John Gorham, Sr. was born 28 January 1621 in Benefield, Northamptonshire, England, United Kingdom to Ralph Gorham (1575-1643) and Margaret Stephenson (c1575-) and died 5 February 1676 Swansea, Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States of unspecified causes. He married Desire Howland (1625-1683) 6 November 1644 in Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States.
Capt John Gorham - The son of RALPH & MARGARET (STEPHENSON) GORHAM, he married DESIRE HOWLAND on November 6, 1644 in Plymouth, Mass.
John received a land grant in Plymouth on December 18, 1635, and had a partnership with John Rogers at Duxbury, Massachusetts in 1638/9. He was a freeman of Duxbury on June 4, 1650. The same year, he built a bridge over the South River.
His age was stated to be 53 years when he was deposed on January 4, 1674/5.
King Philip's War
King Philip's War (1675-1678) was an armed conflict between Native American inhabitants of present-day New England and English colonists and their Native American allies. The war continued in the most northern reaches of New England until the signing of the Treaty of Casco Bay in April 1678. John played a major role in King Philip's War:
Great Swamp Fight / Narrangansett Fort
His force was part of a larger force than engaged the King Philip at Great Swamp Fight of 1675 (Narrangansett Fort) at 19 Dec 1675.
In November 1675, the commissioners of the United Colonies of New England had evidence that the neutral Narragansett tribe was assisting Metacomet. They chose to launch a preemptive strike on the Narragansett. On December 8, 527 members of the Massachusetts militia, led by Samuel Appleton (1624-1696), gathered in Dedham, Massachusetts. Plymouth Colony gathered 159 men under the command of William Bradford and Connecticut moved 300 men under the command of Robert Treat, along with 150 Mohegan warriors. Governor Josiah Winslow (1628-1680) of Plymouth Colony was named Commander-in-Chief. On December 19, 1675, the Narragansett fort was captured in the Great Swamp Fight. 110 of Appleton's men were either killed or wounded in the battle. Afterwards, Appleton and his remaining men returned to Boston and he retired from active service.
King Philip's War Casualty
In October of 1675, he was captain of a company of militia who fought against the Indians and was wounded during the Great Swamp Fight (19 Dec 1675) in Rhode Island dying (05-Feb-1676) from fever caused by the wound. His family received a grant of land in Barnstable for his service. In 1760, the town was incorporated under the name Gorham in honor of Capt. John.
The Great Swamp Fight, or the Great Swamp Massacre, was a crucial battle fought during King Philip's War between colonial militia of New England and the Narragansett tribe in December of 1675. It was fought near the villages of Kingston and West Kingston in present-day South Kingstown, Rhode Island. The combined force of the New England militia including 150 Native Pequots, inflicted a huge number of Narragansett casualties, including many hundred women and children. The battle has been described as "one of the most brutal and lopsided military encounters in all of New England's history" Since the 1930s Narragansett and Wampanoag people commemorate the battle annually, in a ceremony initiated by Narragansett-Wampanoag scholar Princess Red Wing.
He died intestate. Administration granted to the widow and sons, James and John Gorham in 1675/6. The rights of the minor children were ordered to be guarded. Division of the estate was made to the widow, Desire, and children: James, John, Jabez, Mercye, Lydia, Hannah, and Shubal. Fifty pounds was set aside for the education of Shubel and the bond was signed March 9, 1676. No graves is found today.
Plymouth Regiment Commander - Major William Bradford (1624-1704) - Wounded in battle -
- 1st Company - Captain Robert Barker
- 2nd Company - Captain John Gorham
- Great Swamp Fight - Wikipedia
Marriage and Family
- Desire Gorham (1644-1700)
- Temperance Gorham (1646-1715)
- Elizabeth Gorham (1648-1683)
- James Gorham (1650-1707)
- John Gorham (1651-1715) - officer in the militia, rendered great aid to the King's forces in King William's War (1689-1704).
- Joseph Gorham (1654-1726)
- Jabez Gorham (1656-1726) - md Hannah Sturgis and settled in Bristol MA which became Bristol RI in 1747.
- Mercy Gorham (1659-1725) - md George Denison and settled in Westerly RI.
- Lydia Gorham (1661-1744)
- Shubael Gorham (1667-1750)
John Gorham I, whom Gorham, Maine is named after and who is the great grandfather of John Gorham 4th.
- John Howland: Vol 1 - Descendants of Desire Howland Gorham - The First Five Generations; Documented descendants through his first child Desire2 Howland and her husband Captain John Gorham. By Elizabeth Pearson White, CG, FASG, FNGS. 736 pp. Maps, illus, printed endsheets, 12,455 entry Every Name Index. 1990. This prize-winning opus by Elizabeth White documents the multitude of descendants of Mayflower passenger John Howland through his first child, Desire (Howland) Gorham.
- Gorham in Plymouth County, Massachusetts - first families
- John Gorham - disambiguation