SAYRE, Thomas 1
- Born: 1597, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, England
- Christened: 20 Jul 1597, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, England
- Marriage: ALDRICH, Margaret before 1620-1630 in England
- Died: 1669-1670, Southampton, Long Island, NY at age 72
July 20, 1597: Baptism record in Latin at Leighton Buzzard, England.
1639: Lynn, Massachusetts - listed as proprietor of 60 acres.
From 1644 until his death in 1671 there are numerous mentions of him in the town records of Southampton, Long Island. (see 'History')
16 September, 1669: Will, with original autograph, Office of the Surrogate, Liber I, folio 63.
10 June, 1670: Estate inventory. Liber I, folios 64 and 65 New York Surrogate's office: "An Inventory of ye Estate of Thomas Sayre, deceased, apprized by us who are hereunto subscribed, and were hereunto appointed as followeth, this 10th day of June, 1670."
23 April, 1671: Job Sayre his son is admitted executor of his father's estate. (This date is given, no doubt erroneously, as Thomas Sayre's deathdate in the LDS Ancestral file.) (All three documents, the will, the inventory and the assignation of executor are reprinted in Banta)
There was a family tradition that Thomas Sayre was employed by the English mint prior to his emigrating , but there are no records extant to that traditon. He immigrated to Lynn, Massachusetts sometime before 1638, at which point he first appears on the town records as proprietor of 60 acres, his brother Job Sayre also with 60 acres. Lynn was founded in 1629, so it is possible he may have been there earlier than 1638.
In 1639, he, along with his brother and six others, undertook to form a new colony on Long Island. To that point in time six other colonies had been formed by people leaving Lynn to strike out as pioneers. The small group, which intended to form a colony with eventually twenty families, bought a sloop for eighty pounds, with the Sayre brothers contributing £5 each. They signed the boat over to one of their number, David Howe, a sailor, in exchange for his agreeing to use the sloop to convey belongings and people three times a year over the next two years. By May of 1640, they had sailed down Long Island Sound and landed at present day Manhasset, at the head of Cow Bay, or Schout's Bay, as the Dutch called it.
What transpired at this point is recorded by Banta in his history of the Sayre family, drawing on Howell's History of Southampton and the New York Colonial Documents in Volume II, pages 144-150. It seems that the pioneer Puritans had little regard for the Dutch rule at New York, and by landing at Schout's Bay, they sought to challange it. The land they first set foot on had been sold by the local Indian Sachem, or Chief, to the Dutch, but the intreped little group paid little heed to the arms of the Prince of Orange that the Dutch had erected on a tree there. Indeed, they tore it down and replaced it with "an unhandsome face...being a criminal offence against his Majesty", to quote the Comminary, Van Curler, who had been sent out to investigate the report of the Sachem that "some foreign strollers" were building houses on the Dutch land.
So on the 13th of May the Council of New Amsterdam ordered Cornelius Van Teinhoven to arrest and bring before them the "strollers and vagabonds" of Schout's Bay who had insulted them. By the 15th, Van Teinhoven, along with two officers and twenty men, arrived at the scene, finding one small house built and another in progress. Being told by the "vagabonds" that they intended to settle there, and that the arms of the Prince of Orange had been torn down by one who was not then present, six of the men were arrested and taken to Fort Amsterdam. Two men, a woman and a child were left behind to watch over the belongings, and it is most likely that one of these was Thomas Sayre, for the six men were named in the records of the Dutch interrogation at Fort Amsterdam. Job Sayre was one of them, but brother Thomas was not. The six were discharged the next day, "on conditon that they promise to deport forthwith from our territory, and never to return without the Director's express consent."
The small band of Puritan colony founders complied with the Dutch, sailing back out Long Island Sound, around the eastern end, landing at a place about three miles from present day Southampton. They settled and remained for about eight years at a place about three-quarters of a mile from the center of the present day Southampton. In 1648 Thomas Sayre built a house on the town lot apportioned to him, and that house stayed in the family until 1892. When Banta wrote his history of the Sayre family in 1901 the house was still inhabited and believed to be the oldest English house on Long Island.
Thomas Sayre went on to be a prominent man in the early history of Southampton. He is named in the first record of the General Court in 1649 as one of three chosed to "agitate town business". Throughout the 1650's he is repeatedly named as one of the townsmen to manage the affairs of the town. He was ordered by the general court on October 23, 1650, to raise a milita. Banta concludes that Thomas may have had a quick temper, as he was censured and ordered to pay a fine on two occasions for challanging the authority of the Magistrate. Banta also considers that he was generous. "The town records publish only one occasion where contributions were made for those in distress, and on that occasion it relates: 'At a town meeting, February 4, 1656, a contribution was made for Goodman Gouldsmith, because of his loss by fire' (house burned by Indians); of the contributors (of wheat) one only gave more than Thomas Sayre." p21. 1
Thomas married Margaret ALDRICH before 1620-1630 in England. (Margaret ALDRICH was born about 1600 in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, England and died in Lynn, Southampton, Long Island, New York.)