2015-01-14 19:56:21 UTC
There are various interesting references to Capt. [Thomas] Breedon, Mrs. Rachel Aubrey (the wife of William Aubrey, one-time agent of the Lynn, Massachusetts, ironworks), and Mrs. [Mary] Bridges, doubtless the widow of Capt. Robert Bridges of Lynn, Massachusetts (stated erroneously in his _DAB_ entry to have died in 1656 in New England). As well as, of course, reference to Mr. Maverick and Mr. Gifford.
Some extracts may be "of interest":
[Nathaniel Mather, Dublin, Ireland, to his brother Increase Mather, Boston, Mass., Spring 1677/ (?78)] "There comes Supercargoe of this vessell a young man, Mr Chetewode, who hath been, & I think is still servant to one of Mr. Bridges sons, once of New Engl., now in heaven. ... His father, if I mistake not, is of the same family of which old Mris. Bulkley of Concord was" [i.e., Grace Chetwood, wife of Peter Bulkeley].
[Nathaniel Mather, Dublin, Ireland, to his brother Increase Mather, Boston, Mass., July 1678] "Mris. Aubrey was well within a day or two & so was Mris. Bridges & Bredon yesterday."
[Nathaniel Mather, Dublin, Ireland, to his brother Increase Mather, Boston, Mass., March 1680/1] "Mris Aubrey & her sister are well. So is Mris Bridges & hers. Shee is lately recovered of an hurt in her arm, & a broken leg, which shee had lately befall her by a slip of her foot at our meeting-house dore."
As Nathaniel Mather had spoken earlier of "Mris Bridges & Breedon," is it possible that the last reference, to "Mris Bridges & [her sister]," shows Mrs. Mary Woodcock Bridges was the sister of Captain Breedon's wife? Breedon's first wife, Abigail Gladman, had probably deceased prior to this time.
[Nathaniel Mather, Dublin, Ireland, to his brother Increase Mather, Boston, Mass., June 1683] "Mr. Aubrey & his wife were in health the 24th instant. Present my service to Mr. Rawson."
I believe Mrs. Aubrey was born Rachel Rawson, sister of the Mr. Rawson just mentioned:
Thomas Breedon may be the "Mr. Britton" mentioned on p. 41.
Samuel Maverick and John Gifford are mentioned two times, pp. 170 and 171, with Gifford called "Jeffers" in the first instance (however, context and parallelism allow us to know that Jeffers is the same as Gifford). Though a bit obscure, one of these references is probably in a letter from "W___ W____" to William Goffe the Regicide.
Two references in the Mather Papers were of particular interest to Janet Chevalley Wolfe and me: letters from Nathaniel to Increase Mather from Ireland mentioning a Mr. Hart of Londonderry and "Mr. David Hart."
In the first letter, dated 2 March 1680/1, from Dublin, Nathaniel mentions "I have received sundry [letters] from you; with severall books and your picture by Mr. David Hart, and one by Mr. Eales: For all which I thank you. I cannot yet send you my Picture as you desyre. ..."
The second letter, dated a little over a year later, May 1682, from Dublin, mentions that Nathaniel Mather lately wrote his brother Increase "by Mr Hart, by way of Londonderry ..."
These references to Mr. Hart and Mr. David Hart make good sense in the context of a letter from the minister Mr. John Heart/ Hart of Monreagh/ Taughboyne to Increase Mather also dated March 1680/1. This letter, though not printed in the present volume of Mather Papers, was known to exist from a catalogue of the Prince collection in Boston:
Janet Wolfe secured a copy of this letter from the Boston Public Library; it is dated 17 March 1680[/81] from Londonderry, and is by the Rev. John Heart to Rev. Increase Mather in New England, starting off ...
I received yors of July 19th 80. BEFORE MY SONNE RETURNED neere two months; at that tyme I had yor Sermons, together with yor Synods Answere to the two questions proposed by the Magistrate [i.e., books], for all which as I heartily thank you, so I declare my selfe well satisfied; and BY MY SONNE I received The Confession of faith, and platforme of Church discipline [another book] and am well satisfied ..." [emphasis added]
Although previously we had speculated that Heart's "son" in this letter was actually his known son-in-law Rev. Robert Craighead, Janet and I now think the son referred to was the David Hart who also delivered Increase Mather's books to Nathaniel Mather in Dublin at the same time. Heart's letter reveals that his "son" did not handle the first shipment of books, which arrived back in Ireland before him, but certainly the son himself had returned to Ireland by March 1680/1. The son actually delivered to John Heart the book on Confession of Faith by 17 March 1680/1. Note that Nathaniel's first letter to Increase, dated the 2nd of the same month (March 1680/1), mentions receiving other books from Increase "by Mr. David Hart."
So ... (1) Rev. John Heart's son was definitely back in Ireland by March 1680/1; and (2) had brought his father a book or books from Rev. Increase Mather.
This makes it almost certain he was the same David "Hart" reported to have delivered Increase Mather's letters and books to Rev. Nathaniel Mather at about the same time. He must have brought some books to his own father and some to Rev. Nathaniel Mather on the same trip.
Monreagh / St. Johnston / Taughboyne, a locale in Ireland heavily associated with the Rev. John Heart, is within a few miles of Londonderry. Londonderry, of course, also being a major port where a ship from New England might land.
Thus, it seems very likely that the Rev. John Heart of Taughboyne had a previously-unnoticed son David Heart.
Our theory is that Rev. John Heart was the son of David Heart, scrivener, of Orkney who married Jean Mowat.