March 17-18, 1760 Lydia's family arrives in Boston (the New World).
Lydia's story is due out 2016 and by her traveling to Boston from Bristol, readers will get to explore both sides of the Revolution.
"Ouch and botheration!" Lydia Peyton had pricked her finger and a few drops of blood dripped onto the pale yellow of her skirt. She was sitting in the walled garden of their new townhouse and she was feeling strange. Even stranger than usual. She had got used to the idea of probably never seeing home again. England and Bristol, were they still even home? She supposed Boston was home now. But even now that her legs had stopped rolling with the memory of being on board ship for weeks and weeks, here she was in the New World and still feeling strange. No friends and nothing familiar - even the star-shaped flowers in the pretty garden were strange. She tried to concentrate on trimming her new yellow hat for church on Sunday and to carry her thoughts back to pleasant things...
After doing a bit of historical research, once Lydia's family is off the ship and in Boston, a terrible fire breaks out just days later.
Boston was founded in 1630 and the first colonial city to get a paid fire department in 1678. Before that the city had only volunteers created in 1671. For the citizens of Boston being a volunteer member of the fire department was a great honor. Several prominent members of the Sons of Liberty served as fire wardens, including Samuel Adams and John Hancock. Tomas Atkins was appointed the first foreman of the Boston Fire Company.
In 1711 the fire organization expanded to ten fire wards given the authority to organize fire fighters and arrest looters. November 14, 1759 a large fire burnt over 20 buildings on Water Street and Milk Street. March 20, 1760 The 'second' Great Fire of Boston destroyed 349 buildings, both dwellings and businesses; 220 families homeless. It burnt along Washington Street, extended to Long Wharf and Fort Hill, burning one large ship and nine smaller ships, and the Quaker Meeting House on Congress Street.
A 1760 fire bucket of John Rowe, a Boston Selectman, Fireward of the 1760-70's and a member of the Sons of Liberty.
Boston in 1760 was essentially a wooden city, rebuilt as such after a terrible fire a half-century earlier "because the cost of rebuilding in wood was lower than the cost of fireproofing" and because it was in the interest of real-estate developers to rebuild quickly. The conflagration that swept through the city in March, greatly aided by a powerful wind, "the ally of urban fire [that] bears the fire on its back and throws its embers into the sky so that the fire can be reborn over and over," killed no one but destroyed a 20-acre tract in the Old South End of the city and left hundreds of its poorest residents homeless. (source)
March 24, 1760 Thomas Pownall, the governor of the province of 'Massachusetts Bay in New England' issued a proclamation regarding the fire of March 20, 1760. Nine fire companies were established and the city was divided into fire districts.
The legislature voted three thousand pounds for the relief of sufferers. The Pennsylvania and New-York legislatures also voted liberal sums. Gov. Lawrence of Nova Scotia sent four hundred and eighty dollars, while merchants of New York and London sent large amounts. The great preacher Whitefield sent two hundred and fifty pounds from England. Then the legislature passed an act providing for the exclusive erection of brick and stone buildings.
By the French and Indian War (1756 – 1763) the ensign shown (with the red St. George’s Cross and a green tree in the white canton) was the one most frequently flown by the ships of Rhode Island and the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Those two colonies dominated trade to and from the English New England colonies. Thus, by the time just preceding the American Revolution the flag identified by many with New England as a region was that ship flag.