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

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(being helpt by the advice of their Lieutenant,) and the other to draw forth the Files of
Pikes, being assisted in counsel by their Ensign : for at such times the Officers ought not
to be idle, and to stand gazing upon each other ; but everyone, according to his particu-
lar place and relation, should be very active and assisting to each other."

The tactics and drill of the Artillery Company, when it was first organized, were
undoubtedly those of the Low Countries, which had just been adopted in England. The
artillery was heavy, and could be moved only with considerable difficulty, and the
members of the Company were divided into pikemen and musketeers. The masses of
pikemen, formed in accordance with the ancient systems of the phalanx, were flanked by
the musketeers. Sometimes the two wings of musketeers were advanced until their rear
ranks were on the same ahgnment as the front rank of the pikemen ; on other occasions,
the musketeers were drawn up all around the square, of which the pikemen formed the

No evidence of the use of pikes by the Artillery Company has been handed down.
There was no occasion to resist calvary when fighting Indians. The men were armed
and equipped as musketeers, and were formed in four ranks, as was directed in The
Compleat Body of the Art Military, by Lieut.-Col. Richard Elton.

Each musketeer was to be provided with a musket, priming wire, worm, scourer,
and bullet-mould, a rest, bandoleers, a sword, one pound of powder, twenty bullets, and
two fathoms of match rope. The musket was a matchlock, the cock holding by a screw,
and the burning match rope was applied to the powder in the pan. Muskets were
generally large and heavy, and a forked staff, or rest, was required to support them when


presented to fire. The staff, or rest, had a crotch or crescent at the top, and a sharp
iron at the bottom to fasten it in the ground. Musketeers carried their powder in little
wooden, tin, or copper cylindrical boxes, each containing one charge ; twelve of these
boxes were fixed to a belt two inches wide, worn over the left shoulder, and the boxes
and belt were called bandoleers. Usually the primer containing the priming powder,
the bullet-dog, and priming-wire were fastened to the leather belt. These, and the little
long boxes hung upon the belt, made much rattling. This belt, with its dangling
appendages, had some resemblance to a string of sleigh-bells.

" Military organization was at first the only social distinction in the infant colony,
for while all acknowledged allegiance to God and to the Commonwealth, there were no
forms in religion, no nobility in the government. The clergy pointed out their narrow
road to heaven, and the drill-sergeants taught men of dauntless energy how to use
weapons for their self-defence while on earth. The early confederation of the United
Colonies of New England, for mutual military self-defence against savage foes and
French invaders, finally resulted in independence."

Twenty-one members were added to the Company in 1639-40, viz. : John Allen,

Samuel Bennett, Richard Brackett, Bridemore, Robert Child, Thomas Coitmore,

Richard Davenport, Thomas Fowle, John Greene, Walter Haines, John Leverett, Robert
Long, John Musselwhite, Thomas Owen, Herbert Pelham, William Rainsburrow, Henry
Saltonstall, Robert Sampson, Anthony Stoddard, Robert Thompson, Francis Willoughby.

John Allen (1639), of Charlestown, came over probably in the "Abigail," in 1635,
aged thirty years, with wife, Ann, from Kent County, England. He became a member
of the church May 22, 1641, and was admitted a freeman on the second day of the
next June. In 1640, he had a wife Sarah. In 1657, he was the richest man in the
town. He was representative from 1668 to 1674 inclusive, and in 1668 was captain of
the Charlestown company.

For services rendered the colony, Capt. Allen (1639) was granted, in 166S, one
thousand acres of land by the General Court; the same year he was appointed a
commissioner on import duties; in 1669, one of a committee to prevent the exportation
of coin, and also, with James Russell (1669), was authorized to collect the contributions
for his Majesty's fleet at Barbadoes.

He died March 27, 1675. Judge Sewall (1679) calls him a brother of Rev.
Thomas Allen.

Samuel Bennett (1639), of Lynn, was a carpenter by profession, but he worked in
the iron mills at Lynn. He came in the "James," in 1635, from London, aged twenty-
four years. He owned a large farm at Rumney Marsh, now Chelsea. A pine forest in
the northern part of the town still retains the name of "Bennett's Swamp." He resided

John Allen (1639). Authorities: Eudinj;- "There was a law forbiilding the sale of corn-
ton's Hist, of First Church, Charlestown; New Eng. modities at too great a profit. For a breach of this
Hist, and Gen. Reg, 1S53; Savage's Gen. Diet.; law, he appears to have once or twice suffered
P'rothingham's Hist, of Charlestown. prosecution," and the court refused to remit the

Samuel Bennett (1639). Authorities: tine.
Lewis's Hist, of Lynn; Hurd's Hist, of Essex "In 1671, he sued John Gifford, former agent

Co., Art., Lynn; Report of Boston Rec. Com., of the iron-works, and attached property to the

1634-1660. amount of four hundred pounds, for labor performed

" In 1644 " Mr. Bennett (1639) " was presented for the company." — Hur,Vs Hist, of Essex Co., /.,

by the Grand Jury as ' a common sleeper in time of 293.
exercise,' and fined two shillings and sixpence."


in the western part of Saugus, and when the towns were divided the line passed through
his land, eastward of his house, and afterwards he was called an inhabitant of Boston.
He was indicted at the Quarterly Court at Salem, July 5, 1645, for saying, in a scornful
manner, he " neither cared for the town, nor any order the town could make." Mr.
Bennett (1639) was a surveyor of highways at Rumney Marsh in 1657, and April 24 of
that year he, with Edward Hutchinson (1638) and John Tuttle (1644), was ordered
to "goe the bound line between Maiden and Rumney Marsh and Lin and Rumney

Richard Bracket! (1639), of Boston in 1632, probably a brother of Peter (1648),
was a member of the First Church in Boston, and was admitted a freeman May 25, 1636.

Drake, in his picture of Spring Lane, as he recalls the first settlers visiting the
spring, concludes, "And grim Richard Brackett, the jailer, may have laid down his
halberd to quaff a morning draught." He was appointed keeper of the prison Nov. 20,
1637. He sold, in 1638, to Jacob Leger, a house with a garden on Washington Street,
midway between the present West and Boylston streets.

Dec. 5, 1641, he, with his wife, Alice, was dismissed by the Boston church to join
the church in Braintree, where he was ordained deacon July 21, 1642. He was town
clerk for many years, third captain^ of the town militia, and a deputy in 1655, 1665,
1667, 1671, 1672, 1674, and 1680. Oct. 15, 1679, he was appointed to join persons in
marriage in the town of Braintree, and to administer oaths in civil cases.

Capt. Brackett (1639) died in Braintree, March 5, 1691.

Bridemore (1639). In the oldest roll of the members of the Military Com-
pany of the Massachusetts, it is plainly, " Mr. Bridemore." Nothing concerning

him has been discovered.

Robert Child (1639), of Boston, physician, came from Northfleet, Kent County, Eng-
land, and was bred at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, England. He received the degrees
of A. B. in 1631, and of A. M. in 1635, and was made a Doctor of Medicine at Padua.
He resided for a short time at Watertown, and was one of the petitioners for the grant of
the town of Lancaster in 1644. In October, 1645, he purchased a large tract in Maine,
known as the Vines Patent. The next year he greatly alarmed the government of Massa-
chusetts by presuming to petition Parliament for an enlargement of privileges.^ He was

Richard Brackett (1639). Authorities: tjes of age vpon him, hauing desired formerly, tS:

Hist, of Braintree; Savage's Gen. Diet. now also, to lay downe his place as cheife military

Feb. 24, 1639, the selectmen voted, "There is commander in Braintry, the Court grants his re-
leave granted to our brother Richard Brackett to quest." — Records of Mass. Bay, Vol. V., p. 459.
niovve the Marsh lying in the Newfield, which he ^ The principal point of the petition was, " that
hath usually mowen, for the next Summer time." — civil liberty and freedom might be forthwith granted
A\-port of Boston Rec. Com., 1634-1660. to all truly English, and that all members of the

Robert Child (1639). Authorities: Mem. Church of England or Scotland, not scandalous,

Hist, of Boston; Drake's Hist, of Boston; Win- might be admitted to the privileges of the churches

throp's Hist, of New England; Savage's Gen. Diet.; of New England."

Hutch. Coll., 211; Wilson's New England Sala- The synods of 1657 and 1662 practically adopted

mander Discovered; New England's Jonas Cast this view.
Up at London. There were eight persons who joined in this

This name is spelled Chidley on the original petition, of whom the following were members of

roll, and the name is so spelled in Col. Rec, Vol. I. : ihe Military Company of the Massachusetts, viz.,

"Mr Chidley for confederating and concealing," Dr. Robert Child ( 1639), .Samuel Maverick (165S),

was fined ^13 6j. Si/. It is often spelled Childe in Thomas Fowle (1639), David Vale (1640).
early books. Winthrop relates, Vol. II., p. 322, that after

' "On the request of Capt Richard Brackett, Dr. Child (1639) had arrived in London he met

being aboue seventy-three yeare of age, & infirmi- Francis Willoughby (1639) on the Exchange, and


fined and confined ; his study was broken open, and papers taken away, and every
hindrance was placed in his way to prevent his going to England to present his petition
to Parliament ; but at last he did present it, and was unsuccessful. The General Court
of Massachusetts issued a declaration against him, a portion of which was that he was a
bachelor. In 1647, he went home, did not return, and probably died in Kngland,
Oct. 27, 1647, the General Court ordered, that, whereas Dr. Child (1639) owed a fine of
fifty pounds to the country, which was unpaid, and he had gone out of the jurisdiction, and
whereas he had stock (four hundred and fifty pounds) in the iron-works, therefore the
attorney-general was given power to sell so much of said stock as would yield the fifty
pounds due to the country.

Thomas Coitmore (1639), of Charlestown in 1636, was a brother of Elizabeth,
who married Williain Tyng (1638). Thomas (1639) was admitted a freeman May 13,
1640, was selectman of Charlestown, 1640-2 inclusive, and representative to the General
Court in 1640 and 1641. In 1644, he was proposed as the commander of the fort at
Castle Island. He was an enterprising merchant, and went on several voyages to distant
lands. In 1642, he sailed master of the "Trial," the first ship ever built in Boston. He
was lost on a voyage to Malaga, by shipwreck on the coast of Spain,' Dec. 27, 1645. His
inventory was ^1,266 9^^. id. His wife, by whom he had two sons, was Martha, daughter
of Capt. Rainsburrow (1639). Upon the death of her husband, Thomas Coitmore
(1639), she married Gov. Winthrop-; and after his decease she married, March 10, 1651,
John Coggan (1638). After his decease in 1658, "she wished to be married again," as
related by Rev. John Davenport, and, it is said, " poisoned herself for her ill success."

The homestead of Thomas Coitmore (1639) in Charlestown, and twelve other
pieces of real estate which he owned, are described in Charlestown Land Records, as
printed by the Boston Record Commissioners, Vol. III., p. 20.

Richard Davenport (1639) came with Gov. Endicott in the "Abigail," in Septem-
ber, 1628, from Weymouth, Dorset County, England, and landed at Salem. He was
born in 1606 ; was admitted a freeman Sept. 3, 1634 ; a deputy from Salem in 1637, and
resided in that town until 1642. He was ensign of the Salem train-band in October,
1634, when his friend Endicott cut out the red cross in the national ensign, and in admi-
ration of that act he named a daughter, born that year, " Truecross." He held the same
office, ensign, when, with Underbill (1637), Turner (1637), and Jennison (1637), he

in talking about New England, the doctor "railed Indians of North America, Book IlL, p. 75; Felt's

against the people, saving that they were a company Annals of .Salem; Savage's Gen. Diet.; Drake's

of rogues ami knaves." Mr. Willoughby (1639) Hist, of Boston; Records of Mass. Bay.

replied that he who talked so was a knave, where- Oct. 19, 1652, Capt. Davenport (1639) was

upon the doctor gave him a box on the ear. They appointed one of the guardians of Adam Winthrop,

were separated by friends. To restore peace, Dr. " the orphane, of about fine yeares of age," who

Child (1639) was ordered to give five pounds to the joined the Artillery Company in 1692.

poor of New England, to apologize in the full ' Mr. Frotbingham says he was drowned "on

Exchange, and to promise never again to speak evil the coast of Wales."

of New England men. "A right godly man and expert seaman," writes

Thomas Coitmore (1639). Authoritiks: Winthrop; "dearly beloved." "A good scholar and

New Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg,, 1880; his will is in one who had spent both his labor and estate in

same, 1853; the inventory in same, 1S54; Savage's helping on this wilderness work," writes Edward

Gen. Diet.; Whitman's Hist. A. and IL A. Com- Johnson (1637).

pany; Winthrop's Hist, of New Eng., Savage's "The marriage contract, with an inventory of

Edition; Frothingham's Hist, of Charlestown. her goods ami chattels, is given in the Records of

Richard Davenport (1639). AuthoritiilS: the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, Vol. H., pp.

New Eng. Hist, and CJen. Reg., 1S50; Drake's 234-236.


went in Gov. Endicott's expedition against the Indians, to revenge the murder of Mr.
Oldham. In 1636, he was lieutenant of the first volunteer train-band, under Capt.
Denison (1660), in Ipswich, where it is probable he resided a short time. He was a
military man of distinction in the first settlement of the colony, and was engaged in many
enterprises against the Indians, yet he never held any office in the Artillery Company,
probably on account of his absence on public duty.

Lieut. Davenport (1639) was wounded in a battle with the Pequots in 1637, and
in the same year was directed by the General Court to receive the arms of Mr. Wheel-
wright's friends in Salem. The first settlers in and near Boston built a fort for their
defence in July, 1634. It had walls of earth, and was afterwards called Castle William,
now Fort Independence. Capt. Nicholas Simpkins (1650) was the first commander,
Edward Gibbons (1637) the second, Lieut. Richard Morris (1637) the third, and
Robert Sedgwick (1637), in June, 1641, was the fourth. In 1643, the mud walls having
gone to decay, the fort was rebuilt with pine-trees and earth, under the superintendence
of Capt. Richard Davenport (1639), who was appointed to command it When that
decayed, which was within a little time, there was a small castle built of brick, which
had " three rooms in it — a dwelling room below, a lodging room over it, and the gun-
room over that, wherein were six guns, called sacker guns, and over it upon the top
three lesser guns." Such was its condition July 15, 1665, when "God was pleased to
send a grievous storm of thunder and lightning, which did some hurt in Boston," says
Capt. Roger Clap (1646). Capt. Davenport (1639), weary by severe duty, had retired
in a room separated from the powder magazine by a thin board partition, and while
asleep was killed by a flash of lightning, no material damage being done to the Castle.'

His son, Nathaniel, was a captain in King Philip's War, and was killed in the Great
Fort fight, Dec. 19, 1675. Thp command of the Company then devolved on Lieut.
Edward Tyng, Jr. (1668). His grandson, Hon. Addington Davenport, joined the
Artillery Company in 1692.

Thomas Fowie (1639), of Boston, came from England before 1635, and was a
merchant, whose home estate, consisting of a house and garden, was situated at the
north corner of Essex and Washington streets. He was admitted to be a freeman
Sept. 7, 1639, and joined the First Church in Boston March 26, 1643. He served as
selectman of Boston, with Gov. Winthrop, in 1645 ^nd 1646. In 1644, "30"" of 10 mo."
he is called in the Boston Town Records, "Tho : Fowle, Gent." In 1639, the " 27"' of
the II mo.," he was granted six hundred acres "at Rumney Marsh," which in 1650 were
owned by Samuel Bennett (1639). He is supposed to have moved to Braintree, at least
he owned property there. Whitman says Mr. Fowle "figures as a man of much
notoriety in Winthrop, having on account of his liberal sentiments, been a constant
thorn to the civil and ecclesiastical rulers of the colony." In Boston, he had the agent

Thomas Fowle (1639). Authorities: Sav- Richard Davenport, a man of a choice and excel-
age's Edition of Winthrop's Hist, of New Eng. ; lent sp't, having bin hard at worli, was layd down
Drake's Hist, of Boston; Mem. Hist, of Boston; upon his bed in ye Castle, there being but a Wain-
Savage's Gen. Diet.; Whitman's Hist. A. and H.A. scot betw. ye bed & ye Magazine of Powder, the
Company, lightning came in at ye window tS; smote ye Captain

' " 1665. July 15. There was a dreadful thunder on ye right eare so yt it bled, bruised his flesh upon

[and] lightning . . . And at ye Castle it wounded his head, wounded & burnt his breast & belly, &

3 or 4 men In so much that they cryed out some stroke him dead that he never spoke more; but it

houres after, some that yir tooes, others y' their legs pleased God ye powder escaped ye fire." — Ko.xbiiry

were falling off, and ye Captain of the Castle, Mr Church Records.


of D'Aulnay, in the troubles of La Tour, to lodge at his house, and his ship was seized
at London for damages by the La Tour party. In 1646, he was earnest for an extension
of liberties, was heavily fined, and went to England in disgust in November, 1646.

'I'he seizure of the ship, when Joseph Weld (1637) and Stephen Winthrop (1641)
were arrested, has heretofore been mentioned, page 24. In 1646, Mr. Fowle (1639),
with Dr. Child (1639), John Smith, and David Yale (1640), "petitioned to Parliament,
complaining of the distinctions in civil and church estate here, and that they might be
governed by the laws of England" ; — this petition cited that they, "free born subjects of
England, were denied the liberty of subjects, both in church and commonwealth, them-
selves and their children debarred from the seals of the covenant, except they would
submit to such a way of entrance and church covenant, as their consciences could not
admit, and take such a civil oath, as would not stand with their oath of allegiance, or
else they must be debarred of all power and interest in civil affairs, and were subjected
to an arbitrary government and extra judicial proceedings," etc. A petition was
presented to the General Court by them, but the consideration thereof, as well as a
law to permit non-freemen to vote, was deferred to another session. Mr. Fowle (1639)
also, with Gen. Sedgwick (1637) and others, petitioned for the abrogation of the laws
against Anabaptists and the tax on new-comers, which was also unsuccessful.

On the eve of his departure for England, after having been fined and imprisoned
for the above-mentioned petitio.n, he was stayed again at Gov. Winthrop's warrant, as
also Dr. Child (1639), s^'<l "^^ be the chief speaker," who said "they did beneath
themselves in petitioning us," and appealed to England. The hearing was continued
with much spirit and acrimony. " In conclusion, Fowle [1639] and one Smith were
committed to the Marshal for want of sureties, and the rest were enjoined to attend the
Court when they should be called. So they were dismissed and Mr. Fowle [1639]
found sureties before night." The trial proceeded, and in the subsequent pages of
Winthrop we may find the long-contested argument, pro and con. Dr. Child (1639)
was fined fifty pounds and Mr. Fowle (1639) forty pounds, " for persisting thus obsti-
nately and proudly in their evil practice." They were offered to have their fines remitted,
if they would but acknowledge their fault ; but they remained obstinate. Their appeal
was received, but refused acceptance and was not permitted to be read in the court.
" Surprise," says Savage, " almost equals our indignation at this exorbitant imposition ;
for in this very year Fowle [1639] was associated with Winthrop as one of the Selectmen
of Boston. All these petitioners but Maverick [1658] left the country, I believe."

In 1648, Mr. Fowle (1639) is thus spoken of by Gov. Winthrop : " For God had
brought him very low, both in his estate and reputation, since he joined in the first
petition." Whitman adds : " There is no reason to attribute it to a judgment of God ;
it is far more easy to account for his becoming poor by losses at sea, heavy fines,
imprisonment, delays, expenses," etc.

John Greene (1639), of Charlestown, came in the "James" from London in 1632,
and arrivedjune 12, with his wife. Perseverance (Johnson), three children, a ser\ant, and
Joseph Greene, a relative. He joined the church in Charlestown, March 29, 1633; was
afterward an elder of that church, the first and only one it ever had, and became a
freeman April i, 1633. In the town records he is called "Sergeant." He was town

John Greene (1639). AUTiiORrriES: \Vy- Hist, and Gen. Reg., 1S47; Frnthingham's Hist, of
man's Gen. and Estates of Charlestown ; New Eng. Charlestown; Savage's Gen. Oict.



clerk from 1646 to 1658, selectman from 1646 to 1657 inclusive. His dwelling-house,
on a lot of three-quarters of an acre, was situated at the west end of the Common,
" bounded on all sides by the common." His property in Charlestown is described in
Charlestown Land Records, as printed by the Boston Record Commissioners, page 50.
His will of April 21, 1658, names his wife Joanna. She was his second wife, the widow
of John Shatswell, of Ipswich, who brought him a large estate. Mr. Greene {1639)
died April 22, 1658. His tombstone, now broken and defaced, near Harvard's monu-
ment, once bore this inscription : —

" Memorial of ye Jvst is blessed.

" Here lyeth ye body of Mr. John Greene, born in London in Old England, who married Perseverance,
the daughter of [Rev. Francis] Johnson, in Amsterdam, by whom he had 6 children, with whom and
3 children he come to Charlestown, in New England, in 1632, was rvling elder in ye church, and
deceased April 22, 1658, leaving behind 2 sons and one davghter, viz. John, Jacob, and Mary, who
erected this Monvment to the memory of him and his wife, their father and mother."

Walter Haynes (1639), of Sudbury, was one of the first proprietors of that town.
He, with his wife, Elizabeth, and three children under sixteen years of age, embarked in
the ship "Confidence," of London, for America, leaving Southampton April 24, 1638.
Mr. Haynes (1639) is recorded as being fifty-five years of age. He is called a " Lennen
Weaver," from Sutton, Mandifield, in the county of Wilts, England. He was admitted a
freeman May 13, 1640; was appointed commissioner in Sudbury, in 1640, "to end
small businesses " ; clerk of the writs in 1641-5 ; represented the town of Sudbury in the
General Court in 1641-4, 1646, 1648, and 165 1, and was one of the selectmen of that
town for ten years. " Mr. Haynes," says the historian of Sudbury, " was probably one
of the first grantees to erect a house on the east side of the river, which was probably the
' Haynes Garrison.' " It stood until 1876, when it was taken down. Descendants of
Walter Haynes (1639) were : Capt. Aaron Haynes, who commanded a Sudbury company
that marched to Concord, April 19, 1775 ; Dea. Josiah Haynes, who was slain in that fight,

Walter Haynes (1639). Authorities : Hud- returned to England. His second wife was Mabel,

son's Hist, of Sudbury; Savage's Gen. Diet. sister of Roger Harlakenden, by whom he had four

This name is given in the oldest record book as children. While in Cambridge he resided on the

" Mr. Haines." Mr.Whitman ( 1810) concluded westerly side of Winthrop Square, his lot extending

it was Walter Haynes, of Sudbury. It might have from Mt. Auburn Street to Winthrop Street,

been Gov. John Haynes, of Connecticut. It does " His great integrity and wise management of

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 14 of 73)