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Notes for William Collier

The Great Migration Begins biography of William Collier states, [1]

William Collier
Origin: Southwark, Surrey
Migration: 1633
First Residence: Plymouth
Removes: Duxbury after 1639
Occupation: Grocer (in England).
Freeman: Admitted 1 January 1633/4 [PCR 1:4, 21]. In list of freemen, 7 March 1636/7 [PCR 1:52]. In Plymouth section of list of 1639 (where his name is crossed out and reentered in the Duxbury section) [PCR 8:173-74]. In Duxbury section of lists of 1658 and 29 May 1670 (where his name is crossed out and marked "deceased" [PCR 5:274, 8:198].
Education: His appointment to the committee to review the laws speaks of considerable education.
Offices: Plymouth Colony Assistant, 1635-37, 1639-51, 1654-65 [MA Civil List 37-39]. Plymouth Commissioner to United Colonies, 1643 [MA Civil List 28]. Committee to assess colony taxes [PCR 1:26]. Committee to lay out highways, for "Duxbery side," 1 October 1634 [PCR 1:31]. Committee to view farm land, 2 March 1635/6 [PCR 1:39]. Committee to set bounds for Scituate, 6 March 1637/8 [PCR 1:80]. Committee to view North Hill and set bounds, 4 February 1638/9 [PCR 1:112]. Committee to treat with Massachusetts Bay, 7 March 1642/3, 10 June 1650 [PCR 2:53, 159]. Council of War, 27 September 1642, 10 October 1643, 1 June 1658 [PCR 2:47, 64, 3:139]. Coroner, 2 June 1646 [PCR 2:101]. Committee to draw up the excise, 7 July 1646 [PCR 2:105]. Committee for the letting of trade, June 1649 [PCR 2:144]. Auditor, 3 July 1656 [PCR 3:104]. Committee to review the laws, 3 June 1657 [PCR 3:117].
Estate: "Mr. Collier's men" assessed 18s. in Plymouth tax list of 25 March 1633 [PCR 1:11]; "Mr. Will[iam] Collier" assessed £2 5s. in list of 27 March 1634 [PCR 1:27].
In allocation of mowing ground on 1 July 1633, reference is made to ground "that Mr. Collier hath" [PCR 1:14].
On 5 July 1635, Mr. William Collier was granted a parcel of land in the woods called North Hill, with some "tussicke march ground" [PCR 1:35]. On 3 October 1662, "Mr. Collyare" complained that the records of his grant at the North Hill were lost and could not be found, and the court ordered that the land be viewed and the report of it be recorded [PCR 4:27, 39].
On 6 March 1649[/50] William "Colliar" made over his right to a ten acre parcel of upland in "Duxborrow" to "my kinsman William Clark" [PCR 12:182].
On 2 July 1667 the court agreed to a grant of thirty or forty acres of land for Mr. William Collyare's grandchild, "that grand child who is now servicable unto him" [PCR 4:159].
On 2 March 1668/9 the court granted him fifty acres in the tract of land at Namassakett [PCR 5:14].
On 5 July 1671 the court appointed Gov. Mr. Constant Southworth, Mr. Thomas Clarke, and "Benjamine Barlett," or any three of them to administer the estate of "Mr. William Collyare," deceased [PCR 5:68]. On 29 October 1671 the court ordered that "Daniell Cole" was to have all such particulars out of the estate of "William Collyare" that are extant [PCR 5:80].
Birth: By about 1585 based on date of marriage. At court 7 June 1659, "In regard that Mr. Collyare, by reason of age and much business on him, cannot attend the country's business at courts but with great difficulties, the Court have appointed the Treasurer to procure him a servant, and do allow him for that purpose the sum of £10" [PCR 3:166].
Death: After 29 May 1670 (in list of Duxbury freemen) and before 5 July 1671 (administration granted on estate).
Marriage: St. Olave, Southwark, Surrey, 16 May 1611 Jane Clark [TAG 49:215]; she died after 28 June 1666 when she consented to a deed made by her husband [PCLR 3:152].
Children (unless otherwise stated, from TAG 49:215):
i Mary, bp. St.Olave, Southwark, 18 February 1611[/2]; m. Plymouth 1 April 1635 Thomas Prence (as his second of four wives) [PCR 1:34].
ii Hannah, bp. St. Olave 14 September 1613; bur. there 31 August 1625.
iii Rebecca, bp. St. Olave 10 January 1614[/5]; m. Plymouth 15 May 1634 Job Cole [PCR 1:30].
iv Sarah, bp. St. Olave 30 April 1616; m. Plymouth 15 May 1634 Love Brewster [PCR 1:30].
v John, bp. St. Olave 18 March 1616[/7]; bur. there 24 August 1618.
vi Elizabeth, bp. St. Olave 9 March 1618[/9]; m. Plymouth 2 November 1637 Constant Southworth [PCR 1:68].
vii John, bp. St. Olave 23 March 1619[/20]; bur. there 6 August 1625.
viii Catheren, bur. St. Olave 13 January 1621[/2].
ix James, bp. St. Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey, Surrey, 16 March 1622[/3] [TAG 51:58]; bur. St. Olave 24 August 1624.
x Martha, bp. St. Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey, 28 March 1624 [TAG 51:58]; bur. St. Olave 30 May 1625.
xi William, bur. St. Olave 12 August 1625.
xii Lydia, bp. St. Olave 8 March 1625[/6]; bur. there 12 March 1625[/6].
Associations: The will of Zaccheus Cole of St Olave, Southwark, citizen and grocer of London, named mother Frances, brothers Nathaniel, John and Daniel Cole, and appointed brother Job Cole executor [PCC Scroope 106, as cited in TAG 42:119-20]. The New England will of John Cole about 1637 named his brothers Job Cole and Daniel Cole, his sister Rebecca (surname not stated) and "Elizabeth Collyer" (no rekationship stated), and left legacies to "each of Master Collyer's men," Edward, Joseph, Arthur, Ralph and John [MD 2:209-10]. Job Cole, apprentice in New England of William Collier and then his son-in-law, was likely the brother of Zaccheus Cole. This connection and others are discussed in TAG 42:119-21.
On 19 November 1645 Nathaniel Warren, son of Richard Warren, married at Plymouth Sarah Walker [PCR 2:94]. On 7 June 1653 "Mrs. Jane Collyare in behalf of her grandchild the wife of the said Nathaniel Warren" petitioned Plymouth Court in a land dispute [MD 3:141]. John Insley Coddington has suggested that when William Collier married her, Jane Clark was a widow, and that by her Clark husband she had a daughter who married a Walker [TAG 51:92-93]. Coddington further suggests that the Sara, daughter of William Walker, who was baptized at St. Olave's, Southwark, on 10 November 1622 was the grandchild of Jane Collier who married Nathaniel Warren. If this solution proves to be correct, it would also explain the 1650 land transaction in which William Collier granted to "my kinsman William Clark" [PCR 12:182].
Comments: John Hunt demonstrated that William "Collyer" was apprenticed to William Russell for eight years and was entered and sworn in the Grocers' Company of London 16 August 1609. John Arnold, dyer, and William Hurdman, pewterer, were sureties for William Collyer for two years beginning 15 August 1612. He became a partner in Southwark with "Mr. Monger" and was sworn a free brother of the Grocers' Company 3 March 1627/8 [TAG 42:120-21].
William Collier appears on the 1626 list of adventurers in Bradford's Letter Book [Bradford LB 26]. Bradford records that Mr. Allerton "in the first two or three years of his employment, he had cleared up £400 and put it into a brew-house of Mr. Collier's in London, at first under Mr. Sherley's name..." [Bradford 239].
Edward Winslow called "Mr. Collier" "my partner" in a 1643 letter to John Winthrop [WP 4:452]. Winslow also reported that "Mr. Collier [was]... absent to our grief" at the vote over liberty of conscience in Plymouth Colony in 1645 [WP 5:56].
William Morris, of Royston, in the county of Hertford, butcher, having been indentured 4 April 1637 to William Collier, gentleman, for five years, agreed to switch his service to Love Brewster of "Ducksborrow" at court 6 August 1637 [PCR 1:64].
William Collier subscribed to the 7 November 1639 agreement between the inhabitants of "Duxborrow" and George Pollard "late inhabitant of the town of Stokeclere, yeoman" and William Hiller of New Plymouth, carpenter" [PCR 12:72-73].
On 20 December 1648, John Balden bound himself to "Mr. William Colliar of Duxburrow" for a term of five years, in return for which Collier was to give him "meat, drink and clothing, lodging and washing, and at the end of four years' service ... a heifer of two years old" [PCR 12:164].
The court of 5 June 1651 agreed that payment should be raised for Mr. "Collyar" for his service as magistrate [PCR 2:169].
They were still going about raising this money 29 June 1652 [PCR 3:14].
He was one of the fifty-eight Purchasers [PCR 2:177].
At court 6 December 1659, "Josepth Prior" was summoned to answer the charge of Mr. William "Collyares" that Prior was guilty of "pilfering and purloining practices, and other unworthy carriages relating thereunto, viz. in alluring a young maid, a kinswoman to Mr. William Collyares, to help him ... to sundry things pertaining to the said Mr. Collyare, without knowledge of or leave from Mr. Collyare or Mis[tress] Jane Collyare, his wife" [PCR 3:177]. Mr. Collier was called to the next court to prosecute the case.


[1] Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633 (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995), 446-450, [AmericanAncestors].