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Scots Charitable Society of Boston

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  • John Clark, Scots POW (c.1620 - 1685)
    John Clark was one of the Scottish POWs brought over on the ship Unity in 1650 after capture in the Battle of Dunbar to work as an indentured servant. Like many of his compatriots, he worked for a time...
  • Peter Grant (1631 - 1718)
    The James Grant who married Elizabeth Everell was NOT his father, but he was a kinsman. Peter Grant was captured at the Battle of Dunbar on 3 September 1650 and deported to America. Because he was tr...
  • William Ballantine, of Boston (1627 - 1670)
    From A Catalogue of the Names of the Early Puritan Settlers of the Colony of Connecticut: With the Time of Their Arrival in the Country and Colony, Their Standing in Society, Place of Residence, Condit...
  • James Grant "the Scotchman" (c.1631 - c.1663)
    He is called in old records "the Scotchman," to distinguish him from another James Grant, "the Drummer ". He fought in the army of Charles II at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651, was capture...
  • John Kneeland, Sr (1632 - 1691)
    Apparently another Scots 1650 Battle of Dunbar POW indentured to the colonies for 7 years: ... and if so, a founding member of the Scots Charitable Society 6 Mar 1657 in Boston Mary Hawkins, born b...

The Scots Charitable Society (est.1657) of Boston, Massachusetts, was established to provide relief for local, "needy Scotch people, after proper investigation." It "enjoys the distinction of being the oldest Scots society in America." It "became the prototype for thousands of other groups" of private charity in America.

The founding members were: Robert Porteous, William Cossar, Alexander Simson, George Thomson, James Moore, James Grant, Thomas Dewar, John Clark, Peter Grant, John Kneeland, Thomas Polson, William Anderson, James Webster, William Gibson, Alexander Grant, Andrew Jamesone, William Ballantyne, William Speed, James Ingles, John Macdonald, Thomas Shearer, George Trumble, Alexander Bogle, John Bennett, James Adams, Malcome Makcallome, and John Mason.

Charter

At a meeting the 6 of January 1657 we whose names are underwritten being all or the most part present did agree and conclude for the releefe of our selves, and any other for the which wee may see cause, to make a box, and every one of us to give as God shall moue our harts whose blessing and direction wee doe from our harts desyre to have from him (who is able to doe abundantly aboue all that wee are able to ask or think) both in the beginning and managing of that which we doe intend, and therefore that we may express our Intentions and become our own Interpreters, (leaving those that shall come after us to doe better than we have begun) hopeing that by the assistance of the great God who can bring small beginnings to greatter perfection than wee for the present can think of or expect, and lykewise we hope that God who hath the harts of all men in his hands and can turne them which way soever he pleaseth will double our spirit upon them and make them more zealous for his glory and the mutuall good one of another . . . and therefore knowing our owne weakness to express our selues in this particulasr we leave ourselues and it both to God and to the word of his grace, and doe desyre to declare our Intentions about which we have agreed. That is to say that wee whose names are Inserted in this booke doe and will by God's assistance give as God will moue us and as our ability will bear at our first entring, but it is agreed that none give less at ther entring then twelve pence and then quarterly to pay sixpence, and that this our benevolence is for the releefe of our selves being Scottishmen or for any of the Scottish nation whome we may see cause to helpe (not excluding the prudentiall care of the respective prudentiall townsmen whose God shall cast any of us or them, but rather as an addition thereunto) and it is agreed that there shall nothing be taken out of the box for the first sevin yeers for the releefe of any (the box being as yet in its minority), and further it is agreed that there shall be one Chosen (one of good report, fearing God, hateing covetousnes) quarterly to receive the dutyes of the said box and lykewise what Legacies may be left unto it, and that the first box maister shall give up all the revenues belonging unto the said box unto the next that is chosen, and so continue quarterly until) the Company may see any Inconvenience in it or cause to alter it, and it is agreed that our children shall have the same liberty with ourselves, they entring (when they are growne up) orderly, and it further agreed that those who doth willfully neglect to pay there dutys and have entred for the space of a twelve month togethir, shall have no benefite hereafter by the said box.

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