John Benjamin was born 21 March 1585 in Chalvington, Heathfield, Sussex, England to John Benjamin (1554-1606) and Joan Hook (1569-1619) and died 14 June 1645 Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts of unspecified causes. He married Abigail Eddy (c1601-1687) 1619 in Cranbrook, Kent, England.


John Benjamin and Richard Benjamin (believed to be brothers) of Heathfield, Sussex, England sailed to America on the ship "Lyon" and arrived in Boston on 16 September 1632. John and his wife, Abigail Eddy, settled in Newton, Massachusetts (today called Cambridge) with their children. Harvard College was established in 1636, the same year John's mansion burned down, and Harvard owns the land that originally belonged to John Benjamin. That may be true, though I called the keeper of records at both Cambridge and Gray's Inn but was not given any information proving John Benjamin's attendance.

Family in England

Frank Everett Benjamin, researching the John and Richard lineage in England, found Wills from Lewes, East Sussex, England. These were transcribed from the Old English or Latin and show John Benjamin's father married Joane Hookes on January 18, 1584. Their children were listed as follows: John (1585), Susan (1586), Thomas (1587), Joane (1589), Gyles (1591), and Richard (1602). John Benjamin, Sr. died on September 4,1606 and Joane died on May 20,1619.

Winthrop Fleet

John Benjamin met John Winthrop while they were at Cambridge University and they maintained a strong friendship. Their families lived near each other in Heathfield, Sussex County, England. John Benjamin and John Winthrop were upset with the Church of England because Charles I refused to introduce the full Presbyterian system of church government. Two of their friends were sent to prison in 1629 because they opposed the Parliament of Charles I. This was the last parliament before the English Civil War. In April of 1629, John Winthrop was deprived of his office of Attorney in the Court of Wards and Liveries. In addition, John Winthrop wished to find a place to establish a "City of God". Therefore, they decided to take their families to the New World.

Abigail (Eddy) Benjamin's brothers, John and Samuel, had already sailed on the ship, Handmaid, in 1630.

1632 Lyon Voyage


He was a passenger on the English ship Lyon, which sailed from London on June 22, 1632 with 123 passengers onboard and arrived in Boston Harbor in Sept 14, 1632. Completing its 4th voyage to the new world, however, two months later, it shipwrecked as it began its return trip to England.

John Benjamin, his wife Abigail and children John, Abigail, Samuel and Mary accompanied by Abigail's sister Anna Eddy sailed from London, England for America on the ship Lyon, Capt. Wm. Pierce Master, on June 22, 1632.

Watertown Founders Monument

Watertown Founders Monument

He is listed on Watertown Founders Monument, commemorating the first settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts. The town was first known as Saltonstall Plantation, one of the earliest of the Massachusetts Bay Colony settlements. Founded in early 1630 by a group of settlers led by Richard Saltonstall and George Phillips, it was officially incorporated that same year. The alternate spelling "Waterton" is seen in some early documents.

Marriage and Family

Married: Abigail Eddye 1619 in Cranbrook, Kent, England Father of John Benjamin III, Abigail (Benjamin) Woodward, Samuel Benjamin, Mary Benjamin, Joseph Benjamin Sr., Caleb Benjamin, Abel Benjamin and Joshua Benjamin


Offspring of John Benjamin, Jr. and Abigail Eddy (c1601-1687)
Name Birth Death Joined with
John Benjamin (1620-1706) 11 September 1620 Cranbrook, Kent, England 22 December 1706 Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Lydia Allen (1624-1709)
Isabell Benjamin (1623-1671)
Abigail Benjamin (1624-1704)
Mary Benjamin (1626-1646)
Samuel Benjamin (1628-1669)
Mary Benjamin (1630-1646)
Joseph Benjamin (1633-1704) 16 September 1633 Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States April 1704 Preston, New London County, Connecticut, United States Jemima Lumbert (1636-?) Jemima Lumbert (1636-?) Sarah Clark (1639-1716)
Joshua Benjamin (1642-1684)
Caleb Benjamin (1643-1684)
Abel Benjamin (1645-1719)
Mary Benjamin (1646-1646)


#g1: Offspring of John Benjamin (1554-1606) and Joan Hook (1569-1619)
Name Birth Death Joined with
John Benjamin (1585-1645) 21 March 1585, Chalvington, Heathfield, Sussex, England 14 June 1645, Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Abigail Eddy (c1601-1687)
Susan Benjamin (1586-) , ,
Thomas Benjamin (1587-) , ,
Joane Benjamin (1589-) , ,
Gyles Benjamin (1591-) , ,
Richard Benjamin (1602-) , ,


Footnotes (including sources)

AMK152, PhloxBot, MainTour