William Stoughton1

#2529, (circa 1632 - 7 July 1701)
Relationship1st cousin 9 times removed of William David Lewis
Father*Israel Stoughton1 (c 1603 - 1645)
Mother*Elizabeth Knight1 (s 1606 - 1644)
William Stoughton, Chief Justice in the Salem Witch Courts
ca. 1700, artist not known
Harvard University Museums of Art, Cambridge, Massachusetts
The witchcraft trials at Salem took place during his term as Chief Justice.2 
Birth*circa 1632He was born circa 1632 at England or New EnglandG.1 
17 July 1644In Israel Stoughton's will dated 17 July 1644, William Stoughton was named as an heir.3,4 
1650He was graduated in 1650 from Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts.5 
between 1651 and 1661He lived approx. Between 1651 and 1661 at EnglandG.5 
30 June 1653He was graduated on 30 June 1653 from New College, Oxford, England, with a Masters degree.5 
between 1670 and 1686He was an Assistant in the General Court between 1670 and 1686 at MassachusettsG.2 
Marriage3 November 1681 Mary Harris and Nicholas Lawrence were married by William Stoughton on 3 November 1681 at Dorchester, Massachusetts Colony.6 
between 1686 and 1692He was Chief Justice in the General Court between 1686 and 1692 at MassachusettsG.7 
1692He was named as Lieutenant-Governor under Gov. Phips in 1692 at MassachusettsG.2 
between 1694 and 1701He was Acting Governor (exc. 1699-1700 when the Earl of Bellamont was in Boston) between 1694 and 1701 at MassachusettsG.2 
Death*7 July 1701He died on 7 July 1701 at Dorchester, Suffolk Co., MassachusettsG.8,1 


  1. [S292] Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633 (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995), online AmericanAncestors.org, p. 1775.
  2. [S759] Ralph W. Stoughton, "The Stoughton Families of Dorchester, Mass., and Windsor, Conn.", The American Genealogist 29:4 (Oct. 1953): p. 203.
  3. [S806] Wm. B. Trask, "Abstracts from the Earliest Wills on Record in the County of Suffolk, Mass.", New England Historical and Genealogical Register 4 (1850): IV:1, pp. 51-52. Will of Israel Stoughton (17 Jul 1644), written in London, England, while he was visiting and involved in "the hazard of warre." Bequeaths to "Deere & worthily honored wife"; "Eldest sonne Israel"; [son] William; "sonne John". "In case my number be seven", referring to his wife's pregnancy [his fourth son Thomas was b. in Dorchester, MA 30 Jul 1644, thirteen days after the date of this will]. Three daughters, not named. Gives two hundred acres to Harvard College. Executors wife and son Israel; overseers John Winthrop, Sr., Thomas Dudley, Richard Bellingham, Increase Nowell, "my deere brother(s) "Wm. Knight, Thomas Stoughton, Thomas Clarke and David Yale." Codicil (added the same day) mentions friends Thomas Jones of Dorchester and Edward Johnson of Roxbury.
  4. [S759] Ralph W. Stoughton, "Stoughton Families of Dorchester", pp. 200-1. Discussion of the will of Israel Stoughton which names overseers " 'my deere brothers, Mr. Wm. Knight, Mr. Thomas Stoughton, Mr. Thomas Clarke, Mr. David Yale' "; provisions for his " 'deere mother' ", the [possibly] Widow Knight, "who with her three youngest children had come to Dorchester in 1635, and was then a member of his household." [In this account, the widow is his step-mother; in other later accounts, she is his mother-in-law.]
  5. [S759] Ralph W. Stoughton, "Stoughton Families of Dorchester", p. 202.
  6. [S813] A Report of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston Containing Dorchester Births, Marriages, and Deaths to the End of 1825 (Boston: Rockwell and Churchill, 1890), p. 24. Nicolas Laurence & Mary Harice were married by the Worshipfull William Stoughton Esq'. Novr. 3d. 81."
  7. [S759] Ralph W. Stoughton, "Stoughton Families of Dorchester", p. 203, elected.
  8. [S813] Report of the Record Commissioners, p. 125, Deaths 1701; "The honourable William Stoughton Esqr. Lieutenant Governour And Commander in Chiefe, in and Over His Majesties province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England Died July the Seventh 1701."