Passengers on Hercules (1635) who settled in Scituate, MA


Many of the passengers were related by marriage or friends due to common residence. The overwhelming motivation to join on a voyage from Sandwich, Kent, England in March of 1635 was due to their association with John Lothrop a dissent preacher who was from Kent and eventually became the head preacher at the separatist church which held secret meetings in Southwark just over the Thames River in London. Lothrop was forced out of England and migrated to Scituate and then to Barnstable Massachusetts.
Jane Harris along with her brothers William and Thomas were listed as joining the Lothrop congregation just prior to their migration to New England during the period 1632-1634. Likely they were all in trouble with Bishop Laud of the Church of England who brought forth charges against hundreds of dissidents.


Jane Harris was again mentioned by John Lothrop as joining his Scituate church congregation on 21 Jun 1635.


William and Thomas eventually joined Roger Williams who was forced to leave his residence in Salem Massachusetts and built a new settlement now Providence, RI. Their mother Jane, and their sisters Anne and Parnell also ended up in Providence. Nothing more is know of Jane after her move to Scituate. It is assumed she passed early without marrying.

Thomas Besbeech/Besbedge/Bisbetch/Bisby (LKZ4-SQW) from Kent, England, and his daughters Mary and Alice were part of the Tilden group who came to Scituate on the ship Hercules in 1634/5. Thomas was a freeman in 1637 and deacon of the First Church in Scituate at its first institution. In early records he is styled as “Mr.” After 1639 he may have moved to Duxbury.

Henry Ewell, LK4M-61H shoemaker was a passenger with Nathaniel Tilden on the ship Hercules in 1634/5. Ewell and Sarah Annable, daughter of Anthony Annable, were married at Green’s Harbor [Marshfield], Nov 1638. Lothropp noted that Henry Ewell built the forty-first house, later bought by “Goodman” [Henry] Merritt. Ewell was in Barnstable, 1639. but later returned to Scituate.

William Hatch, M96B-C1T merchant of Kent, England, was a freeman by 1635 and later was ruling elder of the second church, now First Parish in Norwell. In 1634/5 he and his wife Jane, their five children and six servants were passengers on the ship Hercules with Nathaniel Tilden and others. On 12 June 1635, Hatch was granted a five acre lot on the south side of Greenfield Lane “buting with east end upon the way called Kente streeate.” It was bounded on the north by Greenfield Lane, on the south by Samuel Hinckley’s lot.

William Holmes was a servant of William Hatch and traveled with the Tilden group from Sandwich, Kent on the ship Hercules in 1634/5. According to the Lothropp notes he built the 46th house. He also owned land east of the “King’s Hieway,” near that of William Betts, William Perie/Perry and Robert Shelly/Shelley.


Samuel Hinckley, 943T-NGX from Kent, England, was a freeman in 1636/7. On 12 June 1635 he was granted a lot on Kent Street, the second south of Greenfield Lane. It was bounded on the south by Nathaniel Tilden’s lot. Hinckley was in Barnstable by 1640. He, his wife Sarah and four children, one of whom was Thomas who later served as governor of the Plymouth Colony until its merger with Massachusetts, as well as a “kinswoman,” Elizabeth Hinckley, were on the ship Hercules with Nathaniel Tilden, 1634/5.


John Lewis/Lewes, butcher and innkeeper of Tenterden, Kent and a freeman of Scituate by 1637, was on the ship Hercules with the Tilden group. On the 20th of June, 1635 he was granted the fourth lot on the south side of the drift way adjoining the south side of Nathaniel Tilden’s lot. It was bounded by Daniel Standlake on the north and George Lewis’s lot on the south. He was he brother of George Lewis


George Lewis /Lewes, clothier, of Staplehurst, Kent, was a freeman in 1636. On 10 April 1635 he was granted a four acre house lot on Kent Street, the first south of Meetinghouse Lane. Removed to Barnstable, 1639. He was the brother of John Lewis.


Nathaniel Tilden, 9ZHZ-DGX gentleman, of Tenterden, Kent, came to New England with his wife Lydia, seven children and seven servants on the ship Hercules in March, 1634/5. Lothropp recorded that Mr. Tilden had built the 20th house by October 1636. Tilden was appointed ruling elder of the First Church in Scituate, 1635; died before 6 Sept 1641, when his will was presented for probate. His widow Lydia married Timothy Hatherly.


Thomas Lapham 9S3P-YP5 Sedied before 1650. He was a servant to Nathaniel Tilden and arrived in Scituate in 1634/5 on the ship Hercules from Sandwich, Kent. He married Mary Tilden, Nathaniel’s daughter


George Sutton KH86-FKF was a servant of Nathaniel Tilden’s who arrived on the ship Hercules in 1634/5. He married Sarah Tilden, Nathaniel’s daughter. Sutton lived on Greenfield Lane where he built the forty-third house by 1636. After converting to the Quaker faith George and his family moved to North Carolina where he died in 1669. His son Joseph “of Corralinah” testified that “my mother Sarah Sutton did Receive in Corralinah... £5 in full of a legacy from my grandfather, Mr. Timothy Haterly...” (PCLR3:2:306)


Edward Jenkins, LYQB-P7M servant of Nathaniel Tilden, came with him on the ship Hercules in March 1634/5. He lived at the harbor where he later received a license for an ordinary. Jenkins married Lettice (Hanford) Foster, widow of Edward Foster and niece of Timothy Hatherly.