Wife: Sarah Rowley (3)
Born: 11 Aug 1625 in England
Died: 1710 in Falmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts
Buried at First Burying Ground, Falmouth, MA. Tombstone reads:Jonathon HatchDied Dec. 1710Aged 84 YearsSettler of FalmouthFriend of Indians".Barnstable Congregationalist
[contact: Stephen C. Miller
Text: Page 8 2. JONATHAN HATCH2, (Thomas1), From all that we learn of him, Jonathan Hatch, whose descendants we shall follow, was a man of great energy and force of character with a decided will of his own which brooked no unseemly restraints.He was a pioneer in the march of civilization in the stirring times of the early history of New England, a man of daring enterprise and romantic adventure, only a part of which is known to us now.He was born in England about 1625 and came to Mass. Bay Colony with his father in 1634. Even as a boy he was a lad of spirit and perhaps somewhat willful and disinclined to conform to all the austerities and restrictions of the intolerant age in which he lived. The most of his early struggles with society came from this cause and not from any natural depravity in the boy or man and from the further circumstance that as a boy his lot was cast largely among strangers where he was deprived of the loving counsel of good friends.The theory has been advanced and with apparent good reason, that his father's wife Grace was a second wife, and not the mother of Jonathan and his sister Lydia, and that she and the children did not get along well together as a reason why the children did not apparently live much at their father's house.At that time in Plymouth and Mass. Bay Colonies it was the custom of those who assumed leadership in any community to look askance and with disfavor upon any one who had no regular occupation or permanent place of abode. Such persons were the subjects of special attention and closely watched and either ordered out of town or appointed by the Court or Town Meeting to reside with some family of known probity to watch over them and keep them employed and out of mischief.This was due partly to the austerity of the time, and the responsibility of training the twig as the tree should stand, but partly also to the fact that in their hand to hand conflict with the wilderness and the savage the colonists could not afford to have any impecunious person come into town who might become a public charge on the community or set a bad example for others. Sobriety, industry and frugality were prime virtues at that time.The austerity of the time frowned upon all amusements as a device of the Devil. The Sabbath must be sacredly and religiously observed. They were perhaps too prone to meddle in private affairs and opinions, to put a straight jacket upon everyone's conduct, public and private. Even the clothes one might wear were subject to regulation by Puritan law.But with all their drabness and austerity perhaps we should not judge those stern old Puritans too harshly. They were human and had their faults but they were a conscientious, God-fearing race, sternly doing their duty as they saw it; erring sometimes doubtless, sometimes in their zeal cruel and intolerant, but always we may, well believe actuated by what they conceived to be the good of their religion and their respective communities.In view of all these circumstances and perhaps also in the belief that the discipline of the soldier would benefit the boy, Jonathan was at about the age of 12 apprenticed to Lieut. Davenport of Salem, Mass.There is little doubt that the free spirit of Jonathan chafed and fretted under the strictures and discipline of the soldier and perhaps a home-sick longing to be near friends and after serving him for about two years he could endure it no longer and deserted and made his way to Boston with the probable intent of seeking passage by boat to yarmouth where his father then resided.A strange boy wandering around the streets and wharves of Boston was, at that time, a sufficiently grave matter to be inquired into. It probably did not take long to ascertain the true state of affairs. Sept. 2, 1640 he was arrested as a fugitive from service and "was censured to be severely whipped and for the present is committed for a slave to Lieut. Davenport."(*)But Jonathan did not wait for any whipping nor did he return to Lieut. Davenport. He had a good head and two good legs and spirit and will to use them and they brought him safely to his father's home at Yarmouth.Although his conduct in this case could not be justified by the law of that time, we cannot but admire his brave manly spirit of the age and for his courage and daring, boy though he was, in striking out for liberty, alone and unaided.Though he gained his liberty in a practically hostile community and arrived safely in Yarmouth, his troubles did not end there. Dec. 1, 1640 Capt. Nicholas Simpkins had him arrested and charged with slandering him. When the case came up for trial in the General Court at Plymouth, Jonathan evidently proved the truth of his charges for Capt. Simpkins was fined 40 shillings and Jonathan was set free.Still his troubles did not end. His father moved to Barnstable in June, 1641, but Jonathan apparently lived on in Yarmouth earning such a living as he could with no settled occupation or place of residence. That of itself was a sufficient reason why those stern old Puritans of that time should have him under observation. Undoubtedly they did.Mar. 1, 1642 he was "taken as a vagrant and for his misdemeanors was censured to be whipped and sent from constable to constable to Lieut. Davenport, at Salem." His misdemeanors, aside from his desertion from Lieut. Davenport were probably nothing more than the natural disinclination of a spirited and exuberant youth to conform to all the austerities and restrictions of the strict age in which he lived.The above sentence appears not to have been executed. Jonathan may have protested he would never stay there if sent. Knowing something of the spirit of the lad may have been cause of second thought. At the session of the Court held about a month later, April 5, 1642, this sentence was reconsidered. Jonathan was in Plymouth Colony while Lieut. Davenport was in Mass. Bay Colony. It was held Jonathan could not be sent back into the service of a master residing in another colony. And so Jonathan escaped again. But the Court appointed him to reside with Mr. Stephen Hopkins of Plymouth, who was enjoined to have a special care of him.Mr. Hopkins died about two years later. In 1644 we find Jonathan in Barnstable where he was on the list of those able to bear arms. In 1645 he was one of four men forming the quota of Barnstable who with men from other towns went forth Aug. 15 in an expedition against the Narragansett Indians. They returned Sept. 2 and were disbanded the next day.April 11, 1646 he married at Barnstable, Miss Sarah Rowley, daughter of Henry Rowley by his first wife Ann. Who was widow of Thomas Blossom and daughter of William Palmer, Sr., and his wife Frances. William Palmer came to Plymouth Colony in 1621 and in 1639 was one of the original first settlers of Yarmouth. Both Blossom and Palmer were of the Pilgrim element. Ann Palmer married Thomas Blossom in England in 1615 and went with him to Leyden, Holland where they were a part of the Pilgrim settlement. In 1620 they came to Plymouth, England in the Speedwell intending to take passage on the mayflower for America; but for some reason found it impractical to do so and returned to Leyden, where they formed a part of the Pilgrim group.While in Leyden, Blossom held some correspondence with Gov. William Bradford of Plymouth Colony and in 1629 he and his wife and son came to Plymouth, Mass. Blossom died soon after and Oct 17, 1633 his widow married Henry Rowley as his first wife. Their first child was Sarah, who at about the age of 13 married Jonathan Hatch. After his marriage, Jonathan lived for some years at West Barnstable.Oct. 7, 1651 he and Samuel Hinkley, father of Governor Hinkley, were brought before the grand jury on a charge of hiring land from the Indians. Not a very heinous offense it would seem now, but rather a an evidence of their energy and enterprise. But at that time it was felt that enterprises of that kind should be discouraged as likely to lead to misunderstandings and trouble with the Indians.Feb. 24, 1652 he was appointed one of a commission that was to "choose and lay out a common highway between Plymouth and Sandwich, according to your best judgment where you shall find it most convenient for the country's use," showing that at that time the Court had confidence in his integrity and good judgment. This road was at that time one of the most important roads in the colony.But Jonathan found it diffiult (sic) too suppress his natural instinct for trading wherever he found it advantageous and Mar. 2, 1652 he was again before Grand Jury on a charge of "furnishing an Indian with a gun, powder and shot."It is probable that heretofore he had worked for others or had farmed land on shares and that he now felt he wanted and was entitled to land of his own and that he applied to the town for a grant of land. At a town meeting held Oct. 27, 1653, it was "ordered that ye land measurers shall lay out Jonathan Hatch land as they shall conceive most convenient for him and least prejudical to ye other inhabitants who are to have their lots laid out afterwards." It is probable at that time there was no unallotted land except in the outskirts of the town, for his land was laid out to him in quite the southeast part of the town, known at that time as "Sepneset on ye South Sea." (Now Lewis Bay) the Indian name was Sepneset.After his land had been laid out to him he went there and built a log house and Oct. 7, 1654 moved there with his family. There were 50 acres of upland and a parcel of marsh adjoining and 8 acres of meadow and some land on an island. Feb. 14, 1655 he had the grant of his land recorded and at the same time, probably in answer to questions, expressed his satisfaction of the division of the lands.All that part of the town was then an unbroken wilderness inhabited only by Indians. the wigwam of Paup-Mun-Muche, Chief of the Massapees was only a mile away. There were no white settlers within several miles of him for several years. Rather a dreary and dangerous situation one would think. But it was characteristic of the man that no difficulties or dangers daunted him.It is not known that he had any trouble with the Indians during all the time he resided there. He was friendly with them, traded with them and treated them well. That he was able to get and retain the good will of these wild denizens of the wilderness speaks well for his courage, tact, and good sense. If by his conduct towards them he had excited their hostility they could have done him much harm.At this time oysters were abundant in the waters near Jonathan's residence at Sepneset and many barrels of them were annually pickled by him and his family and sent to market. The shells of the oysters were burned in kilns into quick lime of a superior quality and for many years all the lime used for building purposes was manufactured from the shells of oysters at this place.Some time subsequent to the grant of his land at Sepneset he sold one-half his farm (probably an undivided half interest) to Mr. Thomas SHAW. Whethere SHAW came there to live does not appear but it would seem not.At first all the freemen of the colony met annually at Plymouth in a General Court for transaction of the general business of the colony. In 1638 a representation of the towns by Deputies was adopted. In 1657 Jonathan took the oath of fidelity, which as the head of a family and a taxpayer entitled him to vote for Deputies and any other town business though he was not yet a freeman. He was made freeman later.It was well known that Jonathan had the good sense to be on friendly terms with the Indians. Perhaps it was sometimes thought he was too friendly with them. In June, 1658 it was proved in Court that an Indian named Repent had threatened to shoot Gov. Prence on his return from Plymouth. Jonathan was also in court at the same time on suspicion that he had "justified" Repent; but of this there was no proof and he was by the Court admonished and released.The vacant lands in his vicinity were not being settled upon and it is evident Jonathan did not find here in this isolated locality the opportunities to satisfy his enterprising spirit. In the summer of 1659 he went in search of more promising prospects to Martha's Vineyard and elsewhere.It was about this time that an old Indian Chief, Notantico by name, knowing that Jonathan was a good friend of the Indians and that he was looking for land, freely gave him a tract on that neck of land between Woods Hole and Buzzards Bay, about two or three miles southwest of the present village of Falmouth. Jonathan did not go there to live. It was too far away from even the nearest settlement with no prospect of others coming there for a good while. Years afterwards Jonathan remembered this gift and claimed it as we shall see.June 7, 1659 "Liberty to view and purchase a tract at Succonnesset and arrange with the Indians for the same" was granted to six men from Barnstable and one from Sandwich. These men apparently did nothing towards making the purchase; but it served to direct attention to the place and Jonathan may have gone there prospecting. Succonnessett was the Indian name of the place meaning in their language the place of the black clam shells, which were found there in abundance. It was on the sea shore southwest of Barnstable, near Woods Hole.Mar. 5, 1660 "Liberty to purchase land at Succonnesset and adjacent" was granted by the Colony Court to another and different company of seven men, John Howe, Anthony Annabel, Nathaniel Thomas, Samuel Fuller, Abraham Pierce, Peter Blossom and Isaac Robinson. Isaac Robinson was son of John Robinson, the Leyden preacher and a friend of Jonathan Hatch. June 4, 1660 were added to the above purchasers of Succonnesset and places adjacent, Samuel Hinkley, Henry Cobb, John Jenkins, who were of the company which applied June 7, 1659 and Mathew Fuller, John Cooper and John Dunham, all of Barnstable and William Nelson and Thomas Burman (now Bowerman) of Plymouth. The purchase was made of Qua-cha-tis-set and other Sachems of the Succonnesset and Massapee tribe of Indians.Here seemed to be the promising prospect that Jonathan was in search of. Here he could be in the midst of things and a part of it. Just what day and month the purchase by the Company was consummated does not appear but that same year (1660) Jonathan Hatch and Isaac Robinson went there and built each of them a log house; whether before or after the purchase by the Company is not known but probably after and that they had the permission of the Company.Land could not be purchased of the Indians except by permission of the Colony Court and as the Court had already permitted the purchase by a company it seems unlikely they would grant permission to purchase a part of the same land to an individual. It is improbable permission would have been granted previous to the purchase by the company for the Colony laws required that no settlement be made remote from a place of public worship unless the settlers be strong enough to support a minister of the gospel. Barnstable was the nearest place of public worship about 15 miles away.Jonathan built his house on or near that narrow neck of land between fresh and Salt ponds (see map) about a half mile south or southwest of the present village of Falmouth. Robinson built his a little further south. They probably moved there with their families soon after they built their houses though no precise date is known. Jonathan placed his family and goods on a small skiff and sailed away down the coast till they came to Salt Pond, entering which, they sailed up to the neck where they landed.Jonathan Hatch and Isaaac ROBINSON were the first white settlers in Succonnesset, now Falmouth. Jonathan's son Moses was the first white child born there - named Moses it is said because so many bullrushes grew near his father's house.May 27, 1661 Jonathan and Mr. SHAW sold their farm at Sepneset to Mr. John THOMPSON who sold about 1674 to John LOVET some of whose descendants still hold the old Hatch farm.Nov. 29, 1661 the proprietors or purchasers of Succonnesset held a meeting which extended to dec. 3rd following, and agreed upon an allottment of lands. The meeting appears to have been held at Jonathan Hatch's house so that they might view the land and make an equitable allotment. The land by the Herring Brook was to be "in general." Each of the proprietors wass allotted about 80 acres. Commencing at the sea shore as a base these lots ran straight back into the interior. Nine of them were 16 rods broad, three were 17 rods broad, two were 8 1/2 rods broad and one (that to Isaac ROBINSON) was 18 rods broad. These lots were just east of the Herring Pond and the lines of the lots were to run to "the same point of the compass as Jonathan Hatch's 80 acres upon the sea," showing that Jonathan had his farm there of 80 acres previous to this first allotment. He probably selected and laid out his land soon after he moved there and it was not by his house, but by the sea. for the better accommodation of all some other small allotments of 4 to 8 acres were made and "Jonathan Hatch and Isaac Robinson because they have built their houses shall have their lots by their houses, that is to say Jonathan Hatch to have 10 acres by his house, lying against the neck, leaving a sufficient way into the neck; and Isaac Robinson shall have 4 acres by his house and 8 acres next adjoining Jonathan Hatches."Apparently upon second thought "because we questioned whether we should get water on these lots we laid out 4 acres to a share along by the pond * * * a sufficient way to be left along by the pond side above or below the houses." What pond this was is not stated.It was "also agreed that the proprietors shall not keep above 20 head of cattle each upon the great neck for a share," this great neck was probably that land by the Herring Brook which was to be "in general" and used in common by all as pasturage.Again "we have laid out 20 acres to a share next to Jonathan Hatches ground abutting upon the sea and running 200 rods towards the woods. This work is now concluded and the agreement signed Dec. 3, 1661." Jonathan Hatch is one of the signers.Jonathan Hatch's father died in Barnstable in 1661 and Mar. 3, 1662 Jonathan and his sister Lydia, who married Henry Taylor Dec. 19, 1650 applied for and were granted letters of administration upon their father's estate by the Plymouth Colony Court. Isaac Robinson and Thomas Ewer were appointed to make an inventory and appraisal of the estate which they did May 27 and it was sworn to by the widow.The new settlement at Succonnesset not being strong enough at that time to stand alone it was ordered by the Court in Mar. 1663 "that Succonnesset shall for the present belong to Barnstable."The first purchase of land at Succonnesset by the original company in 1660 was probably not largely in excess of that allotted to the proprietors in Nov. and Dec., 1661.Sometime subsequent to the first purchase the company obtained additional land; a tract extending along the seashore from Woods Hole to Five Mile River and extending inland four or five miles, apparently completely surrounding the first purchase except on the sea side. In July 1677 it was agreed to lay out additional lands of 60 acres to a share, also meadows. John Howland and Thomas Lathrop acting for the company appointed Bernard Lumbert, Wilham Gifford and John Smith a committee who laid out 12 strips or lots which were assigned to Moses Rowley, Sr., Joseph Hull, Thomas Griffin, John Robinson, Samuel Tilley, Nathaniel Skiff, Thomas Johnson, William Gifford, Thomas Lewis, John Jenkins, Jonathan Hatch, Sr., William Wicks or Weeks, and Thomas Ewer. There were also other 10 acre lots laid out to the same individuals. The balance of the tract was held in common to be sold later to others. Jonathan Hatch and Isaac Robinson were appointed a committee to sell the lands of those who did not wish too settle there.It was about this time when settlement was extending and land was becoming valuable that Jonathan remembered the land the old Indian Chief had given him some years before. The old Chief was not living then but his son remembered the gift and confirmed it by the following deed dated Jan. 15, 1679, signed by Job Notantico, Indian of Succonnesset.There was preaching at Succonnesset-often at the house of Jonathan Hatch-but there was no regular church organization till the autumn of 1708. The business meetings of the proprietors were held more often at his house than elsewhere. When strangers arrived they were often entertained at Jonathan Hatch's till his house became a place of public entertainment for travelers and others and was finally licensed as such with the privilege of selling liquor for their use.When any of Jonathan's good friends among the Indians were present it was doubtless a little difficult for him to refuse them a little "fire water." June 7, 1670 he was fined 3 pounds for selling them liquor; but knowing the Indians as he did it is not likely he gave them enough to make them dangerous.Shortly after King Phillip's War Jonathan Hatch bought of Capt. Church three Indians, a man, wife and child, probably prisoners, many of whom were taken near the close of the war for liberating them. June 3, 1679 Jonathan and the brothers of the women appeared in Court where it was agreed that "for 6 pounds the man and woman should be released and the child should remain with Goodman Hatch till 24 years of age and then be released forever"In Colonial times the local Inn or Tavern often became the civic Center of the community and excepting the meeting house was the most frequented place in town and the tavern keeper the best informed man in the community. People flocked there to learn not only the local gossip but the news of the outside world from travelers.When in June 4, 1686 succonnesset was detached from Barnstable and incoporated as a separate township and given the name of Falmouth, Jonathan Hatch's public house was the logical place for holding town meetings for the transaction of town business and all public affairs. From this time on Jonathan became more prominent in the affairs and business of the town. He was often engaged in running the lines of lots, attending to the sale of lands and transfers of titles. Age and experience had toned down the fire and impetuosity of youth and he had become an honored and respected citizen and a religious man. June 24, 1690 he took the Freeman's oath and was admitted as a Freeman of the colony at the county Court at Barnstable; which was something of a distinction at that time as none but men of known probity and integrity and generally church members could attain to that honor.Jonathan Hatch acquired a large land estate and was regarded as among the wealthy of those times. In his later years he became the venerable patriarch of a large and esteemed family of children and grand children. He apparently gave away all his land to his children previous to his death as shown by his will.
[contact: Stephen C. Miller
Revised: November 26, 2016