A Stated Meeting of the Society was held at No. 25 Beacon Street, Boston, on Thursday, 26 April, 1906, at three o’clock in the afternoon, the President, George Lyman Kittredge, 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, — Mr. William Endicott, the Rev. Henry A. Parker, and Mr. Denison R. Slade.
To examine the Treasurer’s accounts, — Messrs. T. Jefferson Coolidge, Jr., and Walter C. Baylies.
The Corresponding Secretary reported that letters had been received from Mr. Henry Lefavour accepting Resident Membership, and from Mr. Robert Hallowell Gardiner of Gardiner, Maine, accepting Corresponding Membership.
Mr. Henry H. Edes, the delegate appointed at the Stated Meeting in March to attend the celebration in Philadelphia by the American Philosophical Society of the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Franklin, made an oral report. He described the proceedings at the several sessions of the Society; the ceremonies at Franklin’s grave; the presentation in accordance with an Act of Congress of the Franklin gold medal to the French Republic; the restoration to the Nation by Earl Grey, at the hands of Mr. Choate, of the portrait of Franklin taken from his house in Philadelphia by Major André, during the occupation of the city by the British troops, and presented by him to an ancestor of Earl Grey; the evening reception of the delegates; and the banquet with which the celebration closed. Mr. Edes also called attention to the fact that among the delegates, representing various learned societies, were ten of our own fellowship: Vice-President William Watson Goodwin, Mr. Joseph Hodges Choate, Mr. Simon Newcomb, Dr. Horace Howard Furness, Mr. James Burrill Angell, Mr. Daniel Coit Gilman, Mr. Arthur Twining Hadley, Mr. Andrew McFarland Davis, Mr. Herbert Putnam, and the delegate from this Society; and among these were two of the three Orators — Mr. Choate, President Eliot, and Dr. Furness — who made the commemorative addresses at the Academy of Music on Friday the twentieth of April.
In common with most of the learned bodies that were represented at the celebration, this Society presented an address of salutation565 to the American Philosophical Society. The text follows.
In addressing your ancient and distinguished Society on an occasion at once so memorable and so auspicious as the Two Hundredth Anniversary of your Founder’s Birth, it would ill become us to use many words, being, as we are, among the youngest of the many bodies — academic, literary, scientific, and historical—that press forward to felicitate you and to do honor to Benjamin Franklin. Nor is it needful that we should recite facts which are enrolled in the annals of our Country, and which are familiar to all citizens of the Republic of Letters.
Yet we have deemed it fitting to put on record our sense of the profound significance of this day, and we have, accordingly, delegated our Associate, Henry Herbert Edes, to offer to your Society an expression of our sentiments of respect and congratulation.
May your Society, which preserves in its name and exemplifies in its practice the old and all-inclusive meaning of the term Philosophy, long continue to maintain and propagate the traditions that you derive from a Founder who took all useful knowledge for his province, who was a Citizen of the World, and whose chief concern was the amelioration of mankind.
“Courage, wisdom, integrity, and honor,” wrote Benjamin Franklin, “are not to be measured by the sphere assigned them to act in, but by the trials they undergo, and the vouchers they furnish; and, if so manifested, need neither robes nor titles to set them off.”
The Colonial Society of Massachusetts.
GEORGE LYMAN KITTREDGE
Boston, the seventeenth day of
April, nineteen hundred and six.
Mr. Adams Sherman Hill gave some reminiscences of the late Mr. James Mills Peirce, speaking as follows:
My acquaintance with the late James Mills Peirce566 began in 1849, our Freshman year at Harvard; but we were not often thrown together during college days. In our Freshman and Sophomore years, during which the class was divided for work into small sections alphabetically arranged, the H’s had few opportunities of meeting the P’s in the class-room. Peirce was, moreover, strong in mathematics, whereas I was so weak that on the admission examinations I had failed in arithmetic, and specifically in a question concerning the Greatest Common Denominator, a subject of which I am still ignorant. In our Junior and Senior years, when, under a limited elective system, we were allowed to choose between the classics and mathematics, our paths diverged still more, his choice being, of course, mathematics, mine Latin and Greek.
I have no recollection of his belonging to any society of which I was a member except the Hasty Pudding Club, in which he occasionally appeared on the stage. Among the parts which he played (in 1852–53) were Bradshaw, in Grimshaw, Bragshaw, and Bradshaw; Mrs. Cox, in Box and Cox Married and Settled; Letitia Ogle, in Matrimonial Difficulties; Benjamin Blowhard, in Slasher and Crasher; Tinsel John and Mustache Strappado, in The Widow’s Victim.
The impression that Peirce made on his classmates at this time is shown in a brief extract from the diary which one of them kept while in college (it is the only mention of Peirce in the book): “A singular character and understood by but few. He inherits much of Benny’s mathematical genius and idiosyncrasies. His declamations were amusing by their originality of expression and gesticulation. I knew but little of him, and so with most of us.” Peirce never, so far as I know, took part in any of the questionable acts of which some of us were guilty, — such as hazing Freshmen, stealing signs, or treating with disrespect the powers that were; nor did he, to my knowledge, sow wild oats in his college days.
In his studies Peirce was faithful, industrious, and successful. At graduation he stood ninth in a class of ninety, a rank which entitled him to membership in the Phi Beta Kappa. In 1853, he took his A.B. degree. In 1854, his twentieth year, he was appointed tutor in mathematics; and mathematics he continued to teach — as assistant professor, university professor, and Perkins professor successively — all his life, with the exception of the period from 1858 to 1860. During these years he was a student at the Harvard Divinity School, from which he was graduated in 1859.
Besides being for fifty years in the service of the College as a teacher of mathematics, he was secretary of the Academic Council from its establishment in 1872 till 1890. On the transference of the functions of the Council to the Administrative Board of the Graduate School in 1890, he was appointed dean of that school, an office in which he did so much excellent work from 1890 to 1895 that he has been called “almost the father of the Graduate School.” During the next three years, as dean of the Faculty of Arts andSciences, he showed the same high qualities that had distinguished his service in other administrative positions.
From the beginning to the end of his academic career he frequently served as chairman of important committees; and he was an active member of the college faculty, which he lived to see increase from 13 members in 1854 to 151 in 1906. During the same period he saw the number of students in the college rise from 340 (with three “resident graduates” who paid the college five dollars a year and had the use of the library) to 1899, with 504 in the Scientific School and 394 in the Graduate School.
Peirce was in the front rank of those who favored the radical changes that helped to make the college a university. From first to last, he was a strenuous advocate of the “new education.” He assisted, for example, in the gradual development of the elective system in every direction (including attendance at morning prayers), in the elimination of Greek as a requirement for admission, and in every step toward the reduction of the college course from four years to three. In the introduction of the system of teaching by lectures instead of by recitations, he and his department took a leading part; and his very last act as member of the faculty was to introduce a motion looking towards a reform in the existing system of grading that should make the regulations for the assignment of work less rigid, and therefore better adapted to individual talent, — a motion that has not yet been acted on.
In the department of mathematics he was, as all the world knows, a predominant influence. Being neither a narrow specialist nor a delver in fields remote from practical life, he devoted to teaching rather than to research a knowledge that was wide as well as deep. As he used neither text-book nor notes in the class-room, his lectures were always fresh and spontaneous. Out of lecture hours as well as in them he helped his pupils in many ways, and especially by showing a warm sympathy with them in their ambitions and struggles which enabled him to retain their affection to the end of his life, and thus to keep himself young.
Though he passed through the Harvard Divinity School, he was never settled as a minister, and he preached but few sermons. Some of these are still remembered with enthusiasm by those who heard them. One was on a characteristic subject, The Religion of Gladness. Whatever his reason for leaving the ministry, it could not have been lack of faith; for he was throughout his life a deeply religious man, but not a sectarian or a bigot. In politics, too, though he was always a Democrat, he was a Democrat of the liberal school.
Peirce owed something to each of his parents. From his father, who had greater genius in the higher mathematics than he but less talent for teaching, he inherited his love of science and the fervor of nature which sometimes expressed itself very strongly, and occasionally— as those who disagreed with him thought — too strongly for the occasion. From his mother came his love of the arts, and especially of literature, music, and the stage. He was a student of Shakspere, and was fond of poetry, which he read aloud with appreciation, intelligence, and feeling. He attended all the symphony concerts in Boston, and was intimate with the late Professor John K. Paine, John Fiske, and other devotees of music in Cambridge. He often went to the theatre, especially when the play was a classic; and he frequently spent his vacations in travelling either at home or abroad. Wherever he went, his friendly manner, his uniform courtesy, and his ready interest in all that was going on made him welcome. He enjoyed female society, and counted among his closest friends a number of superior women in Cambridge and Boston. Whatever he did, he did with his whole heart.
In the extract from the diary which I have read, Peirce’s lack of intimacy with his classmates is noted. Throughout his life he was reserved. One whom he met for the first time at a musical party called him “a great smiling silence,” a phrase which fitted him so closely that it was long kept alive by some of his intimate friends. Though he never married, he had strong domestic tastes, which he manifested by giving, with unexampled generosity, his affection, time, and money to his family in three generations, — to his parents and aunts, to his brothers and sisters, and to their children. For this forgetfulness of self in his devotion to others, he reaped his reward in the affection felt for him by every member of his family, as well as by many other persons whom he befriended.
During his later years he suffered at frequent intervals from severe attacks of bronchitis, which occasionally interrupted his college duties, but never for long. Few teachers in good health have been more steadily at their posts than he.
Professor Peirce was, as everybody who met him must have observed, an attractive and a picturesque personality, a man who will be missed by many who knew him by sight only. By his friends he will be remembered as one who combined robustness of intellect and intensity of conviction with sweetness of disposition and passionate affection, as one whose devotion to his chosen subject did not lessen his interest in other and very different things, and as one who lived up to his ideals in private as well as in academic and public life.
Dr. James B. Ayer exhibited a preliminary color sketch for the purpose of study of the penal and charitable buildings in Boston in 1722, based on Bonner’s plan, and spoke at some length on this subject. In the course of his remarks, which elicited much comment, Dr. Ayer quoted the following curious advertisement from a Boston newspaper published in 1731:
There is to be Sold very reasonably, a private House of Correction suitably furnish’d with Stocks and Whipping-Post, with other engines of Justice, lying and being in Summer-Street, Boston.567
Mr. John Noble made the following communication on William Leddra:
In preparing for publication the third volume of the Records of the Court of Assistants, several matters of interest relating to William Leddra, the last Quaker sentenced to death and executed in Massachusetts, have been found. Apparently his first appearance in the records of Court was in Essex County, where “two strangers William Brend & William Lederay professed quakers,” present at “a disorderly meeting of certeyne suspected persons at the house of Nicholas Phelps of Salem, on the last Lords day in tyme of publique worship,” escaped but were afterwards apprehended and “sent to the house of correction according to Law.”568
Leddra next turns up in Plymouth Colony in October, 1659, when he and Peter Peirson, after having “bine prisoners att Plymouth for some time,” on being brought before the Court and offered the usual conditions of release, “if they would engage according to the law, to depart, and to come into this Collonie noe more, and pay their fees to the jayler,” they declined to accept them, and “were returned to the place whence they came.”569
December, 1659. Att this Court, William Ledra and Peter Peirson, two of those called Quakers, whoe were some time since com̄itted to prison att Plymouth according to law, as being foraigne Quakers, apeered and were demaunded seuerally whether they would depart the gourment in some competent time, viz. two or three dayes, incase wheather and strength were suitable, and that noe vnexpected prouidence in the aforesaid respects did not or should not fall in the way in the interim, and whether it was theire present intentsions, without any sinestery reseruation, directly to depart the gourment, with intension (the Lord willing) not to returne into the gourment any more; they answared they could not engage to any certaine time to depart the gourment; vpon which theire answare they were againe returned to prison, and order was giuen to Mr Southworth and Mr Bradford, that if vpon beter consideration they should or would accept of the conditions of the aforsaid tender of the Court, they are to release them.570
In March, 1659–60, the prisoners appeared again and the same tender was repeated, —
to which the said Ledra answared that theire imprisonment was vnjust and illegall; on which the Court made it manifest that theire imprisonment was according to law, both of England and this gourment; and as conserning departing the gourment, according to the proposition aboue mencioned, hee, the said William Ledra, refused to engage to any certaine time to depart, onely saying, “Its like if I were att libertie out of prison I might depart in the will of God ere long;” to which was replyed in the Scripture phraise by the Court, that if hee would now resolue (the Lord willing) to depart by such a time, hee might haue his libertie; which hee, the said Ledra, refused, saying hee would not engage to any certaine time.571
Peter Peirson made a similar answer and both were returned to prison, but it was arranged that if it should be revealed to either of them that he might depart “hee should send word to the magistrates, and hee may haue his libertie.” The following is entered in the margin of the record: “On the seauenteenth day of Aprill, 1660, the said William Ledra and Peter Peirson, engageing to depart as is heer expressed, were released out of prison and departed.”
In the Massachusetts Archives at the State House is the following warrant for the arrest of William Leddra. It is dated 30 April, but the year is not given. If the year was 1660 it would seem that Leddra after his release from Plymouth Prison, 17 April, 1660, went to Salem in the Massachusetts Colony.
To the Constable of Salem or his Deputy.
You are hereby Required to take the body of William Leddra, & convey him safely to Boston, there to Appeare before ye Deputy Gouernour, to be further proceeded withall according to Law.
Wm Hawthorns Warrant agt. Lydra ye Quaker.572
Palfrey gives an account of subsequent events. Leddra was —
committed to the House of Correction at Boston. There he refused to work for his food, and, having been repeatedly scourged, was at last dismissed, with the threat of death if he should return. He returned, and was put in prison. On his trial the offer of liberation was made to him, if he would engage to go to England; but he rejected it, saying that he had no business there. He was condemned and executed. “All that will be Christ’s disciples,” he said at the foot of the ladder, “must take up the cross.” The last words heard from his lips were those of the martyr Stephen, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”573
While in prison at Plymouth he sent forth the following letter to the rulers and people of New England.
I wth: many others of my Brethren: haue been often accused by many of ye Rulers: & others of ye People: of New England to haue Walked Contrary to ye Example & practic: of ye servants of God: declared of in Scripture: charginge vs yt we Come into places: where there are laws & Decrees m̄ade agt: vs: & where we know we shall be persecuted: wch: thinge. yow: haue often: declaired (in my hearing) ye servts: of xt. did not doe: but when they were persecuted: in one Citty: did flee into another: yt ye servats. of xt. often did flee from one place to another: from ye rage of their: enemies: is true: & at other times they did not goe: but were expelled: out of their Coasts: but for yow: to say they returned not againe: is vtterly falce: & also yor: saying: they went not where they knew they should be prsecuted: in yt yow: greatly Err: for ye holy Ghost: by wch: they knew all things: & wch: brought all things to their Remembrance: according to ye pmise of xt: witnessed to Paul: yt in every: Citty: bonds & Afflictions abide him: but none of these things moved him: wch: witness is true: & was & is ye guide & leader: into all truth: & many times Paul: wth Peter: John & others: wente often to Such places where before they had been: Despitefully vsed: psecuted & afflicted: & would any speake so often to ye Contrary: but such as neither knowes ye power of God: nor ye scriptures: & to charge vs as Yow: haue d[one] when we came againe: amongst yow: as if we did acte contrary to yt saying: of xt: when yow: are ꝑrsecuted in one Citty: flee unto another: did he Ever say they must not returne againe: Did not [Paul] say let vs: goe againe: & visitt our Brethren: in Every Citty: where we haue preached ye word of ye lord: & se how they doe: & such as reads ye Acts: may heare: how we had been ꝑrsecuted: & if there be any who [ ]ly haue been led aside: by this falce & abominable thinge: Soe Comonly reported: in New Engl: (as to Joyne wth: those: who haue invented it to Cover their Cruelty:) Either to speake evill of ye way of God: or to persecute his people: wth. out searchinge ye scriptures: to se whether it were So: for their Sakes & all others who desires to be informed (yt they may no longer walke wth Slaunders & wth: a Lye in their hand) I shall Clear it from ye Scriptures in ye behalfe of ye Truth: though for my Selfe I doe unfaignedly Say: I can wth: patience beare: wt: they have done to me to this very houre: & do desire yt ye lord would not lay it to their charge: For Surely if they knew wt: they did: they would not doe as they haue done in this thing: Bely ye Ministry of xt. & lay waste ye Scriptures: as ye sobber Reader: shall heareafter fynd they haue done: But there is a Generation: yt are soe leavened: wth: malice: & wickedness yt though ye truth be declaired never soe plaine: yet will not believe it: but are ready to stopp their Eares: like ye blind prsecutors of old: (& if they doe take up Stones to Stone ye publishers of it:) yet still continues their prsecution: & Soe become like ye deafe adder: wch. will not heare ye voicee of ye Charmer: charminge never soe wisely & Such allwayes resisted ye holy ghost: & will neither enter ym: selfes: nor Suffer ym: yt would: but as any Comes preaching ye kingdome of God: wch is likened to ye least of all seeds: (but ye prsecuting: spiritt: canot vnderstand this parrable: neither is it given ym. to know ye Misterys of Gods kingdome:) they prsecute those yt preach it: as their forefathers did: acts: 4: 1: 3: And as they Spake vnto ye people: ye priests & ye Captaine of ye Temple: Came upon ym: & laid hands on ym: & put ym. in hold till ye next day: ver: 18: & they called ym: & Com̄annded ym: not to Speake at all: nor teach [in the] name of Jesus: But Peter & John answered & said vnto ym whether it be right in ye Sight of God: to hearken vnto yow: more then vnto God: Judge yee: for we canot but speake ye things wch. we have See[n] & heard: & when they had further threaghtened ym: they let ym. goe: aftr. this Peter & John: went vnto their owne Company: & they lifted vp their voices to God wth. one accord sayinge: ver: 29: & now Lor[d] Behold their threatenings: & grant vnto thy Servts: yt wth: all boldness: they may speake thy word: Acts: 5: 17: then ye high priest rose vp: & all they yt were wth: him: (wch: is ye Sect of ye Saduces:) & were fylled wth: Indignation: & laid their hands on ye Apostles: & Put ym. in ye Comon Prison: ver: 28: & when they were brought before ym: they asked ym. saying: did not we st[ ]ightly Com̄aund yow: yt yow: should not teach in this name. & behold yow: have fylled Jerusalem: wth. yor: Doctrine: then Peter & ye other Apostles: answered, we ought to obey God rather than men: ver: 40: 41: 42: & when they had: beaten: ym: they Comaunded ym: yt they should not speake in ye Name of Jesus: & let ym: goe, & they departed from ye prsence of ye Councell: Rejoiceinge yt they were Counted worthy to suffer for his name (they did not flee ye City) but dayly in ye temple & in every house: they Seased not to teach & preach: Jesus xt.: chap: 6: in those dayes ye number of Desciples: was multiplied: & ye word of God increased & prsecution: also increased: for when they had disputeing: wth Steven A man full of ye holy Ghost: they were not able to resiste: ye wisdome & Spiritt: by wch: he Spake: then they Suborned: wch: Said We haue heard him Speake: blasphemous Words agt: Moses & agt. God: chap: 8: at yt. time, there was great prsecution: agt: ye Church wch: was at Jerusalem: & they were all Scatered abroad throughout ye Regions of Judea: & Samaria: Except ye Apostles: mark: ye Apostles: were not yet fled: as for Saul he made havocke of ye Church: Entringe into Every house & hailing men & women com̄itted ym. to prison: & therefore they [that] were Scatered abroad: went every where preachinge ye Word: ver: 14: & when ye Apostles: wch. were at Jerusalem: heard yt Samaria: had reed: ye word of God: they sent: vnto ym. Peter & John: & when they had Testified & preached ye Word of ye lord: returned to Jerusalem:where there had been great prsecution: agt: ye Church: & can yow: read these Scriptures: & yet say yt ye Servts: of xt: after they were prse[cuted] in any place, returned not thither againe: chap: [9:] & Paul after he was Converted: taryed Certaine Dayes wth: ye desciples: wch were at Damascus: & straightway he preached xt. in ye [Sinagogue?] yt he is ye Sone of God: & Coufounded ye Jewes wch. dwelt at Damascus: provinge yt this is ye very Christ: & after yt many dayes were full-filled: ye Jewes tooke Councell to kill him: but their layinge [in wait?] was knowne: then ye Desciples tooke him by night: & let him downe by ye Wall: in a Basket: & when Saul was come to Jerusalem: he asayed to Joyne him Selfe to ye Desciples: but they were all afraid of him: but Barnabas tooke him: & brought him to ye Apostles: & he was wth: ym: coming in & out at Jerusalem: & he spake boldly: in ye name of ye lord Jesus: & disputed agt. ye gretians: but they went about to Slay him: wch. when ye Brethren knew: they brought him to Sesaria: & it came to pass: as Peter passed throughout all Quarters: Acts: 11: 2: he came againe to Jerusalem: where he had been: Imprisoned [&] Beaten: & ye Church: had been greatly prsecuted: ver: 28: & when it was Signified, by ye Spiritt. yt there should be a dearth: throughout ye World: ye Desciples: every man according to his Abilitie: Determined to Send releife: vnto ye Brethren: wch: dwelt in Judea: wch: also they did & sente it by ye hands of Barnabas & Saul: chap: 12: 15:574 & Barnabas: & Saul: returned from: Jerusalem (where before they Sought to Slay him) when they had fullfilled their Ministry (let ye hireling: Ministers mind this well:) yt when they had fulfilled their Ministry they departed: & ye prsecutors: also may take notice: yt they wente away of their own accord: & after in acts: 13: 4: they being sent forth: by ye holy Ghost: departed & preaching ye Word of God: in divers places: they came to Anteoch: & went into ye Sinagogue [on] ye Sabath: Day: & sat downe & after ye reading of ye law & ye prophets: ye Ruler of ye Sinagogue: Sent vnto ym: Saying: ye Men & Brethren: if yow: have a Word of Exortation: to ye people Say on: & paul stood vp and said: Men of Israell give audience: So when he had declaired & preached xt. vnto ym: & ye Congregation was broken vp: many of ye Jewes & religious proselites followed Paul: & barnabas who Spea[k]ing. to ym: perswaded ym. to continue in ye grace of God: & ye next Sabath: came allmost ye whole Citty togeather: to heare ye word of God: But when ye Jewes Saw ye Multitude: they were fylled wth: Envy & spake ag[ainst] those things wth: were Spoken by Paul: contradicting: & blaspheminge: ver: 50: & stired vp yedevoute & honnornble women: & ye Cheeffe men of ye Citty: & raised prsecution agt: Paul & barnabas: & Expelled ym. out their Coasts: but they shooke of ye Dust of their feett agst: ym: & came to Iconium: acts: 14: where many people beleived: but wn: ye Citty was devided: & an Assault made to vse ym: Despitefully: & to Stone ym. they we[re] aware of it: & fled vnto Listra: & Derbe: & ye regions roundaboute: & there they preached ye Gospell: ver: 19: & there came theither Jewes from Antioch: & Iconium: Who prswaded ye people: and having stoned Pa[ul] drew him out of ye Citty: Suposiuge he had been dead: how be it as ye Desciples: Stood round aboute him: he rose vp & Came into ye Citty: & ye next day departed: wth: barnabas: to Derbe: & when they ha[d] preached ye Gospell to yt Citty they returned againe to Listra: where before he had been stoned: & to Iconium: from Whence they fled vnto Listra: & in returninge did not act Contrary to ye words of xt. where is said, if they prsecute yow: in one Citty flee vnto another: But where Doth he Say. they must not returne againe: therefore in yt thing ye prsecutors: in this generation: may hereafter be Silent: & returned also to antioch: where before they had raised prsecution agst: ym: & Expelled ym: out of their Coasts: confirming: ye Soules of ye Desciples: & exhorting ym. to continue: in ye faith: & yt we must through great tribulation Enter into ye kingdome of God: & not wth: standinge all ye Envy & rage of ye wicked: & all ye Cruell & vnreasonable vsage: of their enemies: they went divers times into ye Cittyes & places where they had been preaching ye word: to strengthen & Confirm ye Soules of those, they had begote through their Ministry: into ye like pretious faith: wth: ym: much more might be said to this thing, but this may satisfie all reasonable people: Seing their accusation: is thus farr clearely proved: to be falce: By ye Scripturs: of Truth: & ye Scriptur: fullfilled vpon ym: ye wicked shall be Silente in Darkness: —
Acts: : 23:
The Lip of Truth: shall be Established for Ever:
But a Lying Tongue is but for a Moment: Pro: 12: 19:
From ye Prison: Plymouth: this: 19: of ye 5mo: 59:”
A letter signed by Christopher Holder of not unlike tenor, entitled A Warninge From The Spirit of ye Lord To ye Gouernoṛ̣ & Magistrates: & People of the Masathusets Bay, and dated Rhode Islande the lst of ye 7th moth: 59, has been already printed in the Transactions of this Society.575 The original, once in the files of the Court, has been found in the Chamberlain Collection in the Boston Public Library.
Among the Suffolk Court Files is the following letter or petition by Christopher Holder to the Governor and Magistrates, dated at the Prison in Boston, 24 October, 1659. It is numbered 162034b. Some words missing in the original, which is fragmentary and much worn by age, are here supplied conjecturally within brackets.
[To the] Governr: [Deputy Governr, and Magistrates] in place To doe Justice: I ha[ve here stated the] ground & cause as farr as I know [the] Will of God here in: Wherefore I ca[me into Massa]ch[setts Bay th]is time: for A longe time: it hath [been a] Prophecie: in me: yt when I was Cleare to passe to England [I should go]e To Boston: To seeke for: a passage: & S[ee] whether I might be Sufered: To passe to my Native [land] soe heareinge: yt theare was a Shipp: near[ely Rea]dy for to Set Saile for England: it was revealed to me: By ye. Spirte of ye. lord God: yt. now ye. time was come yt. [I must] goe to Boston To Seeke for a passage: Soe as way was made: I set forth from: Rhode Islande: & Came To this Towne: & after: yt. I had Set vp my horse: [yn I hye]de On: I inquired for. ye. Master of ye Vessell yt was Bound for. England: & heareing where he [was] I came to him & asked him for. a passage: & after some words had passed betwixt vs: he sd. he would Carry me If he mtght be Sufered: But Imediately I was apprehended: By a Constable: & Brought befor. ye Governor: vnto whom I declaired ye. End of my Cominge: Who Tould me he would not Beleive: a word yt. Isaid: & after some other words: Comited me to Prisson: By ye. wch. meanes I Remaine in Yor. Jurisdiction: Otherwise its like I might haue been: By this time: Neare ye Coaste: of Old England: & now I heare: yt there is a Shipp providing for. To Goe To Ould England: wch it is like maybe ready: wth. in 3: or 4: weeks time: & now the same Remaines wth Me: as it did when I came: yt If I may be sufered: To goe: from hence: a Board of ye. vessell: & Soe to be Transported to Ould England: & now I shall appeall To all yt. feare ye Lord: whether: This yt. I seeke is not reasonable: & may be Granted: wth. out hurte To any man: & If I am deneyed This: whether I am not Amonge Such men: yt. Paul Exh[orted] ye. Church To pray for. him to be delivered [fr]om:
From a [Friend To friends of] ye
24rd: of ye. 8th: moth: 59:
Truth: Now a Prisoner: in ye Com[mon] Goale [in Boston]
by Name: Christopher: Hold[er]
There are some circumstances giving rise to the supposition that all these letters were written by Leddra. For further accounts of Leddra a reference may be had to A Brief Narration of the Sufferings of the People called Quakers, by Daniel Gould, Rhode Island, 1700; New England Judged, by George Bishop, 1703; History of the Quakers, by William Sewel, second edition, 1725. Sewel gives a graphic story of Leddra’s various sufferings and of his execution. His account of the trial is somewhat exaggerated and not wholly reliable.576
A letter written by Leddra to his friends, from the prison in Boston, 13 March, 1660–61, the day before his execution, is given in the three works named. It presents admirably the Christian spirit of the writer.
A copy of the record of the trial of Leddra in the Court of Assistants, taken from the lost volume of the records of that Court and certified probably about 1716 by Elisha Cooke, the Clerk of the Superiour Court of Judicature, its successor as the highest tribunal, is as follows:
At a Court of Assistants held at Boston 5th March, 1660.577
William Ledra notwithstanding his being banished this Jurisdiction on pain of Death by the Last Court of Assistants in September last, Returned into this Jurisdiction, was Committed to Prison in Order to his Tryal. The General Court in October last by their Order gave him with Nickolson & the Rest of the Quakers libertie to pass for England or else to go out of this Jurisdiction engaging not to Return, which he & they rejected and would not Accept of, Save the said Nicholson & his Wife578: being now brought to the Barr was Indicted by the Name of William Ledra, for not having the fear of God before his Eyes, notwithstanding your being Sentenced by the Last Court of Assistants held at Boston 4th of Septembr. 1660 to Banishment on pain of Death, according to the Laws here established, have Returned into this Jurisdiction in a Rebellious and Seditious Manner contrary to the wholesome Laws of this Country, made for the Preservation of the Peace & wellfare of the same: And in Open Court, on the Reading the Last Court of Assistants Jud[gment?] against him he acknowledged in open Court that he was [the?] Person in said Judgment so banished. In answer to what[he?] sayd he was tendered in open Court if he could produce a [law?]of England Repugnant to our Law here against Quakers[,] [he?] shouldbe heard, he sayd in open Court, he owed no Subjectio[n to the] wicked Laws of this Jurisdiction, sayd he [w?]ould not owne [this?] Governourto be his Judge and sayd I have Spoken the truth [ ] you can, on the Governours Question to him why he Intruded [ ] on Us against our Concience, he Answered you know not w[hat?] belongs to Concience & sayd I Shall not hear the Word [of God?] among You and I shall Still owne these you put to death [ ] Quakers to be the Servants of God & sayd with that Spirit [which thou?] callest the Divell do Wee worship God. your Magistrates Do [not?] I owne them no more Subjection than Daniell to Nebuchadnazar, [he?] sayd he knew no hurt in Speaking English then in Wearing Cloath[es] in a decent manner: and sayd I know your Ministers are deluders & yourselves Murderers and If ever I turn to Such Murderers as you are let all this Company Say I have turned from the God, which is the Salvation of his People & this I will seale with my blood. It was told him he might have his life & be at libertie if he would, he Answered I am willing to dy for it, Saying he Spake the truth. It was sayd do you beleive the Scriptures to be Gods Word, how dare you then Revile Magistrates & Ministers, he sayd it is not Reviling to Speak the truth you are Such as I affirm you to be, was it not the Spirit of Christ breathed in Stephen when he told the People they were Murtherers, he was bid prove himself to be Such an one as Stephen, he sayd We must go where the Lord draws Us, When he was Spoken to to shew any Christian that would divulge his opinion without a call from God especially any New thing he Answered your Ministers say they Preach by Virtue of that Commission Go & teach all Nations he was Answered, where Called, there & then to Preach but not in Turky where Prohibited.
The Indictment being again Read before the Prisoner at the barr, The Jury Considering the Courts Judgment the Prisoners confession brought in their Verdict they found him Guilty.
The Governour in the Name of the Court Pronounced Sentence agt him That Is You William Ledra are to goe from hence to the place from whence you came & from thence be carried to the place of Execution and there hang till you be dead.
A true Copy As Appears of Record.
Examd. ꝑ Elisha Cooke Cler:
Wm Leddra his Sentance a true Coppy.
Excepting this single record, so copied and certified, no record or official copy of record of proceedings in the Court of Assistants against the Quakers at that period has been found or is known to be in existence. Aside from its unique character, it has many points of historical and judicial interest.579
On behalf of Mr. Worthington C. Ford, a Corresponding Member, Mr. Albert Matthews communicated by title a Bibliography of the Laws of the Massachusetts Bay from 1641 to 1776.580
Again on behalf of Mr. Ford, Mr. Matthews communicated two documents581 relating to the proposed incorporation of Boston in or about 1714. These follow.
Between a Boſton Man and a Country Man.
Boſton. WE are like to be involved under great difficulties and bondage by the Projeing Gentlemen of this Town.
1. The Charge of Incorporating this Town will be very Great, in Tranſlating of it into a City, a Town, Priſon and Keeper, a Bridewell, and keeper of Two Great Silver Maſes, to be carryed before the Mayor, and two Men to carry them; and a Sword Bearer; a Clerk of the Court; a Clerk of the Market; a Recorder; a Chamberlain; and our Paying for our Freedom, that was Free-born and in bondage to no Man.
2. That which is worſt than all, is to the Trading part which is put under a poffibility of being reduced to manage but one Trade, which will be great Confuſion, if not Unſupportable in its difficulties, viz. The Shop-keepers which do many of them occupy more than Twelve Trades; and the Handy-crafts-men as many as their Genus and Stock do lead them to, without Interruption.
3. The Laying us under difficulties with reſpe to our Proviſion, in that it muſt be brought into the Market, and there Pay dues and duties, and obſerve our Cuſtoms; which we believe they will not ſo long as Charleſtown and Roxbury do ſtand.
4. The taking away the Ancient Rights, and undoubted Property of our Voting at Town Meetings, which we now enjoy.
Country-man. 1. I Have heard ſomething of this before: and it was reſented to me to be for the Honour and Benefit of the Town, which I ſhould be glad of, viz The Mayor and Aldermen muſt be Men of conſiderable Subſtance in the World, which will be for the Honour of your Town: at the leaſt they muſt be worth a 1000l.
2. They will be able by this to Regulate your Town better than now it is, and to take. Notice who comes into the Town; and to Let in or Keep out who they pleaſe: for they hinder by your Charter all that will not Pay 5l. for their Freedom to the Mayor; and be alſo able to dete Vice, and to hinder ſuch Outrages as have broke out of late.
3. I ſhould be willing to hope that they will not lay you under thoſe difficulties with reſpe to the Trading Part of the Town, altho’ I confeſs it is in their Power to Reduce each Man in the Town to Occupy but one Trade.
4. What if you loſe your Priviledge of Voting, as long as you have Men in of Good Eſtates, and undoubted Fidelity, for they take off the trouble from you.
5. By this you refle upon thoſe Gentlemen that Compoſed your Charter.
Boſton Anſwer. I Alwayes obſerved, That when any Great Proje was in hand I by a Deſigning and Projeing People, it was covered over with ſome plauſible Story: If you look back no further than Dr. Sacheverell’s days, That the Church was in danger under the preſent Miniſtry, when in reality it was France was in danger, and the Pretender was in danger: but Experience hath taught us, That the Church hath really been in danger ever ſince that Miniſtry was turned out, until His Majeſty King GEORGE came to the Crown.
2. Obje. You ſay they will be better able to Regulate your Town.
I anſwer: I do not like the Rule of Regulating of it, nor the Qualifications of Mayor & Aldermen; for a Man may be worth a 1000l. and yet have neither Grace nor good Manners, but be a Coveteous Man, that may be like a Wolfe among Sheep: An honeſt Man may not come into the Town without buying his Freedom, and if one never ſo vile may force his Freedom upon his Tender of 5l, to the Mayor: So now I think we have a much better way already, for a Man to give to the Town Security.
Sir, I think you are miſtaken about that, this would hinder ſuch Outrages that hath broken out of late, except it ſhould give a Power of Devination whereby they ſhould Divine or Tell who they are; for when we know who they are we have Power enough to dete them already.
3. You ſay, You are willing to hope that by your being Incorporated, they will not lay the Trading part of the Town under ſuch difficulties, altho’ they have Power enough in their hands.
Sir, You miſtake again, there is no grounds for you or us to hope ſo, except you believe that Rich Coveteous Mayors will not love Money, nor honeſt Mayors be bounded by the Oath of God, nor Town-Serjeants willing to Serve Warrants, nor Counſellors willing to plead Caſes. Furthermore, I can aſſure you, That a Hatter in this Town which underſtands the Nature of a Corporation, I believe, better than thoſe Projeing Gentlemen, did declare in my hearing, That if this Place was Incorporated, they ſhould have a good Trade (for from that day no Shop-keeper might Sell a Hat:) and further added, That there was fome Shop-keepers did Sell more Hats than they, which was of the Trade.
4. You ſay, What if you do loſe your Power of Voting at Town Meetings, as long as you have Men in of Good Eſtates and undoubted Fidelity, to take off the trouble from you.
Anſwer. Its hard to find them amongſt us: but the common Maxim is, If you would have your work well done do it your ſelf. I obſerve in that great and laſt Speech of King WILLIAM, of Bleſſed Memory, to His Parliament, He Exhorts them to hold the Ballance of Europe in their hands: therefore I conclude, we ought to be careful how we let go the Ballance out of our hands.
5. You ſay, By this you refle upon thoſe Gentlemen, even Thirty that Conſulted and Compoſed this Charter.
I anſwer, Its true, and if Men will fiſh in ſuch dirty Waters, and bring or endeavour to bring on their Neighbours ſuch Calamities, they ought not to think or take it hard to have dirt thrown in their Faces,for I ſee no ground to believe that they were free from Proud Spirits, and a deſire from their Places to receive Greetings in the Market Places, and Coveteous, if not of finding the Philoſophers Stoue; yet to have a fellow-feeling of every bodies Pocket in the whole Town, and of being like to the Great Fiſh, of being lords over the Small, to make them to obſerve their Motions, and alſo in part to live upon them.
Country Man. I thank you for giving me ſuch light with reſpe to the Bondage and Difficulties that as you ſay you are like to be brought under: I am of your Mind, and I would offer you ſome Advice, which if followed, by the bleſſing of God may prove effeual.
1. Be careful to bring up your North Nagatives.
2. Be ſure that you chooſe a good Moderator.
3. That for the future there ſhall be no Publick Buſineſs brought into a Town-Meeting, except ſuch & ſuch Things as your Townſ hall think meet, or Warned for before, and having Voted, then your Town Clerkto Record it, which if you do, I doubt not but it will be for your good, and ſo you may hold the Ballance with thoſe Projeing Gentlemen.
Boſlon. I thank you for your good Advice; and do believe that its our concern to Obſerve it; ſeeing we have ſo Noble a Hero to follow as KING GEORGE, which aſſured His Council, That there is not One among them ſhall more Earneſtly endeavour the Preſervation of Property than My Self.
PRINTED FOR A PUBLICK GOOD. 1714.
My ſon, fear thou the Lord, and the King: and meddle not with them that are given to change, Proverbs Chap. 24. Verſe 21.
FOraſmuch as there are many Perſons who feem very fond of having the Town of Boſton Incorporated, and tell of many Advantages ’twould be to the Inhabitants; and becauſe the great Annual Meeting of the Town is now at hand, and that it is greatly to be feared thoſe Perſons out of a pretended zeal to do the Town Service, will be buſy and aive to bring the Town, at their approaching Meeting into the ſame Sentiments they themſelves pretend to have, and into the ſo long in vain, ſpread Net: Its thought it might be of ſome uſe to the Town, at this time, to lay before them ſome of the great Priviledges they now enjoy, and which if once given up for aCharter, could not be Purchaſed again for the Wealth of the whole Town: And alſo to repreſent to them the Views and Ends of ſome of thoſe Perſons who are ſo Urgent and Preſſing with them to Petition for a Charter, and to have them Incorporated.
A People can hardly be guilty of a greater folly than to change a Government under which, not only they, but their Fathers alſo, for a long time have Lived, Flouriſhed and Proſpered; it having been ever looked on as a very hazardous, perillous and dangeous thing for a People ſo to do. Iſrael of Old got but little by changing their Government and their King, the King of Heaven, for King Saul. The Inhabitants of this Province think they got but little by the Change made in their Government about Twenty-five years ago. And indeed ’tis not to be hoped that, if Boſton ſhould Change, it would be for the better; but very much to be feared, ’twould be for the worſe. Boſton has now been Setled for near an Hundred years, and has from its Infant State, till now, been Governed by the fame Methods it is at this day. Our Forefathers, the firft Founders of this Town, eſteemed by all that ever heard of them, to be Judicious, Underſtanding Men; choſe and prefered this ſort of Town Government, under which we now live, & under which they lived all their time, to all others whatſoever: And many of them lived to ſee this ſpot of Ground, from a Wilderueſs and Deſart place, as it was, to become in their day, a Town Conſiderable for Trade, Riches and Number of Inhabitants; thro’ the Good Government of it; And their Deſendants and thoſe who have come after them may indeed, juſtly, now behold it as the moſt conſiderable Town; for the time it has flood, on the whole Earth. What an Inſtance then of Folly and Levity in a People muſt it needs appear, to all conſidering Perſons, for them to Change a Government under which they have thus proſpered, for One which may be their utter Ruin, Confuſion & Undoing; by driving out the Trade of the Town, to its Neighbouring Towns, & ſo make them Rich & Happy, and this Poor, and Miſerable.
Boſton does not owe its preſent Grandeur, in ſome Mens Opinions, more to its excellent Harbour, and good Air, than it does to its excellent good Government, the Eaſe and Security of which has from time to time invited great Numbers to come and Settle in it: a Government the leaſt burthenſome to the Inhabitants, and expenſive of their Time & Money, of any Government whatſoever, and affording more than any other to the Induſtry of thoſe who live under it; permitting them to Exerciſe it about one, or more Callings, as they ſhall find moſt conducing to their own Welfare; and at no time calling them forth, or from their Affairs, to the loſs of their Time & Money, as Corporations do, to attend on Needleſs, Childiſh, and troubleſome Formalities.
The Inhabitants of Boſton have a Legislative Power, that is a Power to make what Laws they think fit, for their own Government, with the conſent of the Juſlices of the County in their Seſſions; ſo as they be not repugnant to the Laws of the Province; and with Penalties to them, if they pleaſe: and what Sanion more could they give their Laws if they were a Corporation? Since the Penalty of a Law, is all the Sanion it can have.
And as to Jurisdiion, Boſton has all the Advantages of it, without being at any of the Charges Corporations are at to Support their Magiſtrates: for Boſton being the County Town, and that wherein all the County Courts are held, none of its Inhabitants need ever go out of it for Juſtice in greater Cauſes: And for leſſer cauſes, the want of a Mayor or Town Magiſtrate, is abundantly ſupplyed by the reſiding of Nine or Ten Juilices of the County conſtantly within it; who are obliged to take Cognizance of all Tranſgreſlors of the Towns by Laws, as well as of Offences againſt the Laws of the Province: its hard to think that no one of all theſe Juſtices, nor all of them put together, tho’ they are equally concerned with others in the Welfare of the Town, as being all of them Inhabitants of it, and having Conſiderable Eſtates in it, ſhould not have ſo much Zeal to ſerve the Town as One Mayor or Bayliſſ.
But they who are for a Corporation, may make the following Objection, to what has been ſaid, Viz. If the being Incorporated brings Charges and Troubles only on a People, without Privileges and Advantages, how comes it to paſs, that almoſt every Town in Great Britain has ſought to be, and is a Corporation? The Anfwers to this Objeion will let the Inhabitants of the Town of Boſton into the true Reaſons which make ſome Perſons among them ſo ſet upon bringing Boſton into a Corporation.
1. Then the Inhabitants of a Town in Great Britain, before they are Incorporated, have no Power at all to make any Orders, or By-Laws for their own Rule or Government, but are altogether Dependent on, and Governed by the General Laws of the Kingdom; and therefore are under a ſort of neceflity to ſeek for a Charter, and of being Incorporated, that ſo they may have a Power to make By-Laws or Orders referring to ſome particular Affairs among themfelves, which the General Laws of the Land don’t take notice of, or ſufficiently provide for. But Boſton has already the Power of making By-Laws as we have here before ſhewn, and therefore needs not a Charter on this Account.
2. In every County in Great Britain, there is, for the moſt part, a great Number of Great Towns, and conſequently every one of them cannot have the advantages of being a County Town, and of having the County Courts kept in it, as Boſton has, ſo that the Inhabitants of thoſe Places, which are not County Towns, are neceſſitated, for Law andJuſtice, to go far from their own homes to the County or Shire Town, to their great expence both of Time and Money, to avoid thoſe Inconveniencies, they get themſelves Incorporated, that they may have Courts of Juſtice among themſelves.
3. But left the two preceeding Anſwers ſhould not ſuffice, it may not be amiſs here to ſubjoin a Third, which take as follows, Great Britain hath and doth abound with Gentlemen, who tho’ they dont, it may be, believe, Dominion is founded in Grace, yet, as a great many others, in other parts of the World verily believe, ſo do they, That its founded in Money; which by the way, is the true reaſon, why oftentimes we ſee them ſo much more Solicitous to become Rich Men, than they are to become Good Men. Another ſort of Men Great Britain hath alwayes abounded with, who tho’ they have not the Eſtates of Gentlemen, are brought up as Gentlemen; and would always live as ſuch if they could: and with Lawyers & Schollars, to that degree, that’s utterly impoſſible there ſhould be Places enough for them in the National Government; and yet the Dependence of the Three laſt ſort of Men, for their Subſiſtence in the World, is upon fome Publick Place: and its almoſt impoſſible to keep the firſt fort quiet and eaſy under any Government, while they are no other way diſtinguiſhed from their Neighbours, but by their Eſtates; and therefore its abſolutely neceſſary, for all thefe ſorts of Men, that every conſiderable Town in the Kingdom, ſhould have a Charter, and ſet up within it ſelf a particular Government, within the great National One; that ſo he that could not arrive to be a Counſellor, Treaſurer or Secretary of State; might at leaſt be diſtinguiſhed, from his meaner Neighbours, by being made a Mayor, Alderman, Common Councilman, Recorder, Clerk, or Treaſurer to ſome City, or Corporation.
But as the Town of Boſton now enjoys the greateſt and moſt precious Priviledge, any Town or Society can be poſſeſſed of, viz. The, transacting of all Affairs relating to the Town, by a major Voice of all its Freeholders Aſſembled together; its to be hoped they wont reſign it, for they know not what. Thoſe that put them ſo much upon being Incorporated, may draw up a Charter full of Choice Privileges, and read it to the Town when they have done; and ſo the Town may be drawn in to Petition for a Charter, thinking to have that very One that’s read to them in the Town Meeting, but they are to conſider, that when once they have Petitioned for a Charter, they muſt take with a great deal of thankfulneſs that which ſhall be offered to them; and not refuſe it, becauſe ’tis not ſuch an One as they thought to have; for Beggars muſt not be Chooſers; and its not to be thought that ever any one, who went to Petition a Sovereign Prince for a Charter, had the Hardineſs or Inſolence to diate to Him the Privileges or Articles he would have it to contain:Such a Petitioner for a Charter, might rather expe a Mittimus to be Writ him, than a Charter, for his Commitment to ſome Goal, there to lye to be better Inſtrued in good manners. However, if the Town were but Incorporated, ’twould anſwer the End, let the Charter be what it would, for tho’ the Town ſhould get nothing by it, yet the Projeors would be ſure to get Places, in which they’d find their Account, and their Ends anſwered.
Then Farewel to all Town-Meetings, and to the Management of the Town Affairs by the Freeholders, Collectively, Rich & Poor Men, then will no more be jumbled together in Town Offices, as they are in the Grave, no more Mobb Town-Meetings of Freeholders, (as ſome are pleaſed to call them:) No, no: Then the Rich will exert that right of Dominion, which they think they have excluſive of all others: Then the Town Affairs will be managed by a Repreſentative Body of Men, who will do Honour to the Town; tho‘ ‘tis to be feared, ‘twill be very Coſtly Honour to it; and then the Great Men will no more have the Diſſatisfaion of ſeeing their Poorer Neighbours Stand up for equal Privileges with them, in the higheſt As of Town Governments.
But to Conclude, It is the undoubted right of every Freeholder in Boſton, to ſpeak his Opinion, and give his Advice, and Vote too, concerning any Affair to be Tranſaed by the Town; and they cannot be Outed, or Diveſted of this Right, by any Perſon or Perſons whomſoever; but only by their own A and Deed; This is the great Privilege their Anceſtors have conveyed to them; and which they ought to be very careful of tranſmitting entire to their Poſterity, and thereby let the World know, That they are not only the Heirs of their Fore-fathers Poſſeſſions, but the Heirs of their Virtues too. Solomon tell us, Proverbs 1. 17. Surely in vain the Net is ſpread in the ſight of any Bird. The Inhabitants of Boſton cannot be Ignorant, that there are ſome deſigning Men ſetting a Trap for them; ’its to be hoped, then, they will not ſhew themſelves to be ſillier than a Bird; in ſuffering themſelves to be taking by a Trap, ſet, in their ſight to catch them; and into which if they once get, there, they and their Poſterity muſt for ever remain and be kept faſt, for the pleaſure and profit of the TRAP-SETTERS. FINIS.
Mr. Matthews made the following remarks:
The first mention of Boston by that name in the Massachusetts Colony Records is under date of 7 September, 1630, when it was “ordered, that Trimountaine shalbe called Boston.”582 Twenty years later, in 1650, an attempt was made to incorporate Boston, and a charter was then actually drawn up.583 Other attempts584 were made in 1659,585 in 1661,586 in 1662,587 in 1663,588 in 1677,589 in 1708–1709,590in 1762,591 and in 1784.592 Thereafter the attempts were frequently repeated until, after nearly a century and three quarters of agitation, the movement culminated in success in 1822.
The documents communicated by Mr. Ford have a double value. First, they are of interest in themselves; secondly, they show that a hitherto unknown attempt to incorporate Boston was made in or about 1714.593 Let us see if we cannot determine the date of the documents with some precision. The first document, the Dialogue, bears the imprint, “printed for a publick good, 1714.” This limits the period of publication from 1 January, 1713–14, to 24 March, 1714–15. Internal evidence, however, restricts the time to a much narrower limit. In the eleventh paragraph and in the last paragraph, there are allusions to King George. Queen Anne died 1 August, 1714, but the news of her death and of the accession of George I. did not reach Boston until 15 September, as appears from the following extract:
Boston, On the 15th Currant, in Letters and Prints brought by Two Vessels arriving here, one from Great Britain, and the other from Cork in Ireland, we received the Sorrowful News of the Death of Our Late Most Gracious Sovereign Lady Queen ANNE of Blessed Memory, And of the Accession of the Most High and Might Prince GEORGE, Elector of Brunswick Lunenburg, to the Crown of Great-Britain &c. Which News was confirmed by the London Gazette from the 31st of July to the 3d of August past, brought in a Ship from Great-Britain arriving the 17th Currant, in which Gazette, we have also the Proclamation of His Majesty accordingly, on the First of August. Whereupon His Excellency the Governour and Council have Determin’d with all possible Solemnity to Publish the said Proclamation here on Wednesday next the 22d Currant.594
The Dialogue, then, must have been printed between 15 September, 1714, and 24 March, 1714–15. During that period, two town meetings were held,—one on 30 November, 1714, the other on 14–21 March, 1714–15. In the warrants595 issued by the selectmen for these meetings, there is no mention of the proposed incorporation.
The date of the second document cannot be determined with such precision. In the second paragraph it is stated that “the Inhabitants of this Province think they got but little by the Change made in their Government about Twenty-five years ago;” and in the first paragraph it is said that “the great Annual Meeting of the Town is now at hand.” While these statements are not decisive,there is nothing in them to prevent the conclusion that the town meeting of March, 1714–15, is meant. If so, the two documents refer to the same attempt. Possibly the documents proved so effective that the advocates of incorporation did not bring the matter before the meeting.
Mr. Henry E. Woods made the following communication:
At the Stated Meeting in December, 1903,596 the Rev. Henry A. Parker read an interesting letter from Muriel (Sedley) Gurdon, wife of Brampton Gurdon, to the wife of Governor John Winthrop, dated at Assington, in Suffolk, England, 4 April, 1636, in which she mentions her son Edmund Gurdon, concerning whom little is known. He came to New England with his sister Muriel (Gurdon) Saltonstall, her husband, Richard Saltonstall (1610–1694), and their infant child Muriel, in the ship “Susan & Ellin,” Edward Payne, Master, in April, 1635. He appears in the list of passengers597 as —
Edmond Gorden . . . 18
This mis-spelling of his name misled Savage598 and Pope,599 who obscured his identity under the name of Gordon. Some justification for this mistake is found in Metcalfe’s Visitation of Suffolk, 1612 (p. 141), wherein the family is described as “Gordon of Assington;” and in Muskett’s Suffolk Manorial Families (I. 285) where, in the pedigree of Brampton of Letton, the family is recorded as Gorden, as in Hotten. The will of Brampton Gurdon of Assington, dated 19 October, 1647, printed by Muskett600 (I. 283, 284), does not mention bis son Edmund, although all the other children are named and, among relatives and friends, “Mr. Edes.” The natural inference is that Edmund was not then living. In the same volume (p. 288), in the pedigree of Gurdon of Letton, it is stated that —
In a letter from Brampton Gurdon to Governor John Winthrop, dated 11 April, 1637, is the following passage:
Sir, as conscearning my sonn Edmund, I neuer ment he should be burddensoum to yow, & so I writ to yow, & I gaue that order to my sonn & dafter Saltonstall, I mad account when they went that I had monis coumming to me for clothe that I scent by Mr. Dellingan,601 I must tele you, I ded maruell when it was furst writ to me that yow had vndertaken him, that yow wear to haue the profit of his 2 bullocks, which wear licke to yeld no profet but charg till the spring followeng, only I hoped you ded geue him soum imployment to helpe toward his charg. Good Sir, I sethen as I resayued your letter, gaue order to pay 20l to Mr. Douneng,602 as the letter dyrected me, & shall wellingly yeld you whot more yow desyer, & so I haue geuen order to my sonn Saltonstall. I haue had a purpos of haueng the boy to returue only in this regard, he haue a copyhould tenement houlden of Do. Warrens603 parsonage at Melford,604 the boy shall if he liu to mid 7bur, be 21 years of age, I would haue him scele it, & then returne if God will, in the spring. I should be glad to fyend him met to maneg the stocke that I desyer to bestow vpon him, it may be 5 or 600l, I shall be glad to be aduised for the best conscedring his weack capasyte for the orderring of it.605
It thus appears that Edmund Gurdon was born about 15 September, 1616, which agrees with the age (18) ascribed to him in the passenger-list of the “Susan & Ellin” in the spring of 1635. It also seems probable that he returned to England during the summer or autumn of 1637, executed the document which his father “would have him scele,” and in the spring of 1638 started on his return to New England and died on the passage, at the Bermudas.
Mr. Edes called attention to a statement recently made606 in which it was asserted that Joseph de Valnais, French consul in Boston, on whom the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred by Harvard College in 1779, was married on 22 May, 1781, to Eunice Quincy, daughter of Henry and Eunice (Newell) Quincy and grandniece of “Dorothy Q.” Mr. Edes pointed out that the marriage did not take place on the date specified, but merely that the marriage intentions were then recorded.607
Mr. Edes read the following —
At the Stated Meeting in January last,608 I made a short communication on Josiah Davenport,609 a nephew of Dr. Franklin, and his family. At that time I was unable to find in print any but the briefest accounts of his distinguished son, General FranklinDavenport. These were in some respects contradictory; and all were deficient in important particulars. I have since secured from correspondents in New Jersey some valuable data drawn from original sources, which seem to justify an attempt to give in our Transactions a connected account of this kinsman of Franklin, who for nearly half a century served New Jersey in military, legislative and judicial life, and in both Houses of Congress.610
Engraved for The Colonial Society of Massachusetts from a proof of St. Memin’s plate in teh possession of William James Campbell, Esquire
General Davenport was the elder son of Josiah Davenport by his second wife, Ann Annis, to whom he was married in Philadelphia on the thirteenth of December, 1751.611 The places and dates of his birth and baptism are not known; some writers saythat he was born in Philadelphia,612 while another613 names New Jersey as his native State; and one of these places his birth “about 1752.”614 If the recently discovered contemporary newspaper announcements of his death are accurate as regards his age, General Davenport was born in 1755 or 1756. The printed accounts just cited agree in stating that he had a “liberal” or an “academic” education, but are silent as to where it was received. Adopting the profession of law, he was early admitted to the Bar and began practice at Woodbury, New Jersey, where, apparently, he made his permanent home. In speaking of his professional life, Mr. William Nelson writes:
Franklin Davenport was licensed as an attorney-at-law, at the November Term, 1776, of the New Jersey Supreme Court. He was doubtless just twenty-one years of age at the time. In the ordinary course, he would have been licensed as counsellor three years later, but the records of our Supreme Court from about 1780 to 1792, are imperfect, and no record has been found of his license as counsellor. In 1797 [at the April term] he was called up as a sergeant-at-law; the sergeants were selected from the most conspicuous counsellors.
On the first of October, 1776, Franklin Davenport was appointed Clerk of the Peace and Pleas for Burlington County.615 His professional career, however, was interrupted by the Revolutionary War. In response to an inquiry for information concerning his military service, I received from General Breintnall a courteous reply in which he was so kind as to enclose the following certificate:
State of New Jersey,
Office of Adjutant General,
Trenton, May 15, 1906.
It is certified, That the records of this office show that
served as a Private, Captain James Sterling’s Company, First Regiment, Burlington County New Jersey Militia; Quartermaster, First Regiment, Burlington County, New Jersey Militia; Brigade Major, New Jersey Militia; Captain Lieutenant, Captain Samuel Hugg’s Company, Artillery, Gloucester County New Jersey Militia, Brigadier General Silas Newcomb’s Brigade; at ‘battles of Trenton, New Jersey, December 26, 1776; Princeton, New Jersey, January 3, 1777; Cooper’s Creek and Saunder’s Hill on Mantua Creek, Gloucester County, New Jersey, December, 1777; Assistant Quartermaster, Quartermaster General’s Department; Captain and Quartermaster, Quartermaster General’s Department; assistant Quartermaster General, Quartermaster General’s Department; Assistant Quartermaster, Gloucester Brigade, New Jersey Militia, February 25, 1778; Captain and Quartermaster, Gloucester County Militia, March 2, 1778, to March 2, 1779, — served to the close of the Revolutionary War.
Commissioned Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding, First Regiment, Infantry, New Jersey Detached Militia, Brigadier General Joseph Bloomfield’s Brigade, September 24, 1794, for three months; discharged December 25, 1794, expiration of service,—during the Pennsylvania Insurrection, 1794.616
Commissioned Brigadier General, Gloucester County New Jersey Militia, November 4, 1796.
Commissioned Major General, First Division, New Jersey Militia, November 12, 1823.617
R. Heber Breintnall,
At the close of the War for Independence, General Davenport resumed the practice of law, and in 1785 was appointed by the Governor, acting in his capacity of Ordinary,618 Surrogate of Gloucester County. He was a member of the General Assembly of New Jersey from Gloucester County from 1787 till 1789.619 On the sixth of November, 1792, and again on the sixth of November, 1812, he was chosen a Presidential Elector.620 On the nineteenth of December, 1798, by appointment of the Governor, he took his seat as a Senator of the United States from New Jersey, as the successor of John Rutherfurd, who had resigned the office, and served till the third of March, 1799.621 At the next National election he was chosen a Representative in the Sixth Congress and served from the second of December, 1799, till the third of March, 1801.622 On the seventeenth of November, 1801, he was appointed Master in Chancery, and on the fourteenth of July, 1826, Master and Examiner in Chancery.623 On the sixth of November, 1812, he was appointed Bank Commissioner of the State Bank of Camden.624 On the fourth of July, 1812, he was present at the head of the delegation of ten members from Gloucester County in the Peace Convention held by the Federalists of New Jersey in the City of Trenton.625 The last appointment of General Davenport to office of which I have any knowledge is that as Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Gloucester County, on the eighth of November, 1828, when he was also appointed a Justice of the Peace for the same County.626
A long search for the name of General Davenport’s wife resulted in finding the following contemporary announcements of his marriage:
Married, on Friday evening last, by the Rev. Mr. Clarkson, Gen. Franklin Davenport, of Woodbury, in New Jersey, to Miss Sarah Barton Zantzinger, Daughter of Paul Zantzinger, Esq., of this Borough.627
Married. On Friday evening, the 18th inst., at the borough of Lancaster (Penn). General Franklin Davenport, to Miss Sarah Barton Zantzinger, daughter of Paul Zantzinger, Esq.628
Athough there may have been children of this marriage, I have been unable to learn the name of any, owing to the imperfection of the town and church records of Woodbury and the absence of any probate proceedings upon General Davenport’s estate either at Woodbury or at Trenton.
Three of the biographical dictionaries or cyclopædias which have been already cited state that General Davenport died “about 1829.” An examination of the principal newspapers of that period printed in Philadelphia and New Jersey proved the inaccuracy of this date. The most important obituary notice which was found follows:
ANOTHER REVOLUTIONARY SOLDIER GONE.
At Woodbury, New Jersey, on the morning of the 27th instant [ultimo, July] General Franklin Davenport, in the 77th year of his age. His remains were deposited in the burial ground near Woodbury on Saturday afternoon last, by the side of his relative.629 As it is contemplated by his friends to give a short history of his valuable life, it is considered unnecessary to say more upon this melancholy subject at this time than is contained in this notice.630
This communication may be fitly closed by the following brief notice of General Davenport which appears in one of the New Jersey county histories:
It is believed that the subject of this sketch was Woodbury’s first lawyer. He was one of the most distinguished men in the State, and the most noted citizen of Old Gloucester County in its early days. During the Revolutionary War he served as an officer of the New Jersey troops, and particularly distinguished himself at Fort Mifflin, under Gen. Samuel Smith, and after the war was known as GeneralDavenport. When the office of County Surrogate was created General Davenport was appointed to the position by Governor William Livingston, and was sworn in February 15, 1785, before Judge John Wilkins. He practised law at the same time he was Surrogate, and from the frequent mention of his name in the early county records it is evident that he had an extensive practice. During 1798 and. 1799 he was a United States Senator from New Jersey, and for two years thereafter a member of Congress. He was a member of the famous “Fox Hunting Club,” established in this county prior to the Revolution, and we find his name among the original Trustees of Woodbury Academy, erected 1791, also among the original members of the Woodbury Library Company, instituted in 1794. He was one of the first members of the Gloucester County Bible Society, founded in 1816. During the “Whiskey Insurrection” in Pennsylvania, in 1794, General Davenport was a Colonel commanding New Jersey troops. Among the records in the Surrogate’s office, Woodbury, occurs the following:
December term, 1794. No business, the Surrogate (the first appointed), Franklin Davenport, having marched from Trenton, N. J., through Pennsylvania to Pittsburgh, as Colonel commandant of a detachment of New Jersey militia, consisting of seven hundred and twenty-four, rank and file, with a double proportion of field and staff officers, by order of the President of the United States, George Washington, to assist in quelling an insurrection raised by the patriots of the day.
His house and office were in a frame building that stood on the site just south of Paul’s Hotel, now occupied as the residence of George Brick.631
Engraved for The Colonial Society of Massachusetts from the original by Rembrandt Peale in the possession of Mrs. Sterling Smith
Mr. Edes made the following remarks:
As so much injustice has been done General William Hull and his memory by contemporaries and by later writers, it seems proper that there should be preserved the testimony of an eye-witness of a meeting between the Marquis de Lafayette and General Hull, which has recently been put into my hands by a great-granddaughter of the General.
The loss of Detroit on the sixteenth of August, 1812, in consequence of the failure of the Government to support him, as it had pledged itself to do, in carrying out his orders to invade Canada with a wholly inadequate force, resulted in General Hull being courtmartialled, the trial taking place at Albany. He was charged with treason, cowardice, and neglect of duty, found guilty on the second and third charges, and sentenced to be shot. In view, however, of his services during the Revolutionary War he was recommended to the mercy of the President. Madison approved the sentence but remitted its execution. It was not until 1824 that Hull succeeded in getting access to documents in the archives of the War Department which were essential to his vindication. Thereupon he published his Memoirs of the Campaign of 1812, which at once changed public opinion in his favor.632 The next year (1825) General Hull was given a public dinner by leading citizens of Boston of both political parties as an expression of their sympathy and esteem.633 He died at his house in Newton, Massachusetts, in the following autumn, 29 November, 1825, in his seventy-third year.634
On the twenty-fifth of August, 1824, soon after Lafayette’s return to America, General Hull wrote to him a letter635 of which a rough draught has been preserved in the family of his grandson, the late Rev. Dr. James Freeman Clarke. This follows.
Amidst the general Joy, which inspired all ranks and classes of my fellow Citizens, the moment, you step’d your feet, on American ground, which your youthfull valor defended, all the recollections of that event-full period, were brought back to my mind. I remembered the feelings of joy which were excited on your first arrival, the dangers, you voluntarily encountered, and the wounds you received, in the contest for our safety and independence. Permit me, one of your associates in the memorable scenes, to present to you, the homage of my most sincere congratulations, on your return to witness the blessings, which your disinterested and gallant [services] were so instrumental in acquiring.
The purest patriotism, and the greatest human wisdom, will not always control our destinies. The purity of your views, and the most disinterested and patriotic services, in your own Country, illustrate, in a forcible manner, this truth.
Misfortunes, uncommon in their nature, and arising from causes, which never have been developed, have attended the exertions, which duty commanded me to make in defending those rights, in acquiring which my feeble but best exertions were frequently called into action. You probably may have some knowledge of my situation and the events to which I allude.
Since these events, I have retired from society, and devoted myself, exclusively to my family, and agracultural pursuits. A consciousness of the most upright intentions, and having discharged a duty, at a most critical period, in the most faithfull manner [of which] 1 was capable, has been my support, amidst the trials, which I have been called to experience.
Untill within a few months, I was not able to obtain the documents, necessary, to exhibit a correct account of the operations of the Campaign of 1812, and have been silent on the subject. Lately, I have commenced, and nearly finished the publication of a series of numbers, founded principally on documents, which Mr Calhoun, our Secretary of War, has furnished, which, I presume will give a satisfactory view, of the causes of the disasters, of the Army, I commanded. As soon as the publication of these numbers is finished in the News papers, I shall republish them in a pamphlet, when I will do myself the honour, to present to you a Copy.
Any attempt to unfold the truth, of any military operations in a Country, in which you have acted so distinguished a part, I am sure will be received by you, and examined with candour, and an impartial decision will be formed. In the year 1795, I did myself the honour, to call and pay my respects to your Lady, the Marchioness, De la Fyatte in Paris, when you were absent.
When the splendour of parade has subsided, and you are quietly seated in your house, I shall wish to call, and once more enjoy the pleasure of personally assuring [you] of my warmest wishes for your prosperity and happiness.
With the highest respect I remain your old friend
and most devoted humble Servt636
The Columbian Centinel of Wednesday, 22 June, 1825, p. 2/1, contains the following paragraph:
On Sunday [19 June] he [Lafayette] attended divine service in the Church in Brattle Street, and in Trinity Church. During the intermission he visited Gen. Hull and Lady, at the residence of Mr. McLellan, in Winthrop Place,637 where he met his old companions in arms, Gen. Cobb, Gen. Huntington, Col. Putnam, and others.
It was on this occasion, when several of General Hull’s grandchildren were present, that Mr. McLellan’s youngest child, Sarah Ann Fuller McLellan, presented a rose to Lafayette, who took her in his arms and kissed her. She subsequently married Dr. William Read, a graduate of Dartmouth College in the class of 1839, and died 20 May, 1905.638 In 1877 her cousin, Mrs. Anna Hickman Chalmers,639 wrote to an elderly gentleman, who was a great admirer of General Hull, a letter from which the following passage is copied:
In obedience to your request that I would transcribe my recollections of the meeting of my grandfather, General Hull, with General Lafayette, when the latter visited our country in the year 1825 I would say that I was present at the house of my uncle, Isaac McLellan, in Boston, when the General made a special visit to my grandfather. It was very touching to witness the meeting of the old companions in arms. General Lafayette embraced my grandfather in the French form, laying his hands upon his shoulders, and said, among other words of gracious welcome, “We both have suffered contumely and reproach; but our characters are vindicated; let us forgive our enemies and die in Christian love and peace with all mankind.”
One of Isaac McLellan’s sons, Henry Blake McLellan, born 16 September, 1809, graduated at Harvard College in the great Class of 1829, and died in Boston, 4 September, 1833, at the early age of twenty-four. After graduation, he went abroad, and was Lafayette’s guest at La Grange.
Mr. Edes also made the following communication:
Mr. Charles Butler Brooks of Boston has recently put into my hands two original papers with permission to communicate them to this Society for publication in our Transactions: a Petition, in 1680, of Joshua Scottow to the General Court for redress from the persecution of Nicholas Shapleigh, Edward Rishworth, and Samuel Wheelwright; and the Oath, Declaration and Association subscribed by Wait Winthrop, 20 May, 1700, when he qualified as Judge of the Court of Vice-Admiralty.
Captain Joshua Scottow, with his mother Thomasine and brother Thomas, about 1634640 came to Boston, where he was a prominent merchant and a Selectman 1657–1667.641 His house and half acre of garden were on that part of Sudbury Street now known as Court Street.642 The lot was on the northeasterly side of the street, between Brattle Street and the present Cornhill. It had a frontage of about a hundred feet, of which perhaps twenty feet were taken when Cornhill was laid out, in 1816. The estate extended back between two hundred and three hundred feet, nearly to Franklin Avenue and Brattle Square. He early joined the First Church643 and was among those members who became the founders of the Old South Church, in 1669.644 In 1645 he was appointed by the General Court commissioner to regulate the export of powder.645 He was ensign, and later captain, of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company;646 and in 1654–1657 the confidential agent of La Tour in transactions with the Colonial government.647 He was well connected socially, his eldest daughter, Lydia, having married (1) Benjamin Gibbs, (2) Anthony Checkley, the Attorney General, and (3) William Colman, the father of John Colman,648 a prominent merchant, and the Rev. Dr. Benjamin Colman; while another daughter, Elizabeth, married Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Savage (1640–1705),649 and a third, Mary, became the wife of Captain Samuel Checkley. Still another daughter, Rebecca, married the Rev. Benjamin Blakeman (H. C. 1663) of Saco, Maine.650 His only son, Thomas Scottow,651 graduated at Harvard College in 1677, and after graduation went to reside at Black Point, where, later, he commanded the garrison. Andros appointed him Register of Probate and County Commissioner for the County of York at or about the same time that he commissioned Captain Scottow Judge of Probate for the same county.652
In 1660 Captain Joshua Scottow began to buy land in Scarborough, in the Province of Maine. In July, 1666, he purchased from Henry Jocelyn the Cammock Patent “bounded on the East, West & South part of it by bay of Sacoe & other Rivers or Crickes,”653 and on the North by Robert Jordan’s patent, together with 750 acres bordering upon it.654 He became the principal landed proprietor in the town, and having gone there to reside permanently, about 1670, he also became a leading merchant and prominent citizen, his residence being at Black Point where his garrison-house was built.
On the seventh of July, 1674, Scottow was appointed on a committee to repair and finish the prison at Casco;655 and at the same meeting of the County Court, held at York, he was presented “for presuming the office of a commissioner . . . for ye Town of Scarborough, hee not being chosen by the Sd. Town.”656 In 1676, however, we find him exercising that function without challenge.657 In 1679, “the [six] gentlemen clothed with judicial authority for the Eastern Province” included Captain Scottow,658 who, at the beginning of President Danforth’s administration, in 1680, was appointed one of the Standing Council, the members of which, besides being the upper branch of the Legislature, were also judges of the Supreme Court and magistrates throughout the Province.659 After the overthrow of Andros, the Council of Safety, 15 May, 1689, confirmed the former Councillors of the Province, including Scottow, in their offices, and they were afterward established in their official trust by the General Court, 24, 25 May, 1689.660 In 1680 Scottow was also appointed by the General Court captain of the military company at Black Point.661” In 1681 we find him complaining against the Selectmen of Scarborough for overrating him.662 On the twenty-seventh of June, 1683, he was of a committee to treat with the Indians at Saco.663 The same year, 1683, he was the trustee of Scarborough and Falmouth townships.664 On the twenty-fifth of June, 1684, he was named on a commission “for the well ordering & repayres of Fort Loyall at Falmouth & to settle a Cheefe officer over the same.”665 From 1687 till 1693, as we have already seen, he was Judge of Probate for the County of York.666
Captain Scottow was active in public affairs, civil as well as military. He was appointed to administer oaths, to settle estates, and to act as overseer or adviser in many probate matters. He was also much involved in litigation, both as plaintiff and defendant, in cases relating to real estate, trespass, debt, replevin, and breach of forfeiture of bonds.667 Williamson describes him as “a very generous and valuable man . . . of great public spirit, [who] did much towards defending Scarborough against the Indians.”668 On the breaking up of the settlements at the Eastward by the French and Indian War, Scottow returned to Boston where, in his old age, he wrote two well known tracts,669 which enjoyed wide popularity at the time of their appearance. He died in Boston at the ripe age of eighty-three. Judge Sewall thus records his death and funeral:
[21 January, 1697–98.] It seems Capt. Scottow died the last night. Thus the New England Men drop away.
[22 January, 1697–98.] Capt. Joshua Scottow is buried in the old burying place; Bearers, Majr Genl Winthrop, Mr. Cook, Col. Hutchinson, Sewall, Sergeant, Walley: Extream Cold. No Minister at Capt. Scottow’s Funeral; nor wife nor daughter.670
Scottow’s grave-stone, discovered more than half a century ago in the tower of the Old South Meeting House in Washington Street, is now set in the outer wall of the Society’s present Meeting House in Boylston Street.671
The text of Scottow’s Petition follows.
To the Honorable Govṛ̣, Deputy Govṛ, Assistants, & Deputies of the Gn͞all Court now assembled at Boston,
The humble petition of Joshua Scottow
Humbly shewetb, whereas yoṛ petitioner vpon a Complt672 exhibited to yoṛ Honord selves by Nic: Shapleigh,673 Edw: Rishworth674 & Sam: wheelwright675 Augt 9: 1676 was sum̄oud to appeare at yor Session 8ḅẹr following to answer therevnto, in obedience whereof he leaving both his publique & private concernes (which then were not small at Black-point)676 appeared, wherevpon [at] a full hearing he was not onely cleared from yẹ losse of about one hundred pounds due to him from their county (where however artificially they carried matters) was the great crime they would have fastened vpon him, & the County by yorselves judged to pay it to him, & whereas they had accumulated divrse slandrous repches (some could they have bin made good no lesse yn capitall)677 sending forth Sum̄ons to all yṭ could witnes against him to save the County so much mony, all which vpon a full hearing were made evident & by yorselves declared false, & for aught then appeared the complaint was judged vnjust, & that he had faithfully discharged his trust, & they were cast to pay him costs & dam̄age as by the judgemt of said Court 11: 8bẹr 76 fully doth appeare,678 ye Costs by yorselves then determined & was by them all jointly paid, his dam̄age not being then determinable arising from his being drawne from his garrison at yṭ time to answer their vnjust comply since appearing to be above 200ḷ as by Accọ sworne in Court doth appeare, yẹ enimy at yṭ juncto of time demanding his garrison & was delivered vpon articlesn, of em̄ie one carrying of wṭ they had vpon yẹ place except amunico͠n & was duly kept,679 where had your petitioner bin he hopeth thorough grace he should have prvented it, as afterward not half of the strength vpon yt place kept it against double the assailants,680 & should have hindred the delivery vp of a barl. of powder & other amunico͠n to yẹ enimy who marched vp therewith & murderd divrse at wells & other places, but suppose yor petitioner should have proved worse yn they rendred him soe as not to secure his owne house & estate, yet he might & would have saved the above soe681 wcḥ was plunderd & carried of by yẹ English, wherein he is really so much dam̄aged, besides the 100ł above due from ye County who now are soe impoverishd as not able to pay it, not reckoning vp about fourty pounds it cost him to repossesse his house & divrse hundred in the devastao͠n the enimy was hereby incouraged to make for reco͠nie of wd’ dam̄age yor petitioner attached sḍ wheelwright, & sum̄ond the other two to appeare at Boston County Court 27. Jany last to answer his complt in an action of ye Case for dam̄age vpon the complt above to yo’selves exhibited, proving all yẹ abovementioned dam̄age where sḍ wheelwright joined issue, & brought for his defence the worst of all ye oaths he could pick out of the Gn͞all Court records wcḥ yoṛ petitioner had to yorselves ꝑved false being vindicated from ym all, but they were there admitted as good plea agt him, whereas yor petitioner did not expect that to be legall ꝑf agt him from wcḥ he was cleared by yorselves but found it otherwise, though he pleaded himself acquitted by ye gn͞all issue of yor Courts judgemt above-mentioned, nor did he see a liberty to subject the judgemt of his Matiẹs highest Court of Judicature to an inferior power, nothing by him was yn pleaded but wt yorselves had rejected viz: that wt they did was by vertu of a power from yorselves, wch you had condemned in their violating a trust of auditing his Accoṣ & in prtence thereof to combine to vndoe him both in name & estate by false charges, no new thing could they lay to his charge though no small & indefatigable labour was vsed to effect it, but a false oath or two ꝑduced to prove a former alligao͠n, wcḥ as yor petitioner in open Court declared them soe to be, for he is resolvd in due time & place & is prꝑed to ꝑsecute the concerned as ꝑjured.682 Notwthstanding all yor petitioner was cast both at County & Court of Assists where yẹ fforeman of ye Jury before he gave in his verdict declared openly to yẹ Country, that they were sensible yoṛ petitioner was highly damnified both in name & estate, yet as things were stated they could doe no other yṇ find against him.683
The prmises by yoṛ Honours being duely considered.
Yor Petitioner doth not onely hope but humbly craveth that yoṛ Honorṣ will please to appoint time i. e. at ye next Sessions of this Court to giue him a further hearing in a Case wch originally rose from yorselves, soe as the great & evidt dam̄age he hath sustained may be detennind to a finall issue without further charge & trouble, & may tend not onely to yẹ further clearing of his in̄ocency, but that due satisfaction & reꝑao͠n may be made to his estate by those who have damnified him therein, as he doubts not fully to make appeare, which will further oblige him to pray for the Contination of yoṛ Honours happy & peaceable Governmt
As in all duty he is bound.
Yoṛ Obliged & humble Servt
In Answere to this petition wee cannot thinke it Expedient or Law-full to graunt an hearing to yẹ petitionr since ye petitionṛ and parties concerned are now by late transactions put vndr a distinct gouernmṭ vpon ye place viz in ye prouince of Main to wcḥ Authority if he be vnder any Sufferinge he ought to aply him self, Wee Supposeing it to be inconuenient & vnsalf for this Court to commaund any from thence to be iudged or heard here till we are better informd of their manner of Settlemt and obligation to attend these Courts.684
The Deputyes approue of
the return of yẹ com̄ittee
in answer to yṣ pet̃ or honorḍ
magists hereto Consenting
William Torrey Cleric.
Consented to by ye Magiss
Edward Rawson Secret
Capt Scottows peticon &c
Entred wṭh ye magistrs & xs. payd686
It is to be regretted that more is not known of the history and personnel of the Court of Vice-Admiralty. Douglass,687 Washburn,688 and Noble689 have written upon the subject, but their accounts are meagre. Douglass says:
The Charter reserves to the Crown, the Exercise of any Admiral Court or Jurisdiction, by Commissions to be issued under the great Seal of Great Britain, or under the Seal of the High Admiral, or of the Commissioners for executing the Office of High Admiral. This Court of Vice-Admiralty consists of a Judge, a King’s Advocate, a Register, and a Marshal. A sole Judge, without a Jury, in Cases of high Consequence; and this Judge too frequently appointed at Random, seems to be an Error in the Constitution: It is true, there may be an Appeal to a Court of Delegates in Great Britain.
No court of this kind was created in the Province until 1694, and in the meantime the Governor, Phipps, exercised whatever admiralty jurisdiction there was. Upon a representation to the King in regard to the manner in which the Governor performed this part of his duties, a court of Vice Admiralty was created, consisting of one Judge, a King’s Advocate, a Register and a Marshal (p. 172).
A court of admiralty was early organized, and at first embraced New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, which, together, constituted one district. The judge of this district appointed his deputies for particular portions of the territory, and in 1699 Colonel Byfield was made a deputy judge of this court (pp. 178, 179).
If the court was created as early as 1694, it was long before a Judge was appointed to preside in it. In the autumn of 1696 Lieutenant-Governor Stoughton wrote a letter to the Lords of the Privy Council in which he says:
There being no Judge of the Admiralty appointed & Com̄issionated within the same [this Government] I have been prevailed with upon due proofe made to declare them Prizes . . . It seems highly necessary That there be a Judge of yẹ admiralty Com̄issioned for this his matyṣ Province.690
Both Douglass and Washburn assign to Wait Winthrop the honor of having been the first Judge of this Court, Douglass (I. 483) stating that he was appointed 22 May, 1699, and Washburn (p. 176) adding that “Judge Byfield had been made Deputy Judge as early as June, 1699.” The following extracts from the correspondence of Wait Winthrop691 and from Sewall’s Diary, however, prove conclusively that he was not the first incumbent of this office, that his appointment to the Bench was of an earlier date, and that Washburn’s statement respecting Byfield is inaccurate.
sir henry ashurst to wait winthrop.
Lond., th 15 Octo. 98.
Tho I have had no leter since my two last to you, yet I must neuer omitt and oppertunity of paying my respects to you, being I realy honer you for yor indexable fidelity to the best interest of yor countray in all times, and euer since I had an acco. from you that Byfiled was by comition made Judg of the Admiralty, wch was priuatly done by a party that are neither frinds to yor religious or ciuil interest, I was amazed at itt, and haue presented you heer; and Mr. Cooke being ordered by a great minister to name two persons out of wch they would choos one, so I hope hee will not be long liued in that post (p. 42).
sir henry ashurst to wait winthrop.
May th 5, 1699.
I haue yors of 25 July wch lost itts conuayance with that wch couered itt of the 4th of Feb., and I thanke you for itt. I haue considred its contents, and doe assure you I haue bin laboring to the utmost of my power to get Byfeild’s place for you, and I haue now atained itt to my great satisfaction, and yor comition is a drawing; and I am glad I had an oppertunity to serue so good a man (p. 43).
sir henry ashurst to wait winthrop.
Lond., th 6 June, 99.
I haue ⅌ this sent yor commition692 under the great seale to bee Judge of the Admiralty (p. 43).
That Byfield’s tenure of this office was brief is shown by the following entry in Sewall’s Diary, taken in connection with the date (20 May, 1700) on which Winthrop succeeded him. Indeed, Byfield had been superseded in England before he assumed the office here, so slow were the means of communication at that time.
Friday, June 9, 1699. Capt. Natha. Byfield is sworn Judge of the Admiralty, Capt. Lawrence Ham̄ond Register, Franklin, Marshal. This done before the Govr and Council (i. 498).
wait winthrop to sir henry ashurst.
[Boston, August or September, 1699.]
I must now . . . return you thanks for your kind letter, and for the grate care and paines you haue bin taking for me. I know not but you haue don better servis for the people here in geting the other removed then in procuring me in his room, which might haue bin filled up by one more capable for such an employ; however, I am no less obliged for your grate favour and respect to me, and . . . since by your kind recom̄endation I may be thought fit, I shall with the like duty endeavour to serue his Majty in that station as I haue hitherto don in others (p. 49).
It thus appears that Colonel Nathaniel Byfield693 was the first known incumbent of the office of Judge of the Court of Vice-Admiralty, and that he was quickly ousted through the efforts and influence at Court of Sir Henry Ashurst. That Byfield actively endeavored to recover his lost honors is evident from the following passage.
sir henry ashurst to wait winthrop
Lond. th 25 Ap. 700.
I hope you need not fear Mr Byfeild’s threets, aud that you may continue in yor place. I am sure I will doe my utmost that itt shall bee so (p. 60).
Although Byfield did not at once accomplish his purpose, Dudley and his friends secured the removal of Winthrop the following year, 1701.
sir henry ashurst to wait winthrop.
Kensington, th 5 of May, 701.
I heer you haue lost yor laite Gouernor my Lord Belamount and yr friend Mr D[udley] is makeing interest to be Gouerner. Mr Bl[athwayt], hath got one Atwood that my Lord Belamount desired might bee Cheife Justice of New Yorke to bee Judge Auoeate in yor place while I was in the countray.694 But I sopos I shall er long get you in the same post againe (p. 84).
wait winthrop to william atwood.
Boston, August 11th, 1701.
Sr, —Yours came not to hand until it was too late to return an answare by the last post, but I must now tell you I am extreamly well sattisfied his Majty. has bin pleased to appoint a person of such ability and worth as your caracter bespeaks you to succeed in those places you mention, and wish you may find more profitt then I haue done, hauing never bin reimbursed halfe the charge I haue bin unavoydably put upon; besides the comisson which was sent me from England without my knowledg or expectation. We haue no cause depending in the Court of Admiralty either here or at New Hampshire at present that I know of, but if any such should happen I know you will excuse me if I neglect not my duty to his Majtỵ in proceeding according to my com̄ission, untill an other be exhibited to the Goverṃṭ here that may superceede it; which I mention, not for any benefitt like to accrew, but rather to excite you to giue us the happiness of your company here the sooner, where you may expect all the friendship and respect I am capable to serue you in, who am also a lover of justice and the true Protestant interest, and am, Sr,
Your very humble servant, W. W. (p. 97).
According to Douglass (I. 484, 485), Atwood was succeeded by Roger Mompesson in April, 1703, and he, in turn, by Nathaniel Byfield in December following. John Menzeis was appointed in 1715, and after his death on the twentieth of September, 1728, Byfield, for the third time, took his seat on the Bench, holding it till the appointment of the elder Robert Auchmuty in 1733.
Byfield joined the Ancient and Honorable Artillery in 1679,695 sat for Boston in the General Court in 1696, 1697, and 1698, and was Speaker of the House in the last named year.696 He was long a member of the Executive Council, and enjoyed the offices of Commissioner for Farming the Excise697 and Judge of Probate in Bristol and of the Inferiour Court of Common Pleas in Bristol and Suffolk. He was born in England in 1653, the youngest of twenty-one children of the Rev. Richard Byfield, who sat in the Westminster Assembly of Divines, his mother having been a cousin of Bishop Juxon.698 In 1671 Byfield came to Boston, where he resided until he became a proprietor of the Town of Bristol and purchased the beautiful peninsula of Poppysquash, where he took up his residence. His second wife was Sarah, daughter of Goverernor John Leverett. A strong side-light upon his character is thrown by the following extract from the Council Records:
23 June, 1710. Upon consideration of the unmannerly & rude behaviour of Nathanl Byfield, Esqṛẹ yesterday to his Excellency the Govṛ & the Board, & his peremptory refusal to obey their order directed to him as Judge of Probate,
Advised That His Excy be desired to suspend the sḍ Nathanl Byfield, Esqṛẹ, from the exeercise of those civil offices that he holds under this Government.699
Byfield’s suspension continued during the remainder of the term of Governor Dudley whose implacable enemy he became. Byfield resumed these offices in December, 1715, during the administration of Lieutenant-Governor Tailer.700 He died 6 June, 1733, at the age of eighty.
The text of the Oath, Declaration and Association701 subscribed by Wait Winthrop follows.
I doe Sincerely promise and swear; that I will be faithfull and beare true Allegiance to his Majtỵ̣ King William the third, Soe help me God. I doe Swear that I doe from my heart, abhor, detest, and abjure, as Impious, and hereticall that damnable, doctrine, and position, that Princes Excomunicated, or depriued by the Pope, or any authority of the Sea of Rome, may be deposed, or murthered by their Subjects, or any other whatsoeuer, and I doe declare, that noe fforreign Prince, Person, Prelate, State or Potentate, hath or ought to haue any Jurisdic͞con, Power, Superiority, Preheminence, or Authority Ecclesiasticall or Spirituall within the Realm of England; Soe help me God;
I doe Solemly and sincerely in the prsence of God, profess, Testifie and declare, that I doe belieue in the Sacraments of the Lords Supper; there is not any Transubstantiation, of the Elements of Bread & Wine into the body and blood of Christ, at or after the Consecra͞c͞on thereof by any person whatsoeuer and that the Invoca͞c͞on and Adora͞c͞on, of the Virgin Mary or any other Saint, and the Sacrifice of the Mass, as they are now vsed, in the Church of Rome, are Superstitious and Idolatrous, And I doe solemly in the prsence of God, profess, Testifie and declare, that I doe make this declara͞c͞on & euery part thereof, in the plaine and Ordinary Sense of the words, read Vnto me, as they are comonly Vnderstood by English Protestants, without any Evasion, Equivocation, or mentall reserua͞c͞on whatsoeur and without any dispensation, already Granted me for this purpose, by the Pope, or any Authority or person whatsoeuer, or without any hope of any Such dispensation, from any person or Authority whatsoeuer, or without thinkeing; that I am or cann be acquitted, before God or man or absolued of this declara͞c͞on, or any part thereof, altho the Pope or any other person or persons, or power whatsoeuer, should dispence with or Annull the same, or declare that it is Null and voyd from the beginning.
Wait Winthrop James Blackdon
Jurat 7th Aprill 1701
as a Councellor
WHEREAS there hath been a horrid and detestable Conspiracy, formed and carryed on by Papists, and other wicked, and Traterous persons, for Assassianateing his Majtiẹs Royall person in order to encourage an Invasion from ffrance, to Subvert our Religion, Lawes and Liberty; I whose name, are herevnto Subscribed, doe heartily, Sincerely and solemnly profess, testifie and declare, that his prsent Majtị̣e King Wṃ̣ is rightfull and Lawfull King of the Realm, of England Scottland & Ireland and I doe promise and ingage, to Stand by and Assist to the vtmost of my power in the Support and defence, of his Majtiẹs most Sacred person and Gouernmt agṭ the Late King James and all his Adherents, and in Case his Majtiẹs comes to any Violent, or Vntimely death (which God forbidd,) I doe hereby further, freely and Vnanimously obleidge my Selfe, to Vnite, Associate and stand by each other in revengeing the same vpon his Enemyes, and their Adherents, and in Supporting and defending the Successors of the Crown, according to an Act made in the first year of the Reign of King Wṃ̣ & Queen Mary, Entituled an. Act, declaiming the Right and Liberties of the Subjects and Settling the Succession of the Crown.
Jurat: before the
Lṭ Gouenṛ & Councill the 20tḥ of May 1700:
Jurat 7tḥ Aprlḷ 1701
as a Councellor
Esqṛ Judge of the Admiraltye
20tḥ May 1700
The Hon. Herbert Parker of Lancaster and Mr. Francis Randall Appleton of Ipswich were elected Resident Members.
The name of Mr. Franklin Carter was transferred from the Roll of Resident Members to that of Corresponding Members, since he has removed his permanent residence from Massachusetts to New Haven, Connecticut.
Mr. Edes communicated a Memoir of Mr. Robert Charles Winthrop, Jr., a benefactor of this Society, which he had been requested to prepare for publication in the Transactions.
BY HENRY HERBERT EDES.
Robert Charles Winthrop, the younger of that name, was born in his father’s house, No. 7 Tremont Place, Boston, on the seventh of December, 1834, the elder son of Robert Charles and Eliza Cabot (Blanchard) Winthrop. Descended from forebears who for many generations had occupied a distinguished place in society and in all branches of the public service, he never forgot the admonition of Young:
They that on glorious ancestors enlarge
Produce their debt, instead of their discharge.
Neither should his biographer fail to remember that “no man is wholly accounted for, or known as well as he can be, who is studied apart from the genealogical tree on which he grew.”
The line of Mr. Winthrop’s descent from Adam Winthrop, of Lavenham, in the county of Suffolk, England, who was living in 1498, was through Adam (1498–1562), of Groton Manor, Suffolk, Master of the Clothworkers Company of London; Adam (1548–1623), of Groton Manor, a lawyer and county magistrate; John (1587–1649), of Groton Manor, afterward Governor of the Colony of the Massachusetts Bay and the founder of Boston in New England; John, Jr. (1605–1676), of Groton Manor, afterward of Ipswich, Massachusetts, and New London, Connecticut, Fellow of the Royal Society of London and Governor of the Colony of Connecticut; Wait Still (1642–1717), of Boston, Commissioner of the United Colonies of New England, Major-General of the Colony, and Executive Councillor and Chief-Justice of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay; John (1681–1747), of Boston, afterward of New London, Connecticut, a graduate of Harvard College in the Class of 1700, Fellow of the Royal Society, and the plaintiff in the cause celèbre of Winthrop v. Lechmere, which was an appeal to the Privy Council from the decision of the Connecticut Courts involving the English law of primogeniture; John Still (1720–1776), of Boston, afterward of New London, Connecticut, a graduate of Yale College in the Class of 1737; Thomas Lindall, LL.D. (1760–1841), of New London and later of Boston, a graduate of Harvard in the Class of 1780 and an Overseer of the College (1828–1841), member of the American Philosophical Society, Treasurer of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, President of the Massachusetts Historical Society and of the American Antiquarian Society, Fellow of the Royal Society of Northern Antiquaries and of other learned bodies in Europe, and from 1826 till 1833 Lieutenant-Governor of Massachusetts; and Robert Charles, LL.D. (1809–1894), of Boston, a graduate of Harvard in the Class of 1828, President of the Alumni Association, and an Overseer of the College (1852–1856), in the Corporation of which he had twice refused a seat, member of the American Philosophical Society, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Society of Antiquaries of London, and other learned societies abroad, President of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives and of the Thirtieth Congress, and a Senator of the United States from Massachusetts, succeeding Daniel Webster.
Engraved for The Colonial Society of Massachusetts from the original crayon by Porter
Mr. Winthrop’s mother was born in Boston on the twenty-seventh of May, 1809. She was the daughter of Francis Blanchard, Esquire, of Wenham, Massachusetts, and later of Boston. A graduate of Harvard in the remarkable Class of 1802, Mr. Blanchard studied law with Judge Charles Jackson and became his law partner before Jackson’s appointment to the Bench of the Supreme Judicial Court in 1813, the year in which Mr. Blanchard died, on the twenty-sixth of June. On the twenty-ninth of August, 1808, he had married his second cousin, Mary Ann Cabot, daughter of Francis and Ann (Clarke) Cabot and widow of Nathaniel Cabot Lee of Salem. Mrs. Blanchard died on the twenty-fifth of July, 1809, soon after the birth of her daughter, who, in November, 1814, was taken into the family of her father’s uncle, Samuel Pickering Gardner, where she remained until her marriage to Robert Charles Winthrop on the twelfth of March, 1832. She died on the fourteenth of June, 1842, leaving three children, of whom the eldest is the subject of this memoir.
More might be said of those distinguished ancestors of Mr. Winthrop who bore the names of Dudley, Bowdoin, and Temple, to name no others, but enough has already been told to show the environment in which he was born and bred and to account for his inheritance of abilities of a high order.
Owing to the early death of his mother and the absence of his father in Washington in the public service, much of Mr. Winthrop’s boyhood was spent with his kinsfolk in Salem and elsewhere. One of his cousins recently recalled the picture of young Winthrop lying on the floor of his uncle’s library devouring Scott’s novels and the best English literature of that day, utterly oblivious of what was passing around him.
Mr. Winthrop received his early education in the private school of Mr. John Adam Weisse,706 in Roxbury, at whose establishment he was a boarding pupil from 1840 to 1847, when he went abroad with his father. Of this, their first, visit to Europe, the son thus speaks:
He had friends and relatives both in England and France, and he took with him flattering letters of introduction from Mr. Webster and Mr. Everett, which made his first experience of London society an exceptionally agreeable one. In a fragment of autobiography707 privately printed by him not long before his death and now to be found in many public libraries, he gave some account of his intercourse with European celebrities at different periods, and it need only be mentioned here that among the persons of distinction of whom he was privileged to see a good deal in 1847 were the Duke of Wellington, Sir Robert Peel, the poet Rogers, the historians Thiers, Mignet, Milman, Thirlwall, and Hallam, Archbishop Whately, Bishops Wilberforce and Blomfield, Lord Lansdowne (then President of the Council), Lords Aberdeen and Stauley (both afterward prime ministers), Prince Louis Napoleon (then in exile in London), and King Louis Philippe, who twice received Mr. Winthrop informally at Neuilly.708
Returning home in the autumn of 1847 from an experience which cannot have failed to make a lasting impression upon his youthful mind, young Winthrop, then well advanced in his studies, entered the Boston Public Latin School, where his father and grandfather had been prepared for college as well as seven other members of his family, Professor John Winthrop, of the Class of 1721, who graduated at Harvard College in 1732, having been the first. In 1848 he left the school, where the course was then five years, and entered Phillips Academy, Andover, where he remained till 1850, when he entered Harvard, from which he graduated in 1854.
Of Mr. Winthrop’s college life the following extracts from letters of a few of his classmates and other contemporaries will afford an interesting glimpse.
For more than two years we were at the same club table at Mrs. Guthrie’s in Church Street, and we were in the Hasty Pudding and Porcellian Clubs together. . . . Winthrop’s rooms were at Mrs. Guthrie’s, and Payson Perrin Ellis, who had rooms in the same house, Charles Thorndike, Theodore Lyman, and I were quite intimate with him. His other friends at that time, who continued to appreciate him while they lived, were John Quincy Adams, Theodore Chase, George B. Chase, Langdou Erving, William Frick, Jr., John C. Bancroft, William S. Haseltine, James Savage, Charles Russell Lowell, William Thorndike, and S. Parkman Blake; and Charles Francis Adams, Dr. Hall Curtis, George Putnam, Robert H. Renshaw, Dr. B. Joy Jeffries, and Horace H. Furness are among the living who cared for him.
Winthrop was popular with his class; his abilities were recognized and he was made Class Orator. He had plenty of brains, but was more disposed to use them in reading than in studying what did not interest him. . . . With more work [he] could have been celebrated as a lawyer or politician in the best sense, but he preferred to read, work in his library or travel and lead the life of a cultivated gentleman. He was fond of detail, accurate and methodical and would have made a good business man had he been obliged to turn his attention in that direction. He was indolent about exercise. With a large frame he might, as his classmate Dr. Windship, the well known strong man, told him, have become an athlete, though the fashion did not then point in that direction for fame. . . . He was most loyal to his old friends and took a good deal of pains to see them.
In College he made no mark as a student, although always a reader and endowed with an extraordinary memory for what he read. Here, as in after life, his bookish interests were mainly in history, especially American history. He was however indifferent to the way in which history, and indeed most other things, were then taught at Harvard; and when called up at recitation he was apt to say nothing or to say “not prepared.” Once, however, the story goes, after a long series of these “not prepareds” he was called up for examination in the presence of the Visiting Committee, and at once gave a fluent talk upon the point in question for almost five minutes, and until told he need go no further.
His main distinction in the Class lay in his inherited faculty as a presiding officer. He was at the head of the two great clubs, the Porcellian and the Hasty Pudding,709 and was usually selected to preside at any Class election or meeting. He belonged to neither of the Greek letter societies, and in their contests in the Hasty Pudding Club he, as President, sometimes maintained the balance of power in a salutary, if perhaps somewhat despotic, way.
In college Winthrop lived rather apart. He appeared to wholly neglect his studies and except by a small circle of intimates he was very little known. In the last two years of his college course, however, he acquired a reputation as an admirable presiding officer and amateur actor in the Hasty Pudding Club, and he was always selected, as a matter of course, to preside at all festivities of the Class, both before and after graduation. He was outside of the bitter hostilities of the Class factions and was chosen Class Orator by a compromise as one whom neither faction objected to. . . . On our twenty-fifth anniversary [24 June, 1879] he gave [at Young’s] a dinner to the Class at which he presided with the same felicity and charm which had characterized him in college days.
He was certainly a man of cultivation and literary distinction. . . . I remember thinking his oration witty, able, and worthy of his reputation.
He was popular with his Class but not with the Faculty. . . . Katherine Winthrop whom he defended was my ancestor, and he sent me his “Defence” of her. The spirit is the same he had in college days versus the Faculty.
His Oration was rather more jocular and sarcastic, but at the same time more interesting, than such performances are generally apt to be. On the evening, I think it must have been, of Class Day, there was a supper in Mr. Winthrop’s room, the memory of which long lasted in college; it has perhaps not yet entirely faded away.
It was his utter lack of ambition which caused his failure to take any rank, but all his classmates knew the power and force that was in him, if he could but be induced to put them forth. . . . Although he had no college rank, which is never an ultimate criterion, so deeply had his talents and ability impressed themselves upon his classmates that he was elected, almost without opposition, their Class Orator.
It was through no direct fault of his own that his degree was taken away from him. His offence in the eyes of the Faculty was that he had provided means for an entertainment on the evening of Class Day a little too lavish for the occasion. . . . The supper was given in one of the rooms of Holworthy, on the ground floor, and its distinguishing feature was that it was open to all the world and not restricted to any Class. The Faculty, I believe, looked upon it as an act of bravado on Winthrop’s part. No thought of this, I am sure, entered Winthrop’s mind. It was merely done in the exuberance of his gratitude to his classmates for having elected him their Orator, — an election which, it was said, keenly gratified his father.
The withholding of Mr. Winthrop’s first degree was only temporary, and it was conferred at the next Commencement, in 1855. He received his Master’s degree in 1858.
After Mr. Winthrop’s death, one of his classmates prepared for the College Class Book a brief sketch from which the following extracts are taken:
Robert C. Winthrop, Jr. would have been more at place in Cambridge after the College became a liberal University.
Placed so that he was free to follow the bent of his mind and the interests surrounding his position, he developed his critical acumen and became a very interested and interesting member of the genealogical and historical societies of his State and City.
Those of his Class who knew him well and saw him often, could not but have been surprised in later years at the recital of his pleasant Cambridge reminiscences, called up by talk of the past.
If he and the Faculty never exactly agreed, he and his Classmates always did, as shown by the prominence they accorded him so readily. The Faculty seemed never quite to understand him, the Class did, most loyally.
After graduation, Mr. Winthrop spent a year in the Harvard Law School under Professors Joel Parker and Theophilus Parsons and then entered the law office of our late associate Mr. Leverett Saltonstall. He was admitted to the Suffolk Bar in 1857, but never practised.
On the fifteenth of October, 1857, Mr. Winthrop was married in Boston to Frances Pickering Adams, youngest daughter of Mr. Benjamin Adams, and immediately sailed for Europe. Till Mrs. Winthrop’s death, their time was passed in travelling, the winters being spent in the south of France, Malta, and Italy, while the summers were devoted to Paris, England, and Germany. Mrs. Winthrop died, childless, in Rome on the twenty-third of April, 1860, at the age of twenty-four. Early in the following summer Mr. Winthrop returned to America, and from that time till 1866 he made frequent short trips to Europe, generally confining his travels to France and England. In the autumn of 1866 he again went abroad, remaining two years, during which, in addition to long stays in Paris, he visited Spain, Portugal, Russia, and Italy. Besides travel and sightseeing, Mr. Winthrop found time while in Europe for the study of languages and to familiarize himself with European politics, of which his knowledge was thorough. One of his contemporaries writes:
With the history of modern Europe, especially on its family and genealogical side, he was as familiar as with that of America. The Almanach de Gotha he had at his fingers’ end, almost at his tongue’s end, and he was apt to reply to any question, “You will find that in the Almanach.”
Mr. Winthrop was a good French scholar, and his command of Spanish and Italian was sufficient for all purposes of travel and sightseeing. A connoisseur in art, he knew little of music, although he enjoyed the opera. As a young man and in early middle life he was an inveterate theatre-goer; later, however, he cared only for really fine acting; but whenever there was a good French company in Boston, he rarely missed a single performance.
On the first of June, 1869, Mr. Winthrop was married in Boston to Elizabeth Mason, eldest daughter of Mr. Robert Means Mason and granddaughter of the Hon. Jeremiah Mason, the greatest lawyer of New England in his day, who was also a Senator of the United States from New Hampshire. In the following July, Mr. and Mrs. Winthrop went to Europe where they remained till September, 1871, travelling in Great Britain, France, Italy, and Germany. In the autumn of 1872 they established themselves at No. 371/2 Beacon Street, Boston, where they passed their winters till 1884, when they removed to No. 10 Walnut Street. Their summers were passed in various places till 1896, when they occupied the house at Manchester-by-the-Sea which they began to build in 1894.
On returning to Boston Mr. Winthrop found abundant leisure to pursue his literary and historical studies, and during the next few years he was welcomed to fellowship in some of the leading clubs and societies. He had been a member of the Somerset Club since his graduation from Harvard; and now he also found enjoyment in the meetings of the Wednesday Evening Club, organized in Boston as early as 1777, and of the Essex County Club, to which he belonged from its formation. In 1886 he was elected a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. On its reorganization in 1889, he was elected a member of the Council for three years and rendered efficient service. From 1891 till 1902 he served on the Committee on English Research, and he was also a working member of other important committees. When the Consolidated Index of the first fifty volumes of the New England Historical and Genealogical Register was undertaken, he made a generous contribution toward its cost. He was also a member of the Bostonian Society.
It was to the work of the Massachusetts Historical Society, however, that for nearly a quarter of a century Mr. Winthrop devoted his best energies. His connection with that venerable organization is well described in the following words of its President, Mr. Charles Francis Adams:
Mr. Winthrop was chosen a Resident Member, May 8, 1879, and during the presidency of his father. . . . For over twenty of the twenty-six years of his connection with the Society, Mr. Winthrop was one of the most active, interested, and influential of its members. More recently, owing to a marked tendency to seclusion, — due, as he claimed, to bodily infirmities and especially to a growing imperfection of hearing, — he had ceased to attend our meetings, the last at which he was present, and in which he took characteristic part, having been that of February, 1901.
His first committee service was in 1880, in connection with the Winthrop Papers, in the preparation and publication of which he took a natural and hereditary pride. The finances of the Society were at that time in a far from flourishing state, and it was Mr. Winthrop who quietly came forward and met the cost, some $1200, of printing the volume (Part IV.) published after he had been made a member of the committee. Subsequently, in 1889, 1892, and 1897, he served on the similar committees for the publication of Parts V. and VI. of the Winthrop Papers and of the volume of Bowdoin and Temple Papers. Between 1886 and 1898 his service on other committees was almost continuous and never merely nominal. He was essentially a working member.
Passing to his communications and share in our proceedings, besides two lesser memoirs, that on R. M. Mason and that on David Sears, he prepared the more elaborate biography of the elder Robert C. Winthrop. This last, let me say in passing, was not only a most creditable piece of literary work, done with much judgment and good taste, but it stands in lasting evidence of that abiding and admiring respect for his father which was in him so marked a characteristic. Besides the above, the list of Mr. Winthrop’s miscellaneous formal contributions . . . is too long for detailed enumeration; suffice it to say, it includes many of the most valuable as well as entertaining papers read at our meetings between 1880 and 1900. During those years no one was listened to with more instruction, certainly no one at times did so much to enliven a series of meetings not characterized, as a rule, by sallies of humor or aggressiveness of speech. Nor was his participation confined to formal papers; and the older members of the Society will bear me out in the statement that, when Mr. Winthrop took the floor, whatever degree of listlessness might before have been apparent at once disappeared from our gatherings. All was alertness and attention.
An accomplished host as well as a generous giver, to him we owe that most valuable double autograph of Governors Bradford and Winthrop which ornaments our entrance chamber, one of the most precious of the Society’s possessions; and on two occasions at least, the special meeting after the death of Charles Deane and the Annual Meeting of April, 1898, he entertained the Society at his home.
Altogether, I may confidently assert that through a score of years no member of our organization was more constant in attendance, more fruitful in matter, more entertaining as well as instructive in his contributions, more generous in gift and more lavish in hospitality than was that friend and associate of fifty years whose death I to-day announce.710
While Mr. Winthrop’s services to the Massachusetts Historical Society, as author and editor, were various and valuable, his great work was the Memoir of his father. This substantial volume of more than three hundred and fifty pages is remarkable for many things besides those mentioned by Mr. Adams: it is just and discriminating; notable for what it omits, both of persons and events; frank to a degree unusual in family biographies; and, when we remember Mr. Winthrop’s filial attitude, and that certain political events ended the elder Winthrop’s public career, for which he had most unusual qualifications, the reader marvels at the calm self-restraint, the perfect candor, and the absence of passion and resentment which characterize the portrayal of this period of his father’s public life. Reverence and affection, the truest sympathy in his father’s domestic joys and sorrows, and determination to vindicate his character from the unjust aspersions and misjudgments of political enemies and thoughtless contemporaries are everywhere apparent. One of Mr. Winthrop’s early friends writes:
His after life was quiet and domestic. He kept up his historical studies, but wrote much less than his friends had hoped for. His Life of Robert C. Winthrop is, however, everywhere recognized as a model of biographical writing, perfectly impartial, never allowing his filial relation to interfere with a clear statement of all phases of his father’s character and career.
A Classmate adds this estimate of the volume:
I think Robert Winthrop’s Memoir of his father gives an impression of his own character and abilities. . . . I have long considered it equal to the very best biographies extant, — indeed, I cannot name another that I consider as good, — and it is quite as much a monument to the writer as to the subject. The Defence of Katharine Winthrop711 I have not seen. . . . Except the exquisite biography of which I have already spoken, he did nothing to my knowledge which disclosed his remarkable gifts.
There was, however, another literary production of Mr. Winthrop, already mentioned, which, although in an entirely different vein from the Memoir of his father, is nevertheless entitled to prominent mention in any biographical notice of its author. One of our younger scholars has pronounced it “the brightest historical gem we have produced.” On the cover of this pamphlet is printed, “A Few Words in Defence of An Elderly Lady,” while the more formal title-page runs, “A Difference of Opinion concerning the reasons why Katharine Winthrop refused to marry Chief Justice Sewall.” In an Address on the Life and Character of Chief Justice Sewall, delivered in the Old South Meeting House, in October, 1884, Dr. George E. Ellis had styled Madam Winthrop a “worldly minded woman” and had intimated “that she first encouraged an old man to make her an offer of marriage and then refused him from mercenary motives.” A few months later, when the Address had been printed and distributed, these passages fell under Mr. Winthrop’s notice, roused his indignation, and called forth his “Defence” of the lady. This paper was read at a meeting of one of the Societies with which he was in fellowship, in February, 1885. Declaring that “sufferance is not the badge of all my tribe,” and that “the angelic attribute of Patience has ever been imperfectly developed in my composition,” Mr. Winthrop proceeded to deal with his subject in a manner peculiarly his own. As a piece of literature the paper is brilliant, discovering a sagacious insight into character, a masterly power of statement and of analysis, dry humor, keen wit, an equally keen sense of the ludicrous, generous appreciation of the worth and rights of others, pungent phrases expressive of his indignation at the injustice done to Madam Winthrop, and therewithal a rollicking good-humor which disarms at once the criticism of unprejudiced readers. The Publishing Committee of the Society, however, in the exercise of the discretion conferred upon it by the By-laws, did “not think fit” to include it in the printed Proceedings of the Society. As might have been foreseen, Mr. Winthrop promptly had his “Defence” printed at his own charge and distributed among his friends and public institutions. The pamphlet is divided into two chapters. Chapter I., “Wherein the Champion of an elderly Lady recites her Wrongs,” is introduced by the exclamation of Angus —
And darest thou then
To beard the lion in his den,
The Douglas in his hall?
Chapter II., “Wherein an Elderly Lady’s Champion unfolds a Penitential Tale,” begins with a passage from the lamentations of King David —
All they that see me . . . they shoot out the lip, they shake the head.
The second chapter is, in a way, autobiographical and sheds light upon Mr. Winthrop’s college career and his relations to the Faculty of which mention has been already made. It also reveals his unwillingness to conceal any shortcomings of his own, knowledge of which may be necessary to a proper understanding of his personal relation to events he is describing, — a delicious frankness, indeed, which it behooves his biographer not to forget. A portion of this chapter, which comprises Mr. Winthrop’s remarks at the April meeting of the same Society, follows.
The explanation I am about to make is, as I said before, a short one; but in order to make it, I am obliged to go back to a period when some of the younger members of this Society were in their cradles, to a time — two and thirty years ago—when, as a member of the Junior Class of Harvard College, and in compliance with an official summons, I waited upon the President of the University, the lamented Dr. James Walker, to hear from his venerable lips the announcement that the College Faculty, by a unanimous vote, had awarded to me what was then known as a “Public Admonition” for an offence which, after this lapse of time, I blush to describe, and which consisted in the consumption and distribution of peanuts in the College Chapel during a Dudleian Lecture. I could not in conscience deny the charge; and I was aware that any attempt to do so would be futile, as I had not long before been credibly assured that no less competent an authority than a well-known Professor of Political Economy had personally identified a heap of shells under my seat. I ventured, however, to insinuate some slight palliation of the enormity of which I had been guilty, by pointing out that no inconsiderable portion of that Dudleian Lecture had been devoted to undermining certain religious tenets which I had from childhood been taught to reverence. Dr. Walker rejoined, in accents of unmistakable severity, although, as it seemed to me, there played across his expressive features the shadow — the momentary shadow — of a smile: “Mr. Winthrop, your conduct in this, as in some other matters, has been marked by an incorrigible want of decorum.”
Well-nigh a third of a century has passed away since I was privileged to enjoy, on that and at least one other somewhat similar occasion, a few minutes of close personal intercourse with so remarkable a man; and, viewed in the light of subsequent experiences, those memorable words of his which I have just quoted seem now to me to have been instinct with a sort of prophetic pathos. Again and again have I been made the subject of such misconceptions. Endowed by nature with the keenest appreciation of whatever is grave and solemn and respectable in this world; animated as I have long been, by an eager desire to concentrate these qualities in an eminent degree in my own person, — I yet seem, somehow or other, only to have succeeded in encountering, from time to time, a perverse disposition to attribute to me an ill-judged levity wholly foreign to my temperament. It has even been broadly hinted to me that in a communication which I felt it my duty to make to this Society at its February meeting, I was considered in some influential quarters to have transcended the very climax of previous indiscretion. And so I stand up here this afternoon, figuratively attired in sackcloth, bowing a gray head in what is intended to be a penitential attitude, indicative of contrition; and as I look around me, while I seem to discern here and there on some expressive features the shadow — the momentary shadow — of a smile, yet in my heart of hearts I realize that if some venerable lips saw fit to speak, they would only, I fear, re-echo the language of James Walker two and thirty years ago, and impute to me “au incorrigible absence of decorum.”
To those gentlemen who may not have been present at the February meeting, I will briefly explain, that I hurried here that afternoon, bursting, I may say, with what I thought a righteous indignation, — fired, as it were, by a pious zeal to vindicate the memory of an aged lady, who would, had she been able, have risen here herself before us, from her grave just below that window, the great-great-grandmother of the retiring President of this Society, whose character had been, as I conceived, somewhat cruelly bespattered in a recent pamphlet from the authoritative pen of our revered Senior Vice-President, soon, as I magnanimously hope, to be hailed by us by an even more august title.
After the meeting was over, it occurred to me to put to one of our leading members, with whom I was in casual conversation, this crucial question: “How much,” I inquired, “of what I said this afternoon would you advise me to send in for publication?” His countenance fell, — he looked at me somewhat askance, — and, taking refuge in periphrastic ambiguity, he replied: “They are likely to be very short of space in the forthcoming volume. Several memoirs have unexpectedly come in, and the Doctor is said to have prepared one more than forty pages long.” Well, I confess, such is the egregious vanity often resulting from literary composition, that for an instant I felt like exclaiming, “Haw hard — how hard — that this little ewe lamb of mine — this widow’s mite of a communication, so to speak —must be sacrificed because some one has unexpectedly prepared a memoir more than forty pages long!” But in a twinkling my better nature asserted its supremacy, and I said to myself, “Age before merit,—I will go home and shear that little ewe lamb! “And I went home, and I clipped away a little here and I expurgated a little there, making a not inconsiderable reduction; and the next day, with a light heart and an easy conscience, I despatched what was left to our admirable Recording Secretary, Professor Young. Bitter, bitter deception! About a week after, I got a letter from him, couched in most courteous language, — he could pen no other, — delicately but frankly intimating to me that my little ewe lamb was a source of no small embarrassment to the Publishing Committee. One eminent member of the Society (whom he did not name) was substantially of the opinion that so misbegotten a beast had no proper place in our sheepfold. Another eminent member (whom he equally did not name) considered that, if admitted at all, the process of shearing should be continued even to the bone. A third contented himself with the general suggestion that my method of treating such subjects was hardly in accordance with the dignified traditions of this body. I took all these criticisms in good part. I realized that the gentlemen who made them could have no possible bias, that they were actuated only by a sense of duty or by a desire to promote what they believed to be the best interests of this Society. I deferred to their better judgment. I drew the sacrificial knife. I said, “I have been willing in moderation to shear, but I cannot vivisect this animal; I prefer to cut its throat.” In other words, I withdrew the communication; substituting for it that half-page of innocuous manuscript which you will find printed in the volume of Proceedings this day laid upon the table.712
And here, so far as this Society is concerned, I drop the subject; merely adding that, while I freely consented to make this little sacrifice, while I was even ready to humble myself as I have done here to-day, yet I could not find it in my heart to abandon one who, as I firmly believe, has rested her defence upon my shoulders. I reflected that the pamphlet, the accuracy of passages in which I called in question, has not merely been distributed among the personal friends of its distinguished author, but that it has unquestionably found a place — a place of permanent record — on the shelves of numerous public libraries in New England and elsewhere; and I thought it only fair, only right, that the future student of provincial domestic history should be enabled to discover in some obscure and dusty corner of the same shelves another little pamphlet, issued solely upon my own responsibility, disengaging wholly the dignity of this Society, and which will embody the substance of my remarks upon this subject, accompanied, not impossibly, by some slight annotation. I shall be happy to send a copy of this little pamphlet to any member of the Society who may feel the smallest interest in the matter, and in the mean time I should be really grateful if any one of them—Mr. Charles Francis Adams, Jr.,713 of course, necessarily excepted — would supply me with an appropriate classical quotation for my titlepage. Those I have hitherto thought of do not quite satisfy me, and I have been obliged thus far to content myself with the following sentence, or rather half-sentence, which I take from an inspired source: “And David put his hand in his bag, and drew thence a stone, and slang it!”
Note. — An obliging person has pointed out to me, what I supposed I had made sufficiently evident, that I have not the blood of the lady of whom I have constituted myself the champion. He seems to think that because I am descended from her step-son, I must necessarily be indifferent to her good name. I can only reply that such has not been my own experience of the state of mind resulting from such family connections.
I regret to add (and I only mention it because I am afraid Dr. E. may, if I do not) that this step-son, after his father’s death, became an imprudent person in money-matters. Katharine Winthrop was put to great annoyance by his delay in refunding a considerable sum she had allowed him the use of; and though she eventually got back her principal, I doubt if she ever saw a penny of her interest. I venture to hope that she may regard my activity in her behalf in the light of a tardy reimbursement; and if I am fortunate enough to obtain from her any distinct manifestation on this subject, I shall communicate it to the Society for Psychical Research.
R. C. W., Jr.
Mr. Winthrop led, from preference, a retired life, and although a loyal American he took no active part in politics and held no public office. He was, however, constantly employed in important historical and biographical work of which the Memoir of his father and his Defence of Katharine Winthrop are the best fruit. He especially liked biography and was an incessant reader. While he shunned publicity and ostentation, he was most kind and obliging, particularly to strangers and historical students and scholars who called upon him for information concerning persons or events that might possibly be mentioned in his unrivalled collection of family papers. He was also thoughtfully kind-hearted, as is seen in the gift, after his father’s death, of all his father’s spectacles to one of the leading oculists of Boston, to be given to his poor patients. Like his father, Mr. Winthrop was himself very nearsighted and in consequence often passed even his most intimate friends in the street without bow or recognition of any kind, — a fact which caused him to be regarded as snobbish by persons who knew him but slightly, — an amusing misapprehension, since he was one of the most democratic of men, appreciating individuality of character in whatever walk of life he found it. One of Mr. Winthrop’s friends writes:
He always had a very strong family feeling, and every Sunday night during my mother’s life nothing would prevent his paying her a regular Sunday evening visit.
He certainly had remarkable talents. . . . He was a man who loved accuracy and hated nebulosity. What some people, I think, regarded as hardness on his part was a desire to prevent the possibility of future mistakes.
He also hated injustice and loved fair play.
At the Stated Meeting of this Society in March, 1901, Mr. Winthrop was elected a Resident Member. His letter to the Corresponding Secretary, in reply to the official notification of his election, follows.
10 Walnut Street, March 30, 1901.
Dear Mr. Noble, — In reply to yours of yesterday, while I appreciate the courtesy of the election you communicate I regret that I did not learn of the intention in season to excuse myself.
Many years ago I made up my mind to gradually withdraw from several Societies and Clubs whose meetings I found no leisure to attend, and to join no others thereafter. Since that time I have declined an election to the American Antiquarian Society and offered-elections to other institutions. I prefer, therefore, to adhere to this rule, but I should be sorry to be thought discourteous, or to seem wanting in goodwill to The Colonial Society of Massachusetts, to which I would gladly be of service and whose Publications I value highly.
I am, with many thanks,
Yours very truly,
R. C. Winthrop, Jr.
John Noble, Esq.
From the organization of this Society till his death, Mr. Winthrop was one of its most loyal friends. He was deeply impressed by the research and acumen of our associate Mr. Frederick Lewis Gay shown in a communication made at our Stated Meeting in April, 1895,714 in which he demonstrated that the early home in Boston (1630–1643) of Governor John Winthrop was in State Street and not at the corner of Washington and Milk Streets as had previously been supposed. Mr. Winthrop himself made two valuable contributions to our Transactions,715 — (1) the family record of Judge Adam Winthrop, that enabled us to correct the inaccurate printed statement of Professor John Winthrop’s birth, which had survived for nearly a century and a quarter; and (2) the valuable letters written by Governor Winthrop and the Rev. Edmund Browne to Sir Simonds D’Ewes (1633–1639), recently discovered in England. At his death Mr. Winthrop gave irrefragable proof of the sincerity of his oft-repeated professions of interest in the Society and its welfare by a testamentary bequest, — the only one he made to any institution with which he was not in fellowship or allied by family ties. It has been made a separate Fund, named for our generous benefactor, and added to the Society’s endowment.
In his beautiful house in Walnut Street, adorned by a great and matchless collection of portraits of his ancestors and kinsfolk of many generations, and of his own and his father’s friends among famous men, Mr. Winthrop died, in consequence of a surgical operation, in the evening of Monday the fifth of June, 1905, in his seventy-first year. The funeral was held on the following Friday in St. John’s Memorial Chapel in Cambridge, built nearly thirty years before by Mrs. Winthrop’s father. During the service on that beautiful summer afternoon, as the setting sun streamed through the painted windows as if in benediction upon the scene, the opening lines of one of Longfellow’s sonnets involuntarily came to mind:
I stand beneath the tree, whose branches shade
Thy western window, Chapel of St. John!
And hear its leaves repeat their benison
On him whose hands thy stones memorial laid.
Mr. Winthrop was survived by his widow, a son, Robert Mason Winthrop, a graduate of Harvard in the Class of 1895 and now Secretary of Legation at Madrid, and two daughters, Clara Bowdoin Winthrop and Margaret Tyndal Winthrop, the name of the younger being a pleasant reminder, after the lapse of nearly three centuries, of the saintly woman who for almost thirty years shared the joys and sorrows of Governor John Winthrop the elder. In his will he describes himself as “Robert Charles Winthrop, the younger of that name,” having always retained the “Junior” after the death of his father. His public bequests of more than thirty thousand dollars were to the Massachusetts Historical Society, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, the Bostonian Society, the Boston Episcopal Charitable Society, Bowdoin College, and Phillips Academy, Andover, the income of the last two bequests “to be used for the encouragement of the study of Greek and Latin authors.” Mr. Winthrop’s modesty is recognized in his two bequests to the Historical Society, both of which are to be added to existing Funds already named for those who gave them.