Edmund Freeman, Sr.

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Edmund Freeman, Sr.

Also Known As: "Edmund", "EDMUND FREEMAN", "* One of Ten Founding Fathers of Sandwich", "Barnstable", "Massachusetts."
Birthplace: Pulborough, Sussex, England (United Kingdom)
Death: June 21, 1682 (81-89)
Sandwich, (Present Barnstable County, Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts), Colonial America
Place of Burial: Sandwich, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Edmund Freeman, yeoman, of Pulborough and Alice Freeman
Husband of Bennett Freeman and Elizabeth Freeman
Father of Alice Paddy; Edmund Freeman, Jr.; Maj. John Freeman; Bennett Freeman, (died young); Elizabeth Ellis and 9 others
Brother of Capt. William Freeman; Alice Beauchamp; Eleanor Freeman (died young); Rev. John Freeman and Elizabeth Coddington

Occupation: settler of Lynn and of Sandwich, Massachusetts, Lieutenant Governor, Founder of the town of Sandwich
Emigration: 1635 on the “Abigail”
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Edmund Freeman, Sr.

Edmond Freeman, the founder of Sandwich, was a wealthy and influential investor who arrived in New England with his family in 1635 and first settled at Lynn. Once established in Sandwich, he served briefly as Plymouth Colony assistant but was not re-elected because of his professed sympathy toward the Anabaptists and Quakers. His son John Freeman became a founder of Eastham.



Edmund Freeman (c. July 25, 1596–1682) was one of the founders of Sandwich, Massachusetts and an Assistant Governor of Plymouth Colony from 1640 to 1647, serving under Governor William Bradford and Governor Edward Winslow.[1][2]

Freeman was the son of Edmund and Alice (Coles) Freeman of Pulborough, Sussex, England and was baptised July 25, 1596. Edmund married firstly to Bennett Hodsoll on June 16, 1617, she was buried at Pulborough on April 12, 1630. Freeman along with his second wife Elizabeth and his family set sail from Plymouth, England on 4 June 1635 aboard the Abigail[3]. During the crossing an epidemic of smallpox broke out on shipboard. They arrived in Boston on 8 October 1635 and then settled in Saugus.[4]

Edmund (or Edmond) Freeman was admitted freeman at Plymouth on 23 January 1637. He was one of the ten founders of Sandwich, Massachusetts. Freeman died in 1682 in Sandwich. He is buried in a well-known, marked private burial plot in Sandwich along with his second wife Elizabeth.

Through him descends Brigadier General Nathaniel Freeman and the notorious Lizzie Borden.[1] Other descendants of note are film director George Lucas and cowboy artist/sculptor Earl W. Bascom.



Married 1st to Bennett Hodsell (1596 - 1630). Daughter of John Hodsoll and Anne Maundy.

"Edmundus Freemanm" and "Bennet Hadsell"(Bennet Hodsoll) were married at Cowfold, Sussex, England, on June 26, 1617.[7] About two years after this marriage, the family apparently moved from Pulborough to Billingshurst, as his younger children were baptized there. Bennett was buried on April 12, 1630, at Pulborough, Sussex, England.[8]

The 6 children of Bennett Hodsell and Edmund Freeman were:

  • 1 Alice b. 1618 (England ae 17 on Abigail - 1635) bapt 4 Apr 1619 (St. Mary's Essex Eng) m. 24 Nov 1639 Deacon William PADDY d. 24 Apr 1651 -
  • 2. Edmund bapt. 26 Nov 1620 in St. Mary's, Pulborough, Essex England m. 18 Jul 1651 Margaret PERRY in Sandwich MA d. 29 Mar 1673 in Sandwich MA -
  • 3. Bennett bapt 20 Jan 1621 d. 1633 -
  • 4. Elizabeth b. 1623 (England ae 12 on the Abigail - 1635) bapt. 11 Apr 1624 m. John ELLIS -
  • 5. John b. 1627 (28 Jan 1626) (England ae 8 on the Abigail 1635) m. 13 Feb 1649 Mercy PRENCE d. 28 Oct 1719 (Eastham MA) -
  • 6. Nathaniel bapt 2 Sep 1629 d. 1629 -

Married: 2nd - Elizabeth Unknown

The identity of second wife Elizabeth is open to debate. Brainard says that Edmund married the widow Elizabeth Perry. Anderson gives no maiden name for Elizabeth.[10] An "Edmundus Freiman" married Elisabetha Raymer at Shipley, Sussex, England, on August 10, 1632.[11] (Whether this is the same Edmund, is open to question.) Elizabeth is sometimes identified as Elizabeth Greavley, Elizabeth Beauchamp, Elizabeth Perry, or Elizabeth Rayner. The identification of Elizabeth as a Beauchamp is understandable, given that Edmund's sister Alice married John Beauchamp.

The child of Elizabeth unknown and Edmund Freeman was:

  • 7. Mary b. aft 1635 (MA) 1653 Edward PERRY


He came to America on the “Abigail” in 1635 with 2nd wife Elizabeth and four children: Alice 17, Edmund Jr. 15, Elizabeth 12 and John, 8.

Listed as one of those able to bear arms in the Colony of New Plymouth in 1643.

A founder of the town of Sandwich in 1637. Assistant to Governor Bradford 1640-1647

Listed as passengers on the "Abigail", mid-July, 1635:

  • Freeman Edward 34, husbandman #135
  • Freeman Elizabeth 35, wife of Edward #136
  • Freeman Elizabeth 12, #149
  • Freeman Alice 17, #150
  • Freeman Edmund 15, #152
  • Freeman John 8, #153

All the above children would have been born to his first wife, Bennet, who died in 1630.

He sailed for New England with four surviving children and some other people with his surname on the Abigail in July 1635, and he settled first at Saugus (Lynn) in the Bay Colony. He was evidently the leader of the Saugus men who moved in 1637 to Sandwich, and it was to him that a deed was granted as agent for the others. He became an Assistant in Plymouth Colony, but was not reelected in 1646, and Edward Winslow wrote to Gov.

Indisputably Edmund helped to establish the wonderful Cape Cod town of Sandwich MA in what is now Barnstable County. He migrated from England aboard the Abigail in 1635 where the ship's manifest list him as age 45 and travelling with his wife Elizabeth and children Alice (age 17), Edmund (age 15), Elizabeth (age 12) and John (age 8). The family first went to what is now Lynn where he is recorded in in 1635. He also appeared in Plymouth (where he was made a freeman 2 Jan 1637) and in Duxbury records before finally moving to Sandwich (his grant for the settlement of Sandwich was given by the king and was dated 3 Apr 1637). He was the first English settler on Cape Cod and served as assistant governor to the Colonial Governor (William Bradford) seven consecutive terms beginning in 1640. Other public offices that he was known to have held included membership on the Council of War in 1642 and Deputy to the General Court in 1646. His two sons who survived to manhood both married daughters of Governor Thomas PRENCE (who's wife was Mayflower daughter Patience BREWSTER). The Tolland & Windham book says that he "continued to hold public office and exert a wide influence up to the time of his death" and that he was "buried on his own land on the hill at the rear of his dwelling".

Edmond was generally recognized as disfavoring the church and legislative censure and coercion of the Quakers. He was said to have sympathized with them, and that his views were too liberal for the times. Edmond, after having been a Maglstrate or assistant to the Governor for several years, was permanently dropped at the next election, and some said it was because of his theological tolerance.

It was in the year 1658 that the "Monthly Meeting" of the Quakers was established at Sandwich. Public opinion in this section in favor of the Quakers became so prevelant, and efforts to protect them from the harshness became so frequent that in June 1658 the Plymouth government appointed George Barlow as the state marshal for the locality. He was to coliect the fines and punish the offenders, but his unfairness only increased the resentment. Knowing the feelmg of the Freeman family toward the Quakers, George Barlow had the audacity to ask Edmond for aid in his duties, for which he received an indignant refusal. This prompted Barlow to make a complaint at court for which Edmond was fined ten shillings.

At one court in 1661 the fines amounted to 150 pounds for the attendance at Quaker meetings, and for refusing to take the oath of fidelity. One list of fines imposed upon nineteen Quakers in and a-round Sandwich for this period showed a total of 660 pounds, of which over 89 pounds was paid by Edward Perry. In March 1676 Edward Perry proclaimed that he had received a message from God, saying that the sufferings of New England were caused by general sin and by the persecution of the Quakers, and demanded that this message be published by the governments of Plymouth and Massachusetts.

Edmond's wife Elizabeth died on 14 February 1675-76 and was buried on the hill of the Freeman farm. It is said that Edmond and his sons placed a large stone which in shape resembled a pillion, as a monument for her grave Another, longer stone was placed nearby, which was similar in form to a saddle. These two large stones are known as "the saddle and pillion", and family tradition tells us that they reminded Edmond of the early years in Sandwich when he and Elizabeth traveled by horseback over the fields of their farm. Edmond Freeman died in 1682 and was buried beside Elizabeth and the longer stone, "the saddle", was placed over his grave.

At one time these graves were encircled by a stone fence, remnants of which were still visible in the late 1800's. The beautiful bronze tablets which are presently on these stone monuments were placed there on 22 August 1910 by members of the Freeman family, descendants of Edmond. The photographs of these monuments on page five are by courtesy of Stanley C. Freeman.


  • Sources: Tolland and Winham Counties, Connecticut- Biographies - 1903; Freeman Genealogy in Three Parts by Frederick Freeman - 1875; Sandwich MA Vital Records; Our Family Museum: A Collection of Family History Notes
  • ref: Freeman Genealogy; Dawes-Gates Ancestral Lines;
  • Planters of the Commonwealth by Charles E.Banks
  • Source: "Freeman Families of Nova Scotia" FHL Book area US/CAN 929.271 F877f v.1
  • Sources: 1.Abbrev: The Pioneers of Massachusetts Title: Charles Henry Pope, The Pioneers of Massachusetts : a descriptive list, drawn from records of the colonies, towns and churches, and other contemporaneous documents (Baltimore : Geneal. Pub., 1991)rawn from records of the colonies, towns and churches, and other contemporaneous documentsrawn from records of the colonies, towns and churches, and other contemporaneous documents. Baltimore : Geneal. Pub., 1991. Name: Footnote Name: ShortFootnote Name: Bibliography Repository: Name: LDS Family History Library Salt Lake City, UT 84150 USA
  • Page: p. 175 2.Abbrev: The Great Migration, 1634-1635 Title: Robert Charles Anderson, George F. Sanborn Jr., Melinde Lutz Sanborn, The Great Migration, Immigrants to New England 1634-1635 (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1999)he Great Migration, Immigrants to New England 1634-1635he Great Migration, Immigrants to New England 1634-1635. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1999. Name: Footnote Name: ShortFootnote Name: Bibliography Repository: Name: NEHGS Circulating Library Framingham, MA 01701
  • Page: Vol. II, p. 579 3.Abbrev: New England Marriages Prior to 1700, CD Title: Clarence Almon Torrey ; with an introduction by Gary Boyd Roberts ; prepared for publication by Elizabeth P. Bentley, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, CD with Torrey's References (Baltimore, Md. : Genealogical Publishing Company, c1985 CD ver. Boston: NEHGS, 2001)pared for publication by Elizabeth P. Bentley, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, CD with Torrey's Referencespared for publication by Elizabeth P. Bentley. New England Marriages Prior to 1700, CD with Torrey's References. Baltimore, Md. : Genealogical Publishing Company, c1985 CD ver. Boston: NEHGS, 2001. Name: Footnote Name: ShortFootnote Name: Bibliography Repository: Name: Tim Farr Washington, UT 84780USA 4.Abbrev: Shipley, Sussex Church Records Title: Church of England, Shipley, Sussex Church Records Name: Footnote Name: ShortFootnote Name: Bibliography Repository: Name: LDS Family History Library Salt Lake City, UT 84150 USA
  • Page: Item 11, 1632 5.Abbrev: New England Marriages 3rd Supplement Title: Melinde Lutz Sanborn, <i>New England Marriages Third Supplement</i> (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing C0., 2003)ltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing C0., 2003. Name: Footnote Name: ShortFootnote Name: Bibliography Repository: Name: NEHGS Circulating Library Framingham, MA 0170 Page: p. 103
  • Book Title: Charles D'Wolf : of Guadaloupe, his ancestors and descendants : being a complete genealogy of the "Rhode Island D'Wolfs," the descendants of Simon De Wolf, with their common descent from Balthasar De Wolf, of Lyme, Connecticut. (1668)
  • http://www.bremnerhistory.com/C_2.html
  • Edmunds wife Bennet listed as the Dau. of John and Faith ( ) (Bacon) Hodsall. Plymouth Colony, its history & people, 1620-1691 By Eugene Aubrey Stratton Pg.294vGoogleBooks
  • This source lists only Elizabeth as probably Edmund's second wife. History and Genealogy of the Mayflower Planters By Leon C. Hills, Leon Clark Hills Pg.49 GoogleBooks
  • http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db...
  • Source Link: https://www.geni.com/documents/view?doc_id=6000000175876065826label=@S373@
  • Source Link: https://www.geni.com/documents/view?doc_id=6000000175876065835label=@S374@
  • Source Link: https://www.geni.com/documents/view?doc_id=6000000175875251855label=@S489@
  • Source Link: https://www.geni.com/documents/view?doc_id=6000000175876065836label=@S1697
  • http://www.jfredpeterson.com/tree/g12free.htm
  • http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=hhadaway&...
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Freeman
  • http://www.immigrantships.net/v2/1600v2/abigail16351008.html#Winthrop :
  • https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Freeman-1376
  • http://minerdescent.com/2010/05/17/edmund-freeman
  • https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/6127309/edmond-freeman
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Edmund Freeman, Sr.'s Timeline

July 25, 1596
Pulborough, Sussex, England (United Kingdom)
July 25, 1596
Pulborough, Sussex, England (United Kingdom)
July 25, 1596
St Mary's Church,Pulborough,Sussex,England
July 25, 1596
St Mary's Church, Pulborough, Sussex, Eng
July 25, 1596
St.Marys Church, Pulborough, Sussex, England
July 25, 1596
Pulborough, Sussex, England
July 25, 1596
Pulborough, Sussex, England
July 25, 1596
Saint Mary's Church, Pulborough, Sussex, England
July 25, 1596
Saint Mary's Church, Pulborough, Sussex, England
July 25, 1596
St.Marys Church, Pulborough, Sussex, England