Old Richard Grimes

People of all degrees and trades stopped at the Baldwin Tavern.  One evening old Richard Grimes, who had not neglected the bars of other taverns on the way, on drawing rein at this hospitable door, forgot to leave his horse outside, and forthwith into the barroom came horse and rider for a most unneeded drink.

This is the Grimes immortalized in the familiar song, written by Albert G. Green, who lived in the latter part of the last century and the first of the present.

Old Grimes

Old Grimes is dead, that good old man

We ne'er shall see him more;

He used to wear a long blue coat

All buttoned down before.


His heart was open as the day,

His feelings all were true;

His hair was some inclined to grey

He wore it in a queue.


Whene'er he heard the voice of pain,

His heart with pity burned;

The large round head upon his cane

From ivory was turned.


Kind words he ever had for all,

He knew no fell design;

His eyes were dark and rather small,

His nose was aquiline.


He lived at peace with all mankind,

In friendship he was true;

His coat had pocket-holes behind,

His pantaloons were blue.


Unharmed, the sin which earth pollutes.

He passed serenely o'er;

And never wore a pair of boots,

For thirty years or more.

But good Old Grimes is now at rest,

Nor fears misfortune's frown;

He wore a double-breasted vest,

The stripes ran up and down.


He modest merit sought to find,

And pay it its desert;

He had no malice in his mind,

No ruffles on his shirt.


His worldly goods he never threw

In trust to Fortune's dances,

But lived (as all his brothers do)

In easy circumstances.


His neighbors he did not abuse,

Was sociable and gay;

He wore large buckles on his shoes

And changed them every day.


His knowledge, hid from public gaze.

He did not bring to view;

Nor make a noise town-meeting days,

As many people do.


Thus undisturbed by anxious cares,

His peaceful moments ran;

And everybody said he was

A fine old gentleman.

Elizabeth Ward, OLD TIMES IN SHREWSBURY MASSACHUSETTS, Gleanings from History and Tradition (The McGeorge Printing Company, 1892)


The purpose and goal of the Shrewsbury Historical Society shall be to keep alive and increase interest in the history of the Town of Shrewsbury; to collect and preserve items of special value, traditions, and curiosities; to encourage general public interest in the Society's work and to maintain such personal properties and real estate that may come under the control of the Society.


Shrewsbury Historical Society

P.O. Box 641

Shrewsbury, MA 01545



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