Sunday, September 23, 2012

William Wright

Plymouth Colony

William Wright
Born:  1585
Wrightsbridge, Essex, [county], England 
Died:  1633
Plymouth, Plymouth, MA 

Ship  "Fortune" 1621
Passengers on the Fortune
The Fortune arrived in Plymouth in 1621
Master of the Fortune : Thomas Barton
Adams, John
Bassett, Elizabeth
Bassett, William
Beale, William
Bompass, Edward
Brewster, Jonathan
Briggs, Clement
Cannon, John
Conner, William
Cushman, Robert
Cushman, Thomas Deane, Stephen
Delano, Phillip
Favell, Thomas
Ford, John
Ford, Martha
Ford, [Mr.]
Ford, William
Hicks, Robert
Hilton, William
Morgan, Benedict
Morton, Thomas
Nicolas, Austin Palmer, William
Palmer, William Junior
Pitt, William
Prence, Thomas
Stacey, Hugh
Steward, James
Simonson, Moses
Tench, William
Winslow, John
Wright, William  (Born 1585)****

Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s
about William Wright
Name: William Wright
Year: 1621
Age: 33
Estimated birth year: abt. 1588
Place: Plymouth, Massachusetts
Source Publication Code: 1058.20
Primary Immigrant: Wright, William
Annotation: Date and port of arrival. Excerpts from author's book The Mayflower, Stine & Day, New York, 1974. Name of ship and other historical information are also provided.
Source Bibliography: CAFFREY, KATE Passengers on the Mayflower, Fortune, Anne, and Little James. In The Ark Valley Crossroads (Wichita [KS] Genealogical Society), vol. 6:1 (January 1995), pp. 25-27.
Page: 26
Source Citation:  Place: Plymouth, Massachusetts; Year: 1621; Page Number: 26.
Source Information:
Gale Research. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2009.
Original data: Filby, P. William, ed.. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s. Farmington Hills, MI, USA: Gale Research, 2009.

Updated annually, this database is an index to passengers who arrived in United States and Canadian ports from the 1500s through the 1900s. It contains listings of approximately 4,712,000 individuals and references thousands of different records compiled from everything from original passenger lists to personal diaries. For each individual listed, you may find the following information: name, age, year and place of arrival, and the source of the record. Learn more...

William Wright married Pricilla Carpenter.  She was the sister to Alice Carpenter Southworth who was the second wife of Governor William Bradford.  William came on the ship, "Fortune", the second ship to New England on July 1621.  William and Pricilla lived in Scituate, Massachusetts until he died in 1633.  After William died,  Pricilla married 2nd, John Cooper of Barnstable and moved from there in 1639.
(He may have been Richard "John" Cooper.)

Alice Wright was of this line but did not come when they came.  She came later.
Confirmation of "History of Plymouth County",by William T. Davis:  64D (Information.from but .not quoted)
Recorded in the Austerfield Registry under date of September 23, 1589, William Wright, son of William Wright, was the one that came to New England in the "Fortune" in 1621 and that he was a member of the Scrooby Church.  This report named the following members of the Plymouth Colony; George Morton, William Wright, Samuel Fuller and Edward Southwoirth all married daughters of Alexander Carpenter, while the Richard Cooper married the widow of William Wright. (More often called John)?
In the "History of Plymouth Colony"

"Fortune" 1621

This ship arrived at Plymouth on November 19, 1621(N.S.), and  no doubt it was a gala day for the little band of Planters still surviving after their winter of suffering.  It was the first boat after the Mayflower and brought comfort and aid in numerous directions.
The ship had left London about August and was commanded by Master Thomas Barton.
Above all it brought for the most part a company of lusty yonge men, and the entire body settled in Plymouth.

(This report lists all the passengers of the ship, "Fortune")
Of the 32 passengers and families listed, number 32 was William Wright and Pracilla.
After the Mayflower landed, the task of settling their new colony became a task, the leaders were ill equipped to handle.  There was much sickness and Governor Carver died, carrying with him the details of the voyage and by Apr 12 and May 10, both Governor Martin and Governor Carver were dead and Control of the colony passed to younger men like Winslow and Bradford.  Neither man really wanted the job but all the other Londoners had died.

Out of 104 inhabitants, only 51 survived the first winter.  Several families were completely wiped out.
The summer of 1621, sickness had ceased and the New Plymouth Pilgrims from the Mayflower a chance to recover.  They planted a garden and built shelters.  However, the need for clothing, medical supplies and other supplies was pressing and the colony awaited the arrival of the supply ship from England.  On Nov 19, 1621, the Fortune dropped anchor off New Plymouth.  It brought the supplies needed and thirty-two or more planters, mostly young and energetic young men.  

By the spring of 1624, the Colony consisted of 180 persons, some cattle and goats, many swine and poultry and 32 dwelling houses.  None of the settlers had died during the previous three years.
Research:  Geneva Greer White, "Geneva's Tree"

The ship Fortune with Ship Master Thomas Barton, arrived at Plymouth on November 9, 1621, just a few weeks after the First Thanksgiving. This passenger list is based on the 1623 Division of Land, the passenger list compiled by Charles Edward Banks in Planters of the Commonwealth, and by the information found in Eugene Aubrey Stratton's Plymouth Colony: Its History and its People, 1620-1691.

Immigration on the Fortune 1621
ORIGIN: Unknown
MIGRATION: 1621 on Fortune
OCCUPATION: In the inventory, listed in the loft over the bedchamber, were many tools consistent with the trade of joiner, and seemingly in excess of what would be owned by an ordinary yeoman or husbandman: one broad ax, two felling axes, two hand saws, one thwart saw, three augers, one chisel, one gouge, one drawing knife, one "prser" [pincers?], one gimlet, two hammers, one pair of old hinges, two chest locks, one padlock, one splitting knife [ MD 1:205].
CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: List of books in inventory and gift to Plymouth church make it very likely that he was a member of the church.
FREEMAN: In "1633" Plymouth list of freemen, in early part of list, before those admitted 1 January 1632/3 [ PCR 1:3].
EDUCATION: Signed his will. The inventory included, in the bedchamber, "one great Bible & a little Bible. 1 Greenham's works. 1 psalm book with 17 other small books," valued at £1 3s. [MD 1:205].
ESTATE: In the 1623 Plymouth land division William Wright and William Pitt were paired in the receipt of two acres of land [PCR 12:5]. In the 1627 Plymouth cattle division William Wright was the fifth person in the company of John Howland [PCR 12:10].
   On 1 July 1633 Christopher Wadsworth and William Wright were allowed to mow where they had mowed the year before [PCR 1:15]; a reference to "widow Wright" in this same allocation of mowing ground is probably a later alteration of the record [PCR 1:14].
   In his will, dated 16 September 1633 and proved 2 January 1633/4, William Wright of New Plymouth bequeathed to wife "Prisilla Wright" his dwelling house, the garden plot adjoining, all lands which "shall be assigned & lotted unto me according to the custom & manner of the place now being," all goods and chattels, all debts, and all livestock, she to give to the church at Plymouth "one ewe lamb" and to "friend Mr. Will[iam] Brewster of Plymouth elder that cloth suit of apparel which were given me by my brother Fuller"; brother William Bradford to be overseer and wife Priscilla to be executor [MD 1:200-03]. The inventory of William Wright was taken 6 November 1633 by Manasseh Kempton and John Faunce, and totalled £99 12s., including "the house and garden" valued at £10 [MD 1:203-05, citing PCPR 1:19-21].
DEATH: Plymouth between 16 September 1633 (date of will) and 6 November 1633 (date of inventory).
MARRIAGE: Plymouth between 1629 and 1633 PRISCILLA CARPENTER; she m. (2) Plymouth 27 November 1634 John Cooper [PCR 1:32].
CHILDREN: None recorded.
ASSOCIATIONS: In his will of 30 July 1633, Samuel Fuller makes several references to "my brother William Wright," including a bequest of "one cloth suit not yet fully finished lying in my trunk at town" [MD 1:24-27]. Fuller and Wright had married sisters [see PRISCILLA CARPENTER].
COMMENTS: William Wright appears alone in both the 1623 land division and the 1627 cattle division. This indicates that Priscilla Carpenter did not come to Plymouth until the remnant of the Leiden congregation arrived in 1629 and 1630. William and Priscilla were no doubt married sometime not long after her arrival, and certainly before 30 July 1633.

The Great Migration Begins

In 1621, another vessel arrived at Plymouth. This was a much smaller ship indeed and was called the Fortune. It was a ship of only some 55 tons, while the Mayflower was more near 350 tons. The company in England, the Dorchester Company that is, sent the Fortune as a relief ship for the pilgrims. They actually sent it as more of a joke. You see the Mayflower had been expected to return to England filled with valuables from the New World. The company was to have sent another large vessel with supplies the Pilgrims were sure to be in need of. The Fortune however, was too small to carry anything more than what was needed for the journey. As a result, the Pilgrims had to wait to receive any relief.

The Mayflower had set the pilgrims off at Plymouth rather than taking them to the planned destination of Virginia. Once at sea, her captain got to know the peaceful pilgrims and found that they were unsuitable for life in Virginia. It was his own plan to drop them at Plymouth instead, which of course he did. He also kept the ship tied up there all winter to provide needed shelter. Even then, many of the hardy pilgrims died during that first winter of exposure and starvation. Once the cold had gone, the Mayflower set sail for England with her holds empty. This did not make the company happy at all and produced the small relief effort on the Fortune

Did you realize the Mayflower journey to Plymouth had been a commercial venture? It was actually the only way the pilgrims could secure passage. They had to agree to work for the company once there, for several years. This they did. They regularly sent portions of their crops back to England. Actually, the entire colonial period was one big commercial venture. Rich fat cats back in London, England were making themselves quite wealthy at the expense of many brave souls.

The Fortune carried only twenty-one passengers. These were not pilgrims themselves. In fact, the company had hired them specifically because they were adventurers. They had agreed to locate treasure and this they would share with the company. The company sent with them, instructions for the pilgrims to follow (which they did). The pilgrims were to house these men, and care for them. 

A side note, about the Fortune you may find interesting. On the return voyage to England, it left Plymouth empty and traveled south to Jamestown, Va. where it took on cargo (such as it was) for England. On the crossing, the Fortune had been blown off course and found itself in French waters where the French navy captured the unarmed ship and held it and crew captive for several weeks. Once the French realized the English would never pay for their freedom, they took what cargo was aboard and allowed the ship and crew to continue the voyage to England.

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