The Family Puzzles - Demystified (Sort of)

Stephen Bachiler, Rev.

Male 1561 - 1656

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  • Name  Stephen Bachiler, Rev. 
    Suffix  Rev. 
    Born  23 Jun 1561  Wherwell, Hampshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Male 
    Died  31 Oct 1656  Hackney, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried  Allhallows, Staining, London, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID  I1041  My Genealogy
    Last Modified  20 Dec 2012 

    Family  Ann Bates,   b. 1565, Wherwell, Hampshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  1586 
     1. Deborah Bachiler,   b. Abt 1592, Wherwell, Hampshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Barnstable, Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. Stephen Bachiler,   b. Abt 1594,   d. Yes, date unknown
     3. Theodate Bachiler,   b. 1596, Wherwell, Hampshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Oct 1649, Hampton Falls, Rockingham, New Hampshire, USA Find all individuals with events at this location
     4. Samuel Bachiler,   b. Abt 1596,   d. Yes, date unknown
     5. Anna Bachiler,   b. Abt 1600,   d. 14 Feb 1673, Hampton Falls, Rockingham, New Hampshire, USA Find all individuals with events at this location
     6. Nathaniel Bachiler,   b. 1630, Hampton Falls, Rockingham, New Hampshire, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Jan 1710, Hampton Falls, Rockingham, New Hampshire, USA Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified  4 Jan 2002 
    Family ID  F392  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 23 Jun 1561 - Wherwell, Hampshire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 31 Oct 1656 - Hackney, Middlesex, England Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • The Rev. Stephen Bachiler (or Batchelder, Bachelor, Bacheller, etc.) lived a very active life for nearly 100 years.

      1561 - Stephen Bachiler born in Hampshire, England. Although (or perhaps because) there were several Bachiler families in the area, his parentage has not been determined. V.C. Sanborn speculates that perhaps Stephen is descended from a branch of the Bachiler family from the Channel Islands.
      1581 17 Nov.- Matriculated College of St. John's, Oxford University.
      1586/7 3 Feb. - Bachelor of Arts, Oxford.
      1587 15 Jul. - became vicar of the Church of the Holy Cross and St. Peter, Wherwell, Hampshire, England.
      1590 - he has apparently married by this time, a son (Nathaniel) being born.[VCS] His 1st wife's name may be Ann Bate or Bates. Other children are Deborah, Nathaniel, Samuel, Ann, and Theodate.
      1592 - Daughter Deborah born.[VCS]
      1594 - Son Stephen born.[VCS]
      1596 - Son Samuel born. [VCS]
      1598 - Daughter Theodate born. [VCS]
      1600 - Daughter Anne born. [VCS]
      1605 - ejected from the vicarage as a result of King James's program against nonconformist ministers, begun the year before. ("I will make them conform or I will harry them out of the Kingdom.") Stephen is a Presbterian by this time. [IEN]
      1609 - daughter Deborah married John Wing
      1610 - son Stephen matriculates Magdalen College, Oxford University.
      1620 - son Samuel is a chaplain in Holland, at some time becoming chaplain to Sir Charles Morgan's regiment located there. [VCS]
      1621 - dined with Adam Winthrop.
      1622 - purchased land in Newton Stacy (just east of Wherwell).
      1623/4 3 Mar. - married the widow Christian Weare, at Abbots-Ann. [CAT, LDN]
      1625 - Son Samuel publishes "Miles Christianus". [VCS]
      1627 26 Mar. - married the widow Helena Mason, at Abbots-Ann [CAT, LDN dates disagree].
      1629 - purchases more land in Newton Stacy.
      1630 - Joins and invests in "the Plough Company of Husbandmen", a group that had obtained a patent to settle in Maine on the Sagadahoc river. Stephen is chosen as Pastor for the group, but the enterprise fails before leaving England, perhaps through fraud.
      circa 1630 - Stephen is granted a coat of arms, described in Sylvanus Morgan's "Sphere of Gentry" as "Vert, a plow in fess; in base the sun rising, or." Morgan says Stephen's motto is 'Sol Justitiae Exoritur'.[VCS]
      1631 - Granted license to visit children in Holland, but not clear if he made the trip.
      1632 - Sir Robert Payne, sheriff of Hants, complained that his tenants "having been formerly misled by one Stephen Bachiler, a notorious inconformist, did demolish a consecrated chapel in Newton Stacy".
      1632 9 Mar - emigrates to Massachusetts aboard the "William and Francis", with his widowed daughter Deborah and her children, and some other followers.
      1632 5 Jun. - Arrival of "Willaim and Francis" noted in John Winthrop's journal, "after a voyage of 88 days with about 60 Passengers, [with] old Mr. Batchelder (being good 70),..." He settled at Saugus (later called Lynn), where he organizes the first church.
      1632 8 Jun - Baptises four infants at Saugus, including his grandson Stephen Hussey.
      1632 3 Oct - the Massachusetts General Court ordered Stephen not to minister to any except "those he brought with him, for contempt of authority". The order is withdrawn 5 months later. [VCS]
      1635 - A general convention of elders is held at Lynn to discuss a quarrel between Stephen and a faction of the church at Lynn.[VCS]
      1636 Jan - Stephen decides to quit the church at Lynn and organize a second one there. He is frobidden by the magistrates to form a second church and agrees to leave town.[VCS]
      1636 Feb. - moved to Ipswich and is given 50 acres of government land. Temporarily stops preaching.
      1638 Winter - Tried to a start a settlement at Mattacheese, near Yarmouth on Cape Cod.
      1638 Spring - Moved to Newbury, where son-in-law Christopher Hussey was living.
      1638 Sep. - Petitioned the General Court for permission to start a new plantation at Winnicummet (now Hampton, NH).
      1639 7 Jun. - Winnicummet founded, name changed that fall to Hampton at Stephen's request. Almost immediately, is in dispute with another minister at Hampton, one Timothy Dalton.
      1640 Sends a treatise as a gift to Margaret Winthrop. [VCS]
      1642 - wife Helen died, Stephen's house and library burned (valued at 200 pounds).
      1643 - An excommunication of Stephen is annulled, the product of a false charge of improper sexual advances brought by the Dalton faction. [VCS]
      1644 - Called to Exeter by the town to be minister, but prohibited from preaching by the General Court. The town of Casco had also requested
      Stephen's ministry. [VCS]
      [Uncertain] - Moves to Portsmouth, NH.
      1647 - Transfers his Hampton properties to grandson John Sanborn, John to pay his 2 brothers and cousin Nathaniel Bachiler each 20 pounds.
      1648 - married his "good neighbor" and former housekeeper, Mary Beedle, widow of Robert.
      1650 - Stephen sued for divorce, but is ordered to remain married. Stephen is also accused of marrying without bans. (Mary may have born a
      son, John, in this year. [CAT])
      1651 Oct 16 - wife Mary is convicted of adultery with George Rogers and is whipped and "branded with the letter 'A'".
      1654 - Stephen returned to England, possibly accompanied by grandson Stephen Sanborn [LDN]. Christopher Hussey apparently also made this trip, as testimony exists that Stephen transferred his property to him during the voyage. [VCS]
      1656 18 Oct - Wife Mary petitions for divorce, saying that Stephen had abandoned her, returned to England and remarried. There is no other record of a later marriage known and the circumstances make it doubtful. Mary later marries Thomas Turner.
      1657 or 1660 - Died at Hackney, near London.
      During the Rev. Bachiler's stay in the colonies, he was in regular conflict with various officials and ministers in regard to religious matters, in particular at Lynn and at Hampton. Many of his descendents continued the conflict, becoming Quakers.
      Among Stephen Bachiler's descendants are: Richard M. Nixon (President), Daniel Webster (U.S. secretary of state), John Greenlief Whittier (author and abolitionist), Caleb Cushing (U.S. attorney general), William P. Fessendon (U.S. Secretary of State, abolitionist, helped found the Republican party).

      Further research:
      Several "Batchelder" genealogies are listed among the holdings of the New England Historical and Genealogical Society (NEHGS), these need to be reviewed.
      The Torrey work cited below is actually an index to a compilation of references held by the NEHGS. These references need to be looked up and followed.
      A history of Lynn refers to his stay there and the conflict he had with religious authority, but I've mislaid the citation. Need to find this again.

      Excerpts from: Batchelder, Batcheller Genealogy, by F. C. Pierce, 1898
      Page 26-27
      "Stephen Bachiler, for so he always wrote his name, was born somewhere in England in the year 1561. At the age of twenty he entered St. Johns College, Oxford. He was matriculated November 17, 1587, and admitted as Bachelor of Arts, February 3, 1585-6. The leading profession for college graduates in that day was that of a clergyman, and he determined to study for the ministry, being then a member of the established church.
      Apparently the time between his graduation in February, 1585-6 and July 17, 1587, was spent in preparation for his life work, for on the day last named the death of Edward Parrett, vicar of Wherwell in Hants, making a vacancy in that living he was presented with the place by William West, Lord Lawarr (or de la Warr, as it was written later) and became vicar of the church of Holy Cross and St. Peter...
      "Of Stephen Bachiler's life at Wherewell we know nothing. The church records were begun in 1643, or at all events no earlier records now exist. We only know that he remained here until 1605, for, on the ninth day of August, 1605, John Bate, A.M., clergyman, was appointed vicar of Wherewell, a vacancy existing because of "the ejection of Stephen Bachiler," the last vicar. Not much more is known of his life in England, from the loss of his living at Wherewell to the spring of 1632, when he sailed for New England. He was excommunicated from the church, and so no church record exists showing his abiding places. Probably he preached to different congregations, not in a settled way, but when he could avoid the persecution of the church people. Occasionally we get a glimpse of his location. In 1610 he appears to be still a clergyman of the County of Southampton. On the 11th of June, 1621, Adam Winthrop's diary shows that he "had Mr. Bachelour, the preacher," to dine with him, presumably at Groton in Suffolk. This may have been the subject of this sketch.
      "Some of the parishioners of Barton Stacey, in Hampshire, a few miles east of Wherewell, listened to his sermons at some time before 1632, for we find that Sir Robert Paine petitioned the Council, stating that he was sheriff of Hants in that year, and was also chosen churchwarden of Barton Stacey, and that 'some of the parishioners, petitioner's tenants, having been formerly misled by Stephen Bachelor, a notorious inconformist, had demolished a consecrated chapel at Newton Stacey, neglected the repair of their parish church, maliciously opposed petitioner's intent (to repair the church at his own charge), and executed many things in contempt of the cannons and the bishop.'
      "Once more we hear from him, on the 23d of June, 1631, when, at the age of seventy years, he obtains leave to visit his sons and daughters in Flushing. He was then resident at South Stoneham, in the county of Southampton, and desires that his wife, Helen, aged 48 years, and his daughter, Ann Sandburn, of age 30 years, widow, resident in the Strand, might accompany him. He was to return within two months. It would be interesting to know which of his sons and daughters then lived at Flushing, as Deborah Wing was apparently residing in London in November, 1629, when her husband, John Wing, made his will, and presumably she was appointed executrix of the will when it was proved, August 4, 1630, as Mr. Waters makes no note that administration was granted to any other person than the executrix named in the will.
      "Stephen Bachiler was excommunicated among the earliest of the nonconformists. On the death of Elizabeth, in 1603, James I, of the house of Stuart, came to the throne. In January, 1604, the famous Hampton court conference was held, when King James uttered his angry threat against the Puritans, 'I will make them conform or I will harry them out of the kingdom.' The next year the king's threat was carried out against Mr. Bachiler, and no doubt he was thoroughly 'harried' after his excommunication. Winthrop says that Bachiler had suffered much at the hands of the bishops.
      "As early as 1630 Bachiler had determined to leave England and settle in America. At all events, he made preparation for such removal. Maverick, in his 'Description of New England,' says there was a patent granted to Christo: Batchelor and Company in the year 1632, or thereabouts, for the mouth of the river (Sagadehoeke), and some tract of land adjacent, who came over in the ship name the Plough, and termed themselves the Plough Companie, but soon scattered, some for Virginia, some for England, some to the Massachusetts, never settling on that land......"
      Pages 28-29
      "At the very beginning of 1632, Mr. Bachiler left England for Boston in New England. He sailed on the 9th of March, 1631-2, in the vessel called the 'William and Francis,' from London, with sixty passengers, and after eighty-eight dreary days, landed at Boston. Among his fellow travellers were Gov. Edward Winslow, of Plymouth, Rev. Thomas James, Rev. Thomas Wedde and Thomas Oliver, the famous ruling elder of Boston. On the'Whale,' which arrived May 26, 1632 came Mr. Wilson and Mr. Richard Dummer. Most of the Dummers reside at South Stoneham or Swathing, where the ancient church bears several Dummer memorials, and this was the last residence of Stephen Bachiler in England. (A relationship existed between the Bachilers and the Dummers which cannot yet be traced. MS. letter of Richard Dummer to Nathaniel Bachiler, sen., 14th 4th mo., 1673:'my cossen nathaniell bacheler of Hampton.')
      "These two ships, the 'William and Francis,' and the 'Whale,' were sent out by the 'Company of husbandmen,' sometimes called the 'Company of London,' or the 'Company of the Plough,' of which company Stephen Bachiler was an active and zealous member, and was chosen their pastor in 1629 or 1630.
      "The energy and zeal with which he labored to increase the society and assist as many emigrants as possible to come to New England, is well set forth in a letter of John Dye and others to Mr. Crispe, and those members of the Plough Company then in New England, dated London, 8 March, 1631-2, and evidently brought in the 'William and Francis,' or the 'Whale.' Mr. Bachiler adventured 100 pounds in the Company and loaned them 67 pounds, of which amount 9 pounds was repaid by the freight money on his goods.'"
      Page 30
      "He was admitted a freeman May 6, 1635. It seems quite probable that he was the minister who dissented from the order of banishment of Roger Williams, in October, 1635, as his opinions are known to have agreed closely with those of Williams, and no minister of the twelve churches then established possessed his courage in maintaining unpopular opinions. It is to be considered, also, that he had previously been disciplined for departure from the established customs, and within three months was again in trouble from the same cause......."
      Page 36
      "Shortly after his removal to Strawberry Bank, Mr. Bachiler's usual good judgment seems to have deserted him. He was a widower, and obtained for a housekeeper a widow, whom he calls 'an honest neighbour.' He soon married her, and the match turned out in every way unfortunate. She was an adultress, and her husband speedily discovered her character. The marriage must have taken place in 1647 or 1648, when he was eighty-six or eighty-seven years old. His wife, Mary, was evidently much younger than he. In May, 1650, he was fined 10 pounds for not publishing his intention of marriage according to law. In October of the same year, one-half of this fine was remitted. Perhaps because of the following:
      At a General court houlden at Gorgeana the 15th of Octor., 1650, George Rogers and Mrs. Batcheller prsented upon vehement suspition of incontinency for liveing in one house together and lieing in one rome.
      They are to be separated before the next court or to pay 40s."
      "Lewis copies from the York records, dated October 15, 1651, the following:
      We do present George Rogers and Mary Batcheller, the wife of Mr. Stephen Batcheller, minister, for adultery. It is ordered that Mrs. Batcheller, for her adultery, shall receive forty stripes save one, at the first town meeting held at Kittery, 6 weeks after her delivery , and be branded with the letter A.
      These appear clearly to be two separate offences. "In October of the same year, the Court passed the following order:
      That Mr. Batchelor and his wife shall lyve togeather as man and wife, as in tha this Court they have publiquely professed to doe; and if either desert one another, then hereby the Court doth order that the marshal shall apprehend both the said Mr. Batchelor and Mary his wife, and bring them forthwith to Boston.....
      it is evident that Mr. Bachiler charged his wife with adultery and prayed for a divorce. This was deferred to the next court of assistants. She had been indicted for adultery in Maine. he is ordered to live as a husband with an adultress during the pendency of divorce proceedings for that cause, and a term in jail is threatened for disobedience of the order with the usual privilege of giving bail.
      "After her separation from her husband Mrs. Mary Bachiler lived on her lot in Kittery, granted her in 1648, adjoining the Piscataqua river, nearly opposite the boundary line between Portsmouth and Newington. What became of her and her children after October, 1656, when they were living in Kittery, is not known, but the name, 'Mary Bachellor's Highway,' is given as the northwest boundary of a lot at Kittery, conveyed by William Hilton, of Exeter, to his son, Richard, May 4, 1684.
      Page 37-38
      "At length, wearied with the unsuccessful conflict and the constant disappointment of his expectations, heartsick with the failure of all his plans for a quiet rest for his old age in that 'band of righteousness.' which, he says, 'our New England is,' he decided to return to England.
      Harried and persecuted by the vindictiveness of the bishops of England for more than a quarter of a century, he came hither to escape their persecution (and experienced more bitter and persistent than ever he had experienced in England).....His matrimonial difficulties also led him to return to England.
      "...Of his life in England, after his return, we know nothing; very likely he lived at Hackney where he died, as that was a comfortable residence for retired ministers. The last entry concerning Mr. Bachiler is as follows: the ancient Stephen Bachiler, of Hampton, N.H., died at Hackney, a Village & Parish in Middlesex, 2 miles from London, in 1660, in the 100th year of his age.
      "Stephen Bachiler/Batchelder's life was stormy and contentious. He must have had rare physical as well as intellectual vigor. From tradition and the characteristics of his descendants, it is probable that he was tall and sinewy, with prominent features, especially the nose; a very dark complexion; black, coarse hair in early days, white in age, mouth large and firm, eyes black as sloes; features long rather than broad; a strong clear voice; rather slow of motion and speech; simple in dress, wearing in Lynn a suit of liste which he brought from England; obstinate and tenacious of his opinions to a marked degree; a powerful preacher, drawing largely from the scripture and impressing his hearers with the uncommon power and sanctity of his sermons; strong in his friendships and his hates. Winthrop classed him among 'honest men' when he arrived in 1632, and Prince, in his Annals of New England, Appendix to 1632, says:
      ('From governor Winslow and Captain Johnson, we learn that) he (Stephen Bachiler) was an ancient minister in England: had been a man of Fame in his Day; was 71 years of Age when he came over: bro't a number of people with him; and soon became the 1st Feeder of the Flock of Christ at Lynn (and by several Letters I have seen of his own Writing to the R. Mr. Cotton of Boston, I find he was a Gentleman of Learning and Ingenuity, and wrote a fine and curious hand.')."

      "Among the articles he brought over were four hogsheds of peas, twelve yards of cloth, two hundred yards of list, a contribution box and oaken furniture, which has lasted until this day." p. 29


      The names of four children of Rev. Stephen Bachiler are known with certainty. Deborah, born in 1592, child of his first wife; Stephen, born in 1594, son of the first wife; Ann, born in 1601, probably of his first wife; and Theodate, who died October, 20, 1649, at Hampton, N.H. Theodate was the wife of Christopher Hussey. "On the first Sunday at Lynn, four children were baptised. Thomas Newhall, the first white child born in Lynn, was first presented. Mr. Bachiler put him aside saying, "I will
      baptise my own child first.' meaning Stephen Hussey, his daughter's child, born the same week as Thomas Newhall." p. 29
      Deborah, b. 1592; m. Rev. John Wing.
      Mother of Daniel Wing who married Hannah Swift of Sandwich, Massachusetts, and fathered a daughter who he named Deborah for his mother. This daughter married William Dungan, son of the Rev. Thomas Dungan and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Clement Weaver and Rebecca Holbrook.

      Daniel Webster
      The politician and famous orator, Daniel Webster, was one of the illustrious descendants of Stephen Bachiler. His grandmother was Susanna (Benjamin, Nathaniel, Nathaniel, Stephen) born 28 May 1713 , married Ebenezer Webster 20 July 1738.
      Ebenezer Webster, the father of Daniel, was born in Kingston, N.H. in 1739, and died in Salisbury (now Franklin) in 1806. ...From him his sons Ezekiel and Daniel inherite great physical force, their mother was Abigail Eastman. Living on the frontier, Daniel was compelled to depend for early education on his mother and on the schooling customary in winter, and for much of this he was indebted to the fact that he was physically the weakest of his family. It is a little odd, however, that he failed utterly in that with which his final reputation was so closely connected. In his own words, 'There was one thing I could not do; I cound not make a declamation; I could not speak before the school.' When he was fifteen years old a family council decided to send him to college. After an imperfect preparation he graduated at Dartmouth College in 1801, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in Boston in 1805 from the office of Christopher Gore. Regard for his father made Webster begin practice in the town of Boscawen, near his early home, but his father died within a year and he removed to Portsmouth, the largest town of the
      state. Here he took a leading place at the bar, having but one rival. In May 1813, he entered Congress as a representative from New Hampshire, being placed at once on the committee of foreign affairs. Page 123-124 - Pierce
      "Daniel Webster wrote to his son Fletcher March 5, 1840: 'I believe we are all indebted to my father's mother for a large portion of the little sense which belongs to us. Her name was Susannah Bachelder; she was the descendant of a clergyman and a woman of uncommon strength of understanding. If I had had many boys I should have called one of them Bachelder.'" (p.123)
    • (Research):A great many people descend from Rev. Stephen Bachiler, the founder of Hampton, New Hampshire, who came to the area then called Winnacunnet with a group of settlers in October 1638 from nearby Newbury in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. His controversial career, both in Old and New England, before and after his arrival in Hampton, has become legendary, and much detail can be found in Frederick Clifton Pierce's, Batchelder, Batcheller Genealogy (Chicago, Ill.: The Author, 1898), although this work contains many errors; in V. C. Sanborn's, Genealogy of the Family of Samborne or Sanborn in England and America. 1194-1898. (Concord, N.H.: The Author, 1899 [reprinted Boston, 1969]); and in Sybil Noyes, Charles Thornton Libby, and Walter Goodwin Davis', Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire (Portland, Me.: The Anthoensen Press, 1928-1939 [reprinted Baltimore, 1972], hereafter Genealogical Dictionary). That he was married a total of four times is now well known. Further evidence that his first wife and mother of all his children was probably a sister of Rev. John Bate, Bachiler' successor at Wherwell, Hampshire, was discovered by Charles Edward Banks in an English court record (Court of Requests, Public Record Office, London. REQ2/678/64, dated 2 November 15 Charles I [1639]), and preserved by Charles Hull Batchelder in his extensive manuscript collection on the family at the New Hampshire Historical Society in Concord.

      There is monument to Stephen Bachiller at the Center of Founders Park in Hampton, New Hampshire. What follows is the inscription on that monument.
      A little band of pioneers under the leadership of Rev. Stephen Bachiler of Southhampton, England. Seeking a larger liberty, in October 1638 settled in the wilderness near this spot to plant a free church in a free town. They were joined in 1639 by others and in that year the town was incorporated. To do honor to the founder of Hampton, to exalt the ideals for which they strove and as an inspiration to posterity this memorial is dedicated, October 14, 1925.