Cogswell #2584

John Cogswell (1592-1669)

Born in England.  Shipwrecked near Pemaquid Point, Maine on 15 Aug 1635 and subsequently settled in Ipswich, Massachusetts and

Elizabeth Thomsonn (1594-1676)

Born in England.  Shipwrecked near Pemaquid Point, Maine on 15 Aug 1635 and subsequently settled in Ipswich, Massachusetts.

 Cogswell 2584

 

The Cogswell Arms & Crest, reproduced on the cover of "The Cogswells in America" by E.O. Jameson (1884)

The Cogswell Arms & Crest, reproduced on the cover of “The Cogswells in America” by E.O. Jameson (1884)

Bibliographical Note:

Much of the information presented here is found in The Cogswells in America by E.O. Jameson (Boston, Massachusetts: Alfred Mudge & Son, 1884).  A more recent volume on the family is Descendants of John Cogswell by Donald J. Cogswell (Sebring, Florida: published by the author, 1998).  Kate Meeks-Hall has written a short story for children, Hannah Aboard the Angel Gabriel (2013), which describes the Cogswell family’s dramatic journey to “New World” in 1635.

The spelling of Elizabeth’s maiden name is recorded here as “Thomsonn” , not “Thompson” as is frequently reported elsewhere.  This is consistent with all references to her father, Vicar William Thomson(n), in the Westbury parish registers.

All Saints' Church, Westbury, Wiltshire, England - The church stands in the centre of the town in a handsome churchyard surrounded by cottages and footpaths at the head of the market place. The church was built in the second half of the 14th century with some later additions, probably on the site of a previous timber church.

All Saints’ Church, Westbury, Wiltshire, England – The church stands in the town centre in a handsome churchyard surrounded by cottages and footpaths at the head of the market place. The church was built in the second half of the 14th century with some later additions, probably on the site of a previous timber church.

John Cogswell, the son of Edward Cogswell (1554-1616) and his wife Alice (1570-1616) [surname unknown] was born about 7 Apr 1592 (the date of his baptism) in Westbury Leigh, Wiltshire, England.  He died 29 Nov 1669 at Ipswich, Massachusetts and is buried (with no remaining marker) in Old North Graveyard of that town.

 

English Origins (from The Cogswells in America by E.O. Jameson, cited above):

Robert Cogswell and his wife, Alicia, are the paternal grandparents of John Cogswell, immigrant to America in 1635.  They lived in Westbury Leigh, Wiltshire, England.  Robert Cogswell, as appears from his will, was a manufacturer of woolen cloths.  Little else is known of him.  The Register of the Parish[1] gives as the date of his burial 7 Jun 1581.  Mrs. Alicia Cogswell survived her husband.  The date of her burial is given as 1 Aug 1603. Their children were: Robert; Richard; Stephen; Joane, married [given name unknown] Freestone; Margaret, married [given name unknown] Franklene; Margery, married John Whatley; Edith, married Thomas Stevens; Edward Cogswell, married Alice [surname unknown].

Wiltshire, on the map of England

Wiltshire, on the map of England

Edward Cogswell, son of Robert Cogswell and Alicia Cogswell, was born in Westbury Leigh, County of Wilts, England.  He married Alice [surname unknown], and they resided at Westbury Leigh[2].  [10 Sep 1615, marriage of “John Cogswell” and “Elizabeth Thomson” (Westbury Parish Records image here – not a public page: password-protected due to copyright issues)].  Edward was a clothier, pursuing the business of his father and ancestors for generations, he appears to have been one of the most successful and prosperous clothiers of the region.  His estates were designated Ludborne, Horningsham, and Ripond Mylls (located in Frome Selwood, a few miles from Westbury).  Edward Cogswell died early in 1616 and was buried in the churchyard of Westbury.  His wife Alice survived him but a few weeks.   Their children were: Margaret, married 1599 Thomas Merchante; Elizabeth, died young (about 1582); Elizabeth, married 28 Mar 1609 Richard Erneley and died about 1661; John, died young (about 1592); Robert, born 1588 and probably died young; Andrew, born 1590 (twin brother of Robert); Robert, born 1590 (twin brother of Andrew); John Cogswell, born 1592, married 10 Sep 1615 Elizabeth Thompson and died 29 Nov 1669; Margery, married 3 Sep 1610 John Wilkins; Anthon, born 1595, died young (1597); Anthony, born 1597, married Margaret [surname unknown]; Geoffrey, born 10 Dec 1598; Elenor, married Stephen Smythe; Walter.

Their son, John Cogswell, emigrated to America in 1635.

St Mary's Church, Old Dilton, Wiltshire, the church with a curious spire near the White Horse. The 14th-century St Mary’s lies down a pretty wooded lane near the river Biss, on one of the many walking paths to the Westbury White Horse. This delightful little church is approached through a railway arch that opens out onto a simple churchyard, revealing an unusual church – squat yet pretty, with a tiny stone spire like an inverted ice-cream cone. Inside, little has changed since the 18th century and is crowded with plain, bleached box pews, some built on the original Medieval benches, a three-decker pulpit, family pews and two small galleries. The gallery north of the chancel was once used as a schoolroom and contains a fireplace. (photo: Churches Conservation Trust)

St Mary’s Church, Old Dilton, Wiltshire, the church with a curious spire near the White Horse. The 14th-century St Mary’s lies down a pretty wooded lane near the river Biss, on one of the many walking paths to the Westbury White Horse. This delightful little church is approached through a railway arch that opens out onto a simple churchyard, revealing an unusual church – squat yet pretty, with a tiny stone spire like an inverted ice-cream cone. Inside, little has changed since the 18th century and is crowded with plain, bleached box pews, some built on the original Medieval benches, a three-decker pulpit, family pews and two small galleries. The gallery north of the chancel was once used as a schoolroom and contains a fireplace. (photo: Churches Conservation Trust)

[Click here for — > for many more photos of the house of Edward And Alice Cogswell, All Saints Church and the Old Dilton (St. Mary’s) Church in Westbury, England]

Rev. William Thomsonn (1576-1623) is the father of John’s wife Alice.  He was the Vicar of Westbury Parish, Wiltshire, for  twenty  years (1603-1623), from 1603 to his death in 1623.  [1603: Westbury parish register entry regarding Vicar William Thomson (Westbury Parish Records image here – not a public page: password-protected due to copyright issues)]. His wife, Phillis [surname unknown], died in 1608.  The Westbury Register records her burial thus: Phillis, uxor of Mr. William Thompson, Vicar., Sepult. 19 July, 1608.  Of this marriage were Elizabeth Thomsonn, who married John Cogswell, Maria, who was baptized in 1604, and other children, as mention is made in his will of five daughters.  After the death of Alice’s mother, her father married Elizabeth [surname unknown], who survived him.  Of the second marriage were two sons: William, who was baptized 23 Apr 1615 and Samuel, whose baptism is thus recorded in the Westbury Register: 1616, Samuell, filius Willmi. Thompsonn., Vicarie de Westburie., baptizat Novemb 30.

Samuel Thompson, Alice’s youngest brother, became the Rev. Samuel Thompson, D. D., of London. His son, William Thompson, lived with his uncle, John Cogswell, for many years in Ipswich, Massachusetts.

In the Public Record Office, London, appears the following conveyance:

II Charles First, Trinity Term., 1635. Anthony Selfe and Henry Allyn, Plaintiff, and John Cogswell and Elizabeth, his wife. Defendants, whereby Anthony and Henry give to John and Elizabeth £40 sterling for one messuage, two Cottages, one barn, two gardens, two orchards, 4 1/2 acres of land, one of meadow and four of Pasture, with the appurtenances in Westbury and Westbury Leigh, Co. Wilts.

This was undoubtedly the sale of John Cogswell‘s homestead just on the eve of his departure for New England.

 

More About Westbury, Wiltshire:

In the past, Westbury was sometimes known as Westbury-under-the-Plain to distinguish it from other towns of the same name.  Westbury is nestled under the north-western bluffs of Salisbury Plain, and it is there that the town’s most famous feature can be seen: the Westbury White Horse.  It is sometimes claimed locally that the White Horse was first cut into the chalk face as long ago as the year 878, to commemorate the victory of King Alfred the Great over the Danes in the Battle of Eðandun (probably, but not certainly, at the nearby village of Edington).  However, scholars believe this to be an invention of the late 18th century, and no evidence has yet been found for the existence of the Westbury White Horse before the 1720s.  The form of the current White Horse dates from 1778, when it was restored.  In the 1950s it was decided that the horse would be more easily maintained if it were set in concrete and painted white.  In recent years, there has been a multitude of calls to clean or paint the “old grey mare” and such a renovation began in May 2006.

The White Horse of Westbury (photo credit: Lukasz J.)

The White Horse of Westbury (photo credit: Lukasz J.)

The horse’s original form may have been quite different from the horse seen today.  One 18th-century engraving shows the horse facing to the right, but in its current form it faces to the left.

In the pre-industrial era, Westbury was an important center in the production of high-quality cloths for which the west of England was renowned throughout the world.  Originally a cottage industry the weavers brought their cloth to the clothiers’ workshops for the finishing processes.  Fulling, the cleaning and thickening by locating and washing, was the first process to be industrialised and there is documentary evidence of fulling mills at Bitham in 1573 and Chalford in 1623.  John Leland noted the importance of the industry in the town in the mid 16th century.  The town prospered as a result until the mid 19th century when more cheaply produced lower grade cloths from northern England provided competition.  Angel Mill and Bitham Mill, however, continued in operation until 1969.  The legacy of the industry can be seen in the mill buildings now converted to private accommodations.

The center of Westbury is its historic marketplace, with the churchyard of All Saints’ Church (14th century) behind it.  All Saints’ boasts the third heaviest ring of bells in the world, an Erasmus Bible and a 16th-century clock with no face constructed by a local blacksmith.

 

Migration to America:

At the age of twenty-three years John Cogswell married the daughter of the parish vicar, succeeded to his father’s business and settled down in the old homestead.  His parents died soon after his marriage, and he received his inheritance, The Mylls called Ripond, situate within the Parish of Frome Selwood, together with the home place and certain personal property.  Like his father, he was a manufacturer of woolen fabrics, largely broadcloths and kerseymeres.

About twenty years after their marriage, with their family and the accumulations of a prosperous business, John Cogswell, with his wife Elizabeth and eight[3] children, embarked 23 May 1635, from Bristol, England, on the Angel Gabriel[4], for New England.

Mr. Cogswell took with him several farm and household servants, an amount of valuable furniture, farming implements, housekeeping utensils, and a considerable sum of money.  The particular reasons which led them to leave England may have been much the same that influenced others in their times.  He evidently left a very comfortable existence in England to come to America.

You can find Pemaquid Point Lighthouse along the Midcoast region of Maine. It was built in 1827. The lighthouse has a 32 foot white fieldstone conical tower. Located in Bristol at the end of Route 130. Surrounded by beautiful beaches, it rises from a shore of volcanic rock (photo credit: Sharon Reese-Coggswell).

You can find Pemaquid Point Lighthouse along the Midcoast region of Maine. It was built in 1827. The lighthouse has a 32 foot white fieldstone conical tower. Located in Bristol at the end of Route 130. Surrounded by beautiful beaches, it rises from a shore of volcanic rock (photo credit: Sharon Reese-Coggswell).

 

For anyone interested in an in-depth treatment of the Angel Gabriel, I recommend Angel Gabriel: The elusive English galleon : its history and the search for its remains by Warren Curtis Reiss (2001). This book is based on The History of, and Search for, the Seventeenth Century Bristol Merchantman Angel Gabriel (Thesis: Submitted to the Graduate College of Texas A & M University in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of MASTER OF ARTS) December 1980 [no copyright notice].

For anyone interested in an in-depth treatment of the Angel Gabriel, I recommend Angel Gabriel: The elusive English galleon: its history and the search for its remains by Warren Curtis Reiss (2001). This book is based on The History of, and Search for, the Seventeenth Century Bristol Merchantman Angel Gabriel (Thesis: Submitted to the Graduate College of Texas A & M University in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of MASTER OF ARTS) December 1980 [no copyright notice].

Their passage was long and disastrous, and their arrival in America was after a most unexpected fashion.  Having reached the shores of New England, they were landed very unceremoniously at a place called Pemaquid, in Maine, being washed ashore from the broken decks of Angel Gabriel, which went to pieces in the frightful gale of 15 Aug 1635.  An account of the wreck was written by Rev. Richard Mather[5], who left England aboard the James on the same day as Angel Gabriel.  The two ships left England together and sailed together for much of the voyage.  The two ships were both caught in the storm of 15 Aug 1635 off the coast of New England, and Richard Mather wrote the following is the account of the incident in his journal[6], which shows the Puritan tendency to see the hand of God at work in everything that happens:

Aug. 14-15 [1635]. 14. Ye evening by moone-light about 10 of ye clocke wee came to ancre at ye lles of Shoales, which are 7 or 8 llands & other great rockes ; and there slept sweetely ye night till breake of day. 15. But yet ye Lord had not done with us, nor yet had let us see all his power and goodnesse which he would have us to take knowledge of; and therefore on Saturday morning about breake of day, ye Lord sent forth a most terrible storme of raine and easterly wind, whereby wee were in as much danger as I think ever people were: for wee lost in ye morning three great ancres &. cables; of wch cables, one having cost 50£ never had beene in any water before, two were broken by ye violence of ye waves, and ye third cut by ye seamen in extremity and distresse, to save ye ship and their or lives. And wn or cables and ancres were all lost, wee [had] no outward meanes of deliverance but by loosing sayle, if so bee wee might get to ye sea from amongst ye Hands & rockes where wee ancred: but ye Lord let us see yt or sayles could not save us neither, no more ye or cables & ancres ; for by ye force of ye wind & ye raine ye sayles were rent in sunder & split in pieces, as if they had beene but rotten ragges, so yt of ye foresayle and sprissle-sayle there was scarce left so much as an hand-breadth, yt was not rent in pieces, & blown away into ye sea. So that at ys time all hope yt wee should be saved in regard to any outward appearance was utterly taken away, and ye rather because wee seemed to drive with full force of wind & rayne directly upon a mighty rocke standing out in sight above ye water, so yt wee did but continually wayte, when wee should heare and feele ye dolefull rushing and crushing of ye ship upon ye rocke. In ys extremity and appearance of death, as distresse &, distraction would suffer us wee cryed unto ye Lord, and he was pleased to have compassion and pity upon us ; for by his overruling providence & his owne immediate good hand, he guided ye ship past ye rocke, asswaged ye violence of ye sea, and ye wind and raine, & gave us a little respite to fit ye ship with other sayles, and sent us a fresh gale of wind at [blank] by wch wee went on ye day in or course south-west &; by west towards Cape Anne. It was a day much to bee remembered, because on yt day ye Lord graunted us as wonderfull a deliverance as I thinke ever people had, out of as apparent danger as I thinke ever people felt. I am sure or seamen confessed they never knew ye like. The Lord so imprint ye memory of it on or hearts, yt wee may bee ye better for it, & bee more carefull to please him and to walke uprightly before him as long as wee live ; and I hope wee shall not forget ye passages of yt morning untill or dying day…

…wn wee came to land wee found many mighty trees rent in pieces in ye midst of ye bole, and others turned up by ye rootes by ye fiercenesse thereof: and a barke going from ye bay to Marvil head, with planters & seamen therein to ye number of about 23, was caste away in ye storme, and all ye people therein perished, except one man & his wife, that were spared to report ye newes. And ye Angel Gabriel being yn at ancre at Pemmaquid, was burst in pieces and cast away in ye storme, & most of ye’ cattell and other goodes, with one seaman & 3 or 4 passengers did also perish therein, besides two of ye passengers yt dyed by ye way, ye rest having yr lives given ym for a prey. But ye James & wee yt were therein, with or cattell & goods, were all preserved alive. The Lords name be blessed forever.

The lighthouse marks the location of Pemaquid Point, on the coast of Maine.

The lighthouse marks the location of Pemaquid Point, on the coast of Maine.

Prior to its fateful voyage to New England in 1635, the Angel Gabriel had a very interesting history.  Three distinct ships named Angel Gabriel have been noted in English records of the period.  However, circumstantial evidence suggests that she was the ship originally named Starre, and later renamed Jason by Sir Walter Raleigh, who took the vessel on his second expedition to Guyana in 1617.  After about 1619, Angel Gabriel operated as an armed merchant vessel.

Accounts from the time of the storm of 1635 indicate that Angel Gabriel was at anchor in Pemaquid Harbor at the time of the hurricane, and the Pemaquid trading post may have been a scheduled stop on the journey.  For example Richard Mather described the Angel Gabriel as at anchor at Pemaquid during the storm that sank her.  Some imaginative accounts describe most of the passengers and crew coming ashore over rocks in the eye of the storm, when Angel Gabriel was smashed as it sailed along the coast, but it seems more likely that the ship was bringing supplies to the trading settlement Pemaquid and was anchored in the harbor at the time of the storm.  The ship may have spent at least a few days unloading, and many passengers and crew members could have been ashore when the storm struck early in the morning of 15 Aug 1635.  No detailed account of the wreck has been located, but depositions of two of the passengers, made during an inheritance hearing many years later, give us some information.  In the 1676 deposition by 65-year-old Samuel Haines[7]:

[I] came over along with him [John Cogswell] to New England and the ship [Angel Gabriel] and were present with him when my master Cogswell suffered shipwrecke at Pemmeyquid, which was about fourty one yeares ago the last August when the ship were cast away.

And in a deposition by 60-year-old William Furber:

I… did come over in the ship called the Angell Gabriell along with Mr. Cogswell, Sen. from Old England and we were cast ashore at Pemmeyquid; and I doe Remember that there were saved severall Cast both of Dry Goods and provisions which were marked with Mr. Cogswell, Sen. Marke and that there were saved a tent of Mr. Cogswell, Sen. which he set up at Pemmeyquid and Lived in it (with the goods that he saved in the wreck ).

Furber’s statement would suggest that he and Cogswell were on board, and survived, when the ship broke up.  However suffered shipwrecke and cast away might have meant that Coggswell and his people were left at Pemaquid because of Angel Gabriel’s demise.  In any case, this makes it easier to understand how the Cogswell family could have survived with their lives, and even some of their possessions.

Despite several attempts over the years to locate Angel Gabriel, including repeated expeditions by Warren Reiss between about 1977 and at least 1998, the remains of the ship have never been found.

In 1991, the Cogswell Family Association erected an historic marker to memorialize the wreck of 1635.  The inscription reads as follows:

Near this site on August 14, 1635,

John Cogswell and family from

Westbury Leigh, Wiltshire, England,

first set foot in America.

They arrived on the ship Angel Gabriel,

which was wrecked here on the

following day in a violent storm. The

family settled in Ipswich, Massachusetts.

Dedicated on September 28, 1991

at Pemaquid Point, Maine by

the Cogswell Family Association

The marker is located in Pemaquid Lighthouse Park, near the south end of Bristol Road (43° 50.23′ N, 69° 30.382′ W).

Click here —> to read an article from the Bangor Daily News about John Cogswell‘s horsehide trunk that survived a shipwreck.  It is now is on display at Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site in New Harbor, Maine (on loan from John Cogswell of Buena Vista, Colorado, a direct descendant of my immigrant ancestor).

If you have an interest in reading further about shipwrecks on the coast of Maine, I recommend Great Shipwrecks of the Maine Coast (Maritime) by Jeremy D’Entremont, who has been writing about and photographing the lighthouses of New England since the mid-1980s.  He’s the author of several books and hundreds of articles on lighthouses and other maritime subjects.

Pemaquid Point Light became the first lighthouse ever to appear on American currency or coinage in 2003, when its image appeared on the official Maine quarter-dollar.

Thus John Cogswell and his family escaped with their lives, but well drenched by the sea and despoiled of valuables to the amount of five thousand pounds sterling.  They were more fortunate than some who sailed with them, whom the angry waves gathered to a watery grave.  On leaving England Mr. Cogswell had taken along with him a large tent, which now came into good service.  This they pitched, and into it they gathered themselves and such stores as they could rescue from the waves.  The darkness of that first night of the Cogswells in America found them housed beneath a tent on the beach.  The next day they picked up what more of their goods they could, which had come ashore during the night or lay floating about upon the water.  As soon as possible John Cogswell, leaving his family, took passage for Boston.  He there made a contract with a certain Capt. Gallup, who commanded a small barque, to sail for Pemaquid and transport his family to Ipswich, Massachusetts.  This was a newly settled town to the eastward from Boston, and was called by the Indians, “Aggawam.” Two years earlier, March 1633, Mr. John Winthrop, son of Gov. John Winthrop, with ten others, had commenced a settlement in Aggawam.  An act of incorporation was secured 4 Aug 1634, under the name of Ipswich.

Ipswich / Topsfield town line sign (photo credit: jimboyle93/flickr, May 2011)

It was probably near the end of August 1635, when Capt. Gallup sailed up the Aggawam River, having on board John Cogswell, his wife Elizabeth, their three sons and five daughters, and whatever of household goods his barque would carry, the rest of their effects being taken by another ship.  The settlers of Ipswich at once manifested an appreciation of these newcomers.  Very soon after his arrival, on 3 Mar 1636, by an act of the Court, John Cogswell was admitted freeman, to which privileges none were admitted prior to 1664 except respectable members of some Christian church.  To freemen alone were given the civic rights to vote for rulers and to hold public office.  John Cogswell received liberal grants of land, as appears from the following municipal records:

1636. Granted to Mr. John Cogswell Three Hundred acres of land at the further Chebokoe, having the River on the South east, the land of Willm White on the North west, and A Creeke romminge out of the River towards William White’s farme on the North east. Bounded also on the West with a Creek and a little creeke… Also there was granted to him a parsell of ground containinge eight acres, upon part whereof ye sd John Cogswell hath built an house, it being the corner lot in Bridge street and hath Goodman Bradstreet’s house-Lott on the South East.  There was granted to him five acres of ground, which is thus described: Mr. John Spencer’s buttinge upon the River on the South, having a lott of Edmond Gardiner’s on the South East, and a lott of Edmond Sayward’s on the south west; with six acres of ground, the sd John Cogswell hath sold to John Perkins, the younger, his heirs and assigns.

“Cogswell’s Grant”, so named because it was part of the original land grant of 300 acres from Ipswich to Jonathan Cogswell in 1636. The property now contains 165 acres.

It appears that John Cogswell was the third original settler in that part of Ipswich which is now Essex, Massachusetts.  He established a farm on the land granted to him, and he referred to this property in documents as Westberry Lee, naming it after his birthplace in England.  A mortgage record for 1641 indicates a house and other buildings on the property.  The seventeenth-century buildings do not survive, but archaeological evidence has revealed that a structure from that period had lain perpendicular to the existing 1728 house.  In 1998, the house, known as “The Cogswell Grant” was opened to the public as a museum[8] operated by Historic New England to display the a large collection of American folk art that was assembled by Bertram and Nina Little, who had acquired the property for the sum of $13,000 in 1937.  As of 2012, the property also continues to operate as a working farm.  Click here –> to link to an article on the museum from Harvard Magazine (July/August 2014).

This panoramic view gives a sense of the landscape of Cogswells Grant, Ipswich, Massachusetts (photo; Essex National Heritage Commission)

This panoramic view gives a sense of the landscape of Cogswell’s Grant, Ipswich, Massachusetts (photo: Essex National Heritage Commission)

A beautiful first day of summer at Cogswell's Grant! Photo taken 21 Jun 2014.

A beautiful first day of summer at Cogswell’s Grant! Photo taken 21 Jun 2014.

A sketch of the Cogswell House in Ipswich, Massachusetts from "Alice Cogswell Bemis: A Sketch by a Friend", Author: Anonymous, printed 1920

A sketch of the Cogswell House in Ipswich, Massachusetts from “Alice Cogswell Bemis: A Sketch by a Friend”, Author: Anonymous, printed 1920. The home was built on the Cogswell property in 1728 on the site of an earlier house.

The Cogswell House, Ipswich, Massachusetts (from "Cogswells in America" by Jameson, 1884, p. 5)

The Cogswell House, Ipswich, Massachusetts (from “Cogswells in America” by Jameson, 1884, p. 5)

In 1651, John Cogswell began to divide his property among his sons, deeding sixty acres each to William and John (Jr.).  John (Jr.) immediately sold his acreage to William, and by 1657, John (Sr.) had sold the remaining 180 acres to William as well.   In 1884, Jameson (cited above) wrote: “His descendants for eight generations, through a period of two hundred and fifty years have continued to cultivate those ancestral acres…  In the house of this place are now treasured many relics and articles of household use which were brought over in 1635, and survived the wreck of the Angel Gabriel.”

On the records of Ipswich the name of John Cogswell often appears, and it is uniformly distinguished by the appellation of Mr., which in those days was an honorary title given to but few, who were gentlemen of some distinction.  There were only about thirty of the three hundred and thirty-five original settlers of Ipswich who received this honor.

John Cogswell and his wife Elizabeth are buried at the Old North Cemetery on Main Street or Route 133 in Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts.  The Old North Burying Ground was established in 1634, the same year as the town of Ipswich, and it is the town’s oldest cemetery.  The current lists of interments in the cemetery records do not go back that far, however, which may mean the graves were not marked or the headstones have been buried or lost.

The known children of John Cogswell and Elizabeth Thomsonn are listed as follows (all born at Westbury Leigh, Wiltshire, England): (1) Elizabeth, born 1616; (2) Mary, born 1617 and died at Boston, Massachusetts (date unknown).  She may have been the Mary Cogswell who was in the family of Gov. Bellingham  and joined the Boston Church on 29 Aug 1647.  She married Godfrey Armitage in 1649, and they resided at Boston.  Mary was his second wife.  He is either the son or brother of Thomas Armitage, who came to America aboard the James in 1635, and he was one of the executors named in John  Cogswell (Jr.)’s will; (3) William, born 1619 and died 15 Dec 1700 at Chebacco, Ipswich, Massachusetts.  William married Susanna Hawkes, daughter of Adam Hawkes and Anne (Brown) Hutchinson about 1650 at Lynn, Massachusetts; (4) John Cogswell, see below; (5) Phyllis, born 1624 and probably died young; (6) Hannah, born 1626 and died 25 Dec 1704 at Charlestown, Massachusetts.  She married Cornelius Waldo before 2 Jan 1651 at Ipswich; (7) Heaster, born 4 May 1628; (8) Edward, born about 1629.  Little is known of him; (9) Alice, born 1632 and probably died young; (10) Ruth, born 1633 and probably died young; [(11) Sarah, born circa 1632 and died 25 Jan 1732 (100 years of age).  She married Simon Tuttle, son of John Tuttle and Joanna (Antrobus) Lawrence about 1663 and (12) Elizabeth, born about 1635.  She married Nathaniel Masterson on 31 Jul 1657].  Click the images below to see some of the entries for the births of the Cogswell children from the Westbury Parish Registers.  Digital photographs of the original parish registers stored at the Wiltshire and Swindon Record Office in Trowbridge (now the Wiltshire and Swindon Archives in Chippenham), Wiltshire, England are available at the website of the Cogswell Family Association [this still links to the CFA website, but there are no longer links to the digital images as of 6 Feb 2015] or here (not a public page: password-protected due to copyright issues).  They were taken in May 2002 and have been edited slightly for clarity to eliminate stray lines from characters appearing in the entries before and after the one shown.

John Cogswell (Jr.) is the son of John Cogswell and Elizabeth Thomsonn.  He was born in 1622 and died 27 Sep 1653, at sea.  Sometime around 1648, he married at Ipswich, but the name of John‘s wife is not known.   John was occupied as a farmer at Chebacco, Ipswich, Massachusetts.

John Cogswell (Jr.) was unlucky at best.  His wife (whose name we do not know) died when his children were still infants and toddlers.  He left them in the care his brother William (the legal guardian), his sister Hannah and other family members and went to London to try and extract himself from much debt.  His mission failed, and he died on the return voyage, 27 Sep 1653, about thirty or thirty-one years of age.  The crew brought his body back to land, and he was buried at Ipswich.  Before he embarked for home, he wrote a touching and affectionate letter to his parents, which was dated at London, 30 Mar 1653.  The letter was addressed: To My very loving Father, Mr. John Cogswell.  At his house in Ipswich.  These be in Essex.

Most loving father and mother, I having an opportunity to send to New England could not but write to you, to certify to you that I am thro’ God’s goodness to safe arrived in England, & have had my heath well, & my friends are in general well. My sister hath 2 children. I an as yet unmarried, & little hoped I have to marry here; but I intend to make haste over to New England, with some servants, as fast as I can. My condition at present is very low, & I am in great straits. The Lord in mercy help me. Mr. Deane hath dealt kindly with me, hath taken bond of me to receive for £84 here, £100 in Boston. I pray, father, will you be assistant to my brother William, & both to my brother Armitage, in the payment of this £100; for I have written to my brother Armitage to pay it for my, because he lives in Boston. I have not as yet agreed with my cousin Stevens nor Mr. Goade. I owe them £53, besides interest. I pray, father & mother & brother William, be careful of the little corne, cattle, goods & my house & land, that it be not forfeited; for I am in a very low and sad condition here, & have nothing yo pay my depts withall, nor to maintain my poore, motherless children withall, but with is in your hands. I pray you will have a fatherly & motherly care of my dear, motherless babes, & at present fatherless. I have been with my brother Waldo’s friends; his mother lives in Berwick; his Uncle John is dead; his brother Thomas is in Ireland, & his Uncle Barrow is dead; the rest are in health. I pray be earnest with my sister Waldo to be loving & tender to my three babes, for she knows not how soon hers may be left to the wide world. I would have Sml. & Elizabeth goe to school this summer. Thus on my knees, craving your prayers to God for me in my undertaking, that I may be brought safe to you again, remembering my duty to you both; my love to my 3 children, & to my brothers & sisters & cousins, with my service to Mr. Rogers & Mr. Morton; my love to goodmen Lords; my respects to all my friends. Humbly craving all your prayers, I commit you all to God. I rest your obedient son, very loving father & brother & friend & servant,

John Cogswell.

This letter I wrote in great haste.

John‘s estate was inventoried at £341 against the desperate debts outlined in his letter to his parents and a lease of 1000 years.  The residue of the estate was spent on the care and education of his children.  His will was dated 13 Dec 1652 and was accepted at the Ipswich court on 30 Sep 1653.  His executors brought the will to account to the court in Ipswich to the full of the estate and were discharged by the court.  The disposition of John‘s estate was the key issue in the matter of Cogswell vs Cogswell [1675-1677], the lawsuit which pitted John’s brother and executor William against John’s son.

John‘s will reads as follows[9] [words & letters in brackets are illegible on the original and are left out of the version of John‘s will printed in the Probate Records of Essex County. However, they were included in Jameson’s book.]:

[I, John] Cogswell, of Ipswitch, beinge bound for England, upon due considerations movinge me to it, have made [my father] and my Brother, William Cogswell, and my Brother [Armitage], Executors in trust, and Mr. Nathaniell Rojers, [Overseers, to] order and dispose of my children and Estate as [far as they s]hall see fit to be for my good; to pay my debts[, and to buy and sell] wth my Estate for my use; and if it should [please God so] to order it by his Providence that I come [no more there, to] take ye Care of my children and breede ym [up in the fear] of God and to learninge, and if any one of ym be [capable of ] beinge Good scoler, yn I would have him brought [up to it, and] ye other to be bound prentiss at 10 years ould to a [Godly, honest] man, where he may be wel brought vp [and know how to hus]bandry affairs & yt vy yt should h[ave been laid out on him] to be [p]ut to encrea[se] against he is 21 years old.

[And my] daughter Elizabeth [I desire that she may be bred at school untill she is fourteen years old, and then to goe to service and earne her living, and not allowes anything toward their maintenance after they are at service; and if I should (not) come again, I would entrete you to make the most of all my goods, to sell it and buy young cattle with it, and to sett out my farme in parcells or what way you shall see best to make the most of it untill my] so[ns be twenty-one years old; and then my farmes and goods yt] is then left to b[e equally divided between my three chidr]en, ye la[n]d to [my two sons,] 2 parts [to John and one part] to Samuel, and [to] my daughter Elizabeth [a portion] of moneye, [di ye to her pportion viz in 4 less] according to proportion, viz., one part in four less than my sonn Samuell[; provided, ]if my daughter should be maryed before (21) [years] old, yt she should haue her portion, as neer as [it can] be Cast vp, to be pd to her at her maridge day; and also my sonns to have theyre portions deliuered to them at 21 yeres ould. Whereto I sit my hand [this 1]3th of December, [165]2.[3]

John Cogswell, Junior

The will was witnessed by Robert Lord and Cornelius Waldo.

The children of John Cogswell (Jr.) and his wife are listed as follows:

  1. Elizabeth (1648-1736)
  2. John (1650-1724).  He was born and died at Ipswich.  In 1692, John was one of the signors of a petition in support of John and Elizabeth Procter, who were accused of witchcraft during the “Salem Witch Trials”.  Four other members of the Cogswell family also signed, as did Isaac Foster, my 8th g-grandfather.  This is discussed in more detail under the disussion of Isaac Foster under the heading of Reginald Foster (1595-1681).  The appeal to the Court did not succeed.  Both John and Elizabeth Proctor were convicted of witchcraft and John Proctor was hanged.
  3. Samuel Cogwell was born in 1651 at Ipswich, Massachusetts and died in 1701 at Lyme, Connecticut.  He arrived, unmarried at Saybrook, Connecticut in about 1665.  On 27 Oct 1668 at Saybrook, Connecticut, he married Susanna Haven, the daughter of Richard Haven and Susanna NewhallSusanna Haven was born 24 Apr 1653 at Lynn, Massachusetts and died in 1690 at Lyme, Connecticut.

Connecticut and Long Island Sound map

The children of Samuel Cogswell and Susanna Haven are listed as follows: (1) Hannah (1670- ) married Josiah Dibell; (2) Susanna (1672- ); (3) Wastall (1674-before 1709); (4) Samuel Cogswell, see below; (5) Robert (1679- ); (6) Joseph (1682- ) in 1710 married Anna Orvis; (7) Nathaniel (1684- ); (8) John (1688- ) and  (9) Mary.

Samuel Cogswell, the son of Samuel Cogwell and Susanna Haven was born 2 Aug 1677 at Saybrook, Connecticut and died 21 Mar 1752 at Canterbury, Connecticut.  On 3 Mar 1701 he married Ann Mason.  She was born about 1669 and died 17 Jun 1753, both at Saybrook, Connecticut.  She had previously been the wife of John Denison (1669-1700).

The daughter of Samuel Cogswell and Ann Mason is Althea Cogswell, who was born about 1715 at Lebanon, Connecticut and died sometime after 1748, when her youngest known child was born.  On 23 Mar 1731 at Lebanon, Connecticut, she married David Foster, born about 1711 at Topsfield, Massachusetts and died about 1793 at Sharon, Connecticut.

The daughter of David Foster and Althea Cogswell is Lucy Foster, born 14 Sep 1740 at Lebanon, Connecticut and died 5 Jan 1785 at Sharon, Connecticut.  About 1764 at Sharon, Connecticut, she married Nathaniel Hamlin, born 7 Jun 1738 in Agawam, Massachusetts and died at Sharon, Connecticut on 27 Dec 1818.  In 1786, Nathaniel married (2nd) Deborah St. John (1763-1817) and had several more children with her.

The lineage of Lucy Foster and Nathaniel Hamlin is continued under the heading of James Hamlin (Hamblen) (1606-1690).

 


[1] Registers of St. Mary’s Chapel, Parish of All Saints and Westbury, Wiltshire, England.

[2] In 1591 he built the ancient home at what is now known as 145 Westbury Leigh. Restoration work uncovered three irregular lumps above the hearth, and further inspection revealed three shields carved in relief. One is inscribed ECA [Edward Cogswell and Alicia]. Another reads 1591, and the third bears the Cogswell cloth logo, the use of which became compulsory for clothiers. The house was privately restored during the 1980s by Peter and Mary Jones.

[3] John and Elizabeth had with them their three sons, William, John, and Edward, and five of his six daughters. One daughter was left behind in England.  For 124 years following publication of Cogswells in America by Ephraim Orcutt Jameson, the identity of which Cogswell daughter did not remove to the colonies in New England with her family has remained a mystery. Many popular and wide-spread myths, such as “she was the eldest daughter”, “she lived in London”, “her name was Elizabeth”, and “there were two Cogswell daughters named Elizabeth”, evolved. However, the lead article in the January 2008 edition of The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (volume 162) has brought closure to this issue.  The Cogswell daughter that remained in England in 1635, and is often referred to as the “unnamed daughter”, has been discovered to be John and Elizabeth Cogswell’s child, Phyllis. She married John Broadhurst at Chirton, Whitshire, on 23 Jan 1644/5 and the couple had seven children between 1646 and 1664. The Broadhurst-­Cogswell marriage, and the baptism of all of their children, were performed by Vicar John White. He was Phyllis’ great uncle and brother (or perhaps half-brother) of Vicar William Thomson’s wife, Phyllis.

[4] Angel Gabriel was a 240-ton English passenger galleon. She was commissioned for Sir Walter Raleigh’s last expedition to America in 1617. The ship was initially built as the Starre in 1615 and renamed the Jason by Sir Walter Raleigh for use in his second expedition to Guiana (then under control of the Spanish) in 1617. Following Raleigh’s return it was seized and became a merchant ship, renamed the Angel Gabriel.

Richard Mather (1596-1669), father to Increase Mather and grandfather to Cotton Mather. He is my 10th g-grand uncle.

Richard Mather (1596-1669), father to Increase Mather and grandfather to Cotton Mather. He is my 10th g-grand uncle.

[5] Rev. Richard Mather (1596-1669) became the minister of Dorchester in the Colony of Massachusetts. He is the father of Rev. Increase Mather (1639-1723) and the grandfather of Rev. Cotton  Mather (1663-1728), both major figures in the early history of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and Province of Massachusetts Bay. They are discussed in under “Notable Kin”.  Increase Mather and Cotton Mather are my 1st cousin 11x removed and 2nd cousin 10x removed, respectively.

[6] The Journal of Richard Mather. 1635 (Boston, Massachusetts: David Clapp) 1850.

[7] Samuel Haines, who had been an apprentice to the Cogswells in England for nine years, lived with the Cogswells in Ipswich for three years before returning to England. While in England in 1638, he married Eleanor Neate.  They returned to New England, bringing some goods back for John Cogswell, and settled in Dover, New Hampshire.  Haynes was a Dover selectman and 1653 and 1663, served on the grand jury and bought half interest in a sawmill in 1670.  He and Eleanor had three children: Mary, Matthias and Samuel.  The Lockheeds, of Lockheed aircraft, are direct descendents of Samuel Haines.

[8] The property is located at 60 Spring Street, Essex, Massachusetts 01929 (from Route 128, take Exit 15, turn onto School Street towards Essex and follow to junction with Route 133. Turn left on Route 133 west [Main St.], bear right at intersection of Route 22, then turn right onto Spring Street and follow to the end).

[9] Essex County Probate Files, Docket 5, 829.

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5 comments

  • Georgina Davis

    Thank you for the interesting story. I am descended from John Cogswell, Hannah Cogswell, Daniel Waldo. Right now I am struggling with two Susannas, both born in the 1990s in Ipswich:

    Susanna, dau of John Jr. 3/10/1695 (Chebacco)
    Susanna, dau of John and Margaret Gifford, 5/5/1691

    One of the Susannas married Samuel Low and the other married Jeremiah Parsons. Can you tell me which is which?

    Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated

  • Karen Struve

    Hello, thank you for your interesting story about our shared ancestors. I am familiar with John Cogswell in Buena Vista, CO. He and his wife graciously hosted the 2006 Cogswell Reunion my husband and I attended.
    I descend from John and Elizabeth’s son William. John and Elizabeth Cogswell are my 9th g-grandparents.
    I have one question. Just below your pictures of the Old North Cemetery you state “John Cogswell and his wife Alice are buried…” Did you mean John Cogswell and his wife Elizabeth?
    Your photos are outstanding. Thank you so much for sharing!
    Karen Struve

  • Roger W. Bohn

    My 10th g-grandfather was Althea’s older brother, Hezekiah who settled in Nova Scotia.

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