Iron Works, now a national monument,
displays a plaque upon which are the words:
"In Commemoration of the 300th Anniversary of the Settlement of the Scottish
War Prisoners at the Lynn and Braintree Plants of the Company of Undertakers
in New England. A Tribute to the group of Scots prisoners taken by Cromwell's
armies taken at the Battle of Dunbar (September 3, 1650); consigned to
John Becx and Joshua Foote, two of the Undertakers; carried in the ship
Unity to Boston whence they were sent, some to the ironworks, others
to wherever men stood ready to buy their services; and quickly assimilated
into the Puritan community to which they had come as tragic victims of
war and in which they remained to aid in the building of a new country
and to raise up a large and worthy progeny."
Learn more about:
Parks Foundation Guide to Saugus Iron Works
Descendants of Robert Dunbar of Hingham, Mass. 1630-1693"
By Ann Theopold Chaplin
Robert Dunbar was probably born about 1630-34 in Scotland. According
to tradition, Robert was a native of Morayshire, Scotland. No proof of
his parentage has been ascertained. He died at Hingham, Massachusetts,
19 September 1693 where he resided with his wife Rose. It is not
known where they were married or who her parents were. Rose died at Hingham
10 November 1700.
Among the papers of the Suffolk County Superior Court is a case heard in
1659 between the administrator of Mr. Joshua Foote's estate and Ferdinando
Thayer. Within these papers is the following deposition:
Dunbar aged about 25 years testifieth and saith that being a servant unto
Mr. Joshua Foote when he lived at Boston I was sent by him unto Minotoquid
(Braintree) River to work and when I came there I was ordered what work
I should do by Ferdinando Thayer who wrought with me in the work for Mr.
Foote. Further I do testify that Ferdinando Thayer did not only work with
us but carried the bolts unto the water side to the loading place the time
being so long since that I cannot remember how much work hee did nor what
quality of bolts he caried downe but he also shewed us our work and appointed
us timber wee should work upon in the woods and further saith not.
Careful investigation points to the strong probability that this Robert
Dunbar who was held to the service of Joshua Foote for a term of years
as early as 1655, and possibly as early as 1652, was one of Cromwell's
Scottish prisoners taken at the Battle of Dunbar in 1650, or at the Battle
of Worcester in 1651.
upon oath this 11th 9th 1659 before Thomas Savage, Commission."
A List of the Scots at the Lynn Ironworks in 1651, taken from the George
S. Stewart manuscript collection at the New England Historic Genealogical
Society, comprises 43 names, among which is that of Robert Dunbar.
Although Robert's name does not appear on either of the two ship lists
of prisoners taken to New England, there is evidence of a third ship's
passage and he may well have arrived on it.
Reverend Peter Hobart wrote in his diary:
Dunbarr settled in Hingham in 1655. He was a Scotsman and lived on Scotland
Street. The opinion generally prevailed in Hingham that Mr. Dunbar brought
enough money with him to begin life without embarrassment, as for years
there were but two men in the place who paid a higher tax."
Since Rose appears in no Massachusetts Bay Colony records, other than at
the time of her death at Hingham, it is possible that they were married
in Scotland and that Robert "sent home to Scotland" for her and requested
her to bring their funds when she came.
Roberts will, dated 13 September 1693 and signed in the presence of Enoch
Wilton, Thomas Wilton and Thomas Garner, names wife Rose and sons John,
Joseph, Peter and Joshua. Also named is "the son of my son James, deceased,"
as well as three daughters, Mary, Sarah, and Hannah.
born 1 December 1657, baptized 13 December 1657; Rev. Hobart's journal
refers to him as "1st born son"
born 25 October 1660, baptized 9 December 1660, died about 1707; married
at Hingham 28 June 1698 Isaac Harris of Bridgewater, son of Arthur Harris
and Martha Lake -- Isaac's second marriage.
born 13 March 1661/2, baptized 11 May 1662
born 5 June 1664, baptized 5 June 1664, died at Bridgewater, Mass., 12
December 1690; married about 1683 at Hingham Jane Harris, daughter of Isaac
Harris by his first wife Mercy Latham.
born 1 Nov. 1666, baptized 24 March 1667, died soon.
died 12 February 1761, age 51; married 5 December 1729 Robert Garnet, born
at Hingham 31 August 1706, died 5 December 1788.
born 3 October 1715, died by 7 May 1725.
Peter Dunbar, born at Hingham, Plymouth County, Massachusetts,
8 September 1668 and died at Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts,
23 April 1719. He married at Hingham 25 March 1691 Sarah, born at
Hingham 16 November 1668, the daughter of Samuel Thaxter and Abigail
Church. Peter Dunbar was a selectman
of Hingham in 1699. In 1706 he bought the Jacob Leonard place in Bridgewater
and his name no longer appeared on the tax lists after 1707. Peter died
born at Hingham 4 December 1691, died at Bridgewater 11 or 14 April 1750;
married at Bridgewater 4 December 1711 Joshua Fobes
born at Weymouth 26 June 1693; married at Bridgewater 15 January 1723/4
Thomas Alger, son of Israel Alger and Patience Hayward.
born at Hingham 15 November 1694
born at Hingham 30 May 1697, died at Hingham 19 September 1699
born at Hingham 21 October 1699
born at Hingham 16 November 1701
born at Bridgewater, 11 May 1704
born at Bridgewater 21 July 1706, died young
born at Bridgewater 18 September 1709
born at Bridgewater 27 June 1711