Saturday, January 21, 2012

Robert Clements of Cosby, Leicestershire and Haverhill, Massachusetts

english origins
Robert Clements, one of the first settlers of Haverhill, Massachusetts, was born in Cosby, Leicestershire, England, he was baptized on 14 December 1595. Cosby was known in the Doomsday Book as Cossebi. It seems to have no history of great interest. 

Richard's ancestry can be fairly confidently traced to Richard Clements, b. about 1506, d. before 1 March 1571/2 and his wife the previously widowed Elizabeth Unknown, b. about 1510 and d. unknown. She was his executor, so she died after March 1572. Richard asked to be buried in the churchyard of St. Michaels All Angels in Croft. 

Richard and Elizabeth's oldest son, named in his will was Robert, b. about 1536. He married twice. First to Alice Unknown b. about 1560 and buried in November 1585 and second to Margaret Unknown who survived him. His name is found in the manor court rolls and at one time served as constable. He left a will dated 25 May 1606 in which he names his second wife and left her two cows. 

Continuing the Robert/Richard names, Richard and Alice's son Richard was born abt. 1570, again in Croft. He married a widow, Agnes Unknown Fellows, born about 1570, possibly in Enderby, home of her eldest son William Fellows. Agnes ancestry is unknown, like most women, we only find out about them when they are buried or named in their husband's will. All the above information comes for the excellent book on the Clements. [1]

File:Lady Godiva by John Collier.jpgThis brings us down to our immigrant ancestor, Robert. Robert married Lydia Unknown prior to the 1615 birth of their first child.  Many sites have her maiden name as Drummer, but there is no evidence for it. Robert's father died in 1617 and in October of that year he was granted administration of his father's estate. Also in 1617, Robert purchased land in Huncote, near Narborough, for 60 pounds. Robert's mother died in 1619, the administration of her estate was awarded to her son William Fellows, Robert's half brother. 

Robert was obviously fairly well off, he continued to purchase land in the surrounding area, buying in both Broughton and Witherley. Interestingly, Witherley, Leicestershire is only a stone's throw from Atherstone and Mancetter, Warwickshire.  Witherley is on the opposite side of Watling St. (now the A5 motorway), which is the border between the two counties. Mancetter was home to immigrants Thomas and Valentine Rowell.

Robert and Lydia eventually settled in Ansley, Warwickshire. In the great Doomsday Book of 1086 the village was called Hanslei. Ansley was owned by the very famous Lady Godiva. The parish church where the family would have worshiped was St. Laurence, begun in the 12th century, it now houses stunning stained glasses windows by artist Karl Parsons.

Robert and Lydia had at least eight children who lived to maturity, between the years 1615 and 1634. Lydia died and was buried in the parish church of Ansley on 12 March 1641/2. 

children of robert and lydia
Job b. 1615,  died in 1682 in Dover, New Hampshire
Lydia b. 1618, died in Ipswich, Mass in 1676
John b. 1620, died at sea
Abraham b. 1622 died in Killenacratt, Cavan, Ireland
Daniel b. 1624 died in Rathkenny, Cavan, Ireland 1680
Mary b. 1637 died 1710 in Andover, Mass
Robert b. 1634 died 1714 in Haverhill, Masshaverhill

Church where Lydia is buried.

The family landed in Salisbury but moved almost at once to Haverhill.  According to the city website:

Haverhill is located in northeastern Massachusetts; about 32 miles north of Boston on the New Hampshire border; and about 16 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. The Merrimack River flows 12 miles through the heart of the city and is directly responsible for the city's shape and character.

Settlement started in the area as early as 1640 but the "Deed of Township" was not signed until 1642.  Signing for the Colonist were Reverend John Ward, Robert Clements, Tristram Coffin, Hugh Sherrat, William White, and Thomas Davis.  The land was purchased from the Pentucket Tribe, Passaquo and Saggahew made their marks, bow and arrows, for the Indians.  Robert and Tristram Coffin were neighbors in an area of Haverhill known as The Rocks.  The town was named Haverhill after the birthplace of the Reverend John Ward who was from Haverhill, England.

Robert Clements was made a freeman in 1645, he was very active in the administration of the colony. In 1647 he was made Commissioner to End Small Causes, 1647-1654 he was appointed as Deputy from Haverhill to the General Court, he was an Associate Judge, County Commissioner and was empowered to give the Oath of Fidelity to his fellow Haverhill residents.  In 1653 he was given the right to sell wine, so it seems he owned an Inn. Robert also continued to hold land in England. As well as farming, Robert owned the first gristmill in Haverhill.  All in all he was a very successful man.

In 1652 his daughter Mary rejoined the family in Haverhill, she was then 15 years old. She married the following year to John Osgood of Andover. Her brother John had married John's sister Sarah Osgood in 1648.

In or about 1658 John Clement returned to England, possibly to join his brothers Daniel and Abraham who were in Ireland.  He wrote to his brother Robert and asked him to escort his family to England.  On the voyage to England the ship was captured by Spaniards and Robert and John's family were held captive in Spain for a few weeks.  At some point thereafter John, Sarah and their daughter were lost at sea. Robert returned to Haverhill and in 1659 and was appointed executor of his brother's estate.  

Irish Clements 
Daniel and Abraham stayed in Ireland. Daniel was given land in Rathkenny, Cavan by Oliver Cromwell and his descendants were quite successful, eventually earning the title of Earl of Leitrim. One of Robert Jr. descendants was Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain. 

Clement, Percival Wood. Ancestors and Descendants of Robert Clements of Leicestershire and Warwickshire, England. First Settler of Haverhill, Massachusetts. Volume I. 1927. pp.1-2.

Will of Robert Clements
Sept 6th 1658
I Robertt Clements of Haverhill being of perfitt memory blessed be God for itt, doe ordaine & make this my last will, in manner & forme following: ffirst I Comitt my soule into the hands of God my Creator & maker, beleeving through the mirretts Rightousnesse & obedience of Jesus Christ my redemer to have & enjoy life & salvation Everlastingly by him. ffor my goods I give first unto my wife my house & house lott & all the acomadations that belonged to itt which shee is to have during her life & after her decease to returne to my childerns childorne that are in new england each his portion to be delivered into the hands of their parents for their childorns use. I give alsoe to my wife my best yoake of oxen I have, & three of my best cowes, & my best beds with theire furniture to them & six of my best peauter dishes six spoones, my best brasse pott, & three of my best kittles, & two spining t__rnes, & all hangles on the fire, with fire shovles & tonges & two of the best coushens, one___ & a cupp, with all my wooden & Earthen vessells & all manner of clothing that belong to her, as also my byble candlestick & chamber pott. My will is that if there be any goods of mine come out of England this yere or the next my wife shall have five pounds of itt according to the bill of lading. Alsoe I give my wife al the Lining in my house excepting two paire of sheets that are for my bed & all the Corne in my house barne & growing on the land, & also a debt of seaven & sum odd mony in the hands of John Hutchins for the repaireing the house & fencing the home lott. I give to my wife alsoe what is due mee or will bee from mr Drumer by bills or Covinants, & alsoe the Cloth that is att the weavers with what woolen yearne & fflaxe is in the house, & alsoe three pounds which is in the hands of mr. Cooke of boston. I give her two skillitts, two stockes off the best beese & two chests with locke & caie to them. I give to my wife the boards I bought at Salisbury to repaire the house. It is my will that one halfe of the goods which I give my wife that if shee spend not, at her decease it shall returne to my executors to be equally devided among them.I give unto my sonne Job Clement one fellee which will be two yer old next may. Allsoe I give him my best suit of apparell & my best cloake & best hatt, my best paire of shewes & stockens. I give to my sonne Robertt twenty pound due to me out of my rentt in England, & which rentt is due me more I give to my three sones John, Abraham & Dannell.All the rest of my estate in new england due to mee upon bonds or bills or any accounts land or goods whatsoever I give to my sonnes Moses Pengrow & Abraham Morrill & John Osgood whom I make my executors to see this my will performed & my debts paid & my body laid in the grave. That which is struck out in the other side at the lower end betweene the 4th & 5th line it was done before it was seald to, & here unto I sett my hand & seald. I give to mr. ward or minester five pounds.
Robert Clements (seal) Witness:Bartell:BH Heath and william whiteProved in Hampton court 11:8:1658 by the witnesses.
Estate of Robert Clements of Haverhill
Mr. Robert Clements late of Haverhill, gave to his grandchildren that were then in New England, after the decease of his wife, his house, houselot and orchard in Haverhill, to be divided equally by the disposal of their parents; therefore, Job Clements, Moses Pengry, John Osgood and Thomas Mudget being the surviving parents of the grandchildren, have divided it into three parts, there being fifteen heirs, that is to say two of Job Clements, six of Moses Pengry's, five Abraham Morrill's and two of John Osgood's and thus the heirs are divided into three parts and their portions are as follows: Job Clement's two children, John Osgood's two children and Moses Pengry's eldest son to have the second division of upland, the oxe common land, half of the east meadow the upper end, together with one third part of the fourth division laid out, as also all common priviledges thereunto belonging; Moses Pengry's other five children to have the third division of upland, Haukes meadow, and one third part of the fourth division not yet laid out, together with one third of all common priviledges thereunto belonging: Abraham Morrill's five children to have the house and house lot, orchard, the plain lot and half the east meadow the lower end, with one third part of the fourth division not yet laid out and one third of all common priviledes thereunto belonging.
Singed Oct 8 1669Witness: Robert Clement, Jno (his I+ mark) Heath, Sr., John Redman Thomas Mudget owned this agreement or division Dec 18, 1684.Acknowledged Apr 2, 1672, by Moses Pengry and John Osgood.George brown and Daniell Ela were chosen by the Hampton court to consider of and to survey a division of land that Mr. Rob. Clement gave to his grandchildren which they have done and consider the above division just and right as witness our hands. Oct 6 1685
Source: Norfolk Deeds, vol 3, p. 341


Anonymous said...

Sarah Morrill and Philip Rowell are my 9th great grandparents. Their daughter Sarah Rowell married Samuel Gould. Their daughter Hannah Gould married Deacon Joseph French. Their son Joseph French Jr. married Judith Diamond. Judith Diamond married Jonathan Taylor, which is my 5th great grandparents and the line I joined the DAR on.


Nicola Jennings said...

Robert Clements and Lydia [Drummer] are my 8x great grandparents. I am descended from their son Robert who went to Ireland. I've enjoyed reading about the Clements in America.

Unknown said...

I and a descendant of Job and his wife, Margaret Dummer.

Unknown said...

Fascinating read. Thanks for sharing. Robert Clements was my 9th Great-Grandfather.

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