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Captain Nicholas Simpkins

Male Abt 1600 - 1654  (~ 54 years)


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  • Name Captain Nicholas Simpkins 
    Prefix Captain 
    Born Abt 1600  Burcoat, Northamptonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    _UID 40BB261A72404352988CA08B27D5DA35DC02 
    Died 1 Jun 1654  Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • 1632: A battery was constructed at Fort Hill, the southern most portion of the Boston peninsula as an advance line of defense in case of attack.

      1634 Now an established community, Boston sought defenses further out in the harbor, on one of the numerous islands which protected the port; shipping being the only means of receiving supplies and communications from England. Hull was the first site inspected but the cold sea breeze proved too much for Governor Winthrop and his counselors and this idea was abandoned. In July of this year twenty men, including Governor Thomas Dudley and his council, visited Castle Island and decided it would be perfect site for a fortress. Each man present subscribed 5 pounds for the fortification and elected Deputy Governor Roger Ludlow of Dorchester, to supervise construction. After two platforms and a small earthwork were constructed on the northeast side of the island, the General Court resolved that the fort at Castle Island be fully perfected, before any other fortification was begun.

      1635 Three cannon, one of which belonged to Deputy Governor Bilingham, were carried down on lighters and installed at the Castle and the garrison, made up of two men weekly from each of the six towns to be paid from the treasury of the colony, fired these at incoming vessels until the ship recognized the fortification by raising her flag. Thomas Beecher (ancestor of Henry Ward Beecher) who had come over as master of the "Talbot" was one of the Castle officers at this time. Nicholas Simpkins was the first commander (followed by Lt Edward Gibbons).


      The Frost Genealogy p. 345 SIMPKINS FAMILY.

      In 1636, April 14th, Nicholas Simpkins was brought before Gov.Winthrop for "braving Lt. Morris and telling him in public that he lied. He confessed but refused to acknowledge it as a fault or to ask pardon." He was committed and on the 16th, upon his submission and acknowledgment that he had done ill, "we took his bond of twenty pounds to appear at the next court and left him at liberty. Besides he was ill and we feared he would grow distracted." Nicholas Simpkins on March 5th, 1640, ordered by the Court at Yarmouth with Philip Tabor, to be added to the Commission to make an equal division of planting land.

      Nicholas Simpkins, tailor, when in Boston, 1634, was made First Captain at Castle in the harbor. Aug. 28, 1636, Sebastian Paulina was brought over by Mr. Simpkins to be bound out to Mr. Robert Keayne for ten years, but because he was a nephew of Mr. Simpkins it was decided he had no power to apprentice him. Nicholas moved in 1638 to Yarmouth, back to Boston in 1649, and was of The Ancient and Honorable Artillery in 1650. His wife was Isabel (???).

      Feb. 5, 1645, Nicholas and wife Isabel living in "Bastable, "probably meant for Barnstable, sells to Thomas Boardman of Yarmouth their plantation of fifty-five acres.

      March 1, 1648, Nicholas Simpkins of Scituate, New Plymouth, sells to John Williams, Jr., all houses, barns, thirty acres of upland and thirty of meadows.

      April 4, 1649, Esbell (?) Simpkins, the wife of Mr. Nicholas Simpkins, releases her third in same. Among the historical collections in Plymouth, Mass., may be seen an ancient deed given by Nicholas Simpkins to Andrew Hallet of Yarmouth, bearing date 1644. Page 345

      Isabel- b. 1610-d. Sept. 1668 in Boston

      Ruth A. Hatch-Hale, "Genealogy and History of the Hatch Family" (Salt Lake City, Utah; 2 vols.; 1925-28): pg. 10: on Sept 12, 1640, Jonathan Hatch was arrested in Boston as a fugitive from service and "was censured to be severely whipped and for the present is committed for a slave to Lieut. Davenport" ... he escaped and made his way back to his farther in Yarmouth. On Dec 1, 1640, Capt. Nicholas Simpkins had him (Jonathan Hatch) arrested and charged with slandering him. "When the case came up for trial in the General Court at Plymouth, Jonathan evidently proved the truth of his charges for Capt. Simpkins was fined 40 shillings and Jonathan was set free"


      Nicholas Simpkins was a freeholder in Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York.



      First Settlers of Ye Plantations of Piscataway and Woodsridge Olde East New Jersey part 5 page 870

      CAPTAIN NICHOLAS SYMPKINS OF BOSTON

      There, 1636, and of A. & H. A. CO., 1650 and Commander of the Fort, under Morris, (ARTILLERY, p. 161; SAVAGE, Vol. IV, p. 101; POPE, p.416; HOLMES, p. ccxvii). He had a dau. m. GEORGE BURRILL. He was a bro. of foll. VINCENT SYMPKINS, and the writer was delight. to find him or his son, NICHOLAS, upon L. I., at Oyster Bay, 1683, (DOC. HIST. N. Y., II, p.307),which was a triumph.



      William's father-in-law, Capt. Nicholas Simpkins, a draper and tailor by trade, was the first commander of Castle Island Fort in Boston Harbor, in the year 1634. He occupied this post for one year only. After retiring from command of the fort he lived successively in Yarmouth, Barnstable, Scituate and then returned to Boston in 1650 where he lived until his death about 1656. According to "Topographical Dictionary" by C. E. Banks, Capt. Simpkins came to America from Burcoat, Northamptonshire, England. His widow, Isabel, died in Boston in Sept. 1668. William Therrill by his Will was a Merchant-Taylor. Could he have been apprenticed to Capt. Simpkins to learn tailoring, and upon completion of his time (usually atage 21) married the daughter of his Master? This was often the case.

      SIMPKINS notes

      Nicholas Simpkins- a tailor- made 1st Captain at Castle Island, Boston Harbor. One of his successors, Roger Clap, says it was 1634. Seems in 1636 to have given dissatisfaction by being indebted to the government and removed 1638 to Yarmouth. After some years came to Scituate and then to Boston before 1649 and was ar. co. (artillery company) 1650.

      Town of Yarmouth- A History 1639-1989 by Vuillemier

      On 7 Mar 1639 14 men given permission to take up freedom at Yarmouth, MA, Simpkins was appointed to the committee to make equal divisions of planting land. He settled near Stony Cove, Mill Pond. Sept. 1641 he was arraigned for "lending a pistol to an Indian." The charges were later dropped but he was fined 40 shillings for not bringing the Indian maid tocourt as the governor commanded. The court remitted the fine in Dec. because the woman "Neither had shoes nor was in health to come."

      Pioneers of Massachusetts p 416
      Removed to Dorchester and then to Cambridge- bought land 20 Nov 1637. He deposed before General Court as to the gun he took to the Castle in 1635. Yarmouth 1638. 1640 removed to Barnstable and sold land there 645. Removed to Scituate and sold land there 1 May 1648. He deposed 1 June 1654 age about 54 years. Isobel deposed the same time, age 44 years. Admin. of his estate was granted Isobel 30 (8) 1656 for herself and children. Reg 1X226. Her estate adm to Pilgrim 11 Sept 1669.(Her son's name was Pilgrim.)

      Records of Massachusetts, Vol. 1, p. 165
      3 Mar 1635/6. Mr. Hutchinson and Mr. Willm Spencer are deputed to take the accts. of Mr. Simpkins and return the same into the nexte Courte.
      p. 181- Mr. Coddington, Mr. Nowell, Mr. Spencer, and Mr. Hutchinson, being deputed to 'puse' the accts. of Nicholas Simpkins,did return to this court that they found him indebted to the countrey in the some of fourtie pounds, 8s, 4d.

      The Pilgrims of Boston. p. 97- reference to gravestone of Pilgrim Simpkins

      Isabel- b. 1610-d. Sept. 1668 in Boston

      Ruth A. Hatch-Hale, "Genealogy and History of the Hatch Family" (Salt Lake City, Utah; 2 vols.; 1925-28): pg. 10: on Sept 12, 1640, Jonathan Hatch was arrested in Boston as a fugitive from service and "was censured to be severely whipped and for the present is committed for a slave to Lieut. Davenport" ... he escaped and made his way back to his farther in Yarmouth. On Dec 1, 1640, Capt. Nicholas Simpkins had him (Jonathan Hatch) arrested and charged with slandering him. "When the case came up for trial in the General Court at Plymouth, Jonathan evidently proved the truth of his charges for Capt. Simpkins was fined 40 shillings and Jonathan was set free"

      Nicholas was a witness on the will of Peter Worden of Plymouth.

      Nicholas Simpkins- a tailor- made 1st Captain at Castle Island, Boston Harbor. One of his successors, Roger Clap, says it was 1634. Seems in 1636 to have given dissatisfaction by being indebted to the government and removed 1638 to Yarmouth. After some years came to Scituate and then to Boston before 1649 and was in artillery co. 1650.

      Town of Yarmouth- A History 1639-1989 by Vuillemier On 7 Mar 1639 14 men given permission to take up freedom at Yarmouth, MA Simpkins was appointed to the committee to make equal divisions of planting land. He settled near Stony Cove, Mill Pond. Sept. 1641 he was arraigned for "lending a pistol to and Indian." The charges were later dropped but he was fined 40 shillings for not bringing the Indian maid to court as the governor commanded. The court remitted the fine in Dec. because the woman "Neither had shoes nor was in health to come."

      Pioneers of Massachusetts p 416. Removed to Dorchester and then to Cambridge- bought land 20 Nov 1637. He deposed before General Court as to the gun he took to the Castle in 1635. Yarmouth 1638. 1640 removed to Barnstable and sold land there 1645. Removed to Scituate and sold land there 1 May 1648. He deposed 1 June 1654 age about 54 years. Isobel deposed the same time, age 44 years. Admin. of his estate was granted Isobel 30 (8) 1656 for herself and children. Reg 1X 226. Her estate adm to Pilgrim 11 Sept 1669.

      Records of Massachusetts, Vol. 1, p. 165 3 Mar 1635/6. Mr. Hutchinson and Mr. Willm Spencer are deputed to take the accts. of Mr. Simpkins and return the same into the nexte Courte. p. 181- Mr. Coddington, Mr. Nowell, Mr. Spencer, and Mr.Hutchinson, being deputed to 'puse' the accts. of Nicholas Simpkins, did return to this court that they found him indebted to the countrey in the some of fourtie pounds, 8s, 4d.

      The Pilgrims of Boston. p. 97- reference to gravestone of Pilgrim Simpkins

      Isabel- b. 1610-d. Sept. 1668 in Boston Simpkin notes

      Nicholas Simpkins- a tailor- made 1st Captain at Castle Island, Boston Harbor. One of his successors, Roger Clap, says it was 1634. Seems in 1636 to have given dissatisfaction by being indebted to the government and removed 1638 to Yarmouth. After some years came to Scituate and then to Boston before 1649 and was in artillery co. 1650.

      Town of Yarmouth- A History 1639-1989 by Vuillemier On 7 Mar 1639 14 men given permission to take up freedom at Yarmouth, MA Simpkins was appointed to the committee to make equal divisions of planting land. He settled near Stony Cove, Mill Pond. Sept. 1641 he was arraigned for "lending a pistol to and Indian." The charges were later dropped but he was fined 40 shillings for not bringing the Indian maid to court as the governor commanded. The court remitted the fine in Dec. because the woman "Neither had shoes nor was in health to come."

      Pioneers of Massachusetts p 416 Removed to Dorchester and then to Cambridge- bought land 20 Nov 1637. He deposed before General Court as to the gun he took to the Castle in 1635. Yarmouth 1638. 1640 removed to Barnstable and sold land there 1645. Removed to Scituate and sold land there 1 May 1648. He deposed 1 June 1654 age about 54 years. Isobel deposed the same time, age 44 years. Admin. of his estate was granted Isobel 30 (8) 1656 for herself and children. Reg 1X 226. Her estate adm to Pilgrim 11 Sept 1669.

      Records of Massachusetts, Vol. 1, p. 165 3 Mar 1635/6. Mr. Hutchinson and Mr. Willm Spencer are deputed to take the accts. of Mr. Simpkins and return the same into the nexte Courte. p. 181- Mr. Coddington, Mr. Nowell, Mr. Spencer, and Mr. Hutchinson, being deputed to 'puse' the accts. of Nicholas Simpkins, did return to this court that they found him indebted to the countrey in the some of fourtie pounds, 8s, 4d.

      The Pilgrims of Boston. p. 97- reference to gravestone of Pilgrim Simpkins

      Charles Henry Pope's "Pioneers of Massachusetts" says this:

      SIMKINS, SIMPKINS, SYMPKINS
      Nicholas, gent., tailor, draper, Boston; removed to Dorchester, then to
      Cambridge, where he bought land Nov. 20, 1637. Was first commander of the
      fort on Castle Island, Boston Harbor. [ Capt. Roger Clap.] He deposed before
      Gen. Court in 1645 as to gun he took to the castle in 1635. Was of Yarmouth
      1638-1640. Removed to Barnstable; sold land there in 1645. Scituate, sold
      house and land there 1 March, 1648. He deposed June 1, 1654, age about 54
      years, and Isabel deposed at the same time, age 44 years.
      Admin. of his est. was gr. to the widow Isabel 30 (8) 1656 for herself
      and children. Admin. of her est. was gr. to her son Pilgrim S. 11 Sept. 1669.


      5 March 1638/39: The General Court ordered that Mr. Nicholas Simpkins, William Palmer, Philip Tabor, and Josiah Barnes of Yarmouth be added as commissioners to make a division of planting lands. (Plymouth Colony 1620 - 1691).



      "It need not, however, be inferred from the fact that the first dwelling houses of the settlers were small and unpretentious, that they were necessarily an indigent and humble class of people in point of worldly fortune. In respect to some of them we know this would not be a correct estimate. Anthony Thacher, Edmund Hawes and Richard Sears were certainly men of education and social standing in England, and Thomas Howes, John Crow, Edward Sturges, Andrew Hallet, Nicholas Simpkins and others appear to have belonged to the substantial middling class, either staunch yeomen or educated gentlemen. They built such houses as their condition required of them as pioneers of a new country; whose first care was to shelter their families while they were preparing the soil, making roads and enclosing their plantations. The next generation saw a great change in their style of living, as well as in their habitations."(pp. 79, 80.) (Thomas Howes of Yarmouth, Mass by James W. Hawes). [1, 2, 3, 4]
    Person ID I55691804  7_families
    Last Modified 1 Dec 2010 

    Father Nicholas Sympkins,   b. Abt 1575, , , England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Mother Katherine Harris,   b. Abt 1580, , , England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married 25 Apr 1601  Bristol, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Married in St. Augustine the Less Church.
    Family ID F18571007  Group Sheet

    Family Mrs. Isabel Simpkins,   b. Abt 1603, Of, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Sep 1668, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 65 years) 
    Married 1632  Of, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Pilgram Simpkins,   b. 1624, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1720  (Age 96 years)
     2. Vincent Simpkins,   b. 1625, , , England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1641  (Age 16 years)
     3. Nicholas Simpkins,   b. 1627, Oyster Bay, Nassau, New York Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     4. Sarah Simpkins,   b. 1628, , , England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     5. Mary Simpkins,   b. 1630, , , England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    +6. Rebecca Simpkins,   b. Abt 1633, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 8 May 1675, , , Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 42 years)
     7. Deborah Simpkins,   b. Abt 1635, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 1 Dec 2010 
    Family ID F18570800  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - Abt 1600 - Burcoat, Northamptonshire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 1632 - Of, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 1 Jun 1654 - Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts Link to Google Earth
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    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Sources 
    1. [S1103084] Pioneers of Massachusetts, Charles Henry Pope, (Baltimore : Geneal. Pub., 1991), Book #974.4 D2 ISBN #0806307749., 416 (Reliability: 3).

    2. [S1103114] Genealogy of the Hatch Family, Ruth A. Hatch Hale, (Salt Lake City : Clyde N. Hatch, 1950-[196-?]. 8 volumes.), 2: 10 (Reliability: 3).

    3. [S1103115] First Settlers of Piscataway and Woodbridge, New Jersey, Orra Eugene Monnette, (Sanford, N.C. : Microfilming Corporation of America, 1983), Film #6046407., pt 5: 870 (Reliability: 3).

    4. [S1103116] Topographical dictionary of New England, Charles Edward Banks, (Baltimore : Southern Book Co., 1957), Book #974 W2..