WILLIAM EDWARDS was one of the first settlers of Hartford, Hartford, CT. His mother was ANN, who when widowed, married James Cole. There is nothing known about the ancestry of WILLIAM. The widely-published statement that he was the son of Rev. Richard Edwards has long been discredited.
James Cole, his stepfather, died in 1652, and his widow ANN was made the sole executrix of his will. WILLIAM EDWARDS, one of the legatees, was called "my well-beloved sonn." Mrs. Cole died Feb. 20, 1679. A short time before her decease she made a verbal disposition of her estate, which, as entered on the Records of the Court of Probate, is as follows:
"Mrs. Cole declaring that it was her minde, that after her decease, her home and Lande should be to her son William Edwards, he only, to have the use & Improvement for himselfe & wife during their natural life, & then it should return to her Grandson Richard Edwards & to his heires forever, and the like dispose she made of the other part of her estate, as appeares by the Testimony of Mr. Saul Willy, Mr. Jonathan Gilbert, and Wm. Edwards, which the Court approves of & confirmes, & this Court Granted Administration upon the estate to Richard Edwards, who accepted the same in Court."
WILLIAM EDWARDS married, Dec. 11, 1645, AGNES, widow of WILLIAM SPENCER, one of the first settlers of Hartford. WILLIAM SPENCER was a man of note who settled at Cambridge, Middlesex, MA, in 1631. They married there about 1632, and had three children in nearby Newton, Middlesex, MA. They moved to Hartford by 1640, the year which he died. AGNES then married WILLIAM EDWARDS in Hartford on Dec. 11, 1645.
The widow AGNES SPENCER was a more than ordinary woman; she had a large and notable posterity by both of her husbands. Her granddaughter Deborah Joy married Captain Andrew Ward and had nine children. Among their many distinguished descendants was Henry Ward Beecher, so that she is the ancestress of the two most notable divines in America, Jonathan Edwards and Henry Ward Beecher.
WILLIAM EDWARDS died before 1672, but the date of his wife's death is unknown. They had only one
wife ELIZABETH TUTTLE
wife Mary Talcott