Person:Herodius Long (1)

  • HJohn Hicks1605 - Bef 1672
  • WHerodius Longabt 1623 - after 1671
m. abt 1637
  1. John Hicks1636 - 1728
  • HGeorge Gardinerest 1615 - abt 1677
  • WHerodius Longabt 1623 - after 1671
m. abt 1645
  1. Benoni GardinerAbt 1637 - abt 1731
  2. Henry Gardiner1645 - 1744
  3. George GardinerAbt 1647 - Bef 1724
  4. William GardinerABT 1650 - bef 1710/11
  5. Nicholas GardinerABT 1654 -
  6. Dorcas Gardinerabt 1656 - bef 1702
  7. Rebecca GardinerAbt 1658 -
  • HJohn Porter
  • WHerodius Longabt 1623 - after 1671
m. abt 1665
Facts and Events
Name Herodius Long
Alt Name Herodias Long
Gender Female
Birth? abt 1623 London, London, England
Marriage abt 1637 London, Englandto John Hicks
Marriage abt 1645 Quidnessett, Washington, Rhode Island, United Statesthey were not formally married, but lived together as husband and wife
to George Gardiner
Divorce abt 1645 Long Island, New York, United Statesfrom John Hicks
Marriage abt 1665 to John Porter
Separation 3 May 1665 Rhode Island, United Statesfrom George Gardiner
Death? after 17 Dec 1671 Pettaquamscutt Lake Shores, Washington, Rhode Island, United States
Alt Death? 1722 Rhode Island, United States

The parents of Herodias Long were Robert and Elizabeth Long

Herodias Long was born in England about 1623. She was sent to London when her father died to marry John Hicks. She claimed to be between 13 and 14 years old at the time. Soon after their marriage, her husband took her to the New World, first to Weymouth in Massachusetts Bay Colony, then to Newport in the colony of Rhode Island. In 1643, she asked for a divorce, claiming John Hicks had beaten her. The court granted her the divorce and by 1645 it appears she was living with George Gardiner as his common-law wife. They had 7 children together. On 11 May 1658, she went back to Weymouth, "through the wilderness with a babe at her breast", and accompanied by a girl Mary Stanton who helped to carry her child [distance about 60 miles] to testify in favor of the Quakers then on trial at Weymouth. There they were arrested and taken before Gov. Endicott by whom they were imprisoned 2 weeks and flogged with ten stripes each. After her release and otherwise from 1645 to 1664, Herodias seems to have lived quietly and in good repute as Gardiner's wife. Then Herodias met John Porter. Herodias Gardiner decided that she had had enough of George Gardiner. The woman who could withstand the marital violence of John Hicks and the ten stripes of Governor Endicott when she made up her mind, did not shrink from the problem of getting rid of George Gardiner. In 1664, she presented a petition to the King's commissioners asking for a separation from him. She was then living apart from George Gardiner at Pettaquamscott [now South Kingston, Washington Co., Rhode Island]. Rhode Island then had no provision for dealing with a situation of this kind; there was no common law marriage act enacted. Not wishing to take responsibility for deciding the matter, Governor Arnold took the case to the General Assembly for trial. The Assembly sitting at Newport 3 May 1665, agreed to listen to the petition of Horod Long for a separation. She appeared in person before the Assembly after there had been much debate upon her petition and was asked whether she would return to George Gardiner and live with him as a wife should. She answered characteristically that she would not and that they could do with her what they liked. During his testimony, Gardiner admitted that they had never been formally married. The only evidence to establish a common law relationship was the testimony of Robert Stanton, who testified that one night both George Gardiner and Herodias were at his house and "did say before him and his wife that they did take one the other as man and wife". Consequently on 5 May 1665, the Assembly decreed the separation of parties, characterizing their relationship in unequivocal language as extra-marital, "to the extreme reproach and scandal of this jurisdiction..." George Gardiner and Herodias Long were fined twenty pounds, ordered to separate and not to lead so scandalous a life. At the end of the trial the Assembly immediately enacted a new marriage law, requiring formal marriage in the future, and providing that "all such (common law) marriages at present existing,....should be regarded as good, firm and authentic..." Sometime after 27 June 1665, Herodias went to keep house for the divorcee John Porter. This caused yet another scandal. Shortly thereafter, and before 1 Jan 1670, Herodias Long married John Porter.

The best source on Herodias is entitled "Herodias (Long) Hicks-Gardiner-Porter. A Tale of Old Newport," by G. Andrews Moriarty. A copy of John's New York divorce decree is included in this article. It was originally published in "Rhode Island History", Vol XI (1952) pg. 84 - 92. and republished in "Genealogies of Rhode Island Families, from Rhode Island Periodicals", Vol 1, Genealogical Publishing Co, Baltimore, 1983, p 599-605. It is partially copied here:

"Herodias (Long) Hicks-Gardiner-Porter A Tale of Old Newport"

This is some account of that redoubtable and undoubtedly, glamorous lady, Herodias Long, who played such havoc with the domestic peace of several seventeenth century Rhode Island households. Herodias Long was born in England about 1623/24, but where or who her parents were, is, as yet, unknown. She married John Hicks by license date 14 March 1636/7 in St. Faith’s, the underchapel of St. Paul’s, London, and soon after left for New England. They first settled in Weymouth, Massachusetts, where Hicks was granted land in 1637. Thence they removed to Newport, Rhode Island, where Hicks was one of those admitted an inhabitant since 1: 3mo.: 1638, and on 14 September 1640 he was made a Freeman. He was on a jury, probably in March 1641/2 and again on 3 December 1643. On 7:1mo.: 1644/5 he was before the Court and bound for 10 pounds to keep the peace for beating his wife Harwood Hicks and to continue bound until his wife should come and give evidence concerning the matter. This is his last appearance in the Rhode Island records. He removed to Flushing, Long Island, then in the government of New Netherland, where on 19 October 1645 he was designated as one of the Patentees to settle Flushing in a Patent granted by Governor William Kieft. In 1647 he was an adjuster of Indian claims and he was Delegate from Newtown to a meeting called by the Governor in New Amsterdam 26 November 1653. On 2 July 1658 he was an Assistant at Hempstead. In 1666 he was a Justice of the Peace at Hempstead and held office until his death. His will, date 29 April 1672 was proved at Jamaica, New York, 14 June 1672.

When Hicks went to New Netherland, Herodias remained in Rhode Island. On 12 December 1645 John Hicks wrote from Flushing to John Coggeshall at Newport the following:

Now for parting what way there is seeing she have carried the matter so subtilly as she have I know not, but if there be anyway to bee used to untie the Knott, wch was at first by man tyed that so the world may be satisfied I am willing thereunto, for the Knot of affection on her part have been untied long since, and her whoredome have freed my conscience on the other part, so I leave myself to yor advice being free to condissend to you advice if ther may be such a way used for the final parting for us.

Seversmith states that she obtained a divorce from Hicks in Rhode Island on 2 December 1643. On 1 June 1655 John Hicks was granted a divorce from Herodias in the Court at New Amsterdam by Governor Peter Stuyvesant. The original of the decree is in the state archives at Albany and a translation follows:

We the councillors of New Netherland having seend and read the request of John Hicks sheriff on Long Island, in which he remonstrates and presents that his wife Harewood Longh has ran away from him about 9 years ago with someone else with whom she has been married and had by him 5 or 6 children. His wife having therefore broken the bond of marriage (without him having given any reason thereto) he asks to be qualified and given permission to marry again an honorable young girl or widow (in accordance with political and ecclesiastical ordinances the above mentioned councillors having taken notice of the above request and in addition to the affidavits and declarations attached thereto made by trustworthy inhabitants of this Province, they find that this request cannot be refused and that they therefore have given him letters of divorce and fee and frank ..... widow in the bond of marriage.... allowed to enter in accordance with political and ecclesiastical ordinances; done and given in our meeting Ad ut supra. New Netherland and have attached our seal in red wax. Was signed Nicasius De Sille, La Mantagne, Corn: van Tienhoven. After Hicks went to New Netherland, and possibly before, Herodias went to live with George Gardiner of Newport as his common-law wife and had a numerous family.This George Gardiner was admitted a Freeman at Newport on 17 December 1639, and he resided there the rest of his life. He had been admitted an inhabitant the preceeding year (1638). On 9 April 1639 he witnessed William Coddington’s deed to William Tyng of his Massachusetts lands, and on 1 May 1639 he witnessed Richard Collacot’s note to William Coddington. It may be suggested that perhaps George Gardiner may have been a young man in the employ of Coddington at this time. In 1662 he was a Commisioner. He died testate after 22 October 1673 and about 1677, but the record of the probate of his estate was in the lost Newport records.

Herodias became an ardent follower of George Fox, and 11:3mo.:1658 she, "the mother of my children, with a babe sucking at her breast," accompanied by a girl, Mary Stanton, who helped to carry the child, walked from Newport to Weymouth to bear witness and was whipped ten stripes by order of Governor Endicott. By 1664 she had had enough of George Gardiner and presented a petition to the King’s Commissioners, then in Rhode Island, asking for a separation from him. It was referred by the Commissioner to Gov. Benedict Arnold, who placed it before the General Assembly. In this petition she states that upon her father’s death she was sent to London by her mother "in much sorrow and griefe of spiritt, and there taken by on John Hicks unknowne to any of my friends, and by the said Hicks privately married in the under Church of Pauls, called St. Faith’s Church, and in a little while after, to my great griefe, brought to New England, when I was between thirteene and fourteene years of age, and lived two years and halfe at Weymouth, twelve miles from Boston; and then came to Rhode Island about the year 1640; and there lived ever since, till I came heare to Pettycomscutt. Not long after my coming to Rhode Island, there happened a difference between the said John Hicks and myselfe, soe that the authority that then was under grace, saw cause to part us, and ordered that I should have the estate which was sent mee by my mother, delivered to me by said John Hicks; but I never had it, but the said John Hicks went away to the Dutch, and carried away with him the most of my estate; by which meanes I was put to great hardshipe and straight. Then I thought to goe to my friends, but was hindered by warres, and the death of my friends. My mother and brother loosing their lives and estates in his Majesties service, and I being not brought up not to labour, and young, knew not what to do to have something to live, having noe friend; in which straight I was drawne by George Gardiner to consent to him soe fare I did, for my maintainance. Yett with much oppression of spiritt, judging him not bot be my husband, never being married to him according to the law of the place; alsoe I told him my oppression, and desiered him, seeing that hee had that little I had, and all my labour, that he would allow me some maintenance, either to live apart from him, or else not to meddle with mee; but hee alwayes refused. Therefore, my humble petition to your honours is, that of that estate and labour hee has had of mine; and that the house upon my land I may enjoy without molestation, and the hee may allow mee my child to bring up with maintenance for her, and that hee may be restrained from ever meddling with me, or troubling mee more. " The commissioners, Sir Robert Carr, George Cartwright, and Samuel Maverick handed this petition to Governor Arnold on 20 March 1664/5 "to doe justice to the poore petitioner according to the best of your judgement."

The General Assembly took the testimony of George Gardiner and of Robert Stanton, a Newport Quaker, and a close friend of George and Herodias. Gardiner admitted that “he cannot say that ever hee went on purpose before any magistrate to declare themselves, or to take each other as man and wife, or to have their aprobation as to the premises.” Stanton on being asked “whether hee knew that ever George Gardener and Hored, his reputed wife were ever married according to the custom of the place”, answered “that hee knew noe other marriage, but onlye one night being at his house both of them did say before him and his wife that they did take one the other as man and wife.”On 3 May 1665 the Assembly decreed the separation of the parties, but did not find things exactly as stated by Herodias.

Whereas Hored Long, heretobefore the wife of John Hicks, and since the reputed wife of George Gardener of Newport in Rhode Island, by a petition presented unto the Right honorable His Majestyes Commissioners did most impudently discover her owne nakedness by declaring therein unto their honours, that though she had lived for a long space of time with the aforesaid Gardener, as in a married estate, and had owned him as her lawful husband, yett she was never lawfully married to him, neither could owne him in such a relation, and soe consequently that she had lived all this time in that abominable lust of fornication, contrary to the generall apprehension of her neighbors, she having had by the aforesaid Gardener many children...and upon diligent search have found it to be even soe as the aforesaid Hored hath declared, and that by the confession alsoe of the aforesaid Gardener, soe that that horrible sin of uncleannes in which thay had lived for the space of eighteen or twenty yeares together, and had under cover of a pretended marridge (owning each other as man and wife), being now not before, by her own acting and confession brought to light and most shamefully expressed to the publicke view, to the extreme reproach and scandall of this jurisdiction...They were each to pay a fine of 20 pounds before the next sitting of the Court in October and “the aforesaid Gardener and Hored are hereby straightly required that from henceforth they presume not to lead soe scandolose a life, lest they feel the extrement penalty that either is or shall be provided in such cases.” They then proceeded to reenact the Act of 1647 for such cases, with further additions, and declared that it should be strictly enforced.

At this same sitting of the General Assembly (3 May 1665) Mrs. Margaret Porter, the elderly wife of John Porter, presented a petition to the Assembly, asking that her husband be made to support her. This John Porter had been a Freeman at Roxbury, Massachusetts, in 1633. Belonging to the Hutchinson party, he had removed with Coddington to Portsmouth, Rhode Island, in 1638. He continued to reside in Portsmouth until he removed to Pettaquamscutt (South Kingstown, Rhode Island) after 20 January 1656/7, on which date he and several other persons purchased from the Indians a large tract of land known as the "Pettyquamscutt Purchase." By his wife Margaret he had a daughter Hannah, who married, about 1658 Samuel Wilbor one of the Pettyquamscutt Purchasers.

In her petition Mrs. Porter "doth most sadly complaine that her said husband is destitute of all congugall love towards her, and sutable care for her; that he is gone from her and hath left her in such a nessesetous state that unavoydably she is brought to a meere dependence upon her children for her dayley suply, to her very great griefe of heart; and the rather considering that there is in the hands of her said husband a very competant estate for borth their subsistance; whereupon the said Margrett hath most earnestly requested this General Assembly to take of her and to take her deplorable estate into their serious consideration, so as to make some suitable provision for her reliefe, out of the estate of her husband; and that spedily, before hee and it be conveyed away." The Assembly, "having a deepe sense upon their hearts of this sad condition which this pore and ancient matron is, by this meanes, reduced into," directed that all deeds and conveyances made by John Porter since his departure from her shall be void and of no force. On 27 June 1665 he was released from restraint, as he had made such provision for her for life as satisfied her. Soon after John and Margaret Porter were divorced and John married Herodias.

On 1 January 1670/1 John Porter and wife Herodias deeded to William Gardiner, son of George of Newport, 200 acres at Narragansett, which bounded westerly on Henry Gardiner. On 27 December 1671 they deeded to Nicholas Gardiner one sixteenth interest in 1000 acres of land in the Pettaquamscutt Purchase. A map of the land on the west side of the Pettaquamscutt River made on 5 October 1705 shows the contiguous lots of Nicholas, Will, Henry, Benoni, and George Gardiner and of John Watson. On 19 May 1671 Benoni, Henry, George and Nicholas Gardiner were inhabitants of Pettaquamscutt, who took the oath of allegiance to King Charles.

John Hicks and Herodias had two children, Hannah and Thomas, and possibly a third child. When he went to Flushing, Hicks evidently carried his children with him. Hannah married about 1653/4 William Haviland of Flushing. She is said to have died in 1712. Thomas was also of Flushing. In 1666 he obtained a patent from Governor Nicolls of four thousand acres on Madman’s Neck. He died shortly before 28 January 1741/2 aged nearly 100 years. The New York Post Boy under date of 28 January 1749 states that “he left behind him of his offspring above three hundred children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.” His will dated 15 May 1727, was proved 28 January 1741/2. He married first between 23 February 1657 and 19 January 1658 Mary, widow of John Washburne and daughter of Richard Butler, who died before 1677; and he married second in 1677 Mary Doughty, daughter of Elias Doughty of Flushing who died in 1713. He had thirteen children.

After his divorce from Herodias in 1655 John Hicks married Florence, a widow of John Carman, who died shortly thereafter and he married third soon after 22 January 1662 (the date of their prenuptial agreement) Rachel, widow of Thomas Starr, who survived him.