pedigree, however, which purported to give twenty generations of ancestors, in
the direct paternal line, of Rev. Robert Peck . . .was regarded with some
misgivings by Mr. Whitmore.”
In his father’s will (proved at Beccles 10 Nov 1598) it states:
‘Item I will yf for the benefit of paienge my debtes bringinge up my children finginge my sone Robert [afterwards Rev. Robert, Minister at Hingham] at Cambridge and providinge legacies for my twoe daughters and my sone Joseph That if my saide wife shall make a lease of all or any pcell of my sayde landes and Tenements . . . ‘ “
“Rev. Robert Peck, the brother of Joseph the ancestor, was born at Beccles, Suffolk County, England, in 1580. He was graduated at Magdalen College, Cambridge; the degree of A.B. was conferred upon him in 1599,and that of A.M., in 1603. He was set apart to the ministry, and inducted over the church at Hingham, Norfolk County, England, January 8, 1605,where he remained until 1638, when he fled from the persecutions of the church to this country. He was a talented and influential clergyman, a zealous preacher, and a nonconformist to the superstitious ceremonies and corruptions of the church, for which he was persecuted and driven from the country. Brooks, in his lives of the puritans, gives many facts of interest in relation to him. In particularizing some of the offences for which he and his followers were persecuted, he says, ‘for having cathecised his family, and sung a psalm in his own house on a Lord’s day evening, when some of his neighbours attended, his lordship (Bishop Harsnet) enjoined all who were present to do penance, requiring them to say, I confess my errors,’ etc.’ Those who refused were immediately excommunicated, and required to pay heavy costs. This, Mr. Borrks says, appears from the bishop’s manuscripts under his own hands. He says, ‘he was driven from his flock, deprived of his benefice, and forced to seek his bread in a foreign land.’ Cotton Mathe in speaking of him says, he was by the good providence of heaven fetched away into New England about the year 1638, when the good people of Hingham did rejoice in the light for a season; but within two or three years, the invitation of his friends of Hingham, England, pursuaded him to return to them, where being though great in person for stature, yet greater for spirit, he was greatly serviceable for the good of the church.”
“In 1638, he [brother Joseph] and other puritans, with his brother Robert Peck, their pastor, fled from the persections of the church to this country. They came over in the ship Diligent of Ipswich, John Martin, master.”
“Among the passengers who arrived at Boston, in the Colony of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, on 10 Aug. 1638, [The date of arrival is given in Savage’s Genealogical Dictionary, vol. 3, p. 381.] in the ship Diligent, from Ipswich, co. Suffolk, England, were Rev. Robert Peck, B.A., M.A., with his wife, two children, and two servants, and Joseph Peck, now known to have been a younger brother of Rev. Robert Peck, with his wife, three children, two men servants, and three maid servants. both Rev. Robert Peck and his brother, Joseph Peck, took up their abode in Hingham, in the Bay Colony; and Daniel Cushing of that town, in ‘A list of the names of such persons as came out of the town of Hingham, and Towns adjacent in the County of Norfolk, in the Kingdom of England, into New England, and settled in Hingham in New England,’ a list extending from 1633 to 1639, inclusive, begins his long list of arrivals in the year 1638 with the following entries:
‘Mr. Robert Peck preacher of the Gospell in the Town of Hingham, in the County of Norfolk, in Old England, with his wife and 2 children and two servants came over the sea, and settled in this Town of Hingham, and he was teacher of the Church. 6 [persons] ‘ ”
“Among additional entries by Daniel Cushing in regard to the settlers in Hingham of the year 1638 are the following:
‘All the persons above named that came over in the year 1638, were 133 [they] came in one ship called the Diligent of Ipswich; the master was john Martin of said Ispwich. All before named that came before were 42 [sic, ? 49] persons.’
‘Mr. Robert Peck his wife his son Joseph and his maid went to England again in the year 1641.’ “
He was on the List of Freeman for the Massachusetts Bay Colony dated March 13, 1638-9 as “Mr. Robert Peck [C.R., Vol. 1, pp. 196]”.
“He arrived here in 1638. In relation to his arrival, the town clerk at Hingham here says: ‘Mr. Robert Peck, preacher of the gospel in the Town of Hingham, in the County of Norfolk, old England, with his wife and two children, and two servants, came over the sea and settled in this town of Hingham, and he was a Teacher of the Church.’ Mr. Hobart, of Hingham, says in his diary, that he was ordained here teacher of the church, November 28, 1638. His name frequently appears upon the records of the town. He had lands granted him.”
“His family as seen upon the chart consisted of nine children. His son Joseph and daughter Anne came over with him. He was twice married. His first wife Anne, died at Hingham, England, and was buried there August 30, 1648. His second wife was Mrs. Martha Bacon, widow of James Bacon, rector of Burgate. He remained here until the long Parliament, or until the persecutions in England ceased, when he returned and resumed his Rectorship at Hingham. Mr. Hobart says he returned October 27, 1641; and Mr. Cushing, the town clerk, says his wife and son Joseph returned with him; his daughter Anne remaining here. She married Captain John Mason, ‘the conqueror of the Pequots.’ “ 1761
“Mr. [Ira] Peck’s immigrant ancestor was Joseph (2) Peck, who with his brother, the Rev. Robert (2) Peck, a graduate of Cambridge University, and a talented Puritan minister, sons of Robert (1) Peck of beccles in Suffolk, England, came with their families to New England in 1638, in the Diligent of Ipswich, of which John Martin was master, and settled at Hingham, Mass. Rev. Robert Peck returned in a few years to England.”
“The Will of Robert Peck [his father] of Beccles, co. Suffolk, dated 22 March 1592 [1592/3], 35 Elizabeth . . .If, for paying my debts, bringing up my children, finding my son Robert at Cambridge, and providing legacies for my two daughters and my son Joseph, my said wife shall make a lease of all or any part of my said lands and tenements, the same shall continue for so many eyars as she shall lease the same, her death or any legacies whatsoever before given or appointed to the contrary notwithstanding. . . Proved at Beccles 10 November 1598”
“Rev. Robert Peck, born at Beccles, co. Suffolk, England, about 1580, the third son of Robert and Helen Peck, was admitted at the University of Cambridge to his bachelor’s degree in 1598-99, coming up from St. Catharine’s College, and to his master’s degree in 1603, coming up from Magdalene College. He was ordained a deacon and priest at Norwich, co. Norfolk, 24 Feb. 16045, aged 25, became curate of Oulton, co. Norfolk, and was rector of Hingham, co. Norfolk, 1605-1638, and again, after his return to England, from 1646 until his death, in 1656. He was a zealous Puritan, and through his influence a number of his parishioners became Nonconformists and emigrated to New England, where they took part in the founding of the town of Hingham, Mass., about 1635. during his many years of service as rector of Hingham in Norfolk his Puritan views brought down upon him the displeasure of the Bishops of Norwich, his ecclesiastical superiors, and at last, to escape from the jurisdiction of Bishop Wren, he was forced in 1638 to emigrate to New England and joined his former parishioners at Hingham, Mass. On 28 Nov. 1638 he was ordained a teacher in the church there, and was admitted a freeman 13 Mar. 1638/9; but on 27 Oct. 161 he embarked with his wife and his son Joseph on his return voyage to England, where ultimately he was reinstated as rector of his former parish at Hingham, in Norfolk, Parliament having won in its long struggle with the King. More about him and his family will be given farther on in this article. His daughter Anne did not return with him to England, for she had been married at Hingham, mass., in July 1639, as his second wife, to the famous Capt. John Mason, commander in the Pequot War and distinguished for his public services in Connecticut, to whom she bore several children. [Ct. Venn’s Alumni Cantabrigienses, part 1, vol. 3., p. 333, Savage’s Genealogical dictionary, vol. 3, pp. 167-168, Pope’s Pioneers of Massachusetts, pp. 304, 351, and History of Hingham (Mass.).]”
“Robert Peck (Robert, Robert), was born about 1580, probably in Beccles, Suffolk, England. The Paridh Registers for Beccles do not begin until 1586. He attended Magdalen College, Cambridge University, where he received his B.A. in 1599 and his M.A. in 1603. On 8 January 1605, he was inducted over Saint Andrew’s Church, Hingham, Norfolk, England. Porbably that year or the next, robert Peck married his first wife, Ann Lawrence, the daughter of John ad (Agnes?) (Herne) Lawrence of Saint James, South Elmham, Suffolk. Reverend Peck served at Hingham, England for 30 years, until he was deprived of his living in 1636. He was excommunicated for nonconformity and then threatened with citation to the High Commission Court. But he had obviously become very popular with his parishioners in those 30 years, for when he escaped to New England in 1638, 132 others from Hingham and vicinity joined him. They arrived at Boston, Massachusetts on 10 August 1638 on the Diligent from Ipswich, Suffolk, England. Robert Peck had his wife, 2 children, and 2 servants in his household. The entire company apparently settled in Higham, Massachusetts.” 1746
“The Reverend Robert Peck, excommunicated for nonconformity, deprived in 1636 of his living at Hingham, and then threatened with citation to the High Commission Court, escaped to new England in 1638 [Tanner MSS (Bodleian Library) LXVIII. f.7v.]”
“on 28 November 1638, Robert Peck was ordained a teacher in the Higham church. His difficulties with the church authorities in England would have barred him from officially being the minister. He was admitted a freeman on 13 March 1638/9. Winthrop records under 2 June 1641 that Parliament was engaged upon a general reformation of both church and state. Robert Peck no longer needed to stay in America. He embarked for England on 27 October 1641 with his wife, son Joseph, and a maid. He never returned to New England and was reinstated in his former parish, serving from 1646-56.”
“ ‘ A list of the names of such persons as came out of the town of Hingham, and Towns adjacent in the County of Norfolk, in the Kingdom of England, into New England, and settled in Hingham, in New England, most of them as followeth: - . . .
1638. Mr. Robert Peck preacher of the Gospell in the Town of Hingham, in the County of Norfolk, in Old England, with his wife and two children and two servants came over the sea, and settled in this Town of Hingham, and he was teacher of the Church.’ “
“Arms are generally registered by the Committee [on Heraldry of the New England Historic Genealogical Society] (1) if the bearer can be shown to have belonged to a family which has borne the arms without protest in the mother-country; (2) if the arms have been granted or confirmed to or matriculated by the family of the bearer through the College of Arms, the Lyon Office, or other responsible heraldic body; and (3) if it can be proved that the immigrant to America made use of the arms in question at an early date. . . .This third part of the Roll of Arms contains 72 coats, bringing the total to 234, and represents those arms which were accepted between December 1931 and the end of June 1936. ” Picture of Peck coat of arms on file.
“Peck, Joseph and Rev. Robert, brother (Joseph baptized 1587), of Rehoboth and Hingham, Massachusetts.
Arms: Silver a chevron engrailed gules, on the chevron three crosses patty silver.” 1834
“Lands of Henry Chamberlin, Shoemaker.
No. 3. Given by the town of Hingham (Town’s Great Book of Records, p. 75; Book of Bargains and Sales, p. 30). A planting lot of four acres lying in Weymouth neck, bounded with the land of Mr. Robert Peck and Mr. Joseph Peck northward and with the land of Francis James southward and with the land of Cooper LIncoln eastward and with the meadow of John Beales westward.”
“Robert, born in 1580, took degrees at Magdalen College, Cambridge, A.B. in 1599 and A.M. in 1603; inducted over the parish of Hingam, County Norfolk, England, January 8, 1605; married Anne ____, who was buried at Hingham, England, August 30, 1648.”
“Rev. Robert came to Hingham, Mass. 1638, serving as minister there. He returned to England in 1641, leaving behind in the New World only dau. Anne Peck, who m. Major John Mason.”
“Rev. Robert Peck, M.A., ‘was a descendant of John Pecke, Gentleman, of Belton, Yorkshire, England, where the family were early seated and were one of much distinction and prominence among the gentry of influence.’ He was born in Beecles, Suffolkshire, in 1580. He was graduated at Magdalen College, Cambridge, in 1599. He was instituted rector of St. Andrew’s parish in Hingham, Norfolkshire, the 8 Jany., 1605, where he remained until 1638, when he came to Hingham, Massachusetts,a nd was made minister of the church there on the 28 Nov., 1638. His wife and his son Joseph and daughter Anne came with him. He continued here about three years until the troubles in England ceased, when he returned the 27 Oct., 1641, and resumed his rectorship at Hingham. His wife Anne and son returned with him, his daughter remaining here, the wife of captain Mason. He died at HIngham in 1656, and was buried under the choir of st. Andrew’s church, ‘a noble structure, with a large and lofty tower containing eight musical bells.’ ”
Robert, from Hing., Norfolk Co., Engl, and s. of Robert of Beccles, County of Suffolk, Eng., was granted seven acres of land in our Hing. 1638, on Bachelor (Main) St., in the vicinity of the present meeting-house of the First Parish, and the same year was ordained in Nov. teacher of the church. The foll. extracts furnish reliable information relating to him and his fam.: -
‘Robert Peck, Hingham, probably brother of Joseph, was bred at Magdalen College, Cambridge; was minister over 30 years at HIngham, County of Norfolk . . . He came with wife and 2 children and 2 servants in the [ship] ‘Diligent,’ 1638, and on the 28th of November; but embarked 27 October, 1641, with wife and son Joseph for home, and went back to his old parsonage; there died 1656.’ (Savage’s Gen. Dic.) From a brief sketch of Old HIng. by Walter Rye, editor of the Norfolk Co., Eng., ‘Antiquarian Miscellany,’ I take the foll.: ‘Another native was the Rev. Robert Peck, a great schismatic, who being prosecuted for various illegal alterations he had made in the church fled to America . . .He returned to England when his party got into power.’ Mather wrote: ‘Mr. Peck, at the solicitation of his friends in England, returned to them in 1641, and there remained a minister of the gospel.’ (see also conveyance in sketch of Capt. John Mason, p. 65.)”
“During the few years immediately succeeding 1635 settlers came in quite respectable numbers to Hingham; and there is every reason to suppose the church was in a prosperous condition.
Nov. 28, 1683, Mr. Robert Peck was ordained Teacher of the church. In the ‘Peck Genealogy,’ by Ira G. Peck, we find the following of him: -
‘Rev. Robert Peck was born at Beccles, Suffolk County, England, in 1580. He was graduated at Magdalene College, Cambridge; the degree of A.B. was conferred upon him in 1599, and that of A.M. in 1603. He was set apart to the ministry, and inducted over the church at Hingham, Norfolk County, England, Jan. 8, 1605, where he remained until 1638, when he fled from the persecutions of the church to this country.’ “ 1837
“He was a talented and influential clergyman, a zealous preacher, and a non-conformist to the superstitions, ceremonies, and corruptions of the church, for which he was persecuted and driven from the country. Brook in his ‘Lives of the Puritans,’ gives many facts of interest in relation to him. In particular, giving some of the offences for which he and his followers were persecuted, he says: -
‘For having catechised his family, and sung a psalm in his own house on a Lord’s day evening, when some of his neighbours attended, his lordship (Bishop Harsnet) enjoined all who wer present to do penance, requiring them to say, ‘I confess to my errors,’ etc. ‘
Those who refused were immediately excommunicated and required to pay heavy costs. This, Mr. Brook says, appears from the bishop’s manuscripts under his own hands. He says: ‘He was driven from his flock, deprived of his benefice, and forced to seek his bread in a foreign land.’ “
“He arrived here in
1638. In relation to his arrival the town clerk of Hingham here says: -
‘Mr. Robert Peck, preacher of the gospel in the town of Hingham, in the county of Norfolk, old England, with his wife and two children and two servants, came over the sea and settled in the town of Hingham; and he was a Teacher of the Church.’
Mr. Hobart, of Hingham, says in his Diary that he was ordained here Teacher of the church, Nov. 28, 1638. His name frequently appears upon the records of the town. He had lands granted him. His family consisted of nine children. He remained here until the long Parliament, or until the persecutions in England ceased, when he returned and resumed his rectorship at Hingham. Mr. Hobart says he returned Oct. 27, 1641. He died at Hingham, England, and was buried in his churchyard there.”
“Cotton Mather, in his ‘Magnalia Christi Americana,’ has the following: -
‘Mr. Robert Peck. - This light, having been by the persecuting prelates ‘put under a bushel,’ was, by the good providence of Heaven, fetched away into New England, about the year 1638, where the good people of our Hingham did ‘rejoice in the light for a season.’ But within two or three years the invitation of his fiends at Hingham in England persuaded him to a return unto them; where being, though a great person for stature, yet a greater for spirit, he was greatly serviceable for the good of the church.’ “ 1837
“Nov. 28, 1638, Mr. Robert Peck was ordained Teacher of the church. In the ‘Peck Genealogy,’ by Ira G. Peck, we find the following account of him: -
‘Rev. Robert Peck was born at Beccles, Suffolk County, England, in 1580. He was graduated at Magdalene College, Cambridge; the degree of A.B. was conferred upon him in 1599, and that of A.M. in 1603. He was set apart to the ministry, and inducted over the church at Hingham, Norfolk County, England, Jan. 8, 1605, where he remained until 1638, when he fled from the persecutions of the church to this country.’
He was a talented and influential clergyman, a zealous preacher, and a non-conformist to the superstitions, ceremonies, and corruptions of the church, for which he was persecuted, and driven from the country. Brook, in his ‘Lives of the Puritans,’ gives many facts of interest in relation to him. In particular, giving some of the offences for which he and his followers were persecuted, he says: -
‘For having catechised his family, and sung a psalm in his own house on a Lord’s day evening, when some of his neighbors attended, his lordship (Bishop Harsnet) enjoined all who were present to do penance, requiring them to say, ‘I confess my errors,’ etc.’
Those who refused were immediately excommunicated and required to pay heavy costs. This, Mr. Brook says, appears from the bisoph’s manuscripts under his own hands. He says: ‘ He was driven from his flock, deprived of his benefice, and forced to seek his bread in a foreign land.’
He arrived here in 1638. In relation to his arrival the town clerk of Hingham here says: -
‘Mr. Robert Peck, preacher of the gospel in the town of Hingham, in the county of Norfolk, old England, with his wife and two children and two servants, came over the sea and settled in the town of Hingham; and he was a Teacher of the Church.’
Mr. Hobart, of Hingham, says in his Diary that he was ordained here Teacher of the church, ZNov. 28, 1638. His name frequently appears upon the records of the town. He had lands granted him. His family consisted of nine children. He remained here until the long Parliament, or until the persecutions in England ceased, when he returned and resumed his rectorship at Hingham. Mr. Hobart says he returned Oct. 27, 1641. He died at Hingham, England, and was buried in his churchyard there.”
“Cotton Mather, in his ‘Magnalia Christi Americana,’ has the following: -
‘Mr. Robert Peck. - This light, having been by the persecuting prelates ‘put under a bushel,’ was, by the good providence of Heaven, fetched away into New England, about the eyar 1638, where the good people of our Hingham did ‘rejoice int he light for a season.’ But within two or three years the invitation of his friends at Hingham in England persuaded him to a return unto them; where being, though a great person for stature, yet a greater for spirit, he was greatly serviceable for the good of the church.’ “
“In ‘Blomefield’s Norfolk’ is the following: -
‘1605, 7 Jan. Robert Peck, A.M. Tho. Moor; by grant of Francis Lovell, Knt., he was ‘a man of a very violent schismatical spirit; he pulled down the rails and levelled the altar and the who chancel a foot below the church, as it remains to this day; but being prosecuted for it by Bishop Wren, he fled the kingdom and went over into New-England, with many of his parishoners, who sold their estates for helf their value, and conveyed all their effects to that new plantation, erected a town and collonie, by the name of HINGHAM, where many of their posterity are still remaining. He promised never to desert them; but hearing that Bishops were deposed, he left them all to shift for themselves, and came back to Hingham in the year 1646. After 10 years’ voluntary banishment he resumed his rectory, and died in the year 1656.’ His funeral sermon was preached by Nathaniel Joceline, A.M., pastor of the church of Hardingham, and was published by him, being dedicated to Mr. John Sidley, high-sherif; Brampton-Gurdon and Mr. Day, justices of the peace; Mr. Church, Mr. Barnham, and Mr. Man, aldermen and justices in the city of Norwich.
‘1638, 25 May. Luck Skippon, A.M., was presented by Sir Thomas Woodhouse, Knt. and bart., as on Peck’s death, he having been absent about two years. And in -
‘1640, 11 April, the said Luke was reinstituted, the living being void by lapse, it appearing that Peck was alive since Skippon’s first institution; and now two years more being past, and he not appearing, it lapsed to the Crown, as on Peck’s death. But in -
‘1646, Peck came again, and held it to his death.’ “
“The high land south of Wakely’s Meadow, beyond the railroad track, is Peck’s Pasture. Robert and Joseph Peck came to this country in 1638.”
“Mr. Solomon Lincoln, the historian of the town in 1827, gives the following interesting facts . . . I here subjoin the names of those who settled or received grants of land here, in the respective years mentioned . . .In 1638 there was a considerable increase of the number of settlers. Among them were, Mr. Robert Peck . . . “
“Robert Peck. - This zealous puritan was rector of Higham in Norfolk, to which he was preferred in the year 1605. He was a zealous nonconformist to the ceremonies and corruptions of the church, for which he was severely persecuted by Bishop Harsnet. Having cathechized his family and sung a psalm in his own house, on a Lord’s day evening, when some of his neighbours attended, his lordship enjoined him, and all who were present, to do penance, requiring them to say, I confess my errors. those who refused were immediately excommunicated, and required to pay heavy costs. All this appeared under the bishop’s own hand. For this, and similar instances of his oppression and cruelty, the citizens of Norwich, in the year 1623, presented a complaint against his lordship int he house of commons.
In the bishop’s answer to this complaint, he had nothing to say against Mr. Peck’s doctrine and life, only his non-conformity. He pleaded, in his own defence, ‘That Mr. Peck had been sent to him by the justices of the eace, for keeping a conventicle at night, and in his own house; that his catechizing was only an excuse to draw the people together; and that he had infected the parish with strange opinions: as, ‘that the people are not to kneel as they enter the church; that it is superstition to bow at the name of Jesus; and that the church is no more sacred than any other building.’ “ His grace further affirmed, that Mr. Peck had been convicted of nonconformity, and of keeping conventicles, in 1615 and 1617; and that, in 1622, he was taken in his own house, with twenty-two of his neighbours, at a conventicle. [MS. Remarks, p. 713-715]. How far the house of commons acquiesced in his lordship’s defence, or whether they considered it a sufficient justification of his arbitrary proceedings, we have not been able to learn.
Mr. Peck suffered much under the persecutions of Bishop Wren; when he was driven from his flock, deprived of his benefice, and forced to seek his bread in a foreign land. [Nalson’s Collec. vol, ii. p. 400, 401. - Rushworth’s Collec. vol. iii. p. 353.] He is indeed said to have been deprived for non-residence, which was the case with many of his brethren.
By the terrific threatenings of their persecutors, and having no better prospect than that of excommunication, imprisonment, or other ecclesiastical censure, they were driven from their beloved flocks, or they retired for a time into some private situation, in hope that the storm might soon be lover; for which they were censured as nonresidents. This was no doubt the case with Mr. Peck. He and Mr. Thomas Allen are said to have had so much influence upon their parishioners, that, after the deprivation of the two ministers, none of them would pay any thing to those who served their cures. This shews how greatly they were beloved. [Wren’s Parentalia, p. 95.] Having fled to New England, the church at Higham, in the new colony, rejoiced for a season in his light. He remained there several years; till afterwards he received an invitation from his old friends at Higham, in his native country, when he returned home laboured among them, and was of eminent service to the church of God [Mather’s Hist. of New Eng. b. iii. p. 214].
The following account is given of Mr. Peck by one of our historians, the design of which is too obvious: ‘He was a man of a very violent schismatical spirit. He pulled down the rails in the chancel of the church at Higham, and levelled the altar and the whole chancel a foot below the church, as it remains to this day; but, being prosecuted for it by Bishop Wren, he fled to New England, with many of his parishioners, who sold their estates for half their value, and conveyed all their effects to the new plantation. They erected the town and colony of Higham, where many of their posterity still remain. He promised never to desert them; but, hearing that the bishops were deposed, he left them to shift for themselves, and came back to England in 1646, after a banishment of ten years. He resumed his charge at Higham, where he died in the year 1656. His funeral sermon was preached by Mr. Nathaniel Joceline, and afterwards published;’but this we have not seen.” 1026
“Mr. Robert Peck. - This light having been by the persecuting prelates ‘put under a bushel,’ was, by the good providence of Heaven, fetched away unto New England, about the year 1638, where the good people of our Hingham did ‘rejoice in the light for a season.’ But within two or three years, the invitation of his friends at Hingham in England persuaded him to a return unto them; where being, though a great person for stature, yet a greater for stature, yet a greater for spirit, he was greatly serviceable for the good of the church.”
“That the faid Matthew Wren being popifhly and Superftitiously affected, di at his firft coming to be Bifhop of Norwich, which was in the year 1635 endeavour by fundry ways and means to furpprefs the powerful and painful Preaching of the Word of God . . . that during the time of his being Bifhop of Norwich, which was about two years, and four Months; There were for not reading the fecond Service, at the Communion Table fet Altar-wife, for not reading the Book of Sports, for ufing conceived Prayers, before and after Sermons, And for not obferving fome other Illegal Innovations by him, and his under-Oficers, by and upon his directions, and injunctions, fundry Godly painful Preaching Minifters, that is to fay, Mr. William Powell, Mr. John Carter, Mr. Robert Peck . . . and others, to the number of fifty, were Excommunicated, Sufpended, or deprived and otherwife centured, and filenced, to the undoing of many of them, their Wives, and Children, and they could not be sbfolved without giving promife to conform to his directions.”
“Peck, Robert. B.A. from St Catharine’, 1598-9. 3rd s. of Robert. B. at Beccles, Suffolk. M.A. from Magdalene, 1603. Ord. deacon and priest (Norwich) Feb. 24, 1604-5, age 25. C. of Oulton, Norfolk. R. of Hingham, 1605-38, 1646-56. A strong puritan; through his influence a large number of his parishioners became nonconformists and emigrated to New England where they founded Hingham, Mass., c. 1635. Under Bishop Wren he was finally forced to flee to New England, 1638. Teacher of the church at Hingham, Mass., 1638-41. Returned to England and was reinstated at Hingham, Norfolk, 1646. Died there, 1656. Will (P.C.C.) 1658. Father of Thomas (1624) and of Samuel (1629-30). (J.G. Bartlett.)”
“He died at Hingham, England, and was buried in his churchyard there. His funeral sermon was preached by Nathaniel Joslin and published. [In Bloomfield’s History of Norfolk is an allusion to Robert Peck, evidently prejudiced, and as incorrect in other respects as it is in its dates.] His church (St. Andrews) at Hingham was a noble structure with a lofty tower, containing eight musical bells.”
“Reverend Peck is said to have died in 1656, being buried in his churchyard at Hingham, England. His funeral sermon by Nathaniel Joslin was was published.” Text of will to be entered. Will was writtten 24 July 1651 and proved at London 10 April 1658.
Text of will to be entered. “This will was proved at London before the judges for probate of Wills and granting of Administrations the tenth day of April in the year of our Lord God One thousand six hundred fiftye and eight.”
“1605, 7 Jan. Robert Peek A. M. THO. MOOR by Grant of Francis Lovell Knt. he was [n] "a Man of a very violent Schismatical Spirit, he pulled down the Rails, and levelled the Altar and the whole Chancel a Foot below the Church, as it remains to this Day, but being prosecuted for it, by Bishop Wren, he fled the Kingdom, and went over into New-England, with many of his Parishioners, who sold their Estates for half their Value, and conveyed all their Effects to the new Plantation, erected a Town and Colonie, by the Name of HINGHAM, where many of their posterity are still remaining, he promised never to desert them, but hearing that Bishops were deposed, he left them all to shift for themselves, and came back to Hingham in the year 1646, after 10 Years voluntary Banishment, he resumed his Rectory and died in the year 1656" his Funeral Sermon was preached by Nathaniel Joceline A. M. Pastor of the Church of Hardingham, and was published by him, being dedicated by Mr. John Sidley High-Sheriff, Brampton-Gurdon and Mr. Day Justices of the Peace, Mr. Church, Mr. Barnham, and Mr. Man, Aldermen and Justices of the City of Norwich. . . .
1640, 11 April, The said Luke was re-instiuted, the Living being void by Lapse, it appearing that Peck was alive since Skippon's first Institution, and now two Years more being past, and he not appearing, it lapsed to the Crown as on Peck's Death, but in 1646, Peck came again and held it to his Death,”
“By the late 1630s a whole network of people [Thomas] Allen knew had shipped themselves to the New World: a colleague in the ministry, his lawyer, and other members of his parish. [Robert Peck, Rector of Hingham, Norfolk; the lawyer Thomas Lechford, who fled in 1638 after the controversial trial of his client Pyrnne; Thomas Oliver, a ‘calenderer’ or presser of cloth and his wife Mary; Jonathan Port and John Pierce, weavers. . . Lechford, Peck and the Olivers, like Allen, later returned to England.”
“Particularly surprising is the fact that the overwhelming majority of migrant preachers came from a ministry deeply rooted in parish pulpits, not from a restless underworld of radicals well on their way to separation frm the Church of England. Many came from parishes they had served years . . . [Dalton, Peck, Phillip, Saxton and Whitfield left for New England from parishes they had held for 20-30 years.”
“The impression that these preachers were people reluctantly detached from the English Church - rather than closet separatists ready and willing to cut loose - is confirmed by the fact that at least half left England only after coming into conflict with the ecclesiastical authorities over requirements that they could not in conscience agree to. Twenty-two of the seventy-six had been suspended or removed from their posts. [including Peck].”
“Ministers played for time, and stayed close to their parishes if they could, perhaps installing a curate to preach in their place [For example: Robert Peck, Thomas Allen, Henry Whitfield, Ezekiel Rogers]”
“One in three of
the godly preachers who emigrated in the 1630s went back to England - in fact,
25 out of the 70 who lived to hear of the changed circumstances back home in
1640. . . Twelve left between 1640 and 1643, after the first news of change came
from England. [Between 1640 and 1643: . . . Peck . . . ]”
“When the House of Commons started to gather evidence against Bishop Matthew Wren in 1640, relatives and parishioners of Robert Peck petitioned that he and his wife had been ‘made exiles in their old age’ “
“John Phillip and Robert Peck started their voyage back to England after three months after the House of Commons voted Bishop Mattthew Wren unfit for office - they set off as soon as their news crossed the Atlantic. Both left the diocese of Norwich in the late 1630s as a last resort to evade pressure from Wren’s officials. . . . Robert Peck travelled from Hingham in Norfolk to be a minister at Hingham, Massachusetts. Before he left England in 1638, Peck had made elaborate arrangements for his property to be looked after in his absence. By the end of 1641, both he and Phillip were back in their English parishes. For both, Massachusetts turned out to be a short but remarkable interruption to fifty years of settled work in one place. So the initial leakage from New England, after 1640, came from those with most reason to return home fast . . . and those such as Peck and Phillip, who made their way back from ‘exile’, after what turned out to be a brief tactical retreat to the New World. While these settlers sailed home for a variety of reasons, what caalysed their return to live in England (whether they intended to stay on at first, or not) was a change in circumstances - an end to the ‘extraordinary cause’ that sent them to America.”
“John Phillip and Robert Peck, who went back to their English parished in 1641, both kept houses and land in New England for almost a decade afterwards - perhaps to see how things went in England, or possibly to provide for younger relatives who stayed on in America. [Peck’s son-in-law John Mason sold Peck’s house and land at HIngham, Massachusettts, on 5 July 1647: Trask, ed., Suffolk Deeds, 1:82.] “ 846
“Three went back to their original parishes in the 1640s, with New England a brief interlude in a long career: Robert Peck of Hingham in Norfolk . . .”8
“Peck, Robert & Ann (or Martha?) & son Joseph
NE Settlement: Hingham
OE Origins: Higham, Norfolk
To NE: 1638
Left NE: 1641 [daughter Ann stayed]
OE settlement: Hingham, Norfolk
Occupation: Minister” 846
“Peck, Robert (1580-1656), Rector of Hingham, Norfolk, 1605-38; suspended and excommunicated 1636; threatened with action by the Court of High Commission; deprived 1638 for nonresidence. Hingham, Massachusetts, 1638-41. Returned to Hingham, Norfolk, 1641.” 846
“Twenty-five colonists who had held English parish livings before emigration returned in the 1640s or 1650s. Fifteen returned to parish livings: . . . Robert Peck . . . The views of Peck, Thomas Peter, and Saxton (who died before 1660, and so are not in CR) are not known.”
“Martha, the widow of Rev. James Bacon, married second, Rev. Robert Peck, for 30 years Rector of Hingham in Suff., afterward of Hingham in Massachusetts, who had had issue by his first wife, a daughter, Anne Peck, who became the wife of Jamor John Mason of Seabrook, Conn., distinguished in the Pequot War.”
“1641 . . .
Mr Peck sailed for Eng[land]” 1
“1638. Mr. Robert Peck preacher of the Gospell in the Town of Hingham, in the County of Norfolk, in Old England, with his wife and 2 children and two servants came over the sea, and settled in this Town of Hingham, and he was teacher of the Church.”
“Robert Pecke, minister of the word of God at Higham in the County of Norfolk, 24 July, 1651, proved 10 April, 1658, by Samuel Pecke, one of the executors. . . . To the children of Anne Mason, my daughter, wife of Capt. John Mason, of Seabrooke, on the river Connecticot in newe England, forty pounds to be divided equally and to be sent to my son John Mason to dispose of it for their use. . . . If I depart this life in Hingham my body may be interred in the churchyard near unto Anne, my wife deceased.
When the will was proved power was reserved to Thomas Pecke, the other executor, to act. Wootton, 153.” 1843
“Will dated July 24, 1651. Proved at London, April 12, 1658. ‘Item. I give to the children of Anne Mason, my daughter, the wife of Captain John Mason of Sea Brooke on the River Connecticut in New England, the sume of 40£ to be divided equally unto them, and to be sent to my Sonne John Mason to dispose of it for their use within two years after my death.”
“It was not until the second surge, heralded by the arrival of Cotton, Hooker, and Samuel Stone in athe Griffin in 1633, that clerical leadership of companies took over. Previous ministerial emigrants had usually been young and little known, but names like Shephard, Ward, Rogers, Knowles, or Peck enjoyed greater celebrity.”
“Many of those who returned to England had only been away a short while. Some East anglians saw New England as a temporary refuge of an adventurous place to visit, not as a place of permanent settlement at all. The elderly persecuted ministers Robert Peck and John Phillip both came late and probably reluctantly to the wilderness in 1638. Both were back in their old English parishes three years later, after the Long Parliament had begun its campaign of cutting back royal and episcopal prerogatives.”
2nd extension of notes notes for Rev. Robert Peck
Honeywood married secondly the Rev. Robert Peck, preacher of the gospel in the
town of Old Hingham, Norfolk, Engl, who was born at Beccles in Suffolk in 1580,
and graduated at Magdalen College, Cambridge, with degree of A.B. in 1599, and
A.M. in 1603, and was inducted over the Church of St. Andrew, Hingham,
aforesaid, January 7, 1605, and held the rectorship there until 1638; but being
persecuted by Bishop Wren he moved with many of his sparishioners to New
England, and settled the plantation of New Higham on the south shore of Boston
Bay, where he was granted lands and ordained teacher of the church there,
November 28, 1638, and remained until the Long Parliament or the persecution in
England had ceased, when he returned to England and resumed the rectorship at
Old Higham, October 27, 1641, and died there in 1656, when his funeral sermon
was preached by Nathaniel Joceline, A.M., pastor of the church of Handingham,
Norfolk, and published by him, being dedicated to Mr. John Sidley, High
Sheriff, Brampton Gurdon and Mr. Day, Justices of the Peace, and Messrs.
Church, Barnham and Mann, Aldermen and Justices in the city of Norwich. His
daughter Anne remained in New England, having married Major John Mason, the
noted conqueror of the Pequot Indians of Connecticut.”
“The coming of the Diligent marked the final chapter in an affair which stretched back to 1615. In that year Robert Peck, the pastor of St. Andrew’s in Hingham, was convicted of non-conformity. The established church did not look favorably upon his teaching parishioners ‘not to kneel when they came to Church’ and that ‘it was Superstition to bow down at the Name of Jesue.’ Pastor Peck carefully organized such like-minded souls.
Under the pretense of catechising and psalm singing this inner parish group held conventicles. In 1622 he was caught in the act with twenty-two of his neighbours, some of whom defiantly told Bishop Harsnett that there was ‘no Difference between an Alehouse and the Church, til the Preacher be in the Pulpit.’
While the bishop extracted a
public ‘I Confess my Errors’ from Peck, the degree of penitence must have been
small indeed. Peck gave his account of this ‘persecution’ to influential
friends in Neighboring Norwich, who then proceeded to enlist Sir Edward Coke to
present their petition against the bishop in the House of Commons. Harsnett
found himself accused of simony, persecution, idolatry, and popery.”
“Robert Peck is an interesting example of the combination of religiosity and precocious political awareness found in the Puritan cause. He was the third in a direct line of priests who had never favored the royal authority. He intended to resist any concept of the church that did not agree with his own Presbyterian insights, and he did this successfully for almost twenty years. Such a policy of defiance rested upon consesus within St. Andrew’s, the sympathy of well-placed Puritan supporters, the inefficiency of the established church, and finally a set of compromises on the part of Peck with the required church rituals. This last element was the most vulnerable point in the system. It was the opening gambit that Matthew Wren, appointed Bishop of Norwich in 1635, utilized.”
“Joseph Peck was born in Beccles in Suffolk, but he too can be classifed as a Norfolk man, since he migrated to old Hingham to enjoy the preaching of his brother, the Reverend Robert Peck, who was vicar of the old Hingham church. . . Robert Peck came also to new Hingham and joined Peter Hobart as teacher of teh new Hingham church.”
“On the surface the background and motives of the emigrants from Hingham appear similar to that of the Rowley group. As in Rowley ther was contention between episcopal authorities and the local minister, Robert Peck.”
“Vicar Cantrell’s spirit of dissent, reform, and independence was carried on by Hingham’s puritan minister, Robert Peck. Peck’s travails, while reflecting this regional dissent and mirroring the life of another charismatic religious leader, Ezekiel Rogers, also show, as we shall see shortly, that his influence on emigigration was actually minimal. We do not know when Peck began his activities against conformity, but it was undoubtedly within a short time after his installation in 1605. Local historians have referred to him as ‘man of a very violent schismatical spirit’ who ‘pulled down the rails, and levelled the altar and the whole chancel a foot below the church,’ altreations that remain to this day. The Peck and families allied to them were descended from several generations of religious nonconformists.”
“Like Ezekiel Rogers in Yorkshire, Roberrt Peck held private religious meetings in his own home. Bishop Samuel Harsnett required all those who attended these meetings to confess their errors on pain of excommunication. Later, in 1623, when citizens of Norwich complained to the House of Commons about Harsnett’s conduct in this and other matters, the bishop stood firm. In defense of himself he stated that Peck had been sent to him by local justices for holding a conventicle at night. Peck had filled the parish with strange opinions such as that ‘the people are not to kneel as they enter the church; that it is superstition to bow at the name of Jesus; and that the church is no more sacred than any other building.’
The bishop had nothing to pay about Peck’s life and doctrine, being
concerned only with his noncorformity. He also noted that Peck had been
convicted of holding conventicles in 1615 and 1617, and that in 1622 he had
been arrested in his house with twenty’two of his neighbors for the same
“The situation worsened for Peck after the installation of a new bishop, Matthew Wren, in the mid-1630s. When Peck failed to attend a synod at Norwich in 1635, the chancellor of the ciocese, Dr. Clement Corbett, and, indirectly, the new Bishop Wren seized their chance to punish him with excommunication. The deprived minister appealed this decision to the chancellor, who agreed to absolve Peck if he would subscribe to certain specified articles. As before, Peck was not charged with deviation from doctrine, but only from certain forms of conduct. In order to gain redemption from church officials, Peck would have to wear his surplice, constantly use his Book of Common Prayer, read the second service at high altar, and adhere to various other articles. With Peck’s refusal, Corbett’s next step was to sequester the annual ‘livig’ or salar of the parish, which was worth £160 eyarly, and promptly ‘putt in what curates . . .[he] pleased to the vexaction both of parson and parishioners.’ For a year and a half Peck remained in the town, probably ministering to his followers in his house or in secret, much as he had done for several decades. Newly appointed curates of st. Andrew’s parish had a most difficult time with Peck’s stubborn parishioners.”
“A year and a half after Peck’s excommunication, the chancelor pased sentence and deprived him of his parish for ‘non residency,’ although he had remained in Hingham the entire time. Finally, Corbett threatened Peck with an action from the court of high commission, and with this, plus Peck’s unsuccessful court attempts to combat the bishop and chancellor, the minister, with his family and ‘many households in that and other towns adjacent,’ departed for New England.”
“Accounts of the actions against Peck are contained in Samuel Peck’s petition to the House of Commons in behalf of his father”
“This religious account and the preceding economic explanation are persuasive but ot entirely adequate analyses of the Hingham migration. Peck’s puritanism may have been a significant mobilizing force, but Hingham’s migration to New England began four years before he was exommunicated. Moreover, Peck only reluctantly went to Massachusetts and certainly would not have left England had he not been under severe pressure to do so. Samuel, Peck’s son, referred to his parents as having been made ‘exiles in their old age.’ and detailed arrangements were made for the care of family property remaining in Hingham. As soon as favorable conditions were restored several years later, Peck returned to his Norfolk parish. The migration to new Hingham was led principally not by Peck but by the Edmund Hobart family, whose son Peter grew up in old HIngham under the ministry of Peck, graduated from Peck’s Cambridge college, Magdalene, and served the new town as its minister.”
“In sum, several conditions affected the people of Hingham who eventually settled in New England. The wood-pasture regions of East Anglia were highly puritanized, and the persecution of the minister Robert Peck for nonconformist beliefs probably induced many of his puritan followers to leave Norfolk.”
“Even in Hingham, wehre puritans clased with religious authority, migration began several years before Minister Peck became involved in the situation that eventually led to his excommunication.” 1
“Harsnett was attacked for censuring one minister, Robert Peck, rector
of the market town of Hingham, for catechising and singling psalms with his
family at home on Sunday afternoons. Peck had enjoyed favour under Harsnett’s
predecessor John Jegon. Incumbent in his living since 1606, he became the
principal lecturer at a combination exercise established at Hingham in 1601,
largely with Bishop Jegon’s blessing. But his renown as a preacher extended
beyond Norfolk. Thus his son Thomas married a daughter of the famous John
rogers of Dedham, which union symbolised the Peck family’s status within a
wider East Anglian teaching fraternity. But from an episcopal perspective Peck
was an habitual troublemaker. At least this is what Harsnett maintained in his
defence, noting that he had been forced to proceed against Peck upon reports
from several Norfolk Justices who were alarmed by unlawful late-night
assemblies at the minister’s house. The bishop, who also sat on the county
bench, brought proceedings against Peck in the consistory court. There is was alleged
that Peck had ‘infected the parish with strange opinions as not to kneel when
they come to church, that the name of Jesus is no more than a common name and
that it is superstitious to bow at the name of Jesus’. bound over at Quarter
Sessions in 1622 for holding conventicles , other examples of Peck’s
‘inconformity’ were cited by Harsnett from documents now lost.
“A range of motives and varying religious positions is encountered among the four clerical trustees. Robert Peck of Hingham was a notorious nonconformist and an unflinching proponent of forward Reformation from James I’s reign . . . “
“Other participants in this exercise [the Tombland exercise] with grave concerns over the bishops’ intentions included three of the clerical trustees: John Benton of Wramplingham, John Ward of St Michael at Pleas and Robert Peck of hingham.”
“In May 1632, he [Stalham] gained promotion to the living of Terling, Essex, in the gift of Sir Robert Midlmay, whose daughter had married a brother of the Norfolk trustee, Robert Peck of HIngham. Peck himself had familial ties with the Lynn’s mercantile elite. “
“This overseas township [Hingham] became a vital refuge for the former Norfolk foeffee Robert Peck - who was duly dubbed ‘the oulde Fox’ by Clement Corbet - and a part of his congregation, while evadig Wren’s censure in 1637. Noting the prevention of tithes to Thomas Allen, Peck safeguarded his property by conveying it to his son Joseph to hold in trust. by these means, several of Peck’s parishioners reserved tithes for their former minister, which was much to the irritation of Chancellor Corbet and the replacement incumbent at HIngham, Edward Agas. In addition, members of Peck’s flock boycotted Agas’s services and were excommunicated. . . . Providing for Robert Peck’s security undoubtedly eased his return in teh 1640s. As one of the older generation of godly clergy, he was not enamoured with the New England ‘way’, later emerging as a staunch critic of the Independents in Norfolk alongside John Yaltes of Stiffkey, who perhaps had Peck in mind when he fulminated that ‘American is not more the place than Rome, Satan is to be feared, hath found and will find their societies’ in 1637. . . . It was while nourishing Robet Peck’’s Norfolk that Toft came to be examined by the consistory court for preaching ‘that the lights of the church of England were gone into New England and tha tonly the socketts were left’.
“[62. 1610. A letter from the Bishop concerning the Hingham sermons]
Salutem in Christo.
Forasmuch as I have bene requessted by divers the inhabitants of the towne of Hingham in my diocesse of Norwiche to assigne certeine preachers of god’s worde, lawfully licensed, to continue an exercise of preaching once a fortenenight on the markett daie in the said town of Highan; and the sayde inhabitantes have yeelded unto everye such preacher for everye such daie 2s. 6f., when he shall preache there; and you whose names are underwritten have undertaken that exercise sucessively: these are not only to lycense you but to intreate this paines, for which I will be willing duly to respect every of you in your places as occasion mye serve.
And so I commend my selfe to the good love and prayers of you and thother the inhabitantes of that towne.
Ludham, March 5, 1610.
Yours in Christ,
To: - Mr. Robert Peck, rector of Hingham:
Mr. Robert Canham, rector of Ovington:
Mr. Holdeurnesse, vicar of Wicklewood:
Mr. Womack, vicar of Great Ellingham:
Mr. Lewthwait, rector of Rockland:
Mr. Scott, rector of Reymerston.”
“If we dig below the surface of the groups who followed a gentle or clerical leader, we often find these adhesive family interconnections cementing the companies. The hinghamites supporting Robert Peck were widely intermarried. “
“In a large party of 125 neighbours led by their vicar, the Reverend Robert Peck, they travelled 45 miles south to the Suffolk port of Ipswich, boarded the Diligent, and sailed to Massachusetts.”
The town, originally spelled "Hengham", is an ancient settlement, as its Saxon name denotes. It was the property of King Athelstan, in 925, and of William the Conqueror in 1066 and 1086 as a well populated parish in the hundred of Forehoe, and retained many privileges coming from its royal ownership, including "the grandeur of ... St Andrew's," a parish church rebuilt in the 1300s. Thomas de Morley, 5th Baron Morley is buried in its chancel. In the years that followed, the town was a clear royal domain, for William the Conqueror and many others.
In 1414 the town was exempted from an English toll and in 1610, the town was granted a royal charter by Queen Anne. Over the years, from 1154 to 1887, the town's church is recorded as having had 32 rectors.
By the 1600s, the town of Hingham was still agricultural. John Speed's maps of the Kingdom of England during the Tudor period in 1610 and 1611 showed that the town was near Wymondham (also called Wimundham or Windham). This town was, at the time, situated in the countryside with diverse terrain, profuse windmills, well-watered soil, a large degree of inland water traffic, and few urban centres apart from Norwich, where a thriving cloth industry boomed. With Speed's drawing of a castle at the location of Hingham, the town must have been of some stature.
Many Puritans refused to conform to the wishes of the King (Charles I) and his loyal Archbishop (William Laud), so they fled to the Plymouth Bay or Massachusetts Bay colonies, in what has been labelled the "Great Migration." In 1633, migration from England to the Americas began with a number of participants on a ship named the Bonaventure. Robert Peck, the Rector of St Andrew's Church, and his associate Peter Hobart, emigrated to the new colony of Massachusetts with half of his congregation, most likely all of the 133 people on HMS Diligent, which departed in June 1638 from Ipswich, England. Peck had been censured by religious authorities for his Puritan practices, and his daughter had married the son of another well-known Puritan minister named John Rogers
The parishioners who left Hingham had been so prominent in the Hingham community that the town was forced to petition British Parliament, saying their town had been devastated by the emigration. They told the House of Commons that "most of the able Inhabitants have forsaken their dwellings and have gone severall ways for their peace and quiett and the town is now left and like in the misery by reason of the meanness of the [remaining] Inhabitants." The argument by the remaining residents of Hingham that their town had been devastated was not unfounded. Historians and original documents from the time attest that "physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually" the town was moved from England to New England with the founding of "New" Hingham in 1635, with Peter Hobart and Robert Peck as some the most powerful and well-off individuals in the new town, at the top of the Old Ship Church.
Town sign in Hingham
In the years the followed, Hingham continued to develop. Apart from the "sentimental attachment" between the Hingham in England and that in the Americas, St Andrew's Church continued to stand, inns were created, and what is today a conservation area was created which "contains many Georgian buildings," although many of the buildings were destroyed in a "disastrous fire in 1688." Even with changing prices and inconsistent weather, the town remained agricultural and had a stayed gentry in place into at least the 1740s
Some historical background of the Peck Family