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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ten shillings for harboring a person without leave.

He died Sept. 29, 1658. His will, made Sept. 14, was proved Oct. 28, 1658.

Nicholas Clarke (1656). He was first sergeant of the Military Company of the
Massachusetts in 1657, beyond which nothing has been discovered, unless he is the
Nicholas Clarke who arrived in Boston Sept. 16, 1632, settled in Cambridge, and before
1639 sold his property there and removed to Hartford, Conn. He died July 2, 1680.

Rev. Richard Mather, of Dorchester, delivered the Artillery sermon in 1656. He
was born in Lowton, Lancaster County, England, in 1596. He attended school at
Winwick ; at fifteen years of age was a school-master, and when twenty-two began preach-
ing at Toxteth. May 23, 1635, he set sail from Bristol for New England, and after a
stormy passage arrived at Boston Aug. 17, 1635. He soon proceeded to Dorchester,
gathered another church, and Aug. 23, 1636, Mr. Mather was settled over it as pastor
and teacher. There he remained during nearly thirty-four years. He died at Dor-
chester, April 22, 1669, at the age of seventy-three years.

He was a person of great authority in the early churches of New England, the father
of Increase Mather, and grandfather of Cotton Mather, the head of a family which for
nearly a century filled no second place in the church of New England.

, p. The officers elected were: Edward Hutchinson (1638), captain;

J (~) CV-Q^ William Phillips (1644), lieutenant; Joshua Scottow (1645), ensign.

«-^' Nicholas Clarke (1656) was first sergeant; Hezekiah Usher (1638),

second sergeant; William Cotton (1650), clerk.

An inventory of the estate of Miles Standish, Plymouth's great captain, returned to
the court in 1657, shows that he had been the possessor of "One fowling piece, three
muskets, four carbines, two small guns, one old barrell, one sword, one cutles,
three belts, cesers comenteryes and Bariffs Artillery." Nearly every early colonial
home was from necessity an arsenal.

It does not appear that any members were enlisted this year, and but few were
during the years immediately before and after. " It will be recollected," says Mr.
Whitman (1810), "that this was during the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell. The
Commonwealth in England furnished better employment for men of military talents than
the wilderness of New England. Possessed, as the Dissenters were, of church and state
few inducements were offered for emigration, and more returned to England than came
to New England."

The will of Capt. Robert Keayne (1637) was probated May 2, 1656. His son,
Major Benjamin Keayne (1638), was appointed in the will sole executor. Capt. Keayne
(1637) also appointed his "honored and loving friends," Mr. Simon Bradstreet, Major-
Gen. Denison (1660), Mr. William Hibbins, Mr. Edward Winslow, Rev. John Wilson,

Rev. Richard Mather. Authokities: Math- Annals of American Tulpit; Histories of Dor-
er's Magnalia; Savage's Gen. Diet.; Sprague's Chester.



Rev. Mr. Norton, Mr. Edward Rawson, and Lieut. Johnson (1638), overseers of his will.
Major Benjamin Keayne (1638) went to England in 1644, entered the service of Crom-
well, and probably did not return to America.

From 1656 to 167 1, when the conduit was removed, the overseers in charge of the
estate were probably Simon Bradstreet, Daniel Denison (1660), Edward Rawson, and
James Johnson (1638).

Dec. 29, 1656, the selectmen voted, "It is agreed that the next day of our [town]
meeting some time bee spent to consider of Capt Keayne's [1637] will in respect of the
legacyes to the towne."

At the next general town meeting, held March g, 1656-7, Capt. Thomas Savage
(1637), Anthony Stoddard (1639), Jeremiah Howchin (1641), and Edward Hutchinson
(1638), were "chosen a committee to consider of the modell of the towne house, to bee
built, as concerning the charge thereof, and the most convenient place, as also to take
the subscriptions of the inhabitants to propagate such a building and seasonably to make
report to a publick townes meeting." All the members of this committee were members
of the Military Company of the Massachusetts.

The above committee probably reported to the town, because, Aug. 31, 1657,
Thomas Marshall (1640), Samuel Cole (1637), William Paddy (1652), Joshua Scottow
(1645), and Jeremiah Howchin (1641), having had "full power given" them "by the
town of Boston," made choice of Edward Hutchinson (1638) and John Hull (1660) as
commissioners to superintend the erection of the town-house. It will be noticed that all
the members of the second committee, and the building commissioners also, were
members of the Military Company of the Massachusetts.

The commissioners entered into an agreement with Thomas Joy, who joined the
Artillery Company in 1658, and Bartholomew Bernad, for the erection of the desired
building for the sum of four hundred pounds. The total cost of the town-house and
conduit was six hundred and eighty pounds.

The building was sixty-six feet long, thirty-six feet wide, set upon twenty-one pillars,
ten feet high, projecting three feet over the pillars on each side. There was a walk on
the top, fifteen feet wide, with two turrets and balusters, and rails around the walk.
The agreement gives a minute description of the building.

Capt. Keayne's (1637) legacy was three hundred pounds ; three hundred and ninety-
three pounds and six shillings were pledged by the citizens of Boston. This latter sum
was subscribed by one hundred and twenty-four persons, of whom the following were,
at that time or later, members of the Military Company of the Massachusetts : —

Edward Tyng . . .



Joshua Scottow .

• (1645),


John Evered (Webb) .



William Hudson

. (1640),


Peter Oliver . . . .



Hezekiah Usher

. (1638),


John Barren . . . .



John Coggan

. (1638),


James Oliver . . .



John Hull . .

. (1660),


Richard Parker . . .



Thomas Clarke .

- (163S),


Nathaniel Williams



Robert Turner .

. (.640),


Theodore Atkinson



William Davis .

. (1643),


Thomas Hawkins . .



'Jacob Sheafe ".

. (1648),


Richard Cooke . . .


3 lo^'-

Thomas Lake .

• (1653).


Samuel Hutchinson .



Isaac Walker

. (1676),





Thomas Edsall . .



Henry Messinger .


Richard Gridley



Thomas Bumstead .

(1647), £1

John Button . . .



Samuel Cole . . .

(1637), 2

John Coney . . .



Henry Bridgham .

(1644), 10

Richard Waite . .



Nathaniel Reynolds

(1658), I

Richard Woodde .



James Davis . . .


William Paddy . .



Daniel Turell . .

(1660), I

Thomas Makepeace



Edmund Jackson .

(1646), I

Joshua Hewes . .



James Johnson . .

(1638), 2

Henry Phillips . .



Henry Powning

(1677), 2

Thomas Brattle . .



Humphrey Bradshaw

■ (1642),

John Biggs . . .



Nathaniel Duncan .

(1638), 2

Henry Allen . . .



Peter Duncan

• (1654), I

Hugh Drury . . .




Forty-nine of the one hundred and twenty-four persons who subscribed were
members of the Military Company of the Massachusetts. Those forty-nine persons
subscribed two hundred and thirty pounds and eleven shillings, or nearly two thirds
of the entire amount.

The town-house was probably completed and occupied in 1658. March 28, 1659,
the selectmen voted that no one should smoke, or bring a fire or match, under or about
the town-house, except in case of military exercise.

In 1666, Robert Gibbs, father of Robert (1692), obtained a lease of the cellar under
the town-house, and in 1664, Thomas Lake (1653) and Hezekiah Usher (1665) occupied
the east end of the cellar. In 1678, Samuel Shrimpton (1670) bought Capt. Lake's
(1653) interest of the latter's widow, and obtained an extension of the lease for
thirty-nine years.

Oct. 9, 1667, the Legislature ordered "the necessary full and suitable repair of the
Town and Court House in Boston, founded by the late Captain Robert Keayne," the
expense to be paid, one half by the colony, one quarter by the county of Suffolk, and one
quarter by the town of Boston.

In the "Re-dedication of the Old State House," July 11, 1882, Mr. WilHam H.
Whitmore, in his address, gives a minute history of the buildings which have stood at
the head of State Street, called " Old Town House " and " Old State House."

"About 7 or 8 o'clock, of the night between the 2d and 3d of October, 171 1," a fire
broke out in Cornhill (now Washington Street), near the meeting-house of the First
Church. It consumed all the houses from School Street to Dock Square ; all the upper
part of (now) State Street, together with the old town-house and the old meeting-house.
Thus ended the first town-house in Boston, to which Capt. Robert Keayne (1637),
and members of the military company which he founded, so largely contributed.

Up to this time, there is no record of any by-laws, agreeable to the provisions of the
charter, adopted by the Artillery Company. As Mr. Whitman (1810) well observes, "It
is presumed that Keayne [1637], the founder and patron of the Company, was, during
his life, their lawgiver and oracle, but he died, March 23, 1656, and they saw the necessity
soon after, of establishing rules for their government." This was done in September,
1657. These do not appear to have been sanctioned by the Governor and council, or


General Court, until September, 1677, of which the following is a copy from the colony
records : —

" It is ordered by the Artillery Company in Boston, September 7th, 1657 —

"ist. That whereas there is an agreement to order, that every member of this
Company is to pay four shillings per year for their quarterages, into the hand of the
Clerk; — that whatsoever is due from any of the Company, shall be paid within one
month into his hands who is the present Clerk.

" 2d. It is further ordered by the Company, that for the time to come, every one
who is a member of the Company, shall pay into the hands of the Clerk, upon the
election days, or before, his quarterages for the year past.

"3d. It is further ordered by the Company, that the training days for this Com-
pany be five yearly, and they to be on the first Mondays of April, May, June, September,
and October, yearly ; and that every officer and soldier is to appear at their colours by
eight of the clock in the morning : and if the Monday prove foul, the Friday after is

"4th. It is further ordered by the Company, that if any shall neglect to appear in
arms four training days together, and not give an account of it to the satisfaction of the
Company, he shall then pay to the Company what is due, both for fines and quarterages,
and have his name put out of the rolls, and no more to be accounted a member of the

"Sth. It is further ordered by the Company, that if any be chosen to any office
in the Company, and hath not borne an higher office in the Company before, and shall
refuse to hold the office he is chosen to, he shall pay what arrears he is behind to the
Company, and have his name put out of the Company's roll, and no longer be acknowl-
edged a member of the Company.

" 6th. It is further ordered by the Company, that the Clerk, without any further
order, shall have full power to distrain for any fine, or quarterages, due to the Company,
which shall be unpaid one month after they are due.

"7th. It is further ordered by the Company, that the Clerk shall, every training
day, bring the book of the Company's Orders into the field, that it may be there, not
only to call over the Company, but to enter any who is admitted, and enter any orders
which shall be made.

" Sth. It is further ordered by the Company, that the Clerk's accounts, yearly,
shall, after the day of election, and before the next training day in September, be audited
by those who were commissioned officers the year past, with the Captain and Clerk
new chosen, that accounts may be delivered into the new Clerks hands.

" 9th. It is further ordered by the Company, that whereas no town training is to
be upon Artillery days, yet the Commander of the Artillery may have liberty to request
so much favor of any Captain, and he not be a transgressor of the order, to grant it to
meet with his Company upon such days with the Artillery, for the better helping forward
of discipline in the Company.

" loth. It is further ordered by the Company, that a perfect, list shall be taken of
members of the Company, and being perfected, shall be called over every training day.
It is also desired by the Company, that these several orders may be presented by Major
Atherton to the Council for their approbation of them, that so they may carry more
authority with them."


"April 5th, 1675. It was then voted by the Artillery Company, that the orders of
the Company be presented by Thomas Clark, Esq., to the General Court or Council,
for their confirmation.

"John Morse, Clerk.

"The Court, having perused the above written orders of the Artillery Company, do
allow and approve thereof.

" Attest : " Edward Rawson, Secretary."

Rev. Henry Flint, of Braintree, who delivered the Artillery sermon of 1657, came
from Matlock, in Derbyshire, England, to Boston, in 1635. He became a freeman May
25, 1636; was ordained March 17, 1640; married Margery, a sister of Rev. Leonard
Hoar, president of Harvard College, and was settled in Braintree, where he died
April 27, 1668.

^ ^ The officers elected were: Humfrey Atherton (1638), captain;

JQkQ'Q^James Johnson (1638), lieutenant, and Peter Oliver (1643), ensign.

»-^ -^ Elias Maverick (1654) was first sergeant; John Richards (1644), second

sergeant; William Cotton (1650), clerk; Thomas Dwaite, drummer, and John Audlin

(1638), armorer.

The new members recruited in 1658-9 were : Henry Allenj Richard Baker, Joseph
Belknap, William Dinsdale, Richard Gridley, Thomas Joy, Hudson Leverett, Simon
Lynde, Samuel Maverick, Henry Messinger, Richard Price, Nathaniel Reynolds, Joseph
Rock, John Sunderland, Richard Woodcock.

Henry Allen (1658), of Boston, was a carpenter. He joined the church in May,
1644, and became a freeman in 1648. He was a constable of Boston in 1656. Nov.
29, 1661, at a meeting of the selectmen (six members of the board present, and all
members of the Military Company of the Massachusetts), liberty was granted Richard
Gridley (1658) and Henry Allen (1658) "to erect a wind-mill at the point before Abel
Porters house and to enjoy the land upon the sea side, . . . they paying yearly every
first of March to the Town Treasurer, two bushels of wheat." In 1672, he is called
"deacon" in the records of Boston. He served as selectman eleven years, 1677-87, and
was often on important town committees. On the board of selectmen, he took the
place of Capt. Thomas Lake (1653), ^^ho was killed by the Indians Aug. 14, 1676.
He represented Rowley in the General Court in 1674. In 1685, he, withlxnier promi-
nent citizens of Boston, paid the Indians in cancellation of their claim to Deer Island,
Boston Neck, etc., and a deed of the same was given by the Indian chiefs to the town.

Mr. Allen (1658) died Jan. 6, 1696, leaving a large estate, but no will.

Rev. Henry Flint. ^f^uxHORiTiES: Mather's Charlestown." Capt. John Allen united with the

Magnalia; Savage's Gen. Diet.; Hist, of Braintree. Company in 1639. The above name in the roll

Henry Allen (1658). Authorities: Boston is " Sergt Allen," and his surety is Edward

Records; Savage's Gen. Diet.; Drake's Hist, of Hutehinson. This would indicate that Mr. Allen

Boston. was a eitizen of Boston, and from the relations of

Mr. Whitman (1810), in his History of the Mr. Henry Allen and Mr. Hutchinson, in town

Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, Edition affairs, the name " Henry " has been substituted for

of 1842, calls this person "Capt. John Allen of "John."


Richard Baker (165S), of Dorchester, arrived in America from England, Nov. 28,
1635. He joined the Dorchester church Nov. 4, 1639, and was admitted a freeman May
18, 1642. He was early granted land; was one of the raters in 1647, 1650, and 1660;
selectman in 1653 ; constable in 1663 ; was once chosen a ruling elder, but it does not
appear that he accepted the office. He died Oct. 25, 1689.

The History of Dorchester, from which the above facts are learned, says, " He lived
in the part of the town now known as Savin Hill, and was owner of a large real estate in
Dorchester, a piece of which is now [1S59] in possession of his descendants, near his
homestead, at the place mentioned."

He married Faith, daughter of Henry Withington, the ruling elder of the Dor-
chester church.'

Joseph Belknap (1658), of Boston, was a son of Abraham Belknap, who settled in
Lynn in 1637, and removed to Salem. Joseph (1658) was born in England, came
to America with his parents, and settled in Boston. He was admitted a freeman in
1665, and was one of the founders of the Old South Church in 1669, from which he took
a letter of dismission to the Hatfield church. He lived in Hatfield from 1682 to 1696,
then came back to Boston.

June 29, 1657, the selectmen let to Joseph Belknap (1658) a small piece of ground
for eight shillings per year. His lease of it was renewed in 1662 for twenty-one years,
and in 1696 was renewed again for a term not exceeding ninety-nine years.

In 1689, he was chosen clerk of the market; in 1690, a tithing-man ; in 1691,3
constable, and was continued in minor town offices for several years. He held the office
of fourth sergeant of the Artillery Company in 1679. His son, Joseph, joined the Artil-
lery Company in 1692.

Sergt. Belknap (1658) died Nov. 14, 1712, aged eighty-two years.

William Dinsdale (1658), of Boston, was admitted a freeman in 1657. His house
and garden were on Milk Street, nearly opposite the present post-office. The Boston
Town Records first mention him, March 14, 1652-3, as follows: "William Dinsdall and
Isack Collimore, is chosen to look to Cariages and Wheels of the great artilliry, and to
.be payd by the seleckt men." He was chosen by the selectmen packer of " fish and
meat," in 1653, and was annually selected until 1679-80.

In 1663, he was aged forty-seven years, at which time he hired an island in Boston
Harbor of John Leverett (1639), for seven years. He died at Barbadoes in :68i, aged
sixty-five years.

Richard Gridley (1658), of Boston as early as 1631, was admitted a freeman April
I, 1634. His residence was on the southeast corner of Summer Street and Cow Lane,
or High Street, and his pasture extended east to Fort Hill It was on this estate first
mentioned that Capt. Samuel Adams, the father of Samuel Adams, lived, and here, in

Joseph Belknap (1658). Authorities : New New Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg., 1S47; .Savage's

Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg., 1852, 1859; Boston Gen. Diet.; Boston Records.
Records; Hill's Hist, of Old South Church. Richard Gridley (1658). Authorities : -Sav-

"[1712. Nov.] iS. Tuesday. Mr Belknap age's Gen. Diet.; Boston Records,
buried. Joseph was invited by Gloves, and had a ' See New Eng. Hist, and Gen. Keg., 1889, p.

scarf given him there, which is the first." — 5<-.w// 279 cl seq , Art., Genealogy of Kichanl Baker, by

Papers, Vol. II., pp. 367, 36S. Edward J. Baker.

William Dinsdale (1658). Authorities:


1722, the latter was born. Richard Gridley (1658) was a captain in the militia, and a
subscriber toward the free school established in Boston, Aug. 12, 1636. He was disarmed
in November, 1637, being a supporter of Mr. Wheelwright. His three children, born
after the last-mentioned event, were named Return, Believe, and Tremble. He furnished
bricks for the fortification at Fort Hill. He held town offices, and for several years was
water-bailiff with Alexander Adams (1652). His sons. Believe and Joseph, joined the
Artillery Company in 1662.

In the Boston Town Records, Richard Gridley (1658) calls himself a " Bricke-
maker." His will of Oct. 19, 1674, was proved the next month.

Thomas Joy (1658), of Boston in 163S, was a house carpenter. In the year 1642,
he was permitted " to set up an howse over his sellar by the water side, in the common
way by his dwelling howse in the milfield." This was on the southeasterly side of
Copp's Hill. Thomas Joy (1658) and partner built the first town-house, — which resulted
from a legacy by Capt. Keayne (1637), — and were voted by the selectmen, Jan. 28,
1661, six hundred and eighty pounds in full. For a short time, he resided in Hingham,
and built the Hingham Mills.

Nov. 27, 1676, a great fire occurred in Boston, "at the North end of the town,"
which consumed forty-six dwelling-houses, besides a meeting-house and other buildings.
Among the former was that of Thomas Joy (1658). In an attempt to widen the streets
after the fire, there were differences between Thomas Joy (1658) and the selectmen,
which were settled by referees, Aug. i, 1677.

At the time of the church troubles in Boston in 1646, several members of the
Artillery Company were prominent, especially Thomas Fowle (1639) and David Yale
(1640). The trouble got into the courts; the petitioners for a larger liberty were
convicted, fined, or imprisoned. Mr. Drake, in his History of Boston, p. 297, in
explaining this contention, says, "Thomas Joy [1658], a young carpenter, for some
kind offices to the prisoners, and inquiring of the marshal when he went to search
Mr. Dand's study, if his warrant were in the King's name, ' was laid hold on, and kept
in irons four or five days,' which was sufficient to extort a confession of wrong on his
part, as it allowed him to return to the care of his family, ' upon reasonable bail.' Thus,
arbitrary power shows its strength and importance, when those in the more humble
walks of life are accidentally or otherwise thrown within its insolent grasp."

Thomas Joy (1658) was admitted to be a freeman in 1665, and died Oct. 21, 167S.
His son, Samuel, joined the Artillery Company in 1665.

Hudson Leverett (1658), the only son of Gov. John (1639) and Hannah (Hudson)
Leverett who grew to manhood, was born in Boston, May 3, 1640. He was never
admitted to be a freeman, nor did he attain any distinction in the church, which in his
time was the first step to all preference. He married (i) Sarah, daughter of Bezaleel
Peyton, who died June 7, 1679, ^nd (2) about 1692, Elizabeth Myham, a widow, who
survived him, and died Dec. 16, 1714. Though the son of a past commander of the
Artillery Company, he never held any office in the organization except that of clerk, in

Thomas Joy (1658). Authorities: Boston Hudson Leverett (165S). Authorities: Sav-

Records; Savage's Gen. Diet.; Savage's Edition of age's Edition of Winthrop's Hist, of New Eng. ; New
Winthrop's Hist, of New Eng. Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg., i S50.


1662-3. Hutchinson, I., 323, says, he "did not support the reputation of his father."
He was crier of the court at quarter-sessions in June, 1687.

He died in the summer of 1694. The will of Hudson Leverett (165S) is on file
in the probate office of Suffolk County, No. 1986, but is not recorded ; it is dated Oct.
10, 1692. His son, John, was the eighth president of Harvard College, and joined the
Artillery Company in 1 704.

Simon Lynde (1658), of Boston in 1650, was born in London, England, in June,
1624. He was bred to trade in Holland, and after coming to Boston and residing here
several years, — 1650 to 1670, — he returned to London and was engaged in business. He
married, in Boston, Feb. 22, 1653, Hannah Newgate. In Boston Town Records,
April 27, 1655, he first appears as being in arrears to the town forty shillings, for four
years' rent. He was a constable in 1659. He was clerk of the .Artillery Company in
1661, first sergeant in 1669, and was a soldier in King Philip's War. In 1672, he
was interested as a land speculator in planting a colony near Stonington, Conn. He
died Nov. 22, 1687.

Samuel Maverick (1658), of Boston, was found here on Noddles Island, in 1630,
by the Massachusetts Company. There is no record of the time of his arrival. By his

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