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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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June 2, 1703, and married, Dec. 2, 1725, Deborah Lee. His name does not again appear
on the Records of the Town of Boston.

Edward Marion (1727), blacksmith, of Boston, son of Samuel Marion (1691), was
born in Boston, Dec. 2, 1692. He married Mary Renall, Nov. 17, 1715. He was a
constable of Boston in 1727, scavenger in 1731, and March 25, 1735, he subscribed ten
pounds towards the erection of the new workhouse, " to be paid in smiths work." He
never held any office in the Artillery Company. He died March 20, i77t, and was
buried in the King's Chapel Burial-Ground.

David Mason (1727), upholsterer, of Boston, son of Arthur and Mary Mason, was
born July 2, 1703, and married, March 24, 1725, Susanna Stevens. He was elected
clerk of the market in 1728, and constable in 1732, both times refusing to serve and
therefore fined. He served as hog-reeve in 1731, but declined the office in 1739, and
was scavenger in 1734. He was second sergeant of the Artillery Company in 1732,
and was a captain in the militia. He died July 19, 1746, aged forty-three years. His
gravestone is in the Granary Burial-Ground.

Richard Mortimer (1727), of Boston, son of Richard and Mary Mortimer, was born
in Boston, March 18, 1702. He married Lydia Wharton, Oct 22, 1723.

William Nichols (1727), joiner, of Boston, son of John Nichols, was born in Boston,
May 9, 1692, and married, Nov. 11, 1714, Berthia Webb. He was first sergeant of the
Artillery Company in 1729, and ensign in 1739 ; also a lieutenant in the militia. William
Nichols (1727) held town office but two years, when his name disappears from the
records, his last service being in 1727.

John Salter (1727), brazier in Boston, probably a son of Joseph, was born in Boston,
April 6, 1696. The office of constable he declined in 1728. He held minor offices in
the town of Boston in 1740, 1741, and 1742. He was second sergeant of the Artillery
Company in 1730, ensign in 1743, and lieutenant in 1751 ; and also was a lieutenant in
the militia.

Dudson Kilcup (1727). Authukities: Bos- William Nichols (1727). Al-ihority: Bos-
ton Records; Conlinental yournal, Match, iT]<j. ton Records.

Edward Marion (1727). Authority : Boston John Salter (1727). Authokitv: Boston

Records. Records.

David Mason (1727). Authority: Boston



Thomas Simpkins (1727), brazier, of Boston, a great-grandson of Capt. Nicholas
Simpkins (1650), "the first captain at the Castle," from 1634 to 1638, and son of
Thomas Simpkins, was born in Boston, Jan. 27, 1702. He was clerk of the market in
1729, constable in 1735, and scavenger in 1743; also third sergeant of the Artillery
Company in 1730, and clerk in 1738.

John Smith (1727), brewer, of Boston, son of Thomas (1702), was born in Boston,
Feb. 2, 1703. John Smith (1727) held various offices in the town between 1731 and
1746. May 15, 1750, he was chosen one of a committee to draft a memorial to the
General Court, praying for the repeal of the law taxing tea, coffee, coaches, chaises, etc.,
and report to the town. The memorial is given in full in the town records. He was
also appointed one of a committee to prevent said law being confirmed "at home," and
also on another committee to draw up instructions for the government of Mr. Christopher
Kilby, who was elected agent of the colony in London.

Henry Wheeler (1727), of Boston, was a founder of the New Brick Church of
Boston in 1722. He was chosen clerk of the market in 1727.

"A List of soldiers under the fine of i2(/per day for non-appearance.

"Joseph Russell [1722], Simon Rogers [1722], Joseph White [1722], Stephen
Paine [1724], James Carey [1723], William Ward [1724], Thomas Tileston [1724],
Thomas Wiswall [1724], Samuel Swift [1724], Christopher Marshall [1724], John
Chandler [1725], John Ashley [1725], Thomas Wells [1725], Nicholas Belknap [1725],
Nathaniel Hodgdon [1727], Job Coit [1727], William Nichols [1727], John Smith
[1727], John Hobby [1727], Henry Wheeler [1727]."

The record of the Artillery Company for 1727 is as follows : —

" April 3. 1727. The Rev'd Mr. William Waldron was chosen to preach the Artillery
Election Sermon. The Field officers of the regiment and the present commission
officers of this Company were desired to request it of him. Accepted by him.

" Voted that the training in May next be half a day beginning at two of the clock

" Boston, June 5, 1727. Voted, that the training in September next be half a day
beginning at two of the clock, p : m.

"Boston, September 4. 1727. At an Artillery Training, being under arms at the
place of parade, were detained by his Honour, the Lieut. Governour and Commander-
in-chief in Council, while the Proclamation, declaring His Majesty's pleasure for con-
tinuing the officers in the Plantations, till His Majesty's pleasure shall be further
signified, was read ; which affair was concluded with three huzzas and three volleys ;
after which His Honour sent down five pounds to drink the King's health. The Com-
pany agreed before they were dismissed to adjourn themselves to Wednesday evening
next, the sixth current, and then met, to the number of fifty members, and entered on
the consideration of affairs relating to the Company ; and then Voted, that there be a
committee chosen of seven members of said Company, three at least of which to go to

Thomas Simpkins (1727). Authority: John Smith (1727). Authority: Boston

Buston Records. Records.



Dunstable and inspect the Company's farm and make report on the training in October
next, what they shall think proper to be done thereon The charge of the Committee to
be borne by the Company. The gentlemen chosen were, viz : Col. Thomas Fitch
[1700], Lt. Col. Edward Hutchinson [1702], Maj. Habijah Savage [1699], Capt Edward
Winslow [1700], Mr. William Downe [1716], Mr. Edward Pell [1714] and Mr. Nathaniel
Cunningham [1720].

" Pursuant to the above vote, three of said committee, accompanied (at their
desire) with the Clerk, did, on the twentieth of September, 1727, go up to Dunstable, to
inspect and consider of the state of the Company's said farm, lying within that township,
and made the following report to the said Company on their Training the first Monday
in October instant : To which they severally subscribe their names.

" Report. We, the Subscribers, Journeying to the Town of Dunstable, on Wednes-
day the 20"' inst. To inspect and consider the state of the farm in said Town belonging
to the Honorable Artillery Company of the Province of the Massachusetts, Did on the
21''' take with us, Messrs Jonathan Danforth of Billerica, Capt Henry Farwell and Mr.
William Lund, both of Dunstable, to assist in Surveying the farm, and gaining a true
knowledge of the waste made thereon. We forded Nashaway river and landed on the
farm about half a mile from the mouth of said river, and spreading ourselves, we found
forty-eight pine loggs lying on the banks of Nashaway river, which by computation
would make ten thousand feet of boards ; we proceeded by Grassy pond to Spectacle
meadow, and on the spot, described on the platt, we found a pine tree marked B. —
dead. The surveyor marked a young tree with the same letter; from thence toward
round the first patch of meadow and came to a neck, which makes the Spectacle, and
found a dead tree with an antiquated mark, but concluded it to be our Station at G ;
from thence went Round the second patch and came to a neck and passed over and
found a tree marked on the side next to the meadow with the letter D. and the opposite
side with H, which the Surveyor advised us was Col. Hutchinson's bounds, and shew a
platt of the same ; from thence we returned to our first station at B. and directed our
course E. B. N. [east by north] and passing by marked trees on the bounds of Col.
Tyngs land, we came to a large pine tree marked B. on the East and West sides, within
about one hundred and fifty rods of the river Merrimack ; from thence we continued our
course down to the river, on the bounds of Brenton's farm, but found no red oak tree
standing, with a mark, but a large tree fallen and decayed, which suppose was our bounds
at A, but directly opposite on the East side of Merrimack there is a railed fence,
which continues the same course, E. B. N. and is the bounds of Brenton's which is
continued on both sides of the river; from thence we travelled on the banks of Merri-
mack until we came to a point where Merrimack and Nashaway rivers meet about one
mile and a half ; from thence we travelled on the side of Nashaway river until we came
to our first pass.

"We find the land generally pretty level, few intervals, — abounding with pine trees,
the chief whereof are killed with bleeding ; a considerable number of which have been
bled within two or three years. The land esteemed good of the sort ; about one hundred
and fifty acres allowed to be as good as most land in Dunstable. We found on the two
patches of meadow about ten load of hay in stack, mowed by one Mr. Lovewell, who
has mowed it for several years past. We found a patch of meadows, not described in
our platt, with about two load of hay thereon in cock. On our return we fixed adver-



tisements, inviting any persons, who are minded to lease said farm, to apply to the
Company on their training the first Monday in October next, in Dunstable, Chelmsford

and Woburn.

" Samuel Holyoke, Clerk.

" William Downe,

" Nathaniel Cunningham,

" Edward Pell,

" Committee.

"Upon receiving the above report, Voted, that the said Messrs William Downe
[1716], Nathaniel Cunningham [1720], Edward Pell [1714] and Samuel Holyoke
[1714], have the thanks of the Company for their Service in this affair.

" Voted, that the aforesaid Gentlemen's accompt of charge in going to Dunstable
to inspect the Company's farm, &c, amounting to eight pounds, sixteen shillings and ten
pence be allowed ; and ordered that the Clerk discharge the said amount accordingly.

"Voted, that the aforesaid Committee, viz: — Col. Thomas Fitch [1700], Lt Col.
Edward Hutchinson [1702], Maj. Habijah Savage [1699], Capt Edward Winslow
[1700], Mr. William Downe [1716], Mr. Nathaniel Cunningham [1720], and Mr.
Edward Pell [17 14], be continued and Impowered to lease out the said farm, or reduce
it to such an Improvement as they shall think most advantageous for the interest of the
Company; and if the said Committee thinks that the Company's money that lyes in
Col. Fitch's hands may be advantageously improved on said farm, then they shall have
liberty to draw it out of his hands for that end."

Rev. William Waldron, of Boston, delivered the Artillery election sermon of 1727.
He was a son of Col. Richard Waldron, of Portsmouth, N. H., and grandson of Major
Richard Waldron, of Dover, N. H. He was born Aug. 4, 1697, and graduated at
Harvard College in 17 17. The New Brick, so called, was formed in 1719 by persons
who left the New North Church on account of the installation of Rev. Peter Thacher. In
November of that year, a movement was made to build a meeting-house. Edward Pell
(1714), who was one of the committee that visited Danstable in 1727, drew the plan of
the new meeting-house, and it was finished for dedication in May, 1721. The year
following, the church was regularly organized, and on the same day (May 23, 1722)
Rev. Mr. Waldron was ordained as pastor. He continued in this relation until his
decease, which occurred Sept. 20, 1727.

He was related to the Gerrishes, who were prominent in the Artillery Company
about this time. Capt. John Gerrish (1700) married Col. Richard Waldron's sister,
EHzabeth. His sons, Benjamin Gerrish (1714) and John (17 18), were cousins of Rev.
William Waldron, as was also Samuel Gerrish (1709), whose mother was Ann Waldron,
wife of Rev. Joseph Gerrish, of Wenham.

Mr. Waldron died Sept. 11, 1727, in the thirty-first year of his age and the sixth of
his ministry. " He died," says Rev. Cotton Mather, " nobly. So to die is indeed no
dying. 'T is but flying away with the wings of the morning into the paradise of God."

Mr. Waldron married Elizabeth Allen, of Martha's Vineyard, and had two daughters,
one of whom became the wife of Col. Josiah Quincy, of Braintree.

Rev. William Waldron. Authorities : Rob- nals of American Pulpit; Ware's and Robbins's
bins's Hist, of New North Church; Sprague's An- Hist. Discourses.

^t^-rjT^'XTl^l^ t^-A^^



Q The officers elected were: Samuel Thaxter (1728), captain;

I 720"Q. Nathaniel Balston (1714), lieutenant; Benjamin Bridge (1711), ensign.

• ^ Nathaniel Hodgdon (1727) was first sergeant; Samuel Jones (1725),

second sergeant; Nicholas Belknap (1725), third sergeant; Ralph Smith (1725), fourth

sergeant, and Samuel Holyoke (1714), clerk.

April I, 1728, the town voted "That a Grainery be Built in the Comon near the
Alms House, And That the Sum of not Exceeding Eleven Hundred Pounds" be appro-
priated for that purpose. Jonathan Williams (1711) was then chosen chairman of the
committee "to manage the Building the Grainery." This building was erected near
where the Park Street Church now stands, and its name has been perpetuated by the
adjoining burial-ground. The granary building was erected of wood, and was "calculated
to contain 12,000 bushels of grain." It was removed in 1809 to Commercial Point.

At the same town meeting, Edward Hutchinson, Esq. (1702), and .Samuel White
were elected "to take care of the Great Artillery and all the stores at the South Battery."

On the tenth day of March, 1728-9, a letter was read to the town assembled, from
Hon. Thomas Fitch (1700), signifying "That He did Present to the Town Two Hun-
dred and fifteen Firelocks with Bayonets fitted to them, to be for the use of the town
of Boston forever." '

The town with great unanimity expressed its thanks for " So Valuable and Generous
a Present," and Elisha Cooke (1699), Adam Winthrop (1692), and John Baker (1703)
were chosen to "Waite upon the Honourable Col. Thomas Fitch [1700] with their
Thanks and a Copy of the vote."

The members of the Artillery Company recruited in 1728 were: Samuel Miller
and Samuel Thaxter.

Samuel Miller (1728), of Boston, son of Alexander Miller, was born in Boston,
Nov. 25, 1696, and married, Oct. 8, 1723, Rebecca Minot. His name appears but once
on the town records. Feb. 2, 1729, he was elected constable, but was afterward excused
from serving. He was fourth sergeant of the Artillery Company in 1732.

Samuel Thaxter (1728), of Hingham, yeoman, son of John, was born Aug. 6, 1665.
He was admitted a freeman in 1688, and Dec. 29, 1691, married Hannah Gridley,
granddaughter of Richard (1658). Mr. Thaxter (1728) was a selectman of Hingham
four years ; colonel in the militia service ; representative to the General Court eleven
years; councillor from 1719 to 1737 inclusive; was appointed, Oct. 24, 1712, a special
justice of the Court of Common Pleas for Nantucket; Dec. 12, 1729, the same for
Plymouth County; and, June 27, 1735, a special justice of the Superior Court, "to try
causes in which the inhabitants of Boston are concerned." He commanded the Artillery

Samuel Thaxter (1728). Authority: Lin- in 1646-7. It was introduced generally into the

coin's Hist, of Hingham. French army in 1671. As early as James I. (1600),

'This seems to modify a statement made by the swan's feather — a long, thin, rapier lilade, which

Mr. Whitman (iSio), in his History of the Ancient the musketeer, after discharging his piece, fixed

and Honoraljle Artillery Company, pp 272, 273, into the muzzle — was in use in England. The

viz.: Col. Beni,-imin Pollard (1726) "introduced plug-bayonet, so called, was used in England until

the use of the bayonet (derived from Bayonne, in 1690, when the socket-bayonet was introduced.
France, where they were first manufactured or in- It is to be presumed that the "firelocks with

vented). The Cadets, under him as commander, bayonets fitted to them," which Col. Fitch (1700)

were the first corps in .\merica which appeared in gave to the town of Boston, were publicly used by

public with a bayonet." some military bodies.

The earliest notice of the bayonet in France is


Company in 1728, the year he joined the Company, and was a prominent and service-
able man, filling every position and discharging every duty with fidelity and energy.
He distinguished himself in every trust. He died Nov. 13, 1740.

The record of the Artillery Company for 1728 is as follows : —

"1728. April I. The Artillery Company being under arms, the Rev'd Ebenezer
Gay of Hingham was chosen to preach the next Artillery Election Sermon, and the
present commission officers of said Company, with the field officers of the Regiment,
were appointed a Committee to request it of him. Accepted by him.

" Mr. Edward Marion, at his request, was dismissed.

" May 6. Trained but half a day, beginning at two p. m.

"June 3. Being under arms. Voted, that the present Commission officers of this
Company, with those to be now elected, be a Committee to give the thanks of the
Company to the Rev'd Mr. Ebenezer Gay for the Sermon preached to them this day,
and to desire a copy thereof for the press.

" Voted, that the Training in September next be half a day, beginning at 2
o'clock, p. m.

" September 2. Being under arms. Voted, that the Company be Supplied with a
new flight of Colours, and that Samuel Holyoke [17 14], the present Clerk, provide them
accordingly, and at the charge of the Company."

Rev. Ebenezer Gay, who delivered the Artillery election sermon of 1728, the
youngest son of Nathaniel and Lydia (Lusher) Gay, of Dedham, was born in that town,
Aug. 26, 1696, and graduated at Harvard College in 1714. He was ordained to the
Christian ministry June 11 1718, and died March 18, 1787, "the honored patriarch of
our New England pulpit n that age." He lived in the Christian ministry sixty-eight
years, nine months, and few days, and died in his ninety-first year. The degree of
doctor of divinity was conferred upon him by Harvard College, in 1785.

" To give a good man his deserved character is not only justice to the living but
charity to the dead ; for while they mark the perfect man, and behold the upright,
impressed with the amiableness of his virtues they may be induced to imitate them and
their end be peace." '

" For learning, liberality, candour and strength of mind, he was distinguished and
celebrated by the judicious and candid."

The officers elected were: Edward Winslow (1700), captain;

I72Q'^0. Daniel Pecker (1720), lieutenant; Samuel Holyoke (1714), ensign.

' y \J William Nichols (1727) was first sergeant; John Phillips (1725),

second sergeant; Thomas Edwards (1724), third sergeant; Jabez Hunt (1727), fourth

sergeant; Samuel Holyoke (1714), clerk, and Jabez Hunt (1727), clerk's assistant.

Sept. 19, 1726, the principal owners of the mills near Mill Bridge were Nathaniel
Byfield (1679), Simeon Stoddard (1675), Elisha Cooke (1699), and Edward Hutchinson
(1702), who appeared before the selectmen in regard to repairing Mill Bridge.^ It was

Rev. Ebenezer Gay. Authorities : Hists. ° Not entered on town books until March 26,

of Hingham; Obituary in Alassachusetls Gazette. 1729.

' Newspaper of March, 1787.




agreed that repairs should be made, and that Elisha Cooke (1699) and Edward Hutch-
inson (1702), of the mill owners, and Thomas Gushing (1691) and Capt. Nathaniel
Green (1722), of the selectmen, should have the care of the repairs.

In the Records of Boston Selectmen, 17 16-1736, and on page 184, as printed by
the record commissioners, there is given a list of the tombs in the South burying-place,
on the south line, with their numbers. Of the sixty-seven tombs, twenty-four bear the
names of members of the Artillery Company, and several others bear their family

No. No.

2. Oliver Noyes (1699). 36.

3. Capt. James Gooch (1714). 37.

4. Mr. Thomas Gushing (1691). 39.
9. Mr. Ezekiel Lewis (1707). 40.

10. Mr. Robert Gutteridge (1694). 44.

12. Jeremiah Allen, Esq. (1694). 49.

14. Capt. Adino Bulfinch (1702). 50.

20. Mr. John Coney (1662). 55.

21. Mr. Samuel Barrat (1717). 57.
25. Mr. Samuel Rand (1720). 60.
28. Mr. Silence Allen (1700). 65.
33. Mr. Jeremiah Belknap (171 1). 69.

Penn Townsend, Esq. (1674).
Mr. John Borland (1692).
Mr. Barrat Dyer ( i 7 1 1 ) .
Mr. Nathaniel Cunningham (1720).
Mr. Thomas Downe (1733).
Mr. John Hunt (1709).
Nathaniel Byfield, Esq. (1679).
Mr. John Wendell (1733).
Mr. Thomas Jackson (1692).
Mr. Nicholas Buttolph (1694).
Zechariah Thayer (1722).
Jonathan Williams, Jr. (1729).

March 11, 1729, the town voted, " That the Selectmen be desired to wait upon the
Honourable Thomas Fitch Esq [1700], with the Thanks of the town for his So free Lone
of So much Money to the Town for the Purchasing of wheat for the Towns LTse."

The members of the Artillery Company recruited in 1729 were: Samuel Adams,
William Brattle, Edward Emerson, Knight Leverett, Hugh McDaniel, Sampson Salter,
Jonathan Williams, Jr.

Samuel Adams (1729), a brewer, of Boston, son of Capt. John (1691), was bap-
tized May 12, 1689. He married, April 21, 1713, Mary,only daughter of Richard Fifield,
of Boston, and he died March 8, 1748.' They were the parents of Samuel .Xdams, signer
of the Declaration of Independence and Governor of Massachusetts. The latter
married, in 1749, Elizabeth Checkley, daughter of Rev. Samuel and Elizabeth (Rolfe)

Samuel Adams (1729) was clerk of the market in 1727, and subsequently held
various town offices, and was active in public matters. He was for many years a justice
of the peace, selectman, and representative. Gov. Shirley negatived him as a member
of the council in 1 747, because " he had been too outspoken in his opposition to the
encroachments of the Crown upon the rights of the people." His son said of him,
" He was a wise man and a good man."

Samuel Adams (1729). Authorities: Hist,
of Adams Family; New Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg.,

' " Last week died and was decently interred
the remains of Samuel Adams Esq : a gentleman
who sustained many public offices among us and for
some time past represented this town in the General

.\ssembly. He was one who well understood and
rightly pursued the civil and religious interests of
this people; a true New England Man; an honest
Patriot. Help, Lord, for such wise and godly men
cease, and such faithful members fail from among
the sons of New England." — Independent Adver-


Mr. Adams (1729) joined the Old South Church in 1706, and united in the forma-
tion, in 1715, of what became known as the New South Church, in Summer Street.
He was lieutenant of the Artillery Company in 1737.

William Brattle (1729), of Cambridge, son of William and Elizabeth (Hayman)
Brattle, and grandson of Capt. Thomas (1675) and Elizabeth (Tyng) Brattle, of Boston,
and nephew of Edward (1694), was born April 18, 1706. He married, Nov. 23, 1727,
Katherine, daughter of Gov. Gurdon Saltonstall, and had nine children, of whom only
two survived to maturity. His grandmother was a daughter of Capt. William Tyng
(1638). His wife, Katherine, died April 28, 1752, aged forty-seven years, and he
married, Nov. 2, 1755, Martha Allen, a widow, daughter of Col. Thomas Fitch (1700).

Rev. Lucius R. Paige, in his History of Cambridge, gives the following sketch
of him : —

"Gen. William Brattle [1729] graduated at Harvard College in 1722, resided in the
house which still bears his name on Brattle Street, and was successively physician,
preacher, and lawyer, and was attorney-general, 1736 and 1747. An inordinate love of
popularity seems to have been one of his most striking characteristics ; and his taste
was abundantly gratified. He was appointed justice of the peace in 1729, at the early
age of twenty-three years; was selectman twenty-one years, between 1729 and 1772;
representative ten years, first elected in 1729; member of the council from 1755 to
1773, except the single year 1769, when he was negatived by the Governor. As early as
1729, he was major; captain of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery in 1733 ; adjutant-
general as early as 1758, and brigadier-general in 1762. Up to 1769, Gen. Brattle
[1729] seems to have advocated the popular rights, and was probably negatived by the
royal Governor as a punishment. But soon afterwards he received new light concerning
the matter in dispute between the provinces and Great Britain, and was allowed to

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