October 18, 2019 by Hilary Jenison and Laura Winters
The Hingham Anchor officially set sail last October and it’s been such a fun ride and exceeded our wildest expectations because of all of you – our local followers – that have decided to hop aboard with us. Our goal has always been to celebrate the awesome people that live and work in Hingham in a way that is fresh, engaging and fun.
For our one year “Anchor-versary” we wanted to do something memorable. For the past year, we’ve often joked that we should head to Hingham, England to explore our roots and see what it’s like in the Hingham across the pond. And, a few weeks ago, we said heck – let’s go! So, here we are and for the next few days we’ll be connecting with and celebrating the people in our sister-city, Hingham Norfolk.
But first, here’s a little bit of history that the Hingham Historical Society provided to us before e on our adventure (note, of course we needed the “Cliffs Notes” version). Our sincerest thanks to the Hingham Historical Society for taking the time to educate us!
We’ll be adding stories throughout the weekend with details about who we meet and what we learn. Thanks for following along and let us know if you have any specific inquires for our friends across the pond!
Hilary & Laura
History of Hingham, MA (courtesy of the Hingham Historical Society)
- Edmund Hobart of Hingham, Norfolk England was born in 1570 and "was the ancestor of all who have borne this surname by birth in Hingham" Edmund arrived at Charlestown Ma in 1633 and with his son Thomas, came to "Bare Cove" in 1633. Its is believed that Edmund and Thomas did not settle permanently in Hingham until Edmund's other son, Peter - and Thomas' twin brother - arrived with his family in 1635 and established house lots on 9/18/1635 on what we know as North St then called "Town st" along the Town Brook. Hobart house lots were around "Gould's Bridge" which we know today as the intersection of North, Hersey and Thaxter St.
- Peter Hobart was born 10/13/1604 in Hingham, Norfolk, England and was educated at Magdalen College at Cambridge England where he received a Bachelors and Masters Degree in 1629. Peter left Hingham England as part of the Great Puritan Migration. Puritans were different from Pilgrims in that they did not seek to break from the Church of England but to make the practice of their faith more ”pure.” Peter and his travelers including his first wife and their four children. The Peter Hobarts first landed in Charlestown MA in June 1635 and then headed to Hingham in September. (Show picture of historic marker at Ship/North St)
- The Reverend Peter Hobart was a minister for 55 years and as a memorial tablet in Hingham cemetery states - 9 of those years were in Hingham, England while 44 were in Hingham, MA. Reverend Hobart was the first minister of Hingham's first parish - what we know as Old Ship Meetinghouse (show picture of marker or Old Ship)
- Peter Hobart and his two wives had 18 children - four born in Hingham, England, one in Charlestown and 13 in what we know as Hingham, MA - at least three of his children died in infancy, son Josiah became a Hingham selectmen, four sons went into the ministry and son Japhet - sailing back to England in 1670 as a Harvard trained surgeon - was lost at sea.
- After the first European settlers came to Hingham in 1633 and incorporated the town in 1635, a large company - 133 persons - came from Hingham England in 1638 aboard the Diligent. The trans-Atlantic journey took about eight weeks and once the Diligent landed in Charlestown, a smaller boat took the immigrants down the coast to Hingham. Included in this group was the Beal family.
- John Beal upon his arrival in Hingham in 1638 was granted six acres on what now the corner of South and Hersey street The town clerk recorded in 1638 "John Beal, shoemaker with his wife, five sons, three daughters ad two servants came from Old Hingham and settled in New Hingham." John died April 1, 1688. One record by Judge Sewall wrote "Father Beal of Hingham dies "aet 100 years."
- Early European settlers in Hingham settled along the town brook which ran in from Hingham Harbor between what we know today as North and South Street.(above artwork by Joan Brancale)
- A 1638 house in Hingham likely had two rooms side by side each about eighteen feet square with a big chimney between them an a fireplace in each room. One was the "hall" and the other was the bedroom where parents slept with little children in trundle beds. A ladder beside the chimney led up to two lofts where older children slept. A "lean-to" may have been on the back of the house for food and tools, churns, barrels and a spinning wheel. To the rear was a separate shed for animals" From Russel Hart, author of Not All Has Changed: A Life History of Hingham
- Hingham Before European Settlement - The Massachusett tribe called the hills and coastline of Hingham home centuries before Europeans settled “Bare Cove” in 1633. Their population was decimated by smallpox in the early 1600s but descendants live on today to tell their story. Many of the main roads in Hingham were originally native trails and archaeologists have unearthed artifacts that speak to their seasonal migration- from points inland to the coast- for fishing and shell fishing. The Hingham Historical Society will debut a major exhibit about the Massachusett in Fall 2020.