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Researching the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada
  Recherche sur la Forteresse-de-Louisbourg Lieu historique national du Canada

Sir William Pepperell & The Capture of Louisburg.
By Victoria Reed. (ca 1820).
Sir William Pepperell's father was of Wales.


Rev. Benjamin Prescott m. (l) Elizabeth Higginson dau
of John Higginson, Esq of Salem MA She b. June 28, l696
d. Mar 20, l723. 

He m (2) Mary Pepperell sister of Sir
William Pepperell on Oct 6, l748.

Sources: Prescott Memorial and Savage Dictionary.

The siege of Louisburg, one of the most wonderful military operations of the last century, has meagre
space allotted to it in most of our histories; and the life of Sir William Pepperell, the commander of
the expedition, was not written until one hundred years after his death.  This tardy recognition of
Pepperell's services was due in a great measure to the destruction or disappearance of his letters and
papers during the Revolutionary War.  His diaries and letters were valuable, both from a public and
private point of view. They contained detailed accounts of his public life, particularly his connection
with the siege of Louisburg, also daily chronicles of his home life at Kittery Point, where he dispensed
the most generous hospitality.
These latter would have furnished a most complete picture of the political and social life of New England
in colonial times. Fortunately one box of his papers was found about fifty years ago in an old
shed in the village of Kittery, where it
had been hidden many years. The contents had grown so moldy that the handwriting was nearly obliterated.
These papers were sent to Mr. Usher Parsons, a descendant from one of Pepperell's sisters, with an
earnest request from historians that he would write a memorial of Sir William, whose name, once so
prominent in our land, was hardly known to later generations.  We are indebted to Mr. Parsons for many
facts and incidents that would have been irrevocably lost but for his patience and perseverance. All
colonial events, meritorious or otherwise, sank into oblivion in the presence of the ever-increasing
passion and strife that existed for many years before the actual outbreak of hostilities in 1775.
The seige of Louisburg was the first great military achievement of the colonists. Although it may seem
insignificant now in the light of other and greater events that have followed, yet at that time it was
so important as to be considered a "fair offset to the victories of the French in the same war," which
had been conspicuous.  It was no doubt an important facter in making the Revolution a possibility.
It proved unmistakably to the colonists themselves that their daily struggle for existence under the
hard conditions of life in which they were placed had developed a latent strength that bore fruit in
courage and perseverance in time of trial.  These qualities, combined with religious enthusiasm, be-
came formidable weapons at the siege of Louisburg, when a small and undisciplined army defied the well-
drilled troops of the Old World and rendered useless the best perfected engines of war that the ingenu-
ity of man had then devised.
Side by side with the names of the heroes of our later wars should be place that of William Pepperell,
whose military success was as heroic as any that have followed.  Although absorbed in the cares of the
largest mercantile enterprises in New England, at the call of his country he dropped day-book and ledger
recruiting and equipping in two months a force that in forty-nine days caused the capitulation of the
strongest fortress in the New World.
As prompt action was considered important to the success of the expedition, Pepperell freely contributed
to the necessary funds from his own purse.
No event of modern times could cause more solicitude than was manifested by both the colonists and the
mother country during this siege of 1745. Mr. Hartwell said in the House of Commons that "the colonists
took Louisburg from the French single-handed without European assistance, as mettled an enterprize as
any in history, an everlasting monument to the zeal, courage and perseverance of the troops of New
England."  Voltaire, in his History of the Reign of Louis the Fifteenth, ranks the capture of this strong
fortress by husbandmen among the great events of the period.  England and France thus combine
in their appreciation of this most unexpected and great triumph. Parkman, our own historian, modestly
characterizes it as the "result of mere audacity and hardihood, backed by the rarest good luck," while
Hawthorne says, The siege was a curious combination of religious fanaticism and strong common sense."
France considered the possession of this southeast corner of Cape Breton, an island commanding the
entrance to the gulf and river St. Lawrence, as absolutely necessary to the control of her Canadian
possessions.  This was their one channel for supplies as well as exports, the southern communication
by the way of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers being exceedingly precarious and attended with great
danger.  On the other hand, during a war between France and England the English settlements scattered
along the Atlantic coast were in great peril from fleets that could be easily fitted out at Louisberg.
The possession of this fortress would be of immense advantage to either France or England. It was a key
to the continent, and was often called "the Gibraltar of America."
France and England at this time were ranged on opposite sides in the war of the Austrian succession.
Charles Edward, the Pretender, seized this opportunity to make his last desperate attempt to gain the
throne of England.  France, having aided him with men and money, upon his disastrous defeat in the
Channel declared open war with England, which involved all the colonies. Almost before hostilities
began, relying upon rumors of impending conflict, troops at Louisburg seized a little fort in Nova
Scotia belonging to the British, transporting the garrison back to the fortress until opportunity
offered to send them on parole to Boston.
From these men Governor Shirley received minute accounts of the situation and fortifications of
Louisburg, and immediately decided to make an attack before re-enforcements and supplies could reach
it. It was at first intended to keep the project a secret, but, as Hawthorne says, "that idea was
nullified by the loud and earnest prayers of a member of the legislature while engaged in domestic
worship at his lodgings in town."
France had consumed twenty five years and five millions of dollars in the construction of the city and
fort of Louisburg, named for King Louis the Magnificent. It was surrounded by a solid stone rampart
two and a half miles in circumference. The fortress had one hundred and one cannon, seventy-six swivels
and six mortars.  The harbor was defended by an island battery of thirty-two twenty-two pounders and a
royal battery of fifty cannon on the shore, with a moat and bastion so perfect that Bancroft says,
"they thought two hundred men could defend it against a thousand." The garrison numbered sixteen hundred
To subdue this powerful fortress, Pepperell had only four thousand men, none of them disiplined soldiers.
They were composed of fishermen, farmers, merchants and carpenters, many of them his own
neighbors and friends, who combined their devotion to him with their love of country.
Governor Shirley appointed Pepperell to the position of commander on account of his personal popularity,
which would insure enlistments.  Bancroft says: "The inventive genius of New England had been thorughly
aroused. These untried men formed flying bridges to scale the walls, planned their trenches and opened
batteries. Regardless of surf or tide, they landed instantly on their arrival, marched through thickets
and bogs, and on sledges of their own manufacture dragged their cannon through morasses, knee deep in
mud."  Fortunately the weather, nearly always foggy in those regions,
was clear the whole seven weeks of the siege. The men were cheered by words of encouragement from
their wives and friends and prayer meetings in their behalf were held every week in every town and
hamlet throughout New England. Whitefield was a warm friend of Pepperell, and warned him that "if he
failed he would have to bear the taunts of men and reproaches of women, but if he succeeded he would
be a shining mark for the envious;" but he added, "If Providence really called him he would return
conqueror."  Whitefield aided enlistment by his eloquence, preaching also to the army at its departure
and to the generals in private, giving them their motto: "Nothing can be desperate with Christ their
leader."  Pepperell urged him to become his private chaplain on the expedition but he declined, saying
he could do more good by praying at home, - "that he would beg of the Lord God
of armies to give him (Pepperell) a single eye - for the means proposed to take Louisburg in the eye
of common reason were no more adequate to the end than the sounding of rams' horns to take Jericho."
The unavoidable detention of French supplies, the capture of a French man-of-war, and the gradual
silencing of the batteries in Louisburg by the uninterrupted fire of Pepperell's guns insured this
great victory. Governor Shirley suggested taking Louisburg by surprise, while Warren and his officers
continually urged Pepperell to make some brilliant sallies or midnight attacks on outlying batteries.
Once only did he yield to their importunities, and the disastrous repulse of his troops which followed
proved the superiority of his judgent. Too great praise cannot be given to Pepperell for his manner
of conducting the siege. He lost only one hundred men, and most of those were the victims of the re-
luctantly permitted midnight attack.
In this campaign, as in all his business relations, his tact and knowledge of men were conspicuously
shown. While he was firm in purpose and principle his good temper and courteous manners won for him
a life-long friend in Sir Peter Warren, who aided him admirably with his fleet, but who felt no doubt
some natural solicitude as to the result of an expedition led by a provincial soldier with mercantile
training. Toward his own officers and men Pepperell had a still more difficult relation to maintain;
but he manifested such wisdom in his intercourse with his boyhood friends that he not only retained
but increased their friendship.
When Pepperell and Warren entered the city of Louisburg on the day of the surrender they were extremely
surprised at the apparently impregnable means of defence, and the troops felt that "God had gone out of
the way of his common providence in a remarkable and almost miraculous manner to incline the hearts of
the French to give up and deliver this strong city into our hands."
The long dentention of the troops at Louisburg after the capitulation proved the greatest hardship
they had to endure. Men who had enlisted for a few weeks were kept for months in the fortress, where
they encountered disease and death, from which they had been so signally preserved during the siege.
London and other English towns were as jubilant as Boston over the good news from Louisburg. There were
bonfires and illuminations innumerable and pulpit
press gave utterance to the spirit of pride and thankfulness felt throughout the land. King George
coferred a baronetcy upon Pepperell, with a commission of Colonel in the royal army.  Christopher
Kilby wrote to Sir William from London: "I have delivered to Major Wise, who goes passenger in one
of the men-of-war, your patent for Baronet, in a box with a seal, the grant of arms from the Herald's
office in a glass framed case, a small box containing your own watch and seal, a crystal heart and a
picture of the Duke, also Lady Pepperell's watch and chain with seal."
When Generals Pepperell and Warren landed in Boston after a year's service in Louisburg, they were
escorted from Long Wharf by the Governor and Council and deputations of all kinds through the streets
decorated with flags and filled with admiring and grateful citizens.  Probably New England never wit-
nessed a more triumphal march than that of Sir William Pepperell from Boston to Kittery.
All the large towns through which he passed - Lynn, Salem, Newburyport and Portsmouth - honored him
with banquets and fetes. His civic and military escort so increased in number on the way that they
added greatly to the brilliancy of the reception prepared for him by his neighbors and friends at
Portsmouth. Governor Wentworth's banquet was held at his house of "baronial and colonial fame."
Longfellow describes this famous mansion with its generous and lavish hospitality thus:
"He gave a splendid banquet served on plate,
Such as became the Governor of the State,
Who represented England and the King,
And was magnificent in everything.
He had invited all his friends and peers -
The Pepperells, the Langdons and the Leers."
The cannon used at Louisburg were destined to do duty at Bunker Hill, the same engineer who arranged
Pepperell's attack at Louisburg rendering similar service in laying out the ground for the first great
contest in the Revolutionary War.
Sir William Pepperell not only sacrificed his business interests by giving over a year to military
service, but he injured his health irreparably on the low, marshy ground in front of Louisburg, con-
tracting rheumatism which caused his death at a comparatively early age.
The Pepperell family, or those bearing the name, had a short-lived career in this country. Its ex-
istence of a little over seventy years, hardly three generations, is almost a romance. During that
period they amassed the largest fortune ever known at that time in New England, receivng the greatest
honors conferred by the mother country on a colonist; yet suddenly, by force of circumstances, the
whole fabric dissolved and for nearly a century its name, honors, wealth and fame held little place
in our annals, and have been only vaguely known to succeeding generations.
p.423                       Grandson, Sir William Pepperell was a Tory.
Sir William Pepperell the second, reared in reverence of the crown which his grandfather served so
loyally, did not espouse the cause of the colonists, and with other Tories was forced to flee to
England, leaving his estates to confiscation and uprooting the name of Pepperell from the land of his
William Pepperell, the father of Sir William Pepperell (1st) came from Wales, to the Isles of Shoals
in the latter half of the seventeenth century.  At first he engaged in the occupation of fishing, which
led to boat-building and acquaintance with John Bray, the pioneer shipbuilder at Kittery, Maine.
Mr. Bray was much interested in the young man from Wales, but was hardly prepared to grant Pepperell's
request for the hand of his beautiful daughter, Marjory Bray, then sixteen years of age. He consented,
however, when she was of suitable age, young Pepperell having in the meantime manifested the most un-
doubted business ability. He gave the young couple a large tract of land adjoining his own homestead
farm.  On this was erected the Pepperell mansion, occupied now, though much reduced in size. The main
portion of the old Bray house is also in existence, perhaps as interesting a structure as any left
over from the 17th century. Built in 1640, its massive timbers are polished with age, and the sunny
parlor with its many windowed recesses and wide fireplace does not lose in interest as the scene of the
marriage of William Pepperell and Marjory Bray one hundred and eighty years ago.
On a broad wooden panel over the fireplace is a crude painting of the city of Louisburg and plan of the
siege. Having no artistic merit in itself, it has an interest as a relic of the period. The Bray house,
considered old even then, was occupied at the time of Sir William's famous campaign by Capt. Deering,
his cousin, also a grandson of the old shipbuilder. As he served in front of Louisburg, this rough
sketch was no doubt the work of his own hand.
William Pepperell, the elder (from Wales) opend trade with Great Britain and the West Indies, prosper-
ing in all his undertakings. He commanded the garrison at Fort Pepperell at Kittery Point, and was
Justice of the Peace. Indian hostilities prevailed during Sir William Pepperell's childhood, and the
numerous reviews of his father's troops, his own patrol duty when sixteen years of age, and promotion
from the rank of captain to that of colonel at an early age were of infinite service in giving him
knowledge of military tactics and discipline, which he turned to good account later in life.
His military aspirations, however, lay dormant for many years, while he grasped the details of his
father's large business transactions, which he successfully accomplished before he became of age.
The firm of Pepperell &
Son frequently sent a fleet of one hundred vessels (some accounts say three hundred) to fish off the
banks, besides those engaged in foreign trade; and their shipyards in Kittery, Maine, showed an activity
and prosperity contrasting with the present crippled condition of this industry.
                    Sir William Pepperell owned the whole town of Saco which
                            was then called Pepperellborough.
At the age of eighteen years young William served as Clerk of Court, and at twenty-one he was appointed
Justice of the Peace, an office he retained during his life. He was a member of the Governor's Council
in Boston for 32 years and for 18 yrs of those served as president (of the Governor's Coucil). He owned
the whole town of Saco, Maine, then called Pepperelborough, where he erected mills on the same site now
occupied by the extensive cotton mills bearing his name (Pepperell Mills). There are a street and
square named for him. Parson says, "Sir William Pepperell rode on his own lands all the way from the
Piscataqua to the Saco River."  The town of Pepperell, Massachusetts was named for the hero of Louisburg. 
He ordered a church bell to be cast in London which he intended to present to the town
bearing this inscription with his name:  "I to the church the living call - And to the grave I summon
This bell never reached its destination. It probably arrived in this country after the death of the
donor (Sir William Pepperell) and tradition says that, being stored in Boston, it was sold to pay the
storage, though others assert that it was seized by the British soldiery during the war.
Sir William Pepperell's thirty-two years of service in the government at Boston brought him into con-
tact with the most refined circles, where he gained ease of manner and a polished address, while his
discussions of affairs of state in his wide correspondence with leading men of the colonies and England
gave him a facility of expression that counteracted in a great measure the lack of a liberal education.
His religious training was of the strictest character, and was largely promoted by the example and
precept of his mother, who was famed for her piety, gentleness and Christian charity.
Her mantle fell upon her son, William, whose acts of benevolence were numerous and whose deep religious
religious sentiment bore practical fruit in outward acts. He took no glory to himself in the taking
of Louisburg, but ascribed the success of the expedition to the prayers of the people.
Sir William Pepperell visited England a few years after the siege, and was highly gratified by the
demonstrations of respect and honor which were showered upon him. King George granted him an interview,
and the Prince of Wales gave him many tokens of his personal interest. The Lord Mayor of London pre-
sented him with a beautiful service of plate. He was entertained in many English homes; but no visit
gratified him so profoundly as one at the house of Mr. Kilby of London, where he met General Waldo,
his dearest American friend, and Admiral Warren, his companion in arms at Lousiburg. The old warriors
grew merry and happy over this delightful reunion so thoughtfully planned for them by their host, who
was an ardent admirer of Pepperell.
It was quite natural for Sir William Pepperell, after his return to his native land, to surround
himself with all the pomp which his great wealth and titles seemd to demand of him. The government
in England still continued its generous inclinations towards him - showing connclusively that
personal intercourse not in any
measure weakened his hold upon it, but seemed, on the contrary, to have strengthened him in its
esteem.  Pitt made him Lieutenant-General in the royal army, an honor never before conferred on a
colonist, and later Lord Halifax gave him a commission of Major-General. He was never in active ser-
vice after Louisburg, though he stood ready if called upon and even recruited his regiment for the
expected attack on Niagara, but whether the jealousy of English officers to serve under a provincial,
prevented his taking a leading part in the difficulties of that time - he never seems to have resented
what some might have considered a slight on the part of Governor Shirley. As some writer says, "Pepperell
was superior to it."  For many years he commanded all the militia of the eastern district,
and had charge of the responsible and constantly recurring Indian negotiations.
The name and history of the Pepperell family seem coexistent with that of Kittery, Maine, and lend a
romantic charm to that picturesque old town, making it one of the most interesting on the entire coast.
Sir William Pepperell owned a large portion of the present village and his house was the centre of
hospitality to his neighbors and friends as well as to distant and foreign guests.  Originally it
had a wing on either end, both of which were removed many years ago. In the time of the Pepperells,
smooth lawn sloped to the shore and a deer park stretched miles into the interior. Parsons says of
the house: "The walls were decorated with costly paintings, the furniture elegant. Massive side-boards
loaded with silver and cellars filled with choice wines."  From the broad landing of the wide stair-
case, Whitemfield often preached to teh family and friends who gathered in the square hall and adjoin-
ing rooms.
The view from the massive hall door is remarkably fine, commanding the entrance of the Piscataqua
River, the ocean beyond, and Fort Constitution across the bay. Pepperell's coach with servants and
outriders was well known on the road all the way from Saco to Boston, while his barge manned by twelve
colored men in gay livery plied the waters of the Piscataqua between Kittery, Portsmouth and Newcastle.
The annals of Saco speak of the admiration his scarlet clothes trimmed with gold lace and his powdered
wig excited when he attended church there, and mention is also made of the guinea he always dropped into
the plate.
He had a very good library for the time in which he lived. On his appointment as Judge, in order to fit
himself for the position, he sent immediately to England for a law library. This was the nucleus, to
which he added historical and religious works, until its dimensions were
such that he formed another library of his surplus books, sending it from town to town in his neighbor-
hood for the public benefit. Many of these books are now the property of the Church in Kittery, Maine.
                                Death of Sir William Pepperell.
Sir William Pepperell died in 1759, in his sixty-third year. Of his funeral some writer says: "The
body lay in state for a week, the house was hung with black, every picture in the Sparhawk house was
covered with crape. A sermon was delivered at the meeting-house; the pews were covered with black; the
procession was the largest ever known. Two oxen were roasted, bread, beer and spirits were given to the
common people, while rich wines and richer viands covered the costly tables in the house that had once
been the dwelling-place of him who should know them no more and to whom all earthly grandeur was as
He had erected a tomb for his father and mother on the slope of a hill in the rear of his house, placing
upon it a marble slab with suitable inscription. In this tomb have been place thirty members of the
Pepperell family, among them Sir William Pepperell and Lady Pepperell, though no inscription records
the fact that the hero of Loisburg lies there. About forty years ago the tomb was repaired by the last
descendant of Sir William Pepperell, who bore the name of Sparhawk.
                                 Mary Hirst, wife of Sir William Pepperell.
Sir William Pepperell's wife was Mary Hirst, a grandaughter of Judge Sewell, an accomplished lady of
Boston, who presided with dignity and grace over his household. They had several children, but all died
in infancy except two, a son - Andrew Pepperell and a daughter, Elizabeth Pepperell.
The hopes of the parents centered in this son, Andrew Pepperell, who was graduated at Harvard College.
He was fitted in mind and character to be a support and worthy successor to his father, but he died
suddenly in his twenty-sixth year, of typhoid fever, contracted by exposure in an open boat when re-
turning from an evening in Portsmouth.  During his sickness his father besought the prayers of the
clergy far and near to avert this terrible calamity.  Jonathan Edwards wrote one of his most beautiful
sermons in his letter of condolence to Lady Pepperell.
Sir William Pepperell being deeply religious, strove to bear with fortitude this loss, which was the
one great trial of his life.
                        Andrew Pepperell, son of Sir William Pepperell.
Endowed with immense wealth and a prospective title, with a handsome appearance, pleasing manners and
a graceful address, Andrew Pepperell had been a marked person from his boyhood. About two years before his
death, the fashionable world of Boston and vicinity was very much excited over the unexpected and rather
dramatic ending of his engagement to Hannah Waldo, daughter of General Samuel Waldo. There have been
various versions of this remarkable performance, reflecting more or less upon the young lady; but Mr.
Parsons from his study of the correspondence between the families came to an opposite conclusion.
General Samuel Waldo and Sir William Pepperell were devoted friends. Born the same year, their lives
had blended at various points in coucils of State, in military campaigns, and companionship in Europe,
the linkd of the chain cotinuing until their deaths, which occurred within a few days of each other.
This projected alliance was very gratifying to them both, while the conspicuous position of the two
families made the affair quite celebrated. Sir William Pepperell gave his son a fortune, a portion of
which he devoted to building a beautiful house at Kittery, Maine, for his intended bride.  Once the
marriage was delayed by a really serious illness of Andrew Pepperell, and afterwards at different times
through various pretexts on his part, to the great chagrin of both families, until finally, after the
lapse of four years, the day was appointed, invitations were extended and everything was in readiness,
when Miss Hannah Waldo received a letter from Andrew, the bridegroom elect, asking "another postponement
for a few days, naming one - more convenient to himself."
This proved too exasperating to the long-suffering and hitherto patient young lady. "She made no reply
to his request, but on the appointed day, when all the guests had assembled, and the minister was ready
to perform the ceremony," Miss Hannah turned quickly to the tranquil and unsuspecting Andrew Pepperell
who stood by her side, and informed him "that all was at an end between them, for he certainly could
have no true affection for one whom he had so constantly mortified."
Amdrew Pepperell's action in this matter, so contrary to his faithfulness in all others, was as inex-
plicable to his family as to his friends.  Sir William and Lady Pepperell were greatly distressed.
General Samuel Waldo, who was in Europe at the time, deplored his daughter's action in this matter;
but the parties most deeply interested seemed easily consoled.
Andrew Pepperell entered into all the gayeties of Portsmouth with his usual zest, while "the spirited
Hannah was led to the alter in six weeks by Mr. Fulker, secretary of the province."  The daughter of
Mr. Fulker and his wife, Hannah Waldo, became the wife of General Knox, and showed that she inherited
the independent spirit of her mother, Hannah, by marrying the young patriot in spite of the opposition
of her parents who were Tories.
The fame of the beautiful house built by Andrew Pepperell for his betrothed still endures, and the site,
overlooking the harbor and surrounding country, is one of the finest building locations in Kittery,
Maine.  Fifty thousand dollars was expended in the erection of this house and its adornments and it is
a matter of regret that it fell a victim to the misdirected zeal of the soldiery who occupied it during
the Revolutionary War. They mutilated the fine staircase and carved mantels, broke the painted tiles
and furniture, and finally burnt it to the ground, shouting, "Such should be the fate of all traitors
to their country," forgetting in their blind rage all the benefits conferred upon his country by Sir
William Pepperell only thirty years before.
This feeling of resentment against the family had not abated even in this century. People now living
state that the tomb, which had caved in by the continued trampling of cattle, became a playground
for the village boys, who would toss up in derision the "old Tory skulls" of the Pepperells, whose
revived fame now casts a lustre over the whole region.
            Colonel Nathaniel Sparhawk marries Mary Pepperell, dau. of Sir William Pepperell.
The only surviving child of Sir William Pepperell and his wife, Mary, married Colonel Nathaniel Sparhawk.
The letter in which her father, Sir William Pepperell ordered a portion of her trousseau
from London is interesting:
Piscataqua in New England
October 14th, 1741.
Sir -
Your favor of the 16th of May & 26th of June last, I received by Captain Prince, for which I am much
obliged to you. Enclosed you have a receipt for 46 pounds of gold - weighing 20 ounces - which will be
delivered to you I hope, by Capt. Robert Noble - of ye Ship, America - which please to receive and
credit to my account with, and send me by ye first opportunity, for this place or Boston, silk to make
a woman a full suite of clothes, the ground to be white paduroy & flowered with all sorts of colors
suitable for a young woman.  Another white watered tabby and gold lace for trimming of it - 12 yrds.
of green paduroy - 13 yrds of lace for a woman's head dress - 2 inches wide - as can be bought for
13 shillings per yard. A handsome fan with leather mounting, as good as can be bought for aboud 20 s.
Two pair silk shoes and clobs a size bigger than ye shoes. Your servant to command,
William Pepperell.
Her father's wedding gift was a large tract of land and the fine gambrel-roof house well preserved
at the present time. Sir William Pepperell cut the timber from his own land, sending it in his vessels
to England to be fashioned and carved ready for use. The hall and stairway must be considered stately
even in these days of architectural display. The hall paper was a special design in panels containing
different epochs in the history of the land.  At the top of each panel is the sun with its golden rays;
directly underneath, Indians with upraised tomahawks; then below, British cannon with flags and emblems;
while at the bottom is a baronial castle with a lady seated on a balcony, in the quaint costume of the
tiem, with a drooping hat and feather. This is said to be a
portrait of Mrs. Sparhawk and it is an appropriate supposition that the cavalier opposite was also
a likeness of her husband.  There were numerous peacocks with spreading plumage placed upon the terrace
near them.  The design of this paper is extraordinary, but its quality is apparent to all, for its
coloring is a bright and its surface as smooth as when it was hung one hunrded and fifty years ago.
In the time of the Sparhawks the walls were covered with paintings, chiefly portraits, said to be fifty
in number, many life size.  Some of these formerly belonged to Sir William Pepperell. They have all
been scattered, destroyed or lost.  The portrait that was painted of the baronet (Sir Wm. Pepperell)
while he was in London, in scarlet regimentals with his sword by his side, is the property of the
Essex Institute in Salem, Mass..  Sir Peter Warren's, a companion piece, presented to Sir William
Pepperell, is at the Anthenaeum in Portsmouth; and Colonel Nathaniel Sparhawk's at the Mass. Historical
Rooms in Boston.  The poet Longfellow unearthed a painting of the two Pepperell children, son and
daughter of Sir William the second, great grandchildren of the warrior merchant, at a shop in Portland,
and it now hangs as a valued relic in the drawing room at Craigie House in Cambridge.
Sir William Pepperell planted an avenue of elm trees from his own house to his daughter's, over half
a mile in length.  The carriage drive from the public road to the front door of the Sparhawk mansion
was paved with colored stones in mosaic patterns, which can now be easily traced.  Within this century,
two descendants of the Sparhawk family, returning from England, took possession of the old house, but
they were in such reduced circumstances, that they were obliged to cut down a portion of the fine old
trees for fuel.
Lady Pepperell's house, which she built after her husband's death, stands near the Sparhawk mansion
and close to the old Church, to which they were all strongly attached.  The mania for modernizing
reached Kittery about a dozen years ago, and the old sounding-board and square pews, full of interest-
ing associations, were torn out of this church and replaced with uncomfortable and unsightly slips.
The beautiful silver service and handsomely engraved christening bowl, presented by different members
of the Pepperell family, the bowl of Sir William Pepperell, are shown with pardonable pride to visitors.
The Reverand Mr. Moody preached frequently at this church, though he was a settled pastor at York, Maine.
He went to Louisberg as General William Pepperell's private chaplain. It is related of him that
at the entertainment given directly after the
surrender to the officers who had so bravely and honorably conducted the siege, it was feared by some
of the young gentlemen that the dinner would be spoiled by the length of the blessing.  When all were
ready, Mr. Moody lifted his hands and eyes to heaven and said: "Lord, the mercies thou has bestowed,
thy mercies and benefits, have been so wonderful that time is too short to express our sense of Thy
goodness. We must leave it for the work of eternity. Fill uswith gratitude, and bless what is set
before us. Amen."  So short and comprehensive a blessing, says the narrative, was perhaps never ex-
pressed by a more pious man.
          Sir Wm. Pepperell will his baronetcy to grandson Wm. Pepperell Sparhaw, providing
                             he change his name to Pepperell.
After providing generously for his wife and daughter, Sir William Pepperell left the bulk of his
property to his grandson, William Pepperell Sparhawk, - his baronetcy to descend to him also,
provided he assume the name Pepperell on coming of age. When the Revolutionary War broke out,
this grandson, then Sir William (Sparhawk) Pepperell, remained a Royalist and his vast possessions
were confiscated.
England became his home where he lived in comparative ease on the proceeds of his property in the
West Indies and the personal effects that he was permitted to keep.  It took Colonel Newton and
six marines to transport his silver to h is vessel in Boston Harbor (The evacuation of Boston)
One of Sir William's swords is at the Historical Room in Boston; the jewelled one given to him
by Sir Peter Warren, the gold snuff-box presented by the Prince of Wales, and a large seal ring,
that Mr. Parsons says are in this country in the possession of relatives.  A few years ago, a ring
with inscription comemorative of Sir William Pepperell's funeral was ploughed up in a village in
northern New Hampshire, on land that formerly belonged to one of his pall-bearers, to whom
such tokens were always given in those days. 
Portsmouth during the Revolutionary War was indebted for its preservation to Mary Sparhawk, Sir
William's grandaughter.  Her beauty captivated Captain Mowwatt of the British vessel Canceaux.
He visited the Loyal house  of Sparhawk on his way up the Piscataqua to burn Portsmouth.  The
fascinating Mary Sparhawk persuaded him that some city farther east would serve his purpose as
well and obedient to her mandate, he sailed out of the Piscataqua and Portland became the victim.
There are no descendants by the name of Pepperell in this country or Europe.
Sir William Pepperell the 2nd whose only son died young, devoted his life to works of benevolence.
He was one of the founders of the London Foreign Bible Society.  His three daughters married in high
ecclesiastical circles in England.
The name Sparhawk also is now extinct. The last one of this family, who freely spent the little
money she possessed in repairing the tomb of her ancestors, was herself placed within it a few years
ago, when it was permanently sealed.
However much we may regret the loss of innumerable papers treasured by Sir William Pepperell, which
would have given material for a much more complete life, enough has been gleaned to make manifest
the fact that he was a most interesting figure in colonial history, and that his pure, unblemished
life, as well as his great qualities of head and heart and his romantic history, make him a profitable
study for young and old of later generations.
Transcribed by Janice Farnsworth


Transcribed by Janice Farnsworth