Person:Richard Mather (1)

m. 14 Sep 1591
  1. Rev. Richard Mather1596 - 1669
  2. Margaret Mather1598 -
  3. Ellin Mather1598 -
  4. Elizabeth Mather1618 - 1690
m. 29 Sep 1624
  1. Rev. Samuel Mather1626 - 1671
  2. Timothy Matherest 1628 - 1684/85
  3. Rev. Nathaniel Mather1630 - 1697
  4. Joseph Matherest 1632 -
  5. Rev. Eleazer Mather1637 - 1669
  6. Rev. Dr. Increase Mather1639 - 1723
m. 26 Aug 1656
Facts and Events
Name[3] Rev. Richard Mather
Gender Male
Birth[3][5] cal 1596 Lowton, Lancashire, England
Education[3] 1618 Brasenose College, Oxford.
Occupation[5] bet 1618 and 1633 Lancashire, EnglandMinister at Toxteth and Prescott
Marriage 29 Sep 1624 Bury, Lancashire, Englandto Katherine Holt
Emigration[3] 1635 On the James of Bristol.
Residence[3] 1635 Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States
Residence[3] 1636 Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States
Occupation[5] bet 1636 and 1669 Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United StatesMinister at Dorchester
Marriage 26 Aug 1656 Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United Statesto Sarah Hawkredd
Will[3] 16 Oct 1661
Will[3] 21 Sep 1664 Codicil.
Death[3][5] 22 Apr 1669 Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States
Probate[3] 24 May 1669 Will proved.
Burial[6] Dorchester North Burying Ground, Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Richard Mather (1596 – 22 April 1669), was a Puritan clergyman in colonial Boston, Massachusetts. He was father to Increase Mather and grandfather to Cotton Mather, both celebrated Boston divines.

The son of Thomas Mather and Margarite Abrams of Lowton, England, Richard was fortunate enough to go to grammar school at his parents insistence, even though he didn't think so at the time. His education was harsh and included daily beatings by the school master. In spite of that he developed a love of learning and became largely self educated after grammar school, a fact that set him apart from his peers. Upon completing his course of study at age 15, he took a position as school teacher in Toxteth. After 3 years of teaching he started studying at Oxford, but dropped out to take a position as a preacher at Toxteth. At this time in England, the Anglican church was the absolute governing authority, and preachers were expected to conform in every way. The puritan ethic was beginning to take hold, however, and Richard embraced it. Desiring not to engage in the puritan "sin of conformity" Richard refused to wear the "Surplice", a papal robe. For 15 years he preached as he saw fit, until he was finally silenced in 1633 by the ecclesiastical authorities for "non-conformity". He was briefly reinstated, then silenced again, permanently, in 1634. At this time he decided to bring his young family to New England.

The journey took a total of six weeks, three of which were spent at sea. Richard kept a log of the journey in which he describes the hardships and storms at sea which they endured to get here. Less than a week after his arrival on August 17, 1636, he accepted the ministry of the North Church in Dorchester, MA and remained there for 50 years. Upon their arrival, Richard and Katherine were given more than 100 acres of land in Dorchester to support themselves and their family. Katherine managed the household, making the decisions about hiring farmhands, buying and selling cattle, and the planting and harvesting, as well as schooling the children, although Richard took over the children's education once they had learned to read. It was customary for boys to leave home at an early age in those days. Thus, four of Richard's five sons went to board at Harvard between the ages of 12 and 16. Timothy was apprenticed out as a farmer. The religious battle Richard waged was as much a political war as a revolution in belief. He wrote four books & sent them to London to be published in an effort to explain and recommend the Congregation form of church. Two of his sons moved back to England to continue the effort there.

  1.   Richard Mather, in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. (Online: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.).
  2.   Mather, Richard, in American National Biography Online.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 Richard Mather, in Anderson, Robert Charles; George F. Sanborn; and Melinde Lutz Sanborn. The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635. (NEHGS, 1999-2011), 5:84-90.

    ORIGIN: Much Woolton, Lancashire [Mather Life 52 (50 - "After his Marriage, he removed his Habitation three miles from Toxteth, to Much-Woolton, having there purchased a House of his own …"]
    MIGRATION: 1635 on the James of Bristol [Young's First Planters 447-81].
    OCCUPATION: Minister. For many years Richard Mather was paid £100 a year for serving as Dorchester minister {DTR 63, 69, 89, 93, 98, 99, 102, 103, 108, 109]. Beginning in 1662, from which date he shared the Dorchester ministerial duties with William Stoughton, Mather received diminished compensation, with the annual salary for the last few years of his live settling at £80 [DTR 112, 116, 123, 128, 136, 145, 155, 162, 163].
    CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: On 25 October 1635, "Richard Mather and Katherine his wife" were admitted to Boston church (BChR 19]. On 23 August 1636, after the first church organized at Dorchester had removed to Windsor, a second church was organized, with Richard Mather as minister. Among the founders of this church, "Katharin Mather" was second in the list of women members [DChR 1-2].
    EDUCATION: Admitted to Brasenose College, Oxford, 9 May 1618, but did not take a degree [Foster 3:987; Morison 388-89].
    BIRTH: About 1596 (aged 22 at admission to Oxford on 9 May 1618 [Foster 3:987]; d. 22 April 1669 in "the 73 year of his age" [DVR 27]), son of Thomas and Margaret (Abraham) Mather of Lowton, Lancashire [Magnalia 444; NEHGR 54:348-49].
    DEATH: Dorchester 22 April 1669 ("Mr. Richard Mather, the Reverend Teacher of the Church of Dorchester, departed this life, the 22d (Month 2) 1669, the 73 year of his age" [DVE 27; see also Hull 229]).

  4.   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), 3:174.

    Richard (Mather), Dorchester, s. of Thomas, b. 1596, of an ancient fam. as his gr.s. Cotton in Magn. III. c. 20, assures us, at Lowton, in the parish of Winwick, Lancash. was employ. in teach. a sch. some yrs. bef. going to the Univ. but at length, on 9 May 1618, was ent. of Brazen Nose Coll. Oxford, yet soon call. to Toxteth, where he had taught the sch. preach. his first sermon 30 Nov. of the same yr. There most faithful. he serv. 15 yrs. and was then suspend. for non-conform. and feeling the true sense of his office, resolved on expatriat. In disguise he emb. at Bristol in the James, arr. 17 Aug. 1635, aft. peril in the remarka. storm two days bef. and on 25 Oct. with w. Catharine join. the ch. of Boston. He had m. 29 Sept. 1624, that d. of Edmund Holt, Esquire, of Bury, in Lancash. had Samuel, b. 13 May 1626, H. C. 1643; Timothy; Nathaniel, 20 Mar. 1630, H. C. 1647, bef. ment.; and Joseph, wh. d. in childhood; aft. com. to N. E. had Eleazer, 13 May 1637, H. C. 1656; and Increase, 21 June 1639, H. C. 1656, bef. ment. He was a man of excel. discretion, of less learning, it is prob. than his ambitious s. Increase, and less brilliancy, it is clear, than his eccentr. gr.s. the never dying author of Magnalia, but in true serv. as min. happier than either, and better than both. He was sett. at D. 23 Aug. 1636; his w. d. 1655, and he m. 26 Aug. 1656, Sarah, wid. of his great friend John Cotton, and d. 22 Apr. 1669. A few days bef. he had met a great indignity, in being refus. adm. with sundry others, sent by an ecclesiast. council, met at Boston, to attempt conciliat. in the first ch. there, as John Hull, one of the aggriev. mem. relates in his Diary, p. 229 of the Vol. pub. by the Antiq. Soc of Worcester. The wid. made her will 3 May 1670, but did not d. for six yrs. His life, written by Increase, print. 1670, is condensed in the Magn. the author of wh. could never be scrupulous in use of materials; and of course he shows that he had not resort. to the MS. of the journal of his gr.f. Yet the slight extracts from the interesting work, caused a desire for the orig. wh. in Young's Chron. was print. from the autogr. 210 yrs. aft. its date.

  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Richard Mather, in Weis, Frederick Lewis. The Colonial Clergy and the Colonial Churches of New England. (Lancaster, Massachusetts: The Society of the Descendants of the Colonial Clergy, 1936), 136.

    Richard Mather, b. Lowton, Winwick, Lancashire, England, 1596, son of Thomas and Margaret Mather; Brazenose Coll., Oxford, matric. May 6, 1618; Ord. Toxteth, Co. Lancaster, 1618; Toxteth and Prescott, Lancashire, 1618-1633; suspended 1633, for non-conformity; came to N. E. 1635; inst. Dorchester, Aug. 23, 1636; sett. Dorchester, 1636-1669; published the Bay Psalm Book and other works; Artillery Election Sermon, 1656; Election Sermons, 1660, 1664; his portrait is owned by the American Antiquarian Soc.; d. Dorchester, Apr. 22, 1669.

  6. Rev Richard Mather, in Find A Grave.
  7.   Hurd, D. Hamilton (Duane Hamilton). History of Norfolk County, Massachusetts, with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men. (Philadelphia: J. W. Lewis & Co., 1884), Pages 415-417, 1884.

    One of the wealthiest portions of Lancashire is confined in the area bounded thus: Beginning at Liverpool, the southwest boundary of Lancashire, and following the coast line of the Irish Sea twenty miles north, we reach the river Ribble; from there going eastward fifteen miles, thence south to Manchester and down the river to Liverpool. This section is rich in coal-mines, quarries of useful stones, iron-works, and is the wealthiest cotton-manufacturing district in the world. Through the centre of this territory the Athertons for nearly one thousand years have had immense possessions, which were increased by marrying heiresses, until it became one of the richest families of the great commoners of England. In their manorial estate the town of Atherton lies ten miles northwest of Manchester; here the family originated, and Robert de Atherton (1) lived (1199-1216) as the shreve (high sheriff) of the county under King John, and held the manor of Atherton of the barons of Warrington. William de Atherton, his son, held the manors of Atherton and Pennington (1251). (By intermarriage with the Derby family the title is now vested in that line.) William Atherton (3), of Atherton (1312), had wife Agnes (1339), whose son Henry Atherton (4), of Atherton (1316-30), married Agnes (1387), and had for second son Sir William Atherton (5), of Atherton (1351), knight. He married, first, Jane, daughter of William and sister of Sir Ralphe Woberly, knight; married, second, Margerie, a widow (1396). In the private chapel of the Athertons, in the parish church of Leigh, is a family vault, and the arms of the family hang there. As entered in the Visitation of Sir William Dugdale Norrey, King of Arms (1664-65), they are : Gules, three sparrowhawks, argent crest; a swan, argent, another crest; on a perch a hawk billed, proper. By first wife, William Atherton (5) had Sir William Atherton (6), knight; born 1381; died 1416 ; his wife was Agnes, sole daughter and heiress of Ralphe Vernon, Baron of Shipbroke. Their third child, Sir William Atherton (7), knight, married, first, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Pilkinton, knight; by her had Margaret and Sir William Atherton (8), who married Margaret, daughter of Sir John Byron, knight, and died in 1441. Among their children was John Atherton (9), whose son George (10), born 1487, by first wife, Anne Ashton, had Sir John Atherton (11), knight, born 1514; died 1513; married, first, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Alexander Ratcliffe, knight. This marriage was recorded in the Visitation of 1533, where the arms were also entered; he married, second, Margaret, daughter of Thomas Caterall. He was high sheriff under three sovereigns, in 1551, 1555, and 1561, and commander of the Military Hundred in 1553. Among his children was John (12), Esq., born 1556; high sheriff 1583, who was twice married ; first, to Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Byron, knight; second, to Katherine, daughter and co-heiress of John, Lord Conyers, of Hornby Castle. By each wife he had a son John; the first John (13), of Atherton, who had John (14), died in 1646 ; married Eleanor, daughter of Sir Thomas Ireland, of Beansey, Knight. They had numerous children; one John (15), high sheriff, died in 1655; the second, John Atherton, of Skelton, was heir to his mother's large estate and title. We have thus far followed the line of heirship, the scions, all worthy representatives of the name, being found in different parts of the country. As the American branch deflected at this period, we have no need of further tracing the English family.

    In 1613, Edmund Atherton did in Wigan, Lancashire, his son and next heir, Humphrey, being at this time four years old, thus giving his birth in 1608. This Humphrey is referred to by Mr. Brown in an article on "The Atherton family in England," "New England Historical and Genealogical Register," January, 1881, as perhaps being the identical Humphrey Atherton, major-general of Dorchester, progenitor of the American line. That they are different persons is clearly shown by the fact that Gen. Atherton was killed in 1661, when only thirty-six years old. The other Humphrey would have been fifty-three years old at this time. Humphrey Atherton, born in Lancashire, perhaps son of above, married Mary Wales, probably daughter of John Wales, of Idle, England, and, with three children, Jonathan, Isabel (married Nathaniel Wales, Jr.), and Elizabeth came in the ship "James" from Bristol to America in 1635. Rev. Richard Mather, in his journal of the voyage, names but few of the one hundred passengers, among them Nathaniel Wales, whose will was witnessed by Humphrey Atherton who was styled in it "loving brother-in-law." They settled in Dorchester. Humphrey was married when an infant. His first child was born when he was fourteen years old, and his wife thirteen. They had twelve children, those mentioned above and the following nine born in Dorchester: Consider, Mary, Margaret, Rest, Increase, Thankful, Hope, Watching, and Patience. Appleton's "American Encyclopaedia" says this of him, "Atherton, Humphrey, a military officer whose name is mentioned with much honor in the early annals of Massachusetts. He came from England about 1636, when he signed the covenant of the church of Dorchester. He was admitted as a freeman in 1638, and was deputy in the General Court from Dorchester for that year, and also in 1639-41, and in 1653, from Springfield, when he was chosen Speaker. The next year he was chosen assistant and soon after Major-General. He was much employed in negotiations with the Indians, and made use of his influence with them in a great purchase in the colony of Rhode Island. He died by a fall from his house, at Boston, Sept. 17, 1661. The manner of his death is made matter of comment by Hubbard as one of the judgments of God." His wife died in 1672. In the old Dorchester cemetery is this epitaph:

    "Here lies our Captain & Major of Suffolk was withall; A godly magistrate was he, and Major General; Two troop horse with him here comes, such worth his love did crave. Ten companies of foot also mourning march to his grave, Let all that read be sure to keep the faith as he has done With Christ he lives now around his name was Humphrey Atherton."

    Consider (2 American gen.), son of Humphrey, married Anne Annably, Dec. 14, 1671. His son Humphrey (3), had a son John (4), who became "deacon," and whose son John (5), married Mary, daughter of Rev. Jedediah Adams, the first settled pastor of Stoughton, where he ministered with great acceptability for many years (see "History of First Parish," on another page). They had nine children, John, Jedediah, Humphrey, Mary, Rachel, Elijah, Samuel, Mary, and Nathan. Samuel (6), born Sept. 19, 1784, was a man much esteemed, possessing good sterling qualities. He was a farmer, owning about eighty acres of the homestead of his father near Stoughton Centre, on which he was born and lived his long life of over ninety-two years. He married Feb. 28, 1811, Abigail, daughter of Ralph and Abigail (Soran) Pope, of Stoughton. She came of an old New England family of repute, the first American ancestor, John Pope, coming about 1633 from the neighborhood of London, England, and settling in 1640 in "Dorchester New Grant," now Stoughton, the line being John (1), John (2), Ralph (3), Ralph (4) (a physician of great kindness and benevolence), Col. Frederick (5) (he was a justice, colonel, serving in 1756 with his regiment on the Canada frontier in the French and Indian war; was State representative from Stoughton. In the Revolution, when the summons came to take the field he was plowing. Taking the harness from his horse he at once made ready, and with his two eldest sons, Ralph and Samuel Ward, joined the army. He served in several campaigns, his sons acting as his aids. His third son, Alexander, then but sixteen, fulfilled faithfully the task of carrying on the farm and supporting the family), Ralph (6) (he was born in Stoughton, 1759, and died 1797. He served through the Revolution; married Abigail, daughter of Maj. Robert and Rachel (Draper) Swan, born 1761, died 1852, aged ninety-one. Their daughter, Abigail (7), who married Samuel Atherton, was born in Stoughton, Mass., Dec. 5, 1785, dying March 19, 1868, aged eighty-two years, three and a half months). Samuel Atherton was of energetic temperament, cheerful disposition, eminently social, enjoying humor, and always ready with some bright remark, pointed with fun. He was honest, straightforward, prudent, saving, and perfectly just in all the relations of life. He had musical tastes, was a great singer, and when prevented sometimes from talking by an impediment (stammering) which afflicted him, he would sing clearly the words he wished to speak. He and his brother Nathan were among the originators of the "Stoughton Musical Society." He was selectman in his younger days, and held other positions of trust. Although a great sufferer from rheumatism in his later years, he continued cheerful even to the time of his death. He was very fond of his brother, Nathan, four years his junior; they lived all their lives a few rods apart; both attained great age, and died within three months of each other; Nathan's death occurring Nov. 13, 1876, at eighty-eight. A short time previous to his death, Nathan walked to and from church for morning service, a distance of two and a quarter miles.

    Samuel was a successful farmer, and at one time the largest land-holder in town. He voted at every election from 1805 till 1876, when his last vote was cast for the Hayes electoral ticket. The children of Samuel and Abigail Atherton were six, -Mary (Mrs. William Belcher), Vashti (Mrs. James Swan), Samuel, Abigail (Mrs. Joseph Swan), James, and William. James Atherton (7) - Humphrey (1), Consider (2), Humphrey (3), John (4), John (5), Samuel (6) -was born on the homestead mentioned above May 6, 1819. He had common-school and academic education ; remained with his father on the farm until he was of age, teaching, however, several terms of winter schools. He married, first, May 5, 1853, Phebe, daughter of John and Phebe Reed, born in Boston, Feb. 9, 1831, died March 11, 1868. Her father was a civil officer of Boston for many years, and was strong, fearless, and uncompromising in the discharge of duty. His ancestors trace their origin through early New England to one of England's most honored families, dating from a period anteceding the Norman conquest by over a century, and which has, in each successive -generation, held places high in the counsels of royalty. After marriage, Mr. Atherton continued on the old place, and there began the manufacture of boots with his brother William, under the firm title of J. & W. Atherton. This firm continued in business some years, and was prosperous. It was finally merged with the firm of Atherton, Stetson & Co., a solid Boston house, the Athertons being Samuel, James, and William. James' health not being robust, after his business energies had been rewarded with a sufficient competency, he retired from active labor. This was in 1867, his connection with Atherton, Stetson & Co. ceasing in 1861. About 1838 he removed to : the house now occupied by his sons. His children, all by his first wife, are James (8), born July 26, 1854; William (8), April 30, 1859; and Walter (8), March 18, 1863. Mr. Atherton married, second, Mary B. Marshall, of Boston, June 1, 1869. She died Feb. 5, 1880. Always in delicate health, Mr. Atherton was a man of energy, and accomplished much. In early life he was fond of discussions, and took an active part in debating societies. He was a quick and ready speaker, a clear logician, and there showed the sound judgment which distinguished him in later life. He was a great reader, and kept abreast of the current of the world's affairs, and always liked to discuss matters of thought and moment. He engaged but little in public life, devoted himself wholly to his business, which rewarded his attention with a liberal competency. This was not obtained by any of the fraudulent devices so common in business life, but the motto, dated 1855, which, worn by long use, was found in his pocket-book after his death, furnishes the motive which actuated him through all life's changes, and is a better delineation of his character than any words of ours: "Do unto others as you would that others should do to you under like circumstances." He sympathized with the Universalist creed, attended its services, and was active and liberal in all church matters. He was systematic and orderly in all things. A good citizen, aiding much in building up the interests of Stoughton, his counsel was often sought in critical and important affairs. He was Whig and Republican in politics.

The James of Bristol (1635)
At least three ships called the James sailed in 1635 from England to New England. This one sailed with the Angel Gabriel and three smaller ships, the Bess, the Diligent, and the Mary. The James and the Angel Gabriel were caught in a great storm off the coast of North America. The Angel Gabriel wrecked off the coast of Maine, the James survived barely, making it to Boston after more than 12 weeks at sea.
Sailed: 4 June 1635 from King's Road, Bristol, England under Master John Taylor
Arrived: 17 Aug 1635 at Boston, Massachusetts.

at least 28
Thomas Armitage and family - Barnabas and Dina Fawer - George and Jane Kendrick - Richard Mather and family - Rev. Daniel Maude - Matthew Mitchell and family - John Smith and family - Nathaniel Wales

Resources: Richard Mather's Journal - Passenger List

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