A True Republican: The Life of Paul Revere

By Jayne E. Triber | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SIX
"MR. REVERE WILL GIVE YOU THE NEWS"

PAUL REVERE'S role as master goldsmith seemed to take precedence over his activities as a Son of Liberty in the first months of 1773. Throughout January, February, and March he filled a steady stream of orders, including two large orders for silver spoons from Epes Sargent Jr., son of one of Gloucester's wealthiest merchant families and Master of Tyrian Lodge, which Revere had helped establish in 1770. The patronage of the Tories Eliphalet Pond, Esq., Dr. Samuel Danforth, and Dr. Phillip Kast also helped Revere more than double his income from the previous year. On September 2 Revere made a silver service for the Tory Dr. William Paine of Worcester, consisting of a coffeepot, teapot, tea tongs, tankard, and pairs of silver canns, butter boats, and porringers, as well as a cream pot, twelve large spoons, eighteen teaspoons, four salt spoons, and a wooden box. Whether Revere's income came from Tory doctors or the patriot publishers Edes and Gill, all of it was necessary to support his wife and seven children, ranging in age from their teens to the infant Isanna, born on December 15, 1772.1

Athough business took up much of Revere's time, he also became entangled in a complicated dispute between William Burbeck and St. Andrew's Lodge of Freemasons. On March 5, 1773, on the same day that Dr. Benjamin Church delivered an oration "in commemoration of the Bloody Tragedy of the fifth March 1770," the Master, Warden, and a "number of Brethren of St. Andrew's" informed the Massachusetts Grand Lodge that they had been deprived of their charter by Burbeck, a former Master of the lodge, and asked for a dispensation until they could obtain a copy of the charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Burbeck had been a key figure in a series of transactions connected to the purchase

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