1812. Elder William HATCH (912) was born about 1598 in Kent, England. He died on 6 Nov 1651 in Scituate, Plymouth Co., MA. IMMIGRANT - (1634/5 - Came to New England aboard the "Hercules" with the Hinckley family) - "William's first wife is not known but was the mother of Walter, who was born about 1623 and died 24 May 1699. ... William's second wife was Jane Young of Thanington, which is near Canterbury. Jane had been born about 1596 and they were married 9 July 1624. About ten years later the family moved from Wye to Sandwich, Kent, and the next year, March 1634-5, sailed from Sandwich to America in the ship Hercules. There were five children and six servants. ...
William built a house on Kent Street (No. 17) in Scituate, and was admitted freeman on 5 Jan 1635-6. He went back to England but returned in April 1638 in the ship Castle (NEHGR 70:258-9 names the ship Clyde, but otherwise the information about the Hatches in America is exactly the same). In 1643 William was chosen to be the first ruling elder of the Second Church of Scituate. He and sons Walter and John are on the 1643 list of men in Scituate able to bear arms and he was lieutenant of the "trainband," which was a group of trained citizen soldiers." (Bonnie Hubbard)
Bonnie Hubbard's 1990 "Hatch Addenda" chapter gives the following additional interesting information about William and his black servant: "Pratt, Harvey Hunter, 'The early planters of Scituate,' Scituate Historical Society, 1929, p. 114ff: 'Scituate townsmen both before and after admission as freemen, were wont to speak their minds freely and the government was quite as ready to prosecute them therefor....William Hatch was another to be prosecuted for his loose speech concerning the government, and his manifest contempt for its authority. The reason for this attitude is not readily apparent. As early as 1634, he had settled in Kent Street, was Elder of the church, frequently both a grand and petit juryman, and performed other important duties to the young colony. Even after the harsh treatment that was awarded against him for his seditious speeches he was twice elected a deputy and also placed at the head of the town's military company. He was apparently devoted to the welfare of the church, the colony and his neighbors; he was a man of some means and frequently became surety for the latter when any of them had fallen into trouble. One, however, William Holmes, was found to bear this testimony against him:--
'The deposition of William Holmes taken by and
affirmed in the open Court. This deponent sayeth, William
Hatch used these wordes, or to the like effect, viz: that
the warrants sent from the governor were nothing but
stincking commissary warrants or attachments and that the
warrants sent in that kynd are no better than commissary
court warrants; and that the warrant sent to the constable to
warne him the sd Hatch to appeare at the Court of our
Soveraigne lord the Kinge was but a commissary warrant.
'The only explanation for his sneering comparison of the Governor's summons with the process of the Scottish divorce court which can be given, must be, that although four years had elapsed when this speech was uttered, he still smarted at having been required to appear before the Court in 1637 for an inconsequential trespass at Marshfield. After neighbor Holmes had testified, and without further ado, Hatch was `committed to goale for want of sureties for his good behavior.' He did not stay long. On the same day, the devout and kindly Thomas Cushman [ours!] of Plymouth, and John Coombs recognized with him in the sum of twenty pounds each for his appearance `at the next Generall Court of our said soveraigne lord the Kinge, etc., to be holden at Plymouth, etc., and in the mean tyme to be of good behavior towards our said soveraigne lord the King and all his leige people, and abide the further order of the Court, and not depart the same without lycence.' Thereupon he was released. The next term of the General Court came and went byt the record is silent as to any further action taken against him.' ... Another court proceeding involving our William Hatch is discussed in E.A. Stratton's 'Plymouth Colony - It's history and people 1620 - 1691,' Ancestry Publishing, Salt Lake City, 1986, p. 187-8: 'The first record we have of a black in Plymouth Colony is the list of 1643 of those men between 16 and 60 able to bear arms. The list is quite thorough, ranging from the governor and ministers to servants....Also on the list is 'the blackamore,' and though attempts have been made to identify him....we still do not know who [he] was, what his status in Plymouth was, or how long he had been or remained in Plymouth. However, though highly speculative, there is indirect evidence to link him with one Hercules Hill or Hills. This person is first mentioned in the records by name on 5 Mar 1643-4 when the court, `upon heareing of the differrence betwixt William Hatch, of Scituate, & his servant Hercules, for the terme he shoud serve him, whether six or seaven yeares...having heard the evedences on both sides, do order that the said Hercules is to serve the said William six yeares, which wilbe untill the third day of July next, & then to be free from him.'
"It was highly unusual for court records to identify a person by first name only, although Hercules is so uncommon a name for a Plymouth Colony resident at this time that perhaps, like blackamore, it was considered sufficient. The next record shows that Hercules Hill was one of eight men from Scituate who went forth on 23 Aug 1645 on the Narragansett campaign. The fact that he is from Scituate, and the uniqueness of the name in Plymouth, make it likely that Hatch's servant was Hercules Hill. It is apparent that he is able to bear arms, but the name Hercules Hill is not on the 1643 ATBA. He is on a list dated 15 Jan 1644-5 of men from Scituate who had taken the Oath of Fidelity (by court order, above, he would have come out of servitude in July 1644). To connect this evidence it is necessary to reason that the black who was in Plymouth in 1643 was a servant to someone as early as July 1638, and was working for William Hatch in 1643-4. The name Hercules, though unusual at Plymouth for an Englishman, is the type of classical name which Englishmen seemed to like to bestow on nonwhite servants. The use of the first name Hercules to identify him on 5 Mar 1643-4 is again highly unusual for an Englishman, but is very consistent with usage at this time for nonwhites. If this speculative hypothesis should be true, it would show a black in Plymouth at this time not as a freeman... and not as a lifetime slave, but rather as an indentured servant with the same rights as all other indentured servants. One last bit of evidence to add to these facts is that William Hatch arrived in New England in 1634 aboard the ship called Hercules."

He was married to (William's first wife) ?.

1813. (William's first wife) ?(81) died about 1623. Children were:

child906 i. Walter HATCH.

Home Return to Table of Contents