Roger Ludlow

Roger Ludlow

Infobox Lt Governor
name = Roger Ludlow
birth_date = March 1590
birth_place = Dinton, Wiltshire, England
death_date = Death year and age |1664|1590
death_place = Dublin, Ireland
nationality =
spouse = Mary Endicott
party =
relations =
children =
residence =
alma_mater = Balliol College, Oxford
occupation =
profession =
religion = Puritan, Congregationalist

website =
footnotes =
office = Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts
order =
term_start = 1634
term_end = 1635
order2 = 1st
office2 = Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut
term_start2 = 1639
term_end2 = 1640
order3 = 4th
office3 = Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut
term_start3 = 1642
term_end3 = 1643
order4 = 10th
office4 = Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut
term_start4 = 1648
term_end4 = 1649

Roger Ludlow (1590-1664) was one of the founders of the Colony of Connecticut. He was born in March 1590 in Dinton, Wiltshire, England.cite web|url=|title=Dinton - British History Online|accessdate=2008-09-17] Roger was the second son of Sir Thomas Ludlow of Maiden Bradley, WiltshireSir Thomas was the great uncle of Edmund Ludlow the soldier, parliamentarian, and author. [Taylor, John M. (1900); page 25] ] and Jane Pyle, sister of Sir Gabriel Pyle.Taylor, John M. (1900)] He matriculated at Balliol College, Oxford in 1609 or 1610, and was admitted to the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple in 1612.

Ludlow sailed to America in May 1630 aboard the ship "Mary & John" with his wife Mary Endicott, a sister of Governor John Endicott of Massachusetts.Taylor, John M. (1900); page 22] They settled at Dorchester, Massachusetts, where they remained for five years. During that period he was chosen magistrate in the Court of Assistants for the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He was elected as Deputy Governor in 1634. During this time Ludlow successfully negotiated the first treaty between the English and the Pequot. [Taylor, John M. (1900) page 33] In 1635 he was defeated by John Haynes for Governor.

In 1635 Roger Ludlow joined with other Puritans and Congregationalists who were dissatisfied with the rate of Anglican reforms, and sought to establish an ecclesiastical society subject to their own rules and regulations. The Massachusetts General Court granted them permission to settle the cities of Windsor, Wethersfield, and Hartford in the area now known as Connecticut.Permission was also granted to settle Springfield, Massachusetts but by 1638 that city left the others to instead be part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. See Horton, Wesley W. (1993-06-30) for details.] The Ludlows settled into Windsor. However, ownership of the lands for the new towns along the Connecticut River was called into dispute by the English holders of the Warwick Patent of 1631 that had been granted by Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick.The Warwick Patent is also known as the Saybrook Patent in some literature. See cite web|url=|title=Full text of "The Warwick patent"|publisher=The Acorn Club|accessdate=2008-09-16] The Massachusetts General Court established the March Commission to mediate the dispute between the Connecticut colony and the Saybrook Colony, and named Roger Ludlow as its head. The Commission named 8 magistrates from the Connecticut towns to implement a legal system. The March Commission expired in March 1636, after which time the settlers continued to self-govern.cite book |last=Horton |first=Wesley W. |authorlink=Wesley W. Horton |title=The Connecticut State Constitution: A Reference Guide |url=,M1 |accessdate=2008-09-17 |series=Reference guides to the state constitutions of the United States |volume=no. 17 |date=1993-06-30 |publisher=Greenwood Press |location=Westport, Connecticut |isbn=0313285659 |oclc=27066290 |pages=p 2]

In late 1636 and early 1637 the burgeoning Connecticut colony faced armed conflict in the Pequot War. The Connecticut towns decided to send a force of more than 70 soldiers along with Narragansett and Mohegan collaborators into an attack upon a Pequot settlement on May 26, 1637. While Ludlow did not participate in what became known as the Mystic massacre, his role in the General Court meant that he took part in the decision to send the force. After the destruction at Mystic Ludlow did leave the Windsor area to pursue Sassacus and other Pequot survivors, first to Saybrook at the mouth of the Connecticut river, then westward toward the Mattabesset village known as "Sasqua" or "Unquowa". On July 13, 1637 the battle in swamps around Unquowa signalled the final military defeat of the remaining Pequots.

On May 29, 1638 Ludlow wrote to Massachusetts Governor Winthrop that the colonists wanted to "unite ourselves to walk and lie peaceably and lovingly together." Ludlow was a framer of a document called the Fundamental Orders, which was adopted on January 14, 1639. The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut is the world's first written constitution for a self-governing people.

Roger Ludlow was a magistrate in 1637 and 1638, and was then named as the first Deputy Governor of Connecticut. He was also chosen as a Magistrate in 1640, and every year from that date until he left the colony in 1654, except in 1642 and 1648, when he was again chosen Deputy Governor. In 1643 Ludlow was one of the representatives from Connecticut in the negotiations which led to the con-federation of the colonies.

In early 1639 Ludlow's political rival from Massachusetts John Haynes who had since settled in Connecticut was elected Governor of Connecticut. Ludlow then chose to take leave from Hartford and Windsor and obtained a charter from the General Court to begin a settlement at "Pequannocke" (present day Bridgeport). He left with a group of like minded settlers from Windsor, Watertown, and Concord to purchase property along the coast of Long Island Sound west of the New Haven Colony. While on this task Ludlow recalled the attraction of the salt marshes west of the Pequonnock River near "Unquowa" and purchased land there from the native Sachem and founded the town of Fairfield, Connecticut. Ludlow settled his family in the new town of Fairfield, but returned to Hartford in the fall of 1639. In a session of the General Court held October 10, 1639 Ludlow was censured and fined by the Court for having exceeded the terms of the charter granted to settle areas that were to have been east of Fairfield. Governor Haynes and Thomas Wells visited Fairfield to investigate the settlement and apparently found that it was acceptable.

The purchase of property and settlement in the coastal area may have been part of an effort to obtain a Connecticut title to the area instead of allowing the land to be sold to the Dutch from New Netherland or the New Haven Colonists. Early the following year in 1640 Ludlow purchased land from the Siwanoy Sachem Mahackemo located still further west in an area that would become Norwalk, Connecticut.

In 1646 Ludlow was asked by the Connecticut General Court to draft a comprehensive set of laws "grounded in precedent and authority and fitted to the necessities of the new civilization." The result was “The Code of Laws of 1650”, or Ludlow Code, which is archived in the Connecticut Colonial Records.

Having been tried for slandering Mrs. Thomas Staples of Fairfield (the accusation was that Ludlow had said that she was a witch) and lost as well as being appointed commander of a militia to defend Fairfield against invasion by the Dutch, Ludlow had grown weary of colonial life. He left Fairfield in April or May 1654.Taylor, John (1900); page 145] He first sailed to Virginia Colony to visit his brother George who had settled there. Then Ludlow left Virginia to return to England and made it to Ireland by September 1654. Ludlow settled at Dublin and in November of 1654 was appointed to serve the Council as an adjudicator of matters relating to property law. The appointment may have been made at the request of Oliver Cromwell. [Taylor (1900) page. 150-153.] He served on the commission from 1654 to 1658. A new commission was appointed and Ludlow was again assigned to it in 1658. He was also appointed to the post of Master in Chancery in Ireland.

He was a resident and member of St. Michan's Church in Dublin. His wife Mary died and was buried on June 3, 1664 according to records kept at the parish church. Parish records of his death in Dublin (presumed to have taken place between 1664 and 1668) no longer exist.

Roger Ludlowe Middle School and Fairfield Ludlowe High School, both in Fairfield, are named for him.

ee also

* Great Migration (Puritan)
* List of Lieutenant Governors of Connecticut
* Saybrook Colony
* Anglo-Dutch Wars




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