Biography of John TRIPP

John Tripp was baptized 8 Sep 1611/1612 at Horkstow Parish, Lincolnshire, England according to a deposition (loose folder dated 1670; New Bedford Library) concerning his personal history. He states Horkstow as his birthplace. George Randall, early biographer (1950's) of the Tripps of Rhode Island, cites his birthplace as Northumberland, England. Randall's source is likely the same deposition (not the Horkstow deposition) cited by Sumner wherein John Tripp gives a deposition 6 Feb 1660/1661 regarding his "Uncle Potter" (who was in fact uncle to Mary Paine). This deposition reads "I, John Tripp, born in Northumberland County, England, the son of John and Isabel Moses of Lincolnshire, born in 1610, was apprenticed to the house carpentry trade and with my master, Randall Holden, came to Newport or Portsmouth in 1630...". The deposition of 1660/1661 has not been located. At present, there appears to be no way to reconcile these two conflicting depositions. The baptismal record for John Tripp at Horkstow Parish has been located thus until further evidence, we are recording the birthplace of John Tripp as Lincolnshire, England.

One of about twelve children of John Tripp and Isabel Moses, John Tripp was apprenticed to John Baats of Thorsby, Lincolnshire to learn ship carpentry and served seven years and more. Thereafter, he bound himself (in 1633/1634) to Frances East for four years. After about one and one half years of service (1635/1636), East sold the contract to Robert Jafra of Boston. Jafra fled Boston, with John Tripp in tow, to Rhode Island to avoid religious persecution. Thereafter, Jafra sold the contract to Randall Holden of Portsmouth, RI. After some time, John Tripp paid off (probably 1637/1638) the remaining time on the contract.

It is likely that John Tripp was first apprenticed at about the age of fifteen thus serving his first apprenticeship until 1632/1633. It is probable that he was yet in Lincolnshire for his next one and one half years of service until 1635/1636 when he immigrated to Boston on the same ship as William Hall (Abiel Tripp, son of John Tripp, married Deliverance Hall, daughter of William Hall). This likely sequence agrees with the immigration date of 1635 cited by Dr. Carolyn Syron Valentine in "Trip Wills, Deeds and Ways", 1932. The Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s (page 296) has the immigration place of Rhode Island in 1638, this not being a conflict with immigration date of 1635 to the colonies.

In the Registry of Freemen of Portsmouth, Colony of Rhode Island (Aquidneck Island), John Tripp is listed as: John Tripp, Gentleman. Since the term "Freeman" refers to landholding, voting rights, and the privilege to serve in public office, then it is likely that he was admitted Freeman about 1641. The deposition (wherein he discusses his origins and life history) of John Tripp housed in the New Bedford Public Library, Genealogy Dept and Archives, was entered about 1670.

In 1640, John Tripp married Mary Paine, daughter of Anthony Paine. Her mother is unknown. Her step-mother was Rose Potter.

On 1 Mar 1641, John Tripp purchased land next to Thomas Groton and then later resided next to Ralph Earle. In 1651, John Tripp and Ralph Earle settled a boundary dispute and this document was witnessed by Benedict Arnold (not of the American Revolution) and others. In 1657, he had planting land on Hogg Island for a period of seven years. On or before 1658, John operated a ferry because he was paid for transporting members of the General Assembly that year. This was no doubt the beginnings of the famous Tripp Ferry. In 1662, he purchased a quarter share of the Dartmouth Purchase from John Alden and then divided and conveyed this interest to his sons in 1665.

Active in public affairs, John served in a number of public offices over the years.

1651: Clerk of Weights and Measures

1655: Commissioner Of The Colony

1661: Served At Court Of Commissioners At Portsmouth

1666: Serves Grand Jury;Also Ratemaker,Surveyor Of Cattle,Deputy-Genl Assembly

1667: Deputy Of General Court

1668: Deputy Of General Court

1669: General Assembly At Newport

1672: Apr and Oct Assemblies;Moderater Of Portsmouth Mtg To And Including 1675

1675: Prover And Sealer Of Weights And Measures

1676-1678: Numerous Offices

1678: Last Appearance In Records

John Tripp made his last will and testament 16 Dec 1677, proved 28 Oct 1678, leaving five male descendants some of whom would remain in Rhode Island and become prominent in many areas including the whaling industry and some of whom would begin a restless migration first to New York continuing west. His daughters, of whom less is known, married into some of the first 100 families of Rhode Island.

© 2006 Mark L. Fields. This work may be reproduced and redistributed, in whole or in part, without alteration and without prior written permission solely for genealogy research purposes, provided all copies contain the following statement: "© 2006 Mark L. Fields. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of Mark L. Fields."

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John Tripp signed (with others) the Aquidneck Covenant and the following covenant, a politico-human document that could serve us as well today as then. This covenant was signed in Providence and was probably the General Assembly.

"That we are not wilfully opposite, nor careless and senceless, and thereby meanes of our own an others ruine and destruction. And especially in testimonye of our fidelitye and cordiall affections unto one another heere present, so that ther may be a current, peaceable and comfortable proceedinge."

An industrious man, John Tripp was, amongst other enterprises, a husbandman. His brand (livestock mark) was entered into the Portsmouth town records: "The Eare (ear) marke of John Tripp Senyor (Senior) is a Crop on ye Left Eare (and) a hapeny (half-penny) one (on) (th)e side of ye same Eare (u)nder Crope of Nere(.) (U)pon 30 res standinge (residents attending?) and re(a)d (u)pon Record the nd day of december by me Richard towne Clarke (Clerk)"