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I’d rather display a good likeness of Grandpa (8G) William “The Immigrant” Munroe. But as far as I’m aware, not even a bad one survives. So I settle for a second* showing of his very handsome gravestone. As it says, he was about 92 years old when he died in 1717, full of years and honors, survived by Elizabeth, his third wife, and most of his seven sons and seven daughters.

Mary Munroe Sanderson, a great-granddaughter who lived to the age of 104, recalled that the farmhouse at “Scotland,” William’s farm on the Woburn line, came to resemble a rope-walk, as he would add a wing to the house each time a son reached his majority.
As patriarch of a large and prosperous frontier family, including progenitors and close kin of most of the Lexington men who faced the Redcoats on the Green in 1775, he served more than one term as a Selectman of Cambridge in His Majesty’s colony of Massachusetts.

An American success story, to be sure. One that would have been hard to predict in 1652, when William came to New England in chains. Oliver Cromwell captured him, in company with some eight thousand of his fellow Scots faithful to Charles Stuart, at the disastrous (for Charles) Battle of Worcester (September, 1651). Having no more profitable use for a large crowd of fractious Highlanders, Cromwell sold them for ten pounds a head to planters in the New World. As “redemptioners,” William and his fellows had the Biblical seven years in exile, with the lowly status of indentured servants, to pay off their transportation. By then, one supposes, they would no longer pose a threat to the Parliamentary Party.

In 1660, once again a free man, William Munroe obtained a land grant of some 60 acres. About 1665 (aged about 40), William married Martha George, and they set about their Christian duty of multiplying and replenishing the earth, producing John in 1666, Martha in 1667, William in 1669, and George about 1671.

*The first is on the frontispiece.

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