m. 18 Aug 1609
- Darby Fieldabt 1610 - 1649
Facts and Events
||Boston, Lincolnshire, England
||Exeter, Rockingham, New Hampshire, United States
||4 May 1639
||Exeter, Rockingham, New Hampshire, United StatesSignatory, Exeter, Rockingham, New Hampshire, United States. Exeter Combination
||Sargent's Purchase, Coos, New Hampshire, United StatesFirst known European Ascent of Mount Washington
||Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire, United States
- the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia
Darby Field (1610–1649) was the first European to climb Mount Washington in New Hampshire. Of Irish ancestry, if not born in Ireland, he was in Boston, Massachusetts, by 1636 and settled in Durham, New Hampshire, by 1638, where he ran a ferry from what is now called Durham Point to the town of Newington, across Little Bay. He was known as an Indian translator.
Field's ascent of Mount Washington, in 1642, when he was about 32 years of age, was recorded by Gov. John Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in his journal:
- "One Darby Field, an Irishman, living about Piscataquack, being accompanied with two Indians, went to the top of the white hill. He made his journey in 18 days. His relation at his return was, that it was about one hundred miles from Saco, that after 40 miles travel, he did, for the most part, ascend; and within 12 miles of the top was neither tree nor grass, but low savins [shrubs], which they went upon the top of sometimes, but a continual ascent upon rocks, on a ridge between two valleys filled with snow, out of which came two branches of Saco river, which met at the foot of the hill where was an Indian town of some 200 people. Some of them accompanied him within 8 miles of the top, but durst go no further, telling him that no Indian ever dared to go higher, and that he would die if he went. So they staid there till his return, and his two Indians took courage by his example and went with him. They went divers times through the thick clouds for a good space, and within 4 miles of the top, they had no clouds but very cold. By the way among the rocks, there were two ponds, one a blackish water, and the other reddish [the Lakes of the Clouds]. The top of all was plain about 60 feet square. On the north side was such a precipice [the Great Gulf], as they could scarcely discern to the bottom. They had neither cloud nor wind on the top, and moderate heat. All the country about him seemed a level, except here and there a hill rising above the rest, and far beneath them. He saw to the north, a great water which he judged to be 100 miles broad, but could see no land beyond it."
Darby Field was remarkably accurate in the estimated distances, though the distant bodies of water were like cloud-banks, and his description of the top of Mount Washington was likewise accurate. Field's feat would be repeated only a handful of times over the next 150 years. The account of a party of hikers in 1816 shows that they followed Darby Field's notes as a guide and simply saw him as overenthusiastic at the summit; "The relation of Darby field, may be considered as in the main correct, after making reasonable deductions for the distance, the length of the Muscovy glass, and the quantity of water in view, which it may be suspected has not been seen by any visitor since his time." At that time, mica (Muscovy glass) was used in the manufacturing of stoves and was quite an expensive commodity.
Darby Field and his wife Agnes would have five children before his death in 1649 at Dover, New Hampshire. Mount Field in the Willey Range of the White Mountains is named in his honor.
- Hosmer, James Kendall, ed., and John Winthrop. Winthrop's journal, "History of New England" 1630-1649. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1908), 62-63.
"One Darby Field, an Irishman, living about Pascataquack, being accompanied by two Indians, went to the top of the white hill. He made his journey in 18 days. His relation at his return was, that it was about one hundred miles from Saco, that after 40 miles travel he did, for the most part, ascend, and within 12 miles of the top was neither tree nor grass, but low savins, which they went upon the top of sometimes, but a continual ascent upon rocks, on a ridge between two valleys filled with snow, out of which came two branches of Sacro river, which met at the foot off the hill where was an Indian town of some 200 people. Some of them accompanied him within 8 miles of the top, but durst go no further, telling him that no Indian ever dared to go higher, and that he would die if he went. So they staid there till his return, and his two Indians took courage by his example and went with him. They went divers times through the thick clouds for a good space, and within 4 miles of the top they had no clouds, but very cold. By the way, among the rocks were two ponds, one a blackish water and the other reddish. The top of all was plain about 60 feet square. On the north side there was such a precipice, as they could scarce discern to the bottom. They had neither cloud nor wind on the top, and moderate heat. All the country about him seemed a level, except here and there a hill rising above the rest, but far beneath them. He saw to the north a great water which he judged to be about 100 miles broad, but could see no land beyond it. The sea by Saco seemed as if it had been within 20 miles. He saw also a sea to the eastward, which he judged to be the gulf of Canada; he saw some great waters in parts to the westward, which he judged to be the great lake which Canada river comes out of. He found there much muscovy glass, they could rive out pieces of 40 feet long and 7 or 8 broad. When he came back to the Indians, he found them drying themselves by the fire, for they had a great tempest of wind and rain. About a month after he went agains with five or six in his company, then they had some wind on the top, and some clouds above them which hid the sun. They brought some stones which they supposed had been diamonds, but they were most crystal. See after, another relation more true and exact."
- Frederick Clifton Pierce. Field Genealogy: Being the Record of All the Field Family in America. (Chicago: WB Conkey Co, 1901), 949-950.
"5837. DARBY FIELD ( John, John, William, William, Thomas, Thomas, John, Thomas, Robert), b. Boston, Lincolnshire, England, about 1610; m. ______. Darby Field, called by Winthrop an "Irishman" (but born in England, is the son of John Fielde and Elen Hochinson (Hutchinson) Field, who were married in Boston, Lincolnshire, England, Aug. 18, 1609. In 1636 he came to Boston, driven by religious and political persecution, and for a short time was with his brother Robert. He removed to Exeter, N.H., in 1638, to Dover, N.H., in 1648, here he died in 1649. Tradition goes to show him to have been the brother of Robert Field, who was the son of John. Darby Field was the first European who ascended the White Mountains, which he did in 1642, in company with two Indians. The ascent occupying eighteen days, when he saw "more marvelous things than ever any one has seen since." He was one of the earliest signers of the "Exeter Combination," a compact made by a voluntary association, for governmental purposes, drawn up by their pastor and signed by thirty-five adult males of the settlement of Oyster river, bearing date July 4, 1639."
"...He was living at Oyster river (Durham, N.H.) in 1644, where he was licensed to sell wine. This was no doubt at Durham Point. It is recorded that " Darby Field, of Oyster river, in the river of Piscataqua, county of Norfolk, planter, sold to John Bickford, with a lot of five or six acres adjoining, and all the land to the creek on the road toward Little Bay, except the breadth on said creek, in possession of Thomas Willey." Upon the land sold to Bickford, stood later the Bickford garrison, where soldiers were stationed in 1694. The garrison, long since disappeared, the land where it stood (the Darby Field land) with Little Bay on one side and Oyster river on the other, directly in front the Piscataqua with its verdant isles, swiftly coursing seaward between Newington on the right and Back river district on the left, within a few years passed into the possession of Hon. Jeremiah Langley, who still owns it. On the Dover rate list, Oct. 19, 1648, Darby Field rate at L81, and to pay L1 6s. He had a case in court in 1649, and by most writers is supposed to have died that year. Ambrose Gibbons was appointed to administer on his estate at the court holden in Dover, Aug 1, 1651. His widow was taxed at Oyster river in 1650."
- Wordman, NEHGR, 285, v97.
- Holmes, Frank R. Directory of the ancestral heads of New England families, 1620-1700. (Baltimore, Maryland, United States: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1964).
DARBY, son of John, tenth generation from Roger del Feld, b.Boston, Eng. 1610, came to Boston, Mass., 1636, removed to Exeter, N.H., 1638, and ten years later was at Dover, N.H. ROBERT, tailor, brother of Darby, Berkshire, Eng. came to N.E. in 1635, was at Providence, R.I., 1638, removed to Boston, Mass., 1650, was at Saco, ME, 1653.
- Pope, Charles Henry. The Pioneers of Maine and New Hampshire, 1623-1660. (Boston, Mass: Charles H Pope, 1908), 667-668.
"Darby, an Irishman (sic), resident at Marblehead in 1637. Rem. to Exeter. Signed the comination 5 (4) 1639. Travelled in Maine and went with two Indians up the Saco river valley in 1642. Was the first white man to visit and climb "the White Hill" or one of the peaks of the White mountains. Made the journey from Saco in 18 days. His reports led Thomas Georges and Mr. Vines to make a journey thither in August following."
- Darby Field, in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Exeter, Rockingham, New Hampshire, United States. Exeter Combination. (Exeter, Rockingham, New Hampshire, United States).
The Exeter Combination
- Savage, James. A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England: Showing Three Generations of Those Who Came Before May, 1692, on the Basis of Farmer's Register. (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co, 1860-1862), 2:156.