Danvers (Mass.).

Centennial celebration at Danvers, Mass., June 16, 1852 online

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ions which are common towards the United States among the advocates
of monarchy, Mr. Peabody has always stood firm. In the peril of
credit to state bonds, his opinion, frankly expressed upon 'change, and
as freely acted upon in his counting-room, was better than bullion in
the treasury. In the negotiation of state loans, when American securi-
ties were blown upon in the market, his aid became an endorsement
indubitable in its security to the buyer. In the advancement of Amer-
ican interest, his energy never flags. When our ocean steamers, now
the pride of every sojourner from the states in Europe, needed encour-



204

ngement in their enterprise, his capital was ready for the emergency.
Maryland, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Georgia, Delaware, each in its
turn, was indebted to his sagacity. When the products of American
industry, unprovided for by any congressional appropriation, were
jeopardized for lack of funds to carry out the purposes of the contrib-
utors, he was the one to step forward and advance the necessary loan.
Perhaps in no former instance has Mr. Peabody's love of country been
exhibited in stronger relief. Every other nation had made provision
for the expenses of its contributors. While the first opinion of the
English public placed the productions of the United States in the rear
of all others, he had the foresight to perceive that time only was need-
ed to do us justice. He furnished the money, counselled courage,
urged energy, conciliated difficulties, and gave his whole influence
towards what he assured all his countrymen would be the result. The
•event has proved that he was not mistaken, and to him more than to
any other man out of the crystal palace is it due, that the honor of re-
ceiving the GREAT MEDAL of the exhibition, not for mere handicraft, but
for the only introduction of a new principle into the useful arts, has
fallen upon the United States.

Few men in London, whose attention has been exclusively devoted
to commercial pursuits, have ever enjoyed a higher reputation than Mr.
Peabody. No other man could have assembled on the Fourth of July,
with the stars and stripes decorating the hall, the aristocracy of Great
Britain, to commemorate with Americans the birth-day of republican
institutions. Honor to him who loves to honor his country ! It is his
intention, ere long, to return to the United States and spend the rest of
his life. When he does so, while he will leave behind him an unsullied
reputation, better than gold, he will find in his own country a welcome
which no common desej-t would gain.



THE HALBARD OF LIEUT. FRANCIS PARODY.

The committee have received from C. M. Endicott, Esq., of Salem, whose
historical and antiquarian researches are already well known to the public, the
following account of this interesting relic. It was communicated in reply to
their application for a drawing of it for an engraving, and Avill be found to
contain much curious information in relation to the rude instruments of war-
fare used by our ancestors, and which are now wholly superseded by modern
inventions.

If space could be spared for the purpose, the committee would be glad to
extract largely from the Account of the Peabody Family by the same hand,
but can only refer the reader to the Genealogical Register of 1848 and 1849,
where it may be found. From this account it appears, by authentic records,
that the name had its origin as far back as the time of Nero, in the Gist year
of our era !

Fitch Poole, Esq., Salem, November 22, 1852.

jlii/ Dear Sir, — I send you a drawing of the " halbard" once borne by Lieut
Francis Pabody, who emigrated from St. Albans, England, to this country, in
1635, — the year in which so large a number of the friends of religious liberty,
by a simultaneous movement, determined to seek a refuge from civil and ecclesi-
astical oppression on the bleak and inhospitable shores of New England, how-
ever ' fiercely the wide ocean might open its mouth to swallow them, or with
■what terrors the wintry wilderness might threaten them.' This movement re-



205

suited, oefore the close of that year, in the emigration of some three thousand
persons, and among this great iiumber Avas Francis Pabody of St. Albans, the
first American ancestor of Geo. Peabody, now of London, the liberal benefactor
to your town, and also of all others in America who spell the name in this man-
ner. I have no doubt whatever of the authenticity of this ancient relic, having
in the course of my labors in 'digging out the roots, and following out the
branches of the old Peabody tree,' traced the possession of it, as an heirloom
in the family, directly from Lieut. Francis down through the descendants of
his fourth son Isaac to its present owner, Col. Francis Peabody, of this city.*

Our ancestors, when they left their native shores, brought away with them
all such weapons as were in most general use in England at that period ; and
among others was the halhard or halbert, which must have been a formidable
instrument when wielded by a skilful hind. It was in common use in the ar-
my during the reign of Charles 1st, and consisted of a staff about five feet long,
with a steel head partly in the form of a crescent. The word, according to
Vossius, is derived from the German hallcbaeri, signifying an axe. It is said to
have been first introduced into Scotland by the Danes, and carried by them
upon the left shoulder; from whence it found its way into England, and finally
into France during the reign of Louis 11th. The halbard, however, of the
Danes v/as no doubt very different from the representation in the accompany-
ing plate. From the period when first introduced by them to the time of Hen-
ry 8th, and Louis 11th, it no doubt underwent many changes. The present
crescent form is said to have been first introduced by Henry 2d of France, in
compliment to Dianne of Poictiers, who chose the crescent tor her device.

In connection with the halbard it may not be amiss to speak of other imple-
ments of war used during the 17th century. A foot soldier, at the time our
ancestors left England, was equipped with a clumsy ar^Kcitws, or match-lock mus-
ket, supported on a forked staff, to enable him to point it at an enemy ; his body
hung round with banditiers,or little cylindrical wooden boxes, covered with leath-
er, each containing one charge of powder for a musket. Twelve of these were
suspended to a belt vrorn over the left shoulder; and at the bottom of the belt,
at the right hip, were hung the bullet bag and priming box ; he was likewise
encumbered with the match-line lighted at both ends ; and also begirt with a
long sword. The sergeants of foot and artillery carried halbards. The mus-
ket-rests, after being used for upwards of a century in England, were finally
laid aside during the civil wars which preceded the Protectorate. The long
fowling-pieces, with "bastard musket bore," of five and half feet length, were
also used at that period, and were sent over t& this country by the advice of
Endicott, who was a military man, immediately upon his arrival here, as ap-
pears by his letter to the company of 13th September, 1628. Pikes and half
pikes were also used in this country at that time ; but the English long-bow
does not appear to have been introduced here by our ancestors, although used
in the artillery companies in England as late as 1G43 ; and the exact time it
was dispensed with cannot be accurately ascertained.

The dress of a common soldier, in 1030, consisted of Monmouth caps, stiff
ruffs of Queen Elizabeth's time, called bands, — round-a-bout coats, reaching a
little below the hips, and small clothes, gartered at the knee, and fastened in

* Lieut. Francis Pabody at his death left his homestead, with all the goods and chattels
it contained, to his fourth sou Isaac, and among tlieni was this halbard. Isaac's sou Isaac
iiilicrited the same alter him. The last Isaac never married, and at his death his effects
were divided among his brothers and sisters, and this halbard fell to his brother Matthew's
portion. From Matthew ii descended to his son John, and from John again to his son John ;
from the latter it descended to his son Joel R. Peabody, of Topsfield, of wliom it was ob-
tained by its present owner, who is also a descendant of Isaac. A wooden leg, said by
tradition to have belonged to the first Isaac, was also handed down in the family ol Matthew
with this halbard, until the generation preceding Joel, when by some means the leg was lost.
This tradition I have since found to be confirmed by the following clause in bis father's will :
" And this 1 would have noted, that I have left the more to my son Jsaak, in consideration of
the providence of God disinabling him by the loss of one of his legs."



206

n large bow, or rosette, on one side ; they also wore girdles, which performed
the office of onr modern suspenders. Over this dress, in cold weather, was
sometimes throvv-n a loose sack, lined with cotton, and called mandilions, which
covered the Avholc body, and v/as usually worn without sleeves. This g^ar-
ment, mentioned among the articles to be sent over to New England 16th
March, 1G"29, is thus described in the History of British Costume, p. 2G7:

" Thus pm he on liis arming truss, fair shoes upon his feet,
Ahoui him a maiidUion, thai did wiih huiiuns meet,
UCpurpIo, l:ir<;(» and lull of fokls, cUrl'd with a wannful nap,
A garment ihal 'gainst cold in nigliis, did soldiers use to wrap."

A kind of armor called corsklts, which consisted of back and breast pieces, —
lasses for the thighs, — gorgets for the neck,— and head pieces were also used
by our ancestors in New England in their first encounters with the Indians ;
but such armor, in England, was almost exclusively worn by the cavalry. The
musketeer scarcely wore any other armor than morians to defend the legs.

The introduction and use of artificial weapons is a very curious and at-
tractive study ; and were the subject in place here, which may be doubted, it
would be impossible to do it justice in a short article like the present. Suffice
it therefore to say, when first used they were supposed to be made of wood,
and employed only against wild beasts. Arms of stone, and brass were next
introduced, and these finally gave place to those of iron and steel. Bellus, the
son of Nimrod, is imagiiied to have been the first to engage in wars with his
kind, and used arms in battle ; hence the appellation helium. Josephus informs
us that the patriarch Joseph first taught the use of arms in the Egyptian armies.
The success of the Romans, in making themselves masters of the world, Avas
supposed in a great measure to be owing to the superiority of their arms.
When they first visited Britain the principal warlike weapons found among the
aborigines were the dart, or javelin,— short spear with a ball at the end filled
with brass, to the upper end of which was fixed a thong, that when used as a
missile weapon it might be recovered and again used in a close encounter ;—
long and broad swords without points, designed only for cutting, and Avere
swung by a chain over the left shoulder,— occasionally a short dirk fixed in
the girdle, — scythes, Avhich were sometimes fastened to their chariot wheels.
The Saxons, previously to their arrival in Britain, beside the buckler and dag-
ger, used a sword bent in the form of a scythe, Avhich their descendants soon
changed for one that was long, straight and broad, double edged and pointed.
Beside these the Saxon arms consisted of spears, axes and clubs. They fought
with their swords and shields, similar to the Roman gladiators. Some altera-
tion in the national arms of Great Britain took place on the arrival of the
Danes ; they appear to have brought the battle ax3 into more general use.
The arms of the Norman foot soldiery at the time of the conquest Avere a
spear, or a bow and arrow, or a sling, Avith a sAvord. From this time to the
reign of EdAvard 2nd, the military weapons Avere but little altered. About this
time we date the introduction of the English cross-boAv, Avhich rendered that
nation, in one instance, superior to all the Avorld. A great revolution took
place in military Aveapons upon the discovery of gunpoAvder. The exact time
gunpowder and fire arms Avere first used in Avar by the British nation is diffi-
cult to be discovered. Fire arms of a portable construction Avere certainly not
invented till the beginning of the 16th century. In 1521 the musket mounted
on a stock A\'as used in the siege of Parma, and probably soon adopted in
England. From this period to the time our ancestors left tiieir native country,
improvements in fire arms appear to have been very sIoav and gradual, and Ave
have seen Avhat clumsy instruments they Avere at that period. But it is time
to close this very imperfect article. It is a common failing with all antiqua-
rians to be both prolix and tedious, Avhen they get a fair subject to operate upon.
Hoping you Avill, hoAvever, exercise towards me a charity Avhich endureth,
I subscribe myself, yours, very truly, C. M. ENDICOTT.



INDEX.



Mr. Proctor's Address, ...

Specification of topics discussed, -
Danvers, a Poem, by Dr. Nichols,

Apostrophe to Danvers, - - -

Description of Danvers as it is,
Danvers before its settlement by Europeans,
The Pilgrims, their cause and motives.

Their arrival and settlement,
A sketch of our Puritan ancestors,

Their occupations, &c..
Sketches of life in Danvers 100 years ago.
The Eppes Family, . . _

Village Church, Worship, Pastor, and People,
Raisings, . . _ _

Huskings, _ _ . _

Spinning Bees, . - _ _

Biographical Sketches, . - -

Fathers of Danvers -port, - - _

George Peabody, of London,
Daniel P. King, . - - _

Danvers next Century, . . -

Order of Arrangement of Procession,
Order of Exercises at the Church,
Remarks at the table, by Rev. M. P. Braman,
" by his Excellency Gov. Boutwell,
" by Mr. W. C. Endicott, of Salem,
" by Hon. C. W. Upham, of Salem,
" by Mr. A. Putnam, of Roxbury,
" by Hon. J. G. Palfrey, of Cambridge, -
" by Mr. A. A. Abbott, of Danvers,
" by Mr. G. G. Smith, of Boston,
Letter from George Peabody, Esq., of London, -
Remarks by Mr. J. W. Proctor,

" by Mr. P. R. Southwick, of Boston, -
" by Hon. Judge White,
" by Hon. R. S. Daniels,



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Remarks by Hon. A. Walker, of Boston,
" by Rev. Mr. Thayer, of Beverly,
" by Rev. Mr. Stone, of Providence,
" by Mr. W. D. Northend, of Salem, -
" by Rev. C. C. Sewall, of Medfield, -
" by Rev. J. W. Putnam, of Middleborougli,
" by Rev. J. B. Felt, of Boston,
" by Mr. S. P. Fowler, of Danvers,
" by Hon. L. Eaton, of South Reading-, -
♦' by Mr. J. Webster, of New Market, -
" by Rev. F. P. Appleton, of Danvers, -
" by Dr. E. Hunt, of Danvers,
Letter of Hon. R. C. Winthrop,

" of Hon. J. H. Duncan, - - _

" of Rev. T. P. Field,
" of Hon. R. Choate,

" of Hon. R. Rantoul, Jr., . - -

" of Hon. Daniel Webster,
" of Hon. James Savage, . - -

" of Hon. Edward Everett,
Giles Corey's Dream, . . . -

A Visit from Parson Parris, . , -

Original Songs and Hymns, . , -

Exercises at the School Pavilion,
Action of the Town on the Peabody Donation, -
Notice of Mr. Peabody, . . -

Halbard of Lieut. Francis Pabody,



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Online LibraryDanvers (Mass.)Centennial celebration at Danvers, Mass., June 16, 1852 → online text (page 22 of 22)