Richard Woodhull Prominent Name in Early Island History

Footnotes to Long Island History

JUNE 9 1966    


Thomas R. Bayles

            The name Richard Woodhull is one of the most prominent in the history of Brookhaven town and the records bear witness to a character, which for principles of honor and justice, unselfish motives far seeing discretion, kindliness of manners and constant efforts to promote the growth of the early settlements, had few superiors among the honored names that grace the pages of early Long Island history.

       Born in Northamptonshire England September 13 1620, Richard  Woodhull came to this country at the age of 24.He first established himself in Southampton in 1644, and was active in the pubic service of that town. His name appears in the records Brookhaven town in 1657, when he purchased two necks of meadow land at Mastic form the Unkechaug Indians for the town.

 He was appointed a magistrate for the town by the court at Hartford in 1661 and held this position for several years. He held many office and acted on many important commissions one of the most important of which was that masterly stroke of diplomacy by which the title of the town to the whole northern territory was forever freed from the complications of Indian claims. This deed from the Indians in 1675 is presented in the following paragraphs

        "know all men by these presents that I Gie of Seatokit, Sachem and now living in Setakett in the east Riding in Yorkshire, with all my Associates that have been the Native proprietors of all the lands of Setakett Doth fully and absolutely Ratify and confarm unto the patentees and their Associates of Brookhaven alles Setauket; All those parsells of land that have been bought of any of us or our Anchestores, that is to say from the west lyne from Stony Brook to ye North Sea and south to the middle of ye island and so to extend to the head of the weading River or Red Brook and to the middle do the island south and so to the North or sound. I say I Gie doth for myself and my Associates or any that have anything to do with any part or parsell of land within the lyne above menchened of all that the inhabitance have purchased Doth for ourselves or haires and assignees Ratttifie and confarme unto the inhabitances of Setaket, to them, their haires, exacutrs and assignees all uplands, meadoes, timber treese with all harbors, creeks, ponds, fishing, fouling, hunting, with all singular privileges to have and to holdwhat parsill of land that is within the above said Bounds yt is to say from the west lyne Stony Brook to the east lyne of weading river and from ye middle of ye island south and to the sound North that is ytt onpurchased I Gie Seetokit sachem. my elf and my coe partners and associates doth fully give unto Mr. Richard Woodhull whatsoever upland or madowes that we apprehend is onbought by the inhabitance of Seatoket and doth fully and absolutely give unto Mr. Richard Woodhull senior whatsoever upland or madowes timber tress and all privileges profits or whatsoever from us our Hairs or any that shall come after us to him the said Mr. Richard Woodhull, to whom we shall dispost it him, them and their hairs Forever to have and to hold without Lett or molestation, And  we do Hereunto sett our hands and sale this nineteen day of November 1675

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john mahue
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Coraway puding sealed saigned and delivered
in the presence of us
Robert Philipson
Richard Mann
On November 23, 1675, Richard Woodhull deeded over to the town Brookhaven all the land covered by the above deed which he had secured from the Indians that covered the northern part of Brookhaven town from Stony Brook to Wading River 

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