Person:John Bent (1)

m. 13 Oct 1589
  1. Margery Bent1590 -
  2. Richard Bent1592 -
  3. Robert BentAbt 1594 -
  4. John Bent1596 - 1672
  5. Maria Bent1598 - 1599
  6. Dennis Bent1599 -
  7. James BentAbt 1602 -
  8. Agnes Bent1602 - 1639
  9. Jane Bent1604 - 1631
m. Abt 1624
  1. Robert Bent1624/25 - 1648
  2. William Bent1626 - Bef 1672
  3. Peter Bent1629 - 1678
  4. Agnes BentAbt 1630 - 1713
  5. Corporal John Bent1636/37 - 1717
  6. Joseph Bent1641 - 1675
  7. Martha BentAbt 1643 - 1680
Facts and Events
Name[1][3] John Bent
Gender Male
Birth? Penton Grafton, Hampshire, England
Christening[2][3] 20 Nov 1596 Weyhill, Hampshire, EnglandWayhill, Southampton, England
Marriage Abt 1624 Penton Grafton, Hampshire, EnglandBased on birth of eldest known child
to Martha _____
Death? 27 Sep 1672 Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States



Born in Penton, Wayhill Parish, Southampton, co. Hampshire (Hants), England, about 70 miles southwest of London. He was christened on 20 Nov 1596. Three generations back are strongly inferred from Wayhill Parish records. The Registers of the Parish of Wayhill as now existing begin in 1564.

Contributing to his reason for leaving may have been the reviving of an archaic and unjust form of taxation, levying ship money upon maritime counties (of which Hampshire was one) for the ostensible purpose of protecting the coast.

His wife's maiden name of Baker (which is also given on the passenger list) as well as her likely origin of birth are determined by a letter of attorney to Bent's brother-in-law, William Baker of New Sarum, co. Wiltes-Plummer: Letchford's Note Book (page 392 of the printed edition) reads: "John Bent of Sudbury in New England late of Wayhill in the County of Southampton husbandman makes a letter of Attorney unto his brother-in-law Willm Baker of New Sarum in the County of Wiltes Plummer to receive & recover of and from Willm Cole of Wayhill aforesaid husbandman the summe of twenty pounds of lawful money of England wch he owes him by bond now in the hands of my sayd Attorney." NOTE: This entry from Letchford's Notebook tells us that John's sister (Dennis Bent) was the wife of William Baker. So her married name was Baker, but her maiden name was Bent. However, this does NOT tell us anything with regard to the maiden name of John's wife Martha.

After April 11, 1638 "CONFIDENCE" of London (two hundred tons), John Gibson, Master. She sailed from Southampton the last of April, 'by vertue of the Lord Treasurers warrant of the 11th of April, 1638.' John Bent's name occurs in the list of passengers sailing in the ship Confidence from Southamption, 24, April 1638, now on file in the Public Record Office in London. (State Papers, Colonial, vol. ix., No. 99). The record is as follows:

35. John Bent of Penton in the County of South' Husbandman. Martha his wife; Robert, William, Peter, John and Ann their children; all under ye age of xij yeares. (The ages given in the shipping list are incorrect. John was forty-two instead of thirty-five, and his eldest son thirteen at the date of their emigration.)

On the ship's passenger list, John Bent is mentioned as bring of Penton, while Letchford makes him of Wayhill. Wayhill is the name of a parish in which the hamlet of Penton or Pennington Grafton is situated. The ship's list gives his age as 35, but according to the parish records he was baptized on the last day of November 1596, his father being Robert Bent (1566-1631). In 1639 John's sister Agnes (Bent) Blanchard and mother started for New England, but both died during the passage.

On this side of the Atlantic the files of the Middlesex County Court *Barry's History of Framingham) and of the Salem Court (Putnam's Monthly Historical Magazine, April-May, 1891) give clear evidence as to the English home of John's mother Agnes. (See her notes.)

His mother, Agnes (Gosling) Bent ____, and his sister, Agnes (Bent) Blanchard followed a year later on the ship "Jonathan" with the latter's husband, ___ Blanchard and a newborn child, as well as Elizabeth Plimpton and other relatives. His mother, sister and sister's child all died before arriving in Boston.

Life in New England

1640: The names of original proprietors of Sudbury to whom lands were assigned in 1640: Mr. Peter Noyes [on the 1639 "Jonathan"?]... Tho. Noyse... John Rutter [husband of Elizabeth Plimton?].... John Bent...

13 May 1640: Made a freeman

John Bent's house lot, about six acres, was on the north-east side of the old road that runs from what is now [1894] Wayland Centre to Sudbury Centre, about a quarter of a mile from the former, and here he lived, a farmer, until his death Sept. 27, 1672, aged nearly 76.

John Bent, the first of the surname in New England, settled in Sudbury, and shared in the first and second divisions of land there in 1639 and 1640. [Barry's History of Framingham]. He is said to have been one of Maj. Simon Willard's troopers in the fruitless expedition against Ninigret in October 1654. (Ibid.) This may have been John's son John, who at the time of the expedition was nineteen. The father was fifty-eight, and it hardly seems probably that he was one of the expedition.)

1656: His name appears in 1656 as one of the petitioners to the General Court for a grant of the land which subsequently formed the town of Marlborough. (Hudson's History of Marlborough) He died in Sudbury, 27 September, 1672, and seems to have been a prosperous and public-spirited man.


He died in 1672 in Sudbury.

His will is dated thirteen days before his death, his wife Martha and oldest son Peter being named as executors. He also mentions sons John and Joseph and daughters Agnes Rice and Martha Howe. His widow lived until May 15, 1679. Children of John and Martha, the first five being born in England, the last two in Sudbury, Mass...

His descendants settled during the seventeenth century in Marlborough, Framingham and Milton. ...

Additional Sources

1. Allen Herbert Bent, The Bent Family in America, place, date

2. Original Proprietors of Sudbury, Mass., NEHGS Register, volume 13, p. 261

3. Allen H. Bent, Esq., The Bent Family, NEHGS Register, volume 48, p. 288-289

4. E.C. F/Pelton, Esq., The English Ancestors of John Bent, of Sudbury, NEHGS Register, volume 49, p. 65-67

5. ____ Barry, History of Framingham, ______

6. ____ Hudson, History of Marlborough, _____

7. State Paper, Colonial, vol. ix, #99; Public Record Office, London, England

8. ____, Letchford, Notebook, p. 392

9. _____, Putnam, Monthly Historical Magazine, Apr-May, 1891

10. ___ (author)___, "Bent Family, Eng. Ma," Idaho Genealogical Quarterly, vol 25, issue 2. (Same journal has extended article on Rice family (into which daughter Agnes Bent marries)--begins vol. 24, 1981.)

11. Charles Edward Banks, "The Planters of the Commonwealth: 1620-1640 Passengers and Ships," 13 Feb 2001

12. Helen S. Ullman, "John Bent of Sudbury, Massachusetts," FHL# 1,425,185 item 5; Acton, Mass., 1998; pp 6-8

13. __ (author) __, "Notes on a Line from Henry Adams," NEHG Register, vol. 153 (1999), pp. 219-20

14. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s

15. C. R., Vol. I. p. 281

16. Middlesex County, Massachusetts Probate Index, 1648-1870; will # 1622

17. John Savage, Genealogical Dictionary of the Early Settlers of New England... "BENT, JOHN, Sudbury, came in the Confidence, 1638, aged 35, from Southampton, a husbandman of Penton in the same co. with w. Martha, and ch. Robert, William, Peter, John, and Ann, all, by custom house records under 12 yrs. old; went home the same yr. to bring more of his fam. and came again next yr. in the Jonathan [unproven], had gr. of land 1639, was freeman 13 May 1640, had Joseph, b. 16 May 1641; Martha; and perhaps others. His mo. Agnes, sis. Agnes Blanchard, and her infant child died on the voyage in the Jonathan. He was one of the proprietors of Marlborough; but d. at Sudbury, 27 Sept. 1672. His widow, Martha d. 15 May 1679. His d. Ann (I think called Agnes at a later day) m. Edward Rice; and Martha m. 1663, Samuel Howe. His will, made a few days before he died made widow Martha, and eldest s. Peter executors and gives to other son Joseph, and John, d. Agnes Rice, and her s. John, d. Martha, and her husband Samuel, his son John Howe, beside two Peter, s. of Peter B. and Hannah, d. of John B."

18. Carol Tyler King, Our Second Boat Ship List. In second boat (downeast Ancestry, Machis, ME), vol. 16, #4 (Fall 1996), pp 14-20.

19. ____, Massachusetts Applications of Freeman 1630-91, citing: C.R., Volume 1, p. 281.

20. ____, Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850, NEHGS (online database); paid membership required.

21. "The Bent family," NEHG Register 48:288 ff

22. "English ancestors," NEHG Register 49:65 ff says came on "Confidence" 1638

23. "Bent Family, Eng. Ma," Idaho Genealogical Quarterly, vol 25, issue 2. Same journal has extended article on Rice family (into which daughter Agnes Bent marries)--begins vol. 24, 1981.

24. Banks, Charles Edward. "The Planters of the Commonwealth: 1620-1640 Passengers and Ships," 13 Feb 2001: After April 11, 1638 "CONFIDENCE" of London (two hundred tons), John Gibson, Master. She sailed from Southampton the last of April, 'by vertue of the Lord Treasurers warrant of the 11th of April, 1638.'

25. Helen S. Ullmann. "John Bent of Sudbury, Massachusetts". FHL# 1,425,185 item 5; Acton, Mass., 1998; Page: 6-8

26. "Notes on a Line from Henry Adams," NEHG Register, vol. 153 [1999]; Page: 219-20

27. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s; Year: 1638; Family Members: Wife Martha Baker; Source Publication Code: 3815.4.95

28. KING, CAROL TYLER. Our Second Boat Ship List. In Second Boat (Downeast Ancestry, Machias, ME), vol. 16:4 (Fall 1996), pp. 14-20. Page: 19

29. Massachusetts Applications of Freemen, 1630-91. Name: John Bent; Date: 13 May 1640; Original Source: C. R., Vol. I. p. 281.

30. Middlesex County, Massachusetts Probate Index, 1648-1870; John Bent, Sudbury; 1672; Will #1622

  1. Gerald Rice. Rice, Gerald G.. (Rice, Humphrey, Shattuck, Gervais, Beaudette, Angell and allied lines).
  2. Forsythe, Warren.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Felton, E. C. The English Ancestors of John Bent, of Sudbury. New England Historical and Genealogical Register. (New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1895)

    1596. John Bent son of Robert Bent was baptized 20 November.