Monday, June 17, 2024

Capt. John Linzee’s Ties to Boston

This is the anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775.

Among the Massachusetts Historical Society’s unique artifacts from that event are the crossed swords of Col. William Prescott from the provincial troops and Capt. John Linzee from the Royal Navy, as highlighted here.
Those weapons were donated by the historian William Hickling Prescott, his wife Susannah, and her cousin. William was a grandson of the colonel. Susannah was a granddaughter of the captain.

Though born in England and serving the king, Capt. Linzee had strong ties to Boston. In 1772, while master of H.M.S. Beaver, he married Susannah Inman of Cambridge, favored niece of John and Hannah Rowe.

The Linzees started having children. The first was born in Plymouth, England; the second back in Boston during the siege; the third on the Delaware River, reportedly during a battle which it didn’t outlive.

The Linzees’ fourth child was born at Barbados, the next four in Plymouth. The captain had a busy war.

Susannah Linzee’s father, Ralph Inman, had left Boston in the evacuation of 1776. Her stepmother, Elizabeth (Murray Campbell Smith) Inman, never left. She kept hold of their property, which is how he could return to his Cambridge estate when the fighting died down.

John Rowe also never left. When that merchant died in 1787, he bequeathed Susannah Linzee some Boston property. She came back to America, and the Linzees’ ninth child was born in Boston in 1789.

The following September, Capt. Linzee sailed H.M.S. Penelope into Boston harbor, writing to Gov. John Hancock that he intended to salute the flag of the U.S. of A. with thirteen guns if the battery at the Castle would reciprocate.

Linzee’s letter also mentioned his “exceeding ill State of Health,” and indeed he was so sick the Penelope sailed away without him while he recuperated in his wife’s house. A few months later, however, Capt. Linzee was back “in perfect health” on his ship along with his two eldest sons.

In the following years, things started to go wrong for Capt. Linzee.

TOMORROW: A British officer in Boston.

1 comment:

  1. Capt. John Linzee was in Boston to represent the Royal Navy in the funeral procession of Gov. James Bowdoin in November 1790.