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Hutchinson, Thomas (09 September 1711–03 June 1780), colonial historian, royal official, and Loyalist refugee, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Colonel Thomas Hutchinson and Sarah Foster, both children of Boston merchants. He grew up in one of the finest mansions in Boston, plain in style but filled with busts of classical and British figures and pictures of historic events such as the destruction of the Spanish Armada. Preferring reading history to playing with other children, Thomas became absorbed in the history of England and New England and admired Charles I. He attended North Grammar School and at the age of twelve entered Harvard, where his family’s social standing entitled him to be ranked third in his class. In 1734 he married Margaret Sanford, daughter of a wealthy Rhode Island merchant and governor, and thereupon became linked by family ties and affection to ...

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Logan, James (20 October 1674–31 October 1751), provincial councilor, scholar, and William Penn's secretary in America, provincial councilor, scholar, and William Penn’s secretary in America, was born in Lurgan, County Armaugh, Ireland, the son of Scottish Quakers Patrick Logan, a minister and teacher, and Isabel Hume. His father, who earned an A.M. from Edinburgh University, taught him Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and at age thirteen he was apprenticed to Edward Webb, a Quaker linen draper in Dublin. Logan returned to Lurgan six months later, then moved with his family to Bristol when his father was appointed master of the Friar Meetinghouse School. He replaced his father in this position in 1693 and later earned the respect of William Penn when the colonial proprietor served on the school’s supervisory board. Penn invited Logan to be his secretary in Pennsylvania, and he was with the Penn family aboard the ...

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Sandys, George (02 March 1578–04 March 1644), writer and official of colonial Virginia, was born at Bishopthorp near York, England, the son of Edwin Sandys, the archbishop of York, and his second wife, Cicely Wil(s)ford. Sandys entered Oxford University as a gentleman-commoner at the age of eleven in 1589, then at eighteen went to the Middle Temple, London. He remained at the Inns of Court only a year or two. Before the age of twenty-one, he married Elizabeth Norton of Ripon. The exact date of the family-arranged marriage is unknown, but it had ended, although it was never formally dissolved, by 1606. The couple had no children....

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Smith, Samuel (13 December 1720–13 July 1776), historian and colonial official, was born in Burlington, New Jersey, the son of Richard Smith, an assemblyman and merchant, and Abigail Rapier. The Smiths were a Yorkshire Quaker family, one of whom, Samuel’s great-uncle John, had been granted an original town lot in Burlington by the London Proprietors. As a young man Samuel was associated for a time with his father in the West India Company and lived in Philadelphia as well as Burlington. He settled in Burlington in the family town house and his nearby estate, “Hickory Grove.” In 1741 he married Jane Kirkbride; the couple had four children....

Article

Strachey, William (1572–1621), historian and secretary of the Virginia Company, was born in Lesnes, England, the son of William Strachey, a draper, and Mary Cooke. He spent his early years in Saffron Walden, Essex. Strachey’s father was a member of an ambitious yeoman family that owned substantial town property. In 1587 he was granted a coat-of-arms, making him a gentleman, a status inherited by his son. His mother came from a family of well-off London merchants. Strachey attended Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in 1588, and in 1605 he was a member of Gray’s Inn, though he apparently neither took a degree nor practiced law. In 1595 he married Frances Forster; they had two children. After the death of his father’s second wife in 1602 he came into the family property; it was much encumbered and never quite supported him in the life of a gentleman....