In 1633 King Charles I reissued his father's "Book of Sports" which encouraged games and play on Sunday. This was a hot button issue for "Non-Conformist" or Puritan ministers who deemed it a violation of the Sabbath. The King issued a letter that was to be read from the pulpit concerning this book and many ministers refused to read it. William Worcester was among those suspended from his duties for refusing.
coming to america
In 1630, with the sailing of the Winthrop Fleet, the Great Migration had begun. Many of the emigrants to the Colonies were parishioners who followed their Puritan leaders to establish a new order in a new world. By 1638 William Worcester had gathered those of his congregation who were like minded and made the crossing to start anew in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. William Partridge was one of those who took up the call to settle in the Colony and start a new life for his family.
William was the son of John Partridge (1589-1647) of Olney. He married Ann Spicer on October 6, 1636 in the parish church, possibly by William Worcester. His sister Jane married fellow emigrant Henry Gaines. Not much is known about the Partridge family in England. In his will, John named only the children of his daughter Jane and his son William, presumably there were no other living children. His widow's name was Frances, but she may or may not have been the mother of John's children. Here is an extract dealing with his will:
The nuncupative Will of John Partridge. memorandu that the 20 Jan 1647, John Partridge of Olney in the County of Bucks, laborer, now deceased, did give grant and dispose of all and singular his goods, cattle, chattles and debts unto William Geynes, Richard Kend, and Roger Tayre of Olney upon this trust that they should therewith maintain Frances Partridge, widow, the then wife of the aforesaid John, so long as she should live after his decease, and also pay the debts of the said John. And after the decease of the said Frances the overplus thereof (if any should then be) of the said John, and the three children of Henry Geynes, brother of said William Geynes, save only that the eldest child of the said William Partridge should have a double part thereof, all wch said psons now or late were in New England. Witnesses: Thomas Whiteinge, and signum Eliz: Wheelowes. In the presence of Lawrence Shepard and George Mason 12 Feb 1627-8. No record of probate, but a bond, dated 3 May 1648, is filed with the will. [Archdeaconry of Bucks, 1647, No. 143.] The Register Volume 68 page 283
After the long and exhausting sea voyage the Partridge and Gaines families did as many newcomers to the Colony, they stopped briefly in a coastal town to recuperate and got the lay of the land. The two families stayed in Lynn, Massachusetts for a short time on arrival. The Gaines family chose to remain in Lynn, while the Partridge's followed William Worcester to the new town of Colchester, soon to be known as Salisbury. Both Henry and Jane Gaines were dead by 1645, leaving two young boys.
The Reverend William Worcester was a prominent man in the new settlement of Salisbury, Puritan Ministers were the political as well as spiritual leader of the new society. Town lot sizes were assigned based on the ability to pay, William Partridge received a small lot, William Worcester on the other hand received one of the larger lots. The house lots were from one to four acres gathered around a large ring road, to provide safety in numbers. The townsmen were also given land on which to grow crops, graze animals, cut timber, etc. The goal of the new settlers was to quickly build a house and get crops into the ground. A rough cold winter was just around the corner. A meetinghouse and church also had to be built. Men had to be armed at all times and to be on guard for Indians and wolves.
(see the original plat map of Salisbury)
william dies ann remarries
William died on 5 July 1654, a man in his prime, his widow Anne was left with seven young children, including an infant. She quickly remarried on 1 January 1655. Her new husband was widower Anthony Stanyan of Hampton. Presumably, she relocated the family to Hampton at that time.
If William Partridge, Sr. failed to make his mark on history, his son, William Jr. made up for it. The following letter is taken from the New Hampshire Provincial Papers. It is a letter from King William III to William Partridge appointing him Lt. Governor of New Hampshire.
Elizabeth French, "Genealogical Gleanings in England," The New England Historic and Genealogical Register, Vol. 63 (July 1909) 283.
Homer Worthington Brainard, "Henry Gaines of Lynn Mass and Some of his Descendants," The New England Historic and Genealogical Register, Vol. 85 (January 1931) 30.