Sunday, June 14, 2009


Here's one of those "eggs" I've found recently. Thomas Chandler of Andover (1628-1703)
is another of my 9x great grandfathers and was a blacksmith by trade.(Another blacksmith!
One of these days I need to make a list of all my blacksmith ancestors...). In 1658 he took
on Hopestill Tyler as an apprentice, and it was apparently not a good match. The result
was a story that made me laugh when I read Sara Loring Bailey's account of it here on
Google Books:

"One of the earliest apprentices found on record was Hopestill Tyler. There is a tradition
that his father, Job Tyler, was living at Andover when the settlers came here, as Blackstone
lived at Boston, " monarch of all he surveyed," until the advent of the "lords brethren," as
he said, put him to flight, as the rule of the " lords bishops " had driven him from the old
country. Job Tyler had apprenticed his son Hopestill to Thomas Chandler, the blacksmith,
1658. But after the papers were drawn up, he broke the bargain, got possession of the instrument of indenture, entering the house of Nathan Parker, (who wrote the paper, and
had it hid in, as he supposed, a safe place,) and stealing it in the absence of the owner of the house. The matter was a cause of long controversy and several trials, — "Chandler vs.
Tyler" and "Tyler vs. Chandler," extending over a period of more than ten years, and
carried from court to court. One paper of interest, in connection with this, is a deposition
of a witness in
regard to the terms of the indenture, which it was said "Mr. Bradstreet"
saw, had perused,
and judged " to be good and firme." In this the mutual obligations of
master and apprentice
are set forth : —

`That the sd apprentice Hope Tiler should serve the said Thomas Chandler faithfully for
years and a half after the manner of an apprentice, that the master, the said Chandler should teach him the trade of a blacksmith so farr as he was capable to learne, and to
teach him to
read the Bible & to write so as to be able to keepe a book, so as to serve his
turne for his trade
and to allow unto the sd apprentice convenient meat & drinke, washing, lodging and clothes.'

Job Tyler paid dear for his hard words against a man of so great influence as Thomas Chandler, who afterward became one of the town's deputies to the General Court, and
who was one of the
principal citizens in point of wealth, in the little community of
husbandmen and artisans : —

`1665 A case in difference between Thomas Chandler of Andevour & Job Tiler having
been entered in Salem Court, in an action of defamation being withdrawne & reference made as appears by their bond to that purpose to Colonel Browne, Edward
Denison & Captain Johnson
of Roxbury .... they not agreeing, wee the aforesaid Captain Johnson & Edward Denison doe give in our award as followeth : [Job Tyler, being poor,
they judge he should not be fined above
six pounds.] ' We doe order that Job Tiler shall
nayle up or fasten upon the posts of Andevour &
Roxbury meeting-houses in a plaine
leadgable hand, the acknowledgment to remain so fastened
to the posts aforementioned
for the space of fourteen days, it to be fastened within the fourteen
days at Andevour & tomorrow being the twenty-seventh of January '65 at Roxbury The Confession and acknowledgment ordered by us for Job Tiler to make & poste as is above expressed is as
followeth: Whereas it doth apeare by sufficient testimony that I Job Tiler have shamefullv reproached Thomas Chandler of Andevour by saying he is a base lying, cozening, cheating knave & that he hath got his estate by cozening in a base reviling manner & that he was recorded for a lyer & that he was a
cheating, lying whoring knave fit for all manner of bawdery, wishing the
devill had him, Therefore I Job Tiler doe acknowledge that I have in these expressions most wickedly slandered the said Thomas Chandler & that
without any just ground, being noe way able to make good these or any of
these my slanderous accusations of him & therefore can doe noe lesse but expresse my selfe to be sorry for them & for my cursing of him desiring God
& the said Thomas to forgive me & that noe person would think the worse of
the said Thomas Chandler for
any of these my sinfull expressions And
engaging myself for the future to be more carefull of my expressions

both concerning him & otherwise desiring the lord to help me so to doe,

Isaac Johnson.
Edward Denison."

Sara Loring Bailey "Historical Sketches of Andover" Houghton Mifflin Co , Boston 1880
pp 47-48

Now maybe it's me, but it struck me as funny that in making his apology Job Tyler was
required to list in full all his slanderous statements about Thomas Chandler. I would have thought a simple "I apologize for all my slanderous statements about Thomas Chandler."
would have sufficed. Instead, there nailed up outside the meetinghouses of Andover and Roxbury were signs with the "base lying, cozening, cheating knave" on them.

Was this some statement by his peers about Thomas Chandler's behavior? As a later case
will show, another apprentice left him for a new master. Was Thomas an overly strict
master? Or was the ruling an example of a Puritan mindset where every little detail of a
case was set into evidence and writing?

Did Thomas Chandler stare angrily at those words or did he simply steer clear of the meetinghouses for two weeks?

And did Job Tyler perhaps laugh in private at his punishment?

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