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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a tithing-man. He was active in reviving the Company after Andros's usurpation. He
was first sergeant of the Artillery Company in 167S, its lieutenant in 1695, and died
Aug. 26, 1 7 14.

Nathaniel Blake (1673), of Boston, son of WiUiam Blake (1646), of Dorchester,
was a constable of Boston in 1675-6, and third sergeant of the Artillery Company in
1676. He is named in his father's will of June 23, 1703.

Jonathan Bridgham (1673), of Boston, a tanner, was the eldest son of Henry
(1644), of Boston. He became a freeman in 1675, 3-nd was a member of the Old South
Church. March 31, 1673, the selectmen of Boston voted to " Let to Jonathan Bridgham
[1673] the tan pitts his Father formerly rented of the towne, from the first day of Aprill
next for the terme of 8 yeares next ensueinge, he payinge to the treasurer of the towne
for the time beinge annually on or before the said i"' day of Aprill 30^^ in money."
These tan-pits were on the south side of Water Street, near the water. Jonathan (1673)
was a constable of Boston in 1677-8, and in 1685-6 was chosen to inspect the trans-
portation of " Hydes." He was third sergeant of the Artillery Company in 1681, and
was apointed lieutenant of Capt. James Hill's (1677) company, Feb. 13, 1683-4. His
brothers, Benjamin and Joseph, became members of the Artillery Company in 1674.
He names them both in his will, made in 1689.

Benjamin Davis (1673), of Boston, was a son of Capt. Williar n Davis (1643). He
was "a" major in the militia, and became a member of the Old South Church Sept. 13,
1685. He was admitted a freeman in 1690, and was one of the founders, in 1699, and
earliest deacons of Brattle Street Church. He was third sergeant of the Artillery
Company in 1678, ensign in 1679, lieutenant in 1681, and captain in 1686. He died
Nov. 26, 1704.

Hopestill Foster (1673), of Boston, soapboiler, son of Capt. Hopestill (1642) and
Mary (Bates) Foster, of Dorchester, and father of Capt. Hopestill Foster (1694), of
Boston, was born in Dorchester (baptized), March lo, 1645. He was admitted a free-
man in 1673, and became a member of the Second Church. He married, Feb. 15,
1667, Elizabeth Payson, of Roxbury. He was first sergeant of the Artillery Company in
1675, and became a captain in the colonial militia. He served the town as constable
in 1674-5, and Dec. 28, 1676, was appointed one of a committee, as suggested by the
"Honored Council," to guard the town against a conflagration. He died in Boston,
in 1678. His widow married Edmund Brown (1692).

Feb. 8. He, however, paid the fine and charges, niissary, Mr. Stoddard [pall-bearers]. Buried at

and " Ly not in prison on night." the North; is much Lamented." — St":uall Papers,

"Aug. 26 [1714], .■\miable useful Deacon At- Vol. III., p. 17.

wood dies between 10. and 11. M. After Sermon a Jonathan Bridgham (1673). Authorities:

note was put up. Mr. Bridge in his prayer made an Boston Records; Whitman's Hist. A. and H. A.

honorable mention of him; praying that God would Company, Ed. 1842.

sanctify the awfull stroke in removing one very use- Benjamin Davis (1673). Authorities: Hist,

ful to the Town, one of the props of it." — Se-<.vall Cat. of Old South Church, p. 278; Whitman's Hist.

Papers, Vol. ///., /. 16. .\. and H. A. Company, Ed. 1842.

" Seventh-day Aug. 28, Deacon John Atwood Hopestill Foster (1673). Authorities: New

is buried; was a Great Funeral. Mr Cook and Col Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg., 1 851, p. 399; Savage's

Hutchinson went next the relations; Sewall, Ad- Gen. Diet.; Boston Records,
dington; Ens Hutchinson, Townsend; Mr. Com-


John Hayward (1673), of Boston in 1671, scrivener, was clerk of the Artillery
Company in 1678 and 1679, and second sergeant in 1680. In 1676, Mr. John Hayward
(1673), "by a Major vote in papers," was nominated by the inhabitants to the county
court, to be appointed clerk of the writs. The Court of Assistants appointed John
Hayward postmaster for the whole colony, June i, 1677, and June 11, 1680, he was
confirmed as postmaster "until this court take other order." At the same session of the
court, he was appointed ensign of Capt. Oliver's (1640) company, and he was promoted
to be lieutenant in Capt. Townsend's (1674) company, May 11, i68r. He was later a
notary. "October 28 [1686] Let to John Hayward [1673] oi Bostone Notary or his
Assigns, the small Shop or roome that is scituate and beinge in the Towne house, at the
westerlie end thereof," etc. He died Dec. 2, 1687.

Thomas Jenner (1673), of Charlestown, "to whose father liberty of residence in
that town was given in 1636," was born in England. He joined the church in Charles-
town in 1 68 1. He is called a captain, and probably was a master-mariner. Mr.
Savage thinks he was that Thomas Jenner to whom Mr. Drake in his History of Boston
thus refers : " At Gravesend he [John Dunton, the London bookseller] found ' a fleet
bound for New England,' in which many had taken passage who had been engaged in
Monmouth's cause. Mr. Dunton had shipped a large amount of books for Boston, and
that he might divide the risk, or, as he expresses it, 'that Neptune might have two
throws at him,' he puts his ' venture ' into two ships. He was then ' in great suspense,'
he says, in which ship to trust himself. However, he went in the ' Susannah and Thomas,'
Thomas Jenner [1673], master, with thirty passengers and sixteen sailors." Mr. Dunton,
in his Life and Errors, Vol. L, p. 88, says of the captain, " A rough, covetous Tarpaulin ;
but he understood his business well enough, and had some smatterings of Divinity in
his head. He went to prayers very constantly, and took upon him to expound the
Scriptures, which gave offence to several of the passengers. The Mate and the
Boatswain were good sailors and made it their only study to dispute with tempests."
The "Susannah and Thomas" sailed from Gravesend in October, 1685, and was four
months in reaching Boston. Thomas Jenner (1673) died about 1699.

Jacob Jesson (1673), of Boston, was a merchant, and colonial agent of his brother,
Abraham, an ironmonger of London. He was chosen a constable of Boston, March 16,
1673-4, but soon after returned to England.

Francis Morse (1673), of Boston, had a wife named Elizabeth, and they had four
children born in Boston between July, 1667, and March, 1674. An error of the surname,
Morse for Moore, need not be supposed, as Mr. Whitman (1810) suggests.

James Pennyman (1673), of Boston, eldest son of James, of Boston, was baptized
March 26, 1633. He was a town officer in Boston in 167 1-2, and the last of his three
children was born Oct. 8, 1674, at which time his name disappears in the Boston Records.

John Hayward (1673). .Authorities: Whit- Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg., 1S65, 1S82; Savage's

man's Hist. .\. and H. A. Company, Ed. 1842; Bos- Gen. Diet,

ton Records. Jacob Jesson (1673). .Vuthority : Savage's

"Friday, Dec. 2. 16S7. About 10. at night, Gen. Diet.

Mr. Ino Haytt-ard dies, having been speechless 48 Francis Morse (1673). Authority: Sav-

hours." — Sei<'a/l Papen, Vol. /., /. 196. age's Gen. Diet.

Thomas Jenner (1673). authorities : New James Pennyman (1673). Authority: Sav-
age's Gen. Diet.


Nathaniel Pierce (1673), of Woburn, son of Robert Pierce, of Woburn, was born
Dec. 4, 1655. He was a soldier in King Philip's War, and was engaged in the memo-
rable Falls fight, May 19, 1676. He married (2) Elizabeth Foster, March 23, 1680. He
died before Dec. 13, 1692, when his will was probated.

John Sandys (1673), of Boston, son of Henry, merchant, of Boston and Rowley,
was born Aug. 28, 1646.

John Sweet (1673) — though given "John Sweeting" upon the oldest roll — was of
Boston in 1640. He was by trade a shipwright, or calker. He became a member of
the First Church Jan. 30, 1 640-1, and a freeman June 2, 1641. His second wife was

Susanna , by whom he had Susanna, born April 3, 1647, who became the wife of

John Oliver (1680).

John Taylor (1673), of Cambridge. Probably John Taylor who joined the Artillery
Company in 1665, restored to the roll.

John Usher (1673), oi Boston, and later of Medford, son of Ensign Hezekiah Usher
(1638), was born in Boston, April 27, 1648 He was admitted a freeman in 1673, and
at first pursued the business of his father, — stationer and bookseller. In 1672, the
General Court gave him a monopoly, for seven years, of publishing the valuable edition
of the laws of the colony. He was colonel of the Boston regiment in 1687, under
Andros's administration ; one of his councillors, and treasurer of the colony. Being
son-in-law of Samuel Allen, a London merchant, who bought out the claims of the
Mason heirs to the proprietorship of New Hampshire, he removed to Portsmouth, and
was appointed lieutenant-governor of New Hampshire in 1692, and held the office for
five years ; but, becoming unpopular with the settlers, he was succeeded by Mr. Partridge.
He was reappointed in 1702 by Gov. Dudley (1677). While residing in Portsmouth he
carried on his business on Cornhill, Boston.

Mr. Belknap, in his History of New Hampshire, says, concerning Mr. Usher (1673),
"John Usher, Esq. [1673], was a native of Boston. He was possessed of a handsome
fortune, and sustained a fair character in trade. He had been employed by the Massa-
chusetts government, when in England, 1689, to negotiate the purchase of the Province
of Maine, from the heirs of Ferdinand Gorges, and had thereby got a taste for specu-
lating in landed interest. He was one of the part owners in the million purchase, and
had sanguine expectations of gain from that quarter. He had rendered himself
unpopular among his countrymen, by accepting the office of treasurer under Sir E.
Andros, and joining with apparent zeal in the measures of that administration, and he
continued a friendly connection with that party after they were displaced.

" Though rather of an open and generous disposition, yet he wanted those accom-

Nathaniel Pierce (1673). Authority; Sav- The 30th of January was the anniversary of the

age's Gen. Diet. execution of King Charles L, observed by Royahsts

John Sweet (1673). Authority: Savage's but repudiated by Puritans.
Gen. Diet. "Aug. 21, 1726. The honble John Usher esqr

John Usher (1673). Authorities: New died y'^ (September) i. 1726 at his eountry seat

Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg., 1877; Eliot's Biog. Diet.; near Meadford. Was brought in ihe Castle Pinnace

Histories of Medford. to Boston and buried from his own house. . . . Old

"[1711-2] Midweek Jan. 30. ... met Jno' Burying place, ^^t. yt)." — Sr.Mll Papers.
Usher Esqr, who insulted us about keeping the 30'h
1z.-a.." — Seioall Papers, Vol. II., p. 333.


plishments which he might have acquired by a learned and polite education. He had
but little of the statesman and less of the courtier. Instead of an engaging affability,
he affected a severity in his deportment, was loud in conversation and stern in command.
Fond of presiding in government, he frequently journeyed into the province, and often
summoned the council, when he had little or nothing to lay before them. He gave
orders, and found fault like one who felt himself independent, and was determined to
be obeyed. He had an high idea of his authority and the dignity of his commission ;
and when opposed and insulted, as he sometimes was, he treated the offenders with
severity, which he would not relax, till he brought them to submission. His public
speeches were always incorrect and sometimes coarse and reproachful. He seems,
however, to have taken as much care for the interest and preservation of the province,
as one in his circumstances could have done."

Mr. Whitman (1810) adds, "The Province of New Hampshire sometimes voted
him thanks for his services, and others complained of his abusing and oppressing them.
He could buy the best situated lands in the interior for 2d. to 41/. per acre, and, like
most speculators, passed through a multitude of lawsuits."

He returned to Massachusetts from Portsmouth, and withdrew to Medford, where
he died Sept. i, 1726. His widow sold his estate of five hundred and four acres and
his house to Col. Royal, Dec. 26, 1733, for ten thousand three hundred and fifty dollars.

His brother, Hezekiah, joined the Artillery Company in 1665.

John Waite (1673), of Maiden, though settled for a short time in Charlestown,
was admitted a freeman in 1647 ; was captain of the militia, and in 1685, by reason
of age and blindness, was excused, on his petition, from further service as captain. He
was a strenuous supporter of Rev. Marmaduke Matthews, in 1651, and was fined for
his opposition to authority. He served as town clerk of Maiden in 1662, and was
representative to the General Court from 1666 to 1684, and the last year was speaker.
He died Sept. 26, 1693, aged seventy-five years.

Rev. Seaborn Cotton, of Hampton, delivered the Artillery election sermon of 1673.
He was born on the ocean, Aug. 12, 1633, during the voyage of his distinguished father.
Rev. John Cotton, teacher of the First Church, and his wife, from London to Boston.
He graduated at Harvard College in 1651, became a freeman in 1655, and married
Dorothy, a daughter of Gov. Bradstreet. He was ordained at Hampton in 1660, and
died April 19, 1686.

. The officers elected were: Thomas Lake (1653), captain; Elisha

J Q'7/1- C^ Hutchinson (1670), lieutenant; Theophilus Frary ' (1666^), ensign.

* \ ^ Thomas Savage (1665) was first sergeant; Thomas Thacher, Jr. (1671),

second sergeant; John Morse (1671), clerk; Ephraim Kempthorn, armorer, and

Joshua Hughes, drummer.

A royal officer, who had been sent to America by the government of Charles H.,
said of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay in 1675, "There are men able to bear arms
between thirty ^nd forty thousand, and in the town of Boston about four thousand.

Rev. Seaborn Cotton. Authorities: Sav- Pulpit; Mather's Magnalia; New Eng. Hist, and
age's Gen. Diet.; Sprague's Annals of American Gen. Reg., 1847, pp. 164-167, 325.


Their trained bands are twelve troops of horse, and six thousand foot; each troop
consisting of sixty horses besides officers ; all are well mounted and completely armed
with back, breast, head-piece, buff-coat, sword, carbine, and pistols, each troop distin-
guished by their coats. The foot also are well furnished with swords, muskets, and
bandoleers. There are no pikemen, they being of no use in the wars with the Indians.
The Governor, Mr. Leverett [1639], is the only old soldier in the colony; he served
in the late rebellion under the usurper, Oliver Cromwell, as a captain of horse.

" Three miles from Boston, upon a small island, there is a castle of stone, lately
built, and in good repair, with four bastions and mounted with thirty- eight guns, sixteen
whole culverin, commodiously seated upon a rising ground sixty pace from the water-
side, under which, at high water-mark, is a stone battery of six guns. There is a small
brick fort lately made at the south end of Boston, with two tier of guns, six in each.
One platform on the north side of the town, commanding the river to Charlestown
made of loose stones and turf, is mounted with five demi-culverin and two small guns.
There are in the public stores commonly a thousand barrels of powder, with other
ammunition and arms proportionly. . . .

"At Dorchester, seven miles from Boston, is a powder-mill, in good repair, well
wrought. There is in the country great quantities of saltpetre, especially upon islands
where fowl frequent and in swamps where pigeons roost. The powder is as good and
strong as the best English powder. There is great plenty of iron ore, and as good iron
made as any in Spain. There are six forges for making iron in that colony. The town
of Boston contains about two thousand houses, most built with timber and covered with
shingles of cedar, as are most of the houses in the country ; some few are brick buildings
and covered with tiles."

The new members recruited in 1674-5 were: Thomas Bill, Moses Bradford,
Benjamin Bridgham, Joseph Bridgham, Edward Creeke, Ambrose Dawes, John Drury,
Joseph Farnam, James Green, David Hobart, Joseph Porter, Joseph Prout, Ephraim
Sale, Jabez Salter, Ephraim Savage, Robert Sedgwick, Penn Townsend, Daniel Turell, Jr.,
and Experience Willis.

Thomas Bill (1674), of Boston, came from London with his wife, Elizabeth (Sargent)
Nichols, whom he married Jan. 14, 1653. He joined the Second Church in 1670, and
was admitted a freeman in 1671. In 1673, he, with Daniel Turell, Jr. (1674), agreed
to build forty-five feet of the two thousand two hundred feet of wharfing, extending
from the Sconce to Capt. Skarlett's wharf.' In 1675, upon the death of " widow Upshall,"

' In the latter part of 1673, the Honorable Council of Massachusetts Bay recommended to the select-
men that a wall be erected from the Sconce to Skarlett's wharf, to protect the town from fire-ships, etc.
The town declined to do so, but gave power to the selectmen to dispose of the flats before the town, and
thus build the wall. The selectmen, therefore, offered the flats, or two hundred feet of them, from the
wall toward the town, to such as would engage to build the wall. Every member of the board of selectmen
except one was a member of the Artillery Company.

The following-named members of the Company engaged and promised to build the wall according
to their several subscriptions : —

Capt. Thomas Clarke .... (1644), 50 feet. Capt. Thomas Savage .... (1637), 40 feet.

Richard Way (1642), 25 " Seth Perry (lf>62), 30

Daniel Turell, Jr (1674), I „ Daniel Henchman (1675), 54

Thomas Bill (1674), \ '^•' Theodore Atkinson .... (1644), 30

William Greenough .... (1675), 3° " Obadiah Gill (1679), 20

Thomas Lake (1653), 30 " Joseph Prout (1674), 30

John Sweet ('673), 30 " Thomas Brattle ('675), 54

William Davis (1643), 40 "

Gov. John Leverett .... (1639), 210 " Total 718 feet.


wife of the late Nicholas Upshall (1637), of the Red Lion Inn, Thomas Bill (1674) was
approved by the selectmen to keep a house of public entertainment in her room and
stead, for the time remaining of her license, from Nov. i, 1675. His license was
annually renewed, and May 22, 1679, he rented the house of Mrs. Mary Lake and
was licensed to sell wine in addition. July 27, 1685, the selectmen voted, "Whereas
Thomas Bill [1674], by the providence of God is disenabled & vncapeable to manage
a publique house, and both he and his wife are content & resolued to lay downe that
imploym'; The Selectmen of this towne doe aproue of Daniel Turell, Jr. [1674], to
keepe a publique house of entertainm' & to s?ll wine, beere and cyder by retayle if the
Hon''* Countie Court shall be pleased to grant him licence to doe it in the roome and
steed of Thomas Bill [1674]." The latter died Oct. 29, 1696.

Moses Bradford (1674), of Salisbury in 1669, of Boston in 1674, son of Robert
Bradford, a tailor, was born in Boston, Aug. 2, 1644. He was a member of Major
Savage's (1665) company in April, 1681, and was chosen tithing-man therefrom, also
in April, 16S4. He was drowned in Boston Harbor, March 23, 1692.

Benjamin Bridgham (1674), of Boston, son of Henry (1644), was born May 3,
1654. He was a brother of Lieut. Jonathan (1673) and Lieut. Joseph (1674).

Joseph Bridgham (1674), of Boston, son of Henry (1644), and brother of Benjamin
(1674) and Lieut. Jonathan (1673), was born Jan. 17, 1651-2. He followed the trade
of his father, — a tanner, — and became a freeman in 1678. He was a deacon and ruling
elder of the First Church, clerk of the market in 1678-9; was elected selectman March
14, 1691-2, and at the same time the selectmen elected him recorder. He represented
Northampton in the General Court in 1690, and Boston in 1697. ^^■'- Drake remarks,
" He fell much short of Mr. Joyliffe in spelling." He afterward served on special com-
mittees of the town, and Aug. 31, 1702, the selectmen granted him liberty "to Newmake
and repaire the Cestern at the Spring formerly Called the Governors Spring," and to
carry the waste water under ground into his tanyard. Feb. 13, 1683-4, the General Court
chose and appointed "James Hill [1677] captain, Jonathan Bridgham [1673] lieutenant,
and Joseph Bridgham [1674] ensign of the foot company late under the command of
Capt. John Walley [1671]." He was first sergeant of the Artillery Company in 1691.
His son, Henry, joined the Artillery Company in 1699. He died Jan. 5, 1708-9, and
was buried in the chapel ground.

Edward Creeke (1674) was a tailor, of Boston. March 31, 1673, the selectmen
fined him twenty shillings for entertaining Frances Child, a servant from Medfield. He
was ensign of Capt. Turner's company in King Philip's War on the Connecticut River,

Thomas Bill (1674). Authorities: Boston inson: Elder Cop, Deacon John Marion; Deacon

Records; Savage's Gen. Diet. Isaiah Tay, Deacon Thomas Hubbard. Is buried

"Abigail [Willis] Bill, wife to Thomas Bill, in the Old burying place : Went up by Mr. Dudley's

aged 63 years, died Nov. 7, 1696." — Bridgman's House into King street, and so up between the

t'opp's Hill Biii'ial-Grouiid, p. 64. Town-house and Mr. Phillip's. He was a Righteous,

Moses Bradford (1674). Authority: Bos- Merciful, publicU-Spirited man, very usefull in the

ton Records. Town: was born the 17111 Jan. 1651-2." — Seionll

Joseph Bridgham (1674). .Authorities: Papers, I'd. //., p. 2^S.

Records of Mass. Bay; Boston Records. Edward Creeke ( 1674). Authorities : New

"[170S-9] Jan S. My worthy friend Mr. Eng. Hist, and Uen. Reg., 1889; Savage's Gen.

Bridgham is buried : Bearers Mr. Cook, Col Hutch- Diet.; Boston Records.


also lieutenant with a company of thirty-four men at Wells, Sept. 7, 1676, and later was
promoted to be captain. He was second sergeant of the /Artillery Company in 16S5,
and died May 6, 1702.

Ambrose Dawes (1674), of Boston, son of William Dawes, of Braintree, a brick-
layer, was born in Braintree, July 24, 1642. Ambrose (1674) became a freeman in
1671, and married Mary, daughter of Thomas Bumstead (1647). He was probably a
brick mason, for Jan. 21, 1669-70, the selectmen appointed him and his father, William,
"to survey Chimnys." Ambrose (1674) held town ofifice in 1678 and 1683; also was
a constable in 1688, and inspector of brick in 1691. He was a member of Capt.
Savage's (1665) company, 1680 to 1686, — probably longer, — and from it was chosen as
tithing-man in 1680 and 1686. He held the same office in 1691 and 1697, when his
name disappears from the Boston town records. In 1692, he served in "his Majesty's
army at Peniaquid," as a soldier and as a workman. In this service he lost one of his
eyes, whereupon, on his petition, June 19, 1695, the provincial Legislature allowed him
ten pounds out of the public treasury.

He was the ancestor of the three patriots. Col. Thomas Dawes, Jr. (1754), William,
Sr. (1760), and William Dawes, Jr. (1768).

John Drury (1674), of Boston, carpenter, son of Hugh Drury (1659), was born in
Boston, May 2, 1646. He became a freeman in 1673, was a member of the Old South
Church, and died in 1678. He was a private in Capt. Samuel Moseley's (1672) com-
pany, which marched against the Indians at Mt. Hope in July, 1675, and returned to
Boston after twenty days' service. He was an ensign of Capt. Nathaniel Davenport's
company in King Philip's War; was in the Fort fight, Dec. 19, in which Capt. Davenport
was killed, and Lieut. Tyng (1668) assumed command, after which Ensign Drury (1674)
acted as lieutenant. He is mentioned in the town records but once, Aug. 27, 1677,
when he was ordered to replace a post, set up by order of the selectmen, at the corner
of the old meeting-house, which he, for some reason, cut down.

Joseph Farnam (1674), of Boston, became a freeman in 1674. Probably not a son
of Henry (1644), of Roxbury, as Mr. Savage says he "left an only son, Peter." In the
transcript from the tombstones in Copp's Hill Burial-Ground, by Thomas Bridgman,
this is recorded : "Joseph Farnum aged about 30 years dec'' Nove'^y''30, 1678," followed
by a sentence in Latin which is partially obliterated.

James Green (1674), of Boston, having been elected by the selectmen "culler of
staves" in 1673, and re-elected in 1674, 1675, and 1676, was probably a cooper. His
father, James, resided in Charlestown in 1646; was a member of the church there, and

"[1679] Sept. 7, being sabbath, about ten Ambrose Dawes (1674). AuTHORrriES: Bos-
o'clock, all the churches were alarmed with a fire in ton Records; Laws and Resolves of Mass. Bay, Vol.

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