Westchester "was probably first settled in 1642, by a Mr. John Throckmorton and thirty-five associates, who came from New England, with the approbation of the Dutch authorities." (1) By the Dutch it was denominated “Vredeland," or the “Land of Peace," “a meet appellation (says the historian of the New Netherlands,) for the spot selected as a place of refuge by those who were bruised and broken down by religious persecution.""(2) In reply to John Throckmorton's petition, soliciting permission to settle down within the limits of the New Netherlands, is the following license, dated 2d October, 1642. "Whereas Mr. Throckmorton, with his associates, solicits to settle with thirty five families within the limits of the jurisdiction of their High Mighti-nesses, to reside there in peace and enjoy the same privileges as our other subjects, and be favored with the free exercise of their religion ; having seen the petition of the aforesaid Throckmorton, and consulted with the interests of the Company, as this request can by no means be injurious to llie country, more so as the English are to settle at a distance of three miles from us, so it is granted. Mr. Throckmorton, with thirty-five English families, are permitted to settle within three miles of Amsterdam." (3)
Upon the 6th of July, 1643, the following “land brief" was granted to Jan Throckmorton, &c. “We, William Kieft, director general, and the council, in behalf of their high mighty lords, the States General of the United Netherlands, his highness the Prince of Orange, and the nolle lords, the managers of the General Incorporated West India Company in New Netherlands residing, by these presents, do publish and declare that we, on this day the date underwritten, have given and granted unto Jan Throckmorton a piece of land, (being a portion of Vredeland,) containing as follows, along the East river of New Netherlands, extending from the point half a mile, which piece of land aforesaid is surrounded on one side by a little river, and on the other side by a great hill, which river and hill on high water running, meet each other, surround the said land, as will more clearly appear by a map of the same which has been made and marked off by the surveyor, with the express conditions and terms that the said Jan Throckmorton, or they who by virtue of these presents shall succeed to his action, the noble lords, the managers aforesaid, shall acknowledge as their lords and patroons, under the sovereignty of the high and mighty lords, the States General, and unto their director and council here, shall in all things be confirmed as all good citizens are in duty bound ; provided also that the said Jan Thrnokmorton and his company (associates) shall furthermore be subject to all such burdens and imposts, as already have been enacted by the noble lords, and hereafter may yet be enacted. It is furthermore made an express condition that the aforesaid Jan Tlirockmorton, according to promise, shall settle on the aforesaid lands as many families as may offer in the same manner, constituting over the said Throckmorton and his company, in our stead, in the real and actual possession of the aforesaid piece of land, lying on the East river aforesaid, giving them by these presents the full and irrevocable might, authority, and special permission the aforesaid parcel of land to enter, cultivate, inhabit, and occupy, in like manner as he may lawfully do with other his patrimonial lands and effects, without our, the grantors in quality aforesaid, thereunto any longer having, reserving or saving any part, action, or control whatever, but to the behoof as aforesaid, from all assisting from this time forth and forever, promising moreover thit transport firmly, invariably, and irrevocably to maintain, fulfil, and execute, and to do all that in equity we are bound to do. Done in Fort Amsterdam in New Netherlands, this 6th day of July, 1613. “WILLIAM KIKFT. “By order of the noble lords, the directors and council of the New Netherlands. “CORNELIS TIENHOVES, Secretary." (4)
This grant, subsequently called Throckmorton's neck, embraced the eastern part of the present town. It was bounded on the north by Eastchester neck, on the east by the Eastchester bay and Long Island sound, on the south by the East river, and on the west by the Westchester creek. John Tlirockmorion, the patentee, originally emigrated from England to Nantaskett, Massachusetts, 5th February, 1631, iti the ship Lyon; from this place he removed to Salem in 1639; he afterwards became a Baptist, and a resident of Rhode Island. (5) From Rhode Island he fled to Vredeland that he might enjoy here (among the Dutch) the free exercise of his religious prio, ciples. The Throckmorton family derive their name from Throcke- mertona, (Throckmorton) or the Rockmoor town, which is situated in the vale of Evesham, Worcester county, England. John Throckmorton was lord of the manor of Throckmorton, about sixty years after the Norman conquest. The etymology of the name is either British or Saxon, which shows that they held this property before that period. Eighth in descent from John Throe k>- morion, lord of Throckmorton in 1130, was John Throckmorton, lord of Throckmorton's neck, Vredeland, who left issue John Throckmorton, The patentee is now represented by the Throck- mortons of Middletown, New Jersey. Several members of the Throckmorton family appear to have fallen in the Indian massa- ere which took place on the 6th of October, 1643. (6) Upon the 29th of April, 1652, John Throckmorton petitioned the 'director general for leave to transport Throckmorton's neck. In October following permission was granted, whereupon he conveyed the same to Augustine Hermans.