Name: Robert Bartlett
Birth: ABT 1604
Burial: Killed by Indian
Christening: 27 MAY 1603 Puddletown, Dorsetshire, England
Reference Number: 2931
Death: 1676 in Plymouth Colony
The Great Migration Begins, NEGHS
MIGRATION: 1623 on Anne
FIRST RESIDENCE: Plymouth
OCCUPATION: Wine cooper
CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: On 1 May 1660 at Plymouth court "Robert Bartlett appeared, being summoned in answer for speaking contemptuously of singing of psalms, and was convict of the fact ..." [PCR 3:185-86].
FREEMAN: In the "1633" Plymouth list of freemen in proximity to those admitted on 1 January 1632/3 [PCR 1:4]. On list of 7 March 1636/7 [PCR 1:53]. In Plymouth section of lists of freemen of 1639 and (apparently) 1658 [PCR 8:174, 197].
EDUCATION: Signed all deeds by mark. Inventory included books valued at 7s.
OFFICES: Committee to lay out highways, 2 May 1637 [PCR 1:58]; Plymouth petit jury, 6 June 1643, 28 October 1645, 7 June 1648, 6 March 1649/50, 4 October 1653, 7 March 1653/4, 3 October 1654, 3 May 1659 [PCR 2:126; 7:35, 41, 47, 67, 70, 72, 93]; Plymouth grand jury, 5 June 1644, 2 June 1646, 17 May 1649, 7 June 1652, 8 June 1655 [PCR 2:71, 102, 3:9, 78; PTR 1:28]; surveyor of highways, 4 June 1645, 4 June 1661 [PCR 2:84, 3:215]; committee to lay out land, 24 May 1660 [PTR 1:41]. In Plymouth section of 1643 list of men able to bear arms [PCR 8:189].
ESTATE: In the 1623 Plymouth land division granted one acre as a passenger on the Anne [PCR 12:6]. In the 1627 Plymouth division of cattle "Robert Bartlet" was the twelfth person in the tenth company [PCR 12:12].
Assessed 9s. in the Plymouth tax lists of 25 March 1633 and 27 March 1634 [PCR 1:10, 27].
On 1 July 1633 it was ordered that "Mrs. Warren & Rob[er]t Bartlet mow where they did last year ..." [PCR 1:15]. On 28 May 1635 "Thomas Litle came before the Governor and acknowledged that he had given unto Robart Bartlet a parcel of land at the end of his lot beyond Eel River," and describes himself as brother-in-law to Bartlett [PCR 1:34]. On 14 March 1635/6 it was ordered that "Mrs. Warren, Rich. Church, Tho. Litle, & Rob[er]t Bartlet mow where they did last year ..." [PCR 1:41]. On 20 March 1636/7 it was ordered that "Richard Church, Rob[er]te Bartlet, & Thomas Little, [have] hay ground where they had the last year, and to take further supply where they can find it, in places not granted to others, and Rob[er]te Bartlet to have the swamp or pit at the head of Mr. Bradford's ground" [PCR 1:56]. On 5 May 1640 "Richard Church, Rob[er]te Bartlett, Thomas Little, & Mrs. Elizabeth Warren are granted enlargements at the heads of their lots to the foot of the Pine Hills ..." [PCR 1:152].
On 7 February 1637 "Mrs. Elizabeth Warren of the Eele River widow for and in consideration of a marriage solemnized betwixt John Cooke the younger of the Rockey Nooke and Sarah her daughter" granted to the said John Cooke "eighteen acres or thereabouts and lying on the north side of Robert Bartlett's lot formerly also given the said Robert in marriage with Mary another of the said Mrs. Warren's daughters" [PCR 12:27]. On 11 November 1637 John Cooke exchanged this eighteen acre parcel with Robert Bartlett for a "lot of land of like quantity lying on Duxborrow side betwixt the lots of Thomas Morton and Jonathan Brewster" [PCR 12:28].
On 9 April 1649 Richard Church sold to Robert Bartlett for £25 a "house and housing and land with all the meadow ground with the addition that he had of Goodman Kemton at the Eel River" [PCR 12:165-66].
On 7 March 1652 Robert Bartlett held a full share as a purchaser of Dartmouth [MD 4:185-88, citing PCLR 2:1:106-07].
On 30 January 1653 Samuel Hicks of Plymouth, planter, sold to Robert Bartlett of Plymouth, cooper, for £18 eleven acres of upland on the south side of Plymouth [MD 5:94-95, citing PCLR 2:1:97].
Robert Bartlett appears in a March 1651 Plymouth town list of those "that have interest and proprieties in the town's land at Punckateesett over against Road Iland" [PTR 1:37]. On 22 March 1663 the lots at "Puncateesett" were described, Robert Bartlett sharing the 24th lot with James Cole Sr. [PTR 1:67]. On 8 March 1668/9 Robert Bartlett of Plymouth, cooper, sold to John Almey of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, merchant, for £3 his share in land granted by the town of Plymouth in 1649 "lying over against Rhode Island aforesaid, at the place commonly called and known by the name of Punckateesett" [PCLR 3:328].
On 27 June 1659 Robert Bartlett of Plymouth, cooper, engaged to pay to Benjamin Foster, the son of Richard Foster, £8 when he reaches the age of twenty-one, on the condition that Bartlett would have the use of Richard Foster's land for the term of ten years; and "Mary the wife of the said Richard Foster deceased" engages to bring up the said Benjamin Foster, who is now four years old [MD 14:15-16, citing PCLR 2:2:28].
In 1660 the town of Plymouth granted to Robert Bartlett fifty acres "lying between the sea and the fern swamp between the Eelriver and Mannomett ponds" [PTR 1:43]; the bounds of this grant were described on 20 February 1662 [PTR 1:54]. On 26 January 1663 the town of Plymouth granted to those living at Eel River a quarter-mile extension on their lots, towards the pine hills [PTR 1:59]. On 21 February 1663 the town of Plymouth granted to Robert Bartlett eight acres of meadow that had been in dispute [PTR 1:61, 62]. On [blank] July 1667 the town of Plymouth granted to Robert Bartlett "a piece of swamp ... to make meadow of lying adjoining to his meadow at the Eelriver" [PTR 1:89].
On 14 July 1670 Robert Bartlett of Plymouth, wine cooper, gave to "my son-in-law James Barnabey, cordwinder" of Plymouth and "my daughter Lydia Barnabey his wife" twenty acres "by me purchased of the said my brother-in-law Richard Church," and four acres of upland meadow added to it [MD 3:112, citing PCLR 3:297].
On 17 February 1670/1 Robert Bartlett of Plymouth, cooper, sold to Thomas Burge Jr. of Newport, Rhode Island, for £50 half his share of land at Acushena in Dartmouth and half his share of land at Pascomansucke in Dartmouth (reserving one-third of the last named share) [MD 3:112, citing PCLR 5:118; RILE 1:140].
On 14 July 1673 "Robert Bartlett of the town of Plymouth ... wine cooper" granted to "my son Joseph Bartlett" for love and affection "all that my farm, messuage, tenement and seat, which I now live in and am possessed of, in the township of Plymouth aforesaid, situate and being at a place or river commonly called Eel River: viz: all that my house and land there"; four acres of marsh meadow there; and two acres of fresh or upland meadow; to be entered upon by his son on the death of the grantor and his wife [MD 3:112-13, citing PCLR 3:301].
On 19 September 1676 Robert Bartlett made a nuncupative will, bequeathing to "my wife all my estate yet undisposed of whether it be in lands or movables, goods, chattels, debts. I give all unto my wife to be absolutely at her dispose among my children" [MD 3:114, citing PCPR 3:2:87]. The inventory of the estate of Robert Bartlett was taken 29 October 1676 and totalled £170 16s. 6d., including £100 in real estate: "2 dwellinghouses and a barn, upland and meadow" [MD 3:114, citing PCPR 3:2:87]. On 6 March 1676/7 "Letters of administration is granted by the Court unto Mary Bartlett & Joseph Bartlett to administer the estate of Robert Bartlett, deceased" [PCR 5:220].
On 13 February 1677 "Mary Bartlett widow and late wife unto Robert Bartlett deceased" sold to "my son Joseph Bartlett" for £300 all the estate which was reserved to her use for life in the deed of gift from her husband Robert Bartlett to the said Joseph Bartlett, as well as fifty acres of upland "near a place commonly called the salt marsh ... between the Eelriver and Mannomett Ponds," fifty acres of upland lying between the land of Ephraim Morton Jr. and the land that did belong to James Barnabey deceased, a parcel of meadow on the Eelriver, and all personal estate given her by husband Robert Bartlett in his will [MD 3:115-16, citing PCLR 4:223].
BIRTH: Born by about 1604 based on estimated date of marriage.
DEATH: Plymouth between 19 September 1676 (date of will) and 29 October 1676 (date of probate).
MARRIAGE: By about 1629 Mary Warren, daughter of RICHARD WARREN (on 7 March 1636/7 Elizabeth Warren, widow of Richard Warren, was made a purchaser in his stead, in part because "of the lots of lands given formerly by her unto her sons in law, Richard Church, Robert Bartlett, and Thomas Little, in marriage with their wives, her daughters" [PCR 1:54], and this was confirmed on 5 October 1652 [PCR 3:19]); she died between 13 February 1677/8 [PCLR 4:223] and 1683 [PLR 1:132].
COMMENTS: In 1959 John G. Hunt suggested that Robert Bartlett of Plymouth was the same as a Robert Bartlett baptized at Puddletown, Dorsetshire, on 27 May 1603, and twenty years later Paul Prindle published a fuller pedigree of this Dorsetshire family, but at the moment this proposed identification remains only a possibility [TAG 35:214, 55:164-70]. Robert of Puddletown had brother Benjamin and sisters Mary, Lydia and Elizabeth, all names used by Robert of Plymouth.
Clues as to the ages of the children of Robert Bartlett are sparse, and several attempts have been made to determine the birth order of the children. Aside from the evidence of birth dates for the last two children, the date of freemanship for son Benjamin and the age at death for son Joseph, our most useful information comes from the marriage dates for the older daughters. The statement has frequently been made that Benjamin must have been born by 6 June 1633, since he was made free on 6 June 1654 [PCR 3:48]. But he had by 4 April 1654 already married and buried one wife, and was soon to marry a second, which suggests a man a few years older than twenty-one in that year. If we place the birth of Benjamin in 1629, then we have a gap of about six or seven years in which to place daughters Rebecca and Mary (1629-1636), but to do this we must assume that they both married when they were about eighteen, rather than rely on our usual rule of marrying daughters at age twenty in the absence of other evidence. There would be nothing unusual about this, and the resulting sequence of births for the elder children is in agreement with the evidence. Note also that under almost any interpretation there is a gap of about six years between the births of the sixth and seventh children of this couple.
On 25 December 1635 Robert Bartlett took Richard Stinnings as an apprentice for nine years, his time to begin on 1 December 1635 [PCR 1:35]. On 4 August 1638, for £6 10s. and twenty bushels of Indian corn, John Barnes assigned to Robert Bartlett the remaining term of service of Thomas Shreive (being three years from the first day of August instant), Robert Bartlett also paying Shreive £3 6s. 8d., and Shreive agreeing to serve an additional year for another £5 [PCR 12:32].
BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: The most complete treatment of Robert Bartlett and his family may be found in George E. Bowman's account of the descendants of RICHARD WARREN in MD 3:105-17. This article includes abstracts of all records relating to Robert Bartlett and complete transcripts of the probate documents and some critical deeds, and is only slightly marred by a misguided effort to represent dates in both Old Style and New Style. A shorter but also excellent account may be found in Moore Anc 60-72. Paul W. Prindle included a solid version of the family in his limited edition Ancestors and Descendants of Timothy Crosby Jr. (Orleans, Mass., 1981), 2:342-50. For a more recent brief presentation of this family see Robert S. Wakefield, Janice A. Beebe, et al., Richard Warren of the Mayflower ... (MFIP, 4th ed., 1991 [referred to above as MFIP Warren]), which carefully presents the evidence for the marriages of the children.
Mary Warren b: ABT 1609 in England
BET 1627 AND 1630
- Benjamin Bartlett b: 1629 in Plymouth Colony
- Rebecca Bartlett b: 1631 in Plymouth Colony
- Mary Bartlett b: 1633 in Plymouth Colony
- Sarah Bartlett b: 1636 in Plymouth Colony
- Joseph Bartlett b: 1639 in Plymouth Colony
- Elizabeth Bartlett b: 1641 in Plymouth Colony
- Lydia Bartlett b: 08 JUN 1648 in Plymouth Colony
- Mercy Bartlett b: 10 MAR 1651 in Plymouth Colony