Lt. William Pratt

Wife:Elizabeth Clark
Eight Children, including
Wm. Joseph Pratt and
Samuel Pratt
Father: Rev. William Pratt
Mother: Elizabeth Prime
Show Pedigree
Lt. William Pratt, born 6 Jun 1609 in Baddock, England, and his older brother John were children of Reverend William Pratt in England. They had probably known Rev. Thomas Hooker in England. Reverend Hooker fled to Holland in 1630 to avoid religious persecution. In 1633 he crossed the Atlantic Ocean and settled in Newtowne, Mass. (later Cambridge). John and William Pratt also settled there in 1633, and it appears they probably travelled and arrived together. In 1635 or 1636 Rev. Hooker led a group of 100 south to found Newtown, Connecticut because his views differed from the Massachusetts colony. In particular, he believed that the people should choose their own governing representatives, a very liberal idea at that time. His ideas formed the basis of the governing document of Connecticut, and later influenced the Constitution of the United States.

Newtown had its name changed to Hartford in 1637. In 1636 William married Elizabeth Clark, the sixteen year old daughter of John and Mary Clark who also had been in Rev. Hooker's congregation in England and had been among the founders of Hartford. William and Elizabeth had eight children among whom were William Joseph (who went by Joseph) and Samuel. Their grandchildren, Christopher Pratt (from Joseph) and Sarah Pratt (from Samuel) married each other, and are both progenitors of this Pratt line.

William and John both had some of the original lots in Hartford. After the Pequot War, William took his family to Saybrook, Connecticut, about 1645, where there had been a fort, and where his commander John Mason had settled. The fort burned in 1647 (the year Thomas Hooker died) and they settled nearby in 1648 in what later became known as Essex.

William became a "freeman" in the militia in 1651 and was promoted to Lietenant in 1661. He represented Saybrook, which included Essex, in the General Assembly from 1666 until his death in 1678.

There has been a note of confusion about Lt. William Pratt's birth and death dates. His birth is sometimes given as 9 Nov 1620. Recent research to clarify this confusion has resulted in the birth date given above, and of his older brother John as christened on 29 Nov 1607. See Matthew Grow, "A Belated Reply: The English Origins of John and William Pratt of Connecticut".