Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Rev. Thomas Weld and wife Elizabeth, Rev. Nathaniel Prentice, early ministers at Nashua, New Hampshire

This tombstone was photographed at the Old Dunstable Burying Ground in Nashua, New Hampshire



REV.
THOMAS WELD
BORN JUNE, 1653;
SETTLED AS
THE FIRST MINISTER
OF THE CHURCH IN 
DUNSTABLE, DEC 1685
PROBABLY MASSACRED
BY THE INDIANS
WHILE DEFENDING THE
SETTLEMENT
JUNE 7, 1702
AEt. 49



REV.
NATH'L PRENTICE
BORN DEC. 1698
SETTLED AS THE
SECOND MINISTER OF
DUNSTABLE 1720
DIED FEB. 25, 1737
AEt. 39


ELIZABETH
WIFE OF
THOMAS WELD
DIED JULY 29,  1687
AEt. 31



The Old Dunstable Burial Ground is located on the Daniel Webster Highway, not far from the Massachusetts border.  The proximity to Massachusetts makes this part of the tax free city of Nashua a busy shopping area.  This impressive tombstone is in the southwest corner of the cemetery, away from the busy traffic and shopping malls on Daniel Webster Highway.  It was erected by the city more than 250 years after the death of Rev. Thomas Weld, the first minister at Dunstable, which became the city of Nashua.

According to the book The History of Nashua, page 176 “That portion of the above inscription which refers to the Rev. Mr. Weld’s being massacred by the Indians is legendary, and probably mythical, as there was no Indian War waging in 1702, nor for several years before or after that date.  It should be corrected.”    The next paragraph also reads: “Mrs. Elizabeth Weld was a daughter of Hon. Edward Tyng.  Her mother’s native place was Dunstable, England, and our Dunstable received its name in compliment to her.”

Rev. Thomas Weld is my 2nd cousin 11 generations removed.  We are both descendants of Edmund Weld (1559 - 1608), a cloth merchant of Sudbury, Suffolk, England.  Edmund's son Joseph Weld (1598 - 1646) was my 11th great grandfather and a settler at Roxbury, Massachusetts.  Joseph's brother, Rev, Thomas Weld (1595 - 1660) was a minister in Roxbury.  His grandson is the Rev. Thomas Weld who became the first minister of the first church at Dunstable.  This congregation still exists as the First Church of Nashua.

Rev. Thomas Weld was born 12 June 1653 in Roxbury, and died 9 June 1702 in Dunstable.  He was married twice, first to Elizabeth Wilson on 9 November 1681.  She was the daughter of John Wilson and Sarah Hooker (daughter of Rev. Thomas Hooker of Hartford, Connecticut).  His second wife was Mary Savage, the daughter of Habijah Savage and Hannah Tyng.  You can see that the book The History of Nashua was wrong about the wife buried here in Nashua with Rev. Weld.

The inscription about the Indian massacre is certainly wrong.  A diary by John Marshall of Dunstable has an entry for 1702 "Mem. on the 11th day of June last, Mr. Thomas Weld, the pastor of the Church of Dunstable was buryed he was an eminent preacher of the word of god, a man well beloued and much Lamented by them that knew him.  His death is justly to be accounted a great Loss to the pouince in genrall and to the poor town of dunstable in particuler.

I previously blogged about Rev. Thomas Weld at this link:
https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2010/12/first-church-of-nashua.html   

A PDF from the Nashua Public Library of The History of Nashua,  1897, epitaphs from the Old Dunstable Burying Ground are on pages 175 – 183. 


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Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Tombstone Tuesday ~  Rev. Thomas Weld and wife Elizabeth, Rev. Nathaniel Prentice, early ministers at Nashua, New Hampshire", Nutfield Genealogy, posted March 21, 2017, (http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2017/03/tombstone-tuesday-rev-thomas-weld-and.html: accessed [access date]). 

3 comments:

  1. Edmund Weld of Sudbury, Suffolk, had nine children. Three of them (at least) came to New England, and were known for their extreme Puritan beliefs.

    Rev. Thomas Weld was one of the inquisitors of Anne Hutchinson, and he was later an agent of the colony, for New England. He wrote the vicious foreword to Gov. John Winthrop's book about Anne Hutchinson, that described Mary Dyer's "monster." He was a child labor trafficker in the worst ways, and he tried to defraud Massachusetts and Rhode Island with a false patent on their boundary. Though recalled to MassBay, he became a chaplain to a general in the English Civil Wars, and eventually found a living as a church minister.

    Another Weld son was Capt. Joseph Weld, who was one of, or *the* wealthiest man in MassBay colony. Joseph had acquired a lot of land in Roxbury after he came back from slaughtering the Pequots in 1636-37. He and his two successive wives had eight and then four more children. (I'm descended from the youngest girl Marah. This is also your ancestor.) Joseph Weld was the man who held Anne Hutchinson in house arrest during the severe winter of 1637-38, before she was excommunicated and banished. Joseph died because of a sore on his tongue, probably oral cancer.

    Another son was Edmund, and I think it was he who contributed so much money to Harvard College.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry about implying that Marah Weld Clapp was your ancestor. I should have said that Joseph Weld was a common ancestor to you and me. I plead guilty, but my excuse is that I was writing at 2am, between sleeps.

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    2. Hi, Christy! I descend from Elizabeth WELD who married Samuel GORE in 1672. I understand your lack of sleep. I'm in Europe suffering from jet lag.

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