Grimes, Alexander

Battle:Battle of Dunbar in Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland
Ship/Arrival:Unity, Dec 1650
Prisoner and List:
Name Variations:
Other SPOW Associations:
Every attempt has been made to ensure accuracy; please independently verify all data.

Published on: 13 Oct 2016
Updated: 13 Feb 2020
Page contributors: Robin Mason, Andrew Millard, Teresa Rust

Alexander Grimes, #35 on Scots at Lynn 1653. Iron Works Inventory

According to Christopher Gerrard, Pam Graves, Andrew Millard, Richard Annis, and Anwen Caffell, in, Lost Lives, New Voices: Unlocking the Stories of the Scottish Soldiers at the Battle of Dunbar 1650, (England: Oxbow Books, 2018), on page 247, Alexander is categorized as:

Definite [that he is a Dunbar prisoner transported on the Unity]

Grimes/Graim/Greimes/Grymes/Greine/Bryme/Graham, Alexander/Alister. Residences: Lynn, Salem MA. Appears: 1653. D.aft.1661. “Near of kin” to Archibald Anderson [Exiles; Banks; DR; SPOWS; Ch.8]

For explanations of the category, abbreviations and references see List of Dunbar prisoners from Lost Lives, New Voices.

Alexander is believed to be a Scottish prisoner of war from the Battle of Dunbar at Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland on 3 Sep 1650, arriving at Charlestown, Massachusetts Bay Colony on the ketch, Unity, in late December 1650.” ~ Teresa

First Generation in the New World

1. ALEXANDER¹ GRIMES, was born in Scotland and died after 1691 probably in Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts.

Biographical Notes:
Name variations: Allester/Alister/Alexander
Allister Greimes is mentioned in a probate record for Allester Mackmallen [Alester M’Milan] of Salem. He is mentioned alongside Arsbell Anderson [Archibald Anderson]. Allester Mackmallen says he knew both of these men while he lived in Scotland and that they were friends and neighbors of his. He says Greimes and Anderson’s mothers are kin to each other.

Sources and Notes:

Hamilton, Marsha L.. Social and Economic Networks in Early Massachusetts: Atlantic Connections (University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University, 2009), Kindle Edition

“I’m doing research in Essex county, Massachusetts and came across a SPOW in the book, Daughters of Eve: Pregnant Brides and Unwed Mothers in Seventeenth Century Essex County, Massachusetts by Else L. Hambleton (2004). It shows Alister Grimes/Greimes was alive in 1691 in Salem, Essex co., Massachusetts.
p. 20: “Sarah Lambert of Beverly was whipped in 1667 and again 12 years later in 1679 for bearing two illegitimate children by Allister Greime, a Scottish prisoner of war who worked at the Saugus Iron Works. Whether Greime was unable to marry because of his prisoner-of-war status or because he had a wife back in Scotland, their relationship was longstanding.”
p. 23: “Sarah Lambert can be traced through the Salem town records from 1657 onward. Over a period of 10 years during her childhood she lived in at least six households. She may have been mentally or physically handicapped because the town had to pay more money at each move. It should have been expected that the cost of her maintenance would be reduced as she grew older and was able to contribute her labor to the household in which she was placed. Henry Herrick had received 5li in 1657; Mr. William Brown got 10li in 1666. The following year she had her first illegitimate child who joined her on public support. A second illegitimate child was added to the rolls in 1679. She was still receiving public support in 1696. In 1691, Alister Greime, the father of both her children, was also forced to turn to public relief.”
pp. 51-52: “What happened to illegitimate children who were placed in the care of the town of their birth? Since they were assigned by an annual contract to whichever household agreed to maintain them for the least amount of money, they faced an unsettled future. The Salem town records indicate a difficult and insecure passage for Sarah Lambert’s child, who at no point in the record is accorded the dignity of a name, sex, or age. It was likely 6 years old in 1673. Francis Skerry had been keeping both Sarah Lambert and her child prior to that time, but in April 1673, the child was given to Thomas Greenslet’s wife. In August, the town of Salem agreed to give the Greenslets have an acre of land in return for keeping Sarah Lambert’s child until it was 18. The following March, however, Sarah Lambert’s child was taken from Thomas Greenslet’s wife and placed with Thomas Green’s wife. Two years later, in 1676, Mrs. Green took in another illegitimate child, one fathered by her own husband. The Greens also agreed to maintain Sarah Lambert’s child until it was 18 in return for up to 40 acres of land. At the same time, the Salem selectmen tried to find passage to Virginia for Sarah Lambert. They did not succeed because she had another illegitimate child in 1679. In March 1679, Sarah Lambert’s child was still with the Greens, but its position in the family was tenuous, because the Greens were asking for more money. In 1680 the Greens were given 50 shillings, ‘the better to enable him to keep [Sarah] Lambert’s child, he being poor & in want.’ Thomas Green’s financial position makes it likely that taking in bastards was a strategy for supplementing marginal family incomes. This could not have been a future eagerly sought by pregnant women for their children.”

I haven’t researched more on Sarah Lambert and Alister Grimes except to confirm on your website that he was a SPOW. You’re welcome to add the text above to his profile. Great website!”

—Robin Mason
Witches of Massachusetts Bay
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