Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Townspeople

January 31, 2013

Dalton column: Innkeepers' dispute

In 1680 the General Court allowed Andover to have two public houses (inns) and that opened the door, so to speak, for some trouble.

By 1689, John Osgood had been an innholder for some time and didn’t like the competition he was receiving from the elderly William Chandler, who had become an innkeeper in 1687, so Osgood complained to the county court that Chandler didn’t have a license to sell cider and strong drink. Each of these men were among the original settlers of the town, and the feud was likely watched carefully by the town’s small population.

In order to establish his continuing right to be an innholder, Chandler was put to the work of finding the proper documentation and then adding an affidavit from five men who stated Chandler’s inn was necessary. They lived on the roads from Andover to Ipswich and Billerica, and stated in the affidavit that prior to Chandler’s “Horseshoe,” as it was called, they often heard strangers complain there was no public house of entertainment on those roads and the strangers had to travel a mile and a half out of their way for a bed and refreshment or, even worse, intrude upon private houses. That intrusion, said the five men, was burdensome to the neighborhood; therefore, William Chandler’s house was located in a convenient location for innkeeping.

A year after Osgood’s original complaint, 35 Andover men filed a lengthy petition critical of Chandler. For the benefit of my readers, I have abbreviated that bloviated petition; where there are words in quotation marks, they come from the petition itself, as copied in historian Sarah Loring Bailey’s 1880 book, “Historical Sketches of Andover.”

The petitioners stated they spoke for “many more, if not most of the town,” and said Chandler’s behavior had become an “epidemicall evil that overspreads and is like to corrupt the greater part of our towne if not speedily prevented.” The petitioners continued, “...in his first setting up he seemed to have had tendernesse upon his conscience not to admit of excess or disorder in his house... but the earnest desire for money hath proved an evil root to him... for through his over forwardness to promote his own gaine he hath been apt to animate and entice persons to spend their own money & time to ye great wrong of themselves and family they belong to.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Townspeople
  • AT HOWARD KOH

    U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES/Courtesy photo Dr. Howard Koh will step down as U.S. assistant secretary for health after five years to rejoin Harvard School of Public Health this fall in a new position in its Department of Health Policy and Management.

    Koh to rejoin Harvard School of Public Health Posted 8 days ago 1 Photo
  • 48 locals to pedal in Pan-Mass Challenge Posted 8 days ago
  • AT HANNAH CURRIE

    Courtesy photo Hannah Currie is spending 10 days this summer becoming immersed in the music industry at GRAMMY Camp in Los Angeles.

    Currie hits note at LA's GRAMMY Camp Posted 8 days ago 1 Photo
  • South Church names new senior pastor Posted 15 days ago
  • AT BOYS GIRLS CLUB GOLF1

    COURTESY PHOTO Andover residents Patrick James, left, Adam Geaslen, Ryan Byrd and Dan Bryant claimed first place at the 35th annual Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence Golf Tournament at Indian Ridge Country Club in town.

    Local foursome aces Boys & Girls Club tourney Posted 15 days ago 2 Photos
  • AT LOCKS SISTERS2

    COURTESY PHOTO The Marble sisters --Anna, 8, left, and Isabel, 11 -- post-donatin to Locks of Love.

    Sisters pair up to donate pony tails to Locks of Love Posted 15 days ago 4 Photos
  • AT HOST1

    DESI SMITH/Staff photo Former Andover residents Dana Cohen and his wife, Ginny, back, left, have regularly hosted foreign exchange students since 1989. Farrah Moussa, back right, from Egypt, and Paula Valverde, front right, from Spain, are the latest students to spend a year with the Cohens, who now live in Gloucester.

    Former Andover couple welcomes exchange students for quarter-century Posted 15 days ago 4 Photos
  • Thursday, July 3, 2014
  • LENO1

    FILE PHOTO Jay Leno, who honed his comedy skills growing up in Andover, will receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor this fall during a performance at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.

    In good comedy company Posted 22 days ago 2 Photos
  • COMMUNITY TRUST2

    ACT 3.jpg Susan Stott, third from left, accepts the Opening Doors to Affordable Housing in Andover Award from Andover Community Trust directors, from left, Don Schroeder, treasurer; John Pearson, president; and Joan Johnson, clerk.

    Affordable housing advocates honored Posted 22 days ago 2 Photos
  • AT TABIT

    Salim Tabit

    Townspeople in the News Posted 22 days ago 1 Photo

Pictures of the Week
Stocks