Lexington and Concord — Deposition of James Marr

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 #19 was given by James Marr, a British soldier, 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. 19

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

Testimony of James Marr About the Battle of Concord

Concord, April 23d, 1775

I James Marr of lawful age testify and say that in the evening of the Eighteenth instant I recd orders from George Hutchinson Adjutant of the fourth regiment of the Regular Troops Stationed at Boston to prepare and march to which order I attended and marched to Concord where I was ordered by an officer with about one hundred en to guard a certain bridge then while attending that service a number of people came along in order as I supose to cross said bridge at which time a number of the regular troops first fired upon them

James Marr

Certification of the Testimony

Middlesex, April 23d, 1775

The above named James Marr apeared and after due caution to testifie the truth and nothing but the truth made solemn oath to the truth of the above deposition by him voluntarily subscribed 

Before us — 

Duncan Ingraham
Jonas Dix

} Justices of Peace

Certification of the Testimony

Province of Massachusetts Bay, Charlestown

I Nathl Gotham Notary Taballion Public duly admitted and sworn do certify that Duncan Ingraham and Jonas Dix Esqrs are two of his Majestys Justices for the county of Middlesex and that full faith and credit is to be given to their transactions as such. In Witness Whereof I have hereunto affixed my name and seal. 

This Twenty Sixth day of April one thousand seven hundred and seventy five. 

Nathaniel Gorham Noty Publk

The foregoing instruments are true copies in witness whereof I have hereunto set by name & Seal

Interesting Facts About the Deposition of James Marr

  • 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.
  • James Marr was a British soldier.
  • On the night of April 18, he received orders from his commanding officer, George Hutchinson, to prepare to march to out of Boston.
  • At Concord, he was one of the troops ordered to guard the North Bridge.
  • Marr said a “number of people” prepared to cross the bridge and the British troops fired at them.
  • 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

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  • Article Title Lexington and Concord — Deposition of James Marr
  • Date April 23, 1775
  • Author
  • Keywords Battles of Lexington and Concord, Deposition No. 19, James Marr, Battle of Concord eyewitness
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date July 12, 2024
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update March 12, 2024