Oliver Ayer Roberts.

History of the Military company of the Massachusetts, now called the Ancient and honorable artillery company of Massachusetts. 1637-1888 (Volume 1) online

. (page 13 of 73)
Online LibraryOliver Ayer RobertsHistory of the Military company of the Massachusetts, now called the Ancient and honorable artillery company of Massachusetts. 1637-1888 (Volume 1) → online text (page 13 of 73)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

1633, then a "servant to our bro. John Sandford." He probably, therefore, came over
with Winthrop, and was admitted a freeman Dec. 6, 1636. He died in February, 1654.
He had a "great lot for twelve heads" granted him at the Mount, Feb. 19, 1637-8, and,

Robert Saltonstall (1638). Authorities: Robert Saunders (1638). Authorities:

New Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg., 1S53 (will), 1879; Paige's Hist, of Cambridge; Hist, of Dorchester, by

Bond's Watertown; Suffolk Deeds, Liber L; Rec- Antiq. and Hist. Soc; Bond's Watertown; Sav-

ords of Mass. Bay, Vol. \\., p. 133; Savage's Gen. age's Gen. Diet.
Diet. Robert Scott (1638). Authorities: New

"Mr Robt Saltonstall is fined 5 shs for present- Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg., 1854, for inventory of

ing his petition [to the General Court] in so small his estate; Savage's Edition of Winthrop's Hist.;

and bad a peece of paper." — /v'lru^fA of Mass. Savage's Gen. Diet.; Report of Boston Rec. Com.,

Bay, Vol. II; p. 76. 1 634- 1 660.


in 1640, two hundred acres additional, without allowance for " rockienes or swampe."
In 1649-50, he is called in the Town Records, "Sergaint," and in 1652-3, "Ensign."
His house was near State Street, between Congress and Devonshire, and fronted on the
court, east of the original first meeting-house, on which Isaac Addington (:6S2), the
colonial secretary, lived at a later time. His garden extended south on Pudding Lane,
now Devonshire Street. He was clerk of the Artillery Company in 1645.

Ralph Sprague (1638), son of Edward Sprague, a fuller of Upway, County Dorset,
England, is said by Felt, in his Annals of Salem, to have come to America in the ship
" Abigail," with Mr. Endicott, leaving Weymouth June 20, and arriving at Salem Sept. 6,
1628. "After Mr. Endicott arrived at Naumkeag [Salem], he commissioned Messrs.
Ralph, Richard and William Sprague and others to explore the country about Mishawum,
now Charlestown. Here they met with a tribe of Indians, called Aberginians. By the
consent of these, they commenced a plantation." He and his wife Joan were members
of the First Church, Boston, but, with thirty-one others, were dismissed Oct. 14, 1632,
"to enter into a new church body at Charlestown." He was a brother of Richard
Sprague (1638), and father of Richard (1681). He became a freeman Oct. 19, 1630,
and was the first person chosen to the office of constable at Charlestown, in 1630. He
was active in military matters, and successively became sergeant in 1634, ensign in 1646,
lieutenant in 1647, and captain. He represented Charlestown in the General Court in
May, 1635, and afterwards, — in all for nine years, — being a deputy when the charter of
the Artillery Company was granted.

He was one of the first selectmen of Charlestown, chosen Feb. 10, 1634. His
homestead, consisting of one acre of " earable land, . . . with a Dwelling house upon it
and other aptinances," was situated " at the east end of the comon, butting south and
west upon the highway," having Mystic River on the northeast. The Charlestown Land
Records, p. 53, describe twelve (1638) different pieces of real estate as the possession
of Ralph Sprague.

He died in November, 1650.

Richard Sprague (163S), of Charlestown, third son of Edward, of Upway, England,
came over with his brother Ralph (1638), and with him moved from Salem to Charles-
town. He is in the list of the members of the First Church, and was admitted a free-
man May 18, 1 63 1. With his wife, he was dismissed therefrom in October, 1632, to
form a new church at Charlestown.

In 1637, he was an adherent of Mr. Wheelwright, and signed the remonstrance
against the proceeding of the court; but, on expressing his regret, his signature was
erased. He was active in military matters, and one of the leading citizens of the new
town. Mr. Everett, in his address commemorative of the bicentennial of the arrival of
Winthrop at Charlestown, in speaking of the three brothers, Ralph (1638), Richard
(1638), and William Sprague, says they were "the founders of the settlement in this

Ralph Sprague (1638). AuTHORrriES: Felt's Richard Sprague (163S). Authorities:

Annals of Salem; Frothingham's Hist, of Charles- Frothingham's Hist, of Charlestown; Wyman's

town; Wyman's Genealogies and Estates of Charles- Geneal gies and P'states, Charlestown; Felt's An-

town; Winthrop's Hist, of New Eng., Savage's nals of Salem; Hurd's Hist, of Middltse.x Co.;

Edition; Hurd's Hist, of Middlesex Co.; Mem. Hist. Savage's Gen. Diet.; Third Report, Boston Rec.

of Boston; Savage's Gen. Diet.; Third Report, Com; Mem. Hist, of Boston; Genealogy of Sprague

Boston Rec. Com. ; Genealogy of Sprague Family. Family.


place," and " were persons of character, substance and enterprise ; excellent citizens ;
generous public benefactors; and the heads of a very large and respectable family of
descendants. ' Richard Sprague (1638) was a captain of the Charlestown train-band,
and represented that town in the General Court in 1644, and from 1659 to 1666. He
was first sergeant of the Artillery Company in 1652, ensign in 1659, ^.nd lieutenant in
1665. He died, Nov. 25, 1668. His will of Sept. 15 preceding, names his wife, Mary,
but no children of his own. The sons of his brother Ralph are mentioned in it. He
gave to Harvard College thirty ewes, with their lambs. This was among the earliest
donations to that college. His homestead in Charlestown consisted of " three acres of
earable land, . . . with a dwelling house and other aptinances," situated " in the east feilde,
butting southwest and west upon the streete way, bounded on the southeast by gravell
lane." The Charlestown Land Records, p. 41, describe thirteen different pieces of real
estate in Charlestown as the possession of Richard Sprague (1638). He bequeathed his
sword to his brother William, of Hingham, which, in 1S28, was in the possession of his

John Stowe (1638), of Roxbury. The Roxbury Church Records, written by Rev.
John Eliot, say, "John Stow, he arrived at N. E the 17"' of the 3'' month [May] ano
1634. he brought his wife & 6 children." The records mention his wife, "Elizabeth
Stow, the wife of John Stow [1638], she was a very godly matron, a blessing not only
to her family but to all the church & when she had lead a christian conversation a few
years among us. She dyed & left a good savor behind her." He was admitted a
freeman Sept. 3, 1634, and his wife died, or was buried, Aug. 21, 1638. He represented
Roxbury at both sessions of the General Court held in 1639, and he died Oct. 26, 1643.
He was granted one hundred acres of land in 1642, for writing [transcribing] the laws of
the colony.

The church records doubtless refer to Mr. Stowe (1638) in the following, quoted
from the Boston Record Commissioners' Report, Vol. VI., p. 171 : "Month 8 day 26
[1643], Goodman Stone [Stowe], an old Kentish man dyed, he was not of the Church,
yet on his sick bed some had some hopes of him."

John Pierpont married Thankful, daughter of John Stowe (1638), and bought,
probably of the heirs, the Stowe homestead on Meeting-House Hill, as recorded in
Roxbury Land Records, p. 99. From this family sprung the Connecticut Pierponts :
John Pierpont, poet and clergyman, and Edwards Pierpont, formerly minister to F^ngland.
Sarah Pierpont, granddaughter of John and Thankful (Stowe) Pierpont, became the wife
of the eminent Jonathan Edwards. Thomas Stowe, son of John Stowe (1638), joined the
Artillery Company in 1638.

Thomas Stowe (1638), of Braintree, was the eldest son of John Stowe (1638), of
Roxbury. He was born in England, and came to America with his parents in 1634. He
married, Dec. 4, 1639, at Roxbury, Mary Griggs, and soon after removed to Concord,
where he was admitted a freeman in 1653. He removed thence to Middleton about
1654. He died, probably, early in 1684, as the inventory of his estate was returned to
the Probate Court, Feb. 23 of that year.

John Stowe (1638). Authorities: Drake's knowing the law, is respited " by the cuurl. — /',(-

Hist, iif Roxliury; Savage's Gen. Diet.; Sixth Re- ords of Mass. B,iv, /'o/. /., /. 312.
port, Boston Rec Com. Thomas Stowe (1638). Authorities: Sav-

" John Stowe, for selling shot to an Indian, not age's Gen. Diet.; Hist, of Braintree.


Thomas Strawbridge (1638).

William Tyng (1638), of Boston, merchant, elder brother of Edward Tyng (1642),
came to New England, probably in the ship " Nicholas," of three hundred tons, chartered
by himself at London, arriving at Boston July 3, 1638. He became a member of the
First Church March 3, 1639, and was admitted to be a freeman ten days later. He was
a selectman of Boston from 163910 1644 inclusive, treasurer of the colony from May
13, 1640, to Nov. 13, 1644, and representative for Boston during 1639, 1640 to 1643, and
1647, — in all, six years. He lived afterward in Braintree, was captain of a military
company there, and represented that town in the General Court in 1649, 1650, and 1651.
He died Jan. 18, 1652-3. His daughter, Elizabeth, married Capt. Thomas Brattle
(1675), and her sister, Ann, married Rev. Thomas Shepard, of Charlestown, who
preached the Artillery election sermon in 1663. Elizabeth (Tyng) Brattle died, as we
are told by Judge Sewall, in a sudden and surprising way. Judge Sewall was present at
her house at a great wedding of his cousin, Daniel Quincy, with Ann Shepard, her niece,
when Mrs. Brattle suddenly expired.

Capt. William Tyng (1638) lived on Washington Street, where, a few years ago, it
turned into Dock Square, covering the foot of Brattle Street, now Adams Square. Here
he had what is described as " house, garden, close, great yard, and little yard before the
hall window." A part of this lot fell to his daughter, Elizabeth Brattle, wife of Thomas
(1675). Subsequently it passed through the possession of Mr. Mumford to the Quakers,
for the site of a meeting-house. The inventory of Capt. Tyng (1638) is given in the
New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 1876. He was ensign of the
Artillery Company in 1640. He was one of the commissioners from Massachusetts
C61ony who established the confederation of the New England Colonies in 1643. Savage
says, " The titles of several of his books show an estimable curiosity in the possessor."
Johnson speaks of him as "being endued by the Lord with a good understanding —
sometime Treasurer of the country."

Hezekiah Usher (1638), of Cambridge, March 14, 1639, when he became a
freeman, resided, in 1642, at the northeast corner of Dunster and Winthrop streets,
Cambridge. About 1645, he removed to Boston, where his son John is recorded as
dying in December, 1645. He was representative from Billerica from 1671 to 1673
inclusive, and died May 14, 1676. His tomb is in the chapel burial-ground, now the
property of the Francis family.

Isaiah Thomas, in his History of Printing, Vol. H., p. 409, says, " Hezekiah Usher
was the first bookseller in English America, of whom I can find any account." One of
his daughters, perhaps Elizabeth, married Col. Samuel Shrimpton (1670), and another,
Sarah, married Jonathan Tyng (1670). His son Hezekiah joined the Artillery Company
in 1665, and another son. Col. John, in 1673. He was one of the founders, and a
member, of the Old South Church, second sergeant of the Artillery Company in 1657,
first sergeant in 1663, and its ensign in 1664. The inventory of his estate amounted

William Tyng (1638). Authorities: Sav- Hezekiah Usher (163S). Authorities : New

age's Gen. Diet.; Report of Rec. Com., Boston, Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg., 1S69; Mem. Hist, of

1634-1660; Josselyn's Voyages; New Eng. Hist. Boston; Paige's Hist, of Cambridge; Sewall Papers,

and Gen. Reg., 1876; Savage's Edition of Winthrop's Vol. I., p. 104; Hill's Hist, of Old South Church;

Hist, of New Eng.; Hist, of Braintree. Thomas's Hist, of Printing.


to more than fifteen thousand pounds. Capt. Hull (1660), in his contemporary diary,
says, " 14"' Mr. Hezekiah Usher [1638] died, a pious and useful merchant."

In the winter of 1657-8, Mr. Usher (1638) went to England as the agent of the
commissioners of the united colonies, and bought, with money furnished by the London
Corporation, a press, several fonts of type, and other printing materials. The new press
was set up in 1659, and was given in charge of Samuel Green (1638), and in 1661 the
New Testament in the Indian language was "finished, printed and set forth." Heze-
kiah Usher (1638) was the agent of the society for propagating the gospel among the

He was much interested in town matters, held several subordinate positions, but
was elected selectman in 1659, and was continued in that ofifice eighteen years, until
his decease. He lived on the north side of State Street, opposite the market-place, or
old State House, having purchased a part of the estate which had formerly belonged
to Rev. John Wilson, the first minister in Boston, brother-in-law of Capt. Robert
Keayne (1637).

Feb. 10, 1676, Lancaster was laid in ashes by the Indians, and about fifty people
killed or carried into captivity. Among the latter was Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, who, in
a narrative of her captivity, which she afterwards published, says, "The twenty pounds,
the price of my redemption, was raised by some Boston gentlewomen and Mr. Lusher
[1638], whose bounty and charity I vi'ould not forget to make mention of." Mrs.
Rowlandson, after a captivity of eleven weeks and five days, arrived in Boston
May 3, 1676.

Richard Waite (1638), of Boston, a tailor, joined the First Church .Aug. 28, 1634,
and became a freeman March 9, 1637. He served as a sergeant in the Pequot War,
and for that service received a grant of three hundred acres of land. In November,
1637, for his adhesion to the party of Mrs. Hutchinson, he was compelled to surrender
his arms to Capt. Robert Keayne (1637), and in January, 1639, was subjected to the
censure of the church for "purloyning" a portion of buckskin leather to make gloves,
and was "cast out." His next child, born in July following, was named Return (1662),
possibly because the father returned loyally to the First Church. He was sheriff of the
colony in 1653, and the next year was entrusted as a messenger to the Indians. The
questions propounded or sent by the messengers, Sergt. Waite (1638) and Sergt. John
Barrell (1643), together with the answers of the sachems thereto, are given in Drake's
Book of the Indians of North America, Book II., p. 75, ct scq. Again, in 1668, he bore
a complaint to the Indians from the government of Massachusetts, which may be read
on page 85 of the above-mentioned history. For this messenger service, they were
allowed by the colony three shillings a day.

His will was proved in 1680.

Richard Walker (1638), of Lynn in 1630, became a freeman March 14, 1634. In
the first-mentioned year, a military company was formed in Lynn, of which Richard
Wright was appointed captain, Daniel Howe (1637) lieutenant, and Richard Walker
(1638) ensign. The last named became a lieutenant in 1646, and a captain in 1652.

Richard Waite (1638). Authokities: New Middlesex Co., Vol. IIL; New Eng. Magazine,
Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg., 1S47, 1S70, 1S77; Report January, 1S86; Drake's IJook of the Indians of
of Rec. Com., Boston, 1634-1660; Hurd's Hist, of North .'Vmerica.


In Hurd's History of Essex County, Vol. I., p. 292, we are told the above-mentioned
company " was provided with two iron cannon." In 1631, there was a report that some
Indians intended an attack on Lynn, and Walker (1638), with a suitable number, was
detailed for the night guard. He at one time, while on duty, had an arrow, shot from
among some bushes, pass through his coat and "buff waist-coat," and afterwards another
arrow was shot through his clothes. It being quite dark, after a random discharge or
two of their muskets, the guard retired. The next morning the cannon was brought up
and discharged in the woods, and nothing more came of the attack. After that the
people of Lynn suffered little or no molestation. It is of him that Edward Johnson
(1637), of Woburn, speaks : —

" He fought the Eastern Indians there,
Whose poisoned arrows filled the air,
And two of which these savage foes
Lodg'd safe in Captain Walker's clothes."

He was representative for Lynn in 1640, 1641, 1648, and 1649. He was blessed
with a most vigorous constitution, for he lived until May 13, 1687, when he died at the
age of ninety-five years.

John Wliittingham (1638), of Ipswich in 1637, was a son of Baruch, and grandson
of William Whittingham, the distinguished reformer in the English Church, who, having
been exiled in the time of Mary, was recalled in the reign following, and rewarded with
the deanery of Durham. It is said that the latter married a daughter of John Calvin.
John Whittingham (1638) came from near Boston in Lincolnshire, England, and
married Martha Hubbard, a sister of Rev. William, an early historian of New England.
He was ensign of the train-band in Ipswich in 1644, and lieutenant in 1645. May 14,
1645, he was one of the petitioners to the General Court, with Mr. Bradstreet, Capt.
Daniel Denison (1660), and others, for the formation of the Military Company of
Ipswich, Newbury, Rowley, Salisbury, and Hampton. The petition was granted. He
died in the early part of 1649. His will was proved March 27 of that year.

William Wilcox (1638), of Cambridge, was admitted to be a freeman May 25,
1636, and died in that town Nov. 28, 1653. He married Mary Powell, Jan. 22, 1650,
and resided on the southerly side of Brattle Street, near Ash Street. He probably had
no children, as none are mentioned in his will, and he devised his whole estate to his
wife so long as she remained his widow ; upon her death or marriage it was to be
distributed, but not to any by the name of Wilcox.

Richard Walker (1638). Authorities: "[1687] May 16, Monday. . . . this day Capt

Savage's Gen. Diet.; New Eng. Hist, and Gen. Walker, a very aged planter, buried at Lin." —

Reg., 1847, 1877; Lewis's Hist, of Lynn; Records Setoall's Papers, Vol. /., /. 177.
of Mass. Bay. John Whittingham (1638). Authorities:

"In 1631, Richard Walker of Lynn, as he was Savage's Gen. Diet.; New Eng. Hist, and Gen.

upon watch, about midnight, was shot at by an Reg., 1848, 1851, 1857, 1873.
Indian, and the arrow passed through his clothes. William Wilcox (1638). Authorities: Sav-

He gave an alarm, and a small cannon called a age's Gen. Diet.; Paige's Hist, of Cambridge,
culverin, was discharged, and nothing further was
heard of an enemy." — Notes on Indian Wars in
New England,


John Winchester (1638), of Hingham in 1636, came to America the year before,
in the ship "Elizabeth." He had a grant of land in Hingham in 1636, and was admitted
to be a freeman March 9, 1637. He married, Oct. 15, 1638, Hannah Sealis, of Scituate.
He took an active part in the military troubles in Hingham in 1644-5, for which he was
fined, but was subsequently released therefrom. Soon after 1650 he moved to Muddy
River, now called Brookline, and died there, April 25, 1694, aged seventy-eight years.

Edward Winship (1638), of Cambridge in 1635, became a freeman March 4 of that
year. He was one of the most active and energetic citizens of that town for many years ;
was commissioned by the General Court, May 26, 1647, ensign of the Cambridge
company; became lieutenant of the militia in 1660; selectman for fourteen years,
between 1637 and 1684, and representative in 1663, 1664, and from 1681 to 1686, —
in all, eight years. He died Dec. 2, 1688, aged seventy-five years. He bought, in 1638,
an estate containing nearly three acres, at the easterly corner of Brattle and Mason
streets, and extending through to the Common.

His daughter, Joanna, born Aug. i, 1645, became greatly distinguished as a teacher
of youth. The tombstone of this maiden school-mistress still stands in the ancient
cemetery, bearing the following inscription : —

" Here lyes the body of Mrs Joanna Winship aged 62 years, who departed this life November
the 19th, 1707.

"This good school dame
No longer school must keep
Which gives us cause
For children's sake to weep."

Rev. John Wilson, who is believed to have preached the sermon before the Artillery
Company in 1638, was born at Windsor, England, in 158S. His father was a clergyman,
and his mother a niece of the Archbishop of Canterbury. He was educated at the
University of Cambridge. Having been several times suspended, or silenced, for
non-conformity, he came to New England in 1630, with John Winthrop, arriving at Salem
on the twelfth day of June. He settled at Charlestown, where, with others, July 30, a
church was formed. This was afterwards known as the First Church in Boston, to which
place most of the members removed. Mr. Wilson was chosen teaching elder.

In 1631, he returned to England, but came back to America the next year. July 3,
1632, he took the freeman's oath. Nov. 22, 1632, he became pastor of the First Church,
and held that relation until his decease, Aug. 7, 1667. He visited England again in
1634, and, returning, arrived in Boston Oct. 3, 1635, in company with Mrs. Wilson.
During the Pequot War, he was appointed by lot to act as chaplain of the expedition.

Rev. Richard Mather preached the funeral sermon at the decease of Mr. Wilson,
taking as his text, "Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live
for ever?"

John Winchester (1638). Authorities: Morning, my honoured Father, Mr John Wilson,

Hist, of Hingham, by George Lincoln; Savage's Pastour to ye church of Boston, aged about 78 years

Gen. Diet.; Records of Mass. Bay, Vol. HL, p. 80. & an half, a man eminent in Faith, love, humility,

Edward Winship (1638). Authorities: self-denyal, prayer, soundnes of minde, zeal for (Jod,

Paige's Hist, of Cambridge; Savage's Gen. Diet. liberality to all men, esp'ly to ye s'ts & ministers of

Rev. John Wilson. Authorities : Mather's Christ, rested from his labors, & sorrowes, beloved

Magnalia; Sprague's Annals of the American Pul- & lamented of all, and very honourably interred

pit; Hist, of the First Church, Boston; Savage's ye day following." — Koxlnoy Church Records

Gen. Diet.; Eliot's Biog. Diet. (written by Rev. Samuel Danforth, who married

" yth 6m 67. About two of ye clock in ye Mr. Wilson's daughter Mary).


, The officers elected were Capt. Edward Gibbons (1637), captain;

I U nO"ZIO. ^^P*^- Thomas Clarke (1638), lieutenant; Thomas Hucken (1637),

\J J \ ensign. The sergeants were John Oliver (1637) and Thomas Savage
(1637) ; the clerk, John Johnson (1638), and the drummer, Arthur Perry (1638).

The Company was undoubtedly formed in accordance with the regulation established
by Major Henry Tellier, of the " London Military Garden," for " The Way and Manner
of Drawing Up a Company," viz. : "When the Drums are beating about the town, and
in several places make Proclamation, (as by order from their Captain) for all Gentle-
mens Souldiers that are under his command, to repair unto his Randevous, unto such a
place, and at such an hour ; then it must be the immediate care of every Officer under
his command, punctually at that hour and place, thither to repair, for the more encourag-
ing of the souldiers as they shall come in, and not to stir themselves from thence, without
some order from their Captain, for fear of giving bad examples unto others. And when
they shall perceive some considerable number of men to come in, the Sergeants then may
take advice of their Lieutenant and Ensign, which of them they will appoint out to draw
forth the Muskettiers, and which the Pikes, and whom they shall make the right hand
File-leader of the Muskettiers, and who shall be the left ; and again who shall be the
Leader of the right hand File of Pikes, and who shall be the left : For these four, being
such remarkable places of Honour unto the knowing Souldier, that special care must be
had in placing deserving men to be there. Now it is, or ought to be the discretion of
every Lieutenant, and Ensign, (as being commissioned Officers) to resolve the Sergeants
herein, that they may with more alacrity go on to draw the rest up between ; and so
to order unto each of them their particular duties, as to carry equal pains in drawing
forth the files. Therefore in respect that for the most part in every company, they have
three Sergeants, two of them ought to take charge in drawing forth the Muskettiers,

Online LibraryOliver Ayer RobertsHistory of the Military company of the Massachusetts, now called the Ancient and honorable artillery company of Massachusetts. 1637-1888 (Volume 1) → online text (page 13 of 73)