Guide to the Microfilm Edition

Collection Summary


This collection consists of correspondence, business papers, deeds, receipts, and other papers of the Shrimpton family, Boston and London merchants and New England landowners.

Biographical Sketches

Shrimpton Family

Colonel Samuel Shrimpton (1643-1698) was a London and Boston merchant who married Elizabeth (Roberts) Breedon (d. 1713), daughter of Capt. Nicholas and Elizabeth (Baker) Roberts. Their child was Samuel Shrimpton, Jr. (1673-1703).

Samuel Shrimpton, Jr. (1673-1703) was a Boston merchant who married his cousin Elizabeth Richardson, the daughter of Sarah Roberts Richardson, in 1696. Their child was Elizabeth Shrimpton (1702-1721).

Elizabeth Shrimpton (1702-1721) married in 1720 John Yeamans (d. 1743), a London merchant. Their child was Shute Shrimpton Yeamans (1721-1769), also a London merchant.

Stoddard Family

Simeon Stoddard (1650-1730) was the son of Anthony and Mary (Downing) Stoddard. He married (1st) Mary (d. 1708). Their children were Anthony Stoddard (1678-1748), William Solomon Stoddard, and David Stoddard (1685-1723), who married in 1713 Elizabeth Richardson Shrimpton. Simeon Stoddard married (2nd) in 1709 Elizabeth (Roberts) Breedon Shrimpton, who died in 1713. He married (3rd) Mehitable Sergeant.

Anthony Stoddard (1678-1748) married Martha Belcher in 1705. Their children were Simeon Stoddard (1707-1776), Anthony Stoddard (1728-1776), and Martha Stoddard (1720-1785). Martha Stoddard married (1st) John Fitch, (2nd) Ebenezer Holmes, and (3rd) John Stevens (b. 1715), a Boston merchant.

Roberts Family

Captain Nicholas Roberts married Elizabeth Baker. Their children were Nicholas Roberts, Mary Roberts, who married Robert Breedon; Sarah Roberts, who married John Richardson; and Elizabeth Roberts (d. 1713), who married (1st) Thomas Breedon, (2nd) Samuel Shrimpton, and (3rd) Simeon Stoddard.

Collection Description

This collection consists of correspondence, business papers, deeds, receipts, and other papers of the Shrimpton family, Boston and London merchants and New England landowners. The papers of Colonel Samuel Shrimpton, 1665-1701, contain correspondence, notes and bonds, business accounts, deeds, and household receipts. Among his considerable property was the Exchange Tavern in Boston, Beacon Hill land, and farms at Rumney Marsh and Noddles Island, and he was part of a Merrimac lands syndicate. Included are accounts, invoices, and correspondence, 1674-1698, tracing Shrimpton ventures and ownership of numerous vessels, including the ships John and Thomas, 1674-1676; John and Anne, 1674-1682; Orange Tree, 1684; Loyall Society and Larke, 1685; Dolphin, 1691-1696; Elizabeth, 1691-1695; Barron, 1692; Good Hope, 1694; St. Iago, 1695; and a second Elizabeth purchased from Nicholas Roberts in 1698. Papers document a trading voyage to Bilboa with Thomas Dongan, as well as numerous Shrimpton enterprises originating at Boston in partnership with Dongan, Seth Perry, and William Mumford. Among the correspondents are Capt. Thomas Jennors, Nicholas Roberts, Anthony Merry, John Mico, and William Cahane. Included are accounts and personal notes of Peter Sergeant, 1680-1684; Ephraim Savage, 1679; Christopher Saunders and John Foote, 1678; Hugh Strode, 1679; and Thomas Jarvis, Francis Cook, Samuel Peacock, Daniel Matthews, and Stephen and Samuel Richardson of Rhode Island. Papers related to a lawsuit filed by Shrimpton's sister Elizabeth and her husband Peter Sergeant over the administration of their father's estate, 1685-1686, include depositions containing Shrimpton's criticisms of Massachusetts Governor Simon Bradstreet. Also included is Shrimpton's will, 1697, and detailed documents and receipts connected with his funeral and estate, 1698-1701.

The collection also contains correspondence between the London heirs to the Shrimpton estates and their agents at Boston related to farms, mills, and lands in New England, 1710-1761. Included in letters of Robert Temple and his son Robert Temple, Jr., resident tenants, are inventories of farms at Rumney Marsh and Noddles Island, cattle and garden accounts, building descriptions, maintenance records, and leasing terms. The sale of Beacon Hill lands to Thomas Hancock is documented in 1752.

Papers of Samuel Shrimpton, Jr., 1698-1708, consist of deeds, correspondence related to Maine trading ventures, and consignment cargoes shipped from Piscataqua in partnership with Epapherus Shrimpton, as well as letters to members of his family and papers related to the settlement of his estate by his uncle Nicholas Roberts.

John Yeamans papers date from his marriage to Elizabeth Shrimpton in 1720 to his death in 1743. Included is correspondence with Boston agents related to the management of Shrimpton holdings in New England during the minority of his son and sole Shrimpton heir, Shute Shrimpton Yeamans. Letters from Boston agents David Stoddard, John Boydell, Thomas Steel, and Henry Caswell detail leasing arrangements, specifications and estimates for building improvements, comparative values of stock relative to the English market, and 18th-century farming practices. Among the correspondents are Samuel Brown of Salem and Robert Robinson of Newport. John Yeamans's letterbooks, kept while serving as lieutenant governor at Antigua, 1738-1742, include copies of official documents and correspondence pertaining to British administration of the Leeward Islands, petitions of local merchants and sugar planters, comparative tables of specie valuation, and details of enslaved people's uprisings of 1739-1740, with government orders for countering these insurrections.

Papers of Shute Shrimpton Yeamans, 1743-1761, include letters to his father during his apprenticeship to Knox and Craghead, London merchants, 1743-1744, and accounts for sugar consignments and information on European markets. Correspondence with his agent at Boston, Thomas Greenough, include terms for the sale of the last Shrimpton property on Beacon Hill and Noddles Island, 1750-1761.

Stoddard family papers, 1706-1786, include records documenting David Stoddard's work as Shrimpton family agent at Boston and accounts of Stoddard family land speculation at Ashford and Pomfret, Conn. His journal describes frequent trips to Connecticut to lay out boundaries and develop farm lands, 1717-1723. Also included are management accounts of the Lincolnshire Company, 1717-1723, continued after David's death by his brother Anthony Stoddard. Business activity at London in association with his father Simeon Stoddard and William Clark is documented in invoices for fur pelt shipments from Piscataqua, 1706-1709, and correspondence, 1711-1712. Papers of Anthony Stoddard include receipts, correspondence, and accounts of Connecticut lands, 1718-1741; records of waterfront property in Boston, 1727-1743; and papers concerning his estate, 1748.

Papers of John and Martha Stoddard Stevens, 1757-1786, include correspondence, deeds, receipts, and accounts for shipping ventures on the Wolfe, 1758, and the Jenny under the command of Capt. George Ball, 1759. Of interest is the account of Joseph Greene, Jr. detailing the outfitting of the Wolfe for transport service to Quebec, 3 Mar. 1761. Also included are reports and inventories related to the settlement of Ebenezer Holmes's estate; inventories of Martha Stoddard Stevens's personal property at the family home at Ashford, 1775, and papers related to her estate, 1785-1786; and accounts for Muscongus land transactions.

Acquisition Information

Acquired by purchase, 1964 and 1975.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Loose papers, 1635-1786

Reel 1
Reel 2

II. David Stoddard papers, 1706-1733

Reel 3
Account book, 20 Sep. 1706-28 June 1715
Reel 3
Account book, 10 May 1721-17 Oct. 1722
Reel 3
Account book, 16 Oct. 1721-15 Feb. 1732
Reel 3
Journal pages, from Boston to Woodstock, 25 Apr.-11 May 1717
Reel 3
Journal pages, from Boston to Woodstock, 25 Apr.-9 May 1717 [copy of above]
Reel 3
Journal pages, from Boston to Ashford, 11 Apr.-26 Apr. 1718
Reel 3
Journal pages, from Boston to Woodstock, Pomfret, and Ashford, 17 Oct.-1 Nov. 1718
Reel 3
Journal pages, [from Boston to Ashford], 27 Apr.-9 May 1719
Reel 3
Journal pages, from Boston to Ashford, 23 Oct.-1 Nov. 1719
Reel 3
Journal of the journey to Ashford, [1733]

III. John Yeamans's letterbooks, 1738-1743

Reel 3
Reel 3
Reel 3

IV. Miscellaneous material, undated

Reel 3

Preferred Citation

Shrimpton family papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.


Shrimpton, Elizabeth, 1702-1721.
Shrimpton, Samuel, 1643-1698.
Shrimpton, Samuel, 1673-1703.
Stevens, John, 1715-
Stevens, Martha Stoddard, 1720-1785.
Stoddard, David, 1685-1723.
Stoddard family.
Yeamans, John, -approximately 1749.
Yeamans, Shute Shrimpton, 1721-1769.


Antigua--Politics and government.
Boston (Mass.)--Commerce--West Indies.
Leeward Islands (West Indies)--Politics and government.
Noddles Island (Boston, Mass.).
Real property--Connecticut.
Real property--Maine.
Real property--Massachusetts--Boston.
West Indies--Commerce--Massachusetts--Boston.