Samuel  Gorton Sr.

Samuel Gorton Sr. (bef. 1593 - bef. 1677)

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Samuel Gorton Sr.
Born before in Gorton, Lancashire, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married before in Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died before in Warwick, Kent, Rhode Islandmap
Gorton-2 created 6 Aug 2010 | Last modified | Last edit: 11 Oct 2017
18:48: Randall Woodbury edited the Biography for Samuel Gorton Sr.. (Fixed a minor typo.) [Thank Randall for this | 1 thank-you received]
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Categories: Founders and Settlers of Rhode Island | Pequot War of 1637 | Plymouth Colony | Famous People of the 17th Century | Puritan Great Migration.

The Puritan Great Migration.
Samuel Gorton Sr. migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
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Samuel Gorton was baptized at Gorton, Manchester, England on Feb. 12, 1592/3, son of Thomas Gorton of Manchester and his second wife Anne ___. (Vol. 82: p. 340) [1]

He is named in the will of his father Thomas Gorton dated Dec. 31, 1610. (p. 188) [1]

He married prior to Jan. 11, 1629/30, Mary Maplet, daughter of John Maplet and his second wife Mary. [1] (p. 341) Mary Maplet was baptized at St. Lawrence Jewry, London England on March 12, 1608/9, daughter of John Maplet, haberdasher, and his second wife Mary ___. [2]

His wife Mary is named in her father's will of that date, Jan. 11, 1629/30, as my daughter Mary Gorton. Mary's mother widow Mary Mayplett of London, in her will of Dec. 7, 1646, leaves bequests to her daughter Mary, wife of Samuel Gorton of New England. In the April 13, 1670 will of her brother John Maplett of Bath, Somerset, he left bequests to 'my dear sister' Mrs. Mary Gorton of New England and her children. [2]

His religious training was received in the English Church, and in an address to Charles the Second; he stated 'I drew my tenets from the breast of my mother the Church of England'. In the new Church set up in Massachusetts he was a Nonconformist. [3]

In 1635 he was carrying on the business of clothier in London and on June 18, 1635 he apparently closed his business in preparation for his departure for New England. He is quoted as saying 'I left my native country he says to enjoy liberty of conscience in respect to faith toward God and for no other end.' He found the religious atmosphere in Boston to be controversial, with prosecutions by the magistrates and imprisonment and confiscation of lands and banishment, for those not following the religious rules under Endicott in Massachusetts Bay Colony. Within two months of his arrival, he removed to Plymouth where strict conformity to the church was not mandated. [3]

At Plymouth, he had hired Elizabeth Aldridge, a widow and recent arrival in New England, as a servant for his wife Mary. Governor Prence had established rules against 'harboring strangers' and eighteen months after their settling at Plymouth, Gorton was investigated for his association with widow Aldridge. Samuel appealed to the court in Dec., 1638, that widow Aldridge was not a 'vagabond' but diligent worker, earning her bread. At the next court session Samuel was fined for defending the woman and deluding the court and ordered given fourteen days to vacate Plymouth. [3] [4] [5]

They removed to Rhode Island, being of Portsmouth ( formerly Pocassett) in 1639, where he was again expelled and then attempted to settle as Providence, but was at odds Roger Williams who would not grant his freemanship. He removed then to Warwick in 1642. (p. 341)[1] [4]

  • 1636: Arrived in Boston. [1] [3] [4] [6]
  • 1637: Removed to Plymouth Colony and took a four year lease at Plymouth from Rev. Ralph Smith. [1] [3] [6]
  • 1637/8: June 7: Volunteered as a Plymouth soldier to aid Massachusetts Bay in the Pequot War. [3]
  • 1637/8: Investigated for harboring a vagabond, his wife's servant widow Elizabeth Aldridge. [3] [5]
  • 1637/8: Dec. 4: Samuel testified at court and appealed on behalf of the widow in his employ. [3] [6]
  • 163/89: March: At the next court session he appeared to defend himself for his defense of widow Aldridge, and he was both fined for sedition and ordered to leave Plymouth within 2 weeks. Ex-pastor Ralph Smith ordered Samuel to vacate the house he had leased. [3] [6] [5]
  • 1638/9: Removed to Aquidneck. [6] [5]
  • 1638/9: April 30: Samuel Gorton among those at Pocasset/Portsmouth who pledged allegiance as subjects of King Charles, while those at Newport, in the same month established their own government of judges and elders. [7] [5]
  • 1639: Oct. 1: At Portsmouth, with it's separate government from Newport on Aquidneck Island, there was proposal that the governments of those towns be rejoined, Gorton led the opposition. [3] [7] [8]
  • 1640: March: He tried, sentenced to be whipped and was banished from Portsmouth, having been brought to the Grand Jury on fourteen counts. [5] [6]
  • 1640: Samuel Gorton attempted to settle at Providence, but he refused to accept the authority of 'colonial governments', still being a staunch believer in the jurisdiction of England's royal authority. Roger Williams refused him freemanship unless had accept colonial authority, and denounce his previous behavior at Portsmouth, which he would not. [4][6] [5]
  • 1641: Nov. 15: Gorton and a group of his partisans who often antagonized and fought against the ruling authority, fled Providence for Pawtuxet, after a street riot, in order to escape reprisals. [4] [6]
  • 1642: Residents of Pawtuxet appealed to the Massachusetts authorities about the 'Gortonists' and asked for intervention, in the hopes that those authorities would extend their rulings to any locale that sought their jurisdiction. [6] [5]
  • 1643: Jan. 12: Samuel and others purchased lands at Shawomet (Warwick), beyond the limits of Providence, from Miantinomi, sachem of the Narragansetts. They did not organize any local governing authority for their new home. [4] [6] [5]
  • 1643: Again, an appeal was made to Massachusetts, against Gorton and his followers, indicating they land purchase from the Narragansetts was not valid, and the Pawtuxet men indicated that Narragansett sachems Ponham and Sacononoco indicated that these lands were not sold to Gorton, et al. and the Sachems wished Massachusetts jurisdiction on these lands. Gorton refused to appear at Boston, and the Massachusetts authorities eventually dispatched forty soldiers to compel compliance in Sept., 1643. Eventually, outnumbered and outpowered, Gorton surrendered. [4] [6] [5]
  • 1643: Oct.: Gorton and six others were brought to Boston and imprisoned.
  • 1643: Nov. 3: Convicted for heresy, and some magistrates wanted to condemn Gorton to death, but without full agreement, five of the men were sentenced to be confined in irons and set to work, Gorton being sent to Charlestown, the others to different towns. The magistrates sent a contingent to Shawomet to seize cattle to defray costs of the trial. [4] [6] [5]
  • 1644: March 7: After learning that Gorton was complaining and informing people, including the Church at Charlestown, of the actions of the magistrates, they decided that public would be safer without the heretics being in their midst. The magistrates set them free, giving fourteen days to vacate Massachusetts, but forbidding their presence at Providence, or on the lands claimed by Ponham and Sacononoco, under Massachusetts jurisdiction. This was shortly changed by the Governor three days later and they were given just two hours to leave Massachusetts. [6] [5]
  • 1644: March: Gorton and his partisans fled to Aquidneck, where surprisingly, despite their previous conflicts, they were permitted. [6] [5]
  • 1644: Once at Aquidneck, met with the Narraganett's at their request, asking Gorton and his associates to represent them to King Charles for protection. Gorton and John Greene soon after embarked for England to present the Narragansett proposal and to file a complaint to have the lands at Shawomet restored to them. [6]


  1. Samuel born about 1630; married Susanna Burton. [1]
  2. john born ___; died Feb. 3, 1714/15; married Margaret Wheaton on June 28, 1668. [9]
  3. Benjamin born ___; married Sarah Carder on Dec. 5, 1672. [1]
  4. Mahershalalhasbaz (sic) born ___; married Daniel Cole. [1]
  5. Mary born ___; died before 1688; married first Peter Greene of Warwick; married second John Sanford of Portsmouth. [1]
  6. Sarah born ___; married William Mace. [1]
  7. Ann born ___; married John Warner on Aug. 4, 1670. [1]
  8. Elizabeth born ___; married John Crandall on June 18, 1673. [1]
  9. Susanna born ___; married Benjamin Barton on June 18, 1672. [1]

Source notes

Baptisms: Cathedral Church of Manchester Co.,, Lancaster

1592: Samuel son of Thomas Gortonne, 12 February [1592/3] (p. 91[1]

Warwick Marriages

1-3: Gorton John, and Margaret Weston; m. by John Greene, Asst., Jan. 25, 1665 (p. 46).
1-4: Gorton, Anna and John Warner, Aug. 7, 1670. (p. 46)
1-5: Gorton, Elizabeth and John Crandall Jr., June 18, 1672. (p. 46)
1-5: Gorton, Susan and Benjamin Barton, June 18, 1672. (p. 46)
1-5 Gorton, Benjamin and Sarah Carder, of Richard; m. by John Greene, Justice, Dec. 5, 1672. (p. 47)
1-7: Gorton, Samuel, and Susannah Burton, of William and Hannah; m. by John Greene, Justice, Dec. 11, 1684. (p. 48)

Warwick Deaths

1-12: Gorton, Samuel July 22, 1672. (p. 163)
2-3: Gorton, John, Sr., died Feb. 3, 1713/4. (p. 163)
1-12: Gorton, Samuel died June 5, 1721. (p. 163)
2-5: Gorton, Benjamin died Dec. 25, 1699. (p. 163)
2-5: " , Sarah his wife died Aug. 1, 1724. (p. 163)[10]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 Vital Records from The NEHGS Register. Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014. (Compiled from articles originally published in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register.)
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Ancestry of Mary Maplett, Wife of Samuel Gorton of New England. in (Vol. 70: p. 115-118, 1915) in:Vital Records from The NEHGS Register. Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014. (Compiled from articles originally published in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register.)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 The Life and Times of Samuel Gorton: The Founders and the Founding of the Republic : a Section of Early United States History and a History of the Colony of Providence and Rhode Island Plantations in the Narragansett Indian Country Now the State of Rhode Island, 1592-1636-1677-1687 : with a Genealogy of Samuel Gorton's Descendants to the Present Time, by Adelos Gorton, G.S. Ferguson Company, printers, Philadelphia, PA, 1907
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Rhode Island, a Guide to the Smallest State, compiled by Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration for the State of Rhode Island, Houghton, Mifflin Co., Boston, 1937
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations at the End of the Century: A History, Volume 1, by Edward Field, Mason Publishing Company, Boston, MA 1902
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Volume 1, by Samuel Greene Arnold, originally published 1859, Applewood Books, Carlisle, MA, 2010
  7. 7.0 7.1 Settlers of Aquidneck, and Liberty of Conscience: Read Before the Rhode Island Historical Society, February 1880, by Henry Edward Turner, Newport Rhode Island Historical Publishing Co., 1880
  8. The History and Future of Narragansett Bay, by Capers Jones, Universal-Publishers, Boca Ratan, FL, 2006
  9. Vital Record of Rhode Island 1636-1850, First Series -Births, Marriages and Deaths, Vol. I Kent County, by James N. Arnold, Narragansett Historical Pulbishing Co., Providence, RI, 1891


Feb 12 1592 Gorton, Lancashire, England[11]


12 Feb 1592 Cathedral Church, Lancashire, Manchester, England


10 Dec 1677 Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island, USA[12]


Family Cemetery, Warwick Cove, Warwick, Rhode Island, USA
Warwick Historical Cemetery #067, Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island, USA
  • Samuel Gorton Founder of Rhode Island
  • Governor of Rhode Island and founder of the town of Warwick, R. I.
  • Samuel Gorton purchased Warwick from Miantonomi, Chief Sachem of the Narragansetts, for 144 fathoms of wampum.
  • b: Feb 1592/93 Gorton, Lancaster, England, England ß 12 Feb 1592/1593 Cathedral Church, Lancashire, Manchester, England
  • res. to NE Mar 1637, Boston, Suffolk, MA, Age: 44
  • 10 Dec 1677, Warwick, Kent, RI, Age: 84
  • 10 Dec 1677, family cemetery, Warwick[www19]
  • 11 Jan 1629/30 , England
  • Mary Maplett m. bef 1630, England
  • 12 Mar 1608/1609, St. Lawrence Jewry, London, England
  • Dec 1646, Warwick, Kent, RI, Age: 38[www19]
  • Children
Samuel Gorton Birth 11 Jan 1630 Warwick, RI Death 6 Sep 1724 Marriage 11 Dec 1684 SUSANNAH BURTON
Mary Gorton Birth abt 1635 OF PORTSMOUTH, RI Death 1688 Tiverton, RI Marriage 17 Apr 1663 John Sanford; Portsmouth, RI, RI Marriage abt 1657 Peter GREEN
John Gorton Birth abt 1640 Warwick, RI Death 3 Feb 1714 Marriage 25 Jan 1665 Margaret WEEDON
Mahershallalhash Baz Hasbaz Gorton Birth bet 1634-1642 Warwick, RI m Daniel COLE
BENJAMIN Gorton Birth 1642 Warwick, RI Death 25 Dec 1699 Marriage 2 Dec 1672 Sarah CARDER
Sarah Gorton Birth 1644 Warwick, RI
Ann Gorton Birth 1646 Warwick, RI Marriage 7 Aug 1670 John WARNER
Elizabeth Gorton Birth 1648 Warwick, RI
SUSANNA Gorton Birth bet 1648-1650 Warwick, RI Death 28 May 1734 Marriage 10 Jun 1672 BENJAMIN BARTON
  • According to Adelos Gorton, author of THE LIFE AND TIMES OF SAMUEL GORTON, he was, "Far more sinned against than sinning, he bore adversity with heroic fortitude; and if he did not conquer, he yet finally baffled every effort of his enemies."
  • Savage's genealogical dictionary refers to Samuel as "a most active religious disturber of several places".
  • Gorton was difficult; he did not even get along with the patient Roger Williams. Winthrop says in his Journal "those of Providence, being all anabaptists were divided in judgement; some were only against baptizing infants; others denied all magistracy and churches, of which Gorton, who had lately been whipped at Aquiday, was their instructor and captain.." Winthrop goes on to describe what happened to him (Winthrop, 2:137)
  • September 1643. Upon the complaint of the English at Patuxet near Providence, who had submitted to our jurisdiction, and the two Indian sachems there, of the continual injuries offered them by Gorton and his company, the general court sent for them , by letter only, not in way of command, to come answer the complaints, and sent them, letters of safe conduct. But they answered our messengers disdainfully, refused ro come, but sent two letters full of blasphemy against the churches and having sent three times we determined to proceed with them by force (They sent Commissioners with a sufficient armed guard) They had put themselves all into one house which they had made musketproof. (Cites 5 reasons for not accepting arbitration). 1) that they would never offer us any terms of peace before we had sent our soldiers..., 3) they were no state but a few fugitives living without law or government...5)their blasphemies and reviling writings etc., were not matters fit to be compounded by arbitrament, but to be purged away only by repentance and public satisfaction, or else by public punishment. (So they stormed the house and tried to burn it and at last they surrendered....3 escaped and ran away the rest were brought to Boston and imprisoned.) (Gorton was allowed to speak after the sermon, and far from being intimidated among other things "reviled magistracy, calling it an idol, alleging that a man might as well be a slave to his belly as to his own species.") They excel the Jesuits in the art of equivocation, and regard not how false they speak to all other men's apprehensions, so they keep to the rules of their own meaning...the were all illiterate men, the ablest of them could not write true English, no not common words, yet they would take upon them the interpretation of the most difficult places of scripture and wrest them any way to serve their own terms....The court began to consult about their sentence,,,,the judgement of the elders also had been demanded...their answer was that if they should maintain...their offense deserved death...all the magistrates but three were of the opinion that Gorton ought to die, but the greatest numers of the deputies dissenting, that vote did not the end, the sentence for 7 of them (including Potter) to be dispursed into 7 different towns, kept to work for their living, wear irons on one leg, not depart town, refrain from blasphemous writing or speech......About a week after, we sent men to fetch so many of their cattle as might defray our charges, both the soldiers and the court, which spend many days about them, and for their expenses in all about 160 pounds. March 1644. The court, finding that Gorton and his company did harm in the towns where they were confined. and not knowing what to do with them, at length agree to set them at liberty and gave them 15 days to depart out of our jurisdiction in all parts and no more might come into it on pain of death." Then Gorton and two others made their way to England, pled their cause and got their lands reinstated.
  • A more favorable account of Gorton was given by one of his disciples: "The Friends had come out of the world in some ways, but were still in darkness or twilight, but that Gorton was far beyond them, high..way up to the dispensation of light. The Quakers were in no way to be compared with him...he said Gorton was a holy man; wept day and night for the sins and blindness of the world; his eyes were a fountain of tears and always full of tears...a man full of thought and study....had a long walk out through the trees or woods by his house, where he constantly walked morning and evening, and even in the depth of night, alone by himself, for contemplation and enjoyment of the dispensation of light. He was universally beloved by all his neighbors and the Indians, who esteemed him not only as a friend, but one high in communion with God, and indeed he lived in Heaven."
  • May 1942 Bulletin of the Newport, Rhode Island Historical Society titled: "Samuel Gorton" by William Wager Weeden.
  • Samuel Gorton's letter to Lord Hyde - Providence: Society of Colonial War 1930, page 5 (Also called GORTON TO HYDE)
  • Massachusetts War with Samuel Gorton, Providence: RHODE ISLAND PENDULUM, 142.
  • "The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge," Samuel Macauley Jackson New York Funk and Wagnalls, dated 1909, page 25-26
  • "Simplicities Defence Against Seven-Headed Policy," by Samuel Gorton London, 1646.
  • "The Founding of New England," Boton: The Atlantic Monthly 1921, page 142
  • "An Abstract of The Laws of New England," John Cotton, London 1641, page 10.
  • "The Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England, The Story how Samuel Gorton fought in the Pequot War," by Nathaniel B. Shurleff, Boston 1855, page 104, 1856, page 70.
  • "History of Rhode Island." John S. Taylor, NY 1853, page 40.
  • "The Complete Book of Emigrants," by Peter Wilson Coldham 1607-1660, page 227. Year 1644, entry April 19. The Copy of Act of Submission by Pessicus Sachema and the Narragansett Indians to the government of England. Samuel, Gorton, John Wickes, Randal Holden and John Warner are appointed to execute the Deed witnessed by Christopher Helme, Robert Potter and Richard Carder.
  • Also in "The Complete Book of Emigrants," entry dated April 1647. PROBATE THE WILL of Mery Maplet of St. Giles Cripplegate, London, whose daughter Mary was married to Samuel Gorton of New England.
  • "The American Genealogist," 1989, by Donald Lines Jacobus, Vol 18-20, page 186, Samuel Gorton.
  • Samuel Gortons writing chair is in the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum in Washington, D.C.
  • Rhode Island Marriages on Familysearch (for Elizabeth Gorton and John Crandall)
  • #S854356594
Birth date: About 1600, At Gorton, England Birth place: Death date: 1677, in Rhode Island APID: 4874::408
Author: Barghouti, Kim, comp.
Publication: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2000.Original data - Louis Harmon Peet. Handy Book of American Authors. New York, USA: Thomas Y. Crowell and Co., 1907.Original data: Louis Harmon Peet. Handy Book of American Authors. New

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Samuel Gorton
Samuel Gorton


On 4 Oct 2015 at 16:47 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

Hi! I posted a G2G questions about Category:Quaker - see

Cheers, Liz

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