William/1 Vassall

M, #23693, (27 August 1592 - between 31 July 1655 and 7 August 1655)
Father*John/a Vassall1,2 b. s 1555
Mother*Anna Russell1,2
Last Edited:22 Aug 2017

Children with Anna/1 King:

  • Lt. John/2 Vassall2 b. say 1615
  • Judith/2 Vassall+4 b. circa 1619
  • Frances/2 Vassall9 b. circa 1623, d. circa 1673
William/1 Vassall was baptised 27 Aug 1592 at Stepney, England.1 He and Anna/1 King obtained license to marry 9 Aug 1613.1
     John White, of Dorchester, Wessex, leader of the failed Dorchester Adventurers Company which had colonized Cape Ann in 1623, organized a corporation of London merchants in 1628 which became the Massachusetts Bay Company. Among these, says Morison, were "Matthew Cradock, who owned £2000 worth of East India Company stock; Sir Richard Saltonstall, nephew and heir of a Lord Mayor of London who was Master of the Worshipful Company of Skinners (what we should call the hide and leather men) … Samuel and William Vassall, interested in the Guinea trade and sons of a Huguenot member of the Virginia Company who commanded a ship against the Spanish Armada; and, in addition, a group of East Anglia puritans: William Pynchon, squire of Springfield in Essex, Isaac Johnson, and Richard Bellingham."3
     William and Anna Vassall enrolled at London, 17 Jun 1635, as passengers for New England on the Blessing, John Leicester, master, with 6 children and two servants, arrived at Boston in August, and thence went to Scituate. (Banks erroneously lists their passage twice, crediting them as passengers in both the 1630 Winthrop Fleet and aboard the Blessing).4,5,6,7 Deane includes him in "A list of those who took 'the oath of fidelity' from 1633 to 1668."8
     Says Cambridge Epitaphs, "The Vassall family is of French origin, and has been traced back in France to the eleventh century. From it descended 'the gallant John Vassall, an alderman of London, who, in 1588, at his own expense, fitted out and commanded two ships of war, with which he joined the royal navy to oppose the Spanish Armada.' He had two sons, William and Samuel, both of whom were among the original patentees of Massachusetts, in 1628. The former, William Vassall, Esq., first came to New England in 1630 with Governor Winthrop, and, in 1634, settled at Scituate. In 1646 he returned to England, went thence to Barbadoes, where he died in 1655. He left daughters, married in this country. His son, Captain John Vassall, sold his estate at Scituate in 1661, and removed, it is supposed, to the West Indies also."2 Nexus 14:6:195 corrects the emigration date, and adds, "He settled in 1648 on Barbados and died there between 31 July and 7 Aug. 1655."1

Source Citations/Notes:

  1. [S133] New England Historic Genealogical Society, Nexus, 14:6, 195: William Vassall.
  2. [S530] William Thaddeus Harris, Cambridge Epitaphs, 179–180, Vassall.
  3. [S420] Samuel Eliot Morison, Builders of the Bay Colony, 33–34.
  4. [S97] Charles Edward Banks, Planters of the Commonwealth, 176–77, Blessing passenger list.
  5. [S106] NEHGS Register, "The Founders of New England" (Oct 1860), 14:317.
  6. [S133] Nexus, 14:6, 195: William Vassall. "He and his family arrived in Massachusetts in 1635."
  7. [S520] Anderson, Sanborn and Sanborn, The Great Migration, 1634–1635, 1:407–11, Gilbert Brooks; 1:412-15, William Brooks.
  8. [S430] Samuel Deane, History of Scituate, Massachusetts, 154-55.
  9. [S97] Banks, Planters, 176–77, Blessing.