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  • Pilgrim Village Families Sketch: Francis Sprague

    Robert Charles Anderson

    Birth: Francis Sprague was born in England about 1590 (based on his estimated date of marriage).

    Death: He died between 1670 and March 2, 1679/80.

    Ship: Anne or Little James, 1623

    Life in England: Nothing is known of his life in England.

    Life in New England: Francis Sprague came to Plymouth with his family. He was admitted a freeman of Plymouth on June 7, 1637. He moved to Duxbury the next year and served as surveyor of highways for two years, and as constable for one. He was licensed to keep victualling [inn-keeping] on October 1, 1638 for Duxbury, but was fined several times for selling wine contrary to the order of the Court. He lost his licence on May 5, 1640, but had it reissued on July 7, 1646. His license was recalled on June 5, 1666.

    Family: Francis, Anna and Mercy Sprague came to Plymouthin 1623. Opinion is divided as to whether Anna was his wife or his daughter. If his wife, then the couple had another daughter, name unknown, who married by 1644 and was therefore born soon after May 22, 1627. If his daughter, then Francis Sprague came to Plymouth with two daughters but no wife, and married in Plymouth by about 1630.

    Children of Francis and _____ Sprague:

    • A daughter, possibly named Anna, married William Lawrence by 1644.
    • Mercy was born by about 1617. She married William Tubbs on November 9, 1637, in Plymouth. He divorced her on July  7, 1668, she having deserted him more than four years earlier.
    • John was born about 1630. He married Ruth Bassett by about 1655 and had seven children. He was killed during King Philip’s War. She died after March 22, 1693/4, and before January 1, 1700.
    • Dorcas was born about 1632. She married Ralph Earle by 1659 and had four children. He died by January 6, 1717.
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