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Deacon Edmund Rice
b.abt 1594 Stanstead, Suffolk, England
d.3 May 1663 Marlborough, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States
m. 15 OCT 1618
Facts and Events
In 1858, Andrew Henshaw Ward found the baptism of several of Edmund Rice's children in Barkhamstead, Hertfordshire, showing he had moved there by 1627. Then, in 1933 Mary Lovering Holman pushed our knowledge a little further back, finding the baptisms of his first three children starting in 1619 at Stansted, Suffolk. His marriage to Thomasine Frost of Stansted took place in 1618 at St. Mary's Church, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk (The Genealogist 6:132). There is no baptism record for Edmund Rice in any of those places, and attempts to find his birth place and parentage have been unsuccessful. The Edmund Rice Association has compiled what IS known:
No passenger list has yet been found that names him.
The "Great Puritan Exodus," as it is called, took place during the eleven years when Charles I ruled without a Parliament (1629-1640). Of the 26,000 inhabitants of New England at the end of 1640, all but about five hundred had come during those years. After 1640, the movement ceased almost as suddenly as it had begun, and was not renewed to any great extent until about 1790. After 1640, the Puritans became dominant at home and had, therefore, no further desire, nor reason to leave, while after the restoration there was such a revulsion of feeling that emigration was not renewed. For one hundred and fifty years from 1640, the people of New England continued to multiply almost entirely by natural increase and in remarkable seclusion from the rest of the world.(*) So slight, indeed, was the inflow of outsiders that for many years it is supposed those returning to England more than counterbalanced those coming from there.
(*)Practically the only emigration during that time was a small but steady inflow of mariners and merchants, who located at the sea ports; and about 10,000 Scotch-Irish from the north of Ireland who came between 1715 and 1740, and settled in the frontier towns of New Hampshire and Maine.
Life in New England
1638: Bullard & Allied Families claims he was in Boston by this time. By the Name of Rice claims:
Edmund Rice's house was situated on the "Old North Street", near Mill brook. He received his proportion of "Meadowlands", which were divided "to the present inhabitants" under dates of 4 September 1639, 20 April, and 18 November 164-, his share being 42 1/2 acres. He shared in all the division of Uplands and Commons - the total number of acres which fell to his lot, as an original inhabitant, was 247.
1639: The first New England record of him found so far is in the township book of the town of Sudbury 1639, when he was appointed to lay out the plantation. (Savage)
1640: Made freeman 13 May (Sudbury); had son Benjamin, b. 31 May
1643: Made deacon; deputy to the general court.
1654: His wife died 18 June. Sumner Chilton Powell in the book Puritan Village claims he was the largest individual landholder in Sudbury.
1655 m2 Mercy HURD, widow of Thomas Brigham, on 1 March.
1656: One of 13 petitioners (included his sons Edward and Henry Rice) who requested a new plantation (which would become Marlborough); Rice family moved here. The size of the these lots ranged from 50 acres down to 16 acres, and the wealth, ability to improve the land, as well as active participation in the founding of the settlement were considerations in determining the house lot size for each individual. The fifty-acre men were Edmond Rice, William Ward, John Ruddocke, and John Howe....
1657: Elected Selectman in Marlborough
1659: Daughter Ruth was born 29 September
1660: Marlborough named and incorporated. Rice served as Deputy to Massachusetts General Court.
1661: Daughter Ann born 19 November
The records of Sudbury and Marlborough reveal that he was actively engaged in the welfare of both communities.
Edmund Rice died in Marlborough 3 May 1663 and was buried in Sudbury. (By the Name of Rice claims he was buried in Wayland, MA.) One possible site of the grave is marked by a monument designed by Arthur Wallace Rice of Boston, MA. It was dedicated by the Edmund Rice Association on 29 August 1914. A boulder with a bronze tablet was also erected by the Association and it marks Edmund's homestead on the Old Connecticut Path in Wayland. (By the Name of Rice...)
He left no will. The inventory of his estate was taken both at Sudbury and Marlborough on 16 May 1663. His widow, Mercy (Hurd) (Brigham) Rice, survived him and as admnistratix, settled his estate. She later married William Hunt. Edmund left a large family. Ten of his twelve children survived to have children.
1. John Buczek, History of Marlborough: "HISTORY: An In Depth Look Source Program Book - Marlborough Tercentenary Celebration " [web site]
2. Winsor's Narrative and Critical History of America, 3, p. 312.
3. Mary Lovering Holman, "English Notes on Edmund Rice", The American Genealogist, volume 10 (1933/34), p. 133-137
4. Donald Lines Jacobus, "Pre-American Ancestries: Edmund Rice of Sudbury, Mass.", TAG, Vol II (1936), pp 14-21.
5. Gary Boyd Roberts, Senior Researcher, NEHGS
6. "Thomasine Frost Rice ancestry, Sudbury, MA," American Genealogist . Demorest, GA: Jul 1988. Vol. 63 Iss. 3
7. Ebenezer Parker, _The Story of the Rice Boys: Captured by the Indians_ Westborough Historical Society, 1906
8. Sudbury Records - Vitals taken from Middlesex records, NEHGS, Register, volumes 17-18.
9. Ella D. King, An Interim Tracing of the Ancestry of Valarie Daly King, 1956; p. 24
10. Charles Elmer Rice, By the Name of Rice: Edmund Rice and His Family, 1911.
11. Andrew Henshaw Ward, Genealogical History of the Rice Family, 1858.
For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Edmund Rice (1638).