Thomas Richards

M, #13884, b. 15 April 1596, d. 17 December 1650
Father*Thomas Richards1
ChartsBentley (maternal side) - Phoebe Meredith Frey
Marriage*BY 1620 Thomas Richards married Welthian Loring BY 1620 at Pitminister, Somersetshire, England.1 
Note*  Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-33 THOMAS RICHARDS ORIGIN: Pitminster, Somersetshire MIGRATION: 1633 FIRST RESIDENCE: Dorchester REMOVES: Weymouth 1639 RETURN TRIPS: To England about 1640, again 1646, again about 1649 (andperhaps on other occasions) OCCUPATION: Merchant. CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: Admission to Weymouth church prior to 13 May 1640implied by freemanship. FREEMAN: 13 May 1640 [MBCR 1:377]. EDUCATION: He signed his will. No doubt he was a competentarithmetrician, being a well-stocked merchant. OFFICES: Dorchester selectman, 8 October 1633 [DTR 3]. ESTATE: On 5 August 1633 Thomas Richards received a four acre lot atDorchester [DTR 2]. On 22 November 1634 'Mr. Richards' was granted agreat lot of six acres [DTR 9]. On 5 July 1636 he received a grant of tenacres at Squantum Neck [DTR 18]. On 2 January 1637/8 he was granted twoacres [DTR 26]. On 18 March 1637/8 he received grants of eleven acres andtwelve acres [DTR 29]. In the meadow beyond Naponset, Mr. Richardsreceived lot number eleven containing twelve acres [DTR 321]. In about 1640, Thomas Richards of Weymouth conveyed to Nicholas Butlertwelve acres on Dorchester neck [Lechford 243]. In his will, dated 17 December 1650 and proved 28 January 1650[/1],Thomas Richards 'of the town of Waymouth in New England being at thispresent [illegible] the 17 December 1650 in the town of Hull in NewEngland aforesaid in the house of Tho: Loringe, being weak and sick inbody' bequeathed that 'when my son John come home my whole estate shallbe cast up what it comes to and my sons John and James and Samuell andJoseph and Benjamine shall have all of them alike, double portions to mydaughters out of it, my son John shall have no more than one of the restbecause I have been at greater charge with him than with any of theotherThomas Richards'; 'my daughterThomas Richards Mary and Ann and Alce and Hannah shall havehalf so much as my sons all alike, only my daughter Mary shall have Ð10more than any of the other'; 'my wife shall have a competent andsufficient maintenance allowed her out of my estate, that is to say Ð35 ayear ... during her life'; 'I do give to brother Thom. Loring Ð5 for thecharge and trouble they have been at with me'; to 'Thomas Prosser Ð20';'my son John shall have my sons Joseph's and Benjamine's portions in hishands until they be twenty and one years of age'; overseers 'my son Johnand Thomas Loringe and Nicolas Baker both of Hull [sic]' [SPR NS 1:64;see also MD 9:90]. The heirs petitioned the court 28 January 1650[/1] explaining that'our dear father Mr. Thomas Richards' died without naming an executor inhis will, and petitioning that 'our dear mother Mrs. Welthian Richards,late wife of our dear father, deceased' be granted power to improve theestate and bring in an inventory. This was signed by 'James Richards,Joseph Richards, Benjamin Richards, Mr. Thomas Hinckley desires the sameby his letter, Mr. Wil[lia]m Bradford also desires the same by hisletter, Epharim Hunt and Hannah Richards.' The motion to accept came fromMr. John Richards [SPR 1:65 NS; MD 9:90]. The probate papers furtherindicated that Welthian had 'been very faithful and provident for herhusband conserning his estate' and that 'when he went last to England hemade her a letter of attorney to buy or sell or ordering of any of hisestate he left behind him here' [SPR NS 1:65]. The inventory of the goods of 'Mr. Thomas Richards late of Weymouth'was taken 25 January 1650[/1] Ð1300 17s. 11d. including Ð200 in realestate: 'his house & land and orchard and mill Ð200' [SPR NS 1:66-72].This very detailed list includes many items of clothing, obviously amerchant's stock, and 'thirty-six swords.' Widow Welthean Richards signed over the estate due him to her son JohnRichards 30 January 1651[/2] saying that 'after all the rest of my saidhusband's estate left to his children be made appear to be whollyexpended in the satisfying of those debts in England, that my said estateshall be liable to make up what shall be remaining unsatisfied thereof'[SLR 1:144]. Her children deeded to her the home, land and mill andsizable sums of money for her comfortable maintenance 30 January 1651[/2][SLR 1:171]. In her will, dated 3 July 1679 and proved 4 November 1679, 'WeltheanRichards of Boston ..., widow,' bequeathed to 'my eldest son JohnRichards all that my dwelling house & land adjoining scituate in Boston,'along with Ð300 of mine which has been in his hands; to 'my son JamesRichards' Ð250 of mine which has been in my hands; to Thomas Bradford Ð5,to Alice Bradford Ð60, to Hannah Bradford Ð40; to Mercy Bradford Ð10, toWilliam Bradford Jr. Ð20, to John Bradford Ð10, to Samuel Bradford Ð5, toMelatiah Bradford Ð5, to Mary Bradford Ð5, to Sarah Bradford Ð5, 'theseten above last named being children of William Bradford of PlimouthColony & my daughter Alice deceased'; to Samuel Hinckley Ð20, to ThomasHinckley Jr. Ð30, to Sarah Bacon Ð10, to Hannah Glover Ð5, to MellatiahCrocker Ð5, to Bathshua Hinckley Ð5, to Mehitable Hinckley Ð5, to MaryWyborne Ð5, 'these eight last mentioned being children of Thomas Hincklyof Plimouth Colony & my daughter Mary deceased'; to Ephraim Hunt and JohnHunt, 'sons to Ephraim hunt Sr. of Weymoth & my late daughter Anne,' Ð5apiece; to 'the daughter of Mary Wiborne abovesaid Ð5, & to her son Ð10;to the son of Hannah Glover Ð5; to John Bradford's two children Ð5 each;to Samuel Hinckley's child Ð5; to Sarah Bacon's two children Ð5 each; to'my son James's six children' 20s. apiece; to Thomas Hunt's two childrenÐ5 apiece; 'more to Alice & Hannah Bradford Ð5 each to put them inmourning at my funeral'; various philanthropic bequests and bequests ofhousehold goods to some of the children and grandchildren named above;'my loving son John Richards to be sole executor and residuary legatee[SPR 6:314-16; MD 9:91]. BIRTH: Baptized 15 April 1596, Pitminster, Somersetshire, son of ThomasRichards [UGM 24:93]. DEATH: Between 17 December 1650 (date of will) and 18 January 1650/1(date of first inventory). MARRIAGE: By 1620 Welthian _____. Perhaps she was sister to ThomasLoring, whom Thomas called 'brother' in his will. She died between 3 July1679 (date of will) and 4 November 1679 (probate of will). CHILDREN (i-vi baptized Pitminster, Somersetshire [UGM 24:92]): i MARY, bp. Pitminster 11 November 1620; m. Barnstable 4 December1641 Thomas Hinckley [PCR 8:44]. ii JOHN, bp. Pitminster 13 February 1625 [1624/5?]; in 1652/3 hismother considered matching him with Mr. William Tyng's eldest daughter[WP 6:268]; m. (1) Boston 3 May 1654 Elizabeth (Hawkins) (Long) Winthrop[BVR 48]; m. (2) Boston 1 September 1692 Ann Winthrop [Sewall 295]. iii ANN*, bp. Pitminster 1 November 1626; m. say 1643 Ephraim Hunt. iv ALICE, bp. Pitminster 7 April 1629 (d. Plymouth 12 December1671, aged 44 [PCR 8:33]); m. by 1650 as his first wife William Bradford,son of WILLIAM BRADFORD. v HANNAH, bp. Pitminster 26 October 1630; petitioned to name motheradministrator of father's will (28 January 1650/1), but not named inmother's will (3 July 1679); no further record. vi JAMES, bp. Pitminster 13 September 1632; m. say 1655 as herfirst husband Sarah Gibbons [WP 6:451]. vii SAMUEL, b. say 1634; named in father's will but not mother's;'consider the trouble that I have with Sammuell for he is such a troublethat none will share with me in, and if I put him out it will cost me somuch that I cannot well bear' (Welthian Richards to her son John, 20March 1652/3 [WP 6:268]). viii JOSEPH, b. say 1636 (under 21 in 1650); petitioned to namemother administrator of father's will (28 January 1650/1), but not namedin mother's will (3 July 1679); no further record. ix BENJAMIN, b. say 1638 (under 21 in 1650); m. Boston 10 October1661 Hannah Hudson [BVR 82]. ASSOCIATIONS: On 26 March 1654 Thomas Allyn of Barnstable deposedregarding a trip which he had made to England five years earlier, duringwhich he had sought out Hugh Norman, a former resident of Yarmouth inPlymouth Colony who had abandoned his wife in Yarmouth, returned toEngland and was living in Orchard, a parish near Taunton, Somersetshire.In the course of this deposition Allyn reported that, 'having understoodthat Mr. Richards lived thereabouts, I went unto him he being his cousinand brought him over to New England, so he told me of his wickedness andhis bad life he then lived in.' This document was followed immediately byan undated deposition by Thomas Richards, also reporting on what he knewof Hugh Norman [MD 6:102-03, citing PCLR 2:1:105; see also NEHGR 68:62].Assuming that the deposition of Thomas Richards was made at the timeabout which Allyn was reporting, this would place Thomas Richards in thevicinity of Taunton in England in 1649, probably on his last trip toEngland before his death. This does not constitute proof that Richardsresided in this part of England before he first migrated to New England,but it is certainly a clue which should be vigorously pursued. COMMENTS: In about 1638 Aspinwall recorded the receipt of Ð100 by IsraelStoughton from Thomas Richards in payment of a debt due Gabriel Cornishof Weymouth and Melcomb Regis, Dorsetshire [Lechford 159-60; WP4:133-34]. About 1640, Joseph Hollway of Sandwich, millwright, deposed that 'inor about March last past he heard the wife of Thomas Richards of Weymouthspeaking of Henry Waltham & Willm Waltham say these words vizt TheWalthams are cozeners & cheaters' [Lechford 321]. Henry Waltham told hisside of the story to John Winthrop in a letter dated 25 January 1640/1,indicating that Mrs. Richards behaved in a fashion 'unbeseeming a modestwoman's carriage' [WP 4:310]. Lechford also recorded an undated (circa1640) action by Henry Waltham against 'Thomas Richards and Welthin hiswife ... for the division of one dwelling house belonging to the mill inWeymouth' [Lechford 351]. The general court ruled that Welthia, the wife of Thomas Richards ofWaymoth, was to enjoy rent from Mr. Waltham's part of the house until'her husband return, (if he return this summer)' [MBCR 1:313]. Mrs. Richards brought her maid Edye White to John Winthrop forcorrection. Among the charges against the maid was that she was'discovering the secrets of the family, one thing she confessed about amaid that drank too much there' [WP 4:232]. On 5 December 1646 Ephraim Hunt of Weymouth, blacksmith, appointedThomas Richards of Weymouth his lawful attorney to 'take possession &seisin of certain lands in Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire formerly thepossessions & lands of John Hunt of Winchmore Hill in Agmondsham parish'[Aspinwall 50]. On 2 January 1649[/50] once more on his way to England, Mr. ThomasRichards gave a letter of attorney to Welthian his wife to act in allmatters on his behalf [Aspinwall 273]. In 1653/4 Welthian Richards was threatened with the charge ofwitchcraft, having in the heat of passion threatened terrible thingswould happen to those she was angered at, they later falling victim tovarious unpleasant fates. Thomas Thacher, writing in her behalf to JohnWilson and others from Weymouth 27 February 1653/4, indicated that shetook Christian care of her children and that 'God hath so blessed [them]that five or six of them have approved themselves to one church or other,and been readily entertained into their fellowship. Three of whom are nowasleep in Jesus. Three survive. One more with us gives great hope of athorough work on his heart' [WP 6:362]. Her case does not seem to havebeen brought forward.1 
Christening*15 April 1596 He was christened on 15 April 1596 at Pitminister, Somersetshire, England.1 
Death*17 December 1650 He died on 17 December 1650 at Weymouth, Massachusetts, at age 54.1 


Welthian Loring
Last Edited14 Jan 2004


  1. [S170] Gedcom file by Debora J Krauss Franklin (see her record for more).