Chapter XIV


DR. Robert Honyman, a visitor to Marblehead in late March 1775, described it in much the same way others had done before him—“the Houses being built on the Top, on the sides, & at the bottom of rocks,” the significance of the fishery, that Marblehead was “famous for the number of children born & brought up here,” and so on. Outwardly, it had scarcely changed in appearance or atmosphere for decades. Inwardly, it was no longer the same. It was torn, oppressed by doubts and worries, uncertain of its future, yet determined to get through whatever storms loomed ahead.

At the beginning of the year, the political issues still headed the list in importance. Among the more temperate minds there must have been vague hopes that Great Britain would come to her senses and that life in Marblehead might reawaken to the prosperity of the 1760s. From 19 April 1775, however, such daydreams could be nourished no longer.

Even before the commencement of hostilities, British Admiral Samuel Graves pursued a course calculated to threaten or to starve the local seaports into subservience. For seven months of the year, Marblehead Harbor was blocked up, first by H.M.S. Lively, Captain Thomas Bishop, and then by H.M. Sloop of war Merlin, Captain William C. Burnaby. Marblehead, as a result, labored constantly under the shadows of hot-presses or of bombardment unless it cheerfully supplied the blockading warships with provisions, firewood, and water.

Lively moored at a point about mid-way across the harbor on a line between Homan’s Cove and Blackjack Point, while her boats and tenders carried out the seizures and searches of entering vessels. Merlin ultimately enjoyed the flexibility of periodically slipping her moorings to prowl the bay. All vessels bound in with arms, provisions, grain, flour, molasses, or salt were taken into custody. Little fleets collected under her guns until convoys seemed warranted; they then were herded off to Boston for condemnation. Incidents between Marbleheaders and Navy were inevitable. There must have been many; many more even than suggested by Bowen. Local merchants, attempting to salvage what little remained of their overseas trade, contrived to station small craft off the coast to detour homeward-bound merchantmen into Newburyport or Portsmouth. By midsummer, nevertheless, foreign trade had come to a standstill.

The fisheries ground to a halt about the same time. Just before the war, Marblehead had employed about 150 fishing schooners from thirty to seventy tons each, three-quarters of which were of the larger size. Each was worth, on the average, £450 and cost about £100 a year to maintain. Each employed seven to eight men and boys during a season of eight months, and a few kept busy during the winter, as well, by carrying cargoes to the Southern Colonies, the West Indies, or to Southern Europe. Few were hired out. Each schooner caught an average of 1,000 quintals (112,000 pounds) a year, worth an average of 15/6 a quintal. Every schooner also required ground space and a shore crew. For every ten it took ten men to cure their catches. Land, fish stages, and fish houses for ten schooners were valued at £660. Thus, the Marblehead fisheries had a worth of almost £195,000, they accounted for an annual gross revenue of some £116,250, and employed between 1,000 and 1,500 men and boys, nearly one-quarter of the town’s population. When the fisheries died, so did the Marblehead way of life.

In late June a spirited, well-accoutered Marblehead Regiment, under the command of Colonel John Glover, marched to Cambridge to join the Provincial Army and to await the arrival of their new commander-in-chief. Within two months some of the men had returned, preparing to cruise against British shipping in the schooner Hannah, hired from Glover himself. By autumn, the Regiment was employed locally in coastal guard duty or aboard four other schooners taken up into the service by General Washington—the schooners Hancock (Nicholson Broughton), Franklin (John Selman), Lee (John Manley), and Warren (Winborn Adams of the New Hampshire troops). All along Massachusetts Bay existing defenses were strengthened, new shore batteries were erected, and the towns placed on a footing for maximum defense.

As the war drew men into the army, into Washington’s Fleet, and, by late autumn, into attractive privateering ventures, misery and poverty blossomed behind them. There was little work for those who remained behind, while men like Ashley Bowen who could see themselves neither fighting for nor against the Colonies had no hope for employment whatever. The Selectmen of Marblehead soon advised the poor to dig stumps and turf out of the swamps for fuel. In December a committee of the Society of the Friends of Philadelphia came to town to distribute a dole. Moses Brown remarked upon what he saw there.

We found great poverty to abound, Numbers of widdows and fatherless [children], wood and provisions greatly wanting among them. Some poor women had to [carry on their] back the former two Miles. An Instance of this was a widow woman with five Children and shee told us and Indeed appeared, daily looked to lie in with another [child] had been out a Cold day more than that distance for what she could bring, and had no bread in the House.

Their situation was truly miserable, but as the war progressed it was doomed to become much, much worse.


[January 1775]

1 This day somewhat moderate. We have numbers added to our Church. Sailed Edward Fettyplace in new brig [Friendship?] of Colonel Azor Orne.

Monday, 2 This day pleasant. Received a pair of main shrouds from the [Young] Phoenix to refit. Received a coil of spun yarn from the [rope] walk, Colonel Lee. Anchored a brig from [ ].

3 This day some more moderate. Employed on brig [Young] Phoenix shrouds. Received a piece of clew rope from Captain Courtis for a strap for ship Vulture main tie. Anchored a brig with a head and an Irish flag [and] sloop I suppose a donation and [John] Tarday [in the schooner Lydia] from Ocracoke, North Carolina.

4 This day fine and pleasant. Delivered a pair of main shrouds to brig [Young] Phoenix and a tackle block new strapped for ship Vulture. Received a pattern of a Jack from Major Pedrick for brig Salisbury, viz. 6 yard of red, 5 of white, 5 of blue, ½ of osnabrig. Fixed a pair of backstays for ship Vulture. Employed Dennin. Passed a brig from Boston for Salem.

5 This day moderate. Fixed a pair of backstays for ship Vulture and a tie block for brig [Young] Phoenix. Employed Dennin 8 hours. Passed a brig from Boston for Salem. Sailed a large brig for Boston. Anchored a brig from sea.

6 This day smart cold. Do nothing at loft. Sailed brig Troubled Waters, Barnard, for Tobago and a brig for Boston. A mob muster in Captain Prince Company. Sailed snow Guardoqui, G[eorge] Gordon, [for South Carolina].

7 This day smart cold. Do nothing at loft. Delivered a large Jack to brig Salisbury. Delivered Mr. Rodger two yard of parceling [?]. Passed a ship from sea for Boston.

8 This day cold. Self attended Church all day. Passed a topsail schooner from Boston for Salem.

Monday, 9 This day cold. Do nothing at loft. Anchored a brig of Newbury from Guadaloupe and a small tender.

10 This day some rain. Wind southerly.

11 This day moderate. Wind westerly. Received a coil of spun yarn from the [rope] walk for Captain Foster. Deliver a pair of backstays to ship Vulture &c.

12 This day close weather. Some rain. Employed on Captain Foster’s rigging. Employed Dennin 8 hours. Received the cordage this day.

13 This day smart cold. Employed Dennin. <Received two coils of cordage from the walk for Colonel Lee.> Delivered a pair of topsail sheets to ship Vulture. Sailed ship Vulture, [John] Sawin, [for South Carolina].

14 Moderate. This day delivered a pair of topsail sheets to brig [Young] Phoenix, S[amuel] Tucker, and 2 foresheet block. Delivered two pair of topsail sheets and a pair of foresheets to Mr. Stephen Hooper, brig Woodbridge, and remnant. Employed Dennin 8 hours.

15 This day close weather. Self attended Church all day. Wife half day. This night Mr. Carty sailed West Indies.

Monday, 16 This day close weather. We hear Captain [Richard] Stiles [of the schooner Hannah] is lost in the West Indies.72

17 This day close weather. Wind easterly. Raw cold.

18 This day close weather. Raw cold. Wind northerly. At one o’clock great guns fired at Boston. It is the Queen’s Birthday. Thomas Hogan buried.

19 This day I am 47 years old. W[ind] easterly. Some snow. Do nothing at loft.

20 Employed some in loft. Small wind N-westerly.

21 Fair and pleasant. We hear Captain A[ndrew] Tucker is dead. Arrived [Thomas] Power [in the brig Nancy from Cadiz] and J[ohn] D[evereux] Dennis [in the schooner Annis from Cadiz, from] Europe and Ambrose James [in the schooner John from Mole St. Nicholas], West Indies. Sailed Jo[seph] Proctor [in the schooner Dolphin for Maryland] and William Dennis [for the West Indies], John Gale [in the schooner Hannah for Barbados], Sam Tucker [in the brig Young Phoenix for South Carolina], Knapp, [and] John Manley.

22 This day moderate. Sailed brig Salisbury, John Bartlett, [for South Carolina] and a donations [?] sloop. The soldiers are all embarked on board the schooner. Arrived N[athaniel] Brimblecome [in the schooner Good Intent from St. Eustatius and St. Lucia].

Monday, 23 This day a Town Meeting about something.73 Received many blocks from Captain Coffin to repair. Sailed small schooner tender.

24 This day moderate. Sailed the schooner with the soldier for Boston. Small tender in our harbor. The stern foremost gentry made a general muster. For what?74 Captain Andrew Tucker laid aside out of their way when the nightcaps at Marshfield have occasion for troops to guard them, which imparted war. Lord South sent his messenger to dob the chimneys, but it was so soft it could not stick on chimney.

25 This day moderate. Wind easterly. Anchored two strange schooners. Employed Dennin 5 hour. Town Meeting.75

26 This day employed on Captain Coffin’s ties. Fixed and delivered three ties and two spans to Captain Coffin and eighteen blocks overhauled. Employed Dennin 9 hour.

27 This day employed on Foster’s top sheet straps, 6 blocks for Captain Coffin. Employed Dennin 9 hours.

28 This day fine and moderate. I gave my account to Colonel Lee. Employed on Captain Foster rigging. Employed Dennin 8 hours. Arrived John Stephens [in the schooner Polly from Cadiz]. Anchored a brig.

29 This day moderate. This evening Deborah Beale married to John Roney. Sailed a brig for Boston.

Monday, 30 This day employed on Captain Foster’s rigging. Arrived Captain John Hooper [in the schooner Lynn] from Falmouth.

31 Moderate. This day employed some on Captain Foster’s block. Merrick misfortune.

[February 1775]

1 This day at 9 o’clock morning arrived two schooners from Falmouth in England, viz. schooner Adventure, John Tittle, and schooner Britannia, George Rapell.76 Sailed Michael Coombs for the sea. Sailed snow Champion, [Richard] James [for the] West Indies.

2 The Lively’s tender pressed ten men out of the vessels in our harbor. Our people got 6 of them back again.77 Fair weather.

3 This day employ on Captain Foster blocks. Captain Knott Martin sailed for Boston with the Admiral’s candles on board.78

4 Arrived schooner Absalom, [Michael] Dupee, [from the] West Indies. This day fair, cold. Employ in loft with schooner Joseph’s blocks and [...]. Delivered 18 blocks to Captain Coffin.

5 This day fair weather. Somewhat cold. Came from Boston Captain Knott and John Martin. Tis said Admiral Graves declined taking the candles.

Monday, 6 This day fair and moderate. Arrived Captain Nick Bartlett. At one o’clock afternoon the Lively barge and yawl pressed two hands out of Captain Nick Bartlett, and 2 whale boats and a number of rowboats set off with owners [?] to rescue the men and attacked the barge, and one man jumped overboard and the whale-boat took him up. They carried off the other on board the Lively79

7 This day fair and pleasant. Passed a ship for Salem. Sailed Sam Gale [in the schooner Polly for the West Indies].

8 I settled with Jeremiah Lee Esq. £5.7.9 debt. Arrived [Amos] Granday [from] Baltimore [in the schooner Susannah] and a large schooner from Boston.

9 Came His Majesty Ship Lively and moored above the Fort. Note: her anchors lay east and west of each other. Sailed schooner Joesph, Coffin, whaleman.

10 Some snow. Wind at east. Lively struck yard and topmast. Burdick child buried.

11 This day moderate. No rigging in hand. Anchored here a brig or schooner.

12 This day some snow. Elizabeth James buried. Anchored here the small tender.

Monday, 13 Fair weather. Passed a brig for Salem. Town Meeting 14.80 Sailed a brig schooner for Boston. Sailed small tender.

14 This day cold. No rigging in hand.

15 This day wind southerly. A sloop [of Blackler’s] sunk at nearly Baker’s Island with wood. Anchored a tender. Much wind.

16 Sailed [sloop Charlotte, Joseph] Bubier [for the West Indies], [John] Lee [in the schooner Broad Bay for the West Indies], and [Thomas] Collyer [in the brig Lydia for Lisbon]. Sailed Jacob Apple [ton?] for Isle Sable. Fair weather. I dream being at Boston [...].

17 This day moderate. Wind easterly. Arrived [William] LeCraw [in the schooner Success from St. Lucia and Turks Island], Thomas Stephens [in the schooner Frances from Guadaloupe] and John Proctor [Jr., in the schooner Joesph from St. Lucia and St. Eustatius].

18 Fair weather. I tarred Captain Foster’s blocks. Arrived small tender.

19 Close weather. Raw cold. Anchored small tender.

Monday, 20 Deliver Rogers a quarter sugar £0.15. Fine and pleasant for the season. Strapped [?] a topping lift block for Colonel Lee, Phollet.

21 Fair weather. Sailed Edmund Lewis [in the schooner William for the West Indies] and 2 of Colonel Fowle’s schooners a-fishing. Passed a schooner with a large main-topsail and Captain Diamond for Salem. Fixed a collar for jibstay for Colonel Lee, N. Grow. Sailed a number of our fishermen.

22 This day fine and moderate, uncommon for the season. A brig in the offing, inward bound. Anchored a strange schooner from sea. Received a pattern of a pair of shrouds from Colonel Fowle’s for Captain White. We hear old Mr. Tipling is dead. Captain [Thomas] Bishop [of H.M.S. Lively] dined at Colonel Gallison’s.

23 This morning wind easterly. A brig at anchor behind Cat Island. One of our fishermen went to her assistance and conducted her up to our harbor under the care of His Majesty’s Ship Lively and they moored her. Note: the s[aid?] brig came from Surinam and struck on the Breakers. Knocked her rudder off. Both pumps going.

24 Wind NNE. Rain.

25 Wind WSW. Sailed three fishermen.

26 Arrived a transport ship from Boston with 234 troops and landed in Homan’s Cove and marched to Salem and over the North River bridge and back again and embarked on board a ship.

[Another account by Bowen reads:] Came a transport from Boston with 246 troops, unloaded at 2 o’clock and marched through the town for Salem, and when came to the North Bridge it was hauled up, but on application it was let down and they marched over as far as they pleased and returned back again and embarked on board ship again.81

Monday, 27 This morning I find the transport gone with soldiers and all. At 4 o’clock the transport sailed. Arrived a sloop that brought some of the schooner Halifax’s crew whom had been cast away. We hear the Halifax is lost.82

28 This day arrived a topsail schooner from Baltimore. This evening I attended N. English funeral.

[March 1775]

1 Commonly called St. David and ASH Wednesday. Arrived a brig from New York with provisions for His Majesty’s forces at Boston. Not a donations. Deliver a suit of color mended to Robert Hooper Esq. for schooner Ann and an ensign and flag to Captain Foster for small brig. Sister Martin delivered of a daughter.

2 This day fair weather. Sailed many of our fishing schooners. Received schooner Tryal main rigging to refit. Fixed a mainsheet strap for Captain Foster. This night arrived Francis Granday [from the West Indies].

3 Employed on schooner Tryal rigging. Received a jibstay and 1 coil of spun yarn from the ropewalk for schooner Tryal. Employed Dennin ¾ day. Sailed many of our fishermen.

4 This day fair and pleasant. Wind easterly. Employed on schooner Tryal rigging. Delivered a gang of main shrouds refixed to schooner Tryal and a jibstay with a mouse to Tryal and a mainstay strap. The New Yorker unloading. Employed Dennin ¾ a day. Captain [Thomas] Bishop [of H.M.S. Lively] dined with Colonel [Jacob] Fowle [Jr]. Sailed 2 large schooner for Boston.

5 Moderate. This day self attended Church all day. Wife half day. Captain Knott Martin’s daughter Nancy was christened and Doctor Ryan’s two children. Preston’s massacre.83

Monday, 6 This day warm. Do nothing at loft. We hear many guns from Boston. Sailed some of our fishermen. Squally, some rain.

7 This morning the Lively got topmast and yards up. A rumor in town that the Parliament of Great Britain is broke up. Delivered two ties to Colonel Lee, schooner Swallow. Sailed W. Fowle’s schooner.

8 Wind easterly. Some rain. Employed on schooner Abigail’s blocks. Delivered an ensign mended to Tishew.

9 This day close weather. Wind easterly. Some rain. Sailed the New York brig for Boston. Deliver 2 runners and two set of tackle blocks to schooner Abigail. Arrived Williamson [James Williams in the schooner Sally] from Cadiz.

10 Fair weather. Wind variable to the eastward. This evening as Mr. John Clark was exercising in the Gun House his cartridge box took fire. Burnt all.

11 This day wind at WSW. Sailed nearly fifty of our fishermen for the Isle of Sable and brig Wolf, Folger, whaleman for West Greenland. Arrived a schooner [Seaflower], Smith, whaleman from West Indies. Sailed Francis Granday with her cargo again for Newfoundland. Passed a ship from Boston to sea. Passed a ship from Salem for Bristol.

12 This day moderate weather. Wind westerly. Came from Boston small tender [Young Lively].

Monday, 13 Moderate. Wind easterly. Passed a brig from sea for Salem. Received a pattern of an ensign from Mr. Joshua Orne for schooner Tabby.

14 Moderate. Some rain. Delivered an ensign to Mr. Joshua Orne made of tamme. Arrived schooner Leviathan, whaleman, 15 barrel. Sailed schooner Bartor.

15 This day sailed some of our fishermen. Squalling. Captain Bishop dined on shore &c. at King Hooper’s.

16 This morning at 4 o’clock was born a daughter to John and Ann Prince. Fast Day mob. Sailed small tender. Continental Fast. Preaching at Church.

17 Much snow fell. Come from Newbury Captain Richard Stacey in a brig. St. Patrick’s Day. In the morning Lord North sent his messenger and dobbed all our chimneys and made Tories of all this Town.

18 Deliver schooner Tryal’s color mended. Somewhat moderate. Sailed Richard Stacey and David Ross [in the brig Union for Maryland], both for the southward of this continent. At 4 o’clock died Mrs. Watts.

19 Fine and pleasant again. Came from Newbury sloop Ashley, Arnold Martin, light. Self attended Church all day. Wife half day.

Monday, 20 This day strapped two set of boom tackles and two set of tack tackles for schooner Tryal, Isaac Wodden. The Lively’s tender took a schooner belonging to Colonel Lee of Manchester.84

21 Moderate. The remainder of Mrs. Watts was buried. A sermon preached at Church.

22 This day moderate. Received 5 pair of old shrouds for Broughton and Girdler to refit. Ditto received a small coil of shrouding and a coil of spun yarn for Broughton and Girdler.

23 This day employed on Mr. Broughton’s shrouds. Employed Dennin a day. Delivered a new Jack to Mr. Isaac Collyer. The small tender took a sloop and another schooner came from Boston, another schooner tender.85

24 Some snow. Arrived [John] Williamson [in the schooner Woodbridge from Guadaloupe] and [William] Tuck [in the schooner Manchester from Cadiz]. The Lively presses. Employed Dennin a day.

25 This day arrived John Dixey [in the brig Elizabeth from Cadiz] and Ben Calley [in the schooner Molly from Cadiz] and a large schooner from Boston. Passed a brig for Boston. Sailed Dupee and Grush [both for the West Indies].

26 This day wind westerly. Passed a brig from Boston for Salem. No preaching at Old Meeting [House]. A Beverly man at New [Meeting House]. Doctor Bowen at Church this afternoon &c.

Monday, 27 This day moderate. Delivered three pair of shrouds to Broughton and Girdler. His Majesty Ship Lively got topgallant mast up and yards across. In the evening D.T.G.ys [down topgallant yards?].

28 This morning small tender brought a brig into our harbor from Squam.86 Sailed schooner Leviathan, whaleman, and W[illiam] LeCraw, merchantman [for the West Indies]. The man at Taunton [?] saith the ACT is repealed.87 Arrived a topsail schooner, Hinkley, master, from Philadelphia.

29 Smart cold. Wind at WNW. Anchored here a large schooner [with a fore-topsail]. I find the Tryal fisherman is gone. Sailed Ambrose James.

30 Smart cold. The prize brig gone to Salem. The Lively hath a flag at fore-head. Sailed two large schooners for Boston. Anchored a strange schooner. Sail schooner Seaflower, whaleman.

31 Anchored here the small tender and sailed again. Sailed Colonel Fowle’s schooner, whaleman.

[April 1775]

1 Moderate. Employed on schooner Patty rigging. Employed Dennin 8 hours.

2 Much wind at NE. Arrived William ANDREWS from FALMOUTH [in the schooner Stork] and a schooner with two topsails.88

Monday, 3 This morning arrived John Barker [in the schooner Two Sisters] from Falmouth. At last a Town Meeting for to send them back. [Arrived John Barker from Falmouth; at 6 o’clock all our bells began to ring for joy of Barker’s return and there was ringing of bells from the six to the 9th hour for T[own] Meeting].89 Employed Dennin 9 hours. Received 6 pair of old shrouds from Colonel Lee, schooner Patty, to refit.

4 Wind southerly. Some snow. This day employed on Colonel Lee, schooner Patty’s shrouds. Received a coil of spun yarn from Robert Hooper Esq. for Colonel Lee, schooner Patty. Employed Dennin a day. Andrews and Barker on unloading their goods.

5 Much snow. L[ord] N[orth] dob our chimneys. Do nothing at loft. Cold. Deliver Mr. Allen Barber 3 pounds of coffee at ½d.

6 Received a pattern of two pair of shrouds for Colonel Lee, schooner Patty. Delivered schooner Patty fore rigging. Employed Dennin a day. Sailed a ship and brig from Boston.

7 This day moderate. Employed on schooner Patty’s rigging. Employed Dennin ¾ day. Sailed a ship from Boston and 2 brigs from Boston.

8 Employed on schooner Patty rigging. Dennin lame. Deliver Mr. Roger 1 tackle 7/2. Sailed Williams for Europe [Bilbao].

9 Moderate. Nothing remarkable. Arrived Knott Pedrick’s schooner.

Monday, 10 The Lively order schooner alongside. His Majesty Ship the Lively exercising small arms. Delivered schooner Patty main shrouds.

11 This day moderate. Much firing at Boston town.

12 Much wind at the eastward. Delivered a Jack to Colonel Lee, schooner Patty. Some snow and rain. Arrived brig St. Paul, [Nicholas Gordon], from London.

13 This day moderate. Employed on schooner Patty’s blocks. Strapped six blocks for Colonel Lee, schooner Patty. Sailed William Andrews and John Barker back again [for Louisbourg and Newfoundland] and schooner Lynn, J[ohn] Hooper, [for Cadiz].

14 Good Friday, but not an agreeable news to some. This morning I took horse and went to Lynn for cordage. Attended Church all day. Children catechised. Passed His Majesty Ship Merlin for Boston. Sailed [George] Rapell [for Bilbao]. Some rain. New news. Cape Ann news.

15 This day my honored father arrived to 77 years of his age. Received a coil of spun yarn from Colonel Lee for schooner Patty. Arrived Allen from Cadiz. Hand bills.

16 [Easter]. This day smart southerly wind. Passed a ship for Boston. Boston news in town. Arrived Will Fowle’s schooner from Baltimore. Anchored a brig from Salem.

Monday, 17 This day anchored a brig from West Indies. Employed Mr. Dennin ¾ a day. Received 4 pair of shrouds from Major Pedrick schooner Hitty to refit. Delivered 4 ties to schooner Patty and many block. His Majesty Ship the Lively exercising small arms.

18 Employed on schooner Patty blocks. Employed Dennin ¾ a day. Much rain. Wind southerly. Came in 2 fishing schooners.

19 A hubbub as no truth goes. A hubbub about soldiers. News from afar talks of war.90 Employed on schooner Patty’s blocks. Sailed schooner Patty, Will Clark, [whaleman]. Employed Dennin 6 hours. Sailed William Sinclair for Europe.

20 Do nothing at loft, but delivered a suit of rigging to Captain Is[rael] Foster for a brig. Passed a ship for Salem from London, Callahan, master. Arrived ship here.

21 This day moderate. Arrived brig Woodbridge. I was taken on board the Lively but acquitted.91 His Majesty Ship Lively bent sails. Arrived Pote from Guadaloupe.

22 His Majesty Ship Lively block our harbor up and sent a message on shore. A meeting at the Town House. Father Bowen took his flight to farm.92 Arrived R. Hinkley.

23 Much firing at Boston. Fog. Self at Church all day. War’s no dependence on anything; between two stools the ass comes to the ground.

Monday, 24 This day moderate. Dull, dull, dull times. Sister Stiles gone in the country. No business in hand. Between King and Country.

Dimensions of His Majesty Ship Lively—24 guns, 140 men

  • Length keel 93 feet 4
  • From stem to stern on gundeck 113
  • Breadth of beam 32 feet
  • From orlop deck to sea[ ] 11 feet
  • Between decks 6 feet Waist 6 feet

Dimensions of a 34 gun ship

  • Keel 110 feet 10¾ inch
  • Gun deck 132 feet 1 inch
  • Beam 34 feet 5 inch
  • Hold 11 feet
  • Between deck 4 feet ½

Dimensions of a 24 gun ship

  • Keel 96 feet 6 inches
  • Gun deck 120 feet 6 inches
  • Extreme breadth 32 feet
  • Depth of hold 10 feet 6

25 This day moderate. Sailed two men-of-war from Boston. Parson Weeks left the town. Passed three ships from Boston. Most of our people moving. Sailed W. Fowle schooner for Boston. Tis said Quincy is dead.93

26 This day moderate. Doctor Bond carried to Camp. Sailed Stephen Blaney for somewhere. Son Ashley went in the country. The King’s boat a-sounding at Phillips’s Point, so called.

27 This day moderate. Came from Boston the Hannah Cox tender with orders to open our port. [Came from Boston small tender with Mrs. Bishop and daughter].94 Doctor Bond acquitted and returned. Knott Martin Junior sent his sloop to Newbury.

28 This day moderate. Tis said 2 ships passed for Boston. Most of our people gone out of town with their goods. Knott Martin Junior returned from the country. All our countrymen have turned their houses into pawnbroker’s shops to receive the Marblehead men’s goods. Glorious times for the country!

29 This day moderate. Sailed Pote. His Majesty Ship the Lively brought a schooner too from the Grenards bound for Salem, Hammond. Anchored a brig from Jersey. Sailed Knott for [ ].

30 This day moderate. Sailed schooner Rockingham, Abbott, for Newbury. No preaching at Church nor Old Meeting House. No Sunday. Sloop Ashley shipping fish for Manchester.

[May 1775]

Monday, 1 This day much rain. Our people took a spy. A Town Meeting concerning the [so]-called Tories. Passed a tender for Salem.

2 Moderate. Anchored a little tender called the Hope’s tender and sailed for Boston again. Some rain. Arrived the two Brookses from fishing at the Ferry. Sea news of ships &c.

3 Moderate. Sailed a brig from Salem. Sailed brig Nancy, [Thomas] Power, for Europe. Note: Mr. Joseph Hooper95 and Swett Hooper are gone passenger.

4 This day moderate. Bowman, the spy, detected with Fowle [?].

5 This day moderate. News from [the] Banks about the Spanish ship.

6 Mr. Wall kill [ ] 11 calf on from the country 13. Anchored a small brig from Boston and many of our fishermen from the Banks. This morning passed three ships for Boston. Arrived John Blackler and others whom had relieved a Spanship [Spanish ship] on the Banks and brought the Spanish people and some of their good[s]. The Lively took the two schooners under their care that brought the Spaniard.96

7 This day moderate. Sailed the Jersey brig for Newport. Came from Boston W[illiam] Fowle in schooner. Sailed Williamson for Halifax. Return the Jersey brig. No preaching at St. Michael’s nor Story’s.

Monday, 8 This day some rain. Anchored a tender from Boston. Doctor Pousland buried and Mr. Roger Taylor [?].

9 Sailed schooner tender for Boston. Employed on Major Pedrick schooner Hitty’s rigging. Son Ashley and daughter Hannah gone to seek their fortunes. Father Bowen dined and Mr. Hooper’s in town.

10 This morning sailed His Majesty Ship Asia from Boston, said for New York. Between 4 and 5 o’clock this morning departed this life Jeremiah Lee,97 [away] from home. Anchored a tender from Boston.

11 This day fair weather. Story preached at New Meeting [House]. Anchored a ship from Barbados belonging to Boston. [Congress] fast. Sailed a tender with Captain Bishop and family for Boston.98

12 This day moderate. Employ on Major Pedrick shroud. At 8 o’clock the tender passed the lighthouse for Boston. Many of our gentry gone to Colonel Lee’s funeral at Newbury.

13 This day moderate. Passed 2 ships for Boston. Two more topsail vessels in the offing.

14 Moderate. Came from Boston the Hannah Cox tender. Passed a brig for Boston. The Parson Treadwell at New Meeting House. Sailed W. Fowle for Boston. I saw my father.99

Monday, 15 Passed a large ship for Boston. Father Bowen gone in the country [Andover], and spouse sent something to children at Boxford. This afternoon passed a ship <of the line> for Boston. Arrived a tender called the Hope’s tender and a brig from Boston.

16 Fair, warm weather. Anchored a brig from Boston and a large tender with goods for Callahan’s ship. This afternoon passed three ships for Boston. Tis said two marines were killed at Dorchester.

17 Anchored a large schooner with a pendent, supposed a new tender.100 This evening a fire at Boston. Sailed Abi[jah] Boden and John D[evereux] Dennis, both for Europe. Sail a brig.

18 Fair weather. Delivered 4 pair of shrouds and jibstay [and] 3 straps to Major Pedrick, schooner Hitty. Sailed many of our fishing schooners for Newbury. Came to town Sister Wight and Sarah Johnson. Came from Boston schooner call[ed] the Collector, Thomas Stephens, master.

19 This day wind easterly. Passed a ship for Boston. Sailed a brig to Salem. This night I watched the town. All is well. Arrived Joseph Bubier in sloop Charlotte [from St. Croix]. Returned John D. Dennis.

20 Moderate. Do nothing at loft. Sally Johnson and Mrs. Wight gone to Andover. No news is good news.

21 This morning passed a ship for Boston, I suppose to be the last of the six transports from England with troops on board for Boston. Wind easterly. This afternoon passed a frigate for Boston and two brigs. Anchored a ship from Salem. Whitwell preached to the artillery men, 1 Chronicles XXVIIII 15. No preaching at St. Michael’s nor New Meeting House. Came from Boston Mr. Sam Giles’s boat.

Monday, 22 This day some rain. The fishermen are enlisting quite quick under the Congress [for the Continental Army]. Town Meeting about Congress Selectmen.101 Drums and fife goes about town to enlist men. Delicate cho[ice?].

23 This day some rain. Passed a ship for Boston and at 7 o’clock the ship fired off Boston. Admiral returned salute. This morning sailed a ship that came from Salem on Sunday last. Our company of artillery gone out. Many men enlisting. Came from Boston a little sloop, tender.

24 This day arrived brig Lydia, Thomas Collyer, from Lisbon. Sailed Boylston’s ship and schooner, Hammond, for Newbury. This morning somewhat foggy. Came from Boston William Fowle’s schooner and the Hannah Cox tender and schooner Dolphin and a sloop with passengers, all from Boston. Our streets full of Boston people.

25 Passed a large ship for Boston. About noon many cannon fired, supposed at Boston. Tis said they, the three generals, are arrived, [Howe, Burgoyne, and Clinton].

26 Sailed brig St. Paul for Newbury and John Collyer for West Indies. Sailed two transport from Boston for Halifax. At 8 o’clock many guns fired at Boston as Admiral Graves shifted his Flag. A King’s ship came in and ordered the Lively for Boston.102 Came from Boston Captain Diamond with [Spaniard’s] dollars for Captain Sam Hooper and company.

27 Sailed ship Minerva, Callahan, for London. The Lively unmoored. Arrived two ships [merchantmen] from sea. This evening much firing at Boston.

28 Sailed schooner Hitty, whaleman, [of Major Pedrick]. Preaching at all three houses—a Sunday again. This day arrived a brig from London. Higginson[?] preached at Church and both meeting houses. Mr. Dorrel preach at Church. Provincials stealing sheep &c. Anchored a schooner from sea. Our talks, viz. Jeremiah the IX.23.24. The R[ebel?] B[oys?] burnt a schooner belonging to His Majesty at Winnisimmet Ferry.103

Monday, 29 His Majesty Ship Lively saluted 15 guns.104 Anchored the Hope tender and her tender and the Hannah Cox tender. This evening a fire at Boston. Many great guns firing at Boston.

30 A hubbub in town about the tenders. The Delegates gone to Cambridge.105 At 6 drums beat for an alarm, said to be soldier landing at Salem or at our Ferry. A noise about nothing, but the Hope and her tender went for Salem and the Witches made an alarm. All is well. This afternoon our side’s Witches made an alarm; all hands mustered again.106 News from the Camps say 3 sloops at Boston had soldiers on board for Somerset. Close weather. Wind easterly. No rain. Came from the country son Ashley. Captain Jonathan Glover and Mr. Joshua Orne went to C[ambridge?].

31 Poor election. Much fog. Many guns fired at Boston. We hear His Majesty’s frigate Senegal is arrived at Boston from England. This evening came from Boston His Majesty’s Sloop Merlin, and sailed for Boston His Majesty’s Ship Lively [at 3 o’clock this morning]. No election today.

[June 1775]

1 This day the Merlin moored in our harbor. Employed in loft with Mr. Hooper’s rigging. For Mr. Hooper, schooner Collector. Deliver her rigging on Friday.

2 This day employed on Mr. Hooper’s rigging. Delivered her main rigging to mate. Received a jibstay from Mr. Tedder, by way of Major Pedrick’s for Mr. Hooper. All our salt vessels are stopped.107 Arrived schooner Woodbridge from Halifax. Passed two ships for Boston. Some guns firing at Boston. This evening His Majesty Sloop Merlin blocked our harbor up. John Burnham escaped; Thomas Collyer [in the brig Lydia] and J. Bubier stopped. Arrived William Tucker from London.108

3 Somewhat showery. This day delivered Mr. Hooper’s fore rigging to Captain Thomas Stephens. Sailed 3 ships from Boston. Delivered 3 ties to Captain Stephen[s] for Mr. Hooper. Anchored the Hope schooner and her tender. Four ships off in the Bay.

4 Sailed Captain Sam Hooper’s schooner for Boston to take on board the Spanish money, and sail for Boston. This day our salt fleet sailed for Boston, viz. Major Pedrick’s brig Lydia and Colonel Fowle’s schooner Humbird [both] with salt and Mr. Sam White schooner Woodbridge with molasses on board, [convoyed by the schooner Hope and her tender]. At 1 o’clock the Merlin saluted with 21 guns.109 Passed a brig from sea for Boston.

Monday, 5 At noon I heard many guns fire at Boston. A Town Meeting. Wind east.

6 The Merlin brought a schooner in from St. Croix in West Indies and cleared her again. Arrived Captain John Gale from Barbados; no comply to pay the Merlin; run right in to wharf. [Another entry reads:] This afternoon arrived John Gale from Barbados and he run the gauntlet and passed the Merlin and run in to the wharf. [A third entry reads:] This afternoon I saw a schooner with a white flag and blue diamond standing in, and as she was coming up our harbor C[olonel] John Glover went off and met her, and the Merlin’s barge met her at the same time. The officer of the barge ordered her to bring to. Glover ordered her not, and the schooner run under the ship stern, paid no regard to her and run alongside the wharf. All is well that ends well.110

7 This morning came from Boston a brig and bound for Quebec. Sailed Will Fowle’s large schooner, [Gray], for Newbury. Sailed John Barker. Joseph Barker deserted the Camps. We hear from the Camps that they exchange prisoners.

8 This day sailed a brig for Quebec. Came from Boston a small sloop and sailed again. Passed a ship for Boston.

9 Moderate. Sailed a brig that come from London some time since. A grand muster with our Minutemen, Chief Colonel [Glover] not in town. His Majesty Sloop Merlin exercising small arms.

10 Anchored His Majesty Schooner Hope and her tender. Came from Boston Captain Thomas Collyer [in the brig Lydia].

11 Came from Boston Sam White [in the schooner Woodbridge]. Parson Weeks preached and Mr. Dorrel read prayer. This morning passed a ship for Boston. Sailed a ship from Boston. Sailed sloop Charlotte, John Stephens, [for the] West Indies. Captain Leaton hauled in.

Monday, 12 Anchored a small sloop tender from Boston. Governor Gage Proclamation.111

13 This day passed sixteen ships and two brigs for Boston, all transports from England, some with horse and some with troops on board. The small tender sailed for Boston. Anchored a small brig from Lisbon. Came from Boston John Brock in Jacob Fowle schooner.

[Another entry reads:] This morning nine ships and a brig bound for Boston. Sailed small sloop tender. Parson Weeks went passenger. This afternoon passed seven ships and a brig for Boston. Anchored a brig from Lisbon, Lydia. Came from Boston Colonel Fowle’s, Brock. 18 transports passed for Boston.

14 This day nothing remarkable. Arrived Philip Thrash from [Cowes] England last. Note: Thrash come across the Spanish wreck and took sundries out of her. The Merlin’s people a-rigging Major Pedrick brig. Our new Captains beating up for Minutemen.

15 Somewhat cold. Wind at north. Came up S[amuel] Gardner; came from the Eastward with wood but would not let the Merlin’s boat board him. Had like to have been a hurley as a musket ball was fired at Sander’s house.112 Tis said that three ships passed for Boston. Three of our Committee went on board the Merlin.113 All’s well. Came up two wood sloops.

16 Sailed four ships from Boston for sea. Sailed [schooner], Captain Leaton, for Salem. General Putnam is a-trenching on Bunker’s Hill at Charlestown.

17 This day the Merlin firing at a target. This morning the King’s troops set fire to Charlestown and came under cover of the smoke and attacked the intrenchments on Bunker Hill and caused them to retreat. Sail small brig for Boston.

18 Some likely hoods for rueing all sins fail in a daytime [?]114 This day much firing at Boston &c. Tis said a great number of men are killed on both sides.

Monday, 19 A grand muster with our Regiment. We cannot hear the particular at Charlestown. Some rain. Captain Sam Trevett under an arrest. For what?

20 This day sailed a ship for Philadelphia belonging to Captain John Dean. This afternoon as Captain Nick Broughton was coming from Salem by water the Merlin’s boat brought him too and carried him alongside, but was soon acquitted.

21 This day sailed two ships from Boston [for the Eastward]. This evening a general muster with our new Regiment. This evening came orders for Marblehead Regiment to be in readiness for a march.

22 This morning at 3 o’clock our new Regiment marched off for Cambridge. All well. Sailed [Captain Cochrane] Boylston’s ship for Salem. Passed a snow for Boston. Came from Boston Captain G. Diamond &c. Major Pedrick sloop stopped with salt, [and two schooners with salt]. <On the 22d of June 1775 about the time our troops set off I dreamed of being in close hug with a poor rich widow of this town.>

23 This day fair. Nothing very remarkable. His Majesty Sloop Merlin unbent sails and blacked her yards. Came from Andover Sister Wight and Sarah Johnson.

24 Some rain. Sailed Captain Diamond for Boston. News from the Camps.

25 This day passed two brigs for Boston. Sailed Major Pedrick schooner with salt for Boston. Some rain. Preaching at Old Meeting [House] only. Many of the troops are deserted from the Camps.

Monday, 26 Many of the enlisted men came from the Camps. Some were sent back again.

27 Nothing remarkable.

28 Wind easterly. Some rain. Brother Porter came from Boxford for some of my goods as I think this town is not safe at present. My son Ashley came with his uncle. All is well.

29 Much rain. Wind northerly. Come up W. Stuart with wood.

30 This morning Mr. Moses Porter set off for Boxford with a cart laden with my household goods. Nothing new from the Camps. Sailed Thomas Collyer in brig Lydia for Philadelphia and Captain Omer for sea. Came from Boston Gray’s brig.

Memorandum of what goods I have sent by Brother Porter in the country

  • N. 1 A large chest with wearing apparel and some pewter, a pair of red curtains, a large looking glass, and sundries.
  • N. 2 A chest with some bed linen, some pewter, one pair of blue curtains, 1 pair of blankets, and sundries.
  • N. 3 A large trunk, our wearing apparel, and sundries &c. &c.
  • N. 4 A box with sherry and wine glasses and sundries &c.
  • N. 5 A old case with glass pictures and plates and bowls and sundries.
  • N. 6 A pair of case and drawers.
  • N. 7 A chest with my daughter Hannah’s clothes. To a feather bed, 2 bolts [bolsters], 2 pillows, 1 under board, 1 two tables, 6 chairs, 1 large 2 small brass kettles, 1 frying pan, 1 bedstead and cord, 1 warming pan, 2 flatirons, 1 pair of andirons, 1 pair of tongs and shovel, 2 candlesticks, 1 tea kettle, 2 large brushes, 1 trammel.

Note: the goods left is

  • 1 pair of case of drawers
  • 1 table 1 warm[ing] pan
  • 2 flat irons 2 brushes
  • 1 trammel
  • Hannah’s chest—some clothing of my wife’s
  • 1 fustian man’s coat
  • 1 large tunnle [?]
  • Memorandum of what clothes was sent in my Hannah’s chest
  • 1 one pack gown
  • 2 one Bengal ditto

July 1780

  • 3 one crepe ditto
  • 4 one black ditto and skirt
  • 5 one callico ditto lined with check
  • one red quilted coat
  • one blue ditto ditto
  • one fustian under coat
  • two linen 4 cotton shifts
  • one complete riding hood
  • one black cabbasheen [capuchin?]
  • two pair of white cotton stock[ings]

[July 1775]

When America first carried on a design against Great Britain they made an exchange and called Old Tenor Sterling and Sterling currency, for as one shilling Sterling is ten so now one shilling Old Tenor is ten. For instant, if a piece of intelligence is in favor of America one shilling Old Tenor is ten Sterling &c. &c. So off [often?] we hear of a souvenir: if ten Gage-ites are said to be killed they state it thus—10 notes [?] that I borrow and carry to 10 makes 100, so if one hundred notes[?] that I borrow to 100 makes 1000 &c. July the 2, 1775 Cr F Gr Letter 40K–30 Trce [Tierce?]. Now Dr. B’s account on the 18 June must be [...] he said five hundred were killed, but was soon reduced to the Old Sterling at ten for one so 500 the note [?] which was borrowed, taken off, leaves just 50 and may be expected on other accounts.

1 Sailed Gray’s brig for [ ]. We hear firing all this afternoon.

2 Sailed Richard Hinkley. Passed a brig from Salem for sea and sailed a sloop for Boston. The Merlin tolled for prayers on board. Much rain. Preaching in both meeting houses. Much firing about Boston.

Monday, 3 This day foggy. Much firing at Boston.

4 Fair weather. The Merlin careening ship. We hear Captain William Dennis is at Saco. Of our King’s troops that was said to have been killed on Sunday last are well, but four wild naughty horses have deserted from Boston. Madam Major Gr[ ] had the honor of combing General Lee’s head at Headquarters. A wattly [sic] matter about horse-stealing. [...] Florence [...]

5 This day the Merlin careening ship. A Committee of Friends went on board the Merlin. Passed brig [General] Wolfe, [Hugh] Hill, for Boston.115

6 Fair weather. Colonel Gardner buried.

7 This day passed two brigs and a bilender for Boston with troops. Fine.

8 Tis said 15 transports may be expected daily. Came from Boston the schooner Hope. The Merlin bent her mainsail and topgallant sail.

9 Fair weather. Came from Boston the small tender called the Hope’s tender. The Merlin took her springs off her cables. Prayers on board Merlin.

Monday, 10 This day much heat. Sailed for Boston small tender. Mr. Hooper went in tender.116

11 Fore part fair. Latter, rain.

12 This morning I find four ships and a snow in the offing, transports from New York and Ireland bound for Boston. They passed the Castle at 11 o’clock. This afternoon passed 4 transports more and 2 sloops and a topsail schooner. I saw 2 or 3 buildings burnt below Boston. Much cannon fired. Came up Captain Mugford in his schooner. The building that were on [ ].

13 This day wind westerly. Came from Boston the schooner Hope’s small tender. Note: Mr. Hooper and Captain [Hugh] Hill came passengers in tender. At noon I saw five ships without the light house bound out and two more above, coming out all bound to the Eastward. This afternoon the Merlin’s people unmoored Major Pedrick’s brig and moved her within her buoys.

14 This day the Merlin’s people employed in rigging Major Pedrick’s brig and bending sails. Captain Felton and Hooper are a-beating up for volunteers to guard our seaports. Sister Martin in town.

15 This morning at 5 o’clock the Merlin began to unmoor. At 8 o’clock she sent her boats and took a wood sloop bound for Salem and brought her to. At 11 o’clock the whole fleet sailed, viz. schooner Hope, Captain [George] Dawson, and her tender, sloop Merlin’s prize brig Betsey, Merlin’s prize, and sloop Merlin self.117 The Merlin is ship-rigged; carries 18 -6 pounders, 12 swivels, Sir William Burnaby, commander, bound for sea. Passed a sloop and schooner for Beverly.

16 This day poor Marblehead cannot so much as to have preaching on shore or prayers on our harbor, for all our ministers are out of town and the Merlin is at sea. Not a bell rang this day. The schooner is Captain Jonathan Glover’s, Sam Courtis. The sloop is Major Pedrick. Both came round from Beverly.

Monday, 17 This day moderate. Seven sail of ships off besides the Merlin. Captain Nick Broughton beating up for recruits.

18 Fore part foggy. This afternoon the Merlin passed. As she passed she fired six shot at Major Pedrick’s sloop and Mr. William Harris’s schooner as they passed from Marblehead for Salem. The Merlin anchored off West Beach. We hear Captain [John] Derby is returned from England.118

19 This day all still.

20 This day is more of a Sabbath than the last Sabbath, for there is preaching at Old and New Meeting Houses. One Swain lasted above an hour by D. Hartshorne’s watch at New Meeting. This morning the lighthouse for Boston Harbor took fire and burnt from ½ past 9 o’clock till noon, at which time the Great Brewster took fire.and burnt all that was on it.119 And as the people were a-returning there was so much firing of cannon and some musketry at them. This morning the small Hope tender came to the Merlin and this afternoon the Merlin took B. Bowden’s schooner [Two Brothers] from Ipswich. Passed a ship from Boston for sea. This night some other place burnt.

21 This morning sailed small Hope’s and Bowden’s schooner, both for Boston. Sailed from Boston two sloops and a topsail schooner bound for the Eastward. Nothing extraordinary.

22 This day Captain Burnaby sent word on shore for our fishermen to carry no salt out, on pain of being seized. The ship in the offing hath sent many small craft to Boston with salt.

23 At 8 o’clock the Merlin sailed for sea. The other cruiser in the offing. This afternoon much rain. At 7 o’clock anchored here the Merlin. Preaching at both Meetings.

Monday, 24 This day fair weather. Wind at WNW. A ship off. This evening came out of Boston 9 ships and a sloop. Many small craft bound for Boston. I saw some [ ] fire on the South Shore.

25 This morning at 6 the Merlin weighed anchor and came to sail and stood off for sea. We hear many cannon fired about Boston. This afternoon the Merlin went to Boston. A great smoke near Nantasket. Brother Bowen and I went to [the] Neck. Note: the Merlin shows no color except three vanes, half blue, half white.

26 This morning fog. Brother Bowen and I dined at Captain Prince farm.

27 Much rain. No King’s vessel in our harbor at present.

28 This day fair weather. Passed two ships from Boston and passed three ships for Boston. Tis supposed the smallpox is come again. This evening came a fishing boat from Boston with [ ].

29 This morning much firing at Boston. William McServe [Meservey?] moved to Major Pedrick pesthouse with the smallpox. Passed two ships for Boston. The fishing boat brought a number of Bostonyers with their household goods, such as beds and steads, small trunks and some looking glasses; no provisions, and glad to come off so. I assisted Captain James Mugford about 7 hours on getting off boards out of his schooner.

30 This day sailed two ships from Boston. This afternoon sailed a small sloop from Boston. This night much cannonading about Boston.

Monday, 31 This day much firing at Boston. Employed on board Captain Mugford’s schooner a day. One Thomas Allen [?] was killed at Charlestown.

[August 1775]

1 This day fair weather. Employed on board Captain Mugford’s schooner a day. No certain news from our Camps. The Merlin a-cruising.

2 This day moderate. Employed on board Captain Mugford’s a day. I saw a ship and sundry small vessels go to Boston. Wind easterly.

3 This day somewhat cool. Employed on board Captain Mugford’s schooner a day. Departed this life Mrs. Sarah Marston, consort of Mr. Benjamin Marston, Esq.

4 This day fair weather. Employed on board Captain Mugford’s schooner a day. This afternoon was buried Mrs. S[arah] Marston. [This evening the remains of Mrs. Marston was buried on the Old Hill, or slept with her father].

5 This day nothing in hand. This afternoon passed a large ship for Boston.

6 This morning passed 2 ships and a brig and sloop for Boston. Preaching at both Meeting Houses. At dark anchored here His Majesty Ship the Falcon of 14 guns.

Monday, 7 This day wind easterly. Lay here His Majesty Ship Falcon, Captain [John] Linzee. A noise about nothing with two Deacons. The Falcon takes all our boats for his pleasure and keep all hands on board all night.

8 This day fair. [This morning the Falcon sent all our fishermen and boats on shore and came to sail and stood for sea.] At 8 o’clock the Falcon came to sail and stood for sea and run for Cape Ann and took a schooner belonging to Salem. This evening sailed J. Barnard in schooner Hope. [Of this, Bowen also says:] This evening sailed Robin Wood and Little John in schooner Hope. At the same time anchored here from Boston His Majesty Ship the Merlin and a transport.

9 This day somewhat close. At 9 o’clock His Majesty Ship Merlin and a large ship said to be a transport with the poor of the poor town of Boston on board weighed anchor and came to sail and sailed for Salem, but the wind being to the southward and the ebb made they could not get past the Fort and came to an anchor below the Fort. Much cannon fired at Boston. Tis said that the Falcon hath been at anchor in Cape Ann Harbor and found a Scotch prize. Note: Boylston’s ship, Corcorane, master, layeth in Salem Harbor. Isaac Wodden and Richard Tutt came home. They say that 40 people came from the Falcon, and by the Lieutenant whom was wounded and the doctor and 5 men more returned to the ship again. The others taken prisoners and carried to Ipswich Gaol. Passed a ship for Boston. I hear sad things from Cape Ann about the Falcon.120 A ship in the offing off Cape Ann. Many cannon fired today.

10 Some rain. Two ships passed for Boston. The ship landing the poor of Boston at Salem. The Merlin and transport lay at Salem. W. Wooldredge taken by the small tender. Wind easterly. Tis said much fighting at Cambridge.

11 This day close weather. The Merlin and transport at Salem. Passed a ship from sea for Salem. The Merlin takes all [the small fishing] boats they can find. Anchored a ship from sea. Wind easterly. Foggy.

12 This day close weather. At 1 o’clock afternoon anchored here the Merlin and her transport from Salem. This afternoon sail a ship [from sea] for Portsmouth. Some rain. We hear many cannon fired [in Boston].

13 This day cloudy. Passed a ship [of Boylston’s] from Salem for sea [or for Boston] and passed a ship from Boston and one for Boston. Two men deserted the Merlin; one caught. The Merlin cleared Giles’s boat and Uncle Hubbard’s Tiger, but the other belonging to Ipswich could not be cleared and cleared Captain Hill and all the people except Dennis Connally.

Monday, 14 This day fair. Mr. Hubbard’s Tiger cleared. Departed this life Will Dixey at the Ferry. The Merlin a-watering ship. The Merlin and transport laying as per last.

15 This day fair weather. The Merlin and transport laying in our harbor as per last. This afternoon I saw 12 ships and 3 2-mast vessels [transports] pass for Boston.

16 This day fair. Sailed the Merlin and transport, both for Boston. As the Merlin passed Point of [the] Neck she fired a shot over the Neck. Tis said the Governor’s forces are destined for Cape Ann for a visit, and a company of riflemen are gone to Cape Ann by land.121

17 This day fair weather. No noise of a war. No man-of-war in our harbor. No business to be done. [We hear] John Shepherd drownded at Newbury.

18 This day quite still. No news but that the cruisers are not to fit out &c. &c. [Another entry reads:] No cruisers to fit out of Beverly as was talked of.

19 This day fair weather. [Nothing new]. I sold Mr. Henry Sanders 1 [hundred weight] 3 [quarters] 14 of hay. This afternoon passed by a ship and sloop from Boston towards Cape Ann. Poor Marblehead is threatened by the Headquarters of a visit from that quarter if we let any of the King’s men land or supply them with even water. Only between two stools our ass comes to the grounds. Poor, poor, oh poor Marblehead!

20 This day fair weather. A preaching at New Meeting &c.

Monday, 21 This day fair. Sailed His Majesty’s Ship Somerset and three transports from Boston. This afternoon sailed three [or four] ships more [from Boston].

22 This day fair weather. Nothing new.

23 This day fair weather. This day nothing new.

24 This day fair weather. Came to town a company of volunteers from the Camps at Cambridge in order for a cruise in Glover’s schooner. 15 ships below Boston. [Another account reads:] This day fair weather. Came to town a company of volunteers for privateering. They came from Camp at Cambridge and are to go on board Colonel Glover schooner.122 I saw 15 ships and 4 tenders laying below the Castle of Boston.

25 Fair. Passed three ships for Boston. Much firing at Cambridge and Boston. Sold 2.1.1 of hay.

26 This day sailed from Boston eighteen sail of shipping, where bound is not known. Wind S-easterly. As soon as the fleet weighed anchor there was a large smoke arose from the SW of the lighthouse.

27 This day many cannon fired at Cambridge. Much thundering and lightning—a rainy night of it. Cannonading all day. No news from the Camps. Preaching at both meeting houses.

Monday, 28 This morning cloudy. No certain news from the Camps. Some rain. We hear some guns fired above.

29 [Wind NE]. This day much rain. Passed a brig for Salem from sea. Some cannon fired above, or bomb mortars.

30 [Wind NE]. This day much rain. No certain accounts from our army. We hear much cannonading and bombarding at the seat of war from Bunker’s Hill and &c.

31 [Wind NE]. This day much rain. What news we have from our Camps is small. Cannonading and bombarding from Bunker’s Hill to the other hills &c. &c. &c. Tis said that from Bunker’s Hill they throw their shells far beyond the intrenchments at the Plowed Hill &c. &c. &c. This ends nine year [in this book].

[September 1775]

1 This day completes nine years in this book. This day cloudy. Close weather. Wind northerly eastward. Passed four ships, two schooners, and a sloop for Boston.

2 This day cloudy. Nothing new. I am forced to sell hay from my father’s barn to subsist on [as] I have no sort of provisions at all. Times are so poor with me I am obliged to sell hay. Sold 2.2.18 of hay at ¾ per hundred.



Sold hay to H. Sanders




Passed two ships for Boston. We hear our people are uneasy at the army. A small dory in 4 hour caught three large halibuts and a 100 codfish with 3 men in her.

3 This day much rain. Preaching at both meeting houses. Passed a ship for Boston.

Monday, 4 This day cloudy. Some fog. Tis said many of our Regiment are deserted home.

5 This morning passed a ship from Boston and stood round Cape Ann and sailed two ships, two brigs, and two schooners from Boston. Ditto sailed on an unknown expedition a schooner of Captain John Glover’s, Nick Broughton, Captain of Marines, and John Gale, master of schooner. [Another entry reads: “Sailed the Essex Cruiser on her cruise.”]123 Ditto came from Boston B. Bowden in schooner. Ditto sailed a schooner from Salem, Derby, master. Passed a frigate for Boston with a St. George’s ensign. Came from Cambridge a company of 20 men in request of deserters. Wind NW.

6 This day passed a ship and brig for Boston. A ship off Cape Ann.

7 This day Commodore Broughton retook a ship from His Majesty Ship Lively and carried her into Cape Ann Harbor. [Another entry reads:] The Essex Cruiser retook a ship bound for Boston, taken by His Majesty’s Ship the Lively, and carried her into Cape Ann. Grand doing!124

8 This day fair. Many vessels off Cape Ann, supposed to be tenders. We hear the ship that was carried in by Captain Broughton sailed from Portsmouth bound for West Indies &c. Mr. Stiles returned.

9 This day passed five schooner, two brigs, and a sloop for Boston. This afternoon some rain. A schooner off Halfway Rock.

10 This day fair. Small winds. Preach[ing] at both meeting houses.

Monday, 11 This day a company of our town’s [minute]men set off for Cape Ann for somewhat.125 Much wind at NW. Sailed Captain John Grush [for the West Indies].

12 This day fair and pleasant. Some tenders pass with some merchantmen, [prizes].

13 At sun-rising I set out for the country. Breaked at Prince’s farm. Dined at Clark’s, Topsfield. Supped and lodged at Mr. Moses Porter’s in New Boxford.

14 This day breakfasted at Mr. Porter’s. Dined at Andover at my father’s. Supped and lodged at Mr. Greenough’s at Haverhill. A woodman [at Marblehead].

15 This day got breakfast at Mr. Samuel Chadwick’s, Bradford. Dined at Mr. Aaron Carleton, two miles beyond Haverhill. I brought my Hannah to Boxford from Bradford. Lodged at Boxford.

16 This day set out for home. Breakfasted at Mr. Porter’s. Dined at the Grapes. Got home by dark. All is well.

17 This day close weather. Nothing new. Preaching at both meeting houses.

Monday, 18 First part foggy. Later passed a bilender for Boston and a large topsail schooner for Boston. Town Meeting about [the] Fort.126

19 Foggy morning. Sailed two ship from Boston. Latter part, cloudy. Sailed the Canadian [?] fleet.127

20 Forenoon much rain. Afternoon sailed 4 ships, 2 topsail schooner, 2 small ditto, one brig, and one I suppose a bilander from Boston. Wind NNW. Much cannon fired above.

21 Fair weather. Nothing new, but timber carting to make the Fort new.

22 Close weather. Much cannonading at Cambridge. At one o’clock much saluting at Boston and harbor as it is His Majesty King George III Coronation Day. Passed a small ship for Boston. Rain.

23 This day cold. Morning much, much, much cannonading and bombarding of both sides at our Camps and Boston. A number of our Marines of Captain [Nicholson] Broughton Company were whipped and drummed out of the Regiment at Cambridge.128 Came Colonel Gridley from Headquarters. For what?

24 This day fair weather. Sailed [from below Boston] 10 ships, 2 snows, 2 schooners, and 2 sloops from Boston, 16 sail in all. At sun sat the said vessels about a league from Halfway Rock. They stood off. Wind at north. Preaching at both meeting houses.

Monday, 25 This day wind NE. Passed a sloop for Boston, [which] I took for D. Chap[man].

26 This day passed a large ship [man-of-war] for Boston, which saluted with 13 guns. Admiral returned 11 ditto. Tis said General Lee is in town, and passed three ships I suppose transports for Boston.

27 This day at 10 o’clock came in to our harbor a small schooner said to be a tender and stood out again. Smart wind at SW. This afternoon the said schooner stood in again and came to an anchor and our people went to them and brought her to the wharf. She proves to be a New Providence-man bound for Salem, and our people carried her to Salem.129 Some rain. Tis said that more King’s troops are come to Boston &c.

[Another version reads:] At 10 o’clock came in to our harbor a small schooner supposed to be a tender and stood out again. Smart wind at SW. This afternoon stood in again the said schooner and came to off our Fort, and a number of our Marblehead men took a small schooner from our wharf and went and boarded her and turned her to our wharves and afterward the schooner went to the Ferry. The schooner is from New Providence for Boston.

28 This day fair weather. Our small prize at the Ferry. We hear the Cape Annders have taken a brig from Quebec for Boston with oxen and sheep on board.130 A ship in the offing and a topsail schooner and a brig from Boston. Mrs. Webster’s Philip buried at Salem.

29 Passed a ship for Boston. Captain Broughton schooner out on her cruise, but soon returned to Begerly [Beverly] again. Came from the Eastward Captain James Mugford in Captain Daniel Chapman’s sloop and Major Pedrick sloop Baker’s Island, both with wood. All well.

30 Passed a topsail schooner and two brigs for Boston.

[October 1775]

1 Passed a ship for Boston. Preaching at both meetings. Tis said General Washington is in town. Fair weather.

Monday, 2 This day soft weather. News from Headquarters of three cruisers to be fitted out with all speed, Colonel Glover’s schooner, John Gale, and small schooner which Captain Hugh Hill took at Marblehead and a brig which the Cape Ann men took are said to be the three, Captain Nicholas [Nicholson] Broughton, Commodore.131 This afternoon Doctor Church went [ ].

3 This day fair. Wind WSW. Came from Boston a brig and turned to Beverly. News &c. This afternoon a ship off. Fired guns for a pilot. Suppose a man-of-war, red ensign.132 Mr. Twisden child is buried. [Another entry reads:] Wind WNW. Came from Boston Captain Fisk in a brig and passed to Beverly. This afternoon a large ship off; fired for a pilot. Red ensign.

4 The said ship got to Boston and saluted the Admiral. Much rain. Mrs. Prince not well.

5 Much rain. Wind easterly. John Cain buried.

6 I hear Mr. Thomas Grant’s schooner and Mr. Arch[ibald] Selman’s ditto are to fit out as cruisers.133 Captain Broughton ready to sail.

7 Sailed Captain Broughton and pursued a ship toward Boston but could not catch her. This evening some rain. Anchored Broughton.

8 This day, fore part, rain. Wind SE. Captain Broughton’s schooner came to sail and turned to Beverly. This afternoon fair. Sailed from Boston three large ships and a wood sloop. Passed a ship for Boston which had a flag at her mizzen-topmast head. Wind NNW.

Monday,9 This morning I saw two ships, a sloop and schooner without Halfway Rock and a ship went for Boston. Sailed schooner Trouble Water, Broughton. A large ship behind our Neck. Much wind at NW. Broughton soon returned to Cape Ann again. At noon came from Boston a brig, and Broughton put out after her.

[Another account reads:] This morning I saw three ships and a schooner and sloop behind our Neck standing to the Eastward. Wind NW. Sailed our guarda costa, Broughton, but soon returned to Cape Ann. At noon came from Boston a brig, and Broughton put out after her as soon as he could see her stern, to no purpose.

10 The last night came up three wood sloops and a schooner. At 8 o’clock I saw a ship off with her sails hauled up, laying to. At 11 our guarda costa put to sea, and when she came to Halfway Rock saw the ship and [came] about and stood in. The ship gave chase and followed her in to Beverly Bar and had an engagement. So good! So good!

[Another account reads:] The last night came up three wood sloops and a schooner. At 11 o’clock sailed schooner Decoy, Broughton, off and sailed as far as Halfway Rock, [came] about and stood in again, and a ship stood in after her and followed her in as far as Beverly Bar and the schooner got ashore and the ship came to anchor and got a spring on her cable and paid away on the schooner for two hours. At sunset the ship would come [away], but she got aground &c134

11 This day fair weather. Passed two ships, a schooner and sloop from Boston past Cape Ann. At noon I saw a ship take a schooner on behind our Neck and stood for Boston.135 This evening much thunder and lightning and rain. A barn at Beverly took fire and was consumed. Tis said the ship that was at Beverly was called Nautilus, 14 gun.

12 This day moderate. Passed a ship and schooner for Boston. William Boden’s whaleboat put in here on her way to Cape Cod.136

13 This day passed a ship and a brig for Boston. Helped dig potatoes. The Grandees came to examine our Fort again, General Lee &c.

14 This day I find 3 wood sloops at our wharves, laden.

15 This morning came out of Boston a ship, a brig and sloop off Cape Ann. The ship lay behind our Neck. Preaching at Church and both meetings. This afternoon came from Boston three sloops. The sloops fired 2 guns. We has 5 males, 3 female children christened.

Monday, 16 This day wind northerly. Passed a frigate with blue ensign and four ships and a brig, transports for Boston. Ditto passed the sloops for Boston.

17 This day fair. The three sloops and ship are out on their cruise. Some cannon fired above. Employed at Mr. Prince’s farm.

18 Fair weather. Passed three ships for Boston. We hear there is much damage done by a gun’s bursting in a floating battery of ours. Employed with Mr. Prince. Came up three woodmen.

19 Some rain. Received two cord of wood from Mr. Tedder at 16 shillings. Employed housing said wood &c. The wood sloops gone round to Salem.

20 Some rain. Wind NE. Employed at Captain Prince’s farm ½ day. Tis said the King’s ships are a-firing at the town of Falmouth, Casco Bay.137

21 This day much rain and wind at SE &c.

22 This day fair weather but smoke. I saw a schooner off with a fore-topsail. Preaching at all three houses. Many guns fired this morning. Mr. Weeks administered the Sacrament. Sailed Broughton and Selman and returned again to Beverly.138

Monday, 23 This morning smoky. Our laborers at work on our Fort. I assisted Captain Prince at farm. Passed a ship for Boston and sailed a ship from Boston. Sailed B[roughton] and Sel[man].

24 This day much rain. Passed two ships for Boston. This evening came from Andover Mother Bowen.

25 Employed about home. Smart cold. Some ice. Much to-do at Cape Ann in removing their goods &c.

26 This day somewhat cold. Came from Boston a ship and looked into our harbor and then stood off again, and then she went and looked into Cape Ann Harbor. This afternoon came out of Boston four ships bound down along shore and a brig. The first ship was the Lively. Wind NW.

27 This day somewhat warmer. A ship off. Employed at Prince farm. This evening some rain.

28 This day much rain. Wind northerly. Employed at farm. Finished gathering corn.

29 Close weather. Preaching at all three houses. Mr. Bass of Newbury at Church. The Fort a-going on as at other days.

Monday, 30 This day employed at the farm. Did not return till 10 o’clock.

31 Employed some at farm. Received 22½ bushels of potatoes from Mr. Mans[field?] and delivered 11 bushels to Doctor Lowell and the rest to the dwelling house cellar. Fair weather.

[November 1775]

1 This day fair weather. Passed three ships from Boston to the Eastward. Employed at the farm a day. Our Fort goes on briskly. Low water.

2 Fair weather. Small wind SE. A number of vessels off the South Shore bound out from Boston and returned again.

3 Much rain. Wind S-easterly.

4 Close weather. Wind northerly. Came out of Boston a ship and sloop. This evening the remains of John Nutt was buried.

5 This morning fair. At ½ past 8 o’clock the old bell rung for laborers at the Fort, and at 10 the drum went about for the Minutemen, and a fine Sabbath this! Whitwell administering the Sacrament and the men at work at the Fort. Passed a ship and snow for Boston. Some rain.

Monday, 6 This day close weather. This day completes my being twelve years on shore. Passed a ship for Boston. Came out a ship and put back again. This evening the remains of Mrs. Doke was buried, consort of James Doke, painter of this town. This evening came in a Provincial schooner with a sloop she had retaken. The said schooner is commanded by John Manley and formerly Thomas Stephens.139

7 This day much rain. Came on shore from the cruiser a midshipman, a master’s mate, two marines, and four seamen belonging to His Majesty King George, taken prisoners in the sloop above mentioned. Hannah Richardson [and] Ed Rowland was buried yesterday and Mrs. Doke today. The privateer sailed again. Captain [Nicholson] Broughton and [John] Selman have sent two of our own vessels into Beverly as prizes from Nova Scotia &c. &c. &c.140

8 This day Captain Manley chased a large ship from Cape Ann above the Graves before she gave over chase. The Beverly men took a schooner from Ireland for Boston,141 a transport that came out of Ireland in company with ten sail more of transports bound for Boston. And arrived a sloop at Beverly taken by Broughton. This evening two ships off Cape Ann. Close weather. Wind N-easterly. At work at farm.

9 This morning passed three ships for Boston. Some rain. At noon passed twenty-eight sail more for Boston. Between 12 and 1 o’clock much cannonading and musketeering at Cambridge. This afternoon much rain. Captain E[dward] Bowen hath his youngest child buried.

10 Much rain. The cruiser come in with a prize schooner.142 This evening she sailed again. Wind NNW. Note: what I call the cruiser is Captain John Manley; the schooner did belong to Mr. Thomas Stephens formerly.

11 This day raw cold. Wind NW. Came from Boston a large topsail schooner and a ship. Manley sailed out by Point of the Neck and then stood down for Cape Ann and right in to Beverly. The ship cruising off and on all day. Many vessels came out of Boston. John Brooks buried and W. Andrews’s daughter &c.

12 Smart cold. A sail in the off[ing]. Preaching at both meetings and at work on the Fort all day. A funeral this evening.

Monday, 13 Smart cold. This afternoon I went to farm.

14 Fair, soft airs. I got home 43 bushels of potatoes from Mr. Mans [field?]. Passed a ship for Boston.

15 This day much rain. Wind easterly. Mr. John Twisden’s schooner returned from a cruise to Beverly.143

16 Raw cold. Wind northerly. Sailed Captain Manley from Beverly on a cruise.

17 Smart cold. No snow; much frost. A ship gone to Boston. Sailed Twisden’s schooner from Beverly on a cruise. Sail from Boston a ship and hauled to the northward. We hear Eben[ezer] Foster’s wife is dead at Beverly, but the ail[ment] she died with is unknown to the doctors.

18 Smart cold. Wind NW.

19 Raw cold. Came from Boston a sloop and the Salem cruiser144 took her and carried her into Salem. [...] of the sloop off Cape Ann. Our cruiser off Cape Ann.

Monday, 20 Raw cold. Passed 3 ships for Boston. Small winds westerly.

21 Cold but pleasant. Wind NW. Passed for Boston 3 ships. 2 or 3 cruisers [?] out of Boston. The Lively off Cape Ann.

22 This morning I find some snow. Passed five ships for Boston. Some cruisers out of Boston. Wind NW.

23 A sort of Thanksgiving with the dissenters preaching at both meetings. Pleasant, but cold. A wood sloop in [ ].

24 This day I went to farm. Many cruisers off at sea.

25 This morning much cannon firing in our Bay. Passed three ships for Boston. Many more sails in the offing. Brother Bowen and I dined at Farm. This night much wind at SE. Rain, some thunder and some cannon. Tis said a ship blew up in our Bay, said to be [ ].145

26 This day many sail off. Much wind at NE. Close weather. Some snow. William Beens arrived at Cape Ann with a prize sloop that was taken by Broughton.146

Monday, 27 Smart cold but no snow.

28 Raw cold. Cloudy. Passed 5 ships for Boston. This night much rain and wind at SSE. Came into our harbor two sloops laden with wood. Warm weather.

29 This morning somewhat smoky. Passed a schooner for Boston. [At 10 o’clock] came out a ship from Boston and spoke the schooner and then she hauled off for sea. Tis saided Captain Manley hath carried a brig into Cape Ann from London with warlike stores.147 This day two years a grand Town Meeting was held at the Old South Meeting House on the TEA affair at BOSTON, and this day Captain John Manley hath another sort of tea at Cape Ann. Take care of your meeting house at GLOUCESTER for Old Englanders are great politicians. Perhaps a Plot.

30 This day moderate. Somewhat warm. The Salem cruiser took a sloop and carried [her] in to Salem. Passed a brig from Boston to the Eastward. Forty of our Minutemen are gone to Cape Ann to take care of the prize and prisoners. Tis said the brig at Cape Ann is laden with a 13-inch mortar and brass field pieces, muskets, and all sorts of warlike stores.

[December 1775]

1 This day raw cold but no snow. Wind NW. A ship off Cape Ann. Sailed from Boston a ship. Manley out on a cruise.

2 This day somewhat warm. Wind southerly [SSE]. The Salem cruiser took a schooner [with cattle] and brought her in to Salem. Passed a ship for Boston. Anchored in this harbor a Continental cruiser, [William] Burke, master.148 Received ½ quintal of fish from Mr. Tedder.

3 This morning passed a schooner and ship for Beverly. Much rain. [This morning Manley carried a ship into Beverly]. This afternoon sailed Burke and had any canny [?] of taking a Scotch prize with two of our British men-of-war. Came out of Boston a ship. Another ship off Halfway Rock. This evening Burke had like to have taken a Scotch prize. Passed a merchantman schooner from Plymouth for Salem.

Monday, 4 This day cold and clear. This morning arrived Captains [Nicholson] Broughton and [John] Selman from a cruise to the Isle St. John in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. We hear they have brought the Lieutenant-Governor of St. John with them and some other said prisoners.149 A ship a-cruising off our harbor mouth. Sailed Burke for Beverly. Came to see me my son Ashley. A gun burst at the Fort. Came to town Mrs. Stiles and Wight.

5 This day fair weather. Sailed from below Boston His Majesty Ship Boyne for [England]. William Clark, blockmaker, removed with the smallpox. Tis said Captains Broughton and Selman hath taken the Lieutenant Governor [of] St. John and brought him home.

6 This day fair and pleasant for the time. Our laborers [Minutemen] have completed their Fort. They say Quebec is taken as well as Mount Royal [Montreal]. A Scotch prize.

7 Passed two ships for Boston and a brig. A ship gone in to Cape Ann Harbor. Tis said that the Lieutenant Governor of St. John Island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence is ordered back again. This day close weather.

8 This day close weather. Some rain. The Salem-mites are a-beating up for men the next year. Mr. John Prince donation day. Wind NNE.

9 This day moderate. The brig that Manley took with King store passed to Beverly from Cape Ann. At noon Manley sent a ship and brig in to Beverly, the ship from England and brig from Antigua.150 Departed this life William Clark, blockmaker, with the smallpox, and buried.

10 This day somewhat warm. Wind SSE. A thaw. Preaching at both meetings. Two small cruiser out.

Monday, 11 Windy, clear. Wind at WNW and grows colder.

12 This day smart cold but no snow on the ground here.

13 Cold. This morning [an] alarm beat as three ships are off. At nine o’clock the Lively tack off our Fort and stood out again and spoke the other ships as they were a-turning in, and the Lively weathered the whole of Cat Island. Note: a schooner tender came in this morning by sunrising and stood down the Baker’s Island Channel and stood to the southward, and at 10 o’clock the schooner got on the Outer Breaker, the wind about WNW and the three ships all stood out for the schooner. She lay nearly half an hour on the Rock, and when she had spoke the ships she stood right for Boston. Two of said ships stood for the NE and one lay to all day off our harbor.151

14 This day no ships off. The last night came to town a pair of riflers as was sent for the day before. This day our men a-fortifying Mr. Rob[ert] Hooper’s Head, the eastern side of New Wharf, so called. Moderate weather. The riflemen returned again. S[ister] Wight gone home to the country.

15 This day close weather. Tis said that the town of Newport in Rhode Island is burnt by His Majesty’s forces.152 A notification to Town House, 2 Hwds [sic] and gun.

16 This day fair, warm. This morning passed 4 ships, 1 brig, 1 schooner, 1 sloop for Boston, and as they passed the lighthouse come out 6 ships and a schooner from Boston. Some of the Continental cruisers are out, but they take care of keeping the shore aboard. At 4 o’clock I was in the tower of St. Michael’s Church, which is founded on a Rock and the Gates of Hell cannot prevail against it notwithstanding there is two houses of worship and a gun house in this town of poor Marblehead. As I was in the tower I saw the first 6 ships and schooner to the southward and 2 ships to the eastward of them, then 2 ships and a brig to the southward of Halfway Rock and one ship to the NE of Halfway Rock. Captain Selman sailed from here for Beverly, and the small cruiser returning home. Small wind at SE. The schooner that came out of Boston returning back for Boston. This night arrived Robin Wood and Little John in schooner Hope.

17 This morning I find Captain Manley and his prize sloop in our harbor. Wind SSE. Some rain. I have heard cannon fired all the latter part of this night. Manley sailed for Beverly with his prize.153 Preaching at both public houses. Captain Jonathan G[love]r[?] and company at work on the NE battery. Much cannon fired all day, supposed to be at Cambridge.

Monday, 18 This day raw cold. All the Continental cruisers are out. Came from Boston a schooner supposed to be a tender. The cruisers all pulled foot and harbored. The tender returned to Boston. Came to town seven wise men from the South to comfort us.154

19 This day fair, cold weather. The cruisers out as before. Passed a ship from Boston. This afternoon passed two ships for Boston. Sailed schooner Small Hope for Cape Ann, J. Mugford, master. Came up 2 wood sloops, Perkins and J. Dwart[?].

20 This day smart cold. Some of the cruisers off Cape Ann. Two ships out of Boston.

21 This day smart cold. Some cruisers out came.

22 This day smart cold. No snow. Sailed Captain Broughton on a cruise. Came from the Eastward Captain Thomas Martin.

23 This day wind easterly. Passed four ships for Boston. Our cruisers chased them as far up, and as they were turning down came in from the offing a ship and caused the cruisers to run for Lynn. One got round our Neck behind our beach. Three stood for Lynn. The ship stood for Boston, and as she had passed Manley stood down again, and the schooner that was behind the beach stood down. This afternoon a ship appeared off to the eastward. Our cruiser set off for her, but would not trust as she stood behind our Neck. Manley was oblige to turn back and the ship could not speak him. Night coming on, the ship stood for Boston. A child of the late W[illiam] Clark broke out with smallpox. Came from the country son Ashley.

24 Much snow. Wind NE. I find Captain Broughton and Manley here. Preaching at both public houses.

Monday, 25 Pleasant for the times. This morning came in Captain [Winborn] Adams in Mr. Twisden’s schooner with a prize sloop from Lisbon for Boston. Sailed Manley and Broughton on a cruise. Wind NW. The sloop belonged to New York, taken by the [ ] frigate of 32—12-pounders on her passage from England to Boston. Adams sailed again. Christmas. No Church [St. Michael’s] opened as Mr. Weeks is absent.

26 This day smart cold. Our Provincial cruiser are out and in. No ship off.

27 This day somewhat warmer. All our Provincial cruiser out. Tis said Selman hath carried a brig in to Cape Ann. At noon came from Boston His Majesty Ship the Fowey, 20 guns, and anchored between the islands, viz. Baker’s Island, Cat Island, and Eagle Island and lay. At 2 o’clock passed a sloop and the ship fired 2 shot. The prize sloop went round to Beverly before the ship came. The ship had a red ensign out. Captain Manley passed for Beverly to haul up.

28 This morning I find a tender off our harbor’s mouth.155 The boat passed from ship to tender several times and then the tender stood for Boston, and the Fowey got under weigh and stood for the cruisers which were between Baker’s Island and Cape Ann and fired a number of cannon at same. Come from Boston a ship, brig, and schooner. When the ship came off Cape Ann and found the Fowey in pursuit of the cruiser she hoisted her ensign at mizzen-top head and the Fowey returned to her station again.

29 This day raw cold. Passed a cruiser to Beverly. The Fowey took no notice of her. Tis said the Provincial troops made an attempt on Bunker’s Hill last night, but to no purpose. Son Ashley gone home.

30 This day a thaw. Passed 6 ships for Boston. This afternoon much firing at the Camps or Boston. Our four cruisers are all hauled up at Beverly. Came to town two wise men, one from Salem, one from Lynn, to relieve our poor poor.156

31 This day some rain. Wind at NNE. Preaching at both public houses. This night some snow.