William Hubbard .
He was son of William, who was an eminent inhabitant of Ipswich , and afterwards of Boston. He was born in England 1621 , came with his father to Massachusetts about 1630 , and took his degree with the class who first graduated at Harvard College in 1642 .
- 1656, July 4th . He is desired to preach for the Society here, as colleague with Mr. Cobbet.
- 1667 . He was one of the seventeen, who bore testimony against the Old Church in Boston , when they settled John Davenport from New Haven .
- 1671, May 31st . He is one of the fifteen, who send in a long and able protest to the General Court, against the censure passed on them by a committee of the Legislature of 1670 , for being of the Council who formed the South Church of Boston . To this protest the Court replied, and,apologized for some severe and improper expressions of the committee.
- 1675, Nov. 4th,. With other clergymen, Mr. Hubbard advises the Church at Rowley to cease from their,contention about Mr. Jeremiah Shepard , who had preached for them, and was much,wanted by some for their pastor, and not by others.
- 1676 . He preaches an able Election,Sermon.
- 1677 . He is tried in having a part of his people at Chebacco much engaged in endeavours to have Mr. Shepard for their minister. His chief objection to this candidate was, that he had not become a member of any church. March 29th , his first Historical work receives the approbation of the colonial licensers, and was soon published in Boston . It contained "A Narrative of the Troubles with the Indians in 1676 and 1677, with a Supplement concerning the War with the Pequods in 1637 ," and a Table and Postscript; also, "A Narrative of the Troubles with the Indians in New England from Piscataqua to Pemaquid." The same book was licensed in London , June 27th , and was immediately printed there under the title, "Present State of New England ."
Mr. Hubbard was on a visit to England in 1678, and was probably there to superintend the publishing of this work. He returned from this voyage by October, to the great satisfaction of his parishioners. What he thus gave to the public, was afterwards thrown into the present form of his "Indian Wars."
-1680, May 19th . "As Mr. Hubbard hath compiled a History of New England, a committee are chosen to peruse the same and report, so that the General Court may judge about having it printed."
- 1682, June 24th . He delivers a Fast Sermon, and, in September , a Discourse on the Death of General Dennison . Both of these were superior productions, and were printed. Oct. 11th . The Legislature vote him 50 for his History of New England.
- 1683, Feb. 17th . They order a half of this sum to be paid him now, if "he procure a fayre coppie to be written, that it be fitted for the presse." Such a copy was obtained, and was amended by his own hand. The Massachusetts Historical Society, aided by a liberal donation from the General Court, had it printed in a volume, distinct from those of their Collections, which contain it, in 1815 .
This History of Mr. Hubbard was chiefly indebted for its facts to the Journal of Governor Winthrop . Had his parochial labors allowed him to increase the information in his book, much more than they did, so that he could have saved a greater share of credible traditions, and of events passing in his time, the worth of its pages would have been proportionably enhanced. Still, as it is, this work has been of much service to the most eminent New England historians. There is reason to believe, from the known fairness of his character, that, had not the introductory leaves of his manuscript History been lost, there would be found in them not only a reference to Winthrop and Johnson , but to other authorities, as the sources of his materials, so that no suspicion of pretence to originality, for the greater part of these materials, could be justly charged to him.
His History was long under the supervision of an intelligent committee, appointed by the General Court. This committee could judge whether, with the helps, as then existing, for the compilation of such a work, Mr. Hubbard had done it in a commendable manner. They did report to the Legislature, that his exertions in this respect were worthy of praise, and that he ought to receive, what was then thought a liberal compensation. Their opinion weighed much in his favor then, and it should not be light with us now. Though his History is much less consulted since the documents for much of it have been published, yet its author should be held in grateful and honorable remembrance fordoing far more than any of his contemporaries, for resorting to secret lights, and bringing them out to the view of the public, so that they might more clearly and interestingly look back on the events of their beloved country. The voyager who dares exceed the lines of latitude, within which most others sail, and by such enterprise, though guided by rare charts, brings us the rich productions of a climate, where we will not go ourselves, should share largely in our esteem, however the track he pursued may afterwards become a common one, and the guides he followed become familiar to all.
- 1684 . Eliot says, "Mr.Hubbard presided at Commencement. This was after the death of President Rogers." It appears that Mr. Rogers died very suddenly the day after Commencement, that the duties of that occasion hastened his end, and that Mr. Hubbard did not then preside. It is probable, that the statement of Dr. Eliot was derived from the following. * 1688, June 2d . Mr. Hubbard is appointed by Sir Edmund Andros to officiate as President of the College the following Commencement. As there were no degrees conferred this year, it is doubtful whether Mr. Hubbard complied with this honorary appointment.
- 1686 . Mr. Hubbard receives a visit from John Dunton , who gave the subsequent description of him. "The benefit of nature, and the fatigue of study, have equally contributed to his eminence. Neither are we less obliged to both than himself; he freely communicates of his learning to all, who have the happiness to share in his converse. In a word, he is learned without ostentation and vanity, and gives all his productions such a delicate turn and grace (as seen in his printed Sermons and History of the Indians), that the features and lineaments of the child make a clear discovery and distinction of the father; yet he is a man of singular modesty, of strict morals, and has done as much for the conversion of the Indians, as most men in New England ." This is no flattery. It had the sanction of truth. - Mr. Hubbard receives aid in the ministry from John Dennison .
- 1694, March 15th . He contracts to marry Mary , widow of Samuel Pearce , who died 1691 . This marriage soon took place. It was not agreeable to most of his parish. They would allow her to be a worthy woman, but not of sufficient note to be their minister's wife. Mr. Hubbard , however, set more by intellectual, moral, and pious qualifications, as he ought, than by those, which rest on the arbitrary, and oftentimes incorrect, decisions of public partiality.
-1696, June 26th . An interesting letter of this date, written from Ipswich to John Archdale , Governor of South Carolina , about emigrants going from this town to that Colony, bears conclusive marks of being Mr. Hubbard 's.
- 1699 . Mr. Hubbard , with others, protests against the declaration of Brattle Street Church in Boston , as too lax in doctrine, the ordinance of baptism, and admission to communion.
- 1701 . He publishes with his friend, Mr. Higginson of Salem, "Dying Testimony to the Order of the Churches."
- 1702 . Mather says, in his Magnalia, "Mr. J. Higginson and Mr. W. Hubbard have assisted me and much obliged me with information for many parts of our History." Aug. 2d , on account of his inability through age, to carry on the ministry, Mr. Hubbard desires his church to get him more help.
- 1703, May 6th . He gives up all ministerial labor, and his people vote him 60 as a gift. - Thus gradually approaching his latter end, with which he had held frequent communion, he died Sept. 14th, 1704 , . 83. Oct. 26th , his congregation vote 32 to pay his funeral charges.
- His house was about one hundred rods from the late Dr. Dana 's meeting-house, near the bank of the river, commonly called Turkey Shore. His first wife was Margaret , the daughter of the Rev. Nathaniel Rogers . She was a lady of excellent reputation. He had three children, John , Nathaniel , and Margaret , who m. John Pynchon of Springfield . His last wife, Mary , was living in 1710 , when his people administered to her necessities.
Though Mr. Hubbard had a large patrimony, yet he expended this as well as his salary in the support of his family, and in discharging the duties of hospitality and other beneficence. As an intelligent and judicious adviser, he was called on many councils, and had a prominent part in them. He spent his days, he toiled, for knowledge both human and divine; he put forth the energies of his mind, he faithfully complied with his obligations, as a member of society and a minister of the gospel; he sought the salvation of the heathen, as well as of the civilized, not to lay up his chief treasure on earth, but in heaven, - not to gain the applause of men, as his supreme good, but the approbation of God. His object has its unchangeable commendation in the Word of Eternal Truth. Though he lived long, he labored till the last to be found faithful. Nor was his exertion unnoticed nor unrewarded by Him, who rules over all. He was made an instrument for turning back the captivity of many souls. Mr. Hubbard "certainly was for many years the most eminent minister in the County of Essex , equal to any in the Province for learning and candor, and superior to all his contemporaries as a writer." Thus approved by human testimony, there is cause to believe, that he found his "record on high," as a passport to the mansions of blessedness.
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