The Alexander Knight House next to the Whipple House on South Green is a re-creation of an early, English-style timber frame house from 1657 as described in Ipswich town records. This exhibit was built with traditional tools, materials and construction methods of the First Period, complete with a stone foundation, timber frame, wattle and daub chimney, water-sawn white oak boards and thatched roof. Jowled posts, girts, and braces were fitted to form an end wall. after which plates, studs, joists, principal rafters and purlins were pegged in place to complete the frame.

Alexander Knight was from Chelmsford, Essex, England and his wife Anne Tutty (or Tuttle) was from London. They arrived in Ipswich in 1635 with sufficient resources, were granted land as was customary in the early years of settlement, and he built a home near Meeting House Green. Their lives took several bad turns, including the death of their child Nathaniel in 1648 when his clothes caught on fire. A jury was impaneled concerning the death: six from Ipswich, three from Newbury, four from Rowley and one from Andover. Knight was fined for carelessness in not preventing a fire after being warned. He faced the court several other times for charges which included lying, and offering violence (threatening) Richard Shatswell.

The family apparently lost their house in the same fire, and began boarding with Aaron Pengry under an arrangement with the town. By 1656 Alexander Knight was indigent, had sold his land, was working as an indentured servant, and Pengry asked the town to end the arrangement. A long discussion arose at the April 1657 Town Meeting about how to help the family. The town took mercy and voted to provide him a piece of land “whereas Alexander Knight is altogether destitute, his wife alsoe neare her tyme.” The new house upon which this house is modeled was located on High Street near Lords Square.

*(from Records of the Essex Courts)

Read more about the Alexander Knight house

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s