Richard Few
by Ken Freeman

Richard Few was born in England in 1625. His parent's names are unknown at this time and nothing is known of his youth.

He was a Quaker, a member of "Lavington Meeting", in the village of Market Lavington, Wiltshire, England. Wiltshire is in the southern inland area.

Richard was a cobbler, a shoemaker.

Richard married Jane Whitfield in 1650. He was then twenty-five years old, Jane's age is not known.

Their first child was Joane, born on the 22nd of January 1651. She married first: a Mr. Self, and second: Robert Sylvester.

Their second child was Richard, Jr., born on the 26th of December 1653. He married first: Susanna __________, and second: Mary ___________.

Their third child was Walter, born on the 3rd of August 1656. He is a legatee in Richard's will be nothing more is known of him.

Their fourth child was Daniel, born on the 20th of November 1660. He is also a legatee in his father's will but nothing more is known of him.

Their fifth child was Isaac, born on the 6th of April 1664. He immigrated to America with Richard and Richard's second wife. He married Hannah Stanfield in 1699. He died in 1734.

Richard and Jane's sixth child was Joseph, born on the 21st of February 1666. He died in 1682, the same year his father and brother came to America.

Jane Whitfield Few died in England on the 24th of April 1674. She and Richard had been married twenty-four years. She had born six children; the youngest was only eight when she died.

Richard married Julian ___________sometime after Jane's death in 1674, the date is not known.

Richard purchased 500 acres from William Penn's administration in 1681, to be laid out in Pennsylvania. As a first purchaser, he received a bonus lot of 10 acres in the Schuylkil district of the city of Philadelphia.

Richard, his second wife Julian and his son Isaac immigrated to American in 1682. The family brought one servant, Margaret Smith.

They arrived prior to the 12th of September 1682, for Richard served as a juror in Upland County court on that date. This precedes William Penn's arrival by at least one month (29 October 1682). Richard was fifty-seven years old when he immigrated.

In 1683: Richard was commissioned to survey a convenient road from Chester to Providence.

In 1683: Richard served as a member of "The Grand Inquest". William Penn presiding, June 1683. As inquisitions are judged, the Quaker's inquisitions were mild. Errant Quakers were not burned at the stake as the Catholic inquisitors had done to heretics, Jews and others who did not embrace the "true faith". The "bad" Quakers were "cast out". Being "cast out" meant complete isolation from the community one lived in and any other Quaker community. It meant persona non grata, no recognition by another Quaker, no social life, no business life, completely shunned by one's peers.

In 1684: Richard was appointed constable for Chester County. It is not known how long he served in this capacity.

Richard Few died on the 13th of September 1688. Julian Few, widow, and Isaac Few, son, obtained letters of administration will annexed, on his estate on the 26th of March 1689, with 500 pounds bond. Legatees were: Isaac Few, 200 acres on the Brandywine and 10 acres in Philadelphia, wife Julian: life interest to one half of the value of the estate, small legacies to sons Walter and Daniel and daughter Joane in England and granddaughter Susanna Few in England, and one pound to "Friends of Chester County Meeting".

Richard and Jane Whitfield Few were my seventh great-grandparents.

1987-2003 Kenneth Allen Freeman

All Rights Reserved. Please do not use without permission.
National Archives Genealogy labs: Atlanta, Georgia and Fort Worth, Texas
Buffington/Few Archives

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