Page images

On the 29th of June, 1654, he was chosen and sworn as Treasurer of the County, and continued in that office a number of years. He was also one of the Commissioners of the County of York during the years 1655, '56, '57, '59, and '60. His name, in 1656, with seventy other persons, inhabitants of Saco, Cape Porpois, Wells, York and Kittery, appears on a petition to Oliver Cromwell, praying to be continued under the government of Massachusetts, alleging that they were “a people few in number and those not competent to manage weighty affairs, our weakness occasioning distraction, our paucity division, our meanness contenipt.” March 9, 1659, he was appointed an Associate from Wells, and with Joselyn, Jordan, Capt. Nicolas Shapleigh and Mr. Edward Rishworth, was invested with magistratical power throughout the whole County of Yorkshire for the year ensuing, and until others are chosen. The General Court at their session in May, 1659, appointed him, in company with Capt. Nicolas Shapleigh, Mr. Edward Rishworth and Lieut. John Saunders, to run the dividing lines of Falmouth, Saco and Scarborough. The first Court after the submission of Falmouth and Scarborough, of which we have any record, was at York, July 4, 1659. Massachusetts sent two of her magistrates to preside at this Court, who were assisted by Major Nicolas Shapleigh, Mr. Abraham Preble, and Mr. Edw. Rishworth,“ local magistrates.” Several actions were entered at this Court by and against persons living in the eastern part of the County. The care of the morals of the people seems to have been under their cognizance, as the following order passed at this Court witnesseth, viz. : “ This Court being informed that the inhabitants of Falmouth are at present destitute of any public means for their edification on the Lord's day, and by reason of the peoples not meeting together for their mutual furtherance in the ways of God, great advantage is given unto the common enemy joining with the corruption of such as have no delight to sanctify God's holy rest, the neglect whereof being an inlet to all profaneness, and cannot but be provoking to him who is the fountain of our peace and welfare: for the prevention whereof these are therefore to require all the inhabitants of the said place from time to time, in one or more convenient place or places, to meet together on the Lord's day, for their mutual edification and furtherance in the knowledge and fear of the Lord, by reading of God's word, and of the labors of well known and orthodox divines, singing of Psalms and praying together, or such other ways as the Lord shall enable them till the favor of God shall so far smile upon them as to give them better and more public means of their edification.” In September of the same year a Court of Associates was held at Scarborough by Joselyn, Shapleigh, Robert Jordan, Rishworth and Abraham Preble. And the same persons were annually chosen Associates for 1660 and 1661. The following notice is added to their names in 1660 : “ Chosen associates by the votes of the major part of the freemen of this county for the year ensuing."

In 1662 he was again chosen to the same office in company with Joselin, Rishworth, Geo. Munjoy and Humphrey Chadbourn. He was often appointed an arbitrator between parties, and frequently, by the Court, a Commissioner for laying out lands in the province.

Closing this life of usefulness, he died in 1663, probably about the 30th of March, when an inventory was taken of his estate. At a Court held at York, July 7, 1663, letters of administration were granted to Mrs. Judith Preble, his widow. At a subsequent Court it was ordered, “For the more equal distribution of the estate of Mr. Abraham Preble, lately deceased, this Court doth judge meet to dispose of forty pounds to his eldest son, and 20£ apiece to the residue of his children, that daughter only excepted which is married, that received her poriion, which portions are to be paid to the sons at one and twenty years of age, and to the daughters at 18 years of age or at the time of the marriage, and the remainder of the said estate is to be left unto the relict, or widow of the said Abraham Preble, out only of which part the debts are to be discharged, and in case the widow do marry, her husband to give in security for the payment of the children's portion to the Court of Associates, and for the better dividing of this estate if occasion be the Commissioner of the Town of York have power to dispose thereof as may most conduce to equity and peace as near as may be according to the former distribution."

At a Court held at York, July 7, 1663, Mrs. Judith Preble was granted “Letters of Administration on the estate of Mr. Abraham Preble, her deceased husband."

Timothy Hatherly, in his will, 1664, makes bequests to “ Widow Preble, daughter of my wife Lydia." (See abstract of will, in N. E. Hist. and Gen. Register, vol. vi. pp. 187.)

The following inventory of his estate was taken after Abraham Preble's decease, and is to be found on the York County Records, at Alfred, Me. A true Inventory of the estale viz. of the goods, housing lands, cattle and

chaltels taken out and appraised by a true valuation according to the best of our judgement of Dr. Abraham Preble lately deceased, by us whose names are here underwritten this 30th March, 1663. Imprimis.

£ s. d. llis wearing apparel, shoes and stockings, at

5 7 Bedding and bedsteads, all at . A cabbine and bedding in the chamber, .

00 00

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


Chests and other small things, .

05 00 2 pair bandoliers, 1 warming pan and an old lantb

0 11 00 5 sheets, one sword and shot bag, .

16 00 4 hogsheads, one tub, and a trough, .

15 00 4 saws and several working tools,

2 12 4 scythes and tackling, at . . . . : 0 10 00 One small wheel and six bags, ..

0 10 00 Tubs and small things in the Leanto,

1 13 2 wheels, one cradle, books, pails,

. . 2 10 00 Tables, chairs and stools in the inner roo kellets and 1 skillet, . .

0 15 00 2 iron pots, 1 kettle, pot hooks, and se Pewter and a frying-pan, .

0 18 00 2 fire-lock guns, at One frying-pan and a hammer at .

0 900 6 dishes and spoons, one white porringer and 2 platters, 0 9 00 Beetle rings, 4 wedges, 1 cheese press, & other iron things, 1 6 06 1 hair cloth,

1 10 00 2 troughs, 1 grindstone, and other things in the barn, . 2 05 00 2 yokes, 1 chain, copps and yoke tire, . 1 cart, 1 pair wheels, 2 sleds, .

. . . Ort

. 2 00 00 2 plows with the irons, 2 pitchforks,

1 13 In ginger, . : .

. 105 00 1 canoe, į part of 4 canoes, .

. . 1 18 00 For his dwelling house with other outhouses, all at · 65 00 00 Marshes, fresh and salt, at.

. 36 00 00 A small piece of meadow bought of Richard How 2 lots, being 40 acres, lying at the seaside,

15 00 00 Another lot at the seaside, exchanged with F. Allcock, 10 00 00 20 acres land next Henry Sayward's, .

5 00 00 10 " " given Mr. Godfrey, added to his hom s, 5 0000 1 parcel of wool, 20s., parcel of sheep, 6£,. .

7 00 00 4 oxen, 36£, half the cattle, 30s. .

37 10 00 2 yearlings and a calf, 4£, 3 cows, 14£ .

18 00 00 3 steers, i heifer, 10£, some swine, small & great, 5 12 00, 15 12 00 18 bushels barley and malt, at :

4 10 00 45 bushels Indian corn, at . .

9 00 00 5 " wheat c 358., 8 bushels peas, 32s.

3 07 00 of oats, 58., pork and beef, 3£, .

3 05 00

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

This is a true inventory of all the goods and lands given into the Appraisers by Judith Preble, the wife of Mr. Abraham Preble, deceased, as she attests upon her oath to the best of her knowledge. Taken hy me in Court this 12th day of July, 1663.

Edw'd RISHWORTH, Re: Cor:

It will be noticed in this inventory, that his fresh and salt marshes (£36) are valued the same as 4 oxen ; that 18 bushels of malt and barley are considered as nearly an equivalent to a 20 acre lot, and that 3 cows are valued at £14, while his “two lots of 40 acres, lying by the sea-side,” are only valued at £15, or one pound more than the valuation of 3 cows.

Children of Abrahau and Judith Preble :2-1. Abraham, b. 1642; m. Hannah Kelley, 1685 ; d. Oct. 14, 1704. 3–2. Rachel, b. 1643 ; m. Joseph Carline, March 28, 1659; d. . 4-3. Joseph, b. - ;m. and had son Joseph, b. 1691. 5-4. Stephen, b. — ;m. Rachel, daughter of John Main ; d. in

1696. His widow m. Joseph Carlisle in 1697. 6-5. Nathaniel, b. 1648. 7-6. John, b. — ;m. Hannah — ; d. - His widow d.

Aug. 19, 1695. 8–7. Benjamin, b. — ; m. Mary — ; d. March 25, 1732.

9-8. Sarah, b. - ;m. Henry Coombs; d. Oct. 25, 1724. 10-9. Mary, b. ;

d. unmarried.

The Preble Arms. Copies of the Preble Arms, of good authenticity, have been preserved in the families descended from the eldest son of Abraham Preble. One of these, now in the possession of Mr. Geo. B. Preble, of Preble Island, in Portsmouth Harbor, bears the following heraldic description :

“He beareth gules, on a pale or, between four lions' heads erassed, argent, three diamonds sable, by the name of PREBLE, and was confirmed by William Flower, Norroy, on the 20th of October, 1585, and the 27th year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, to George Preble, of the City of York, Esquire, one of the Queen's Justices of the Peace, within the East Riding of the County of York. 'A man well born, and descendant of worthy progenitors.'.

Abraham Preble and his immediate descendants in this country usually wrote their names with two bs-Prebble, as it is written at the present time by those bearing the name in England. Occasionally it is found written Prebel, and Prebell, which furnishes a key to its popular pronunciation. The name is said to have been originally Preville, and of Norman origin. Christopher Prebble, writing from No. 5 Covington Terrace, Brompton, London, in 1863, asserts such is the family tradition, and by way of confirmation adds: “ All the Prebbles in England are of a dark complexion."

He also writes he had often heard his father, John Prebble, who was born in High Halstow in Kent, in 1737, and who died at the mansion house in Kent, in 1812, aged 75 (“ leaving a large landed

property which since his decease has been all exhausted in a long and expensive litigation in the High Court of Chancery'), say that he had relatives in America, and particularly that there was a Major Prebble in America, who was a relative.* Mr. Christopher Prebble also states that there are Prebbles now living at the very extremity of the County of Kent, and that some forty years since he made some inquiries concerning them, and ascertained “they came from Yorkshire, which is three hundred miles from Kent.” He also mentions as a little singular, that his sister Lucy should have married about 1790, John Tylden, Esq., of Ifield Court, N. Gravesend. Her husband's family bad been settled there at that time one hundred years, but originally came from “what is called the weald of Kent, which is near Tenderden.”Christopher Prebble's grandfather lived to a great age, which would carry back the date of his birth to very near the time of the emigration of Abraham Preble to America, and was buried near High Halstow. The name is by no means common in England. There were only five of the name in the London Directory of 1862.

As the tract of land Abraham Preble purchased of Edward Godfrey in 1612, was called Gorgiana, and in the deed he is called of Agamenticus, and it was afterwards called York, a name it still sustains, it may have been so called through the influence of Abraham Preble, and in commemoration of the birth place of his ancestors in England. I

* This Major Prebble was probably Brigadier General Jedediah Preble, the grandson of Abraham and Judith, who was born in 1707, and died in 1784, and was therefore fortyseven years his cotemporary.

+ See Reports in Chancery, 1816-21-Prebble and Bogwhert, Barnewell and Alderson, Swanson and others.

1 Within the limits of the present town of York, Maine, there is a high hill of three summits called Agamenticus. In the nearest direction it does not exceed five miles in distance from the sea shore, and is a noted landmark for sailors. The region of country in its immediate vicinity, and between it and the shores of the Atlantic, was also designated by the Indians as Agamenticus. A portion of this territory Gorges erected into a city and named it after himself, “ Gorgiana.” This embryo city, whose streets, or rather lancs, ncar the mouth of the river, remain to this day, extended from the sca-shore along the left bank of the river to a small branch or stream emptying into it about three miles from its mouth, called Indicature Stream, as it is supposed, from its being the limits of the jurisdiction of the city towards the interior. Gorges the Lieut. Governor's house stood not far from the bank of this stream near its mouth, on a broad, flat point of land made by the stream and the main river.

At the time the authority of Gorges was put an end to, and the Province of Maine came under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts, a certain portion of territory and its inhabitants were constituted a town by the name of York, the territorial limits of which, as ultimately settled, embrace the whole of the original Indian Agamenticus, and a part of their Ogunket. This hill was an object of special interest to the Indians. Upon the top of it lies buried the Indian Apostle, so noted in his day, “ St. Aspinquid." He was ninetyfour years old when he died, May 1, 1682. At the age of forty-two or forty-three he was converted to Christianity, and spent fifty years of his life in preaching to the sixty-six dif. ferent nations or tribes of Indians, as the account has it, “from the Atlantic to the Califor

« PreviousContinue »