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New-England's Rarities Discovered: In Birds, Beasts, Fishes, Serpents, And Plants of That Country

213 pages
Library of Alexandria
MR. John Josselyn, the writer of this book, was only brother, as he says, to Henry Josselyn, Esq., many years of Black Point in Scarborough, Me.; and both were sons to Sir Thomas Josselyn, Knt., of Kent, whose name is at the head of the new charter obtained by Sir Ferdinando Gorges for his Province in 1639, but who did not come to this country. Mr. Henry Josselyn was at Piscataqua, in the interest of Capt. John Mason, at least as early as 1634; but, in 1636, he is one of the Council of Gorges’s Province in Maine, and continued in that part of the country the rest of his life. He succeeded in 1643, by the will of Capt. Thomas Cammock, to his patent at Black Point, and soon after married his widow. He is afterwards Deputy-Governor of the Province; and until 1676, when the Indians attacked and compelled him to surrender his fort, he was, says Mr. Willis,—whose valuable papers are cited below,—“one of the most active and influential men in it;” holding, “during all the changes of proprietorship and government, the most important offices.” He is then a magistrate of the Duke of York’s Province of Cornwall, and, as late as 1680, a resident of Pemaquid; when he is spoken of, in a letter of Gov. Andros to the commander of the fort at Pemaquid, as one “whom I would have you use with all fitting respect, considering what he hath been and his age.” He is living in 1682; but had died before the 10th of May, 1683, leaving no descendants. Notwithstanding the evidence, above afforded, of the social position of the family of which Henry and John Josselyn were members, the present writer failed in tracing it, doubtless from not knowing in which county it had its principal seat. In this uncertainty, it occurred to him to make application to the eminent English antiquary,—the Rev. Joseph Hunter, Vice-President of the Society of Antiquaries of London,—to whom he was indebted for former kind attentions; and was favored by this gentleman with such directions as left nothing to be desired. “The Josslines,” writes Mr. Hunter “(the name is written in some variety of orthographies, and now more usually Joceline), are quite one of the old aristocratic families of England, having several knights in the early generations; being admitted into the order of baronets, and subsequently into the peerage.... Their main settlement was in Hertfordshire, at or near the town of Sabridgeworth; and accounts of them may be read in the histories—of which Chauncy’s, Salmon’s, and Clutterbuck’s are the chief—of that county. But a fuller and better account is to be found in the ‘Peerage of Ireland,’ by Mr. Lodge, keeper of the records in the Birmingham Tower, Dublin: 4 vols. 8vo, 1754.”