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William (of Lexington) Munroe

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Birth  1625  near Inverness, Scotland 
Sex  Male 
Died  27 Jan 1717/18 
Buried  Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts 
Person ID  I1918  Default Tree 
Last Modified  05 Jun 2006 
Father  Robert Munro, of Aldie, Commissary of Caithess 
Group Sheet  F0805  Default Tree 
Father  Robert Munro, 3rd Baronet Navar,(Nova Scotia) 
Mother  Unknown Daughter, Hector Munro 
Group Sheet  F0365  Default Tree 
Father  Robert Munro, of Aldie 
Group Sheet  F2002  Default Tree 
Family 1  Mary Ball, b. 1652, Watertown, Middlesex Co., Mass. 
Married  1672  Lexington, Middlesex, Co., MA 
 1. Daniel Monroe, b. 12 Aug 1673, Lexington, Middlexex, Massachusetts
 2. Hannah Monroe, b. Abt 1674, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts
 3. Mary Monroe, b. 28 Jun 1678, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts
 4. David Monroe, b. 6 Oct 1680, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts
 5. Elizabeth Monroe, b. 24 Feb 1682/83, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts
 6. Sarah Monroe, b. 18 Mar 1683/84, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts
 7. Joseph Monroe, b. 16 Aug 1687, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts
 8. Benjamin Monroe, b. 16 Aug 1690, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts
 9. Susanna Monroe, b. Bef Aug 1692, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts
 10. Elizabeth Monroe, b. UNKNOWN, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts
 11. Eleanor Monroe, b. UNKNOWN
 12. Daniel Munroe, b. 12 Aug 1673, Lexington, Middlesex, Co., MA
 13. Hanna Munroe, b. Abt 1674
 14. Elizabeth Munroe, b. Bef 1678
 15. Mary Munroe, b. 28 Jun 1678, Lexington, Middlesex, Co., MA
 16. David Munroe, b. 6 Oct 1680, Lexington, Middlesex, Co., MA
 17. Eleanor Munroe, b. 24 Feb 1682/83, Lexington Burial Ground, Mass., Middlesex Co., Lexington
 18. Sarah Munroe, b. 18 Mar 1683/84
 19. Benjamin Munroe, b. 16 Aug 1690, Lexington Burial Ground, Mass., Middlesex Co., Lexington
 20. Joseph Munroe, b. 16 Aug 1690
 21. Susanna Munroe, b. Bef 1692
Group Sheet  F0809  Default Tree 
Family 2  Elizabeth Johnson, b. 1636 
Married  Aft 1692 
Group Sheet  F0810  Default Tree 
Family 3  Martha George 
Married  Abt 1665 
 1. John Munroe, b. 10 Mar 1665/66, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts
 2. Martha Munroe, b. 2 Nov 1667, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts
 3. William Munroe, b. 10 Oct 1669, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts
 4. George Munroe, b. Abt 1671, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts
 5. Lieut. John Munroe, b. 10 Mar 1665/66, Lexington, Middlesex, Co., MA
Group Sheet  F0807  Default Tree 

    William Munroe, with several of his relatives, was taken prisoner by Cromwell, in the Battle of Worchester, and banished to Boston, Massachusets with several others. They were shipped from London on November 11, 1651 by Jo. Reex, Robert Rich, and William Green, in the ship "John and Sarah". John Green was the Master and he was consigned to Mr. Thomas Kemble of Boston. If William Munroe was sold as an apprentice when he first arrived in Boston it must have been rather short for those days, because he must have been "his own man" by about 1657. William Munroe is referred to in the Cambridge, MA records in 1657, when he and Thomas Rose were fined for not having Rings in the noses of their swine. Around 1660 he settled in the Northeasterly part of Cambridge Farms, now known as Lexington, MA. He was the first of the Munroes in Lexington. In those days this part of the town was called "Scotland". William was made Freeman in 1690 and on February 1, 1699 was received into Communion of the Church. In 1694 he was a Selectman of Cambridge and later his name appears in connection with several other important Parish offices. At first, several of his sons lived with him or not far from him, and it was said by his Great-Granddaughter, Mrs Mary Sanderson, who died in 1853, aged 104 years, that his old house looked like a rope walk, so many additions had been made to it to accommodate his sons, as they settled in life. By adopting the custom of the Scottish Clans, he, in a sense, confined the Munroes together, and made them, for some time, a distinct people.

    William's first wife, Martha George, was the daughter of John George of Charleston, a prominent Baptist, who was fined, imprisoned, and finally ordered out of town for heresy. Martha was married in 1665 and died before 1672. They thad 4 children, John, Martha, William, and George.

    After the death of Martha William married Mary Ball. William and Mary had 10 children. After Mary's death William married Mrs. Elizabeth (Johnson) Dwyer. William and Elizabeth had no children.


    The Highlands of the 11th century belonged to a different race than did the rest of Scotland. They were predominantly Celto-Irish in their culture, traditions and language, while the rest of scotland was either predominantly Romano-British or English. it would appear that there is some justification for the Highlanders regarding themselves as the "Real" Scots. To his southern neighbors the Highlander was a wild man of the mountains, hated and feared. The Highlanders' proprietary airs, though, were thought ridiculous. As the annals of their many clan battles indicate, there a hardy, active and warlike people. The wealth of the Clan lay not only in its fighting force but also in its cattle and vast Highland area which was so thickly wooded and full of game. The literature of the Clans was almost wholly oral, consisting chiefly of poetry, and they were fond of music and dancing. Their chief musical instruments were the harp and Bagpipes. Field sports kept them strong and active in times of peace. Archery, fencing and wrestling were popular.

    By the 17th Century the Clan Munroe(Munro) had proved to be so fiercein battle that their enemies termed them "the Invincibles". At that time there were "3 Generals, 8 Colonels, 11 Majors and 30 Captains, all of the name Munroe". Bravery stood foremost among these men.

    Just prior to the American Revolution, there continued to be so many of the name Munroe (Munro) in the military in Lexington that it was difficult to distinguish between them, so they used other designations such as "Lieutenant John, Ensign Roe, Sergeant George, Corporal Joe, etc.

    Of the sixty to seventy seven Minutemen (counts differ from various references) on the Battle Green of Lexington on april 19, 1775, as many of 15 of them were Munroes. Before the day was over, 3 of the 10 Minutemen who were killed were Munroes. (Robert- who is buried in the Revolutionary War Monument with Johas Parker, Ebenezer Jr., and Jedediah who was wounded on the Green and died during the afternoon fighting. They honored the Ancestral Call to Independence that was passed on to them in the Declaration of Abroath in 1320, which says, quite simply, "For it is not for Glory we fight, nor for riches or for honors, but for Freedom alone, which no good man loses but with his life".

    John and Ebenezer Munroe were on the Battlegreen that morning. After the first fire from the Regulars, John thought that the British were firing nothing but gun powder. On the second firing, however, Ebenezer received a wound in his arm and told John that "they have fired something more than powder." "I'll give the guts of my gun", Ebenezer remarked, firing at the main body of the British troops, which could hardly be seen through the smoke of the musket fire.

    LAST WILL OF WILLIAM MUNROE: In the name of God Amen. I William Monroe of Lexington in the county of Middlesex in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England being at present writing hereof of a sound disposing mind thro' divine godness, but sensible of my mortality, do therefore make this my Last Will & Testament in manner & form as followeth
    And first I do commend my precious & immortall Soull into the hand of Christ Jesus my Lord, hopeing in his merits (?) alone for the salvation of it; and my body I commit to the dust by a decent burial at the disention of my executors in hopes of a Joyfull Resurection to life eternal. And as for that temporal estate which it hath please Allmighty God to bestow upon me, & which is yet in my hands Undisposed of, my will and pleasure is to dispose thereof as followeth
    I do give & bequeath unto my beloved sons John Monroe, William Monroe, George Monroe, Daniel Monroe, David Monroe, Joseph Monroe & Benjamin Monroe to each & every one of then ten shillings a piece besides what I have allready bestowed upon them.
    My will & pleasure is, that my beloved daughter Eleanor Burgess shall have the sole use of my mansion house & a priviledge in the barn dureing the whole term of her widdowhood, and that upon her decease or marriage my son George Monroe shall have all my buildings; he paying unto the Eleanour Burgess the sum of three pounds. And I do also give & bequeath unto the said Eleanour Burgess the one half of my moveable household stuf
    I do also give & bequeath unto my beloved daughters Martha Comee & Hanah Peirce, Elizabeth Rugg, Mary Ph----ett, Eleanour Burgess & Sarah Blanchard to each & everyone of them ten pounds apiece.
    And after all my just debts & funeral charges be defrayed, my will & pleasure is, that all the rest and residue of my estate both reall & personall be equally divided between all my children. In that my son George Monroe shall have the first tendor of all my lands at the price of four pounds per acre: And if any of my children are contentious about their portions; they shall forfeitt the same unto their brethren, they shall abide by my will
    I do also make & ordain my wellbeloved sons John Monroe, & George Monroe to be executors of this my
    Last Will & Testament. And that I do hereby revoke & dis----- all other & former wills & Testaments by me at any time made; I do put my hand & seall hereto. November the fourteenth Anno Dom. one thousand seven hundred & sixteen. In the third year of His Majesty's Reign.
    Signed, sealed, declared to be my last will in presence of
    (signed) Elezar Kendall, Benjamin Mussy, and John Hancock Also appears is the seall of William and his mark.
    Inventory of the Late William Monroe, 3/19/1719
    To Household stuff 04 100 00
    To thirty bushels of Indian Corn 06 07 06
    To one Cow 03 15 00
    To four sheep 02 00 00
    To Land twenty six acres and an house
    To mony 05 17 10
    Belonging to Last wife of William Monroe
    To one bed, one boulster, one pillow 003 00 00
    To one chest 00 04 00
    To one warming pan, & one skellett (skillet) 00 13 00
    To one chamber pott, & one pair of tongs 00 04 06
    To one Pewter Platter 00 06 00

    Signed Franizez Kendell, William Lock, and John Mason

    Note: Nowhere in the will is there mention of daughter Susanna. She may have died before William and her death is not listed in the Lexington records.

    More About WILLIAM MUNRO:
    Burial: Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts

    Burial: Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts

    More About MARTHA GEORGE:
    Burial: Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts

    More About MARY BALL:
    Burial: Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts

    Children of WILLIAM MUNRO and MARTHA GEORGE are:
    i. JOHN20 MONROE, b. March 10, 1665/66, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
    ii. MARTHA MONROE, b. November 02, 1667, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
    iii. WILLIAM MONROE, b. October 10, 1669, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
    20. iv. GEORGE MONROE, b. Abt. 1671, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts; d. January 17, 1746/47, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts.

    Children of WILLIAM MUNRO and MARY BALL are:
    v. DANIEL20 MONROE, b. August 12, 1673, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
    vi. HANNAH MONROE, b. Abt. 1674, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts; m. UNKNOWN PIERCE.
    vii. MARY MONROE, b. June 28, 1678, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts; m. UNKNOWN PHA---ETT.
    viii. DAVID MONROE, b. October 06, 1680, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
    ix. ELIZABETH MONROE, b. February 24, 1682/83, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts; m. UNKNOWN RUGG.
    x. SARAH MONROE, b. March 18, 1683/84, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts; m. UNKNOWN BLANCHARD.
    xi. JOSEPH MONROE, b. August 16, 1687, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
    xii. BENJAMIN MONROE, b. August 16, 1690, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
    xiii. SUSANNA MONROE, b. Bef. August 1692, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
    More About SUSANNA MONROE:
    Baptism: February 26, 1698/99, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts

    xiv. ELIZABETH MONROE, b. Unknown, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts; d. Bef. February 24, 1682/83, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusett
    xv. ELEANOR MONROE, b. Unknown; m. UNKNOWN BURGESS; d. Bef. 171
    Notes for ELEANOR MONROE:
    I am guessing that she would have been the daughter of Mary Ball, although she could have been the daughter of Martha George. She is not listed in genealogy books and I can not be sure. But I did want to list her.

    William Munro, son of Sir Robert Munro, 3rd Baronet, fought, with his brothers, in the Battle of Worchester. William, and his brothers Robert, John, and Hugh were banished to America on the ship "John and Sara". We (?) are descended from William.


    "Scotch Prisoners sent to Massachusetts in 1652"...........Ref. pages 378,379 Oct. 1847

    London this 11th: of November, 1651
    Capt. Jn.: Greene
    Wee whose names are vnder written freighter's of your shipe the John & Sara doe Order yew forthwith as winde & weather shall permitt to sett saile for Boston in New England & there deliver our Orders and Servants to The: Kemble of charlesTowne to be disposed of by him according to orders wee have sent him in that behalfe & wee desire yew to Advise with the said Kemble about all that may concerne that whole Intended voiagee vsing your Indeavers with the said Kemble for the speediest lading your shipp from New Eng: to the barbadoes with provisions & such other things as are in N.E. fit for the West Indies where yow are to deliuer them to McCharles Rich to be disposed of by fim for the Joinet accont of the freighters & so be Retourned home in a stocke vndevided thus sesiring your Care & industrie in Dispatch and speed of the joiage wishing you a happy & safe Retourne wee remaine your loving friends
    Singatnm et Recognitum John Beer
    in pncia: Je: Nottock: notar.Publ: Robt Rich
    13 May 1652. Will. Greene
    Entered & Recorded F Edward Rawson Recordedr
    A list of the passengers aboard the John and Sarah of London John Green mr bound for New Englan(d)

    **(The ships manifest listed of 272 Scotch Prisoners. This list included the following "Monroes")**

    Robert Monrow
    John Monrow
    Hugh Monrow
    William Monrow

    The persons afore named passed from hence in the ship afore mentioned and are according to order Registed heare,
    Dat. Search office, Grauesend 8th November, 1651
    Giles Barrow>>
    Edw: Pelling>>>..Searchers John Morris>>>
    In the Jn & Sara of London John Greene mr for New England: | Robt Rich mrt Ironworke household staffe & other provisions for Planters and scotch prisoners free by ordeance of Parliament dat 20th of October 1651.
    G R No 1 two trusses of goods for planters shipt with the viiith of Nouember 1651
    mrkt & nombred as in the magent.
    John Bradley Sr with ye Armes of ye Comonwealth. Entred & Recorded at the Request of mr Thomas kemble. 14 May 1752
    F Edward Rawson RecorderIn 1652, Captain John Greene arrived in Boston harbor in his ship the John and Sara. He carried a cargo of trade goods from London including "ironworke," "household stuffe & other provisions for Planters" but was also carrying 272 Scottish prisoners from the Battle of Worcester, where Oliver Cromwell's Parliamentary forces had crushed the royalist army of Charles II and ended the English Civil War.

    The Scotsmen, many Highlanders pressed into service by their clan chiefs, fought throughout the spring and summer to defend Scotland and the newly crowned King Charles II against Cromwell's invasion. Charles, hoping to regain the English throne, pushed his army south towards London pursued by Cromwell. Finally his troops, exhausted, stopped at the town of Worcester where, on September 3, 1651, Cromwell overtook them. Four thousand Scots were killed and 10,000 more were captured. The King escaped to exile in France.

    Thousands of Scots were "driven like cattle" to London. One witness described the convoy: "all of them stript, many of them cutt, some without stockings or shoes, and scarce so much left upon them as to cover their nakedness, eating peas and handfuls of straw in their hands which they had pulled upon the fields as they passed." Many more died at temporary prisons while the Council of State decided what to do with them. In November, 272 were herded aboard the John and Sara and sent to the New England, where they were sold as indentured servants.

    Among them was "William Munro." Two of his daughters would later marry sons of Scotsmen trasported on the same ship.

    As "Scotchmen," they occupied a distinctly inferior rung of the social ladder, ranked with "Negroes" and "Indians" in various laws passed by the General Court.11 Scots were not only defeated enemies; they were foreigners who spoke a strange language (Gaelic, or a heavily-accented Scots English), and their religious leanings were suspect (Presbyterian, if not outright papist Catholic).12 They could not have felt entirely welcome in Puritan Massachusetts, despite the demand for servants in a labor-scarce economy.

    William Munroe first served millwright John Adams in Monotony (now Arlington, Mass.) and later worked for and rented land from Joseph Cooke of Cambridge. This must gave been around 1660, for another source says he settled in the northeasterly part of Cambridge Farms, now called Lexington, then that part of town called Scotland.

    In 1665 he married Martha George whose father was in trouble with Puritan authorities for starting an illegal Baptist church in Charlestown. She died leaving him with 4 young children and he married 20 year old Mary Ball.

    He and his sons eventually owned over 100 acres in Cambridge Farms (now Lexington).

    He was made freeman in 1690 and on 1 Feb 1699 was received into communion with the church there. In 1694 he was a selectman of Cambridge and held other parish offices as well.

    His headstone reads 'Here lyes ye body of Mr. William Munroe aged about 92 years Decd Jan.ry 27 1717'

    Savage says: WILLIAM, Cambridge, in the part now Lexington, freem. 1690, by w. Martha had John, b. 10 Mar. 1666, Martha, 2 Nov. 1667; William, 10 Oct. 1669; and George. By sec. w. Mary, he had Daniel, b. 12 Aug. 1673; Hannah; Elizabeth; Mary, 24 June, 1678; David, 6 Oct. 1680; Eleanor, 24 Feb. 1683; Sarah, 18 Mar. 1685; Joseph, 16 Aug. 1687; and Benjamin, 16 Aug. 1690. He d. 7 Jan. 1717, call. 92 yrs. old. It has been conject. that he was a prisoner, tak. by Cromwell at [[257]] the decisive battle of Worcester 1651, ship. in Nov. to be sold here, where the 272 unhappy men arr. in May foll. but I see little reason for the conject. exc. that Hugh, John, Robert, and ano. without bapt. name, all Monrows, form. part of the sad freight. See Geneal. Reg. 378, 9. Of his ds. Martha m. 21 Jan. 1688, John Come of Concord; Hannah m. 21 Dec. 1692, Joseph Pierce, as his sec. w.; Elizabeth m. a Rugg; Mary m. perhaps, a Farwell; Eleanor m. 21 Aug. 1707, William Burgess of Charlestown; and, Sarah m. a Blanchard.

    According to one source, a speculative Royal descent has been identified for William Munroe
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