Journey of a Lifetime John Hurd and Mary

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Chapter 19 Blessings and losses 3

John POV Late 1644

Shortly after Joseph was born, I was able to do my civic duty. I was able to sign as a witness, along with Thomas Davidson, for Arthur Clarke. John Bewford of Middlesex,just paid him 20 pounds for the use of one of Arthur's servants, named Hugh Gunnison.

John Beauford had been a loyal customer lately, and paid me ten shillings, but still owed 30, so I filed a claim in Court against John Beauford for thirty shillings. He was late on his payment, and I needed to collect legally. He paid what was owed within a certain time frame.

When I got home, Hannah came running up to me with a hug and a kiss on the cheek, "Papa your home. Look what I just sewed." Mary has been teaching her embroidery lately. It was a picture of a house with trees, grass and flowers. It had the words, "Bless this house" under it. Hannah did a great job for a four year old. She humbly told me that, "Mama had to help me with some of it." She told me what she did on her own. I said, "I am so proud of you, honey. Keep up the good work." She told me to hang it up in my shop, and we did it together. She was going to learn how to tailor as well, but she would not be able to run the shop in the future because she would have other responsibilities.

J.J. is not old enough to start learning the trade, but he will when he turns three.

Joseph was a good baby, and grew to be happy and healthy. He was walking at a year old. Mary had lots of challenges keeping the children away from dangers such as fire places, and sharp objects. She had to punish them for disobeying and teach them safety. J.J. and Joseph were very adventurous and tested their limits. One time J.J. touched the pot on the fireplace and scalded his fingers. Mary was so angry, but remained calm, treated the wound with cold water, tea and mint leaves. She had to treat it often. She told him to never go near rather fireplace without an adult again. He learned his lesson. She even told all the children at dinner that there are consequences to bad behavior. They did receive spankings from me for really bad behavior. I did not like doing this, but I explained after punishment was rendered that I still love them, and to try not do the behavior again.

Mary and I still made time for ourselves especially at night time. I had a lock installed in our door because I did not want any surprise visitors during our intimate times. We tried to make love regularly. I would pull out to prevent pregnancy, but when she wanted another child, love making was very enjoyable. She planned to have one every two years. Now was the time to try again. Joseph was over one year. We both wanted to have a large family, so we were trying again. We were joined and she conceived.

I had a busy year in the shop. I had an order from Thomas Footman of Georgiana (Maine). His bill was 16 Pound in Silver. His items were sent and I awaited payment. He sent it after petitioning a levy to collect at the appointed time.

A few months later, I was waiting again while Mary travailed. Hannah knew my worries, and all I could do was pray all went well. She also made me sew while waiting. She needed help with her embroidery which diverted my attention from worry. Hannah also started to learn to make quilts, and she was finishing one for the new baby. The boys were playing ball inside rolling it back and forth to each other. J.J. started to learn the trade and helps with gardening. He is now four. Joseph is two.

A few hours later I heard the final wail and push from my wife. The nurse hurried out of the room and informed me that it was a girl. Hannah, J.J., Joseph and I ran into the room and saw the tiny babe resting on her chest. We all greeted the new baby gently and kissed Mary. I asked her, "What name did you pick this time? She answered, "Mary." I said, " She does resemble you a lot my beloved. Now, get some rest, and I will see you later." We all left the room, and resumed our day. A few days later, I wrapped baby, Mary, tightly and went to the church. She was baptized on September 11, 1646. About 5 months later, Baby Mary caught a high fever. We tried everything to bring the fever down. Even the doctor said there was nothing we could do. She passed away. The whole family was grief stricken. We all huddled and cried for days. We remembered the verse from Job 1:21 that says, the Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.

A Year later 1647

"Happy Anniversary Mary! Nine wonderful years ago we became husband and wife. We have had 5 children. Junior (1639-1642), Hannah in 1640, John Jr (J.J) in 1642, Joseph in 1644, and Mary (1646-1646). Even though we have lost 2 to death, we were still blessed. We continue praying daily for those who survived. Hannah is now eight. She has learned needle craft, quilting, healing herbs, chores and cooking. She does all things with service to the Lord. She is a very good child and barely needs punishment. She attends school to learn basic math, writing and reading. The boys, J.J. now six and Joseph, now four, are naughty at times, but are overall good children. J.J. attends school for reading, writing and arithmetic. He will need this education to manage his trade later in life. Hannah and J.J. only go in the late mornings, so they can tend to home chores and farming. We have a farm, so we can eat, as well as, my shop to earn an income. Joseph just started learning the trade as well.

We just had a delicious dinner of lobster stew, bread and butter, strawberries on cornbread and ale. All the children are in bed. We tucked them in, said prayers and kissed them goodnight. Tonight we are celebrating our anniversary. We remembered that day, and how embarrassed Mary got when she found out that our friends were listening in on our consummation. She laughed, and I told her I loved her even more now. She felt the same. I started to kiss her passionately, and before we knew it, we were making love. Of course, she has to be a little more quiet with her moans as to not wake the children up. I love hearing them anyway. As we reached our peaks, I released my seed in her. We made love numerous times until we both were satiated and fell fast asleep. Mary conceived again, and nine months later after many hours of labor, she had a boy. He was a handsome baby, and we named him Benjamin. I took him to be baptized on June 27, 1648.

I received a large order of clothing for Thomas Footman of Georgiana (York, Maine). I sent the order to him and had not received payment. I had to file a levy with my lawyer.

I, John Hurd, give Christopher Lawson, my attorney, permission to ask for a levy of Thomas Footman of Georgiana (York, ME), a debt of 16 pounds of sterling silver due by bill with just damages and receipt of acquittance and compound interest, and to appear in Court of Courts to be sued for repayment.

Thomas' lawyer showed up in court with this response:

"Known to all men present, I, Thomas Footman of Georgiana, do owe and indebted to John Hurd of Boston, tailor, the full and just sum of 16 pounds of English money due to be paid to John Hurd or to his lawyers at or upon the last day of July which shall be in the year of the Lord God, 1648, for which payment I bond me, my heirs executors and administrators firmly by presence witness my hand the 29th day of May 1648. His mark and witnesses signed.

During the winter of 1649, Baby Benjamin dies of a severe illness. We were devastated. Then I was notified that Nathaniel Heaton died of Consumption and I lost it. I left my shop and went into the tavern down the street. I toasted to his memory, and drank my sorrows away. I was stressed from my work and needed a drink. On the way home, I was so drunk that I was stopped by an official and warned not to drink so much. He did not know the sorrows and stresses I have been dealing with, but he helped me get home. Mary was very concerned at my state, and apologized and thanked the man. Mary walked me to our room, dealt with my vomiting and cleaned me up. She told me to sleep, and I did.....


John and Mary had many blessings but also losses. They lost in this decade 3 friends and mentors, 3 children; but gained lots of money from his business and three healthy children. The stress and death led him to the next chapter :

Excessive drinking & excommunication

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