William was born on December 24, 1607 in Ringstead, Northamptonshire and was baptized there on December 26. William, his wife, Elizabeth Mathews, three children, and a brother John came to New England in the ship Planter in 1635. William's age was put at twenty-six years, his wife Elizabeth's at 23 years, John, their eldest child at 3 1/2 years, Ann, 2 1/2 years, and Thomas at three months.
They first settled in Boston, where his Elizabeth joined the church on July 24, 1636. They removed to New Haven in 1639, early enough for William to become one of the 16 original proprietors. He subscribed to the Fundamental Agreement of that plantation on June 4, his name being one of the sixteen to which the Secretary when he copied the document into the record book accorded the prefix of respect "Mister."
He resided in that part of the town now called North Haven, and was there in 1659, on land that belonged to the estate of Governor Eaton. He was a subscriber to the compact for the settlement of East Haven. In the list of planters and estates wrongly headed 1643 in the printed copy, but which must be placed about 1640, his family consisted of seven persons and his estate was rated at £450, well above the average size.
William was the equal, socially, of any of the colonists, yet though his name often appears in the records as busied in the small affairs of the town, on committees and "boards of arbitration," he was never elected to public office nor, apparently, ran or put himself forward for office. One interesting record notes that "Mr. Wm Tutle" was fined in 1646 for falling asleep at the watch-house.
There was a connection between the Tuttles and the family of Robert Hill, for after Hill died in 1663, there were negotiations for Hill's widow (a second wife) to give up her interest in her youngest Hill stepchild and for the Tuttles to raise him, "Mrs. Tuttle being next akinne." Perhaps Elizabeth Tuttle was aunt or a much older sister or Robert Hill or of Hill's first (unknown) wife, whose children were born between 1647 and 1659. On June 7, 1664, "Mr. Tuttle informed the Court, that his Cousin, Widdow Hill, had come to tearmes of agreemt." At the same court, Mr. Tuttle showed his humanity by making a plea in behalf of a young girl who had been found guilty of pilfering and other mischief. He said "that though her sin had been very great yet he did much pitty her & would doe her all the good he Could & he therefore desired the Court would shew her what favour they could & that she might be in such a place & family where she might enjoy the meanes of grace & be well educated for the good of her soule: The Court told her that shee sees how her unkle is affected towards her for her soules good" and proceeded to sentence "That shee be publikely & severely whipped to morrow after Lecture, that others may heare & feare & doe no more soe wickedly." How this girl, Azuba Lampson, was related to the Tuttles, is not known. She was the orphan daughter of Thomas Lampson, who died December 28, 1663, by his unknown first wife. Her mother may have been a sister of Elizabeth Tuttle. Perhaps William felt empathy because of what his own daughter, Sarah, experienced in the courts.
William died in June 1673 at the age of 64 years. His death was apparently unexpected because he was in court only two weeks before his death completing a land transaction, and because he left no will. His estate was valued at £440.
Elizabeth Tuttle died December 30 1684, aged 76 years. She had been living with her youngest son, Nathaniel, who, at a court held in New Haven, July 28 1685, presented her will, but the other children objected and the court would not allow it. The inventory, taken February 3, 1685 by Moses Mansfield and John Alling. Her tombstone was removed with the others in 1821 from the Old Green in the Grove street cemetery of New Haven, and it now stands in the row along the north wall of that enclosure. A part of the inscription is still plain: a part is obscure by the crumbling of the stone, and a part is entirely gone.
In her widowhood, Elizabeth faced several family crises which very few would have the courage to face or the strength to endure. Although many of William and Elizabeth Tuttle's descendants are famous for intellectual brilliance, some of their own children became noted for homicidal insanity.
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See lineage of Tuttle Family
Read the Biography of William's great grandfather, Thomas Tuttle
Read the Biography of William's grandfather, Richard Tuttle
Read the Biography of William's father, Symon Tuttle
Read the Biography of William's son, Simon Tuttle
Read the Biography of William's grandson, Timothy Tuttle
Read the Biography of William's great grandson, Simon Tuttle
Read the Biography of William's murdered daughter, Sarah Tuttle
Read the Biography of William's other great daughters, Elizabeth & Sarah Tuttle
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