Today is the 338th anniversary of the death of John Cogswell, my ninth great-grandfather, in Ipswich. Cogswell was born in Westbury Leigh, Wiltshire, England. In 1635 he and his family emigrated to America aboard the Angel Gabriel, which wrecked on the shore at Pemaquid Point, Maine.
The Cogswells eventually made it to Ipswich, where the family prospered.
“The Descendants of John Cogswell” has this account of his passing:
For several years Mr. Cogswell and family lived in the log-house with its thatched roof, while many of their goods remained stored in boxes, awaiting some better accommodations. It is said there were pieces of carved furniture, embroidered curtains, damask table linen, much silver plate; and that there was a Turkey carpet is well attested. As soon as practicable Mr. Cogswell put up a framed house. This stood a little back from the highway, and was approached by walks through grounds of shrubbery and flowers. There is an English shrub still, 1884, enjoying a thrifty life, which stands not far from the site of the old Cogswell manor. This shrub, tradition says, John Cogswell brought with him from England.
For some years after the completion of their new dwelling-house Mr. and Mrs. Cogswell lived to enjoy their pleasant home, surrounded by their children, well settled, some of them on farms near by, made of lands deeded to them by their now aged parents. The time came at length, after a life of change, adventure, and hardship, and Mr. Cogswell died at the age of seventy-seven years. The funeral service for John Cogswell was conducted by the Rev. William Hubbard, pastor in Ipswich and since known as ‘the Historian of New England’. The funeral procession traversed a distance of five miles to the place of burial, the Old North graveyard of the First Church. They moved under an escort of armed men, as a protection against the possible attack of Indians.
Mrs. Cogswell survived her husband but a few years. She was a woman of sterling qualities and dearly loved by all who knew her. Side by side in the old churchyard in Ipswich have slept for more than two hundred (now more than 300) years the mortal remains of this godly pair, whose childhood was passed near the banks of the river Avon; who, leaving behind the tender associations of the Old World, came with their children to aid in rearing on these shores a pure Christian state. They did greater work than they knew, died in the faith of the Gospel, and while their graves are unmarked by monument of stone, their souls are safe in heaven, their memory blessed, and their names honored by a posterity in numbers hardly second to that of Abraham.