Facts and Events
Probably born in the parish of Ecclesfield, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. ("His surname is rare in England, with a prominent family of the name found at Ecclesfield, Yorkshire, but without a known connection to the New England immigrant." ) An apprentice in Plymouth, Mass. as early as 1643. In 1656 was surveyor of highways and was a juryman in 1657. Became constable for Plymouth on June 7, 1659. Was made a freeman May 1660 at which time he probably moved to Marshfield.
His house was destroyed by fire in 1666. While he and his family were staying with their neighbor John Phillips, there was a thunderstorm. There were 14 people in the sitting room. William Shurtleff was holding his wife Elizabeth's hand and was holding one of his children in his other arm. A stroke of lightning passed down the chimney, which destroyed it, and "smote" almost everyone in the room. William Shurtleff, Mrs. Phillips, and Jeremiah Phillips were instantly killed and the lightning then passed out through the door, splitting it into pieces.
Apprentice to Thomas Clarke.