IPSWICH, a township of Essex county, Massachusetts, U.S.A., on both sides of the Ipswich river, about 27 m. N.N.E. of Boston. Pop. 1910 (Federal census), 5777. It is served by the Boston & Maine railroad. The surface is diversified by drumlins, vales, meadows, sand-dunes and tidal marshes. Ipswich has several manufacturing industries, including hosiery. The public library was the gift of Augustine Heard. Among the residences are several built in the 17th and 18th centuries. The oldest of these, the John Whipple House, is the home of the Ipswich Historical Society (1890), which has gathered here a collection of antiques and issues publications of antiquarian interest. In the Ipswich Female Seminary, which no longer exists, Mary Lyon taught from 1828 to 1834 and here planned Mount Holyoke Seminary; Professor J. P. Cowles and his wife conducted a famous school for girls in the building for many years. Facing the South Common were the homes of Rev. Nathaniel Ward (1578-1652), principal author of the Massachusetts "Body of Liberties" (1641); the first code of laws in New England, and author of The Simple Cobler of Aggawam in America, Willing to help mend his Native Country, lamentably tattered, both in the upper-Leather and the Sole (1647), published under the pseudonym, "Theodore de la Guard," one of the most curious and interesting books of the colonial period; of Richard Saltonstall (1610-1694), who wrote against the life tenure of magistrates, and although himself an Assistant espoused the more liberal principles of the Deputies; and of Ezekiel Cheever (1614-1708), a famous schoolmaster, who had charge of the grammar school in 1650-1660. In the vicinity was the house of the Rev. William Hubbard (1621-1704), author of a Narrative of the Troubles with the Indians in New England (Boston, 1677) and a general History of New England, published by the Massachusetts Historical Society in 1815.
The town was founded under the name of Aggawam in 1633 by John Winthrop, jun., and twelve others, with a view to preventing the French from occupying the N. part of Massachusetts, and in the next year it was incorporated under its present name. In wealth and influence during the early colonial period it was little inferior to Boston, whose policies it not infrequently opposed. When Governor Andros and his Council in 1687 issued an order for levying a tax, a special town meeting of Ipswich promptly voted "that the s'd act doth infringe their Liberty as Free borne English subjects of His Majestic by interfearing with ye statutory Laws of the Land, By which it is enacted that no taxes shall be levied on ye Subjects without consent of an assembly chosen by ye Freeholders for assessing the same," and refused to assess the tax. For this offence six leaders, headed by the Rev. John Wise, minister of the Chebacco Parish (now Essex), were prosecuted, found guilty, imprisoned for three weeks to await sentence and then disqualified for office; they were also fined from £15 to L50 each, and were required to give security for their good behaviour. In Ipswich were originally included the present townships of Hamilton (1793) and Essex (1819).
See T. F. Waters, Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony 16 331700 (Ipswich, 1905), and the publications of the Ipswich Historical Society.
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