Ellery Bicknell Crane.

The ancestry of Edward Rawson, Secretary of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay : with some account of his life in old and New England. online

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Online LibraryEllery Bicknell CraneThe ancestry of Edward Rawson, Secretary of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay : with some account of his life in old and New England. → online text (page 1 of 5)
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. R3876




of the

Colony of Massachusetts Bay.




Compiler of the Revised Memoir of Edward Rawson, with Genealogical
Notices of his Descendants, published in 1875.





Do Not




Quarterly, 1st, parted per fess undee sa. and az., a castle with four towers
arg. (Rawson)

2d. Or. on a chevron, vert 3 ravens' heads erased, arg. (Craford).
Ensigned all over with a chief, gules, and thereon a cross after the third.

This Coat of Arms was found by Mr. Crane engraven on a stone tablet
lying in the ancient church-yard at Mendon, Mass. It was placed there by
Capt. William Rawson, grandson of Edward the Secretary,


Portrait of Edward Rawson Frontispiece

Rawson Family Coat of Arms i

Ancestry of Edward R.'VWSon 3

Children of Edward R.\wson 22

Will of the Grandfather of Edward Rawson 2 7

Will of the Father of Edward Rawson 28

Rawson and Stanhope Pedigree 31

Rawson Pedigree continued 32, 33, 38

Addenda 34

Stanhopes connected with the Rawsons 39

Stanhope Pedigree 46 to 49

Sir John Rawson 50

jTAfis sua: tb

Engraved from ilie anginal Ponraii ni me possession of R.R Dooge
Zast Sauon Ma.ss.


^««strg at MxcmA %m»m.

It has ever been a source of pride among our forefathers to be
able to trace their Uneage to a noble ancestry. Although in this, the
nineteenth century, we find not so much stress attached to noble
birth as formerly, yet there appears no good reason why it should
not be cited and used as an incentive to more worthy living and
superior attainments. At the time of the publication of the
Revised Rawson Family Memorial, in the year 1875, comparatively
little was known concerning the ancestry of Edward Rawson, who
was for so many years Secretary of the Massachusetts Bay
Colony. Soon after the volume referred to had found its way
into the hands of the public, the writer chanced to be strolling
among the monuments of the departed dead in the old church
yard, at Mendon, Mass.; and while examining a slab of slate-
stone that once formed the end of a cromlech over the grave
where had been deposited the remains of a son and daughter of
Capt. William Rawson, grandson of the Secretary, a figure was
discovered, which, on removing the lichen, proved to be that of a
family armorial. Of this a drawing was carefully made, and steps
immediately taken toward finding the name of its original owner.

A brief research revealed the fact that the armorial was one
borne by Sir John Rawson, Knight of Rhodes, and of St. John of
Jerusalem.* He was elected Prior of Kilmainham in 1511,! and
in 15 1 7, by order of King Henry VIII., was sworn Privy Council-
lor of Ireland, and Lord Treasurer of that Kingdom. In 1526, at

*The Order of St. John began in the year 11 20. They wore long gowns
or robes of black, with white crosses upon the breast.
fThe Priory of Kilmainham was situated near Dublin.

the request of King Henry VIII., he was appointed by the grand
master, Turcopolier of the order of Knights a( St. John. This
office he exchanged with Sir. John Babington for the dignity of
Prior of Ireland.

In the 33d year of Henry VIII. (1542), Sir John surrendered
the Priory of Kilmainham to the King, obtaining therefor a
pension of 500 marks out of the estate of the Hospital, and-as he
had sat in the Irish House of Lords, as Prior of Kilmainham, he
exchanged his spiritual dignity for a temporal peerage, being
created Viscount Clontarff. This title became extinct at his
death in the year 1560, He left a daughter, Catherine, who
married Rowland Whyte, son of Patrick Whyte, second Baron of
the Exchequer in Ireland. This armorial of Sir John Rawson
was placed in one of the windows of Swingfield church, a chapel
dedicated to St. Peter. The Parish of Swingfield was included in
the property of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, and is
located five miles north from Folkestone, in the County of Kent.

Sir John Rawson had four brothers and three sisters. Avery
and Christopher were citizens and merchants of London, dealers
in the staple of Calais. Christopher owned Old Wool Quay, in
Petty Wales (Lower Thomas Street), having received it by his
mother's will. He died in 15 18, and was buried at AUhallow's
Barking, Great Tower Street.

Richard bore the title of Doctor of Divinity as well as Doctor
of Laws ; was Prebendary of Durnsford, in Salisbury ; Arch-
deacon of Essex, 1502 ; Rector of St. Olaves, Hart Street, 15 10 ;
Canon of Windsor, 1521 ; was Vicar of the church at Beacons-
field, Buckinghamshire, having been presented there July 25, 1525.
He rebuilt the Parsonage House, where his arms were remaining
in 1728. Died in 1543.

The other brother, Nicholas, became master of the Free Chapel
at Gressenhall, County of Norfolk. Died leaving two sons, John
and Walter.

The elder brother, Avery, aside from being a merchant in
London, was styled of Aveley, a Parish fourteen or fifteen miles
east of London, in the County of Essex. His son, Nicholas

Rawson, was not only an owner of an estate in Aveley, but also
held lands there in fee simple by copy of Court Roll. He
married the widow of William Copley, Esq., whose maiden name
was Beatrix Cooke, daughter of Sir Philip Cooke, Knight of
Giddea Hall, County of Essex. She died at the home of her
daughter Lady Anne Rawson Stanhope, at Shelford, January 14,
1554. Nicholas Rawson died in 1529, leaving four children;
a daughter Anne became the wife of Sir Michael Stanhope,
Knight of Shelford, County of Nottingham. Sir Michael seems
to have been held in high favor by King Henry VHL, for on
the 24th of Nov. 1538, he, by letters patent, granted to him and
his wife Anne, the house and site of the Priory, and Almshouses,
etc., within the Parish of Shelford, including 164 acres of land
with all the appurtenances. February 5, 1540, he bestowed
upon him the Manor of Shelford, and the Rectories of the parish
churches of Shelford, Sarendale, Gedling, Burton Jorz, Forth-
Ruskham, and all manors, messuages, lands, tenants, etc., in
Shelford, Sarendale, Newton, Brigford, Gunthorpe, Lowdham,
Cathorpe, Horingham, Bulcote, Gedling, Carlton, Stoke, Lamcote,
Flintham, Long-Collingham, Cawnton, the town of Nott, Newark,
Burton Jorz, and Forth-Ruskham, all in the county of Notting-
ham, and late belonging to the monastery of Shelford, Michael
Stanhope, Esq., paying therefor 119/ per annum.

In the year 1544 the King appointed him Steward €Jvei"''the
Lordships of Holderness and Cottingham. In 1546 he was
dubbed a Knight at Hampton Court, and in the following year
received the appointment of Governor of Hull. In 1548 he was
chosen Chief Gentleman of the Privy Chamber to King Edward
VI. The high and responsible position to which he had now
attained, brought with it grave results. The rivalry and jealousy
that existed among those who held high places among the King's
Councillors, made it extremely hazardous in those days to occupy
exalted positions, especially as taking the life of a person who
stood in the way of the promotion of another, seems to have been
comparatively easily arranged for, on the ground that the success
or wellbeing of the Government demanded it. Thus the flatter-
ing career of our noble Knight was soon to reach a close.

Sir Edward Stanhope, the father of Sir Michael, was twice
married. The name of his first wife was AdeUna, daughter of Sir
Gervas Clefton, by whom he had Richard and Michael. After
the death of Michael's mother, he married Elizabeth, daughter of
Fulc Bourchier, Lord Fitz Warin, by whom he had a daughter
Anne, who became the wife of Edward Seymour, Duke of
Somerset, who was uncle as well as Protector to King Edward
VI. Through the belief that his brother Thomas (Lord Sey-
mour,) had been intriguing against him, the Protector had him
arrested, tried for treason, condemned, and beheaded on the 20th
of March, 1549. But soon the tables were turned. A powerful
rival to the Duke of Somerset appeared in the person of John
Dudley, Earl of Warwick and Duke of Northumberland, who had
been compelled to resign the office of Lord High Admiral by the
Protector, in order that his brother, Thomas Seymour, might
receive that appointment, and was only waiting for an opportunity
to get his revenge. Dudley had again been made Lord High
Admiral, and soon succeeded in gaining extensive influence
among the Lords of the Council, and was in especial favor with the
King. So skillful was he in conducting his efforts that he finally
succeeded in influencing the King to sign the deposition of his
Uncle the Protector, and on the 14th of October, 155 1, he, with
the Duchess and several other persons, quite likely Sir Michael
Stanhope among the number, were sent as prisoners to the
Tower. On it appearing that the life of the Duke of Northum-
berland was in danger, the King allowed the law to take its course.
The Protector and his brother-in-law, Sir Michael Stanhope were
tried and condemned to death, the Duke of Somerset being
beheaded on Friday, the 2 2d day of January, 1552, Sir Michael
sharing the same fate on the 26th day of the month following.
That the latter may have been made a confidant of, and was
under obligations to follow the instructions and dictates of his
superior, the Duke of Somerset, is all we would offer in extenua-
tion of the crime for which he was made to suffer the penalty of

Anne Rawson, the widow of Sir Michael Stanhope, was born
about the year 15 12, and as a fitting testimonial to her as a

mother, we can say that notwithstanding the early and tragic
death of her husband, she, with true womanly courage, devoted
her hfe to the welfare of her children, and their success in after
years shows with what faithfulness and good judgment that care
was bestowed. Out of eleven children, three, Margaret, WiUiam
and Edward died in infancy. Thomas, the eldest, was Knighted
at Kenilworth in the year 1575. He married Margaret, daughter
of Sir John Port, by whom he had Sir John, who was the father of
Philip Stanhope, first Earl of Chesterfield.

Edward, the second son, became one of the Queen's Council
in the north of England, and died in 1608. The third son was
Sir John Stanhope of Harrington, gentleman to the Privy Chamber
to Queen Elizabeth, and created Lord Stanhope of Harrington in
the year 1605. Edward, the fourth son, became a Doctor of
Civil Law, and Master in Chancery. The fifth son, Sir Michael
Stanhope of Sudboum, County of Suffolk, Knighted by King
James, May 7th, 1603, was gentleman of the Privy Chamber to
Queen Elizabeth. The sixth, a daughter, Eleanor, married
Thomas Cooper, Esq. Seventh, Julian, married John Hotham,
Esq. Eighth, Jane, married Sir Roger Townsend.

The eminent and responsible positions in State and Council to
which the children of Lady Anne Rawson Stanhope were called
and retained, furnishes a lasting tribute to the memory of a faithful
and devoted mother.

Lady Stanhope survived the death of her husband nearly
thirty-five years, six days only wanting to complete that time.
She died on the 20th of February, 1587, at the old hpme in
Shelford, where she was buried.

The old house at Shelford, was garrisoned for King Charles L,
during the Civil wars, and one Philip Stanhope was in command
and lost his life during an assault made by the enemy Oct. 27,
1645, when the place was captured and the house burned to the

As the fruit of the marriage of Sir Michael Stanhope and
Anne Rawson, we have had, during the years that have intervened,
many prominent and illustrious personages whose lives have

adorned the pages of English history. Notably among them are
the Earls of Chesterfield, of Harrington and of Stanhope.

The merchant, Christopher Rawson, brother of Sir John, and
the owner of the Old Wool Quay in London, was twice married.

First to Margaret , afterward to Agnes, daughter of William

Burke. By the first wife he had three sons and two daughters ;
John, Thomas, Richard, Margaret, who became first the wife of
Henry Goodrick, brother of Thomas, Bishop of Ely and Lord
Chancellor of England, afterwards of Mr. Crompton, of Stone ; and
Catherine, who married Oliver Richardson.

The names of the three sisters of Sir John Rawson were Anne,
who became the wife of Richard Cely of London ; Elizabeth, wife
of John Foxe, a merchant of London ; and Alice, of whom we
have no marriage record.

Having thus far given some account of Sir John and his
descendants, together with those of his brothers and sisters, let us
look at a brief record of his father, Richard Rawson, who was
also a merchant of London, and, in the year 1475, Alderman of
Farringdon Extra, and Sheriff of London in 1476. He married
Isabella Craford, a descendant of the Crafords of Northumber-
land. He died in 1483, and was buried at the church of St.
Mary Magdalen, Milk street, London. By his will he gave many
charitable and devotional legacies, including the church at Fryston
and for repairing the highways in and about Pomfret, Sherbum,
Fryston and Castleford, in Yorkshire.

Isabella, his wife, died in 1497, and was buried on Milk street
by the side of her husband. By her will she gave several legacies,
one to the Free Chapel of Gressenhall, County of Norfolk, of
which her son Nicholas was master.

Richard, the Sheriff of London, was son of Richard Rawson of
Fryston, Yorkshire, England, and grandson of Robert of the same
place, who married Agnes the daughter of Thomas Mares, and
lived during the time of Richard II., and was probably bom
previous to the 14th century.

The Rawsons may properly be styled a Yorkshire family. In
the Harleian collection of Heralds visitations, at the ' British

Museum, London, England, may be found several pedigrees of
different branches of the one great family. All but one appear
to be records of the family in Yorkshire, only one being found in
the collection of the family in any other County, and that one in
Essex, volume 1137, folio 49.

A collection of some of these pedigrees has been made and
will be found at the end of this sketch.

Edward Rawson, the grandfather of the Secretary, was a
merchant, dealing in silks and woolen goods, and resided in the
town of Colnbrook, in the Parish of Langley Marsh, Buckingham-
shire, about seventeen miles west of London. Here his children
were born. He was a man of considerable property, and died
rather early in life. His will was dated February 16, 1603, and
proved May 4th the following year. He left two sons, Henry and
David, both minors at the time of his death. His wife was
Bridget Warde ; she married for a second husband, Thomas
Woodward, Esq., of Lincoln's Lin, County of Middlesex.

By the father's will Henry, the eldest son, was to have the
house, called the Draggon, and two shops thereunto adjoining all
in Colnbrook. This was very likely the store or place of
business, where the son might continue in trade as his father's
successor. David was to receive 200/ on his reaching the age of
one and twenty, and also at the death of the mother to have the
old homestead in Colnbrook. Wife Bridget and son Henry were
named as executors. It was also decided that he should learn a
trade, and in accordance with the custom of that period, he was
bound out for a term of seven years to acquire the art of a
tailor. Having served his apprenticeship with Mr. Nathaniel
Weston, and reached the appointed age, he received the munifi-
cent gift from his father's estate, and established himself in the
city of London as a merchant tailor. As the home of his youth
was but a very few miles from Windsor, where the Rev. Dr. William
Wilson preached, and also situated on the main road between
that noted place and the great metropolis, we may imagine that
David had met and early made the acquaintance of the Rev.
Doctor's daughter Margaret. They may have been brought
together at the village school, or at the home of David's father,


he being a man of wealth and social standing in the neighborhood.
The Wilson family may have been in the habit of calling at the
merchant's house, as they must have frequently made trips between
Windsor and London. But it matters little at this writing how
the first interview was brought about. The facts are that David
took the minister Wilson's daughter Margaret to wife and estab-
lished a home in the great city of London. But that happy home
was soon to be despoiled of its charm. Within a few short years
the husband and father died, leaving his sorrowing widow, as
David's mother had been left, with two small children.

By reading the will of David Rawson,* father of the Secretary,
we learn that he was born in Colnbrook, Buckinghamshire, and at
the date of the execution of that instrument, was a citizen, and
merchant tailor of London ; also that he left three children, two
sons and a daughter, namely, William, Edward, and Dorothy.
This Edward became the Secretary. David had apparently been
successful in business, leaving what might be considered a large
estate for his time, and much wisdom and thoughtfulness was
displayed in its distribution.

He named as overseers, Thomas Woodward, Esq., his step-
father ; his brother, Henry Rawson ; brothers-in-law. Dr. Edmond
Wilson, and Rev. John Wilson, the latter afterwards known as
minister of the first church in Boston, Mass. The body of the
will was drawn June 15, 1616. On the 2 7th of November, in the
year following, a codicil was added, in which the daughter
Dorothy was mentioned. Within the next three months the
father died, and the will was proved by the widow Margaret, 25
February, 1617.! A few years later the widow married William
Taylor of London, a haberdasher or dealer in small wares such as
ribbons, tapes, etc. Col. Chester tells us in the Genealogy of the
Taylor Family, prepared by him for Mr. P. A. Taylor, that they
were married previous to March 23, 1624, for on that day a post-
nuptial settlement was dated.

By this marriage she had three children : Edmond Taylor, the
eldest, who became a gentleman given to intellectual pursuits, was

* See Appendix. fAt thai date the year began in the month of March.


a prominent non- conformist, received in the year 1655 from
Oliver Cromwell the appointment of Rector of Littleton, and
was for a time imprisoned for the part he took in the Monmouth
Rebellion ; he resided in Witham, Essex. A daughter, Margaret
Taylor, married 28 January 1640-41, William Webb, a grocer in
London. The other child, Hannah, married Robert Clarkson, or
Claxton, citizen and merchant draper of London ) marriage
articles dated Dec. 22, 1646.

The mother died previous to January i, 1628, and Mr. WilHam
Taylor, her last husband, died 29 June, 165 1, at Hackney, where
he was buried on the 8th day of July following. He left a very
large estate, valued then at 4000/ (equal to $40,000 now), and
gave among other gifts 800/ to each of his daughters, Mrs. Webb
and Mrs. Clarkson. There are no persons by the name of
Rawson mentioned in his will.

Margaret, the mother of Secretary Rawson, was daughter of
Rev. William Wilson, D. D., of Merton College, Oxford, Preben-
dary of St. Paul's and Rochester Cathedrals. He held the
rectory of Cliffe in the County of Kent, and in the year 1584
became Canon of St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle ; sister
to Edmond Wilson, M. D., of London, who, about the year 1633,
gave one thousand pounds sterling to the Colony of Massachu-
setts Bay ; and the Rev. John Wilson, minister of the first church
in Boston ; also grand-niece of Edmond Grindall, D. D., Arch-
bishop of Canterbury.* It would be exceedingly interesting to
the descendants of the Secretary, could they have a complete
history of his early life while in London with his mother, or at
Windsor with his grandparents. The early death of his father,
Edward being less than two years of age at the time, may have
materially changed the course marked out for the young child.
But surrounded as he was by relatives and friends, enjoying the
benefits of education, and occupying high positions in life, it is
fair to presume that abundant opportunity was given the youth
to acquire a reasonable education and lay the foundation for a
comparatively useful life.

♦Rev. William Wilson, D. D., married Isabel Woodhall, daughter of
Elizabeth, a sister of Edmund Grindall, Archbishop of Canterbury.

It does not appear whether or not he had the advantages of a
collegiate course, but it is plainly apparent that he was well quali-
fied to occupy with credit, the many prominent positions of trust
that in after years fell to his lot. At the time of the publication
of the Memorial of the Rawson Family, it was supposed that
Gillingham, Dorsetshire, England, was the birthplace of our
Secretary, but June 15, 16 16, David Rawson, his father, records
himself as a citizen and merchant tailor of London.

He evidently had been located there a sufficient length of time
to establish his citizenship, and as Edward at that date was but
fourteen months old, we may reasonably infer that he was bom in

The mother was left with ample means for the maintenance of
herself and family, and being a woman of culture and refined
tastes, she, no doubt, devoted all her energy to the careful training
of her little ones.

At the death of the mother the subject of our sketch was about
thirteen years of age. Whether the youth remained in the family
of Mr. Taylor, or was cared for by the Wilsons, does not appear.
Two years later, however, the uncle. Rev. John Wilson, decided
to accept the invitation to remove to New England, arriving at
Salem, Massachusetts, in the year 1630. Within four years
from his departure for New England, the other uncle, Edmond
Wilson, M. D., died. One uncle, Henry Rawson, a brother of
his father, still remained, residing at the old homestead in
Colnbrook, and here young Edward may have passed a few
years while attending school.

When John Endicott, the founder of the Colony of Massachu-
setts, made his adventurous trip with his little company of
associates to the shores of New England, Edward Rawson was
but a lad of tender years. No doubt he had listened with thorough
boyish curiosity to the thrilling stories as they fell from the lips of
relatives and friends much older than himself, who felt a special
interest in the venture, while they repeated in his presence the
numerous reports that came to the people of London and Wind-
sor, of the trials and privations of the little colony in their


new home, or expressions of inestimable joy and satisfaction at
feeling themselves fairly beyond the restraint of a tyrannical and
uncompromising government.

It was natural that such stories should make lasting impres-
sions on the youth's mind, and two years later, when his uncle,
Rev. John Wilson, took his departure for the new country, the
child must have felt a singularly deep sense of interest in that
then, to him, far-away spot, and he may have then wished in his
boyish fancy that at some future day his eyes might rest upon that
promised land, and his feet press its virgin soil. The deep
affection he felt for this uncle, who seemed to him quite like a
father, must have also served as a loadstone to attract his attention
A^estward across the Atlantic.

He next appears to us in the town of Gillingham, Dorsetshire,
at the home of Mr. Richard Perne, whose daughter Rachel he
married. For a brief time the young couple made their home in
Gillingham. Their first child was bom here. Whether Mr. Perne
lived to witness the marriage of his daughter, or not, we cannot say.
He died April ii or 12, 1636, leaving a will executed April 10, in
which he named Edward Rawson as one of the overseers, and
his wife, Rachel, to be executrix.

Within two years after the death of Mr. Perne, Edward Raw-
son, with his young wife, left Old England for America, arriving
at Newbury, we believe, in the year 1637. April 19, 1638, when
but twenty-three years of age, he was chosen Public Notary and
Register for that Town, and was annually reelected until 1647.
Many other public trusts and responsible duties were laid upon
him by the people of Newbury. As early as the year 1638, he
was one of the Deputies to represent the Town at the General
Court, and was reelected for nearly all the successive years to 22
May, 1650, at which time he was chosen Secretary of the Massa-

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Online LibraryEllery Bicknell CraneThe ancestry of Edward Rawson, Secretary of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay : with some account of his life in old and New England. → online text (page 1 of 5)