- There is conflicting information as to the first marriage of Edward Goffe (ca. 1593-1658).
#1. "The Spragues of Malden, Mass...," G.W. Chamberlain, 1923, page 83, below, states that his first wife was Joyce (UNKNOWN).
#2. "Cutter Family of New England," Benjamin Cutter, 1871, pages 18-19, below, states that his first wife was Joyce CUTTER.
#3 "New England Marriages Prior to 1700," C.A. Torey, pages 307, below, states that his first wife was Joyce CUTTER?
#4. "Edward and Joyce Goffe: New Information about Their Origins, " Roger Thompson, NEHGS Register, Vol. 158, April 2004, pages 101-104, below, states that his first wife was Joyce FROST
I changed his wife from Joyce CUTTER to Joyce FROST as the fourth publication is far newer and from a reputable genealogical society. Joyce CUTTER, however, remains in the database. AAS / 4 Jan 2011.
"5 Capt. JOHN3 SPRAGUE (Lt. Ralph,2 Eduard1) was born and baptized in Fordington St. George, Dorset, 23 May, 1624 ; and died at Malden, 25 June, 1692, aged 68. He married at Malden, 2 May, 1651, LYDIA GOFFE, daughter of Edward and Joyce Goffe of Cambridge. She was born in England near 1628 and died, a widow, at Malden, 11 Dec., 1715. Her father, Edward Goffe of Cambridge, came to New England in 1635, and made his will, 2 Apr., 1657, in which he mentions his daughter Lydia and his grandchildren John Sprague, Lydia Sprague and Jonathan Sprague. His estate was divided, 26 Dec., 1658, when mention was made of Ensign John Sprague and Lydia Sprague and others."
["The Spragues of Malden, Mass...," 1923 pg 83]
SUPPOSED CHILDREN OF ELIZABETH CUTTER.
The supposition is, several married daughters of Elizabeth Cutter came to this country about the time of her emigration.
2. JOYCE, wife of Edward Goffe, of Cambridge. They embarked at Ipswich, in Suffolk, in the Hope, October, 1634.† Goffe was made freeman 25th May, 1636; was proprietor of a homestall and one other lot in Watertown, 1642 ; selectman ten years ; representative to the General Court, 1646 and 1650; and died 26th Dec. 1658. Joyce, his wife, died November, 1638. His second wife Margaret, daughter of widow Isabella Wilkinson, married, 1662, John Witchtield, of Windsor. Goffe's will mentions his widow Margaret, son Samuel, daughters Lydia, Deborah, Anna, and Abiah ; and widows Barnard and Wilkinson. His issue by wife Joyce were :
SAMUEL, b. in England ; m. Hannah, dau. Phebe, widow of John Barnard, Watertown, 25 June, 1656. " Samuel Goffe, Senr." d. 15 Jan. 1705-6. "Anna," his wife, d. April, 1679, ae. 44.--ii. LYDIA, b. England ; m. John Sprague, 2 May, 1653. --iii. NATHANIEL, b. Feb. 1638 ; probably d. young.*
† For account of this hazardous voyage, see Young's Chron. Mass. 531-40; Magnolia, i. 384.
* Vide Newell, Camb. Chh.-Gathering, 48-9, 50-4 ; Harris, Camb. Epit., 35; Bond's Watertown, 257.
[Cutter Family of New England, Benjamin Cutter, 1871]
"GOFFE, Edward (-1658) & 1/wf Joyce [CUTTER?] (-Nov 1638; in Eng, ca 1624/29; Cambridge"
"GOFFE, Edward (-1658, ae 64) & Margaret [WILKINSON?], m/2 John WITCHFIELD 1662; ca Feb 1638/9; Cambridge
[New England Marriages Prior to 1700, C.A. Torey, pages 307-308 (see source for details of publication)].
"Edward and Joyce Goffe: New Information about Their Origins"
by Roger Thompson
The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston
Pages 101-104, Volume 158, April 2004, Whole Number 630
Although Edward1 Goffe \emdash Rev. Thomas Shepard's "Brother Goffe" \emdash soon became a leading citizen of Cambridge, Massachusetts, after his arrival there in 1636 and was the richest resident when he died in 1658, very little has been discovered about his English background, his wife or family.(1) Even his date of birth has had to be estimated. His listing as a defendant in Chancery Proceedings has been known for half a century,(2) but, so far as I am aware, this has never been investigated further. A recent search of court, probate, and parish records in England and America has shed some light on this mystery man and his first wife.
His date of birth can be established with greater (though not total) accuracy from the Middlesex County Court Records. On 1 April 1656, Edward Goffe petitioned to be excused from military training because of disablement; he there described his age as "about 63," placing his birth at around 1593.(3)
Two Suffolk wills and Chancery Court documents help indicate Goffe's English residence. The 5 April 1613 will of Richard Gough of Burgh Castle in the northeastern corner of Suffolk was written when he was "sick and weak of body." He hoped, in the common formula later adopted by Puritans in North America, and "steadfastly believed that his soul would be saved by the merits and mercy of Christ Jesus." He left the "house and tenement where I now dwell" to William Walks, son of Margaret Walks, born out of wedlock. If William did not survive to manhood the property descended to "Edward Gough [senior] my brother and unto his heirs for ever." The same went for the other bequest to young Henry, son of Edmund Ellward of Thurlton, Norfolk, six miles southwest. It comprised "one tenement called Ritchcs or where he last [previously] dwelt with the lands and appurtenances in Burgh aforesaid and all my other land in Bradwell [adjacent parish] now in the occupation [possession] of me Richard Gough."(4)
On 17 February 1634 [1633/4], Edward Goffe the elder of Ipswich, Suffolk, clothworker, mindful of "the uncertainty of this vain and transitory life," made his will, though still "in reasonable health." Its preamble was even more pious and reverential than Richard Gough's. His first bequest was of £100 of lawful English money "unto Edward Goffe, my son." This was to be paid "on Christmas Day next ensuing the date hereof" [i.e., 25 December 1634], irrespective of whether Edward Sr. had died. After bequests to be paid to younger son Tobias (£80), daughter Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Layter (£20), daughter Alice, wife of Edmund Ellett (£50), and fourteen grandchildren (6/8d each), the residue was to be shared by Edward and Tobias, who were appointed executors.(5)
The records of proceedings in the Court of Chancery, in the Public Record Office at Kew, London, contain a 3 February 1644 complaint by John Warren of Burgh Castle, gentleman, and his neighbor John Holmes, a linen weaver. "Divers years since," they had each acquired several small properties in their parish. However, "lately, one Edward Gough alias Goffe of Cambridge in New England, yeoman, have [sic] claimed and made title unto all and every the aforesaid premises." Goffe had authorized Cambridge neighbor, merchant Edward Collins, bound for England, to act as his attorney, and he sold these properties "for a good and valuable consideration in money" to Warren and Holmes. A 12 August 1643 deed to Holmes conveyed "one tenement called Riches with four acres of freehold land in ... Burgh Castle." On 5 February 1644 Collins confirmed the validity of the transactions including the sale of "Ritches" part of whose four acres was in adjacent Bradwell.(6)
The specifying of Ritches establishes links between the three Goffes. We may safely assume that young Henry Ellward did not survive to inherit Ritches from Richard Golfe,(7) and that the property therefore passed to Goffe's brother Edward, senior, whom we may identify with the Ipswich clothworkcr. The claim of Edward Goffe, Junior, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, to ownership of Ritches \emdash conceded by its occupier John Holmes \emdash argues that Goffe was the eldest son of the wealthy Ipswich clothworker. It seems also plausible that the 1634 division of the father's property was prompted by Edward Jr.'s eagerness to emigrate in the company of Rev. Thomas Shepard, who arrived in Ipswich on a collier from Newcastle in early June 1634. They set sail from Harwich, just downstream, in the Hope of Ipswich on 16 October 1634, only to be driven northward and nearly drowned by a terrifying storm before being rescued at Great Yarmouth (only a mile or so from Burgh Castle!).(8)
Despite owning land in Burgh Castle, probate records indicate that both generations of Goffes lived in Ipswich and locate them more precisely in the bustling industrial and port town. On 25 August 1629 Edward Goffe Sr. witnessed a will in St. Peter's parish, Ipswich. Three years later, on 18 September 1632, our emigrant, Edward Jr., witnessed another will there.(9) This will mentioned "washyards" adjoining the testator's dwelling "now occupied by Edward Goffe." The witnessing, conventionally performed by neighbors, and the implied occupation, strongly suggest that the father and the son lived in St. Peter's.(10) With its fine fourteenth-century stone and flint parish church and access to the River Orwell and "The Salt Water" [a tidal part of the Ipswich harbor], St. Peter's was the home of clothworkers, mariners, and merchants. The notorious religious radicalism of Ipswich, epitomized by the famous town preacher Samuel Ward, helps explain why the younger Goffe was drawn to Puritanism. Ward's indictment on thirty-four charges in 1634 and his silencing by the Court of High Commission, accounts for the urge among many Ipswich citizens, to emigrate to the godly haven of Massachusetts Bay.
Goffe did not sail alone. With him were his wife Joyce, son Samuel, and two daughters Lydia and Mary. Because of the loss of the St. Peter's parish registers for the early seventeenth century, no record survives of the children's baptisms. However, the marriage of Edward and Joyce Goffe is found in Percival Boyd's Marriage Index for Suffolk, and the parish register of St. Mary's, Wherstead, on the southern edge of Ipswich, records the 6 March 1624/5 marriage of Edward Goffe and Joyce Frost.(11) The first name Joyce was extremely rare in the seventeenth century. If only the surname Frost were as rare! We may assume that Wherstead was Joyce's home parish, but the register gives no more enlightenment about the family.
It is possible that either Edward Goffe or his wife Joyce was related to the Rev. Edmund' Brown of Sudbury, Massachusetts, who married in 1639 Anne (Whiting) Lovering.(12) As the Browns had no children, they each named an "adopted son" as residual heir in their wills. The 1687 will of Anne Brown, widow, named her "loving kinsman James Barnard of Sudbury" [her nephew] as her adopted son.(13) Edmund Brown's 1678 will named his "loving kinsman Samuel Goffe" as his adopted son.(14) Samuel Goffe, son of Edward and Joyce (Frost) Goffe, had married in 1656 the niece of Anne (Whiting) (Lovering) Brown,(15) and this relationship would have been sufficient for Edmund Brown to call him "loving kinsman." However, we should not rule out the possibility there was another relationship back in England. One potential clue is the appointment in 1639 of "Jonathan Goffe of East Bergholt in the County of Suffolk clothier" as attorney for Edmund and Anne (Whiting) (Lovering) Brown to try to recover property in England due to Anne as the widow of John Lovering.(16)
The evidence presented here argues that the 1635 emigrant, Edward1 Goffe (ca. 1593-1658), lived in the parish of St. Peter's Ipswich near his wealthy clothworker father, Edward, who died a widower in 1634. The 1635 emigrant was nephew to Richard Goffe of Burgh Castle from whom property, including a tract called Ritches, descended. In 1625, aged about thirty, Edward Jr. married Joyce Frost of Wherstead, two miles downstream along the River Orwell from St. Peter's. This background helps explain how Goffe was able to acquire such a large landed estate in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and also participate in commercial enterprise in American waters.(17)
Roger Thompson retired from teaching American colonial history at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, in 1999. He has recently completed a series of case studies of early Cambridge, Massachusetts.
(1) The best account of his career and children is Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England 1634-1635, Volume III G-H (Boston: NEHGS, 2003), 92-98. Rev. Thomas Shepard was evidently referring to Goffe as a brother in the church.
(2) Register 100 (1946) 218-19.
(3) Middlesex County Court Record Book, 1:95, at the Massachusetts State Archives.
(4) Archdeaconry of Suffolk Probate Records: R 46/30; W 49/18, at the Suffolk Record Office, Ipswich Branch. One of the executors was Anthony Walles of Lounde, five miles south of Burgh Castle. The Burgh Castle Parish Registers for this period have not survived.
(5) R 62/212; W 70/58, at the Suffolk Record Office, Ipswich Branch. One of the witnesses was John Goffe; the other was Robert Lord Sr., the scrivener of the will. The testator marked the will "EG." The will is abstracted in Marion E. Allen and Nesta R. Evans, Wills from the Archdeaconry). of Suffolk 1629-1636 (Boston: NEHGS, 1986), 341. Probate was granted on 28 March 1634, so Goffe must have died soon after making his will. A John Ellett emigrated in 1633 with new wife Margaret to Watertown, Massachusetts, where they had six children in the next ten years (Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, 3 vols. [Boston: NEHGS, 1995], 1:632-34). Edward and Joyce Goffe had originally settled at Watertown in 1635.
(6) C[hancery] 2[series] CHASI/W92/31, in the Map Room, The National Archives [formerly the Public Record Office], Kew (abstracted in the Register 100 :218-19). Warren and Holmes claimed that they "did buy and purchase" the properties, but they plainly lacked deeds to prove their titles. On 5 November 1643 Thomas Shepard in Cambridge "on sabbath-day eve ... went to pray for our brother Collins at sea." Michael McGiffert, ed., God's Plot .. . Autobiography and Journal of Thomas Shepard (Amherst, Mass.: University of Massachusetts Press, 1972), 225. Collins had been baptized in 1603 at Bramford, Suffolk, three miles from the centre of Ipswich (Register 89 :148).
(7) There is no legible entry in the Thurlton Parish Registers at the Norfolk County Record Office, Norwich, for either Henry Ellward's baptism or burial, though some of the records have faded and are indecipherable. However, the baptism of Henry Elward, son of Edward and Margaret, on 10 April 1609, is in a copy of the Archdeacons' Transcripts of the Thurlton parish registers (FHL 0,887,917), courtesy of Robert Charles Anderson, FASG.
(8) McGiffert, God's Plot [note 6], 56-57. Richard Girling, who owned land in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was master of the huge 400-ton Hope which had been built at Skien in Norway in 1630-31 (A.G.E. Jones, "Ipswich and New England," Suffolk Review 3  75).
(9) Allen and Evans, Suffolk Wills 1629-1636 [note 5], 13 (will 29, Bennett Aldred, mariner); 403-404 (will 909, Andrew Sorrell, Sr., yeoman).
(10) The Poor Rate Accounts have frequent entries in St. Peter's parish for John Goffe during the 1580s (Suffolk Record Office, Ipswich Branch, C./3/2/2/2, Corporation "Register of Enrolments ... and Accounts of Moneys, Elizabeth to the Commonwealth," folios 103, 234, 250, 283, 337, 366, 408). My thanks to Frank Grace for this reference and other kindnesses.
(11) Microfilm of Boyd's Marriage Index, Males A-K, 1601-1625, 225; Wherstead parish register, Microfiche FB 182/D1, both at Suffolk Record Office, Ipswich Branch
(12) From a forthcoming Great Migration sketch of John Lovering by Robert Charles Anderson.
(13) Robert Charles Anderson, George Freeman Sanborn Jr., and Melinde Lutz Sanborn, The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England 1634-1635, Volume I A-B (Boston: NEHGS, 1999), 165.
(14) Middlesex County Probate, 5:89-90, 24 May 1678, at the Massachusetts State Archives.
(15) Anderson et al., Great Migration 1634-1635, A-8 [note 13), 163-66.
(16) Anderson, John Lovering sketch [note 12], citing Edward Everett Hale, Jr., ed., Note-Book Kept by Thomas Lechford, Esq., Lawyer, in Boston, Massachusetts Bay, from June 27,1638, to July 29, 1641 (Cambridge, Mass.: J. Wilson & Son, 1885; reprinted Camden, Maine: Picton Press, 1988), 130-33. No connection between the Ipswich and East Bergholt Goffe families has been found, however.
(17) Anderson, Great Migration 1634-1635, G-H [note 1], 95.
[NEHGS Register, April 2004, 158:101-104]
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