11 June, 1909

    A Special Meeting of the Council was held on Friday, 11 June, 1909, at four o’clock in the afternoon, Mr. Thomas Minns in the chair.

    Present, Messrs. Henry Winchester Cunningham, Henry Herbert Edes, Frederick Lewis Gay, Albert Matthews, Thomas Minns, Henry Ainsworth Parker, Henry Ernest Woods.

    The following is an extract from the Records of the meeting:

    The Council of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts wishes to place on its Records a testimony of its sense of loss in the death of John Noble, and its appreciation of his character and of his services to this Society.

    John Noble was born in Dover, New Hampshire, 14 April, 1829, and died in Boston, Massachusetts, 10 June, 1909. Graduating at Harvard College in 1850, first scholar in his Class, he entered of right the Society of Phi Beta Kappa, in the affairs of which he always took a keen and active interest, striving constantly in many ways to promote its welfare.

    After a service of several years on the teaching staff of the Boston Latin School, Mr. Noble graduated at the Harvard Law School in 1858, and was admitted to the Bar and to the Bar Association. While a successful practitioner of law in Boston he was appointed, in 1875, Clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court for the County of Suffolk, an office he subsequently held by election and re-election until his resignation in 1908. In this capacity he superintended the colossal work, covering a period of nearly twenty-five years, of arranging and binding in twelve hundred folio volumes the Court Files of the Commonwealth from 1630 to 1797.

    Mr. Noble was a member of most of the leading college societies; and in after life was in fellowship with many organizations for the promotion of learning, historical research, and philanthropy. He was an Overseer of Harvard College from 1898 till his death. He received from Dartmouth College in 1902 the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.

    Elected to membership in this Society soon after its formation, Mr. Noble at once entered heartily into its activities. By his written contributions to our Transactions and his devoted service as a member of the Council, as Chairman of the Committee of Publication, and especially as Corresponding Secretary, he gave proof of the sincerity of his frequent observation, that the Colonial Society and its success were very near to his heart. Strong and affectionate in his feelings, upright and faithful in his public and private conduct, loyal to duty and to his friends, and exemplary in all the relations of life, he has left with his colleagues a pattern of rectitude and devotion to duty to be long remembered, and the memory of a steadfast and generous friend.