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from General Pomeroy, who was at the rail fence above the works our troops threw op. He informed me, they stuffed bay between the rails of the fence, to prevent the enemy discovering them, and ordered the soldiers to retain their fire till they advanced within six or seven rods, ihen gave the orders to fire, which caused them to retreat. The enemy formed and attacked them the second time, and retreated in like manner. They formed, advanced, and rushed on to the fence the third time, and obliged our troops to retreat, after they had lost a large cumber of their men, and Major Pitcairn at their head. The Americans went to Breed's Hill on the night of the 16th of June, the battle commenced on the 17th, and our forces returned to Cambridge. I believe there was only verbal orders given to go to Breed's Hill, and that they bad neither capnon nor field pieces. Gen. Ward, the fore part of May, requested Col. Gridley, Mr. Richard Devens, one of the committee of safety in Charlestown, and self, to view the heights from the camp to Charlestown. We did so, and made a written report, as follows: viz. 1. To build a Fort on Prospect Hill. 2. To proceed to Bunker's Hill, and fortify it. 3. To Breed's Hill, and do the same. Our object was, if obliged to retire from Breed's Hill, the fort at Bunker's Hill would cover our retreat with the cannon, and drive their ships out of the rivers; also would prevent the enemy from keeping possession of Charlestown. Why the report was not approved, I cannot say-perhaps others recommended to proceed first to Charlestown. What returns I am possessed of-will send with the orderly book, which contains General Ward's orders.”
Signed Wm. Henshaw, and addressed to His Excel
lency John Brooks, Esq. Our only object is to present the outlines of a memoir, and not to eulogize, and we cannot better conclude this, than by extracting a part of an obituary notice, published at the time of his death, in the Boston Palladium.
6. Few have lived so little known to the world, and few so de. serving of its praise, as Col. Henshaw. His character was of that unassuming cast which shrinks from the scrutiny of observation, and is better pleased with the consciousness, than with the appearance of acting right. He was equally an object of admiration in his military and private life. He served as a Lieutenant in the French war, and as Colonel through the struggle of our resolution. He was always distinguished for his clearness in council and intrepidity in action, and we find honorable mention of him in several histories of those times. After the Revolution, he retired to Leicester, and, entering on the business of private life, became an exemplary husband and father."
The foregoing is but an extract from the notice of his death, and we should have been glad to have transcribed in this place the tribute to his memory, which was paid at the time of his decease, by his friend, the late Gov. Brooks, but the newspaper containing it has been mislaid, and we must content ourselves with this short notice, till more leisure on our own part, or some abler pen, shall do his memory more ample justice. He was not, alone, so prominent, as to deserve notice in this place, of the sons of Daniel Henshaw. His brother, Joseph, who resided here, was equally active in all public conceros, and commanded as great influence and respect. He often represented the town in the General Court, and was, for a considerable time, chairman of the committee of safely in the county of Worcester, which was formed from the several committees of safety and correspondence of the towns.
David, another brother, though younger than the forementioned brothers, early took part in the events of the last years of the revolution, and was especially active in the events which succeeded it, having ever been a firm supporter of the Government, and a friend to good order. Both William and David Henshaw were, for many years, acting magistrates in the county, and distinguished for their intelligence and independence in performing their duties in that capacity.
Both the brothers left pretty numerous families. One of the sons of the latter is, at present, a member of the Senate of this state from the county of Suffolk.
JOSEPH ROBERTS. In our sketches of the Ecclesiastical History of this town, we spoke of the Rev. Mr. Roberts and were unable to give any further account of him than we then gave. But we have since received a more particular account of him by the politeness of a gentleman of high respectability* which we subjoin here. The Rev. Joseph Roberts was born in Boston, at the foot of Copps Hill, ir 1720. He graduated at Cambridge in 1741, and was probably from a family in no way distinguished, as his name is found among the last of the class that graduated that year. In 1754, he was settled at Leicester and dismissed in 1762, as we have already stated. He soon af
Isaac Fisk, Esq. of Weston, Register of Probate for the County of Middlesex.
ter removed to Weston and occasionally preached in that and the peighboring towns. He purchased the estate about the same time upon which he resided till his death. He took an active part during the Revolution, as one of the committee of the town to enlist and provide for the soldiers. He was a member of the Convention that formed the Constitution of Massachusetts, and among his papers, after his death, was found a draught in his own band writing, of a frame of Government, many of the principles of which are incorporated into our present Constitution, and he is believed to have taken an active and efficient part in forming and adopting this Constitution. He was often afterwards a representative from Weston.
He became connected with a cunoing and shrewd speculator in business, and, in consequence, became involved in land suits and lost a considerable part of his property. His temper thus became sour, and in the latter part of his life he became extremely avaricious. He died like a beggar and after his death there were found in his chambers several bags of money which had been boarded up for years; as, on removing them, the bottoms of the bags were too much decayed to hold their contents. He denied himself, for many years before his death, the conveniences and even the necessaries of life.
All the clothing he possessed at his deaih, would have disgraced the meanest beggar in the streets. Such was his love of money that he suffered himself to be committed to jail on a judgment growing out of his connexion with the speculator before mentioned, and remained in jail two or three years, till he compelled bis creditor, in this way, to relioquish a part of the debt for the sake of recovering the remainder. Mr. Roberts possessed more than ordipary natural powers of mind, but they became debased by tbe sordidness of his disposition. He died a bachelor, at the advanced age of 91, in April, 1811.
Nole to the Reader. An apology is due for presenting the foregoing sketches in so many parts imperfect. We had become pledged to furnish them within a given period, not suspecting at the time the labor of preparing them. A multiplicity of engagements, in addition to the shortness of the time for preparation, has compelled us to present these in a form less perfect than we had hoped, when we assumed the task. This apology, while it is due to the reader will, we hope, in some measure, screen from the severity of criticism.
THE EDITORS ARE INDEBTED TO THE REV. JOSEPH ALLEN, OF
BOROUGH, FOR THE FOLLOWING SKETCHES.
NORTHBOROUGH, though one of the youngest and smallest incorporated towns in the County of Worcester, was, for nearly 50 years, prior to the date of its incorporation, a part of Westborough ; first as part of an undivided whole, and then as a separate precinct or parish. This carries us back to the year 1717, before which time, Westborough itself, including Northborough, belonged to the large and ancient town of Marlborough. Northborough then, as being included in Marlborough, may lay claim to considerable antiquity. Marlborough was incorporated in 1660, only about 30 years after the commencement of the Massachusetts Colony. The stream of emigration may easily be traced back from this, which was for many years a frontier settlement, bordering upon the unexplored wilderness, to the fountain head. The settlement in Marlborough was commenced four years before the date of its incorporation, by emigrants from Sudbury, which was older by about 20 years than Marlborough, having been incorporated in 1639. The next step carries us back to Concord, which was purchased of the natives and incorporated in 1635.*
The next step brings us to Watertown, where a settlement was made in 1630, the same year that Boston began to be built. It was in this year that a large number of emigrants arrived from England, which served greatly to enlarge and strengthen the Colony, then in its infancy. The oldest town in the Massachusetts Colony is Salem, where a settlement was commenced in 1628, eight years after the landing of our fathers at Plymouth.
* 1. Mags. Hist. Col. Vol. I.
Thus we see that within the short space of 30 years from the first planting of this Colony, the wilderness had been explored, and a permanent settlement effected, by our enterprising forefathers, in the ancient town of Marlborough, which then included Westborough, Southborough, and Northborough, now within the limits of Worcester County.
It will not therefore be improper to prefix to the history of this town some account of the first settlement and early history of the Plantation at Marlborough..
The following petition was presented to the General Court in May, 1656.
* To the Hon. Governor, Dep. Governor, Magistrates and Deputies of the General Court now assembled in Boston."
“ The humble petition of several of the Inhabitants of Sudbury, whose names are hereunder written, humbly sheweth ; that whereas your petitioners have lived divers years in Sudbury, and God hath beene pleased to increase our children, which are now divers of them grown to man's estate, and wee, many of us, grown into years, so as that wee should bee glad to see them settled before the Lord take us away from hence, as also God having given us some considerable quantity of cattle, so that wee are so streightened that wee cannot so comfortably subsist as could bee desired; and some of us having taken some pains to view the country ; wee have found a place which lyeth westward, about eight miles from Sudbury, which wee conceive might bee comfortable for our subsistence :
"It is therefore the humble request of your Petitioners to this Hond Conrt, that you would bee pleased to grant unto us ) eight miles square, or so much land as may containe to eight miles square, for to make a plantation.
"If it shall please this Hon'd Court to grant our petition, it is farther than the request of your petitioners to this Hon'd Court, that you will bee pleased to appoint Mr. Thomas Danforth or Liestepal Fisher to lay out the bounds of the Plantation; and wee shall satisfy those whom this Hond Court shall please to employ in it. So apprehending this weighty occasion, wee shall no farther trouble this Hon’d Court, but shall ever pray for your happinesse." Edmond Rice, Thomas King,
William Ward, John How,* John Bent, Sen'r. John Maynard, * According to a tradition handed down in the family, the first English person that came to reside in Marlborough, was John How, son of a How, of Watertown, supposed to be Jobn How, Esq. who came from Warwickshire, in