Stephen Bachiler was born 1561. Robert Charles Anderson gives his place of origin as South Stoneham, Hampshire, England. He matriculated at St John’s College at Oxford on 17 November 1581 (B.A. 1586) and became the vicar at Wherwell, Hampshire, England in 1587. Stephen married first — —, second the widow Christian Weare 2 March 1623 in Abbots Ann, Hampshire, and third Helena, the widow of Rev. Thomas Mason, 26 March 1627 in Abbots Ann, Hampshire, England.
At some point in his career, he refused to conform and was dismissed. The Bachilers lived in Holland for several years and came to America on the William and Francis, which sailed from London 9 March 1632 and arrived in Boston 5 June. Stephen was 71.
Stephen and his family settled in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts. Here, he was admitted a freeman 6 May 1635 and became a minister of a church. There is a highly disputed story that one of his first duties there was to baptize several children, including his own grandson, Stephen Hussey. It is said that he was given Thomas Newhall first as he was older than Stephen Hussey. The reverend put Thomas aside and said, “I will baptize my own child first.”
After four months, there was a complaint about “some irregularities in his conduct”. On 3 October 1632, at the court at Boston, he was ordered to “forbeare exerciseing his giftes as a pastr or teacher publiquely in or Patent, unlesse it be to those he brought with him, for his contempt of authority, and till some scandles be removed.” On 4 March 1633, he was allowed to preach again. However, about 1635, several members began to leave his congregation and a council of ministers was held on 15 March. The matter was not reconciled and another meeting was scheduled. Stephen told those who had left his congregation to write their grievances, but when they refused, he tried to excommunicate them. The ministers returned to Lynn and decided that “although the church had not been properly instituted, yet the mutual exercise of their religious duties had supplied the defect”. The strife continued and Stephen requested and was granted a dismissal from the congregation for himself and the members who had come with him from England. Stephen continued to preach to those who had come with him. The people of Lynn complained, the magistrates forbade him to continue his ministry, and, in January 1636, he was brought to court in Boston, where he was ordered to leave Lynn within three months.
He is said to have gone to Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts. In the winter of 1637, traveled with some friends 100 miles on foot to Mattakeese (now Yarmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts). He had planned to establish a town and church but was unable to do so and went instead to Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts. On 6 July 1638, he and his son-in-law were granted land there. On 6 September 1638, he was granted permission to start a settlement at Winnacunett (now Hampton, Rockingham, New Hampshire). Stephen and Christopher sold their land in Newbury and moved to Hampton in 1638. Stephen once more became the minister of his own church. However, there was a division in the town between his supporters and the supporters of Rev. Timothy Dalton. In 1641, Stephen was excommunicated for “irregular conduct” and his house and most of his property was burned down. His communion was restored but not his office. By 20 April 1647, he settled at Strawberry Bank (now Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire). Stephen, then about ninety, married third Mary — in 1650. He was fined for not publishing the marriage according to law. The marriage was not a happy one, as later in the year, Stephen and Mary were brought to court regarding their relationship and, soon afterwards, Stephen returned to England. Mary petitioned for divorce 14 October 1656 and accused him of committing bigamy in England. There is no evidence that he actually did marry another woman. Stephen most likely was the “Steeven Batchiller Minester that dyed att Robert Barbers” who was buried 31 October 1656 at Allhallows Staining Church, London, Middlesex, England.
Stephen's children by his first wife are:
1. Nathaniel Bachiler, married 1) Hester Mercer and 2) Margerie —.
2. Deborah Bachiler, born about 1592, married John Wing.
3. Stephen Bachiler, matriculated at Oxford in 1610, ordained deacon at Oxford 19 Sep 1613.
4. Samuel Bachiler, a minister at Gorinchem (Gorcum), South Holland, Netherlands, married — —.
5. Ann Bachiler, born about 1601, married 1) — Samborne and 2) Henry Atkinson 20 Jan 1631/2 in Strood, Kent, England.
6. Theodate Bachiler, married Christopher Hussey.
1. International Genealogical Index, extracted from original source by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
2. Sanborn, George Freeman, Jr., “Rev. Stephen Bachiler of Hampton: Some Additional Information”, The New Hampshire Genealogical Record, Vol. 8, No. 1, Jan 1991.
3. Lewis, Alonzo, History of Lynn, Boston: J.H. Eastburn, 1829.
4. Sanborn, F. B., The Hard Case of the Founder of Old Hampton: Wrongs of Rev. Stephen Bachiler (Read by author, at Bachelder family reunion, Seabrook, N. H., August 9, 1900).
5. Dow, Joseph, History of the Town of Hampton, New Hampshire, Vol. I, (Published posthumously) Salem, MA: Salem Press Publishing & Printing Co., 1893.
6. Sanborn, Victor C., Stephen Bachiler: An Unforgiven Puritan, Concord, NH: New Hampshire Historical Society, 1917.
7. Pierce, Frederick Clifton, Batchelder, Batcheller Genealogy, Chicago: Conkey Company, 1898.
Rev. Stephen Bachiler of Hampton: Some Additional Information: http://www.hampton.lib.nh.us/hampton/biog/bachilerdeath.htm
The Hard Case of the Founder of Old Hampton: Wrongs of Rev. Stephen Bachiler:
The Interwoven Pastorates/Father and Founder of Our Town:
Stephen Bachiler: An Unforgiven Puritan:
Photos of a plaque at Founders Park in Hampton, NH:
Our Fascinating Ancestor, Stephen Bachiler (with a photo of Stephen's chair and a copy of his signature and seal):
Extracted Marriage Records
Spouse: CHRISTIAN WEARE
Marriage: 02 MAR 1623
Abbotts Ann, Hampshire, England
Spouse: HELENA MASON
Marriage: 26 MAR 1627
Abbotts Ann, Hampshire, England
Source: International Genealogical Index, Marriage records, extracted from original source by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: (Batch # M136501, Dates: 1561 – 1875, Source #1041195, Type: Film, Printout Call #6900636, Type: Film).
ORIGIN: South Stoneham, Hampshire
MIGRATION: 1632 on William and Francis [WJ 1:93]
FIRST RESIDENCE: Lynn
REMOVES: Ipswich (supposedly) 1636, Yarmouth 1637/8, Newbury 1638, Hampton 1639, Portsmouth 1644
RETURN TRIPS: To England permanently by late 1650 or early 1651
CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: Member of Lynn, Newbury and Hampton churches during his ministry in those places (but see COMMENTS for further discussion).
FREEMAN: 6 May 1635 [MBCR 1:371].
EDUCATION: Matriculated about 1581 at Oxford from St. John’s College, and received his B.A. 3 February 1585/6 [Foster 1:53].
OFFICES: On 28 June 1641 at Saco four men were chosen as arbitrators in a dispute between GEORGE CLEEVE and JOHN WINTER, and in case those four men could not agree, Stephen Bachiler was to be “an umpire for the final ending of the said controversies” [Trelawny Papers 269-72, 319].
ESTATE: Many secondary sources state that Bachiler was granted fifty acres at Ipswich in February 1636, but evidence of this has not been found in the town or colony records. On 6 July 1638 Bachiler was granted land at Newbury [Newbury Town Records].
“Steven Bachiler sometimes of Hampton” was granted seven parcels of land at Hampton: nine and a half acres of upland for a houselot; five acres of upland added to the houselot; four acres of swampy ground; eleven acres of meadow; four acres of meadow; two hundred acres of upland, meadow & marsh for a farm; and eight acres of upland in the East Field [NEHGR 46:160-61, citing Hampton town records].
On 20 April 1647 “Steven Bachiler late of Hampton in the County of Norfolk in New England & now of Strabery Bank for ... love and affection towards my four grandchildren John, Stephen & William Samborn & Nathaniell Batchiller all now or lately of Hampton” deeded to grandson John Samborne “all of my dwelling house & land or ground whether arable, meadow & pasture or other ground with their appurtenances together with all the buildings, commons, profits, privileges & immunities whatsoever to the same or any part thereof belonging or in any wise appertaining, the greater part thereof being now or lately in the tenure, possession or occupation of the said John Samborn & other part thereof not yet particularly appointed by the town &c. (excepting out of this grant the land with the appurtenances which I formerly sold to William Howard & Thomas Ward),” said John Samborne to pay £20 apiece to each of the other three grandchildren [NHPLR 13:221].
BIRTH: About 1561 (aged 70, 23 June 1631 [Waters 520]; aged 71, 5 June 1632 [WJ 1:93]; about 76, late March 1636/7 [WJ 1:313]).
DEATH: Buried 31 October 1656 at All Hallows Staining, London [NHGR 8:14-17].
MARRIAGE: (1) By about 1590 [Anne?] _____, who was closely related in some way to Reverend John Bate, Bachiler’s successor as vicar of Wherwell [see COMMENTS]; she died sometime between about 1610 and 1624. (Although this first wife’s given name is stated to be “Anne” by many authorities, there is no record evidence to support this.)
(2) Abbots Ann, Hampshire, 2 March 1623/4 Christian Weare, widow [GDMNH 81]; she died before 26 March 1627.
(3) Abbots Ann, Hampshire, 26 March 1627 Helena Mason, widow (of Reverend Thomas Mason) [GDMNH 81]; she was aged 48 in 1631, so born about 1583 [Waters 520]; died by 3 May 1647 [WP 5:153].
(4) by 14 February 1648 Mary (_____) Beedle, widow of Robert Beedle [Kittery Hist 95-96]; she soon left her husband, and cohabited with George Rogers at Kittery (see below).
With first wife
i. NATHANIEL, b. say 1590; m. (1) Hester Mercer or LeMercier [Batchelder Gen 110-15; NEHGR 27:368, 47:510-15]; m. (2) by 1645 Margery _____ (on 9 April 1645 “Margerie Batchellor” the widow of Nathaniel Bacheler of Southampton, Hampshire, was granted administration on his estate [PCC Admon. Act Book 1645, f. 22]); he did not come to New England, but his son Nathaniel did, and resided at Hampton.ii. DEBORAH, b. about 1592 (aged 32, 22 June 1624 [Waters 520]); m. by 1611 John Wing [Waters 519-20]; she and her children came to New England in the late 1630s and resided at Sandwich.ASSOCIATIONS: RICHARD DUMMER of Roxbury and Newbury married first Jane Mason, a daughter of Reverend Thomas Mason, and resided late in his life at North Stoneham, Hampshire; Stephen Bachiler married as his third wife Helena Mason, widow of Reverend Thomas Mason, and resided just before his departure for New England at South Stoneham, Hampshire. These marriages made Bachiler the step-father-in-law of Dummer, and explains their close connection in the activities of the Plough Company.
iii. STEPHEN, b. about 1594; matriculated at Oxford 18 June 1610 from Magdalen College, aged 16, son of a minister, from Southampton [i.e., Hampshire] [Foster 1:53]; “Stephen Bachiler of Edmund Hall” was ordained deacon at Oxford 19 September 1613 [Bishop’s Register, Diocese of Oxford]; with his father, accused in 1614 of circulating slanderous verses [see COMMENTS]; no further record.
iv. SAMUEL, b. say 1597; lived at Gorcum in Holland, where he was a minister, and had a wife and children.
v. ANN, b. about 1601 (aged 30 in 1631 [Waters 520]); m. (1) by about 1620 _____ Samborne; m. (2) Strood, Kent, 20 January 1631/2 Henry Atkinson.
vi. THEODATE, b. say 1610; m. by about 1635 CHRISTOPHER HUSSEY.
COMMENTS: Stephen Bachiler led a most interesting life, filled with unusual twists and turns far beyond the norm. In the ensuing paragraphs we take a chronological tour of his nine decades, attempting along the way to resolve certain problems of interpretation.
As noted above, Stephen Bachiler entered college about 1581, and received his B.A. in 1586. On 17 July 1587 he was presented as vicar of Wherwell, Hampshire, and remained at that parish until he was ejected in 1605 [NEHGR 46:60-61, citing Winchester diocesan records]. Bachiler began his long career of contrariety as early as 1593, when he was cited in Star Chamber for having “uttered in a sermon at Newbury very lewd speeches tending seditiously to the derogation of her Majesty’s government” [NEHGR 74:319-20]. Upon the accession of James I as King of England, nearly a hundred ministers were deprived of their benefices between the years 1604 and 1609, and among these, as noted above, was Stephen Bachiler [Kenneth Fincham, Prelate as Pastor: The Episcopate of James I (Oxford 1990), p. 326].
Bachiler was living at Wherwell late in 1606 when he was a legatee in the will of Henry Shipton [NEHGR 74:320]. A case in Star Chamber in 1614 still refers to Bachiler as of Wherwell, and adds much other useful information about the family. George Wighley, a minster and Oxford graduate, accused Stephen Bachiler of Wherwell, clerk, Stephen Bachiler, his son, John Bate of Wherwell, clerk, and others of libelling him, by means of verses ridiculing him. In the course of the complaint Wighley quotes John Bate as saying he would keep a copy of the poem “as a monument of his cousin’s the said Stephen Bacheler the younger his wit, who is in truth his cousin” [Star Chamber Proc. James I 297/25, 1614].
Another suit, this time in the Court of Requests, although not entered until 1639, bears directly on many points in Stephen Bachiler’s life in England, and will be treated here, out of chronological order. In 1639 Henry Atkinson of London, gent., complained that five or six years before John Bate, gent., living in Holland, had borrowed £4 from “Samuel Bachiler late of Gorcem [i.e., Gorcum] in Holland aforesaid Minister,” after which Bate instructed Bachiler to collect the debt from Dorcas Bate, mother of John, and widow of Reverend John Bate, minister, deceased. Bachiler assigned the debt to Atkinson, who had married Bachiler’s sister, and Atkinson was unable to collect the debt from Dorcas Bate. John Bate had also borrowed money from “Nathaniell Bachiler of Southampton Merchant (one other of the brothers of your subject’s wife)” and this debt had also been assigned to Atkinson to collect from Dorcas Bate. The latter was abetted in avoiding payment of the debt by her son Gabriel Bate, and her son-in-law and daughter Robert and Anne Southwood. Atkinson noted that his wife’s father [i.e., Reverend Stephen Bachiler] had obtained the living of Wherwell for John Bate the father, and that the latter had refused to pay to the former twenty marks a year out of the living or benefice, as had been agreed [PRO REQ2/678/64].
On 28 April 1614 Stephen Bachiler was a free suitor of Newton Stacey at the view of frankpledge of the Barton Stacey Manorial Court, and was a free suitor of Barton Stacey at the court of 2 October 1615.
On 19 February 1615[/6?] Edmund Alleyn of Hatfield Peverell, Essex, bequeathed £5 to “Mr. Bachelour,” and Stephen Bachiler was one of the witnesses [Waters 518-19]. On 11 June 1621 Adam Winthrop, father of Governor JOHN WINTHROP, reported that “Mr. Bachelour the preacher dined with us” at Groton, Suffolk [WP 1:235]. Although this might conceivably be the younger Stephen Bachiler, who had been ordained as a deacon late in 1613, the man referred to in these records is more likely the elder Stephen. Since he is well recorded as a resident of Newton Stacey both before and after this time, he must have made occasional visits to East Anglia.
The Hampshire feet of fines show that “Stephen Bachiler, clerk,” acquired land in Newton Stacey in 1622 and 1629, and sold it in 1630 and 1631 [Batchelder Gen 76-77]. While at Newton Stacey (a village within the parish of Barton Stacey) Bachiler had managed to incite the parishioners of Barton Stacey to acts that came to the attention of the sheriff, who petitioned for redress to the King in Council; the complaint described Bachiler as “a notorious inconformist” [NEHGR 46:62, citing Domestic Calendar of State Papers, 1635]. In summary, while there are gaps in the English career of Bachiler, it would appear that he lived at Wherwell for most of the years from his induction there in 1587 until 1614, and that he then resided in Newton Stacey from 1614 until 1631, shortly before his departure for New England.
Bachiler apparently lived briefly at South Stoneham, Hampshire, after disposing of his land at Newton Stacey, for that is the residence he gave for himself and wife on 23 June 1631 when he was applying for permission to travel to Flushing in Holland “to visit their sons and daughters” [Waters 520].
At about this same time Stephen Bachiler allied himself with a group of London merchants to form the Plough Company, which had obtained a grant of land in the neighborhood of Saco. The Plough Company managed to send two groups of settlers to New England, in the Plough in 1631 and the William & Francis in 1632, but they were never able to occupy their patent, and the company soon failed. (For a full account of this ill-starred enterprise, see V.C. Sanborn, “Stephen Bachiler and the Plough Company of 1630,” The Genealogist, New Series, 19 :270-84, and the sources cited there.)
Shortly after his arrival in New England in 1632, Stephen Bachiler settled at Saugus (later to be called Lynn), where he immediately began to organize a church. Over the next four years Bachiler and a portion of his congregation were repeatedly at odds with the rest of the congregation and with the colony authorities, and by early 1636 Bachiler had ceased to minister at Lynn [GMN 1:20].
In addition to this ongoing conflict (which became a recurring feature of Bachiler’s career in New England), two stories of dubious validity are associated with his stay at Lynn. First, a fictional diary describes at length Bachiler’s physical appearance, to the extent of informing us that he had “an unseemly wen on the side of his nose which presses that member in an unshapely way”; this is just part of the imaginative invention of Obadiah Redpath (a pseudonym of James R. Newhall, whose non-fictional writings were not much more reliable) [Lin: or, Notable People and Notable Things in the Early History of Lynn ... (Lynn 1890, earlier editions of which carried the title Lin: or, Jewels of the Third Plantation), p. 65].
Second, this same source, and others, relate the following story: “On the first Sunday at Lynn, four children were baptized. Thomas Newhall, the first white child born in Lynn, was first presented. Mr. Bachiler put him aside, saying `I will baptize my own child first,’ meaning Stephen Hussey, his daughter’s child, born the same week as Thomas Newhall” [NEHGR 46:158]. There is, in the first place, no contemporary evidence for this event. Then, in the brief list of baptisms apparently performed by Bachiler at Lynn, Newbury, and in his early days at Hampton, the earliest entry is for John Hussey, son of Christopher and Theodate (Bachiler) Hussey, whereas if the above story were true we would expect Stephen Hussey to be at the head of this list. This story would seem to be a typical nineteenth-century creation.
After his departure from Lynn, Bachiler is supposed to have resided in Ipswich, and to have received a grant of land there in 1636 or 1637, but no contemporary evidence for this has been found. Bachiler’s next adventure occurred in the winter of 1637/8, for Winthrop tells us in his journal, in an entry made in late March of that year, that “Another plantation was now in hand at Mattakeese [Yarmouth], six miles beyond Sandwich. The undertaker of this was one Mr. Batchellor, late pastor of Sagus, (since called Lynn), being about seventy-six years of age; yet he walked thither on foot in a very hard season. He and his company, being all poor men, finding the difficulty, gave it over, and others undertook it” [WJ 1:313].
Bachiler then resided for about a year at Newbury, where he received a grant of land on 6 July 1638. Bachiler also seems to have been able to organize a church at Newbury (or to keep in existence the church that he had earlier organized at Lynn). In a letter dated 26 February 1643/4 the minister, recounting his various experiences in New England, told how “the Lord shoved me thence [i.e., after his arrival in 1632, and the failure of the Plough Company] by another calling to Sagust, then, from Sagust to Newbury, then from Newbury to Hampton” [WP 4:447]. Later in 1644 Winthrop pointed out that “Mr. Batchellor had been in three places before, and through his means, as was supposed, the churches fell to such divisions, as no peace could be till he was removed” [WJ 2:216-17]. These records indicate that Bachiler headed churches in three towns (Lynn, Newbury and Hampton), or possibly that the church organized in Lynn had a continuous existence as it moved to Newbury and then to Hampton [see GMN 4:20-21 for a more detailed discussion of these possibilities].
In the summer of 1639 Stephen Bachiler and some other families, many of them from Newbury, began the settlement of Hampton, and Bachiler was soon joined there by Reverend Timothy Dalton, who shared the pulpit with him. As had happened throughout his life, controversy soon arose. In 1641 Winthrop reported that Bachiler “being about 80 years of age, and having a lusty comely woman to his wife, did solicit the chastity of his neighbor’s wife” [WJ 2:53], and this led to an attack on him by Dalton and a large portion of the Hampton congregation. These charges were apparently not resolved at the time, but in 1643-4, when the town of Exeter invited Bachiler to be their minister, the affair was raised again, and this was sufficient to prevent his removal to that church [GMN 4:21-22].
At about this time Bachiler’s ministry at Hampton ceased, and he soon moved to Strawberry Bank [Portsmouth], where he remained until his return to England.
On 9 April 1650 at a Quarterly Court held at Salisbury, “Mr. Steven Bacheller [was] fined for not publishing his marriage according to law.” At the same court it was ordered “that Mr. Bacherler and Mary his wife shall live together, as they publicly agreed to do, and if either desert the other, the marshal to take them to Boston to be kept until next quarter Court of Assistants, to consider a divorce.... In case Mary Bacheller live out of this jurisdiction without mutual consent for a time, notice of her absence to be given the magistrates at Boston” [EQC 1:191].
On 15 October 1650 at a court at York “George Rodgers & Mrs. Batcheller [were] presented upon vehement suspicion of incontinency for living in one house together & lying in one room” [MPCR 1:146]. At a court at Piscataqua [i.e., Kittery] on 16 October 1651 the grand jury presented “George Rogers for, & Mary Batcheller the wife of Mr. Steven Bacheller minister for adultery”; George Rogers was to have forty strokes, and Mary Bachiler “for her adultery shall receive 40 strokes save one at the first town meeting held at Kittery six weeks after the delivery & be branded with the letter A” [MPCR 1:164]. This child born late in 1651 or early in 1652 was apparently the Mary Bachiler who later married William Richards, and even though the Dover Court on 26 March 1673 awarded him administration of the estate of Stephen Bachiler [NHPP 40:287], she would not have been his daughter. (See MA Arch 9:28 and NHGR 8:14 for more on Bachiler’s fourth wife.)
Stephen Bachiler returned to England after these events, and most secondary sources claim that he made that trip in 1654 when his grandson Stephen Samborne returned to England. On 2 October 1650 “Steven Bachiler” witnessed a deed between Christopher Hussey (grantor) and Steven Sanborn and Samuel Fogg (grantees) [NLR 1:19]; this is the last certain record of Bachiler in New England (unless the “Mr. Batchelder” who was presented at court on 28 June 1652 for being illegally at the house of John Webster is our man [NHPP 40:87-88]).
Although a number of records in New England between 1651 and 1654 mentioned Stephen Bachiler, none of them necessarily implies that Bachiler was still in New England, and a few indicate that he was not in close proximity to the courts in question. In a court held at Hampton on 7 October 1651, Francis Pebodie sued Tho[mas] Bradbury for “issuing an illegal execution, for or in behalf of Mr. Batcheller, against the town of Hampton” [EQC 1:236]. On 14 October 1651 the Massachusetts Bay General Court ordered that “in answer to a petition preferred by several of the inhabitants of Hampton, for relief in respect of unjust molestation from some persons there pretending power for what they do from Mr. Batchelor, it is ordered, that whatsoever goods or lands have been taken away from any of the inhabitants of Hampton, aforesaid, by Edward Calcord or Joh[n] Sanbourne, upon pretence of being authorized by Mr. Batchelor, either with or without execution, shall be returned to them from whom it was taken, & the execution to be called in, & no more to be granted until there appear sufficient power from Mr. Batchelor to recover the same, to the County Courts, either of Salsbury or Hampton” [MBCR 3:253]. Apparently John Sanborn and others were pursuing the interests of Stephen Bachiler in his absence, but without a proper power of attorney. It might be argued that he was in Strawberry Bank [Portsmouth], but unable to come to Hampton, but there is no indication that he was ill or unable to travel at any time in his long life, and the more likely explanation is that he was already in England by October of 1651. At a court held at Hampton on 3 October 1654 “Mr. Batcheller’s letter of attorney to Mr. Christopher Hussie [was] approved” [EQC 1:372].
Most secondary sources state that Bachiler died at Hackney in England in 1660, but more recent research has shown that Stephen Bachiler died in London and was buried on 31 October 1656 [NHGR 8:14-17].
Among many remarkable lives lived by early New Englanders, Bachiler’s is the most remarkable. From 1593, when he was cited before Star Chamber, until 1654, when he last makes a mark on New England records, this man lived a completely independent and vigorous life, never acceding to any authority when he thought he was correct. Along with Nathaniel Ward of Ipswich, Stephen Bachiler was one of the few Puritan ministers active in Elizabethan times to survive to come to New England. As such he was a man out of his times, for Puritanism in Elizabethan times was different from what it became in the following century, and this disjunction may in part account for Bachiler’s stormy career in New England [Simon P. Newman, “Nathaniel Ward, 1580-1652: An Elizabethan Puritan in a Jacobean World,” EIHC 127:313-26]. But Nathaniel Ward did not have anything like as much trouble, and most of Bachiler’s conflicts may be ascribed to his own unique character.
Savage includes among the children of Stephen Bachiler sons Francis and Henry, for whom there is no evidence. These phantom sons derive in part from a misinterpretation of a 1685 letter from Stephen Bachiler to Nathaniel Bachiler [Batchelder Gen 110-11], which refers to “our brother Francis Bachlir.” As the two correspondents are grandsons of the Reverend Stephen (sons of his son Nathaniel) and not sons, it follows that Francis Bachiler was also a grandson.
Of the known children of Stephen Bachiler, only Theodate and Deborah came to New England. CHRISTOPHER HUSSEY is supposed to have married Theodate Bachiler in England and to have sailed to New England in 1632 with his father-in-law, but, as will be analyzed in more detail in the treatment of Hussey himself, there is no evidence that he was in New England before 1633, and it may be that his marriage to Theodate did not occur until 1635. Deborah Bachiler married John Wing, and after his death came to New England with her children, in the late 1630s. Ann Bachiler married a Samborne, and eventually her three Samborne sons joined their grandfather at Hampton, although the date of their arrival is not known. Stephen’s son Nathaniel did not come to New England, but Nathaniel’s son Nathaniel did. The Reverend Stephen’s two other sons, Stephen and Samuel, did not come to New England, nor, apparently, did any of their children.
BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: In 1892 Charles E. Batchelder published a four-part study of Reverend Stephen Bachiler [NEHGR 46:58-64, 157-61, 246-51, 345-50]. For the most part this is a simple chronological presentation of the evidence available at that date. In the third installment, however, the author devotes much space to a spirited but unconvincing defense of Bachiler against the claim made by Winthrop that one of the grounds of the Hampton church’s dispute with Bachiler was an attempt “to solicit the chastity of his neighbor’s wife.”
In 1898 Frederick Clifton Pierce published Batchelder, Batcheller Genealogy. Descendants of Rev. Stephen Bachiler, of England, a Leading Non-conformist, Who Settled the Town of New Hampton, N.H. and Joseph, Henry, Joshua and John Batcheller of Essex Co., Massachusetts (Chicago 1898), cited in this sketch as Batchelder Gen. This volume includes a long sketch of Stephen Bachiler (pp. 75-115 [including the accounts of his children]), which, as is typical with this author, contains much information of dubious validity, very poorly organized. Embedded in the list of the immigrant’s children, between the daughter Deborah and the son Stephen, are several accounts of Reverend Stephen Bachiler prepared by other authors, mostly published in various town histories [Batchelder Gen 95-109].
Since the three Samborne brothers of Hampton and all their descendants are also descendants of Reverend Stephen Bachiler, V.C. Sanborn, when he compiled the Sanborn genealogy, included an account of Bachiler’s life [Genealogy of the Family of Samborne or Sanborn in England and America. 1194-1898 (n.p. 1899), pp. 59-66]. Like all of his work, Sanborn’s writing on Bachiler is careful and accurate.
A curious book published in London in 1661 included a supposed coat of arms for Stephen Bachiler, which included a punning reference to the Plough Company (Sylvanus Morgan, The Sphere of Gentry: Deduced from the Principles of Nature, An Historical and Genealogical Work, of Arms and Blazon ..., pp.102-03). This was certainly not a properly granted coat of arms, but something invented by the author for his own literary purposes.
Sources cited above:
WJ John Winthrop, The History of New England from 1630 to 1649, James Savage, ed., 2
volumes (Boston 1853). Citations herein refer to the pagination of the 1853 and not the 1826
edition, even though the index to the 1853 edition continues to use the 1826 pagination.
Foster Joseph Foster, Alumni Oxonienses: The Members of the University of Oxford, 1500-1714 ...,
4 volumes (Oxford 1891-1892)
Trelawny Papers The Trelawny Papers, James Phinney Baxter, ed., in Collections of the Maine Historical
Society, 2nd Series, Volume 3 (Portland, Maine, 1884)
NHPLR New Hampshire Provincial Deeds, New Hampshire Division of Records Management and
Archives, Concord, New Hampshire
Waters Henry FitzGilbert Waters, Genealogical Gleanings In England, 2 volumes (Boston 1901)
Kittery Hist Everett S. Stackpole, Old Kittery and Her Families (Lewiston, Maine, 1903; rpt. Somersworth,
New Hampshire, 1981)
PCC Prerogative Court of Canterbury, England
PRO Public Record Office, London, England
Batchelder Gen Frederick Clifton Pierce, Batchelder, Batcheller Genealogy. Descendants of Rev. Stephen
Bachiler, of England, a Leading Nonconformist, Who Settled the Town of New Hampton,
N.H. and Joseph, Henry, Joshua and John Batcheller of Essex Co., Massachusetts (Chicago
GMN Great Migration Newsletter, Volume 1 through present (1990+)
WP Winthrop Papers, 1498-1654, 6 volumes, various editors (Boston 1925-1992)
MPCR Province and Court Records of Maine, 6 volumes (Portland 1928-1975; volumes 1-3 rpt.
Newburyport, Massachusetts, 1991)
NHPP Provincial Papers, Documents and Records Relating to the Province of New Hampshire
from 1686 to 1722, 40 volumes, Nathaniel Boulton, ed. (Manchester, N.H., 1867-1943)
NLR (Old) Norfolk County, Massachusetts, Deeds
GDMNH Sybil Noyes, Charles Thornton Libby and Walter Goodwin Davis, Genealogical Dictionary
of Maine and New Hampshire (Portland, Maine, 1928-1939; rpt. Baltimore 1972)
MBCR Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England,
1628-1686, Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, ed., 5 volumes in 6 (Boston 1853-1854)
NEHGR New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Volume 1 through present (1847+)
EQC Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts, 1636-1686, 9
volumes (Salem 1911-1975)
EIHC Essex Institute Historical Collections, Volume 1 to present (1859+)
Source: Noyes, Sybil, Libby, Charles Thornton, and Davis, Walter Goodwin, Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire, Portland, Maine: The Southward Press, 1928.
Page 41 (1632)
The Reverend Stephen Batchelor, with his family, arrived at Boston on Thursday, the fifth of June. He came in the ship William and Francis, captain Thomas, which sailed from London on the ninth of March, with about sixty passengers. He immediately came to Lynn, where his daughter resided, and fixed his abode here. He was now 71 years of age. In his company were six persons who had belonged to a church with him in England; and of those he constituted a church at Lynn, to which he admitted such as were desirous of becoming members, and immediately commenced the exercise of the ministerial duties, without installation. One of his first ministrations was to baptize four children, born before his arrival; two of whom, Thomas Newhall and Stephen Hussey, were born the same week. Thomas, being the oldest, was first presented, but Mr. B. put him aside saying “I will baptize my own child first.”
Page 42 (1632)
Mr. Batchelor had been in the performance of his pastoral duties about four months, when a complaint was made of some irregularities in his conduct. He was arraigned before the court at Boston, on the third of October, when the following order was passed. “Mr. Bachelr is required to forbeare exerciseing his giftes as a pastr or teacher publiquely in or Patent, unlesse it be to those he brought with him, for his contempt of authority, and till some scandles be removed.” (Source: Col. Rec.)
Page 43 (1633)
In the course of a few months, Mr. Batchelor so far succeeded in regaining the esteem of the people, that the court, on the fourth of March, removed their injunction, that he should not preach in the colony, and left him at liberty to resume the performance of his public services.
Page 51 (1635)
The dissentions which had commenced in Mr. Batchelor’s church at an early period, began again to assume a formidable appearance. Some of the members, disliking the conduct of the pastor, and “withall making question whether they were a church or not,” (Source: Winthrop) withdrew from the communion. In consequence of this, a council of ministers was held on the fifteenth of March. Being unable to produce a reconciliation, they appointed another meeting, and went to attend a lecture at Boston. Mr. Batchelor then requested the disaffected members to present their grievances in writing, but as they refused, he resolved to excommunicate them, and wrote to the ministers at Boston, who immediately returned to Lynn. After a deliberation of three days, they decided, that although the church had not been properly instituted, yet the mutual exercise of their religious duties had supplied the defect.
Page 53 (1635)
The difficulties in Mr. Batchelor’s church did not cease with the decision of the council, but continued to increase; till Mr. Batchelor, perceiving no prospect of their termination, requested a dismission for himself and first members, which was granted.
Pages 54-57 (1636)
Mr. Batchelor had been readily dismissed from his pastoral charge, in the expectation that he would desist from its exercise or remove from town ; instead of which, be renewed his covenant with the persons who came with him from England, intending to continue his ministrations. The people opposed this design, and complained to the magistrates, who forbade his proceeding. Finding that he disregarded their injunctions, and refused to appear before them, they sent the marshall to compel him. He was brought before the court of Assistants, at Boston, in January, and discharged on engaging to leave the town within three months. There are reasons for supposing Mr. Batchelor to have been censurable; but the court seem to have been somewhat arbitrary in compelling him to leave the town.
The Reverend Stephen Batchelor was born in England, in the year 1561, and received orders in the established Church. In the early part of his life he enjoyed a good reputation, but being displeased with some of the ceremonies of the Church, and refusing to continue his conformity, he was deprived of his permission to perform her services. The Church has been much censured for her severity, and all uncharitableness and persecution are to be deprecated; but in ejecting her ministers for nonconformity, after they had approved her mode of worship, and engaging themselves in the support of her doctrines, the Church is no more censurable than all other communities, with whom the same practice is common. On leaving England, Mr. Batchelor went with his family to Holland, where he resided several years. He then returned to London, from which place he sailed on the ninth of March 1632, for New England. He came to Lynn about the middle of June, and continued his ministerial labours, with interruption, for about three years. He was admitted a freeman on the sixth of May, 1635, and removed from Lynn in February, 1636. He went to Ipswich, where he received a grant of fifty acres of land, and had the prospect of a settlement; but some difficulty having arisen, he left the place. In the very cold winter of 1637, he went on foot, with some of his friends to Matakeese, now Yarmouth, a distance of about one hundred miles. There he intended to plant a town and establish a church; but finding the difficulties great, and “his company being all poor men,” he relinquished the design. He then went to Newbury, where, on the sixth of July, 1638, the town granted to him and his son-in-law, Christopher Hussey, two portions of land which had formerly been given to Edward Rawson, Secretary of State, and Mr. Edward Woodman. On the sixth of September, the General Court of Massachusetts, granted him permission to commence a settlement at Winicowett, now Hampton in New Hampshire. In 1639, the inhabitants of Ipswich voted to give him sixty acres of land on Whortleberry Hill, and twenty acres of meadow, if he would relinquish their previous grant of fifty acres, and reside with them three years; but he did not accept their invitation. On the fifth of July, he and Christopher Hussey sold their houses and lands in Newbury to Mr. John Oliver, for “six score pounds,” and went to Hampton, where a town was begun, and a church gathered, of which Mr. Batchelor became the minister. He had not resided there long before dissentions commenced, and the people were divided between him and his colleague, Mr. Timothy Dalton. In 1641 he was accused of irregular conduct, and was excommunicated. Soon after, his house took fire, and was consumed, with nearly all his property. In 1643, he was restored to the communion, but not to the office of minister. In 1644, the people of Exeter invited him to settle with them ; but the General Court of Massachusetts, on the twenty ninth of May, sent an order to forbid his settlement till they should grant permission. On the twentieth of April, 1647, he was at “Strawberry Bank,” now Portsmouth, where he resided three years. In 1650, he married his third wife, being then nearly ninety years of age, and in May, was fined by the court, ten pounds, for not publishing his marriage according to law; half of which fine was remitted in October. In the same year the court passed the following order, in consequence of a matrimonial disagreement.
It is ordered by this Court, that Mr. Batchelor and his wife shall lyve together as man and wife, as in this Court they have publiquely professed to doe, and if either desert one another, then hereby the Court doth order that ye Marshall shall apprehend both ye said Mr. Batchelor and Mary his wife, and bring them forthwith to Boston, there to be kept till the next Quarter Court of assistants, that farther consideration thereof may be had, both of them moving for a divorce, and this order shall be sufficient warrant soe to doe, provided notwithstanding, that if they put in £50, each of them, for their appearance, with such sureties, as the Commissioners, or any one of them for the County shall think good to accept of, that then they shall be under their baile to appear at the next Court of assistants, and in case Mary Batchelor shall live out of the jurisdiction, “without mutual consent for a time,” that then the Clarke shall give notice to magistrate att Boston of her absence, that farther order may be taken therein.”
Soon after this order, Mr. Batchelor returned to England, where he married his fourth wife, his third wife Mary being still living. In October, 1656, she petitioned the court, in the following words, to free her from her husband.
“To the Honored Govt Deputy Governor with the Magistrates and Deputies at the General Court at Boston.
The humble petition of Mary Bacheler Sheweth
Whereas your petitioner having formerly lived with Mr. Steven Bacheler a minister in this Collany as his lawfull wife & not unknown to divers of you as I conceive, and the said Mr. Bacheler upon some pretended ends of his owne hath transported himselfe unto ould England for many years since and betaken himselfe to another wife as your petitioner hath often been credibly informed, and there continueth, whereby your petitioner is left destitute not only of a guide to her and her children, but also made uncapable thereby of disposing herselfe in the way of marriage to any other without a lawful permission, and having now two children upon her hands that are chargeable to her in regard to a disease God hath been pleased to lay upon them both, which is not easily curable, and so weakened her estate in prosecuting the means of cure that she is not able longer to subsist without utter ruining her estate, or exposing herself to the common charity of others, which your petitioner is loth to put herself upon, if it may be lawfully avoided as is well known to all or most part of her neighbours. And were she free from her engagement to Mr. Bachelor, might probably soe dispose of herselfe as that she might obtain a meet helpe to assist her to procure such means for her livelyhood and the recovery of her children’s health, as might keep them from perishing, which your petitioner to her great grief is much afraid of, if not timely prevented. Your petitioner’s humble request therefore is that this Honored Court would be pleased seriously to consider her condition for matter of her relief in her freedom from the said Mr. Bachelor, and that she may be at liberty to dispose of herselfe in respect of any engagement to him as in your wisdomes shall seem most expedient, and your petitioner shall humbly pray &c.
Mary Bacheler” (Source: Colonial Files)
At this time Mr. Batchelor must have been in the ninety sixth year of his age. How much longer he lived, and how many more wives he married, is unknown. He has long since gone to his last account, and his errors and follies, of whatever kind, must be left to the adjustment of that tribunal, before which all must appear. He had undoubtedly many virtues, or he would not have had many friends, and they would not have continued with him through all the changes of his fortune. Mr. Prince says that he was “a man of fame in his day, a gentleman of learning and ingenuity, and wrote a fine and curious hand.” It was on his separation from the church at Lynn, with his subsequent misfortunes, that Mr. Edward Johnson wrote the following lines:
“Through ocean large Christ brought thee for to feedeMr. Batchelor had several children, four of whom, at least, were born in England.
His wandering flock, with’s word thou oft hast taught ;
Then teach thy self. with others, thou hast need,
Thy flowing fame unto low ebbe is brought.
Faith and obedience Christ full near hath joined,
Then trust on Christ, and thou again mayst be
Brought on thy race, though now far cast behinde,
Run to the end and crowned thou shall be.”1. Theodata, who married Christopher Hussey.Pages 150-151 (1720)
2. Deborah, who married John Wing of Lynn, and removed to Sandwich in 1637.
3. A daughter who married a Sanborn, and had three sons, whose names were John, Stephen, and William, all born before 1647.
4. Nathaniel, who removed to Hampton, where he had a son Nathaniel, born before 1647, and where some of his descendants remain.
5. A son, who removed to Reading, where he had a son Henry, who came to Lynn, where several families of his descendants remain.
Whoever has attentively read the lives of the early ministers of New England, as written by the Rev. Cotton Mather, must have observed, that they are represented to have been men of uncommon learning, piety, and worth. This may be imputed partly to the embellishments of his pen, and partly to the fact, that they were born and educated in the bosom of the Church and in the best Universities of Europe. We are greatly indebted to Mr. Mather for his account of these ministers…The Rev. Stephen Batchelor he did not notice; and the sketch, in the first part of this work, is the first particular account of him that has been given. Since that was written, I have ascertained that he died at Hackney, in England, at the age of about one hundred years.
Source: Lewis, Alonzo, History of Lynn, Boston: J.H. Eastburn, 1829.
Stephen Bachiler, for so he always wrote his name, was born somewhere in England in the year 1561. At the age of twenty he entered St. Johns College, Oxford. He was matriculated November 17, 1587, and admitted as Bachelor of Arts, February 3, 1585-6. The leading profession for college graduates in that day was that of a clergyman, and he determined to study for the ministry, being then a member of the established church. Apparently the time between his graduation in February, 1585-6 and July 17, 1587, was spent in preparation for his life work, for on the day last named the death of Edward Parrett, vicar of Wherwell in Hants, making a vacancy in that living he was presented with the place by William West, Lord Lawarr (or de la Warr, as it was written later) and became vicar of the church of Holy Cross and St. Peter…
Of Stephen Bachiler’s life at Wherewell we know nothing. The church records were begun in 1643, or at all events no earlier records now exist. We only know that he remained here until 1605, for, on the ninth day of August, 1605, John Bate, A.M., clergyman, was appointed vicar of Wherewell, a vacancy existing because of “the ejection of Stephen Bachiler,” the last vicar. Not much more is known of his life in England, from the loss of his living at Wherewell to the spring of 1632, when he sailed for New England. He was excommunicated from the church, and so no church record exists showing his abiding places. Probably he preached to different congregations, not in a settled way, but when he could avoid the persecution of the church people. Occasionally we get a glimpse of his location. In 1610 he appears to be still a clergyman of the County of Southampton. On the 11th of June, 1621, Adam Winthrop’s diary shows that he “had Mr. Bachelour, the preacher,” to dine with him, presumably at Groton in Suffolk. This may have been the subject of this sketch. “Some of the parishioners of Barton Stacey, in Hampshire, a few miles east of Wherewell, listened to his sermons at some time before 1632, for we find that Sir Robert Paine petitioned the Council, stating that he was sheriff of Hants in that year, and was also chosen churchwarden of Barton Stacey, and that ‘some of the parishioners, petitioner’s tenants, having been formerly misled by Stephen Bachelor, a notorious inconformist, had demolished a consecrated chapel at Newton Stacey, neglected the repair of their parish church, maliciously opposed petitioner’s intent (to repair the church at his own charge), and executed many things in contempt of the cannons and the bishop.”
Once more we hear from him, on the 23d of June, 1631, when, at the age of seventy years, he obtains leave to visit his sons and daughters in Flushing. He was then resident at South Stoneham, in the county of Southampton, and desires that his wife, Helen, aged 48 years, and his daughter, Ann Sandburn, of age 30 years, widow, resident in the Strand, might accompany him. He was to return within two months. It would be interesting to know which of his sons and daughters then lived at Flushing, as Deborah Wing was apparently residing in London in November, 1629, when her husband, John Wing, made his will, and presumably she was appointed executrix of the will when it was proved, August 4, 1630, as Mr. Waters makes no note that administration was granted to any other person than the executrix named in the will.
Stephen Bachiler was excommunicated among the earliest of the nonconformists. On the death of Elizabeth, in 1603, James I, of the house of Stuart, came to the throne. In January, 1604, the famous Hampton court conference was held, when King James uttered his angry threat against the Puritans, “I will make them conform or I will harry them out of the kingdom.” The next year the king’s threat was carried out against Mr. Bachiler, and no doubt he was thoroughly “harried” after his excommunication. Winthrop says that Bachiler had suffered much at the hands of the bishops.
As early as 1630 Bachiler had determined to leave England and settle in America. At all events, he made preparation for such removal. Maverick, in his “Description of New England,” says there was a patent granted to Christo: Batchelor and Company in the year 1632, or thereabouts, for the mouth of the river (Sagadehoeke), and some tract of land adjacent, who came over in the ship name the Plough, and termed themselves the Plough Companie, but soon scattered, some for Virginia, some for England, some to the Massachusetts, never settling on that land…
At the very beginning of 1632, Mr. Bachiler left England for Boston in New England. He sailed on the 9th of March, 1631-2, in the vessel called the “William and Francis,” from London, with sixty passengers, and after eighty-eight dreary days, landed at Boston. Among his fellow travelers were Gov. Edward Winslow, of Plymouth, Rev. Thomas James, Rev. Thomas Wedde and Thomas Oliver, the famous ruling elder of Boston. On the “Whale,” which arrived May 26, 1632 came Mr. Wilson and Mr. Richard Dummer. Most of the Dummers reside at South Stoneham or Swathing, where the ancient church bears several Dummer memorials, and this was the last residence of Stephen Bachiler in England. (A relationship existed between the Bachilers and the Dummers which cannot yet be traced. MS. letter of Richard Dummer to Nathaniel Bachiler, sen., 14th 4th mo., 1673: “my cossen nathaniell bacheler of Hampton.”)
These two ships, the “William and Francis,” and the “Whale,” were sent out by the “Company of husbandmen,” sometimes called the “Company of London,” or the “Company of the Plough,” of which company Stephen Bachiler was an active and zealous member, and was chosen their pastor in 1629 or 1630.
The energy and zeal with which he labored to increase the society and assist as many emigrants as possible to come to New England, is well set forth in a letter of John Dye and others to Mr. Crispe, and those members of the Plough Company then in New England, dated London, 8 March, 1631-2, and evidently brought in the “William and Francis,” or the “Whale.” Mr. Bachiler adventured 100 pounds in the Company and loaned them 67 pounds, of which amount 9 pounds was repaid by the freight money on his goods.
He was admitted a freeman May 6, 1635. It seems quite probable that he was the minister who dissented from the order of banishment of Roger Williams, in October, 1635, as his opinions are known to have agreed closely with those of Williams, and no minister of the twelve churches then established possessed his courage in maintaining unpopular opinions. It is to be considered, also, that he had previously been disciplined for departure from the established customs, and within three months was again in trouble from the same cause…
Shortly after his removal to Strawberry Bank, Mr. Bachiler’s usual good judgment seems to have deserted him. He was a widower, and obtained for a housekeeper a widow, whom he calls “an honest neighbour.” He soon married her, and the match turned out in every way unfortunate. She was an adultress, and her husband speedily discovered her character. The marriage must have taken place in 1647 or 1648, when he was eighty-six or eighty-seven years old. His wife, Mary, was evidently much younger than he. In May, 1650, he was fined 10 pounds for not publishing his intention of marriage according to law. In October of the same year, one-half of this fine was remitted. Perhaps because of the following: At a General court houlden at Gorgeana the 15th of Octor., 1650, George Rogers and Mrs. Batcheller prsented upon vehement suspition of incontinency for liveing in one house together and lieing in one rome. They are to be separated before the next court or to pay 40s.
Lewis copies from the York records, dated October 15, 1651, the following: We do present George Rogers and Mary Batcheller, the wife of Mr. Stephen Batcheller, minister, for adultery. It is ordered that Mrs. Batcheller, for her adultery, shall receive forty stripes save one, at the first town meeting held at Kittery, 6 weeks after her delivery, and be branded with the letter A. These appear clearly to be two separate offences.
In October of the same year, the Court passed the following order: That Mr. Batchelor and his wife shall lyve togeather as man and wife, as in tha this Court they have publiquely professed to doe; and if either desert one another, then hereby the Court doth order that the marshal shall apprehend both the said Mr. Batchelor and Mary his wife, and bring them forthwith to Boston…it is evident that Mr. Bachiler charged his wife with adultery and prayed for a divorce. This was deferred to the next court of assistants. She had been indicted for adultery in Maine. ...now he is ordered to live as a husband with an adultress during the pendency of divorce proceedings for that cause, and a term in jail is threatened for disobedience of the order with the usual privilege of giving bail.
After her separation from her husband Mrs. Mary Bachiler lived on her lot in Kittery, granted her in 1648, adjoining the Piscataqua river, nearly opposite the boundary line between Portsmouth and Newington. What became of her and her children after October, 1656, when they were living in Kittery, is not known, but the name, “Mary Bachellor’s Highway,” is given as the northwest boundary of a lot at Kittery, conveyed by William Hilton, of Exeter, to his son, Richard, May 4, 1684.
At length, wearied with the unsuccessful conflict and the constant disappointment of his expectations, heartsick with the failure of all his plans for a quiet rest for his old age in that “band of righteousness” which, he says, “our New England is,” he decided to return to England. Harried and persecuted by the vindictiveness of the bishops of England for more than a quarter of a century, he came hither to escape their persecution (and experienced more bitter and persistent than ever he had experienced in England)…His matrimonial difficulties also led him to return to England.
…Of his life in England, after his return, we know nothing; very likely he lived at Hackney where he died, as that was a comfortable residence for retired ministers. The last entry concerning Mr. Bachiler is as follows: the ancient Stephen Bachiler, of Hampton, N.H., died at Hackney, a Village & Parish in Middlesex, 2 miles from London, in 1660, in the 100th year of his age.
Stephen Bachiler/Batchelder’s life was stormy and contentious. He must have had rare physical as well as intellectual vigor. From tradition and the characteristics of his descendants, it is probable that he was tall and sinewy, with prominent features, especially the nose; a very dark complexion; black, coarse hair in early days, white in age, mouth large and firm, eyes black as sloes; features long rather than broad; a strong clear voice; rather slow of motion and speech; simple in dress, wearing in Lynn a suit of liste which he brought from England; obstinate and tenacious of his opinions to a marked degree; a powerful preacher, drawing largely from the scripture and impressing his hearers with the uncommon power and sanctity of his sermons; strong in his friendships and his hates. Winthrop classed him among “honest men” when he arrived in 1632, and Prince, in his Annals of New England, Appendix to 1632, says: (“From governor Winslow and Captain Johnson, we learn that) he (Stephen Bachiler) was an ancient minister in England: had been a man of Fame in his Day; was 71 years of Age when he came over: bro’t a number of people with him; and soon became the 1st Feeder of the Flock of Christ at Lynn (and by several Letters I have seen of his own Writing to the R. Mr. Cotton of Boston, I find he was a Gentleman of Learning and Ingenuity, and wrote a fine and curious hand.”).
Source: Pierce, Frederick Clifton, Batchelder, Batcheller Genealogy, Chicago: Conkey Company, 1898.
Footnotes She was the relative of Rev. John Bate who succeeded Stephen in his ministry at Wherwell. Her name is sometime given as Anne but no primary sources are available to confirm this.
 The theory that he was buried in Hackney, Middlesex, England was disproven by George Freeman Sanborn, Jr.
 Aged 32 on 22 Jun 1624.
 Aged 30 in 1631.
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