Lawton's Valley
Portsmouth Compact (1638)
A Tale of Two Compacts

  Introduction
Two Portsmouth Compacts? Do I hear three? Between 1638 and 1639, two Compacts were signed relating to the founding of the Town of Portsmouth Rhode Island. In March of 1638 nineteen men signed a Compact in Boston then proceeded to settle Portsmouth, Rhode Island. This first "Portsmouth Compact" is considered to have established "the First Government in the World to Allow and to Insure to its Citizens Civil and Religious Liberty" 1 In April of 1639, twenty nine men signed a second "Portsmouth Compact" in Portsmouth. This one with an oath of allegiance to King Charles.
Will the real "Portsmouth Compact" please stand up? This merits further research. It seems like just about everybody had a relative that signed a Portsmouth Compact. The weight of modern revisionism would have the "Compact" upgraded to a "Mid size" or a "Luxury".

The First Portsmouth Compact
The First Portsmouth Compact was reportedly signed by 19 men in Boston on 7 March 1638. It was a Compact of Civil Government.
"
We whose names are underwritten do hereby solemnly in the presence of Jehovah incorporate ourselves into A Body Politick and as He shall help, will submit our persons, lives and estates unto our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, and to all those perfect and most obsolute laws of His given in His holy word of truth, to be guided and judged thereby."

William Coddington John Clarke
William Hutchinson Jr John Coggeshall
William Aspinwall Samuel Wilbore
John Porter John Sanford
Edward Hutchinson Jr Esq Thomas Savage
William Dyer William Freeborne
Philip Sherman John Walker
Richard Gardner William Baulston
Edward Hutchinson Sen Henry Bull
Randall Howlden  

The Second Portsmouth Compact
The second Portsmouth Compact was reportedly signed by 29 men on 30 April 1639. It was a Compact of Loyalty.
"We whose names are underwritten do acknowledge ourselves the legal subjects of His Majesty King Charles, and in his name do hereby bind ourselves into a civil body politic, unto his laws according to matters of justice".
Willm Coddington John More
Samuell Gorton Nicholas Brown
Samuell Hutchinson William Richardson
John Wickes John Trippe
Richarde Maggson Thomas Layton
Thomas Spiser Robert Stainton
William Aspinwall John Brigges
Willm Haule James Davice
John Roome Henry Bull
John Sloffe  
Thomas Beddar  
Erasmus Bullocke  
Sampson Shotten  
Ralph Earle  
Robert Potter  
Nathanyell Potter  
Wm Heauens  
George Cleare  
George Lawton  
Anthony Paine  
Jobe Haukins  
Richard Awards  


[1] Wording on the bronze tablet commemorating the Portsmouth Compact as mounted on a large pudding stone boulder at Founders Brook In 1936.

 Lawton Valley Links
  Introduction
  Timeline to History
  Lawton Family Arms
  Lawton Valley Revisited
  Battle Hymn of the Republic
  Portsmouth Compact(s)
  Peterson's History o f RI
  Enchanted Forest
  Water Mills (NHS)

    Maud Howe Elliot:
    This Was My Newport

  Arriving Lawton's Valley
  Receiving Visitors
  A Children's Adventure





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