Beacon Street Diary blog

New Hidden Histories collections - Watertown West and Wrentham Second churches

We are pleased to announce two new additions to New England's Hidden Histories — a church covenant from Watertown, Mass. and the results of an ecclesiastical council from Wrentham, Mass.


Watertown West Church

Watertown was begun in 1630 by a group of English settlers led by Sir Richard Saltonstall and Rev. George Phillips, and was officially incorporated that same year. Although Rev. Phillips was one of the influential shapers of New England Congregationalism, he was controversial among his Boston brethren.

Presented here is the church's covenant of 1709.


Wrentham Second Church

The Second Church in Wrentham was gathered in 1738. The ecclesiastical council recorded in this document was gathered to judge the moral character of Rev. Caleb W. Barnum and contains the recommendations of the council regarding his removal. According to Emerson Davis, Rev. Barnum left Second Church as the result of his intervention in a difficultly between two members of the church about a crop of cranberries.


You can learn more about these churches and their ministers, and view these records (and many more!) as part of our growing New England's Hidden Histories program.

--Marya & Sari


portrait of Rev. George Phillips found via jaysteeleblog