Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Judge Sherburne House

Judge John Sherburne's House was located on the northwest corner of Daniel and Bow Streets, facing Daniel Street.

John Sherburne built the large house around 1760, when he was forty years old. He was a descendant of Henry Sherburne, one of the very early residents of Portsmouth who joined the settlement in 1631. John Sherburne was married to Elizabeth Moffatt, the daughter of wealthy merchant Captain John Moffatt, who built the Moffatt-Ladd House on Market Street.

Judge Sherburne was a Royal officer before the Revolutionary War who held several public offices in Colonial New Hampshire, including Representative to the Provincial Legislature, a member of His Majesty's Council for the Province, Register of the Court of Vice Admiralty, and Judge of Probate. Despite his lifelong work for the British Crown, he supported the American fight for independence.

After John Sherburne died in 1797, his son, John Samuel Sherburne, lived here. John S. Sherburne lived a remarkable life of public service: During the American Revolution, he served as an aide to General John Sullivan until a cannonball took off one of his legs in 1778. He returned to Portsmouth and was District Attorney until 1793. His political career included three years as a State Representative, four years as a United States Congressman, and then two years as a State Senator. During his last years, he served as a District Judge of the United States until his death in 1830.

Today, the location is a parking lot. Note: the tall building in the background is the old Portsmouth Brewing Company warehouse.

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