Tristram Hull

On this day, 22 February 1667, Tristram Hull (my 11th great-grandfather) passed away.

Circa 1624, Tristram Hull was born in Northleigh, Devonshire, England to the Rev. Joseph Hull and his wife Joanne (Joane). He joined older siblings Joanna, born in 1620, and brother Joseph, born circa 1622.

Circa 1625, sister Temperance was welcomed to the family. Two years later, on Then, three years later in 1630, sister Griselda was born.

In 1632, Tristram’s father, Rev. Joseph Hull, resigned his rectorship at Northleigh and returned to Crewkerne to preach.

That same year, Tristram’s sister Dorothy was born in Crewkerne. Sadly, either during childbirth or soon thereafter, Tristram’s mother died.

With his mother’s death, Tristram’s father was left to raise several young children alone. This proved difficult; consequently, on 13 March 1633, Joseph Hull married Agnes Hunt in Somerset County, England.

On 17 February 1635, Rev. Hull was expelled from the Church of England. Tristram’s father determined that if the Church of England would not grant him a pulpit, then he would just go to the Colonies. So, on 20 March 1635, the Hull family headed to Weymouth, England. Six days later, they boarded a ship bound for in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, arriving in Boston on 5/6 May 1635.

They immediately proceeded to Weymouth, Massachusetts, and on 8 July 1635, Rev. Hull became that town’s minister.

Half-brother Hopewell was born the next year in 1636.

Everything seemed to be going well for the Hull family; however, Tristram’s father managed to offend the Puritan leaders with his more progressive religious teachings. As a result, they replaced Rev. Hull with a more conservative minister.

Again, the Hull family was forced to move. On 12 June 1636, Tristram’s father received a land grant in Hingham, Massachusetts.

Three years later, on , Tristram’s half-brother Benjamin was welcomed to the family.

Meanwhile, Tristram’s father had again angered the Puritan establishment, so the Hull family decided to leave the Massachusetts Bay Colony. On 5 May 1639, Rev. Hull preached his last sermon to the townsfolk of Highham before relocating the entire family to the town of Barnstable in the Plymouth Colony.

However, even in Barnstable, Tristram’s father did not adhere to the accepted Puritanical teachings. Therefore, Rev. Hull was replaced with a more conservative pastor on 11 October 1639.

The next month, Tristram’s eldest sister Joanna Hull married John Bursley on 28 November 1639.

A few months later, Tristram’s half-sister Naomi was welcomed to the family and was christened in March 1640.

In 1641, the Hull family was uprooted again, moving to the adjacent town of Yarmouth. Soon after their arrival, on 1 March 1641, Tristram was fined for something of which many teenagers are guilty: “Tristram Hull of Yarmouth, for unclean practices.” (Plymouth Court Records, Vol. II, pg. 36.)

Tristram’s father began to minister to the town’s residents; however, because he had not secured the approval of the Barnstable church, he was excommunicated on 1 May 1641.

Soon thereafter, Rev. Hull became a transient preacher, moving from place to place with his family. During this period, half-sister Ruth was born circa May 1642.

That same year, brother Joseph Hull, Jr. was married. Unfortunately, the name of his bride is unknown.

By this time, Tristram was a young man ready to begin his adult life. In 1643, Tristram Hull was mentioned as a “person liable to bear arms”, the town having been ordered to “provide a place of defense against sudden assault” (Freeman, pg. 1-182). Consequently, he enlisted in the militia under the command of Captain-General Myles Standish.

In 1643, sister Elizabeth married John Heard in York County, Massachusetts.

That same year, Tristram himself was wed in Barnstable County, Massachusetts to Blanche (surname unknown).

In the early years of his marriage, Tristram Hull decided to leave the militia and begin a career at sea. This was a good move, as he became the captain and owner of the ship The Catch, was part owner of the bark Hopewell, and frequently embarked on extended voyages. Customs entries show that he was engaged in considerable trade with the West Indies.

Circa 1644, half-brother Reuben was born, and half-brother Samuel came along about a year later.

Meanwhile, Tristram and his wife Blanche were also growing their family. Their first child, Mary, was born on 20 September 1645. (She is my 10th great-grandmother.)

In 1647, his sister Temperance married John Bickford. That same year, half-brother Phineas was born. In his own life, Tristram, now a constable of Yarmouth, welcomed his second child, Sarah, on 18 October 1647. Unfortunately, she died in infancy.

Three years later, on 30 March 1650, another daughter, who was also named Sarah, was born.

About a year after their daughter’s birth, 2 March 1652, Tristram’s wife Blanche was cited by authorities for interfering with the service of a neighbor’s domestic worker (spellings as cited in original text):

Wheras John Willis, of Duxborrow, complained that his daughter in law, Rebeckah Palmer, was molested and hindered in performing faithfull service vnto her mr, viz, Samuall Mayo, of Barnstable by the wife of Trustrum Hull, of Barnstable aforsaid, the Court haue sent downe order by Roger Goodspeed, grand juryman, of Barnstable aforsaid, to wrarn the wife of ye said Trustrum Hull to desist from such practises any further, as shee or any other that shall soe doe will answare for her not appeering at this Court nor her attornie, to answare the suite comenced against her by the said John Willis. (Plymouth Court Records, Vol. III, pg. 4-5)

A year passed. Then, on 2 June 1652, Tristram and Blanche welcomed their first son, Joseph.

Two years later, son John was born on 4 March 1654.

In May 1654, Tristram Hull was sworn in as a freeman.

All seemed to be going well in the Hull household. However, a month after Blanche had given birth, she was summoned to court to answer to a grand inquest. In 1655, John Gorham (a married man who, incidentally, was my 11th great-grandfather on another line), was fined 40 shillings “for unseemly carriage toward Blanche Hull at an unseasonable time, being in the night.” In turn, Blanche Hull was fined 50 shillings “for not crying out when she was assaulted by John Gorum in unseemly carriage towards her” (Plymouth Court Records, Vol. III, pg. 97). Sadly, with this increased fine, it seems that the court was implying that Blanche might have been a willing participant instead of a victim of sexual assault and that, for some reason, deserved more of the blame.

Anyhow, back to Tristram and Blanche…The couple’s final child, daughter Hannah, arrived on 6 February 1656.

Blanche was not the only Hull to garner the court’s displeasure. Like his father, Tristram Hull was not a fan of the Puritan doctrine. He was especially displeased with their treatment of Quakers and would render assistance to them. For this, he was subjected to much annoyance and heavy fines. For example, in early 1656, Tristram aided an old church member, who had been fined and banished for “raising his voice” against Quaker persecution. He picked him up bodily and carried him off in his own ship as far as Sandwich, on the Cape, in direct violation of the law and contempt of the magistrates (again, spellings as cited in original text):

3 February 1656: Nicholas Upsall was accused of holding meetings and inveighing against ministers and magistrates. Tristram Hull who brought him into this Government, is according to order required to carry him away again by the first of March next” (Plymouth Court Records, Vol. III).

5 March 1656: “A warrant was directed requiring the constables of Sandwidge and Barnstable, from one to the other, to convey Nicholas Vpisall to Tristram Hull to bee recaried out of the document” (Plymouth Court Records, Vol. III, pg. 113).

Even though Tristram was at odds with the Puritan establishment over their religious intolerance, he still was respected in his community:

When Tristram Hull was on shore, he took a lively interest in local affairs affecting the well-being of Barnstable, was treated with special considerations by his fellow townsmen, and unhesitatingly performed the multifarious duties expected in those days of prominent and public spirited citizens. Barnstable’s records show that Tristram Hull frequently served on juries, was one of the town dignitaries appointed to wait upon the Assembly Committee concerning the town charter, took a leading part in the purchase of town lands from the Indians, served one year as constable, and was a leading member of the town board of selectmen. (Anderson, Robert Charles; George F. Sanborn; and Melinde Lutz Sanborn. The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635).

On 13 February 1658, Tristram Hull was on the coroner’s jury at the inquest held on the body of a two-year-old who had drowned (Plymouth Court Records, Vol. III, pgs. 146-7).

In 1661, eldest daughter Mary wed Joseph Holway. On 4 June of that same year, Tristram Hull was named constable of Barnstable.

On 3 March 1662, the following liquor complaint was brought before the court (again, spellings areas found in the original text):

“Att this court Josias Hallott and Thomas Starr, for goeing into the house of John Done Junir att Eastham, there being nobody att Home and behauing themselues vnciuilly therein, ransacking the house for liquors and drinking thereof, and for writing and setting vp a libelouse and scandalouse paper in Verses in said house and leauing of it there, were sentenced by the court to find sureties for theire behauior vntil the next General court, to bee holden att Plymouth, the first Tuesday in June next, and longer time, if the court shall see cause, and to pay a fine, each of them, the sume of fifty shillinges.” Josias Hallott acknowiidgeth to owe vnto our sou Lord, the Kinge, the sume of £20-00-00. Trustrum Hull the sume of £10-00-00. The condition that if the said Josias Hallott bee of good behauior towards our sou Lord,” etc. (Plymouth Court Records, Vol. IV, pgs. 31-32.)

On 1 April 1663, receipt of liquor from Tristram Hull was recorded: “Account of wine and liquors and powder and shott that hath bine giuen in to mee that hath bine brought into Barnstable the first of Aprill, 1663”, soon followed by one: “Trustram Hull the 4th. of June, 100 Gallons of liquors, and in Nouember six cases of liquors and a barrel of powder & 200 weight of shott for Mr. Thomas Clarke, hee brought about 20 gall of rum. P’ me Joseph Laythorp” (Plymouth Court Records, Vol. IV, pgs. 52, 53).

In 1664, Tristram Hull acted the town of Barnstable’s agent when purchasing some land from the local Native Americans:

These presents witness, That I, Yanno, sachem, have freely and absolutely bargained and sold unto Thomas Hinckley, Nathaniel Bacon and Tristram Hull, in behalf and for the use of the town of Barnstable, all that tract of land lying and being at the South Sea, in the precinct of Barnstable:—bounded easterly by the bounds of Yarmouth; northerly by the lands bought of Paupmunnuck, excepting the skirts of good land at the head of the Cove, and what he hath already given to Nicholas Davis, a trader from Rhode Island; in consideration of £20 and two small pair of breeches, to me in hand paid by Tristram Hull, wherewith he, the said Yanno, rests himself fully satisfied on paid for those lands, with warranties against any Indians whatever laying any lawful claims thereunto. This 19th. July, 1664. The mark + of YANNO. Witness, Sam’l Wally Jr. The mark + of Indian WILL (Freeman, pg. 269).

On 28 September 1664, Tristram Hull is mentioned one more time in official records regarding liquor:

Account of liquors brought into the town of Eastham, as followeth: Trustran Hull of Barnstable brought a barrel of rum to the towne of Eastham and sold it, but gave noe account of it to either of vs, and wee thought to giue the court notice of it. Willam Walker, John Done (Plymouth Court Records, Vol. IV, pg. 100).

Then, on 19 November 1665, Tristram’s father Rev. Joseph Hull died on Hog Island, Isles of Shoals, New Hampshire.

Perhaps it was his father’s death that made Tristram contemplate his own mortality or perhaps it was something else. Either way, on 30 December 1666, Tristram Hull wrote his will. In addition to his ships and land, the inventory of his estate included 36 head of cattle assessed at £118, 5 shillings; cash £105, and due to the estate, merchandise “in hands of the Indians”, £300. His will also provided that son Joseph would acquire the homestead and lands attached and six acres more; that his wife Blanche would have the use of new portion of house, as well as £150; that his three daughters would each have £100; that his son John would have a lot of land and £30; that Robert Davis would be given £3, and that the remaining estate would be divided equally between Blanche and their children.

Three months later, on 22 February 1667, at the age of 41, Capt. Tristram Hull died in Barnstable, Massachusetts. He left behind his grief-stricken widow and five children. His will was proved a few weeks later on 12 March 1667.

Categories: Cole-Marriner Line, Immigrant Ancestors, On This Day | Tags: , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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14 thoughts on “Tristram Hull

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  3. Pingback: *Press This* Tristram Hull #213 | Its good to be crazy Sometimes

  4. He’s my 9th Great Grandfather. Hi cousin!

    Liked by 1 person

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  7. Jamie, who was your ancestor who was punished with a cleft stick and stocks?

    Cleft sticks were used on liars, scolds, and slanderers, as well as those caught whispering during church services or children who spoke out of turn in school. Stocks and pillories were staples of New England punishment.

    You know: It’s a good thing I did not live during those time. I have a feeling I would be pilloried on a regular basis.


  8. I can’t imagine feeling as though I HAVE to get married–I’m glad things are so different! I mean at 22, I’d probably be considered a spinster by now–or at least heading toward the spinster territory.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I think that the second marriage was all-around a bad match for both Blanche and Capt. Hedge. First, Blanche was significantly younger than Hedge. Second, Blanche probably only married him for financial and/or societal security. And third, I doubt that Blanche was over her first husband, Tristram.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve found that with a few other female ancestors living around the same time in New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York. One of my matriarchs–who lived in a Puritanical community in Massachusetts–always had her tongue in a cleft stick or was in the stocks in the town square for odd things that didn’t make sense. Your conclusion seems to hold true–because of their personalities and beliefs, they were not accepted. It’s awful that this image of Blanche persists! I didn’t get that feel at all from your post, and I’m really glad that’s the direction you turned! She seems very strong and empowered, and that’s a great message to pass down to future generations.

    And that Captain Hedge sounds awful. Not a fan!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. There are some sources that hold Blanche in very low esteem, often unfairly so. Blanche was a strong woman with Quaker sensibilities living in a strict, Puritan environment. Because of her personality and her religious beliefs, I am certain that some people regarded Blanche negatively.

    Then, sometime after Tristram died, Blanche remarried. Her second husband was Capt. William Hedge. Unfortunately, it was not a happy marriage, as evidenced by Capt. Hedge’s will, dated 30 June 1670: “And whereas Blanche my Wife hath dealt falcly with mee in the Covenant of Marriage in departing from mee, therefore I doe in this my Last Will and Testament give
    her twelve pence, and alsoe what I have Received of hers my will is shal be Returned to her againe.”

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I haven’t found anything on Blanche’s story, and I’m really appreciative that you posted it here. I’m adding this information to my family history books! It’s infuriating, though, that she was fined so long ago–she must’ve been a strong woman.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Liked by 1 person

  14. One has to wonder how Joseph Hull, given his predilection for getting fired, ever managed to feed so many children! (I lost count.)

    Liked by 2 people

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