PETER I WORDEN (ROBERT, WILLIAM) was born about 1576 in Clayton [now Clayton-le-Woods], Lancashire Co., England. He died in 1638 in Yarmouth, Barnstable Co., MA.
Peter WORDEN I (also spelled WERDEN, WARDEN, WORTHEN) was the immigrant ancestor of this line of WORDENS in America. Peter I settled in Yarmouth, MA. and is probably the "old Worden" mentioned in a list of Yarmouth inhabitants on 7 Jan. 1638/39.
During the period 1609 to 1613 Peter Werden, gent., appeared as a juror at nine inquisitions..
Peter was probably a textile merchant and leased from the town of Preston Lancashire,England, a shop and stall in the Moothall being on the ground floor under the Council chamber in the center of Preston.
Peter Worden was listed as "Gentleman" in several documents, and he was a member of the Town Council of Preston, Lancashire, England, which is located about five miles from Clayton. He was a "Foreign (outsider) Burgess" in Preston, and he leased a shop in the Guild hall, located next to the Preston Market Place, on 01 October 1617. He was last recorded in Preston on 21 January 1629, when, according to the early archives of Preston Borough, he loaned 8 shillings to the Borough for a project concerned with common lands.
In 1630 the Plague, which had already ravaged London, struck Preston, and 1069 people out of a population of 3000 died within the year. Peter Worden, his son, and their families probably left Preston because of the plague, as did many of the other survivors, because he next appears in the American Colonies in the mid 1630s. He was probably one of those who came "On Their Perticulers" (not belonging to any general group of emigrants from England sharing a common sectarian religion--such as the Pilgrims.)
Peter Senior, came to Plymouth Colony, was the first white settler to die there, in 1639 and probably came on the ship Little James in 1624. His estate included land in the town of Clayton, Lancaster, England, as well as his Yarmouth land. Peter Senior settled, possibly by 1636, in what is now East Dennis on north side of 6A opposite #1855. He may have originally settled Yarmouth without official permission, so basically a squatter.
It is believed that Peter Worden was first in Lynn, Massachusetts before moving to Yarmouth in 1639. In The History of Old Yarmouth, by Charles F. Swift, is the following: "At the extreme easterly part of the Town, Peter Worden [sic] the elder and younger have established themselves, in spite of the opposition of some of their associates, and here the former died the first year of settlement."
In 1662 [?date?] Peter was entered in the Guild Rolls, a foreign Burgess.
About 1628 Peter had taken the office of County Aulnager (or Alnager) "an officer in a port or market town responsible for ensuring that all cloth sold was woven in the correct length & width laid down by statute (standards).
PETER I married MARGARET GRICE, daughter of THOMAS GRICE and ALICE,
about 1603/1604 in England.. Margaret was born about 1568/1572.. She died in 1612 in England.
i.ELIZABETH WORDEN was born about 1605 in England. She died
about 1635. ELIZABETH married HUGH SWANSEY about 1630. Hugh was born in
ii.BRIDGET WORDEN was born about 1607 in England. She died on 19
Nov 1628 in England and was buried in Preston Parish Ch Ae Abt 21.
iii.PETER II WORDEN was born about 1609 and died on 11 Jan 1680.
Peter Worden's will was probated on 05 March 1639. It is the first will printed in the Plymouth Court Records. A copy of the will remains in the Barnstable Probate Court. In his will Peter Worden left most of his real and personal property in both England and America to his son, Peter Worden. Both he and his son are buried in the Worden Cemetery, overlooking Cape Cod Bay. The cemetery is located on the south side of Route 6A in the Town of Dennis near the border of the Town of Brewster. Diectly across Route 6A, in a pasture, is a small foundation said to be from the house of the elder Peter Worden. The barn in the pasture is said to be built on the original foundation of the house of his son, Peter Worden.
The Last Will and Testament of Peter WORDEN of Yarmouth ye elder,
deceased, proved at ye General Court held at Plymouth, the fifth day of March in ye XIIIth year of ye reign of our sovereign Lord Charles, King of England AC1638, by ye oathes of Mr. Nicholas Sympkins, Hugh Tillie & Giles Hopkins as followith, viz "Be it known unto all men to whome this doth or may concern, that I, Peter Worden, of Yarmouth in New England, in Plymouth Patten, being very sick, in this Year of Our Lord 1638 and on ye ninth day of February, do make my last will to testify unto all that I Peter Worden, do give and bequeath unto Peter Worden, my only sonne, and sonne and heir, and in the presense of Nicholas Sympkins Hugh Tillie and Giles Hopkins, I do make him my whole executor to whom I do give all my lands, leases & tenaments with goods movable and unmovable in the Town of Clayton in the County of Lankcester, Likewise I do give unto Peter my son all my goods which I have at this present in New England. My will is my son is to give John Lewis one nate goat, also my will is my son is to give my grandchild such money as is due for the keeping of goats and calves until this day and that my son is with the money to buy a kid or dispose it otherwise for his use. Also one bed or bolster, three blankets, also my son is to have the tuition of my grandchild until he be at the age
of one and twenty years of age, also my will is he shall find him with meat, drink, and clothes and at the three last years of the twenty one years also to have forty shillings the years after and above , for to add to his stock with the sow pig when the sow pigs - s/Peter WORDEN 1/s.
Both he and his son are buried in the Worden Cemetery, overlooking Cape Cod Bay. The cemetery is located on the south side of Route 6A in the Town of Dennis near the border of the Town of Brewster. Directly across Route 6A, in a pasture, is a small foundation said to be from the house of the elder Peter Worden. The barn in the pasture is said to be built on the original foundation of the house of his son, Peter Worden.
Note: descends from four Magna Carta Sureties: Robert de Ros, Richard de Clare, Saher de Quincy, William de Mowbray.
Note: entered in the Guild Rolls with his brothers 1582 and 1602, in 1622 in his own right. Since 1542, the Wordens had been entered in the Preston Guild Rolls as outburgesses.
Page: p. 97
Note: Per British National Archives:
DDKE/3/30 3 Aug. & 8 Oct. 1607. These documents are held at Lancashire Record Office
Writ of elegit and inquisition: Peter Werden and Margaret his wife, widow of Anthony Wale, v. Anthony Barton - for £14 7s. in payment of dower of Margaret Werden's in one burgage and four acres of land in Preston, formerly occupied by Anthony Wale"
Note: "PLAINTIFF: Richard Werden of Preston, mercer; William Addison of Preston, yeoman, executors of Thomas Addison of Preston, deceased DEFENDANT: Leissaugh O'Connor of Staining, esquire, and Mary his wife; Peter Werden and Mary his wife PLACE: Preston; Staining
Source: The Catalogue of The National Archives"
Palatinate of Lancaster: Chancery Court: Pleadings... PL 6/1/114
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