A Stated Meeting of the Society was held, by invitation of Mr. Henry Herbert Edes, at No. 62 Buckingham Street, Cambridge, on Wednesday, 23 April, 1913, at eight o’clock in the evening, the President, Henry Lefavour, LL. D., in the chair.

    The Records of the last Stated Meeting were read and approved.

    The President appointed the following Committees in anticipation of the Annual Meeting:

    To nominate candidates for the several offices, — Messrs. George Vasmer Leverett, Melville Madison Bigelow, and George Wigglesworth.

    To examine the Treasurer’s accounts, — Messrs. Allan Forbes and Charles Sedgwick Rackemann.

    The President announced the death on the eleventh of March of Dr. John Shaw Billings, a Corresponding Member, and on the thirty-first of March of John Pierpont Morgan, an Honorary Member.

    Mr. Henry H. Edes exhibited and presented to the Society a portrait of the Society’s second President, Edward Wheelwright, painted in 1857 by Mr. Wheelwright’s friend, classmate, and fellow-artist William Morris Hunt; and it was voted that the thanks of the Society be given to Mr. Edes for his most acceptable gift.

    The Treasurer announced that several members of the Society had subscribed funds for the erection of a memorial to Thomas Hutchinson; whereupon, on motion of Mr. John Trowbridge, it was —

    Voted, That the gift of our honored senior member, Mr. William Endicott, and other of our associates, of funds for the erection in the First Church in Boston of a memorial to Governor Hutchinson, to be offered to the Church in the name and as the gift of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, be gratefully accepted.

    Voted, That the President be authorized and requested to appoint a Committee of three members of the Society to confer with the Memorials Committee of the First Church, and to make all arrangements for preparing and placing this tablet.

    The President appointed as this committee Mr. Henry Herbert Edes, the Rev. Charles Edwards Park, and Mr. Thomas Minns.

    Mr. Frederick L. Gay exhibited several books and a photograph of a portrait of Hugh Peters, and made the following remarks:

    On reading the Quinquennial Catalogue of the Officers and Graduates of Harvard University, I was surprised to find no mention of the names of the members of the first Board of Overseers. The names of those appointed by the General Court “to take order for a colledge at Newtowne,” and of those who held office at the first Commencement, seem worthy of a few lines of printer’s ink, to say the least. They were all men of distinction in their time, and to ignore them entirely is to blot out the memory of their help to the cause of learning in this country. Their names are practically buried from sight. To find them one must dig up the pages of the Massachusetts Colony Records and New Englands First Fruits. On November 20, 1637:

    For the colledge, the Governor, Mr Winthrope, the Deputy, Mr Dudley, the Treasurer, Mr Bellingham, Mr Humfrey, Mr Herlakenden, Mr Staughton, Mr Cotton, Mr Wilson, Mr Damport, Mr Wells, Mr Sheopard, & Mr Peters, these, or the greater part of them, whereof Mr Winthrope, Mr Dudley, or Mr Bellingham, to bee alway one, to take order for a colledge, at Newetowne.391

    Com̄ittee as to ye colledg at New Towne.

    This body of men made up the first Board of Overseers of Harvard College in 1637. Its membership was unchanged, so far as we know, until 1642, except by the dropping out of Roger Harlakenden, who died in 1638. John Endicott appears as a member in 1642, the full Board being then made up of twelve men, as follows: John Winthrop, John Endicott, Thomas Dudley, Richard Bellingham, John Humphrey, Israel Stoughton, also John Cotton, John Wilson, John Davenport, Thomas Weld, Hugh Peter, Thomas Shepard, “inspectoribus.”392

    At the first Commencement only six were probably present, viz. Winthrop, Endicott, Bellingham, Cotton, Wilson, Shepard. Of the other members, Weld, Peter, and Humphrey were then in England, Stoughton was apparently on the way thither, and Davenport had gone to New Haven in 1638. Sibley says, “I do not find any record of the day or the month, in 1642, when the first Commencement was held. Probably it was in October.” Although quoted by him on his next page, he overlooks the fact that the letter sent over by the governor and divers of the ministers describing the manner of the late Commencement is plainly dated “September the 26. 1642.”393 This proves that Commencement took place before September twenty-sixth.

    On the very next day after this letter was written the General Court changed the membership of the Board of Overseers:

    Whereas . . . there was appointed & named six matrats & six eldrs to order the colledge at Cambridge, of wch twelue some are removed out of this iurisdiction,—


    It is therefore ordered, that the Governr & Deputy for the time being, & all the matrats of this iurisdiction, together with the teaching eldrs of the sixe next adioyning townes, that is, Cambridge, Watertowne, Charlestowne, Boston, Roxberry, & Dorchester, & the p̃sident of the colledge for the time being, shall have from time to time full power & authority to make & establish all such orders, statutes, & constitutions as they shall see necessary . . .394

    College overseers.

    From 1642 until 1780 it is an easy matter to tell who was an Overseer for a given year by referring to Whitmore’s Civil List and six town histories, some of which have indexes.

    Hugh Peter, fourth pastor of the Salem church, was one of the first Board of Overseers. He wrote about twenty books and tracts, and many of his letters were printed during his lifetime in the English journals of the day. Everything he wrote has a certain historical value, and, apart from his official relations with Harvard, deserves a place in some corner of the College Library. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, and took his degree of A.M. in 1622. As preacher of a monthly lecture at Sepulchre’s, London, he attracted crowds of people, but the authorities of the established church forced from him a written submission to their discipline. Again he found himself in trouble. This time we read:

    Master Hugh Peter was apprehended by a Pursevant, imprisoned for a time in the New-prison, silenced here from his Ministry, and forced into Holland by the Arch-bishop, onely for praying at Sepulchers Church for the Queen, in these words, That as shee came into a Goshen of safety, so the light of Goshen might shine into her soule, that shee might not perish in the day of Christ; as himselfe and sundry others will depose.395

    When in Holland he wrote the first book that has come to our notice. It is a little catechism, of which there were many in those days before they were superseded by the Westminster Assembly’s Longer and Shorter Catechisms. As no bibliographical description of the volume has yet appeared, and as it is of undoubted rarity, I venture to lay it before you for examination and comment.

    Milk for Babes, / And / Meat for Men. / Or / Principles necessary, to bee known / and learned, of such as would know / Christ here, or be known of him / hereafter. / [5 lines from Bible] / [Printer’s mark] / [3 lines from Bible] / Imprinted Anno 1630.

    Collation: Title-page, verso blank, 1 leaf; “Epistle to those . . . I . . . hold deere in Sepulchers London,” etc., 1 leaf; “Epistle to those whom my ministry,” etc., 1 leaf; text, pp. 1–39; verso of p. 39 blank.

    Signatures: A–B in eights, C in seven (copies in original binding probably have a blank leaf, completing C in eight). “D4” is a misprint for C4.

    [6] + 39 p. 24 mo. No place or name of printer.

    The two Epistles follow:


    To those, whom I have reason to hold deere in Sepulchers London, & elswhere in England, where I have spent the poore Talent, the Lord hath lent mee.

    Beloved Freinds.

    It often falls out whilst some have thought it nothing to quit the outworks, and have blamed the watch that guarded them, the enemy hath goten within the ports, & the chiefe Cittadell hath been endangered.

    Give mee leave to tell you, that the cause of all uneven walking, carnall fearing, & painted profession amongst you, ariseth from a hart either unbroken or unbottomed.

    For the former of these, you have had amongst you my poore endevours, I wish they had been more spirituall, more prevalent.

    You had my liberty, and I wish my life had gone with it, could that have accomplished the end of my labours, the salvation of your soules in the day of the Lord. I complaine not of unanswerable love from you.

    For the second, I send you this token, not that you want Catechismes, but that you may still know how much Water cannot quench my love.

    Commend mee to your Children and Servants and give them this. And know, that good things, if they bee not esteemd in the abundance of them, will be better valued by their want.

    Oh walke worthy of the Gospell, lest with some desolate Churches you once say: Wee had the Gospell.

    I commend you all to his grace, who is able to keepe you in the Fellowship of the Gospel and rest.

    Yours in him

    H. P.


    To those, whom my Ministry may concerne in the Netherlands, especially these of Rotterdam, who have had most of my Labours.

    Loving Freinds.

    I know what meanes, what mercies you injoy in these parts, & yet I am not ignorant, what disadvantages Godlines in the power of it hath, by errour in judgment, and loosenes in life; Look well, and you will finde, it is not all gold that glistereth: Beleeve it, A compleate Christian, is allmost as dainty as the man the Lord lookt for, Ezech. 22. Wherfore as you meet with my labours in publicke, so accept of this for you, & yours in private.

    You have many other helps; but having resolved to pitch upon something of this kind, and finding all said before that could bee sayd, I pitcht upon this ground-worke, which I put into this order, for your Fartherance.

    Never dreame of building without foundations, when you have well disgested this Milke, you must then bee fit for stronger Meat.

    The Lord makes us wise with Ioseph, it is getting time, there will come a spending. And remember that if ever your poore Infants bee driven to wildernesses, to hollow caves, to Fagot and Fire, or to sorrowes of any Kinde, they will thanke God & you, they were well catechized.

    The comfort of these principles hee wisheth you who is

    Yours in the Rock Christ.

    H. P.

    In this description it is to be noted that the two Epistles are signed “H. P.” We know that Hugh Peter preached at Sepulchre’s, London; that he labored in the work of the ministry in Rotterdam; that the initials of his name were H. P. With this combination in mind we can safely attribute the authorship of the catechism to Hugh Peter. All doubts, however, are set at rest by Mr. Wilberforce Eames’s discovery of a second edition of the catechism printed in London in 1641. The title-page of this second edition bears the author’s name, “By Hugh Peters, some time lecturer at St. Sepulchre’s, London, now teacher in New England.”396

    A sermon on the Gunpowder Plot, London, 1652, by William Ames, of the Class of 1645, is said by Sibley to be the first work printed by any Harvard College graduate.397 But Ames no longer heads the procession of Harvard’s writers, having fallen into the third place in the line. The second place is now held by George Downing, of the Class of 1642, who first comes forward as an author in 1651. He in turn makes way for Benjamin Woodbridge, of the same Class of 1642, whose first book was printed in 1648, six years after his graduation.

    George Downing’s name first appeared in print in the list of commences who took their degrees at Harvard College in the Class of 1642. This list was printed in that year at Cambridge in New England, and was reprinted in New Englands First Fruits in London in 1643. We next catch a glimpse of him in Gangræna, written by Thomas Edwards, the avowed opponent of toleration and liberty of conscience, the last and strongest hold of Satan.

    August 16, 1646. Preached at Hackney one Master Downing, a Preacher of the Army, and a young Peters (as he was called) some. Who were eare-witnesses told me of his Sermon, and it was to this effect; That the Country people say (that is he meant the Sectaries in the Army say) that the Parliament would do them good, but the Lord Major, the Common-Councell and the Citizens of London would not permit them; he feared God would bring the Plague upon them, and Risings among them; and the cause of all was, the uncharitablenesse of London against the Saints; and that the opposition now was not between worldly men, but between Saints and Saints.

    This Downing, alias Peter junior, spake in Hackney pulpit of the Common Councell of London at that time in way of aspersion of them as if they were for the Cavaliers, that when they entered Oxford, the Cavaliers told them, Tis your turn now, it may be ours hereafter, for we have the City of London and the Common Councell for us.398

    Downing was on terms of intimacy with Hugh Peter from the days of his youth in Salem. Their families were connected by marriage in a roundabout way, and Peter doubtless had an eye for young Downing’s advancement in England. Their known connection may have given rise to the above allusions to Peter. After serving as chaplain in the regiment of Colonel Okey, whom he later foully betrayed to his death, Downing rose to the post of Scoutmaster-General to the Parliamentary army in Scotland. While serving with the forces there he wrote the following pamphlet:

    A True / Relation / Of the Progress of the Parliaments Forces in / Scotland: / Together with the / King’s / Wholly abandoning Scotland, and, in de- / spair, with what Forces were left them, march- / ing into England: with part of our / Forces in his Van: and my / Lord General / following in his Reer. / By an Express Messenger to the Council of State. / [Arms of the Commonwealth] / London, Printed by William Du-Gard, by the appointment of the / Council of State, Anno Dom. 1651.

    Collation: Title-page, verso blank, 1 leaf; text of “A Letter to the Honorable Council,” etc., signed “G. Downing,” pp. 1–3; “Postcript,” p. 4; “A letter from the Council of State,” etc., p. 5; verso has the Arms of the Commonwealth.

    Signature A in 4.

    [2] — 5 p. 12 mo.

    In marrying Lady Frances Howard, daughter of Sir William Howard of Naworth, and sister of the first Earl of Carlisle, the future of Downing was firmly established socially, and his marked capacity for intrigue and genius for adaptability, to use no harsher term, led to his later success. John Adams wrote: “To borrow the language of the great Dr. Johnson, this ‘dog’ Downing, must have had a head and brains, or, in other words, genius and address; but, if we may believe history, he was a scoundrel.”

    On his marriage a Latin poem was written by Payne Fisher, Oliver Cromwell’s poet laureate, a voluminous writer of Latin panegyrics. This work is cited by Sibley in his sketch of Downing. As it is a book not often met with, I have brought a copy to show the rapid rise of the man thus honored with an Epithalamium.

    Inauguratio / Olivariana, / sive pro / Præfectura Serenissimi Principis / Angliæ, Scotiæ, & Hiberniæ, / Dom. / Proctectoris / Olivari: / Carmen Votivum. / [2 lines Latin poetry] / Londini, / Typis New-combiams; /Anno Nostræ Salutis- Olivari Protectoris-

    Collation: Engraved frontispiece, with the inscription “Laurus comes oliva,” recto blank, 1 leaf; title-page, verso blank, 1 leaf; [Epistola dedicatoria], 2 leaves; “Ad Olivarum,” etc., 1 page; “In serenissimi Olivarii,” etc., 2 pages; “Ad amicum F. F.,” etc., 1 page; “Charissimo . . . Fishero,” etc., 1 page; “In Olivarianem,” etc., 1 page; “In Augustissimam,” etc., 1 page; “Ad eruditissimum,” etc., 1 page; text of “Inauguratio Oliveriana,” pp. 1–92; “In nuptias . . . G. Downingi,” pp. 93–97; “Epithalamium,” etc., pp. 98–100; “Ad . . . Whalaeum . . . ,” pp. 101–102; “Ornatissimo . . . Whalaeio . . . ,” pp. 103–104; “In . . . Richardum,” etc., pp. 105–106; “Fortissimo . . . ,” etc., p. 107; “In obitum,” etc., pp. 108–109; “Optimae spei,” etc., pp. 110–111; p. 112 blank; “In obitum . . . R. Deane,” etc., pp. 113–118.

    Signatures: 4 leaves without signature, / in four, A–O in fours, P in three (copies in original binding probably have a blank leaf, completing P in four).

    [16] — 118 pp. 8mo.

    The last book to lay before you to-night is the first book printed by the first named member in the College catalogue of the first class of graduates, Benjamin Woodbridge. Down to Sibley’s day this book was known only by a second edition bearing the author’s name on the title-page. Printed in 1648, the authorship was more or less hidden under the latinized name Filodexter Transilvanus.

    Church-Members / set in / Joynt. / Or, / A Discovery of the unwarrantable and / disorderly practice of private christians, / in usurping the peculiar Office and work / of Christs own Pastours, namely / Publike Preaching. / In way of Answer to a Book printed under the / name of Lieutenant Edmund Chillenden / (but indeed none of his) entituled / Preaching without Ordination. / Wherein all the Arguments by him produced, are fully / Answered and disproved, the truth of the contrary evi- / denced, and the Office forementioned, thereby returned / into the hands of the right owners. / By Filodexter Transilvanus. / [6 lines from Bible] / London, Printed for Edmund Paxton, and are to be sold / at his Shop in Pauls chain, over against the Castle Tavern / neer to the Doctors Commons. 1648.

    Collation: title-page, verso blank, 1 leaf; [Preface], 3 leaves with the verso of third leaf blank; text, pp. 1–32.

    Signatures: [A] in four; B–E in fours.

    [8] + 32 pp. sq. 12 mo.

    Mr. George E. Littlefield read the following paper:


    When, in the summer of 1638, the Rev. Jose Glover399 embarked for New England, one of the objects he had in mind was the establishment in the New World of a printery, as among his “goods and chattels” aboard the ship John was a complete outfit for a printing-office, including a press, types, and paper, and also a family of printers. Although Mr. Glover died on the passage, yet his feoffees carried out his intentions as far as the printery was concerned, for they housed the printers in a two-story building which had been bought by an agent of Mr. Glover in anticipation of his coming, on the first floor of which was set up the press, and a printing-office opened under the management of Stephen Day as early as March, 1639. This house stood upon the third lot of land from Braintree Street (now Massachusetts Avenue), on the westerly side of Crooked (now Holyoke) Street. Here was printed the Freeman’s Oath in 1638 or 1639, Peirce’s Almanack for 1639, and the Whole Booke of Psalmes in 1640. On June 21, 1641, Mrs. Glover married President Dunster, who assumed the management of the Glover estate, including the printing-office. The death of Mrs. Dunster, on August 23, 1643, brought about a great change in Mr. Dunster’s affairs, as his wife had only a life interest in the Glover estate. However, as one of the trustees of the estate he shared in its management until the youngest child became of age. In 1644 Mr. Dunster married a second time and went to live in the President’s house, which had been built for him on the College grounds very close to where Massachusetts Hall now stands. On the first floor of this house Mr. Dunster had set apart a room for a printing-office, and to this room he removed the Glover press of which he still had possession as trustee of the Glover estate, to which he had to account for profits in printing until 1655, when the printing-office was sold to Harvard College.

    The exact date of the removal of the printing-office from “Mr. Dayes house,” as it was designated by Mr. Dunster, to the “presidents house” has not been ascertained. The death of Mrs. Dunster necessitated the sale of the houses and lands held in trust by the feoffees of the Glover estate and the distribution of the estate among the heirs. This would naturally take some time, and the sale of “Mr. Dayes house” is presumed to have been made in 1646, the same year in which Matthew Day is supposed to have bought from Nathan Aldis the house and land on Braintree street. The sale of “Mr. Dayes house” would necessitate the removal of the press, but probably it was not removed until the completion of the President’s house, which was late in 1645 or early in 1646. That the house was sold is proved from the following entry in the Cambridge Proprietors’ Records under date of March 13, 1647–8:

    Mr Henry Dunster Bought of John ffownell, one Dwelling house wth about a rood of ground, Richard Champney North, Willm Towne, Nathaneell Hancock West, John Russell, ffrancis Moore, & Crooked street south, and Crooked street East, wch sayd house, the sayd John ffownell had formerly bought of the sayd mr Henry Dunster, but was neglected to bee entered (p. 133).

    In his lawsuit with the Glover heirs for an accounting of his management of the Glover estate, Mr. Dunster presents an inventory of his receipts in which it appears that “Mr. Dayes house sold for thirty pounds.”

    On November 11, 1647, the General Court passed the famous law which is the foundation of our school system, and which provided for the establishment of common and grammar schools. It reads in part:

    It is therefore ordred yt every township in this iurisdiction, aftr the Lord hath increased ym to ye number of 50 householdrs, shall then forthwth appoint one wthin their towne to teach all such children as shall resort to him to write & reade, whose wages shall be paid eithr by ye parents or mastrs of such children, or by ye inhabitants in genrall, by way of supply, as ye maior p̄t of those yt ordr ye prudentials of ye towne shall appoint; ꝑvided, those yt send their children be not oppressed by paying much more yn they can have ym taught for in other townes; & it is furthr ordered, yt where any towne shall increase to ye numbr of 100 families or householdrs, they shall set up a gram̄er schoole, ye mr thereof being able to instruct youth so farr as they may be fited for ye university, ꝑvided, yt if any towne neglect ye ꝑformance hereof above one yeare, yt every such towne shall pay 5ƚ to ye next schoole till they shall ꝑform this order.400

    In accordance with this law the town of Cambridge passed the following vote on November 13, 1648:

    It was agreed at a meeting of the Whole Towne, that there should be land sould of the Com̄on for the gratifying of mr Corlet, for his paines in keepeing a schoole in the Towne. the sum̄e of Ten pounds, if it can be attained, prvided: it shall not prjudice the Cow com̄on.401

    This is the first record that we have of the townsmen of Cambridge voting to appropriate money to pay for the support of the schools, and Mr. Elijah Corlet is the first schoolmaster whose salary was partly paid from the town treasury. The schools authorized by the General Court were to be public schools, but not free schools, that is, all parents had the right and were expected to send their children to the schools, but they were also expected to pay a large portion of the expense of maintaining the schools.402 It was not until 1885 that the public schools of Massachusetts were absolutely free.

    Mr. Corlet, however, had been teaching a grammar school in Cambridge for several years previous to 1648, but it was a private school, that is, he could accept or reject pupils as he saw fit, and managed his school according to his own ideas, being paid for his services such sums as were agreed upon with the parents of the pupils.

    Elijah Corlet was the son of Henry Corlet of London, and was born in 1610. He was educated at Lincoln College, Oxford, to which he was admitted 16th March, 1626–7. He came to Cambridge as early as 1641 and was admitted freeman of the colony May 14, 1645. He was of the same age as Nathaniel Eaton, and possibly may have come to Cambridge with him. Being amply qualified to teach it is possible that when Eaton left the College in September, 1639, Corlet may have been invited to assist in, if not to take the full charge of, the education of the students in the College, Until the arrival of Mr. Dunster in August, 1640. Whether he was employed in the College or not, before 1642 he had acquired an excellent reputation as a teacher. In New Englands First Fruits, printed in London in 1643, he is spoken of as follows:

    And by the side of the Colledge a faire Grammar Schoole, for the training up of young Scholars, and fitting of them for Academicall Learning, that still as they are judged ripe, they may be received into the Colledge of this Schoole: Master Corlet is the Mr., who hath very well approved himselfe for his abilities, dexterity and painfulnesse in teaching and education of the youth under him (p. 13).

    As at the time this passage was written, presumably about September 26, 1642, it is doubtful if any of his pupils had passed from the grammar school to the College, it is possible that his reputation for excellence in teaching had been made in the College rather than in the grammar school. The wording of the above extract is indefinite.

    Mr. Corlet married about 1643 Barbara Cutter, daughter of Mrs. Elizabeth Cutter, widow, and sister of William Cutter, a prominent citizen of Cambridge. William Cutter, born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, arrived in Cambridge before 1637. About the same time arrived his brothers-in-law Edward Goffe and Thomas Sweetman. William Cutter was made freeman April 18, 1637. In 1638 he occupied the estate on the south-west corner of Dunster and Winthrop Streets, having as his next door neighbor on Dunster Street Herbert Pelham. His father died in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1640, and his mother with a younger son Richard and a daughter Barbara came to Cambridge and presumably resided with William. After the marriage of Barbara with Mr. Corlet she went to live with Mr. Corlet, as in her will signed February 16, 1662, she bequeaths all her estate “to my very loving sonne Mr. Elijah Corlett and to my daughter Barbare his wife with whom I have now sojourned about twenty years.” If Mr. Corlet had married in 1642, as would seem to be indicated by this extract, it is very probable that before that time he had already opened his grammar school, and that that was the grammar school referred to in New Englands First Fruits. Mr. Corlet resided on the east side of Dunster Street between Mount Auburn and Winthrop Streets and it is more than probable that in this house, from 1640 to 1648, was kept the “faire grammar schoole.”

    In 1647 there was a movement among some of the public spirited citizens for the erection of a building to be used for school purposes only, and acting as agent for these citizens Mr. Dunster purchased the “Daye house,” which he had previously sold to John Fownell. The “Daye house” was to be removed and on the lot was to be erected a stone building, the agreement for the building of which is still in existence, and which we quote as showing the style of the first grammar school building and also that the land must have been purchased early in 1647, although not recorded until 1648.

    Articles of agreement between Henry Dunster and Edward Goffe on the one party and Nicholas Withe and Richard Wilson, Daniel Hudson, masons, on the other party, witness as followeth:

    1. Impr. That we Nicolas Wite, Richard Wilson and Daniel Hudson, masons, have undertaken to get at Charlestowne Rock one hundred and fifty load of rock stone, and to lay them in a convenient place whence they may be fetched with carts, and that betwene this present third month 1647 and the tenth of the ninth month next ensuing, for the which stones Henry Dunster and Edward Goffe covenant to pay to us sixe pence the load.

    2. Item. That we the foresaid three masons will wal or lay the said stones in wall for twelve pence the yard, so long as we lay any side of the said wall within the ground, and the other answering wals at the same price until they come to the hight of the wal that lieth within the grounde, albeit that these wals should ly both sides of the ground to the open ayre, and that wee will measure all this cellar or in ground wall within the house.

    3. Item. That we will lay in wall the saide stones above ground a foote and a halfe thick at the least, at the middle story, and so proportionally gathering in until it end in the wal plats or eaves, about a foote thick, for eighteene pence a yard, making in the said above ground wals, where Henry Dunster or Edward Goffe shal apointe, convenient dore ways, arched over head, and windowe spaces as we shal be ordered and directed for timber windowes to be put in as we goe up with the wall, one of which said dore ways, and as many window spaces as shall bee judged convenient, we will alsoe make in the cellar wall as we shall be directed.

    4. Item. That we will erect a chimney below, ten foote wide within the jaumes, and another in the rome above, eight foot wide ½ within the jaumes, in the place where we shal be directed, whereof if the jaumes be different from the wal of the house we will receive eighteene pence a yard for as much as we wal with stone, and ten shillings a thousand for what square brickes we lay, and sixteene shillings a thousand for the bricks that appear out of the roofe.

    5. Item. The said Henry Dunster and Edward Goffe are to prepare and lay on the ground in redines, within forty or at the most fifty foote of the aforesaid cellar, al the aforesaid brickes and rock stones; but the said brickes, as many as shal need to be cut, are to be done by the sayde masons. The convenient planckes alsoe and poles for staging are to be laid in redines by the said Henry and Edward, and the stages to be made by the said masons.

    6. Item. The 2 gable endes of the foresaid wals or scholehouse shall be wrought up in battlement fashion, at the prize of eighteene pence a yard, as above said.

    7. Item. The foresaid masons by these presents covenant that they will lath the roofe of the aforesaid schoolehouse and tile the same at sixe shillings the thousand the tile.

    8. Item. The said masons covenant to perfect the saide worke that is herein mentioned before the first of the sixth month that shal be in the yeare one thousand sixe hundred forty-eight, provided the said Henry Dunster and Edward Goffe procure all the materials requisite of stones, brick, timber, clay, lime, sand, and the sayd materials lay in convenient place.

    9. Item. It is the true intent and meaning of both partyes, that al pay specified in these writings should be such as is received of the inhabitants and neighbours of the town of Cambridge, provided it bee good and merchandible in its kind, whether corn or cattle, and to goe at such rates as now it is payable from man to man when the aforesaid masons take the aforesaid worke, that is to say, Wheat at 4s. Ry at 3s 6d. Indian at 3s. Pease at 3s. 6d. Barley mault at 4s 6d. the bushell.

    In witness of the premises wee for our parts subscribe our hands,

    Henrie Dunster [l. s.]

    Edward Goffe [l. s.]

    Sealed, signed, indented and delivered in presence of

    Richard Hildreth.403

    This agreement shows that Mr. Dunster and Mr. Goffe had been appointed a committee by the persons engaged in the enterprise, and had assumed the responsibility and the expense. It also shows that the land upon which they intended to erect the building must have been bought before May, 1647, as it is not probable that they would have contracted for the delivery of stone if they had not land upon which to store it. This would seem to be very strong evidence that the “Daye house” must have been sold to John Fownell in 1646.

    The following extracts from the Records of the Town of Cambridge show conclusively that the town did not assist in erecting the building, nor pay any of the expenses of maintaining the school, except a part of Mr. Corlet’s salary, until 1656, when it bought the building.

    Also whereas mr Dunster hath made a prposicc̄on to the Townsmen for the acquitting and discharging of the said forty pounds so received as before prmised [by the said Thomas Danforth,] vpon the acct of his out laÿng for the schoole house. The townsmen do hereby declare ymy that as they cannot yeld to the same for the Reasons before mentioned, yet never the less if mr Dunster shall please to prsent any prposicc̄on to the Towne when mett together, they shalbe willing to further the same according to Justice & Equity (pp. 109–110).

    At a Genral meeting of the Inhabitants of the towne, the 8th of the 10th mo. 1656.

    The Towne do agree and consent that there shalbe a rate made to the vallue of 108u 10s and levied of the seurall Inhabitants, for the paymt of the schoole house provided eury man be allowed wt he hath already freely contrebuted thereto, in part of his prporc͞on of such rate (p. 113).

    At a Publique meeting of the Inhabitants the 12th of novemr 1660.

    As a finall issue of all complaints referring to mr Dunsters Expences about the schoole house, all though in strict justice nothing doth appeare to be due, it being done by a voluntary act of prticular Inhabitants, & mr Dunster: and also the Towne haueing otherwise recompenced mr Dunster for his labor and expences therein yet ye Towne considering the case as it is now circumstanced, and especially the Condic͞con of his relict widow & children, do agree yt thirty pounds be levied on the Inhabitants of the Towne by the Select men, & payd to mr Dunsters Excecutors, & yt on Condic͞cion yt they make an absolute deed of sale of ye Said House and land to the Towne, with a clear acquittance for the full payment thereof (pp. 132–133).

    4 (8) 1669

    at A meeting of the selecmen mr william Maning and petter Towne was appointed to agree with workmen to take downe the scholehouse, and set It vp againe; and to Cary the stones in the seller to the place wheare the house for the ministry Is to be built (p. 180).

    At a Generall meeting of the Inhabitants of Cambridge ye: 24th of June 1700.

    It was then Voted that ye Schoolhouse Should be forthwith fitted up By Rebuilding ye Same. And that ye Charge yt Should arise thereby Should be added (by ye Select Men) to ye town Rate granted by ye Inhabitants ye 18th of May 1700 (p. 330).

    Sept 9th 1700. At a Meeting of the Selectmen John Leverett Esqr: & Deacon Hasting were appointed to Treat wth Zachry: Hicks Jur and Jos: Hicks, or some other Sutable person or persons Concerning the Rebuilding the Schoolhouse wch sd house is to be 20 foot wide & 26 foot In length, the above mentioned persons are also appointed to take care that ye above mentioned House be speedyly done, In good Workman like order (p. 331).

    This house lasted until 1769, when it was ordered to be demolished and a new house be erected on the southern side of Garden Street, about one hundred feet west of Appian Way.

    It was in the first two school houses erected on the “Daye house” lot that Master Elijah Corlet taught for forty years. His school was a preparatory school for the College and the grammar he taught was the Latin grammar. It was exclusively a boys’ school and at one time among his pupils were five Indian youths fitting for the College. For his salary he was dependant upon the parents, although occasionally the town gave a little assistance. On November 13, 1648, it voted “for the gratifying of Mr Corlet, for his paines in keepeing a schoole in the Towne,” a gratuity of ten pounds. On November 13, 1654, it voted to “Levy about forty Pounds, for the Incouragement of the Gram̄er Schoole master,” but two months later, January 29, 1654–5, reconsidered and reduced the amount to twenty pounds. On the March 25, 1662, “considering his prsent necessity, by reason of the fewnes of his schollars,” the town granted him ten pounds. On November 14, 1664, the town “Voted on the affirmative that mr Elijah Corlet shall be allowed & paid out of the Towne rate, annually twenty pounds, for so long as Hee continue to be schoolemaster in this place.” On November 8, 1669, the town allowed him forty shillings “for the Repayering of his house, wheare hee keepe schoole, because the schoole house is to bee taken downe.”404

    For the teaching of the Indian scholars he was paid by the Commissioners of the United Colonies of New England.405 Possibly for the board of his son, one Indian, Netus, of Sudbury, had become indebted to Mr. Corlet in the sum of four pounds and ten shillings. For the payment of this debt apparently he was obliged to ask the assistance of the General Court, as on May 22, 1661, we find the following entry:

    In ansr to the petition of Mr Eljjah Corlett, the Court judgeth it meete to graunt the petitioner liberty to purchase of Netus, the Indian, so much land as the sajd Netus, sajd Indian, is possessed of, according to lawe, for the satisfaction of the debt due the petitioner from sajd Netus, & that Edmond Rice, Sen̄, & Ensigne Thomas Noise, of Sudbury, be appointed to apprise the land to the petitioner for his satisffaction, & determine the proportion & bounds thereof, making a returne to this Court to be confirmed.406

    In the return of Messrs. Rice and Noyes made October 11, 1665, they say:

    All which sajd charges & principall amounteth to seven pounds & tenn shillings; for all which sajd sum̄e wee aboue written haue, wth the consent of the Indians at Nepnap, lajd out & measured to the sajd Elijah Corlet, at the north end of Nepnap Hill, being about three miles distant northerly from the Indian plantation, three hundred and twenty acres.407

    On October 23, 1668, the Colony again came to the assistance of Mr. Corlet, as under this date appears the following record:

    In ansr to the petic͞on of Mr Eljjah Corlet, the Court hauing considered of the petic͞on & being informed the petitioner to be very poore, & the country at present having many engagements to sattisfy, judge meete to grant him five hundred acres of land where he can finde it according to lawe.408

    Mr. Corlet died in 1687.409 At that time the Rev. Nehemiah Walter was pursuing a post-graduate course at the College, and Mr. Corlet had so much confidence in his abilities that he frequently employed him to take charge of the school when obliged to be absent. On his death, to express his gratitude and honor his memory, Walter wrote an Elegy, done in blank verse, which was printed, probably by Samuel Green, the College printer, in the same year. Its title reads:

    An Elegiack Verse on the Death of the Pious and Profound Grammarian and Rhetorician Mr. Elijah Corlet, Schoolmaster of Cambridge who Deceased Anno Aetatis 77, Feby 24, 1687.

    The only copy known is in the library of Harvard University.

    Mr. Julius H. Tuttle spoke as follows:

    In a casual conversation with Mr. Edes, a few days ago, I learned of Mr. Littlefield’s intention to read a paper at this meeting on Corlet and the Cambridge Grammar School. This suggested to me the opportunity to call the attention of the Society to a manuscript in the State Archives which is of peculiar value in connection with Mr. Littlefield’s subject, as it shows that Corlet was in this country earlier than has hitherto been supposed.

    To the honored Gouernour, Deputie Gouernour, and the rest of the Magistrates, together with the Deputies, assembled in the generall Court at Boston

    The humble petic͞o͞n of Daniel Weld & Elijah Corlett.

    Humbly sheweth that your peticrs hath liued in this Cuntry for the space of twenty years and vpward, And hath all this tyme been exercised in publike imployment, namely in teaching scholars, as wherein they might be most seruicable to the Common welth: And thereby hath hetherto neglected the lookeinge after future supplie in prouidinge land for our wives and four410 smale Children, ourselfe haueing not soe much as one Acre of land in our owne possession for the prsent In Consideration whereof your Petrs doe most humbly make their Addresse vnto this honoured assembly, humbly intreatinge you to grant vnto vs some Convenient ꝑtion of land, as shall seeme good vnto vs your graue wisdomes, lying wher your peticrs shall fynd out, not intrenchinge in the least measure vpon any former graunt giuen to any man: And your peticrs shall pray, for the fiourishinge estate of this Country longe to Continue &c

    The Com̄ittee considering the vsefulness of the Peticco͞ns in an imployt of so com̄on concrnemt for the good of ye whole Country. & the little Incouragemt that they have had from their respective Townes for their Service & vnwearied paynes, in that imploymt, Do Judge meet that they be granted 200 accrs of land a peece to be taken vp adjoyneing to such lands as have ben already granted & layd out by ordr of this Court

    21. (8) 59

    Thomas Danforth

    Anthony Stoddard

    Roger Clap

    The Deputies approue of ye returne of ye Committee in answer to this pet̄. desireing or Honord Magists Consent hereto

    William Torrey Cleric

    Consented by ye magists

    Edw Rawson Secret411

    So far as records show, Weld and Corlet came to this country in 1640 and 1641, respectively, but this petition of 1659 says that they have “liued in this Country for the space of twenty years and vpward,” and makes it clear that they came in 1639 or earlier. By September, 1642, Corlet, according to New Englands First Fruits, had “well approved himselfe for his abilities, dexterity and painfulnesse in teaching and education of the youth under him.” If Corlet had the charge of the College during the time between the dismissal of Eaton on September 9, 1639, and the arrival of Dunster and his taking the presidency on August 27, 1640, he would have “well approved himselfe,” as stated above.

    The identity of Daniel Weld, the other petitioner, is not clear. That he was of Roxbury is certain; but of the Daniel Weld who died there in 1666, Savage, in his Genealogical Dictionary, says: “Now great uncertainty arises herein, whether the yrs of his age [80 years] in the Town rec. be not too high, if he be f. of the twins 1655, and also whether the Daniel b. Oct. 1658 were s. or gr. s.” There was a son Daniel, at the time the will was made in 1666, living in England. The question arises whether he, or his father, was the Roxbury teacher. The two hundred acres of land for each of the petitioners were laid out in or near Sudbury.