Thomas Hurlbut



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Thomas Hurlbut
Immigrant Ancestor see FAMILY TREE
Baptized: 26 Mar 1610 Bratton, Wiltshire, England    
Died: 12 Oct 1671 Wethersfield, Hartford, CT    




1. Thomas Hurlbut b. 1640

2. John Hurlbut b. 08 Mar 1641/2

3. Joseph Hurlbut b. 19 Oct 1644

4. Samuel Hurlbut b. 19 Oct 1644

5. Sarah Hurlbut b. 1646

6. Stephen Hurlbut b. 1648

BIOGRAPHY: History of Ancient Wethersfield, Volume 2, by Stiles, pages 442-444. Captain Lion Gardiner embarked at London in the 'Bachilor', of 25 tons, on August 11, 1635, with his wife, female servant and eleven male passengers. After a long and tempestuous voyage, arrived at Boston on the 28th of November 1635. Governor Winthrop, however, told that Gardiner sailed in a 'Norsey Barque', (a fishing vessel of the coast of Norway), on July 10, 1635. It is supposed that Thomas Hurlbut was one of the eleven passengers and settled at Saybrook. While at Saybrook they were encountered with the Pequot Indians in 1637, and Thomas Hurlbut was wounded by an arrow. This appears in a letter of Lion Gardiner, written in June of 1660, some 23 years after the skirmish with the Indians, addressed to Robert Chapman and Thomas Hurlbut, detailing incidents regarding the Pequot War. Captain Gardiner said that Robert Chapman, Thomas Hurlbut and Major Mason urged him to write the letter, 'and having rummaged and found some old papers then written, it was a great help to my memory.' The document laid in manuscript until 1833 (173 years) when it was printed in Volume 3, 3rd Ser. of the Massachusetts Historical Society College. The following is an extract;

'In the 22d of February, I went out with ten Men and three Dogs Half a Mile from the House, to burn the weeds, Leaves and Reeds upon the Neck of the Land, because we had felled twenty trees, which we were to roll to the Waterside to bring home, every Man carrying a Length of Match with brimstone-matches with him to kindle the Fire withal. But when we came to the small of the Neck, the Weeds burning, I have before this set two Sentinels on the small of the Neck, I called to the Men that were burning the the Reeds to come away, but they would not until they had burnt up the rest of their Matches. Presently there starts up four Indians out of the fiery Reeds, but they ran away, I called too the rest of our Men to come away out of the Marsh. Then Robert Chapman and Thomas Hurlbut, being Sentinels, called to me, saying there came a Number of Indians out of the other side of the Marsh. Then I went to stop them, that they should not get to the Woodland; but Thomas Hurlbut cried out to me that some of the Men did not follow me, for Thomas Rumble and Arthur Branch threw down their two Guns and ran way; then the Indians shot two of them that were in the Reeds, and sought to get between us and Home, but durst not come before us, but kept us in a Half moon, we retreating and exchanging many a Shot, so that Thomas Hurlbut was shot almost through the Thigh, John Spencer in the back into his Kidneys, myself into the Thigh, two more shot dead. But in our Retreat, I kept Hurlbut and Spencer still before us, we defending ourselves with our naked Swords, or else they had taken us all alive, so that the two sore wounded Men, by our slow Retreat, got home with their Guns, when our two sound Men ran away and left their Guns behind them.'

Thomas Hurlbut was by trade a blacksmith, specializing in nail-making, and after the war with the Pequots, he located and established himself in business at Wethersfield, Connecticut, and was one of the early settlers, as well as the first blacksmith. A single extract from the Colonial Records would seem to indicate that he was a good workman and charged a good price for his work: 'March 2, 1642. Tho: Hurlbut for exacting and incouridgeing others to take excessiue Rats for Worke and Ware is adiudged to pay to the Country 40s.' But this fine appears to have been 'respited' February 5, 1643. 'Tho: Hurlbut his ffyne is respited vppon Peter Bassakers tryall to make nayles wth lesse losse and at as cheape a Rate, then he is to duble the ffyne, otherwise to be quit.'