Robert Wadleigh1

M, #70, d. after 28 October 1701
  • Birth*: England, probably
  • Marriage*: before 17 June 1654; Principal=Sarah (?)2
  • Death*: after 28 October 17013
  • Note*: Robert Wadleigh's family came to Saco Maine, probably on a ship from Bristol England which arrived by June 1630. His sister was born in Bristol, but as a report of Robert's age is not to be found, his date and place of birth are undetermined.

    The family moved to Wells, Maine by 1645. Robert first appears as an adult there in 1649, witnessing the Indian deed of Wells area land to his father. His father transferred land in Wells to Robert, and Robert continued to own land there for most of his life.

    He is on a 19 Oct 1652 list of the men of Wells.

    On 5 July 1653 the freemen of Wells, under pressure, signed their submission to the governance of Massachusetts. They included John Wadleigh and Robert Wadleigh.4,5
  • Note: On 17 June 1654 Robert Wadleigh of the town of Wells, in consideration of £4, sold to Francis Littlefield 200 acres of upland and 50 acres of marsh upon north east side of Cape Porpus River. The deed was also signed by Sarah Wadleigh.6
  • Note: On 13 March 1659/60 John Wadleigh of Wells and his son Robert Wadleigh sold to Daniel Epps a major portion of their lands purchased from the Indian Thomas Chabinocke, specifically those lands between Little River (Neapskessett) and Kennebunke River, inland as far as Cape Porpus Falls. Exceptions were made for lands of other settlers, and thirty acres for John Wadleigh.7,8
  • Note: By 15 July 1654 Robert Wadleigh had removed to Kittery, Maine (across the river from Portsmouth, New Hampshire). He was constable there in 1656, on a grand jury in 1665, and Clerk of the Writs 1665.

    In Court Records of 5 July 1661 Robert Wadleigh was ordered to keep an ordinary at the Poynt and take charge of the ferry. His license was renewed only the following year.

    A deed dated 24 Dec 1662 describes the sale of a property at Warehouse Point, a feature on the northwest end of Kittery Point, bounded to the north by Robert Wadleigh's fence. "At about the middle of Warehouse Point is an opening in the rocky coast line and a pebbly beach, from which there is an easy ascent between cliffs of rock. The place is now called 'Phyllis' Notch'...Here was a warehouse and the 'ordinary'".

    On 18 July 1666 Robert Wadlowe of Kittary in Maine granted to Henry Greeneland the house and brewhouse in Kittary which he had purchased of Major Nickholas Shapligh.9,10,11
  • Note: On 11 May 1666 Robert Wadleigh purchased from Captain Walter Barefoot 320 acres on the Lamprill River at what is now called Wadley Falls in the town of Lee, New Hampshire, located about eight miles upstream from the docks at Portsmouth. On 9 May 1667 Wadleigh sold half the property to Nicholas Lissen. Court records indicate that Wadleigh had land on one side of the river with Lissen on the other. By 1667 Wadleigh had constructed and was operating a saw mill, at "many hundred pounds" expense.

    In 1668 the Symonds family claimed that they still owned the land which Walter Barefoot had sold to Wadleigh, and sued Lissen for trespass. Wadleigh was nearly evicted. After numerous court actions Wadleigh and Lissen were allowed to stay; Wadleigh won a suit against Barefoot to provide clear title or compensation; and Wadleigh and Jonathan Thing, who bought out Lissen, reached agreements in 1670 with the Symonds family. See Scales' book for a fuller account.

    Regarding Walter Barefoote, Diane Rapaport writes that "a series of lawsuits initiated by millwright Robert Wadleigh in 1668 pushed Captain Barefoote to the brink of financial ruin." Barefoote was sued by numerous other creditors, was ordered out of the Massachusetts Colony, and was in and out of prison for debts. But with New Hampshire separated from Massachusetts in 1680, Barefoote rose to power, particularly under Lieutenant Governor Cranfield during the period of the Gove Rebellion.12,13
  • Note: On 1 Oct 1668 John Gillman of Exeter conveyed to Robert Wadleigh, for a horse, 30 acres of land given him by Exeter, lying on both sides of the road going from Passcascock bridge to Lampeel River landing place. [Piscataqua?]14
  • Note: Residence at Lamprill: Wadleigh was living at the Lamprill River mill in 1668. And in a 5 Sept 1675 deed he is still "of Lamprill River in county of Norfocke". During this period he appears to have been considered a citizen of Dover township, received as an inhabitant 3 May 1669.12,15,16
  • Note: Resident of Exeter: On 26 Sept 1676 Robert Wadleigh was accepted by the town of Exeter as an inhabitant and commoner. He appears in a 24 Oct 1676 Exeter list of "Soldier's assignment of pay to the town" (#381), and in Oct 1677 signed a petition by inhabitants of the town of Exeter to continue under the governance of Massachusetts. On 7 Feb 1680 he was chosen as one of two deputies for a year. He appears in a 20 Apr 1680 tax list (#383). On 14 Mar 1681 he had a grant of 200 acres from the town of Exeter; and in 1682 his tax was the highest in the town. He appears in a 25 Aug 1684 Exeter tax list of those refusing to pay, and in a 3 Feb 1697/8 list of church seating (#385).17,18,19,20
  • Note: Under Royal Government: In May 1681 Robert Wadleigh signed as clerk of the Assembly. Lieutenant Governor Cranfield refused to accept the laws passed by this assembly and dissolved it 1683. Cranfield's 23 May 1684 letter states that Wadleigh, formerly an Assemblyman, had been chosen again for the Assembly. The cited New Hampshire Historical Society bio expands on that letter, explaining that some legal action had been brought against Wadleigh, probably a land claim under the Mason grants, probably by Walter Barefoote, which action Wadleigh won. The plaintiff appealed. Wadleigh went to England, and there successfully resisted the appeal.

    On 16 May 1684, immediately on his return from England, another land claim action was brought against him by Mason. Lacking the £600 security on May 29th he was imprisoned until court met June 6th, at which he was found against, and ordered to pay damages, and possession of the saw-mill was delivered to Walter Barefoote.

    Wadleigh was made a provincial Councilor in 1684, and was in that office at least through 2 Oct 1685. Cranfield wrote on 6 Jan 1685 that he had made Wadleigh both a councilor and justice. As Wadleigh was in opposition to the Governor, possibly the Privy Council in England forced the appointment, based upon meetings during Wadleigh's visit to England, and the influence of Nathaniel Weare, who was working in England for New Hampshire citizens against Cranfield.20
  • Note: Justice: Robert Wadleigh served as a justice of the peace during the administrations of Dudley and Andros. He then served as an assistant judge to the Court of Common Pleas, under several chief judges, from 25 Oct 1692 until 27 April 1697. In February 1698/9 he was again a justice of the peace.20,21
  • Note: Gove's Rebellion occurred in New Hampshire on 27 Jan 1682/83. The Wadleighs, father and sons, were involved.

    In 1682 Edward Cranfield was appointed royal Governor of New Hampshire. Allied with the Mason family who were attempting to enforce long neglected land claims, Cranfield disbanded the Council, the Assembly and even some town meetings, and brought court cases against the most prominent citizens and a hundred others.

    Edward Gove attempted to foment rebellion, first through conversations with his neighbors, and finally, after a constable's failed attempt to arrest him, he rode about with a band of nine other men with a trumpeter, brandishing pistols and cutlases, eventually surrendering to the militia, and then temporarily escaping.

    Among the band were three sons of Robert Wadleigh: John, Robert and Joseph. There was also a John Young, possibly Robert Wadleigh's son-in-law.

    A trial was held immediately. Edward Gove was sentenced to death and sent to the Tower of London. Robert Wadleigh junior and his brother Joseph were found guilty for being one of Gove's company breaking out of custody, and for standing upon his defence. Both were imprisoned at Portsmouth. John Wadleigh was found guilty of being in Gove's company, but was released. John Young was not tried.

    It is likely that the stricter sentences for Robert and Joseph were related to Governor Cranfield's antagonism to Robert Wadleigh senior. On 23 May 1684 Governor Cranfield wrote "Since Robert Wadleigh is returned from England...he hath put the people of this Province into such a ferment and disorder that it is not possible to put his majestys commands in execution or any ways to govern them....this Wadleigh hath three sons condemned in Goves Rebellion...the oldest of them [John] I have pardoned, one of them [Joseph] is dead and the other [Robert] I keep in prison till I receive your Lordships further order, all of the other offenders being pardoned." Robert was probably not released until the end of Walter Barefoot's deputy governorship in May 1686.

    Robert Wadleigh may have had some role in Edward Gove's release. W. H. Gove in his book states that "Robert Wadleigh, sr., of Exeter visited England, and, at his own direction, laid his [Gove's] case before King Charles II." This would have been about April or May 1684. Gove petitioned the Commission for Trade 10 Sept 1684 for copies of his trial documents, and petitioned for pardon about July 1685, and was pardoned by King James II 26 Aug 1685, and was finally released 9 Apr 1686.

    Cranfield was rebuked by the king 28 Apr 1685, and left New Hampshire in May or June 1685. With the installation of King William III in 1689, royal governorships collapsed across all the northern colonies.

    See Gove's book for original documents, and citations to Provincial Papers; see the Chase chapter for history and context; see the Sanborn articles for more on the revolt and Cranfield.22,23,24,25,26
  • Note: On 12 Aug 1685 Robert Wadleigh senior of Exeter gentleman, with consent of Sarah his wife and John Wadleigh his eldest son, sold to Peter Folsom of Exeter planter a parcel of meadow and upland in the town of Wells, being one sixth of the estate of his father John Wadleigh.

    On the same day John Wadleigh of Exeter with Abigail his wife sold to Peter Folsom a parcel of meadow and upland in the town of Wells, being one third of the estate of his grandfather John Wadleigh, given to John Wadleigh by his father Robert Wadleigh.27
  • Note: Robert Wadleigh's name appears on a list of church seating in Exeter for 3 Feb 1697/8.28
  • Note: No probate has been found for Robert Wadleigh. The last document indicating he was alive is a deed dated 8 Oct 1701 and acknowledged by him on 28 Oct 1701. By that deed Robert Wadleigh senior of Exeter yeoman, in consideration of his natural affection towards his son John, granted to his son John Wadleigh of Salisbury in the county of Essex millwright all his lands and rights in the townships of Wells and Kittery or elsewhere in the county of York or in the province of Maine eastward of Piscataqua River. Witnessed by Henry Wadleigh, Jonathan Wadleigh and Israel Young. In the acknowledgement he is called Captain Robert Wadleigh.29
Last Edited: 30 Sep 2015

Parents:

Father: John Wadleigh1 d. bt 7 Jul 1671 - 20 Sep 1671
Mother: Mary (?)1 d. bt 1664 - 1671

Family:

Sarah (?)
  • Marriage*: before 17 June 1654; Principal=Sarah (?)2

Children:

Citations

  1. [S60] Province and court records of Maine. Portland, Maine Historical Society, 1928-1958., Book II, p. 244-246. Will of John Wadleigh.
  2. [S51] Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire, by Sybil Noyes, Charles Thornton Libby, Walter Goodwin Davis. Orig. publ. in five parts Portland 1928-39., p. 707.
  3. [S53] York County Maine deed transcriptions on NEHGS website database "Maine: Early Wills & Deeds", based on CD "Early Maine deeds & wills ed. Jennifer P. Moss, publ. NEHGS 2006, based on William M. Sargent's Maine wills 1640-1760, published in 1887, and York deeds, published between 1887 and 1910..."., Vol. 6, p. 254-5 (Book 6, Folio 134-5). Deed to son John.
  4. [S53] York County Maine deed transcriptions on NEHGS website database "Maine: Early Wills & Deeds", based on CD "Early Maine deeds & wills ed. Jennifer P. Moss, publ. NEHGS 2006, based on William M. Sargent's Maine wills 1640-1760, published in 1887, and York deeds, published between 1887 and 1910..."., Vol. 1, p. 222-225; and the same Vol. 3, p. 154-157, and the same Vol. 3, p. 154-157.
  5. [S54] Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire, by Sybil Noyes, Charles Thornton Libby, Walter Goodwin Davis. Orig. publ. in five parts Portland 1928-39., List 261, and List 252, 263: 5 July 1653 Submission to Massachusetts.
  6. [S53] York County Maine deed transcriptions on NEHGS website database "Maine: Early Wills & Deeds", based on CD "Early Maine deeds & wills ed. Jennifer P. Moss, publ. NEHGS 2006, based on William M. Sargent's Maine wills 1640-1760, published in 1887, and York deeds, published between 1887 and 1910..."., Vol. 12, Part, p. 166 (Book XII, Folio 74).
  7. [S53] York County Maine deed transcriptions on NEHGS website database "Maine: Early Wills & Deeds", based on CD "Early Maine deeds & wills ed. Jennifer P. Moss, publ. NEHGS 2006, based on William M. Sargent's Maine wills 1640-1760, published in 1887, and York deeds, published between 1887 and 1910..."., Vol. 1, p. 219-220 (Book 1, part 1, folio 127).
  8. [S55] Pioneers on Maine rivers, with Lists to 1651, Compiled from the Original Sources, by Wilbur D. Spencer. Gen. Publ. Co. 1973; orig. publ. Portland, 1930., p. 159.
  9. [S54] Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire, by Sybil Noyes, Charles Thornton Libby, Walter Goodwin Davis. Orig. publ. in five parts Portland 1928-39., p. 707.
  10. [S61] Old Kittery and Her Families, by Everett S. Stackpole, publ. Lewiston 1903. p. 49-50. url=https://archive.org/stream/oldkitteryherfam00staciala#page/…, p. 49-50.
  11. [S53] York County Maine deed transcriptions on NEHGS website database "Maine: Early Wills & Deeds", based on CD "Early Maine deeds & wills ed. Jennifer P. Moss, publ. NEHGS 2006, based on William M. Sargent's Maine wills 1640-1760, published in 1887, and York deeds, published between 1887 and 1910..."., Vol. 2, p. 97-98 (Book II, Folio 45,46).
  12. [S63] Historical Memoranda Concerning Persons and Places in Old Dover, N.H., edited by John Scales, Vol. 1, publ. 1900, Dover. url=https://archive.org/stream/historicalmemora00scal#page/400/…, p. 400-405.
  13. [S62] "Captain Barefoote Goes to Court", by Diane Rapaport in New England Ancestors, Vol. 6 No. 1 (Winter 2005) p. 48-49.
  14. [S64] "Old Norfolk County Records", in The Essex Antiquarian, Vol. 10, p. 91. (viewed on AmericanAncestors.org).
  15. [S53] York County Maine deed transcriptions on NEHGS website database "Maine: Early Wills & Deeds", based on CD "Early Maine deeds & wills ed. Jennifer P. Moss, publ. NEHGS 2006, based on William M. Sargent's Maine wills 1640-1760, published in 1887, and York deeds, published between 1887 and 1910..."., Vol. 4, p. 116.
  16. [S65] "Extracts from Dover Town Records", NEHGS Vol. 4, p. 250.
  17. [S48] History of the Town of Exeter New Hampshire, by Charles H. Bell, publ. Exeter, 1888., p. 351-2.
  18. [S54] Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire, by Sybil Noyes, Charles Thornton Libby, Walter Goodwin Davis. Orig. publ. in five parts Portland 1928-39., Various lists.
  19. [S66] State and Provincial Papers of New Hampshire url=http://www.library.unh.edu/diglib/bookshelf/NHPapers/…, Vol. XVII p. 526 (same as list #54).
  20. [S67] Collections of the New Hampshire Historical Society : containing province records and court papers from 1680 to 1692, notices of provincial councilors, and other articles relative to the early history of the state, Vol. 8., publ. 1866, Concord. url=https://archive.org/stream/collectionsofnew08newh#page/368/…, p. 368-373.
  21. [S54] Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire, by Sybil Noyes, Charles Thornton Libby, Walter Goodwin Davis. Orig. publ. in five parts Portland 1928-39., List 56.
  22. [S68] The Gove book : History and Genealogy of the American Family of Gove, and Notes of European Goves, by William Henry Gove, Salem, 1922. url=https://archive.org/details/govebookhistoryg00gove., See esp. p. 28 Randoph's account, p. 30-32 testimony & verdicts, p. 38 Cranfield letter about the Wadleighs, p. 41-42 Gove's petition.
  23. [S66] State and Provincial Papers of New Hampshire url=http://www.library.unh.edu/diglib/bookshelf/NHPapers/….
  24. [S69] "Early Exeter History 1638-1887" by Edward Chase, Jr., a chapter in New Hampshire: 1888-1988, by Nancy Carnegie Merrill, publ. Randall, Portsmouth, NH,

    1988. url=http://exeterhistory.org/index.php.
  25. [S70] "Edward Gove's Insurrection of 1683 - The Second American Revolution" by J. C. Sanborn, in Granite Monthly: A New Hampshire Magazine, Volume 10, p. 185-

    188. url=http://books.google.com/books?id=zlsSAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA185.
  26. [S71] "The Nathaniel Weares" by F. B. Sanborn of Concord, Mass., reprinted from The Granite Monthly, 1909, pp.157-166. url=http://www.hampton.lib.nh.us/hampton/biog/….
  27. [S53] York County Maine deed transcriptions on NEHGS website database "Maine: Early Wills & Deeds", based on CD "Early Maine deeds & wills ed. Jennifer P. Moss, publ. NEHGS 2006, based on William M. Sargent's Maine wills 1640-1760, published in 1887, and York deeds, published between 1887 and 1910..."., Vol. 4, p. 151-2 (Book 4, Folio 63-64).
  28. [S54] Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire, by Sybil Noyes, Charles Thornton Libby, Walter Goodwin Davis. Orig. publ. in five parts Portland 1928-39., List 385.
  29. [S53] York County Maine deed transcriptions on NEHGS website database "Maine: Early Wills & Deeds", based on CD "Early Maine deeds & wills ed. Jennifer P. Moss, publ. NEHGS 2006, based on William M. Sargent's Maine wills 1640-1760, published in 1887, and York deeds, published between 1887 and 1910..."., Vol. 6, p. 254-5 (Book 6, Folio 134-5).
  30. [S53] York County Maine deed transcriptions on NEHGS website database "Maine: Early Wills & Deeds", based on CD "Early Maine deeds & wills ed. Jennifer P. Moss, publ. NEHGS 2006, based on William M. Sargent's Maine wills 1640-1760, published in 1887, and York deeds, published between 1887 and 1910..."., Vol. 6, p. 254-5 (Book 6, Folio 134-5).
  31. [S54] Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire, by Sybil Noyes, Charles Thornton Libby, Walter Goodwin Davis. Orig. publ. in five parts Portland 1928-39., p. 708.
  32. [S72] New Hampshire Provincial Deeds, Rockingham Co., at url=http://www.nhdeeds.com., Vol. 12, p. 638-640; Vol. 11, p. 182-3.