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Edward Rawson

Male 1615 - 1693  (78 years)


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  • Name Edward Rawson 
    Born 16 April 1615  Gillingham, Dorset Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Died 27 August 1693  Boston, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Notes 
    • From Crane’s Rawson Family genealogy:
      “Edwald Rawson came to New England in the year 1636 or 1637, and became an inhabitant of the town of Newbury, in the Colony of Massassachusetts Bay. There, many other English people settled, who were from Hants and Wilts (counties adjoining Dorset), and perhaps knew by reputation, if not personally, our progenitor or his father’s family in Old England, their resi dence being located near the bounds of those two counties, in Gillingham, county of Dorset. This may account for the confidence reposed in him so soon after his arrival. He was a grantee of that town; the second Town Clerk (Public Notary and Register for the towne of Newbury), chosen April 19, 1638 (and was annually re-elected until 1647). To this oifice was added, the same year, that of a Selectman, and also that of Commissioner and Attorney for the trial of small causes in Newbury. He was besides member of each of the various committees to lay out the commons, and also one of the Deputies to represent the town at the May and September sessions of the General Court. Thus speedily, in a few months, was Edward Rawson elevated to civil office. Undoubtedly he must have possessed more than ordinary talent for business, as well as a large share of public spirit, to he so soon honored by his fellow-townsmen, and to have taken his seat, at the age of three-and-twenty, among the legislators of the Colony. His various public acts and employments while he resided there are more fully narrated in Coffin’s History of Newbury. A few items taken from the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, published in 1849, may be of interest to those who ahve not alread seen them, and which, no doubt, are perfectly authentic.
      “‘In 1639, he again represented the town of Newbury in the General Court, at its three sessions, and at the may session the Colony records inform us that he “is granted 500 acres at Pecoit, so as he go on with the business of powder if the salt Peter come.” In 1642, he again appears as a Deputy in the General Court; also in May, 1644, and at the October session, “In answer to a petition p^rferd by Mr. Rawson, for land in refference to his journey to the eastward, this Court grants him 200 acres upon Cochituate River, above Dover bounds, not graunted to any others, p^rvided that Capt. Pendleton be joyned wth Peter Commin in laying out the same.” In 1645, he was returned to the General Court, which had a very long session, extending from May 14th until saturday, July 5th. During the last week of this session, the deputies passed the following vote, “Edward Rawson is chosen & appointed Clark to the house of Depu^ts for one whole yeere, to Enter all votes passed in both houses, & those also y^t passe only by them into the book of Records.” In 1646, he retained his seat as Deputy and his office as Clerk of the House, and at the November session it was ordered by the Deputies, “y^t Edward Rawson shall have twenty markes allowed him for his paines, out of y^3 next levy, as Secr^t to ye House of Depu^ts for two yeeres past.” This vote of the Deputies was passed by “both houses,” and the Court, subsequently to its passage, entered the following declaration in their records: “Mr. Edward Rawson having been employed to signe and transcribe all bills that passe in a book, yet being sensible of the greate expenses and charge which this Court is at; and difficulty to raise small matters; not doubting of his being sensible with us, therefore; to meet, in that respect, what was allowed him by us for one year’s service, viz.: twenty marks, shall be all that shall be allowed him, and paid him out of the next levy for his services done; and he shall do to the end of this Court; conceiving it to be but just in some measure to recompense labours of this kind; which we would not be backward in.”’
      “In 1647 and 1648 he continued to represent Newbury in the General Court. In the latter year, he received tow grants of land. The first at the May session, of 1,500 acres, jointly with Rev. John Wilson of Boston, ‘next adjoining to the 3,000 acres granted to Mr. John Winthrop at Paquatuck, near the Narraganset country; but in case Mr. John Winthrop perform not the condition with respect to the time limited, that then the 1,500 acres of the said Mr. Wilson and Mr. Edward Rawson shall be of the said 3,000 acres granted to the said Mr. Winthrop.’ The second grant is the subject of the following vote of the Court, passed at the October session:
      “‘In answer to the petition of Mr. Edward Rawson, for satisfaction in regard of charges he hath been at & damages which he hath sustayned about pvisions to make gunpowder: It is ord^red that in Regard of his great forwardnes & Readines to advance so hopeful a designe as the amkinge of saltpeter within this Jurisdiction, who for that end & purpose hath disbursed certayne moneyes, to his great Loss & Damage, p^rsented to us at Large in his petition, Delivered into the present Court, have therefore, in consideration of the p^rmises & answer to his s^d petition, given and graunted unto him & his heires for ever, 500 acres of land, at Pequot, to be Layd out by the appoytment of this Court, as also five pounds, to be payed him out of the treasury.’ Edward Rawson was also one of two persons (Mr. Joseph Hills of Malden being the other), who were that same year desired by the Court ‘to compose the amendments of the book of laws passed and make them as one; one copy to remain in the hands of the committee for the speedy committing them to the press, and the other to remain in the hands of the Secretary, sealed up, till the next Court.’ In 1649, he represented Newbury and was re-elected Clerk of the House of Deputies; and at the next annual election, on the 22nd of May, 1650, Edward Rawson was raised to the office which Increase Newell had filled without interruption since the year 1636; and he opened the first page of his new volume of Colonial Records with the following: ‘At a General Court Eleccons, held at Boston 22^th of May, 1650, Edward Rawson, gent., was chosen Secretary.’
      “Johnson, in his ‘Wonder Working Providence,’ published in London, 1654, uses this language respecting him: ‘Mr. Edward Rawson, a young man, yet employed in Commonwealth affairs a long time, being well beloved by the inhabitants of Newbury, having had a large hand in her foundation, but of late, he being of a ripe capacity, a good yeoman (penman) and eloquent inditer, hath been chosen Secretary of the Colony.’
      “In 1649, by the records of Newbury, ‘at a meeting generall of the freemen, March 6th,’ Edward Rawson was appointed, with others, ‘to bee a committee about Plum Island,’ From 1650 he was annually re-ellected secretary until the usurpation of the government by Sir Edmund Andross, 1686, when Randolph succeeded him. Elliot remarks of him, that, ‘he was of respectable character, as we may judge from his having this office so long, while there was an annual election.’
      “In 1849, Mr. Josua Pilsbury lived on the farm which was owned and occupied by Edward Rawson, in Newbury, and which was purchased of the latter by William Pilsbury, the ancestor of the former. It is said he also owned and cultivated another farm in Newbury, near what is called Turkey Hill, so named from its having been the favorite resort of wild turkeys in the early settlement of the town. The meadow, near the hill, still [1875] bears the name of ‘Rawson Meadow.’ After his removal to Boston, his residence was on ‘Rawson’s Lane,’ and here he is supposed to have died. This lane bor his name until near 1800, when it was changed to Bromfield Street. Here he owned some acres of land, which bordered on the Common or Training field, out of which he sold a number of home lots.
      “He and his wife were members of what was called the First Church, over which the Rev. John Wilson was pastor. [Wilson’s daughter Susannah later married their son Grindall.] After the death of Mr. Wilson, a new pastor was to be chosen, and the Synod of 1662 was divided on the question, ‘Who are subjects of Baptism?’ and this division called forth still another in the First Church, out of which grew the Old South Society of Boston; so popularly known. The record says he was one of twenty-eight disaffected persons of the First Church of Boston, who dissolved connection with that society and form the 3d or Old South Church, in May, 1669. Thomas Thatcher, their first pastor, was installed February 16th, 1670.
      “The corporation in England for the propagation of the gospel among the Indians in New England chose Edward Rawson steward or agent ‘for the receiveing and disposing of such goods and commodities’ as should be sent to the ‘United Colonies,’ and the Commissioners of the Colonies confirmed the choice at a meeting held at New Haven in September, 1651, and appointed him to that trust. It seems that a charge of negligence in the performance of his duties in that capacity, was preferred against him. ‘The praying Indiands complained to Ratcliff and Randolph that the could not get the clothes which were allowed them.’ The charge is believed to have benn groundless, as Andross, who removed him from office, and Randolph who succeeded him, had sufficient motives to induce them to excite prejudice agaist him among the Indians. Soon after this, Andross was seized by the Colonists, and sent to England in irons.
      “The warrant which was sent to Boston by King Charles II for the aprehension of the Regicides, Goff, Whalley and Dixwell, was countersigned by Secretary Rawson. His correspondence with Gov. Leete, of connecticut, shows that zealous efforts were made to apprehend them, but, as is well known, they were unsuccessful. He is believed to be the auther of a book published in 1691, entitled, ‘The Revolution in New England Justified;’ also another, entitled, ‘The General Laws and Liberties concering the Inhabitants of the Ms. &c., fol., 1660.’
      “It is regretted that one, whose character was otherwise so irreproachable as that of the Secretary, should have been led to particpate in the persecution of the Quakers. But there is too much proof on record to leave room for doubt, that he was influenced by the fanaticism of the day. This is the only blemish upon his fair fame, and we may hope that his conduct during this excitement—chargeable, perhaps, in a great measure, to his peculiar position—may be counterbalanced by the virtuous deeds of an apparently otherwise irreproachable life.”

      Edward came to New England about 1637. He resided first in Newbury, MA. In Mar 1638 was freeman. He was the first clerk of the town, representative seven years from 1638 through 1649, and Secretary 1650 to 1686. He moved to Boston in 1650; was long registrar of deeds for Suffolk Co. as well as Secretary for the Colony for, as Savage says, ‘which office the volumes of records exhibit strange evidence in many places of his incompetency or more wonderful neglect.’ [1, 2]
    Person ID I24696  Schirado
    Last Modified 26 December 2003 

    Father David Rawson,   b. about 1587, Colinbrook, Langleymarsh, Buckinghamshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. about 1617, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 30 years) 
    Mother Margaret Wilson,   b. 1593, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 January 1627/8  (Age 35 years) 
    Married about 1612  [3
    Family ID F17979  Family Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family/Spouse Rachel Perne,   b. about 1619, Gillingham, Dorset Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 October 1677, Boston, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 58 years) 
    Married England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. (a daughter) Rawson
     2. Rachel Rawson,   b. about 1636
     3. Rev. Edward Rawson,   b. about 1638, Newbury, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. after 1655, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 18 years)
     4. Mary Perne Rawson,   b. 14 or 16 May 1640, Boston, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 September 1692, Weymouth, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 52 years)
     5. Susan Rawson,   b. about 1642, Newbury, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1654  (Age ~ 12 years)
     6. David Rawson,   b. 6 May 1644, Newbury, MA Find all individuals with events at this location
    +7. Perne Rawson,   b. 14 September 1646, Newbury, MA Find all individuals with events at this location
     8. Grindall Rawson,   b. 23 January 1649, Newbury, MA Find all individuals with events at this location
    +9. William Rawson,   b. 21 March 1650/1, Boston, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 September 1726, Boston, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years)
     10. Hannah Rawson,   b. 10 October 1653, Boston, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 May 1656, Boston, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 2 years)
     11. Rebecca Rawson,   b. 19 October 1654, Boston, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 August 1655, Boston, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 0 years)
     12. Rebecca Rawson,   b. 21 May 1656, Boston, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 June 1692, Port Royal, Jamaica Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 36 years)
     13. Elizabeth Rawson,   b. 12 November 1657, Boston, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. about 1692  (Age 34 years)
    +14. Rev. Grindal Rawson,   b. 23 January 1659, Boston, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 February 1714/5, Mendon, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 56 years)
     15. John Rawson,   b. 14 July 1661, Boston, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. about 1693, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 31 years)
    Family ID F17977  Family Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Sources 
    1. [S9] Joseph Savage, (Little Brown, Boston, 1860).

    2. [S391] E. B. Crane, (Worcester, 1875).

    3. [S390] Ancestry and descendants of Rev. John Wilson of Boston, Mass., Joseph Gardner Bartlett.


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