Partnership offers a tour of the Isaac Royal House and slave quarters

The stateliness of the three-story Georgian mansion alongside the slave quarters tells the story: a family enriched by slavery, people bound to them, building their wealth. On November 4, 2023, the Partnership of Historic Bostons offered a special tour of the Royall House and Slave Quarters with Executive Director Kyera Singleton, a memory tour of the only surviving slave quarters in Massachusetts. Click here for a five-minute video done by WCVB Channel 5 three years ago.

(Above, left) In 1680, Nathaniel Byfield was one of four Boston merchants who purchased the Mount Hope Lands in today’s Bristol, RI, after the end of King Philip’s War (1675-1676). In 1702, Mr. Byfield sold the land to his son-in-law, Colonel Henry MacKintosh. The Colonel willed it to his granddaughter, Elizabeth, who was married to Isaac Royall, Jr. of Medford, Massachusetts. Mr. Royall built the original portion of what is now known as the Governor Bradford House at Mt. Hope Farm in 1745. (Above, center and right) The Slave Quarters next to the Royall House in Medford, MA show some of what the slaves endured.

(Above)  The Royalls became the largest slaveholding family in Massachusetts with at least sixty enslaved women, men, and children whose forced labor helped build the Royall family’s wealth.

(Above) A conjectural drawing by Gerry Foster illustrates the possible uses of space in the Slave Quarters. (click on image for a larger view) while a plaque on the grounds describes the site and a c.1917 photo shows the house and Slave Quarters when the Sarah Bradlee Fulton Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution purchased the Royall House and Slave Quarters for preservation.

All images after the first one are from the RoyallHouse.org website