Richard BUSHROD (1576-1628)

Habadasher & Merchant Adventurer of Dorchester

[Note:- also spelt in records as:- Bushrodd; Bushrode; Bashrode; Bushrok; Bushroodes; Bushrot - Richardus]
©Compiled by Michael Russell OPC for Fordington March 2009 - Last updated January 2017

Sherborne Abbey

Where Richard Bushrod was baptised in 1576
© Copyright Mike Searle and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence.

1. His Parents
His father was John BUSHROD (d.1590) Senior a husbandman who operated a smallholding at Sherborne where he lived with his family. We know from his Will that they were reasonably comfortable by standards of the day as they had at least 8 acres of ground on which they grew their own wheat, maize, barley and a crop called dredge which was a mixture of different types of corn like wheat and barley but often included oats. They had an old wayne or cart and had at least one heifer, 24 sheep and some ewes which were probably grazed on the village common.

He also had an uncle, his fathers brother Henry BUSHROD (d.1614) a yeoman who lived at Tarrent Crawford in Dorset who died in 1614. He left a will (PROB 11/124) dated 10th Sep 1612 which was proved on 12th July 1614 in which he asked to be buried in the churchyard at Tarrent Crawford and left bequests to the children of Robert Bushrod (1580-1610) and to Margeri Bushrod (b1582/3) the children of his deceased brother John (see 5 & 6 immediately below) .

His father had married his mother Margery nee FELTONS in Sherborne Abbey on 7th Oct 1571 (2) when the ceremony was in all probability carried out by the resident vicar Revd. George Holman (d.1580) . At least six children were born from the marriage, the four survivors being named in John's will which was proved in 1590. They were all baptised in Sherborne Abbey:-
    (1) John Bushroodes [Bushrod] (b.1572) bap 16th August 1572; son and heir who inherited the smallholding from his father in 1590. His children appear to be a beneficiaries under his Uncle Henry Bushrode's will in 1614 where he is referred to as John Bushrode late of Sherborne and they are left £5 each when they are 21.

    (2) Richardus Bushrod (1575-1575/6) bap 22 May 1575 and buried at Sherborne 29 Feb 1575/6

    (3) Richardus Bushrodd (1576/7-1628) bap 3rd Feb 1576/7. He is the main beneficiary and executor of his uncle Henry Bushrode's will in 1614 when he is referred to as Richard Bushrode of Dorchester. . (subject of biography see Section 3 below)

    (4) William Bushrod (1578-1578) bap 10th Aug 1578 and buried at Sherborne 17th same month

    (5) Robert Bushrot [Bushrod] (1580-1610) bap 15th May 1580; he was left £5, ten sheep and a silver spoon in his fathers will in 1590. He lived in Castleton, a parish which surrounds most of Sherborne, where he worked as a cordwainer and died at the young age of 30 in 1610. There is a grant of administration concerning his estate at the Wiltshire Archives with an inventory of his goods which we need to obtain but their website is currently (Aug 2015) being revised and copies of wills are not likely to be available until next year. Robert obviously married and had at least 3 children. They are referred to in two wills. His uncle Henry Bushrod's will in 1614 leaves £30 to 'Henry Bushrode the son of Robert Bushrode of Sherborne lately deceased to be paid at the age of one and twenty years, '. A second bequest leaves £20 to each of Robert's other two sons but they are not named. Henry receiving the larger amount probably meant he was the eldest and possibly named after his uncle. We do know the name of one of the other sons as Richard Bushrod (1576/7-1628)'s will in 1628 states "I give to my brother Robert BUSHROD his son William BUSHROD the sum of twenty pounds more than the legacy given him by my uncle Henry BUSHROD late deceased of Craford [i.e. Tarrant Crawford] "

    (6) Margeri [Margery] Bushrod (b.1582/3) bap 16th March 1582/3 she was left £6. 13s 4d in her fathers will in 1590 and married aged 15 to Robert Rapsey in Sherborne on 13th June 1597. She is a beneficiary under her uncle Henry Bushrode's will in 1614 when she is described as being of Taunton when she received £20 to be paid seven years after his decease but the interest in the meantime employed for her benefit.
John BUSHROD Senior was buried at Sherborne Abbey on 26th March 1590 and Richard's elder brother John BUSHROD Junior was to inherit most of their fathers estate (see transcription of will in the next section below). Richard and his brother Robert receiving five pounds of lawful English money, ten sheep and a silver spoon each. Second and third sons of families like this were often apprenticed into suitable trades and they had to be between the ages of 10 and 18. Richard was 13 when his father died and if not already apprenticed Margery would have arranged for his indentures as we know he became a haberdasher by trade operating in Dorchester. His younger brother Robert was only just 10 when his father died and he appears to have become a cordwainer operating in Castleton a parish which virtually surrounds Sherborne. His sister Margery then only 7 years old had a higher cash sum of six pounds thirteen shillings and four pence but no other bequests and as can be seen above was married at the young age of 15. John's widow Margerie died just before the turn of the century being buried at Sherborne on 1st Nov 1599.

2. John BUSHROT [BUSHROD] Senior's Will
Dated 17th March 1589/90 - buried at Sherborne Abbey on  26 Mar 1590 - Probate 5th May 1590.
Ref: PROB 11/75

In the name of God Amen the seventeenth day of March in the two and thirtieth year (3) of the reign of our Sovereign Lady Elizabeth by the grace of God Queen of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, I Johannis [John] BUSHROT [BUSHROD] of Sherborne in the County of Dorset Husbandman being sick in body but perfect of remembrance thanks be given unto Almighty God do make and ordain this my Last Will and Testament in manner and form following that is to say

First: I do bequeath into ye hands of the Almighty my soul which he of his fatherlie goodness gave unto me when as he fashioned me in my mothers womb

And as to my body I commend it to the earth from whence it came knowing that in the last day I shall receive yet again perfect and immortal life to the glorious body of Jesus Christ

Impremis: I give unto my son John two acres of wheat; two acres of mescaine?; two acres of Barley; two acres of dredge; my old wayne with furniture to the same; a little heifer; a featherbed which was my fathers; ten sheep, two platters; two pottingers; two saucers; a cauldron that was my fathers; a Silver spoon and all my wearing apparel saving my best cloak to be delivered unto him within three years next after my decease. But if my wife Margerye, whom I will make my executrix, shall happen to contract herself in marriage within the said three years that then the said portion to be taken from my said executrix by my overseers and they to keep it to the use of my said son until the three years be full ended and then to deliver it unto my said son (4).

Item: I do give unto my son Richard five pounds of lawful English money; ten sheep and a Silver spoon to be delivered at his day of marriage or at the age of twenty one years.

Item: I do give unto my son Robert five pounds of lawful English money; ten sheep and a Silver spoon to be delivered in such sort as last before rehearsed

Item: I give unto my daughter Margery six pounds and thirteen shillings and four pence of Lawful English money to be delivered as is aforesaid.

Item: I do give unto Charles WHIFFEN two sheep

Item: I do give unto my godson John WAYE two sheep

Item: I do give unto Luce DOWLE two children the ewes

Item: I do give John YETMAN three shillings four pence

Item: I do give unto the Parish Church of Sherborne two shillings

Item: My will is that if Margery my wife shall happen to marry or contract herself in marriage within three years next after my decease that then such portion or portions as I have given unto Richard, Robert and Margery my children then my overseers shall take all such portions into their hands and use it to the preferment of my said children until the time of their marriages or one and twenty years of age as is aforesaid.

And: if any of my said children do decease before the time of receiving their said legacy that then such portion or portions shall remain unto those of my children that then shall be living to be equally divided among them.

All: the rest of my goods not before given nor bequeathed as well moveable and unmovable I do give unto Margery my wife whom I do make whole [sole] executrix of this My Last Will and Testament.

And: I do appoint John CUPPER, John WYNNYFFE, William MORRIS and Henry BUSHROT [BUSHROD] my brother to be overseers of this my Last Will and Testament and for their pains I do give them four pence a piece. Witnessed to this same John YETMAN; Anthonye INNHAM; Henry BUSHROT [BUSHROD]

Proved in London 5th day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand five hundred and ninety before Thomas LOVELL public notary by Margerie relict and executrix of the deceased.

3. Richard BUSHROD (1575-1628)

As outlined in section 1 above Richard BUSHROD was baptised at Sherborne Abbey on 3rd Feb 1576/7 and in his youth would have served an apprenticeship as earliest records (1.14) refer to him as a haberdasher of hats and local bye laws typically required a 7 or 10 year apprenticeship with a Master before becoming a freeman and being allowed to trade within the borough. In all probability this would have been served in Dorchester where the trade was more prevalent and he would have been well known around the town by the time he gained his freedom towards the very end of the century. Unfortunately we will never know for sure as Apprenticeship records only survive from 1613 and Freemen membership records from 1621.

Dorchester at the turn of the century was a prosperous trading community, a good place for a young man with a bit of capital to make his way in the world. With it's close proximity to the significant trading port of Weymouth (1.10) and sitting on the junction of a major crossroads to Exeter, Sherborne and the other large port of Poole he was ideally situated and he quickly prospered and gained a position of prominence in the town. When John Roper a gentleman of Dorchester wrote his will on 8th Feb 1597 he thought sufficiently well of the young 22 year old Richard to leave him 10 shillings, usefully referring to him as 'Richard Bushrode the hatter' a phrase he would not have used if he was not already a freeman trading in the town.

4. Marriage c 1604 - to Dorothy WATTS (d.1627)

Around the year 1604 Richard Bushrod married Dorothy WATTS (d.1627) the daughter of John Watts Senior of Dorchester (1.4 & 1.5) . We are denied knowledge of the actual date as they would have married in her parish which was St Peters and none of the parish registers survive prior to 1653. They settled to live in Holy Trinity Parish however and as shown in Section 11 below they had eleven children there between 1605 and 1626.
    Her father John WATTS Senior (d.1627) was a well established and prosperous merchant in Dorchester and a member of the Corporation. We know he owned a house behind South street adjoining the backside of the 'Antelope' as this was one of the 170 houses or so that were destroyed in the great fire at Dorchester in 1613. He had two children that I know of, John and Dorothy. When his son John Watts junior became a Freeman of Dorchester on 12th January 1625/6 he gave his trade as that of a haberdasher so perhaps they were both apprenticed to John Watts Senior. According to Rose-Troup in her biography 'John White the Founder of Massachusetts' , "Richard Bushrod had numerous dealings in connection with his trading in New England with a 'John WATTS of Dorchester' who sailed to Cape Ann and was later accused of stealing salt from one of the islands offshore". It's fairly clear therefore that Richard Bushrod developed his trading with New England with his brother-in-law whom he named as one of the executors of his will.
    There is an entry in William Whiteway's diary for the 22nd November 1627 which reads ' The 22nd hereof died Mr John WATS, and the 30th hereof died his daughter Mrs BUSHRODE'. The Parish registers for Holy Trinity confirm that John WATTS was buried on the 23rd November followed by Dorothy the wife of Richard Bushrod on 4th December 1627. Richard therefore lost his wife and father-in-law in the space of 11 days.
Richard and Dorothy's first child Thomas was baptised at Holy Trinity by the curate Richard Everard in June 1605 (1.8). The following November a new Rector was appointed by the King and the Revd John WHITE (1574/5-1648) arrived in Dorchester in late summer of 1606 and started to spread his vision of a 'Godly Community' throughout the town. Not everyone immediately warmed to John White and we find the names of the existing churchwardens (John Baylie and Henry Edwards) disappear from the parish registers in 1607 and only John White's signature is evident on returns for the next couple of years. By July 1610 however the churchwardens have been replaced by Richard Bushrod and Jo. Perkins. Richard was still serving as Churchwarden at the end of 1611 but was by then partnered by the wealthy baker Henry CORBIN (1564-1654).

5. The Great Fire of Dorchester - 1613

The Great Fire of Dorchester occurred on 6th August 1613, destroyed about half the town, two of the main churches and most of the civic buildings (1.4). This crisis forever established John White's reputation in the town as he tirelessly fought to bring relief to the destitute and raise the funds necessary for rebuilding. David Underdown in his book Fire from Heaven says:-
    "The result was a sort of spiritual mass conversion. After the great crisis of the fire came the recognition that what was needed was a total reformation of the town. Fanned by the eloquent preaching of John White, the new civic spirit was to turn Dorchester from a run-of-the-mill provincial backwater into the most 'puritan' town in England".
It's not clear whether Richard's own house was among the 170 houses destroyed by the fire, but we know from the Will left by John Green, and Municipal records that survive, that both John White's and his father-in-law John Watts houses were both lost. Inspired by John White, Richard worked with other leading members of the Corporation, not only to restore the town, but take forward their vision for the future.

6. MP for Dorchester - 1614 - 1624 and 1626

Following the fire It's no co-incidence that the very next representative of the town in Parliament in 1614 was John White's 38 year old churchwarden Richard Bushrod (1.13) The other MP returned for Dorchester that year was Sir Frances Ashley JP (1569-1635) so it's easy to see that by this date he is moving in the very top circles of the ruling elite in Dorchester. According to John Hutchins, Richard Bushrod was to be returned to Parliament a second time for Dorchester during the 21st year of the reign of James I (3) when he accompanied William Whiteway Senior (1570-1640) and for a third time during the 2nd Parliament of the reign of Charles I . His Parliamentary Career for these last two appearances is more accurately portrayed on the History of Parliament website (1.9) which states:-
    "Bushrod was returned for Dorchester to the 1624 Parliament, but contributed little to its proceedings. Appointed on 22 Mar. to help scrutinize the clerical leases bill, he also exercised his right as a Dorset Member to attend the committee for the bill to settle the customs of Beaminster Secunda manor. However, his primary concern was probably the bill to relieve the members of the London Feltmakers’ Company from the effects of a decree in Chancery. On 14 Apr. he complained in the House about the recent arrest of the Feltmakers’ master, ensuring that this matter was referred to the committee for courts of justice. Named to the bill’s committee on 30 Apr., he attended four of its meetings. He also tendered a proviso to the bill for free fishing in North American waters, but this was rejected (3 May). Bushrod did not serve in the first Caroline Parliament, but recovered his seat in 1626, when he also attended the disputed Dorset election, held at Dorchester. On 17 Feb. he confirmed in the Commons that some of the supporters of John Browne II* had been prevented from voting. Three days later Michael Humfrey, Dorchester’s junior Member, successfully claimed privilege for one of Bushrod’s servants, who had been arrested at Weymouth, Dorset. Bushrod showed a keen interest in the case of the St. Peter of Le Havre, twice commenting on goods reportedly removed from the ship after its controversial arrest in England (23 Feb. and 1 March). Perhaps on this account, he was named on 22 Mar. to help consider defects in the Navy. In his final speech, on the following day, he argued against rushing into a debate on supply, apparently because he wanted more time for Members to digest the Crown’s financial demands, which had just been outlined by Sir John Coke."
7. Founding of the Dorchester Hospital - 1616 (1.13)

In 1616 John White as a part of his godly reformation set about dealing with the great numbers of poor and needy people who lived by begging and idleness in the town. He turned to the wealthy members of the Corporation and asked for their support in this endeavour and quickly established a fund to enable them to purchase property. In typical fashion John White himself chipped in £10 from his rather meager stipend and Richard Bushrod generously gave £24. The Bailiff William Whiteway senior was the most generous contributing £75 and the rich widow Joan Gould gave £66. 13s. 4d. Two of the capital burgesses John Gould the elder and John Parkins contributed £60 and £40 respectively and the Recorder of Dorchester Sir Francis Ashley gave £20.

Having established a fund these major contributors (including Richard Bushrod) purchased on behalf of the Corporation six messuages which lay together on the West side of High South Street. I have marked their location with the Letter 'H' on the black and white copy at the bottom of John Speed's 1611 map of Dorchester. These six houses were converted to form 'The Dorchester Hospital and working house for the relief and setting to work of 50 poor children of the borough'.

John White's schemes were always well founded and to guarantee it's future he made collections each year and encouraged the rich to make a bequest or grant annuities to the Hospital in their Wills. His success in this regard is recorded by John Hutchins. The surplus raised in this way was invested in establishing a brewhouse, the profits from which went back to support the hospital. Whilst on the face of it today this may seem strange for a puritan preacher things were very different in the 17th century. Water was not safe to drink so the vast majority drank ale. The first and strongest mash was generally for men, the second brewing was weaker and usually drunk by women, the third and weakest mash was drunk by children. By making a quality brew available at reasonable prices within the town John White was primarily trying to improve the health of the poor and guarantee a permanent income to the hospital.

Having set the Hospital on a firm financial footing the corporation employed a discreet man and a sober women to oversee and instruct the children. Whilst their education was no doubt basic and the skills they were taught straightforward it was a significant improvement and the numbers of destitute beggars around Dorchester decreased significantly.

8. Bailiff of the Dorchester - 1617, 1624 and 1627 (1.13)
Made Capital Burgess - 1623/4

Throughout this period Richard Bushrod was steadily adding to his wealth and influence and expanding his business interests. We know from Hutchins that he was first elected Bailiff of Dorchester with Richard Blachford in 1617 and from William Whiteway's Diary that they were both chosen together again on 2nd Oct 1621 to serve for the following year. On 26th January 1623/4 Richard was made a capital burgess of Dorchester.

On the 30th January however there was another serious fire in Dorchester which broke out in a malthouse owned by John Adyn, it quickly spread and destroyed about 30 houses in Holy Trinity Parish. This time however relief for the survivors was quickly arranged with some of the homeless being given beer, cheese, other victuals and small sums of money the following day. As before a fund was established and a collection by John White at St Peters Church the following Sunday raised nearly £58. They eventually raised £555 but this took time to bring in with 14 counties for example making a contribution. On 14th April 1623 Richard Bushrod brought in £100 which he said was "to be lent unto those that had lost by the late fyre" but was to be repaid midsummer next out of the monies that shall come in by the collection. Whether he was repaid or not we do not know but he lived in Holy Trinity Parish so could have been affected himself.

As mentioned in section 6 above he was elected MP for Dorchester in 1626. His third and final year as Bailiff also came that year when he was elected again on 2nd Oct 1626 (1.11) . With his increasing prosperity Richard steadily purchased properties elsewhere in Dorset but the only place I have managed to identify so far is Glanvilles Wootton which is mentioned in his will. He had been a merchant adventurer for many years however by 1624, investing in the fur trade and fishing for Cod in New England. The fish was salted and together with a variety of cured pelts brought back to be sold on the continent where the fish & furs fetched a higher price. He then bought dowlis, treager and other types of linen cloth which he imported via Weymouth. This triangular trading proved very profitable

9. The Dorchester Company 1624-1626

A strong supporter of the puritan movement and the ideals espoused by John White his knowledge of New England and the opportunities it presented was crucial to what followed. White persuaded him that a colony could be formed of the surplus men required for fishing who were then employed to double man his ships. They formed a plan to leave them on the coast subsisting off the land and growing crops so that they would become self sufficient and be able to rejoin the fishing fleet next season.

John White felt that this could form the nucleus for a larger colony and a refuge for those persecuted for their religion, both from those wishing to leave the separatists at Plymouth and from England. They together with other like minded friends and traders came together to take the issue forward and formed the Dorchester Company so Richard Bushrod was one of its founding and most influential members. He acted as their representative in applying for the necessary authority for a patent to settle a plantation in New England which was granted by the Council for New England on 18th February 1622/3 (5 & 6) .

We have a small insight into the trading being done when the ‘Amytie’ and the ‘Fellowship’ two ships employed by the Dorchester company return from New England on 1st August and the 15th September 1625. They bring with them ‘dry fish, corfish [codfish] , train oil, quarters of oak and skins of Fox, racons [raccoons] , martyn’s [pine marten], otter, muskuatche [muskrat], and beaver’ and are unloaded by Richard Bushrod and William Derby. Even after some of his business ventures, and the Dorchester Company failed in 1626 Richard persisted with John White and others in setting up the foundations for, and was listed as a member of, the New England Company (1627-1628).

On the 11th April 1628 Soldiers which had been billeted in Dorset were sent to Plymouth on their way to the siege of La Rochelle under the command of the Earle of Denbigh. Unfortunately they were left behind and returned to Dorset again. 23 of these were due to return to Dorchester, but were refused entry. Richard Bushrod was named as the main cause of the resistance to re-billiting. However a sympathetic commission of enquiry into his conduct consisting of Sir Thomas Trenchard, Sir John Brewen, John Browne and Henry Drak Esq concluded in May that he had simply disputed the authority of the billeting warrants.
10. Death and Will - 1628

Unfortunately Richard BUSHROD only outlived his wife and father-in-law by 7 months and died at the age of 52 on 1st July 1628 (1.11) . I would have expected him to be buried at Holy Trinity Church with his wife and father-in-law but he is not in the parish register so was probably interred at St Peters as he gave his executors discretion over where he was to be buried in his will which I have transcribed below.

Will of Richard BUSHROD Haberdasher of Dorchester
Dated 10th June 1626 - Codicil dated 28 June 1628 - Died 1 July 1628 - Will proved 3rd Jan 1628

Ref PROB 11/155

In the name of God Amen: I Richard BUSHROD of Dorchester in the County of Dorset Haberdasher being in perfect health and memory do make and ordain this my Last Will and Testament in manner and form following

First: I bequeath my soul into the hands of my most merciful God and loving father that gave it me and redeemed it by the blood of his dear son my only Saviour whose merits I assure myself of that glorious inheritance that the Lord hath of his free mercie granted to all the faithful As to my body I do appoint to be buried according to the discretion of my executors for my estate that God hath blessed me withall I appoint to be divided and bestowed as followeth

Unto: my Executors Mr John WHITE Clerk, Mr William WHITEWAY the elder merchant, Mr William DERBY Gentleman of Dorchester, Mr Henry MANIFORD of Long Suton Town? and my brother John WATTS the haberdasher the sum of Forty shillings servant money during their natural lives and after the decease of them or any of them forever unto such persons as by them or the greatest part of them shall be successively named or chosen forty shillings per annum to be paid to them or to their assigns yearly out of my lands in Glandfield & Wooten als Wooten Glandfield at the feast of Annunciation of the Virgin Mary [Note: 25th March] and St Michael the Archangel [Note 29th September] by several portions which rent charge or annuity I will and appoint to be employed by them or the greater part of them or their assigns to such charitable uses as shall be then the most convenient.

And: if the said sum of forty shillings be behind and unpaid by the space of forty days after such forty days as it ought to be paid Then the owner of the said lands shall forfeit for such default twenty shillings by distress or other means.

Item: I give and devise to my said executors and their heirs and assigns forever one annuity or yearly rent charge of forty shillings by the year to be issuing and growing and to be pertained and taken at the Feast of St Michael the Archangel yearly and out of my messuage & tenements lands and grounds and appurtenances situate at Wooton Glandfield als Glandfield Wooten within the County of Dorset for and towards the better and more comfortable maintenance of the Schoolmaster of the 'Free School' in Dorchester aforesaid the said annuity to commence and begin at such Feast of St Michael the Archangel and shall next happen after there shall be as many Capital Burgesses of the Borough of Dorchester in the County of Dorset as there be others dwelling out of the said Borough that shall be Ffeoffee of the Schoolhouse and lands belonging thereto and not before

Item: I give to the poor of each Parish in Dorchester Forty shillings to be distributed by the Overseers of each Parish in Clothes for them.

Item: I give unto my son John BUSHROD the sum of five hundred pounds I do give to my daughter Anne BUSHROD three hundred and fifty pounds to be paid in some living for her and her children if the Lord do bless her with any I do give unto my son Samuel Three hundred pounds I do give to my son Richard two hundred and fifty pounds I do give unto my daughter Elizabeth two hundred and fifty pounds I do give unto my daughter Dorothie two hundred and fifty pounds and all these sums to be paid unto them in manner and form following All my sons portions on the day of marriage or the age of twenty four years All my daughters at the day of marriage or the age of one and twenty years which shall first happen and in the meantime the monies shall be employed? for their better maintenance and training? of them up in learning?

Item: I give to my brother Robert BUSHROD his son William BUSHROD the sum of twenty pounds more than the legacy given him by my uncle Henry BUSHROD late deceased of Craford [i.e. Tarrant Crawford] my will is that my executors shall give good security? for the performance? of this will and legacies therein before he shall be possessed of this my estate and be admitted hereunto unto my Overseers

Item: I do give all my lands household stuff goods moveable and unmovable unto my son Thomas BUSHROD whom I make my whole and sole executor of this my Last Will and Testament

The 10th day of June Anno Domini 1626

The 28th day of June Anno Domini 1628 I Richard BUSHROD of Dorchester in the County of Dorset haberdasher being sick and weak of body but good and perfect memory I praise my God and having already made my Last Will and Testament do now further declare in my will which I appoint to be added to my Last will as a codicil in manner and form following

Vizt: that whereas I have already ordained and appointed my son Thomas to be executor of my said will, I do now will and ordaine that my said son before he does my said will, shall enter into bonds to my loving friends whom I have already nominated and appointed to be overseers of my said will, in the sum of two thousand pounds well and truly to perform my said will and to pay in unto them or to the survivor or survivors of them within six months next: after they or the survivor or survivors of them shall require on demand the same such and to raise of the legacies in or by my said will given or bequeathed to the ( benefit??) of my children as my said friends or ye survivor or survivors of them shall appoint to be by them employed or disposed for the use and benefit of this to them I give by my said will given or bequeathed the same lagacies which my said son shall so pay in

Also: I give to the town of Shafton in the county of Dorset the sum of fifty pounds of lawful money of England towards the building of a schoolhouse there to be paid within three months next after the foundation of the same school shall be paid

Also: I give and bequeath over and above the money which I have given to good uses by my said will fifty pounds of lawful money of England to be paid to my said overseers within 12 months after my death and to be then employed and bestowed to such good use as overseers and they the survivors of them or the majority of them shall think fit.

Also: I do appoint for the maintenance of all my said children except my executor to whom I have by my said will given, any legacy shall be had and raised out of the benefit of their said legacies until the same legacies shall be paid

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand the day and year above said in the presence of Richard BUSHROD signed and published in the presence of :-


Probate: of this written testament with a codicil was granted at London before William James doctor at law surrogate of Henry Martin doctor of law of the prerogative court of Canterbury on the third day of the month of January Anno domini one thousand six hundred twenty eight

11. Children Baptised Holy Trinity Church Dorchester (1605-1626)

Richard and Dorothy had the following children. All those shown as living at Richards death are mentioned in his will. Where I have some additional confirmation I have commented in brackets in italics.

(1) Thomas BUSHROD [1605-1677] Baptised 12 June 1605 at Holy Trinity Church in Dorchester:

      He married Wilmot PARKINS the sister-in-law of William WHITEWAY the diarist on 21 July 1629, presumably at St Peters where records do not survive, but their marriage is recorded in William Whiteway's diary. Thomas was admitted as a Freeman of Dorchester on 7 Jan 1629/30 by which time he is described as a merchant. Whiteway's diary also states against their marriage that 'he went bankrupt within a year and a half'.They nevertheless had a son John Bushrod baptised at Holy Trinity on the 9th September 1632. He is referred to in William Whiteway's diary as being born on 31 Aug 1632 but he died on 1 April 1633 and was buried at Holy Trinity Church the next day. There may have been complications with the birth because his wife Wilmot died on 21 April 1633 and was buried 2 days later. Thomas emigrated to New England arriving about 1635 and was a beneficiary under his brother Samuel's will in 1647. He married again to a Mary Piersey in York Virginia about 1656 and later to Elizabeth Nowell in 1661. He died there 24 April 1677.

(2) John BUSHROD [1606/7 - Bef 1612] Baptised 8 Jan 1606/7 Holy Trinity Dorchester, died pre 1612 (See 4 below) he may have been buried at St Peters.

(3) Anne BUSHROD - Baptised 21 April 1608 Holy Trinity Dorchester, She married Rev. Samuel WHITFEILD [WHITFELDE] the rector of All Saints church in Dorchester in her own parish church of Holy Trinity on 24 Apr 1628. Unfortunately Samuel became ill and died on the 5th July 1628. They had a posthumous daughter named Mary Whitfield baptised at Holy Trinity on 15th March 1628/9 and she was living in 1646 when she is mentioned as a potential beneficiary under the will of Samuel Bushrod (para 6 below) . Ann now a widow is said to have remarried on 21 May 1631 to a Mr Marshall and Ann is the 'sister Marshall' also referred to in Samuel's Will.

(4) John BUSHROD [1612-1683/4] The Elder - Baptised 23 April 1612 Holy Trinity Dorchester.

      It is difficult to know exactly when John was born as we have a large gap between the baptism of his sister Anne in 1608 and his own baptism here in 1612. We do however have a nice steady progression in births from the outset, apart from this gap, and the most likely explanation is that Dorothy lost a pregnancy around the year 1610. On the face of it therefore I have had to assume that John was only about 14 or 15 when he married Mary TILSED in St John the Baptist's church at Bere Regis on 4th day of October 1626 (7).

      There is a further indication that John Bushrode was very young when he married as 15 days after the wedding on 19th Oct 1626 he is admitted as a full member of the Company of Freemen. His membership entry however unusually has a side note that he was still 'apprenticed to the clothier John DALE '. Normally admission to the Company was reserved until after they had served their apprenticeship which would not have started until he was at least 10 years old and typically lasted for 7 or even 10 years. Some Apprenticeship records for Dorchester survive from 1613 and have been listed in the Municipal Records but it is not clear how complete these are. Two apprentices for John Dale the Clothier are recorded in 1619 and 1622 but not one for John Bushrod? I think his elevation may have been because of ill health in his family as his youngest sibling was born that year and his maternal grandfather John Watt's and his mother Dorothy both died in 1627 followed by his father in 1628 so he was probably having to help run his fathers business with his elder brother Thomas. His brother Thomas ends up emigrating to New England c1635 so he may have been away in 1626 dealing with their business interests in France or New England, leaving John in charge at Dorchester. By 1635 when Thomas emigrated John Bushrod was already well established in the Corporation in Dorchester, and given the triangular trading of Cod and furs from New England to France and continental goods to Dorchester carried out by the family, it makes a great deal of business sense, but we are getting ahead of ourselves.

      After marriage at Bere Regis John brought Mary to Dorchester where they settled initially to live in Holy Trinity Parish. The following year Mary gave birth to a son :-

        (4.1) John Bushrod (1627-1670/1) the younger who was baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 16th Dec 1627. It is also difficult to follow his career because of the interruption of the Civil War (1642-1651) and disruption to the church records during the Parliamentary period. He appears to have married a Catherine some time after the end of the war. She may well have been a native of Dorchester as it was traditional to marry in the brides parish and parish records for All Saints and St Peters have not survived prior to 1653 and those for Fordington are missing for the entire period 1640 to 1663. We know of Catherine from her burial at All Saints church in Dorchester on 24th July 1667 when she is recorded as "Cathren the wife of John BUSHROD yunyer" [i.e. the younger] tragically she probably died of the plague as there was great mortality that year. When records for All Saints parish commence in December 1653 we have three children which appear to relate to the family:-

          (4.1.1) Mary Bushrod luckily recorded as 'Mary the daughter of John Bushrod the younger' was born on 26th Sep 1656 and baptised at All Saints Church on 10th Nov 1656
          (4.1.2) Elizabeth Bushrod born and baptised at All Saints Parish on 27th Nov 1658 recorded as the daughter of John Bushrod. probably buried All Saints 4th Dec 1671
          (4.1.3) George Bushrod recorded as the son of John Bushrod he was baptised at All Saints Church during Nov 1662.

        It was traditional to name your first children after the parents so Mary at paragraph (4.1.1) above might well have been the first girl born to the couple, but I think there was an earlier son named John after his father who died as there is a burial record at All Saints Church for John BUSHROD Junior on 24th Nov 1670.

      John Bushrod and Mary may well have had other children as when his brother Samuel died in 1646 he left £200 to his daughter Martha but in the event of her death £20 of the £200 was to go to 'ye children of my brother John Bushrod which shall be living at my decease'. The others may be missing because they appear to have moved to live in All Saints parish (where records only survive from 1653) as Mary recorded as the wife of John Bushrod the Elder was buried at All Saints Church on 5th Feb 1654/5.

      Returning to his career after marriage, John soon became an enthusiastic constable for Dorchester being elected in both 1631 and 1632 and is often referred to in both William Whiteway's diary and 'Fire from Heaven'. He is recorded as a clothier by trade and assistant governor of the Company of Freemen in 1633 and was elected a Capital Burgess on 4 Sep 1639 to replace John Blatchford who had been absent in France for 3 years. He was elected Bailiff of Dorchester in 1640 and took on the Stewardship of the Brewhouse when Benjamin Devenish died in 1643. He was named as one of the executors of the will of John Allambridge, a wealthy clothier of Dorchester when he wrote his will on 31st Oct 1644, which he proved the following year. He was elected Mayor of Dorchester twice in 1644 and 1655, and MP for Dorchester in 1659. From the quarter session records it appears that he lived in a house just west of Dorchester goal.

      John re-married to Sarah ATKINS nee CORNISH. Her first marriage had been to a Gentleman Peter ATKINS of Tiverton in Devon whom she married on 18th Feb 1635 at Uffculme in Devon (1.15). Peter's long and complicated Will survives dated 5th May 1657 and this is referred to in Sarah's will dated 13 Feb 1669 wherein she is referred to as 'Sarah now wife of John BUSHROD the elder of Dorchester in the County of Dorset Clothier and formerly the widow relict and executrix of Peter Atkin's of Tiverton in the county of Devon '. I have not found Sarah's marriage to John or her burial. Her will was proved on 5th Jan 1671 when she left all her estate to her kinsman Mr Nicholas Hitchcock a mercer of Tiverton. There are no bequests to any children. She may therefore have been returned to Devon for burial with her 1st husband.

      John BUSHROD was buried in All Saints church Dorchester 3rd Jan 1683/4 as John Bushrod senior.

(5) Elizabeth BUSHROD [1614-1618] Baptised 17 Sep 1614 Holy Trinity Church in Dorchester & buried there 9 Aug 1618

(6) Samuel BUSHROD [1616-1646] Baptised 9 Oct 1616 in Holy Trinity Church in Dorchester,

      He married there on 1st September 1640 to Martha the eldest daughter of another wealthy clothier John ALLAMBRIDGE who had married Euroth WILSON at Holy Trinity Church on 28th Sep 1615. John Allambridge was constable of Dorchester in 1628, Capital Burgess of the town in the early 1630's and was to become Mayor in 1642/3. Samuel's brother John was one of the executors of her father's will and Martha was left £10 when he died in 1645. Her siblings received £150 each, Martha having received her dowry at marriage. Samuel & Martha had 2 children; Mary baptised at Holy Trinity on 20 Nov 1642 and Martha on 9th Nov 1645 before at the young age of 30 Samuel died and was buried at Holy Trinity on 31 July 1646. He was shortly followed by his daughter Martha on 17th October the same year. Link to Will dated 13th April 1646 which has numerous bequests. It was not proved until 1st June 1647.

(7) Deborah BUSHROD [1618-1619] Baptised 20 July 1618 at Holy Trinity and buried there 5 Nov 1619

(8) Elizabeth BUSHROD [1620-?] Baptised 24 Sep 1620 at Holy Trinity Dorchester

(9) Dorothy BUSHROD [1622-?]- Baptised 22 Dec 1622 Holy Trinity Dorchester

(10) Mary BUSHROD [1624-1627] Baptised 27 Feb 1624/5 Holy Trinity Dorchester and buried there 7 April 1627

(11) Richard BUSHROD [1626-1667] Baptised 25 Jun 1626 Holy Trinity Dorchester. He was a beneficiary under the Will of his elder brother Samuel in 1646 and elected Bailiff of Dorchester in 1649 before he followed his older brother Thomas and emigrated to New England. He married there to an Apphia Hughes and was later buried in Bushfield Westmourland Virginia in 1667

Genealogical Notes:-

(1). Sources:
    1.1 British History On Line website
    1.2 Dorset Quarter Sessions Order Book 1625- 1638 Volume 14 of Dorset Record Society Published 2006
    1.3 Dorset Visitation of 1623 page 3;
    1.4 Fire From Heaven Life in an English Town in the 17th Century by David Underdown published by Pimlico 1992 (Great Fire Page 1: Bushrod Family: 39, 43, 44, 52, 110, 132, 133, 145, 182, 187, 228 : Family 206 : Watts Family 42; John Watts 5, 141]
    1.5 John White The Patriarch of Dorchester [Dorset] and Founder of Massachusetts by Frances Rose-Troup published by GP Putnam's Sons in 1930. Additional comments from her in addition to the main biographical listing.
    1.6 Municipal Records of Dorchester by Charles Herbert Mayo - 1908:
    1.7 National Archives - Documents on Line - Wills Prerogative Court of Canterbury and related Probate Jurisdictions [PROB 11/75 John Bushrot; PROB 11/155 Richard Bushrod : PROB Will Sarah BUSHROD wife of John Bushrod 5 Jan 1671] Taxation Richard Bushrode 1625 E/115/57/115 & 1626 E115/438/144 Certificates of Residence (latter hundreds of Brownshall and Dorchester)
    1.8 Parish Registers for Holy Trinity & St Peters in Dorchester and Sherborne Abbey:
    1.9 History of Parliament Website under Members Section
    1.10 Studies in Dorset History by Maureen Weinstock M.A. F.R.Hist.S. published by Longmans (Dorchester) Ltd 1953 a study of the Weymouth Port & Petty Customs Books and the role of Dorchester Merchants
    1.11 William Whiteway of Dorchester - His diary 1618-1635 based on notes compiled by Thomas D Murphy Dorset Record Society - factual account by an eye witness
    1.12 Wiltshire Archives [Robert Bushrod(1610); William (1677)Bushrod]
    1.13 The History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset by John Hutchins 3rd Edition published 1868: Parliamentary Representation Pages 356-361: Contribution to Hospital 1616 page 397
    1.14. Abstract of Wills PCC Somerset House Register Soame 1620 published by the New England Historical society Boston 1904 [Page 39 Will 106 Edward VYNE of Bloxworth a yeoman, Richard Bushrod of Dorchester haberdasher of hattes executor ]
    1.15. Church of Latter Day Saints Parish Register Film 917548 Name: Sarah Cornish Gender: Female Marriage Date: 18 Feb 1635 Marriage Place: Uffculme,Devon,England Spouse: Peter Atkins
    1.16. He was a beneficiary under the will of John Roper of Dorchester written 8th Feb 1597 PROB 11/91
    1.17. He was a witness to the Will of Jerome Harris a Tailor of Dorchester dated 26th Dec 1616 PROB 11/129
(2). His father Johis [John] BUSHRODE married his mother Margerie FFELTONS at Sherborne on 7th Oct 1571 See :- Sherborne Parish Register:- Mensis Octobris {For the month of October] 1571 Note this was incorrectly indexed at as John Balthazard and Margaret Fulton!

(3). Regnal years referred to:
    The 32nd year of the reign of 'Elizabeth I' ran from 17th Nov 1589 to 16th Nov 1590:
    The 12th year of the Reign of 'James I' ran from 24th March 1613/14 to 23rd March 1614/15
    The 21st year of the Reign of 'James I' from 24th March 1622/3 to 23rd March 1623/4
    The 1st year of the Reign of 'Charles I' ran from 27th march 1625 to 26th March 1626
(4). The will is written in this way to make sure that his eldest son John was 21 years old when he inherited

(5) British History On Line - 18th Feb 1623 :- Minutes of the Council for New England. The seat of the plantation for the public to consist of 40 square miles, to be settled upon the river of Sagadahock, and called the state county. The King to be petitioned to name the city; the county and city to be equally divided by casting lots amongst the patentees. No new grant to be passed in the meantime. A statute of Queen Elizabeth for binding poor children apprentices, proposed by Sir H. Spilman, to be made use of for the benefit of the plantation. The letter proposed to be sent by the King to the Lieutenants, for providing poor people, to be respited. Delivery of the two pinnaces. Petition, presented from Mr. Peirce and his associates, for the Mayor of Norwich to deliver up certain barrels of meal, provided for the relief of the planters in New England, and stayed by him. Licence granted to Richard Bushrode, who is to be admitted a patentee, to set forth a ship for discovery and other employments in New England. No ship to transport men or goods to the plantation without a licence. [Colonial Corresp., 1622, May 31, pp. 32–35.]

(6) British History On Line - 20th Feb 1623 :- Minute of the Council for New England. Licence granted to Rich. Bushrode and his associates, for setting forth a ship for discovery in New England. He is admitted a patentee. [Colonial Corresp., 1622, May 31, pp. 35–36.]

(7) Bishops Transcripts for Parish of Bere Regis CLDS Film 1279480: I am grateful to Kim Tilsed for alerting me to this record as parish registers have not survived :- "October 1626: The iiij daye were John Bushrode and <...> Tilsed married" (the BT has a hole in the paper exactly where the brides Christian name would have been ). Kim also comments " In the 1626 Will of Christain Tilsed née Gould, thought to be the widow of Roger Tilsed:" there is mention of " daughter Mary Bushrode..." Christian's Will is preserved at the Archives in Wiltshire.

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