Paul Revere House


The Revere house in North Square, Boston




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Built in 1680, Paul Revere owned and lived in it from 1770 to 1818; restored to reflect its 17th century appearance.

In the seventeenth century it may have looked much as it does today, a two-story, peak-roofed, tiny house with a scowling medieval overhang. Seemingly there is no conceivable place to put Paul Revere himself, his wife, mother, and all those children. But the tax assessments of 1790 describe this house in that year as having three stories and seventeen windows. Paul may have added that extra story or it may have been enlarged before he bought it. As it is the only seventeenth century house still standing in a large American city, it was wisely restored to John Jeffs’ day rather than Revere’s. Although not so picturesque in the eighteenth century, it was undoubtedly much more commodious.

— Esther Forbes, Paul Revere & the World He Lived In (1942), p. 162.

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From 1778, the British army and navy were additionally overstretched in a global war against France, and later against Spain and Holland. From Blenheim in 1704 to Waterloo in 1815, Britain won the majority of its victories in alliance with other countries in Europe.... In the American war, on the other hand, Britain was at a great disadvantage because it had no allies and was opposed by much of the rest of Europe in the League of Armed Neutrality (1780). Spain and France were able to concentrate upon building up their navies whose combined strength outnumbered the Royal Navy and Britain faced the most serious invasion threat since the Spanish Armada in 1588.... In consequence of the expansion of the war, the priorities of the British government were diverted from the war in America.

Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy
The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire (2013)