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  • Scots For Sale

    The Fate of the Scottish Prisoners in 17th Century Massachusetts

    Diane Rapaport

    Published Date : 2002

    Three hundred fifty years ago, in 1652, Captain John Greene anchored his ship the John and Sara in Boston Harbor after a long winter crossing of the North Atlantic. Below decks he carried trade goods from London — “ironworke,” “household stuffe & other provisions for Planters” — but most of the cargo space was packed with human freight. On that voyage, the John and Sara was little more than a slave ship, transporting nearly 300 “scotch prisoners” from the Battle of Worcester, where Oliver Cromwell’s Parliamentary forces had crushed the royalist army of young Charles II and ended the English Civil War.[1]

    These Scotsmen, many of them Highlanders pressed into service by their clan chiefs and lairds,[2] had never expected to see England, much less travel across the Atlantic Ocean to a distant English colony. For weeks over the previous spring and summer, their ragtag royalist army had defended Scotland and the newly-crowned King Charles II against Cromwell’s invading troops. While the Scots army aimed to avoid conquest by England, King Charles hoped to regain the English crown, and he pushed the royalist Scots south across the border and headed towards London. Cromwell pursued, and an expected uprising of royalist support never materialized. Finally, outnumbered, exhausted and running out of supplies, the royalists stopped at the city of Worcester. There, King Charles watched from the cathedral tower as Cromwell’s army prepared for the coming battle. Cromwell’s attack came early on September 3, 1651. At the end of the day, after bitter hand-to-hand fighting in the city streets, up to 4,000 Scots lay dead; 10,000 more were captured, with minimal casualties on Cromwell’s side. The King escaped to exile in France.[3]

    Few of the Scots who survived Worcester ever returned home.[4] Thousands of prisoners were “driven like cattle” to London. As one witness described the convoy, “all of them [were] stript, many of them cutt, some without stockings or shoes and scarce so much left upon them as to cover their nakedness, eating peas and handfuls of straw in their hands which they had pulled upon the fields as they passed.”[5] At temporary prison camps in London and other cities, many prisoners died of starvation, disease and infection, while the Council of State debated what to do with the defeated multitudes. A thousand prisoners were put to work draining the fens in East Anglia; 1500 shipped out to the gold mines of Guinea; others were sent to labor in the Barbadoes and Virginia; and in November, 272 Scots were herded aboard the John and Sara, bound for New England.[6]

    We know their names, or at least the phonetic equivalents. A London scribe penned a list before the ship left port, and he must have strained to comprehend unfamiliar names and dialects, judging from creative entries such as “Murtle Mackjlude,” “Origlais Mackfarson,” “Almister Mackalinsten,” etc.[7] We know that the Scots were fated for sale as indentured servants, consigned to Charlestown merchant Thomas Kemble, who had instructions to dispose of the men to “best Advantage” and to invest the proceeds in merchandise for the “Barbadoes” market.[8] We know that a similar shipload of 150 Scots war prisoners, arriving in Boston on the Unity a year earlier, ended up laboring at the Massachusetts ironworks and at sawmills in Maine.[9]

    No systematic effort has been made, however, to trace what happened to the Scots from the John and Sara, and most of their stories are lost to history.[10] Tantalizing scraps of evidence remain. Court and probate records, land deeds, local town histories, and genealogies of New England families still offer clues about how some of the war prisoners adjusted to exile.

    As “Scotchmen,” they occupied a distinctly inferior rung of the social ladder, ranked with “Negroes” and “Indians” in various laws passed by the General Court.[11] Scots were not only defeated enemies; they were foreigners who spoke a strange language (Gaelic, or a heavily-accented Scots English), and their religious leanings were suspect (Presbyterian, if not outright papist Catholic).[12] They could not have felt entirely welcome in Puritan Massachusetts, despite the demand for servants in a labor-scarce economy.

    My own research, focused on 17th Century Middlesex County, Massachusetts, has yielded poignant tales about these long-ago Scotsmen. One was William Munro, an early settler of my town, Lexington, Massachusetts (then known as Cambridge Farms).

    William Munro

    According to local and family tradition, William was a Scottish survivor of the Battle of Worcester, although his name does not appear specifically on the John and Sara transport list. (A “Monrow” on the document whose first name was torn or obliterated is believed to have been William.)[13] Other Munro prisoners accompanied William on the John and Sara, including a John, Robert and Hugh “Monrow,” but apparently they were not close kin, and the other men served their indentures far away from William in Plymouth Colony.[14]

    William began his indenture in the Menotomy area of Cambridge, Massachusetts (now the town of Arlington) for millwright John Adams.[15] Later William worked for and rented land from Joseph Cooke of Cambridge[16] (whose brother Thomas coincidentally fought for Cromwell at the Battle of Worcester).[17]

    William remained single for the first thirteen years after his arrival in Massachusetts, finally marrying about 1665. His bride was Martha George, whose father once worked for Massachusetts governor John Winthrop but now faced trouble with Puritan authorities for founding an illegal Baptist church in Charlestown.[18] Martha died a few years later, leaving William to raise four young children.[19] He remarried, to 20-year-old Mary Ball of Watertown, a woman with a troubled past. (Her parents were in and out of court on charges of beatings and neglect, amid hints that the mother was insane, and Mary herself had suffered judicial sanctions for an out-of-wedlock child.)[20] William brought stability to Mary’s life; married twenty years, they had ten children together.[21] His third wife was Elizabeth Johnson Wyer (widow of a Scots tailor from Charlestown).[22]

    Gradually William purchased small pieces of land in Cambridge Farms, and by 1695 joined with sons and a son-in-law to purchase 100 acres;[23] his area of town came to be known locally as “Scotland.”[24] With increased landholdings came greater status in the community. He was made a freeman, chosen as one of the town Selectmen, and admitted as a member of the church.[25] When he died on January 27, 1718, he was one of Lexington’s most respected citizens.[26]

    Other Scots from the John and Sara settled near William Munro, but some were not so fortunate. The following is a sampling of their stories:

    Daniel Blacke

    In 1654, the Middlesex County Court in Charlestown ordered that: “Daniel Blacke scotchman serv’t to Mr. Wilton Simes, being lawfully convicted for assaulting & beating his master, is by this Court comitted to prison, untill 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]

    No further records about Blacke’s imprisonment have been located, but he must have overcome this episode of violence and moved on after his indenture, for his name turns up again later in Topsfield. A New York governor, Frank S. Black, traced his ancestry to this Scots war prisoner.[29]

    John Brown

    Another Scots neighbor of William Munro was John Brown (probably the “John Brow” of the John and Sara transport list). He lived in Menotomy, and apparently bought land in the area after his indenture, but sold out in 1665 to move to the new frontier town of Marlborough. In that deed of purchase, he was identified as a “Scotsman,” indicating that his ethnic origins continued to matter in Puritan Massachusetts long after he had made this colony his home. Marlborough was heavily damaged by Indian attack during King Philip’s war in 1676, and afterward Brown sold his holdings there, moving back to the comparative safety of Watertown, where he died in 1696.[30]

    David Comee (Mackhome)

    David Comee, almost certainly the “David Mackhome” of the John and Sara transport list, became a servant to Charlestown merchant Edward Burt.[31] After his indenture, he farmed in Woburn. His name turned up in court records as a witness in a 1662 lawsuit against Michael Bacon, Jr., whose foraging swine damaged neighboring crops. David testified that he complained to Bacon, who arrogantly “made answer, [that] he would neither yoke his Hoggs for him, nor for the best man in [illegible]….” David, who evidently could not write, signed the deposition testimony with his mark.[32]

    Perhaps the contentious Bacon was a factor in David’s decision to move in about 1664 to the southern part of Concord, Massachusetts (another local area which came to be known as “Scotland”). He lived there with his wife Elizabeth and their five children: Elizabeth, Mary, John, David (who died before 1676) and Sarah. When his wife died in 1671, he remarried to Esther Harvey, with whom he had two daughters.[33]

    When the last daughter was only about six weeks old, David and eleven other Concord men marched to the aid of neighboring Sudbury, which was under attack by Indians during King Philip’s War. David and all but one or two of the Concord men were killed by ambush there. Five of the bodies, recovered in the river meadow the next day, were buried near the Sudbury bridge.[34]

    Esther Comee petitioned the Court for assistance, saying that David “lefte me a poor widow with sixe small children and foure of them bee by a former wife and non of them being com to Age.” She asked that her stepchildren be placed in other homes. David’s only surviving son, John, may have been fostered by fellow Scotsman William Munro. John Comee eventually married Munro’s daughter Martha.[36]

    John Crage

    Either “John Crag” or “John Cragon” of the John and Sara evidently ended his days in Rhode Island. In September, 1683, “John Crage, a scotsman and a Tayler by Trade,” hanged himself from a cherry tree on the land of John Potter at Portsmouth.[37]

    John Crownwell

    Possibly “John Cannell” of the John and Sara, a John Crownwell was caught dallying with a married woman, George Polly’s wife. At a 1658 session of the Middlesex County Court in Charlestown, Elizabeth Polly confessed that “John Crownwell Scotchman, was with her alone in her house, her mayd being sent to the Towne of an arran, and yt he kissed her once, and that they travelled together alone some…night shee haveing been at Boston.”

    John admitted kissing her, but explained that he fell asleep in Goodwife Polly’s chamber after eating strawberries which made him sick. The Court ordered them both “severely whipt ten stripes a peece.”[38]

    Daniel Gunn

    John and Sara exile “Daniell Gunn” also faced discipline for consorting with a another man’s wife. In 1654, the General Court of Massachusetts heard evidence against “Daniel Gun, a Scotsman,” suspected of adultery with “Alce, the wife of John Cheater, of Newbery.” While Daniel was found not guilty, the court nonetheless concluded that he was “worthy of punishment, & doe therefore order him to be whipt, when he is capable of it....” The reason for the delayed whipping, apparently, was Daniel’s illness, for which “there is some hope of his cure.” Alce Cheater, “in regard of her unchaste behavior, is adjudged to be admonished, & to stand tyed to the whipping post one hower, & be discharged, that she may repayre to her husband.”[39]

    Whether Daniel ever received his whipping is not known. A few months later, he died of the “French disease,” and prisonkeeper George Munings was reimbursed 10 shillings per week for the Scotsman’s care.[40]

    Origlais Mackfarson

    The tortured spelling of this Worcester survivor’s first name suggests that the clerk who prepared the John and Sara transport list had difficulty understanding the Scotsman’s accent. Other curiously-spelled names turn up in post-1652 Massachusetts records, similar enough that they might be the same man.

    In 1656, for example, an “Anguish Maggafasset” appeared with minister Samuel Danforth as a witness to the will of a dying carpenter at the home of Charlestown miller, John Founell.[41] (Maggafasset probably was the servant either of Founell or Danforth.)

    Later, “Amoras Mackfassitt” was servant to Stephen Francis, a Cambridge brickmaker. During King Philip’s War in 1675-1676, Francis avoided military service by sending this servant in his stead.[42]

    Patriach Mackfassy (Patrick Fassett)

    A “Patriach Mackfassy” and “Patrick Fassett,” who seem to be the same man, lived in the 17th Century Charlestown area (in present-day Malden).[43] Although nothing exactly like “Patriach Mackfassy” can be found on the John and Sara records, the transport list contains several “Patricke”s without legible last names, and a “[Mac]kfarson” without a first name.

    Patrick Fassett married Sarah (last name most likely Reyley), and moved to Billerica (present-day Bedford) in 1679. They had eight children: Joseph, John, Samuel, Deborah, Mary, Peter, Josia and Benjamin.[44] Joseph married William Munro’s daughter Mary about 1700,[45] further evidence that Patrick and William may have been fellow Worcester veterans; William had already seen his older daughter Martha married to David Comee’s son (see above).

    John Macoone

    Possibly the “John Mackane” or “John Croome” of the John and Sara transport list (perhaps in reality a McGowan or Maclain whose accent could not be understood when he lined up to board the ship), he settled in the Cambridge, Massachusetts area and married Deborah Bush on November 8, 1656. They had four daughters: “Hannah, b. 31 Oct. 1659; Deborah, b. 31 Dec. 1661; Elizabeth, b. 31 Jan. 1662, d. 30 Jan. 1663; Sarah, b. 15 Feb. 1663.” His wife died in 1664, and he married Sarah Wood in 1665. Their children were: “John, b. 14 June 1666; Daniel, b. 18 Feb. 1668; Elizabeth, b. 17 Jan. 1669; Margaret, b. 20 Feb. 1671; Peter, b. 21 Feb. 1673.” John Macoone, the father, “resided on the south side of the river, and was living in 1676.”[46]

    Daniel Mackey

    The royalist Mackays of far northwest Scotland fought at the Battle of Worcester,[47] and several members of the clan are represented on the John and Sara transport list, including Hugh Mackey, Hill Mackie, John Mackey, Rory Machy, and Sander Mackey. A “Daniel Mackey” lived in the Cambridge, Massachusetts area during the applicable time period, and although his name does not appear on the John and Sara list (except, perhaps, as the “Daniell” whose last name was illegible), chances are that he was a Worcester survivor too


    Daniel Mackey married Sarah, and had eight children: “Sarah, b. 10 Jan. 1663; Nathaniel, b. 1 Oct. 1665; Daniel, b. 17 Aug. 1670; Mary, b. 17 Oct. 1672, d. young; Mary, b. 25 Sept. 1673; Jacob, b. 14 Mar. 1675; Hannah, b. 29 Mar. 1677; Ebenezer, b. 20 Ap. 1680.”[48]

    Daniel Mackdonnell

    Possibly the “Daniell Mackannell” or “Dan** Mackennell” of the John and Sara transport list, he was convicted of fornication with Sarah Dawes in 1656. Both Daniel and Sarah were the servants of Woburn tanner John Wiman (Wyman).

    Daniel, identified in the Middlesex County Court records as a “Scotchman (about 36 years),” “acknowledgeth that hee hath twice had the Carnal Knowledge of Sarah Dawes…,” and “confesseth…hee was a maried man in Scotland....” His testimony continued with the poignant admission that “hee left [or possibly ‘lost’ — the handwritten document is hard to decipher] His wife & two small children…”[49] His fellow servant, 21-year-old Sarah, confessed “that shee is now quicke with child.”[50]

    John Wiman must have sympathized with their plight, for he offered to pay Daniel’s five-pound-sterling fine “within six weekes in Wheate and Rie,” saving the Scotsman from a whipping of twenty stripes.[51] Sarah was ordered to report back to court the following April (presumably after her child’s birth), and sentenced to be “whipt on her naked body twelve stripes, the next lecture day at Woburne at the Whipping post,” unless she could pay a fine of forty shillings. The punishment was averted, however, when Francis Kendall (one of Woburn’s original settlers) stepped forward to pay her fine.[52] No further record has been found of Sarah and Daniel’s child; probably the baby was placed with a local family (perhaps the Kendalls), since Daniel was not free to marry.

    Mordecai McLeod

    The John and Sara transport list included the name “Murtle Mackilude,” probably the Scotsman, Mordecai McLeod (also spelled “MacLoad,” and “McLoud”) who settled in Lancaster, Massachusetts. He and his family (wife Lydia Lewis, 3-year-old daughter Hannah, and an infant) were killed at their home when Indians attacked in the early months of King Philip’s War, on August 22, 1675.[53]

    Daniell Mickenna

    Several names on the John and Sara transport list look similar to the Daniell Mickenna who appeared in court on January 3, 1654 — “Daniell Mackhan,” “Daniell Mackannell,” “Dan** Mackennell,” and “Daniell Macknell,” to list a few examples. (Possibly he was a MacKinnon, as that clan fought at Worcester.)[54] Whoever he was, this Scotsman was not adjusting well to his servitude in New England.

    As stated in the Middlesex County Court records: “Daniell Mickenna Scotchman for his stubborne cariage against his Dame Mercy Brigham is judged by this Court to be severly whipt at Cambr[idge] with 12 stripes, and to serve his dame or her assignes two full months after his time is expired to sattisfie her for costs and damages shee hath sustained by this stubbornes and neglect.”[55]

    James Pattison

    James Pattison was about 19 years old when the John and Sara brought him to these shores. No record of his indenture has been located, but he apparently had settled in Billerica by 1658 (his name generally spelled “Paterson” or “Patterson” in the extant records).[57] In 1662, he married a member of the Cambridge church congregation, Rebecca Stevenson, who happened to be the daughter of the prison master, Andrew Stevenson.[58]

    Not long after their marriage, James was convicted of “provoking his wife to her great afflicon & sorrow & trouble of the Towne, by his unworthy and unjust jealousies of her…” His conduct must have been reprehensible, even by 17th Century standards, since he was ordered to post a bond in the sizeable sum of forty pounds (despite Rebecca’s petition for leniency), and he was “sent to ye house of correccon.” At the next judicial session in 1663, he still had not “approved himself to cary it well towards his wife,” and the Court refused to release his bond.[59]

    James and Rebecca must have resolved this conflict and become respected members of the Billerica community, for Rebecca transferred her church membership there in 1667, and by 1690 James was made a freeman, giving him full voting rights. They had two daughters and six sons, including Andrew, who “went to sea and never returned,” and Joseph, a Watertown tailor. James died at Billerica on July 14, 1701.[60]

    James Rosse

    James Rosse, one of at least two men by that name (spelled “Ross”) on the John and Sara, was convicted in 1655 “of shamefull abuse & violence offered to the person of his Master [John Rudducke of Sudbury], and fellow servants…” Not only was he sentenced to one of the most extreme corporal punishments found in the early Massachusetts records, 39 stripes, but he was also thrown into prison and fined six shillings.[61]

    He did not manage to stay out of trouble. Two years later, still bound as servant to John Rudducke, he appeared at the Middlesex County Court again. This time, he was “convicted by his owne confession of fornicaccon comitted with Mary the daughter of Thomas Goodenow…” James was sentenced again to a whipping (“twenty and one stripes on his naked body”). He was also ordered to marry the young woman, unless Mary “and her freinds shall give just reason for her deniall…” Despite this judicial pressure, Mary Goodenow refused to marry the turbulent Scotsman. She was “sentenced to be whipped ten stripes” at the next court session in June, 1657.[62]

    Apparently Mary had a change of heart, as the old Sudbury records indicate that she finally married James on December 5, 1658, when their daughter Mary was about two years old. They stayed in Sudbury and had seven more children — Thomas, James, Dorothy, Sarah, Elizabeth, Hannah and Daniel. The elder James died in 1690.[63]

    Another James Ross turned up in the Maine frontier by 1657, at Back Cove in Falmouth (present-day Portland). He found work as a shoemaker, married Anne Lewis, his neighbor’s daughter, and eventually became town constable. Nearby lived two Wallis men (who may have been fellow Scots exiles from the John and Sara or the Unity). When Indians attacked the community in 1676, James, Anne and their children, together with settlers from adjacent farms, were taken captive and their homes destroyed. A peace treaty, signed in 1678, allowed some of the settlers to rebuild their lives.[64] Although sources differ as to whether James and Anne survived the attack, their son James returned to Falmouth, only to be captured again by Indians in 1690, taken to Canada, and redeemed in 1695.[65]

    Thomas Ross

    Perhaps kin of James Rosse, Thomas was indentured to Edward Winship on land not far from William Munro’s. (Several Rosses appear on the John and Sara list, but none named Thomas; perhaps Winship’s servant was the “Jonas Ross” of the list, or one of the other illegible names on the document.) In any case, the Cambridge town records first mention Thomas in 1656, apparently misspelling his last name: “The Townsmen do consent that Thoms Dosse schochman servt to Ens: Winship, shall have liberty to mow the grasse in the Swamp annent the north end of Spy pond.”[66]

    In 1662, Thomas married Seeth Holman of Cambridge (whose mother and sister had recently faced — and successfully defended against — witchcraft charges).[67] Thomas and Seeth’s first son, Thomas, died young. Daughter Margaret was born in 1664, and about a year later, Seeth was admitted to Cambridge church membership; both she and Margaret were baptized. In 1668, a second son Thomas was born. The family moved to Billerica about 1670, where they had three more children: Sarah in 1671, Hannah in 1679, and John in 1687.[68]

    Thomas died in 1695 at the age of 64. Only a few months later, Seeth and some of her grandchildren were killed when Indians attacked the Billerica settlement.[69]

    Nicholas Wallis

    Nicholas Wallis (servant to “Mr. Long,” possibly Charlestown innkeeper Robert Long[70]) was tried in 1655 by the Middlesex County Court on charges of fornication with Jane Lindes (“Irish woman serv’t to Lady [Frances] Hopkines” of Woburn). The Court ordered them to marry. Nicholas was fined three pounds in lieu of corporal punishment, and “Jane forty shillings, & in case the said forty shillings be not paid before Midsummer Court next, then the said Jane to be whipped on her naked body twelve stripes…” Jane also was ordered “to suckle her Child, and both father & moother to Joine equally in the maintenance & bringing up of the said Child.”[71]

    Whether Nicholas and Jane were permitted to live together after marriage is not clear, since they may have remained under indenture to different masters. A year later, Jane was convicted of stealing a “shift out of Capt. Norton’s garden” and sentenced to “seven stripes.”[72]

    By 1660, Nicholas had died or left the scene; Jane had remarried. Her new Scots husband was Henry Merre of Woburn, a former war prisoner from the Battle of Dunbar, who had arrived in Massachusetts in 1651 on the Unity.[73] Merre appeared in Middlesex County Court in Cambridge in April, 1662, to answer for “his cruell beating [of] John Wallis, his wives child, ab[ou]t 4 years old.” He was sentenced to pay a considerable bond, 20 pounds. Apparently Merre reformed in his role as stepparent, and was “released from his bond for…good Behavior” at the next court session.[74]

    Three hundred fifty years have passed since the Scots prisoners began their unexpected exile on a new continent, and we will never know all of their stories. What we have managed to reconstruct of their lives, however, demonstrates that most of them overcame incredible hardships and disadvantages. They survived the war, imprisonment, and the voyage on the John and Sara; they endured servitude in an unfamiliar culture, barely able to speak the language, regarded by the English colonists as slaves or second-class citizens. That they not only survived, but in many cases prospered, marrying, raising families, and building homes for future generations, is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and an inspiration for us today.

    Diane Rapaport, a partner with the Boston law firm of Rapaport & Rapaport, is currently writing a novel of 17th Century Scotland and New England, in which William Munro and some of the other Worcester survivors play a major role. She is also working on a biography of Thomas Danforth, another overlooked 17th Century figure, whose life of public service included many years as Deputy Governor of Massachusetts, Commissioner of the United Colonies, and President of the District of Maine. Ms. Rapaport’s e-mail address is

    1“Scotch Prisoners Sent to Massachusetts in 1652, By Order of the English Government,” The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (Boston: NEHGS, 1847) 1:377–379; Malcolm Atkin, Cromwell’s Crowning Mercy, The Battle of Worcester 1651 (Phoenix Mill, England: Sutton Publishing, 1998).

    2The clan Ross chief, David of Balnagowan, raised 800 men at his own expense for the effort. John R. Ross, The Great Clan Ross (Orilla, Ontario: Hemlock Press, 3d ed., 1993), 92. Similarly, the Mackay clan levied troops in the far northwest Strathnaver area, which joined other northern clans in the march southwards under the king. Angus Mackay, The Book of Mackay (Edinburgh: Norman MacLeod, 1946; republished Rutland, Vermont: Tuttle Antiquarian Books, Inc., 2000), 151.

    3Malcolm Atkin’s recent book, Cromwell’s Crowning Mercy, The Battle of Worcester 1651, brings this battle to life in fascinating detail, with maps, photographs and modern reconstruction drawings. See also Tony Spicer, The Battle of Worcester, 1651 (Manchester: Paddy Griffith Associates, 2002); John D. Grainger, Cromwell Against the Scots, The Last Anglo-Scottish War, 1650–1652 (East Lothian, Scotland: Tuckwell Press, 1997), 76–146; and Wilfrid Emberton, The English Civil War Day By Day (London: Grange Books, 1997), 209–214.

    4“Only those who avoided capture on the way home, and those who got away from the prisoners’ march to London, and then got to Scotland, saw their homes again. The rest died, of wounds, sickness, or overwork, or were transported to the…colonies…” Scotland’s loss of so many men in the last stages of the civil war, which Grainger estimates at about ten per cent of the adult male population, “was close to being a demographic disaster,” and “weakened the kingdom for a generation.” Grainger, Cromwell Against the Scots, 145–146.

    5Atkin, Cromwell’s Crowning Mercy, 126, quoting from British Museum Add. Mss 31955, transcript of Pepys Mss 2141, copy in Hereford and Worcester Record Office 899.31. Id., 190, n. 5.

    6Charles Banks, “Scotch Prisoners Deported to New England by Cromwell, 1651–1652,” Massachusetts Historical Proceedings (October, 1927) 61:17–18; Atkin, Cromwell’s Crowning Mercy, 123–138; Grainger, Cromwell Against the Scots, 143–146.

    7Register, 1:378–379. This list, dated at Gravesend, November 8, 1651, and other documents about the voyage, were filed in Boston with the Suffolk Recorder of Deeds several months after the John and Sara landed. The following is a complete list of the names:

    Donald Roye James Milward Thomas Bereere
    James Moore Wm Dell Simon Russell
    Walter Jackson James Micknab John Morre
    Michaell ffossem Glester Macktomas Edward Punn
    Daniell Simson Almister Mackalinsten Sannder Morrot
    John Rosse John Coehon Wm ffressell
    Sander Milleson Robert Jenler John Boye
    Daniell Monlow Edward Dulen John Buckanen
    Henry Brounell John Hogg Patricke Morton
    James farfason James Mickell Dan[i]ell Makalester
    Alester Iowe John Mackalester James Michell
    Daniell Hogg Daniell Macknell Sander Mackdo[n]ell
    Hugh Mackey Patrick Jimson James Gurner
    Daneill Mackannell John Hanoman Wm Teller
    John Croome Andrew Jerris Origlais Mackfarson
    John Macklude James Jackson Nicholas Wallis
    Dan: Mackwell Patricke Tower John Murrow
    **** Mackunnell Wm Mackannell Robert Higben
    John Hudson Dani** Mackaine John Mackhellin
    John Mackholme Senly Mackonne Allester *****
    John Beme James English Dan: Mackhellin
    **** More Dan** Mackennell ***** *****
    John Crag John Mackey Charles Lesten
    Robert Monrow Danniell Gunn Wm Stewart
    Hill Mackie James Ross John Morre
    John Mackdonell John Wilson Edward ffressell
    Allester Macknester David Jeller David Hinne
    John Edminsteire George Quenne Daniell blacke
    Wm Banes John Jenler Daniell Sessor
    Patrick Jones John Woodell Patricke Mackhatherne
    Andrew Wilson George Perry Alexander Tompson
    Daniell Monwilliam John Monrow Danell Kemper
    John Mackenthow Wm Clewston Daniell Bow
    John Jamnell Daniell Mackhan John Brow
    David Mackhome Alester Mackhene ***** *****
    Murtle Mackjlude Alester Simson Henry Mack***
    Salamon Sinclare Richard Jackson John Robinson
    John Gurden James Camell Daniell *****
    Wm Macken Dan: Martjn Patricke *****
    John Cragon John Hogg Patricke *****
    John Graunt John Robinson P**** *****
    Alestre Mackrore John Rosse ***** *****
    Daniell Mackendocke John Rosse ***** [Mac]kfarson
    Gellust Mackwilliam Hugh Monrow ***** Macklyne
    ***** Monrow James Mackbell Wm Carmackhell
    ***ster Macknell John Curmickhell James Mackneile
    Daniell Robinson David Hume Samuell Mackajne
    [J]ames Shone Patrick Macktreth Dan: Graunt
    John Anderson David Anderson Cha: Stewart
    James Graunt Wm Bames Neile Stewart
    Patrick Crosshone David Monwilljam David Macketh
    John Grant John Sterling David Jameson
    John Scott John Mann Dan Simson
    Dan: Gordon Wm Dengell George Hume
    Dan: Ross Daniell Mann James Crockford
    John Hogg Sander Mackcunnell David Kallender
    Patrick Mann Cana Mackcurnall David Patterson
    Ansell Sherron Patricke Mackane Alester Anderson
    James Ross Ansel Sotherland Patricke Smison
    David Hamilton Sander Miller Robt Boy
    Patricke Mackneile James Pattison John Wilson
    David Rosse Alexander Graunt Patricke Jacson
    Amos Querne Thomas Graunt Wm Mackajne
    Alestre Hume Neile Carter Dan: Mackhoe
    Neile Johnson Dan: Mackneile Dan: Mackajne
    Alester Rallendra John Shenne Alester Ross
    Rory Hamilton Robt Mackajne Neile Muckstore
    James Robinson Dan: Hudson Wm Mackandra
    David Bukanon Neile Murrow John Boye
    David Sterling John Cannell Wm Graunt
    Daniell Macknith Evan Tiler James Graunt
    Robt Mackfarson Jonas Murow Henry Smith
    Wm Munckrell Alester Mackhele Wm Hidrecke
    Neile Camell Edward Dengle Cana Macktentha
    Semell Mackneth James Kallender Niele Hogg
    John Mackane Jonas Ross Robt Mackhane
    Dan Shuron Neile Mackhome Robt Stewart
    Rory Machy James Graunt David Simson
    Patrick Graunt David Tenler Laughleth Gordon
    Patricke Harron James Mackally Neile Jameson
    James Rowe Wm Mackajne Patrick English
    Sander Simson Alester Tooth James Benne
    James Gorden Austin Stewart David Milward
    Charles Robinson Laughlell Montrosse Wm Anderson
    Alester Robinson Wm Mackontoss Sander Mackey
    Patricke Robertson Neile Mackajne Patrick Sotherland
    Alester graunt James Mackreith Daniel Oneale
    Neile Macketh John Mackforsen John Woodall
    Patricke Macknith James Hamilton Christopher Wilson
    Daniell Macknith John Graunt John Murrow
    James hedericke James Murrow  

    8Ibid., 1:377.

    9Banks, Massachusetts Historical Proceedings, 61:12–16; E. N. Hartley, Ironworks on the Saugus, (Norman and London: University of Oklahoma Press, 1957), 198–202. See also Stephen P. Carlson, The Scots at Hammersmith (Saugus, Mass.: Eastern National Park & Monument Association, 1976, reprinted 1979), for more details about the Unity Scots who labored at the ironworks.

    10Some accounts cite information more likely relating to the Scots from the Unity, rather than to the John and Sara prisoners. See, e.g., Banks, Massachusetts Historical Proceedings, 61:23–28; and Atkin, Cromwell’s Crowning Mercy, 132.

    11See, e.g., “[I]t is…ordered that all Scotsmen, Negers, & Indians inhabiting with or servants to the English, from the age of sixteene to sixty yeares, shalbe listed, & are hereby enjoyned to attend trayninges as well as the English…” Nathaniel B. Shurtleff (ed.), Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England (Boston: W. White, 1853–1854), 3:268.

    12Peter G. B. McNeill and Hector L. MacQueen (ed.), Atlas of Scottish History to 1707 (Edinburgh: The Scottish Medievalists and Department of Geography, University of Edinburgh, 1996), 382, 389–394, 426–428.

    13R. S. Munro, History and Genealogy of the Lexington, Mass. Munroes (Florence, Mass.: Published for subscribers, 2d ed. 1986), vii–1; Charles Hudson, History of the Town of Lexington (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1868), 147–148.

    14Joan S. Guilford, The Monroe Book (Franklin, N.C.: Genealogy Publishing Service, 1993), 12–14, 255–259.

    15Munro, History and Genealogy, viii; Thomas Bellows Wyman, The Genealogies and Estates of Charlestown, in the County of Middlesex and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1629–1818 (Boston: D. Clapp & Son, 1879), 6; Lucius R. Paige, History of Cambridge, Massachusetts. 1630–1877, With a Genealogical Register” (Boston: H. O. Houghton and Company, 1877; facsimile reprint edition, Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Books, 1986), 477; J. Gardner Bartlett, Henry Adams of Somersetshire, England and Braintree, Mass., His English Ancestry and Some of His Descendants (New York: Privately printed, 1927), 83–88.

    16Munro, History and Genealogy, viii; M. J. Canavan, Canavan Papers (Undated typescript document by Lexington historian, Lexington Public Library), 41.

    17Douglas Richardson, “Evidence for Four Generations of a Matrilineal Line,” The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (Boston: NEHGS, 1992) 148:242; Atkin, Cromwell’s Crowning Mercy, 71, 93, 99.

    18Munro, History and Genealogy, 2; James Savage, Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England (originally published Boston, 1860–1862, reprinted in Heritage Books Archives, Genealogical Dictionaries of New England), II:242.

    19Munro, History and Genealogy, 2. Their first child, John, was born March 10, 1666; three more children followed: Martha, November 2, 1667; and William, October 10, 1669. George’s birthdate has not been located. Id.

    20Munro, History and Genealogy, 2; Middlesex County Court Record Books (1649–1663), Pulsifer Transcript, 1:137–138, 166–167, 178 (Massachusetts Archives); Middlesex County Court Folio 18, Group IIIA, Group VG, and Folio 16–5 (Massachusetts Archives); Middlesex County Court Folios 1670-55-2, 1672-61-3, 1676-71-2, and 1676-72-2 (Massachusetts Archives).

    21Munro, History and Genealogy, 2. William and Mary’s son Daniel was born August 12, 1673; Hannah probably 1674; Elizabeth’s birth date is unknown; Mary, June 28, 1678; David, October 6, 1680; Eleanor, February 24, 1682; Sarah, March 18, 1684; Joseph, August 16, 1687; Benjamin, August 16, 1690; Susanna’s birth date is unknown. Id. See also Paige, History of Cambridge, 612.

    22Ibid.; William S. Appleton, “Families of Weir or Wyer in New-England, Particularly of Charlestown, Mass.,” The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (Boston: NEHGS, 1871), 25: 246–248; G. W. Johnson, “William Johnson and His Descendants,” The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (Boston: NEHGS, 1879), 33:85–86, 333–334.

    23Canavan, Canavan Papers, 4–5, 10, 12, 39–41.

    24Munro, History and Genealogy, 1; Thomas P. Sileo, Historical Guide to Open Space in Lexington (Lexington, Mass.: By author, 1995), 244.

    25The Records of the Town of Cambridge (formerly Newtowne) Massachusetts 1630–1703 (Cambridge, 1901), 295; Munro, History and Genealogy, 1; A Copy of the Records of the Church of the First Congregational Society in Lexington, Bathsheba Whitman transcript, 1854, (Lexington Historical Society Archives).

    26Munro, History and Genealogy, 2. William Munro’s descendants continued to live in Lexington for many years. “Of the seventy-seven men on the Lexington Green on April 19, 1775, as many as fifteen of them were Munroes.” Three Munroes died that day in the fighting with the English redcoats. E. O. Sullivan, Time and the Tavern, The Munroe Tavern (Lexington, Mass.: Lexington Historical Society, 1993), 10.

    27Middlesex County Court Record Books (1649–1663), Pulsifer Transcript, 1:67 (Massachusetts Archives).

    28Henry Smith Chapman, History of Winchester, Massachusetts (Town of Winchester, 1975), I:44–45.

    29Banks, Massachusetts Historical Proceedings, 61:29.

    30Paige, History of Cambridge, 502.

    31Wyman, Genealogies and Estates of Charlestown, 160, 646.

    32Middlesex County Court Folios 27–60 (1661–1669), Reel 2, Folio 34 (Massachusetts Archives).

    33Allen H. Bent, The Comey-Comee Family in America (Boston: David Clapp & Son, 1896, reprinted by Higginson Genealogical Books), 3–4.

    34Ibid., 3; Alfred S. Hudson, The History of Sudbury, Massachusetts 1638–1889 (Town of Sudbury, 1889; republished, Sudbury: The Sudbury Press, 1968), 228; Eric B. Schultz and Michael J. Tougias, King Philip’s War, The History and Legacy of America’s Forgotten Conflict (Woodstock, Vermont: The Countryman Press, 1999), 213.

    35Bent, The Comey-Comee Family, 3.

    36Canavan, Canavan Papers, 40; Munro, History and Genealogy, 5.

    37The Early Records of the Town of Portsmouth (Providence, R. I.: E. L. Freeman & Sons, State Printers, 1901), 299.

    38Middlesex County Court Record Books (1649–1663), Pulsifer Transcript, 1:157 (Massachusetts Archives); see also Roger Thompson, Sex in Middlesex: Popular Mores in a Massachusetts County, 1649–1699 (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1986, 1989), 221, n. 60.

    39Shurtleff, Records of the Governor, 3:349.

    40Ibid., 3:360, 4i:214.

    41Wyman, Genealogies and Estates of Charlestown, 341, 366, 646.

    42Paige, History of Cambridge, 550.

    43Wyman, Genealogies and Estates of Charlestown, 341, 642.

    44Mansur Card File of Bedford Residents, Bedford, Massachusetts Public Library.

    45Munroe, History and Genealogy, 8

    46Paige, History of Cambridge, 601.

    47Mackay, Book of Mackay, 151; Atkin, Cromwell’s Crowning Mercy, 173.

    48Paige, History of Cambridge, 601.

    49Middlesex County Court Folios, Reel 1, 1657–15 (Massachusetts Archives).

    50Middlesex County Court Record Books (1649–1663), Pulsifer Transcript, 1:113 (Massachusetts Archives).


    52Ibid., 121; Chapman, History of Winchester, 64.

    53Rev. Abijah P. Marvin, History of the Town of Lancaster, Massachusetts: From the First Settlement to the Present Time, 1643–1879 (Lancaster: Published by the Town, 1879), 101–102; Henry S. Nourse (ed.), The Birth, Marriage and Death Register, Church Records and Epitaphs of Lancaster, Massachusetts. 1643–1850 (Clinton, Mass.: W. J. Coulter, Printer, Courant Office, 1890; facsimile reprint, Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Books Inc., 1993), 15–17.

    54Atkins, Cromwell’s Crowning Mercy, 173.

    55Middlesex County Court Record Books (1649–1663), Pulsifer Transcript, 1:47 (Massachusetts Archives).

    56The New England Historical Genealogical Register (Boston: NEHGS), 59:244–245.

    57Ibid.; Wyman, Genealogies and Estates of Charlestown, 732.

    58Paige, History of Cambridge, 625, 663; Middlesex County Court Record Books (1649–1663), Pulsifer Transcript, 1:212 (Massachusetts Archives).

    59Middlesex County Record Books (1649–1663), Pulsifer Transcript, 1:270, 279 (Massachusetts Archives); Middlesex County Folio Collection, Folios 27–60 (1661–1669), Reel 2, Folio 31 (Massachusetts Archives).

    60Henry A. Hazen, History of Billerica, Massachusetts, With a Genealogical Register (Boston: A Williams and Co., 1883), Reg.107–108; Register, 59:244–245; Wyman, Genealogies and Estates of Charlestown, 732.

    61Middlesex County Court Record Books (1649–1663), Pulsifer Transcript, 1:83 (Massachusetts Archives); Thompson, Sex in Middlesex, 106.

    62Middlesex County Court Record Books (1649–1663), Pulsifer Transcript, 1:124 (Massachusetts Archives).

    63Register 17 (1863): 254–258, 260, 312, 314; Register 18 (1864): 141.

    64William Willis, The History of Portland (Somersworth: New Hampshire Publishing Co., 1972, facsimile of the 1865 ed.), 139, 156, 175, 202–207, 214, 245, 298, 300; Province and Court Records of Maine (Portland: Maine Historical Society,1928), I:199, 221; William Hubbard, A Narrative of the Troubles with the Indians in New-England, from the first planting thereof in the year 1607. to this present year 1677. But chiefly of the late Troubles in the two last years, 1675. and 1676. To which is added a Discourse about the Warre with the Pequods In the year 1637 (Boston, 1677); reprinted in The History of the Indian Wars in New England, From the First Settlement to the Termination of the War with King Philip, in 1677, ed. Samuel Gardner Drake (New York: Burt Franklin, 1865; Bowie, Md.: Heritage Books, 1990), 138–146.

    65Willis, one of the most authoritative chroniclers of early Maine history, unequivocally asserted in his 1865 History of Portland that James Ross and his family were taken prisoner by the Indians, that they survived, and that they returned to Falmouth. Ibid., 205, 214. Hubbard’s detailed contemporary account, cited by Willis, provided names of the settlers killed at Back Cove, but did not include the Rosses among the casualties, stating simply that “James Ross, his Wife and Children were carried away.” History of the Indian Wars in New England, ii, 144. The Ross family’s fate, however, was rendered more ambiguous when editor Samuel Drake added a footnote to Hubbard’s 1864 revised edition, quoting survivor Thaddeus Clark who escaped to a nearby island. Clark reported, in a letter written a few days after the attack but before he knew the fate of all his neighbors, that several families, including the Rosses, “are lost: All slain by Sun an Hour high in the Morning and after.” Ibid., ii, 138–139, fn. 167. Subsequent histories mentioning James Ross state that he and his wife died in the Back Cove attack, but that their son James survived. See, Sybil Noyes, Charles Thornton Libby, and Walter Goodwin Davis, Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire, (Portland, Maine: The Southworth-Anthoensen Press, 1928–1939), 597, and Mary Beth Norton, In the Devil’s Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2002), 12, 50. (Norton points out that the younger James Ross was the cousin of Mercy Lewis, one of the principal accusers in the Salem witch trials.)

    66Records of the Town of Cambridge, 111.

    67Paige, History of Cambridge, 356–364, 587, 646; Middlesex County Court Record Books (1649–1663), Pulsifer Transcript, 1:201–203 (Massachusetts Archives).

    68Paige, History of Cambridge, 646; S. B. Sharples (ed.), Records of the Church of Christ at Cambridge in New England 1632–1830 (Boston: Eben Putnam, 1906).

    69Hazen, History of Billerica, 130, Reg. 126; Paige, History of Cambridge, 646.

    70Richard Frothingham, Jr., The History of Charlestown, Massachusetts (Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1845), 84.

    71Middlesex County Court Record Books (1649–1663), Pulsifer Transcript, 1:79, 88 (Massachusetts Archives).

    72Ibid., 1:115.

    73Wyman, Genealogies and Estates of Charlestown, 992; author’s personal communication with Merre’s descendants.

    74Middlesex County Court Record Books (1649–1663), Pulsifer Transcript, 1:244, 261 (Massachusetts Archives). The Wallis child John, however, died of drowning in 1670 at the age of 13. Wyman, Genealogies and Estates of Charlestown, 992.

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