Rev. Joseph Capen, Sr.

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Joseph Capen, Sr.

Birthdate: (66)
Birthplace: Dorchester (within present Boston), Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
Death: July 30, 1725 (66)
Topsfield, Essex County, Province of Massachusetts, (Present USA)
Place of Burial: Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Capt. John Capen and Mary Capen
Husband of Priscilla Capen (Appleton)
Father of Priscilla Tyler; John Capen; Mary Griffin; Elizabeth Bradstreet; Joseph Capen and 2 others
Brother of Mary Payson; Samuel Capen; Bernard Capen; Mary Foster; James Capen and 3 others
Half brother of Joanna Capen and Lieut. John Capen

Managed by: Carole (Erickson) Pomeroy,Vol. C...
Last Updated:

About Rev. Joseph Capen, Sr.

WIKIPEDIA: Joseph Capen (1658–1725) was the son of John Capen of Dorchester, Massachusetts, by his second wife, Mary, the daughter of Samuel Bass of Braintree. Joseph Capen was a member of the class of 1677 at Harvard and was a minister in Topsfield, Massachusetts, from 1681 to his death in 1725. Capen moved to Topsfield, Massachusetts, in 1682 to become the minister of the Congregational Church there. His predecessors set his prospects low .Two or the past three ministers were unable to collect their salaries, and one of them went on trial for intemperance, such as several accounts of drunkenness and slander.

In Topsfield, most of the people lived in one or two room houses. For the most part, these houses left these people vulnerable to the harsh New England winters and to the local Native Americans who were formerly their enemies. This created distress in and of itself. Boundary disputes often set neighbors against each other and split the town’s views right down the middle. Often, community gatherings such as town meetings and militia drills would end in drunken brawls or gunfire. By the time Capen died in 1725, these problems had been put to a rest. Although this is not solely due to Capen, as a religious leader in the town, he was a key factor in developing the social order.

In the Capen household, they had a very large sized parlor that was considered their best room in their house. This suggests that the Capen’s parlor was used for private town events in the area as well as semi public events. This is unusual because areas that were reserved for private use were rare anywhere in Topsfield. His house, the Parson Capen House, has been preserved by the Topsfield Historical Society since 1913.It is now considered “one of the finest examples of Elizabethan architecture”.

During the Salem Witch Trials, a member of Capen's congregation, Mary Eastey, was hanged for witchcraft in the Salem witch trials of 1692. Many of the accused people wrote petition’s to the head’s of the proceedings demanding for justice to be granted and their certain prayer’s to be answered. On July 8th 1703, Capen was among many other minister’s who signed an address made to the general court that begged that the prayer’s of the petitioners be granted.

These men were: Thomas Barnard, Andover, Joseph Green, Salem, William Hubbard, Salem, John Wise, Ipswich, John Rogers, Ipswich, Jabez Fitch, Ipswich, Benjamin Rolfe, Haverhill, Samuel Cheever, Marblehead, Joseph Gerish, Wenham, Joseph Capen, Topsfield, Zacariah Symonds, Bradford, Thomas Symonds, Boxford.

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Rev. Joseph Capen, Sr.'s Timeline

December 20, 1658
Dorchester (within present Boston), Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
September 1, 1685
Age 26
Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts
June 15, 1687
Age 28
Topsfield, Essex, MA, United States
February 7, 1689
Age 30
Haverhill, Essex, MA, United States
April 1691
Age 32
Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States
August 6, 1693
Age 34
Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States
July 13, 1695
Age 36
Topsfield, Essex, MA, United States
April 2, 1699
Age 40
Topsfield, Essex, MA, United States
July 30, 1725
Age 66
Topsfield, Essex County, Province of Massachusetts, (Present USA)