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Living 1637/8  Newbury, Essex County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Living 1639  Hampton, Rockingham County, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Living 1644  Portsmouth, Rockingham County, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Emigration 1650  England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried 31 Oct 1656  London, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    • All Hallows Staining
    Person ID I4798  FamilyWorld
    Last Modified 24 Jan 2012 

    Family 1 Anne?,   b. England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1610, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married Abt 1590  England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Nathaniel BATCHELDER,   b. 1589, Southampton, Hampshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1645, Southampton, Hampshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 56 years)
    +2. Deborah BATCHELDER,   b. Abt 1592, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1692, Yarmouth, Barnstable County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 100 years)
     3. Stephen BATCHELDER,   b. Abt 1594, England Find all individuals with events at this location
     4. Samuel BATCHELDER,   b. Abt 1597, England Find all individuals with events at this location
     5. Ann BATCHELDER,   b. Abt 1601, England Find all individuals with events at this location
     6. Theodate BATCHELDER 'BACHILER',   b. Abt 1610, Wherwell, Hampshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Oct 1649, Hampton, Rockingham County, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 39 years)
    Last Modified 15 Sep 2017 
    Family ID F13229  Group Sheet

    Family 2 widow Christian WEARE,   d. Bef 26 Mar 1627, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 2 Mar 1623/4  Abbotts Ann, Hampshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Last Modified 24 Jan 2012 
    Family ID F13230  Group Sheet

    Family 3 widow Helena MASON,   b. Abt 1583, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 May 1647  (Age ~ 64 years) 
    Married 26 Mar 1627  Abbotts Ann, Hampshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Last Modified 24 Jan 2012 
    Family ID F13231  Group Sheet

    Family 4 widow Mary BEEDLE,   b. maybe 1600, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1660  (Age ~ 59 years) 
    Married Bef 14 Feb 1648  New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Last Modified 24 Jan 2012 
    Family ID F721  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1561 - England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsGraduation - St. John's College - 1585/6 - Oxford, Oxfordshire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - Abt 1590 - England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 2 Mar 1623/4 - Abbotts Ann, Hampshire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 26 Mar 1627 - Abbotts Ann, Hampshire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsEmigration - Aboard the William and Francis - 1632 - South Stoneham, Hampshire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsImmigration - 1632 - Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsLiving - 1636 - Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsLiving - 1637/8 - Newbury, Essex County, Massachusetts Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsLiving - 1639 - Hampton, Rockingham County, New Hampshire Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsLiving - 1644 - Portsmouth, Rockingham County, New Hampshire Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - Bef 14 Feb 1648 - New Hampshire Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsEmigration - 1650 - England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - 31 Oct 1656 - London, Kent, England Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    'The Puritan' 1899 Augustus Saint-Gaudens
    "The Puritan" 1899 Augustus Saint-Gaudens

  • Notes 
    • Concerning the life of Stephen Bachiler, less is extant than of most of the founders of New England; yet few of the early Puritans were more widely known in their day, and none had a more checkered career. Bachiler, as is said of a descendant of his, "had a real genius for opposing the majority," and in consequence his character has been much maligned. The truth is, he was a reformer, with the strength and weakness of his kind. He was among the first to refuse conformity to the English church, and "suffered much at the hands of the Bishops." He came to America in his old age, hoping to find here that liberty which was denied at home; he rebelled at the union of church and state which the strong Puritan covenant enforced; and in consequence found himself opposed to the party in power, the Massachusetts authorities. After twenty years of conflict, in his old age he returned to England, preferring to pass his last days among the Puritans there, rather than in New England. His life measures the Puritan epoch; he was among the first clergymen to be ejected, and he died with the English Republic.

      The first record of Stephen Bachiler is in 1581, when, at 20, he was matriculated at the then newly established college of St. John, Oxford, on November 17, 1581. Here he took his B.A. in 1586.

      From Oxford Bachiler entered the church, and on July 15, 1587, was instituted as Vicar of Wherwell, Hants, being presented to that living by William, Lord de la Warr, the ancestor of the nobleman from whom Delaware derives its name.

      In 1605 Bachiler was "deprived" of his living,--the cause is not stated, but it was presumably by the order of the Commission appointed by James I, of which Commission Lord de la Warr, a son of the nobleman who presented Bachiler to Wherwell, was a member. August 9, 1605, John Bate was appointed Vicar of Wherewell, a vacancy existing because of "the ejection of Stephen Bachiler."

      From 1605 the record of Bachiler's English life is very fragmentary. In 1610 his son Stephen was matriculated at Magdalen College, Oxford, "the son of a clergyman of Hampshire." In 1621 Adam Winthrop's diary relates that he had "Mr. Bachiler the preacher" to dine with him. Tradition says that Bachiler fled to Holland; Winthrop's History states that he "suffered much at the hands of the Bishops"; but no record of his life in Holland is extant. Perhaps this suffering and flight were between 1605 and 1622; for in the latter year we find him established in Newton Stacy, a retired hamlet, a mile and a half east of Wherwell. Here Bachiler bought land in 1622 and 1629, accumulating a considerable property; he still preached the Puritan doctrines, for we find Sir Robert Payne in 1632 (being then of Hangs) complaining that his tenants "having been formerly misled by one Stephen Bachiler, a notorious inconformist, did demolish a consecrated chapel in Newton Stacy."

      In 1630 "The Plough Company of Husbandmen" was formed, and obtained a patent to land near the mouth of the Sagadahoc river, in Maine. They chose Bachiler as their Pastor, and he also adventured a considerable sum in the enterprise, selling his Hampshire property to enable him to do this. Through fraud or some underhand dealing the Plough Company failed, in 1631-32, after Bachiler had made preparations to come to New England and settle in Cambridge (Newtown). Before sailing for America, Bachiler and his wife, accompanied by his widowed daughter, Ann Samborne, then "living in ye Strand," obtained permission to go to Holland for two months, "to visit his sons and daughters there." One of these sons was probably that Samuel Bachiler, chaplain to Sir Charles Morgan's regiment in Holland, who in 1625 published his "Miles Christianus," probably the treatise which Bachiler sent as a gift to Margaret Winthrop in 1640. At this period, too, is that grant of arms to Stephen Bachiler, described by Sylvanus Morgan in his "Sphere of Gentry,"--Vert, a plow in fess; in base the sun rising, or. This coat Morgan states was granted to "Stephen Bachiler, the first Pastor of the church of Lygonia in New England, the plough to signify his ploughing up the fallow ground of their hearts, and the sun in allusion to his motto 'Sol Justitiae Exoritur'."

      Bachiler married twice in England; all his children of whom we have record were by the first wife. His second wife, Helen, accompanied him to New England, dying in 1642.

      On March 9, 1632, Bachiler sailed for New England in the William and Francis, landing at Boston, June 3, 1632. Winthrop in relating the fact states that on the ship were "Mr. Bachiler and Mr. Welde with their families, and many other honest men." Just what family Bachiler brought with him is not known,--presumably his second wife and his four grandsons, Nathaniel Bachiler, and John, William, and Stephen Samborne. Apparently none of Bachiler's own children came. The failure of the "Plough Company" compelled him to give up his plan of settling in Cambridge, and he accepted a call from the church at Saugus (Lynn), where his son-in-law, Christopher Hussey, then resided. On June 8, 1632, Bachiler commenced his ministrations, baptising four children; it is said that when Thomas Newhall, the first white child born in Lynn, was presented for baptism, Bachiler put him aside, saying, "I will baptise mine own child first," meaning Stephen Hussey, his grandson and namesake.

      Shortly after his arrival, Bachiler came into conflict with the authorities, for on Oct. 3, 1632, the General Court ordered "that Mr. Batcheler forbear exercising his guifts as a pastor or teacher publiquely in our pattent, unless it be to those he brought with him, for contempt of authority, and until some scandles be removed." By "scandles" is merely meant some report of his utterances against the authorities. After five months this order was recalled. He was at the conference of ministers Sept. 17, 1633, and again Dec. 19, 1634.

      Early in 1635 a general convention of elders was held in Lynn to discuss the quarrel between Bachiler and an opposing faction in his church, who held that he had no true communion. The council agreed that though not at first installed in due order, yet Bachiler had a true church there; after a time peace was restored. On May 5, 1635, he became a freeman. In January, 1636, he was summoned before the magistrates, because, "coming out of England with 6 or 7 persons, and having since received in many more at Sagus; and contention coming between him and the greatest part of his church, he desired dismission for himself and his first members, which being granted he with the said six or seven persons presently renewed their old covenant, intending to raise another church in Sagus; whereat the most and cheefe of the town being offended for that it would cross their intention of summoning Mr. Peter or some other minister, they complained to the magistrates, who forbade him to proceed in any church way until the cause were considered by the other ministers. But he refused to desist. Upon his appearance and submission, and promise to remove out of the town within 3 months, he was discharged."

      In February, 1636, Bachiler moved to Ipswich, the home of John Winthrop, where he received fifty acres of land, but, apparently discouraged by his troubles at Saugus, gave up the active work of the ministry. This latter fact was mentioned in a letter of the period from a Puritan minister in England as a result of the rigid and bigoted spirit in New England, which deterred many from coming to this country.

      Early in 1638, in the winter time, Bachiler tried to form a settlement near Yarmouth, on Cape Cod, where his Wing grand-children afterwards lived, and walked there from Ipswich. But, says Winthrop, "he and his company being poor men, gave it over and others undertook it." In the spring of 1638 he removed to Newbury, where his son-in-law Hussey and his connection, Mr. Richard Dummer, were living. The latter had come into conflict with the powers that be, having been one of those disarmed a year before because of his adherence to the forbidden opinions of Anne Hutchinson.

      Few men at seventy-nine years of age would undertake to start a new settlement in the wilderness, especially after thirty-three years of conflict; but such was the determined nature of Stephen Bachiler. No better spot could have been chosen, comprising as it did both fertile farm lands and wide stretches of salt and fresh meadows. Bachiler had visited it before September, 1638, and in that month had petitioned the General Court for leave to begin a plantation there. On Oct. 9, 1638, writing to Gov. Winthrop and asking him and Mr. Bradstreet to accompany the little band of settlers, he says,--"We were there and viewed it cursorily and we found a reasonable meet place, which we shall shew you." Bachiler's fellow petitioners and settlers were mostly from the counties of Hampshire and Wiltshire, among them are two of his old parishioners in England, but there were also some from Norfolk and Suffolk.

      June 7, 1639, Winnicunnet was made a town, and in the fall the name was changed to Hampton, at the request of Bachiler and in honor of the city of Southampton, then commonly called Hampton, with which the Bachiler family was associated. Stephen Bachiler was thus the founder and father of Hampton, the third settlement in New Hampshire, and for years the principal town in that colony; he received a grant of 300 acres from the town, gave a bell for their church, and bound up his fortunes with the new settlement. In 1639 Ipswich promised him a large grant if he would settle with them, but he refused. About this time Hampton received a considerable influx of new settlers, many of them from Norfolk and Suffolk,--and a Suffolk clergyman, Timothy Dalton, was associated with Bachiler in the ministry, as Teacher and Curate. From this time dated a long period of strife in the Hampton church. Dalton was thirty years younger than Bachiler, educated, a sizar, , at St. John's Cambridge, and had brought with him many of his old parishioners. He was politic, active, and an earnest adherent of the plans of Massachusetts.

      But little definite record is left us of the conflict between pastor and teacher; the town records are mute and the church records are missing. Winthrop's History contains little of value concerning it, and is mainly responsible for preserving the slander which it is now thought Dalton and his party manufactured out of the whole cloth,--that Bachiler solicited the chastity of a member of his church. Judge Batchelder, in refuting this falsehood, calls attention to the fact that no definite charge was ever brought, that the woman's name was never mentioned, and that no investigation was made, although Bachiler earnestly and publicly entreated it. In Bachiler's letter to Winthrop he charges Dalton with "having done all and been the cause of all the dishonor that hath accrewed to God, shame to myself and greefe to all God's people by his irregular proceeding and abuse of the power of the church in his hand, the main part cleaving to him being his countrymen and acquaintance in England. The Teachers' excommunicating of me would prove the foulest matter, both for the cause alleged and the impulsive cause (even wrath and revenge)." Winthrop's account censures Dalton, "who indeed had not carried himself in this cause so well as became him and acknowledged it."

      In 1643 the magistrates, to whom the case was referred, annulled the excommunication, but did not restore Bachiler to his pastoral office. To show the general belief in Bachiler's innocence, just at this time while the report was rife, two neighboring towns, Casco on the north and Exeter on the west, called him to be their minister; he at once set their calls before the magistrates, saying that he wished to accept neither until he had a full hearing in his case against Dalton. The magistrates in reply merely advised him to leave Hampton, and he accepted the call to Exeter; but as this was within the jurisdiction claimed by the Massachusetts authorities, they were unwilling to have so troublesome an opponent within their bounds, and in 1644 the Court ordered the Exeter people, on account of their divisions and contentions, to defer gathering a church. Winthrop adds that "Mr. Bachiler had been in three places before, and through his means, as was supposed, the churches fell into such divisions that no peace could be till he was removed."

      Bachiler, who had declined the call to Casco, and prepared to settle in Exeter, remained in Hampton. The troubles were growing more bitter. Hampton had paid him no salary, and he petitioned the General Court for some allowance, but they refused to step in, leaving him to sue through the District Court. July 15, 1644, Winthrop says, "The contentions in Hampton were grown to a great height, the whole town was divided into two factions, one with Mr. Bachiler, their late Pastor, and the other with Mr. Dalton, their Teacher, both men very passionate and wanting discretion and moderation."

      Just before this time, Bachiler's troubles increased; his wife died, and his house and library "to the vallieu of L200" were burned. Disheartened, he sold his land at Hampton and moved to Portsmouth, where he became a private resident, though still preaching occasionally. He hired a "good neighbor" as his housekeeper, and in 1648, at 88 years of age, he married her. The match proved most disastrous; in 1650 she was convicted of adultery with one Rogers, and sentenced to be publicly whipped and branded with the letter "A". Bachiler sued for divorce, but was met with the atrocious order that he "and his wife shall live together as man and wife, as in this Corte they have professed to do; and if either desert the other the marshall shall apprehend both and bring them to Boston, to be kept until the next Corte." The only explanation for this order is the determination to make impossible Bachiler's remaining in the Massachusetts Colony; the attempt was successful. About 1654, accompanied by his grandchild and godson, Stephen Samborne, Bachiler left the New World, from which he had hoped so much, to end his days quietly in England, where Cromwell and the Puritans held sway. His last act was to convey his American estate to his son-in-law Hussey,--"April 8, 1673, Edward Colcord of Hampton, aged 56, and Wm. Fifield of Hampton, testify that when Mr. Stephen Bacheller of Hampton was upon his voyage to England, they did hear Mr. Bacheller say unto his son-in-law Mr. Chr. Hussey that in consn the said Hussey had little or nothing from him with his daughter which was then married to the said Hussey, as also in cons[equence] that this said son Hussey & his wife had been helpful unto him both formerly in fitting him for his voyage, & for other considerations, he did give to the said Hussey all his estate consisting of cattell, household goods & debts, for which his gift aforesaid he also gave a deed in writing & delivered a copy thereof to the said Hussey."

      In 1654, Bachiler's children and grand-children were well established in England, and tradition says he spent his last days in peace and comfort near London. His worthless wife, in 1656, spread a baseless report that he "took to himself another wife," but as this is the only source from which the story comes, we may well believe it false.

      The last record of this long and stormy career is contained in the following: "The ancient Stephen Bachiler of Hampton died at Hackney, a village and parish in Middlesex 2 miles from London, in 1660 in the 100th year of his age."

      Perhaps the best proof of the striking character of Stephen Bachiler is the belief of many of his descendants that their abilities are derived from him. Daniel Webster so believed, and also Caleb Cushing, William Pitt Fessenden, and William Batchelder Greene. [3]

  • Sources 
    1. [S30] Great Migration Begins, The , Robert Charles Anderson, (New England Historic Genealogical Society, 101 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02116, 1995), ISBN 0-88082-044-6., pg. 62.

    2. [S30] Great Migration Begins, The , Robert Charles Anderson, (New England Historic Genealogical Society, 101 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02116, 1995), ISBN 0-88082-044-6., pg 62.

    3. [S54] Sanborn, V.C. Sanborn, (Privately printed by the author, 1899, Rumford Press, Concord, NH), pgs. 60-66.