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Deborah Bachiler Wing

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 11 months ago

Deborah Bachiler Wing




 (submitted by Raymond T Wing)

There was a poem written about Deborah Bachiler Wing in 1903 by Mrs. Elizabeth Hoxie Ware of Sandwich, Mass.  It was read at the dedication of a bronze tablet marking the Sandwich location where Deborah Bachiler Wing raised her sons. I include that lovely poem here:


Long years ago in England,

When England yet was young,

Where the River Test flows softly,

Twixt banks of brightest green,

And Queen Elfrida's convent,

through the arching trees is seen.

Softly she sang her childish thoughts,

As the daises her small feet pressed;

Softly she touched the fragrant flowers,

Or watched the wild birds nest.

And this is the song the wee maid sang:

"There's never a day without a cloud

Or a joy without a sorrow:

And the sun that sets in the rain tonight

Will shine for me tomorrow."

The preacher prayed inside the church

For a conscience freed from sin,

While the little child in innocence

Caught the heavenly voice within--

"Father I stood by the river

just as the moon went down,

And it lighted the church of Wherewell

As if with a golden crown.

And Father, I saw a vision;

Dost thou think that children may?"

"And what was the vision daughter?

Tell it to me, pray."

Her dark eyes grew more earnest,

While steady and strong was she;

"I saw four boys and a woman

In a vessel upon the sea.

And she was sad and lonely;

And a man that looked like thee

Stood near; and there was sound of weeping,

And the woman looked like me."

"Didst see aught else, my daughter?"

And he thought of the threatening storm

Of church and state and conscience,

And his weary heart grew warm.

For might not his little maiden

Be chosen of God to warn

Benighted, priest ridden England

Of the rise of a brighter dawn?

Earnest and still that fair child stood,

As Deborah stood of old,

And God's grace shone upon her

While she her vision told.

It came again unto her,

The same foreshadowing truth;

And with a tiny hand extended,

She saw through the bounds of youth.

"Father, I see the vessel,

And many are there, who make

The air resound with prayers

For God and conscience sake."

Scarce eighteen summers now have come and gone,

With each clouds of sunshine on the way;

Life's story glimmers bright with youthful song,

And earnest hours have changed from foolish play.

The little child unto a maiden fair has grown;

A strong souled man has looked into her eyes,

And from her heart her girlhood's song has flown.

While in it's place thoughts strange and sweet arise

Across her sunny pathway

With young love's wooing came

Young John, the stalwart preacher,

With words of sweetest flame.

"Deborah, beloved maiden,

Thou art dear, and unto thee

Give I all my heart; now answer,

Givest thou thine to me?"

Deborah, the gentle maid,

With her eyes of dusky brown,

Answered softly, "John, I love thee"

With her fair face drooping down.

Think ye then that John the preacher

E'er remembered priestly gown,

With that sweet faced maid before him

With her hair of burnished brown?

Nay, for in his arms he gathered

Her love unto his heart;

"God do ill and more to me, love

If I fail to do my part."

Came there then no thought or vision?

Forgotten was the prophesy

Of the sad-eyed lonely woman

Out upon the stormy sea.

A few more years have come and gone

While joy and sadness into life have grown.

We see the blessings of the children five,

We hear the sadness of the widow's moan.

The vision given in the fleeting years long gone,

Seems nearing now it's strange, sad truth to prove.

the woman on the stormy sea forlorn,

In spirit hath no confines to her love.

Ah rare indeed that company

The Lord did send out that day!

Did the little ship The Francis

Sail calmly on it's way?

Sail, stately ship, more proudly;

Thy banners all unfurled;

Thou carry'st wondrous tidings

Unto an unknown world.

Oh, Shawme Lake, by Indians called, how fair!

We greet thee now, unknown to world and fame.

Oh Sandwich! Unto thee we give our love--

For in her longing heart she gave thee name.

When Sandwich, Mass was settled in 1637, the Wings were among the first there. Although Deborah's name does not appear on the list of founding fathers of Sandwich (it having been a man's world) she was and is still considered the "Matriarch of Sandwich".


Deborah Bachiler was born about 1590 almost certainly in Wherwell, Hampshire, England, the oldest child of Rev. Stephen Bachiler and his first wife. The date of death for Deborah is unknown. While some Wing family historians believe that she was the "Olde Goody Wing" who died in Yarmouth in JAN 1691/92, she was not mentioned in the delayed probate record of her son, Matthew Wing, in 1680 so was almost certainly already deceased at that date. Deborah Bachiler married Rev John Winge about 1608.


It may be of some interest to Wing family historians who are interested in names to know that when Queen Elizabeth was coronated on January 15, 1559 there were several pageants that day to celebrate her coronation. One of those pageants was at the Conduit in Fleet Street depicting how God had chosen the woman "Deborah" to be the judge and restorer of the house of Israel after the Israelites had long been oppressed by Jabin, the Canaan King. Queen Elizabeth's coronation was grand but it was even more than grand: it was a great Protestant demonstration of enthusiastic support for Elizabeth.


John Knox had written a book in 1558, "The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women" in which he argued against a sovereign being female. He felt that it was against the rule of God and therefore no woman ruler should be obeyed. When he discovered that Elizabeth not only had Protestant sympathies, but was indeed more Protestant than she was Catholic, he offered to proclaim that she was an exception to his doctrine about women rulers and was a "Deborah" chosen by God to lead His people to salvation.


  Deborah was widowed while in her early fourties. Shortly after the death of her husband, John Winge, she emigrated from England to New England with her father, Stephen Bachiler, in 1632. Deborah and her 4 sons came to New England on the ship William & Francis with her father and his wife, Helena Mason Bachiler. Deborah remained in Saugus (now Lynn), Mass where her father was pastor until 1637. That was the year he removed to mid-Cape Cod (Yarmouth). She removed with her sons to upper, or western Cape Cod and there she became a founder of Sandwich. In Sandwich history, she is referred to as "the Matriarch". Her husband, John Wing, had lived in Sandwich, England; a connection, if any, is not known.


There have been accounts that Deborah moved with her son John Wing to Sautucket (originally part of Yarmouth, later Harwich, but now Brewster) in 1657...but I have found no proof of this. There is also an account that she lived with her son Stephen at the Wing (Old Fort) Home. So far I have not read any accounts that speculate that she ever lived with Daniel. All of these accounts could be true...but not proven...or all of them could be speculation because there is nothing mentioned about Deborah after she and her sons moved to Sandwich.


The troubles that her father (Rev. Stephen Bachiler) suffered must have had an effect on Deborah and her sons, but there are no known recorded events that indicate their involvement with him during that time. It has been stated that John Wing went with Rev. Bachiler when he attempted to settle Mattakeese, near Yarmouth, but I have not seen any proof of that.


It was during the 1640's that three of Deborah's four sons would marry. Daniel, her 2nd son, 3rd child, marries in the year 1641 to Hannah Swift. John Wing, her oldest son, 2nd child, marries about 1645 to Elizabeth, surname Unknown (my strongest feeling is that his first wife was Elizabeth Dillingham, daughter of Edward Dillingham of Sandwich...but there is no proof). Then Stephen, her 3rd son, 4th child marries Oseah Dillingham in 1646...after appearing before the General Court for having had carnal knowledge of Oseah before their marriage. By this time Deborah's youngest son, Matthew, is 19 or 20 years old...yet you hear nothing about Matthew until about 1655 when you learn that Matthew married Joane Newman in Stroud, Kent, England...and there is still no mention of Deborah.


My thoughts are that possibly Deborah died in the 1640's...when 3 of her 4 sons married...not only married but Daniel bought property from Andrew Hallett in 1640...when he was about 23 years old. Stephen supposedly attained and made the Old Fort House a home in 1641, at the age of 20 years...and John received 6 acres of meadowland at Sandwich, Plymouth Colony in 1641. John was by then about 28 years old...and he marries in 1645 at about the age of 32 years. Perhaps John's marriage is the most significant since he was considered the head of the Wing household in Sandwich.


We may never know when Deborah Bachiler Wing died for certain. We can only be sure that her life had changed dramatically in New England from what she had experienced in England or Holland. I am sure there must have been several times she longed for the austerity of her former life. How many times she must have yearned to see her daughter (also named Deborah) and perhaps she either wrote to her or had one of her sons sit by the fireplace with her while she dictated to them what she wanted to say. Those letters would have been delivered by someone who was going to a port where a ship was leaving for England and by the time it got to the ship, it would already be weeks old. Deborah's letter would have been added to the pile that was already large for delivery in either London, Yarmouth or another port where hopefully it would be delivered with care to yet another town, village or vicarage. By some means, Deborah's daughter, would be notified that there was a letter waiting for her. By the time Deborah read the letter her mother had sent to her, the letter would be months old.

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