April 2, 1744

1744 April 2 (Monday).  Rode through Southborough to Cambridge.  Call’d at the house of the late Mr. Mathis to Sympathize with the Widow and Children, and to obtain a particular and distinct account of the Deceas’d and the manner of his leaving the World.  Was also at Mr. Stones and din’d there, where was also the Coroner, viz. Lieutenant Hezekiah Ward.  From Horns had Colonel Nathum Wards Company down.  We call’d to pay our Regards to the good and aged Mr. Swift.  Rainy before I got to Father Champneys, where I lodg’d.

April 3, 1744

1744 April 3 (Tuesday).  To Boston.  My Kinsman confin’d for Months past.  I think ever since the 22d of last October and not able to go out of his Chamber yet.  My aged Mother there with him to be Company for him.  Pito carry’d back my Horse to Cambridge.  N.B. Cousen Proctor[1] and Bradshaw[2] from Stoughton happen’d to be now at Boston.  At Lecture this Evening at the New North.  Mr. Prince preach’d on Cant. 5.16.  A very excellent usefull moving sermon.  I beg of God  I may not loose the Savour of it.  After Sermon I was at Mr. Eliots,[3] where was my Brother Peabody[4] of Natick.  Lodg’d as usual at my Kinsmans.

[1]Parkman’s niece, Hannah, married Samuel Proctor.

[2]Sarah, sister of Hannah Proctor, married John Bradshaw.

[3]Rev. Andrew Eliot, minister of the New North Church, Boston.

[4]Rev. Oliver Peabody.

April 5, 1744

1744 April 5 (Thursday).  Mr. Checkly[1] preach’d the Publick Lecture (instead of Dr. Chauncy) on Tit. 3.8.  Din’d at Brother Samuels again with Mr. Eliot.  P.M. a Young Man[2] Sat on the Gallows for attempting to Murther his Master.  The world has also rung with Tom Bell’s[3] conduct in Charlestown Jayl.  N.B. p.m. Discours’d with Mr. Joshua Emms about his taking my son Thomme.  John White from Brother Parkmans went for my Horse to Cambridge.  At Eve I return’d there.  N.B. Brother and sister Hicks there.

[1]Rev. Samuel Checkley.

[2]Parkman must have referred to the following incident reported in The Boston Gazette, or Weekly Journal, March 27, 1744.  “Early on Wednesday Morning last, one John Martin, Journeyman to Mr. Perkins, Chairmaker, hanged himself in the Chamber over the Shop, with a Piece of rotten Line that neither had Knot or Noose at either End, and he was found with one Foot on the Ground, and the other Knee on a Block.  The Jury of Inquest having declared him a Felo de se, his Corps was carried in a Cart and buried near the Gallows.” .

[3]The following appeared in The Boston Evening-Post, March 19, 1744.  “The famous Tom Bell, upon an Indictment of the Grand Jury for the County of Middlesex, was last Thursday convicted of Theft, and on Saturday had the following Sentence passed upon him, viz. That he next Wednesday, between the Hours of Two and Three in the Afternoon, be whip’d at the publick Market at Charlestown, Twenty Stripes upon his naked Back; that he pay 75 Pounds Lawfull Money, being Trebel Damage, and cost of Prosecution, and stand committed till Sentence be performed; and that in Case he complies not with the Sentence, that he be sold for Three Years.”  See SHG 9:375-86.

April 9, 1744

1744 April 9 (Monday).  Mr. Dunlop was So kind as to come and give me a Days Work.  Thomas Winchester came again for another six Months (by Gods Leave) but insist’d for £40 old Tenor for it.  P.M. my wife and I rode to the Burial of Silas Fays dead born Infant.  N.B. at the Grave some Such Questions were ask’d me by Mr. Fay by which I came to understand that his Brother Timothy held the odd opinion that an unborn Child had not a rational immortal soul and that he had been thus minded several Year.  At Eve Brother Hicks and his wife here from Cambridge.

April 12, 1744

1744 April 12 (Thursday).  Publick Fast.  On Isa. 66.2.  P.M. much Spent by that Time I began my afternoon sermon which was a carrying on the Same subject, but I improv’d part of my sermon on Zech. 12.10, viz. from page 43 and on.  After Exercises Thankful Rice’s[1] Confession read and she was restor’d.  Committee from the Young Mens society acquainted me that they had receiv’d satisfaction and made up their Difference concerning which they were with me some Evenings since.  The Committee also touching Mr. Cornelius Cooks[2] affair were with me at my Desire, because Mr. Cook Seem’d not to conform (a[s] I judg’d) to what the Committee had brought me from him, as his Confession.  Alas! how dull and dry, how weak and worthless in the service of God and how unable to lead the people of God or profit them on such Days as this!

[1]Wife of Josiah Rice.  The Westborough church records reveal that Mrs. Rice “offer’d an humble and voluntary Confession of her sin of Drinking to Excess.”

[2]The Westborough blacksmith got into various troubles.  At this time he was charged with “profane swearing.”

April 15, 1744

1744 April 15 (Sunday).  Captain Hazzeltine was in doubt what would become of me at Noon, but Mr. Fisk who liv’d nigher the Meeting House was so good as to ask me to Dinner as did also Captain Sadler[1] who was Still more conveniently Situated.  Preach’d on Luke 19.10.  Din’d at Captain Sadlers.  Captain Tyler[2] and his Wife of Still River there also.  Some Number Seem’d to be greatly affected, especially one Mr. Peas[3] could not wholly contain himself.  After Meeting I refresh’d at Captain Sadlers.  Ensign Woods[4] greatly insisted upon my going to his House to See his Lad who had fallen from a Damm and grievously hurt his Jaw Bone.  I went.  Captain Hazzelton, Captain Sadler, Lieutenant Taft there also.  Then return’d Evening.  I came Home though it was very Late.

[1]John Sadler of Upton.

[2]Edward Tyler of Harvard, Mass.

[3]Josiah Pease.

[4]Jonathan Wood.

April 16, 1744

1744 April 16 (Monday).  A.M. Mr. Weld preach’d to great good Acceptance of those of our people who went to hear him, and especially commended each his last Prayers, but Mr. James Fay and his Brother Stephen hearing he was to preach went to Grafton.  I ask’d Mr. Weld whether he would drop his Action against Mr. Ebenezer Wheeler and his Wife if they made an humble Submission?  Or, why he would go on to prosecute them if they would?  He reply’d he did not know what he might do in that matter if they Should, but no one person had been to him in such a way as yet.  Neither had he any Reason to expect they would, for they had rather done all within their power to Stand by what had been done.  Ex. gr. her taking her oath before Justice Taft, etc.  He set out for Worcester.  P.M. at Mr. E. Nurse’s.  At Eve Captain Mainard and Mr. Abner Newton here.  Rainy Evening.

April 17, 1744

1744 April 17 (Tuesday).  Thomme who had left me last night to go down to Boston in Company with Jonathan Rogers, went not away till the morning.  I wrote by him to Mr. Joshua Emms of Boston, Goldsmith, with whom he was going to live.  I had Mr. Williams’s Mare to ride over to the Association at Lancaster.  Mr. Loring absent by reason of the late Death of his oldest son, Dr. John Loring[1] Physician at Boston.  Mr. Gardner[2] read his Concio on Matt. 13.27 and part of 28.  Heard to Day the sorrowful News of the Burning of Mr. Emmersons[3] House at Nessitissett[4] lately.

[1](HC 1729).  SHG 8:598-99.

[2]Rev. John Gardner of Stow.

[3]Rev. Daniel Emerson (HC 1739), first minister of Hollis, N.H., 1743-1793.  SHG 10:359-64.  See The Boston Gazette, or, Weekly Journal, April 24, 1744.

[4]Nissitisset was the West Parish of Dunstable, Mass., later incorporated in 1746 as Hollis, N.H.

April 18, 1744

1744 April 18 (Wednesday).  Mr. Barrett[1] not being present I preach’d the public Lecture.  Text Luke 16.23.  N.B. The first Time I preach’d in the New Meeting House.  P.M. I got an Horse of Mr. Prentice,[2] and (Mr. Bowers[3] of Middletown in Connecticut and Mr. Whitcomb[4] of Lancaster part of the way in Company) I rode to Luningburgh and to Townshend, lodg’d at Lieutenant Taylors,[5] but alas! the house in Tears for my kind Landlady, Mrs. Taylor, who lately deceas’d.  N.B. Several Houses in Townsend fortify’d against the Indians.

[1]Rev. Samuel Barrett of Hopkinton.

[2]Rev. John Prentice of Lancaster

[3]Rev. Benjamin Bowers (HC 1733), minister of Haddam, Conn., 1740-1761.  SHG 9:278-79.

[4] Deacon David Whitcomb.

[5]Daniel Taylor.  See Ithamar B. Sawtelle, History of the Town of Townsend (Fitchburg, 1878), 154.

April 20, 1744

1744 April 20 (Friday).  I return’d to Westborough as early as I could.  Call’d to See the North Inhabitants on the Hill, but made what haste I could because of the Lecture I was to preach to Day.  Preach’d from Ps. 24.3.  N.B. After Lecture Brother James and Stephen Fay, being dissatisfy’d with my changing with Mr. Weld, were here to discourse with me about it.  To whom I have the Reasons of my Conduct in that Matter

April 26, 1744

1744 April 26 (Thursday).  My wife and I rode over with Captain Fay to Lieutenant Holloways where the Captain was marry’d to the widow Mary Rice, and we had an handsome Entertainment.  N.B. the Bride’s Grandson Jonathan Oake, who was before Lame and one-eyed has lately met with another Maim, his Uncle George having accidentally Splitt his Hand from the Finger to the wrist.  I carry’d my wife to Bezaleel Eagers and left her there, that I might go up into Shrewsbury and Discourse with Colonel Nahum Ward upon the Wheeler Affair.  I went as far as Mr. Cushings (though it was when their Lecture was done) but made no Stay.  Was very friendly receiv’d by the Colonel, who as he advis’d me to go to Grafton tomorrow So at my request was willing to go over also.  N.B. Several Northampton men at Eagers in the Eve.  When we return’d home we found Lieutenant Holloway and Mr. Wheeler with their wives, who had been waiting upon the Bridegroom and Bride to the Lodgings at Young Mr. David Maynards.

April 27, 1744

1744 April 27 (Friday).  I rode to Grafton — Call’d at Mr. James Harringtons and at Ensign Jonathan Halls, but went up to Mr. Wheelers to See whether upon his Seeing what Testimonys I had to prove that he had acknowledg’d his Fornication with Lydia Pratt he would not humble himself, but he was for having me go on and prove what I could.  I was mov’d with Pity towards him especially Considering he was under great Trouble already by Means of Mr. Weld of Uptons prosecuting him in the Law in an action of £1000 for his wife’s Defamation, but my Discourse avail’d Nothing, though I stay’d with him and din’d also and strove every Way to gain him.  I rode to Mr. Prentice’s and after some Time came Colonel Nahum Ward as I had requested.  I told Mr. Prentice how much rather I chose to have Wheeler labour’d with in private and that he would prevent public Ecclesiastical process.  The Pastor and Brethren repair’d to the Meeting House, open’d their meeting and then adjourn’d for 1/4 hour that such Brethren as were so inclin’d might come with Wheeler to me.  Several came.  Essays were made to bring him to acknowledgement but in Vain.  They return’d to Meeting and being requested by the Church to go to them I accordingly went, read and gave in a Written Testimony of what I heard Mr. Wheeler Say.  Then gave them what I had receiv’d from Deacon Miriam.  After those Two Evidences Jason Whitney and James Harrington being sworn before Colonel Ward, gave in theirs.  After various Questions put as the Brethren Saw Cause, and Conference with Wheeler and us who were Witnesses the meeting was adjourh’d to Thursday next 4 p.m.  At Mr. Prentice’s request I pray’d at breaking up.  Colonel Ward went home but it having been rainy, and now very damp, cold and Late I ventur’d not but lodg’d at Mr. Prentice’s.  Thomas Winchester broke yesterday and this morning by going to look of Land nigh his Fathers.

April 30, 1744

1744 April 30 (Monday).  Brother Breck went to Marlborough.  Brother Hicks here.  Captain Maynard rais’d another Large Barn.  My Wife and I were there.  N.B. One Goodhew, a Young Man from Boston residing among us, had a fall from the Frame and was led into the House much hurt, but afterwards recover’d.  At Supper there were So many to be entertain’d that we were kept till 10 o’Clock.  I manifested so much uneasiness that we were so detain’d that I concluded everybody would retire home as Soon as they might, but it prov’d otherwise.  Many tarried long after I was got home and the Time run off; among the rest 3 of my own Family.  After 12 I walk’d away towards the House again.  Ebenezer and Thomas Needham were returning home — upon which I went to my Bed — but understanding that there were many yet behind and among them Some Heads of Family, I rose very uneasy and went down to the House, and having acquainted Captain Maynard with what Time of Night it was, I ask’d him whether he did not Consent to my going in among the Company that were Still diverting themselves at this unseasonable Time.  I went in and admonish’d them, and sent them home.  N.B. George Smith (the Taylor) and Robert Bradish made the Chief Stand — but Smith I Sent off and Bradish took up his Lodging there.  This Exerting my Authority gave me great uneasiness, but I was resolute to Shew Impartiality and not be partaker of other Mens Sins, as likewise to discharge my own Duty as Watchman in this Place and as having the Care of their Souls.  N.B. Thomas Winchester last 1/2 Day.