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AT a short distance from Ashburton Place, down the incline of Somerset Street, on the right-hand side, there formerly stood a double brick dwelling, which was built by the Honorable James Lloyd, Junior, about the year 1808. The site is now covered by the Suffolk County Court-House, and formed originally a part of the spacious garden of Dr. James Lloyd, Senior (1728-1810), an eminent surgeon, who had an extensive practice in this neighborhood for more than half a century. He was at one time President of the Massachusetts Medical Society; and as one of the consulting physicians of the Boston Dispensary (founded in 1796), his services were freely given to the poor without fee or reward. His son, abovementioned (1769-1831), was a leading merchant, and a member of the United States Senate, who strove to prevent this Country from entering upon the War of 1812. When General Lafayette returned to Boston, to take part in the ceremony of laying the Corner-Stone of Bunker Hill Monument, he was entertained by Mr. Lloyd at the latter’s mansion. And during the forenoon of June 17, 1825, the Grand Master and Deputies of the Masonic Order escorted the General from that house to his place in the Procession. Senator Lloyd occupied the dwelling, at N umber Twenty-Seven Somerset Street, until 1827, when he removed to Philadelphia. The next occupant was Elijah Morse, a prominent lawyer, who resided there until his death in 1831. He was District Grand Master of the Society of Freemasons.

The Lloyd Mansion was one of the old-fashioned kind, with solid walls and high ceilings. It was built to endure. “On the ground floor a large arched door, like the entrance to an armory, opened from the street into a passage-way leading to the court in the rear. This was used for provision and supply wagons; and here the cows were driven home in the afternoon. The chimneys were massive, and suggested wide and warm fire-places. The main entrance was up a long flight of stone steps, and under a generous porch.”1

By Mr. Morse’s will, dated August 4, 1831, the dwelling-house, land, and appurtenances, valued at twelve thousand dollars, were left to his wife, Mary Morse. And on July 13, 1832, she conveyed the same “genteel premises” to Ebenezer Francis.

For some years the building was used as a family hotel. In 1833 it was kept by a Mrs. Lydia Jackson, who soon afterward married the Reverend Lyman Beecher, the first minister of a church in Hanover Street. As late as 1879, it was run as an hotel under the name of the Somerset House.

In June, 1847, Uriel Crocker bought of Jonathan Preston, Gentleman, a three-storied, brick dwelling, numbered twenty-nine on Somerset Street, nearly opposite Allston Street, being one of a block of three houses built by Mr. Preston on land formerly of Ebenezer Francis. Here Mr. Crocker lived for thirty-eight years, or until 1885, when the estate was taken as a part of the Court-House site. Uriel Crocker formed a partnership with Osmyn Brewster in the printing and publishing business. And in November, 1886, Messrs. Crocker and Brewster celebrated the seventieth anniversary of their first meeting as apprentices in 1800. Mr. Crocker was the pioneer of this region, in the use of an iron-lever printing press.

1 New England Historic-Genealogical Register, vol. 41, page 265. 1887.

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