. A survey of the two inventories and the final statement of the settlement of the estate
suggests that Rev. Smith disposed of his possessions according to his perception of
his several heirs' financial needs. The final statement, presented by the executors,
Richard Cranch and Dr. Cotton Tufts, to the heirs on 20 May 1784, and agreed to by
them on that day, distributed the estate as follows:
To Mary Smith Cranch: 18 acres of land, with buildings, tools, and household goods,
all in Weymouth, all valued at £513.2.7.
: a one-half share in 86 acres of land, with buildings and tools, in Medford and Malden,
and a silver tankard, all valued at £439.12.10.
To Elizabeth Smith Shaw: a one-half share in 86 acres of land, with buildings and
tools, in Medford and Malden, and 46 1/2 acres of land in Hingham, all valued at £685.13.0.
To Louisa Catharine Salmon Smith: the use, under the supervision of the executors,
of over 261 acres of land, with buildings, tools, and household goods, in Lincoln
and Concord, all valued at £761.0.7.
To William Smith Jr., who had abandoned his family: only his apparel, valued at £21.13.4,
and the forgiveness of all debts (not evaluated).
These provisions appear to reflect the fact that Mary Cranch's husband was not prosperous,
but that her three children were nearly grown by 1783; that
's husband was prosperous, and her two oldest children nearly grown; that Elizabeth
Shaw's husband was a country parson, probably of modest means, and that her two children
were quite young; and that Louisa Catharine Salmon Smith had six children, many still
quite young, and no means of support beyond the farm that Rev. Smith owned in Lincoln,
on which she lived.
Of interest in understanding
's early education is that part of the inventory of Rev. Smith's Weymouth possessions
that accounted for his library. It listed, usually in large groups with only a few
major titles specifically identified, over 430 volumes, of which 85 were in French.
See “An Inventory of the real & personal Estate whereof the Revd. William Smith late
of Weymouth died seized and possessed of . . . .” 9 April 1784, submitted to the judge
of probate, 6 August 1784; “Inventory of Rev. William Smith's Real and Personal Property
at Concord and Lincoln”; and “Dr. Cotton Tufts & Richard Cranch Executors of the last
Will of the Revd. Willm. Smith late of Weymouth deceased,” 20 May 1784, also submitted
to the judge of probate, 6 August 1784. All documents are in M-Ar