Depending upon what date Mary Wade was actually married (see the 2nd previous post for that discussion), Prudence² Wade may have been the first of Jonathan¹ Wade’s daughters to marry, when she married Dr. Anthony Crosby on December 28, 1659 in Rowley, Essex County, Massachusetts, a town about 4 miles north and a little west of Ipswich. The Crosbys are a very interesting family who settled both in Rowley, and in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as well as leaving one oldest son in Holme-on-Spalding Moor in York County in England. The original emigrant was Thomas Crosby who first settled in Cambridge and then moved to Rowley. According to the Colonial Families of the United States” by Nelson Osgood Rhoades, Thomas Crosby is supposed to have emigrated from England in 1638 and traveled to New England aboard the same ship that brought the Reverend Ezekiel Rogers. He and his wife Jane had four sons, Anthony who died in 1632 in Holme, Thomas who stayed behind in England and managed the Crosby properties in Old England, William who died in England in 1640 and was the father of our Dr. Anthony Crosby, and Simon who also emigrated and settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Anthony³, the son of William² was orphaned around the age of five and grandfather, Thomas¹, adopted him and seems to have brought him to Rowley at the age of 16. Anthony pursued his studies of medicine at Boston with Dr. John Alcock. Shortly after his studies ended, he returned to Rowley to practice medicine there and in the surrounding towns. In 1659, he married Prudence Wade of Ipswich, daughter of Jonathan¹
Thomas¹ Crosby was evidently a wealthy man. He is credited with having advanced a large sum of money for the first printing press that was brought and set up in America. He had a large amount of property in England which he had given to his eldest living son Thomas² prior to emigrating, but in his will he gave his entire estate in both Old England and New England to his grandson Anthony. There is some speculation that Thomas² was only given certain lands in England and the father, Thomas¹, had kept a number of his landholdings which he then passed on to Anthony. In 1662, Anthony went to England to settle his grandfather’s estate and likely came back to Rowley a richer man. (Simon Crosby the emigrant: his English ancestry and some of his American descendants, Crosby, Eleanor Davis, Boston: Geo. H. Ellis Co., 1914). By 1666, Anthony Crosby had some 700 acres of village lands, according to a judgement issued on 25 September 1666 (Simon Crosby the emigrant, p.34 citing Ipswich Deeds at Salem).
Eleanor Davis Crosby on p. 35 of her book Simon Crosby the emigrant provides a clear and concise synopsis of why this was a good match for Dr. Anthony Crosby:
Her[Prudence] father was a merchant of wealth and distinction, and the family were allied with the best blood in the Colony: one of her sisters married a son of the Dep’ty Gov. Samuel Symonds, and the other married Samuel Rogers of the celebrated ministerial Rogers family of Ipswich; one of her brothers married a daughter of Gov. Thomas Dudley, and the other married a daughter of Gov. Simon Bradstreet. (p. 35).
When Dr. Anthony Crosby came to Ipswich to solicit Jonathan¹ Wade’s approval to court his daughter, he came with good credentials. Anthony’s grandfather, Thomas¹, may well have known Jonathan¹ Wade from some of his businesses. He would have easily convinced Jonathan¹ that Dr. Anthony had a good future ahead of him. Not only was he a Doctor of Medicine, quite in demand in early colonial times, but he had the prospect of inheriting a large estate from the grandfather. Jonathan¹’s daughter Prudence² would be well looked after should Dr. Anthony predecease her. And unfortunately, he did die young at the age of 37 on January 16, 1672/73, and he died intestate. Prudence dutifully filed an inventory of his estate on March 25, 1673 which showed that his lands were worth £347-10-0 and that after debts owing, his net estate was £380-3-3 (Essex County Probate Records, File No. 6589).
Besides his property and goods, Dr. Anthony Crosby left his widow Prudence Wade Crosby with five young children:
- Thomas³, b. Mar. 1660/1, married Deborah ____________ around 1686, and died 30 March 1735 probably in Hampton, New Hampshire where he had been a teacher.
- Jonathan³ b. 26 January 1663/4. buried 27 May 1634
- Jonathan³ b. 28 August 1665, moved to York, Maine and was a soldier in the Canada Expedition in 1685.
- Nathaniel³ b. 5 Feb 1666/7, died soon after.
- Nathaniel³ b. 27 September 1668, married Elizabeth Bennett 13 December 1693, and died 7 March 1699/1700 all in Rowley where he and his wife were living in Anthony’s homestead after his oldest brother Thomas sold all his rights to his father’s land in Rowley.
(The above information is from Doris P. Schultz, Jonathan Wade of Ipswich, Massachusetts, pp. 10-11).
It was a common facet of puritan life that when marriages ended due to death, the widow or widower should soon be remarried. First were the practicalities,as in Prudence’s case, of having some support for her children. A widower, in particular, would be looking for someone to take care of his household and his children. A widow needed a roof over her head and someone who could provide for her and her children. These practical issues more often led to early remarriage than to prolonged periods of grieving. And it reflected the puritan belief that, at heart, marriage was a contract between two people for mutual benefits that would lead to love as the couple grew to know and understand each other. And families could play a role in helping a widowed daughter or sister find a new man.
Although there are no records to support this supposition, it is highly coincidental that on 30 October 1672, a mere two and a half months before Dr. Anthony Crosby was to leave his wife Prudence a widow by his early and untimely death, Prudence’s brother, Nathaniel, was to marry Mercy, the daughter of Gov. Simon Bradstreet and his wife Anne Dudley Bradstreet. This will be the subject of a future post but at this point it becomes relevant to the second marriage of Prudence Wade. Mercy had a sister named Dorothy who married the Rev. Seaborn Cotton, eldest son of the very famous, and to quote Eleanor Davis Crosby, “the most eminent of all the Puritan Divines who emigrated to New England.” After 18 years of marriage and at the mid-life age of 38, Dorothy died on 26 Feb 1671/2, a mere 8 months before Nathaniel married Mercy and some 10 months before Dr. Crosby died making Prudence a widow. Would Mercy and Nathaniel have suggested a possible candidate for the brother-in-law Seaborn Cotton to consider? Would Nathaniel have advocated with both his father Jonathan¹ and his father-in-law Simon Bradstreet for such a union? Seaborn was one month shy of his 40th birthday and was well-established in his parish at Hampton, New Hampshire; Prudence was around 6 years younger than Seaborn, still of child-bearing age, and in possession of an estate from her former husband.
Whatever the circumstances that led to their union, Prudence² Wade Crosby married Rev. Seaborn Cotton on 9 July 1673. Here was the linking of the civil and the religious, of the tripartite major currents of the new colony: the ruling elite, the religious elite, and the commercial elite. Previous posts have alluded to Gov. Simon Bradstreet and future posts will outline his significant contribution to the development and leadership of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Jonathan¹’s credentials as a wealthy merchant have been well-established. But who was the Rev. Seaborn Cotton and how did he become part of the religious elite in this puritan colony?
Robert Charles Anderson, in his monumental work, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, has a complete curriculum vitae of Rev. John Cotton beginning on page 484 of Volume I. A summary of this sketch can only extract the barest of details: John Cotton was born at Derby, in Derbyshire, England on 4 December 1585, the son of Rowland Cotton. He enrolled in Trinity College, Cambridge University in 1598 then received his B.A. in 1602-3, his M.A. from Emmanuel College in 1606, and his B. D. in 1613. From there, he moved to the town of Boston, Lincolnshire, where he served as a minister and where his teachings began to lean more towards puritanical views and increased criticism of the Church of England. When Archbishop Laud was appointed the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1633, he finally resigned his post at Boston and decided to emigrate with his family to New England. According to Robert Charles Anderson in his recently published book The Winthrop Fleet: Massachusetts Bay Company Immigrants to New England 1629-1630, Rev. Cotton had been considering emigrating to New England as early as 1630, perhaps at the same time as John Winthrop himself. It was Rev. Cotton who preached the farewell sermon at Southampton to the Winthrop fleet and encouraged the settlers to remain faithful to the Ordinances of God. But by 1633, he received a summons to the Court of High Commission which he knew would probably end his spiritual career. Rather than face the Commission, he decided to go into hiding and on May, 1633 he sent his letter of resignation as vicar of St. Botolph’s church in Boston, Lincolnshire. He then boarded a ship to Boston in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and by October 1633, he was admitted to the church at Boston. From there, at the very center of the new colony, he wrote, preached, and gave direction and advice on matters of principle and of religion. He died in Boston on 23 December 1652.
Rev. John Cotton married twice. His first wife, Elizabeth Horrocks, bore him no children during the 18 years of their marriage. He married his second wife, Sarah Story, before 3 October 1632, and she sailed with him on the voyage to the Massachusetts Bay Colony on board the Griffin. Sarah must have been a strong lady for she undertook the journey despite knowing that she was at least seven or eight months pregnant. And so it was that on 12 August 1633, she gave birth on the ship to a son who was appropriately named Seaborn. He was baptized on 8 September 1633 five days after arriving in the colony and was to have three younger sisters and two brothers. He graduated from Harvard College in 1651 and preached in Wethersfield, Hartford, Connecticut in 1655. According to Savage’s A Genealogical Dictionary of First Settlers of New England, Vol. I, p. 464, he “was ord[ained] at H[arvard] C[ollege] aft[er] long trial” in 1660. He married Dorothy Bradstreet on 14 June 1654 and they had 9 children, 8 girls and one boy. After her untimely death on 26 February 1671/72, he then married Prudence Wade on 9 July 1673. They would have two sons:
- Rowland Cotton b. 29 Aug 1674 in Hampton, New Hampshire, d. 1753 in Warminster, Wiltshire England. (The NEHGS Register, Vol. 33 (1879), p.35)
- Wade Cotton b. 6 Oct 1676, Hampton, New Hampshire, d. 11 Oct 1676 in Hampton, New Hampshire. (The NEHGS Register, Vol. 33 (1879), p.35)
The Reverend Seaborn Cotton died in Hampton, New Hampshire on 19 Apr 1686. Prudence Wade-Crosby-Cotton was once again a widow, but one with an impeccable pedigree. It was not long before she married for the third time, around 7 November 1686, Lieutenant John Hammond. Prudence would outlive him by 2 years and died on 1 September 1711 in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts at the age of 72.
John Hammond’s father, William, came from Lavenham, Suffolk, England, and emigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1631. Hew took up residence in Watertown, Massachusetts, and in November 1647 was a selectman for that town. Fortunately, Robert Charles Anderson included a sketch of William Hammond in his Great Migration Begins Vol. I-III, a sketch that begins on page 850. Anderson reports that William Hammond was declared a bankrupt in England fled to the Massachusetts Bay Colony, most likely sailing on the Lyon which left Bristol on 1 December 1630 and arrived in Charlestown in February 1631/32. Settled in Watertown, he accumulated various parcels of land in addition to a dwelling house, an orchard, and a barn; according to the inventory taken for the probate of his will, he willed his 275 acres land to his wife Elizabeth and after her death (in 1670), to his son John Hammond.
John was the eight and last-born child of William and Elizabeth Hammond and was born in Lavenham, Suffolk on 2 July 1626. Like Prudence Wade-Crosby-Cotton, he had two previous marriages before he married Prudence on 7 November 1686. And as was common in early New England, the degrees of separation between Prudence and John were very small. John’s mother, Elizabeth, was a Paine, the sister of William Paine who had lived his earlier days in Ipswich and then moved to Watertown (see my earlier references to the Paine family in Ipswich in my post Jonathan’s Life in Ipswich: Part 2. And as one genealogist has noted, “John’s first wife, Abigail Salter was the sister of Theophilus Salter, an early resident of Ipswich.” [familytreemaker.genealogy.com, Family tree UHP-1476 html]. According to James Savage’s A Genealogical Dictionary of New England, Vol. II p. 345, John was the richest man in town, a selectman in 1664 and afterwards. His military record includes a stint in King Philip’s War in 1675 and 1676, in the garrison at Wrentham (Soldiers in King Philip’s War by George Madison Bodge, Boston: 1906 pp. 366-7 [images available on Ancestry.com). His will dated 4 days before his death named his wife Prudence and his son John along with four daughters. His grave is located in the Old Burying Place in Watertown, Massachusetts.
John Hammond’s Grave, Watertown, MA
Created by: Bill Boyington
Record added: May 28, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 27162680