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tent christian. He fell a victim to the yellow fever, which prevailed in the city of New York during the summer of his death. Not daunted in the performance of his parochial duties, he was unremitting in his attention to the sick and dying, and he shrunk not from those scenes of affliction, from wbich so many of the best and the bravest recoiled with terror. He died August 26, 1798, at the age of 49 years. He was twice married, his first wife being the daughter of the Rev. Dr. Green, of Leicester, and the other, a lady from New York.

Dr. Foster was succeeded in the charge of the Leicester church by Mr. Isaac Beals ; whose successor was Mr. Nathan Dana; and his again was Mr. Peter Rogers, who became the pastor of a church in Leyden, Mass. after his removal from Leicester. Since Mr. Rogers' removal, the church has been supplied pretty constantly with preachers, though no one has been regularly ordained over it.* There are funds, in lands, to the amount of $1000, belonging to the society, and though called to struggle with difficulties, it has ever maintained a respectable standing. It had, in 1812, seventy eight communicants in the church, and, at present, there are about forty two. Mr. Harris at present officiates in this society as their pastor, though he has not been ordained. A part of this society were separated, about 1818, and formed a part of a Baptist society in the northeast part of Spencer, and to this circumstance may be referred, the diminished number of its members.

There has been a respectable society of Friends in this town for a great number of years. In 1732, eight persons filed their certificate with the Town Clerk that they belonged to that persuasion, who, either from a mistake in spelling, or to make an angry and execrable pun, calls them “ those people called Quackers.” As no records are preserved of the early history of this society, we have not been able to trace it any farther than to the uniting of the families of these eight persons into a society. They had a house of worship, which stood where the present meeting house of that people stands ; but when it was erected, we have not been

* Among those who supplied the pulpit, was the Rev. Mr. Hill, who is now a deservedly acceptable and popular preacher, in New Haven, Conn.

+ Among the original number of those professing themselves Friends, in this town, was Mr. Ralph Earle, many of whose descendants of the same name, bave belonged to this society, and been among the most respectable inhabitants of the town. Indeed, most of the members of this society, in this town, have been distinguished for their enterprise and intelligence, and have ever formed an useful and respectable portion of the population of the town, distinguished for their probity, hospitality, and wealth.

haps too far, to follow to their last resting place, those, who once formed a respectable portion of the population of this town. Their history had no important connection with that of the town, and it entirely ceased at the time of their removal in 1783.

A society of Anabaptists was formed in this town, about the year 1738. The first minister of the society was Dr. Thomas Green, a physician of considerable note in his day. It was chiefly through his instrumentality that the society was gathered. This church appears to have once formed part of a society of Baptists in Sutton, of which Dr. Green was one of the pastors.

Dr. Green was a native of Malden, Mass. and was one of the early settlers of Leicester. His circuit of business as a Physician was extensive, and his life was that of active and persevering industry. His success as a preacher was also very considerable, and a very respectable society was gathered. A meeting house was built through his agency, about three miles from the congregational meeting house. This house requiring great repairs, the society, in 1825, enlarged and repaired it, and it is now a very neat and convenient house of worship. Dr. Green died in 1773, at the age of 73 years, after a life distinguished for its activity and usefulness. His descendants, though not very numerous, bave been among the useful and distinguished men of the county; and some of them have particularly excelled in the profession of medicine, for which they have shown a predilection.

Dr. Green was succeeded, as a pastor of this church, by the Rev. Benjamin Foster, D. D. whose talents and acquirements ranked him among the higbest order of the profession. He was a pative of Daovers, Mass. and born June 12, 1750. At the age of 18, he entered Yale College, where he was regularly graduated, and afterwards pursued the study of Theology under the tuition of Dr. Stillman, of Boston, and was ordained over the Baptist Church in Leicester, in 1772, where he continued several years, and wbile there, published some controversial tracts of considerable merit. Soon after leaving Leicester, he was settled in Newport, R. I. and, in 1788, became the pastor of the first Baptist church in the city of New York, where he continued till bis death, in 1798. He received the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity at Brown University, in 1792, in consequence of a learned treatise upon “the seventy weeks of Daniel,” which he had previously published. He was a distinguished scholar, an eminent preacher, and a consistent christian. He fell a victim to the yellow fever, which prevailed in the city of New York during the summer of his death. Not daunted in the performance of his parochial duties, he was unremitting in his attention to the sick and dying, and he shrunk not from those scenes of affliction, from which so many of the best and the bravest recoiled with terror, He died August 26, 1798, at the age of 49 years. He was twice married, his first wife being the daughter of the Rev. Dr. Green, of Leicester, and the other, a lady from New York.

Dr. Foster was succeeded in the charge of the Leicester church by Mr. Isaac Beals ; whose successor was Mr. Nathan Dana; and his again was Mr. Peter Rogers, who became the pastor of a church in Leyden, Mass. after his removal from Leicester. Since Mr. Rogers' removal, the church has been supplied pretty constantly with preachers, though no one has been regularly ordained over it.* There are funds, in lands, to the amount of $1000, belongiog to the society, and though called to struggle with difficulties, it has ever maintained a respectable standing. It had, in 1812, seventy eight communicants in the church, and, at present, there are about forty two. Mr. Harris at present officiates in this society as their pastor, though he has not been ordained. A part of this society were separated, about 1818, and formed a part of a Baptist society in the northeast part of Spencer, and to this circumstance may be referred, the diminished number of its members.

There has been a respectable society of Friends in this town for a great number of years. In 1732, eight persons filed their certificate with the Town Clerk that they belonged to that persuasion, who, either from a mistake in spelling, or to make an angry and execrable pun, calls them 6 those people called Quackers.":f As no records are preserved of the early history of this society, we have not been able to trace it any farther than to the uniting of the families of these eight persons into a society. They had a house of worship, which stood where the present meeting house of that people stands ; but when it was erected, we have not been

* Among those who supplied the pulpit, was the Rev. Mr. Hill, who is now a deservedly acceptable and popular preacher, in New Haven, Conn.

+ Among the original number of those professing themselves Friends, in this town, was Mr. Ralph Earle, many of whose descendants of the same name, have belonged to this society, and been among the most respectable inhabitants of the town. Indeed, most of the members of this society, in this town, have been distinguished for their enterprise and intelligence, and have eyer formed an useful and respectable portion of the population of the town, distinguished for their probity, hospitality, and wealth.

able to learn. The society, having become numerous, and that house being old, and somewhat decayed, in 1791, they removed the old, and built the present meeting house, which, according to Whitney, is a “very good house for their way of worship.” It is situate in the north part of the town, about one and an half miles

ous, and of good proportions, although destitute of any thing ornamental. The spot in which it stands is retired, and almost surrounded with forest trees; around it, repose in their " nameless graves,” the ashes of those who have died of the society. Though we do not profess any particular attachment to their way of worship,” we know of but few spots more calculated to awaken serious reflections than this. A solemn stillness reigns around it, and it seems as if it might be one of those few places where the cares of the world do not intrude. The society consists, at present, of about one hundred and thirty members, not all of whom, however, belong to Leicester.

In 1823, an Episcopalian society was gathered and formed, in the south part of Leicester, embracing the manufacturing establishment there, and several families from Oxford North Gore, and from Charlton. Among the most active in forming this society were, Mr. Anderton, whose name we have before had occasion to mentiou, Samuel Hartwell, Esq. and family, Francis Wilby, an English gentleman, resident in Boston, and several other gentlemen, with their families, who resided in the vicinity of the church.*

A very neat church for the use of this society was erected, by private subscription, and was consecrated by Bishop Griswold, on the last Wednesday in May, 1824. The Rev. Joseph Muenscher had previously been employed by the society, and it was now put under his pastoral charge. He is the present rector of this church, which is in a flourishing state. This was the first Episcopal church ever formed in Worcester County, and has had difficulties and discouragements to encounter, such as usually attend the formation of a new society. The church is situated upon the south side of the Stafford turnpike, about fifty rods from French River, and the Leicester and Saxon factories. Mr. Muenscher is a native of Provi. dence, and was graduated at Brown University. He studied Theology at Andover, and was admitted to orders by Bishop Griswold, in March, 1824, immediately after which, he took charge of the church in Leicester. His marriage with a daughter of the late Joseph Washburn, was, we believe, the first ever consummated in this county in Episcopal form.

* Among the most active of these was Mr. Hezekiah Stone, who liberally gave the ground upon which the church is erected, besides conferring other acts of liberality,

Such are some of the outlines of the ecclesiastical history of the town of Leicester, which, though necessarily imperfect, are sufficient to show, that the inhabitants of the town have been highly favored, in general, in respect to the important interests of religious instruction. Many of their teachers have been eminent for their faithfulness and abilities; and, on the other hand, the people have generally shown a good degree of liberality in contributing to the support of their clergymen. The utmost harmony and good fellowship has uniformly prevailed among the different sects and societies in town, each extending to the others, that courtesy and confidence which become those professing the same faith, though differing, in some particulars, in their mode of worship and form of government. In the interchange of civilities, in the election of civil officers, and in almost all the relations of society and social life, no distinction is made between members of different societies. Each is left to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience, and the consequence has been, that the town has flourished and prospered, while many, possessing equal natural advantages, have been distracted by intestine divisions, and lost that elevated rank they might otherwise have held.

Civil HISTORY.-We feel no inconsiderable reluctance to attempt the civil bistory of this town, for the records have been found so imperfect, and the traditionary accounts so vague, that we are aware of our inability to do any thing like justice to the subject, and that it must be extremely imperfect, even in relation to those portions that are the most interesting and important. But we have been able to glean enough from its records and the recollection of some of its aged inhabitants to furnish to a more patient and successful laborer a clue, by which to guide his future investigations.

According to the Massachusetts Register, annually published in Boston, the town of Leicester is the fifth incorporated, in what is now the County of Worcester, and was incorporated, agreeably with the record we have before copied, in 1713. Whitney incorrectly places this event in 1720, or 1721.

As early as 1721, the town had begun to exercise the powers of an incorporated town, by choosing all the officers belonging to

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