The "Endicott Rock"
|Simon Willard's initials at top|
Massachusetts Bay Charter of 1629, the northern boundary of the colony was fixed as a line three miles north of the Merrimack but, despite an earlier expedition in 1638, the head of the Merrimack had not been determined. So, on May 3, 1652, the court ordered:
"...for the better discovery of the north line of our Patent, it is ordered by this Court that Capt. Symon Willard and Capt. Edward Johnson be appointed as commissioners, to procure such artists [surveyors] and other assistants as they shall judge meet, to go with them to find out the most northerly part of the Merrimack river, and that they be supplied with all manner of necessaries by the Treasurer fit for this journey, and that they use their utmost skill and ability to take a true observation of the latitude of that place..." After etching their claim upon the granite boundary marker, they returned to the Governor with the requested survey information: "43 degrees Latitude, 40 minutes, 12 seconds with three miles running north into the lake."
Dolour Davis accompanied them, preparing the way for his wife and children to follow in 1635. Both Simon and Dolour actively served the communities in which they lived but Simon stood out in his leadership roles. As a captain of a militia and a long-time member of the general court as representative of Concord, Simon was chosen by Governor Endicott as a capable leader for the important historic expedition that would mark the northern-most boundary of the Massachusetts Colony's chartered territory.
|The initials "WP" are not identified and may have been incised at a later time.|
|Horsmonden is located in the Weald of Kent, England|
|St. Margaret's Church, Horsmonden where Simon and Margaret were baptised|
|Plaque in St. Margaret's honoring Simon Willard|
|Windows gifted to St. Margaret's by American Willard family in 1921|
|Window detail: "In the Glory of God and in memory of Major Simon Willard..."|
For more information:
The Report of the preservation, protection, and appropriate designation of the Endicott Rock at the Weirs, 1893
and a sketch by The Lake Winnipesaukee Historical Society Museum
St. Margaret's Church, Horsmonden photo
St. Margaret's Church, Horsmonden photos, interior