John Larkin (1735 - 1807)

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Birthplace: Charlestown, Boston, Massachusetts
Death: Died
Occupation: minister; tea merchant
Managed by: Emily Wilson
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About John Larkin

Deacon John Larkin (April 3, 1735 – December 14, 1807) was an ordained minister of the First Congregational Church in his hometown of Charlestown, Massachusetts. He was also a merchant, in the tea trade, for the East India Company, having in his possession chests of tea that he readily concealed to avoid England's Stamp Tax. John Larkin is most notable for aiding Paul Revere to obtain the horse he used in his "Midnight Ride". The horse was owned by John's father, Samuel Larkin. John Larkin's will is among Charlestown Records. He amassed a large fortune before he died in 1807. His estate was probated for $86,381.99.

On April 17, 1775, British troops were dispatched by Governor General Sir Thomas Gage to seize weaponry held by suspected rebels. Paul Revere and Richard Devens combined efforts with John Larkin, to borrow his father's large horse in order to deliver intelligence to the towns of Menotomy (now Arlington) and Lexington. Genealogist William Ensign Lincoln, recorded a Larkin family tradition that the horse was a mare named "Brown Beauty" belonging to Samuel Larkin, John Larkin's father. According to Lincoln, in 1930, he wrote: "The mare was borrowed at the request of Samuel's son, Deacon John Larkin, and was never returned to the owner."

During the Battle of Bunker Hill, some British troops marched through the Boston suburb of Charlestown, Massachusetts, where the Larkin families lived. John's brother, Ebenezer Larkin (1740-1794), fired a musket from a window of his home at the British troops, who in reprisal, burned the Larkin homes to the ground. John Larkin and his family fled, unscathed, to Cambridge where they lived in a house once occupied by General Washington and later by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.


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John Larkin's Timeline

April 3, 1735
Boston, Massachusetts
Age 26
Age 27
Age 28
July 7, 1765
Age 30
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts
Age 30
Age 37
Age 41
September 17, 1781
Age 46
Boston, Massachusetts
December 14, 1807
Age 72