Benjamin Bullard

Male 1634 - 1689


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  • Name  Benjamin Bullard 
    Born  1634  St. Martin, Barnham, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Male 
    Died  07 Sep 1689  Sherborn, Middlesex Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • Cutter's New England Families does not list Ebenezer as a son. He is referred to as John Hill's wife's son and executor of John Hill's will in 1717-18. (John Hill married Elizabeth ______, the widow of Benjamin Bullard.) Benjamin, Son of Robert Bullard, was born probably in England in 1634. He was about five years old when his father died and he was taken by one of his uncles at Dedham, where his name appears on the records about the time he came of age and where he seemed to have formed such connections as usually preceded a long acquaintance. He was admitted a townsman in Dedham, 1 Jan 1655, implying previous residence on probation. He shortly afterwards settled at Boggestow or Bogistow, later Sherborn, some twenty miles from Dedham. He joined with George Fairbanks, son of the immigrant Jonathan, and bought the southern half or third of a tract of land belonging to the heirs of Robert Kayne, of Boston, to whom had been granted in 1649 one thousand and seventy-four acres at Pawsett Hill, now partly in Sherborn, partly in Millis. Captain Kayne died 23 Mar 1655/1656. Hill and Breck, two brothers-in-law, purchased at the same time another part and these four constituted the second company who settled west of the Charles River. They must have settled there before 2 Feb 1657, when the first child was born in Sherborn. Fairbanks and Bullard divided their lands so as to give each other scattered lots and secure sites for building near each other. Bullard took the north and southwest parts and located his dwelling on the north side of Bogistow pond, near a copious and still valuable spring. Rev. Abner Morse writes: "His was a frontier location, cut off by the river and marsh, and a distance of four miles from the nearest settlement at Medfield. His prospects and life were in danger. He found Wood, Leland and Holbrook settled from one to two miles north and was joined by Rockwood and Daniels within one mile south, making with Hill and Breck, one-third mile north, and Fairbanks hard by on the southwest, a settlement of nine families to be defended by themselves. They selected for the site of their garrison the north bank of Bogistow pond, having long wet praries on the east and northwest, and they prepared to live in a state of warfare the rest of their lives. They built for their garrison house a spacious and regular fortress, superior to any similar structure on the frontier. In this fort they were once besieged by a host of King Philip's warriors, who in despair of other means attempted to fire the building and to send down the declivity by a cart of burning flax. Arrested in its descent by a rock still to be seen, and an Indian who had run down to start it having been killed, a retreat was sounded and the lives of our ancestors were saved." The walls of this edifice were carefully preserved by the descendants of Benjamin Bullard until 1785, when the proprietor sold out to a man who destroyed them. The site of the fort is but a few rods from the line of the present Bullard farm, part of the original grant, now occupied by Arthur Ware Bullard. That part has never been surveyed of deeded, and the present owner (early 1900's) is a direct lineal descendant of the first settler, all the owners successively having been Bullards in the direct male line. No similar instance is known. In 1662 Benjamin Bullard signed the first petition for the incorporation of a town. In 1674 he signed a second petition for the incorporation of Sherborn, which was granted, and he with twenty other petitioners and twenty more who were to be inhabitants constituted a proprietor of lands, now composing Sherborn, Holliston and large districts of Framingham and Ashland. Bullard was active in town and church. He was one of the six to constitute the church at its formation. He was tithingman in 1688 and served on the committee to seat the meeting-house. The Indian claim to lands granted at Sherborn before incorporation had not been destroyed, co Bullard and nine other owners of these grants paid twenty pounds to seven natives as principals for those who had formerly lived on it, and procured quit-claim to four thousand acres, 12 June, 1682. This includes his farm of one hundred and fifty acres, and in 1686 he was rated with forty proprietors and inhabitants of Sherborn to raise an equal amount to extinguish the Indian claim to the remainder of ten thousand acres included in the township. He was rated among the highest and this rate having been early adopted as the rule whereby the common lands should be apportioned, he and his heirs drew large shares and became the owners of much land. He died intestate and administration was granted to his son Samuel and Sarah Bullard. His personal estate was appraised, 28 November 1689, by John Harding and Joseph Bullard at two hundred and thirty-five pounds, sixteen shillings, and from another inventory he seems to have left a good property in stock and lands. His grave, unmarked, is in the little graveyard near the farm in the center of which is now a pasture on a knoll overlooking the river. Here the founders of Sherborn are buried.
    Person ID  I11065  Bryant
    Last Modified  13 Feb 2006 

    Father  Robert Bullard,   b. 1599, St. Martin, Barnham, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Jun 1639, Watertown, Middlesex Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother  Anne Martyn,   b. Bef 08 May 1597, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 15 Oct 1660, Middlesex Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  1625  St. Martin, Barnham, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Family ID  F661  Group Sheet

    Family 1  Elizabeth Ellis? or Thorpe?,   d. 01 Dec 1719, Sherborn, Middlesex Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  01 May 1677 
    Family ID  F659  Group Sheet

    Married  05 Feb 1659  Dedham, Norfolk Co, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Family ID  F660  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1634 - St. Martin, Barnham, Suffolk, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 05 Feb 1659 - Dedham, Norfolk Co, Massachusetts Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 07 Sep 1689 - Sherborn, Middlesex Co, Massachusetts Link to Google Earth
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    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Sources 
    1. [S13] NEHGR, NEHGR, (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society), 146:280.

    2. [S260] GMB, Anderson, Robert Charles, (New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts, 1995), p.1466.


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