Roman remains and coins have been found two miles to the east of Marlborough, at Mildenhall (Cunetio). A later Saxon settlement grew up around The Green and two early river crossings were made at Isbury Lane and Stonebridge Lane.
In 1067, William the Conqueror assumed control of the Marlborough area and set about building a wooden motte and bailey castle, sited on the prehistoric mound. This was completed in around 1100. Stone was used to strengthen the castle in around 1175. The first written record of Marlborough dates from the Domesday Book in 1087. William also established a mint in Marlborough, which coined the William I and the early William II silver pennies. The coins display the name of the town as Maerlebi or Maerleber.
He also established the neighbouring Savernake Forest as a favourite Royal hunting ground and Marlborough Castle became a Royal residence. Henry I observed Easter here in 1110. Henry II stayed at Marlborough Castle in talks with the King of Scotland. His son, Richard I (Coeur de Lion) gave the castle to his brother John, in 1186. King John was married here and spent time in Marlborough. He even established a Treasury.
In 1204 King John granted Charter to the Borough which permitted an annual eight-day fair, commencing on 14 August, the vigil of the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady (15 August), in which "all might enjoy the liberties and quittances customary in the fair at Winchester". He also established that weekly markets may be held on Wednesdays and Saturdays. These continue to this day.
Later Henry III was also married here. Henry III held Parliament here, in 1267, when the Statute of Marlborough was passed (this gave rights and privileges to small land owners and limited the right of the King to take possession of land). This seven-hundred-year-old law states that no-one shall seize his neighbour's goods for alleged wrong without permission of the Court. Apart from Charters, it is the oldest statute in English law which has not yet been repealed.
The castle fell into disrepair by the end of the 14th century but remained Crown property. Edward VI then passed it to the Seymour family, his mother's relatives. In 1498 Thomas Wolsey was ordained priest in (the now redundant) St Peter's church. He later rose to become a cardinal and Lord Chancellor.
In 1642 Marlborough's peace was shattered by the English Civil War. The Seymours held the Castle for the King but the Town was for Parliament. With his headquarters in nearby Oxford, King Charles had to deal with Marlborough. "A Town the most notoriously disaffected of all that Country, otherwise, saving the obstinacy and malice of the inhabitants, in the situation of it very unfit for a garrison... this place the King saw would prove quickly an ill neighbour to him, not only as it was in the heart of a rich County, and so would straighten him, and even infest his quarters."
Now we apparently have another mystery. No mention is made of the death of Ann Cox Morss, the first wife of Anthony Morse, Sr. Richard Morse was born in December of 1635, and the family sailed from London in April of 1635. So Ann Cox must have come to the New World. But in 1639, Anthony married a second woman. It is possible that Ann Cox may have suffered the same fate that so many others in the colony suffered -an early and untimely death, probably due to disease.
Anthony Morse, Sr. apparently changed his name to Morse when he arrived in the New World. It is recorded that he settled in Newbury, Massachusetts in 1635, and registered as a shoemaker. The family sailed to the Massachusetts colony aboard the ship James from London in April 5, 1635. The Plymouth colony was only 15 years old.
Birth: May 6, 1607, Marlborough, Wiltshire, England
Death: October 12, 1686 in Newbury, Essex Co., Massachusetts
Father: Anthony Morss, born before 1578, Marlborough, Wiltshire, England
Mother: Christian, born 1584
Spouse: Ann Cox, born about 1607 in Marlborough, Wiltshire, England
Marriage: March 2, 1628/29 in Marlborough, at St. Mary the Virgin Church
Children: Robert Morse, born Dec 27, 1629 in Marlborough
Peter Morse, born Dec 4, 1630, Marlborough
Esther Morse, born Dec 4, 1630, Marlborough
Anthony Morse, Jr., born Jan 29, 1631/32, Marlborough
Joseph Morse, born 1634, Marlborough
Richard Morse, born Dec 6, 1635, Marlborough
The ship James of London sailed from Southhampton on April 5, 1635 and arrived in Massachusetts Bay on June 3, 1635 with master William Cooper at the helm.
The ship James left King's Road in Bristol on May 23, 1635 with master John Taylor at the helm. From England to Massachusetts in a fleet of five ships, the Angel Gabriel, the Elizabeth (Bess), the Mary and the Diligence.
On June 3, 1635, the James joined four other ships, and set sail for the New World with just over 100 passengers as part of a fleet of five ships, including the families of Richard Mather, Captain John Evered and John Ayer. As they approached New England, a hurricane struck and they were forced to ride it out just off the coast of modern-day Hampton, New Hampshire. According to the ship's log and the journal of Increase Mather, whose father Richard Mather and family were passengers, the following was recorded:
"At this moment,... their lives were given up for lost; but then, in an instant of time, God turned the wind about, which carried them from the rocks of death before their eyes. ...her sails rent in sunder, and split in pieces, as if they had been rotten ragges..."
They tried to stand down during the storm just outside the Isles of Shoals, but lost all three anchors, as no canvas or rope would hold. But on Aug 13, 1635, torn to pieces, and not one death, all one hundred plus passengers of the ship James manages to make it to Boston Harbor two days later.
Born Anthony Morse
March 9, 1605
Marlborough, Wiltshire, England
Died October 12, 1686 (aged 81)
Newbury, Essex County, Massachusetts
Ann Waldro Cox (b 1616) m.
1635 (aged 29–30)
St Mary's Marlboro, Wiltshire, England
Marlborough, Wiltshire, England
Robert Morse (b 1629)
Esther Morse (b 1631)
Anne Morse (b 1633)
Peter Morse (b 1637)
Deacon Benjamin Morse (b 1640)
Sarah Morse (b 1641)
Joseph Morse (b 1643)
Hannah Morse (b 1645)
Mary Morse (b 1649)
Anthony Morse (b 1588)
Ms Christian Morse (b 1580)
ANTHONY MORSE was born May 9, 1606 in Marlborough, England, and died Oct 12, 1686 in Newbury, Massachusetts. He married Ann Cox on May 2, 1629 in the church of St. Mary the Virgin, Marlborough, England. She died on March 8 1679/80 in Newbury, Massachusetts.
He arrived, with his brother William, in Boston on June 3, 1635 on the Ship "James" which sailed from Southampton April 5, 1635. He built a house about a 1/2 mile south of the old cemetery in what is now called Newbury old town. He is listed, along with his brother on the ship's passenger roster as being a shoemaker. He was admitted as a Freeman May 25, 1636.
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