Founders of the Massachusetts Bible Society - 1809

The Massachusetts Bible Society began on July 6, 1809 and is an ecumenical, Christian organization dedicated to promoting Biblical literacy, understanding, and dialogue. This blog lists brief biographies of our founders who gathered in the Massachusetts State House Senate Chamber on that historic day to sign the Charter founding MBS. Please visit our website:

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Location: Newton Centre, MA, United States

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mr. William Perkins

Born in Boston in 1742, William Perkins (along with founder Moses Grant) was known best for his role in the Revolution. His military career is recorded by the Sons of the Revolution: “William Perkins was Lieut. in Callender's Co. at battle of Bunker Hill, afterwards Captain of same Company. He was Captain in Knox's Regt. of Artillery, 1st January, 1776, in Crane's Regt. Artillery, January, 1777; commissioned Major of same, September 12, 1778 ; was at Valley Forge 1777-78 ; commanded the “Castle" in Boston Harbor till ceded to United States in 1798, with rank of Lieut. Colonel; was member of the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati.”

His grandson of the same name was born in 1804, was long the treasurer of the Society of the Cincinnati and was a prominent member of King’s Chapel, making it likely that the Revolutionary War hero was indeed the man on our founding list. He died in 1812.

The Lynn Western Burial Ground has a large number of Revolutionary War heroes and although the date of death is obscured on the stone, the following inscription probably belongs to our Mr. Perkins:

“Here lyes Buried the Body of Mr. William Perkins, a Gentleman of liberall Education, he was bred at Harvard College & Commenced Master of Arts there in ye Year 1761. He was justly admired for his uncommon Abilities Natural & acquired his Literature exemplary Piety Modesty Meekness and many other Humane & Christian Virtues which rendered him lovely in every Relation of Life.”

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