Yale University was founded in 1701 at the salt box-style  Buckingham House  in Old Saybrook, Connecticut (Source:  Library of Congress )

Yale University was founded in 1701 at the salt box-style Buckingham House in Old Saybrook, Connecticut (Source: Library of Congress)


New London District, Connecticut, probate packet 814, Thomas Buckingham, 1709; Connecticut State Library [Probate files collection, early to 1880], Hartford; FHL microfilm 1025006. >> download original document 

Page 2 of the inventory of the estate (page 3 of the attached PDF):

Line 6 says: "it [item] 1 coverled [sic; coverlet] 20 S [shillings] 1 homemade blanket 16 S [shillings] [total value this line] 1 [pound] : 16 [shillings] : 0 [pence]" which were in the old study, according to the first line of the page. 

Line 14 says "In the new Studdy [sic] etc."

Line 18 says "it [item] 2 whit [sic; white] blankets 20 S [shillings] 1 homemade blanket 14 S [shillings] [total value this line] 1 [pound] = [sic; used as a spacing symbol, not as equal sign] 14 [shillings] - 0 [pence]"


A note titled “Description of Old Family Quilt”. This was transcribed June 19, 2007.

Taken from a letter by Jennie Field - an adopted color girl; August 10, 1907, to Alice Electa Hinman Crane.

This old bedspread your Grandmother Barker [Armina Smith Barker] promised you so many years ago, was owned by your third great grandmother, so Aunt Electa just told me, that person spun the yarn and colored an (in) the lining, also carded the wool that was used to make the cloth. The middle part of upper lining was called damask cloth and was quite costly in those days. Your Grandmother Barker has kept it from the years 1847 or 1850 until her death which I think was in 1893 and your Aunt Mary has kept it until her death. It is surely a fine old relic and I know you will prize it for its antiquity.

Date Unknown

Taken from a newly discovered letter written by Elizabeth S. Crane (1883-1960), date unknown. This was transcribed October 15, 2007.

This quilt is about 270 years old. 

It was made by my great grandmother four times removed. She carded, spun and colored the thread and wove the cloth which forms the lining. The top is of Damask Cloth which, at the time, was very expensive and considered a great luxury to have.

The quilt was in her trousseau chest when she married my ancestor, the Rev. Thomas Buckingham in 1666. He was the youngest child of the Puritan settler, Thomas Buckingham, who was the ancestor of all the American Buckinghams and who came from England in 1637.

The Rev. Thomas Buckingham was often called by his townsmen to settle business difficulties and an autographed letter from him to the General Assembly in regard to the encroachments of Andross, may be seen in the State Archives at Hartford, dated 5: 6.75 and signed by him.

His monument is still standing in the Old Burying-ground of Saybrook, Connecticut where he died. It bears the inscription:

Hear lies the body of the


Pastor of the Church of

Christ in Saybrook, dec’d

April ye 1st, 1709, in ye

63 year of his age.


The following is a copy of the inscription on the tomb of Mrs. Hester Buckingham (maker of this quilt):


Wife to ye Revd. Mr Thomas

Buckingham, Pastor of ye


Dec’d June ye 3, 1702, in

ye 56 year of her age.


Elizabeth S. Crane 

1020 Seneca St.

Seattle, Washington


Recorded on May 10, 2008 from an email by a quilt expert in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Here are some stats on the Buckingham Quilt: 

81 ½" X 89"

Medallion-style, center is Damask fabric, blue floral on brown ground (approx. 54 1/2" wide). It has borders on 3 sides: 3" wide on top, 15" wide on the sides. The border fabric is a brown & tan stripe, and each border has been pieced in many pieces. It has been hand pieced.

The back is 2 main pieces of a blue & white striped fabric that is homespun, as the "stripes" range in widths from 1/4 - 1/2 inches wide, and the stripes are not consistently straight. On the top edge, there is a 13" border (pieced with 5 pieces), and one side a 3" border of a dark brown wool, that is home-dyed and homespun. There is a binding that is approx. 1/2" wide (though not very consistent), that is mostly a green jacquard, with a piece or two of a lavender fabric. The binding has been hand applied.

There are several areas that have patches, and several areas that have repairs. There are some rust stains.

There are some loose seams, and holes in the dark brown fabric.

It is hand quilted in an all-over pattern of large diamonds, approx. 5 stitches to the inch.

I would say the measurements above are close, but only approximate.


Recorded on January 18, 2014 in Tucson, Arizona, USA by Bobbie A. Aug, AQS Certified Appraiser of Quilts and Quilted Textiles

Click here to review online or here to download PDF.