John was born ca 1646 in Providence, Rhode Island. In Providence on January 7, 1669/70, John was married by Thomas Olney to Ruth Field, who resided in Field's Point, two miles below Providence on the west side of the river. Ruth was the daughter of John Field and his wife, whose name is unknown, and she was born in Providence ca 1649.
Family tradition has it that John was a man of large frame and possessed of great physical strength. A great-grandson, Enoch Angell, stated a family tradition on February 13, 1820 that "My great grandfather, John, was said to be a man of enormous strength, having on one occasion nine bushels of pears on his old mare, and she would not carry them, he took them on his own back and carried them, which seems incredible. He said he once attempted to carry four bushels of salt up stairs, but the stairs broke down and he was injured by the fall."
John took the oath of allegiance in June 1668. He was admitted freeman of the town of Providence October 16, 1670.
For a few years he cultivated the Daniel Jenckes farm, five miles from Providence, towards Lime Rock, on the Lewisquisit turnpike, after which he moved to Providence where he continued in the farming business through life.
John was permitted to pay a small fee to exchange the 60 acres of land which his father gave him on the plain between John Field's meadow on Smallbrooke and Wanasquatuckett River for land elsewhere on the common October 27, 1666.
As opportunity presented itself, John made useful purchases of land and housing, obviously with an eye to providing for his five sons. On January 6, 1693/4, John purchased 89 acres of land in Providence from William Smith, cordwainer of Providence, who shortly thereafter left town. He purchased 58 acres and housing from Pardon Tillinghast on Mary 3, 1695. Neither of these deeds was recorded until a decade later when John passed the land on to his sons.
John purchased 56 and a half acres from Elisha Arnold on June 1, 1702. Land laid out to John Angell on November 9, 1702 included 50 acres near Captain Arnold's new mill with an allowance for a highway, and land John had bought from Thomas Harris, as well as 10 acres John had from William Hopkins on exchange for six and a half acres in the Neck.
John presented a bill to the Providence Town Council on June 1, 1674, complaining about the lack of a highway near Thomas Walling's land. A highway was laid out past his property on May 20, 1717.
He was one of the soldiers credited with military service under Capt. Daniel Henchman and paid £1.15.02 in a list of August 20, 1675. He was paid £3.12.00 for service in King Philips war, credited in Capt. Samuel Wadsworth's Company August 24, 1676. He was one of the twenty-seven who "staid and went not away" during the Indian troubles. As such as was entitled to share in the disposition of the Indians captured during the war. He was among those who determined the fate of the Indians left in town, condemning them to slavery for varying periods of years, depending on their ages. His share for his service was four Indian servants. He was one of the twenty-one responsible men named to lead ten men in reconnaissance patrols in an order given by the Council of War for Providence.
On May 30, 1667 he was one of twenty-five men who swore allegiance to Charles II. As a loyal subject, inhabitant and freeman, he performed his civic duties for the town and colony. These included appointments to serve on the General Court of Trials at Newport and as a petit juryman. In these appointments, his occupation is designated as weaver. John witnessed the deeds of many of his neighbors and did a fair amount of work on the probates of his neighbors.
Despite twice failing to appear when called to the General Court, once in 1678 and once in 1681, at a town meeting on March 16, 1675/6, John was chosen a Deputy to the General Assembly. The next year, he was chosen constable for the town of Providence. He was a way warden in 1701 and served in the place of the Town Sergeant that same years.
Neighbors and family relied on his judgment as he served on Coroners' inquests and as bondsman when relatives died. John joined with eleven others of the Coroner's jury in judging that Samuel Belloo, son of widow Hannah Belloo, had gone into the river by the mill in Providence to wash himself, and was by a Providence of God drowned, June 10, 1669. As one of the men on the Jury of Inquest January 8, 1716/17, John joined in the verdict that the female child found dead in the house of Mr. Obadiah Brown where one Mary Rootingburgh had dwelt, who acknowledged that the child was born of her body at night under an apple tree some few rods from the house, had died as a result of the mother's want of suitable help in the time of her travail. On February 26, 1716/17, he and others agreed that, having viewed the body of Samuel Wright and finding no harm done to him, that "he being an aged man It Pleased God to Take his Life away."
John served with his brother-in-law Richard Arnold and nephew Edward Smith as bondsman for his sister, Amphillis Smith, when she took the administration of the estate of her deceased husband Edward Smith on January 9, 1693/4. John served with Samuel Wilkinson as bondsman for Deborah Wilkinson when she took administration of the estate of her deceased husband, John Wilkinson on May 18, 1708. He also served as one of the appraisers of the estate.
In the second decade of the 18th century, John Angell witnessed the deeds of many of his neighbors. He witnessed twice for Edward Hawkings, Jr. when he sold land to Joseph Mowry, for John Steere, for James Angell when he sold to Joseph Smith, and for John and Nicholas Lappan to Walter Pheteplace.
John also did a fair amount of work on the probates of his neighbors. With Zachariah Field, John took the inventory of James Mathewson on October 17, 1682. He took the inventory of the estate of Samuel Wright on April 13, 1717 and the inventory of John Smith on May 26, 1719. A horse of his appears in the inventory of Captain John Dexter ca 1716.
On January 15, 1704 John Angell, Sr. of Providence for good affection towards his son John Angell," and also for his settlement and well being," deeded to John his the house and 58 acres on both sides of Woonasquatucket river which he had purchased from Pardon Tilinghast. On the same day, John provided for his eldest son Thomas Angell, giving him for good affection and for his settlement and well being, a mansion house, and 89 acres between Nonpluss Hill and Clemence's Meadow, which he purchased of William Smith, and ten acres of land he bought of William Randall. On April 8, 1705 he deeded son Daniel a parcel of land of 80 acres on the eastern side of Woonasquatucket River, with housing, fences, etc. which he had purchased in pieces from Thomas Harris, Elisha Arnold, and William Hopkins.
On June 16, 1713 John was taxed with son James, 5s., 6 d. On December 14, 1716 he called himself aged about seventy years, testifies that in 1667, he was desired by his uncle, James Ashton, to take care of his 60 acre lot.
Considering the number of probates John worked on, it is odd that he never got around to writing a will of his own. He died intestate in Providence July 27, 1720. His widow and son, Hope were granted administration on his estate on September 30, 1720. The inventory included a negro woman about whom nothing else is known. His wife Ruth died sometime after 1727.
Whereas Mr. John Angel of Providence in the Colony of Rhoad Island and Providence plantations in New England who departed this Life on the 27th day of July anno Dom: 1720: dyed Intestate and Left a Considerable moveable Esstate behind him: which by the Law of the Colony aforesd fell into the care of the Town Councill of Providence above sd and where as mris Ruth Angel Relick widdow of the said John Angel: and his son Hope Angel of Providence afore sd hath desired to have administration Granted unto them upon said Esstate: and have Exhibeted an Inventory of the said Esstate before the Towne Councill avoe sd which was by them accepted approved and allowed: and have also Given in bond with sureties for theire true and faithfull performeance of theire sd administration
These are there fore to order and fully Impower you the said Ruth Angel and Hope Angel to take into your Care Custody and possession all and singulior the move able Esstate Goods Cattle and Chattles that belonged to the sd John Angel att the time of his death and the debts due to said Esstate and on the same to administer In order to discharge his debts: and to act and doe in all Casses Relateing the premisses: as far forth as the law Impowereth an administeratrix and an administrator to doe
Govem att a Town Cuoncill held att Providence above said the: 30th day of september in the seaventh yeare of his majestyes Reign George King of Greate Brittan &c: Anno Dom: 1720:
An Inventory of the Estate of John Angel of Providence in the Colony of Rhoad Island and Providence plantations: who departed this Life July the 27th anno Dom: 1720
Inventory taken 12 September 1720 by Elisha Knowlton, Edward Smith, William Smith.
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See lineage of Angell Family
Read the Biography of John's father, Thomas Angell
Read the Biography of John's son, John Angell
Read the Biography of John's grandson, Stephen Angell
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