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Rev. Supply Clapp

Male 1711 - 1747  (36 years)

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  • Name Supply Clapp 
    Prefix Rev. 
    Born 1 June 1711  Dorchester, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Died 28 December 1747  Burlington, MA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Second Parish Burial Ground, Burlington Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Supply was ordained 29 Oct 1735 as the first pastor of Burlington.

      From The Clapp Memorial, pages 19–21:
      Supply’s father died when Supply was 13 years old, and he chose Abiel Bird to be his guardian. He entered Harvard College, and was graduated at that institution in 1731. It appears that he immediately engaged himself as a teacher of the school in Dorchester, and that he continued in that employment two or three years. In his Diary, 1733, he says: “Jul 19, 1733, I began my third year to keep school.” “Feb. 13, 1734, Tailer & Clap kept school for me.” During this time, he was preparing himself for the ministry, and commenced preaching May 20, 1733, before he was admitted to the church; for in his Diary, Aug. 5, 1733, it is observed, “I was admitted into the Church at Dorchester.” It appears, however, from his Diary, that this was the only sermon preached before he joined the church. This first sermon was delivered at the Castle, where his great-grandfather, Roger Clapp, commanded so long, as were also most of the other sermons that he preached that year. In 1734, he occupied the pulpit at Roxbury, from March 31, to Jan 30, inclusive; whether as candidate or not, is not stated. It is also doubtful in which of the two churches in Roxbury he was thus engaged. Dec. 15, 1734, he preached for the first time at Woburn, in the 2nd Parish (now Burlington), as a candidate. March 5, 1735, he received a call to settle there in the ministry. This call he accepted, “upon conditions,” May 19; and in full, Aug. 25 of the same year. What his salary was, does not appear, but it was probably regulated by the price of provisions; for, on the same page of his diary that he records his ordination is the following memorandum:
      “N.B. The price of Indian corn, 6 shillings p. Bush. Rye, 8 shilings p. Bush. Beef 5 pence p. pound. Pork 7 pence p. pound. Cyder, 5 shilings p. barrel. Butter 16 & 18 pence p. pound. Work, 4 shill. or five shillings in Summer. Mowing, 5s-6d: and some have 6 shillings.”
      Mr. Clapp was ordained pastor of the second church in Woburn, Oct. 29, 1735. On that occasion, Rev. Mr. Bowman, of Dorchester, offered prayer; Rev. Mr. Hancock (probably of Lexington) preached from Romans i.1, and gave the charge; Rev. Mr. Bowes, of Bedford, gave the right hand off ellowship. The meeting-house in which Mr. Clapp was settled had been built about three years, and had been used for a place of worship probably about all that time; but no church had been regularly organized until after his ordination. Nov. 9, 1735, he preached—for the first time after his ordination, from Luke xii. 42 and 43. “Who then is that faithful and wise steward,” &c. The church at that time consisted of eleven males and twenty-one females.
      In the spring of 1736, Mr. Clapp bought a place called the “Knight place,” from the name of the former possessor; and, in the fall succeeding, went to housekeeping, though a single man. Aug.11,1737, he married Miss Martha Fowle, daughter of the then wife of Mr. Samuel Walker, one of his deacons, but previously the widow of Mr. Fowle, of the first parish, and, during her widowhood, the keeper of a very respectable tavern there. Mrs. Clapp has been represented as a very capable and amiable woman.
      Mr. Clapp appears to have been a man of very feeble constitution, and labored under many weaknesses and infirmities, as appears by his journal. He was very sick for many days in the fall of 1742, and looked upon as near his end; he suffered greatly by sharp turns of pain in 1743, and says in his journal, Oct. 1, “Thro’ Gods Goodness I have not been confined to my house since March, long together; but so great hath been my weakness that I have enjoyed but little comfort in the things below. I trust my affections are stronger heavenward.”
      In consequence of his infirm state of health, he frequently took short excursions abroad, especially to Dorchester, and to Boston to hear the Thursday lecture. On one of these occasions, Sept., 1740, he recofds the following memorable incident:
      “The Rev^d Mr. Whitefield, in the afternoon at 3 o'clock, was to preach at y^e New South in Boston. The meeting house being very much crowded, there was suddenly an outcry as if y^e Gallery was falling. I, being under said Gallery, hastened out, stood at y^e door; immediately there was such thronging out, that y^ey trampled one another under feet, some jumped out of y^e Galleries into y ^e seats below, some out of y^e windows. I helped clear the way at y^e door, till they got so squeezed together in y^e porch till I could get no more out. So that I with others were forced to cry out to the pressing multitude to make way back. After y^e space of 5 or 6 minutes, such way was made back, that we could help the distressed out; many were taken up for dead, but being blooded chiefly recovered. Three died upon y^e spot, and two more a day or two after. As awful a sight (I think) as ever I beheld. May god santify it to me, and the rest of the spectators.
      “N.B. The Galleries were afterward examined and there appeared no danger.”
      Mr. Clapp's frail nature gave way Dec. 28, 1747; his age was then 36 years, 6 months and 28 days. The generation who knew him and sat under his preaching have passed away, but tradition has uniformly given him a most excellent character. Not a syllable has been handed down to us to his disadvantage; he was respected and beloved. The following is the inscription on his gravestone in the burying ground at Burlington.
      Here lie interred the Remains of the
      Revd Mr. Supply Clap, late Pastor
      of the 2nd Church of Christ in Woburn
      Who departed this Life
 Dec. the 28th, 1747,
      in the 37th Year of his age,
      and the 13th o fhis Ministry.
      He was a good Christian, and a faithful
      Pastor, and being dead Yet Speaketh,
      Especially to the People that were
      his Charge, Saying, remember how
      Ye have received and heard, & hold fast.
      After Mr. Clapp's decease, his widow removed to Boston. He left a will, dated Dec. 6, 1747. The estate was valued at £3396.0.6. Among the articles or effects mentioned in the inventory, was “a sickly negro man servant about 12 years old valued at £300.”
      Most of this account of Rev. Supply is obtained from a letter writ-ten by Rev. Samuel Sewall, of Burlington, Mass., to the late Elisha Clapp, under date of Aug. 20, 1820.
      These children of Rev. Supply ever retained a grateful recollection of their native town; they made frequent visits to it, lingering about the spot which was the scene of their childhood. About1790, they presented the church, over which their father had labored, with a large folio bible for the use of the pulpit.

      Second Parish Burial Ground, Burlington, Middlesex County, Massachusetts
      Here lie interred the Remains of the Revd. Mr. Supply Clap, late Pastor of the 2d Church of Christ in Woburn, who departed this Life December the 28th 1747 in the 37th Year of his Age and 13th of his Ministry.
      He was a good Christian & a faithful Pastor and being dead yet Speaketh, Especially to the people that were his Charge, Saying Remember how ye have received & heard & hold fast. [2, 3]
    Person ID I35008  Schirado
    Last Modified 18 January 2020 

    Father Lieut. Samuel Clapp,   b. 6 August 1668, Dorchester, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 January 1724, Dorchester, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 55 years) 
    Mother Mary Paul,   b. 27 March 1675, Dorchester, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 January 1752, Dorchester, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years) 
    Married 7 April 1697  Dorchester, MA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F36537  Family Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family/Spouse Martha Fowle,   b. 12 March 1709, Woburn, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 September 1794, Boston, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years) 
    Married 11 August 1736  Woburn, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
     1. Martha Clapp,   b. 6 August 1738, Woburn, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 November 1806, Boston, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68 years)
     2. Supply Clapp,   b. 3 January 1742, Woburn, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 March 1811, Portsmouth, Rockingham County, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 69 years)
    +3. Samuel Clapp,   b. 5 July 1745, Woburn, MA Find all individuals with events at this location
    Family ID F24670  Family Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Sources 
    1. [S302] Eugene Charles Fowle, (New Eng. Hist. Gen Soc., Boston, 1990).

    2. [S136] John Adams Vinton, (Portland, ME: Brown Thurston & Co, 1876).

    3. [S19] Ebenezer Clapp, (Boston, Clapp & Son, 1876.).

    4. [S135] (Woburn MA: Andrews Cutler & Co, 1890).

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