b.abt 1605 Alford, Lincolnshire, England
Facts and Events
John Sanford (c. 1605 – 1653), was an early settler of Boston, Massachusetts, an original settler of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, and a governor of the combined towns of Portsmouth and Newport, in the Rhode Island colony, dying in office after serving for less than a full term. He had some military experience in England, and also was a employee of Massachusetts magistrate John Winthrop's household prior to sailing to New England in 1631 with Winthrop's wife and oldest son. After living in Boston for six years, and being the cannoneer there, a divisive religious controversy arose, and Sanford was disarmed for supporting his mother-in-law, Anne Hutchinson, who was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Compelled to leave Massachusetts as well, he and many others signed an agreement to form a government, then settled in Portsmouth in the Rhode Island colony. Here he became a lieutenant, assistant, chief magistrate of Portsmouth, then governor of the two island towns of Portsmouth and Newport in 1653 following the repeal of William Coddington's commission to govern the island. During his administration, the two island towns slowly negotiated a reunion with the two mainland towns of Providence and Warwick.
In his will, dated 22 June 1653 and proved 20 November 1653, John Sanford bequeathed to wife Bridget "my new dwelling house in which I live," with adjoining land and one-third of the moveables for life; to his son John certain land and the ferry; to son Samuel forty acres at Black Point with some moveables, including a great Bible; to son Peleg, at age, twenty acres at Black Point, with some moveables; to sons Restcome, William, Esbon and Elisha land at Black Point; to daughter Eliphal £100, of which £60 at her marriage and £40 at her mother's marriage; and to daughter Anne £60 at marriage [ NEHGR 103:211, citing Sanford vs. Sanford, Newport County Court Files, 1725-27]. The inventory of the estate of John Sanford, taken 15 November 1653, totalled £824 11s. 1d., with no real estate included [ NEHGR 103:211, citing Sanford vs. Sanford, Newport County Court Files, 1725-27; Portsmouth Scrapbook].
On 20 November 1653 John Sanford of Portsmouth gave a receipt to "my mother Brigit Sanford of the same executrix to my father John Sanford deceased" for his share of the estate [ PoTR 324]. On the same day Samuel Sanford of Portsmouth also gave a receipt to his mother [ PoTR 324-25].