Josiah Stansborough

Josiah Stansborough was probably born about 1600 in Canons Ashby, Northamptonshire, England. He was the son of William Stanborowe. He died in 1661 at Sagg (now Sagaponack) on Long Island, New York. The will of Josiah Stansborough is dated July 6, 1661 and was proved September 3, 1661.

Frances Gransden, one of seven daughters of Henry Gransden of Turnbridge, Kent, England. Frances died before 1657, as Josiah married again in 1657 to Alice Wheeler, widow of Thomas Wheeler of New Haven, Connecticut.

Josiah is first mentioned in records as being in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1637, when he was alloted 100 acres of land. In 1640, he was one of the eight original "undertakers" who formed the new settlement at Southampton, Long Island. The settlers journied by way of Peconic Bay, landed at North Sea on the spot that became known as Conscience Point, now marked by a boulder monument. This marker and a bronze tablet was placed there by the Colonial Society of Southampton. It is recorded that the name is due to the remark of one of the women on landing: "For conscience sake, I'm on dry land once more."

By the close of 1640, it is mentioned that "fourty families" -- numbering from one to two hundred settlers -- made the new town of Southampton their home. The first period of Southampton history shows an unusually large proportion of men of intelligence, ability and energy, being respectable both in character and education.

Josiah Stansborough founded Sagg, known today as Sagaponack. He had purchased large amounts of land there and sold his home in Southampton in May of 1656. His house stood at the south end of Sagg Main St. on what is known as the "Stanborough Lot."

To the town of Southampton, the oldest English town in the state, belongs the distinction of first organizing whaling as an industry -- primarily the harvest of beached whales.

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