Name: Peter PALFREY
Birth: 1611 in Minister, Horton, Somerset, England
Death: 15 SEP 1663 in Reading, Mass.
Change Date: 22 AUG 2009
Peter Palfrey came from England in 1623 on the ship "Abigail" with the "Dorchester" Company which began a plantation at Cape Anne, Mass in 1624, Roger Conant, Governor. This company failed in 1626 and most of the emigrants returned to England. Peter and 2 others remained with Conant and in autumn 1626 he left Glouchester and moved to Naumkeag and then later laid the foundation for Salem, Mass.
He married Edith about 1631 probably in Salem, MA.
After Edith's death, Peter married second Elizabeth, widow of John FAIRFIELD (d. 1646) of Wenham, MA.
He married third about 1662 Alice (d. Mar. 20, 1677/8, Reading, MA). .
In 1631 he was made a freeman.
In 1632 he was a Deputy from Salem to the first General Court of Massachusetts Bay Colony.
On 25 February 1635/6 Peter Palfrey was granted a two hundred acre farm at the head of Bass River, as part of the freeman's land. He was granted one acre of marsh on 25 December 1637, based on a household of six.
He was granted five acres of meadow in Wenham meadow, 3 December 1649.
He sold apple trees to Samuel Bennett of Rumney Marsh, and Bennett failed to pay. Palfrey's attorney, Nathaniel Pickman, sued for payment and a writ was issued 15 July 1660 attaching Bennett's orchard.
Peter was fictionalized in Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "The May-Pole of Merry Mount" (1836) as a Lt. of Gov. ENDICOTT's militia, in the closing pages, where the penalties to be given are discussed.
He is mentioned in Hawthorne's "The Snow-Image", at:
Jane WHEAT was a servant in the PALFREY home in 1637.
Matthew EDWARDS was a servant to Peter PALFREY in 1649, and was chosen in 1663 to be guardian of Benjamin FAIRFIELD, who had been under the guardianship of his step-father Peter.
He had business dealings in the beaver pelt trade.
He moved to Reading, MA about 1655.
Peter represented Salem, MA in the first General Court of the colony. He died in Reading, MA in 1662. But another source says in 1662 he moved to Reading, Mass. where he died Sept 15, 1663, "well sticken in years."
In his will, dated 21 October 1662 and proved 15 December 1663, "Peter Palfrey ... being far stricken in years" bequeathed to "my dear & loving wife Ales Palfrey £5"; to "my son-in-law Matthew Johnson 5s."; to "my youngest daughter Mary Palfrey two pewter platters ... marked M.P. on the bottom and likewise an iron pot ... and £6 ... to be taken out of my son-in-law Aspinwall's his portion"; "Samuel Pickman, Peter Aspinwall & Benjamin Smith, my three sons-in-law, and my aforesaid daughter Mary Palfrey" to receive the residue in equal portions "but ... that my daughter Aspinwall took up in goods upon my account more by £6 than I did allow unto her, or any of my other children at their marriage, my will therefore is that £6 of my son Aspinwall's portion is to be given to my daughter Mary Palfrey as abovesaid"; "my son Samuel Pickman and George Davis" executors. In a 19 May 1663 codicil he adjusted his will so that daughter Mary received her £6 before the estate was divided, and that each child received an equal portion of the residue. In a 19 May 1663 codicil, "whereas my son Aspinwall hath a mare of mine ... I give the first colt the mare brings to my daughter Mary, & my son Aspinwall to have the use of my mare, and also the next colt she brings" and he to bring up "my daughter Mary's colt"
Edith ? b: ABT 1613 in Reading, Eng?
in prob Salem, Mass
- Lydia PALFREY b: ABT 1632
- Hannah PALFREY b: ABT 1634
- Jonathan PALFREY b: 1636
- Jehoidan PALFREY b: 1636 in Salem, Mass
- Remember PALFREY b: 1638 in Salem, Essex Co, Mass.
- Mary PALFREY b: 1639
Elizabeth KNIGHT b: 16 APR 1615
in Mass, Prob Salem