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Scots at the Braintree Furnace (1653)

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Clark and Grant
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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 tran...

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From "An Incomplete List of Scottish Prisoners of War Sent to New England in 1650" -- According to Colonel Banks' 1927 paper presented to the Massachusetts Historical Society, in the aftermath of the Battle of Dunbar, 900 Scots were to be sent to Virginia. Another 150 prisoners were sent to New England aboard the Unity through Joshua Foote and John Becx, owners of the Saugus (Lynn) and Braintree (Quincy) Iron Works.

There is no known passenger list for the Unity.

On April 2, 1651 an account appears in the Iron Works Papers for "a weeckes Dyett to ye 7th of 61 Menn" By June 9, 1651 the Iron Works has 38 Menn remaining on these rolls. The rolls continue to dwindle as these indentured workers are sold to others.

The only surviving list of Scots by name is in the 1653 Iron Works inventory. It lists 35 names.


As a result, the following Scots are known to have worked at the Iron Works.

  • John Archbell
  • John Banke
  • Alexander Bravand
  • Alexander Burgess
  • John Clarke
  • James Daniels (Danielson)
  • George Darling
  • Malcolm Downing
  • Alexander Dugle
  • James Dunsmore
  • Alexander Eaton
  • Alexander Ennis
  • James Gourdan
  • Peter Grant
  • Alexander Grimes
  • Thomas Gualter
  • Andrew Jempson (Thompson)
  • William Jourdan
  • Thomas Kelton
  • James Luddle
  • Malcolm Maccallum
  • James MacKall
  • John Mackshane
  • William Mackwater
  • John MacMallen
  • John Mason
  • Robert Miny (Meeny)
  • Engram Moody
  • John Pardee
  • John Rupton
  • John Steward
  • James Taylor
  • George Thomson
  • James Thomson
  • John Toish
  • Thomas Tower

In addition to the Scots listed above, there were many more Scots in New England that arrived on the Unity. Some of them went through the Iron Works and may have even worked with or for Iron Works employees.

  • James Adams
  • Archibald Anderson
  • Robert Dunbar
  • ?????? Davison (died just before or shortly after arrival)
  • James Hage
  • Robert MacIntire
  • Alexander MacMallen
  • James Moore
  • John Paul

In the Register 105:180, it states: 'Alexander Enos (Innes) was another of the Scots. There is a letter addressed to him by Robert Guthrie in the first book of New Shoreham records. In this letter Guthrie calls him "my country-man" and states that he will leave it at Taunton. In it he says that the town will give him land if he comes to the Island to live. Enos was probably working at the Taunton Iron Works for Leonard, so it is probable that he had previously been at the Saugus iron works. His wife, Katherine, was an Irish woman, and was probably one of the few Irish captives shipped to New England as indentured servants after Cromwell's Irish campaigns. ...'


  • Descendants of Alexander Innes
  • Social and Economic Networks in Early Massachusetts: Atlantic Connections. Marsha L. Hamilton. Penn State Press, 2009 - History - 204 pages. Page 43: "Laborers in Early Massachusetts.". "Even Puritan leaders in Massachusetts wanted to ensure the well being of the prisoners. John Cotton carefully reassured Oliver Cromwell that the Scots had received fair treatment in New England ..."