Knight-Peck Tavern (1698)

November 4th, 2013 Posted in Colonial, Norwich, Taverns & Inns

Knight-Peck Tavern

Sarah Kemble Knight (1666-1727) was a colonial-era teacher and businesswoman. She is best known for the diary she kept of a journey from Boston to New York City in 1704 (pdf). Born in Boston, she came to Norwich in 1698 and was a storekeeper and innkeeper. Sarah Knight later returned to Boston but came back to Norwich in 1717. A two-handled silver communion cup that she gave to the Church of Christ in Norwich in 1722 is now at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The tavern she operated in Norwich was built c. 1698-1717. It was enlarged by Andre Richards in 1734. A later innkeeper was Joseph Peck (1706-1776), who purchased the building from Capt. Philip Turner around 1754. As related by Mary Elizabeth Perkins in Old Houses of the Antient Town of Norwich (1895):

This inn was one of the three celebrated taverns on the Green, and some old people still remember the large old elm which stood in front of the house, among the boughs of which was built a platform or arbor, approached by a wooden walk from one of the upper windows. From this high station, the orators of the day held forth on public occasions, and here tables were set, and refreshments served.

On June 7, 1767, a notable celebration took place at Peck’s Tavern to celebrate the election of John Wilkes to Parliament. In front of the building, which is located at 8 Elm Avenue, is a cast iron fence, erected in the late nineteenth century.

  1. One Response to “Knight-Peck Tavern (1698)”

  2. By George White on Jul 1, 2017

    John Wheatley purchased the Tavern from Joseph Peck and owned it until his death in the Revolutionary War. Upon his death, his brother Andrew Wheatley sold the tavern to settle John’s affairs. The Wheatley children, (all born here) were first generation Americans. John Wheatley Sr. was born in Dublin, Ireland and his wife, Mrs. Wheatley, was Submit Peck.

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