Marker #151 Newington

9 11 2009


Marker Text:

Boundary disputes among the early river settlers caused this area to be called Bloody Point. By 1640 Trickey’s Ferry operated between Bloody Point and Hilton’s Point in Dover. In 1712 the meeting-house was erected and the parish set off, named Newington for the English village, whose residents sent the bell for the meeting-house. About 1725 the parsonage was built near the town forest, considered one of the oldest in America.

This Marker is in an odd place. From Rt.16 take exit 4, the Marker is located just west of the Rt 16 underpass on Shattuck Way.


The actual location of Bloody Point, and Trickey’s Ferry was on the other side of the highway at the end of Bloody Point Road (marked here as River Rd).  It may be private property, I didn’t go look.

Here’s a Birds Eye view of the end of Bloody Point Road, and the probable location of the Ferry.

Map picture

The name “Bloody Point” can be traced back to the early 1630s.  Capt. Mason, one of the original Grantees of the NH area had sent over two officers Capt. Wiggins, and Capt. Neal, to manage and run the New Hampshire settlement. Wiggins was responsible for the “upper” settlement, Hilton’s Point, and north, and Neal the “Lower Settlement”  Ordiorn’s Point, from today’s Rye and all of today’s Portsmouth and Newington.

Wiggin and Neal had a bit of a disagreement over who actually owned this little spit of land.  They almost settled it the old fashioned way. Sabers, or Pistols at ten paces … you get the idea.  They did peaceably decide, and no blood was really spilled, but the point bears the name of the conflict.

Captain Neal and Captain Wiggin, rival agents, came near shedding blood there, about the possession of the land; " but," says the worthy Mr. Hubbard, " both the litigants had so much wit in their anger as to waive the battle, each accounting himself to have done very manfully in what was threatened ; so as in respect merely of what might have fallen out, the place to this day retains the formidable name of Bloody Point" In 1643, the Bloody Point part was in controversy between Portsmouth and Dover; but it was assigned to Dover.

A History and description of New England Vol1 1859 Page 598

Trickey’s ferry ran from Bloody Point, across to Hilton’s Point in Dover and also provided passage across the river to “Kittery Neck.”  Thomas Trickey owned the farm and land the ferry was on. He died before 1680.  The land was eventually purchased by Captain John Knight (a Huguenot who came to the New World for religious freedom) in 1705, who owned and operated the ferry until 1718 or so, then transferred the operation to his son.  He was a selectman at Newington in 1721, which was soon recognized as a town.

The first bridge spanning the two points was the General Sullivan (aka “Little Bay”) Bridge was completed in 1934.

Miss Thompson, a descendant of John Knight, and the local historian, says : — In a wild, lonely spot is the grave of John Knight, the exile, shaded by sassafras trees and tall white birches, whose boles gleam afar off like shafts of polished marble. It is marked by a low, broad, three-lobed headstone of slate, on which is this inscription :

"Here lyes buried the body of John Knight Esq ,born August ye 30th 1659 and died May the 11th 1721."

Items of Ancestry, 1894, pp45-46