Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Flint and Lawrence Family Papers
Thomas Flint arrived in Massachusetts Bay, from Matlock, Derbyshire, England, in approximately 1636. He was a Puritan. Soon after his arrival he was appointed to Governor Winthrop's Council. At an unknown date he moved to the town of Concord, where he owned approximately 275 acres. Unlike most men, who generally began with a cooperative type of agricultural system, Flint was able to maintain a more independent farmstead. Flint also owned a farm within the boundaries of the future Lincoln. During Flint's lifetime this property, which appears to have been the first functional farmstead in this area, was occupied by a member of the Wheeler family of Concord. 1 In 1646, Flint helped draw up a code of conduct for Indians, with a list of penalties for each infraction. Thomas Flint was undoubtedly a prominent figure in Concord. In 1654, a year after his death, a committee was established to make a second town division on newly cleared lands, and it was decided that in recognition of Flint's services to Concord, his heirs should receive the area known today as Lincoln centre. Under the terms of Flint's will, which was the first recorded by the Middlesex County Records in Cambridge, his property was not divided among the Flint family for many years.
Edward Flint was born in 1685, and was the grandson of Thomas Flint. In his mid-twenties he acquired some family farmland, and began operating a sawmill. After inheriting and purchasing more land from family members, he sold the mill, and some of his own holdings, and established a farmstead of approximately 110 acres. 2 Edward Flint played a significant role in establishing Lincoln first as a precinct, (the first precinct meeting was held at his house in May 1746,) and then as an independent town, in 1754. He donated an acre of land, on the area now known as Lincoln Hill, for the site of the meeting-house. Two black servants worked for him, at various times. At an unknown date Flint married Love Adams, a widow who had two children, John and Love, from her first marriage to John Adams. At various times servants and two slaves worked for the Flint household. Flint died in 1754.
Ephraim Flint was born in 1714. He was the nephew of Edward Flint. His Harvard education, (B.A. 1733; M.A. 1736,) provided him with a rare qualification among Lincoln farmers. His 257 acre farm was one of the largest in Lincoln. Not surprisingly he became one of the town's early political leaders. He was both the first Precinct Clerk and first Treasurer, as well as being one of the first Selectmen. 3 He donated one acre of land to the town to be used as a burial-site. In return for his generosity the town built him a pew in the meeting-house at public expense.
William Lawrence was born in 1723. His father was a prosperous farmer, and an experienced blacksmith in Groton, Massachusetts. In his youth, William attended Concord's Grammar School. He entered Harvard College in 1739, and graduated in 1743. During 1743-1744, he was a school teacher in Waltham, Mass. He also spent part of 1744 teaching in the grammar school in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He spent 1745 teaching at Groton grammar school. He also preached in Groton during this year. Later that year he returned to chamber to study for his Master's degree, and he remained at the college under a Hopkins fellowship. During this time he preached at various locations. In 1748 he accepted the invitation of Lincoln precinct to preach there, and on December 7, 1748, he was ordained as minister. In the context of the revivalism of the 1740's, the congregation at Lincoln aligned itself with the "Old Lights" rather than the "New Lights." Rev. Lawrence's own style of preaching did not embrace the style and spontaneity of the revivalists, being instead quite formal. 4 On February 7, 1751, he married Love Adams, step-daughter of Edward Flint. Between 1752 and 1771, the Lawrence's had nine children. At the time of his death in 1780, Rev. Lawrence owned approximately 75 acres.
Dr. Joseph Adams. In 1774 he married Lovey, eldest daughter of Rev. William and Love Lawrence. Soon after their marriage they moved to Townsend, Massachusetts. Adams was a Loyalist, and he fled to Cornwall, England, in approximately 1777. In 1784 he was joined by his wife, many months after his lands had been confiscated and actions had been taken forbidding his return home. In England he was appointed a Master Surgeon of His Majesty's Royal Navy. It would appear that later, together with Lovey's younger brother Abel, he established a practice which was both extensive and lucrative.
1MacLean, John C., A Rich Harvest, Lincoln Historical Society, 1987.
2 ibid, 86.
3 ibid, 132-33.
4 ibid, 96.