Biography of Deacon William Locke

Deacon William Locke, the immigrant ancestor, was born at Stepney parish, London, England, December 13, 1628, and came to this country in the ship “Planter,” which sailed for New. England, March 22, 163435. At that time, he was only six years old, and it is supposed came over in the care of Nicholas Davies and his family. His father was probably William Locke, mariner, and his mother Elizabeth , who died June 27, 1631. Where William Locke lived during his minority is unknown. He married, December 25, 1655, Mary, daughter of William and Margery Clarke, of Woburn, Massachusetts. She was born December 10, 1640, and, died July 18, 1715. Her father, William. Clarke, was a resident of Watertown in 1640, and removed to Woburn in 1651. His name often appears as surveyor of highways and in other town offices. He was a weaver by trade, and died March 15, 1682. His wife Margery died October 11, 1694. William Locke early became owner of real estate and eventually a man of property. His first purchase was about 1650. In 1664 he had granted to him land in “Great Meadow” and Pond Meadow. In 1673-77-80 he received other grants, and at other dates purchased numerous other parcels of land. He took some part in the management of town affairs, and was frequently on important committees in relation to town lands, roads, etc. In 1671 he was one of a committee to settle the bounds and also to lay out land. In 1675-76-78 he was a surveyor of fences, and in 1677 was chosen constable. He was again constable in 1701, and selectman in 1686 and 1696, and grand juror to the supreme court in 1695. He was a member of the church of Woburn, and for many years a deacon and one of its chief pillars. The house occupied by him is still standing, and the garden and trees surrounding it are evidently very ancient. It is supposed that his grandson Samuel, to whom it descended, kept an inn here for many years. It remained in the family until 1741, when it was sold by the latter. William Locke died at Woburn, June 16, 1730. His will was made in 1703, and in it he appointed his son Ebenezer his executor and gave him all his property, except half of his personal estate, which he left to his wife. He required him, however, to pay to the other children certain sums and to provide for his mother, as directed in the will. Children, born in Woburn: William, December 27, 1657, died January 9, 1658; William, January 18, 1659; John, August 1, 1661; Joseph, March 8, 1664; Mary, October 16, 1666; Samuel, October 14, 1669; Ebenezer, January 8, 1674; James, November 14, 1677; Elizabeth, January 4, 1681-82.

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