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THE DEATH
OF SAMUEL
EDDY'S DOG
Animated Dog


© 1997, Sam Behling

My 9th great grandfather, Samuel Eddy, was baptized May 15, 1608 at Cranbrook, Kent, England. He came to New England with his brother John on the Handmaid, leaving the port of London on August 10, 1630 and arriving at Plymouth Harbor on the October 29, 1630 after a very stormy twelve weeks at sea. Both Samuel and John intended to join their distant connections, the Winthrops and the Doggetts, who had come to New England earlier in this same year and who had settled at Boston, and even though Miles Standish personally escorted them to Boston, they were not permitted remain because they had neglected to obtain letters from the Plymouth Colony, dismissing them from that colony to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The brothers returned to Plymouth with Miles Standish.

Samuel Eddy was only twenty-two years of age and had just finished an apprenticeship in the tailoring trade when he set sail for New England. He lived in Plymouth until the family moved to Swansea about 1680 where he died November 12, 1687 in his eighty-seventh year.

While living in Plymouth, the following was recorded in Vol 11, p. 107, of Plymouth Court Orders. "On 4 Aug 1646 it was decided in the case betwixt Sam'l Edey and John Dunham, Jr. about ye said John Dunham's giveing poysen to the said Samuel Eddy's Dogg, the Court having taken the same into consideration upon hearing what could be said upon both sides The Court doth order ye said John Dunham shall find sureties for his good behavior unto the next court."

I found this delightful poem, based on the above, in The Eddy Family Association Bulletin, pp. 497-498.Vol. xiii, No. 1, April 1, 1934.

An Elegy on the Death of Samuel Eddy's Dog
by William Holden Eddy.

To day no lofty strain I sing, of Pilgrims' joy or suffering,
No tales heroic do I bring to set your minds agog;
An incident of daily life of bitterness, alas, and strife,
When rumors sorrowful were rife of Samuel Eddy's dog.

The breed he sprang from who can name? Mastiff or bull we cannot claim.
Or trained to seek the fleeting game, in forest or in bog;
Lurcher or hound, or terrier keen, Spaniel or Porter, greyhound lean,
Naught do we know of this, I ween, of Samuel Eddy's dog.

What that dog did we do not know, almost three centuries ago,
Little indeed the records show, in Plymouth's catalogue.
But this we read, one summer day stretched cold in death the poor beast lay,
Poisoned by some fell foe, they say, was Samuel Eddy's dog.

Of this in truth we may be clear, that all the settlers, far and near
Spoke words of comfort and of cheer, in friendly dialogue;
And soothed, as best they could, the woe that had o'ercome its master so,
And checked the tears that would o'erflow, for Samuel Eddy's dog.

Think of the grief of Zachariah, of Caleb, sad as Jeremiah,
And doubtless year-old Obadiah, though somewhat in a fog,
Upraised his voice in wailing strong, and added to the weeping throng
Another lamentation strong for Samuel Eddy's dog.

What was John Dunahm's dreadful fate? What punishment did him await?
Who made the household desolate? What was the epilogue?
This only, that he sureties gave, than henceforth he would well behave
For ever after poison crave for Samuel Eddy's dog.

But later these two men agreed in partnership a cow to feed,
To satisfy their households' need with milk instead of grog;
Thus out of eveil, good somehow will often come; and so that cow
Repentance shows and sorrow now, for Samuel Eddy's dog.

So let us pardon grant to him, and trust he's with the cherubim,
That man who gave the poison grim, and broke the Decalogue.
And let us all assembled here in heartfelt sorry drop a tear
Upon the long forgotten bier of Samuel Eddy's dog.


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