John Cutt

John Cutt
President of New Hampshire
In office
Succeeded by Richard Waldron
Personal details
John Cutt

Died April 5, 1681 (age 68)
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Spouse(s) Hannah Starr, Ursula
Children John, Elizabeth, Hannah, Mary, Samuel
Occupation President (Governor) of colonial New Hampshire and merchant, magistrate, councilor.

John Cutt (1613 โ€“ April 5, 1681) was the first President of the Province of New Hampshire.

President Cutt's widow, Ursula, built her house at the Cutt family's Pulpit Farm between 1681-5 [1]

Cutt was born in Wales, emigrated to the colonies in 1646, and became a successful merchant and mill owner in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He was married to Hannah Starr, daughter of Dr. Comfort Starr of Boston, a founder of Harvard College and a surgeon who emigrated from Ashford, Kent, England.[2] Starr is buried in King's Chapel Burying Ground, Boston.

On January 1, 1680, John Cutt became the first President of the royal Province of New Hampshire, when New Hampshire was first separated from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Cutt was the head of the seven-member royal provincial council.[3] An early copy of the document appointing Cutt and his council is now preserved by the State of New Hampshire.[4]

Soon after his appointment he fell ill. On March 1, 1681 the provincial Council and General Assembly designated March 17, 1681, as a Fast Day, "A day of public fasting and prayer."[5] The Council and Assembly believed Cutt's illness and the recent sighting of a comet were signs of "divine displeasure"; the fast day was unsuccessful, as John Cutt died on April 5, 1681.[5]

After his Cutt's death, Richard Waldron was named acting President.


John Cutt was accompanied from Wales to Portsmouth by two brothers, Richard and Robert.[6] A descendant of brother Robert Cutt was Hon. Hampden Cutts (as the family styled themselves, with the 's' in succeeding generations) of North Hartland, Vermont. Hampden Cutts married Mary Pepperrell Sparhawk Jarvis, daughter of William Jarvis of Weathersfield, Vermont, and the man who introduced merino sheep to America. Cutts's wife Mary Jarvis was herself a descendant of John Cutt through her father.[7][8]


  1. ^ C.S. Gurney, Portsmouth, Historic and Picturesque, (1902) after p.54 at:
  2. ^ "Harvard Charter of 1650, Harvard University Archives,". Retrieved October 27, 2010.
  3. ^ Aside from Cutt, the other members of the Council were Richard Martin, William Vaughan and Thomas Daniel of Portsmouth, Richard Waldron of Dover, John Gilman of Exeter and Christopher Hussey of Hampton.
  4. ^ "State of New Hampshire, Executive Council, History of the Executive Council". Archived from the original on October 6, 2010. Retrieved October 27, 2010.
  5. ^ a b Gilbreth, Donna (1997). "Fast Day". New Hampshire Almanac. New Hampshire State Library. Archived from the original on January 2, 2011. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  6. ^ "The Cutt Family, Brewster's Rambles about Portsmouth". Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved October 27, 2010.
  7. ^ The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Henry Fitz-Gilbert Waters, Boston, 1880. New England Historic Genealogical Society. 1889. p. 450. Retrieved October 27, 2010 โ€“ via Internet Archive. hampden cutts holyoke.
  8. ^ The Founders: Portraits of Persons Born Abroad Who Came to The Colonies, Charles Knowles Bolton, Boston Athenaeum, Boston, 1919. Google. Retrieved October 27, 2010.

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