Leading American Freemason.
Immigrated to Boston from England (1723). Worked as a tailor and storekeeper. Visited England (c. 1730-33). Deputed “Provincial Grand Master of New England and Dominions and Territories thereunto belonging” (April 1733). Returned to Boston and organized Grand Lodge of Massachusetts (July 1733). His authority was subsequently extended to cover all British North America (1734) and he appointed Franklin Provincial Grand Master for Pennsylvania (1735). Cornet, with rank of major, in Massachusetts governor’s troop of guards (1733). Eventually retired from business, moved to Townsend, Massachusetts, and styled himself a “gentleman.” Represented Townsend in Massachusetts legislature (1764-65).
Married (1) Mary Townsend (1737); one daughter. Married (2) Mary Tilden (1752). Married (3) Lydia Randall (1771); two daughters.