Richard Sperry – Protector of Regicides
Richard was born on February 16, 1606 in Thurleigh, Bedfordshire, England to John and Mary Sperry. Thurleigh remains a small village today in the southeast of England. He arrived at the Massachusetts Bay Colony town of Boston on June 26, 1637 aboard the ship Hector. He was part of a group of colonists headed by Reverend John Davenport & Theophilus Eaton ( who later became the English Colonial Governor). The following year, Rev. Davenport led his group of Puritans, including Richard Sperry, to the New Haven Colony. This group followed strict adherence to Puritan beliefs and behavior. On Jan1, 1643 he was granted a tract of land in the colony. He was made a "freeman" on July 1, 1644. This may not refer to indentured servitude but instead to church membership. In 1648 Richard Sperry was the first settler in Woodridge & built his home on the west side of Amity Road. This is the year he married Denise Goodyear. Stephen Goodyear, upon his death left land to Richard.
England was experiencing political upheaval around 1660.The monarchy had been overthrown in 1648 when Charles I was executed. Oliver Cromwell had then established a commonwealth but when he died in 1658 the monarchy was restored to Charles’ son Charles II. Men who had signed the execution order of Charles I fled England. Two, Colonel Edward Whalley - cousin to Oliver Cromwell - and his son-in-law, Colonel William Goeffe, came to the New Haven Colony. They hid in what became known as Judge’s Cave near the home of
Sperry falls in Connecticut is the site of what was once called "Sperry's Pool" where the waterfalls gave power to Richard's saw mill, grist mill, and fulling mill. Sperry Park, on the road of that name, was given in 1907 by the heirs of Enoch & Mary Atlanta Sperry - descendants of Richard, on the site of their home, and in their memory. It overlooks the gorge where those mill wheels turned hundreds of years ago.
Richard died about 1698 and Denise in 1707. Their children were: John, Mary, Richard, Esther, Nathaniel, Ebenezer, Thomas, Daniel and Joseph.