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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wished to warn the rest not to sit down within our limits."

Lieut Morris (1637), thus gently expelled from the colonial limits, retreated in
June, 1639, to Exeter, N. H., where he joined Mr. Wheelwright, Mrs. Hutchinson's
brother, and on the 4th of October, 1639, he signed what is known as the Exeter
compact. In the division of the land, he received thirty-three acres, the largest



quantity any of the company received, except Mr. Wheelwright ; but his stay in Exeter
was short,' for, in 1641, he went to Rhode Island and was admitted a freeman at
Aquiday, afterward Aquidneck.

In 1642, Lieut. Morris (1637) was chosen captain of the train-band at Portsmouth,
R. I. Although he had been banished from Massachusetts, the authorities of this
colony appear to have had confidence in him, because when the Aquidneck people sent
to Boston for a barrel of powder, they were told they could have it " provided Lieut.
Morris [1637] gave caution that it should be used for the defence of the island
by advice of the Governor and Deputies."

In 1659, Lieut. Morris (1637) removed from Portsmouth, across the river to
Pocasset, in Plymouth Colony, the General Court of that colony having granted him a
neck of land called Nunnaquaquatt, upon condition that he should submit himself to
that colony, and be ready to do such duty as would be required of him as an inhabitant,
and that " he should have no contention with the Indians and resign to the Court all
other lands which he has purchased or lodged claims to, and shall have no interest in
any other land." His stay in Plymouth Colony was very brief, for the next year he was
back at Portsmouth again, and in October of the same year was chosen commissioner
to the General Court for Portsmouth.

July 2, 1647, the General Court met at Newport, and it was voted, " Whereas
Captain Richard Morris presented a petition to this court of the great charges he hath
been at in house, rooms and findings of ffyre and candles for the Gen. Court for many
years past, and finding that for about four or five years he hath had no satisfaction,
being to the end of this present Court doe order, that he shall have Tenn pounds paid
him of the Gen. Treasury." It seems from the above that when the court assembled
in Portsmouth it met at Lieut. Morris's (1637) house. He probably moved to Newport,
for the record of the General Court states: "June, 1672. The Gen. Court met at
Captain Morris [1637] house in Newport."

Edward Gibbons (1637), whose name was the fifteenth on the original roll of the
Artillery Company, was one of the youngest members of the immigration in 1630, and
he first settled in Charlestown. It was not long, however, before he found his way to
Mount Wollaston, now Quincy, which a London lawyer, named Morton, had called
Merry Mount. The latter set up there a May-pole, on which occasion he broached a
cask of wine and a hogshead of ale, and held a high revel. Scottow tells us that young
Gibbons was not vicious, although he had but little taste for the Puritan austerities. He
had heard much about the formation of the church at Salem, and attended its service.
On this occasion, the historian continues, " The testimony which the Lord of all the earth
bore unto it was sufficiently memorable, by a saving work upon a young gentleman of
quality, who afterwards was the chieftain and flower of the New England Militia, and
an eminent instrument both in church and commonwealth." Mather says, "He was a

Edward Gibbons (1637). Authorities: Sav- 1654. "Another such like Providence befell

age's Winthrop; Whitman's Hist. A. and H. A. us this year, upon the g* of December, at two
Company, Ed. 1842; Mather's Magnalia; Sav- o'clocli in the morning, — the death of Major-
age's Gen. Diet.; Report of Boston Rec. Com., Gen Edward Gibbons; a man of an excellent
1634-1660; Drake's Hist, of Boston; Mem. Hist. spirit for the public good and the crown of the
of Boston; New Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg., 1854, military affairs in this Commonwealth." — John
for inventory of his estate; Johnson's Wonder-Work- Hull's Diary.
ing Providence; Suffolk Deeds, Lib. I., p. 7; Mel-
rose, Mass., Reporter, May 23, 1S90.


very gay young gentleman," but nevertheless he was so affected by the ordination
services of Rev. Messrs. Higginson and Shelton that he wished then and there to unite
with the Salem church. Mr. Higginson and his colleague, "who were well pleased with
the relation which he gave [of] himself, advised that he should defer his wish for a
time." He afterwards located himself in Boston, where he was admitted a member
of the First Church, and engaged in mercantile pursuits with great success. He was
admitted a freeman, Oct. 19, 1631, and served the town in various ofifices, becoming
very popular. He was made lieutenant of the train-band in Boston, when it was
organized in 1636, and succeeded Capt. Underbill (1637) as its commander. His
dwelling-house and stores were on the corner of the present Washington Street and
Adams Square. He was one of the most enterprising merchants of his day in Boston,
trading in furs with the French posts in Acadia. It is also noticeable that he was never
implicated in the heated controversies and angry schism of his time, thus securing
public favor and escaping popular censure. He was the predecessor of Richard Morris
(1637) in command at Castle Island; was selectman of Boston from 1639 to 1647 ; a
deputy to the General Court, 1634, 1636, from 1638 to 1645 inclusive, and 1647, and an
assistant from May, 1650, until his death in 1654.

In 1636, Capt. Gibbons (1637) and John Higginson were sent as ambassadors to
treat with Canonicus that justice might be done to those who were guilty of the murder
of Oldham. The ambassadors were received and treated with great pomp and state.
" They arriving, were entertained royally, with respect to the Indian manner. Boiled
chestnuts is their white bread, and because they would be extraordinary in their
feasting they strove for variety, after the English manner, — boiled puddings made of
beaten corn, putting therein great store of blackberries, somewhat like currants. They
having thus nobly feasted them, afterwards gave them audience in a State House,
round, about fifty feet wide, made of long poles stuck in the ground, like your summer
houses in England, and covered round about and on the top with mats, &c." In
November, 1639, the General Court ordered "that Capt. Gibons should trayne the band
at Waymoth," and in 1646 "at Hingham."

In 1643, Capt. Gibbons (1637) was one of the committee appointed on behalf
of Massachusetts, to receive and treat with the commissioners from the colonies of
Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven. This convention of commissioners was
composed of the leading men of the several colonies, whose consultations resulted in the
formation of the Articles of Confederation or Congress of New England, which met
annually for years and conduced essentially to the union, peace, and prosperity of these
infant States.

When the Massachusetts Militia was first organized in 1644, Capt. Gibbons (1637)
was made sergeant-major, or commander, of the Suffolk County regiment, and in July,
164s, he was placed in command of the joint colonial expedition against the Narra-

In 1649, he succeeded John Endicott as sergeant-major-general, or commander-
in-chief, and held the office for three years. Speaking of his election as sergeant-
major, Johnson observes : " The first chosen to the office was Major Gibbons, a man
of resolute spirit, bold as a lion, being wholly tutored up in New England disci-
pline, very generous and forward to promote all military matters ; his forts are well
contrived and batteries strong and in good repair, &c. His great artillery well mounted
and cleanly kept, and his own Company are very complete in arms and many of them


disciplined in the Military Garden [meaning the Military Company of the Massachusetts,
which was thus called after the parent organization in London] besides their ordinary
trainings." In 1641, he was "appointed to see the laying of the ordnance in Boston,
that they might not be spoiled." Gen. Gibbons (1637) had undoubtedly received a
military education in England, or such veterans as Standish, Atherton, Leverett, Mason,
and Seely would never have served under him in subordinate capacities. He was one
of Keayne's (1637) associates informing the Artillery Company, and was its commander
in 1639, 1641, 1646, and 1654. One of his grandsons, Lieut. William Gibbons, was
admitted a member of the Artillery Company in 1691, and one of his great-grandsons,
Mr. John Gibbons, was admitted in 1 7 1 1 . Whitman adds, " Col. Daniel L. Gibbons
[1810] was undoubtedly a descendant."

Gen. Gibbons (1637), having been unsuccessful in his business ventures, losing
large sums by the Chevalier La Tour, of Acadia, received from Lord Baltimore, whose
brother, Mr. Calvert, was Governor of Maryland, " a commission offering him land in
Maryland to any of ours that would transport themselves thither, with free liberty of
religion, and all other privileges which the place afforded, paying such annual rent as
shall be agreed upon." The offer was not accepted, nor did he remove thither.

Four years after the formation of the New England Confederacy, Gov. Winthrop
wrote to the Governor of Canada, proposing free trade between the colonies. In 1650,
Gabriel Druilletes, one of the Jesuit fathers, was sent to New England to negotiate upon
the subject. In his narrative of his visit, he speaks of the hospitable entertainment of
Gov. Endicott, at Salem ; of Gov. Bradford, at Plymouth, and of his spending the
night with Rev. John Eliot, at Roxbury. He also says that in Boston he was the guest
of Major-Gen. Gibbons (1637), who "gave me the key of a room in his house, where I
might in all liberty pray and perform the exercises of my religion, and he besought me
to take no other lodgings while I remained at Boston."

Gen. Gibbons died in Boston, on the 9th of December, 1654, while commander of
the Artillery Company. His will was proved in January, 1654-5, at Boston.

William Spencer (1637), the fourth person named in the charter, and the sixteenth
on the original roll, resided in Cambridge, at the northeast corner of Mount Auburn Street
and Brattle Square, where he was a merchant. He was admitted freeman March 4,
1632-3; was selectman in 1635, and a representative to the General Court from
Cambridge, then called "Newtown," from 1634 to 163 7. inclusive. He was one of the
committee to frame a code of laws, and was lieutenant of the first train-band in Cam-
bridge, commanded by Capt. George Cooke (1638), in 1636. He was doubtless then
advanced in years. In 1639, he moved to Hartford, where he was selectman, deputy,
and one of a committee to revise the laws of the colony, and died there in 1640. The
fact that his name was associated with those of Keayne, Duncan, and Sedgwick, proves
that he must have been a man of note in the colony. "Thus it appears," says Whitman,
after having given sketches of the before-mentioned four charter members, " that the
charter was given to four persons, one in each of the principal towns in the county with
their associates, and may serve to correct a mistaken idea prevalent, that the Military
Company of the Massachusetts, in its origin or progress, has been confined to Boston."

William Spencer (1637). Authorities: Paige's Hist, of Cambridge ; Whitman's Hist. A. and
H. A. Company Ed. 1842.


Robert Harding (1637), the seventeenth signer of the original roll, came over
from England in 1630 with Gov. Winthrop, and his name appears as the eleventh sub-
scribed to the covenant signed at Charlestown, Aug. 27, 1630, by those who afterwards
became the First Church of Boston. He was admitted a freeman May 18, 163 1. In
October, 1634, John Coggan (1638) was elected sergeant "in place of Harding now in
Virginia," but he returned before 1636, when he was chosen ensign of the train-band
under Capt. Underhill (1637) and Lieut. Gibbons (1637).

Robert Harding (1637) was, as others, disarmed for his heterodoxy by order of
the General Court in 1637. He doubtless was one of those who recanted, as he was
received back into the church, and permitted to join the Artillery Company. He
was elected a member of the first board of selectmen of Boston, Sept. i, 1634, and was
re-elected in March, 1637, and continued to serve until 1640, except one term of six
months. At this latter date, his love for the anabaptistic doctrine again triumphed, and
he left Boston for Aquiday, R. I., where he became an assistant in 1641. In November,
1646, he returned to England, and in 165 1 was a merchant in London.

He married. May 18, 1631, Philippa Hammond, "widdow," who came over to
New England in the same ship with him. Her name is the fortieth on the membership
list of the First Church. Capt. Harding (1637) married, second, on the 17th of October,
1645, Esther Willis, of Hartford.

Thomas Cakebread (1637), of Watertown, was the eighteenth signer of the original
roll of the Artillery Company. He became a freeman May 14, 1634. He was a pro-
prietor in Watertown in 1636-7, in Dedham in 1637, and in Sudbury in 1639. In Mr.
Haven's address, 1836, he is called "a renowned soldier of Watertown," and he was
"invited to be at the head of the military affairs in Dedham." He signed the town
covenant of Dedham, and was considered an efficient man, for, " 11"' of 3'' mo. 1637,"
a committee was appointed to treat with him in regard to managing the military affairs
of the town, and soon after was admitted a townsman. In 1637, he married Sarah,
daughter of Nicholas Busby.

He removed from Dedham to Sudbury soon after, for a grist-mill was erected by
Thomas Cakebread (1637) in the spring of 1639, in that part of Sudbury now called
Wayland. In consideration of his building the mill, he was given forty acres of
upland adjoining the mill, and " a piece of meadow downwards and a piece of meadow
upwards " — sixteen to twenty acres. Also there were given him thirty acres of
meadow and forty acres of upland.

The Colony Records state that, in 1642, "Ensign Cakebread was to lead the
Sudbury company." He died in that town Jan. 4, 1643-4. His widow, Sarah, married
Sergt. John Grout, who took charge of the mill property.

John Holman (1637), of Dorchester, the nineteenth signer of the original roll
of the Artillery Company, was one of the emigrants from the English counties of
Dorset and Devon, who came in the advance ship of the Winthrop fleet, and, landing at

Robert Harding (1637). Authorities: Bond's Watertown; Dedham Records; Hudson's

Savage's Gen. Diet.; Savage's Edition of Winthrop's Hist, of Sudbury; Hist, of Middlesex Co., by D. H.

Hist, of New Eng.; Drake's Hist, of Boston; Whit- Hurd.

man's Hist. A. and H. A. Company, Ed. 1842; John Holman (1637). Authorities: New

Report of Boston Rec. Com., 1634-1660. Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg., 1851; Hist, of Dor-

Thomas Cakebread (1637). Authorities: Chester, by Antiq. and Hist. Soc.


Mattapan, called it Dorchester. He is mentioned in Pynchon's papers as a collector
of furs, in 1633, at Dorchester. In 1634, his residence was "by the Rock." He was
selectman in 1636-7 and 1642. He was ensign of the first military company in Dor-
chester, under Capt. Israel Stoughton (1637) and Lieut. Nathaniel Duncan (1638).
He was concerned in navigation, and left a good estate. In his later years, he seems to
have lived on Adams Street. In 1637, the town gave Mr. Holman (1637) twenty
acres of upland, "next to Mr. Hutchinsons." He probably died in 1652, for his
will was probated on the loth of June of that year.

Richard Collicott (1637), of Dorchester, whose name is the twentieth on the roll
of the Artillery Company, was born in England in 1603, and was admitted a freeman
March 4, 1632-3. He was a sergeant in the Pequot War, selectman of Dorchester in
1636-7 and 1641 ; was a deputy to the General Court in 1637, and a member of Mr.
Warham's church, Dorchester. He is also mentioned, in 1633, as a collector of furs.
In 1634, he had leave to build two houses, one near "the burying-ground " (Indian),
and the other "without the pale." In October, 1636, acting as a trustee for the
town, he received the grant from Cutshumaquin of the whole territory of Unquety,
Milton, including forty acres for himself, conferred by the town, which, in the July
previous, gave him six other acres. He represented the Dorchester church at the Cam-
bridge Synod, held in 1637, for the trial of Mrs. Ann Hutchinson. His fur trade prob-
ably brought him into much intercourse with the Indians, with whom he had great
influence, which was called into use by Eliot in his endeavors to Christianize them. In
1645, he accompanied Atherton's (1638) expedition to Narragansett.

It was doubtless on a fur-trading expedition to Maine, in 1648, that the remarkable
providence mentioned by Winthrop occurred to Mr. Collicott (1637). He was somewhat
identified with Maine, for he was elected to represent Falmouth in the General Court
in 1669, and Saco in 1672. His residence in Dorchester was near the corner of
Cottage and Pleasant streets. He appears to have resided in Boston in 165 1, and in
Milton in 1664.

His first wife, Joanna, died Aug. 5, 1640, and by his second, Thomasin, who survived
him, he had five children, the youngest of whom, Bethia, married, July 21, 1692, Rev.
Daniel Gookin as his second wife. He moved again to Boston a few years before his
death, which occurred on the seventh day of July, 1686. He was buried on Copp's Hill.

Joseph Pendleton (1637), the twenty-first signer of the original roll, left no trace,
as yet found, except the following : —

In 1 65 1, Joseph Pendleton, of Boston, witnessed the will of Robert Turner, who
joined the Artillery Company in 1640.

Mr. Savage suggests that Joseph may have been a son of Major Bryan Pendleton
(1646). Major Pendleton's will (New Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg., Vol. III., p. 122)
clearly implies that the major had but one son, whose name was James.

Edward Tomlins (1637), of Lynn, the twenty-second signer of the original roll of
the Artillery Company, came in the fleet with Winthrop ; was an Englishman by birth,
and a carpenter by trade. He was one of the original settlers of Lynn, and received

Richard Collicott (1637). Authorities: Mass. Bay; Hist, of A. and H. A. Company, by

Hist, of Dorchester, by Antiq. and Hist. Soc; Win- Whitman (1810).

throp's Hist, of New Eng.; Hutchinson's Hist., II., " [1686] July 9 [Friday]. Mr. Richard Colli-

515; Copp's HiU Burial-Ground, by Bridgman; cot bmied." — Sni'a// Pa/ers, ]'ol. I., p. iaa.
Spark's Biography of Eliot; Records of the Col. of


considerable grants of land, including Tomlins Pond, " sixty feet above the ocean." He
was admitted a freeman May 18, 163 1. In 1633, he built the first mill in Lynn, — but not
on Strawberry Brook, as Whitman asserts, — and erected several large wooden bridges in
different towns. He was a deputy in the first General Court in the colony in 1634,
and for seven terms afterward, during one of which the charter of the Artillery Com-
pany was granted. His son Edward came from England in 1635, aged thirty, and
returned to London in 1644, and in 1679 was in Dublin. In 1640, Edward, Sr.
(1637), went with a party of emigrants from Lynn, led by Rev. Abraham Pierson, to
Long Island, but he returned in 164 1. He was arraigned for expressing opinions against
singing in churches, but he retracted, and was discharged "the i" of the 4"' month,

In 1634, he was appointed by the General Court keeper of "ordinances, powder
and shott," and was authorized to impress men to build gun carriages; and, in 1637,
was chosen cannoneer at the Castle.

In 1643, he was sent by the General Court, of which he was that year a member,
with Humfrey Atherton (1638), to visit the Indians at Gorton's Plantation, Warwick,
R. L, where, we are told, he " catechized them." The same year he was appointed clerk
of the writs in Lynn, where he probably died.

Nicholas Upshall (1637), of Boston, the twenty-third signer of the original roll of
the Artillery Company, sailed from England on the 20th of March, 1630, in the
largest vessel of Winthrop's fleet, the " Mary and John," with other emigrants from
Dorsetshire. They founded the town of Dorchester, where he was empanelled as a juror
in September, 1630. Under the colonial charter, applicants "could become members
of the corporation, and this membership made them freemen. They then could vote for
assistants ; subsequently, they were allowed to vote for Governor, and were themselves
eligible to the office of assistants. Members of the company had the exclusive right of
suffrage, were members of the General Court, and owned the public and undivided
land." It was determined on the day that Nicholas Upshall (1637) became a freeman,
Oct. 19, 1630, that none should thereafter be made freemen who were not church
members. This act reduced the government at once to a theocracy. Nicholas Upshall
(1637) was a member of the church in Dorchester.

He also appears on the town records as a grantee of land there, in 1633, and was
the first bailiff and rater in Dorchester in 1634. " It is ordered by the town of Dor-
chester," April 17, 1635, "that Nicholas Upshall and Matthew Grant [an ancestor of
Gen. U. S. Grant] shall p'ceed in the measuring of the great lotts as they have begun."

Nicholas LTpshall (1637) was licensed as innkeeper in the town, in the years 1636,
1637, and 1638. "It is ordered," June 27, 1636, by the town, "that Nicholas Upshall
shall keep a house of entertainment for strangers." He was selectman in 1638 and
1642. In 1637, he was a member of the jury of " Life and Death " ; /. c, of a coroner's
jury, or jury as distinguished from the grand jury.

On the 7th of December, 1641, Nicholas Upshall (1637) joined with other persons

Edward Tomlins (1637). Authorities: 1880 (the latter being illustrated with pictures of

Whitman's Hist. A. and H. A. Company, Ed. 1842; the gravestones of Nicholas and Dorothy Upshall) ;

Lewis's Hist, of Lynn; .Savage's Gen. Diet.; Sav- Bridgman's Copp's Hill Burial-Ground; Report

age's Winthrop; Records of Mass. Bay. of Boston Rec. Com., 1634-1660; Drake's Hist, of

Nicholas Upshall (1637). Authorities: Boston; Drake's Gen. Diet.
New Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg., 1851, 1861 (will),



in a grant of land to Dorchester, for the estabhshment and support of a free school. In
the language of the deed, the grant was " for and Towards the maintenance of a free
schoole in Dorchester aforesayed for the instructinge & Teachinge of Children and
Youth in good literature & Learninge." In the year 1639, a vote had been passed by
the town taxing the proprietors of said land for the same purpose. The town, the pro-
prietors, and the grantors in the above deed, were substantially the same persons. The
historian of Dorchester believes this to have been " the first provision for a free school
in the world by a direct tax or assessment on the inhabitants of a town." Nicholas
Upshall (1637) removed to Boston in 1644, and, with his wife Dorothy, was admitted on
the last Sunday of July in that year, by recommendation of the Dorchester church, to the
church in Boston. He was, however, a large property holder in Boston before his
removal, for, in 1637, he owned the land from the northeast side of Richmond Street,
and from Hanover Street to the sea. He became noted as the keeper of the " Red
Lyon Inn," "at the corner of Red Lyon Lane and the Town street next the Sea." His
wharf, near by, was bordered by what is now called Richmond Street, and is covered
by Fulton and Commercial streets. The Red Lyon Inn was regarded as the best
" ordinary " in Boston, and the host was becoming quite wealthy when his sympathies
were excited by the persecutions of the Quakers.

When the General Court, in 1656, passed an act against the Quakers, it was ordered
that it be publicly proclaimed, with beat of drum, in different places in Boston. One of
these places was in front of the Red Lyon Inn, and Nicholas Upshall (1637), hearing
the act read before his own door, said " that he did look at it as a sad foreboding of some
heavy judgment to fall on the country." On the following morning, he was called before
the court and charged with having expressed his disapprobation of the law against the

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 7 of 73)