J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Friday, April 24, 2015

John Jupp “found his way to Shirley”

Among the men from Shirley who marched during the Lexington Alarm of 19 Apr 1775 was John Jupp, a private in Capt. Henry Haskell’s company, Col. William Prescott’s regiment.

Jupp had more recent military experience than most of his companions. According to Seth Chandler’s History of the Town of Shirley, Massachusetts, he
was an Englishman by birth, and a soldier of the British army that came here to enforce colonial obedience. He was connected with the military department under Governor [Thomas] Gage at Boston, previous to the outbreak of the American Revolution. He deserted from the service of the king and found his way to Shirley…
Jupp and Mary Simonds recorded their intention to marry on 12 Nov 1774 in the Shirley meeting-house (shown above in its present form).

If her death listing from 1826 was accurate, Mary Simonds was born about 1735, making her close to forty years old when she wed. I suspect she had property since Jupp was said to have “owned a small farming estate, situated near the center of the town,” and a recently deserted soldier wouldn’t have been able to buy such land.

On 16 Jan 1775, Jupp sold a silver watch for cash and three dollars on credit to James Parker (1744-1830), who was teaching school in Haskell’s shop. Again, this doesn’t seem like the sort of property a deserting soldier would have on his own, but who knows?

Jupp served with the town militia company for ten days in April 1775. Shirley’s vital records say John and Mary Jupp had a daughter on 26 September. (However, another transcription of those records indicates that the child born that day was named John; I assume that was a misreading.)

In January 1776, John Jupp was 74 miles away in the camp at Cambridge, once again serving in a militia company under Capt. Haskell. Massachusetts had called those men up to ensure the lines around Boston didn’t collapse while Gen. George Washington strove to rebuild his forces.

Then on 9 Mar 1777, John Jupp enlisted as a private in the Continental Army for three years. He was in Capt. Sylvanus Smith’s company, Col. Timothy Bigelow’s regiment—a unit that was at Saratoga and Valley Forge. Though military records state that John Jupp was “sick at Shirley” in January 1779, his wife and daughter saw little of him in those years.

TOMORROW: Can this marriage be saved?


G. Lovely said...

Minor note: The distance from Shirley to Cambridge is closer to 35 miles than 74.

J. L. Bell said...

Then it seems more likely the notification of 74 miles in that record of service refers to the round trip.

John Johnson said...

Is the Colonel Bigelow the same Bigelow that was Worcester's representative to the Massachusetts Provincial Congress?

J. L. Bell said...

The same.