Ralph Earle III was born 22 April 1632 in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, England to Ralph Earle (1605-1678) and Joan Savage (1609-1699) and died 14 April 1718 Dartmouth, Bristol County, Massachusetts of unspecified causes. He married Dorcas Sprague (1632-1702) 26 October 1659 in Portsmouth, Rockingham County, New Hampshire.

RALPH EARLE (EARL) III was born 22 April 1632, at Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, England. He married Dorcas Sprague 26 October 1659, Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island. Ralph Earle died in about 1716, at Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts, age 83. (The following is taken from Ralph Earle and His Descendants, 1888, printed Worcester, Massachusetts, compiled by Pliny Earle of Northampton, Massachusetts):

Ralph 2 Earle (Ralph 1), son of Ralph and Joan Earle; m. before Oct. 26, 1659, Dorcas, dau. of Francis and Lydia Sprague, of Duxbury, Mass.; and d. probably in 1716, as letters of administration were granted to his son John on the 6th of January, 1717. The first intimation of this Ralph is in the record of a town meeting in Portsmouth, January 19, 1651, where his father is mentioned as Ralph Earle, Senior. The next is his signature as witness to one of his father's deeds of real estate, November 24, 1656. He was received a freeman of the town May 11, 1655; and at the same meeting it was "Ordered that Ralph Earll Junr shall be payd Eleven Shillings after the Rate of Eight white peages (beads) per peny, by the Treasurer." October 26, 1659, Francis Sprague, "of Duxborough," conveyed to his "son-in-Law, Ralph Earl, of Road Island," one-half share of land at "Coaksett and Acushena, in the Jurisdiction of Plymouth."

Sprague had his title to the land from the Indians Wosamequin and "Wamsitta." It is probable that Ralph immediately removed from Portsmouth and settled upon this land, as at the time of all known subsequent allusions to him he was in Dartmouth, within which the land was situated. He was one of the persons who received the confirmatory deed of the town, and it is known that he was there in 1663. May 10, 1684, John Eyanoe conveyed to Ralph Earle, a neck or island, made at high water, in Yarmouth, in consideration of a "certain parcel of Land sittuate under ye goverment of new york in America, upon cutAhonkko, viz. one neck and one island in a fresh pond upon sd cutAhonkko, and Twenty acres of Land in Dartmouth, payd by Ralph Earl."

Other Events

  • June 13, 1688, " Ralph Earl of Dartmouth," "in consideration of natural love and affection," conveyed to his son Ralph, “one half of the westermost island, called Elizabeth Island, to be his after my decease."
  • October 20, 1689, "in consideration of natural affection," he conveyed to his son William one hundred acres of land in Dartmouth.
  • June 10, 1692, he says that "of my own moote [and] motion, for divors good causes and good considerations moveing mee thereunto, beside my trew Love and naturall Affections that I bare unto this my youngest son Joseph Earle, and for his advancement for time to come," and "with the consent of Dorcas, my wife," he conveyed to the said Joseph two hundred acres of land in Dartmouth. This was "bounded upon Ponaganset River, So up into the woods."
  • July 24, 1693, he conveyed to his son William, "in consideration of natural love and affection, one quarter part of the Island called by the Indians Pocatahunka, being the westermost Island."

He was a large land holder, and many other of his conveyances are upon record. Of these grants, the only consideration for the value of the land appears to have been his "natural love and affection" in the following instances, namely : 250 acres to his son John; after his death 100 acres to his grandson John, 100 acres to his grandson Daniel, 50 acres to his grandson Benjamin, and "A small Island, or Tract of Land," to William Ingraham.

King Philip's War

The following paragraph is taken from John W. Barber's Historical Collections of Massachusetts: "During Philip's War a great part of this town [Dartmouth] was laid desolate and many of the inhabitants killed. The most of the Plymouth forces were ordered thither. In coming to Russel's garrison, at Ponaganset, or Aponaganset, in this town, they met with a number of the enemy that had surrendered themselves prisoners, on terms promised by Capt. Eels, of the garrison, and Ralph Earle, who persuaded them to come in, by a friendly Indian whom he employed. It is to be regretted, however, that notwithstanding the promises made by the above persons to the Indians, they were, by the superior authorities, carried away to Plymouth, 'then sold and transported out of the country, being about eight score persons.'" Ralph Earle died in about 1716, at Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts, age 83.

Marriage and Family

DORCAS SPRAGUE was born about 1638, of Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts to Francis Sprague and Unknown. She married Ralphe Earle, 26 October 1659, Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island. Dorcas Sprague passed away in about 1692, age 54.

The children of Ralph and Dorcas (Sprague) Earle were:

  1. John Earle III was born 26 October 1659, at Portsmouth, Aquidneck Island, Colony of Rhode Island, to Ralph Earle III (1632-1716) and Dorcas Sprague (1638-1692.) He married Mary Wilcox in about 1686, of Dartmouth, Plymouth Colony. John Earle died 2 February 1728, age 68, at Tiverton, Bristol, Massachusetts.
  2. Elizabeth Earle, b. 1662, Portsmouth, RI.
  3. Mary Earle, b. 1663, CT; md. Mr. Hubbard.
  4. Ralph Earle Jr., b. 1664, Portsmouth, RI; md. Dorcas Dillingham.
  5. Joseph Earle, b. 1664, Newport, RI; md. Elizabeth Slocum.
  6. Dorcas Earle, b. 1675, Portsmouth, RI.


Offspring of Ralph Earle III and Dorcas Sprague (1632-1702)
Name Birth Death Joined with
John Earle (1659-1727)
Hannah Earle (1660-)
Elizabeth Earle (1662-1716)
Ralph Earle (1664-1718)
Mary Earle (1664-1732)
Joseph Earle (1668-1756)
Meribah Earle (1672-)
William Earle (1672-1715)
Dorcas Earle (1680-1754) 1680 Portsmouth, Newport County, Rhode Island, United States 1754 Portsmouth, Newport County, Rhode Island, United States John Clapp (1676-1728)



See Also

  • Ralph Earle
  • Earle in Rockingham County, New Hampshire
  • Earle in Bristol County, Massachusetts
  • Earle in Hertfordshire

Footnotes (including sources)