Beverly is a city in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 39,343 on July 1, 2008, which differs by no more than several hundred from the 39,862 obtained in the 2000 census. A resort, residential and manufacturing community on the North Shore, Beverly includes Beverly Farms and Prides Crossing. Beverly is a rival of Marblehead for the title of being the birthplace of the U.S. Navy.
Originally part of Salem and the Naumkeag Territory, the area was first settled in 1626 by Roger Conant. Because of religious differences with Governor John Endicott, Beverly would be set off and officially incorporated in 1668, when it was named after Beverley in Yorkshire, England. Surviving from the settlement's early history is the Balch House, built, according to dendrochronological testing performed in 2006, about 1679.
The first ship commissioned for the US military, by the US Army (the US Navy had yet to exist), was the armed schooner Hannah. It was outfitted at Glover's Wharf and first sailed from Beverly Harbor on September 5, 1775. For this reason Beverly calls itself the "Birthplace of America's Navy" -- a claim disputed by other towns, including nearby Marblehead. The Hannah can be found on the patch of the city's police department.