1775 August 9 (Wednesday). Memorandum [on a loose piece of paper]. Mary Crosby, widow of Robert Crosby, late of Boston, Sea man, came to work here. She was Daughter (as she says) of Mr. William Pratt, House Wright, whose Wife was formerly M[rs.?] Hitty Gill, Daughter (or Grand Daughter) of Deacon Gill, nigh Clarks ship-yard, in ship street, Boston. The said Mrs. Crosby is about 53 or 54 Years old. When She went from my House to go to Boston See here after [viz. Nov. 27, 1777].
1775 August 21 (Monday). [illegible] me that Mrs. Martyn is sick. I found young Belknap in a very Piteous Condition — under a nervous Fever, and partly Delirious. I supped there. Prayed with him and the Family; returned home late. Mr. Beriah Ware is kind enough to watch here again.
1775 August 22 (Tuesday). John is low — but able to converse. Thanks to God! Mr. Noah Hardy brought me from Mr. Mart. Pratt £49.13.1 in old Tenor. I visit at Springs, Townsends, widow Brighams son Phinehas, and at Capt. Ben. Fays. Prayed with the three last. At Eve Levi Wilder going to Mendon, is here, but does not tarry. Breck watches with John. N.B. We have been greatly at a loss about my Nephews son [?] Boston: but this Eve saw a Letter of his to [my Son?] Samuel by which I see he is safe, though he may be under Confinement. to straits; compared with his former Cir[torn]. Young Belknap dyed at 11. [torn]emely low, tarries through the Days and nights with great Difficulty [torn]ister Martyn who I find very ill of a Fever. Prayed with her. [torn] Mr. Whitney — he was not at home. N.B. [Madam Minot?] I saw with [torn] Martyn. She gave me account of her Fright when the Regulars [torn] Concord to seize the stores there. I visited old Ensign Josiah [torn]l of the Distemper which is [illegible]. Prayed with him. Called [torn] [illegible] old Mrs. Kelly. John has so great a purging [torn] him self to night.
of any yet. Purging has fool-
him all night. Attended the Funeral of Asa Bell–
Sorrowful Time. The Lord look upon us in
But prepare us for His holy Will!
Mr. Nathan Townsends Child, Aaron, of 14 Months and a fortnight, dies.
is still alive, though it is wonderfull that he has had two
Breck and Aaron. Breck Bed
Johns Room, for the better Convenience of tending him
of Oxford returning from the Camp at Roxbury
a Letter from Mr. M[torn] there still.
occupyed than [torn] Teams loaded
[torn] little Sleep
pass by further side.
to my son Ebenezer by [torn] Belknap junior
Aaron, son of Nathan and Sarah Townsend, b. June 12, 1774; d. Aug. 25, 1775; Westborough Vital Records, 98, 254.
1775 August 26 (Saturday). …fifteen hundred Miles or more. They are about 130 men with several Waggons, to carry their packs and necessarys. Attended the Funeral of Mr. Townsends little Aaron.
1775 August 27 (Sunday). John is much as he was. Aaron and Sophy have watched [with] him. He sometimes bleeds [out?] the Nose. I preached a.m. on Heb. .2, last Clause. P.M. I formed an Exercise out of what was delivered May 11, 1760 from 2 Sam. 23.5, concerning the Covenant of Grace (See Sermon on Isa. 55.3), with alterations and Additions which were accompanyed with much Fervency and Solemnity. May the Lord add His special Blessing! N.B. Cousen Maynard dined with us. John is very faint and At Eve Seems as if he could not continue. Says he longs to die. I told him he had need have Assurance that it will go well with him. He answers that he had. I added, that he must know, [illegible] grand Conditions of the Covenant of Grace, Faith and Repentance. He replyed, that he had. [St.?] Maynard kindly watches [again] [torn] Parker with him. We look for the awful Time of J[torn]
1775 August 28 (Monday). The Dispensations of God are wonderful. John is yet [torn] though he had no sleep last night. N.B. Last Evening c[torn] sons Ebenezer from New Braintry [Alexander?] [from?]to see poor John — who is in the Valley of the Shadow of [torn] Mrs. P________ who continually tends upon John [torn]. Alexander returns to Leicester. Ebenezer walks with me [torn] [marginal notation: his Sister, Bond, who is at Capt. Wheelocks, and Mr. Beriah] Ware who is sick at Deacon Woods [illegible] also to s[torn] of Mrs. Hemmingway [at Boston?] wife and Child are at Ashburnham — burys [illegible]. Mr. Benjamin Bradshaw and his [Brother Nathan?] cam[torn] being full, they leave us, and go further. Ebenezer [watch?]es with John who is yet worse. Mr. Loyd [illegible] [torn]. N.B. Mr. Jonathan Forbes here and examined. I [illegible] him on what terms I was willing to admitt him, [torn] he was Satisfyed with my manner of Administration [and] [torn] Custom of this Church as it had been heretofore. [torn]ing the late proceedings. To which he consented [torn]peared to [torn]onsenting to what the Church had [illegible] [torn].
1775 August 29 (Tuesday). John has [torn] yet [illegible] [torn] times as if [torn]newly wak’d. [torn] Rain detain [torn]th us. Br[torn] to keep Hou[torn]ome [torn] no sleep [torn]. Ben Clark not well.
1775 August 30 (Wednesday). [torn]
P.M. my Neighbour Caleb Harrington and his Wife being ill of the common Distemper, Ebenezer and I went to see them. Wrote to Mr. Cushing. John is so bad at Night that it is doubtful whether he will live till Morning. John Warrin (son of Mr. Timothy) watches. Calls us up about 3 in the Morning.
1775 August 31 (Thursday). John can get no Rest — wants to be moved often, but is less able to move himself — worries through the Night. I wrote to Mr. Quincy and Sent him one of F. Brecks Shrewsbury Sermons; by Mr. Loyd, who, and my son Ebenezer leave us to go to their respective Homes or Abodes. John’s Visage alters — is apprehensive that Death is not far off. Says that in his sleep he saw an Angel of Light coming to him. I told him that no stress could be laid on these Things: but that he must rely only on Such Evidences as the [illegible] infallible word of God setts before us. P.M. Mr. Daniel Chamberlain and his Wife were here to be examined. I asked him whether he was satisfyed with the Discipline and Customs of this Church, that is, as I had administered, and had continued all along for these 50 years past, and till the [torn] Church Meetings about Bolton Quarrells, and about the Elders [torn]gative; which I did not [illegible] he Should concern himself [torn] But if he did I must make a Business of Shewing him [illegible] which must convince any rational unpre[torn]ic’d [illegible] ungrounded and causeless the late Disgusts among us [torn] been. He replyed that it was none of his Mind nor [torn] to meddle with those Disputes, and that he was satisfyed [torn]th the Administration — was willing [illegible] with this Church as Congregational. Upon which I opened to him how we were So: founded on [torn] of God under which we used [the Church Covenant?] the Platform, for the sub[torn] of it, (I mentioned the Exceptions to be made) the Results [torn] the general Custom of the Churches, agreeable to the writings [torn] [venerable?] Fathers of the Congregational Scheme. Such [torn] Cotton, Higginson, Hubbard, Mathers, etc. I shewed him that they [torn] for the Power the Elders have, of Negative etc. I let him [torn] that these were our Congregational Discipline and what [torn] [alwayes?] practise[d?] upon. He said [torn] [not minded?][torn]; and desired to [torn] which therefore [torn] with.
Robert Breck (1682-1731), The Surest Way to a People’s Happiness and Prosperity. A Sermon at Shrewsbury…June 15. 1720 (Boston, 1721; Evans 2207).