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Robert DUNBAR1  

Born: ABT 1630 in Morayshire, Scotland 2
Died: 19 SEP 1693 in Hingham, Plymouth Co. MA 2
Buried:

Children With Rose UNK, Married: ABT 1657 in Hingham, MA
John DUNBAR Born: 1 DEC 1657
Hingham, Plymouth Co. MA
Died: AFT 1715
New Haven, New Haven, CT
Mary DUNBAR Born: 25 OCT 1660
Hingham, Plymouth Co. MA
Died: ABT 1707
Bridgewater, Plymouth Co. MA
Joseph DUNBAR Born: 13 MAR 1661
Hingham, Plymouth Co. MA
Died: 7 MAY 1725
Hingham, Plymouth Co. MA
James DUNBAR Born: 5 JUN 1664
Hingham, Plymouth Co. MA
Died: 12 DEC 1690
Bridgewater, Plymouth Co. MA
Robert DUNBAR Born: 1 NOV 1666
Hingham, Plymouth Co. MA
Died: 1667
Hingham, Plymouth Co. MA
Peter DUNBAR Born: 8 SEP 1668
Hingham, Plymouth Co. MA
Died: 23 APR 1719
Bridgewater, Plymouth Co. MA
Joshua DUNBAR Born: 6 OCT 1670
Hingham, Plymouth Co. MA
Died: 26 OCT 1736
Hingham, Plymouth Co. MA
Robert DUNBAR Born: 31 JAN 1673
Hingham, Plymouth Co. MA
Died: 5 OCT 1673
Hingham, Plymouth Co. MA
Sarah DUNBAR Born: 1674
Hingham, Plymouth Co. MA
Died:
Hannah DUNBAR Born: 31 MAY 1677
Hingham, Plymouth Co. MA
Died: 22 SEP 1715
Plympton, Plymouth MA
Benjamin DUNBAR Born: 1679
Hingham, Plymouth Co. MA
Died: 23 AUG 1688
Hingham, Plymouth Co. MA
 
Notes: In 1659, Robert stated in a deposition that he was a servant of Mr. Joshua Foote when Mr. Foote lived in Boston. He also stated that he was about 25 years old.
Charles Franklin Dunbar (1830-1900) a descendant in the fifth generation & an active member of the Massachusetts Historical Societ, spent much time both in this country and Scotland attempting to find Robert`s parents.
By a series of careful investigations, Charles Franklin Dunbar established strong probability that his Robert Dunbar who was held to service of Joshua Foote for a term of years as early as 1655, and probably as early as 1652, was one of Cromwell`s Scottish prisoners taken at the Battle of Dunbar in 1650, or at the Battle of Worchester in 1651.
The Saugus Iron Works, now a National Monument, displays a plaque to those men who originally worked the mine. These were Cromwellian prisoners. Among the names is that of Robert Dunbar. As Mr. Joshua Foote was one of the proprietors of the mine, the combination of facts make it quite clear that Robert was in fact a prisoner of Cromwell.
In his will he further states: "To sons John, Joseph and Peter, the home land. To s. Joshua "the rest of my land as far as the river. " Bequeaths to James Dunbar, son of my son James, deceased," 10 pounds. He further gave to Joseph "enough apples annually, from the trees in my orchard to make two barrels of cyder.". To his three daughters, "Mary Dunbar, Sara Dunbar, and Hannah Dunbar, all my land on the other side of the river, share and share alike, and all my indoor moveables after my wife`s decease." The inv. of his est., appraised household
goods etc. "farmer" resided on Scotland St. Lists children. (sic)

Ann Theopold Chaplin, G.G. "The Descendants of Robert Dunbar of Hingham, Massachusetts 1630-1693"

The following is copied from "The Battle of Dunbar" on the UNESCO world heritage site

The Battle of Dunbar
The Background

Angry that the English had executed the Stewart king Charles I in 1649, the Presbyterian Scots decided to invite Charles’ son and heir, Charles II, to be their new king. In England, the ruling Council of State saw this act as a severe threat to the security and stability of their fledgling republic. It was therefore decided to send an army northwards to depose the new Scottish king. England`s chief military leader, Thomas Fairfax, opposed the planned invasion of Scotland, however. The Council of State therefore gave command of the English army to Oliver Cromwell.

As Cromwell led his army over the border at Berwick in July 1650, the Scottish general, David Leslie, decided that his best strategy was to avoid a direct conflict with the enemy. Although his army comprised some 22,000 soldiers and so greatly outnumbered the English army of only 16,000 men, most of the Scots soldiers were poorly trained and inexperienced. Leslie chose, therefore, to shelter his troops behind impregnable fortifications around Edinburgh and refused to be drawn out to meet the English in battle. Furthermore, between Edinburgh and the border, Leslie adopted a scorched earth policy thus forcing Cromwell to obtain all of his supplies from England, most arriving by sea through the port at Dunbar.

Whether in a genuine attempt to avoid prolonging the conflict or whether because of the difficult circumstances he found himself in, Cromwell sought to persuade the Scots to accept the English point of view. Claiming that it was the king that was his enemy rather than the Scottish people, he wrote to his opponents on 3 August stating:

"I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken."

This plea, however, was unsuccessful.


The Battle

By early September, the English army, weakened by illness and demoralized by lack of success, began to withdraw towards its supply base at Dunbar. Leslie, believing that the English army was retreating, ordered his army to advance in pursuit of the English. The Scots army reached Dunbar first and Leslie positioned his troops on a hill just south of the town where they overlooked Cromwell`s land route back to England. Then, under the mistaken impression that Cromwell was planning to evacuate his army by sea, Leslie brought his army down from the hill on which it had been well positioned and approached the town. Witnessing this manoeuvre, Cromwell quickly realised that here was an opportunity for him to turn the tables on the Scots.

That night, under cover of darkness, Cromwell secretly redeployed a large number of his troops to a position opposite the Scottish right flank. Just before dawn on the 3 September, the English launched a surprise attack. Soldiers in the centre and on the left flank caught Leslie`s men unawares, but were held by the greater number of Scottish opponents. On the right flank, however, the Scots soldiers were pushed back under the weight of superior English numbers until their lines started to disintegrate. Observing this disaster, the rest of the Scottish army lost heart, broke ranks and fled. In the rout that followed, 3,000 Scots were killed and over 10,000 were taken prisoner.


The Aftermath

As a result of the destruction of the Scottish army, Cromwell was able to march unopposed to Edinburgh. He quickly captured the Scottish capital, although Edinburgh Castle held out until the end of December. Of the 10,000 Scottish prisoners, Cromwell ordered about half to be released because they were unable to fight owing to their wounds. The remainder were then force-marched south towards England in order to prevent any attempt to rescue them. The conditions on the march were so appalling and many of the prisoners died of starvation, illness or exhaustion. By 11 September, when the remnants arrived at Durham Cathedral where they were to be imprisoned, only 3,000 Scottish soldiers were still alive.

Although the Cathedral offered a degree of shelter, the English failed to provide their prisoners with adequate food or fuel. For a time, the prisoners kept warm by burning all of the woodwork in the Cathedral with the notable exception of Prior Castell`s Clock in the South Transept. It is thought that they left the clock alone because it carries a thistle, the emblem of Scotland, on it. The prisoners did take the opportunity to revenge themselves on the tombs of the Neville family, however. Lord Ralph Neville had commanded part of the English army which had defeated the Scots at the Battle of Neville`s Cross in 1346. By the end of October, cold, malnutrition and disease had resulted in the deaths of another 1,600 of the Scots soldiers. The bodies of many of those who had died were simply thrown into a mass grave in the form of a trench running northwards from the Cathedral. The location of their remains was then forgotten for almost three centuries until rediscovered by workmen in 1946.

Of the estimated 5,000 Scottish soldiers that began the march southwards from Dunbar, over 3,500 died either on the march or during imprisonment in the Cathedral - more than the total number killed on the battlefield. Of the 1,400 survivors, the majority were eventually transported to English colonies in the New World and the Caribbean.
 
Robert DUNBAR
ABT 1630 - 19 SEP 1693

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Sources

1.Title: Ann Theopold Chaplin, G.G. "The Descendants of Robert Dunbar of Hingham, Massachusetts 1630-1693"
2.Title: The History of Hingham, MA
Author: George Lincoln
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