May 1, 1726

1726 May 1 (Sunday).  I preach’d on James 1.21 a. and p.m.  I receiv’d Asher Rice[1] into our Communion.  N.B. Captain Fay offer’d to Say Something concerning the Congregations tarrying to Such admissions, but having given Sufficient Notice in my Conversations of my whole Purpose and practice in these Regards I put a stop to him immediately and said no More.

[1]Asher Rice was the son of Thomas Rice.  In 1704, when eight years of age, he was captured by the French and Indians.  Four years later he was recovered by his father.  Asher was an eccentric who retained some habits acquired when living with the Indians.  He later moved to that part of Leicester which became the town of Spencer in 1775.  DeForest and Bates, Westborough, pp. 37-40.  See also The Story of the Rice Boys (Westborough, 1906).

May 4, 1726

1726 May 4 (Wednesday).  We walk’d to Mr. Cushing’s house and thence to Mr. Smith’s[1] (who kept our Horses last night) where we [were] decently Entertained.  We returned to Mr. Wards[2] to Dinner after which Both Mr. Breck and Mr. Cushing rode with Me to My house at Westborough.  They parted a little before night.  Robert did somewhat more at ploughing this afternoon.

[1]Peter Smith of Shrewsbury, a founder of the church there.  Ward, Shrewsbury, p. 431.

[2]Captain Nahum Ward, a prominent resident of Shrewsbury.

May 9, 1726

1726 May 9 (Monday).  I rode (with my Wife) to See Mr. Thomas Newton[1] for whom (and for the widow Record Ward[2]) Prayers were Yesterday publickly Desir’d.  We were in also at John Pratt Juniors and p.m. at Neighbor Josiah Newtons.  This Last gave Me a pair of Shooes for my Self and a pair for My Lad.

[1]An early resident and militia officer of Westborough.

[2]Widow of Increase Ward.  Mother of Oliver Ward, selectman of Westborough.

May 18, 1726

1726 May 18 (Wednesday).  I rode to Boston.  My Mother not well.  My Brother John Tyley[1] return’d from Honduras, having been taken by Ned Low the Pirate.  Towards Evening I went back to Charlston for my Horse at Boylstons,[2] where I met Mr. Cotton[3] of Newton and a Company of his Neighbours, Mr. Ephraim Williams,[4] etc., who had all been out afishing.  I rode with them to Cambridge and then parted to go to Father Champneys where I lodged.

[1]Parkman’s brother-in-law, husband of Elizabeth Parkman.

[2]Richard Boylston of Charlestown.

[3]Reverend John Cotton.

[4]Colonel Ephraim Williams who moved to Stockbridge in 1739.

May 19, 1726

1726 May 19 (Thursday).  In the Morning I got on my Journey home.  I lit of one [blank] of Lancaster who behaved himself very handsomely and bore my Expenses of Eating and Drinking and oats at the Tavern.  I stop’d at Mr. Swifts whose Family (Severall of them being very ill and the rest not well) was much afflicted.  I got home seasonably but much fatigued.

May 22, 1726

1726 May 22 (Sunday).  I preach’d all Day upon Prov. 3.6.  Mr. Willard[1] of Hassenimisco’s Child Hannah[2] was baptized.

[1]Major Joseph Willard went to live at Hassenemisco, an Indian village, in 1717.  He was a founder of the town of Grafton.  Frederick C. Pierce, History of Grafton (Worcester, 1879), pp. 49-50, 604.

[2]Born May 22, 1726, according to Westborough town records.

May 23, 1726

1726 May 23 (Monday).  In the morning about 7 or 8 I set out for Cambridge.  I call’d at Neighbor Thurstons,[1] he being agoing out waited for his Horse.  I tarried an hour and half and then went away without him, as far as Mr. William Johnsons,[2] where he came up with me.  We rode to Mr. Swifts but did not ‘Light.  Mr. Swift very ill, Hence we went to Natick but Mr. Peabody[3] not at home.  Madame persuaded us to tarry for him Since he would not be at the Election, and Seeing Mr. Hale was with him.  They came in the Beginning of the Evening, and we had a very pleasant time till Two o’Clock in the Morning, when we forc’d our Conversation to break up.  (N.B. The Family had Liberty to repose about 10 in the Evening and Neighbor Thurston then retir’d from us.)  I had the afflicting account of poor Mr. Osgood[4] our Classmate, his Recess from Topsfield.  In the Morning we Sung a Psalm and I was call’d upon (for I refu’sd it last night and Mr. Hale was desir’d thereupon) to perform the address to Heaven.  Then we Walk’d about Mr. Peabodys Farm.  We convers’d, we smoak’d, and we (hardly) parted.  Mr. Hale with us we proceeded as far as Mr. Ephraim Williams of Newton, but he was not at home.  From this Place we Urg’d our way to Father Champneys (Mr. Hale dropping us at the verge of Waterton) and thence to Boston, My Wife being carried thither by her Brother this Morning.  I sent back my Horse to Cambridge.

[1]Joseph Thurston.

[2]Of Marlborough.

[3]Oliver Peabody (Harvard 1721).  Later minister of the First Congregational Church (the Indian church) in Natick.  Sibley, VI, 529-534.

[4]William Osgood (Harvard 1721) had begun preaching in Topsfield in the fall of 1725.  In July, 1726, he was dismissed by his congregation.  Sibley, VI, 508-509.

May 25, 1726

1726 May 25 (Wednesday).  Mr. Thatcher[1] preach’d an Excellent Sermon from those words Psalm 77.20 “Thou leddest thy People like a Flock by the Hand of Moses and Aaron.”  But I was much interrupted by a Lip full of anguish that put me to great Trouble.  I was not at the publick Dinner for this Reason, that our Family were gathered together at my Fathers and I was Obliged to dine with them.  And this, and my Lip detained me from the Convention.

[1]Reverend Peter Thatcher of Boston.

May 26, 1726

1726 May 26 (Thursday).  I was at the Convention (at Mr. Sewalls[1]).  Mr. William Williams[2] of Hatfield preach’d.  After it we din’d at Holmes’s.  Much Discourse of a true Representation of the affair of the Synod Concerted last year.  Dr. Mather[3] acquainted us he had Sent some letters hereabouts, but I had no perfect account being absent yesterday, as aforesaid.  I sent for my Horse but it was late and then I was Easily prevailed with to tarry till the Morning.

[1]Reverend Joseph Sewall (Harvard 1707) of the Old South Church, Boston.  Sibley V, 376-393.

[2]Reverend William Williams (Harvard 1683).  Sibley, III, 263-269.

[3]Cotton Mather.

March 27, 1726

1726 May 27 (Friday).  Mr. Coffin and Mr. Lee came in just before we Left Home.  The Last walked with me to the Ferry.  My wife was very Timerous.  I waited for one Boat after another before we ventur’d.  It was near 10 o’clock ere we mounted.  We rode to Cambridge to Hick’s and Fathers.  Bundled up, Din’d a little after 12 and (with our Brother Champney) Set out.  Call’d at My Wive’s uncle Champney’s[1] and Every now and then Stopt in the Road to fix the Child.  We parted at Livermores,[2] where Mr. Breck,[3] Mr. Woods[4] and Rasto call’d us, and we rode (after Severall Hesitations for Mr. Breck and on account of the Child) to David Hows[5] where we tarry’d Several Hours.  Notwithstanding (coming by the Farms in Marlborough) we reach’d home before Day Light in.

[1]Joseph Champney, Sr.

[2]Joseph Livermore of Framingham.  Temple, Framingham, p. 625.

[3]Reverend Robert Breck of Westborough.  [Correction: Marlborough.]

[4]Benjamin Woods of Marlborough.

[5]The Wayside Inn in Sudbury.

May 29, 1726

1726 May 29 (Sunday).  Early in the morning I rode to Hopkinton, met Mr. Barrett a little on this Side his house.  I preach’d all Day from Acts 24.16.  Mrs. Barrett did not make a Dining.  I waited for Mr. and Mrs. Barrett (for Drugs for my Child) till it was too late to return home.  Mr. Barrett Baptized Jedidiah[1] the Son of Peres and Lydia Rice.

[1]Of Westborough.  Date of birth in town records is May 29, 1726.

May 31, 1726

1726 May 31 (Tuesday).  I read Dr. Cotton Mathers Ratio Discipline Fratrum Nov. Anglorum,[1] a Book which I have long wish’d for, or something of this Kind.  I apprehend there was great need of the Publication here of [it] and I have a great value for it.  Before it I knew not where there was anything fixt and stated for our Regulation in the Lesser Circumstances; or what to do about Severall Modalities in our Ministrations.  For My own Part, I hitherto had governed My Self Chiefly by what the Assembly at Westminster had given me; but for more minute Articles I consulted what was customary with the best men among us and as far as they agreed with my Sense I followed them in My Management.  I have Likewise Laid before me our own Platform and Confession of Faith, and various other Books I have Consulted for the Formation of my Directory.  Where there was Honey to be Extracted I have not refused to Suck even the Common Prayer Book of the Church of England.  But the Book above mentioned has proved the most illuminating and Instructing Especially in Circumstantialls.  Silence Bartlet not well.[2]  She went to the Doctors.

[1]Published in Boston, 1716.

[2]Mrs. Parkman’s young helper in the house.