One of my paternal great-grandfathers (five back) held a surprising story for me. His name was Abraham Rice and he lived in Framingham, Mass. One Sunday morning in June 1777, he and a neighbor discussed the purchase of a horse. Their bargain was made and, as they shook hands on the purchase price, a sudden thunderstorm struck. A great bolt of lightning flashed down from the sky and killed both men and the horse.
This event was written up in a poem about their punishment for the folly of conducting a sale on the Lord’s Day:
My trembling Heart with Grief o’erflows
While I record the life of those
Who died by Thunder sent from Heaven
In Seventeen hundred & seventy seven.
Let all prepare for Judgement Day
As we may be Called out of Time
And in a sudden and awful way
While in our youth and in our Prime.
My ancestor, Abraham Rice, lived 1697-1777. His unfortunate neighbor was John Cloyes, 1735-1777. The two men share a common headstone and were buried together in the Old Cemetery in Framingham. I don’t know where they buried the horse.
Grace L. Osborn