STEPHEN RICHARDSON was born in Boston, Jun. 14, 1652, and baptized Jun. 20, 1652, at the First Church (now Congregational Unitarian). On Dec. 29, 1670, his name appears in the list of inhabitants at Stonington who had house lots, he then being only a little over eighteen years of age.
He married LYDIA, daughter of JONATHAN GILBERT and MARY WELLS before Sep. 25, 1673, probably in that year. This is shown by the letter of that date from Governor Winthrop to STEPHEN's father AMOS RICHARDSON.
He was well acquainted with the Indian language and was often employed as an interpreter. He served in King Philip's War in 1675-6 at the time of the Great Swamp Fight, and was one of the soldiers who shared in the Voluntown grant made by the State in 1696. He was probably the Quartermaster for the Connecticut troops. On May 18, 1676, the Colonial Council authorized him to sell arms in his possession in part payment for his services. Minor's Diary, Dec. 15, 1675, says: "Concticut Armie Set forth from mr. Richardsons," and June, 1676, "Thursday, the 15. wee were to meet all the soldiers at steeven Richardsons house."
He was made a freeman in 1679. After his imprisonment by Rhode Island in the summer of 1680 (see biography of AMOS RICHARDSON), he presented a claim to the General Court for damages. In 1687 he was a representative from Stonington to the General Court.
"Niles's History" is authority for the statement that in July 1689, "Stephen Richardson shot dead on the spot one William Trimming, a notorious English decoy in the service of the French privateers." Trimming had secreted himself in a house on Fisher's Island, and Richardson, with sixteen other men, went there to capture him. He was censured by some for his action, as they wanted to take him alive.
Stephen Richardson resided on the Connecticut side of the Pawcatuck River at Westerly. The railroad must cross very near to where his house was located. It is about five miles east of his father's home. This land Amos Richardson purchased in 1663. It is the property referred to by Governor Winthrop and Fitz John Winthrop in 1673. It extended along the river for nearly a mile.
He must have died about 1694, as his widow signed a deed on July 1, 1695, in which she is described as:
"Lydia Relict of Mr. Steven Richardson being Executor of my honored husbands will and in full power by Act of New London Court and having Libertie by my husbands will."
The following deed to her son Jonathan was dated Aug. 10, 1696:
"Let all men know that I Lydia Richardson Relict of ye late Steven Richardson of Stonington Do for ye lncouregment of my son Jonathan for his present settling with me upon, that Land which was given him by his Honorred father after my decease I say I do by these and att this Present Give him ye one half of all the houseing & ye Lands belonging to ye home place and that adjoining on ye South side of it which was given to Nathaniel Deceased, that is to say, his part to Joyn to Mr. Noyes is land on ye South & to ye River on ye East and so Westerly to ye Barns the Barne being his part of out houseing, and ye welling house, he is to have ye Great Room & half of ye seller & ye Poarch Chamber and that ye Promise may be sure to him my son Jonathan his heirs and assigns to all purposes & intents for Ever I sett to my hand & Seal this Tenth Day of August one Thousand six hundred ninety six; also it is provided before signing I give to Jonathan ye Salt meadow that was Nathaniels."
The will of MARY WELLS GILBERT (widow of JONATHAN GILBERT), dated May 23, 1700, shows that her daughter, LYDIA, had a second husband named Chapman, perhaps Richard Chapman, although Savage suggests William.
At the Probate Court, New London, June 3, 1703, Mrs. Lydia Chapman exhibited a deed of gift of lands left her by the will of her deceased husband, Mr. Stephen Richardson, late of Stonington, to her three daughters, Mary Carder, Rachel Richardson and Jemima Richardson.
LYDIA's nephew, Jonathan Belcher (son of her sister, Sarah Gilbert Belcher), was governor of Massachusetts for 11 years, and Governor of New Jersey from 1747 to 1767.
STEPHEN and LYDIA had at least nine children, and it is supposed that he was the only one
of his family to leave descendants in the male line.
wife ANN EDWARDS
wife Joanna Minor/Miner
wife Abigail Pelham
husband Richard Carder
wife Sarah Stanton
wife Mehitable Chapman
husband Green Hungerford
husband Mathew Fuller