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Thomas Scudder 1596-1657 (10th Great Grandfather

John Scudder’s father was Thomas Scudder who was born between 1587 and 1596 in Groton, Suffolk, England.

Thomas married Elizabeth in 1614 in Darent(he) Valley, Horton Kirby, Kent, England. Elizabeth’s six children – John, Thomas, Henry, Martha, Elizabeth and William – were born in England.

Thomas and his family moved from England to Salem, Mass. about 1635.

There is tentative and highly ambiguous evidence that Thomas Scudder may have departed Kent after 26 March 1637 to avoid possible loss of a suit for heavy damages against him, going first to Colingbourne-Ducis (the home of his brother, Reverend Henry Scudder), and then to America.

The evidence is contained in the report of a damage suit in Chancery Court in 1640 (several years after Thomas’ departure) involving Sir Henry Neese and his wife, petitioners, against Mr. Chase, clergyman, and his father and brothers. Sir Henry asserted that while he and his wife were temporarily in London, Mr. Chase et al seized Sir Henry’s dwelling in Stone, Kent, called Stone Castle (about four miles north of Horton-Kirby), for a fortnight, consuming or embezzling his possessions, and denying him access or possession.

During this period, Sir Henry leased a second house, in Horton-Kirby, apparently owned by Thomas Scudder, in which to live. Sir Henry further maintained that the Chases, in “pursuit of their malice against him,” secretly conspired with Henry Scudder, clerke, and the said Thomas Scudder of Horton-Kirby, to deny Sir Henry access to the second house as well, in order to carry out their threat “to drive him out of that country.”

By the time of the 1640 Chancery case, Sir Henry had regained possession of Stone Castle and had recovered 30 pounds in damages from the Chases through “five or six courts of law and equity.” The apparent purpose of the 1640 action was chiefly to enable Sir Henry to recover additional damages to cover his costs, which he claimed in one statement to amount in excess of “treble the said 30 pounds,” and others to total in excess of 300 pounds

Thomas was granted land in Salem in December 1637 and became a proprietor.

Thomas died on 30 Sep 1657 in Salem, Mass. Elizabeth died on 9 Sep 1666 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts at the age of 80.

In Thomas’ will, dated 30 September 30, 1657: “By the will of God Amen, I Thomas Scudder inhabitant of Salem in New england, being sick, & weake in bodye, but of perfect strength of memorye, &understandinge, doe appoint, ordeeine, & make this my last will & testament. I doe therefore by these presents appoint, & give unto my well beloved Wiffe Elizabeth Scudder, duringe her life, all my wordly goodes, & usentles of what kind soever, & all personall estate whatsoever & I doe al lso ordeine, & make, & appoint her my said Wiffe, my full, & sole Execatrixe after my death only my desire is that after her death, what she shall leave, of any of my foresaid personll estate, it shal be valewed, & equally devided to my said Children, & Grandchild, & my said Grandchild to have as much as any one of them. Neverthelesse, one Cowe, which I formerlye gave my said wiffe, I doe in noe wise dispose of, butt leave it wholly to my said wiffe to dispose of tt, as shee shall thike good. And that this is my last Will, & testament I have hereunto set my hand, and seale, this thirtyeth daye of September, on thousand sixe hundred fiftye & seven:” his mark X Thomas C Scudder Witness: Richard Waters, Wilom Traske, Joseph F Boyse and Thomas Deutch.

Proved in Salem court June 29, 1658, by Richard Waters and Cap. William Traske. Essex Co.

Administration upon the estate of Tho. Scudder, which was left in the hands of his wife who lately deceased, was granted 28: 9: 1665, to Mr. Henery Bartholomew and Hillyard Veren, who were ordered to bring in an inventory, Salem Quarterly Court Records, vol. 4, page 152.

Inventory of estate of Thomas Scudder, deceased, 1657, taken by Thomas Gardner and Joseph (his X mark) Boys, and sworn to by his widow, Elizabeth (her X mark ) Scudder: His house & orchyard, 20li.; three Oxen, 13le.,; three Cowes, 9li.; foure sheepe & lambe, 7li.; two swine, 1li.; Axes & other tooles, spitts, one pott hanger, fire pan, & tonges, one feather bed & bolster & two pillows, 4li.; three sheets, 10s.; total 73 li. es. 4d. Buried in Southold, Suffolk County, New York.

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