Maine Historical Society.

Collections of the Maine Historical Society (Volume 1, ser.1) online

. (page 5 of 52)
Online LibraryMaine Historical SocietyCollections of the Maine Historical Society (Volume 1, ser.1) → online text (page 5 of 52)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

siderable space in our affairs, and gave birth to a conflict witli
Gorges, which was only quieted by a submission of all parties
to the jurisdiction of ^Massachusetts.

This year (IGoO) Richard Tucker established himself at the
moiith of Spurwink river in Cape Elizabeth, where he was
joined the same year by George Cleeves, and they unitedly
carried oil business there between two and three years. In
1632, they were ejected by John "Winter, Avho acted as agent
for Robert Trelawny and Moses Goodyeare, of Plymouth, Eng-
land who had procured a patent of a tract including all Capo
Elizabeth.^ Driven from their residence on the Spurwink, they
sought refuge on the north side of Casco or Fore river, and
laid the foundation of the jQrst settlement upon the Neck^ now
Portland, in 1632.

The same year a settlement was commenced at Agamenticits,
now York, by Edward Godfrey. This was on York river, and
probably near the mouth; the inha1)itants subser|uently ex-
tended up the river for the purpose of erecting mills. Godfrey
states in a petition to the General Court of ^Massachusetts in
1654, "that he had been a well wilier, encourager, and furderer
of this colony of Xew England, for forty-five years past, and
above thirty-two years an adventurer on that design, twcnty-
foui" years an inhabitant of this place (York) the first that
ever bylt or settled ther." In 1634, he procured of the coun-
cil of Plymouth, a grant to himself and associates, Samuel
MaTeiick, AYm. Ilooke, and others, of twelve thousand acres
of land on the north side of the river Agamenticus.- The same

1 York Records.

2 Godfrey vras for several years an agent of llie Laconia cornpauy at Piscata-
qua ; after he established himself in Maii.e, his activity and intelligence soon


year anothor grant of twelve thousand acres on the vrcst siiic
of the river was made to Gorges' grandson, Ferdinando.*

The next grant we meet with of hand upon this coast, was
of Black Point, now a part of Scarljorough, to Thomas Cam-
mock, dated Nov. 1, 1631. This was b}- the council of Ply-
mouth, and extended from Black Point river to the Spurwink,
and l.'ack one mile from the sea, Cammock is said to have
been a relative of tlic Earl of Warwick ; he was one of the
comjiany sent to Piscataqua, and was there as early as lool.
Possession of his grant, which included Stratton's Islands, ly-
ing aliout a mile from the point, was given to him by Capi.
Walter Xeale, May 23, 1633h The patent was confirmed to
liim by Gorges in IGIO ; the same year he gave a deed of it
to Henry Jocelyn, to take effect after the death of himself and
his wife. He died in the West Lidies, in 1613, and Jocelyn
immediately entered upon possession and married Margaret,

* [Saiasbnry, vol. i. p. 200 says, "Grant to Edward Godfrey and others of
Dec. 2, IGCl to be renewed, March 2, 1638."]

1 York Records.

brought Lim into notice. Sir F. Gorges appointed him a counselor of his prov-
ince in 1C40; and in 1G42, he was Mayor of Gorgiana. He was chosen Got-
ernor by the people in the -western part of the State in 1040, and v,as the first
in Maine who exercised that oflice by the election of the people. He is said by
a committee on the Mason title in England in 1600, "to have discharged this
office with much reputation of integrity and justice." He died about 1GG4,
at an advanced age, leaving a son, Oliver. In a report to the king, 1061, signed
by Robert Mason and others, it is said '-That Edward Godfrey hath lived there
many years, and discharged the otiice of Governor with the utmost integrity."
"Winthrop says (vol. i. p. 137) that Sir F. Gorges and Capt. Mason sent a person
in 1634, to Agamenticus and Piscataqua, with two saw-mills to be erected, one
at each place. — Mass. fUs, 1GG4.

[Agamenticus was the Indian name for the river now called York, and
•was also applied to the adjoining hills and territory. The composition of the
word, as the Rev, Mr. Ballard informs me, is A'njlumak-ti-Jioof, means snow
shoes river, from the pond at its source in that shape.]


his ^dow. Tlie tract is now held -iiii'ler tliis tille by ronvoy-
ancc from Jocclyn to Joshua Scottow, dated July <). l''*'<''.'*

December 1, 1031, the council oiTlymoulh granted to li;«b-
ert TrehiAVtiy and Closes Goodyeare, merchants of PlyuKiulb.
the tract h'ing between Cammock"s patent ''and the luiy and
river of Casco, and extending northwards into the main lands
so far as the limits and bounds of the lands granted to the said
Ca|)t. Thomas Cammock, do ajid ouu'ht to extend toAvard the
north."' The reason given for making this grant was, ''the
having expended great sums in the discovery of those parts, and
their encouragement in settling a plantation there." This in-
cluded Cape Elizabeth, but Winter, the agent of the patentees
conte]ided for a larger extent north, than seemed to be within
the just construction of the grant. A contest was maintained
many years on this subject, and altliough in practice, the pa-
tent never extended north of Fore river, yet the proprietors
afFu-med that the Prcsumjjscot river was the northern Ijourel-
ary ; and this was asserted by the Jordan proprietors, as late as
the year 1769, when they became incorporated under tiie stat-
ute. Tliey then described tlie bounds of the grant to extend
from the sea near the east side of Cammock's patent into the
country north-westerly fifteen miles, and then north-easterly to
a river called Casco or Presurapscot river, theti down said river
to the sea, then along the sea-shore to the first mentioned
bounds by Cammock's patent. These limits included nearly

* [At tlie same time and included In the same minute of council, as copied
ty Sainsbury. a patent was granted to Richard Bradshaw, of loOO acres. Tlie
memorandum does not define its locality, but its beim.^ included in tlie same
paragraph with Cammock's grant, and being mentioned byCIceves, in his decla-
ration against Winter, (see appendix No 1.) as lying at Spurwink, I infer that it
was adjacent to Cammock's grant. Cleeves and Tucker claim it by purchase of
Bradshaw, but it clearly conflicts with the right of Treluwny and Gootlyeare,next
mentioned, and so the court of CfOrges in 1040 decided. Appendix No. 1, an-
nexed to this article in the volume, gives the pleadings and the result of tlie

1 York Records.

V tv


fill of the ancient town of Falmouth and part of Gorliani. and
are entirely unsupported by any record. One cause of diiTi-
culty on ihis suhjeet arose from an uncertainty as to the true
Casco river, which was agreed to be the northern boundaiy of
patent. One pai-ty contended that it was tlie Presum})S<jot. and
the otlier, with equal obstinacy, that it was Fore river. A de-
cision of the Court m 1640, applied the name to Fore river;
but a certilrcate' was soon afterward obtained and transmitted
to England, f uinded, as was pretendcil, on the statements of
the Indians and ancient settlers, that the Court had made a
mistake on the subject, and that the Presumpscot was the true
Casco river, This again revived the controversy and keipt open.
a most unhappy quarrel during the lives of the lirst settlers'^.

We have riow touched briefly upon all the settlements urado
upon the coast of Maine previous to the year 1032. It will he
perceived that the grants were all obtained from the council of
Plymouth, notwithstanding the patent to Gorges and !Mason c^f
1622, which extended from llie ^Merriiuack to Sagadehoek. and
nominally covered the wliole of that territory. From this circum-
stance, it would be natural to conclude that the patent of 1622
was unexecuted, and that no title passed by it ; and it ajipears
by the opinion of Sir William Jones, the Attorney General iu
1679, that the "grant was only sealed with the council seal,
unwitnessed, no seisin indorsed, nor possession ever given with
the grant^."' This idea is corroborated by the facts that Gorges
was sitting at tlie council board, and was a party to all the
subsequent conveyances whi'.h parceled out the land witliin
the limits of that patent ; and that both he and Mason received

1 York Records.

2 There is a tradition in tlie Jordan family, that the wife of a son of th« f rst
Robert Jordan, needing some paper to keep her pastry from burnin;?, took from
a chest of papers, Trela-.vny's patent, and used it for that purpose, -n-bich ibus
I)erislied,. like luaiiv other ancient and valuable manuscripts,

3 Ilutchiiison, vol. i. p. li-G. Hubbard, vol i. p. 014.



a gTiint with six or seven others in 1631, of a small tract on
both sides of the Piscataqiia, wliieh included the improvemoDts
they had previously made there. If the patent of 1022 Av;i.<
valid, it would have l.)een wholly useless to have procured
another within the same limits.

The settlements which commenced at Plymouth in 1020,
now dotted the whole coast from Cape Cod to the Bay of
Fundy ; they were indeed few and far between, ])ut an inter-
course was kept up among them by their common weakness
and wants, as well as for the pur^toses of trade. And although
Massachusetts was the most powerful of the whole, and from
motives of religious zeal, no douljt sincere, discountenanced
the less strict settlers upon this coast, who on such matters
differed from them both in doctrine and practice, she fain
would profit by their fish and fur, which enabled her to pro-
cure from Europe articles of the hrst necessity for the infant

John Jocelyn, the traveler, wlio visited his l:>rother Henry
at Black Point hi 1038, sailed along the coast from Boston to
that place in July : he says "Having refreshed myself for a
day or two upon Noddle's island, I crossed the bay in a small
boat to Boston, which was then rather a village than a town,
there being not above twenty or thirty houses.''^ "The 12th
day of July I took Ijoat for the eastern parts of the country,
and arrived at Black Point, in the province of Maine, which is
one hundred and fifty miles from Boston, the lltli day. The
country all along as I sailed, being no other than a mere wil-
derness, here and there by the seaside a few scattered planta-
tions with as few houses. "-

1 Jocelj-n's voyafjes, p. 18.

2 Jocelyn's voyages, p. 20.

'.i\ •:)


Pjchmoxii's Island — ?prBwiN-K — Bispcte betwzx.v Cleeves and Ticket., and John Wintir aboi t
THE TITLE— Trade at Richmont)'s Island — The Neck, now Portland, occupied — Gk-nts ly


The first occupation of any part of Falmouth by a European,
of which we have any evidence, was of Richmond's 'island, by
*Walter Bagnall in 1628. The sole object of this man seems
to have l)een to drive a profitable trade with the Indians by
whatever means were in his power. He lived on the island
alone, until by his cupidity he had drawn down the venu'cauco
of the natives upon liim, and they put an end to liis life and
his injuries Octoljer 3, 1631. He had accumulated a large
property for those days, which was scattered by his death. '§
His residence pi*omoted the future settlement of the town in
no otlier way tlian liy showing to others that the situation was
favorable for tlie accumulation of wealth, and thus tempting
them to engage in the same enterprise.

Richmond's Island lies nearly a mile from the southerly side

* [This must be taken with the exception of Levetfs attempt to e.stahlish a
plantation on one of the islands in Portland Harbor in 1623, mentioned in a pre-
ceding page.]

1 Yvinthrop, vol. i. Four hundred pounds sterling.

<;[\Yas not the pot of gold and silver coin discovered on tHo island in lS-55,
part of Bagnall's galn'j

>TvfV. ■■


of Cape Elizal)Oth, is ahout llu-ee miles in circuinferciicc. and
contains about two hu!if]r.;d aci-os of land ; tJio passage nv-\y l.*;
forded on a sand-bar, at low water. Althoudi now it coiuain.s
but a single family, it formerly afforded em|iloyment to a huge
number of men engaged in the fisheries ; and a market for c< u;-
siderablc cargoes of foreign merchandise sent every year (o
this coast. As early as 1G37, Richard Gibson, an episcopulian
minister was settled upon the island', and it is handed down
by tradition Avith great prolialiility, that a cliureh was formerly
established there. Among the items of property in 1648, men-
tioned in an inventory as belonging to the patentees, wliieli
will be more particularly referred to hereafter, arc deseriljcd
yessels for the communion service, and the minister's bedding.

*Bagnall occu])ied the island without any title ; but witlun
two montlis after his death, a grant was made by the council
of Plymouth, bearing date Deeendier 1, It;^!, to Robert Tre-
lawny and Moses Goodyeare, merchants, of Plymouth, ir. Eng-
land, which included this island and all of the present town of
Cape Elizabeth. The patentees appointed John Winter. Avho
■was then in this country, their principal agent. A. copy of the
grant was immediately sent to him, and on the 21st of July
1632, he was put in possession of the tract by Richard Tines
of Saco, one of the persons ap})ointed by the grantors for tliat
purpose-. •

There were at that time settled upon the territory noar the
mouth of the Spurwink river, George Cleeves and Richard
Tucker, who had established themselves there in 1630^. They
had selected one of the most valuable spots in the tract, and

1 Wiuthrop, vol. ii. p. GO. York records.

* The records in the State paper office, LoikIoii, f-lioAv a grant to Bagnallof
Richinoiid's Island, dated Dec. '2, lij;jl, wliich was after his death.

2 Two other jiersons rnentioiied, 'svcre '-'Capt. Walter Neale and Ilenrj Joce-
lyn, leiftenaiit," botli of wlioni hved «Ti the riscata([ua.

3 Cleeves v. Winter, 1<;(0. York Records. See Appendix, Xo. 1.

it^ 'I^>-(a''(l) !•


claimed to liold agaiu,-t AVintor two tlioiisaiul acres of land,
with their improvements, of which however they were tbrciuly
di.'-possessed. Cleeves in ItUO, when regular courts were cs-
tabli>hed hy Sir Ferdiuando Gorges, brought an action of tres-
pass against Winter, to recover damages for the removal; and
in his declaration he stated his title as follows: ''joining him-
self in partnership with Richard Tucker, then of Spurwink,
who had also a right of inheritance there, the which he bought
and purchased for a valuable consideration of Kicliard Brad-
shaw, who was formerlie settled there by Capt. AValter Xeale,^*
by virtue of a commission to him given by some of the lords
patentees, and soe as appjeareth the said Richard Tucker was
lawfully possessed of a right of inheritance at and in the said
Sj>urwink. Alsoe the plaintiff further declaretli that he join-
ing his right by promise and possession, with his partner's right
by purchase and possession, and soe being accountable to his
said partner, they both agreed to joyne their rights together,
and there to build, plante, and continue ; which when the plain-
tiff liad done and was there settled for two years or thereaboutes,
this defendant, John Winter, came and pretended an interest
there, by virtue of a succeeding pattent surrupticiouslie obtain-
ed and soe by force of arms expelled and thrust away the
plaint, from his house, lands, and goods."

1 Walter Xeale arrived in this country in tlie spring of ]G"0, and returned in
the summer of It'iSS. He came out as Governor of tlie company at Piscataqua.

* [Walter Neale in a petition to the King in 1038, says, "He has served in all
the Kings expeditions for the last 20 years; commanded four years, and brought
to perfection the Company of the Artillery Garden. Lived three years in New
England and made greater discoveries than were ever made before. Exactly
discovered all the rivers and harbors in the habitable parts of the country, Prays
to be appointed Governor.'' — Saimbunj, vol. i. p. 28-5d We annex his full and
handsome autograph.


Tlie verdict in this case was a? follow-s, "•the jury find iV-r ihc
plaint, the house and hind enclosed, containing foure a^-res or
thereaboute joyning with the said house, and give him eighty
pounds for damage, and twelve shillings and six pence for the
cost of Courte." The whole court consisting of Thomas
Gorges, Henry Jocelyn. Eichard Bonighton, Edward Godfrey,
and Richard Vines, concurred in rendering judgment, except
Yiues. wlio dissented.

This document enables us to fix the time of the settlement
of Cleeves and Tucker, upon the Spurwink at 1030, which was
probably the first made there ; and from the same record, it
appears that as early as 1G32, tliey had buildings erected, an.d
bad made jireparations there for a permanent estal)lishment.
The grant to Trelawny and Goodyeare defeated their plans
and drove them to another spot in Casco bay, within the limits
of Falmouth.

AVinter, now left without interruption, inmicdiately employed
himself to bring into action all the resources of the grant. He
soon built a ship upon tlie island, " settled a place for fisliing,
and improved many servants for fishing and planting." ^* In
August, lt3o2, the general court of Massachusetts in reference
to the murder of Bagnall, speak of a plantation existing there,
but notice it in s:uch a manner that leads us to infer that it was
under no regular government. They say, -"in consideration
that further justice ought to l)e done in this murder, the court
order tliat a boat sufficiently manned be sent with a commission
to deal with tlic plantation at the eastward, and to join vritU
such of them as shall Ite willing thereto for examination of the
murder, and for api<rehending sucli as shall be guilty thereof,
and to bring the prisoners into the bay." Winter was in the
country at the date of tlie grant, for, in his defence of the action

1 Prince, vol. ii. p. 30.

*[Thc. bark Kichrnond \vas f-rohably tl.e vessel built.]

2 Prince, vol ii. pp. 39, CC. Colonial Records.


•ly- ■

"' • '.is


before referred to, he speaks of the patent luiving been sei*t
over to liiui ; and he liad probably made siicli a representation
to the patentees as indueed them to proeure it. He, as well as
Cleeves, came from Plymouth, England. Biadshaw, of wliom
Tucker is said to have purchased land at Spurwink, could not
have occupied it previous to 1630, for he was put into possession
of it by Walter Xeale, who did not come to the country until
the spring of that year. The probability is, that Bradshaw did
not long occupy the land, as Ave lind no other notice of him
than appears in Cleeves's declaration.

We may suppose that the plantation referred to in the court's
order, was composed of Cleeves, Tucker, and Winter, with their
servants : we are not able to connect with it at that time any
other names. After the ejection of Cleeves and Tucker, in the
latter part of 1'332, Winter took the entire control of it, and
managed it several years for the patentees. In 1034, as early
as the first of March, Winthrop says, " seventeen fishing ships
were come to Richman's island and the Isle of Shoals."* The
fish were undoubtedly cured on the islands and ncighlioring
main, and must have afforded employment to a large number
of men. Jocelyn in 1638, says that Winter employed sixty
men in the fishing business.^ The trade m beaver this year
in this neighborhood was also very successful ; the government
of Plymouth colony procured at their trading house on the
Kennebec, tweiity hogsheads, which were sent to England.-
This was a principal article of commerce in the early settlement
of the country : it was a sort of circulating medium or standard
of value among the wliite people and natives, and remittances
to the mother country were made by it. About the year 164o,
the price of it in Casco, was from six to eight shillings a pound,
and it was received in payment for commodities and labor.

*[Levett also speaks of a large number of fishing vessels in that vicinity, in
I Jocelyn, p. 25. - Winthrop, vol. i. p. 138.

iJliii''.);:; u-i i. I<i



Winter, in 1040, was complained of for attempting to keep
down the price to six. sliilling:^.^

In the spring of IGoo, a ship of eighty tons, and a pinnaeo
of ten tons arrived at Richmond's ishmd.- In lG3i3, Mr.
Trehiwny alone is mentioned as proprietor of the patent, and
March 2ijth o[ that year, he committed the full government of
the plantation to Mr. Winter, who appears after that time to
have had an interest of one-tenth in the speculation ; and in
addition to his jtroportion of the profits, he was to receive from
the general fund " furry pounds per annum in money for his
personal care and charge."' ^ After this time the business of the
j)lantation was pursued with great activity until the death of
Trelawny, which took place in 1041.* They employed the ship
Agnes, the hark Richmond, the ships Hercules and Margery,
and one other, whose name is not mentioned. In 1G3S, Mr.
Trelawny sent a ship of three hundred tons to the island, ladL-n
with wine. This was probably the proceeds of a .cargo of llsh
sent to Spain or Portugal. Large quantities of wine and spirits
were early sent ^o this coast, and produced as much wretched-
ness among those who indulged in them then, as they do at
the present day. Jocelyii described their effects from personal
observation iu lively colors ; he says the money which the fish-
ermen received, did them but little "good, for at the end of their
voyage " the merchant comes in with a walking tavern, a l^ark
laden Avith ihe legitimate blood of the rich grape, which they
bring from Phial, Madera, and Canaries ;" and after they get a
" taster or two," they will not go to sea again for a whole week,
till they get wearied with drinking, " taking ashore two or
three hogsheads of wine and rum, to drink when the merchant

1 Yoik Court Records. 2 Wintlirop, vol. i. p. 157.

3 Jordan's Claim, York Records.

*[Robert Trela-.\Tiy was of a respectable and wcaltliy family of Plymouth, and
represented that boroufih in Parliament. Moses Goodyeare was also well con-
nected, be married the daughter of Abraham Jeuniuy.s, of Plymouth, the pa-
tentee of MoLlie^aa.]

I,v ,•


r ■-i'Y^.

J,', t • li

lit - ," -.I.:M


is gone." " They often," lie adds, " have to nni in dclit for
their necessaries on account of their hivish expense for drink,
and are constrained to mortgage their plantations if they have
any, and the merchant Avhen the time is expired is sure to turn
them out of house and home, seising their plantations and
cattle, poor creatures, to look out for a now habitation in some
remote place, ^yhere they begin the world again."' Such is
the description which this voyager gives of the early settlers of
our State, and it accounts for the fact which would otherwise
seem extraordinary, of the shipment of so large a quantity of
wine, as is above mentioned, to plantations then in their in-

The merchandise seiit to the proprietor in England, consisted
princijuilly of pipe staves, beaver, fish, and oil. In 1639, AVin-
ter'^ sent in the bark Eichmond, six thousand pipe staves,
which were valued here at eight pounds eight shilhngs a thou-
sand. Some shipments were made directly from the plantation
to Spain :- and a profitable intercourse seems to have -been
carried on for the proprietors a number of years, until it was
susj)ended by the death of Trelawny. After that time the ■
want of ca])ital, probably prevented Winter from employing
sliips on his own account, and Trelawny's heir was but a child
of six or seven years old. The commercial character of the
plantation declined from that time, and the trade gradually
sought otlier channels, until the mouth of the Spurwink and
Richmond's island l)ecame entirely deserted. Their mercan-
tile prosperity are now only to be found among the })erishablo

1 Jocelyn, p. 212.

2 Beluw we present the autograph of this prominent pioneer, John Winter.


S^lr (^''(T^^'

[IVr iiio, John Wyiitcr.;

Jo ran 's claim, York Records. Appendix.


:••; I..


and almost iicrishod momorials of a l)y-goiio age. In 10-ls,
after Winter's death, the plantation and all its appurtenaiico^
Averc awarded to Robert Jordan, by a decree of the general

Online LibraryMaine Historical SocietyCollections of the Maine Historical Society (Volume 1, ser.1) → online text (page 5 of 52)