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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Thursday, October 06, 2016

Ran Away from the Regiment?

This notice appeared in the 16 Jan 1769 Boston Chronicle:
STOLEN or STRAYED,
From the 59th Regiment Barrack in New-Boston, the 11th inst. January; a small brown and white Spanish DOG, answers to the name of Bravo, had on a brass Collar, marked Den. M. Woodward 59th Regt.

Who ever has found the said DOG, and will bring him to the Barrack aforesaid, or to the Printers hereof, shall receive one DOLLAR reward.
“New-Boston” was also called West Boston or the West End. It was developed after other parts of the peninsula.

Here is a George Stubbs painting of a “Spanish Dog” from 1775.

Bravo the dog’s owner was Ens. Dennett-Milton Woodward of the 59th. He was probably with one of the two companies from that regiment (including the grenadiers) sent to Boston in 1768 alongside the 14th and 29th and some Royal Artillery. (The 64th and 65th also came, straight from Ireland.)

Woodward received his first commission in 1760, which suggests he was in his twenties when he lost his dog. The 59th companies returned to Halifax in May 1769. Alas, I don’t know if Bravo went with them.

Woodward returned to Boston as a lieutenant with a wife and children in 1774; the family then came to the attention of Boston 1775 because one child contracted smallpox. Eventually Woodward rose to the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the 34th Regiment. He died in 1798.

(Shown above, courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg, is an eighteenth-century engraved metal dog collar, perhaps of the sort Ens. Woodward had made for his dog.)

2 comments:

Don N. Hagist said...

When Lt. Woodward served in Boston in 1774 and 1775, he was in the 59th Regiment's light infantry company. As such, he almost certainly marched out to Concord on 19 April, and then fought at Bunker Hill on 17 June 1775.

J. L. Bell said...

That's all very well, Don, but did Bravo the dog ever come back?