Rev. William Eddy, the vicar of St. Dunstan’s Church, the “Cathedral in the Weald,” never traveled to the American colonies, but he has many descendants today in the United States.
The reverend was a well educated man, having received his B.A. degree from the University of Cambridge in 1583 and three years later, earned a master’s degree, also at Cambridge.
On 15 January 1591, “William Eddye” was appointed as the vicar of Cranbrook by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rev. Whitgift. He served there the rest of his life.
William Eddy was born c1562 to unproven parents (in spite of what is found online). He married (1) Mary Fosten, 20 November 1587, Cranbrook, Kent, England. Mary died on 18 July 1611 in Cranbrook. (2) Sarah Taylor, 22 February 1614/14, also at Cranbrook.
William was the father of twelve children, with eleven being born to Mary and his last child, a daughter, to Sarah Taylor.
Children (All events in Cranbrook unless noted otherwise):
1. Nathaniel, baptized 30 March 1589, Staplehurst, Kent, England; died before 1611.
2. Mary, baptized 19 September 1591; reportedly married Simeon Merdon
3. Phineas, baptized 23 September 1593; died c1641; married (1) Katherine Courthropp (2) Christian (MNU), before December 1639. This family reportedly moved to Portsmouth, England, but Phineas supposedly died in Cranbrook.
4. John, baptized 27 March 1597; died 12 October 1684, Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts; married (1) Amy Doggett, c1622, England (2) Joanna (MNU), the widow of Gabriel Meade, after 12 May 1666. His two eldest children were baptized at Nayland, Suffolk, England. John and Amy and children arrived in Massachusetts on the Handmaid in 1630.
5. Eleanor, baptized 5 August 1599; died October 1610
6. Abigail, baptized October 1601; died 20 May 1687, Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts; married John Benjamin, c1620. John and Abigail Benjamin emigrated to Massachusetts on the Lion in 1632.
7. Anne, baptized 15 May 1603; died 1678; married Barnabas Wines. Barnabas and Anne also emigrated to Massachusetts, settling in Watertown.
8. Elizabeth, baptized 7 December 1606; no further record.
9. Samuel, baptized 15 May 1608; died 12 November 1687, Swansea, Bristol, Massachusetts; married Elizabeth Savory. Samuel and Elizabeth sailed with his brother John’s family on the Handmaid in 1630.
10. Zacharias, baptized March 1610; no further record
11. Nathaniel, baptized 18 July 1611; buried 27 July 1611.
Rev. Eddy’s last child was with his second wife, Sarah Taylor:
12. Priscilla, baptized 18 December 1614; buried 20 February 1616.