Captain Richard Wright
d.aft 15 Mar 1667/8 Podunk, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Facts and Events
Richard Wright was born abt 1598 in England and came to New England with the Winthrop fleet in 1630. He was accompanied by three of his daughters and his mother, Margaret Wright. (His two daughters in depositions made seventy-one years later, said that they had come with "their father," with no mention of a mother.)
Harris and Prittie (1994) state that Richard Wright married a woman named Margaret in Stepney, Middlesex, England on Jan. 8, 1625/26, though they claim she was not the mother of his five daughters.
Research has shown that there were probably two Richard Wrights living in New England at the same time: Richard Wright the tailor of Plymouth, and Richard Wright the millwright of Rehoboth. Richard Wright of Rehoboth may have been the son of a Rev. Richard Wright, a Fellow at Eton and rector of Everdon, Northampton from 1613-1638. The reverend had a wife named Frances and children named Richard (born 1598), Theodore, John, Samuel, Nathaniel, and Anthony. However, Harris and Prittie imply that Richard of Rehoboth's parents have yet to be substantiated by solid research. The first positive separation of the two men is on 5 June 1638, when at an inquisition at the General Court, held at Plymouth, Richard Wright was one of the fifteen "honest and lawful men of the colony." At this time there was a Richard Wright known to be in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. From this date on the records of the two men are distinct and separate. The Plymouth man, married in 1644 and died in 1691, was young enough to have been a son of the Massachusetts man.
Richard Wright of Rehoboth emigrated from Stepney, Middlesex, England. He was a "captain" who arrived in Boston in 1630 on the Winthrop Fleet as an agent to Col. Sir John Humphrey, establishing Humphrey's grant in Saugus (which then included Lynn, Nahant, Saugus, Swampscott, and Marblehead).
Life in New England
Savage and Pope knew little about him.
In 1629 Colonel Humfrey was chosen deputy governor of the Massachusetts Company, but, as he decided to remain in England, Thomas Dudley was elected to fill his place. Richard Wright proceeded to take up the lands at Saugus (Lynn) granted Colonel Humfrey and develop into the "plaine farme," erecting the houses and buildings, and getting the place ready for the arrival of the owner. In 1634 Colonel Humfrey came to New England and established himself at Saugus.
Capt. Wright's duties included "perambulating" the Salem-Swampscott border with Salem representatives, to make sure the boundary markers were in good condition. He evidently later moved to Braintree, then Rehoboth in 1641. His name appears frequently in early Rehoboth records. On May 28, 1645, he and son-in-law William Sabin were appointed to collect taxes. A 1648 record reveals that William Sabin was operating a mill previously owned by Richard. On Dec 2, 1672, William Sabin registered a deed selling land to Anthony Perry on Sept. 18, 1654, "16 acres of salt marsh" that Sabin purchased from his father-in-law.
There is a Richard Wright listed as #8 in Lists of purchases, settlers and inhabitants about 1643 in Vital Records of Rehoboth, Supplement, p. 910. Him or a son? There is also a Richard Wright listed as one of the firsr Board of Selectmen, chosen 9th of 10th month (December), 1644.
One daughter married William Sabin of Rehoboth abt. 1639 and she died about 1661. The other two daughters married Robert Sharpe and James Clarke, both of Rehoboth, Massachusetts. All four families had adjoining properties in Rehoboth.
Richard Wright was a staunch member of Samuel Newman's church, and when he went to England he may have carried to the printer the manuscript of Mr. Newman's new 1650 concordance to the Bible. There is no record of anyone else from Rehoboth going to England at this time.
There are two recorded deaths for the name Richard Wright: on July 9, 1691 a Richard Wright died at Muddy River, Brookline, MA, and a second Richard Wright (born 1608) died in Plymouth the same year. Neither of them is definitively known to be the father-in-law of William Sabin.