The Moses Jewett house, photo by Prudence Fish
The Moses Jewett house, photo by Prudence Fish

The Moses Jewett house at 307 High Street was built in 1759. The land was originally granted to Robert Mussey, who arrived with the original settlers of Ipswich in 1634. In his will dated 1642, he granted the farm to John, his eldest son. Another son, Robert was also owned land, “twenty acres on both sides of the river called the North River” which we now call the Egypt River. The land passed on to his son Benjamin, who spelled his name Muzzey. In a deed dated July 22, 1651, he conveyed to Joseph Muzzey (2) a house and land at this location.

Muzzy sold a farm with 100 acres to Joseph Jewett, who had built a house and barn on the property when he died in 1660. Several generations of Jewetts divided the land, and eventually came into the possession of Aaron Jewett, who built the house at 321 High Street in 1780, and Moses Jewett, who built this home in 1759.

The Moses Jewett house in 1900, from Thomas Franklin Waters' book Ipswich Village and the Old Rowley Road

Captain Moses Jewett fought in the French and Indian War as well as the Revolutionary War. He joined six of his neighbors in a Petition to the Governor and Council on March 5, 1746, requesting that they be “set off” from the First Parish of Ipswich and annexed to the First Parish in Rowley. Despite the objections of the First Church, the General Court granted that they may be assessed the parish tax from Rowley, where they attended meeting, instead of Ipswich. The neighborhood has been known since that time as Ipswich Village.

Thomas Franklin Waters wrote about Moses Jewett in his book, Ipswich Village and the Old Rowley Road:

Jeremiah Jewett died February 15, 1731. He had married Elizabeth Bugg of Rowley, after the death of the mother of his children and in his will, he bequeathed to her “all she brought me and 20 more, to be hers even if she marries again,” to Aaron, “my only and well beloved son,” the use of the estate during his life, and upon his decease to his son, Moses, then a boy of nine years. Moses married Abigail Bradstreet of the neighboring farm, May 13, 1741, a month after his nineteenth birthday, and the young couple no doubt established themselves at once in the homestead.

Moses Jewett was a man of courage and enterprise. He built a new dwelling in 1759, according to the family record, which was owned later by Daniel Boynton, and is known by many as the Boynton house, a comfortable and attractive mansion still. He was Captain of a Troop of Horse in Col. John Baker’s Regiment, which marched on the Lexington alarm, April 19, 1775 and also marched to Gloucester on November 29th of the same year. Nehemiah Jewett, Nehemiah, Jr. and Aaron, son of Captain Moses, were all members of this Troop.

The Moses Jewett house in 1980. Photo by Prudence Fish.
The Moses Jewett house in 1980. Photo by Prudence Fish.

Five sons and five daughters were born to Captain Moses and Abigail, Aaron, Jeremiah, Moses, Nathaniel and James; Jane, Hannah, Abigail, Elizabeth and Sarah. When the farm came to Moses, it is probable that the northern bound was the original limit of the Muzzey grant, and it seems to have extended about four rods north of the brook by the Boynton house. He enlarged it materially.

Prudence Fish wrote extensively about purchasing and renovating the Captain Moses Jewett House.

The Moses Jewett house, 1800's
The Moses Jewett house, 1800’s

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