Monday, August 18, 2008

John Boyle: Gossip Columnist

Over a third of the entries in John Boyle's diary are death announcements. These are generally fairly sparse: name, age, family connections, sometimes cause of death. Once in a while, though, Boyle adds a little extra zing. Here's his entry for June 12, 1766:
Died aged about 70, Mr. John Walker, formerly a noted Merchant lately a noted Miser He has left a great Estate to one of his illegitimate Offspring.


Bill said...

I am in possession of a powder horn that I believe belonged to John Boyle, the printer. The decoration on the horn depicts the Boston harbor, with the City of Boston in the backround (including four churchs). Across the horn is written" A VIEW OF THE CITY OF BOSTON. At the base of the horn is written:

Any information you might have about Boyle at this time or references in his journal to the purchase of the horn would be appreciated.

Bill Maharay

Caitlin GD Hopkins said...


I don't remember any references to a powder horn, but I haven't read the Boyle diary in a while. Most of Boyle's diary was published in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register in 1930-1, so you may be able to access it at your local library. You may also want to bring the horn to the Massachusetts Historical Society or an accredited appraiser of antiques to get it authenticated and possibly stabilized for preservation.

For most of 1775, Boyle was living in Hingham with his wife's family (in exile during the siege of Boston). He returned to Boston in 1776.

I've written a few other posts about Boyle — just click on the "John Boyle" label at the bottom of this post to see them.