1771 April 1 (Monday). Samuel Sever here to let himself to Me. Took it into Consideration till next Monday. Visit Mr. Jonathan Childs Wife, who is sick. Prayed and dined there. Her Mother Smith more comfortable and Conversible. Visit at Nurse’s, Whitneys, Pratts, and widow Brighams.
1771 April 2 (Tuesday). One Reuben Bruce from Paxton here to let himself to me. P.M. Preached at Lt. Joseph Bakers, on Heb. 12.1. Which may God graciously bless to us!
1771 April 3 (Wednesday). Mr. Thomas Wood calls here to speak about his Sons Benjamin and John, and of one of them’s living with me. He talks of 80£ for the wages of six month’s, but I could not consent to it. P.M. went to the Vendue of Mr. Meads Books, Pamphlets, utencils [sic], Tools etc. It was held at Mr. Andrews’s. I bought two Lotts of Pamphlets, in which were Mr. Niles’s Vindication of Gospel Doctrine, Mr. Philips Seasonable Advice relative to 5 points: Mr. Foxcrofts Soul-Health, Dillworths Lord Anson’s Voiage, Wigglesworths Inspiration of the SS [Sacred Scripture?], Dr. Colmans Law of the Sabbath; Bishop Londons Letter occasioned by the Earthquake: Dunbars Sermon previous to the Choice of a minister, and I bought Mrs. Bradstreets Poems: also a small Lock. In coming home I had a Fall on my back, which hurt me not a little, on the OS sacrum.
1771 April 4 (Thursday). Visit Mrs. Hardy and Mrs. Adams who are both very bad and in Expectation of Death. Called at Mrs. Warrins. Mr. Amariah Haven of Hopkinton comes for me to go to Miss Jerusha Haven who is in a low state — but I am obliged to deny by reason of my great Indisposition. Mr. D. Nurse from Boston brings a Letter from my Aged Brother. Breck comes home.
1771 April 5 (Friday). Mr. Thomas Wood here and I agree with him for his son Benjamin to live with me and work for me Six Months; and I agree to give him 75£ old Tenor. But Benjamin came down and tells me they want to be alike in Wages — that his uncle would give him 78, and that his Father thinks I must give him t’other 40/. I told him I had not given any more than 75; that I did not care to break over this, to make it a bad Precedent — but as I had a Mind to have him, So I would do equivalent, to encourage him, and therefore I would depend upon his coming next Monday or Tuesday, to work. This he promised to do. N.B. received a letter from Mr. Isaac Stone that he could preach for me next Sabbath. I wrote immediately to Deacon Wood, and Sent it by Benjamin to contrive how I may go to Hopkinton and preach for My Brother Barrett.
1771 April 6 (Saturday). I found it was best to ride over to Hopkinton to Visit Jerusha Haven, and whereas Mr. Prentice of Holliston was expected to preach tomorrow for Mr. Barrett, Deacon Haven was willing to go to Mr. Prentice and prevail with him to take another Day (by the will of God) Since providence permitted me to go over to Hopkinton, and seeing that the foresaid Jerusha lived So far down towards Holliston, I went my Self to Mr. Prentice and we dined there. But Capt. Thomas Mellen was my Company to Mr. Jonathan Haven’s where I saw the poor young Woman in a languishing Condition confined to her Bed. Discoursed and prayed with her. Stopped at Capt. Mellens in my return — his wife shaved me. Lodged at Mr. Barrets. He is weak and low, has not ventured to go out of Doors.
1771 April 7 (Sunday). I Preached at Hopkinton on Rev. 16.15 — former part a.m., the latter part p.m. Baptized Nathaniel son of John Burnet — Aaron, son of [blank] Smith, and Abigail, of Henry Mellen, were baptized. Returned home at Even and here were Masters Stone and Taylor, and they lodged here. Mr. Stone had preached for me the Day preceeding — a.m. on Mat. 4.17. P.M. on Phil. 4.7
1771 April 8 (Monday). Mr. Stone prayed in the morning — then left us to return to his school at Shrewsbury. Mr. Taylor to his School at Mrs. Kendals, and he takes my Son Elias with him. Breck with us.
1771 April 9 (Tuesday). Breck goes to work for Mr. Beeton to build convenient shelter for his works in grinding scythes, by Water. Sermonize and read The World displayed Vol. VIII.
1771 April 10 (Wednesday). Rode to Shrewsbury Lecture. Mr. Whitney of Northborough [and?] Mr. Sumner dined there. Preached on Gen. 3.15. Returned at Eve. N.B. This 10th Day of April was the first of my receiving any Money of the Constable Gleason. This I was forced to go for, and now received but three Dollars only. Breck came home and lodged here. Elias lodged at Mrs. Kendalls, but came home this Eve. Received of Squire Whipple EIKON BAZALIKH, belonging to the late Mr. Meads Library.
1771 April 11 (Thursday). Mr. Daniel Forbes brings 8 lbs. of Wool from Boston at l0/ O.T. for which I payed him. He dines here. P.M. Mr. Joslin calls to See us. Benjamin Wood came at Evening and though he should have come yesterday to work, yet (contrary to my Agreement and his Engagement, his Fathers and uncles also) he tells me he can’t serve me: his Brother John having let himself at Brookfield while his Father was here, and so disappointing his uncle, the Deacon, the Deacon insists upon his living with him. This frustrates my expectation of him and his working for me.
1771 April 12 (Friday). Deacon Wood and Benjamin came here in the morning to adjust the Affair abovesaid. I am forced to yield up Benjamin except that he works for me to day — and Deacon takes my Team with him to Mill — with 14 1/2 Bushels of Grain.
1771 April 13 (Saturday). Mr. Daniel Adams’s Wife dyed this morning. A Letter from Mr. Hutchinson concerning Mr. Ely; inclosing the Letter of the Southern Association of the County of Hampshire to the Elders etc. at Somers Sept. 20. 69.
1771 April 14 (Sunday). Read Ezek. 38. Preached a. and p.m. on Prov. 4.23. Master Taylor dined here. P.M. read 2 Thess. 1. At Eve Dr. Owens Spiritual Mindedness, at Family Exercise. N.B. Breck with us.
1771 April 15 (Monday). A.M. having understood that Deacon Wood had been out and provided Samuel Chamberlin to live with him, and that Benjamin Wood might with me; I went and agreed with Benjamin again; only I must give him 78£ and he is to come to my Work tomorrow Morning. P.M. attended the Funeral of Mrs. Adams. N.B. Deacon Wood has acquainted me of Ben’s backwardness and says he has not promised me absolutely. After Funeral Mr. Batherick here. N.B. Talk of his Son Solomon to live with me. John Whitney came, and offers to live with me.
1771 April 16 (Tuesday). No Ben. Wood to Work though he had So far promised as that after I had answered his Objections he answered me that he thought he must, and when, at parting I asked him whether I might depend upon him to come, and he replyed as yielding and complying. Mrs. Dolly Rice here. I visit Mr. Morse’s sick Child — and prayed there. N.B. Alexander came to us about an hour after Midnight — went to Framingham and returned p.m. He left us towards night to go to Leicester. Spake to [blank] Reed, who seems inclined to work for me, or find me a young man that may. At Eve Breck and Elijah Brigham — he lodges here. Reed was to come here at Evening but he came not.
1771 April 17 (Wednesday). He came this Morning but has concluded to work in the Business of his Trade, being a Shooemaker. I Send by Breck to Mr. John Chamberlin of Hopkinton, for his son Joseph. After which came John Dunlap, son of James, to See whether I was supplyed. This is the 2d time; for he was here yesterday — but was obliged, not without Reluctance, to deny him. I am brought into perplexity, by my not having a man yet — the Season Spending, my Hay which I depend on, So gone — and my Business behind Hand. We are also much put to’t for want of Wood, which the people were to bring me, but have not done it. But Capt. B. Fay brought a Load.
1771 April 18 (Thursday). Publick Fast. I endeavoured to prepare a Discourse but was not able to accomplish my purpose. I therefore with proper alterations, omissions and additions of new Introduction and such application as was needful to accommodate it to the present Aspects of Providence, delivered my Discourse on James 4.3 in the two Exercises of the Day. Messrs. Samuel Barrett junior and Aaron Crosby from Brookfield here. N.B. Breck has a very bad sore on one of his Fingers, which proves very troublesome to him.
1771 April 19 (Friday). Rode over to Mr. John Chamberlains in Hopkinton and hired his son Joseph for 75£ if I shall be satisfyed he earns it; otherwise he is to have but 70, and he is to bring a scythe with him.
1771 April 20 (Saturday). Though it was rainy I rode to Shrewsbury and lodged at Mr. Sumners.
1771 April 21 (Sunday). Mr. Sumner to Westborough. I Preached at Shrewsbury a. and p.m. on Gal. 1.15.16. Baptized three Children. Read Mr. Barretts Letter requesting Mr. Sumner to preach for him next Sabbath. Mr. Sumner on Luk. 18.35 to the End. I returned at Eve — part of the way Dr. Crosby. At my own House was my Daughter Cushing, who with Mr. Cushing, came last Eve. Mr. Cushing Preached for Mr. Whitney at Northborough. Letter from Alexander that he has got his Thief.
1771 April 22 (Monday). Joseph Chamberlain of Hopkinton came to live and work here. Received a Letter by Hand of Mr. Abraham Bonds Wife, from Mr. Jonathan Cook and wrote some Reply, but did not send it now. Mr. Cushing here and lodged.
1771 April 23 (Tuesday). Received a Letter last Night from Alexander informing that the Thief James Jones, who stole his Cloth last year at Sturbridge, was seized and put into Worcester Jayl. I rode early to Mr. Stone’s. Broke fast there and prayed in their Family. After which he rode with me to Brother Browns at Framingham to acquaint him with Alexanders Case and desired he would ride up to Worcester, the Superior Court now sitting, and assist Alexander in the prosecution of Jones, or advise him as should be needful. Then Mr. Stone and I rode to Mr. Bridge’s at Sudbury to Ministers Meeting. Messrs. Loring, Smith and Goss there. Mr. Loring prayed. Mr. Bridge a Concio on Joh. 16.27. After meeting I went to my son Williams and lodged there. He tells me of new Discord in Concord.
1771 April 24 (Wednesday). Returned home. On my way dined at Coll. Weeks’s. At home Dr. Hawes and his Wife here. Mr. Forbes and Sir Crosby from Brookfield. The Former lodges here, the other goes to his Classmate Taylors. Mr. Cushing has been to Court but does not return.
1771 April 25 (Thursday). Mr. Cushing comes, tarrys till after Dinner — and then he and his wife leave us. Mr. Forbes and Crosby Sat out in the morning for Boston, in their way to Beverly Ordination (of Mr. Hitchcock). P.M. Catechetical Exercise to 25 young Women. The Questions were 101, 102, 103. Begin next at Question 104. At Eve Breck comes home and with him a young man, a Taylor, Joseph Hancock, as he says, of Derbyshire in old England. N.B. Mr. Ithamar Bellows’s House was burnt down to day; The Fire broke out from a Crack in the Oven — about 9 o’Clock a.m. They saved their Meat chiefly, but lost a great Quantity of Corn — great part of their household Goods — Apparrel, Linnen etc. A very sorrowful Loss! May the Lord sanctifie this Dispensation to them, and to us all!
“On Thursday sen’night the Dwelling House of Mr. Ithamar Bellows, of Westborough, was consumed by Fire, together with most of the Furniture and about 100 Bushels of Grain. The compassionate, generous neighbours, are in great forwardness in their work to get up another building, for the unhappy sufferers.” Boston Evening-Post, May 6, 1771, p. 2.
1771 April 26 (Friday). Many Neighbours (I hear) are gone to help Mr. Bellows in getting Timber for another House. Mr. Hancock at work for Breck, making him a pair of Leather Breeches. P.M. Mr. Edwards Whipple here — our Discourse concerning the Bounds of the Ministerial Lot, and of the Meadow.
1771 April 27 (Saturday). Mr. Hancock here Still. P.M. Mr. Sumner and Mr. H. Baldwin call here as they go to Hopkinton. Joseph goes home at Eve, and Hancock leaves us. Alexanders Rogue, I hear, has been whipped.
1771 April 28 (Sunday). Read Ezek. 39. Preached a.m. on Ps. 69.32, latter part. P.M. Read 2 Thess. 2. Preached on Col. 3.1.2, repeating and with alterations. In the Evening Messrs. Sumner and Baldwin from Hopkinton in their way home.
1771 April 29 (Monday). Mr. Taylor goes to Boston — and charged with various Affairs from us. Mr. Powers of Uxbridge Borders, with Master Taylor, and expresses abhorrence of Mr. Hutchinson untrueness. My Horse could not be spared from the Team in plowing, till late in the Day, but Then I went down to visit my Houseless Neighbours — and Sympathize with them. I found a great many at Work on a new Frame for Messrs. Bellows’s. My Son Breck works there to Day. I went to the Houses where the Sufferers sojourn, viz. Mr. Ezra Bakers, and Mr. Ebenezer Chamberlain junior.
1771 April 30 (Tuesday). Having been out in the Evening Air, and in the Rain last Night, I took Cold and am invalid — poorly capable of any Exertment. Sent by Mr. Merriam of Grafton, a Letter to Mr. Williams at Boston Printer, An Account of the late Burning among us.