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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recruited in 1 705-6. The usual meetings of the Company were held, however, as
appears from the following record : —

"April 2'' 1705. The Rev'd Mr. John Sparhawk was chosen to preach the next
Election sermon and the Commission officers were desired to request him to preach.
Not accepted by him, by reason of indisposition ; but by request made to the Rev'd
Mr. Thomas Bridge, he preached in his stead." ^

' "[1704] April 3. Artil. Company chuses Mr. press him earnestly: but can get no Answer, He

Henry Gibbs of Watertown to preach their .Sermon; will give an .\nswer the 13'h after Lecture. I in-

chuse Capt Checkley and me to join Commiss'd vited him to dine with me. Had comfortable going

Officers to acquaint him with it, and desire him to and returning: Call'd at Brooklin as came home,

undertake it. . . . Baited at Remington's. I used Dr. Witsius's Title

" .Xpril 5'h, Capt John Ballentine, Lt Tho of 's Oration De Theologo Modesto ; told him the

Savage and Ens The. Fitch, Sewall and Check- more Modesty we saw the more vehement we should

ley, set out at 2 r. M. bound for Watertown; Find be in our Assaults." — Srwnll Papers, Vol. II., pp.

Mr. Gibbs at home. Acquaint him with our Message, 98, 99.



Rev. Thomas Bridge,^ born at Hackney, near London, about 1657, came to
America, after obtaining a liberal education and travelling in the Mediterranean coun-
tries. He settled in Boston, and continued his studies at Har\'ard College, where he
received the degrees of bachelor of arts in 1675, and master of arts in 1712. He first
gathered and taught a flock at Jamaica, but removed to the island of New Providence,
and from thence to the islands of Bermuda and West Jersey. He removed thence to
Boston, the metropolis of English America, where the First Church invited him to
become pastor, that they might enjoy the abilities of so experienced a person in the
pastoral office which had heretofore been held by famous and able men. He accepted,
and was there ordained, May 10, 1705, becoming colleague pastor with Rev. Benjamin
Wads worth.

Rev. William Cooper, in his diary," wrote of Mr. Bridge : " He was a man of much
piety, devotion, love, humility, meekness, etc., and of great fidelity in the discharge of
his office."

The Memorial History of Boston quotes : " ' He made a sudden exit from the scene
of his labor; leaving behind him a name which is better than precious ointment, and
four publications, evincing his concern for the cause of righteousness and the welfare of
mankind.' "

He died very suddenly, Sept. 26, 17 15, aged fifty-nine years, and in the eleventh of
his pastorate over the First Church. Rev. Cotton Mather delivered a funeral sermon on
his death, and it was printed in Boston in 17 15.

^ The officers elected were : Adam Winthrop (1694), captain ; Timothy

I 700' /. Clarke (1702), lieutenant; John Ballentine, Jr. (1694), ensign. Thomas
• ' Hunt (1685) was first sergeant; William Hutchinson (1703), second

sergeant; William Clarke (1703), thirci- sergeant ; Oliver Williams (1702), fourth ser-
geant, and Edmund Oakes (1700), clerk.

At a meeting of the inhabitants of the town, held June 10, 1706, it was voted,
"That a Committee be appointed to Consider of what shall be needfuU to be done
about Fortifieing the Town for its defence against the Enemie : and that the S'd Com-
mittee do make application to his Excellency the Governor for his approbation
therein. . . .

"Elisha Cook Esqr. Elisha Hutchingson Esq. [1670] Penn Townesend Esq. [1674]
Collo. Samuel Checkley [1678], and Capt. Oliver Noyes [1699] were chosen to be said

At the next town meeting, held June 12, the committee reported that the Governor
signified his approval of fortifying the town, and they proposed that the North Battery
be carried out one hundred and twenty feet in length, forty feet in breadth, and eighteen
feet to high-water mark. The report was accepted. One thousand pounds were levied
on property for the purpose, and the above committee, with the addition of Thomas

"[1705] Seventh (lay 8'. 2;>li. ... It seems '"['7'5] V [Sept.] 26. Between 11 and 12,

the Castle is ordered to be call'd Fort William; and Mr. Bridge Expires; with him how much primitive
the Governor went down yesterday, and caused the Christianity is gone; The old Church, the Town, the
inscription to he set up, a pretty many Guns fired." Province' have a great Loss. He was particularly
— Scivall Papers, Vol. II., p. 141. dear to me." — Se-Mi/l Papers, Vol. III., p. 59.

' New Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg., 1876.


Brattle, Esq., and Capt. Timothy Clarke (1702), were given full power "to manage
the affairs of the Fortifications " In October following, another thousand pounds
were assessed on the estates of the town for a similar purpose.

The members recruited in 1 706 were : Daniel Epes, Samuel Gray, John Smith,
and William Tilley.

Daniel Epes (1706), son of Daniel and Elizabeth Epes, of Ipswich, was born in
that town March 24, 1649, and graduated at Harvard College in 1669. He married, (i)
April 17, 1672, Martha Bordman, of Cambridge, who died Feb. 9, 1692, and, (2) in
1693, Hannah Wainwright, widow, mother of Col. Francis VVainwright (1709).

In 1670, Mr. Epes (1706) began to teach, and for twenty years had charge of the
grammar school in Salem. Mr. Dunton, ki his Life and Errors, calls him " the most
eminent school-master in New England." In 1699, he was succeeded in teaching by
Samuel Whitman (Harv. Coll., 1696).

Mr. Epes (1706) was town clerk of Salem, and selectman for several years. It is
said that he was "a magistrate and a counsellor for seven years." He was a member of
the Essex County militia, became a captain, and was in active service against the Indians.
He probably removed to Boston and lived there for a time, as Judge Sewall (1679)
wrote, "Mr Epes and family moved to Salem [from Boston], Nov. 12, 17 14." He was a
representative in the General Court in 1708, 17 15, and 1721, and was second sergeant of
the Artillery Company in 17 10. He died at Salem, Nov. 23, 1722.

Samuel Gray (1706), goldsmith, of Boston, son of Samuel and Susanna Gray, was
born in Boston in October, 1684. He was a tithing-man, and a member of the militia
in Boston, in 1 705. Not long after, he removed to New London, Conn., where he settled,
and married Lucy, daughter of Edward Palmes, of that town, and died May 26, 17 13,
aged twenty-nine years.

John Smith (1706), merchant, of Boston.' A John Smith appears as a member of
the watch in Boston in 1701. Administration was granted on his estate in 1706.

William Tilley (1706), "rope-maker," of Boston, son of William, was a tithing-man
of Boston in 1704, surveyor of highways in 1707, and several times was elected constable,
but was excused after each election.

March 30, 1713, William Tilley, Jr. (1706), petitioned the selectmen for liberty to
make ropes in South Street (from Summer to the sea, in 1 708), where a Mr. Grey formerly
did. His petition was granted. March 4, 17 17-8, at a meeting of the selectmen,
" Liberty is granted John Young and John Vale rope-makers, to improve the Easterly
side of South Street, for making of ropes there (as William Tilley [1706] lately did) for
and during the Town's pleasure."

William Tilley (1706) was second sergeant of the Company in 1707, and probably
died before March 4, 1717-S.

Next following the charter and by-laws of the Company in the "Transcript of the
Records of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company," are several lists of the
names of members who were fined. The following list seems to have been made

Samuel Gray (1706). Authority: Boston Records.


out in 1706 or 1707. It is valuable as giving the names of some active at that time.
The list and its heading are as follows (the year attached signifying the year of joining
the Company) : —

"A List of Forty Soldiers that are under 6/ fine for non-appearance, who subscribe
to the foregoing Articles.

"Samuel Keeling [1699], David Jesse [1700], John Edwards [1699], Charles
Chauncey [1699], John Cotta Jun. [1698], John Adams [1699], Hopestill Foster [1694],
Benjamin Uyar [1691], Richard Proctor [1699], William Clarke, N. Boston [1699],
Thomas Hutchinson [1694], John Gerrish [1700], Thomas Fitch [1700], Edward Win-
slow [1700], Edmund Knight [1700], Waterhouse Fernley [1700], Henry Jones [1700],
Jonathan Pollard [1700], Wigglesworth Sweetsir [1700], Edward Proctor [1699], Edward
Oakes [1700], Benjamin Gushing [1700], George Driver [1701], Thomas Godfrey
[1701], Thomas Foster [1701], Francis Clarke [1701], Antipas Torrey [1701], John
Cookson [1701], Samuel Gaskill, Jun. [1699], Edward Hutchinson [1702], William
Dummer [1702], Oliver Williams [1702], Benjamin Simpson [1702], John Mico [1702],
Simeon Stoddard Jr. [1702], Seth Dwight [1702], William Keen [1702], John Soames
[1702], Lovett Sanders [1702], Isaac Spencer [1702], Ambrose Vincent [1703], William
Clark [1703], Thomas Newton [1703], Joseph Briscoe [1703], Henry Bridgham [1703],
Henry Lloyd [1703], John Baker [1703], Isaac Queenoicalt [1703], Jonathan Loring
[1704], John Smith [1706], Daniel Epes [1706]."

The record of the Artillery Company for 1706 is as follows : —

"April I. 1706. The Rev'd Mr. William Cotton was chosen to preach the next

Election sermon, and the commission officers were desired to request him to preach.

Accepted by him."

By an error of the transcriber, probably, the given name William was substituted

for Roland.

Rev. Roland Cotton, son of Rev. John Cotton, of Plymouth, and grandson of the
famous John Cotton, minister of the First Church in Boston, delivered the Artillery
election sermon of 1706. Rev. Roland Cotton was born at Plymouth, Dec. 27, 1667,
and graduated at Hars'ard College in 1685. He married Elizabeth, only daughter of
Nathaniel Saltonstall, of Haverhill, and widow of Rev. John Denison. They had five
sons, all of whom were ministers. Mr. Cotton settled over the church at Sandwich,
and was there ordained, Nov. 2, 1694. He died March 22, 1722.

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

J 'TQ'T'-Q^ Leverett (1704), lieutenant; Simeon Stoddard (1675), ensign. Ben-

• ' jamin Eliot (1707) was first sergeant; William Tilley (1706), second

sergeant; Edward Oakes (1700), third sergeant ; Isaac Spencer (1702), fourth sergeant,

and Henry Bridgham (1699), clerk.

The Boston town records of March 8, 1 707-8, relate that the appropriation to be
laid out in fortifications in 1704 was exceeded by the amount of p^i2 8s. 4//. It was
therefore voted that this deficiency, "including ^11. 11. o. due to Mr. Nathaniel Oliver
[1701] for bred & beer, ... be payd out of ye Town Treasur."

Rev. Roland Cotton. Authority : Sprague's Annals of American Pulpit.


At the same meeting, Capt. Thomas Hutchinson (1694) called the attention of the
inhabitants assembled to the waste lands at Braintree, concerning which there had been
a dispute for several years, between the town of Boston and sundry gentlemen, who
esteemed themselves as proprietors of said land. It was suggested by him that a com-
mittee be appointed by the town to treat with the proprietors and adjust the differences.
The proposal was accepted by the town of Boston, and the following committee of five
was chosen for the purposes stated. They were all members of the Artillery Company
except one, viz.: Daniel Oliver, Capt. Timothy Clarke (1702), Capt. Thomas Fitch
(1700), Thomas Cushing (1691), and Capt. Oliver Noyes (1699).

The members recruited in 1707 were: Richard Bill, Edward Bromfield, Benjamin
Eliot, Richard Hall, Joseph Hubbard, Ezekiel Lewis, Benjamin Pemberton, William

Richard Bill (1707), merchant, of Boston, son of Samuel and Elizabeth Bill,
and grandson of Thomas Bill (1674), was born in Boston, March 25, 1685. He
married a daughter of Capt. Benjamin Davis (1673). He was elected a constable of
Boston, March 13, 1709-10, but refused to serve. May 26, 17 18, liberty was granted by
the selectmen "to Mr. Richard Bill to dig open the highway in Water Street," where
he lived, to lay a drain into the sewer. April 3, 1734, he was appointed an auditor of
the town treasurer's accounts, and May 25 of that year he gave fifty pounds towards the
erection of the new workhouse. He was a councillor from 1737 to 1741 inclusive, and
was appointed a justice of the peace, Aug. 28, 1729. He was a visitor, with the clergy
and others, to the pubHc schools in June, 1736; June, 1740; June, 1753; July, 1754;
June, 175s; June, 1756, and June, 1757.

He was first sergeant of the Artillery Company in 17 10, ensign in 17 16, and lieuten-
ant in 1720. He died in 1757, in which year an inventory of the estate of "Hon.
Richard Bill, Esq.," was filed.

! Edward Bromfield (1707), merchant, of Boston. Doubtless he was the Edward

Bromfield who joined the Artillery Company in 1679. See page 252.

Benjamin Eliot (1707), bookseller, etc., of Boston, son of Jacob Eliot, Jr., a
"captain in high esteem" and deacon, and grandson of Jacob, elder brother of Rev.
John Eliot, of Roxbury, was born in 1665. Ensign Benjamin (1767) was a grand-
nephew of Rev. John, the apostle to the Indians, and of Philip Eliot (1638). Jacob,
son of Jacob, Jr., died in 17 13, at the age of forty years, and left all his estate to his
brother, Benjamin Eliot (1707), "the bookbinder." Benjamin (1707) married' (i)

Susannah , who died Jime 8, 1715, and, (2) Feb. 14, 1722, Elizabeth Jeffries, widow

of Charles Shepreve.

June 28, 1703, the selectmen "granted to Benj. Eliot [1707] the shop under the
Town House, formerly let to John Howard, Scribener, deceased, for the term of Seven
years from this day at 40 Shill. p annum, June 28"' Ye dimensions are with inside 9 foot
8 inches in length and 4 foot li inches in breadth."

Richard Bill (1707). Authority: lioston ton Records; Province Laws, Vol. VII.; New Eng.
Records. Hist, and Gen. Reg., 1869.

Benjamin Eliot (1707). Authorities: Bos-



He died Nov. 9, 1741, aged seventy-six years, and by his will, proved Dec. 8, 1741,
left his property to the grandchildren of his sister, Abigail (Eliot) Davis, and of Benjamin

He was first sergeant of the Artillery Company in 1707.

Richard Hall (1707), baker, of Boston, son of Richard and Elizabeth (Holbrook)
Hall, of Roxbury, was born in Roxbury, Jan. 31, 1683. He was elected a constable of
Boston, to which town he had removed, in 1709, and also in 1724, but was excused the
latter year. Oct. 7, 171 7, Richard Hall was given liberty "to dig open the Highway
and so through into Dock Square for laying " a cellar drain.

Lieut. Richard Hall (1707) lived on King Street. April 15, 1718, having changed
his business, he petitioned the selectmen for a license to sell strong drink, as an inn-
holder, at a tenement of Simeon Stoddard's (1675), in Cornhill, now Washington
Street. His application as an innholder was disallowed, as it also was in 17 19. July 15,
1719, his petition for license to keep "common victuallin " house and coffee-house, at
his house " nigh the town-house in King Street," was allowed, which was regranted in : 720.
Having been repeatedly refused an innholder's license, he petitioned again, July 29,
1723, saying, " that he may be further indulged with a license for a trial of his behaviour,
and promising to observe the good and wholesome laws of the Province and take especial
care to prevent all disorders," etc. The license was granted, but refused the next year.
In 1728, July 5, his last application to retail strong drink in " Maulboro," now Washing-
ton, Street, was disallowed. For one year, 1722-3, he occupied a part of the cellar of the
town-house, paying nine pounds per annum.

He was a member of the Boston militia, and fourth sergeant of the Artillery Com-
pany in 1 7 10.

Joseph Hubbard (1707), blacksmith, of Boston, was a constable of Boston in
1706, and a tithing-man in 1712 and 171S. In 1708, the way leading from the upper
end of Cow Lane, easterly, passing Joseph Hubbard's (1707), down to the sea, was
called Gibbs' Lane, which, in 1845, became Belmont Street.

May 15, 1722, the town voted that "a guard be forthwith set at the house of Mr.
Joseph Hubbard [1707], blacksmith, to prevent the removal of Mr. Samuel Sewall
and sundry others at said house, without orders, . . . they having been inoculated
for the small-pox." On the same day as the town-meeting. May 15, 1722, the selectmen
met and voted, " Whereas Samuel Sewall, of Boston, merchant, his wife and two of
his children, and one other of his family, have lately been inoculated for the small-
pox, and are now at the dwelling-house of Mr. Joseph Hubbard [1707], blacksmith, in
Boston," etc., the said Samuel Sewall and others be removed to the hospital on Spectacle
Island. He was first sergeant of the Artillery Company in 1719, and was a ca])tain in
the militia.

Joseph Hubbard (1707) died April 9, 1761, aged eighty-five years.'

Ezekiel Lewis (1707), school-master and merchant of Boston, son of William and
Mary (Cheever) Lewis, was born in Boston (whither his father had moved from Farming-
Richard Hall (1707). Authority: r.oston Ezekiel Lewis (1707). Authorities: Boston
Records. Records; New Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg., 1S54, p.

Joseph Hubbard (1707). Authority: Bos- 47; 1879, p. 175; 1880, p. 190.
ton Records. ' Boston Gazette.


ton, Conn., but a few years before), Nov. 7, 1674. His mother was a daughter of Ezekiel
Cheever, of Boston, the distinguished school-master, in honor of whom he was named.

Ezekiel Lewis (1707) graduated at Harvard College in 1695, and began teaching at
Westfield, Mass., where he united with the church May 16, 1697. He was dismissed
therefrom Sept. 24, 1703, and Jan. 20, 1705, he united with the Old South Church, of
Boston.' He married, March 18, 1702, Mary Breadon, who died the 20th of February,
1703. He next married Abigail Kilcup, Oct. 11, 1704, who, Mr. Savage supposes, was the
widow of Roger Kilcup (1684). He had one child by the first wife, and six by the
second. Of the latter, Ezekiel graduated at Harvard College in 1735. In 1699, '^I''-
Ezekiel Cheever was in need of an assistant in the Latin School, and his mind would
naturally turn to his grandson.

At a meeting of the selectmen of Boston, held Aug. 28, 1699, the board, in pursu-
ance of a vote of the town, May 8, agreed with Mr. Ezekiel Lewis (1707), and admitted
an assistant to his grandfather, Mr. Ezekiel Cheever, in the Latin free school, " his salary
at present to be ^£40 per year." March 10, 1701, the new submaster asked for an
increase of salary ; but his petition was referred to the next general town meeting. May

12, 1 701, his salary was increased five pounds. He continued as assistant for about two
years, when he was succeeded by Nathaniel Williams, son of Nathaniel (1667), and
grandson of Nathaniel (1644). Ezekiel Lewis (1707) turned his attention to business,
and became a merchant.

He was chosen constable in 1705, overseer of the poor in 1708 and 1709, and
assessor in 1713, — all which he declined to accept, but was an assessor in 1707. He
acted, however, on several important committees, and visited officially the public schools.
He was one of the selectmen of Boston from 1724 to 1726 inclusive, and was repre-
sentative from 1723 to 1731 inclusive. In 1720 and 1721, he was one of a committee to
draw up instructions for the representatives, and was especially prominent in those cases
at law where citizens encroached upon the town's rights. He was elected a member of
his Majesty's council in 1731, and served to 1736 ; was elected again in 1738, and served
until 1741 ; was re-elected in 1742, and was continued as councillor from 1747 to 1752
inclusive. He was appointed special justice of the Superior Court, June 22, 1733,
having been commissioned a justice of the peace, Dec. 29, 1731.

One of his most pleasant duties, doubdess, was serving on the committee of Sept.

13, 1742, to draw up a vote of thanks to Peter Faneuil, Esq., for his generous gift to the
town, and then presenting the same to Mr. Faneuil. Later, Sept. 17, he was one of the
committee to receive, in behalf of the town, and duly acknowledge in a " vote of thanks,"
" His Majesty's Picture, to be hung up in Faneuil Hall."

After a busy life, helpful in public interests for more than half a century, he died
at Boston, Aug. 14, 1755, aged eighty years.

He was first sergeant of the Artillery Company in 1708.

Benjamin Pemberton (1707), a brewer, of Boston, son of James and Sarah
Pemberton, who mo\ed to Boston from Newbury, Mass., and who became one of the
founders of the Old South Church, was born March 11, 1666. His brother. Rev.
Ebenezcr, delivered the Artillery election sermon in 1701.

Benjamin Pemberton (1707). Authokitif.s: ' " Lord's Day, J.iny 20, 1705-6 Mr Ezck Lewis

Boston Recorfis; Hill's Hist, of ( llcl South Church. ilismiss'd from Westfielil and enterM into covenant

with i\iem." — Saoall Papers, Ko/. //., /. 153.


Benjamin Pemberton (1707) married Elizabeth Dixie. He was a tithing-man and
member of the Boston militia in 1703, highway surveyor in 1705, and overseer of the
poor in 1707 and 1708. He was second sergeant of the Artillery Company in 1708, and
became a member of the Old South Church, Feb. 4, 1693-4. He died March 9, 1708-9.

Pemberton's Cofner, so called in Boston in 1 708, was formed by the junction of
Wing's Lane (Elm Street) and Dock Square.

William Whitcomb (1707), of Boston, son of James and Elizabeth Whitcomb, was
born in Boston, April 21, 1680. He married, (i) July 4, 1706, Rebecca Townsend, who
died April 18, 1708, and, (2) March i, 1709-10, Mary Belither, of Boston.

He does not appear to have held any office in Boston.

The record of the Artillery Company for 1707 is as follows : —

"April 7. 1707. The Rev'd Mr. John Sparhawk was chosen to preach the Artillery

Sermon and the commission ofificers were desired to request it of him. Accepted

by him.

" By reason of indisposition as he was on the road, he came not to town, and

Mr. Cotton Mather preach'd in his room."

Rev. John Sparhawk,' who was invited to preach the Artillery election sermon in
1705, but declined to do so, was again invited to preach the annual sermon in 1707.
He accepted, but being taken ill on the way from Bristol, R. I., to Boston, he was
unable to preach, and his place was filled by Rev. Cotton Mather. Mr. Sparhawk was
the youngest son of Nathaniel and Prudence Sparhawk, and was born in Cambridge
about 1672. He graduated at Harvard College in 1689, and settled at Bristol, R. I.
Mr. Alden gives his epitaph thus : "Here lyeth interred the body of the Rev. Mr. John
Sparhawk, a minister of this place 23 years last past, and died the 29 of April, 1718, in
the 46 year of his age."

ReVi Cotton Mather,- then in the forty-fifth year of his age, supplied the place of
Rev. Mr. Sparhawk, and delivered the Artillery sermon of 1707. He also preached the
annual sermon before the Company in 1691. See page 289.

p. The officers elected were: Thomas Fitch (1700), captain; John

J '/'0O"Q. Ballentine, Jr. (1694), lieutenant ; Oliver Noyes (1699), ensign. Ezekiel

• ■' Lewis (1707) was first sergeant; Benjamin Pemberton (1707), second

sergeant; Benjamin Emmons, Jr. (1698), third sergeant; Seth Dwight (1702), fourth

sergeant, and Henry Bridgham (1699), clerk.

All the sermons printed down to 1700 bear the name of the "Artillery Company"*
on the title-page, but the sermon printed in 1700 is delivered before the "Honourable
Artillery Company." This was generally the style in the title-pages until 1738. The
preacher of the sermon for 1720 uses the appellation "Ancient and Honourable,"

'"[1707] April 7. Mr. Sparhawk is .again ' Memoir, New Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg., 1S52,

chosen to preach the Artillery Sermon." — Snoall p. 9.
Papers, Vol. II., p. 183.


and in that for 1737, the words "Ancient and Honourable Artillery Company" are once
introduced. Dr. Colman's century sermon, in 1738, has on the title-page the words
" Preached before the Honourable and Ancient Artillery Company." From that period
to the present, all the sermons are said to have been preached before the "Ancient
and Honorable Artillery Company."

The records of the Company do not mention either the words " Honorable " or
" Ancient " until long after these appellations had been applied to them by the public.

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