Deacon Samuel WRIGHT

[F2248]. (Deacon) Samuel WRIGHT.
It is not known exactly when Samuel Wright was born. Determining when he was born would be a big step in proving who his parents were. He is probably the son of John WRIGHT [F4496] and Martha CASTELL [F4497] of Wrightsbridge, Essex, England. If his parents are John WRIGHT and Martha CASTELL, then Samuel was christened on (20)(30) JUNE 1606 at the St. Peters parish church of South Weald, Essex, England. However, there is no direct proof as yet that the Deacon Samuel Wright of Spingfield, Massachusetts is the son of John and Martha. It has been proven that he is not the son of Nathaniel WRIGHT and Lydia.

The parish register of South Weald contains a baptismal notice for "Samuel, son of John Wright of the Bridge..." (meaning Wrightsbridge). This son was born either June 29th or June 30th (depending on how you read the nearly illegible Roman date script in the parish register) in the year 1606. The "John Wright of the Bridge" referred to in the register is presumed to be John Wright, barrister and his wife Martha Castell. He was christened on 20 JUN (July?) 1606.

It is also said that Samuel was born 17 DEC 1591 in London, Middlesex, England [S15], but if John and Martha are his parents, this is not correct.

He would probably have grown up on the Wright family estate known as Wrightsbridge, located a few miles west of St. Peters church, the parish church for South Weald parish, County Essex, England. South Weald Parish lies about 40 miles east of London.

He attended Emmanuel College at Cambridge University, like his father, but was more interested in the ministry focus of the college than his father and elder brother had been.

Samuel probably attended Emmanuel College in 1624, though we have yet to find proof that this is the correct Samuel.

He married Margaret (STRATTON?) [F2249] (about 1625-1626 in England)(before 1627-S15)(in 1632-S8). They had children Samuel, Margaret, Hester, Lydia and Mary (not necessarily in that order) while still in England.

He was a Puritan from England, who came to America probably about 1635, but possibly as late as 1638. Not long after arriving, William Pynchon and others from the Bay area decided to settle in Agawam, what is now Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts. In SEP of 1635 , Pynchon and a few followers visited Agawam, an Indian village on the further bank of the Connecticut River. In MAY of 1636 they returned and settled there. Samuel moved there in the company of William Pynchon and his group, thus becoming one of the first settlers of Agawam. The area was called by its Indian name "Agawam" until 1640, when it was renamed Springfield.

Samuel settled on what is now Main Street, a little below where now stands the historic First Church.

The town records of early Springfield record the birth of son James, born in 1639 in Springfield, Massachusetts, and son Judah, born in 1642 in Springfield and daughter Helped, who was born and died in 1644.

He is mentioned in the town records in 1639 as having been called upon to serve as Deacon to the flock of the first Congregational Church, "…exhorting the people until such time as another could be got for the job…" How long he served at this time is unknown, but eventually an ordained minister was found.

He served jury duty on 14 November 1639 at Agawam (Springfield), Hampden County, Massachusetts. This entry reveals that he served on the Jury, hearing cases between John Woodcoke and John Cable and between William Pynchon and Thomas Merricks. His fellow jurists included a number of the other original inhabitants of the town, Henry Smyth, Jehu Burr, Henry Gregory, John Searle and Samuell Hubbard. This was the first jury noted in the court records.

He again served jury duty on 18 June 1640 at Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts. This jury heard a case between William Warriner & Henry Gregory.

Jury Duty; 18 Jun 1640; Springfield, Hampden Co., MA 3. Deacon Samuel Wright served on jury hearing case between William Warriner & Henry Gregory.(S6).
5 FEB 1640-1641, Robert Ashly complained against John Woodcooke in an action of the case for a gunn that he bought of him and paid him 22s 6d for it yet the said John Woodcoke did not deliver it to him accordinge to bargaine.
Also Robert Ashly complaines against John Woodcok in an action of the case for not breaking up of certain ground for planting according to bargaine.
The Jury Henry Smyth, Henry Burt, John Leonard, John Dible, Samuell Wright, Thomas Merick:
In the first action the Jury find for the plaintife 22s 6d and in costes 4s.
The 2d action John Woodcoke doth acknowledge it his dew to brake up the said ground and doth bynd over some of the Swine that he hath now in the hands of Thomas Mirick for the performance of the said ground in case it for not don before the first of Aprill, then he doth promise to allow for the damage out of the said swine as two indifferent neighbors shall prise the said swine and so to pay as much as the workmanship of the said ground shall be valued at.

After the Jury had given in their verdict John Woodcoke denied that Robert had paid for the said gunn notwithstanding the action was [illegible] before him and he never denied it: but I offered him a new tryall by a writ of error if he would present it.

Goody Gregory hearing him denie that he was paid testified uppon oath that she heard John Woodcock say that he did not owe above as 2s 6d in the plantation she said that she replied thus to John Wookcocke that she heard Robert say that John Woodcock ought him between 30 and 40s. Then John Woodcok answered that Robert was a pratinge fellow for he had set of his gunn and now he did not owe him past 7 or 8s: Also Henry Gregory testified uppon oath that he heard him speak the same to his wife.

Goody Gregory being accused by oath of John Woodcoke and Richard Williams for swearing before God I could break her head: she did acknowledge it was her great sin and fault and saith she hath bin much humbled for it:

She is fined 12d to the pore to be paid to Henry Smyth within a month: or if she doe not she is to sit 3 houers in the stocks. (S7).

He again served jury duty on 10 September 1640 at Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts. This jury heard a case between Henry Gregory & John Woodcoke in action of the case for 'fower poundes fowerteene shillings.' (S6).

He took the Oath of Freeman on 14 April 1648 n Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts.

He was ordered to pay a fine on 30 May 1649 at Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts, along with John Herman, for the damage their team of oxen did to Henry Burt's field. They were ordered to pay 1½ bushels of marsh wheat.

He preached the sermons again for a time after their first minister resigned and returned to England in 1652. Deacon Wright, Deacon Chapin, Mr. Holyoke and Henry Burt all conducted religious services on the Sabbath. At a meeting of the town on 24 Mar 1656, Deacon Wright alone was chosen to dispense the word of God on the Sabbath at 50 shillings per month.

From a page torn out of his account book, dated 25 Jul 1653 at Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts: [torn]n accot of what I haue laid out [torn] Mill dam 25 July 1653 for Sam Wright 3 d 00 05 00, To Sam Wright for 3 d worke besides above 00 05 00."

He was fined on 1 November 1653 at Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts: "The persons underwritten being presented for breach of the Towne orders are ordered to pay: as followeth : - Samuell Wright 0.02.00.

He and a group of fifteen other families formed what is now called the Northampton Society in 1654, and moved together to a land grant about 35 miles up the Connecticut River (it was then called the Big River) and founded the town of Northampton in 1656, where his son Samuel Jr. had preceded him. Among the first groups to settle at Northampton, there were a total of about thirty families who are considered the first settlers of Northampton. Samuel Jr. was one of the town selectmen that year, in 1656. The first settlers purchased the land there from the Indians. At first, the settlement of Northampton was called Squakeag, the Indian name for the area. It was next called “Northfield” by the English settlers because it was the northernmost settlement on the river. Finally the name Northampton was settled upon.

At Northampton, he and his son Samuel were granted a home lot of 4 1/2 acres on Main Street, between King and Market Streets. He is spoken of as one of the leaders of the town, prominent in local affairs, serving on various committees, and that his name was the first one signed to the church covenant adopted in 1661. They built small huts near each other, and ran a stockade around a number of them for a fort into which they might flee, if attacked.

He provided bond on 24 March 1655 at Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts of £4 for the preformance of the order concerning his son Samuel Wright Jr. providing for the illegitimate child he fathered on Mary Burt.

At a meeting of the town on 24 Mar 1656, Deacon Wright alone was chosen to dispense the word of God on the Sabbath at 50 shillings per month.

In a lawsuit dated 29 March 1659 at Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts he brought a suit, along with Edward Elmer, Alexander Edwards & John Stebbin, against the town of Northampton "in an action of the case concerninge their turninge out some of the freemen from beine select men to which office they were chosen."

From John Pynchon's account books in June of 1660, he employed "Deacon Wright CR June [1660] By your halfe, for Sawing of the Timber for the Corection house 03 15 00."

His name was the first one signed to the church covenant in Northampton, adopted in 1661.

His will was written on 10 NOV 1663.

He died "while sleeping in his chair" on 17 October 1665 at Northampton, Hampshire County, Massachusetts.

His will was probated on 27 Mar 1667.
In his will, dated 10 NOV 1663, he gave his homestead to son James.

Probate: Samuel Wright Senior Will 10-9-1663 presented March 27, 1666. Will not signed by him but ? Clark & son Samuel testified to his declaration. Samuel (his son) has received some from me & by God's blessing is well provided for. My wife & overseers may Determine what he shall have. James & Judah all land in meadow, broken up & un broken up, being about 58 acres, they to pay my wife 10£ yearly ? she hd corn, hay & ?. Wife to him in hour during life without interuption. James, dwelling house, out houses & home lot. James & Judah have carried on the work & building the new house jointly & Judah must help till he has a comfortable to live in. James to pay Judah 15£ in work. Daughters Mary, Margaret, Hester & Lydia (all married apparently) shall have [what?] wife & overseers see meet. Son Samuel & my beloved friend Wm Clark as overseers. wife Margaret Ex. Inventory 13-9-1665 by Wm James & Wm Clarke. 344£. House, home lot, old barn & all lands 64£, ? & bible & other books 10/, wearing apparel 60/, 2 oxen & cow 13£10s, swone 4£ 10s, horse & mare & 3 colts ? & wheat, peas oats 16£. Widow Margaret Will with the consent of Wm Clark overseer Sept 12, 1680. Mary cow, Margaret ?, Hester colt, Lydia brass pot (all had recd them) Mary & Lydia mother's apparel, Son in law (Only one mentioned) Sam'l Marsh ? 30/. Grand daughter Helfrit my acct. Division of the 50 acres of meadow & 5 acres of upland between James & Judah on next page.

[F2249]. Margaret (STRATTON?).
Born about 1610 in England. She married Samuel WRIGHT [F2248] about 1625-1626 in England. She died 24 JUL 1681 at Northampton, Hampshire County, Massachusetts.

CHILDREN of Samuel WRIGHT [F2248] and Margaret [F2249]: