(Biographical sketches of graduates of Harvard University, in Cambridge, John Langdon sibley, Clifford Kenyon Shipton, p. 65-66.)
Born 1621, died 169, aged nearly 70 yearsRev. John Wilson [jr.], M.A., of Medfield, Massachusetts, was born in London, England, in September, 1621. He was son of [Rev.] John Wilson, the first minister of the First Church in Boston, Massachusetts, and grandson of [Rev.] William Wilson, D. D., Prebendary of St. Paul’s in London, whose wife was niece of Edmund Grindal, Archbishop of Canterbury. He came to New England with his father on his second voyage. While at Nathaniel Eaton’s school in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which was introductory to the establishment of Harvard College, he bore his testimony to the ill-treatment of the scholars by Eaton and his wife, as may be seen by the note on pages 5-and 6. He was admitted to the First Church in Boston, 3 March, 1644, and made freeman at the session of the General court of Massachusetts, 26 May, 1647.
After preaching several years he was invited to assist the Reverend Richard Mather, of Dorchester, and in 1649 was settled as his “coadjutor.” Johnson notices him as “the gracious and godly Mr. Wilson,…Pastor to the Church of Christ at Dorchester.” After preaching there about two years he removed to Medfield, where he was settled in 1651; and, besides performing the duties of physician and schoolmaster, he was the minister more than forty years.
Hutchinson says he was held in “high esteem.” Cotton Mather states that Wilson, “when a child, fell upon his Head from a Loft four Stories high, into the Street; from whence he was taken up for dead, and so battered and bruised and bloody with his fall, that it struck Horror into the Beholders: But” his father “had a wonderful
Return of his Prayers in the Recovery of the Child, both unto Life and unto Sense; insomuch, that he continued unto Old Age, a Faithful Painful, Useful Minister of the gospel; and …went from the Service of the Church in Medfield, unto the Glory of the Church Triumphant.”
He died at Medfield on Sunday, 23 August, 1691. “The Lord’s day preceding his translation, he preached both forenoon and afternoon, fervently and powerfully. The Lord’s day that he expired, the greater part of his Church were present to behold and lament his remove from them.”
Joseph Baxter, H. U. 1963, was settled as his successor, 21 April, 1697, after the town had heard thirty-two candidates.
Wilson’s wife was Sarah [HOOKER], daughter of the Reverend Thomas Hooker, of Hartford, Connecticut. Their daughter Elizabeth was married to the Reverend Thomas Weld, of Dustable, H. U. 1671. Another daughter, Susannah, born December, 1664, was married in 1683 to the Reverend Grindall Rawson, H. U. 1678.
In 1668 Wilson preached the Artillery Election Sermon; but it is not known that he published anything.
Authorities. [A long list of sources follows.]