Born in England. Last name may be spelled Bessey. Came over in the James from London in 1636. Was many years a preacher to the Indians.
ANTHONY BESSEY'S WILL
"Anthony Bessey of Sandwidge" made his will 10 February, 1656, and it was proved, at Plymouth, 3 June, 1657, "on the oath of James Skiffe "Bequests were as follows:
To "Jane my wife three Cowes viz blacking Moose and Cherrey and three yearlings.... and one yearling steer that Dorkas my Daughter hath given unto Jane my wife; I give to her likewise my bed with the appurtenances"
To "Dorcas my Daughter two heifers formerly Desposed to her viz Nubbin and Spark and one more now which wee call younge moose;"
To "Ann my Daughter one heifer which wee call pretty"
To "Nehemiall my son one heifer formerly Desposed to him Called Coll:"
"I give the house and land now possessed by mee unto my two sonnes viz Nehemiah and David and two steers likewise to them both viz Burnett & Raven"
To "Nehemiah my gun and my Cutlas and my boats;" "all my wearing clothes.... should bee equally Devided betwixt my two sonnes and alsoe all the meadow I have"
To "my Daughter mary one heifer wee call browne;"
To "my Daughter Jane one heifer wee Call Daysey;"
To "my Daughter Elizabeth one ewe lambe which is in m, Edward Dillinghams hands;"
"for our Debts owing to others there is as much owing to us by others as will Discharge it the which I leave with my wife to receive and satis~ wher I owe; likewise incase my mother send any thinge over to mee as formerly shee hath Don that it bee Desposed of amonge my family in generall; flirthermore for any moveables not formerly mencioned as houshold stuffe or the like I leave it amongst the family untill my wife shall marry and then to bee Devided amongst my Children likwise my will is that soe longe as my wife remaines in her widdowhood to Injoy the benifitt of the house and land and Childrens Cattle untill they Come to age but incase shee marry then the five bigest to bee put forth and theire Cattle with them according to the Descretion of the overseers Moreover for the little one my wife goeth with that my wife give to it a portion if god give it life for the which I have given the more to my wife flirthermore I leave my wife the exequitor of this will; and my loveing flinds James Skiffe and Richard Bourne to bee overseers of this my will"
The witnesses were Richard Bourne and James Skiffe.
Source: Plymouth Colony Wills and inventories p. 153
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COMMENTS: On 13 July 1635, "Anto Bessy," aged 26, was enrolled at London for passage to New England on the James [Hotten 107].
Although there is no record of the presence of Anthony Bessey in Lynn, we assume he resided there briefly, since several of his fellow passengers on the James made that their first residence.
On 5 March 1638/9, "Anthonie Bessie [was] presented for living alone disorderly, and afterwards for taking in an inmate without order" [PCR 1:118]. (Anthony Bessey was probably married about the time of this presentment.)
On 10 January or February 1661/2, Anna Bessey, Dorcas Bessey and Mary Bessey posted bond, promising "to appear at the Court to be holden at Plymouth the first Tuesday in March next, to answer for her unnatural and cruel carriages towards George Barlow, [their] father-in-law" [PCR 4:7]. On 4 March 1661/2, "Anna Bessey, for her cruel and unnatural practices towards her father-in-law, George Barlow, in chopping of him in the back, notwithstanding the odiousness of her fact, the Court, considering of some circumstances, viz:, her ingenious confession, together with her present condition, being with child, and some other particulars, have sentenced her to pay a fine of ten pounds, or to be publicly whipped at some other convenient time when her condition will admit thereof"; "Dorcas Bessey and Mary Bessey, for carriages of like nature towards their father-in-law, though not in so high a degreee, were both sentenced to sit in the stocks during the pleasure of the Court, which accordingly was performed"; "the younger, viz:, Mary Bessey, was sharply reproved by the Court, as being by her disobedience the occasioner of the evil abovementioned"; "G[e]org[e] Barlow and his wife were both severly reproved for their most ungodly living in contention with the other, and admonished to live otherwise" [PCR 4:10].
BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: In 1950 Mrs. John E. Barclay published an account of the family of Anthony Bessey; we have followed her judgment on the birth order of the children of the immigrant [TAG 26:193-95].
In 1965 Mrs. Florence Besse Ballantine compiled and edited Descendants of Anthony Besse, 1609-1656.
Source: The Great Migration Newsletter Online, by Robert Charles Anderson, vol. 13, Sep. 10, 2004