John was born ca 1617 based on his age at the time of death, probably in England. In 1632 he came to Dorchester, Massachusetts, in service to Israel Stoughton, carpenter. He married by about 1640, Sarah (____). Since John was a young, unmarried servant when he first arrived in Dorchester, it is not surprising that he does not appear in the records very often during the 1630s. However, he also generated remarkably few records between 1640 and 1658, during which period he lived in Dorchester as a married man.
On October 3, 1632 the General Court ordered that "Alex: Miller & John Wipple shall give iijs iiijd apiece to their master, Israell Stoughton, for their wasteful expense of powder & shot". On January 2, 1637/8 John was granted eight acres in Dorchester about the mill. "John Whiplle" was the last of the Dorchester proprietors to sign his name to an agreement submitting to arbitration a dispute over the fencing and division of land.
In 1641, John and Sarah became members of the Dorchester church. On November 15, 1658 "John Whiple of Dorchester...carpenter" sold to George Minot of Dorchester "his now dwelling house and housements scituate and being in Dorchester near the River Naponset together with thirty-seven acres of upland more or less thereto adjoining," also "eight acres of salt marsh more or less lying near the place commonly called the penny ferry"; "Sarah the wife of the said John Whiple" relinquished her dower rights." John then moved his family to Providence, Rhode Island.
On July 27, 1659, he was received in Providence as a purchaser. On February 3, 1661/2 John Whipple Sr. petitioned for a piece of land next to his orchard, but his will was referred to the next court. On July 27, 1662 John Whipple Sr. was permitted to exchange sixty acres at Mashapauge Pond for lands at Loquasqussuck. These lands were probably the eights acres at Loquasqussuck laid out to him by Thomas Harris Sr. on April 13, 1667. On November 23, 1663 John Whipple Sr. of Providence deeded to "my son John Whipple" a houselot formerly owned by William Arnold excepting two acres, two shares of meadow, six acres of upland, sixty acres of land at Loquasqussuck. On February 19 John Whipple Sr. drew lot #45 in the division of lands east of Seven Mile Line.
On November 13, 1666 John Whipple Sr. was granted permission to exchange his sixty acres at Tare Breech Plain. On February 24, 1674 John Whipple St. gave a deed of gift to his "son Eliezer Whipple". On April 12, 1675 he drew lot #43 in the lands on the west side of Seven Mile Line. On January 27, 1674/5 John Whipple Sr. was granted permission to change a fifty-acre division of upland. On May 24, 1675 he drew lot #91 in the land on the east side of Seven Mile Line. He was among those who "stayed and went not away" in 1676 and as such was entitled to share in the disposition of Indian captives, whose services were sold for a term of years. On June 6, 1681 John Whipple Sr. was granted permission to exchange his twenty-five acres at Goatum valley "which he bought of Mr. Benedict Arnold". On March 4, 1683/4 John Whipple Sr. made a deed of gift to his "son David Whipple".
John was a carpenter and tavern-keeper. In 1669 John Whipple, Sr. was paid 10s. to allow the town council to meet at this house. In 1670 the amount was raised to 20s. He took the Oath of allegiance (freeman) May 31, 1666.
John held several offices in Providence. He was Deputy to the General Court, September 4, 1666. He served on a Petit jury October 19, 1670. John was a Providence selectman, 1670, 1674, and on April 27, 1676 he was made moderator. He served as Treasurer, June 1, 1668 and Surveyor, June 6, 1670-71. John was on the Committee to run the line, January 27, 1663/4 and on the Committee to consider building a new town house. He was on a jury, May 12, 1663. He was appointed to confer about mending a bridge, January 27, 1664/5, October 28, 1667. He was appointed to a Committee to arbitrate over fences, December 2, 1666. John was an arbiter in the matter of the estate of Resolved Waterman, deceased, January 9, 1700/1. He served on the Committee to "demand & receive at every garrison what was taken from the Indians," September 7, 1676 and on the Committee to lay out a common, April 27, 1678.
John died on May 16, 1685 at Providence. Sarah predeceased him, dying sometime in 1666.
In his will, dated May 8, 1682 and proved May 27, 1685, John Whipple Sr. of Providence "being in a great measure of health...having many children & to prevent all differences that otherwise may hereafter arise...having formerly given unto three of my sons all my lands...namely Samuell, Eliazer & William equally to be divided among them...only excepting thirty acres which I gave unto my son John at the northwest end"; to "my three aforenamed sons, namely Samuell, Eliazer & William, each of them a quarter part of one right of commoning for pasturing, cutting of timber, & firewood"; to "my son Benjamin a right of lands in the late division which is already laid out unto him"; to "my son Jonathan one division of lands"; to "my son Joseph my dwelling house & my three home lots & the garden next the river, also a six acre lot...also twenty acres near Thomas Clemence his dwelling, also I give unto my son Joseph my share of meadow near Solletarey Hill & two six acre lots...also a five acre lot lying near where William Wickenden formerly dwelt; also one division beyond the Seven Mile Line...also I do give unto my son Joseph all other divisions which shall hereafter belong unto two rights throughout"; to "my sons John, Samuell, Eliazer, William, Benjamin, David & Jonathan unto these seven twelve pence to every of them"; to "my three daughters (namely) Sarah, Mary & Abigall unto every of them ten shillings"; to "my son Joseph all my right of lands in the Narragansett Country"; to "my son Joseph" residue; "my son Joseph my executor."
In May of 1685, Thomas Olney, Town Clerk of Providence, deposed that he had gone to John Whipple, at his request, and obtained clarification of some of the bequests:
That upon ye sixteenth day of this instant may John whipple senior of the aforesaid towne of Providence sent for to speake with him; This deponant sayth he Emediatly went to him: the said John whipple then shewed him this paper & the writeing which on ye other side of this said paper is written down, desireing this deponant to peruse it. This deponant saith he then did peruse it, & haveing well perused it, he asked the said John whipple what his mind was concerning ye lands which in ye said writeing he had desposed of to his severall sons, whether or no he did intent by that writeing, or will that ye said lands should be unto his said sons & theire Heirs & Assignes for Ever, or only unto his said sons for terme of life, he Emediatly made this Answer; That how Ever it was worded in ye said writeing yet his mind & will was that his sons Each one of them should have those lands house & Rights which hee in ye said writeing unto Each one of them had desposed, to be unto them, theire Heirs & Assignes for Ever to despose ye same or any part thereof at any time as they see cause. & that ye same was his Mind & Will when ye said will was written: And further, that whereas in ye said Will it was omitted to be inserted that his son Jonathan should have one of his Rights of land & Comoning on ye west side of ye seven mile line, yet that was his mind & will; That his son jonathan whipple should have one of his Rights of land & Comoning on ye west side of ye seven mile line to be unto him his Heires & Assignes for Ever; and that was his mind when ye said will was written, how Ever by ye scribe it was omitted. And whereas in ye first part of ye said Will there is an Exception made only of thirty acres of land to his son John by him formerly given, that he owned to be a mistake, & that ye Exception must be of sixty acres which formerly by deede of Gift he had given to his son John whipple; and all the remainder of his said farme lieing about Loquasqussuck should be devided Equally betweene his said three sons (viz) Samuell, Eliezer, & william; This saith this deponant is trueth, & that hee tooke it Emediatly from ye said John whipple his mouth & wrott it downe. And also that whereas the said Will Expresseth a quarter part of a Right of Comoning to Each of his three sons, (namely) Samuell, Eliezer & william, he said his Meaneing intent & will was that it should be so farr westward as ye Seven mile line & no further; And that the said John whipple was then when hee did declare the Same of Sound mind & of Good memory May ye 27th: 1685 upon Oath...
The inventory of John Whipple Sr. was taken May 22, 1685 and totaled £41 11s. 10d., including no real estate, viz: yoke of oxen, 2 cows, 2 yearlings, 2 two years, 2 calves, steer, 3 swine, feather bed, 7 pewter platters, 5 pewter porringers, 3 old spoon, chisel, gauge, augurs, etc.
Captain John Whipple is buried in the Whipple family plot in the North Burial Ground on Main Street in Providence, Rhode Island. Some sources indicate that John and his wife Sarah were initially buried in the garden burial site near their home. Their bodies were moved to the North Burial Ground when it was established in 1700. The headstones of John and his wife Sarah are located approximately 48 feet west-south-west of the "Dahlia Path" sign in the cemetery. On the tomb stones of John and Sarah Whipple, in the north burial ground in Providence, are the following inscriptions:
Many published genealogies state John Whipple married Sarah They or Darling ca 1639. (He would have been 22-23, she 15-16.) No evidence has been found to confirm that Sarah's maiden name was either They or Darling. Neither appears among early Dorchester surnames; the closest being Thayer. Sarah's tombstone states she was born in Dorchester and died in Providence in 1666, aged about 42 years. The stones do not appear to be very ancient and may have been erected fifty years or more after the decease of Capt. Whipple and his wife. But if the year and age are correct, she would have been born ca 1624. Thus, she could not have been born in Dorchester, unless she was a Neponset Indian, since Dorchester wasn't founded until 1630. English settlers didn't marry Indians in those days, so we can presume she was white. With a birth date of 1624, we can be sure that if she was born in New England, it must have been in Plymouth, which was settled in 1620. Travel by a ferry at a cost of a penny per person between Dorchester and Plymouth was common in 1638.
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