[Read before the Medford
Historical Society, February 7, 1903.]
N 1634, a Herald's Visitation of London was made by St. George, the Herald
Like our modern canvasser for the census and city directory, the Herald
got his imformation from the head of the house, if at home, and in those days, as now, the English
shopkeeper and merchant dwelt over his own shop.
We may safely assume that the following pedigree was furnished by the governor himself.
We find therefore that his grandfather was Matthew of Stafford
, as given by Hon. Francis Brinley
in 1854, and copied from a Staffordshire Visitation, in the Herald's office, College of Arms, London.
In a pedigree presented in 1855 by Mr. Whitmore
, as furnished by Mr. Somerby
, the grandfather of Matthew, the governor, [p. 2]
is given as William, gent.
merchant of the Staple of Carmarthen, 1597, which is manifestly wrong.
In the will of Governor Cradock
he gives to the poor of the parish of St. Peter
-le-Poor in Broad Street, ‘where I served my apprenticeship,’ £ 40 sterling.
The church of St. Peter-le-Poor is situated on the western side of Old Broad street, nearly opposite the south corner of where the Excise Office
stood in the last century.
The church dates back to 1181, and is said to have received its name from the poor and mean inhabitants that anciently lived there, but in Cradock
's time many people of wealth resided there.
It was in this locality that Governor Cradock
passed several years of his youth, amongst the apprentices of the Skinners Company
While the curriers had to do with the tanning of hides and skins for shoes, etc., the skinners had to do with skins valuable for their fur. Their first charter is dated March 1, 1327-8, and others were received later, but the one under which the company now acts is that of December 2, 1606.
In 1327, the freemen of the craft were limited in their abode to Walbrook, Cornhill, and Bridge Row, which might be designated as the locality of Cannon street near the Mansion House
In Downegate, or Dowgate Ward
, on the street of the same name, stood Skinners' Hall, called Copped Hall, which was destroyed by the Great Fire in 1666.
It was in this locality, in the south wall of St. Swithin's Church, that the London Stone
was preserved for centuries.
A letter which Cradock
, in 1628, states it was written from his house in St. Swithin's Lane, near London Stone.
states, in 1598, ‘This lane is replenished on both the sides with fair built houses.’
In 1624, Matthew Cradock
appears as one of the [p. 3]
signers of a supplication of a generalty of the adventurers trading to the East Indies
(E. I. papers, E. I. papers, p. 491,)
In 1628, he is named as one of the eight chief new adventurers to Persia
and East Indies
, and holding £ 2,000 of stock; and he served on committees of the company for several years.
In 1628, he, with Winthrop
, and Saltonstall
, had joined with several from Dorset
in the planting of that part of New England
between the Merrimac
and Charles rivers
As such an associate his name appears in the first charter of the colony, which passed the seals, March 4, 1628-9, and is therein named to be the first and present governor of the ‘Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England
His duties were to give orders for the assembling of the company to advise and consult on its affairs.
He with seven or more of the assistants constituted a General Court, which was to meet four times a year upon every last Wednesday in Hillary, Easter
, Trinity, and Michaelmas terms, when men were made free of the company and laws made for its government.
His oath as governor was administered by a Master of Chancery, Sir Charles Caesar
, March 18, 1628-9, and Cradock
as governor administered the oaths to the deputy-governor and assistants.
The governor presided at meetings of the company previously held on March 2, 1628-9, and on the 3d, 5th, 6th, 9th, 10th, on which date the governor, with a committee to assist him, was chosen to divide the lands in New England
Meetings were held March 23 and April 30, 1629, May 11,13, on which date Mr. Cradock
was chosen governor for the year following.
On May 18 a court of the assistants was held, and on the 19th a committee of the governor and Messrs. White
, and Adams
met at the house of the governor and decided on the allotment of lands.
This was confirmed May 21 and on May 22 the governor, deputy, [p. 4]
and Messrs. Adams
met at the governor's house and the orders regarding allotments of land and a general letter of instructions to Endicott
were acted upon.
Meetings were held June 11, June 17, and July 28.
At this last the governor proposed a ship of four hundred tons be bought, in which he ventured one-eighth.
He also advised that for the advancement of the plantation and to induce people of worth and quality to go there with their families, that the government be transferred to New England
The matter was referred to the next meeting, which was held on August 28 and 29, 1629, at the house of the deputy-governor, Mr. Goffe
, the governor not being present.
By a general consent it was voted to transfer the government.
Meetings were held September 19 and 29; at the latter was discussed the legality of the transfer of the government, etc. The governor was commissioned to purchase the ship Eagle
, of which he took one-eighth.
Meetings were held October 15, 16, 19, 20, at which Cradock
presided as governor.
On October 20, 1629, the special business of the General Court meeting was the election of a new governor, deputy, and assistants consequent on the transfer of the government to New England
. Mr. John Winthrop
was elected governor and Mr. John Humphrey
Committees of five each on the part of the planters and the adventurers at home were appointed to arrange matters and settle differences.
The adventurers' committee were Matthew Cradock
, Samuel Aldersley
, Nathaniel Wright
, Thomas Hutchins
, and Capt. John Venn
was elected an assistant, and as such attended other meetings of the company held in England
November 20, 1629, a meeting was called to plan for the payment of £ 1,200, disbursed by Cradock
November 25 and 30 and December 1, 1629, General Court meetings were held, and the last date Cradock
became [p. 5]
one of ten to undertake the joint stock of the company for seven years, it being in arrears some £ 3,000 or more, the undertakers to provide a sufficient number of ships to sail by March 1, 1629-30.
December 15, 1629, a meeting was held, and on February 10, 1629-30, a common stock was raised and allotment made of two hundred acres for every £ 50 subscribed.
After a meeting at Southampton
and one on the Arbella
the meetings were held in New England
, and therefore not attended by Cradock
His interest in the enterprise was active, inasmuch as he went to Southampton
, and on March 29, 1629-30, visited the Arbella
, riding at Cowes
, Isle of Wight
, and on his taking leave a farewell salute of four or five shot was given him. From thence the vessel sailed to Yarmouth
, Isle of Wight
, when Cradock
again visited her, and on leaving was saluted with three shots.
On the voyage to New England
two of the servants of Mr. Cradock
died and were buried at sea. Winthrop
arrived in New England
in June, 1630.
In September we find record of the death of one Austen Bratcher at Mr. Cradock
March 8, 1630-1, a servant of his, Thomas Fox
, was ordered whipped for scandalous speeches against the General Court.
had sailed as agent of the company, and arrived at Salem
, September 6, 1628.
On February 13, 1628-9, a letter was received from him which was answered by Cradock
, in behalf of the company, on February 16, 1628-9.
In this he rejoiced to hear ‘that my cozen, your wiffe were perfectly recovered of her healthe’ etc., ending, ‘Yor assured loving friende and Cusen, Mathewe Cradock
Among the articles mentioned in his letter for a return cargo were beaver or other commodities or fish, ‘alsoe good store of shoomacke, if there to be had, as we are informed there is, the like doe I wishe for a Tun [p. 6]
weighte at least of silk grasse, & of ought elce yt maye be usefull for dyinge.’
The company's first general letter of instructions to Endicott
was dated at Gravesend
, April 17, 1629.
Among other matters it mentions ‘wee may not omitt to pray you likewise to give all good accomodacon to or present Governor, Mr. Matthew Cradock
, who, with some prticuler bretheren of our Company, have deepeley engaged themselves in their private adventures in these Shipps & those to come, and as we hold these Men that thus deepely adventure in their private, to bee (under God) spetiall Instrumts for the advancing & strenthning of or Plantacon, wch is done by them without any Charge to the Companyes genrall Stock, wherin notwthstanding they are as deepe or deeper engaged than any other, soe being contented to be debarred from all private Trading
in furrs for 3 years, wee doe hold it very requisite in all other their desires to give them all accomodacon & furtherance that reasonably may be prpounded by them, or any for them, their good beginings in the infancie of or Plantacon worthylie deserving of us all favour and furtherance.’
Six shipwrights were sent; two-thirds of their time was to be employed for the general company and one-third for Mr. Cradock
and his associates in a private stock.
Horses, mares, cows, bulls, and goats shipped by Mr. Cradock
were divided equally between him and the company.
and Thomas Brude
, coopers and cleavers of timber, were to divide their time equally for the governor and the company.
, wheelwright, two-thirds of his labor for the company, one-third for the governor.
In a second letter of May 28, 1629, of two ‘gardners’ he was content the company have use of one.
Of three ships sent, the governor and his partners risked one-half, the company one-half; all provision for fishing and shipping of the cattle sent also was equally divided.
The [p. 7]
cattle then and previously sent were provided by the governor, except three mares.
The three ships sent at this time were the historic Mayflower
, the Pilgrim
, and the Four Sisters
. In other matters two-thirds was the company's proportion, one-third the governor's.
His agent seemed to be Mr. Samuel Sharpe
, who had charge of the ordnance and artillery business of the colony.
The silver seal and charter of the company were sent in his care.
In case of the death of Endicott
, Mr. Skelton
was to assume command.
In case of Sharpe
's sickness, Henry Haughton
was to act as Cradock
's agent, but Haughton
died the first year.
Capt. Israel Stoughton
, in a letter to his brother, Dr. John Stoughton
, dated from Dorchester
, N. E., May, 1634, writes, ‘Mr. Patrickson
, Mr. Cradock
's agent, happily came in the spring.’
This may refer to Capt. Daniel Patrick
, who was at Watertown
, and killed at Stamford, Conn.
, in 1643.
June 14, 1631, Philip Ratcliffe
, a servant of Mr. Cradock
, was convicted of malicious and scandalous speeches against the government and the church at Salem
; he was censured, whipped, lost his ears, and was banished the plantation.
Of this affair Thomas Morton
, in his New England Canaan
, represents Ratcliffe
as Mr. Innocence Faircloth
, sent over by Mr. Matthias Charterparty
, ‘an injured man whose chief offence was asking payment of his debts in his sickness.’
, and Sir Christopher Gardiner
circulated stories, in refutation of which Capt. Thomas Wiggin
, in 1632, writes Secretary Coke
of his having just returned from New England
, and speaks of them as scandalous characters, and their information false.
published his New Canaan
writes to Governor Winthrop
of a Mooreton he met on the Exchange
, whom he would not talk with until he called Captain Pierce
of the Mayflower
as a witness to the conversation.
November 7, 1632, Cradock
was fined £ 4 for his men being absent from training diverse times.
March 4, 1633-4, ‘the Ware
att Misticke is granted to John Winthrop Esq
psent Gouvr & to Mr Matthewe Cradocke
to enjoy to them & their heires forever.’
Of this locality William Wood
, in his New England's Prospect
, published in London
in 1634, says of Misticke: ‘there be not many houses as yet. At the head of this river are great and spacious ponds, whither the alewives press to spawn.
On the east side is Master Cradock's plantation, where he hath impaled a park, where he keeps his cattle, till he can store it with deer.
Here likewise he is at charges of building ships.
The last year one was upon the stocks of a hundred tons.’
Ship-building here may have commenced as early as 1629, when a bark was built.
It is more probable, however, that bark was built at Salem
, under Endicott
's directions or his predecessors, at Cape Ann
It was not till 1629 that Cradock
sent six shipwrights, as mentioned in the letter of April 17, 1629, to Endicott
That the prominent men of the Bay
Company appreciated Cradock
's support of the enterprise cannot be shown more strongly than by this extract from John Humfrey
's letter to Isaac Johnson
: ‘Mr. Craddocke
indeede would have stucke by mee, & (I thinke) sent and lent 20 tun to the plantation, beside him not a man (no, not to save your lives & the life of the worke in you) would do anie thing to purpose. . . . And trulie of all those that here are interested in the plantation there is none that retains so lively affections unto you as himself, nor that is more likely or more able to do us real courtesies (especiallie with the state) than himself.’
（December 23, 1630.)
July 7, 1635, Sir Harry Vane
the younger, writing to his father, says he is newly come back from speaking with Mr. Cradock
concerning the writer's intended journey, and that he offered him accommodation when [p. 9]
he came to New England
, and what he could not provide himself with, Cradock
promised to send after him.
, in a letter to Winthrop
, September 13, 1636, says, ‘I am harteley glad to heare of the good approbacion of our newe Gouvernour there Mr Vane
's works there is no mention of a house on Cradock
's plantation; there surely was none of brick, like the present pretentious structure.
‘All the ground, as well upland as meadowe, lyeing & being betwixte the lands of Mr Nowell
& Mr Wilson
, on the east & the ptcion betwixte Misticke bounds, on the west, bounded with Misticke Ryver on the southe & the rocks on the north, is granted to Mr Mathewe Cradocke
, mercht, to enjoy to him & his heires for ever.’
This confirmatory grant is dated March 4, 1634-5. March 3, 1635-6, in running Charlestown
bounds, a reservation was made of the proprietary of the farms of Winthrop
, and Wilson
, with free egress and ingress to them, with a common for their cattle on the backside of Mr. Cradock
Under date of September 13, 1636, Cradock
writes to Governor Winthrop
, mainly in regard to his agent (since 1634), Thomas Mayhew
, with whose doings he was not quite satisfied.
In the postscript, Cradock
writes of his purpose to apply himself to ‘tylledge & increasing my stock of cattell, and having had recourse to a plase caled Shaw Shynn
where I heare none comes but myselffe,’ and he asks for two thousand acres there.
He adds, ‘when I shall putt up a tenement & a dame as I have herewith given order there about.’
This reference to an erection of a building at Shawsheen
) would show that Cradock
was in the habit of providing a housing for his people, of whom there were many working for his interests, as we have shown.
This is strengthened by the following affidavit in the Middlesex Court
The testimony of Richard Beers
, Ben amin Crispe, and Garret Church in 1662 was that Mr. Thomas Mayhew [p. 10]
lived at Mystic
, alias Meadford, in the year 1636.
Joseph Hills of Malden
, in his affidavit on the same date, stated that about 1638 (not 1633, as Mr. Cushing
states) ‘Mr. Davison
lived at Meadford house, who shewed me the accommodations of the farme being about to to take ye said farme and stock of him and Captaine Will Ting; and I testify that Mr Mayhew
did not then dwell at Meadford house to ye best of my knowledge.’
In fact, we find that Thomas Maihew
was one of the eleven freemen at Watertown
to dispose of all civil affairs, October 10, 1636; again, December 30, 1637; again, December 10, 1638.
In a letter dated London
, March 15, 1636-7, the following appears in a postscript:—
‘I thinke I shal be forsed to bee a suytor for some land at Shaweshynne the best of myne as I ame informed neere my house beeing allotted to Mr. Wilson
& Mr. Nowell
therefore pray your furderance wherein shall bee needfull.’
It would seem by this that the house stood in the east part of Cradock
's lands, adjoining Wilson
lands, in what is now Malden
March 12, 1637-8, a grant of one thousand acres was made to Cradock
and five hundred acres for his servants, twenty miles from any plantation.
At a court held at Boston
, September 3, 1639, Lydia Dastin
, wife of Josiah Dastin
, a young woman of twenty-six, testified while in the house of Mr. Cradocke
at misticke at meat with one Robert Panare
he assaulted her, and caused her to cut her hand and her apron, that it was a little before night and her husband coming home late that night she did not make it known till the next evening.
This affidavit specially mentions the
house of Mr. Cradock
, and it would seem there was none other.
April 26, 1641, Cradock
grants Josiah Dawstin
of Mistick at Medford
in New England
‘all that my messuage or tenement late in the tenure of the saide Dawstin
commonly called Dixes house, together with six acres of planting ground adjoining, also seven acres of meadow commonly called by the name of Rock meadow, together with firewood from the woods near there, also wood sufficient for building and sustaining his dwelling house on the land aforesaid.’
It would seem by these facts that the house was of wood.
Its name, Dixe's house, might refer to a house built by Anthony Dixe
, or Dicks
, carpenter, who is mentioned as an inhabitant of Charlestown
, or Duston
, was in Reading in 1647, where he died January 16, 1671-2.
His widow, a woman of eighty in 1692, was arrested that year for witchcraft, as was her daughter, Mary Colson
The former was accused of witchcraft practised in Malden
, but the jury found her not guilty.
had leased or granted to John Oldham
and John Dorrell
‘all the lands within Mattachusetts Bay betweene Charles River
and Abousett (Saugus
) River, Contained in lengt by a streight lyne 5 Myles
up the said Charles
,’ etc. This grant covered all the lands of Mystic Side and was held valid by Oldham
suggested his claim might be prevented by ‘causing some to take possession of the chiefe pt thereof.’
His advice seems to have been followed by Cradock
's possession of part the land in dispute.
June 2, 1641, Mr. Thomas Mayhewe
and Mr. Joseph Cooke
are appointed to set out the five hundred acres of Mr. Oldham
for Mr. Cradock
near Mount Feake
March 18, 1647, Nicholas Davison
, as attorney for Mrs. Glover
, granted this to Thomas Mayhew
, for which he was to deliver one thousand acres of land at Martin
July 2, 1639, Nicholas Davison
, as agent for Cradock
, conveyed to Thomas Mayhew
's moietey of the watermill at Watertown
and his six shares of the wear which was mortgaged by Mayhew
The mill at Watertown
was probably built in 1634, at the joint expense of Cradock
and Edward How, they each owning one-half.
bought How's half, and later the half owned by Cradock
The mill race or canal was probably the oldest artificial canal in this part the country.
February 1, 1633, ‘Mr. Cradock
's house at Marblehead
was burnt down about midnight before, there being then in it Mr. Allerton
, and many fishermen, whom he employed that season.’
To this little fishing colony I feel specially indebted, as by the presence of Allerton
, of Mayflower fame, his daughter became acquainted with a Dorset man of the colony, one Moses Maverick
, and by their marriage a daughter was born, who married; and then, generation by generation, a descent is produced which has furnished a Mayflower ancestry to my family.
While Roger Williams
was at Salem
he seems to have had dealings with Cradock
, through his agents, Mayhew
; and for a debt of £ 50 or £ 60 they took payment of his house there, which is still standing at the corner of North and Essex
, and known as the Witch House
In 1639, John Stratton
, gent, conveyed all his interest in lands at Cape Porpoise
(the present northeast boundry of Kennebunk Harbor) ‘to Richard Saltonstall
and Rev. Hugh Peters
, that was not already sold to Matthew Cradock
Under date of February 27, 1639, Cradock
Among other matters he mentions that he ‘understands there is voluntary contribucions towrds a Colledge in Cambridge
, which I must confess is a worthy worke.
I pray your worship bee pleased to moove the Court
to cleere that debt dewe to me by [p. 13]
the Country, out of which money I ame content and doe freeley geeve fyftey pounds to the sayd Colledge & for the advansement thereof.’
The nonpayment of the debt, which his widow claimed after his death, prevents Cradock
being recorded among the early benefactors of Harvard College.
's adventures were not all in foreign parts.
In the seventeenth century, or more particularly in 1641, there was a scheme to furnish an army, to suppress rebellion in Ireland
, by private adventurers, to be ultimately paid by the lands of the rebels.
seems to have embarked in this enterprise, which was mainly composed of London
merchants, and the lands awarded him are described on Roll XXXIX, membrane 82, in the Record Office
in Four Courts, Dublin
credits Matthew Cradock
with a military career, stating he was enrolled among the cuirassiers of Pycehill Hundred, Staffordshire
In this I think he is in error, the Matthew referred to being one of the Staffordshire
family, which continued in that section.
Under the date of February 27, 1639, Cradock
writes to Winthrop
: ‘The Writts
for a parlaiment are nowe abroad.
I heare there hath beene great adoe at Westminster
theise 2 dayes about there burgesses, & not yeet agreed on. Come Tuesday next the burgesses of London
are to bee chosen, beeing the 4 March. God in mercy dyrect them & the whole kingdome in theire choise, that this parlament may produce good to the Realme; approaching evils being much to be feared. . . . If you shall thinke of ought fitt to bee mooved in parlament consider seriously of it with the Court
there, to whome I pray you tender my best service with all deue respects and upon notice of your desires I doubt not but to fynd meanes to furder the same, wherein my best indeuours shall at least wise not bee wanting. . . . I joye more in the expectation of that good shall come to others there when I shal bee dead & gone, then I [p. 14]
greyve for my owne losses thowgh they have beene verry heavey & greate.’
was a member of the Parliament which sat April 13, 1640, for the city of London
, and of the following session, beginning November 3, 1640, known as the Long Parliament.
Of this body, Sir John Bramston
, a devoted Royalist, the son of one of the ship money judges, writes thus of its composition:—
‘Those gentlemen who had been imprisoned about the loans, benevolences, or any other the like matters; such citizens as had been sued, imprisoned or molested about tonnage or poundage, or the customs; all that had any ways appeared obstinate and refractory to the government and the king's commands about ship money, coat and conduct money or the Commission, were chosen either for counties or boroughs.’
Commissioners were sent into all counties for the defacing, demolishing, and quite taking away of all images, altars, or tables turned altarwise, crucifixes, superstitious pictures, monuments, and ‘reliques’ of idolatry out of all chapels and churches.
At the present day we mourn the loss of tablets and memorials in the churches and even parish registers destroyed because of the gilt cross on the outside cover.
In the trial of Strafford
and other important events, Cradock
participated as a member of the House of Commons. May 21, 1641, he was on a committee for recusants with Sir Henry Mildmay
, Sir Symon d'ewes, and others.
This was his last appearance, as he died May 27, 1641.
May 28, 1641, ‘This evening there was an order given for a writ to issue for the new election of a. Burgess
in Master Cradock's place who is lately dead.’
The will of Matthew Cradock
dated November 9, 1640 is recorded in Middlesex, Mass.
Probate records, under date of February 12, 1662.
In it he mentions his [p. 15]
wife Rebecca, and daughter Damaris, who each receive one half his estate, the widow a life interest only, to go on her death to his brother Rev. Samuel Cradock
, or his heirs.
On the widow's and daughter's marriage their husbands were to give sureties not to sell or alienate the estate.
He names his nephew Samuel who was then a student at Emanuel College.
He names his sister Sawyer and her daughter Dorothy
He gives his partners Thomas Hodlow
and Edward Lewis
in the Eastland trade, £ 600 each.
The Eastland Company was another of the trading companies in which Cradock
The company traded to what are now the Baltic
also traded in the Mediterranean and in the Levant
(State Papers, 1636-7 p. 377.)
, a daughter of a London merchant, Thomas Jordan
, the widow of Matthew Cradock
, after a few years of conventional mourning, espoused, before February 12, 1644-5, perhaps for a social position, Richard Glover
Their wedded life was not a lengthy one; he died before the spring of 1647.
After a suitable period of five years, in 1652, she was wedded to a third husband, Rev. Benjamin Whichcote, D. D.
, not only a learned and pious man but of a good old Lincolnshire
It is said of him ‘It pleased God to bless him, as with a plentiful estate, so with a charitable mind.
He was not only Charitable in his life but in a very bountiful manner at his death, bequeathing in pious and charitable legacies, to value of £ 1000.’
We can therefore be satisfied that the wealth of Matthew Cradock
was put to good uses.
note.—Gov. Matthew Cradock
's ancestors were of Welch
In the first half of the fifteenth century, John (1) Cradock
in. Jane, d. of Richard Needham
Their s. John (2) m.——d. of Richard Middleton
Their s. Richard (3) m. Alice, d. of John Dorrington
Their s. Thomas
(4) m.——, and d., 1530.
His s. Thomas
(5) m. Emma, d. of Nicholas Meveral
Their s. Matthew (6) m. Mary Peake
, and was grandfather of the governor.
(See p. 1.)