Capt. BROCKLEBANK Samuel

Capt. BROCKLEBANK Samuel[1]

Male Abt 1626 - 1676  (~ 50 years)

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  • Name BROCKLEBANK Samuel 
    Prefix Capt. 
    Born Abt 1626  England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    • (Age 36, March 29, 1664.)
    Gender Male 
    _UID ADA70D38EB9ED5118A06444553540000C893 
    Died 21 Apr 1676  Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3, 4
    • (Slain in King Philip's War, with Wadsworth at Sudbury. Other records record the date as 18 Apr 1676.)
    Notes 
    • Dating of "The Sudbury Fight" [Condensed Version]

      The date of "The Sudbury Fight" had been the subject of much dispute for years. I have more thoroughly analyzed all the resources I had on The Sudbury Fight. It is one of my concerns because Capt. Samuel Brocklebank, my 7th great-grandfather was slain in it. There were a number of major players in this story, but especially the other Captain that was killed in it, Capt. Samuel Wadsworth, and most of their men.

      So, was the date of The Sudbury Fight, 18 Apr 1676 or 21 Apr 1676?

      The Wadsworth Monument was erected in the town of Sudbury about 1730 by the President of Harvard College, Capt. Wadsworth's own son, who must surely have been correct when he had the monument erected. Certainly he would have known what day his own father was killed. The monument said 18 Apr 1676.

      In 1852 the monument was rebuilt, and although those on the committee that was formed to rebuild it knew "that there was a discrepancy among the authorities"[2] concerning the date of the fight, it was nevertheless erected with the same date of 18 Apr 1676.

      So, shortly after that, S.G. Drake, a former President of the NEHGS, wrote a most convincing article in the NEHGR, entitled "WADSWORTH MONUMENT"[1] concluding that the date was rather 21 Apr 1676.

      First, he called attention to the contemporary historian's accounts. That itself was convincing enough, but there was a second factor to consider. It was that notice of the battle happening that day was received at Charlestown, Massachusetts, just at the beginning of the monthly lecture there.

      Then, S.G. Drake, refers the reader to Buddington's History of the First Church of the town of Charlestown, which he felt "easily settled" the question of on what day that lecture was held. I quote: "It is there stated that the regular Monthly Lectures were held in that town on Fridays. And we know that the 21st of April, 1676, was Friday."[1]

      Thirteen years later, however, the NEHGR [2] published an article by the Hon. George S. Boutwell, member of Congress for the district in which the fight occurred. His view was in complete opposition to Mr. Drakes. And he also developed his argument on the basis of a number of historical records, including some of the same records that Drake referred to. He concluded that the date on the monument was indeed the correct date.

      Later that same year the NEHGR published another report that I will make later reference to.

      I previously referred those interested in the dispute over the date of "The Sudbury Fight" to the NEHGR's discussions. The first by S.G. Drake in favor of the date 21 April 1676, contrary to what the Wadsworth Monument in Sudbury read.[3] And the second by Hon. George S. Boutwell, in favor of the date 18 Apr 1676, as the monument read.[4] Both had substantial points worth considering.

      Another book, History of The Town Of Marlborough, Mass., by Charles Hudson summed up the controversy very nicely in three paragraphs, which take into consideration both of the above positions, as well as the one to follow and gives the message that views concerning both positions are highly probable and improbable, leaving the matter just as it was, a matter of controversy. The writer did, however, make the main points stand out, without dragging it out. [5]

      I don't know if the debate was ever fully settled. Even in the book "Flintlock and Tomahawk", by Douglas Edward Leach, published 1958, only gave a correspondent the general idea that The Sudbury Fight seemed to have happened between Apr 19 and Apr 27.

      The best summation of evidence that I've seen is "Report On The Sudbury Fight, April, 1676" [6] This report was written by a committee formed by the NEHGR to investigate the matter. It, at length, considers all the histories and points of view taken by both Mr. Drake and Mr. Boutwell and introduces much new evidence that had been previously unknown by the former writers in the NEHGR, evidence that they were able to unearth.

      One of the historians, Dr. Increase Mather that Mr. Drake had referred to in his previous account, had recorded events in journal form, writing daily entries. He recorded no event on 18 Apr 1676. on the 19th, however, he recorded that one man was killed at Weymouth and another at Hingham, and that the enemy had burned the remaining deserted houses at Marlborough. Under 20 April, he said a day of great humiliation was observed at Boston. But, it wasn't until the 21st that he reported that "sad tidings came to us. For the enemy set upon upon Sudbury and burnt a great part of the town; and whereas Captain Wadsworth (a prudent and faithful man) was sent out for their relief with about seventy armed men, a great body of Indians surrounded them, so as that about fifty of ours were slain that day, amongst whom was Captain Wadsworth and his Lieutenant Sharp. Also Captain Brocklebank (a godly and choice spirited man) was killed at the same time". [3]

      I mention Dr. Increase Mather, at this time, because we will be referring to these words shortly. I desire not to go to great length with the confusing and contradictory references that were previously made concerning the various historian's accounts, but to get more to the point. I believe that the later discovery of many town records, as well as Gage's History of Rowley will speak for themselves.

      This committee assigned to get to the truth of the matter, said that they were "indebted to the accurate Historiographer of the Society, W. B Trask, Esq....for a reliable transcript of the Town Records of Roxbury." "We say reliable, because Mr. Shattuck, in his History of Concord, by some typographical or other mistake has made them say April 27." So, that explains the April 27th error that has been carried on.

      The actual records tell that all of the following men "Were all slain at Sudbury by the Indians under command of Captain Samuell Wadsworth, vpon 21 Aprill, 1676.": "Josep Pepper...Thomas Baker, Jr., John Roberts, Nathaniel Sever, Thos. Rawley, Sen., William Cleaves, Joseph Pepper, John Sharpe, Thomas Hopkins, Samuel Gardner".

      Some of the Concord Town Records even have it as the 31st of March: "Samuel Potter; John Barnes; David Comy; James Hosmer" all reported as dying that day. That's a mystery. Perhaps the clerk only recorded events on a monthly basis.

      It appears that the County Records of the Probate Court of Middlesex County, provide the best evidence:
      Samuel Potter, of Concord, no d.o.d.
      John Barnes of Concord, no d.o.d.
      David Comy of Concord, d. 21 Apr 1676, "slaine by ye Indians at
      Sudbury,"
      James Hosmer Jr. of Concord, d. 21 [2] 1676
      "being slaine in the jniagement with the jndeans at Sudburie,
      one the 21 of the second month in the year 1676."
      Josiah Wheeler, of Concord, "slain by the engagement with the
      Indians at Sudburie on the twenty-first of the second month,
      in ye yeare 1676."
      Will Heywood, of Sudbury, "slayn Aprill 21, 1676".
      (Of course, when you are looking for it, no Nathaniel Gleason,
      is mentioned in these extracts, however, he may have been
      either under Wadsworth's command, or under Capt. Hugh Mason's
      (of Watertown) command. Nevertheless, the date of his death
      is in agreement.
      The Suffolk Probate Records are not so conclusive concerning the following that died: Capt. Samuel Wadsworth, of Milton (slain in the country's service).
      Joseph Pepper, of Roxbury (slain in the country's service).
      Thomas Baker, of Roxbury, slain 1676.
      John Buckman Jr., dyed in the country's service.
      Jabesh Duncan, of Roxbury, dyed in the country's service.
      John Wiseman, of Boston, slain in the country's service.
      Except for the last entry:
      Eliazer Hawes, of Dortchester, "slaine in ye wars ye 21 of Aprill."

      The records proved that Mather had been right in his date when he recorded that a man had been slain at Weymouth, as the records show that "Sergt. Thomas Pratt, of Weymouth, slain by the Indians 19th April, 1676."

      Rowley, where Capt. Brocklebank and some of his men were from yielded nothing in it's town records. But, we do have Gage's History of Rowley:

      Pg. 220 says: "Upon tuesday and wednesday last they burned the remainder of the houses in Marlborough." "This day we have intelligence in general that Sudbury was this morng. assaulted and many houses burnt down." (Dated 21 Apr '76)

      Pg. 234, "We recd yours of 21st, informing of killing two men of Hingham and Weymouth, and that on fryday last your Town of Sudbury was assaulted, since which, we have more particularly that the greatest part of that town was lost, and the same day Capt. Wadsworth and Brocklebank with many under their command...".

      Pg. 222 contains a letter from Secretary Edward Rawson to Lieut. Richard Jacob, Capt. Brocklebank's lieutenant: "Information of God's further frown upon us in depriving the country both of yr Captain and Capt. Wadsworth, wth severall others by permitting the enemy to destroy them yesterday so yt yr late Capt. Brocklebank's charge is devolved upon yourself." (Boston, 22 Apr 1676)

      Prior to his receiving this letter, Lieut. Richard Jacob, writes from Marlborough 22 April 1676 to Rawson. "This morning the enemy alarmed us by firing on that part of the town next to Sudbury...and they afterwards came in sight on Indian Hill in great numbers, and as they are accustomed after a fight, began to signify to us how many were slain. They co-hooped seventy-four times, which we hoped was only to frighten us."

      April 23 Sec. Rawson wrote again to Lieut. Jacob, "Yesterday, upon the council receiving the sad intelligence of yr Capt. and Capt Wadsworth's death, ordered your taking charge of affairs at Marlborough. Since when I received yours of 22d, giving intelligence of the enemy's infesting your quarters..."

      Then there was the anonymous historian's account, which was published in London in October, 1676, and which was considered by the publisher "the most exact account yet printed." He wrote: "April 20, Capt. Wadsworth, of Dorchester, being designed with an 100 men to repair to Marlborough to strengthen the garrison, and remove the goods, & c. there; did accordingly this evening march with about 70 men from Sudbury, the rest of his men not appearing; The enemy... permitted them to pass them in the night, but in the morning assaulted and burned most of the Houses in Sudbury (save those that were ingarrisoned) upon which the Town of Concord receiving the alarm, 12 resolute young men hastened from thence to their neighbor's relief, but were waylaid and 11 of them cut off; But by the time Capt. Wadsworth was come to Marlborough, the alarm and news of this disaster overtook him, and although he had marched all the day and night before and his men much wearied, yet he hastened back againe and was accompanied by Capt. Brocklebank, commander of the garrison at Marlborough, with what small number he durst spare out of his garrison, when they arrived within a mile and a half of Sudbury... and were suddenly set upon....Our two Captains after incomparable proofs of their resolution and gallantry, being slain upon the place, together with most of their men; but those few that remained escaped to a mill, which they defended till night, when they were hapily rescued by Capt. Prentice, who coming in the way hastily, though somewhat too late to the relief of Capt. Wadsworth, & c."

      Also from Edw. Rawson's letter, it is clear that it was on Tuesday and Wednesday, the 18th and the 19th that it was Marlborough that was the town attacked. The anonymous writer stated that that once the news arrived that Capt. Wadsworth and his men prepared to go and set off marching toward "Marlborough to strengthen the garrison there," which did not happen until the 20th. He also reported that Capt. Wadsworth and his company had "marched all the day and night before the day of the Sudbury Fight. So, it now becomes clear that it was Marlborough that was attacked and burned on the 18th & 19th of April and not Sudbury, as he was marching at that point to Marlborough.

      True, in the morning of the 21st, when the men of Concord responded to the attack on Sudbury, they hastened to try to defend their neighbors, but were met up by Indians and cut off, a number of them dying. The NEHGR considered that skirmish "a distinct affair by itself in the early part of the same day, they being the nearest neighbors to Sudbury."

      So, it was 21 Apr 1676 later in the day that the Sudbury Fight occurred.

      Judge Sewall, wrote in his journal "Friday about 3 in ye afternoon, April 21, 1676, Capt. Wadsworth and Capt. Brocklebank fall..." Some have questioned the April 21 date on this basis, saying that with the country in the possession and control of the Indians, and how could the news of the fight reach Charleston the same day at the beginning of the lecture which General Daniel Gookin was attending. Charles Hudson's answer to that is that "Those who advocate the latter date assert, with a good degree of probability, that Gookin's intimacy with the Praying Indians, enabled him to obtain, through them, the earliest intelligence from the interior, and that they could in four of five hours convey the news to Charlestown."[5]

      Has anyone not heard, even in our day, of the amazing feats of endurance of some Indian runners.

      NEHGR concludes by saying, "Your Committee were appointed 'to ascertain if possible the date of the Sudbury Fight.' We believe the evidence herein submitted fully warrants us in now reporting that we have conclusively ascertained the date of that Fight, and that it was on the twenty-first day of April, 1676, old style." Old Style meaning according to the Julian Calendar.

      However, as I mentioned, S.G. Drake, in order to settle the question that it was absolutely on the 21st of the month, referred the reader to Buddington's History of the First Church of the town of Charlestown. He said: "It is there stated that the regular Monthly Lectures were held in that town of Fridays. And we know that the 21st of April, 1676, was Friday."[3] Friday, that is, according to the Old Style, Julian Calendar.

      Endnotes:
      [1] NEHGR, Vol. 7, July 1853, pp. 221-224.
      [2] NEHGR, Vol 20, April 1866, pp. 135-141.
      [3] NEHGR, Vol 7, July 1853, pp. 221-224.
      [4] NEHGR, Vol 20, Apr 1866, pp. 135-141.
      [5] History of The Town Of Marlborough, Mass., Charles Hudson, pp. 75, 76.
      [6] NEHGR, Vol 20, Oct 1866, 341-352.

      The Essex Antiquarian: He was a yeoman, and lived in Rowley, being a selectman of the town and holding other public offices. He was appointed deacon of the church there Feb. 18, 1665. His estate was appraised at £442, 11s.
    Person ID I19986  Noyes Family Genealogy
    Last Modified 11 Feb 2003 

    Father BROCKLEBANK John,   b. 1601, , Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 1643, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age < 41 years) 
    Mother [BROCKLEBANK] Jane,   b. 1605, , Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Dec 1668, Rowley, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 63 years) 
    Married Bef 1626  England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 5
    • (Based on birth of son, Samuel.)
    Family ID F11430  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family [BROCKLEBANK] Hannah,   b. 1632,   d. 6 Sep 1690, Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 58 years) 
    Married 18 May 1652  Rowley, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 6
    Children 
     1. Dea. BROCKLEBANK Samuel,   b. 28 Nov 1653, Rowley, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. BROCKLEBANK Francis,   b. 26 Sep 1655, Rowley, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown  (Age ~ 4 years)
     3. BROCKLEBANK John,   d. Yes, date unknown
     4. BROCKLEBANK Hannah,   b. 28 Mar 1659, Rowley, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     5. BROCKLEBANK Elizabeth,   b. 1661, Rowley, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     6. BROCKLEBANK Mary,   b. 1663, Rowley, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     7. BROCKLEBANK Sarah,   b. 29 Oct 1666, Rowley, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown  (Age ~ 0 years)
     8. BROCKLEBANK Sarah,   b. 7 Jul 1668, Rowley, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Apr 1750, Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)
     9. BROCKLEBANK Jane,   b. 31 Jan 1670/1, Rowley, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Jul 1728, Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 57 years)
     10. BROCKLEBANK Joseph,   b. 28 Nov 1674, Rowley, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Apr 1748  (Age 73 years)
    Last Modified 25 Apr 2018 
    Family ID F7683  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - Abt 1626 - England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 18 May 1652 - Rowley, Essex, Massachusetts Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 21 Apr 1676 - Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Brocklebank-Nelson-Beecher house
    Brocklebank-Nelson-Beecher house
    First Period Colonial house located at 108 East Main Street (Route 133), Georgetown, Massachusetts. It is now a nonprofit museum owned by the Georgetown Historical Society. An admission fee is charged.

    It is believed that Brocklebank built the house shortly after his marriage in 1668, near a brook where he had kept cattle penned previously.

    http://ancestoryarchives.blogspot.com/2014/01/brocklebank-nelson-beecher-house.html


  • Sources 
    1. [S544] Correspondence-Internet-Sandi Goetze, 30 Dec 1998 2:22 am.

    2. [S47] CD-NEHG Register, Vol. 6, July 1852, p.244.

    3. [S561] Book-Early Settlers of Rowley, MA, F 74 R88 B612 1981., p.43.

    4. [S288] Book-VR Rowley, MA, 1:446.

    5. [S744] Periodical-The Essex Antiquarian, Vol. XII, 1908; "Brocklebank Genealogy"; p.54.

    6. [S288] Book-VR Rowley, MA, 1:257.