Friday, July 6, 2012

John Locke ~ He Cut Off an Indian's Nose with his Scythe!

These memorials are located on Locke's Neck in Rye, New Hampshire.  
You can find it on Locke Road, off Ocean Boulevard (Route 1A) just before Rye Harbor. 



CAPTAIN JOHN LOCKE
SETTLED HERE ON LOCKE'S NECK
ABOUT 1640
KILLED BY THE INDIANS NEAR THIS SPOT
AUGUST 26, 1696
ERECTED BY THE LOCKE FAMILY ASSOCIATION
1934



LOCKE'S NECK

NAMED FOR CAPTAIN JOHN LOCKE WHO SETTLED HERE
BEFORE 1665 WITH HIS WIFE, ELIZABETH BERRY. BORN IN 
LONDON IN 1627, HE LANDED IN PORTSMOUTH CA 1644 AND
ACCORDING TO TRADITION FRAMED THE FIRST MEETING HOUSE
THERE ABOUT 1654.  AS CAPTAIN OF THE MILITIA HE WAS NOTED
FOR HIS DEFENSIVE ACTIONS AGAINST HOSTILE INDIANS.
HE WAS KILLED HERE AUGUST 26, 1696 BY INDIANS AS HE
WORKED HIS FIELDS WITH ONLY A SICKLE FOR DEFENSE.
HIS SONS AND GRANDSONS WERE INSTRUMENTAL IN THE
CREATION OF THE PARISH OF RYE IN 1726.

THIS AREA HAS BEEN CALLED JOSELYN'S NECK, LOCKE'S 
NECK AND STRAW'S POINT.  IN 1978 RYE'S ANNUAL TOWN
MEETING OFFICIALLY NAMED THIS AREA LOCKE'S NECK IN
HONOR OF THAT PIONEER FAMILY.

ERECTED BY
THE LOCKE FAMILY ASSOCIATION
1984


Please note there is a discrepancy between the two signs as to when John Locke settled on this land.  Neither sign mentions the story of John Locke defending himself before his death, by cutting off the nose of one of the hostile Indians.  The story was popular during Victorian times, but today there is a lot of sympathy for the Indians who were losing their land.   According to myth, repeated in town and state histories, Locke's sons spent years searching for an Indian without a nose to avenge their father's death.  You can view the sickle/scythe on display at the New Hampshire Historical Society Museum, along with a plaque about the story.  The Locke family burial ground is located across the street from these two memorials on Locke Neck. 


This excerpt from The Granite Monthly magazine was published in 1892,
Volume 14, page 47 (from Google Books) 
You can see the story of "The Indian's Nose" but also the incorrect name of his wife. 


Click here for a link to a previous blog post on John Locke

--------------------
Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

8 comments:

  1. I figure there's probably some truth to the story-- just wonder how much...

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  2. Heather, I was wondering about your comment that John Locke did not marry Elizabeth Berry, and was wondering if maybe there was no Elizabeth Berry daughter of William and Jane. I am trying to untangle what I know about the Berry family. do you know anything about Judith Locke who married William Berry grandson of original William in 1678?
    jeanie

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    1. My mistake, I'm correcting this blog post immediately. Previously a sign had said Elizabeth Bolles (BOWLES) but Berry is correct. She was the daughter of William and Jane.

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  3. Capt.John Locke was married to Elizabeth Berry. I'm related on both the Berry and the Locke side. More directly on the Berry line. There are a number of historical books which have information on these families. Two that are very helpful are:

    History of the town of Rye, New Hampshire
    from its discovery and settlement to December 31, 1903
    by Langdon B. Parsons.
    Published 1905 by Rumford Print. Co. in Concord, N.H .
    Written in English.

    A history and genealogy of Captain John Locke [1627-1796] of Portsmouth and Rye, N. H.
    and his descendants ; also of Nathaniel Locke of Portsmouth, and a short account of the history of the Lockes in England
    by Arthur H. Locke ...
    Published 1916 by The Rumford press in [Concord, N. H .
    Written in English.

    I believe you can find readable images of these books on archive.com in the free book section.

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  4. Thanks for the website. My husband is a Berry. John Locke & Elizabeth Berry is his: 17th cousin 12x removed Elizabeth Berry (1635 - 1734)



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  5. I am wondering about the oft-repeated fact that Capt John Locke came to Dover in 1639 "where he had a right of land". He would have been 12 years old! Thoughts?

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  6. Also, we have established through DNA that my husband's great great grandfather is a Y-DNA patrilineal descendant of Capt John Locke, but we don't know how to fill in the link. Basically will need to track CJL father-to-son descendants down to males of reproductive age to be the father of a person (Elias Varney Locke) born around 1806. Do you think anyone has a database or spreadsheet of descendants that could be searchable?

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