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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Benjamin Brown 1681-1733 a miller

 Benjamin Brown (a miller)


Birth C. 1681 Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts

Death 16 FEB 1733 Ipswich, Essex, MA

The beginning of this post comes from the Historical Society about the Caleb Warner House.

"Benjamin Brown was born in Ipswich in 1699 (sic) to Joseph Browne and Hannah Aslett/Aslebee. [NOTE: My records may have some wiggle room on birth dates, but he couldn't have that late a birth date, as his mother's children were born between 1672-85 or so.]

"He married Elizabeth Fossee (Elizabeth Forcy), with whom he had 7 children. It appears that Benjamin Brown was employed as miller by the wealthy Michael Farley Jr, and that this location was where the Brown family lived.

[NOTE: another source says he was part owner of the mill where he worked]

The Caleb Warner house faces the triple stone arch Warner Bridge which connects Mill Rd. in Ipswich to Highland St. in Hamilton. A (sic) ? was constructed in 1829, and in 1856, the present day bridge was reconstructed.
"Just before you cross the triple stone arch Warner’s Bridge that connects Mill Rd. in Ipswich to Asbury St. in Hamilton, you can see on your left the large house built by Caleb Warner in 1755. Within it is an earlier home assembled of two structures before 1734, the year that Caleb Warner came into possession of the property. No records exist that would indicate exact construction dates of the two older sections on the right side of the house. We know that tanners operated on both sides of the river as early as 1667. Conceivably, one or both of those structures may have been part of the 1697 fulling mill. It is possible that Benjamin Brown, who sold the property to Caleb Warner, may have constructed or lived in the small house as early as 1720.

Caleb Warner house, (photo early 20th C.) Part of original building within the right side of the main structure with smaller door as the original entrance, was probably the Brown house.

The enlarged house was constructed in 1755, and the dormers were added in the 19th Century. The right side of the house is older and has two smaller structures that were constructed before 1734, probably First Period. The smaller right entry door would have been the left side of the earlier “half house.”

"Post and beam construction in the two older sections on the far side of the Caleb Warner house. The two small structures were combined. 
"The living room is to the right after entering the left front door, and has fine hand-planed wall panels around the fireplace. Its large summer beam and corner posts are encased with bead-edge boards, suggesting a Georgian structure, built no earlier than 1734, the year when Caleb Warner purchased the property, but no later than 1755 when the full floor plan as we see it today was completed.

Thomas Franklin Waters wrote the history of the dam, mill, bridge and this house in his book, Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Vol. 2:

“Between the hills, a bridge, probably of logs, was built by the tanners, whose land abutted on the river on both sides, about 1667.

"John Adams, Senior, his son John, Jim. and Michael Farley Junior petitioned the Town for permission to build a dam, and operate a grist mill and a fulling mill. After a little delay, they received the desired liberty, and built the dam, with a fulling mill on the north side and the grist mill on the south, in the year 1697.

"Miller Benjamin Brown died in February, 1733-4, and in March, his widow petitioned the Town for an allowance for “cost and charge which hath arisen in building a bridge over the river & for finishing the same for the benefit of passing to the mill.” It was a cheap structure of logs without doubt, so cheap that the Town heartlessly refused the petition of the widow, burdened with seven young children, but it answered its purpose for the convenience of the neighborhood.”

“Caleb Warner, clothier, bought Mr. Forley’s interest in 1734, married Elizabeth Brown, the sixteen year old daughter of Benjamin Brown, the deceased miller, who lived close by, in November, 1784, and prospered so well that in 1755, he had gained possession of a large farm by several purchases, and built the large and comfortable mansion that still stands by the river side.

"William Warner, 3rd., Capt William as he was known in later life, succeeded his father in the fulling business, and his son Stephen purchased the property from his brother William in 1829.”

"....It appears that Benjamin Brown was employed as miller by the wealthy Michael Farley Jr, and that this location was where the Brown family lived.

"Caleb Warner was born on March 23, 1709 to Daniel Warner and Dorcas Adams, early residents of Ipswich. He died in 1774, and his wife Elizabeth’s death date is 1787.

"[Mary] Elizabeth Brown Warner was the daughter of Benjamin Brown and Elizabeth Fossee.

"Benjamin Brown was the son of Joseph Brown, and the grandson of Edward Brown and Faith Lord, two of the first settlers of Ipswich. Their home on High St. still stands. [More on this later!]

"Elizabeth Fossee Brown was the wife of Benjamin Brown, and the daugher of Thomas Fossee, the Ipswich jail keeper, and his wife Elizabeth Raynor. Thomas and Elizabeth Fossie testified in the behalf of accused witch Mary Easty, that they “saw no evil carriage or deportment while confined in Ipswich jail, and that her demeanor was both sober and civil.” Mary Easty was hung with her fellow-prisoners, Martha Corey, Ann Pudeater, and five other accuesed witches in September, 1692.

I had to learn more about A Fulling Mill.

And again from Wikipedia:
A Fulling Mill -
From the medieval period, the fulling of cloth often was undertaken in a water mill, known as a fulling mill, a walk mill, or a tuck mill, and in Wales, a pandy. In these, the cloth was beaten with wooden hammers, known as fulling stocks or fulling hammers. Fulling stocks were of two kinds, falling stocks (operating vertically) that were used only for scouring, and driving or hanging stocks. In both cases the machinery was operated by cams on the shaft of a waterwheel or on a tappet wheel, which lifted the hammer.
Driving stocks were pivoted so that the foot (the head of the hammer) struck the cloth almost horizontally. The stock had a tub holding the liquor and cloth. This was somewhat rounded on the side away from the hammer, so that the cloth gradually turned, ensuring that all parts of it were milled evenly. However, the cloth was taken out about every two hours to undo plaits and wrinkles. The 'foot' was approximately triangular in shape, with notches to assist the turning of the cloth.
A fulling mill

Benjamin Brown was the son of Joseph Brown St. and Hannah Aslett Brown (who I shared about yesterday).
The Brown name is more numerous than that Smith or Jones, for just a bit of trivia about names.

1 comment:

Barbara Rogers said...

Well, I note that the trivia about the Brown name, came from a writing about Browns, perhaps one written about Smiths would say the same thing!