th its pyramidal roof, they built thereon a little tower, i. e., a toweret or turret, and in it later was placed the first Medford bell.
But it was nearly a century after its first settling that Medford acquired this visible distinction which is a feature of New England towns.
Though the first meeting-house, on the great rock by Oborn rode, never had this distinguishing exterior feature, it had in its pulpit a little tower, or tourelle, in the person of its minister, who spelled his name Turell,—which would indicate that his ancestors were of French extraction.
To him it was given to be the occupant of the second pulpit during its entire existence and to begin that of another.
That second pulpit only lacked supporting pillars under its sounding board (it being suspended by an iron rod), to make it almost a duplicate of the bell turret, the only example of which latter now remaining is that in Hingham, built in 1681.
In 1669-70 was built the third meeting-house.
This had the f
is case another Isaac, surnamed Hall.
Perhaps Captain Hall, in his night-cap, poked his head out the chamber window to know what the unseasonable racket was about, and he soon learned.
It wasn't a time for much ceremony, military salutes or long stories, and the rider was soon on his way, having covered just half of his extra detour through Medford.
In the next half mile he had passed the new meeting-house, whose old bell perhaps was already ringing, the old home of the venerable Parson Turell, who was still living, and a house older still beyond it, and probably next a smaller one, to which, ere another midnight hour, the dead and wounded would be brought—victims of the bloody work ahead.
That brought him over the brook and up the hill to where the first meeting-house had been.
The roads divided a little further on at its top. He kept to the left.
We have no idea it was a silent ride.
He doubtless shouted, Wake up, turn out, the regulars are coming!
as he rode hastily alo
rd, July 19, 1771.
Mr Thompson will deliver you a Velvet Cushion, which I imported from London for the Desk of ye Meeting House in this place, & which I beg may be accepted as a mark of ye high regard I shall ever retain for the Town of Medford
I am wth great respect
Your most obedt h'ble servt W. Pepperell.
William Pepperell was of Kittery, Maine (then part of Massachusetts) and was son-in-law of Colonel Isaac Royall and had been father-in-law of Parson Turell for eleven years, the marriage of his daughter Jane to the Medford minister being her third matrimonial adventure.
It seems that sixteen years before, Colonel Royall had given the town a Bible (folio) which proved an innovation.
Received with thanks voted.
Four years later a vote was passed for its public reading, and, as above seen, sixteen years later, and in a new and more stately meeting-house came the gift of the cushion of velvet on which to lay the Holy Book.
pasture of Henry Putnam's. But a deed of April 20 next following, from the same Bradshaw to Ebenezer Turell, for the consideration of one hundred and fourteen pounds, conveyed twenty acres upland andof the road as the present Home for the Aged.
At that time there was no Winthrop street. Parson Turell had purchased his house fifty years before, which was between present Rural avenue and Winthrop ok, which left a sufficient space between for an acre and a half of narrow frontage (as was also Turell's). It seems more probable, however, that it was farther west on the lower ground, which was wel, August 24, 1774.
Another of twenty pounds upon the pasture land was given by Putnam to Ebenezer Turell (the Medford minister) whose upland and meadow adjoined.
In August, 1773, Putnam sold hioperty, perhaps by the funds obtained by the mortgages above mentioned.
In 1789 the executor of Turell noted among unpaid bonds that of Putnam for twenty pounds. Whether the son Eleazer was a potter
Richard Sprague, who two years before had erected a substantial house just out from the market-place, on the way to Blanchard's,
See Frontispiece. was the constable, and the minister whose salary he was thus to collect was Ebenezer Turell.
But there was one man in Medford that refused to pay his rate because he was of the English Church.
The tax list of that time is divided into three classifications.
Space forbids its entire reproduction, but here are four of its names:assessed a head or poll tax, or how the latter, a resident, nothing for his head.
But he had some faculty, as Constable Sprague found when he presented that Medford tax bill so long ago. Upon persistent refusal to pay toward the salary of Parson Turell, the said Matthew Ellis was by Constable Sprague speedily lodged in His Majesty's gaol.
How long he remained in durance vile we may not say, but on paying the tax and added costs he was released.
Then he took up the battle for religious freed
e, and officers elected for the ensuing year.
The February meeting was An Evening with Parson Turell.
Mr. Remele read selections from Brooks' History relating to him. Mr. Mann read the will of the.
At the Item—I give to little Turell Tufts. . . that my shadow may remain the portrait of Ebenezer Turell thus bequeathed was displayed by Mr. Fiske, who had procured it from the First Parish Churc watch with chain and seal was passed around for inspection.
This watch (doubtless similar to Mr. Turell's) had just been given to the Society, and was that of Dr. Daniel Osgood, brother of Rev. David Osgood, Mr. Turell's colleague and successor.
Miss Atherton read Dr. Holmes' poem The Parson's Legacy, relating to the president's chair at Harvard College, said to have been given by Mr. Turell. MMr. Turell. Mr. Fiske exhibited a copy of the letter written by the parson calling for a fast day, to select a colleague to assist him in his latest years.
Light refreshments were served and a social half-hour cl