Lexington and Concord — Deposition of Bradbury Robinson, et al

April 23, 1775

In the aftermath of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress ordered depositions to be taken from eyewitnesses. The Congress was trying to prove the British fired first at Lexington. Deposition #18 was given by Bradbury Robinson, and others, who testified the British fired first at the Battle of Concord.

Lexington and Concord, Depositions

The Battle of Lexington by William Barnes Wollen (1910). Image Source: Wikimedia.

Deposition No. 18

Please note that section headings and spacing have been added to make the text easier to scan and comprehend.

Testimony of Bradbury Robinson, et al, About the Battle of Concord

Lexington, April 23d, 1775

We Bradbury Robinson, Samuel Spring, Thaddeus Bancroft, all of Concord: and James Adams of Lexington, all in the County of Middlesex all of Lawful age Do Testifie and say that on Wednesday Morning last near ten of the Clock we Saw near one Hundred of Regular Troops being in the Town of Concord at the North Bridge in Said Town (so called) and having passed the same they were taking up Said bridge when about three Hundred of Our Militia were Advancing toward said bridge 

in Order to pass Said Bridge when without saying any thing to us they Discharged A Number of guns on us which Killed two men Dead on the spot and wounded Several others:

when we returned the fire on them, which Killed two of them and wounded several which was the Beginning of hostilities in the Town of Concord.

Bradbury Robinson
Samuel Spring
Thaddeus Bancroft
James Adams

Witnesses to the Testimony

Middlesex, April 23d, 1775 

the within named Bradbury Robinson Samuel Spring Thaddeus Bancroft and James Adams made solemn Oath to the Truth of the within Deposition by them subscribed

Before us — 

Wm Reed
Wm Stickney
Jona. Hastings

} Justices of Peace

Certification of the Testimony

Province of Massachusetts Bay, Charlestown

I Nathaniel Gorham Notary and tabillion Publick Certify to all whom it doth or may Concern that William Reed, William Stickney and Jonathan Hastings Esqs: are three of his Majestys Justices of the Peace for the County of Middlesex and that full faith and Credit is and ought to be Given to their Transactions as such In Witness whereof I have hereunto affixed my name and seal this twenty sixth Day of Apl. A Dom one thousand seven Hundred and seventy five

Nathanial Gorham, Not. Pub.

Interesting Facts About the Deposition of Bradbury Robinson, et al

  • Joseph Warren of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress wanted the depositions gathered as quickly as possible, so he could send them to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, and Benjamin Franklin in London.
  • Franklin was the Agent for Massachusetts and acted as its representative. Warren wanted Franklin to have eyewitness accounts that could be used to help gain sympathy for the Patriot Cause.
  • The witnesses who gave this deposition were from Concord and Lexington and were with the assembled militia forces.
  • Around 10:00 a.m., they saw the British cross the bridge.
  • Soon after, about 300 Americans advanced toward the bridge.
  • The British forces fired on the militia, and the militia returned fire.
  • The notary public, Nathaniel Gorham, went on to serve as the 8th President of the Continental Congress (June 6, 1786–February 2, 1787).

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations, including APA Style, Chicago Style, and MLA Style.

  • Article Title Lexington and Concord — Deposition of Bradbury Robinson, et al
  • Date April 23, 1775
  • Author
  • Keywords Battles of Lexington and Concord, Deposition No. 18, Bradbury Robinson, Battle of Concord eyewitness
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date July 20, 2024
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update March 12, 2024