Saybrook Colony

The Saybrook Colony was established in late 1635 at the mouth of the Connecticut River in present-day Old Saybrook, Connecticut by John Winthrop, the Younger, son of John Winthrop, the Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Winthrop the Younger was designated Governor by the original settlers, including Colonel George Fenwick and Captain Lion Gardiner. They claimed possession of the land via a deed of conveyance from Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick. The colony was named in honor of Lords Saye and Brooke, prominent Parliamentarians and holders of the colony's land grants.

Early settlers of the colony were ardent supporters of Oliver Cromwell and of democracy. In the 1630s in what became Connecticut, it was rumored that Cromwell's emigration was imminent from England to Saybrook, along with the departure from Old England of other prominent Puritan sponsors of the colony, including John Pym, John Hampden, Arthur Haselrig, and Lords Saye and Brooke. Even as late as the 1770s, residents of Old Saybrook still talked about which town lots would be given to prominent Parliamentarians.

Settlement preparations included sending a ship with an unusual cargo of ironwork for a portcullis and drawbridges, and even an experienced military engineer.[2] Saybrook's fort was to be the strongest in New England. However, prominent Puritans soon "found the countrie [England] full of reports of their going" and were worried that they would not be allowed to sell their estates and take ship. By 1638, the plans for Saybrook were abandoned. Cromwell's financial difficulties had been cleared up by an inheritance and he moved from Huntingdon to nearby Ely. Thus, the sponsors remained in England and played their respective political and military roles in the English Civil War and its aftermath. As a consequence, the colony struggled and, by 1644, Fenwick agreed to merge the colony with the more vibrant Connecticut Colony a few miles up river.

In 1647, Major John Mason assumed command of Saybrook Fort, which controlled the main trade and supply route to the upper river valley. The fort mysteriously burned to the ground, but another improved fort was quickly built nearby. He spent the next twelve years there and served as Commissioner of the United Colonies, its chief military officer, Magistrate, and peacekeeper. He was continually called upon to fairly negotiate the purchase of Indian lands, write a treaty, or arbitrate some Indian quarrel, many of which were instigated by his friend Uncas.

Saybrook Colony

Coat of arms of Saybrook
Coat of arms
A map of Connecticut annotated to show its colonial history and the establishment of its modern borders
A map of Connecticut annotated to show its colonial history and the establishment of its modern borders
StatusColony of England
CapitalOld Saybrook
Common languagesEnglish
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy
• Established
• merged with Connecticut Colony
CurrencyPound sterling
Succeeded by
Connecticut Colony

See also


  • Alfred A. Young, "English Plebeian Culture and 18th Century American Radicalism" in Margret Jacob and James Jacob, eds., The Origins of Anglo American Radicalism (New Jersey: Humanities Press International, 1991), page 195
  • Richard C. Dunn, Puritans and Yankees (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1962)

Further reading

  • Ward, Harry M. The United Colonies of New England, 1643–90 (Vantage Press, 1961).
  • Andrews, Charles McLean. The Colonial Period of American History (Vol. II) – The Beginnings of Connecticut 1632–1662 (Tercentenary Commission Publication Vol. XXXII 1934).

Coordinates: 41°17′06″N 72°21′29″W / 41.285°N 72.358°W

Ambrose Whittlesey House

The Ambrose Whittlesey House is a historic house at 14 Main Street in Old Saybrook, Connecticut that was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

The house was built in two sections. The first section was one story high, built in 1765, measuring 16 feet (4.9 m) by 30 feet (9.1 m). This is now at the rear of the house. Around 1800, a two-story main block measuring 30 feet (9.1 m) by 34 feet (10 m) was added. The main block has a relatively plain facade, but it has a Georgian style portico to accent it. The columns holding up the portico are consistent with Georgian proportions, but the fanlight over the door is more related to Federal architecture in style and design. The interior of the 1800 section of the house is generally consistent with Federal-style architecture. This section contains a massive center chimney, dating back to Colonial architecture in its simplicity. The chimney contains flues for six hearths, three on each floor.The house has architectural influences indicating a transition between Georgian architecture and Federal architecture. There are only a few such buildings remaining in this section of Old Saybrook. The actual identification of architectural styles is complicated by the mix of elements such as the large central chimney, reminiscent of colonial-period architecture; the Georgian-style portico, and the Federal-style detailing in the interior. Since there are few other Georgian-style details in the house, it appears likely that the portico was added later.The owner, Ambrose Whittlesey, was the great-great-grandson of John Whittlesey, who was an early settler of the Saybrook Colony in the 17th century. The Whittlesey family was involved in farming, the merchandise trade, and shipbuilding. Ambrose started his career as a sea captain at age 21, trading with the West Indies. He later went on to voyages to Spain and Portugal after the War of 1812. When he died in 1827, his house was inherited by his youngest son, also named Ambrose, although his mother had an encumbrance on the property until her death in 1838. In 1839, his surviving siblings granted him full ownership via a quitclaim deed. The house remained in the Whittlesey family until 1967.


Arbella or Arabella was the flagship of the Winthrop Fleet on which Governor John Winthrop, other members of the Company (including Dr. William Gager), and Puritan emigrants transported themselves and the Charter of the Massachusetts Bay Company from England to Salem between April 8 and June 12, 1630, thereby giving legal birth to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. John Winthrop is reputed to have given the famous "A Model of Christian Charity" sermon aboard the ship. Also on board was Anne Bradstreet, the first European female poet to be published from the New World, and her family.

The ship was originally called Eagle, but her name was changed in honor of Lady Arabella Johnson, a member of Winthrop's company, as was her husband Isaac. Lady Arabella was the daughter of Thomas Clinton, 3rd Earl of Lincoln.

Captain Enoch Lord House

The Captain Enoch Lord House, also known as Red House, is a historic house at 17 Tantummaheag Road in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Built about 1748, the house is significant both for its long historic association with the colonial Lord family, who were influential participants in the founding of both the Connecticut Colony and the Saybrook Colony, and for its transformation in the late 19th century into a summer estate. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.

Connecticut Colony

The Connecticut Colony or Colony of Connecticut, originally known as the Connecticut River Colony or simply the River Colony, was an English colony in North America that became the state of Connecticut. It was organized on March 3, 1636 as a settlement for a Puritan congregation, and the English permanently gained control of the region in 1637 after struggles with the Dutch. The colony was later the scene of a bloody war between the colonists and Pequot Indians known as the Pequot War. Connecticut Colony played a significant role in the establishment of self-government in the New World with its refusal to surrender local authority to the Dominion of New England, an event known as the Charter Oak incident which occurred at Jeremy Adams' inn and tavern.

Two other English settlements in the State of Connecticut were merged into the Colony of Connecticut: Saybrook Colony in 1644 and New Haven Colony in 1662.

Connecticut Valley Railroad Roundhouse and Turntable Site

The Connecticut Valley Railroad Roundhouse and Turntable Site is a former railroad facility located in Fort Saybrook Monument Park off Main Street in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. The roundhouse and turntable were built in 1871 by the Connecticut Valley Railroad, which was later acquired by the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. The rail facilities are built partly on the archaeological remains of Fort Saybrook, the main fortification of the 17th-century Saybrook Colony, and are the only surviving remnant of what was once a large facility, with an icehouse, coal bin, steamboat dock, depot, and signal tower. Archaeological remains of these other facilities are believed to lie under other parts of the park and adjacent properties. The exposed facilities were excavated in 1981-2. Both structures were added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 28, 1994.The Connecticut Valley Railroad was chartered in 1868, and began operations three years later, providing service between Saybrook Point and Hartford, with a connection to the Shore Line Railway at the Saybrook Junction station. The extension to Saybrook Point ceased operations in 1922, and its facilities were abandoned. The roundhouse was a quarter-round structure housing six bays, with foundations of brick and stone, supporting both the structure and the tracks on which the railroad cars ran. The turntable had a concrete base. Portions of these features are exposed in the park, with interpretive signage explaining the use and history of the site.

Cypress Cemetery

Cypress Cemetery is an historic cemetery at 100 College Street in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. Established sometime in the 17th century, and still in active use, it is the town's oldest cemetery, with a wide variety of funerary art dating from the 17th to 21st centuries. The cemetery's oldest portion was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2018.

Deep River, Connecticut

Deep River is a town in Middlesex County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 4,629 at the 2010 census. The town center is also designated by the U.S. Census Bureau as a census-designated place (CDP). Deep River is part of what the locals call the "Tri-town Area" made up of Deep River, Chester, and Essex, Connecticut.

Every year on the third Saturday in July, Deep River hosts the Deep River Ancient Muster, the largest one day gathering of fife and drum corps in the world.

Flag of Connecticut

The flag of the state of Connecticut is a white baroque shield with three grapevines, each bearing three bunches of purple grapes on a field of azure blue. The banner below the shield reads "Qui Transtulit Sustinet", Latin for "He who transplanted still sustains"), Connecticut's state motto. The flag dimensions are 5.5 feet (1.7 m) in length and 4.33 feet (1.32 m) in width.

George Fenwick (Parliamentarian)

George Fenwick (1603?–1657), was an English Parliamentarian, and a leading colonist in the short-lived Saybrook Colony.

George Fenwick (disambiguation)

George Fenwick or Fenwicke may refer to:

Sir George Fenwick (1847–1929), New Zealand newspaper proprietor and editor

George Fenwick (Parliamentarian) (1603–1657), founder of Saybrook Colony in Connecticut

George Fenwicke (1690–1760), English clergyman and religious writer

John Higginson (minister)

John Higginson (born Claybrooke, Leicester, England, 6 August 1616; died Salem, Massachusetts, 9 December 1708) was a clergyman. He came to America with his father, Francis Higginson. After his father's death, he assisted in the support of his mother, Anne Herbert Higginson, and brothers by teaching in Hartford. With Giles Firmin he was employed by the magistrates and ministers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony to take down in shorthand the proceedings of the synod of 1637. He was chaplain of the fort at Saybrook Colony for about four years. In 1641, he went to Guilford, Connecticut as assistant to Henry Whitfeld or Whitfield (1597-1687), whose daughter Sarah (1620-1775) he married. In 1643, he was one of the "seven pillars" of the church there.

He sailed for England with his family in 1659, but the vessel put into Salem harbor on account of the weather, and he accepted an invitation to preach there for a year, finally settling as regular pastor of the church that his father had planted. He was ordained in August 1660, and continued there till his death. He was an active opponent of the Quakers, but subsequently regretted his zeal, and took no part in the witchcraft prosecutions of 1692. He was one of the most popular divines in New England, and at his death had been seventy-two years in the ministry. He published various sermons, the most well-known of which is his "Election Sermon" of 1663, "The Cause of God and His People in New-England," see He was the author of the "Attestation" to Cotton Mather's Magnalia, which was prefixed to the first book of that work.

List of colonial governors of Connecticut

The territory of the United States state of Connecticut was first settled by Europeans in the 1620s, when Dutch traders established trading posts on the Connecticut River. English settlers, mainly Puritans fleeing repression in England, began to arrive in the 1630s, and a number of separate colonies were established. The first was the Saybrook Colony in 1635, based at the mouth of the Connecticut; it was followed by the Connecticut Colony (first settlement 1633, government from 1639) and the New Haven Colony (settled 1638, government from 1639). The Saybrook Colony merged with the Connecticut Colony in 1644, and the New Haven Colony was merged into Connecticut between 1662 and 1665 after Connecticut received a royal charter.

The Connecticut Colony was one of two colonies (the other was the neighboring Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations) that retained its governor during the American Revolution. The last colonial governor, Jonathan Trumbull, became the state of Connecticut's first governor in 1776.

Old Saybrook, Connecticut

Old Saybrook is a town in Middlesex County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 10,242 at the 2010 census. It contains the incorporated borough of Fenwick, as well as the census-designated places of Old Saybrook Center and Saybrook Manor.

Roger Ludlow

Roger Ludlow (1590–1664) was an English lawyer, magistrate, military officer, and colonist. He was active in the founding of the Colony of Connecticut, and helped draft laws for it and the nearby Massachusetts Bay Colony. Under his and John Mason's direction, Boston's first fortification, later known as Castle William and then Fort Independence was built on Castle Island in Boston harbor. Frequently at odds with his peers, he eventually also founded Fairfield and Norwalk before leaving New England entirely.

After a brief sojourn in Virginia, Ludlow returned to Europe, where he was appointed by a commission distributing seized and forfeited property in the aftermath of Oliver Cromwell's conquest of Ireland. He was also appointed a magistrate administering justice in Dublin, where he is believed to have died.

Saybrook College

Saybrook College is one of the 14 residential colleges at Yale University. It was founded in 1933 by partitioning the Memorial Quadrangle into two parts: Saybrook and Branford.

Unlike many of Yale's residential colleges that are centered on one large courtyard, Saybrook has two courtyards—one stone and one grass, hence the college cheer beginning "Two courtyards, stone and grass: two courtyards kick your ass."

Saybrook College was one of the original Yale Residential Colleges. Its name comes from the original location of the university, Old Saybrook, Connecticut. The college has the second highest student-to-land-area ratio of any of the colleges (after Hopper College).

Saybrook students are known on campus for "the Saybrook Strip", a ritual performed during football games at the end of the third quarter. Both male and female college residents strip down to their underwear (some seniors remove all their clothing during The Game) to accompaniment by the Yale Precision Marching Band, which formerly played "The Stripper" or "Sweet Child o' Mine" but now chooses different tunes from game to game. Saybrook is also known for its repeated wins of the Gimbel Cup, which goes to the college with the highest average GPA. Saybrook has won the cup 11 times, four more than the next most frequent winner, Ezra Stiles College. Saybrook won most recently in 2007.

The college was renovated during the 2000-2001 year.Saybrook College was featured in a chase scene in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, part of which was filmed on Yale's campus in late June and early July 2007.

Saybrook Township, Ashtabula County, Ohio

Saybrook Township is one of the twenty-seven townships of Ashtabula County, Ohio, United States. The 2010 census found 9,853 people in the township.

Seal of Connecticut

The Great Seal of the State of Connecticut has been the coat of arms of the U.S. state of Connecticut since May 1784. It depicts three grapevines and a ribbon below with the Latin motto: Qui Transtulit Sustinet (English: He who transplanted sustains), with SIGILLUM REIPUBLICÆ CONNECTICUTENSIS (English: Seal of the State of Connecticut) in the border.

Wequash Cooke

Wequash Cooke (also known as: Wequash Cook or Weekwash or Weekwosh or Wequashcuk) (died 1642) was allegedly one of the earliest Native American converts to Protestant Christianity, and as a sagamore he played an important role in the 1637 Pequot War in New England.

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