Petition from William Kellogg and depositions enclosed

July 30th 1766

 Massachusetts State Archives, The Felt Collection, Volume 6, Pages 334-336,

Transcribed on 14 June 2000 by Susan Stalker Mulvey



To His Excellency

Francis Bernard Esq Governor and Commander

In chief of his Majesty’s

Province of the Massachusetts Bay


       To his Excellency James Bernard, Esq. Capt General and Commander in Chief in and over his  majesties Province of the Massachusetts Bay Vice Admiral of the same & to the Honorable his Majesties Council 

The petition of William Kellogg and other inhabitants of certain lands called Nobletown humbly herewith that your petitioners being in possession of the lands of Nobletown how and by what method has been heretofore layed before your Excellency and is likewise set forth in a letter of the 24th instant July directed to your Excellency by William Kellogg herewith delivered to your Excellency also herewith, as likewise the violences and outrages and murders perpetrated heretofore upon and among you petitioners all have been and is in said letter layed before your Excellency and this Honorable Council-- 

Your petioners further saith that on Saturday the 26th of instant July, Hermonus Sciles Sheriff of the county of Albany and Robert Van Ransler of Claverack attended with about two hundred and fifty of General Gage’s Light Infantry of regular troops armed with guns, swords, & pistols as also with one field piece and three [unreadable] in a hostile manner came to said Nobletown unto the house of Andrew [Ambrose] Stalker which house the said Sciles & others broke down, doing but little other damage excepting the breaking his said Andrew’s [Ambrose’s]  gun, from said Andrew’s [Ambrose’s]  the said Sciles & others proceeded to the house of William Bever broke down his the said Bevers house raped him the said Bever of three guns and sundry other valuable goods and tools from thence the said Sciles & others came to the house of Evert Cornichabarker [probably Knickerbacker] where they pitched their camps from whence the said Sciles & other on Sabbath day the 27th before day traveled three miles to the house of Joseph Clark and broke it open robbed him the said Clark of all his books, arms, clothes, & provision & even every thing they could lay their hand upon.  Thence the said Sciles & others came to the house of Robert Meehner and broke down the house, flung out and destroyed and carried away as plunder every thing that was therein of house as clothing, provisions, writings books, & from whence they the said Sciles & others returned to their said camp from whence in the afternoon of said Sabbath Day the said Sciles & others came to the house of Robert Noble which house and furniture they entirely demolished, set fire to the barn hovils & barracks which were consumed to ashes from thence the said Sciles & others proceeded to the house of said Clark demolished the house thence to said Meehners and carried off all.  They left in the morning then returning to their camp they took as prisoners Thomas Millard & Rilligand [Milligand] destroying of swine, fowls & as they returned from whence on Monday 28th the said Sciles & others came to the house of Robert Warner and broke the house, plunder and riffled the house of every thing therein, killed four sheep, three hogs, one calf, abused the children & thence proceeded to the house of William Kellogg your petitioner who had made his escape some time before their arrival excepting a little child and a man helping the child to carry the goods out of the house upon the said Sciles approach the said man fled who the said Sciles & others pursing fired two guns after him with intention to kill him supposing it to be your petitioner which guns the man escaped.  Then the said Sciles and others returned to said house greatly abused said child, robed & plundered said house killed two hogs then geese & said other fowls damaged the house in measure thence the said Sciles and others came to the house of Ebenezer Smith of Egremont within the Province of the Massachusetts Bay riffled and plundered the house of every thing valuable and lite to carry away and thence returned to their camp from whence the said Sciles on Tuesday has driven off and departed whether being frightened by the appearing of the Native Indians or what we your petitioners cannot certainly tell but leaving behind them [then] – threatening that they would come again in a few days and lay the whole town in rubbish and plant three forts there and tarry there to keep off the inhabitants.  This is the present situation of your petitioners such is the confusion of the inhabitants of the town of Nobletown that scarcely two of said inhabitants can be found on said premises of Nobletown being driven as sheep by wolves in company over into the neighboring towns to Egremont, Sheffield and Barrington with our wives and families with such persistency as to leave all our substance of provision & family sustenance behind and now we are in distressed circumstances in other towns having nothing to support us but the charity of the people with whom we reside and further our circumstances and distresses is aggravated by being driven off in such a season it being the time of wheat harvest we are obliged to leave our fields not harvested of future dependence of our families subsistence in time to come and for redress of all these grievances and oppressive wages we have no where to look but to this Province of the Massachusetts Bay for our protection and support.  As your petitioners were encouraged to purchase and settle these lands of Nobletown under the protection and patronage of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay.  So your petitioners pray that your Excellency and the Honorable Council would desire some effectible method to put a stop to this oppressive wages according to support of the said settlers herewith delivered to your Excellency or some other way as your Excellency in your wise own shall think fit and your petitioners as in duty bound shall every pray. 

Egremont July 30 1766


William Beever

Ambrose Stalker

Robert Warner

Ezchial Lleyin

Moses Gilbert


William Kellogg

Robert Meehner

Robert Noble

Joseph Clavin [Clark]


These terrific graphics have been designed by: