NameGov. John Webster531,471
Birth16 Aug 1590, Cossington, Leicestershire, England530
Christening16 Aug 1590, Cossington, Leicestershire, England530 Age: <1
Residence1636, Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut530 Age: 45
Residence1659, Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts530 Age: 68
Death5 Apr 1661, Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts530 Age: 70
OccupationMagistrate, deputy-governor and governor of Connecticut
FatherMatthew Webster (1564-1592)
MotherElizabeth Ashton (~1566-)
Spouses
Birth29 Aug 1585, Warwick, Warwickshire, England530
Death15 Jul 1655, Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut530 Age: 69
FatherRichard Smith (1555-)
MotherAgnes Hulcocke Wraske (~1552-)
Marriage7 Nov 1609, Cossington, Leicestershire, England530
ChildrenMatthew (-1675)
 Margaret (1611-1659)
 William (1614-1688)
 Thomas (1616-1686)
 Robert (1619-1676)
 Anne (1621-1662)
 Mary (1623-1687)
 Elizabeth (1624-)
 Faith (1627-)
Notes for Gov. John Webster
The following is largely from Savage. John Webster was in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1636, but it is not clear from where in Massachusetts he came. The family tradition has his origin in County Warwick, England. He was representative 1 May 1637, a magistrate from 1639 to 1655, when he was deputy-governor and the next year governor. He took the side of Rev. Mr. Russell of Wethersfield in the dispute about church and government. As a result of that he moved up the Connecticut River to found Hadley, Massachusetts, in 1659. He was made a Freeman of Massachusetts by the General Court. He became a magistrate again in May 1660. Savage has various additional family details.

WILL: Date: 23 APR 1659

The Connecticut Historical Society, 1 Elizabeth Street, Hartford, Connecticut
06105. Bulletin, Volume 35, Number 1. January 1970, p. 110 - 113. The Old
Barnard House
A Hartford landmark of at least two centuries and a quarter had been known
as the "Old Barnard House" when it was torn down in 1898, and for many years
before that. It stood at 123 Retreat Avenue, on the north side and just west
of South Husdon Street. Today this property is included in the grounds of
Hartford Hospital which now fronts on Seymour Street.
Records trace the ownership of this house as far back as 1676 when it
belonged to John Webster, fifth governor of the Connecticut Colony. Yet the
house may have been still older; its Demolition uncovered structural
evidence pointing to earlier construction (of at least a part of it), but
whose it was prior to 1676 remains a mystery. Since Mr. Webster died the
same year his is recorded as its owner, it is not certain that he ever
occupied it himself, but at his death the place was left to his widow.
Twenty-two years later Mrs. Webster made a distribution of her former
husband's estate, the house going to her son, Matthew, who seems to have
lived there until 1762 when he sold it to one Jonathan Bigelow. Three years
after that, John Barnard bought it from Mr. Bigelow who, as it happened, was
his father-in-law.
Mr. Barnard made a number of improvements in the dwelling, including an
addition to the original structure on the west side. However, this work was
not done as soon as he became the owner but waited upon his return (as
Captain Barnard) from the French and Indian Wars. One of the trees in the
front yerd was a curious souvenir of the captain's travels - a willow which
grew from a sprig plucked from Napoleon's grave on St. Helena!
The Barnard house was handed down to a granddaughter of Captain John,
Lavinia Barnard, who never married. She made her home at this Retreat Avenue
address until her death in 1896, bequeathing it to a nephew of hers, John
Barnard Cone. Mr. Cone had his own home else-where in the city, and two
years later he sold the Barnard house and lot to the Church Home Association.
This organization razed the old dwelling to make room for a substantial
brick domicile more in keeping with its requirements.
Posterity is the richer for the talent of a remarkably skillful amateur
photographer, Charles R. Nason of Hartford, who took pictures of the exterior
and interior of the Old Barnard House only a week or so before it was torn
down, showing it pretty much the way it was, perhaps, when Miss Lavinia lived
in it. The Connecticut Historical Society is tremendously grateful to Mr.
Edwin F. Nason of Tucson, Arizona, who has recently given it over one hundred
and fifty of his father's photographs for its collections, and from which
these views have been selected. -- M.W.J. (Photographs shown on pages 111,
112 & 113).

The Highways and Byways of Connecticut, by G. Fox (Hartford, Ct.), p. 197
John Webster, the fifth Governor of Connecticut, who served in 1656. He
was another Elizabethan gentleman whose grandfather, another John Webster had
received large grants of Monastery land from the notorious King Henry VIII.
It was in 1633 that this man gave up his baronial estates and life of
genteel comfort to risk the rigors of the new world. As most of them did,
those dys, he land in Boston where the greater proportion of the gentry
lived. But in 1636, three years later, dissatisfied with what he saw,
together with Thomas Hooker he came to Hartford, then called Suckiaug.
Webster and five other proprietors owned the largest share of common or
undivided land. He started out his life in this newborn colony a man of
substantial means. He was one of the few settlers who held the ancestral
right to wear a coat of armor and, quaintly, one of only eleven men in
Hartford entitled to be called by the honorary prefix, "Mister."
One year after his arrival here in 1637, he was unexpectedly chosen as a
member of the committee which first sat with the Court of Magistrates for the
purpose of declaring war against the Pequot Indian tribe. This was the
position which projected him into public view-his astute counsel and sage
decisions, his faith, his justice oddly reflected from the motto on his coat
of arms - Fides et Justitia.
In 1638 Webster was elected Deputy Commissioner of the Colony, and in 1639
Magistrate, a position which he held for sixteen years, only relinquishing it
in 1655 when he was chosen Deputy Governor. and in 1656 he became our chief
executive.
Probably Webster's greatest bid to fame was the single fact that he drew up
the renowned criminal code of laws for the infant colonies, first statures
for the control of errant men, on which were based all later laws.
In later years it could be noted that among his numerous descendants was
another famous man, Noah Webster; and it was left to this erudite scion to
erect the stone, in 1818, which marks the resting place of our fifth Governor
in Hadley - John Webster.

History and Genealogy of the Calno Uzziah Webster, Sr. Family of Fisher Polk
County, Minnesota, by Loraine Adams Kleinwachter, San Clemente, CA, published
by Gateway Printer, Whitther, CA, 1969.
He was active in the First Church of Hartford, Noah Webster, the
Leicographer, one of his descendants, had erected in the Old Hadley, Conn.,
Cemetery, a slab bearing the following inscription.
"To the memory of John Webster, Eng., one of the first settlers of Hartford
in Connecticut, who was many years a Magistrate or ______, and afterwards
Deputy Gov. and Governor of that Colony, and in 1659 with three sons,
Robert, William and Thomas, associated with others in the purchase and
settlement of Hadley where he died in 1661, this monument is erected in
1818 by his descendant, Noah Webster of Amherst.

The Governors of Connecticut, by Frederick Calvin Norton, Published by The
Connecticut Magazine, Hartford, Connecticut.
The early life of John Webster is shrouded in mystery. Family tradition
said that he was from the County of Warwick, England, but even this is
indefinite. the date of his birth is unknown and there is nothing handed
down to us regarding his ancestry.
His name first appears in history when he became one of the original
proprietors of Hartford.
Webster must have been one of the first settlers, for it is recorded in
1639 that he owned a lot on the east side of the thoroughfare now called
Governor Street. His prominence in the town is demonstrated by the fact that
in 1638-8 he sat with the Court of Magistrates, and was a magistrate himself
from the year 1639 to 1655. In the latter year Webster was chosen to the
office of deputy governor of the colony, and in 1656 was advanced to
governor. He held the office one year. During the year 1642 Governor Webster
was a member of the commission that framed the code of criminal laws for the
colony. In 1654 he was one of the commissioners of the United Colonies.
Governor Webster took a prominent part in the famous church controversy at
Hartford. Professor Johnston, in his scholarly book, "Connecticut," says the
nominal beginning of this trouble was after the death of Rev. Thomas Hooker
in 1647. "Goodwin, the ruling elder," writes Johnston, "wanted Michael
Wigglesworth as Hooker's successor; and Stone the surviving minister, refused
to allow the proposition to be put to a vote. the Goodwin party - twenty-one
in number, including Deputy Governor Webster - withdrew from the church; the
Stone party undertook to discipline them; a council of Connecticut and New
Haven church failed to reconcile the parties; the General Court kindly
assumed the office of mediator and succeeded in making both parties furious;
and finally a council at Boston in 1659 included the Goodwin minority, now
some sixty in number, to remove to Hadley, Massachusetts."
The year following his removal to Hadley, Governor Webster was admitted as
a freeman in that colony. His career in Hadley was destined to be brief,
however, for he died on April 5, 1661 - nearly two years after his arrival.
He was survived by his widow and seven children.
The historian, Hollister, speaks of Webster as an "honored name," and whose
virtues are still perpetuated in those who inherit his blood." Probably the
most distinguished descendant of Governor Webster was Noah Webster, the
famous lexicographer, who was born in Hartford in 1758 and died at New Haven,
May 28, 1843.

Massachusetts - A guide to the Pilgrim State, 2nd edition, by Ray Bearse,
Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston 1971, p. 282.
Hadley (Hampshire County, sett. 1659, incorp. 1661, alt. 129, pop. 3750,
area 23.16 sq. mi., town meeting, routes, I-91, Mass. 9, 47, 116, named for
Hadley or Hadleigh, England, Former home of its founders was settled by John
Webster and Rev. John Russell. The left Connecticut because of religious
dissension.530
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