IN FOUR VOLUMES
HOWARD H. JOY, Presidmt
Unde Di~d.n of tho Tm.
WRIGHT & POTTER PRINTING COMPANY
3. DERNE STREET
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One who has occasion now and then to look for some matter of business or historic event in regard to 'Weymouth is often struck with the many important and interesting events which have happened during our three hundred years of existence and events of Which but little is known, and this has led us to an attempt at producing or compiling a complete history of the town as far as it can be done by any records which are to be obtained.
First, Weymouth is in the State of Massachusetts, county of Norfolk, and situated on salt-water line twelve miles southeast of Boston.
What is Weymouth? It is a town of fifteen thousand inhabitants. It has a school population of over two thousand pupils, all in %%ell-equipped buildings, including a high school building with all modern conveniences and appliances. A superintendent and fiftythree teachers are employed and schools are graded from one to nine below the high.
There are eighteen churches in town, four Catholic and fourteen Protestant.
The town has a well-equipped municipal water plant with nearly a hundred miles of main line pipe and water supply equal to all emergencies. The town has been liberal in its equipment of a fire department which embraces steamers, chemical engine, hose i a rriages and hook and ladder truck.
The town has an extensive lighting system, both arc and in t andescent, with light taken from a private company, the Weymonth Electric Light and Power Company, which also furnishes li0it and power for other purposes.
"Good roads" has been a motto of the town, and its one hundred and twenty miles of roads are one of its attractive features. Traveling facilities are good. Two lines of steam roads of the New York, New Haven & Hartford system are running through 'Ile town and afford cheap and frequent service, and the Old ( olony Street Railway Company have lines on most of the p~inciI)A streets, with good service to all parts of the town and also to ,urrounding towns and cities.
Weymouth is cosmopolitan, and is both a manufacturing and lesidential town. Its nearness to Boston, as well as its cheap and
frequent railroad service, makes it a desirable place for city busineqq men to vqtablisb homes. and vet it is not without advantages to the laboring class. The American Agricultural Chemical Company, the largest works of the kind in the country, have their works at North Weymouth, and the shoe industry of Weymouth is not second to that of any town in the country in the manufacture of men's high-grade goods; our manufacturers and workmen have a more than national reputation for excellence of work. We have a water front which has many advantages, is easy of access and capable of a large development, but we pass on to the third question.
Who made it? Some one has said that "God made the country and man made the town," and when the Great Creator divided the waters from the land there were but few places more artistically and beautifully finished than that on which Weymouth is located. A long shore front bordering on the ocean with boating and bathing facilities unexcelled; the beautiful Fore River navigable for a long distance and overlooked by equally as beautiful a landscape; Back River with its Hockley Bay stretching far inland and with scenery which vies with its sister river in attractive features; Whitman's Pond, which the lamented Archbishop Williams said presented the most charming view he had seen either in Europe or America; and then streams and brooks which add variety to the scenery and water fertile valleys.
The land, too, is not without its many attractions, whether, considered from Rsthetic points of view or for agricultural purposes, but we pass from the first creation to things more recent.
We can deal but little with prehistoric races, but for many years the red man hunted in the woods, fished in the ponds and streams, and dug clams along the beach.
Next to Plymouth, Weymouth is the oldest settlement in the Old Bay State.
In the spring of 1622 an expedition was fitted out by one Thomas Weston, with a view to establishing a colony and trading post somewhere near the Plymouth Colony. This expedition started with two vessels, the "Charity" of one hundred tons, and the "Swan" of thirty tons.
This expedition was more fortunate in its time of arriving than the "Mayflower" party, which first landed on the bleak sands of Cape Cod in winter, and then, amid snow and ice, were driven across the bay to Plymouth.
The Weston party arrived in August, and in their prospecting along the coast no place was more attractive to them than our shore front and inland view. They sailed up Fore River, and, according to all authorities, after coming to anchor, made their landing at what is now known as Philli~s' Creek. After a month
or more of labor in establishing the colony, the "Charity" with livr crew returned to England, leaving the smaller craft, the "Swan," for the use of the colony. The sequel proves that the ad%enturers were a bad lot. Before the winter had fairly set in their provisions were exhausted, and they were reduced to a state of abject want, and had also succeeded, by treachery and theft, in incurring the ill will of their savage neighbors to such an extent that before the spring opened it was learned that the savages were plotting to massacre the entire colony. Phineas Pratt, one of the 1)~irty, more daring than the rest, made his way through the forests ;in([ swamps and succeeded in inducing Myles Standish with a little band of eight men to come to their aid, the trip being made by water.
Standish studied the situation, and after one or two interviews with the savages, among them Pecksuot their chief, planned to bring matters to a crisis. His men were assembled in the stockade ;in(] a council arranged for with the Indians. At a given signal Standish sprang upon Pecksuot, grabbed his knife from his belt ;in(] began the hand-to-hand fight which resulted in the killing of~ t lie chief and four others, and the capture of a fifth whom Standish aherward hung.
The hero of the Plymouth Colony, seeing that the people whom lie had come to help were unworthy of an existence as neighbors, hurried most of them on board their little craft and dispatched them to a trading post in Maine; then, taking a few whom he had Selected as worthy of citizenship with him, returned to Plymouth, and thus ended what is by some called the first settlement of Weymouth.
In our last, we left the red man once more in full possession of the territory of his fathers, or, at least, that much of it which then went by the name of Wessaguscus or Wessagussett, but he was not long to remain so, as England was ripe for establishing colonies in the New World, and even while the Weston party was in possession, the Gorges Company had been organized and had procured a grant from the Council of New England to occupy a coast line of ten miles and extend thirty miles inland. This company was in command of Capt. Robert Gorges.
Captain Gorges came, evidently, with great expectations. He held a commission as governor-general. He also had as officers a grand admiral and an organized council for municipal and judicial work, and in addition a clergyman of the Church of England, William Morrill, for the purpose of establishing that church in the colony.
In the early autumn of the same year which saw the departure of the last remnant of the first comers, Gorges made his landing' somewhere near what is now known as North Weymouth, but where there are nearly as many different opinions as there are available spots to land, the generally accepted theory is that the landing was somewhere up Fore River rather than on the outside.
Many of the company had brought their families and their all with them, and had come to stay, and immediately began providing shelter for the coming winter.
Gorges, however, made but little use of his governor-general and other powers, as be soon tired of the privations and hardships of the new life, and as winter set in saifed again for England, never to return.
Gorges took with him quite a number of the party whose courage bad failed them; some went to Plymouth, and among them Rev. Mr. Morrell, who returned to England the next year. A few remained, however, and the real settlement of Weymouth had begun. The following year there was quite an addition to the settlement by a party from Weymouth, Eng., who joined forces with those already developing the wilderness.
Neither Charles Francis Adams, our townsman Gilbert Nash, nor any other historian has found much recorded history of the Wessagusset Colony for the next few years, but from the names we find a little later on in the first allotment of land to thesettlers, it is evident that people continued to come and stay, as the names, many of them, have come down through the centuries and are
still factors in town affairs. Another recorded fact as to the growth of the town is that in 1632 it was the second important point in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, as during that year a tax was levied by the court, and Boston's portion was X8, Wessagussett's X5, and Salem's E4 10s.
The year 1635 saw a new era in the history of the town. Rev. Joseph Hull with about one hundred people, among them twentyone family organizations, came from Weymouth, Eng., and were permitted to join the colony, and on September 2 of that year the town was duly incorporated and received the name Wevmouth. A commission was appointed to establish the boundary lines, arid .1fter nearly a year's work they reported as follows: The boundary line between Mount Wollaston and Weymouth, on the west, Fore RiNer, then the Smelt Brook, thence a straight line running l(UllierIv to the line of the Plymouth Colony; on the east, Back Ri%er, Fresh River and then a straight line parallel with the western line to the Plymouth Colony line, and these lines and the nmrie Weymouth have stood the test of three hundred years, which can hardly be said of any other town in the country.
Following the incorporation of the town a new era dawned upon Ihe settlement. While the colonists were not communists, in the modurn sense of the word, up to this date, from the necessity of the situation, things had been largely in common, but now came the ,viling or allotment of lands to the settlers and the formation of a lown government.
Among the landowners there were many whose names are st~ill f,oniliar, one being John Whitman who came in possession of a tra(l of salt marsh, and a tract on the west side of the pond which ,till hears his name; but there were many others whose names haN e been entirely lost sight of.
\Vc should have said more in our first article in regard to WeyTnouth Great Pond in the extreme southern part of the town. It i, a beautiful sheet of water covering a large area, and is at the lop of the watershed between Boston Bay and Buzzards Bay, aod is consequently almost absolutely free from marsh and other (hainage, and is a clean, spring-fed pond from which the town d(rkes its water supply.The new town must have worked slowly in making records, as
twenty acres near the same," signed Webcowett, Nahanturn and Nabscat. By bounds describing the same, this land was near Whitman's Pond.
At a meeting held April 10, 1643, it was voted that all goats and great cattle shall go under the hand of some sufficient keeper from the first of the third month to the last of the eighth month, and the penalty for a violation of this was 7s. for every head of great cattle and 2s. for every goat.
At a town meeting held the 6th of October of the same year, Richard Addams was appointed town crier, and any articles found were to be cried by him, and if no owner appeared there were to be sold after a stated time for the benefit of the town, but the crier was not to receive over 2d. for crying any one article. At the same meeting it was voted that no person should receive over 5s. for killing any wolf, unless he had spent time in making guns or traps, and no Indian should receive over 5s. for killing a wolf, however it might be done.
Weymouth is a town of churches, and from the earliest days their history has been one of interest, and for the first century church and state, or rather town, were closely allied.
But little can be said of the first minister, Rev. Win. Morrill~ who came in 1623 with the Gorges Colony, as he landed in the summer, and before winter set in moved to Plymouth, and the following spring returned to England not to come back. The next party of comers brought a Rev. Mr. Barnard who is said to have been a popular man with the colony, but died in a few years, and during his ministry services were held among the people at North Weymouth, and after awhile more commodious quarters were provided by the erection of a church edifice on Burying Hill, near where the Soldiers' Monument now stands.
Rev. Joseph Hull of the 1634 or 1635 expedition, was the nexi pastor, but was shortly confronted by a strong opposition on the part of dissenters from the Episcopal Church, or Church of England, which up to this time had been the leading factor, and a call was extended to Rev. Thomas jermer of Roxbury. The breach, however, widened, and in 1637 the Governor and his Council were called in to settle the difficulty, and Rev. Robert Lenthal, a recent comer from England, was placed in charge of the church. Difficulties failed to harmonize under Mr. Lenthal, as the three ministers, Hull, jermer and Lenthal, all claimed the church, and in 1639 Mr. Hull retired in favor of Rev. Samuel Newman, a recent graduate of Oxford, Eng., who succeeded but little better than his predecessors, and in three or four years took a few of his most ardent followers and moved to Rehoboth.
Wevniouth was now without a pastor until Jan. 2, 1644. Rev. ... 111,;Is Thacher. who had accepted a call from the people, came the town, was here ordained and installed, and under him the 1-irst Congregational Church of Weymouth was established. The little meeting-house on the hill became too small, and a new one %%,t, erected on the spot where the "Old North Church" now -1.0lds, and for twenty years Mr. Thacher saw the town and church ~r,,w under his care, but a louder call to the Old South Church in jt,,ston took him away, and Rev. Samuel Torrey became his ,L1('(CSS0r.
There are some questions we have often been called upon to answer in regard to our first chapter of this series, viz., Where was the first church building and why do we place the first landing at, or near, Phillips' Creek?
In regard to the first church, we would say that the first minister of whom there is any mention was an Episcopalian, or of the Church of England, Mr. Morrill, who came with the Gorges Company, but as he stayed but two or three months it is presumable that he did but little. The next was also Episcopalian and lived with the people some six or seven years, and undoubtedly held some services, and legend says had a place of worship somewhere in North Weymouth, but no one knows where, yet it is presumed that it was in the vicinity of where the Pilgrim Church now stands, but, as we have before stated, the first church building of which we have a written history was on what is now known as Burying Hill, or the Old North Cemetery.
In regard to the Phillips' Creek location, we admit that that, too, is legendary, some claiming that the landing was on the outside of Fore River rather than on the inside, possibly at or near what is known as Hunt's Hill. But it is a question whether a company would have gone into winter quarters on the outside with a little craft of thirty tons when they could have found nice still water and a good landing only a mile or two away.
In fact, there are manv things in regard to Weymouth, as well as to the whole western hemisphere, which will never be known. We would not detract from the glory of Columbus, but at Newport, in Maine and the Provinces there are unmistakable evidences of an occupancy by mill and road builders of a high order long before the day of Columbus, and the same thinj is true of the great west beyond the "father of waters."
What we promised to do in these articles was to give a history of Weymouth as found in the Town Records, and we now proceed with those articles.
Twenty years from the landing of the Gorges Company, Weymouth had taken the place of Wessagussett, and instead of being a place without limit or bounds it was a well-defined town with fixed boundary lines, a population variously estimated at from three to four hundred people, sixty-eight of them holding titles to sundry parcels of land, and the rest of the territory held in common.
Care of landed property and control of live stock seems to have first engrossed the attention of the townspeople, and town meetings
%%cre numerous. A singular fact, however, is that while for many %ears there were town officials there is no record as to the time or 111.1111ler of their election or appointment.
At a town meeting held Dec. 20, 1643, it was ordered that from lit Tneforth any person who shall cut or saw any pine, cedar, hemlo(k, or spruce boards, either to sell or carry hence to anv person or persons to be transported hence, shall pay for the use and behalf of the town for every thousand so sawed the several sums herein.,ft(,r named. Every one that hath commons for every thousand, L5. 6d., and every one that hath no commons, 2s. 6d., and if any licr~(n shall presume to carry away any such boards without first Onaining permission from John Upham or John Hollister, who .ire deputized by the town to see this order executed, it shall be lau ful for them to seize said boards for the use of the town, and thu%, shall receive 6d. a thousand for their care.
At the same meeting it was agreed by general consent that those %%lit) have right of common shall have swamp lots so it be not uiihin it mile of the meeting-house, and every one to the quantity uf mo acres.
It was further ordered that all the unlotted land lying near 0n, (edar swamp by the Back River shall be common pasture f, -it % er to the users only of the lower end of the plantation, and tht v shall have liberty to fence it from any others " so that it bare " I to pass by the seaside," and that no other person or persons 1:11ril in any cattle therein, being intended principally for the good (it i fie lower part of the plantation.
()it Nov. 20, 1645, it was ordered that as there was a rate foinierlv made amounting to LIM for and toward the discharge of c%,era] sums of money, which had been borrowed and disbur,cil in money and wheat, which is to be levied again to make ,01,fac(ion that no one man may be eased and another burdened, litin that all may bear their proportion in such special levy, it is ooli-red that all the inhabitants in this town shall make satisLit lion to the bailiff who is authorized to gather up said rate in alonev or in wheat before the 9th of February, 1645. (We would It, tv tatc that as it may seem strange to some that January and 1:0-iticiry meetings came later than other months of the'sarne %4,tr, that the 0. S. calendar year began with March.)
()it April 6, 1646, it was ordered that, "Whereas we find by -.0 experience and great inconvenience that many times have 'onic to p~jss by the permitting of strangers to come into the plant.t1i''11 to sojourn for a season and afterwards do account them" 1% - inhabitants, no inhabitant within the plantation shall take into his home as an inmate or servant without giving security to 11k, t(mu for any loss or expense which may occur on account of
If uas further ordered that no inhabitant should let or sell any i1-t1,v or land to an outside party without first offering the same at .1 loill,lic town meeting. Soo OLD RECORDS
It would seem that in those days dogs were obliged to forage for themselves, and we f; nd- that at a town meeting held the 12th of Ve'bruary, 1647, it was ordered that as dogs hii~rl been feeding on the growing corn, from the sixth day of August to the 29th of September, all dogs should wear a clog "according to the bigness of the dog," under penalty of 6d. per head when found at large without a suitable clog.
An officer called a "hoggard," or more properly hogward, seems to have been quite a factor in looking after unyoked hogs and unclogged dogs, and about this time he was ordered to levy on Edward Pool, who was about to move out of town and had caused great inconvenience to Widow Harding by allowing five lengths of fence to remain down.
On Feb. 28, 1648, the following fence-viewers were appointed: James Humphrey and Phillip Stainwood, below the herring bridge; Thomas White and John Thomas, near King Oak Hill; Thomas Pratt and William Rede, for the rest of the town; and all fences were to be put in order before the 20th of the next month. The fence-viewers were to notify any delinquents, and after six days, if not repaired, the same was done by the town and 2d. per rod levied on the owner.
All udder cattle shall go under the hand of a sufficient keeper under penalty of 6s. 7d. per head, to be collected by the hogwards, and one-half the fine shall be his, the other half to go to the town.
The town now seems to have gone a whole year without a town meeting, but in February, 1649, we find the following: "EverN~ man person above 16 years of age after public notice given by the waywarder shall appear at the time and place designated then and there to diligently work on the highway." Any person failing to do this was fined Ss. per day unless he gave a reasonable excuse, when other days were assigned him.
apl.,iined to mark the boundary line between Hingham and Weyvn~,tnh, going from Back River to a certain oak tree at the end od the line. John Oliver and Robert Martin were appointed at the
siow time to mark the western boundary line from high-water w.ok on Fore River running south one-half point west to the end od Ihe line.I.N idently the selectmen, or townsmen as they were then called,
%%,iv not always on hand, as we find on March 11, 1651, that 1.~%iiig to the neglect of seasonable appearance of townsmen it)
:1,,, riteetings at the hour prefixed tending to the detriment of 11-v who are careful to observe the time, and retarding the labor 14 (he majority who are present, all those who are late shall forfeit 1- the majority who are present 6d. per hour for every hour they ar, ibsent."I lic early settlers of Weymouth had a- thought for education and
.111d pelling," but they had their troubles as we do to-day, as is f -h-liced by the following record in 1651: . kk fiereas as there is due our school master, Captain Perkins,
It is further ordered that all houses shall be rated as they are in the last country rate; all single ner nris a r rding to the rate of Vo; all cattle, meadow and upland shall be valued according as it was then worth; and speedily deliver the same to the constable to collect.
Thatched roofs were a feature of the early days, and as there were complaints as to the manner of getting it, the following order was passed at a meeting in November, 1651:
"There shall be but one way to sage flats and it shall be 16 feet wide one-half from land of Richard Porter and one-half from land of Stephen French and for its use they were to have the first rite to the sage growing on the flats below their land and it was further ordered that no thatch should be cut before the 20th day of the Oth month and not over 200 pounds shall be cut by any one person for his own use, and there was a penalty of 10s. fixed for the violation of this order."
The days of friction matches had not arrived, and fire was produced by flint and tinder or borrowed from house to house, arid, owing to the risk in carrying fire brands and torches, it was ordered that no inhabitant, stranger or seaman shall carry any fire unless it be in a pot or other covered vessel between the first day of the first month and the last day of the eighth month, that is, from the first of March to the last of October. Penalty for violation of this was 20s., one-half to the complainant.
Up to 1652 gatherings for town business had been frequent, irregular and without form; they now assumed a more definite character, as will be seen in our next chapter.
'I %% o town meetings in the year should be held one on the Ist 2d of the first rilnitb and the last 2d day of the 9th month, in "
I ool and the Townsmen shall be accountable to the town for such orders as theN have passed, what are in force and what have been repealed, also what has h ca expended on the towns account.
The first town meeting under the new order of things was held on the 26th of November, 1651, and John Rogers, Nicholas Byron Da%id Hunt, John Burger, Thomas Dyer, William Reed anii Wfliam Dyer were elected selectmen ' and Nicholas Byron, l(Jinathati Waltham, Nicholas Nash, John Holbrook and James N.i,h, raters.The duties of selectmen were thus defined - -
"Pirst. Make such orders as may be for our interest in lands, cl:n:mons, grass or woods and timbers that may be transported fr I I the town. "Second. They shall have power to see that all orders made by
Ihe General Court shall be observed and also all orders which we Irixe made or may make which are not repealed at their meeting in ilie first month
"Third. It shall be lawful for them to take course that all dry (ot, le shall be herded in the woods, excepting calves and yearlings.
" Fourlk They hall issue such rates tis the town may require a 141 see that they are gathered.
I I Fifth. They may establish all grants provided they are satisfied 11 v% are in due order and not within two miles of the meeting
x0l. We willingly grant they shall have Dyner upon the Tow,)" charge when they meet upon the Town's affairs."
I (it the year 1652 John Rogers, Thomas Hollis, Henry Kingman, ).I Ine, Smith and John Holbrook were elected selectmen.
And it was voted "we do elect Nicholas Phillips, Thomas I~ i r and Thomas White, raters, to make such rates as were needed I- III(- town." 502 OLD RECORDS
It is further ordered that all houses shall be rated as they are in the last country rate; all single persons according to the rate of DO; all cattle, meadow and upland shall be valued according as it was then worth; and speedily deliver the same to the constable to Collect.
Thatched roofs were a feature of the early days, and as there were complaints as to the manner of getting it, the following order was passed at a meeting in November, 1651:
"There shall be but one way to sage flats and it shall be 16 feet wide one-half from land of Richard Porter and one-half from land of Stephen French and for its use they were to have the first rite to the sage growing on the flats below their land and it was further ordered that no thatch should be cut before the 20th day of the 6th month and not over 200 pounds shall be cut by any one person for his own use, and there was a penalty of 10s. fixed for the violation of this order."
The days of friction matches had not arrived, and fire was produced by flint and tinder or borrowed from house to house, and, owing to the risk in carrying fire brands and torches, it was ordered that no inhabitant, stranger or seaman shall carry any fire unless it be in a pot or other covered vessel between the first day of the first month and the last day of the eighth month, that is, from the first of March to the last of October. Penalty for violation of this was 20s., one-half to the complainant.
Up to 1652 gatherings for town business had been frequent, irregular and without form; they now assumed a more definit character, as will be seen in our next chapter.504 OLD RECORDS
Also voted, "we do choose Dekon Rogers for to be recorder fo the town."
At a general town meeting the 14th of December, 1652, Deacon Rogers, Sergeant Holbrook, Thomas Daggett, Thomas Dyer, John Bicknell, Sergeant flunt and William Torrey were chosen townsmen, "and the same power given them that the last Townsmen had, also to do what they should judge present necessity requires about the Meeting House and that they may make it more comfortable and prevent further decay."
At a meeting of the selectmen, Jan. 24, 1652, John Bicknell "was chosen Scaler of Weights and Measures and to see to the observance of the Town's orders thereto."
At the same meeting "it was agreed upon that for seats for the master's house that Sergeant Holbrook and John Bicknell shall take care to provide such planks, boards and other timber as the), shall from time to time or at any time have direction from the Townsmen and to have full liberty for cutting of timber on any of our commons and also that they keep a true and just account f what time they expend in and about the same and to procure it (lone as cheap as they can. To give in their account to the Townsmen who shall give immediate satisfaction or they are at liberty to dispose of the said planks as they shall see cause."
"March 7th, 1653, it was voted that there be but five Townsmen and Thomas White, Ensign Whitman, Thomas Dver, William Torrey kind Stephen French were elected and it was voted that the same power which was given to the Selectmen in 1651 should continue."
"It was further voted that the old board of officers should bring in a list of what was due the town for timber and otherwise; also what the town owed and the same should be audited."
It was also "voted that the thousand acres of land formerly set apart for commons be speedily set out before any further grants are ratified and that as near and convient for the town as may be possible and after that grants may be ratified in order; and that being (lone, it was voted that another thousand acres of commons be laid out which shall remain in perpetuity for the use of the Town."
"Voted, that the deputies for the town are to have full pay satisfactory for their expenses at court this year upon a J . ust account given in by them."
Thomas Dyer was appointed recorder of births, deaths and marriages, and William Torrey recorder of land-bargain sales andAleonations."
" Commons " and use of " Commons " seems to have been a question for the early settlers to adjust satisfactorily, and in 654 we find that John Lovell, Edward Poole, Lieutenant Holbr )ok, Edward Kingman, Thomas Stevens, James Nash, Thomas `101brook and Richard Bolles were fined in sums varying from Is 6d. to Xl 15s. for cutting cordwood and timber on the Towns Coma ans,
At the town meeting in March, 1655, "It was agreed that the Pen should be at hither end of Pon Plain and that Thomas Pratt and Hugh Roe shall have 30s. to make it and the Pen to be 8 poles one way and 7 poles the other."
" Agreement was made with Elder Bates by the town for keeping of the dry cattle until after Indian harvest and to begin as soon as the Pen is made for which he is to have I Is. to be paid in corn at prices current. William Torrey for the Selectmen of the Town."
"Voted, that the Town Rate be collected and that not any cattle shall be paid in the rate nor above one-eighth part in Indian Corn and that to be the last year's corn and other things to be valued by independent men according to the value of prices at 4s. per bushel for corn and 4s. 6d. for wheat."
It would seem by the above, and other things which we will shortly show, that greenbacks, yellowbacks, gold and silver, did not enter very much into mercantile transactions, but barter and exchange settled accounts.
In accordance with an order by the General Court the selectmen ordered:
"That all fences about any cornfield whether general or particular shall be made and set up by each man his several portion from the 20th of the Ist month (March) if the weather permits and the same well and sufficiently to repair and mayntayne against all orderly cattle and yoke hogs so long as there shall any kind of grayne be remayning in any such cornfield."
In March, 1656, "Voted that all Rate men shall pay for their estates and all Poles 20s.
"Voted that those persons that have promised to Goodman Hunt any work that they will give it in New Corn at harvest time."
In March, 1657, "Voted that the account of the Town Rates be made to James Nash, Lieut. Holbrook, Nicholas Nash, Mr. Chard, William Holbrook and Thomas White who are hereby empowered to equate and discharge upon the same so far as it shall appear to be just."
Ordered that six acres of land be granted to John Taylor, provided he should either build upon it or plant it within one year of the date of the grant, and further provided that if himself r his heirs should hereafter' sell it, it shall revert to the town.
Inasmuch as many of the marked trees showed the boundary lines between Hingham and Weymouth on the one side, and Braintree and Weymouth on the other, parties were appointed to perambulate the line and fix the bounds as per order of the General Court.
41- On Dec. 10, 1657, as we have before stated, Church and Tnw wem one, yet up to this time we have found no mention of th support of the church, excepting now and then a little in regar to the repairs on the meeting-house. We now find the following: I "At a meeting of the 20 men who were directed and empowere
that the day was devoted to this subject, which resulted in re enacting laws and regulations previously stated in these articles, and adding the following:
, "Whoever shall presume to fell, kill or top any tree or trees which grow before his own or his neighbors Dore or that stand in any place upon the common or highway which may be for the &We of either man or beast, or shelter of any house or other-wise for public use every person so offending shall be lyable to pay for such tree so felled, topped or killed 20s. for the Town's use."
At the annual town meeting for the election of officers held on Nov. 24, 1656, William Torrey, Deacon Whitman, Deacon Rogers, Thomas Dyer, Stephen French, James Smith, Sr., and John Harding were elected as selectmen and to have the same powers as were established in 1651.
At this meeting the lack of restraint upon live stock was one of the burdens of complaint, and in addition to cattle and hogs, sheep came in for a share of the complaint. Previous regulations in regard to cattle and hogs were re-enacted, and it was "ordered that as sheep are often found upon men's enclosed property, and where such fences are secure for other cattle, the owners of such sheep shall be lyable, provided the fence is sufficient for ordinary cattle, to a fine of two pence for every sheep or lamb so found and shall also pay the owner of the land or crop for all damage done' "
At this time the violation of regulations in regard to trees came up again, and about fifteen individuals were fined for cutting lumber and cordwood on the town's land.
At a meeting held Dec. 17, 1658, there was a further allotmen of land, and John Thompson, Henry Kingman, Ensign Whitman, John Burger, Marcett Pratt, Richard Newbury, Richmond Randall, John Smith, John Harding and John Guppie received grants of additional acres.
On Jan. 3, 1658, Elder Bates and Thomas Dyer were granted "20 acres in some place near the great Rocks."
At a town meeting held March 2, 1659, it was "voted the Serg't. John Whitmarsh shall have Huckleberry pond and the swamp round about the pond in full satisfaction for other land due his father."
It was also "ordered that the highway below Thomas Pratt's house and the house of Nicholas Norton be shut up during the pleasure of the town and they whom it doth concern setting up sufficient gate for those who go to and from the mill."
At the annual meeting in November, 1659, Henry Kingman, Ensign Whitman, Deacon Rogers, Thomas White, Lieutenant Holbrook, Mr. Chard and William Torrey were elected selectmen, with the same powers which had existed since 1651.
"Voted that Mr. Thatcher shall have granted his share on a small parcel of land lying within his fence near the place where, Gordon Shopeis' house stands, provided that the highway at t e brow of the hill be a little enlarged and further there is granted by his House and land a small parcel of land at the foot of watch house hill."
At a meeting of the selectmen, on Aug. 16, 1681, "It was ordered that on account of repeated injury to Inhabitants on account of open wells and water holes that all such shall be immediately filled up or timbered."
The schedule of indebtedness of the town for the annual town meeting, November, 1681, was ~C45 OSs. Captain Holbrook was chosen moderator and Lieutenant White, Jacob Nash, Stephen French, John Kingman, John Shaw, St., William Reed and James Smith were elected selectmen, and John Hunt and John Randall, constables.
At the March meeting, 1682, Captain Holbrook, Lieutenant White and Captain Torrey were appointed commissioners to the honorable court.
At this meeting there were further allotments of land to James Lovell, Micajah Torrey ' William Richards, Nicholas Whitmarsh and John Vining, a part of which was for land taken to build the road near "Webb's Puddle."
At a meeting of the selectmen in April, 1682, it was ordered that those who had neglected the order about wells and water holes be fined 20s. each, and the same be gathered at once.
The rate or tax levy for this year was X39 00s. 00d. for all expenses reported, and at a meeting held in January, 1682, the following highway was reported and accepted:
"A Highway two poles wide from the Smelt Brook to Rockey Swamp in the same place the cartway now is, then over and by land of Jacob Tyler, William Richards, Isaac Poole & Jacob Poole to the Town Commons, then by the great marsh to Plymouth line [now Abington]."
At the town meeting, Nov. 27, 1682, Captain Holbrook, moderator, Dea. James Humphrey, Lieutenant ANhitmarsh, Jacoh Nash, Captain French, Captain Torrey, Micajab Torrey and Lbiza White were elected selectmen; Samuel King and Abiah Whitman, constables.
This, according to the town clerk's record was a live towa meeting, as he says, "After serious agitation ~oncerning the Old
teeting house, the following committee was chosen to act in all spects to repair the old or build a new meeting house at the Town's Charge."Committee: Capt. 'I lorrey, Lieut. Holbrook, Ensign Hunt,
eed, John Richards, William Holbrook, Thomas Reed, Joseph Dyer. John Porter, Joseph Poole, Ebiger White & John Rogers."
"The committee met the 18th of Dec., 1682, reviewed the old Itteeting house and find the said meeting house to be very rotten in many parts & defective both for strength and likeness for accomodation to little to supply the people for comfortable room and light in the worship of God. Upon debate about it at the Parson's house, the committee with a plurality of consent passed a vote that there shall be a new Meeting house built."
*'2d ly the committee past a vote that the meeting house shall be 45 feet in length, 40 feet in breadth and 20 feet stud between joist."
I'M They voted that there shall be four gable ends of convenient I height to make it uniform."
"4th Voted that the platform on the top shall be covered with lead."
"Voted that the place where the Meeting house is to be raised is upon the land which they lately purchased of Capt. Holbrook near the School house."
"The walls on the outside,to be boarded and clapboarded on the studs and filled with brick up to the plate."::Clapboarded or plastered with lime on the inside."
The sills to be raised a foot above the ground upon stone wall laid in lime."
"With Belcony proportionate & suitable for said house & to hang the Bell & to suite the said house with seats convenient."'The said committee ordered that the pay for the building of
up to date the rate for the year 1683 was the largest in t history of the town, there being a special levy on account of tlnew meeting-house, and following is the assessment:
There were this year many additional grants of land, some which were for other land taken for highways, and among tho receiving the same were Stephen French, Abiah Whitman, Jo Richards, William Bicknell, John Bicknell and Widow Ma Rane.
At the town meeting in November, 1683, Captain Torrey w chosen moderator, and Lieutenant White, Sergeant Whitmars Ensign Hunt, Abiah Whitman, Sergeant Phillips, James Lov and John Rogers were elected selectmen.
"It was voted for the future time t6 choose Selectmen by pap and each Inhabitant that is in a capacity by law to bring in th several votes & make their choice as the law provides for in th respect."
"Agreed with Henry Cote to sweep the Meeting House and ri the bell for thirty shillings per annurn and to dig graves for eighte pence for all under 12 years of age and two shillings per grave f those over 12 years."
"Voted that the tithing men shall be Samuel Humphrey Nathaniel Ford for the lower plantation; Wrn. Reed & W French for the middle of the Town & Thomas Richards & Benjam Ludden for the Neck."
"Voted that Richard Gurney shall have six acres of the Tow Common land to build a house and fence to dwell thereon w his family in an absolute state of Inheritance. On the To Common on the west side of the Pond."
A new road was laid out from the meeting-house to the in the spring of 1684, and also a new road in South Wey and we find on April 30 the following interesting order selectmen:
"To the Constables of Weymouth. You are hereby request in Her Majesty's name forthwith to destrain upon the estate Joseph Poole to the value of five shillings which is for breaki Town order for entertaining of Sarah Downing in one week y to the Town Order. So from week to week as long a
Ilere was a wide margin in 1684 between current pay and ey, as the record reads "a Tax Rate of one hundred and six
ain Holbrook, Sergeant Whitmarsh, Jacob Nash, Corporal ch, James Lovell, Abiah Whitman and Joseph Dyer wereed selectmen.
"The town passed a vote that any inhabitant or inhabitants thin the Town have liberty to fence in, break up & plant to the twenty or thirty acres of land upon Huckleberry plain and
highway from a point on the bill to land of James Humphrey." interesting document from the minister finds place in the a at this time:
all men that 1, Samuel Torrey, do hereby forever ac t and discharge arch & Town of Weymouth & all the Deacons of that 21ul~cb which are or been successively of & for all after demands of arrears upon the account of
winiatees ministrations from my first settlement with them in the work of mi,istry until this first day of AprO in the year of our Lord one thousand ' hundred and eighty-four, and I do declare that the Deacons have distheir work as faithful servants of God.
In March, 1686, "The town passed a vote that our pastor Mr. Samuel Torrey have liberty to fence in the Town burying yard place to straighten his fence Provided he cloth not prejudice to Town way nor hinder or obstruct thereby convenient passage for the burying of deceased, from time to time. And so to remain until the Town see cause to alter it."
"The Town passed a vote that our Pastor, Mr. Samuel Torrey is to have the use and benefit of that house, orchard & land which is now in the occupancy of Samuel Humphrey and to hold it during his ministry in Weymouth, or until the Town sliall see cause to alter it.''
This was a year for several grants of land, most of which were in small lots, but Capt. William Torrey received a grant of one hundred acres which placed him among the largest landowners in town.
In addition to grants of land the selectmen were authorized to lease land for breaking up and planting or cutting timber.
The poor account was small in those days, and we find that the one town charge was boarded with "John Shaw for three shillings a week in money or its equivalent in Town Pay.' ,
In 1686 the selectmen were authorized to contract with the minister and the schoolmaster at the same price as before.Following is an order of the selectmen at this time: "To th
Constables of Weymouth. You are hereby required in Her Magestys name forthwith to repair unto the house as was formerly omas 1 es an no i y a e
In 1687 the question of the ownership of the flats on the "northerly side of Hockly on the Back River," which had been in dispute between the town and Stephen French for twenty years, was settled by acknowledging the claim of Mr. French and discharging him from all trespass and damage.
In November, 1687, Captain Holbrook, Jacob Nash, Abiah Whitman, Ebeneazer White, Lieutenant White, Joseph Dyer and William Reed were elected selectmen.
"The Town past a vote not to continue Mr. Chard in the work of public School Master upon the public charge of the Town."
The town voted "that Mr. Chard hath liberty to continue in the dwelling house he now dwelleth in and to improve the School-
~bouse until the Town Meeting day next March for which he is to Ring the bell and Sweep the Meeting house during that time." "rpnprnl Tnwn MeetinL first Mondav in Marc:li. 1688."
past a vote that there shall be o ne day in every ,year for the Town to meet in to transact in such affairs as concern ~Iihe Town, which day in every year for meeting is to be on the 6rst Monday in March, provided it cloth not contradict any law established."
"The Town past a vote that the town Dwelling house, School house and apperteriances thereunto belonging is left likewise to the Schoolmen to dispose of for,the year ensuing as they shall see meet for the good of the Town.'
This is the first mention we find of any supervision of the schools or school property.
We are not going much into English history in these articles, but evidently there was a change across the water about this time, as we find, instead of State and county orders being issued in Her Majesty's name, they are now issued in His Majesty's name, and a special county (Suffolk) rate for the year t688 was X24 15s., and in December of the same year the regular county rate was X154, the one-third in money and the other two-thirds in town pay.
"March 1690, Voted that Mr. Chard shall have the improve.owt and benefit of the Town flats and the House he now dwelleth ,in with the orchard and Garden belonging to the same for the ,year ensuing provided he teacheth school as he did the last year."
Evidently Mr. Chard was keeping school on his own account at rthis time.
~ "There is also appointed Jacob Nash, Jr., & Jonathan Torrey 'to take notice of all disorderlies oT Young people in the Galleries. And John Smith senior to take notice of all disorderlies below and to return the names of all such offenders.""Reckoned with Lieut. Nash the 12th day of May, 1690, for his
At the general town meeting in March 1691, Lieutenant Reed, Captain White, Ebenezer White, Abiah ~Vhitman, Captain Hunt, John Smith, Sr., and John Smith were elected selectmen.
The town was now nearly seventy years 61d, and still had but the one church and one school, and for this year voted to continue Mr. Chard as teacher, with a salary of L26 and the use of the house, garden, orchard and income from the flats. For the minister's maintenance the rate was, 9109 8s. 7d., of which X3 were to go to the sexton for ringing the bell and sweeping the meeting-house.
"Voted to pay Mr. Drake fifteen shillings per month for keeping the one town pauper. Settled with Capt. White for keeping the Town's powder and shot."
We would here answer some questions which we are often asked "Why so many military titles and why so much powder an bullets?" We of to-day little realize the condition of those times We read about our frontier and the border wars, not thinking tha this was once the frontier and the seat of the border or King Philip' War. Men went to the fields with the hoe in one hand and th flintlock in the other. They went to church carrying their trust muskets, and never retired at night without putting new primin in the pan and repicking the flint of the musket. Weymouth ha its mounted cavalry and its marching infantry and the situatio may be better understood by reading the followi~g reply of Captai Torrey to the Governor in a demand for more troops:
Humbly showeth, that your poor petitioners have this morning received warrant from the honorable Major for the impressing of six able men fitted
service both with arms, ammunition, and provisi,n which we shall endeav to do and are in the execution of said warrant, bui we most humbly besee your Lonors to consider of our present distressed and distracted condition, w when we are most, are but a small company, and we have ten men out sires and have the enemy appearing daily at our very doors, four killed by the enem already, all in danger wheresciever we go, unlike to have any help from a other, it, expectation every day and hour, of being assaulted, stand continus upon our guard, whereby planting is obstructecip and all things turning 1 confusion and destruction, not knowing how to dispose of our cattle, which w wont to go into the wood,, now cannot; they will starve us, or we shall sta them, and this is a little of our deplorable condition. Honors, is, that ifWherefore our humble petition and request to your
pity us, and sc, far to lend an ear to our humble request, as that our men now unpressed, may be discharged and returned to us again, and we hope we shall r"pectfully acknowledge it, as a great favor and still remain your honors' humble servants.
grants of land, and, as will be seen by the following, a movement made to get back lands which had been illegally taken.
~ "There has been past a vote that it is left to the Selectmen who have legal power to preserve the Town's interest that all such as have fenced in and improved any of the Town land ir to the Selectmen at the next meeting to treat with rning it or else such fences upon the Town Commons
!Tpaptain Holbrook, Lieutenant Whitman, Lieutenant White, 'Joseph Pratt, Sr., William Reed, Joseph Green, John Rogers and Captain Hunt were added to the selectmen as a committee to jel~cate the roads in town, and ~n 1693 there was much done for and among the land damages granted was the following to n Tirrell: "The liberty of the river in the Towns Commons place called the blades mill to set up a fulling mill and to have acre of land." And it was voted that all town ways should be poles wide.
At a meeting held in July, 1694, Maj. Ephraim Hunt, Capt. John Holbrook, Elijah White, Sr., John Rogers and Edwin Bates were elected as a board of assessors to work in connection with the selectmen in making rates, and also to protect the town from unjust county rates,
"Voted to hire a public schoolmaster from October to the end of the following March and Wm. Chard was employed at a salary of L6 in money or its equivalent for the six months."
Major Hunt was elected moderator, and the meeting proceeded 0 ballot for selectmen, and the elected ones were Edward Bates, 33 votes; Lieutenant White, 14; and Major Hunt, Joseph Dyer SW William Reed, 12 each.
~ A new man in town history seems to have come to the front tbis year in the person of John Copp, who was elected town clerk. IThe town voted to employ a schoolmaster, and the selectmen were .authorized to "raise his salary by polls & Estates the same as they do other town Charges," and John Copp was employed at a salary of 30f.
build a new pound at some convenient point to be alwed by the Selectmen, and Maj. Ephraim Hunt was authorized to sell the land on which the old pound was located, at the rate of
delivered to Carnet White the town's stock of flints, viz.: 92 pounds of powder, 271 pounds ts, 628 flints and agreed with the said White to Wcure the stock and what may be added to it by the Town for ten I"lings in money a year annually ~s long as the said stock shall be
"Voted that the Selectmen shall have power to obtain a sch master provided they do not exceed thirty pounds, the one_thi part to be paid by those who send children to school, and the oth two-thirds by town Rate."
The last part of the above vote was reconsidered at a to meeting held the following June, and it was voted that the tpay the whole of the master's salary.
At the annual town meeting, March 6, 1699, officers and boar of officers elected by vote were: selectmen, constables, survey of highways, fence-viewers, haywardens, tithingmen, treasurer a a committee to new seat the meeting-house, it being the most co plete board of officers elected at any one meeting since the to was incorporated. Most of the business done at this meeting a by the several boards of officers up to the November meeting w routine work pertaining to allotments and control of lands.
At the town meeting Nov. 13, 1699, "The town voted to have school master the ensuing year.""Voted that Lieut. Nash, Deacon Torre~ ed '0
in Town with full power to fix the salary and raise the money f the same provided they do not exceed thirty pounds."
At a meeting of the above board held the fourth day of Decem it "was agreed with Edward Bates to teach school for the Town Weymouth front the Ilth (lay of Dec., 1699, to the tst of A next for ten pounds in Town Pay and the said Schoolmaster is teach the first three months in the Town School House and t other months at or near his own home."
last of September and that they shall have twenty-five shillings in or as monhy out of the town's Rate beside what those nd children to the school shall pay by the week which is to be the usual rate."
The committee further agreed with Edward Bates and John y to teach school from December to March, Mr. Torrey to teach in the town's schoolhouse and Mr. Bates at his own home.
'ne school question was the only one of importance at the arch meeting in 1701, and we find the following:
heir vote chose Lieut. Nash, Wm. Reed, Serg't Thomas Reed, . Torrey, Joseph Green, Samuel Andrews & Wrn. Petty to be a committee when they did by their vote impower to treat with pemns and settle a school master according to law in the town ofuth for the year ensuing." ";Ctcommittee later reported:
TbC town rate for 1702 was L39 19s., and the selectmen, acting assessors, divided the town into two districts and committed the late for the Pirst District to Capt. Nathaniel Shaw, X20 9s.; the &cowl District to Joseph Nash, L19 10s.
I bpecial town meeting in April, 1702, the town "voted to 01i tile power of the committee chosen at the March meeting so smile school master and a new committee appointed of which JW%.. Samuel Torrey was one."
At this meeting Capt. Stephen French was elected to represent the w%-n in it Great and General Court to be held in Boston in
cellency, and Colonel Hobby was dispatched from Boston wi ten men of the guards with orders to make a draft of twenty in from Weymouth.
At the annual meeting in November, 1704, Lieutenant Na Ensign Hunt, Sergeant Richards, Joseph Pool and Sergeant Tirr were added to the selectmen to make a town rate. Colonel Hun Captain French, Elder Rogers, William Torrey, Lieutenantwere elected as a committee to draft new by-laws.
At this meeting it was voted to build a new barn for the past ana he donated a balance of X20 which was due him on sala toward the object.
Enforcement of regulation in regard to cutting wood and h poles came up, and a number of people were fined for thus t passing upon what was known as the minister's woodland.
It was also voted that any person pasturing sheep or rams others than residents of the town should pay a fine of 5s. for eve sheep or ram so pastured.
It was also voted to pay a bounty of 10s. for every wolf killed town.
At the March meeting in 1707 it was voted by the town to gr .C5 to encourage women's schools, and to pay 20s. each to fi women to leach.At this meeting the following order was drawn:
To the Selectmen of Weymouth, Greeting: You are hereby desired to pa Thomas Thurston twenty-five pounds in money at fifteen pence which we committee of Weymouth have agreed to pay to mid Thurston for keeping 0 Schools of Weymouth.
ordination in 1665, and was considered one of most able preachers of his time, and much of the time of the
hibitants for the next six months was devoted to securing and Iling his successor.
At the town meeting held on the 11th of August following the path of Mr. Torrey, we find the following:
woe with the church in the election and choice of Mr. Peter botcher to become their minister." by the Town to choose a committee to the number of to treat with Mr. Thatcher about his settlement in theork of the ministry in the town."
"Voted by the Town at the same time to give Mr. Thatcher 70.C ym in money annually and a convenient settlement for his imnt,while lie shall continue in the work of the ministry in
At the town meeting, Nov. 29, 1707, the committee on sale Of town land reported a number of sales, and among the rest 12 acres of Huckleberry Swamp to Sergeant Tirrell, and at a meeting the following April they reported the sale of the flats above Hockley in ten lots to run from a given point to the channel: first lot to Stephen French; second, Ezra Whitmarsh; third, John French, jr, and William Petty; fourth, Ebenezer Whitmarsh and John Richards; fifth, Jacob Turner and John Vining; sixth, Nichola Shaw; seventh, John Randall, Jr.; eighth, William Torrey; ninth Ezra Whitmarsh and Samuel Porter; tenth, Sergeant Porter.
Other town lots were sold, and it was voted that the proceed shall remain in the hands of the committee to pay for the settl merit of the minister in Weymouth.
At the March meeting, 1709, Captain Hunt was elected moder; Edward Bates, town clerk; Captain Hunt, Captain French, mes Humphrey, John Shaw and Edward Bates, selectmen; Humphrey, treasurer; and James Lovell and John Green,
bles. In addition to these there were tithingmen, hayardens, hogwardens, fence-viewers and special committees to look ter the cutting of wood, timber, hoop poles and stakes from the rwn's commons in violation of regulations governing the same.
At a special town meeting, Sept. 19, 1709, "Voted that money tat is due to the Town for ten lots sold be paid to the Town reasurer, James Humphrey, for them that it is due unto for the rchase of settlement for the Minister and for the charge of ilding and furnishing a house."
Further grants of land this year were made to Ebenezer 6'hitman, John Randall, John Blanchard, William Torrey, James khards, Joseph Lovell, Samuel Pratt, Abijah Torrey, Ebenezer tt, Sergt. Gideon Tirrell, Colonel Hunt, Captain Hunt, Ezra itniarsh and Lieutenant Nash.
A' a meeting of the selectmen held in Decernber "it was agreed 4th John Torrey to keep school for the town from the first of aft. to tile last of March, three months in all, for fifty shillings a"k.11
the time being by the following act: "Voted that Mr. Thatcher I have the improvement of the house where he now lives and be barn and all the upland and some part of the salt medder rhkh was purchased of Mr. Zechara Bicknell and all the medder a the easterly side of a ditch or dam made by said Bicknell on be salt marsh and one acre below it on the north side ditch ad. . ng to the other before named."
he left Weymouth before winter he was to pay the regular fine of constable for not serving, viz., X5.
At the March meeting in 1711, among other otticers elected was James Humphrey, treasurer, and for the first time in the history of Weymouth we find a salary attached to that office and for the year it was 40s.
Movable schools are not an invention of the latter day school scientists or school necessities, as we find at this time "The town by a vote impowered the Selectmen to agree with or settle with a School Master and to order his removal to several places in town for the benefit of the several inhabitants at the town charge."
The year t7t2 was not marked by any special events outside o the protracted fight with Braintree in regard to the Perambulatin line, and the following vote was passed: "That the Town would stand by the selectmen in prosecuting the Selectmen of Braintree according to law for refusing to run the Perambulating line betwee their town and ours as the law directs."
For this year the tax: levy was X143 for the maintenance of th ministry, school, poor and defraying other necessary charge Warrants for collecting this were delivered to constables in tw districts, John Turner one, and the other to Israel Ford.
to town commons and use of the same, Several people were fined -for trespass on the Cedar Swamp, and it was voted to divide the,"Xmt swamp into parts and then stake it off into lots and convey
LA committee was chosen to make this division and assignment, d by the result of their work one hundred and eight people
beome owners of small lots in the great Cedar Swamp extending to the Hingham line.It was also voted that no sheep should be at large on the town's
commons between May and November under penalty of 3d. per da ; no geese at any time under penalty of 1s. and no horse, L.%ing or mare over two years of age under penalty of 5s. A tax levy for the year of X147 was made for the support of the
and the same was accomplished with a similar committee from the latter town. John Vining and Sergeant Torrey were appointed to run the line between Weymouth and Brantry, but the selectmen of the latter town refused to meet them and once more nothing was done.
At a meeting in March, 1716, the meeting-house was the main topic. It did not meet the requirements of the growing town and more room was needed, and it was voted to allow those who wanted the room to build another row of galleries above those already in use at their own charge, said work to be done unde the supervision of Captain French, Lieutenant Nash, Captain Hunt and Nicholas Phillip.
In March, 1717, James Humphrey was again elected clerk and treasurer; James Humphrey, Lieut. John Hunt, John Vining Edward Derby and Samuel White, selectmen; Captain Hunt representative to General Court.
"Voted that the school be removed and kept four months in th year in each school house." This is the first mention we find of second schoolhouse in Weymouth. The tax levy for all expense this year was ~C 176 15s.
"Voted to approve of the action of the selectmen in hiring Joh Gait as school master for a quarter of a year and they shall haN, power to agree with him or some other schoolmaster for furthe time."
The year 1718 was not a specially happy one for the town. I lost one of its most valuable citizens in the death of sclectmai town clerk and treasurer James Humphrey, and trouble bega in regard to Mr. Thatcher, the minister. It was in the air that I was wanted in or was looking for a Boston pulpit, and some of tl hasty ones pushed his premature resignation or discharge, and i March, 1719, we find the following record:
"Whereas, the church of Christ in Weymouth did meet t gether on Feb. 26th and did choose and elect Mr. Thomas Pai of Barnstable to be their minister, the Town did at a Gener town meeting held the 27th day of March vote their gener consent and concurrence together with the church in the choi of Mr. Thomas Paine to become their minister as aforesaid.
"Voted that the Town will pay 20s. Per week to Mr. Paine an his board and keep for his horse so long as he shall preach f~r u viz. before he shall settle in the work of the ministry with us. ,
we have now covered nearly a hundred years of town history and find the first doctor's bill in this year's expenditures:
"Voted Mr. Sargent shall have three pounds for doctoring Samuel Holes and wife."
"Voted to build a convenient barn for Mr. Paine and the same to be completed before 1722."
We come now to a very interesting act in regard to building new pews in the meeting-house which was the last before the establishment of a second church, for many years known as t1i "Old South."
"It was voted that to sit in the pew with his family, th Town to have the refusal, if sold the bidder to have the preference Samuel Badlam to have the north east corner behind the minister' pew, he paying nine pounds; Abiah Whitman to have a pew between the pulpit and the minister's pew, be paying four pound and twelve shillings; Benjamin Bicknell to have a pew betwee Col. Hunt's and the pulpit, he paying two pounds and ten shillings Samuel French to have a pew over the stairs in the south eas corner provided he doth not dew no damage to the stairs, for on pound; John Torrey to have a pew in the sow west corner abov the stairs, lie paying one pound if he do no damage to the stairs Thomas White to have a pew on the east side of the great door he paying four pounds and ten shillings; Ebenezer Pratt to Ila
a pew on the west side of the great door, he paying four pound and five shillings; Joseph Torrey to have a pew in the south eas corner, he paying three pounds five shillings; Lt. John Pratt t have a pew on the west side of the great door next the womai' stairs, he paying three pounds."There were several dissenters to the above arrangement.
We now arrive at a condition on State finances which the existed but would be an impossibility to-day, which may be se in the following:
" At a general town meeting of the inhabitants of the Town Weymouth held on the 19th of Sept. 1721, and adjourned to'O 2d when it was enacted, voted and ordered by said meeting a unanimously agreed on by them that Deacon Edward Bat Stephen French and Ezra Whitmarsh shall be trustees to let o to the several inhabitants of said town the sum of 368L 10s. whi was allowed by the General Court unto the said town in mann and form as follows, viz.: 'Voted that the trustees shall ha power to let out said money for the Town's use after the rate six per cent per year and so yearly, year by year, until the term time is expired that it was allowed to said town, viz. ten years.'
"Voted that the trustees shall not let above five pounds to ea man the first week and ten pounds the second week and also vot that whoever taketh any of this money shall give good bosufficient bondsmen if required by the trustees of said town."
ijah Torrey. was elected town clerk; Dea. Edward Bates, John Torrey, John Porter, Thomas White and Micajah , selectmen. Ebenezer Vinton, Josiah Waterman, Samuel Bedlam and John Pratt were elected constables, but declined to M-01ify and were fined X5 each, which they paid. John Torrey and uel Kingman were then elected and took the oath, and Enoch Lovell was elected treasurer and the meeting voted.to buy a new bw book for the town.Ile protracted March meeting was renewed under a new call
e were things in the air at this meeting and another was led June 6, which voted "That Capt. Hunt, Lt. John Torrey, Edward Bates, John Pratt and Sergt. Ezra Whitmarsh shouldup to Boston to the General Court on the 8th of this instant,
then and there to answer in the behalf of the town relative a petition put in to the court by the people of the upper, or therly End of the town, concerning a new precinct or new
above meeting was adjourned to the first Monday in ber, when the following instructions were given to Capt. n White, representative to the General Court: "That you do562 OLD RECORDS
were appointed a committee to lay out a way from Captain Vinson to the Braintree line.
On May 14 Adam Cushing was again elected representa ive, which was his fifth consecutive year.
The meeting also voted the usual X100 for schools and E40 for all other charges.
At the March meeting, 1746, Joshua Torrey was elected town clerk; Adam Cushing, James Humphrey and Ebenezer White, selectmen and assessors; Abiah Whitman, treasurer.
Voted, "The towns people might take alewives above the fish Gate Monday, Wednesday, Fridays & Saturdays and that David Rice might have the water for his fulling mill the other two days."
The parsonage question was not brought up this year, and harmony prevailed in the division of the regular X100 for schooling and X40 for other town charges.
In March, 1747, there was routine business and another new road, as per the following vote: "Chosen Capt. Vinson, Justin Dyer & Capt. White a. committee to agree with Thomas Hollis to make a good cart way through the swamp above Capt. Vinson at the charge of the Town provided said Hollis make it good with stones and earth and keep it good for two years after it is made and will (to it for forty pounds Old Tenor."
Fore River, the water front and the landing were no small factors in those early days, as a large part of Weymouth business and outside social life was done by way of its two rivers,and we find in this year something doing in the way of its development.
"Voted to grant a landing place and highway to it to Nicholas Philips back of Capt. Joseph White's during his life if agreed that the inhabitants of the town may use it if they have occasion pro~ vided they shut up the fence after them."
"Voted that Thomas Pratt shalt have liberty to build a wharf at the Fore River below that which was built by the town said wharf to be sixty feet by the river so to run up to the highway and shalt sell only to the town provided they will give what it cost."
The regular X100 was raised and appropriated for school and divided between the two precincts according to the rate they paid.
Town charges were increased this year from X40 to L100, but as this made but $1,000 for schools and all other charges, it would be hut a drop in the bucket these days of New Town (?) houses and new school buildings.
Benjamin Dyer was elected moderator of the meeting, and there ae3e chosen five selectmen instead of three which had prevailed for a number of years.
Ezra Whitmarsh, Jr., was elected town clerk; Abiah Whitmarsh, treasurer; Thomas Pratt, James Humphrey, Ebenezer White Etta N%'hitmarsh, Jr., and John Holbrook, selectmen.
Other officers elected were constables, highway surveyors, pound keqxr, herring committee, sealer of leather, auditors, surveyor of aWngles, fence-viewers, hogreeve, deerreeve, tithingmen and field ddver.
'I At the meeting on May 12 Abiah Cushing was again elected representative to the General Court, and the town became more QMI, or expensive, in its expenditures.
It was voted to make a rate of Z300, ~C150 of which should be for schools and divided according to the proportion each paid of *W rate; the other B150 for all other town charges."is was also a meeting for settling trespasses on town property,
~:aM a committee was chosen to sue Captain White of Boston and ilDr. White out of the wharf adjoining the town's landing unless ,,satisfactory terms could be made for use of the same.
uel Badlam for his right in the saw mill dam, Omided he give the town an acquital of said right."
The year 1750 was a remarkably quiet one, with nothing but ;1Wtme business Thomas Pratt again being elected as representa&e to the General Court. Other officers and appropriations were lly the same as the year before.
meeting adjourned to 'the 11th, when the subject was resumed but with -_ definite results.
At the May meeting the contest was on again, and it was finally ,'voted to choose no representative to the General Court."
" Voted, to divide the common lands belonging to the town to and among the inhabitants of said town in method and form following, viz: That town tax bills for the year 1750 shall be the measure and rate of dividing the common lands of Weymouth into shares to and among the inhabitants of said town; that i's to say: that a single poll tax in the town tax bill for the year 1750 set on said tax shall be deemed a single share. And each one of the inhabitants of said town shall draw of said lands more or less in that proportion of what such person or persons shall pay of the remaining part of the tax bill aforesaid."
A committee was appointed to divide the land into lots as per the above vote, and the meeting adjourned to July 1.
At this adjourned meeting, on motion of the committee ap. pointed at the previous meeting, it was voted to reconsider the vote in regard to dividing the land. The motion prevailed, and the following amendments were passed:
"Voted not to include in the division those who were not 21 years of age August 31, 1750."
"Voted not to include in the division persons not born in Weymouth and not householders even though they were Poll tax payers."
With these amendments the committee submitted their report which included the names of 255 people who came in for one or more shares according to the provisions of the vote.The report shows what each of these persons was taxed in 1750
In 1751 the town was in a whirl of trouble in regard to its common nds and other difficulties, and the storm which had been brewing tyurst when it came to a climax on land division.
,%sfortunes never come singly, and the year 1751 seemed to gather them all in. Whether by incendiary or otherwise, the Old North Church became a prey to the fiery element on the 23d of April of that year, and three barrels of powder and other town property stored there went up in the explosion.The land question and the loss of the church, however, were
Alay, 1751, and May, 1752, one hundred and fifty people, mostly children, were taken away by the dread epidemic which prevatled
leted by the large number of children which ~,WW died, the epidemic was still prevailing, and but little money~wm raised for schools or any other purposes, and as the towns in
General Court, and in July James Humphrey was elected to that office.
At this July meeting it was "Voted to continue the summer school, and eight pounds was voted for that purpose, Samuel Badlam, Capt. Ephraim Hunt and Ezra Whitmarsh to provide school mistresses for the first precinct, and Capt. Jacob Turner, John Tirrell and John Nash a commitiee for the same purpose in the other precinct."
The business of the March meeting for 1756 was without special events, with the exception of a warm debate in regard to herring, and it was "Voted that Capt, Thomas Pratt have liberty to catch and market herring the present year in manner as the law directs, saving a privilege for the inhabitants of the town to catch for their own consumption, in consideration of a note of hand of ten pounds , thirteen shilling and four pence."
The seat of war in these years was along the Canadian frontier, and the quota of Weymouth for the war then on between he Fr6nch and English was forty men, and six died or were killed during this year's service at Lake George and Crown Point. The war, however, brought prominently to the front Lieut. Solomon Lovell who later put his military experience to good use and becam~ one of the leading generals of the Revolutionary War.
At this meeting in March, 1756, it was "Voted to lease to the highe~t.bidder a By Way leading tip to the top of the Great Hill containing near one acre for 999 years. Leased in the face of said meeting at Vendue to John Torrey a dollar paid in earnest. Said Torrey to pay the town eight pounds and ten shillings which with said dollar completes the sum which was bid."
Received of John Torrey eight pounds and sixteen shillings in behalf of tht town it being for the way leading up to the so called Great Smith Hill.
At the March meeting in 1757 the only business outside of th election of officers was this: "Voted that Ezra Whitmarsh, Josiah Waterman, Richard Cunch, Abiah Whitman and Benjamin Dye be a committee and are hereby as such in behalf of the town im powered to agree and covenant with Dr. Ezekiel Hersey of Hingha to make a sufficient way and convenient passage through the mi dam commonly called Bateses mill for the fish to go through i the season of . going up to the pond, and to maintain said wa forever provided he, the said Hersey, will do it for any sum not el ceeding 13L 6's. 8p."
The years 1757 and 1758 were without special interest, thei being but few changes in town officers or town matters in bo of these years. James Humphrey was elected representative.
10'Voted to Capt. J. White the way leading to said landing place the County Road to be enjoyed by him free of charge and his and assigns forever in consideration he pay or cause to be ~plkid to the town SE 6s. 8P."