Henry Woodward – 10th gg

10th great-grandfather – Henry Woodward, b. Muchworton, Lancashire, England 22 March 1607), d. Northampton, Hampshire County, Massachusetts Bay Colony 7 April 1685).

Accident at Upper Grist Mill caused death, physician, “liscenced to keep ordinary and sell wines and liquors”, Doctor

Henry Woodward, a physician, arrived in Dorcester, MA from England on the “James” (Captain Taylor) in 1635. he served as a constable in Dorcester MA. He moved to Northampton, MA in 1659. He was one of the founders of the Church in Northampton. He served as a tithing-man there. [WHAT IS A TITHING-MAN? UNPOPULAR?] He was killed either in a grist mill accident or by lightning on April 7, 1685 in Northampton.


Henry Woodward came with his wife to be Elizabeth to Dorchester, Mass. in the ship James in 1635. He removed with his family to Northampton, Mass. in 1659 where he was a founder of the first church.

Killed By Accident at His Mill – Henry Woodward

  1. about 1601 in Much Woolton, England
  2. 4 Sep 1638 in Dorchester, Massachusetts

Wife: Elizabeth Mather

  1. 7 Apr 1683 in Northampton, Massachusetts

Emigrated: (probably) 23 May 1635 on the ship James

Henry Woodward was born in about 1601 to Thomas and Elizabeth Woodward in Much Woolton, England and baptized on March 22, 1607 at Childwall. These places are a part of present-day Liverpool. Henry was one of seven children.

Henry is believed to have migrated to America on the ship James, arriving in the Massachusetts Bay colony on August 17, 1635. Another passenger on the ship was Reverend Richard Mather, who would become the father of Increase Mather [I take it back – they did name boys weird Puritan nouns, too] and grandfather to Cotton Mather [in hopes of a fine crop of cotton???wtf srsly]. On September 4, 1638, Henry married Elizabeth Mather, who was believed to be Richard’s sister (their father Thomas was from Lowton, Winwick Parish, Lancashire, England. Winwick was the site of a battle in the English Civil War on 19 August 1648, where Oliver Cromwell defeated a mainly Scottish royalist army). Between 1643 and 1649, they had three daughters and one son, the girls being given the Puritan names of Experience, Freedom, and Thankful (the son was named John).

The Woodward family lived in Dorchester. In some early records, Henry was referred to as a physician, but it isn’t clear how much he actually practiced medicine because no details exist in the records. He was an early member of the Dorchester church and a freeman. In 1657, he was named constable; he also “frequently served on committees.”

In 1659, Henry and his family moved to the new settlement of Northampton, Massachusetts. It has been suggested that Reverend Mather induced “three Dorchester men” to settle there and Henry was one of them. He received a grant of 12 acres to build his house and 100 acres of meadowland. [MUST SEE WHERE]

Henry was an important man in the early years of Northampton. In 1660, he was chosen a selectman and “Commissioner to end Small Causes” in 1660. The following year, he served as a member of the jury at the first court held in that town. Henry served as surveyor of highways in 1664. He was also among the group of eight persons who founded the First Church in 1661; he and Elizabeth were signers of the Church Covenant (since Henry signed documents with an X, it’s believed that he was illiterate).

In 1665, Henry was licensed to run a tavern; he maintained that business until 1681. It is said that court sessions were sometimes held in Henry’s tavern. He was also involved in farming and had a corn mill.


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