Mary and their family came to America in 1638 and settled in Milford
Ware was a
market town which was a hotbed of Puritanism in the early 17th
century. The famous Rev. Charles Chauncey, who would later be
president of Harvard College, was vicar of Ware from 1627-33,
emmigrating to England in 1638. Richard Platt was no doubt
influenced by his preaching. In his will he left a Bible for each of
his 24 living grandchildren. He was no doubt educated at the Grammar
School at Ware, and probably became a tailor like his father and
grandfather, as he was apprenticed in 1629.
In 1639 he
was a freeplanter in Milford and his home lot was #38, consisting of
4 acres and 1 rod, near the corner of the present West Main and
Genealogy on the Internet -
Many from the Bay Colony chose to leave for New Haven with Eaton and
Davenport, among them a company headed by Peter Prudden. Perhaps the
son of Thomas Prudden of King's Walden, Hertfordshire and a kinsman
of William Thomas of Caerleon, Monmouthshire, Prudden was the
minister of the Providence Island Company. In 1637 with fifteen
Hertfordshire families - among them Edmund Tapp of Bennington,
Hertfordshire, James Prudden, William Fowler, Thomas and Hannah
Buckingham, Thomas Welsh, Richard Platt, Henry Stonehill and William
East - he left England for Massachusetts and went with Davenport's
group to Connecticut in March of 1638.
he acquired possession, among others, of several acres of land in
what is now (1891) the best part of the Elm City (it was on the
south side of Chapel Street, near College Street, adjoining the
ground of Peter Prudden) in what was called "the Hertfordshire
first settlers of Milford, November 20, 1639, arriving with four in
his family. He and his sons John and Josiah are among the original
purchasers and proprietors of New Milford. His name is on the list
of free-planters of Milford in 1646. He was chosen deacon in the
first church in Milford in 1669. His daughters Mary and Sarah
probably died before he made his will in 1683, for in it he makes
bequests to their children instead of to them.
He left to
one of his heirs a legacy "towards bringing up his son to be a
on the records as one of the witnesses to the will of Peter Prudden.
was estimated at about £600.
place is unknown, no stone has been found to mark his grave. It was
probably in his orchard.
His name is
on the coping stones of the Wapawang memorial bridge in Milford,
commemorating the early settlers.
Mary Wood is registered at Ware and at Roydon, on the same date. He
is called "Deacon".
the Colony and Plantation of New Haven 1638-49", by Charles Hoadley,
states: "Rich Platt - an estate worthe £200 - twenty acres in the
First Division - four acres in the Second Division". Part of his
property consisted of a plot on the south side of Chapel Street near
College Street, adjoining lands of Peter Prudden in the so-called
undoubtedly influenced his early participation in the beginnings of
the settlement of Milford within the limits of the New Haven Colony
and located 10 miles west of New Haven itself, on the shores of Long
Island Sound. The colony was under the leadership of Peter Prudden,
a former Anglican priest, and a group of faithful adherents from
Hertfordshire who had emmigrated in 1637. It was only natural that
the Platts, coming a year thereafter, would gravitate to this
settlement of their old neighbors.
movement from New Haven was not one of dissatisfaction but stemmed
from a desire to organize their own church body and town structure.
Prudden, who was only 37 at the time, patterned the town after New
Haven but was somewhat more tolerant concerning church membership.
In 1639 the group acquired the Indian title and on November 20,
1639, some 44 church members were franchised as "free planters".
Among them was Richard Platt, with his wife Mary and their four
oldest children, Mary, John, Isaac and Sarah.
Richard owned House Lot #38 in the northeast sector of the
settlement, somewhat south of the north line of the palisades and
consisting of a 4-acre, 1-rod plot. Even after moving to Milford he
retained some of his New Haven property.
In 1646 the
Indians were on the war-path and for protection the Milford
settlement was fully palisaded. Each household was required to
provide one watch for sentry duty every fifth day.
chosen deacon of the first church in 1669. His will, dated 1683, has
not been located among the early probate records of Connecticut, but
is said to have mentioned his five sons and the children of his
daughters Sarah and Mary, leaving some presumption of their earlier
Some of his
sons relocated. John and Josiah were among the original proprietors
of New Milford, north of Danbury; John later moved to Norwalk. Isaac
and Epenetus moved to Huntington, while Joseph remained at Milford.
Although in 1962 Platt descendants are scattered among 32 states
[and Mexico!], there still remains a core of the family maintaining
possession of parts of their original Milford holdings, descendants
of Richard's sons Josiah and Joseph.
He was less
than five years old when his father died, and in George's will his
house was devised to his wife Mary and at her death was to go to
doubtless educated at the Grammar School at Ware and may have been a
tailor like his father and grandfather. In 1629 he had an
apprentice, indicating he was in some trade at the time.
profound Puritan beliefs were probably influenced by Rev. Charles
Chauncy, Vicar of Ware from 1627 to 1633, who emmigrated to New
England in 1638, was a teacher at Plymouth and President of Harvard
College from 1654 to his death on 19 February 1672.
On 13 July
1629 there was an "Order that Richard Platt of Ware and his
apprentice be brought before certain justices, that some order might
be taken to end the differences between them."
his wife disposed of their lands and houses at Ware by a final
concord signed at Westminster on 25 April 1638, receiving £42 for
the premises. They may have had to stay in or near London while
awaiting passage, and sailed to New England either in the latter
half of 1638 or the first half of 1639.
in New Haven consisted of an estate worth £200; 20 acres in the
first division of lands; 4 acres in the "Neck"; 12 acres of meadow;
48 acres in the second division, and paying a yearly rate of £1. He
evidently had a comfortable estate and lived in the "Hertfordshire"
quarter of the town, with William Fowler, Mr. Peter Prudden, James
Prudden, Edmund Tapp, the Widow Baldwin, Zachariah Whitman and
Thomas Osborne. He gradually sold his property after moving to
the church at Milford on 29 January 1640, and his wife on 15 August
He was often
asked to act as witness to wills; on 26 July 1656 he witnessed the
will of Rev. Peter Prudden. As Mrs. Selleck points out (Miner
Family, p. 147), "he was a man of high character and deeply
religious, and was chosen deacon of the Milford Church in 1669. When
his daughter Sarah was widowed, and prior to her second marriage, he
cared for her and her children, and the court records refer to his
extreme care and liberality in conserving the estate of his...
inventory of his estate was taken on 13 February 1685.
The will of
Deacon Richard Platt of Milford is an important document. It was
dated 4 August 1683, and after the usual religious preamble,
contains the following clauses: