West #10415

Elizabeth West (1573-1633)

Born in England.  Arrived in Massachusetts in 1629 (aboard the Arbella) and

Herbert Pelham (1546-1620)

Born and died in England.

West #10415

This rather strange portrait (c. 1636) of Elizabeth West and her second husband, Sir Richard Saltonstall, has traditionally been attributed to David des Granges. The painting is thought to show Sir Richard Saltonstall (1595-1650) with his family. The pallid figure within the bed may be a posthumous image of his first wife, Grace Kaye, who died in 1625. She here points towards two of the couple’s children, who link hands with each other and with their father, forming a chain both of affection and of family unity. The swaddled child in Elizabeth’s arms would be one of her own children by Sir Richard. She also is dressed in white and is separated from her husband by the first wife. In addition, the diagonal line between Saltonstall’s left hand and his baby is interrupted by his dead wife. However, he does gaze in the direction of his second wife, although no one in the portrait looks directly at another person (the Tate Collection).

Elizabeth West was born in Wherwell, Hampshire, England on 11 Sep 1573 and died 15 Jan 1633 in Dorset, England.  The American descendants of Elizabeth West are through the children of her first husband, Herbert Pelham, who was born (1546 in Bucksteep, Sussex) and died (12 Apr 1620 in Fordington, Dorset) in England.  Elizabeth and Herbert were married in Wherwell, Hampshire, England on 12 Feb 1593, and Herbert was already a widower with children by Catherine Thatcher, who was born at Westham, Sussex, England about 1550 and died at Bucksteep, Sussex, England about 1593.


English Origins:

Elizabeth is the daughter of Thomas West (1556-1602), 2nd and 11th Baron De La Warr of Wherwell Abbey in the English county of Hampshire and his wife  Lady Anne Knollys (about 1555-1608).  Thomas was a member of Elizabeth I’s Privy Council and High Sheriff of Hampshire.  Thomas was the only son of William West, 1st Baron De La Warr and Lady Elizabeth Strange.  He succeeded his father, who had been created Baron De La Warr in 1597 by letters patent.  In 1597 he petitioned the House of Lords to have the precedence of the original barony, 1299, on the basis that he actually held the ancient peerage.  After his claim was admitted, he sometimes referred to himself as 11th Baron.  On 19 Nov 1571 at Wherwell in Hampshire, he was married to Anne Knollys, daughter of Sir Francis Knollys and Catherine Carey, with whom he had thirteen children, including Elizabeth (1573-1633); Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr (1577-1618), who married Lady Cicely Shirley; Francis West, Governor of Virginia (1586-1634) and John West, Governor of Virginia (1590-1659).

The information I have concerning Elizabeth’s first husband, Herbert Pelham, is taken from a small book containing material compiled by Joseph Lemuel Chester, Herbert Pelham and his Ancestors (Boston, Massachusetts, 1879).  The material derives from a document that Chester refers to as the “Bennett Roll”, which he describes as “a richly emblazoned parchment roll, some yards in length, now in the possession of an aged maiden lady of Castle Cary, in Somersetshire.  It was originally compiled by her ancestor, Samuel Bennet, Esq., of Shepton Mallet in that county, and is thus headed: Register of severall of the ancestors of Samuel Bennet and his wife Ivatherine, with their several alliances by marriage, for four generations, Anno Dom: 1693.”  The greater portion of the roll relates directly to the families of Bennet and Shute, but it also includes accounts of a number of families with which they were allied by marriage, and among them that of Pelham.

As a specimen of the style of the “Bennet Roll” (which is entirely in narrative form), Chester quotes verbatim the commencement of the account of the Pelham family, as follows:

By my Wife’s Mother’s Father. There were three brothers of the Pelhams, one called Black Pelham, the other White Pelham, the other only by the name of Pelham.  Sir William Pelham of Brockleby in Lincoln was the Black Pelham, and mother Shute’a mother for the White Pelham; so are also the Pelhams of Compton in Dorset.  My g. g. grandfather Herbert Pelham his father’s name was Anthony, and this Anthony Pelham’s son and grandson married with Elizabeth and Penelope West, daughters of Lord Delaware.

This is all that the roll says respecting Anthony Pelham, the father of Herbert Pelham, who married Elizabeth West, and some of whose descendants eventually ended up in New England.  According to Chester, Anthony Pelham was the fourth and youngest son of Thomas Pelham of Laughton, County Suffolk (son and finally heir of Sir John Pelham, Knight) and brother of William Pelham, ancestor of the Earls of Chichester and Yarborough, “through the ordinary histories of which peerages his antecedents can be readily traced”[1].  His residence was in the parish of Warbleton, and the name of his seat was “Buxstepe”, as he himself spelled it in his will.  In his day a mansion of some pretensions existed on the property.  It was really the inheritance of his wife, Margaret Hall, and only became the property of the Pelhams by his bequeathing to her son, by a former husband, other property in exchange.  His wife Margaret was, when he married her, the widow of one Pierce, by whom she had (with other issue) a son, Thomas Pierce, with whom the exchange was effected.  Margaret was buried at Warbleton on 9 Dec 1560.  Anthony Pelham made his will on 5 Apr 1563, describing himself as of Buxstepe, in the parish of Warbultun, Esquire.  This will was proved 26 Feb 1566/7, in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, by Herbert Pelham, son of the testator, the executor named.  Anthony Pelham had by his wife Margaret only two children, at least who survived.  His daughter Anne became the second wife of  William Morley, of Glynde, Sussex, whose line terminated in heiresses in the second generation.
Anthony’s only son was Herbert Pelham.

Herbert had barely attained his majority when he proved his father’s will, and hence he must have been about 1546.  He was twice married, and by both wives had a total of thirteen children.  His first wife was Catherine, daughter of John Thatcher, Esq., of Priesthawes in the parish of Westham, Sussex, and Margaret, daughter of Sir Goddard Oxenbridge.  By her he had one daughter and two sons[2]: Margaret, who married Sir Thomas Palmer of Wingham, Kent;  John, who, on 28 Jan 1609 had a license from the Bishop of London to marry Catherine, daughter of John Yardley, Esq. of Henley, Warwick.  He was described as Gentleman, a bachelor, aged twenty-four, son of Herbert Pelham, Esq., of Warbleton, Sussex. He was, therefore, born in about 1584, and it may be assumed that his father’s first marriage took place about 1580; Herbert.

The exact date of death of Herbert Pelham‘s first wife Catherine does is not known.  He married (2nd) at Wherwell, Hampshire, Elizabeth West, eldest daughter of Thomas West, 2nd Baron De La Warr (1556-1602) and Anne Knollys (1555-1608) daughter of Sir Francis Knollys, K. G., Treasurer of the Household to Queen Elizabeth.  According to the “Bennet Roll” she was baptized at Wherwell, her sponsors being Queen Elizabeth herself, the Countess of Lincoln, and the Earl of Leicester[3].  She was married at Wherwell to Herbert Pelham on 12 Feb 1593/4, being then only twenty years old, while her husband was about forty-eight.

The children of Elizabeth West and Herbert Pelham are listed as follows:

  • daughter, born at Offington, 25 Sep 1594
  • daughter, born at Michelham, 25 Mar 1595
  • daughter, born 26 Mar 1595 (These three daughters, according to the Bennet roll, all died in their infancy, and as no Christian names are assigned them, probably at their birth, and hence unnamed and unbaptized).
  • Thomas, born at Chichester, 23 Jan 1597/8.  He married Blanch, daughter of Robert Eyre of Wells in Somerset.  He was a member of the “Dorchester Company” of Rev. John White (1575-1648).
  • Anthony, born at Michelham, 5 Mar 1599/1600.
  • Anne, born at Hellingly, Sussex 22 Mar 1601/2.  She married Edward Clarke (1594-1631).  He was educated at Oxford matriculating at Exeter College on 14 Feb 1611/12 at the age of 18 and was awarded a B.A. in 1616 and M.A. in 1619.  From there he went to Dorchester arriving in 1620 to become an assistant to the charismatic Rev. John White, the rector of Holy Trinity Church.  Through John White he met the Rev. Edward Pele (1582-1643), the vicar of nearby St. George’s Church in Fordington, and was introduced to the Pelham family.
  • Elizabeth Pelham (see below)
  • son, born at Dokinfield, 10 Apr 1606, whose name is not given, and who probably died in infancy.
  • Katherine, born at Dokinfield, 22 Aug 1607 and buried at Warbleton 17 Mar 1608/9.
  • Jonathan, born at Cralle, in Warbleton, 6 Feb 1609/10.

Herbert Pelham died on 12 Apr 1620.  Letters of administration of the estate were granted to his son Herbert on 27 May 1620, when he was described as late of Fordington, County Dorset.  After occupying several different residences in Sussex, all, however, in or near Warbleton, he appears to have passed the last few years of his life at Fordington, where some of his children continued for some years afterwards.  His widow Elizabeth evidently took up her residence with her own eldest son Thomas, at Compton Valence, Dorset, where she died, 15 January, 1632/3 and was buried.  Her monumental inscription describes her as in her 50th year, which perfectly agrees with the date of her baptism as given in the Bennet roll.

Elizabeth Pelham was born at Hellingly, Sussex, England on 27 Apr 1604.  At Salisbury, on 4 Sep 1604, she married John Humphry, “Gentleman”, usually described as of Chaldon, County Dorset, but who, according to the Bennet roll, was then living near London.  John Humphrey was born about 1596 at Chaldron, Dorset, England.

The lineage of Elizabeth Pelham and John Humphry in continued under the heading of John Humphrey (1596-1661).

Sir Richard Saltonstall (1586-1661), Portrait, oil on canvas by Charles Osgood (1858), after a 17th-century Dutch original attributed to Abraham de Vries

Sir Richard Saltonstall (1586-1661), Portrait, oil on canvas by Charles Osgood (1858), after a 17th-century Dutch original attributed to Abraham de Vries

Although I am not a descendant of Elizabeth’s second husband, Sir Richard Saltonstall, he is an notable individual in the history of New England.  Saltonstall was born at Halifax, England  on 4 Apr 1586 and died in October 1661.  He led a group of English settlers up the Charles River to settle in what is now Watertown, Massachusetts in 1630.  He was a nephew of the Lord Mayor of London Richard Saltonstall (1517–1600) and was admitted pensioner at Clare College, Cambridge in 1603.  Before leaving England for North America, he served as a Justice of the Peace for the West Riding of Yorkshire and was Lord of the Manor of Ledsham.  He was one of the grantees of the Massachusetts Company and left England on 26 Aug 1629 aboard the Arbella.  Afterwards, he was named First Assistant to Massachusetts Governor John Winthrop.

Saltonstall arrived in Massachusetts with his wife, Elizabeth West, and his children, Richard, Jr., Samuel, Robert, Henry, Grace, Rosamund, John and Anne.  The illness of one of his daughters caused him to return to England in 1631, along with his wife, daughters, and two of his sons.  Back in England, he maintained an interest in the colonies and was one of the patentees of the Connecticut Colony.  In 1644, he was appointed ambassador to Holland, where his portrait was painted by Rembrandt.

Saltonstall’s first wife was Grace Kaye.  They had four children: sons Richard, Robert, and Samuel, and a daughter, Grace.  After his wife died in 1625, Saltonstall married Elizabeth West, by whom he had two additional children, Anne and John.

This sculpture of the founder of Watertown (Massachusetts)  Sir Richard Saltonstall, is by noted sculptor Henry Hudson Kitson, who also created the Lexington Minuteman statue. Sir Richard is holding the charter of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Although Saltonstall only remained in Massachusetts for a brief time, his descendents played a major role in New England history.  The Saltonstall family is notable for having had a family member attend Harvard University from every generation since Nathaniel Saltonstall – later one of the more principled judges at the Salem Witch Trials – graduated in 1659.  The family originated in Yorkshire, England, where the name was sometimes spelled Saltingstall.  The name originates from the hamlet of Saltonstall in Halifax, West Yorkshire.  The meaning is derived from Sal-ton-stall in Old English.  The translation being “Farm in the willows”.  Notable members of the New England family include:

  • Sir Richard Saltonstall, colonist with the Winthrop Fleet
  • Nathaniel Saltonstall[4], judge at Salem Witch Trials
  • Gurdon Saltonstall[5], his son, governor of Connecticut
  • Dudley Saltonstall[6], Commander at Penobscot Expedition
  • Leverett Saltonstall I[7], U.S. Representative in 1830s
  • Leverett A. Saltonstall[8], Governor of Massachusetts (1939-1945) and U.S. Senator (1945-1967)
  • William G. Saltonstall, principal, Phillips Exeter Academy, 1946-63

There are several monuments dedicated to Saltonstall in Watertown, Massachusetts.  These include Saltonstall Park on Main Street, Watertown and the Saltonstall Founders Memorial near the Charles River.  There is also a small granite monument commemorating their settlement close to the Mt. Auburn Bridge in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

[1] Chester, p. 2.

[2] According to Chester, Herbert’s daughter Margaret “was mother, among other children, of Herbert Palmer, the celebrated Master of Queen’s College, Cambridge” (p. 3).  Herbert Palmer (1601–1647) was an English Puritan clergyman, member of the Westminster Assembly, and President of Queens’ College, Cambridge. He is now remembered for his work on the Westminster Shorter Catechism, and as a leading opponent of John Milton’s divorce tracts.

[3] Chester, p. 3-4.

[4] Col. Nathaniel Saltonstall (about 1639-1707) was a judge for the Court of Oyer and Terminer, a special court established in 1692 for the trial and sentence of people, mostly women, for the crime of witchcraft in the Province of Massachusetts Bay during the Salem Witch Trials.  He is most famous for his resignation from the court, and though he left no indication of his feelings toward witchcraft, he is considered to be one of the more principled men of his time.  Born in Ipswich, Massachusetts, in about 1639, to Richard Saltonstall (1610-1694).  He was the grandson of Sir Richard Saltonstall, the second husband of Elizabeth West.  He graduated from Harvard College in 1659, beginning the family tradition of higher education at this university.  On 29 Dec 1663, Nathaniel Saltonstall married Elizabeth Ward, who was 18 years old, and acquired from her father, John Ward, the estate later known as the Saltonstall Seat.  Two of their children were Col. Richard Saltonstall (1672-1714), and Gurdon Saltonstall (1666-1724), later the governor of Connecticut.  In 1668, Saltonstall began his career in town affairs when he was appointed town clerk.  Robert Moody quotes that, according to a single surviving record book, he was “firm and effective in law enforcement, and yet, where allowed discretion by law, humane and flexible.”  His involvement in judicial affairs and apparent good reputation made him eligible to serve in the Salem Witch Trials, and he was appointed a judge along with six other men on 27 May 1692.  There is no evidence, however, of his attendance at any of the examinations.  Indeed, he resigned from the Court of Oyer and Terminer around 8 Jun 1692, the same time as Bridget Bishop’s trial and sentence for witchcraft.  Presumably, he was “displeased with the handling of the Bishop case”, and for some time afterward remained “very much dissatisfied with the proceedings.”  In addition to town judiciary service, he was a member of the local militia, responsible in part for frontier defense against Native Americans, and he reached the rank of Colonel.  Nathaniel Saltonstall died 21 May 1707, in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

[5] Gurdon Saltonstall (27 March 1666, Haverhill, Massachusetts – 20 September 1724, New London, Connecticut) was governor of the Colony of Connecticut from 1708-24.  He also became an accomplished and eminent Connecticut pastor.  A close associate of Governor Fitz-John Winthrop, Gurdon Saltonstall was appointed the colony’s governor after Winthrop’s death in 1707.  Saltonstall was hesitant to leave his church and take on the position of governor, which prompted the state assembly to aid his First Church of Christ in finding a replacement pastor.  His selection was approved by voters in May of that year, and Saltonstall continued to be re-elected annually until his death.  Governor was just one of the influential positions held by Saltonstall.  He was alsoappointed commander of the Connecticut militia and Chief Justice of its Superior Court.  Saltonstall believed strongly in the power of traditional authority, a trademark of his time as clergyman and governor.  He was wholly intolerant of divergent Christian sects, and favored the enjoining of church and government into what he imagined would be a more effective system, an idea enumerated in the Saybrook Platform, a proposal mainly ascribed to him.  The governor also found opposition to his government, or dispute within it to be contemptible, and frequently threatened to resign if such discord was not discontinued.  Saltonstall’s support of established authority is also seen in his decision-making throughout Queen Anne’s War, the second major intercolonial war over control of North America.  The governor was a loyal supporter of the British cause, seeking to reduce colonial opposition to the war effort, and assisted it by increasing the recruitment and equipment of Connecticut militiamen sent to battle French forces.  The Connecticut soldiers would eventually total 4,000 men, a sizable portion of the colony’s 17,000 people.  Because of the war’s heavy costs, Connecticut’s fiscal situation deteriorated, but Saltonstall’s enthusiastic support of the Crown won the state much improved relations with Great Britain.

[6] Dudley Saltonstall (1738-1796) was an American naval commander during the American Revolutionary War.  He is best known as the commander of the naval forces of the 1779 Penobscot Expedition.  The expedition was the largest American naval expedition of the American Revolutionary War, and it ended in complete disaster, with all ships lost.  It is sometimes thought the United States’ worst naval defeat until Pearl Harbor.  The fighting took place both on land and on sea, in what is today Castine, Maine.  In June 1779, British Army forces established a series of fortifications centered on a fort located on the Majabigwaduce Peninsula in Penobscot Bay, with the goals of establishing a military presence on that part of the coast and beginning a new colony to be known as New Ireland.  In response, the state of Massachusetts, with some support from the Continental Congress, raised an expedition to drive the British out.  The Americans landed troops in late July and attempted to establish a siege of the British fort in a series of actions seriously hampered by disagreements over control of the expedition between Commodore Dudley Saltonstall and General Solomon Lovell.  The operation ended in disaster when a British fleet under the command of Sir George Collier arrived on 13 Aug 1779, driving the American fleet to total self-destruction up the Penobscot River.  The survivors of the American expedition were forced to make an overland journey back to more-populated parts of Massachusetts with minimal food and armament.

Charles H. Waterhouse's painting of The Battle of Penobscot

Charles H. Waterhouse’s painting of The Battle of Penobscot

[7] Leverett Saltonstall (1783-1845), was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Massachusetts, who also served as Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, President of the Massachusetts Senate, the first Mayor of Salem, Massachusetts and a Member of the Board of Overseers of Harvard College.  He was a great-grandfather of Massachusetts Governor and U.S. Senator Leverett Saltonstall, 1892-1979.

Leverett A. Saltonstall (1892–1979), photo taken 1938

Leverett A. Saltonstall (1892–1979), photo taken 1938

[8] Leverett A. Saltonstall (1892-1979) was an American Republican politician who served as the 55th Governor of Massachusetts (1939–1945) and as a United States Senator from Massachusetts (1945–1967).  James Michael Curley (a politician famous for his four terms as Democratic mayor of Boston, Massachusetts and as Governor of Massachusetts) once described Saltonstall as having a “Harvard accent with a South Boston face.”  Though the remark was intended as a political jab, it resonated with truth, as Saltonstall had an uncanny ability to blend his aristocratic lineage with a personable charm which greatly appealed to the average worker and the common man.


One comment

  • David Leighr

    Hello, Elizabeth West who married Herbert Pelham. Their daughter Elizabeth Pelham married Col John Humphrey. Their daughter Lady Anne Humphrey married William Palmes, Gent. Their daughter Susannah Palmes married Captain Samuel Avery. Their daughter Mary Avery married William Walworth. This is the line I am descended from. There is a book, The Hive of the Averys which gives some of this line. The other book titled Magna Carta Ancestry covers the earlier names. I have both in the Album section of my site http://www.photobug.name. This is a new site but I have the important docs online for you to check out.
    I would like to hear from you as I am always looking for good documents to add more information about my ancestors.
    Best regards,
    David Leighr

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