Honorable Roger Ludlow was born March 1590 in Dinton, Wiltshire, England, United Kingdom to Thomas Ludlow (1550-1607) and Jane Pyle (1561-1650) and died 1664 Dublin, Ireland of unspecified causes. He married Mary Cogan (1604-1664) 1624 in England.


The Roger Ludlow Monument located in the traffic circle at the confluence of Gregory Boulevard and Marvin Street in East Norwalk, Connecticut. Ludlow was the founder of first European settlement in Norwalk. The work was dedicated in 1895.

Roger Ludlow (1590-1664) was widely regarded as one of the best educated early settlers of the New England colonies. Mary was the sister-in-law of Governor John Endicott of Massachusetts. The family sailed for America in 1630 with other early Puritan settlers on the ship Mary and John of which Roger was the owner. He was co-founder of Dorchester, Massachusetts and Fairfield, Connecticut. In 1650 he wrote down the first codification of the laws for the Colony of Connecticut and represented the colony at the New England Confederation, for many years serving as a magistrate and deputy governor of Connecticut. A political disagreement caused the couple to leave for Dublin, Ireland where both died in the 1660's.

  • Note: This article will prioritize research of the Family History of this major character in American History.
  • See Wikipedia for his full Biography of Roger Ludlow.

Vital Stats[]

  • Son of Thomas Ludlow (1550-1607) and Jane Pyle (c1550-)
  • 1590-Mar : Birth in Dinton, Wiltshire, England
  • 1609/10 : Matriculated at Balliol College, Oxford, and admitted to the Inner Temple to study law
  • 1615? : Marriage to Mary Cogan (c1590-) in England, sister-in-law to Governor John Endicott of Massachusetts
  • 1630-May : Sailed to Massachusetts Bay Colony on the ship Mary & John.
  • 1634 : He was one of the founders of Dorchester, Boston., and served as deputy governor of Massachusetts.
  • 1635 : Relocated to Connecticut
  • 1636 : Presided at Windsor, Connecticut over the first court and drafting the Fundamental Orders for the Colony.
  • 1639 : Founder of Fairfield, Connecticut
  • 1650 : Completed the first codification of Connecticut laws, known as Ludlow's Code or the Code of 1650.
  • 1654 : Left America with Wife, settled in Dublin, Ireland
  • 1664-68 : Died in Dublin, Ireland (date unsure since parish death records were lost.)


Early Years and Education[]

Roger Ludlow was one of the founders of the Colony of Connecticut. He was born in March 1590 in Dinton, Wiltshire, England. Roger was the second son of Sir Thomas Ludlow of Maiden Bradley, Wiltshire and Jane Pyle, sister of Sir Gabriel Pyle. He matriculated at Balliol College, Oxford in 1609 or 1610, and was admitted to the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple in 1612.

In the 1620's he married to Mary Cogan (c1590-), a sister-in-law of the future Governor John Endicott of Massachusetts Bay Colony. The first of their children were born to them somewhere in England.

Ludlow Wiltshire Estates[]

Wiltshire estates of the Ludlow Family of the late 16th and early 17th centuries were maintained in several parishes in the southwest corner of the English County of Wiltshire. Exact places of birth, marriages and deaths should be cross checked to the following parish records:

  • Deverill Hill
  • Dinton Estate

Migration to America[]

Roger sailed for America in 1630 with other early Puritan settlers on the ship Mary and John of which Roger was the owner. They settled at Dorchester, Massachusetts, where they remained for five years. During that period he was chosen magistrate in the Court of Assistants for the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He was elected as Deputy Governor in 1634. During this time Ludlow successfully negotiated the first treaty between the English and the Pequot. In 1635 he was defeated by John Haynes (1594-1653) for Colonial Governor.

Move to Connecticut[]

In 1635 Roger Ludlow joined with other Puritans and Congregationalists who were dissatisfied with the rate of Anglican reforms, and sought to establish an ecclesiastical society subject to their own rules and regulations. The Massachusetts General Court granted them permission to settle the cities of Windsor, Wethersfield, and Hartford in the area now known as Connecticut. The Ludlows settled into Windsor.

However, ownership of the lands for the new towns along the Connecticut River was called into dispute by the English holders of the Warwick Patent of 1631 that had been granted by Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick. The Massachusetts General Court established the March Commission to mediate the dispute between the Connecticut colony and the Saybrook Colony, and named Roger Ludlow as its head. The Commission named 8 magistrates from the Connecticut towns to implement a legal system. The March Commission expired in March 1636, after which time the settlers continued to self-govern.

1636 Pequot War[]

Pequot war

A 19th-century engraving depicting an incident in the Pequot War.

The Pequot War was an armed conflict that took place in 1636 and ended in 1638 in New England, between the Pequot tribe and an alliance of English colonists from the Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, and Saybrook colonies and their allies from the Narragansett and Mohegan tribes. The war concluded with the decisive defeat of the Pequot. At the end, about 700 Pequots had been killed or taken into captivity.[1] Hundreds of prisoners were sold into slavery to colonists in Bermuda or the West Indies;[2] other survivors were dispersed as captives to the victorious tribes.

In late 1636 and early 1637 the burgeoning Connecticut colony faced armed conflict in the Pequot War 1636. The Connecticut towns decided to send a force of more than 70 soldiers along with Narragansett and Mohegan collaborators into an attack upon a Pequot settlement on May 26, 1637. While Ludlow did not participate in what became known as the Mystic massacre, his role in the General Court meant that he took part in the decision to send the force. After the destruction at Mystic Ludlow did leave the Windsor area to pursue Sassacus and other Pequot survivors, first to Saybrook at the mouth of the Connecticut river, then westward toward the Mattabesset village known as "Sasqua" or "Unquowa". On July 13, 1637 the battle in swamps around Unquowa signalled the final military defeat of the remaining Pequots.

1638 Fundamental Orders of Connecticut[]

On May 29, 1638 Ludlow wrote to Massachusetts Governor Winthrop that the colonists wanted to "unite ourselves to walk and lie peaceably and lovingly together." Ludlow was a framer of a document called the Fundamental Orders, which was adopted on January 14, 1639. The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut is the world's first written constitution for a self-governing people. Since he was the only lawyer in the colony, it is believed he drafted the "Fundamental Orders of Connecticut", considered to be the first constitution in America.

Roger Ludlow was a magistrate in 1637 and 1638, and was then named as the first Deputy Governor of Connecticut. He was also chosen as a Magistrate in 1640, and every year from that date until he left the colony in 1654, except in 1642 and 1648, when he was again chosen Deputy Governor. In 1643 Ludlow was one of the representatives from Connecticut in the negotiations which led to the con-federation of the colonies.

Founding of Fairfield[]

In early 1639 Ludlow's political rival from Massachusetts John Haynes, who came to Connecticut not long after Ludlow, was elected governor. Ludlow then chose to take leave from Hartford and Windsor and obtained a charter from the General Court to begin a settlement at "Pequannocke" (present day Bridgeport). He left with a group of like-minded settlers from Windsor, Watertown, and Concord to purchase property along the coast of Long Island Sound west of the New Haven Colony. While on this task Ludlow recalled the attraction of the salt marshes west of the Pequonnock River near "Unquowa" and purchased land there from the native Sachem and founded the town of Fairfield. Ludlow settled his family in the new town, but returned to Hartford in the fall of 1639. In a session of the General Court held October 10, 1639 Ludlow was censured and fined by the Court for having exceeded the terms of the charter granted to settle areas that were to have been east of Fairfield. Governor Haynes and Thomas Welles visited Fairfield to investigate the settlement and apparently found that it was acceptable.

Founding of Norwalk[]


Purchase of Norwalk by Harry Townsend, a WPA mural in Norwalk City Hall

The purchase of property and settlement in the coastal area may have been part of an effort to obtain a Connecticut title to the area instead of allowing the land to be sold to the Dutch from New Netherland or the New Haven Colonists. Early in 1640, Ludlow purchased land from the Siwanoy Sachem Mahackemo located still further west in an area that would become Norwalk, Connecticut. Ludlow contracted with fourteen men for the original planting of Norwalk.[3] In 1649, Nathaniel Ely and Richard Olmsted became the first two settlers.[3][4]

The Code of 1650[]

"...that no mans life shall be taken away, no mans honor or good name shall bee stained, no mans person shall be arrested, ...unless it bee by the vertue or equity of some express Law of the Country...."

Roger was the principal author of Connecticut's Code of 1650. The "Code of 1650" is the first codification of Connecticut laws. Compiled by Roger Ludlow, the Code begins with a bill of rights "...that no mans life shall be taken away, no mans honor or good name shall bee stained, no mans person shall be arrested, ...unless it bee by the vertue or equity of some express Law of the Country...." The laws that follow this declaration reflect the legal concerns of Connecticut residents some 350 years ago. The Code contains laws that not only prohibit murder, forgery and theft, but also prohibit heresy, idleness and stubbornness.[5]

New England Departure[]

Having been tried for slandering Mrs. Thomas Staples of Fairfield (the accusation was that Ludlow had said that she was a witch) and lost as well as being appointed commander of a militia to defend Fairfield against invasion by the Dutch, Ludlow grew weary of colonial life. He left Fairfield in April or May 1654.[6] He first sailed to Virginia Colony to visit his brother George who had settled there. Then Ludlow left Virginia to return to England and made it to Ireland by September 1654. Ludlow settled at Dublin and in November 1654 was appointed to serve the Council as an adjudicator of matters relating to property law. The appointment may have been made at the request of Oliver Cromwell.[7] He served on the commission from 1654 to 1658. A new commission was appointed and Ludlow was again assigned to it in 1658. He was also appointed to the post of Master in Chancery in Ireland.

He was a resident and member of St. Michan's Church in Dublin. His wife Mary died and was buried on June 3, 1664 according to records kept at the parish church. Parish records of his death in Dublin (presumed to have taken place between 1664 and 1668) no longer exist.[8]

Children of Roger Ludlow and Mary Cogan[]

  1. Thomas Ludlow (1624-) - Thomas, b abt 1624; witnessed a deed 26 Feb 1641/2; no further record; might also have been a brother or nephew of Roger
  2. Jonathan Ludlow (1625-1710) - , b abt 1626 (eldest son in father's deposition), prob he who on 16 Jun 1665 took out a license to marry Sarah Davis [NGSQ 51:233]
  3. Joseph Ludlow (1627-1667) - Joseph, b abt 1628, bur. St. Michan's, Dublin, 30 Apr 1667 [NGSQ 61:233]
  4. Roger Ludlow (1629-aft1660) - Roger, b abt 1630; living 1660; no further record
  5. Anne Ludlow (1633-aft1660) - Anne, b abt 1633; living 1660; no further record
  6. Mary Ludlow (1634-aft1660) - Mary, b abt 1634; living 1660; no further record
  7. Sarah Ludlow (1635-1695) - m. Rev Nathaniel Brewster (as his second wife) and settled in Brookhaven, NY (Long Island)


Offspring of Honorable Roger Ludlow and Mary Cogan (1604-1664)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Thomas Ludlow (1624-) 1624 England
Jonathan Ludlow (1625-1710) 1625 England Sarah Davis (1644-)
Joseph Ludlow (1627-1667) 1627 England 30 April 1667 Dublin, Ireland
Roger Ludlow (1629-aft1660) 1630 1660
Anne Ludlow (1633-aft1660) 1633 Dorchester, Suffolk County, Massachusetts 1660
Mary Ludlow (1634-aft1660) 1634 Dorchester, Suffolk County, Massachusetts 1660
Sarah Ludlow (1635-1695) 1635 Dublin, Ireland 1695 Connecticut Nathaniel Brewster (1620-1690)


Offspring of Thomas Ludlow (1550-1607) and Jane Pyle (1561-1650)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Anna Ludlow (1587-1631)
Gabriel Ludlow (1687-1644)
Roger Ludlow (1590-1664) March 1590 Dinton, Wiltshire, England, United Kingdom 1664 Dublin, Ireland Mary Cogan (1604-1664)
Anne Ludlow (1591-1613)
Thomas Ludlow (1593-1634) 3 March 1593 Dinton, Wiltshire, England, United Kingdom 5 October 1634 Jane Bennett (1604-1683)
Jane Ludlow (1595-)
George Ludlow (1596-1656)
James Ludlow (1598-)
Robert Ludlow (1606-1673)

See Also[]

External Links[]



Roger Ludlowe Middle School and Fairfield Ludlowe High School, both in Fairfield, are named for him.


  1. ^ John Winthrop, Journal of John Winthrop. ed. Dunn, Savage, Yeandle (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996), 228.
  2. ^ Lion Gardiner, "Relation of the Pequot Warres", in History of the Pequot War: The Contemporary Accounts of Mason, Underhill, Vincent, and Gardiner (Cleveland, 1897), p. 138; Ethel Boissevain, "Whatever Became of the New England Indians Shipped to Bermuda to be Sold as Slaves," Man in the Northwest 11 (Spring 1981), pp. 103–114; Karen O. Kupperman, Providence Island, 1630–1641: The Other Puritan Colony (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993), p. 172
  3. ^ a b Early Gregorys
  4. ^ Norwalk v.1
  5. ^ The Code of 1650 or Ludlow's Code Law Library of State of Connecticut
  6. ^ Taylor, John (1900); page 145
  7. ^ Taylor (1900) page. 150-153.
  8. ^ Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named taylor