Thomas Wiggin

Last updated
Thomas Wiggin
1st Upper plantation governor
In office
1633? 1637
Succeeded by George Burdett
Personal details
Born 1601
Died 1666
Spouse(s) (2) Katherine Whiting
Profession governor

Captain Thomas Wiggin (1601-1666)), often known as Governor Thomas Wiggin, was the first governor of the Upper Plantation of New Hampshire, a settlement that later became part of the Province of New Hampshire in 1679. He was the founder of Stratham, Rockingham, New Hampshire, which celebrated its 300th anniversary of incorporation in 2016. The son of a vicar in the Church of England with family ties to important and influential families of the era. A highly respected man in his own right who would leave his stamp on what would become American values.

Province of New Hampshire English, from 1707, British, possession in North America between 1680 and 1776

The Province of New Hampshire was a colony of England and later a British province in North America. The name was first given in 1629 to the territory between the Merrimack and Piscataqua rivers on the eastern coast of North America, and was named after the county of Hampshire in southern England by Captain John Mason, its first named proprietor. In 1776 the province established an independent state and government, the State of New Hampshire, and joined with twelve other colonies to form the United States.


Three living children, Andrew, Mary and Thomas, Junior.

Fully vetted and documented in the first book ever published about him titled Shadow Echo Me the Life and Times of Captain Thomas Wiggin 1601-1666, the Making of American Values, by Joyce Wiggin-Robbins, published in 2016 by Exlibris Publishers. ISBN   9781514476987

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.


Thomas Wiggin first appears in colonial records as a signatory to the Wheelwright Deed in May 1629. This document, which some historians have claimed is a forgery, purports to transfer land along the seacoast of present-day New Hampshire from the local Indians to a group of English colonists led by Reverend John Wheelwright. [1] Thomas Wiggin arrived in New England on the Winthrop Fleet. By 1631 he had been appointed by the proprietors of the "Upper" or "Dover" Plantation (comprising modern-day Dover, Durham and Stratham) to be their chief agent or governor. He settled in what is now Stratham. He was also the holder of the large Squamscott patent, covering land east of the mouth of the Squamscott River, and was a close ally of Governor John Winthrop of the neighboring Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1632 he traveled to England, and returned the following year with expanded powers and 30 Puritan settlers. Wiggin acted as governor of the plantation until its inhabitants established a more formal government in 1637 and elected George Burdett as governor. During this time the Dover plantation was divided along religious lines, with the 1633 Puritan arrivals disagreeing with the early Anglican settlers.

New Hampshire State of the United States of America

New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north. New Hampshire is the 5th smallest by area and the 10th least populous of the 50 states. Concord is the state capital, while Manchester is the largest city in the state. It has no general sales tax, nor is personal income taxed at either the state or local level. The New Hampshire primary is the first primary in the U.S. presidential election cycle. Its license plates carry the state motto, "Live Free or Die". The state's nickname, "The Granite State", refers to its extensive granite formations and quarries.

John Wheelwright Colonial American clergyman

John Wheelwright (c.1592–1679), was a Puritan clergyman in England and America, noted for being banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony during the Antinomian Controversy, and for subsequently establishing the town of Exeter, New Hampshire. Born in Lincolnshire, England, he graduated from Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. Ordained in 1619, he became the vicar of Bilsby, Lincolnshire, until removed for simony.

Winthrop Fleet

The Winthrop Fleet was a group of 11 ships led by John Winthrop out of a total of 16 funded by the Massachusetts Bay Company which together carried between 700 and 1,000 Puritans plus livestock and provisions from England to New England over the summer of 1630, during the first period of the Great Migration.

When Massachusetts authorities asserted territorial claims over the New Hampshire plantations in the early 1640s, Wiggin represented them in the colonial assembly, and eventually rose to become a member of the Massachusetts council of assistants.

During the administration of Governor Edward Cranfield in the 1680s, Wiggin and his son Thomas Wiggin Jr. joined other New Hampshire residents in signing a petition to King James II of England protesting attempts of the heirs of John Mason to reclaim territories and properties appropriated by colonists after Mason's death. [2]

Edward Cranfield was an English colonial administrator. His mother Elizabeth was a daughter of William Parker, 4th Baron Monteagle.

James II of England 17th-century King of England and Ireland, and of Scotland (as James VII)

James II and VII was King of England and Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685 until he was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. The last Roman Catholic monarch of England, Scotland and Ireland, his reign is now remembered primarily for struggles over religious tolerance. However, it also involved the principles of absolutism and divine right of kings and his deposition ended a century of political and civil strife by confirming the primacy of Parliament over the Crown.

John Mason (governor) Governor of Newfoundland, born 1586

Captain John Mason (1586–1635) was a sailor and colonizer born at King's Lynn, Norfolk, England, and educated at Peterhouse, Cambridge. He was appointed the second Proprietary Governor of Newfoundland's Cuper's Cove colony in 1615, succeeding John Guy. Mason arrived on the island in 1616 and explored much of the territory. He compiled a map of the island and wrote and published a short tract of his findings.

Wiggin was a Puritan and extremely religious. He ascribed fervently to the belief that the Anglican Church had to be cleansed of Catholic theology and ritual. He was convinced that God would punish England for its heresy, and believed that English Puritans needed to create a New England in a new world.

Church of England Anglican state church of England

The Church of England is the established church of England. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior cleric, although the monarch is the supreme governor. The Church of England is also the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. It traces its history to the Christian church recorded as existing in the Roman province of Britain by the third century, and to the 6th-century Gregorian mission to Kent led by Augustine of Canterbury.

In June 1659, his son Andrew Wiggin married Hannah Bradstreet, daughter of Massachusetts Governor Simon Bradstreet and Anne Dudley (daughter of Massachusetts Governor Thomas Dudley). Thomas Wiggin died in 1687, and was buried near his home. [3]

Simon Bradstreet Last governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, husband of poet Anne Bradstreet

Simon Bradstreet was a colonial magistrate, businessman, diplomat, and the last governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Arriving in Massachusetts on the Winthrop Fleet in 1630, Bradstreet was almost constantly involved in the politics of the colony but became its governor only in 1679. He served on diplomatic missions and as agent to the crown in London, and also served as a commissioner to the New England Confederation. He was politically comparatively moderate, arguing minority positions in favor of freedom of speech and for accommodation of the demands of King Charles II following his restoration to the throne.

Anne Dudley English composer and pop musician

Anne Jennifer Dudley is an English composer, keyboardist, conductor and pop musician. She was the first BBC Concert Orchestra's Composer in Association in 2001. She has worked in both the classical and pop genres, but she is perhaps best known as one of the core members of the synthpop band Art of Noise and as a film composer. In 1998 Dudley won an Academy Award for Best Original Musical or Comedy Score for The Full Monty. In addition to over twenty other film scores, in 2012 she served as music producer for the film version of Les Misérables, also acting as arranger and composing some new additional music.

Thomas Dudley Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony

Thomas Dudley was a colonial magistrate who served several terms as governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Dudley was the chief founder of Newtowne, later Cambridge, Massachusetts, and built the town's first home. He provided land and funds to establish the Roxbury Latin School, and signed Harvard College's new charter during his 1650 term as governor. Dudley was a devout Puritan who was opposed to religious views not conforming with his. In this he was more rigid than other early Massachusetts leaders like John Winthrop, but less confrontational than John Endecott.

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  1. Wadleigh, pp. 10-11
  2. Collections of the New Hampshire Historical Society, Vol. VIII, Concord, 1866
  3. Cutter. New England Families. p. 69

Government offices
New office Governor of the Upper Plantations of New Hampshire
Succeeded by
George Burdett