September 13, 1760

1760 September 13 (Saturday).  Find in the News Paper of the 11th the Death of Honorable Judge Sewall after about 10 Days Confinement in the 57th Year of his Age.[1]  He was the very Glory of this Province; and I don’t know but that Universally esteemed so.  I had the Happiness of Acquaintance with him from early Youth.  We were not only Classmates at College but school-mates.  And he did me the Honor to invite me with a Singular endearingness to his House: telling me, I knew he took a particular Pleasure in my coming to See him.  It is a most heavy Loss!  The Lord sanctifie it to the Land — to the Surviving Judges, to the rest of our Classmates; and in a peculiar Manner to unworthy Me!  O might I Suitably reallize my own Decease!  Isa.  “For behold the Lord.  The Lord of Hosts doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah –the Judge — the Prudent — the Honorable Man — the Counsellor — and the Eloquent Oratour.”  Visited Neighbour Williams and desiring I might be alone with him, all left us — and I dealt in some plainness with him as to what I conceived to be his particular sins:  but he entertains a great deal of Hope concerning his spiritual Welfare.  P.M. Mr. Fessenden here.  I advise him before he preaches any more, to be examined; but to be sure to join with some Church and go to the Communion.

[1]Stephen Sewall (1702-1760), Harvard 1721, youngest of seventeen children of Major Stephen and Margaret (Mitchel) Sewall and a nephew of Samuel Sewall.  After graduation he kept school in Marblehead, served as college librarian and then as tutor for the classes of 1731, 1735, and 1739, turned down a call from the church in Marlborough, and then studied law.  In 1739, he was given a place on the bench of the superior court (or as it is now called, the supreme judicial court), even though he had never appeared on either side of the bar.  After the death of Chief Justice Dudley (Harvard 1690), he was elevated to his place.  According to Parkman, Sewall attended the Latin School in the North End, although he does not appear in the Latin School catalog.