Benedict Arnold 11th great uncle on RootsMagic tree
This Benedict Arnold was born in 1615 in Ilchester, England and was 19 when he sailed with his family to Massachusetts Bay. (This is Benedict Arnold No. 1, his 2nd great grandson was Benedict No. 5 of the American then British army). By 1636 the Arnolds were in Providence. In 1640 Benedict married Damaris Westcott, her family probably sailed to America on the same ship with the Arnold family. Benedict was President then Governor of Rhode Island for 11 years and with Roger Williams a trusted interpreter of the American Indian language. While looking for information on Christiana Peake Arnold, Benedict’s mom, I found a book, ‘The burying place of Governor Arnold’ by Alice Brayton about the establishment, destruction and restoration of the Governor’s burial grounds. Images are from this book. It’s in the public domain, an ebook at HathiTrust.
Alice Brayton of Newport, “In the spring of 1946 as I was walking down Pelham Street in Newport, Rhode Island, I saw a dozen people and a red flag in front of a dilapidated late nineteenth century cottage. It was an auction. The house was for sale. “How about the land behind the house Is it included?” “Yes, the house and the land behind the house.” “But the land behind the house, they tell me, is the burying place of Governor Arnold and his family. You can’t auction off a burying ground. It isn’t decent.” (It isn’t even legal in Rhode Island, as I found out later.) However, I bid in the house and the land behind the house. In this casual fashion I acquired Governor Arnold’s graveyard”.
Benedict Arnold wrote in 1675, “I order that my kindred relations may as they die be buried at convenient distance about my grave.” For a time Arnold and his family were buried in this cemetery then it was kind of forgotten. In 1901 a report was presented on the condition of the site, with nothing done and when Alice Brayton came along in the 1940s the site was “desolation and tin cans”.
The book has b&w photos from the 1940s and stories of the family. Rhode Island Historical Cemeteries has full color photos. Originally Benedict and Damaris’s headstones had large plaques or stones, those are long gone. Photo of the cemetery today at Rhode Island Historical Cemeteries.
- Governor Benedict Arnold’s headstone photo in the book. Color photo at Rhode Island Historic Cemeteries
- wife Damaris Westcott Arnold photo in the book
- daughter Godsgift and her husband Jireh Bull photo in the book. Color photo at Rhode Island Historic Cemeteries
- grandson Major Benjamin Bull photo in the book. Color photo at Rhode Island Historic Cemeteries
- son Benedict Arnold Jr No 2. His headstone shows the family crest, same crest in the Newport drawing: three shells and a star photo in book. Color photo at Rhode Island Historic Cemeteries
Brayton, Alice. The Burying Place of Governor Arnold, Newport, R.I.: Privately printed, 1960.
Page 19 Rhode Island. Commissioner to inquire into the condition of the Benedict Arnold burial place, and James N. (James Newell) Arnold.Report of J. N. Arnold, Commissioner to Inquire Into the Present Condition of the Governor Benedict Arnold Burial Place, And the Title Thereto. Providence: E. L. Freeman & Sons, 1901