SPOWs in the Charlestown/Boston area

Updated/Edited: 13 April 2016

This timeline is an effort to identify and understand the lives of the Scottish prisoners of war who initially resided in Charlestown and then moved out to Boston and nearby areas.

We welcome any additional information.

December 1650: The Unity arrives in Charlestown at the Massachusetts Bay Colony

1653:  Goodman Courser (possibly Hercules Corser?) received 17s from John Gifford* to be given to “Mr Webb** being for diett and other Expences by ye Scotts at Boston” 1

1654: “In 1654, the Middlesex County Court in Charlestown ordered that: “Daniel Blacke Scotchman servant to Mr. Wilton Simes, being lawfully convicted for assaulting & beating his master, is by this Court committed to prison, until further order of Court.”[27] Simes was probably the son of Charlestown’s minister, Zechariah Symmes, one of the town’s most prominent citizens. The Symmes family farm, covering much of present-day Winchester, was located near the corner of Cambridge Farms where William Munro must have worked, and Blacke undoubtedly labored there cutting hay in the meadows.[28] ¹b.

01 Mar 1657/8: Charlestown land grant: John Hamilton, Edward Wyer, Alexander Bow, Hercules Corser, and James Grant 2

06 Mar 1657/8: James Grant is a founding member of the Scots Charitable Society 3

Before 16 Nov 1658: James Grant and John Hamilton move away from Charlestown (inferred)

16 Nov 1658: Charlestown tax list: Edward Wyer, Hercules Corser, Alexander Bow 4

1659: Hercules Corser becomes a member of the Scots Charitable Society 5

23 Oct 1660: Alexander Bow admitted as an inhabitant of Middletown, CT 6

Feb-Mar 1664: James Grant vanishes from his home in Kittery, ME 7

20 Apr 1663: Edward Wyer approved to cut wood in Charlestown 8

10 Jan 1678/9: Hercules Corser recorded in the First Baptist Church of Boston. 9

11 Nov 1678: Alexander Bow dies in Middletown, CT 10

Before 5 Oct 1680: John Hamilton dies in Concord, MA 11

03 May 1693: Edward Wyer dies in Charlestown 12

*John Gifford: Iron master and manager of the Lynn (Saugus) Iron Works 13
** Henry Webb: A merchant in Boston 14

1 Lynn Iron Works Typescript 1650-1685,  Harvard Business School, Baker Library, Historical Collection, MSS:301, 149.
¹b. American Ancestors Online “Scots for Sale”
2 Henry H. Edes, ed., A Report of the Record Commissioners Containing Charlestown Land Records, 1638 – 1802, (Boston: Rockwell and Churchill, 1883), 81.
3 Scots Charitable Society, ed., The Constitution and By-laws, of the Scots Charitable Society of Boston, (Boston: Farrington Printing Co., 1896), 10.
4 Thompson, Roger, From Deference to Defiance, Charlestown, Massachusetts, 1629-1692, (Boston: NEHGS, 2012), 50.
5 Scots Charitable Society, 86.
6 Henry Whittemore, History of Middlesex County, Connecticut, with Biographical Sketches of Its Prominent Men, (New York: J. B. Beers & Co., 1884), 67.
7 Robert E. Moody, ed., Province and Court Records of Maine. Vol II, (Portland: Maine Historical Society, 1947), 2:156 and 2:202.
8 Edes, , 84.
9 Nathan Wood, The History of the First Baptist Church of Boston (1665-1899), (Boston: American Baptist Publications Society, 1899), 132.
10 Lorraine Cook White, ed., The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records. Vol 26, (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2000), 70.
11 Cambridge County Court Record, Pages 324 – 326:  “At a County Court held at Cambredg, October the 5th 1680: Mr. Hen. Woodis is granted admstraccount on the estate of John Hamilton, in the behalf of the Reyres, he giving bond to admster as the law provides, &tooke oath to the inventory.”
12 Jay and Delene Holbrook, eds., Town and City Clerks of Massachusetts: Massachusetts Vital and Town Records. Vol 3, (Oxford: Holbrook Research Institute, 1989), 566.
13 Saugus Iron Works 1947 Dedication Ceremony Program, American Society of Mechanical Engineers. June 15, 1975. Retrieved April 04, 2015.
14 Boston, MA: Inhabitants and Estates of the Town of Boston, 1630-1822. Thwing Collection., (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001) 18,312-18, 314.

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