Zachariah BICKNELL

Male 1668 - 1734  (65 years)

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  • Name Zachariah BICKNELL  [1
    • Zachariah lived in Weymouth at least ten years after his marriage, when he removed with his family to western part of Swansea, Mass., now Barrington, R.I., locating on the west bank of the Sowams or Barrington River.His farm of about two hundred acres included Princes Pond and lay north of the crest of Princes Hill, between the river on the east and the middle highway on the west. His house stood about five hundred feet west and north of the site of the Congregational meeting house, now known as "The White church," Barrington.

      Mr. Bicknell was one of the founders of the town of Barrington and of the Congregational Church; the establishment of the church being the main motive for the creation of the town. Barrington was originally a part of the old town of Swansea, Mass. Here, on what is now Barrington soil, the first Baptist Church in Massachusetts was organized by the rev. John Myles, of Swansea, Wales, in 1663. this church drew to Swansea a large number of Baptist families from Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay Colonies. Many other families of the Congregational faith came to occupy the lands along the bay and rivers "on the westward end of Swansea," and these were moved to organize a church of their own order.

      In 1711, a petition signed by twenty-nine persons, of whom Zachariah Bicknell was one, living on the "the westward end of Swansea," was sent to the General Court of Massachusetts, asking that a new town be formed "according to the limits of Captain Samuel Low's military company inSwansea, thereby enabling us to settle and maintain a pious, learned and orthodox minister for the good of us and our posterity." This movement was strongly opposed by the major element, the Baptists, and the first petition was denied. the struggle for a church and a town continued until Nov. 18, 1717, when, on a petition of Zachariah Bicknell, Josiah Torrey and Samuel Humphrey, agents for the Congregational Society of Swansea, the General Court of Massachusetts ordered a new town to b made on the lines already named and called it Barrington. As the English home of the Bicknell family was the parish of Barrington, in Somersetshire, England, it is evident that the name of our Rhode Island town was given by Zachariah Bicknell, in honor of his grandfather's church and parish in the old home land.

      Mr. Bicknell was a useful leader in town and church affairs. In 1718 he was chosen one of a committee of three "to treat with Rev. Samuel Torrey," the town minister, as to his salary. the town meeting adjourned to meet at his house, "at five o'clock in the afternoon." In 1719 he was chosen as town assessor of taxes and one of a committee to adjust the county rates with Swansea. In 1720 he was elected as the deputy of the town to the GeneralCourt at Boston; he was also surveyor of highways.

      In 1721 he was chosen to represent the town at Boston for an equitable taxation of Barrington land, owned by citizens of Rehoboth. In 1722 he was chosen town constable and was allowed L1.10S. for use of a room in his house for a five months' school. In 1724 he was chosen an assessor, a selectman and chairman of a committee as to rebuilding Myles Bridge, in Swansea. In 1725 he was moderator of the town meeting and was allowed 6s. for a house to keep school in. In 1726 he was a selectman, as assessor and one of a committee on pulpit supply. In 1728 he was one of a committee "to lay out a burying place, and to agree with Ebenezer Allen what to give him for the ground." the committee gave Mr. Allen L5 for half an acre of land for a burial place; the oldest part of the present beautiful cemetery at Princes hill, Barrington. In 1730 he was allowed 18s. for serving as trustee of the bank for two years; 14s. for use of school-room in his house, 1728; 20s for school-room for 1729, and 15s. for keeping Rev. Peleg heath's horse. In 1733 he was chosen town treasure and in 1734 moderator.....

      It is probable that Mr. Bicknell died in 1734, as his name does not appear in the town records after that year. He was then sixty-six years old. The date of death of his wife, Hannah, is unknown. Both were probably buried in the family lot on the farm, about fifty rods west of their dwelling. All evidences of the old family burial place are now entirely obliterated. [1]
    Born 7 Feb 1667/8  [1
    Gender Male 
    Died 1734  [1
    Person ID I104224  Main Tree
    Last Modified 10 Aug 2022 

    Father John BICKNELL,   b. 1624, Barrington, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Jan 1679  (Age 55 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Mother Mary PORTER 
    Relationship Birth 
    Married 2 Jan 1659  [1
    Family ID F43836  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Hannah SMITH,   b. 1 Mar 1670 
    Married 24 Nov 1692  [1
    +1. Zachariah BICKNELL,   b. 9 Jan 1695, Weymouth, Norfolk Co., Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Jan 1751  (Age 56 years)  [Birth]
    +2. Hannah BICKNELL,   b. 16 Mar 1698, Weymouth, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 10 Aug 2022 
    Family ID F43833  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Sources 
    1. [S13180] History and Genealogy of the BICKNELL Family and some collateral Lines of Normandy, Great Britain and America, Thomas Williams Bicknell.