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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He was third sergeant of the Artillery Company in 1708, and its ensign in 1721. His
will was proved Aug. 17, 1752.

John Noyes (1698), of Boston, son of John Noyes (1676), and brother of Capt.
Oliver Noyes (1699), was born Nov. 4, 1674, and married, March 16, 1699, Susanna
Edwards. His mother, wife of John Noyes (1676), was Sarah, daughter of Capt. Peter
Oliver (1643). John, Jr. (1698), was fourth sergeant of the Artillery Company in 1699,
and its ensign in 1704. In 1704, he was elected a constable of Boston, but declined
to serve, and paid the usual fine for not serving.

Administration was granted on his estate, Aug. 15, 1749.

The first regular record remaining of the proceedings of the Military Company of
the Massachusetts is dated April 4, 1698, all previous to that date having been lost.
Recorded, however, in the same book, are the names of the members from the organi-
zation of the Company, and also the names of the officers elected and appointed for
each year. From the above-mentioned date the records are complete, except 1775-85.

The first record is as follows: "April 4, 1698. The Artillery Company met and
chose the Rev. Mr. Joseph Belcher to preach the next election sermon, and desired
I.t Col'n Hutchinson [1670], Lt John Ballentine [1682] and Lt. Samuel Johnson [1675]
to request him to preach it. Accepted by him."

The next record is: "June 6, 1698, The Rev. Mr. Belcher preached from i'' Cor.
ix. 26. 27."

Rev. Joseph Belcher, of Dedham, delivered the election sermon of the Artillery
Company in 1698. He was a son of John and Rebecca Belcher, of Braintree ; was born
May 14, 1671, and graduated at Harvard College in 1690. He was invited by the
church and town of Dedham to be minister there at a salary of sixty pounds, to be
increased to one hundred pounds per annum. Mr. Belcher was ordained Nov. 29, 1693.
The last sermon was delivered by him Aug. 30, 1721, between which time and Dec. 28
following he had an attack of paralysis, from which he died at Roxbury, April 27, 1723,
and was buried at Dedham.

Benjamin Emmons, Jr. (1698.) Authori- Rev. Joseph Belcher. Autiioritiks: Cent.

Tiiis: Boston Records; Whitman's Hist. A. and H. Ois., by Mr. Lamson, Dedham ; Eliot's Biog. Diet. ;

A. Company, Ed. 1842. Spraf;ue's Annals of American Pulpit; Records of

John Noyes (169S). Authorities: Savage's Dedham.
Gen. Diet.; Boston Records; Whitman's Hist. A.
and H. A. Company, Ed. 1842.



1699-1700] HONORABLE ARTILLERY COMPANY. 315

"Mr. Belcher," says his immediate successor, " Hved much desired and died greatly
lamented in the fifty-third year of his age and thirtieth of his ministry." Rev. Cotton
Mather, who paid a tribute to his memory, May 2, 1723, says, "Mr. Belcher ranked
high in the estimation of those who knew him. He was greatly admired and followed.
He lived what he spoke and did what he taught."



^ The officers elected were: John Walley (1671), captain;

I OQQ" I / 00. '^^''^^"'^^ Byfield (1679), lieutenant; Thomas Hutchinson
^ -^ ' (1694), ensign. Samuel Phillips (1693) was first sergeant;

William Griggs (1675), second sergeant; Joseph Belknap, Jr. (1692), third sergeant;
John Noyes (1698), fourth sergeant; Robert Gibbs (1692), clerk, and Samuel Marion
(1691), drummer.

The first steps toward the formation of the Brattle Street Church were taken in
1697. Thomas Brattle (1675) conveyed the land for the meeting-house, Jan. 10, 1698.
The number of persons or "undertakers" interested in the conveyance was twenty, of
whom the following were members of the Artillery Company : Thomas Clarke (1685),
John Mico (1702), Benjamin Davis (1673), Timothy Clarke (1702), William Keen
(1692), Zechariah Tuttle (1697), Thomas Palmer (1702), Joseph Allen (1694), John
Kilby (1691), and Addington Davenport (1692). A church was established, a meeting-
house built, and Rev. Benjamin Colman, a native of Boston, was called to the pastorate.
He accepted, and, arriving home from England the first of November, 1699, preached
the first sermon in the new meeting-house, Dec. 24, 1699. Thomas Brattle (1675) was
elected a deacon of this church in 1699; Benjamin Davis (1673) in 1699; John Kilby
(1691) in 1701, and John Phillips (1725) in 1729. The old or first meeting-house of
Brattle Street Church was built of wood, and was "never painted." It stood until
1772, when it was decided to erect a new building, the corner-stone of which was laid
June 23, 1772.

John Marshall, "a mason of Braintree," recorded in his valuable diary, under date
of May 26, 1699 : "Great expectations we had of his excellency Richard earl of Bello-
mont ; and great preperations to entertain him ; who came to Boston on Fryday the
26 of this May; and to receive him ther was I think twenty companys of souldiers, of
which 3 weer troops, and such a vast concourse of people as my poor eyes never saw
the like before ; the life-guard went to" Roadisland to wait on him ; two troops went to
Dedham to meet him their ; and when he came to Boston we made a guard from the
end of the towne to the South meeting-house. The lifeguard rode foremost then came
some oficers ; next his Lordship and Countess, then the troops and other gentlemen ;
the drums beat, the trumpets did sound, the Coullors weer displayed; the Cannons and
ordinance from the ships and fortifications did roar ; all manner of expressions of joy ;
and to end all Fireworks and good drink at night."

The members recruited in 1699 were : John Adams, Henry Bridgham, Charles
Chauncy, William Clark, Elisha Cooke, Jr., John Edwards, Samuel Gaskell, Jr., Samuel
Keeling, Oliver Noyes, Edward Proctor, Richard Proctor, Joseph Russell, Thomas
Sandford, Habijah Savage, John Wharton.



3l6 HISTORY OF THE ANCIENT AND [i 699-1 700

John Adams (1699), maltster, of Boston, son of Alexander Adams (1652), a ship-
wright, of Boston, was born Feb. 26, 1653. He was a constable of Boston in 1699, and
a tithing-man in 1704. He became a member of the Old South Church, March 24,
1700, and, Mr. Whitman (1810) says, "died about 1702."

Henry Bridgham (1699), tanner, of Boston, son of Joseph Bridgham (1674),
nephew of Jonathan (1673), and grandson of Henry (1644), was born Dec. 16, 1676.
He was an officer of the Boston militia, and, Oct. 3, 1703, became a member of the Old
South Church. He was a tithing-man in 1703; clerk of the market in 1704, and
constable in 1706; also third sergeant of the Artillery Company in 1704; first sergeant
in 1709, and clerk of the Company from 1707 to 1709. He died April 10, 1720, aged
forty-four years, and was "buried April 14."

Charles Chauncy (1699), merchant, of Boston, was a son of Isaac and grandson of
Charles Chauncy, president of Harvard College, who succeeded in that office Henry
Dunster (1640), in 1654. Charles Chauncy (1699) was born in England, but came to
America, and married Sarah, daughter of Hon. John Walley (1671). They had four
children, the eldest of whom was Charles, who graduated at Harvard College in 1721.
Mr. Savage calls him "one of the ablest divines Boston ever saw." He delivered the
Artillery election sermon in 1734.

Charles Chauncy (1699) was an officer in the Boston militia, and a member of the
Old South Church. He served the town as constable in 1702, and overseer of the poor
in 1709 and 17 10, and until his decease, in 1711. On the ninth day of May, 1711, the
inhabitants voted in town meeting that " Mr. Anthony Stoddard is chosen to serve as
overseer of the poor in the room of Mr. Charles Chauncy [1699] deceased." Adminis-
tration on his estate was granted March 26, 17 12.

He was fourth sergeant of the Artillery Company in 170 1. '

William Clark (1699), merchant, of Boston, son of John Clark, M. D., of Boston,
and brother of Hon. John Clark, speaker of the House, etc., was born in Boston, Dec.
19, 1670. He married Sarah Brondson, May 14, 1702, by whom he had two sons,
Robert and Benjamin (1733), and three daughters. He lived in Clark Square, in a
house afterward owned and occupied by Sir Henry Frankland, collector of customs.
William Clark (1699) died in July, 1742.

He held several minor town offices, as constable in 1700; overseer of the poor in
1704 — but declined that office in 1705; tithing-man in 1713, 1715, and 171S; was

John Adams (1699). Authorities: Boston "[1711] Friday, May 4 Mr. Charles Chauncy

Records; Savage's Gen. Diet. dies. . . . May 7, 171 1, Mr Chauncy huried." —

"John Adams [1699]. This is probably the Se7ihil/ Papers, Vol. II., p. 30S.

man of whose death in November, 1702, Judge William Clark (1699). Authorities: Bos-

Sewall [1679] twice speaks. Nov. 2, ' John Adams, ton Records; Mass. Records; Descendants of Hugh

a very good man ' dies of the small-|)ox. Dec. 8, . . . Clarl-: ; Whitman's Hist. A. and H. A. Company,

'the death of Jno Adams ... is a great stroke to Ed. 1842.

our church and congregation.' " — Ilisl. Cat. of OH " Last Saturday died here the Honorable Wil-
Smi/// Church, 1SS3. Ham Clark Esq who has been one of the most con-
Henry Bridgham (1699). Authorities: siderable Merchants in this Town, and h.is formerly
Boston Records; Whitman's llist. A. and II. A. served as a Representative for the Town in the
Company, Ed. 1842. General Court, and was for some years one of the
Charles Chauncy (1699). Authorities: Memljers of his Majestys Council." — The Boston
Savage's Gen. Diet.; Boston Records; Whitman's [Veekly News-Letter, July, \-]\2.
Hist. A. and H. A. Company, Ed. 1842.



1699-1700] HONORABLE ARTILLERY COMPANY. 317

one of a committee to consult for the common good in 1719 ; and was, also, selectman
of Boston from 1719 to 1723, and representative to the General Court, 1719-22, 1724,
and 1725.

Mr. Whitman (1810) says, "In 1721 there was some difficulty between the Gov-
ernor and council on one side and the House on the other, about appointing the annual
day for Fast. Mr. Clark [1699], being a representative, carried his opposition so far
that he ' would not attend public worship, but opened his warehouse, as upon other
days.' He was elected a member of the council in 1722, but he adhered so closely to
Mr. Cooke's [1699] party, and had been so violently opposed to the Governor, that he
negatived him; 'but did not serve his own interest, Mr. Clark's [1699] opposition
being of greater consequence in the House.' "

He was a member of the Second Church, and was- third sergeant of the Artillery
Company in 1703 and 1706.

Elisha Cooke, Jr. (1699), lawyer, of Boston, was a son of Elisha, of Boston, a
physician, but better known as a politician, and a grandson of Lieut. Richard Cooke
(1643). He was, on his mother's side, a grandson of Gov. Leverett (1639), and was
born Dec. 20, 1678. He graduated at Harvard College in 1697, and married, Jan. 7,
1703, Jane, daughter of Hon. Richard Middlecot, by whom he had one son, and a
daughter, Mary, who married Judge Richard Saltonstall. He was active in town
matters; was selectman from 1719 to 1723, and representative to the General Court,
1714-6, 1719-23, and 1727-37.

Mr. Whitman (1810) says concerning him: "He was an officer of the Boston
militia, and his fame as an orator and politician was so great that his military title is
lost sight of. He pursued such measures as rendered him obnoxious to the prerogative
party. He was extremely popular in Boston, and principal leader of the opposition
party in the House, the other Boston members and a majority of the country members
adhering to him through several administrations. His eloquence swayed the public
mind, and he continued in constant favor with the people until near his decease. His
oratory is spoken of as animating, energetic, concise, persuasive, and pure.

" His opposition might have been caught from his father, who was of the violent
party, adhering to the old, and opposing the new, charter. Mr. Cooke, Jr. [1699], was
of the Land-Bank party in 171 1, a disastrous speculation, but he sided with the promi-
nent men of the day. He ' had the character of a fair and open enemy, was free in
expressing his sentiments, and the Governor was informed of some contemptuous
language in private company, with which he was so much offended as to procure Mr.
Cooke's [1699] removal from the place of clerk of the Superior Court.' A dispute
arising respecting the conduct of his Majesty's surveyor of the woods in Maine, Mr.
Cooke [1699] immediately embarked in the controversy, and, with horse and foot, was
ever after the great partisan warrior of the opposition. This accounts for his rejection
from the council in 1718, and as speaker in 1720.

" He was chosen by joint ballot of the House and council, agent of the Province to
England, and sailed Jan. 18, 1723. He had been a violent opposer of Gov. Shute, and,
meeting him in England, refused to be reconciled with him. He continued in England
two years, but his mission was unsuccessful. In May, 1725, he was chosen into the

Elisha Cooke, Jr. (1699.) Authorities: Eliot's Biog. Diet.; Boston Records.
Whitman's Hist. A. and H. A. Company, Ed. 1842;



3l8 HISTORY OF THE ANCIENT AND [1699-1700

council, and Lieut. -Gov. Dummer [1702] did not negative hiui^ Tliis maybe con-
sidered as "a mark of approbation for his conduct in England ; his salary, while absent,
was small, but he 'acquiesced therein, for the sake of peace.' In 1731, he seemed to
favor the idea of a fixed salary for the Governor, and his popularity began to decline, so
that in 1733 or 1734, he obtained but a very small majority, after repeated trials, to be
representative. The usual votes cast in those days, even of excitement, rarely exceeded
six hundred. Hutchinson says of him, ' that he differed from most who, from time
to time, have been recorded in history for popular men. Generally, to preser\'e the favor
of the people, they must change with the popular air. He had the art of keeping the
people steady in the applause of his measures. To be careful never to depart from the
appearance of maintaining or enlarging rights, liberties, and privileges, was all he found
necessary.'

"When Gov. Burnet arrived, he lodged at Mr. Elisha Cooke's [1699] while the
Province House was being repaired. He had become acquainted with him in England,
and there was apparent friendship, but it did not last long. The shopkeepers and trades-
men (mechanics) directed the councils of the town, and were Mr. Cooke's [1699] sup-
porters. The Governor had been somewhat free in his jokes upon them ; this Mr. Cooke
[1699] knew how to take advantage of in 1728. In 1730, Gov. Belcher, with whom he
had been a favorite, appointed him chief-justice of the Court of Common Pleas in
Suffolk County.

"Mr. Cooke [1699] died in August, 1737, aged fifty-nine years. The inventory of
his estate, real and personal, amounted to ;^32,5 15 7^. 7,d., — probably in paper currency.
Among other things are enumerated, 437 ounces of silver plate, prized at ^590 15J., and
his library, valued at ;^8i. He owned lands at the Eastward of nominal value. He
never held any office in the Artillery Company."

John Edwards (1699), goldsmith, of Boston, was a son of John Edwards, of Boston,
a " Chyrurgeon," who came from Lymehouse, Stepney, Middlesex County, England, and
was taxed in Boston in 1688. John, Jr. (1699), was born March 13, 1686-7. He was
the father of Capt. Thomas (1724), and of Capt. Joseph Edwards (1738). John
Edwards (1699) ^^^^ ^ member of the Boston militia and a tithing-man in 1701, 1708,
and 171 1 ; fourth sergeant of the Artillery Company in 1704; constable in 1715, and an
assessor from 1720 to 1727 inclusive. He is given in the Boston town records the title
of " Mr.," and was prominent in the affairs of the town. In 1722, he, with Col. Penn
Townsend (1674) and Jeremiah Allen (1694), constituted a committee, with the
selectmen, to visit " the wrighting School at the Southerly End of Boston," and examine
the scholars under the teaching of Mr. Ames Angier (1708). The committee did so,
April 24, 1722, and reported to the town, they " are of opinion that it will be no service
to the town to continue Mr. Angier [1708] in that employ."

At a meeting of the selectmen, Feb. 18, 1729, "the Selectmen executed a lease
the same day to Mr John Edwards [1699], of Boston, goldsmith, of a shop or tenement
now in his possession called number six situate and being in Boston, fronting upon
Dock Square," having the square on the south, westerly by Mr. Dyar, the town dock on
the north, and Mr. Casno on the east, for the term of seven years, at twenty pounds
per annum.

The following is taken from the Selectmen's Minutes, March 5, 1722 : —
John Edwards (1699). AuxilORniEs: Boston Records; Savage's Cien. Diet.



1699-1700] HONORABLE ARTILLERY COMPANY. 319

" Upon a petion of mr John Edwards of Boston Sheweth.

" That whereas there is a Tomb in the South Burying place belonging to the Late
Governour Endicot, which has bin unimproved for many years, and there being no family
in Said Town nearer Related to the Said Governour Endicot famaly then his, Desires he
may haue Liberty granted him to make use of it for his family. . . .

" Granted that the Said John Edwards has Liberty to improue the Said Tomb until
a person of Better Right to it appears to claim it."

His will, dated in 1743, was proved April 22, 1746.

Samuel Gaskell, Jr. (1699), shopkeeper, of Boston, was probably a son of Samuel,
and was born in Salem. He was approved by the selectmen to retail wines and liijuors
out of doors, July 13, 1691. He was a constable of Boston in 1696, and a tithing-man
and member of a militia company in Boston in 1698. He became a member of the
Old South Church, April 3, 1692.

The family became noticeable on account of the persecutions to which Samuel, the
father, was subjected. He was a Quaker, or rather attended a Quaker meeting, and
Sept. 16, 1658, "he had his right ear cut off in prison." No other family of the name
seems to have been in the colony at that time.

Samuel Keeling (1699), merchant, first appears in Boston about 1695. He
married, Sept. 14, 1699, Elizabeth Oliver, whose brother, Capt. Nathaniel Oliver, Jr.,
joined the Artillery Company in 1701. Her grandfather, Peter Oliver (1643), was captain
of the Artillery Company in 1669. Samuel Keeling (1699) was a partner in business of
Charles Chauncy (1699), both of whom, in June, 1701, signed a petition, with others,
to Lord Bellomont, asking him for a bankrupt law.

Samuel Keeling (1699) was third sergeant of the Artillery Company in 1700, lieu-
tenant in 1 7 10, and captain in 17 16. He served the town in various capacities, among
which were: constable in 1699; overseer of the poor in 1707, 1708, and 1709; auditor
of accounts concerning repairing fortifications in 1709 and 17 10; captain of a military
company in 1707 and 1708, and was appointed a justice of the peace, Dec. 24, 1715.
He was on several special committees of the town, to whom important matters were
entrusted. He was of that important though temporarily defeated committee of 1717,
which reported in favor of the erection of a public market. The report was rejected,
and the committee, enlarged, considered the matter for two years, and the same report
was voted down again. The matter then rested until 1734.

Administration was granted on his estate, Jan. 26, 1729. Inventory of estate, two
hundred and six pounds.

Oliver Noyes (1699), physician, of Boston, son of John and Sarah (Oliver) Noyes,
of Boston, was born in 1675. His father, John, joined the Artillery Company in 1676,

Samuel Gaskell, Jr. (1699.) Authorities: "Dr. Noyes died 16 Mar. 1720-1, lieing taken

Boston Records; Bond's Watertown. very suddenly and awfully." — Snow's MS. note.

Samuel Keeling (1699). Authokity: Boston "He had 'a house and land near Fort Hill.'

Records. Wife Katherine, sons Belcher and Oliver; daus.

"Capt Reelings funeral attended by Rev. Mr. .\nna, wife of Mather Byles, and Sarah, wid. of

Cooper, Dec. 25, 1729." — Sewall's Diary. Pulcepher." — Record of 1738, ijiioted by Drake,

Oliver Noyes (1699). Authouities: Boston Jlisi. of Bosloti, p. 536.
Records; Whitman's Hist. A. and H. A. Company; " [1720-1, Tuesday] March 14. Dr Oliver Noyes

Descendants of Thomas Brattle. is seized with an Apoplexy at 10 at night. . .



320 HISTORY OF THE ANCIENT AND [1699-1700

and his grandfather, Peter OHver, became a member in 1643. Samuel Keehng (1699)
seems to have had the pecuniary assistance of Capt. OHver Noyes (1699) in the potash
works of Chauncy (1699) and Keeling (1699), as shown by a deed of Nathaniel Byfield
(1679). dated 1700. His brother, Ensign John Noyes, joined the Artillery Company
in 1698.

Capt. Oliver Noyes (1699) graduated at Harvard College in 1695, and was by
profession a physician, yet he found time to manifest a deep interest in everything that
concerned the welfare of Boston.

Mr. Whitman (1810) says, "He must have entered into public life and enterprise,
to improve his native town, early in life ; and from the magnitude of his undertakings,
resembled the great author of India and Central wharves, Broad, India, Market (now
new Cornhill), Brattle streets, and the Milldam, solid causeway, — Uriah Cotting.

" He was one of the original projectors of Long Wharf, and the erection of that
noble pier may justly be attributed to his enterprising spirit. The work was commenced
soon after the great fire in 17 11, called by Snow the fourth great fire in Boston, which
commenced in Capt. Ephraim Savage's [1674] house, in Williams Court, and swept off
both sides of old Cornhill, part of Court (Queen) Street and State (King) Street, to the
dock, together with the town-house and the First Church (old brick) where 'Joy's
buildings ' afterward stood. The rubbish of this fire was chiefly used in filling up Long
Wharf."

Mr. Hutchinson, who knew him well, speaks of his character. Vol. II., p. 249 :
" He was strongly attached to the popular party and highly esteemed by them ; was of
a very humane, obliging disposition, and in private life no man was more free from
indelicacies." He was of the party which followed the leadership of Elisha Cooke, Jr.
(1699), one of the most active and prominent men of his time.

Capt. Oliver Noyes (1699) married Ann, daughter of Hon. Andrew Belcher, of
Cambridge, who was a son of Capt. Andrew Belcher (1642), of Boston. Jonathan, a
brother of Ann (Belcher) Noyes, was Governor of Massachusetts from 1730 to 1741.
Capt. Noyes (1699) was an officer of the Boston militia, having been promoted to the
captaincy after years of service. He held various offices in the town, and was selectman
in 1708, 171 1, and from 1719 until his decease. He represented Boston in the General
Court in 1714-6, 1719, and 1720. He died March 16, 1721. His inventory, real
and personal, without lands at the Eastward, or in other counties, amounted to
^17,193. He was a member of the Old South Church, second sergeant of the Artil-
lery Company in 1701, and ensign in 1708.

Edward Proctor (1699) was a tailor, of Boston. He married Elizabeth Cock,
Nov. 24, 1 69 1, to whom several children were born in Boston. He was grandfather of
Col. Edward, who joined the Artillery Company in 1756. Edward [1699) was clerk
of the market in 1700, 1701, and 1704; constable in 1706; assessor in 1728, and
tithing-man in 1697, 1704, 1712, and from 1722 to 1727. In 1713, with Capt. Timothy
Clarke (1702), he was collector of taxes. May 25, 1735, he gave five pounds in "Goods
toward the erection of the new Workhouse." June 5, 1721, the selectmen permitted

[March] 16, Mr Fo.\croft preaches, prays for Dr Burying place." — SrcViil/ Papers, Vol. III., f'p.
Noyes, who died at 4 r. M. . . . March 20. Monday, 284, 285.

Dr Noyes is buried in his New Tomb in the South Edward Proctof (1699). Authority: Bos-

ton Records.



1699-1700] HONORABLE ARTILLERY COMPANY. 32 1

Mr. Edward Proctor (1699) to erect a bark house near Snow Hill; and Aug. 25, 1731,
he was one of a committee from the Nortli Church for liberty to erect a small building
fronting on Ship Street.

He resided on Wood Lane (Proctor's Lane), in 1736, where he was permitted to
lay a drain from his house to the common sewer, having removed from Fish (North)
Street, where he resided in 171 1. Sept 9, 17 18, the selectmen granted liberty to
Edward Proctor (1699) to build a tomb in the new range of tombs on the southerly
side of the North burying-place ; he to make the wall next to Hull Street sufficient for
a fence. His will was proved Nov. 26, 1751.

Richard Proctor (1699), a shopkeeper in Boston, was born in 1652. He was a
constable in that town in 1694; surveyor of highways in 1696; clerk of the markets in
1708, and tithing-man in 1706 and 1715. July 22, 1718, Richard Proctor (1699) and



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