William Chadbourne1

b. 30 March 1582, d. after 16 November 1652
William Chadbourne|b. 30 Mar 1582\nd. a 16 Nov 1652|p8422.htm|Robert Chadbourne||p8424.htm|Margery or Margaret Dooley||p8425.htm|||||||||||||

8th great-grandfather of Ruth Minerva Fairfield.
10th great-grandfather of Laura Jane Munson.
Family Background:
Fairfield and Allied Families
Appears on charts:
Pedigree for Ruth Minerva Fairfield
     William Chadbourne was baptized on 30 March 1582 in Church of St. Editha, Tamworth, Warwickshire, England.1 He was the son of Robert Chadbourne and Margery or Margaret Dooley.1 He married Elizabeth Sparry on 8 October 1609 in Tamworth, Warwickshire, England. He died after 16 November 1652.1
     In 1622 a grant was made by the Council of Plymouth [England] to Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Capt. John Mason, jointly, "of all the lands between the rivers Merrimack and Sagadahock (now the Kennebec), extending back to the great lakes and river of Canada," which grant was called Laconia. They formed "The Company of Laconia," an enterprise for promoting trade in furs with the Indians of the Lakes Region, and began to make preparations to plant settlements in the territory. In 1629, Mason received from the Council of Plymouth a new patent for all the land "from the middle of Piscataqua river and up the same, the farthest head thereof, and from thence northward, until sixty miles from the mouth of the harbor were finished; also, through Merrimack river, to the farthest head thereof, and so forward up into the land westward, until sixty miles were finished, and from thence to cross over land to the end of sixty miles, accounted from Piscataqua river, together with all the islands within five miles of the coast." The tract was called New Hampshire.

     On 16 March 1633/34, James Wall, William Chadbourne, and John Goddard made a contract with Mason and his Laconia Company, by which agreement these carpenters were to move to Mason's grant for five years and build a sawmill, gristmill, and tenement houses for their employer. They were to run the mills and keep them in repair. Each one was to receive on arrival, three cows, four pigs, and four goats, for which they were to pay so much annually; each was to have ten acres of land for which they were to pay annually, at the feast of Saint Michael, the Archangel, a bushel of corn; besides this, they were to have the receipts of the mills for running and repairing them.2 Soon thereafter, in the spring of 1634, they sailed from Portsmouth, England, on the Pied Cow. On board were other passengers and provisions for Captain Mason's settlements, among them, apparently, wives and children, as the number of women on the plantation increased to twenty-two at the arrival of the Pied Cow at Piscataqua harbor on 8 July 1634. There is no proof, however, of when William's family came over, or if his wife ever left England. The only notice of her is in their marriage record.3,1

     The Pied Cow didn't stop long at Piscataqua harbor, but traveled upriver about fifteen miles to Newichawannock, where she cast anchor about half a mile below the fall on 13 July 1634.4 On 22 July 1634 the carpenters began setting up "the first sawmill and cornmill in New England" (as deposed by Francis Small, in 1685). While not strictly accurate — there were windmills in Massachusetts for grinding corn prior to this date — it was the first water powered mill. It was set up in the river at the place now called Great Works, and near the "great house" or "Newichawannock House," as Mason styled it.4,1

     The following deposition of James Wall, one of the carpenters, was taken in May 1652 at Dover, New Hampshire,:
This deponent fayeth that aboute the yeare 1634, he with his partners, William Chadbourne and John Goddarde, came over to New England vpon the accompt of Captain John Mafon of London, and alfo for themfelves (i.e. on their own account), and were landed at Newishawannock, vpon certiane lands there which Mr. Goieflem (Joselyn), Captaine Mafon's agent, brought them vnto, with the ladinge of fome goodes; and there they did builde vpp, at a fall there (called by the Indian name Afbenbedick) for the vfe of Captine Mafon & themfelves, one faw-mill and one ftampinge-mill for corne, wch they did keep the fpace of three or foure years next after; and this deponent faith further, he built one houfe vpon the fame lands, and foe did William Chadbourne an other & gave it to his fonne-in-law, Thomas Spencer, who now lives in it; and this deponent alfo fayth, that we had peaceable and quiet pofeffion of that land for the vfe of Captaine Mafon afforefaide, and that the faid agente did buye fome planted ground of fome Indians which they had planted vpon the faide land, and that Captaine Mafon's agente's fervents did break up and clear certaine lands there and planted corne vpon it, and all this is to his beft rememberance—
     James Wall fworne whoe affirmed vpon his oath that the pmifes was true.
               Sworne before me
                                             George Smyth.5

Child of William Chadbourne and Elizabeth Sparry


  1. [S764] Chadbourne Family, online <www.chadbourne.org>, Chadbourne Family (unknown location), downloaded 2005.
  2. [S765] W.D. Spencer, The Maine Spencers. A History and Genealogy, With Mention of many Associated Families (Concord, N.H.: The Rumford Press, 1898), 21.
  3. [S765] W.D. Spencer, Maine Spencers, 20-22.
  4. [S765] W.D. Spencer, Maine Spencers, 22.
  5. [S765] W.D. Spencer, Maine Spencers, 23, 24.