William Sprague (1609–1675)

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For other people named William Sprague, see William Sprague (disambiguation).

William Sprague (October 26, 1609 – October 26, 1675) left England on the ship Lyon's Whelp for Plymouth/Salem Massachusetts. He was originally from Upwey, near Weymouth, Dorset, England.

William arrived at Naumkeag (Salem) with his brothers Ralph and Richard. They were employed by Governor Endecott to explore and take possession of the country westward. They explored the land over to (present day) Charlestown, Massachusetts, between Mystic and Charles rivers, where they made peace with the local Indians. On February 10, 1634, the order creating a Board of Selectmen was passed, and Richard and William Sprague signed it.[1]

William lived in Charlestown until 1636, before moving to Hingham, where he was one of the first planters. His house lot, on Union St. "over the river" was said to be the pleasantest lot in Hingham.[2] He was active in public affairs, and was Constable, Fence Viewer, etc. William’s will names his wife, Millicent (Eames), and children, Anthony, Samuel, William, Joan, Jonathan, Persis, Johanna, and Mary.[1]

Other Sprague relatives became soldiers in the American Revolutionary War and two of them, William Sprague III and William Sprague IV, became governors of the state of Rhode Island.

Lucille Ball and her brother, Fred Ball, were direct descendants.


  1. ^ a b “The Cranston-Johnston Spragues of Rhode Island,” Transcribed from History of Rhode Island (American Hist. Soc. 1920) by Susan W. Pieroth. Available at RI USgenweb archive.
  2. ^ Sprague, Warren Vincent, Sprague Families in America, Vermont, 1913.

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