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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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Rev. John Hancock, of Lexington, who delivered the Artillery election sermon in
1730, son of Nathaniel and Mary (Prentice) Hancock, of Cambridge, was born March
I, 1671, and graduated at Harvard College in i68g. He taught school in Cambridge
in 1691, but Nov. 2, 1698, he was ordained to the gospel ministry at Lexington, then
called " Cambridge Farms," settled over the church there and continued as its pastor
until his decease, which occurred Dec. 6, 1752. He married Elizabeth, daughter of
Rev. Thomas Clark, of Chelmsford. Their eldest son was John, born June i, 1702, and
died May 7, 1744, who was the father of John Hancock, Governor of Massachusetts,
president of the Continental Congress, and the first signer of the Declaration of Inde-
pendence. Thomas Hancock, another son of Rev. John, became one of the wealthiest
merchants in the province. He was a bookseller in Boston, and, dying Aug. i, 1763,
bequeathed to his nephew, John, more than fifty thousand pounds sterling, besides the
reversion of twenty thousand pounds at the decease of his widow, a daughter of Daniel
Henchman (171 2), in whose book-store Thomas had been a clerk.

Rev. John Hancock, who was pastor of the Lexington church for fifty-four years,
was eminent in his profession, a man of great influence and worthy and was generally
styled " Bishop Hancock."

Rev. John Hancock. Authorities: Allen's and Appleton; Sprague's Annals of American
Biog. Diet.; Funeral Sermons, by Rev. Messrs. Gay Pulpit.



'731-2] HONORABLE ARTILLERY COMPANY.



445



The officers elected were: Nathaniel Cunningham (1720), cap-

I 7'2 I "2. '^''i'"; Samuel Rand (1720), lieutenant; Ebenezer Bridge (1717),

• '^ ensign. John Helyer (1727) was first sergeant; Bartholomew (iedney

(1726), second sergeant; Job Coit (1727), third sergeant; Thomas Fleet (1727), fourth

sergeant; Samuel Holyoke (1714), clerk, and Jabez Hunt (17^7), clerk's assistant.

No members were recruited by the Artillery Company in 1731. »

The record of the Artillery Company for 1731 is as follows : —

"April 5"> 1 73 1. The Company made choice of the Rev'd Mr. James Allen of
Brooklyn to preach the next Artillery Election sermon, and voted, that the commission
ofificers of the Company with Lt Colo. Habijah Savage [1699] '"^nd Maj. Edward Winslow
[1700] be a committee to request it of him.

"Whereas Samuel Davis, Constable of the town of Rutland for the year 1729,
demands forty-one shillings and eight pence, it being what the Company's land in said
town was taxed towards the support of the Gospel ministry there for the year aforesaid ;
wherefore, voted : that the Clerk of this Company pay to Samuel Davis, Constable of the
town of Rutland forty-one shillings and eight pence, it being what the Company's land
in said town was taxed towards the sujsport of the Gospel ministry there in the year
1729.

"N" I. Voted, there be a committee chosen to consider what improvement may
be made of the land granted to this Company by the General Court for providing of
necessaries for their military exercises and defraying of other charges that may arise by
occasion thereof, and make report at the training in May next. The gentlemen chosen
were, viz: Colo. Edward Hutchinson [1702], Lt Col. Habijah Savage [1699], Maj.
Edward Winslow [1700], Capt John Greenough [1712], Mr Nathaniel Cunningham
[1720], Mr Edward Pell [1714] and Samuel Holyoke [1714].

" N" 2. May s"", 1731. Agreeable to the above vote, the Committee made the
following report to the Company this day, which the Company accordingly accepted ;
which is as follows, viz : —

" We, the subscribers, are of opinion that there be a petition preferred to the
General Court, praying that the Company may have liberty to make sale of one of their
tracts of land, and the produce thereof to be let out at interest upon land security for
the use of the Company ; and if that may not be granted, that then we may have liberty
to sell the whole of the Company's land, and lay out the produce thereof in some landed
estate in or near the town of Boston, in such place, where it may yield most income for
the benefit of said Company.

" NaTHL CUNNINGHAAr,

" EDW.ARD Pell,
" Samuel Holyoke,
" Edward Hutchinson,
" Habijah Savage,
" Edward Win.slow,
" John Greenough.

" N" 3. Voted, that the aforesaid Col Edward Hutchinson [1702], Lt. Col. Habijah
Savage [1699], Maj. Edward Winslow [1700], Capt John Greenough [1712], Mr. Nath-
aniel Cunningham [1720], Mr. Edward Pell [1714] and Samuel Holyoke [17:4], be a



446 HISTORY OF THE ANCIENT AND ['731-2

a committee to prefer a petition to the Great and General Court at tlieir next May
Sessions, agreeable to the above report.

" The Sixth Article of the Rules and Orders made by the Governor and Council,
April 1638, by which this Company were to regulate themselves, accompanied this
petition, for the sale of the Company's lands, to the General Assembly with the foregoing
votes, N° I — 2 — & 3.

" Here follows the petition preferred to the General Assembly at their present session
by the committee aforesaid, viz : —

" To His Excellency Jonath.^n Belcher, Esqr, Captain General and Governor-in-Chief
in and over His Majesties Province of Massachusetts Bay, and to the Honorable
Council and House of Representatives in General Court assembled at Boston,
May 26"^ 1731 : —

"The petition of Edward Hutchinson [1702], Habijah Savage [1699], Edward
Winslow [1700], Esquires; John Greenough [1712], Nathaniel Cunningham [1720],
Edward Pell [1714], and Samuel Holyoke [1714], a committee chosen and appointed
by the Artillery Company of the Massachusetts Bay, so called, for the purposes hereafter
mentioned. Humbly sheweth :

"That whereas on the 24"" Day of April A. D. 1638, the then Governor and Council,
by order of the General Court did incorporate the Military or Artillery Company of the
Massachusetts, and did grant unto the said Company certain privileges and immunities,
among which there was more particularly, in the Sixth Article of the Rules and Orders
made by the Governor and Council, by which the said Company were to regulate them-
selves in their military exercises, granted to the said Company one thousand acres of
land for the use of the said Company, and such as should join in the same, to be
improved by them for providing of necessaries for their Military exercise and defraying
of other charges which may arise by occasion thereof; and that on the 15"" day of
October 1673, the General Court did confirm to the said Company one thousand acres
of upland and meadow bordering on Merrimack and Nashaway rivers in the township of
Dunstable, with an additional grant of five hundred acres more, which was confirmed
to said Company by the General Court, at their session in May, 17 17, in the township
of Rutland, as by the said grants and confirmations here produced may fully appear ;
and forasmuch as the said lands have never yet been under any improvement, but lay
remote and are only a burthen and charge to the Company, by reason of the taxes and
other charges to which they are subject, and the intention and design of the Donors
being for providing necessaries and defraying the charges of the said Company, which
have hitherto proved ineffectual, the said Company think it will be much for their
advantage, and the true end and design of the said grants being answered, if they might
have liberty to make sale of one, or both, of the said tracts, and to convert the produce
thereof for the purchasing of other lands in, or near, the town of Boston, which may be
a present, as well as a future, benefit to the said Company ; or to let out the said
produce at interest upon land security for their use ; and therefore the said Company,
by their vote of the fifth of April last, chose your petitioners ». committee to consider
what improvement might be made of the land granted as aforesaid, for the benefit of
the said Company, who, on the third of May last, made their report touching the
premises, and thereupon the said Company voted, that the petitioners should be a
committee to prefer a petition to your Excellency and Honors, the copies of which votes



■731-2] HONORABLE ARTILLERV COMPANY.



447



are here also produced. Wherefore your petitioners, in belialf of the said .Artillery
Company humbly pray your Excellency and this Hon'ble Court, that they may have
liberty to make sale of one, or both, of the said tracts of land granted to them as afore-
said, for the ends and uses aforesaid, the produce whereof to be appropriated as to your
Excellency and Honors, in your consummate wisdom, shall seem most meet. That so,
the true intent and design of the said grants may be the better answered. And your
petitioners as in duty bound shall ever pray,

"Nath.\niel Cunningham,
"Edward Pell,
" Samuel Holvoke,
"Edward Hutchinson,
"Habijah Savage,
" Edward Winslow,
"John Greenough.

"In the House of Representatives, June 14"" 1731. Read and Ordered, that the
prayer of this petition be granted ; and that the Artillery Company within mentioned
be and are fully authorized and impowered, in due form of law to make and execute a
good deed or deeds of conveyance of the two tracts of land within mentioned; the
produce thereof to be vested in such other real estate as may be most for their advan-
tage ; the income thereof to be applied to and for providing necessaries for their military
exercises, and defraying the other charges that may arise by occasion thereof.

" Sent up for concurrence, J. Quincv, Speaker.

"In Council, June 16"^ 1731- Read and concurred,

" J. WiLLARD, Secretary.

"June 16* 1731. Consented to. J. Belcher.

" Copy examined by J. Willard Sec'y.

"September 6"" 1731. The above Order of the General Court being read; voted.
That there be a committee chosen, consisting of five members of this Company, who
are hereby fully impowered, or a majority of them, to dispose of said lands agreeable to
the order aforesaid ; and voted, that Colo Edward Hutchinson [1702], Lt. Colo. Habijah
Savage [1699], Maj. Edward Winslow [1700], Capt Nathaniel Cunningham [1720] and
Mr. William Downe [17 16], be a committee for the ends and purposes abovesaid.

"Voted, that the present commission officers of this Company, viz Capt. Nathaniel
Cunningham [1720], Lt Samuel Rand [1720] and Ensign Ebenezer Bridge [17 17] be a
committee to wait on Colo Thomas Fitch [1700], and receive of him what money he
has of this Company in his hands, and give a discharge for the same ; and likewise to
give him the thanks of the Company for his good ser\-ice in said affair."

Rev. James Allen, of Brookline, deli\ered the Artillery election sermon in 1731.
He was a native of Roxbury, and graduated at Harvard College in 1710. He was
ordained as first minister of the church in Brookline, Nov. 5, 1718, and preached in that
parish for twenty-eight years. He died Feb. 18, 1747, aged fifty-five years.

Rev. James Allen. .Authorities: Pierce's Cent. Discourse; Allen's Biog. Diet.



448 HISTORY OF THE ANCIENT AND ['732-3

The officers elected were: William Downe (1716), captain ; J ohn ^
17^2"^ Goldthwait (1711), lieutenant; John Buttolph (1720), ensign. James X

I \J U Davenport (1727) was first sergeant; David Mason (1727), second
sert^eant; Hugh McDaniel (1729), third sergeant; Samuel Miller (1728), fourth ser-
geant, and Jabez Hunt (1727), clerk.

May 10, 1732, Mr. Nathaniel Cunningham (1720), Mr. Samuel Waldo, Henry
Deering, Esq., son of Mr. Henry Deering (1682), Mr. Edward Bromfield (1732), and
Mr. Thomas Brooks were selected to prepare instructions for the representatives. The
representatives, two excepted, were members of the Artillery Company, viz. : Elisha
Cooke, Esq. (1699), Samuel Welles, Esq., Habijah Savage, Esq. (1699), and Mr. Thomas
Gushing, Jr., son of Mr. Thomas Cushing (1691). The instructions are given in full in
the printed Records of the Town of Boston, 1729-1742, pp. 32-34.

At the meeting, March 12, 1732-3, a committee, consisting of Col. Thomas Fitch
(1700), Thomas Hutchinson, Esq (1694), Jacob Wendell, Esq. (1733), Mr. Nathaniel
Cunningham (1720), John Colman, George Cradock, and Thomas Palmer (1702), was
chosen to project a scheme for regulating a market and to lay it before the town. The
committee reported May 9, 1733, recommending that there be three market-places; one
at or near the town dock, a second near the Old North meeting-house, and a third at
or near the Great Tree at the South End, near Mr. Eliot's house. Mr. John Colman,
Jacob Wendell, Esq. (1733), Nathaniel Cunningham, Esq. (1720), Mr. Daniel Goffe
(1712), with the three clerks of the market elected, were chosen to compute the cost of
erecting the several markets. March 26, 1734, the town placed seven hundred pounds
in the hands of Thomas Fitch (1700), Edward Hutchinson (1702), Thomas Palmer
(1702), Jacob Wendell (1733), Esqs., Messrs. Nathaniel Cunningham (1720), James
Watson, Francis Willoughby, and John Steel, to enable them to erect the buildings at the
places assigned. This was finally accomplished after persistent opposition ; but, so strong
was the general prejudice against regular markets " that, in less than four years from
their establishment, the houses were abandoned by the market-men and they fell quite
into disuse." The house at the North End was taken down and its timber utilized in
erecting a workhouse ; that at the South End was converted into stores, and that at Dock
Square was torn down by the people.

The members of the Artillery Company recruited in 1732 were: Thomas Baker,
Edward Bromfield, Jr., Josiah Carter, Joshua Cheever, Joseph Goldthwait, Thomas
Hubbard, Caleb Lyman, William Rand, Ebenezer Storer. — ^ ■ - "

f
Thomas Baker (1732), of Boston, son of Thomas (1703) and Thankful Baker,/

was born Feb. 17, 1708.



I 1722, Abigail L.oney. Kev. jonn vviison, wno aeuverea tne nrsr sermon oeiore tne \ -i
■•^^f Artillery Company (1638), was Edward, Jr.'s (1732), great-grandfather. '^



Edward Bromfield, Jr. (1732), merchant, of Boston, son of Edward (1679) and
Mary (Danforth) Bromfield, of Boston, was born Nov. 5, 1695. He married, Feb. 21,
1722, Abigail Coney. Rev. John Wilson, who delivered the first sermon before the
Artillery Company (1638), was Edward, Jr.'s (1732), great-grandfather.

In 1723, he was elected constable of Boston, but was excused; and when again
elected, in 1726, he paid a fine for not serving. He was one of a committee to draw up
instructions for the representatives in 1731, 1732, and 1738, and was himself a represent-

Edward Bromfield, Jr. (1732.) Authorities: Boston Records; New Eng. Hist, and Gen.
Reg., 1859, 1S71, 1872.



'732-3] HONORABLE ARTILLERY COMPANY.



449



ative for Boston in the General Court from 1739 to 1742 inclusive. May 25, 1735, he
gave fifty pounds towards the erection of the new workhouse. Nov. 21, 1738, he was
on a committee chosen to consider the setting off of Rumney Marsh, now Chelsea, into
a separate township. He visited the schools, with the clergy and others, in 1739, 1740,
1746, and 1 75 1. The petition of the members of King's Chapel, April 11, 1748, for
additional land to enlarge their church, was referred to a committee of which lOdward
Bromfield, Jr. (1732), was a member. He was a selectman of Boston from 1732 to 1735
inclusive, and an overseer of the poor from 1736 to 1756, when he declined to serve
longer. He was an active citizen, liberal and industrious in public as in private affairs.
He became a member of the Old South Church, April 13, 1729. His residence was on
Beacon Street, opposite the present Athenaum building.

June 12, 1747, David Brainerd, the famous missionary to the Indians, visited Boston
for the last time. While in Boston, he was entertained at the house of Edward Bromfield,
Jr. (1732). On Sunday, July 19, he attended services at the Old South Church, and
sat in Mr. Bromfield's pew, which was the second wall pew on the left from the Milk
Street entrance.'

The Boston Gazette of April 19 said, concerning him : "His ancestors were among
the distinguished worthies of New England, whose names will appear in characters of
honor in the annals of our church and state. The town of Boston, his native place,
observed his accomplishments and called him to fill some of their most important places
of trust; all which he discharged with great honor to himself and advantage to the
public. In the House of Representatives he appeared the firm, uncorrupted patriot ;
careful to assert the just prerogatives of the Crown and defend the undeniable liberties
of the people."

He died April 10, 1756. Rev. Thomas Paine delivered the funeral sermon, which
was printed.

Josiah Carter (1732), currier, of Boston, son of John and Ruth (Burnham) Carter,
of Woburn, was born in that town, Aug. 3, 1698. He was clerk of the market in 1727 ;
scavenger in 1737; constable in 1742, and sealer of leather in 1732, 1733, 1734, 1739,
and from 1744 to 1753.

He was first sergeant of the Artillery Company in 1 740.

Joshua Cheever (1732), merchant, of Boston, a son of Rev. Thomas Cheever,
grandson of Ezekiel Cheever, whom Cotton Mather called " the civilizer of his countrj',''
and a brother of Capt. Ezekiel Cheever (1733), was born Jan 6, 1687. He married
Sarah Warren, Nov. 2, 1708. Capt. Joshua Cheever (1732) served the town as a
scavenger in 1724, constable in 1720, sealer of leather in 1717, 1718, and 1723; assessor
from 1725 to 1729 inclusive; fireward in 1732; overseer of the poor in 1736, when he
is first called "Captain" in the town records, and was annually re-elected until 1743,
and was selectman from 1730 to 1732. He also served on several important committees,
notably the one on fortifying the town in 1746 ; and May 25, 1735, he gave fifty pounds
towards the erection of the new workhouse. He was appointed a justice of the peace
Jan. 25, 1738-9. During the last years of his active public service, from 1740 to 1747,
he made the annual visitation of the town, with the justices and others. He was one of

Joshua Cheever (1732). Authorities: I!os- 'Edwards's Life of Brainerd, pp. 225, etc.,

ton Records; Drake's Hist, of Boston. quoted in Drake's Hist, of Boston, p. 624.



450



HISTORY OF THE ANCIENT AND [i732-3



the original members of the New North Church in Boston ; was chosen a deacon, Nov.
I, 1720; ruHng elder, July 11, 1736, and was ordained to that office, Aug. 7, 1737.

He was lieutenant of the Artillery Company in 1736, and captain in 1741.

Inventory of his estate was filed in June, 1753.

Joseph Goldthwait (1732), of Boston, son of John (i7ii),was born in Boston,

' Nov. II, 1706. He married, Feb. 8, 1727, Martha Lewis. He was elected constable of

Boston in 1734, and scavenger in 1743. A retailer's license was granted him, Aug. 24,

' 1737. His shop was on Marlborough, now Washington, Street. His Hcense was

renewed, Sept. 10, 1742.

He was first sergeant of the Artillery Company in 1738. ^
[ Mr. Whitman"'Ci8'o) says Mr. Goldthwait was "alive in 1784."

Thomas Hubbard (1732), merchant, of Boston, son of Joseph and Thankful
Hubbard, was born in Boston, Aug. 4, 1702. For a half century Mr. Hubbard (1732)
was one of the most prominent men in the town. He held various town offices ; was a
member of many important committees, and active in all that concerned the public
welfare. He graduated at Harvard College in 1721. He was elected a representative
from Boston in 1746, and for fourteen years afterward, occupying the speaker's chair
for ten years, and finally was raised to a seat in the council of the province, which he
resigned a short time before his death. For twenty-one years — from 1752 to his death
— he was treasurer of Harvard College, succeeding Mr. Edward Hutchinson (1702).
" He increased the funds of the college by his judicious and assiduous management, and
to the office of treasurer united the character of benefactor." Mr. Hubbard (1732)
gave four hundred pounds, besides various donations, to the college. He became a
member of the Old South Church Nov. 22, 1730; was a deacon for many years,
resigning in 1764, but in 1768 accepted the office of treasurer.

He resided on Summer Street. He died at Waltham, July 14, 1773. He left two
hundred pounds to the poor of Boston, and fifty pounds to the charitable fund of the
Old South Church.

Caleb Lyman (1732), shopkeeper, of Boston, son of John and Elizabeth Lyman,
was born in Northampton, Sept. 17, 1678.

Capt. Lyman (1732) removed to Boston about 1 710, and became thoroughly identified
with the town. He was a constable in 1712 ; clerk of the market in 1714 ; tithing-man,
and a private in the militia, from 1723 to 1727 inclusive; assessor from 1727 to 1731
inclusive, and a selectman from 1736 to 1742 inclusive. April 21, 1736,3 tomb was
granted him in the North burial-place. May 25, 1735, he gave thirty pounds towards
the erection of the new workhouse. Mr. Savage says that Capt. Lyman (1732) died
without issue. He was a deacon in the New North Church, of which he was one of the
founders in 17 12, and gave to that church, in his will, five hundred pounds. He was
appointed justice of the peace Jan. 25, 1738-9. He mad^ a very bold excursion into
the northern part of New Hampshire in 1 704, an account of which, written by himself.



Authority : South Church ; New Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg
1871, p. 45; Boston Records.

~ ■ ■ ■ ' ~ Authority : Bostc







'732-3] HONORABLE ARTILLERY COMPANY. 451

is given in the History of the Wars of New England with the Eastern Indians, 1703-
1725, by Samuel Penhallow.

Capt. Lyman's (1732) story, in substance, is as follows : In the month of May, 1704,
there came intelligence from Albany concerning a number of unfriendly Indians up
Connecticut River, who had built a fort and planted corn at a place called Cowassuck.
On the 5th of June following, he set out, by order of authority, with five friendly Indians,
from Northampton, and travelled into the wilderness for nine days, through much diffi-
culty. They saw tracks and heard the firing of guns, and soon came upon fresh tracks,
which they followed until they came in sight of the men. When they arrived in the
vicinity of the fort they made a halt, and after consultation determined to send out a
spy. Before the spy had gone out of sight they saw Indians in a canoe, and soon after
a gun was fired. The attacking party kept quiet till sunset, intending to attack the
enemy in the night. Capt. Lyman (1732) and his men advanced a half mile, and at
two o'clock A. M. were within twelve rods of the fort. The sticks and underbrush crackled,
but fortunately there appeared a cloud ; it soon thundered and rained. They came to
the wigwam undiscovered ; fired into it ; then they surrounded it, and with hatchets and
clubs knocked down several of its inmates. Only two of the enemy escaped, and one
of those was mortally wounded. Seven were killed on the spot, six of whom were
scalped, one for each of the attacking party. They descended the river for twelve miles
in canoes, then broke them up and walked the remainder of the distance, arriving safely
at Northampton, June 19 or 20. The General Court rewarded Capt. Lyman (1732) and
his party by a gift of thirty-one pounds.

He was lieutenant of the Artillery Company in 1735, and its captain in 1739. He
died at Weston, Mass., Nov. 19, 1742, aged sixty-five years, and "his funeral sermon
was preached by Rev. William Williams," who delivered the Artillery election sermon in
1737. His remains were entombed in Copp's Hill Burial-Ground.

William Rand (1732), physician, of Boston, son of Thomas and Sarah (Longley)
Rand, of Charlestown, was born May 4, 1689. He married (i) Sarah Cotta, daughter
of John Cotta (1679) ; (2) Isabella Armitage, daughter of William Tilley (1706), and
(3) Elizabeth Leeds. When the son was six years old his father, Thomas, was drowned
in Mystic River by the sinking of his canoe. William (1732) became a member of the
Old South Church, Feb. 24, 1722, and in 1733 was an apothecary, at the sign of the
Unicorn, near the town dock. In 17 14, he sold land on Bunker Hill to Jonathan Dowse.
He was a collector of taxes in Boston from 1734 to 1737 inclusive, and was scavenger
in 1736. He contributed ten pounds towards the erection of the workhouse in 1735.
May 15, 1750, he petitioned the town for an abatement of taxes committed to him from
1734 to 1737, which the town refused to do. A yearlatera similar petition was dismissed
by the town. He appears to have been a physician employed in part by the town, and
from 1737 to 1740 had charge of the small-pox patients and others at the Province
Hospital, on Rainsford Island.

Ebenezer Storer (1732), merchant, of Boston, son of Col. Joseph and Hannah



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 65 of 73)