Spencer Spencer Bennett Phips, b. June 6, 1685  April 6, 2003

Central Street at Bennett Hill Road, Rowley, MA
Thanks for these great photos Merle Phipps!

1703;  Graduated Harvard College.  (Savage's;  Lounsbury's "Sir William Phipps";  History of Cambridge, Massachusetts, p. 580)

August 15, 1706;  Lived at Phips house on Green Lane when he became possesed of the Atherton Haugh farm (1642) encompassing all of East Cambridge, (called Grave's Neck) and the northeasterly part of Cambridgeport, including 326 acres in all, bounded by Miller's River (a causeway was built over this in 1776), Plymouth Street, Portland Street and Munroe Street.   In 1696 the Phips or Cove Farm was owned by Atherton Haugh.  On February 28, 1699, the farm was sold to John Langdon for 1,140lbs (In 1760 it was valued at 2,950lbs).  Here in 1750, Spencer built a splendid mansion on what is now Otis Street, East Cambridge.  As was custom in those days, there was a housewarming given to him by friends, and there being a husking frolic at the same time, by some carelessness the house took fire and everything with the exception of the farm and carriage houses was destroyed.  He then built a new home on Plymouth Street and resided there until purchasing the home on Arrow Street where he died.  The inventory at his death lists 2 farms with a barn each -  the Plymouth Street home, called later the Bordman House, and the Waugh Farm on the northerly side of Spring Street.  The 326 acres were gradually divided among his children and grandchildren, and became known as Phipps Farm.  Later this same area was called Tory Row due to the loyalist sympathies of it's inhabitants.  A part of Phips Farm was also known as Lechmere Point and about 1806, it was purchased by Andrew Craigie for $1,500, and took the name Craigie's Point.  A part of Phips Farm was sold to Craigie by Ebenezer Shed (m. Ruth Winship March 24, 1760).  (History of Cambridge, Massachusetts, p. 184)
About 1807 a charter was granted to Andrew Craigie and others to build a toll bridge across Charles River from Barton's Point in Boston to Lechmere Point in Cambridge.  The bridge opened August 28, 1809 with Andrew Craigie leading the procession in his low backed carriage, with his servant as driver, followed by Governor Strong and group, the president and officers of Harvard College, etc.  (History of Cambridge, Massachusetts p. 175, 424n, 580)
In 1811 the Haugh farm was occupied by the survivors of a family named Russell, farmers, a father, two sons and three daughters, who had lived there for the preceeding 35 years.  (Mr. Russell was lost in the ice when carrying milk to Boston in 1784.)
About this same time Mr. Craigie sold the square, comprising about 1/3 of the Point, fr $40,000, on a part of which the Court House stands/stood.
Spencer's home on Arrow Street was an elegant one and had been purchased from the influential Oliver family.  The home faced the Charles River and at it's principle entrance stood life - sized wooden Indians, gaily painted and equipped with feathers, bows, and arrows.  At first glance the Indians startled casual observers and frightened wandering children.   Ten of his eleven children were born in the Arrow Street house - six sons (only one of whom survived Spencer), and four daughters.  The four daughters all married notable men and lived on the farm forming a small Phipps empire.
Each of his children were given a lot at Phip's farm on their marriage.  (History of Cambridge, Massachusetts, p. 175, 184)  Joseph and Rebecca Phips Lee share of the Phips farm was purchased by Seth Johnson of New York in 1795. (History of Cambridge, Massachusetts, p. 183)
In 1803, Samuel Parkman bought part of Phips Farm.  Fortifications here at one time.  The roads were laid out at Phips Farm by Makepeace Royal, b. Warren 1772, active in settlement of Cambridgeport.  (History of Cambridge, Massachusetts, p. 184, 230, 511)
Spencer had inherited the Phipps property in Maine at Jermisquam Neck (Phips Point) from his adoptive mother (aunt) Lady Mary Phipps.  The property had been the original homeplace of the Phips family in America.   This lot passed to son David on Spencer's death.
The Green Lane house later owned by Reverend Dr. William Walter of the Christ Church in Boston (1792 - 1800).  On his death a 3rd story was added to make it the Farm School - an asylum for indigent boys.  About 1834 the house was torn down and all that is left as a memorial to Sir William is a street named for him and a marker on the northwest corner ot the lot where his home had stood.

August 5, 1706; Spencer Phipps, alias Bennet (Gentleman), deeds to John Langdon (victualler) house and land, the Salutation, North end, and occupied John Langdon, Samuel Tyley, and John Ayres; E. street leading to Charlestown Ferry Place, N. John Scarlet and William Shute, rear W. Robert Edmonds, S. Mary Lumsden (late appertaining to Joshua Winsor and Edward Creek) and land Henry Kemble. Also land and wharf lying before sd mesuage to seaward between land of William Burroughs N. land of Henry Kemble S. (SD 23:38). W. side of North St. between Salutation and Commercial Sts. (Thwing database)

An Act for the Change or Alteration of the Sir Name of Spencer Bennett Alias Phips of Cambridge, Esq.
Whereas the Honorable Sir Will Phips Knt. Dyed Seized of a very valuable Estate as well as Real as personal, and in and by his last Will and Testament (in Consideration of the great Love and Affection which he had to his Lady Dame Mary Phips since deceased and her Nephew the aforesaid Spencer) Gave and Devised his Estate unto the said Spencer adopting him for his Son, at the same time Expressing and Declaring his Desire and Intention  That the same Spencer should take upon him the Sir Name Phips and thereby bear up and perpetuate his own Name.
And whereas the said Spencer in a Grateful and dutiful Complyance with the Will and Intention of Sir William Phips hath on all occasions hitherto annexed the Sir Name of Phips unto his own proper Name of Bennett and is desirous for the future both for himselfe and his Posterity to prevent Inconvenience of having two Sir Names as also more fully to comply with the Design and Desire of his Benefactor. For Effecting where of Be it enacted by the Lieutenant Governor Council and Representatives in General Court Assembled and by the Authority of the same
That the said Spencer Bennett alias Phips for the future, bear and be called by the Sir Name of Phips and no other and that the Name of Bennett forever hereafter cease from being any part of his Sir Name and the Sir Name of Phips only descend also to his Posterity as effectually and to all Intents and Purposes in the Law as if same had been the original and proper Sir Name of the said Spencer, and he had been descended from the said Sir William Phips any law usage or Custom to the contrary Not withstanding. (The Acts and Resolves, Public and Private, of the Province of Massachussetts Bay to which are prefixed the Charters of the Province)

1707;  Lady Mary (Phips) Sargent (adoptive mother) of Boston, admin. with will to John Metcalfe, Attorney for Spencer Phips, alias Bennet.  (English Estates of American Colonists by Coldham)

1708; Crosswell, Timothy, widow Priscilla to Spencer Phipps, 2 1/2 acres - E, S.P.; S, highway; W, heirs John Row; 1708.

April 7, 1709; John Foster and Andrew Belcher, Spencer Phips with wife Elizabeth, deed to Enoch Greenleafe (sadler) house and land, now
occupied by Thomas Cox (butcher), Martha Cox, spinster, William Bissick (barber), James Jarvis (blacksmith), and others; W. broad street since named Cornhill, N. house and land of Anne Hawkins and Mary Savage, S. by water street. (SD 24:151) N.E. corner of Washington and Water Sts. (Thwing database)

May 28, 1713; Spencer Phipps, (alias Bennet) Gentleman, with wife Elizabeth, deeds to Samuel Aves (blockmaker) house in North End, fronting on the street leading down to Charlestown Ferry Place, S.W. Sarah Miller, widow of Thomas Miller (mariner), S.E. upon land belonging to Richard, Nathaniel, and heirs of Hezekiah Henchman, N.W. Capt. Thomas Berry, deceased. (SD 27:151). Charter
St. (Thwing database)

September 11, 1713; Spencer Phipps, alias Bennet, with wife Elizabeth deeds to John Ruck (merchant) a brick house and land belonging to same being property of Sir William Phipps (Knight) lately deceased, N.E. by street leading to North Burying Place, S.E. by Salem St., S.W. Nathaniel Ayres and others, late of Samuel Sewall, Esq., N.W. upon the land of Elizabeth Burroughs late Eldridge. (SD 27:224). S.W. corner Salem and Charter Sts. (Thwing database)  This was house of Sir William Phips.  December 6, 1739 Grace Pitcher, widow of Richard (mariner) and residuary leg. of her brother John Pullin (mariner) deed to William Merchant (shipwright) house and land; S.W. fronting by the street leading by late mansion of Sir William Phips Knight, deceased, now belonging to John Ruck, Esq., to the North Burying Place, on N.W. side by a lane, going to yard of William Clough, S.E. land of sd granted land and into the other land of sd Clough, fronting from sd Greenough's land to the way, then on bevelling line so as to be 18 inches distance in width from S.E. conrer of sd house, then on straight line to well in sd Clough's land. (SD 58:176). Charter St., Greenough Alley, and Vernon Place. (Thwing database)

1714;  Bought a homestead from Dr. James Oliver on Arrow Street near Bow Street and Harvard Yard.  While living there, he enlarged and developed the original structure, which had been built around 1650.  He was well known for his hospitality and for his three daughters.  The Phips household became a magnet that drew the rich and fashionable to Cambridge.  All three Phips daughters married important men who made Cambridge their home.  The Phips mansion which stood on the site of the present Saint Pauls Church on Arrow Street, was torn down by William Winthrip around 1811. (History of Cambridge, Massachusetts, p. 580)

June 22, 1716;  Name of Phips confirmed.  (Sewell's Diary;  History of Cambridge, Massachusetts, p. 580)
"Growing side by side in his house were his nephew, John Phips, son of Captain John Phips, who had been on the James and Mary during the great adventure, and Williams adopted son, Spencer Bennett, who dropped his own name in favor of Phips'.  This boy, now about 8 years old, was the son of Mary Phips'sister, Rebecca Spencer of Saco, and of her husband Dr. David Bennett.  It is likely that Landy Phips had pressed her husband to adopt the boy, for at an early age he was taken into their house and treated as their son.  He was clever and engaging, and there is evidence that she loved him and continually espoused his cause.  The future held some prominence for him.  At a suitable age he was graduated from Harvard College, and during the years 1732 to 1757 he served as lieutenant governor of the province." (Alice Lounsberry, Life of Sir William Phips)

1716-1717; Aaron Cleveland, son of Aaron; carpenter; A.C. of Cambridge to Spencer Phipps, 3 1/2 acres ---E, Usher farm; W & S, Menotomy road; N, road Cambridge to Medford, with house. 10 acres E, range; W, J. Mallet; N, Menotomy road; S, J. Cooper. 30 acres east side Walnut-tree hill---E, range; W, A. Fowle, S. Hutchinson, Fosdick; N, Usher farm; S, road, Camb. to Medford. (Charlestown Genealogies and Estates)

April 11, 1718; Spencer Phipps, Esq. and wife Elizabeth deed to David Colson (felmonger) land; W. street called Common St., N. Sampson Sheafe, E. William Pollard and John Beauchamp, S. sd David Colson. (SD 32:233). E. side of Tremont St. between West and Boylston Sts. (Thwing database)

1719; Received bequest of land in marsh-field from natural father Dr. David Bennett.  (Early Settlers of Rowley, Massachusetts)

June 19, 1719; Clement Plumstead (merchant) and Charles Read (merchant) deed to John Crouch and Samuel Arnold (merchants) warehouse, land and crane also an alley crossing over upon same land from public street or road unto Shippen's Dock; W. on Merchant's Row; N. on house and land of Eliakim Hutchinson S. by land of Benjamin Davis now belonging to Col. Spencer Phipps and land of Andrew Belcher. (SD 43:293). E. side Merchants Row. (Thwing database)

Town Offices: representative 1721; councillor 1721 - 1732138,139

1721;  Town of Spencer, Massachusetts named for him.  He helped the town achieve district status.  Spencer State Forest and 3 Harvard buildings also named for him.

1732, Lt. Gov. of Mass. 1731 - 1757, acting Governor 1749 - 1753 and 1756-1757, Loyalist133,134,135,136,137. Salary £56/3/10 yearly.

February 23, 1737/38; Spencer Phips, Esq. and wife Elizabeth deeds to Jacob Wendell, brick warehouse near the Dock, formerly estate of Benjamin Davis, and by him conveyed to Sir William Phips. (SD 55:239). The Dock. (Thwing database)

Oct. 25, 1739; Zillah and Cuffe, servants of Col. Spencer Phips, were married at Cambridge. (Cambridge Vital Records)

1740;  1740 map of Maine shows Phips Point owned by heirs of Spencer Phips

May 19, 1741; Spencer Phipps, Esq. and wife Elizabeth deed to Edmund Quincy and Josiah Quincy (merchants) my warehouse near the Dock formerly estate of Benjamin Davis, and by him conveyed to William Phipps and now improved by sd Quincy, and land, including passage between sd warehouse and warehouse belonging to sd Spencer and occupied by Nathaniel Cunningham. (SD 61:238). The Dock. (Thwing database)

October 17, 1743; Spencer Phips, Esq. and wife Elizabeth deed to Nathaniel Cunningham (merchant) warehouse and land near the Dock, formerly the estate of Benjamin Davis, E. on warehouse of Hon. Jonathan Belcher, W. on an alleyway and sd way or warehouse belonging to Edmund Quincy and Josiah Quincy. (SD 70:48). The Dock. (Thwing database)

Abt 1747;  On John Vassal's death, 2nd wife Lucy Barron, gave his personal property to Spencer Bennet Phipps, guardian of John and Elizabeth Phips' son John.  (History of Cambridge, Massachusetts p. 675)

"Shirley was one of the ablest of the colonial governors, and during his occupation of the Province House he planned military operations such as Louisburg in 1745, for which his term is famous. It was also here that Washington visited him in 1756 on his first visit to Boston. Absent in England and France from 1749 to 1753, the house was probably occupied by Spencer Phips, lieutenant governor and a native of Rowley who was nephew and heir to Sir William Phips. Spencer administered the government again in 1756-1757 and died in office on April 4, 1757.
It was during Phips's occupancy that the General Court, in 1751, appropriated 400 pounds to rebuild the coach house and stable with brick."  (The Province House and its Occupants by Walter Kendall Watkins, edited by Richard M. Candee)

December 4, 1751; To the Hen.  Spencer Phips Esqr.  Lieut.  Gov. and Commander in Chief for the time being, the Hon.  His Majesty's Council & House of Representatives in General Court, Dec. 4, I751.
The Memorial of Samuel Whitney of Brunswick, Humbly Sheweth:
That your Memorialist and his son Samuel with five more of Inhabitants while at work together mowing their hay, on Wednesday ye 24th day of July last about two o'clock in the afternoon were surrounded and surprised by Nineteen Indians and one Frenchman, who were all armed and in an hostile manner did seize upon and by force of arms obliged them to submit their lives into their hands, and one of our said number, vizt: Isaac Hinkley in attempting to make his escape was killed in a barbarous manner & scalped.  After we were secured by said Indians they destroyed and wounded between 20 & 30 head of cattle belonging to the Inhabitants, some of which were the property of your Memorialist.
The said party of Indians were nine of them of Norride-walk Tribe, one of whom was well known; the others were Canada Indians; That the Norridgewalk Indians appeared more forward for killing all the Captives but were prevented by the other Indians.  Your Memorialist was by them carried to Canada & there sold for 126 livres; And the said Indians when they came to Canada were new cloathed and had new Guns given them with plenty of Provisions as an encouragement for thus exploit: That the Governor of the Penobscot Tribe was present when your Memorialist was sent for to sing a Chorus as is their custom of using their Captives & manifested equal joy with the other Indians that took them; And the Norridgewalk Tribe had removed from Norridgewalk & were now set down on Cansa River near Quebec supposed to be drawn there by the Influence of the French. These things your Memoralist cannot omit observing to ye Honours, and his Redemption was purchased by one Mr. Peter Littlefield, formerly taken captive and now restored among them, to whom your Memorialist stands indebted for said I26 livres being the price of his Liberty, which when he had so far obtained, he applied to ye Governor of Canada for a Pass, who readily granted it, that his return to Boston was by way of Louisbourgh where: said Pass was taken from him by the Lord Intendants on some pretense which he could not obtain of him.
Your Memorialist's Son yet remaining in Captivity among the Indians with three more that were taken at the same time, and he has a wife & Children under difficult Circumstances by reason of this Misfortune. Your Memorialist having thus represented his unhappy Sufferings to this Hon.  Court hoping they will in their great Goodness provide for the Redemption of his son & enable him to answer his obligation to said Mr. Littlefield humbly recommends his case to the Compassion of this Honble Court who was so kind to pay for his Ransom; Your Memorialist being in no Capacity to answer that Charge as thereby he is reduced to great want, or otherwise grant him that Relief as in their Wisdom and Goodness shall seem proper.
   Your Memorialist as in duty bound shall ever pray.   SAMUEL WHITNEY.

December 8, 1751;  After her father's death, she (Ruth Vassal) was boarded with one Mrs. Sarah Gerrish of Cambridge until 1752; an item in the account of her guardian, Hon. Spencer Phips, is the amount of oe9, paid Dec. 8, 1751, to Sarah Gerrish, Jr., "for instructing the said Ruth to play upon the spinnet." (The Vassals of New England)

1753;  received estate of father - in - law Eliakim Hutchinson.

Military Service: 1756, Commander in Chief of all His Majesty's forces in North America, French ? Indian140,141

Buried: April 04, 1757, Cambridge, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts.132 Cause of Death: over exertion147

Estate - Deed of Priscilla Crosswell, 2 1/2 acres, 1708.  Of Jonathan Pierce, 2 1/2 acres - s.e., heirs J. Row; s. w., S. P.; n. w., J. P.; n. e., creek out of Charles River; 1709.  Of same, 3 acres, part had of John Tufts, formerly of James Russell - e., S. P. , late of J. P.; s., F. Foxcroft; w., John Pierce, E. Welch; n., creek. 1 1/2 acres - n. e., highway to S. P., J. Asbury; s., E. W.; n. w., Jonathan P.; n. J. P., on line from n. w. corner of E. W. to n. w. corner of J. Lynde; 1710.  Of John Pierce, 2 acres - e., Jonathan P., now S. P.; s., F. Foxcroft and Bordman; n. ? n. w., E. Welch; 1710.  Of E. Welch, 2 acres - e., S. P., late Jonathan P.; n.w., J. P.; n., S. P., late J. P.; s., creek next S. P., late of John Pierce; 1710.  Of A. Cleveland ?c., 1716 - 1717.

1760;  The point of land owned by Spencer, now East Cambridge, was surveyed by Caleb Brooks, and divided with other property equally between the Phipps heirs.  (200 Years Ago, or, A Brief History of Cambridgeport and East Cambridge)
His farm was what is now known as East Cambridge, and the house stood near where the modern Court House, afterwards was built; General Gage landed his detachment here, which marched to Lexington. About one hundred yards from the West Boston Bridge, a fort was erected on December 11th, 1775, during its erection several soldiers of the revolutionary army were killed at this redoubt. It was considered the strongest battery erected during the siege of Boston, and was known as "Lechmere Point Redoubt," Leach-mere having acquired this property from his wife. It was known for many years as Lechmere's Point. The farm was confiscated, and during the siege of Boston was occupied by Washington's army.

July 25, 1761; Jacob Wendell, Esq. deed to John Mico Wendell and Oliver Wendell (merchants) my sons, brick warehouse near the Dock, formerly estate of Hon. Spencer Phips; 1/2 to John, the other half to Oliver. (SD 96:272). The Dock. (Thwing database)

1781;  Part of the Phips estate was bought by Isaiah Doane of Boston after it was confiscated by the Patriots.  (History of Cambridge, Massachusetts, p. 170)


Elizabeth Hutchinson

February 03, 1715/16, her children left inheritance in will of their grandfather Eliakim Hutchinson148

November 9, 1734; Andrew Boardman, Jr. deed to Eliakim Hutchinson, Gentleman, 1/3 part of a piece of land, being to the N.W. of house of Hon. Thomas Palmer, N. partly with the uppermost end or southmost of widow Winslow's fence, and partly the land at present in dispute between the sd Eliakim Hutchinson and the children of Madam Elizabeth Phips of Cambridge, S. with sd Thomas Palmer's house, E. Daniel Oliver, Esq., deceased, W. on cartway which sd Palmer uses in going from his house to Milk St., and sd piece of land measuring from the N.W. corner of sd Palmer's fence 84 ft. downward, then to run on a straight line to the Southernmost part of sd Winslow's fence. (SD 74:208) S. side of Milk St. (Thwing database)

"In the name of God, Amen, I, Elizabeth Phips of Cambridge in the County of Middlesex _____, do make this my last Will and Testament inform following namely I give to each of my children, and grandchildren hereafter, named viz., David Phips and Mary his wife, Andrew Bordman  Sarah his wife, Richard Lechmere and Mary his wife, Joseph Lee and Rebecca his wife, John Vassell, Ruth Davis and Elizabeth Oliver, one gold mourning ring.  And I give all the rest and residue of my Estate real and personal to my said son David Phips and his heirs and appoint him sole executor of this my last Will and Testament.  Witness my hand and seal this eighth day of July  1763.
Signed, Sealed and Subscribed by said Elizabeth Phips as her last will and testament in presence of us, who subscribed our names as witness thereoff in her presence.
Stephen Greenleaf                                           Eliz Phips"
Nathaniel Ware
Mary Greenleaf                                            (she signed and sealed)
"Phips, Elizabeth, wid. Hon. Spencer, Lieut-Gov. of the Province, at Cambridge, May 7, 1764. News-Let."  (Index to Obituaries in Boston Newspapers)



 


 


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