First Generation [from our 1994 book]
1. WILLIAM1 CHADBOURNE (RobertA), baptized Church of St Editha, Tamworth, Warwickshire, England 30 Mar 1582 (Tamworth parish register); died after his last appearance in Maine 16 Nov 1652 (qv); married Tamworth 8 Oct 1609 (ibid) ELIZABETH SPARRY, born perhaps about 1589, died after 1 Jun 1623 (birth of her last known child, Tamworth parish register). Her parentage has not been discovered; however, her surname is common in Staffordshire. William was the son of Robert and Margery or Margaret (Dooley) Chadbourne of Preston, Lancashire, and Tamworth, Warwickshire, England.
William arrived in New England aboard the Pied Cow 8 Jul 1634 (vide post) with James Wall and John Goddard. The three were under contract with Capt John Mason of London's Laconia Company, a joint-stock company seeking profits in the new world. The purpose of the contract, dated 16 Mar 1633/4, was to build mills in Berwick. William was referred to as a housewright or master carpenter. The men began to build the first water-powered saw mill and grist mill in New England on 22 Jul 1634.
James Wall, carpenter and millwright, deposed on 21 May 1652 that about the year 1634 he and his partners William Chadbourne and John Goddard, carpenters, came over to Mason's land on his account and their own, that Mr [Henry] Joslyn, Mason's agent, brought them to certain lands at Asbenbedick Falls, as the Indians called the place, later the Great Works River in Berwick, where they carried on a sawmill and a stamping mill for corn three or four years. Wall built a house there and Chadbourne built another (Pope, The Pioneers of Maine and New Hampshire, 1623 to 1660, 218-19).
The house William built may be the one said by Stackpole in 1926 to be the oldest house in Maine. Part of its foundation is under the present house on the northwest corner of Brattle and Vine Streets on the road from the Lower Landing (Hamilton House) to the original mill site at Asbenbedick (later Great Works) Falls. William Chadbourne deeded the home to his son-in-law, Thomas Spencer, and a nice picture of it appeared in the Boston Evening Transcript of 25 Jun 1938. Other accounts suggest that the property occupied by Spencer was actually a second, later house, and that the early home stood in the northwesterly angle of the intersection of Brattle Street leading to the mouth of the Great Works River and the highway to Eliot.
The Asbenbedick Great Works was the site of a mill with nineteen saws built by the Leader brothers in the 1650s. The river was called Chadbournes River by many before and after, due to the Chadbourne dam and mill erected downstream in the late 1630s.
A copy of the Mason contract referred to above survives in the MA Archives 3:437. It stipulates that they were to stay five years and receive three fourths of the profits from the mills and own three fourths of the houses, which Mason was to furnish. At the termination of the contract they were to have fifty acres on lease for the term of "three lives" at the annual rent of three bushels of corn.
The articles brought on the vessel, which were taken from the company's store were: one great iron kettle, for which Thomas Spencer was responsible, Irish blankets, one Kilkenny rug, one pair of sheets, one pentado coverlet, one brass kettle and seven spoons.
It is not clear when other members of William's family arrived. His daughter Patience may have preceded him, since her husband Thomas Spencer came four years earlier and they may have had children between 1630 and 1634. Mason's list of stewards and workmen sent contains the names "William Chadborn, William Chadborn, jun., and Humphry Chadborn," but also indicates twenty-two women who are unnamed. It is known that the Pied Cow had made at least one crossing in 1631 and that the bark Warwick had made several early crossings, all for Capt Mason, but it is unlikely that William came on any of these trips, given the phrasing of Wall's deposition which implies that he came in about 1634 (NEHGR 21:223-4).
Elizabeth is mentioned only in the couple's marriage record. It is not known when or where she died. She may have come to Maine, for there is no burial record for her in Tamworth; however, no account of her has been found in the New World. Some have conjectured that William may have returned to England after deeding his Berwick homestead to son-in-law Thomas Spencer. No record of William's death has been located in England or Maine.
In 1640, he and his sons were listed as NH residents (NHPP, Vol 1) before purchasing land in Kittery in those regions now called S Berwick and Eliot. Both William Sr and William Jr were in Boston in 1643 (LND, 134).
The Chadbournes, like the other people brought to ME by Mason, were not dissenters from the Church of England, emigrating for religious freedom, as was the case with most of the settlers in New England in this period. William's father Robert, raised Catholic, professed to fear God as his reason for not attending the Church of England; but William's family were members of the Church of England who perhaps intended to return to England after the terms of Mason's contract were fulfilled. Indeed, that may be what William and Elizabeth Chadbourne did.
William Chadbourne, as a respected master carpenter and housewright, may have been contracted to build the so-called Great House at Strawbery Banke (now Portsmouth NH) used to house the Laconia Company's stores and serve as a dwelling for the company workmen. The site of this building has recently been found, near the present Stawbery Banke village historic site. Claims have been made in published sources that the Great House was built by William's son Humphrey circa 1631. Humphrey was said to have come on the Warwick in 1631, and no evidence has been found of William's arrival before 1634. An error could have occurred because of a poorly-written paragraph in James Sullivan's book, The History of the District of Maine , published in Boston MA in 1795, where William1, who built the Great House, and Humprhey2, who purchased land from Mr Rowles, are rolled into one. If Humphrey was baptized as an infant in 1615 he would have been sixteen at the time the Great House was built. He may very well have worked on it, although it is more likely that his father was given the contract for its building. The contract hasn't survived and which of the Chadbournes was responsible for the building remains conjecture.
One William Chadbourne was admitted an inhabitant to the town of Portsmouth RI 25 February 1642[/3] (The Early Records of the Town of Portsmouth, Providence RI: The RI Historical Society, 1901, 19). He was granted land there in 1642 (ibid, 11), but the grant was not finalized, and it is doubtful he ever resided there. He was certainly gone by 28 Sep 1647 (ibid, 36). This may have been another William Chadbourne who is known to have come from Winchcombe (see discussion on this man in the Appendix).
On 3 Mar 1650/1, William and his sons, with others, were accused by Mrs Ann (Green) Mason, widow of Capt John Mason, of embezzling her husband's estate. The claim was based on a contract which was not honored by either party because of the death of Capt Mason, and also based on the first recorded Indian deed in ME in 1643. The Chadbourne claim was upheld by the selectmen of Kittery and the Government of the Massachusetts Bay in New England.
On 4 May 1652, William Chadbourne was one of the chosen men assigned to a Kittery committee to pick a lot and build a meeting house. He was the first signer of the Kittery Act of Submission, 16 November 1652. We have no certain record of William after this date.
Children (parish records, St Editha, Tamworth), surname CHADBOURNE:2. ii. PATIENCE, bpt Tamworth 8 Nov 1612, mar. Thomas SPENCER
3. iii. HUMPHREY, bpt Tamworth 23 Apr 1615.
4. v. WILLIAM, bpt Tamworth 15 Oct 1620.