which the house was built, belonged to Governor Cradock
, and we still have the romance of the early founding of Medford.
In fact, the historians, if they destroyed the authenticity of the Cradock house
, wish to lengthen the span of Medford's life by extending it backward to 1628, or 1629 at the latest.
So, in their opinion at least, we are stealing a march on Boston
, founded in 1630.
But our city seal reads 1630, and I suppose we shall be unable to contend against that tradition also.
I believe, however, that so many must feel as bewildered as I did, must know that the Cradock house
is no longer the Cradock house
, yet be unable to account for the change, or to build up any traditions about the polluted shrine, that I am attempting in this short talk to sum up as simply as I can some of the early traditions of Medford, and especially of the old house which we should know by the name of the Peter Tufts house
It is not my purpose to enter into the learned historical controversy, but the history of Medford must move backward inevitably to Matthew Cradock
Our Matthew was born in the days when Shakspere was still living, and the romance and adventure of Raleigh
and Sir Francis Drake
spurred the lives of Englishmen to the real attainment of dreams.
We today can hardly imagine the effect upon an ambitious lad in London
of ships up the Thames
from across the enchanted Atlantic
discharging their treasures from newly discovered lands.
Little is known of the private life of Matthew Cradock
, save that he was very wealthy, was an intimate friend of John Winthrop
, and one of the prominent London
citizens in the reign of James I and Charles I. He was apprenticed, as most men of business probably were, and in his case to a skinners' company in Broad street, London
So it must have been that while Cradock
was a mere stripling he saw the skins valuable for their fur which were brought into London
from across the seas, and must have peopled that continent of North America