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  • NEHGS Manuscripts Collection

    John B. Carney

    Published Date : August 1984
    BEDGOOD PAPERS (MSS 75, 1 box, 45 items): The Bedgood Papers contain business and personal papers of Captain Jeffrey Bedgood (ca. 1677-1757) of Boston, a ship captain and pilot in the 1711 expedition to Canada. They include bills of landing, 1709-1730/31, deeds and indentures, 1745-1756, and his estate settlement papers, 1758-1762. His will included a bequest to Mrs. Jerusha Blowers, widow. She was a niece by marriage of Bedgood's second wife Elizabeth (Crawford) (Blowers) Bedgood (1691-ca.1752), the widow of Piam Blowers, son of Elizabeth's first husband's brother, and the daughter of John Fayerweather (1695-1760), executor of Bedgood's will. The final accounting for the estate was prepared and filed by John's son, Thomas Fayerweather (1724-1805), and son-in-law, Henry Bromfield (1727-1820). Bedgood's will also included bequests to other relatives, members of the Bulfinch, Boyer, Williams, and Sale families. There is no mention of wife or descendants.

    COOLEDGE PAPERS (MSS 74, 1 box, 62 items): The Cooledge Papers contain business and personal papers of Deacon Joseph Cooledge (1666-1737) of Cambridge, tailor. They range from bonds, deeds, and powers of attorney to bills and receipts for personal expenses. One unusual item is an apprenticeship indenture dated 1697 in which Joseph Jones, with the consent of his father, Samuel, binds himself to Joseph Cooledge for seven years to learn the trade and mystery of tailor. Another unusual item is a commission from James Taylor, gentleman, Treasurer and Receiver General for the Province of Massachusetts Bay, dated 1701, which authorized Cooledge to collect taxes in Cambridge in the total amount of 41: 13: 5:. It includes additional hand-written instructions on how to handle payments made by debentures for service done in the time of Andros.

    DUDLEY PAPERS (MSS 77, 1 Box, 146 items): The Dudley Papers concern Joseph Dudley ( 1732-1767), a Boston attorney and Harvard Graduate, class of 1751. He was the great-grandson of Governor Thomas Dudley, the grandson of Governor Joseph Dudley, and the nephew of Chief Justice Paul Dudley. His three children, born in [60] Roxbury, died in infancy, but he was survived by his widow, Abigail (Gridley) Dudley, who married John Gray in Boston in 1768. Dudley lived first in Roxbury, but had moved to Boston by 1763. Receipts for that year and the following year indicate he was renting "the mansion house in Cold Lane" from Thomas Fayerweather. This was in all likelihood the former home of Thomas' father, John Fayerweather; Thomas paid repair bills on a "mansion house in Cold Lane," his late father's home, through 1770.

    The papers fall into two general categories. The first and largest consists of personal and professional bills and receipts for most of his adult life. The smaller section concerns the settlement of his estate, for which Thomas Fayerweather was executor. Among the more interesting items in the latter group are bills covering Dudley's funeral expenses, the inventory and auction sales record for his library, and the auction sales record for his household effects.

    HUBBARD PAPERS (MSS 76, 1 Box, 158 items): The Hubbard Papers contain business and personal papers of Thomas Hubbard (1702-1773), a wealthy Boston merchant whose house on Summer Street was appraised for estate purposes at 1000 pounds. He is well documented in Sibley's Harvard Graduates and in Day's One Thousand Years of Hubbard History. Much of the material is shipping invoices and accounts with merchants in London, Bristol, Leeds, and Birmingham. An accounting of Hubbard's Wharf and Stores gives a detailed picture of warehouse rentals, wharfage charges and turn-around time for merchant ships in 1762. An interesting group of social invitations gives an idea of Hubbard's connections, which included the governor and the lieutenant governor, among others. Most are undated, but those that are dated are for 1770 and 1772. The final section concerns estate settlements, one item concerning his wife's mother's estate, but the rest concern his own estate. A group of letters and other items from 1774 to 1781 deal with the problem of settling an estate which included land in England. A single letter dated 1778 shows that it was almost as difficult to settle land ownership and inheritance problems as close as Plainfield, Connecticut, especially when the land in question, taken in payment of a debt in 1744, and ignored until 1773, was found to have been occupied for at least 15 years by a free negro named Sandy. After considerable litigation, the courts by 1778 had confirmed Sandy's possession.

    SMITH PAPERS (MS 72, I Box): The Smith Papers contain material covering a single cruise of the private armed schooner Mammoth in 1814. The schooner was fitted out by a group of Baltimore merchants, headed by Samuel Smith, well-known Baltimore military officer, merchant, and statesman, whose biography in The Dictionary Of American Biography occupies two and one-half pages. The cruise was from Portland, Maine, and the ship returned there after capturing the British ship Champion to dispose of the prize. The papers include powers of attorney from the owners, through a Boston merchant, to the man who represented them in Portland. They also include the agreement between the captain and the crew before the voyage; advance payments made to the crew; settlements with the crew afterwards, including some receipts; and papers concerning disputes about who was to represent certain of the crew in the settlement of their prize claims. The final section of the collection covers the actual prize sale by auction, and documents the problems which arose when some of the purchasers did not pay, and thus made a second auction necessary. They cover the period from 3 June 1814 to 20 November 1815 when the final crewman settlement was made.

    WYETH PAPERS (MSS 73, 1 Box): The Wyeth Papers contain deeds for land acquisitions by Nicholas Withe (ca. 1595-1680), Cambridge, mason; and his son William Wythe (1657-ca. 1703), Cambridge, husbandman. Some of the deeds are particularly interesting since they retain the original applied or appended seals.

    The single item that is not a deed is an apprenticeship indenture dated 13 October 1659 in which Daniel Andrew, son of Rebecca (____) (Andrew) Withe, with the consent of his mother, indentures himself to his father-in-law (step-father), Nicholas Withe, to learn the craft and trade of mason. The indenture further formally binds Daniel to his mother in the same manner as he is bound to his master, and it also notes that, according to his mother, Daniel would be sixteen the middle of the following March. The indenture was to run till Daniel was twenty-one.

    WIGGLESWORTH PAPERS (Ms 71, 1 Box): The Wigglesworth Papers contain material relating to three generations of the Wiggiesworth family: Michael1 Wigglesworth, 1631-1705, minister at Malden, Mass.; Edward2 Wigglesworth, ca. 1693-1765, first Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard College; and Edward3 Wigglesworth, 1732-1794, second Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard College.

    Michaell Wigglesworth is represented by two manuscript literary works, both of which have been published (Register 26 (1872):11-12). One, the elegy on the Reverend Benjamin Buncker of Malden, dates from 1669; the other, a religious poem, was presumably written earlier. The third item is a letter from his uncle, M. Middlebrooke, (little Eastcheap?) England, which has been published as a footnote to a letter in the Lane Family Papers (Register 11 (1857) 110-111).

    Edward2 Wigglesworth (Michaell) is represented by his diploma for an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from the University of Edinburgh, and several deeds. One records the purchase from Nathaniel Appleton of land in Cambridge which once belonged to John Leverett, late president of Harvard College, and father of Edward's first wife. Another deed records a mutual adjustment of a common boundary between the property of Edward Wigglesworth and Nathaniel Appleton which is signed and sealed by both parties.

    The papers concerning Edward3 (Edward2, Michael1) make up the bulk of the collection. They include his Master of Liberal Arts (ad eundum) diploma from Yale College, complete with ribbon and seal. Among the other items are his appointment as administrator to the estate of his uncle, Dr. Stephen Coolidge, and several deeds concerning transfer of property between Edward and the Reverend Stephen Sewall, Professor of Hebrew and other Oriental Languages, and Rebecca his wife. She was Edward's older sister. Also included is a letter to Edward from John Erskine (1721?-1803), famous Scottish theologian, written from Lewiston, Scotland.

    Three further items of interest are Edward's personal account book for the years 1749-1751, and two separate accounts for the year 1760 concerning the short-lived firm of Townsend & Wigglesworth (1758-1762). The partners were William Blair Townsend (1732-1778) and Edward3 Wigglesworth (Edward2, Michael1).

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