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Samuel GORTON

Samuel GORTON[1, 2]

Male 1592 - 1677  (85 years)

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  • Name Samuel GORTON 
    Born 12 Feb 1592  Gorton, Lancashire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Christened 12 Feb 1592  Gorton, Lancashire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Baptism Manchester, Lancashire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died 10 Dec 1677  Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island Find all individuals with events at this location 
    WAC 16 Feb 1894 
    _COLOR
    _FSFTID LHRG-CHQ 
    _UID 5628A5246111D511804F4445535400009E26 
    Person ID I816  My Genealogy
    Last Modified 26 Mar 2014 

    Father Thomas GORTON, of Gorton,   b. Abt 1546, Gorton, Lancashire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Jan 1610, Manchester, Lancashire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 64 years) 
    Mother Anne JOHNSON,   b. Abt 1555, Gorton, Lancashire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Nov 1623, Manchester, Lancashire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 68 years) 
    Married Abt 1580  England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F294  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Mary Elizabeth MAPLETT,   b. 12 Mar 1608, Northall, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 20 May 1628  London, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Address:
    St Mary Magdalen Old Fish Street 
    Children 
    +1. Samuel GORTON, Jr.,   b. 1630, Gorton, Lancashire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Sep 1724  (Age 94 years)
    +2. Mary GORTON,   b. Abt 1632, Gorton, Lancashire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1688, Tiverton, Newport, Rhode Island Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 56 years)
    +3. Mahershallal Hashbaz GORTON,   b. Abt 1634, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Nov 1692, Oyster Bay, Nassau, New York Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 58 years)
    +4. Benjamin GORTON,   b. 1650, Aquidneck Island, Newport, Rhode Island Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Dec 1699, Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 49 years)
    +5. John GORTON,   b. Abt 1642, Aquidneck Island, Newport, Rhode Island Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Feb 1714, Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 72 years)
     6. Sarah GORTON,   b. Abt 1644, Aquidneck Island, Newport, Rhode Island Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    +7. Ann GORTON,   b. Abt 1650, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    +8. Elizabeth GORTON,   b. Abt 1652, Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    +9. Susanna GORTON,   b. Abt 1654, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 May 1734, Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 80 years)
    Last Modified 20 Feb 2017 
    Family ID F36  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 12 Feb 1592 - Gorton, Lancashire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsChristened - 12 Feb 1592 - Gorton, Lancashire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBaptism - - Manchester, Lancashire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - Address:
    St Mary Magdalen Old Fish Street - 20 May 1628 - London, Middlesex, England
    Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 10 Dec 1677 - Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Samuel Gorton.jpg
    Samuel Gorton.jpg
    Samuel Gorton Homestead.jpg
    Samuel Gorton Homestead.jpg

    Headstones
    Samuel Gorton
    Samuel Gorton

    Histories
    History of Samuel Gorton
    History of Samuel Gorton
    First governor of PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS of Rhode Island,
    and founder of Warwick, Rhode Island.

  • Notes 
    • Residing in the British Museum is a manuscript called The Saxon Chronicles. This is a work done by monks in the 10th century A.D. One of the oldest family names emerging throughout the chronicles is that of Gorton. The first record of the name was in Lancashire, England well before the Norman Conquest of 1066 A.D.

      The Gorton Family is descended from the Saxon race, a fair skinned people who settled in England about 400 A.D. The Gorton's were nobility in the County of Lancashire where they were "recorded as a family of great antiquity". By the 13th century the Gorton's were considered one of the most distinguished families of County Lancashire.

      During the next three centuries the Gorton's contributed to the culture of Britain. In the period from the 16th to the 18th centuries England was overwhelmed by religious conflicts. Many families lost titles and estates as religious groups gained and lost power. The turmoil led many people to migrate to such places and Ireland and the Colonies of North America. One of the first migrants to settle in the colonies was Samuel Gorton. Samuel was accompanied by his wife, Mary (Maplett) Gorton, their daughter Mary and son John and Samuel's brother Thomas. They sailed from England on a ship called "The Speedwell" and arrived at Boston in 1637.

      Samuel Gorton was born on February 12, 1592 in Gorton, Lancashire, England. He was baptized in the Cathedral Church in Manchester, England. Samuel was the son of Thomas Gorton and Thomas' second wife Anne. His parents were well to do and quite connected with the English Heraldry. Samuel received a classical education through his private tutors. He was fluent in both the Greek and Hebrew languages which allowed him to study the Bible's original text. This ability led him to form his own ideas and opinions as to the Bible's interpretation.

      Upon landing in Massachusetts Samuel found that the area controlled by the Boston Puritans was no better than what he'd left behind. His radical religious and political ideals and his outspokenness soon put him at odds with the Government of Massachusetts. A courteous and friendly man, Samuel was open-minded and did not hesitate to express his opinion. He had very strong ideas when it came to religion and politics. Samuel believed and fought for the separation of church and state, the right of all people to religious freedom whatever their religion was. He believed that the Native Americans should be paid for their lands. Samuel was against slavery and fought to ban it. He was America's earliest advocate for equal rights for women. Not only did he think that women deserved the right to speak their minds, he also believed that they should be listened to!

      Samuel's outspoken beliefs, along with the fact that he was gathering a following irked Massachusetts' Puritanical government. Boston wanted to be rid of Gorton and his Gortonists, to the extent that he was once imprisoned because his maid smiled in church! It is unknown exactly how long he was jailed as a result of this "crime".

      After regaining his freedom Samuel and his followers were thrown out of Boston. They settled an area of Rhode Island now known as Portsmouth. One of Portsmouth's most prominent citizens at that time was William Arnold, Benedict Arnold's father. William Arnold was well connected with the Massachusetts government. He was also opposed to the Gortonist's settling in Portsmouth and he appealed to Boston to "rid him of the Gortonists".

      The puritan government enlisted two Indian chiefs, Ponham and Soconoco to do their dirty work. The Indians raided Samuel's home and burned it. The Gorton family and his following retreated to a blockhouse to take refuge. The soldiers arrived from Massachusetts; they surround the house and fired upon it until the Gortonists surrendered.

      Samuel and his assemblage (now numbering about 100) were put on trial charged with being "blasphemous enemies of the true religion and likewise of all civil government." They escaped death by one vote and were sentenced to "wear chains and leg irons at the pleasure of the court." The governor of Massachusetts at that time, John Winthrop, was a quiet friend of Gorton's. He appealed to the court and had the sentences reduced to banishment from Portsmouth. Banishment was nothing new to Samuel Gorton. Prior to this incident he had been thrown out of Boston, Plymouth, Aquidneck and Newport. By 1642 an English historian said, "Gorton might almost be said to have graduated as a disturber of the peace in every colony in New England!"

      Samuel, his family and his band of believers left Portsmouth in a blizzard. They walked about 90 miles to the area that is now known as Providence. They purchased land from the great chief Miantonomo. This purchase came to be known as "The Shawomet Purchase". The Gortonist's became friends with the Indians and became fluent in their language. In 1642 Samuel was elected as Deputy Governor of this new land.

      Though the Gortonist's were many miles away from Massachusetts, the government there was still not happy with his existence or with his religious and political ideas and with his befriending of the Indians. Gorton was noted in history as a man who "had the power to inspire fear, loathing and wrath among his enemies". The puritanical government of Boston, it seemed, did fear and loathe him even though he was far from Boston. The magistrates of Massachusetts harassed Samuel with correspondences stating that the land he had purchased was under Boston rule. Samuel ignored the letters. Once again the government charged him with blasphemy and once again soldiers from Massachusetts arrived and burned his home. Gorton was again imprisoned for a time and released on the condition that he leave the land that the Gortonist's had purchased.

      Samuel did indeed leave. He made arrangements for his family to live with Indians families nearby, then he disappeared. While Boston was celebrating what they saw as a victory, Samuel was on a ship to London. There he met with his old friend, Robert Rich, the Earl of Warwick. Samuel presented a manuscript to Parliament entitled "Simplicities Defense against a Seven Headed Policy". With the help of the Earl of Warwick Samuel was granted a Royal Charter and received an order of "safe passage and conduct". Needless to say the Massachusetts government was not happy upon Samuels return to Boston and even less happy with the Royal Charter. The militia now had to escort Samuel safely back to Rhode Island and the government was ordered to never interfere with Samuel Gorton or the Gortonist's again.

      Samuel returned, safely, to the land he and his followers had purchased. He named the land Warwick after his friend the Earl. In 1649 Samuel was elected General Assistant to the Governor and in 1651 he was elected first President of the towns of Providence and Warwick. For many years he held offices of Commissioner and Deputy Governor.

      In 1670 Samuel retired from official office. He died on December 10, 1677 at the age of 85. Samuel is buried in Warwick behind a home off Warwick Neck Road. Samuel Gorton has been noted as a "forgotten founder of liberty".

      The Gortonists sect survived for about 100 years after Samuel's death.

      Warwick is a city in Kent County, Rhode Island, United States. It is the second largest city in the state, with a population of 85,808 at the 2000 census. Its mayor has been Scott Avedisian since 2000. Founded by Samuel Gorton in 1642, Warwick has witnessed major events in American history.

      Warwick was decimated during King Philip's War (1675-76) and was the site of the first shot fired during the American Revolution against the British schooner Gaspee. Warwick is also the home of revolutionary war general Nathanael Greene, George Washington's second-in-command, and the Civil War hero of the battle of Gettysburg, General George S. Greene.

      Warwick is home to Rhode Island's main airport, T. F. Green Airport, which serves the greater Providence area and also functions as a reliever for Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts. It is also the home of the 43rd Military Police Brigade of the Rhode Island Army National Guard.

      Warwick was founded in 1642 by Samuel Gorton when Narragansett Indian Chief Sachem Miantonomi agreed to accept 144 fathoms of Wampumpeague for what was known as "The Shawhomett Purchase". This included the present day towns of Coventry and West Warwick. However, the purchase was not without dispute. The two sachems of the area, Sacononoco and Pumham, stated that Miantonomi had sold the land without asking for their approval. The two sachems took their case to Boston, Masschusetts where they placed their lands under Massachusetts rule. In 1643 Massachusetts sent a militia force to Shawomett to arrest Gorton and his followers. After a tense standoff, all but 3 of the Gortonists surrendered to the Massachusetts force. This event caused the other three towns on Narragansett Bay (Providence, Portsmouth, and Newport) to unite and get a royal charter allowing the towns on Narragansett Bay to form the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

      In 1648, Gorton was granted a Charter by Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick, Lord Admiral and head of the Parliamentary Commission on Plantation Affairs. Because of this, the name of the settlement was changed from Shawhomett to Warwick. While Massachusetts continued to lay claim to the area, it made no further effort to enforce it.

      In 1772, Warwick was the scene for the first violent act against the Crown when, in what was to be called the Gaspee Affair, local patriots boarded the British HMS Gaspee, a revenue cutter charged with enforcing the Stamp Act 1765 and Townshend Acts in an area where smuggling was common, the Narragansett Bay. It was here that the first blood of the American Revolution was spilled when the commanding officer of the Gaspee, Lt. Duddingston, was shot in his crotch while resisting the taking of his ship. The Gaspee was stripped of all cannon and arms before being torched.

      During the Revolution, Warwick Militiamen participated in the battles of Montreal, Quebec, Saratoga, Monmouth, Trenton, Rhode Island, and were present for the surrender at Yorktown.

  • Sources 
    1. [S14] The Life and Times of Samuel Gorton.

    2. [S15] Samuel Gorton of Rhode Island.