Thursday, May 17, 2012

The King Can Go To The Devil

William Hibbs Sr. (1630-1686)

My ninth great grandfather

me --> Ruth Rasmussen Buchanan --> Alice Houston Rasmussen --> John Cooper Houston --> Rebecca Lucy Cooper Houston --> William Darby Cooper --> Jesse Cooper --> Stacy Cooper --> William Cooper --> Sarah Hibbs Cooper --> William Hibbs -->William Hibbs, Sr.

William Hibbs, Sr. is one of my heroes.  He literally gave his life for his beliefs.  Born in 1630 in Dean Forest, England he joined the Quakers and refused to pay tithes to the Church of England.  Because he was open about his new religion, he kept getting fined by the Crown.  Since he was wealthy, he kept paying the fines and skipping church.  This was getting on King Charles II nerves.

 If William keeps this up, will others follow?

In 1676, William realized that his open rebellion wouldn't be without consequences. He smuggled my eighth great grandfather onto the ship Kent in 1677 with two companies of Quakers Yorkshire and London.  I can't imagine what it must have been like to send away his son, who was only 12 years old, entrusting him to the care of basically strangers.  He knew he'd never see him again, and most likely not ever find out what happened to him.

William Hibbs, Jr. went on to be one of the founders of Burlington, New Jersey which is where I have generations of ancestors.  William's son, Isaac, fought in the Revolutionary War. His nephew was famous author, James Fenimore Cooper.

But what happened to William, Sr?

In 1685 King James II took the throne.  William must have known this would not bode well for him because he wrote his will in January 1686.  He was right.  A month later King James' men came in the night and arrested him.  On March 6, 1686, he was beheaded.

His crimes were listed as: 

1. not attending church services by English law.

2. not paying tithes as required

I'm so proud to have William Hibbs, Sr. on my family tree.  He died defending his faith so that I can live mine.


  1. Hi, Alice!

    I LOVED this story! I found out we are related to him from two lines! :) My mom read it over and over--she loved it, too! How did you find out about that story? Thanks for sharing! :)

  2. If you click on the ancestors' names you'll see the source for my information. Glad you like it!

  3. I am related to you. William sr is also my 9th great grand father. I love finding out that I am no the only rebel in the family.

  4. Love this story! I'm related to, through my mom and a boat load of people after that... I'm sorry he died, but so proud of his stand. Thank you for sharing!

  5. hi very interesting, artful blog. i am also related to you and to william hibbs, sr and jr. william darby cooper was the brother of my anne cooper who married my james harris in 1849 in cobb/ paulding co, ga. they, of course, were the children of our jesse cooper/ rebecca darby who were from union co, sc and the grandchildren of our stacy cooper and his 2nd wife our elizabeth townsend, who were quakers.

    belva harris cauthen

  6. He is my 9th great grandfather too!!!! I love this about him and it explains a lot about my family. Proud of him for making a stand and I see where I get it from now.