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Jeremiah FRENCH, Sr.

Male Bef 1624 - Abt 1685  (> 61 years)


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  • Name Jeremiah FRENCH 
    Suffix Sr. 
    Born Bef 2 Jan 1624  Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Name Jeremy FRENCH Sr. 
    Died Abt 17 May 1685 
    Notes 

    • (1) Source: French, Mansfield Joseph, Ancestors and Descendants of Samuel French, the Joiner, of Stratford, Connecticut, Ann Arbor, MI: Edwards Brothers, Inc., 1940, p. 16. According to p. 17 of this source, "[a]lthough the family was probably living in Knodishall," Jeremiah was taken "to the ancient church in Saxmundam for baptism;" and he was baptized as Jeremy.

      (2) French, Mansfield Joseph, Ancestors and Descendants of Samuel French, the Joiner, of Stratford, Connecticut, Ann Arbor, MI: Edwards Brothers, Inc., 1940, pp. 18-21:

      Rev. Jeremiah French of Saxmundham & Bradford Abbas.

      "Alumni Cantabrigiensis," the alumni biographical record of Cambridge University, contains the following Biographical sketch: "Jeremiah French: Admitted pensioner, age 16, at Caius College, Apr. 28, 1641. Son of Thomas, gent. of Knettishall [Knoddishall], Suffolk. Born at Saxmundham. School, Benhall. Matriculated, 1641; Scholar, 1643-5; B.A. 1644?5; M.A. 1648. Minister of Newport, Isle of Wight. Imprisoned in Carisbrook Castle for his comments upon the treatment of Charles I, and tried for his life. Afterwards minister at Yeovil; and South Perrott, Dorset, 1652-62. After his ejection he preached in the neighborhood of Bradford Abbas, Dorset. Died about May 10, 1685." Identification of Samuel, the joiner, of Stratford, Connecticutt, as a grandson of Rev. Jeremiah French of Bradford Abbas, in County Dorset, is afforded through the American family record that he "was born at Bradford May 15, 1867 and was baptised by Mr. Robert Bartlett June 7th, A.D. 1687." Edmund Calamy, D.D. in Vol. III, page 281, of "Baxter's Life and Times," entitled "A Continuation of the Account of the Ministers, Lecturers, Masters and Fellows of Colleges and Schoolmasters who were Ejected and Silenced after the Restoration in 1660, by or before the Act for Uniformity," gives biographical records of much interest, here submitted to substantiate the family connection. "Mr. Robert Bartlett of Over Compton in this County (Dorset). He was born at Frampton in Dorset?he had the Advantage of a good Grammar School, and when he was fit for the University he was sent to Oxon, (Oxford) where he continued for some time, but how many Years I cannot say. Quitting the University, he preached as a Lecturer at Sarum for the space of two years, and from thence he removed to Over Compton (adjoining Bradford Abbas) where he was - a faithful Pastor for six Years, till he was ejected and silenc'd in 1662. He afterwards removed to Bradford, a neighboring Parish and lived there having a small estate of his own. Here he continued with his Family - three Years, till the Five Mile Act obliged him to go farther off; and then he removed to Cadbury in Somersetshire, where he lived about twenty years? When the Toleration came out he left Cadbury, and dwelt at Lower Compton for twelve Years?." This proves that Robert Bartlett was living in Lower Compton, adjoining Bradford Abbas, from 1685 to 1697. He may have returned to his estate to take up the work of Rev. Jeremiah French, upon his death in 1685. Calamy's next sketch is as follows:- "Mr. FRENCH: It should be Mr. Jeremiah French; for that I understand was his Name. He liv'd in the latter Part of his Time at Bradford, and I find his name in several of the Bartholomew Lists of the Ministers that were ejected and silenc'd in Dorsetshire, without any Place added, in which he spent his Pains; but I have the following Account of him, from one that was intimately acquainted with him for many Years, and who watch'd with him the last Night of his Life." Probably the informant was Robert Bartlett. Calamy's biography continues:-

      "Mr. Jeremiah French was born in Suffolk, but after having spent a considerable time in the University of Cambridge, was invited together with Mr. Fairclough by Dr. Whichcot, to bear him Company in a Visit he made to the People he had taken the charge of in Somersetshire; and afterwards married a Gentlewoman of an Estate in Clifton in Dorsetshire. He was invited to Newport in the Isle of Wight, where he became their settled Minister, having a salary of an 100 pounds per Annum allow'd him by the Town and the Promise that it should be increased. His Ministry in that Place was both acceptable and successful. The very Day King Charles I was hurried away from Carisbrooke Castle (in the Neighborhood of that Town) where he was a Prisoner, Mr. French preached in the Forenoon from Hos. V.2; ("And the revolters are profound to make slaughter, though I have been a rebuker of them all") and in the Afternoon from Tit. I.16: ("They profess that they know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.") For his Freedom in which Sermons he was made a Prisoner in the Castle for a quarter of a Year, and then carried by Sea to London, and there try'd for his Life; but got off, tho' not without much Cost, and giving his Promise, never to preach in Newport more. He afterwards had the Vicarage of Yeovill, in the County of Somerset, where he continued for about a Year and a half; But some of the People there made him uneasy, by their Complaints that his Preaching was too precise and sharp for them. From thence he removed to South Perrat (Perrott) near Crookhorn, where he continu'd ten Years to very good Purpose; and there the Act of Uniformity found and silenc'd him, casting him out of a Living of 100 pounds per Annum. He return'd to his own Estate, and liv'd at Bradford Abbis, and preach'd there, and about the Country, as he had opportunity, till the Time of Liberty in 1671, and then he kept a Meeting in his own House, and had a considerable Auditory. When the Libery was at an End, he had several Warrants out against him, but they could not be executed, for want of their knowing his Christian Name. He was afterwards followed with a Troop of Horse, well arm'd, and narrowly escap'd them. Hereupon, he absented himself from his own Habitation, and durst not return thither so much as to see his Wife when she lay upon her Death-bed. He liv'd to the sixtieth Year of his Age: But at last Trouble had so broke his Spirit, that on May 10, or 11, 1685, he fainted and died away." A record in the Church of the Virgin Mary in Bradford Abbas is "May 19, 1685 was buried Jeremiah French the Elder." He probably died on May 17.

      This historically valuable biography was found, as herein quoted from the original edition of Calamy's "Baxter's Life and Times," in the Leopold von Ranke Library at Syracuse University. Calamy states that Jeremiah French "married a Gentlewoman of an Estate in Clifton." Clifton Mabank was a small hamlet adjoining Bradford Abbas. In 1837 it consisted of eight houses with sixty-six inhabitants. The Church, dedicated to All Saints, has now disappeared. The only family of prominence was the Horsey family and Sir Ralph Horsey dwelt there in the reign of James I. Possibly Rev. Jeremiah French married a daughter of the Horsey family. Canon Christopher Wordsworth, Librarian of the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Salisbury, Wiltshhire, states, in 1931, the "Minute Book of the Dorset Standing Committee, 1646-1650," in referring to Rev. Jeremiah French, "It appears that he was approved as an acceptable minister in 1646 as one of those to whom an "augmentation" of stipend was to be alloted by the Committee of the County of Dorset. In May 1647, he was appointed by them to serve the cure of Over and Nether Compton, from which some Royalist 'Malignant' incumbent had been 'ousted.' When in Dec. 1647 the people of South Perrat applied for his services as minister, those of Nether Compton objected. In April 1648 the Standing Committee appointed him as minister for Pulham," eight miles east of Sherborne, Dorset, and fourteen from Dorchester. The names of Rev. Jeremiah's children, except the names of two of his three daughters, are given in a nuncupative will; that is, a will dictated before witnesses, but not signed by the testator. This document is from the District Probate Registry, The High Court of Justice, Blandford, England:- "Extracted from the Blandford District Registry of the Probate Division of His Majesty's High Court of Justice, In the Consistory Court of Bristol.

      A Memorandum of the last Will and Testament of me Jeremiah ffrench of Bradford, in the County of Dorset the 12 day of May 1685 being of perfect memory Imprs. I give my household goods equally to be parted between my sonn Samuell and my three daughters excepting one bed which I give to my sonn Jeremiah and five pounds in money to be paid by my executor two yeares after my decease. Itt. I give my sonn Thomas one shilling Itt. I give his wife my ring which I had at the funerall fo Margrett Walters Itt. I give to my sonn Thomases children five shillings a peece to be paid by my Executor. Itt. I give to my sonn Samuells child five shillings to be pd by my Executor. Itt. I make my sonn Phillip my Executor and give him all my out dour goods & my estate of copy hold. Moreover my will is that he should keep my daughter Hannah with him during her life is shee please to abide with him. Moreover my will is that he should pay my sister Hannah in Suffulke the three pounds a year (injoyned me by my father on his will) during her life And when they comes of age to surrender the land ingaiged for the payment theirof to my sonn Johns children. Witness this noncupative will _____

      _____ P. Read L.S. _____ William Arnold L.S. _____ Tho: Coad L.S. Proved 11th May 1786."

      The son Samuell, mentioned in the will as having a child to whom his grandfather bequeathed five shllings, was undoubtedly that Samuel whose birth on October 7 1655 and baptism, on October 25, 1655, are recorded in St. Marys Church, South Perrott, County Dorset. The son of Samuell, unnamed in the will, is undoubtedly that Jeremiah French, born July 4 1681, of whom we find record in the Bible of Jonathan French of the Town of Stratford, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; "Jeremiah French born July 4, 1681, in Bradford, Dorset county, England; baptised by his grandfather July 30, 1681." Of the eight children of Rev. Jeremiah French, probably Phillip was the eldest, as he was made executor under the will and was given the "out dour goods & my estate of copy hold," the legal term for a conveyable lease of the land. It probably included the homestead. John was probably the second son. He may have died, or have gone to sea or to America, as Jeremiah, according to his will, seems obligated to give to John's children certain lands, or the proceeds thereof. Phillip and John were undoubtedly born before the four children entered upon the records of Saint Marys Church in South Perrott, Co. Dorset. Thomas, baptized May 11, 1652, was probably born in April of that year. Jeremiah, born Feb. 2, 1653 and baptized Feb. 23, 1653, according to the church records, was undoubtedly born in 1654 of the present calendar. Samuel was born Oct. 7, 1655 and baptized Oct. 25, 1655. Hannah was probably born in May 1658 as she was baptized June 1 1658. Elizabeth Sealy is named by Thomas as his sister in his will. Another daughter of Jeremiah was probably Mary, the wife of Richard Bowridge. The will of Thomas French of Bradford Abbas was probated May 13 1707 and mentions his wife, Margarett, his daughters, Mary, Hannah and Agnes, sister Elizabeth Sealy, alias ffrench, and brother Phillip. It is possible that Philip, John, Jeremiah and Samuel emigrated to America as these names are found in colonial records of New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvannia, but no thorough and systematic search of the records has been undertaken. Mrs. Rosemary (French) Deet of Evanston, Ill., is working in this field. Her ancestor, Capt. John French, had a son and grandson, Jeremiah. Samuel French and wife, Susannah, are mentioned in the family records of his grandson, Jonathan French, of Stratford, Conn. Possibly Jonathan, the son of Samuel, the joiner, knew of the presence of Samuel and Susannah in America. The French families of Northampton, Mass., also the Frenches of Virginia, may be descendants of Rev. Jeremiah.
    Person ID I10589  Frost, Gilchrist and Related Families
    Last Modified 9 Aug 2018 

    Father Thomas FRENCH,   b. Bef 20 Nov 1574, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 4 Feb 1654, Knodishall, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age < 79 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Marjery KNIGHTS 
    Relationship natural 
    Married 4 Nov 1617  Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F4932  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart