JohnsonFamily - Person Sheet
JohnsonFamily - Person Sheet
NameRichard Denton Rev.
Birthapp 1600, Of Halifax, England
Deathaft 1663
FatherRichard Denton (1557-1619)
MotherSusan Sibella (1563-1603)
Deathaft 1636
Family ID5407
Marriagebef 1618
ChildrenSamuel (1631-1713)
Notes for Richard Denton Rev.
A graduate of St. Catherines, Cambridge in 1623,  Rev. Richard Denton came to New England circa 1635. Before coming he was a preacher in Halifax England.  The Cambridge University listing for Richard Denton says: "Sizar of St. Catherine's Easter, 1621-23-24, priest 8 June 1623, Deacon at Peterborough 9 March 1622-3. Curate of Coley Chapel, Halifax, for some years." ("Sizar" is defined as an undergraduate student.)

Coley's Chapel

From New England Genealogical Reg. 11/241: Rev. Richard Denton came to America from the Parish of Owram, North England on the ship "James". (Note:  No ship record has been discovered.)   He lived in Wetheresfield and Stamford, Connecticut. The J.S. Denton papers show baptismal records of Nathaniel and Timothy sons of Rev. Richard Denton "in Parish Church of Bolton, England."

The famous preacher, Cotton Mather, born 1663, speaks of Rev. Denton in his early memoirs: "Rev. Denton was a highly religious man with strong Presbyterian beliefs. He was a small man with only one eye, but in the pulpit he could sway a congregation like he was nine feet tall."

From "Narratives of New Netherland, 1609-1664" a letter to the Classis of Amsterdam from Johannes Megapolensis and Samuel Drisius dated August 5,1657: "At Hempsted, about seven leagues from here, there live some Independents. There are also many of our own church, and some Presbyterians. They have a Presbyterian preacher, Richard Denton, a pious, godly and learned man, who is in agreement with our church in everything. The Independents of the place listen attentively to his sermons; but when he began to baptize the children of parents who are not members of the church, they rushed out of the church." From another letter dated Oct. 22, 1657 the same writers continue: "Mr. Richard Denton, who is sound in faith, of a friendly disposition, and beloved by all, cannot be induced by us to remain, although we have earnestly tried to do this in various ways. He first went to Virginia to seek a situation, complaining of lack of salary, and that he was getting in debt, but he has returned thence. He is now fully resolved to go to old England, because of his wife who is sickly will not go without him, and there is need of their going there on account of a legacy of four hundred pounds sterling lately left by a deceased friend, and which they cannot obtain except by their personal presence."

The history of Hempstead, Long Island makes many references to the Dentons and their marriages and big families. The men were active in the local militias fighting the Indians and they developed excellent military experience that prepared them for officer commissions when they moved on to the Virginia frontier.

He married and had the following children:

Timothy DENTON
Nathaniel DENTON

(For more documented information about Rev. Richard Denton and his family, please see the articles by Dr. Walter Krumm in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 117, numbers 3 and 4.)


"DANIEL and NATHANIEL DENTON were sons of the REV. RICHARD DENTON, who came
from England to Massachusetts, and thence in turn to Connecticut and to Hempstead,
Long Island."

(Concerning DANIEL DENTON, vide, ante, PART FOUR, p. 599.)

"Daniel Denton was a man of great usefulness. He was first clerk of the town of
Jamaica, Long Island, and also a Justice of the Peace; he was at different times a
school teacher and a physician. He soon sold his interest in the Elizabeth Town grant
to JOHN BAKER, of New York, and JOHN OGDEN of Long Island, and is believed to have
returned to England. In 1670 he published in London a volume which is notable as being
the first description of the region, now known as New York and New Jersey, ever
printed in the English language. The title of this rarely interesting work was "A Brief
Description of New York, formerly called New Netherlands, with the Places thereunto
Adjoining; Likewise a Brief Relation of the Customs of the Indians there, by DANIEL
DENTON." The preface is a curiosity of literature: (vide, ante, PART FOUR, p. 508).

The pamphlet was reprinted in Volume I, No. 1 of the Proceedings of the Historical
Society of Pennsylvania, March, 1845, and also in Gowan's Bibliotheca Americana,
Number 1. New York, William Gowans, 1845.

Denton's A brief description of New York is a pamphlet of 21 pages. The title page
with line indications reads as follows:

A / Brief description / of New York: / formerly called / New Netherlands. / With the
Places thereunto Adjoyning. Together with the / Manner of its Scituation, Fertility of
the Soyle, / Healthfulness of the Climate, and the / Commodities thence produced. /
Also / Some Directions and Advice to such as shall go / thither: An Account of what
Commodities they shall / take with them; The Profit and Pleasure that / may accrew
to them thereby. / Likewise / A brief relation of the customs of the / Indians there.
/ (Single rule)

By Daniel Denton. / (Single rule) London, / Printed for John Hancock, at the first
Shop in Popes-Head-Alley in / Cornhil at the three Bibles, and William Bradley at the
three Bibles / in the Minories. 1670.

Transcript of the Preface to the Reader.

Reader,--I Have here through the Instigation of divers Persons in England, and
elsewhere, presented you with a Brief but true Relation of a known unknown part of
America. The known part which is either inhabited, or lieth near the Sea, I have
described to you, and have writ nothing, but what I have been an eye witness to all
or the greatest part of it: Neither can I safely say, was I willing to exceed my
Commendation, which I question not but will be owned by those that travel thither:
For the unknown part, which is either some places lying to the Northward yet
undiscovered by any English, or the Bowels of the earth not yet opened, though the
Natives tell us of Glittering Stones, Diamonds, or Pearl in the one, and the Dutch
hath boasted of Gold and Silver in the other; yet I shall not feed your expectation
with anything of that nature; but leave it till a better discovery shall make way for
such a Relation. In the mean time accept of this from him who desireth to deal
impartially with every one. Daniel Denton.

DENTON'S BOOK was largely instrumental in quickening immigration, and the
instructions it contained are worthy of reproduction as showing the inducements
held out, and as being inviting to only the most desirable class of settlers:

"To give some satisfaction to people that shall be desirous to transport themselves
thither (the country being capable of entertaining many thousands), how and after
what manner people live, and how land may be procured, etc., I shall answer that the
usual way is for a company of people to join together, either enough to make a
town, or a lesser number; these to go with the consent of the Governor and view a
tract of land, there being choice enough, and finding a place convenient for a town,
they return to the Governor, who upon their desire admits them to a colony, and
gives them a grant or patent for the said land, for themselves and associates.
These persons being thus qualified, settle the place, and take in what inhabitants to
themselves they shall see cause to admit of, till their town be full; these associates
thus taken in have equal privileges with themselves, and they make a division of the
land suitable to every man's occasions, no man being debarred of such quantities as
he hath occasion for, the rest they let lie in common to the whole town." (Coast,
Vol. 1, pp. 63-4.) 214
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