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Our Pews

This Old Pew

Looking for a way to explore the church on your own terms? Find the pews with the numbers below to discover the stories they tell. Click on the links below using your smart phone or iPad while you’re in the church. Unlock the history connected to the pews and learn about the peoples, customs, and events that shaped the church into an American icon! Ask an educator if you need help finding a certain pew or if you have any additional questions. Have fun!

13 – Captain Newark Jackson: Mariner, Chocolatier, Merchant, Slave Trader
Newark Jackson’s story embodies the complex and sometimes corrupt nature of colonial trade …

#72 – Gertrude Bibbey: Feminist Chicken Farmer
This progressive woman worked as a stenographer, served on the Women’s Guild, ran a farm, and waited to get married until her forties!

#23 and #38 – Captain Arthur Savage & the First Lion in America
The first exotic animal to set foot in the American colonies …

#30 – The Sword Dueling Phillips Family
How is a pew owner connected to Cotton Mather, Peter Faneuil, and an illegal sword duel??

#49 again – The Sounding Board
Now pew 49 houses the church’s horribly outdated sound system, but what was the original form of amplification?

#49 – The Wells Family Connections
How is Old North loosely connected to wine AND Sam Adams?

#45 – Lynde Walters, Jr. and the Penny Press
How is Old North Church connected to the 19th century production of newspapers?

#38 – Who was Josiah Calef?
Josiah Calef is obviously not a famous name to us today, but his contributions to life in New England should not go unnoticed …

#25 – Teddy Roosevelt, the “Pirate’s Pew,” and the 1912 Restoration
Over 1,000 people filled the church on December 29, 1912 for its first service since the major restoration that year. In pew #25 sat our 26th president …

#39 – Commonwealth v. Mehitable Mash
Mehitable Mash found herself charged with polygamy when her husband left to run an errand and never returned …

#16 – The Shaw Family
Francis Shaw, a warden at Old North in the 1760s, was the great-great-grandfather of the famous Colonel Robert Gould Shaw…

#18 – Abel Hale Coffin and the Siamese Twins
Abel Hale CoffinJr., a senior warden at Old North for ten years and owner of pew #18 in the mid-1800s, is connected to the story of Eng and Chang, the famous “Siamese twins” of the 19th century…

#10 and #11 – The Vassalls of Massachusetts
Owner of several sugar plantations in Jamaica, Maj. Leonard Vassall was a staunch Episcopalian who moved to Boston in the 1720s…

#4 and #25 – Capt. Daniel Malcolm, Enemy to Oppression
With a reputation of being a smuggler, British soldiers used Malcolm’s tombstone for target practice …

The Pulpit – Rev. William Croswell, D.D. – the Bard of Boston
The minister of Christ Church from 1829-1840, Rev. Croswell wrote dozens of poems in his lifetime, the most famous a Christmas poem about Old North …

#19 – The Troubled Tenure of Rev. William Thomas Smithett
Rev. Smithett’s tenure as Rector undoubtedly ranks among the most disgraceful, embarrassing, and litigious periods in Old North’s nearly 300 year history …

#17 – John Hooton, Jr., the Warden and Wharfinger
Just like his father, John Hooton, Jr. served as a junior warden and senior warden at Old North Church. He was also active in the Revolution …

The Upper Level Gallery
“And who sat up there?” The gallery was home to slaves, servants, and free Black Americans who together made up a significant portion of the congregation...

#6 and #27 – Thomas Kast
Thomas Kast, a renowned doctor with an interesting story, worshiped at Old North while living on Hanover Street …

#8 – Mary Gibbs
With a view of the altar better than some men could afford, the question “who is this woman?” begs for an answer…

The Bay Pew
Near the very front of the Old North Church is a plush, velvet-lined pew dedicated to the “Gentlemen of the Bay of Honduras” …

#54 – Joseph Warren Revere
Paul Revere’s son and civic leader Joseph Warren joined his father at the Revere Copper Company and worshiped at Old North in the early 19th century …

#50 and #78 – Robert Newman and the Signal Lanterns
Robert Newman is perhaps the most famous sexton ever to serve Old North due to his participation in the fateful events on the night of April 18, 1775 …

#11 – The Life and Times of Captain Sam Nicholson
The first captain of the USS Constitution led an interesting life at sea

#27 – Doctor Greaves and Charles Weslesy
One of the least known facts about the Old North Church is that in the year 1736 Minister Charles Wesley, the co-founder of Methodism, visited Boston and preached here. His presence in the American Colonies started a year earlier…

#29 – Captain Maxwell and the Christmas Chandeliers
In the center aisle of Christ Church hang two ornate brass chandeliers, gifts to the church by one of its members, Capt. William Maxwell. They were first lit on Christmas Day in 1724…

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