Ward Nicholas Boylston, Esq., original name Ward Hallowell, was born in Boston, November 22nd, 1747. He was one of a family of fourteen children. His father, Benjamin Hallowell, Esq., was the commissioner of customs in the early history of Boston, and lived at the corner of Boylston and Center Streets, Jamaica Plain. He was a man of wealth and refinement, but as he was an officer of the Crown, he was, of course, a Loyalist. In March, 1776, he and his family with other Loyalists embarked for Halifax, and the following July sailed for England. His estate was confiscated in 1779, but was recovered by the heirs-at-law in 1801 by a suit in the United States District Court, a full account of which may be found in the New England Genealogical Register, Vol. XII, page 72, also in Drake's Roxbury, page 407, and Drake's Boston, page 686.
His mother, Mrs. Mary (Boylston) Hallowell, was the daughter of Thomas Boylston and Sarah (Morecock), and sister to Nicholas Boylston, Esq. She was also sister to Madam Rebecca (Boylston) Gill, the second wife of the Hon. Moses Gill. Mrs. Hallowell received L3000 from her brother Nicholas Boylston's estate. See Suffolk Probate, 1.70, f445
Mr. Boylston was twice married, the full name of his first wife, Mary ___ is not obtainable. His second marriage was to Alicia Darrow of Yarmouth, England, later known as Madam Boylston.
On Oct. 12th, 1773, Mr. Boylston commenced an extended journey through Europe and Asia, sailing on board the "King of Naples" from Boston bound for Newfoundland; continuing, he sailed to Italy, and proceeding to Turkey, Syria, the Archipeligo, Palestine, Egypt, and the Barbary Coast. He also passed through Geneva, Savoy, France and Flanders.
He arrived in London in 1775, where he remained for twenty-five years engaged in various lines of trade. In 1800 he sailed for America, arriving in Boston on the 15th of May. In September, 1804, he succeeded to the estate of Hon. Moses Gill, and from that time until his death in 1828, he made Princeton his place of residence during the greater part of the time, but spending the winter months at his winter residence at Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, Mass.
Soon after his arrival in Boston, Mr. Boylston confirmed to Harvard University a bequest of his uncle, Nicholas Boylston, Esq., amounting to $23,200 as a foundation of the professorship of Rhetoric and Oratory, with the condition that John Quincy Adams should be appointed professor. Several smaller sums -were subsequently donated to Harvard and large bequests were made to the same institution in his will.*
Without attempting to reconcile the stories that were current years ago regarding the acquisition of the property of Moses Gill, we simply quote from the Suffolk Records:
" Ward Nicholas Boylston of London, now resident at Boston, Esqr., administrator with the will annexed of
* To the inhabitants of the town of Princeton he gave $1000, one half to be paid to the deacons of the Church and congregation over which Rev'd Samuel Clarke was pastor, the net income to be applied towards the salary of the minister. The remaining five hundred dollars to be loaned to industrious young men in the town until it doubled when the income should be expended for the support of indigent and deserving widows and fermale orphan children.
According to Dr. Nathan Allen, ''Mr. Boylston, while in Princeton, lived in princely style and was remarkable for his politeness to all with whom lie came in contact. He possessed an unusual amount of intelligence and liberality in his benefactions. While residing in London he became familiarly acquainted with the celebrated Dr. John Hunter, and having had two uncles in this country distinguished members of the medical profession, he became greatly interested in all matters pertaining to medicine. For this purpose he made some handsome donations to Harvard University, so that the name Boylston is honored, being attached to a medical library, an anatomical museum, a medical society and prize medals for essays to improve medical science."
Thus it was said: "He has done more towards raising the standard of the medical profession in this common."