Evacuation Day Loot

On March 17, 1776, British forces, along with over 1000 Loyalists, were forced to evacuate Boston following General George Washington’s successful placement of cannons and fortifications on Dorchester Heights. How did the evacuation affect the congregation at King’s Chapel where only 40% of the congregation sympathized with the rebel cause and could call themselves “patriots?” It sent the Tories into a frenzy. They carried off as many valuable items from the church as they could carry!

The Vicar at King’s Chapel at the time, Henry Caner, personally “secured” the church’s endowment, the communion silver and the five gold capitals which topped the organ. Caner and his fellow Loyalist fled to Nova Scotia with their loot. When the patriot sect of the church learned of Caner’s thievery, they rushed up to Nova Scotia in pursuit of the sneaky minister. They found him; however, Caner had pawned all of the silver and spent all the money. The patriots returned to King’s Chapel with only the organ capitals, which were returned to their rightful place, where they can be seen today.

After the war, another patriot agreed to replace the communion silver with his own hand-made pieces. That patriot was Paul Revere.