Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Rev. Francis Higginson

Male Bef 1586 - 1630  (> 44 years)


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  • Name Rev. Francis Higginson  [1
    Born Bef 6 Aug 1586  [2
    Gender Male 
    Baptised 6 Aug 1586  Claybrooke, Leicestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3, 4
    Baptised 6 Aug 1587  Claybrooke, Leicestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Died 6 Aug 1630  Salem, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3, 4, 5
    Person ID I16380  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others
    Last Modified 23 Sep 2018 

    Father Rev. John Higginson,   b. Abt 1543,   d. Bef 19 Feb 1624, Claybrooke, Leicestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 81 years) 
    Mother Elizabeth,   d. Aft Feb 1624 
    Married Between 1577 and 1578  [5
    Family ID F9553  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Anne Herbert,   d. Bef 25 Feb 1640, New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 8 Jan 1616  St. Peter's, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3, 5
    Children 
     1. Anne Higginson,   b. 26 Jan 1627
     2. Rev. John Higginson,   b. Bef 31 Aug 1616, Claybrooke, Leicestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Dec 1708, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 92 years)
    Last Modified 23 Sep 2018 
    Family ID F10237  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • "Many sources state the year of his baptism as 1586, but in the parish register this entry falls under the heading 'The Inventore of weddings Christeings and Buriings of Cleabroke frome The 29 Septemb[e]r 1586 unto the 29 of Septemb[e]r 1587'." [Randy West, citation details below.]

      "In 1629 Francis Higginson kept a diary of his voyage to New England, and after his arrival he wrote a pamphlet entitled 'New England's Plantation,' which went through three editions in its first year. The diary, two editions of the pamphlet, and some other short writings by Higginson were collected and published in a limited edition in 1908 [New Englands Plantation with The Sea Journal and Other Writings (Salem 1908)]. [...] Cotton Mather wrote a lengthy biographical sketch on Higginson (not so long by Matherian standards, but longer than one might expect from the brief span of time that Higginson resided in New England." [Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins]

      From Descendants of the Reverend Francis Higginson [citation details below]:

      Francis Higginson was educated at Jesus College, Cambridge, taking his degrees, B. A., 1609 and M. A., 1613. He was ordained deacon at Cawood Castle Sept. 25, 1614, by Toby Mathew, Archbishop of York when he was called curate of Scredingham. He was ordained priest at Bishopthorpe Dec. 8, 1614, by the same archbishop. Scredingham, now called Scrayingham, is in the East Riding of Yorkshire, eleven miles from York. He was collated (instituted) Apr. 20, 1615, by the Archbishop of York, the patron, to the rectory of Barton-in-fabis in the county of Nottingham and deanery of Bingham, which he resigned Apr. 4, 1616. Barton-in-fabis is six miles southwest of Nottingham, near the border of Leicestershire.

      It is stated that Francis Higginson was for a time settled at Claybrooke as curate and assistant to his father. It appears certain that he was connected with the parish of St. Nicholas, Leicester, between 1617 and 1629, styling himself "minister" and afterwards "lecturer." Under date of May 17, 1627, in an account given in the State Papers of the doings of the Puritans in and about Leicester, his name is prominently mentioned.

      Nichols, in his History of Leicestershire, records the fact that, "Mr. Francis Higginson, a Reverend Divine and sometime Preacher of God's word att the parish of St. Nicholas in this Borough of Leicester, gave divers bookes for and towardes the better furnishing of this Library [the town library of Leicester]; videlicet:

      "Oecolampadius in omnes Prophetas et Job.
      Strigelius in omnes Psalmos.
      Sarcerius in Epistolas Dominicales.
      Sarcerius in Evangelia Dominicalia."
      (Nichols' Leicestershire, Vol. 1, p. 506).

      Upon invitation of the Massachusetts Bay Company to go to New England, Francis Higginson sailed from Gravesend, in the Talbot, Apr. 25, 1629, and on June 29 landed at Salem. Here was founded the first church in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, when, on July 20, 1629, "the people made choice of Mr. Skelton for their Pastor and Mr. Higginson for their Teacher. And accordingly it was desired of Mr. Higginson to draw up a confession of faith and covenant in scripture language." This covenant was signed the "6 of 6th Month, 1629," and one year from that date, Aug. 6, 1630, Francis Higginson died.

  • Sources 
    1. [S2123] The Ancestry of Reverend Henry Whitfield (1590-1657) and His Wife Dorothy Sheafe (159?-1669) of Guilford, Connecticut by John Brooks Threlfall. Madison, Wisconsin: 1989.

    2. [S2306] The Winthrop Fleet: Massachusetts Bay Company Immigrants to New England 1629-1630 by Robert Charles Anderson. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2012.

    3. [S101] The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, Volumes 1-3 and The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England,1634-1635, Volumes 1-7, by Robert Charles Anderson. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1996-2011.

    4. [S2122] Descendants of the Reverend Francis Higginson by Thomas Wentworth Higginson. 1910.

    5. [S2138] Randy West, "The 'Cousin' Relationship Between Rev. Francis Higginson of Salem, Massachusetts, and Increase Nowell of Charlestown, Massachussetts." The American Genealogist 90:71, January 2018.