of Salem, Massachusetts, 1629/30
1. Elizabethe Mileham married Lawrence Leach, February 2, 1605, Hurst, Berkshire, England. (Parish registers, 1585-1950, Church of England. Parish Church of Hurst)
2. Lawrence Leach
Robert Charles Anderson. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633 [database online] Provo, UT: Ancestry.com, 2000. Original data: Robert Charles Anderson. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, vols. 1-3. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995.
FIRST RESIDENCE: Salem
CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: In the list of Salem Church members compiled late in 1636 [ SChR 5].
FREEMAN: Requested 19 October 1630 and admitted 18 May 1631 [ MBCR 1:80, 366].
EDUCATION: His inventory included "a Bible with another book" valued at 5s.
OFFICES: Jury, trial of Walter Palmer in the death of Austin Bratcher, 9 November 1630 [ MBCR 1:81].
Essex grand jury, 25 January 1641 [ EQC 1:33]. Petit jury, 27 December 1642 [ EQC 1:44]. Jury foreman, January 1637/8, March 1638, 30 December 1645 [ EQC 1:7, 89]. Jury, 27 September 1636, 27 December 1636, 28 March 1637, 27 March 1638, 26 June 1638, 25 December 1638, 31 December 1639, 29 December 1640 [ EQC 1:3-5, 7, 8, 10, 14, 24].
Salem selectman 1636-40, 1642 [ STR 1:34, 44, 77, 79, 80, 82-95, 105, 113].
ESTATE: He received one hundred acres in the freeman's land at Salem in 1636 [ STR 1:19, 27]. He was granted three-quarters of an acre of marsh on 25 December 1637, with a household of five [ STR 1:103].
One hundred acres of upland (presumably the same as that noted in the paragraph above) and six acres of marsh were laid out to Lawrence Leach on 17 February 1636[/7] [ STR 1:37]. He was granted ten acres of meadow on 9 December 1639 and fifteen more acres of meadow on 7 May 1638 [ STR 1:93, 96].
On 18 March 1657[/8] Lawrence Leach entered a caution for Richard Leach "who hath given him by his father Larrance Leach his farm on Riall side that joineth to Jacob Barney, both upland and salt marsh, only reserving for his particular use so much as is needful during his & his wife's lifetime" [ ELR 1:37].
On about 7 September 1665, but not brought for acknowledgment until 28 March 1680, Samuel Friend of Manchester sold a mill and mill house at Bass River, with two acres of land and twenty acres a little distance off on Royal's Neck side "there being no bill of sale made till now," the original purchaser being Laurance Leach of Salem "now deceased," and the sale was confirmed to "John Leach, son unto Lawrance Leach aforesaid" [ ELR 5:109-10].
The "nuncupative will of Lawrence Leach of Salem" was proved 25 June 1662: "Larance Leach aged 85 years or thereabouts being perfect in memory near a year before his death expressed himself unto us whose names are hereunder written in the disposing of that which he had, we being urgent with him to make his will his expressions to us was this: First he said that he did owe thirty pounds for the mill and his will was that his wife should pay his debts and when his debts were paid then she should take all he had. John Porter, John Bacheller" [ EQC 2:428; ELR 2:46; EPR 1:388-89].
The inventory of "Lawrence Leach of Salem" [undated] totalled £138 14s. 8d., including real estate valued at £100: "the house, with two acres of land with the orchard, being part of the said two acres," £30; "a mill," £40; "20 acres of land not improved on Ryall side," £10"; and "fifteen acres of meadow bought of Mr. Downing," £20 [ EQC 2:429; EPR 1:389].
On 12 April 1671 Elizabeth Leach Sr. of Salem, widow, deeded the mill or mills with the housing, land & orchard "sold by my son John Leach" to John Dodge of Beverly [ ELR 3:111].
On 22 January 1670[/1] Elizabeth Leach of Salem, widow, executrix to the estate of Laurence Leach, deceased, sold for "£14 to be paid unto my daughter Rachel Golthwright" a share of fifteen acres of meadow in the great fresh meadow, five acres excepted, to Richard Leach of Salem [ ELR 6:44].
BIRTH: About 1583 (estimated by splitting the difference between his age as stated in his nuncupative will and the year of birth that would result from assuming he was twenty-five when he married).
By 25 June 1662 (probate of will).
MARRIAGE: By 1636 (and by about 1615 if she was the mother of all his children) Elizabeth _____, who survived him. "Elizabeth Leech" was in the list of Salem church members compiled in late 1636 [ SChR 6].
i ROBERT, b. about 1615 (deposed aged about 58 years, 1 September 1673 [ EQC 5:215]): one of the two sons of Lawrence Leach granted land in 1639; evidently he who died Manchester, intestate, leaving a relict [perhaps Alice] and two sons before June, 1674 [ EQC 5:364-5].
ii JOHN, b. say 1617, one of the two sons of Lawrence Leach granted land in 1639. There being several men named John Leach, this man's career is presently unclear.
iii RICHARD, b. about 1619 (deposed aged about fifty years, March 1669 [ EQC 4:111]; deposed aged "about sixty-seven years" 4 February 1684/5 [ ELR 9:255]); m. by about 1645 Sarah Fuller, daughter of widow Anne Fuller (in her nuncupative will, probably made early in 1662, "Anne Fuller, widow," bequeathed most of her estate to "her son Richard Leach" and a cow to "John Leach & Sara Leach" [ EPR 1:389]).
iv RACHEL, b. say 1622; m. (1) by about 1642 John Sibley of Manchester, who d. 1661 leaving "9 fatherless children ... the eldest daughter 19 years old" [ EPR 1:348]; m. (2) after 1661 and by 1670 THOMAS GOLDTHWAIT [ ELR 6:44].
ASSOCIATIONS: "John Leech, the brother of Lawrence Leech," was received for an inhabitant by Salem on 23 January 1636/7 [ STR 1:33].
On 27 August 1644 "Richard Leech" was charged with having "received a pig of John Burrage, servant to Jno. Porter and himself, and his uncle Jno. Leech concealed it, not having it cried, until three months later," as a result of which Richard Leach and John Leach were fined twenty shillings apiece [ EQC 1:69].
In his nuncupative will, taken by Elizabeth Buxton and Mary Felton sometime in 1658, John Leach Sr. of Salem gave everything he had to John Leach. "At another time having further conference about the disposing of his estate unto the said John Leach, we told him there were several John Leaches [and] he should do well to express which of them, he said John Leach the son of Richard Leach" [ EPR 1:288].
COMMENTS: In the first letter of instruction to John Endicott, dated 17 April 1629, Governor Craddock had this to say of Leach: "We desire you to take notice of one Lawrence Leach, whom we have found a careful and painful man, and we doubt not but he will continue his diligence let him have deserving respect" [ MBCR 1:394].
A mature adult when he arrived, Lawrence Leach was, true to Craddock's description, painstakingly diligent. His leadership in Salem was quietly competent. Usually on the jury rather than in front of it, he was only once brought to task, being one of those who kept his cattle on Salem common and was fined with many others for it at December Term 1642 [ EQC 1:49]. He appraised the estate of Samuel Smith on 18 November 1642 and retired from public service shortly thereafter [ EQC 1:47].
On 15 May 1639 "Lawrence Leach's two sons" were granted seventy acres in Salem [ STR 1:88].
BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: In 1924 F. Phelps Leach published a genealogy of this family which claimed ten children for the immigrant [Lawrence Leach of Salem, Massachusetts and some of his Descendants (East Highgate, Vermont, 1924)]. This author inserted into the family of Lawrence Leach many persons of the same surname from all parts of New England (and even from old England) who could not have been his children. The Robert Leach presented in this volume as son of Lawrence is a chimaera, created by mixing records for Robert Leach of Charlestown and Robert Leach of Manchester, the latter of whom was the son of the immigrant.