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Subject: [GENMASSACHUSETTS] Henry Bright - Bond's Watertown - Henry Bright'sorigins in England - (new file)
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 2007 19:25:29 EST
Subject: Henry Bright
Source: Genealogies of the Families and Descendants of the Early Settlers of
Watertown, Massachusetts, Includes Waltham and Weston - by Henry Bond, M.D.,
1860. Volume I.
The Origins, in England, of Henry Bright of Watertown.
There were two early settlers of Watertown of the name Henry Bright, who,
from their respective ages, had been supposed to be father and son. A careful
examination of the town and county records had rendered this supposition
extremely improbable, and the late extensive researches in England by H. G.
Somerby, Esq., have clearly disproved it.
Henry Bright, Sen., in the town record sometimes called "old Bright," died
at Watertown, September 14, 1674, "above a hundred years old," according to the
town records, and 109 years old, according to the county records. Owing to
his great age and indigence, he was taken care of by the town for some time
previous to his decease. His Inventory amounted to only £2.9s. It included "1
pair of shop shears," rendering it probable that he had been a tailor. It
included no land, although he had formerly been a proprietor.
It is probable that he came over between the year 1637 (when his name is not
on the list of proprietors), and 1642, when he owned a homestall of 8 acres.
Henry Bright, Jr., came to America as early as 1630, and probably at the
same time with Governor Winthrop, as they were from the same County (in England)
Suffolk County, and their families were remotely related by marriage. His
name is the 48th of the list of members of the first church of Boston, Mass.,
that was originally organized at Charlestown, Mass., which shows that he must
have been a member of it in 1630.
Insert: The Winthrop Fleet of 1630 by Charles Edward Banks has this entry:
>From Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. Born 1580; aged
80 in 1660. Member church 1630/1, No. 48.
p.96 Watertown, continued:
To the liberality of my friend, Mr. J. B. Bright of Waltham, Mass., and to
the scrutinizing and persevering researches of Mr. Somerby, in England, we, the
numerous descendants of Deacon Henry Bright, are indebted for the following
information respecting his pedigree and for the accompanying illustrations
(pictured in this book).
The rebuilding of St. Mary's Church (originally erected A.D. 1005), was
begun in 1424 and finished about 1433. This fine structure is 139 ft. long
(exclusive of the chancel, which is 74 by 68 ft.), and 67-1/2 ft in breadth. The
roof of the nave, which was framed at Caen, in Normandy, is admired for its
lightness and elegance.
The first Walter Bright belonged to this church, as did also, John Bright,
his presumed father, and his two sons, John Bright & Edmund Bright. It was in
this churchyard that Thomas Bond, the father of the first William Bond of
Watertown, Mass., requested to be buried.
Thomas Bright, Sr., whose likeness is here (adjacent page in the Watertown
book) presented, was an Alderman, and a liberal benefactor of Bury St.
Edmund's. In the Guild Hall is an original portrait of him, which was procured by the
Corporation, and from which the annexed engraving was taken:
"Mr. Somerby says, "My friend, Thomas Wright, Esq., F.S.A., - the best Saxon
scholar in England, gives me the origin of this name thusly: "The name
Bright, is an excellent Anglo-Saxon name. In the Saxon, it was Spelt Beorht. It
is the simple word bright; but it was used then with much more extensive
meaning, as signifying distinguished, excellent, surpassing in courage - or
anything else, as you would say now, a "shining fellow." We say a "bright fellow"
more with reference to his intelligence; hence the name means an excellent or
distinguished man. Beorht was a common name among the Anglo-Saxons, and is
often found in the records.
"Thomas Bright, sometyme draper (footnote: "A draper in those days, was a
man of superior station in society, and generally very wealthy.") of this town,
a worthy benefactor, who gave for the benefit of this towne the inheritance
of a portion of Thythes worth x lbs. per annum, and an equal part of his
goods, as much as he gave any of his children, which amounted to ccc lb. - 1587."
Abstract of his Will proved 1587. Wife Margaret to have the manor of
Botters, in Tomson, County of Norfolk (England) with the tenement called
Brightmeares, and others; also, the manor of Brookhall, in Foxearth,
County of Essex (England). After her death, son Thomas Bright to have the
Norfolk estate, and his son, Walter Bright to succeed. To his son, Robert
Bright, his property in Great Barton, called Barton Place. To his son Henry
Bright, his lands in Barton and in other towns and parishes, which he purchased of
Sir Robert Jermyn, Knight, and George Cocke. To said Henry Bright, his house
where he now dwells, and the house where Thomas Bright dwells, and the
tavern and other buildings in Skinner's Row and Smith's Row. To son Jasper
Bright, his tenement, etc., in Newton (England). To son Thomas Bright, his
close, etc, in Westgate Street, which his father, Walter Bright, gave him by
his Will. To daughter Margaret, the wife of Mr. Roodes. To daughter Anne,
the wife of Thomas Reade; daughters Katherine and Susan; brother Edmund and his
son Thomas; brother John; father-in-law, Mr. Jervis of Whepstead. Sons
Thomas and Robert, executors.
He belonged to the Parish of St. James, and his children were baptized in
that church, which is here represented (photo) In the same church the children
and grandchildren of Jonas and Rose Bond were baptized.
The Guide to the Town, Abbey and Antiquities of Bury St. Edmunds says, "St.
James's Church, constructed of freestone, is a fine Gothic building, the west
end of which is remarkably handsome. The first church here was erected
about the year 1200." The present structure, though far advanced in the year
1500, was not finished till the Reformation, when King Edward VI gave £200
towards its completion. Its length is 137 ft. and its breadth is 69 ft. The
chancel is 56 by 28 ft.
[Picture of St. James's Church, Bury St. Edmund's.]
Netherell, the seat of Robert Bright and his descendants, is situated in
Thurston, Count of Suffolk, England, about six miles from Bury St. Edmund's. It
was visited by Mr. Somerby in 1851, who describes it as a beautiful place,
still kept up as a gentleman's seat. The building stands about 700 or 800
yards from the road, and is approached through two magnificent avenues of
ancient oak trees. There is a fine lawn in front of the Hall, skirted by a park
and preserves for game. Edmund Tyrrell, Esq., inherited the estate from the
Brights; in what manner was not ascertained. He sold it to George Chinery,
Esq., from whom it
passed to W. Chinery Barrett, whose widow now enjoys it. There are in the
hall four portraits of the Brights, pointed out to Mr. Somerby by Mrs.
Barrett; two gentlemen in the drawing-room, in the costume of the period of King
James II, which are master-pieces. One of them is an original portrait of
William III; the other unknown. Mrs. Barrett has a plan of the estate, drawn by
Henry Bright, cousin of Deacon Henry Bright of Watertown, Mass. On this plan
is an outline sketch of the building as it was then. It has been considerably
altered in the exterior. (note pp 98 & 99 are the Pedigree Chart of the
Bright family be-
ginning at the time of King Henry VII.) pp 100, 101, 102, - to p. 103 -
contain pictures, family Crests, and a tomb of the family of Henry and Mary
Bright of Bury St. Edmund's, the parents of Deacon Henry Bright of Watertown,
Henry Bright, 3d son of Thomas Bright Sr., married Mary ____. No record of
his decease nor of the settlement of his estate has been discovered; but he
died in 1609 and his widow, Mary m. (2) about 1613, William Cole. Children:
1. Mary Bright, born prob. in 1594, m. William Forth of Nayland, Gentleman.
(he was the only son of William Forth of Butley in Suffolk Co., England,
Esquire, Captain in the Train Band, who m. Anne, daughter of Thomas Browne, son
of Anthony Browne of Esling in Norfolk; and he was grandson of Sir William
Forth of Butley, who m. Dorothy, the dau. and heir of Sir John Gilbert of
Frisborough Hall. This Sir William Forth was the eldest son of Robert Forth, and
his youngest brother, John Forth was the father of Mary Forth, the first wife
of Governor John Winthrop of Massachusetts.
She was sole heir of John Forth, a younger son of Robert Forth. Children:
1. William Forth bap. Sept. 22, 1612; in 1657, executor of the Will of his
aunt, Elizabeth (Bright) Dell, and by her styled Dr. William Forth.
2. Marie Forth, bap. Oct 21, 1614.
3. Abigail Forth bap. May 16, 1620.
2. Thomas Bright bap. at St. James Church, Nov 28, 1596. He was a merchant
of Ipswich, Suffolk, England. He never married. His Will, dated April 17,
1618, proved Jan. 26, 1625, after providing an annuity for his mother, Marie,
then the wife of William Cole, gives to "my brother, John Bright and my
brother, Henry Bright," each £70, to be paid to them at the age of 21 yrs.; "to my
sisters, Elizabeth and Martha Bright," each £50 at the age of 21 years. "to
my sister, Marie, wife of William Forth, £5. To Mary Woodgate, daughter of
Thomas Woodgate of Ipswich, £5 at 21 yrs. He appointed "William Forth, my
brother-in-law, of Nayland, in said County, Gentleman," his executor and
residuary legatee. Witness, Edmund Layfield and William Gattewood.
3. Elizabeth Bright bap. Sept 17, 1598; m. ____ Dell. In her Will proved
August 6, 1657 [Will of Elizabeth Dell, widow of Stratford le Bow, Middlesex],
she bequeathed to her brother, "Master Henry Bright, of New England," £200, and
to each of his seven children £10. She also made bequests to her sister,
Martha Blower, and her children; to her nephew, William Parks; to her cousin,
___ Cawley, Esq.; to Rev. Stephen Greenhall of Stepney; to the Poor of Stepney,
and 20 shillings each to several individuals for the purchas of rings.
She appointed her nephew, Dr. William Forth, executor and her brothers
(in-law) Blower and Forth, overseers of her Will. She died without children.
4. John Bright, bap. Nov. 30, 1600. As there is no reference to him or his
family in the Will of his sister, Elizabeth (above) it is probable that he
never married or died without children.
5. Henry Bright, bap. Dec 29, 1602; came to America in 1630 and settled in
6. Stephen Bright bap. May 12, 1605; buried November 21, 1607.
7. Samuel Bright bap. Nov 24, 1606; buried July 14, 1607.
8. Anne Bright bap. Feb 3, 1609; died young.
9. Martha Bright who m. ____ Blowers; both were still living in 1657.
To be continued - Part 2 - Vol. I. - p.104 the last Will of Henry Bright of
Watertown and the records of the Bright families of Watertown, Mass.
Transcribed by Janice Farnsworth
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