NameJohn Gorham Capt.
Birthbef 28 Jan 1620/1621, Benefield, Northamptonshire, England234,235,270,275,237,277,283,278,284
Christen28 Jan 1620/1621, Benefield, Northamptonshire, England234,235,277,283,278,284
Deathbef 5 Feb 1675/1676, Swansea, Bristol, MA234,235,270,271,275,237,283,285,284
Burial5 Feb 1675/1676, Swansea, Bristol, MA234,235,264,271,283,284
FatherRalph Gorham (1575-ca1643)
MotherMargaret Stephenson (ca1579-)
Birthca 1625/1626, Plymouth, MA234,271,286,287
Death13 Oct 1683, Barnstable, Barnstable, MA234,235,264,270,271,286,288,272,274,275,237,277,283,285,278,287,284
Burialaft 13 Oct 1683, Barnstable, Barnstable, MA289,284
FatherJohn Howland (ca1592-1672)
MotherElizabeth Tilley (<1607-1687)
Marriageca 1643, Plymouth, Plymouth, MA234,235,270,271,286,290,237,291,277,278,284
ChildrenDesire (1644-)
 Temperance (1646-1714)
 Elizabeth (1648-1677)
 James (1650-1707)
 John (1651-)
 Joseph (1653-1726)
 Jabez (1656-)
 Mercy (1658-)
 Lydia (1661-1744)
 Hannah (1663-)
 Shubael (1667-)
Notes for John Gorham Capt.
He was also said to have been baptized 23 Jan 1620. 292

“Mr. John Ellis of Pump House, Elton, near Peterborough, England, 26 June 67, searched the Benefield records, in which he confirms the marriage of ‘James Gorram’ and ‘Agnes Benington’ and adds the following - . . .
1620, John son of ditto [Ralph Gorram] 23 Jan.” 292

“John Gorham, son of Ralph, was born at Benefield, Northamptonshire, Jan. 28, 1621. His descent is traced to De Gorran, of La Tanniere, near Gorram, in Maine, on the borders of brittany. . . In 1643, he married Desire Howland, of that town, and in 1646 removed to Marshfield, where he became a Freeman, in 1650. In 1652 he came to Yarmouth, and purchased the northwest house lot, on the County road, adjoining the bounds of Barnstable. Subsequently he purchased a part of the farm of Andrew Hallet, adjoining his lot. He also owned the grist-mill, known as Hallet’s mill, and the landing place, or wharf, near the same, but situated farther south than the present mill. The dam built by the settlers only enclosed the southern portion of the mill poin, then appropritely called stony Cove. Mr. Gorham’s tannery was a short distance south of the present mill, on the west side of the pond, and northerly from the ancient mill. He was a surveyor of Highways for yarmouth in 1654. In 1673 and 1674 he was one of the Selectmen of Barnstable, but in 1675 was again a resident of the town and captain of the militia here. In June of that year, Capt. Gorham and twenty-five men from Yarmouth, ‘took up their first march for Mount Hope.’ The theatre of war was changing, the company marched into Massachusetts, without results. In october he was appointed captain of the second company of Plymouth colony forces, was engaged in the sanguinary fight in the Swamp Fort, Dec. 19, and died at Swansey, from fever contracted in consequence of exposure during that campaign, Feb. 5, 1676, at the age of 55 years. He left a family of eleven children, from whom have descended the families in this and the neighboring town, viz: James, John, Thomas, Joseph, Jabez, Sylvanus, Ebenezer, and four daughters. The Gorhams have been preminent in public affairs in both Yarmouth and Barnstable, and have rendered valuable and important service.” 293

“The Gorhams of New England are supposed to have emigrated from Benefield, in the reign of Charles I. - The following entry is from Benefield register: ‘John Gorram son of Ralph Gorram, baptised Jan. 28, 1620’ [1621]; the name of Ralph is not found in any subsequent register, though there are many entries of this family down to 1671. It was probably this Ralph Gorham who had a grant of land in New Plymouth, 1637; John Gorham (his son?) died there 1675, whose fifth descendant, John Gorham, Professor of Chemistry at Cambridge, Massachusets, died in 1829.” 294

In Plymouth Colony Vital Records it is recorded
“[p. 107] John Gorome and Desire [‘Mercy’ was first written, but it was crossed out and ‘Desire’ was interlined in the same hand and ink] Howland marryed [These entries were left unfinished].” 295

"The Northamptonshire branch of the Gorhams are supposed to have descended from Sir Hugh de Gorham and his wife Margaret, daughter of Sir William l"Angevin. Sir Hugh de Gorham, in 1281, possessed the manor of Churchfield in the parish of Oundle, and land in Benefield which had belonged to his wife's father. More than 300 years later, the baptism of "John Gorram, son of Ralph Gorram" was entered in the Benefield register. "234

"A John Gorham, perhaps this man, was a passenger on board the ship 'Philip', bound for North America, 20 June 1635 with Richard Morgan, master. "234

“John Gorham came to this town from Marshfield in 1652, and purchased the house of Andrew Hallet, sr. He was a native of Benefield, Northamptonshire, where he was born in 1621. With Mr. Hallet’s house he bought a part of his farm in Yarmouth and Barnstable, the grist mill at Stoney Cove, and carried on a tannery on the borders of the pond, below the residence of Patrick Keveney. He commanded the military company in town. In June, 1675, Captain Gorham and twenty-five men from Yarmouth ‘took up their first march for Mount Hope,’ and saw considerable service. In october he was appointed captain of the second company of Plymouth colony forces, was engaged in the sanguinary fight in the Swamp fort, December 19th, and died at Swansey, from fever contracted in consequence of exposure during that campaign, February 5, 1676, at the age of fifty-five eyars. He left a family of eleven children, from whom have descended the families in theis and the neighboring towns. The Gorhams have been prominent in public affairs in both Yarmouth and Barnstable.” 296

"The exact date of their marriage is not known but Desire was called 'Desire Gorum' in her father's will dated 29 May 1672. Additional proof that Desire Howland married John Gorham was found in a land transaction dated 16 February 1673 in which 'John Gorum Sen of Barnstable' sold to George Dawson, 'now resident at Barnstable,' land in Middleboro formerly belonging to John Howland and Elizabeth, his wife, and given to the said JohnGorum before John Howland's death. The transaction was witnessed by Joseph Laythorpe and John Thompson, and acknowledged 24 February 1673 before Thomas Hinckley, Assistant. Desire, wife of John gorum gave her consent 30 April 1674."234

“Capt. John Gorham m. Desire Howland, 1643, daughter of Mr. John Howland, the one that came over in the Mayflower, who died in Plymouth, 23 Feb., 1672, ae. 80years.” 290

“Farther down Mill Lane was Stoney Brook, now called Mill Pond, on which was located the first tannery, built by John Gorham. It was also the site of the first tidal grist mill, again built by John Gorham. Eventually the mill became known as Hallet’s mill and was moved farther northeast on the other side of the present bridge. These mills served the town for over 250 years, and some of the foundation stones are still there today.” 297

"John and Desire Gorham lived in Plymouth after the birth of their first child, Desire, 2 April 1644, and then moved to Marshfield. Their great-grandson, Col. John Gorham, in his 'Wast Book,' recorded that 'John Gorum, alias Gorham - which Son after Having Marryed With an Howland and Had Sevrall Children Went home to England and Returned Soone again to his family . . . Moved From Marshfield to Barnstable and Settled there in order to begin a township Called Barnstable. Built Mills - tan fatt &c.' " 234

According to Mayflower records he came from Benefield, Northamptonshire, Eng. to Yarmouth, Barnstable, MA with Ralph

Reference to birth & death dates: FAMILIES OF THE PILGRIMS by John Howland, p 8: MAYFLOWER DESC. (1966) p 228

He fought in King Philip's War, with the Gage brothers (John, William, and Henry) fighting under him. He also performed the marriage of Matthew Gage and Hannah Thorp.175

Ancestors service: Deputy Plymouth Colony 1653; Lt. 1673; Capt. 2nd Barnstable Co. under Maj. Wm. Bradford in the Great Swamp Fight, 1676; died as result of wounds. per NSDCW Lineage Bk, 1950-1958, p 421

"John Gorham's name was on a list of men able to bear arms in Plymouth in 1643. He was chosen constable in Marshfield in 1648. He was made a freeman 4 Jun 1650 and in 1651 he became a member of the Grand Inquest of Plymouth Colony. He and his family moved to Yarmouth, Mass., in 1652, and then went on to Barnstable where he owned a grist mill and a tannery. He was a surveyor of highways in 1654. As a captain in the militia in King Philip's War, he took part in the Narragansett fight in Dec 1675, where he was wounded 'by having his powder horn Shot and Split against his side,' He died of the resulting fever and was buried in Swansea 5 February 1676/7.234

Ref to MARRIAGE-SPOUSE: MD 5:175, 177. NOTE: 1st child born 2 Apr 1644.
Ref to BURIAL: Shurtleff, Nathaniel B., and David Pulsifer, Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England, 1620-1691, 8:44.255

"In June 1675 Captain John Gorham and twenty-nine men of Yarmouth marched toward Mount Hope (headquarters of Supreme Sachem Philip). They arrived only to find that hostilities had broken out elsewhere, so after a fruitless fourteen-week march, they turned around and walked back home. Gorham was appointed to command a second expedition from Plymouth. Fifteen Yarmouth men were in that company. " 243

"On 8 March 1648, Desire's father,John Howland, sold to his 'son-in-law, John Gorum,' half of the lands in Marshfield that he had bought from Governor William Bradford. In 1672, Desire's mother, Elizabeth Howland, 'wife of Mr. John Howland, deceased, came into court at Plymouth and acknowledged that she freely gave and surrendered rights in the lands of her late husband lying in Namasket in the township of Middleboro to Mr. John Gorum of Barnstable' ".234

He was also listed as marrying Desire Howland about 1643. 289

“Capt. John Gorham m. Desire _____, who d. 13 Oct., 1683.” 274

!per Mayflower records !came from Benefield, Northamptonshire, Eng. to Yarmouth,
Barnstable, MA with Ralph !birth & death dates: FAMILIES OF THE PILGRIMS by John
Howland, p 8: MAYFLOWER DESC. (1966) p 228 !Ancestors service: Deputy Plymouth
Colony 1653; Lt. 1673; Capt. 2nd Barnstable Co. under Maj. Wm. Bradford in the Great
Swamp Fight, 1676; died as result of wounds. per NSDCW Lineage Bk, 1950-1958, p 421 !per
JOHN HOWLAND OF THE MAYFLOWER v 1, by Elizabeth P. White He was on a list of
men able to bear arms in Plymouth in 1643. He was chosen constable in Marshfield in 1648.
He was made a freeman 4 Jun 1650 and in 1651 he became a member of the Grand Inquest of
Plymouth Colony. He and his family moved to Yarmouth, MA in 1652, and then went on to
Barnstable where he owned a grist mill and a tannery. He was surveyor of highways in 1654.
As a captain in the militia in King Philip's War, he took part in the Narragansett fight in
Dec 1675, where he was wounded "by having his powder horn Shot and Split against his
side," He died of the resulting fever and was buried in Swansea. (see info on estate in above
book) !BIRTH: Mayflower Descendants, 5:28. NOTE: Age 53 in 1674/75. !MARRIAGE-
SPOUSE: MD 5:175, 177. NOTE: 1st child born 2 Apr 1644. !BURIAL: Shurtleff, Nathaniel B.,
and David Pulsifer, Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England, 1620-1691,
8:44. 289

“There are conflicting accounts as to the parentage of John GORUM. Elizabeth P. White, in her above mentioned first volume, states he was the son of Ralph GORUM who was bpt. 28 Jan. 1620/1, Benefield, Northamptonshire, England. In MD 5:174-5, George E. Bowman discusses John’s parentage and feels there is a stronger case for John being the son of a John GORUM, based on the writings of Col. John GORHAM, great-grandson of John & Desire. Col. John states in his ‘Wast Book and Dayly Journal’ that the family was from Huntingtunshear <Huntingdonshire>, England and that his ‘great-great-grandfather had one son nam’d aftr him John GORUM’. (Interesting to note that Desire’s father, John Howland was from Huntingdonshire.) He goes on to say that the father lived at Marshfield while the son moved to Barnstable. (The 1643 list of men able to bear arms shows a John ‘Gorame’ in Plymouth and a John ‘Goarum’ at Marshfield <Stratton:440, 446; MD 5:175>.) Col. John’s writings also state that while on a voyage to London in 1737 he had a search made for the family coat of arms and since a fee of seven shillings six pence was paid, Bowman feels the search was successful which means he was well aware of his family heritage. There was a Ralph GORHAM living in Plymouth between 1637-1642 (he is not on the 1643 list) but no connection has been found between him and Capt. John. Bowman also points out that there was an unidentified John GORUM living at Lynn between 1647-1651. <See MD 17:251-254 for Capt. John GORHAM’s Family Record.> “271

“Estate of Capt. John GORHAM/GORUM: <MD 4:153-8; Plymouth Col. Wills 3:1:162-4> ...Division, 7 Mar. 1676/7, among wf Desire and foll. chil., viz: James GORUM, John GORUM, Joseph GORUM, Jabez GORUM, Mercye GORUM, Lydia GORUM, Hannah GORUM and Shubaall GORUM. (states 3 daus are married and have already received their portions.)”271

“Capt. John Gorham died at Swansea, but the exact date of his death is not known. The date of his burial is entered on the Swansea town records as follows: ‘Cap: John Goram was buryed the 5th day of february 1675’ [Book A, p. 147]. This date in new style would be 15 February, 1676. The record of his inventory shows that he was a resident of Yarmouth at the time of his death.” 298

In excerpts from the ‘Wast Book’ of Col. John Gorham (great-grandson of Capt. John Gorham it states: ‘ Augst 29, 1737 In St Johns 1737 memorandums of thing to be bought In London. Coppy of Cos Daniel Gorhams Invintary sent home’ ‘ to Look out for ye Gorhams Coat of Armes. Came from Huntingtunshear’. . . ‘ London. Octobr 1737 Som Account of cash Lade out or Spent’ the following entries’ Herralds office 7 pounds 6 shillings’, ‘paid a man for Looking out the Gorhams in the Citty 1 pound 6 shillings’ “The record of the fee of seven shillings and six pence paid at the Herlads College seems to indicate that the search for a coat of arms was successful. One could wish that Gorham had been more explicit in his entry and named the family with which he was connected. This omission is especially unfortunate since his notes in the ‘Wast Book’ and the ‘Dayly Journal,’ that the family came from Huntingdonshire and that Capt. john’s father was also named John, contradict the claim of modern writers that Capt. John Gorham was the John (son of Ralph) who was baptized at Benefield, Northamptonshire, on 28 January, 1620/1. I will first consider the claim that Capt. John was the son of Ralph. This seems to be based solely on the fact that there was a Ralph Gorham in Plymouth between 2 October, 1637, and 5 April, 1642, and that a Ralph Gorham had a son baptized at Benefiled in 1621 as alrady stated. The statement has been made that the Plymouth Colony Records prove that Ralph of Plymouth was the father of Capt. John, but this is an error, as these records contain not the slightest evidence of any relationship between the two. Capt. John Gorham’s deposition, which was printed in an earlier issue of this magazine, states his age as ‘53 yeares or therabouts’ early in 1675. This if exact, would make him more than a year younger than the John baptized at Benefield 28 January, 1620/1, but it is not conclusive evidence either for or against his identity with the John of Benefield. Since no proof that Capt. John’s father was Ralph has yet been produced by those who claim this connection, it is reasonable to suppose that Capt. George Gorham’s statement was correct, and my examination of the records has resulted in the discovery of corroborative evidence which seems to have escaped the notice of earlier searchers. In August, 1643, a record was made of all the males between the ages of sixteen and sixty who were able to bear arms. In this list we find a John Gorham enrolled at Plymouth and one enrolled at Marshfield. In the absence of any evidence that this was an eror, we must accept the record as it stands. Capt. John’s first child was born at Plymouth, 2 April, 1644, and the second one at Marshfield, 5 May 1646. It is probable therefore that he was enrolled at Plymouth and his father at Marshfield, in August, 1643. . . .The facsimiles and transcripts of the entries in the ‘Wst Book’ will be found on the following pages. The transcripts were made from the original document, not from the facsimiles. ‘ Louisburg Feb 27 1745/6 the Rise of ye Family of Gorhams taken from Capt George Gorham - my Great Great Grand father & Family Came out of Some part of England and Lived att Marshfield and Had one son Nam’d aftr him John Gorum, alias Gorham - which Son aftr Having Marryed With an Howland and Had Sevrall Children Went home to England and Returnd Soone again to his family - His Father Lived & Dyed att Marshfield and Whats Remarkable He Was a Joyner and Made his Coffin himself for sevrallYear before he Dyed and Used to Keep apples In It as a Chest Untill He dyed and used it. the son John that maryd Desire Howland and Went to England Moved from Marshfieeld to Barnstable and Settled ther in ordr to begin a township aftrwards Called Barnstable. Built Mills - tan fatts &c. Children. Names - Sons James - John - Joseph Jabez and Shuball now Living - Daugheres - Elzebth - maryd a Hallet, att Sandwich. Temperance maryd Thomas Baxtr an old England man Lived att Yarmouth. Desire - Gorham - maryed a Capt Haws Yarmouth - having his leg Cut of Dyed with It. Lydia - Gorham Maryed. Coll John Tacher. Hanah - maryd a Wheelding boath moved to Cape-may. Capt. John Gorham Was a Captain of a Company of English & Indians and Went to the Fight of King philip - r Swamp Narraganset fight and there was Wownded by having his poudr Horn Shot and Split against his side and Wownded - and Dyed att Swansey - His Leut - His Ensigne Isaec Barker.”281

“John Gorham was of Plymouth, Mass. Came to New England in 1636 on the ‘Phillip’. Mde Capt. Oct. 4, 1675 of the 2nd Company of Plymouth troops in King Philip’s war and died as a result of exposure in the Swamp Fight. Was Constable in 1648. Freeman in 1650. Member of the Grand Inquest in 1651. Moved from Marshfield to Plymouth in 1648. To yarmouth in 1652. Deputy to Plymouth Colony in 1653. Surveyor in 1654. Selectman of barnstable in 1673 to 1675. Lieut. of Plymouth forces in the Dutch War of 1673. He was a farmer, a tanner, and owned a mill.”270

“Capt. John Gorham and his family moved from Marshfield to Barnstable, then on to Yarmouth in 1652. In Barnstable he owned a grist mill and tannery. He joined the militia as a captain and fought in King Philip’s War, later taking part in the Great Swamp Fight against the Narragansett Indians in southern Rhode Island. He was badly injured when his powder horn exploded against his side. He also never got over the exposure to the cold weather. After the battle, he somehow made his way either by water or land to Wannamoisett, probably to the home of James Brown, son of John Brown, gentleman. The John and James Brown families shared the same home. John Gorham was racked with a high fever for some time and finally died, being buried on March 7, 1675 in what is now Little Neck Cemetery in East Providence, which lay on the Brown farm. This is also where Elizabeth Tilley Howland is buried.” 288

“The Gorhams took a very important part in the Colonial wars. In volume 67, Massachusetts Archives, there is a letter from Capt. John Gorham, written to Governor Winslow, in 1675. Capt. Gorham’s son John was in his company of soldiers during the war with king Philip and his tribe.” [photocopy of letter included in article] 299

“The accompanying half-tone illustrations show the two sides of a leaf that without doubt at one time formed a part of a Bible belonging to Capt. John Gorham of the Plymouth Colony, whose wife was Desire Howland, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Tilley) Howland of the Mayflower company. No mention of a Bible is found in the inventory of Capt. John Gorham’s estate, taken 29 feb. 1675/6 and printed in The Mayflower Descendant, vol. 4, pp. 154-156; but in the inventory of the estate of his widow, Desire (Howland) Gorham, which was exhibited to the court at Plymouth 6 Mar. 1683/4 and has been printed in The Mayflower Descendant, vol. 4, pp. 217-220, appears the following:
‘Item pewter 12s shillings 1 Chist 2s and old bible and Tillinhsts book 2s 00 16 00’ “273

“Through the courtesy of Mr. Henry E. Scott, the editor of the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, we are allowed to reproduce, from the July, 1915, issue of that magazine, an illustration showing the family record of Capt. John Gorham, whose wife was Desire Howland, the daughter of John Howland, the Mayflower Passenger. The record was written on the reverse of the title-page of a New Testament, printed in 1637 by ‘Thomas Buck, and Roger Daniel, printers to the Universitie of Cambridge.’ This leaf, which is about eight and one-half inches tall, and five and five-eighths inches wide, is the only part of the book that has been preserved, and was found amongThe ‘old bible’ mentioned in the inventory of Desire (Howland) Gorham may refer to this book. No other reference to a bibly is found in connection with her estate, or her husband’s. . . . From data obtainable it seems probable that, after the death of Capt. John Gorham, the bible of which this leaf formed a part came into the possession of his widow, Desire (Howland) Gorham, and fter her death became the property of her daughter, Desire (Gorham) Hawes, the mother of Benjamin Hawes of Edgartown. From the death of Benjamin Hawes, in 1722, until the title-page turns up among the papers of Hiram Luce in 1911, nothing is known of the history of the book, except that it was delivered to Experience Hawes, in accordance with the terms of her father’s will.” 282

“On the back of the title-page Capt. John Gorham recorded, all at one time, the births of his eleven children. The births of nine of ‘ye Children of John Gorham’ were entered on the Barnstable, Mass., town records, where it is recorded that Desire was born at Plymouth; Temperance, Elizabeth, James and John at Marshfield; Joseph at Yarmouth; Jabez, Mercy and Lydia at Barnstable. The dates of the Barnstable record agree exactly with the beble record,and establish beyond question that this bible record was made by Capt. John Gorham himself. The handwriting is also the same as well authenticated specimens in Capt. Gorham’s hand.” 282

“The following is what remains of a list of Grantees of seven Narraganset townships, laid out by order of the General Court; confirmed April 18, 1735. Rev. J.B. Felt in the Collections of American Statistical Association, I, pp. 28, 29, has given us a history of these grants” [to be entered] . . . Yarmouth - . . . Capt. John Goreham’s heirs” 300

“John Gorum’s 1675 inventory included ‘1 Negro man,’ no value assigned.” 301

“The law put the onus on a woman to cry out for help if she was being propositioned against her will. In March 1656 John Gorum was fined forty shillings ‘for unseemly carriage towards Blanche Hull at an unseasonable time, being in the night.’ Blanche Hull was fined fifty shillings ‘for not crying out when she was assaulted by John Gorum in unseemly carriage towards her.’ Both Gorum and Hull were married at this time, Gorum to Desire Howland, eldest daugher of John Howland and his wife, Elizabeth Tilley Howland, and Blanche to Tristram Hull. The court evidently considered Hull to have been a willing participant rather than a victim.” 301

“John Gorum senir: aged 53 yeares or therabouts Testifyeth, that some time since; hee desing Desired to write a memorandum of an Agreement between Jabez Lumbert and Zachariah Ryder; concerning Lands of Abraham Darbey which is in the bounds of yarmouth; and they Comitted the writing; after it was written to my keeping, some pace of time after Abraham Darbey Coming from Verginnia; put in on the other syde of the Cape and Came to my house; and I told him that his brother Jabez Lumbert had sold all rights of Lands in the bounds of the Towne of Yarmouth; and Abraham Darbey said what hee had Done in that respect hee had Given him order soe to Doe; and it should be made Good or to that very purpose.
Dated this 4th: I 74/75
This was sworne before mee John Aldin Assistant [Court Orders, V: 109]’ “ 302

“Captain John Gorham became a very useful citizen, residing at time in Plymouth, Marshfield, yarmouth and Barnstable. During King PHilip’s War he was in command of a company.” 275

“Yarmouth men who servved in the Narragansett Expedition during King Philip’s War were gtiven land in the Province of ME in 1727 as payment for their services. Seven townships were designated as Narragansett 1-7. Capt. John Gorham of Yarmouth was assigned #7; it later became the town of Gorham.” 303

“In 1652, John Gorham settled in the part of Yarmouth which is not known as Cummaquid, where he became proprietor of Hallet’s Mill. The grist mill was near the wharf on Stony Cove, the present Mill Lane. Mr. Gorham had a tannery ont he west side on Stony Cove pond.” 304

“John and Desire (Howland) Gorham’s first child, Desire, was born in Plymouth; the next four were born in Marshfield. The family moved to Yarmouth in 1652, where John bought Hallett’s Mill and built tanneries spreading into adjacent Barnstable. This area is called Cummaquid, after the particular Wampanoag tribe which resided there, comprising the northwest corner of Yarmouth (known since the early 1800’s as ‘Yarmouthport’) and the northeast corner of Barnstable.” 305

“the bond of administration of John Howland’s estate. This bond is dated 5 March, 1672, and bears the autograph signatures of Elizabeth (Tilley) Howland, who was the executrix of her late husband’s will, and of two of her sons-in-law, John Chipman and John Gorham, who became her sureties. It also bears autograph signatures of Ephraim Morton and William Crow, the two witnesses.
This authograph of Elizabeth (Tilley) Howland is believed to be the only one yet discovered, and we are not aware that it has been noticed by previous writers. it is interesting to note that Elizabeth Howland made ‘her mark’ on this bond by printing her initials, and that, thirteen years later, she signed her will in the same way. [Ante, III: 56.] “ [full text of the bond to be entered.] 306

“In June 1675 Captain John Gorham and twenty-nine men of Yarmouth marcvhed toward Mount Hope (Headquarters of Supreme Sachem Philip). They arrived only to find that hostilities had broken out elswhere, so after a fruitless fourteen-week march, they turned around and walked back home. Gorham was appointed to command a second expedition from Plymouth. Fifteen Yarmouth men were in that company. Sergeant Nathaniel Hall was wounded in the swamp Fort fight of December 19, 1675, and Gorham caught a fever from which he later died. None of the Yarmouth contingent was killed in the battle.” 304

“On December 21, 1675, just two days after the fight, the Reverend Joseph Dudley wrote that ‘we generally suppose the enemy lost at least two hundred men; Capt. Mosely counted in one corner of the fort sixty four men; Gapt. Goram reckoned 150 at least.’ Dudley was with General Winslow throughout the fight and spoke with many of the men in the days following the battle. He chose as his sources two soldiers, Captains Moseley and Goram, who wer in the thick of the fight from the start.” 307

“[Court Orders, V: 131]
March the 7th 1675
In reference unto the estate of Mr Gorum Deceased The Court have appointed mr hinchley Mr Chipman and Mr huckens to take Care that such prte of the said estate which belongeth unto his youngest Children be prserved and Disposed to them as the Come to be of age; according to te agreement;
Lres of Adminnestration were Graunted by the Court unt mistris Desire Gorum, James Gorum, and John Gorum, to adminnester on the estate of Captaine John Gorum Deceased” 298

“Early on the monring of the 9th, Winslow took over the command from Major-General Denison and, having promised the troops a gratuity in land, besides their pay, if they should drive out the enemy from teh Narragansett country, gave orders for the advance. . . Captain Mosele’s command, Benjamin Church, Joseph dudley and a few others, immediately embaraked, while the remainder of teh force, ferrying around dto the head of the bay, joined Major Wiliam Bradford and Captain Gorham, with the one hundred and fifty-eight men of the Plymouth contingent, at Providence.” 308

“Prentice and the troopers went ahead as an advance force, billeting that night at Rehoboth; the foot companies spent the night at Woodcock’s, and then moved on to Rehoboth the next day. here they joined with the contingent from Plymouth Colony, consisting of two companies of infantry commanded by Major William Bradford and Captain John Gorham, with a total strength of about 150 men.” 309

“On the day after the Great Swamp Fight the English troops buried thirty-four of their dead at Wickford, while int he following days still others of the wounded succumbed. A month after the battle the total number of dead was approaching seventy, and both Hubbard and Mather subsequently palced the figure at more than eighty. Of the company commanders, seven out of fourteen were killed or mortally wounded in the battle, and one other, Captain Gorham of Plymouth Colony, contracted a mortal fever.” 309

From Book A: 1663-1709: “The Records of the burialls that have been in the Town of Swanzey Since the first day of march in the year of or lord 1673 . . .
Cap: John Goram was buryed the 5th day of february 1675 . . . “ 310

From Appendix A - from Plymouth Colony Records:
“Capt John Gorum was buried the 5th of February 1675. . . “ 310

“John Gorham, of Barnstable. He died of a fever, while in the service of his colony, February 5, 1676, at Swansea, Massachusetts.” 311

In a letter by Josephy Dudley dated 21, 10. 1675 he tells of the attack on Petaquamscot and states,” we generally suppose the enemy lost at least two hundred; Capt. Mosely counted in one corner of the fort sixty-four men, Capt. Goram reckoned 150 at least.” 311

“At the same town meeting [1646] Jos. Beadle, John Gorham & Thos. Tilden were chosen Raters, (to fix taxes) and the sum that they are to raise is two pounds ten shillings for a public charge, and forty seven shillings and a penny for the charges of the Committee & other considerations, the town are willing the sum of five pounds & twelve shillings be raised in the whole.” 312

“Bond of the Administrators.
Know all men by these prsents that wee Desire Gorom widdow of the Towne of Barnstable in theJurisdiction of New Plymouth; and James Gorum and John Gorum planters of the Towne aforsaid in the Jurisdiction aforsaid Doe acknowlidge our selves to be bound and feirmly oblidged unto the Govr: and Court of Plymouth aforsaid in the penall sume of a eight hundred pounds, for the payment wherof well and ruely to be made wee bind our selves our heires executors and adminnestrators; Joyntly and severally feirmly sealled and Given this ninth of March Anno: Dom one thousand six hundred seaventy and five;
The Condition of the above written obligation is such that wheras the above bounen Desire Gorum; James Gorum and John Gorum; have obtained letters of Adminnestration to Adminnester of the estate of mr John Gorum Late Deceased; if therfore the above bounden Desire Gorum James Gorum and John Gorum Junir Doe pay or Cause to be payed all Due Debts and legacyes Due and owing to any from the said estate; and keep a faire and true accoumpt of their adminestration; and be reddy to give in the same unto the Court when by them required; and save and keep hamles and undamnifyed the said Govr: and Court from any Dmage that may acrew unto them; by theire said adminnestration; That then the above written obligation to be void and of non efect or otherwise to remaine in full force strength and vertue;
Signed sealed and Delivered desier gorham (Seal)
in the prsence of benimen hammond James Gorham (Seal)
Sammuell Nash John Gorham (Seal)” 298

“[Plym. Col. Wills, III: I: 162-164]
[p, 162] An Inventory of the estate of Capt: John Gorum of yarmouth late Deceased taken and apprised by William Crocker Barnabas Laythorpe John Thacher and John Miller the 29th of ffebruary 1675 and exhibited to the Court held att Plymouth the 7th of March 1675 on the oathes of mistris Desire Gorum widdow and James Gorum and John Gorum Junir: as followeth . . .
The sume Totall : is 710 04 03
By us Willam Crocker John Thacher
Barnabas Laythorpe John Miller”
Full text of Inventory and settlement to be entered. 298

“John Gorum, Capt.
February 29, 1675/76
Plymouth Colony Wills 3:162-163, 164


An Inventory of the Estate of Capt: Iohn Gorum of yarmouth late deceased taken and apprised by Willam Crocker Barnabas Laythorpe Iohn Thacher and Iohn Miller the 29th of February 1675 and exhibited to the Court held att Plymouth the 7th of March 1675 on the oathes or mistris desire Gorum widdow and Iames Gorum and Iohn Gorum Iunir: as followeth

Impr: 1 bed and the furniture belonging to it 07 04 00

Item 1 bed and what belonges to it 03 05 00

Item old beding 01 01 00

Item 1 bed and what belonges to it 03 19 00

Item his wearing Clothes 07 07 00

Item 1 blankett wlth feathers in it 00 15 00

Item 2 Chistes 00 08 00

Item 5 Cushens 00 05 00

Item to yerne Flax and Cotton woole 05 11 00

Item to Iron tooles and Cart Rope 01 00 00

Item 3 wheeles and Cards 01 02 00

Item 13 bushells and halfe or Corne 02 00 06

Item 1 bushell of wheat 00 05 00

Item an other parsell of Iron toolos in and about the mill 03 00 00

Item meate salt and the Caske the meat is in 04 00 00

Item brasse 02 10 00

Item pewter 02 00 00

Item 2 paire of stilliayards scales and waights 01 16 00

Item 4 Chaires 00 15 00

Item Iron potts kettles pothangers frying pans all Iron 02 00 00

Item 9 sheets 02 10 00

Item table Cloth and Napkins of diaper 00 15 00

Item a smale Table Cloth and 2 dosen of Napkins 01 16 00

Item 6 pillowbeers 00 17 00

Item linine of his 00 15 00

item powder and bulletts 00 05 00

Item 2 paire of sterrup Irons & Gertts 00 05 00

Item twine and paper 00 03 00

Item 2 Chestes and one box 00 18 00

Item wooden ware and seiues 00 17 00

Item old barrells 00 07 00

Item in earthen ware and other smale lumber 01 05 00

Item 2 pound of fine Cotten yerne 00 04 00

Item a feirkin of sope 00 15 00

Item a brake and Flax 00 14 08

Item bolts boards square timber and Grindstone 06 00 00


sume 68 11 06

Item 3 horses 1 mare 04 05 00

Item 10 swine 03 15 00

Item 4 oxen 12 00 00

Item 8 Cowes 18 00 00

Item 2 steers 2 yeers old 03 00 00

Item 3 heiffers three yeer old 06 00 00

Item 18 sheep 06 00 00

Item the mills and dwelling house land and Meddow adjoyinig 150 00 00


Item 1 Caske of Tallow 00 05 00

Item the ballences of accoumpt in the booke due 46 08 01

Item the Tann fatts the barke mill and the 2 houses the tooles < belonging to the taning> 30 00 00

Item 1 Copper 02 10 00

Item 3 Gunnes 03 06 00

Item the barrell of a blunderbusse 00 05 00

Item more Iron tooles 01 03 06

Item more Iron Iron tooles 01 03 06

Item andjrons 01 00 00

Item 2 horspistoles & holsters 01 00 00

Item old Iron 00 10 00

Item more Iron tooles 01 09 00

Item 1 brasse kittle 00 16 00

Item 4 Chaires 00 18 00

Item 1 longe Table and bedsted & Curtaines 03 00 00

Item 1 bedsted 01 00 00

Item an Iron pott kettle skillett pothookes 01 07 00

Item 1 Chest 00 08 00

Item 1 paire of tonggs & pothangers 00 06 00

Item 1 Cubbard 01 00 00

Item 13 sydes of lether 06 10 00

Item 1 bedsted 00 15 00

Item a bed bolster Couerlidd & blanketts 06 05 00

Item a bed bolster Rugg and blanketts 04 10 00

Item 1 settle 1 old Chaire 00 07 00

Item 1 [blank] att 10 00 00

Item 1 Gould Ringe 01 00 00

Item 1 Cubbert Cushen 00 15 00

Item 1 Cabbanitt 00 15 00


337 18 07


Item a parsell of linnine 02 05 00

Item 1 Chest and a Childs blankett 00 08 00

Item 5 sheets 02 00 00

Item 1 Chest and box 00 14 00

Item old lumber 00 05 00

Item due from Iohn Gorum Iunir for hydes hee Reciued of his father and on his accoumpt att 3d per pound 52 18 06

Item a Cart takeling and plow tacklinge & old Grindstone 03 00 00

Item a hatchell 00 10 00

Item a horse in Iohn Gorums hands 01 10 00

Item 1 smale Table 00 03 00

Item 1 Negro Man

Item more due on the booke 01 06 09

Item due by bill in Cash 16 00 00

Item in Cash 84 00 00

Item in plate and a watch 10 00 00

Item 2 Cards of Cloake buttons 00 05 00

Item the farme that is to say the dwelling house barne vpland and meddow and all land in the Comon feild 450 00 00

Item due from the Country for seruice done in the warr by Capt: Gorum about

Item a Graunt of a parsell of Land att Papasquash neck

The sume Totall is 710 04 09

By vs

William Crocker

Iohn Thacher

Barnabas Laythorpe

Iohn Miller

Plymouth Colony Wills 3:162-163


this following Relates vnto the Inventory of Capt: Gorums estate before entered; Iohn Gorum senir disbursed for the souldery vnder hia Comand as followeth

For food att Sandwich 00 07 06

For Syder att Captaine huchensons farme 00 08 06

my selfe with horse and furniture sixteen weekes

a horse for my son Ioseph a fortnight Expended vpon the souldiers att seuerall times 01 14 00

disbured [sic] for three souldiers suppers att Iames Coles 00 01 06

Iohn Whetston fifteen dayes horse bridle and saddle

Thinges omitted to be Charged in the Inventory

Item a paire of bootes a paire of shooes 2 sackes 1 sheete 2 pitchforkes 00 18 00

for Clothes left att mr Brownes

debtes omited to be substracted out of the estate of Elisha hedge 03 03 00

debts att Boston not well knowne not haueing time but by discourse with my husband 18 00 00

Plymouth Colony Wills, vol. III, p. 164” 313
Extension of notes notes for John Gorham Capt.
“John Goram, one of the early settlers at Gree Harbor, was baptized at Benefield, Northamptonshire, 28 Jan., 1620-1; came to the old Colony with his father, Ralph. He m. at Plymouth, 1644, Desire, dau. of the Hon. John Howland, of Mayflower memory, and grandaughter of John Carver, the first governor of the colony. Their children were, Desire, b. at Plymouth, 1644; Temperance, b. 1646; Elizabeth, b. 1648; James, b. 1650; and John, b. 1651, at Marshfield; Joseph, b. at Yarmouth, 1653; Jabez, b. 1656; Mercy, . 1658; and Lydia, 1661, at Barnstable.” 314

“John Gorham resided at Green Harbor, near the hill which bears his name; an olden home-lot, very apparent in its vicinity, was doubtless where his dwelling-house stood. He was, while resident here, often employed in public affairs, and was occasionally connected with Joseph Beadle in the bridge building business. Of these the settlers must have sttod in much need, having so many rivers coursing their way through the settlement to the sea. Capt. Joohn Gorham d. at Swansey, of afever, while in command of a fever, while in command of a company in Philip’s war. His widow d. 13 Oct. 1683.” 314

“The descendants of Capt. John Gorham have been very numerous and respectable. Gorham, Me., incorporated 1764, was named out of respect to Capt. Gorham, whose descendants were some of the grantees.” 314

“Gorham, Gorum, or Goram, John, Plymouth, s. of Ralph, b. in Eng. bapt. at Benefield, Northamptonsh. 28 Jan. 1621, m. 1643, Desire, eldest d. of John Howland, the Pilgrim of the Mayflower, had Desire, b. 2 Apr. 1644; rem. to Marshfield, where he had been, perhaps, bef. had there Temperance, 5 May 1646; Eliz. 2 Apr. 1648; James, 2 or 28 Apr. 1650; and John, 20 Feb. 1652; rem. to Yarmouth, there had Joseph, 16 Feb. 1654; rem. last to Barnstable, ther had Jabez, 3 Aug, 1656; Mary, 20 Jan. 1659; Lydia, 11 Nov. 1661; Hannah, 28 Nov. 1663; and Shubael, 21 Oct. 1667; was capt. in Philips war, d. on serv. of fever 5 Feb. 1676 at Swanzey. His d. Desire m. 7 Oct. 1661, John Hawes; s. Japez was wound. in Philip’s war; the wid. 3 13 oct. 1683; d. Mary m. sec. George Denison, and Lydia m. 11 Jan. 1684, John Thacher.” 277
2nd extension of notes notes for John Gorham Capt.
“Captain John, son of Ralph Gorham, was baptized in Benefield, Northamptonshire, England, January 28, 1621, and died at Swansea, Massachusetts, while in command of his company, February 5, 1676. He had a good common school education, and was brought up in the Puritan faith. His occupation was that of a tanner and currier of leather, which business he carried on in the winter, working on his farn in the summer. In 1646 he moved from Plymouth to Marshfield, and in 1648 was chosen constable of that town. On Jun 4, 1650, he was admitted freeman of the colony, and in 1651 was a member of the grand inquest of the colony. In 1652 he moved to Yarmouth, purchasing a house-lot adjoining the Barnstable line; and from this time he added to his estate till he became a large landowner and also the proprietor of a grist mill and a tannery. He was deputy from Yarmouth to the Plymouth colony court at the special session of April 6, 1653, and the following year he was surveyor of highways in the town of Yarmouth. In 1673-4 he was one of the selectmen at Yarmouth, and during the former year received the appointment of lieuteant of the Plymouth forces in the Dutch war. King Philip’s men made an attack upon Swansea the next June, and on the twenty-fourth of that month, which was observed as a day of fasting and prayer, Captain John Gorham and twenty-nine mounted men from Yarmouth took their first march for Moutn Hope. In August the war was transferred to the banks of the Connecticut and Captain Gorham and his company marched into Massachusetts. The results were discouraging, and in a letter to the governor, still preserved in the office of the secretary of state at Boston, Captain Gorham says that his soldiers are much worn, ‘having been in the field this fourteen weeks and little hopes of finding the enemy, - but as for my own part, I shall be ready to serve God and the country in this just war, so long as I have life and health.’ October 4, 1675, he was appointed by the court captain of the second company of the Plymouth forces in King Philip’s war. Captain Gorham and his company were in the sanguinary battle at the swamp Fort inthe Narragansett country, fought December 19, 1675, which crushed the power of King Philip and his allies. there was great suffering and exposure, beside loss of life. the troops of the United Colonies had to remain all night int he open field, ‘with no other covering than a cold and moist fleece of snow.’ On the dawn of the nineteenth they started on their weary march, and at one o’clock they reached the fort, which was built on an island containing five or six acres, set in the midst of a swamp. Engrances could be effected in only two places, by means of fallen trees, to cross which meant almost certain death fromt he Indian sharpshooters. After three or four hours’ of hard fighting, the English succeeded in taking the fort, sustaining a loss of eighty men, beside the wounded. Hubbard estimated that no less than seven hundred Indians were killed. Captain Gorham never recovered from the cold and fatigue to which he was exposed during this expedition. He was seized with a fever and died at Swansea, where he was buried February 5, 1675-76. In 1677, in consquence of the good service Captain Gorham had rendered the country in the war in which he lost his life, the court confirmed to his heirs and successors forever the hundred acres of land at Papasquash Neck in swansea which he had selected during his lifetime. In 1643 Captain John Gorham married Desire Howalnd, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Tilley) Howland, and granddaughter of JOhn and Bridget (van de Velde) tilley, all of whom came over in the ‘Mayflower.’ DEsire (Howland) Gorham was born at Plymouth in 1623, and died at Barnstable, October 13, 1683.” 283

“John Gorham
Christenings 1620
John Gorram sonne of Ralph Gorram baptd Jan:28.
1635, Oct. 21 - William Gorram the sonne of John Gorram buried.
1650, Dec. 17 - John Gorram buried.” 292

“In 1669 the General Court of Plymouth Colony granted one hundred acres of land within the present limits of Bristol, to John Gorham, if it could be honorably purchased of the Indians. The necessary arrangements seem to have been perfected without difficulty, for on the first day of July, 1672, Constant Southworth, James Brown and John Gorham were appointed by the Court ‘to purchase a certain parcel of land of the Indians, granted by the Court to said Gorham.’ July 13, 1677, the Court ratified and confirmed this one hundred acres to Gorham and his heirs forever. (This land was north of the ‘Neck Burying-Ground,’ on the west side of the main road, and remained in the possession of the Gorham family for several generations. It is now [1880] owned by Lewis Carr and George Smith. John Gorham must therefore be regarded as the first white settler in Bristol, though it is not likely that he erected a very substantial dwelling, and his share was broken up at the beginning of the war. His descendants are yet living among us.” 315

‘He [John Jacob] owned Hingham’s sawmill and supplied Otis with ten cords of wood for the elder John Gorum of Barnstable. Although Gorum had to be sued for payment, this relationship eventually led to the marriage of John Gorum, Jr., to Mary Otis in 1674.” 316

“Her [Mary Otis’} husband, John Gorum, Jr., was the son of the elder Gorum, who had been Yarmouth’s leading farmer, a tanner, the owner of the gristmill, as well as deputy to the Plymouth Court of April 1654. Gorum, Senior, had seen service as a Barnstable selectman and captain of the militia. [The elder Gorum’s estate waas valued at £710.04.03, and included plate and a gold watch, ‘1 negro man’ (no value given), as del as 100 acres of land that the Plymouth government gave to his heirs and which also was not valued. Thus the real value was close to £900, with the mill given to John, Jr.; in Mayflower Descendant, IV (1902), 153-158, from Wills, III (Pt. K), 162-164, Old Colony Records, Plymouth Registry of Deeds]” : 316

“Both the Gorum and Bacon families were active in politics, trade, and as their tanneries indicate, industrial enterprise. Otis himself had at least an indirect interest in this, as he supplied the Gorums and perhaps the Bacon with the bark for their vats. These three families were part of a small minority in the Old Colony who participated in a market economy.” 316

“Capt. John Gorham was baptized at Benefield, Northamptonshire, England, 28 Jan. 1620/1, the son of Ralph Gorham and the grandson of James Gorham. He lived at Plymouth, Marshfield, Yarmouth, and Barnstable in the Plymouth Colony in New England, and died of fever at Swansea in the Plymouth Colony, while serving as a captain in King Philip’s War. He was buried at Swansea 5 Feb. 1675.6. He married, in 1643, Desire Howland, eldest daughter of John Howland, the Pilgrim, who came to New England in the Mayflower in 1620, and his wife, Elizabeth (tilley) Howland, who also came in the Mayflower with her father John Tilley, and his wife. Desire (Howland) Gorham survived her husband and died at Barnstable 13 Oct. 1683.” 284
Last Modified 23 Nov 2013Created 24 Dec 2013 using Reunion for Macintosh