WILLIAM CARPENTER was born at Shalbourne, England about 1605. He and his wife Abigail, four children and his father, WILLIAM of Wherwell came to New England on the 'Bevis' from Southampton, Hampshire, England, leaving Southampton in May, 1638, with 61 passengers aboard.
Included on the Bevis' list of 61 passengers is:
William Carpenter, Jr.
4 children 10 and under
Thomas Bansholt, servant
He was admitted freeman in Weymouth, MA, on May 13, 1640, and was named constable in 1641. He was a Representative of Weymouth to the General Court of Plymouth, MA Bay Colony in 1641 and 1643.
Among the first settlers of Rehoboth were 58 people from Weymouth who drew lots in the division of lands on June 30, 1644. WILLIAM CARPENTER's name in that division stands as number 10. At the first meeting of the proprietors of Rehoboth, held at Weymouth in 1643/4 to organize the settlement of the land which had been originally pruchased from the Wampanoags in 1641 by men of the Plymouth Colony, the group chose nine "townsmen" to run their affairs. The company at Weymouth, led by the Rev. Samuel Newman, did not adhere to either the Massachusetts Bay Colony or the Plymouth Colony at first, preferring to consider itself an independent settlement. However, in 1644, the majority decided to join Plymouth Colony, soon after an election of townsmen was held.
Tradition, as well as the description given in his will, indicates the WILLIAM CARPENTER residence was located in the "ring" directly east of the church. In 1645 WILLIAM was elected a Rehoboth representative to the governmental body at Plymouth, also chosen to look after the interest of the town and named as one of those empowered to hear and decide on grievances in regard to the division of land by lots. In 1647 and 1655 he was chosen as one of the directors of the town.
His vocation was given on the shipping list as that of carpenter, but one wonders if he had not at one time planned to enter the ministry. His library, mentioned in his will, includes various religious works of the eras as well as Latin classics, Greek and Hebrew grammars, biblical concordances and some legal works. These books, plus the fine script in which he wrote the early Rehoboth records, indicate he had a far better education than most of the early New England settlers.
In 1653, his name is written as WILLIAM CARPENTER, Sr. for the first time. His son, WILLIAM, would have been 21 at that time and was a resident of the town.
"WILLIAM CARPENTER, Sr. of Rehoboth," made his will "10th month 10th day" (probably Dec. 10, 1658). It It was proved Apr. 21, 1659. He bequeathed to his son, John, "one mare, being the old white mare, and my best dublet, and my handsomest coat, and new cloth to make him a pair of breeches, twenty shillings to buy him a calf," and a number of books. Bequests to his other children included the various parcels of land, a number of horses, colts, oxen, steers, sheep, also Latin, Greek, and Hebrew books.
ABIGAIL died Feb. 22, 1686/87. WILLIAM's will shows clearly that she, "mother of Joseph", who was born in England, was living in 1658.
It is reported that WILLIAM is buried at Newman Cemetery, East Providence, RI (formerly Rehoboth, MA).
wife Hannah (Hope) Smith
husband John Titus
husband Jonah Palmer, Sr.
wife PRISCILLA BENNETT
wife Miriam Sale
wife Margaret Sutton
|immigration to America|
wife Sarah Redway
husband Joseph Carpenter
wife Mary Redway
wife Ann Weeks