William Yardley


William Yardley

Infobox Person
name = William Yardley


image_size =
caption =
birth_name = William Yardley
birth_date = 1632
birth_place = Lansclough, England
death_date = death date and age|1693|5|6|1632|1|1|mf=y
death_place = Yardley, Pennsylvania
death_cause =
resting_place =
resting_place_coordinates =
residence = Prospect Farm
nationality = Pennsylvanian
ethnicity = English
citizenship = Province of Pennsylvania
known_for = Namesake of Yardley, Pennsylvania
education =
alma_mater =
employer = Province of Pennsylvania
occupation = Legislator; Quaker minister
home_town =
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height =
weight =
term =
predecessor =
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party =
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religion = Quaker
spouse = Jane
partner =
children = Enoch, William and Thomas
parents =
relations =
callsign =


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William Yardley (1632 – May 6, 1693) was an early settler of Bucks County, Pennsylvania and is the namesake of the borough of Yardley, Pennsylvania. As a persecuted Quaker minister, Yardley and his wife, Jane (nee Janney) moved from Ransclough, England near Leeke in the County of Stafford to Bucks County when Yardely was 50. The family arrived on September 28, 1682 on the ship "Friend's Adventure" with their children, Thomas, Enoch and William, and a servant. Yardley subsequently purchased convert|500|acre|km2 of land in Lower Makefield Township in Bucks County from William Penn, who had received the land from Charles II of England to settle a debt of Penn's father. Yardley named his tract "Prospect Farm". He served as a Justice of the Peace for Bucks County and became a member of the Provincial Council.

After Yardley died in a smallpox epidemic in 1693, Yardley's nephew Thomas Yardley arrived from England in 1694 to manage the holdings. Through marriage, nephew Thomas added land to Yardley's former holdings and had ten children. As a result, William Yardley became the ancestor of all that bear the Yardley name in Bucks County and many in other parts of the United States.

History

William Yardley was born in 1632 in Lansclough, England, located in Staffordshire.cite book|title=History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania|last=Davis|first=William Watts Hart|coauthors=Warren Smedley Ely, John Woolf Jordan|year=1905|publisher=The Lewis Pub. Co.|pages=83|url=http://books.google.com/books?id=skgVAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA83&dq=William+Yardley&as_brr=3] The Yardleys are supposed to have arrived England with William the Conqueror in or after 1066, but the earliest record Yardley's in England was a William Yardley's appearance as a witness at the placing of King John's seal on the Magna Carta in 1215. The name Yardley next appears 185 years later, giving documented support the claim that William Yardley's ancestors were in England in 1400.

Yardley was raised as an agriculturist, but associated with the mystic religious community in renaissance England called the Family of Love.cite book|title=The History of the Society of Friends in America|last=Bowden|first=James|year=1854|publisher=C. Gilpin|pages=115|url=http://books.google.com/books?id=jv81AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA115&dq=William+Yardley+pennsylvania&as_brr=1#PPA115,M1] When Yardley was 15, English Dissenter George Fox began preaching an unusual and uncompromising approach to English Puritanism. This lead to the creation of the Religious Society of Friends, also called the Quakers, a year later in 1648. In 1656, at the age of 23, Yardley began preaching on behalf of the Quakers. Two years later, Yardley became a Quaker minister (also called a Friends minister). Over the next twenty-five years, Yardley preached throughout England and was imprisoned several times along with many other Quakers, including William Penn. In one harsh imprisonment, Yardley's only resting place for three months was the bare, unheated floor of his cell.

In March 1681, Quaker William Penn founded the Province of Pennsylvania as a primary refuge for persecuted English Quakers. Yardley was an uncle to one of Penn's most trusted friends and counselors, Phineas Pemberton. With plans to leave England, Yardley made an agreement with William Penn to buy convert|500|acre|km2 for ten pounds (about nineteen U.S. dollars). At age 50 in 1682, Yardley and wife Jane (nee Janney), sons Enoch, William and Thomas, and servant Andrew Heath sailed to the America on the ship "Friend's Adventure." On the ship, Yardley brought with him 2 bundles, 2 tubs, 3 chests, 1 pack, 2 boxes qty. 2 cwt. wrought iron, 1/2 cwt. pewter, 30 lbs, woolen cloth, 100 ells English linen, 40 lbs. new shoes, 2 cwt. nails; 1/2 chest window glass, 1/2 cwt. haberdashery wares. [cite journal |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |year= |month= |title= Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine|publisher= Genealogical Society of PA|volume= 23|issue= 2|pages= 46|isbn= 1422369137|url= http://books.google.com/books?id=7gCHfVf23gAC&pg=PA46&dq=The+Friend%27s+Adventure+of+Liverpool&as_brr=1&sig=ACfU3U18zFxsd22JVrdLlk4e8gkpoJfypw|accessdate=2008-08-11 |quote= 2 bundles, 2 tubs, 3 chests, 1 pack, 2 boxes qty. 2 cwt. wrought iron, 1/2 cwt. pewter, 30 lbs, woolen cloth, 100 ells English linen, 40 lbs. new shoes, 2 cwt. nails; 1/2 chest window glass, 1/2 cwt. haberdashery wares.]

When he arrived in America, Yardley became the first person named "Yardley" to immigrate into America. They eventually made their way to Falls, Bucks County, Pennsylvania and arrived there on September 28, 1682. Within the next few days, Yardley located convert|500|acre|km2 on the west bank of the Delaware River covering what now is Yardley, Pennsylvania. William Penn gave Yardley a warranty deed on October 6, 1682 and the land officially became Yardley's about five years later on January 23, 1687 through a land patent.

By the end of 1682, Yardley built his farmhouse on what now is called Yardley Dolington Rd, about a mile from Yardley, Pennsylvania. He called his farmhouse and adjoining convert|500|acre|km2 of land "Prospect Farm." In 1683, Yardley presided over the marriage of Richard Hough, one of the first marriages among the English settlers.cite book|title=History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania|last=Davis|first=William Watts Hart|coauthors=Warren Smedley Ely, John Woolf Jordan|year=1905|publisher=The Lewis Pub. Co.Bucks County|pages=82|url=http://books.google.com/books?id=skgVAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA83&dq=William+Yardley&as_brr=3] In addition, Yardley almost immediately took a prominent part in the affairs of the Province of Pennsylvania.

Over the next ten years Yardley signed one of the frames of Pennsylvania's Great Charter, represented Bucks County in the first Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly, and was a member of the Executive Council of the Province of Pennsylvania. Yardley died on May 6, 1693 at the age of 61 as a result of a smallpox epidemic. Thomas Janney (1633–1696), Yardley's brother-in-law, [cite book|title=A History of Preston County, West Virginia|last=Morton|first=Oren Frederic|coauthors=J. R. Cole|year=1914|publisher=The Journal Publishing CompanyBucks County|pages=591|url=http://books.google.com/books?id=Cj8VAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA591&dq=Thomas+Janney+william+yardley&as_brr=3] wrote of him, about the time of his death: "He was a man of sound mind and good understanding."

After death

The tract of William Yardley covered the site of Yardley, and, after his death, his son Thomas established a ferry there, called "Yardley's ferry," which the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly confirmed to him in 1722. The ferry sometimes was called Howell's ferry since that was the name of the ferry kept on the New Jersey side of the Delaware River. [cite book|title=History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania|last=Davis|first=William Watts Hart|coauthors=Warren Smedley Ely, John Woolf Jordan|year=1905|publisher=The Lewis Pub. Co.Bucks County|pages=88|url=http://books.google.com/books?id=skgVAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA83&dq=William+Yardley&as_brr=3] Yardley's ferry soon after became an important point, and, later in the 18th century, when the three great roads leading to Philadelphia, via the Falls, Four Lanes end (now Langhorne), and Newtown terminated there, the ferry became a thoroughfare of travel and traffic for a large section of East Jersey.

Yardley's wife Jane and their three sons, Enoch, William and Thomas, died in 1702–1703 due to the a smallpox epidemic. As a result, Yardley's property in America reverted to his heirs in England, namely Yardley's brother Thomas and nephews, Thomas and Samuel, sons of Thomas. In 1694, Thomas, the younger son of Thomas (brother) and nephew to Yardley, came over with power of attorney to settle the estate. "Prospect Farm" became his property by purchase, and he settled in Lower Makefield Township, Pennsylvania, spending his life in Pennsylvania, 12 month, 1706. Through his marriage to the daughter of William Biles, the 1724 Speaker of the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly, and the siring of ten children, nephew Thomas combined the properties of his uncle, William Yardley, and father-in-law, William Biles, such that William Yardley became the ancestor of all that bear the Yardley name in Bucks County and many in other parts of the United States.

References

* Jane Moon Snipes, "The Founding and Founder of the Falls Meeting", "The Bulletin of Friends’ Historical Association", 1933.
* [http://scarbrough.bizhat.com/index_files/Page408.htm ]
* [http://genforum.genealogy.com/yardley/messages/19.html Information at genealogy.com]
* [http://worldconnect.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=verne&id=I23280 Information at RootsWeb]

Persondata
NAME = Yardley, William
ALTERNATIVE NAMES =
SHORT DESCRIPTION = Quaker minister
DATE OF BIRTH = 1632
PLACE OF BIRTH = Lansclough, England
DATE OF DEATH = May 6 1693
PLACE OF DEATH = Yardley, Pennsylvania


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