Saturday, January 12, 2008

John Gallop, thirteen generations back

John Gallop came to Boston in 1630. He lived a fascinating life, and holds an important place in American history. This account is taken from the Gallup Family Genealogy book (reprinted in 1987), and I thought I would share this with you.

Descendants of John Gallop include President Bush, Senator Kerry, George Gallup (founder of the Gallup Poll), Emily Dickinson, and over twenty veterans of the Revolutionary War. John Gallop and Coralynn Flick are separated by thirteen generations.

For more information, visit:
Gallup Family History
Virtual American Biographies
John Gallup Biography (son of Captain John Gallop)
John Winthrop Society
The Mary and John Clearing House

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John Gallop, son of John and Mary (Crabbe) Gollop, b. Ca. 1590 England (of Mosterne); d. Jan 11 1650 Boston, Mass.; m. Jan 19 1617 St. Mary’s, Bridport, Dorsetshire, England to Christobel Brushett who d. Sep 27 1655 Boston, Mass.

John Gallop set sail for Boston on Mar 20 1630 on the Mary and John, captained by Thomas Chubb. The reason for his departure is speculation; conceivably he may have wished to explore the possibilities of settling in New England; perhaps he may have desired to consider the prospects of, engaging in transporting immigrants to the New World.

“Seventy-one days later, on May 30 1630, Capt. Chubb nosed the Mary and John into the cove behind Nantasket Beach and dropped anchor off where the village of Hull stands; in violation of his contract to land his 140 passengers on the bank of the Charles River, he discharged them on the sand dunes of Nantasket. The stranded passengers hired a boat to carry them to Watertown and subsequently the party removed to unoccupied land in what is now Dorchester, Mass.” (Captain J. Gallup)

John Gallop did not remain in Dorchester long. He removed to Boston and “was one of the earliest grantees of land at the northerly part of the town, where he had a wharf-right and house.” (James H. Stark) The locality was known as Gallop’s Point and was the southeast part of the peninsular. He had acquired a ship; was engaged in coastal trade and, on occasion, served as pilot for ships entering Boston harbor.

His wife and children had not accompanied him on his trip to the New World. Apparently Christobel hesitated to undertake a long and uncertain sea voyage to an undisclosed country, in spite of urgent encouragement by her husband. “John Gallop was so concerned that he contemplated returning to England. He had become an important man in the colony and this disturbed Governor Winthrop who wrote to the great Puritan leader, the Rev. John White in Dorchester:’

‘I have much difficultye to keep John Gallop here by reason of his wife will not come. I marvayle at the woman’s weaknesse. I pray pursuade her and further her coming by all means. If she will come, let her have the remainder of his wages; if not, let it be bestowed to bring over his children, if so he desires. It would be about £40 losse to him to come for her. Your assured in the Lord’s worke, J. Winthrop, Massachusetts, Jul 4 1632’” (Withrop Papers)
The Rev. Mr. White evidently persuaded Mrs. Gallop and successsfully furthered her coming. She and the children arrived on Sep 4 1633 on the Griffin, after an eight weeks’
crossing; her husband piloted the ship into Boston Harbor thru a new channel he had discovered, the channel running by Lovell’s Island, a quarter of a mile east of his Gallop‘s Island.

He was made a freeman in April 1634. He was admitted to First Church, Boston Jan 6 1634; his wife was admitted Jun 22 1634.

John Gallop was a pioneer in the vitally important coastal trade between Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. “Within a year after he moved to Boston, there was great concern in the Providence Plantation when his shallop and its cargo of foodstuffs was overdue, and Roger Williams wrote thankfully to his friend Governor Winthrop’, ‘God be praised, Capt. Gallop hath arrived.’”

On Dec 6 1632, Gallop and his vessel were engaged by the Massachusetts Magistrates for the first naval task force sent out by any New England colony. The French had fortified a couple of outposts and from these footholds, they raided Penobscot, carrying off 300 weight of beaver skins belonging to the Plymouth colony, and they also captured and robbed an English sea captain, Dixy Bull. To add to the troubles, Bull, having been stripped of his cargo, turned pirate and was preying upon Massachusetts fishing and shipping. Capt. Gallop’s ship, manned with 20 volunteers under command of his friend, John Mason, was dispatched to police these depredations. Head winds and a blizzard forced Capt. Gallop to take refuge in Cape Ann Harbor; here he was storm-bound two weeks, returning to Boston on Jan 2. When Spring came, he sailed forth again, but he failed to find his quarry, for Bull had sailed south to Virginia. The General Court of Massachusetts voted £10 each to Gallop and Mason “to pay for any expenditures.”

In 1635, John Gallop was engaged to transport the Cogswell family from Maine. John Cogswell had embarked from Bristol, England, on May 23 1635; the passage was long and disastrous; those on board were washed ashore from the broken decks of their wrecked ship Angel Gabriel, at Pemaquid (now Bristol, Maine). John Cogswell and his family were spared their lives. Fortunately, they had salvaged a large tent which was pitched upon the beach and sheltered them until help arrived. At his first opportunity John Cogswell took passage for Boston, where he engaged Capt. Gallop, who commanded a small bark, to sail to Pemaquid and transport the Cogswell family to Ipswich, Mass. Bay Colony. (Hollbrook and Allied Families)

In the spring of 1636, John Gallop, bent on a spring trading cruise, cast off from his wharf in Boston Harbor in his sloop with his son William and a hired man as crew.

Having rounded Cape Cod he laid course by dead reckoning for Saybrook Point.

Off Block Island they sighted a small ship anchored in a broad cove close inshore. She appeared to be deserted; there was no watch on deck. Her rigging was loose and her gaff swung wildly to and fro as she rocked in the choppy sea. Gallop hove to and on approaching recognized a pinnace of John Oldham, a coastwise trader; on deck there was a score of Indians lying asleep. He hailed and a couple of Indians jumped into a heavily laden canoe lashed alongside and paddled rapidly for the shore. There was great confusion aboard the pinnace, but the natives succeeded in slipping the cable and standing off before the wind headed for Narragansett Bay.

Convinced that Oldham was in trouble, Gallop hauled up alongside and was greeted with a shower of spears and arrows and a volley from several muskets. His sons opened fire with two great duck guns mounted on swivels – no mean armament – and the savages took refuge below deck. The odds were too great to risk boarding so Gallop put up his helm and beat to windward, then, coming about, bore down on the pinnace before the wind. The 20-ton sloop rammed the smaller vessel with such force that she heeled over on her beam end and water poured down the hatchway. Panic-stricken, the Indians scrambled on deck; several leaped overboard and were drowned; the others hid in the hold. Gallop withdrew to repeat his ramming maneuver.

He had the sudden inspiration to make the blow more devastating by lashing his anchor to the bow, its sharp flukes pointing outward, thus improvising an iron-clad ram two centuries before naval architects adopted this idea. The pinnace was now virtually adrift, falling off to leeward, and when the sloop again crashed into her windward quarter the flukes of the anchor-ram penetrated the hull. The two ships were clamped fast together.

The Gallop boys double-loaded the duck guns, but their shots into the hold had little effect, and their father loosened his fasts and hauled up to windward a third time. Several more Indians jumped overboard, but one, obviously a sachem, stood up on the deck making signs of surrender. Capt. John drew up alongside; took the prisoner aboard and bound him hand and foot. Another came on deck, but fearing to keep two such wily savages, however securely shackled, together in the tiny cabin, he was thrown overboard. Two of the redmen still lurked in the hold, but Gallop and his sons boarded the pinnace, and leaving one of the boys on guard with a pistol at the hatchway, they inspected the shambles.

In the cabin they found John Oldham’s head, the skull crushed, hacked from the body which lay in a corner, stripped naked, slashed with wounds, disgracefully mutilated. “God give you peace, Brother Oldham,” prayed Capt. John as they lowered the corpse into the ocean.

They collected whatever of the murderers’ plunder that seemed worth salvaging; stripped the pinnace of her sails and rigging; took her in tow and laid a course towards Fisher’s Island. But the wind was rising rapidly. It was soon evident that to save themselves the unwieldy tow must be cut loose. She drifted away towards Narragansett Bay and probably fetched up on the rocks off Point Judith.

In 1636 his name first appears in the town records; “It is ordered that John Gallop shall remove his payles at his yarde ende within 14 days, and to rainge them even with the corner of his house, for the preserving of the way upon the Sea Bancke.”

In Jun 1637, several Massachusetts ships arrived at Saybrook, Conn. with reinforcements to supplement land operations against an uprising of the Pequot Indians in the area. It was mutually agreed “that the Bay men should persue the fleeing Pequots in a joint land and water operation. Gallop may have been the skipper of one of the ships in the little flotilla that brought the Massachusetts troops. We know that his was one of the supply ships that accompanied the land expedition and he was on hand in Fairfield harbor, for Bradford wrote in his History: ‘Those that were wounded were fetched off soon by John Gallop who came with his shalop in a happie hour to bring them vituals and carrie their wounded men to ye pinass where our cheefe surgeon was with Mr. Wilson, being about 8 leagues off.’ “

John Gallop shows on the 1640 Boston plan on the southeast side of Middle St., near Gallop’s Wharf, as shown on Bonner’s map of 1722 and Burgiss’ map of 1729. He is shown on the 1645 Boston plan at the same location, and in addition, the plan indicates Gallop’s Point northwest of the wharf. The Bonner map (1722) shows Gallop’s Wharf at the foot of Wood Lane and Gallop’s Alley between Middle and Fish Streets. The Burgiss map (1729) shows Gallop’s Wharf and island in Boston harbor, as does the DesBarres map of Boston, 1775. (Esther G. Snyder)

In his will, dated Oct 10 1649, his widow “is the sole executrix and to her is left all ‘goods and lands’ with three exceptions. To son, John, who might be expected to be the chief beneficiary, he left ‘the new shallop’ and to daughter, Joan, ‘my haeffer.’ The two younger sons ‘shall imploy the bark,’ the first year all for their mother’s benefit and thereafter two-thirds for them and one-third for her. Upon her death, they will inherit everything ‘if they carry themselves as obedient children,’ otherwise ‘she shall have liberty to dispose of all . . . as she shall thinke good.’

The inventory of his estate, dated Dec 26 1649 lists “Owne house and ground lying in Boston, that is to say ye flattes for liberty of wharfage granted by ye towne; The Island called by ye name of Gallop’s Island, containing about 16 acres; Foure acres lyinge at Long Island; owne vessel’ or pinnis, called by name of ye Buck. Whole am’t of inventory £311 l0s. 8d.”

Children, registered in St. Mary’s Church, Bridport:
* Joan, b. ca. 1618.
* John bapt. Jan 25 1620.
* William, b. ca. 1622; returned to England with George Denison and d. there fighting for Cromwell.
* Samuel (twin), b. ca. 1628; bapt. Aug 16 1629.
* Nathaniel (twin), b. ca. 1628; bapt. Aug 16 1629.

Flock

2 comments:

Mikhail said...

I just started doing some family history and looking through records and came to a Captain John Gallup. It seemed he could be important since he was a captain so I decided to search him on Google and this record came up. I am so grateful for this record which is actually his father's. Nonetheless, it is such an amazing opportunity to read about your ancestors. Thank you for your work and for making this available online.

Extremely Grateful,

Mikhail Christiansen

Greg Stragnell said...

Thanks for this; fascinating stuff. I too have just come across some family history documentation from my mother and we can also trace our descent back to John Gallop. My great-great grandfather 12 times married Joan Gallop, his daughter.