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An American Family History

John Richards

English colonists from Salem were the first settlers in Lynn.
King Philip’s War was a bloody and costly series of raids and skirmishes in 1675 and 1676 between the Native American people and the colonials. King Philip was the Native American leader Metacom.

John Richards was born about 1652 in Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts. His parents were Edward Richards and Ann Knight.

He married Mary Brewer in 1674. Their children and life together is described in detail in the section on John and Mary Richards.

He was a soldier in King Philip's War. On December 10, 1675, he marched against the Narragansett Fort with the forces of the United Colonies and their allies.

In 1685 John signed a petition to receive payment for his war service.

He took the freeman's oath in Lynn in 1691. In his will he wrote

my son Crispus hath, who hath borne the burden of my work and taken care of me in all my  long and tedious weakness and lameness for many years past.

He died at age 61 on April 6, 1713 in Lynn. He was buried in the Lynn Cemetery.
Children of
Edward Richards

Ann Knight Richards
  • John Richards
  • Abigail Richards Collins
  • Mary Richards Nick
  • William Richards
  • Deborah Richards
  • Daniel Richards
  • Children of John Richards
    and Mary Brewer
  • Mary Richards Darling Shaw
  • Captain John Richards
  • Edward Richards
  • Crispus Richards
  • Elizabeth Richards Kent
  • Joseph Richards
  • William Richards
  • Abigail Richards Collins
  • Any man entering a colony or becoming a a member the church, was not free. He was not forced to work, but his movements were carefully observed to see if they followed the Puritanical ideal. After this probationary period, he became a "freeman." Men then took the Oath of a Freeman where they vowed to defend the Commonwealth and not to overthrow the government.

    The Great Swamp Fight was on November 2, 1675. Josiah Winslow led a force of over 1000 colonial militia and about 150 Pequot and Mohegan warriors against the Narragansett. Several abandoned Narragansett villages were burned and the tribe retreated to a five acre fort in the center of a swamp near Kingston, Rhode Island. The fort, which was occupied by over a thousand indigenous warriors, was taken after a fierce fight. It was burned and the inhabitants, including women and children, were killed or evicted. The winter stores were destroyed. The colonists lost about 70 men and nearly 150 were wounded.

    Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts was first settled by English Puritans in 1629 and was first incorporated in 1631 as Saugus.
    European and indiginous American fought fierce battles as the Europeans expanded their territory.
     

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    Soldiers in King Philip's War: Being a Critical Account of that War by George Madison Bodge, 1896

    It will be remembered that when, on December 10th, 1675, the forces of Massachusetts Colony were mustered on Dedham Plain, to march against the Narraganset fort, a proclamation was made to the soldiers, in the name of the Governor, that, if they played the man, took the fort, and drove the enemy out of the Narraganset country, which is their great seat, they should have a gratuity of land, besides their wages. We find that after they had so valiantly performed the service, and the war was long past, the soldiers were not forgetful of their claim, nor the colony unmindful of its obligations.

    The petition of those who were soldiers in Lynn, in the Nipmugg Country, and at the Narragansett Fort included John Richards.