September 1, 1754

1754 September 1 (Sunday).  Read 1 Sam. 8.  Preach’d on Rev. 1.18, and found it best to deliver my whole preparation though I was oblig’d to Speak the faster and to continue somewhat longer than usual.  Administer’d the Lords Supper, took in 3 persons into the Church.  P.M. read Rev. 1.  Repeated on Mat.  Administered Baptism to Several Children and appointed Catechizing at the East part of the Town.  Deacon Forbush and Sir Foster din’d here.  Mr. Baldwin here at Eve and lodg’d here.  O that God would grant us all to understand, and be confirm’d in, be influenced by, and have a Right to the Benefit of the Resurrection of Christ from the Dead!

September 3, 1754

1754 September 3 (Tuesday).  Catechiz’d at Mr. Joslins — about 19 Children.  Had visited the good old Mr. Bradish.  After Catechizing Mr. Joslin went with me cross the Woods to Mr. Jabez Snow’s — Mr. Snow with me to Mr. Abraham Beeman’s.  Was also at Mr. Adams’s where they fill’d my Ears with Complaints (I mean the Mother and Daughter) against the Gales, against whom they had been, and were like to be again Summon’d to Court as Witnesses:  but I was not willing to meddle with their Affair.

September 4, 1754

1754 September 4 (Wednesday).  Sir Haven was here yesterday, and lodg’d at my sons last night.  Was here again today and din’d with us.  I have been in a great deal of deep Concern about how to dispose of Billy.  He Seems not willing to resume his Books except I can keep him wholly to ‘em — which our present Circumstances forbid.  His Mothers Consent to Learning for him, is hard to obtain.  It grieves me much to give him up — But as he was yesterday Clearing at the Island Pasture, So there he goes to Day.  P.M. Mr. Jonathan Forbush here again about the Pew which he drew for me — is not willing to give me a Title to it except the Precinct will let him have the Same privilege in the Meeting House as if he had not drawn it, since he drew it, as they all knew, for me, but appears desirous of it himself.  Lieutenant Bruce comes here to conferr about building the Pews, and I agree with him to provide a Stick of Timber for My Part of the Foundation.  I discern So much of the minds of persons about this Matter of the Pew that I am very much dispos’d to give it up, though there are So many Reasons impelling to keep it.  Such Tokens of Ingratitude are very grievous — But how much it is the Lot of Ministers in these days!  May God himself be pleas’d to look with Pity on his own Cause!

September 10, 1754

1754 September 10 (Tuesday).  Lieutenant Ward here with his Instruments, and he with Mr. Nathaniel Whitney Measure this Piece of Land where my House Stands and the Lines agreed upon Yesterday.  Robert Morton of Mendon here, with his Box, Glass and Prospects; and he Shews us his Sights, gratis.  Master Richard Martyn[1] brought his Sister Molly here, and left her to Stay with us a little while.

[1]The son of the Reverend John Martyn of Northborough.

September 11, 1754

1754 September 11 (Wednesday).  Receiv’d the last Volume of the History of the Foundling[1] from Mr. Samuel Livermore by Mr. Samuel Harrington.  At Eve came Dr. Perkins, and Mr. Hezekiah Coolidge and lodg’d here.  Mr. Jeduthan Baldwin brought back Ebenezer’s Mare which he himself had rid to Weston when he finish’d his Work and left us.

[1]Probably Samuel Silence, pseud., The Foundling Hospital for Wit No. 1-6, (London 1743-1749).

September 12, 1754

1754 September 12 (Thursday).  General Muster of Colonel Williams Regiment.  5 Southern Companys at Mendon with Grafton Troop: 8 Companys of Foot and one Troop at Westborough.  I pray’d with Captain Bakers Company at the Meeting House.  Had Captain Baker’s Horse to ride over to the Field which was in Captain Maynards Pasture.  Dr. Perkins and Mr. Coolidge rode with me.  We proceeded to Captain Maynards — my Sons House was taken up by Dr. Brigham[1] for twenty Marlborough men.  The Battalion was not form’d till some time in the afternoon.  There were many Spectators.  The Reverend Messrs. Cushing, Martyn, Stone, Smith, Morse, Hutchinson there.  The first of whom pray’d with the Regiment at about 4 p.m. and when the Colonel had read his Proclamation he soon dissolv’d the Battalion and the Companys march’d out of the Field.  I din’d with the Colonel and the Ministers (except Mr. Hutchinson) who went to Lieutenant Fays, where, Captain Baker ask’d me to dine with him — but I requested he would contrive to dine with the Colonel and other Officers, for I should not be able to refuse them.  Lieutenant Maynard had also bespoke me before Captain Baker; and I found it would greatly incommode me to go so far.  N.B. Rumours about the Indians.  Dr. Perkins, Mr. Asaph Rice and Mr. Baldwin, together with Mrs. Molly Martyn lodge here.

[1]Samuel Brigham, the physician of Marlborough.

September 13, 1754

1754 September 13 (Friday).  Dr. Perkins and Mr. Rice and Mr. Baldwin, as also Mr. Hezekiah Coollidge return home.  N.B. Sent Mr. Badgers Family Companion[1] home by Mr. Coollidge.  P.M. my wife carry’d Mrs. Molly Martyn as far as my other House where her Brother is to come for her.  I went to Lieutenant Forbush’s, and he and his wife sign’d me a new Deed of this Land where my House stands with the additions, and Judge Ward took their acknowledgements.  Mr. John Beeton receiv’d a Deed likewise of an Acre joining to mine.

[1]The Family Companion for Health: or . . . Rules which . . . will. . . keep Families free from Diseases, and Procure them a Long Life (London, 1729).

September 16, 1754

1754 September 16 (Monday).  This being the fifth Day Old Stile I separated myself in some peculiar manner for Recollection and Devotions.  O that God would pardon my brokenness and many Miscarriages!  Vid. Natal.  [In the Natalitia the following under the date Sept. 5, “old Stile.”]  I would bless God with my whole Soul for his adorable Patience and Longsuffering and in Special that I have been preserv’d through another Year, though I have been So utterly undeserving, nay provoking to Him!  I endeavour’d (in Some very broken manner) to acknowledge the Divine lenity and Goodness, and to humble my Self for my great Defects and unfaithfulness.  I would also devoutly committ my Self the uncertain residue of my frail Life, humbly begging of God to make me faithfull in my Great Work, and enable me to Save my own Soul as well as those that hear me!  And whereas the Care of my Family lies with a peculiar Weight upon my Spirits, I would most ernestly beseech of God to enable me to Cast this Care upon Him, who cares for His own!

September 17, 1754

1754 September 17 (Tuesday).  Mr. Abijah Gale came while we were in family Exercise — read a Summons to me to go up to Court to Day — and threw down his money.  Being thus oblig’d to go, p.m. I went to Worcester — to Mr. Maccartys[1] — to Colonel Chandlers — lodg’d at Mr. Maccartys.  N.B. Colonel Cushing and his Wife also there.  N.B. Several Gentlemen are taken ill — Mr. Trowbridge,[2] who is the King’s Attorney — Colonel Chandler is also ill, but crawls about a little.

[1]The Reverend Thaddeus Maccarty.

[2]Attorney General Edmund Trowbridge.

September 18, 1754

1754 September 18 (Wednesday).  I attended Court.  Din’d at Captain Stearns’s[1] with the Judges:  Judge Sewal[2] not well.  N.B. Messrs. Joseph Green,[3] Nathaniel Bethune,[4] Isaac Winslow,[5] and [blank] Wheelwright din’d with us.  N.B. They Subscribed for my Collection of Poems.  P.M. came on the Cause, upon which I was Summon’d, viz. of Isaac Amsden[6] plaintiff against Abijah Gale[7] Defendant; for that the Said Abijah assaulted the Plaintiffs Wife, attempted to discover her Nakedness and to have Carnal Knowledge of her Body — I was put under solemn Adjuration and was ask’d what I knew of the Cause Depending and especially Whether I had met with anything from Mrs. Amsden that was contrary to the Oath which She had taken?  My answer was to this Effect — That it was Surprizing to me to be summon’d, having had no Knowledge of the Case, till of late, Sometime Since the Prosecution or Complaint before Mr. Justice Liscomb that I know now no otherwise than by Report and Conversation as any other Neighbours might do.  That from what was Said to me at my summoning I had no reason to Suppose any thing would be desir’d of me at this Court more than to be present to hear the Cause (being Mr. Gale’s Pastor) and to give my Testimony of him which I could freely do, and did so, viz. that for any Thing I had ever known of him he was of unblemish’d Reputation till this Affair: and I might Say much the Same of Mrs. Amsden who was brought up in my near Neighborhood, and was of good Character among us.  This Answer of mine was upon Colonel Brattle’s interrogating me as upon Oath whether I knew anything of this Cause, or had heard this Woman Say any Thing different from what She had now Sworn?  And this was also urg’d by the Chief Justice Sewal; to which therefore I further reply’d that I had indeed made Mrs. Amsden a visit and did put Some Questions to her, but I was not prepar’d to Say what her answers to me at that Time were: and that I could not think it fit or just for me to utter what was so brokenly and imperfectly remember’d — So that I was not ripe to Say any thing of the Particular Expressions She us’d.  When the Judge ask’d me whether I remembered that it was Opposite, or Contrary to her Oath?  I answer’d that as I remember’d it was what did not carry the Matter so far as the Complaint She has made upon Oath — but I was not Ripe for offering any More of it.  The Colonel chew’d upon that that I said I was not ripe — that I ought to say what ‘twas — but I told him I would not be impos’d upon.  For I conceiv’d it wrong to utter what was So unshapen in my Mind — and I said I perceiv’d that Mrs. Amsden at the Time of my Discourse with her was in such a Surprize and flutter that I did not know whether what She had answer’d was her real Mind — and She was So uneasy at my putting these sorts of Questions to her that I thought it best not to proceed, and therefore desisted — so that I conceiv’d it unjust for me to declare what I apprehended She did, under these Circumstances, Say.  The Jurys Verdict came in against Gale; for it appear’d there was an Assault.  It was late in the Eve — lodg’d at Mr. Maccartys again.  N.B. Colonel William Ward in Jayl.

[1]Thomas Sterne of Worcester.

[2]Justice Stephen Sewall of the Superior Court of Judicature.

[3]The Reverend Joseph Green (Harvard 1746) of Marshfield.  Sibley, XII, 28-30.

[4](Harvard 1734).  A Boston merchant.  Sibley, IX, 386-389.

[5](Harvard 1727).  A prominent businessman of Boston, who was later a Mandamus Councillor.  Sibley, VIII, 333-339.

[6]Of Southborough.

[7]The innkeeper of Westborough.

September 19, 1754

1754 September 19 (Thursday).  My Mare got out of Mr. Maccartys Pasture, but was found by Mr. Othniel Taylor, about two Mile and half off.  Weather very hot.  Was at Colonel Chandlers Office.  Colonel deliver’d Me two Deeds, viz. Hezekiah Hows and Andrew Newtons, to me.  Paid him 15/ old Tenor for both and lodg’d two more, viz. from Lieutenant Forbush and Richard Barns.  I call’d at Mr. Dyars — din’d at Dr. Crawfords.[1]  N.B. his son William at Learning.  I stop’d at Captain Jenisons and wrote a Letter to Mr. Edwards at Stockbridge.  Return’d home safe at Eve.  Mr. Stone of Southborough had been to See Me.  A Bear Was Seen by my son Thomas passing through my Land just below the Burying place, and went Cross the Road.  N.B. Talk’d with Mr. Isaac Amsdens Wife about what she said to me at their House etc.  See loose papers.

[1]Robert Crawford, the physician.

September 25, 1754

1754 September 25 (Wednesday).  Lieutenant Forbush kindly came and kill’d a fatt Calf for me.  My Wife and I rode in the Chair to visit aged Widow Hannah Rice[1] and took little John with us.  Call’d at Captain Maynards in returning home.  Lieutenant Tainter carry’d down the Calf to Boston.  Lieutenant Brigham of Southborough and his Wife here.  N.B. He shew’d me an Instrument sign’d by his Children by which he was empower’d to take up and dispose of the Land which they had, otherwise, Right to from the Rights of Edmund Rice.  John was dipped again.

[1]Mrs. Jacob Rice.

September 28, 1754

1754 September 28 (Saturday).  Mr. Isaac Amsden of Southborough here to ask me whether I had not talk’d with Ezra Taylor about what his Wife Said to me at Major Howards on the 19th.  I told him what it was and that I wrote it down that same Eve, and with all that I was ready to shew it [to] him, but he answer’d that twas no matter, or to that purpose.  P.M. Joshua Lock and his wife here, and offer’d a Confession of their Fornication.  But it was very imperfect — he also was not willing to own the Covenant.  Said he was by principle of the Church of England — did not care to be examin’d Strictly — his wife might own the Covenant and have the Child baptiz’d here.  It was also late in the Day — therefore I did not proceed to gratifie them at this time.