Friday, April 03, 2015


In 1654 the Massachusetts Bay Colony sent an expedition against French settlements
at Castine, Maine, and two locations in Canada: St. Johns, New Brunswick,  and Port Royal,
Nova Scotia. The force of 300 men was led by Robert Sedgwick. In the taking of Port
Royal the Protestant colonists looted and burned a Catholic monastery, and one of the
looted items was a church bell. We probably would have never known about the bell except
that twenty five years later it was the object of contention at a session of the Essex County
Court held at Salem in November 1679. One of the people involved was my 9x great
grandfather Thomas Tuck:

Capt. Richard More v. Wm. Dodg, jr. and Tho. Tuck, sr. Verdict for plaintiff.f
fWrit: Capt. Richard More v. William Dodge, jr., and Thomas Tuck, sr.; for illegally taking away a bell from plaintiff without his consent, which bell hangs in Beverly meeting house; dated 18 : 9 : 1679; signed by Hilliard Veren, for the court and the town of Salem; and served by Henry Skerry, marshal of Salem, by attachment of the house and land of Thomas Tuck, and a table and chest of William Dodge, jr.

Richard More's bill of cost, 2li. 12s. 8d.

Henry Kenny, aged about fifty-five years, testified that he was a soldier under Major Sedgwick about twenty-five years ago, at the taking of St. John's from the French and heard Capt. Lawthrop ask the General to give him a bell, which the General promised to do. Sworn in court.

Henry Skerry, marshal, deposed that when he served the attachment, Thomas Tuck told him that he and some others took the bell out of Capt. Richard More's yard.

Mr. Jeremy Hubbard of Topsfield deposed that he had heard divers times Thom. Tuck say that he and Thomas Picton took the bell. This was when deponent was minister at Bass river, now Beverly. Sworn in court.


Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts, Volume 7 (Google eBook) 1678-1680  Salem, Ma. 1919 

So Thomas freely admitted he had stolen the bell from Richard More's yard.

There's more testimony, which will be in the next post.

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