Samuel Wilbore was born about 1595 (based on probable age at marriage), probably at Sible Hedingham, County Essex, England, the son of Nicholas and Elizabeth (Thickines) Wilbore. Wilbore is spelled in a variety of ways including Wildbore, Wilbour and Wilbur. He is my 10th great-grandfather on my grandfather Arthur Washburn Davis’ side of the family.
Samuel migrated to Boston in 1633, possibly on the ship Griffin and was an original settler of Portsmouth, Rhode Island in 1637. He also lived in Taunton, Mass.
Samuel worked as a merchant and had shares in the Taunton Iron Works.
|Plaque marking the site of the Taunton aka Leonard Iron Works, now in Raynham, MA|
Samuel married, first, at Sible Hedingham, Essex, 13 January 1619/20 Ann Smith (NEHGR 112:117). Ann was the daughter of Richard Smith. Samuel and Ann had five children, all boys, born England:
I believe Arthur and William died young. I descend from Samuel who married Hannah Porter. I wrote about them here.
“Samuell Wilbore and Anne his wife" admitted to the Boston Church on 1 December 1633 (Boston Church records 17).
Samuel was made a freeman in Boston on 4 March 1633/4.
Samuel married, second, Elizabeth (____) Lechford, widow of Thomas Lechford (on 2 May 1648 "Mr. Samu(el) Wilbore did depose that when he married the widow of Th Lechford late of Boston scrivener deceased, he never received or had any of the widow or other estate of the said Lechford no not so much as his said wife's wearing apparel" (NEHGR 30:201-2, citing SPR Case #71).
On 29 November 1645 "Elizabeth Wilbore the wife of our brother Samuell Wilbore" was admitted to Boston church (BchR44); she died after 30 April 1656, when Samuel wrote his will.
Samuel was banished to Portsmouth, RI for being a follower of Ann Hutchinson and her brother-in-law Rev. John Wheelwright. He later repudiated his signature on a Wheelwright petition and was allowed to return to Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Samuel signed the covenant at the foundation of Portsmouth on 7 March 1637/8 (RICR 1:52). It is referred to as the Portsmouth Compact and established a non-sectarian civil government upon the universal consent of the inhabitants, with a Christian focus. He was admitted as a freeman of the joint government of Newport and Portsmouth by 12 March 1639/40 (RICR 1:100). The group settled on the north east end of Aquidneck Island, establishing a settlement they called Pocasset, but in 1639 changing the name to Portsmouth.
|Samuel's signature is the sixth on the list|
Samuel was literate as he signed documents both in England and New England (NEHGR 113:100-01). His signature is on the Portsmouth Compact of 1638 at the Rhode Island State House and is also attached to a letter in possession of the Massachusetts Historical Society. He also signed as witness of his brother Robert's will, as well as that of Samuel Allen, and as a juror at Sible Hedingham in 1624.
|Plaque at Founders' Brook in Portsmouth RI|
Samuel served his communities in multiple capacities: on the Grand Jury 19 Sept 1637, Clerk of the Portsmouth train band, 27 June 1638, 13 March 1633/4, Commission for "the venison trade with the Indians," 16 Nov 1638, Portsmouth constable 24 January 1638/9, Auditor March 1640/1 and March 1643/4, and elected Sergeant.
On 1 June 1638 Samuel Wilbore was given permission to sell his house and garden plot to Mr. Offley and his house and ground Next Roxbury" to Samuel Sherman. In 7 September 1640 "Mr. Wilboare" was granted (4(0) acres" at Portsmouth. On January 1657/8 this grant was rescinded.
On 8 Nov 1648 "Samuell Wilbore of Taunton" sold to John Stanford of Rhode Island six acres of meadow in Portsmouth "& also one neck of land abutting upon the Cove."
On 6 May 1603 (sic, prob. 1653) Samuel Wilboare and Elizabeth his wife deeded to Richard Sherman and Elizabeth his wife the easterly part of the house and leanto and chimney in the house which they shared.
Ann (Smith) Wilbore died after 1 Dec 1633 when she was mentioned as a member of the Boston Church and before 1645 when Samuel married again.
In his will, dated 30 April 1656 and proved 6 Nov 1656, Samuel Wilbore of Taunton bequeathed to "my loving wife Elizabeth all the moveable goods that is or shall be in my house in Boston where at present I do inhabit...also my sheep and lambs at Dorchester...also a mare & colt at John Moore's of Brandtry"; to "Samuel Wilbore my eldest son all my lands at Rhode Island and all my debts due to me their first from Richard Smith the elder, and also a debt from Henry Bull which is 4 pounds and an ewe of two years old, also one cow in the hands of James Badcick, and also one cow that is at Bridgwater together with the rent for the said cattle according to agreement and also six hundred of iron lying at Taunton in my dwelling house there"l to "my son Joseph Wilbore my house and land where he my said son Joseph doth inhabit...with all the appurtenances...also twelve acres of grant...by the Iron mills, and also my share in the said Iron works"; to "my youngest son Shedrick Wilbore my house and lands thereunto belonging at Taunton where I dwell with all the moveable goods...and cattle excepting half the orchard and half the said dwelling house & two of the best cows & hay...which I give and bequeath unto my said wife Elizabeth provided she continue and dwell there, but in case my said wife should marry another man and inhabit elsewhere that my said son shall have the said (blank) allowing my said wife or her assigns the sum of 10 pounds"; to "my said son Shedreck my debt of James Seward, Ralph (illegible) & Henry Newland"; wife Elizabeth and son Shidrack executors; "my white horse unto my son Shedrick" and residue of cattle and goods to executors equally; to "Robert Blot of Boston 20s."; to "Goodman Flack 20s."; to "my said son Shedrick the time of service of my man Jno Mockcliet, a Scotchman"; to "Joseph a piece of blue trucking cloth"; to "my son Joseph...10 pounds in iron" (SPR 1:281-82).
Samuel died at Boston on 29 September 1656 (BVR 56).
Sources Not Listed Above:
Benjamin Franklin Wilbour, The English Ancestry of Samuel Wilbore of Boston and William Wilbore of Portsmouth RI, NEHGR, 1958
Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, 1995
J.W.W. Hall, Ancient Iron Works in Taunton, NEHGR, 1864