|Glassenbury House, Cranbrook, Kent|
|Adlard and Cassandra Welby tomb|
So who was John Roberts of Woolston. There is a small village of Woolstone in Gloucestershire near the Worcestershire border. In 1600 it was the home of John and Margaret Roberts. The baptisms of two of his children were recorded, they were sons Nicholas and George. George, baptized in 1601 was also taken to London and apprenticed, his entry into the Drapers guild reads "George Roberts son of John Roberts yeoman of Wolston, Gloucs". It is possible that this is the family of Thomas Roberts. For more information about this family see the Roberts Family of Woolstone webpage by Fredric Z. Saunders.
The Worshipful Company of Fishmongers is the official name of the Fishmongers guild in London, it has been in existence for more than 700 years. The purpose of the guild was and is to regulate the the buying and selling of fish. I am not sure why the word "aristocratic" usually proceeds the guild name when written about in conjunction with Thomas Roberts. The guilds were at one time very powerful and many "aristocrats", including princes and kings, became members. You did not have to be a fishmonger in order to be a member.
Nothing is known about Thomas at this time, most boys began their apprenticeship at age 14 for a period of seven years. Thomas was apprenticed for eight years beginning in 1615 and he was admitted as a full member of the guild on April 29, 1623. His entry in the records reads "Thomas Roberts, my apprentice, William Adys... presented and admitted… to Fishmongers Guild, admitted and sworn on 29 April 1623”. These dates are somewhat different from what you see written about Thomas. If Thomas was made a freemen in 1623, he could hardly be an apprentice to Edward Hilton and in New Hampshire at the same time.
The last mention of Thomas in the Fishmongers Guild records was made in the 1641 Fishmongers tax roll of London, he as well as Edward Hilton are noted as being "In New England".
|St. Mary's parish church of Witten cum Twansbrook|
Rebecca It is "traditionally given that the wife of Thomas Roberts was Rebecca Hilton, sister of Edward and William Hilton". What does that mean? I cannot find anywhere anything other than that statement when looking for detail on the wife of Thomas Roberts. The baptisms of the children of William Hilton of Witton cum Twamsbrook, Cheshire are recorded in the parish records. His children include Edward, William and Richard who all immigrated to New Hampshire. There is also a son John, and daughters Margaret, Mary and Elizabeth. There is no Rebecca. There is no known date of birth and there is no known date of death. There is no record of their marriage. They did not even name a daughter after her and interestingly only one of her five children named a girl Rebecca. Everything that is written about her is pure conjecture and not fact. I'm not even sure her name was really Rebecca.
While we are on this Hilton topic, the father of the Hiltons was not Roger Hilton, it was William.
Governor Thomas Roberts I have seen this written everywhere. Thomas was not a Governor in any sense of the word as we know it today. In March or April of 1640 he was elected "President of the Court" of the Bristol Company, the owners of Dover. This position has been described as little more than head of a group of selectmen. When the Dover Combination was signed on 22 Oct. 1640, there were only about 40 men in Dover. So, as the colony grew in size other men stepped up into leadership roles. Thomas held various minor offices, but never again assumed a leadership position. This is not said to belittle him as he was quite successful, but to style him as Governor seems a bit much, not to mention Governor of New Hampshire, which he most certainly was not.
Children of Thomas and Rebecca named in his will:
John b. about 1630 m. Abigail Nutter
Thomas b. about 1636 m. Mary Leighton
Hester married John Marytn of New Jersey
Elizabeth married Benjamin Heard he m. (2) Ruth Eastman
Ann married James Philbrick of Hampton, he drowned in the Hampton River in 1674, she married (2) William Marston in 1675.
Sarah married Richard Rich Feb 24, 1670 he drowned at sea c. 1690
note: the birth years of the daughters are unknown, the birth order is based on the will of Thomas and the order in which he names his children. The birth dates for the sons are based on the ages they gave when deposed in court later in life.
In his will Thomas dispersed his possessions as follows:
Son John: 20 shillings
Son Thomas: five shillings
Daughter Hester: five shillings
Daughter Anne: five shillings
Daughter Elizabeth: five shillings
Son in Law of his "dearly beloved daughter Sarah" and their children together: everything else!
Sarah got her fathers house, out buildings, orchards, planting lands, pastures both fenced and in common privilege, rights to the common. He also gave her a four acres plot of planting land and three acres of marshland on the Winnicutt River down near Greenland.
Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins, 1620-1633.
Noyes, Libby, Davis, Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire
Roberts Family of Woolstone Website by F. Z. Saunders
George Wadleigh, Notable Events in the History of Dover, New Hampshire, 1913
Rev. Alonzo Quint, Historical Memoranda Concerning Persons and Places in Old Dover, New Hampshire, reprinted 2002
John Scales, Historical Memoranda Concerning Persons and Places in Old Dover, New Hampshire, 1900
Jacobsen, Thomas A, The Robertses of Northern New England, Heritage Books, Bowie, MD, 1995
New Hampshire Probate Records: the will of Thomas Robert