| || Notes for John Gould:|
John GOULD (Zaccheus), born 10 June 1635, at Great Messenden, England, came to New England at the age of three, with his father. He lived at Topsfield, Massachusetts, where he was made freeman in 1665. Due to his large inheritances from his father, and his own business acumen, he was the greatest landowner in the neighborhood (Genealogical Dictionary of New England, Savage, 2:285), and a man of much influence.
Topsfield records bear his name frequently. He was ensign 22 March 1672, and elected constable 14 September same year. He was selectman (an officer now termed councilman) for fifteen years, beginning in 1663. In 1675 he was a member of the "Three County Troop," which served during King Philip's War. (General Register Society Colonial Wars, 1899-1902, 647.) For many years he was licensed to keep a "house of entertainment," i.e., hotel, and to sell beer and wine. (Topsfield Historical Society Collections 27:76, 82.) He was frequently on juries, acting also as attorney; was deputy marshal, and in 1688 commanded the Topsfield Militia, being made captain in 1693.
A petition drawn up at Topsfield 1 March 1678/9, and signed by "Yours in all fidelity, Loyall servants under his Majesty," bore the names of many prominent men of that locality, who, addressing the "Honorable and Worshipful, the Council of the Colony of Massachusetts, asked that body to restore Ensign John Gould to freedom again, and to his former commission or a higher one." (Ibid 15:40.) On 26 March the request was granted and Lieutenant Gould's commission and standing restored to him.
He did not manage to stay out of trouble, however, for the court records of 9 April 1678 show him having been brought up for "reproachful speeches and behavior in court toward Captain Saltonstall, as saying 'you are no judge of ye Court,' in a violent manner." (Ibid. 27:89.) He was fined for this irreverence. He was perhaps the most outspoken of all the patriots in opposing the arbitrary government which James II sought to impose upon New England when under Dudley and Sir Edmund Andros. Upon a warrant 5 August 1686, issued under "information ... of several treasonable and seditious words spoken by John Gould of Topsfield against our Sovereign Lord the King," he was arrested and lodged in Boston jail. In a presentment found against him by the Court Special Session, 19 August 1686, he is described as "John Gould, sen., otherwise called Lieutenant Gould of Topsfield," and it is asserted that "at a Riotus Muster of armed men gathered together by him, the aforesaid John Gould, as their pretended officer at Topsfield ... did against the duty of his Allegiance, and in terror of his Majesty's liege people, maliciously, wickedly, treasonably and advisedly speak and utter the malicious, treasonable and seditious speeches," etc., saying that he "was under another Government, and did not know this government, and this in manifest contempt of His Majesty's Laws," etc., etc. Captain Gould was released 25 August 1686, with imposition of heavy fine.
Three years later, in 1689, with the Advent of William, the Prince of Orange, Governor Andros himself was apprehended, and banished from the Colony, while in 1690, under the ensuing liberal government, Captain Gould was thrice elected Deputy from Topsfield to the General Curt, and subsequently twice re-elected. (Heroes of the Revolution, Whittemore, 176-182.) Less than a hundred years after these occurrences, all the Colonies were in revolt against the same unjust tyranny which called forth John Gould's indignant protests, which he proclaimed, doubtless, in words and manner more vigorous than discreet.
It is said of him that his literary qualities were good; he wrote a very good hand in the fashion of the day in which he lived. He died in his 75th year, leaving the reputation of an honorable, public-spirited and religious man, morally as well as physically brave, and of sterling integrity.
John Gould married 12 October 1660, Sarah, daughter of John BAKER, of Ipswich. She was born 9 March 1641, and died 20 January 1708/9 - just one year before the death of her husband, which occurred 26 January 1709/10. They are buried at Topsfield Cemetery where his parents also lie.