In 1651 William Pynchon is convicted of heresy, by the General Court, and returned to England. His
son-in-law, Henry Smith then became chief magistrate. The next year he too returned to England and
Capt. John Pynchon, Lieut. Elizur Holyoke and Samuel Chapin were by the General Court
commissioned magistrates for the administration of justice, "allowing them the power of a County
Court." He held the office until 1664, and in addition performed important duties, laying out land grants
and the plantations that became North Hampton and Hadley. His first home lot was at the corner of the
present Main and Pynchon Streets, but by 1664 he appears to have been living in Chicopee, with his
son Japhet. His holdings in Springfield were large, but he gave all to his sons in his life time, reserving
a life interest for himself and wife, his will disposing of personal estate only.
In October, 1675 Springfield was attacked by Indians and burned. Deacon Chapin did not see the town
rebuilt, for in about a month as wrote his son Japhet, "My father was taken out of this troubelsom world
the 11 day of November about eleven of the clock in the eve, 1675." Deacon Samuel Chapin
"conscientiously and wisely discharged important trusts for the maintenance of religion and good order
and left an abiding impress of his character and life on the city." To judge from the private and official
acts of the man, and from the firm hand he wrote, he was a man of some education, strong will,
inflexible integrity, abundant charity and real piety.
See Life of Deacon Samuel Chapin of Springfield, by Howard Millar Chapin, Providence, R. I., 1908, the
fullest account, based upon original documents and records. source: THE CHAPIN BOOK, Vol. I, p. XII.
A chronology of Samuel Chapin's activities:
1638: Samuel CHAPIN and wife Cicely were at Roxbury. Came to Springfield, MA from Roxbury, MA.
1641, 2 Jun: Samuel CHAPIN of Springfield, MA, admitted Freeman.
1643: Town officer. He took a prominent part in all the affairs of the town, both religious and civil.
1648: A member of the Board of Selectmen on which Benjamin COOLEY first served. A member of the
first Board of Selectmen and served 9 consecutive years.
1652: John PYNCHON, Elizur HOLYOKE and Samuel CHAPIN were appointed Commissioners, or
Magistrates, to hear and determine all cases and offences, both civil and criminal, "that reach not to
life, limbe and banishment."
1653: The General Court appointed him and John PYNCHON to lay out North Hampton and its bounds,
and they made purchase of the lands from the Indians.
1664: He petitioned the General Court for some land for services done.
1669: The General Court granted him 200 acres as laid out 4 miles from Mendon, bounded as in the
platt which is on file, provided it did not exceed 200 acres and that it did not take in any of the meadows
now granted to Mendon.
1674, 4 Mar (1st mo.): Samuel CHAPIN wrote his will. Bequeathed to wife, son Henry, grandson Thomas
1676, 24 Mar: Will probated. Son Japhet CHAPIN with his wife Abilene deposed.
Continue to Samuel and Cicely's children......