SOLDIERS

IN

KING PHILIP'S WAR

Chapter 2, Part I 

II.

CAPT. SAMUEL MOSELY AND HIS COMPANY

MANY will be interested to know something in the beginning, of the remarkable character whose name stands at the head of this company.

The family name was Maudesley, of Lancashire, England. In the fall of 1635 Henry Maudesley came from England to Massachusetts in the ship Hopewell, Capt. Babb, master.

Henry Maudesley was granted "about a quarter-acre of land" in Dorchester "neere Goodman Munninge's," but lived at Braintree, and had children born there -- Mary, Sept. 29, 1638, and Samuel, June 14, 1641. He had 12 acres of land at Mt. Wollaston granted him "for three heads," February 24, 1639-40, was of Artillery Co. 1643, and freeman in 1646. In 1652 he lived in Boston, and had the lot on the corner of the present Union and Hanover Streets.

The name Maudesley appears in some of the earliest records as Modsley, Mosley, Mozley, Mosseley; finally settling down to Mosely. Samuel's signature, in every case known to me, is Mosley, while Addington, Rawson, and other colonial officials give it Mosely. I have adopted this last form.

Samuel Mosely married Ann Addington (born March 10, 1647, daughter of the first Isaac and sister of the Hon. Isaac). They were married previous to May 30, 1665, for on that date Samuel Mosely and his wife Ann sign a deed to John Conney, conveying a piece of land in "Windmill Field," which land Ann inherited from her father, who had died in 1653. Samuel is designated cooper, Conney also was a cooper; and I judge from an old receipt for a bill of cooperage, signed by Conney and Mosely together, that they were in company in that business in 1673.

In 1668 he was one of the commissioners sent by the Court to treat with the sachems of the Narragansets, in company with Richard Wayt and Capt. Wright, and in the record is called "Captain."

The author of "The Present State of New England," etc., says: "This Capt. Mosely hath been an old Privateer at Jamaica, an excellent soldier, and an undaunted spirit, one whose memory will be honorable in New England for his many eminent services he hath done the Public." This may have been the authority upon which Mr. Savage bases his statement that Mosely "visited Jamaica in the way of trade, and the adventurous spirit was excited and schooled, perhaps by Sir Henry Morgan and his associate Buccaneers; the result of which was his bringing home to Boston two prizes taken from some unmentioned enemy." From these hints and various other circumstances I am satisfied that he was in command of some ship previous to 1668. I notice that Isaac Addington, father of Mosely's wife, was commander of the ship "Ann and Joane" in 1652.

I have found, after a long search, the following old account of Treasurer Russell's estate, presented by James Russell, Executor, October 20, 1676.

The Country is Debtor to the huire of ye Katch Salsbury, Samuel Mosely Commdr from March 16, 1673 to Aprill 27, 1674 at 24œ pr moneth, œ33 12s.

Pd for wages to the Salsbury's Mr & 47 men, 76 01
Pd Capt Mosely for disbursemts on the Salsbury, 23 10
Pd Capt Mosely for Water bucketts for ye Katch Swallow, 00 19

These two "Katches," with the ship "Anthony," were fitted out and sent forth by the colony to protect our commerce, and in this time were engaged in cruising about Nantucket and vicinity.

He must have had notable experience from the facts of the affair of the "two prizes," mentioned above, which from various materials collected from the court files and archives, I am now able to explain. This matter was fully set forth in an excellent article published by the late C. W. Tuttle, Esq. For several years previous to 1675, Boston merchants had been greatly troubled by "Dutch Pirates," as they were called. The merchants had several times petitioned the Court for a "commission of Order and Reprisal," which that cautious body had steadily refused. Several times the merchants had armed their vessels and taken the matter of "Reprisal" into their own hands, as in the matter of the Dutch ship "Expectation;" and upon complaint made by the Dutch authorities, these merchants were called to account by the Boston Court. 

At last, in December, 1674, several small English vessels were captured at the Eastward by the Dutch, joined with some English renegades from the Massachusetts Colony. The place of the capture was "near Mt. Desart Islles." One of these vessels belonged to John Freake of Boston, the others to Waldron of Dover and Shapley of Kittery. Upon the report of these depredations and the petition of the merchants, a Commission of Reprisal was granted by the Court, February 15, 1674-5, an expedition was immediately fitted out, and by the request of the merchants Capt. Samuel Mosely was put in command. Sailing out, his ship fell in with a French vessel which he impressed into his service, and soon met the Dutchmen. They had three vessels, the "Edward & Thomas," principal ship, of which the commander of the pirates, Peter Roderigo, was captain. 

The second was called, in the appraisal, the "Penobscot Shallopp that Roads went out in," and was commanded by Cornelius Anderson. The third was the vessel captured from Mr. Freake, "The Shallopp called Philipp," and now in charge of Peter Grant and its proper skipper, George Manning, who had been wounded in its capture, and was about to be turned adrift in his boat by the pirates, when in consideration of his promise of good behavior he was reinstated and allowed to sail his own craft in convoy of the others under Dutch colors; and now, when Capt. Mosely came to the attack, Manning at once turns his arms upon his captors and assists in their capture; and in their defence before the Court the pirates complain bitterly of the usage of Capt. Mosely in fighting them under the three colors, English, French and Dutch all at once, and the treachery of Manning. 

The pirates were captured, and were brought into Boston April 2, 1675, Mr. Freake's vessel restored to him, and the others confiscated by the Court for expenses, etc. The pirates were imprisoned to await trial in May, 1675. The prisoners were Peter Roderigo, commander; Cornelius Anderson, consort; John Rhodes, Thomas Mitchell, Randall Judson, Edward Yourings, Richard Fowler, Peter Grant, John Williams, John Thomas (Tomas or Tombs). A few words more will explain who these men were.

In October, 1674, Capt. Jurian Aronson (Arnouson), commander of the Dutch Privateer "Flying-Post-Horse, of Currassow," returning from the destruction of two French forts and settlements at the Eastward, viz., "Penabskop" (Penobscott) and St. John, came to Boston and asked of the Governor permission to enter the harbor to "repaire," etc. When he sailed away he left a part of his crew, viz.: "Peter Rodrigo, 'Flanderkin': Cornelius Anderson, Dutchman," three Englishmen who had belonged at Boston, John Rhoades, Randall Judson, Peter Grant; Richard Fowler, who belonged at Muscongus; and a "Cornishman" named John Williams, who had been taken prisoner by the Dutch and carried to "Currisaw," and came hither with Capt. Arnouson. Rhodes, "principal," Fowler, Grant and Judson, hired Thomas Mitchell of Malden, and a vessel of which he was part owner, for a "trading voyage to the Eastward;" and also another, the Shallop. It would seem that the vessels went in at Casco, and the crew captured some sheep at "Mountjoys Island" (now Peak's), belonging to Mr. Mountjoy. (Fowler testified that Mitchell approved this action, but he denied it, though confessing that he "ate of the mutton."

Rodrigo commanded the "Edward and Thomas," and Anderson the "Penobscott Shallopp." Rodrigo had some sort of commission from Arnouson (which one of them testified was "written at the 'Beare' and had three seals on it"). Anderson had a copy of this without seals. Mitchell testified that he opposed their acts of piracy. Edward Youring testified that he went out with Mitchell and had no part in piracy, and both these were discharged under bonds for appearance. John Tomas was a boatswain who had come to Boston formerly in the ship "William and Jane," and was with Anderson, and was accused of shooting a Frenchman, but denied, though admitting that he "shot at him." Tomas and Williams were taken in Anderson's vessel. Manning's crew consisted of James De Beck (who was a principal witness against the pirates, and tells a pitiful story of their abuse), a Frenchman and a boy.

Roderigo (often written Odrigoe), as will appear hereafter, served a long time under Capt. Scottow at Black Point and at the eastward. Anderson was the famous "Cornelius the Dutchman."

Great excitement prevailed in the colony during this trial. The Dutchmen made an able defence, producing their commission under William, Prince of Orange (but which was found to be from their former skipper Arnouson), and alleging the infringement of the law of nations by our vessels in trading with the French at the eastward, with whom the Dutch were at war.

There is evidence in the trial, as in the subsequent action of the Court, of much popular sympathy for the Dutch prisoners, while the most bitter hostility was expressed against the English renegades. Five were convicted of piracy and condemned to death; but under the stress of the opening war execution was deferred. Anderson was acquitted. Upon his petition, Rodrigo was soon pardoned and released, and served faithfully against the Indians. Fowler was pardoned in October. The sentence of the others, Rhodes, Grant and Judson, after several months' imprisonment, was commuted to banishment out of the country on condition of giving security for prison charges and transportation.

It will be easy to see that Capt. Mosely, the hero of the successful enterprise, would naturally become at once the most notable man in the colony, and when in the midst of his success the Indian war broke out, he would be looked to at once as a popular leader. But he held no military office, and not even his success and popularity, and close family relation to Gov. Leverett, could prevail to break the strict rule of official succession in the colonial militia; so that the only course left him was, perhaps, that which suited him best, the organization of an independent company of Volunteers. "Within three hours," says the old historian, "there were enlisted 110 volunteers." Among these were many of his old "privateers," i.e. those who had served with him in his expedition, and several of the released pirates.

From a close comparison of these following lists with the Boston tax-lists for 1674, and from other sources, I find that many of his soldiers were apprentices or servants, and probably many boys not yet enrolled in the militia, and therefore not subject to impressment. Several of the names would seem to indicate a sprinkling of Frenchmen, and a contemporary writer relates that the ten or twelve privateers had several dogs with them which rendered valuable service in "finding out the enemy in their swamps." By reason of the loss of the first thirteen pages of the Journal, the names previous to August 21 have to be gathered from the Ledger, and therefore I had to make a close study of many of the names, but have no doubt of any set down below, with the possible exception of Ephm Regeman and Moses Knap, and with these I deem the evidence sufficient to justify me in putting them in under Mosely.

It will be noticed that only seventy-five men are credited below for services in this campaign. There is no doubt that more went with him, and we can readily see that many of the transient adventurers, especially if sailors, would be gone before the Court got ready to pay them off regularly. On August 4th Capt. Mosely was paid œ50 by the Court "for his souldiers," and November 20th œ50 more; while up to December 10 he had only accounted to the treasurer by receipts from his men for œ27, but in the meantime had made no charge for his own military service, and I judge that he may have paid off many who followed him in this brief service at Mount Hope, as their occasion demanded or his convenience suited, without any formal "Debenter" or bill. Thus Cornelius Anderson is not mentioned at all, and doubtless many others were settled with by Capt. Mosely, and no account rendered. 

There is no indication that he misappropriated the colony's funds, but was probably free-handed with his soldiers and careless in his accounts, and when Capt. Gookin and others complained of his high-handed cruelty towards the Indians, there was no hint of any indirection in regard to his conduct in money matters. I doubt that he had one hundred and ten men, as stated in the "Old Indian Chronicle," but think there may have been many more than are here set down. From some indications I am led to think that many of his men did not return with him to Boston, but joined the Plymouth forces and remained in the service there.

 

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