One of my direct ancestors who settled in Barnstable was named Robert Shelley, eleven generations before me. He was born in England in about 1612 and arrived in Boston aboard the Lion on September 12, 1632 with his sister Anne. Robert became close to Judith Garnet (Gardner), a young English-born woman who also sailed on the Lion. Upon their arrival Judith worked in Boston as a servant to John Coggeshall, yet another Lion passenger. Coggeshall soon was compelled to leave for Rhode Island due to his support of dissident Anne Hutchinson. He squabbled with leaders in his new town of Portsmouth, R.I., as well, and ultimately joined with others in 1639 to found Newport.
While Coggeshall butted heads with the rulers of Boston, Robert and Judith married and settled in Scituate. There they befriended Rev. John Lothrop, the new pastor of the First Church in Scituate. Robert joined the Scituate church in 1637, but he and Judith were among those who left Scituate with Lothrop in 1639 to found Barnstable, following a dispute over the proper form of baptism (full immersion in the Massachusetts winter vs. a little sprinkle, which the normally conservative Lothrop favored -- more on that another day).

Robert "Goodman" Shelley appears on Rev. Lothrop's list of those who joined the Scituate church in 1637
Lothrop was known as highly intelligent and highly stern. In 1641 he excommunicated William Casely, who was a longtime associate and friend, one of the original settlers of the town, for “carnall carriages.” It appears from the trial record William’s crime was homosexuality. In 1642 Lothrop orchestrated the punishment of William Casely’s brother John and his future wife Alice for fornication a short time before their marriage. John Casely was whipped publicly, Alice placed in the stocks for the whole of a hot summer day.
Sturgis Library, Barnstable, Mass., originally Rev. John Lothrop's house
Rev. Lothrop's house in Barnstable, much expanded, is today the public Sturgis Library, which has a great genealogy collection. It also contains his Bible. Several pages were burned by candles during late-night readings; Lothrop rewrote the missing verses from memory.
Robert Shelley was different. Although a hard worker and a good Christian, he was about as Falstaffian a character as one could expect to find in Barnstable. He was fond of good food and drink, and as Otis’s Barnstable Families reports, was an “easy, good-natured man and cared little how the world moved.” Judith Shelley, on the other hand, was described by Rev. Lothrop’s records as “proud” and “tenacious of her own opinions.” He continued, “Her tongue runneth like a whipsaw, cutting everything in its path.”
In the end Barnstable, or at least the Barnstable church, wasn’t big enough for the Judith and Rev. Lothrop. Judith Shelley, who had joined the Barnstable church in 1644 upon her dismissal from the Boston church (like a library card at an old residence you never cancelled), was excommunicated from the Barnstable church by Lothrop on June 4, 1649. Judith defied his authority to the point of refusing to appear at her own hearing. As Lothrop wrote, she was “absent for she would not come, setting att naught the messenger of the church sent to her.” Judith’s offense was:
principally for slaundering of two systers, syster Wells and Syster Dimmick, saying Syster Dimmick was proud and went about telling lies, but could not prove anything by any testimony, and also affirming that myself and brother Cobb to my Syster Wells att her house did talk of her upon a day I sent to see Syster Huckins, being sick then, we denying the truth of it, no speech of her declaimed as she continued to affirm it as confidently as if she had a spirit of revelation, saying also that I had confessed it, and afterward denied it, and that all the church knew it was so, but durst not or would not speak, and that I deserved rather to be cast out than she, for she was innocent, and I was guilty. She never would be convinced of any of her conceived jealousies, was wondrous peremptory in all her carriages, many times condemning the brethren, that they dealt not with her in a way of God. We had long patience with her and used all courteous entreaties and persuasion, but the longer we waited, the worse she was, because upon some occasion, she was not called to a Christian meeting, which some of the sisters had appointed among themselves. Many untruths she hath uttered from the beginning unto the end of this business.
For anyone who didn’t follow that, the other ladies had Christian meetings and didn’t invite her. She took it badly and accused the “cool kids,” including Rev. Lothrop, of talking trash about her. She proudly and stubbornly stuck to her guns, bashing them all over town, and claiming Rev. Lothrop had confessed to badmouthing her. She accused all the church members of knowing she was right but being too chicken to say so, and said that the pastor should be cast out instead of her. Pretty bold.
Judith’s battles with Lothrop were not over. In 1653, four years after her excommunication, her fifteen-year-old daughter Hannah was whipped for allowing a man ten years older to court her without her father’s position. Robert Shelley, the father in question, urged mercy to no avail, and Judith was furious with Lothrop for taking his anger at her out on her oldest daughter. In her view nothing untoward had happened, and in fact the two married that same year.

Check the last line: "a gentle, kindly man and beloved by all who knew him." I'm guessing Judith and Hannah Shelley, and William and John Casely were not contacted for this story.
You might say Judith Gardner Shelley and Rev. John Lothrop fought to the death. Lothrop died in 1653, shortly after performing Hannah Shelley’s marriage, and Judith in 1658.  Judith’s daughter Hannah never forgave either. She and her husband left Cape Cod in 1660, and she never joined the church.
Perhaps Judith’s old enemy, “Syster Dimmock,” had the last laugh. “Syster Dimmock,” who Judith alleged was “proud and went about telling lies,” was Ann Dimmock. Ann’s husband Thomas Dimmock was a big deal in town. The Dimmocks had come to Massachusetts Bay in 1635, settled in Scituate in 1638, and come to Barnstable with Lothrop and the Shelleys in 1639. Thomas Dimmock was the first to build a house in the new town and was a highly trusted man, being among the very few (yes, few) allowed to bear arms. In 1650 he was named an elder of the Barnstable church and in 1653 he took the inventory of Lothrop’s estate. The Dimmocks were insiders.
Not long after Judith died her husband Robert married the Dimmocks’ daughter Susanna, who was half his age (25 to his 48) and barely older than his own daughter Hannah. Robert and Susanna Dimmock were married thirty-two years before his death in 1692, longer than his marriage to Judith. The happy new couple had a daughter right away, followed by four sons. Their daughter, also named Susanna, is my ancestor and the next character in this tale.

Barnstable was not a place of leisure in those days, but I'm sure it was as beautiful as today
At about twenty, this daughter Susanna Shelley married Samuel Gardner, who ironically was the nephew of the unfortunate Judith Gardner Shelley, her father’s first wife. Samuel’s branch of the Gardners did not live near Barnstable; he came from the southern part of Hingham, where many members of the family lived. There is a Gardner Street to this day. Samuel died just seven years after the marriage, leaving Susanna alone with four young children. Susanna married the widower Joshua Ransom, with whom she had four more children.
It is ironic that Susanna was Robert Shelley’s daughter with the Barnstable insider Susanna Dimmock, rather than the militant outcast Judith Gardner. The younger Susanna, like her father’s first wife, was in constant trouble with church authorities. Much of this trouble was caused by her sharp tongue, apparently not aided by a serious drinking problem. When Susanna married Joshua Ransom, someone insisted custody of her children with Samuel Gardner be signed over to a James Clarke. She signed them over. Susanna and Joshua Ransom lived in Rhode Island for several years before returning to Lakenham, near Plymouth, where most of the Ransoms lived. It is not known how much contact she had with her Gardner children after that.

More on Robert Shelley

Robert Shelley

Born: Abt 1611(age listed on marriage record)  (Judith listed as born in 1615)probably born in England
Married: 26/Sep/1636 Scituate, Plymouth, MA
Death: 06/Sep/1692 Barnstable, Barnstable, MA
Robert Shelley
1st Judith Garnett
2nd Susanna
Hannah Garnett Shelley
from genealogy by Susan P. Canney
"Robert Shelly came to New England on the ship Lion which sailed 21 June 1632 and landed in Boston on 12 September 1632. Judith Garnet came in the ship Frances which sailed from Ipswich, England, the last of April 1634. Her age is given on the ship's list as twenty-six. In September 1634 she was admitted to the first church at Boston as "our brother John Coggeshall's maidservant."
Robert and Judith were living in Scituate, Plymouth Colony, MA, soon after Rev. John Lothrop arrived. Lothrop kept careful church records, of which the following relate to the Shelleys: "The Houses in the plantation of Situate...since my coming...No. 39 was Robert Shellyes, 1636." "Goodman Shelley joyned 14 May 1637." "Isaac Robinson & Margaret Handford contracted at Mr. Hatherlyes 27 June 1636, and by him Robert Shelly and his wife from Boston marryed here 26 September 1636."
Robert had a farm in Scituate in 1636, on the Third Cliff near Gillson's windmill. Plymouth Colony records show: Nov. 5, 1638m "Robert Shelly & John Winter desire to be admitted freeman at the next Genral Court." 1 Feb. 1639/40, Robert Shelly of Scituate took oath of allegiance and fidelity." In October 1639, he, with Mr. Lothrop and other members of the church, moved to Barnstable, where he was living in 1670.
Another record shows that he was listed among those able to bear arms, in 1643. On 5 Jan. 1643/4, Thomas Hinckley, Thomas Lothrop, Henry Cobb and Isaac Robinson drew up a list of those who were then inhabitants of Barnstable, and among the forty-five householders was "Robert Shelley, from Scituate 1639." Mr. Lothrop's Barnstable church records state: "Judith Shelly joyned by dismission from the church att Boston, 25 August 1644."
Otis says in Barnstable Families: "Robert Shelly was an easy, good-natured man and cared little how the world moved. He was however, an honest man, a good neighbor and a sincere Christian." Judith, on the contrary, was "proud, tenacious of her own opinions." These conclusions of course are based upon the records of John Lothrop, whom Judith defied: "Goody Shelley excommunicated 4 June 1649 & cast out of the church, though absent for she would not come, setting att naught the messenger of the church sent to her, principally for slaundering of 2 systers, Syster Wells & Syster Dimmock, saying Sister Dimmick was proud & went about telling Lyes, but could never prove anythinge by any Testimonye. And also affirming that myselfe & Brother Cobb, to my syster Wells at her house didd talk of her...Continued from tyme to tyme to affirme as cpmfodemt;u as of sje jadd jadd a s[orot pf Reve;atopm. saying also that I had confessed it, and after did denye it; and that all the church knew it was soe, but durst not or would not speake. And that I deserved rather to be cast out then shee, for shee was innocent but I was guilty. She would never be convinced of any of her conceived Jealousyes, and was wondrous perremptorye in all her carriages, many times condeming the Breathren that they dealt not with her in a way of God. Wee had long patience towards her & used all the courteous intreatyes & persuasians, but the longer wee waited the worse shee was." Reverend Lothrop goes on to say that Judith was resentful because some of the church women had not invited her to one of their "Christian meetings."
Nothing further can be found concerning Judith after her excommunication by Mr. Lothrop, whose stern Puritanism is well known. In 1653 he had fifteen-year-old Hannah Shelley and David Linnell whipped, which Otis says was because David had courted her without her father's permission. Judith's name is not mentioned, but Otis did once use the word "parents." David and Hannah were married the next year by John Lothrop, and raised a large family.
In 1634 Robert was made a freeman of Barnstable. In 1669 his wife, then Susanna, was a witness to the will of Richard Foxwell in Barnstable, and was apparently on good terms with her sister-in-law, Anne Shelly. Lothrop says Anne "came into the land in 1632." She married Richard Foxwell in 1634 as his second wife.
Robert Shelley's will of 11 March 1688/89, was recorded on 22 October 1692.
"In the name of God Amen. I Robirt Shelley of Barnestable in New England being at this present in health and of perfitt memory do make my last will. 'Testament in manner and form following, disannulling and making void inefectual All former wills made by me. First I bequeth my soul to God that gave it and my body to the earth to be buried. And as for that small estate I am possessed of I leave it wholy to my wife after my decease for her support and them that I leave with her: AND for the preventing of further Trouble I thought good to Inseart in this my last will that the two Acres of Land that I exchanged with Henry Taylor for the Land that my house now standeth on that my son John Shelley truly gave it to me. AS witness my hand and seal this eleventh of March one thousand six hundred and eighty-eight: eighty nine."
Robert Shelley, his mark.
Witnesses were Henery Taylor and Jabez Lumbart.
Joseph Lothrop, clerk and recorded.
Susanna Shelley, widow, Robirt Shelley late of Barnstable, deceased, made oath to the inventory in court, 19 October 1692. Amount of inventory, £41.18.

Author: Anderson, Robert Charles
Title: The Great Migration Begins, Immigrants to New England 1620-1633. 3 Vols.
Abbrev: The Great Migration Begins, Immigrants to New England 1620-1633.
Publication: New England Historic Genealogical Society
Page: p. 1662
Author: Sumner, Edith Bartlett
Title: Ancestry and Descendants of Amaziah Hall and Betsey Baldwin
Abbrev: Ancestry and Descendants of Amaziah Hall and Betsey Baldwin
Publication: 1954"

And Now a Bit on their son John, our 9th Great Grandparent

Taken from the court records of the day:
John Shelley, for ployning a quantitie of liquors from MBarnabas Laythorp aboard his barque, is sentanced to sit in the stockes at Barnstable on a training day for the space of three hours ; and for his telling a lye in his examination about it, he is sentanced, according to the law , to pay ten shillings to the use of the collonie.