Herbert PELHAM

Male Abt 1600 - 1674  (~ 74 years)


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  • Name Herbert PELHAM 
    Born Abt 1600  England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Buried 1 Jul 1674  Bures, Essex, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I32437  FamilyWorld
    Last Modified 7 Jul 2012 

    Father Herbert PELHAM, Esq.,   b. Abt 1580, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Jul 1624, Boston, Lincolnshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 44 years) 
    Mother Penelope WEST,   b. 9 Sep 1582, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1619, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 36 years) 
    Married Abt 1599  England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F17511  Group Sheet

    Family 1 Jemima WALDEGRAVE,   b. Abt 1606, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1639, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 33 years) 
    Married Abt 13 Oct 1626  England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Waldegrave PELHAM,   c. 26 Sep 1627, Bures, Essex, England Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. Herbert PELHAM,   c. 5 Aug 1629, London, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. Nathaniel PELHAM,   c. 5 Feb 1631/32, Bures, Essex, England Find all individuals with events at this location
    +4. Penelope PELHAM,   c. 1633, Bures, Essex, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1672/3  (Age ~ 41 years)
     5. Jemima PELHAM,   b. Abt 1635, England Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 24 May 2012 
    Family ID F10750  Group Sheet

    Family 2 Elizabeth BOSVILE,   b. Abt 1617, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 25 Aug 1659, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 42 years) 
    Married Abt 1640  Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Mary PELHAM,   b. 12 Nov 1640, Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. Frances PELHAM,   b. 9 Nov 1643, Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. Herbert PELHAM,   b. 3 Oct 1645, Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   bur. 2 Jan 1645/46, Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 0 years)
     4. Anne PELHAM,   b. maybe 1647, England Find all individuals with events at this location
     5. Edward PELHAM,   b. Abt 1652, England Find all individuals with events at this location
     6. William PELHAM,   b. maybe 1654, England Find all individuals with events at this location
     7. Henry PELHAM,   b. maybe 1656, England Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 24 May 2012 
    Family ID F16162  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - Abt 1600 - England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - Abt 13 Oct 1626 - England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - Abt 1640 - Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - 1 Jul 1674 - Bures, Essex, England Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • Herbert Pelham of Boston, Lincolnshire, Cambridge, Massachusetts Bay Colony, and Bures, Essex, gentleman, was born circa 1600 (age 26 at marriage). He emigrated to America about 1639, left America for England in 1646, and made a trip to England even during that interval.

      He was buried at Bures, Essex, on July 1, 1674. (Herbert is often spoken of as from Bures, Suffolk. The two communities adjoin one another.)

      He married (1) by license October 13, 1626 Jemima Waldegrave, described by an Essex County antiquarian as "a great heiress." Her father was Thomas Waldegrave, referred to in the marriage licenas of as Bures-ad-montem, Essex. Jemima was born circa 1606 (age 20 in 1626) and died circa 1639, about the time she was leaving for America.

      Shortly after arriving in America, Herbert Pelham married as his second wife, Elizabeth (Bosvile) Harlakenden. She was the widow of the prominent New England colonist, Roger Harlakenden, who died in November 1638, and daughter of Sir Geoffrey Bosvile (or Bosville) of Gunthwaite, Yorkshire. She died by August 25, 1659.

      The Waldegraves and the Bosviles were each members of gentry families of excellent lineage. Each family merits careful investigation. Jemima Waldegrave was mother of Penelope Pelham who married Josias Winslow, Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Elizabeth (Bosvile) Harlakenden was the mother of Edward Pelham, who married Freelove, daughter of Governor Benedict Arnold of Rhode Island. As far as known, each lady was mother of only one child to leave permanent issue here.

      No adequate biography of Herbert Pelham has ever been published. He is mentioned on various occations in colonial histories and genealogies as an important figure, while some have given a scant paragraph or so on his life. He is a subject of a brief article in the Dictionary of National Biography(English) but the recently published Dictionary of American Biography gives him no space whatever. It seems fitting, therefore, to consider some of the more salient facts in the life of this English Puritan.

      As early as 1629 Herbert Pelham, together with his brother William and his father-in-law, Thomas Waldegrave, was prominently identified with the Winthrop project of colonization. Herbert, who was related to John Winthrop by marriage, was a constant supporter of the latter's activities and felt Winthrop was performing a great work. Herbert, as also his father-in-law, invested L50 in common stock of the adventure. On May 7, 1629, he and Thomas Waldegrave and two others was "entreated [to] frame the forme of the oethe for the Gouno'r. Mr. Endecott, also for his Dep'ty, & for the Counsell... [to] bee administered them in Newe England." Herbert, together with his father-in-law, frequently attended meetings of the General Court in England preparatory for the undertaking; while his brother sailed with the Winthrop Fleet and settled in Sudbury, Massachusetts, where he became a Captain. Despite many assertions that Herbert Pelham came to New England in 1629 or 1635 or 1638, it is unlikely that Pelham had come over by September 5, 1639 when the inhabitants of Sudbury petitioned that certain men should "set out such lands & accommodations, both for houselots & otherwise, both for Mr. Pelham and Mr. Walgrave, as they shall think suitable to their estates, to bee reserved for them if they shall come to inhabite there in convenient time, as the Court shall think [fit]."

      Herbert Pelham and his father-in-law, Thomas Waldegrave, were at Gravesend, England, in 1639, preparatory for crossing the Atlantic. Herbert had invested some L3,000 in the venture, so it is probable that they had a considerable retinue with them. Just before the ship was about to sail Thomas Waldegrave's wife died. Therefore, Thomas Waldegrave returned home and so never came to New England. Pelham left without him; while his own wife also died either during or shortly after the crossing.

      Soon after his arrival, Pelham married secondly, Elizabeth, the widow of Roger Harlakenden, a well-to-do colonist. Pelham went to live in the Harlakenden household at Cambridge, and as a result never joined his brother William at Sudbury. The first definite glimpse of Pelham is in December 1640 when a fire broke out in the Cambridge house: "Mr. Pelham's house in Cambridge took fire in the dead of the night by the chimney... The fire being ready to lay hold upon the stairs, they had all been burnt in their chambers, if God had not by his special providence sent help at that very instant."

      According to Dr. Samuel A. Elliot, Herbert "soon became one of the largest landed proprietors in Cambridge. He cleared and developed large farms south of the river, on Harlakenden property in Lexington and Bedford, and on the rising ground, long known as Pelham's island, in what is now the most thickly settled part of Cambridge."

      Herbert was in this country only a short time when, in 1641, he made a brief visit to England to look after property inherited through his first wife. Returning again to New England, Herbert took a prominent part in the affairs of the community and colony, and, next to the governorship, held some of the most important positions in the colony. The governors of Harvard College, which for generations was to have its seat at Cambridge, made Pelham one of its officers:

      "At a meeting of the Governors of Harvard Colledge held in the Colledge Hall the 27. December 1643 Herbert Pelham Esq'r was Elected Treasurer of the s'd Society."

      Although Pelham was in the country only three years longer, he held this office until 1650. Two of Herbert's sons, Nathaniel and Edward, were early graduates of Harvard.

      Among other offices held, Pelham served for a time as Selectman. On May 14, 1645, he was elected an Assistant to the General Court. A year later, on May 6, 1646, he was selected as one of two Commissioners for the United Colonies. Not the least of his activities was his humanitarian work for the Indians in connection with the Society for Promoting and Propagating the Gospel in New England.

      In late 1646 he petitioned the General Court to be relieved of his duties so that he might return to England. The Court requested that he and his cousin Richard Saltonstall attend the service of the country in England, but this they chose not to do. Pelham returned to England in the "Supply" on November 9, 1646. His remaining days were spent at Bures, Essex, on property inherited through his first wife. In 1654 he represented County Essex to Cromwell's Puritan Parliament. We probably should not be far wrong in assuming that he took an active part in looking out for the interests of the colonies at this time.

      Pelham came from that stratum of English society which came to be the background of New England colonial aristocracy. He was on intimate terms with most of the leaders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and related to several of them. Unquestionably he was a part of the inner circle. As politics and religion were so interwoven in this period of Massachusetts history, Pelham of necessity was on the best terms with the clergy. It is notable that as soon as the magistrates and teaching elders of the six nearest churches were chosen as governors of the Harvard College, their first act was to choose Pelham as Treasurer of that institution. His sympathy with the Puritan Church is well illustrated by a letter written in 1647 in which he shows a strong inclination to leave out of the colony such leaders as the followers of Anne Hutchinson and Quakers:

      "I hope you will every day more & more see less cause to repent that the doore hath not been sett soe wide open as some would have it, for the letting in as such as likely to prove troublers of the peace, both of Churches and Commonwealth."

      There is a striking parallel to be found in contrasting the lives of Herbert Pelham and Roger Ludlow. Both as members of prominent gentry families were Puritans of substance. Both migrated to New England during the same decade to take a prominent part in government affairs. Both remained in New England for a short time only. Both served as Commissioners for the United Colonies. Both worked hand in hand in developing the Society for Promoting and Propagating the Gospel in New England. Both preferred to return to the old world and did so after but a few years' stay in New England. Both assumed positions of responsibility with the English authorities after their return home.

      In the Banks Manuscripts, Rare Book Room, Library of Congress, is an interesting extract from "Chancery Proceedings Before 1714." This is filed in Class 5, Bridges Division, Bundle 14, N.O. 109. The document, which is described as in very bad condition, was written about 1649, although the date itself is illegible.

      "COMPLAINT by Herbert Pelham of Bevers, co. Suffolk, Esq'r & Waldegrave Pelham, his son and heir apparent, that by a treaty of marriage made between said Herbert & Jemima, one of the daughters & heirs of Thomas Waldegrave of Bevers Hamlet, co. Essex, Esq'r said Thomas promised on a certain dowry to be given by Herbert, that he would give with his daughter a certain sum of money & L50 lands a year to him and his heirs forever. On 20 September, 4 Charles I, said Thomas settled the mansion house of Ferrers in Bevers Hamlet on Herbert & Jemima his wife. Afterwards being minded to go to New England with his wife & family complainants father-in-law persuaded him to go too, wherein complainant for said adventure expended L3,000. Thomas Waldegrave conveyed said mansion house & lands in co. Essex to Thomas Cole, Henry Pelham, Nathaniel Bacon Esq'rs and Thomas Connye, gent., & by Indenture of 29 March, 15 Chas I, declared the same in trust to be sold etc. to the uses of his will, but by indenture of 25 November, 16 Chas I, he revoked this trust.

      "Complainant & Thomas Waldegrave being at sea on their voyage to New England, the wife of said Thomas there fell sick before he left the English coast, whereupon he & his wife, taking the best part of their goods with them went to land & complainant & his family went to New England without him, he promising to come soon after & that complainant should have all his goods and estate in New England & gave him several letters to that purport & declared several times to his daughter Mary Wincoll that he gave all his estate in New England to complainant which was but fair considering the great loss sustained adventuring thus. And after Thomas Waldegrave's wife died & he wrote several letters to complainant taking notice that complainant had undertaken the said voyage at his instance & of the loss he had sustained & importuned him to return with his family to England & promising to convey his estate [with exceptions] to complainant. Upon which complainant undertook a dangerous winter voyage and arrived in England in 1641.... Shortly after [an agreement was reached] complainant, with his father-in-law's approval, returned to his family in New England & said Thomas Walgrave died soon after & Isaac Wincoll who had married a daughter of Walgrave took advantage of Walgrave's weakness in his illness & pretend[ed] a will depriving complainant of his estate to his great damage. Therefore, he desires the said Isaac Wincoll [et al] may be summoned to answer the premises.

      "ANSWER of Isaac, Mary and Thomas Wincoll that the said Isaac Wincoll & Herbert Pelham by bone bearing date 31 January 1648/9 became bound to same purpose. The award was given that Isaac Wincoll & Mary his wife, should convey to Herbert Pelham for life with remainder to Waldegrave, Pelham & the heirs of his body the manor of Ferriers and all lands etc. & deeds thereunto appertaining & said Herbert to give Isaac Wincoll L1395/1/1-1/2 and Wincoll to give Herbert L1370/0/2-1/2. It was agreed if any dissention arose they should abide the arbitrament of Brampton Gordon & this to be done before 29 November 1650 or else the parties to be for ever debarred from further demands; which award was made on the voluntary submission of all parties. Whereupon Isaac and Mary Wincoll conveyed to Herbert Pelham the lands, etc. in Swinstead & Wigtoft, which said Herbert, Sir Thomas Pelham, Anthony Stapley, Henry Pelham & Thomas Cony had on 12 May, 18 Chas I, conveyed to Thomas Waldegrave although it now appears that the said lands were granted to Thomas Waldegrave without consideration. The said Isaac Wincoll & Mary his wife, being daughters and co-heirs of said Thomas Waldegrave married in 1616, at which time Thomas had four daughters, viz., the defendant, Mary, Jemima, wife of Herbert Pelham, Elizabeth & Margaret, since dead, and they had L300 on said marriage & the conveyance of lands in Bures St. Mary & Lamarsh, co. Essex, and also in Alphaniston, co. Essex. They do not believe that on Herbert's marriage with Jemima, Waldegrave promised to settle L50 a year of lands on them but believe he paid Waldegrave L1000 at the time of the marriage. They do not believe that Thomas Waldegrave bore such an affection to Herbert Pelham that he would not go to New England without him, nor that he persuaded him to go but say that divers years before going Pelham persuaded Waldegrave to go with his wife & family with said Pelham to New England & persuaded him to send many goods, money and provisions thither for a plantation there, so that about ten years ago, Thomas Waldegrave, his then wife, Margaret, & two of defendant's children, the said Thomas Wincoll & Penelope, together with Herbert & Jemima Pelham took shipping at Gravesend for New England. The goods, etc., in New England which came into Pelhams possession amount to L1400. While the said ship was lying in the Downs near Deal in Kent, Margaret Walgrave, wife of Thomas, fell sick, whereupon Thomas & Margaret with said Thomas and Penelope Wincoll were set on land at Deal. Margaret died & Thomas, with the said children returned to defendant's mansion house at Castle Heningham. Pelham and his children proceeded to New England his wife Jemima dying at... [illegible]. Waldegrave had so little with him that he had to borrow L10 to reach defendant's house.

      "Thomas Waldegrave made his will 4 September, 16 Chas I, leaving his lands to be divided between Mary Wincoll & Herbert Pelham & if they died the lands to be sold & the money to be divided among their children by his brother, William Waldegrave & he made said Mary his executrix. By deed dated January 13, James I, Thomas Waldegrave demised to his brother John Waldegrave of Badington, co. Suffolk Esq'r the manor of Payton Hall after the death of his mother, Mary Waldegrave:

      The record of the suit ends at this point and it is inferred that a membrane is missing.

      Issue of Herbert Pelham, by his first wife, Jemima:

      - Waldegrave, bapt. at Bures, Sept. 26, 1627; m. Abigail Glascock. Resided in England; issue.
      - Herbert, bapt. at St. Margaret's, Westminster, London, August 5, 1629; bur. there Aug. 17, 1629.
      - Nathaniel, bapt. at Bures, Feb. 5, 1631/32; d. s.p. 1657. He was a Harvard Graduate who was lost at sea. For biography, see Sibley's Harvard Graduates, I, 300.
      - Penelope, bapt. Bures, 1633; m. Josias Winslow, Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony. For American descendants, Maria W. Bryant's Genealogy of Edward Winslow of the Mayflower should be examined.
      - Jemima, m. Rev. Samuel Klem. Resided in England.
      - Catherine, m. _____ Clarke.

      Issue of Herbert Pelham by his second wife, Elizabeth; first three born at Cambridge, some of the others born probably back in England.

      - Mary, b. Nov. 12, 1640 (original record 1638?); d. s.p.
      - Frances, b. Nov. 9, 1643; m. Jeremiah Stonnard.
      - Herbert, b. Oct. 3, 1645; bur. Jan. 2, 1645/46.
      - Anne, living 1673/76, d. s.p.
      - Edward, b. ca. 1652; m. 1682 Freelove Arnold.
      - William, d. s.p.
      - Henry, m. Elizabeth _____. Resided England. [1]
    • In his will of 1 January 1672/3 Herbert Pelham makes bequests to "my daughter Penelope Winslow" and "my son Josias Winslow" [NEHGR 33:291, 293; TAG 18:144]. [2]
    • Herbert Pelham, Esq., of Cambridge, Massachusetts and Ferrers (in Bures), Essex, son and heir, born about 1600 (aged 26 in 1626).

      He married (1st) by license dated 13 October 1626, Jemima Waldegrave, 2nd daughter and co-heiress of Thomas Waldegrave, Esq., of Bures St. Mary, Suffolk, by Margaret, daughter and heiress of John Holmstead, Esq. She was baptized at Lawford, Essex in October 1602.

      They had three sons, Waldegrave, Herbert, and Nathaniel, and three daughters, Penelope (wife of [Gov.] Josiah Winslow), Jemima (wife of [Rev.] Samuel Kem), and Katherine (wife of _____ Clarke).

      As early as 1629, he agreed to invest in the Winthrop project of colonization with his father-in-law, Thomas Waldegrave. He and his family immigrated to New England in 1639, where they settled at Cambridge, Massachusetts.

      His wife Jemima died during or shortly after the crossing.

      He married (2nd) before 1640, Elizabeth Bosvile, widow of [Lieut. Col.] Roger Harlakenden, Esq. (died October 1638), of Earl's Colne, Essex and Cambridge, Massachusetts, and daughter of Geoffrey Bosvile, Esq., of Gunthwaite, Yorkshire, by Margaret, daughter of Edward Greville, Knight.

      They had four sons, Herbert, Edward, Gent., William, and Henry, and three daughters, Mary, Frances (wife of Jeremiah Stonnard), and Anne.

      He served as first Treasurer of Harvard College in 1643, and as Commissioner of the United Colonies in 1645. He was active with the Society for Promoting and Propagating the Gospel in New England.

      He returned to England in the Supply, 9 November 1646, and resided at Bures, Essex, on property inherited through his first wife. In 1654 he represented Essex in Cromwell's Puritan Parliament.

      His wife Elizabeth died shortly before 25 August 1659 (administration on her estate).

      Herbert Pelham, Esq., was buried at Bures, Essex 1 July 1674. He left a will dated 1 January 1672/3, proved 30 March 1676. [3]

  • Sources 
    1. [S23] NEHGS, website: www.americanancestors.org, The American Genealogist, vol. 18, pgs. 139-145.

    2. [S30] Great Migration Begins, The , Robert Charles Anderson, (New England Historic Genealogical Society, 101 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02116, 1995), ISBN 0-88082-044-6., 2025.

    3. [S67] Magna Carta Ancestry, Douglas Richardson, (Douglas Richardson, Salt Lake City, Utah), ISBN 1460992709., vol. IV, pg. 327.