Born in England. Arrived in Rhode Island in 1637 and
Born in England. Arrived in Rhode Island in 1637.
Not much is known of Anthony Paine beyond a few facts that can be gleaned from the colonial records. He is thought to have been born about 1586 in Noroton, Lincolnshire, England, according to many sources, but so far as I can tell this connection has not been proven. He married in England, and the name Alice Potter is often seen for this first wife and the mother of his children (born in England), but how her surname is known is not clear. Anthony Paine was at Portsmouth, Rhode Island by 1638, when he was admitted as an inhabitant, and he was a signer of a Compact for government there on 30 Apr 1639, along with twenty-eight other men. The text of the Compact reads as follows:
We whose names are underwritten, do acknowledge ourselves the legal subjects of His MAJESTY KING CHARLES, and in his name do hereby bind ourselves into a civil body politic, unto his laws according to matters of justice.
The familial connections between Anthony Paine and any of the other immigrants of the period who settled in New England are unclear. Many of these families are discussed in Paine Family Records: A Journal of Genealogical and Biographical Information Respecting the American Families of Payne, Paine, Payn etc. edited by H.D. Paine (Albany, New York: J. Munsell, Printer) 1880. In that volume, only the following is noted regarding Anthony Paine: “…Feb. 6 of the same year, 1638, Anthony Paine was received to be an inhabitant of Portsmouth R.I., but further particulars concerning him, or his family, are wanting, except that, as in the preceding instance [Stephen Paine, who took passage in the Diligent in 1638, and came to Hingham, Plymouth Colony] his wife bore the sweet name of Rose [this would be his second wife].”
As an aside, there is no familial connection that I know of between Anthony Paine or any of the other early Paine immigrants and Thomas “Tom” Paine (1737-1809) who was an English author, pamphleteer, radical, inventor, intellectual, revolutionary and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Thomas Paine was born in Thetford, in the English county of Norfolk, and he emigrated to the British American colonies in 1774 in time to participate in the American Revolution. His principal contributions were the powerful, widely read pamphlet Common Sense (1776), the all-time best-selling American book that advocated colonial America’s independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and The American Crisis (1776–1783), a pro-revolutionary pamphlet series. Common Sense was so influential that John Adams said, “Without the pen of the author of Common Sense, the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain.”
The children of Anthony Paine and his first wife, Alice, are as follows:
- Mary Paine, born about 1611 in England and died 12 Feb 1687 in Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island. In about 1639 at Portsmouth she married John Tripp, who was born about 1610 in England and died 28 Oct 1678 in Portsmouth. They raised 11 children there.
- Alice, born about 1612.
- Mary, born about 1616
- Another child born about 1620 and died young.
Alice, the first wife of Anthony Paine, must have died by 1643, for in that year Anthony married, as his second wife, Rose (widow of Matthew and identified with surname of “French” in some accounts, although may also refer to her nationality). Prior to the marriage, Anthony and Rose entered into an agreement whereby she deeded to her three sons Matthew, Thomas and Daniel Grinnell, “two sheeder goats apiece, and to her son Matthew, a cow also.” The goats were to abide in the hands of Anthony Paine for three years, and the milk was to be his, but the increase was to belong to her three sons. It was also agreed that upon the death of either Anthony or Rose after marriage, the property of the one deceased should go to the children of that person (Rose having four children and Anthony having three children). It may be further noted that Rose’s son, Daniel Grinnell (1636-1703), married Mary Wodell, daughter of William Wodell, my 11th g-grandfather, discussed under his own heading.
Anthony Paine died prior to 1650 in Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island. In that year Rose, the second wife of Anthony Paine, married as her third husband James Weeden (1585-1673). Anthony’s (proved 1650) reads in part:
I, Anthony Paine, in my perfect memory, do manifest my mind and last will is to give and bequeath unto my daughter Alice, one cow, she or husband paying unto my daughter Mary Tripp, so much as the cow is judged to be more worth than the heifer; further my mind and will is to give unto my daughter Mary Tripp one young heifer, and to be made equal out of the cow, and further my mind and will is to make my wife, Rose Paine, my whole and sole executrix, to see my former covenant, and my last will performed and my debts paid, and Mr. Porter and William Baulstone to see my estate equally divided… witnes my hand this 5th of may 1649 [Marke of Anthony Paine] William Freeborn [Appears to have signed his name]
Anthony and Alice’s daughter Mary Paine married John Tripp (1610-1678), and this couple and their children are discussed under his heading.
 One researcher cites the following as a clue: John Tripp (1611-1678) who married Anthony Paine’s (1586-1649) daughter Mary Paine (1611-1687) went on the record that Uncle Robert Potter (believed to be his wife’s uncle) sold land to son John Tripp’s (1640-1719) father-in-law (father of his wife Susanna Anthony), John Anthony (1607-1675), all of which would seem to indicate that Mary Paine’s (1611-1687) mother and Anthony Paine’s (1586-1649) first wife may have been a “Potter” as well.
 Other signers among my ancestors are: Ralph Earle, George Lawton and John Tripp. This is the so-called Second Portsmouth Compact (Compact of Loyalty) and should not be confused with the Portsmouth Compact signed on 7 Mar 1638 that established the settlement of Portsmouth, Rhode Island. The first compact is the first document in the history of the American colonies that severed both political and religious ties with mother England. The document was written and signed in Boston by a group of men who followed Anne Hutchinson, a banished Christian dissident from Massachusetts, to seek religious freedom in Rhode Island. The signers were ready to move to Aquidneck Island to set up a new colony and had been disarmed by the Puritan leaders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The purpose of the (First) Portsmouth Compact was to set up a new, independent colony that was Christian in character but non-sectarian in governance. It has been called “the first instrument for governing as a true democracy.” Direct ancestors of mine who were signers of the Portmouth Compact are: William Dyre (husband of Mary Dyer), William Freeborn, William Hutchinson (husband of Anne Hutchinson), Edward Hutchinson, Jr. (eldest son of William and Anne Hutchinson, called “Jr.” to distinguish him from his uncle Edward Hutchinson Sr.), and John Walker, all of whom are discussed under their own headings. John Clarke and his brother Thomas (my 8th g-grand uncles – brothers of Joseph Clarke), John Coggeshall (father of my 7th g-grand uncle Samuel Rathbun, brother of Thomas Rathbun), Edward Hutchinson Sr. (my 10th g-grand uncle), and Thomas Savage (husband of my 9th g-grand aunt Faith Hutchinson, brother of Edward Hutchinson Jr.) were also signers.