| || Notes for Gov. Benedict Arnold, Sr.:|
William Arnold, father of Benedict, came with Stukely Westcott, father of Damaris, to America from England in 1635. The burial lot is a few rods westerly from the old "mill," which, for many years, has excited so much of antiquarian interest, and which belonged to and which he referred to in his will as my "mill." After accompanying his parents to Hingham, Massachusetts and then to Providence, Rhode Island, where he remained until November 1651 or 1653, Benedict removed to Newport, Rhode Island. He is said to have been one of the wealthiest men in the colony, as well as one of its most eminent citizens. He owned large tracts of land in and around Newport, also owned the southern part of the large island in Narragansett Bay (Quonaniquot) Canonicut, now forming the town of Jamestown and one-seventh part of Pettiquanscut purchase, now South Kingstown, Rhode Island. In 1645, having acquired a knowledge of the Indian language, he was employed by the colony as its interpreter in its negotiations witht he Indian tribes. In 1670, he was chosen by the General Assembly as the agent of the colony to go to England, to protest its rights under the Charter against the claims of Connecticut. In 1654 and 1660, he was chosen one of the Governor's "Assistants." In 1657, 1662 and 1663, he was chosen President of the colony, the highest office under the first Charter of 1643. In 1663, he was named in the second Charter as Governor, and was afterwards elected by the people to that office in 1663-64-65-66, 1669-70-71-72, 1677 and in 1678 died in that office. The original seal of Governor Arnold, with a mahogany handle, bearing the letters B. A. and an anchor, is now in the archives of the Rhode Island Historical Society. The official chair he occupied when, in 1663, he received the Royal Charter from England, is in the possession of the Redwood Library at Newport. (History and Genealogy of Stukely Westcott, Vol. 1, Pg. 127, 1932)
Benedict died in office June 19, 1678, his wife surviving him. They removed from Providence to Newport, Rhode Island on November 19, 1651, where they died and are buried. (Book of Appendices, Stukely Westcott, Vol. 2, Pg. 76, 1939)
Was the richest man in the colony and by thorough acquaintance with the manners as well as language of the indians became the most effective in all negotiations with them. In 1653 he removed to Newport, was chosen Assistant next year and in 1663 made by the royal charter President and by annual election so continued for eight years and died 1678. His will of December 24, 1677, with codicill of June 10, 1678, was proven July 1, 1678. Both Godsgift, and Freelove, are by different authors made to marry Edward Pelham and, possibly he had two wives; Penelope is said to have married Roger Goulding; and Damaris married John Bliss. See Rhode Island History Coll. II. 51, and III. 294; Callender; Winth. and Knowles. (Genealogical Dictionary of New England Settlers, Vol. 1, Pg. 67)
A question was raised as to two Mary Wards. Investigation showed that they were both descendants of James Ward and Officer in Cromwells army, Sion Arnold, brother to Benedict, 3rd, married Mary Ward, daughter of Thomas Ward of Newport, Rhode Island, in February 1700. Sion died in 1753 and was buried in the common burying ground at Newport. Next to his grave is that of Mary Arnold, his wife, who died in 1754. Benedict, 3rd first married Patience Coggeshall on January 23, 1705. She died February 2, 1719; married, second, Mary Ward, daughter of Thomas Ward of Middletown, Connecticut. At Hartford State Historical Library are records from Middletown, Connecticut, which show land conveyances by Benedict Arnold, 3rd and the will of Thomas Ward, Sr. which makes a bequest to his daughter Mary, the wife of Benedict Arnold of Newport. (Arnold, Benedict by Ethan L. Arnold; via email from Sandra Zak, May 1998)
Governor Benedict Arnold, son of William Arnold, the colonist (see p. 15), was born December 21, 1615, and died June 10, 1678. He signed the agreement of 1640 for a form of government. Removed to Newport November 19, 1651, and was made Freeman of that town; was a Commissioner, 1654 to 1663; Assistant, 1655 to 1656, 1660 to 1661; President of the four towns, 1657 to 1660, 1662 to 1663, and the first Royal Governor of Rhode Island, 1663 to 1666, 1669 to 1672, and 1677 to 1678. He was on a council with fifteen others, appointed by the General Assembly, to advise with the Assembly. In the will of Benedict Arnold, probated in Newport in 1677, the testator says: "I devise that my body shall be buried near the path leading from my dwelling house to my stone windmill in the town of Newport, and that the lot shall forever be reserved for my kindred." He left the stone windmill to his wife, with lands and mansion house, for life. At Governor Arnold's funeral nearly a thousand persons were present. He married, December 17, 1640, Damaris, the daughter of Stukeley Westcott, of Warwick; she died 1678.
Their son, Caleb Arnold, was born December 19, 1644, and died February 9, 1719. In 1671 and 1680 he was Deputy. August 24, 1676, was of the court-martial at Newport for the trial of certain Indians charged with being engaged in King Philip's designs. He was at this time called Captain, having served through the Indian war of 1676. In 1684 he was elected Deputy from Portsmouth, but refused to serve on account of his profession (physician), and another was elected in his place. In 1707 he was again elected from Portsmouth, which established his residence in that place. He styled himself "Practitioner of Physic." In old public documents he is called "Doctor." At the time of his death he had considerable landed estate. His father left him one-fourth of all his land in Newport and one hundred and sixty acres in Canonicut to be held until his eldest son was of age, when he should possess it.
His marriage to Abigail, the daughter of Samuel and Hannah (Porter) Wilbur, took place June 10, 1666. She died November 17, 1730. Their daughter Penelope, to whom in his will he left a silver tankard and ten shillings, married George Hazard I. (Ancestral Records and Portraits Vol 1, Ancestry.com)