Leaving Ashford was an Expensive Decision

It is supposed that Ralph Dayton required passage for at least six family members including himself, his wife Alice, and children Alice, Samuel, Ellen and Robert.

In Albion’s Seed, David Hackett Fischer said,

The cost of outfitting and moving a family of six across the ocean was reckoned at £50 for the poorest accommodation, or £60 to £80 for those who wished a few minimal comforts. A typical English yeoman had an annual income of perhaps £40 to £60. A husbandman counted himself lucky to earn a gross income of £20 a year, of which only about £3 or £4 cleared his expenses. Most ordinary families in England could not afford to come to Massachusetts.

Taking into consideration all the necessary expenses before and after passage, how could Ralph and Alice afford an investment equal to multiple years’ income?

Even if Ralph and Alice had been fairly well off at Ashford, money raised by selling most of their possessions (those not given to eldest son Ralph, who remained in Ashford) would likely be consumed by the cost of becoming re-established in America. The modest value of the lot drawn for Ralph at New Haven Colony indicates that Ralph (a man of fifty years) had humbled himself for the sake of his family. Whether or not Ralph accepted the lot is not certain however, as some historians suggest he left the New Haven settlement shortly after arrival, only to return a few years later. You may disagree.

Although not a popular view—in my opinion, payback upon arrival might have required some form of indenture in order to purchase necessary tools, food and supplies.

This entry was posted in Alice Dayton, Ashford, Dayghton, Deighton, Goldhatch, New Haven Colony, Quinnipiac, Ralph Dayton, Robert Dayton, Samuel Dayton, Tritton and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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