Deacon John Larkin (April 3, 1735 – December 14, 1807) was an ordained minister of the First Congregational Church in his hometown of Charlestown, Massachusetts. He was also a merchant, in the tea trade, for the East India Company, having in his possession chests of tea that he readily concealed to avoid England’s Stamp Tax. John Larkin is most notable for aiding Paul Revere to obtain the horse he used in his “Midnight Ride”. The horse was owned by John’s father, Samuel Larkin. John Larkin’s will is among Charlestown Records. He amassed a large fortune before he died in 1807. His estate was probated for $86,381.99.
==Aiding Paul Revere==
On April 17, 1775, British troops were dispatched by Governor General Sir Thomas Gage to seize weaponry held by suspected rebels. Paul Revere and Richard Devens combined efforts with John Larkin, to borrow his father’s large horse in order to deliver intelligence to the towns of Menotomy (now Arlington) and Lexington. Genealogist William Ensign Lincoln, recorded a Larkin family tradition that the horse was a mare named “Brown Beauty” belonging to Samuel Larkin, John Larkin’s father. According to Lincoln, in 1930, he wrote: “The mare was borrowed at the request of Samuel’s son, Deacon John Larkin, and was never returned to the owner.”
During the Battle of Bunker Hill, some British troops marched through the Boston suburb of Charlestown, Massachusetts, where the Larkin families lived. John’s brother, Ebenezer Larkin (1740-1794), fired a musket from a window of his home at the British troops, who in reprisal, burned the Larkin homes to the ground. John Larkin and his family fled, unscathed, to Cambridge where they lived in a house once occupied by General Washington and later by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
John Larkin was the son of Samuel Larkin (1701-1784) and Mary Hicks (1700-1751). John married Ruth Kettell (1738-1816), daughter of Deacon William and Ruth (Stimpson) Kettell by whom he had ten children. The First Church of Charlestown contains baptisms and marriages of the Larkin family. The Larkin family resided in Charlestown as early as 1634, descendants of Edward Larking, an English settler of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
* Edward Larking (c. 1615 – c. 1652), English immigrant
* John Larkin (1640 – 1678) m. Joanna Hale (1646 – 1694)
* Edward Larkin (1668 – 1738) m. Mary Walker (1670 – 1734)
* Samuel Larkin (1701 – 1784) m. Mary Hicks (1700 – 1751)
* Dea. John Larkin (1735 – 1807) m. Ruth Kettell (1738 – 1816)