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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 623

William Boden legal documents from Natick, Massachusetts and other documents


Primarily legal documents issued by Natick, Massachusetts Justice of the Peace, William Boden. Also includes legal documents drafted by others in Natick and some issued by other towns.


  • 1729-1805

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.


3 linear feet (14 boxes)
Includes writs, certificates of intentions to marry, warrants, deeds, indentures, petitions, financial papers, Justice register books of cases and writs, guardian books of accounts, and manuscript site plans reflecting the work of Justice Boden in late 18th-century Natick, Massachusetts (relating to "white and Indian inhabitants"). Many cases concern debts or domestic relations. Legal documents are primarily issued by Justice William Boden of Natick, and primarily concern the town of Natick, but there are also some materials issued by other justices and clerks in other locations. There are also a few legal papers concerning the Boden family, a recipe, and printed broadsides.

Biographical / Historical

William Boden (1735-1807) was a justice of the peace in Natick, Massachusetts. He was married in 1757 to Kezia Kendall Boden (1732-1809). Boden was a blacksmith, a farmer, and though without formal legal training, he served as the King's Justice during the American colonial years. After the Revolutionary War, he was elected as Natick town Justice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Boden also served as a Captain in the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War. He is buried in Natick in old Boden Lane Cemetery, the land for which he gave to the town. He also gave land to the town for a site for a school house. Boden was "held in high esteem by the town and his decisions were known as models of fairness and insight." [Source: The Story of Natick, 1948, by Natick Federal Savings and Loan Association].


Arranged into the following series:
  1. I. Intentions to marry, 1781-1801
  2. II. Legal documents, 1754-1805 and undated
  3. III. Writs, by case name, 1761-1802
  4. IV. Other documents, 1729-1802

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

No accession number. Gift of Elijah Clark, Esq. of Brighton, Massachusetts; received: 1844 July 22. Formerly cataloged as US 13370.6.5*.

Digitization Funding

Collections and items have been digitized with the generous support of The Polonsky Foundation.

Processing Information

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt
Link to catalog
Boden, William, 1735-1807. William Boden legal documents from Natick, Massachusetts and other documents, 1729-1805: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.

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