March 3, 2010

The Old Judge Lowell

Judge John Lowell (1743-1802), known as the “Old Judge”, headed a family that shaped New England history for two centuries. As a member of the Continental Congress, he was called “the very mirror of benevolence.” In 1783, Lowell was one of the founding directors of the First National Bank of Boston.

In 1785, Judge Lowell bought a ten acre farm in Jamaica Plain and led the life of a gentleman farmer, the precursor to the horticultural elite espoused by his son John Lowell (1769-1840) and Henry A.S. Dearborn a generation later. The Old Judge and members of the Lowell Family were removed from the family tomb in the Boston Common Burial Ground in 1895 to Forest Hills to allow for the construction of the Boylston Street subway.

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