» Show All     «Prev «1 ... 1621 1622 1623 1624 1625 1626 1627 1628 1629 ... 1640» Next»     » Slide Show


William Vassall was a merchant, a highly educated man as shown by his signature as a witness in legal cases, one who was far ahead of his time and publicly supported freedom of religion. In March 1629, he was recorded in the Charter for the Massachusetts Bay Company as a patentee, along with his brother Samuel. The Charter founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony, bringing over 20,000 English immigrants to New England in the 1630s.[3][4][5]

He migrated in 1630 and first resided in Boston. He and his family made a return trip to England in the fall of 1630 on the Lyon, and back to New England in 1635 on the Blessing. In the passenger list were his children:

Judith age 16;
Frances age 12;
John age 10;
Ann age 6;
Margaret age 2 and
Mary age 1.

His wife, Anna Vassall, was admitted to the Roxbury church in 1635. The family had settled in Scituate by 1635 and his was one of the first houses built in Scituate in 1636. He joined the Scituate church on November 28, 1636 and became a freeman on February 1, 1638/9. On April 2, 1638 he was granted two hundred acres of upland and received permission to keep a ferry where the old Indian ferry had been. On December 3, 1638 he was granted one hundred and fifty acres of land. He was granted liberty to make an oyster band on the North River on December 3, 1639.

At Scituate he was Deputy on September 27, 1642; Council of War and he is on the list of men able to bear arms in 1643 Situate section of Plymouth Colony. He took a prominent role standing for religious freedoms and was the "first excepter" supporting the bill for Liberty of Conscience "Proposing...that all members of the Church of England and the Church of Scotland be admitted to communion in the New England church, they forced an unwelcome examination of the legality of the colonial government." He became known for this Remonstrance of 1646, in which Robert Child and others petitioned the Bay Colony General Court for greater religious and political freedom and closer adherence to the laws of England.

Vassall, as a resident of Plymouth, did not sign the Bay Remonstrance of 1646, but Gov. Winthrop, and most other persons, believed it was actually his creation. In order to counter Vassall's charges, the very conservative Edward Winslow went to London in 1646 on behalf of Governor Winthrop and other Bay Colony leaders. The conservative Winslow would be the liberal Vassall's nemesis for a number of years and they should have been friends, since they were in-laws.[citation needed]

In 1646, after several years of religious controversy, he found that his religious beliefs were not compatible with those of others in his community. He returned to England on the Supply to make his grievances known with a petition to parliament to expose his perception of the Massachusetts Puritan leaders’ political corruption, religious intolerance and abuse of power. The Puritans of Massachusetts, on the other hand, considered him "a man of a busy and factious spirit, and always opposite to the civil governments of this country and the way of our churches..." Governor Winthrop called "Mr. Vassall, a man never at rest, but when he was in the fire of contention." His petition met with no sympathy in England.

He never returned to New England.[citation needed]

William Vassall (1592 - bef. 1657)

Owner/Source"William Vestal (1623 - 1700", Biography, Pedigree & Registry, abstracted by David A. Hennessee,,, revisited or retrieved, recorded & uploaded to the website,, Saturday, May 26th, 2018
File name51458.jpg
File Size40.57k
Dimensions500 x 496
Linked toWilliam Vassall, The Immigrant

» Show All     «Prev «1 ... 1621 1622 1623 1624 1625 1626 1627 1628 1629 ... 1640» Next»     » Slide Show