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James Cole

James Cole was born in England. He migrated to Plymouth as an adult with his wife Mary and their 4 children.  James Cole first appears in the records of Plymouth Colony in the 1630s. The name of the ship on which he sailed to America is not known.

James was an innkeeper. Operating an inn, or "ordinary," was a public service and the Colony authorized money to keep the ordinary in good repair. James also appears in the Records of Plymouth Colony for violations of the Colony’s liquor laws on numerous occasions.

James Cole’s ordinary was near but not actually on Plymouth’s "Coles Hill." Coles Hill most probably takes its name, not from James Cole, but from John Cole who bought property on the hill in 1697. The first reference to "Coles Hill" appears on 6 March 1698-9 : "The towne granted to Nathaniel Warren 50 foot frunt of land below Coles Hill soe Caled by the shore side and soe to Run down from High Water Marke in to the sea to whorf out soe farr as may be Convenient the sd Warren alwayes leaveing A sufficient way for Carts to pass along the shore between the banck & the sd land to be taken upp" (Records of the Town of Plymouth, I : 266).

The date of James Cole’s death is unknown. He last appears in the records in 1673.

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