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About Our Inn

Built at the turn of the century, in the Queen-Anne style, the Samuel Sewall Inn boasts high ceilings, working wood-burning fireplaces, and beautiful period lighting and wallpapers. Typical of a Victorian home, no two rooms are exactly alike; each has its own character and layout. An expanded breakfast buffet is served daily as well as home-baked cookies, cakes and other snacks.

Our guest rooms boast incredibly comfortable deluxe beds, with luxury linens, and private baths in each room filled with beautiful Turkish towels and bath amenities and our signature Samuel Sewall Inn bathrobes. Some rooms have working wood-burning fireplaces; workspaces are also available, offering space to work with complimentary Wireless Internet.

Together with our sister Inn, The Bertram Inn, we provide the best Inn experience in Boston.

About Samuel Sewall

Samuel Sewall was born in Hampshire, England in 1652 but moved with his family to Massachusetts in 1661. He attended Harvard College from 1667-1671. In 1676, he married Hannah Hull, the daughter of one of the colony’s wealthiest citizens. The couple had fourteen children, six of whom survived past infancy.

John Hull, Hannah’s father, owned substantial property in Muddy River, then a part of Boston, which Samuel Sewall eventually acquired. At his peak, he owned roughly 350 acres of land in Muddy River, land stretching from Harvard Street to the Charles River and including portions of Longwood. In 1705, Muddy River was granted a charter to separate from Boston. However, as Muddy River was not considered a refined name, the residents borrowed the name of Sewall’s estate and christened their new town Brookline.

Sewall kept a diary from 1673 until a few months before his death in 1730. As one of the Colony’s prominent citizens, he knew most of the notable people of his time and wrote about them in his diary. He also wrote about all aspects of his own daily life and activities. His diary has been put to countless uses by historians studying early America because Sewall kept one of the most complete records of everyday life in seventeenth century America.

Samuel Sewall’s other contribution to American literature is “The Selling of Joseph”, his antislavery tract published in 1700. Although he was deeply religious, Sewall was able to persuasively refute many of the Biblical reasons given in support of slavery. His diaries portray him as being virtually alone in his antislavery beliefs and unable to prevail on his neighbors to treat their slaves better than they treated their animals.

In the spring of 1692, the governor appointed Sewall as one of the magistrates to sit on the special Court of Oyer and Terminer, which was established to hear the cases of accused witches in Essex, Suffolk, and Middlesex counties. From his perspective as a Puritan magistrate during the Salem witch trials, his diaries show how he initially believed that justice must be dispensed in combating witchcraft. In December 1696, Sewall drafted a proclamation for a fast day in Massachusetts Bay for all to do penance and make reparation for the sins of the witchcraft tragedy. On January 14, 1697, Samuel Sewall stood in his pew in church while the Reverend read his petition confessing to his guilt and asking the pardon of God and man for his role in the tragedy. Each following year, Sewall set aside a day for fasting and prayer as penance for his part in this tragedy.

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