Person:Mercy Sprague (1)

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Mercy Sprague
b.ABT 1620 London, England
d.AFT JUL 1668 Rhode Island
m. ABT 1613
  1. Mercy SpragueABT 1620 - AFT 1668
  2. Anna SpragueAbt 1622 -
  3. Mary SpragueABT 1625 -
  4. John SpragueABT 1632 - 1676
  5. Dorcas SpragueAbt 1638 -
m. 9 Nov 1637
  1. Bethyah Tubbs
  2. Samuel Tubbs1638 - bef 1696
  3. William TubbsAbt 1654 - 1718
m. 9 NOV 1637
Facts and Events
Name[1] Mercy Sprague
Gender Female
Birth? ABT 1620 London, England
Other? 1623 From England On The AnneEmigrated
Marriage 9 Nov 1637 Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United Statesto William Alfred Tubbs
Marriage 9 NOV 1637 to Samuel TUBBS
Divorce 7 Jul 1668 from William Alfred Tubbs
Death? AFT JUL 1668 Rhode Island

Mercy and her problems are in the Records of the New Plymouth Colony Court Orders (mostly Volume 1). Copies can be obtained from the Plymouth County Commissioners, the Mayflower Society.

From Margery Freas


On 2 Mar 1651/1652 Mercy Tubbs was warned to appear "to answer for mixed dancing for which she was cleared by admonition". On 3 Oct 1663, she was fined 50 shillings as was Joseph Rogers for "obsean & lacivous behavior each with the other." Rogers lost his status as Lt. at the time but the court reestablished it on 6 Jun 1664. On 8 Jun 1664, William was allowed to "disown all debts that she (Mercy) shall make". On 3 Jun 1668, the court wrote to Mercy in Rhode Island to inform her that if she didn't return to her husband before the first Tuesday in July, then William would be divorced from her.

One Joseph Rogers in June, 1663, was ordered to removed his dwelling from Manassakeesett, because he had been keeping company with Mercy Sprague Tubbs "in a manner as have given cause at least to suspect that there hath been lasiviouse acts commited by them". Rogers was threatened with severe whipping if he were found near Mercy or the Tubbs' house again. William was ordered not to allow Rogers to come to his house. A Joseph Rogers (1607-1678) was a Mayflower passenger, died Eastham, Jan 1678. He was a freeman, 1633, and ran the ferry over the Jones River. Joseph has a son, Joseph, Jr., who was killed 1660. No knowledge if this is the Joseph with whom Mercy Sprague Tubbs is accused of consorting. Joseph, Sr., was a son of Thomas who died soon after landing.

She was married to William Tubbs on 9 Nov 1637.(Sprague, Warren Vincent. "Sprague Families in America". Rutland, Vt: The Tuttle Company, Printer, 1913. page 11. ) (Gordon Alan Morris, correspondent in GenServe Data Base MORO6NA. craa6hb) (Anderson, Robert Charles. "The Great Migration Begins" Immigrants to New England 1620-1623". New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, 1995. Volume III, page 1727.) She was divorced from William Tubbs on 7 Jul 1668. (Betty M. Lichty, correspondent. "Drawn from material created by Arthur R. Mandeville".) William Tubbs was born about 1615 in Sutton, Isle of Ely, Cambridge, England. (Gordon Alan Morris, correspondent in GenServe Data Base MORO6NA. craa6hb) He was a Surveyor of Highways between 1678 and 1685 in Duxbury, Plymouth Co., MA. (Cynthia Ann Georgen, correspondent) He died on 2 May 1688 in Duxbury, Plymouth Co., MA. (Ibid. craa6hb).

From Margery Freas.On 2 Mar 1651/1652 Mercy Tubbs was warned to appear "to answer for mixed dancing for which she was cleared by admonition". On 3 Oct 1663, she was fined 50 shillings as was Joseph Rogers for "obsean & lacivous behavior each with the other." Rogers lost his status as Lt. at the time but the court reestablished it on 6 Jun 1664. On 8 Jun 1664, William was allowed to "disown all debts that she (Mercy) shall make". On 3 Jun 1668, the court wrote to Mercy in Rhode Island to inform her that if she didn't return to her husband before the first Tuesday in July, then William would be divorced from her.One Joseph Rogers in June, 1663, was ordered to removed his dwelling from Manassakeesett, because he had been keeping company with Mercy Sprague Tubbs "in a manner as have given cause at least to suspect that there hath been lasiviouse acts commited by them". Rogers was threatened with severe whipping if he were found near Mercy or the Tubbs' house again. William was ordered not to allow Rogers to come to his house. A Joseph Rogers (1607-1678) was a Mayflower passenger, died Eastham, Jan 1678. He was a freeman, 1633, and ran the ferry over the Jones River. Joseph has a son, Joseph, Jr., who was killed 1660. No knowledge if this is the Joseph with whom Mercy Sprague Tubbs is accused of consorting. Joseph, Sr., was a son of Thomas who died soon after landing.From Paul Earl, correspondent.I found some original court transcripts about Mercy Sprague. Very racy stuff for the 1600s! I wonder why Joseph Rogers was threatened to be whipped instead of Mercy. I thought in those days, the punishments primarily fell upon the woman...the scarlet letter etc.I wonder if it had anything to do with her family being one of the wealthier ones in New England. If so, it may have played a part in William Tubbs' difficulty in getting a divorce.Mar. 1651/2 Mercy was before the Court "to answare for mixed dauncing". She was cleared of this charge with an admonishment (PCR III-5). At Court held 3 March 1662/3 Joseph Rogers "complaineth against Rebeckah and Allice Pierce" asking for damages of £20 for saying that he and Mercy Tubbs were seen lying under a blanket. However Joseph did not appear when the case was called and was non-suited. Therefore it seems the gossip was factual. At the next session of Court, 1 June 1663 "the Court being informed that Josepth Rogers of Namasakeesett hath frequently and from time kept companie with Merceye, the wife of William Tubbs, in a way and after such a manor as hath given cause att least to suspect that there hath been laciuiouse (lascivious) actes committed by them, the Court . . . hath required (him) to remove his dwelling . . . and that if att any time he shall bee taken . . . in companie of the said Merceye Tubbs . . . he shall (be) seuerly whipt." (PCR IV-42)Not daunted, the couple persisted. So at October Court "Wee present Josepth Rogers and Merceye Tubbs, for that they were both lyeing together one night on a bed, under a rugg, before the fier; and also the same Merceye Tubbs for that att another time she carried vnseemly in the presence of Josepth Rogers." The jury gave a verdict of true presentment (guilty). Joseph and Mercy were each heavily fined. Mercy apparently left home at this time. Shortly thereafter William Paybody (Peabody) granted William a divorce, but the Court overruled him 8 June 1664, fining Paybody £5 for making a writing regarding William Tubbs marriage vows". (PCR IV- 66) At the same Court session William published, with regard to Mercy, that he was "disowning all debts that shee shall make vnto any from this time forward." (PCR IV-66) John Arthur was in Court 1 August 1665 "for entertaining the wife of one Talmon and the wife of William Tubbs". (PCR IV-104)William periodically petitioned for a divorce until 3 June 1668 when his pleas were recognized and notice sent to Mercy through the government at RI, where she was living, to return to William or lose all rights and claims against him. (PCR IV-187) Her negative reply was received by 7 July 1668 and the Court that day gave William his divorce. "Mercy have for four years and upward" absented herself. (PCR IV-192)William Tubbs & Mercy Sprague

Resided at Rhode Island after divorce in 1668

References
  1. Researcher.