Roger Burlingham was also known as Roger Burlingame, which is an American corruption of the original English name Burlingham. After he came to Rhode Island, his name appears in both forms. Over time, most family members adopted the name Burlingame.
Roger was born 24 Jan 1620 (Doherty and Jacox both say 1638) in Darwich, Kent, England and married Jacolyn Huntingdon about 1646 in England. After Jacolyn's death, Robert married Mary Lippitt, daughter of John Lippitt and Martha (??) on 3 Oct 1663 in Warick, RI. Roger died on 1 Sep 1718 in Mashantatack, Providence, RI at age 98. His estate was valued at 199 pounds, 13 shillings, 8 pence, and included a mare, three cows, three yearlings, a calf, two sheep, two swine, an old sword, clothing, scales, cash, etc.
He enlisted in the British Army at age 16, serving in his uncle Roger Burlingham's regiment, and eventually became a Captain. His company was sent to America, landing at Boston, MA on 10 May 1650. Soon thereafter he resigned his commission. He went to Connecticut, intending to buy a farm and send for his wife and son in England, not knowing that his wife had died.
On 16 Feb 1656, he and Thomas Griffian bought 100 acres of land on the east side of "the brooke called misticke" in Pequot (now New London), RI from Peter Blatchford for 40 pounds. Roger sold this property on 1 Mar 1659 to William Thompson. On 14 Mar 1659 Thompson filed a complaint against (Thomas Burlingham", charging him with gathering crops on this farm. There is no other record of Thomas Burlingham at this date and may have been Thomas Griffian, named Burlingham by mistake. On 7 Mar 1663, Tollarton Harris testified in court that on 12 Jul 1662 he saw Samuel Gorton, George Goff, Roger Burlingame, and Ebenezer Moone mowing the grass on the property of W. Field and W. Harris, near a place called Toskeonke on the north side of the Pawtuxet River. Similar testimony was given by Andrew Harris. Roger Burlingame, along with Thomas Ralph and John Harrud, claimed that they had been granted the property, totaling 4000 acres, by the Cooweeseette Indians on 6 Jun 1662. Field and Harris claimed that they had been granted the property by the King. The court found in favor of Field and Harris and ordered Burlingame and the others to leave the land, and pay 10 shillings damages. They did not leave, however. The Town Sergeant put off enforcing the verdict, knowing that the community favored Burlingame and the others. On 1 May 1670, T. Harris testified that on 21 Apr 1670 he and the General Sergeant went to John Harrud's home to execute the verdict, and were turned away at gunpoint. Harrud was supported by about 15 men, including John Weeks Sr. and Jr., Edmund Calvery, Roger Burlingame and Benjamin Barton. Eventually, Burlingame, Harrud, and Ralph won out, partly due to Harris' death.
Roger bought lands from the Cooweeseette Indians on 23 Jun 1662 and 13 may 1663. The site of his home is "about one and one-half miles northwesterly from Oak Lawn Depot, Cranston, Rhode Island." He built a 2 1/2 story "Mansion House" about 1666, which was about 35x60 feet. On 25 Sep 1671, Thomas Ralph, Roger Burlingame, and John Harrud were authorized by the General Assembly to set the tax rate and levy assessments for the town of Mashantatack. In Oct 1671, they were ordered to levy a tax of 40 shillings on the townspeople, as their share of the 200 pounds levied on the Rhode Island Colony.
On 6 Oct 1682, Roger Burlingham "of Mashantatack" bought land in Warwick from Abel Potter, and then Roger Burlingham "of Warwick" sold the land to his son John the same day. On 6 Sep 1684 he deeded his homestead in Mashantatack, RI totaling about 83 acres to his son Peter, reserving a lifetime lease. (Jacox and McPherson both put this date at 6 Sep 1704, and the land at 50 acres). On 15 Mar 1708 he deeded an additional 15 acres of land to Peter, to the west of his homestead in Mashantatack, including some iron ore beds. He was elected to the General Assembly from Warick, RI on 6 May 1690, but was not accepted by the Assembly because of the question of his legal residence, and hence the legality of the election. The questions arose from his purchase and sale of land in Warwick on 6 Oct 1682, described above, in which he claimed residency in Mashantatack in one deed and in Warwick in the other. The Assembly declared he was from Mashantatack, not Warwick.
On 24 Apr 1697, in Providence, Providence, RI he was one of 21 men who were ordered by a Council of War to take ten men each, to search for the Indian enemies, and if possible to expel or kill them. If they were too strong however, he was to warn the inhabitants. (The date of this order calls into question the birthdate given by Nelson Burlingame, and makes the 1638 date given by other sources more credible. A birthdate of 1638, however, would mean that he couldn't have joined the British Army in 1636, married Jacolyn Huntingdon in 1646, and had a son in 1648, or come to the US as a Captain in the British Army in 1650.)
He was elected constable in Providence on 7 Jun 1697. He was elected to the town council of Providence on 6 Jul 1698. He and his family were Quakers, and up until about 1711, they held their meetings at his Mansion House in Mashantatack, Providence, RI.
His will was dated 28 Nov 1715 in Providence, Providence, RI. The witnesses were John Burton, Mary Burton, and Peter Robards. It was proved 13 Sep 1718, and his son Roger and sons-in-law Thomas Arnold and Amos Stafford were named as overseers. His wife Mary was named as executrix, but since she had died, his son John took over. He left his movable estate to his wife Mary. At her death, this was to be evenly divided between his daughters, and his granddaughters Freelove Burlingame (of his son, Roger), Frances Gorton, and Deborah Hazzard. He left 50 acres of land to his son Roger and his grandson John Burlingame, and the rest of his land to his son Thomas. He also left about 20 shillings each to his sons, John, Thomas, and Roger.
(Most of the above information was from Nelson Burlingame)
This page was last updated on September 27, 2005