Richard Wells was born 1 Jan 1609 in Cornwall, England. He is most likely the son of John and Elizabeth Elyott Wells of
Saltash, England. Harry Wright Newman supports this theory because Richard's son, George, used a seal on various family documents
that was highly similar to the arms of the Wells of Saltash, County Cornwall, England. That Wells family settled in County
Cornwall about 1530 from Lincolnshire. The seal imprint is of the arms of the Wells of Saltash, County Cornwall, England.
The arms picture a shield with a chevron on which are spots between three birds and a horse's head for the crest.
What we know for sure about Richard is that he was a staunch Puritan of wealth and influence at a period of history
when the Puritans were in power. He and his wife were both the immigrant ancestors in this line. In 1653, he came to
Maryland with eleven others. It is believed that he financed his passage to Virginia, where he took a wife, Frances White.
She was a "lady of quality" and gave indications of a prestigious ancestry as well. Richard was unmarried when he arrived
and settled south of the James River in Virginia. He received head rights in Charles City County, Virginia and received fifty
acres of land on the River between two creeks.
He apparently had property back in England. He is sometimes confused with another Richard Wells also in Virginia. Our Dr.
Richard Wells is apparently the Richard who was a surgeon. He was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1645. He and
his family probably moved to Maryland to seek religious freedom offered by Lord Baltimore in 1653. The fact that he was a
liberal puritan provoked the move. He took with him all of his children but Martha who had not been born, plus his servants,
Thomas Boone, Henry Symonds, George Hall, Thomas Linstead, Edward Howard and Martha Windright.
The birth place of his
children was in Virginia. Only their daughter, Martha's, birth date and place is unknown.
In Maryland, he was granted
600 acres on Herring Bay that he named "Wells". He built the Manor House they lived in throughout their days on that property.
He was appointed a member of the Parliamentary Commission on July 22, 1654, a year after arriving in Maryland. He along with
Capt. Fuller, Richard Preston, William Durand Edward Lloyd, Capt. John Smith, Leonard Strong, John Lawson, John Hotch, and
Richard Ewen controlled Maryland's government from 1654-1658. Any four of them could act as long as one of them was Fuller,
Preston or Durand.
He had much land, and his plantation took on the characteristics of an English estate, with black and white servants. He
held the position of a Justice of the Peace and was a member of the Quorum in 1660.
He also maintained an estate in Britain. His Maryland estate was inventoried, reflecting a wealth in shipping, as well
as his profession of surgeon. He held multiple offices for the courts. He accumulated much wealth in the form of land
and a sixteenth share in a ship called "The Baltimore." In checking public record, one family researcher has found this Richard
Wells and his sons to be ambitious, furious when thwarted, and unsympathetic to those who could not further their interests.
After his death in 1667, his son Richard returned to England where his father's will was probated at the Prerogative Ct.
of Canterbury, (1668). He still owned land in England at that time. His estate was appraised on Dec. 5, 1667 by Capt. John
Howell and Godfrey Bayley. In it, a "chirugeon chest" contained interest in the ship "Majesty". His total worth was L1,735/6/4
plus 57,145 pounds of tobacco, several servants, silver plate, L7/8/9 currency. His Majesty owed him several sums on top of
that. His will was witnessed by Francis Stockett, Bonham Turner and Wm. Linckhorne. He named five sons and three daughters.
He wished all things to be divided including things in Maryland (the plantation where he lived), Virginia and England.
to a book on the "Welsh Family" whom his grandson, Thomas Stockett through daughter Mary married into, Richard held the title
of "Major" as well as Doctor.
The will of Richard Wells reads as follows. (Richard Wells, Senior, of the Col. of Ann Arundell in the Province of Maryland,
22 June 1667, proved in Maryland 31 Aug. 1667 and in London 14 November 1668.) To my son Richard that plantation I do now
live upon at Herring Creek., being called by the name of Wells and laid out for six hundred acres (and other tracts and parcels).
To my son George my land in Baltimore County, namely three hundred acres, purchased of Capt. George Goldsmith, called the
Planter's Delight "being now seated". To my son John that parcel called Langford's Neck, on the N. side of Chester River in
Talbot Co., being "pattented" and laid out for fifteen hundred acres, and was purchased of John Langford, Gent. To my son
Robert three hundred and fifty acres called West Wells, lying on the W. side of the plantation I now live on, in Herring Creek
Bay. To my son Benjamin that parcel called Benjamin's Choice, being patented and laid out for two hundred and eight acres,
lying W. of a Divident belonging unto Mr. Francis Holland of Herring Creek. To my daughter, Martha, sometime the wife of an
Anthony Salaway, twelve pence. To my daughter Anne, supposed wife unto Mr. John Stansby, chirurgeon, twelve pence as a reward
for her disobedience. To my daughter Mary, wife unto Mr. Thomas Stockett, three cows to be delivered, after my decease, in
the Co. of Ann Arundel, and one hudred pounds of money, to be paid in the city of London within twelve months after my decease.
To my five sons all my whole estate remaining, to be divided amongst them both cattle, goods, money in England, tobacco, debts,
servants, negroes and all things whatsoever belonging unto me in Maryland, Virginia or in England. And they to be my executors.
Francis Stockett, Bonham Turner, and Wm. Linckhorne. (Probate was granted (in London) to Richard Wells, the eldest son, with
power reserved for the others.)
Probate, 8/21/1667, , , MD, USA. His will was proved in Maryland on Aug. 31, 1667 and in London (or Canterbury, Kent Co.,
England) the following year on Nov. 14, 1668 in the Prerogative Court.