In the 17th century, religious persecution led to the immigration of large numbers of French Protestants (known as Huguenots) to Massachusetts. Gravestones of the Cazneau, Johonnat, Revere, and Sigourney families can be found throughout Granary. Today, Paul Revere and Peter Faneuil are the most well known Huguenot descendants. Peter Faneuil (Funnel) (1700-1743), West Indies merchant and slave trader, inherited his Uncle Andrew Faneuil's (d. 1738) fortune after agreeing that he would never marry. The Jolly Bachelor, as he called one of his ships, built Fancuil Hall for Boston and was known for his charitable deeds.
Granary's gravestones chronicle thousands of individual lives. Sarah (Savage) Wells (d. 1730) was the daughter of merchant Ephraim Savage and wife of tailor Joshua Wells. After her husband's death she maintained the property purchased for her father and chose not to remarry.
The Gutteridge-Ezekial Lewis-Abigail Gay tomb holds the remains of Mary (Buttolph) Thaxter Gutteridge (1665-1732), keeper of Boston's Gutteridge Coffee House, her children, their spouses, and at least 20 others. Having outlived two husbands Mrs. Gutteridge chose to keep her second husband's business rather than remarry. The first wife of merchant Ezekiel Lewis, Jane Clark (1722-ca. 1755), was painted by John Smibert in 1732.
One of Boston's most famous Africans was Phillis (Wheatley) Peters (ca. 1753-1784), the poetess. Wheatley was named after the slave ship, Phillis, that brought her to Boston. She was taught to read and write by her owners and she became an internationally recognized poet. Freed at the time of her master's death, she bore and lost two children before dying with her third in 1784. The man who bought her at a Boston slave auction, John Wheatley (d. 1778), is buried at Granary. The location of Phillis Wheatley's burial is unknown.
James Bowdoin (Baudouin) (1726-1790), Tomb 6, was from another prominent Huguenot family and served as governor from 1785-1787. Bowdoin College in Maine is named for him and he was the first president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The Bowdoin coat of arms marks his tomb.
John Hancock (1737-1793), Tomb 16, merchant, patriot, president of the Massachusetts Provisional Congress (1774-1775), president of the First and Second Continental Congresses (1775-1777), Massachusetts governor (1780-1785, 1787-1793), and member of the Constitutional Convention (1788). Hancock was an early leader of Boston's patriots with Samuel Adams and it is fitting that his bold signature was the first on the Declaration of Independence. When he died, a state funeral procession wound through Boston to his tomb. His wife, Dorothy (Quincy) (1747-1830), married Captain James Scott in 1796, but is buried with John in the Hancock Tomb. The obelisk was added in 1895 by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The modest gravestone of his African American servant, Frank (d.1771), is next to Hancock's towering monument.
Jeremiah Gridley (1701-1767) is buried in the Gooch Tomb. An attorney, he served as Massachusetts attorney general in 1767 and argued for the Crown in support of the Writs of Assistance, dying soon after. He was the Grand Master of Masons for all North America from 1755-1767.
A Defiant Tory and a Rash Patriot
Mather Byles (1706-1788), Tomb 2, minister, poet, and humorist was a descendant of the Puritan Divines, John Cotton and Increase Mather. He graduated from Harvard College and for more than 40 years was the beloved minister of Hollis Street Church. He was summarily dismissed once the Revolution began because he was a Tory. He died under house arrest in 1788, humorously referring to his guard as an "observe-a-Tory." His daughters, Kitty (1753-1837) and Polly (1750-1832), lived in the house another 50 years, firmly maintaining they were subjects of the English King.
William Molineaux (1748-1774), Tomb 19, was a participant in the Boston Tea Party and a rabid patriot. At his death a Bostonian wrote, "After surviving a fit of apoplexy two days, this morning died, the zealous advocate for American liberties, William Molineaux. If he was too rash it was owing to his natural temper, as when he was in business. He pursued it with the same impetuous zeal. His loss is not much regretted by the more prudent and judicious part of the community."