Anthony Colby


Born in 1605
Anthony Colby was born in Horbling, England, 1605.1 He arrived on one of the eleven vessels of the Winthrop Fleet that came to New England in 1630. He is listed as No. 93 on a list of Boston church members in that year. He married Susannah (Haddon?) sometime between 1630 and 1632. They were living in Cambridge in 1632. In 1634, he took the ‘oath of freeman’ before the General Court in Boston. By 1637, he and his family were living in Ipswich, Massachusetts.

One of the Original Settlers of Salisbury Massachusetts
Anthony Colby was one of the original settlers of the town of Salisbury, Massachusetts and was one of sixty-nine men to receive ‘first division lots’ in 1639. He was granted additional lands in 1643 and 1654. Anthony seams to have been able to speak his mind; in 1639 he was fined 1 shilling for being ‘disorderly’ in a town meeting. In 1640, he was appointed to a committee to appraise domestic animals in Salisbury. By 1649, he had moved west of the Powow River to Salisbury New Town (the future Amesbury), along with other grantees such as Haddon, Macy, Sargent and Martin. ‘Articles of Agreement’, which designated the rights and responsibilities of the new town’s inhabitants, were signed in 1658.

Bought Thomas Macy's House & Lands in 1654
Thomas Macy sold the house now known as the ‘Macy-Colby House and lands in Amesbury to Anthony Colby in 1654. Thomas Macy left Amesbury in 1659 to become one of the first European settlers of the island of Nantucket. A portion of this original house still stands today, although the house was extensively modified by the Colby family sometime in the early 1740’s. The house was donated to the Bartlett Cemetery Association in 1899 by Moses Colby and it is now maintained as a museum. Anthony Colby was granted an additional sixty acres of land in 1658, the same year the new town of Amesbury started legal procedures to separate from Salisbury. The town of Amesbury was incorporated in 1668. Anthony Colby died at the age of 54 in Amesbury on February 11, 1660-61.

Susannah Colby
Susannah married Anthony Colby and bore him seven surviving children. Two years after Anthony’s death, she married William Whitridge. In 1664, Susannah was involved in a dispute with the Macy family over ownership of Macy-Colby House property in which the court upheld her rights to the property. Her second husband died in 1668 and Susannah lived in the Macy-Colby House during the term of her widowhood until her death in 1689. Some sources say she may have been previously married to a Mr. Waterman, leaving her a young widow before her marriage to Anthony Colby. Also, although it has not been documented, Susannah may have been related to Jarret Haddon, another first-settler of Amesbury, who owned adjoining properties to the Colby’s in Cambridge, in Salisbury and in Amesbury.

Seven Children
Anthony and Susannah Colby’s seven children were born and baptized in New England.

John b. 1633 m. Frances Hoyt in 1655 d. 1674
Sarah b. 1634 m. Orlando Bagley in 1653 d. 1663
Samuel b. 1638-39 m. Elizabeth Sargent in 1667 d. 1716
Isaac b. 1640 m. Martha Parrett in 1668 d. 1684
Rebecca b. 1643 m. John Williams in 1661 d. 1672
Mary b. 1647 m. William Sargent in 1668 d. after 1689
Thomas b. 1650 m. Hannah Rowell in 1674 d. 1691

Died in 1661
Anthony Colby (1605-1661) is buried in Golgotha Cemetery, an historical grave site in Amesbury, where a monument lists the founding fathers of Amesbury, Massachusetts.

1 Originally it was believed he was from Beccles, England but this aristocratic-Beccles connection has been disproved.