Major PIKE Robert

Major PIKE Robert[1, 2]

Male 1616 - 1706  (90 years)

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  • Name PIKE Robert 
    Prefix Major 
    Born 17 Mar 1615/6  Whiteparish, Wiltshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Gender Male 
    Residence Between 1635 and Feb 1637/8  Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Church Member 1687  Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Address:
    1st Salisbury Church 
    • (Maj. Robert and Mrs. Pike were the first on the list of members.)
    Died 12 Dec 1706  Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Buried Aft 12 Dec 1706  Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Address:
    Old Burying Ground AKA Colonial Burying Ground 
    Major Robert Pike memorial monument
    Major Robert Pike memorial monument
    IN MEMORY OF
    MAJOR ROBERT PIKE
    (1616-1706)

    One of the first settlers of Salisbury, a leader in
    civil and military affairs. He stood far in advance
    of his time and having the wisdom and courage to
    proclaim witchcraft a delusion and to advocate
    religious freedom.
    1st Five Ministers of Salisbury, Massachusetts memorial monument
    1st Five Ministers of Salisbury, Massachusetts memorial monument
    Maj. Robert Pike
    Major Robert Pike monument near Salisbury, MA Public Library
    Major Robert Pike monument near Salisbury, MA Public Library
    Probate 21 May 1707  [4
    • (administration of estate; acct. May 1708. Rev. John Pike "of Dover, eldest son," was administrator of the estate of Major Robert Pike. After the death of Rev. John, in 1710, Dr. Robert Pike was executor of the estate of his father, Rev. John and administrator of the estate of his grandfather, Major Robert, April 1714.)
    _UID C06D0D38EB9ED5118A06444553540000A15D 
    Notes 
    • Came to America aboard the ship "James of London" which sailed from Southampton, 5 April 1635; arriving in Ipswich, Massachusetts 2 June 1635. He spent part of his early childhood in Whiteparish and arrived with his father John G., his brother John, and three sisters: Dorothy, Ann and Israel. His family went first to Ipswich, but soon afterward moved to the newly settled town of Newbury, Massachusetts where he lived until 1639 when he joined the colony which founded Salisbury, Massachusetts.

      It has been said that he was a man of much strength and of a robust constitution. Tradition states that on the voyage to this country he asked the captain for an increase of rations. When questioned as to his need for more food to keep up his strength; he took a large iron bar and bent it into a U form. This so surprised the captain that his request was granted. (Pike records 1900-1901, page 10.)

      At the age of 21, 17 May 1637, he took the oath as freeman, just before the exciting election at which John Winthrop (1588-1649, q.v.) defeated Sir Henry Vane (1613-1662, q.v.) for governor, and is said to have been of the Winthrop faction.

      On 3 April 1641, Robert married Sarah Sanders. Sarah was born in Langford, England ca. 1622, the daughter of Henry Sanders who was the son of Sir Edwin Sanders who died at the time of Henry VIII (1491-1547) of England. Her mother was Alice Coles.

      Robert and Sarah (Sanders) Pike had eight children, the first of whom was Sarah who married Wymond Bradbury (Wymond Bradbury was a son of Mary (Perkins) Bradbury who was accused of witchcraft but not executed. Major Robert Pike defended Mary Bradbury. "Although she was defended by one of Salisbury's leading attorneys, and one hundred eighteen of Mrs. Bradbury's acquaintances signed a petition, she was convicted with four others. The four were executed, 22 September 1692. In some way, Mrs. Bradbury escaped execution at that time. In the meantime, glimmerings of reason returned once more to the frenzied insane people of that country, and after many months in jail, waiting for the executioner, this kindly Christian lady was permitted once more to return to her family." [Bradbury, p. 695.]

      After Sarah's death in 1679, Robert married on 30 October 1684 Martha (Moyce) Goldwire, widow of George Goldwire. No children are recorded by the second marriage.

      When the Town of Salisbury was settled in 1638, Robert, then aged 22, was one of 60 odd pioneers who crossed the Merrimac. In the choice of a house lot, fortune seems to have favored him with two acres in the corner of the way to Hampton and the way to the Great Neck (later called the "Beach Road"). Here he built his home and where was born to him a family of three sons and five daughters who reached mature years. He paid the largest tax in Salisbury, 1652.

      His biographer says that he was engaged in three conspicuous controversies during his life. The first was his arraignment by the General Court in 1653, for his hostility to the persecution of the Quakers. The second was his resistance to the dogmatic authority of the clergy, in the person of his pastor, Rev. John Wheelwright. The third, as noted above, was his bitter opposition to the witchcraft prosecutions in 1692. In all of these, he practically stood alone.

      Major Robert Pike also pleaded the case of Susanna Martin, whose memory is perpetuated by the poet, John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892). After the frenzied populace had hung the poor woman on the terrible gallows-tree in Salem, Whittier wrote the poem about Susanna's daughter, Mabel, "The Witch's Daughter" which later became parts II-V of "Mabel Martin."

      Together with others of the "commoners" he received allotments of land in all of the divisions, the chief of which was his pasture (later referred to as the "Pike Homestead" on the Old Ferry Road), 100 acres at Batt's Hill and a large division at Amesbury. This land he mostly disposed of by deed or gift to his children during his life leaving only a moderate estate at his death. His home and lot of three acres he gave to his grandson Robert, son of Robert, the year prior to his death. Robert the grandson in later years sold the property to his father-in-law, William Hook, Jr. and Robert the grandson moved to Exeter.

      To his younger son Moses, he deeded his pasture where he later settled and which remained in the family for many years.

      He early took a prominent position in the militia being a Lieutenant at 32, Captain at 37 and Major when 41 years of age. During King Philip's War (q.v.) he was in command of all the forces of Norfolk Co., Massachusetts, and those located in the State of Maine (although Maine did not become a state until 1820 q.v.).

      As early as 1650 he was what would now be called a trial justice and in 1672 an associate judge of the courts of Norfolk Co. In local affairs, a selectman from 1661-1677 and on many responsible committees. In political life, a member of the General Court when 32 and of the Governor's Council from 1682 to 1696, when having reached the age of 80 years he retired to the private life of the farm and was engaged in giving away to his heirs the property which he had accumulated during his lifetime. The last ten years was passed in the quiet of his town, Salisbury, where he died December 12, 1706, at the age of ninety-one. No stone marks Robert's grave on the Old Beach Road. However, in the center of the City of Salisbury, Massachusetts, has been erected a memorial plaque to Major Robert Pike.

      He has been called "the moral and fearless hero of New England;" "the first and strongest representative of the right of petition;" the "power which squelched the witchcraft delusion," etc. In 1653 he denounced the law by the General Court designed to restrain Peasley and Macy of Amesbury from preaching in the absence of a minister. He declared "that those members who had voted for it had violated their oaths as freemen; that their act was against the liberty of the country, both civil and ecclesiastical, and that he stood ready to make his declaration good." For this he was tried, convicted, fined and disenfranchised, by the General Court. The punishment inflicted on Lieut. Pike caused petitions to be signed by many persons in the surrounding towns, asking that the sentenance be revoked. This offended the Court still more, and the signers were called upon to give "a reason of their unjust request." In Oct., 1654, out of the whole number of signers, about one-fifth, or fifteen persons, only, were reported "who have not given satisfaction," and therefore insisted on the right of petition. Robert Pike's fine was paid, and in Oct., 1657, his disfranchisement was removed. In 1658 he was again elected to the General Court.

      In 1675 Robert Pike resisted the authority assumed by his pastor, Rev. John Wheelwright, and was excommunicated from the Salisbury church; but was reinstated the next year.

      In 1692 he appeared in the third great controversy of his life, in opposition to the witchcraft delusion.


    Person ID I5067  Noyes Family Genealogy
    Last Modified 7 Apr 2017 

    Father PIKE John G.,   b. Abt 1573, Whiteparish, Wiltshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 May 1654, Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 81 years) 
    Mother DAYE Dorothy,   b. Abt 1592,   d. Bef 28 Mar 1632, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 40 years) 
    Married 17 Jan 1612/3  Whiteparish, Wiltshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [7, 8
    Family ID F1840  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 SANDERS Sarah,   c. 1615, Downton, Wiltshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Nov 1679, Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 64 years) 
    Married 3 Apr 1641  Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 9, 10
    Children 
     1. PIKE Sarah,   b. 24 Feb 1641/2, Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 May 1718, Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years)
     2. PIKE Mary,   b. 22 Feb 1643/4, Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Apr 1647  (Age 3 years)
     3. PIKE Dorothy,   b. 11 Nov 1645, Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1714  (Age > 70 years)
     4. PIKE Mary,   b. 5 Aug 1647, Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Apr 1695, Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 47 years)
     5. PIKE Elizabeth,   b. 24 Jun 1650, Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 May 1715, Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 64 years)
     6. Rev. PIKE John,   b. 13 May 1653, Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Mar 1709/10, Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 56 years)
     7. PIKE Robert, Jr.,   b. 26 Jun 1655, Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Aug 1690, Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 35 years)
     8. PIKE Moses,   b. 15 Mar 1658/9, Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Mar 1741/2, Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years)
    Last Modified 1 Nov 2017 
    Family ID F1837  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 MOYCE Martha,   d. 26 Feb 1712/3, Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 30 Oct 1684  Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 9, 10, 11, 12
    • No children by this marriage.
    Last Modified 1 Nov 2017 
    Family ID F1839  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsResidence - Between 1635 and Feb 1637/8 - Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 3 Apr 1641 - Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 30 Oct 1684 - Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsChurch Member - Address:
    1st Salisbury Church - 1687 - Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts
    Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 12 Dec 1706 - Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - Address:
    Old Burying Ground AKA Colonial Burying Ground - Aft 12 Dec 1706 - Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts
    Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Major Robert Pike
    Major Robert Pike
    Immigrant Ancestor of Paul Noyes
    Immigrant Ancestor of Paul Noyes

  • Sources 
    1. [S68] Book-John Pike of Newbury, Mass., p.12.-18.

    2. [S116] Book-Old Families of Salisbury & Amesbury, MA, p.288.

    3. [S68] Book-John Pike of Newbury, Mass., p.12.

    4. [S116] Book-Old Families of Salisbury & Amesbury, MA, p.287.

    5. [S290] Book-VR Salisbury, MA, p.609.

    6. [S86] Death-gravestone, http://www.gravematter.com/pike-robert.htm.

    7. [S68] Book-John Pike of Newbury, Mass., p.9.

    8. [S47] CD-NEHG Register, Vol. 66, Jul 1912, p.260.

    9. [S290] Book-VR Salisbury, MA, p.460.

    10. [S116] Book-Old Families of Salisbury & Amesbury, MA, p.286.

    11. [S116] Book-Old Families of Salisbury & Amesbury, MA, p.176.

    12. [S116] Book-Old Families of Salisbury & Amesbury, MA, p.262.