Joseph Belknap of Lawfull Age, testifies & says, that on the 5th of March in the Eveng
a little after 9 oClock coming from my Neighbours the Honble. Mr Tylers, I heard a considerable
noise at a distance, & desir'd my daughter to go to the Chamber window, to know whether
it continued? who came down & told me it did: I directly went over to Mr Tyler & desir'd
him to go with me, for there was a great noise in Town, & possibly we might be of Service
in preventing it: & added, one word of yours Mr Tyler will go further than ten of some other,
peoples, upon which we went as far as the Town Pump on Dock Square, & Heard Several Guns
Fired: & see a number of people running Down Shrimpton's Lane, saying there was men Killd
by the Soldiers, upon which, Mr Tyler went home: & I being in doubt about the matter tho't
I would go & see for my self & when I had got to the top of the Lane, I was throughly con=
vinc'd of the truth of it by the Quantity of Blood spilt, which look'd to me to be near
half a pail full in one place, on hearing that one dead man was carried into Capt. Stone
& some others to other places, I return'd down the Lane where I met with Mr. Mason one
of the Select Men &, Mr Saml Whitwell one of the Overseers, coming thro' dock Square
& joined them in Order to go to his Honrs. the Lieut. Govrs. & in our way we met his Honr. coming
towards us, with whom we went near to the flatt conduit, where was a number of people
seemingly in great distress & Confusion & of difft. opinions about what was best to be done.
upon which his Honr. Turn'd back & went to Mr Tylers where I follow'd him desiring him
to go with me into King Street — Accordingly we went out at Mr Tyler s back Gate
through the Market Place & up Pierces Ally leadg from B. Nyes Esq Corner in [to]
King Street, & when we came to the place where the Blood was, I pointed to it, saying
to His Honr. here Sr. is the Blood that has been Spilt to Night — Then I went with him
to the foot of the Town House where was a number of Soldiers drawn up with their Guns
all Levell'd down street with their Bayonets Fix'd & as I tho't just ready to Fire; I sd to the
Soldiers here is his Honr. the Lt. Govr. come to talk with you, where is your Officer, they
cryed out to me Stand Off, Stand Off, His Honr. & I pass'd by them almost to the points
of their Bayonets & went to Capt Preston who was upon the right wing of the Soldiers,
His Honr said to Capt Preston, dont you know you can do nothing without the Civil
Magistrate, Capt Preston Answer'd, "I did it for my own Safety." then said his Honr
these Soldiers ought not to be here, He, Capt Preston said, it is not in my power to
Order them away, & pray Sr. do you go up to the Guard House. Upon which I sd to his Hon
Sr. if you'l go I will attend you. His Honr. said I dont think it prudent for me
to go to the Guard House, then I said pray Sr. go into the Council Chamber & speak to the people. We there went, & his Honr. spake to the people from the East window &
to the Officers from the South Window. the people insisted that the Soldiers should
go first or they would not disperse, & so said Mr. Molineax who was in the room with
his Honr. & some other person from the Window of the Council Chamber spoke to the
people not to move off untill the Soldiers were order'd to their Barracks. Then his
Honr. spoke to the Officers again, & told them what the people insisted on that the Soldiers
should go to their Barracks, Upon which the Soldiers were order'd to their Barracks;
& I see them march off down pudding Lane, And upon his Honr. promising the people
that justice should be done, them imediately, & that they might rely upon his Honr
they began to disperse. A warrant was then Issued & given to the High Sheriff who
took Capt. Preston & he was accordingly brought to the Council Chamber about 2 oClock

where I tarryed while the Examination lasted which was till 3 oClock at which
time I return'd Home, & Further says not.

Joseph Belknap


delivered in [Court?] at ye Triall of Capt Preston     JBelknap

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Deposition of Joseph Belknap
respecting Prestons Massacre
March 5, 1770