Vines, Richard (1585-1651) (DNB00)

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VINES, RICHARD (1585–1651), colonist, was born near Bideford, Devonshire, in 1585, and educated for the medical profession. In 1609 he was sent out to Maine to explore the country. Apparently after his return to England he was appointed agent by Sir Ferdinando Gorges [q. v.], and then went back to New England, settling at Winter Harbour near Saco River, Massachusetts, about 1615. He is stated to have been in England in 1629, and this casts doubt on the authenticity of his signature to a deed of 1629 containing a patent of lands for Bideford, Massachusetts, to him and one Oldham (Savage, Genealogical Dictionary, &c., s.v.). He was, however, principal superintendent of Saco before 1635, in which year Gorges appointed him councillor of ‘New Somersetshire.’ Before 1640 he seems to have ceased to be Gorges's agent. He explored the White Mountains in August 1642. In 1643 or 1644 he seems to have been for a short time a prisoner in French hands. He administered the government of the colony in 1643, and in 1644 and 1645 was formally chosen deputy governor by the council. But about this time Rigby set up his claim to Maine as against Gorges, and sent out an agent, Cleave, who entered into a vigorous controversy with Vines. The latter, though he upheld the Gorges claims with some success, eventually in 1645 returned to England, whence he went to Barbados and settled as a planter on two adjoining estates comprising fifty acres, turning his attention to tobacco, cotton, and sugar; he also practised his profession with much success. Gorges wrote in high terms of Vines's care and diligence as his agent. Vines, who was a sturdy royalist, died in Barbados on 19 April 1651.

Vines was married and left a daughter, who married one Ellacot.

[Savage's Genealogical Dict. of the First Settlers of New England; Appleton's Cyclopædia of American Biography; Collections of Massachusetts Hist. Soc. indices s.v., but especially IV. vii. 329–30, 337–49, for some letters; two of Vines's letters from Barbados, cited by Mr. Daniell Davies in his Cavaliers and Roundheads in Barbados, p. 72.]

C. A. H.