From the New England Historical and Genealogical Register
Michael Metcalf, the emigrant ancestor of this family, was born in Tatterford, county of Norfolk, Eng., 1586. He followed the occupation of a Dornix weaver, [dornix is a coarse wool and linen fabric] in the city of Norwich, in the same county, where he was made freeman, June 21,1618.
His wife, Sarah, was born in the adjoining town of Waynham, (?) June 17, 1593, where they were married Oct 13, 1616. Their seven eldest children were born in St.Benedict's, Norwich, and four, afterward, at St. Edmondsbury. [He wrote]
I was persecuted,in the land of my father's sepulchres, for not bowing at the name of Jesus, and observing other ceremonies in religion, forced upon me, at the instance of Bishop Wren of Norwich and his chancellor Dr. Corbet, whose violent measures troubled me in the Bishop's Court, and returned me into the High Commissioners' Court.
Suffering many times for the cause of religion, I was forced, for the sake of the liberty of my conscience, to flee from my wife and children, to go into New England; taking ship for the voyage at London the 17th of Sep' 1636; being by tempests tossed up and down the seas till the Christmas following; then veering about to Plymouth in Old England; in which time I met with many sore afflictions.
Leaving the ship, I went down to Yarmouth, in Norfolk county, whence I shipped myself and family, to come to New England; sailed 15th April, 1637, and arrived three days before midsummer, with my wife, nine children, and a servant.
The name of this servant, appears to have been Thomas Comberbach, aged 16. (Manuscript of Hon. James Savage.)
The above extracts, we take from a copy of his letter, written in Plymouth, Eng., Jan. 13, 1636, on his voyage hither; directed, "To all the true professors of Christ's Gospel within the city of Norwich." In the postscript, he remarks,
my enemies conspired against me to take away my life, and, sometimes, to avoid their hands, my wife did hide me in the roof of the house, covering me over with straw....
Michael Metcalf was admitted a townsman at Dedham, July 14,1637; joined the church in 1639; and was Selectman in 1641. His name stands first, on the Committee, chosen to "contrive the fabricke of a meetinghouse."
His wife, Sarah, died Nov. 30, 1644; m. 2d widow Mary Pidge, of Roxbury, Aug 13, 1645...
Michael Metcalf, died, Dec. 27, 1664. Will proved, and an Inventory of his Estate taken, Feb. 1, 1664-5. £364. 18. 05...
The following is an Abstract of the Will of Michael Metcalfe. 15.9. 1664.
Michael Metcalfe senior, of Dedham, being aged, Doe make this my Last will.
Wheras, there is a Covenant Between my selfe and Mary my Wife, made before our marriage, bearing Date the 13th of August 1645, wherein it may appear that she reserved to her selfe, and to her dispose, her Lands, and Estate, so that I received no Estate with her; yet, neverthelesse,
I give unto her ffor the terme of her widowhood, in household stuffe, and other goods, as shee thinkes meete to Chuse, for her use, not exceeding the value of sixteene pounds, and being not such as I shall particularly otherwise Dispose of, in this my Last will; which household stuffe, so Chosen by her, shall Bee to ffurnishe the Roome, which my Executor shall prepare for her, at his house, to Receive her into, after my Decease.
All which household stuffe and goods, I give to my Executor [son Thomas], to have, after the Decease of my wife.
Unto my wife, six pounds, to be paid to her, within one moneth after my Decease, in Currant pay.
Unto Sonne John Metcalfe, of Medfeild
- one ffeather bed & Bolster,
- my second Book of Martyrs,
- Mr [William] Perkins second Book,
- [Martin] Luther on the gala [Commentary On The Epistle To The Galatians];
- one silver spoone,
- one pair of sheets,
- one Long Chest, in the upper Chamber,
- one Diaper Boardcloth [a woven wool cloth with a repeated pattern]
Unto my Executor [son Thomas] &; his Heires,
- all that my Land in Naponset plaine [Neponset plain in Massachusetts],
- and three Acres Laying in ye Low plaine, next Peter Woodwards.
- Also, halfe my Divident in ye Cedar swampe, neer the Saw mill,
- & 3 Commons & ye odde.
Unto my Grandchild, Michael Metcalfe, the Elder,
- all that my Land and Improvements within the Lott I Dwell in,
- my three acres in ye wigwaom plaine,
- my swompe next my house, provided he give my Executor that Litle parcell of his swampe west end of his house, otherwise my gifte to be voyd.
- Also I give him my Naticke Dividend of twenty three acres, more or Lesse;
- four Cow Commons;
- halfe my Cedar swampe,
- at the Saw mill;
- my wood Land, at the West end of the Towne;
- all the particulars I have belonging to husbandry, in one Kind or another;
- all the Remainer of my Household stuffe not Disposed of in this my Will.
- Also my first Book of Martyrs,
- Mr Perkins ffirst Booke,
- one silver spoone.
To my Daughter [Mary] Wilson, ffortye shillings.
To my Daughter Elizabeth Bancrafte, ffive pounds.
To my Daughter, Martha Stow, twenty shillings.
To my Daughter, Joane Waker, forty shillings.
To my Daughter Rebecca Mackentosh, ffive pounds.
To my wife's Daughter, Martha Bullerd, twenty shillings.
To my Daughter, Sarah Onion, three pounds.
All which six Legacyes, Last named, shall bee paid at, in, or Before, the second March next after my Decease, in Current payment.
To my Daughter Stowes Eldest sonne, which she had by her first husband, Wm Brignall, ffour pounds, to bee paid him, when he shall attayne to Lawful age.
To my Grandchild, abovesaid, Jno. Mackintosh & Robert Onyon, all my wearing apparell, to bee equally divided by my Executr, in order as their names bee heer set Downe; my Granchild to choose ffirst:
To my Granchild, abovesaid, all the Lumber in my House.
Moreover, if any of ye p sons that are Legatees in ye my present will, shall by themselues, or by any others, make, or Cause to bee made, any Disturbance, or Contortion, in word or Deed, in Reference to any thing given, in this my will; then, all that Legacye, to that p son, shall be utterly voyde.
Thomas Metcalfe, of Dedham, my sonne, to be my executor, to whom I give all the Rest of my Lands and Goods, not formerly Disposed of.
Before the witnessing hereof, I give to my Grandchild abovesaid,
- my single acre of Meddow,
- also my Largest gray Horsmans Coate [long loose overcoat],
- also two oxen,
- one Cow, to bee Delivered to him at Lawfull age.
All the Books, aforesaid, given to my sonne John, after his Death, I give them to his sonne Michael, my Grand childe.
Signed and sealed in the presence of us,
Peter X Woodward His Marke.
Edward Rawson, Recorder.
Children of Michael, and Sarah Metcalf, all born in England, were,
I. Michael, b. Nov. 13, 1617, died young, in England.
II. Mary, b. Feb. 14, 1618, m. Henry Wilson, Nov. 24, 1642.
III. Michael, b. Aug. 29, 1620, m. Mary, dau. of John Fairbanks, sen. April 2, 1644, d. in Dedham, Dec. 24, 1654.
IV. John, b. Sep. 5, 1622, m. Mary, dau. of Francis Chickering, March 22, 1647, d. Nov. 27,1675.
V. Sarah, b. Sep. 10. 1624, m. Robert Onion, of Dedham.
VI. Elizabeth, b. Oct. 4, 1626, m. Thomas Bancroft, of Reading, Sep. 15, 1648.
VII. Martha, b. March 27, 1628, m. 1st Wm. Brignall, 2nd. Christopher Smith, Aug. 2, 1654, Stow.
VIII. Thomas, b. Dec. 27, 1629, m. 1st Sarah Paige, Sep. 12, 1655 or 6, 2nd Anne Paine, Dec. 2, 1679. He was Deac. at Dedham; d. Nov. 16, 1702.
IX. Ann, b. March, 1, 1631, died young, in England.
X Jane, b. March 24, 1632, m. Samuel Walker, of Rehoboth.
XI. Rebeka, b. April 5, 1635, m. John Mackintosh, of Dedham, April 5, 1659.