The Mary Wade house, 9 Woods Lane, Ipswich MA

9 Woods Lane, the Francis Merrifield – Mary Wade house (1792)

Francis Merrifield, Jr. bought this corner lot from his father in 1792 (155: 108), and built the gambrel cottage which stands on the bank above the road. Mary Wade, Jr., daughter of Col. Nathaniel Wade of Revolutionary War fame, bought the property at public auction in 1826 and received he deed in 1827 (251:83). She bequeathed her estate to her nephew, Francis H. Wade. The house remained in the Wade family well into the 20th Century.

The original part of the house had four rooms with wide pine floors resting on bloor beams made from entire tree trunks, which have been replaced. There were four fireplaces sitting on a stone foundation. Each of the front rooms has exposed corner posts. Mary Wade’s nephew Francis H. Wade, enlarged the kitchen and added a “summer kitchen.”

The front of the house retains the original two rooms over 2 rooms floor plan. At the rear is a small ell (with a cooking fireplace) that was added in two stages to enlarge the original house.

“A small King James Bible, carried at the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775 and inscribed by its owner, is one of the newest additions to the rich and diverse collection of the Museum of the American Revolution, The Bible’s owner, Francis Merrifield (1735-1814), was born in Ipswich, Mass., the son of Thomas and Mercy Merrifield. He served at Fort Ticonderoga during the French and Indian War, and married Hannah Lakeman in 1759, with whom he had 13 children. After hostilities with the British began in 1775, Merrifield joined the Ipswich militia.

“Merrifield fought as a sergeant in the company of Captain Nathaniel Wade in Colonel Little’s regiment at Bunker Hill, one of the early battles of the Revolutionary War during which more than 100 Americans were killed and 300 were wounded. After the battle, Merrifield wrote at length inside the front and back covers, thanking God for sparing his life.

“On the reverse of the New Testament title page, Merrifield wrote: “Cambridge, Jun 17 1775. I desire to bless God for his Kind aperince [sic] in delivering me and sparing my life in the late battle fought on Bunker’s Hill. I desire to devote this spared life to his Glory and honour. In witness my hand, Francis Merrifield.” Below this, he wrote a poem on his hope for divine grace.”–Museum of the American Revolution


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