Does anyone out there know where I could get information on the Richard Vines who was the founer of the Saco Valley settlement in Maine? I am trying to find out what port he sailed from to take up is patent in 1619/20.My George Frost from Winter Harbor, Maine was with him along with about 20 other families who were actually, the first permanent settlers of Maine.Perhaps there are records in England... I don't know. What port did he sail out of (Bristol or Plymouth ,England, or where). Richard Vines has been called the founder of the Saco Valley settlement. He was a native of Biddeford, Devonshire, born there in 1585. He was educated as a physician. He was a man of high character, but being an Episcopalian, was antagonistic to the Puritan sentiments of the time.Vines had visited the coast of Maine as early as 1609 (with 32 men) as trusted agent and personal friend of Sir Ferdinando Gorges. Gorges was a devoted Royalist and had the King’s ear, and those nearest the throne. It is highly probable that George Frost was with Vines in 1616 when he landed at the mouth of the Saco River to take up his “Biddeford Patent.”There the small group of travelers encountered rich cod fishing.Vines passed a winter at the sheltered basin now known as Biddeford Pool, in the wigwams of the savages, then so sorely afflicted with the plague. That same winter, the plague broke out among the Native people, it killed 9 out of every 10 people. Some of the Englishmen there, who never got sick because of immunity, saw this as a sign to encourage settlement and take up the land. The “Vines” settlement area was known as "Winter Harbor" for the winter that Vines anchored there.One of the conditions of the Biddeford Land patent was that Vines and his associate, John Oldham (who did not come over) should transport 50 persons to the colony within seven years to 'plant and inhabit there'. Vines made a few voyages back and forth from the shores of Maine to England, bringing much needed goods and supplies for his planters. He carried back to England, stores of salted dried fish from New England’s shores, and beaver furs from the Indian trade. He brought more planters with him each time he crossed, but we do not have a list of their names or when they came, except for the minister’s list and fees assessed in 1636/7. If the first Vines visit saw a group of planters settled at the WinterHarbor site, while Vines went back to England for more support, why did Captain Christopher Levett, who was at Winter Harbor in 1623 note that he found land cleared and grass growing in the fields,but no inhabitants? On 20 June, 1630, Vines took legal possession of his land and settlement, primarily located on the southwest side of the Saco River. He leased to the families with him, 100 acre tracts of land per family. Many in his settlement were located near the sea, along the northern margins of Biddeford Pool, near what is now Leighton’s Point.For daily employment, these settlers engaged in agriculture, fishing, and trade with the Natives.They were called “husbandmen”, and “planters.”The annual rent for each 100-acre land lease was to be five shillings, two days’ work, and one fat goose. The patentees on the eastern side of the Saco River arrived the next year. The ship White Angel arrived in the harbor in 1631, and brought with it a cargo of cows, goats, and hogs."
Thanks for any information you can help me with. Linda.Welch@Dartmouth.edu