William Goffe

 

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 William Goffe

William Goffe Rallying the Men of Hadley

GOFFE, WILLIAM, regicide; born in England about 1605; son of a Puritan clergyman. With his father-in-law, General Whalley, he arrived in Boston in the summer of 1660, and shared his fortunes in America, becoming a major-general in 1665. When, during King Philip's War, Hadley was surrounded by the Indians, and the alarmed citizens every moment expected an attack (1675), Goffe suddenly appeared among them, took command, and led them so skillfully that the Indians were soon repulsed. He as suddenly disappeared. His person was a stranger to the inhabitants, and he was regarded by them as an angel sent for their deliverance. Soon after Goffe's arrival in Boston, a fencing-master erected a platform on the Common, and dared any man to fight him with swords. Goffe, armed with a huge cheese covered with a cloth for a shield, and a mop filled with muddy water, appeared before the champion, who immediately made a thrust at his antagonist. Goffe caught and held the fencing-master's sword in the cheese and besmeared him with the mud in his mop. The enraged fencing-master caught up a broadsword, when Goffe cried, " Hold! I have hitherto played with you ; if you attack me I will surely kill you." The alarmed champion dropped his sword, and exclaimed, " Who can you be? You must be either Goffe, or Whalley, or the devil, for there are no other persons who could beat me." He died, either in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1679, or in New Haven, in 1680. See REGICIDES.

 

 

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