The Shatswell family is one of the earliest to arrive in Ipswich. A small building that was moved to the Collins-Lord property on Jeffreys Neck Road is believed to have been the original planters cottage of John Shatswell or his son Richard. It may have been built as early as 1646, in which case it would be the oldest structure in Ipswich.
From the Shatswell genealogy we read the following:
“John and Johanna Shatswell came to Ipswich in 1633. He was one of the first to erect a house for himself, and was appointed a surveyor of the land upon which others built. His homestead is still in possession of his descendants, and has never been out of the name. The lands granted to John Shatswell in April, 1635, are found recorded by the Clerk in 1635, April 20, as follows: ‘April 20, 1635. Their was granted to John Shatswell, about six acres of ground whereof the said John Shatswell hath built an house, lying between Mr. Wade’s house lot on the East, and Mr. Firman’s on the west, having goodman webster’s house lot on the north east. Also a parcel of land part marsh part upland, containing twenty-five acres in the whole, lying between Mr. Dudley’s toward the South land Humphrey Bradstreet towards the North. Also a farm containing two hundred acres lying beyond the North commonly called Egypt River, adjoining to the bounds of Newbury.”
In his will, dated 11 February 1646 and proved 30 March 1647, “John Satchwell of Ipswich though weak in body” bequeathed to “my son Richard” all my houses and land, except part of the twenty-five acre lot from the upper end of the plowed land to the sea, and sixteen acres of pasture beyond Muddy River towards Rowley, which parcels of land I give to “Johan my wife” for her life and to her issue if she have any, and for want of such issue, then to return to Richard “my son his heirs and assigns.” “If Richard shall not marry with Rebecca Tuttle which is now intended then my wife shall have her being in the house … during her life unless she see good to dispose of herself otherwise.” If both Richard and John die without issue, then the land remaining should “be equally divided between my brother and sisters’ children that are here in New England”; to “my brother Theophilus Satchwell” my best cloth suit and coat; to “my brother Curwin” my stuff suit; to “my sister Webster” seven yards of stuff and a young heifer; “my wife” sole executrix [EPR 1:60-1].
The undated inventory of the estate of John Satchwell was not totalled, and included £307 in real estate: “one dwelling house and homestall with barn, cowhouse, orchard yard with the appurtenances”, £100; and “several parcels of land, meadow and upland” £207. He also had “a swarm of bees,” £1; and “in England upon bond,” £18 [ EPR 1:61].