The Marker of Captain Daniel Malcom

The bullet-ridden marker of Captain Daniel Malcom still shows scars from British musket balls.

Inscription on the marker:

“Here lies buried in a Stone Grave 10 feet deep, Capt. Daniel Malcom Mercht, who departed this Life October 23d 1769, Aged 44 Years, a true son of Liberty, a Friend to the Publick, an Enemy to oppression, and one of the foremost in opposing the Revenue Acts on America”

Captain Daniel Malcom is known for bringing 60 casks of wine into Boston undetected and untaxed. He was despised by the British but managed to evade punishment for his smuggling. British soldiers expressed their disdain for Malcom by firing at his marker.

The following is from the Old North Church website:

Capt. Daniel Malcolm was born in Boston in the 1720s. He lived on Fleet Street and attended the Old North Church. He served as a Junior Warden and owned two pews, #4 and #25, during his lifetime. He had a reputation for being a smuggler by British authorities.

On Sept. 24, 1766, Deputy Collector of Customs William Sheafe paid a visit to Capt. Malcolm at his home on Fleet Street with a writ of assistance. Sheafe claimed to have received a tip from an anonymous informer that Capt. Malcolm was storing wine, on which he hadn’t paid taxes, in his cellar. Capt. Malcolm met Sheafe at the door with loaded pistols in each hand and a sword at his side, informing Sheafe that he would not be allowed into his home to search for the wine. Sheafe later testified that Malcolm stated that if any man attempted to search his property, he would “blow his brains out.” Sheafe and the Sheriff wisely left and later returned with a search warrant signed by Judge Foster Hutchinson (younger brother to Lt. Governor Thomas Hutchinson).

When they returned later in the day, there was a crowd of over two hundred men and young boys surrounding Capt. Malcolm’s property and preventing them from entering his home. Capt. Malcolm informed them that they would not be allowed to enter his cellar until they identified the informer by name.  The men refused and retreated without searching the property. A few weeks later, Attorney and Solicitor General of the Realm William Degrey stunned the customs officials by denying the validity of the writ of assistance in the American colonies on the grounds that acts of trade did not extend the Court of Exchequer (an English civil court where Crown revenue cases were tried) to the American colonies. The charges against Capt. Malcolm were later dropped.