The line of descendents is as follows:
Richard Doggett>John Doggett>William Doggett>William Doggett>Benjamin Doggett>William Doggett>Elmore Doggett>George Doggett>Elmore Doggett>Francis Doggett-Richards>Milton Richards>Francis Richards-Stephens>Dicie Stephens-Maffitt>Floyd Maffitt>Clark Maffitt
RICHARD DOGGETT, resident of Groton, Suffolk, in mid 16th century. Name of wife unknown. The earliest Doggett in the direct ancestral line of the Reverend Benjamin Doggett is Richard Doggett. Richard Doggett was found in Groton, Suffolk, in the Lay Subsidy of 14 and 15 Henry VIII (about 1523/24), with property valued at £80 and a £4 tax was levied on him. Richard was by far the wealthiest individual in the village at that time, as the entire tax paid by its inhabitants amounted to £5/15/3, and Richard's share was £4.
Richard appears in the Lay Subsidy of 1526 of Norfolk (and Suffolk) and calls him "a wealthy inhabitant of Groton, co. Suffolk." This appears to be a later tax list, but only by a few years. Richard Dogett is mentioned twice for selling wood in the year 1537 to the adjoining parish of Boxford. The first entry states: "payd to goodman Dogett for a loade of woode, the second: "to Richard Dogett for 2 loades of woode for the plomer, This book also has a note stating that Richard Doget, of Groton, was called "my brother" by John Gawge the clothier in his will of 1521.
No will of Richard has been found, and the name of his wife is not known. The names of his children may be deduced by reference to wills and other documents of related persons. The ancestry of Richard is obscure. There were Doggetts living in Babergh Hundred for at least two centuries before Richard, but very few written records have survived. One document is a lay subsidy levied in 1327, which lists as one of 21 residents of Bures a William Dogut, with a levy of 2s 6d, out of a total of 51s 1d, if the writer's notes are correct, and a Nicholas Dogat was taxed at the nearby parish of Hesset.
JOHN DOGGETT, son of Richard Doggett; d. 1565, Bures St. Mary's, Suffolk; m(1). perhaps MARTHA ASHEFIELD; perhaps m(2) name unknown. A primary source of information about John Doggett is his will dated 17 Jan 1564 [1564/5], probated on 6 May 1565 in the Archdeaconry of Sudbury. John states in his will that he is of Bures St. Mary's, Suffolk, and he has the social standing of "Gentleman." He leaves property to his three sons, none of which had attained 21 years: William the younger; John, and William, "my eldest son." He also makes a bequest to his daughter Anne. He also makes reference to another daughter, the name of whom Muskett transcribes as "Ardelye."
John named his wife's brother, William More, of Groton, as executor, and charged him with the care of his younger children. Apparently his wife had predeceased him. This would explain why none of John's children appear therefter in Bures records, as William More most likely brought the very young children to Groton.
John Doggett appears as a taxpayer in the Lay Subsidy of 35 Henry VIII (abt. 1544), for the Hundred of Babergh, Suffolk, as a resident of Groton, with goods valued at £15, `and a tax of 10 shillings. The same tax list shows a Robert Doggett, "Gentleman," with lands assessed at £10 and a tax of 6 shillings 8 pence. Rodney Dennys, states that these two men headed the list of Groton property owners and therefore were probably the most important residents of Groton at that time. The relationship of John and Robert is not known.
In the Lay Subsidy of 2 & 3 Edward VI (abt. 1549/50), John Doggett is found at Bures, and was assessed at £10 property and a tax of 10 shillings. From these documents and the Bures Parish Register, it appears that John moved from Groton to Bures about 1544 or 1545.
It is interesting, but probably not significant that in 1544 the Manor of Groton was granted by the Crown to Adam Winthrop, and about the same time John Doggett left Groton for Bures. In Adam Winthrop's will dated 1562 he refers to "lands and tenements which I purchased and had of John Doget." Perhaps John had sold some of his property in Groton upon his moving to Bures, but apparently not all, as he leaves considerable property to his sons in his 1564/5 will. The presumption that John was married to Martha Ashefield, is supported by the following information. The Will of Robert Ashefield, of Stowlangtoft, Suffolk [cited in S. B. Doggett's History, but misspelled as "Glovalangloste"], dated in 1550[?], probated in Prerogative Court of Canterbury, (12 Goode), mentions his "brother" John Dogett and the two sons of John which he had by "Martha my sister." Only one son, William the elder, is shown above as born before 1550, but there is a gap of six years between the births of William and John. There could have been another son born in that period whose birth was not recorded in the Bures Parish Register, and who died between 1550 and 1564, or perhaps the 1550 date of the will was mistranscribed. One of the legatees of John Doggett's will is Gyles Ashfilde, Gent., so there was a close connection with the Ashefield family. It is also possible that John was married twice and the four younger children were children of a second wife. It would perhaps help to explain the naming of two sons "William" if they were children of different wives of John.
WILLIAM DOGGETT "the elder," son of John Doggett; b. 1545, Bures St. Mary's, Suffolk. Muskett states that William was "of Lavenham, " and that in 1567 he sold lands in Groton, Edwardston, Kersey, etc., citing Close Roll, 9 Eliz., Doggett c. Oder. Rodney Dennys examined this record and reported that the sale took place 9 Feb 1567/8. The document recited that the lands had been left to William in the will of his father dated 17 Jan 1565. The Bures Parish Register records William's christening on 4 May 1545. William would have had to be 21 years old to make the conveyance of real property, and was in fact 22 years old. John's will left to William the messuage [residence] in the manorance of John Kidsdale in Groton, which may have included lands in nearby Edwardston and Kersey. The existence of this document confirms that there were in fact two Williams who were the sons of John, as it is known from other evidence that William the younger was born in 1557 The Rent Roll of the Manor of Lindsey, dated 3 Jun 1577, abstracted by Rodney Dennys, shows William Doggett holding land called "Garrardes" (Rent 3s, 1d a year); 3 acres including "Dovehowscrofte" (Rent 20d a year); land called "Drynes" or "Brondescrofte" (Rent 6s, 8d a year; 9 acres of land called "Birchleyfelde" (Rent 10d a year).
WILLIAM DOGGETT The birth of William the younger, of Boxford, does not appear to be recorded in the Parish Register of Bures St. Marys as is the case of his older siblings, but his year of birth can be calculated from the inscription on his tombstone in St. Mary's Church in Boxford. This stone provides a great deal of information about William. The stone, imbedded in the floor of what is now used as a choir vestry, next to the exterior wall of the building, is protected by a carpet which covers the stone unless removed to examine the stone. It is an elaborately carved black marble slab with the following inscription: "Here lyeth Willia. Doggett, marchant adveterer Citizen and mercer of London and free of the East India Company who tooke to wife Avis Lappadge ye Daught. of Thomas Lappage of Boxford, w'th who he lyved 19 years & had Issve by her 6 sones & 6 davgters. Ye said Will' dep'ed this life ye 10th of Octobr 1610 beinge of the age of 53 years."
The Boxford Parish Register records the marriage of William and Aves Lappage as occurring on 1 Jun 1591, which corresponds to 19 years of marriage before William's death. The Register also records the baptisms of five sons and six daughters, so apparently one son died at birth and was not recorded in the Register. At the four corners of the monument are four brasses in the form of shields, each brass bearing the coat of arms of an organization of which William was a member, and of which he was clearly proud to be a member. These organizations are: City of London; Mercers' Company; Merchant Adventurers; and East India Company.
The Mercers' Company was one of the great guilds merchant of London, whose members dealt in silks, velvets and other expensive textiles, iimported from abroad. All members of the principal guilds were citizens of the City of London, which meant more than just being a resident. In fact, many citizens of London, like William, had their residence and conducted business in other locations. It must be assumed, however, that William spent much time in the City. The Merchant Adventurers were merchants whose business was engaging in import and export of goods to the European Continent.
As was noted above, William's brother John was a Merchant Adventurer, and his son John lived in Hamburg, where he was a trader. The fourth brass is that of the East India Company, formed to make voyages to the Far East and bring back silks, spices and similar luxury items, for sale to the wealthy residents of England. In later years, it operated as a joint stock company (similar to a present-day corporation), but in the early years, each voyage was financed by a separate group of investors. While visiting London some years ago, the writer decided to research the involvement of William with The East India Company, and visited the India Library, which is a branch of the British Museum and which has the original records of the East India Company.
We were furnished with the original minute book of the directors of the Company. The first two voyages made by the Company had only a few subscribers, limited to the prominent and very wealthy. However, the third voyage, in 1605, was opened up to a larger number of subscribers, with a much smaller investment required. William's name appeared on the Bill of Adventure, listing 205 subscribers, with the minimum investment of £100, which amount was still a substantial amount of money at that time. A later entry in the minute book recorded the successful completion of the voyage and the division of profits among the subscribers, which profit was about three time the original investment. Only one other voyage was undertaken prior to William's death, the fourth voyage, in 1608.
For that voyage, the Company returned to original format of involving only a few very wealthy investors. Therefore, Even though William participated in only one "adventure," it must have been a significant episode in his life, if the prominence given to the Company on his tombstone is any indication. William was only seven years old when his father died. In his father's will, he was devised his father's "capital messuage," or main residence in Groton, named Edmonds, and all the lands in Groton, both freehold and copyhold, belonging to that residence, which were in the manorance of William's uncle, William More. He also received John's "Dye House" in Groton, and the "leads and fats within it. Leads and fats were names given to kettles used in dying fabric. "Fats" is an archaic spelling of "vats." He also received numerous other parcels of land in Groton. All to be given to him whcn he reached 21 years of age. But that was not all he received. He also was given the copyhold lands which John held of William Walgrave, Esq., of Lesen Hall. and also one third of all the personal property, including silver, jewels, money, and other property remaining after paying all debts of the estate.
So it can be seen that about 1578, William became a wealthy young man. The will of his father gave the "bringing up' of William, his brother John, and sister Ann to John's brother-in-law, William More, of Groton. On William's death only two years later, the responsibility for the children's upbringing was left to More's son-in-law, and first cousin of the children, Thomas Lappage. Thomas was a generation older than William, and one of his children was a daughter Avis, born in 1568, eleven years William's junior. The two families were raised together, and despite the age difference,
William and Avis fell in love and were married in 1591, as noted above. The baptism of Avis Lappage was recorded in the Groton Parish Register on 1 Aug 1568. This entry is transcribed in East Anglia Notes & Queries, Series 2, vol. 7, p. 172: "Avice Lapadge, the Daughter of Thomas Lapadge was baptized the first day of August." the Register also contains an addition to the entry in a different hand: "She was married to William Dogget her cosin." The will of William was probated in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, but no court records or copies of the will have been found. However, the dispositive portions of the will are abstracted in a 1644 chancery suit.
The suit was brought by one Edward Alston against William's widow "Avice" Doggett (Alston c. Doggett, Chancery Proc., Mitford, 54, 44) The answer of Avis to plaintiff's bill was dated 18 Apr 1644, and included the infomration about the contents of the will. His son and heir, Thomas, received no bequest or devise in the will, which seems to be due to the fact that by law Thomas was entitled to receive the real estate belonging to his father, subject to any dower rights of William's wife, Avis. The other children are named, except for Bridget, who apparently predeceased her father as a young child. Sons Lappage and Richard, the two younger sons, received £1000 each, to be delivered when they reached age 24; the older sons, William and John, received only £400 each, which would seem to indicate that some other arrangements for them had been made during William's lifetime. The five daughters named each received £400 He also remembered his brother and sisters, his brother-in-law John Brond, his father-in-law, Thomas Lappage, and two local clergymen, and made bequests for the poor of Boxford and for the Boxford Free School, His son Thomas and his wife were named as executors, but Thomas relinquished the office and Avis probated the will. In 1614 four years after his death, an Inquisition Post Mortem was held to determine the identity of the parcels of real property held by William at the time of his death.
It is undoubtedly written in court Latin. As William was about 34 years old at the time of his marriage, and died at the age of 53, none of the children were adults at the time of his death, escept his oldest daughter, Ann, who was 18. The other children ranged in age from 16 down to 1 year. Avis died in Boxford and was buried there on 27 Jun 1652, according to the Boxford Parish Register, in which she is referred to a "old Mrs. Doggett." She was 84 years old at the time of her death.
Muskett refers to a sale of a dwelling house and other land in Boxford and Polstead in 1629, made to Robert Gurdon, Esq., a prominent member of the local gentry, by Avis Doggett, widow, and Thomas Doggett, gent. and Margery, his wife. There is a letter from Thomas, mentioned below, concerning this sale. John McLinden and others believe that John Doggett of Bures had only one son named William, but the writer believes that the evidence supports the conclusion that there were two Williams. We continue to research this question and will in the near future post the evidence and arguments on both sides of the issue.
WILLIAM DOGGETT, son of William and Avis (Lappadge) Doggett; chr. 27 Feb 1599/1600, Boxford, Suffolk; d. 1676; m. ANNE LANGLEY, dau. of Geoffrey and Anne (Carter) Langley, of Colchester, Essex. This William Doggett, the second son of William of Boxford, is the father of the emigrant, the Rev. Benjamin Doggett. His baptism is recorded in the Boxford Parish Register on 23 Feb 1598.
About 1625, William married Anne Langley, dau. of Geoffrey Langley, grocer, and alderman of Colchester, in the neighboring county of Essex. Anne's mother was Anne Carter of Waltham on the Nayes (Walton on the Naze), Essex.Although the writer has not seen a parish register entry for the marriage, it is evidenced by a pedigree in the Visitation of Essex, 1634 which show the children of Geoffrey and Anne Carter as including Anne, wife of William Doggett of Ipswich. The births of five children of William and Anne are recorded in the Parish Register of St. Mary-le-Tower, Ispswich, between 1626 and 1636. According to the IGI, which have not been verified by the writer, show that Mary and Avis, daughters of William and Anne, were baptized in 1639 and 1644, respectively, at Pettistree. The Will of William Doggett, dated 14 Oct 1675, was probated 2 May 1676 in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (P.C.C. 48 Bence). An abstract of this will is printed in Muskett. This will refers to his son[-in-law] John Spering; his daughter, Susanna Spering; his grandchildren, Ann, Mary, John and Roger Spering; his son[-in-law] Daniel Bright; his daughter Avis Bright; his grandchild Daniel Bright; his grandson, William Williams; son Richard and his daughters Ann and Mary; his son[in-law] Jefferson; his daughter Ann Jefferson; his son Benjamin; his son William, and children Mary, Avis, John and Susanna; his son Robert.
He named his brother John Doggett, merchant, and his son-in-law John Spering as executors. He refers to his lands in Boxford. The will states that he was a resident of the Parish of Stepney, county of Middlesex, and that he had the social standing of gentleman. One fact that has been a problem in attributing the 1675 will of William Doggett to William of Ipswich is the entry in the Boxford Parish Register stating that Mr. William Doggett was moved from Ipswich and buried in Boxford on 10 Sep 1670. If that is not the burial of this William, then whom could it be? Probably not William's son William, because he was named in his father's 1675 will, with no indication that he was deceased. The original will has not been examined, nor has the Register entry referred to. It does appear from the contents of the will that the author was William the son of William of Boxford. It is apparent that William moved from Ipswich to Stepney between 1636 and 1639, and resided there until is death. While in Ipswich, William pursued the occupation of "woollendraper," as we learn from the records of admission of the Rev. Benjamin Doggett to St. John's College, Cambridge He may well have continued in that business even after moving to the London area. William is mentioned in the 1641 will of his uncle, John Brand, of Sherbourne, Suffolk.
BENJAMIN DOGGETT, son of William and Anne (Langley) Doggett; b. October 1636 (chr. 28 Oct), Ipswich, Suffolk, England; d. 1682 or 1683, Lancaster Co., VA; m. 21 Sep 1664, Hadleigh, Suffolk, Mrs. JANE GARRARD. The baptism of Benjamin Doggett is recorded in the Register of St. Mary-le-Tower Church in Ipswich, Suffolk, as follows:
"Beniamine, sonne of William Doggett was Baptised the 28th of October 1636." Benjamin was the youngest of six children of William and Anne Doggett whose baptisms are recorded in the Register, and his father William signed the Register as churchwarden in the year of Benjamin's birth. Benjamin's father was a merchant in Ipswich, Suffolk, engaged in the selling of woolen and other common fabrics, and his mother was the daughter of Geoffrey Langley, a grocer and alderman of Colchester, Essex, a city not far from Ipswich, and his wife, Ann Carter, of Walton-on-the Naze, a nearby Essex seacoast town.
From records of St. John's College and the University of Cambridge, we know that Benjamin attended a private school in Westminster (now a part of London) with a Mr. Crouch as headmaster. He was admitted to St. John's College, University of Cambridge, on 27 Jan 1654/5, and matriculated at the University on 7 April 1655. His name is recorded as "Benj. Dodggett" which may indicate the pronunciation of the Doggett surname used by him, although later documents use the spelling "Doggett" or "Dogget," except in one instance where the name is spelled "Daggott."
He was admitted to the college as a sizar, which meant that he did not pay full tuition for his education, but served as a servant to an upperclassman who, in turn, acted as tutor and surety for the behavior of the sizar. Benjamin's tutor was William Twyne, son of Anthony Twyne of Walton, Surrey, who was a candidate for the degree of Bachelor of Divinity, which he received in 1660. Rev. Twyne undoubtedly played an important part in the early education of Benjamin as an Anglican minister. On 3 November 1657, Benjamin was admitted as a "Scholar," being one of two such rerpresenting Suffolk County, as the county of his birth. A Scholar was a junior member of the college corporate society, ranking below the Headmaster and the Fellows. A Scholar received what is now called a "scholarship" which paid all his tuition and expenses. The records of St. John's College show that his scholarship was from the main College foundation. It seems then that his sizarship terminated after two years. It may well be that he had a sizar of his own to help with his household duties in exchange for tutoring the sizar, although we do not have any evidence to support such a conclusion.
In December 1658, Benjamin received the degree of Bachelor of Arts from the University. Benjamin continued his studies for the ministry at St. John's and received the degree of Master of Arts on 16 Mar 1661/62. Benjamin affixed his signature to the oath required by the University, which may be the only actual signature of Benjamin presently in existence. This signature clearly spells his surname as "Doggett." The Registers of Seniority recorded in University records show that Benjamin was an average student, ranking slightly below the middle of the graduates for both the Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees.
Benjamin's uncles, Thomas and Richard, had attended St. John's and Emmanuel Colleges, respectively, as pensioners (full tuition payers) and his cousin William, son of Thomas Doggett, had attended Queen's College at Cambridge as sizar, but it does not appear that his father or any of his brothers attended college, but rather pursued careers as merchants. Benjamin's mother's brother, Geoffrey Langley, had received his Master of Arts degree at Christ's College at Cambridge in 1623, and was rector of the church of Stoke St. Mary, in Ipswich, from 1623 to 1626.
Following receipt of his Master of Arts degree, Benjamin was ordained as an Anglican minister, and was appointed as curate of a church in the small village of Stoke-by-Clare in west Suffolk. Benjamin's cousin, William Doggett, had been appointed as vicar of that church in 1661, and was therefore entitled to receive the "living" from the parish, but apparently did not desire to act as the resident minister. William then apparently arranged for Benjamin to act as curate in his stead.
Benjamin did not stay long in Stoke-by-Clare, and by 1664 was acting as curate and schoomaster of the much larger church in Hadleigh, Suffolk, where he continued as minister until emigrating to Virginia in 1669.
On 21 Sep 1664, the Rev. Benjamin was married in Hadleigh to a young widow, Jane Garrard. The identity of Jane's first husband and parents are uncertain, although the death of a Charles Garrard is recorded in the Hadleigh parish register as occurring 10 Apr 1664.
Benjamin's first child, his son Benjamin, was born in Hadleigh the following year, in 1665. Three more children were born in Hadleigh, according to entries in the parish register. These were his daughter Jane, born in 1667, his son William, baptised 19 Nov 1668, and his son John, baptised 3 Mar 1669/70. Of these four children, William died as an infant, as his burial is recorded in the parish register on 24 Nov 1668.
Sometime before January 1669/70, Benjamin left Hadleigh and emigrated to the colony of Virginia. He had received the appointment of the Bishop of London to be the minister of Trinity parish in Lancaster County. We do not know the reason for his decision to emigrate, but things were not easy for the clergy in England at that time, following the rule of Cromwell and the restoration of the monarchy. Benjamin did not have permanent tenure at Hadleigh, but was only a curate for the Dean of Bocking, who had the living as rector of the parish. From a power of attorney recorded in Lancaster County records, we know that Benjamin's brother, Richard, an Ipswich merchant, traded with Lancaster County merchants, and had perhaps learned from them that there was an opening for a minister in that county, and made Benjamin aware of the opportunity. In any event, the decision was made.
It appears that Benjamin's wife Jane did not accompany him to America, but came later, as she was expecting son John who was born in England in March 1669/70. We do know from Benjamin's will that for reasons unknown his daughter Jane was left behind in England, perhaps for medical reasons. Although his son John predeceased the Rev. Benjamin, it seems probable that he died in Virginia, as his death is not recorded in the Hadleigh parish register. We are certain only that his wife and son Benjamin emigrated to Virginia.
Soon after his arrival in Lancaster County and commencement of his ministry at Christ Church, the Rev. Benjamin founded a second church in the western part of the county which was named St. Mary's White Chapel Church, and he served as minister of both churches. We assume that he preached in the two churches on alternate weeks and that vestrymen acted as lay readers in his absence.
Because the churches in Virginia were under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London, the episcopal authority was not as strong as in England, and the vestries exercised more power and control over the clergy. As a minister only obtained permanent tenure by recommendation of the vestry and appointment of the governor, the vestry could retain control by failing to present the minister for appointment.
However, Benjamin apparently made a good impression on the vestry and the congregations, as in 1670 he was presented to the governor of the colony for appointment as minister of the two churches of Trinity Parish. Soon thereafter the parish was divided into two separate parishes of Christ Church and St. Mary's Whitechapel, with Benjamin as minister of both parishes.
Some time after Benjamin's death, the two original wooden churches were torn down and new brick churches were erected. Much of the cost of the new Christ Church building was contributed by the very wealthy Carter family, and the Ball family, including George Washington's grandfather, were the leading members of the St. Mary's Whitechapel congregation.
Three more children were born to Benjamin and Jane in Virginia. The parish register of Christ Church has been lost, so we do not know the exact dates of the births of the children. We believe that their son Richard was born about 1672 and that their daughter Anne was born about 1674. The youngest child, William, was born about 1676. As mentioned, the son John, born in England, predeceased Benjamin, but as his death is not recorded in the Hadleigh parish register, he may have accompanied his parents to Virginia and died there.
In 1680, Benjamin purchased a 350 acre plantation from George Flowers, with a mortgage to Robert Griggs. In addition to his income, paid in tobacco, from the two parishes, Benjamin farmed this land and other land in Christ Church parish, using hired or indentured servants, raising tobacco and corn, along with cattle and pigs.
Benjamin died in Lancaster County in 1682 or 1683, leaving a will of record dated 14 Mar 1681/2. The will was probated in Lancaster County in January 1682/3. See transcript of will. The will divides the 350 acre plantation between his three sons, Benjamin, Richard and William, with Benjamin receiving 150 acres and the two younger sons receiving 100 acres each. His wife Jane was given the use of the land until remarriage. His daughter Anne was given personal property, to be given in two equal annual installments, provided she did not marry before reaching age 18. As she had to be nearly 18 at the time the will was drawn, this would not seem to have been a serious problem for her. The reference in the will to Benjamin's daughter Jane is intriguing. "I give unto my daughter Jane Doggett in England twenty shillings and no more because she hath been detained from me and is surely provided for." We can speculate from this that Benjamin was not happy with the fact that Jane had not come to America with the family. Perhaps she had physical or mental infirmities that made it unwise for her to attempt to make the arduous trip to America, and she may have been kept by Benjamin's wife's family or may have been institutionalized.
Benjamin also provided in his will for payment of his debts to George Flowers and to Robert Griggs, primarily out of tobacco, but also out of the sale of planks sawed out of timber on the plantation, and of the sale of pipe staves. Pipe staves were used to make pipes or casks of wood in which tobacco was shipped to England, and may have been hewn from timber on Benjamin's plantation.
Benjamin had accumulated a library for use in performing his ministerial duties, and otherwise. Apparently there was not a good market for these books in Virginia, and Benjamin directed that the books be appraised, that a "great chest" be bought, and the books be packed up and sent to England to be sold. The money realized from the sale was to be used to help pay the debt to Robert Griggs, and if there was any surplus, the money was to be used by his widow to buy a mourning ring with the inscription "Follow Me." The purchase of mourning rings bearing memorial inscriptions was a popular custom at the time, and the rings could be quite valuable. The two executors were given 20 shillings to purchase mourning rings also.
Benjamin directed that he be buried beneath the chancel in St. Mary's Whitechapel church. As it is believed that the present church was built a hundred yards or so from the original location, we do not know whether his remains were reinterred when the new church was built, but we would hope that this was the case.
An inventory and appraisal of the Rev. Benjamin's estate was made the following September and recorded in Lancaster County records. It is interesting that the appraisal was not made by the appraisers named in the will but by four neighbors and substantial citizens: Nicholas George, Stephen Chilton, Thomas Tomson, and John Davis. The inventory of the personal property had an appraised value of 11,610 pounds of tobacco (not including the cattle, which for some unexplained reason were not appraised), and consisted primarily of household goods of little value.
The most valuable items listed were "one Trunck of Bookes," appraised at 2000 pounds of tobacco, and three horses, appraised at 2700 pounds of tobacco. The inventory does not reflect ownership of any slaves, but does include two indentured servants, a man having 27 days to serve and a woman having two months to serve.
County records of Lancaster County and adjoining Northumberland County contain numerous documents pertaining to the Rev. Benjamin. The earliest document, a power of attorney witnessed by Benjamin, is dated 28 Jan 1669/70 and was recorded in Lancaster County on 1 February. This document places Benjamin's emigration to Virginia at some time prior to 28 January. Many of the other recorded documents involve suits on notes, usually payable in tobacco, on behalf or or against Benjamin. Some of the suits were decided in favor of him and some against him.
One suit raises an interesting question for which we do not have an answer. In November 1677, an action was commenced by Capt. Richard Taylor, attorney of Richard Doggett, against Benjamin Doggett. We must assume that the Richard Doggett in question was the brother of Benjamin in England. We do not know whether this was a "friendly" suit or whether real differences existed between the brothers.
In many of the documents of record, Benjamin is referred to by the honorific title of "Mr." The use of that title was restricted to members of the gentry who did not use their military ranks, who were not members of the knighthood, or who were entitled to bear coats of arms and used the designation "Esq." or "Armiger." It was essentially equivalent to the designation "gentleman." Free citizens of somewhat lesser social standing were usually referred to by their occupations, such as "planter," "merchant," "carpenter," and the like. Although Benjamin's very modest economic circumstances would not place him in the gentry class, his profession and education entitled him to be called "Mr. Doggett." The use of that honorific title was not used by the person himself, but by third persons. In documents executed by Benjamin, such as his will, he refers to himself simply as "minister."
One type of offense which frequently came to the attention of the justices of the County Court, acting in their capacities as criminal magistrates, was the matter of verbal or physical abuse of a citizen, and particularly abuse of a member of the gentry by a person of lesser social standing. Rev. Benjamin was the victim in three cases of record in Lancaster County.
The first, in September 1672, is somewhat unusual. In that case, a man named William Hughs, who seems to have been an indentured servant of Mr. Edward Carter, took a "servant maid" belonging to Benjamin from Benjamin's house. It does not appear that the lady involved objected to being "taken," and it would seem that she became part of Carter's household, probably as the wife of Hughs. In any event, Benjamin sued Hughs and, perhaps as the result of a settlement with Carter, he was awarded judgment for 2800 lbs. of tobacco, to be paid by Carter and Hughs. This would indicate that Carter probably took over the indenture for the "servant maid" and paid Benjamin the value of the contract. In the same proceeding, Hughs was found guilty of abusing Benjamin "by words." According to the court order, Hughes apologized to Benjamin and asked his forgiveness. Benjamin accepted the apology and withdrew his complaint but Hughes was ordered to pay costs.
The second case was in September 1674, when the court found that one Stephen Wills "did abuse Benjamin Doggett, minister." Wills was sentenced to be placed in the stocks until he was sober and then to receive 30 lashes.
The third case, in 1682, involved one Thomas Herbert, an indentured servant of Benjamin. Herbert was convicted of "lifting up his hande against his saide Master," and was ordered "for his contempt forthwith to receive twenty Lashes on his bare backe well laide on, the Sheriff to see the same executed." Offenses by indentured servants against their gentlemen masters were not tolerated and were punished severely by the justices. Whether Herbert was the "manservant having 27 days to serve" listed in the inventory of Benjamin's probate estate is uncertain, but it may well be the case.
Lancaster County records also include two petitions by Benjamin, one in 1672/3 and the other in 1680, for permission to bring a Indian into his household. Permission was granted in each case, on condition that a bond be posted guaranteeing the behavior of the native. We do not know the circumstances involved, but we can assume that furnishing labor for the plantation was involved, and perhaps the Rev. Benjamin had found natives interested in being taught the Christian faith.
Soon after the death of the Rev. Benjamin, his widow, Jane, married for the third time. Her new husband was John Boatman. John was apparently not popular with his stepchildren, and when young Benjamin became of age he sued Boatman in county court for taking advantage of Richard by putting him to work in the fields and not providing adequate support for him. The court ordered an accounting to be made by Boatman and restitution to be made to him. We can imagine that relations continued to be strained, as county court records reflect a series of lawsuits between Boatman and the children over the land devised to the three sons.
WILLIAM DOGGETT, son of Rev. Benjamin and Jane Doggett; b. abt. 1676, Lancaster Co., VA; d. 1716/7, Lancaster Co., VA. Married, but wife's name unknown.