Hampton, NH Moulton Mansion Fire, Mar 1769


On the 15th of March, 1769, town-meeting day, occurred the most destructive fire with which the town had ever been visited. The following account of it is taken from the Boston Chronicle of March 20, where it appeared as a communication from Portsmouth, under date of March 17.

"Last Wednesday morning, about 4 o'clock, the large mansion of Col. Jonathan Moulton of Hampton, together with two stores contiguous, was wholly consumed by fire. This melancholy accident, it is supposed, was occasioned by a beam taking fire under the hearth in hi parlor. The flames had got to so great a height before the discovery, that it was with great difficulty the family escaped with their lives. Col. Moulton saved no other clothing than a cloak, & a gentleman who happened occasionally to lodge at the Colonel's was obliged to jump out of the chamber window. When he was first called upon he did not know the occasion and had put on most of his clothes before the smoke apprised him of his danger. There were between 15 & 20 souls in his house, who through the good providence of God, were all saved unhurt. All the furniture, which was very good and valuable, was wholly consumed, but the shop-goods, books, bongs, notes and other papers, which were in the stores, were happily saved. The loss is estimated at £3000 sterling."

Coloner Moulton subsequently built the large mansion house now owned by Mrs. Elizabeth F. Mace, locating it about forty rods farther south than the one destroyed.

History of the Town of Hampton, New Hampshire: From Its Settlement in 1638 to Autumn of 1892, page 215