Edward Pinson

M, #26141
Last Edited:18 Aug 2017
Edward Pinson married (1), 2 Aug 1664 at Cambridge, Massachusetts ["Edmund" in the record], Anna/2 Cooper of Cambridge, daughter of Dea. John/1 Cooper and Anna/2 Sparhawk.1 She died 8 May 1666, a. 22. Pinson was entered as newly arrived in Cambridge in 1666.2

     Sarah Dexter obviously fell head over heels in love with Edward Pinson and eloped with him, although she was promised to someone else … Pinson claimed, 'It is not necessary for him to say that he was in love before he knew whether he was beloved.'
     The 1666 action of Richard Dexter of Malden against Edward Pinson of London reads more like a Restoration rogue tale or a French fabliau than life in rural New England. There are twelve long documents on file, but the events can be quickly summarized. Sarah Dexter was either promised to Obadiah Bridges or engagement was imminent when Edward Pinson arrived on the scene. He was recently from London—a seaman or merchant probably—and with his ready ways and ready cash and promises of London life and London riches he appears to have swept Sarah off her feet. Her father was less infatuated and warned Pinson (who had only recently buried his first wife) to cease keeping company with his daughter. The pair nailed up banns on the meeting-house door, but they were pulled down. Then, while the parents were at meeting, they eloped from Malden only to return four days later claiming to have been married by Captain Marshall of Lynn. They wanted to sail off to England. It was probably at this point that Dexter addressed Pinson as 'rogue, bastard dogg and son of a whore' and that Bridget Dexter beat her daughter out of the house.
     It emerged later than the young Lothario had presented a forged letter of parental consent to the Lynn magistrate; the witness was Andrew Robinson, a notorious lecher already encountered. In a calmer statement Dexter bewailed the 'taking from me a daughter of Israel & bestowing on me a daughter of Ishmael,' but the last laugh was on Pinson. He discovered that his rustic bride had already been pregnant when he met her. She had 'lost her virginitie being overcome in Boston by a man who promiseth her marriage but afterwards went off to sea and since she heard he had a wife in England.' The court would not have been satisfied with this poetic justice, but what their judgment was has not survived.
     Writing to Michael Wigglesworth, Pinson complained, 'My name, my fame and my credit is blemisht here by a Crew of Rusticks,' no doubt Malden neighbors of the Dexters.3

Source Citations/Notes:

  1. [S308] Thomas W. Baldwin, Vital Records of Cambridge, Massachusetts, To the Year 1850, 2:90, Anna Cooper/Edmund Pinson m.
  2. [S1755] Roger Thompson, Sex in Middlesex, 213 (footnote 45).
  3. [S1755] Roger Thompson, Sex in Middlesex, 38, 60-61, 69.