|St. Lawrence Church, Little Waldingfield|
Samuels parents, Thomas Appleton (1539-1603) and Mary Isaac Appleton (1552-1613) were both wealthy and living in the Appleton family estate, the Manor of Holbrook Hall, that had been in his family for a number of generations. Were it not for the fact that their son Samuel was their seventh and last child and their fourth son, Samuel might have inherited a considerable amount of his parents' wealth. As was the custom of the time however, most of the wealth was pasted along to the oldest son, which in this case was Samuel's older brother Isaac, who was born around 1576. Isaac was undoubtedly given the family home, Holbrook Hall, and a considerable sum of money at the time of his marriage in 1599. Samuel on the other hand received only a 100 English pounds when his father died in 1603 and shortly thereafter he found it necessary to find a job. Records show that in 1604 at the age of around 20, he was apprenticed to the Draper's Company of London which was apparently a company engaged in the cloth business. It was undoubtedly here in London where Samuel met his future wife and my 10th great grandmother, Judith Everard, whose parents, John and Judith Bourne Everard had been living in London for a number of years. John Everard was a goldsmith and undoubtedly the family was financially fairly well off. Unfortunately, Judith Everard was only 11 years old when her parents unexpectedly died in London only four months apart in 1598 probably as a result of the plague that had hit London about that time. Since Judith did not marry Samuel Appleton until the 24th day of January in 1616, many years after her parent's death, it is unclear where and with whom Judith and her four unmarried sisters may have lived until they each married. We do believe that it is likely that she remained in the London area where she eventually met Samuel. What is somewhat unusual is that they were both 29 years old when they married which was many years above the average for that time.
That Samuel Appleton remained in the London area until his marriage is suggested not only because of his marriage to a London girl but also because his widowed mother, Mary Isaac Appleton, was also living in London at the time of her death around 1613. She in fact may very well have been living with her son Samuel. What is known for certain is that Mary Appleton left in her final will that was prepared in 1613, the greater amount of her wealth to her son Samuel which would certainly suggest a strong relationship with her youngest son at the end of her life. My 11th great grandmother, Mary Isaac Appleton had an interesting life particularly following her husband's death. In 1604, about a year after the death of her husband, Mary and her oldest son Isaac Appleton (Samuel's brother) were sued in an English court for an unknown reason. They apparently lost the lawsuit but immediately refused to obey the court order ruling which probably involved the payment of money or transfer of land. While Isaac went into hiding following the ruling, Mary was arrested and apparently imprisoned on a ship laying out in a harbor, a common practice for jailing prisoners at the time. Mary and Isaac eventually agreed to a settlement and by the end of 1604 she was released from prison. We have to suspect that at the time of the lawsuit Mary was living with her son Isaac at the family home at Holbrook Hall. Isaac died in 1608, and it seems likely that around that time Mary Appleton may have moved to New York to be with her youngest son Samuel who at the time was around 23 years old. As we said earlier, Mary Appleton died around 1613 or perhaps early 1614. Samuel now had a certain amount of wealth which may have lead to his marriage to my 10th great grandmother, Judith Everard, a year or so later.
|Little Waldingfield is 18 mi east of Ipswich|
|King Charles 1|
One of the reasons given for Samuel Appleton delaying his departure to America until early 1636 was his need to settle his affairs which consisted primarily of his selling his property in England. Selling his property of course, allowed him to acquire the necessary funds both to cover the cost of the trip as well as money to purchase land in the New World. Finally by late 1635 Samuel Appleton had sold land he owned in various villages near Little Waldingfield plus land over in nearby Essex County, England that Judith Appleton had inherited from her late grandmother. While there have been no records uncovered to reveal exactly when they departed England, it is assumed by most historians that the family departed by late winter of 1636. In any case, the first record of Samuel Appleton in America is when he signed the Freeman's Oath on the 25th of May in 1636 in the village of Ipswich, Massachusetts located about 30 miles north of Boston. Traveling with Samuel to America were his wife Judith and his five children including his son and my 9th great grandfather, Samuel Appleton Jr. who was around 11 years old when they landed.
|Samuel Appleton Jr. 1625-1696|
During much of Samuel Appleton's early years up until he was in his early 40s he worked on the family farm which by that point was probably totally under his control. One historical account reports that besides being a farmer he also owned on the Mile River (or Brook) a sawmill which produced a large number of boards and shingles which were sold and used for construction of homes and other buildings in the Ipswich community. We have to believe that at this point in his life Samuel Appleton Jr. was already a respected and wealthy member of his community. His farm was undoubtedly staffed by dozens of both men and women with the woman working primary in the home and the men in the fields. In all likelihood most of his "employees" were slaves composed of both Indians as well as black Africans who were brought into the New England area beginning as early as the 1630s. It is written that by the late 1600s around 10% of the population of Boston were blacks. Whether Indian or black, the Appleton family would have had to house and feed the families so a part of the farm land would have been covered with dozens of small shacks to house the workers and their families. We have all been taught to believe that slavery was unique to southeastern America although this is obviously incorrect and quite frankly, without having some form of slavery, farms such as the Appleton's might not have been able to function. We might point out that some of his workers may not have been slaves in the strict sense but "indentured servants," an indentured servant being a person who agrees to work for a defined period of time without pay in exchange for housing and food only. Either way, Samuel Appleton was a very wealthy and highly respected man during his lifetime.
Beginning in 1668, Samuel Appleton, then 43 years old, was appointed as a Deputy to the Massachusetts General Court. He served in this position up until 1675 at which time the advent of the King Philip's War necessitated his community to commission him as a Captain in the military. King Philip was the English name given to a Pokunoket Indian chief by the name of Metacomet who not surprisingly considering how they were being treated, led an uprising against the English colonists. The Indian resentment of the English had been growing for many years, a fact that probably should not have come as a surprise to men such as our Samuel Appleton. The war lasted from 1675 until August of 1676 at which time Metacomet was captured and beheaded. While many of his Indian allies escaped to Canada, others were captured or just surrendered and many were shipped off as slaves to the West Indians. In the case of our great grandfather Samuel, he was able to purchase three Indians following one of the final battles, and when he returned home, the Indians were most likely sent to his farm as slaves. Not such a nice memory of our ancestor but not really unusual behavior for the time.
|King Philip's War 1675-1676|
|Division of land to Appleton sons|
|Gravestone of Samuel Appleton|