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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alogies and Estates; New Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg., stable; Report of Boston Rec. Com., 1634-1660.
1849 (will of Nicholas Stowers) ; Report of Boston Richard Way (1642). Authorities: New
Rec. Com., \ol. HL, p. 98 (deed of homestead, Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg., 1847, '875; Savage's
bought by Richard Stowers, June 25, 1646). Gen. Diet.; Hist, of Dorchester; Report of Boston

Edward Tyng (1642). Authorities: Sav- Rec. Com., 1660-1701.
age's Gen. Diet.; Hurd's Hist, of Middlesex Co.,



" in the last fire." He was a lieutenant for about twenty years, serving in 1686 in Capt.
Turell's (1660) company. He was ensign of the Artillery Company in 1669, and a
lieutenant in 167 i. He died June 23, 1697.

Adam Winthrop (1642), the fifth son of Gov. John Winthrop, was born April 7,
1620, at Groton, England, and came to America in the ship "Lion," Nov. 2, 1631, with
his mother. He was admitted to the First Church July 4, 1640, and became a freeman
June 2, r64i. His first wife was Elizabeth Glover, daughter of Rev. Jose' Glover and
stepdaughter of President Dunster (1640) ; his second, Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas
Hawkins (1638). His son, Adam, Jr., joined the Artillery Company in 1692. Adam, Sr.,
died Aug. 24, 1652, being at the time a selectman of Boston. His widow married Major
John Richards (1644).

John Woodde (1642), of Roxbury, son of Richard. John was admitted to be a
freeman about 1644, was brother of Richard (1642), and married Mary, daughter of
John Coggan (1638). He died May 23, 1650, "a christian and godly brother," says
the church record.

Richard Woodde (1642), of Roxbury, brother of John (r642), was a soap-boiler;
admitted to be a freeman in 1644. He moved to Boston. In the Second Report of
the Boston Record Commissioners, under date of Jan. 26, 165 1-2, it says, "Richard
Wooddy is Admitted an Inhabitant upon his promise not to be offensive by his Trayd
to the Towne." April 2, 1658, the selectmen of Boston leased to Richard Woodde
(1642) and James Everill, "Bird Hand ... for sixty years, they paying i2rt' silver or a
bushel of salt," per annum. In 1666, he manufactured saltpetre; and was ensign in the
militia in 1674. He was second sergeant of the Artillery Company in 1655, fourth
sergeant in 1662, ensign in 1667, lieutenant in 1669, and captain in 1677. He died in
1680-1, and administration on his estate was granted May 6, 1681.

, The officers elected were: Capt. George Cooke (1638), captain;

I U4'^"ZL. Thomas Hawkins (1638), lieutenant ; Francis Willoughby (r639), ensign;
I*-' I John Leverett (1639), senior sergeant; Thomas French (163S), junior
sergeant; Anthony Stoddard (1639), clerk, and Arthur Perry (1638), drummer.

When La Tour visited Boston, in June, 1643, the fortifications erected in 1635 on
Castle Island, afterwards Fort Independence, had so gone to decay that his salute could
not be returned. The fort was consequently repaired, at the expense of Boston and
the five nearest towns. It was reconstructed of large pine logs, stones, and earth ;
■ made fifty feet square inside, with walls two feet thick. Mention is made of the Artillery
Company going down to the fort and firing the great guns.

" The next week, the training day occurred at Boston ; and La Tour, having
expressed a wish to exercise his men on shore, was allowed on that occasion to land

John Woodde (1642). Authokities: New small pox." — AVf. S. Danforth's Records of Rox-

Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg., 1853; Savage's Gen. hury Church.
Diet.; Roxbury Church Records. Richard Woodde (1642). Authorities:

" ['650] May 23, John Wooddie dyed of the New Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg., 1S53, p. 339 (will).


forty men. They were escorted to the field by the Boston company, which numbered
one hundred and fifty men. After the exercises were over, La Tour and his ofificers
were invited home to dinner by the Boston ofificers, and his soldiers by the Boston
soldiers." ' La Tour was entertained during his visit to Boston at the home of Gen.
Gibbons (1637).

The tyrannical King and the patriotic Parliament having taken up arms against
each other, the hostile attitude of the aborigines prompted an alliance of the English-
speaking colonists. Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven were repre-
sented by commissioners who united in Articles of Confederation, under the name of
"The United Colonies of New England," for a firm and perpetual league, for offence
and defence, and mutual advice and succor. This act was consummated May 19, 1643,
O. S. When the threatened danger was averted, the temporary alliance ceased, but it
was renewed again and again, as hostilities against the Indians or French formed a
bond of cohesion, which finally resulted in independence. In the consummation of
this desirable confederation, members of the Artillery Company took an active and
influential part.

The social aspects of life in Massachusetts at this time were especially reverential.
Family government was efficient, and military organization furnished the only titles of
distinction. There was a general cultivation of reverence towards God and the Common-
wealth, without a nobility in the government or forms in religion. The clergy were a
recognized institution, the school-masters were abroad, and the drill-sergeants were

The magistrates of Massachusetts undertook at first to oppress trade by creating
monopolies, and by forbidding the people to buy goods at vessels which might arrive,
but giving the privilege to nine men and their partners to select such goods as might
be wanted, and sell them at a profit of five per cent within twenty days. Six of the
men who made the law were mentioned in it as proprietors of this profitable scheme,
which disposed of the goods that were really wanted and of quick sale, leaving for
regular merchants only those which were out of season. Joshua Hewes (1637) defied
the law as unjust, and was arrested; but the "ring" was broken up. The year after his
successful resistance to monopolies, Mr. Hewes (1637) and others organized "A Free
Company of Adventurers," in order to divert the principal trade of Indians in beaver-
skins to New England. These skins, like corn and bullets, were used as money at
fixed prices, and while the Dutch settlement in New York and the Swede in Delaware
appeared to have better opportimities to obtain such skins than Massachusetts, yet they
were supposed to be brought in the largest quantities from the " Great Lakes," which
Boston people thought were located in the northern part of the Massachusetts grant.
This company was likewise unsuccessful.

The new members recruited in 1643-4 were : William Aspinwall, John Barnard,
John Barrell, Richard Barthelemey, Thomas Bell, Matthew Bridge, Thomas Bridge, James
Browne, John Button, Francis Chickering, Richard Cooke, Richard Cutter, John Davis,
Willicam Davis, Edward Fletcher, John Gurnall, John Hill, Atherton Hough, Thomas
Jones, Henry Maudsley, Francis Norton, Peter Oliver, John Plympton, Hugh Pritchard,
William Robinson, John Scarborough, Benjamin Smith, John Smith, Samuel Titterton,
Robert Turner, William Ware, John Webb, Robert Wright.

' Mem. Hist, of Boston, L, 286.


William Aspinwall (1643), of Charlestown in 1630, probably came in the fleet with
Winthrop. He served on the first jury of inquest in the colony, Sept. 28, 1630, was
one of the first members of the First Church, and was chosen a deacon thereof at its
organization. He removed to Boston, and was admitted a freeman April 3, 1632. He
was a selectman of Boston the first term of 1636 and the last of 1637, and was chosen
a representative from Boston in the place of Henry Vane, who returned to England in
August, 1637; but being a signer of the famous petition concerning Mr. Wheelwright,
and a supporter of the principles of Mrs. Hutchinson, he was rejected by the court,
disarmed, disfranchised, and banished. He went to Rhode Island, and was the first
secretary of that colony. Thence he removed to New Haven, where he lived in 1641.
Under date of March 27, 1642, Winthrop says, " Mr. William Aspinwall [1643], who
had been banished, as is before declared, for joining with Mr. Wheelwright, being
licensed by the general court to come and tender his submission, etc., was this day
reconciled to the church of Boston. He made a very free and full acknowledgment of
his error and seducement, and that with much detestation of his sin. The like he did
after, before the magistrates, who were appointed by the Court to take his submission,
and upon their certificate thereof at the next general court, his sentence of banishment
was released."

After his return to Boston, he was clerk of the writs, or recorder, and in 1644 was
appointed a notary public. Oct. 14, 1651, for reflecting upon the judgment of the
court, he was fined, and deposed from the offices of recorder for Suffolk County and
clerk of the writs for Boston. He resided on Washington Street, the third estate above
Francis Lyall's (1640) barber-shop, which was opposite where the Old South Church
now stands. The lot of William Aspinwall (1643) extended from Washington Street
to Tremont Street, and contained about two acres. In 1652, he sold this property to
John Angier, his son-in-law.

In 1644, it appears he went with others on a voyage of discovery to Delaware River,
and their pinnace was fired upon from the Swedish fort. He made great complaint of
this act to the Dutch Governor, and particularly that they were forced to weigh anchor
on the Lord's Day.

He was a proprietor of Watertown, though he never resided there, and went back
to England in 1653, never to return.

Mr. Aspinwall (1643) published several books in England, among which was one
with the following title : " A brief Description of the Fifth Monarchy or Kingdom that
is shortly to come into the World ; the Monarch, Subjects, Officers and Laws thereof,
and the surpassing Glory, Amplitude, Unity and Peace of that Kingdom, &c." In the
conclusion there is "added a Prognostic of the time when the Fifth Kingdom shall
begin, by William Aspenwall, N. E." The book was printed in " London, by M. Sim-
mons, to be sold by Livewell Chapman, at the Crown in Pope's-head- Alley, 1653."
By his theory. Antichrist's' dominion was to cease, or the fifth monarchy to be set up,
in 1673. Two years after, another of his works, with the following title, was printed in
London : " An Abstract of Laws and Government &c, collected and digested by John
Cotton, of Boston, in N. E. in his lifetime presented to our General Court and now
published after his death by William Aspenwall."

Mr. Whitman (1810) gives the following specimen of a judicial proceeding by Mr.
Aspinwall (1643), when recorder : —

William Aspinwall (1643). Authokities: Savage's Gen. Diet. ; Records of Mass. Bay; Mem.
Savage's Edition of Winthrop's Hist, of New Eng. ; Hist, of Boston.


" To the Marshal or his DejJuty :

" You are required to attach the goods or lands of William Stevens, to the value
of ;^ioo, so as to bind the same to be responsible at the next Court at Boston, 29th of
the 5th month, to answer the complaint of Mr. James Astwood [1638], in an action of
debt to the value of ^50, upon a bill of exchange ; and so make a true return hereof
under your hand.

"Dated 29th 2d month, 1650.

" per curiam

" William Aspinwall."

Mr. Whitman (iSio) adds, "This brevity is exceeded only by the warrant of an
Indian magistrate in the early settlement of the country, viz. : —

"'I, Hihondi, "'Quick you take him,

You, Peter Waterman, Fast you hold him,

Jeremy Thwackit, Straight you bring him,

" ' Before me. Hihondi.' "

John Barnard (1643). Mr. Whitman (18 10) says he was of Cambridge. John
Barnard, of Cambridge, moved in 1636 to Hartford, Conn., and thence in 1659 to
Hadley, Mass. The John Barnard (1643) of the Artillery Company was, more probably,
John, of Watertown, who came to America from Ipswich, England, in 1634, aged thirty
years; was admitted a freeman March 4, 1634-5 ; he was a selectman of Watertown in
1644, and was buried June 4, 1646.

John Barrel! (1643), of Boston, was a cooper. In 1656, he was ensign of the
Artillery Company, having served as fourth sergeant in 1651, and first in 1654. In
Boston Records he is called (165 1-3) " Sergt," and he held some minor town offices.
In 1654, he was sent, with Richard Waite (1638), as messenger to the Indians, for
which the General Court allowed each of them three shillings per day. In August, 1654,
Mr. Barrell (1643) "^^'^^ appointed an officer to prevent the exportation of money. He
died Aug. 29, 1658.

Richard Barthelemey (1643), of Salem in 1638, had a grant of land from the Salem
authorities. He was admitted to be a freeman June 2, 1641, having joined the church
there, July 31, 1640. He died in 1646.

Thomas Bell (1643) resided in Boston as early as 1637, when "a house plott
neere to Mr Dyar's," and a great lot at the Mount, were granted him. His house and
garden were on the south side of Summer Street, about midway between Washington
and South streets. He was the public executioner in 1649, ^"d, therefore, the General
Court exempted him " from watchings." He died June 7, 1655.

Matthew Bridge (1643), of Cambridge, probably came over with his father, John,
in 1632. He married Anna, daughter of Nicholas Danforth. He resided on the north-
west corner of Brattle and Mason streets, a property he bought in 1657. Subsequently
he moved to the Farms, now Lexington, and improved four hundred acres which he

John Barnard (1643). Authorities: Sav- John Barrell (1643). Authorities: New

age's Gen. Diet.; Bond's Watertown. Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg., 1848, p. 353.


owned there. In May, 1637, by some mischance, he killed John Abbot, for which he
was arrested. Sept. 19, 1637, "Matthew Bridge appearing, and no evidence coming in
against him, he was quit by proclamation." He was a respected and influential towns-
man, and died April 28, 1700, having attained a great age.'

Thomas Bridge (1643), of Cambridge, a brother of Matthew (1643), was born in
Essex County, England. He died before March 10, 1657, at which time the inventory
of his estate was taken. It is said that Thomas (1643) and his wife, Dorcas, died of
small-pox in Boston, in 1656.^

James Browne (1643), of Boston in 1630, was a member of the First Church, and
was admitted to be a freeman March 4, 1634. He died in 1651, and his will was proved
Aug. 7, 1651. On certain conditions, he willed his house and land to the church. This
property was on Court Street, opposite the old court-house.^

John Button (1643), of Boston in 1633, was a miller by trade. He was born about
1594, joined the First Church Dec. 22, 1633, was admitted to be a freeman May 4,
1634, and in 1637 was disarmed, being a sympathizer with Mr. Wheelwright. He owned
one acre in the Mill-field, and three lots, with houses thereon, on north side of the
present Elm Street. His mill was on the former lot, near which he resided. He was
a contributor among the "richer inhabitants," Aug. 12, 1636, towards the maintenance
of a free schoolmaster. He held several minor town offices, and died in 168 1. By his
will, dated Nov. 5, 1681, he gave twenty pounds to the First Church, "to buy two
silver cups."

Francis Chickering (1643), of Dedham, came in 1637 from Suffolk County, Eng-
land, bringing his family. His first wife was Ann Fiske, whom he married in England.
She was buried Dec. 6, 1640, and he married, second, June 11, 1650, Mrs. Sarah Sibley.

Matthew Bridge (1643). Authorities: "He was a prominent citizen, having served

Paige's Hist, of Cambridge; Savage's Gen. Diet.; the town in many important pubUc stations with

Records of Mass. Bay. honor and fidelity. A man who feared God and

James Browne (1643). Authorities: Sav- loved his fellow-men. He died at Lexington, April

age's Gen. Diet.; Boston Records; New Eng. Hist. 28, 1700.

and Gen. Reg., VII., 335 (will). " In 1643, he married Anna, daughter of Nick-
John Button ( 1643). Authorities: Savage's olas and Elizabeth Danforth, a woman of most
Gen. Diet.; Boston Records; Records of Mass. Bay. exemplary virtue and piety. She died Dec. 2, 1704,

Francis Chickering (1643). Authorities: aged eighty-four years."
Savage's Gen. Diet. ; Dedham Records ; Whitman's ' " In memory of Thomas Bridge, Esq., youngest

Hist. A. and H. A. Company. son of Deacon John Bridge. Came over with him

' Epitaph prepared for the gravestones of Mat- from England in 1631.
thew (1643) and Thomas Bridge (1643) by a de- "He resided with his father, in this city, in

scendant, Samuel Bridge, of Boston: — 1632. A member of the Artillery Company in 1643.

"In memory of Matthew Bridge, Esq., eldest Admitted a freeman in 1648. Removed to Boston,

son of Deacon John Bridge. Came over with him and was a merchant in 1650. He and Dorcas, his

from England in 1 63 1. wife, died during a prevailing epidemic, beloved,

"He resided with his father in this city, in honored, and lamented, March, 1656.
1632. A member of the Artillery Company in 1643. "Also, Dorcas, only daughter of Thomas and

Admitted a freeman in 1645. Removed to Lexing- Dorcas Bridge, and wife of Capt. Daniel Champney.

ton, and a large landholder in 1666. He subscrilied Born Feb. 16, 164S; died Feb. 7, 1683."
for the erection of the first Church in 1692, and ^ In the list of officers for 1653, as recorded in

paid the largest parish tax at its organization in the oldest book of the Company, " John Browne " is

1693. At the ordination of Rev. John Hancock, given as the second sergeant. As no John Browne

in 1698, as a mark of distinction and respect for his appears on the roll prior to 1653, this is, probably,

advanced age, he was seated at the table in the an error for James Browne (1638).
meeting-house by order of the parish.




He was admitted to become a freeman May 13, 1640; was a member of the church in
Dedham, and was chosen one of its first deacons in 1650 ; he was a selectman of Dedham
for many years, and represented that town in the General Court in 1644 and 1653. He
is called "ensign" in the Dedham Records, in 1656. He was a man of worth and
wealth, the ancestor of a distinguished family. He died Oct. 2, 165S.

Richard Cooke (1643), ^ tailor, came from Gloucestershire, England ; was admitted
to the First Church Aug. 28, 1634, and to be a freeman March 4, 1635. He was the
representative of Dover, N. H., in 1670. In the Book of Possessions, his si.x pieces of
real estate are defined, the first being his house and garden on School Street, nearly
opposite City Hall. His house ' was the second, toward Tremont Street, from Arthur
Perry's (1638). Here, also, lived his son. Dr. Elisha Cooke, who was prominent in the
politics of the colony, and married a daughter of Gov. Leverett (1639). Their son,
Elisha, Jr. (no less renowned than Elisha, Sr.), joined the Artillery Company in 1699.
The will of Lieut. Richard Cooke (1643), containing a legacy to Harvard College, was
proved Dec. 25, 1673, i^i which month he died. He was ensign of the Artillery Com-
pany in 1666, and lieutenant in 1668.

Upon the decease of Richard Cooke (1643), Ensign John Hull (1660) was appointed
by the court to succeed him as lieutenant of Capt. William Hudson's (1640) company.

Richard Cutter (1643), brother of William (1638), of Cambridge, probably came
with his mother about 1638 and settled in Cambridge. He was admitted to be a free-
man June 2, 1641, and died June 16, 1693, aged about seventy-two years. His first
wife, Elizabeth, died March 5, 166 1-2, and he married, Feb. 14, 1662-3, ^rs.
Frances Amsden. ' . .

John Davis (1643), of Boston, came over in the "Increase" in 1635, and was a
joiner by trade. He was admitted to the First Church Jan. 3, 1635-6, and became a
freeman May 25, 1636. He was a supporter of Mr. Wheelwright and Mrs. Hutchinson,
and was punished therefor. In 1641, Rev. John Wilson sold land on the (present) corner
of State and Devonshire streets to Sergt. John Davis (1643), the joiner, and Davis,
in 1646, sold it to Edmund Jackson (1646). After 1646, the name of John Davis
(1643) disappears from the Boston Records. Savage suggests that Mr. Davis (1643)
may have gone to Duxbury, where one John Davis sold an estate in 1650.

William Davis (1643), of Boston in 1643, was an apothecary; admitted to the
church July 28, 1644, and to be a freeman in 1645. "He was a man of wealth, enter-
prise, and discretion." He was a selectman of Boston in 1647, from 1654 to 1661
inclusive, also from 1670 to 1675 inclusive; one of the founders of the Old South
Church in 1669. He was lieutenant in 1652, and captain in 1656, of the Suffolk County
troop, and commanded a troop of horse in Ninigret's war ; was joined with Gen. Leverett;
(1639), afterward Governor, to visit the Dutch Governor, Stuyvesant, of New York, in

Hist. A. and H. A. Company; Recurcls of Mass.
Bay; Hill's Hist, of Old South Church.

' March 29, 1652, Sergt. Richard Cooke (1643)
was allowed to set a house on the town's ground,
between the house Mr. Woodmansey lived in and
the town " skoole " house. This arrangement pro-
vided for the enlargement of the school-house.

Richard Cooke (1643). Authorities: Whit-
man's Hist. A. and H. A- Company; Savage's Gen.
Diet.; Boston Records.

John Davis (1643). Authorities : Savage's
Gen. Diet.; Drake's Hist, of Boston.

William Davis (1643). Authorities: Sav-
age's Gen. Diet.; Boston Records; Whitman's





1653, and was a commissioner to King Philip, at Taunton, in 1671, in company with
William Hudson (1640) and Thomas Brattle (1672). Mr. Whitman (1810) says Capt.
William Davis "accompanied the brave Capt. Thomas Lake [1653] in his expedition
to Kennebec, in 1676, and with him escaped at a back door, when the Indians had
gained the fort, to the water's side, where Capt. Lake [1653] fell. Capt. Davis [1643]
was wounded, but made his escape."

Capt. Davis (1643) represented Springfield in the House of Representatives in
1652, 1666, 1671, and 1672. He probably resided in that town for a few years, and
there he married, in 1644, a daughter of William Pynchon, the assistant, the founder
and leading inhabitant of the town. She died July 3, 1653, and he married Huldah
Symmes. In his will, he gave four hundred pounds to his wife Sarah. He also repre-
sented ' Haverhill in 1668. His house was on State Street, on the lot next west of
'William Hudson's [1640], where in provincial days stood the Bunch of Grapes tavern" ;
or on the lot next west of that on the corner of Kilby and State streets.

Capt. William Davis (1643) was fourth sergeant of the Artillery Company in 1645,
lensign in 1652, lieutenant in 1659 and 1663, and captain in 1664 and 1672. Of his
sons, Benjamin joined the Artillery Company in 1673, and William in 1677.

Capt. Davis (1643) died May 24, 1676, and was buried in the chapel burial-ground.

Edward Fletcher (1643), of Boston, a cutler by trade, was admitted to be a towns-
man Feb. 24, 1640, to be a freeman Oct. 12, 1640, and a member of the First Church
in July of that year. His house was on the second lot south from the corner of Milk
and Washington streets. He had grants of land, and held minor offices of the town.
In 1656, he preached at Dover, N. H., returned to England in 1657, and subsequently
preached at Dunsburn, England, from which, being dismissed in 1662, he came back
to Boston. His will, in which he calls himself "clerk of Badgerden," was made Feb. 24,
1660, and proved Feb. 12, 1666.

His widow married, in 1676, Hugh Drury (1659) as his second wife.

John Gurnell (1643) came to Dorchester in 1630. He was a tanner by trade. He
joined the church in 1638, was admitted to be a freeman May 10, 1643, and died
July 31, 1675, "aged sixty-four years," according to his gravestone, on which his name
is spelled Gornell. He left by will forty pounds, " to be put into the hands of some
godly and honest man, to be by him loaned from time to time to some poor, honest
and godly mechanic, to assist in setting him up in business." He also left " ;^2o to
the schools in Dorchester." He was wealthy, " a very respectable citizen," and much
interested in the prosperity of Dorchester.

John Hill (1643), of Boston in 1641, a blacksmith, was admitted to the First
Church in July, 1641, and a freeman May 18, 1642. He died July 21, 1646. In 1643^
he was one of the grantees of the franchise for a tide-mill, " on the north-west side of the

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 20 of 73)