Name: * James Cole
Birth: 25 JUL 1600 in St. Giles, Cripplegate, Highland, London, England 1
Death: 31 JAN 1697/98 in Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts 1
Reference Number: 12001
James and Mary Cole came to Saco, Maine, in 1632, and the following year, 1633, locate in Plymouth, MA, where he was admitted as freeman the same year. He was known as a sailor. His name appears upon the tax list of Plymouth in 1634; Jan. 2, 1636, he had a grant of ten acres of land; Jan. 2, 1637, the court deeded him seven acres of land to belong to his dwelling house. Three acres of land probably included all the land on the south side of Leydon Street, from the corner of Warren Street to the westerly line of the lot opposite the Universalist Church. He was the first settler of and lived upon what is still known as "Cole's Hill," the first burial ground of the Pilgrims. Soon after his arrival at Plymouth he opened the first inn or public house of Plymouth, and one of, it not the first, public house in New England. Merchant was an occupation that might mean anything involving the buying and selling of a variety of products. An occupation of considerable importance was that of innkeeper, for the state recognized the need to provide comfortable lodging, food, and drink
for visitors. James Cole became Plymouth's best known innkeeper with his establishment on Cole's Hill on the north side of Leyden Street. His worth to the community was shown in 1669 when the court awarded him 10 pounds to repair his house "soe as it may bee fitted as an ordinary for the entertainment of strangers."
James Cole was born in England. He migrated to Plymouth as an adult with his wife Mary and their 4 children. James Cole first appears in the records of Plymouth Colony in the 1630s. The name of the ship on which he sailed to America is not known. James was an innkeeper. Operating an inn, or "ordinary," was a public service and the Colony authorized money to keep the ordinary in good repair. James also appears in the Records of Plymouth Colony for violations of the Colony’s liquor laws on numerous occasions. James Cole’s ordinary was near but not actually on Plymouth’s "Coles Hill." Coles Hill most probably takes its name, not from James Cole, but from John Cole who bought property on the hill in 1697. The first reference to "Coles Hill" appears on 6 March 1698-9 : "The towne granted to Nathaniel Warren 50 foot frunt of land below Coles Hill soe aled by the shore side and soe to Run down from High Water Marke in to the sea to whorf out soe farr as may be
Convenient the sd Warren alwayes leaveing A sufficient way for Carts to pass along the shore between the banck & the sd land to be taken upp" (Records of the Town of Plymouth, I : 266). The date of James Cole’s death is unknown, he last appears in the records in 1673.
Father: * James Cole b: 28 JUL 1574 in London County, Middlesex, England
Mother: * Mary Feake b: ABT. 1576
* Mary Tibbes b: 15 JUN 1598 in Barnstaple, Devonshire, England
8 MAY 1625
in Barnstaple, Devonshire, England
- James Cole , Jr. b: 11 FEB 1625/26 in Barnstaple, Devonshire, England
- * Hugh Cole I b: 28 JUN 1628 in Barnstaple, Devonshire, England
- Ephraim Cole b: 1629 in Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts
- John Cole b: 21 NOV 1637 in Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts
- Mary Cole b: 1639 in Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts
- Holmes, Ancestral Heads p52; Littledale, St. Vedast II:8; Savage, Gen.
Dict. New England.