William Burton was the son of James and Jane Burton, He was born in Boston and was baptized 12 September 1762 in Christ’s Church in Boston. William was married 3 December 1772 by Mr. Walter of Trinity Church in Boston, Massachusetts, to Mary Hickling the daughter of William Hickling and his wife Sarah Sale. Mary was born 8 February 1746 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts.
William Burton was a merchant in Boston.In 1765, William filed as Plaintiff in Suffolk County Court of Common Pleas against Belthazar Bayard, yeoman of Roxbury, for damages.William Burton was a merchant in Boston with a business on the Town Dock in 1774 and was described as “an Addresser and Protestor.”The next record will give us a better understanding. On 8 September 1774, Capt. John Gore, Mr. Henry Leddle, Mr. Edward Cox, Mr. Jas. Asby, William Burton, Mr. Wm. McAlpine and Mr. Wilson are expelled from the Fire-Societies to which they respectfully belong for signing the Address to the late Governor Hutchinson.This group of men were talking against the rising tide of Revolution, When the Royal Governor was unceremoniously put on a ship and sent back to England. These men had signed a letter to his majesty expressing their loyalty to the Crown and gave the letter to the Governor Their only crime was that they wished to remain loyal to the Crown.
Boston, in that day, was a city under seige. The British solders could not get out of the city and the revolutionaries could not get in. General George Washington came up with a brilliant plan to force the British out of Boston. In the night he had his men build barricades and defensive positions on top of a hill over looking Boston, This hill, known as Dorchester Heights, put Washington's cannons in a position where they could fire on the British ships in the Harbor. The defenses were so strong that the British Commander knew his men would be slaughtered if they attacked the hill. So, he accepted Washington's offer not to fire on the ships if his soldiers got on those ships and leave Boston. For three days they loaded those ships and prepared to leave Boston. The loyalists in Boston knew that things were going to get worse for them when the British left so they asked for permission to come with the soldiers and were allowed to. On the morning of 17 March 1776 the British and their ships left Boston. Not a shot was fired but Washington won one of the biggest battles of the War.
The Burtons, William and Mary, left Boston aboard the British Ships. They had two children in Boston. A daughter named Marion was born in Boston, Sunday 28 November 1773 and baptized 5 December 1773 in the Brattle Square Church in Boston.And a son named William born in Boston, and baptized 6 October 1775 in the Brattle Square Church.,He had died on Sunday 3 Sep 1775 in Boston. The Burtons knew their daughter would be safe with relatives.
The loyalist on the ships were brought to Nova Scotia.But the town of Boston was not satisfied that they left the city. The estates of Loyalists were sold under an Act passed April 30, 1779, entailed "An Act to confiscate the estates of certain notorious Conspirators against the Government and liberties of the inhabitants of the late Province, now State, of Massachusetts Bay"These estates are one hundred and fifty-nine in number, and they belong to forty-nine different owners.William and Mary were among those Loyalists that were proscribed and banished.The Suffolk County Probate Court has a list of the names of absentee’s, on that list is Burton, William 1779 Docket number 17462.Now our search turns to Nova Scotia and we follow it onward.
William Burton was buried in 1817, in the Old Burial Ground, Halifax, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Plot 2C 1130.
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