Pope night in Newburyport MA

November 5: Guy Fawkes Day (“Pope Night,” “Gunpowder Day,” “Bonfire Night”)

The Puritans who settled Massachusetts abhorred holidays, but they turned a blind eye to Guy Fawkes Day, November 5, a British tradition which celebrated the failed attempt by Guy Hawkes, a Catholic, to blow up the king and members of Parliament and thus remove Protestants from government. On the evening of November 5, 1605, Sir … Continue reading November 5: Guy Fawkes Day (“Pope Night,” “Gunpowder Day,” “Bonfire Night”)

Heritage and genealogy tourism in Ipswich

Oscar Handlin wrote in his 1979 book, Truth in History: "The distinctive cultural development of the New World made history one of the early forms of American literature...Americans always had to explain who they were in a sense rarely compelling to other men who took for granted a connection that ran to a time out … Continue reading Heritage and genealogy tourism in Ipswich

The hanging of John Williams and William Schooler, July 1637

In 1637, two men convicted on separate counts of murder were executed in Boston on the same gallows.  John Williams was convicted of killing John Hoddy near Great Pond in Wenham on the road to Ipswich. William Schooler was tried in Ipswich and found guilty of killing Mary Scholy on the path to Piscataqua, A … Continue reading The hanging of John Williams and William Schooler, July 1637

A Catalogue of the Various Sects in England and Other Nations with a brief rehearsal of their false and damgerous tenenants

Lydia Wardwell on her presentment for coming naked into Newbury meeting house

In 1661, a new meeting house was erected in Newbury, Massachusetts. Men and women were assigned seats in accordance with their social rank and condition. Lydia Perkins, wife of Eliakim Wardwell of Hampton NH had become a Quaker, and the Newbury church issued demands that she should appear and give reasons for her withdrawal. Her angry … Continue reading Lydia Wardwell on her presentment for coming naked into Newbury meeting house

The same photo of East Street about 100 years later

The “new” houses on East Street

We have been researching the identities of five small houses on East Street on the south side, between North Main and County Streets, constructed after 1856. The Google Maps screenshot below is above. The identities of most of the houses on these pages are tentative, based on the 1856, 1872, 1884 and 1910 Ipswich maps, … Continue reading The “new” houses on East Street

Sunday Nov. 19: “The Artisans of Ipswich” a talk by Robert Tarule

As part of this year's "Ipswich is First…Period" celebrations, the Ipswich Historical Commission will present a a talk by Robert Tarule, "The Artisans of Ipswich: The Men Who Made our Town." Robert Tarule’s book, The Artisan of Ipswich: Craftsmanship and Community in Colonial New England is the only book-length study of Thomas Dennis, the most famous of … Continue reading Sunday Nov. 19: “The Artisans of Ipswich” a talk by Robert Tarule

Stagecoach Ipswich MA

The stagecoach in Ipswich

The first stagecoach in Essex County, drawn by four horses, was established in 1774 and connected Newburyport with Boston via Salem and Ipswich. By the early 1800's, up to seventeen stagecoaches and four post chaises passed through town each day, most of them full to overflowing. In 1803, the Newburyport Turnpike Corporation built a straight toll road … Continue reading The stagecoach in Ipswich