Robert Feake1,2,3

M, b. circa 1602, d. 1 February 1661
FatherJames Feake b. c 1567, d. b 20 May 1625
MotherJudith Thomas b. c 1575, d. b 24 Dec 1625
     Robert was born circa 1602 in London, County Middlesex, England. On 21 September 1615, when he attained the accepted age of 13 for beginning apprenticeships, he was contracted with his father for a term of eight years through the Company of Goldsmiths of London. In 1630, he left London and immigratred to New England with the fleet of Governor John Wintrhop of Massachusetts Bay Colony. By this time, Robert had lost his grandparennts and his parents and had inherited a vast estate and had become a very wealthy man. It should be noted that inspite of his training, Robert did not practice his trade in the New World. The first mention of him in America is on a prospecting expedition with the governor. It is recorded that he applied for admission as a freeman 19 October 1630, and was admitted a freeman 18 May 1631. Later that year,he became acquainted with John Winthrop's niece, Elizabeth Ffones, who was also the widow of Henry Winthrop, the same John Winthrop's son.4,5 Robert married Elizabeth Ffownes, daughter of Thomas Ffownes II and Anne Winthrop, before 27 January 1632 in Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts.6 He and Elizabeth were blessed with 5 children. On 4 September 1632, he was appointed Lieutenant to Captain Daniel Patrick, the chief military officer at Watertown and neighboring settlements. Once married into the Winthrop family, Robert was well taken care of by his wife's relatives. He was soon holding important offices and began acquiring land holdings. By 1636, Robert had obtained land holdings amounting to 200 acres in nine different parcels. He also held various offices in the settlement up to 1636. By August of that year, Robert had moved to Dedham and soon after received a house and home lot there. These he resigned the right to on 21 Sept 1638 and to all the rest of his Dedham property on 23 November 1638, and was back in Watertown in 1639. On 18 July 1640, Robert & Captain Patrick, by now both friends and business associates, set out for Connecticut, where they purchased a large tract of land which was to become Greenwich, Connecticut. This tract of land included a neck that the two named Elizabeth's Neck in honor of Robert's wife. Shortly after the purchase, the partners and the land became involved in a dispute over jurisdiction by the English and the Dutch . The Indians, who had sold the land, also created problems by attacking the new settlers and causing havoc. Before the controversy was settled, his close friend Captain Patrick was killed by a Dutch soldier. after a heated arguement. The tradgic event may have led to Robert loosing his sanity.

By this time, 2 January 1642, Robert's mental condition had detioriated to the point that Elizabeth with the consent of Robert, had taken over the family's financial affairs. Eventually, it was decided by Robert and Elizabeth that William Hallet, a friend of the family, would aid in managing their holdings. At about this time, Robert and Captain Daniel Patrick, became involved in a dispute over the jurisdiction of Greenwich by the English and the Dutch. The Indians, who had sold the land to them, also created problems by attacking the new settlers and causing havoc. Before this controversy was settled, Captain Patrick, his very close friend, was killed by a Dutch soldier after a heated arguement on 2 June 1644.7 The tradgic death of Patrick may have led to Robert loosing his sanity. Whatever the reasons, Robert's condition did continue to worsen, and in 1647, he apparently could no longer deal with the stress of colonial life and returned to London. His mental state apparently did improve with his stay in England, for he did return to Watertown by September of 1649. After his return, he did settle there and lived at the home of Samuel Thatcher. Robert departed this life on Tuesday, 1 February 1661 in Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.

Additional Notes: It is not known whether a divorce was obtained between Elizabeth Fones and Robert Feake. It has been stated by many descendants that a divorce had been granted by the New Amsterdam governor, but that it was not accepted by the New England colonies.


Elizabeth Ffownes b. 21 Jul 1609, d. 1 Feb 1673


  1. [S38] Daniel Hoogland Carpenter, History & Genealogy of the Carpenter Family In America From the Settlement at Providence, R. I. 1637 - 1901
    , page 59.
  2. [S1052] J. J. Latting, Genealogical Fragments: The Sinclair and Feake Families, pages 12-13.
  3. [S457] Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, ORIGIN: London
    MIGRATION: 1630
    FIRST RESIDENCE: Watertown
    REMOVES: Greenwich 1640, Watertown
    RETURN TRIPS: 1647, returned to Watertown 1650
    OCCUPATION: Goldsmith. He served an apprenticeship with his father, James Feake, for eight years beginning 21 September 1615, but probably never practiced his craft in the New World.
    FREEMAN: Requested 19 October 1630 (as "Mr. Robte. Feake") and admitted 18 May 1631 (as "Mr. Roberte Feakes").
    EDUCATION: His 1636 letter to John Winthrop Jr. shows a good education . His estate included a Bible.
    OFFICES: Chosen lieutenant to Capt. Patrick, 4 September 1632; deputy for Watertown to General Court, 14 May 1634, 4 March 1634/5, 6 May 1635, 3 March 1635/6, 25 May 1636, 8 September 1636; committee on fortifications, 3 September 1634; committee on various boundary disputes, 4 March 1634/5; appointed magistrate for quarter court, 25 May 1636; committee to arbitrate "difference betwixt Boston & Waymothe at Mount Woollaston," 25 October 1636.
    Chosen Watertown selectman, 10 October 1636, 10 December 1638, 6 December.
    ESTATE: Granted eighty acres in the Great Dividend in Watertown, 25 July 1636; granted twenty-four acres in the Beaverbrook Plowlands, 28 February 1636/7; granted forty acres in the Remote Meadows, 26 June 1637; granted nine acres at the Town Plot, 9 April 1638.
    In the Watertown Inventory of Grants "Robert Feke" was shown to have received nine parcels of land: fourteen acre homestall [ten acres sold to Simon Stone]; fifteen acres upland [ten acres sold to Thomas Bright by 1640; six acres marsh [sold to Simon Stone]; eighty acres upland in the Great Dividend [to John Benjamin]; twenty-four acres plowland [to John Benjamin]; forty acres Remote Meadow [twenty-five acres sold to Edward Howe]; nine acres upland [Town Plot, to Nathan Fiske]; six acres upland [sold to Daniel Patrick]; and six acres meadow in Plain Meadow [to John Page]. (Robert Feake had disposed of his Watertown property before the compilation of the Watertown land inventories; the indication of sales of land given here derives mostly from comparison of the grants made to Feake with the later holdings of others.).
  4. [S971] Patricia L. Haslam, Captain Daniel Patrick of the 1630 Winthrop Fleet & Some of His Descendants, page 468 - Robert Feake came over between 2 November 1631 & 27 January 1632.
  5. [S1080] George E. McCracken, The Feake Family of Norfolk, London, and Colonial America, page 212.
  6. [S1080] George E. McCracken, The Feake Family of Norfolk, London, and Colonial America, page 212 - John Wihtrop's Journal (I:83, under date of Jan. 27, 1631/32) states that a certain hill - in part of Watertown afterwards Waltham - was named for Robert Feake who had married the governor's daughter-in-law.
  7. [S971] Patricia L. Haslam, Captain Daniel Patrick of the 1630 Winthrop Fleet & Some of His Descendants, page 472 - 2 January 1642, whereas we, Captain Daniel Patrick & Elizabeth Feac, duly authorized by her husband Robert Feac, now sick, have resided 2 years about five or six leagues of the Netherlanders ...