Person:William Carpenter (7)

William Carpenter
m. 7 Aug 1603
  1. William Carpenterest 1610 - 1685
  2. Frideswide Carpenterest 1612 - 1680
m. abt 1637
  1. Joseph Carpenter, Srabt 1638 - abt 1683
  2. Lydia Carpenterest 1640 - 1711
  3. Ephraim Carpenterest 1642 - bet 1697/98
  4. Priscilla Carpenterest 1644 - abt 1690
  5. Timothy Carpenterest 1646 - 1726
  6. Silas Carpenterabt 1651 - 1695
  7. Benjamin Carpenterest 1651 - 1710/11
  8. William Carpenterest 1653 - bet 1676
Facts and Events
Name William Carpenter
Gender Male
Birth[2][8] est 1610 Amesbury, Wiltshire, England
Marriage abt 1637 Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, United Statesto Elizabeth Arnold
Death[2] 7 Sep 1685 Pawtuxet, Providence, Rhode Island
Reference Number? Q8006578?


WILLIAM CARPENTER (Richard of Amesbury) was born in England, probably Amesbury, Wiltshire (not Nettlecombe, Somerset), say 1610 and died at Providence (Pawtuxet section, now in Cranston), Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, on 7 September 1685. He married about 1637, probably at Providence (not by 1635, in England), ELIZABETH ARNOLD, born at Ilchester, Somerset (not Cheselbourne, Dorset), England, on 23 November 1611 and died after 10 February 1679/80 (date of husband's will) (ca. 1683?), daughter of William and Christian (Peak) Arnold. William and Elizabeth were almost certainly buried on their homestead, in present-day Cranston.[9]

In 1671, William Carpenter of Pawtuxet, in the township of Providence, gave to his sister [and only known sibling], "Fridgsweete" (Carpenter) Vincent of the English town and parish of Amesbury, "my dwelling house" and adjoining land there, both inherited from his father, Richard Carpenter. [10] In 1598[/9], Robert Carpenter of the adjacent parish of Newton Toney named Richard Carpenter of "Aymsbury" among his legatees; a Richard Carpenter, presumably the same man and William's father, was buried at the latter place in 1625. [11] It is therefore probable that William was born at Amesbury.[2]

Life in New England

Circumstantial evidences suggests that William was the "Thomas" Carpenter who arrived on the James of London in 1635. Also on board were Joshua Verrin and and John Greene, who were from the same area in England and were also among the original proprietors at Providence. In addition, the primary documents listing William Carpenter at Providence suggest that he arrived in the area some time after his [future] in-laws.[12]


William is listed in the first deed executed in the Colony by Roger Williams. Robert Coles lived on the property adjoining. William Carpenter, Robert Coles and William Arnold were three of 14 charter members of the Baptist Church of America established by Roger Williams at Providence on August 3, 1638.[13][4] NOTE: There is no evidence that William Carpenter was among the founders of the Baptist church at Providence. In fact, there is evidence to the contrary (see COMMENTS, 1st par.).[2]

For defense against indian attacks, William Carpenter built a block house on his property soon after settling there. In an Indian attack during King Philip's War, all the settlers gathered for protection inside the block house, where their brave stand compelled the Indians to retreat. This William's son William Jr. was killed in the attack though, and this William, while busily engaged in repairing the damage to his estate, died on Sept. 7, 1685.[4]

NOTE: The above is in error. Why? First, it makes no sense that William1 would have been repairing the damage to his estate more than seven years after the attack. This sort of (unlikely) detail is almost certainly a comparatively recent embellishment. Second, a contemporaneous account of the attack says that two members of the Carpenter household were wounded and one enemy killed. Two other contemporaneous sources name the settlers killed as William Harris's son Toleration and his Negro servant. Only the distorted account in Austin's Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island says that William1's namesake son was killed. Third, there is indirect evidence that William2 of Providence was still living three months after the attack (see pp. 13(last par.)–14).[2]

Further Reading

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article William Carpenter (Rhode Island).

Carpenter Sketches includes an article on William Carpenter of Providence by Eugene Cole Zubrinsky, which the reader is referred to for more extensive information, as well as source citations. Zubrinsky periodically updates the article, and the reader is encouraged to check it for his latest research.

  1.   William Carpenter (Rhode Island), in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.

    William Carpenter (born say 1610 probably in Amesbury, Wiltshire, England - died September 7, 1685 at Providence (Pawtuxet section now in Cranston, Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations) was a co-founder of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. He was listed by 1655 as a "freeman" of the colony.

  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 William1 Carpenter of Providence, Rhode Island, in Zubrinsky, Eugene Cole. Carpenter Sketches: Links to Sketches And Articles Representing the Most Current and Reliable Scholarship Concerning Early Generations of the Carpenter Families of Rehoboth, Massachusetts, and Providence, Rhode Island and Their Ancestors. (Carpenters' Encyclopedia of Carpenters, 2008).
  3.   Cutter, William Richard. Genealogical and family history of western New York: a record of the achievements of her people in the making of a commonwealth and the building of a nation. (New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co., 1912).

    Page 274: (1) The first person (MALE) bearing the name Carpenter to make permanent settlement in America was William Carpenter, son of Richard Carpenter, of Amesbury, Wiltshire, England. He married Elizabeth Arnold, born at Cheselbourne, Dorset, England, November 23, 1611. Much detailed descendent history given. {Note conflicts with Zubrinsky, above.}

  4. 4.0 4.1 Carpenter, Amos B. Abstracts from the "Carpenter family memorial". (West Waterford? Vt. : : A.B. Carpenter, 1899?).
  5.   Reynolds, Cuyler. Hudson-Mohawk genealogical and family memoirs: a record of achievements of the people of the Hudson and Mohawk valleys in New York state included within the present counties of Albany, Rensselaer, Washington, Saratoga, Montgomery, Fulton, Schenectady, Columbia and Greene. (New York, New York: Lewis Historical Pub., c1911), Vol. II (NY, 1911), pp. 524-526.
  6.   Carpenter and allied families: genealogical and biographical. (New York: The Society, 1930).
  7.   Unpublished supplement to Daniel Hoogland Carpenter's book, by Ruth Carpenter Adair of North Quincy, MA.
  8. William1 Carpenter of Providence, Rhode Island, in Zubrinsky, Eugene Cole. Carpenter Sketches: Links to Sketches And Articles Representing the Most Current and Reliable Scholarship Concerning Early Generations of the Carpenter Families of Rehoboth, Massachusetts, and Providence, Rhode Island and Their Ancestors. (Carpenters' Encyclopedia of Carpenters, 2008), page 1.

    'William’s birth year is roughly estimated above as “say 1610.” Say is based on less-precise data than about/circa, and in this case we have nothing better from which to infer William’s birth date than that of his wife, in late 1611. No record of the birth or baptism of William1 Carpenter of Providence has been found. Any specific date for either event appearing in the secondary literature (e.g., 23 May 1611) is either an invention or the result of confusion and should be ignored.'

  9. Zubrinsky, citing PrTR 5:323-25, 6:141, 150, 17:62-63; NEHGR 33:428, 69:66-68, 159:67-68; Austin 36; Arnold Mem 35, 52
  10. Zubrinsky, citing PrTR 5:323-25
  11. Zubrinsky, citing PCC 93 Kidd fol. 47; AmParReg.1:n.p.
  12. Zubrinsky, Eugene Cole. "The Immigration and Marriage of William1 Carpenter of Amesbury, Wiltshire, and Providence, Rhode Island," The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 164 (Jan. 2010):36-40.
  13. National Society, Arkansas Society, Colonial dames XVII Century,Roster 1951-1993, Compiled and Edited by Mrs. D. Newton White, FamilyHistory Library, Salt Lake City, UT, 84150,p. 57
The James of London (1635)
At least two ships called the James sailed in 1635 from England to New England. The passenger list for this one refers to the "James of London." It lists only the men and boys, but indicates that wives and children accompanied them.
Sailed: 26 Apr 1635 from London, England under Master William Cooper
Arrived: 3 Jun 1635 at Boston, Massachusetts.

53 men plus families
(men without descendants listed on the category page).
Maurice Anglis - Thomas Antram - Edmund Balter (servant John Smale) - Nicholas Batt - Thomas Browne - Thos Carpenter - Augustine Clement - Thomas Colman - Zacheus Coutris - Thomas Duryes - John Emery - Anthony Emery - John Euered Alias Webb - Robert Field - John Greene - Edmund Hawes - Peter Higdon - Nicholas Holte - Maudit Ingles - John Knight - Ris Knight - Anthony Morse - William Morse - John Musselwhite - John Parker - John Pithouse - William Paddey - John Pike - Sampson Salter - Michael Shafflin - Thomas Smith - George Smythe - Anthony Thetcher - Josuah Verren - Phillip Varren - Richard Walker - Hercules Woodman

Resources: Passenger List - Winthrop Society - Great Migration Newsletter

Founders of Providence, Rhode Island
Roger Williams was exiled from Massachusetts Bay in June 1636 for his religious beliefs. He settled the area now known as Providence with a few others, and two years in 1638 purchased it from the Narragansett. He then deeded 12/13 of it to twelve other religious dissenters known as the "Original Proprietors." There also exists in City Hall in Providence a manuscript that purports to show the lands of the first settlers, as originally allotted. It is undated, but appears to have been created before about 1650.
First Comers with Williams: William Arnold, John Smith, William Harris, Francis Wickes, and possibly Joshua Verin and Thomas Angell
Original Proprietors: Stukely Westcott, William Arnold, William Carpenter, John Greene, Thomas James, Robert Cole, William Harris, Thomas Olney, John Throckmorton, Francis Weston, Richard Waterman and Ezekiel Holliman.
Other early landowners (from south to north): Robert Williams - Christopher Unthank - William Hawkins - Robert West - Hugh Bewitt - John Lippitt - Matthew Weston - Edward Hart - Thomas Hopkins - Widow Sayer - Widow Tiler - Nicholas Power - William Wickenden - William Man - William Burrow - Adam Goodwin - Thomas Harris - Joshua Winsor - John Field - William Field - Richard Scott - George Rickard - John Warner - Chad Brown - Daniel Abbott - William Reynods - John Sweet - Alice Daniels - Widow Reeve - Benedict Arnold - John Greene Jr. - Edward Manton - Thomas Painter - Matthew Waller - Gregory Dexter
Resources: History of the State of Rhode Island - Lands and Houses of the First Settlers of Providence

Current Location: Newport County, Rhode Island   Parent Towns: Boston   Daughter Towns: Newport