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Samuel Phipps

An early resident of Somerville territory

By Capt. George A. Gordon
(Read before Somerville Historical Society December 20, 1905.)

The presence of so many friends, acquaintances, and fellowcitizens is encouraging, as well as complimentary. I must regret that so many will be disappointed,—not finding in the theme of my paper this evening, or in its treatment, the interesting relation hoped for.

I come not before you this evening to give instruction to you, whose object and aim is the acquisition and dispensing of local history; but I beg to call to your minds that, at the dates covered by the theme of my paper, Charlestown and Cambridge were contiguous in territory, with a common boundary reaching from Miller's river to Burlington, Charlestown bounded with Lynn on the northeast, and with Boston on the Mystic river, as Chelsea was early a part of Boston. This most ancient town of Middlesex County was the third settlement in the limits of Massachusetts, outside of Plymouth plantation. The first Court of Assistants was held at Charlestown. In every line of business and commerce Charlestown held prominence.

Phipps is a contraction in speech of Philip, unknown in England before the Conquest, and one of many forms indicative of the popularity of the fifth apostle. The Phipps were seated in the shires of Gloucester, Worcester, Warwick, and Northampton. They bore arms and were esteemed among the gentry. The immediate family, whence the Phipps of Charlestown derived issue, were of Wiltshire, where various members of the race are on record as sheriffs.

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