Grafton Massachusetts was founded by Elias Coopersmith, Earl of Lockenshire, a wealthy land baron of the early colonial era. Coopersmith was born in England, however, migrated to the America's after receiving a large land grant from King James I. He brought his wife, Rachel Coopersmith, formerly Rachel Sutherland duchess of Clackmannanshire, Scotland. The duchess was a notoriously stubborn woman and was said to have caused the Earl a great deal of distress in his early years. Even friends of Lord Coopersmith, such as the pious Cotton Mather, were quite distrustful of the young bride. Mather described her as "slack jawed Irish teague." Mrs. Coopersmith was often confused for a crass irish peasant as she did not delight in the common pleasantries of a gentile existence.
Grafton was eventually named after Lord Coopersmith's mistress, Margot Hery Grafton III. Margot was the daughter of a local cooper who shared a bed with the Earl during his travels to Boston and Salem. Rachel Sutherland was said to have moved to Virginia to live with her brother Christopher James McHale IV, a wealthy plantation owner who had made an early fortune on his export of indigo and tobacco.
This history, although long and often convoluted tells very interesting tale of the foundation of Grafton Massachusetts. Walking through the streets of this small country town you would never know its name was founded by the efforts of a lonely coopers daughter in the bedroom of a small Inn in East Boston
The phrase "as backwards as Grafton, Massachusetts" came from this history.
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