Maj. William Bradford IV was born 17 June 1624 in Plymouth Colony, Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States to William Bradford (1590-1657) and Alice Carpenter (1583-1670) and died 20 February 1704 Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States of unspecified causes. He married Alice Richards (1629-1671) 18 September 1650 in Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States. He married Mary Fitch (c1635-1675) 1674 in Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States. He married Mary Atwood (1642-1715) 1676 in Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts.

Grave memorial for Maj. Bradford at Burial Hill, Plymouth MA.

Son of William Bradford, second governor of Plymouth Colony. Bradford Jr was assistant to the colony, deputy governor, treasurer and a Major in King Philip War where he was severely wounded at the Narraganset Fort Fight.

Military Leader

Maj. William Bradford succeeded Myles Standish (c1584-1656) as the chief military man in the colony. He was the commander of the Plymouth forces in King Philip's War. He was wounded in battle at Narragansett Fort and carried the musket ball in his flesh the rest of his life. He also served as Assistant Treasurer and Deputy Governor of Plymouth, residing in what is now Kingston on the south side of Jones River in the same house his father lived in from 1627-47.

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.

Samuel played a major role in King Philip's War:

"On the 24th September(1675) ordered, that a commission be issued forth to Captain Samuel Appleton, to command a foot company of 100 men. (4th Oct 1675 appointed) Commander in Chief, of the army in those parts, by whose industry, skill, and courage, those towns were preserved from running the same fate with the rest, wholly or in part so lately turned into ashes."

Appleton's company went to the Connecticut River frontier towns where Captiain Lathrop's company was destroyed previous on 18 Sept. Afterwards he was appointed to repleace Captain Pynchon who suffered a heavy loss at Springfield, Massachusetts at 30 Sept 1675.

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. His military career seems to have stopped at that point.

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.[1] 110 of Appleton's men were either killed or wounded in the battle.[7] Afterwards, Appleton and his remaining men returned to Boston and he retired from active service.

Death and Last Will

Bradford wrote his will June 29, 1703, he died Feb. 20, 1703/4, his small moveable inventory was taken Feb. 28, 1703/4, his will probated Mar. 10, 1703/4 and recorded Mar. 29, 1704. Per the old Julian calendar then in use in England and the American colonies. (Info. provided by Don Blauvelt 8/10/15)

Marriage & Family

  1. John Bradford (1653-1736)
  2. Christopher Bradford (1653-1736)
  3. William Bradford (1654-1687)
  4. Thomas Bradford (1658-1681)
  5. Alice Bradford (1659-1745)
  6. Mercy Bradford (1660-1720)
  7. Hannah Bradford (1662-1738) - 1st physician of Plymouth Colony - later moved to Windham CT where her husband, Joshua Ripley, was a justice.
  8. Melatiah Bradford (1664-1739)
  9. Samuel Bradford (1667-1714)
  10. Mary Bradford (1668-1720)
  11. Sarah Bradford (1671-1705)


Offspring of Maj. William Bradford IV and Alice Richards (1629-1671)
Name Birth Death Joined with
John Bradford (1653-1736) 20 February 1653 Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States (Plymouth Colony) 8 December 1736 Kingston, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States Mercy Warren (1657-1727)
Christopher Bradford (1653-1736)
William Bradford (1654-1687) 11 March 1655 Plymouth Colony, Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts 5 July 1687 Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts Rebecca Bartlett (1655-1741)
Thomas Bradford (1658-1681)
Alice Bradford (1659-1745)
Mercy Bradford (1660-1720) 2 September 1660 Boston, Massachusetts, United States 5 May 1720 Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States Samuel Steele (1652-1709)
Hannah Bradford (1662-1738) 9 May 1662 Plymouth Colony, Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States 28 May 1738 Windham, Windham County, Connecticut, United States Joshua Ripley (1658-1739)
Melatiah Bradford (1664-1739)
Samuel Bradford (1667-1714) 1667 Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts 11 April 1714 Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts Hannah Rogers (1668-1754)
Mary Bradford (1668-1720)
Sarah Bradford (1671-1705)

Offspring of Maj. William Bradford IV and Mary Fitch (c1635-1675)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Joseph Bradford (1675-1746)

Offspring of Maj. William Bradford IV and Mary Atwood (1642-1715)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Israel Bradford (1678-1760) 1678 Kingston, Plymouth County, Massachusetts 26 March 1760 Kingston, Plymouth County, Massachusetts Sarah Bartlett (1678-1761)
Ephraim Bradford (1685-1741)
David Bradford (1687-1729)
Hezekiah Bradford (1687-1761)




Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General