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					Plymouth Colony History and People
Source: Stratton, Eugene Aubrey, FASG. Plymouth Colony: Its History and People 1620-1691. Salt Lake
City, UT: Ancestry Incorporated, 1986.

Plymouth Colony: Its History and People 1620-1691
Part One: Chronological Histories
Chapter 5: Quaker Ranters, Baptist Schismatics, and Indians with Tongues Running Out (1657-1675)

xxx As mentioned above, in June 1670 Dartmouth was conspicuously mentioned in connection with the
law that towns without ministers would have to start paying for future maintenance, and was rated at £15.
Dartmouth had paid nothing by 1 July 1672, when the court noted it had neglected to do so under the
excuse that those appointed to collect it refused, and the order to pay £15 was repeated. Dartmouth was a
special case. Sometime after its founding it effectively became, no doubt in good part due to its location,
the "Rhode Island" of Plymouth Colony, the place where religious dissenters could go without much
disturbance from colony officials. James Cudworth had written that "almost the whole Town of Sandwich
is adhering" to the Quakers, but by the 1670s there were a number of Quakers in Dartmouth, too, coming
from Scituate, Duxbury, [p.98] Plymouth town, and other places. Many of the families associated with
Plymouth in its earliest days removed to this newly opened area, including the adjoining Saconnet, later
to be called Little Compton, where land was granted on 4 June 1661 to some of the former servants who
had been promised land by their contracts. There were Howlands, from the families of Arthur and Henry,
the brothers of John; several third-generation Aldens; some Soules; some Samsons; a Cuthbertson, now
shortened to Cutbert; the Jenney family; Palmers; Delanos; and others. Of course, not all these were
necessarily religious dissenters, but it is a fact that Baptist and Quaker meetings were active in Dartmouth
and Little Compton, but no Congregational Church was established in either during the lifetime of
Plymouth Colony. As of 29 May 1670 Dartmouth had only seven freemen residents: John Cooke, John
Russell, James Shaw, Arthur Hathaway, William Spooner, Samuel Hicks, and William Palmer.

Plymouth Colony: Its History and People 1620-1691
Part Two: Topical Narratives
Chapter 11: Man and Master

William Spooner of Colchester, co. Essex, by contract of 27 March 1637, apprenticed himself to John
Holmes, gentleman, of Plymouth for six years, and later in 1637 Holmes, with the consent and liking of
Spooner, assigned Spooner's contract to John Coombs of Plymouth. At the end of the term Coombs was
to give Spooner "one comely suit of apparell for holy dayes and one suite for workinge dayes and twelve
bushells of Indian Wheate, and a good serviceable muskett, bandiliers and sword fitt for service." There
are hints that Holmes might have been from Colchester, too, and might have recruited Spooner as a
servant for Coombs. Could Holmes have known, perhaps through a letter from home, that Spooner was
desirous of finding employment in Plymouth? So, too, Edmond Weston in 1636 had his contract to serve
John Winslow turned over to Nathaniel Thomas, on behalf of the latter's father Mr. William Thomas, with
Thomas paying Winslow £10, and promising to give Weston at the end of two years £6 and fourteen
bushels of corn, plus whatever else Weston would be due by virtue of his covenant with Winslow. We
know that even a prosperous man might arrange to have a relative work as a servant, for on 13 February
1639/40 Henry Cogan transferred the five-year contract of his servant James Glass (who was also his
nephew) to Manasseh Kempton.

Plymouth Colony: Its History and People 1620-1691
Part Three: Biographical Sketches
Biographical Sketches
Cooper, Ann (or Agnes)
He died sometime prior to 1 August 1648 when the court ordered that the one-third part of the English
corn due Mrs. Coombs from William Spooner be turned over to Thomas Cushman. The court noted that
Mr. John Coombs was indebted to the estate of Godbert Godbertson, which in turn owed Isaac Allerton,
who had turned the debt over to his son-in-law Thomas Cushman (PCR 2:131-33); from a document
dated 27 October 1646 by Allerton, it appeared that the debt was quite large (£100 sterling). Also on 1
August 1646 the court noted that Coombs's children were now with William Spooner, who was ordered to
keep them for the present and not dispose of them without further court order (PCR 2:131). Coombs had
taken over the indenture of William Spooner, of Colchester, County Essex, England, from John Holmes
in 1637 for six years. On 6 March 1642/43 the court ordered William Spooner to pay the debt of ten
shillings of his master Mr. Coombs to Mr. William Hanbury (PCR 2:51). (See also TAG 46:130.)

Plymouth Colony: Its History and People 1620-1691
Part Three: Biographical Sketches
Biographical Sketches
Pratt, Phineas

—Joshua Pratt arrived at Plymouth on the Anne in 1623, and was in the 1623 land division and the 1627
cattle division. He was a Purchaser and was on the 1633 list of freemen. He was on the committee of 3
January 1627/28 to lay out the twenty-acre allotments (PCR 12:14). He was chosen as messenger of the
court and constable for Plymouth on 1 January 1633/34, and he continued as constable after the
messenger position was given to Mr. John Holmes on 4 December 1638 (PCR 1:21, 105). He obtained a
good number of land grants and engaged in frequent land transactions (PCR, passim). On 7 March
1652/53 he was one of the purchasers of land in Dartmouth (MD 4:186-87). Administration of his estate
was granted to his wife Bathsheba on 5 October 1656 (PCR 3:108)—her surname is unknown, and she
may have been a second wife. He has been called a brother of Phineas Pratt, q.v., and in the 1623 land
division he was paired with Phineas, but proof of a relationship is lacking. His widow married (2) John
Doggged 29 August 1667 (PCR 8:31). His children are thought to be Benajah, who married Persis
Dunham; Hannah, who married William Spooner; Jonathan, who married Abigail Wood; and Bathsheba,
who married Joshua Rice.

Plymouth Colony: Its History and People 1620-1691
Part Four: Appendices
Appendix J: The 1643 Able to Bear Arms (ATBA) List
Plymouth

William Spooner

				
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