Mary was the last wife of William of Plymouth, the senior immigrant. She was obviously many years his junior and her life was an interesting one. I would bet that she was a beautiful woman, although no image of her exists, as she was very much a man-magnet.
Settling in to one path of Mary's, not much is to be found about her. Yet, branching out into researching many of those who crossed her path in life, or whose path she crossed, a fuller, more colorful picture appears of this woman who lived in a very austere environment, and may have been a beguiling and free-spirited person.
Many of the logistics concerning Mary are mostly conjecture and the assumptions of 2 plus 2 being 4. But taken together, they paint a very probable picture, like a puzzle of which all the pieces will never be found, but enough of the pieces found to be able to surmise what the picture is of.
Hence, when I speak of Mary, remember that some, if not most of the information for Mary, beyond the dates of her marriages, which are documented, and court records, wills and ship logs, and other surviving paper documentation, was taken from sources that "put two and two together". They are likely and probably true, but not supported by hard, proven fact.
Mary came over as a maid, or Nanny with the family of Henry Rowley and his first wife, Sarah Palmer, about 1630, and their children, to Plymouth Colony. Sarah was joining her father, William Palmer the First, Nailor. Sarah was likely pregnant with her third, maybe second, child at this time.
That Sarah was the daughter of William Palmer is certain beyond mere assumption. Her son Moses Rowley is mentioned in the Will of William Palmer as his grandchild. During the research on the Palmer family, I found a Historical Journal entry, "In the Summer of 1632, a fever epidemic hit Plymouth and over 20 colonists died, including Sarah Palmer Rowley".
Mary's maiden name is given in every report I've seen as "Trine". This could be fact, or this could be a contrived surname, due to the fact that she was the third wife of at least 2 of her 3 husbands. Three seemed to be her lucky number. As this is the surname she has gone down through history with, be it real or contrived, this is the surname we will stick with to identify her by.
On October 10, 1833, Henry Rowley remarried to Anne Elsdon or Helsdon Blossom, the widow of Thomas Blossom. She was in her early 40's and had 3 children. Her husband Thomas had died in the same summer of fever as Henry's wife Sarah. It is acknowledged that Henry was considerably younger than Anne, but it may have been with the advice of the council of the Church that this Union take place, as dual parentage for the 6 children involved.
It may have been due to the direction of Ann Blossom Rawley that the young maid Mary, be sent to work for Henry Rowley's aging father-in-law, William Palmer. Perhaps this decision or business deal was made during an assigned period of mourning followed by courtship, when the marriage was in the plans.
Sarah Palmer had been very young when she married Henry Rawley. The stats on Henry Rowley are that he was born about 1598 in Bennington, Hertfordshire, England. He immigrated to Plymouth Colony around 1630. He moved to Barnstable in 1638. He died in Barnstable in July of 1673.
He and Sarah Palmer were married in London, England about 1620. A mysterious son Joseph is said to have been born in 1623, who was found in Barnstable in 1655, but who removed at adulthood to Barbados. Daughter Sarah, who married Jonathan Hatch, was born in 1825 and son Moses, who was left property by his grandfather, William Palmer, was born between 1630 and 1632.
I have found it said that William Palmer's first wife and presumed mother of his elder children, died about 1620, the same summer that Sarah eloped with Henry Rowley. Sarah was 14 years old an "incurred the wrath of her father". Mary Trine may have been just a hired girl, or perhaps a friend of Sarah's. There's no doubt Mary was very young when she was employed as the Rowley maid and perhaps around 16 when she entered the home of William Palmer, Senior, as a maid servant.
What is fact is that on July 23, 1633, William Mendlove, servant of William Palmer, was sentenced to be whipped and discharged for "misconduct" with the maid servant of William Palmer. The fact that the man alone was punished and not the maid, conclusively Mary, probably meant that she was an unwilling recipient of his attentions.
Undoubtedly pretty, Mary looks had her removed from the home of Henry Rowley, possibly by the aging future Mrs. Anne Rowley, and her looks had probably attracted the unwanted and aggressive attention of her co-worker, William Mendlove.
Now it's time to look at the relationship between William Palmer, the nailer and Robert Padduck the blacksmith.
These two were Mary's first and second husbands. But before she married either of them, they were neighbors. On June 4, 1638, William Carvanell, a servant of William Palmer, had broken into Robert Paddocks shop and was brought to court. Carvanell had arrived on The Fortune with William Palmer and his son William Jr.
Robert Paddock was a married man at this time. Previously, he had been married to a Mary Ball, before arriving in America, and at this particular time, he was married to a Mary Holmes.
In 1634, William Palmer placed an infant boy named William Palmer in the care of Mr and Mrs Holmes, his neighbors. He paid them for the upkeep. Then this is where the story gets entangled.
The facts seem to be that William Palmer, Sr. married the young maid, Mary Trine. Mary had a baby boy, named William Palmer. In fact, it is reported that she had two sons named William Palmer, that the first, born in 1634, died in 1636 and that the second, born in 1638, posthumously of his fathers death, was the one mentioned in William Palmer's will as the child she was pregnant with at the time of the will. .
It is a fact that a William Palmer, son of William Palmer the nailer, grew up to claim his portion of his father's estate. He was a Cooper, and released the executors of his share.
It is also a fact that William Palmer, the Younger, who had arrived in America with his father on The Fortune, passed away in 1636, without leaving a will. He was a young man, and had obviously died suddenly. He had married, to Elizabeth Hodgkins, and left a daughter, Rebecca, mentioned in William Sr.'s will. Elizabeth, his widow, would remarry to Jonathan Willis.
Now, this is where it gets hairy and turns into rumour, or pure speculation.
The story goes that Mary, the tempting maid, was living in his father's home at the time the Younger William Palmer was engaged to Elizabeth Hodgkins, and that perhaps, Mary, may have had her sights set on marrying the young man. He would have been upwards of 20 at this time.
Mary became pregnant. The rumour that survived generations was that the child was that of William, Jr's. William Sr., to protect his son's place in society, and preserve his engagement, quickly married the maid, Mary, as his wife Francis had passed.
He was obviously very fond of her, and loved her dearly. She seems to have been easy to fall in love with. He mentions this fact in his will.
William Palmer, infant, was born in June 27, 1834, three months after the marriage of William the Younger to Elizabeth Hodgkins.
It is claimed that it is recorded that Mary Trine Palmer fell ill, or perhaps pretending to fall ill, and that William Senior turned the boy over to his neighbors, the Paddocks, with promises of land and cash settlement for his care. The care may or may not have been rightly provided as the child did not thrive, and died at age 2.
Another confusing fact about Mary was her relationship with Edward Winslow. He was at some point, appointed her guardian or "ancient". Edward Winslow is very well recorded in history.
In William Palmer's will, he commands "that she be ruled by her aucient, if she remarries", named as Edward Winslow.
In November 1637 at the age of about 62, William Palmer Sr. died. A Section
of his will reads: "Whereas I have married a 'young woman' who is dear unto
me, I desire that she have not less than one-third of my estate, and, if in
case she be with child then that one other third be preserved and improved
---for that child as mine heir." Quoting from the Palmer Families in
America, Vol. Ill: "Looking again at the will we do not find any mention of
any ---- William but to the inventory we find an item among the debts as
follows; 'to goodwife Paddock, for the child, one pound, 5 shillings, 2
pence.'" This must have been the last periodic amount under the agreement
that was unpaid at the time of death.
The agreement was designed to continue until such a future time when it would be discreet for Mary to regain her child. As events soon proved, this happened after the death of William Palmer Sr. and a little later, the death of Mary Holmes Paddock.
The above unpaid debt was not claimed by Mary (HOLMES) Paddock at the time
because it was settled by Job Cole in 1638. (Curfman, Robert J., The Paddock
Genealogy) However, the satisfaction of the debt apparently was never
cleared through the court as it was claimed nine years later by Robert
Paddock who, as constable, found out about the amount still due him.
So William the Nailer, passed away before the youngest William Palmer was born and the Paddocks became his guardians. But Mary was to regain custody of her child. Remember that William had left her a third of his estate, so she was not without capitol.
Another version of this same is below:
Also during 1638, William Palmer filed that he owed Robert Paddock 9d. for a pair of shoes, and “Goodwife Paddock” received from the estate of Job Cole some money “for the child.” On 31 December 1641, the Paddock’s were granted four acres of upland and on 1 November 1642, Robert Paddock served as a juryman in a trespass case involving Robert Morris and John Hassell. Paddock served in the Plymouth Colony Militia, probably as a private. He is listed as one who was able to bear arms on the August 1643 roster. The Plymouth Militia was commanded by Captain Myles Standish. Governor William Bradford appointed a Constable for Plymouth during the General Court of 2 June 1646. Robert Paddock was the man chosen to fill the position.
Then, sometime about 1844 or 1845, Robert Paddock marries the widow, Mary Trine. His second wife, Mary Holmes, whom he married in October of 1630, had passed away. The rugged and hardscrabble life of the colonists was rough on the weak and particularly on women and children. Mary must have been of a sturdy constitution to have survived as long as she did.
In the Plymouth records, an account of the children of Robert Paddock is given, including his stepson, William Palmer. Remember, that at this time, the relationship was referred to as "son-in-law". This change in terminology has confused several people.
"Register of some of the children of Robert Paddock, deceased:
William Palmer, the son-in-law of the said Robert Paddock, born 27 June 1634
Zacharias, son of Robert Paddock, born 20 March 1636;
Mary born 10 March 1638
Alis (Alice) born 7 March 1640
John, born 1 April 1643.
TWO OTHERS REGISTERED BEFORE IN THIS BOOK." (Shurtleff, Nathaniel B, Records of the
Colony of Plymouth)
The two others registered before were Robert Paddock, Jr, born in 1634 and Elizabeth
Paddock, born ca. 1632.
Mary Trine Palmer Paddock, would have one child with the aging blacksmith, Paddock, a daughter, Rebecca, born in 1649, the year before Robert Paddock died.
"Old Palmer left a Will, and he died in November 1637, about age 62. In the Will there is mention of his second marriage: “. . . I have marryed a ‘yeong woman’ who is deare unto me, I desire that she have not less than one-third of my estate, and, if in case she be with child then that one other third be preserved and improved ---for that child as mine heir.” He also stipulated “wife should be ruled by her ‘auncent” (guardian), Edward Winslow.” In the inventory of his estate there is mention of “. . . goodwife Paddock, for the child, one pound, 5 shillings, 2 pence.” The amount being what was currently due to the Paddock’s. This amount wasn’t collected by Robert Paddock until nine years later when he was constable. Mary (Holmes) Paddock died shortly after the birth of her sixth child, John. Sometime between 1644 and 1646, Mary (Trine) Palmer married Robert Paddock, as his third wife, and now able to raise her son William Palmer. She had one child, Susanna, born in 1649, a year before Robert’s death in 1650." from The History of Robert Paddock (1584- 1650).
Robert, being a skilled craftsman, and having held several trusted positions within the community, likely left his third wife Mary, in a good situation upon his passing. She would remain a widow for a number of years, and had probably been in her mid-to-late 30's when Sussanna was born, and in her 40's on her last marriage to Thomas Roberts in 1651.
"A third marriage for Mary took place on 25 March 1651, to Thomas Roberts. Four months later, she signed consent for Capt. Willett to become the guardian of young John. Willett later became the first mayor of New York City"
So, Robert Paddock had a good career and ranged in professions from Blacksmith to Constable. He seems to have been from a group of skilled craftsmen sought out for their skills to help grow and build the new colony.
I want to take a brief scuttle back into his early life because it seems in building the life of Mary Trine, that she was of a different class than that of those she married, while it's not a stretch of the imagination to conclude that, it is also very possible, in my reckoning, that that was not the case.
Historians have suggest that Robert Paddock was an Irishman, born in County Dublin in 1584. He married a woman named Mary Ball, the daughter of a Zachary and Margaret Ball by 1603. Mary was born in 1582 and died in 1627 in Ireland. It is not completely certain which of his two first "Mary's" were the mothers of which of his children. It has been suggested, however, that Mary Ball Paddock was the mother of his oldest two children, Robert, Jr. and Elizabeth.
In 1630, Robert Paddock married Mary Holmes, daugther of Peter and Elizabeth Ireland Holmes. She had a brother who had already migrated to Connecticutt.
Mary is the wife who came to America with him. He was left a blacksmith's shop in his mother's will and arrived at Plymouth Colony during the early 1630's. He is described as a "Smyth" in the bill of indictment against William Carvanell, a servant of William Palmer, the First, Nailer.
Now, servants in these colonies did not always remain as such. Often, they were paying off a debt, primarily the debt of their passage to America, after which, they were given provisions of a good start, a plot of land and were able to create their own business or farm. Many of them moved further out, into new villages or towns, where they could make their mark without the stigma of having been a servant.
And that could have been the case with Mary.
Robert Paddock was given the job of Constable in 1646, and this is about the time he married the widow Mary Palmer. Recall, her son William Palmer the youngest, had been growing up in Paddock's home, under the care of he and his second wife, Mary Holmes Paddock. So what was Mary up to between 1638 and 1646? Did she reside with Edward Winslow, her ancient/agent/guardian, or perhaps she worked as a maid for the Paddock family.
Mary Trine Palmer Paddock must have had a liberating effect on the old 'Smithy', several decades her elder.
On June 4, 1648, he was brought to court along with William Clark of Duxbury, on a charge of drunkenness and fined.
Mary was the mother of one child by Robert Paddock, a daughter named Sussanna, born in 1849.
Sussanah Paddock, half-sister of William Palmer, the youngest, lived to marry and have descendants, although she died young. She married John Eddy, who was born in Plymouth Colony in 1637, on November 12, 1665.
John Eddy was also a skilled craftsman, having served as an apprentice in Plymouth, during his youth. Sussanah was his first wife, and after she died on March 14, 1670, he married Deliverance Owen.
On a side note, and this very well may be true, Eddy family researches have the maiden name of Mary Trine Palmer Paddock Roberts as, Trine/Faunce, the daughter of a Zachariah Faunce and his wife, a Bradford. As Trine could have been a convoluted surname, or she may have married an unknown husband prior to her marriage to Palmer, this is feasible, with her a relative of William Bradford of Plymouth. I've not looked into this, and have no opinion.
Upon her marriage to Thomas Roberts in 1671, Mary was the mother of two living children: William Palmer III (the youngest) and Sussanah Paddock (Eddy).
She and Thomas Roberts left Duxbury and relocated with William to Dartmouth. There are deeds that involve both William Palmer, Cooper, and Thomas Roberts.
He is not the Thomas Roberts that became Governor of Delaware. In fact, he began in the colony as a servant, and had a checkered past. Records claim him a servant of Mr. Atwood. He was one of a few Plymouth residents noted for an alternative (but illegal) lifestyle.
Thomas Roberts was probably just a boy in 1637, when the event occurred, and was given a light sentence, to a crime which was sometimes given the death penalty.
Mayflowerhistory.com gives the account this way:
"In 1637, John Alexander and Thomas Roberts were changed with and convicted of "lude behavior and unclean carriage one with another, by often spending their seed one upon another, which was proved both by witness and their own confession; the said Alexander found to have been formerly notoriously guilty that way, and seeking to allure others thereunto." John Alexander was sentenced to a severe whipping, then to be burned in the shoulder with a hot iron, and then to be permanently banished from the Colony. Roberts was sentenced to a severe whipping, but was not banished. He was prohibited from ever owning any land within the Plymouth Colony "except he manifest better desert." "
The actual text from the Plymouth records reads:
John Allexander [and] Thomas Roberts were both examined and found guilty of lude behavior and uncleane carriage one w[ith] another, by often spendinge their seede one vpon another, w[hich] was proued both by witnesse & their owne confession; the said Allexander found to haue beene formerly notoriously guilty that way, and seeking to allure others therevnto. The said John Allexander was therefore censured by the Court to be seuerely whipped, and burnt in the shoulder w[ith] a hot iron, and to be perpetually banished the gouernment of New Plymouth, and if he be at any tyme found w[ith]in the same, to bee whipped out againe by the appoyntment of the next justice, et cetera, and so as oft as he shall be found w[ith]in this gouernment. W[hich] penalty was accordingly inflicted.
Thomas Roberts was censured to be severely whipt, and to returne to his m[aster], Mr. Atwood, and to serue out his tyme w[ith] him, but to be disabled hereby to enjoy any lands w[ith]in this gouernment, except hee manefest better desert. (PCR 1:64)
I interpret this as saying that John Alexander had a prior reputation of such behavior and of seducing others into the practice. Thomas Roberts comes across as being a young apprentice, perhaps as much victim as defendant. He was whipped and returned to Atwood. John Alexander's punishment was much more severe.
Thomas Roberts redeemed himself later and life, and did own land, but not in the Puritanical land of Plymouth. Dartmouth was the new frontier.
So quietly Mary fades from history, buried somewhere in the lavendar hills around Dartmouth.
Whether she had two sons named William, or one, and whether or not he was the son of William the Elder or William the Younger, matters little in the scheme of things. She was the mother of William the Cooper, whom I believe was born in 1834 per the Robert Paddock listing of children, and no other and he was, whether son or grandson, still a descendant of William the Nailer, and an ancestor of my beautiful boy.