Rev. Thomas Balch - Minister

Thomas Balch (October 17, 1711-January 8, 1774)[1] was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts to Benjamin and Mary (Prentice) Balch. Little is known of Thomas' early years before 1733. It was in this year that Thomas graduated from Harvard College and went on to study theology. Later, on June 30, 1736, he was ordained and appointed to lead a new church establish at South Dedham, Massachusetts.

On October 11, 1737 Thomas married Mary Sumner. Together Thomas and Mary would have eight children.

In 1744, when the War of Austrian Succession broke out in Europe, the Committee of War chose Thomas to be a Chaplain to the forces that led an assault at the Siege of Louisbourg[2]. This siege was carried out, by the British, against French forces in modern Canada. Below is an account, written by Thomas, that appeared in the records of the South Parish of Dedham.

"Having an Inclination and being desired by the Committee of War to attend the Army as one of the Chaplains in the Expedition against Cape Breton, I accordingly obtained consent of my People on March 11, 1744-5 and on the 13, took my leave of my family and People. Arrived in Safety & Health at Canso on the 2d of April. Sailed from Canso to Cape Breton on April 29, entered the Chappeaurouge Bay the next morning, and soon after went on Shoar. The seige of Louisbourg continued until June 17. On which Day we entered and took possession of that Strong & important place, upon Terms of Capitulation. Sailed from Louisbourg for New England, July 11, arrived in Safety at Boston on the 27 of 3d month, 1745 Laus Deo."[1]

Little else is known about the life of Thomas Balch. Galusha Balch describes Thomas as being one of the "principal literati of New England". Thomas would live an additional twenty nine years past the date of his involvement in the Siege of Louisbourg; dying January 8, 1774.

Genealogy of Thomas:

Father: Benjamin Balch
Mother: Mary Prentice

Wife: Mary Sumner
Married: October 11, 1737


1. Thomas
2. Mary
3. Benjamin
4. Elizabeth
5. Lucy
6. Irene
7. Hannah
8. Thomas

Primary Sources/Links:

Genealogy of the Balch Families in America - By: Galusha Balch[1]

Wikipedia: Siege of Louisbourg (1745)[2]

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