A HISTORY OF
THE WILLIS FAMILY
NEW ENGLAND and NEW JERSEY
AND THEIR ANCESTORS
COMPRISING THE FAMILIES OF FARRAND, BALL, KITCHELL,
COOK, WARD, FAIRCHILD, PLUME, BRUEN, SMITH,
TREAT, PIERSON, CRANE, COOPER, SANFORD,
SHEAFE AND OTHERS
To which is added
A HISTORY OF THE
Family of John Howard, Esq.
of Richmond, Virginia
Harris and Macleod Families
COMPILED IN THE YEAR 1916
CHARLES ETHELBERT WILLIS
FRANCES CAROLINE WILLIS
CHARLES ETHELBERT WILLIS
SEARCH WARRANT FOR THE APPREHENSION OF MAJOR GENERALS
GOFFE AND WHALLEY.
"Hartford, June 14, 1664
Whereas his Majestie hath sent over to the plantation of N. England spetial Ored and Comand for the App'hending of Collonell Whalley and Coll. Goph who are declared to stand Convicted for the Execrable murther of the Royall father of or Gratious Soveraigne and having app'r'hended the said persons, to send them over to England under strict care to receave according to their demerits; These are therefore to require you to make diligent search in your plantation for ye forenamed Gent: Coll: Whalley and Coll: Goffe and to appr'hend them being discovered and found out and to secure them in safe Custody and bring them before the Majistrates or Majistrate to receave further orders respecting the said p'sons.
By order from ye Governo'r
To Robt Treat, Esq'r. John Allyn, secr'y."
The above should be of much historical interest to the family, as Robert Treat, Esq., was our ancestor; he placed the warrant in the hands of Laurence Warde to make the search, the latter returning it "as not found," while at the time Goffe and Whalley were living at the house of our ancestor Michael Tompkins, near Milford, Conn., where they had been for two years. Michael Tompkins was the father of Seth Tompkins, who married Elizabeth, daughter of our ancestor Samuel Kitchell; while Laurence Warde was the brother of our ancestor George Warde. Michael Tompkins was also the great grandfather of Joanna Tompkins, who married our ancestor John Plume (7th).
The search, and "not found," was evidently a joke, much enjoyed by the Puritans of Conn., as they were all in thorough sympathy with the fugitives.
An abbreviated account of the so-called regicides, copied from an article by Mr. Harry H. Edes, of Charlestown, Mass., follows:
"Edward Whalley--One of the fifty-nine Judges of Charles I. who affixed their names to the warrant for the King's Execution, January 29, 1648-9. He was the second son of Richard Whalley, Esq., by his second wife, Frances, daughter of Sir Henry Cromwell, Hinchinbrooke, Knight, the grandfather of the Protector, Oliver, and a grandson of Thomas, Esq. (by his wife Elizabeth), who was the eldest son and heir of Richard Whalley, Esq. of Kirkton, county of Nottingham, a man of great opulence and member of Parliament for Scarboro.
"Edward Whalley distinguished himself in many battles and sieges, and as a reward for his bravery at the battle of Naseby, in 1645, Parliament, Jan. 21, 1645-6, 'voted him to be a Colonel of Horse,' &c.
"Having great confidence in his cousin, the Protector committed the King's person to the charge of Colonel Whalley, and afterwards entrusted him with the government of the counties of Lincoln, Nottingham, Derby, Warwick and Leicester, and Commissary General of Scotland. General Whalley married the sister of Sir George Middleton, Knight.
"William Goffe--likewise a member of the 'High Court of Justice,' which pronounced judgment upon Charles I., and like Whalley, one of the fifty-nine who signed the King's death warant.
"He was the son of the Rev. Stephen Goffe, a Puritan Divine and Rector of Stanmer, in Sussex.
"William Goffe entered the Parliamentary army on the breaking out of the war. He soon became Quarter Master, then a Colonel of foot, and was afterwards raised by Cromwell to the rank of Major General.
"In 1654 he, with Col. William White and some 'Musqueteers,' purged the Parliament of the 'Anababtistical Members,' for which and other services he was considered 'the only fit man' to receive John Lambeth's post of Major General of foot. Was member of Parliament 1654 to 1656. He married a daughter of General Whalley--his companion in exile--and corresponded with her, while at Hadley, over the signature of Walter Goldsmith, and received replies signed Frances Goldsmith. This corespondence was carried on as between a mother and son. Goffe's last letter bears date April 2, 1679.
"Goffe and Whalley were devout Congregational Puritans and in perfect accord with the New England fathers. As the Restoration drew near, they took passage in a ship bound for New England, and while yet in the Channel received tidings of the proclaiming of Charles II.
"They arrived in Boston July 27, 1660, where they were kindly received by Governor Endicott, and visited by the principal inhabitants. They afterwards took up their abode in Cambridge.
"The act of indemnity arrived in November the same year, and upon finding that Generals Goffe and Whalley were not excepted the Government of Mass. was alarmed, on account of the friendly reception which had been given these gentlemen on their arrival. Feby. 22, 1661, the Governor convened the Court of assistants to consult upon the propriety of securing them, and finding it unsafe to remain longer at Cambridge, they left on the 26th and arrived at New Haven on the 7th of March.
"Here also they met with kind treatment and were concealed in the house of Rev. John Davenport, from whence they removed to the house of William Jones, Esq., afterwards Deputy Governor of Conn.; and at the time one of those most forward in their interests was William Leete, Esq., Deputy Governor of the Colony and soon to become Governor.
"The news of the King's Proclamation arriving soon after, they were obliged to flee, first to a mill near the outlet of Beaver Ponds in the suburbs of New Haven, and on the 13th May were conducted by Mr. Jones first to a place called Hatchet Harbor, and on the 15th to a cave on top of a hill about two miles and a half north-west of New Haven, which the Regicides named 'Providence Hill.'"
After this they were two years at the house of Michael Tompkins, near the Milford meeting house, and while at Tompkins the order for the search was made by the Governor, the execution of which was, of course, put in the friendly hands of Robert Treat and Laurence Warde.
"On the 13th of October, 1664, they started for Hadley, traveling only at night, where the minister of the place, the Rev. John Russell, had consented to receive them. Here they remained about sixteen years, residing a part of the time at the house of Mr. Peter Tilton, who resided near Mr. Russell."
General Goffe died in Hadley about 1679 or 1680, but his burial place was kept secret.
"General Whalley died at Hadley about 1676, and many places, including New Haven, have been claimed as his burial place; however, when the south part of the house wherein Mr. Russell, the minister of Hadley, resided and where the two regicides were concealed for upwards of fifteen years, was taken down in 1795, and in removing the middle part of the front wall next the main street, the workmen discovered the bones of a large man, small pieces of wood and some flat stones which from their position were probably laid on top of the coffin. These bones must have been those of General Whalley, who was buried near 120 years before."