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

. (page 5 of 73)
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 5 of 73)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Hutchinson. For this, he, with other officers who were her adherents, were disarmed by
order of the General Court until they recanted.

Major Thomas Savage (1637), son of William, was born at Taunton, England, in
1606, and came to Boston in the " Planter," in April, 1635. He was admitted a freeman
in May, 1636. Having married Faith, the daughter of William and Ann Hutchinson,
in the following year, he was classed among the adherents of his mother-in-law, was
disarmed, and obliged to retire for a time into Rhode Island. On his return, he became
the first orderly sergeant of the Artillery Company, with which he was thenceforth
rominently identified. He had, by his first wife, seven children, viz. : Habijah (1665),
Thomas (1665), Hannah, Ephraim (1674), Mary, Dyonisia, and Perez. His first

Thomas Savage (1637). Authorities: Savage's Gen. Diet. ; Report of Boston Rec. Com.,
New Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg., 1847; Brklgman's 1634-1660; Savage's Winthrop; Mem. Hist, of
King's Chapel Burial-Ground; Mather's Magnalia; Boston; Hill's Hist, of Old South Church.


\ wife died Feb. 20, 1652, and, the 15th of the September following, he married Mary,
daughter of Rev. Zachariah SymmTspof Charlestown. By his second wife, he had
"Sarah,'T^icIiard, Samuel, Samuel 2d, Zachariah, Ebenezer (1682), John (1694), Benja-
min (1682), Arthur, Elizabeth, and Elizabeth 2d. He resided at the corner of Fleet
and North streets, and his tailor's shop was at the lower end of Cornhill, now Washing-
ton Street.

Major Savage (1637) represented Boston in the General Court in 1654-7, 1659-62,
1677, and 1678, or ten years; Hingham in 1663, and Andover in 1671, presiding as
speaker in 1659, 1660, 1671, 1677, and 1678. He was an assistant in 1680 and 1681,
and held other positions in church and state. In 1669, he was one of the founders and
members of the Third Church (Old South), and subscribed liberally towards the estab-
lishing of a free school in Boston.

It was in the military affairs of the colony that Major Savage (1637) was especially
prominent. In the war for the subjugation of King Philip, the chief of the Wampanoags,
he was commissioned as major of the Massachusetts forces under Major-Gen. Denison
(1660), whose instructions to Major Savage (1637) concluded as follows: "And in
case the Lord should discuall ye General so as to take him of the service, you shall
take charge and command of all according to the commission given him." Major
Savage (1637) had under his especial command the troops of Capt. Paige (1693) and
the foot companies of Capts. Henchman (1675), Prentice, and Moseley (1672), number-
ing in all about three hundred men. The commissary stores provided included " 2000
weight of Biskit, 40 barrels of pease in casks, 10 barrels of Pork, 10 kintalls of drye
fish, I hogshead of Rumme, 6 jars of oyle, 4 barrels of Raisins, i barrel of sugar, r hogs-
head of salt and a quarter cask of wine." Provision was also made of powder, shot,
flints, and " 50 bushels of Indian corn parched and beaten to make nocake," " with 300
small bags for each man to carry nokake." When the expedition reached the Wam-
panoag villages at Mount Hope, they were found deserted, King Philip and his warriors,
conscious of their inability to cope with the whites, having retreated into the Narra-
gansett country, when a peace was proclaimed. The troops returned to Boston and
were there disbanded. Major Savage (1637) resuming the care of his business.

King Philip was soon again on the war-path, and he persuaded the different tribes
to engage in hostilities under his direction, the Dutch supplying them with arms and
ammunition. The frontier settlements were broken up, and military skill and courage
could avail but little against the tactics of a skulking foe. In the spring of 1675-6,
Major Savage (1637) was again commissioned as commander of the Massachusetts
troops, his instructions closing with these words, " Thus committing you to God desiring
his presence with & protection over you, wee Remaine." That year King Philip was
killed in the famous " Swamp Fight," and it was estimated that during the summer
upwards of two thousand Indians were killed or taken prisoners. The colonists, during the
same time, lost twelve captains and more than six hundred men ; twelve towns were
entirely ruined, and six hundred houses were burned, nearly a tenth part of all in New

Major Savage (1637), during the remainder of his long and useful life, was a promi-
nent member of the Artillery Company, in which he did duty for forty-five years, and he
lived to see it increase and flourish beyond the most sanguine expectations, when he
aided in its first establishment. He was junior or second sergeant in 1639 ; senior or
first sergeant in 1640; lieutenant in 1641 and 1645, and was captain in 1651, 1659,


sergeant in 1640; lieutenant in 1641 and 1645, and was captain in 1651, 1659






1668, 1675, and 1680, occupying that office the last time after he was seventy-three
years of age. Nor was this all. " Five [six] of Major Savage's sons," says Whitman,
" were members, and their posterity have many of them not only followed the military
example of their ancestor, but have succeeded to his military honors. The same badge
of commander, 'a leading staff' or 'pike,' which was five times graced by the hand of
Major Savage [1637], has been transferred by the Chief Magistrate of the Colony, or
Province, to a son once, to a grandson once, to another grandson three times and to a
great grandson once, in addition to the ' half pike ' he twice bore as Lieutenant, which
each" of the above-mentioned descendants "bore before he was elected as commander.
Although the standard was not entrusted to his care as ' Ensign ' yet several of his
descendants have had charge of it."

Major Savage (1637) died Feb. 15, 1681-2,1 aged seventy-five years, and was
interred in the burial-ground now adjacent to King's Chapel. His will, dated June 28,
167s, "the day he marched to the war," and proved Feb. 23, 1681-2, appointed John
Hull (1660) and Isaac Addington (1652) "overseers," and his sons, Thomas (1665),
Ephraim (1674), and Ebenezer (16S2), executors. The inventory of his estate, includ-
ing several parcels of land, amounted to ^3,447 8s. id., and his debts to Ji(iAi, ?>s. 6d.
Included in the inventory was a "Scotch Boy," valued at ^14.

An elegy was published " On the sudden and much Lamented Death and Expiration
of that Worthy, Grave, Pious, and Every way accomplished Hero, Major Thomas Savage

Snow, in his History of Boston, p. 143, describes a colonial mansion, which Mr.
Whitman quotes as describing Mr. Savage's home : —

" 'We find in the principal houses a great hall, ornamented with pictures and a great
lantern, a velvet cushion in the window-seat, which looks into the garden. On either
side is a great parlor or study. These are furnished with great looking-glasses, Turkey-
carpets, window-curtains and valance, pictures and a map, a brass clock, red leather-back
chairs, and a great pair of andirons. The chambers are well supplied with feather-beds,
warming-pans, and every other article that would now be thought necessary for comfort
or display. The pantry is well filled with substantial fare and dainties, prunes, mar-
malade, and Madeira wine. Silver tankards, wine cups, and other articles of plate, are not
uncommon ; the kitchen is completely stocked with pewter, copper and iron utensils.'"

Daniel Howe (1637), of Lynn, was the fifth signer of the roll of the Artillery
Company. His name is spelled " Haugh " on some of the Company's old records,
but he had been commissioned as Daniel Howe, in 1630, as lieutenant of a train-
band at Lynn, commanded by Richard Wright, which had two iron cannon called
"sakers"; and he appears as Daniel Howe (1637), "owner of sixty acres of upland
and meadow," in the Lynn Book of Possessions. He, as Daniel Howe (1637), also
held several town offices. He was admitted a freeman in 1634, and was a representa-
tive from Lynn to the General Court in 1636 and 1637. In April, 1636, he was com-
missioned by Gov. Vane as lieutenant-commander of "the trained band in Sagus," as

Daniel Howe (1637). Authorities: Lewis's ground says — 'Died February 15, 1681-2.'" —

Hist, of Lynn; 250th Anniversary of the Settle- WhitmaiCs Hist., p. 1%.

ment of Lynn; Whitman's Hist. A. and H. A. " 1681. Feb. 15. Major Thomas Savage one

Company. of ye lay-magistrates dyed aged 76. He died Sud-

'" Major Savage's gravestone in the chapel denly. — Bradstreefsjourtial.


that part of Lynn where he resided was then called. May 17, 1637, he was transferred
to be second in command of the " Castle at the island," and in November following was
" enjoyned to traine the Company at Linn."

He was probably a husbandman, yet he ploughed the deep, for he was the
master of a vessel which in 1640 conveyed a colony of forty families, who found them-
selves "straightened" in Lynn, to Scout's Bay, on the western part of Long Island,
where they purchased land of Mr. James Forrett, agent of Lord Stirling, and agreed
with the Indians for their right to ownership. On receiving information of this, the
Dutch laid claim to that part of the island, on account of a previous purchase from
the Indians, and they sent men to take possession by setting up the arms of the
Prince of Orange, on a tree. The emigrants from Lynn, disregarding the claims of
the Dutch, cut down the trees and began to build. Lieut. Howe (1637) took down
the Prince's arms, and instead thereof an Indian drew a very "unhandsome" face.
This conduct highly incensed the Dutch Governor, William Kieft, whom Mr. Irving
in one of his humorous works has characterized by the appellation of "William the
Testy," but whom Mr. Hubbard calls "a discreet man." On the 13th of May, the
Governor sent Cornelius Van Ten Hoven, the secretary, the under-sheriff, a sergeant,
and twenty-five soldiers, to break up the settlement. On arrival, they found eight men
(with a woman and an infant), who had erected one cottage and were engaged in
building another. Six of the men were brought before the Governor. They were exam-
ined under oath, then put into prison, where they remained until an answer was
received to the letter written in Latin, which the Dutch Governor sent to the Governor
of Massachusetts. To this Mr. Winthrop replied, in the same language, that he would
neither maintain the Lynn people in an unjust action nor suffer them to be injured.
On the reception of this reply, the Dutch Governor liberated the men, after they had
signed an agreement to leave the place. They accordingly removed more than eighty
miles, to the eastern part of the island, where they purchased land of the Indians, and
planted a town, which, in remembrance of the place in England from which they
originally sailed, they called Southampton. Lieut. Howe (1637) subsequently moved
to New Haven, Conn., where he died.

Lieut. Howe (1637) was elected to the office of lieutenant of the Company in 1638.
Savage's edition of Winthrop gives a copy of Lieut. Howe's commission as lieutenant of
the Lynn train-band. It is probably a sample of commissions issued in those days, and
is as follows : —

" 1636, 1 6th 4th mo.

" To Lieutenant Howe, of Sagus, and to the military officers and company there :
" Whereas we have formerly given you command of the trained band in Sagus, we
do hereby require you to see them duly exercised according to the orders of the court,
and we do also require you, the military company there, that you diligently attend with
your complete arms, at such times and places as your said Lieutenant shall appoint, and
that all you, the officers and soldiers of the said company, be obedient to all such
commands as by authority of this place or order from us you shall receive from him, so
you may be well trained and fitted for such future service as you may be called unto ;
hereof not to fail.

"Henry Vane, Governor,
"Jo. Winthrop, Deputy."


Thomas Huckens, or Huckins (1637), the sixth signer of the roll of the Artillery
Compaiiy, had lived in or near Boston, but settled early at Barnstable. Thomas
Hutchins is mentioned by Hutchinson as being one of the assistants elected in England
on the 13th of May, 1628. Probably he came to America soon after. He was ensign of
the Artillery Company in 1639. Having moved to Barnstable, he married, in 1642, Mary
Wells, by whom he had several children, and among them was Mary, who married Samuel
Storrs, the progenitor of the Storrs family in America.' Mary (Wells) Huckens died
July 28, 1648, and Nov. 3 following, Mr. Huckens (1637) married Rose, widow of Hugh
Hillier, of Yarmouth. The late Rutherford B. Hayes, of Ohio, Ex-President of the
United States of America, was a descendant of Ensign Thomas Huckens (1637).

Ensign Huckens (1637) was a member of the board of selectmen, in Barnstable,
eight years ; represented that town in the Colonial Court eight years ; a grand juryman
in 165s ; was licensed to retail wine and strong water, March i, 1653, and was licensed
as an innkeeper, June r, 1663. He was appointed collector of the excise duty, June S,
1667, and collector of ministers' rates, June 7, 1670. He was elected a member of the
Council of War in Plymouth Colony, June 5, 167 1 ; was auditor of colony accounts in
1669, 1670, and 1672; and in the expedition against the Indian Fort, in what is now
Kingston, R. I., in December, 1675, he was commissary of the Plymouth Colony forces.

He was one of the number who went to England, and under the command of Col.
William Rainsburrow (1639) fought in the army and cause of Parliament. More fortu-
nate than some of his comrades, he returned to America.

He perished at sea, with his son Joseph, Nov. 29, 1679.

John Oliver (1637), the seventh signer of the original roll of the Artillery Com-
pany, son of Elder Thomas Oliver, came in the "William and Francis," March 9, 1632,
from London, and arrived at Boston, June 5 next following, being then sixteen years
of age. Thomas Oliver and family came from Bristol, England. The Elder died June i
1658, "being ninety years old."

John Oliver (1637) united with the First Church in Boston in 1633, and became a
freeman May 14, 1634. His father settled in Boston on what is now Washington Street,
opposite the head of Water Street. That was John Oliver's first home in Boston. He
married Elizabeth, daughter of John Newgate, of Boston, by whom he had five children,
only two of whom grew up. One of these, John, joined the Artillery Company in 1680.
Four sons of Elder Thomas Oliver were members of this Company ; John joined it in
1637 ; James, in 1640; Peter, in 1643, and Samuel, in 1648.

John Oliver (1637) was a member of the General Court in 1637 and 1638, — a
colleague of Capt. Keayne (1637), and consequently a member when the charter of
the Company was granted. He was junior sergeant of the Artillery Company in 1638,
and senior sergeant in 1639. His business was probably that of surveyor, as in his will
he refers to his "geometrical instruments. In 1641, "the 26th of the 5 moneth," "Our

Thomas Huckens (1637). Authorities: For his will, made 25(6) 1641, proved 11(7)

Plymouth Colony Records; Savage's Winthrop; 1647, see New Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg., 1849, p. 266.

New Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg., 1848; Notes of There was another John Oliver, either a brother

Barnstable Families, Vol. II., Barnstable, 1890. or a nephew of Elder Thomas, in Boston, afterward

John Oliver (1637). Authorities: Savage's of Newbury. It is difficult to discriminate between

Gen. Diet.; Savage's Winthrop; New Eng. Hist. them. In the Appleton Memorial, the will of John

and Gen. Reg., 1849, 1858, and 1865; Boston Rec. (1637) is assumed to be that of John Oliver, of

Com., i634-i66o; Whitman's Hist. A. and H. .\. Newbury. The latter died in Newbury in 1642.

Company, Ed. 1842. ' Genealogy of Storrs Family.


brother John Oliver is chosen Treasurer for the Towne, and to keep the Towne's
booke." He seried as a selectman of Boston from 31st of 3d mo., 1641, to 26th of loth
mo., 1645. He determined to enter the ministry, and graduated at Harvard College
in 1645.

Early in 1640, "a motion was made by such as have farms at Rumney Marsh, that
our Brother Oliver may be sent to instruct their servants, and to be a help to them
because they cannot many times come hither, nor sometimes to Lynn, and sometimes
no where at all." — Kane's MSS., quoted Savage's Winthrop, Vol. I., p. 395.

He instructed the settlers at Rumney Marsh but two years, for he died April 12,
1646. Hull (i65o) wrote of him, "Died, April 12, 1646, Mr. John Oliver, one of chosen
parts, endued with a variety of able gifts for the generation ; but God took him away
in his youth, to the saddening of very many godl3' hearts and threatening of the rising

A malignant fever prevailed among the colonists in the spring of 1646. " It swept
away some precious ones amongst us, especially one Mr. John Oliver, a gracious young
man, not full thirty years of age, an expert soldier, an excellent surveyor of land, and one
who, for the sweetness of his disposition and usefulness through a public spirit, was
generally beloved and greatly lamented."

Elizabeth (Newgate) Oliver married, March 14, 1648-9, Edward Jackson, of Cam-
bridge. She died Sept. 30, 1709, aged ninety- two years.

Joshua Hewes (1637), or Hughes, the eighth signer of the roll of the Artillery
Company, came to America, the church records say, "a single man," about September,
1633, probably in the ship "Griffin." He settled in Roxbury on his arrival, and was
admitted a freeman March 4, 1633-4. He married (i) Oct. 8, 1634, Mary Goldstone,
of Watertown, who died Aug. 23, 1655 ; and (2) Feb. 11, 1657, Alice, widow of John
Crabtree, of Boston. He was granted two hundred and eighty-eight acres in Roxbury,
and in December, 1644, liberty was "graunted to Jasper Rawlines to make use of a
rood of upland for the making of Brickes at the Easterne end of Sargeant Hues (1637),
his Come field neere Rocksbury gate." — Boston Records, 1634 60. The "gate" was
at the old boundary between Roxbury and Boston.

Joshua Hewes (1637) was the original owner of the estate opposite Vernon Street,
where the famous Greyhound tavern stood. He was a merchant of activity and wealth,
and "held many responsible trusts both public and private." In 1641, he represented
Roxbury in the General Court ; was lieutenant of the Roxbury train-band ; was sent
with two others in March, 1648, to inquire about the complaints against Gorton's Com-
pany at Warwick, over which Massachusetts wished to have jurisdiction, and he was
engaged in the settlement of Wickford, whither he removed in 1662. He returned to
Boston in May of the year next following, and died Jan. 25, 1675-6, aged sixty-six
years. He was senior sergeant and assistant clerk in the Artillery Company in 1638;
first sergeant in 1653, and ensign in 1654.

Joshua Hewes (1637). Authorities: Drake's being the daughter of Gouldstone came the

Hist, of Roxliury; Savage's Gen. Diet.; Report next summer cV aboade at Watertowne, where she

of Boston Rec. Com., 1634-1660; Whitman's Hist. was adjoyned to the church: & in the S'l' month

A. and H. A. Company, Ed. 1842. 1634 he married her, and she was then recom-

" Joshua Hues came into the Land a single mended to our church. . ." — Re~j. John Eliol, iit

man; about the 7'h month of the year 1633, & joyned Roxbury Church Records, printed in I'ol. Vf.,

to the church about halfe a yeare after, his wife Reports 0/ Boston Rec. Com.


Mr. Drake, in his History of Roxbury, p. 162, says, "Quite recently an old grave-
stone was dug up by workmen excavating for the post-office extension in Post-Office
Square, upon which was this inscription : ' Here lyeth y"" Body of Joshua Hewes aged 66
years. Departed this Life y'= 25 day of January 1675.'"

Samuel Cole (1637), the ninth signer of the roll of the Artillery Company,
immigrated to New England with Winthrop in 1630, and was made a freeman in
October of that year. In March, 1633-4, he opened the first "ordinary," or inn, in
Boston, on the west side of what is now Merchants Row, midway between State Street
and Faneuil Hall. Miantonomah, the Indian chief, was entertained there by Gov.
Vane in 1636, and among the guests of the following year was Lord Ley, Earl of
Marlborough, who declined the proffered hospitality of Gov. Winthrop, saying, "that
he came not to be troublesome to any, and the house where he was, was so well
governed that he could be as private there as elsewhere." Longfellow, in his John
Endicott, makes Samuel Cole (1637) say: —

" But the Three Mariners is an orderly house
Most orderly, quiet and respectable.

And have I not
King Charles' Twelve Golden Rules, all framed and glazed,
Hanging in my best parlor? "

"Samuell Cole and his wife Anne (dead since) " are recorded Aug. 27, 1630, as
members of the First Church in Boston. He was a selectman of Boston from 1653 to
1657 inclusive. "13 of 10" 1652, "Mr. Samll Cole" with two others, "wear Chosen
for to receive the severall Sums of mony which any in this Towne will underwrit
towards the mayntinance of the president and fellowes or pore Scollers of Hervert

He brought a wife, Anne, from England, but she soon died. How many children
they had is uncertain. His second wife was widow Margaret Green. In a deed made
by Samuel Cole, Oct. 26, 1653, there is no wife's signature, but in another, dated Dec.
25, 1658, his wife, Margaret Cole, makes her mark, " M." His second wife having died,
he married, Oct. 16, 1660, Ann, the widow of Capt. Robert Keayne (1637). His will,
dated Dec. 21, 1666, was proved Feb. 13, 1667.

He was a special assessor in 1634, was one of those disarmed by order of the Gen-
eral Court in November, 1637, and must have been one of those who recanted. He
was also one of the " richer inhabitants " who contributed to the maintenance of a free
schoolmaster, Aug. 12, 1636.

In the list of freemen, he has the prefix " Mr." ; we may therefore infer he was a
highly respectable man. He is the first member of the Company who appears without
a military title prefixed.

Samuel Cole(i637). Authorities: Report mon eniexi&inmenV — Winthrop' s Hislory of New

of Boston Rec. Com., 1634-1660; New Eng. England, Vol. /., /. 125.

Hist, and Gen. Reg., i86i(will); Whitman's In May, 1638, Samuel Cole (1637) and Robert

Hist. A. and H. A. Company, Ed. 1S42; Sav- Long (1639) were fined by the General Court " 20s

age's Gen. Diet.; Drake's Landmarks of Bos- each for selling beer at 2d a quart." — Colony Rec.
'°"- ' Second Report of Boston Rec. Com.,

" Samuel Cole set up the first house for com- p. 113.


Israel Stoughton (1637), the tenth signer of the original roll, was one of the first
English emigrants who settled the town of Dorchester, where he was admitted a freeman
in 1633. He was one of the representatives from Dorchester to the General Court in
1634 and 1636, and was an assistant from 1637 to 1644 inclusive, serving as the latter
when the charter of the Artillery Company was granted. He was the first captain
of the Dorchester train-band in 1636, and in 1637 was selected by lot as the leader of an
expedition sent by Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, against the Pequot
Indians. Before his arrival, Capts. Mason and Underbill (1637) had carried one of
the Pequot strongholds by storm, slaughtering nearly all the inmates. The survivors were
sent into the West Indies to be sold into slavery, or experienced a similar fate in Boston.
He resigned his office of captain May 13, 1640, and in October of the following year
was chosen sergeant-major of Col. Winthrop's regiment. He resigned this place Oct.
17, 1643.

Edward Everett said, in his oration in Dorchester, July 4, 1855, that Col. Israel
Stoughton (1637) was "a citizen of energy and public spirit. Unlike modern legislators,
who, without distinction of party, are accused of looking out for the loaves and fishes for
themselves, worthy Col. Stoughton provided them for others. He built the first tide-
mill for grinding corn, and established the first weir for taking fish in the colony." Israel
Stoughton (1637) had liberty granted "to build a mill, wear and bridge over Naponsett
River and is to sell alewives he takes there at five shillings the thousand." — Col. Rcc,

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 5 of 73)