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Nicholas PhelpsMale 1625 - Bef 1664  (38 years)


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  • Name Nicholas Phelps 
    Born 1625  England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died Bef 1664 
    Person ID I6155  Our Back Rhodes Genealogy Pages
    Last Modified 15 Apr 2016 

    Father Phelps 
    Mother Eleanor Moutton Moutton,   b. Abt 1605, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1655, Eleanor Moutton Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 50 years) 
    Married 1624  England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F1358  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Hannah Baskel,   b. 1630, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1695, Perquimans Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 66 years) 
    Married 1650  Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
    +1. Hannah Phelps,   b. 1654, Essex County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Between 1687 and 1689, Perquimans Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 33 years)
    Last Modified 18 Jan 2014 
    Family ID F1356  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • It seems ironic that the Puritans having come to America for religious freedom did not extend this same right to the Quakers.

      Nicholas was called "a weak man, and one whose back was crooked... by some historians, "but it can be argued that he had a strong spirit". Nicholas and Hannah had two children with whom they lived on the Trusler farm in the woods about five mile s from the meeting house in Salem. It was situated at the site of modern town of West

      Peabody. The farm was devised to Nicholas and Henry jointly, by their mother in 1655. Nicholas' half of the house was forfeited for fines he and Hannah incurred for holding Quaker meetings in their home. However, Henry brother of Nicholas, manag ed to obtain control of the entire farm and allowed Hannah and the children to remain there.

      Excerpt of court record

      "Nicholas Phelps is sensured by this court to pay 40s to the treasurer of this county for defending a quakers meeting & allsoe to be sent to the house of correction at Ipswich for owning himselfe to be a quaker & there to continue at this Court s pleasure: to pay costs 20s."

      In Salem the path of Quaker conversion followed women. Gardner, Southwick, and Buffum women accounted for thirteen out of twenty-five women in the meeting. In June 1658, John Smith had helped the Salem constable arrest Quakers at the homes of La wrence Southwick and Nicholas Phelps. One of the Quakers was Tamosin Buffum. Within a year Smith himself was in jail with his wife for Quaker-related crimes. His wife was Tamosin's daughter; another daughter was Deborah Wilson, who had walke d naked down Salem's main street and the Essex County Court called the young woman "distempered on mind." and remanded her to the custody of her Quaker husband. Buffum also had two sons, Joshua and Caleb, who were also active in the sect[5].

      On 27 Jun 1658 the Salem constables learned of another Quaker meeting, this time at the home of the Phelps. Upon investigation the constables discovered the presence of two visiting Quakers, William Brend and William Leddera. Apparently awa fnd's notoriety, the constables arrested him and Leddera and sent them to Boston

      for further punishment and ordered all the local participants to appear in court on June 29. The men appeared and refused to remove their hats, symbolically declaring their affiliation with Brend and Leddera and denying their obedience to the a uthority of the court. Shattock, Joshua Buffum, and Samuel Gaskin openly admitted that they were Quakers. This admission forced the court to act. It cited Shattock, Buffum, Gaskin, Phelps, the three Southwicks, and twenty-two other town residen ts for absence from regular church services. The courts also ordered that Shattock, Buffum, Phelps and the three Southwicks be sent to Boston with Brend and Leddera. [6](SEE SHATTUCK FAMILY).

      About 1661 Samuel Shattuck and Nicholas Phelps sailed to England to petition parliament to help the Quakers. They returned to New England, but Mr. Phelps, being weak in body died soon after[7].

      Shattock, Buffum, Southwick and Phelps refused to conform. The care of family, the arguments of John Norton, a minister in Boston, and the threats of General Court failed to bring about any minimal conformity by the six Quakers. Martyrdom, howe ver, was avoided. In an apparent exchange for dropping

      the threat to sell Daniel and Provided Southwick into servitude, the older Southwicks agreed to leave the colony and presumably precipitated the departure of the other three Salem Quakers[8].

      NICHOLAS and HENRY PHELP'S HOUSE, Salem, Massachusetts

      Hannah Baskel/Baskett married 2nd Henry Phelps, the brother of Nicholas, 3rd James Hill between 1672-1676 Perquimans. Hannah married 4th Joseph Smith on 7 Mar 1695/6 at Perquimans Quarterly Meeting. In her youth Hannah appears to have been wil d and of poor moral standing.

      "Hannah held the first Quaker meeting in the Massachusetts Bay colony in her home in Salem and later opened her home to the first Quaker meeting in the Albemarle settlement of Carolina" She came to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1652 from Engla nd

      Excerpt from court record

      At the time of this updated deposition Hannah was the wife of Nicholas Phelps. This is the only record of Hannah's maiden name. "Deposition of Jane Johnson: Saith yt: coming ov'r in the ship with henry Phelps & Hannah the now wife of Nich: Phel ps: Henry Phelps going ashore the ship lying at the Downes: Hannah wept till shee made

      herselve sick because mr Fackner would not suffer her to goe ashore with Henry Phelps: & Henry came aboard late in the night, the next morning mr Falckner Chid Henry Phelps & Hannah & said was it not for y'w to let Hannah lay her head in y'r lap p but must shee ly in ye Cabbin to & called Hannah Strumpet & this deponent saith farther yt she saw Henry Phelps ly in his Cabbin & Hannah Baskel the now wife of Nich Phelps came & lay down her head by him & pull her head up again often as he l ay in his Cabbin: Y when he was smocking in the Cook roome tobacco Hannah tooke the pip out of his mouth, etc., etc."[9]

      In 1694 Hannah was the only one of the original family still living, it was she who proved headrights for fifteen persons transported into the county of Albemarle. They were Henry Phelps [her 2nd husband], Hannah, his wife [herself], John Phelp s [Henry's son], Johathan Phelps [her son], Hanah Phelps, Jr. [her daughter], Robt. Pane, James Hill, her 3rd husband, Saml. Hill [son of James Hill], Mary Hill, Nathanl. Spivey and his wife, Judith, John Spivey, Sarah Spivey, Anne Spivey, [and ] Jonathan Phelps, his freedom. This amounted to 750 acres, 50 acres per right. Hannah assigned the first six rights to her grandson, Jonathan Phelps, who was then seven years old; eight rights

      to her grandson, Samuel Phelps, age ten; and the last right to Robert Wilson, the executor of the estate of her son Jonathan.

      In 1709 Mr. Gordon, a Church of England missionary, stated in a letter that the Quakers then numbered "about the tenth part of the inhabitants" of Carolina and in Perquimans Precinct they "are very numerous, extremely ignorant, insufferably prou d and ambitious, and consequently ungovernable."[10]