William Wentworth, 10th great grandfather

Life, from wiki

Baptized on 15 March 1615/16 in AlfordLincolnshire, England, William Wentworth was the son of William Wentworth and Susanna Carter.[1] His paternal grandfather was Christopher Wentworth, and his paternal grandmother was Catharine Marbury, who was a sister of Reverend Francis Marbury. Wentworth’s father, therefore, was a first cousin of the famed Anne (Marbury) Hutchinson, who, with the Reverend John Wheelwright, was banished in 1637 from Massachusetts for her religious opinions during the Antinomian Controversy.[1] The Marbury, Hutchinson, Wheelwrights, and Wentworth all came from Alford, or nearby, and family historian John Wentworth deemed it likely that William Wentworth came to Boston in New England with Wheelwright in 1636.[2] However, a contemporary biographer of William Wentworth, Susan Ostberg, is of the opinion that Wentworth arrived in Boston in July 1637 when a group of men arrived from Lincolnshire, including Anne Hutchinson’s “brother” (actually her brother-in-law, Samuel Hutchinson).[3] The uncertainty stems from the fact that Wentworth left behind no records in Boston.[2]

Wheelwright and Anne Hutchinson held religious opinions at odds with the established ministers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and at the November 1637 meeting of the General Court, Wheelwright was ordered to depart within 14 days.[4] He went to the Piscataqua River, establishing the town of Exeter, New Hampshire, with a group of his followers, one of whom was Wentworth.[5] The men, including Wentworth, signed an agreement for a government known as the Exeter Combination. The land on which Exeter sat was claimed by Massachusetts, which by 1642 began to exercise that claim. This compelled Wheelwright to move once again, this time to Wells in the Province of Maine, and Wentworth once again went with him.[6]

Wentworth lived in Wells from 1642 to 1649. In 1642 he was a juror there, in 1648 he was named as a constable, and again in 1647 and 1649 he sat on a jury.[6] In 1646 Wheelwright left Wells for Hampton, New Hampshire, but Wentworth stayed a few years beyond that, until late 1649, when he made his final move to Dover, New Hampshire.[7] He settled in the central part of the town that was given the name Cocheco, after an earlier trading post that had been established there.[8] Here Wentworth was a co-owner of a sawmill, and also served in a variety of town offices, such as selectman, commissioner, and lot-layer.[9] He was, however, best known for his position as a “Ruling Elder” of his church in Dover, a position that he held for nearly 40 years.[10] He was not in the clergy, but as an elder he often preached, and sometimes preached in other churches, including one in Exeter.[11]

Cocheco Massacre

One incident for which Wentworth is well known occurred late in his life. There had been an Indian uprising in his home village of Cocheco in 1689, and various garrisons in the town were attacked. When the one housing Wentworth was attacked, he was able to close the door on the attackers and hold the door closed until help arrived. Two bullets went through the door but missed him. He was 73 at the time, and his was the only garrison of five that was saved. In the attack, 23 settlers were killed and another 29 were taken captive.[12]

Wentworth died on his baptismal date, 15 March 1696/7. He left no will, but had already divided most of his property among his children.[13]


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