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Archbald Gravestone

Interesting story with the Archbald family in American History

There are many famous gravestones at the Granary Burial Grounds of people that contributed to the American Revolution. One of the overlooked gravestones is the Archbald family. It's the Number 2 gravestone in the Granary Burying Grounds.

This single gravestone has 21 family members listed, six of them were children of Francis and Anna Archbald.

Archbald Gravestone

GraveStone Listing

Azor G. Archbald d. 1811
Dr. Byles 1788
Anna Archbald 1798
Huldah Archbald 1799
Annagale Archbald 1801
Francis Archbald 1801
Anna Archbald 1797
Lucretin Archbald 1809
Azor Gale Archbald 1810
Lucretian May Archbald 1811
Mary Ann Pratt Archbald 1823
Luther F. Archbald 1834
Edward Archbald 1834
Henry Archbald 1840
Mary Archbald Burnha, 1840
Anna Archbald Derby 1846
Sarah Archbald Hobbs 1848
Hannah Whitmarsh 1850
Emeline Whitmarsh Archbald 1853
Geroge Archbald 1870
Caroline Whitmarsh Archbald 1871

Story #1: Dr. Mather Byles

Dr. Byles is actually Mather Byles. He was a high ranking clergy at the Hollis Street Church (Congregational) He graduated from Harvard College and received his doctoral degree from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

During the Revolution he was an advocate of British rule. Despite his loyalty to the British, he was captured during the British Occupation of Boston. He was under house arrest while the British occupied the town.

It's unclear on why he was arrested - other than his refusal to leave his home and the Hollis Street Church.

His famous saying was, "Which is better - to be ruled by one tyrant three thousand miles away or by three thousand tyrants one mile away?"

He died on July 5, 1788. He is the Father in Law of Azor G Archbald.

Side Note: I am not sure why Mather Byles full name isn't on the gravestone and why his name isn't listed on the Official Granary Burying Ground Cemetery Records.

Story #2: Boston Massacre Participant

Edward Archbald and Francis Archbald were two brothers that had some minor role of a series of events that eventually led to the Boston Massacre.

According to the Boston Gazette, a publication that reported on the events of the American Revolution, this is what happened:

On March 5th, 1770, four boys - Edward Archbald, William Merchant, Francis Archbald, and John Leech arrived at Cornhill (A Street in Colonial Boston - which is where City Hall is today.)

As the four boys were walking down a narrow alley, Edward Archbald bumped into a British soldier sword. He asked the soldier to move the sword so others wouldn't bump into it. The Solder turned around and hit Edward on the arm and poked the sword at William Merchant.

William hit the soldier with a stick he had in his hand. One of the other soldiers ran to get an assistant.

One of the solders that came to help chased Edward in the alley and corned him. The soldier then "laid him over the head with the tongs."

This commotion attracted other people to see what was going on. The soldiers took the boys over to the nearby barracks and stood by them. After a few moments, more people showed up - some with clubs and bayonets.

After a while the boys left - since they didn't have the fighting equipment other had.

The ensuing mob would later start harassing the British. The British would later fire on the mob killing three instantly and two others died a few days later.

The two boys Edward Archbald and Francis Archbald are buried in the Archbald tomb. One of the other boys - John Leech is also buried in the Granary Burying Grounds.

Finding the Gravestone

The Archbald gravestone is in the back left corner of the Granary Graveyard - along the brick wall.



Charles E Archbald, IIThis stone was a replacement in 1900. The cost was shared by several relatives in the Archbald family. The list is in a file at the Mass Historical Society. My father was one of the organizers. I was surprised to find out that many of the graves were tombs beneath the surface. The tomb stone does not list many of the older interments. I have read there are actually 29 persons interred there and that the tomb originally belonged to the Oliver family. They are the family of Anna Gale Archbald.

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