Robert Ware

”At the same time that the Parkes, father, son, and grandson, were living in London, another family, named Ware, was living at Wrentham, England, a manor, and later a village, in Suffolk County, near the shore of the German Ocean, where still stands an ancient church with a lofty beacon tower. The ancestors of this family have been traced backward through several generations; and a representative of it, Robert Ware, migrated to this country and settled at Wrentham, in this State, in the year 1640. The farm which he there acquired and subdued remained in possession of his family for two hundred years. From these two households, on the father’s side and the mother’s, the friend who has left us was descended.

The period which had preceded their leaving England, back to the birthtime of Edward Parke, had been one, as we know, of vast controversy, tumultuous movement, permanent change, in the moral and political life of the Kingdom. That period went back to the early reign of Henry the Eighth, almost to the Field of the Cloth of Gold; to the outbreak of the Reformation, in Germany and in England; to the discoveries of Copernicus; beyond the foundation of the Jesuit Order; beyond the execution of Sir Thomas More. It came on through the reign of Edward the Sixth, through the bigoted and bloody interval of the reign of Mary, to and beyond the close of the magnificent reign of Elizabeth. When Richard Park and Robert Ware came to this country, James the First had gone, regretted by few, to his own place; Charles the First was on the throne, and Strafford and Laud were his trusted counselors. But the movements working toward freedom in the state, and an enlarged liberty in the Church, were already becoming irresistible; the Long Parliament was in the near future, as were the Civil War, the beheading of Strafford and Laud, and of Charles himself, the establishment of the Commonwealth, the supremacy of Cromwell. Another century and a quarter so full of vehement contest, aggressive advance, prophetic change, is hardly recorded in the annals of history. The impression of it will be never outgrown. The swirl of its influence is around us to-day.

During all those times of trouble, fear, and anxious hope, of disappearing darkness, increasing intelligence, and stubborn battle, the Parkes and the Wares had been steadily on the popular side; resistant toward the forces projected upon them out of the past, hospitable to the new thoughts and promises presented by the present, looking eagerly toward the better time coming, in the Old World, probably, but certainly in the New. They were confirmed and unwavering Puritans — of the class which carried their native kingdom through that tremendous crisis in its affairs; of the class distinguished representatives of which here planted the colonies which were to become the strong foundations of illustrious commonwealths. It was Puritan blood, on both sides of his descent, which ran in the veins of our friend now gone. If there is special depravity in that blood, it was in him, beyond all question; a native depravity, even reaching to the height and deepening to the darkness of an absolute original sin. He loved the faith and honored the temper, with the forms of worship and of organization, which had been accepted by his fathers; and he was not, sometimes, more tolerant than they had been of what differed from these. He did not mean to be recreant to the past, in whatever he might do to enlighten and mold the future.”

Reference Data:

Edwards Amasa Park, D.D., LL.D. Memorial Address by Ricahrd Salter Storrs, 1900, pages 18-9


Robert Ware — 1 Comment

  1. I am currently working on the descendents of this person. Trying to track their Westward movement through the years. Excellent and timely post.

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