Governor Thomas Dudley, 60 Col.

Governor Thomas Dudley, 60 Col.

Male 1576 - 1653  (76 years)    Has more than 100 ancestors and more than 100 descendants in this family tree.

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  • Name Thomas Dudley  [1, 2, 3
    Prefix Governor 
    Suffix 60 Col. 
    Relationshipwith Francis Fox
    Born 12 Oct 1576  Yardley, Hastings, Northampton, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3
    Christened 12 Oct 1576  Yardley, Hastings, Northampton, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 31 Jul 1653  Roxbury, Suffolk, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Buried 31 Jul 1653  Roxbury, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I98800  Geneagraphie
    Links To This person is also Thomas Dudley at Wikipedia 
    Last Modified 6 Feb 2004 

    Father Capt. Roger Dudley,   b. Abt 1552, London, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Mar 1590, Ivery Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 38 years) 
    Mother Susannah Thorne,   b. 5 Mar 1559, Yardley, Hastings, Northampton, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 29 Oct 1588, Northampton, Northamptonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 29 years) 
    Married 8 Jun 1575  Lidlington, Bedfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Siblings 4 siblings 
    Family ID F30739  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Dorothy Yorke,   b. Abt 1582, Hampton, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Dec 1643, Roxbury, Suffolk, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 61 years) 
    Married 25 Apr 1603  Hardingstone, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Thomas Dudley,   b. Abt 1605, Northampton, Northamptonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. Rev. Samuel Dudley,   b. 30 Nov 1608, Canon's Ashby, Northamptonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Feb 1683, Exeter, NH Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years)
     3. Anne Dudley,   b. Abt 1612, Northamptonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Sep 1672, Andover, Essex Co., Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 60 years)
     4. Patience Dudley,   b. Abt 1615, Northampton, Northamptonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Feb 1690, Ipswich, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 75 years)
     5. Sarah Dudley,   b. Abt 23 Jul 1620, Sempringham, Lincolnshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1659, Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 38 years)
     6. Mercy Dudley,   b. 27 Sep 1621, Northampton, Northamptonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Jul 1691, Newbury, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 69 years)
    Last Modified 30 Oct 2002 
    Family ID F94931  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Catharine Deighton, 60 Col.,   b. Abt 16 Jan 1615, St Nicholas, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Aug 1671, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 56 years) 
    Married 14 Apr 1644  Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 4
    Children 
     1. Deborah Dudley,   b. 27 Feb 1645,   d. 1 Nov 1683  (Age 38 years)
     2. Governor Joseph Dudley,   b. 23 Sep 1647, Roxbury, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Apr 1720, Roxbury, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years)
     3. Paul Dudley,   b. 8 Sep 1650,   d. 1 Dec 1681  (Age 31 years)
    Last Modified 30 Oct 2002 
    Family ID F94933  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    98800.jpg
    98800.jpg

  • Notes 
    • by Bill Kauffman

      only son

      Thomas inherited 500 pounds from his father and was raised as a page in the family of Lord Compton, Earl of Northampton. Afterwards, he became a clerk to his maternal kinsman, Judge Nichols, thus obtaining some knowledge of the law, which proved to be of great service to him in his later life. Also, while still in his minority, he was trained in Latin by a "Mrs. Purefoy", who was probably his maternal grandmother, Mary Purefoy. All in all, he gained a competent education and was able to understand any Latin author as well as most educated people of his time.

      In 1596, at the age of twenty, Thomas received a Captain's commission in the army. According to Cotton Mather, "the young sparks about Northampton were none of them willing to enter into the service until a commission was given to our young Dudley to be their Captain, and thus presently there were four-score that listed under him." Thomas and his company of volunteers went to France and fought on the side of Henry IV, King of France, at the siege of Amiens in 1597.

      On the conclusion of peace in 1597, Thomas returned to England, settled at Northampton and became acquainted with Dod, Hildersham and other Puritan leaders and himself became a Puritan.

      During the period from about 1600 to 1630, Thomas was steward (manager of estates) to Theophilus, Earl of Lincoln, who had been deep in debt prior to Thomas' stewardship. After only a few years of management by Thomas, however, the Earl was out of debt and was prospering. Also, during this period, Thomas became acquainted with John Cotton, renowned minister of Boston, Lincolnshire (and later of Boston, MA). The Puritans were considered by many political leaders and by the Church of England to be a threat and were subjected to substantial persecution. During the 1620's, relations between the Church of England and the Puritans worsened. Continuing pressure led to a decision by a large group of Puritans to emigrate to New England.

      In 1629, Thomas Dudley was one of the signers of the agreement to form the Massachusetts Bay Company. On Oct. 20, 1629, in the city of London, he was chosen one of the five officers to come to America with the Royal Charter.

      The Massachusetts Bay Company was essentially similar to any other trading company of the time, except that its members had managed to obtain possession of the company charter, or patent, and thus could take it with them to the New World. With possession of the patent that established their rights and privileges, they could control their own government and elect their own magistrates. The group elected John Winthrop governor and Thomas Dudley deputy governor in October 1629.

      It is difficult to understand Thomas Dudley's decision to leave England for the unknown shores of North America. In England he had friends, position and prosperity. But he decided to leave all this behind. Apparently, the pressures of persecution were so great that he was virtually forced to leave England or give up his religious convictions.

      In 1630, Thomas and his wife and children sailed to New England with the Winthrop Fleet, a group of eleven vessels carrying 700 passengers. The Dudley family was on the flagship, the Arbella. The Fleet left England in the Spring and arrived in Salem in June. Not approving of Salem as the capital, John Winthrop ordered the fleet south along the coast to Charlestown, ultimately settling at Newtown. Before leaving England, Winthrop had been elected governor and Thomas Dudley deputy-governor. Many of those who came with Winthrop separated and founded Roxbury, Lynn, Medford, Cambridge and Watertown. According to Thomas Dudley, about 200 of the emigrants died the first year in New England.

      A somewhat violent disagreement between Dudley and Winthrop, the first of many owing to Dudley's touchy and over-bearing temper, occurred when Winthrop abandoned the chosen settlement and moved to Boston. Dudley subsequently moved to Ipswich but after a short time, in order to be nearer the seat of government, settled at Roxbury. He built on the west side of Smelt Brook, just across the watering place, at the foot of the hill where the road that runs up to the First Church joins the Town Street.

      Although Thomas Dudley was 54 years of age when he landed in New England, he still had a long public career ahead of him. Throughout the rest of his life, he was almost constantly in public office. He was four times elected governor and thirteen times made deputy-governor. When not occupying either of these offices, he was usually to be found in the House as an Assistant. When the Standing Council with the idea of forming a body of members for life, Dudley was one of the three first chosen. When the New England Federation was formed in 1643, Dudley was one of the two commissioners chosen by Massachusetts to confer with those of the other colonies. There is hardly an event in the life of the colony during his own in which he did not act a part.

      Thomas Dudley and Simon Bradstreet (both future governors) founded Cambridge in 1631. Thomas, however, lived for many years in Roxbury (now part of Boston). In 1636, he was one of twelve men appointed by the General Court to consider the matter of a college at Newtown (Cambridge) and was one to report favorably on the project. In 1650, as governor, Thomas signed the original charter of the new college, named Harvard College.

      Thomas was a strict Puritan and clashed several times with other leaders of the colony. He was known to be very inflexible in his views. Cotton Mather wrote that if Thomas Dudley had been alive at the time of the witchcraft trouble, New England would never have been disgraced by the bloodshed of innocent persons. He was one of the principal founders of the First Church at Boston and in the church now standing at Berkley and Marlborough streets is a tablet with the following inscription:

      THOMAS DUDLEY. FOR SEVENTEEN YEARS GOVERNOR OR DEPUTY GOVERNOR OF THE MASSACHUSETTS BAY COLONY. AS GOVERNOR HE SIGNED THE CHARTER OF HARVARD COLLEGE.
      BORN IN ENGLAND 1576. DIED IN ROXBURY 1653. A MAN OF APPROVED WISDOM AND OF MUCH GOOD SERVICE TO THE STATE.

      Dudley was an able man with marked executive and business ability. His integrity was unimpeachable. His eye, though
      somewhat religiously jaundiced, was single to the public interest as he saw it. He was something of a scholar and wrote poetry, read in his day, but unreadable in ours. In him, New England Puritanism took on some of its harshest and least pleasant aspects. He often won approval, but never affection. He was positive, dogmatic, austere, prejudiced, unlovable. He dominated by sheer strength of will as a leader in his community. Like many of the others, he was no friend to popular government and a strong believer in autocracy. Opposed to the clergy in one respect, he believed that the state should control even the church and enforce conformity as the superior, and not the handmaid, of the ecclesiastical organization.

      Thomas was a thrifty man, who became one of the largest landowners in Roxbury, He was a "trading, money-getting man" and was said to be somewhat hard and "prone to usury." When he died, his property was valued at £1,560 and included
      bandoleers, corselets, some Latin books, some on law, some that indicate a taste for literature, and many on the doctrines of religion.

      On July 31, 1653, Thomas Dudley died at the age of 77 at Roxbury, Massachusetts. There was a great funeral, with the most distinguished citizens as pall bearers. the clergy were present in large numbers. Military units were present with muffled drums and reversed arms. He was buried at Roxbury, near his home, where his tomb may be seen on the highest point of land. His epitaph was written by Rev. Ezekiel Rogers and reads as follows:

      In books a Prodigal they say;
      A table talker rich in sense;
      And witty without wits pretense;
      An able champion in debate;
      Whose words lacked number but not weight;
      Both Catholic and Christian too;
      A soldier timely, tried and true;
      Condemned to share the common doom;
      Reposes here in Dudley's tomb;

      There has been much debate among historians and some genealogists concerning descent of the Massachusetts Dudleys from the famous Barons Dudley of England. Suffice it to say that Rev. Samuel Dudley, oldest son of Thomas, claimed such descent during his lifetime and apparently was not challenged. Furthermore, Thomas Dudley was accustomed to using the arms (seal) of the Barons Dudley to seal legal documents bearing his signature. In fact his will, written with his own hand, was sealed with the Dudley arms, indicating that he was descended from the Sutton-Dudleys of Dudley Castle. It was a serious offense under English law to use arms under false pretenses.

      Bibliography:

      Koues, George Ellsworth STATEMENT OF RESEARCHES ON THE PARENTAGE OF GOVERNOR THOMAS DUDLEY, pub. by Governor Thomas Dudley Family Association (1912)

      Weis, Frederick Lewis The Ancestry of Governor Thomas Dudley, pub. by author (1962)

      Ellis, Charles M. History of Roxbury Town, pub. by Samuel G. Drake

      Adlard, Geoge The Sutton-Dudleys of England and the Dudleys of Mass. (1862)

      For some of the ancestry of Gov. Thomas Dudley, see RD500 250-252 and PA17C 126. See also Gary Boyd Roberts, Notable Kin, vol II [Santa Clarita: Boyer, 1999], p. 183 and the sources cited there.

  • Sources 
    1. [S191] Plantagenet Ancestry of 17th Century Colonists, David Faris, (Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, MD, 1996), 1st ed, pp 90-94, "Dudley" (Reliability: 0).

    2. [S11] Magna Charta Sureties, 1215, Frederick Lewis Weis, (4th ed, Genealogical Publishing, Baltimore , , Repository: J.H. Garner), line 50, pp 60-61 (Reliability: 0).

    3. [S10] Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America bef 1760, Frederick Lewis Weis, (7th ed Genealogical Publishing, Baltimore 1992 , , Repository: J.H. Garner), line 50 p 53 (Reliability: 0).

    4. [S10] Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America bef 1760, Frederick Lewis Weis, (7th ed Genealogical Publishing, Baltimore 1992 , , Repository: J.H. Garner), line 84 p 83 (Reliability: 0).


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