Lydia 148/22 opens with the assertion that after 25 years in Beverly, Philip and Martha moved to Hopkinton. As correct as that is, many questions arise out of this context. Why would Philip and Martha want to move to the frontier, 30 miles west of Boston? Some emigrations were of whole congregations, others of related families, for numbers increased security and the likeihood of success, but it seems no others from Beverly went along, so was it the Le Coadie's own initiative that took them there? How did they actually get to Hopkinton? What of the Beverly household furniture, the stores of food, the livestock? All the more necessary and so valuable in their new home.

We know that an Act of the General Court December 3 1719 authorized Harvard College to lease their land in Hopkinton to settlers. In 1720, they offered a "lease to own" plan at the rate of 1 penny per acre per year, plus taxes. Philip may have heard of this from a notice at the meetinghouse and consulted with Rev. Chipman. It's odd to think that a freeholder like him would want to be a tenant.

However, the offer was tempting because for about what they paid yearly in taxes on their 15 acres of land in Essex Co., they could rent 100 acres in Hopkinton. The threat of Indian attack had lessened and their children were almost grown. If the soil was fertile, and they could have the security to worship, as in Beverly, then it could be good. Founding a town must have been new to Philip and Martha, but this was a new land, with new ideas and fresh horizons, time to think big. Some of the neighbors had already left for other parts.

Looking at the geography, Hopkinton lies at the headwaters of both the Sudbury and Charles Rivers and on the Bay Path, so there are two ways to get there. Upriver by canoe from Ipswich or Boston with portages, or overland by oxen or horse. It's easiest to travel overland in winter, because the ground is hard. Weather permitting, afoot or by canoe it's 2 days from Beverly, overland it's 3 to 4 days with oxen, but only 1 hard day on horseback. Why, the Hopkinton militia marched to Boston in a day!

John 2 had married in 1717 and would have been 25 when Philip first leased in Hopkinton. At 20,Joseph 3, was not yet married, but may have been bound by an apprenticeship and therefore not available for travel. Isaac 5, born in 1703/04 was about 17 and likely lived at home. Thomas 6 was 13, a stripling youth, so Isaac would be the one to take along because four eyes are better than two. Martha and Mary would go later if the prospects proved worthwhile. Philip probably first went in the winter of 1719/20 when the farm work was less and travel was easier.

This scouting party would be on foot with packs. Maybe take ship from Salem for Boston. Possibly meet up with others at Harvard, just across the Charles and continue together with guides. Take the Bay Path through Watertown to Framingham and then Hopkinton, where was John Howe's house and mill and the Justice of the Peace, Savil Simpson on his farm. Best guess, round trip, it would take about a week, maybe ten days.

Return to Hopkinton after spring planting, with Martha and John or Thomas to approve the choice and witness the rent payment and lease signing. Since they intended to settle, they may have also planted in Hopkinton and cut timber for buildings over the summer. Wood needs time to cure and none of them could winter over without support, so construction would wait for the next year. John Howe was a carpenter with the skill and tools needed for post and beam construction, he had bought Simpson's sawmill and dam, and got sued when it flooded Simpson's hayfield.

Certainly firearms had a role here, for food and "varmints". Hopkinton was an outlier abutting Framingham and Mendon, on the edge of the Nipmuck country but not in the wilderness. A couple of muskets and cutlasses together with axes and hatchets to chop wood and knives for food, would have sufficed. Later, sythes, kettles, lanterns, andirons and candlesticks would need to be hauled overland. The chest of linens and such would come with Martha. Maybe they sold everything in Beverly and bought new on the way?

Once settled, it seems tensions developed between the Harvard Trustees and the tenants because the rate was changed from 3 pence including taxes to 1 pence per acre and pay your own taxes. Diplomatically, the tenants and freeholders met at the home of John Howe and drew up a request for their landlords to petition the General Court for the power of a town. Among the 40 signers was our Philip!

On February 29, 1723/24 the General Court issued a warrant commanding the inhabitants of Hopkinton to convene a town meeting and elect officers on March 25, 1724. John Howe was named tp display the notice in a public place, probably the meetinghouse.

Lydia correctly mentions Philip's appointment in January 1724 as constable, a King's man, the right arm of the law and a position of responsibility. So isn't it curious that occurred before the first town meeting? De facto, or "acting", the peace was kept and the town succeeded.

Meanwhile developments continued apace, the Rev. Samuel Barrett Jr., Harvard class of '21, had been called to preach in homes by subscription. At town meeting May 21 1723, it was voted to levy a ministerial tax, to hold services at John Howe's and to tithe. The town meeting then invited him to settle, and offered a contract. Rev. Barrett accepted and was ordained September 2 1724 as Pastor of the Church of Christ in Hopkinton. Incidentally, Rev. Barrett was a slaveowner and his son George witnessed Philip's will.

Our Philip and Martha were voted into full communion January 10, 1725. Their entry is designated "on recommendation", that is, they were members of a communicating parish. Daughter Mary 7 was elected April 29 1733 and son Thomas 6 on July 1 1733. Thusly, James L. Chapman 282/1 found their connection to Beverly.

Construction of the meetinghouse began in late 1725. Meantime, services continued to be held at John Howe's. It was finished by June 1726, and seating was set by gender and status. Hotly contested, factions vied for favor. Eventually, some of the congregation left to form their own Presbyerian Church. As neighbors, the Smith family debunked the image of Puritan piety.

Lydia is right to note that Philip was flush when he left Beverly. He had already sold the Wenham woodlot August 5 1720 for £22, money he could use to finance the Hopkinton farm. Perhaps he was getting firewood from his son John in Wenham. When the Hopkinton farm was ready, he sold his Ipswich salt marsh on April 24 1723 for £34P 10s and got £105 for the Beverly homestead on December 6 1723.

Philip at Hopkinton
       By the evidence above presented we know that Philip, after having resided at Beverly for some twenty-five years(1), became a resident of Hopkinton(2) (Massachusetts). In this town he lived many years, probably twenty-three years and here his life came to a close in 1743(3).
       While there is no record indicating the precise date at which Philip became a resident of Hopkinton, we know by a land-record(4) that he acquired land(5) there in May of 1720. By various indications(6) it seems a reasonable conclusion that he did not become a resident there until some two years later. That he was a citizen of Hopkinton some time before 1723 is plainly indicated by a record in the town-book(7) of Hopkinton this record(8) notes his appointment in January, 1724, to the office of “constable(9) for the west part of the town,” and scarcely would he have received such an appointment except he had been a citizen there for at least a year. By records(10) concerning the land acquired by Philip at Hopkinton we learn that it was part of a tract being leased to prospective farmers under terms that within a reasonable time would constitute ownership. That Philip fulfilled these terms we know by his will(11) which bequeathes this land to his family.
       What a prodigious task Philip had before him in seeking to make a worth-while farm out of this land is evidenced by the archives concerning the tract of which it was a part; for by a reading of these we learn that this land was not only entirely uncultivated, but was for the most part uncleared of its original growth. Accordingly although the amount of money needed to acquire the land was small, a considerable sum was doubtless required for clearing and preparing it for planting, and for the initial stocking of it. For meeting the expense of all this, Philip must have had at hand an appreciable reserve in money; for, as we know by deed-records, he did not sell any of his Beverly holdings until, as may be judged by above quoted record from the Hopkinton town-book, he had been a resident of Hopkinton for at least two years and during this time he was doubtless engaged in forwarding the preliminary work of this farm-making.
       By certain intimations from the records(l2) it seems a reasonable surmise that Martha did not join Philip at Hopkinton until a year or so after he became a resident there. Doubtless this time had been needed by Philip to make a portion of his land ready for family habitation. That Martha joined him some time in 1724 seems indicated by a record in the Hopkinton town-book(13) which states that on January 4th., 1725, Philip and Martha became members of the church at Hopkinton. Certainly then by this date the family had become well established as residents of Hopkinton. Of the family house-hold coming to this new Hopkinton home besides Philip and Martha, there were doubtless the two younger of the children, Thomas and Mary, then still in their teens(14); and perhaps also Isaac, the next older, who as seems likely by certain indications may have accompanied his father at the first of his residence at Hopkinton. The two older sons, John(15) and Joseph(16) had married, and as the records show did not then come to live at Hopkinton,

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though they did later. The third child, Abraham(17), died when a child, above stated.
       In the town-book(18) of Hopkinton there are various records concerning Philip by which we learn that, besides serving as constable for a time, he rendered various other services to this community. There is a record noting his appointment with others to attend to “laying out of new roads” and there is one noting his appointment to see to collecting money “for providing pews for the church.” A record of considerably later date notes his appointment as a kind of custodian of the church building. By such records made in the old town-book of Hopkinton, more than two hundred years ago there is for us his descendants the pleasant evidence that our first American ancestor, Philip of Beverly and of Hopkinton (1698-1743) was a man whom his neighbors and associates regarded as capable and worthy of rendering service for the maintenance of the church and for the welfare and good order of the community.
       That this ancestor, Philip, made good with his own affairs may well be concluded by a reading of his will which is appended below. This will, written in 1739, was probated early in 1743 at which time, as may by this be judged, his death occurred. He was doubtless buried in the cemetery(19) which adjoined the church, though no marker indicating his grave can now be found. As we searched among the crumbling and weather-worn stones which marked the graves of that time we found some with their records entirely obliterated and we judged that of these there was one which had borne the names of Philip Cody and his wife Martha.
  1. A home-owner at Beverly from 1698-1723, and he may have resided there a year or so before purchasing a home.
  2. Situated in Middlesex County of which Cambridge is county seat.
  3. Will probated early in 1743.
  4. See land archives at Cambridge.
  5. One hundred acres then and more later for a record shows he sold thirty-five acres to John Milton in 1735; his will states his farm consists of one hundred acres. Will written in 1739.
  6. Facts quoted later in the text indicates this q.v.
  7. This old town-book barely rescued from destruction by fire is in the custody of the town hall at Hopkinton.
  8. As not indexed one must read carefully to discover the name in these old records.
  9. Of the office of constable in those days a New England historian writes: “He who filled this office was looked upon as the right arm of the King himself, a functionary treated with reverent awe, and obeyed with implicit reverence.” From a pamphlet concerning the early days of Farmington, Conn., published in 1841.
  10. See land archives at Cambridge, Mass.
  11. Appended below.
  12. See Beverly church records showing that it was in the latter part of 1724 when Martha dismissed from the church at Beverly to the church at Hopkinton. Also, the fact above mentioned that their Beverly home was not sold until late in 1723.
  13. See Hopkinton old town-book above referred to.

  14. — 22 —

  1. Thomas born June, 1707; Mary, born May, 1710, and Isaac born June, 1703, as per Beverly town-book records.
  2. By land records we know that a lease in John’s name for one hundred acres of land was made at the same time as that of Philip’s lease; but by a Beverly church record (baptism in 1726 of his second child) he seems to have continued his Beverly residence until at least after that date.
  3. Joseph was, married and settled at near-by Ipswich at about the time his father became a resident of Hopkinton.
  4. See Beverly church records of that time.
  5. See old town-book above quoted.
  6. This old cemetery near the present church building of the church organization of that time, is practically at the centre of the Town of Hopkinton.

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The International Cody Family Association