Thursday, April 09, 2015


A few thoughts about my 9x great grandfather Thomas Tuck and the stolen bell:

I was checking for names of ancestors in the Essex County Court case files last week
when I ran across this case. Thomas Tuck seems to have been a bit of a character, a
man who liked his liquor a  bit too much. Most of the mentions about him have to
do with him being drunk. That's a subject for another blogpost. One case though
 possibly has a connection with the stolen bell. Some years before, Richard More
had dug a well and Thomas' cow fell in and broke its neck. So that may have been
the reason why Thomas helped steal the bell and then readily admitted doing it
years later: payback.

Also, the case points up again that early Puritan New England was not so much
a shining example of Christian virtue. There was a rivalry not only between the
town of Salem and the settlers of what would later become Beverly, there was one
apparently even between the churches over bells. I've come to think of it as "belfry

Finally, something about all this sounded familiar and then I realized where I'd heard of
it before. About ten years I read a book, David Lindsay's biography of Richard More, Mayflower Bastard, in which the church bell has a certain symbolism in More's life. I lost the book
someplace along the line, but it was very good, and I recommend it.

My Tuck descent down to my grandfather:

As I said, there will be at least one more blogpost about the troublesome Thomas Tuck in
the future.  


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