April Meeting, 1957

    A STATED Meeting of the Society was held at its House, No. 87 Mount Vernon Street, Boston, on Thursday, 25 April 1957, at a half after eight o’clock in the evening, the President, Mr. Richard Mott Gummere, in the chair.

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

    The Corresponding Secretary reported the receipt of letters from Messrs. Abbott Lowell Cummings and William Rotch accepting election to Resident Membership in the Society.

    Messrs. Conover Fitch, of Boston, Richard Bourne Holman, of Cambridge, and Frederick Josiah Bradlee, of Beverly, were elected Resident Members of the Society.

    The chair appointed the following committees in anticipation of the Annual Meeting:

    To nominate candidates for the several offices,—Messrs. Fred Norris Robinson and Elliott Perkins.

    To examine the Treasurer’s accounts,—Messrs. William Bradford Osgood and Arthur Stanwood Pier.

    To arrange for the Annual Dinner,—Messrs. Walter Muir Whitehill and David Britton Little.

    President Gummere then introduced the speaker with the following verse:

    David McCord

    O minstrel of these modern times

    Whose poems are more than merely rhymes,

    Whose veritas is ne’er debased,

    Whose humor never is misplaced,

    Whose taste is never off the beam,

    Who lures the trout from many a stream,

    Who works with brush as well as pen,

    Who conjures cash from Harvard men,

    This time he speaks on Education,

    A vital topic for our nation.

    John Harvard from his lofty station

    Looks on with hearty approbation.

    We hang tonight on every word

    From Meistersinger Dave McCord.

    Mr. David McCord then read a paper entitled:

    Notes on the Charity of Edward Hopkins: 1657–1957

    PERHAPS the real way to insure tradition is to endow it by name. There is a long and honorable tradition about the Harvard College Yard, but it is not endowed by name. Today in Cambridge the word College has all but disappeared. Thirty or forty years ago the Goodies, now vanished both in name and flesh, used to say that they worked in the Colleges (plural), meaning in Hollis, Stoughton, Thayer, and the like. The College, it seems, is now a School. There are also termites in the Yard, and in due course of time, unless something drastic is done, the golden word itself will have crumbled to a campus. Harvard indifference in these matters is depressing. The site of old Beck Hall should be marked by a stone, for which I would gladly supply the legend:

    Spread is dead.

    Let the dance thrive.

    Long live King Jive.

    All this saddens me, of course, but I take comfort in the Charity of Edward Hopkins which has endowed the word Detur by salting it down in a bookplate. And although the Detur as a book or books given to undergraduates who attain for the first time the dignity and distinction of classification in Group I is not as old as the Charity of Edward Hopkins which dates from 7 March 1657, it is old enough to stand as the established symbol of that Trust which is the subject of these brief remarks.

    It is amusing to reflect that this single word Detur—let it be given—from the Latin phrase detur digniori, or (as it stands on the current bookplate) “Detur . . . pro Insigni in Studiis Diligentia,” represents an early shortening or abbreviation characteristic of a nation which jeeps its way to Sears, eats cukes, spuds, grass, and dogs, drinks cokes and fraps, dwells in Capes and walk-ups, grows glads and mums, watches TV, flies in jets, reads paperbacks, and vibrates between OK’s and KO’s. Let there be given then Detur: one word in the Harvard language not likely to disappear, since it functions under the aegis of a legally constituted body. You will find it in The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary: “A prize of books given annually at Harvard College, U.S.A., to meritorious students. So called from the first word of the accompanying Latin inscription.”

    Like most things long familiar through use and usefulness, the Detur at Harvard is today a mildly coveted undergraduate prize which might conceivably gain in luster if something of the history behind it were more generally known. It is neither an obscure history nor uninteresting. It is surely not a definitive history, since there are certain moments and motives in the fabric which remain to this hour none too clear. It is far from my purpose in these casual remarks on a commemorative occasion—implicit in the title—to rehearse in detail what has already been written and rewritten, published or not published about Edward Hopkins, Esquire, and his somewhat remarkable bequest. There are four principal documents readily available, the first of which is “An account of the Trust Administered by the Trustees of the Charity of Edward Hopkins” by Charles P. Bowditch, sometime Secretary of the Trustees, privately printed for that body in 1889, following a vote of authorization passed on 6 May 1886. This is amplified by a “Supplemental Account, 1889 to 1943,” written by Roland Gray, whose trusteeship began in 1908. His supplement was privately published in 1948 and brings the official history down through the year 1943. Then there is an excellent paper (to which I am particularly indebted) entitled “Edward Hopkins, Seventeenth Century Benefactor of Education,” by Cecil Thayer Derry’03, first read at Deerfield Academy on 20 March 1953 before the 47th annual meeting of the Classical Association of New England, and subsequently read at a meeting of the trustees of the Charity of Edward Hopkins at the Harvard Club of Boston on 7 May 1953. The fourth paper of which I have any knowledge is called “Harvard, Yale, and Governor Hopkins’ Bequest,” constituting the remarks made by Mr. Sidney Withington ’06 early in 1955 before a group of New Haven people. Neither of these last two articles, I am reasonably certain, have as yet been published.

    Now the Edward Hopkins history, so far as we are concerned with it, falls into three parts: the man himself, his will which was proved at London 30 April 1657, and the somewhat complex interpretation of that will. The brief summary which follows derives in fair measure from all four of the papers I have cited.

    It is generally agreed that Edward Hopkins was born in or near Shrewsbury in England in 1600, making him some seven years senior to John Harvard. He was educated in the Royal Free Grammar School, became a merchant in the East India Company, and dealt with India and the Levant “in such products as figs, raisins, carpets, and damask.” He married Ann Yale, widow of David Yale; and his mother-in-law was, by a second marriage, Mrs. Theophilus Eaton. Elihu Yale, it will be remembered, was the grandson of Mrs. Eaton by her first husband. Edward Hopkins’ marriage was a tragedy almost from the beginning. Mr. Withington says that Ann Yale Hopkins “had a sad mental collapse while the Hopkins were still in England.” Mr. Derry says that she “became hopelessly insane.” There is no doubt, however, that Edward Hopkins remained throughout his life a remarkably devoted husband, and bore his cross as not many men could bear it. Governor Winthrop (who would not have sanctioned the founding of Radcliffe College) speaks of Ann as a “goodly young woman of special parts, who has fallen into a sad infirmity, the loss of her understanding and reason which had been growing on her divers years by occasion of giving herself wholly to reading and writing, having written many books. . . . Her husband being very loving and tender was loath to grieve her; but he saw his error when it was too late. For if she had attended her household affairs and such things as belong to women and not gone out of her way and calling to meddle in such things as are proper for men whose minds are stronger, etc., she had kept her wits, and might have improved them usefully and honourably in the place God had set for her.” Edward Hopkins “diligently sought the meaning of his tragic affliction. He thought that perhaps he was being punished for expecting too much worldly happiness in his married life. There seem to have been no children.” Ann lived until 1698—or for more than forty years after her husband’s death.

    It is obvious from the first that Edward Hopkins had the head and vision for business. Very early in England he became connected with some eminent Puritans; and having suffered by 1636 “some financial loss in speculative ventures in the New World, he was appointed purchasing agent in London for the Saybrook Colony.” He apparently sailed from England in the Hector, reaching Boston in 1637. Theophilus Eaton, John Davenport, and possibly John Harvard, were among his fellow passengers. A single winter in Boston being sufficient, if not too much, Hopkins proceeded to Hartford where he rapidly became a leader in commerce and public affairs. He held numerous offices: member of the Assembly of 1638; magistrate and first secretary to the colony in 1639; second governor of Connecticut in 1640, to which office he was re-elected no less than six times—the last in absentia in 1654. In some of the intervening years he served as deputy governor. He was also president of the Federation in 1644 and 1650, acted as judge, as commissioner for public defense, set town boundaries, settled disputes over contested lands, and negotiated with the Indians. He was equally successful in his personal affairs—particularly in general shipping. It is presumed that he amassed a considerable fortune.

    He returned to England in 1652—ostensibly for a visit, but actually for good. Being prescient in the matter, he sent for his wife, who had been cared for by her mother Mrs. Theophilus Eaton, and made every provision for her welfare. Edward Winslow wrote of Hopkins as one “whom we all know to be a man that makes conscience of his words as well as of his actions.” Cotton Mather called him “devout . . . and fervent in prayer.” In the England of Oliver Cromwell he appears to have flourished about as well as he did in the country to the south of us. He was appointed a Navy commissioner in 1652; and in 1655 became, on the death of his brother, Warden of the Fleet and keeper of the palace. Mr. Derry has been quick to point out that Fleet in this sense meant Fleet Prison, and that keeper of the palace signified Honorary Curator of Westminster Palace.

    If Edward Hopkins’ name is irrevocably associated with Harvard, it is amusing to recall that it was likewise connected with the name of Yale, not destined to become a college until 1701; and also with Dartmouth whose date of founding is 1769, or one hundred and twelve years after Hopkins died of tuberculosis—5 December 1657—for in 1656 he was elected to Parliament from the Borough of Dartmouth in Devonshire. Mr. Derry has discovered that, when he died, a friend in England wrote, “Mr. Hopkins [is] gone to God . . . at a time wherein we have great need of the presence and prayers of such men.” Edward Hopkins, says Mr. Derry in summation, “exemplified many of the finest traits of the Puritans. He was enterprising, energetic, practical-minded, public-spirited, devoted to the interests of both New England and old England, tenderly affectionate towards his invalid wife, foresighted in his provision both for her and for the interests of education, and deeply devout in thought and deed.”

    The opening sentences of Edward Hopkins’ will give further evidence of his character: “The Sovereign Lord of all Creatures giving in Evident & Strong Intimations of his pleasure to call me out of this transitory life unto himself, It is ye desire of me, Edward Hopkins, Esqr., to be in a readiness to attend his call in whatsoever hour he cometh, both by Leaving my Soul in the hand of Jesus who only gives boldness in that day & delivers from the wrath to come, and my body to a comely Burial according to the discretion of my Executor and Overseers, and also by Settling my small Family (if it may be so called) in order, and in pursuance thereof do thus dispose of the Estate the Lord in Mercy hath given me.”

    Now the interesting and important item in the will is this: “And the residue of my Estate there [in New England] I do hereby give & bequeath unto my ffather Theophilus Eaton, Esquire, Mr. John Davenport, Mr. John Cullock, and Mr. William Goodwin, in full assurance of their Trust and Faithfullness in disposing it according to the intent & purpose of me, Edward Hopkins, which is to give some Encouragement unto those forreign Plantations for the breeding up of Hopefull youth in the way of Learning both at ye Grammar School & Colledge for the publick Service of the Country in future times.”

    Approximately three hundred words farther on, there occurs a codicil of sorts: “My further mind and Will is That within Six Months after the Decease of my Wife five hundred pounds be made over into New England, according to the advice of my loving Ffriends Major Robert Thompson & Mr. Francis Willoughby, and conveyed into the hands of the Trustees before mentioned in further prosecution of the aforesaid public Ends, Which in the Simplicity of my heart are for the upholding & promoting the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ in those parts of the Earth.”

    It is now generally agreed that the word Colledge in the will refers to Harvard College, since this was the only one at that time in existence in New England. Mr. Bowditch cites Professor Francis J. Child as saying that the grammar school and college in the will “undoubtedly meant a school and college in more or less intimate connection.” To Edward Hopkins the writing of this will undoubtedly was a simple matter, for he was direct and unequivocal in all things. It is difficult, therefore, to conceive of the complicated construction put upon his sentences, of the curious way in which his wishes were carried, or half carried, out, and of the bitter arguments that attended the whole settlement from beginning to end. In the first place there was a time lag, since the General Court at Hartford sequestrated the estate “and ordered that it should be secured within the Colony until an inventory of the estate was presented and administration was ‘granted according to law.’” Messrs. Goodwin and Cullock, two of the original trustees, joined forces against Theophilus Eaton Esquire, pastor of the church in Hartford, the outcome of which was that Mr. Goodwin and a large number of the church members moved to Hadley where they proceeded to settle. Thus Genesis faded into Exodus; and with one trustee in New Haven and a second in Hadley—the others having already departed this world—the General Court decided to hold on to the estate. Not until 1664, after threats to take up the matter in England, was the restraint removed. In April of that year John Davenport and William Goodwin, one in New Haven and one in Hadley, divided the residue of the estate as follows: £400 to Hartford and the balance divided between Hadley and New Haven, “only provided that £100 will be paid to Harvard College out of that half of the estate which Hadley had.” I think at this point of a verse about Bishop Potter quoted in Mark A. DeWolfe Howe’s John Jay Chapman and His Letters:

    Then sleek as an otter rose Henry C. Potter,

    And smiled with the smile of his race.

    “My friends,” he said calmly, “I reckon you’ve gotter

    Accept with your usual grace

    The altered conditions . . .

    Conditions having altered suddenly in favor of Harvard College, approximately £100 in the form of corn and meal was transported to Cambridge for the nominal fee of £7-0s-6d, or about 7 per cent. Furthermore, the produce was consigned to Deputy Governor Willoughby, a merchant who credited the College with the amount agreed, but proceeded to live until 1671 still owing the College for this and other items. The score at this point was considerably in favor of New Haven.

    Now the second part of the bequest of the property in England, dependent (as we have seen) on Mrs. Hopkins’ life, was still undistributed when she died in 1698. By this time all the original trustees were dead, as well as the executors, and one Mr. Henry Dally, Overseer of the will. But the case of the “Edward Hopkins bequest of £500 for propagation of Ye Gospel” was revived in England in 1708, probably through the efforts of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England. The result, in brief, was that £500 with interest at 5 per cent starting six months after Mrs. Hopkins’ death were produced, amounting to some £800 in all. The master of the Court of Chancery issued an order on one Mr. Exton, Mr. Daily’s executor, to lay it out “in the purchase of lands in New England in the name of the Corporation for Propagation of the Gospel, for the benefit of the College and Grammar School at Cambridge.” Long before this the town of Hadley had established a Hopkins grammar school, now known as Hopkins Academy, and acceptance by the court in May 1660 had already marked Mr. Davenport’s plans “for the contemplated college preparatory school . . .” the beginning of the Hopkins grammar school in New Haven. A board of trustees of that school256 has, like the trustees of the Charity of Edward Hopkins, held continuity through nearly three centuries. Only Hartford, so closely identified with the Benefactor, has now no secondary school bearing the name of Hopkins.

    Thus it came about that in 1712 agents for the Cambridge grammar school and Harvard College agreed “humbly to propose to Mr. Attorney General that three-fourths of the said £800 and the produce thereof shall be for the benefit of Harvard College at Cambridge . . . for bringing up students in Divinity for the service of the country, and that the other fourth part and produce thereof be for the benefit of the grammar school at the town of Cambridge for the bringing up of youth to be sent to the said college. . . . That three-fourth parts of the Charity proposed to be appropriated to the Colledge be for ye encouragement of four Batchelors of Art to reside at the College and perform publick Exercises in Theology in such manner as shall be approved by the president and corporation of the colledge. . . . That every Ma of art or batchelor of art who shall be Entituled to receive part of this Charity shall be obliged to pay after the rate of two shillings in ye pound for what he shall so receive to the Trea. of Ye Colledge for the time being towards a ffund for ye use hereafter mentioned. Namely, to Buy Books and reward the Industry of such undergraduates as shall distinguish themselves by application to their studys.” This is the prelude to the Detur as we know it today. The Cambridge Grammar School has long since given up the ghost; and today its portion of the Charity goes to the Cambridge High and Latin School.

    The land which the trustees of the Charity of Edward Hopkins purchased belonged to the Natick Indians, the tribe to which the Reverend John Eliot had ministered. The specific tract which they proceeded to purchase was “commonly known by the name of Maguncoog.” Toward the close of the eighteenth century some acreage in Upton was added. Mr. Bowditch remarks in his Account, “That the purchase was not profitable to all concerned” as shown by the following extract from the same diary [that of Judge Sewall]:

    Oct. 12. Solomon Thomas acquaints me that Isaac Nehemiah, one of the committee, had hanged himself. Ask’d what they should doe. I sent him to the Crowner. . . . hang’d himself with his girdle, 3 foot and 4 inches long, buckle and all.

    Mr. Withington has observed that the signatures to the purchase of land which subsequently became the town of Hopkinton “do not indicate a high degree of learning among the Natick Indians. . . . Only two . . . wrote their names themselves and that not very well.” The land proved something of a headache: collection of rents, collection of taxes, and so on. In 1823 the tenants on the land were persuaded and agreed to pay the trustees $2,000, to which the State added $8,000 in full settlement of all claims for past and future rentals. From that time on, the Charity of Edward Hopkins has remained an invested fund.

    At this point we should return to New Haven for a moment to consider what President Timothy Dwight of Yale wrote in his travel memoirs. His presidency extended from 1795 to 1817. “Municificent donations [he says] have been given to Harvard College by several opulent gentlemen, both in Great Britain and America. About two thousand pounds sterling plainly intended for Yale College by the Honorable Edward Hopkins, once Governor of Connecticut, fell, through a series of accidents, partly into the hands of her sister seminary and partly into the hands of the trustees of three grammar schools; one at New Haven, one at Hartford, and one at Hadley, Massachusetts.” Now it is true that Governor Hopkins had written to Mr. John Davenport, April 1656: “If I understand that a college is begun and like to be carried on at New Haven for the good of posterity, I shall give some encouragement thereto.” But since he died some forty-five years before the founding of Yale, it is difficult to understand how Dr. Dwight could validate his words: “plainly intended for Yale College by the Honorable Edward Hopkins.” In 1948, for no accountable reason, save the editor’s privilege, I printed in the Harvard Alumni Bulletin a little verse about Dr. Dwight. At that time I was not a trustee of the Charity of Edward Hopkins. This is the verse:

    Ah, Timothy Dwight

    Was short of sight.

    But at the time

    And in his prime

    They thought him right.

    What results, then, has the Charity of Edward Hopkins achieved across the years? First of all, I would remind you that it is undoubtedly the oldest trust fund in America. The original £800 today amount to about $174,000, market value. In the year 1956 the sum of $438 was paid to Harvard College to provide Deturs; $3,949 paid to the Divinity School to provide six scholarships; and $1,462 to the Cambridge High and Latin School to be used for prizes and awards.

    What sort of people has the Charity of Edward Hopkins benefited? The first Deturs in Harvard College were apparently given in the year 1756—possibly a few years later. Prior to this, the income from the Hopkins legacy was used to help poor students. The first printed list of students to whom Deturs were awarded appears in the faculty records of 1759. In that year there were 16 awards. In 1800, forty-one years later, there were 20 awards. In 1850 there were 40; in 1900, 26; in 1925, 22; in 1935, 34; in 1940, 41; in 1945, 27; in 1950, 79; in 1951, 83 (the highest number to date); in 1955, 64; in 1957, 60. For many years it was the practice of the College to print the list of Detur recipients in the catalogue, but this practice was abandoned after 1947.

    In the eighteenth century, books given as Deturs in the main included classical authors, textbooks, grammars, dictionaries, scientific and philosophical works—for example, Locke’s Essay Concerning Humane Understanding. In the nineteenth century the standard English authors, and particularly the poets, predominated; but there were also translations—Montesquieu, for one—and certain of the specialized works like dictionaries.

    In the light, or at least in the twilight, of history, it would be interesting and even instructive to compose a list of the twenty graduates and former students of Harvard College most likely to have received a Detur in the last two hundred years. Out of the names I have arbitrarily selected there will be perhaps a few surprises: Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, for example, but not his equally famous father; Henry D. Thoreau, but not Emerson; Charles William Eliot, but not A. Lawrence Lowell; Robert Frost, but not his poet classmate Wallace Stevens. Among the notable recipients: Timothy Pickering 1763, William Ellery Channing 1798, Washington Allston 1800, Edward Everett 1811, Cornelius Conway Felton 1827, Benjamin Peirce 1829, Henry D. Thoreau 1837, James Russell Lowell 1838, Francis Parkman 1844, Charles W. Eliot 1853, Phillips Brooks 1855, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes 1861, William Vaughn Moody 1893, Edward Kennard Rand 1894, Julian Lowell Coolidge 1895, Walter Bradford Cannon 1896, Robert Frost 1901, William Ernest Hocking 1901, John La Farge 1901, Percy Williams Bridgman 1904, Lee Simonson 1909, Walter Lippmann 1910, Frederick May Eliot 1911, James Bryant Conant 1914, Charles E. Wyzanski, Jr. 1927, John Updike 1954.

    The records are not clear as to what books were given in each instance. But we do know that Channing received Watson’s History of Phillip II; Edward Everett, Campbell’s Rhetorick; President Eliot, Milton’s Prose Works; Phillips Brooks, Southey’s Poetical Works; and Justice Holmes, Bryant’s Poems. Theoretically I suppose that Thoreau ought to have received Das Kapital; but unfortunately—or fortunately—the author was but nineteen years old when Thoreau was graduated.

    As to the selection of Deturs: it is only in this century, so far as I can discover, that the students have had any real choice in the matter. I have at hand as I write a copy of James Thomson’s The Seasons, 1830. This is apparently a centennial edition published by William Pickering, since the book first appeared in 1730. It is handsomely bound in leather with the College seal in gold impressed on front and back—but who would have asked such elegance? From 1933 to 1951, for example, when students were given a list of books from which to choose, one notes with interest that only once was a set of books containing more than four volumes ever selected: this was Goethe’s Works in six volumes. But Augustus, it seems, followed Tiberius.

    In the period 1951 to 1957, recipients of Deturs were privileged to choose from certain sets of books bought by Mr. Philip Hofer257 during the years 1951–1953. These were handsomely bound volumes—a deluxe offering to a lucky few. The Detur winners in the early nineteenth century, could they know of it—Thomson’s Seasons in leather notwithstanding—might feel somewhat envious of the young gentlemen in 1957 who may select (and have selected) an 1845 Chaucer in six volumes, a History of British India in nine volumes, Tolstoy’s Works in fourteen volumes,258 The Life and Works of George Herbert in six volumes, The Memoirs of Napoleon in eight volumes, and so on.

    Among the most popular titles in recent years, one notes with pleasure Kittredge’s Shakespeare; Cushing’s Life of Sir William Osler in two volumes; Walton’s Compleat Angler; Samuel Eliot Morison’s Three Centuries of Harvard; The Oxford Book of English Verse; Frazer’s Golden Bough—presumably a one-volume selection; a two-volume Boswell’s Life of Johnson, Professor Jaeger’s Paideia in three volumes; Louis Untermeyer’s A Treasury of Great Poems; The Copeland Reader; de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America; and Newton’s Principia.

    The Bowditch and Gray Accounts contain what purports to be a complete list of Divinity students upon the Hopkins Foundation. The earliest award is that of 1730; the last is 1944. Some 570 names are on the combined lists. Not all of those who shared in the largesse of the Foundation became ministers of the Gospel. Among the distinguished and well-known names, I note (with their College classes) Horatio Alger 1852 (the novelist) and his father who preceded him in the Class of 1825; George Bancroft 1817; Edward Everett 1811, last of the nine Harvard presidents to live in Wadsworth House; Ebenezer Gay 1737, Samuel Gilman 1811, who wrote in Fay House—now the administration building of Radcliffe College—the words of “Fair Harvard”; John Farwell Moors 1842, Edward Rowland Sill, who became a well-known poet in spite of not having attended Harvard College; Benjamin Wadsworth 1769, son of the builder of Wadsworth House (1726) who was the first Harvard president to live in it; Joseph Willard 1793, son of another Harvard president; Frederick Winthrop Alden, present chairman of the Board of Trustees of New England College; the late Ralph Barton Perry; and the late Edward Kennard Rand. There is also, parenthetically, one Perkins and one Palfry, but not one Palfrey Perkins.

    The Trustees of the Charity of Edward Hopkins, whose number has never exceeded (as indeed it may not exceed) twenty-one members, has existed as a body at least since 14 January 1713, the date of the first meeting recorded in the Diary of Samuel Sewall. There are twenty-one on the board at this moment. The odd thing is that the trustees have enjoyed over this span of 244 years no less than twenty-seven separate titles. Except for one word, the present title of “The Trustees of the Charity of Edward Hopkins,” as established in 1827, was in existence in 1743. But prior to 1743 the body was known under four different titles; and in 1743 began a series of twenty-one changes of refreshing and even astonishing variety. I remember very well once having in my hands for some days the manuscript of a dictionary of Indian Place Names of New England, assiduously and reverently gathered by the late William B. Cabot. He had listed no fewer than sixty-seven variants in the spelling of Massachusetts, so that at times the word resembled itself about as closely as Connecticut resembles Carolina. And so it is with the titles by which the present body of Edward Hopkins’ trustees has been known. Furthermore, if the Natick Indians were unlettered, several of the scribes or secretaries of the Trustees (in the dim past, if you will) were enchantingly notional in the matter. I am suspiciously reminded of a relevant item which Mr. Walter M. Whitehill has called to my attention. It is taken from The Public Records of the Colony of [Governor Hopkins’] Connecticut, dated 3 June 1647: “Tho. Newton, for his misdemeanor in the vessel cauled the Virgin, in giveing Phillipe White wyne when he had to much before is fyned 5 1.” So then:

    The original title in 1717 was The Trustees for Managing the Charity of Edward Hopkins, Esq. This was simple and effective and not far from the title today; but within one year they were both honorable and geographic—even disturbingly insular: The Honourable Trustees for the affairs of The Town of Hopkinston. Too much and too long. In 1726 is was abbreviated to The Trustees of Hopkinston. Perhaps the year 1728 was a wet one; at any rate, the name expanded as a tree ring might under aqueous conditions, and the new title became The Honourable & Reverend Trustees for the Charity of Edward Hopkins, Esq. Two years later a drought set in, and it shrank to the brief Trustees of Mr. Hopkins’ Legacy. Then in 1743 we find The Trustees for the Charity of Edward Hopkins, Esq.; but in the same year the reverends returned, and the title expanded to The Honourable & Reverend Trustees of the Charity of Edward Hopkins, Deceas’d, Esq. But there was something obviously wrong about the order of Deceased, Esq. So in 1748 we find The Honourable & Reverend Trustees of the Charity of Edward Hopkins, Esq., Deceased. What became of the legacy? It was restored somewhere between 1748–1751: The Honourable & Reverend Trustees of the Legacy of Edward Hopkins, Esq. It was a lean year in 1751, and we now find simply Ye Trustees of Hopkinston. In 1753 we are back at the old stand with The Honourable & Reverend Trustees of the Charrity of Edward Hopkins, Esq., only this time a second “r” has been introduced into Charity. The year 1754 finds the word Hopkinton, for the first time without an “s.” Five years later the “s” was restored.

    Then in 1760 the name of Mr. Hopkins changes unaccountably: The Honourable & Reverend Trustees for ye Charity (with two “r’s” in it) of ye Honourable Ez. Hopkins, Esq. In 1761 the word Legacy was substituted for Charity, with or without two “r’s”; the Esq. was dropped entirely. In 1763 we find The Honourable & Reverend Trustees for ye Legacy of ye Honourable Ezek. Hopkins, Es. We have gained a vowel and a consonant for Ez., but we have lost a consonant from Esq. In 1764 the transition is complete: Ez. to Ezek. to Ezekiell; and at the same time an extra “p” is dropped into Hopkins. Now in 1770 the whole concept suddenly changes: Honourable Trustees of Hopkinston Colledge Land. In 1771 it is The Honourable & Reverend Hopkinston Trustees. The Legacy is back with us in 1772, but in 1781 another new word appears: The Trustees of the Hopkinton Donation—the legacy has become a gift, though not for too long. In 1797 we have The Honourable Trustees of the Estate of Harvard Colledge; but later in the year we progress to The Honourable Trustees of the Hopkinston and Upton Land. 1808 has a forward look with Trustees for perpetuating the Legacy of Edward Hopkins. The word Donation returns in 1809 and perpetuating goes out. In 1822 perpetuating is back and Charity has replaced Donation. Also Edward Hopkins, deceased these now 162 years, suddenly becomes “the late Edward Hopkins.” Between 1822 and 1826 we are perpetuating again; but in 1827 at last we emerge Gentlemen Trustees of the Hopkins Donation to Harvard College. It all reminds one of Robert Frost’s “The Gift Outright” beginning:

    The land was ours before we were the land’s . . .

    In that same year 1827 we became the Trustees of the Charity of Edward Hopkins and have now stayed put for exactly 130 years. Esto perpetua!

    The Trustees of the Charity of Edward Hopkins have numbered more than 350 since 1712, though the Bowditch Account acknowledges some imperfection owing to the loss of the records in 1825. Among the distinguished names we may note those of Waitstill Winthrop, Samuel Sewall, Increase and Cotton Mather, John Leverett, Thomas and William Brattle, Benjamin Wadsworth, John Quincy Adams, William Ellery Channing, Samuel Atkins Eliot, Josiah Quincy, James Walker, Tared Sparks, Cornelius Conway Felton, Charles Eliot Norton, Francis Parkman, Francis Greenwood Peabody, Abbott Lawrence Lowell, the late Judge Robert Walcott, LeBaron Russell Briggs, Samuel McChord Crothers, and Chester W. Greenough.

    Any trustee of the Charity of Edward Hopkins who happens to live on the wrong side of Commonwealth Avenue in Boston must admit that the 19th of April, although it is R-Day for Paul Revere, and D-Day for General Dawes, is also H-Day for Hopkins. For the Detur of Patriots’ Day is a crown of bay leaves offered by His Honor the Mayor of Boston to that gentleman of whatever nationality who has not galloped on four legs but has run on his own mare’s shanks from Hopkinton to Boston, a distance of some twenty-six miles. On the morning of that day, the south side of Commonwealth Avenue is roped off, vehicular traffic diverted elsewhere, and the town of Hopkinton brought forcibly to mind. It seems a pleasant thought. If Marathon is a flowering word like Anthology out of the Greek, surely Hopkinton and Hopkins deserve consideration and respect in the lexicon of Harvard. Tradition and devotion have lost some of the firmness with which they once were spoken. The Charity of Edward Hopkins was born out of generosity and vision. It is now a part of our Cambridge heritage. Those of us privileged to help prolong its life are twice fortunate. Like the Boylston Professor who may tether his cow in the Yard, and the Poet Laureate who has his butt of sherry, so we possess and enjoy the right to sit on the Commencement platform. There is something mysterious about this right—which is quite as it should be. The year 1781 is the earliest year in which we have a record of the line of march at Commencement. The Trustees are not there. They first appear on the records in 1896. Whence and when came this privilege? That is our one and closely guarded secret.

    The Editor communicated by title the following paper by Professor Alan Simpson:

    A Candle in a Corner

    How Harvard College Got the Hopkins Legacy

    ON 26 March 1713, Matthew Evans, solicitor, of Clement’s Inn, sat down to write a letter to Mr. John Gonson, sub-treasurer of the Corporation for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England. Mr. Evans had several things to say. How he had done his best to keep his costs down; how they would have been much less if Henry Newman, the counsel for Harvard College, had not behaved so unexpectedly; how he thought office copies of all the proceedings should be “put up in a small box to be lodged with your corporation for safe custody”; how silly it was of those Connecticut people to think that they could claim any part of the Hopkins legacy at this late hour, or for that matter, at any hour; and how much he, Matthew Evans, had earned his reward; though of course it was not money, but a pure love of justice that had moved him. He was leaving for Bristol next week and the clerk of the court had to be paid. So he wrote his letter, in which all these points were neatly made without the benefit of punctuation, and enclosed a bill for £192.259 In due course, the office copies reached Mr. Gonson; decrees, orders, humble petitions, joint and several answers, objections taken, agreements, more orders—the whole story of how Harvard College got the Hopkins Charity, as verbosely told as only the law could tell it. In time these records made their way from London to the estate at Eriswell, Suffolk, which the Corporation had bought in Cromwell’s day; and when a Maharajah, homeless but not penniless, bought out the Corporation in 1869 and built himself a remarkable palace with a green dome, the little box crept under it.260 The Duleep Singhs have gone from Elveden,261 but the contents of the box are still there, more or less as Matthew Evans packed them.

    Edward Hopkins was a type not usually found on immigrant ships. He had more than enough to live on. Behind him and his brothers and sisters had stood an uncle, Sir Henry Lelly, with ample means and no children of his own to consume them. At some time in his career, Sir Henry, with the help of an associate, had bought himself the office of Warden of the Fleet; discovering, after suitable market research, that there was nothing like having a good prison in the family, if you could get the right man to manage it. In this case, the office of Warden carried with it the Keepership of Westminster Palace and a certain amount of rental property around the law courts, so it was no trifling investment. As it cost Sir Henry £8,000 to buy out his partner’s interest, the market value may have been twice that. With this at their backs, the nieces got useful portions, the boys had a decent education, and everyone benefited in 1629 when Uncle Henry joined his predecessors in the vaults of St. Bride’s Church, where Wardens of the Fleet were buried.262 Nephew Henry seems to have left Clare College, Cambridge, where he had lots of friends in the Common Room, to become the new warden.263 Nephew Edward was given all his uncle’s stock in the East India Company, and we gather from the will that at some earlier date (perhaps at the end of his apprenticeship, or at his marriage) he had been set up with £400. It is not known what sort of start his own parents were able to give him, but other young men, with abilities and connections, went far in the city of London in this generation, on less than £400.264

    But money was not everything. Among the influences which surrounded Edward Hopkins was “our dear pastor, the Reverend Thomas Hooker.” Hooker may stand for the forces which took Hopkins and Theophilus Eaton out of the city in 1637, to a scene where the profits were as much smaller as the piety was purer. Once there, he naturally took charge. For over a decade he was governor, trader, and pillar of the church in frontier Connecticut. But he returned to England in 1652, and though elected governor again in the elections of the following year he never went back. He was the kind of man who would have consulted his conscience about such decisions and we may be sure that a sense of duty kept him at home. The fact that he was made a Commissioner of the Admiralty and Navy and a member of Parliament may have had something to do with it, and he also had the health of his “dear distressed wife” to think about. She was incurably insane—an infirmity which Governor Winthrop, a practical man, had ascribed to obsessive habits of reading and writing books, for which the weaker sex was quite unfitted. “Her husband, being very loving and tender to her, was loath to grieve her; but he saw his error when it was too late. For if she had attended her household affairs, and such things as belong to women, and not gone out of her ways and calling to meddle in such things as are proper for men, whose minds are stronger, she had kept her wits and might have improved them usefully and honourably in the place God had set her.”265 Anne Hopkins has a curious role in the history of the Hopkins Charity. Her own enthusiasm for books must have helped to inspire it, but by surviving her husband for nearly half a century we shall see how the legacy was almost lost.

    When Edward Hopkins died in March 1657, he left a substantial estate on both sides of the water. His brother Henry had predeceased him by a few months, making him his sole executor and bestowing on him the office of Warden of the Fleet, and the manor at Thickoe, Essex, which had belonged to their uncle Henry. What was left for the new warden after the discharge of debts and legacies is not known, but there was presumably something to add to his own fortune. This was made up of the usual merchant’s assets—goods and investments, with some capital in plate and land. The lands were only a fraction of the estate; the Essex manor may have been worth a thousand or so,266 and the New England farm, at Farmington, a few hundreds. In all he was reckoned to have “a great personal estate of about £20,000 or more.” If this were so, it would put him in the class of London businessmen who were rich without being in the top brackets. A few merchant princes of this generation thought they were worth over £100,000. A larger group, from which mayors and sheriffs were often drawn, were worth between £40,000 and £50,000 at their deaths.267 Perhaps Hopkins might have joined them if he had stayed at home, but the probabilities were hardly firm enough to allow us to say that he had sacrificed half his prospects by emigrating.

    His will distinguished between his two estates. On the New England side, where his books were in the care of Captain John Culleck, he was particularly careful to remember the Hookers. Susan Hooker, widow of the famous preacher, was forgiven all she owed. One daughter, Mrs. Mary Newton, of Farmington, was given a legacy of £30; another, Mrs. Sarah Wilson, wife of the Reverend John Wilson, got Hopkins’ farm in the same town.

    The residue of this property was then left “to his father Theophilus Eaton Esquire, Mr. John Davenport, Captain John Culleck, and Mr. William Goodwin In Trust and full assurance of their Trust and Faith in disposeing of it according to the true intent and purpose of him the said Edward Hopkins which was to give some Encouragement into those forreigne Plantations for the breeding up of Hopeful Youths in the way of Learning both at the Grammer Schoole and Colledge for the Publick Service of the Country in future times.”268

    The estate in old England naturally bore the greater burden of legacies. The reference to “my father” Theophilus Eaton reminds us that his wife’s mother, the widow of David Yale, had been the second wife of Theophilus Eaton, and we find Yales and Eatons, as well as the Hopkins sisters and their offspring, among the beneficiaries.269 His wife, Anne Yale, was the subject of special concern. David Yale, her brother, was left £150 per annum “for her comfortable maintenance and to be disposed of by him for her good, she not being in a condition fit to manage it for herself”; and two legacies were not to be paid from the estate until after her death. One of these was a sum of £400, part of £1,200 bequeathed to a nephew, Henry Thompson. The other was the sum of £500 which would eventually be known as the Hopkins Charity. The clause reads, “His further Mind and Will was that within six months after the decease of Anne his then wife £500 should be made over or remitted into New England according to the advice of his loving Freinds Major Robert Thompson and Mr. Francis Willoughby and conveyed into the hands of the Trustees before mentioned in further prosecution of the aforesaid Public ends which he declared in the Simplicity of his heart was for the Uphold and Propagateing of the Kingdome of the Lord Jesus Christ in those parts of the Earth.”270

    There were thus two bequests for the benefit of schools and colleges in the New World; one charged on the New England estate, to be executed at the discretion of the trustees there, the other, charged on the English estate, to become payable to the same trustees on the death of his wife. The first need not detain us long. Henry Dally, the nephew whom Hopkins had made his executor, sent over a copy of the will and powers of attorney. The trustees held several meetings, with Davenport representing the colony of New Haven (Governor Eaton did not live long enough to serve) and Goodwin and Culleck the colony of Connecticut. Davenport later told the General Court of New Haven how he had appealed to Hopkins in 1655–1656 for help in starting a college, and how his old friend had replied, “That which the Lord hath given me in those parts I ever designed the greatest part of it for the furtherance of the work of Christ in those ends of the earth, and if I understand that a college is begun and like to be carried on, at New Haven, for the good of posterity, I shall give some encouragement thereunto.” Perhaps if he had lived longer, and Davenport had been able to convince him that a start could be made, he might have made an explicit provision for this purpose; but we have seen how the charge to the trustees was left in very general terms. In the event, it was agreed to give Harvard College £100 out of the £1,000 which the estate might yield, and to divide the balance between Connecticut and New Haven. As Harvard’s total “stock” had been under £500 when Treasurer Danforth took over in 1654, this was no mean addition. It was consigned in corn and meat to a Charleston merchant who became indebted to the college for the principal and interest. As for the balance of the estate, it led in time to the foundation of grammar schools in Hartford, Hadley, and New Haven, but nothing came of Davenport’s hopes that some of it might be used for a new college.271

    Meanwhile, the poor widow lived on. Henry Dally, Doctor of Physic in the University of Cambridge, England, had taken possession of the Hopkins estate in April 1657. He enjoyed it for a decade, making his own will on 31 July 1665 and dying in 1667. Under this instrument, Everard Exton, gentleman, was to be his executor and to have a legacy of £100 if he accepted the duties. Daily’s principal beneficiaries were to be his sisters and their children; one sister, Elizabeth, had married a Nowell and the child of this marriage, Rebecca Nowell, was to marry George Knighton; the other sister, Patience, married Thomas Fitch, producing a son, Henry, and two daughters, whom we know by their married names as Phillippa Coleman and Judith Page. The will provided that the manor of Thickoe should pass to Daily’s nephew, Henry Fitch, while the rest of the estate, after the payment of various legacies and debts, should be turned into cash for the purchase of a property to maintain the two sisters and their offspring. Meanwhile, Edward Hopkins’ wishes were not forgotten, for the executor was reminded of the obligation to produce £500 on the death of Anne Hopkins.272

    Everard Exton accepted his legacy and took possession of an estate which was later said to have been worth at the very least £4,000.273 Deals were made, interests exchanged, and heirs died, while Anne Hopkins endured. Everard Exton may, or may not, have been a good executor. The surviving heirs seemed to have had their doubts, for they brought an action against him in the Exchequer to compel him to reach some settlement and later claimed that he had managed to frustrate them for twenty-five years.274 We are not surprised to learn that when Anne Hopkins finally died in 1699, forty-two years after her husband, nothing was done about the legacy. According to the terms of the governor’s will, £500 ought to have been transferred to his trustees in New England, if there was still that much in the estate, and if everyone did their duty. But the overseers, Thompson and Willoughby, were dead; the original trustees were also dead; and Mr. Everard Exton, on whom the responsibility primarily rested, seems to have been otherwise engaged.

    Eight years later, the Corporation for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England instituted a suit in the Court of Chancery. Everard Exton, George Knighton and his wife, Rebecca, Patience Fitch and her daughters, Phillippa Coleman and Judith Page, were charged with confederating to defraud the charitable intentions of Edward Hopkins, and a full discovery was sought to show why the £500, plus interest, should not be paid. It was natural enough for the Corporation to bring suit. Floated on a wave of missionary enthusiasm in Puritan England, and given a royal charter at the Restoration, it was committed to an attempt to convert the Indian, in which Harvard College played an indispensable part. “They looked upon themselves to be more concerned in promoting the Interest of the Colledge than any other persons, for without the Colledge they could not carry on the work of converting the Indians to the Christian religion, the Ministers both Indians and English that are employed in that service being educated in that College.” Already charged with the transmission to New England of the income from Robert Boyle’s foundation, they might well be eager to implement Edward Hopkins’ will.275 But who was it that got them started? There is nothing in the records of Harvard College, or the Bay Colony, to suggest that the initiative came from there, and the ignorance shown by the Corporation about the benefits which Harvard had already received from the Hopkins estate tends to confirm the supposition that the action was started in London.276 Whoever first broached it, it is clear that Matthew Evans claimed the major credit; and it may well be that the matter was first brought to his attention by his knowledge of the proceedings in the Exchequer, where certain disclosures must have been made about Exton’s obligations.277

    The hearing in the case of the Attorney General v. Everard Exton et al. was held on 9 July 1709. The defendants denied combination, admitted some knowledge of Edward Hopkins’ intentions, and offered various extenuations. Exton’s main defense was that after he had discharged his other duties as an executor he had never had enough funds to meet this claim.278 He stood ready to do so, as far as the estate went, but when it came to an account he wanted two debts taken into consideration which Hopkins had owed Henry Dally—fifty tons of salt, which the nephew had sent to Connecticut, and seven horses at £14 a horse! The Fitches wanted the same debts remembered, if it came to an accounting; but their main line was to remind the court that they had been trying to get a settlement out of Exton for the last twenty-five years.279 The hearing terminated with an order for Thomas Gery, a Master of the Court. He was to examine the assets which had passed from Hopkins to Dally, and from Dally to Exton, to determine whether there had been enough funds to fulfill the testator’s intention, and to take evidence about the existence of colleges and schools in New England to which the legacy, if recovered, might be applied.280 Judging from the form in which the order was originally drafted, its author had either never heard of Harvard or thought it was in Jamaica.281

    A year and a half elapsed before Mr. Gery made his report. It is unreasonable to suppose that much of this time was spent locating Harvard or discovering what went on there. The London agents could easily have enlightened the court and it seems that after suitable entertainments at various taverns, Mr. Evans produced some witnesses, among whom was Jeremiah Dummer, the agent for New England.282 The subsequent report on colleges and schools in New England contains no especial novelties, but it is interesting to see what a Master of the Chancery had to say on the subject in 1711. This is presumably the earliest judicial notice of Harvard by a court of the mother country.283

    The time-consuming factor was doubtless the difficulty of tracing the Hopkins estate during the past half century. Some destructive events had intervened, such as the fire of London which consumed the inventories in the prerogative court;284 and it may be presumed that Mr. Exton was no more coöperative than a due respect for the law required him to be. But there were limits to evasion. On 10 February 1710/11 Mr. Gery reported, in effect, that there was no reason why the testator’s intentions should not have been fulfilled, and an order was duly made by the Lord Keeper after a hearing on 7 March. The defendant Exton was to pay £500 with interest at 5 per cent for the years that had elapsed since the death of Mrs. Hopkins. This sum (about £800) was to be invested in a purchase of lands in New England “by the approbation of the Master in the names of the Relators (i.e. the Corporation for the Propagation of the Gospel) but in trust for the benefit of the College and Grammar School.” The Attorney General, after hearing counsel, would determine the shares of college and school, and the Master would put the funds in government securities until a suitable purchase could be found.285

    At this point Sir William Ashurst, Matthew Evans, and the other officers of the Corporation doubtless thought their work well done. But they had not reckoned with Harvard. News of the Corporation’s suit must have reached Boston early in 1709, and the abstracts of Edward Hopkins’ will which were entered in the Harvard records at this time were doubtless those which Matthew Evans had forwarded.286 The prospect of getting £500 from a donor in 1710 must have aroused as much excitement as £5,000,000 would now. At a college meeting in June, Increase Mather brought in some records showing how the Boyle Charity was being paid by the Corporation,287 and there was probably some discussion of what we would call “Foundation Policies.” But all we have is the bare resolution, “That Mr. Henry Newman be constituted our Agent or Attorney to represent us and to act in our behalf, particularly with respect to the legacy in Mr. Edward Hopkins will referring to our College . . . and that £40 be remitted to him for prosecuting said affair.”288

    Mr. Newman first contented himself with a watching brief. We have his own words that on learning from the Corporation that nothing would be done to prejudice the college’s interest, he abstained from any conduct that would embarrass the suit.289 But once the suit was won, the feeling that the college could do without the Corporation—at least as a trustee in this matter—got the upper hand. Mr. Newman’s petition speaks for itself: and so does the Corporation’s answer.290 The sensation of mutual annoyance must have been sharp and painful. To us, who have formed the impression that without the initiative of the London Corporation, there might have been no Hopkins Charity, it may well seem that the college administration was less than gracious. But it was only human to want complete control. The upshot was a new court order, to give the interested parties a chance to iron out their differences and find a compromise.

    At a college meeting on 20 August 1711, the treasurer was empowered to send Mr. Newman more money, if it was needed, and to direct him “to insist upon, and Obtaine, if it may be, that the Trust of the said Legacy be Invested in the President and Fellows of Harvard College: but not to oppose the Grammar Schools having part of the said Legacy.”291 This was their answer to the Corporation’s contention that they had no right to assume control of a benefaction which was intended for more than them. Eventually the negotiators (Mr. Evans for the Corporation, Mr. Newman for the college, and Mr. Dummer for the school) reached a compromise with which it would be very hard to quarrel—a special body of trustees, located in New England, and staffed with every imaginable notability in and around Boston. If the college had lost the battle to wrest control for itself from the London Company, it had at least secured a Corporation of all the talents on its own doorstep. The composition of this body, the distribution of benefits between the college and the Cambridge Grammar School, and the ground rules for the competition for aid among qualified applicants can all be studied in Appendices 5 and 6.

    This is no place to dwell on the importance of the Hopkins Charity to a struggling frontier college, or to sketch its history from that day to this. But how much light has the candle shed on its origins?

    In 1889 Charles P. Bowditch, secretary of the trustees, compiled a brief history of the Trust from the records in this country, for private circulation. He supplied an outline of the litigation, printed the Agreement of the Parties on the Administration of the Charity292 and Edward Hopkins’ will, and devoted a masterly appendix to the insinuation that Harvard had muscled in on a legacy which ought to have gone to Yale. The documents here printed fill several gaps in the legal record and suggest one or two adjustments in the accepted tradition. The view that the “Deturs,” as prizes for merit rather than helps for the needy, were first instituted by President Holyoke,293 can hardly survive the examination of the original deed. We read there that successful fellowship candidates, among the M.A.’s and B.A.’s, were to be taxed two shillings in the pound “to buy books to reward the Industry of such undergraduates, as shall distinguish themselves by their applicacon to their Studies . . . and that in the Election of Batchelors of Art to receive the benefitt of this Charity, regard be first had to such undergraduates as shall by their Industry have obtained a Reward in the manner aforesaid.”294

    More interesting is the rôle of the Corporation for the Propagation of the Gospel, with its paternal eye on the frontier “School for Prophets”—initiating the suit and carrying it to a successful conclusion, only to discover that its protégé had its own ideas about who should be the trustees.

    As for the view which is still expressed that “it is by no means clear whether Governor Hopkins had intended to leave this to Harvard, or to the College at New Haven which was being talked of even in his lifetime,”295 we may let Matthew Evans speak for himself, in the letter which he wrote when the whole litigation was over: “there has lately beene a claim laid to some part of this Charity By some persons concerned for a new Erected Colledge in the province of Conneticott Mr Squibb being their Councell I waited upon him and shewed that there was two decrees signed and Inrolled and therefore they came too late nor could it be supposed that Mr. Hopkins could think of any Colledge that was not Existing when he made his will so that I beleive by that means I have put an End to any further dispute on that account.”296 Evans obviously had something to learn about Connecticut Yankees, but he seems to have the best of this argument.

    Finally, it is of some small interest that a magnificent autograph letter,297 adorned with the signatures of all the notabilities in early eighteenth-century Boston, has been lying unregarded in a Suffolk village for the last two and a half centuries. If a suitable passage could be contrived for it, without offending its courteous custodian, it would be very welcome here.


    1. 1. Chronology in Attorney General v. Everard Exton et al.
    2. 2. Judicial Notice of Colleges and Schools in New England, 1709–1711.
    3. 3. Petition of Henry Newman, esquire, on behalf of the President and Fellows of Harvard College, 1710/11.
    4. 4. Comments on the above Petition by Counsell for the Relators (The Corporation for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England).
    5. 5. The Attorney General’s Report on the Hopkins Legacy, 1712.
    6. 6. The Agreement of the Parties on the Administration of the Charity (as annexed to the above report).
    7. 7. Letter of Matthew Evans, Solicitor, to John Gonson, Sub-Treasurer of the C.P.G.N.E. 26 March 1713.
    8. 8. Letter from the Trustees of the Hopkins Charity to Sir William Ashurst 1713/14.

    1. Chronology of Proceedings in Attorney General v. Everard Exton et al.

    8 December 1708

    Attorney General filed an Information against Everard Exton, George Knighton and Rebecca, his wife, Patience Fitch, Phillippa Coleman and Judith Page, at the Relation of the Corporation for the Propagation of the Gospel.

    9 July 1709

    Hearing of Bill and Answers terminated in an order for a Master of the Chancery, Mr. Thomas Gery, to examine accounts and take evidence.

    10 February 1710/11

    Mr. Gery made his Report.

    7 March 1710/11

    Hearing of Mr. Gery’s Report terminates in an order for the recovery of the Legacy and the creation of a Trust.

    16 March 1710/11

    A Petition against the above order filed by Henry Newman on behalf of President and Fellows of Harvard College.

    20 March 1710/11

    Newman’s petition having been heard, the parties concerned were ordered to propose a better method of organising the Charity.

    18 December 1712

    Attorney General reports the agreement of the parties.

    20 December 1712

    Court confirms the above agreement.

    29 January 1712/13

    Court order of 20 December made absolute.

    15 September 1713

    Petition from Jeremiah Dummer, agent for New England, and Henry Newman, agent for Harvard, to allow Sir William Ashurst to receive the funds and remit them to the Trustees.

    25 January 1713/14

    Letter from all the Trustees of the Hopkins Charity to Sir William Ashurst.

    30 March 1715

    Mr. Gery reports that bonds have been taken from Sir William Ashurst, Jeremiah Dummer and Henry Newman for the remission to New England of £771 – 13 – 7, and the investment of this sum in accordance with the order of 18 December 1712.

    2. Judicial Notice of Colleges and Schools in New England 1709–1711

    1. Extract from the Chancery decree of 9 July 1709, in the case of Attorney General v. Everard Exton et al., as originally drafted and amended:

    “. . . in case the £500 legacye shall be recovered then the Court doth order and decree that the same be payd and applyed to the Schoole or Colledge in New England Jamaica for the Breeding upp of Schollars there in the Study of according to the Will of the said Testator Hopkins and in order thereto the examine Witnesses or New England said Master is to write to the Governor of Jamaica to bee informed ther there in the said Island where bee such Schoole or Colledge as is prescribed or mentioned in the said Testators Will and if noe such Schoole or Colledge there then to be informed and on what purposes founded what other Schoole or Colledge is there to the same uses and the said Master is to state to this Court how he findes the said matter and thereupon such further order and directions shall be given as shall bee just.”

    Iveagh MSS O.7

    2. Extract from the Report of Thomas Gery, Master in Chancery, 10 February 1710/11:

    “. . . and haveing looked into the Deposition of Witnesses taken before me itt appeares that there is and for the space of Sixty yeares or upwards there has been a Grammar School at Boston in New England free for all Schollars and maintained by the Inhabitants of the said Towne of Boston at the charge of about one hundred pounds per annum and that about Sixty or Seventy yeares agoe there was a Colledge and Schoole at Cambridge in New England called Harvard Colledge which was after pulled downe and reedified about thirty yeares since and called by the name of Harvard College from one Mr. Harvard who was the founder or greatest benefactor to the first Colledge founded there and that about ten yeares agoe there was an additionall building made contiguous to or neare the same and called Stoughton Colledge from William Stoughton Esquire at whose charge the same was built both which are incorporated and consist of a President Vice President Treasurer three Fellows and Sundry Divines of the vicinity with power to the Governour Lieutenant Governour and Councell of the Country to act as Overseers or Visitors of the Same but the President and Vice President have the ordinary and immediate care and Government thereof and they with the three Tutors or Fellowes instruct the Students in the Liberall Arts and Sciences in the Rudiments of Divinity who after a Tryall of their profficiency are promoted to the severall Degrees of Batchelor and Master of Arts and Batchelor and Doctor in Divinity at or on a convenient day held yearly in the month of July and the said Colledges are maintained partly by the yearely Income arising from the Endowment and Donations and partly by a tax or rate layed by order of the Generall Assembly of the County upon the whole province of the Mashachusetts Bay.”

    Iveagh MSS O.10

    3. The Humble Petition of Henry Newman Esquire for and on the behalfe of the President and Fellows of Harvard Colledge in Cambridge within the County of Middlesex in her Majesties province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England. 16 March 1710/11.

    (After rehearsing the proceedings since the case opened)

    That the said Master haveing lately made his Report and the matter thereof comeing on to be heard before your Lordshipp on the 7th day of this Instant month your Lordshipp was pleased to order and Decree that the Defendant Exton should bring the £500 before the said Master in 3 months with Interest at £5 per cent from 6 months after the death of Anne but if he should not bring the same in 3 months then to pay £6 per cent—and when the money should be brought the same should be invested in a purchase of Lands in New England by the Approbation of the Master in the Names of the Relators but in trust for the benefitt of the College and Gramar Schole according to such proportions as they should be Intitled and that Mr Attorney Generall should be attended and that he should consider what he thinks proper for the benefitt of the Colledge and what for the Schoole and to certifye the same and that the money should be putt out by the Master on Government security till a purchase can be found—

    That your petitioner haveing had a Sight of the minuts taken at the said Hearing before your Lordship does humbly apprehend with great submission . . . that it may be very prejudiciall to the Interest of the said Colledge that the purchase should be made in the Name of the Relators for that the said president and Fellowes (who are a Corporation and capable to take) not haveing the Legall Estate of the Lands when purchased will not be able to lett Leases nor bring actions of Debt for Rent nor actions of Wast nor doe many other things But in the Name and by vertue of powers from the Relators which may be very inconvenient as well as detrimental! to the said Colledge and in case the Relators are permitted to receive the Interest of the money till a Purchase is made there will be great Deductions for Commission money and other charges so that the said Interest will fall very short when it comes to be paid to the said president and fellowes besides which your petitioner humbly apprehends that the Apportioning the Charity in the manner directed by your Lordshipp may be to the prejudice of the said President and Colledge in all which matters the Councell for the Relators not being instructed and the said order not being yet past nor drawn up, your petitioner therefore most humbly prays that Councell for the said President and Fellowes may be heard etc.

    Iveagh MSS O.14, 15

    4. Comments on Newman’s Petition by Counsell for the Relators (The Corporation for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England).

    Upon the Petition of Henry Newman which can have no other Signification than to create charge, For:

    THE PETITIONER, Mr. Newman is no party to this Suite Nor has he power from the Colledge as a Corporation to concerne himself in this affaire Save only a Letter of Attorney from the President and some of the Fellows of the Colledge who are not a Corporation Nor otherwise concerned than as private persons—And if this Charity shall come to their hands to dispose of it as they please It may be lost in time and defeat the Intent of the Donor whose Intent was to bring up scholars at the Grammer Schoolle as well as at the Colledge.

    THE RELATORS undertooke this Suit purely to recover the mony from defendant Exton To be applied according to Mr. Hopkins will without designe of making any advantage to themselves But on the contrary to save charges both to the Colledge and Schoole

    THAT it is insinuated by the Petition that if the purchase should be made in the Name of the Corporation (The Relators) That there would ensue great Deductions for commission mony and other charges much to the prejudice of the President and Fellowes of the Colledge

    IN ANSWER to that suggestion, The Relators are a Corporation consisting of severall persons of Quality and others of Great Estate and that as a Corporation have proper Officers here in England and also New England who will transact the affairs of this Charity without the Deduction of one penny for Commission money or otherwise.

    THAT the Honourable Mr Boyle having in his lifetime given the sume of £45 sterling per annum for the benefit of the said Colledge reposed the Trust thereof in the Relators as being a Body Politick to save the Charges of Commission money and other charges for the Good and benefitt of the Colledge which said sume of £45 is now constantly paid to the Colledge by their Commissioners in New England, together with Currant Exchange without any deduction whatsoever

    THAT the Relators looked upon themselves to be more concerned in promoting the Interest of the Colledge than any other persons For that without the Colledge they could not carry on the work of converting the Indians to the Christian Religion. The Ministers both Indians and English that are employed in that service being educated in that Colledge

    THAT as to the suggestion in the Petition of letting leases and bringing actions etc, the Relators humbly suppose themselves capable of doing it as much as themselves to the advantage of the Colledge. Moreover it is now noe new thing in England for severall corporations and bodyes politick to be Trustees for Colledges Schooles and other Charityes, and are better managed by them than by private persons

    THAT the Relators declare That they have noe designe in being Trustees in this matter But purely for the benefitt of New England and to preserve the Charity from being lost—And that neither they nor their Commissioners shall any ways dispose of the same without the Colledge’s consent.

    The Relators are against the lodging this Charity in the hands of the President and Fellows, For that by the Intention of the Testators some part thereof was to give some Incouragement for bringing up youth at the Grammar Schoole. But are ready to consent that the greatest part thereof shall goe for the benefitt of the Colledge.

    5. The Attorney General’s Report relating to Mr. Hopkins Legacy of £500 to Harvard College, 18 December 1712

    In pursuance of an order made in this Cause the 7th day of March 1710 touching a Legacy of £500 and Interest for the same bequeathed by the last Will and Testament of Edward Hopkins for the breeding up of youth in the way of Learning for the Publick service both at the Grammar School and College at Cambridge in New England called Harvard College, and by the said Order Decreed to be laid out in purchase of Lands in New England in the Names of the Corporation for the Propagation of the Gospel in Trust for the Benefit of the said College and Grammar School, according to the several proportions they should be entitled unto, and whereby the Parties concerned were directed to attend Her Majesties Attorney Generall who was to certifye what he thought proper to be for the benefit of the College and what for the benefit of the School, And also in pursuance of a subsequent Order of the 20th March 1710 Whereby it was ordered, that the said money be Invested in the Purchase of Lands in New England to be approved by a Master unless the several Parties concerned should propose to the Attorney General some other advantagious way of laying out the same for Perpetuating the said Charity, both for the Grammar School and Colledge and the parties interested for the Grammar School and College are to name proper persons to Mr. Attorney General to be Trustees for the said Charity and Mr. Attorney General is to certifie the same accordingly and whether the Purchase be most proper to be made in the name of the Corporation for Propagating the Gospel in New England or in the name of the President and Fellows of Harvard College, or in the name of such other Persons who shall be so named Trustees as aforesaid.

    I have been attended by the Agents of the Corporation for Propagating the Gospel in New England and parts adjacent in America, and also by Jeremy Dummer Agent for New England and who appears on behalf of the said School, and Henry Newman Agent for Harvard College at Cambridge, and the said Corporation for the Propagating the Gospel do not insist that the Purchase made with the said money shall be in the name of that Corporation, but that the moneys may be invested in Lands in New England and the purchase made in the names of the several Inhabitants of New England herein after named viz.

    Joseph Dudley

    Increase Mather Doctor in Divinity

    William Tailer

    Cotton Mather Doctor in Divinity

    Isaac Addington

    John Leverett President of Harvard College

    Waitstill Winthrop

    Samuel Sewal

    Jeremiah Dummer

    Eliachim Hutchinson

    John Burnell

    Peter Sergeant

    Thomas Brattle

    Penn Townshend

    William Brattle Minister of Cambridge

    Edward Bromfield

    Nehemiah Walter Minister of Roxbury

    John Higginson

    Daniel Oliver

    Simon Stoddard

    Thomas Fitch

    And I do approve thereof. And the said Jeremy Dummer and Henry Newman have proposed and agreed that three fourth parts of the said Principal and Interest be for the Benefit of the said Harvard College and the other fourth part thereof be for the said Grammar School, at Cambridge in New England which proportions I also approve of. And they have also proposed several Rules and Orders for the government of the said Charity, against which I have no objection, if this Honourable Court shall approve thereof, and that they may be inserted in the Deed of Purchase. Which Consents and Proposals are contained in the Paper annexed to this my Report signed as well on the behalf of the said Corporation as by the said Jeremiah Dummer and Henry Newman Dated this 18th day of December 1712

    Edward Northey

    6. The Agreement of the Parties on the Administration of the Charity (as annexed to the Attorney General’s Report).

    The Lord Keeper haveing referred the Parties concerned in recovering Mr. Hopkins’s Legacy of five hundred pounds with the Interest three hundred pounds makeing in the whole eight hundred pounds given to Pious Uses in New England to the opinion of the Attorney Generall for the Distribution of the said Charity and other matters relateing thereto mentioned in his Lordships Order.

    All parties concerned have agreed humbly to propose to Mr. Attorney General that three fourths of the said eight hundred pounds and the produce thereof be for the benefit of Harvard College at Cambridge in the Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England for bringing up Students in Divinity and the Mathematicks for the service of the Country. And that the other fourth part and the produce thereof be for the benefit of the Grammar School at the said Town of Cambridge for bringing up Youth fitt to be sent to the said Colledge.

    That the said eight hundred pound be vested in a Purchase of Houses or Lands in the said Province, to the end that the rents and profits thereof may be perpetuated to the benefit of the said Colledge and School in proportion as above mentioned. And that the purchase be made in the names of the persons following viz [as in A.G.’s report]

    That the said Trustees be obliged to meet yearely the first Thursday in May at such place as they shall agree upon to consider on the affairs of their Trust and at other times pro re nata as the Treasurer shall give notice298

    That Samuel Sewall Esquire be Treasurer for the first yeare to Commence from the first Thursday in May after the first meeting of the said Trustees.299

    That seven and not less of the said Trustees make a Quorum to do business, all of them being duly warned.

    That whenever any of the Trustees die or remove out of the Province, the remaining Trustees being not less than seven, be Impowered to Choose such persons to Compleate their number as a Majority of them shall agree upon.

    That the three fourth parts of the Charity proposed to be appropriated to the Colledge be for the encouragement of four Batchelors of Art to reside at the Colledge and perform Publick Exercises in Theology in such manner as shall be approved by the president and Corporation of the Colledge.

    That if four Batchelors of Art whose circumstances may require such Charitable assistance shall not be found at one time to accept thereof, it be in the power of the Corporation of the Colledge aforesaid to apply it in the same proportion among the Masters of art that shall reside at the Colledge.

    That no Master or Batchellor of Art shall enjoy his proportion or any part of the said Charity for more than the space of five years

    That no Master or Batchelor receiving any of the publick money of the Colledge shall be entituled to any part of this Charity.

    That every Master of Art, or Batchelor of Art, who shall be entituled to Receive part of this Charity be oblidged to pay after the rate of two shillings in the pound for what he shall so receive to the Treasurer of the College for the time being, towards makeing a fund for the use hereafter mentioned: Namely, to buy Books to reward the Industry of such undergraduates, as shall distinguish themselves by their applicacon to their Studies as the president for the time being shall think proper, and that in the Election of Batchelors of Art to receive the benefitt of this Charity, regard be first had to such undergraduates as shall by their Industry have obtained a Reward in the manner aforesaid.

    As to the Grammar School it is our humble opinion that the aforesaid Quarter part proposed to be appropriated to it be given entirely to the Master of Cambridge School In Consideration of his Instructing in Grammar Learning five Boys who shall be Nominated by the President and Fellowes of Harvard Colledge, and the Minister of Cambridge for the time being, And that the said President and Fellowes and Minister or any three of them be visitors of the said School, to see that so many Children are Taught; and every yeare the week before the Commencement the Boys who shall receive the benefit of this Charity, shall give proof of their Proficiency in Learning, at such hour and place as the Visitors aforesaid shall think fitt to appoint.

    All which is most humbly

    submitted by Your Honours most

    obedient humble servants

    Jer. Dummer Agent for New England

    Henry Newman Agent for Harvard

    College at Cambridge in New England

    Signed by order of the Company for

    Propagating the Gospell in New England

    and parts adjacent in America

    Wm. Ashurst Governor

    John Gunston Sub-Treasurer

    John Clarke Clerke

    Iveagh MSS O.32

    7. Letter of Matthew Evans, Solicitor, to Mr. Gonson, Sub-Treasurer of the Company for the Propagation of the Gospel, 26 March 1713


    Haveing now fully compleated the decree relating to Mr. Edward Hopkins Charitable legacye the opposition made by Mr. Newman together with the poverty of the persons out of whose estate the Cost given by the late Lord Chancellor was to be paid has made my Bill to Rise higher then otherwise it would have done. I have beene as moderate in it as I could to get anything by it Considering the great Trouble I have had by the opositicon I unexpectively meet with from the parties Concerned without reaping any advantage thereby has beene the occasion of much more expence then was needfull I have been oblidged to signe and inroll the severall decrees which are carefully performed and the records thereof will the next Terme be carried over to the Chappell of the Rolls to be preserved which you shall see done I have prepared Close Coppies Examined by the records and attested to be by your Corporacon sent into New England to your agents the Trustees there and I think it proper for the office Coppies of the same decrees and the original! orders and Reports to be put up in a Small Box to be lodged with your corporacon for safe Custody which I will in a short time put in order for that purpose I have let Mr. Newman take coppies of the said decrees for the benefit of Harward Colledge there has lately beene a claim laid to some part of this Charity By some persons concerned for a new Erected Colledge in the province of Conneticott Mr. Squibb being their Councell I waited upon him and shewed that there was two decrees signed and Inrolled and therefore they came too late nor could it be supposed that Mr. Hopkins could think of any Colledge that was not Existing—when he made his will so that I beleive by that means I have put an End to any further dispute on that account. My Lord Keeper will order the subsequent costs to be allowed out of the Charitye But I am not willing to Encrease the Charge by needless motions and orders there will be occasion to apply to his Lordshipp for his order when you can heare of a Convenient purchase which will be a proper time and at the same Charge to apply for the cost But it may be done before if the Corporacon shall think fitt so to do I am to goe to Bristoll next weeke for three weeks and therefore thought fit to give you this account before I went out of Towne and being oblidged to settle accounts with my Clerke in Court for the signeing the decrees and other the proceedings the whole being now compleated I would Intreat the favour of you if it can conveniently be done to propose that I may have some money for that purpose I was promised A Gratuety for makeing the discovery which I presume had never beene But by my means or if it had could not beene Effected as now it is being I was fully Aprised of the whole matter upon the proceedings in the Court of Exchequer. But it was not upon any Expectation of a reward that I made the discovery But as a friend to Justice therefore shall leave that matter easie and at large to be considered of hereafter the meane time I have enclosed and sent the Bill of Cost distinguishing what was laid out and Expended in depending the suite before the late Lord Keeper that I could not get allowed before the Master from the subsequent cost since that time which I will Redily submit to have Taxed By a Master if required

    March 26 1713 I am your humble servant

    Matthew Evans

    Iveagh MSS O.35

    8. Autograph Letter from the Trustees of the Hopkins Charity, Boston, to Sir William Ashurst, London, 25 January 1713/14.


    We have from Mr. Newman the Decree in Chancery upon Mr. Hopkins Legacy, and the Result of Mr. Dummers and Mr. Newmans Petition300 for the money being put into your Honours hands in Order to its being remitted to us, which was not so happy as we hoped it might have proved.

    We render your Honour Our most Sincere Acknowledgments for your many good Offices with which you have been pleased to Favour our College, as in innumerable other instances so particularly in this Affair.

    We have an intimation as if my Lord Chancellor might be induced to Grant the Petition of Our Agents upon Security given that the money should be Applyed here According to the Decree

    We aske your Honour Leave to pray you to become Guarantee for us that we will faithfully pursue the Decree both as to the Purchase and as to the Applying of the Revenue of it According to the Rules prescribed by his Lordship in the best manner and as soon as possible.

    It is impossible to proceed upon any thing unless we have the Money in Our hands but with The Greatest Disadvantages, and to the no Small diminution of the Charity.

    Lastly, We are content the money rest in your honours hands until We Transmit Such Instruments or Pollicies of the Investiture thereof in Lands or other Real Estate for perpetuating the Charity According to the Decree as will be to Satisfaction And Indemnify you upon the Security Demanded by my Lord Chancellor.

    Boston, January 25


    Your Honours Obedient Humble Servants, J. Dudley, William Tailer, Is Addington, W. Winthrop, Samuel Sewall, E. Hutchinson, Peter Sergeant, Penn Townshend, Edw Bromfield, Simon Stoddard, Increase Mather, Cotton Mather, John Leverett, Jer. Dummer, John Higginson, John Burrill, William Brattle, Nehemiah Walter, Daniel Oliver, Tho. Fitch.