William Noyes

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For the American jurist, see William Curtis Noyes. For the American analytical and organic chemist, see William A. Noyes.

Rev. William Noyes (1568–1622) was an English clergyman, Rector of Cholderton, Wiltshire, England. He died before 30 April 1622, in Cholderton. He was matriculated, age 20, at University College, Oxford, 15 November 1588, being admitted to the B.A. degree 31 May 1592. He was instituted rector of Cholderton in 1601, according to the Salisbury "Diocesan Register".


Rev. Cotton Mather, pastor of the North Church in Boston, provides an insight into the character of William Noyes while describing, from a contemporary viewpoint, the early education of Ann's nephew, Rev. Thomas Parker . "This Mr. Thomas Parker was the only son of his father, who was very desirous to have him a scholar, committed him unto perhaps a godly, but a very severe master [Rev. William Noyes]. Under this hard master, though he was well nigh discouraged by the dulness which he apprehended in his own capacity, yet the consideration of his father's desire made him, with an early piety, to join his prayers unto his pains, that he might have his education prospered; and God so prospered him, that he arrived unto a desirable degree of knowledge, both in tongues and in arts." [Magnalia Christi Americana (Hartford, 1855), 1:480–488].

William's grandson, Rev. Nicholas Noyes, of Salem, Massachusetts, told Rev. Cotton Mather that his grandfather was "a very learned man", whose wife was the sister-in-law of the learned Mr. Robert Parker.

Savage: The register of the Diocese shows that he officiated in the Parish from 1602 to 1620, at which time he resigned. [This is in error as noted below.] In 1621, he was succeeded as rector by his son Nathan. Despite his scholarly ways, either Rev. William Noyes failed to keep a parish register for Cholderton, or the book has been lost. When Mr. Samuel Heskins became rector in 1651, he felt it necessary to begin a new book and recorded somewhat erroneous information concerning William and his son Nathan. In the NEHG Register, Vol. 42, October 1888, p. 403 Edward Deering Noyes received a letter from the current Rector of Cholderton, Rev. Edwin P. Barrow in which is the following extract from the Registry Book: "Mr. William Noyes Rector of Choldington about 30 years departed this life anno 1616. Mr. Nathan Noyes succeeded his father in the Rectorie of Choldrington and departed this life in ye year 1651." Among the burials extracted from the register is "Mrs. Anne Noyes, widow & Relict of Mr. William Noyes sometime Rector of Choldrington, March 7, 1657, age 82. The present parish register was begun only in 1651, but a complete list of the incumbents from 1297 is preserved in the Salisbury Diocesan Register. The following records are taken from the "Parish Notes," published in 1889 by Rev. Edwin P. Barrow, the then rector.

"The Church of St. Nicholas, Cheldreton, was given to the Monks of St. Neots (Huntingdonshire) about 1175 by Roger Burnard, and the grant was confirmed by Pope Alexander III. In 1380, 1399 and 1401 John Skylling, lord of the manor, was also patron of the church, probably by temporary grants from the Convent. In 1445 it was again in St. Neots' Priory, but seems to have been finally alienated to John Skylling about 1449." Through several patrons it came to Sir Thomas Lovell, lord of the manor, in 1492 and 1494. John Thornborough was patron in 1567, and by him and Giles Hutchins the living was given to William Noyes. Rev. William Noyes became rector just before the death of Elizabeth I of England and held the living until his death. In 1840, the old church was pulled down.

Rev. William Noyes died intestate before 30 April 1622, when an inventory of his estate was made, 28 May 1622. His widow Anne (Stephens) Noyes was appointed administratrix (Court of Archdeacon of Sarum). She took administration with a bond, dated 28 May 1622 and co-signed in a well-educated hand by Cuthbert Parker, yeoman, of Whitchbury, Hampshire, both used heraldic seals. Anne (Stephens) Noyes died aged 82 years, was buried at Choulderton, 7 March 1657. Her will is at Somerset House, London, and mentions two sons, James and Nicholas in New England.


William Noyes was the son of Robert Noyes (1524–1614) and Joan Attridge (1527–1618) of Urchfont, Wiltshire, England. His brother, Richard Noyes, of Cholderton, yeoman, made his will 25 Aug 1639, in which he mentions widow Sara. Another brother, Robert Noyes, yeoman, born in 1570, died 20 January 1659, and was buried at Cholderton. The will of Richard Noyes of Manningford Bruce, in the diocese of Sarum, 2 February 1590, mentions "the sons of Robert Noyes of Cholderton." This Robert may have been the father of William, Richard, and Robert Noyes. Richard Noyes of Manningford Bruce was son of William Noyes of Urchfont, yeoman (will 1557), who purchased the prebend of Urchfont in 1540, from the Earl of Hertford, afterwards Protector Somerset. The Noyes family of Urchfont was of the same stock as that of Cholderton.

William Noyes married Anne Stephens about 1595, daughter of Nicholas Stephens, Esq. of Burdop Manor and Frances Brydges. Anne's sister Dorothy Stephens was the wife of Rev. Robert Parker, MA and mother of Rev. Thomas Parker. (see Wheeler, History of Stonington, Connecticut) Their mother, Frances Brydges was the daughter of Lady Jane Spencer and Sir Richard Brydges, Kt. and grand daughter of Sir William Spencer, Kt. (1483–1532) of Wormleighton & Althorp, Northamptonshire, England. His descendants of the Spencer family include the Earls Spencer and Winston Churchill.

William and Anne were the parents of the following children.

  • Ephraim Noyes, born c. 1596, Cholderton, Wiltshire, England, died date unknown. He married Parnell Brewer 5 November 1633 in Orcheston St Mary, Wiltshire, England. She was born c. 1613 in Wiltshire, England.
  • Rev. Nathan Noyes, born 15 May 1597, Cholderton, Wiltshire, England, died before 6 September 1651 in Sarum, Wiltshire, England. He married Mary Parker c. 1620 in Cholderton, Wiltshire, England. She was born c. 1600 in Wiltshire, England, and died after 6 September 1651 in Sarum, Witlshire, England possibly when she was mentioned in her husband's will.
  • John Noyes, born c. 1600, Cholderton, Wiltshire, England, died 1659 in Newton, Wiltshire, England. He married Elizabeth Bulpit 3 February 1640/41 in Faccombe, Hampshire, England.
  • (Daughter) Noyes, born c. 1604, died 1655. She married Robert Read c. 1624 in Wiltshire, England.
  • Sarah Noyes, born c. 1605, died unknown.
  • Rev. James Noyes, born 22 October 1608, Cholderton, Wiltshire, England, died 22 October 1656, Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts. With his cousin Rev. Thomas Parker he led a group of 100 Wiltshire settlers aboard the Mary & John to New England and founded Newbury, Massachusetts. Before migrating to the New England, he married Miss Sara Brown in March 1633/34 in Cholderton, Wiltshire, England, eldest daughter of Mr. Joseph and Mrs. Sarah Brown of Southampton. She was born 1610 in Southampton, Hampshire, England, and died 13 September 1691 in Newbury Old Town, Essex, Massachusetts.
  • Mowit Noyes, born 1613 in Cholderton, Wiltshire, England, died 6 October 1671. She married Thomas Kent 23 September 1631 in Over Wallop, Hampshire, England.
  • Deacon Nicholas Noyes, born 1614, Cholderton, Wiltshire, England, died 23 November 1701, Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts. He was Deacon of Newbury church, and served four terms as deputy to the general court. In 1640 he married Mary Cutting in Newbury Old Town, Essex, Massachusetts, daughter of John and Mary Cutting. She was born c. 1619, and died after 23 June 1665. With his older brother James and cousin Rev. Thomas Parker, Nicholas led a group of Wiltshire settlers aboard the Mary & John to New England to found Newbury, Massachusetts.
  • Anne Noyes, born 16 December 1617, Cholderton, Wiltshire, England, died before 1711.


Anne (Stephens or Parker), wife of Rev. William Noyes, Cholderton, England circa 1568.

"Genealogical Record of Some of the Noyes Descendants of James, Nicholas and Peter Noyes" (Volume 1, Descendants of Nicholas Noyes) Collected and compiled by Col. Henry E. Noyes, USA and Miss Harriette E. Noyes – Members of NEHGS – Boston 1904. Miss Harriette E. Noyes was aware that Anne Stephens was thought by some to be the wife of Rev. William Noyes, as she makes reference to it on Page 45 of Vol. I. At the time of publication, it was their opinion that that information was erroneous. However, further investigation subsequent to the printing of the book, it was proved that information to be correct. The correction was published in 1906 as follows:

  • 8861. 2. Noyes. R.W. N., 22 Oct 1906. The "Additional Corrections and Additions," page 3, of Wheeler's "History of Stonington, Conn." has the following: "Miss Harriet E. Noyes of New Hampshire says: 'From recent investigations in England the name of Rev. William Noyes's wife was proven to be Anne Stephens, daughter of Nicholas Stephens of Burdrop Manor, and sister of Dorothy Stephens, mother of Rev. Thomas Parker.'" M. G. F.


{{[S69] Book-Noyes-Descendants of Rev. Wm. Noyes, p.7.

[S23] Register-4 Gen Noyes English Ancestry, p.118.

[S393] Book-Noyes-Gilman Ancestry, p.5.

[S65] Book-Noyes-The Noyes Descendants, Vol. I, p43.

[S8] CD-Family Archives No. 17.

[S23] Register-4 Gen Noyes English Ancestry, p.116.

[S44] Book-Colonial Families, p.389.

[S48] CD-NEHG Register – Noyes Pedigree, p.35.

[S325] Book-Mass. & Maine Families, III:54.

[S65] Book-Noyes-The Noyes Descendants, Vol. I, p.44.

[S1633] Book-Hudson-Mohawk Gen. & Family Memoirs, p.335.

[S1237] Periodical-NEHGR, NEHG Register, Vol. 42, October 1888, p.403.

[S1127] Book-Ould Newbury, p.165.}}