Name: Michael METCALF
Birth: 29 AUG 1620 in St. Benedicts, Norwich, Norfolk Co, Eng.
Death: 24 DEC 1654
Burial: Old Village Cem, Dedham, Norfolk Co, Mass
FILE: ~/Documents/Mary Jo/2 Website gen files/metcalf/Metcalf chair.jpg
Title: Metcalf chair
_SIZE: 244.000000 345.000000
Change Date: 27 AUG 2015
Michael Metcalf, Jr., was my 9gr-grandfather.
In 1637 at age 17 he emigrated with his father and family to New England and settled at Dedham, Mass. (on the SW edge of Boston) with his family.
Winthrop's Fleet landed in Salem, Massachusetts in 1630, with the first mass exodus of Puritans from England. There were a 1,000 settlers in that first group of settlers. Two hundred died that winter and two hundred more returned to England the following spring. But, in the next ten years, 20,000 persons, most from England and most of the Puritan philosophy, immigrated to Massachusetts to form the backbone of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. And, then, it was over. There was hardly any further migration into New England until after the Revolution. John Winthrop was their leader, until his death in 1649.
There are various estimates of 500 or so English settlers in New England before Winthrop's Fleet. (There probably weren't more than 2-3,000 English settlers in all of the Americas). The New England population would have consisted of primarily of Plymouth Rock (1620) and the advance parties of the Puritans, arriving primarily 1624-1629. With the arrival of Winthrop's fleet, the population of New England tripled to 1,500.
Emigration to New England was at first encouraged by the king and his servile ministry, doubtless with a view of getting rid of the men who could not rest under the proceedings of an arbitrary government. But in 1634 the royal government resolved to deprive New England of its chartered rights, to send a royal governor to that country, and as far as possible to stop the emigration to the American strand. Repeated attempts were made to check this emigration. In March, 1638, an order in council was passed to detain eight ships then in the Thames, full of passengers, bound to New England; and on the 6th of April, in the same year, an order in council was passed that no person should be allowed to go to New England without a license. In consequence of this order, many persons embarked ostensibly for Virginia, but really for Massachusetts.
Michael took the Oath of Allegiance May 13, 1640 and was admitted a freedman at Dedham, May 13, 1642.
"Before a member of society could exercise the right of suffrage, or hold any public office, he must be made a 'freeman' by the general of quarterly court. To become such he was required to produce evidence that he was a respectable member of some Congregational church." "In 1631, a test was invented which required all freemen to be church-members. This was upon the first appearance of a dissent in regard to religious opinions. But even this test, in the public opinion, required great caution, as in 1632 it was agreed that a civil magistrate should not be an elder in the church." "This regulation was so far modified by Royal order in 1664, as to allow individuals to be made Freemen, who could obtain certificates of their being correct in doctrine and conduct, from clergymen acquainted with them."
"The 'Freeman's Oath' was the first paper printed in New England. It was printed at Cambridge, by Stephen Daye, in 1639, upon a single sheet, in the manner of a handbill, and without date. It was in these words, as established in 1634:"
"I _______ being by Gods providence, an Inhabitant, and Freeman, within the Jurisdiction of this Commonwealth; do freely acknowledge my self to be subject to the Government thereof: And therefore do here swear by the great and dreadful Name of the Ever-living God, that I will be true and faithfull to the same, and will accordingly yield assistance & support thereunto, with my person and estate, as in equity I am bound; and will also truly endeavor to maintain and preserve all the liberties and priviledges thereof, submitting my self to the wholesome Lawes & Orders made and established by the same. And further, that I will not plot or practice any evill against it, or consent to any that shall so do; but will timely discover and reveal the same to lawfull Authority now here established, for the speedy preventing thereof. Moreover, I doe solemnly bind my self in the sight of God, that when I shal be called to give my voyce touching any such matter of this State, in which Freemen are to deal, I will give my vote and suffrage as I shall judge in mine conscience may best conduce and tend to the publike weal of the body, So help me God in the Lord Jesus Christ."
He married Feb (or Dec or Apr) 2, 1644 at Dedham to Mary Fairbanks, daughter of Jonathan & Grace Fairbanks who emigrated from England in 1633. Jonathan Fairbanks witnessed the will of Michael Metcalf, Sr. in 1664.
A court record spoke of Michael Metcalf's saw mill. He died Jan 25 (or Dec 24), 1654 at the age of 34 at Dedham, Mass. leaving Mary with 5 small children: ages 9, 7, 5, 3 & 10 mos. Mary married 2nd to Christopher Smith. She died Oct. 3, 1676 (or June 4, 1684).
One record speaks of Michael's sawmill.
The Metcalf Great Chair owned by Michael Metcalf (a teacher in Dedham) and made in 1652 is the oldest American-made chair inscribed with a date. It is displayed at the Dedham Historical Society in Dedham, Mass. See picture at:
This chair is also mentioned in the book "The American Promise: A History of the United States to 1877" on page 76.
In Center Cemetery, Lebanon, Ct. there is an impressive foursided monument erected by descendants of Jonathan Metcalf (Jonathan2, Michael1) to Michael and his family.
Sources & Notes:
 "Early 'Freemen' in New England"
 Bentley, "Description of Salem, 1 Colls, Mass. Hist. Society", vi. 236.
 Felt, History of Ipswich, p. 18
 earliest copy in "New England's 'Jonas' cast up at London", by Major John Childe, 1647.
Find A Grave Memorial# 64231690
Father: Michael METCALF b: 17 JUN 1590 in Tatterford Parish, Norfolk Co, England
Mother: Sarah ELWYN b: 17 JUN 1593 in Heigham, Norfolk County, England
Mary FAIRBANKS b: 18 APR 1622 in Sowerby, Yorkshire, England
2 FEB 1644
in Dedham, Mass
- Michael METCALF b: 21 JAN 1645 in Dedham, Norfolk Co, Mass.
- Mary METCALF b: 16 AUG 1646 in Mass.
- John METCALF b: 21 JAN 1648 in Mass.
- Sarah METCALF b: 7 DEC 1648 in Dedham, Norfolk, Ma
- Jonathan METCALF b: 21 SEP 1650 in Dedham, Norfolk Co, Mass.
- Eleazer METCALF b: 2 MAR 1653 in Dedham, Norfolk Co, Mass