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Philemon WHALE, Jr.

Male Bef 1599 - 1675  (> 75 years)

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  • Name Philemon WHALE 
    Suffix Jr. 
    Born Bef 27 May 1599  Chickney, Essex, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Christened 27 May 1599  Chickney, Essex, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Occupation Weaver 
    Died 22 Feb 1675  Sudbury, Middlesex County, MA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • (1) England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975:

      Name: Philemon Whale
      Gender: Male
      Christening Date: 27 May 1599
      Christening Place: Chickney, Essex, England
      Father's Name: Philemon Whale
      Indexing Project (Batch) Number: C04184-1
      System Origin: England-ODM
      GS Film number: 571176

      (2) Ferris, Mary Walton, Dawes-Gates Ancestral Lines, Vol. 1, Milwaukee, WI: privately printed, 1943, pp. 660-662:

      [Note by compiler: The information set forth below is somewhat outdated and should be read with caution.]

      PHILEMON WHALE, weaver, came to Sudbury soon after its settlement, began buying land in or before 1643 and was generally accounted as a resident soon after, or perhaps even during, 1639. The earliest settled portion of "Sudbury Plantation" was on the east side of Sudbury River and now bears the name of Wayland Center. . . . His first home was undoubtedly near the head of the Mill Pond, and a bridge or culvert over the outlet then called "Pond Brook" took the name of "Whale's Bridge" and bore it into the twentieth century, and since PHILEMON had no son, it was the only way in which his name continued. In his later years he built a home near Rice's Spring and eventually sold it with nine acres of land to Edmund Rice. He owned various tracts of land in and near Sudbury including lot number eighteen in the two-mile grant which was surveyed about 1655 and added to his possessions one hundred thirty acres in the vicinity of what is now Maynard.

      PHILEMON became a freeman on May 10, 1648, which shows that he had earlier become a church member. No evidence is found of his participation in public affairs or of holding office, though in 1646 he helped to take the inventory of the estate of his neighbor Thomas Axtell. His environment is portrayed, however, in a summary of contemporary laws and actions, as for instance:

      The Colonial Court at an early date ordered that "the town's men in every town shall order that ev'y house, or some two or more houses ioyne [join] together for the breeding of salt peetr i' some out house used for poultry or the like." Ensign Thomas Cakebread . . . was assigned to look after this matter and the saltpeter thus obtained was used for the manufacture of gun powder. In 1645, however, Sudbury was "freed from ye taking further care about salt peeter houses . . . in answer to their petition."

      When the town was young a ferry had been established to carry workmen to the meadows on the west side of the Sudbury river and in 1643 Thomas Noyes (son of Peter . . . ) kept it, being allowed two pence for carrying over a single passenger and a penny a head for a greater number. Presently a cart-bridge was planned which was to be "three feet above high-water mark" and twelve feet wide. A later plan specified that it should be one foot above high water mark, fourteen feet wide and five rods long. The posts must be sixteen inches square, the braces eight inches square, "the plank must be two inches thick sawn," with five braces for the plank and a rail at each side of the bridge, braced at every post. Timothy Hawkins contracted to fell the timber, saw it and build the frame ready for placing or raising for which he received £13 in corn and cattle. This is said to have been the first regularly framed cart-bridge in the county and was built in or about 1643. Though ordinarily the stream was slow and sluggish, in spring and fall "the river in a flood is half a mile over" and it was necessary to build a raised road or causeway (frequently spelled Casey or Carsey) half a mile long at the west end of the bridge. This was begun in 1643 but not completed for some time, since in 1645 the Colony ordered that £20 be allowed Sudbury toward the cost of the bridge "and [cause]way at ye end of it, to be paid ym [them] when they shall have made ye way passable for loaden horses, so it be done wthin a twelve month." As time went on this causeway had to be raised repeatedly to keep it above the floods. The colony further favored Sudbury and also Concord and Lancaster by a rebate of taxes because their proximity to water courses caused them an expenditure for bridges "for the publicque use of the countrye" beyond that of towns differently situated.

      Succeeding bridges have from time to time replaced this first one and the location is rich in memories, for at its western end began the Old Lancaster Road . . . which was then indeed the "Gateway to the West"; over this crossing the Indians were forced the day King Philip attacked the town . . . ; at the "Bridge foot" were buried the bodies of the eleven Concord men who fell that day; later the stage coaches used this bridge and over it Gen. Washington passed when he went through the town.

      An unusual experience shared by PHILEMON WHALE occurred in 1648 when,

      "About the midst of this summer there arose a fly out of the ground, about the bigness of the top of a man's little finger, of brown color. They filled the wood from Connecticut to Sudbury with a great noise, and eat up the young sprouts of the trees but meddled not with the corn. If the Lord had not stopped them they had [would have] spoiled all our orchards, for they did some few."

      And again,

      "In ye year 1667, from ye middle of November until ye middle of March was the tereblest winter for continuance of frost and snow and extremity of cold that was ever remembered by any since it was planted with English; and was attended with terebell coughs and coulds and fever which passed many out of time into eternity, and also through want and scarcity of fother [fodder] multitudes of sheep and cattle and other creatures died. . . ."

      In the family affairs of PHILEMON WHALE, the usual order or habit was reversed for he had but one known child and three wives. His first wife ELIZABETH (_____) [Note by compiler: Elizabeth's maiden name was FROST] our ancestress, whom he married in England, died at Sudbury June 20, 1647, and he married secondly there on November 7, 1649, Sarah (_____) Cakebread, widow of Thomas Cakebread . . . , who in 1645 had received a grant of land in the latter man's behalf. Sarah died at Sudbury on December 28, 1656, and PHILEMON married there on November 9, 1657, as his third wife Elizabeth (_____) UPSON Griffin. . . . The oddest phase of the whole situation is that while PHILEMON was ancestral to us through his first wife, his third wife was ancestral to us through her first husband and her daughter HANNAH UPSON, while tradition says that his second wife was also ancestral to us through her first husband, but of course that remains to be proved. . . . PHILEMON WHALE signed his will with his mark (similar to three-quarters of a large printed W) on January 19, 1675-6, exactly one month after the Great Swamp Fight. . . . He died at Sudbury on February 22 or 24 and the inventory of his estate was taken on March 28, 1676, showing a valuation of over £87. The will gave his entire estate to "beloved wife ELIZABETH . . . forever," named her his executrix, specifying that after her death the house and lands should go "unto ye foure sonnes of my loveing daughter ELIZABETH MOORES, vizt. William, Jacob, Joseph and Benjamin equally to be divided amongst them."

      PHILEMON must have been quite aged when he died since his daughter ELIZABETH [Note by compiler: Elizabeth was actually Philemon's step-daughter] married by or before 1639. His third wife and widow ELIZABETH spent eighteen years at his side and survived him thirteen more years, until November 8, 1688.

      Soon after his death Sudbury was attacked by King Philip and his Indians on April 21. Long before this the settlers had many of them built homes on the west side of the river and on both sides, certain homes had been fortified to serve as garrison houses to which the people could hasten for protection. Philip and his forces estimated at five hundred to a thousand or more had silently placed themselves during the night, and at daybreak announced their presence by setting fire to several houses. That was the beginning of a terrible day, with fierce attacks on every garrison house, and looting and burning of the homes so hastily deserted at daybreak. A company of twelve young men hastened from Concord to assist the beleaguered town, but were ambushed and eleven were slain before they reached the town. Another company hurried from Watertown . . . led by seventy-five year old Capt. Mason. They attacked the Indians who were plundering, burning and fighting on the east side of the river, and with the help of the residents there, drove them westward across the bridge after which the flooded river helped to confine the battle to the west side where Capt. Wadsworth and his men were presently ambushed . . . . During this terrible day widow Elizabeth whose concern for her children and grandchildren must have been an agony to bear, lost property to the value of £24 by fire or by plunder.

      The only known child of PHILEMON and his first wife ELIZABETH (_____) WHALE [Note by compiler: Elizabeth's maiden name was FROST, and her first husband was Henry RICE] was

      1. Elizabeth [Note by compiler: Elizabeth was actually Philemon's step-daughter], b. in England probably about 1620; d. at Sudbury December 14, 1690; married perhaps in England about 1637-8 JOHN MOORE. . . .

      (3) Anderson, Robert Charles, "Philemon Whale's English Account Book, 1632, 1633," American Ancestors, Vol. 18, No. 4 (Winter 2018), p. 47:

      On 24 January 1621/2, Philemon Whale and Elizabeth Rice were married at Bury St. Edmunds St. Mary, Suffolk. Philemon's bride was Elizabeth (Frost) Rice, daughter of Edward and Thomasine (Belgrave) Frost of Stanstead, Suffolk, and widow of Henry Rice. Edmund Rice, brother of Henry, had married Thomasine Frost, sister of Elizabeth, at Bury St. Edmunds in 1618. Thus, the Rice brothers had married two Frost sisters, and so by marrying Henry's widow, Philemon Whale in early 1622 became Edmund Rice's


      Philemon Whale
      Birth: May 27, 1599, Chickney, Essex, England
      Death: Feb. 24, 1676, Sudbury, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA

      The birth date above is his baptism date.

      He married, first, at St.Mary's, Bury St.Edmunds on Jan 24,1621/2, Elizabeth (Frost) Rice.

      He married, second, on Nov 7,1649 at Sudbury, MA, Sarah _____ Cakebread.

      He married, third, on Nov 9,1657 at Sudbury, MA, Elizabeth _____ Upson Griffin. She was a widow of Hugh Griffin. She died in 1688.

      Family links: Spouses: Sarah Cakebread Whale (____ - 1656), Elizabeth Frost Rice Whale (1588 - 1647)

      Burial: Unknown

      Created by: Kevin Avery
      Record added: Jun 21, 2013
      Find A Grave Memorial# 112648466
    Person ID I5097  Frost, Gilchrist and Related Families
    Last Modified 29 Dec 2018 

    Father Philemon WHALE, Sr.,   b. Abt 1550, Colchester, Essex, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 23 Mar 1620, Chickney, Essex, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 70 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Ann NORWOOD,   d. Bef 8 Apr 1626, Henham, Essex, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Relationship natural 
    Married 4 Sep 1581  Great Canfield, Essex, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Family ID F16763  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Elizabeth FROST,   b. Bef 24 Mar 1588, Glemsford, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Jun 1647, Sudbury, Middlesex County, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 59 years) 
    Married 24 Jan 1622  St. Mary's, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Jonas WHALE,   b. Bef 17 Apr 1627, Great Berkhampstead, Hertfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
    Last Modified 29 Dec 2018 19:11:43 
    Family ID F2828  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Elizabeth (UPSON),   d. 8 Nov 1688 
    Married 9 Nov 1657  Sudbury, Middlesex County, MA Find all individuals with events at this location 

    • (1) Bailey, Frederic W., Early Massachusetts Marriages Prior to 1800, New Haven, CT: Bureau of American Ancestry, 1897-1914:

      Middlesex County
      page 83
      Philemon Whale & Elizabeth Griffine, Nov. 9, 1657
    Last Modified 29 Dec 2018 19:11:43 
    Family ID F2886  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 3 Sarah (CAKEBREAD),   d. 28 Dec 1656, Sudbury, Middlesex County, MA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 7 Nov 1649  Sudbury, Middlesex County, MA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Last Modified 29 Dec 2018 19:11:43 
    Family ID F14887  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Sources 
    1. Details: Details: Details: Citation Text: (1) England Marriages, 1538–1973: Name: Philemon Whale Spouse's Name: Ann Norwood Event Date: 04 Sep 1581 Event Place: Great Canfield, Essex, England Indexing Project (Batch) Number: M04210-1 System Origin: England-ODM GS Film number: 571179.