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Author of '^OuIJ Neivburf ": Historical and Biographical Sketches 



D A M R E L L & U P H A M 



John J. Ci' r k i e k 

Press of 

Geo. H. Ellis Co. 








Although Joshua Coffin prepared his history of New- 
bury, in 1845, ^^'ith considerable care and minuteness, and 
George J. L. Colby, in the History of Essex County, in 1878, 
and Hon. William T.. Davis, in a similar work, ten years later, 
published historical sketches of the town, the reader will find 
in the following pages some additional facts, with foot-notes 
and references for the convenience of those who wish to 
consult the authorities quoted. 

My thanks are especially due to Sidney Perley, esq., of 
Salem, and to Mr. George F. Dow, secretary of the Essex 
Institute, for advice and assistance in preparing this volume 
for the press; to Mr. C. W. Ernst, of Boston, foi* valuable 
hints and suggestions in regard to the early postal service in 
Newbury; to Rev. Rufus Emery, Capt. James O. Knapp, and 
:^Mr. Oliver B. Merrill, of Newburyport, for interesting genea- 
logical and historical facts ; and to Messrs. William Little and 
Isaac W. Little, of Newbury, for information obtained from 
town and parish records. 

Many of the maps and illustrations in this volume are re- 
productions of old prints ; but most of the views of local 
scenery were taken expressly for this work by Messrs. Ed- 


ward E. Bartlett, William C. Thompson, and Selwyn C. 
Reed, photographers, of Newbury port. 

I have been compelled to leave some of the minor events 
and incidents in the history of Newbury vmnoticed, and have 
found it absolutely impossible to include valuable papers and 
documents, relating to the social and commercial life of New- 
buryport, without increasing the number of pages in this book 
beyond a reasonable limit. I hope, however, in a few years, 
to publish in a separate volume the history of Newburyport 
from its incorporation in 1764 to the present time. 

John J. Curriek. 

Newburyport, December i, 1902. 


Chapter Pagb 

I. The Early Explorers and Settlers of New England, 13 

II. The Settlement at Parker River, 1635-1645 .... 28 

III. The Settlement at Merrimack River, 1645-1685 ... 87 

■ IV. The Settlement at Merrimack River, 168 5-1 765 . . . 194 

V. The Settlement at Merrimack River, i 765-1902 . . . 269 

VI. Churches and Pastors 311 

VII. Schools and Schoolmasters 395 

VIII. Highways 413 

IX Ferries 431 

X. Postal Service 465 

XI. Commercial Affairs and Ship-building 475 

XII. Military Organizations and Indian Wars 493 

XIII. French and Indian Wars 514 

XIV. LouisBOURG, Crown Point, and Quebec 547 

XV. Revolutionary War 581 

XVI. Soldiers in the Revolutionary War 600 

XVII. The Embargo and the War of 1812 620 

XVIII. War of the Rebellion 631 


I. Town Clerks 639 

II. Oath of Allegiance to the King 642 

III. Kent's Island 643 

IV. Richard Dummer 647 

V. Cart Creek 653 

VI. First Parish Meeting-house 654 

VII. Second Parish Church 655 

VIII. Schools and Schoolmasters 656 



IX. Woodwell's Ship-yard 658 

X. Military Organizations during the French and Indian 

Wars 659 

XI. Revolutionary War 661 

XII. Physicians in Newbury from the First Settlement 

OF the Town, in 1635, to the Incorporation of 

Newburyport, in 1764 ■. . . 662 

XIII. " Pierce House at the Uper End of Chandler's Lane," 670 

XIV. The Sewall House, near " Trayneing Green" . . . 672 
XV. Deputies to the General Court 675 

Index 689 


Plum Island River and Parker River, Frontispiece 


Capt. John Smith i6 

Map of the South Part of New England, 1634 24 

The Lower Green . 37 

The Burying Ground 59 

Fac-suiile Town of Newbury Records, 1638 63 

Map of Newbury, Mass., 1640 83 

Oak Tree in "the Gerrish Pasture" 130 

Samuel Sewall 190 

Fac-simile of the Title-page of "The New Heaven upon the 

New Earth " 192 

Map of the Merrimack River, 1741 198 

A Freehold Lot in "the Upper Woods" 211 

Newbury Marshes 221 

Deputy Governor William Dummer 232 

Map of Newbury — Parish Lines — 1795 239 

Landing Place at Pine Island 263 

Rocks Bridge, from West Newbury 278 

Fire Engine, 1850 288 

Map of Newbury — Boundary Lines — 1902 308 

Fac-simile Title-page of " The Temple Measured," by Rev. 

James Noyes 312 

Fac-simile Title-page of "The Visions and Prophecies of 

Daniel," by Rev. Thomas Parker 323 

Fac-simile Title-page of a Pamphlet entitled "A Letter to 

Mrs. Elizabeth Avery," by Rev. Thomas Parker .... 325 
Fac-simile Title-page of " Moses and Aaron," by Rev. James 

Noyes 326 



Fac-simile ok Introductory Page to "Moses and Aaron" . . 327 

Facsimile of Dedication to " Moses and Aaron " 329 

First Parish Meeting-house 346 

Second Parish Meeting-house 363 

Byfield Congregational Meeting-house 367 

Fourth Parish Meeting-house 380 

School-house on " Trayneing Green " 409 

Stone Wall on Highway from Parker River to "Trayneing 

Green " 414 

Bridge over Artichoke River on the Bradford Road . . . 423 

Ferry Routes, Carr's Island, 1641, 1655 . 438 

Amesbury Ferry Landing Place 440 

March's Ferry Landing Place 454 

Post-rider, 1734 471 

Stage-coaches, 1793 473 

Stage-coach, 1820 474 

Shape and Rig of Vessels, 1800 487 

Brig "Olive" from a Water Color Sketch Painted in 1819 . 490 

King Philip by Paul Revere 509 

Casco Fort, 1713 525 

Map of Port Royal, 1744 532 

Map of the Island of Cape Breton, 1746 548 

Siege of Louisbourg, 1745 551 

Battle of Lake George, 1755 558 

Lake George, Ticonderoga, and Crown Point 561 

General James Wolfe 577 

Bronze Tablet 594 

Joshua Coffin 641 

Dr. John Clarke 663 

Sewall House 673 





For more than a century after the discovery of America by 
Christopher Columbus, that portion of the continent extend- 
ing from Newfoundland to Virginia was seldom visited by 
European explorers, and its rivers and harbors were practically 

In 1602, Capt. Bartholomew Gosnold, in a small ship 
called the " Concord," sailed from Falmouth, England, well 
supplied with men and provisions, intending to make a settle- 
ment in the New World between the fortieth and fiftieth 
degrees of north latitude. 

Instead of following the usual route by the Canary Islands 
and the West Indies, he steered directly across the Atlantic, 
and in seven weeks reached the coast of Maine, in all proba- 
bility, at or near the point of land now known as Cape 
Elizabeth. Following the coast in a southerly direction, he 
anchored at Cape Cod, within a league of the shore, where he 
found fish in abundance, and gave to that prominent head- 
land the name that it still bears. Continuing his voyage 
around the cape, he landed at the mouth of Buzzard's Bay ; and 
on an island of the Elizabeth group, now known as Cuttyhunk, 
he built a fortified house and attempted to plant a colony. 
A few weeks exposure to the hostility of the Indians, supple- 
mented by serious quarrels and dissensions among the men 
who were to remain in the new settlement, induced him to 
abandon the enterprise ; and, loading his ship with sassafras 
root, cedar timber, furs, and other commodities, he re-em- 
barked his whole company, and returned to England. On his 


arrival there July 23, 1602, great interest was awakened in the 
country he had visited ; and the merchants of Bristol raised 
the sum of one thousand pounds sterling for the purpose 
of sending out another exploring expedition. 

April 10, 1603, Martin Pring, in command of two vessels, 
one fifty and the other twenty-six tons burthen, and a crew 
of forty-four men and boys, sailed from Milford Haven, and 
arrived at the mouth of the Penobscot river June seventh. 
Cruising along the coast to the southward, he entered Massa- 
chusetts Bay, and came to anchor in Plymouth harbor, 
seventeen years before the landing of the Pilgrims.* For six 
weeks he explored the woods in that neighborhood, where he 
found sassafras in abundance ; and, having loaded his vessels 
with that fragrant product of the forest, he returned to 
England, where he arrived October 2, 1603. 

Sieur de Monts with Samuel de Champlain sailed from 
Havre de Grace April 7, 1604, on a voyage of discovery, and 
landed on the shores of Nova Scotia May 8, 1604. Together 
they explored the bay of Fundy, entered and examined 
Annapolis harbor, and during the following winter found 
shelter on an island in St. Croix river, where they built a 
few rude houses and formed a temporary settlement. Con- 
tinuing their explorations the following summer, they sailed 
along the coast, and at sunset, July 15, 1605, were near Little 
Boar's head, with the Isles of Shoals directly east of them. 
They saw in the distance the dim outline of Cape Ann, 
whither they directed their course, and before morning came 
to anchor near its eastern extremity in sixteen fathoms of 
water. At an early hour the next day Champlain, with a few 
men taken from his ship's crew, went on shore to confer with 
the natives and obtain information needed in order to continue 
his voyage farther south. He drew a map of the coast along 
which he had sailed. The Indians added to the sketch an 
accurate outline of Massachusetts Bay, and also inserted the 
Merrimack river, which he had not seen, its mouth or entrance 
having been concealed by the low sand-hills of Plum island. f 

• Narrative and Critical History of America, vol. iii., p. 174. 

t Publications of the Prince Society, 1880. Voyages of Samuel de Champlain, vol. i., p. 51. 


Capt. George Weymouth sailed from Dartmouth, Eng- 
land, on Easter Sunday, May 15, 1605 ; and June 18 he an- 
chored on the north side of the island of Monhegan, at the 
mouth of Penobscot bay, on the coast of Maine. He after- 
wards explored the Kennebec river, planting a cross at one 
of its upper reaches ; and, capturing five Indians, he took 
them by force with him to England on his return. 

King James I. ordered in 1606 that the American 
territory claimed by England should hereafter be known as 
South Virginia from Cape Fear to the Potomac and North 
Virginia from the mouth of the Hudson to Newfoundland. 

Sir Ferdinando Gorges, having obtained from the king a 
patent, or grant, of the territory extending from the thirty- 
eighth to the forty-fifth degree north latitude, attempted to 
establish a permanent colony at the mouth of the Sagadahoc, 
now the Kennebec river. On the last day of May, 1607, 
two small vessels, under the command of Capt. George Pop- 
ham and Capt. Rawleigh Gilbert, were sent out with men and 
supplies to begin the new settlement. Early in the month 
of August following they reached the island of Monhegan, 
called by them the island of St. George. And there 

Sondaye beinge the 9th of August, in the morninge the most part of 
our hoU Company of both our shipes landed on this Illand, the wch we 
call St. Gerge's Illand whear the crosse standeth ; and there we heard 
a sermon delyvred unto us by our preacher, gyuinge God thanks for 
our happy metinge and saffe aryvall into the Contry ; and so retorned 
abord aggain.* 

The Rev. Richard Seymour, a minister of the Church of Eng- 
land, accompanied the expedition, and, undoubtedly, preached 
the sermon and read the prayers of this the first religious 
service conducted by a clergyman within the present limits 
of New England. 

A favorable situation on the peninsula of Sabino, on the 
west bank of the Sagadahoc river, was selected as the site of 
the new colony. They built a church, a fort, a storehouse, 
and some dwellings. During the winter that followed Cap- 

* Narrative and Critical History of America, vol. iii. , p. 176. 

(2. i^lxefe arc tiie Lined that Jliew th_y TaCe .hut thofe 
nTiatjltew thy GraCC and Cjlory brighter- hee: 
^nChy Fair e-Dijcoiieries and Fowle - Over thro wes 
OJ Salvages, much CivUlizd hy thec^Kj y" 
Beji /hew thy Spirit; and io it Glof^Y (tih/rvy. 
So,thou art Bni/se without, hut ^olde -WTtkirt 
'^^too /o/t sniilhd t^cls to beare ) 
I Ji^ thy JP'ame ,to mak & Braise Steele out wear-c, 

(Hfiitte, as tliou art "^'irtxces. 
^o4}t (^auici . jeirgr: 


tain Popham died, and their storehouse was destroyed by fire. 
In the spring, when a ship came out with supplies, the 
colonists, discouraged and disheartened by misfortunes and 
illness, decided to abandon the enterprise and return to Eng- 
land. Subsequently Sir Francis Popham, and others who 
were interested with him in the fur trade that had been 
established with the Indians, sent one or more vessels annu- 
ally to the coast of Maine, and for many years carried on a 
brisk trade. 

In the month of April, 1614, Capt. John Smith, the fa- 
mous navigator, arrived at Monhegan with two small ships, 
intending to engage in whale-fishmg there ; but, finding the 
conditions unfavorable, he decided to load his vessels for the 
homeward voyage with codfish and furs. Taking eight men 
in a small boat, he left the ships, with the rest of the party 
employed in catching and curing fish, while he cruised along the 
coast, collecting furs, from the mouth of the Penobscot to Cape 
Cod. He explored every island, headland, and harbor between 
the two points named, and made a map of the country, which 
he published, with his account of the voyage, in London in 
1616. This map, although defective in many respects, gave 
the configuration of the coast with greater accuracy than any 
map issued from the press previous to that date. The coun- 
try known to the earlier voyagers as "Norumbega," "North 
Virginia," or " Canada," he called " New England," a name 
that it still bears.* To that group of rocky islands now 
called the Isles of Shoals he gave the name of Smith's Isles, 
and in his description of New England says, " Smith's Isles 
are a heape together, none neere them against Accomintycas." 
The prominent headland known as Cape Ann appears upon 
the map ; and on the northerly side of it, close to the shore, 
is an unnamed island that twenty years later the first settlers 
of Newbury named Plum Island. 

In his description of this locality, Smith says : " There are 
many sands at the entrance of the Harbour [of " Angoan " 

*" I took the description," he says, " of the coast as well by map as writing, and called it 
New England. At my humble suit, Charles, Prince of Wales, was pleased to confirm it by that 
title." Voyages of Capt. John Smith, republished in Massachusetts Historical Society Col- 
lections, vol. xxiii..p. 20. 


or " Aggawoni," now Ipswich] and the worst is, it is em- 
bayed too farre from the deepe sea ; here are many rising 
hills, and on their tops and descents are many corne fields 
and delightfull groues ; on the East an He of two or three 
leagues in length [Plum Island] the one halfe plaine marish 
ground, fit for pasture or salt Ponds, with many faire high 
groues of mulbery trees and Gardens ; there is also Okes, 
Pines, Walnuts and other wood to make this place an excel- 
lent habitation being a good and safe Harbour," from thence 
"doth stretch into the sea the faire head land" now called 
Cape Ann, "fronted with three isles," named "the three 
Turks heads." 

Soon after the return of Capt. John Smith to England, 
new schemes of colonization were zealously advocated. As 
early as September, 1617, the Pilgrim exiles settled at Ley- 
den, Holland, commenced negotiations for liberty to plant a 
colony in America. November 11-21, 1620, the "May- 
flower" anchored in Provincetown harbor. Cape Cod; and 
December 11-21 the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth. 

Meanwhile the king had granted to Sir Ferdmando Gorges 
and others a patent covering the territory of North America 
between the fortieth and forty-eighth degrees of latitude ; and 
the gentlemen interested in this grant were incorporated as 
"the Council established at Plymouth, in the County of 
Devon, for the planting, ruling, ordering, and governing of 
New England in America." The settlement at Plymouth 
was included in this grant, and the colonists were subse- 
quently authorized and empowered by the council to take a 
certain quantity of land and set up a government there. 
Other portions of this vast territory, imperfectly described 
and incorrectly bounded, were conveyed to various indi\-id- 
uals and corporations, which ultimately led to vexatious dis- 
putes and law-suits. 

March 9, 162 1-2, the president and council granted to 
Capt. John Mason, under the name of Mariana, "all the land 
lying along the Atlantic from Naumkeag River to the Merri- 
mack River, and extending back to the heads of those rivers, 
... to ireather with the Great Isle or Island henceforth to 


be called Isle Mason lying neere or before the Kay, Harbor 
or y'^ river Aggavvom." * 

This grant included nearly all the terrritory within the 
present limits of the county of Essex, but no settlements 
were made under it. The patent granted the colony of Mas- 
sachusetts Bay, several years later, covered the same ter- 
ritory, and added to it the land lying between the Charles and 
the Naumkeag rivers. 

On the tenth day of August, 1622, the Council for New 
England granted Capt. John Mason and Sir Ferdinando 
Gorges, jointly, all the land lying between the Merrimack and 
Sagadahoc (now Kennebec) rivers, extending sixty miles in- 
land and including all islands within five leagues of the shore. 
With the aid of several wealthy merchants of London a com- 
pany was organized, under the name of the Laconia Com- 
pany ; and plans were matured for the development of the 
country and the establishment of a fishing station at the 
mouth of the Piscataqua river. In the spring of 1623, 
David Thompson, a Scotchman, with a small company, com- 
menced a settlement there, and erected the first house at a 
place called Little Harbor. 

Capt. Myles Standish, having been sent by the governor of 
Plymouth Colony " to buy provisions for the refreshing of the 
colony, returned wdth the same [July, 1623] accompanied 
with one Mr. David Tomson, a Scotchman, who also that 
spring began a plantation twenty-five leagues northeast from 
us, near Smith's Isles, at a place called Pascatoquack, where 
he liketh well." f 

In 1626, Governor Bradford and Edward Winslow, with 
some others of Plymouth Colony, were at Little Harbor, and 
in company with Mr. Thompson visited the settlement at 
Monhegan, where they purchased from the colonists there, 
and from a P'rench vessel wrecked near that island, various 
articles of merchandise valued at five hundred pounds. J 

* Memoir Capt. John Mason, by Charles W. Tuttle, printed by the Prince Society, 18S7, p. 
173. Felt, in his Historj- of Ipswich (p. 36) says that the great island mentioned in the grant to 
Captain Mason must have been the island now known as Plum Island. 

t" Good Newes from New England," by Edward Winslow. Published in London in 1624. 
Reprinted in the "Chronicles of the Pilgrims," by Alexander Young, p. 350. 

X Bradford's History of Plimoth Plantation, printed by order of the General Court of Mas- 
sachusetts, pp. 251,252. 


At this time there were several small settlements scattered 
along the New England coast, and trade with the Indians was 
steadily increasing. 

The catching and curing of fish furnished employment for 
a large number of men and ships. Capt. John Smith, in his 
account of "New Plimouth," published in 1624, says, 

la 1620 six or seven ships went from the west of England to fish 
on the Northeastern coast of New England; in 162 1 ten or twelve ; in 

1622 thirty-five ; in 1623 about forty; and in 1624 fifty or more. 

The Council for New England, desiring to increase the value 
of its property, decided to distribute to each of its share- 
holders a certain portion of its territory not otherwise dis- 
posed of. The region about Cape Ann, extending probably 
to the Merrimack river, fell to the lot of Lord Sheffield, who 
conveyed it by charter January i, 1623-4, to Robert Cushman 
and Edward Winslow and their associates of Plymouth Colony, 
who were authorized to eject any person building or settling 
there without permission. * 

Late in the autumn of 1624 a ship, " caled y^ Charitie " 
arrived at Plymouth with a cargo of provisions and household 
supplies. She was hastily discharged and sent to Cape Ann, 
with some of the prominent planters of the colony, who were 
instructed to build a fishing stage there to be used in the 
catching and curing of fish.f 

More than twelve months previous to that date, the Rev. John 
White, a Puritan minister of Dorchester, England, with some 
merchants and other gentlemen of that town, organized a 
company for the purpose of establishing" a colony on the New 
England coast, where men engaged in fishing, when not other- 
wise employed, might cultivate the soil or carry on a lucrative 
trade with the Indians. Cape Ann was selected as a favor- 
able location for the new enterprise ; and in the autumn of 

1623 fourteen men, from a vessel about to return to England 
with a full cargo of fish and furs, were landed at or near the 
present city of Gloucester, and left there to build during the 

* Palfrey's History of New England, vol. i., p. 285. 

t Bradford's History of Plimoth Plantation, published by order of the General Court of 
Massachusetts, pp. 190, 202. 


winter dwelling-houses, salt-works, and other structures 
required in the catching and curing of fish. In the spring 
of 1624 the same vessel arrived at Cape Ann with men and 
supplies sent out by the Dorchester Company for the en- 
couragement and support of the feeble colony. In the fall of 
that year, however, Robert Cushman and Edward Winslow 
having obtained a grant of all the land in that neighborhood, 
the planters of Plymouth decided to build a fishing stage 
there. In 1625 the officers and crew of a vessel sent out by 
the Dorchester Company, " getting y'' starte of y^ ships that 
came to the plantation, they tooke away their stage, & other 
necessary provisions that they [the Plymouth people] had 
made for fishing at Cap Anne y^ year before, and would not 
restore y^ same, excepte they would fight for it. But y" Gov"" 
sent some of y^ planters to help y^ fishermen to build a new 
one, and so let them keepe it."* 

The Rev. William Hubbard, of Ipswich, in his History of 
New England, says that the Plymouth people built a fishing 
stage at Cape Ann in 1624 ; and when they went there in 
1625, to cure fish, they found the stage occupied. Capt. 
Myles Standish demanded possession of the property but was 
met with a peremptory refusal. 

The dispute grew to be very hot and high words were passed between 
them which nnight have ended in blows, if not in blood and slaughter, 
had not the prudence and moderation of Mr Roger Conant, at that time 
there present, and Mr Pierse's interposition, that lay just by with his 
ship, timely prevented. ... A little chimney is soon fired ; so was the 
Plymouth captain, a man of very little stature, yet of very hot and angry 
temper. The fire of his passion soon kindled and blown up into aflame 
by hot words, might easily have consumed all, had it not been seasonably 
quenched. t 

Subsequently Roger Conant, who had been living at Plym- 
outh, was employed as superintendent of the company at 
Cape Ann. He sent several cargoes of fish to England, but 
they were sold at prices barely sufficient to pay the wages of 
the seamen. He remained in charge of the enterprise for 

•Bradford's History of Plimoth Plantation, published by order of the General Court of 
Massachusetts, p. 237. 
t Massachusetts Historical Society Collections, Second Series, vol. v., p. no. 


nearly twelve months. At the close of the year 1626 the 
Dorchester Company decided to sell its ships, abandon the 
new settlement, and pay for the transportation to England of 
all who desired to return. Roger Conant and a few of his 
friends remained, and the following year removed to Naum- 
keag, the site of the present city of Salem. 

March 19, 1627-8, the Council for New England granted 
Sir Henry Roswell, John Endicott, and others a tract of land 
extending from a line three miles north of the Merrimack river 
to a line three miles south of the Charles river, and east and 
west from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. September 6, 
1628, John Endicott with a small company landed at Naum- 
keag, where he found Roger Conant, and a few others who had 
come with him from Cape Ann, comfortably settled, and in- 
clined to resist any attempts to interfere with their rights or 
privileges. There was much ill feeling, but the questions in 
dispute were satisfactorily adjusted ; and in commemoration of 
the peaceful measures and methods adopted to bring about the 
reconciliation the place was called "Salem." 

The following year a charter from the king confirmed the 
grant made to Sir Henry Roswell and his associates, and pro- 
vided that they and their successors should be and remain a 
corporation under the name of " the Governor and Company 
of the Massachusetts Bay in New England." A portion of the 
land conveyed by this charter had previously been granted 
to Capt. John Mason, and now forms a part of the State of 
New Hampshire. A long controversy in regard to the boun- 
dary line, " three miles north of the Merrimac river," has only 
recently been settled by commissioners appointed by the chief 
executive officers of the two states mentioned. 

The government of the colony in Massachusetts Bay was 
intrusted to the members of the-corporation residing in Eng- 
land, but the question of transferring to the plantation in 
America the full and complete control of its affairs was care- 
fully considered and discussed during the summer of 1629. 
Legal advice favorable thereto was obtained and August 
twenty-ninth of that year it was determined " by the general 
consent of the Company that the government and patent 


should be settled in New England." June 12, 1630, John 
Winthrop arrived at Salem, bringing the charter with him. 
Before the close of the year, settlements were made at Charles- 
town, Dorchester, Boston, Watertown, Roxbury, Mystic (Med- 
ford), and Saugus (Lynn). The first court of assistants, af- 
terwards called "the Great and General Court," was held at 
Charlestown August 23, 1630. At a meeting, held Septem- 
ber seventh, it was ordered that no one should settle within 
the limits of the colony without having first obtained permis- 
sion from the governor and assistants, and a warrant was is- 
sued to command those who had settled at Agawam, now Ips- 
wich, to leave the place. In January, 1633, the court ordered 
"that a plantation should be begun at Agawam, being the best 
place in the land for tillage and cattle, lest an enemy, finding it 
void, should possess and take it from us."* 

In the month of March following, John Winthrop, Jr., 
with Mr. George Carr, who was afterwards appointed to keep 
the ferry between Newbury and Salisbury, and ten or twelve 
others, commenced a settlement there. August 5, 1634, 
the General Court at New Town (Cambridge) "ordered that 
Aggawam shalbe called Ipswich." 

William Wood, author of "New England's Prospect," pub- 
lished in London in 1634, says: — - 

Agowamme is nine miles to the North from Salem, which is one of the 
most spatious places for a plantation being neare the sea, it aboundeth 
with fish, and flesh of fowles and beasts, great Meads and Marshes and 
plaine plowing grounds, many good rivers and harbours and no rattle 
snakes. In a word, it is the best place but one, which is Merriniacke^ 
lying 8 miles beyond it, where is a river 20 leagues navigable : all along 
the river side is fresh Marshes, in some places 3 miles broad. In this 
river is Sturgeon, Sammon, and Basse, and divers other kinds of fish. 
To conclude, the Countrie hath not that which this place cannot yeeld. 
So that these two places may containe twice as many people as are yet 
in New England; there being as yet scarce any inhabitants in these two 
spacious places. Three miles beyond the river Merriinacke is the out- 
side of our Patent for the Massachusetts Bay. These be all the Townes 
that were begun, when I came for England, which was the 1 5 of 
August 1633.1 

•Winthrop's History, vol. i., pp. 98, 99; also, Coffin's Historj- of Newbun-, p. 10. 

t" New England's Prospect," reprinted by the Prince Society of Boston, 1865, chap, xi., p. 49. 

Hie South part of New-England, as it is 
Planted this yeare, 1 6 54. 


Although there was no settlement between Ipswich and 
the boundary line of the colony on the north, it is evident 
that the land afterwards laid out and incorporated as the 
town of Newbury was not, even at that early date, an un- 
known wilderness, while it is equally certain that the " Sam- 
mon and Basse " in Merrimack River were a source of 
revenue to the fishermen who came from many and distant 

The sturgions be all over the Countrey, but the best catching of them 
be upon the shoales of Cape Codde and in the River of Mirritnacke 
where much is taken, pickled and brought for England, some of them 
be 12, 14, 18 foote long.* 

The map of the coast from Narragansett Bay to " Aco- 
menticus," published in the first edition of *' New England's 
Prospect," and reproduced herewith, gives the location of 
Cape Ann, Boar's Head, and the " Hand of Shoulds," also 
the rivers " Quasacunqud," " Piscataque," "Merrimack," and 
an island, not named, at the mouth of the last-named river, 
now known as Plum Island. On the southerly bank of the 
Merrimack river, at or near the easterly end of a small 
island (evidently Deer Island), the Indian camping ground or 
fishing station " Pentucket " is located. Possibly, John Win- 
throp, Jr., may have established a trading house there after 
the adoption of the following order by the General Court : — 

September (3) 1633 There is liberty granted to Mr. John Winthrop 
Junr, & to his assignes, to sett vpp a trucking howse vpp Merrimack 

The map drawn by Capt. John Smith, and published in 
16 1 6, gives a fairly accurate outline of the New England 
coast from Mount Desert to Cape Cod, but does not give the 
location of the Merrimack, Piscataqua, Saco, and some other 
large rivers between those two points. Probably they were 
not seen by the bold and enterprising explorer as he sailed 
along the shore in a small boat, although he evidently as- 
cended the Kennebec, and named it "The River Forth. "| 

* " New England's Prospect," reprinted by the Prince Society of Boston, 1865, chap. ix. , p. 37. 

t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 108. 

+ See map in Narrative and Critical History of .America, vol. iii., p. 198. 


February 28, 1633-4, King Charles I., greatly dis- 
turbed by the report that a large number of his disaffected 
and discontented subjects were about to leave England for 
the purpose of securing civil and religious liberty beyond the 
sea, ordered the ofificers of the crown to detain ten ships, 
then in the river Thames, until the oath of allegiance to the 
king could be administered to all persons intending to em- 
bark for New England. The masters of the ships were 
placed under bonds to observe certain rules and regulations, 
and especially to see that the prayers of the Church of 
England were read daily on the voyage to the New World. 

Matthew Cradock, the first governor of the Massachusetts 
Company, was summoned to appear before the king and the 
lords of the Privy Council, and ordered to bring the charter of 
the company with him. He replied that the charter was in 
New England. This was probably the first intimation the 
king had received that the powers and privileges granted 
the company in London had been transferred to the colony 
in Massachusetts Bay. Immediate steps were taken to se- 
cure a return of the charter, and the appointment of a gov- 
ernor-general to supervise and control the administration of 
public affairs in New England was strongly urged by the ofifi- 
cers of the crown. 

At a meeting held "at the Earl of Carlisle's Chamber at 
Whitehall," April 25, 1635, the Council for New England de- 
cided to relinquish all its rights and privileges under the 
charter granted November 3, 1620, upon condition that the 
territory, of which a large portion had already been conveyed 
to various individuals by its own corporate action, should be 
divided and distributed by lot among the members of the 

June seventh, the "Great Charter" was surrendered to the 
king, and the distribution of the land was made in accord- 
ance with the terms and condition of the act providing for its 

The council declared that it was compelled " because of 
many discouragements" to abandon the attempt to rule and 
govern New England, and attributed its ill success chiefly to 


the interference of the charter of the Massachusetts Com- 
pany, which, it alleged, had been "surreptitiously gotten" in 
derogation of the rights of Capt. Robert Gorges and others. 
A writ of quo ivarranto was issued in September, 1635, ^^id 
served on the members of the company in England. All 
but Cradock pleaded " not guilty " to the charges brought 
against them; but, in the opinion of the court they had made 
use of powers and privileges not granted them in the 
charter, and were therefore prohibited from intermeddling 
with its affairs. Cradock was defaulted, convicted of usurpa- 
tion, and the rights and liberties of the franchise were re- 
voked and restored to the king. 

While these proceedings were pending in the Privy Coun- 
cil and law courts of England, the town of Newbury was in- 
corporated by "the Great and General Court of Massachu- 
setts," and the settlement at Parker river began. 



Among the vessels detained in the river Thames by order 
of the king's Privy Council, February 14, 1633-4, was the 
ship " Mary and John," Robert Sayres, master. 

On the twenty-fourth and twenty-sixth of March following, 

William Moudey 
Thomas Swede 
Thomas Savery 
Phillip Fowler 
Robert Coker 
John Godfrey 
Nicholas Noyce 
Richard Littlehall 
John Whelyer 
Robert Newman 
Nicholas Easton 
Abraham Mussey 
Matthew Gillett 
John Mussev 
Thomas Parker 
John Spencer 
Henry Shorte 
John Newman 
Thomas Newman 

Henry Travers 
John Woodbridge 
Christopher Osgood 
John Bartlett 
William Savery 
George Browne 
Richard Browne 
William White 
W^illiam Clarke 
Stephen Jurden 
Richard Kent 
William I5allard 
William Franklin 
Thomas Cole 
James Noyce 
William Spencer 
Richard Kent, Jun 
Henry Lunt 
John Anthony 

whose names are found among the early settlers of New- 
bury, and others, took the oath of supremacy and allegiance 
to the king, and were allowed to sail in the ship for New 

They arrived at Boston in the month of May, 1634, and 
the Rev. Thomas Parker, with most of the persons named in 
the above list, with their families, to the number of about one 

* New England Genealogical and Historical Register, July, 1855, p. 265. 


hundred removed to Agawam (Ipswich), where they re- 
mained during the following winter. 

At the General Court held at Boston, May 14, 1634, 
deputies or representatives from eight towns in the colony 
participated in its proceedings. Previous to that date the 
laws were made and executed by the governor and his 
assistants without consultation or conference with the free- 
men ; but some controversy having arisen in regard to the 
abrogation of an order for the "killing of swine, etc.," 
Governor Winthrop consented to the election of a certain 
number of deputies annually from each town to aid and 
assist in the enactment of laws and the administration of 

Ipswich was not represented at the General Court held 
May 14, 1634; but at the session held at Newe Town 
(Cambridge), March 4, 1634-5, three persons claimed election 
as deputies from that town. Only one, however, was admitted 
to membership. 

Vpon a certificatt of 5 comissioners, chosen by the Court to con- 
sider of the elecon of the deputyes of Ipswich it did appeare to the 
Court that two of them viz : Mr Easton & Henry Shorte were vnduely 
chosen, whoe were forthwith dismissed : soe Mr John Spencer onely 
stands legally elected in the opinion of the Court.* 

The territory lying between Ipswich and the Merrimack 
river was well situated, and covered an area of more than 
thirty thousand acres of upland and marshland. In the sum- 
mer of 1634 it had been carefully examined by an agent sent 
over by " divers gentlemen of Scotland," who " wrote to know 
whether they might be freely suffered to exercise their pres- 
byterial government amongst us ; and it was answered affirm- 
atively that they might. "f 

In May of that year the Rev. Thomas Parker and his com- 
pany arrived in Boston ; and, in the month of June following, 
fourteen ships arrived there, bringing passengers and letters. 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., \t. 135. The persons named in the above certificate 
were among the first settlers of Newburi,'. 

t Chronicles of the Pilgrim Fathers, p. 403. 


We received letters from a godly preacher, Mr Levinston, a 
Scotchman in the north of Ireland, whereby he signified that there were 
many good Christians in those parts resolved to come hither, if they 
might receive satisfaction concerning some questions and propositions 
which they sent over.* 

September 25, 1634, the General Court ordered "that the 
Scottishe & Irishe gentlemen w^'' intends to come hither shall 
haue liberty to sitt doune in any place vpp Merrimacke Ryver, 
not ppossessed by any." f 

The company embarked for New England, "but, meeting 
with manifold crosses," abandoned the enterprise and returned 
home. Before the failure of the expedition was known, how- 
ever, the town of Ipswich, in the exercise of its authority over 
the unoccupied territory still under its control, made the 
following conditional grant : — 

December 29th 1634 Itt is consented unto that John Pirkins, junior, 
shall build a ware [fish trap] upon the river of Quasycung [now river 
Parker] and enjoy the profitts of itt, but in case a plantation shall there 
settle then he is to submitt himself unto such conditions, as shall by them 
be imposed. J 

The Rev. Thomas Parker and his friends from Wiltshire, 
England, remained in Ipswich until the following spring, 
when they applied to the General Court for liberty to settle 
on the Ouascacunquen river. 

Some of the chief of Ipswich desired leave to remove to Quasca- 
cunquen, to begin a plantation there which was granted them, and it 
was named Newberry. § 

May 6, 1635, the following orders were passed by the 
General Court : — 

Wessacucon is allowed by the Court to be a plantacbn & it is re- 
ferd to Mr Humfry, M>- Endicott, Capt Turner and Capt Traske or 
any three of them, to sett out the bounds of Ipswich & Wessacucon, 
or soe much thereof as they can & the name of the said plantacon is 
changed & hereafter to be called Neweberry. 

*Winthrop's History (edition 1853), vol. i., p. 160. 

t Massachusetts Colony Record, vol. i., p. 129. 

t See records of the town meeting held in Ipswich, December 29, 1634, 

§ Winthrop's History (edition, 1S53), vol. i., p. 191. 


Farther, it is ordered, that it shal be in the power of the Court to 
take order that the said plantacon shall receave a sufficient company of 
people to make a competent towne.* 

It is referd to Mr Humfry, M^ Endicott, Capt Turner & Capt 
Traske to sett out a fferme for M"" Dumer, aboute the falls of Neweberry, 
not exceeding the quantity of 500 acres, pvided also it be not piuditiall 
to Neweberry. f 

The territory laid out and incorporated as the town of 
Newbury was included in the grant made to Capt. John 
Mason, March 9, 162 1-2, by the Council for New England; 
and this territory was again assigned to him February 3, 
1634-5, just previous to the dissolution of the company and 
the surrender of its charter to the king. April 22, 1635, 
the grant was confirmed by the company ; and two deeds, of 
nearly the same tenor, were executed, conveying to Capt. 
John Mason and his heirs all that portion of the main land 
of New England " beginning from the Middle part Nahum- 
kege River & from thence to proceed Eastward along the 
sea Coast to Cape Ann & round about the same to Pischa- 
taqua harbour," etc. These conveyances were subsequently 
recorded in the Registry of Deeds, York County, Maine, 
book II., pp. 14-17.I 

Governor Winthrop, and the men associated with him in 
the administration of public affairs, were evidently anxious to 
extend the settlement of the colony to its extreme northern 
limit, in order that they might hold the disputed territory 
against all claimants under the Mason grant. Vigorous 
measures were taken to accomplish this result. Most of the 
passengers who came to New England in the ship " Mary 
and John " were induced to remove to Newbury early in the 
year 1635. Tradition asserts that they came by water from 
Ipswich, and landed on the north shore of the Ouascacunquen 

♦Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 146. The Indian name " Wessacucon " was 
sometimes spelled " Wessacumcon." In Winthrop's History of New England, quoted on page 
30, it was written "Quascacunquen." In the town records of Ipswich it was " Quasycung," as 
stated on the preceding page. On the map published in " New England's Prospect," by William 
Wood, in 1634, " Quascunqud River" is the name given to what is now known as Parker 

t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 146. 

J Certified copies of these conveyances may be found in the Prince Society Publications, 
"Captain John Mason,'' pp. 209-215. 



(now Parker) river, about two or three hundred rods below 
the bridge that connects the " Lower Green " with the 
" Great Neck " and the town of Rowley. They were soon 
joined by Henry Sewall, Richard and Stephen Dummer, 
and others, who were interested in stock-raising and actively 
engaged in the importation of sheep and cattle. 

June 3, 1635, ^wo Dutch ships, loaded with horses, heifers, 
and sheep, arrived at Boston ; and the same day the ship 
" James," three hundred tons burthen, arrived at the same 
place with cattle and passengers.* The last-named vessel 
sailed from Southampton, England, about the fifth of April, 
1635, and is said to have delivered her cargo in good order 
and condition. Among her passengers were 

Thomas Browne of Malford, 
Hercules Woodman " " 

Thomas Colman 
Anthony Morse 
William Morse 
Nicholas Batt 
John Knight 
Richard Knight 
Nicholas Holt 
John Emery 
Anthony Emery 
John Pike 
John Musselwhite 
t Anthony Thetcher 


" Devyes 
" Roms^y 


linen weaver, 


Langford laborer. 

Sarm (Salisbury) taylor. 

Most of the persons named in the above list came to New- 
bury soon after their arrival at Boston ; and, July 8, 1635, 

*Winthrop"s History (edition, 1853), vol. i., pp. igi, 192. 

t New England Genealogical and Historical Register, October, 1S60, p. 333. In a foot-note 
on page ig6, vol. i. of Winthrop's Histor>', Anthony Thaclier and Ms. Avery are said to 
have come to New England in the ship "James"; but in the list printed in the Genea- 
logical Register and quoted above, Mr. Avery's name does not appear. It is also stated that 
his baptismal name was John ; and in Book III., Part Second, Chap, ii., of Mather's " Mag- 
nalia," there is an account of " the death of Mr. John Avery." This is evidently an error. In 
the records of the General Court, vol. i., p. 154, under date of September i, 1635, he is called 
Mr. Joseph Aver\', and Mr. Anthony Thacher is appointed administrator of his estate. In the 
inventory of personal property signed by Mr. Tliacher, a few weeks later, " Joseph " is given as 
the baptismal name; and " Richard Kniglit, Nicholas Holt & John Knight, all three of New- 
burrj'," are mentioned as witnesses to a debt said to be due the estate from John Emery. 

Young's Chronicles of Massachu.setts, chap, .\xiii., p. 485, and Increase Mather's " Remarkable 
Providences," chap, i., give the details of the terrilile shipwreck at Cape .Ann, .August 14, 1635, 


the General Court ordered "that there shall be a convenient 
quantity of land sett out by Mr Dumer and M"" Bartholemewe, 
within the bounds of Newbury, for the keeping of the sheepe 
and cattell that came over in the Dutch shipps this yeare, 
and to belong to the owners of said cattell." * 

This joint stock-raising enterprise met with many discour- 
agements, and after a few months' trial was reluctantly aban- 
doned. November 3, 1635, the General Court passed the 
following order : — 

Whereas Thomas Coleman hath contracted with S'' Richard Salton- 
stall & dyvers other gentlein in England & here for the keepinge of cer- 
taine horses, bulls & sheepe in a gen'all stocke, for the space of three 
yeares, & nowe, since his comeing hither, hath bene exceeding necligent 
in discharging the trust coiiiitted to him, absenting himselfe for a longe 
tyme, from the said cattell, as also neclecting to provide howseing for 
them, by reason whereof many of said cattell are dead already, & more 
damage like dayly to accrue to the said gentlem, it is therefore ordered, 
that it shal be lawfuU for the said gentlein to devide the oates & hay 
provided for the said cattell amongst themselves & soe euery one to take 
care of their owne cattell for the winter.f 

At this time the colony of Massachusetts Bay was greatly 
disturbed by the mutilation or defacement of the national en- 
sign by the order of Capt. John Endicott. The Court of 
Assistants met at the house of Thomas Dudley, governor, No- 

which resulted in the loss of Mr. Avery, his wife, six children, and all who were on board the 
vessel, except Mr. Thacher and his wife. 

Mr. Avery was a minister, and cousin to Anthony Thacher, who was a tailor from Salisbury, 
England. They came to Newbury soon after the incorporation of the town ; but, being strongly 
urged to go to Marblehead, they embarked with their families at Ipswich in a small pinnace, and 
during a terrific storm were dashed upon the rocks, and the crew, with all the passengers except 
two, were drowned. The place where this catastrophe occurred was called " Thacher's Woe" (now 
Thacher's Island) and " Avery his Fall " (now Avery's Rock). The " Swan Song of Parson 
Avery," by John G. Whittier, describing the shipwreck and the storm, closes with these 

lines: — 

" There was wailing on the mainland, from the rocks of Marblehead; 
In the stricken church of Newbury the notes of prayer were read ; 
And long, by board and hearthstone, the living mourned the dead. 

" And still the fishers outbound, or scudding from the squall, 
With grave and reverent faces, the ancient tale recall. 
When they see the white waves breaking on the Rock of Avery's Fall." 

" March 9, 1636-7 Mr Anthony Thacher had granted him the small iland at the head of Cape 
Ann (vpon wch hee was p'served from shipwrack) as his pp inheritance." Massachusetts Colony 
Records, vol. i., p. 191. 

♦Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 149. tibid., p. 155. 


vember 27, 1634, " to advise about the defacing of the cross 
in the ensign at Salem." 

The magistrates agreed to write to Mr. Downing in Eng- 
land, expressing their disapprobation of the act and their pur- 
pose to punish the offenders, "with as much wariness as we 
might, being doubtful of the lawful use of the cross in an 
ensign." * 

January 19, 1634-5, ^^1 the ministers except M"" Ward of Ipswich, 
met at Boston, being requested by the governour and assistants, to 
consider of these two cases : 1 . What we ought to do if a general gov- 
ernour should be sent out of England ? 2. Whether it be lawful for us 
to carry the cross in our banners? In the first case, they all agreed, 
that, if a general governour were sent, we ought not to accept him, but 
defend our lawful possessions, (if we were able); otherwise to avoid or 
protract. For the matter of the cross, they were divided, and so de- 
ferred it to another meeting. f 

At a meeting of the General Court held at New Towne 
(Cambridge), March 4, 1634-5, 

M'' Endicott was called to answer for defacing the cross in the en- 
sign; but because the court could not agree about the thing, whether 
the ensigns should be laid by, in regard that many refuse to follow 
them, the whole cause was deferred till the next general court ; and the 
commissioners for military affairs gave order, in the meantime, that all 
the ensigns should be laid aside.J 

At the General Court held May 6, 1635, the town of New- 
bury was incorporated ; and the same day a committee was 
appointed " to consider the act of M"" Endicott, in defacing 
the cola's & to reporte to the Court howe farre they judge it 

Mr. John Spencer, a deputy from Ipswich, who was one of 
the first settlers of Newbury, served on this committee, 
which was composed of one member from each town, nine in 
all, and four additional elected by the Court of Assistants. 
This committee reported, after a few hours' deliberation, that 
a great offence had been committed, that it was done with- 

* Winthrop's History (edition 1853), vol. i., p. 179. 

t Winthrop's History, vol. i., p. 183. + Ibid., vol. i., p. 186. 

§ Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 145. 


out the advice or consent of the General Court, and that John 
Endicott should be admonished and disabled from holding 
public office for one year, " declining any heavier sentence 
because they were persuaded he did it out of tenderness of 
conscience, and not of any evil intent." * 

The following year Thomas Milward, mate of the ship 
"Hector," then in Boston harbor, denounced the colonists 
as rebels and traitors because they did not display the king's 
colors at the fort on Castle Island. For this offence he 
was seized and brought before the General Court and com- 
mitted for trial. But the next day, having signed the follow- 
ing certificate, he was released, and subsequently came to 
Newbury, where he lived for many years : — 

Whereas I, Thorn : Millard, have given out most false & repchfuU 
speaches against his maties loyall & faithfuU subjects dwelling in the 
Massachusetts Bay, in America, saying that they vi^ere all trayto^s & 
rebells & that I would afifirme so much before the Goveno"" himselfe, 
well expressions I do confes (& so desire may bee conceived) did 
pceed from the rashnes & distemper of my owne braine, wthout any 
just ground or cause so to thinke or speake, for wdi, my vnworthy & 
sinful! carriage being called in question, I do justly stand committed ; 
my humble & [ ] request yfore is y* vpon ys my free & ingenious re- 
cantation of ys my grosse failing it would please ye Govenor & ye rest of 
ye assistants to accept of this my humble submission, to passe by my 
fault & to dismisse me fro further trouble ; & ys, my free & volentary 
confession I subscribe wth my hand ys 9th June 1636. 

Thomas MiLLERD.f 

Notwithstanding this acknowledgment of submission on 
the part of Thomas Milward, it is evident that the governor 
and his Court of Assistants were somewhat uneasy for fear 
their conduct might give offence to the king. Some captains 
in the harbor of Boston being consulted upon the subject. 

They answered, that, in regard that they should be examined upon 
their return, what colors they saw here, they did desire that the king's 
colors might be spread at our fort. It was answered that we had not 
the king's colors. Thereupon two of them did offer them freely to us. 
We replied that for our part we were fully persuaded, that the cross in 
the ensign was idolatrous, and therefore might not set in our ensign ; 

* Winthrop's History, vol. i., p. i8q. t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 178. 


but because the fort was the king's and maintained in his name, we 
thought that his own colors might be spread there. So the governour 
accepted the colors of Capt. P'almer, and promised they should be 
set up at Castle Island.* 

During the summer of 1635, while the excitement caused 
by the defacing of the colors and the failure to re-elect 
Endicott, a member of the Court of Assistants, was at its 
height, the Avork of clearing and preparing the soil for culti- 
vation was prosecuted with undisturbed vigor in the settle- 
ment at Parker river, Newbury. House lots, planting lots, 
and meadow lots were granted and laid out according to the 
rule established in London by the company organized for the 
encouragement of emigration and the development of the re- 
sources of the colony in Massachusetts Bay. A house lot of 
four acres, with the right of pasturage, was assigned to the 
poorest settlers ; fifty acres were allotted to every person who 
paid for his own transportation to New England ; two hun- 
dred acres to every one contributing fifty pounds to the 
common stock ; and a larger or smaller number to other cash 
contributors in proportion to the amount invested by them. 
Dwelling-houses were erected, and a church organized (the 
tenth in the colony) "in the open air, under a tree" that 
stood on the north bank of the Parker river, at or near the 
Lower Green. The Rev. Thomas Parker was chosen pastor, 
and the Rev. James Noyes, teacher. Prudential men — after- 
ward called "the seven men" and "the selectmen" — were 
elected to attend to the ordinary business affairs of the town. 
The population steadily increased in numbers and improved, 
slowly, in worldly condition. Only two months after the in- 
corporation of the town it was called upon to assess and 
collect its proportion of a tax of two hundred pounds levied 
by the General Court, one-half of this tax to be paid at once, 
and the other half before the next meeting of the General 
Court. f 

Richard Dummer was a member of the Court of Assistants 
from Roxbury, and John Spencer was a deputy from Ipswich, 
at the time this tax was levied, July 8, 1635. The same day 

• Winthrop's History, vol. )., p. 224. t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 149. 


the General Court granted liberty " to M'' Dumer & ]\r 
Spencer to builcle a myll & a weire att the falls of Neweberry, 
to enioy the said myll & weire, with such preuilidges of 
ground & tymber as is expressed in an agreem^ betwixte them 
& the towne to enioy to them & their heires foreuer." * 

This mill was probably erected in 1636, although evidently 
not completed until two or three years later.f In 1637, 
Richard Dummer and John Spencer, with more than sixty 
other followers of Mrs. Anne Hutchinson and the Rev. John 
Wheelwright, were condemned and disarmed for holding 
erroneous religious opinions. Vexed and humiliated by this 
arbitrary act of the General Court, they decided to abandon 
their business enterprises in Newbury, and seek a more con- 
genial dwelling-place elsewhere. They evidently sailed for 
England at the first convenient opportunity. Mr. Spencer 
died in London previous to 1648. Mr. Dummer apparently 
returned to Newbury in 1638, bringing his wife and family. :|: 
He probably found it advisable to pursue this course in 
order to avoid great pecuniary loss, and thereafter seems to 
have suppressed his own personal views and opinions on 
religious matters so far as possible, and submitted quietly 
to the laws and orders passed and approved by the General 

He made an agreement with Edward Woodman, Edward 
Rawson, John, Knight, and Richard Brown that was entered 
upon the records of the town of Newbury, August 6, 1638, 
which reads as follows : — 

It is agreed wth M'' Richard Dummer of Newbury by the psons whose 
names are hereunto subscribed that in case M"" Dummer doe make his 

♦Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 149. t Winthrop's Historj', vol. :., p. 234. 

t Among the passengers in the ship " Bevis," 150 tons, from Southampton for New England, 
May, 1638, were 

" Richard Dumer of New England aged 40 
Alee Dumer " 35 

Thomas Dumer " 19 

Joane Dumer " 19 

Jane Dumer " 10 

Stephen Dumer Husbandman (probably) 29 
Dorotliee Dumer 6 ^ 

Ricliard Dumer 4 

Thomas Dumer 27 " 

— Massachusetts Historical Collections, Third Series, vol. x., p. 145. 


mill fitt to grynd corne & doe so maintayne the same, as also doe keepe 
a man to attend the grynding of corne, then they for their pts will send 
thither all the corne that they shall have ground ; & doe likewise pmise 
that all the rest of the Toune (if it lye in their power to p'cure the same) 
shall also bring their corne from tyme to tyme to be ground at the said 
mill ; and it is further agreed that (the 'fore menc'oned condic'on being 
observed by M"" Dummer) there shall not any other mill be erected wtinn 
the said Toune. 

The exact location of the meeting-house, built probably 
during the summer of 1635, is somewhat uncertain. It was 
probably erected on the triangular lot of land now known as 
the Lower Green, or, possibly, a hundred rods farther north, 
at or near the burying-place mentioned in the grant to John 
Emery May 18, 1647.* -^^ "^ events, the houses of the 
first settlers of Newbury were in that immediate vicinity ; and 
the General Court ordered, September 6, 1635, that "noe 
dwelling howse shalbee builte above halfe a myle from the 
meeting howse in any newe plantacon, granted att this Court, 
or hereafter to be granted, without leaue from the court, 
(except myll howses & fferme bowses of such as have their 
dwelling howses in some towne), Ipsw'^'^ Hingham, Newberry 
& Waymothe to be included in this order." f 

This law, though oppressive and annoying, was strictly en- 
forced until May 13, 1640, when it was repealed. 

The boundary line between Ipswich and Newbury was set- 
tled and agreed upon by special committees appointed for 
that purpose : — 

Sept. 3, 1635. John Winthrop Sen^ & John Humfry, Esq. are in- 
treated by the court to vewe the bounds of Ipswch & Neweberry, & to 
informe the nexte court howe they may conveniently be bounded. J 

March 3, 1635-6. It is referd to John Humfry, Esq & Capt Turner 
to sett out the bounds betwixte Salem & Ipswch & betwixte Ipswch & 
Newberry, before midsumer, nexte, as also to vewe & informe the nexte 
Gen'all Court if there may not be another towne conveniently setled be- 
twixte them ; & it is agreed, that the bounds of the said townes shall 
run sixe rnyles apeece into the country. § 

*See " Ould Newburj'," p. 24. 

t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 157. 

+ Ibid., vol. i., p. 159. § Ibid., vol. i., p. 167. 


The General Court also licensed Francis Plumer to keep an 
ordinary, and authorized '• M' Dumer to sweare a constable at 
Nevveberry." * At the same session, September 3, 1635, the 
General Court "ordered, that the high waves betwixte Ipsw'^'^ 
& Saugus & betwixte Ipsw*^'' & Neweberry, shalbe mended by 
the inhabitants of the townes, where they are, before the next 
p'ticular court." f 

A tax was also levied, to be paid the treasurer of the colony 
before the next session of the court. The amount assessed 

£ s d £ s d 

Newbury was 7. 10. 00 Waymothe 4. 00. 00 

Ipswch 14. 00. 00 Hingham 6. 00. 00 

Salem 16. 06. 00 Meadford 9. 15. 00 

Saugus II. 00. oc Boston J 25. 10. 00 

March 3, 1635-6, the General Court "ordered, that there 
shalbe three hundred pounds levyed out of the seu'all planta- 
cons for public uses." § 

Of this amount, Newbury was called upon to pay the sum 
of £\\ 5^-. ; Ipswich, ^25 ; Boston, ^37 \os. ; etc. § 

For the admistration of justice and the enforcement of the 
laws, civil and criminal courts were established in the colony ; 
and March 3, 1635-6, the General Court "ordered that 
there shall be ffoure courts kept eu''y quarter : i. att Ipsw'-'^ 
to which Neweberry shall belonge ; 2. att Salem, to w'='' 
Saugus shall belonge; 3. att Newe Towne to w^'' Charlton, 
Concord, Meadford & Waterton shall belonge ; 4th. att 
Boston to w'^'' Rocksbury, Dorchesf, Weymothe & Hingham 
shall belonge." || 

The governor, deputy governor, and members of the Court 
of Assistants were elected by the "freemen " of the colony, 
who were required by law to meet, annually, in the month of 
May at the General Court for that purpose. Those living in 
towns remote from Boston finding this law burdensome and 
oppressive, the court ordered March 3, 1635-6, 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 159. t Ibid., vol. i., p. 160. 

t Ibid., vol. i., p. 158. § Ibid., vol. i., p. 164. || Ibid., vol. i , p. 169. 


That the Genall Court, to be holden in May nexte, for the eleccon of 
Magistrates &c shalbe holden att Boston, & that the tovvnes of Ipswch, 
Neweberry, Salem, Saugus, Waymothe, & Hinghain shall have libertie 
to stay soe many of their ffreemen att home, for the safty of their towne, 
as they judge needeful & that the saide ffreemen that are appoyneted by 
the towne to stay att home shall have liberty for this court to send their 
voices by pxy.* 

At the General Court held in Boston May 25, 1636, Sir 
Henry Vane was elected governor, and John Winthrop, deputy 

The ffreemen of Neweberry are ffined vid a peece for chusing & 
sending to this court a deputy wch was noe ffreeman. f 

" M-- Dudley, M-" Dufher, M"" Bradstreete, M-" Saltonstall & 
M'' Spencer" were appointed magistrates for the county 
courts for Ipswich and Newbury, and " M"" Dumer " was 
chosen treasurer of the colony " for this year nexte ensueing 
& till a newe be chosen." \ 

May 17, 1637, John Winthrop was elected governor, and 
Thomas Dudley, deputy governor. Among those who were 
made freemen at Newe Towne (Cambridge) that day, and 
took the oath established by order of the General Court, were : 

Edmond Marshall John Bartlet 

Henry Seawall Junior Robert Pike 

Nicholas Holt Thomas Coleman 

Nicholas Noise John Cheney 

Archelaus Woodman Thomas Parker 
James Browne 

In the year 1635, the Election was held at Cambridge: so twas again 
May 17, 1637, upon the Plain in the open Aer. Gov Vane was there, 
and had the Mortification to see the excellent John Winthrop preferd 
before him, and chosen Governour (who had been Governour 1 630-1 -2- 
3). Indeed Mr Vane seemed to stand so hard for being chosen again, as 
to endeavor to confound and frustrat the whole business of the Election, 
rather than that he himself should fail of being chosen. There was a 
great struggle, he being the principal Magistrate, for managing the Elec- 
tion. My father has told me many a time that he and others went on 
foot from Newbury to Cambridge, fourty miles, on purpose to be made 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 1O6. 

t Ibid., vol. i., p. 174. + Ibid., vol. i., p. 175. 


free, and help to strengthen Govr Winthrop's Party. And I find his 
name in the Record accordingly.* 


In order to hasten the settlement of the territory supposed 
to be withm the jurisdiction of the colony of Massachusetts 
bay, the General Court ordered, March 3, 1635-6, "that there 
shalbe a plantacon settled att Wenicunnett & that M"" DuiTier 
& M"" John Spencer shall have power to presse men to builde 
a howse forthw"' in some convenient place ; & what money 
they lay out aboute it shalbe repaide them againe out of the 
treasury, or by those that come to inhabite there." f 

" Winnacunnett " was afterwards called Hampton ; | and the 
house ordered by the General Court was probably erected not 
far from the boundary line that now divides the towns of Sea- 
brook and Hampton Falls, N. H. It was evidently on the path 
or way leading from Newbury to Piscataqua (now Portsmouth), 
and for many years was known as the "Bound House," 
although it was undoubtedly intended as a mark of possession, 
rather than of limit, by the colony of Massachusetts bay. 

At a later date, however, when the colony was urging its 
claim to a large portion of the territory now included in the 
state of Maine, Robert Carr, Samuel Mavericke, and George 
Cartwright, commissioners from King Charles II., replied, 
July 16, 1665, in answer to this claim : — 

The fixing, nameing, and owning a Bound house 3 large miles north 
from Merrimack River about 1 2 yeares together, by the corporation of 
Massachusetts (after the fixing of which Bound house many other 
patents were granted by the Council of Plymouth & by the King,) 
must necessarily determine the limits of the said Corporation, and 
answer all the false and fraudulent expositions of their Charter. § 

The disputed claim was finally settled by an act of Parlia- 
ment creating the Province of New Hampshire, and restrain- 
ing the colony of Massachusetts from exercising its authority 
over the towns of Portsmouth, Dover, Exeter, and Hampton. 

* Samuel Sewall's Letter Book, vol. i., p. 295. 

t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 167. + September 4, 1639. 

§ Provincial Papers of New Hampshire, vol. i., p. 249. 


March 9, 1636-7, the Rev. John Wheelwright was adjudged 
"guilty of contempt and sedition " by the General Court ; and, 
November 2, 1637, he was disfranchised and ordered to de- 
part beyond the jurisdiction of the colony within fourteen 
days. The same day the inhabitants of Newbury received 
a conditional grant of Winnacunnet, and those who removed 
there within one year were to have "three years imunity," 
beginning March i, 1637-8.* Mr. Wheelwright, after his 
banishment, "settled just beyond the Bound House," and sub- 
sequently bought of the Indians a tract of land thirty miles 
square, extending from three miles north of the Merrimack 
to the Piscataqua river, and including Winnacunnet. 

Richard Dummer, John Spencer, and Nicholas Easton 
were supposed to sympathize with the Rev. John Wheelwright 
in his religious opinions ; and, November 20, 1637, they were 
ordered to deliver up to the constable of Newbury their 
"guns, swords, pistols, powder, shot, and match." Soon 
after the promulgation of this order, Mr. Dummer and Mr. 
Spencer went to England ; but Mr. Easton evidently remained 
in Newbury, although he had asked and obtained liberty to 
remove beyond the jurisdiction of the colony. March 12, 
1637-8, the General Court, having information that he and 
others who had been disarmed intended only to withdraw 
themselves for a season, in order to avoid the censure of the 
court, ordered them to depart according to the license given 

Mr. Easton had probably been employed as architect or 
superintendent of the workmen "pressed" by Mr. Dummer 
and Mr. Spencer to build the house at Wiiinacunnett, and 
was doubtless well acquainted with the agricultural resources 
and advantages of that locality. f W^hen he found, by order 
of the General Court, that he must remove from Newbury, he 
decided to go to Winnacunnet and settle there. His plans, 
however, were frustrated by the adoption of a peremptory 
order, May 16, 1638, "that the magistrates of Ipswich shall 
have power to discharge M"" Eason & M' Geoffry fro'" build- 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 205. 

t Belknap's History of New Hampshire, vol. i., p. 38. 


ing at Winnacunnct & if they will not take warning, to cleare 
the place of y"\" * 

Whether the magistrates of Ipswich were obliged to use 
force in order to " cleare the place of ym " is unknown ; but 
it is certain that Nicholas Easton was soon after in Rhode 
Island, where he resided until his death. He was governor 
of that state in the years 1672 and 1673. 

Although the inhabitants of Newbury were granted in 
November, 1637, the privilege of removing to Winnacunnet, 
no effort was made on their part to obtain possession of that 
territory until the autumn of 1638, when a petition signed 
by a number of Newbury men was presented to the General 
Court for confirmation of the grant and for liberty to begin 
a settlement there. At the session held in Boston, Sep- 
tember 6, 1638, 

The Court grants that the petitionesr Mr Steven Bachiler, Christo : 
Hussey, Mary Hussey, vidua, Thorn: Crumvvell, Samuel SkuUard, John 
Osgood, John Crosse, Samu : Greenfield, John Molton, Tho : Molton, 
Willi: Eston, Willi: Palmer, Willi: Sergant, Richrd Swayne, Willi: 
Sanders, Robrt Tucke, wt'i diverse others shall have liberty to begin a 
plantation at Winnacunnet: & M^ Bradstreete, Mr Winthrope Junior 
& Mr Rawson, or some two of them, are to assist in setting out the 
place of the towne, & apportioning the severall quantity of land to each 
man, so as nothing shalbee done therein wt'^out alowance from them, 
or 2 of them.f 

Some of the petitioners, with others whose names are un- 
known, availed themselves of the privileges granted by this 
order, and during the winter and spring removed thither in 
such numbers that the General Court acknowledged and de- 
clared, June 6, 1639, 

Winnacunnet is alowed to bee a towne, & hath power to choose a 
cunstable & other officers, & make orders for the well ordering of 
their towne, & to send a deputy to the Court, & Christo : Hussey, 
Willi : Palmer & Rich'd Swaine to end all businesses vnder 2osiis for 
this yeare ; the laying out of land to bee by those expressed in the 
former order.f 

Edward Rawson, one of the committee appointed to lay 
out the land at Winnacunnet, was a deputy to the General 

•Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 231. 

t Ibid., vol. i., p. 236. + Ibid., vol. i., p. 259 


Court from Newbury. The Rev. Stephen Bachiler had been 
a minister at Saugus (Lynn) for several years ; but, in conse- 
quence of some contention among the people there, he re- 
moved to Ipswich, then to Cape Cod, and then to Newbury, 
where he was living in 1638. His son-in-law, Christopher 
Hussey, probably came to Newbury twelve months earlier. 
After the incorporation of Winnacunnet Mr. Bachiler and 
Mr. Hussey disposed of their real estate in Newbury, and ac- 
knowledgment of the same was entered upon the records as 
follows : — ■ 

It was acknowledged by Mr Richard Dufrier and William Wake- 
field * being authorized by Mr Stephen Bachelour and Christopher 
Hussey to have sold both theyr house Lotts and arable lands, meadows, 
marsh, orchard, fences, priviledges & conions and Whatsoever Rights 
they had to any Lands in the Towne of Newbury for and in consideration 
of six score pounds already paid. I say they did acknowledge to have 
full power to sell it unto Mr John Oliver of Newbury to remaine abide 
and continue to him and his heyrs forever June 5th 1639 as by a bill of 
sale doth appeer bearing the same date and subscribed by Mr Stephen 
Bachelour & William Wakefield. f 

Witness Edward Woodman & Richard Lowle. 

The path from Newbury through the woods of Winna- 
cunnet to the settlement on the Piscataqua river was the 
scene of a terrible crime. Soon after the "Bound House" 
was built in 1636, the General Court ordered the constable 
of Newbury, June 6, 1637, to arrest William Schooler and 
bring him to Ipswich court. William Schooler was a vintner 
from London, 

He lived with another fellow at Merrimack, and there being a poor 
maid at Newbury, one Mary Sholy, who had desired a guide to go with 
her to her master, who dwelt at Pascataquack, he inquired her out, and 
agreed for fifteen shillings, to conduct her thither. But, two days after, 
he returned and, being asked why he returned so soon, he answered that 
he had carried her within two or three miles of the place and then she 
would go no farther. Being examined for this by the magistrates, at 
Ipswich, and no proof found against him he was let go. J 

* The first town clerk of Winnacunnet. 

t Newbury Proprietors' Records, vol. i., p. 48. 

X Wiiitlirop's History, vol. i., p. 289. 


Nearly six months after his release the body of Mary 
Sholy was found by an Indian in a thick swamp ten miles 
from the place where he said he had left her. He was again 
arrested, and arraigned on the charge of murder. He told 
many contradictory stories. " He said he went by Winicowett 
House, which he said stood on the contrary side of the way." 
He denounced his accusers, and solemnly declared his inno- 
cence ; but the *' Quarter Courte," held at Boston on the 
nineteenth day of September, 1637, adjudged him guilty.* 
He was hung at Boston September 28, 1637. "Yet there 
were some ministers, and others, who thought the evidence 
not sufficient to take away his life." f 


The records of the town of Newbury previous to the year 
1637 are exceedingly meagre and incomplete. Many leaves 
are missing from the first volume ; and on the pages that 
remain votes and grants are recorded without order, and 
often without dates. The day of the week or month is 
sometimes given when figures used to designate the calen- 
dar year are wanting. A careful inspection of these entries 
is necessary in order to determine, even approximately, when 
the recorded events took place. After the election of Edward 
Rawson as town clerk in 1638, the records are fuller and 
more comprehensive, and dates are given with more regularity 
and exactness. For many years the books containing these 
valuable and important records were neglected and shamefully 
defaced, but recently they have been repaired and rebound 
under the direction of the selectmen of Newbury. 

March 3, 1635-6, the management of local affairs in the 
various towns of the colony was intrusted to the freemen of 
the several towns by the General Court. They were autho- 
rized to dispose of land and wood belonging to the town ; to 
make orders not repugnant to the laws and orders established 
by the General Court ; to impose fines and penalties, not ex- 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 202. 
t Winthrop's History, vol. i., p. 290. 


ceeding twenty shillings, for disobedience of those orders ; 
and to choose constables, surveyors of highways, and other 
officers necessary for the supervision of town affairs. 

John Woodbridge was undoubtedly the first town clerk of 
Newbury ; but there is no record of his election, and his sig- 
nature is not affixed to the votes and grants that are supposed 
to be in his handwriting. He was, however, legally elected 
to the office previous to November 30, 1636, and was super- 
seded by Edward Rawson in 1638, as appears by the follow- 
ing votes : — 

It is likewise agreed that the order made the 3otii of the 9th mo 
1636 that John Woodbridge should bee freed from all rates and pay- 
ments while he is the towne Register, is now by his owne free consent 
repealed, the annuall stipend of 5-^ remaining still according to former 

Nov. 19, 1638. It was ordered that Edward Rawson shall supply the 
place of Mr Woodbridge & be the publicke Notary and Register for 
the towne of Newbury & whilst he so remains to be allowed by the 
towne after the rate of ^5 per annum for his paynes. * 

In order to avoid calling the freemen together on unimpor- 
tant occasions, "seven men" were chosen or selected to at- 
tend to the ordinary business affairs of the town. These 
"seven men," or selectmen, as they are now called, were 
elected quarterly, and were required to render an account of 
their service to the freemen of the town once in three 
months. "On the 8"^ day of the 8*'^ month" [1637.?] the 
seven men previously elected to manage the affairs of the 
town made a report which was accepted and approved. 

It was likewise desired by the generall consent that the same persons, 
to witt, Edward Woodman, Jo. Woodbridge, Henry Short, Christopher 
Hussey, Richard Kent, Richard Browne, & Richard Knight, who were 
chosen by papers to perform the same service for one quarter longer & 
to labor in the case according to what ye Lord shall direct, to do ac- 
cording to what is prescribed.* 

"The 5"" of the 1 1^'^ mo " [1637 '>'] the whole body of free- 
men met, and examined the accounts of the seven men " from 
the 8"' of the 8^"^ mo," and approved the same. 

*■ Town of Newburj' Records, vol. i. 


Edward Woodman, Jo : Woodbridge, Hen: Short, Rich. Kent, Rich. 
Browne, William Moody & Jo: Pike, Jun. were chosen by papers & de- 
sired to manage the towne affairs for one whole quarter & till new be 
chosen, & to do their endeavors according to what is prescribed.* 

April 6, 163S. The towne being mett together did freely consent to 
the acts made & registered the last quarter & the seven men were dis- 

On the same day, M"" Rawson, Mr Woodman, Jo : Woodbridge, 
Henry Short, Jo : Knight, Rich. Knight & Rich. Browne were chosen 
& deputed by the towne, for one whole quarter, & till new be chosen.* 

July 6, 1638. It is ordered for the present that there shall bee but 
iive men deputed to the publick manageing of the towne busynesses for 
this quarter next ensuing. 

Mr Woodman, Mr Rawson, Abrah : Toppin, Rich : Browne, & John 
Knight were chosen for one whole quarter & till new bee chosen.* 

Subsequently, however, six and sometimes eight men were 
elected to manage the business affairs of the town ; but at a 
still later date the number was reduced to three, and the 
term of service lengthened from three months " to one whole 

The earliest records relating to constables, surveyors of 
highways, and lot layers are as follows : — 

April 19, 1638. John Knight & James Browne were chosen con- 
stables for one whole yeere & till new bee chosen & Rich. Browne the 
last constable is discharged.* 

It was likewise ordered that the constables for the time being shall 
have halfe their rates abated, in consideration of their paines.* 

John Baker & Nicholas Holt were chosen surveyors of the high- 
wayes for one whole yeere & till new bee chosen & Henry Shorte is dis- 

April 21, 1638. It is ordered that all land all ready granted shall 
be laid out about the midst of the next mo. May, begining the i6«h 
day of the say'd mo & so continuing till it be done. And that all the 
seven men shall goe along with the lotters for advice.* 

July 23, 1638. Henry Short & Rich. Kent were released from 
being lott layers.* 

*Town of Newbury Records, vol. i. 


The towne hath appoynted Rich. Knight & Thomas Coleman to be 
lott layers in their roomes to lay out lands & to attend upon the same 
for any man that hath a lawful grant of land, upon 3 days warning.* 

Dec. 22, 1645. Thomas Coleman having taken a farme so that he 
cannot attend to lay out lotts, John Pemberton was appointed lott layer 
in his roome and to joyne with Richard Knight and to have four pence 
per acre and what they are not paid for the towne is to see them satisfyed 
for, the legall means being first used to obtayne it. * 


In October [1637?], Richard Singleterry, William Palmer, 
John Moulton, William Easton, Thomas Moulton, Nicholas 
Busbee, and Abraham Toppan were received as inhabitants 
of the town of Newbury. 

Abraham Toppan being licensed by John Endicott, esqr. to live in 
this jurisdiction was received into the towne of Newberry as an inhabi- 
tant thereof and hath heere promised under his hand to be subject to 
any lawful order, that shall be made by the towne.* 

Abraham Toppan. 

It was ordered in a lawfuU meeting November the 5tli [1637] that who 
soeuer is admitted into the towne of Newberry as an inhabitant thereof 
shall have the consent & approbation of the body of the ffreemen of the 
sayd towne.* 

A written obligation, similar to the one printed above was 
signed by each person receiving the approbation of the free- 
men, and entered upon the records of the town. 


For several years after the incorporation of the town the 
freeholders and inhabitants were accustomed to assemble as 
often as once in three months for the transaction of public 
business, and every person entitled to vote was expected to be 
present at the time and place appointed. 

February 24, 1637-8. It was voted that Thomas Cromwell, Samuel 
Scullard, John Pike, Robert Pike and Nicholas Holt, are fined two 
shillings and sixpence apiece for being absent from towne meeting at 
eight o'clock in the morning, having due and fitt warning.* 

*To\vn of Newburj' Records, vol. i. 


April 21, 1638. Henry Short, John Cheney, Francis Plumer, Nicho- 
las Noyes and Nicholas Holt are fined two shillings and sixpence apiece 
for being absent from the tovvne meeting, having lawful warning. * 

ffrancis Plumer & Jo : Cheney having sufficient excuse for their ab- 
sence had their fines remitted.* 

Rules were adopted, providing for the prompt and orderly- 
transaction of business ; and those who neglected or violated 
these rules were liable to a fine. Every freeholder speaking 
in town meeting was required to stand up, take off his hat, 
address the moderator in respectful language, and resume his 
seat again at the close of his speech. No one, unless ex- 
cused by special vote, could leave the meeting until the busi- 
ness for which it was called together was completed and the 
meeting adjourned. 

May 5, 1638. It is ordered that John Pike shall pay two shillings and 
sixpence for departing from the meeting without leave and contemptu- 
ously. * 

Notwithstanding the fines and penalties imposed, there 
seems to have been considerable confusion at several subse- 
quent meetings, which led to the adoption of the following 
order, July 6, 1638: — 

Whereas there hath bin notice taken of much disorder in publick 
towne meeting by reason of divers speaking at one and the same time, 
some walking up and downe, some absent, and divers other miscarriages, 
it is henceforth ordered that if any person shall offend against any 
order prescribed in this case there shall be exact notice of such offence 
in this respect, and hee shall be censured accordingly.* 

April 27, 1648. At a general meeting of the freemen of the towne it 
was ordered that from henceforth from yeare to yeare the meeting for 
the choyse of towne officers shall be upon the first Monday in March 
upon publick warneing. * 


For the consideration and settlement of questions arising 
from the levying of taxes, the granting of house lots, the 

* Town of Newburj' Records, vol. i. 


building of fences, and the appointment of keepers of sheep 
and cattle, frequent meetings were held by the "seven men," 
and the votes passed or decisions agreed upon were entered 
upon the records and approved in the margin by a majority 
of those who were present, the minority, in matters of im- 
portance, recording their dissent. Uncertainty in regard to 
the time when and place where these meetings were to be 
held occasioned considerable inconvenience, and led to the 
adoption of the following order, December 21 [1637?], ^-P" 
proved by " Edward V/oodman, Jo : Woodbridge, Hen : Short, 
Richard Kent, Richard Browne, and Richard Knight" : — 

For the better ordering of all towne affaires it is thought that certain 
times & places of meeting should be appoynted which may be pub- 
lickly knowne to the end that not only those to whom the charge of 
towne affairs is committed may make their constant & careful attend- 
ance but likewise that any other that hath any occasion of business with 
the towne may know where & when to make their desires knowne. 
And for the present it is agreed that there shall be a constant meeting 
kept (till further order be taken) everj- second Thursday at Henry Short's 
house, beginning at 8 of the clock in the morning & so to be continued 
as the times & seasons shall require. And for the more orderly & con- 
siderate proceeding it was likewise ordered that what things are pro- 
posed any one meeting day shall not ordinarily be answered till the 
next meeting unless in cases of some moment or in cases that require 
speedy answer.* 


The appropriation of money, and the assessment of taxes, 
frequently led to prolonged controversies relating to ques- 
tions of law and equity. In order to secure an impartial and 
just distribution of the burdens of taxation, the inhabitants 
of Newbury voted in the month of October, 1637, "That 
from henceforth when there is any towne rate or country 
rate to be made that all the men that are deputed by the 
towne to manage all other publick affairs of the towne shall 
have a hand in it." * 

On the twentieth day of November following, the General 
Court passed the following order : — 

*Town of Newbury Records, vol. i. 


Wliereas it appeareth vnto this Court that the inhabitants of the towne 
of Neweberry are indebted to diverse psons neare the sume of 60^, 
wch hath bene expended vpon publike & needfull occations for the benefit 
of all such as do or shall inhabite there, as buildinoj of houses for their 
minisfs, and whereas such as are of the church there, are not able to 
beare the whole charge, & the rest of the inhabitants there do or ma}' 
enjoy equall benefit thereof w'h them, yet they do refuse, against all 
right & justice, to contribute wti> them, it is therefore ordered, that the 
freemen of the said towne, or such of them as vpon publicke notice 
shall assemble for that end, or the greater number of them, shall raise 
the said sume of 60^, by an equall & pportionable rate of every inhabi- 
tant there, haveing respect both to lands & other personall estate, as 
well of such as are absent as of those that are dwelling there psent &. 
for default of payment shall have povv to levy the same by distres & 
sale thereof by such person as they shall appoint; & the same, being so 
collected, shall satisfy their said debts & if any remainder bee, the 
same to bee implied vpon other occations of the towne.* 

At a meeting of the inhabitants of the town of Newbury, 
held April 21, 1638, it was ordered 

That every man within the towne shall, vpon warning given or left at 
their houses, bring in the value of their estates to Jo : Knight, constable, 
on Tuesday next by eight o'clock in the morning on the penalty of 2s 6d 
apeice for default herein, to the intent that those who make the rate may 
have cleare [ ] & ground in making the same.f 

It is likewise ordered that all accounts betweene, & fines which are 
formerly not brought in by the constable and others shall be brought 
in to John Woodbridge & Richard Knight at Hen : Shorts house halfe 
an houre by sunn the second day of the next weeke on the several 
penaltyes formerly mentioned & imposed the lo''' of the fifth month. \ 

May 13, 1640, the General Court levied a tax of ^1,200 
on all the towns in the colony : of this amount Newbury was 
called upon to pay ^^65. "And it was ordered ; that in pay- 
ment silver plate should passe at 5^ the ounce ; good ould 
Indian corne, growing heare, being clean & marchantable, at 
5^ the bushell ; sumer wheate at 7^ the bushell ; rye at 6 sh^ 
the bushell." \ " M"^ Rawson, M"" Woodman & Goodm Haule " 
were appointed a committee to appraise the cattle, horses, 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 216. fTown of Newbury Records, vol. i. 
t Massacluisetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 294. 


hogs, and goats in Newbury, and were ordered " to valewe 
them under their worth rather than above their worth." * 


In order to protect the growing crops of hay and grain 
from the intrusion of horses and cattle 

It was agreed [February 24, 1636/7] that all generall ffences about 
the house lotts shall be made by the last day of March on the penalty 
of 5s for each default provided that every ones portion shall be layd out 
& bounded by stakes by men appoynted for this purpose in. convenient 

It was likewise agreed that Wm Moody, James Browne, Nic. Holt, 
ffrancis Plummer, Na Noyse shall lay out all the generall fences in the 
towne that are to be made, as likewise tenn rod betweene man & man, 
for garden plotts, this to be done by the 5th of March on the penalty of 
5s apeice.f 

Octob 16, 1637 Wee whose names are heere vnderwritten have taken 
account of the fines for defect of ffences of Richard Browne Jo : Knight 
& Jo : Pike and wee find it thus. That the men heere vnderwritten 
have promised vnder their hands to pay according as is sett downe for 
defect of fences when they shall be called on for it viz : f 

Nic. Batt 


1 0.0 

Anth. Morse 



ffran. Plumer 



Wm Morse 



Ja : Rawlins 


1 0.0 

Mr Hussey 



Jo : Pike. Jun. 



Anth. Short 



Ja : Browne 



Hen Lunt 



Arch. Woodman 



Geor. Browne 



Rich Knight 



Rich. Browne 



February 23, 1641/2 By the Generall consent of all the ffreemen the 
stinting of the Cofnons was Referred to Henry Short, M"" [Edward] 
Woodman, Edward Rawson, Thomas Hale & Mr [John] Woodbridge 
according to their best judgments & discretions. % 

On the twelfth day of March they made the following 
report : — 

We whose names are heer underwritten being appoynted by the ffree 
men to proportion to ever3M-nan his severall and particular right in all the 

•Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 294. tTown of Newburj' Records, vol. i. 
+ Newbury Proprietors' Records, vol. i., p. 2. 



Towns conions according to the full power and authority committed to 
us in the behalf do order & determine as followeth : 

1 That the severall numbers of pastures heerafter expressed shall 
lye and be perpetualy to the sd persons to whom they are allowed as 
theyre own propper & due right and that it shall not be in the liberty 
or power of the ffreemen to alter or take away any mans right in the 
cofnons according to the stint heer under because it is his propriety 
& Inheritance. 

2 That no person or persons whatsoever not expressed in there 
stint hath or shall have any propriety in the Comons in p^sent or here- 
after but what he shall gett by purchase or some other way legally 

3 That all the comons wthin the limets of the Towne shall be 
equally divided vnto three severall parts and that the same number of 
cattell that are allowed in the stint of the cows & oxen shall be allowed 
in the heifer comon & a third like quantity of young cattell in the 
cofnon above Mi" Rawson farme.* 


Mr Richard Dumer 


Joseph Carter 


Mr Sewall Senr 


Nicholas Holt 


Mr Clark 


Mr Edward Rawson 


Mr Cutting 


Mr John Woodbridge 


Nicholas Noyes 


Mr John Spencer 


Richard Badger 


Richard Browne 


Richard Kent Jun 


Stephen Dumer 


Stephen Kent 


John Pike Jun 


j — John Merrill 


Thomas Smith 


John Kelly 


Richard Bardet 


John Poore 


John Bartlet 


John F^ry 


William Titcomb 


Abel Huse 


Nicholas Batt 


Daniel Thirston 


Robert Coker 


the ffery lot 


William White 


John Goff 


Henry Palmer 


Thomas Browne 


William Palmer 


Gyles Abott 


ffrancis Plumer 


William Ilsey 


Abraham Toppan 


Anthony Somerby 


Thomas Davis 


Richard Fitts 


Thomas Coleman 


Richard Littlehale 


George Browne 


Archelaus Woodman 


Jno Pike Sen 


Edward Woodman 


Widdow Stevens 


*To%vii ol Nfwliiiry Proprietors' Records, vol. i., p. 2. 



Henry Lunt 


William ffrankling 


James Browne 


Lewis & Mattox 


Percivall Lowle 


Mr Miller 

Nathaniel Wier 


John Swett 

John Knight 


The Towne House 


Joseph Peasley 


Giles Badger 


Anthony Morse 


Edmund Greenleaf 


William Morse 


Thomas Blumfield 


Henry Rolfe 


Mrs Oliver 

1 1 



John Lowle 


Walter Allen 


Anthony Short 


Thomas Silver 


John Hutchins 


Thomas Cromwell 


John Cheney 


Samuel Scullard 


John Stephens 


Richard Kent Sen 


Richard Knight 


John Emery 


Henry Short 


Henry Travers 


Thomas Hale 


Thomas Dow 


Mr James Noyes 


William Barr 


Mr Thomas Parker 


John Osgood 


John Pemberton 


William Moody 


to lye at the Towns appoynt- 

Nathanile Badger 


mnt for them that be 

John Bond 


schoolmasters successively 


John Woodbridge 

Thomas Hale 

Henry Short 

Memorandum that March 12, 1641 the orders above written and the 
proportion of pasturing allowed to every one as is above expressed were 
publiquely & distinctly read to the General Body of the ffreemen who 
generally by their vote did confirm the same and further wth the consent 
of sd persons deputed did order as followeth : 

1 That whosoever shall at any time transgress this order by putting 
any of his cattell in any or either of those comons more than is here 
mentioned as due to him or that he shall make sufficiently evident to 
have lawfully purchased or otherwise legally obtained from any which 
hath due right according as is expressed shall forfeit twenty shillings 
for every Beast that by the Hay ward of the Towne shall be found go- 
ing in any of those comons and by him to be levied on the goods 

of every such offender by the Constable for the use of the Towne. 

2 The execution of this stint is stayed till the major part of the 
freemen shall see cause to put it in use. 

3 That no man shall under any pretense or colour whatsoever re- 
ceive any cattell into the Towne or keep any mans in the Towne that 


hath no right in the cofiion, to stock the comon so much as that the 
Towne should be forced to make use of the stint provided this relate 
not to cattail which any one shall Buy or Hyre out of the Towne for his 
owne necessary use & imployment. 

A large tract of land was also set apart for the pasturage 
of sheep. Keepers were appointed to look after the cattle 
and sheep, and enforce the rule made and adopted for the 
"stinting of the commons." 

Nicholas Batt, who came to New England in the ship 
"James" from Southampton in April, 1635, was keeper of 
the herd of cows from March 16 to November 16, 1638, at 
a salary of ^18, "to be paid partly in money and partly in 
corn at 4'' 6'^ per bushel provided he is to keepe them but one 
Lord's day & the towne two," * and William Morse, who was 
also a passenger in the same ship, was keeper of the herd of 
sheep and goats. 


March 12, 1637-8, the General Court ordered the freemen 
of every town to make a list of laws necessary for the protec- 
tion of life and property in the colony of Massachusetts Bay, 
and send a copy of the same to the governor and council, to 
be presented to the General Court for approval or rejection, 
"as the Court shall adjudge." f 

April 6, 1638 Mr Rawson & Jo: Woodbridge were deputed by the 
towne to labour to compile a body of laws & present them to the towne 
that they may be presented to the Governmt according to order of 
Court. t 

The General Court also provided, March 3, 1635-6, that 
any person building a house, without permission, in any town 
in the colony, "the inhabitants of the said towne shall have 
power to demolishe the said howses & remove the p'sons." * 
The following order, adopted and approved August 6, 1638, 
by Edward Woodman, Edward Rawson, John Knight, and 
Richard Brown, in their official capacity as executive officers 

*Town of Newbury Records, vol. i. 

t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. i6S. + Ibid., vol. i., p. 222. 


of the town, seems to indicate that the provisions of this law 
were partially, if not rigorously, enforced within the limits of 
Newbury : — 

It was agreed that Edward Rawson Rich. Browne & John Knight 
shall goe and, according to former agreement which the towne had 
with Thomas Cromwell, take possession of the half acker whereon he 
hath builded a cowe house without their leave.* 

March 9, 1636-7, the General Court ordered, as a precau- 
tionary measure against danger from the attacks of Indians, 
" that the military ofificers in every towne shall pvide that 
watches bee dewly kept in places most fit for comon safetie," and 
at the same court Mr. John Spencer was appointed captain for 
the town of Newbury. f At a meeting held by the freemen 
of Newbury subsequently to the adoption of this order, the 
following vote was passed : — 

Itt is agreed and appoynted that there shall be a walk of sixteen foott 
broad on the topp of the great hill from one end to the other and a way 
to great point of fower foott broad through Stephen Kent his lott.* 

It is uncertain when this walk " on the topp of the great 
hill " was decided upon, as neither the day of the month nor 
of the year is given m the record above quoted. But the 
location was well chosen, and gave to the sentinels on duty 
there a broad and extended view of the surrounding country. 
Tradition asserts that the walk ran in an easterly and westerly 
direction on the crest of the hill, while the " fower foott " way 
extended from the summit in a southerly direction to the 
open field or common land, now known as the " Lower 
Green." At or about the time that these precautionary meas- 
ures were taken and sentinels were stationed on the top of 
Great hill, the freeholders of Newbury, in town meeting 
assembled, " ordered that M"" Woodman shall have a house lott 
between M"" Rawson's & the River Provided that if there be 
a fort built by the water side heere after that, then his lott 
shall give way."* 

There was evidently an effort made at that time to build a 

♦Town of Newbury Records, vol. i. 

t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., pp. icp, 191. 


fortification of some kind on the banks of the river Parker to 
protect the approach to the settlement by water ; but the fort 
was probably never built. 


December 10, 1641, the General Court "ordered that 
in every towne one shal bee appointed to grant sumons & 
attachments in all civil cases " and " to bee clarks of the 
writtes." * 

" M"" Lowle " was appointed for the town of Newbury. 
June 14, 1642, the clerks of writs were ordered " to find out in 
their several towns who hath bene borne & who hath died 
since the first founding of their tovvnes & to record the 
same." f 

March 7, 1643/4, certificates of births, deaths, and mar- 
riages in every family in the colony were ordered to be 
brought "to the clarks of the writtes " from month to month 
and year to year, to be by them recorded. J 

October 27, 1647, the General Court appointed "Anthony 
Somersby to be clarke of the writs at Newberry & to record 
births, deaths & marriages in place of John Lowle de- 
ceased." § 

Apparently, no effort was made to collect and record the 
names of those who were born or who had died in Newbury 
until after the adoption of the order passed June 14, 1642, 
directing the " Clarke of the writs " to attend to that duty. 
It is therefore impossible to state with certainty whether 
Mary Brown, Joshua Woodman, or Shubael Dummer, was the 
first white child born in the town.|| 

A written statement, evidently prepared for Samuel Sewall, 
chief justice of the province of Massachusetts, now in the 
possession of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 
claims that Shubael Dummer is entitled to that honor. The 
statement is as follows : — 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 344. 

t Ibid., vol. ii., p. 15. J Ibid., vol. ii., p. 59. 

§ Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. ii., p. 198. John Lowell died June 29, 1647. 
II See Coffin's History, pp. ig, 21 ; also " Ould Newbury," pp. 23, 297. 



Newbury Aprill ye 2d 1717 

Thre persons claim ye right of ye first born in this Towne, viz : — 
Joshua Woodman, Caleb Moody & ye wife of Peter Godfre, these being 
not to be found in ye Record : it must be given to M"" Shubael Uummer, 
as appears by ye following account. 

A Record of ye Births of Children born in Newbury — in ye County 
of Essex; in ye Province of ye Massachusetts Bay in New England Ano. 
Dom : 1635 — 

1635 Shubael ye son of M^ Richard Duiiier born february 17th 

1636 Elizabeth Holt ye daughter of Nicholas Holt was born Mar. 

In that parcel! of land called the [meeting house] greene." 

The burying-groimd was evidently near the meeting-house, 
on a lot of land " called the greene," of which twenty rods 
were reserved when the remainder was sold to Mr. John 
Emery in 1647.! A few weather-worn and dilapidated 

* New England (Genealogical Register, October, iSSo, p. 390. 

tTown of Newbury Records, vol. i. John Emery sold to his son Jonathan Emery, April 9, 
1679, one-half the land conveyed to him by the town of Newbury. (Essex Deeds, Ipswich Series, 
vol. iv., p. 246.) February 4, 1728-9, Jonathan Emery sold to William and Richard Dole about 
seventeen and one-half acres of land, " excepting and Reserving the Twenty Rods of land reserved 
for a Burying place formerly laying within the Bounds of said Tenement or Tract of land for the 
End for which it was proposed by the Town of Newbury." (Essex Deeds, vol. liv., p. 66.) 
March 21, 1728-9, William Dole conveyed one-half this estate to Joseph Ilsley. (Essex Deeds, 

6o HISTORY OF XEinn'h'V 

gravestones mark the place where some of the first settlers 
of Newbury were buried. 

The record of deaths and marriages previous to 1645 is 
very imperfect. It was kept by John Lowle, clerk of the 
writs. The first death where the name and date are given in 
full is that of John Kent, son of John Kent, who " dyed ye 
7"^ of February 1641." The earliest marriage recorded is 
that of "Christopher Bartlet to Mary April 17, 1645." 

Commissioners or magistrates, appointed by the General 
Court, were authorized to join persons in marriage in New- 
bury, but nowhere in the colony were ministers granted or 
allowed that pri\ilege. 

June 14, 1642 Mr William Bellingham was appointed to see Mar- 
riages solemnized at Rowley & Neweberry & to keepe record thereof* 

Nov 4, 1646 The Corte hath granted comission to M"" Edwd 
Rawson to see people joine in Marriage in Newberry dury the pleasure 
of the Cone f 

Oct. 14, 1 65 1 In answer to the petition of the towne of Newberry 
Capt William Gerrish is hereby authorized to marry such there as shall 
be legally published. J 

May 14, 1656 It is ordered, by this court, that from henceforth any 
one of the three comissionrs for the endinge small causes in the severall 
townes where no magistrate dwells shall be & hereby are authorized &. 
empowered to solemnize Marriage betweene p'tyes legally published, 
p'vided two of the sd commissionrs be p'sent & all other comissions in 
this case are hereby made voyd § 

Two years later the above order was modified, and the 
county courts were authorized to appoint one of the three 
commissioners for small causes in any town, and allow him 
to officiate at marriage ceremonies, even though the other 
commissioners were not present. |1 

September 28, 1658 M"- Edward Woodman of Newbury allowed to 
marry and to take oaths in civill cases Tl 

vol. liii.,p. 58.) April y, 1729, the land was divided, and in 1793 the heirs of Joseph Usley 
deceased, conveyed to Paul llsley their right, title, and interest in the property. (Essex Deeds, 
vol. clvii., p. 204.) The land "surrounding the burying place" is now owned by Mrs. Joseph 

•Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. ii., p. 14. t Ibid., vol. ii., p. 166. 

t Ibid., vol. iv., part i., p. 65. § Ibid., vol. iv., part i., p. 255. 

II Ibid., vol. iv., part i., p. 322. IT Ipswich Court Records, Bock I., p. 60. 


For more than twenty-five years this order continued in 
force, and appointments were annually made by the county 
courts at Ipswich and Salem. June 4, 1685, however, the 
General Court, in answer to a motion made by Richard Bart- 
lett, who was then a deputy from Newbury, appointed Mr. 
John Woodbridge "to administer oaths & joyne persons in 
marriage there who desire it being published according to 
lawe." * 

December 24, 1690, the General 'Court appointed 

.... Mr. John Woodbridge and Capt Daniel Pierce of Newbury to 
join Persons togetlier in marriage in tliat Town according to the Direc- 
tion of ye Laws in that behalf made.f 

Under the laws of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, 
established after the charter of the colony had been annulled, 
justices of the peace in the counties where they resided, 
and ministers in the towns where they were settled, were 
authorized to unite in marriage " any two persons legally 
published. " \ 

The privilege granted to ministers was enlarged December 
I, iyi6; and they were allowed to officiate at weddings be- 
yond the limits of the towns in which they were settled, pro- 
vided certain rules and regulations were complied with.§ 


The first building erected within the limits of Newbury 
dedicated to the worship of God was probably begun soon 
after the organization of the church in the summer of 1635, 
but it was not wholly completed until September or October, 
1638. Services, however, were held in the unfinished struct- 
ure, and a special tax was levied upon the freeholders of the 
town, on or before October, 1637, for the support of public 
worship. The earliest votes and orders relating to the as- 
sessment and collection of this tax are as follows : — 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. v., p. 483. 

t Massachusetts Archives, vol. xxxvi., p. 260. 

t Province Laws, vol. i., p. 61. §Ibid., vol. ii., p. 60. 


It is agreed that all the moneys, goods or chattells that shall bee 
gathered or distrained for the rate of the meeting house shall bee deliv- 
ered into the hands of Jo : Woodbridge who shall receive all & pay all 
& give up account to the towne when they call for it.* 

Dec. 1 1, [1637?] It is ordered that the meeting house rate shall 
bee gathered at two .several & distinct payments the one presently, the 
other when the towne sees necessary use of it and requires it. * 

January 18, 1637-8 It is ordered that Richard Knight, James 
Browne, & Nicholas Holt shall gather up the first payment of the meet- 
ing house rate & |he towne rate within one fourteenight on the penalty 
of 6s 8d a piece."* 

March 9, 1636-7, the General Court enacted a law requiring 
every able-bodied man above eighteen years of age to attend 
meeting on the Lord's Day "with their musketts, or other 
peeces fit for servise, furnished w"' match, powder, & bullets, 
vpon paine of 12^^ for every default."! This law was re- 
pealed May 2, 1638, except the clause "about carrying armes 
to the meeting house," which was referred to the inhabitants 
of the several towns in the colony to take such action as they 
might deem advisable. In the month of June, 1638, all the 
able-bodied men of Newbury were enrolled and formed into 
four companies, under the command of John Pike, Nicholas 
Holt, John Baker, and Edmund Greenleafe. They were re- 
quired "to bring their armes compleat one Sabbath day in 
a month and the lecture day following," and "stand sentinell 
at the doores all the time of the publick meeting." | 

At a legal meeting held September 4, 1638, the free- 
holders of the town ordered 

. . . that a rate of twenty-eight pounds shall be made speedily 
and gathered within one fourteenight for the JinisJii)ig of the 
meeting house. * 

The towne appoynted Mr Woodman & Ed : Rawson to make this 

The towne appoynted the Constables to gather this rate. 

The towne hath appoynted Henry Short & Rich : Kent to receive 
this rate & survey the worke.* 

*Town of Newbury Records, vol. i. 

t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 190. 

X Coffin's History of Newbury, pp. 26, 27. 


r#* ?«^ 


f -> 


^T^i tfl let F"^ 



For more than fifty years after the incorporation of the 
town of Newbury, all votes and orders relating to the grant- 
ing of land or the management of town affairs by the free- 
men and freeholders were recorded in a book also used by 
the "seven men" for a similar purpose. After the election 
of Henry Short as town clerk, March 20, 1685-6, the 
grants made before and after that date were copied into a 
separate volume, called the " Proprietors' Book," which is 
still in a good state of preservation. Most of the early grants 
consisted of house lots and planting lots of about four acres, 
each located in the immediate vicinity of Quascacunquen, 
now Parker river. A few large farms, however, several miles 
away from the meeting-house, were granted to men of wealth 
and influence who resided in the town. In 1635 ^ large 
tract of land "at the Falls," now Byfield Parish, was laid out 
to Richard Dummer by order of the General Court ; and the 
next year the freeholders of Newbury made an allotment of 
five hundred acres in the same neighborhood to Henry 
Sewall, sr. Other grants, of considerable magnitude, re- 
corded previous to 1645, ^^^ '^s follows : — 

To Mr John Cutting " a ffarme of two hundred acres be it more or 
less of upland & meadow as it is laid out in length sixteen score rods 
& in breadth fifty rods, bounded by the falls River South, the comon 
on the north, Mr Greenleaf west & Thomas Coleman on the east."* 

To James Browne " a ffarme of one hundred and fifty acres of 
upland and meadow, be it more or less, bounded by several marked 
trees, by the comon round."* 

The location of the last grant is somewhat uncertain. It 
was evidently surrounded on all sides by common, or undi- 
vided, land. In 1655, it was sold to Hugh March, and was 
then bounded, in part, by the " birchen meadow," 

There was Granted to Mr Stephen Duiiier three hundred acres of 
upland & meadow at Turkey Hill, that is sixty acres of meadow joyn- 
ing to the Hill and two hundred & forty acres of upland to enjoy to 
him & his heyrs forever.f 

*Town of Newbury Proprietors' Records, pp. 20, 29, 36. t Ibid., p. 18. 


Laid out to Thomas Browne & George Little in the behalfe of Mr 
Stephen Dumer two hundred and forty acres of upland at Turkey Hill, 
joyning to Mr Stephen Dumers meadow called by the name of Birchen 

To Richard Kent, jr., "A ffarme lott of one hundred acres 
of upland and meadow on an Island over the Little River 
and about it, be it more or less," and several other lots of 
upland and marsh, making in all about two hundred and 
forty-eight acres, granted February 7, 1646-7, "at a meeting 
of y^ 8 men deputed to order the Towne Affairs," and de- 
scribed as follows : — 

. . . bounded w'h ye great River on ye South & South West, w'h a 
creeke [issuing] out of ye greate River northward & ye little River on 
ye East & a creeke issuing out of ye said little River Running West- 
ward meeting ye other Creeke yt Issued out of ye greate River w'hin 
thirty Rods & so making an Iland.f 

There is a farm of 200 acres granted to Mr Edward Rawson [both] 
of up land and meadow [at] the birchen mead [ow] the whole parcell of 
meadow there to be divided into three equall portions, Mr Rawson to 
take his choice. J 

On the twenty-second day of December, 1637 {)), the fol- 
lowing vote was adopted by the freeholders of the town : — 

It is likewise agreed that Jo : Woodbridge shall have an hundred and 
fifty acres lying to the northward of Mr Spencers farme, on the right 
hand of the ridge going to Merrimack & fifty acres of fresh & salt 
marish to be added more vnto it, in some convenient place, neere adjoyn- 
ing, to be layd out according to the townes disposing & this instead of 
his 200 acres formerly granted at the great hill on the south side of the 
river, to enjoy to him & his heires for ever.i? 

This grant was subsequently laid out to Mr. Woodbridge, 
as appears from the following record : — 

One hundred and fifty acres of upland as it is laid out, be it more or 

* Proprietors' Records, p. 18. May 10, 1648, Mr. Stephen Dumnier, then in England, wrote 
" to his very loving friend, Henry Short, living at Newbury,*' instructing him to sell the farm at 
birchen Meadow. (See Ipswich Deeds, vol. iii., p. 256 (193).) 

t Town of Newbury Records, vol. i. ; also, Proprietors' Records, p. 16. 

$ This grant was made February 24, 1637. For additional grants to Edward Rawson see 
" Ould Newbury," pp. 50, 51. 

§Town of Newbiity Records, vol. i. 


less, Bounded by Mr Spencers on the South, John Pike senior and John 
Moulton on the north, the cofnon on the west and the Great Street Joyn- 
ing to Merrimack River on the East.* 

In 1636, probably, the freeholders granted to Mr. John 

... a ffarme of four hundred acres of upland & meadow, be it more or 
less, bounded by Mr Woodbridge on the north, Mr Parker on the south, 
the street of eight rods in breadth next Merrimack River on the east, and 
the cofnon on the west, and two hundred & fifty acres, be it more 
less, lying on the left hand of Merrimack Ridge in breadth of the 
breadth of that on the right hand of the ridge, in length six Score 

October 20, 1637, Mr. Spencer was granted a mill lot of 
fifty acres "at Newbury falls," and November 20, 1637, he 
was condemned and disarmed, by order of the General Court, 
for holding erroneous religious opinions. On the eleventh 
day of December following, Edward Woodman, John Wood- 
bridge, Henry Short, Richard Kent, Richard Browne, and 
Richard Knight, having the care and management of town 
affairs, gave their assent and approval to the following 
order : — 

. . . fforasmuch as it appeared vnto us on sufficient grounds & evident 
testimony that Mr John Spenser notwithstanding his intention and reso- 
lution to Hue away from us & so to deprive us of his usuall helpe & 
counsell in managing & ordering or greatest & weightiest affaires 
yet did so secretly carry things thai he gott a promise of the towne of 
farther enlargement wee thought fit therefore to make this publick dec- 
laration of or minds & intention in the case that wee judge according 
to our best light & understanding that he hath no right nor just claime 
to any more land but what hath been formerly layd out confirmed 
& the bounds thereof entered into the towne book, seeing that hee 
desired it in relation to the service which he had & was likely still to 
doe for the towne & the townes promise was on such [ ] condi- 

tion which they are defeated off. The present order [ ] there- 

fore doth declare that the ground lying to the northward of Mr Spensers 
farme (the bounds whereof are already entered into the book) is at the 
townes disposing to be given to whom they see fitt & convenient.! 

Subsequently this order was rescinded ; and, September 
4, 1638, Edward Woodman, Abraham Toppan, Richard 

* Proprietors' Records, p. ii. t Town of Newburj' Records, vol. i. 


Browne, and John Knight, in behalf of the town, signed the 
following agreement : — 

It is agreed that the letters shall lay out 150 acres of upland & 
meadow to Mr Spenser on the north side of his farme lying in manner 
& order as his farme dotli that is aliready layd out & 150 acres of land 
lying next Mr Spensers on the right hand of the ridge to John Wood- 
bridge, according to former order, to enjoy to them & theirs for euer.* 

A farme granted to Mr Clarke of 400 acres next to Mr Sewalls : 
The bounds of Mr Clarke his fairme begin at the mouth of Carte 
creeke thence running easterly ten score rodd abutting on the Mayne 
river toward the South & thence it runs up sixteene score rodds into the 
country upon a line north & by west to two birchen trees marked, stand- 
ing on a banke of rocks, thence it runs in a straight line westerly tenn 
score rodd to a marked tree on a mount & thence in a straight line east 
& by South to the mouth of Cart creeke againe, taking in all the 
meadow on the east side of the Pine Swamp, 
the 23rd of the I i*h mo. 1637. 

Edward Woodman Henry Short 

Richard Browne Richard Kent 

John Woodkridge Richard Knight 

Memoranda: This writing was recorded for Mr John Clarke now of 
Ipswich, late of Newbury, 8th day of March, 1647.! 

The towne being desired to express themselves whether they were 
willing that Mr Bacheler & Mr Hussy should take the land at ye new 
meadow lately given to Mr Woodman & Mr Rawson upon their willing 
resignation of the same & the towne would promise them satisfaction, 
the towne did generally express themselves willing to both & Hen: 
Short & Wm : Moody were joyned to the three of the former five to 
manage the towne busynesse to judge & determine what shall satisfy the 
sayd Mr Woodman & Mr Rawson for [what loss ] & the land 

henceforth to remaine as the proper right & inheritance of the sayd Mr 
[Stephen] Bacheler «&: Mr [Christopher] Hussey.* 

* Town of Newburj' Records, vol. i. 

t Ipswich Deeds, vol. i., p. 37 (126). Dr. John Clark was an eminent physician. He came to 
Newbury in 1637, removed to Ipswich in 1647, and two or three years later purchased a dwell- 
ing-house in Boston, where he resided until his death in the month of January, 1664-5. -At a gen- 
eral town meeting held in Newbury, September 28, 163S, 

"It was granted that Mr Clarke in respect of his calling should be freed and exempted from 
all publick rates either for the country or the towne so long as he shall remayne with us and exer- 
cise his calling among us." 

December I, 1651. "John Clarke of Boston, Chirurgeon, & Martha his wife, in considera- 
tion of the house they now accupy in Boston and a certain lot of land adjoining," convey to Mat- 
thew Chaffey of Boston, shipwright, the farm of four hundred acres at Cart Creeke in Newbury 
(Ipswich Deeds, vol. i., p. 99 (294), and the same day INIatthew Chaffey of Boston and Sarah, 
his wife, sold the farm " with the housings and buildings thereon " to Richard Thorlay of New- 
bury. (Ipswich Deeds, vol. i., p. 100 (297).) 



September 6, 1638, the General Court granted Sjmpn 
Bradstreet and Capt. Daniel Dennison, of Ipswich, John 
Clarke and Christopher Batt, of Newbury, and others, 
liberty "to begin a plantation at Merrimack." A location 
on the north side of the Merrimack river was selected early 
in the spring of 1639, ^.nd house lots were laid out and 
assigned to the new settlers. Christopher Batt, John San- 
ders, Robert Pike, Thomas Macy, Richard Singletary, and 
Anthony Sadler, of Newbury, received grants of land " in the 
first division." 

September 4, 1639, the General Court ordered that the 
" plantation beyond Merrimack shalbee called Colechester " ; * 
and October 7, 1640, the governor, with the consent of the 
Court of Assistants and House of Deputies, declared that 
"Colechester is henceforward to bee called Salsbury." f 

The new name was probably suggested by Christopher 
Batt, who came from Salisbury, England, with his wife Anne, 
and five children under ten years of age, in the ship " Bevis," 
in the month of May, 1638.I 


In the spring of 1639, Rev. Ezekiel Rogers, with a com- 
pany of about twenty families from Yorkshire, England, was 
allowed to begin a new settlement between Ipswich and New- 
bury. From the records of the General Court under date of 
March 13, 1638-9, it appears that " M"" Ezechi : Rogers, M"" 
John Philips & their Company had granted them 8 miles 
every way into the Countrey, where it may not trench vpon 
other plantations already setled. " § 

Several farms that had been granted by the General Court 
to various individuals in Ipswich and Newbury were pur- 
chased, for the better accommodation of the new settlement, 

♦ Massacliu.'-etts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 271. + Ibid., vol. i., p. 305. 

% Drake's " Founders of New England," p. 60. 
§ Massachufetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 253. 


by the payment of nearly eig,ht hundred pounds ; * and the 
freemen of Newbury voted that the Rev^ Ezekiel Rogers and 
his company should have undisturbed possession of all the 
common and undivided lands within certain specified limits, as 
follows : — 

The towne being assembled together and being desirous to manifest 
theyr earnest desires and willingness to give due incouredgment unto the 
worthy gentlemen who desire to set down between us and Ipswich as to 
part with such a portion of land as cannot any way be expected from 
them, or may without endangering their present necessityes afford. 
Hoping on good grounds it may fully answer their desires and expecta- 
tions they have determined as followeth : 

By the common and general suffrages of the body of freemen, none 
excepted, there was granted to the said gentilmen all the upland and 
meadow and marish between us and Ipswich incompassed by the line 
heer underwritten, namely : 

That their line shall begin from the head of the great Creek between 
the neck over the great river and Mr. Dummers, running due west as we 
come to the great Creek, being the bounds of John Osgoods farm, which 
issues into Mr Eastons river and above that creek all the lands south- 
ward of Mr. Eastons river, and from that river from the path leading to 
the falls to run a due west line into the country a mile, and afterwards 
to run on a north west line so as it come not within half a mile of the 
side line of Mr. Dummers farm. Likewise it comes two miles distant of 
Merrimack. Provided that if after they have entered by buildings or 
otherwise on this part of land granted to them and leave off from going 
on with a plantation or a towne between us, that then the grants above- 
said shall be void to all intents and purposes and to remaine the pro- 
prietyes and inheritances of the towne of Newbury in as ample a manner 
as before the grant hereof in all respects. f 

September 4, 1639, the General Court ordered that "Mr 
Ezechi : Rogers plantation shalbee called Rowley." % 

May 13, 1640, the company was released from the pay- 
ment of ta.xes for two years " because of their great losse & 
charge by purchasing of land & hindrance of planting the 
last yeare." § 

November 13, 1655, the General Court, "with the consent 
of the deputy of Rowley and Capt Gerrish and M"" Wood- 

*Winthrop's History, vol. i., p. 354. 

t Proprietors' Records, pp. 7, 8; Coffin's Histor\- of Newbury, p. zg. 

I Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i. , p. 271. §Ibid., vol. i., p. 289. 


man o£ Newbury," appointed a committee to consider and 
determine where the division line between the two towns 
should run. May 14, 1656, the committee agreed upon a 
line, beginning at a white oak-tree standing upon the north- 
west side of Easton's river, and thence running westerly one 
mile to a heap of stones " laid there according to the courts 
order," and thence in a northwesterly direction to the 
Merrimack river. * 

Subsequently the General Court confirmed and established 
this division line, although an attempt was made to modify 
it, as stated in the next chapter. 


March 13, 1640, a petition was presented to the General 
Court for liberty to begin another plantation on the Merri- 
mack river. In answer to this petition, the General Court 
voted that 

The desires of M'' Ward & Newbury men is coiiiitted to the Gov- 
enor, Deputy Governor, & Mr Winthrope, Senior, to consider of Pa- 
tucket & Coijchawick (now Andover) & grant it them, p'vided they re- 
turne answer w'h in three weeks, fro the 2it'i psent, & that they build 
there before the next Courte.f 

Pentucket was selected as the most convenient place for 
the new settlement; and, June 2, 1641, the General Court 
passed the following order : — 

Mr John Woodbridge, Alatthewe Boyse, John Crosse & George Git- 
tings they 4, or any 3 of them, are appointed to set out the bounds be- 
tween Salsbery & Pantucket, ali : Haverell. They are to determine 
the bounds wch Mr Ward & his company are to inioy as a towne or 
village if they have 6 houses up by the next Genrall Court in the S'h 

Although the Rev. Nathaniel Ward, of Ipswich, author of 
"The Simple Cobbler of Agawam," Was active and earnest in 
his efforts to organize a company for the settlement at Pen- 
tucket, he did not remove there ; but his son, the Rev. John 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part i., pp. 249, 263. t Ibid., vol. i., p. 290. 
X Ibid., vol. i., p. 319. 


Ward, who was born in Haverhill, Essex county, England, 
was evidently one of the most zealous supporters of the en- 
terprise, and ultimately became prominent as pastor of the 
first church in the town, named " Haverhill," in honor of his 
birthplace. Among the men who were associated with the 
Rev. Mr. Ward in organizing the new settlement were William 
White, Samuel Gile, James Davis, Henry Palmer, John Rob- 
inson, Christopher Hussey, John Williams, and Richard Little- 
hale, of Newbury.* Tristram Coffin also resided there for 
several years, and his name appears as witness to a deed, 
dated November 15, 1642, conveying to the inhabitants of 
the town all the land within its limits belonging to the Indian 
chieftains Passaquo and Saggattew. Mr. Coffin was licensed, 
May 26, 1647, to keep an ordinary, and also to keep a ferry 
over Merrimack river in connection with Mr. George Carr. 
He probably removed to Newbury about the time his license 
was granted by the General Court. 


March 4, 1634-5 the General Court ordered 

. . . that noe pson whatsoeuer shall keepe a comon victualing howse, 
without licence from the Court, vnder the penalty of XXs a weeke.f 

September 3, 1635, Francis Plumer, who came to New- 
bury soon after the incorporation of the town, was licensed 
"to keep an ordinary"; June 6, 1637, John Knight, of 
" Newebery," was granted liberty "to keepe an ordinary and 
give intertainment to such as neede " ; and. May 22, 1639, 
" Edmond Greenlyf of Newberry" was permitted "to keepe 
a house of intertainment." 

In order to provide for the accommodation of strangers on 
special occasions, the law relating to the keeping of ordinaries 
was modified November 5, 1639, ^s follows: — 

In regard of the greate inconvenience that is found for want of fit 
places of intertainment of people vpon occasion of great assemblies, & 
arrivall of ships wth passengers, it is declared, that vpon such occasions, 

* Coffin's History of Newbury, p. 33. t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 140. 


it is lawful! for an)' person, in any towne where such great resort of 
people shall happen to bee, to give intertainement to such people & to 
affoard them lodging & dyot at reasonable rates, though they bee not 
allowed to kepe comon ordinaries &c.* 

May 14, 1645, the General Court ordered 

. . . yt no man shal be alowed to keepe publicke houses of intertain m 
for strangrs or travellers, nor shall any one be a comon victualler, in- 
keeper, or keeper of a cookes shop, vintner, taverner, or public seller 
of wine, ale, beare, strong water, wthout alowance in some Q^f Co^t in 
ye sheire where such do dwell, upon paine of forfeiture of 20s p week 
while they continue wthout ye said licence ; nor shall any such pson as 
have publicke houses of intrtainmt & have licence, sell beare for above 
2d an ale qi't; &c.t 

While this law was in force, Tristram Coffin, sr., peti- 
tioned the General Court for liberty to keep an ordinary, and 
also a ferry on the Newbury side of Merrimack river. His 
petition was granted May 26, 1647; ^^^ ^^^ same day the 
General Court ordered, that "henceforth all such as are to 
keepe houses of cofnon intertainm' & to retaile wine, beere 
&c" shall apply for license to the courts of the shire in 
which they live in order that the time of the deputies may be 
devoted to matters of more importance. | 


In 1637, the keepers of ordinaries were not allowed "to 
sell either sack or strong water," § and could make or keep 
in their houses only a mild kind of wine or beer : — 

Provided that it may bee lawfull for any such inkeeper or victualler 
to have in their houses some small quantity of strong water for their 
owne private & necessary use.|| 

March 12, 1637-8, the law imposing a duty on wine and 
strong water imported into the colony from beyond the sea 
was repealed ; " & it is ordered, that every town shall p'sent 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 271;. tlbid., vol. ii., p. 100. 

Jlbid., vol. ii., pp. 188, 194. For additional ijarticulars relating to inns and taverns, see 
" Ould Newbury," pp. 108, 109, 175-188, 493-507. 

§ Ibid., vol. i., p. 205. II Ibid., vol. i.,p. 2r4. 


a man to bee alowed to sell wine & stroni^ water made in the 
country & no other strong water is to be soiild. " * 

Edward Woodman was appointed by the General Court 
agent for the sale of spirituous liquors in Newbury, and con- 
tinued to hold that ofifice for several years. November i 3, 
1644, the law was again changed, and licenses were granted 
to various individuals in the colony "to draw wine" upon the 
payment of a tax to be assessed and collected in proportion 
to the number of gallons sold.f In order to secure the en- 
forcement of this law, these taxes or license fees were 
sold to Edward Rawson for a stated sum ; and the govern- 
ment was relieved of all further trouble and expense in regard 
to them. 

The following agreement was recorded November 1 3, 
1644: — 

Mr Edward Rawson hat'i hired to farme ye rent due for wine drawn 
in ye countrey for 107^ lo^ for a yeare.J 

May 6, 1646, the General Court ordered 

. . . that Mr Rawson ye officer appointed to receive ye custome of wine 
ye last yeare, shalbe alowed one fourth part of what is due to ye country 
on that ordr, in satisfaction of his charge & expense of time expended 
on ye p'secuting of that order, he giving ye auditor gemall an account 
there of yt so he may p'cure it in to defray ye country charges. § 

In 1652, the law regulating the sale of wine and beer was 
again amended, and after that date the excise duties were 
sold for a term of five years to the highest bidder. | 

March 4, 1634-5, the General Court ordered 

. . . that the land aboute Cochichowicke shalbe reserved for an inland 
plantacbn & that whosoever will goe to inhabite there shall have three 
yeares iiiiunity from all taxes, levyes, publique charges & services what- 
soever (military dissipline onely excepted) John Winthrop, Rich : Bell- 
ingham & Milton Coddington, Esq. are chosen a Comittee to licence 

•Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 221. + Ibid., vol. ii., p. 82. 

X Ibid., vol. ii., p. 87. § Ibid., vol. ii., p. 150. H Ibid., vol. iv., part i., p. in. 


any that they tliinke meete to inhabite there, & that it shalbe lawfull 
for noe peson to goe thither without their consent, or the Major pte of 

May 13, 1640, the magistrates and deputies of the General 
Court voted that 

The desires of Mr Ward & Newberry Men is coiTiitted to the 
Governor, Deputy Governor & Mr Winthrope, Senior, to consider of 
Pa tucket & Coijchawick & to grant it them, p'vided they returne 
answer w<hin three weeks fro the 2itli p'sent & that they build there 
before the nexte courte.f 

The Rev. John Woodbridge, in a letter to " Hon. John 
Winthrop, Sen. Esq.," dated " Newberry this 22"' of i mo 
1640" (March 22, 1 640-1), says, 

" Some of us have desired to plant at Quichichwick & accordingly 
notwithstanding all the oppositions and discouragements that wee have 
had, having viewed the place since y«= court, were intending this spring 
to have built there " ; but have been prevented by the claim of the Rev. 
Ezekiel Rogers that a portion of that territory should be granted the 
town of Rowley. A number of families were ready to remove to tlie 
new settlement. " And the reason why I desire your speedy advice is 
because some of o' company have sold themselves out of house and 
home & so desire to bee settled as soone as may be."t 

Satisfactory arrangements were made during 1641 or 1642 
with the Rev. Mr. Woodbridge and his friends ; and May 10, 
1643, when the county of Essex was formed, " Cochichwicke " 
was one of the towns named in the act of incorporation. § 

In October, 1645, the Rev. John Woodbridge was ordained 
minister of the new town. 

At a General Court held in Boston, May 6, 1646, 

Cutshamache Sagamo'' of ye Massachusetts came into ye Corte & 
acknowledged yt for the sum of ^6, & a Coat which he had already re- 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 141. t Ibid., vol. i., p. 290. 

{Massachusetts Historical Society Collections, Fifth Series, vol. i., p. 317. 

§The General Court ordered, May lo, 1643, tliat the colony of Massachusetts Bay .should be 
divided into four shires, or counties ; namely, Middlesex, Suffolk, Essex, and Norfolk. The 
following-named towns composed the county of Essex : — 

Salem Ipswich Glocester 

Linn Rowley Cochichawick (Andover) 

Enon (Wenham) Newberry 

— Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. ii., p. 38. 


ceived he had sold to Mr. John Woodbrid<^e in behalfe of ye inhabit- 
ants of Cochichawicke now called Andover all his right, interest & 
privilege in ye land 6 miles southward from ye towne, two miles eastward 
to Rowley bounds be ye same more or lesse, and northward to Merri- 
mack river &c.* 

Among the Newbury men who accompanied the Rev. Mr. 
Woodbridge to Cochichawicke, and settled there, were John 
Osgood, Joseph Parker, John Stevens, Nicholas Holt, Benja- 
min Woodbridge, John Frye, Nathan Parker, John Aslett, 
William Ballard, and John Russ, sr. 


June 6, 1639, the General Court authorized the importa- 
tion of a quantity of saltpetre for the purpose of aiding and 
encouraging the manufacture of gunpowder in the colony. 
It is evident, from a careful perusal of the following votes and 
orders, that arrangements had been made with Edward Raw- 
son to begin the manufacture as soon as the materials could 
be supplied. 

Mr Peters is desired to write to Holland for ^500 worth of peter 
& 40^ worth of match, & to give order vpon the receit of the salt peter 
& match heare in good condition, to charge bylls vpon the Governor & 
the country doth p'mise to save the Govrnoi" harmelesse f 

It was ordered, that if the salt peter come not, M^ Rawson shal bee 
considered according to such damage as hee shall sustaine.| 

Mr Edward Rawson is granted 500 acres, at Pecoit, so as hee go 
on wth the business of powder, if the salt peter come.§ 

Mr. Rawson brought with him to Newbury, in 1636 or 
1637, a servant named Richard Crane, who was evidently 
familiar with the process of making gunpowder. A letter 
dated Steaston, England, March 15, 1638-9, from Dorothy 
Crane " To Hir very loveinge husband Richard Crane, servant 
to M"" Edward Rawson, at his house at Newberry," will be 
found among the " Winthrop Papers "; || and also a letter from 

♦Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iii., p. 73. 

t Ibid., vol. i., p. 259. + Ibid., vol. i., p. 260. § Ibid., vol. i., p. 263. 

II Massachusetts Historical Society Collections, Fifth Series, vol. i., p. 87. 


Richard Crane to Governor Winthrop, dated May 9, 1640, 
containing the following statement : — 

My master intended to imploy niee to make powder. I am sorry 
I could not have materials whereby to improve my skill for the good 
of the land.* 

Subsequently, efforts were made to procure a supply of 
saltpetre from domestic sources. June 14, 1642, an order was 
adopted by the General Court requiring every town in the 
colony to provide a suitable house for the making of salt- 
petre,! ^^*^^ September 27, 1642, this order was amended; 
and the selectmen of every town were required to see that 
every householder, or every two or three householders joined 
together, should provide " for the breeding of salt peeter in 
some out house for poultry, or the like," \ the annual prod- 
uct to be delivered to the agents of the colony and paid for 
at a reasonable price. Mr. Edmund Greenleaf was appointed 
superintendent of the business for the town of Newbury. 

October 27, 1648 "The Cone haveing taken into their serious con- 
sidration the great forwardness & readiness of Mr Edwd Rawson to ad- 
vance so hopefull a designe as the makeing of salt peter wt'nn this juris- 
diction, who for that end & purpose hath disbursed certain monyes to 
his great losse & damage p'sented to us at large in his petition delived 
into this p'sent co'te, have therefore, in consideration of the p'mises, & 
answere to his said petition, given & granted to him & his heires 500 
ac of land at Pequot, to be layd out by the appointmt of the Cofte as 
also five pounds to be paid him out of the treasury." § 

May 2, 1649 Mr Edwd Rawson haveing resigned up his 500 acres of 
land formrly granted him in p't of recompence of his damage sustained 
about ye salt peeter, the corte have thought meete to alow him thirty 
pounds, in full satisfaction, whereof the five pound formrly granted is 
accounted a part.|| 

October 10, 1666, the General Court ordered the selectmen 
of every town to take such steps as may be necessary to pro- 
vide the makers of gunpowder with an increased supply of 

♦Massachusetts Historical Society Collections, Fifth Series, vol. i., p. 2qi. 

t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. ii., p. 14. X Uiid., vol. ii., p. 29. 

§ Ibid., vol. ii., p. 261. II Ibid., vol. ii., p. 283. II Ibid., vol. iv., part ii., j). .?2o. 


Walter Everenden, of Boston, stated, in a petition addressed 
" To the Honoured Goveno"", Deputy Goveno"^, with the 
Magestrates & Deputies now assembled and sitting in 
Boston," May 28, 1672, that he desired to commence the 
manufacture of gunpowder, but had been prevented by the 
enactment of laws in England and Holland prohibiting the 
shipment of saltpetre to America. He therefore humbly 
requested "the honoured court" to order the inhabitants of 
every town in the colony to furnish their proportionate share 
of saltpetre without further delay.* 

In the year 1675 a powder-mill was erected in the town of 
Dorchester. Previous to that date the materials used in the 
manufacture of powder were coarsely ground or pulverized in 
mortars made for that purpose, and afterward roughly 
cleared of impurities, and mixed without the aid of machinery. 
The importance of. the new enterprise was thoroughly ap- 
preciated by the General Court ; and two watchmen were 
appointed, October 13, 1675, one from Dorchester and one 
from Milton, to guard the property and protect it from the 
danger of fire to which it was exposed. 

Walter Everden, or Everenden, was employed as manager 
or superintendent of the manufacturing department. He 
subsequently became the owner of the mill, and for nearly 
fifty years was a successful manufacturer of gunpowder.f 


September 3, 1634, the General Court elected Richard 
Dumer, then living in Roxbury, and Nicholas Easton, of 
Ipswich, with other freemen of the colony, " ouerseers of the 
powder & shott & all other afhunicon, in the siiall plantacons 
where they lyve. " | 

Subsequently every person capable of bearing arms was 
obliged to furnish himself with a musket, and also with 
powder and shot. 

March 13, 1638-9, the General Court ordered that 

* Massachusetts Arcliives, vol. lix., p. 124. tHistor>' of Dorchester (1859), pp. 607-611. 

J Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 125. 


Neweberry, Linn, Hingham Waymoth each of them shall have one 
barrell of gunpowder, wdi shalbee sould out to those that find muskets, 
at 2s the pound, wt'i money shall bee returned to the Treasurer, & for 
want thereof, the Treasurer shall levy it of the towne, &c.* 

In consequence of the warlike attitude of the Indians the 
General Court distributed, September 8, 1642, a certain 
quantity of gunpowder to every town in the colony. Hamp- 
ton, Salisbury, Newbury, and Rowley received one barrel 
each ; and the record further says " that Hampton & Newe- 
berry had each of them a barrell before, w'^'' they are to alow 
for, besides the barrell w*^'' is now alowed to each of them by 
this order." f 

It is evident that arms and ammunition were not abundant 
in the colony at that time, and the following orders indicate 
that the colonial authorities were careful and prudent in 
distributing them. 

September 7, 1643 It is ordered that Ipswich, Salem & Newberry 
shall answere for the powder or armes they have had.J 

It is ordered that the souldiers of Ipswich, Rowley & Newberry, wcH 
were sent to the Indians, should each man bee alowed one pound of 

May 29, 1644 It was ordered that the surveyor of amies shall de- 
liver to the deputies of Newberry two snaphance muskets instead of 
those wee had of them, & not of lesse valewe.§ 

May 14, 1645, ths several towns in the colony were 
ordered to send to the general surveyor of arms " at Richard 
Fairbanks howse in Boston " a true report of the number of 
fire arms in their possession "w^''in a fortnight after y^ sit- 
ting of y'^ Courte."|| 

A barrel of powder having been delivered to Mr. Edward 
Rawson for the town of Newbury, and a portion of it having 
been used in the public service, the General Court ordered, 
May 2, 1649, "that EdvV^ Rawson should onely satisfy y^ 
survey"" gen''all 5^ for y^ barrell ; & the towne of Newbury & 
himself e is hereby discharged therefrom." ^ 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 255. t Ibid., vol. ii., p. 26. } Und., vol. ii., p. 46. 
§ Ibid., vol. ii., p. 72. I! Ibid., vol. iii., p. 14. IT Ibid. vol. ii., p. 270. 



Magistrates elected to the General Court were authorized, 
September 6, 1638, to hear and determine all questions 
"where the debt trespas or damage &c doth not exceed 20^" 
in the towns where they resided, "and in towns where no 
magistrate dwells, the Generall Court shall from time to time 
nominate 3 men, two whereof shall have like powej to heare 
& determine all such actions vnder 20^" * 

The same day " M"" Edward Rawson, M' John Woodbridge 
& M"" EdW^ Woodman were chosen " commissioners for the 
town of Newbury. 

June 2, 1 64 1 for to order small causes at Newberry, Mr Woodman, 
Mr John Oliver & M"" John Woodbridge are appointed. f 

October 7, 1641, Mr. Edward Rawson was chosen com 
missioner in place of Mr. John Oliver ;| June 14, 1642, 
" M'' Greenleiffe is appointed instead of M"" Woodman to end 
small businesses in Neweberry " ;§ and, September 27, 1642, 
" Mr Clarke is appointed in M"" Rawsons place to end small 
causes at Newberry." || 

May 29, 1644, the General Court ordered "that M'' Rich''d 
Dumer, James Browne, & Henry Short shall end small con- 
troversies at Newberry." ^[ 

May 14, 1645 Mr Edward Woodman, Mr John Lowle, & Richrd 
Knight are chosen to end small causes under 20s in Neweberry.** 

At a cjuarterly court held in Boston December 4, 1638, 

The towne of Neweberry was fined 5 shs for want of a paire of 
stocks & time was given them till the nexte courte to make them, ff 

June 2, 1640 Neweberry, for want of towne weights & measures, 
fined 6s 8ci.++ 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 239. t Ibid., vol. i., p. 328. % Ibid., p. 339. 
§ Ibid., vol. ii., p. 14. II Ibid., vol. ii., p. 28. H Ibid., vol. ii., p. 72. 

** Ibid., vol. ii., p. 98. tt Ibid., vol. i., p. 248. %% Ibid., vol. i., p. 297. 


March 3, 1639, 40 M^ Henry Seawall for his contemptuous speach 
& carriage to M"" Saltonstal) was enjoyned to acknowledg his fault pub- 
likely at Ipswich court & to bee of good behavio'' & was enjoyned to 
appear at the next Quarter Court &c. . . . hee bound him selfe in 66^ 
13s 41! for his appearance & good behavic.* 

June 2, 1640 Ml' Rich'd Duilier for want of weights & scales, wch 
were supplied, 5s. f 

March 2, 1640/41 M^ Rich^d Duilier had his fine of 5s remitted, the 
p'sentmt being upon a mistake, as was testified. J 

William Franklin, one of the early settlers of Newbury, 
was accused of excessive cruelty, which resulted in the death 
of a boy whom he had taken as an apprentice. He was tried 
at the Court of Assistants in April, 1644 (?), and "was found 
guilty of murder ; but some of the magistrates, doubting of the 
justice of the case, he was reprieved till the next court of as- 
sistants." § May 29, 1644, the General Court, after further 
consideration of the case, declared : — 

Willi : Francklin is refered to the matrats j if they see cause hee 
may have a second triall for his life the next Quarter Cor't.|| 

The governor and magistrates having met at Salem, May 
30, 1644, were not disposed to grant the condemned man a 
second trial, and promptly sentenced him to be hanged for 

A warrant was signed by the governor a week after, which was not 
approved by some in regard of his reprieval to the next court of assist- 
ants. 1j 


The making of beehives was evidently not a lucrative busi- 
ness in Newbury in 1644. Flowers were growing in abun- 
dance in the woods and fields, but skill and ability in the 
management of bees was necessary in order to turn them into 
a possible source of revenue. 

Hive or honey bees were brought to America by the early 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 2S6. t Ibid., vol. i., p. 297. 

J Ibid, vol. i, p. 315. §Wintlirop's History, vol. ii, p. 225. 

II Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. ii., p. 71. 1 Winthrop's History, vol. ii., p. 226. 


settlers of New England. They followed the pioneers of 
civilization to Ohio and Kentucky, but as late as 1797 they 
were practically unknown in the vast uninhabited territory 
lying west of the Mississippi river. 

The inhabitants of Newbury were evidently disposed to 
favor bee-keeping, as a new and profitable industry ; and John 
Eales was engaged to assist them in their efforts to make the 
business a financial success, as appears from the following 
petition to the General Court : — 

To the Honnored Courte now assembled. The humble petition of 
John Lowle & Edward Woodman in the name & on the behalfe of the 
Towne of Newberrj'. 
Humbly Showeth 

That whereas one John Eales aged upwards of 70 years on or about 
August last came to Newberry to one John Davis a Renter of a farm 
there wth ye expectation of his doing service which the Towne was not 
acquainted with, being found unable to gett his living & going from us 
was stayed by ye constable of Ipswich. Ye Honnor'd Courte thereup- 
pon sent him back to ye constable of Newbury to be found at the Coun- 
treyes charge untill this Courte sh'ld determine the waye to dispose of 
him. Now our humble desire is yt ye worships would be pleased to dis- 
pose of him where it may be least chargeable to ye countreye & most 
beneficial to himself, wth what & where ye constable shall pay out ye 
worships shall Judge meete for his so long abiding with him, & your 
peiiconers shall pray &c 

John Lowle 
Edward Woodman * 

In answer to this petition the General Court ordered, May 
14, 1645 : — 

It is conceived John Eales should be placed in some convenient 
place where he may be implied in his trade of beehive makeing, etc. ; & 
ye towne of Neweberry to make up what his work wanteth of defraying 
ye charge of his livelyhood.f 

* Massachusetts Archives, vol. i., pp. 4, 5. 

t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. ii., p. loi. May 14, 1634, "John Eales" was made 
a freeman at the General Court (Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 369). As early as 

1640, perhaps earlier, he was living at Fox Point, Dorchester. He had a son Samuel, baptized 
May 3, 1640. In the note-book of Thomas Lechford, pages 418 to 424, there is a covenant or 
agreement between " Thomas Allen of Barnstable and John Eells of Dorchester," made July 8, 

1641, in regard to house and land in the county of Devon, England. " John Eeles " is said to 
have removed from Dorchester to Hingham, and may afterwards have settled as bee-hive maker 
in Newburj'. 



The map on the opposite page gives the bounds and limits 
of Newbury after the incorporation of Rowley in 1639, ^^^^ 
the location of some of the prominent hills. The line ex- 
tending from the landing-place on Parker river to Mr. John 
Spencer's farm gives the general direction of the path or way 
that was subsequently extended, as shown by the dotted line, 
to the ferry landing on Merrimack river. The way from 
Frog pond to Watts's cellar is now State street, New- 
bury port. 

The limited supply of arable land in the vicinity of Parker 
river induced many of the inhabitants to favor a removal 
to a new location three or four miles distant. No definite 
action was taken, however, until 1642, when a board of 
commissioners was appointed to lay out and assign to the 
freeholders of the town all the undivided land between the 
narrow winding path, or way, now known as Parker Street, or 
Low gtreet, and the Merrimack river, extending from John 
Spencer's farm on the southeast to the mouth of the Arti- 
choke on the northwest. Many serious difficulties and com- 
plications delayed the work of the commissioners. A strong 
and vigorous minority opposed the removal of the meeting- 
house, and otherwise obstructed the organization of the new 
settlement. After a long and severe struggle the opposition 
was weakened, and conciliated by special grants and conces- 
sions ; and the important question that had disturbed the town 
for four years was definitely settled. 

The first order relating to the proposed removal of the 
inhabitants of Newbury is found in the Proprietors' Records, 
and reads as follows : — 

Generall and perticular orders made by the men Deputed for the 
Managing of those things that concerne the ordering of the New Tovvne 
from Decem'l) yth 1642.* 

•Proprietors' Records, vol. i., fol. 44. 

2 ?# 



Mr Richard Duirier 
Mr Henry Sewall 
Mr Edward Ravvson 
Mr John Lo'wle 
Henry Short 
Thomas Cromwell 
Nicholas Holt 
Henry Rolfe 
John Merrill 
Thomas Hale 
Joseph Peasly 
William Morss 
John Goff 
John Stevens 
Anthony Short 
John Pemberton 
John Pike Senr 
John Musselwhite 
John Emery 
Anthony Soiiierby 
Richard Bartlet 
William Moodey 
William Franckling 
Abraham Topan 
Henry Sofnerby 
Walter Allen 
Thomas Silver 
Henry Travers 
Richard Litleale 
Gyles Badger 

Mr John Spencer 
Mr John Clark 
Mr John Woodbridge 
Mr John Cutting 
Mr James Browne 
Richard Knight 
Richard Browne 
Mrs Oliver 
Stephen Kent 
John Cheney 
Richard Badger 
Anthony Morss 
William Thomas 
Nicholas Noyes 
Widdow Stevens 
Nath Wier 
Mr Woodman 
John Kelly 
John Fry 
Francis Plunier 
John Bartlet 
Robert Coker 
Richard Fitts 
William Palmer 
Thomas Blumfield 
Thomas Coleman 
George Browne 
Nath Badger 
John Bond 
William Berry 
Mr Miller 
Jo Russ 

It is declared and ordered hereby according to the former intentions 
of the Towne that the persons only above mentioned are acknowledged 
to be free holders by the Towne and to have proportionable Right in 
all waste lands, comons & Rivers undisposed, and such as by, from or 
under them, or any of ym, or theyr Heyrs, have Bought, Granted 
and Purchased from them or any of them theyr Right & title there- 
unto & none else. Provided also that no freeholder shall bring in any 
cattle of other mens or towns on the Towns common, above or beyond 
their proportions otherwise than the freemen shall permit.* 

The names of the freeholders and the accompanying 
order, acknowledging their "proportionable right in all waste 

♦Proprietors' Records, vol. i., fol. 44. 

Mr Thomas Parker 
Mr James Noyes 
Mr Percival Lowle 
Mr Stephen Dumer 
Richard Kent Junr 
Samuel Scullard 
Mr Edmund Greenleaf 
John Osgood 
Abell Huse 
Joseph Carter 
John Knight 
Henry Lunt 
Thomas Browne 
John Hutchens 
Daniel Thirston 
John Poer 
John Pike Junr 
Henry Palmer 
William Titcomb 
Nicholas Batt 
Thomas Smith 
William White 
Thomas Davis 
Wi» Elmesley 
Samuel Guile 
Thomas Dow 
Archelaus Woodman 
Jo Swett 
Christopher Bartlet 


land," were evidently copied, when the Proprietors' Book was 
compiled, from records that are not now in existence. There 
IS no doubt, however, that the order, as printed, was adopted 
by the commissioners soon after their appointment ; and it is 
certain that a year or two later they placed on record the 
following statement relating to the proposed removal of the 
inhabitants from Parker river : — 

Whereas the towne of Newbury, well weighing the streights they 
were in for want of plough ground, remoteness of the common, scarcity 
of fencing stuffe, and the like, did in the year 1642 grant a commission 
to Mr. Thomas Parker, M^ James Noyes, Mr John, Woodbridge, M^ 
Edward Rawson, Mr. John Cutting, Mr. John Lowle, Mr. Edward 
Woodman, and Mr. John Clark, for removing, settleing, and disposeing 
of the inhabitants to such place as might in their judgements best tend 
to theyr enlargements, exchanging theyr lands, arid making such orders 
as might bee in theyr judgements for the well ordering of the town's 
occasions and, as in their commission more largely appeareth, the said 
deputed men did order in their first meeting and appoint John Merrill, 
Richard Knight, Anthony Short and John Emery to go to all the in- 
habitants of the towne, taking a true list of all the stock of each inhabi- 
tant, and make a true valuation of all their houses, improved land, and 
fences, that thereby a just rule might be made to proportion each in- 
habitant his portion of land about the nev/ towne, and removing of the 
inhabitants there. 

It was ordered at a meeting of the eight deputed men above men- 
tioned that each freeholder should have a house lott of foure akers. It 
was further ordered, in respect of the time for the inhabitants removeing 
from the place they now inhabit to that which is layd out and appointed 
for their new habitations, each inhabitant shall enjoy their house lotts 
foure years from the day of the date of this commission.* 

There is nothing to indicate when this statement, with the 
accompanying orders, was entered upon the record ; but the 
freeholders of the town, at a meeting held January 10, 1643- 
4, voted "y' eu''y house lott shall be ffoure acres," and on 
the same day ordered "y' he y' hath least land in the New 
Towne shall have 8 acres y' [except] John Swett, Tho : 
Silver, Jo : Russe." * 

The adoption of these votes and orders induced those who 
were dissatisfied to appeal to the governor and the House of 

•Town of Newbury Records, vol. i. 


Deputies for protection and assistance. June ii, 1644, the 
General Court ordered " (in ans"" to ye peticon of pte of y* 
inhabitants of Newberry) that noe village or towne shalbee 
erected w"Un the bounds of y*^ said towne vntill such time as 
y^ peticon^ bee ans'''-''' by way of comission or otherwise." * 

What further action was taken in regard to this petition 
is unknown ; but it is certain that the place first selected 
for the new meeting-house, " upon the hill by the little pine 
swamp," was subsequently changed " at a Towne meeting of 
y^ 8 men the 2^^ of January 1645-6," as appears by the 
following record : — 

Wee, whose names are in ye margent expressed (James Noyes, Ed- 
ward Woodman, John Cutting, Jolin Lowle, Richard Knight and Henry 
Short,) for ye settleing ye distraceons yt yett remayne about ye setling 
and placeing ye meeting house yt all men may cheerfully goe on to im- 
prove their lands at ye new towne doe determine yt ye meeting house 
shall be placed & sett up at or before ye twentieth of October next in, 
or upon, a knowle of upland by Abraham Toppans barne wthin a sixe 
or sixteen Rodd of this side of ye gate posts yt are sett up in ye high- 
way by said Abraham Toppans barne. 

Edward Rawson contradicents this order.f 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iii., p. 8. 
t Town of Newbury Records, vol. i. 



Although the location of the new meeting-house was defi- 
nitely fixed and settled by the vote recorded January 2, 
1645-6, a long remonstrance, signed by Edmund Greenleaf, 
Daniel Thurston, Stephen Kent, John Poore, and others, was 
presented to the General Court, denouncing the vote as ille- 
gal and unjust, and proposing that the church, under the 
pastoral care of Rev. Thomas Parker, should be divided, 
one of the elders to remain with the old church, the other 
to go with the new one.* 

To this petition, or remonstrance, the General Court re- 
turned the following answer, PvTay 26, 1647: — 

1. It is conceived meete, yt it be declared by ye authority of this 
Co^te, yt ye comission granted to ye major pt of ye towne of Newberry 
&: ye p'ceedings thereupon, to be legall & warrantable. 

2. That if any errors were in ye said coinission &c or any dissent 
from ye same by any of ye minor pt &c yet they are all concluded iro"^ 
taking any exception thereto, in regard of their acceptance of ye recom- 
pence ord^ed for satisfaction. 

3. That ye petition's of ye minor pt have failed in not submiting to 
their owne covenant. 

4. That a letf be written from this Co^te to the two eld^s & those 
brethren of ye major pt, yt for peace sake they would please by turnes 
to supply ye other pt &c.t 

The petitioners, however, were dissatisfied with the deci- 
sion of the General Court, and did not attempt to conceal 
their ve.xation and disappointment. Several of them removed 
from Newbury ; and those who remained reluctantly acqui- 
esced in the removal of the meeting-house " to a knowie of 
upland by Abraham Toppans barne." 

♦Coffin's History of Newburj', PP- 44-46- • 

t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. ii., p. iq6. 




House lots and farm lots were laid out in the new settle- 
ment, and assigned to the freeholders of the town of New- 
bury as early as 1645. An order was adopted which, though 
somewhat vague and confusing, gives some of the details of 
the assignment, as follows : — 

It is ordered (S: determined by tlie orderers of the Towne affairs 
that the plan of the new Towne is & shall be layd out by the lott lays 
as ye house lotts were determined by their choice beginning from the 
farthermost on the south street thence running threw the Pine swampe 
then up the high street numbering the lotts in the south street from the 
first to John Bartlett's lott the 27th then through the west side of the 
high street to Mr Lowles ye 28th & so to the end of the streete then run- 
ning thro' field streete to Mr Woodmans ye 41st thence to the end of 
that street to John Cheneys ye 50th then turning to the first Cross street 
the west side of John Emery 51st thence coming up from the River side 
on the East side of the same street to the other street the west side to 
Daniel Pearses ye 57th & so to the River side on yt side the streete to 
Mr Clarke, whence from ye water side up the street on the East side to 
ffrancis Plumer 66th as hereunder by names & figures appended.* 

Mr. Thomas Parker 


Daniel Pearson 


Mr James Noyes 


Thos : Blumfield 

Mr Woodman 


Nath. Badger 


John Knight 


John Bond 

Richard Knight 


John Swett 


John Pike Junior 


Wm Hilton 

Arch : Woodman 


Robt Lewis 

Jo : Pemberton 


Gyles Badger 


Rich. Little Ale ' 


Mr Greenlefe 


Rich, ffitts 


Mrs Oliver 


Widdow Stevens 

13 & 14 

Lt John Lowle 


John Stevens 


Anth : Short 


Anth : Somerby 


Jo : Hutchins 


Richard Bartlett 


Mr Clarke 


John Bartlett 


Mr Rawson 


Wm Titcomb 


Jos : Cheney 


Nich : Batt 


VVydd : Goffe 

Robt Coker 


Tho : Browne 


Tho. Dowe 


Wm Elnsley 

Rich : Badger 


Nich. Noyse 


Hen : Travers 


Hen: Lunt 


John Emery • 


Mr Browne 


*Town of Newbury Records, vol. i., p 26. 


Hen. Palmer 

M'- John Cutting 


Rich : Kent Senr 

Mr Lowle Senr 


Wm Palmer 

Sam : Plumer 


Thomas Cromwell 

A nth : Morse 


Sam : Scullard 


Wm Morse 


Tho : Silver 

Hen Rolfe 


^ Walter Allen 

Dan : Thurston 


ffrancis Plumer 


Able Huse 


Abraham Toppan 


Jo : Poore 


John Musslewte 

Jo : Merrill 


Thos. Haile 

Abr. Merrill 


Tho : Coleman 


Jo: ffits 

Wyddow Browne 


fferry lott 

Jo : Pike Senr 


Jo : Indian 


The house lots were assigned to the persons above named 
in exchange for land previously granted them at Parker 
river, and many of the transfers and conveyances were 
promptly recorded by the town clerk. Some of them, how- 
ever, were forgotten or overlooked, while others were not 
presented for approval and registration until several years 
later : * " William Mors in consideration of his resigning up 
an house lot in the old town is granted one at the new town 
joyning to the new street " ; f Anthony Mors for the same 
consideration " is granted an house lot at the new town 
joyning Cross street" ; Joseph Peasle " is granted an house 
lot in the new town joyning ffish street " ; John Knight, " an 
house lot at the new town joyning South Street " ; Samuel 
Plumer, "an house lot at the new town joyning New Street " ; 
Percivell Lowle, "an house lot at the new town joyning Hill 
Street" ; John Cutting, "an house lot at the new town joyn- 
ing Hill Street " ; PZdmund Mooers, "an house lot at the new 
town joyning South Street " ; James Browne, "an house lot 
at the new town joyning Hill Street"; Henry Lunt, "an 
house lot at the new town joyning . Merrimack Street " ; 
William Stevens, "an house lot at the new town joyning 
South Street"; Nicholas Noyes, "an house lot at the new 
town joyning South Street" ; Thomas Brown, "an house lot 

*" Ould Newbury," p. 94. 

t Town of Newbury Proprietors' Records, pp. 56-5S, inclusive. 


at the new town joyning Cross Street" ; Widdow Goff, "an 
house lot at the new town joyning Hill Street " ; Thomas 
Smith, "an house lot at the new town joyning Merrimack 
Street " ; John Pemberton, " an house lot at the new town 
joyning Merrimack Street"; John Emery, "an house lot at 
the new town joyning Cross Street " ; Henry Travers, " an 
house lot at the new town joyning South Street and Merri- 
mack Street"; Richard Ba'dger, "an house lot at the new 
town joyning South Street"; Thomas Dow, "an house lot 
at the new town joyning to the way by ffrogg pond " ; Gyles 
Cromlon, " an house lot at the new town joyning New Street " ; 
Samuel Scullard, "an house lot at the new town in the nine 
lots"; Anthony Somerby, "an house lot at the new town 
joyning to Merrimack Street in the nine lots"; Richard 
ffitts, "an house lot at the new town joyning to Merrimack 
Street in the nine lots" ; Richard Littlehale, "an house lot at 
the new town joyning to Merrimack Street in the nine lots " ; 
Thomas Blumfield, "an house lot at the new town joyning to 
ffish street"; Percivall Lowle, "four acres of land in the 
Little field " ; John Lowle, " four acres of land in the Little 
field"; Archelaus Woodman, "an house lot joyning to Mer- 
rimack Street " ; Edward Woodman, " forty acres of land 
joyning to Merrimack Streete and the way going to the Aspen 
Swamp"; Abraham Toppan, "four acres of land joyning to 
Hill Street"; Gyles Badger, "four acres of land joyning to 
ffish Street " ; John Fry, "four acres of land joyning to ffish 
Street." * 

The commercial advantages of the new settlement were 
developed and strengthened in many ways. Mr. John Cut- 
ting, "shipmaster," removed from the old town to the new 
town; Mr. Thomas Millward,f who owned a "shallop," came 

* Fish street, also called " New Street " and" the way to Watts Sellar " in the early records, is 
now State street, Newburyport. Cross street, afterward called " Ord way's Lane," is now 
Market street, Newburyport. Hill street extends from Parker to Pond streets, Newbur\'port, 
and still retains its old name. South street is now Parker street, Newbury. And Merrimack 
street, also called " the country road," is now known as High street (in Newbury and Newbury- 
port) , beginning at Parker river and extending to the Three Roads, so called. 

t " Thomas Millward, seaman," bought of Stephen Kent of Newbury,! March i6, 1O45-6, 
" ten acres of upland as it is sitluate on Merrimack River." 

" Richard ffitts of Newbury" sold March 26, 1645-6, " to Thomas Millward, mariner, live 
acres of upland scituate on Merrimack River." 


to Newbury from Cape Ann ; and Aquilla Chase, who was 
evidently a good boatman, came from Hampton. 

In 1646, the freeholders of Newbury granted Aquilla 
Chase four acres of land for a house lot at the new town, 
and six acres for a planting lot, " on condition that he do goe 
to sea and do service in the towne with a boate for four 
years." * 

Laid out to Aquilla Chace four acres of land for a house lott, be it 
more or less, in the new Towne joyning to Henry ffays land on the 
South West and the street on the South East and the way by Merri- 
mack River on the North East and David Wheelers land on the 

The building of houses in the new town and the clearing 
of land for cultivation progressed rapidly during the summer 
of 1646, and was continued with unabated vigor the following 

Decembe>" 10, 1646. The towne being informed that Mr Thomas 
Parker was unwilling to act any longer in any matters concerning the 
new Towne & that M"" Cutting was going to sea, they were apprehensive 
of the weighty occasions of the towne that are likely to bee retarded, 
did make choyse of Nicholas Noyes & William Titcomb in their roome 
to be added to the rest of the new towne men for sixe weeks that so 
things may with more speed be dispatched. % 

At the meeting of the eight men December 16, 1646, they made these 
orders and grants as follows : — 

It is ordered that whatsoever land is falne already or hereafter may 
fall into the townes hands vpon the necke ouer the great River shall per- 
petually remaine for the townes use to be let out for defraying public 

It is ordered that all men that hold land on the necke over the great 
River shall not sell nor lett out the same for any time whereby it may 

Mr. Richard Doyle of Newbury sold March 16, 1645-6, "to Mr. Thomas MilKvard, mariner, 
five acres of upland that he bought of William Morss as it is scituate on Merrimack River." 
Newbury Proprietors' Records, vol. i., p. 43. 

*''0uld Newbury," pp. 22, 123, I4g. 

tTown of Newbury Proprietors' Records, vol. i., p. 67. Aquilla Chase was living in Hamp- 
ton, N.H., March 7, 1643. He was one of the petitioners to the General Court who asked for a 
modification of the law regulating military drill in that town. (See New Hampshire Provin- 
cial Papers, vol. i., p. 166.) 

The house owned and occupied by Aquilla Chase in Newbury was located on the north- 
easterly corner of Chandler's lane (now Federal street, Newburyport) and the way by Merri- 
mack river, now Water street. , 

$Town of Newbury Records (1637 to 1692), p. 60. 


bee alienated from the towne : (this last order was made on this consid- 
eration, viz : — because the necke men have consented to yeld to the 
remoueing of the towne, and accordingly have received satisfaction at 
the new towne in land, for their land on the necke, and therefore have 
yelded up their land in the necke to the Towne). 

It is ordered that all those that do accept of any lands between the 
great River and Stephen Dufiiers farme shall have and hold it on this 
condition that they goe not about to divide the church, or oppose the 
first order or agreement about the moveing of the towne.* 

On the margin of the page where the above orders are re- 
corded is the following memorandum : — 

P'snt at this meeting James Noyes, Edward Woodman, John Lowle, 
Hen : Short, Rich : Knight, Nich. Noyes, Will Titcomb. These orders 
were published Decemb : iSth, 1646. 

February 7, 1646-7, more than two hundred and fifty acres 
of upland and marsh " on y*^ Hand over the little River " were 
granted to Richard Kent, jr., by the selectmen, he 
having, after a long contest, consented to the removal of the 


A person entitled, by grant, purchase, or inheritance, to a 
share in the common and undivided lands of Newbury was 
called a freeholder or proprietor. Frequent mention is made 
of the sale and purchase of freehold rights in the first volume 
of the Proprietors' Records :■ — 

John Bond acknowledges to have sold to Christopher Bartlet the 
priviledg of a ffreehold in the year 1643.! 

It was acknowledged by Mr Edward Rawson, Mr Edward Woodman, 
and Richard Knight, before the three Townsmen, Febr 20, 1649, being 
John Sanders, William Titcomb & Archelaus Woodman, that the hous 
lot that Richard Bartlet bought of M"" William Thomas, was acknowl- 
edged to have the priviledge of a freehold altho' it was not sett downe 
in the list of the ffreeholders they all acknowledged that it was forgott 
and accordingly gave me order to record it. 

Witness, Anthony Somerby, Recorder.\ 

*Town of Neubmy Records, 1637 to i6g2, p. 60. 

t Town of Newbury, Proprietors' Records, vol. i., p. 53. + Ibid., vol. i., p. 33. 


March i, 165 1, a committee was chosen, consisting of the 
selectmen, "three commissioners for small causes," and 
Richard Knight, to settle all claims arising from the sale or 
purchase of freehold rights. The committee reported : — 

These persons heer under mentioned are acknowledged to be ffree- 
holders and to have an interest in all comons belonging to the Towne 
as having lawfully purchased they priviledges from such as had the 
priviledges estated on them by the Towne. 

Capt Gerrish hath a freehold from Mr. Rawson.* 

William Hilton from Mattox (sold to John Wright). 

James Jackman from Giles Abbots. 

John Tilletson from Nath Wyers. 

Samuel Plumer from one of John Lowls. 

William Ilsley from William Whites. 

Hugh March from George Browns. 

Christopher Bartlet from John Bond one wch Stephen Greenleaf 

Richard Thurlo from M'' Clarks. 

John Chater from Henry Palmers. , 

George Little hath John Osgoods. 

Henry Jaques from Walter AUens^^^-^ 

Ml" Woodman from John Pembertons. 

Richard Petengall from Mr Thomas. 

Stephen Swet from John ffry. 

Joseph Plumer from John Kelly. 

Edmund Moers from John Stevens. 

Richard Browne from Giles Badger. 

Edmund Moers hath Richard Brownes. 

John Wheeler was acknowledged to have a priviledg, and also Danie 
Wheeler and Aquilla Chase & NathanieLM.exr]ll- ^ 

Stephen Greenleaf from William ffracnkling sold now to John 
- _-^aiui Bayley from Joseph Peasly. 

John Bayley another from W'" Ilsley. 

William Titcomb besides his owne hath M"" James Brownes. 

Richard Bartlet besides his owne hath M"" Henry Sewall Jun''. 

George Little hath the other of Mr John Lowls freeholds. 

John Bartlet besides his owne hath Samuel Guiles. 

William Moody hath John Gofts. 

* " Atalegall meeting of the Towne March 3, 1661-2 Capt. William Gerrish produced a deede of 
the purchas of Mr Rawsons farm & ffreehold in Newbury and the Towne Granted the said Capt. 
Gerrish to be recorded a ffreeholder uppon the said Purchas in all the Towns Comons belonging 
to Newbury. per Anthony Somf.rby, C/ifrt." 

— Newbury Proprietors' Records, vol. i., p. 4g. 


Mr Sevvals little farme hath for pembertons house from Mr Wood- 
mans Priviledge Amos Stickny. 

Widdow Keyes on Richard Badger. 
— r John Bishop besides the Mill Lott hath Samuel Scullards Priviledg. 

John Emery Jnr hath Daniel Peirces. 

Mr. Coffin hath Mr Snellings. 

W>n Chandler hath William Berries. 

Benjamin Rolfe from Nathaniel Badger. 

Richard Dole from Mr Greenleaf. 

Edward Richardson purchased Nathaniel Wyers ffreehold of John 

Feb. 23, 1653 James Browne from his Grandfather Mr Cuttings 

Robert Long for four acres of dividend land and four acres which he 
purchased of Capt. Gerrish, bought of the towns men the right & privi- 
lege of a freehold.* 

The towns men with the rest of the Committee above said, meeting 
January the loth 1652 about their comission found that all inhabitants 
was freeholders according to towne order except those whose names are 
here under written and these also the committee according to their 
power do order that they may purchase the priveledge of Commonage, 
each man Conditionally; every man do either lay eight akers of divident 
land to the Comon which they may do by purchase or else pay fifty 
shillings to the townsmen to purchase such land for the towns use, and 
no other person upon any Condition whatsoever. 
John Knight Jun. William Sawyer 

Robert Longe William Morse 

Edward Richardson Robert Rogers hath purchased 

Nath. Wyres of John Tilletson 
Robert Morse Henry ffay 

Robert Adams ' Francis Ordway hath not of his 

owne but at pr'sent he hath one he buyes of John Bartlet 
John Hall 

Joseph Downer hath his father John Knights freehold 
William Randall \ 

William Mitchil r hath not liberty to purchase 
William Trotter ) 

Edward Woodman hath Thomas Davis freehold 
John Knight Junr hath purchased Richard Littlehale freehold as by a 

bill of sale appears Novemb : 23.! 

Edward Rawson and Anthony Somerby in an affidavit 
dated August 18, 1654, state that Richard Bartlet, senior, of 

* Newbury Proprietors' Records, vol. i., p. 45. t Town of Newbury Records, vol. i. 


Newbury, "in consideration of a certain number of bushels of 
corne in hand paid and received & for ten bushels a year 
during his natural life," sold and conveyed to his son Richard 
Bartlet "his freehold & four acre lot at new towne, six 
acres of marsh land & five acres meadow land near the ox 
comon, & seven acres dividend land in the year 1646." 
The deed being lost, this affidavit was signed and acknowl- 
edged on the day above named, and afterwards recorded in 
the Registry of Deeds.* 

March 3, 1661 laid out for M"" Henry Sewall for the two freeholds 
he doth enjoy, one was for his fathers and the other was Mr Edward 
Woodmans, ten acres of Marshland being the ninth and tenth lots &c.* 

Mr. Henry Sewall acknowledged unto me, January 3, 1683, to have 
given his son John Sewall his freehold Priviledg of Comon wch he pur- 
chased of Mr. Woodman. Anthony Somerby 

Cler for Newbtiry.* 

The same day Mr Henry Sewall acknowledged to have given his 
son Stephen Sewall the freehold of Comon which was granted to his 
father, Henry Sewall deceased. f 

David Wheeler, of Rowley, planter, for twenty-eight pounds 
sold to Caleb Moody of Newbury, maltster, all his common 
right or freehold belonging to the house lot " lying near to 
Watts his seller in Newbury," conditionally, upon the pay- 
ment of fourteen pounds to the said Caleb Moody before 
April I, 1675. The bill of sale, dated February 13, 1672, 
to be void and of no effect, if the said fourteen pounds is 
paid. I 


The charter granted " The Governor and Company of the 
Massachusetts Bay in New England " in 1629 provided for 
the organization of the company and the orderly management 
of its affairs, "for the imposition of lawful fines, mulcts, im- 
prisonment, or other lawful correction, according to the course 
of other Corporations § in this our realm of England," and 

* Essex Deeds (Ipswich Series) , vol. i., p. 184 (500). 

+ Town of Newbury Proprietors' Records, p. 66. % Ibid, vol. i. 

§The charter evidently conveyed the rights, privileges, and powers granted to other corpo- 
rations, organized and governed in England, but did not expressly confer upon the company the 
right to transfer its government to New England, to levy taxes, organize towns, or establish 
courts of justice there. 


conferred upon the governor, deputy governor, and their 
assistants power and authority to choose or appoint such 
persons "as they shall think fit" to be freemen of the com- 
pany, to aid and assist in making "laws and ordinances for 
the good and welfare of said company, . . . not contrary or 
repugnant to the laws and statutes of this our realm of 

At a meeting of the officers and freemen of the company 
held in London October 29, 1629, it was voted to transfer 
the government and control of the company to New 

The first Court of Assistants was held August 23, 1630, at 
Charlestown. The first session of the General Court was 
held October 19, 1630, at Boston. The law-making power 
was intrusted by the charter to the freemen, who were to 
meet four times each year to decide, by a majority vote, all 
questions relating to public affairs. The governor, deputy 
governor, and assistants, constituted a majority, if not all, of 
the members who were present at the first session of the 
General Court. They passed an order " for the establishing 
of the government " limiting the power and authority of the 
freemen, and giving to the assistants the exclusive right or 
elect a governor and deputy governor, " who, with the assist- 
ants, should have the power of making laws and choosing of- 
ficers to execute the same." No one Avas made a freeman at 
this session of the court, although one hundred and nine per- 
sons applied for admission.* 

May 18, 1 63 1, the General Court ordered that "no man 
shalbee admitted to the freedome of this body polliticke but 
such as are members of some of the churches within the 
lymitts of the same." f 

At this session one hundred and sixteen persons, including 
most of those who applied in October, 1630, took the oath, 
and were admitted as freemen. 

May 9, 1632, the order adopted October 19, 1630, in re- 
gard to the election of officers was modified and made accept- 
able to the people by an agreement that the governor and 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., pp. 79, So. t Ibid., vol. i., p. S7. 


deputy governor should, after that date, be chosen by the 
freemen, and not by the assistants.* 

May 14, 1634, it was,voted that "none but the General 
Court hath power to chuse and admitt ffreemen " ; f and Sep- 
tember 3, 1635, all questions relating to the admission of in- 
habitants, or to the granting and laying out of house lots in 
towns, were, by order of the General Court, referred to the 
freemen of the several towns for settlement. J 

March 3, 1635—6, the General Court ordered "that noe 
p'son, being a member of any cliurche which shall hereafter 
be gathered without the approbation of the Magistrates & 
the greater p'te of the said churches, shalbe admitted to the 
ffreedom of this comonwealthe." § 

After March 9, 1636-7, every military officer or civilian 
holding a position of honor or trust was compelled to take 
the oath of a freeman ; " for it is the intent and order of the 
court that no person shall henceforth be chosen to any office 
in the Commonwealth but such as is a freeman." || 

In answer to a petition presented by the inhabitants of the 
county of Middlesex, the General Court ordered. May 3 1, 
1660, "that no man whosoeuer shall be admitted to the free- 
dom of this body politic but such as are members of some 
cluirch of Christ, and in full com'nion, w^'^ they declare to be 
y^ true intent of y* anncient lawe enacted May 18, 163 1." ^ 

King Charles II., in a letter to the General Court dated 
June 28, 1662, objected to the arbitrary provisions of this 
law. It was repealed August 3, 1664, 3-'""^l 3. new one en- 
acted, admitting to the freedom of the Commonwealth, by 
a majority vote of the members of the General Court, all 
Englishmen presenting a certificate from the minister of the 
place where they dwell " that they are orthodox in religion 
& not vitious in theire Hues," and also a certificate from the 
selectmen that they are freeholders and pay a tax of ten 
shillings, or more, annually.* * 

Col. Richard Nicolls, Sir Robert Carr, George Cartwright, 
Esq., and Samuel Maverick, Esq., commissioners sent by the 

•Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 95. t Ibid., vol. i., p. 117. Jlbid. , vol. i., 

p. 161. § Ibid., vol. i., p. 168. 11 Ibid., vol. i., p. 18S. H Ibid., vol. iv., part I., p. 420. 

*• Ibid., vol. iv., part II., p. 117. 


king to confer with the colonial authorities in regard to 
alleged abuses in the administration of government in New 
England, endeavored to secure a modification of this law, and 
especially the tax qualification which they severely criticised 
and denounced. In a communication addressed to the Gen- 
eral Court they state their objections to the law, and say :■ — 

When the King shall be enformed, as the trueth is, that not one 
church member in an hundred payes so much & yt in a towne of an 
hundred inhabitants scarse three such men are to be found, wee feare 
the King will rather finde himself deluded than satisfied by your late 
act. Though you commend, to the ministry & people, the record of the 
Lord for their rule, yet you did it with a provisoe that they have the 
approbation of the Court as appears in the same page ; and wee have 
great reason both to thinke & say that the King & his council & the 
church of England, vnderstands & follows the rules in Gods word as 
much as their corporation.* 

A few months before the above protest was presented by 
the commissioners the county courts were authorized, Octo- 
ber 19, 1664, to administer the freeman's oath to any person 
approved by the General Court. f After a long delay and 
a somewhat acrimonious discussion the commissioners re- 
turned to England. The king was occupied with political 
troubles and dissensions at home, and for many years paid 
but little attention to colonial affairs. 

The law remained in force, notwithstanding the serious 
objections raised agamst it, until the charter of the colony 
was annulled, October 23, 1684. 


As the residence of the freemen is not always given in the 
records, it is possible that some names that should appear in 
the following list have been overlooked. 

N'ame. Admitted. Mass. Colony Records. 

Frauncis Plumer. May 14, 1634. Vol. i., pp. 368, 369. 

Thomas Hale. May 14, 1634. Vol. i., pp. 368,369. 

John Eales. May 14, 1634. Vol. i., pp. 368,369. 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv. , part II., p. 205. 
t Ibid., vol. iv., part I., p. 134. 






. Colaity Records. 

Christopher Hussey. 

May 14, 1634. 


L, pp. 368, 369. 

Mr John Spencer. 

Sept. 3, 1634. 


i., pp. 369,370. 

Henry Shorte. 

Sept. 3, 1634. 


i., pp. 369,370. 

Phillip Fowler. 

Sept. 3, 1634. 


., pp. 369,370. 

Mr Tho : Parker. 

Sept. 3, 1634. 


i., pp. 369, 570. 

Mr Nicholas Easton. 

Sept. 3, 1634. 


i.,pp. 369,370. 

Mr James Noise. 

Sept. 3, 1634. 


i., pp. 369,370. 

John Webster. 

March 4, 1634-5. 


i., p. 370. 

Rich: Kent. 

March 4, 1634-5. 


., p. 370. 

John Gierke. 

May 6, 1635. 

Vol. 1 

•, PP- 370,371. 

Rich Browne. 

May 6, 1635. 


., pp. 370,371- 

Willm Moody. 

May 6, 1635. 


I., pp. 370,371. 

Mr Steven Batchelr 

May 6, 1635. 


!., pp. 370,371. 

Willm Mosse. 

March 3, 1635-6. 


•, p. 371. 

Richrd Knight. 

May 25, 1636. 


i-, P- 371 

Anthony Mosse. 

May 25, 1636. 

Vol. 1 

., p. 371 

John Saunders. 

May 25, 1636. 


•, p. 371 

James Browne. 

May 25, 1636. 

Vol. 1 

•, P- 371 

Edmond Marshall. 

May 17, 1637. 

Vol. i 

•, P- 373 

Henry Seawall, Junior. 

May 17, 1637. 

Vol. 1 

•, P- 373 

Thomas Smythe. 

May 17, 1637. 


-, P- 373 

Nicolas Holt. 

May 17, 1637. 


•, P-373 

Nicolas Noise. 

May 17, 1637. 


•, P- 373 

Archelaus Woodman. 

May 17, 1637. 


•, P- 373 

James Browne. 

May 17, 1637. 


•,P- 373 

John Bartlet. 

May 17, 1637. 


M P- 373 

Robert Pike. 

May 17, 1637. 


mP- 373 

Thomas Coleman. 

May 17, 1637. 


•, P- 373 

John Cheney. 

May 17, 1637. 

Vol. 1 

•, p. 373 

Edward Rawson. 

March, 1637-8. 

Vol. i 

M p. 374 

Daniell Peirce. 

May 2, 1638. 

Vol. i 

•,P- 374 

Abraham Tappin. 

May 2, 163S. 


M P- 374 

Henry Lunt. 

May 2, 1638. 

Vol. 1 

-, P- 374 

Thomas Hale. 

Sept. 7, 1638. 

Vol. 1 

-. p. 374 

Richrd Singletery. 

Sept. 7, 1638. 

Vol. i 

•, p. 374 

Christopher Batte. 

March 13, 1638-9. 

Vol. i 

•, P- 375 

Edmond Greenliffe. 

March 13, 1638-9. 

Vol. i 

•, P- 375 

Thomas Moulton. 

March 13, 1638-9. 

Vol. i 

•, P- 375- 

Steven Dumer 

May 22, 1639. 

Vol. i 

mP- 375- 

John Osgood. 

May 22, 1639. 

Vol. i 

•, P- 375- 

John Goffe. 

May 22, 1639. 

Vol. i 

-, P- 375- 

John Mussellwhit. 

May 22, 1639. 

Vol. i 

•, P- 375- 

Steven Kent. 

May 22, 1639. 

Vol. i 

•. P- 375- 

John Rimington. 

May 22, 1639. 

Vol. i 

•, P- 375- 


Thomas Browne. 
John Moulton. 
John Clarke. 
John Koffe. 
Anthony Sadler. 
Thomas Masie. 
John Oliver. 
John Saunders. 
John Lowell. 
Thorn : Davies. 
John Emery. 
Samu : Plumer. 
John March. 
Richi'd Knight. 
John Cooper. 
John Stevens. 
Willi: Stevens. 
Antho : Sommersbey. 
Henry Sommersbey. 
William Berry. 
Samu : Guil. 
Abell Hews. 

William Gerrish. 

Christopher Bartlet. 
John Fore. 

John .Saunders. 

Tho : Milward. 

John Knight. 

Ben: Swet. 

John Chattor (Cheater.''). 

William Hilton. 
John Kent. 

Nath : Weare, Senior. 
Rich: Dole. 
John Emery, Jr. 
Rich : IJartlett. 
Will: Bartlett. 
Will: Cottell. 

May 22, 1639. 
May 22, 1639. 
May 22, 1639. 
Sept. 6, 1639. 
Sept. 6, 1639. 
Sept. 6, 1639. 
May 13, 1640. 
May 13, 1640. 
June 2, 1 641. 
June 2, 1 64 1. 
June 2, 1 64 1. 
June 2, 1641. 
May 18, 1642. 
May 18, 1642. 
May 18, 1642. 
May 18, 1642. 
May 18, 1642. 
May 18, 1642. 
May 18, 1642. 
May 18, 1642. 
May 18, 1642. 
May 18, 1642. 

July 9, 1645. 

Sept. 29, 1646. 
March 28, 1648. 

May 22, 1650. 

Sept. 7, 1650. 
Sept. 7, 1650. 
Sept. 7, 1650. 
March 25, 165 1. 

May 18, 1653. 
May 3, 1654. 

March 28, 1654. 
March 28, 1654. 
March 28, 1654. 
March 28, 1654. 
March 28, 1654. 
March 28, 1654. 

Mass. Colony Records. 
Vol. i., p. 375. 
Vol. i., p. 375. 
Vol. i., p. 375. 
Vol. i., p. 376. 
Vol. i., p. 376. 
Vol. i., p. 376. 
\'ol. i., p. 376. 
Vol. i., p. 376. 
Vol. i., p. 378. 
Vol. i., p. 378. 
Vol. i., p. 378. 
Vol. i., p. 378. 
Vol. ii., p. 291. 
Vol. ii., p. 291. 
Vol. ii., p. 291. 
Vol. ii., p. 291. 
V'ol. ii.. p. 291. 
Vol. ii., p. 291. 
Vol. ii., p. 291. 
Vol. ii., p. 291. 
Vol. ii., p. 291. 
Vol. ii., p. 291. 

Salem Court Records. 
Book II., leaf 174. 

Ipswich Court Recoras. 
Book I., leaf 4. 
Book I., leaf 1 1. 

Mass. Colony Records. 
Vol. iv., part I., p. 459. 

Ipswich Court Records. 
Book I., leaf 21. 
Book I., leaf 21. 
Book I., leaf 21. 
Book I., leaf 23. 

Mass. Colony Records. 
Vol. iv., part I., p. 460. 
\'ol. iv.. part I., p. 460. 

Ipswich Court Records. 
Book I., leaf 44. 
Book I., leaf 44. 
Book I., leaf 44. 
Book I., leaf 44. 
Book 1., leaf 44. 
Book I., leaf 44. 


March 28, 1654. 
March 28, 1654. 
March 28, 1654. 
March 28, 1657. 
March 31, 1657. 
March 31, 1657. 
Sept. 29, 1657. 
Sept. 28, 1658. 
March 29, 1659. 
March 29, 1659. 
March 27, 1660. 
Sept. 30, 1662. 

Ipswich Court Records. 
Book I., leaf 44. 
Book 1., leaf 44. 
Book I., leaf 44. 
Book I., leaf 44. 
Book I., leaf 59. 
Book I., leaf 59. 
Book I., leaf 63. 
Book I., leaf 69. 
Book I., leaf 72. 
Book I., leaf 72. 
Book I., leaf 84. 
Book I., leaf 109. 
Mass. Colony Records. 

Tho : Bloom field. 
Tho Seers. 
Will: Chandlour. 
John Davis. 
Joseph Noyes. 
Joseph Muzzey. 
John Webster. 
Tho: Hale. 
-John Allen. 
Solomon Keyes. 
Robert Addams. 
Abraham Merrill. 

Dani : Pearse. 
Shubal Dumer. 
Samuel Moody. 
Caleb Moody. 
\Vm Peelsbury.* 
James Ordaway.* 
Nath : Clarke.* 
Tristram Coffin. f 
James Kent. :|: 
J no Kent. 
Jno Bartlet, Jun. 
Jno Wells. 
Abiel Somersby. % 
Henry Jacquish. % 

* William Pilsbun', James Ordway, and Nathaniel Clarke, " church members of Newbury 
desire ye priveledge to be made freemen." "Attest, Henry Sewall." Admitted May 14, 1668 
(Massachusetts Archives, vol. cvi., p. 4S5.) 

" W"i Pilsburj' took the oath of a freeman Sept. 29, 1668." (Ipswich Court Records, book 
II., leaf 79-) 

James Ordway was sworn before Robert Pike, commissioner, February 26, 166S-9. (Nor- 
folk Deeds, book II., p. 143.) 

t " To the Honored Gov. Deputy Gov. Magistrates & Deputj'es in Generall Court assem- 
bled the 29 of April 166S. 

" We hereby certify that Tristram Coffin is an Orthodox member of the church of Newbury 
and a householder in all respects qualified for admission to the freedom of this jurisdiction as 
the Law directeth. 

" I judge the foresaid Tristram Coffin to be orthodox, and he also is a member of our 
church. Thomas parker. 

" Admitted to freedom " Richard Kent. 

"22.3nio68 " Richard Dole. 

"E. R[awson] S [ecretary] "John Knight. 

" Daniel pierce." 
— Massachusetts Archives, vol. cvi., p. 4S7. 
+ " James Kent, Abiell Som.erby, and Henry Jaquis admitted to be freemen by the general 
Court took the freeman's oath .April 18, 1671 at the Ipswich Court." (Book II., leaf 142.) 

" To the Honoured Court : Wee the selectmen of Newburj- according to law do present 

May 27, 


Vol. iv. 

part 1 


May 3, I 


^'ol. iv. 

part ' 

p. 582. 

May 23, 


Vol. iv. 

part I 

p. 582. 

May 23, 


Vol. iv. 

part ] 

,p. 582. 

April 29, 


Vol. iv. 

, part 

,p. 583. 

April 29 


Vol. iv. 



April 29, 


Vol. iv. 

part ] 


April 2g 


Vol. iv. 

, part I 

P- 583- 

May 19, 


Vol. iv. 

, part 


May 19, 


\o\. iv. 

, part 

, P-583. 

May 19, 


Vol. iv. 



May 19, 


Vol. iv. 

, part 

, P-583 

May 19, 


Vol. iv. 

part I 


May 19, 


Vol. iv. 

, part ] 

, P-583- 





Colony Records. 

Benja : Lowell. 

May 19 


Vol. iv. 

part II., 


John Bayley.* 

May 19 


Vol. iv. 

part II. 

P- 583- 

Joseph Plumer.f 

May 1 1 


Vol. iv. 

part II. 

P- 584- 

Renj: Rolfcf 

May 1 1 


Vol. iv. 

part II. 

p. 584. 

John Poore Jun.f 

May 1 1 


V'ol. iv. 

part II. 

p. 584. 

Franc : Thurlo.f 

May 1 1 


Vol. iv. 

part II. 

p. 584. 

Nicho: Batt.f 

May I r, 


Vol. iv. 

part II. 

p. 584. 

Job Pilsbury.f 

May 1 1 


Vol. iv. 

part II. 

p. 584. 

Paul White. 

May 31 


Vol. iv. 

part II. 


Tho : Noyes. 

May 31 


Vol. iv. 

, part II. 

p. 585. 

Jonathan Morse. 

May 31 


Vol. iv. 

, part II. 


James Smith. 

May 31 


Vol. iv. 

, part II. 

p. 585. 

John Smith. 

May 31 

, 1671. 

Vol. iv. 

, part II. 


John Knight, Jun. 

May 31 


Vol. iv. 

part II. 


Mr. Joseph Gerrish. 

May 7, 


\^ol. iv. 

part II. 

p. 586. 

Elisha Elsie (Ilsley?) 

May 7, 


Vol. iv. 

, part II. 


James Bayley. 

May 7, 


\'ol. iv. 

part II. 


Dani : Cheny. 

May 7, 


\'ol. iv. 

, part II. 


Joseph Browne. 1 

May 7, 


\'oL iv. 

, part II. 


Sam : Poore. 

May 7, 


Vol. iv. 

, part II. 


Moses Pilsbury. 

May 7, 


Vol. iv. 

, part II. 


Benja: Morse. 

May 7, 


Vol. iv. 

, part II. 

, p. 586. 

Sam: Bartlet. 

May 7, 


Vol. iv 

, part II. 

, p. 586. 

John No3'es.J 

Jan. 9, 


Vol. iv. 

, part II. 


Cutting Noyes. t 

Jan. 9, 


Vol. iv 

,part II. 


John Lunt.J 

Jan. 9, 


Vol. iv 

, part II. 

,p. 587. 

Abra : Adams. J 

Jan. 9, 


Vol. iv 

.part II. 


John Badger.:|: 

Jan. 9, 


Vol. iv 

,part II. 


Joseph Gerrish. t 

Jan. 9, 


Vol. iv. 

, part II 


Henry Jacquish, John Kelly, Benjamin Rolfe [ . . . ] being in ffuU communion with the church 
in Newbury And Orthodox in Religion, Desire to be made free " Richard Dole. 

"6th May '69. "John Knight. 

" Allowed June 2, i66g. " Tristram Coffin." 

— Massachusetts Archives, vol. cvi., leaf 490. 

* John Bayley, Benjamin Lowell, John Wells and John Bartlet, jr., took the oath before 
Robert Pike, commissioner, October 2, 1669. (Norfolk Deeds, book 11., leaf 143.) 

"To the honored Court: John Bayley an Ancient inhabitant and member in full communion 
with the church of Newbury desires admi.ssion to the freedom of this jurisdiction. 

" That John Bayley is as above exprest is attested by me 

" May 22, 1669." "Joseph Hills. 

— Massachusetts Archives, vol. cvi., leaf 489. 

t " Benjamin Roffe, John Poore, Jun, ffrances Thurlay, Nicholas Batt, Job Pilsbury- & 
Samuel (?) Plumer of Newbury being returned by the Secretary took the oath of freeman, Sept. 
27, 1670." (Ipswich Court Records, book II., leaf 125.) 

t " Jno Badger, Jno Lunt, John Noyes, Cuting Noyes, Jos Gerrish, Jos Browne of Newbury 
being admitted to the freedom this colony took the freemans oath March 31, 1674.." (Ipswich 
Court Records, book II., leaf 240.) 





Mass. Colony Records. 

John Sewall. 

May 12, 1675. 

Vol. v., p. 536. 

John Richardson. 

May 12, 1675. 

Vol. v., p. 536. 

Sam : Sayer. 

-May 12, 1675. 

Vol. v., p. 536. 

Benja Morse. 

May 12, 1675. 

Vol. v., p. 536. 
Ipswich Court Records 

Tho: Wells. 

Sept. 28, 1675. 

Book II., leaf 271. 

Joseph Morse. 

Sept. 28, 1675. 

Book II., leaf 271. 
Mass. Colony Records. 

Rich. Dumer Jun.* 

May 23, 1677. 

Vol. v., p. 537. 

Hen: Short.* 

May 23, 1677. 

Vol. v., p. 537 

Steph : Greenleaf. 

May 23, 1677. 

Vol. v., p. 537. 

Jacob Topan.* 

May 23, 1677. 

Vol. v., p. 537. 

Rich: Bartlet, Jun.* 

May 23, 1677. 

Vol. v., p. 537. 

Jno : Dole. 

Oct. 15, 1679. 

Vol. v., p. 539. 
Ipswich Court Records 

John Sewall. 

April 15, 1679. 

Book II., leaf 340. 

Charles Annis. 

April 15, 1679. 

Book II., leaf 340. 

John Pengitta (Pettingell 

?) April IS, 1679. 

Book II., leaf 340. 

Caleb Boynton. 

March 29, 1681. 

Book II., leaf 362. 
Mass. Colony Records. 

Daniel Lunt. 

Feb. 7, 1682-3. 

Vol. v., p. 541. 

Daniel Merrill. 

Feb. 7, 1682-3. 

Vol. v., p. 541. 

Wm. Moody. 

F"eb. 7, 1682-3. 

Vol. v., p. 541. 

George March. 

May 16, 1683. 

Vol. v., p. 542. 

Joseph Knight. t 

Feb. 13, 1683-4. 

Vol. v., p. 542. 

Tymothy Noys. 

Feb. 13, 16S3-4. 

Vol. v., p. 542. 

James Jackman. 

Feb. 13, 16S3-4. 

Vol. v., p. 542. 

Wm Elsly.f 

Feb. 13, 1683-4. 

Vol. v., p. 542. 

Dane' Merrill. 

May 7, 1684. 

Vol. v., p. 542. 

Jno Bartlet. 

May 7, 1684. 

Vol. v., p. 542. 


May 6, 1646, the General Court adopted the following 
order : " Mr. Edvv^ Raw.son, M"" Woodman, & Hen : Shorte, 
whom Newbu''y have chosen to be ord''ers of their affaires, are 
authorized to end small causes; "J; and the next year, under 
the date of May 26, 1647, "Mr. James Browne, Mr. John 

•" Jacob Topan, Rich: Bartlet Rich: Dumer Jun and Henry Short took the freemens oath 
March 26, 1678." (Ipswich Court Records, book II., leaf 300). 

t" Joseph Knight, William EUsly & John Gilbert (?) of Newburj' being by the certificate 
from ye secretary allowed to be freemen, took ye oath March 25, 1684 " (Ipswich Court Records 
book III., leaf 22) 

+ Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. ii., p. 148. 


Lowlc, & Henry Shorte " were appointed to end small causes 
at Newbury.* 

Subsequently the county courts and Court of Assistants 
were authorized to license the commissioners for small 
causes " w"' clarks of y'-' writs." f 

April 27, 1648, " M"" James Browne, M"" William Gerrish 
& William Titcombe" were chosen by the inhabitants of 
Newbury "for the ending of small causes in this town for 
this year." % 

At a general town meeting held April 19, 1649, "M"" 
William Gerrish, M"" W^oodman, & John Pike were chosen to 
end small causes in this towne for the year ensuing." \ 

May 23, 1650, "vppon the request of the towne of New- 
berry, Edward Woodman, William Gerrish & Richard Kent 
are appoynted to end small causes there according to law." § 

At the county court held in Ipswich March 25, 165 1, 
William Gerrish and John Pike, jr., appeared, and were sworn 
" commissioners to end small causes at Newberry." Mr. Ed- 
ward Woodman was also named commissioner, but was not 
sworn at that date. || 

March 29, 1653, " Capt. Gerrish sworn commissioner to 
end small causes in Newbury." ^ 

"March 28, 1654, Cap^ Gerrish, Nicholas Noyes, and John 
Pike were sworn commissioners to end small causes in 
Newberry." ** 

"March 27, 1655,- William Tittcum and Harchales Wood- 
man sworn commissioners for Newbury." ff 

March 25, 1656, Edward Woodman, Nicolas Noyce, and 
John Pike sworn commissioners to end small causes in 
Newbury. %% 

November 26, 1656, Capt. William Gerrish sworn commis- 
sioner, etc., for Newbury." §§ 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. ii., p. igi. 

John Lowell died June 29, 1647. "Sept. 2S, 1647 John Saunders appointed to be in the 
room of Mr Lole to end small causes at Newberry." (Ipswich Court Files, vol. i., p. 10.) 

t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. ii., p. 188. 

tTown of Newbury Records, vol. i. 

§ Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iii., p. 194 

II Ipswich Court Records, vol. i., p. 23. II Ibid., vol. i., p. 32. ** Ibid., vol. i. , p. 44. 

tt Ibid., vol. i., p. 49. ++ Ibid., vol. i., p. 55. 

§§ Salem Court Records, vol. iv., p. 20. 


March 31, 1657, Nicholas Noyse and John Pike sworn com- 
missioners for Newbury. * 

March 27, 1659, Mr. Nicolas Noyse sworn commissioner, 
etc., for Newbury, f 

September 25, 1660, Mr. Edward Woodman, Capt. Will- 
iam Gerrish, and Lieut. Jc^hn Pike sworn commissioners, etc., 
for the year ensuing. | 

March 26, 1661, Capt. William Gerrish sworn commissioner 
to end small causes at Newbury. § 

March 25, 1662, Capt. William Gerrish and Mr. Edward 
Woodman and Nicolas Noyse, chosen to end small causes at 

Capt. Gerrish and Nicholas Noyse sworn. || 

March 7, 1663, " M"' Woodman, Cap* Gerrish & Nicholas 
Noyes chosen commissioners for small causes for the year 
ensuing." ^ 

March 6, 1664-5, Mr. [Edward] Woodman, Capt. [Will- 
iam] Gerrish, and Nicholas Noyes were chosen.** 

March 5, 1665-6, Capt. [William] Gerrish, Mr. [Joseph] 
Hills, and Nicholas Noyes chosen.** 

March 4, \666-y, Capt. [William] Gerrish, Mr. [Joseph] 
Hills, and Nicholas Noyes chosen.** 

March 2, 1667-8, Capt. [William] Gerrish, Mr. [Joseph] 
Hills, and Nicholas Noyes chosen.** 

March i, 1668-9, Capt. Gerrish, Mr. Hills, and Nicholas 
Noyes chosen.** 

March 7, 1669-70, Mr. Woodman, Mr. Dumer, and Will- 
iam Titcomb chosen.** 

September 19, 1670, " M"" Rich: Dumer, M"" Edw : Wood- 
man, & Will. Titcomb nominated as commissioners to be ap- 
pointed by the county court." ** 

March 6, 1670-71, Archelaus Woodman, William Titcomb, 
and Samuel Plumer chosen commissioners for small causes, to 
be approved by the county court.** 

March 4, 1671-2, Mr. Richard Dumer, sr., Lieut. Arche- 
laus Woodman, and William Titcomb, nominated as commis- 
sioners of small causes to the county court.** 

* Ipswich Court Records, vol. i., p. 59. t Ibid., vol. i., p. 76. + Ibid., vol. i., p. 88. 

§ Ibid., vol. i., p. 93- II Ibid., vol. i., p. loS. 

IT Town of Newbury Records. ** Ibid., vol. i. 


March 3, 1672-3, Capt. Gerrish, Nicholas Noyes, and 
Lieut. Woodman were nominated commissioners. * 

March 2, 1673-4, Capt. Gerrish, Lieut. Woodman, and 
Nicholas Noyes were nominated commissioners.* 

March i, 1674-5, Capt. Gerrish, Lieut. Woodman, and 
Nicholas Noyes were nominated commissioners. * 

March 6, 1675-6, Capt. Gerrish, Nicholas Noyes, and 
Lieut. Archelaus Woodman were nominated commissioners.* 

March 5, \6'j6-'j, Mr. John Woodbridg, Nicholas Noyes, 
and Daniel Peirce, jr., were nominated commissioners.* 

March 27, 1677, Mr. John Woodbridge, Nicholas Noyes, 
and Daniel Pearce, jr., are allowed to be commissioners to end 
small causes at Newbury.f 

Salem, 29: 9: 1681 This court receiving a motion of the Constable 
of Newbury for persons to be allowed for commissioners of small causes 
in that towne, the Court doth appoint Capt Daniell Pearce, Mr Nicholas 
Noyes & Sergt Tristram Coffin to be commissioners in said causes ac- 
cording to law for this year, they taking the oath appointed by the 
general court before any magistrate. % 

March 16, 1685-6, Capt. Daniell Peirce, Lieut. Stephen 
Greenleaf, sr., and Capt. Thomas Noyes were nominated as 
commissioners for small causes. § 


May 19, 1669, tl'^G General Court appointed special magis- 
trates for the towns of Dover and Portsmouth, to try criminal 
cases, take testimony on oath, swear constables, take acknowl- 
edgments of deeds, and officiate at marriages. The same day 
Capt. Nathaniel Saltonstall of Haverhill, Capt. Robert Pike 
of Salisbury, and Mr. Samuel Dalton of Hampton were au- 
thorized to do "w"'in their respective townes where they Hue 
& not elsewhere, whateuer any magistrate may legally 
doe " II 

*Town of Newbury Records. 

t Ipswich Court Records, vol. ii., p. 287. 

X Salem Court Records, vol. v., p. 24. 

§Town of Newbury Records. 

II Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part I., p. 424. 


Twelve months later the selectmen of Newbury presented 
the following petition to the General Court, dated May i i, 
1670 : — 

To ye Honobe Generall Court assembled at Boston. 

The Humble request of the Selectmen at Newbury is that inasmuch 
as their Towne is remote from any Towne where a magistrate dwells : 
that Mr Woodman may be Impowd with Magisterriall pow^ in this 
Towne as other Townes have to the Elastward. 

John Bartlet. 

William Chandler. 

Edm. Morse. 

Sam. plumer. 

Caleb Moody.* 

The indorsement on this petition indicates that it failed to 
receive the approval of the General Court : " The deputies 
consent " ; "the magistrates consent not." 

June I, 1677, Mr. John Woodbridge, sr., was authorized 
by the General Court to take acknowledgments of deeds 
and serve as magistrate in the town of Newbury for the year 
ensuing ; and this appointment was renewed May 9, 1678, 
for one year.f 

May 28, 1679, Mr. John Woodbridge's commission as 
magistrate for Newbury was again renewed ; and he was also 
appointed, at the same time, one of the associate magistrates 
for the county of Essex for the year ensuing. J 

May 26, 1680, the appointment of Mr. Woodbridge was 
again brought to the attention of the General Court. The 
magistrates adopted the following order : — 

This court considering the remoteness of Newbury from any author- 
ity to act as a magistrate & the benefit that they, by their information, 
have found in the help they have had by Mr Jno. Woodbridge being 
invested with magistraticall authority do hereby renew his said com- 
mission. § 

The deputies declined to concur with the magistrates in 
the adoption of this order, and the office remained vacant 
during the year 1680. 

• Massachusetts Archives, vol. xxxix., p. 376. 

t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. v., pp. 145 and 187 + Ibid., vol. v., p. 226. 

§ Massachusetts Archives, vol. xxxix., leaf 659. 


At a legal meeting of the inhabitants of Newbury, held 
October 19, 168 1, it was voted that the name of Mr. John 
Woodbridge should again be presented to the General Court, 
and "that the selectmen, in behalf of the town, should peti- 
tion the Court for granting him magistratical powers." * 

October 11, 168 i, John Richardson, Daniel Poore, Richard 
Dummer, Tristram Cofifin, Caleb Moody, Thomas Noyes, 
Anthony Somerby, Francis Brown, and other inhabitants of 
the town of Newbury petitioned the General Court for the 
appointment of John Woodbridge as magistrate, to take 
depositions and acknowledgments, and also to have authority 
to reform abuses and solemnize marriages. " In consequence 
of the largeness of the town and the frequent concours of 
vessels," they consider the appointment of a special magis- 
trate necessary, and recommend " Mr. John Woodbridge as ye 
fittest and most able person for such a work in this place." 
The magistrates voted to grant this petition, but the deputies 
"consented not." f 

In a petition dated February 15, 168 1-2, "to the court 
now sitting in Boston," Samuel Plumer, Joseph Pike, George 
March, and Moses Gerrish, selectmen, state that the town of 
Newbury is greatly inconvenienced for want of a magistrate, 
and therefore ask that one of the three commissioners ap- 
pointed to end small causes in Newbury may be authorized 
to punish criminals, and do what any other magistrate may 
do.| This petition was not agreed to by the magistrates and 

May 16, 1683, John Woodbridge was chosen an "assist- 
ant " to the General Court, and by virtue of that office was 
invested with magisterial power. § May 7, 1684, he was again 
chosen ; and, June 4, 1685, upon motion of Richard Bartlet, 
deputy from Newbury, " Mr. John Woodbridge was author- 
ized to administer oaths and join persons in matrimony." || 

"December 24, 1690 Mr. John Woodbridge and Capt. 
Daniel Pierce of Newbury, and each of them are impowered 

* Town of Newliury Records. 

t Massachusetts Archives, vol. cxii., leaf 328. } Ibid., vol. xxxix., leaf 726. 

§ Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. v., p. 407. 

II Ibid., vol. v., p. 4543. 


to join Persons together in marriage in that Town according 
to the Direction of ye Laws in that behalf made." * 


At a meeting of the inhabitants of Newbury held in April, 
1647, Abraham Toppan, Anthony Somerby, Henry Short, 
Nicholas Noyes, Richard Kent, jr., John Pike, jr., and 
Stephen Kent were chosen " to act in y'^ Prudential affaires of 
y® Towne for one whole yeare from ye date hereof." f 

John Pemberton was chosen constable ; and Nicholas 
Noyes, William Titcomb, and Stephen Kent were chosen way- 
wardens, or surveyors of the highway. 

April 27, 1648, John Pike, jr., Nicholas Noyes, and Wil- 
liam Titcomb were chosen to attend to the prudential affairs 
of the town. Archelaus Woodman was chosen constable, 
William Moody and John Bartlett, way wardens,! and William 
Ilsly and Robert Coker, haywards. 

The same day, " It was ordered that the meeting for the 
election of town officers should be held hereafter on the first 
Monday in March of each year." f 

April 19, 1649, John Saunders, William Titcomb, and 
Archelaus Woodman were chosen " to act in y*" prudential 
affaires of the town according to the former commission given 
them from the Towne, for this yeare ensuing." f 

The same day John Bartlett was chosen constable, John 
Pemberton, Henry Short, and William Ilsley, way wardens, 
and John Swett, leather searcher. 

It was also ordered that such men as are cliosen to bee way wardens 
should have such power as the Towne can conferre upon them to im- 
pose any line, under ten shillings, upon any person or persons that are 
delinquent about the services of the highway, the one halfe to bee to 
the use of the way wardens & the other halfe to such as doe the work 
provided that they give sufficient warning. f 

There is no record of the election of officers nor of any 
meeting of the freemen of the town, with one or two excep- 

* Mass. Archives, vol- xxxvi., p. 260. 
tTown of Newbury Records, vol. i. 

1 1 o HIS TOR V OF A '£ IVB UR V 

tions, from the year 1649 to 1663. The pages on which the 
votes and orders were recorded for nearly fifteen years have 
probably been destroyed, by accident or design, and therefore 
a complete list of the town officers cannot be given. 

"March 7, 1663-4, there was chosen to act the prudentialls of the 
Towne for this yeare Archelaus Woodman, William Titcomb, Henry 
Jaques, Leift John Pike & John Cheny Sen""." William Chandler chosen 

March 6, 1664-5, Iphi^ Merrill, Daniel Peirce, Sen^, John Knight, 
Junr, Samuel Plumer, & ThiDfnas Hale, Juni", chosen to attend to the 
prudential affaires of the town. Samuel Moody constable. Capt. Ger- 
rish & Daniel Peirce, way wardens. 

March 5, 1665-6, John Poore, William Ilsley, Leift Pike, Robert 
Coker, and Richard Kent, Selectmen. Caleb Moody, Constable. John_ 
Baily, Samuel Moody, & Edward Richardson, Surveyors of Highways. 

March 4, 1666-7, Leift Pike, William Ilsley, Abraham Tappan, Wil- 
liam Titcomb, & Archelaus Woodman, Selectmen. Thomas Hale Senr, 
William Pillsbury, & Robert Coker, Surveyors of Highways. William 
Chandler, Culler of Staves. 

March 2, 1667-8, Richard Dole, Tristram Coffin, Richard Kent, John 
Knight, Junr, & Daniel Peirce, Selectmen. Nathaniel Clarke, Constable. 
John Webster, Robert Adams, John Merrill, & John Emery, Sen"", Sur- 
veyors of Highways. 

March i, 1668-9, John Poore, Sen^, Richard Dole, John Knight, Tris- 
tram Coffin, & John Bartlet, Sem, Selectmen. Daniel Peirce, junior. 

March 7, 1669-70, John Bartlett, Sen^, William Chandler, Edward 
Moores, Samuel Plumer, & Caleb Moody, Selectmen. 

May 21, 1670, Daniel Peirce, Senr, Thomas Hale, Sen"", & Hugh 
March, Surveyors of Highways. " Ordered to mend only the country 

Sept. 19, 1670, Capt. Gerrish, and Daniel Peirce Senior, Surveyors 
of Highways. 

March 6, 1670-71, Mr. Richard Duiner, Steven Greenleaf, Caleb 
Moody, John Emery, Junior, & Samuel Moody chosen to attend to the 
prudential affairs of the town. 

Sept. 20, 1 67 1, Samuell Pluiiier chosen constable. 

March 4, 167 1-2, Mr. Richard Dumer, Sen^, Thomas Hale, Jun"", En- 
sign Greenleafe, Richard Partlet, & Jojin Bajdy chosen to attend to the 
prudential affairs of the town. Capt. Gerrish, Mr. Peirce, & Peter 
Cheny, way wardens. 

Sept. 17, 1672, Benjamin Rolfe, Constable. 

March 3, 1672-3, Samuell Plumer, Daniel Peirce, Jum, Anthony 


Somerby, Richard Bartlet, Rich : Dole, chosen to attend to the pruden- 
tial affairs. 

Aug. 29, 1673, John Baily, Constable. 

March 2, 1673-4, Daniel Peirce, Jun^, John Emery, Jun"", Samuel 
Moody, Ensign Greenleafe, & Anthony Somerby chosen to attend to 
the prudential affairs. 

March 18,. 1673-4, John Baily, John Webster, Robert Coker, & 
Thomas Hale, Senior, way wardens, "and such persons as have bin be- 
hind these two years shall attend when Capt Gerrish calls them to it 
to mend the way from the meeting-house to the mill." 

March i, 1674-5, Anthony Somerby, Ensign Greenleafe, Daniel 
Pierce, Jun^, Robert Long, &; Nicholas Noyes chosen to attend to pru- 
dential affairs. 

March 6, 1675-6, William Titcomb, Henry Jaques, ffirancis Browne, 
Benjamin Rolfe, & Peter Cheney, Selectmen. Joseph Pike, Constable. 
Henry Jaques, Thomas Hale, Sen"", & James Ordway, Surveyors of High- 

March 5, 1676-7, Mr Thomas Noyes, Henry Jaques, Peter Cheny, 
Joseph Baily, & Anthony Somerby, Selectmen. Joseph Pike, Constable. 
Thomas Hale, Sen"", George Little, William Sawyer, & Robert Coker, 
Surveyors of Highway. John Poore, Sen"", Surveyor Highways on 
ye necke. Anthony Morse & Steven Swett, Sealers of Leather. 

March 4, 1677-8, Nicholas Noyes, Anthony Somerby, Thomas 
Hale, Jun"", Daniel Peirce, «& Henry Short, Selectmen. Joseph Pike, 

March 3, 1678-9, Henry Jaques, Capt. Daniel Peirce, Peter Cheney, 
ffrancis Browne, & Anthony Somerby, Selectmen. Joseph Pike, Con- 

March 26, 1679, Closes Pillsbury and Steven Swett, Sealers of 

June 18, 1679, Abraham Adams, Thomas Hale, Jun"", William Pils- 
bury, & Robert Coker, Surveyors of Highways. 

March i, 1679-80, Mr Richard Dufner, Capt. Daniel Peirce, Tristram 
Coffin, Peter Cheny, & Anthony Somerby, Selectmen. Joseph Pike.* 

March 24, 1679-80, John Emery, John Webster, Abraham Adams, 
Thomas Hale, Jun"", and John Knight, Surveyors of Highways. 

Aug. 30, 1680, Hugh March, Senf, chosen dark of the market to seal 
weights and measures, " and see that they be according to the standard." 

March 7, 1680-81, Joseph Pike, Samuel Plumer, George March, 
Nicholas Noyes, & Moses Gerrish chosen Selectmen. Mr. Richard 
Dumer, Tristram Coffin, & James Ordway, Way Wardens. 

• Mr. Thomas Noyes was chosen constable, but evidently did not wish to serve. "The 
Towne voted that Joseph Pike should serve the Towne this yeare in the office of constable, Mr. 
Noyes giving him forty shillings & the towTie twenty shillings." (Town of Newbury Records.) 


March i. 1 68 1-2, Nathaniel Clarke, John Bartlet. Sen., Francis 
Browne. Joseph Bailey, & James Ordway chosen Selectmen. 

March 13, 1682-3, M"" Henry Short, Mr Thomas. Noyes, M'- Richard 
Dumer, Joseph Bj,Uy^ & Capt. Daniel Pcirce, Selectmen. 

"Mr. Dumer, Tristram Coffin & Ensign Steven [Coffin?] appointed 
standing way wardens to see that every inhabitant do their part on the 
hye wayes." 

March 11, 16S3-4, M"- Nicholas Noyes, Abraham Adams, Abraham 
Merrill, Joseph Pike, & Robert Long. Selectmen. 

March 10, 1684-5, Capt. Thomas Noyes, Abraliam Merrill, Caleb 
Moody, Ensign Greenleaf, John Kent, Sen^, chosen Selectmen. John 
Badger, Constable. 

March 9, 1685-6, Henry Short, Sergt John Badger, Benjamin Morse, 
Sergt Joseph Little, & Sergt Cutting Noyes were chosen Selectmen. 

March 16, 1685-6, Joseph Ilsley and Moses Pilsbery, Constables. 

October 26, 16S6, Henry Jaciues, Sergt John Emery and Corp. Abra- 
ham Adams, way wardens. 

April 22, 1690, the following persons were chosen Surveyors of the 
highways : " Joseph Knight for the old Towne, Joshua Mors for the 
midle sd Towne, John Emery, Junr for ye new Towne, & Joseph Good- 
ridge for the farms." * 


The duties and responsibilities of the selectmen were evi- 
dently undefined and unlimited until May 21, 1669, when the 
town adopted the following rules and regulations : — 

1. The Selectmen shall have power to call the town together. 

2. To order the business for the herds and to make M^ Parkers Rate 
of ^80 pr ann. 

3. They shall prohibit of all felling of the Towns timber for trans- 

4. They shall make Rates for the necessary expenses of the Towne 
& also to make the County & Country Rates. 

5. To repair the meeting house, pound & stocks. 

6^ To looke that all strangers that come into the Towne, that they 
may have warning to depart in due season and to serve it according to 
law in & about the Towne. 

7. They shall do nothing else without calling the Towne together to 
have their approval. 

8. They are to give up their accounts at the [end of the year] to the 
Towne. And also to [ ]." f 

* Town of Newbury Records. t Ibid., vol. i. 


In 1677, the sixth rule was amended, and the selectmen 
were instructed " To prohibit all stranjj^ers from setling in the 
Towne w"'out y^ Towns consent " ; and the following additional 
rules were adopted : — 

They shall not build any seats in the meeting house nor alter them 
without the Towns consent. 

They shall prohibit any Inhabitant from takeing in any sheep, cattle, 
or horses of the Inhabitants of other Towns to keep on the Towns 
Conions & to make orders for that end. 

These rules, with a few unimportant changes, were annually 
adopted by the inhabitants of the town for nearly twentv 

March 9, 1685-6, It was voated as an Adition to ye Selectmens In- 
structions that the Selectmen from time to time shall make up ye ac- 
counts wtii him who was constable ye year before by the first of May, 
annually. The constables are hereby ordered to give up they accounts 
to ye Selectmen by ye ■sA time accordingly.* 

Constables were made collectors of taxes April 16, 1673. 

It was voted that hence forth there shal bee but one Rate made for 
one yeare every yeare in the month of October and the payment to bee 
made one halfe in English graine, as wheat, barley Rye and pease good 
and merchantable at or before the last weeke in October &* the other 
halfe in good merchantable Indian corne at or before the last week in 
March next after every yeare under penalty of paying five shillings more 
than their Rates come to, to be levyed by the Constable if it be not 
paid, discounted, or agreed for to be paid suddenly upon that time.* 

The rules and regulations defining the duties and powers 
of the selectmen, revised and adopted by the inhabitants of 
Newbury March 14, 1726-7, read as follows : — 

1 That they keep the Towns pound in repair. 

2 That they observe the directions in ye Law relating to ye admission 
of inhabitants into Towns and that they warn out all strangers accord- 
ing to the directions in ye Law & prosecute all such as do not depart 
when so warned. 

3 That they supply the wants of ye poor. 

I That they bind out ye children of ye poor as ye Law directs. 

*To\vn of Newburv Records. 


5 That they observe the directions in the Law relating to rei)uted 
drunkards, cofnon tipplers & such as mispend their time and estates in 
publick houses & prosecute such as transgress the Laws in that case. 

6 That they set to work such as live idle and disorderly lives as ye 
Law directs. 

7 That they take care of and improve the estates of such as are 
neither able to take care of or improve them themselves that they may 
be preserved for the maintainance of such persons as need may require 
as ye Law directs. 

8 That they be aiding and assisting to Tything men & other officers 
in suppressing of vice, prophaness & imorality & vigorously exert them- 
selves herein as ye Law directs. 

9 That they give not their approbation for any to renew or have a 
licence for ye keeping of publick houses but to such as are qualified as 
ye Law directs.* 


When the inhabitants of Newbury decided in 1645 to begin 
a new settlement on the westerly bank of the Merrimack river, 
they appointed lot-layers to survey and lay out all the un- 
divided land between the farm previously granted to John 
Spencer and the mouth of the Artichoke river. These lot- 
layers and their successors were continued in office until June 
22, 1 66 1. 

The selectmen takeing into consideration that there is no more land 
to be granted by the Towne, & that there is no need of standing Lott- 
layers they doe hereby order that they do discharge & release Richard 
Knight & William Titcomb from that service of Laying out any more 
Land from this day & henceforth until the towne sec caus. 

John Emery, Sen. 

John Cheney, Sen. 

Abraham Toppan. 

Archelaus Woodman. t 

Subsequently, however, it became necessary to reappoint 
the lot-layers, and Sept. 21, 1677, "Tristram Coffin was 
chosen to joyne with Richard Knight to be a Lott layer in 
the Roome of William Titcomb deceas^ed." * 


March 7, 1663 There was chosen fence viewers. At old Towne Rich : 
Dole, Francis Plunier, & Tho : Blomfield : In the middle of the Towne 

*Town of Newbury Records. f Ibid. (Coffin's copy). 


Anthony Mors, Sen"', Tristram Coffin, John Webster; at the farther end 
WilUam Pilsbury, Will : Sawyer, Lionell Worth.* 

April 2, 1666 There is chosen by the Selectmen for fence viewers for 
the year ensuing William Sawyer, William Pilsbury for the further end 
of the new town to frog pond, Anthony Morse Sen^ & John Webster 
from thence to Goodman Moodys lane, & John Emery Sen"" and ffrancis 
Flumer & Tho : Hale Sen^ from thence all at old Towne & Thomas 
Hale & Samuell Plumer for the necke.* 

March 23, 1669-70. Thomas Hale and WilHam Ilsly were 
chosen fence viewers for the old town, Robert Coker and 
John Webster for the middle of the town, William Pilsbury 
and James Ordway for the farther end. 

April 3, 1 67 1. Thomas Hale, Sen"", and William Ilsly fence 
viewers " over the water in the necke & at the old Towne to 
goodman Moodys land." "Abraham Toppan & Edward 
Richardson from Goodman Moodys land to John Bartlets 
Barne." William Sawyer and Edward Woodman, Junior, 
"from John Bartletts barne to the farther end of the new 

March 20, 1671-72. Thomas Hale, Sen', and William 
Ilsly were chosen for the old town to Moody's lane. An- 
thony Morse, Sen'', and Richard Pettingell from Moody's 
lane to J. Bartlet's barne. Edward Richardson and James 
Ordway to the end of the town and also at the Falls. 

March 19, 1672-3. William Sawyer and James Ordway, 
for the new towne. Richard Pettingell and John Webster, 
for the middle. Thos. Hale, Sen'', and Joseph Pike, for the 
neck and old town. 

March 25, 1674. "Joseph Plumer in ye necke." William 
Ilsly and Benjamin Rolfe at old town to Moody's lane. John 
Webster and Robert Coker to J. Bartlet's barn. Benjamin 
Morse and Peter Godfry to the end of the town. 

March 6, 1674-5. "Thomas Hale, Sen', in ye necke." 
William Ilsley and John Knight, Jun', in old town to Moody's 
lane. Anthony Morse, Sen', and Richard Browne to J. 
Bartlet's barn. James Ordway and Israel Webster from 
thence to the Artichoke river. 

March 22, 1676-7. "Thomas Hale, Jun', at the necke." 

*To\vn of Newbur)' Records. 


William Ilsly and John Badger at old town. John Webster 
and James Smith in the i-fiiddle. Moses Pilsbury and Daniel 
A Merrill at the farther end. 

March 31, 1679. Thc^mas Hale, Sen'', and Joseph Knii;ht 
at old town. Joseph Coker and Joshua Brown in the centre of 
the town. William Pilsbury and John Swett at the farther end. 

March 24, 1679-80. Samuel Plumer and John Knight at 
old town. Peter Toppan and James Smith in the centre. 
Samuel Poore, Sen', and John Sawyer, at the upper end. 

March 23, 1680-81. John Kelly and Cutting Noyes at 
old town. Robert Long and Richard Brown in the centre. 
James Ordway and Jacob Toppan at the upper end of the 

March 27, 1683. John Knight and Richard Dole, Jun., at 
the old town. John Webster and John Smith in the centre 
of the town, Daniel Morrill and John Swett at the upper 
end, Joseph Goodridge, Benjamm ( ?) Pearson, and Duncan 
Stewart, at the farms, 

March 18, 1683-4. John Kely and John Badger at the 
old town. Richard Browne and Matthew Pettingell at the 
centre. Moses Pilsbery and Aquila Chase at the upper end. 
Joseph Goodridge and Benjamin Pearson at the farms. 

April 6, 1685. Joseph Ilsley and Joseph Knight at old 
town. John Webster, Jun., and Matthew Pettingell at the 
centre. Serg' Richardson and James Ordway, Sen"", at new 
town. John Emery, Sen"", and Benjamin Moore at the upper 
end of the new town. Joseph Goodridge and Benjamin Pear- 
son at the farms. 

March 22, 1685-6. Jonathan Emery and James Jackman 
for old town neck. Richard Brown and Joshua Morse for 
the middle of the town. Serg' Jno. Hale and Beniah Titcomb 
for the new town. Joshua Brown and Abraham Merrill for 
the upper end. Duncan Stuart and Benjamin Goodridge for 
the farms. 


May 24, 1677, the General Court ordered that one tithing 
man to every ten families in the town should be appointed 



by the selectmen to apprehend all Sabbath-breakers, "those 
who absent themselves from tlie public worship of God on 
the Lord's day," disorderly children and servants, night 
walkers, and tipplers, and, in the absence of a constable, take 
them before a magistrate or commit them to prison.* 

In compliance with this law the selectmen of Newbury, at 
a meeting held March 31, 1679, appointed the following per- 
sons to serve as tithinu" men : — 

Richard Dumer Jun 
Abraham Adams 
William Ilsey Jun 
Robert Long 
Thomas Hale Jim 

Richard Knight 
Nicholas Noyes 
Tristram Coffin 
Nathaniel Clark 
Ensign Greenleafe 

James ordway 
Lieut Woodman 
John Emery, Jun. 
William Sawyer 
Abraham Merrill.X 

A notice sent by the selectmen to the person named last 
in the above list reads as follows : f — 

To DEACON Abraham Merrill X' 

At a meeting of the Selectmen March thirty- first 1679. 

You are hereby required to take notice that you are chosen according 
to court order by the selectmen to bee a tithing man to have inspection 
into and look over these families that they attend the publick worship 
of God, and do not break the Sabbath, and further you are to attend 
as the court order declares. 

The names of the families are Edward Woodman, Junior, Samuel 
Bartlet, Richard Bartlet, Abel Pilsbury, John Stevens, Christopher 
Bartlet, Thomas Chase, goodman Bailey, John Chase. 

By order of the Selectmen 

Anthony Somerbv Reco7-der. 

"March 24, 1679, there were chosen for Tithing men for 
this year 1680" 

Henry Jaques 
Nicholas Noyes 
Samuell Plumer 
William Sawyer 
Robert Lons; 

John Emery Jun"" 
'^ John Bailey 
Lieut Woodman 
Ensign (ireenleafe 
Sergt Coffin 
Sergt Clarke 

James Jackman 
Thomas Hale Jun"" 
Edward Moores 
James Ordway 
Joseph Goodridge 

April 25, 168 1, the selectmen appointed for " tything men" 

Mr Richard Dumer 
Mr. Henrv Short 
Tristram Coffin 

John Noyes 
James Jackman 
Robert Long 

Thomas Hale Ju"" 
Daniel Cheny 
Richard Pettengall 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. 
t Coffin's History of Ke\vbur\'. pp. 12 




Ensign Greenleafe 
Mr John Sewall 
John Emery Jun"" 

Nathanel Clarke 
Samuel Poore Sen 

"Tithina" men for 1682 " as follows 

Ml" Richard Dumer 
Samuel Plumer 
Joseph Pike 
Serj : Coffin 
Serj : Clarke 
Serj : Tappin 

Benjamin Rolfe 
John Webster 
John Badger 
•5^ John Baily 
■/Abraham Merril 
Benjamin Lowle 

Tithing men for 1683 

Mr Richard Dole 
Serjeant Coffin 
Robert Long 
John Hale 
Abraham Merrill 
John Poore Jur 

Tithing men for 1684 : — 

Mr Richard Dumer 
Elisha Ilsly 
James Jackman 

Nicholas Noyes 
Beniah Titcomb 
Mr Moses Gerrish 
Abraham Adams 
Joshua Brown 

Capt Daniel Peirce 
Lieut Tristram Coffin 
Lieut Woodman 
John Emery Sen 
Samuel Bartlet 
Edward Richardson 

Joseph Knight 
John Bartlet Jur 
James Ordway Jur 

Tithing men March 22, 1685-6: — 

John Poor Dunkan Stuart 

Samll Bartlet SamuH Plumer 

Ser: Hale W>" Sawyer 

Abram Adams Ser : Moodey 

Benj. Rolfe 
Penii Titcomb 
y Abram Merrill 

Georg March 
Deacon Noyes 
James Ordway Jr. 

Caleb Moody 
John Baily 

Abraham Adams 
William Morse 
Sergt Richardson 
francis Browne 
Joseph Plumer 
Rich: Pettengall 

Anthony Somerby 
William Pilsbury 
James Jackman Senr 
John Easton 
Richard Bartlet Jr 

Capt Thomas Noyes 
Edmund Moores Sen 
Samuel Plumer 
Thomas Hale Senr 
Anthony Somerby 
James Myrrick 

Lieut Coffin 

Corpll Edward Mores 

Joseph Pike 

John Swett 

Ben : Morse 

Richd Browne 

Tithing men appointed May 7, 168 [7 
Joseph Little 


John Sawyer 
> John Baily 
'j. Daniel Morrill 

Ens Jacob Toppan 

Joseph Ilsley 

Jonathan Moore 

John Kent Jun 
Beniah Titcomb 
John Bartlet Jur 
Sergt Nathl Clarke 
Henry Lunt 
Silvanus Plumer 
Joseph Goodridge 

John Webster Senr 
Mr Moses Gerrish 
Henry Jaques 
John Knight 
William Moody 
Joseph Plumer Senr 
Mr Will Longfellow 


Under the new charter of the Province of Massachusetts 
Bay tithing men were required to carry a black staff, two feet 
long, tipped at one end with brass about three inches wide, 
as a badge of authority. They were sworn to a faithful dis- 
charge of their duties before a justice of the peace.* 

Subsequently the law providing for their appointment by 
the selectmen was amended, and they were afterwards elected 
annually by the inhabitants of the town until 1838. After 
that date they were evidently considered superfluous officers, 
and for several years none were chosen. 

March 14, 1848, the town voted to elect three tithing men 
in place of eighteen or twenty as heretofore ; and Benjamin G. 
Evans, John Atkinson, and Michael Floyd were chosen. 

At a meeting of the town held March 13, 1849, strong 
efforts were made to secure the appointment of competent 
and discreet persons who could be depended upon to serve as 
tithing men ; but a motion to omit action on that article in the 
warrant prevailed, and when the subject was again brought 
to the attention of the voters, April i, 1850, and March 29, 
1852, it was disposed of in substantially the same way. At 
the annual meeting in March, 1854, John N. Kent, Joseph 
Longfellow, Alfred Poor, John Kent, and Richard S. Bray 
were elected. The following year no tithing men were 
chosen ; and since that date good order has been maintained 
in the town of Newbury, and in the church during divine ser- 
vice, without their aid or influence. 


Cullers of fish, cullers of staves, hog reeves, informers of 
deer, clerks of the market, and many other officers whose ser- 
vices are not now required, were elected annually by the in- 
habitants of the town. 

Cullers of staves selected and classified the staves that 
were cut in large quantities for wine casks and hogsheads and 
shipped from Newbury to the West Indies. It was the duty 
of hog reeves to see that the law " concerning the yoking 

* Province Laws, vol. i , p. 15;. 


and ringing of hogs " was properly executed wlien they were 
allowed to run at large. Clerks of the market regulated 
weights and measures as well as prices when provisions or 
produce were offered for sale ; and informers of deer were ex- 
pected to prosecute all persons violating the law in regard to 
the killing of deer, or give to the magistrates the information 
needed in order to secure the arrest and punishment of the 


At a meeting of the inhabitants of Newbury held April — , 

It was ordered y' all such as absented themseh'es from this meeting 
should be fined twelve pence a peece, and the constable to levy the sane 
& Retourne wt he gathers of such as ye prudential men shall judge their 
excuse is not sufficient, y^ one half thereof to the ord'ers of y^ Tovvne 
affaires ye other to keepe himself for a Recompense for his paynes. 

Itt is ordered yt ye constable for p'sent & all constables for future 
shall stand ingaged from time to time for one half of ye fines yt any de- 
linquent shall be fined for absenting himself from any publicke meeting 
wch is to be IS a peece.* 

April 8, 1646, Mr. Woodman, Hen: Lunt, Arch: Woodman and AI^ 
Sewall for their absence from ye generall Towne meeting are fyned 
twelve pence a peece : 

Steven Kent for his absence from ye same meeting was fyned two 

At this meeting the constable was ordered to collect the 
above-mentioned fines within ten days, and bring them to the 
town officers. " In case he bring it not in by that time An- 
thony Mors is appointed to Distreine on y*" constable for all 
the fines." * 

Aquilla Chase, his wife, and David Wheeler, of Hampton, 
were presented September 29, 1646, to the court at Ipswich, 
"for breach of the Sabbath ingathering pease." " Witnesses 
William Sanburne and William Fifield." f 

Under the date of March 30, 1647, the record states that 

*Town of Newbury Records, vol i. 
t Court Files (Salem), vol. i., leaf 55. 


they "appeared not, to answer their presentment, being not 
at Hampton when the constable received his warrant." 

In a volume containing notes and memoranda made by the 
clerk of the court, for his own convenience, and afterwards 
written out and entered in full upon the records, the facts re- 
lating to this presentment and to the return made by the con- 
stable are stated as follows : — 

Ipswich Court March 30, 1647, Aquilla Chase & his wife & David 
Wheeler being presented at the last court for gathering pease on the 
Lord's day. Summons sent to Hampton. The constables return states 
they were not at Hampton but were gone to Newberry.* 

Another summons was served upon them at Newbury. 
They appeared at the next session of the court, held March 28, 
1648, and were "admonished and discharged after the pay- 
ment of fees and costs of court."' f 

March 28, 1648, the town of Newbury was presented "for 
want of a convenient safe way from the new town to the ferry 
side." " Witnesses Tristram Coffin of Newbury and John 
Stevens of Salisbury." And at the same court the town was 
also presented " for want of a bridge over the falls river in 
the way betwixt Newbury and Andover." \ 

At the court held in Ipswich, November 13, 1649, John 
Bartlet, constable of Newbury, was presented for not providing 
weights and measures for the use of the inhabitants of the 
town. § 

May 23, 1650, the General Court ordered that "John Bart- 
let, the constable of Newbery, beinge vnder a fine of forty shil- 
lings for not p'vidinge weights & measures according to law, 
vppon a petition p'fred to this Court, hath his fine remitted : 
the Court havinge received satisfactory information that he did 
his vttmost endeauour to p'cure the same." || 

November 13, 1649, the town of Newbury was presented at 
the Ipswich court for want of a pound. ^ 

♦County Court Records, 1645 to 1663, "Ipswich," vol. i, l;af 8. 
t Ipswich Court Records, vol. !., leaf 12. 
+ Court Files (Salem), vol. i., leaf 97. 
§ Ipswich Court Records, vol. i. , p. 18. 
II Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iii., p. 194. 
^ V, •» . H Ipswich Court Records, vol. i., p. 18. 


March 26, 1650, Jolin Perrye, of Newbury, for abusive car- 
riage to his wife and child, was ordered to give bonds for his 
good behavior and "to sit one hour in the stocks at New- 
bury." * 

On the same day (March 26, 1650) Anthony Morse, of 
Newbury, was fined £^ "■ for digging a pit & not filHng it up 
whereby a child was drowned." f 

Dr. William Snelling was presented for denouncing his 
enemies with intemperate zeal. His friends William Thomas 
and Thomas Milward signed and filed with the clerk of the 
court the following statement : — 

This is to certify whom it may concern that we, the subscribers, being 
called upon to testify against M^ William Snelling for words by him 
uttered, affirm that being in way of merry discourse, a health being 
drunk to all friends, he answered 

I'll pledge my friends 

And for my foes 
A plague for their heels 

And a poxe for their toes. 

Since when he hath affirmed that he only intended the proverb used 
in the west country, nor do we believe he intended otherwise. t 

Affixed to this statement was the following acknowledg- 
ment : — 

March 12, 1651-2, all which I acknowledge and I am sorry I did not 
express my intent, or that I was so weak as to use so foolish a proverb. 

GuiLiELMUs Snelling. 

Notwithstanding this humble apology it appears from the 
court records that on the thirtieth day of March, 1652, ''Mr 
William Snelling upon his presentment for cursing is fined 
10^ and fees of court." § 

"September 27, 1653, the wife of Nicholas Noyes being 
presented for wearing a silk hood and scarf, upon proof that 
her husband is worth above two hundred pounds is cleared of 
her presentment." 

The wife of Hugh March and the wife of Richard Knight 

* Ipswich Court Records, vol. i., p. 20. f Ibid., vol. i., leaf 30. 
X Court Files (Salem) , vol. ii., leaf 28. 
§ Ipswich Court Records, vol. i., leaf 28. 


were charged with the same offence, but were discharged or 
proof that their husbands were worth two hundred pounds 

The wife of John Hut chins was discharged " upon testi- 
mony of her being brought up above the ordinary ranke." * 

At the same court the wife of Joseph Swett and the wife 
of William Chandler were convicted and fined ten shillings 
"for wearing a silk hood and scarf e." * 

The law under which these presentments were made was 
enacted October 14, 165 i. It provided that "men of meane 
condition" should not take upon themselves "the garbe of 
gentlemen by wearing gold or silver lace or buttons " ; and 
women of the same rank were forbidden " to weare silke or 
tiffany hoodes or scarfes " unless they or their husbands pos- 
sessed an estate of at least two hundred pounds, under a 
penalty of ten shillings for each offence, f 

In September, 1653, "Tristram Coffin and ux [Dionis] 
presented for selling beer at 3^* a quart." " Upon the testimony 
of Samuel Moores that she put six bushels of malt into the 
hogshead she was discharged." :|: The law regulating the sale 
of beer provided that " all such as put beere to sale shall 
be able to prove that they put into every hogshead of beere 
that they sell for three pence the quart into the brewing 
thereof six bushells of good barley mault, & into every hogs- 
head of beere sould at two pence the quart fower bushells of 
mault ; & into every hogshead of beere sould at a penny a 
quart, two bushells of like good mault & so proportionably in 
greater or smaller quantities." Whosoever failed to comply 
with the provisions of this law should "forfeite for the first 
offence forty shillings & for the second offence shall forfeite 
theire licence." § 

March 28, 1654, the town of Newbury was presented "for 
defects in a country highway near goodman Adams his farm." || 

"September 1654 John Emery senior was chosen to 

* Ipswich Court Records, vol. i., leaf 34. 
t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part I., p. 61. 
X Ipswich Court Records, vol. i., p. 36. 
§ Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iii., p. 241. 
II Court Files (Salem), vol. ii., leaf 130. 


answer at the next court at Ipswich concerninge the jj'sent- 
ment about the waye to Andover." * At a session of the 
court held at Ipswich September 26, 1654, the town of New- 
bury was "ordered to repair the highway by next court or 
pay forty shilHngs. " f 

"May 6, 1658 Newbury upon their presentment for want 
of a latin scoole is to pay five pounds to Ipswich lattin Scool, 
unles they by the nexte Court provyde a lattin scoole master 
according to law." \ 

March 31, 1663, the grand jury, sitting at Ipswich, indicted 
" Lydia Wardwell the wife of Eliakim Wardwell for coming 
naked into y^ meeting house of Newbury." § May 5, 1663, 
she was sentenced "to be severely whipt and to pay costs & 
fees to the Marshall of Hampton for bringing her."|| 

At the same court, May 5, 1663, "Elizabeth Webster for 
taking a false oath was sentenced to stand at the meeting 
house dore at Newbury, the next lecture day from the ringing 
of the first bell until the minister be ready to begin prayer, 
with a paper on her head written in capital letters FOR 
to see it done : or else to pay a fine of five pounds and to be 
disabled from taking an oath, and pay costs and fees. She 
made choise to stand at the doore," etc. || 


May 15, 1645, the General Court ordered 

Y' any p"son, eithf English or Indian, that sliall kill any wolfe or 
wolues w'liin ten miles of any plantation in ys jurisdiction, shall have for 
every wolfe by him or ym so kiled 10 sh* to be paid out of ye treasury of 
ye country. T[ 

At a general meeting of the Towne [of Newbury] April 271'! 1648 
Ther was granted to Thomas Marvyn two acres of land lying neer to 
the new pond on the back side of Mr. Noyes house lott at the new 
Towne for encouragement to him to kill woolves. ** 

* Town of Newbury Records, vol. i. 

t Ipswich Court Records, vol. i., leaf 47. + Uiid., vol. i., leaf 68. 
§Court Files (Salem), vol. ix., leaf 13. 
II Ipswich Court Records, vol. i., leaf 117. 
H Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. ii , page 103. 

** Newbury (Proprietors') Records, vol. i., page 46. The laud granted Thomas Marvyn was 
on the southwesterly side of South (now Parker) street, near the " training green." 


March 6, 1664-5 ^^ was ordered that those wolves that hath bin 
killed since the six wolves order hath bin out, those that hath killed them 
shall have forty shillings for euery wolfe for those that is past, and also 
such as shall kill wolves for the time to come shall have forty shillings 
for euery wolfe to be paid out of the next Towne Rate after they shalbe 
killed provided tliat due proof be made that they be killed within the 
limitts of the Towne.* 

January 24, 1682-3, the freeholders and other inhabitants 
of the town voted 

That whereas there was an order made and voted at a Generall meet- 
ing of the Towne March 13, 16S0-1 that gave to such persons as should 
kill wolves in the bounds of Newbury to have twenty shillings for every 
old wolfe and ten shillings for every young wolfe to be paid out of the 
Town rate, and it was not found in the town books, the Town did confirm 
that order and gave order it should be recorded for it was endorsed by 
John Ordway and many others.* 

March 9, 1702-3 voted to pay four pounds to those who killed two 
•wolves at the Ipswich end of Plum Island.* 

September i, 1714 voted to pay forty shillings for every wolfe 
killed within the limits of the town.* 

May 3, 1715 voted to give five pounds per head for every grown 
wolfe which shall be killed within the town of Newbury.* 

March 13, 1721-22 It was voted that ye selectmen shall pay to 
Mark Moers & his brother Jonathan Moers twenty shillings equally 
between them for a gratification for killing a wolfe in Bradford this 
last winter.* 

At the annual meeting, held March 16, 1724-5, the town 
voted to pay Thomas Bartlet and Seth Bartlet the sum of 
fifteen shillings for killmg a wolf in Merrimack river ; and 
as late as February 23, 1 741-2, the selectmen paid George 
Thurlow five pounds for killing "a woolf & wild cat." * 

In 1779, Moses Adams killed a wolf in Newbury. Since 
that date none have been seen within the limits of the town.f 

As a protection against loss and damage to the growing 
crops of wheat and corn, the inhabitants of Newbury, at a 
meeting held Dec. 19, 1650, ordered "that what soeuer 
Inhabitants of this towne shall kill blacke birds, jays, wood- 
peckers or Crowes shalbe paid by the constable out of the 

* Town of Newbury Records. 

t Coffin's History of Newbur^', p. 256. 


towne rate for eucry dozen of blacke birds one shilling, and 
for euery dozen of woodpeckers and jays heads so brought to 
the constable or townsmen two shillings, and for euery dozen 
of Crowes three shillings and so proportionable for any less 
number." * 


The cutting and removing of wood and timber, from land 
owned by the freeholders in common, was carefully guarded 
and regulated by the early settlers of the town. They 
adopted strong and vigorous measures for the protection and 
preservation of forest trees. As early as 1638, when the 
settlement at Parker river was less than three years old, they 
publicly declared : " The Trees before Richard Knights 
house are reserved for the Towns use and so in all the 
streets of the Towne & none is to cutt them downe on the 
penalty of ten shillings forfeiture to the Towne." f 

When arrangements were being made for the removal of 
the inhabitants from Parker river to the " new town " on 
Merrimack river, the freeholders ordered that a fine of two 
shillings and sixpence should be imposed upon any person 
cutting or removing a tree without permission, and providing 
further that all trees cut down, within the limits of the pro- 
posed new town, previous to Jan. 11, 1643-4, "shall lye & 
remayne on the ground till the person be known to whom the 
land belongs that so paying for the labour he may have them 
to serve his occasions." 

March 3, 1668-9, the selectmen ordered that all pipe 
staves, or barrel staves, found upon the commons, or at the 
river side, " shall be seized and sold, and no one, not an in- 
habitant of the town, shall be allowed to employ any person 
to cut or draw timber upon the commons under penalty of 
forfeiting all the timber so cut." 

Evasions of this order were so frequent and annoying that 
the freeholders declared October 1 8, 1 670, " that sundry orders 
have been made for the preservation of the Towns Timber as 

*Town of Newbury Records, vol. i. 

t Newbury (Proprietors') Records, p. 35. 


by order of Sept. 18, 1649 "^"^^ other wise may appeare/' and 
many trees have recently been cut into boards, plank, pipe 
staves, and fence rails without perrriission. The selectmen are 
therefore directed to imjDose a fine of twenty shillings on any 
person aiding or assisting in loading or transporting these 
materials beyond the limits of the town "on a raft, boat, or 

All dwelling-houses or cottages erected in Newbury after 
October 12, 1670, contrary to the law passed by the General 
Court, May 30, 1660, were liable to be condemned and con- 
fiscated, " unless the same have been or shall hereafter be 
accepted by the freeholders. "* The owners or builders of 
such houses were not allowed to use the common or undivided 
land for the pasturage of cows, horses, or sheep ; nor were 
they allowed to cut or remove any timber or wood, under 
penalty of twenty shillings for every load so cut or conveyed 

"May 22, 1671, the town granted Mr. John Lowle liberty 
to cut out of the dead timber on the commons, so much as will 
serve to build him a house ; the timber to be taken from the 
point of land above Holt's rocks." f 

At a general meeting of the inhabitants of the town held 
March 3, 1672-3, the following order was adopted: — 

... no person Shall fell, girdle, Lopp or in any way deface any tree 
standing upon the training place or the grounds appointed for that use 
on penalty of five pounds for every tree so felled, girdled, Lopped or 

The selectmen were authorized and instructed to see that 
the rules and regulations adopted for the preservation of 
useful and ornamental trees were strictly and impartially 
enforced. July 5, 1673, they ordered the following vote to 
be recorded : " That whereas John Webster & Peter Toppan 
is complained of for cutting Downe trees in the Land that 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part I., p. 417. " Itt is ordered that hereafter no 
cottage or dwelling place shalbee admitted to the privelege o£ commonage for wood, timber & 
herbage or any other of the priviledges that lye in comon in any towne or peculyar, but such as 
already are in being or hereafter shalbee erected by the consent of the towne." 

tTown of Newbury Records (Coffin's copy). 

X Town of Newburj' Records. 


is called the burying place, we the selectmen do order that 
Richard Dole & Samuel Plumer shall levy ten shillings upon 
John Webster & five shillings upon Peter Tappan for cutting 
dovvne the trees without order & John Webster for cutting 
downe a tree upon the hyway." * 

March 5, 1676-7, the freeholders voted : "That such per- 
sons that shall fell downe & make use of Timber of the 
Towns Comons for the building of ships or vessels shall from 
henceforth, from time to time, have liberty from the Select- 
men and shall pay for the Townes use two shillings a tun 
according to the burden of the vessel and if any shall take 
timber out of the Townes Comons without leave as above 
said shall pay foure shillings a Tun to the Townes use to be 
levyed by y^ constable." * 

"October 12, i68r, L' Steven Greenleaf proposed for a 
parcell of timber to make plank for a vessell & engaged to 
pay to the Townes use by the tun according to the Towne 
order." * 

The selectmen granted the petition of Mr. Greenleaf, and 
March 3, 168 1-2, appointed Thomas Hale, jr., and Joseph 
Plumer " to search out any p'son or p'sons that have cut 
downe any of the townes timber in the upper comons & 
bring in their names to the Selectmen between this & the 
next Generall town meeting." * 

"March 9, 1685-6 Job Pilsbery petitioned the towaie that 
a white oak tree standing on the highway against his fathers 
barne might not be cut downe but y* he might have liberty 
to preserve y^ same." "The town granted his petition." * 

At a meeting of the freeholders held March 9, 1685-6, it 
was voted : " The Towne being sensable of a great deale 
of Damage y' may happen to y^ Towne by persons cutting 
trees in the Towns comons and high wayes contrary to Towne 
order. The Towne do therefore Appoynt and Authorize 
Joseph Pike of Newbury to prosecute all such person or per- 
sons that have transgressed any such order." * The appoint- 
ment to remain in force until revoked. 

In the month of April following "Constable Moses Pils- 

*To\vn of Newbury Records. 


bury seized and delivered to Joseph Pike twenty one red oak 
trees and sixteen white oak trees at the south east end [of 
the town's commons] near Savages rock and the westerly 
end of Long hill near Merrimack river." * 

December 19, 1695, the sheriff was ordered to seize all 
timber that had been cut on the common land without per- 
mission. The same day James Brown, deputy sheriff, seized 
between two and three thousand staves and a large quantity 
of cut and hewn timber which he marked " with the Broad 
Arrow," and delivered to the selectmen of Newbury.* 

March 12, 17 16-7, Lieut. John March and Mr. Henry Rolfe 
were authorized to prosecute *' all persons who have, or shall 
hereafter, cut down or deface any tree or trees standing on 
any of the Highways or training places within the limits of 
the town : and shall do all things needful for preserving all 
trees on the said ways." * 

An oak-tree that was perhaps a century old when Newbury 
was settled, in 1635, is still standing on land now owned by 
William Little and others. On the next page will be found 
a photographic view of this venerable representative of the 
primeval forest. 

" What tales, if there be ' tongues in trees,' 

This giant oak could tell 
Of beings born and buried here, — 
Tales of the peasant and the peer, 
Tales of the bridal and the bier, 

The welcome and farewell." 

" The Gerrish pasture " where this ancient oak tree stands 
was the property of the First Parish of Newbury for more 
than two centuries. At an auction sale, April 6, 1875, it was 
purchased by Robert A. Smith, Joseph W. Bartlett and 
others. 1 

The underbrush, small limbs and boughs cut from tree-tops, 
valueless wood and decaying timber that interfered with the 
growth of the herbage and the pasturage of cattle, was annually 
gathered in convenient nooks and consumed by fire. The 

•Town of Newbury Records. 

t Essex Deeds, vol. cmxxx., p. 274, and vol. cmxxxiv. , p. 217. 


selectmen were authorized to employ suitable men for that 
purpose. The earliest appointment recorded is as follows : 
"March 10, 1674-5 John Emery J un"" undertakes the burning 
of the woods & making the dry herd hedg sufficient." * 

March 22, 168 1-2, the selectmen agreed with William 
Bolton to keep the dry herd ; " and he is to burne the woods 
and make up the flatts fence and for that he shall be paid 
fourteen shillings." * 

April 6, 1685, the selectmen "agreed with William Bolton 
for ten shillings to burn the woods this yeare." * 

March 22, 1685-6, the selectmen appointed Benjamin 
Morss " to burn the woods this year above Artichoak River 
and to have for his pains ten shillings out of y^ nexte towne 
Rate." * 


Stock-raising was an important industry in the town of 
Newbury for more than fifty years after its incorporation. At 
first horses, cattle, and swine were allowed to run at large ; and, 
in order to keep them from trespassing upon cultivated fields 
and gardens, it became necessary to employ herdsmen, and 
also to provide a suitable enclosure where they could be con- 
fined, if vicious or unruly, and released by the owners on the 
payment of a certain fixed and definite sum. 

February i [1637-8], the freeholders ordered "that Jn° : 
Emery shall make a sufficient Pound for the towne two rod 
& halfe square by the last of this present month if he cann, 
the towne affording him what helpe they can, when he calls 
for it ; & when it is finished, that the towne & hee shall agree 
about the price & if they cannot that then it shall bee judged 
by two indifferent men to be chosen one by the towne, the 
other by himself e." f 

Evidently, Mr. Emery was unable or unwilling to undertake 
the task of building a pound, and therefore the town ordered 
April 14 [1638] "that Richard Brown, the constable, shall 
cause a sufficient pound to be made by the twenty-first of this 
moneth to impound swyne and other cattcll, in the place that 

*Town of Newbury Record?. t Ibid., vol. i. 


shall be shewed him and of that largeness which shall be 
thought fitt, this to be done on the penalty of 20^ The men 
to appoint the place and manner of the pound are M"" Rawson, 
Henry Short, John Knight and Rich : Knight." * 

On the fourteenth day of April, 1638, the selectmen 
agreed " that Nich : Batt shall keepe the heard of kine be- 
gining the 16"^ of March, 8 months thence till the 16"^ of 
November, & that he shall have 18 pounds for his labor, w'^^ 
is to be payd 40 bushells of corne at 4^ 6^ the bushell, three 
months after harvest ; & nine pounds in money whereof 
[ ] is to be payd presently & 4"^ the first of July, & the 

rest at the end of the terme of eight months provided he is to 
keepe them [out] one Lords day & the towne two." * 

On the margin of the above record the names of Jno : 
Woodbridge, Edward Rawson, Edward Woodman, Henry 
Short, and Richard Knight are inscribed in token of their 
assent to the agreement. 

At a meeting of the inhabitants of the town held August 
25, 1638, it was ordered "that Tho : Halle and John Baker 
shall be hay wards till the town shall appoint new, & that 
they shall have a speciall care of the impounding of swine ac- 
cording to order. And farther it is ordered that whatsoever 
swine is impounded, if it be not known whose it is, that then 
it shall be kept by the hay wards, the person satisfying when 
he is knowne : if it bee knowne & the owner thereof shall 
not satisfy for it within twenty foure hours that then it shall 
be lawfull for the hay wards to sell them according to order." * 

March 12, 1641-2, the freeholders voted "that all the 
commons within the limits of the towne shall be equally 
divided into three several parts and that the same number of 
cattle that are allowed in the stint of the cows and oxen shall 
be allowed in the heifer common and a third like quantity of 
young cattle above Mr. Rawson's farme." f 

In compliance with this vote the cow common, the ox com- 
mon, and the heifer common were laid out, and five hundred 
and sixty-three " rights " in each pasture were divided among 

*Town of Newbury Records, vol. i. 
* Proprietors' Records, vol. i. 


the freeholders in proportion to the number of acres of land 
owned by them. 

Two years later, when arrangements were being made for 
the removal of the inhabitants of Newbury to the new settle- 
ment (now Newburyport), suitable fences in the new town 
were considered necessary for the convenience of householders 
and the protection of gardens and fields from the intrusion of 
cattle. January 10, 1643-4, the freeholders ordered "that 
all fences generall and particular at the first setting up shall 
be made and always kept so sufficient as to keepe out all man- 
ner of swyne and other cattle great or small, and at whose 
fence or part of fence any swyne or other cattle shall break 
through, the person owning the fence shall not only beare and 
suffer all the damages, but shall further pay for each rod so 
insufficient the somme of two shillings, w'^'', by the constable 
for the time being shall be gathered by order from the order- 
ers of the Towns affairs & at their dispose." * 

On the same day the town also ordered " that the owners 
of all such cattle as the towne shall declare to be unruly and 
excessively different from all other cattle shall pay all the 
damages their unruly cattle shall doe in breaking through 
fences." * 

At a meeting of the freeholders, held December 19, 1650, 
it was ordered " that all swine shalbe Yoaked and Ringed 
and if any be not and do trespass in corn fields, gardens, mead- 
ows, pasture grounds, and comons, the owners of the land, 
or the hay wards, shall have libertie to drive them to the 
pound, and shall have sixepence a head for pasturage of the 
owners of such swine, and [ ] head in case they drive 

them above a mile." * 

Swine properly yoked could not gain access to cornfields 
and gardens protected by fences, and with a ring in the snout 
could do no damage to the growing crops by rooting. 

During the fall and winter horses and cattle were allowed 
to run at large on Plum Island and in the upper and lower 

March 7, 1663-4 the selectmen ordered "that all horses 

* Town of Newbury Records, vol. i. 


and dry cattle are to be cleared out of Plum Island & also out 
of the comons upon penalty of two shillings sixe pence p'' head 
to any p'son or p'sons that shall impound them & also the same 
penalty of 2^ 6^ p'' head if they be impounded out of any en- 
closure or propriety being sufficiently fenced." * 

The upper common, extending from the Artichoke river to 
the Bradford line, included nearly all the territory within the 
present limits of the town of West Newbury, while the lower 
commons on the southwesterly side of the country highway, 
now High street and Storey avenue, Newburyport, extended 
from the Artichoke to the Parker river, and included the 
pastures set apart for the use of cows, oxen, heifers, and 

For the protection of the cattle in the upper common it 
became necessary to provide additional safeguards, and a com- 
mittee was appointed to consider the subject and report the 
result of their investigations to the freeholders of the town. 
They recommended 

That there be forthwith a larg penn made and a small house built 
for the shelter for herd.smen, in a convenient place where land afterwards 
may be improved for tillage, if the Towne see meet. Also that two 
herdsmen be provided to attend and follow the cattle the whole somer 
carefully to keep the cattle from coming neare the lower comons and 
penned every night. 

This was voted at a Generall meeting of the Towne, April 25, 1665 
and that the Selectmen shall have full power to do what is above speci- 
fied and to build the house and get the pen made. 

Anthony Somerby.* 

At a meeting of the Selectmen held April 28, 1666 

It was ordered that all swyne that are taken upon any of the cow 
comons shalbee sufficiently Ringed upon penalty of twelve pence a head 
to any freeholder that shall Impound them, and if any swyne shall take 
into any man's ground doing damage in corne pasture or meadow or 
otherwise not being sufficiently yoaked and Ringed the owners of such 
swyne shall pay all damages and twelve pence a head to any one that 
shall Impound them.* 

March 16, 1667-8, the above order was again adopted, with 

*Town of Newburv- Records, vol. i. 


this additional clause : "provided the fence viewers do judge 
the fence is as ordered against Great Cattle." 

Horses, and cattle belonging to the dry herd, were not al- 
lowed to feed on the lower commons during the summer sea- 
son. They were to be fettered, confined in private enclosures, 
or placed in charge of the herdsman and clriven to the upper 

June 12, 1666, the Selectmen "Ordered that all horses, 
mares & geldings (except yearlings) that are in the home 
Comons (as at Old Towne, the necke & on this side the 
Mill River & so within a mile of the house lots at new towne) 
shall within three days forthwith of the date hereof, be cleared 
away from the said comons and not to be suffered to continue 
to feed thereon under the penalty of two shillings p"" head unto 
any freeholder that doth impound them, excepting also such 
as the freeholders do constantly make use of for their neces- 
sary Imployment, the which are also to be sufficiently fettered 
or else not to go upon the said comons under the penalty of 
three shillings per head unto any freeholder that doth Impound 
any such horsebeast from off the said conions : also all dry 
cattell (except such as are permitted to go in the home 
comons) shall bee cleared out of the said comons within two 
days of the date hereof under penalty of twelve pence p'' head 
to any freeholder that doth impound them provided they be 
not such as have bin delivered to the keeper." * 

At a meeting of the selectmen held May 27, 1668, it was 
" ordered that all dry Cattell, that is to say all cattell except 
milk cowes & working oxen & yearlings shalbe cleared out 
of the cow comons to morrow under penalty of paying two 
shillings for every beast that shall be found upon the cow 
comons after to-morrow [ ] drive them up into 

the dry herd comons & every Inhabitant are hereby injoyned 
to pay to the dry herdsman for all such cattell, as well the 
farmers as others, whether their cattell go up to the herdsman 
or not, if they go in any part of the Townes comons and every 
Thursday in every weeke the herdsman is to attend to drive 
up all such cattell if any come down after they be put up." * 

*Town of Newbury Records, vol. i. 


April 27, 1670, the selectmen ordered 

All dry cattle to be cleared out of the coiTions between this and the 
sixteenth of May next under penalty of two shillings a head to be levyed 
upon the owners of such cattell that shalbe found vpon the comons after 
that day, except such as shall come doune againe from the dry herd & 
if any come doune the herdsman is to attend every thursday to drive up 
such as shall come doune, and the farmers are to pay for their cattell as 
well as others whether they be drove up or not. 

Also all horses & horse kind are to be cleared out of the comons by 
the twentieth of May . . . except such horses as are in comon vse for 
mens necessityes and they are to be fettered and clogged. * 

Similar orders were annually issued until the upper com- 
mons were divided among the freeholders of the town in 1686. 
The order for 1676 reads as follows : — 

All Dry Cattle shalbe cleared out of the Cow Comons. And the 
Day appointed for the heardsman to Drive them up is thursday . . . the 
tenth day of this p^sent month and all from the pound to the old Towne 
shall then be brought to the pound and all the rest to meet the heard in 
the way as they shall go along. And such dry Cattle as shalbe found 
on the Cow Cornons after the tenth Day of May above said, their own- 
ers shall pay two shillings a head to the keeper, except it be such as had 
bin drove up & doe come down againe and they to be presently drove 
up againe by the 16* of May.* 

April 19, 1677, the selectmen issued the following 
notice : — 

Whereas there was an order published March 27, 1677 that all 
horses & horsekind should have bin cleared out of the Cow Comons 
by the tenth day of April last past & there is nothing done about it, 
This is to give notice to the Towne that next Munday there is appointed 
men to Drive to the said Comons & to Impound all such horses or hors- 
kind that are not fettered or clogged (according to that order) that are 
found upon the Cow Comons then, & their owners shall pay two shil- 
lings a head to the Impounders for every head that are so Impounded.* 

At a meeting of the selectmen held May 31, 1680, "It 
was ordered that all dry cattle that goes in the Towne Com- 
ons shall pay to the Dry herdsman as much as they doe 
that are driven up to Artechokc And all Inhabitants are 

*Town of Newburv Records, vol i. 


hereby required to drive all their dry cattell up to Artechoke 
Comons And John Webster & Moses Little & Henry 
Somerby are appointed to cleare the Cow Comons & to im- 
pound all horses & horsekind that are found unfettered upon 
the Cow Comons & to have two shillings a head according to 
Towne order to be paid by the owners, or else in case of re- 
fusall to be Leavyed on their estate by the Constable." * 

In the spring of 1672, William Bolton was employed "to 
keep the dry heard, as formerly, and drive up the cattle when 
they come down, receiving from the owners twelve pence a 
head for his services." He evidently continued , to serve in 
that capacity for ten years or more. March 22, 168 1-2, the 
selectmen agreed with him to begin the first day of May next 
to drive the cattle to the upper commons "for sixpence a 
head to be paid in Malt or Indian Corne " ; and May 20, 
1685, he was chosen "to keep the dry cattell in the upper 
Commons above the hedge, and to take care for y^ repayring 
of such breaches as should be in the hedg from time to time." 

In order to prevent, if possible, the taking of wood and 
timber from the comons, and the pasturing of cattle there, by 
persons not entitled to that privilege, " Capt. Gerrish, Left 
Woodman Sen"" & John Knight were chosen " at a meeting of 
the freemen and freeholders held May 8, 1674, " to Joyne with 
the selectmen to agree upon & prosecute an order against 
non-freeholders for this year ensuing for their fire wood, tim- 
ber, feed for their cattle, horses, sheep & swyne going on the 
Comon, and the non-freeholders are hereby warned to appeare 
next Wednesday come seavenight at seaven of the clocke in the 
morning at the Ordinary." * 

June 18, 1675, this committee, having in the mean while 
been authorized to make all needful rules and regulations for 
the protection of the wood, timber, and pasturage of the com- 
mons, ordered " that every non-freeholder shall pay for every 
horse, or horsekind, going upon the comon, five shillings to the 
Towne & two shillings & sixpence a head for every neat beast, 
and five shillings for every score of sheep & twelve pence a 
head for every swyne to be paid to the constable for the 

•Town of Newbury Records, vol. i. 


Townes use every year, and two & sixpence for every load of 
wood, to be paid In when the Towne Rate is & in case they 
do not pay then they shalbe distrained by the Constable & 
pay double what is above expressed." * 


Previous to the year 1665 the freeholders of Newbury paid 
little attention to the raising of sheep, but subsequently sev- 
eral large flocks were kept near the centre of the town. 

May 27, 1668, they ordered "that every Inhabitant of 
this Towne whose sheep goeth upon the Comons shall mark 
his sheep with a peculiar pitch marke when they are shorne 
under penalty of twelve pence the head for every such sheep 
that shall be found unmarked," etc.* 

April 27, 1670, the selectmen ordered that in consequence 
" of the great Damag that sheep doth in Meadowes, pastures 
& corne fields" . . . "all sheep that goes upon the Comon 
shall go under a keeper & after they are shorne they shall 
have the peculiar pitch mark of their owners set upon them." * 

April 19, 1677, they ordered "that the two flocks of 
sheep that goes in the middle part of the Towne (viz :) the 
flock which was called Henry Shorts flock shalbe kept 
within the bounds of Henry Jaques corner of his pasture over 
to the end of Amos Stickneys land next Trotters Bridge as 
far as the Pine Swamp & stony brooke. And that flock that 
was called M"" Peirces flocks shall go from the said Jaquesses 
pasture & Sticknyes corner as far as James Smiths & so over 
Trotters Bridge so far as stony brooke. And the sheepards 
are to looke to their flocks that they Do no Damage in any 
man's propriety on penalty of paying the Damage, and they 
are hereby forbidden to medle with any other sheep that do 
not belong to their flock unless by accident they shall mixe, 
and in such a case they shall part them againe with speed & 
returne them or else they shall pay all Damages the owners 
may or shall sustaine by it." * 

May 14, 1677, the freeholders of the town ordered that 

* Town of Newbury Records. 


sheep bcl()n^L;iiii;" to the iiihal^itants of nci|:^hboring towns " shall 
not be allowed to feed on the commons but shall be removed 

March 14, 168 1-2, the bounds and limits of the sheep 
pastures were defined as follows : — 

All sheep shall be kept in that part of the coirions where their owners 
live. The inhabitants of the old town to keep their sheep there. The 
next flock to be kept from Lob's pound and over the mill bridge to 
Henry Jaques his pasture. And the next flock from thence to James 
Smith's and over Trotter's bridge. And the inhabitants from James 
Carrs to Mr John Sewalls and Jacob Toppanes are the frog pond flock 
and their range shall be the Aps swamp from James Smith to George 
Marches bridge and dismall ditch and Robin's pound, and Moses Pils- 
bury and the further end of the towne are to have the plaines for their 
flock." * 

" Lob's pound " was near the residence of the late Hall J. 
Leigh ;" Mill bridge," now Four Rock Bridge, was over Little 
river ; Henry Jaques's pasture was at a bend in the road lead- 
ing to the mill, now known as Morse's corner ; James Smith's 
farm was near the brick-yards; and "Trotter's bridge" was 
over a branch of Little river in Floyd's lane. 

hi 1683, seven hundred and four sheep, owned by sixteen 
persons, were pastured in the "third range," extending from 
Henry Jaques' pasture to James Smith's farm and Trotter's 
bridge. f 

At a meeting of the selectmen held May 31, 1688, the 
bounds and limits of the sheep pastures were readjusted. 

It was then ordered that for the old Towne flock ye bounds are vv''>in 
the Compas of the old Towne as far as ye Widdow Knights. 

And for that flock yt is known by ye name of Henry Shorts flock the 
bounds on the Towne side at the River is from Henry Shorts land on 
the southeast, all the comons as far as a run of water that runs out of 
Mr Gerrishs pasture running by Stephen Jaques^ pasture & so into Capt 
Noyes^ meadow wc'' s^ run of water is the northwest bounds of s^ ftlock 
& on the other side of the Mill River the Stony Brooke at the mouth of 
it is the Bounds & so upwards into the woods by that branch of it that 
runs by Abram Adams his field & so by the great Black ash swamp & 
so up into the woods. 

* Town of Newbury Records. 

t Coffin's History of Newburj-, p. 139. 


For the flock known by the name of Capt Peircess flock ye southerly 
bounds is bounded by the flock aforesd & ye northwest bounds as far as 
James Smiths on this side of the River & over the Mill River at Trotters 
Bridg the northwest bounds is the slough that runs into John Atkinsons 
meadow & so up into the woods westerly 

For the fifrogg pond flock ye southerly bounds is the slough wch is the 
northerly Bounds of the flock aforesd & from thence to James Smiths & 
ye northerly bound is to run uppon a straight line from Moses pilsburyes 
to Joseph Littles. 

For the Artichoak flock the southerly bounds is from Moses pils- 
buryes to Joseph Litlles on a Straight Line." * 


March 31, 1663, John Emery was presented to the court 
at Ipswich " on suspicion of breaking y'^ law in entertaining 
Mr. greenland foure months. "f At the session held May 5, 
1663, "he was fined four pounds and costs & fees for enter- 
taining strangers." % May 21, 1663, he sent the following pe- 
tition to the General Court, signed by himself, the selectmen 
of Newbury, and other inhabitants of the town : — 

To the Honrfi Generall Court now assembled at Boston, the Humble 
petition of John Emery humbly sheweth : 

That your petitioner dwelling in Newbury, It so fell out by the provi- 
dence of God that a certaine gentleman (namely M^ Henry Greenland) 
coming from England upon his occasion was by reason of his Aquaint- 
ance with Capt Barefoote &c inclinable to settle in ye country if hee 
liked & to make use of his practice of phisick & chirugery amongst us : 
But beeing as yet unsettled & uncertaine where to fix until his wife 
(whom he hath sent for) did come, By reason of some employment by 
ye providence of God presented itself to him, He was necissarily put 
upon it to reside neer such patients as had put themselves into his hands 
for cure : Among which one being more than ordinarily dependent Hee 
desired entertainment And your petititioner did for ye reason above 
mentioned Receive & entertain him this winter past for which I am fined 
foure pounds by ye honrd court at Ipswich for Breach of a Law, not hav- 
ing (at first) License under the hand of a magistrate. Hee himself being 
a stranger & not knowing the Law nor your petitioner . . . The Humble 
request of your petitioner is That this honrd Court would be pleased to 

*Town of Newbury Records. 

t Court Files (Salem) , vol. ix., leaf 13. 

X Ipswich Court Records, vol. i., leaf 118. 


retnitt ye saide fine (It Being not done in Contempt, but only as neces- 
sarily occasioned as above s<l) wherein ye gentleman hath (by God's 
blessing) been Instrumentall of much good by his calling both in Physick 
and Chyrurgery and your poor petitioner shall ever pray : 

We the Selectmen & such others as are subscribed, Considering the 
usefulness of Mr Greenland in respect of his practice in our towne do 
humbly desire the same if this honrd court please. 

John Pike Richard Loell 

Richard Thurlo Antony Somerby 

Abraham Toppan John Mearell 

John Bayley Archelaus Woodman 

Thomas Blumfield Sam : Poore 

Peter Godfrie Edw : Richardson 

James Ordway Robert Coker 

Lionel Worth Richard Fits 

Stephen Swett John Cheney, Jun 

Anthony Morse, Sen John Wilcutt 

Willi : Sayor Robt Adams 

Abell Huse Lanslet Granger 

John Cheney, Sen Anthony Short 

James Jackman John Knight 

Joseph Plumer Peter Toppan 

John Parker, Sen Jeremy Gutridge 

Thomas Brown Thomas Hale Jun 

William Titcomb John Poore, Sen 

Richard Bartlet William Morse 

(And others whose names are illegible). 

(28) 3. 63 The Mag's have considered the grounds of this Pet" & 
consent not to any revision of the Coun : Courts sentence. 

Tho. Daxforth, pi"., E. R. S. 

Consented to by ye deputys provided they may have ye ten shillings 
agayne. William Torrey, Clerk. 

The M agists Consentyes 

Edw : Rawson, Secry* 

The indorsements on this petition indicate that the fine of 
four pounds was remitted, while the costs, amountini; to " ten 
shilHngs," were retained hy the court, although there is no 
mention of the petition, or of any action upon it, in the Massa- 
chusetts Colony Records for the session beginning May 27 
and ending June 12, 1663. 

•Massachusetts Archives, voL A 15, p. 10. 


Dr. Greenland was evidently a skilful physician, but pas- 
sionate, unprincipled, and quarrelsome. March 31, 1663, he 
was charged with making indecent proposals to Mary, wife of 
John Rolfe. He was convicted and sentenced " to go from 
hence to the prision, there to remain until the next session 
of the court and then to be brought forth and whipt unless he 
pay a fine of thirty pounds." * 

He appealed to the Court of Assistants, and gave a bond of 
two hundred pounds, with Capt. Walter Barefoot and George 
Goldwire as sureties, to prosecute his appeal. Whether his 
sentence was revoked or modified in any way is uncertain, as 
the records of the Court of Assistants for that year cannot 
now be found. 

September 27, 1664, he and Capt. Walter Barefoot were 
both convicted of an assault on William Thomas and Richard 
Dole in the ordinary kept by Stephen Swett in Newbury, for 
which they were fined five pounds each.| 

January 12, 1665-6, Dr. Greenland sold to Israel Webster 
his house with an acre and a quarter of land on the south- 
west corner of Ordway's lane, now known as Market street, 
and the way by the river, now Merrimac street, Newburyport ; 
and February 28 his wife, Mary, released her right of dower.:): 

He probably removed to Portsmouth soon after the sale of 
this property, and resided there or in that vicinity for several 
years. George Fountain, captain of the ship " Marmadin," at 
the Isle of Shoals, wrote, under date of May 28, 1670, to 
Mr. Richard Cutts, of Portsmouth, that Mr. Henry Greenland 
came on board his vessel, and pretended to have some acquaint- 
ance with one of the seamen named Robert Gardner, to whom 

* Ipswich Court Records (at Salem) , vol. i., leaf 115. 

t Salem Court Files, vol. x., p. 38. Capt. Walter Barefoot was appointed deputy governor 
of the Province of New Hampshire in i68o, to attend to the clearing and entering of vessels at 
Portsmouth. Stephen Swett's ordinary was afterwards known as "the Blue .Anchor Tavern." 
See " Ould Newbury," p. 176. 

Among the Provincial Papers relating to the Province of New Hampshire are two deposi- 
tions, dated July 17 and July 24, 1665, made by Robert Carr, Samuel Mavericke, and George 
Cartwright, commissioners from King Charles the II., in relation to some expressions of 
disloyalty on the part of Mr. Richard Cutt of Piscataqua river. In these depositions, or certifi- 
cates, the commissioners promise to protect Mr. Cutt against prosecution "2 the said Richard 
Cutt never molest Thomas Wigin of Dover or Doctor Greenland of Newbury for giving in evi- 
dence him." New Hampshire Provincial Papers, vol. i., pp. 278, 279. 

+ Ijiswich Deeds, book IV., leaf 7. 


he disclosed a scheme that he said could be made profitable. 
Enclosed in the letter was the deposition of Robert Gardner, 
who made oath May 27, 1670, that Mr. Henry Greenland en- 
deavored to induce him and other members of the crew to 
seize the person of Mr. Richard Cutts, and carry him to Eng- 
land, " say'^ that a small number of men might take him and 
compel his servants to carry down on their backs such money 
and goods as was sure to be found there ; and farther that he 
would maintain the doing thereof in point of law for the said 
Cutts had spoken treason against the King." * 

What action was taken in regard to the proposed seizure 
and abduction of Mr. Richard Cutts is uncertain. Subse- 
quently Capt. Walter Barefoot and Dr. Henry Greenland 
were involved in a law-suit with Abraham Drake, Benjamin 
Swett, and Henry Green ; and the court, held at Hampton " y^ 
lo'*^ day 8"° 167 1," ordered the marshall to levy on the 
"goods, chattels and land" owned by Capt. Walter Barefoot, 
"at Kittery Point over against y^ great ysland," and also upon 
two thousand feet of pine boards owned by Dr. Greenland.! 

December 10, 1671, Jochen Jansen, formerly of Amster- 
dam, Holland, sold to Job Clement, of Dover, and Dr. Henry 
Greenland, of Kittery, " a good Pinke or Ship called ye 
Sancta Maria now riding att ancho'' neare y^ great Island in 
y^ River of Piscataqua." % 

The following year Dr. Greenland was accused of disloyalty 
to the government of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, and 
was denounced as an impracticable, over-zealous supporter of 
the king. He was arrested and imprisoned. 

May 7, 1673, the County Court at York was ordered to pay 
the expenses and charges, amounting to four pounds, incurred 
by Mr. Edward Rushworth in seizing Henry Greenland. § 

In answer to a petition from the inhabitants of Dover and 
Portsmouth for the release of Henry Greenland the General 
Court declared that " it sees no cause to grant their request." || 

* Massachusetts Archives, vol. Ix., p. 283. The letter and deposition are certified copies of 
original papers on file in the County Court at Dover, where Dr. Greenland evidently made 
answer to the charge brought against him by Mr. Richard Cutts, who was one of the magistrates 
appointed by the Colony of Massachusetts Bay for the towns of Dover and Portsmouth. 

t Norfolk County Deeds, vol. ii., p. 342 (228, 229) . + Ibid., vol. ii., p. 363 (243). 

§ Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part II., p. 555. II Ibid., p. 557. 


At the same session, in answer to the petition of Mary- 
Greenland, the General Court ordered "that Henry Green- 
land haue liberty to returne into this jurisdiction & abide here 
vntill the first of September next, for the disposing his estate 
& remooving his family, prouided he doe in other respects ob- 
serve the order of the court of assistants and depart after the 
tyme expired." * 


The first Quakers that came to New England were two 
female preachers, Mary Fisher and Ann Austin, who arrived 
at Boston in July, 1656, bringing with them a considerable 
number of books advocating and defending their peculiar relig- 
ious views and opinions. The books were taken from them 
and publicly burned in the market-place. The women were 
thrown into prison, and not long after sent back to England. 

The General Court in vigorous language declared, October 
14, 1656, "Whereas there is a cursed sect of hereticks lately 
risen vp in the world w"^^ are comonly called Quakers who 
take vppon them to be imediately sent of God, and infallibly 
asisted by the spirit to speake & write blasphemouth opinions, 
despising government & the order of God in church & comon- 
wealth, speaking evill of dignities, reproaching and reviling 
magistrates and ministers, seeking to turne the people from 
the faith & gaine proselites o theire pernicious wayes," etc., 
the master of any vessel bringing " any knoune Quaker or 
Quakers, or any other blasphemous hereticks," into any town 
or harbor within the limits of the colony, shall pay a fine of 
one hundred pounds for each offence, and the Quakers them- 
selves shall be severely whipped and sentenced to hard labor 
in the house of correction. The importation of Quaker 
books was also prohibited, and any person concealing one of 
these books in his house was liable to a fine of five pounds, f 

October 14, 1657, this law was amended, and a fine of forty 
shillings imposed upon any person or persons entertaining or 
concealing Quakers, knowing them to be such. Constables 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part II., p. 557. t Ibid., vol. iv., part I., p. 277. 


and magistrates were vigilant and active in arresting and pun- 
ishing offenders. Quakers banished from the colony, return- 
ing without the consent of the General Court, were liable to 
be severely whipped, to have their ears cut off, or their 
tongues bored through with hot irons.* 

In 1659, Thomas Macy, one of the early settlers of New- 
bury, who removed to Salisbury in 1639, was summoned to 
appear at the General Court and answer to the charge of en- 
tertaining Quakers. f 

He was unable, on account of illness, to appear at the Gen- 
eral Court on the day and hour appointed, but in a letter 
dated October 27, 1659, wrote as follows : — 

This is to entreat the honored court not to be offended because of 
my non-appearance. It is not from any slighting the authority of this 
honored court, nor from feare to answer the case, but I have bin for some 
weeks past very ill, and am so at present, and notwithstanding my illness, 
yet I, desirous to appear, have done my utmost endeavour to hire a horse, 
but cannot procure one at present. I being at present destitute have 
endeavoured to purchase but at present cannot attaine it, but I shall 
relate the truth of the case as my answer should be to ye honored court 
and more cannot be proved nor so much. On a rainy morning there 
came to my house Edward Wharton and three men more ; the said 
Wharton spoke to me saying they were traveling eastward and desired 
me to direct them in the way to Hampton, and asked me how far it was 
to Casco bay. I never saw any of ye men afore except Wharton, neither 
did I require their names, or who they were, but by their carriage I 
thought they might be quakers and told them so, and therefore desired 
them to passe on their way, saying to them I might possibly give offence 
in entertaining them, and as soon as the violence of the rain ceased (for 
it rained very hard) they v/ent away and I never saw them since. The 
time that they stayed in the house was about three quarters of an hour, 
but I can safely afifirm it was not an houre. They spake not many words 
in the time, neither was I at leisure to talke with them for I came home 
wet to ye skin immediately afore they came to the house and I found my 
wife sick in bed. If this satisfie not the honored court I shall subject 
to their sentence : I have not willingly offended. I am ready to serve 
and obey you in the Lord. Tho Macy. J 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part I., p. 308. 

t Previous to 1648 " Thomas Macy was granted an house lot of five acres on the neck over the 
great River." (Proprietors of Newbury Records, vol. ii., p. 39.) 

X This letter, by order of the governor and council of the State of Massachusetts, was delivered 
to the Hon. Barker Buswell, of Nantucket, June 13, 1831. It was destroyed by fire, with other 
valuable documents, when the Nantucket Athenseum was burned in July, 1846. A copy of the 
original letter is in the Massachusetts Archives, vol. x., p. 255. 


Notwithstanding this humble apology the General Court or- 
dered November 12, 1659, "That Thomas Macy pay as a 
fine the some of thirty shillings and be admonished by the 
Gouerno'' " ; and Edward Wharton, who accompanied the 
Quakers and piloted them from place to place, was ordered 
"to be whipt w"' twenty stripes & comitted to prison." * 

The severity and injustice of this sentence induced Thomas 
Macy, a few months later, to abandon his home in Salisbury, 
and remove, with his wife and children, beyond the jurisdiction 
of the colony to the island of Nantucket, then a part of the 
Province of New York, where he lived for the remainder of 
his life.f 

May 22, 1 66 1, the law providing for the punishment of 
" heretics and blasphemers " was again amended and made 
still more stringent. Quakers not having a legal settlement 
in the colony were liable to be seized by constables, " stripped 
naked from the midle upwards, & tyed to a carts tayle & 
whipped thro'^ the towne." % In this manner they were taken 
from town to town, and condemned to imprisonment or death, 
if they ventured to return. 

Some of the prominent Quakers residing in London, aroused 
by these acts of cruelty, sought and obtained an audience with 
King Charles II., and induced him to issue the following man- 
damus, addressed to "John Endicot, Esq., and to all and every 
other Governour or Governours of our Plantation of New 
England " : — 

Trusty and Well beloved, we greet you well. Having been informed 
that several of our Subjects among you, called Quakers, have been and 
are imprisoned by you, whereof some have been executed and others (as 
hath been represented unto us) are in Danger to undergo the Like : We 
have thought fit to signify our Pleasure in that Behalf for the future, 
and do hereby require that if there be any of those people called Quak- 
ers amongst you, now already condemned to suffer Death, or other 

♦Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part I., p. 407. 

t He, with Tristram Coffin, Christopher Hussey, R. Swain, Peter Coffin, Stephen Greenleaf, 
Thomas Barnard, John Swain, William Pile, and others, formed a company for tlie purchase and 
settlement of the island of Nantucket, then inhabited by a tribe of Indians. (New England 
Historical and Genealogical Register, vol. ii., p. 340.) "The Exiles," a poem by John G. 
Whittier, is founded on this incident in the life of Thomas Macy. (See Whittier's Complete 
Poetical Works, Cambridge edition, p. 14.) 

t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part II., p. 2. 


Corporal Punishment, or that are imprisoned or obnoxious to the like 
Condemnation, you are to forbear to proceed any farther therein: but 
that you forthwith send the said Persons (whether condemned or im- 
prisoned) over to this our Kingdom of England, together with the re- 
spective Crimes or Offences laid to their charge, to the End that such 
Course may be taken with them here, as shall be agreeable to our Laws 
and their Demerits. And for so doing these our Letters shall be your 
sufficient Warrant and Discharge. Given at our Court at Whitehall 
the Qt'i day of September, 1661, in the thirteenth Year of our Reign.* 

This mandatory letter, or order from the king, was in- 
trusted to Samuel Shattuck, a Quaker of Salem, who was then 
in England, having been banished from the colony on account 
of his obnoxious religious views. When Shattuck arrived in 
Boston, he was admitted to the council chamber in the gover- 
nor's house. He evidently neglected or declined to remove 
his hat when brought face to face with the governor. 

" Off with the knave's hat ! " An angry hand 
Smote down the offence; but the wearer said 
With a quiet smile, " By the King's command 
I bear his message and stand in his stead." 

In the Governor's hand a missive he laid, 
With the Royal arms on its seal displayed ; 
And the proud man spake as he gazed thereat, 
Uncovering, " Give Mr. Shattuck his hat." 

He turned to the Quaker, bowing low : 

" The King commandeth your friends' release. 

Doubt not he shall be obeyed, although 
To his subjects' sorrow and sin's increase. 

"What he here enjoineth John Endicott, 
His loyal servant, questioneth not. 
You are free ! — God grant the spirit you own 
May take you from us to parts unknown." f 

The letter from the king was read to the deputies and mag- 
istrates of the General Court, November 27, 1661 ; and the 
following order was then adopted : — 

Although wee hope & doubt not but that if his Majty were rightly in- 
formed he would be farre from giving them [the Quakers] such favor, 

* Ecclesiastical Histon' of New England, by Joseph B. Felt, vol. ii., p. 282. 
t" The King's Missive," by John G. Whiltier. 


or weakening his authority here so long & orderly settled, yet that we 
may not in the least offend his Maj'y, the Court doth hereby order & 
declare that the execution of the laws in force against Quakers as such 
so far as they respect corporall punishmt or death be suspended until 
this Court take further order.* 

June 28, 1662, the king, in reply, notified his "loyal sub- 
jects in New England " that certain laws and ordinances " con- 
trary and derogatory to his authority and government " must 
be annulled or repealed. He also declared " that such as desire 
to use the Booke of Comon Prayer & performe their devotions 
in the manner established in England " should be allowed that 
privilege, "& that all persons 'of good & honest Hues & con- 
uersations be admitted to the sacrement of the Lords Supper, 
according to the Booke of Comon Prayer & their children 
to baptisme. Wee cannot be understood hereby to direct or 
wish that any indulgence should be granted to those persons 
comonly called Quakers, whose being [ ] inconsistent 

wi"' any kind of government. Wee have found it necessary, 
by the advice of our Parliament here, to make sharpe lawes 
against them, and are well contented that you doe the like 
there." f 

With this assurance from the king that severe measures, 
adopted for the government and control of Quakers, would 
not be annulled by Parliament, the General Court, October 8, 
1662, revived the law passed in May, 1661, with some modi- 
fications, providing that Quakers should be whipped through 
not more than three towns, and that the number of stripes to 
which they should be subjected should be limited by the 
magistrates. \ 

Under the provisions of this law the following order was 
issued by Capt. Richard Waldron, magistrate at Dover: — 

To the constables of Dover, Hampton, Salisbury, Newbury, Rowley, 
Ipswich, Windham, Linn, Boston, Ro.xbury, Dedham, and until these 
vagabond Quakers are out of this jurisdiction. ■* 

You and every of you are required in the Kings Majestys name 
to take these vagabond Quakers, Anna Colman, Mary Tompkins and 
Alice Ambrose, and make them fast to the carts tail, and drawing the 

• Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part II., p. 34. 

t Ibid., vol. iv., part II., p. 165. X Ibid., vol. iv., part II., p. 59. 


cart through your several towns, to whip them upon their naked backs 
not exceeding ten stripes apiece on each of them in each town, and so 
convey them from Constable to Constable till they are out of this jurisdic- 
tion, as you will answer it at your peril, and this shall be your warrant. 
Per me Richard Waldron. 

At Dover, dated Dec. 22, 1662.* 

In Dover, Hampton, and Salisbury the above order was 
executed ; but in Newbury, Walter Barefoot, afterwards 
deputy governor of the Province of New Hampshire, put a 
stop to the fvu'ther punishment of " these vagabond Quakers," 
and sent them out of the colony, claiming that under the law 
they could not be whipped in more than three towns. 

Two of the Quakers named in the above order, Mary 
Tompkins and Alice Ambrose, visited Newbury on their 
way to Dover, and were then entertained by John Emery, as 
appears from the following statement : — 

Edward and George Preston, and Mary Tompkins and Alice Am- 
brose, alias Gary, passed eastward to visit the seed of God in those 
parts, and in their way through Newbury, they went into the house of 
one John Emery, (a friendly man,) who with his wife seemed glad to re- 
ceive them, at whose house they found freedom to stay all night, and 
when the next morning came, the priest, Thomas Parker, and many of 
his followers came to the man's house, and much reasoning and dispute 
there was about truth ; but the priest's and many of the people's ears 
were shut against the truth. And in the time of their discourse, the 
wind striving in Mary Tompkin's stomach, making some noise, she hav- 
ing received no sustenance for the space of near forty eight hours, one 
Joseph Pike, after they were departed the town, said " she had a devil 
in her." 

After a while the priest perceiving that the battle might be too hard 
for him, rose up and took the man of the house and his wife out of doors 
with him and began to deal with them for entertaining such dangerous 
people. They replied they were required to entertain strangers. The 
priest said it was dangerous entertaining such as had plague sores upon 
them. Which the woman hearing began to take the priest to do for 
saying such false, wicked and malicious words but he hasted away. 
Mary Tompkins called him to come back again and not to show him- 
self to be one of those hirelings that tlee and leave their flocks behind 
them, but he would not turn : and a while after most of the People de- 
parted : and when Ipswich Court came thither he was had and fined for 
Entertaining the Quakers. f 

*New Hampshire Provincial Papers, vol. i., p. 243. 

t" New England Judged," by George Bishop (edition, 1702), p. 400. 


It appears from an examination of the papers on file at the 
court-house in Salem that the grand jury on the thirty-first 
day of March, 1663, presented John Emery for entertaining 
Quakers, and also for inviting neighbors to come to hear them. 
May 5, 1663, the case was referred to the next court for 

The following depositions indicate that John Emery had on 
several occasions entertained Quakers, and asserted his right 
to supply them with food and lodging regardless of the restric- 
tions and penalties imposed by the General Court : — 

The testimony of Henry Jaques aged about 44 years saith that I 
heard Joseph Noyes say that after that time that the Quakers had their 
meeting at John Emerys that he saw two Quakers at John Emerys house, 
and John Emery bade ym welcome, and further saith that I heard Joseph 
Noyes say that John Emery had entertained Quakers, both to bed and 
table, after the time they had their meeting at John Emerys house, and 
this he testified before the church at Newbury, and farther I do testify 
that I heard John Emery and his wife say that he had entertained 
Quakers and that he would not put them from his house, and used 
argument for the lawfulness of it. Henry Jaques. 

Sworn in Court, May 7, 1663 Before Robert Lord, Clerk.\ 

The Deposition of John rolfe, being about the age of 28 years, this 
Deponent saith that where as John Emery senior did afirme before the 
honoured Court that he had not entertained any quakers in his house 
since that time that the meeting was there when M"" parker was sent for 
& came to them. I Doe testifie that I being at John Emerys, S"" house 
about 3 weeks after that time did see two Quakers there & I herd him 
say to them & som others that were there yt Joseph noyce came to his 
house & told him that there were two quakers coming towards his house 
& wisht him not to entertain them ; he sayd if they came to his house 
they should be welcom & he would not forbid them ; there they were 
when I cam in & there I left them. I was there upon occasion neare an 
houer &; there were p^sent in goodman Emerys house, wil Ilsley, sen, & 
John Muselwhite. 

Sworne in Court at Ipswich 7 May, 1663 

p me Robert Lord, Cleric.\ 

The Deposition of Joseph Noyes aged 26 years : This Deponent 
saith yt as he was agoing to Goodman Emeries, senior, he overtook two 
women Quakers, and supposing they would call at ye house of ye fore- 
mentioned John Emmery, he desired him not to entertain y'". But 

* Salem Court Files, vol. ix., leaf 13. t Ibid., vol. ix., folio 10. 


whilst he was in discourse, they came into ye house and there staid until 
he went away. Goodman Emmery was in ye chamber (as he knows 
because he y" upon an occasion called out to his wife) his wife being in 
y^ same room with y-* Quakers. Ys was after ye meeting of ye quakers 
at his house w" Mr Parker was y. Farther he had understood by those 
yt w eye witnesses y' two men quakers w^ y entertained very kindly to 
bed and table & John Emmerie shook ym by ye hand and bid y" wel- 
come : Ye substance of ys, he, or his wife in his presence told him, and 
owned it (according to his best remembrance) more y" once. This also 
ws severl days after ye meeting above said. 

Taken upon oath 24, 4, 1663 before me Simon Bradstreet.* 

What disposition was made of this case is uncertain. There 
is no evidence in the records of the courts held at Ipswich, 
Salem, and Boston that a verdict was rendered for or against 
the defendant. March 31, 1663, John Emery was fined four 
pounds for entertaining Dr. Henry Greenland, "a stranger" 
not having a legal residence in the town of Newbury ; and that 
sentence probably led the author of " New England Judged," 
and other writers since that date, to assert that he was fined 
for entertaining Quakers. 


September 8, 1636, the General Court appropriated four 
hundred pounds for the establishment of a school or college at 
Newtowne (now Cambridge); and in 1638 the Rev. John Har- 
vard bequeathed one-half his property and his entire library for 
its encouragement and support. 

In 1642, overseers were appomied ; and November 13, 1645, 
the General Court ordered the deputies of the several towns 
to recommend that " one peck of corne, or 1 2^ in money or 
oth"" comodity be sent to y^ Treasurer for the Colledge at 
Cambridge" from every family in the colony. f 

In 1650, "the President and Fellows of Harvard College" 
were incorporated, and a charter granted under the seal of the 
Colony of Massachusetts Bay. 

October 19, 1652, the General Court ordered the inhabi- 

* Salem Court Files, vol. ix , folio 10. 

t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. ii., p. 86. 



tants of the several towns in the colony to choose one or 
more persons to solicit subscriptions for the support of the 
college, and to render an account of the same to the governor 
and deputies at the next session of the court.* 

Many towns responded promptly to this appeal, and prom- 
ised to contribute in proportion to their means. A few asked 
for further time. 

Newberry hath p'mised }"= sum of ^15.0.0 
Salisbury will return in two months 
Salem will give answer to ye committee in 2 months 
Wenham subscribes the sum of ^6.10.0 
Reading subscribes the sum of / 16. 13.0 
Haverhill will give answer in two months 
. Lin will give (to be pd next year) 6.0.0 
Hampton subscribes y^ sum of 17. 19.0 
Kowley subscribes the sum of 38.0.0 

Boston, Roxbury, Ipswich, and other towns, with more 
wealth and resources, pledged larger and more substantial 

The collection of the money, however, seems to have pro- 
ceeded with considerable difficulty, the total receipts falling 
far short of the promised contributions. The Rev. Henry 
Dunster, president of the college at that date, gives the various 
amounts received from the towns in Essex County, as fol- 
lows : — X 

Rowley . 

£1. 0.0 Newbury ^ 

o. 0.0 Salisbury o. 0.0 

5. 0.0 Hampton o. 0.0 

0.12.0 Andover o. 0.0 

7. 8.7 Haverhill o. 0.0 

May 15, 1654, the General Court again ordered the towns 
that had not contributed to the support of the college to ap- 
point some suitable person to receive subscriptions, and for- 
ward them to Increase Nowell, a member of the Court of 
Assistants, " in order that the work of the college may not be 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part I., p. loi. 

t Massachusetts Archives, vol. Iviii., p. 23. 

t History of Harvard University, by Josiah Quincy, vol. i., p. 456. 


In answer to this appeal some of the towns responded with 
small gifts and contributions. Among these gifts were a 
number of sheep, a pewter flagon, a fruit-dish, a sugar-spoon, 
and sums of money from five shillings to five pounds. 

In 1669, the financial condition of the college was extremely 
discouraging. The buildings were old and out of repair. 
Better and more commodious accommodations were needed, 
and its invested funds amounted to less than one thousand 

In this emergency, John Cutt, Richard Cutt, and Joshua 
Moody notified the General Court that the inhabitants of 
Portsmouth would contribute sixty pounds annually for seven 
years, " to be improved by the overseers of the college for the 
advancement of good literature there." * 

Donations and contributions to be used in the construction 
of a new library building were urgently solicited by friends of 
the institution in every town in the colony. 



^20. 0.0 



Ls- o-o 


60. 3.2 




40. 8.5 




21, 4.0 






9. 3.0 


17. 0.0 


13. 0.0 

Topsfield " 6. 0.0 1 

The collection of these subscriptions was delayed, however, 
from year to year ; and the selectmen of delinquent towns were 
at length ordered. May 19, 1680, by the General Court to 
provide for their payment before September 3, 1680, under 
penalty of twenty pounds. 

At a meeting of the selectmen of Newbury, held February 
6, 1679-80, "Joseph Pike constable and Daniel Lunt were 
chosen to gather the rest of the contribution for the Col- 
ledg." X 

Work was begun on the library building, otherwise known 
as Harvard Hall, in 1672 ; but, owing to the delay in the col- 

• Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part II., p. 433. 
t History of Harvard University (Quincy), vol. i., p. 508. 
X Town of Newbury Records, vol. i. 


lection of subscriptions, it was not completed until ten years 
later. It was destroyed by fire in i 764, and with it the most 
valuable library and philosophical apparatus in America. 

Subsequently Nathaniel Carter, Tristram Dalton, Jonathan 
Jackson, Rev. John Lowell, and Patrick Tracy, of Newbury, 
with other friends of the college in Boston, Salem, Gloucester, 
and elsewhere, contributed books and money to repair the 
loss the college had sustained ; and the General Court ap- 
propriated the sum of two thousand pounds toward the cost 
of rebuilding Harvard Hall. 


Nicholas Easton, who came with the first settlers to New- 
bury in 1635, was probably the first person who carried on 
the business of tanning in the town. He owned a dwelling- 
house, with the land under and adjoining the same, on the 
north bank of the river Parker, and lived there until 1637, 
when he was disfranchised by the General Court, and soon 
after removed to Rhode Island. Richard Dole, a dealer in 
hides and leather, purchased the property, and continued in 
business there until 1705.* 

After the settlement of the new town in 1646, repeated ef- 
forts were made to induce some competent leather dresser to 
establish himself in trade in the vicinity of the " trayneing 

At a meeting of the ffreemen April 19, 1649 There was granted that 
Job Clements should have that freehold that the Towne bought, formerly 
being William Berry his ffreehold, to remaine, abide and continue to 
him & his heyrs forever, conditionaly yt he live w"i us heere in Newbury 
exercising his trade four years, or as long as he shall live wtinn that 
Tearme, and also let the shoemakers of this Towne have the first proffer 
or the forsaking of his leather making him as good pay as others. f 

This offer did not prove acceptable to Mr. Clements, and 
he decided to remain in Haverhill, where he was then residing. 

November 10, 1663 Leift Pike proposed for his brother Thomas 
Turvill for an acre of land near some spring (so that it do not prejudice 

• " Ould Newbury," pp. 17 and 18. 

t Newbury Proprietors' Records, vol. i., p. 49. 


the Towne) for to set up tanning of Leather & Richard Kent & Henry 
Short were appointed to look out a convenient place neere some spring.* 

March 14, 1663-4, at a ii^cneral meeting of the townsmen 
"It was voted that there should he an acre of land given to 
Thomas Turvill between George Littles & Henry Jaquesses 
provided he follow his trade of Tanning, and in case he leave 
it in seaven years he shall resigne it up to the Towne, the 
Towne paying to him all necessary charge he bestows upon 
it, but hereby they grant him no freehold." * 

In 1664, Richard Knight and William Titcomb "laid out to 
Thomas Thurvill according to the grant of the town an acre 
of land on the way to the mill." * 

On account of physical inability to support himself at his 
trade the selectmen were ordered September 19, 1670, to 
send Thomas Turvill to his "kinsman," Henry Short, to be 
maintained at the expense of the town until his death. 

January 24, 167 1—2, he conveyed to Ensign Greenleaf and 
Caleb Moody, selectmen of the town of Newbury, the land 
that he had received from the town, upon condition that he 
carry on the trade of leather dresser. Being unable by weak- 
ness to perform the condition agreed upon, and feeling 
obliged to call upon the town for aid and support, he relin- 
quished his right and title to the land in part payment of the 
charges that had been, and were to be, incurred for his 

November 27, 1675 the Selectmen Reckoned with Henry Short for 
keeping Tho : Turvill &. there was due to him fourteen pounds & seaven 
shillings the last day of November.* 

Ten years later John Bartlet was a tanner of hides at 
Bartlet's Cove. In an agreement made March 19, 1686-7, 
Samuel Bartlet and John Bartlet mention a way " from the 
north west side of the Cove to the Bark house then standing." f 
The business was continued in that locality for nearly two 

Anthony Somerby, grandson of the first schoolmaster of 

•Town of Newbury Records, vol. i. 

t Recorded in May, 1694, by Henry Short, town clerk. 


Newbury, was a leather dresser in the vicinity of the " New 
Pond and Trayneing Green." 

Anthony Somerby having proposed to the town for three rods square 
of Ground at a place commonly known by the name of Claddings spring, 
so as may be Convenient for Dressing of leather. The towne by vote 
granted said proposition viz : The land proposed for, to the said 
Anthony Somerby.* 

Tristram Coffin and Henry Short, lot-layers, " according 
to a grant of the town of March 8"', 1696-7," laid out on the 
eleventh day of March following, " to Anthony Somerby a 
piece of ground of three rods square lying at a place com- 
monly known by the name of Claddings spring •}• bounded by 
the common or undivided land of Newbury on every side. 
Bounded with a small rock at every corner." :j: 

March 27, 1699, Ebenezer Knowlton was granted a lot of 
land on the Bradford road " for the purpose of setting up a 
tanners trade " near the land formerly owned by Benjamin 
Lowell, " bounded westerly by a brook and northerly by the 
land of Stephen Emery." § 


In 1645, the only grist-mill in Newbury was at the falls of 
the Ouascacunquen, now Parker river. In that year, or 
the year immediately preceding, Thomas Nelson built a mill 
in Rowley, near the dividing line between that town and New- 
bury, on the Mill river, a branch of the Quascacunquen. He 
died in 1648 ; and on the first day of July, 1654, Richard 
Dummer, of Newbury, executor of the will of Thomas Nelson, 
"sometime of Rowley deceased," sold to John Pearson "one 
half part of the corn-mill at Rowley " with land adjoining the 
same " surrounded with a salt creeke which cometh out of 
Newbury river." || 

Some doubt having arisen in regard to the right of the 

* Town of Newbury Records. 

t Claddings spring is a few rods southwesterly from the house formerly owned and occupied 
by the Rev. James Noyes. 

X Town of Newbury Proprietors' Records. 

§Town of Newbury Records. 

II Ipswich Deeds, book II., p. 300. 


executor to sell the above-described property, a board of ar- 
bitrators was chosen to adjust the questions in dispute and 
determine the amount due from Richard Dummer to Philip 
and Thomas Nelson, " sons of Thomas Nelson, deceased." 
They reported October 30, 1657, and again on the twenty- 
sixth day of November, 1658.* Subsequently, the questions 
in dispute were referred to the magistrates and deputies of 
the General Court. October 16, 1660, they declared, 

In the case now depending betweene John Peirson of Rowley & M"" 
Richard Dummer, referring to the sale of a mill & certaine lands, some- 
tjmes possessed by Mr Nelson of Rowley, deceased, & now sold by 
the sajd Mr Dummer to ye sd Peirson for the vse of the sajd Mr. Nel- 
sons children, the Court judgeth it meet to confirme the sale of the sajd 
mill & land.f 

From the testimony of witnesses given in a suit brought 
by Philip Nelson to recover possession of the property, at 
the Court held in Ipswich March 29, 1692, it appears that 
there was a saw-mill " neer ye south end of ye above said grist 
mill, upon ye land y* ye fulling mill [now] stands on the south- 
erly end of said Grist Mill." \ 

After the death of Philip Nelson his widow and executrix 
sold all her right and interest in these mills to John Pear- 
son, jr., son of John Pearson, sr., who retained possession of 
them for many years. They were owned and occupied by Mr. 
Pearson's descendants until 1840. Since that date they have 
been practically rebuilt ; and, supplied with new and im- 
proved machinery, they are now known as the " Glen Mills " 
of Rowley. 


For the convenience of the inhabitants of Newbury, who 
were to remove from the old town on Parker river to the 
new town on the Merrimack river, in 1645, the erection of a 
grist-mill near the place now known as " Four Rock Bridge," 
was authorized by the following vote passed at a town meet- 
ing held December 18, 1645 : — 

* Ipswich Deeds, book I., pp. 221, 222 (591-595). 

t Massachusetts Colony Records, book IV., part I., p. 440. 

+ Ipswich Deeds, book V., p. 502. 


Whereas the Inhabitants of ye Towne of Newbury at a publique 
meeting have chosen William Gerrish, John Lowle, Richard Knight, 
Henry Short, Richard Kent, Jn^, John Pike, Jnr, and William Titcomb 
for to procure a water mill for to be built and set up in sd Towne to 
grind they corne the sd men have accordingly covenanted & agreed with 
John Emery & Samuel ScuUard to effect & perfect the same on these 
terms following : 

1. That the s^ John Emery & Samuel Scullard Do Covenant & 
promise that the sd Mill shall be sufficiently built & made ready for the 
Townes use to grind the Townes grists at or before the twenty ninth of 
September following. 

2. They likewise promise that the sd mill shall be sett up between 
Nicholas Holts poynt & Edward Woodmans Bridge, or near there- 
abouts, this they promise to perform & make good & do hereby firmly 
bind y"iselves & theyr heyrs under the penalty of forty pounds forfeiture 
if not done.* 

The committee in behalf of the inhabitants of Newbury 
agreed to pay John Emery and Samuel Scullard the sum of 
twenty pounds in merchantable goods ; to grant them ten acres 
of upland and six acres of meadow land ; to exempt the mill 
from taxation for seven years, and acknowledge it to be a free- 
hold to them and their heirs forever. f 

Samuel Scullard died previous to October, 1647, and his 
widow married John Bishop, who purchased John Emery's in- 
terest in the mill property. As the lawful successor of Sam- 
uel Scullard, deceased, the committee " confirmed upon John 
Bishop his heirs and assigns " all the rights and privileges 
originally conveyed by the above-described agreement. 

June 18, 1663, he sold the mill to Peter Cheney. J Thirty 
years later there was some controversy in regard to the deed 
of conveyance ; and John Bishop denied. May 30, 1682, selling 
the freehold when he sold the mill.§ 

* Newbury Proprietors' Records, vol. i., folio 5. See also Suffolk Court Files, Pemberton 
Square, Boston, vol. i.. No. 86 and No. 12513, for certified copies of above agreement signed by 
Nathaniel Coffin, " clerc for ye commoners in ye Towne of Newbury." 

t" In consideration of John Emery his full satisfaction for his part of the mill land, the 
Towne Granted unto John Emery ten acres of land lying in the neck, below the House lotts, 
which John Bishop resigned to the Towne for his mill land, to be to ye said John Emery his 
heyrs & assigns forever provided yt there be a way in the most convenient place according to the 
agreement the Towne made wtli Samuel Scullard." Newbury Proprietors' Records, vol. i., p. 26. 

t " Ould Newburj'," p. 104. 

§ Newbury Proprietors' Records, folio 5. 



The freeholders granted, November 22, 1678, to John 
Emery, jr., " twelve acres of land on the west side of Arti- 
choke River adjoyneing to his owne land, Provided that he 
build and maintaine a corne mill to grind the Townes corne 
from time to time, and to build it within one yeare and one 
halfe after the Date hereof. And the Inhabitants of the 
Towne to have their corne ground accordii"ig to their Turnes 
before any of another towne." * 

This mill was probably built during the year 1679 or 1680. 
December' 13, 1686, the town appointed a committee "to lay 
out a convenient highway of such breadth as they shall see 
meet thro' the plaines to Sergeant Emerys mill." For more 
than two centuries the dam with the mill privileges at the 
mouth of the Artichoke river have been maintained in good 
order and condition for the grinding of corn.f 


Upon the petition of John Badger, the town of Newbury, 
March 8, 1 680-1, granted him liberty to use "two rods of 
land over against his house to set up a mill to make oat- 
meale.'"! The mill was soon after erected, two or three 
hundred rods in a northerly direction from Little Hill, on the 
north side of the highway leading from Parker river to the 
Merrimack, and was operated by horse power. 

May 12, 1 71 5, Nathaniel Badger sold to his brother-in-law 
Joseph Lunt the house where he then lived, with buildings 
and utensils belonging to his " oat mill or mault mill," and the 
land appertaining to the homestead of his honored father, John 
Badger.' § 

Cutting Lunt, Nathaniel Lunt, and Lois Lunt, children of 
Joseph Lunt, owned and operated the mill from 1750 to 1785. 

Afterwards Nathan Lunt, son of Cutting Lunt, became 
owner of one-half the property ; and March 2, 1 791, he sold 

*To\vn of Newbun,' Records. 

t For further details relating to this mill see "Ould Newburj-," pp. 26g to 274. 

X Town of Newburj' Records. 

§ Essex Deeds, book XXVII., leaf 182. 


his interest in the land and buildings to Nicholas Lunt, who 
continued the manufacture of oatmeal and malt there until the 
year 1810.* 


The northern boundary of the colony of Massachusetts 
Bay, by a strict construction of its charter, extended from a 
point three miles north of the most northerly part of the Mer- 
rimack river and in an easterly and westerly direction from sea 
to sea. As early as September 6, 1638, the General Court 
passed the following order : - — - 

Goodman Woodward, Mr John Stretlon wt'^ an Indian & 2 others, 
appointed by the magistrates of Ipswich, are to lay out the line 3 mile 
northward of the most northermost part of Merrimacke for wch they are 
to have 5s a day a peece.f 

June 6, 1639, Goodm Nathaniell Woodward was ordered to have three 
pounds for his journey to discover the ruhing vp of Merrimacke: iqs 
more was aded by order of the Governor & Deputies. 

And they wch went with him, Tho : Howlet, Sargent Jacob, Tho : 
Clarke & John Manning to have 50s a peece for their 10 days a peece 
spent according to the former order; and John Clarke to have [ ] for 
going wth them & staying for them till their returne. % 

In October, 1641, the government of the colony of Mass- 
achusetts Bay was extended to the Piscataqua riv^er by the 
adoption of the following order : — 

Whereas it appeareth that by the extent of the line, (according to o"" 
patent,) that the ryver Pascataquack is w«'nn the jurisdiction of the 
Massachusetts, & conference being had (at severall times) w'^ the said 
people, & some deputed by the Generall Court, for the setteling & estab- 
lishing of order in the administration of justice there, it is now ordered, 
by the Genrall Court, houlden at Boston, the 9th day of the 8* mo, 1641 
& wth the consent of the inhabitants of the said ryver as followeth : 

Impi": That from henceforth the said people inhabiting there are & 
shalbee accepted & reputed under the government of the Massachusetts, 
as the rest of the inhabitants wt'nn the said jurisdiction are lic. § 

The heirs of Capt. John Mason protested against this as- 
sumption of authority, and claimed control of the territory 

*See Essex Deeds, book XCIX., leaf 163 ; book GIL, leaf 33 ; hook CIX., leaf 12 : book 
CXXIV., leaf 204; book CXLV., leaf 148; book CLII., leaf 242; book CCIX., leaf 154 : Cof- 
fin's History of Newbury, p. 134. 

t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 237. X Ibid., p. 261. § Ibid., p. 342. 


from the Merrimack river to the Kennebec river, under a 
charter granted by King James I. in 1622. The General 
Court, however, reasserted its claim to the disputed territory, 
and appointed, June i, 1652, Capt. Symon Willard and Capt. 
Edward Johnson commissioners " to p'cure such artists & 
other assistants as they shall judge meete to goe w"' them, to 
finde out the most northerly p'te of the Merrimacke Riuer, and 
that they be supplyed withall maher of necessaries by the 
Treasurer fitt for their journey, and that they use their vttmost 
skill and abillitie to take a true observation of the latitude of 
the place and that they doe it withall convenient speed and 
make returne thereof at the next session of this Court." * 

The commissioners employed Serjeant John Sherman, of 
Watertowne, and Jonathan Ince, a student at Harvard Col- 
lege, to accompany and assist them in their investigations. 
October 19, 1652, they reported to the General Court that 
by careful astronomical observations they found the head of 
the Merrimack river " where it issues out of the lake called 
Winnapuscakit " was in the latitude of forty-three degrees, 
forty minutes, and twelve seconds (43° 40' 12"), and that the 
boundary line of the colony, begining three miles north of that 
point, extended in an easterly direction to the sea.f 

In 1654, Mr. Jonas Clark and Samuel Andrews, "both well 
skilled in Mathematics," were appointed to mark with a heap 
of stones, or in some other suitable way, the northern boun- 
dary, or limit, of the colony on the seacoast. They reported 
that a line from lake Winnipiseogee to the Atlantic ocean, 
three miles north of the latitude given above, would fall upon 
an island called the " Upper Clapboard Hand, about a quarter 
of a mile from the mayne in Casco Bay." \ 

Over this vast territory the colony of Massachusetts Bay 
claimed jurisdiction until the year 1679, when the province of 
New Hampshire was created by an act of Parliament, and the 
towns of Dover, Exeter, Hampton, and Portsmouth became a 
part of that province. Subsequently, the boundary line be- 
tween New Hampshire and Massachusetts was the occasion 
of a long controversy that was not finally adjusted and settled 
until 1899. 

•Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part I., p. 98. t Ibid., p. 109. % Ibid., p. 207. 



The General Court passed an order, May i8, 1653, declar- 
ing it to be unlawful for any person to preach in any town in 
the colony without the consent of the elders of four neighbor- 
ing churches or by the approval of the county court. Robert 
Pike, of Sahsbury, boldly denounced this act as an unjustifia- 
ble interference with the personal rights and privileges of 
freemen, and farther said " several churches had called theire 
members to accompt which did act in that lawe making, and 
that some places were about to show theire minds to the Gen- 
erall Court about it." * 

August 30, 1653, Lieut. Pike was ordered to appear at the 
General Court and answer for his intemperate zeal and sedi- 
tious speech. He was disfranchised September 7, 1653, and 
prohibited from holding public office in the town or in the 
colony. A fine of twenty marks, equal to thirteen pounds, 
six shillings, and eightpence, was imposed as an additional 
penalty ; and he was required to give bonds for his good be- 
havior during the court's pleasure.* 

The prompt and vigorous measures adopted by the General 
Court to assert its rights and protect its members from criti- 
cism and censure aroused a strong feeling of indignation among 
the inhabitants of Newbury, Haverhill, Andover, Hampton, 
and Salisbury. Petitions were prepared and circulated in 
these towns asking that the fine and punishment imposed upon 
" Lieutenant Robert Pike " be remitted. Several of these 
petitions are on file at the State House in Boston, but many 
of the signatures can hardly be deciphered and some are illeg- 
ible. The petition from Newbury reads as follows : f — 

The humble petition of the inhabitants of Newbury, to the honored 
General Court now assembled at Boston, showeth : 

That whereas our loving friend, Lieutenant Robert Pike, of Salisbury, 
hath by occasion, as it is witnessed against him, let fall some words for 
which the honored Court hath been pleased [to censure him] we having 
had experience that he hath been a peaceable man and a useful instru- 
ment ... do therefore humbly desire this honored Court that the said 

* Massaclmsetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part I., p. 156. 

t Massachusetts Archives, vol. x., leaf 2gg. See also " The New Puritaa," pp. 44 and 45. 



sentence may be [revoked] and that the said Lieutenant Pike be 
restored to his former liberty. So . . . pray &c. 

Richd. Kent, Jun. 
Wni Moody 
Daniel Peirce 
Geo. Little 
Saml Moody 
Richd. Dole 
John Poore 
Dan Thurston 
Joseph Plummer 
Richd Thurly 
John Wolcot 
John Hull 
Rob. Adams 
W™ Chandler 
John Tillotson 
John Baily 
John Wheeler 
Rob. Cooper 
Richd. Kent, Sen. 

Wm Titcombe 
John Bartlett 
Tho. Browne 
Richd. Bartlett 
Gyles Cromlome 
Aquilla Chase 
Edw. Richard.son 
W"i Richardson 
John Bishop - -^ V 
Sam Poore 
John Hutchins 
Wm Sawyer 
Richd. Fitts 
John Bond 
Chris Bartlett 
James Ordway 
Edwd. Woodman 
Stephen Swett 
Wni Ilsly 
Tho Smith. 

Benj Swett 
Joseph Swett 
Steph. Greenleaf 
Anthony Morse 
Henry Lunt 
Solomon Kyes 
Tristram Coffin 
Francis Plummer 
Sam. Plummer 
Dan Thurston 
Wni Cottle 
John Rolfe 
John Muslewhite 
John Emery, Sen. 
John Emery, Jun. 
Sam Moore 
Nich. Batt 
John Cheney 
Daniel Cheney 

This petition, with several other petitions from neighboring 
towns, was presented to the General Court at a session held 
May 14, 1654. The deputies as well as the magistrates were 
evidently disturbed and irritated by this unexpected display of 
friendship for Lieut. Robert Pike, and promptly appointed a 
committee of investigation. 

In answer to the peticon of Hampton, Salisbury, Newbery, Haverill 
& Andover, subscribed by severall in each toune, this Court cannot but 
deeply resent that so many psons of seuerall tounes, condicons & rela- 
tions, should combine together to psent such an vnjust & vnreasonable 
request as the revoaking the sentance past the last Court, agt Left Rob* 
Pike & the restoring of him to his former libertie, wt'^out any peticon of 
his oune, or least acknowledgment of his great offence, fully proved 
against him, which was no lesse then defaming this Court, and charging 
them w'b breach of oath &c w^h the peticoners call some words lett fall 
by occasion. The court doth therefore order in this extraordinary case, 
that Mr Bradstreet for Hauerill & Andover, Capt Wiggins for Hampton, 
Capt Gerrish & Nicho Noies for Newbery, & Mr Winsly & Mr Brad- 
bury for Salisbury, shall & heereby are appointed Comisioners to call 
the said peticoners in the seuerall tounes together, or so many of them 


at a time as they shall think meete & require a reason of theire vnjust 
request & how they came to be induced to subscribe the sd peticon & so 
make theire retourne to the next sessions, that the Court may consider 
how to pceed farther therein.* 

In October, 1654, Capt. William Gerrish and Nicholas 
Noyes reported to the General Court the reasons given for 
signing the petition by the men of Newbury : — 

Francis Plummer and Robert Morse say the reason is because he is 
a useful man, and thought they might petition without offence. It 
was in the liberty of the Court to accept it or reject it and . . . they 
could not see they had done amiss in petitioning. 

John Bishop being desired to go into the meeting house to explain 
. . . about the petition he said he could not stay, but the constable said 
he must. He came into the house before us ; said, would the General 
Court have the reasons, they are in the petition, and that was all he 
would say, and so turned his back and away he went. 

Benjamin Swett saith every free subject hath liberty to petition for 
any that had been in esteem, without offence to any. 

John Emery demanded our Commission and the sight of the petition, 
and then would answer. Being produced, he answered we had no power 
to demand who brought him the petition ; and hearing John Bond make 
answer, told him he was a wise man in a bold, flouting manner. His 
carriage we conceive was [insulting]. f 

Others said they were friends of Robert Pike and out of respect for 
him they petioned for his release, while others confessed that they were 
ignorant of the words spoken by him & sentence imposed upon him 
by the Gen. Court and intended no offence to that honorable body in 
asking for his release. 

After a careful examination of the answers returned by the 
men from Newbury and other towns in the vicinity, the Gen- 
eral Court ordered November i, 1654, the petitioners whose 
answers were not satisfactory to appear at the county court 
and give bonds in the sum of ten pounds to answer for their 
several offences. The names of the Newbury men " to be 
summoned by warrant from the dark of the court " were : 
"Jno Emery, Sen, Jno Hull, Jn° Bishop, Benjamin Swett, 
Daniell Thirston, Jun. Joseph Plomer, Daniell Cheny, Jn° 
Wilcott." X 

* Massachustts Colony Records, vol. iv., part I., p. i<)4. 

t Massachusetts Archives, vol. x., p. 299. " The New Puritan," pp. 44 and 45. 

t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part I., p. 215. 


The objectionable order relating to public preaching in the 
colony was repealed August 30, 1653 ; but at the same time 
it was enacted " that every person that shall publish and main- 
taine any hetrodoxe and erronjous doctorine shalbe lyable to 
be questioned and censured by the County Court where he 
liveth according to the meritt of his offence." * 

The sentence imposed upon Lieut. Pike was not revoked 
until several years later, as appears from the following order 
adopted by the General Court October 23, 1657 : — 

In ansr to the peticon of Robert Pike, humbly desiring ye courts 
favo"" his fine being paid, to remitt to him & release him from the other 
pte of the Courts former sentence against him, M"" Worcester ye pastor 
of ye church at Salisbury appearing on ye behalfe of the peticoner and 
acknowledging himself much bound to the court if they would be 
pleased to graunt ye said Pikes request, the court grants his request. f 


In the thirty-first chapter of the history of New England, 
otherwise known as " Wonder Working Providence of Sions 
Saviour," by Edward Johnson, printed in London in 1654, is 
the following description of Newbury : — 

In the latter end of this yeare (1634) two sincere servants of Christ 
inabled by him with gifts to declare his minde unto his people, came 
over this broad Ocean, and began to build the Tenth Church of Christ 
at a Towne called Newberry, their names being Mr. James Noise and 
Mr. Thomas Parker, somewhat differing from all the former, and after 
mentioned Churches in the preheminence of their Presbytery, and it 
were to be wished that all persons who have had any hand in those hot 
contentions, which have fallen out since, about Presbyterian and Inde- 
pendent Government in Churches, would have looked on this example, 
comparing it with the Word of God, and assuredly it would have stayed 
(all the godly at least) of either part from such unworthy expressions as 
have passed to the grief of many of Gods people ; And I doubt not 
but this History will take of that unjust accusation and slanderous im- 
putation of the rise of that floud of errors and false Doctrines sprung up 
of late, as flowing from the Independent or rather Congregationall 
Churches. But to follow on, this Town is situate about twelve miles 
from Ipswitch, neere upon the wide venting streames of Merrimac River, 

♦Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part I., p. 151. tibid., p. 313. 


whosp strong current is such that it hath forced its passage through the 
mighty Rocks, which causeth some sudden falls, and hinders Shipping 
from having any accesse far into Land, her bankes are in maay places 
stored with Oken Timber of all sorts, of which that which they com- 
monly call'd white Oke is not inferiour to our English Timber; in this 
River lie some few Islands of fertill Land, this Towne is stored with 
Meddow and upland which hath caused some Gentlemen (who brought 
over good Estates, and finding then no better way to improve them,) to 
set upon husbandry, amongst whom that Religious and sincere hearted 
servant of Christ Mr. Richard Dummer, sometime a Magistrate in this 
little Common-wealth, hath holpen on this Town ; their houses are built 
very scattering, which hath caused some contending about removall of 
their place for Sabbath-Assemblies ; their Cattell are about foure hun- 
ared head, with store of Corne-land in tillage, it consists of about sev- 
enty families ; the soules in Church fellowship are about an hundred, 
the teaching Elders of this Congregation have carried it very lovingly 
toward their people, permitting of them to assist in admitting of persons 
into Church-society, and in Church-censures, so long as they Act regu- 
larly, but in case of their male-administration, they assume the power 
wholly to themselves, their godly life and conversation hath hitherto 
been very amiable, and their paines and Care over their flock not in- 
feriour to many others, and being bound together in a more stricter 
band of love than ordinary with promise to spend their dayes together 
(if the Lord please) * . . . 

In the fourteenth chapter, Book Second, the Merrimack 
river is described as follows : — 

Salsbury being seated upon the broad swift torrent of Merrimack, a 
very goodly River to behold were it not blockt up with some suddaine 
falls through the rocks : over against the Towne lyeth the Towne of 
Newberry, on the Southern side of the River, a constant Ferry being 
kept between ; for although the River be about half a mile broad, yet, 
by reason of an Island that lies in the midst thereof, it is the better 
passed in troublesom weather ; the people of this Towne have of late 
placed their dwellings so much distanced the one from the other, that 
they are likely to divide into two churches ; the scituation of this Towne 
is very pleasant, were the River Navigable farre up, the branches thereof 
abound in fair and good medowes with good store of stately Timber 
upon the uplands. f 


When Governor Winthrop arrived in New England in 
1630, Samuel Maverick was settled at Noddle's Island, now 

* Massachusetts Historical Collections, Second Series, vol. iii., p. 144. 
t Ibid., vol. vii., p. 18. 


East Boston, and had been there for several years. In 1660, 
Maverick is supposed to have written the following account 
of Newbury and other towns on the Merrimack river : — 

Seven Miles to the Southward of Hampton is Meromack River on 
the Mouth of which on the North side is seatted a Large Towne called 
Sallisbury, and 3 miles above it a village called old Salisbury where 
ther is a Saw Mill or two. The commodities this Towne affords are 
Come, Cattle, Boards and Pipe Staues. 

Four leagues up this River is Haverell, a pretty Towne & a few miles 
higher is the Towne of Andouer, both these Townes subsist by Hus- 

At the mouth, on the southside of Meromeck and upwards, is seated 
the Towne of Newbury. The Houses stand at a good distance from 
each other, a feild and Garden between each house, and so on both sides 
the street for 4 miles or therabouts ; betweene Salisbury and this Towne 
the river is broader than the Thames at Deptford, and in the sumer 
abounds with sturgeon, salmon, and other ffresh water fish. Had we 
the art of takeing and saveing the sturgeon it would prove a very great 
advantage, the Country affording vinegar and other materialls to do it 
withall. In this Towne and old Newbury adjoining are 2 ■ meeting- 


A farm of three hundred acres was granted Edward Wood- 
man, in 1660, by the General Court ; but it was subsequently 
claimed that the land had previously been gi'anted to the in- 
habitants of Newbury, that it was wholly within the limits of 
the town, and that the order of the court should be reconsid- 
ered and repealed. 

The order, adopted October 1 6, 1 660, reads as follows : — 

In anwsr to ye petition of M^ Edward Woodman, humbly desiring the 
favour of this Court in graunting him a parcell of land lying betweene 
Rowley & Newbury lynes, the Court judgeth it meete to graunt him 
three hundred acres there. f 

May 21, 1 66 1, the subject was again brought to the atten- 
tion of the General Court, and the following order was then 
passed : — 

* New England Genealogical Register, January, 1S85, p. 33. 
t Massacliusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part I., p. 440. 


In answer to the petition of the inhabitants of ye toune of Newbury, 
the Court, having heard the petitioners in behalfe of the toune of New- 
bury «& Mr Woodman, relating to Newbury Ijne & this Courts grant of 
a farme of three hundred acres of land in October last, finding that the 
Ijne of Newbury bounds being, for at least twenty years, lajd out ad- 
joyning to Rouley Ijne & perambulated according to order of this Court, 
shall be & remajne to Newbury wti'out any farther challenge or clajme 
from any toune or person, and that M^ Woodman's grant as to yt place 
is heerby declared null & vojd, Mr Woodman hauing consented thereto, 
yet are willing to allow Mr Woodman his three hundred acres formerly 
granted in any free place not formerly graunted & not hindering a plan- 

At a meeting of the selectmen of Newbury, held May 3, 
1669, it was voted "that ffrancis browne & John Emery, 
Jim"", shall go next Munday to meet Rowley men at Rowley 
Mill to go with John Knight or John Poore to run the lyne 
between our bounds & Rowley." f 

John Peirson, sr., and Philip Nelson, who were appointed 
April 9, 1672, by the inhabitants of Rowley, to run the line 
between that town and Newbury, " did so do on Monday, 
April 15, 1672." f 


Although land in Newbury was abundant, the soil fertile, 
and the " upper woods " undivided until the close of the year 
1686, many of the early settlers were induced, by various 
considerations, to remove with their families to places more 
or less remote, where they could unite with others in the 
organization and development of new towns. They were 
prominently identified with the settlement at Salisbury, at 
Hampton, at Rowley, at Haverhill, and at Andover, previous 
to the close of the year 1645. In 1659, they obtained the 
right to establish a town "at a place called Pennecooke," now 
Concord, N.H. ; and the same year they were granted, condi- 
tionally, a tract of land large enough for a township on the 
banks of the Saco river. 

The petition for liberty to settle at Pennacook reads as 
follows : — 

* Massacliusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part 1 1., p. 7. 
t Town of Newbury Records. 



The humble petecyon of us whose names are underwritten, beinge 
inhabytant of this jurisdiction, and beinge senseable of the need of 
multiplyinge of towneshippes for the inlargemeant of the contrey and 
accommodateinge of such as want opportunity to improve themselves, 
have taken into consideration a place which is called Pennecooke, which 
by reporte is a place fit for such an one. Now the humble request of 
your petitioners to this honred Courte is, that we may have the grant 
of a tracke of land there to the quantity of twelve miles square, which, 
being granted, we shall give up ourselves to be at the cost and charge 
of vewinge it, and consider fully about it, wheather to proceed on for 
the settlinge of a towne or noe, and for that end shall crave the liberty 
of three yeares to give in our resolution; and in case that wee doe pro- 
ceed, then our humble request is, that we may have the grant of our 
freedome from publique charge for the space of seaven yeares after the 
time of our resolution given into the Honerd Courte for our encourage- 
ment to settle a plantation soe furr remote as knowinge that many will 
be our inconvenyences (for a long time) which we must expeckt to meet 
with, all which desires of ours beinge ansered, your petetioners shall 
ever pray for the happyness of this Honred Courte, and rest your humble 

Richard Walderne John Bayley 
Vall: Hill John Cheiney 

Peter Coffin Nathaniel Weare 

^'is Robard Coker 

John X Hird 


William Ffurbur Robert Rogers 

Roger Plaisteed Edward Richardson 

Edward Woodman William Cotton 

John Pike John Wolcott 

Abraham Toppan John Bond 

Benja : Swett William Titcomb * 
George Littell 

May 18, 1659, a committee consisting of Thomas Danforth, 
Edward Johnson, and Eleazer Lusher reported in favor of 
granting the petitioners a plantation eight miles square, pro- 
vided they report to the General Court in October, 1660, their 
resolution to carry on the work, " and that within two years 
then next ensuing there be 20 families there settled." The 
deputies and magistrates accepted this report, " and consented 

* Massachusetts Archives, vol. cxii., pp. 117, 118. Richard Walderne, Vall: Hill, Peter 
Coffin, John Hird, William Furber, and Roger Plaisted, who signed the above petition, were from 
Dover, N.H. : the other petitioners were from Newbury. 


thereto"; but the conditions imposed upon the petitioners 
were not complied with, and the grant was subsequently de- 
clared forfeited. Concord was not settled until nearly seventy 
years later. January 17, 1725-6, the General Court of Mas- 
sachusetts, "William Dummer, Lieut Governor, consenting 
thereto," appointed a committee of nine to lay out a township 
at Pennacook " where Contocook river falls into Merrimack 
river." Rev. Enoch Coffin, son of Nathaniel Coffin, of New- 
bury, accompanied the committee as chaplain, and encamped 
with them at a place called " Sugar Ball plain " Friday, May 
14, 1726, and on the Sunday following "performed divine 
service both parts of the day." House lots were laid out and 
surveyed, and in 1727 they were assigned to proprietors who 
had previously been appointed or elected by the committee. 
February 27, 1733-4, the plantation was incorporated "a 
separate and distinct township by the name of Rumford." 

In 1 740, the northern boundary of Massachusetts was defi- 
nitely fixed and established, by the king and his council, 
" beginning at a point three miles north of the Merrimack river 
at its mouth and thence following the course of that river to 
a point due north of Pawtucket Falls." By this decision the 
town of Rumford, now Concord, fell within the limits of the 
province of New Hampshire. 

Among those who received six acres or more in the first 
division of land made at Pennacook, in 1727, were the follow- 
ing men from Newbury : Rev. Enoch Coffin, Rev. Bezaleel 
Toppan (son of Rev. Christopher Toppan), Thomas Coleman, 
Joseph Hale, Andrew Mitchell, Henry Rolfe, and Samuel, 
son of Samuel, and grandson of Dr. Peter Toppan.* 

A petition in regard to a new plantation on the Saco river 
was granted by the General Court November 12, 1659, as fol- 
lows : — 

In ansr to the peticon of Mr Edward Woodman & other inhabitants 
of Newbury, humbly craving the favo'" of this Court to graunt them a 
new plantation on Saco River westward of the bounds of Saco &c. the 
Court judgeth it meete to graunt the petitioners eight miles square in 
the place desired, provided they giue in theire resolutions, as is exprest 
in theire peticon, in one year ensuing this date.f 

* History of Concord (Bouton), pp. 57-140. 

t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part I., p. 402. 


May 31, 1660, Mr. Edward Rishworth and Robert Booth 
were authorized to lay out and determine the bounds of the 
new plantation ; and the petitioners were freed from the pay- 
ment of taxes for six years, " provided that they have twenty 
families & an able minister, such as shall be approved of by 
this Court, setled there in fower yeeres." * 

March 12, 1664, King Charles II. issued a royal decree 
granting to James, Duke of York, a large tract of land now 
known as New Jersey. February 10, 1664-5, Philip Carteret 
was appointed governor of the territory ; and every freeman 
who settled there was given one hundred and fifty acres of 
land, provided he brought with him six months' provision, a 
good musket, ten pounds of powder, " and not less than twenty 
pounds of bullets, twelve bullets to the pound." 

Daniel Pierce, Joshua Pierce, John Pike, John Pike, jr., 
Thomas Blomfield, Thomas Blomfield, jr., John Blomfield, 
John Cromwill, Samuel Hale, Jonathan Haynes, Elisha 
Ilsley, Henry Jaques, Henry Jaques, jr., Stephen Kent, 
Stephen Kent, jr., George Little, Hugh March, Samuel 
Moore, Matthew Moore, John Smith, Abraham Toppan, Na- 
than Webster, Obadiah Ayres, Richard Worth, and others 
went from Newbury to New Jersey, where they laid out and 
settled the town of " Woodbridge," so called in honor of the 
Rev. John Woodbridge, assistant minister of the first church 
of Newbury. f Some of the persons named in the above list 
took an active part in the organization of the town govern- 
ment, and were afterwards prominent in the management of 
its affairs ; but a few, dissatisfied with the apportionment of 
land and the assessment of taxes, remained there for two or 
three years, and then returned to Newbury. 

The town of Woodbridge still retains the name it received 
in 1668. It is on the Perth Amboy & Woodbridge Rail- 
road, in Middlesex County, in the State of New Jersey, about 
five miles south of Railway and twenty-four miles southwest 
of New York City.| 

•Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part I., p. 421. 

t New Jersey Colonial Documents, vol. i., p. 50; also, Early History of Perth Amboy 
(Whitehead), pp. 355-367. 

X Nearly a century later a township in the Coos country on the Connecticut river was granted 
Capt. Jacob Bayley for services in the French war. Capt. Bayley was born in Newbury, Mass., 



Oliver Cromwell died September 3, 1658. His son Richard 
succeeded him as lord protector. In the confusion that fol- 
lowed the downfall of the government, the resignation of 
Richard Cromwell and his retirement to private life, Charles 
II. was proclaimed King of England May 8, 1660. He ar- 
rived in London May 29, 1660, having left the Hague six days 

This event occasioned considerable an.xiety in the colony of 
Massachusetts Bay; and, December 19, 1660, the General 
Court addressed a letter "To the high & mighty Prince 
Charles the Second by the grace of God, King of Great 
Britajne, Fraunce & Ireland, Defender of the Faith &c.," be- 
seeching him to favor and protect the colony in its chartered 
rights and privileges, and also a letter " to the Lords & Com- 
mons in Parliament assembled," urging them to provide for 
an amicable adjustment of the differences relating to the gov- 
ernment of the territory between the Merrimack river and 
Casco bay. 

These letters were intended to convey to his Majesty and 
to Parliament assurances of loyalty and fidelity, and also to 
explain and apologize for some measures that it had been 
thought necessary to adopt for the protection and government 
of the colony of Massachusetts Bay. In April, 1661, when 
it became known that an order had been received from the 
king for the apprehension of Col. Edward Whalley and CoL 
William Goffe, two of the judges who signed the warrant for 
the execution of King Charles I., then supposed to be living 
in the neighborhood of Boston, the inhabitants of the colony 
were greatly alarmed. 

July 19, 1726. He married Prudence Noyes October i6, 1745, and removed to Hampstead, 
N.H., two years later, where he organized, in 1756, a company for service in the expedition to 
Lake George. May 18, 1763, he obtained, by the advice and assistance of his brother-in-law, Col. 
Moses Little, a grant of land, now in the State of Vermont, on the westerly side of the Connecti- 
cut river, where he began the settlement of a town to which he gave the name Newbur)'. He was 
afterwards prominent in the Revolutionary war, and served as quartermaster-general in the 
Continental army. 

Col. Moses Little, born in Newbury, May 8, 1724, was also an officer in the army during the 
Revolutionary war. He owned, with others, a large tract of land in New Hampshire, extending 
fifteen miles along the Connecticut river. In 1784, this land was surveyed, and divided between 
the towns of Littleton, named for him, and IJalton, named for Hon. Tristram Dalton, of New- 
buryport, who was also one of the original grantees. 


Petitions from Newbury, Ipswich, Sudbury, Boston, and 
other towns were presented to the General Court, asking for 
a prompt compliance with the demands of the king. June 10, 
1 66 1, the General Court declared, in answer to the petition- 
ers, that it had not been altogether negligent in providing for 
the enforcement of the laws against criminals, and therefore 
desiring the petitioners to rest satisfied with what had been 

The same clay a special committee, that had been appointed 
several days before, reported, in regard to the condition of af- 
fairs in the colony and the rights and duties of, freemen, that 
certain laws and privileges should be asserted and maintained, 
and also that "Wee further judge that the warrant & letter 
from the kings maj'y for the app'hending of Col Whalley & 
Col Goffe, ought to be diligently & faithfully executed by 
the authority of this country. And also, that the Generall 
Court may doe safely to declare that in case (for the future) 
any legally obnoxious, & flying from the civil justice of the 
state of England, shall come ouer to these partes, they may 
not heere expect shelter." * 

Intimations having been received from England that the 
public acknowledgment of the king, in the colony of Massa- 
chusetts Bay, should be no longer delayed, the General Court 
at a special session held August 7, 1661, ordered the procla- 
mation to be made the next day.f August eighth, Edward 
Rawson, then secretary of the colony, in the presence of the 
governor, deputy governor, magistrates, deputies, and elders, 
with " ffower ffoote Companjes, one troope of horse, & mas- 
ters of shipps in harbo"" attending," assembled in Boston, pro- 
claimed and acknowledged submission to Charles II., " lauf ull 
King of Great Brittajne, France & Ireland & all other the 
territorjes & dominions thereunto belonging." 

April 25, 1664, Col. Richard Niccolls, Sir Robert Carr, 
George Cartwright, Esq., and Samuel Maverick, Esq., were 
appointed by the king to visit the colonies in New Eng- 
land, to examine and determine all complaints, and hear 
appeals from all military, criminal, and civil courts. Two of 

•Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part II., p. 26. t Ibid., p. 50. 


the commissioners arrived in Boston July 23, 1664, and were 
graciously received by the governor and his council. 

The members of the General Court, however, were much 
disturbed by the appointment of these royal commissioners, 
and, October 19, 1664, voted to make an address or statement 
of their grievances, beginning as follows : — 

To THE Kings Most Excellent Majty 

The humble supplication of the Gen '11 Court of the Massachusetts 

colony in New England. 
Dread Sotieraigne : — 

If your poore subjects, who haue remooved themselves into a remote 
corner of the earth to enjoy peace w«h God & man, doe in this day of 
theire trouble prostrate themselves at your royal feete & begg you"" 
favor, wee hope it will be graciously accepted by your majestie, and that 
as the high place you sustejne on earth doeth number you here among 
the gods, so you will imitate the God of heaven in being ready to main- 
teyne the cause of the afflicted & the right of the poore, & to receive 
their crjes and addresses to that end.* 

After quoting the favorable opinions expressed by his 
Majesty in several le.tters addressed to the colony of Massa- 
chusetts Bay, they beseech him to listen to their grievances 
and to restrain and limit the power and authority conferred 
upon the commissioners. They assert that the proposed 
changes in the administration of justice and the management 
of public affairs will force his subjects in New England to 
seek new homes elsewhere, *' or sink & faint under burdens 
that will be to them intollerable." In conclusion they say, "at 
our request let our government Hue, our patent Hue, our mag- 
istrates Hue, our lawes and Hbertjes Hue, our religious enjoy- 
m'ents Hue ; so shall wee all haue yet further cause to say 
from our heart, ' Let the king Hue forever : ' and the bless- 
ing of them that were ready to perish shall come vpon your 
majesty, hauing deliuered the poore that cryed & such as had 
none to help them." 

May 3, 1665, the commissioners presented to the General 
Court the letters and instructions received from the king in 
regard to the condition of affairs in the colony of Massachu- 
setts Bay, and a committee was appointed to examine them 

•Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part II., p. izg. 


and consider what answer should be made. Newbury was 
not represented at this session of the General Court, and was 
fined ten pounds for not sending a deputy. Although the 
freemen of Newbury were evidently reluctant to antagonize 
the views and wishes of the king as expressed in his instruc- 
tions to the commissioners, and were anxious to avoid a contest 
that was likely to prove embarrassing, there is no evidence 
that they attempted to evade their political duties or re- 
sponsibilities. At all events, the fine was remitted by the 
General Court October 16, 1666. 

Meanwhile the negotiations between the commissioners and 
the General Court, having been conducted with considerable 
vigor for more than twelve months, were abruptly terminated, 
the commissioners left Boston for the province of New 
Hampshire, and soon after returned to England. April 10, 
1666, Sir William Morrice, secretary of state under King 
Charles II., notified Richard Bellingham, governor of the 
colony of Massachusetts Bay, that his Majesty was displeased 
with the condition of affairs and had decided to recall his 
commissioners, and request the General Court to elect two 
or three suitable persons to go with Governor Bellingham 
and Major William Hawthorne to England, in order to ex- 
plain to his Majesty why they refused to accept the amend- 
ments to the charter and the revision of the laws proposed 
by the commissioners.* 

A special session of the General Court was held in Boston, 
September 11, 1 666, to consider this important communica- 
tion. The elders of the churches were desired to be present 
and give their advice in the weighty matters under discussion. 
A letter was prepared and ordered to be sent to his Majesty's 
secretary of state, criticising the conduct of the commissioners 
and declining to send representatives to England, having 
already submitted in writing their objections to the proposed 
amendments to their charter, " and therefore cannot expect 
that the ablest persons among us could be in a capacity to 
declare our cause more fully." f 

•Hutchinson's History of Massachusetts, vol. i., Appendix xix. 
t Massacliusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part II., p. 317. 



At the same session of the court, petitions favoring the 
adoption of conciUatory measures and the repeal of all legisla- 
tive acts displeasing to the king were presented from several 
towns in the colony. 

"The humble Petition of the town of Newberry" states 
that the petitioners have been informed that his Majesty has 
lately sent to the governor and council letters expressing dis- 
satisfaction with the result of the commissioners visit to New 
England, and that he has ordered the governor, with several 
other persons to be elected by the General Court, to proceed 
forthwith to England to assist in the discussion and final 
settlement of the differences relating to the rights and duties 
of freemen in the colony. In conclusion the petitioners ex- 
press the hope that conciliatory counsels will prevail, and that 
it will not be necessary for them " to make their particular 
address to his majesty, and declaration to the world, to clear 
themselves from the least imputation of so scandalous an evil, 
as the appearance of disaffection or disloyalty to the person 
and government of their lawful prince and sovereign." This 
petition was signed by 

Nicholas Batt 
James Browne 
John Atkinson 
Joshua Browne 
John Badger 
Hugh March 
William Chandler 
Thomas Parker 
John Woodbridge 
William Gerrish 
Daniel Peirce 
Richard Lowle 
Henry Short 

Benjamin Woodbridge 
Nathaniel Clark 
Stephen Swett 
James Mirrick 
Joseph Muzzy 
James Jackman 
Thomas Hale, Sen 
Anthony Sommerby 
William Thomas 
Francis Brown 
Anthony Short 
Abiel Sommerby 
Nicholas Noyes 

Daniel Thurston 
Tristram Coffin 
Percival Lowle 
Samuel Lowle 
John Knight, Sen 
John Knight, Jun 
Paul White 
Abel Huse 
Richard Kent 
James Kent 
John Kent 
Richard Knight 
Thomas Silver* 

The General Court, " hauing read & taking into considera- 
tion the contents of the petitions presented from Newbery, 
Ipswich, Salem & Boston being for substance but one, & find- 
ing that the peticoners doe therein vnjustly charge, threaten 
& reflect vpon this court, to the dishono"" of the members 

• Massachusetts Archives, vol. cvi., p. 168. 


thereof, . . . ordered, that Captaine William Gerrish, of New- 
bery, Capt. John Apleton, of Ipswich, M' Edmond Batter, of 
Salem, Capt Thomas Sauage, M"" Tho. Bratle M"" Habbacuck 
Glouer & M"" Thomas Deane, of Boston, all of them principal! 
persons in the sajd peticons, some of them persons in publicke 
trust, all saue one freemen of this colony & members of 
churches, be by the secretary warned to attend this Court in 
October next, to answer for the same." * 

At the appointed time the petitioners appeared, and made 
answer to the charges brought against them. The committee 
to whom the subject was referred, after hearing the testi- 
mony, reported that there were unwarrantable passages and 
expressions in the petitions that a well-ordered government 
could not allow to pass unnoticed, but, inasmuch as the peti- 
tioners did not intend to transgress the laws, they should be 
admonished and released, except Capt. John Appleton, of 
Ipswich, who was censured "for saying that he hoped the 
Court would not be his judge." The deputies voted that the 
report of the committee be kept on file and not recorded : 
"consented to by the magistrates."! 

The commissioners from King Charles II., in a communica- 
tion to the General Court, dated May i8, 1665, complained 
that the provisions of the charter of the colony of Massachu- 
setts Bay, requiring the inhabitants thereof to take the oath 
of allegiance to the king, were not complied with. Edward 
Rawson, secretary of the colony, replied the next day, " wee 
shall forthwith order the taking of the oath of allegiance ac- 
cording as the charter commands." \ It is evident, however, 
from subsequent proceedings, that the order was not strictly 
enforced, although some of the inhabitants of Newbury were 
called upon to take the oath in a modified form, as appears 
from the following record : — 


Joseph Coker : John Kent : Israeli Webster : Job : Pilsberie, Joseph 
Bayly : Benjamin Lowell, Nath" Merrill : Daniell Merrill Abell : Merrill : 
J no Attkinson. 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part II., p. 317. 

t Massachusetts Archives, vol. cvi., pp. 174-178. 

X Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part II., pp. 200-206. 


These men aboue written haue taken ye oath of ffidelitie vnto this 
gouerment ye 25 of february sixty eight : 

before mee Robert Pike Comiss"" : 

Jonathan: woodman: Benjamin Moss «& Isaac Brown tooke ye oath 
of fidellity to this govermt : & James Ardway tooke ye oath of a free- 
man of this Jurisdicon: ye 26: of ye i2tli mo : 1668 

before mee Robert Pike Comissr : 

Henry Tuxberie & Isaac : Brown tooke ye oath of fidelity to this 
govermt this 13 : day of May 1669 

before mee Robert : PikeComiss^: 

Jno wells : Pennell : Tittcom : Richard Bartlett, jun : 

Tho: wells: John Stevens: william Ilsly jun 

Jno Swett : Jonathan Wedgwood Joseph Ilsley 

Moses Pilsbery : Jacob Tappin James Ardway jun: 

Tho : west : John Ilsly Tho : stickney 

Josuah Richison : Sam: Bartlett 

Tooke ye oath of fidelitie to || yegouerm^ of || this Jurisdicon this 25* 
day of May, 69 

Peter Cheny Nath'i Cheny & Amos Stickny of Nubery tooke ye oath 
of fidelity to this Comon wealth this 25th of ye 3d mo 69 bfore mee 

Robert Pike Comissr 

Jno Bayly : Benjamin Lowell Jno Bartlet jun : & John wells : all of 
nuberie tooke ye freemens oath ye 2d of Octob"" 1669 
before me Robert Pike Comiss'' * 

Political complications in England occupied the time and 
attention of the king and his legal advisers for the next four 
or five years ; and soon after the colony of Massachusetts Bay 
was involved in a fierce contest with the Indians, which ter- 
minated in King Philip's War. 

The heirs of Capt. John Mason and Sir Ferdinando Gorges 
continued, however, to press their claims to the territory 
under the control of the colony lying beyond the Merrimack 
river. The open violation of the Navigation Act in the colony 
was severely denounced and condemned by the Privy Council, 
and the law officers of the crown advised the issuing a quo 
zvarranto in order to secure a repeal of the charter granted in 

In this emergency some concessions were considered neces- 
sary ; and the General Court ordered, October 2, 1678, that as 

* Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book II., leaf 143. 



it hath pleased his Majesty, by letter dated April 27, 1678, to 
notify the authorities of the colony of Massachusetts Bay in New 
England " to give forth orders that the oath of Allegiance 
as it is by law established w"Hn the Kingdome of England, 
be ministered and taken by all his subjects within this colony 
who are of years to take an oath," that the secretary of 
the colony be instructed to send to every magistrate, justice 
of the peace, and constable in every town printed copies of 
the oath of allegiance to be by them administered to every 
male inhabitant sixteen years of age and upward, the names 
of the inhabitants to be taken in writing, and returned to the 
recorders of the county courts, to be by them enrolled. Any 
one refusing to take the oath of allegiance was liable to a fine 
or imprisonment.* 

A list of their names who have taken the oath of allegiance 
at Newbury, 1678 :f — 



John Emery jun 


John Ordoway 


Jonathan Emery 


^ John Bayly 


Israeli webster 


^ Isaac Bayly 


wm Bolton 


Ephraim Plummer 


Abraham merrill 


John Emery iun. 


Joseph wheeler 


Tho : Halle jun 


Wm Longfellow 


Hen. Short 


Jacob Topan 


Joseph Bayly 


John Sewall 


mathew Petengall 


ffrancis Browne 


Joseph Little 


James Smith 


Sam. Poore sen 


John Emery sen 


Sam. Poore jun 


James Ordoway 


John Poore sen. 


John Topan 


Jerem. Dauis 


Isaac Ilesley 


Nich. Rawlins 


Rich. Bartlett jun 


John Dauis 


John Bartlett jun 


Edward Poore 


Tho: Bartlett 


40 James Carre 


Joseph knight 


—-Joshua Bayly 


20 Sam. Sayer 


Cornelius Dauis 


Steph. Greenleafe jun: 


cutting Noyes 


Jam. Ordoway jun 


Wm Ilesley jun 


* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. v., p. 193. 

t Original on file in the office of the clerk of courts at Salem, Quarterly Court Files, book 
XXX., leaf 56. Recorded in the Registry of Deeds (Ipswich series) , book iv., leaf 254. 
$ These figures are indistinct, and may be " 26." 



Silvanus Plummer 
Zeck. Dauis 
Rich. Dummer jun 
Moses Geerish 
Joseph Poore 
Edmund moores sen 
Rich, woolworth 
Nath. Brickett 
Nathan Parker 
Nath. Aires 
Abeil Long 
Shubael Long 
Wm Worham 
Tristram Coffin 
Wm Chandler 
60 John Badger 
Christopher Bartlett jun 
Rich : Lowle 
Tho : Woodridge 
Caleb Moody 
Jonathan wheeler 
Nathan wheeler 
Hugh march jun 
Ephraim Dauis 
John Herricks 
Joshua woodman 
John Rolfe 
Tho : Lowle 
Jonathan woodman 
Curmac Annis 
Edmund marshall 
Joseph Poore 
James Burrell 
Percivall Lowle 
Rob* Coker 
80 Hen. Sewall 
John Webster sen 
John. Webster jun 
Dan. Lunt 
John Atkinson 
John Halle sen 
Wm Randall 
Joseph Richardson 
Ben : Lowle 




Tho : Halle sen 



Antho. morse 



Joseph Coker 



Joseph Dole 



ffrancis willett 



Joseph moring 



Hen. Jaques 



John Kelly 



Tho : ffollinsby 



Joseph mirick 



John Richardson CI"" 



100 daniel Perse 



Tho : Noyes 



John wooUcott sen 



John woolcott jun 



Sam : Pettingall 



John Granger 



Wm Noyes 



Andrew Godfry 



Henry Somersby 



James Brading 



Edward woodman jun 



waiter Taylor 



Wm morse 



Rich. Petingall 



Tho : Rogers 



Tho : Browne 



Benajah Titcomb 



Beniamin Coker 



George maior 



ffrancis Thurley 



120 Auth. Somersby 



Abel Hewes 



Wm Sayer 



Peter Godfry 



Rich. Bartlett sen 



John Bartlett sen 



John Bartlett jun 



Daniel Massiloway 



Hugh Pike 



Edward Richardson jun 



Tho : Titcomb 



Tho Silver jun 



Nathaneel Merrill 




Peniel Titcomb 


George Hardy 

Augustine Studman 


Elisha Ilesley 

Joseph Ilesley 


Dan. Thurston jun 

Richard Jaques 


John Poore jun 

Staph : Jaques 


Aquila chase 

John, ffirman 


John Chase 

James Coffin 


Joseph Goodridge 

140 Increase Pillsbury 


Edmund moores jur 

Archelaus Woodman 


Dan. Cheney 

Peter Topan 


W"i mitchell 

Edward Richardson sen 


John Hoeg 

Joshua Richardson 


Steph. Swett 

Ben. Richardson 


Benj. Goodridge 

John Swett 


180 George march 

John Deeker 


John Steevens 

Tho : Silver sen 


Job Pillsbury 

James Jackman jun 


Caleb Pillsbury 

Richard Jackman 


Abel Pillsbury 

John mighill 


Daniel Chase 

Daniell merrill 


Dauid Chily 

Abel merrill 


Hen. Lucas 

Joseph Downer 


Benj. morse 

Joshua Browne 


Robt. Adams 

John knight 


Tho: Chase 

Robt Beedle 


Wm Pillsbury jun. 

Rich. Browne 


Jerem. Goodridge 

Joseph Pike 


John Kent jun. 

160 Dan. Thurston 


John Tucker 

Sam. Bartlett 


Abraham Adams 

Henry Poore 


John mitchell 

Henry Bodwell 


Sam. Plummer 

Ebenezer Hills 


Isaac Adams 

Jonathan moores 


Jacob Adams 

James Dauis 


On the back of the 


containing this list 

lowing names : — 


Richard Knight 


Sam. youngloue 

Hugh march sen 


Robt. Rolinson 

John Kent sen 


Benj. Plummer 

Joshua Bointon 


Joseph Plumer jun 

John Huggins 


Tho : Halle iun. 

Wm Dam ford 


James ffreezes 












are the fol- 






Aged Aged 

Joseph muzzy 


John Thurley 


James Jackman sen 


Jonathan Thurley 


Hen. Acres 


John Noyes 


James Noyes 


Moses Little 


Wm moody 


Nath. Cheney 


Joseph morse 


John Glading 


John Guile 


Wm Pilsbury 


George Perse 


W"! Ilesley sen. 


John Halle jun. 


Steph Greenleaf sen. 


Daniel moody 


Benj. Rolfe 


Robt Long 


Tho. Thurley 


John Smith 


Peter Cheney 



The territory granted the first settlers of Newbury in 1635 
by the General Court was uninhabited, except by a few Ind- 
ians at the Falls, on the Quascacunquen river, and a some- 
what larger number that came from the woods and hills of 
the north during the summer months to hunt and fish at the 
mouth of the Merrimack. 

The laws, customs, and habits of these migratory and some- 
times hostile Indians, the bounds and limits of their camping 
grounds, and the location of their villages are described with 
considerable minuteness by Rev. William Hubbard, pastor 
of the church at Ipswich, in his History of New England, writ- 
ten previous to 1682. He says : " Betwixt Kenebecke and Con- 
necticut were observed to be about twenty societies, or com- 
panies of these savages when the English first came upon this 
coast." f One of these societies, or tribes, called the Tarra- 
tines, occupied the territory round about the Kennebec river. 
There were other Indian settlements at Casco bay and on 
the Saco and Piscataqua rivers. Inland, from twenty to fifty 
miles from the mouth of the Merrimack, the Wamoneset, 
Pentucket, Amoskeag, and Pennacook Indians lived, some- 
times in peace, but frequently at war with each other. " At 
the falls of Newbury there was a noted plantation of them, 

* " A list of those that have taken the oath of Alegance & fidelity of Newbury before Mr John 
Woodbridge, Commissioner, in Dec & Feb. 1677," will be found in the Registry of Deeds (Ips- 
wich series), book IV., leaf 189. 

t Massachusetts Historical Collections (Second series), vol. v., p. 31. 


by reason of the plenty of fish that almost at all seasons of 
the year used to be found there, both in winter and sum- 
mer." * At Agawam, also, now Ipswich, was another noted 
settlement, " to which belonged those of Newbury falls that 
lies in the midway, betwixt Merrimack and Agawam." * 

When the inhabitants of Newbury decided to remove from 
the Parker to the Merrimack river, in 1645, a house lot was 
assigned to John Indian. f Soon after that date " Great Tom, 
Indian," conveyed to the selectmen thirty acres of planting 
land, " and all his right, title and interest " in the common and 
undivided land and woods within the limits of the town of 
Newbury, on the following terms and conditions : — 

Witness by these presents that I, Great Tom, Indian, for and in con- 
sideration of three ponnds in hand paid by and received of the towns- 
men of Newbury, have given, granted, covenanted, and fully bargained, 
and for and by these presents do give, grant, convey, confirme, bargain, 
and sell all that my thirty acres of planting land as it is fenced in one 
entire fence in Newbury, lying neere Indian hill, with all my right, title, 
and interest in all the woods, commons, and lands that I have in the 
township of Newbury to have and to hold, all the said premises Respec- 
tively to bee to the proper use and behoof to the said Inhabitants of the 
Said Towne of Newbury, their heirs, executors, administrators, and as- 
signes for ever, and I, the said Great Tom, Indian, doe hereby engage 
and bind myself, mine heirs, executors, and assignes unto Mr. William 
Gerish, Abraham Toppan, and Anthony Somerby, being Townsmen in 
the behalf of Said Towne, to warrantize the said Bargained premises to 
the said Towne and for ever defend. 

In witness whereof I the said Great Tom, Indian, have sett my hand 
and seale April 16, 1650. 

Witness the mark x of Great Tom, Indian. 

John bartlet, 

William titcomb. 

This is a true coppy of a deed, as is abovesayd, taken from the 
originall. Attest Anthony Somerby, 

Clerk of Newbury. X 

The title to land owned by Henry Sewall, in the vicinity of 
Newbury Falls, was in dispute for more than twenty years. 
In June, 1661, the General Court ordered : — 

•Massachusetts Historical Collections (Second series), vol. v., p. 32. 

t See ante, p. 89. 

tTown of Newbury Records, vol. i. 


Whereas some Indians, as wee are informed pretend an interest in 
some part of the lands of Henry Sewall, wc'' lyeth at Newbury Falls, 
sometime M' John Spencers, wch lands were purchased of the sajd 
Spencer, & also haue binn confirmed by the toune of Newbury vnto the 
sajd Henry Sewall, it is therefore ordered, by this Court, that if it shall 
appeare vnto the sajd Henry Sewall that the sajd Indians, or any other, 
haue any legall right vnto any part of the sajd land, the sajd Henry 
Sewall shall heereby haue liberty to purchase the same of the sajd 

Subsequently, the grandson of " Old Will " brought a suit 
to recover land in the possession of Henry Sewall. June 23, 
1679, the depositions of Moses Bradstreet, Alice Homes, and 
John Todd, favoring the claim of the plaintiff, were taken and 
sworn to before Daniel Denison, of Ipswich. f Further con- 
sideration of the case was probably postponed until the next 
session of the court. Meanwhile some concessions were made ; 
and, eventually, a settlement satisfactory to all persons inter- 
ested was agreed upon. 

June 14, 1 68 1, Job Indian, grandson, Kate Indian, and 
Mary Indian, daughters, of Old Will Indian, of Newbury Falls, 
in consideration of six pounds, thirteen shillings, and fourpence 
paid to each of the above-named Indians, Job, Kate, and 
Mary, conveyed to Henry Sewall, of Newbury, a tract of land 
" of which a part is known by the name of the Indian field 
in Newbury, aforesaid, bounded as followeth ; on y^ northerly 
side with the great brooke which runeth along the side of the 
greate field, on the westerly side with a line runn by said 
Seawell from y^ head of s^ farme unto Newbury river at or 
neere the upper fales & on y*^ Southerly side with y^ said 
river, as alsoe all the right, title and interest they, y*^ s'^ Job, 
Kate & Mary Indians have or ought to have to land at or 
neere Indian hill, or anywhere else within the township of 
Newbury abovesaid, as they are heires to old Will Indian 
aboves**, or otherwaise." % 

Soon after the charter of the colony of Massachusetts Bay 
was vacated in 1684, the inhabitants of Newbury and other 
towns in Essex county were greatly disturbed by rumors that 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part II., p. 21. 
t Coffin's History of Newbury, p. 363. 
X Essex Deeds, vol. vi., p. 23 (134). 


they were to be deprived of land granted to them by the 
General Court. In order to strengthen their title to the prop- 
erty, and prevent its seizure by the officers of the crown, the 
towns of Newbury, Bradford, Boxford, Gloucester, and Bev- 
erly, boug-ht of the grandchildren of Masconomo, " the saga- 
more of Agawam," all the land within their territorial limits. 

The deed, dated January 10, 1 700-1, to the selectmen 
of the town of Newbury, is substantially as follows : Sam- 
uel English, " grandson and heir of Masconomet, the Saga- 
more of Agawam, an Indian," in consideration of the sum 
of ten pounds in current money of New England, paid by 
Cutting Noyes, Joseph Knight, Richard Dole, John Worth, 
and Joseph Pike, for and in behalf of said town, conveyed to 
the above-named selectmen " a tract of land containing ten 
thousand acres more or less " lying within and including the 
whole of the township of Newbury, " bounded easterly by y^ 
sea northerly & north westerly by Merrimack river, westerly 
by Bradford Line & Southerly by Rowley Line, together with 
all y^ wood, timber, lands, grounds, soyles, waters, streams. 
Rivers, Ponds, fishings, huntings, stones, mines, minerals, 
heriditaments and all the appurtances belonging to y^ same 
and to every part thereof within the said Township." * In 
acknowledgment of this deed of conveyance 

Samuel English ye surviving heir of ye Masconomet ye Sagamore 
of Agawam appeared before us, ye subscribers, ye Tenth day of Janu- 
ary in the Twelfth yeare of his majnes Reign, Anno Domini 1 700-1, 
and acknowledged the above written Instrument to be his act & deed, 

before us "1 justices 

Daniel Pierce ^ , 

Thomas Noyes p 

The same day Joseph Foster made oath " that he did 
know Sarah y^ Daughter of Maschanominet the Sagamore of 
Agawam, & father that Samuel English was reputed to be 
her eldest sonne now surviving." f 

Moses Parker, also, made oath the same day " That he 
very well knoweth that Samuel English is y^ reputed son of 
Sarah the Daughter of y^ Sagamore Maschanominet & eldest 
son now surviving." t 

* Essex Deeds, vol. xiv., p. 67. t Ibid., p. 68. 



"December 3, 1679, Caleb Powell being complained of for 
suspicion of working with the Devill to the molesting of Will- 
iam Morse and his family " was brought before John Wood- 
bridge, commissioner or special magistrate at Newbury, for 
examination ; and, after the accusation and testimony had been 
read, the case was adjourned until the Monday following. 

The second hearing was held December 8, 1679, before the 
commissioners and William Morse was ordered to bring the 
case to the attention of the county court to be held at Ipswich 
in the month of March following. Caleb Powell was com- 
mitted to the care of the constable " till he find security of 
twenty pounds for the answering of the sayd complaint." * 

The testimony of William Morse and his brother Anthony 
Morse, of John Badger, Sarah Hale, Joseph Mirick, and Mary 
Tucker, will be found on file in the court-house at Salem. f 
Notwithstanding the strange and extraordinary character of 
the evidence submitted, it was not considered sufficient to con- 
vict Caleb Powell of an offence against the laws of God and 
man ; and he was therefore discharged. 

Upon hearing the complaint brought to this court against Caleb 
Powell for suspicion of working by the devill to the molesting of the 
family of William Morse of Newbury, though this court cannot find any 
evident ground of proceeding farther against the sayd Powell, yett we 
determine that he hath given such ground of suspicion of his so dealing 
that we cannot so aquit him but that he justly deserves to beare his owne 
shame and the costs of prosecution of the complaint. 

It is referred to Mr. Woodbridge to hear and determine the charges. f 

The mysterious disturbances in and about the house of 
William Morse evidently continued while Caleb Powell was 
a prisoner and after he was set at liberty. Vague and contra- 
dictory reports in regard to the frivolous speech and malicious 
conduct of Elizabeth Morse, wife of William Morse, were cir- 

•Court Files (Salem), vol. xxxii., pp. 130-133, inclusive. 

t The reader will also find on pages 131 to 133, inclusive, of Coffin's History of Newbury, 
the substance of the testimony given by William Morse; on page 123, the testimony of John Badger 
and Anthony Morse ; and on page 125, the testimony of Sarah Hale, Joseph Mirick, and Mary 

t Court Files (Salem), vol. xxxii., p. 132. 


Ciliated, and served to fasten suspicion upon her as one insti- 
gated by an evil spirit, and ultimately led to her indictment 
and arrest. She was brought to the Court of Assistants, sit- 
ting in Boston, for trial, and was adjudged guilty. The record 
reads as follows : — 

at A Court of Adjourment held at Boston 20''' May, 1680: 

The Grand Jury presenting Elizabeth morse y*= wife of Wm morse, 
Sr i|she|| was indicted by the name of Elizabeth morse for that she not 
hauing the feare of God before hir eyes being Instigated by the divil & 
having had familiarity wi* the divil contrary to the peace of our 
Souaigne Lord the King his crowne & dignity ye lawes of God & of this 
Jurisdiction : After the prison^ was at ye barre and pleaded not Guilty & 
put hirself on God & ye country for triall ye evidences produced were 
read & committed to ye Jury. 

The Jury brought in their virdict & they found Elizabeth Morse, 
the prisoner at the barre, Guilty according to Indictmt. The Govern"" 
on 27th May after ye lecture pronounced ye sentence : Elizabeth Morse 
you are to goe from hence to the place from whence you came & thence 
to the place of execution, there to be hanged by the neck till you be 
dead, And the Lord have mercy on your Soul. 

This Court was adjourn^ diem per diem & on ist June 1680 The 
Gouvni" & magists voted Reprieving of Elizabeth Morse, condemn^, till 
the next session of the Court in October.* 

as Attest Ew'' Rawson, Secretary* 

Subsequently, an effort was made to still farther delay pro- 
ceedings, and secure a second reprieval for the wife of William 
Morse. November 3, 1680, the following order was passed 
by the House of Deputies, but failed to receive the approval of 
the magistrates : — 

The deputies on perusal of the acts of the honorable Court of As- 
sistants relating to the woman condemned for witchcraft doe not under- 
stand why execution of the sentence given against her by said court is 
not executed and that her second repreevall seems to us to be beyond 
what the law will allow and doe therefore judge meete to declare our- 
selves against it with reference to the concurrence of our honored magis- 
trates hereto. Wm Torrey Clerk. 

Not consented to by the magistrates. 

Edward Rawson Secretary.^ 

•Massachusetts Archives, vol. cxxxv.,p. 18; Court of Assistants (manuscript records), p. 
II ; Court of Assistants (printed records), p. 159; CoflBn's History of Newbury, p. 126. 
t Massachusetts Archives, vol. cxxxv., leaf 18. 


When the General Court assembled in May, 1681, a petition, 
dated "Newbury May 14, 1681," signed by William Morse, 
was presented to the deputies and magistrates, asking for a 
review of the evidence given in the Court of Assistants, impli- 
cating Elizabeth Morse in the charges brought against her.* 

At the same session William Morse also presented the fol- 
lowing petition : — 

To the honored governor, deputy governor, magistrates and deputies 
now assembled in Court May the eighteenth 1681. 
The most humble petition and request of William Morse in behalf e 
of his vvif (now a condemned prisoner) to this honored court is that they 
would be pleased so far to hearken to the cry of your poor prisoner, who 
am a condemned person, upon the charge of witchcraft and for a witch, 
to which charge your poor prisoner have pleaded not guilty, and by the 
mercy of God, and the goodness of the honored governor, I am reprieved 
and brought to this honored court, at the foot of which tribunal I now 
stand humbly praying your justis in hearing of my case and to deter- 
mine therein as the Lord shall direct. I do not understand law, nor do 
I know how to lay my case before you as I ought for want of which I 
humbly beg of your honors that my request may not be rejected, but 
may find acceptance with you it being no more but your sentence upon 
my triall whether I shall live or dy, to which I shall humbly submit unto 
the Lord and you, 

William Morse in behalf 
of his wife Elizabeth Morse. f 

The deputies, in General Court assembled, voted to grant 
the prayer of the petitioner ; but the magistrates declined to 
give their consent. 

The deputies judge meet to grant the petitioner a hearing the next 
sixth day and that warrants goe forth to all persons concerned from this 
Court then to appear in order to her farther triall, our honored magis- 
trates hereto consenting. Wm Torrey Clerk. 

May 24, 1 68 1 not consented to by the magistrates 

Edward Rawson, Secretary.\ 

No farther action was taken by the General Court, and a 
few days later the Court of Assistants issued the following 
decree : — 

•Massachusetts Archives, vol. cxxxv., leaf i8. See also Coffin's History of Newbury, pp. 

t Massachusetts Archives, vol. cxxxv., leaf 19; also, CoiTin's History of Newbury, p. 130. 


Att a Court of Assistants held at Boston ist June 1681 

Symon Bradstreete 

In Ansr to the peticon of W'" morse in be- Esqr Go 

half of his wife Elizabeth morse & of hirs also. Tho Danforth Esqr 
The Court Judgeth it meet to Reprieve the dept Gou 

sajd Elisabeth morse the Condemned prisoner Dani : Gookin Esq' 
to the end of the next session in Octobc and majr Gen 

in the meantime order hir dismission from the Dani Dennison Esqr 
prison in Boston to Returne home wt'> hir hus- Jno Pynchon 
band to Newbery Prouided she goe not aboue Joseph Dudley 
sixteen Rods from hir Oune house || & land || Nath Saltonstall 
at any time except to the meeting house in Tho Sauage 
Newbery nor remoove from the place Appointed Jno Hull 
hir by the minister & selectmen to sitt in whilst James Russell 
there Peter Tilton 

past E. R. S.* 

Although Elizabeth Merse was not pardoned, but only- 
reprieved until the end of the October session of the General 
Court in 1681, she returned to Newbury, where she remained 
until her death, in the house owned and occupied by her hus- 
band, on the southeasterly side of what is now known as 
Market square, Newburyport.f 

William Morse died November 29, 1683. His wife was 
living at that time, and was appointed one of the executors of 
his will. She made oath January 8, 1683-4, to the in- 
ventory of his estate. The date of her death is unknown, 
but at her decease the old homestead became the property 
of her daughter Abigail, wife of John Hendricks. June 19, 
1696, Moses Pingry and wife Abigail (formerly Abigail Hen- 
dricks) sold the house and land to Daniel Davison. 


The worthy and upright judge who sat on the bench at the 
witchcraft trials in Salem in 1692 was closely identified 
with the early history of Newbury, and manifested, during a 
long and eventful life, a deep and abiding interest in the wel- 
fare and prosperity of the town. 

•Records of the Court of .Assistants, p. 133 ; Ibid, (printed copy)) p. 189. 
t" Ould Newbury," pp. 627-629. 


His father, Henry Sewall, came to Newbury in 1635. In 
1646 or soon after, Henry Sewall and his wife Jane (Dum- 
mer) Sewall returned to England, where they remained for 
several years. In 1659, Henry Sewall came again to New- 
bury, and two years later his wife and children followed 

Samuel, the eldest son of Henry and Jane (Dummer) 
Sewall, was born at Bishop Stoke, Hampshire, England, and 
came with his mother to Newbury in 1661. He was fitted for 
college by Rev. Thomas Parker, and graduated from Har- 
vard in 1671. He married, February 25, 1675-6, Hannah, 
daughter and sole heir of John Hull, goldsmith and master of 
the mint at Boston. He was a member of the governor's coun- 
cil, under the colonial and provincial charters, for nearly forty 
years, and for ten years chief-justice of the province of Mas- 
sachusetts Bay.* 

In his diary, which is an interesting and valuable con- 
tribution to the history of New England, he recorded with 
great care and fidelity the events and incidents that came to 
his notice, and did not neglect to mention the visits made 
and the advice given to relatives and friends in Newbury. 
In a book that he published in 1697, entitled "The New 
Heaven upon the New Earth," f he gave expression to his 
hopes and fears in words that Whittier has incorporated and 
immortalized in "The Prophecy of Samuel Sewall." 

It is remarkable that Mr. [Thomas] Parker, who was a successful! 
schoolmaster at Newbury in Berkshire in the happy days of Dr. [Wil- 
liam] Twisse ; was much about this time [1634] preaching and proving 
at Ipswich, in Essex, [Mass.] That the Passengers came over upon good 
Grounds, and that God would multiply them as He did the Children of 
Israel. His text was Exod : i, 7. [And the Children of Israel were 
fruitful and increased abundantly, and multiplied and waxed exceeding 
mighty : and the land was filled with them.] As Mr. Nicholas Noyes 
who was an Auditor, and is yet living, lately informed me, Mr. Parker 
was at this time, 1634, principally concerned in beginning Newbury 

*" Ould Newbury," pp. 245-259. 

t "Phenomena gucedam Apocalyptica ad Aspecium Novi Orbis Configurata. Or, some few 
Lines towards a description of the New Heaven as It makes to those who stand upon the New 
Earth." First edition (Boston), 1697, pp. 59, 60. Second edition, 1727. (Both editions in 
Boston Public Library ) 

Phaenomena quaedam 


Ad AfpeHum mVl ORBIS configurata. 
Or, fome few Lines towards a defcription of the New 


As It makes to thofe wjio (land upon the 


By Samuel Seivall fometime Fellow of Harvard Colledge at 
Cambridge in New-England. 

Pfalm, 45. 10, Forget alfo thy oxtn people^ and thy father s'h'yufe. 

Ifai I I 14. But the) (hall fly upn thefoovlders of the Phttifiins toward the vfefl. 

A61. 1.6 — 8 Lordy wilt thou at this time rejiorc ^tg.tin the kingdom to Ifrael ? 

. je (hall (^e witnc(!es unto me unto the utterm^Ji parts of the earth -^ 

hafta lo ultimo dc la tierra. Spanifj Bible. 

Luke, I 5 X4. For this My Son vcas dead, and is alive again \ he "vas lojlp and 

is found. V 9 X. For this thy Brother C?c, 

!lle%c>n deeric PromilTis; refliruet Rrgrum Jfraeli; fed fuo inodo, loco, ac 
tem^iojfe. Bul'ingcr Ncquis ifta a me di6Va, aur adducba accipiar, quair con- 
tf-ndendv3Qt adverfandi fludio i ac noa difcendi potius, ac cor.icjcndi gratia 
Fux Med-i Apoc p. :}7I. adPhialam Scxtam. 

BOSTON, Printed by Barthohmeiv Green, and John Alhn, 
And are to be fold by Richard Wilkius, 16^7 


where the Learned & Ingenious Mr Benjamin Woodbridge, Dr. Tvvisse's 
successor had part of his Education under his Uncle Parker. Mary 
Brown (now Godfrey) the First born of Newbury is yet alive,* and is 
become the Mother and Grandmother of many children. And so many 
have been born after her in the Town that they make three or four 
large Assemblies wherein God is solemnly worshipped every Sabbath, 

As long as Plum Island shall faithfully keep the Commanded Post; 
Notwithstanding the hectoring words and hard Blows of the proud and 
boisterous Ocean ; As long as any Salmon, or Sturgeon shall swim in 
the streams of the Merrimack ; or any Perch or Pickeril in Crane Pond ; 
As long as the Sea Fowl shall know the Time of their Coming, and not 
neglect seasonably to visit the Places of their Acquaintance ; As long 
as any Cattel shall be fed with the Grass growing in the meadows, 
which do humbly bow themselves before Turkie Hill; As long as any 
Sheep shall walk upon Old Town Hills, and shall from thence pleasantly 
look down upon the River Parker, and the fruitful Marishes lying be- 
neath ; As long as any free and harmless Doves shall find a White Oak 
or other Tree within the Township to perch, or feed, or build a careless 
Nest upon ; and shall voluntarily present themselves to perform the 
office of Gleaners after Barley-Harvest ; As long as Nature shall not 
grow old and dote ; but shall constantly remember to give the rows of 
Indian Corn their education by Pairs ; So long shall Christians be born 
there ; and being first made meet, shall from thence be Translated to be 
made partakers of the Inheritance of the Saints in Light. Now, seeing 
the Inhabitants of Newbury, and of New England, upon the due Observ- 
ance of their Tenure, may expect that their Rich and gracious Lord 
will continue and confirm them in the Possession of these invaluable 
Privileges ; Let Jis have ^race whereby we may serve God acceptably 
with Reverence and godly Fear. For our God is a consuming Fire. 
Hebrews 12: 28, 29. 

* In 1697. She died April 14, 1716. 



In 1679, New Hampshire was created a royal province, 
with John Cutts, Esq., of Portsmouth, as its first president. 
In 1680, Robert Mason, grandson of Capt. John Mason, came 
over from England to look after his estates. He claimed, 
under the grant made to his grandfather before the settle- 
ment of Massachusetts, all the land from Naumkeag (Salem) 
to the Merrimack river, and proceeded to give leases and 
demand rents for the occupation of the same, under a threat 
of seizure and sale. 

February 16, 168 1-2, the inhabitants of Gloucester and 
other places adjacent addressed a petition "To the Kings 
most excellent Majesty," stating that for more than fifty 
years they and their predecessors had owned and occupied 
the land now claimed by Mr. Robert Mason, and had never, 
until now, been molested or disturbed in the possession of 
the same, and humbly imploring his Majesty to interpose his 
royal authority and protect his loyal and obedient subjects in 
the maintenance of their legal rights. The Newbury men 
who signed this petition were Caleb Moody, Daniel Pearce, 
Tristram Coffyn, Nicho : Noyce, Joseph Pike, Richard Dumer, 
Henry Sewall, Jno. Hale, and Jno. Woodbridge.* 

At a meeting held at Whitehall July 20, 1683, the Privy 
Council of the king decided to issue a quo warranto against 
" the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay," and 
ordered that " Mr. Edward Randolph be sent to New England 
with the notification of the said quo warranto!' June 21, 
1684, the Court of Chancery, to which the business had been 
transferred, made a decree vacating the charter.f Counsel 
for the colony moved for an arrest of proceedings on the 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. v., pp. 334-336. 
t Palfrey's History of New England, vol. iii., p. 390. 


ground that time had not been allowed for procuring a power 
of attorney between the issuing of the writ of scire facias 
and the day appointed for its return ; but the court ordered, 
October 23, 1684, final judgment to be entered, and the 
charter annulled.* 

Charles II. died February 6, 1685. In December, 1686, 
Sir Edmund Andros became governor of all New England ; 
and Robert Mason was a member of his council. 

Perplexed with doubt and anxiety, the inhabitants of New- 
bury, anxious to retain possession of the land that then, 
according to English law, reverted to the crown, evidently 
endeavored to establish and maintain friendly relations with 
the new government. 

Robert Mason on his way from Boston to Portsmouth 
often stopped in Newbury for consultation and conference 
with some of its most prominent citizens, and occasionally 
exerted his influence with the governor to secure appoint- 
ments for his friends in various positions of honor and trust, 
as the following letter indicates : — 

Great Island (Portsmouth), Aug. 13, 1687. 

To his excellency Edmund Andros, 

Your excellency may please to remember I proposed some persons 
as fitting to serve his majesty in the town of Newbury both in civil and 
military affairs. In my return to this place I had discourse with 
several persons, the most considerable of that town, that by want of 
justices of the peace, nothing hath been done at the meeting of those 
inhabitants for settling the rates and other concerns of the publick. 
Mr. Woodbridge, one of the justices is very ancient and crazy and 
seldom goes abroad. Mr. Dummers, the other justice, lives six miles 
from the place and therefore very unfit for that service for the town of 
Newbury, besides his other qualities in not being of the loyal party as 
he ought to be. I doe therefore intreat of your excellency, that in the 
commission of the peace my two friends, Daniel Pierce and Nathaniel 
Oarke may be put, which I assure myself will be for his majestys 
service and to your excellencys satisfaction. 

There are no military commissions sent to that place and therefore I 
doe intreat your excellencys favor that commissions be sent these fol- 
lowing persons : 

•Palfrey's History of New England, vol. iii., p. 394. 


Daniel Davison to be Cap' of Horse for the Town of Newbury and 
Rowley, Stephen Greenlif, Junior, Lieut., George March, Cornet. 
Thomas Noice Capt of ffoot ^ 
Stephen Greenlif, Sen. Lieu« - first company 
James Noice, Ensign ) 

Nathaniel Clarke, Capt of ffoot"\ 
John March, Lieut ^ second company 

Moses Gerrish, Ensign ) 

I shall desire your excellency that Mr. Davison may have his com- 
mission first for raising the troops there being many young men that will 
list themselves under him if not before listed by the Captain's ffoot. 
He is very well beloved and I presume will have the completes! troops 
in the country. 

I shall be extreem glad to heare of my good ladys safe arrival, which 
so soon as I shall understand, I will make a speedy journey to Boston to 
kiss her hand. I came last night to this place. I hope all things will 
go easy so that I may have no occasion of using the former severities 
of the law against my tenants. I had rather see them rich than poor. 
I humbly kiss your excellencys hands and am 

Your excellencys servant, 

Robert Mason.* 

In 1688, Robert Mason died suddenly at Kingston, on the 
Hudson river, while on a journey from New York to Albany 
in company with Sir Edmund Andros. 

After his decease his two sons, finding it difficult to estab- 
lish their claim to the disputed territory, and impossible to 
collect from the inhabitants anything by the way of rent, sold 
to Samuel Allen, a merchant of London, " All that Province 
or tract of land in New England in America commonly called 
New Hampshire, lying between the Rivers of Namekeke and 
Piscattaqua, and the ground & soil therein, and also the South 
half of y^ Isles of Shoals. "f 

The charter of the province of Massachusetts Bay, granted 
by King William and Queen Mary October 7, 1691, pro- 
vided "that nothing herein conteyned shall extend or be 
understood or taken to impeach or prejudice any right title. 
Interest or demand which Samuel Allen of London, merchant, 
claiming from and under John Mason, Esq., deceased or any 
other person or persons, hath or have, or claimeth to have, 

* Massachusetts Archives, vol. cxxvii., pp. 20 and 21. 

t Memoir of Capt. Jolin Mason, published by the Prince Society, 1887, p. 51. 


hold or enjoy of, in to or out of any part or parts of the 
premises scituate within the hmitts above menconed." * 

The dividing Hne between Massachusetts and New Hamp- 
shire remained unsettled for many years. August 10, I737> 
the legislatures of the two provinces met by adjournment, one 
at Salisbury, Mass., and the other at Hampton Falls, N.H. 
A cav^alcade of mounted horsemen escorted Governor Belcher 
and the members of the Massachusetts legislature from Bos- 
ton to Newbury, another company accompanied them to the 
dividing line, and three additional companies led the proces- 
sion to Hampton Falls. The occasion was one of consider- 
able excitement, and the pomp and parade of the governor's 
escort was humorously described and mildly ridiculed in the 
following lines : — 

" Dear Paddy, you ne'er did behold such a sight 
As yesterday morning was seen before night, 
You in all your born days saw, nor I didn't neither, 
So many fine horses and men ride together. 
At the head, the lower house trotted two in a row, 
Then all the higher house pranc'd after the low ; 
Then the Governor's coach gallop'd on like the wind. 
And the last that came foremost were troopers behind ; 
But I fear it means no good, to your neck nor mine ; 
For thej^ say 'tis to fix a right place for the line." f 

The members of the two provincial legislatures were unable 
to agree upon the details of the plan submitted to them for 
the settlement of the questions in dispute, and adjourned, 
after several weeks of deliberation and discussion, without ac- 
complishing the object for which they assembled. 

In 1740, the dividing line was fixed and established by the 
" King and the Lords of the Privy Council," but some ques- 
tions of importance in regard to the laying out and surveying 
of the same were left undecided until the close of the nine- 
teenth century. 

In 1785, the heirs of Samuel Allen and the descendants of 
Robert Mason were contending in the courts of Massachusetts 

* Province Laws, vol. i., p. 10. 

t Belknap's History of New Hampshire, vol. ii., p. 139. 

^ /rrin </fn ^K^rmninWer in Cfi^-m ifcrer y/rj\ 


and New Hampshire for the land granted Capt. John Mason 
in 1622.* 

In 1899, the marks and bounds between the two states were 
adjusted and completed under the supervision of a board of 
commissioners, of which the Hon. George W. Gate, of Ames- 
bury, was a member. 

January 5, 1686-7, the selectmen of Newbury presented 
the following petition : — 

To S"" Edmond Andrewes, Knight Governor of his majesties posses- 
sions and Dominions in New England in America. 

The Humble Petition of the Inhabitants of the Towne of Newbury 
in the County of Essex in New England sheweth : 

Whereas our Sovereign Lord King James the Second of his most 
gracious favor hath been pleased to Send your Excelency to be Gover- 
nour over us in these his majesties Territories and Dominions in Amer- 
ica, and hath nominated sundry prticular Gentlemen of this Country 
to be your excelencys Honourable Councill for the right management of 
affairs for the ease and good of his subjects here, and there not being 
one of the sd Councill that doth inhabite neerer unto us than twenty 
miles, and this Towne wth the rest of the Townes Cittuate uppon ye 
River Merrimack (being none of the inferior parts of this Country) are 
found to be at greater charg than other places for want of such officers 
'as are very needfull & yt other Townes are priveledged with. 

Wee therefore humbly crave that your excellency would be pleased 
• to take it into your consideration to appoint & impower some man or 
men to take the acknowledgment of deeds and give oaths and a dark to 
issue forth all such warrants and writts as are usuall and needfull for 
County Courts, w^h will be of a great ease to us of that burthen 
which of late wee have sustained and your petitioners shall be forever 
bound to pray for, and are 

Your excelencys most Humble servants 

Henry Short Selectmen of ye 

John Badger Towne of New- 

Benj. Morse bury in ye name 

Cutting Noyes & by vote of ye 
Joseph Little ■sA Towne. f 

What action was taken by the governor and council in 
answer to this petition is uncertain. Probably a commissioner 

* Memoir of Capt. John Mason, p. 130. 

tTown of Newbury Record.s, vol. ii. (1680-92), p. 57. 


was appointed to attend to the acknowledgment of deeds, 
the issuing of writs, and the punishment of crime. 

Revenue was needed for the support and maintenance of 
the colonial government ; and, January 20, 1686-7, ^^ ^o^' 
lowing notice was sent : — 

To the Selectmen and Constables of Newbury. 

His Excelency y^ Govnour and Councill having by y order of the 
1 2th of this instant January directed the Treasurer to give forth his war- 
rants prsuant unto an order of councill of y^ 4th of ye above said Janu- 
ary for a single Country Rate of one penny in ye pound to his Majesty 
for support of ye Government to be assessed levied & collected accord- 
ing to former usage. 

You are therefore Required in his Majesties name to assess and 
levie upon ye severall inhabitants of your Towne equally & proportion- 
ally according to ye severall Rates and according to former usuage and 
custom for ye raising & levying of publick charges, ye full sum of one 
penny in the pound making a p^ticular account & list thereof under ye 
severall hands of you ye selectmen, certifying ye sum totall into ye 
Treasurer and ye said list deliver unto ye constables of your Towne 
who are alike required to levie and collect ye same forthwith making 
distress where need shall bee (according to former mahnr) taking up 
severall sorts of Grain at such prices as were lately set forth by ye 
president and Councill viz : Wheet at 5s, Rye & pease at 4s, Indian Corn 
at 2s gd & oats at 2^ per bushell & in case any pay money in lieu of 
country pay they are to be abated one third of all which ye Constables 
are required to make good Account & speedy payment to ye Treasurer, or 
his order. See y' all sorts of Graine Be merchantable & yt you receive 
no leane cattell nor horses. Hereof faill not as you will answer ye con- 
trary at your perill. 

Dated in Boston 20th day of January An. Do. 1686-7 i^ y^ second 
yeare of his Majestys Reigne Jno Usher Treasurer* 

On the twenty-fifth of February following, the selectmen 
levied a tax upon all the inhabitants of Newbury, which was 
entered in full upon the records of the town, and a return 
thereof made to the treasurer of the colony as follows : — 

Worshipful s"", according to your warrant bearing date January 20, 
1686-7 we have made a rate according to former usage and custome ye 
sum of which ^40 & ids (heads being rated by us at 20^ A head as for- 
merly) well rate we have now delivered to ye Constables of our Towne in 

•Town of Newbury Records, vol. ii. (1680-^2), p. 64. 


two pts viz: to Joseph Ilsley constable ye sum of twenty three pounds 
& ten shillings & to Moses pillsbury constable ye sum of Seaventeen 
pounds both wdi we have ordered to be forthwith gathered and deliv- 
ered to yourself according to your warrant. 

y humble servants 

ye selectmen of Newbury, 

Hexry Short 
John Badger 
Bexj Mors 
Cutting Noyes 
Joseph Little * 

At a meeting- held in Boston June i, 1687, "His Excel- 
lency Sir Edmund Andros, Knt," being" present with the 
following councillors, 

Joseph Dudley Jno Usher 

Wm Stoughton Jno Hinks 

Robert Mason Richard Arnold 

Waite Winthrop Edward Randolph, 
Richd Wharton 

it was " ordered that all publique Records in the late Govern- 
ment now annexed under this Dominion be brought to this 
towne and put into y^ custody of y^ Secr>' or his Deputy." | 

June 22, 1687, his Excellency " ordered that the records 
of Essex county be delivered into the hands of Stephen 
Sewall who is commissioned to be clerk of the Inferiour Courts 
in the County of Essex." \ 

At this time John Usher was treasurer and receiver-general 
of New England. He was ordered to send out warrants for 
the as.sessment and collection of taxes to meet the annual 
expenses of the government. 

Many inhabitants of the colony refused to pay these taxes, 
and the treasurer was compelled to purchase arms and am- 
munition for the expedition against the Penobscot Indians 
with his private funds or by the use of his personal credit. 
After the Revolution of 1689 he was sued for the recovery 
of a lai-ge sum of money due on several unsettled accounts. 
The case was decided against him. He was imprisoned, and 

*Town of Newbury Records, vol. ii. (1680-3), PP- (^z. ^3- 

t Massachusetts Arcliives, vol. cxxvii., leaf 12S. X Ibid., vol. cxyvi., leaf 364. 



his property seized and sold. Among the papers that remained 
in his possession until his death was the following tax list 
of the inhabitants of Newbury in 1688, fourteen years of age 
and upwards : * — 


Town Rate of Newbury, 16SS. 

An Invoyes of Augiist, 

K ffi 

4 30 50 40 











































Jno Woodbridg, Esqr . . . 
Capt Richil DuiTier, Esqr . . 

Capt DH Peirce 

Mr Richd Kent 

Mr Richd Dole 

Henry Short 

]\Ir Perc Lowle 

Mrs Lowle & Thomas . . . 


Ensign Clark 

Uoctr Toppan T 

Mr Longfellow 

Serj Richardson o 2 12 i6 32 

Serj Moodey 3 4 18 8 23 

Serj Coker 3 2 12 12 03 

Serj Badger 2 3 10 18 4 2 

Serj Noyes i 2 10 12 81 

Serj Hale 3270 02 

Corpl Edmund & Jonath" Moers 

Mr Lunt 

Mr Wm Moodey 

Mr Moses Gerrish 

Mr Will Noyes 

Richd Jacknian 

Abra Addams i 2 12 30 

Edmund Moers, Jur . . . 

Joseph Goodridg i i 815 

Dunkan Stuard 

Charts Stuard 

Wm Chandler 114 

Jno Bartlet, Senr 2 2 10 

Joshua Richdson 106 

Wm Danford 

Joshua Boynton i o 10 20 3 

John Kent Senr i 2 14 30 80 

Georg ilv Moses Little .... i 2 12 34 S 
James Jackman Senr it Junr . . 126.9 2 

Josepih Downer i i 6 8 3 

Benj Coker i i 60 o 

Mr Jos Woodbridg .... 

Nathn Wheeler 

Benj Wheeler i i 3 5 10 

* New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 







































































































































April, 1878, pp. 156-164, inclusive. 



An Invoyes of August, '88. 

<^ hIh S 

Thomas Titcomb 




Richd Petengall . . . . , 







Samll Petengall 








Mattw Petengall 







Comt March 








Tho: Thurlo 














John Thurlo 






Steph" Jaques . . 








Thomas Hale Sen"" .... 








Thomas Hale Junr .... 








Richd Dole Junr 







Wid«- Poer 




John Poer 








Henrj' Poer 







Joseph Poer Senr .... 






Danill Thirston 








Jos : Plufiier Sen^ .... 








SamU Plumer 








Ephrara Pluitier 









James Browne 







Widw Knight 








John Knight 








Joseph Knight .... 









Benj Rolfe 








John Xoyes ... . . 







ffrances Willet 





Nicho Rawlince 






Samll Hills 




Jno Hendrick 




Mr Tucker 


James Carr 






Joseph Mayo 


William Worum 

Benj Person 





Joseph Moring 




Rob* Mingo 





Timo'h Noyes 






Jonath Clark 


Joshua -Mors ..... 






John Kelly 







Jonathn Emery 





Jno Atkin Senr ... 






Jno Webster Ju' 





Elisha Ilsley 





Isaack Ilsley 






Peter Cheny Senr .... 






Danll Cheny (Constable) . . 





Joseph Pike 








Jno Wicomb 








George White 




JnO prson Senr Jur . . . . 




Jno Moodey 







Phillip fflood 




Wm Molten 








An Invoyhs of August, 'S 

X ffi 

Collen ffrazer 

Antho. Mors 

JnO Hale Jur 

Jose]>h plumer Junr . . . 
Peter Cheny Ju'' . . . 
George hardee .... 
Thomas Green .... 

James Stuart 

Ben Goodridg Ju"" . . . 
Hugh Mathews . . . . 
Silvanus PUimer . . . . 
Samll Greenleaf .... 

James March 

Nath Clark Jur ... . 
Edward Ordway . . . . 

JnO March 

Abell Huse Ju' . . . . 

Wm Huse 

Danll Peirce Jur .... 

JnO Stickney 

Joseph Wheeler . . . . 

Mr L. Hart 

Steph Emery 

Cap'Tho: Noyes . . . 

Mr H. Sewall 

Levt Woodman . . . . 
Lev' Greenlef Senr . . . 
Lev' Greenlef Jur . . . 
Ensign Toppan . . . . 

Serj Browne 

Serj Emery 

Serj Webster 

Serj Little 

Mr Woodman & Jonathan 
Mr JnO Sewall . . . . 

Dec" Long 

Decn Coffin 

Dr Dole 

Mrs White 

Corpll Smith 

JnO & Joseph Bayley . . 
Henry Somerby . . . . 

Isaac Bayley 

Richd Bartlet Senr . . . 

Samll Bartlet 

Richd Bartlet Jur 
Mr H. March Senr . . . 
AbraiTi Merrill . . . . 
Daniel Merrill . . . . 

Abell Merrill 

JnO Merrill 

Penu" Titcomb . . . . 

Wm Titcomb 

Caleb Rich'lson . . . . 
Josepli kich'lson . . . 

16 30 

14 16 


12 20 

.5 6 

7 4 

4 2 
























An Invoybs of August, 'S 

Pen" Titcomb 

Jnfi Kent Junr .... 
James Ordway .... 

John Ordway 

Peter Marshall .... 
Jno Badger Junr .... 
Jno Kingsbuiy .... 
Joseph Rowleson . . 
Mr Wm Nisbitt .... 

John Browne 

John Davis 

Zach Davis 

Ephrni Davis 

Jeremiah Davis .... 

Coniis Davis 

Edwrd Woodman . . . 

Samll Poer 

Joseph Poer Junr . . . 

Edwrd Poer 

Aquilla Chace 

Danll Mussilloway . . 

Benj Lowle 

Charls Anis 

Hugh March Junr . . . 

John Swett 

Abiell Long 

Widw Rebe Browne . . 

Jno Browne 

Peter Godfrey 

Richd Browne .... 
Joshua Browne (Constable) 

Henry Lunt 

Wni Bolton 

Wm ffaiiing 

Tho: Rodgers . . 

Jno Mitchill 

Tho Chace 

Tho : HoHnsbee .... 

Abell Huse 

Moses Chace 

Hugh Pike 

Wm Muffit 

Jno Emery Junr .... 

Wm Sawyer 

Steph. Sawj'er .... 

Jno .Sawyer 

Samuell Sawyer .... 

Jno Chace 

Benj Mors 

Zach Ayers 

Tho: Bartlet 

Jno Greenleaf 

Jno Worth 

Abell Pilsburj' .... 
Job Pilsbury 



An Invoyes of August, '8 

0) o o 
I K 5 

Oh X 

Wm Pilsbury 

David Kily 

James Coffin 

Joseph Ilsley 

Tobi Coleman 

Jonath Thurlo 

Richd Thurlo . 

Ayres 210672103 

Samll Ayres i 112 40 5 3 o 04 51 4 o 16 

John Craw 

Henry Toltwood 

Henry Dole 2200 0100020-00 53 

Total 269 

By virtue of a warrant from Jno Usher Esqr Receiyr Gen'l of his Majes Revenues wthin his 
Territory and Dominion in Newe England bearing date July 14, in ye fourth year of his Majes 
Reigne Annoq Dom' 16SS. We ye subscribed Comissioner & Selectmen of Newbury being mett 
together this 30 of August 16S8 have made a list of the male prsons of our Towne, from foreteen 
years old & upwards & a true estimation of all Reall & prsonall estate, according to ye act of 
Councill according as is contained in these five sheets & ye sum is Sixty pounds two Shillings & 

Thomas Noyes, Com 


Newberry Rate 
£(xi 2 6 

\ of Newbury. 

D. Davison . „ , . 

_ _ ] Selectmen 

D. Peirck f 

-- „ ^ ,> for the Towne 
NathU Clarke 

Jacob Toppa> 

Daniel Cheny \ 

T L T. ( Constab. 

Joshua Browne ) 

Newberry Rates 

(The rate was written on six sheets. The second sheet begins with the name of Rich'd Pet- 
engall, the third with that of Jonath'n Emery, the fourth with that of Capt. Tho. Noyes, the fifth 
with that of John Davis, and the sixth with that of Benj. Mors.) 


When it became known that King James II. had been 
compelled to leave England, and that William, Prince of 
Orange, had entered London in triumph, the inhabitants of 
the colony of Massachusetts Bay, irritated and exasperated 
by the arbitrary laws and illegal taxes to which they had been 
subjected under Sir Edmund Andros, determined to submit 
no longer to his despotic rule. April i8, 1689, they de- 
manded the surrender of the fort on Castle island in Boston 
harbor, seized and imprisoned Sir Edmund Andros, and in the 
month of July following sent him to England by order of 
King William III. 

A committee of safety, composed of some of the most 


prominent citizens of Boston, was appointed to correspond 
with the authorities of other towns in the colony in regard 
to the organization of a temporary government. 

At a meeting of the inhabitants of the town of JSTewbury, 
held May 6, 1689, Capt. Thomas Noyes and Lieut. Stephen 
Greenleaf, sr., were chosen to consult with the Committee 
of Safety in Boston, " and consider with them what may 
be best for the conservation of the peace of the country." * 
Plans for a provisional government, with all the powers and 
privileges needed for such an emergency, were matured, and 
submitted to the freemen of the colony for approval. 

May 20, 1689, the inhabitants of Newbury voted that 
" we freely now give our consent to the freemen of this 
Towne to make choyce of the Gov"", Dept. Gov"", and the As- 
sistants chosen and sworn in the year 1686 to be our Lawfull 
authority, and desire our Representatives which we make 
choyce of to attend this business this weeke or so long as 
they necessiarily may be detained in settling this matter and 
that the ffreemen choose and send down their deputys as 
formerly." * 

At a meeting held June 3, 1689, Capt. Thomas Noyes and 
Lieut. Stephen Greenleaf, sr., were again chosen to rep- 
resent the freemen of Newbury in Boston in compliance with 
an order received from the Committee of Safety, dated May 
30, 1689. 

June 21, 1689, "by order of the Governm* & Committee 
of Safety dated June 14, 1689," a meeting was held for the 
election of town officers in Newbury. Richard Dummer was 
chosen moderator, Moses Little and Benjamin Morse con- 

Moses Gerrish, Joseph Pike, Abraham Adams, Joseph 
Knight, and John Emery, selectmen. 

John Noyes, Richard Brown, Daniel Merrill, and John 
Badger, way wardens. It was also " voted to allow the 
selectmen only twenty shillings a piece for this years ser- 

At a meeting of the inhabitants of the town held July i, 

*TowTi of Newbury Records, vol. Ui., p. loi. 


. . . ffor the settling of our millitia for the prsent exegences it was 
voted that our desire is that all our milletery ofificers that were in 
comission upon May 12, 1686 do take y^ care and conduct of us in 
peace and war, as they in their discresion shall see meete untill we 
shall have time and opportunity for a farther choyce.* 

It was also voted yt the selectmen shall forthwtii provide eight bushels 
of wheat & get it amediately made into biskit to be disposed of accord- 
ing to ye discression of the Captains to such souldiers as shall go out 
against ye Indians or for ye use of the Towne otherwise, if y be not 
occasion for ye end afores^.* 

Also we desire &: empower ye sd Committee of militia to appoynt so 
many houses to be fortified among us as they shall see cause & to pro- 
portion so many familys to each fortification according to they dis- 

The new charter establishing the province of Massachu- 
setts Bay was, after considerable delay, granted by the king 
in September, 1691 ; and Sir William Phips was appointed 
royal governor. He arrived in Boston May 14, 1692 ; and a 
few days later the new government was inaugurated with an 
imposing civil and military parade. Writs were issued for an 
election of deputies to the General Court to be held on the 
eighth day of June following. Capt. Daniel Pierce and Capt. 
Thomas Noyes were chosen to represent Newbury in the first 
legislative assembly convened under the new charter. 


As early as May 21, 1679, a committee, consisting of Mr. 
John Woodbridge, Mr. Richard Dumer, jr., Henry Jaques, 
Tristram Coffin, John Emery, jr., Francis Brown, John 
Baily, Robert Long, Richard Bartlett, James Ordway, Tho. 
Hale, jr., and Capt. Daniel Peirce, was appointed to devise, if 
possible, a way or plan for the division among the freeholders 
of the " upper commons," or the " upper woods " as they were 
sometimes called, from Artichoke river to the Bradford line. 

In consequence, however, of some dissatisfaction among 
the inhabitants, who were not freeholders, and therefore not 
directly benefited by the proposed distribution, no definite 
plan was adopted until several years later. At a legal meet- 

*Town of Newburj' Records, vol. iii. 


ing of the freemen and freeholders, held January i6, 1683-4, 
it was voted '* that six thousand acres of the upper common 
shall be lotted out, namely, one thousand acres to the non- 
freeholders, and soldiers, and five thousand acres to the free- 
holders, to every freeholder alike, with an addition to some 
few men that have deserved more, and this shall not be a 
precedent to the future in the ordering or dividing of any 
other part of the common." * 

Further proceedings were delayed until the freemen and 
freeholders could agree upon the size of the lots and the 
number of persons to whom one or more of these lots should 
be assigned. 

May 5, 1686, a committee consisting of John Woodbridge, 
Esq., Capt. Richard Dumer, Capt. Daniel Peirce, Capt. 
Thomas Noyes, Lieut. [Tristram] Coffin, Deacon [Cutting] 
Noyes, Deacon [Robert] Long, Ensign [Nathaniel] Clarke, 
Mr. Richard Bartlet, Lieut. [Stephen] Greenleaf, Mr. Richard 
Dole, sr., Sergt. [Caleb] Moody, James Ordway, sr., Sergt. 
John Emery, jr., Joseph Pike, George March, and Henry 
Short, was chosen " to agree upon a meete way of dividing 
the commons and bring in they"" result and conclusion to the 
towne." * 

The committee reported October 20, 1686; and the town 
voted " that the upper commons be divided in the following 
manner ; namely, the six thousand acres, one-half of them in 
quantity and quality be divided amon^ the freeholders, to 
every freeholder a like share, and the other half of said com- 
mons be divided among all such inhabitants of this towne, 
and freeholders as have paid rates two years last past, propor- 
tionable to what each man paid by rate to the ministers rate 
in the year 1685." * 

October twenty-first, a committee was appointed to lay out 
the land. At a town meeting held November twenty-sixth 
the lots were drawn, and December second the lot-layers 
were ordered to give the freeholders possession of the lots 
" in the name of ye town." 

On the first page of the Proprietors' Book, volume second, 

* Town of Newbury Records. 


the bounds and dimensions of these lots, witli the names of 
the freeholders to whom they were assigned, are recorded, 
and also the following statement : — 

Whereas the freeholders & inhal)itants of the Towne of Ncwhurv did 
by a vote of theyrs dated October 20, 1686 pass a vote y' the upper 
cofnons be divided that is the six thousand acres, the one half to ye free- 
holders, to every freeholder a like share as in ye s^ vote may appear 
more at large And whereas ye Town at a Legal meeting October 2r, 
1686 did then apoint and choose Capt Danll pearce, Lieut Greenleaf. 
Lieut Cofifin, Ensign Clark, Joseph Pike, and Serjent John Emery & 
Henry Short to be a committee to laye out ye above s^ six thousand 
Acres to ye freeholders and inhabitants of Newbury according to the 
rule above mentioned 

The freehold lotts being laid out by ye sd Committee, and ye free- 
holders meeting Nov. 26, 1686 they did then draw ye lotts yt is the free- 
hold lotts as is hereafter expressed. 

And at a legall meeting of the freeholders I3ec. 2, 1686 and of the 
whole Towne it was voted yt ye two lott layers viz. Lieut Coffin & Henry 
Short should lay out to ye freeholders and give them possession in the 
name of ye Towne of y freehold lotts according as they were drawne 
which is done and Bounded as followeth together wit'i ye high wayes 
which were appointed by the Committee the second of Dec. 1686 

The first range of lotts for the freeholders begining at Serj John 
Emerys ffarm* and so running up Merrimack river unto Mr. Gerrish his 

One hundred and six lots were recorded as laid out by the 
committee appointed December 2, 1686; but the record was 
declared to be imperfect, and it was made \^oid at a town 
meeting held September 26, 1687. On that day the inhabi- 
tants of the town appointed Tristram Coffin, Joseph Pike, 
John Emery, and Capt. Thomas Noyes to make a new list of 
the lots, giving their bounds and limits and the names of 
the freeholders by whom they were drawn. The same com- 
mittee was chosen January 27, 1687-8, at a meeting of the 
freeholders ; but, Capt. Noyes declining to serve, Richard Dole 
was elected in his place. 

The committee reported in detail March 2, 1687-8, care- 
fully describing each lot as follows : — 

* At Artichoke river. 

t Mr. Jolin Gerrish's farm was at or near tlie dividing line lietween tlie town of Newbury and 


Tlie first lot figr (i) being in estimation thirty rods broad at Brad- 
ford rode & twenty nine rods broad at the end next the River be it 
more or less, Laid out to the originall right of Samuel Scullards 
freehold drawn or claimed by ensign Nathaniel Clark Bounded by Serj 
Emerys land easterly, Bradford Rode southerly, by the Second lott 
westerly, by the highway of four rods broad next Merrimack River 

The Second Lott fig^ (2) being in estimation eighteen rods broad 
at Bradford rode & at ye river and twenty five rods broad be it more 
or less Laid out to the original right of Thomas Colemans freehold 
drawn or claimed by Serj ffrancis Browne bounded by the first lott 
easterly, Bradford Rode southerly, by the third lott westerly, & by 
the high way of four rods broad next Merrimack River northerly. 

One hundred and eleven lots, with one additional to Peter 
Cheney "for the Mill freehold," were recorded, and also the 
statement of the committee made December 2, 1686, and 
printed on the preceding page, to which a clause was added 
laying out " a highway or Rode thru' our s'' land to Bradford 
line, begining at Artichoak River and so continuing to Brad- 
ford line," four rods wide.* 


The committee appointed, May 5, 1686, to agree upon a 
plan for dividing the common land belonging to the free- 
holders of Newbury, recommended, October 20, 1686, that 
eleven hundred acres of the lower commons be divided into 
five general pastures, and the rest of the commons into wood 
lots, according to the rule adopted in the division of the upper 

October twenty-first, the freeholders voted to allow the 
w^ood lots to remain undivided " for feeding, burning, and 
carting," and December 13, 1686, Capt. Thomas Noyes, 
Thomas Hale, sr., Ensign [ ] Toppan, Joseph Ilsley, 

and Abraham Merrill were appointed a committee to lay out 
the five pastures.! 

January 13, 1701— 2, the freeholders voted to divide, "ac- 
cording to former rule, eighteen hundred acres of the lower 

*Town of Newbur)' (Proprietors') Records, vol. ii., pp. 22-40, inclusive, 
t Ibid., vol. i., p. 17. 


commons, reserving pasturage for four cows for the ministry 
in the east end of the towne, three for the ministry in the 
west end, three for the free school, and the herbage of twenty 
cows for the benefit of the towns poor." * 

January 21, 170 1-2, a committee was appointed "to stint 
as to herbage" all the common land remaining undivided, 
and also to apportion among the freeholders and inhabitants, 
according to the rule previously adopted, all the wood and 
timber standing on the said land. The committee, " consist- 
ing of John Pike, Jacob Toppin, Aquila Chace, Stephen 
Jaques, Henry Somerby, John Ordway, Henry Short, and 
Thomas Hale," completed their work December 12, 1702.! 

June 22, 1708, the herbage on the wood lots and on other 
land lying in common was again divided among the freehold- 
ers and inhabitants of the town in proportion to the tax that 
each man paid for the support of the ministry in 1685. 

July 6, 1708, a committee appointed for that purpose re- 
ported in favor of dividing the wood lots into two general 
pastures, and the other common lands into four pastures, to 
be held by the persons to whom they were assigned for their 
sole use and benefit. J 

March 14, 1714-1 5, the town granted Joseph Ilsley, Richard 
Kelly, John Pike, and others " liberty to build a pound by 
the country road near John Hales house for the impounding of 
cattle trespassing upon the general pasture at old town." 


When the new town was laid out in 1645, there was evi- 
dently a narrow strip of land along the bank of the Merri- 
mack river that was not divided among the freeholders. 

March 14, 1698-9 the lottlayers wt'i Majr Thomas Noyes, Mr George 
March, Cap' Stephen Greenleaf, & Mr William Noyes were chosen a 
committee to measure the Bank of Merrimack River belonging to the 
Towne from Capt John Kents to Col' Peirces little meadow § and bring 

*Town of Newbury Records ; also. Proprietors' Records, vol. ii., pp. S6-100, inclusive. 
t Town of Newbury (Proprietors') Records, vol. ii., pp. 47-85, inclusive. 
X Ibid., vol. ii., pp. 110-125. 

§Capt. John Kent's land was at the foot of what is now Kent street, Newburyport, and Col. 
Peirce's little meadow was near the comer of Ocean avenue and Plum Island turnpike. 


an acct to the Towne as also to examine the Records who they are who 
have a right to said lands.* 

January 19, 1703-4, a committee was chosen to divide the 
land on the bank of the Merrimack river into lots ; and Feb- 
ruary 13, 1704-5, it was voted to number the lots, beginning 
at " Mr pearces meadow." 

Voted yt one man shall draw for every proprietor. Voted y' ye high- 
way above s^ lotts shall be left two rods broad. f Voted that Sergt 
William Titcomb should draw the lotts for every proprietor which was 
then done.-j: 

On pages 105 to 108, second volume of the Proprietors' 
records, the numbers and dimensions of these lots are given, 
with the names of the persons to whom they were allotted ; 
the ways, or landing places, from four to sixteen rods wide, 
leading to the river ; also, the following statement : — 

Whereas at a legal nieeting of the proprietors of ye coinons of the 
town of Newbury, January 19, 1703-4 Lieut Col Thomas Noyes Esq. 
Maj. Daniel Davison, Esq. Capt Stephen Greenleaf, and Capt Henry 
Somerby were by vote chosen to divide the bank against Merrimack 
river to ye proprietors of Newbury, by ye same rule as ye six thousand 
acres in ye upper woods was. Only the rate proportion and freehold 
proportion of ever)' proprietor be laid together, ye said gentlemen hav- 
ing finished ye said work and presented it to ye town at ye meeting on 
March 9, 1707-8. The town y" by y vote order^ ye recording of it 
which is as foUoweth : . . . 

The number of ye river lots, begining near Mr Pierces farm and 
ending at Mr Woodman's lane.§ 

At a meeting of the proprietors, held May 20, 171 5, the 
committee named above was ordered to make a more perfect 
record of the bounds and dimensions of the river lots and 
landing places ; and this order was complied with January 28, 


In the articles of confederation between the colonies of 
Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, and Connecticut, approved by 

* Town of Newbury Records. 

t This highway is now Water street in Newbury and Newburyport. 

+ Town of Newbury Records. § Woodman's lane is now Kent street, Newbur>'port. 

II Proprietors' Records, vol. ii., pp. 193-223. There were two hundred and twenty-five lots 
in this division, and ten ways, or landing places, from the river. 


the General Court of Massachusetts October 12, 1670, and 
ratified and confirmed by a board of commissioners assembled 
at Plymouth September 5, 1672, "It is ordered that where 
any person or persons shall be found in any jurisdiction to 
have had their aboadc for more than three months, and not 
warned out by the authority of the place, . . . every such per- 
son or persons shall be accounted an inhabitant where they 
are so found." * 

Great care was taken to see that only persons of good 
reputation and ability obtained a legal settlement in New- 
bury. March 14, 168 1-2, Sergt. Nathaniel Clark was ap- 
pointed by the selectmen " to warne Evan Morris out of the 
towne of Newbury." f 

This notice, if served, was probably disregarded. At all 
events, the freeholders voted June 21, 1689, "that Aquila 
Chace who hath now undertaken to keep Evan Morris from 
this time for the space of half a year and to provide for him 
wholesome food and attendance suitable, upon his perform- 
ance thereof the Towne engages to give the said Aquila 
Chace ten shillings per weeke in good country pay if the said 
Morris shall live so long with him, but if said Morris shall 
dye w"'in that time the said Chace shall have proportionally, 
to be paid monthly." % 

April 6, 16S7 a warrant was granted to warne out of ye towne Wm 
Nisbett, Edw. Badger and one David tliat lives at Mr. Thurlos.J 

Householders were not allowed to admit or entertain 
"either as inmates, boarders or tenants" any person or 
persons for more than twenty days, without giving notice to 
the selectmen or town clerk, under a penalty of forty .shil- 
lings. § 

Frequent violations of this law occurred within the limits 
of the town, and the payment of the fine imposed was in 
many cases acknowledged and recorded substantially as fol- 
lows : — 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part II., p. 481. 

t Coffin's History of Newbury, p. 137. 

X Town of Newbury Records. \ 

§ Province Laws, vol. ii., pp. 386, 616. 


July 23, 1734 Then received of Mr James Badger the sum of forty 
shillings for Breach of the Law in taking in a tenant and not Informing 
ye town clerk nor selectmen of y-' town of his so doing; the tenants name 
is Nathan presly with his wife and four children. 

William Ilsley \ Selectmen 
Moses Gerrish v for 
Joseph Coffin ) Newbury * 

November 25, 1734 Received of Moses Titcomb forty shillings for 
taking in a tenant and not Informing ye town clerk nor Selectmen of ye 
town of his so doing; the tenants name is Stephen Jackinan with his 
wife and several children.* 


The General Court, in a law passed June 15, 1698, pro- 
vided that any person finding horses, sheep, cattle, money, or 
goods " shall give notice thereof in writing unto the clerk of 
the town in which they were found, to be entered in a book 
to be kept for that purpose : and shall also cause the same to be 
cryed by the constable or publick cryer in such town, on three 
several days, at a publick meeting of the inhabitants thereof ; 
and to be posted up in some publick place." f 

A few of these legal notices, recorded by the town clerk 
of Newbury, are as follows : — 

In the month of April, 17 14, Peter Coffin reported having 
found "a sword or rapier." 

May 16, 171 5, Mr. Fawn Clement found a lot of ship 
timber " to ye number of about seaventy sticks which are 
hewed and suitable for fuddocks and naval timbers and 

June 15, 171 5, Major D. Davison reported having found 
"a wallet with about nine pounds of cotton wool in it & a 
small bag with about eight pound of sugar in y^ s'^ bag." 

March 30, 1718, Joseph March reported as found "in 
September last a cannoo of about twelve foot in length and 
about three foot in wedth with a bolt and Ring in y^ hed of 
s'^ cannoo and a piece of plank across y^ stern : y^ cannoo was 
very much shaken." 

* Records of the Selectmen of Newbury, 
t Province Lans, vol. i., p. 326. 


October 15, 1719 Mr. Joseph Boynton of Rowle informed of his 
finding three pounds, one shilling & six in paper money. 

November 30, i 727 a gold ring was found in the town of Newbury 
by John Bradbury of Salisbury. 

April 20, 172S a little before sun sett found in ye Towne of Newbury 
a wash leather deerskin by Enos Bartlet without any mark. 

April 18, 1736 Found by Mr John Noyes one silver seal in ye Town 
of Newbury with the letters H. I. marked in said seal. 

January 12, 1736-7 Joseph Lunt informed that he & John Moodey 
Junr found a pine mast of about fifty three foot long on plumb Hand. 

November 30, 1760 taken up by Richard Kent one barrell of Cyder 
supposed to be Drove on Shore near his house, by stress of weather, 
no owner as yt appears. 


September 20, 1721, the town of Newbury voted to receive 
its proportion of the bills of credit issued by the treasurer 
of the province of Massachusetts Bay, under the act passed 
by the General Court July 13, 1720; and Deacon Nathaniel 
Coffin, Ensign William Titcomb, and Lieut. Henry Rolfe 
were appointed trustees to take charge of the same. 

They shall also let out & improve s^ money for ye benefit of sd 
Towne at five per cent per annum to settled substantial inhabitants of 
our Towne & they shall lett to no person less than ten pounds & shall 
lett to no one person more than thirty pounds at one time & that upon 
good personal security & they shall not lett s^ money for longer time 
than one year at a time, — and we do allso give s^^ trustees or ye major 
part of them full power to receive and gather in all ye money which 
they shall so lett out with ye interest which shall become dew for ye 
same & they shall pay into ye Towne or their order, yearly ye interests 
of sd money as it shall become due & shall render to ye Towne yearly a 
faire & Just account of their doings in this afaire in writing under their 
hands, so long as they are continued in s^ office of Trustees : allso ye 
Towne reserves liberty to Release sd trustees & chuse others when they 
se cause to do it : & s^ Towne reserves liberty to give sd trustees other 
instructions to act by in this business which sd Trustees shall conform 
to : when given.* 

November 22, 1727, the General Court provided for another 
loan of sixty thousand pounds in bills of credit to the various 
towns in the province. April 16, 1728, " Maj"" Joseph Ger- 

* Town of Newbury Records. 


rish, Deacon Abiel Somerby and Deacon Caleb Moody " were 
chosen trustees by the town of Newbury to receive and take 
charge of bills of credit to the amount of ;^i,328, \^s., and 
to manage and invest the same upon the following terms and 
conditions : — 

1. They shall let to no one man more than thirty pounds or less than 
ten pounds of our bills of credit. 

2. They shall take good & substantial! sureties or personal security 
according to y^ province act. 

3. They shall let out none of s^ Bills of Credit for a longer time than 
one year & shall let none of said Bills of Credit out of this Towne. 

4. They shall gather in & pay in unto ye Treasurer of ye province 
four per cent annually according to y^ province act. 

5. That no man be taken as a surety for more than one man at a 

6. The said Trustees shall act in this afaire as they shall receive in- 
structions from ye Towne. 

7. They shall give to ye Towne a plain, just & true account of their 
doings herein under their hands from time to time when it shall be 
called for.* 

February 25, 1729-30, the inhabitants of Newbury voted 
" that one hundred pounds of this Towns bills of credit which 
are in y* hands of Henry Rolf, Esq, Ensign WilHam Titcomb 
& Nath" Cofifin (as they are a committee imployed by s^ Town, 
ect.) for & toward y^ paying of Francis Wilks, & Jonathan 
Belcher, Esq. for what cost & charge they have been, or may 
be at, in doing business (at y* court of great Britain) for & in 
behalf of his Majesties province of y^ Massachusetts Bay in 
New England ; y^ selectmen are hereby ordered to draw said 
money out of y^ hands of said committee & send it to y^ 
speaker of y^ House of Representatives to be by him disposed 
of for y^ use & servis above mentioned if y* selectmen se cause 
to do it." t 

Subsequently a part of the interest received from these 
bills of credit was used to defray the expenses of the Third 
Parish Church in Newbury.^ 

* Town of Newbury Records. 

t Ibid. " Passed in the affirmative, and not one man was known to vote against it." 

f'Ould Newbury," p. 433. 



For nearly fifteen years after the incorpurati(;n of the town 
of Newbury the General Court retained possession of the low, 
narrow island that extends from the mouth of the Ipswich 
river to the mouth of the Merrimack. The following order 
was passed March 13, 1639: — 

Plum Island is to remaine in the Courts power only for the present 
Ipswich, Newebury, and the newe plantation (Rowley) between them 
may have the use of it, till the Court shall see cause otherwise to dis- 
pose of it.* 

At a meeting of the freemen of Newbury held March 6, 
1648-9, "... there was chosen Mr. William Gerrish, John 
Saunders, Daniel Pierce, Henry Shorte, Richard Knight, 
Robert Coker, William Titcomb, Archelaus Woodman and 
John Merrill, to bee a committee for the towne to view the 
passages into Plum Island and to informe the courte by way 
of petition concerning the rights the towne hath to the sayd 
island and to have full power with M'' Edward Rawson to 
draw forth a petition and present it to the next general 
courte." f 

Mr Edward Rawson, Mr John Spencer and Mr Woodman was 
chosen by the towne to joyne with those men of Ipswich and Rowley, 
that was appointed to bee a committee about Plum island. f 

At the next session of the General Court, Thomas Parker, 
Percival Lowle, John Spencer, John Saunders, James Noyes, 
William Gerrish, Edward Woodman, Henry Shorte, and 
Richard Knight (or Kent.?) presented a petition "in the 
name of the whole town," in which they set forth the claims 
of the inhabitants of Newbury to the free and unrestricted 
use of the whole island. The General Court, however, granted 
October 19, 1649, "two parts to Ip.swich, two to Newbury, 
and one to Rowley." % 

September 23 and 26, 1661, all the marsh land in New- 
bury bordering on Plum Island river was divided among the 

♦Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 252. 

t Town of Newbury Records, vol. i. 

t Coffin's History of Newbury, pp. 50, 51 ; Massachusetts Archives, vol. cxii., pp. 24, 25. 



S. ^ — v^ 

3.-0) ;^ 

u, 5- n > 

a s- 3 >^ 

s ^ a tC 

n -■ ° W 

s) M - r/^ 


freeholders of the town.* The first division extended from 
Rowley bounds to Sandy beach, in lots of four acres each 
numbered from one to fifty-one, and the second division from 
one to thirteen, inclusive ; also, about one hundred acres " be- 
ginning at the upland next Merrimack Barre and so extend- 
ing to Sandy Beach," seventeen lots in all, of varying size, 
from four to ten acres each ; " also the marsh land in the 
neck over the Great River," fourteen lots of five acres each.f 

The incoming tide, with the salty flavor of the sea, fre- 
quently overflowed the low, level marshes and rendered them 
productive and valuable. Large crops of salt hay were cut 
from them every year without fear of impoverishing the soil. 
Mowing machines and horse-rakes had not then been invented, 
and hand scythes were used in cutting, and small wooden 
rakes in turning and making the hay that was piled in cone- 
shaped stacks or ricks until it could be removed. 

Although the northerly end of Plum island is only a suc- 
cession of sandhills, with a few straggling bushes and thin 
patches of coarse grass scattered here and there, the southern 
extremity is more fertile. Horses and cattle belonging to the 
inhabitants of Ipswich, Newbury, and Rowley, were pastured 
there during the summer months ; and sometimes the number 
was so large that the scanty herbage growing there was in- 
sufficient to support them. In answer to the petition of the 
selectmen of Ipswich, the General Court ordered. May 30, 
1679, "that no horses or cattle be put upon said island with- 
out the consent of the major part of the proprietors of the 
said island." % 

At that date all the land on the northerly side of the 
Rowley line, on Plum island, was held in common by the in- 
habitants of Newbury, except about eighty acres previously 
granted Richard Dole and Henry Jaques in exchange for a 
certain number of acres of marsh land. 

"June 10, 1662, there was laid out unto Richard Dole & 

* The statement in Coffin's History of Newbury, p. 64, and in " Ould Newbury," p. 213, that 
the island was divided at that time, is incorrect, as the division evidently included only the marsh 
land along Plum Island river. 

t Newbury (Proprietors') Records, vol. i., pp. 67-74, inclusive. 

X Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. v., p. 232; also, " Ould Newbury," p. 213. 


Henry Jaques a parcell of upland in plumb island joyning to 
Rowley bounds on the south and Newbury marsh on the 
west" * by Richard Knight, John Knight, William Titcomb, 
Archelaus Woodman, and Hugh March for the town of New- 
bury. November 12, 1675, the same persons, with the ad- 
dition of John Emery, sr., consented to a revision of the 
bounds and limits of the above-described land.f 

April 5, 1 7 14, the town of Newbury "voted to grant 
liberty to M'' Benjamin Woodbridge and M"" Henry Somerby 
to cut timber on Plum Island to finish two wharfs with." \ 
It was also voted May 8, 17 17, "that all neat cattle and 
horses shall be kept off Plum Island from May first to Octo- 
ber first every year." § In 1739, the General Court passed 
an act to prevent horses, cattle, sheep, and swine from run- 
ning at large on Plum island. This act was renewed from 
time to time until the year 1792. 

March 25, 1755, the proprietors of that portion of the 
island lying within the limits of Newbury met at the town- 
house in Newbury. A committee was chosen to prosecute 
all persons trespassing upon the property of the proprietors, 
and the same committee was instructed to take charge of all 
merchandise thrown upon the beach by the force of the wind 
or the action of the sea. Similar committees were appointed 
at meetings held in 1756, and subsequently. § 

At a meeting of the proprietors, held September 2, 1827, 
the standing committee, consisting of Daniel Adams, 3d, 
Anthony Davenport, and Josiah Little, were instructed to sell 
at public auction " all the lands belonging to the said Proprie- 
tors in the town of Newbury " ; and December 29, 1827, "as 
agents for the Freeholders & Proprietors of common and un- 
divided land in Newbury, West Newbury, and Newburyport," 
they sold and conveyed by quitclaim deed for the sum of six 
hundred dollars to Moses Pettingell, of Newbury, " That part 
of Plumb Island lying & situate in said town of Newbury, 
containing twelve hundred acres, more or less," " reserving 
for public use the public buildings and the way leading to the 

*Town of Newbury Records, vol. i., p. S9. t Ibid., p. 67. 

+ Coffin's History of Newbury, p. 185. §Town of Newbury Records. 


same : also a privilege for the dwelling house & for the light 
houses belonging to the United States." * 


Stringent rules and regulations were adopted by the town 
of Newbury to prevent the introduction of contagious dis- 

March lO, 1 690-1, the selectmen were ordered to see that 
all persons infected with small-pox were removed to some 
isolated place, and provided with nurses and attendants. 
They were also ordered to supply food and clothing to the 
persons so removed, and to the families of those who were 
unable to take care of themselves. f 

March 24, 1729-30, the selectmen were instructed "to use 
their utmost endeavors to prevent persons & goods being 
brought from Boston into this Towne whereby we may be in 
danger of having ye small-po.\ brought among us." f 

March 10, 175 1-2, a committee was chosen to inspect all 
vessels that came into the Merrimack river, " to see whether 
there are any cases of small-pox on board " ; and the same 
committee was instructed to give immediate notice to the 
selectmen if they found any person sick with small-pox in 
any dwelling-house within the limits of the town. On the 
twenty-seventh day of March following, the selectmen were 
authorized to prohibit the passing and repassing of boats over 
Parker river containing goods liable or supposed to be in- 
fected with small-pox. They were also instructed to build 
a dwelling-house on Plum island, " near the upper end of said 
island," for the town's use ; to order all vessels coming into 
Merrimack river " to anchor below Hook's Point until they 
are Properly examined ; and to publish the substance of these 
votes in the newspapers of the day." f 

Bills for labor, glass, and lumber " for ye house on Plum 
Island," were charged in the account of disbursements ren- 
dered by the selectmen for the year 1752. 

In November, 1759, several cases of small-pox were re- 

* Essex Deeds, book ccxivi., p. 270. tTowti of Newbury Records. 


ported in the West parish, " near the plains " ; and, before 
the disease could be stayed, thirty-six persons, all but two of 
them adults, died. 

March 28, 1763, the inhabitants of the town appointed a 
committee to select a convenient place for a " Pest House," 
and ascertain the cost of building the same ; and May 1 2, 
1763, they voted "to build the Pest House in the great pas- 
ture, to be 38 feet long, 28 feet wide and one story high." * 

January 27, 1763-4, the selectmen were authorized to pro- 
vide gates for the old-town bridge and Thorley's bridge, and 
also gatemen, or guards " to prevent any person infected with 
the small pox from coming into the town." * 

May 15, 1764, the town voted that the selectmen of New- 
buryport be notified that the guards appointed to prevent the 
spread of small-pox had been discharged, and that travellers 
could pass the gates at the bridges without inspection.* 


The selectmen of Newbury were required to provide 
powder and ammunition for the militia, and were instructed 
to keep a reasonable supply on hand at all times. 

September 2, 1670, John Bartlett, William Chandler, Ed- 
mund Moores, Samuel Plummer, and Caleb Moody, selectmen, 
" received of Nathaniel Clarke a barrell of powder for the 
Townes use for which they agree to pay ten pounds." * 

January 9, 1676, the selectmen ordered " that a barrel of 
powder be purchased & also fifteen hundred flints." * 

Under the law enacted by the General Court November 
22, 1693, every town in the province of Massachusetts Bay 
was required to provide " a barrel of good powder, two hun- 
dred weight of bullets and three hundred flints for every 
sixty listed souldiers." f 

In 1722, the selectmen of Newbury had on hand seven 
bags and two casks, containing five hundred and forty-three 
pounds of bullets, and eight casks, containing three hundred 
and fifty-seven pounds of powder. J 

* Town of Newbun- Records. t Province Laws, vol. i., p. 131. 

X Coffin's History of Newbury, p. 192. 


May 15, 1 74 1, the inhabitants of the town voted to divide, 
in equal proportions, among the organized parishes all the 
ammunition belonging to the town, and to instruct the select- 
men to see that it was safely stored and kept.* 

May 16, 1743, the selectmen were authorized to agree 
with some suitable person to build a convenient house " in 
which to keep the town's stock of ammunition " ; but they 
evidently did not avail themselves of the privilege granted 
them, for the inhabitants of the town voted, October 30, 1745, 
that the selectmen provide a suitable place " in which to 
keep the Town's stock of powder," and, March 12, 1753-4, 
ordered the selectmen " to build a powder house." * 

February 19, 1754-5, the selectmen paid Abiel Somerby 
;^6, 5^-. 4^. " for bricks for y^ Powder House" ; and a few 
weeks later they paid several small bills for shingles and 
rocks and for labor on the building. 


As early as 1685 the inhabitants of the west end of the 
town, living four or five miles from the meeting-house, asked 
permission and help to enable them to establish and maintain 
the public worship of God near their own dwellings. Three 
or four years later a few individuals erected a meeting-house 
on land at or near the place where " the way to the mill, at 
the mouth of Artichoke river " crosses the road leading to 
Bartlett's cove, marked X on the map on page 239. They 
invited Mr. Edward Thompson to officiate as minister there ; 
but the town objected to his coming, and protested against 
his being allowed "to set up a lecture and preach."- 

After a long and bittter contest between the zealous 
friends and vigorous opponents of Mr. Thompson, a compro- 
mise was effected, and a committee appointed December 21, 
1 694, " to draw up articles and proposals in order to setting 
off part of the west end of the towne " as a separate parish. 

January i, 1694-5, the town voted 

. . . that Pipe Stave Hill, near Daniel Jaques' house shall be the 
place for the meeting house, and those that live nearest to the place 

*Town of Newbury Records. 


shall pay to the ministry there, and those that live nearest to the old 
meeting house shall pay there : the inhabitants of the west end to 
choose a minister for themselves, only Mr Thompson excepted. The 
meeting house to stand where it do until the major part of them see 
cause to remove it. 

It is not to be understood that any of those that are usually called 
the ffarms, or those lands commonly called the ffalls are to belong to 
the west part of the Towne as to the maintaining of a minister but the 
dividing line shall be from the middle way between the proposed place 
on pipe stave hill to the old meeting house and from the s^l midle way 
in the Rode to run on a streight line to ffrancis Brownes house neer 
birchen meadow & so streight to the Little pond.* 

The dividing line between the First and Second parishes 
shown on the map on page 239 extends from A to C, and 
thence to a point on the Merrimack river, nearly opposite 
Deer island, numbered 25. 

During the summer of 1696 the building erected by the 
inhabitants of the west end of the town in 1689 or 1690 was 
enlarged and repaired. About an acre of land adjoining was 
enclosed with a stone fence or wall, and is now known as 
" the burying ground at Sawyer's hill." f 

May 17, 1700, Deacon Benjamin Morss was instructed to 
prepare a petition to be presented to the General Court for 
authority to levy taxes and to elect assessors, collectors, and 
other officers necessary to' carry on the work of the parish ; :j: 
and January 25, 1710-11, Sergt. John Ordway and Sergt. 
Joseph Pike were appointed a committee " to desire y^ town 
of Newbury to choose men to join with them to run y^ line 
between y^ Town & y^ West precinct and also to settle y^ 
bounds according to the Towns vote." § 

March 13, 1710-11 Major Henry Somerby and the two lot layers 
chosen a committee to run the line between ye Town and the West 
precinct. II 

Samuel Sewall states in his diary, under the date of May 
10, 1709, that he "visited cousin Jacob Toppan and laid a 
stone in the foundation of y^ meeting house at Pipe Staff 
hill." The building of this new house of worship created 

•Town of Newbury (Proprietors') Records, vol. i., p. 23. 

t " Ould Newbury," pp. 363-367. + Newbury (Second Records, p. 15. 

§ Ibid., p. 29. II Town of Newbury Records. 


considerable dissatisfaction in the parish ; and some pf the 
inhabitants li\-ing in the vicinity of Sawyer's hill, by the 
advice and with the assistance of Mr. John Bridger, of Ports- 
mouth, N.H., erected in 171 1 "Queen Anne's Chapel." On 
Sundays and holy days they held service there " according to 
the rubrics and ritual of the established Church of England " 
until the close of the year 1766. The land upon which the 
chapel stood now forms a part of Belleville cemetery, New- 

November 11, 1734, the inhabitants of the First parish in 
Newbury, in answer to the petition of Lieut. Joseph Pike and 
others, voted to enlarge the Second parish (which had been 
reduced by the incorporation of the Fourth parish), and make 
some changes in the dividing line, as follows : — 

Beginning at the midway between the two meeting houses in said 
parishes, in the road near where John Chace formerly dwelt, thence 
running to the westerly end of Thomas Browns house, formerly called 
John Browns upper house, and on the same line to the way on ye 
southerly side of said House, and thence by said way running south- 
easterly to the way leading from John Coffins to the way called Ash 
street and thence to run westerly by said way to the way by which Dea. 
Thomas Chace dwells, called Wheat street, being the bounds between 
the second and fourth parishes : on condition said second parish abate 
the money which they have assessed on Andrew Downer as to poll 
and estate within said line, and the said Downer and his estate, Real 
and personal, are reserved to the first parish during their pleasure, 
which is to be abated if accepted by said second parish and entered Jn 
their Records as accepted on the aforementioned conditions. f 

December 31, 1734, the inhabitants of the Second parish 
voted " to accept the addition which the first parish in New- 
bury granted to the second parish by their vote on the 11"' 
day of November 1734." % 

As originally laid out, the parish covered a large area, and 
included many picturesque hills within its limits. Crane 
Neck hill, Ilsley's hill, Turkey hill, and Archelaus hill lifted 
their dome-shaped summits above the level of the surround- 
ing country, while Indian hill and Pipe-stave hill were con- 

•"Ould Newbury," pp. sbj-jqo. t Nesvbury (First Parish) Records, p. 24. 

X Newbury (Second Parish) Records, p. 75. 


spicuous landmarks often mentioned in the early records of 
the town. * 

Only a few months after the organization of the parish the 
inhabitants were greatly alarmed by an attack on the house 
of Mr. John Brown, then standing on the southwesterly side 
of Turkey hill. October 7, 1695, a party of Indians, who 
had secreted themselves in that vicinity, seized and carried 
away nine captives, all women and children. f 


At a meeting of the freeholders and inhabitants of New- 
bury, held December 9, 1701, "Upon y^ request of Mrs 
Elizabeth Dumer, M"" John Dumer, Mr Joshua Woodman, M"" 
William Moody, John Tricomb, Nathan Wheeler, Mrs. Jane 
Gerrish in behalf of her Tenant M"" Richard Dumer, John 
Smith, Philip Goodridge Joshua Woodman, M"" John Cheney, 
rollen ffraiser, Philip de-lane, Robert Mingo y* the one half of 
their ministry rate heere may be abated for the next rate that 
is to be made," | it was voted to grant their request, as the 
petitioners were then living at " the falls," on Parker river, 
four or five miles away from the First Parish meeting-house, 
and somewhat farther from the recently organized church in 
the Second parish. December 16, 1701, about the same 
number of persons residing in the adjoining town of Rowley 
asked and obtained an abatement of one-half the tax imposed 
upon them for the support of the minister in that town. In 
1 702 a few individuals, owning property in the vicinity, erected 
a meeting-house on or near the dividing line between New- 
bury and Rowley, and invited Rev. Moses Hale to become 
their pastor. He accepted the invitation, and a parsonage 
was built for him in 1703. 

At a legal meeting of the inhabitants of Rowley, held 
March i6, 1702-3, it was voted : 

. . . that the inhabitants of Rowley living on the northwest side of the 
Bridge called Rye Plain Bridge, and on the northwest side of the hill 

*" Ould Newbury," pp. 339-356. 

t Ibid., pp. 287-290 ; also pp. 392-393. House No. 184, on map of West Parish, p. 39a, 
" Ould Newbury," was owned and occupied by John Brown in 1695. 
% Newbury Town Records. 


called Long hill and joined with the farmers of Newbury that doth 
border on us in building a new meeting house for the worship of God 
shall be abated their rates in the ministry rate in the town of Rowley if 
they maintain with the help of our neighbours at Newbury an Athoro- 
dox minister to belong to and teach in the meeting house that they have 
built, until such time as it is judged that there is sufificient number to 
maintaine in the northwest part of our towne a minister without the help 
of our neighbours of Newbury that doth border on us.* 

February 20, 1703-4, the inhabitants of the parish, having 
met for consultation at the residence of Rev. Moses Hale, 
decided to call the place " Byfield " in honor of Col. Nathaniel 
Byfield, of Boston. f The Newbury part of the parish was 
set off October 21, 1706. 

Upon reading the petition of the Inhabitants of The falls in ye town 
of Newbury, It was voted yt ye Dividing Line in reference to their pro- 
curing and maintaining a minister amongst themselves and for yt only, 
said Line shall begin att Rowley Rivers mouth, and so up said River to 
Rowley line & so all thence of the Southwardly side of the falls River 
& of the Northwardly side of the falls River, taking in John Cheney 
wth his land he lives on, and Mr Moodeys ffarm, and the ffarm corn- 
only called Ml" Longfellows ffarm, and M"" Gerishes farm, and the 
westerly part of ye farm called Thirlow farm until it comes to the 
Dividing line between Francis Thirlow farm & Thomas Thirlow farm, 
— for so long a time as they shall maintain an orthodox minister 
amongst them, f 

May 13, 1707, the bounds and limits of the parish on the 
Rowley side were established. 

Beginning at the great rock in Newbury line, at the head of the great 
swamp lots, and so along by the northwest end of those lots to Thomas 
Jewett's land, and so on between said Jewett's land and Rye plain land 
to the bridge called Rye plain bridge and so [on] the way that runs to 
Long hill, being at the path this side of Francis Nelson's house, and so 
to Long Hill, and so along to the road at the elder's plain that goeth to 
Samuel Brocklebank's farm and following on to the farm laid out as 
the right of Thomas Barker and so to Bradford line, and along as Brad- 
ford line runs to Newbury line.§ 

The parish was incorporated in answer to a petition signed 
by John Dummer in behalf of the inhabitants of Newbury 

* Massachusetts Archives, vol. xi., pp. 344, 345. t " Ould Newbury," pp. 291-300. 

JTown of Newbury Records. § History of Rowley, by Thomas Gage, p.q6. 


and Rowley " of the Parish or Precinct upon Newbury Falls 
commonly called Byfield." The petition states that the 
parish has been set off by the consent of both towns, and a 
church organized. He therefore asks that its inhabitants may 
be further established by an act or order of the General 
Court, and granted the privileges, immunities, and powers 
usually granted to such parishes, and that they may be author- 
ized to choose assessors and collectors to levy and collect 
taxes, etc.* 

October 28, 17 10, the General Court ordered 

. . . that the Precinct or District upon Newbury Falls, sett off by 
Newbury & Rowley, commonly called Byfield, be an established, ac- 
knowledged Precinct within the Intent of the Law, To have, use & 
Exercise the Powers and Privileges by law granted to such, for the 
Maintenance & Support of the public Worship of God there : And for- 
asmuch as the Time for the anniversary choice of Officers for this Year 
is past. The Clerk of the said Precinct is hereby impowered that not- 
withstanding to warn a meeting of the Inhabitants, and they to proceed 
to choose assessors & a Collector for ye same.f 

The Newbury part of Byfield parish is shown on the map 
on page 239, " beginning at the mouth of Rowley river," num- 
ber 9 on the map, running up that river to the Rowley line, 
marked R, and thence in a northwesterly direction to a bound 
of stakes and stones, numbered 15, and thence by a broken 
line to a point on a branch of the river Parker, marked N, 
and thence by the branch of said river to the bound begun at. 

Several changes have been made in the boundary lines 
since 1785, to suit the convenience of the inhabitants of that 
neighborhood. Since the incorporation of Georgetown in 
1838 the parish has formed a part of three towns; namely, 
Newbury, Rowley, and Georgetown. 

In the burying-ground adjoining the meeting-house erected 
by the inhabitants of Byfield parish there is a gravestone 
sacred to the memory of Mehetable, wife of William Moody, 
who died August 8, 1702. "She was the first interred in 
this place." 

When the parish was incorporated, Stephen Longfellow, 

* Massachusetts Archives, vol. xi., p. 344. 

t Massachusetts .Arcliives (Court Records), vol. ix., p. 74. 


son of William Longfellow, paternal ancestor of the poet,. 
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, was living at Newbury Falls, 
"at the place commonly known as ye high field," and Richard 
Dummer, jr., owned the farm, bounded on the northeast 
and the northwest by the river Parker (subsequently sold to 
Mr. Eben Parsons, brother of Theophilus Parsons), now 
known as the P'atherland farm.* 

William Dummer, grandson of Richard Dummer, sr., 
was appointed deputy governor of the province of Massachu- 
setts Bay June 15, 17 16, and held that office for fourteen 
years. From January i, 1723, to July 28, 1728, while 
Samuel Shute, governor of the province, was in England, 
William Dummer occupied the gubernatorial chair ; and, after 
the death of governor William Burnet, September 7, 1729, he 
was again at the head of the government for nearly twelve 
months. He gave his dwelling-house and farm in Byfield 
parish to a board of trustees, with instructions that the an- 
nual income thereof should be "appropriated and set apart 
towards the maintenance of a grammar school master." A 
school-house was erected on the Dummer farm, and dedicated 
February 28, 1763. The next day the school, under the 
charge of Samuel Moody, of York, Me., as master, com- 
menced its regular sessions. It is still in successful operation, 
under the charge of Mr. Perley L. Home, A.M. In 1782 an 
act of incorporation was passed by the General Court, provid- 
ing for the management and control of the school, under the 
title of " The Trustees of Dummer Academy in the County 
of Essex." f 

The photo-engraving on the opposite page is taken, by per- 
mission of Mr. Joseph N. Dummer, of Rowley, from a half- 
tone plate in his possession. The portrait, painted previous 
to 1750, probably, from which the plate was taken, is the 
property of the trustees of the academy. 


At a legal meeting of the inhabitants of the First parish in 
Newbury, held September 19, 1722, it was voted 

*" Ould Newbury," pp. 305-312 and 327-330. t Ibid., pp. 313-325. 


. . . that all the Inhabitants that Desire it, on the Northerly side of 
ye Lane called Chandler's Lane, and from the uper End of said Lane on 
a Strait Line to y^ Northerly side of Capt John Marchs farm and thence 
on a strait Line to John Browns house untill it comes to ye Line of ye 
Second Parish for said Town, Shall Have Liberty to Build a meeting 
house for them selves In ye most Reasonable Place for the Convenience 
of said Inhabitants, and when they are Duly Quallified for it In ye 
Judgment of said Parish, are to be set off and freed from the Ministry 
for this Part of said Parish.* 

The boundary line of the Third parish, beginning at the 
lower end of Chandler's lane (now Federal street, Newbury- 
port), marked E on the map on page 239, runs in a south- 
westerly direction to Capt. John March's farm, marked D, 
and thence to the line of the Second parish, marked C, and 
thence by the line of that parish to a point on the Merrimack 
river, numbered 25. 

June 9, 1725, the inhabitants of the First parish voted that 
all persons living within the bounds and limits named in the 
order adopted September 19, 1722, that are willing to be set 
off, shall be freed from the maintenance of the ministry in 
the First parish. At this date a meeting-house had been 
erected in the centre of a triangular piece of land now known 
as Market square, Newburyport. It was dedicated June 25, 

A few individuals in the vicinity of Chandler's lane, and 
a considerable number residing in the northerly part of the 
new parish, objected to the bounds and limits agreed upon, and 
appealed to the General Court for relief. A committee ap- 
pointed by the house of representatives November 26, 1725, 
the governor and council concurring, after careful investiga- 
tion reported in favor of incorporating the parish, eight fam- 
ilies living beyond the dividing line, on the southerly side of 
Chandler's lane, to be set off with their estates to the new 
parish. This report was read and accepted at a session of 
the General Court held December 18, 1725.! 

March 22, 1726-7, the inhabitants of the First parish voted 

• First Parish Records, p. 3. 

t Massachusetts Archives (Court Records), vol. xiii., pp. 40, 87. 

The report is printed in full on pp. 430 and 431, " Ould Newbury " ; but the date of its pres- 
entation to the General Court was December 18, 1725, not November 3, 1720, as there stated. 


. . " that the tliird parish (called y^ water side parish) should 
have the first Parishes right in y'^ old bell w'^'' was formerly im- 
proved for y^ old meeting house." * 

Although this vote was passed at the request of a commit- 
tee appointed by the Third parish, no further action seems to 
have been taken in regard to it. Possibly the consent and 
co-operation of the inhabitants living within the limits of the 
Second parish could not be obtained. At all events, the Third 
parish voted May 23, 1727, to purchase a bell weighing 
about four hundred pounds, and also " voted that Jonathan 
Woodman should treat with some gentlemen in Boston to 
send a bell for said parish." 

In 1730, about an acre of land on the southwesterly side of 
Frog pond, now known as "The Old Hill Burying-ground," 
Newburyport, was enclosed with a board fence and set apart 
as a burial-place by the inhabitants of the Third parish. f 

In 1736, the meeting-house was enlarged; and September 
30, 1740, Rev. George Whitefield preached his first sermon 
in Newbury to an immense congregation, that occupied 
every available seat and filled to overflowing the aisles and 
galleries of that spacious building^ 

During the war between France and England, Col. Moses 
Titcomb, who was in command of a battery at the capture of 
Louisburg in 1745, re-enlisted in the English army when 
hostilities were renewed, in 1755, between those powers. 
From the same pulpit Rev. John Lowell, pastor of the 
church, delivered a sermon. May 22, 1755, before Col. Tit- 
comb and the men under his command previous to their de- 
parture for the seat of war. Four or five months later me- 
morial exercises were held in the same place to commemorate 
the life and character of Col. Titcomb, who was killed in the 
battle at Crown Point September 8, I755.§ 

On the unoccupied land on the westerly side of the meet- 
ing-house a huge gridiron was erected after the surrender of 
Quebec, September 19, 1759; and there with demonstrations 
of joy an ox was broiled or roasted, and songs were sung com- 
memorating the victories of the year.|| 

• First Parish Records, vol. i. t " Ould Newbury," p. 453. t Ibid., p. 526. 

§ Ibid., pp. 464-473. II Coffin's History of Newbury, p. 224. 



At a legal meeting of the inhabitants of the Second parish, 
held August 26, 1729, it was "voted to answer the petition 
that was put in to ye General Court by some of the inhabi- 
tants of y^ west precinct in Newbury on August ye 20*^ 1729, 
to have ye precinct divided into two parishes." * 

A committee was appointed to prepare a statement to be 
presented to the General Court ; and John Brown, surveyor, 
was employed to make a map of the parish, showing the pro- 
posed line of division.! After considerable discussion and 
delay the freeholders consented, January 12, 1 730-1, to the 
organization of the new parish, and appointed a committee, 
consisting of Nathaniel Cofifin, Joseph Gerrish, and Henry 
Rolfe, to take such steps as might be necessary to carry the 
vote into effect. 

May 20, 1 73 1 voted to desire ye Honourable General Court to con- 
firm and establish ye division which they [the committee] have made.ij: 

June I, 1 73 1, Benjamin Hills and others opposed the re- 
port of the committee, and petitioned the General Court to 
give the new parish more territory and straighten the divid- 
ing line, "which is now very crooked and inconvenient." 
The petitioners, however, after a prolonged hearing were given 
" leave to withdraw " ; and the bounds and limits of the 
Fourth parish were established as follows : — 

Begining at the southerly end of the way that runs on the north- 
easterly side of Deacon Thomas Chases homestead where he now liveth 
& running up said way [Whit street or Merrill's lane] until it comes to 
Abel Merrill's land where he now dwelleth & thence to run on the 
southerly side of said Merrill's land until it comes to the next way 
[Downer's lane] which lies on the northeasterly side of .said Merrill's 
land, and thence on the said way until it comes to the south way, so 
called, and then to run up said south way until it meets with the land of 
Mr John Carr or Mr Thomas Noyes and then to run across to the Brad- 
ford road so as to take in all the land of the homestead of the said Mr 
John Carr and Mr Thomas Noyes' land on the westerly side of said line 

* Newbury (Second Parish) Records, p. 66. 

t " Ould Newbury,'' pp. 391-395. 

% Newbury (Second Parish) Records, p. 68. 


and from thence to run down the lane called Baylys lane to Merrimack 
river, which line is to the westward of Mr Joshua Bailey's dwelling house 
and that the inhabitants of such Precinct be vested with the Powers, 
Privileges and Immunities whicli other Precincts within the Province 
have or by law ought to have.* 

The division line between the Second and Fourth parishes 
begins at the point B on the map on page 239, and runs in 
a northerly direction to J, thence easterly to I, northerly to 
H, westerly to G, and thence northerly to F on the Merri- 
mack river. 

December 4, 1733, this line was slightly changed in answer 
to the petition of Thomas Chase and others. f 

Rev. William Johnson was the first minister of the Fourth 
parish. He was settled September 15, 1731, and retained 
his office until his death, February 22, 1772. 


May 21,1 760, a petition was presented to the General Court, 
asking that a portion of the Second parish, on the easterly 
side of Artichoke river, and a portion of the Third parish, on 
the westerly side of Toppan's lane extending to the Merri- 
mack river on a line to be agreed upon, might be set off and 
made a new parish. 

There was considerable dissatisfaction in the Second parish 
at this time on account of the location of the meeting-house 
built during the summer of 1759. November 18, 1760, the 
inhabitants of the parish " voted y* Mr Enos Bartlet, Deacon 
James Brown, and Tristram Coffin are a commi" to trye to 
remove the uneasiness from any if they can ... on ye 
account of placing ye meeting house." | 

February 18, 1761, the inhabitants of the Second parish 
appointed a committee to draw up a statement of reasons why 
the petition of Moses Little and others to be set off and in- 
corporated as a separate paiish should not be granted, and 
Mr. William Foster and Deacon Edmund Bayley were in- 

* Massachusetts Archives (Court Records), vol. xv., pp. 82, 83 ; also, " Ould Newbury," p. 392. 
t Newburj' (First Records. X Newbury (Second Parish) Records, p. 131. 


structcd t(j present the same to the General Court in the 
month of March next.* 

At a legal meeting of the inhabitants of the Third ])arish, 
held February 11, 1761, it was voted 

. . . that Daniel Farnham, Esq Mr Timothy Pike & Mr Charles 
Hodge be a committee to make answer at the next setting of the gen- 
eral court to a petition lately preferred to s^ court by a number of the 
second & third parishes wherein they pray that the general court would 
set them off all the westerly part of ?A parish as far as Mr Moses 
Moody's land on the north side of the highway and as far as Toppan's 
lane on the south side of said way. f 

The General Court, however, after due deliberation granted 
the prayer of the petitioners, April 17, 1761, and established 
the bounds of the new parish, as follows : — 

. . . begining at the north east Corner of Mr Moses Moody's land by 
Merrimack river, thence by said Moody's land on the southerly side to 
the country road [now High street, Newburyport] J thence eastwardly 
to Toppan's lane and down to the westerly end of the said lane, thence, 
upon a straight line to the southeast corner of Francis Brown's land, to 
the South way, so called, thence westerly by the said way to the south- 
west corner of the Second Parish, thence by said Parish to Stephen 
Sawyer's land on the northerly side, thence by said Sawyer's land to the 
Road nigh his dwelling house, thence to John Rogers' mill dam, thence 
to the mouth of the Artichoke river at the river Merrimack, together 
with Capt. Stephen Ordway and his estate. § 

All persons living within the above-named limits, except 
" Edward Toppan, Samuel Cook, John Poor, Mary Morga- 
ridge, Elizabeth Pilsbury, William Weed, John Downing, 
Joseph Downer, Andrew Downer, John Rogers, junior, Peter 

* Newbury (Second Parish) Records, p. 132. t Newbury (Third Parish) Records. 

X Moses Moody owned a large tract of land between the Merrimack river and the country 
road, now High street, Newburyport, extending from Moody's lane, now Woodland street, to 
a way subsequently laid out and named North street, now Oakland street, Newburyport. 

When the Fifth parish was incorporated, the southerly side of Mr. Moody's land was taken as 
the boundary line. North street was evidently not laid out until 1815, perhaps later. In a deed 
of conveyance to Thomas Emery, dated November 21, 1796, Moses Moody mentions "land I 
have reserved lor a road two rods wide " (" Ould Newbury," p. 687) ; and Timothy Osgood sold 
to .Samuel Osgood, April 15, 1S15, laud and buildings in Newburyport bounded "northeasterly 
on Merrimack street, northwesterly on a new street to be laid down two and one half rods wide" 
(Essex Deeds, vol. ccv., p. 272). June 7, 1837, John Pearson, 3rd, conveyed to True Choate the 
same property, " bounded northeasterly by Merrimack street and northwesterly by North 
street" (Essex Deeds, vol. ccc, p. 265). 

§ Massachusetts Archives (Court Records), vol. xxiii., p. 705. 


Rogers, and Al)icl Rogers," were declared, by order of the 
General Court, inhabitants of the Fifth parish. 

The boundary Hne of the parish, beginning at a point 
on the Merrimack river marked L on the map on page 239, 
runs by a broken Hne to the letter K, thence to C, thence to 
B, thence to the Artichoke river, thence by said river to its 
mouth, and thence by the Merrimack river to the bound 
begun at. 

A meeting-house was erected on Meeting-house lane, now 
Noble street, Newburyport ; and a church was organized 
July 22, 1762. The first and only minister of the parish was 
settled September i, 1762, and dismissed April 28, 1784. 
Subsequently, a new religious society was formed in the 
parish, now known as '* The Belleville Congregational Church 
and Society of Newburyport " ; and a new meeting-house was 
erected on High street, near Moody's lane, now Woodland 
street, Newburyport. 

The map on the preceding page is reproduced from a draw- 
ing made by E. March for the town of Newbury in 1795.* 
A few lines showing the metes and bounds of the several 
parishes have been added : otherwise it is an exact copy, upon 
a reduced scale, of the original now on file at the State 
House in Boston. 

The location of any house or place named in the following 
list can be found by its corresponding number on the map : — 

1. Light Houfes on Plumb island 12. Dumer Accadamy. 

Point. 13. Thurla's Mill. 

2. Little Pine Island River. 14. Byfield Meeting House. 

3. Great Pine Island River. 15. Bound of Newbury, Bradford 

4. Pine Island Mills. & Rowley. 

5. Pa[r]ker River. 16. Meeting House in the third 

6. Pa[r]ker River Bridge. Parish. 

7. Little River. 17. Indian River. 

8. Pearsons Mills. 18. Bridge over Indian River. 

9. Rowley River. 19. Meeting House in the second 

10. Newburyport Woollen Manu- Parish. 

factory and Moody's Mill. 20. Artichoke River & Hoopers 

11. Thurla's Bridge. Mill. 

* Massachusetts Archives (Town Plans), vol. ix., plan 30. 


21. Artichoke Bridge. 27. Meeting Houfe in the first 

22. Meeting in the fourth Parisli. 

Parish. 28. Meeting House Pond. 

23. Amesbury ferrey. 29. Mill Bridge. 

24. Sweats ferrey. 30. Trotters Bridge. 

25. Efsex Merrimack Bridge. 31. New Bridge. 

26. Friends Meeting Houfe. 

The double prick'd lines exhibit the roads. 

Reputed distance from the Centre of the Town to Salem, 24 Miles; 
to Boston, 42 Miles. 

Area of Water in the Town. 

A cres. 

Flats around Woodbridge's Island 853 

Plumb jsland River 359 

Little Pine Island river 25 

Great Pine Island river 30 

River Parker 490 

Little River "]"] 

Indian River 19 

Artichoke River 38 

Meeting Houfe 5 


A new meeting-house, the third one " sett up on the 
knowle of upland by Abraham Toppan's barne," was erected 
during the year 1700. July 22, 1702, the selectmen were 
instructed " to consider and report what it will cost to re- 
move the old meeting house farther from the new meeting 
house, and to fitt it up for a court house, towne house and 
scht)ol house." * 

March 17, 1702-3, the town voted to repair the building 
and make such alterations as were necessary for the accom- 
modation of the Court of General Sessions and the pupils of 
the town school ; but after further consideration this plan was 
abandoned, and May 23, 1705, "the old meeting house was 
granted to Richard Brown with liberty to remove it." * 

Twenty years later, February 25, 1724-5, the freeholders 
voted to build a town-house at the upper end of Greenleaf's 

*Town of Ne\vbur\' Records 


lane, now State street, and appointed a committee to make an 
estimate of the cost of the land, labor, and materials needed. 

At a meeting held May 13, 1728, the subject was again 
under consideration ; but no definite action was taken at that 
time. February 22, 1 730-31, the town reconsidered its vote 
to build a town-house "at ye uper end of Greenleaf's lane," 
and voted to build it in Chandler's lane, now Federal street. 

The estimated cost of the new building and the dissatis- 
faction arising from the change of location created a strong 
feeling of opposition to the measure. Subscription papers 
were circulated for the purpose of raising money to build a 
court-house and town-house near the tavern at the head of 
Muzzey's lane, now Marlborough street; and May 11, 1733, 
the First parish of Newbury was granted " liberty to build a 
convenient town house within two years at their own cost and 
charge near lieutenant John March's house." * 

May 7, 1734, Benjamin Morse, jr., sold to the First parish 
a lot of land " bounded westerly & northerly by land of the 
said Mors, easterly by a way, and southerly by land reputed 
to be Mr. Fowlers," to build a town-house upon.f 

September 18, 1734, the inhabitants of Newbury voted 
that the interest received from the bills of credit issued by 
the state should be applied "toward the finishing the Towne 
House now in building, provided the inhabitants of ye first 
parish go on & finish said House without asking anything 
more of the Towne and that said House shall be made sure 
to the Towne and County by a vote of the first parish as may 
be reasonable after it is finished." * 

November 11, 1734, the parish voted that the town house 
" now standing in Newbury near y^ Dwelling house of Lieu* 
John March shall be for y^ use of the town of Newbury and 
for y^ use of the County of Essex for y^ keeping and holding 
of Courts &c." :j: 

January 28, 1734-5, James Noyes and John Pearson con- 
veyed to a committee of the First parish in Newbury, consist- 

*Town of Newbury Records. 

t Essex Deeds, vol. Ixix., p. 3 ; vol. cxxxii., p. 34 : and " Ould Nevvbur>'," pp. ig8-2oo. 

X Newbury (First Parish) Records. 


ing of Joseph Gcrrish, Henry Rolf, John March, and Charles 
Pierce, "one Town House, so called, standing in Newbury 
aforesaid on a piece of land sold by Benjamin Mors, jun, to 
the First Parish in Newbury." * 

February 27, 1734-5, Mr. John Pearson was authorized to 
receive from John Appleton, treasurer of the county of 
Essex, the sum of two hundred pounds in settlement for the 
town and court house built by the parish. f 

Twenty-five years later, when the building needed repairs, 
an effort was made to remove it to a more convenient loca- 
tion. May 20, 1760, Dr. Nathan Hale and several other pe- 
titioners applied to the town for an appropriation for repair- 
ing or removing the town-house. This petition was not 
granted, and on the twenty-sixth day of May following an un- 
successful effort was made to authorize the selectmen to erect 
a new building nearer the centre of the town. 

In 1762, the county of Essex appropriated two hundred 
pounds for a new court-house in Newbury, " provided the town 
raise a like sum for the same purpose." This proposal was 
not acceptable to the legal voters of Newbury ; and they de- 
clined March 29, 1762, to co-operate with the county in the 
erection of the proposed building. Some of the inhabitants 
of the Third parish, however, subscribed a sum sufficient to 
defray the cost of " a court house for ye use of said county 
and the inhabitants of the town of Newbury" ; and July 7, 
1762, Daniel Farnham, Michael Dalton, Jonathan Bayley, 
Thomas Woodbridge, and others purchased of Joseph Clem- 
ents eleven rods of land "on Fish Street adjoining his dwell- 
ing house," and conveyed the same to John Choate, treasurer 
of Essex County " for the uses and purposes above expressed 
and for no other use or purpose whatever." \ On this land, 
at the corner of Fish, now State, and Essex streets, a com- 
modious town and court house was erected within the pres- 
ent limits of the city of Newburyport. 

The old town-house, on High street, at the head of Marl- 
borough street, was sold in 1780, and removed. 

* Essex Deeds, vol. Ixviii., p. 11. 
t Newbury (First Parbh) Records. 
X Essex Deeds, book cxi., p. i n. 



May 17, 1682, the town "voted that the selectmen shall 
have power to take care that the poore may be provided for, 
and to build a cottage or cottages for them according to their 
discretion." * 

February 6, 1704-5, the selectmen were ordered to ascer- 
tain and report at a subsequent meeting the probable cost 
of a building suitable for an almshouse. The estimates sub- 
mitted were evidently unsatisfactory ; and no further action 
was taken until March 12, 1722-3, when " Ensigne William 
Titcomb, Richard Kent, Esq, & Cap' Henry Rolfe were 
chosen a committee to view a place for an alms house & make 
an estimate of the cost of land & of the building to be built." f 
The report of the committee was not acceptable to the 
legal voters of the town, and further consideration of the sub- 
ject was indefinitely postponed. March 12, 1733-4, a com- 
mittee, consisting of Doctor Nathan Hale, Joseph Atkins, 
Esq., Jonathan Poor, Joseph Gerrish, Esq., and Deacon 
Joshua Moody, was chosen to select a suitable lot of land and 
procure plans for the proposed new almshouse ; but the loca- 
tion selected and the plans agreed upon were vigorously 
opposed by some of the inhabitants, and after a heated de- 
bate the recommendations of the committee were defeated. J 

At a town meeting held March 8, 1736-7, the question 
was again discus.sed ; and a committee was appointed to con- 
sider the advisability of erecting a building for the accommo- 
dation of the poor of the towns of Newbury, Amesbury, and 
Salisbury, " also to ascertain what proportion of the prob- 
able cost each of the above named towns will pay." % 

The committee was unable to secure the co-operation of 
Amesbury and Salisbury upon terms and conditions that were 
considered mutually advantageous ; and, after several inef- 
fectual attempts to harmonize conflicting views and interests, 
the plan was abandoned, although an unsuccessful effort was 
made to revive it in the spring of 1743. § 

December 13, 1743, Joseph Gerrish, Henry Rolfe, and 

*Town of Newbury Records, vol. i. t Ibid., vol. iv., p. 217. 

$Town of Newbury Record.s, vol. iv. § MeniU's History of Amesbur>', p. 206. 


John Greenlcaf were instructed " to buy land to set a gaol 
& work house upon & to provide materials &c for said build- 
ings." * 

February 4, 1743-4, they purchased a lot of land, four 
rods wide, on King street, now Federal street, Newburyport. 
May 15, 1750, the selectmen were ordered "to view the 
work house and see that it is properly finished." * 

Maixh 14, 1757-8, a committee was appointed to see 
whether a suitable addition could be made to the work- 
house for the accommodation of the poor of the town, or 
whether, upon the whole, it would be more advantageous to 
buy another lot of land and erect a new building. This com- 
mittee reported March twenty-seventh ; and after some dis- 
cussion another committee was appointed to purchase, for the 
use of the town, the dwelling-house of Caleb Moody on Cot- 
tle's lane, now Bromfield street, Newburyport. 

May 23, 1758, a committee was chosen to sell to the county 
of Essex the prison house and land in Newbury, and pur- 
chase with the proceeds a building suitable for a workhouse 
for the accommodation of the poor. 

For some reason unknown the dwelling-house on Cottle's 
lane was not purchased ; and May 8, 1760, Thomas Wood- 
bridge and Robert Roberts conveyed to the selectmen of 
Newbury half an acre of land on the southeast side of King 
street, now Federal street, Newburyport, and there the new 
workhouse was built. f 

October 20, 1763, the town voted to build a small house in 
the rear of the workhouse for the insane. 


Under the charter granted by King William and Queen 
Mary in 1691, courts of justice were established in every 
county in the province of Mas.sachusetts Bay. The fourth 
section of the thirty-third chapter of the Acts and Resolves 
of the General Court, passed November 25, 1692, provided 
that the Court of Common Pleas should be held " for the 

•Town of Newbury Records. t Essex Deeds, book cxiv., p. 252. 


county of Essex, at Salem, on the last Tuesdayes in June 
and December : at Ipswich, on the last Tuesday in March, 
and at Newbury on the last Tuesday in September." * 

The first session of the court in Newbury was held in the 
meeting-house of the First parish September 26, 1693. The 
presiding judges were Hon. Bartholomew Gedney, of Salem, 
Hon. John Hawthorne, of Salem, Hon. Samuel Appleton, of 
Ipswich, and Hon. Jonathan Corwine, of Salem. 

A large number of criminal and civil cases were disposed 
of at this term of the court. The most important, from a 
local point of view, was an action of trespass brought by 
James and Richard Carr against Capt. Edward Sargent for 
carrying men and horses over the Merrimack river. The de- 
fendant stated in his answer that Capt. John March was the 
proper owner of the ferry, and that he was then in the king's 
service on the eastern frontier. The case was continued to 
the next inferior court in the county. f 

All laws enacted in the province of Massachusetts Bay, 
under the charter of 1692, were submitted, in compliance with 
the provisions of that charter, to the King and Queen of Eng- 
land, or to their successors in office, for approval. Some ex- 
ceptions were taken to the act passed November 25, 1692 ; 
and it was disallowed by the Privy Council August 22, 1695. 

On the third day of October, 1696, the General Court 
revived and continued in force until the month of May 
following the act ■ establishing courts of justice in the prov- 
ince. J June 19, 1697, another act was passed, providing for 
the trial " of all matters and issues in fact arising or happen- 
ing in any county or place within the province, by a jury of 
twelve men." § Both these acts were disallowed November 
24, 1698. 

On the twenty-sixth day of June, 1699, two acts, one 
appointing the times and places "for holding of courts of 
general sessions of the peace," and the other establishing 
" inferiour courts of common pleas in the several counties of 
the province," were passed by the General Court and ap- 

* Acts and Resolves of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, vol. i., p. 73. 
t Records of the Court of Common Pleas (Salem), vol. i., p. 286. 
tProvhice Laws, vol. i., p. 248. §Ibid., 286. 


proved by the governor. Under these acts courts were held 
" for the county of Essex, at Salem, on the last Tuesdays in 
June and December ; at Newbury on the last Tuesday in 
September; and at Ipswich on the last Tuesday in March." * 
No objections were raised by the Privy Council to the acts 
passed in 1699, re-establishing the courts of justice in the 
province ; and no alteration in the time or place of meeting 
was made until January 28, 1764, when the town of New- 
buryport w^as incorporated, and " an act for erecting a part of 
the town of Newbury into a new town by the name of New- 
buryport " was passed, defining its powers and privileges and 
expressly providing 

. . . That the inferior court of common pleas, and the court of 
general sessions of the peace, by law appointed to be held at Newbury 
on the last Tuesday of September annually, shall for the future be held 
in Newburyport on the last Tuesday of September annually and to all 
intents and purposes shall be considered as when held in the town of 
Newbury as aforesaid, any law to the contrary notwithstanding. \ 


For the detention of criminals or persons accused of dis- 
orderly conduct a watch-house was built at a very early date 
in Newbury. It was evidently located near the meeting-house. 
The selectmen were ordered April 8, 1673, to keep it in 
good repair. \ 

January 4, 1705-6, Capt. Henry Somerby, Capt. Stephen 
Greenleaf, Capt. Edward Sargent, and others were granted a 
lot of land " between y® watch house & y^ meeting house 
pond joyning to Dr. Toppan's fence to sett up a stable w'^'^ 
they are to injoy during the Towns pleasure." % 

January 29, 1 706-7, the town voted "that there be a 
gaole or prison built in Newbury . . . provided the county be 
at one half of the cost and charge." \ 

The jail was erected near the meeting-house, and was prob- 
ably in use for thirty-fi\-e or forty years. The News Letter, 

* Acts and Resolve?, vol. i. , pp. 367-370. t Ibid., vol. iv., p. 677. 

J Town of Xewburv' Records. 


published in Boston, under the date of August 31, 1725, 
says : — 

About midnight a company of rioters assembled on horseback and 
with crow bars broke the doors, bolts and locks of the gaol in Newbury 
and look off on spare horses Isaac Brown and Hugh Ditson charged 
with capital offences. Governor William Dummer offered a reward of 
fifty pounds for their apprehension.* 

At the Court of General Sessions held at Salem July 9, 
1734, Benjamin Marston, sheriff of Essex county, asked "for 
the better security of the prisoners " that a house for the 
jail-keeper might be erected near the jail in Newbury. The 
court ordered Nathaniel Coffin, Richard Kent, and Joseph 
Gerrish to ascertain what proportion of the cost of the pro- 
posed building the inhabitants of Newbury would pay.f 

September 23, 1734, a committee was appointed by the 
town to select a suitable lot of land on which to build " a 
prison or house of correction" ; and September 21, 1736, the 
judges of the Essex county courts were asked to give their 
consent " to the removal of the gaol now standing in New- 
bury " to a more convenient location, " in order that it may 
be made serviceable as a prison or house of correction." \ 
This plan, however, did not meet with favor, and was sub- 
sequently abandoned. 

At the General Sessions of the court held at Salem the last 
Tuesday in December, 1743, the subject was again consid- 
ered ; and the court ordered the erection of a county jail and 
prison house " at or near the place where the old prison 
stands in Newbury." Col. Berry, Major Greenleaf, Joseph 
Gerrish, Henry Rolfe, and Thomas Rowell were appointed 
a committee to erect a strong and substantial building at a 
cost to the county of not more than one hundred and twenty- 
five pounds. § 

February 7, 1743-4, the inhabitants of Newbury voted to 
grant " ye county of Essex so much of a piece of land as is 
needful for to build a prison upon and a house for the keeper 

* Coffin's History of Newbury, p. 196. 

t Court of General Sessions (Salem), 1726-44, p. 336. 

X Town of Newbury Records. 

§ Court of General Sessions (Salem), 1709-46. 


of said prison & for a yarde, to be taken out of that piece of 
land which was purchased by y*^ Towne of Newbury of M"^ 
Anthony Sommerby as by a deed dated February y^ 4"^^ 
1743 may appear. Said land is lying on y'= northerly side of 
& joyning to King street." * 

The jail or prison was erected during the summer of 1744. 
On the twenty-third day of May, 1758, the selectmen of New- 
bury were authorized and instructed to sell all the town's 
right, title, and interest in the property on King street ; and 
July 21, 1758, they conveyed to the county of Essex "the 
house adjoining the Prison which has been improved as a 
work house, also the land purchased of Anthony Somerby 
with all the buildings thereon." f 


October 18, 1700, the town appointed Col. Daniel Pierce 
and Tristram Coffin, Esq., a committee to procure a new bell, 
"of about four hundred pounds weight," for the First parish 

January 4, 1705-6, "voted that fhe new bell be hanged in 
the turret of the meeting house with all convenient spede,"' 
also " that the bell be rung at nine of the clock every night 
and that the day of the month be every night tolled." \ 

May 14, 1707, the selectmen were authorized "to employ 
some suitable person to ring the nine o'clock bell this year." % 

June 18, 1708, the town "voted that the nine a clock bell 
should be rung at nine of the clock precisely, nightly for the 
year ensuing." \ 

For the year 171 1 the town employed Benjamin Morse 
" to ring the bell at nine o'clock every night, and sabbath 
days and lecture days." % 

November 30, 1723, the selectmen paid Henry Lunt, 3d, 
for ringing the nine o'clock bell, five pounds. 

In 1725, a meeting-house was erected, on what is now 
known as Market square, Newburyport, for the Third parish 

*Town of Newbury Records. King street is now Federal street, Newburyport. 
t Essex Deeds, book cv., p. 137; " Ould Newbury," p. 620. 
tTown of Newbury Records. 


in Newbury. At a parish meeting held May 23, 1727, a 
committee was appointed " to purchase a bell weighing about 
four hundred pounds"; and February 21, 1727-8, the asses- 
sors of the parish were authorized to agree with Ambrose 
Berry to ring the bell till the March meeting. March 19, 
1727-8, it was "voted that the bell of the Third Parish be 
Rung at nine of the clock." * 

Ambrose Berry, constable, in settlement with the select- 
men of the town for the year 1730, is credited with five pounds 
" for ringing ye nine o'clock bell." 

In 1 73 1, the selectmen paid " ^5 to Henry Lunt ye 3'''^ for 
ye nine o'clock bell." 

The custom of ringing the nine o'clock bell is .still con- 
tinued in that part of Newbury which was set off in 1764, 
and incorporated as a new town by the name of Newbury port. 


During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, earth- 
quakes occurred with considerable frequency in the town of 
Newbury. Three years after the first settlers landed at 
Parker river a violent trembling and shaking of the earth 
surprised and alarmed them. June i, 1638, the following 
statement was entered upon the town records : — 

Being this day assembled to treat or consult about the well ordering 
of the affairs of the towne about one of the clocke in the afternoone, the 
sunn shining faire, it pleased God suddenly to raise a vehement earth- 
quake coming with a shrill clap of thunder issuing as is supposed out o-f 
the east, which shook the earth and the foundations of the house in a 
very violent manner to our great amazement and wonder, wherefore tak- 
ing notice of so great and strange a hand of God's providence, we were 
desirous of leaving it on record to the view of after ages to the intent that 
all might take notice of Almighty God and feare his name. 

Other earthquakes occurred March 5, 1642-3, January 26 
and February 5, 1662-3, and February 8, 1684-5. 

Rev. Mathias Plant noted, with considerable care and 
minuteness, in the early records of Queen Anne's Chapel, 

*" Ould Newbury," p. 432. 


many remarkable facts in relation to the numerous convul- 
sions of nature, accompanied by a loud rumbling noise of 
apparently subterraneous origin, that occurred in the months 
of October, November, and December, 1727, and for the next 
fifty years the records contain frequent references to similar 
occurrences ; but, so far as known, the damage resulting from 
the most severe of these earthquakes was comparatively slight 
and unimportant.* 


November 4, 1646, the General Court ordered that any per- 
son living within the limits of the colony of Massachusetts 
Bay, who shall without just cause, neglect to attend public 
worship " shall forfeite for his absence from ev''y such pub- 
licke meeting 5^''." f 

Joseph Peasley, who was one of the early settlers of New- 
bury, removed to Salisbury in 1646 or soon after. October 
19, 1658, he, with several other persons residing in that town, 
was ordered to appear at the General Court to answer to the 
charge of wilfully neglecting public worship on the Lord's 
day .J He disregarded the orders of the court, and continued to 
teach and exhort among his friends and neighbors in the new 
town of Salisbury, now Amesbury, Mass. He was censured 
and fined, and subsequently forbidden to preach within the 
limits of the colony. § 

May II, 1659, the General Court "ordered that whosever 
shall be found observing any such day as Christmas or the 
like, either by forbearing of labour, feasting, or any other 
way, upon any such accounts as aforesaid, every such person 
so offending shall pay for every such offence five shillings as 
a fine to the country." || This law was not repealed until 
May 27, 1681.^ 

May 24, 1677, the constables of every town were ordered 

* Coffin's Histor)' of Newbury, pp. 197-199; Mrs. E. Vale Smith's History of Newburj-- 
port, pp. 51-55, 404. 

t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. ii., p. 178. 

t Ibid., vol. iv., part I., p. 351. § Ibid., p. 390. || Ibid., p. 366. 

IT Ibid., vol. v., p. 322. 


to make diligent search on every Lord's day in all suspected 
places where Quakers were supposed to meet for worship, and 
cause them to be apprehended and punished according to 

October 15, 1679, the selectmen or constables of Boston 
were authorized to set a guard at sunset on Saturday night, 
" to prevent any footman or horseman w^'out such good ac- 
count of the necessity of his business as may be to them 
satisfactory " from leaving the town. 

... all persons attempting to ride or drive out of towne after sun 
sett wthout such reasonable sattisfaction given shall be apprehended & 
brought before authority to be proceeded against as Sabbath breakers ; 
and all other townes are impowered to doe the like as need shalbe.f 

This law was modified after the colonial charter was an- 
nulled and the province of Massachusetts Bay established ; 
but travelling on the Lord's day was forbidden, and no person 
could pursue his journey that day beyond the nearest inn or 
place of shelter under a penalty of twenty shillings. :j: 

Samuel Sewall, one of the judges of the Superior Court, 
having returned from a session of the court held at Ports- 
mouth, was in Newbury Sunday, May 13, 1716. Li his 
diary he wrote under that date : — 

In the evening 1 had an inkling that two merchants came from Ips- 
wich. I said, How shall I do to avoid Fining them? I examined 
Richard Gerrish. As I understood him they lodg'd at Major Epes's on 
Saturday night, and went to the publick worship there : and when the 
afternoon Exercise was over, came to Newbury. They Travailed not in 
service Time : and had a ship at Portsmouth ready to sail which wanted 
their Dispatch. Alleg'd that Mr Peter La Blond was gone sick to Bed. 
I took his word to speak with me in the morning. I consulted with 
Col. Thomas who inclined to admonish them as young and strangers 
and let them go. 

The following day he wrote : — 

By long and by late I spake with Mr Richard Gerrish, Junr and 
Mr. Peter La Blond by whom I understood they were at Mr Wiggles- 
worths in the morning and at Ipswich Meeting in the Afternoon. 
Being in a strait, I had pray'd to (iod to direct. I considered Col. 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. v., p. 134. t Ibid., p. 239. 
X Province Laws, vol. i., p. 5S. 


Thomas was not a Justice there : that this Profanation of the Sab- 
bath was very great ; and the Transgressors fleeting from Town to 
Town and County to County could rarely be Censured. On the 
other hand they were young, Mr. La Blond's mother my neighbour, 
Mr. Gerrish had a smell of Relation ; both of them of another Province ; 
and I fear'd lest my Cousin's Custom might be lessn'd by it, because I had 
the Information from her Husband, whose wife, my Cousin, was a Ger- 
rish, and cousin to this Richd Gerrish, only Child of Capt Richd Gerrish 
of the Bank. Mr. La Blond apear'd brisk as if he ail'd nothing. I came 
to this Resolution that if they would make such a submission as this I 
would let them pass : viz ; We do acknowledge our Transgressions of 
the Law in Travailing upon the Lord's Day, May 13, 17 16 and do 
promise not to offend in the like kind hereafter, as witness our Hands. 

Richard Gerrish. 
Peter La Blond. 
This offer they rejected with some Disdain and Mr. La Blond paid 
me a 30^ and iqs Bill of Credit for both their Fines. I imediately paid 
it to Samuel Moodey Selectman of Newbury (they have no Town 
Treasurer). . . . 

All fines and penalties imposed and collected under this 
law of the province were to be used for the benefit and relief 
of the poor of the town where the offence was committed, 
" and delivered into the hands of the selectmen or overseers 
of the poor for that end." 

At the Superior Court at Ipswich, May 19, Judge Sewall 
wrote : — 

Here Mr. Hern informs me that Gerrish and La Blond went from 
Piatt's at Salem on the Lord's Day morn ; He spake to them against 
it ; They said they could but pay 5s. Ferryman told me Two were 
carried over about the time of going to meeting. Crompton informs 
me that they were at his house, and went not to meeting at Ipswich : 
went away late in the Afternoon : So that they Travail'd 22 Miles or 
more that day. I hope God heard my Prayer, and directed me to do 
Right and accepted me.* 


Negroes and Indians were held in ser\itude and recognized 
as property in the colony and in the province of Massachu- 
setts Bay until the close of the Revolutionary war and the 
adoption of the State constitution in 1780. 

•Diary of Samuel Sewall, vol. iii., pp. 81-83. 


In Newbury, the number of slaves was never very large ; 
but as early as December 29, 1649, William Hilton conveyed 
and assigned "James my Indian & all y^ interest I have in 
him " to George Carr in payment for one-quarter part of a 
vessel. Abraham Tappan, John Bond, and Edmund Green- 
leaf were witnesses to the bill of sale to which "James y^ In- 
dian " gave his consent by afifixing his mark.* 

Capt. Paul White, who died July 22, 1679, owned "one 
negrow," valued by the appraisers of his estate at thirty 

Subsequently many other inhabitants of the town, engaged 
in agricultural, industrial, or mercantile pursuits, found it con- 
venient to employ slave labor, and frequently imported negro 
servants from the Barbadoes or other islands in the West 

The inventory of the estate of Henry Rolfe, taken in the 
month of April, 171 1, has the following item: "An old 
negroe man valued at ;^io." In the settlement of the 
estate of Moses Gerrish "an Indian Slave" is valued at 
twenty pounds. Similar items are frequently found in old 
books of account as well as in wills and deeds of conveyance, 
recorded previous to the year 1780.! 

Cutting Noyes sold to Richard Kelly, of Newbury, Jan- 
uary 15, 1 71 3, "a Spanish ingon boy named Sesor by our 
judgmente under 10 yers old" for the sum of thirty-eight 
pounds. J 

Joshua Bayley, Sr,, of Newbury, in his will dated June fif- 
teenth and proved August 6, 1722, gave to his negro servant, 
Robert, several lots of land and also his freedom : 

Said Robert shall not be sould or be disposed of to any person, but 
said Robert shall faithfully serve my said wife Elizabeth during the 
term of her natural life, and after Her Decease said Robert shall have 
his freedom, and Injoy said Real Estate during the term of his natural 
life. . . . And as concerning my Black Servant Robert, I do give him a 
surname and that is freeman, so that his name is Robert freeman. § 

* Norfolk County Records (Salem) , book ii. , leaf 197. 

t Coffin's History of Newbury, pp. 336-339. 

X Coffin Papers (Essex Institute, Salem) vol. i., pp. 61-76. 

§ Probate Records (Salem), book cccxiii., p. 4S7 ; Essex .Antiquarian, vol. v., p. 123. 


November 4, 1725, Jonathan Poorc sold "to M"" Richard 
Kelly a narrow man called Reuben" for one hundred pounds 
in "Billes of Credet." * 

Rev. Matthias Plant, minister at Queen Anne's Chapel, 
in his will dated February 25, 1751, and proved May 7, 1753^ 
makes the following bequest : — 

I give unto my negro garl Luce all but seventeen acres of a lott of 
Land laid out to the original right of James George, called the great 
Farms in Almsbury [now in New Town, N.H.]. I also give her her 
Freedom after the Decease of my widow Lydia Plant. But my will is 
that my negro garl Luce shal not come into possession of said Land 
untill the decease of my said widow, But my said widow shal have the 
Improvement and profit of it During the term of her natural life in as 
full and ample a manner as if I had made no Bequest of said land to s^ 
negro garl Luce. Moreover if said wid^ Lydia Plant shall Declare be- 
fore three or four I ndif rent persons of good ability and understanding, 
or give a sartificat in writing from under her own Hand (or if she does 
not give it from under her hand but sais nothing against her) That the 
said negro garl Luce hath in all Fidelity, from time to time, both in 
Word and Deed behaved herself very respectfully and Dutifully as an 
Honist and faithful servant, she ye s^ Luce shal be Intitled to the above 
Privelidge & Bequest. But on the contrary if her behaver be disonist,. 
stubourn to what she ought to be to me or her s<i mistres, then this my 
Bequest of freedom and Land given to her & her assigns shal be void 
and of none effect, and the said Luce in this case shal be my s^ wid^s 
and she shal Dispose of her at her own Discresion Tho I would not 
have my s"^ wid™ make a slave of her if she should be gilty of some 
common fallings, but such faults shall be lookt over. But in case my 
negro garl Luce should forfet her rite to her freedom and Land which 
I have Bequested her, Then in that case I give and Bequeath the 
same to and for the use of the minister of Queen Ann's Chapel, in New- 
bury, for the time being : and I give it By the name of Gleeb Lands. 

Lydia Plant, widow of Rev. Matthias Plant, in her will 
dated September 29, 1753, and proved October 22, 1753, 
gave her negroes, " Robin and Lucy," their freedom, and 
liberty also to live for four years in the house that she owned 
and occupied at the time of her decease, with the use of house- 
hold utensils, beds, sheets, blankets, etc. 

Samuel Morgaridge, shipwright, in his will dated October 
30j 1753) proved April 8, 1754, gave his wife the use of the 

*Coffin Papers (Essex Institute, Salem), vol. i., pp. 61, 76. 


d\vcllinf:^-house where he then lived, and the service of negro 
Peter "if he behaves well." The executors of his will w^ere 
authorized to let, sell, or use his negroes Primus and Lucy ; 
" also to sell my negroe Peter if he proves unruly and dis- 
obedient to my wife." In the inventory of his estate "three 
negroes " were valued at ;^I33, 6j. Zd. 

At the close of the year 1754 there were thirty-four male 
and sixteen female slaves in Newbury sixteen years of age 
and upwards, according to the census taken by order of the 
governor of the province of Massachusetts Bay.* 

January 29, 1765, Mary Morgaridge, widow, sold to Enoch 
Sawyer, of Newbury, physician, her life interest in the dwell- 
ing-house bequeathed to her by the will of her late husband, 
Samuel Morgaridge, and also " a molat man called Peter, and 
a negro woman called Luce." f 

The following items are credited in her account as execu- 
trix filed March 12, 1765 .% — 

Received for negro Primus ^31.12. o 

For the use of Primus for eight years . 37. 6. 8 

For the use of Negro Lucy 5. o. o 

Negro Peter valued at 44. 8.10 

Negro for use of children 44. 8.10 

Sarah, widow of John Weed, gave a bond for fifty pounds 
to the selectmen of Newbury, September 22, 1768, as security 
for the support of her negro "Joel," in case he was unable to 
support himself after he was given his freedom. § 

Marriages were not uncommon among the slaves of New- 
bury, and were usually recorded in manner and form substan- 
tially as follows : — 

October 13, 1749 married Scipio negroe servant of M"" Samuel 
Moody, Junr of Newbury, and Rose negroe servant of Mr Benja Harris 
of Newbury. II 

October 24, 1754 married John & Elizabetli servants of M"" Henry 

June 20, 1779 md Cambridge servant to Col Little & Cate, servant of 
Mrs Hannah Sawyer widow both of Newbx. || 

* Massachusetts Historical .Society Collections, Second .Series, vol. iii., p. 45. 

t Essex Deeds, book cxv., leaf 163. 

X Probate Records (Salem) , book cccxlii., p. 62. 

§ Eseex Institute Historical Collections, vol. xxxv., 11. 157 ; also, " Ould Newhury," p. 137. 

II First Parish (Church) Records. 


Two articles in the warrant for a town meeting to be held 
August 8, 1775, read as follows: — 

Article 3. To see if the town will signify by their vote their Disap- 
probation of Slavery, or of keeping slaves, and, if voted, then 

Article 4. To see if the Town by their vote will instruct their Rep- 
resentative to use his utmost Endeavors in the General Court that all 
Slaves in this Colony may be set at Liberty.* 

No definite action was taken by the legal voters of New- 
bury at that date. When the articles were reached in the 
order of business, they were, in the words of the record, " dis- 

Rev. Moses Parsons, who was settled as minister in Byfield 
parish, June 20, 1744, was the owner of three slaves, — two 
men and one woman. He was a faithful and devoted pastor; 
but during the last years of his life he was involved in a con- 
troversy with one of the deacons of his church, Benjamin Col- 
man, who bitterly opposed the holding of men and women in 
bondage, and publicly asserted that " Mr Parsons was guilty 
of the wicked practice of man stealing." 

Several communications were published in the newspapers 
of the day by Deacon Colman, condemning in vigorous lan- 
guage the buying and selling of slaves ; and December 2 1 , 
1780, the parish voted to suspend him "from the fellowship 
and communion of the church till he does by repentance and 
confession give christian satisfaction for the offence he has 

October 26, 1785, two years after the death of Rev. Mr. 
Parsons, Deacon Colman acknowledged that in his 
with the late worthy minister of the parish he had urged " his 
arguments against the slavery of the Africans with excessive 
vehemence and asperity " ; and he was thereupon restored to 
membership in the church, and reappointed to the office of 
deacon. f 

*To\vn of Newbury Records. 

t CofSn's Historv- of Newbury, pp. 340-350, inclusive; also, Memoir of Chief Justice Par- 
sons by his son, Theophilus Parsons, pp. 17-19. 



At the close of the year 1685 there were three grist-mills 
and one oatmeal or malt mill in the town of Newbury, but 
they were evidently overcrowded with work; and March 16, 
1685-6, "The Towne being sensable of y^ great want of 
another corn mill they did by a vote desire Cap' Daniell 
Peirce, Cap' Thomas Noyes, Ensign Nath^ Clark, Mr. Richard 
Dole and Samuell Plumer, at y*" owne charg to view such 
place or places as may be most convenient for y^ setting up 
of a Mill ; as also to treat w"' such persons that may be dam- 
nified thereby, and to bring report to y^ Towne." * 

January 5, 1686-7, a committee was appointed "to treat 
with Peter Cheney about setting up a corne mill and a fulling 
mill upon the Falls river." * 

Peter Cheney, who purchased of John Bishop the mill near 
Four Rock bridge on Little river in 1663, proposed, February 
15, 1686-7, "to build and maintaine a good and sufficient 
grist or corn mill within two years, and a fulling mill within 
three yeares at ye upper falls [Quascacunquen river] and 
to full ye townes cloth on the same terms that Mr. John 
Pearson I doth full cloth, and resign up his interest in 
Little river on condition that the town give him fifty acres of 
land joyning to Falls river." \ 

This proposal was accepted by the town. December 25, 
1689, " Peter Cheney was allowed one year longer in which 
to finish his fulling mill." After his decease a portion of the 
land, with the buildings thereon, was sold to Benjamin Pear- 
son, who was engaged in the manufacture of woollen goods 
in that locality until his death in 1731. For nearly a cen- 
tury after that date the business was continued by the chil- 
dren and grandchildren of Mr. Pearson, and the property 
still remains in the possession of his Hneal descendants. § 

In 1688, the building of another grist-mill on Little river 

* Town of Newbury Records. 

t Mr. John Pearson had a fulling mill, and carried on the clothier's trade at or near the 
present location of the Glen Mills, Rowley. 

jTown of Newbury Records; also, Proprietors' Records, vol. i., p. i8. 
§"Ould Newbury," pp. 301-303. 



was authorized by the town ; but for various reasons the work 
was delayed, and the mill was not completed until six or eight 
years later. 

May 25, 1688 The Towne Grants theyre interest in the stream of 
the Little River to the mouth of it whear it vents into the great River 
to Henry Short for to build a Grist Mill uppon for the Townes use 
provided he build it in such place as may Answer the Townes end & 
grind theyr corne for them from time to time, provided he build it 
within one yeare, and if he do not build it he is to pay to the Towne 
five pounds & the Towne to have theyre interest in the streame again. 
The Mill to be set at the cart place or at the mouth of the River.* 

December 26, 1689 The Towne having now relinquished any former 
obligation of Henry Short to the Towne uppon ye account of Building 
a Mill not by him performed Do hereby give, grant and empower all 
theyr right, title & interest in the stream of the Little River to Henry 
Short his heyrs and Assigns so long as he his heyrs & assigns shall 
build and maintain a sufficient corne mill for the Townes use and to 
grind for the Towne of Newbury before any other Towne. But pro- 
vided through defect of the Dam or Mill the said Mill should faile of 
grinding for the Townes use the above said stream shall not be for- 
feited provided it faile not a yeare or two.* 

March 10, 1695-6, Granted to Henry Short thirty five acres of land 
towards the building of his mill to be laid out in the comon land of 

August II, 1708, John Short sold to Lieut. Jeremiah 
Pearson, of Rowley, nine acres of land on the easterly side of 
Little river, "together with ye dwelling house and ye grist mill 
standing on said River" and the water privilege, "as it was 
granted to my honored father Henry Short late of Newbury 
decased at a meeting of the inhabitants of the town held Dec. 
26, 1689."! 

Mr. Silas Pearson, a descendant of Lieut. Jeremiah Pear- 
son, owned the mill and two other grist-mills, with an unfin- 
ished saw-mill, when they were all destroyed by fire June 12, 


Subsequently, a new mill was built by Mr. Silas Pearson 
about one hundred rods farther to the westward on the same 
stream. January 15, 1 831, he petitioned the General Court 

* Town of Newbury Records. 

t Essex Deeds, vol. xxxii., p. 204. 

jNewburyport Herald, June 15, 1813. 


to legalize the removal of his mill and dam, " doubts having 
arisen whether he had a right to remove his said Dam and 
Mill without the consent of the Legislature." * 

" An act to confirm Silas Pearson in the location of his 
Dam across Little River in the town of Newbury . . . for the 
purpose of retaining water to carry a tide mill, agreeably to a 
grant from the said town (in the year 1689) in as full and 
ample a manner as if the said dam had been erected by the 
authority of this court," was passed March fourteenth, and 
approved by the governor March 15, 1 8 3 1 . 

In 1843, the property was sold to Mr. James B. Knight, who 
operated a grist-mill there until the close of the year 1874. 


"July 9, 1703 Ensign Stephen Jaques, M"" Benjamin Wood- 
bridge, & Henry Jaques petitioned the Towne to grant them 
a sut cable piece of land to sett a windmill on that Hill 
neere penuel Titcombs." This petition was granted, " Pro- 
vided when the windmill fails or is unservisable the land shall 
rcturne to the Towne w^'^in three years after the failure of s'^ 
mill if a windmill be not rebuilt againe w^^in s^ time." f 

This mill was built near the southeasterly end of Frog 
pond, and was probably used for the grinding of corn and 
wheat until 1774, when the slight eminence on which it stood 
was graded to a- level with the land in that vicinity, and made 
available as a training field. J 

March 29, 1771, Abraham Larkin was crushed to death 
while examining the machinery in the top'of this windmill. § 


For ten or fifteen years after the division of the upper 
commons Indian river was navigable for small boats. In 
1 706, perhaps earlier, a temporary dam was built at the mouth 
of the river, and a saw-mill erected there. 

*See advertisement of petition in Newburyport Herald, January iS, 1831. 

t Town of Newbury Records. 

X " Ould Newbury," pp. 610-612. 

§ Coffin's History of Newburj', p. 239. 


November 26, 1686, the i^roprietors of the common lands 
in Newbury voted "that Indian River shall be free so far as 
the tide flows for passing & repassing of Boates and Canoos at 
all times : it is to be accounted a highway free for all men to 
transport by water." * 

October 30, 1706, the proprietors authorized the selectmen 
to lay out a highway on the westerly side of Joseph Knight's 
lot, and at the same meeting voted to employ " Serjeant Jos- 
eph Pike to build a bridge over Indian river near his saw 
mill." t 

"The highway near Indian river running four rods wide to 
Joaeph Pike's mill and thence over the river below said mill " 
was laid out by the selectmen November i, 1706.I 

Joseph Pike, having given an obligation to build the bridge 
near his saw-mill, " he was released from the conditions of his 
obligation provided he agrees to repair all damage at his own 
cost that may happen to said bridge by reason of his impound- 
ing the water above it." § 

At a meeting of the proprietors of Newbury, held June 18, 
1707, he was granted "the liberty of hanging two gates one 
at the upper end of the way " near the Bradford road, and the 
" other is to be hung near the mouth of Indian River across 
the s"^ Riv"", y* last s'^ Gate to be so conveniently hung y' it 
may open w^^ the flood & shut w"' the ebb." || 


March 9, 1707-8, Edmund Goodridge and John Noyes, jr., 
petitioned the proprietors for liberty to set up a saw-mill on 
Cart creek. The committee appointed to view the place 
made a favorable report, and the petition was granted June 
22, 1708.^ 


January 13, 1756-7, the town granted Nathaniel Lunt, Ben- 
jamin Rolfe, Jonathan Plumer, and Stephen Ilsley liberty to 
erect a grist-mill and saw-mill at Pine Island creek on certain 

• Proprietors' Records, vol. i., p. 15. §Town of Newbury Records, 

t Coffin's History of Newbury, p. 173. || " Ould Newbury," p. 341. 

$ Proprietors' Records, vol. i., p. 29 \ Ibid., p. 32. 


conditions, the grantees giving bonds to save the town harm- 
less from damage arising from the overflowing of the banks or 
meadows on said creek.* 

September lo, 1760, Nathaniel Lunt sokl to Benjamin Rolfe 
and Ste})hen Ilsley " all his right title and interest in the mills 
lately erected at the Landing Place at Pine Island Creek." f 

The half-tone print on the opposite page gives a view of the 
landing-place as it now appears. A mill-stone, formerly used 
for the grinding of corn, is the only memorial left of the mills 
that were destroyed by fire December 5, 1797. 


Cattle-raising, farming, and fishing were the most prom- 
inent industries in Newbury fifty years after its first settle- 
ment ; but, in addition to the saw and grist mills, of which 
mention has already been made, several distilleries and malt- 
houses were in operation. 

August 25, 1653, Edmund Greenleaf sold a dwelling-house 
and one acre of land, with a still-house and the fixtures con- 
nected therewith, to Capt. Paul White. J 

In 1662, the Court of General Sessions at Salem licensed 
Capt. Paul White "to still strong waters for a yeare and sell 
by the quart " ; and March 5, 1677, he petitioned the town of 
Newbury " for about a rod of land at the hanging of the hill 
before his still-house on the street." ij: 

Col. Daniel Pierce had two or more malt-houses on land at 
the southeasterly corner of Chandler's lane, now Federal 
street, and the way by Merrimack river, now Water street, 
Newburyport, previous to the year I700,§ and on the north- 
westerly corner of the same streets or highways Caleb Moody 
built a malt-house as early as 1673. || In 1692, James Ord- 
way, sr., owned a dwelling-house and malt-house on the north- 
westerly corner of Ordway's lane (now Market street) and the 
way near the river, now Merrimack street, Newburyport.^ 

At a later date other malt-houses and distilleries were estab- 

*Town of Newbury Records. t Essex Deeds, liook cxi., p. 23. 

J" Quid Newbury," p. 177. § Ibid., p. 123. || Ibid., p. 149. H Ibid., p. 3117. 



lished. May 18, 1738, the selectmen of Newbury, with Henry 
Rolfe and Charles Pierce, justices of the peace, granted Joseph 
Lunt, jr., " liberty to erect a still house on the corner of 
Thomas Moodeys lane by the end of his Malt house for the 
distilling of strong liquors," * This grant was recorded Au- 
gust 24, 1738. 


At the beginning of the eighteenth century the tanning of 
leather was well established, ship-building was carried on quite 
extensively, and a large and profitable trade had been de- 
veloped between Newbury and the West India islands. 

This Summer [1697] Ensign James Noyes hath happily discovered 
a Boddy of Marble at Newbury, within half a mile of the navigable part 
of Little River; by which means'very good Lime is made within the 

Several kilns were built for the burning of lime within the 
limits of the town, and for many years the business was pros- 
perous and profitable. I 

Cordage was probably manufactured in Newbury pre- 
vious to 1748. John Crocker, in a petition presented March 
8, 1747-8, to the inhabitants of the town, makes the follow- 
ing statement : — • 

Whereas his present occupation of Rope making has been found for 
time past very beneficial not only for the sea faring business of this 
Towne but also as thereby many poor people are imployed he there- 
fore asks permission to set up a rope walk between Abiel Somerby's 
land and the windmill for such a term of years as they [the freeholders 
of the town] shall think proper. § 

The petition was granted ; and the selectmen were author- 
ized to lay out the land for the purpose designated, the peti- 
tioner to have the use of it for ten years. || 

* Town of Newbury Records. 

t Ph,-cnomena qusdain Apocalyptica, etc., or, The New Heaven and the New Earth, by 
Samuel Sewall, first edition (>697), p. 60, in Boston Public Library. 

X " Ould Newbury," pp. 421-423. 

§Town of Newbury Records, p. 74. 

II "Ould Newbury," pp. 610, 611. In 1803, there were five cordage manufactories in New- 
bur>', employing from forty to fifty men and boys, and producing annually from two to three hun- 
dred tons of cordage, valued at about $70,000 (History of Newburyport, by Caleb Cushing, p. 88) . 


From 1724 to 1737, Capt. Crocker was master of a vessel 
that made many voyages between Boston and London. He 
was a member of Christ Church, Boston, and married, April 

12, 1727, Mary, daughter of Thomas and Mehitable Savage, 
of that town.* He removed to Newbury in 1737, probably. 
" Elizabeth, daughter of Capt John Crocker & Mary his wife," 
was baptized by Rev. Matthias Plant August 8, 1737. Capt. 
Crocker was one of the wardens of Queen Anne's Chapel in 
1739 and a vestryman in 1740. He was afterwards a prom- 
inent member of St. Paul's Church, and was annually elected 
to the office of warden or vestryman of that church from 
1743 to 1753. He died March 19, 1763, and was buried 
in St. Paul's churchyard, then in Newbury, now within the 
limits of the city of Newburyport. 

The Massachusetts Gazette, published in Boston, April 
7, 1763, contains the following obituary notice : — 

Newbury March 19, 1763 This Day died here in the 71st year of his 
Age Capt John Crocker a gendeman that was well known in the town of 
Boston where he formerly lived and was many years in the London 
Trade. He was universally beloved and esteemed for his re-markable 
Honesty and good Nature, and other amiable Qualities. The memory 
of the Just is blessed. 


Ponderous scales for weighing hay, grain, and other heavy 
merchandise were erected at a very early date near the centre 
of the town, on Fish street, now State street, Newburyport. 

May 23, 1753 the town granted liberty to Samuel Titcomb and John 
Harris to build a substantial engine to weigh hay, to stand where the 
old engine stood near the head of Fish street.f 

A petition, signed by James Knight and others, " inhabi- 
tants of Newbury," for liberty to erect hay-scales on the 
highway, nearly opposite the town-house, at the head of 
Muzzey's lane, now Marlborough street, was granted March 

13, 1758-94 

* Rev. Anson Titus, of Tufts College, who has given much attention to genealogical research, 
says that Thomas Savage was a goldsmith by trade ; that he was for many years in Barbadoes, 
but subsequently came to Newburj', where he died August 23, 1749. His grave and the grave of 
his wife " Mehitable," who died June 6, xtkt, are in the Old Hill Burying ground, Newburyport. 

t Town of Newbur>' Records (1731-S5), p. 94. + Ibid., p. 117. 



The manufacture of combs was established in Newbury in 
1759 by Mr. Enoch Noyes. The business is still carried on 
successfully in West Newbury and in Newburyport.* 


June 10, 1763, a petition, signed by William Atkins, Dan- 
iel Farnham, Michael Dalton, Thomas Woodbridge, Patrick 
Tracy, and many other inhabitants of Newbury, living at or 
near the water side between Cottle's lane, now Bromfield 
street, Newburyport, and the dividing line of the Fifth parish, 
now Oakland street, Newburyport, was presented to the Gen- 
eral Court, asking that a portion of the town of Newbury 
might be set off and incorporated as a separate town. 

Many reasons why this request should be granted were 
stated in the petition. Considerable emphasis was laid upon 
the fact that the farming population persistently opposed any 
and all measures advocated by "the merchants, traders and 
mechanics" living at the water side; that the petitioners 
were obliged to provide fire engines at their own cost, for the 
protection of their property ; that there were no fixed and 
stated schools, but only movable ones, and no public school- 
houses within the limits of the proposed new town ; that 
there was no town treasurer, the selectmen serving in that 
capacity in violation of the law of the province ; that the 
taxes were illegally assessed ; and also that the new town- 
house on Fish street, now State street, lately built by some 
of the petitioners, with the aid and consent of the courts of 
Essex county, had not been used by the town on account of 
complaints and objections to its location. 

The General Court ordered "that the town clerk of New- 
bury be served with a copy of the j^etition, and the inhabi- 
tants be notified to appear on the second Tuesday of the 
next sitting of the Court to show cause why the prayers of 
the petitioners should not be granted."! 

* Coffin's History of Newbury, p. 225. 

t Acts and Resolves of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, vol. iv., p. 6g8. 


On the t\venty-cii;hth clay of January, 1764, the General 
Court passed " an act for erecting part of the town of New- 
bury into a new town by the name of Newburyport," which 
was approved by Francis Bernard, governor of the province, 
February 4, 1764. The first section of this act gives the 
bounds and limits of the new town as follows : — 

Where As the Town of Newbury is very large, and the Inhabitants 
of that Part of it who dwell by the Water-side there, as it is commonly 
called, are mostly Merchants, Traders, and Artificers, and the Inhabi- 
tants of the other Parts of the Town are chiefly Husbandmen, by means 
where of many Difficulties and Disputes have arisen in managing their 
publick Affairs : 

Be it enacted by the Governor, Council and House of Representa- 
tives, That that Part of the Town of Newbury, and the Inhabitants 
thereof included within the following Line : namely, begining at Mer- 
rimack River, against the North-easterly End of the Town way Com- 
monly called Cottle's Lane, and running as the said Lane doth on the 
easterly side of it, to the highway commonly called High Street ; and so 
westerly as the said highway runs, on the northerly side thereof, till it 
comes to a town way known by the name of Fish Street ; and thence 
southwesterly as the way goes, and on the easterly side thereof, leading 
by Benjamin Moodey's to a place called the West Indies, until it inter- 
sects a streight line drawn from the southerly side of the highway 
against Cottle's Lane aforesaid, to a rock in the great pasture near the 
dividing line between the third and fifth parishes there ; and so as the 
said streight line goes, until it comes to the dividing line aforesaid ; and 
from thence as the said dividing line runs, by the said fifth parish, down 
to the Merrimack River, and thence, along said river to the place first 
mentioned, — be and hereby are constituted and made a [separate and] 
distinct Town by the name of Newburyport, and vested and endowed 
with all the Powers, Priviledges and Immunities that the Inhabitants of 
any of the Towns within this Province do or ought by Law to enjoy; 
save that they shall have the Right of chusing and sending from time to 
time but one Person to represent them in the Great and General Court 
of this Province.* 

The act provided, also, that only one representative should 
be elected annually from the remaining part of the town of 
Newbury ; that the boundary lines between the several par- 
ishes should remain as heretofore by law established ; that 
public buildings and other public property should be equitably 

•Acts and Resolves of tlie Province of Massachusetts Bay, vol. iv., p. 676. 


divided, accounts adjusted, and settlement made according to 
the valuation fixed by the last tax levy. 

June 6, 1765, the inhabitants of Newbury appointed a com- 
mittee to confer with a committee from Newburyport in re- 
gard to the value of the public buildings, within the limits of 
Newbury, belonging to the inhabitants of both towns ; and 
March 11, 1766, this committee was authorized to demand 
and receive from the town of Newburyport all sums due in 
settlement of claims to that date.* 

The dividing-line between Newbury and Newburyport can 
be traced on the map on page 239, beginning at the point 
marked M on the Merrimack river, thence running to the 
point marked T, thence to S, thence to K, thence to L, and 
thence by the Merrimack river to the bound begun at. 

* Town of Newbury Records. 



After the incorporation of Newburyport the inhabitants 
of Newbury voted, September 19, 1764, to hold the next 
annual town meeting in Rev. Moses Hale's meeting-house 
in the Second parish, " provided the inhabitants of that parish 
consent thereto." * 

At a meeting of the inhabitants of the Second parish, held 
October 16, 1764, liberty to use the meeting-house for the 
transaction of public business, "in the month of March next," 
was granted without debate. f The annual meetings of the 
town were held there until May 19, 1767, when it was voted 
" that, hereafter, the town house in the first parish shall be 
the place of meeting until further orders." * 

March 8, 1768, the subject was again under considera- 
tion ; and the town voted that " the next annual meeting 
shall be held in the second parish." The town-house at this 
time was very much out of repair, and repeated efforts were 
made to improve its condition. Votes passed at one meeting, 
authorizing the selectmen to make the necessary repairs, were 
reconsidered and declared null and void a few weeks later. 

March 13, 1770, the town voted that hereafter, until other- 
wise ordered, " one half the town meetings shall be held in 
the second parish." March 10, 1772, the inhabitants again 
assembled in the town-house ; but, after choosing a modera- 
tor, they voted to adjourn to the meeting-house in the First 
parish, where the regular order of business was taken up and 
disposed of. Subsequently, town meetings were held alter- 
nately in the First parish and the Second parish meeting- 
houses until March 10, 18 18, when the inhabitants were 
notified to meet in the Newburyport Academy, then within 

*Town of Newbury Records. t Second Parish Records, p. 139. 



the limits of the town of Newbury, the old town-house 
having been sold at jDublic auction to John Mycall, Esq., in 

At a meeting held in the academy April 6, 18 18, a com- 
mittee was chosen to select a suitable place for a town-house ; 
and a few weeks later land owned by Dudley A. Tyng, Esq., 
at the corner of the Bradford road and the way to the Ames- 
bury ferry, now in Newburyport, was purchased, and the 
building of a new town-house decided upon. June 18, 
181 8, the legal voters of the town were summoned to at- 
tend a meeting to be held in the Second parish meeting- 
house, " to see if they will suspend building the town house 
until the determination of the Legislature is known respect- 
ing the division of the town." f 

At this meeting 229 votes were cast in favor and 309 
against discontinuing the work ; but in the month of July 
following, at a meeting held in the Newburyport Academy, 
the town voted to reconsider its action in regard to building a 
town-house in the Fourth parish, and decided that it should 
be erected in the First parish between the head of Green- 
leaf's lane, now State street, and the toll-house on the New- 
buryport turnpike. October i, 18 18, the selectmen were 
authorized by an unanimous vote (241 persons voting in favor 
of the motion and no one opposing it) to purchase a lot of 
land near the turnpike, owned by Moses Brown, and to 
remove from the Fourth })arish to this land all the lumber and 
other materials that could be used in the construction of a 

The building was completed during the following winter, 
and March 9, 18 19, the inhabitants of Newbury assembled 
for the first time in the new town-house, and continued to 
meet there annually until April 17, 185 1, when the General 
Court ordered that a portion of the town of Newbury, includ- 
ing the town-house, should be set off and annexed to the 
town of Newburyport. I 

*" Ould Newbury," pp. 198-200, 649. 

tTown of Newbury Records, also Essex Deeds, book ccxvii., p. 204. 

tThe town-house is still standing nearly opposite the entrance to the Oak Hill Cemetery. 
For several years it was used by the city of Newburyport for the accommodation of the pujnls 
of the Brown High school. It was afterwards sold and converted into a dwelling-house. 


During the next two or three years pubHc meetings were 
held in the high-school building near the First parish meeting- 
house and at the vestry in Pearson's Mills village. March 
20, 1854, the selectmen were authorized to purchase a lot of 
land and build a town-house in the farms district between 
the estates of Luther Noyes and John N. Kent. The first 
meeting in this new town-house was held November 13, 


Heavy carts for the transportation of merchandise and 
agricultural products, drawn by oxen or horses, were in use 
in Newbury as early as 1670, and perhaps earlier; but men 
and women, travelling for business or pleasure, went on foot 
or rode on horseback. Carriages or coaches for the trans- 
portation of passengers were considered a costly luxury in the 
province of Massachusetts Bay previous to the year 1700. 
Jonathan Wardell set up the first hackney coach in Boston 
in 1712.* 

The improvement in roads, and the gradual increase of 
wealth in the province, led to the introduction of the calash, 
a low, two-wheeled carriage, with a top that could be thrown 
back or raised at pleasure, drawn by one horse. The pas- 
senger chair, or chaise, having two, sometimes four, wheels, 
came into use about the same time. Sulkies and gigs, for 
carrying a single person, soon followed. At a later date the 
curricle, a two-wheeled carriage, with seats for three or four 
persons, drawn by two horses, was a popular conveyance on 
long lines of public travel. 

Judge Sewall, having sailed in the sloop " Samuel and 
Hannah " from Boston for York, was forced by head winds 
to land at Marblehead. In his diary, under the date of May 
13, 1 7 18, he wrote: "Went to Salem in a Calash my Bro"" 
provided. From thence with the Post got to Newbury that 
night." t 

For the better accommodation of travellers the General 

•Memorial History of Boston, vol. ii. (note), p. 452. 
t Diary of Samuel Sewall, vol. iii., p. 184. 


Court ordered, June 23, 1718, "that at Charlestown. W'inui- 
simmet [Chelsea] Salem and Newbury ferries there be hence- 
forth ]5rovided and kept on each side of the water, by the 
ferr)' men of the respective ferries, a pair of planked trucks of 
a sufficient breadth for the Safe and more convenient 
passing of coaches, colashes, horses and cattle, in and out of 
the ferry boats, on penalty of ten shillings for every three 
months neglect," etc.* 

In 1737, a tax of thirty shillings per annum on the owner 
of a coach or chaise having four wheels, and twenty shillings 
per annum on the owner of a chaise, calash, or chair having 
two wheels, was imposed by order of the General Court. A 
memorandum on the fly-leaf of the records of the town of 
Newbury gives the names of some of the persons taxable 
under this law, as follows : — 

Joseph Atkins, chaise, May 26, 1738. , 

Lieut Joseph Pike, calash, June 12, 1738. 

Edmund Greenleaf ordered his new chaise to be entered July, 1738. 
Joseph Moulton informed the town clerk that he owned a chaise July 

31, 1739- 

Lieut John Emery, chaise, March 20, 1739-40. 

Benjamin Moody paid for his chaise for one year past twenty shillings, 
March 24, 1739-40. 

Rev. Matthias Plant, minister at Queen Anne's Chapel, 
noted in his memorandum, or account book, the following 
items : — 

Aug. 12, 1748 I pd Jacob Chaice for painting my chair 
Aug. 25, 1748 pd Pearson for oil & paint for chair 0.17.0 

He also acknowledged at a subsequent date the receipt of 
ten shillings for the use of his chair, or chaise, from Newbury 
to Boston and return. 

F"rom the tavern kept by John Stavers in Portsmouth the 
first stage, or passenger chair, with two horses, and capable of 
carrying four persons besides the driver, started on Monday, 
April 20, 1 76 1, for Bo.ston, passing through Newbury on the 
way, returning in season to reach Portsmouth P'rida)' night. 
For many years this stage continued to make one trip every 

* Province Lavv.s, vol. ii., p. 102. 


week to Boston and back, leaving Portsmouth, however, on 
Tuesckiy instead of Monday, and returning on the Saturday 
following. Bartholomew Stavers, brother of John Stavers, 
published in May, 1763, the following notice : — 

The Portsmouth Flying Stage Coach 

Is now finished, which will Carry Six persons inside: runs with four 
or six horses: each person to pay 13s (3'^ to Boston and 4s 6^ to New- 
bury. Sets out from the sign of the Earl of Halifax, every Tuesday 
morning between 7 and 8 o'clock, goes thro' Newbury to Boston, and 
will put up at inns on the road where good entertainment and attendance 
are provided for tlie passengers in the coach. The subscriber, Master 
of the Stage coach, is to be spoke with from Saturday night to Monday 
night, at Mr. John Stavers', innholder, at the Sign of the Earl of 


Bartholomew Stavers.* 

In 1774, the following advertisement appeared in the 
Massachusetts Gazette : — 

Stavers Stage Coach 
number one 

Continues to ply from Portsmouth to Boston with Four Horses 
equal to any in America : sets out from Portsmouth on Tuesday morn- 
ings, reaches Boston next Day : Leaves Boston Friday mornings reaches 
Portsmouth next day, at said Staver's House, where is good accommo- 
dations for Carriages and Horses. He takes Care and provides good 
Drivers. His Carriages for twelve years have never been overset nor 
Passengers met witli any Hurt. 

N.B. Such as want a Passage from Boston are desired to apply to 
Mrs. Bean's in King Street.f 

During the same year Mr. Ezra Lunt commenced to run a 
line of coaches from Newburyport through Newbury, Ipswich, 
and Salem to Boston, making two trips a week each way. In 
The Essex Journal and Merrimack Packet, a newspaper 
printed in Newburyport, in the month of May, 1774, is the 
following advertisement : — 

Stage Coach 

That constantly plies between Newburyport and Boston sets out 
with four horses every Monday morning, at 7 o'olock, from Newbury- 

* " Rambles about Portsmouth," p. 187. 

t Putnam's Monthly Magazine, July, 1892, p. 76. 


port, and arrives at Boston the same day ; leaves Boston every Thursday 
morning, and reaches Newburyport the same day. Such ladies and 
gentlemen as want a passage from Newburyport to Boston, are desired 
to apply at the house of the subscriber, opposite to tlie Rev. Mr. Par- 
son's Meeting House. And those from Boston to Newburyport, at the 
house of Mrs. Beal, in King Street. 

It is hoped this very expensive undertaking will meet with encourage- 
ment from all ladies and gentlemen as they may depend on the punctual 


Of tlie people's most obedient servant 

Ezra Lunt.* 

At the breaking out of the Revolutionary war, Mr. Lunt 
sold his horses, carriages, and stable fixtures, and enlisted in 
the Continental army. April 21, 1795, Jacob Hale and son 
announced that they would run a line of stages through the 
towns of Newbury and Ipswich to Boston, " twice a week, on 
Mondays and Thursdays, returning Wednesdays and Satur- 
days," Seats to be secured at Mr. Hale's house on Federal 
street, Newburyport, "near Mr. Dana's meeting-house." f 
April 22, 1800, Joseph and Benjamin Hale advertised in the 
Newburyport Herald and Country Gazette that " the stage 
formerly run by Mr. Jacob Hale" "will leave Federal street 
opposite Mr. William Bartletts " once a week for Boston. 

In 1 81 8, the Eastern Stage Company was organized; and 
under the management of Mr. Benjamin Hale, Dr. Nehemiah 
Cleaveland, and others, a line of stages was established and 
maintained from Dover to Portsmouth, N.H., and from 
thence to Newburyport, Newbury, Ipswich, Topsfield, and 

April 14, 1836, the Eastern Railroad Company was in- 
corporated by the General Court of Massachusetts. The 
road was opened from Boston to Newbury on the nineteenth 
day of June, 1840, and to Newburyport on the twenty-eighth 
day of August following. 

In 1850, the road from Newburyport through Byfield was 
built to Georgetown, and from thence, in 185 i, to Bradford. 
Two years later, it was extended from Georgetown through 
Topsfield and Wakefield, and leased to the Boston & Maine 

•Gage's History of Rowley, p. 465 ; also, Putnam's Monthly Magazine, July, 1802, p. 77. 
t Impartial Herald, April 21, 1795. 


Railroad Company. In 1884, the Eastern and the Boston & 
Maine railroads were consolidated, and are now under the 
management of one board of directors. 

These roads, in connection with the street railway from 
Parker river to Newburyport,* and the street railway through 
Byfield, operated by the Georgetown, Rowley & Ipswich 
Railroad Company,! give the inhabitants of Newbury oppor- 
tunity to enjoy frequent and easy communication with other 
towns in Essex county. 


In order to shorten the distance between Newburyport and 
Boston, and render it possible for travellers to make the 
journey more expeditiously, the building of a turnpike was 
proposed and zealously advocated ; but the inhabitants of 
Newbury, believing that it would divert travel from the old 
road, via Parker river bridge to Ipswich and Boston, voted, 
May II, 1802, to oppose the project. The General Court, 
however, on the eighth day of March, 1803, authorized 
" Micajah Sawyer, William Coombs, Nicholas Pike, Arnold 
Wells, William Bartlet, John Pettingell, William Smith, John 
Codman and James Prince and all such persons as are or 
shall be associated with them under the name of the Newbury- 
port Turnpike Corporation" to lay out and build a turnpike 
road, four rods wide, from the head of State street in 
Newburyport, through Newbury, Rowley, and Ipswich, to 
Topsfield, and thence in a southwesterly direction, in as nearly 
a straight line as possible, to Chelsea bridge, with liberty to 
erect turnpike gates and establish tolls, to be collected from 
every person travelling in a coach, cart, or other carriage over 
that road. The company organized, and ordered the pre- 
liminary surveys to be made without delay. During the 
summer of 1803 the work of construction was begun. The 
turnpike was completed in 1806 at a cost of nearly $420,000. 

* Completed and operated July 10, 1S90, as a horse railroad from Newburj'port to " tra>^leing 
green," Newbury, extended to Parker river. May 30, 1S91, equipped and first used as a street 
electric railway June 27, 189 1. 

t Supplied with electric motive power and opened for the transportation of passengers April 
30, 1900. 


It was never popular with the travelling public, and proved to 
be an unprofitable investment for the capitalists who built it. 
February 24, 1806, the General Court passed "An Act to 
establish Plum Island Turnpike and Bridge Corporation." 
Although the subscribers to the capital stock of this corpo- 
ration were nearly all citizens of Newburyport, the turnpike, 
about two miles long, extending from the northeast end of 
Rolfe's lane, now Ocean avenue, Newburyport, to a point 
on Plum island about one mile north of Sandy beach, so 
called, together with the bridge over Plum Island river, were 
wholly within the limits of the town of Newbury. The 
turnpike and bridge were completed before the close of the 
year. The corporation has been several times reorganized ; 
and visitors are now transported to and from Plum island over 
this bridge and turnpike in cars connected with the Citizens' 
Electric Street Railway system of Newburyport. 


For the accommodation of travellers on their way from 
Newbury to Rowley and thence to Boston, a bridge was 
built over the Parker river, near the residence of Richard 
Thorlay, previous to the year 1654. It was one of the 
earliest bridges erected in New England, and the first one 
over navigable waters within the limits of the town of New- 
bury. It has been several times enlarged and repaired. 

In September, 1660, a committee was appointed by the 
court at Ipswich to view the bridge and highway between 
Newbury and Rowley. This committee reported June 25, 
1661 ; and the court ordered the county treasurer to pay the 
sum of forty pounds to Ezekiel Northend and John Pickard, 
provided they build "a sufficient horse bridge six foot wide" 
over the Parker river.* Messrs. Northend and Pickard 
evidently assigned or sublet their contract to John Woolcott. 

When the bridge was completed, the committee reported 
that it was inadequate and unsatisfactory.! November 25, 
1662, John Woolcott, who built the bridge, agreed to make it 

* Salem Court Records, vol. iv., p. 71. t Salem Court Files, vol. viii., p. q\. 


stront;- and substantial;* and June 30, 1663, the court 
ordered the county treasurer to pay him the balance due 
according to the terms of the contract. f 

In 1758, a larger and more serviceable bridge over the same 
river from Newbury neck to Oldtown ferry landing, was 
built with funds raised by means of a lottery authorized by 
an act of the General Court passed January 29, 1 750-1, 
It was maintained as a toll-bridge until 1850, when the rights 
and privileges of the corporation were surrendered to the 
commonwealth. In 1853, it was rebuilt by the. county of 
Essex and made a free bridge. Since that date the annual 
charges for repairs and maintenance have been paid by the 
inhabitants of the town of Newbury .| 

The Essex-Merrimack Bridge Company was incorporated 
February 24, 1792, and built, during the following summer, a 
bridge over the Merrimack river connecting Deer island with 
the towns of Newbury and Salisbury. In the year 18 10 the 
main portion of this bridge was taken down, and a chain sus- 
pension bridge erected in its place. February 6, 1827, some 
of the chains supporting this structure gave way, and the 
bridge, with a loaded team, two men, four oxen, and one horse, 
fell into the river below. The horse and men were saved, but 
the oxen were drowned. During the following summer the 
bridge was rebuilt and maintained as a toll-bridge until the 
fourth day of August, 1868, when it was laid out as a public 
highway under the provisions of an act passed by the General 
Court in the month of June preceding. § 

June 14, 1794, Enoch Sawyer, William Coffin, Joshua 
Wingate, Jacob Brown, Joseph Newell, Amos George, 
Ephraim Elliot, Moses Moody, William L. Abbot, and William 
Cutler, " with such other persons as may be associated with 
them," were made and constituted a corporation by the 
General Court, and authorized to build a bridge over the Mer- 
rimack river " from the public landing at Swett's ferry in 
Haverhill to the opposite shore in Newbury." The bridge 
was built at or near Holt's rocks, and was known as the Rocks 

* Salem Court Records, vol. iv., p. 107. t Ibid., vol. iv., p. 118. For a more extended 
account of Thorlay's bridge the reader is referred to " Ould Newbury,"' pp. 201-211. 
+ " Ould Newbury,"' pp. 530-539. § Ibid., pp. 593-604. 



bridge by the travelling;" public, although " Merrimack bridge " 
was the name given to it in the act of incorporation. It was 
one thousand feet in length, and connected Rocks village in 
East Haverhill with the upper parish in Newbury, now a part 
of the town of West Newbury. 

The bridge, built in a substantial manner, supported by 
five piers and two abutments, was completed on the twenty- 
sixth day of November, 1795. The event was celebrated by 
the display of flags, the ringing of bells, the firing of cannon, 
and by a procession of workmen, officers of the corporation, 
and citizens generally, who marched in military order over 
the bridge, escorted by a troop of horsemen under the com- 
mand of Captain Boardman.* 

A heavy freshet, that raised the water in the Merrimack river 
to an unprecedented height, with the floating ice that formed 
a temporary dam between the piers, swept the bridge away 
in the spring of 18 18, completely destroying it. No effort 
was made to rebuild it until the year 1828, when the General 
Court granted " the proprietors of the Merrimack Bridge " 
liberty to build a bridge " upon the old foundations at or near 
Holt's rocks." The work of reconstruction, begun in April, 
1828, was completed early in the month of November follow- 
ing. It was maintained as a toll-bridge until 1868, when it 
was made free and laid out as a public highway by order of 
the General Court. 

In 1883, it was repaired and supplied with a new swinging 
draw of modern construction. In 1892 it was strengthened 
by the addition of two new piers, and in 1894 a portion of 
the bridge on the Haverhill side was removed and replaced 
by a new iron structure. 

The half-tone print on the opposite page gives a view of 
the covered way as it was in 1828 and as it appears from the 
Newbury, now West Newbury side of the river. 

Several years previous to the rebuilding of Rocks bridge 
some of the prominent citizens of Amesbury became interested 
in a plan to revive and restore, if possible, the popularity of 
the old route of travel over Hook's ferry by building a 

* Impartial Herald (Newburyport), December i, i795« 


brid<^c, across the Merrimack river, from the mouth of Powow 
river to the old ferry landing-place on the opposite shore, in 

Robert Patten, and other persons who were interested 
with him, presented a petition to the General Court, May 
27, 1824, asking for an act of incorporation for the purpose 
named, subject to such restrictions as the General Court might 
consider necessary. On the seventh day of June the Senate 
concurred with the House of Representatives in the appoint- 
ment of a committee to view the location, and investigate the 
claims set forth by the petitioners as well as the objections 
urged by the opponents of the measure. A strong remon- 
strance from the inhabitants of Haverhill, and other towns on 
the river, undoubtedly induced the committee to recommend 
" that further consideration of the subject be referred to the 
next General Court." This recommendation, adopted Febru- 
ary 15, 1825, although unsatisfactory to the petitioners, was 
accepted by them ; and no further attempt was made to secure 
the coveted charter. During the following summer a new 
movement was inaugurated that resulted in the building of a 
bridge two or three miles below the place selected by Robert 
Patten and his associates. 

As early as February 27, 1802, William Bartlet and Nicho- 
las Pike applied to the General Court for liberty to build a 
bridge from Newburyport to Salisbury, and also a road to 
connect it with a proposed turnpike from Portsmouth to 
Boston. On the eleventh day of May the town of Newbury 
voted to oppose the erection of a bridge over the Merrimack 
river from Newburyport, and also voted to oppose the build- 
ing of a turnpike to Boston. The inhabitants of other towns 
on the river objected, on the ground that the proposed bridge 
would be an obstruction to navigation. 

June 12, i8'02, a special committee was appointed by the 
Senate and House of Representatives to visit Newburyport, 
hear the testimony of the petitioners as well as tlie remon- 
strants, and report the result of their investigations at the 
next session of the General Court. February 28, 1803, this 
committee reported " inexpedient to grant the prayer of the 


petitioners," and, ai)parently, no farther action was taken for 
nearly twenty-five years. 

March 4, 1826, James Prince, John Wood, Stephen Froth- 
ingham, "and all other persons associated with them" were 
authorized to erect a bridge over the Merrimack river, from 
Newbury port, between Market and Kent streets, to some 
convenient point in the town of Salisbury ; and, also, to lay 
out and make a road four rods wide from the bridge on 
the Salisbury side to the county road leading to the meeting- 
house in East Salisbury. The bridge was built during the 
summer of 1,827. It rested on four stone piers and two 
abutments, and was supported in part by chains that ex- 
tended from the top of a high wooden arch, built on the west 
bank of the river, to the centre of the span between the stone 
abutment and the first pier, and thence over the top of a 
second arch, built on that pier, to the centre of the second 
span, and so continuing until the Salisbury shore was reached. 


William Wood, in his description of New England published 
in London in 1634, says, "In this river [Merrimack] is stur- 
geon, Sammon and Basse, and divers other kinds of fish." * 
"The sturgions be all over the countrey, but the best catch- 
ing of them be upon the Shoales of Cape Coddc and in the 
River of Mii-riviackc where much is taken, pickled and 
brought for England, some of them be 12, 14, 18 foote 
long." * 

On the twenty-sixth day of March, 1642, the town of 
Salisbury " granted to Robert Ring two acres of upland upon 
the island f over against Watts sellar % to be employed about 
fishing for two years." § 

At that date there was no settlement on the southwesterly 
bank of the Merrimack river. The name "Watts Sellar" 
was probably applied to a shallow excavation or pit that 
marked the spot where a house for the accommodation of 
fishermen once stood ; subsequently the new town, which in- 

*A?ite, p. 25. t Ring's Island, opposite foot of State street, Newburj'port. 

t In rear of the present police station, Newburyport. § Coffin's History of Newbuiy, p. 37. 


eluded all the territory within the present limits of New- 
buryport, was laid out and occupied by the early settlers of 

The catching and curing of sturgeon soon became an im- 
portant and profitable industry. Large quantities were boiled, 
pickled, packed in kegs, and shipped every season to Boston, 
London, and elsewhere. May 7, 1673, William Thomas, of 
Newbury, then seventy-four years of age, petitioned the Gen- 
eral Court to prohibit the pickling or putting up of sturgeon 
by any person for transportation, " except such as by lawful 
authoritie shall be licensed thereto." * In answer to this pe- 
tition the county courts were authorized " to license able and 
fitt persons to boyle and pickle sturgeon for sale," and also to 
appoint searchers, or inspectors, to examine the kegs when 
packed, and mark the weight and quality of the contents 
thereon. I 

Regulated and controlled by the provisions of this law, the 
business continued to grow and thrive in Newbury for many 
years. During the summer months, sturgeon were abundant, 
and, when taken fresh from the water and properly cooked, 
were esteemed a great luxury. Samuel Sewall, on his way 
from Boston to Hampton and Portsmouth, " Stopped in New- 
bury, July 8, 1 70 1, and eat sturgeon at Major Davison's." \ 

Salmon were also caught in large numbers ; and tradition 
asserts that they were so plentiful at certain seasons of the 
year that apprentices stipulated in their articles of agreement 
that they should not be compelled by their employers, who 
supplied them with food and clothing, " to eat salmon more 
than three times a week." Before the close of the seven- 
teenth century, however, a more extended market reduced 
the overabundant supply ; and baked or boiled salmon became 
a popular and favorite dish with farmers and laborers as well 
as with men of prominence in the province of Massachusetts 

In May, 1695, Judge Sewall, returning from a special court, 
"held at Mr Shaplighs just over against Dover," invited 

* Coffin's History of Newbnry, p. 114. 

t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part II., p. 553. 

+ Samuel Sewall's Diary, vol. ii., p. 38. 


Mr. Thomas Danforth, Mr. Elisha Cook, Col. Hutchinson, 
and other gentlemen who accompanied him, to dine at his 
expense, on salmon, at Capt. Edward Sargeant's tavern, at 
the water-side, in Newbury.* 

May 13, 17 18, the town of Newbury granted Moses Chase, 
Abraham Annis, Joseph Pike, William Morse, and others 
liberty to use the flats near Holt's rocks, on condition that 
they give one salmon per year to Rev. Christopher Toppan, 
pastor of the First church, and one to Rev. John Tufts, 
pastor of the Second church in Newbury, "if they catch 
them." f 

" An act to prevent the destruction of salmon and other 
fish in Merrimack river " was passed by the General Court, 
February 28, 1765, J but the fines and penalties imposed 
by this act were evaded, and the business of catching and 
curing salmon was continued until the growth of large manu- 
facturing cities, the impurity of the water, the erection of 
dams at Lowell and Lawrence, seriously interfered with the 
movements and habits of fish coming from the sea, at the 
spawning season, and ultimately led them to seek purer 

For the protection and preservation of bass in the Parker 
river the General Court, in answer to a petition from the in- 
habitants of Newbury,§ provided by a law passed April 26, 
1 77 1, that fish should not be taken from that river, at certain 
seasons of the year, under severe penalties. || The provisions 
of this law were not strictly enforced; and March 2, 1793, 
" An act to enable the town of Newbury to regulate and order 
the taking of Fish called Shad, Bass and Alewives in the river 
Parker within the limits of said Town," and providing further 
" that the inhabitants of Newbury at their annual meeting 
may determine and order in what manner and at what time fish 
may be taken from said river," was passed by the General 

May 7, 1793, the town of Newbury "voted that no person 
be allowed to put a seine, hedge, weir or drag net into the 

* Samuel Sewall's Diary, vol. i., p. 406. t Town of Newbury Records. 

t Province Laws, vol.iv., p. 741. §Towd of Newbury Records, May 24, 1770. 

II Province Laws, vol. v., p. 134. 


river Parker, at any season, for the purpose of fishing for or 
catching of any Bass, shad or alewives in s^ river," and also 
" voted that no person be allowed to catch any of s^ Fish 
with a Dip net or any other way from the First day of 
December to the First day of April." * 

The enforcement of these rules and regulations was 
intrusted to Capt. Stephen Kent, David Dole, jr., and 
Stephen Adams, jr. Although faithful and diligent in the 
discharge of their duties, they failed to accomplish the purpose 
for which they were appointed ; and the power and authority 
of the General Court was again invoked to prevent the 
wholesale destruction of fish in Newbury. February 22, 
1797, another act, more stringent in its provisions, was 
passed, prohibiting, under severe penalties, the sale of bass 
caught in the Parker river, and providing for the election of 
fish wardens to enforce the act ; but the results were un- 
satisfactory, and the General Court endeavored to improve 
the condition of affairs by another act, passed March 8, 1806, 
requiring mill-owners to make a sufficient way for the passage 
of fish over their mill-dams, and directing them to keep the 
fish-way open and well supplied with water from the fifteenth 
day of April to the first day of June. Additional acts were 
passed March 4, 1809, February 26, 181 3, and April 18, 
1837, without, however, increasing the number of fish in 
Parker river to any appreciable extent. 

Committees were chosen from time to time to carry the 
provisions of these acts into effect, but violators of the law 
continued to escape arrest and prosecution. Many of the 
offenders were from neighboring towns ; and the inhabitants 
of Newbury, in order to keep out all intruders, voted, April 
19, 1858, to prohibit the taking of fish from Parker river or 
its branches, at any time, by any person not ha\-ing" a legal 
residence within the limits of the town. In 1869, the law 
was again modified ; and now the catching of fish in the 
ponds, streams, or rivers of Massachusetts, is controlled and 
regulated by commissioners appointed by the State. 

*To\vn of Newbury Records. 



For more than a century after the settlement of Newbury 
disastrous fires were subdued or extinf^uished by the primitive 
apphances and methods then in use. Ladders borne upon 
the shoulders of men from the nearest workshop or farm- 
house were raised to the roof of the burning building ; and 
water, by means of buckets passed from hand to hand, was 
thrown with more or less dexterity upon the devouring 

When fire-engines were first introduced, they were rude 
and clumsy affairs, consisting mainly of a square or oblong 
cistern on wheels, fitted with pumps worked by levers and 
supplied with water brought in buckets from the nearest 
available source of supply. 

In 1744, the General Court authorized the appointment in 
every town in the province " of a suitable number of persons 
not exceeding ten who shall be denominated iirewards and 
have each, for a distinguishing badge of the office, a staff of 
five feet long painted red and headed with a bright brass 
spire six inches long." * 

March 13, 1753, Nathan Hale and others presented a 
petition to the inhabitants of Newbury "about a fire engine." 
It is evident that the prayer of the petitioners was promptly 
granted ; for " Will™ Richards, John Brett, Enoch Plumer, 
Samuel No well, Benjamin Cole, Eliphalet Noyes, Benj^ 
Sweet, Jonathan Titcomb, Henry Friend, Somerby Moody, 
and John Sewall," having built an engine-house at their own 
expense, and taken care of the fire-engine for several years 
previous to May 21, 1759, were then "excused from other 
service in town affairs so long as they continue to take 
proper care of said engine and faithfully attend in case of 
fire." t 

March 9, 1762, a petition was presented to the town of 
Newbury, stating that a company had been formed to take 
care of the fire-engine, that Gideon Wood well had been chosen 
captain, and that he and his associates desired to be released 

* Province Laws, vol. iii., p. 214. tTown of Ne\vbur>' Records (1731-85) , pp. g3, 118. 



from certain minor duties while serving as firemen. The pe- 
tition was signed by the following persons : — 

Jonathan Marsh 
Benjamin Knight Jun 
Jacob Rolfe 
Thomas Cross 
Francis Hodgekins 
John Nowell 
Benjamin Gerrish 
Jonathan Wliitmore 

Joshua Norton 
John Follinsby 
William Johnson 
Hezekiah Coleby Jun 
Gideon Woodwell 
Jonathan Parsons Jun 
Ebenezer Swasey 
Charles Cook 

The prayer of the petitioners was granted 
twenty of s^ Petitioners 'from highway rates 
town. * 

Richard Smith 
Bulkley Emerson 
David Whitmore 
Joseph Rolfe 
NatW Hunt 
Moses Nowell 
Thomas Rogers 
Nath' Knapp Jun 
so far as to exempt 
& petty affairs in the 

At the same meeting the town voted to organize a company 
to take charge of the fire-engine imported by Michael Dalton 
and others from London in May, 1761. The following per- 
sons were appointed members of the company : — 

Richard Titcomb 
Isaac Johnson Ju^ 
Benjamin Pidgeon 
Abraham Gallashan 
Michael Tappan 
Jacob Gideon 
Obadiah Horton 

John Sewall 
Joseph Collins 
Samuel Nowell 
John Stone 
Samuel Greenleaf 
Joseph Titcomb 3d 
Joseph Remick 

Offin Boardman 
Jacob Toppan 
Joseph Rowell 
Benjamin Pike 
Leonard Smith 
John Stickney Jr 
Samuel Coker 

They were also excused from serving as subordinate officers 
of the town, and were by a special vote exempt from the pay- 
ment of highway taxes. f 

Voluntary associations were also formed to assist the fire- 
men in the performance of their duties. Every member of 
the " Dernier Resort Fire Society," organized in 1 761, was 
required to provide himself with " two good leather buckets,, 
two strong bags, and a knapsack for food or clothing." 

These fire-engines were located in the centre of the town^ 
and were set off and transferred to Newburyport when that 
town was incorporated in 1764. 

February 7, 1786, the selectmen of towns, "that are or 
may be provided with fire engines," were authorized by the 

*Town of Newbury Records (1731-85), p. 133. tibid., p. 132. 


General Court to appoint suitable persons, not exceeding fif- 
teen to any one engine, to be under the direction of the fire- 
wards of the town, " and subject to such rules and regulations 
as they shall adopt." The firemen were placed in charge of 
the engines to which they were appointed, and were required 
to respond quickly at every alarm of fire, and assist in sub- 
duing the flames. 

Previous to 1803 that part of Newbury known as "Belle- 
ville " was provided with a fire-engine. One article in the 
warrant for the town meeting held April 4, 1803, reads as 
follows : — 

To see if the town will erect a suitable building to cover an engine 
which has been lately purchased by Enoch Sawyer and others. 

No definite action was taken in regard to the erection of an 
engine-house during that year ; and the subject was not again 
brought to the attention of the voters until another engine 
had been purchased by some of the prominent citizens resid- 
ing in the vicinity of Marlborough street, at the lower end of 
the town. 

At the annual meeting held May 9, 1805, the selectmen 
were authorized to expend two hundred dollars to build two 
engine-houses, and provide sixty-four buckets, to be equally 
divided between the two engine societies. 

At a town meeting held April 7, 1806, the following per- 
sons were appointed fire-wards : — 


John Rollins Farnum How Robert Dodge 

Orlando B. Merrill Jacob Litde Eben^r Whitmore 


Capt David Little Richard Pike Philip Coombs 

Stephen Ilsley Capt Ebenezer Stocker Samuel Goodwin 

Joseph Lunt Colby 

May 9, 1808, the following fire-wards were appointed : — 


Jacob Litde Robert Dodge Orlando B. Merrill 

John Rollins Farnum How Eben^r Whitmore 


Benjamin Perkins 
Jacob Swett 
Capt David Little 
Philip Coombs 


Mayo Gerrish 
Isaiah Ilsley 
Major Benj Stickney 
Richard Pike 

Samuel Goodwin 
Stephen Ilsley 
Moses Adams Jun 
Abram Wheel wrisjht 

When "Belleville" and "Joppa" were annexed to New- 
buryport in 1 8 5 1 , engines numbered one and two were trans- 
ferred, with other public property from the town of Newbury, 
and subsequently under the name of "Torrent, number 


seven," and "Neptune, number eight," they were united 
with the fire department of the city of Newburyport. Since 
that date, owing to the sparseness of the population and the 
isolation of the dwelling-houses, it has not been considered 
necessary or advisable to keep or maintain fire-engines within 
the present territorial limits of Newbury. 


During the year 1777 the General Court, acting as a con- 
vention, })repared a constitution for the government of the 
State of Massachusetts, and on the twenty-eighth day of 
February, 1778, submitted it to the people for their approval. 


On the tenth clay of March the town of Newbury appointed 
a committee to examine the proposed constitution, and report 
the result of their investigations at a subsequent meeting to 
be called by the selectmen. June second, this committee 
recommended that the legal voters of the town refuse to 
accept or adopt the constitution on account of its many and 
serious defects.* 

Meetings were held in every town throughout the state, 
and after an exciting canvass the proposed constitution was 
rejected by a large majority of the votes cast. 

February 20, 1779, the General Court passed a series of 
resolutions directing the selectmen of towns to ascertain 
whether the freeholders and inhabitants of their respective 
towns favor the " calling of a State Convention for the sole 
purpose of forming a new Constitution," and to return to the 
Secretary of State, previous to the first Wednesday in June 
following, the number of persons voting for or against the pro- 
posed measure. On the twenty-first day of May the town of 
Newbury voted "that in case a major part of the People of 
this State shall appear to be. for a new form of government at 
this time then, in that case, this Town instruct their Repre- 
sentatives to act for a Convention to be called in such a way 
and manner that all the good People in the State (as nearly 
as may be) may have an equal voice in forming the said con- 
stitution." f 

Having ascertained that the inhabitants of more than two- 
thirds of the towns in the state were in favor of the proposed 
convention, the General Court recommended, June 17, 1779, 
that delegates from every town should be elected to meet 
in Cambridge " on the first day of September next ... for the 
sole purpose' of framing a new Constitution." 

August fourth, Mr. Richard Adams, Enoch Sawyer, Esq., 
and Mr. Ebenezer March were chosen to represent New- 
bury, and with many eminent men from other towns in the 
state assembled at the time and place designated. The con- 
vention organized by the choice of Hon. James Bowdoin, 
president, and Samuel Barrett, Esq., secretary. Rules were 

•Town of Newbury Records (1731-85), p. 382. t Town of Newbury Records. 


adopted, several important committees appointed, and the 
general principles of the proposed declaration of rights dis- 
cussed. The convention continued its deliberations until 
the seventh day of September. It assembled again October 
twenty-eighth, for another session of nearly two weeks, when 
it adjourned to meet, January 5, 1780, in the representatives' 
chamber in the state house at Boston. 

March 2, 1780, the members of the convention agreed 
upon the constitution that was soon after printed and sub- 
mitted to the legal voters of the state for their approval or 
rejection. They also recommended that the votes cast for or 
against the constitution should be examined and counted by 
the delegates to another convention to be held in Boston 
June 7, 1780. 

On the twenty-ninth day of May, Enoch Sawyer, Esq., 
Mr. Richard Adams, and Mr. Ebenezer March were re-elected 
to represent Newbury in the examination of the returns ; and 
at the same meeting it was also voted, " that the Delegates 
from this Town be authorized to Joyn with their Brethren in 
Convention & Determine when the Constitution shall take 
Place, Provided that two Thirds of the male inhabitants of 
this state vote for the same." * 

On the sixteenth day of June, 1780, the convention de- 
clared that the constitution had been adopted by the requisite 
number of votes, and " Resolved, that the said Constitution or 
Frame of Government shall take place on the last Wednesday 
in October next." 


As early as May 24, 1770, an effort was made to secure 
for the inhabitants of Newbury " liberty to attend public 
worship in any meeting house in Newbury or Newburyport 
and pay taxes where they attend." f This effort, however, 
was unsuccessful ; and no further action was taken until 
March 10, 1794-5, when the town of Newbury voted "that 
the inhabitants of this town have liberty to attend Publick 

*Town of Newbury Records. t" Ould Newbury," p. 516. 


worship where they choose and be subject to the Rules and 
Regulations of that Society where they generally attend and 
be exempted from taxation elsewhere for the support of 
publick worship." * 

Major Samuel Noyes, Lieut. Nathaniel PImery, Deacon 
Solomon Haskell, and Capt. Paul Moody were appointed a 
committee to petition the General Court for the enactment of 
a law legalizing the vote and providing for the assessment 
and collection of taxes in the manner proposed. 

An act authorizing the First parish in Newbury to " ex- 
empt from taxation those persons who produce a certificate 
from any incorporated religious society stating that they are 
members of that society and are willing to be taxed therein " 
was passed June 17, 1796.! This act, however, did not 
exempt the inhabitants of other parishes in Newbury from 
the payment of taxes for the support of public worship in the 
parishes where they resided, even though they were faithful 
and devout members of, and regular contributors to religious 
societies elsewhere. 

The subject was again brought to the attention of the legal 
voters of Newbury at a meeting held May 9, 1808; and a 
committee was appointed to prepare and present a petition to 
the General Court for such amendments or modifications of 
the law as were necessary to give to the inhabitants of the 
town "liberty to attend publick worship where they please."* 
But the liberty asked for was not obtained until the third 
article of the declaration of rights established by the con- 
stitution of the state was amended in 1833.! 


At the beginning of the Revolutionary war the inhabitants 
of Newbury were greatly alarmed by the prevalence of small- 
pox. The art or practice of vaccination was then unknown ; 
but many persons were voluntarily inoculated with the disease 
in its most virulent form, in order that its ravages might be 
mitigated under the care and attention of experienced 

* Town of Newbury Records. t" Ould Newbury," p. 517. 


It is evident, however, that the legal voters of the town 
were opposed to the unrestricted and unguarded use of that 
privilege. November 26, 1773, they appointed a committee 
of five persons " to take such measures as may be necessary 
to prevent Inoculation of the small pox at the house of Capt 
Moses Little, or elsewhere in the town." * 

July 9, 1776, the General Court passed "an act Im- 
powering the Justices of the Court of General Sessions of the 
Peace in the Several Counties in this Colony to permit one or 
more Inoculating Hospitals to be erected in each of Said 
Counties." April 11, 1777, this act was amended, and some 
important regulations and restrictions added. f 

March 10, 1777-8, the town of Newbury voted to petition 
the General Court for liberty to provide a suitable place 
within the limits of the town "for inoculation for small pox."* 

This vote was subsequently reconsidered, but after a delay 
of some weeks was again passed and again reconsidered. 

In the mean while the Court of General Sessions for the 
county of Essex authorized the erection of an inoculating 
hospital on Kent's island ; and Stephen Cross and other citi- 
zens of Newbury and Newburyport united in a petition to the 
General Court, asking that the directors of the hospital might 
be allowed to retain possession of the property and manage 
its affairs without interference. 

April II, 1778, the General Court adopted a series of reso- 
lutions, in substance as follows : — 

Moses Frazier, Samuel Tufts, Jonathan Marsh, Ebenezer March, 
John Pearson, Junior, Joseph Stanwood and Paul Lunt, appointed by the 
last Court of the General Sessions of the Peace holden for the County of 
Essex, as Directors of an inoculating Hospital then allowed by said 
Court of Sessions to be erected and established on Kent's Island in the 
town of Newbury, are hereby permitted to continue said Hospital, they 
to be Directors till the further order of the General Court: 

And as the Inhabitants of the Town of Newbury Port join in the 
expense of erecting and furnishing said Hospital, [It is] further resolved, 
that no preference be given to the Inhabitants of the Town of Newbury 
but that the Inhabitants of the Town of Newbury Port have equal right 
to admission into said Hospital with the Inhabitants of the Town of 
Newbury &c &c. X 

*To\vn of Newbury Records. t Province Laws, vol. v., pp. 554, 633. 

t Massachusetts Archives (Court Records), vol. xxxviii., p. 429. 


Subsequently, the report that several persons had been in- 
oculated for small-pox at the house of Mr. Josiah Little 
created considerable excitement ; and, June 8, 1778, a commit- 
tee was chosen, and instructed to prosecute any person who 
had aided or assisted in communicating the disease at the 
time and in the manner designated. The committee was 
also directed to prosecute any doctor " that shall attend said 
persons or administer medicine to any of them contrary to 
law." * 

How long the hospital on Kent's island was used for the 
accommodation of patients who desired to be inoculated with 
small-pox is uncertain. On the twenty-second day of August, 
1778, a petition was presented to the General Court, asking 
that the practice might be discontinued in Newbury. 

Ten or fifteen years later Newburyport built and main- 
tained a hospital in the common pasture, where persons volun- 
tarily inoculated with the virus of small-pox were allowed to 
remain, under the care of experienced physicians, until fully 


In 1793, William Bartlet, Benjamin Greenleaf, and other 
Newburyport capitalists became interested in a plan, proposed 
by John and Arthur Schofield, two Englishmen who came to 
Newburyport that year, for manufacturing blankets and other 
woollen goods by machinery. 

January 29, 1794, Benjamin Greenleaf, Philip Aubin, Will- 
iam Bartlet, Richard Bartlett, Offin Boardman, jr., Moses 
Brown, David Coffin, William Coombs, John Coombs, Mark 
Fitz, Abel Greenleaf, John Greenleaf, Andrew Frothingham, 
Michael Hodge, Nicholas Johnson, Nathaniel Knapp, Peter 
Le Breton, Joseph Moulton, Theophilus Parsons, Ebenezer 
Wheelwright, Edward Wigglesworth, and others were in- 
corporated as " The Proprietors of the Newburyport Woolen 
Manufactory." f 

As water power was needed to move the machinery, the 
proprietors by their agent purchased of Paul Moody, of New- 

*Town of Newbury Records. 

t Special Laws, State of Massachusetts, Acts of 1794. 


bury, March 26, 1794, about six acres of land partly covered 
with water, on both sides of the Falls river, in Byfield parish, 
also a grist-mill on the premises, with all its privileges, and 
there erected a factory suitable for manufacturing purposes.* 
The carding-machines used in the factory were made by the 
Schofield Brothers in Newburyport, and the other machinery 
by Messrs. Guppy & Armstrong, of the same town. 

It is said that the company was the first one incorporated 
for the manufacture of woollen goods in the United States. 
It was not successful, however, financially. In 1803, the 
original shareholders sold their stock to William Bartlet ; and 
in 1804 he sold the property to John Lees, an Englishman, 
who converted it into a factory for the manufacture of cotton 

August 24, 1824, the property was sold at public auction 
to Gorham Parsons, of Brighton,^ who conveyed it. May 29, 
1826, to Paul Moody of Lowell. § April 16, 1832, the heirs 
of Paul Moody reconveyed the property to Gorham Parsons, || 
who leased it for a term of seven years to William N. Cleave- 
land, of Newbury, and Solomon Wildes, of Boston, " partners 
in trade and manufacturers under the firm name of William 
N. Cleaveland & Co." ^ August 2, 1842, Mr. Parsons sold 
the factory to Theophilus Parsons, of Boston,** who conveyed 
it May 12, 1846, to Moses Emery Hale and others, of New- 
buryport. ff 

May 20, 1848, Francis V. Noyes purchased the factory,^ 
and subsequently leased it to Alfred Durant and to his brother, 
Rev. Henry Durant, who manufactured bedsteads and other 
household furniture there. It was destroyed by fire in 1859 ; 
and the land, " with several small buildings thereon," was 
sold to Daniel Lunt, of Newbury, March 3, i86o,§§ who con- 

* Essex Deeds, vol. clvii., leaf 153. The land upon which this factory was erected was granted 
by the town of Newbury in 1636 to John Spencer and Richard Dummer to build a grist-mill 
upon. November 10, 1710, Nathaniel Dummer sold to William Moody, giandfather of Paul 
Moody, all his right, title, and interest "in ye River in yc Township of Newbury called ye Falls 
River which was granted unto my Grandfather Mr Richard Dumer by ye sd Towne of New- 
bury," with the land on which the saw-mill of Mr. Dummer then stood (Essex Deeds, vol. xxv. , 
leaf 133). tibid., book clxxv., leaf 190. J Ibid., book ccxxxix., leaf 210. § Ibid., book 
cclxi., leaf 63. || Ibid., book cclxiv., leaf 121. U Ibid., book cclxiii., leaf igo. ** Ibid., 

book cccxxxii., leaf 281. tt Ibid., book ccclxviii., leaf 106. XX Ibid., book cccxcviii., leaf 72. 
§§Ibid., book dciii., leaf 257. 


vcyed the property May 9, i860, to Leonard A. Morrison 
and Horatio M. Howard.* On the first day of June, 1863, 
the land, including the water privilege, etc., was transferred to 
Leonard Morrison, of Methuen, who rebuilt the factory and 
fitted it with machinery for the manufacture of cotton yarn.f 

Leonard Morrison died April 26, 1875 ; and Leonard A. 
Morrison died previous to February 10, 1880. Amanda R. 
Savage, guardian of William H. Morrison and InaB. Morrison, 
minors, " children of Leonard A. Morrison, late of Newbury," 
sold May 4, 1880, three undivided fourth parts, and Henry 
P. Chaplin and others, of Georgetown, sold one undivided 
fourth part of the factory at Byfield, including the mill privi- 
leges and water power, to James A. C. Whittier and Hugh 
U. Ewing, of Boston. J 

Mrs. Lizzie M. Adams, wife of George W. Adams, conveyed 
all her right, title, and interest in the property to Messrs. 
Whittier & Ewing, April 26, i88o.§ James A. C. Whittier 
sold his one undivided half of the land, buildings, water power, 
etc., to Hugh U. Ewing, of Boston, March 17, i886.|| 

C. A. E. Ewing and Hugh Ewing, copartners under the 
firm name of Hugh U. Ewing & Co., purchased the 
property July 9, 1892,^ and August 3, 1893, made an as- 
signment, for the benefit of their creditors, to Henry A. Cow- 
ing, trustee,** who sold the buildings, water privileges, etc., 
December 8, 1893, to Jacob F. Brown, of Brookline. The 
same day Mr. Brown gave a deed of the property to Samuel 
Williams, ft who sold one undivided half December 25, 1894, 
to Alfred S. Williams. JJ On the second day of July, 1897, 
Samuel and Alfred S. Williams conveyed all their right, title, 
and interest in the land and the buildings thereon to the By- 
field Woollen Company, the present owners. §§ 

* Essex Deeds, book dcix., leaf 179. t Ibid., book dclii., leaf 99. } Ibid., book mxxxvii., 
leaves 3 and 4. § Ibid., book mxxxv., leaf 261. II Ibid., book mclxix., leaf 234. ^ Ibid., 
book mcccxlix., p. i. ** Ibid., book mccclxxxv., p. 501. tt Ibid., book mcccxcvii., p. 37. 
tX Ibid., book mccccxlix., p. 367. §§Ibid., book mdxv., p. 133. 



The tax imposed by Parliament in i "j^y on paper, glass, tea, 
and other articles of merchandise imported into the province 
of Massachusetts was regarded as burdensome and unjust. 
September 19, 1768, the legal voters of Newburyport elected 
Benjamin Greenleaf delegate to a convention to be held in 
Boston for consultation and conference in regard to the meas- 
ures that should be adopted to stop the importation of mer- 
chandise from England.* 

The merchants and traders of Newbury and Newburyport 
were in the habit of importing large quantities of salt from 
Great Britain at that date. In order to promote and encourage 
its manufacture and provide an adequate supply for home con- 
sumption, the inhabitants of Newburyport, immediately after 
the election of Benjamin Greenleaf at the town meeting held 
September nineteenth, "Voted to exempt Capt James Hud- 
son from the payment of Town, County and Province taxes 
for 1767 and 1768, in answer to his petition, for encourage- 
ment to go on with his salt works." * 

At a meeting of the inhabitants of Newbury, held on the 
fourteenth day of March, 1768-9, a petition from Capt. James 
Hudson was presented, asking for a loan of one hundred 
pounds for two or three years. The amount of the loan and 
the time fixed for its repayment were discussed at some 
length, and aroused some opposition ; but at the close of the 
debate it was unanimously voted, " that the town will let out 
to Cap* James Hudson a certain sum of money to Enable him 
to Carry on his salt works." f 

September 4, 1769, the town of Newburyport voted to ap- 
prove the agreement made with the merchants and traders of 
Boston in regard to the importation of goods from Great 
Britain; and September 19, 1769, the town of Newbury voted 
to give Capt. James Hudson, of Newburyport, the sum of twenty 
pounds to enable him to carry on and complete his salt works. f 
Eight pounds were also appropriated by the town of Ipswich 
" to assist James Hudson to carry on the salt works he has 
lately erected." % 

*Town of Newburyport Records, p. 125. t Town of Newbury Records. 

X Felt's History of Ipswich, p. gS. 


The manufacture of salt at that date was a slow and difficult 
process. Sea water was evaporated by means of large boil- 
ers, under which fires were kept burning night and day. 
After the close of the Revolutionary war improved methods 
of making salt were introduced. Water-tight vats, twenty 
feet square and ten or twelve inches deep, were so arranged 
that water could be pumped from the ocean by means of a 
windmill into the first vat, and then conducted, after suffi- 
•cient exposure to the heat of the sun, to a second vat, and 
then to a third and fourth, until a strong brine was formed 
and crystals of salt appeared. 

In 1830, a Frenchman by the name of Gilshenon, with a few 
Newbury and Ipswich men who were interested with him, 
commenced the manufacture of salt at the southerly end of 
Plum island. He bought two hundred and fifty acres of 
land, laid out and dug a canal about one-third of a mile long, 
eight feet wide, and ten feet deep, which he connected with 
twenty-eight vats that were supplied with water pumped from 
the canal by means of windmills. He constructed also an 
overshot wheel, fifteen feet in diameter and five or six feet in 
width, which was made to revolve by the strong and vigorous 
efforts of a large bull, walking in treadmill fashion, within the 
wheel, which was suspended in an upright position from a 
heavy wooden frame. On the outer rim of this revolving 
wheel shallow buckets were attached that lifted the water 
from the canal into the vats on calm, still days, when the wind- 
mills were unable to do the work.* 

The business was not a financial success ; and the property, 
consisting of eighty acres of upland, one hundred and se^'enty- 
five acres of salt marsh, two dwelling-houses, two barns, " with 
a dam across a creek running through the place by means of 
which with but little expense a good water power may be ob- 
tained," " also six wind mills with pumps and apparatus entire," 
was advertised February 20, 1832, to be sold by George W. 
Heard, of Ipswich. It was probably purchased by Francis J. 
Oliver, of Boston, who conveyed it September 22, 1834, to 
Daniel Dole, of Ipswich. f 

* Historical Address by Mr. Philip D. Adams (Newburyport Daily News), October 26, 1900. 
t Essex Deeds, book cclxxviii., leaf 62. 



The manufacture of cut nails and brads was begun in New- 
bury in 1795. Jacob Perkins, son of Matthew and Jane 
(Dole) Perkins, of Newburyport, was the inventor of a 
machine for cutting and heading nails, for which he was 
granted a patent January 16, 1795. He became acquainted 
with Samuel Guppy, of New York, and John Warren Arm-, 
strong, of Boston ; and with their aid and assistance he pro- 
duced at Byfield the first nails that were cut and headed at 
one operation, in America.* 

In the Impartial Herald, November 24, 1795, the propri- 
etors, " Messrs Guppy & Armstrong and Jacob Perkins, in- 
ventor," announce that they have three machines in opera- 
tion "at Byfield six miles from Newburyport," and will 
have a supply of brads and nails for sale within two weeks, 
" much superior and twenty per cent cheaper than imported 

On the day that this announcement was made in the 
Herald, Ebenezer Stocker, Abraham Wheelwright, and Eben- 
ezer Wheelwright, directors of the Newburyport Woollen 
Manufactory, conveyed to Jacob Perkins a lot of land with a 
corn-mill thereon in Amesbury, " Commonly called Waits 
Mill." f The power needed for driving the nail machinery 
was secured by the purchase of this mill, then standing on 
the south bank of the Powow river ; and early in the spring 
of 1796 the manufacture of nails in Byfield was discontinued, 
and the machinery removed to the mill or factory in 


April 4, 1808, the town of Newbury voted to purchase the 
house, barn, and about seventeen acres of land, formerly 
owned and occupied by Rev. Matthias Plant, at or near the 
corner of the road leading to Amesbury ferry and the way to 
Essex Merrimack bridge, now Spofford street, Newburyport. 
This property was placed under the care of the overseers of 

*The Essex Antiquarian, vol. ii., pp. 69-74. + Essex Deeds, vol. clxiv., leaf 93. 


the poor, and for many years was made serviceable and useful 
as an almshouse and town farm.* 

At a meetmg held March 17, 1828, the legal voters of the 
town authorized the purchase of a farm in Byfield, owned by 
Enoch Moody, " containing two hundred acres of land more 
or less with the buildings thereon," to be placed under the 
care and control of the overseers of the poor ; and April 7, 
1828, they ordered that all persons receiving aid from the 
town should be removed to the town farm, and that all the 
stock and agricultural implements needed to carry it on suc- 
cessfully should be provided forthwith.-}- 

On the sixteenth day of May, 1829, "the former Poor 
Establishment owned by the town of Newbury and known by 
the name of the Plant Place" was sold to Elias Jackman ; J 
and after that date all persons dependent upon the town for 
assistance were supplied with food and shelter at the farm in 
Byfield parish. 

February 2, 1852, the inhabitants of Newbury voted to sell 
the town farm (at Byfield), and appointed a committee to 
make the necessary arrangements and attend to the sale of 
the property. § March 29, 1852, the overseers of the poor 
were authorized, " in case the town farm is not speedily sold, 
to lease the same for the ensuing year." § April 30, 1852, 
Daniel Lunt, treasurer of the town of Newbury, conveyed to 
Calvin Noyes " about one hundred and eighty acres of land 
with all the buildings thereon, formerly owned by Enoch 
Moody" ; || and, February 7, 1874, a supplementary deed, con- 
firming and perfecting the title from the town of Newbury to 
Calvin Noyes, was recorded.^ 

Since the sale of the almshouse and the farm at Byfield, all 
persons dependent upon the town for support have been pro- 

* Essex Deeds, vol. clxxxv., leaf 69. Anthony Davenport, of Newburyport, for two thousand 
dollars, sold, April 14, 1808, to Thomas Hale, treasurer of the town of Newbury, in trust for said 
town, about fifteen acres of land, with dwelling-house and other buildings thereon, bounded as fol- 
lows : beginning on the westerly comer of the road leading from the road to Aniesbury ferry to Deer 
Island bridge, thence northwesterly by the road leading to Amesbury ferry, thence northeasterly 
by land of David Jackman and others, thence southeasterly by land of Joseph Jackman, thence 
southwesterly by the road first named, to the bounds begun at. 

tTown of Newbury Records : also, Essex Deeds, vol. ccxlviii., leaf 107. 

X Essex Deeds, vol. cclviii., leaf g6. §Town of Newbury Records. 

II Essex Deeds, book dclxv., leaf 25. IF Ibid., book dcccxlvii., leaf 181. 


vided for in private families by the payment of a fixed sum 
for board and clothin<r. 


As early as March 30, 1777-8, a petition was presented to 
the town of Newbury, asking that all the territory on the 
westerly side of Artichoke river to the Bradford line might 
be set off and made a separate township. 

. . . begining at the mouth of Artichoak river running southerly by 
.said river to Littles meadow and from thence on a straight line to the 
bridge in the road near John & Stephen Browns, and from the bridge by 
the brook to the South Way, then running by the northerly side of the 
South Way to Johnsons corner, so called, and from thence on a straight 
line to a white oak marked tree, the bounds between Newbury, Rowley 
& Bradford, and from thence on Bradford line to Merrimack river and 
by Merrimack river to the mouth of the Artichoak river, tlie bound first 

The prayer of the petitioners was at first favored by a ma- 
jority of the legal voters of the town ; but, after further con- 
sideration, the subject was indefinitely postponed. 

February 19, 1793-4, a committee was chosen to see what 
terms and conditions could be made, " provided the inhab- 
itants of Newbury agree to set off the three northwesterly 
parishes," and petition the General Court, at its next session, 
to incorporate the said parishes as a separate and distinct 
town. On the seventh day of April, Col. Samuel Gerrish, 
Stephen Hodge, Esq., and Mr. Stephen Brown were author- 
ized and instructed to prepare and present a petition asking 
the General Court to consent to the incorporation of the new 
town. This action, however, was reconsidered on the twenty- 
third day of April ; and on the fifth day of June another at- 
tempt to set off and organize a new town " on the northerly 
side of a line begining on the Merrimack river and running by 
a way, now known as Oakland street (at that time the divid- 
ing line between Newbury and Newburyport), to a marked 
stone in common pasture, thence in a westerly direction to the 

♦Town of Newbury Records, (1731-85) p. 374. 


Bradford line, and by said line to the Merrimack river, and 
thence easterly by said river to the bounds first named," was 
defeated by a vote of 216 opposed to 145 in favor of the 

No further action was taken until June 11, 18 18, when the 
inhabitants of Newbury were again asked to give their consent 
to a division of the town on substantially the same lines as 
had been previously proposed ; but the opponents of the meas- 
ure, after a long and fierce struggle, were able to defeat it.* 

A few months later, however, Samuel Woodman and others 
presented a petition to the General Court, asking that all the 
territory between the mouth of the Artichoke river and the 
Bradford line, within the limits of the Second and Third (for- 
merly the Fourth) parishes, might be set off and incorporated 
as a separate town; and November 2, 18 18, at a meeting of 
the legal voters of Newbury, the representatives of the town 
were instructed to oppose the petition, and prevent, if possible, 
any further consideration of the subject.* 

Although active and vigorous measures were adopted to 
counteract the earnest and determined efforts of the petition- 
ers, the General Court, after a prolonged hearing, passed Feb^ 
ruary 18, 1 8 19, " An act to incorporate the town of Parsons " ; f 
and March 9, 18 19, the legal voters of Newbury elected Jo- 
siah Little, Esq., Silas Little, Esq., Moses Little, Esq., Jacob 
Gerrish, Esq., and Mr. Eben Pearson a committee to adjust 
the debts and make a settlement with any committee that may 
be appointed by the inhabitants of the town of Parsons.* 

Subsequently, a change in the name of the new town was 
made by an act of the General Court, passed June 14, 1820, 
providing that " the said town shall hereafter be called and 
known by the name of West Newbury." | 

*Town of Newburj' Records. 

tThis act is printed in full on p. 1863, vol. ii., Historj' of Essex County, J. W. Lewis & Co., 

+ Histor)' of Essex County, J. W. Lewis & Co., publishers, vol. ii., p. 1864. 



In 1844, the James Steam Mill, for the manufacture of 
cotton goods, was erected in Newburyport. During the 
following year, Gen. Charles. T. James, Charles J. Krockway, 
Esq., and other prominent citizens petitioned the General 
Court for an act of incorporation to enable them to erect and 
maintain a bleachery in the town of Newbury, and also to 
provide an adequate supply of water for manufacturing and 
domestic purposes. 

The original plan of the petitioners contemplated the erec- 
tion of a bleachery at Bartlett springs and the laying of 
pipes through the streets of Newbury and Newburyport for 
the purpose of supplying both towns with pure water. A 
committee, appointed by the inhabitants of Newburyport to 
examine the plan and make such suggestions and recom- 
mendations as they considered advisable, reported in favor of 
granting the prayer of the petitioners ; and February 13, 1846, 
the town voted to give its consent to the incorporation of the 
company by the General Court. The estimated cost of the 
bleachery and water-works, however, rendered some modifica- 
tion of the plan necessary ; and after further consideration a 
new source of supply was agreed upon, and incorporated in the 
act passed March 7, 1846. 

At a town meeting held February 1 3, 1 846, the inhabitants 
of Newbury voted to favor the prayer of the petitioners, and, 
also, voted to allow the company, when organized, to lay water 
pipes, under certain restrictions, through the principal streets 
of the town.* On the seventh day of March, 1846, the 
General Court passed an act incorporating " The Newbury 
Spring Bleaching Company";! and the town of Newbury 
voted, August i, 1846, "to grant the James Steam Mill 
Company the privilege of laying a water pipe along High 
street, from the head of State street to Federal street, upon 
condition that the town have the right to put in fire plugs, at 
its own expense, in such places as it may think proper." * 

Land on the southwesterly side of Oak Hill cemetery, 

*To\vn of Newbury Records. t Acts and Resolves for 1846, chap. S5. 


with a small pond adjoining, was purchased, a pumping- station 
erected, and water for extinguishing fires and for manufactur- 
ing purposes was conveyed in pipes down the turnpike, now 
State street, Newburyport, to High street, thence to Federal 
street, down Federal to Ann, now Atwood street, thence 
through Purchase to Charles street, and thence to the James 
Steam Mill, Newburyport, now owned by the Peabody Manu- 
facturing Company. Sixty-four hundred feet of iron pipe was 
laid, at a cost of ten thousand dollars, and the work com- 
pleted previous to December i, 1846.* 

Subsequently, the pipe at the corner of Ann and Federal 
streets, Newburyport, was connected with the property now 
owned by the Peabody Manufacturing Company, on Federal 
street, formerly known as the Globe Steam Mills. 


Although the town of Newbury after the incorporation of 
Newburyport in 1764, and West Newbury in 18 19, was 
greatly reduced in population as well as in taxable property, 
repeated attempts were made to still further reduce the area 
and population of the town by many persons, residing within 
its limits, who were engaged in mercantile or commercial pur- 
suits, and, therefore, not in full sympathy with the farmers, 
who practically controlled the administration of municipal 

Mr. Ebenezer Wheelwright and several other prominent 
merchants of Newbury earnestly advocated the adoption of 
a plan that would, if accepted, take a narrow strip of land on 
the westerly side of High street, " with the dwelling-houses 
thereon," and make it a part of Newburyport. The subject 
was brought to the attention of the General Court ; and an 
order of notice was served on the inhabitants of Newbury, 
April 23, 1 82 1, to appear and make answer to the prayer of 
the petitioners. At a town meeting held on the twenty-sec- 
ond day of May a committee was appointed to attend the 

•Newburyport Herald, December i, 1846, and January 26, 1847. 


hearing, and oppose any further division of the town.* The 
General Court, after a full and careful consideration of the 
subject, granted the petitioners "leave to withdraw." 

Seven years later the inhabitants of Belleville parish, 
formerly the Fifth parish, desired to be set off and incorpo- 
rated as a separate town ; and March 17, 1828, the legal voters 
of Newbury consented to the proposed plan of separation, 
and agreed to set off all the territory on the westerly and 
northwesterly side of a line beginning on Merrimack river, at 
or near the foot of North street, thence on the line of New- 
buryport to the bound stone in the common pasture, and 
thence on a straight line to West Newbury.* On the seventh 
day of April the selectmen were authorized to confer with the 
inhabitants of that part of Newbury includefi within the 
bounds and limits of the proposed new town, and agree, if 
possible, upon the terms and conditions of separation.* 

The opponents of the plan, however, were active and per- 
sistent in their efforts to defeat it. On the eighth of May, 
1828, Mr. Ebenezer Wheelwright and others presented a peti- 
tion asking that a part of Newbury, " Begining at the Bound 
Stone in the Common Pasture, between the towns of New- 
bury & Newburyport thence on a straight line to the most 
Eastwardly corner of West Newbury, thence on a straight 
line to Plumb Island Bridge, thence on the same straight line 
to the Sea, thence by the Sea and Merrimack River to the 
most Eastwardly bound of Newburyport, thence by Newbury- 
port line to the first Bound," * might be set off and annexed 
to Newburyport. The legal voters of the town declined to 
grant the prayer of the petitioners, and, December 15, 1828, 
voted to oppose the petition of Mr. Ebenezer Wheelwright at 
the General Court, and favor the petition of Mr. Henry Mer- 
rill and other inhabitants of Belleville parish to be set off as 
a town by themselves.* The committee on towns, to whom 
both petitions had been referred, reported January twenty- 
ninth ; and P'ebruary 5, 1829, their report was accepted, 
"granting the petitioners leave to withdraw." f 

Three years later, another attempt was made to set off all 

* Town of Newbury Records. 

t Massachusetts Archives (Journal of the House of Representatives, vol. xlix.). 


the land on the easterly side of a line begining at the bound 
stone in the common pasture, and extending southeasterly to 
Plum island bridge, and thence to the sea. December 29, 
183 1, the town of Newbury voted to favor the petition of Mr. 
John Wills and others, and also voted to give its consent to 
the separation asked for " on such terms and conditions as 
the General Court may establish." * 

On the fourth day of January following, the subject was 
again under consideration ; and a motion to choose a com- 
mittee to attend the General Court and oppose the prayer of 
the petitioners was carried by a vote of 174 in favor to 152 
against the measure.* April 9, 1832, John Merrill, Esq., 
Moses Little, Esq., and Daniel Adams, 3d, Esq., were ap- 
pointed to defend the interests of the town and protest 
against any farther consideration of the petition of John Wills 
and others. February 11, 1832,* the General Court granted 
the petitioners " leave to withdraw." 

November 19, 1834, the town of Newbury was notified 
that Mr. Roger S. Howard and others had filed a petition 
praying that all persons residing within certain bounds and 
limits named in said petition might be set off and annexed to 
the town of Newburyport. A committee was appointed to 
CQnfer with the petitioners and induce them, if possible, to 
make some concessions in regard to the proposed division of 
the town.* 

This committee reported December 10, 1834, that the 
division lines asked for by the petitioners, though to some 
extent indefinite and uncertain, were substantially the same 
as those named in the petition of 1832. Instead of dividing 
the town, as requested, the committee recommended that 
Newbury and Newburyport should be again united ; and a 
committee, consisting of John Merrill, Moses Little, John 
Chickering, Jacob Gerrish, and Daniel Plumer, was appointed 
to confer wath the town of Newburyport and endeavor to 
bring about the desired result.* The conference was held, 
but the plan of reunion was defeated after an animated dis- 
cussion by the legal voters of Newburyport. 

* Town of Newbury Records. 


A few years later another attempt was made b)' PIbenezer 
Wheelwright and others to induce the General Court to set 
off a portion of the town of Newbury to be annexed to the 
town of Newburyport. January 4, 1843, a committee was 
appointed to oppose the prayer of the petitioners.* After a 
prolonged hearing the subject was referred, February 28, 
1843, to the next General Court. 

February 13, 1846, the petition of John Porter and others 
to the General Court, asking that Newbury and Newburyport 
might be made one town, was under consideration ; and the 
town of Newbury voted, 191 to 134, not to favor the plan 
proposed by the petitioners.* But on the twenty-third day of 
February a committee, consisting of Micajah Lunt, Daniel 
Plumer, Josiah Little, Daniel Noyes, Enoch Hale, Stuart 
Chase, and John Currier, jr., was chosen " to consider the 
expediency of uniting the towns of Newbury and Newbury- 
port." This committee reported March 2, 1846, in favor of 
the measure ; but the legal voters declined, by a vote of 1 76 
to 235, to adopt the recommendation of the committee. 

January 4, 1847, the town of Newbury voted to consent, 
upon such conditions as the General Court may impose, to 
the passage of an act providing that the territory and in- 
habitants within the following described lines may be set off 
and annexed to the town of Newburyport, namely : — 

Beginning at the line of Newburyport on the South Westerly side 
of High street near the Newburyport Turnpike, thence Southeasterly 
by the Southerly side of High street to a point opposite the head of 
South street ; thence in a direct line to the most Southerly bend in the 
Plum Island Turnpike and parallel therewith to the ocean ; thence by 
the ocean and Merrimack River to the line of Newburyport.* 

Mr. Abner Keniston and others, having petitioned the 
General Court " to set off that part of the town called Belle- 
ville," the inhabitants of Newbury voted, February 8, 1850, 
not to oppose the petition.* The General Court, however, de- 
clined to grant the prayer of the petitioners ; and the follow- 
ing year William Goodwin and others presented a similar 
request, and Moses Pettingell and others, in behalf of the in- 

* Town of Newbury Records. 


habitants residing between South (now Bromfield street) and 
Marlborough streets, asked to be annexed to Newburyport. 

March 11, 1 851, the town agreed to favor the passage of 
an act by the General Court providing for the annexation of a 
portion of Newbury to Newburyport, and voted to appoint a 
committee to adjust the line of separation and make arrange- 
ments for an equitable division of the town property. The 
bounds and limits agreed upon included all the territory on 
the westerly side of Newburyport to the Artichoke river, and 
a large tract on the easterly side, extending to the light- 
keeper's house on Plum island. These bounds are given in 
detail in the first section of " An Act to Annex a Part of the 
Town of Newbury to the town of Newburyport," approved 
by his Excellency George S. Boutwell, governor of the 
commonwealth of Massachusetts, April 17, 185 1.* 

Since that date there has been no change in the territorial 
bounds and limits of the town of Newbury. The northern 
boundary line runs from the point marked A, on the Map, on 
the next page, to B ; thence to C, D, E, F, and G. The 
dividing line between Newbury and Georgetown runs from G 
to H, and the line between Newbury and Rowley from H to 
I, and thence to the point marked J on Plum island. 


In 1874, traces of silver ore were found in a few scattered 
rocks lying on the surface of a pasture owned by Mr. Rich- 
ard Jaques, in the vicinity of the "Birchen meadow," not 
more than one hundred and fifty or two hundred rods in a 
southeasterly direction from the oak-tree now standing in the 
" Gerrish pasture," to which reference is made on page 130. 

The mineral deposits of that neighborhood were carefully 
analyzed, and in 1875 "The Chipma'n Silver Mining Com- 
pany " was organized to make further explorations and devise 
ways and means for a thorough and systematic development 
of the property.! 

*Acts and Resolves for 1851, chap. 54. 
t Newburyport Herald, May 27, 1875. 



Workshops were erected, steam drills and pumping ma- 
chinery provided, and a shaft forty feet deep was sunk through 
solid rock, exposing, according to the report of experts, rich 
veins of lead and silver. Excavations in other parts of the 
town were made with gratifying results. Land that had been 
almost worthless was eagerly bought or bonded at fabulous 
prices. The excitement reached its height when the schooner 
" Nadab " was chartered to take a cargo of ore to New York 
to be smelted and assayed. June 2, 1875, the last few loads 
needed to make up the cargo, on the way from the mines, 
were met at' the junction of Auburn and Pond streets in 
Newburyport, and escorted down State street to Commercial 
wharf by a procession of citizens carrying flags and banners, 
accompanied by a military band playing the popular airs of 
the day. 

The reports received several months later from this cargo 
of ore were somewhat conflicting and discouraging ; but the 
directors of the mining company were hopeful, and continued 
operations with more or less activity during the following 
season. The business, however, was found to be unprofitable ; 
and work at the mines was temporarily suspended. At inter- 
vals during the next two or three years attempts were made 
by the introduction of new machinery to increase the produc- 
tion of crude ore, and reduce the cost of taking it from the 
mines; but the results were not satisfactory. In 1880, the 
machinery was sold, and the attempt to establish silver mining 
in Newbury was abandoned. 


The first centennial anniversary of the settlement of New- 
bury was, according to tradition, " duly noticed in the front 
yard of Colonel Joseph Coffin's house," in 1735. 

The second centennial was celebrated May 26, 1835. 
Public exercises were held in the meeting-house of the First 
Religious Society on Pleasant street, Newburyport ; and 
dinner was served in a temporary pavilion erected on land 
near the Newbury town-house, now included within the 


limits of Oak Hill cemetery, Newburyport. Interesting and 
eloquent speeches, appropriate to the occasion, were made by 
Hon. Edward Everett, Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, Hon. 
Caleb Gushing, Hon. George Lunt, and other distinguished 
guests who were present. 

On the tenth day of June, 1885, the two hundred and 
fiftieth anniversary was celebrated, under the direction of the 
Historical Society of " Ould Newbury," in city hall, New- 
buryport. A chorus of male and female voices, led by Mr. 
Norman McLeod, accompanied by an orchestra of skilled 
musicians, rendered several appropriate selections. An 
original ode by Mrs. Louisa P. Hopkins was read ; and Rev. 
Samuel Colcord Bartlett, president of Dartmouth Gollege, 
delivered an able historical address. 

At the close of the exercises in the hall, dinner was pro- 
vided for over one thousand guests in a spacious tent erected 
on vacant land on High street, near the head of Bromfield 
street, Newburyport. Brief after-dinner speeches from men 
prominent in the social or political life of " Ould Newbury" 
occupied the time and attention of the assembled company 
until seven o'clock p.m. 

In the evening a reception or levee was held at the city hall 
where many citizens from Newbury and the neighboring 
towns gathered to listen to the music of a small but well- 
trained orchestra, to greet old friends and acquaintances, and 
to examine the large and valuable collection of paintings 
loaned for that occasion and hung for that da)' and evening 
on the walls of the common council chamber. * 

* Report of the Celebration of the Two Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the settlement 
of Newburj', published in 1SS5. 



Tradition asserts that Rev. Thomas Parker preached 
his first sermon in Newbury under the branches of an oak- 
tree that stood on the north bank of the Quascacunquen 
(Parker) river ; that a covenant to walk together according to 
the precepts of the gospel, in brotherly love, was agreed upon 
at the close of the sermon ; that Rev. Mr. Parker was chosen 
pastor, and that other church officers were then elected, "ye 
members expressinge their voats therein by lifting up the 
hande." * 

Thomas Parker was the only son of Rev. Robert Parker, 
an eminent clergyman of Wiltshire, England. He came to 
Boston in 1634, in the ship " Mary and John," with his cousins 
Nicholas Noyes and Rev. James Noyes.f During the follow- 
ing winter he was at Agawam, now Ipswich, Mass., and organ- 
ized a company there for the settlement of Newbury, on the 
Quascacunquen river, to which place he removed with a few 
personal friends and acquaintances in the spring of 163 5. J 

Rev. James Noyes, assistant pastor, or teacher, of the 
church, was the son of Rev. William Noyes, who married 
Anne, sister of Rev. Robert Parker. § He came to America 
in 1634 with his wife, Sarah Brown, eldest daughter of Joseph 
Brown, of Southampton, in the same ship with his cousin 
Rev. Thomas Parker. He preached for a year at Watertown, 
and came to Newbury in 1635. 

*Coffin's History of Newbury, p. 17. 

tNew England Historical and Genealogical Register, vol. ix., p. 267. 

}" At this general court [May, 1635] some of the chief of Ipswich desired leave to remove to 
Quascacunquen to begin a town there, which was granted them, and it was named Newberry." 
(Winthrop's History of New England, edition 1853, vol. i., p. igi.) 

§ Mather's " Magnalia," edition 1853, vol. i., p. 481. 

The statement that Rev. William Noyes married Anne Stephens, daughter of Nicholas 
Stephens, printed on page 165, "Ould Newbury," is probably incorrect. 

Nicholas Noyes, who came with his brother. Rev. James Noyes, to Boston in 1634, evidently 
returned to England in 163S, and came again to America the next year, bringing Anthony Som- 
erby with him (New England Historical and Genealogical Register, vol. xxxii., p. 411) . 


The Temple meafured : 

q R, 

A brief Survey of the 7emple myjlical, 

which is the Inftitutfd 


Wherein are folidly and mbdcftly difcuffcd, 

Moft of the maceFial Queftions touching the 
Conftiiution and Government of the Vifiblc 
Church Miiitanc here on Earth. 

Together with 

The folution of all forts of Objections which 

are ufually framed againfk ihe Model acd Plitform of Ecclefi- 

aftical Policy, which is hete afferted and maincaiaed. 

In particular here are debated* 

The points of fb much Controveific, touching 

the Unity of the Church, The Members of the 

Church, The Form of the Church, and Church Covenant, 

The Power of the Church, The Officers of the Churchy 

aJid their Power in Church- Government , The Power of 

Magiftrates about the Church,and feme Church A&s» 

as Admiflion of Members, and other things fet 

down in the Table before the Book. 

By James Noyes Teacher of the Church at 
Ncwbery in New England, 

L O N "D N ^ 

Printed for E o m u n d P a x t o n, and are to be fold at hi» Shop in Pauls 

chain , oter againft the Caftle Tavern neer to the Dtftors 

Commons. 1647. 


He was a strong and vigorous supporter of ecclesiastical 
rights and privileges, and published " The Temple Meas- 
ured," a book devoted mainly to the discussion of questions 
relating to church government. From a copy of this book, 
now in the Boston Public Library, a photograph of the title- 
page is here reproduced. As a specimen of typographical 
art connected with the early history of Newbury, it cannot 
fail to interest the reader. 

The first meeting-house in Newbury was probably erected 
on or near the three acres of land afterwards sold to John 
Emery, from which twenty rods were reserved " for a burying 
place as it is bounded with stakes with a way to it from the 
street." * 

The church was composed of earnest and devout men and 
women, who were evidently more liberal in their views of 
church fellowship and discipline than the inhabitants of other 
towns in the colony of Massachusetts Bay. Thomas Lech- 
ford, " an attorney and solicitor of Clements Inne, in the 
county of Middlesex, England," after a residence of three or 
four years in Boston, Mass., wrote and published in London, 
in 1642, " Plain Dealing or Newes from New England," in 
which he says : " Of late some Churches are of opinion that 
any may be admitted to Church fellowship, that are not ex- 
tremely ignorant or scandalous : but this they are not very 
forward to practice except at Neivbeny." 

In 1643, there was an assembly of all the churches of the 
colony at Cambridge. *' The principal occasion was because 
some of the elders went about to set up some things ||accord- 
ingll to the presbytery, as of Newbury, etc. The assembly 
concluded against some parts of the presbyterial way, and the 
Newbury ministers took time to consider the arguments, 
etc." t 

In all essential particulars, however, the inhabitants of 
Newbury conformed to the order of public worship estab- 
lished at Boston and elsewhere, except that for many years 
they assembled at the beating of a drum or the raising of a 
flag instead of the " wringing of a bell." 

*" Ould Newbury," pp. i6 and 24. 

t Winthrop's History of New England, edition 1853, '^o'- "•> P- •''S- 


Every Sal)l)ath or Lords day, they come together at Boston, by 
wringing of a l)ell, aljout nine of the clock or before. The Pastor 
begins with solemn prayer continuing about a quarter of an houre. 
The Teacher then readeth and expoundeth a Chapter : Then a Psalm 
is sung, which ever one of the ruling Elders dictates. After that the 
Pastor preacheth a Sermon, and sometimes ex tef/ipore exhorts. Then 
the Teacher concludes with prayer, and a blessing. 

Once a moneth is a Sacrament of the Lords Supper, whereof 
notice is given usually a fortnight before, and then all others departing 
save the Church, which is a great deale less in number thqn those that 
goe away, they receive the Sacrament, the Ministers and ruling Elders 
sitting at the Table, the rest in their seat.s, or upon forms : . . . Then 
a Psalme is sung, and with a short blessing the congregation is dis- 
missed. . . . About two in the afternoone, tliey repaire to the meeting- 
house againe : and tlien the Pastor begins, as before noone, and a 
Psalme being sung, the Teacher makes a Sermon. He was wont, when 
I caiTle first, to reade and expound a Chapter also before his Sermon in 
the afternoon. After and before his Sermon, he prayeth.* 

Then came the baptism of children and the gathering of 
money or goods for the maintenance of the minister or the 
support of the poor of the church, " one of the Deacons 
saying, Brethren of the congregation, now there is time for 
contribution, wherefore as God hath prospered you, so freely 

This done, then follows admission of members, or hearing matters 
of offence, or other things, sometimes till it be very late. If they have 
time, after this, is sung a Psalme, and then the Pastor concludeth with 
a Prayer and a blessing.f 

The removal of the inhabitants of Newbury from Parker 
river to the "new town" on Merrimack river led to a pro- 
longed discussion in regard to the removal of the meeting- 
house. It was ordered to be taken down and a new one set 
up on or before the twentieth day of October, 1647, " i" o'' 
upon a knowle of upland by Abraham Toppans barne." % 

The land upon which this second house of worship stood 
now forms a part of the burying-ground near the " trayneing 
green " in the First parish of Newbury. There were no 
pews on the floor of the house or in the gallery, but seats or 

♦Lechford's " News from New England," pp. i6, i8. t Ibid., p. ig. 
t" Ould Newbury," p. gj. 


benches were provided; and January 24, 165 i, the selectmen 
ordered " that every householder, both men and women, shall 
sit in those seats that are appointed for them during their 

September 21, 1654 it was ordered that the Townes men select shall 
forthwith Examine & require an account of the money or goods that 
hath bin gathered to purchas a bell in whose hands it is & to make 
report to the towne.* 

May 14, 1658, a committee was appointed by the in- 
habitants of Newbury to lay out to Mr. Woodman ten or 
twelve acres of marsh near Plum island, Mr. Woodman 
having agreed to pay for the same in boards or nails for the 
meeting-house . * 

A more commodious building, dedicated to the public wor- 
ship of God, was erected, early in the spring of 1661, on the 
southerly side of the old meeting-house, which was allowed 
to stand until the new one was completed. In June, seats 
were assigned to all the adult inhabitants of the town ac- 
cording to their social rank and condition. Into this new 
meeting-house Lydia (Perkins) Wardwell, wife of Eliakim 
Wardwell, of Hampton, N.H., came naked to answer those 
who accused her of teaching false doctrines and separating 
herself from the church. For this offence she was ordered 
to be severely whipped and pay the cost and fees of the 
court at Salem, May 5, 1663.! 

A bell, probably purchased with the money gathered in 
1654, served to call tne inhabitants together on Sundays and 
lecture days. Elizabeth Webster was sentenced, in 1663, 
" to stand at the meeting house dore at Newbury the next 
lecture day from the ringing of the first bell until the 
minister be ready to begin prayer with a paper on her head, 
written in capital letters : for taking a false oath in 

COURT." t 

December 25, 1665, Anthony Morse was employed to ring 
the bell and also " to see that the meeting house be cleane 
swept and the glasse of the windows be carefully lookt unto, 
if any should happen to be loosed with the wind, to be nailed 

* Town of Newbury Records, tSeen^/*, chap, iii., p. 124. 


close again. . . . For this service he shall have ;!^3, for every 
year." * 

Rev. Thomas Parker officiated as pastor of the churchy 
without an assistant or colleague, for six or seven years after 
the death of Rev. James Noyes in 1656. 

Rev. John Woodbridge, who came to New England in the 
ship "Mary and John," with his uncle. Rev. Thomas Parker, 
was clerk of the town of Newbury from 1635 to 1638. In 
1639, hs married Mercy, daughter of Thomas Dudley, gover- 
nor of the colony of Massachusetts Bay. He studied for the 
ministry while a school-teacher in Boston and was ordained 
pa^or of the church organized at Andover, October 24, 1645. 
He returned to England in 1647 with his wife and family, 
and remained there sixteen years. f 

In 1663, he came again to New England, and was elected 
assistant pastor of the church at Newbury, with a salary of 
thirty pounds for the first half-year. 

October 26, 1664, " the towne voted that Mr. Parker should 
have but sixty pounds per year." This sum, however, was 
increased to eighty pounds a year, June 3, 1665 ; and the 
same day the annual salary of Rev. John Woodbridge was 
fixed at sixty pounds.* 

At this time the inhabitants of Newbury were greatly dis- 
turbed by questions relating to the government of the church 
and to the exercise of ecclesiastical authority by Rev. Mr. 
Parker. They manifested in various ways their disapproba- 
tion of the doctrines taught by the pastor and his worthy col- 

November i, 1665 It was voted whether Mr. Woodbridge should 
be chosen by papers to preach to the towne for one year. There were 
four votes in the affirmative and thirty one blanks.* 

At the same meeting it was voted: that Mr. Woodbridg should 
have the last spring Rate and that the Selectmen shall have power to 
make another Rate for this halfe yeare past of thirty pounds more.* 

It was also ordered that Mr. Woodbridges Rates for the two years 
past shall be paid within two months after this day, and then the select- 
Town of Newbury Records. 

t His farm in Newbury was on the easterly side of " trayneing green.'" Capt. Benjamin 
Swett and his brother-in-law Nathaniel Weare had a lease of this farm for seven years, from 1655 
to 1662. (See New England Historical and Genealogical Register, vol. vi., p. 50.) 


men shall go to Mr. Woodbridge and see who hath not paid, and such 
as are delinquent the select men shall have power to sumons them 
before the commissioners to recover it.* 

During the long controversy that divided the church into 
two nearly equal parties the salary of Rev. Thomas Parker 
was regularly paid, but there was evidently a contest over 
the amount raised annually for the benefit of Rev. Mr. 


April 25, 1666 It was voted that Mr. Parkers four score pounds by 
the yeare should be continued to be paid to him yearely. And Mr Wood- 
bridge to have sixty pounds a yeare till the Towne take further order.* 

March 4, 1666-7 voted that Mi" Woodbridge should have three 
score pounds for the yeare as he had formerly.* 

March 2, 1667-8 Mr Woodbridge was voted by counting man for 
man, called over, to have sixty pounds a yeare for his preaching.* 

May 21, 1670 It was voted that the order in the Towne booke that 
gives Mr Woodbridge three score pound a yeare for his preaching is 
made voyd.* 

At a meeting of the selectmen held February 4, 1667-8, 
the seats in the meeting-house were rearranged and assigned 
to the members of the church according to their social rank 
and condition. 

Daniel Lunt proposed for a seat for severall women [his wife and 
her sister Smith & John Kent, Jun. his wife . . . Peter Chenyes wife, 
John Lunts wife & John Poore, Jun. his wife] the Selectmen ordered that 
the 2 short seats neere [ ] should be for them to be made 

into one.* 

Dec. 3, 1668 the selectmen granted Liberty to Nathaniel Clarke, M"" 
Edward Woodman, Benjamin Lowle, John Kelly & John Kent, Jun. to 
build a pew for their wives at their own charg : in the meeting house 
from the east end of the South gallery to the pulpit to be & remaine to 
them & their heirs forever.* 

This pew was probably the. first one built in the meeting- 
house at Newbury, and ultimately led to the building of 
others under the supervision of the selectmen. Seats or 
benches, however, were in general use ; and new ones were 
occasionally provided for the accommodation of the inhabi- 
tants of the town. February 25, 1668, Richard Dummer, 

* Town of Newbury Records. 


Jr., Thomas Waodbridge, and fifteen or eighteen other per- 
sons were authorized by the selectmen to occupy certain 
specified seats, " provided that they do pay their equal shares 
& proportions for the building of them." * 

John Woolcott and Peter Toppan were presented to the 
court held at Ipswich, April 28, 1669, "for disorderly going 
and setting in a seat belonging to others" in the meeting- 
house. For this offence they were admonished, and ordered 
to pay the costs of court. f 

February 21, 1669-70, the selectmen ordered "that a paire 
of staires be made in the porch to go up & downe into the 
gallery." * 

May 21, 1670, the inhabitants of the town voted to pro- 
vide additional seats for the north and south galleries of the 
meeting-house ; and a committee was appointed to see that the 
work was promptly done. 

Notwithstanding the ecclesiastical difficulties that divided 
the church at this time, the number of worshippers was con- 
stantly increasing. 

September ig, 1670 it was voted that the selectmen should have 
liberty to place such as wanted seats in the meeting house & to procure 
a bason for the church & to order Thomas Turvill to his kinsmans, also 
to be helpful to the poor.* 

January 31, 1670-71, the selectmen authorized Caleb 
Moody, John Hale, Benjamin Rolfe, John Webster, Abel 
Somerby, Nathaniel Clarke, Percivall Lowle, Jonathan 
Woodman, Daniel Thurston, Benjamin Lowle, and John 
Swett to build at their own charge " a pew in the south east 
corner of the meeting house" to be assigned to them for the 
use of their wives and daughters.* 

The ecclesiastical difificulties and dissensions that disturbed 
the church for nearly twenty-five years culminated in an 
appeal to the county court in 1669 and to the Great and 
General Court in 1671.J Mr. Edward Woodman was accused 
of publicly denouncing Rev. John Woodbridge as a preacher 

** Town of Newbury Records. 
t Ipswich Court Records, vol. ii., p. 94. 

X For a full and detailed account of this prolonged controversy see Coffin's History of New- 
bury, pp. 72-112. 


retained in the church by craft and subtilty and Rev. Mr. 
Parker "as an apostate and backsHder from the truth," who 
would set up a prelacy, and, though unsupported by a council 
of cardinals, would exercise more power than the pope. 

From the evidence presented to the court it appears that 
Mr. Woodman was interrupted in his speech, on the occasion 
referred to, by Capt. Gerrish, who made some reference to 
his gray hairs. Mr. Woodman in answer said, " Capt. 
Gerrish, my gray hairs will stand in any place where your 
bald head will stand." 

After a careful examination of the evidence submitted, the 
following decree was entered upon the records of the court : — 

March 30, 1669. 
Having heard the complaint p^sented to this Court agst Mr Edward 
Woodman do judge some passages relating to M"" Parker & M^ Wood- 
bridge to be faulse and scandalous and that concerneing Cap* Gerish, 
rep'chfull, and p'voking and the whole gen^Hy offensive, And hath ther- 
fore ordered that the sayd M"" Woodman shall be seriously & solemnely 
admonished and enjoyned to make a publique Confession at the next 
publique Towne or church meeting at Newbury of his sinfull expres- 
sions «& just offence that he hath given or else to pay five pounds & to 
pay costs and fees. 

I dissent from this sentance Samuell Symonds 
And I dissent Wm Hathorne 

Wee conceive the law allows not liberty to the members of this Court 
to enter their dissent in this Case, being a criminal case, & not properly 
concerneing religion or any other qualifiecation mentioned in ye law 

Symond Bradstreet Daniell Denison. 

Mr Edward Woodman appealed from this Judgmt to the next court of 
Assistants at Boston 

He recognized in the sum of £2.0 with William Titcomb surety to 
prosecute his appeal and be of good behavior in meantime.* 

A council composed of delegates from eight or nine 
churches was held in Newbury, November 5, 1669, to consider 
the questions involved in this unfortunate controversy, and 
settle, if possible, the differences that threatened to disrupt 
the church. Some advice was given in a spirit of kindness 
and brotherly love, that seemed to allay the excitement tem- 

* Ipswich Court Records, vol. ii., p. 92. 


porarily ; but the contest was renewed a few months later 
with increased vigor, and April 19, 1670, a second council 
assembled at the meeting-house in Newbury. After a pro- 
longed hearing and careful deliberation, articles of agreement 
were drawn up and signed by Rev. Mr. Parker for himself 
and his friends and supporters, " and by Mr. Edward Wood- 
man and the brethren that were with him." 

These articles of agreement expressly declared " that the 
platform of discipline established by the general court " 
should be the rule or standard of the church at Newbury, 
and that all matters of controversy should be brought to the 
church for settlement.* It soon became evident, however, 
that the work of reconciliation was incomplete, and that the 
condition of affairs was very discouraging. Meetings called 
for the discussion of matters relating to church membership 
or discipline were exciting and boisterous. On one occasion 
Mr. Woodman and his friends " raised an hubbub, knocking, 
stamping, hemming, gaping to drown the reading " of charges 
preferred against them by their pastor. f A few months later 
the same persons, or a majority of them, having met together 
and chosen a moderator, proceeded to admonish Rev. Mr. 
Parker, "and to suspend him from the exercise of his office." % 
Thereupon complaint was entered in the court held at Ips- 
wich in the month of April, 1671, accusing Mr. Edward 
Woodman, Mr. Richard Dummer, William Titcomb, Richard 
Bartlet, and others, to the number of forty-one in all, of dis- 
orderly conduct, dishonoring the holy ordinances of the 
church, and speaking contemptuously and reproachfully of 
their pastor. Rev. Mr. Parker. § 

On the twenty-ninth day of May, 1671, the court found 
the defendants " guilty of very great misdemeanors, though 
in different degrees," and imposed a fine varying in amount 
from one noble (six shillings and eightpence) to twenty 
nobles upon the persons named in the indictment, together 
with the charges of witnesses and the fees of court. 

Two days later, however, the questions in dispute were 
brought to the attention of the General Court ; and the 

*Coffin's History of Newbury, p. SS. t Ibid., p. 94. X Ibid., p. gg. § Ibid., p. go. 


churches at Charlestown, Boston, Dedham, and Roxbury 
were ordered " to send their elders and messengers to the 
church at Newbury," and advise with the pastor and people 
there, " and make such suggestions as may be necessary to 
re-unite them in the bonds of brotherly love." * 

Rev. Thomas Parker and his friends were evidently op- 
posed to the order of the General Court, which practically 
annulled the decision of the county court, and called a coun- 
cil of the churches to meet at Newbury. 

In answer to an Address exhibited by the Reverend Mr Thomas 
Parker of the ch at Newbury referring to the act of the Councill sent by 
Sundry Chhs according to the appoyntment of the Hond General Court 
in May last, Sundry writings & pposals having been agitated and it 
appearing difficult to have a right understanding of the matter unless 
the parties concerned be admitted their lawful plea, This Council do 
not judge it expedient to exr't their pow to any present interposition 
therein, but do advise them to attend to councills of peace & therein to 
the submitting themselves one to another in the feare of ye Lord accord- 
ing to ye practice of the congregational chh. here settled. 

past September 12, 1671.! 

The council assembled in due time ; and, after hearing the 
testimony of the elders and prominent members of the church, 
and making such inquiries and personal investigations as the 
circumstances of the case warranted, a report was agreed 
upon, and presented to the General Court, severely criticising 
Mr. Edward Woodman and his supporters, but at the .same 
time declaring that his suspension from membership in the 
church was made in violation of the letter and spirit of the 
gospel, and, therefore, null and void. The report also re- 
quested and advised Rev. Mr. Woodbridge " not to im- 
pose himself or his ministry upon the church," nor obstruct 
the members in their choice of an assistant pastor, provided 
they observe "the gospel rule and approved church order." 
Preachers and hearers, although divided upon questions of 
doctrine and discipline, were exhorted " to walk according to 
the rule of faith, love and the order of the gospel," and to 
manifest " a mutual, hearty and free forgiveness of each other 
according to the rule of Christ." 

•Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part ii., p. 487 ; Coffin's History of Newbury, 
p. loi : Slassachusetts Archives, vol. x., pp. 59, 60. 
t Massachusetts Archives, vol. x., p. 107. 


May 15, 1672, the General Court accepted and adopted the 
report made by the council of churches, and ordered Edward 
Rawson, secretary of the colony, to notify the church at New- 
bury, " pastor and people, preachers and hearers, however 
before divided," to conform to its requirements and heed its 
admonitions, if they would avoid further difficulties and com- 

This communication, although firm and resolute in tone, 
did not secure the unanimity expected ; and the General Court, 
October 23, 1672, appointed a committee, consisting of Mr. 
Thomas Danforth, Mr. William Stoughton, Dr. Leonard 
Hoar, Capt. Thomas Clarke, Mr. Joshua Moody, and others, 
to confer with the pastor and people at Newbury, and urge 
them to submit, with meekness and humiliation, one unto the 
other, " and in case there shall appear any refractoriness in 
any amongst them that the persons so sent cannot prevail 
with them that they then make return to the next court of 
election what they find and do therein." f 

Although no report of the conference has been discovered, 
some compromises and concessions were probably suggested 
by the committee, and promptly accepted by the church at 
Newbury. The questions in dispute were adjusted without 
further legislative action on the part of the General Court. 

Rev. John Woodbridge did not probably retain his office 
as teacher in the church after the close of the year 1672. 

He still continued to reside in Newbury, however ; and June 
I, 1677, he was authorized by the General Court to take depo- 
sitions and acknowledgment of deeds. Subsequently, he 
was appointed one of the associate magistrates for the county 
of Essex; and in 1683 he was elected "assistant" to the 
General Court, and by virtue of his office was qualified to 
punish criminals and solemnize marriages. J He died March 
17, 1695. 

♦Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part, ii., pj). 521-524; also, Coffin's History of 
Newbury, pp. no, in. 

t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part ii., p. 549; also, Coffin's Historj- of Newbury, 
p. 112. 

jMr. John Woodbridge, of Newbury, was granted by the General Court, October n, 1682, 
" the priviledge that other teaching elders have as to freedome from rates, so long as he shall be 
imployed in constant preaching." Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. v., p. 379. 


Vifions and Prophecies 



Wherein the Miftakes of Former 


arc modeftly difcovcred y and the true 

TDeaning of the T t x T made plain by 

the Words and Circumflances of if. 

The fame alfo illuftrated by clear Inftances taken 

out of Histories which relate the Events 

of time myftically foretold by the holy Prophet. 

Amongfl: other things of Note , touching the 

Tw9Witr)f(fes^ the Nejv ^erufalem , the Thufaftd jeers ^Si.c. 

here is propounded a new Way for the finding out of the deter. 

minate time^ fignified by Da n i e l in his Seventy weeks ; 

when it did begin, sn4 when we are to expeft the end thereof. 
Very conliderabIe,in refped of the great ftirs and tu- 
mults e£ this prefcnt Age wherein we liyc. 

By Thomas' Parker, fometimcof Newborj in Beri^ihiT^ , and now 
Pador to the Church at Newberj in NewEngUnd. 

Dan- 1 2.4. Bw thoK^O Daniel./i^Mf up the wtrds^andfed the bool^^ even to thetime •/ the 

end : Many /ha ff run to and fro, and kpovpled^e /haO be encreafed. 
Joh. f . 5 9. Search the Scrtpfuret. 
I Thcfr.^.2 1. Prove aOthingj, htd^^/ajfthtt rohirh U good. _^ 

Lmdon, Printed toT Edmund Paxtonyitii are to he fold by NathamelfVebbMd 
WiBiam Grsntham, .»t the Grey-hound in PohIj Church-yard. 1646. 


In January, 1672-3, Rev. John Richardson was employed 
to assist Rev. Mr. Parker in the ministry. He was the oldest 
son of Amos and Mary Richardson, of Stonington, Conn.* 
He was ordained " teacher to the church of Christ in 
Newbury " October 20, 1675, and pastor December 25, 

Rev. Thomas Parker died April 24, 1677. For several 
years previous to his death he was totally blind. Although 
old and infirm, he was able to prepare students for college, 
and taught them Latin, Greek, and Hebrew from memory. 

About a year and half before he died, that which he had long feared 
befel him, viz: the palsey in his tongue: and so he became speechless, 
and thus continued until his death : having this only help left him, that 
he could pronounce letters, but not syllables or words. He signified his 
mind by spelling his words, which was indeed a tedious way, but yet a 
mercy so far to him and others. J 

During his life he published " The Visions and Prophecies 
of Daniel," and " A Letter to Mrs. Elizabeth Avery touch- 
ing Sundry Opinions by her Professed and Maintained." 
He also wrote the dedication and introduction to a posthu- 
mous work of Rev. James Noyes, entitled " Moses and 
Aaron, or the Rights of Church and State." 

The title-pages of these books, as well as a portion of the 
introduction to and dedication of Rev. Mr. Noyes' post- 
humous work, "Moses and Aaron," are here reproduced 
from original copies now in the possession of the Boston 
Public Library. They reveal, in visible form and shape, 
something of the religious thought and life that prevailed in 
Newbury in the seventeenth century, and are especially in- 
teresting and valuable to the student of local history. 

•History of New London, Caulkins, p. 302. 

t Newbury (First Parish) Records. 

X Mather's Ma.^nalia (ed. 1853), vol. i., p. 486. 


^g The Cop Y of a ^ 




^1 Mr. Thomoi' Tar{er, ^^ 


4M Written by ^i. 

"r^ Paflor of the Church of Newbury in Kf 

^^. N E W-En'G L AN D, ^'"^ 

'-rax _ ^ ^^ 

m TO ^5. 

t^ His Sirter, M" Elizabeth ^Jverj, it 

^^ Sometimes of Newhury in the County W^^ 

of B E R K S. »«<■ 

S Touching fundry ^f^ 


4|\^ r 1 IN i ^^ iN Dm- 

^^ BY HER Sf 

iS ProfefTed and Maintained. ^ 

,.^ ProfefTed and Maintained. ^ 

^>3^ ., ^^* 

^e^ Novemh.ii. JmprirmitHr ^|» 

4^ J O H K D O W N A M E . ^^ 






<^ LoMdoyt, Printed by John Field iov SdmurJTaxt on, at gs» 
4^ TdHls-ChAin, over againft the ^.i//^ Tavern, near ^1^ 
-1^ .the Doclors Commons. 1650. ^^ 

Mofes "<) Aaron: 

Or, The Rights of 


Containing two 


The former concerning the Church , in which 

are examined the principles of Separation, and their 

inconliftency-with truth and peace demonftratc!d : 

and the Government of the Churchvihdicated 

into ihe hands of herproper Rulers. 

The latter aflerts the facredneffe of the perfons and autho- 
rity of Kings a^-ainft Sacrilegious usurpation and King- killing. 

By that judicious and faithful MinifterofChrift,Mr, 
James notes, rometimesofAVH'W/in 
NE^V E Ng L^A ND. 

Publifhed by Benj, modbrid^e , Re6tor of "Kevphry 
in the County ol3 E RK S., 

Numb.i5.5. And they gathered themfelws together againjl^ Mol'es 
and Agaiaft Aaron, and [aid unta ihemy Te takj too_ much, ufon 
jeuy feeing all the Congregation are holy evcyy one of them , and 
the Lord u among thm : fvhereftre then lift je up ydur f elves 
above the Cor.gregation of the Lord } 

Jude ver.i l. Pertjhed in the gain-fajing of Coreh. 

Printed by T.J?. For Edmund Paxton, in Paah-chain^ o\cr 
asainft the Cafile Tavern, near Donors Commops i6 6i. 



Gentle Reader , 

HcH mayeH net expeB thk 
work^p^ould be fo perfeSi 
and exaSi^as if the Jnthor 
hadbeen Iwing to put it 
mt himfelf. The original 
Copy alfo was lately loft in 
aJhipfoHndredat Seayand 
he wrote this Treatife in the laft half year of 
his life tVi^hich was a time oj continual rveahpefs 
andpckaejje ending in bis death, 1 did often pre fs 
him long before to fet down his notions in writings 
but he jvasfliU averfe^ until the foref aid half year 
of his lajl vontinnance on earth. Notwitflandinji 
all thefe difconragements, I thought it not meet fo 
deprt've thee of the nfe of this bis laft labour , be- 
caufe I conceived it would be *very ujeful for the 
prefcnt time. a 3 


The Author M'' James Noyes (my worthy collegue 
in the mi7iistry of the Gospel here) was a man of Siii- 
gular qualifications, in piety excelling, an implacable 
enemy to all herisie and schism, and a most able war- 
rior against the same. . . . //e was couragiotis in danger 
and still was apt to believe the best, and made faire 
weather in a storm,. He was much honoured and 
esteem^ed in the Countj^ey^ and his death was m^ich 
bewailed. I tJiink he may be reckoned among the 
greatest worthies of this age. Upon the rising of our 
late usurpers, and the beheading of 07ir most graciotts 
and m.ost excellent King Charles the first, of blessed 
mem.ory, by a villanous stroke and under a wicked pre- 
tence of Justice & upon the defeating of our renowned 
King Charles the Second (whom God preserve) lie fell 
into such a depth of sadness and sorrow of heart that 
it hastened his death as was believed. So he died in 
the 48*'' year of his age Octob. 22, 16^6. He left be- 
hind him this posthume, imperfect ajid incompleat, 
which if he had lived he would have perfected with the 
addition of many rare a7id excellent notions, for the 
enlightning and discovery of truths 

Thine in the Lord 

Tho: Parker 
Pastor, tJiotigh unworthy, of the church in Newbury 
in N. E.* 

* Introduction to " Moses and Aaron," published in 1661. 


zurui uLi nT mnrriTnL 


To the moft 


PRINCE CHARLES thefreond, 

by the Grace of God KING of 

great Britain, France and Ireiand, 

Defender of the Faiths &e. 

Now as toiicJiing this work tJiat followetJi I Jiave presumed 
to dedicate the same to your Royal Majesty, because the matter 
of it pcrtainetJi to yo7ir consideration and because of the singu- 
lar joy and hopes I have of your asccjidijig into the TJwone, 
and because the Author zoas a special lover of your Royal 
FatJier {of blessed memory) and of your majesty, the fall of 
zvJiom stuck so close and neer unto him and ivronght in him so 
deep sorroiv and affliction, that it is thought to have been the 
principal cause of his death. Let your Majesties Gracio?is 
acceptation Countenance the work. . . . 

Now the God of all Grace and Mercy, zvho hath raised up 
your Majesty into the Throne of Royal Government . . . con- 
firni and establish you upon your TJirojie, and crown you with 
grace, prosperity and glory, unto his ozvn everlasting praise, 
the bea?tty and e7ilaigement of the Church and to the laying 
a foundation of JiigJier advancement of yourself in the future 
world than can be here expected. This is, and shall be the 
constant prayer of 

Your Majesties Most Loyal 

Scj-vant and Subject 


A minister of the Gospel, though unworthy, and Pastor to 
the Church of Newbury in A^eiv England. 

Writtcji from Newbury in Neiv England August 6, 1660.* 

* Dedication of " Moses and Aaron," published in 1661. 


Rev. John Richardson came to Newbury, as previously- 
stated, in 1673 ; but he was not ordained pastor until two 
years later. He was evidently an earnest and faithful 
preacher, and was successful in healing the dissensions that 
had disturbed the church for more than a quarter of a 

January 31, 1672-3, a committee, consisting of " Capt 
Gerrish, Richard Dole & Ensigne Greenleaf," was chosen " to 
build a house for the ministry the same dimensions every 
way according as Nath : Clarkes house is with an addition of 
a porch," to be paid for by a town vote.* 

December 3, 1673, the committee above named was au- 
thorized and directed to superintend " the building of Mr 
Richardsons house & to carry it on to the finishing of it & 
the selectmen were ordered to make a Rate for the building 
of it." * 

"March 2, 1673-4 It was voted that the finishing of the 
house for the ministry & the alteration of it is left to the 
selectmen," who were also ordered " to see that six acres of 
land be laid out for the ministry between Rich : Brownes 
pasture and Capt Gerrishes land," and also to buy glass and 
nails for the house.* 

December 6, 1674, Rev. John Richardson was admitted to 
membership in the church at Newbury ; f and March i, 
1674-5, Nathaniel Clark and Henry Jaques were appointed 
a committee " to complete the ministry house " according to 
the plans agreed upon, and the selectmen were instructed to 
notify all persons owning carts or oxen, suitable for hauling 
lumber or stone, to bring them to the committee, with such 
other implements and tools as were needed or could be used 
in building a fence or wall about the house and the pasture 

At the same meeting (March i, 1674-5) it was voted that 
a salary of one hundred pounds should be paid Rev. John 
Richardson annually, each person to pay his proportion on or 
before the first day of November, " one half in merchantable 

•Town of Newbury Records. 

t Coffin's History of Newbury, p. 115. 


barley at the malt houses of Daniel Pierce or Caleb Moody " 
and the other half in pork, wheat, butter, or Indian corn, to 
the satisfaction of Mr. Richardson.* 

May 7, 1675 Daniel Peirce Senr Nath : Clarke & John Bartlet Sen"- 
were chosen to compleat the finishing & fencing of the ministry 

In the summer of 1676 permission to build a new seat 
in the meeting-house, " in the south corner of the womens 
gallery," led to an exciting episode, which ultimately resulted 
in the indictment of Joshua Richardson, Caleb Richardson, 
and Edward Ordway " for breaking into the meeting house at 
Newbury, breaking of a pew and chairs &c." They were 
tried and convicted at the court held at Ipswich, March 27, 
1677, and sentenced to be severely whipped or pay a fine of 
ten pounds with costs and fees, and also to give bonds for 
their future good behavior. Richard Carr, who was accused 
of being associated with them in the commission of this unlaw- 
ful act, was found ''not guilty," and discharged.! 

August 18, 1680, the selectmen ordered that Anthony Morse should 
every Sabbath day go or send his boy to Mr. Richardson and tell him 
when he is going to ring the last bell every meeting and for that service 
is to have ten shillings a year added to his former annuity.* 

Aug 29, 1 68 1 The selectmen agreed with James Mirricke to keep the 
meeting house & sweep it and Ring the bell twice every meeting accord- 
ing to former custome in season, and to bring a bason of water to the 
meeting house when children are to be baptized, and to give notice to 
Mr Richardson when he goes to Ring the last bell every meeting both 
Sabath days & lecture days, and for this service the selectmen do 
engage in the behalfe of the Towne, that the said James Mirricke shall 
have yearly paid to him out of the Towne Rate the sum of three pound.s 
& 10 shillings. And the said James Mirrick is hereby engaged also to 
dig graves as occasion may be, for which he is to have three shillings 
for every man & womans Grave in the somer & when the frost is out of 
the Ground, but also in winter he is to have foure shillings for .such 
graves &c &.C.* 

At a town meeting held January 23, 1684-5, "Richard 
Bartlet not appearing, he being a deputy to the general 

*Town of Newbury Records. 

t Ipswich Court Records, vol. ii., p. 290; also, Coffin's History of Newbury, p. 119. 


court," Nicholas Noyes was chosen moderator, and the follow- 
ing vote was then passed : — 

The towne taking into consideration tiie Lord hath bin pleased to 
disable our Reverend Teacher by fever & that he is not able to carry on 
the worke of the ministry at present. It was therefore voted that the 
towne will allow twenty shillings in pay every Sabbath to such as shall 
carry on the worke of the ministry During the time of M' Richardsons 
sickness. And also desire the Deacons to take [ ] for such 

as may preach among us from one Sabbath to another untill god pro- 
vide otherwise for our help.* 

During the following summer the inhabitants at the west 
end of the town were exceedingly anxious to erect a house of 
worship in that neighborhood, and asked liberty to employ a 
suitable person to carry on the work of the ministry among 
them. This humble request, however, was not granted. 
Nevertheless, the petitioners proceeded to build, without per- 
mission, a meeting-house in the vicinity of Sawyer's hill, and 
employed Mr. Edward Thompson to preach there. A long 
and serious contest followed, which ultimately led to setting 
off part of the west end of the town as a separate parish. f 

Mr. John Clark was invited to assist Rev. John Richardson 
in the discharge of his ministerial duties, and also to keep a 
grammar school at the west end of the town. He declined 
the invitation, and Rev. Christopher Toppan was asked to 
undertake the work. May 28, 1694, Mr. Toppan replied that 
he could not give an afifirmative answer to the proposal sub- 
mitted to him, but expressed his willingness " to help in the 
work of the ministry in Newbury for a year in order to fur- 
ther settlement as Gods providence shall make way." * 

Rev. Mr. Richardson died April 27, 1696; and, on the fif- 
teenth day of May following, the church invited Rev. Christo- 
pher Toppan to take the entire charge of the parish. May 
twenty-fifth, the freeholders and inhabitants of the town voted 
to give him forty pounds a year in money and forty pounds a 
year in provision, so long as he carried on the whole work of 
the ministry among them.* 

In the month of July following, the town granted him two 

*Town of Newbury Records. 

t P'or the details of this prolonged controversy .see pp. T.v^rZ^b. 


acres of land to be laid out in' some convenient place near the 
meeting-house, " provided that he be ordained and settle in 
the town." * 

He accepted the office of pastor of the church, and was 
ordained September 9, 1696. For more than twenty years 
he occupied the parsonage built for Rev. Mr. Richardson, on 
Floyd's lane, now Hanover street, Newbury. f 

Services in the meeting-house on Sundays and lecture days 
were announced by the ringing of a bell ; but persons living at 
a distance were not satisfied with that way of calling the in- 
habitants together, and the town voted, November 8, 1697, to 
authorize the selectmen " to procure a flagg for the meeting 
house to be put out at the ringing of the first bell and taken 
in when the last bell is rung." % 

In the month of July following, " the worshipf ull Coll Daniel 
Pierce, Esq. Cap' Thomas Noyes and Serj. Stephen Jaques " 
were chosen a committee to prepare plans and ascertain the 
probable cost of a new meeting-house. J December 21,1 698, an 
agreement was made with Sergt. Stephen Jaques to furnish 
the labor and materials for the new building, to be con- 
structed according to plans and specifications submitted, for 
the sum of five hundred and thirty pounds : " Sixty foote in 
length & fifty foote in breadth and twenty foote in the stud, 
or post." February 8, 1698-9, it was voted to increase the 
length of the posts and studs to twenty-four feet, and to pay 
Sergt. Jaques not over twenty pounds additional for this 
extra work.§ 

December 18, 1699 Coll Dan' Peirce & Majr Thomas Noyes were by 
vote desired & impowered to imploy ye Honrble Cap' Samuel Sewall of 
Boston, Esq. To procure a good and sufficient meeting hous Bell for 
the Towne of Newbury suitable for our Towne considering ye Remote- 
ness of our dwellings. 

* Town of Newbury Records. 

t Rev. Christopher Toppan was born December 15, 167 1, and graduated at Harvard College in 
i6qi. He was a son of Dr. Peter Toppan, of Newbury. July 17, 1718, he purchased of Nathaniel 
Clark seven and a half acres of lacd, with a dwelling-house thereon, now owned and occupied by 
Capt. Moses J. Milliken, Newburyport (Essex Deeds, book xxxvi., leaf 8g). April 2g, 1746, he sold 
to his grandson, Christopher Toppan, son of Edward Toppan, of Hampton, N.H., "land in New- 
bury with the house I now dwell in, bounded westerly on the country road, easterly on New 
Lane, so called flkc." (Essex Deeds, book Ixxxvii., leaf 26g). The country road, is now High 
street and New lane is now Allen street, Newburyport. 

+ Town of Newbury Records, vol. iii., p. 48. § Ibid., p. 50. 


It was also voted y« a new pulpitt should be made for the new meet- 
ing hous.* 

There was evidently some delay in procuring a new bell, 
and April 22, 1700, the town voted " y* Serj* Jaques shall 
forthwith hang the [old] meeting-house bell in the New 
Terrett."t . 

August 21, 1700 voted yt ye Selectmen are apoynted to desire and 
imploy Capt Jeremiah Duiiier, of Boston, Esqr to procure a good meet- 
ing hous Bell for the east pt of the Towne of Newbury of about 400 

October 18, 1700 voted that Coll. Dan' Pierce, Esq. & Tristram 
Coffin, Esq. be impowered to procure a meeting house bell for^the new 
meeting house of about four hundred waite.§ 

April 30, 1 701 voted that when the East pt of the Towne of Newbury 
shall be supplyed wth a new meeting house Bell, that then the present 
meeting house Bell shall be & remaine to be a schoole Bell & improved 
for yt use. II 

January 4, 1705-6 voted that the new Bell be hanged in the Terret 
of the meeting house & yt the selectmen se that it be done with all con- 
venient speede, also to take care that the Bell be Rung at nine of the 
clock every night, and that the day of the month be every night tolled.TI 

October 1 8, 1 700, a committee was appointed to assign seats 
in the new meeting-house to the freeholders and inhabitants 
of the town ; and the same day " It was also voted y^ a pew 
be built for y« ministers wife next y* pulpit stayrs, . . . also 
y^ Coll Dan' Peirce, Esq. should have his first choyce of a 
pew & Maj"" Thomas Noyes, Esq shall have the next choyce 
for a pew." § 

In the month of November following, Henry Short, Henry 
Somerby, Tristram Coffin, Nathaniel Coffin, Capt. Edward 
Sargent, Dr. Humphrey Bradstreet, and many others were 
granted liberty to build pews, at their own charge, for the 
accommodation of their wives and families ; and on the 
sixteenth day of December the committee appointed " to 
seat the meeting house " reported the names of three hun- 
dred and thirteen persons, inhabitants of the First parish in 
Newbury, to whom they had assigned seats. The location of 

* Town of Newbury Records, vol. iii., p. 55. t Ibid., p. 58. + Ibid., p. 62. § Ibid., 

p. 65. II Ibid., p. 77. H Ibid., p. 120. 


these seats and the names of the persons assigned to them 
were entered in full upon the records of the town.* 

January 19, 1702-3, Ensign Jaques and Richard Kelly 
were appointed a committee " to build a convenient porch to 
the west dore of the meeting hous heere at the east p* of 
Newbury and sutible and convenient Gutters to s^ meeting 
house." f 

March 17, 1702-3, the town voted that the old meeting- 
house " be repayred and fitted for a Court House & Schoole 
House" ; but this vote was afterwards reconsidered, and May 
23, 1705, "the old meeting house [was] then Granted to 
M"' Richard Brown, Junior, w''^ liberty to remove it." 

The new edifice, erected during the summer and winter of 
1699, was large and commodious. 

The body of the house was filled with long seats. Contiguous to 
the wall were twenty pews. The spaces for the pews were granted to 
particular persons, who appear to have been principals. Before the 
pulpit and deacon's seat was a large pew containing a table, where sat 
the chiefs of the fathers. The young people sat in the upper gallery, 
and the children on a seat in the alley, fixed to the outside of the pews. 
The floor measured 60 by 50 feet. The roof was constructed with four 
gable ends, or projections, one on each side, each containing a large 
window, which gave light to the upper galleries. The turret was in the 
centre. The space within was open to the roof, where was visible 
plenty of timber, with great needles and little needles pointing down- 
wards, which served at once for strength and ornament. There were 
many ornaments of antique sculpture and wainscot. It was a stately 
building in the day of it, but it was not my lot to see it in all its ancient 
glory. Long ago a wall was spread overhead, and the floor was occu- 
pied by pews. The roof was made plain, the four very steep sides ter- 
minating in a platform which supported a steeple. J 

All questions relating to the temporal affairs of the First 
church in Newbury were discussed and settled at the annual 
or special meetings of the town, and appropriations of money 
for the minister or for building the meeting-house were re- 
corded on the same page with the election of constables, 
fence-viewers, surveyors of highways, and other officers of the 

•Town of Newbur>' Records, vol. iii., pp. 69-72. t Ibid., p. 92. 

+ Appendix to a sermon preached September 17, 1806, by Rev. John S. Popkin, of 


town. But after the Second church was organized and 
parish hnes estabhshed, meetings for the consideration of 
town affairs and meetings of the parish for the consideration 
of church affairs were held independently of each other, and 
separate books of record were kept by the town and parish 

Early in the spring of 1722, the inhabitants of the First 
parish in Newbury invited Mr. Daniel Holbrook " to assist 
Rev. Christopher Toppan in the ministry." Some objections 
were made to the proposed settlement of an assistant pastor ; 
and, April 6, 1722, a committee was chosen to confer with Mr. 
Toppan and Mr. Holbrook in order to remove the objections, 
if possible.* 

On the twelfth day of July, the church voted to invite Mr. 
Holbrook to accept the office of teacher, or assistant pastor ; 
and, on the nineteenth day of September following, the parish 
voted to unite with the church in the invitation and make an 
effort to secure a favorable answer. 

At this time the division of the parish and the organization 
of a new church was earnestly advocated by the inhabitants 
of Newbury living in the vicinity of Greenleaf's lane, now 
State street, Newburyport. 

September 19, 1722 it was voted that If ye Inhabitants at y^ west- 
erly end of said [First] Parish Uo obtain a meeting house and be 
orderly set off from this Parish; that then sd Inhabitants at sd westerly 
end shall be reimbursed what money they shall disburse towards ye set- 
tlement of the said Mr Holbrook besides his yearly Sallery, and that all 
the Inhabitants that desire it, on the Northerly side of y*^ Lane called 
Chandlers Lane, and from the uper end of said Lane on a Strait Line 
to y; Northerly side of Cap' John Marches, from and thence on a strait 
Line to John Browns house untill it Comes to ye Line of y^ Second 
Parish In said Towne, Shall Have Liberty to Build a meeting house for 
them selves In ye most Reasonable Place for the Conveniency of said 
Inhabitants. And when they are duly Qualified for it In ye Judgment 
of said Parish To be set off and freed from the ministry In this Part of 
said Parish (as many of y"' as are willing for it and desire it) as to their 
polls and estates that Lay on ye northerly side of sd Line.f 

* Newbury ■ First Parish) Records, p. i. 

tNewbury (First Parish) Records, vol. i., p. 3. Three years later a meeting-house was 
erected on a triangular lot of land, now known as Market square, Newburyport ; and December 
18, 1725, the General Court adopted an order establishing the Third parish of Newbury (" Ould 
Newbury," p. 430). 


November 6, 1722, the inhabitants of the First parish 
voted to pay Mr. Daniel Holbrook eighty pounds a year for 
his services, 

• • • the said M' Holbrook to preach a lecture once a month (if the 
Rev. Mr Toppan agree thereunto) and that he take due care to visit his 
Parishoners and to see tliat ye head & masters of families take due 
care to catachise their children and servants as may be thought need- 

Mr. Holbrook evidently entered upon his duties without 
delay, and would undoubtedly have been ordained assistant 
pastor of the church at Newbury, had his life been spared. 
He was seized with a sudden illness, while preaching, on Sun- 
day, April 14, 1723, and was obliged to leave the pulpit. He 
died five days later.f 

March 22, 1725-6, a committee was chosen to attend to 
the repairing of the meeting-house and making it more com- 
fortable ; and, July thirteenth, the parish voted 

. . . that the four Gable ends In ye Roof of ye meeting House be 
Taken Down and that each Part opened thereby be well Timbered and 
Boarded and Shingled up and made tite & Sound up to ye Platform In 
ye same form on Each side as ye hip Rafters now stand, and that Mr. 
James Noyes should undertake and Perform ye above said work. § 

It is evident, however, from subsequent votes of the parish 
that two of these "gable ends" were left standing for ten or 
fifteen years. May 20, 1729, it was voted to shingle the 
back side of the meeting-house, divide the large window into 
two parts, put in new window glass where necessary, and 
make other needed repairs. 

March 13, 1729-30 voted that those who live remote from ye meet- 
ing house should have liberty to go Into ye schoolhouse on Sabath days 
for their comfort In wet, cold or hot seasons, as they may have occasion 
to use.§ 

March 22, 1730-31 William Ilsley and Joseph Morse, Junior, were 
chosen and appointed to tune the psalm In ye meeting house In time of 
Publick worship and take their Turn In that work that it may be done 
with ye more ease and cheerfulness. And the said Morse is appointed 

* Newbury (First Parish) Records, vol. i., p. 4. 

t Coffin's History of Newbury, p. 193. § Newbury (First Parish) Records. 


to sit in the fore seat of ye south body with ye said Ilsley for ye manag- 
ing said work.* 

May 6, 1740, a committee was appointed to provide an 
upper floor or ceiling for the meeting-house, " either over ye 
Beams or under as the Com"''^ think most proper " ; and Sep- 
tember r 7, 1 740, the parish v^oted " that the two gables now 
standing on y^ meeting house be taken down and the places 
where they stand be well timbered, Boarded & shingled as 
the other sides of said house are," provided the carpenters 
employed to repair the meeting-house will do this extra work 
without charge.* 

In 1742, the religious excitement in Newbury was intense. 
Revival preachers attracted large crow^ds of attentive listeners, 
and meeting-houses were frequently occupied without the con- 
sent or approbation of the conservative orthodox ministers of 
the town. In an anonymous communication, published in the 
Boston Evening Post, May 3, 1742, "the reverend N. 
Rogers of Ipswich, Mr. Daniel Rogers and Mr. Bewell, candi- 
dates for the ministry," are charged with having come into 
Newbury "and taken possession of Mr. Lowell's meeting 
house without his knowledge, or asking leave of the proprie- 
tors of the house, or the consent of the church or congrega- 
tion. . . . An attempt of the like factious nature was made 
upon the reverend Mr Toppan's meeting house, but Mr. 
Toppan being present the party was repulsed." 

In the Boston Gazette or Weekly Journal, published May 
I7(.?), 1742, the statements made in the communication 
quoted above were denied. A newspaper contro\'ersy fol- 
lowed that lasted several months. In the Boston Evening 
Post, July 12, 1742, the facts as stated in the article pub- 
lished on the third day of May were reiterated, and the truth 
established by a certificate signed by Abraham Titcomb and 
Humphrey Richards, and sworn to before Henry Rolfe, justice 
of the peace. f 

Disorderly and irreverent boys occasionally disturbed the 
sanctity of the Sabbath, and aroused the indignation of the 
older and more sedate inhabitants of the town. 

* Newbury (First Parish) Records. 

t See Boston Kvening Post ; also, Coffin's History of Newbury, p. 212. 


At a meeting of the selectmen held July 6, (663 Gyles Cromlom 
was chosen for this yeare to look that the boyes be kept in order, & 
take notice of such as are out of order & give notice to the selectmen 
& he shall have six shillings out of the next towne vote.* 

October 9, 171 1, voted that ye select men shall forthwith imploy 
severall persons to take care ye Boyes be kept in order on Sabath days 
& satisfie sd persons out of y^ money of ye parish to which they belong 
for their service. f 

March 25, 1723 M"" Joseph Knight and Mr Nathan Noyes were 
chosen to take care of ye youth in said Parish that they be kept In 
order on Sabath Days & Especially In time of Publick worship. J 

March 22, 1730-31 Mr. John Lunt was chosen to sit In ye Gallery to 
take care and keep ye youth still In time of Publick worship and to 
Inform parents & masters of such as are found to be unruly. § 

February 6, 1745-6 voted that the stairs that lead into the upper 
galleries shall be stopped up so that the boys cannot go up in said 
galleries on Sabbath days and the committee of the parish are hereby 
impowered to see it done speedily. § 

July 16, 1745, Rev. John Tucker was invited to assist 
Rev. Christopher Toppan in the work of the ministry in the 
First church in Newbury. This invitation was vigorously 
opposed by some of the most influential men in the parish, 
and finally resulted in the withdrawal of a large number of 
disaffected brethren and the organization of a new religious 
society. Although greatly perplexed and disturbed by the 
lack of harmony in the parish, Rev. Mr. Tucker accepted the 
call October 11, 1745, and on the twentieth day of November 
following he was ordained assistant pastor of the church. || 

January 19, 1745-6, fifteen or twenty persons who had 
opposed the settlement of the new minister were notified to 
appear at a meeting to be held four days later, and answer to 
the accusations brought against them. This notice was evi- 
dently ignored by the disaffected brethren, and subsequently 

*Town of Newbury Records, vol. i. t Ibid., vol. iii., p. 157. 

+ Newbury (First Parish) Records, p. 7. § Newbury (p'irst Parish) Records. 

II Rev. John Tucker was bom iu Amesbury, September 20, 1719. The services at his ordina- 
tion were simple and impressive. After the singing of a psalm, prayer was offered by Rev. 
William Johnson, of the Fourth church in Newbury, now the Second in West Newbury, which 
was followed by a sermon from the text (2 Corinthians vi:i) : "We then as workers 
together with him beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain," by 
Rev. Payne Wingate, of Amesbury. Rev. Caleb Gushing, of Salisbury, gave the charge to the 
people. Rev. John Lowell, of the Third church in Newbury, now the First in Newburyport, 
gave the right hand of fellowship, and Rev. Thomas Barnard, of the .Second church in New- 
bury, now the First in West Newbury, made the closing prayer. 


they were solemnly admonished for contemptuous behavior 
and wilful neglect of public worship by the elders of the 
church. Every person who had voluntarily abstained from 
communion, or had openly denounced the doctrinal views of 
Rev. Mr. Tucker, was called upon to confess his misdeeds and 
manifest a spirit of penitence and contrition. The perverse 
and obdurate brethren, however, persisted in their schismatical 
opinions, and soon after organized a new church, and invited 
Rev. Jonathan Parsons, of Lyme, Conn., to become their 

After this date, the communion service was usually omitted 
during the winter months, from the first day of December to 
the first day of April following. The male members of the 
church were assessed twelve pence and the female members 
ninepence every year, " to provide bread and wine for the 
communion table," but the deacons were authorized to 
excuse all poor and needy persons from paying this assess- 

Sins of omission and commission were frequently confessed 
by penitent transgressors of the moral law at the close of 
divine service on Sundays and lecture days. In many instances 
"for a gross breach of the seventh commandment" the 
offenders were admonished, "restored to charity," and their 
children admitted to the rites of baptism." f 

Although a large proportion of the congregation came on 
foot to the meeting-house, many who lived at a distance rode 
on horseback. Frequently, the great number of horses tied 
near the doorway were a serious inconvenience to the devout 
worshippers; and March 12, 175 1-2, the parish voted that 
" the sexton inform those People that hitch or tie their horses 
near the South Door of the meeting House so that they move 
said horses that they shall not Discomode the women getting 
on their horses." f 

The parish also voted, June 17, 1761, "to make use of 
Mr. Tates & Dr. Bradys version of the Psalms, together with 
a number of Dr. Watts Hymns usually bound up there with, 
in their publick singing," and on the twelfth day of 

* " Ould Newbury," pp. 50S-525. t Newbury (First Parisii) Records. 


November following "voted to build a pew in some con- 
venient jDlace in the meeting house for the accommodation of 
the singers." * 

The reading of the Bible in the pulpit without words of 
comment or explanation from the minister was considered 
unprofitable and dangerous ; but April 19, 1769, the subject 
was thoroughly discussed, and, after a prolonged debate, it 
was voted *' that it is agreeable to y^ church the scriptures be 
read in publick." * 

Soon after this date extensive repairs were made on the 
meeting-house. A committee appointed to examine the roof 
reported in October, 1763, that it was in an unsafe condition, 
that the " turret " should be removed and the bell taken 
down. This report, after considerable discussion, was ac- 
cepted ; and the parish voted, November 28, 1763, "that the 
bell should be hung in the highway near John Brown, Esq's 
land & nearly opposite to the porch of the meeting house." 
On the second day of December, Mr. Brown signed a written 
agreement giving the parish permission to erect on his land 
a suitable tower or frame for the support of the bell, " to 
remain there until removed to some other place by vote of 
the parish." 

In 1772, the roof of the meeting-house was strengthened, 
and a tower or turret erected thereon, " with a copper weather 
cock on top of the Piremid." The bell was then hung in 
the place provided for it in the turret. 

All persons residing within the limits of the First parish in 
Newbury were taxed for the support of public worship in that 
parish. February 4, 1773, the inhabitants "voted not to 
release any of the pretended churchmen from the payment of 
taxes." At the Court of Common Pleas held at Ipswich in 
the month of March, 1773, Rev. Edward Bass, rector of St. 
Paul's church, Newburyport, brought a suit against the 
treasurer and collectors of the parish, " to recover taxes paid 
said parish by Nicholas Short and John Dole both inhabitants 
of the First Parish in Newbury, but regular communicants of 
St. Paul's Church." John Lowell, Esq., of Newburyport, 

•Newbun' (First Parish) Records. 


appeared as attorney for the defendants, and Daniel Farnham, 
Esq., also from Newburyport, for the plaintiff. The jury ren- 
dered a verdict in favor of the parish, and the plaintiff appealed 
to the Superior Court of Judicature for the county of Essex. 
Upon a review of the case in the Superior Court in the 
month of June, 1774, the defendants were held liable to pay 
the sum of ^1, \s. %d. upon certain conditions, but were al- 
lowed to deduct witness fees, costs of court, etc. 

In consequence of the extraordinary high price of wine in 
1777, every male member of the church was expected to pay 
three shillings and every female two shillings and sixpence 
for the support of the communion table. In 1779, the tax 
was raised to $6.50 for every man and $5.50 for every 
woman. In 1780, the men were called upon to pay twenty 
dollars and the women sixteen dollars each to meet the ex- 
penses of the communion table for that year. 

After the death of James Mirrick, who was sexton of the 
church for twenty-five or thirty years, the selectmen made the 
following agreement July 11, 171 1 : — 

Benj Mors ye 3^ is to ring ye Bell and sweep the meeting house for 
one year, the year to begin the ist of July T71 1, sd Mors is to Ring the 
Bell at nine of the clock every night and Sabath days and Lecture day 
and such like. And sd Mors is to winge or Rub down the principle 
seats the day after sweeping of the meeting hous. And s^ Mors is to 
have for his years service about ye meeting hous eight pound and ten 
shillings, one half to be paid in money and the other half as money. 
Also to toule the Bell till the minister comes.* 

March 28, 1732, Henry Lunt was chosen sexton, and 
allowed eighteen pence a week for sweeping the meeting- 
house and twelve pence a week for ringing the bell. He 
served until March 1 5,- 1736-7, when Humphrey Richards 
was elected. Henry Lunt died August 9, 1737. 

Humphrey Richards was chosen sexton annually until 
March 15, 1784, when a committee was appointed to provide 
a sexton for the year ensuing. Mr. Richards died previous 
to February i, 1785.! 

* Town of Newbury (Selectmen's) Records, 1693-1728, p. 162. 
t Moses Short's Book of Burials. 


Moses Short was probably appointed sexton in 1784. His 
first burial, according to the record, was made December 30, 
1784. He served as sexton until 1836. 

Reuben Jackman was sexton from April, 1836, to April, 

Elisha Bean was sexton from 1 841 to 1850, and Jeremiah 
C. Young from 1850 to 1857. 

Hiram Young was chosen sexton in March, 1857, and 
served until March, 1874. 

Elisha Bean was sexton in 1874, and Moses Young from 
1875 to 1885. 

In March, 1885, Albert Tilton was chosen, but declined to 
serve, and George W. Haskell was appointed to fill the va- 
cancy. Mr. Haskell retained the office until 1889. 

William Rogers was sexton from 1889 to October or 
November in 1890, when Moses Young was appointed to fill 
out the unexpired term. From that date to the present 
Mr. Young has been annually elected sexton of the First 
parish in Newbury. 

Rev. Christopher Toppan died July 23, 1747. After his 
death, Rev. Mr. Tucker remained in sole charge of the parish 
for nearly fifty years. In 1766, a few dissatisfied members 
of the church proceeded to organize a new society, and made 
preparations to erect a new meeting-house, nearly opposite 
the old one, on land purchased of Mr. John Brown.* The 
house was raised and boarded, but for some reason was never 
finished. In a violent storm of thunder, lightning, wind, and 
rain it was blown down, February 9, 1771. 

In the summer of 1766 an attempt was made to call 
a council of churches to consider the disorganized condition 
of affairs in the parish, but the effort was unsuccessful. 
March 29, 1767, the subject was again discussed, and the re- 
fusal of the pastor to unite with his unfriendly critics in call- 
ing a council of churches was sustained.! 

♦February 24, 1766, John Brown sold to Joshua Coffin, Nicholas Short, Jacob Knight, 
Samuel Noyes, John Dole, jr., Joseph Jaques, Moses Noyes, jr., Isaac Noyes, and Nathan 
Peirce a lot of land in Newbury " to erect a meeting house upon for the Publick Worship of 
God." Essex Deeds, book cxix., leaf 63 ; also. Coffin's History of Newbury, p. 233. 

t Newbury (First Parish Church) Records. 


Rev. John Tucker died March 22, 1792, in the seventy- 
third year of his age. For several years after that date the 
church remained without a pastor, although an effort was 
made to secure the services of Rev. Samuel Mead in 1793 
and of Rev. Phineas Randall in 1795 ; but both gentlemen 
declined the call extended to them. On the twenty-eighth 
day of January, 1796, Rev. Abraham Moor was invited to 
take charge of the parish. He accepted the invitation, and 
was ordained on the twenty-third day of March following.* 
Theological differences had not then separated churches that 
were strictly orthodox from those holding a more liberal faith ; 
and Rev. Thomas Gary and Rev. John Andrews, pastor and 
assistant pastor of the First Religious society of Newbury- 
port, although not believers in the Calvinistic creed, were 
among the clergymen invited to attend and participate in the 
ordination exercises. 

Rev. Mr. Moor was not at that time strong and vigorous, 
and soon after was taken seriously ill. He died of pulmonary 
consumption June 24, 1801. Rev. Nathaniel Noyes supplied 
the pulpit until the spring of 1 804 ; and Rev. John Snelling 
Popkin, of Boston, was installed pastor of the church on the 
nineteenth day of September following. f In the exercises 
on that occasion. Rev. John Andrews, of Newburyport, gave 
the right hand of fellowship. 

November 9, 180-5, the parish voted to build a new meeting- 
house ; and May 4, 1806, Rev. Mr. Popkin preached for the 
last time in the old one before it was taken down.f The 
frame of the new building was raised June 17, 1806. It was 
sixty-one feet long and fifty-one feet wide. It was completed 
and dedicated with appropriate exercises September 17, 1806. 

During the pastorate of Rev. Mr. Popkin the church was 
united and prosperous. On the twenty-seventh day of Sep- 
tember, 1 81 5, having been invited to accept a professorship 
in Harvard College, he asked to be released from his pastoral 

*Rev. Abraham Moor, the son of Deacon John and Mary (Cochrane) Moor, was bom in 
Londonderry (in that part of the town now Derry), N.H., September 8, 1768. 

t Rev. Mr. Popkin was ordained in Boston in ijgg. Previous to his settlement in New- 
bury, he officiated for several years at Wenham, Mass., and at Londonderry, N.H. 

{From the sermons preached May fourth and September seventeenth, 1806, by Rev. Mr. 
Popkin, many facts incorporated in this sketch have been taken. 


duties. On the fifth day of October following, a council was 
called, at which the First Religious society of Newbury port 
was represented by Rev. John Andrews. 

After long deliberation the council, with great unanimity, 
voted to advise Rev. Mr. Popkin to accept the professorship 
and take up the important work to which he had been called, 
but at the same time earnestly exhorted him to retain his 
office as pastor of the church at Newbury. Yielding to the 
advice of the council and the solicitation of friends, he re- 
mained in charge of the parish until September 3, 18 16, when 
he tendered his resignation, which was duly accepted.* 

Meanwhile the parish and church united in extending an 
invitation to Rev. Leonard Withington to become their 
pastor. He was unwilling to accept the position unless some 
changes were made in the church covenant and in the ordi- 
nances relating to the baptism of children whose parents were 
not in full communion with the church.* These changes 
were agreed to; and October 16, 18 16, at the suggestion of 
Rev. Mr. Withington, a committee was appointed to confer 
with the members of the First Presbyterian church in New- 
buryport in regard to the animosities and misunderstandings 
that had resulted from the organization of that church in 
1745. A reconciliation was effected, past differences "were 
buried in oblivion," and October, 31, 18 16, Rev. Leonard 
Withington was ordained pastor of the First church in New- 
bury. Rev. Daniel Dana, pastor of the First Presbyterian 
church, and Rev. John Andrews, pastor of the F"irst Relig- 
ious society of Newburyport, were among the ministers in- 
vited to assist in the ordination exercises.* 

For more than forty years Rev. Mr. Withington served the 
parish as preacher and pastor with great acceptance and 
ability. He resigned the active duties of that office October 
31, 1859, but remained senior pastor of the church until his 
death, April 26, 1885. 

January 20, 1859, Rev. John R. Thurston was ordained 
assistant pastor. January 26, 1868, the meeting-house, 
built in 1806, was destroyed by fire. A new house of wor- 

* Newbury (First Parish Church) Records. 



ship was erected on the opposite side of the street, and dedi- 
cated on the fourth day of March, 1869. The land upon 
which the old house stood now forms a part of the burying- 
ground near "the trayneing green." 

Rev. Mr. Thurston resigned his office as assistant pastor, 
and was dismissed March 28, 1870, at his own request. 

Ruir.T IN 1806. Destroyed by fire :n i86S. 

Since that date the pastors of the church have been : Rev. 
Omar W. Folsom, settled October 31, 1872, resigned June 5, 
1884; Rev. Francis W. Sanborn, settled November 20, 1884, 
resigned October 20, 1896; Rev. Charles S. Holton, settled 
May 1 1, 1897. 



In 1685, fifty years after the first settlers landed on the 
banks of the Ouascacunquen river, and one year before the 
common land in the " upper woods " beyond the Artichoke 
river was divided, a petition was presented to the inhabitants 
of Newbury for the employment of a suitable person to attend 
to the work of the ministry at the west end of the town. Al- 
though the petitioners lived at some distance from the meet- 
ing-house, and could not " with any comfort or convenience 
come to the public worship of God," their request was not 
complied with ; and four years later a few individuals built, at 
their own expense, a building thirty feet square, at or near 
the place now known as the burying-ground at Sawyer's hill, 
for the accommodation of those who desired to attend public 
worship in that neighborhood.* 

At a town meeting held February 25, 1689-90, a com- 
mittee was appointed to confer with Rev. John Richardson, 
pastor of the First church in Newbury, in regard to the pro- 
posed settlement of a minister at the west end. This com- 
mittee reported that Rev. Mr. Richardson declined to give 
any advice ; and, considering the difficulties and disadvantages 
that would be likely to result from the organization of a new 
religious society in the town, the committee recommended 
that the privilege asked for should not be granted at that 

On the eleventh day of March following, 

John Emery Abraham Merrill Joseph Bayley 

John Emery Jun. Samuel Bartlet Richd Bartlet 

Benj Lowle Jno Bartlet Joseph Richardson 

Jno Orclway Stephen Emery Jno Merrick 

Jno Chace Joshua Browne Stephen Sawyer 

in behalf of the inhabitants of the west end of the town, sub- 
mitted two proposals. 

I. That the Towne would agree to make a rate for the maintenance 
of two ministers so that we at the new Towne might have the word of 
God preached among us at the West meeting house and that by a Lov- 

• " Ould Newbury," pp. 363-366. 


ing agreement of the towne together, wliich wee your friends & broathers 
have long wished for, and now would hope that we may Lovingly 
agree in. But now if the Towne will not grant us that proposition, our 
second is, 

2. That the Towne would grant us their free consent [to establish] 
the ministry among us upon our own charg & that the Towne would 
Lovingly agree to a Dividing line between us so we may know what 
families may now belong to the West meeting house &c.* 

These proposals' were not favorably received, and after some 
delay the inhabitants of the west end extended a call to Mr. 
Edward Tompson to be their minister. The town objected 
to this unauthorized display of authority ; and on the fourteenth 
day of July, 1691, "did by vote manifest their dislike against 
it, or against any other minister whom they should call, until 
ye church and towne are agreed upon it, looking upon such 
a thing to be an intrusion upon ye church and towne." * 

From this decision a few individuals residing in the vicinity 
of the newly erected meeting-house appealed to the General 
Court; and the town, at a meeting held December 2, 1691, 
passed the following resolve : — 

Whereas divers of the inhabitants of our Towne presented to the 
Honoured Genii Court a petition dated Octo. i 1691 to be established 
a people by themselves for the maintainance of the ministry amongst 
them & whereas the Honoured Genrii Court at a session of ys in Boston 
14th of Octobr 1 69 1 ordered yt a copy of s^ petition be sent to the Towne 
of Newbury and that oportunity be given them at the next sitting of the 
Court to present what they have to offer why the petioners should not 
be granted what they move for, if they have anything against it. 

The inhabitants of the Towne did then by vote manifest y'"selves 
against the new Townes men having yr petition granted & did then 
desire ye vvor.shippful J no Woodbridg Esq. Capt Peirce, Capt Noyes, 
Deacon Noyes and ye selectmen to draw up a petition to ye next ses- 
sions of ye Genii Court in the behalf of the Towne in way of answer to 
ye new Towne mens petition & that Capt Noyes should manage ye s^l 
afare in the behalfe of ye Towne at ye next session of ye Genii Court.* 

In December, 1692, the town voted to call another minister 
to preach at the west end, and keep school there. 

May 10, 1693 It was voted y' Mr John Clarke be chosen to Asist 
Mr John Richardson in the worke of the ministry «S: to help at the west 

* Town of Newbury Records. 


end of the Tovvne of Newbury to preach to them for one yeare in order 
to further settlement as the Church & Towne shall agree & also to keepe 
a Gramer Schoole for wch the s^ Towne engages to allow s^ Mf^ Clarke 
Rational! satisfaction if he except of the worke.* 

In a petition presented to the General Court May 31, 1693, 
William Moody, Henry Somerby, Joseph Kittel, and Joseph 
Pike, selectmen of Newbury, state that Mr. Clarke had ac- 
cepted the call ; but several inhabitants of the west end of the 
town refused to receive him, claiming that they were bound 
by their agreement to aid and support Mr. Edward Tompson, 
who was then engaged in the work of the ministry among 
them, and the petitioners humbly requested the honored court 
to take such action as might be necessary to restore order and 
reconcile conflicting interests in the church. f 

To this petition John Emery, John Emery, jr., Abraham 
Morrill, and John Ordway, in behalf of the west end people, 
replied that they had been endeavoring for more than five 
years to have the public worship of God estabUshed among 
them ; that many of them lived four, and some of them six or 
seven, miles from the old meeting-house ; and that the old and 
infirm, especially in the winter time, were unable to travel 
that distance. They therefore asked the General Court for 
liberty to maintain a minister of their own choice, at their own 
cost, and also asked to be released from the payment of taxes 
for the support of public worship elsewhere. In order that 
they might live in peace and harmony with their neighbors, 
they desired to be set off into a separate precinct, and a 
rational dividing line established between them. \ 

No definite action was taken by the General Court ; and at 
a meeting of the inhabitants of Newbury held July 5, 1693, 
the subject v/as again considered, and after a long discussion 
"The Towne gave in theyr votes for the choyce of a minister 
for the west end of the Towne in order to a full settlement in 
the work of the ministry there, the inhabitants then brought in 
theyr votes by papers & M"" John Clarke was then chosen & 
not one vote against him." § 

* Massachusetts Archives, vol. xi., p. 75. 

t Massachusetts Archives, vol. xi., p. 73 : also, Coffin's History of Newbury, p. 158. 
X Massachusetts Archives, vol. xi., p. 74 ; also, Coffin's History of Newbury, p. 159. 
§ Town of Newbury Records. 


The west end men evidently refrained from voting', for the 
same day twenty-five persons protested against the settlement 
of Mr. Clarke " because the new towne people have a minister 
already." Subsequently, Mr. Christopher Toppan was invited 
to preach at the west end, Mr. Clarke having declined to carry 
on the work of the ministry there; and September 5, 1694, 
Joshua Brown, John Ordway, and Samuel Bartlett petitioned 
the General Court " in behalf of the Company that had erected 
a meeting house and supplied themselves with a minister," and 
yet were subjected to many annoyances and indignities be- 
cause they desired to attend public worship in their own 
neighborhood, some of their number having been imprisoned 
and others fined for not delivering up the key to the meeting- 
house. In conclusion, they humbly requested the General 
Court " to take some Effectual Order, for the Relief of your 
Petitioners and for the Quiet of the whole Towne, the Peace 
whereof is now so dangerously interrupted." * 

At a meeting of the inhabitants of Newbury held on the 
twenty-second day of October following, the election of a 
minister for the west end of the town was again considered ; 
and Mr. Christopher Toppan received sixty-five votes and 
Mr. Tompson seventeen. 

December 21, 1C94 Col. Daniel Pierce Esq"". Capt Thomas Noyes, 
Cornt George March & Abraham Merril & Ensigne Joseph Little were 
by vote chosen to be a committee to draw up such articles and pro- 
posals as they may think most convenient in order to seting off part of 
the West end of the Town for ye maintaining of ye ministry among 
them & to present what they shall do therein to y^ Town at their next 

January i, 1694-5 voted that Pipe stave hill near Daniel Jaques 
house shall be the place for the meeting house, and those that live 
nearest to that place shall pay to the ministry there and those that live 
nearest to the old meeting house shall pay there, the inhabitants at the 
West end to choose a minister for themselves, only Mr. Tompson 
excepted. t The meeting house to stand where it do until the major 
part of them see cause to remove it." § 

•Massachusetts Archives, vol. xi., p. 8i ; also, Coffin's History of Newbury, p. i6o. 

t Massachusetts Archives, vol. xi., p. 307. 

J Mr. Edward Tompson probably left Newbury early in the year 16Q5. He was ordained 
minister at Marshfield, Mass., October 14, 1696. (See New England Historical and Genealogical 
Register for April, i86i,p. 113.) 

§Town of Newbury Records. 


Tristram Coffin, Henry Short, and Abraham Merrill were 
authorized and instructed to divide the town into two 
parishes; and on the eighteenth day of December, 1695, the 
following grants of land were recorded : — 

. . . upon the request of the inhabitants of the West end of the town 
of Newbury for the settlement of the ministry then amongst them the 
town granted them five acres of land on the East side of Artichoke 
River to be Layed out so as may be most convenient for a pasture for 
the ministry And an acre of land near the West Meeting house for 
the building of a ministry house. Both which parcles of land to be 
layed out by a Comte chosen by the town for that end, provided always 
that this our grant shall not prejudice the vote of the town of Jan. i, 
1694-5 where in liberty for the removal of the west meeting house is 
granted And when a Major part of the inhabitants according to s^ 
vote shall see cause to remove the sd meeting house that then the sd 
five acres of land here in allotted for a pasture for ye ministry for the 
West end of the town shall be at the disposition of the town to procure 
Land for ye ministry near the West Meeting house when removed, and 
also y« It shall be in the power of the Major part of ye inhabitants of 
y& West end of the town to dispose of the acre of land and housing 
yt may be built there upon for the procuring of a ministry house near 
the sd meeting house when removed or another one built. The town 
also at this meeting gives the West end power to choose a man amongst 
them to make assessment for the ministry and for building and repairing 
of the West Meeting house and for ye building and repairing a house 
for the ministry.* 

At the first meeting of the inhabitants of the Second 
parish, December 24, 1695, a committee was appointed "to 
build and Repair y^ West meeting house and to build and 
repair y® ministry house." f In the month of February 
following, twenty-four persons objected to the repairing or 
rebuilding the meeting-house on the plains, and earnestly 
advocated its removal to Pipe Stave hill. July 24, 1696, the 
parish " voted to confirm Rev. Samuel Belcher in the work of 
the ministry among us." At that date the church had not 
been organized ; but religious services had been held in the 
parish, and Rev. Mr. Belcher had officiated there for several 

November ye i8'h 1696 It was agreed upon that M^ Belcher with 
his family shall forthwith be removed from Abraham Merrils house unto 

* Massachusetts .Archives, vol. xi., p. 305. t Newbury (Second Parish) Records. 


Sam' Sayers Littell Roome and the Reverend Mr Belcher is to have the 
liberty of the parlor chamber when he hath ocation for it.* 

December 24, 1696, Joshua Brown, John Ordway, Samuel 
Bartlett, and John Emery were chosen " A committee for this 
year ensuing, for to finish the meeting house and the ministry 
house according to the instructions they had last year." * 

Twelve months later, the parish voted "that Stephen 
Emery shall have twenty pounds in grain as money for 
building and finishing y'' gallaryes," and Abraham Merrill, 
John Ordway, and Richard Bartlett were chosen " to seat y^ 
meeting house." 

October 26, 1698, a church was organized; and on the 
tenth day of November Rev. Samuel Belcher was ordained 
pastor,! the ministers and messengers of the churches at 
Ipswich, Rowley, Bradford, and the First church in New- 
bury -participating in the exercises of that occasion. 

December 15, 1699 voted; that there should be two men chosen 'to 
agree with Moses Chase or any other person to dig and finish a suffi- 
tiant well within eight rods of the ministry house now att the west end 
of the towne of Newbury not exceeding in price eight pounds money. t 

Five or six years later a determined effort was made to 
secure a suitable lot of land and build a new meeting-house at 
Pipe Stave hill. This movement, however, was stoutly op- 
posed by the inhabitants of the parish living at or near "the 
plains," and the work was consequently delayed for more 
than three years. The foundation of the new edifice was not 
laid until May 10, i709.§ 

March 21, 1709-10 voted; that Whereas there was a committee 
chosen of three men to agree with a man or men to build & finish a 
meeting house upon Pipe Stave hill, att a meeting of ye inhabitants of 
ye west end of ye town of Newbury on february ye 28t'\ 1705-6. The 
inhabitants do now except & consent to what is already done by two of 
sd comittee on yt account And do by their vote give full power to ye 
major part of ye comitte yt were then chosen to proceed & finish said 
work according to ye time mentioned in sfl vote.|| 

♦Newbury (Second Parish) Records, p. 3. 

t Diary of Samuel Sewall, vol. i., p. 486. J Newbury (Second Parish) Records, p. 14. 
5 " Ould Newbury," pp. 368, 369. || Newbury (Second Parish) Records, p. 26. 


The committee appointed February 28, 1705-6, to build 
the meeting-house consisted of Capt. Hugh March, Sergt. 
John Ordway, and Lieut. Caleb Moody ; but, after long delay 
and repeated efforts to reconcile conflicting views and opin- 
ions, Sergt. Ordway declined to co-operate with the other 
members of the committee.* 

February 4, 1709-10, Abraham Merrill, Samuel Sawyer, 
Joshua Brown, Edward Sargent, Richard Bartlett, and others, 
numbering fifty-five in all, presented a petition to the General 
Court stating that the parish had voted to build a meeting- 
house at Pipe Stave hill, had levied taxes to defray the cost 
of the same, and seized the property of some who refused to 
pay the amount assessed. In conclusion, the petitioners 
humbl)' pray " y* if no beter method may be found out for our 
relief y' we may be Set of so far as may agree w"' righteous- 
ness & Religion to maintain our minister & ministry amongst 
our Selves the charge whereof we chuse abundantly rather to 
undergo then to haue our good ends, designs and Endeuaers 
above s'' frustrated and mad voide." f 

June 2, 1 7 10, the General Court ordered "That the Select- 
men of the Town of Newbury be Served by the Petitioners 
with a Copy of this Petition, And That the matter be heard 
before this Court on ffriday the 9"^ Curr'." f 

On the twenty-second day of June, the councillors and 
representatives concurred in the adoption of a resolution 
declaring " That Pipe Staffe hill in the West Precinct of 
Newbury is the most convenient place for the Establishing of 
a meeting House for the whole Precinct," that Rev. Mr. 
Belcher should be requested to remove there when a suitable 
dwelling-house has been erected for his accommodation, and 
that a general meeting of the inhabitants of the precinct 
should be called to choose assessors to levy a tax, according 
to law, and apply the same when collected to the purchase of 
labor and materials for the construction of a meeting-house 
and parsonage. It was also resolved 

That the Tax lately Levied in the sd Precinct for the building of a 

•Massachusetts Archives, vol. xi., p. 309; also. Coffin's History of Newbury, p. 177. 
t Massachusetts Archives, vol. xi., p. 306; Coffin's History of Newbury, pp. 176, 177. 


meeting House and Ministry House and all proceedings had there upon 
Be and hereby is Declared to be Illegal null and void: — 

And that all persons who have been Destrained for the sum or sums 
Set upon them to the said Tax, have the same restored to them again 
vvth ye necessary cost and charge they have sustained thereby.* 

At a meeting of the inhabitants of Newbury held April 4, 
1 7 10, it was voted " y' ye five acres of land allotted for a 
pasture towards y^ support of y'^ ministry at y^ west end of 
y*^ Town shall speedily be disposed of at y^ discretion of a 
Committee as shall be chosen for s'' service towards y^ pur- 
chase of a parsonage near or upon pipe stave hill, provided 
y' M"" Belcher be not disposest there of till such time as s'^ 
parsonage be procured & prepared suteably & conveniently 
for his reception and comfort." f 

July 15, 1 7 10, Col. Thomas Noyes, Major Henry Somerby, 
and Capt. Thomas Hale, for and in consideration of eight 
acres of land owned by Capt. Hugh March and Lieut. Caleb 
Moody, sold and conveyed to the said March and Moody 
" the aforesaid five acres of land, bounded northerly by yc 
road leading to Bradford, westerly by Harty Choak river, 
southerly & easterly by common land, which five acres of 
land was granted & given by y^ freeholders and Inhabitants 
of Newbury afores"* at a legall meeting held December 18 
Anno Uom : 1695, for a pasture for a ministry and upon 
removal of y^ meeting House at y'= West end of y^ said Towne 
this pasture to be disposed of to procure an other convenient 
pasture for y^ ministry as by y^ said vote may appear." % 

At a legal meeting of the inhabitants of the Second parisli 
held two days later, Corp. Abel Huse, Hananiah Ordwa)", 
John Emery, Ensign Stephen Emery, and Tristram Greenlcaf 
were chosen a committee "to agree with a man to build & 
finish a ministry house att pipe stave hill forth-with ujion the 
eighth free hold lot." 

* Massachusetts Archives, vol. xi., p. 306. t Town of Newbury Records. 

+ Essex Deeds, book xxiv., folio 256. The land granted December iS, 1695, " for a pasture for 
the ministry," was on the easterly .side of Artichoke river, nearly opposite the entrance to Hoyt's 
lane from Storey avenue, Newburyport. The house in which Mr. Belcher lived until his 
removal to Pipe Stave hill was probably located at or near the Sawyer hill burying-ground, on 
the road or way now known as Hoyt's lane. 


April 19, 171 I voted, to choose a committee of three men to sell 
& dispose of ye ministry house that Mr Belcher now dwells in. ... And 
allso to take the seates and boards & Glass out of y<^ old Meeting house 
to be improved in the New meeting house. And allso to remove the 
old meeting house & sett it up att Pipe Stave hill to be improved for a 
Barn for the ministry in convenient time.* 

This vote was undoubtedly intended to defeat the plan that 
had been matured by some twenty-five or thirty persons to 
maintain, at their own expense, the pubHc worship of God in 
the old meeting-house. Without waiting for definite action 
on the part of the committee, however, a small company of 
men and boys came down in the night from the upper part of 
the parish, tore down the old meeting-house, and carried away 
all the materials that were of value. 

Determined not to submit to these disorderly proceedings, 
a number of persons residing in the immediate vicinity of the 
plains made preparations to replace the building that had 
been destroyed. A severe and bitter contest followed, which 
led to the erection of Queen Anne's Chapel in the spring of 

The meeting-house at Pipe Stave hill was probably com- 
pleted before December 7, 171 1, when the parish voted to 
raise the sum of one hundred pounds " for defraying part of 
the charg of building y^ meeting house now standing upon 
pipestave hill," and March 5, 17 12-3, " voted to give thirty- 
five shillings a year to Isaac Baily, or any other man, to take 
care of y^ meeting house and keep the key and sweep ye 
meeting house well & keep it cleane." \ 

Rev. Mr. Belcher was at this time quite old and infirm. 
He was unable to attend to his duties as pastor, although he 
remained in charge of the parish until November, 171 3, when 
he removed to Ipswich, his native place, where he died 
March 10, 17 14, aged seventy-four. 

January 15, 1713-14 voted to give Rev. John Tufts seventy pounds a 
year so long as M"" Samuel Belcher lives, and the use of the whole par- 
sonage, and after the decease of Mr Belcher eighty poimds a year, 

* " Ould Newbury," pp. 369, 370. t Ibid., pp. 368-386. 

X Newbury (Second Parish) Records, p. 38. 


provided the said Mr Tufts accepts the call to the ministry in tiie 
parish and preacheth a monthly lecture.* 

On the thirtieth day of June, 1714, Rev. Mr. Tufts was 
ordained pastor of the church ; and a few months later he 
published a small book on church music containing" twenty- 
eight psalm tunes, with instructions for singing by note or 
rule. This work, probably the first publication of the kind 
in New England, was by many members of the church con- 
sidered a daring innovation ; but it ultimately led to the intro- 
duction of a greater variety of tunes and more skilful and 
harmonious rendering of them. 

March 8, 1 714-5, the parish voted to build a new barn 
near the parsonage house, to take the place of the old barn 
standing there, and also "voted not to make use of any of 
the old timber for y^ s"^ Barn but such as is sound and good." f 
The same day a committee was appointed to attend to the 
seating of the meeting-house, and to make such alterations in 
the pews and benches as might be necessary in order to ac- 
commodate all the parishioners. J 

March 26, 1722-3, Abel Morss, Daniel Morss, John 
Worth, Edmund Greenleaf, Sergt. Thomas Hale, and Ensign 
Benjamin Smith were chosen " to look after the boys on Sab- 
bath dayes and to give notice of their misdemenours to their 
masters or parents . . . and the constable and Tythingmen 
are desired to take their turns to look after y® boyes between 
meetings." § 

In 1709, a stone wall was built about the burying-ground 
at Sawyer's hill ; || and March 17, 1723-4, the parish voted 
to give Deacon William Morss seven pounds and ten shillings 
for half an acre of land "for a burying place at the north 
end of his land adjoyning upon y^ highway leading to Swetts 
ferry." ^ At the same meeting it was voted "to buy one 
quarter of an acre of Ezekel Hales land for a bur}ing place 
at the rate of fifteen pounds per acre unless the neighbours 
can find and procure a more convenient place for the above 
said use." ** 

*Newbury (Second Parish Cliurcli) Kecords, p. 41. t Ibid., p. 45. X Ibid., p. 47. 

§ Ibid., p 58- 

II " Ould Newbury," p. 367. H Ibid., p. 59. ** Newbury (Second Parish) Records, p. go. 


In 1729, a petition for liberty to divide the parish and 
organize a new church was presented to the General 
Court. After some delay this petition was granted. June i, 
1 73 1, the dividing line was established; and a few months 
later the inhabitants on the upper or westerly side of that 
line organized the Fourth chiu-ch in Newbury, now the Second 
in West Newbury. 

In 1737, Rev. Mr. Tufts was accused of immorality and 
unchristian behavior by some of the women of his parish ; 
and on the twenty-sixth day of February, 1737-8, a council, 
consisting of ten ministers and twenty delegates, was called 
to consider " the distressed state and condition of y^ second 
church of Christ in Newbury." Mr. Tufts vehemently 
opposed the investigation, and declined to co-operate with the 
council or question the witnesses called upon to testify against 
him. On the second day of March, "in consequence of the 
unhappy differences prevailing in the parish," he asked to be 
released from his duties as pastor. • The church voted to 
grant his request ; and the council, with only one dissenting 
voice, consented to the separation, " hoping thereby to restore 
harmony to the church." 

November 27, 1738, the parish voted to unite with the 
church in calling Rev. Thomas Barnard to be their minister ; 
and on the thirty-first day of January, 1738-9, he was or- 
dained pastor. 

June 8, I 742 voted to take down ye Turret that is on the top of ye 
meeting house, and also voted to build a Convenient Place on the 
Beams under the Roof in ye norvvest corner in ye meeting house to hold 
our proportion of the ammunition that shall be divided to us by the 

From 1743 to 1747 many members of the church habitu- 
ally absented themselves from public worship and from com- 
munion. Frequent efforts were made to induce these disaf- 
fected brethren to forsake the error of their ways, resume 
their accustomed seats on Sunday, and receive again the holy 
sacrament, but without success. Disheartened and discour- 

* Newbury (Second Parish) Records, p. 86. 

358 HISTORY OF xewbury 

aged by the troubles and dissensions that disturbed the church, 
Rev. Mr. Barnard resigned his office as pastor March 6, 
1749-50; but his resignation was not accepted until January 
18, 1750-1. 

Meanwhile, Rev. Moses Hale, of Rowley, had been invited 
to supply the pulpit with a view to his settlement in the 
parish; and on the twentieth day of February, 17 50-1, he 
was ordained pastor. The fact, however, that he wore a wig 
was criticised and condemned with great severity by one of 
his parishioners. 

May I, 1752 The Church mett together to Deal with our Brother 
Richard Bartlet for his Known & pubhck offences which were exhib- 
ited against him in ye Church meeting as follows, viz. : — 

1. That our said Brother Bartlet Refuses Communion with ye Chh 
for no other Reason, but because ye Pastor wears a Wigg & becaiuse ye 
Chh justifies him in it, herein setting up his own Opinion in opposition 
to ye Chh, contrary to that humility which becomes a christian. 

2. And further in an unchristian manner he censures and condemns 
both ye pastor & Chh as antichristian on ye aforesaid account, and he 
sticks not from time to time to assert, with ye greatest assurance, that 
all who wear wiggs unless they repent of that particular sin before they 
die will certainly be damned, which we judge to be a piece of unchar- 
itable & sinfull Rashness.* 

For more than fifty years the wearing of wigs was consid- 
ered unnatural and- ungodly by some of the most worthy 
and devout men in New England. Judge Sewall often 
alludes to the subject in his diary, and frequently mentions 
the names of those who " abominate periwigs." Comment- 
ing on a sermon preached by Rev. Cotton Mather from the 
text, " Shall cut him asunder and appoint him his portion with 
the hypocrites : there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth 
(Matt, xxiv : 51), he wrote, under date of March 19, 
1 690- 1, 

I expected not to hear a vindication of Periwigs in Boston Pulpit 
by Mr Mather ; however, not from that Text. The Lord give me a 
good Heart and help me to know, and not only to know but also to doe 
his Will; that my Heart and Head may be his.f 

*Ne\vburj' (Second Parish Church) Records. 

t Massachusetts Historical Society Collections, Fifth Series, vol. v., p. 342. 


In 1758, several ineffectual attempts were made to agree 
upon a location for a new meeting-house. A vote to pur- 
chase a lot of land at the end of Windmill lane was passed 
at one meeting and reconsidered at the next. Similar action 
was taken in regard to several other locations during the 
next six or eight months. On the third day of April, 1759, 
however, the parish " voted to build a meeting house at the 
southerly end of Hanover Street," and a month later '* voted 
to begin to take down y*^ meeting house the 21^^ Day of May 
current and to proceed Dayley if y*" weather permit till it is 
taken down." * 

A committee was appointed to supervise the erection of 
the new meeting-house, which was to be, according to the 
plans and specifications agreed upon, fifty-four feet long, 
forty feet wide, and twenty-four feet high. Forty pews were 
built on the floor of the house, and one of them by vote of 
the parish was given to the minister for the use of his family. 

Rev. Rufus Emery, in an address delivered October 26, 
1898, on the two hundredth anniversary of the organization 
of the Second church in Newbury, says the meeting-house 

... an almost square building, having two rows of windows. It stood 
facing the south, on which side a wide door gave entrance. On the 
outside and opposite the door and back of the pulpit was a large round- 
topped window. Immediately in front of the window was the pulpit, 
and over it a huge sounding-board. The sounding-board was shaped 
like an open umbrella, closed at the bottom with panel work painted 
white. The upper part was colored blue, and terminated, I think, with 
a gilt finial, acorn-shaped. The pulpit was a large construction, the 
centre extending out beyond the sides. The whole top of the pulpit 
was covered with a cushion of blue figured damask, the edge orna- 
mented with a fringe of ball tassels of the same color. The pulpit was 
reached by two flights of stairs, there being a landing between them. 
In front of the pulpit and entered from the landing were the elders' 
or deacons' seats. I do not remember seeing any of the officers oc- 
cupving them. The only officers I remember seeing in this pew were 
the moderator and town clerk on occasions of town meeting. In front 
of the deacons' pew was an immense table leaf extending the whole 
length and reaching to the tioor. It was only used on communion days. 

*Ne\vbiir\' (Second Parish) Records, p. 125. This meeting-house was on Pipe Stave hill, 
near the residence of Mr. Eben Moody Boynton, in West Newbun,-. 


In front of the table stood the large wood-stove, which warmed the 
house in winter. There were galleries on three sides of the house. 
The front gallery formed the singing seats, and was gained by stairs 
at each end. At the head of the flights of stairs were two square pews, 
which seemed of no use unless it was to balance two similar ones on 
the north wall of the house, at the ends of the east and west galleries. 
There was a row of pews all around the house against the walls, 
which were raised two steps higher than the others. The side galleries 
were furnished with two rows of long wooden seats, under which in the 
western gallery was stored the winter's supply of fuel. 

Before the meeting-house was completed, Mr. Moses Little 
and many others, residing at the easterly end of the parish, 
applied to the General Court for liberty to organize a new 
church. In the month of February, 1761, a committee was 
chosen to prepare and present to the councillors and repre- 
sentatives a statement of the reasons why the prayer of the 
petitioners should not be granted ; * but, on the seventeenth 
day of April following, the General Court ordered that a part 
of the Second and Third parishes, within certain bounds and 
limits, should be set off and established as the Fifth parish 
in Newbury. 

October 8, 1765, the inhabitants of the Second parish 
voted to sell " the land where the old meeting house stood 
[on Pipe Stave hill] to Willet Peterson at the rate of thirteen 
pound, six shillings, and eight pence the acre and give a Quit 
Claim Deed." f 

On the ninth day of October, 1771, they voted to give 
Samuel Brown liberty to build at his own cost " A pew or 
seats in the meeting house over the Gallery Stairs at the 
South West Corner of the meeting house for the negros to 
set in." X 

Rev. Moses Hale died January 15, 1779. The funeral 
expenses were paid by the parish, and a suitable tombstone 
was provided to mark his grave. For more than three years 
after his death the church had no settled minister. On the 
twentieth day of November, 1782, Rev. True Kimball was 
ordained pastor. He resigned on account of ill-health April 

* Newbury (Second Parish) Records, p. 132. t lliid., p. 141. J Ibid., p. 154. 


4, 1797, but was allowed the use of the parsonage until 
January i, 1798. 

Rev. Samuel Tomb, a Presbyterian clergyman of Salem, 
N.Y., was engaged to carry on the work of the ministry in 
the parish for one year from November i, 1797 ; and on the 
twenty-sixth day of June following he was invited to become 
pastor of the church. He was evidently inclined to accept 
the invitation ; and probably through his influence the parish 
voted August 2, 1798, to adopt the Presbyterian form of 
church government, and again invited him to become their 
pastor. This invitation was renewed October fifteenth, and 
accepted on the twenth-seventh. He was installed on the 
twenty-eighth day of November following. Many of his 
parishioners were dissatisfied with his views of church gov- 
ernment ; and after a stormy pastorate of seven years he 
resigned, and removed to another field of labor in his native 

March 25, 1806, a committee was appointed "to supply the 
vacant pulpit"; and February 17, 1807, the parish voted to 
return to the Congregational form of church government. 
An unsuccessful effort was made to induce Rev. Josiah Web- 
ster to accept the ofifice of pastor, and on the eighth day of 
March, 1808, the parish voted to concur with the church in 
extending a call to Rev. Ebenezer Hubbard. He accepted 
the invitation, and was installed pastor of the church. 
October 2, 181 1, the parish "Voted to agree with the Church 
in accepting the resignation of Rev. Mr. Hubbard." 

After a vacancy of three years the church and parish in- 
vited Rev. Gilbert T. Williams to become their pastor. He 
was installed June i, 18 14, and held the offlce for seven years. 
On the twenty-sixth day of September, 1821, the church 
voted to release him from his pastoral duties ; and on the 
first day of October following the parish passed a similar 

When the town of Parsons was incorporated, February 18, 

1 8 19, and the name changed to West Newbury, June 14, 

1820, the Second church in Newbury became the First 
church in West Newbury, a name that it still retains. 


For nearly five years from October i, 182 1, the church 
was without a pastor. June 21, 1826, Rev. Henry C. Wright 
was installed; and July 7, 1833, he was dismissed at his own 

Subsequently the pulpit was supplied for several years by 
clergymen from neighboring towns, who were invited to take 
charge of the parish temporarily. 

During the summer of 1841 the meeting-house, built in 
1 760, was taken down ; and a new house of worship, that is 
still standing, was erected on the site of the old one at the 
corner of Hanover street and the Bradford road. West New- 
bury, and dedicated December 22, 1841. 

Rev. Henry A. Woodman was installed pastor November 
30, 1842, and dismissed March i, 1844. He was succeeded 
by Rev. Horatio Merrill, who was installed April 4, 1845, and 
dismissed in the month of August, 1847. 

After a long interval, during which the church was again 
without a settled pastor. Rev. Charles D. Herbert was in- 
stalled March 5, 1857, and dismissed by a council of churches 
April 17, 1865. Since that date the church has been under 
the pastoral care of clergymen employed from month to 
month or year to year to carry on the work of the ministry 
there. The names of those who occupied the pulpit for six 
months or more are as follows : — 

Rev. James W. Ward, jr., from July, 1865, to June 24, 1866. 
Rev. Horace Button, from October 21, 1866, to June 2, 1867. 
Rev. Luther H. Angier, from November 10, 1867, to March, 1868. 
Rev. Nathaniel Laselle, from August, 1869, to September, 1873. 
Rev. James Tarlton, from December, 1874, to July, 1875.* 
Rev. Charles Dame, from January, 1877, to April, 1881. 
Rev. Charles D. Herbert, from June, 1881, to May, 1886. 
Rev. Ezra B. Pike, from June, 1886, to March, 1890.! 
Rev. Samuel Evans, from April, 1890, to March, 1891. 
Rev. William W. Parker, from June, 1891, to May, 1892. 

*Rev. George Dole officiated from September, 1875, to December, 1S75. In 1876, the vesti-y 
in the rear of the church was built; and Rev. Daniel P. Noyes, of Byfield, was engaged to supply 
the pulpit from October, 1876, to January, 1877. 

t During the spring and summer of 1886 the meeting-house was repaired and repainted. The 
old-fashioned mahogany pulpit was removed and replaced by a modem one. The morning ser- 
vice at half-past ten o'clock was discontinued in 1S87. The afternoon service is still held at two 
o'clock, as usual, preceded by a Surday-school beginning an hour earlier. 

Built in 1841. 


Rev. Vincent Moses, from July, 1S92, to June, 1896.* 
Rev. William B. T. Smith, from January, 1S97, to the day of his 
death, January iS, 1898. 

Rev. Charles H. Coolidge, from September, 1898, to April, 1901. 
Rev. John Graham, from October, 1901. 


In 1702, the farmers of Newbury, near Newbury Falls, and 
the inhabitants of Rowley " living on the northwest side of 
Rye Plain Bridge " erected a meeting-house at or near the 
dividing line between the two towns, and soon after invited 
Rev. Moses Hale to carry on the work of the ministry there. 
The church probably was not organized until three or four 
years later ; but the exact date cannot be given, as the church 
records previous to 1 744 have been lost or destroyed. 

Rev. Mr. Hale was ordained November 17, 1706; and the 
parish was incorporated by the General Court October 28, 
1 7 10. Subsequently, Hon. Nathaniel Byfield, of Boston, for 
whom the parish was named, gave a bell, weighing two hun- 
dred and twenty-six pounds, that for more than a century 
called the inhabitants together on Sundays and lecture days. 
Rev. Mr. Hale retained his office as minister until his death, 
January 12, i743-t 

On the twentieth day of June, 1744, Rev. Moses Parsons 
was ordained pastor of the church. The old meeting-house 
was taken down ; and during the summer of 1 746 a new one 
was erected on the same site, " fifty six feet long, forty five 
feet wide, with a steeple surmounted by a gilded weather 

Eben and Theophilus, sons of Rev. Moses Parsons, were 
born at Byfield during his ministry there. The first became 
a wealthy merchant of Boston, with a stately summer resi- 
dence at Newbury P^alls that he named " Fatherland Farm," 
and the latter an eminent lawyer, for seven years chief- 
justice of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts. 

* Rev. Mr. Moses was the first occupant of the new p.trsonage, at the corner of Chase street 
and the Bradford road, after its purchase by the society in the spring of 1892. 
f'Ould Newbury," pp. 291-300. 


In 1 76 1, Lieutenant-Governor William Dumnicr, who had 
for many years been a firm and i^eneroiis supporter of the 
church at Byfield, died, and by his will bequeathed the income 
of his estate in Newbury for the support of a grammar 
school. During the following year a school-house was erected 
on the Dummer farm at Byfield, and dedicated February_ 28, 
1763, Rev. Mr. Parsons preaching a sermon appropriate to 
the occasion from the text, " But the liberal deviseth liberal 
things, and by liberal things shall he stand." The school 
is still in successful operation, and is known as Dummer 

At the close of the Revolutionary war, a fierce controversy 
between Rev. Mr. Parsons and Deacon Benjamin Colman 
led to the suspension of the devout anti-slavery deacon " from 
the fellowship and communion of the church till he does by 
repentance and confession give christian satisfaction for the 
offence he has committed." At that time Rev. Mr. Parsons 
was the owner of three slaves, and Deacon Colman asserted 
that his pastor " was guilty of the wicked practise of man 
stealing," "that he could justly be called a thief," and "that 
he had offered to sell his slave ' Violet ' for a large sum of 

These charges were presented at a meeting of the church 
held December 21, 1780. After a prolonged hearing the 
pastor was acquitted of either wilfully or wickedly violating 
the divine law ; but Deacon Colman was suspended from his 
office, and censured for his intemperate zeal. Rev. Moses 
Parsons died December 14, 1783 ; and nearly two years later 
the worthy deacon, having confessed that he had been 
imprudent and unnecessarily severe in his treatment of the 
late pastor, was restored to fellowship and communion with 
the church, and reinvested with the powers and privileges that 
he formerly enjoyed.f 

Rev. Elijah Parish, D.D., was ordained pastor of the church 
December 20, 1787. He was a strong and earnest advocate 
of the new theology called " Hopkinsianism " ; and some of 
the inhabitants of the parish, dissatisfied with his theological 

* "Ould Newbury,'" pp. 313-335. t Coffin's History of Newbury, pp. 342-350. 


views and opinions, withdrew from the church in 1794 and 
formed a Presbyterian society. After a precarious existence 
of nearly ten years the society was dissolved ; and the meet- 
ing-house in which services were held was, by permission 
of the General Court, sold to Deacon Benjamin Colman, who 
removed it to a more convenient location near the old parson- 
age, and subsequently converted it into a young ladies' 
seminary. Miss Harriet Newell, Miss Mary Lyon, and other 
women of note were among the pupils educated there. 

Rev. Dr. Parish was an able and interesting preacher. In 
1 8 10, he delivered a sermon before the governor, councillors, 
and members of the General Court that created considerable 
excitement at that time. Quotations from the sermon will 
be found in a speech made by Hon. Robert T. Hayne, of 
South Carolina, in the United States Senate, on nullification, 
to which Hon. Daniel Web.ster replied. 

Several sermons in pamphlet form were published by Rev. 
Dr. Parish during his lifetime. He also, in connection with 
Rev. Jedidiah Morse, of Charlestown, Mass., published a 
gazetteer of the Eastern and Western continents, a sacred 
geography and gazetteer of the Bible, and a history of New 
England designed for schools and private families.* 

In 18 17 the bell presented to the parish by Judge Byfield 
was removed, and a larger one, the gift of Eben Parsons, Escj., 
of Fatherland Farm, was put in its place. 

During his ministry Rev. Dr. Parish won the confidence 
and esteem of his parishioners. At his death, October 15, 
1825, his friends asserted that " there was not a more united 
parish in the State." 

Rev. Isaac R. Barbour was installed pastor of the church 
December 20, 1827. He was deeply interested in the ques- 
tions of the day, and alienated many of his friends by the 
vigorous measures that he favored for the suppression of the 
sale of liquor and the use of it as a beverage. His sympa- 

*Tlie first edition of tlie History of New Kngland was published in 1804, and the second 
edition in 1S09 by Thomas & Wliipple, booksellers, No. 2 State street, Newburyport. Some of 
the friends of Miss Hannah Adams contended that this book was an infringement of the copy- 
right granted her m 1799 for a similar work. A long and bitter controversy followed ; but it is 
evident, from a careful examination of the general design, style of treatment, and subdivision of 
subjects in the two histories, that the charge cannot be sustained. 



thies were enlisted in the cause of temperance, and he some- 
times expressed his views and opinions in language that was 
imprudent and indiscreet. He became involved in a con- 
troversy with some of his parishioners in regard to a letter of 
dismission that, after a long struggle, was granted by a vote 
of the church to a member who had been guilty of " trafficing 
in distilled spirits." Although his efforts to revolutionize and 
reform the habits and customs of the people were not re- 


BriLT IN 1833. 

warded with success, he still continued to advocate and sup- 
port the doctrines and principles of total abstinence. 

On the evening of the last day in February, 1833, a meet- 
ing of the friends and supporters of the temperance cause was 
held in the meeting-house. Early the next morning, March 
I, 1833, the building was destroyed by fire. It is supposed 
that hot ashes, taken from the stove at the close of the even- 
ing services, placed in a wooden barrel or some other unsafe 
receptacle, became overheated during the night, and set fire to 
the buildins:. 


A few weeks later the parish accepted the resignation of 
Rev. Mr. Barbour, to take effect May i, 1833. 

Plans for a new meeting-house were prepared and adopted 
without delay. The corner-stone was laid in the month of 
May; and November 7, 1833, the new house of worship was 
dedicated. A new bell, weighing over one thousand pounds, 
was i^urchased by the parish, and hung on the framework 
provided for it in the steeple. In September, 1886, through 
the personal efforts of Mrs. A. B. Forbes, of Fatherland Farm, 
and other inhabitants of the parish, another and larger bell 
was purchased and hung in the belfry, to take the place of 
the old one, which was badly worn and cracked. 

When the new meeting-house was completed, the pews 
were sold, and the money used to defray the cost of the 
building. In 1834, the pew-owners were incorporated by the 
General Court, and authorized to hold real estate and per- 
sonal property, for parochial purposes, under the name and 
title of " The Proprietors of the Byfield meeting house." 

December 25, 1833, Rev. Henry Durant was ordained 
pastor of the church. He resigned September 15, 1847, to 
take charge of Dummer Academy ; but his resignation was 
not accepted until March 31, 1849. 

Rev. Francis V. Tenney, a native of Newburyport and a 
graduate of Amherst College, was installed pastor March 7, 
1850. He resigned March 22, 1857; and on the twenty-sec- 
ond of April following he was dismissed by a vote of the coun- 
cil of churches called to consider and advise with him in regard 
to his proposed removal to another field of labor. 

June 16, 1858, Rev. Charles Brooks, the seventh pastor of 
the church was settled. His resignation was accepted Novem- 
ber 1 1, 1863. 

For nearly twelve years after that date the church was 
without a settled pastor. In 1865, Rev. Moses E. Searle sup- 
plied the pulpit for about five months. He died, suddenly, 
January 6, 1866. He was succeeded by Rev. Joshua S. Gay, 
who conducted the services for several years. From 1870 to 
1875, Rev. William S. Coggin of Boxford officiated on Sun- 
days, and the deacons of the church had charge of the meet- 
ings held on week-days. 


Rev. James H. Child was ordained pastor October 7, 1875. 
He resigned, on account of ill-health, December 22, 1880. 
Since that date the pastors of the church have been : Rev. 
George L. Gleason, installed September 20, 1882, resigned 
October 2, 1888 ; Rev. David C. Torrey, installed June i, 1892 ; 
resigned April twentieth to take effect May 25, 1902.* 


A few months after the meeting-house in the Second parish, 
near the burying-ground at Sawyer's hill, had been torn 
down by a disorderly company of men and boys from " the 
upper or west end of the parish," a strong and vigorous 
effort was made by a few individuals residing in the vicinity 
of Sawyer's hill to erect a new building on the Bradford 
road, near the dividing line between the First and Second 
parishes, and to employ, at their own charge and cost, a suit- 
able person to carry on the work of the ministry there. 
Lumber and other materials needed for the new house of 
worship were purchased ; and the frame was nearly completed 
and ready to be set up, when a committee from the church at 
Pipe Stave hill, under the pastoral care of Rev. Samuel 
Belcher, remonstrating against the exercise of unlawful au- 
thority, appealed to the General Court for advice and assist- 

July 19, 171 1, "in answer to the petition from the inhabi- 
tants of the West Precinct in Newbury," the deputies and 
magistrates, with the approval of the governor, " Advised and 
Directed that the Persons named in the Petition & others 
concerned desist from their Proceedings to the Raising their 
intended Meeting House untill there be a Hearing of the 
Matter before this Court." f 

This advice was evidently unheeded ; for, on the twenty- 
fourth day of August, Capt. Hugh March and others in a 
petition to the General Court state " that several Persons in 

* See The History of tlie Byfield Congregational Church, by Joseph N. Dummer, pub- 
lished in j888, for additional facts in relation to the organization and membership of this church, 
t Massachusetts .\rchives (Court Records), vol. ix., p. 133. 


the West Precinct of Newbury have raised & in j)art covered 
a house intended for a meeting house, notwithstanding the 
advice and direction of this Court on the nineteenth of July 
last, to desist until there had been a hearing." 

The Court ordered that Samuel Bartlett, John Ordway, Deacon 
Joshua Brown, Joshua Bailey, Skipper Lunt, & Fennel Titcomb be now 
served by the sheriff with a Copy of the order of this Court of the ig''^ of 
July past, strictly forbiding them & their associates Proceeding in the 
Work of their intended Meeting House, untill there be a Hearing of that 
Affair as by the said order is directed, and that the said Persons be 
summonded by the Sheriff to attend this Court on the second Wednesday 
of their session in the Fall to answer for their contempt of the afore- 
said order.* 

November 2, 171 1, Upon hearing the case of Newbury referring to 
the house late pretended to be raised for the publick worship of God on 
or near deacon Joshua Browns land, contrary to the direction of ye court, 
of wch there is no present necessity. It is ordered that the building of 
the said house be not proceeded in upon any pretence whatsoever but 
that the division of the town into two precincts between the old meeting 
house & that upon Pipe staff Hill be the present division of the auditory, 
& is hereby confirmed & established, & all Persons concerned are to 
yield obedience accordingly; and that the Disorders that have been in 
the proceedings about the said House in Browns land be referred to the 
next sessions of y*^ peace in Essex. f 

In this emergency Abraham Merrill, Joshua Brown, Samuel 
Bartlett, and a few others, anxious to finish the building on 
which work had been stopped by order of the General Court, 
applied to Mr. John Bridger for advice and assistance. He 
was a zealous churchman, living at that time in Portsmouth, 
N.H., having been appointed " Surveyor General of Woods in 
America " December 24, 1705, which position he held for ten 
or fifteen years, marking with the queen's broad arrow trees 
reserved for the use of her Majesty's navy, and instructing 
the inhabitants in the art of " making pitch and tar, curing 
hemp &c." % Through his influence a petition signed by 
John Bartlett, Joshua Brown, Joseph Annis, and Samuel 
Bartlett was presented to the bishop of London, humbly be- 
seeching him to send a minister to officiate in the church to 

* Massachusetts Arcliives (Court Records), vol. i.\., p. 142. tlbid., pp. 159, 160. 
t Palfrey's History of New England, vol. iv. , pp. 3gg, 401. 


be built, and called Queen Anne's chapel by the petitioners 
and other inhabitants of the town of Newbury. 

The building was probably finished previous to August i, 
1 7 1 2 ; and it was evidently used for public worship, according 
to the rubrics and ritual of the established Church of England, 
by Rev. Henry Harris, one of the ministers of King's chapel, 
Boston, who came to Newbury on several occasions, remain- 
ing fourteen days at one time. 

It was the second Episcopal church erected in Massachu- 
setts ; and the parish in which it was located — now including 
the towns of Newbury, Newburyport, and West Newbury — is 
at the present time the oldest parish subject to the Episcopal 
form of church government and discipline in the diocese. 

Rev. John Lambton had charge of the services at Queen 
Anne's chapel from November 14, 171 3, until the following 
autumn, having been transferred from her Maj.esty's ship 
•* Phenix " at the request and with the approval of Gen. 
Francis Nicholson, commander-in-chief of the expedition 
against Port Royal, and afterwards governor of Nova 

During his ministry the following petition was signed by 
the officers and communicants of the church, and sent to 
England : — 

To the Hon'ble & Venerable the Society for the Propagating the 
Gospel in Foreign Parts: 
We out of our ardent Love and Affection that we have for the Wor- 
ship of God now professed amongst us according to the Liturgy of the 
Church of England humbly lay before you the necessity we have of a 
long time had of a Minister duly qualified according to your instructions 
in that behalf directed to read and preach the Word of God unto us. 
We return you humble thanks for the Twenty pounds we have received 
from General Nicholson whose piety and unbounded Charity needs no 
encomium, whose arrival has cheered our drooping spirits and in some 
measure released us from the oppression of our adversaries, as likewise 
for the Ten pounds given to Mr John Lambton. Chaplain to her Majesty's 
Ship Phenix, which is appointed to attend this Government, who is 
willing to officiate here till further orders from the Hon'ble Society 
praying that he may have the Salary during the time he is as Mission- 
ary here. We are not so "fixed as we desire as to our number, but 
hope our increase will answer the ends expected. For the present we 



John Lambton, Minister 

are only able to give Forty pounds per annum, the Minister but just 
come among us, but hope in a small time to advance that sum. 

The Books and other things which are usually sent along with the 
missionary would be very useful for the continuance and establishing us 
in the true worship of God and Instrumental in bringing others over 
who are inclining that way that in all human appearance here will be a 
flourishing Church. We only beg your Gracious, speedy and satisfac- 
tory answer, Beseeching Almighty God to bless all your pious under- 
takings is the prayer of 

Tkistram Brown 
JosiAH Weaver 
Nathl Bartlett 
RiCHD Williams 
Thomas Brown 
Thomas Bartlett 
Joseph Annis 
Skipper Lunt 
John Eayr 
Isaac Rogers 
John Bartlet 
John Bartlett 3RD 
Richard Bartlet 
Danl Osilaway 
John Merrill 


Robert Rogers 
NicHo Davison 
Benja Sawyer 
Thos Follansba* 

Joshua Brown 
Abraham Merrill 

Samuel Bartlet, 
Ariel Long, 
Saml Sawyer, 
Joshua Brown, Jun 
John Bartlet, 
Joseph Bayly, J 




In answer to this petition, " The Society for the Propaga- 
tion of the Gospel in Foreign Parts " appointed I^ev. Henry 
Lucas minister of the church at Newbury. He arrived Sep- 
tember 17, 171 5, and immediately entered upon the duties of 
his office. In spite of many discouragements and disappoint- 
ments, he remained in charge of the parish until his death, 
August 23, 1720. During his ministry Queen Anne's Chapel 
was presented with a bell by the bishop of London. In a 
letter to Mr. Humphreys, secretary of the above-named 
society, John Bridger (or Bridges, as his name is sometimes 
printed) wrote May 19, 17 18: — 

* Historical Collections of the American Colonial Church, vol. iii., pp. g.-?.94- 


I pray give my duty to my Lord of London and acknowledge his 
favor to the church of Newbury for the I5ell he was pleased to give 

Rev. Matthias Plant, who succeeded Rev. Henry Lucas, 
sailed from London February 16, 172 1-2, and preached his 
first sermon in Newbury April 29, 1722. He married, 
December 27, 1722, Lydia, daughter of Samuel Bartlett, 
Rev. David Mossom, of Marblehead, officiating at the cere- 
mony. Soon after his marriage he built a house on the road 
leading to Amcsbury ferry, a short distance from, its junction 
with the Bradford road and the country road, now High 
street, Newburyport, in which he lived until his death. 

Under his care the church prospered, and the number of 
communicants steadily increased. He baptized many children 
and adults, and during the first ten years of his ministry a 
large proportion of the persons united by him in marriage 
were from Salisbury, Rowley, Salem, Marblehead, Bradford, 
Haverhill, and other towns in Essex county. f 

At his suggestion, several alterations and additions were 
made to the church building. 

October 20, 1725 att a meeting of the Parishioners voted that A 
Pew be erected at the east end of the Church for the use of Masters of 
vessels & strangers & the same to be built by Capt" Atkins at his Dis- 
cretion for Conveniency & Decency at his own Charge and other Bene- 
factors. Matt. Plant, Minister.X 

In May, 1726, the church was clapboarded, and during 
the same year "Joshua Browne and John Corney, Church 

* Historical Collections of the Colonial Church, vol. iii., p. 131. When public worship was 
discontinued in Queen Anne's chapel, the communion service, Bible, and other movable prop- 
erty was disposed of by a few individuals acting upon their own responsibility : but the bell was 
allowed to remain undisturbed in the belfry. In 1770, the steeple of the deserted chapel was 
blown down during a violent storm. Mr. David Whitmore, an innholder living in the neighbor- 
hood, took possession of the bell, and refused to deliver it up unless ordered to do so by some 
person or persons entitled to it. Rev. Kdward Bass, minister of St. Paul's church, Newbury- 
port, at that time, evidently intended to bring a suit in the Court of General Se.=sions to recover 
the property belonging to the chapel ; but the events immediately preceding and following the 
Revolutionary war undoubtedly rendered that course unadvi.sable. 

Subsequently the bell was hung in the belfry of a school-house on Pillsbury lane, now Ash- 
land street, Newburyport. On the night before Christmas, 1839, it mysteriously disappeared, and 
since that date has not been seen. Kor further details the reader is referred to Coffin's His- 
tory of Newburj', pp. 411-413, and Rev. D. I). Addison's '' I^ife and Times of Edward Bass," 
p. 126. 

t Rev. Matthias Plant's Note Book or Diary. 

X Records of Queen Anne's Chapel. 


Wardens in the Queen's Chappel in Newbury, builte within 
the South Doore Joyning to Thos. Bartlets pew, a pew given 
to the above saide church for a seate for the Church Wardens 

to sitt in for Ever." * 

November lo, 1726 voted that ye Gallerys be buihe, forthwith, under 
the direction of tlie minister & church wardens.* 

In 1738, Rev. Mr. Plant consented to the erection of a 
new church near the business centre of the town, and sub- 
scribed the sum of fifty pounds as his proportion of the cost 
of the same. A lot of land was purchased, and a building, 
" called St. Paul's Church," was erected thereon. Feb- 
ruary 3, 1742, Rev. Mr. Plant was chosen minister, and 
arrangements were made with him to preach in the church 
every other Sunday. Some differences of opinion in regard 
to the appointment of church wardens and the control of the 
pulpit led to a serious disagreement that was not settled for 
eight or nine years. During this interval Rev. Mr. Plant 
officiated occasionally in St. Paul's church, but devoted most 
of his time and attention to Queen Anne's Chapel. In a 
note-book in which he recorded some of the important events 
of that time he wrote, 

June 3, 1743 returned from ye Convention which was lield at Rhode 
Island and got home ye Qt'i of June. 

July 21, 1745 then I began to preach in ye new church by ye water 
side by order of ye society. 

During the remainder of that year and the year following 
Rev. Mr. Plant preached in the new church once a month ; 
but the number of hearers was small, often not more than six 
or eight men and about as many women. 

Meanwhile the services in Queen Anne's chapel were held 
on Sundays and holy days, with but few interruptions ; and 
many worshippers assembled there to offer devout prayers, 
and join in the songs of praise. In 1750, the chapel was 
repaired at a cost exceeding one hundred pounds. Of this 
sum Rev. Mr. Plant contributed nearly one-half. Two years 

* Kfcnrds of (Jueeii Anne's Cliapcl. 


later he was taken seriously ill, and never fully recovered. 
He died April 2, 1753. In his will on file in the Probate 
Court at Salem is the following item : — 

I give to the church (viz :) Queen Ann's Chaple in Newburv Ten 
Pounds Lawful money of this Province to Purchas a silver Coup for the 
Holy Communion which silver Coup my executorix shal Emedeatly Pur- 
chas, or shal pay the said sum to the Church Wardens of said Church 
in Being to purchas said Silver Coup, and forthwith Deliver it to ye sd 
Church to be entered in the Church Book and how many ounces of 
silver it contains. 

After the death of Rev. Mr. Plant the parish of Newbury 
was placed in charge of Rev. Edward Bass, who had been 
appointed assistant minister, or curate, to Rev. Mr. Plant in 
1752. He officiated at Queen Anne's chapel once a month 
until I 'J^6, when, the building having become old and dilapi- 
dated, services were discontinued. A few persons who had 
been accustomed to attend public worship there organized, in 
1762, the Fifth Congregational church in Newbury; but a 
large proportion of the communicants became earnest and 
devout members of St. Paul's church. 

The chapel, neglected and deserted, soon began to show 
signs of decay. Weather-worn and weakened by wind and 
storm, the steeple fell in 1770, considerably damaging the 
main body of the building, which was then taken down, and 
some of the material used in the construction of pews and 
galleries for the Fifth Parish meeting-house. 


The second Episcopal church in Newbury was built pre- 
vious to 1740 on the corner of Ordway's lane, now Market 
street, and the country road, now High street, Newburyport. 
Rev. Matthias Plant, who was then in charge of Queen 
Anne's Chapel, subscribed fifty pounds toward the cost of the 
new building. When it was completed and ready for use, he 
was chosen minister, and notified of his election by the war- 
dens and vestrymen of the church. 

Newbury, Feb. 3, 1741-2. 

We the subscribers, members of the New Church in Newbury, called 
by the name of St. Paul's Church, desiring the worship of God accord- 


ing to the Rubric of the Church of England, do desire and do make 

choice of the Rev. Matthias Plant as our Minister to officiate and carry 

on the said worship in said church of St. Paul's, in Newbury aforesaid, 

— in witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands this day and year 

above written. 

Jos Atkins Antho Gwynn 

Thomas Smith Wm Atkins Michael Dalton 

Joseph Cottle Thos Woodbridg Edmund Cottle 

Witter Cumings Benjn Harris Church Wardens* 

Wm Jenkins Ambrose Davis 

Owing to some differences of opinion in regard to his 
rights and privileges as minister of the church, Rev. Mr. 
Plant was not inducted into office until several years later. 

September 30, 1747, he notified the wardens and vestry- 
men of the church that he would gladly meet and confer with 
them in regard to his appointment " as chief minister of the 
whole parish," * and two or three weeks later received the 
following note in reply : — 

We received your favor of ye lot'i Instant & many of y^ Church 
people being absent prevented the answer until now ; as your favor is 
directed to ye church wardens & Proprietors we have determined to 
have a meeting of ye Proprietors on friday next at ten of ye clock in ye 
forenoon at St I^auls Church & pray you'll favor us with your presence 
& we doubt not that matters can be accommodated in a friendly manner, 
as we have no views to answer but ye' good of ye community & as 
speedily as possible have an agreeable gentleman seated in ye church 
which we shall endeavor shall be to your good liking & satisfaction as 
well as ourselves ; we are Reverend Sir, 

Your most Humble Servants 
To the Reverend Thos Tannett ) Chh 


Mr. Matt Plant. Jno Crocker f Wardens* 

The conference evidently did not result in an immediate 
settlement of the questions in dispute, as Rev. Mr. Plant was 
not inducted into office as rector of St. Paul's church until 
June 24, 1751.1 Meanwhile Mr. Edward Bass, who had 
been studying for the ministry, was selected to assist in the 
work of the parish. He was sent to England and admitted 
to holy orders by the bishoj) of London May 24, 1752. 

* Rev. Matthias Plant's Note Book or Diary. 
f'Ould Newbury," pp. 401, 402. 


After his return he entered upon his duties as an assistant 
to Rev. Mr. Plant, who was then in feeble health. He had 
charge of the whole parish, preaching one Sunday in the 
month at Queen Anne's chapel and the three following Sun- 
days in St. Paul's church, after the death of Rev. Mr. Plant, 
which occurred April 2, 1753. 

Three years later, an organ, given to King's chapel in 
Boston by Thomas Brattle in 171 3, was purchased for use in 
St. Paul's church at a cost of five hundred pounds. It was 
removed to Newbury during the summer of 1756, and was 
probably the first church organ set up within the limits of the 

In 1764, a portion of the town of Newbury, including the 
land upon which St. Paul's church now stands, was set off 
and incorporated by the name of Newburyport. After that 
date Rev. Mr. Bass ceased to be an inhabitant of Newbury, 
and the church itself became a prominent place of wor.ship in 
the newly incorporated town.* 


The bounds and limits of the Third parish were fixed by 
an order adopted by the General Court, December 18, 1725. 
Previous to that date, however, a meeting-house had been 
erected on land now known as Market square, Newburyport. 
It was dedicated June 25, 1725 ; and a church was organized 
and a church covenant was signed and approved on the 
twelfth day of January, 1725-6. One w^eek later, Rev. John 
Lowell was ordained pastor of the church. He was an 
earnest and faithful preacher, with liberal theological views, 
and a personality that was attractive and sympathetic. The 
congregation to w^hom he ministered rapidly increased in 
numbers, and in 1736 the meeting-house was enlarged. It 
measured, with the addition made at that time, eighty feet in 
length and sixty feet in width, with a gallery opposite the 
pulpit, and probably one on each side In September, 1740, 

* See " Ould Newbury," pp. 396-419; also, "The Life and Times of Edward Hass. First 
Bisliop of Massachusetts," by Rev. Daniel D. Addison, published in 1897. 


Rev. George Whitefield preached his first sermon in Newbury 
to an immense audience that occupied all the available space 
in tliis large and commodious edifice. 

The enthusiasm aroused by this famous preacher led to the 
organization of a new religious society; and in 1743 more 
than thirty members asked for letters of dismissal from the 
Third Parish church, in order that they might join the new 
organization. This request was refused ; and several similar 
requests made during the next two or three years shared the 
same fate. At length the "new lights," or " new schemers," 
as they were called, resolved to put an end to the controversy ; 
and, acting upon their own responsibility, they applied for 
admission to membership in the First Presbyterian church. 
After due deliberation their request was granted October 16, 

February 9, 1754, the steeple of the meeting-house in 
Market square was struck by lightning, and considerable 
damage done to houses in that neighborhood. Benjamin 
Franklin, who visited Newbury in the month of November 
following, wrote an interesting account of the effect of the 
lightning upon the church steeple, and the protection furnished 
by a small wire that conducted the electricity in safety through 
the bell-tower, clock, and pendulum to the ground. This 
account was communicated by letter to a friend in Paris, and 
read before the Royal Society of London, December 18, 


Rev. John Lowell died May 15, 1767; and his successor, 
Rev. Thomas Gary, of Gharlestown, was ordained May 11, 

When Newburyport was incorporated in 1764, the name 
and title of the Third Parish church was changed to " The 
Plrst Religious Society in Newbury])ort." l^'rom that date 
the history of this church or religious society belongs to the 
municipality of which it now forms a part.* 

* For additional facts and incidents connected with the Third Parish church see " Ould 
Newbury," pp. 430-447. 

CHURCHES and pastors 379 


In 1729, the inhabitants of the westerly or upper part of the 
Second parish in Newbury agreed to build a meeting-house, 
" fifty feet by thirty-eight and twenty foot stud," on an ele- 
vated lot of land, afterwards called Meeting-house hill, near 
the burying-ground now known as " Walnut hill cemetery," 
West Newbury. 

August 29, 1729, they applied to the General Court for a 
division of the parish ; and on the fifteenth day of September, 
John Brown, surveyor, submitted to the committee, to whom 
the petition was referred, a carefully drawn, map, giving the 
location of every house in the parish, with the name of the 
owner or occupant.* 

After a long delay and much deliberation a line of division 
was agreed upon by the inhabitants of the Second parish ; and 
March 29, 1731, they voted to petition the General Court to 
consent to and confirm the division. In answer to this peti- 
tion, the Fourth parish in Newbury was set off and incorpo- 
rated June I, 1731.1 

Rev. John Brown, of Haverhill, Rev. William Balch, of 
Bradford, and Rev. John Tufts, of Newbury, officiated at the 
gathering, or organization, of the church, September i, 1731. 
Rev. William Johnson, born in Newbury May 31, 1706, was 
ordained pastor on the fifteenth day of September, 1731. 
He died February 22, 1772 and his successor, Rev. David 
Toppan, was ordained April 18, 1774. He resigned Septem- 
ber 6, 1792, to accept an appointment as Hollis Professor of 
Divinity at Harvard College. For si.x years after the resigna- 
tion of Rev. Mr. Toppan the church was without a settled 
pastor. Rev. Leonard Woods was ordained December 5, 
1798, and served until September 28, 1808, when he was ap- 
pointed Professor of Theology at the Andover Theological 
Seminary. After an interval of nearly eight years. Rev. 
John Kirby was ordained pastor of the church June 12, 18 16. 

Meanwhile a new meeting-house had been erected on land 

•On this map the new meeting-house is numbered 120. See " Ould Newbury," pp. 392, 393. 
t Massachusetts Archives {Court Records), vol. xv., p. 82. 



in Woodman's lane, now Maple street, West Newbury. This 
new house of worship was dedicated January 5, 18 16. 

Rev. Mr. Kirby sailed for Charleston, S.C, in 18 18, for the 
benefit of his health. The vessel in which he took passage 


Built in 1815. 

Remodelleu and Enlar(;ed in 1856. 

was wrecked on Ocracoke bar on the coast of North Carolina, 
and he was washed overboard and drowned December 5, 18 18. 
The town of Parsons was incorporated February 18, 1819 ; 
but by an act of the General Court i)assed June 14, 1820, 
the name of the town was changed to West Newbury, and 
subsequently, by a vote of the parish, the name of the Fourth 


church in Newbury was changed to the Second church in 
West Newbury. 

Since that date the pastors of the church have been : — 

Name. Ordamed. Dismissed. 

Rev. Elijah Demond March 7, 1821 Septembers, 1826 

Rev. Paul Couch March 27, 1827 August 14, 1828 

Rev. John O. A. Edgell September 17, 1832 October 27, 1853 

Rev. Davis Foster November i, 1855 September i, 1867 

In 1856, during the ministry of Rev. Mr. Foster, the meet- 
ing-house was removed to its present location, near the junc- 
tion of Church street (West Newbury) and the Bradford 
road. It was remodelled and enlarged ; and on the twelfth day 
of March, 1857, it was reopened and rededicated to the wor- 
ship of God. 

June 13, 1872, Rev. Seneca M. Keeler was ordained pastor: he was 
dismissed February 18, 1878. 

September 18, 1888, Rev. William Slade was ordained pastor: he 
was dismissed April 22, 1891. 

December 2, 1891, Rev. F. B. Noyes was ordained pastor: he was 
dismissed December 6, 1897. 

Since that date the church has been without a settled 

Rev. Elbridge P. McElroy supplied the pulpit from March, 1870, to 
July, 1 87 1. 

Rev. M. A. Dougherty, from April, 1879, ^o January, 1884. 
Rev. William P. Alcott, from February, 1884, to October, 1886. 
Rev. F. H. Boynton, from November, 1886, to December, 1887. 
Rev. C. F. Clarke, from January, 1898, to November, 1899. 
Rev. George A. Martin, from December, 1899, to March, 1902. 


Two years after the first visit of Rev. George Whitefield 
to Newbury, a few earnest and devout friends and followers 
of the great evangelist erected a small house of worship on 
the easterly side of High street, a few rods from the south- 
erly corner of King street, now^ Federal street, Newbury- 
port, and employed Rev. Joseph Adams, of Byfield, a gradu- 


ate of Harvard College, to carry on the work of tlie ministry 
there. Although zealous and faithful, the young preacher 
was sometimes indiscreet, and failed to win the support and 
confidence of the people to whom he ministered. 

November 25, 1745, more than one hundred members of 
the First Parish church, dissatisfied with the theological views 
of the pastor, Rev. Christopher Toppan, and the assistant 
pastor. Rev. John Tucker, signed an agreement to withdraw 
from communion with that church, and unite with the 
new society in extending a call to Rev. Jonathan Par- 
sons, of Lyme, Conn., to become their spiritual adviser and 

On the third day of January, 1745-6, a few of the sub- 
scribers to this agreement organized a church, and mutually 
covenanted and agreed " to walk together as a church of 
Christ according to the rules and order of the gospel." The 
members of the First Parish church who were opposed to the 
settlement of Rev. Mr. Parsons in Newbury, and " objected 
to his officiating on the Lord's day to any of ye Brethren of 
this and the neighboring churches," appointed a committee, 
February 13, 1745-6, to confer with him upon the subject, 
and also to ascertain from the church at Lyme, Conn., the 
truth or falsity of some statements that had been circulated 
in regard to his theological views and the influence that he 
exerted while in the ministry there. 

Without waiting for the consent or approval of the churches 
in Newbury, Rev. Mr. Parsons accepted the invitation that 
had been extended to him by the members of the newly 
organized society to become their pastor. The installation 
exercises were simple and impressive. At a meeting called 
for that purpose March 19, 1745-6, the pastor-elect delivered 
a sermon appropriate to the occasion. Some letters and testi- 
monials upholding his theological views were read. Then, 
standing with uplifted hand before the congregation, he said, 
" In the presence of God and these witnesses I take this peo- 
ple to be my people " ; and the clerk, rising and speaking for 
the church and the congregation, said, " In the presence of 
God and these witnesses we take this man to be our minister." 


Under the law of the province of Massachusetts the mem- 
bers of the new society were compelled to pay taxes for the 
support of public worship in the parishes where they resided, 
unless, like Quakers, Episcopalians, and Anabaptists, they 
obtained permission to attend public worship elsewhere. Al- 
though vigorous efforts were made to amend or repeal the 
law, the General Court was not inclined to grant the relief 
asked for. 

April 7, 1 746, the newly organized church elected six ruling 
elders, and in the month of October following admitted 
thirty-eight members from the Third Parish church without 
credentials or letters of dismission from that church. These 
unusual proceedings were followed by the adoption of a reso- 
lution, September 15, 1748, to unite with the presbytery of 
Boston upon certain specified conditions. These conditions 
were accepted by the presbyters at a meeting held a few 
weeks later. 

In the months of October and November following, several 
petitions were presented to the General Court asking that the 
inhabitants of Newbury might be released from the payment 
" of taxes and charges for the support of any minister of any 
society except for the support of the minister where they 
usually attend publick worship." Although William Shirley, 
then governor of the province, endeavored to secure for them 
the privileges asked for, the General Court, after a prolonged 
hearing, refused to grant the prayer of the petitioners. 

During the next ten or fifteen years several attempts were 
made without success to obtain relief from the burden of 
"double taxation." The struggle was continued until after 
the adoption of the constitution of the state of Massachu- 
setts ; and some of the questions involved in the controversy 
were not finally settled and disposed of until June 17, 1796, 
when the General Court passed " An Act authorizing the First 
Parish in Newbury to discharge from taxation, for the support 
of Public Worship in said Parish, such Persons within the 
limits of said Parish as attend Public Worship in any other 
Religious Society, and are willing to be subject to taxation in 
such society." 


Meanwhile a larger and more conxenient meeting-house 
was erected on a lot of land on the corner of Chandler's lane, 
now Federal street, "and a way two rods broad," now School 
street, Newburyport.J The frame of this new house of wor- 
ship was raised July 5, 1756, and religious services were held 
in the unfinished building in the month of August following. 
The steeple was not completed until three or four years later. 
Samuel Pcttingell, while at work upon it, fell to the ground 
September 10, 1759, and was instantly killed. 

The meeting-house is still standing within the territorial 
limits of Newburyport. The large square pews, the high pul- 
pit, and the sounding-board, hung by rods from the ceiling, 
have been removed, and other alterations and improvements 
made, practically transforming the old edifice into a new one. 
The heavy oak frame, however, still remains undisturbed, 
showing no signs of weakness or decay. 

Since the incorporation of Newburyport the church over 
which Rev. Jonathan Parsons was installed pastor in 1746 
has been, and still is, known as " The First Presbyterian 
Church in Newburyport " ; and its history from and after 1764 
is identified with and forms a part of the history of that town.f 


April 17, 1 76 1, the territorial bounds and limits of the 
Fifth parish in Newbury w^ere established by the General 
Court.:}: At that date services according to the ritual of the 
Church of England were held only once a month in Queen 
Anne's chapel, which was located near the centre of the new 
parish. Pearly in the month of June, 1761, a few persons in- 
terested in the organization of a Congregational church in 
that neighborhood met in the chapel without having asked or 
obtained permission to use the building. Rev. Edward Bass, 
in a letter dated June 9, 1761, protested against this dis- 
orderly conduct, and subsequently applied for advice and 

X Essex Deeds, book cxlii., leaf 304. 

t For a more extended account of the First Presbyterian church see " Ould Newbury," pp. 
S08-525 ; also, "The Origin and Annals of ' the Old South ' First Presbyterian Church and Parish 
in Newburyport," published in i8g6 by Danirell iS: Uphani, Boston. 

t See ante, p. 238. 


assistance to the governor of the province, who recommended 
the wardens and vestrymen to grant the inhabitants of the 
Fifth parish liberty to use the chapel when unoccupied until 
a new meeting-house could be erected, " they disclaiming all 
right to the church and disavowing the force that has been 
used by them." This recommendation was consented to and 
approved by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel 
in Foreign Parts, in London, February 19, 1762.* 

During the following summer a meeting-house was built on 
Meeting-house lane, now Noble street, Newburyport ; and 
July 22, 1762, the Fifth Parish church was organized. Rev. 
Oliver Noble, the first and only minister of the church, was 
settled September i, 1762. The society was never very 
prosperous and for many years maintained a precarious ex- 
istence. Rev. Mr. Noble, in spite of many difficulties and 
discouragements resulting from some injudicious business 
transactions, in which he was involved, retained possession of 
his office until the spring of 1784, when, by mutual consent, 
a council was called to dissolve the connection between pastor 
and people. Only two churches responded to the call. The 
pastors and delegates of the church at Hampton Falls and 
the church at Greenland, assembled in Newbury for consulta- 
tion and conference, " not as an ecclesiastical council," but 
as individual churches, unanimously agreed April 28, 1784, 
that the separation should take place. A few months later 
Rev. Mr. Noble was ordained or installed minister of the 
church at Newcastle, N.H., where he remained until his 
death, December 15, 1792. 

Religious services were held in the meeting-house of the 
Fifth parish for several years after the resignation of Rev. 
Mr. Noble ; but the congregation gradually diminished in num- 
bers, and before the beginning of the nineteenth century 
services were discontinued, and the church was practically 
extinct. In 1808, during a violent storm, the neglected and 
weather-worn meeting-house was blown down and completely 

Meanwhile the Fifth parish, by the incorporation of New 

* " Life and Times of Edward Bass," by Rev. Daniel D. Addison, pp. 65-67. 


buryport in 1764, became the Fourth parish in Newbury. 
A few individuals, anxious to revive and re-establish the Con- 
gregational church in that parish, agreed, January 8, 1807, 
to build a new meeting-house. They selected a lot of land, 
owned by Dr. Micajah Sawyer, on High street, near the 
corner of Poore's lane, or Moody's lane, now Woodland street, 
Newburyport,* and erected a house of worship that was dedi- 
cated November 24, 1807. 

" The Proprietors of a New Meeting House in the Fourth 
Parish in Newbury " were incorporated by a special act of the 
legislature passed March 4, iSoS.f The old church was re- 
vived, or a new one organized, previous to April 2, 1808. 
Rev. James Miltimore was installed pastor April 21, 1808. 
The meeting-house was struck by lightning and completely 
destroyed April i, 1816. A new one was built without delay, 
and dedicated November 7, 18 16. 

In 18 19, the town of Parsons, now West Newbury, was in- 
corporated ; and the name of the parish in which Rev. Mr. 
Miltimore officiated was again changed to the Second parish 
in Newbury. Rev. John C. March was ordained assistant 
pastor March i, 1832. After the death of Rev. Mr. Milti- 
more, March 23, 1836, Rev. Mr. March had entire charge of 
the church and parish until his decease, September 26, 1846. 

Rev. Daniel T. Fiske was installed pastor August 18, 1847. 
In 185 1, the parish, with some additional territory, was set off 
from Newbury and annexed to Newburyport ; and the name 
of the church was changed to " The Belleville Congregational 
Church and Society of Newburyport." January 8, 1867, the 
meeting-house was destroyed by an incendiary fire. A new 
house of worship was erected during the following summer, 
and dedicated December 24, 1867. 

Rev. Dr. F"iske was relieved, at his request, by a vote of 
the parish in 1887, from some of the burdens and active duties 
of his office ; but, at the earnest solicitation of friends, he 
consented to remain as senior pastor of the church, and still 
retains that position. The fiftieth anniversary of his ordina- 

* Essex Deeds, book tlxxxvii., leaf 172 ; also, book cxciii., leaf 79. 
t See chap. 86, Acts of 1S07-08. 


tion was celebrated by appropriate and interesting public ex- 
ercises September 14, 1897. 

Rev. Willis A. Hadley was installed active pastor of the 
church November 30, 1887. He resigned June i, 1891, and 
was succeeded by Rev. Albert W. Hitchcock, who was in- 
stalled December 15, 1891, and resigned December 8, 1900. 

The present active pastor, Rev. Richard Wright, was in- 
stalled June 5, 1 90 1. 


Rev. John Adams, commonly called " Reformation John," 
a minister in the Methodist Episcopal church, and a member 
of the New England Annual Conference, came to Newbury 
in 1 8 19 and made many converts, who subsequently became 
connected with the Salisbury Conference, and assembled for re- 
ligious worship from week to week in a school-house then stand- 
ing on Marlborough street. Rev. Moses B. Lewis, Rev. S. B. 
Haskill, Rev. Amasa Buck, and other ministers of the Metho- 
dist church preached to those who would listen, and gradually 
added to the number of converts until the year 1825, when 
Newbury was made a station by the Salisbury Conference, 
and Rev. John Adams was appointed to carry on the work of 
the ministry there. 

During that year land was purchased and a meeting-house 
erected in a field on the northwesterly side of Marlborough 
street, midway between that street and South street, now 
Bromfield street, Newburyport. The building was completed, 
and dedicated to the worship of God October 5, 1825.* A 
few years later Adelphi street, now a continuation of Pur- 
chase street, was laid out, in order to give a convenient and 
unobstructed way to the meeting-house. 

Rev. Mr. Adams remained pastor of the church until 
■ 1826, when he was succeeded by Rev. Bartholomew Otheman. 
The ministers who have been stationed there since that date 
are as follows : — 

•The Life of " Reformation " John Adams, published in 1853, vol. i., p. 198. 


Rev. John Foster in 1827. 

Rev. Jotham Horton in 1828. 

Rev. Davis Barker in 1829. 

Rev. A. B. Kinsman for a part of the year 1830, and 

Rev. R. D. Easterbrook for the remainder of that year. 

Rev, La Roy Sunderland in 1831. 

Rev. William R. Stone in 1832. 

Rev. Newell S. Spaulding in 1833. 

Rev. J. E. Risley and 

Rev. William Radman in 1834-35. 

Rev. Fred P. Tracy in 1836-37. 

Rev. B. F. Lombard in 1838-39. 

Rev. Thomas G. Brown in 1840-41. 

Rev. Amos Walton in 1S42-43. 

Rev. Horace Moulton in 1844. 

Rev. Willard Smith in 1845-46. 

During Rev. Mr. Smith's pastorate the meeting-house was 
raised, remodelled, painted, and a new vestry built in the base- 
ment. It was subsequently moved back ten or fifteen feet 
from the street, the stairway and vestibule enlarged, and other 
needed improvements made. 

Rev. John M. Merrill was pastor of the church in 1847-48, 
Rev. William R. Stone in 1849, ^^^'- Nathaniel J. Merrill in 
1850, and Rev. William Gordon in 185 i. 

March 5, 1827, John Adams, Cutting Pettingell, Josiah P. 
Noyes, Joseph L. Thurlow, of Newbury, Elias French and 
Caleb Pike, of Salisbury, and Benjamin Brown, of Newbury- 
port, were incorporated " Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church of Newbury and Newburyport." The meeting-house 
was built in that part of Newbury which was annexed to 
Newburyport in 185 1. The legal name and title of the 
church was subsequently changed to " The People's Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church of Newburyport." It is still flour- 
ishing and prosperous under the pastoral care of Rev. Henry 
G. Alley ; but the details of its growth and influence since 
185 1 are not given in this sketch, as they do not properly 
belong to the history of Newbury. 



Members of the religious society, or sect, commonly called 
Quakers visited Newbury at a very early date, on their way 
to other towns in Maine and New Hampshire. In 1663, 
Lydia Wardwell, of Hampton, N.H., was sentenced by the 
court at Salem to be severely whipped "for coming naked 
into Newbury meeting house," and at the same court John 
Emery was indicted "for entertaining Quakers" at his house 
in Newbury.* 

The Society of Friends held "quarterly meetings" in 
Hampton as early as 1697, and "monthly meetings" in 


In 1 70 1, they built a meeting-house in that town, and mem- 
bers of the society residing in Salisbury, Amesbury, and New- 
bury, as well as Hampton, assembled there on the first day of 
the week for public worship. :[: 

Judge Sewall wrote in his diary. May 23, 1704, "Went 
early to Salem, convers'd with M'' Noyes told him of the 
Quaker meeting at Sam Sawyers a week ago, profaneness of 
the young Hoags professing that heresy." § 

Samuel Sawyer was a son of William Sawyer, one of the 
early settlers of Newbury ; and " the young Hoags " were sons 
of John Hoag, who married April 21, 1669, in Newbury, a 
daughter of John Emery. 

In 1705, a meeting-house was erected in Salisbury, new 
town, now Amesbury, for the better accommodation of the 
Quakers residing there and in the neighboring towns. || 

At the "Friends Monthly Meeting" held at Amesbury in 
the year 17 14 the members of that association were granted 
liberty to meet in Newbury " every 3*^ first day y^ week in 
every month." ^ After that date, meetings of the society 
were frequently held in Newbury in private houses. In 1743, 
a meeting-house was erected on the southwesterly side of the 

•See ante, chap. Ill, pages 124, 150. 
t History of Hampton (Dow), vol. i., p. 393. 
X History of Amesburj' (Merrill), p. 150. 

§ Samuel Sewall's Diary, vol. ii., p. 102 (Massachusetts Historical Society Collections, Fifth 
Series, vol. vi ). 

II History of Amesbur\' (Merrill), p. 156. •[ Ibid., p. 166. 


country road, now High street, Newburyport, between 
Moody's lane, now Woodland street, and Pillsbury's lane, now 
Ashland street. June 6, 1743, Stephen Sawyer, " In consider- 
ation of that good will & affection which I bear to my well 
respected Friends Robert Rogers, Daniel Sawyer, Stephen 
Sawyer, Jun., yeomen & Samuel Fowler, Richard Collins, 
Hezekiah Collins & Samuel Coker, shipwrights & Humphrey 
Sawyer & Hathorn Coker, Jun., Blacksmiths, all of Newbury," 
conveyed to the persons above named the land on which the 
meeting-house was built.* 

Stephen Sawyer was a brother of Samuel Sawyer, at whose 
house the Quaker meeting was held in 1704. He was born 
in Newbury, April 25, 1663, and married Ann, daughter of 
William Titcomb, March 10, 1687. By his will dated Febru- 
ary 20, 1753, and proved July 23, 1753, he gave his dwel- 
ling-house "on the country road," with about forty acres 
of land adjoining the same, to his sons Daniel and Enoch 
Sawyer. f 

Samuel Coker, shipwright, and Hathorn Coker, jr., black- 
smith, named in the deed of conveyance from Stephen Sawyer, 
were owners or part owners of about three square rods of 
land, now known as the Quaker burying-ground, on Washing- 
ton street, Newburyport, which was originally a part of the 
bequest made by Richard Bartlett in his will, dated April 
19, 1695, to his daughter, Tirzah Bartlett, who subsequently 
married Hathorn Coker. J 

On the land owned by Stephen Sawyer, on the south- 

* Essex Deeds, book Ixxxvii, leaf 263. 

t Probate Records, book cccxxxi., leaf 429. 

t William Titcomb was appointed guardian of Tirzah Bartlett in i6<)8. He was discharged 
from the care of her estate February S, 1708-g, " she having become of age, and married Ha- 
thorn Coker " (Essex Probate Records, book cccx., leaf 114). After her death, suit was brought in 
the Court of Common Pleas for Essex County by Hathorn Coker, .Samuel Coker, and others, to 
recover possession of about four acres of land on the southerly side of Merrimack street, extending 
nearly to High street. The writ was returnable at the court held in Newburyport the last Tues- 
day in September, 1767. An agreement was then made " to dock the entail"; and March 23, 
1768, an indenture for the division of the Coker field, so called, was duly executed. 

" It was then Covenanted and agreed that nine rods of the premises being three rods Square 
at the north west Comer thereof shall be and enure to the use of the Several Persons to whose 
use the Residue of the premises as before mentioned is to be recovered for a Burying Place 
for them and their heirs forever, for themselves and their Eamilies who shall have Liberty to pass 
and repass thereto forever" (Essex Deeds, book cxxv., leaf gi). 

April g, 1800, Washington street, extending from Winter to Boardman streets, was laid out by 
the selectmen of Newburyport, and accepted by the inliabitants of that town at a meeting held 


westerly side of High street, several members of the Sawyer 
family were buried previous to 1743. On the crest of the 
hill, in the rear of the meeting-house lot, a few worn and 
dilapidated gravestones are still standing. The only inscrip- 
tion now legible reads as follows : — 




4, 1720 AGED 

12 WEEKS. 

Daniel Sawyer was also a son of Stephen Sawyer. He 
was born January 28, 1689, and married Sarah Moody, April 
2, 1 7 14. He was one of the grantees named in the deed of 
conveyance from Stephen Sawyer to the Society of Friends 
in 1743. In the division of his father's estate he came into 
possession of about twenty-five or thirty acres of land ad- 
joining to and including the family burying-ground.* 

The meeting-house erected by the Society of Friends was 
a plain, unpretentious structure, about thirty feet wide, forty 
feet long, and two stories high. Religious services were held 
in the lower story, and occasionally the upper story was util- 
ized for the same purpose. 

In the month of June, 1825, Paul Adams, of Newbury, and 
Stephen Sawyer and Robert Brown, of West Newbury, " being 
a committee of the Society of Friends in Newbury," duly au- 
thorized to sell the Friends' meeting-house and ground under 

May 12, 1800. The entrance to the burying-ground is from the southwesterly side of Washington 
street. A low granite monument, that marks the enclosure, bears the following inscription : — 





JUNE S, 1865. 

•Subsequently, Orlando B. Merrill, guardian of Elijah Sawyer, sold a part of this land to 
Moses L. Atkinson (Essex Deeds, bookccxxv. , leaf 244); and March 31, 1S21, Enoch Plumersold 
to the said Moses L. Atkinson about six acres additional land, " from which is to be deducted the 
quantity now improved as a bur)-ing ground, being about twenty rods " (Essex Deeds, book 
ccxxxvi., leaf 80). November 6, 1855, Jolm M. Atkinson sold to Eben Griffin about ten acres of 
land on North Atkinson street in Newburyport, " Reserving the Sawyer Burial Ground, so 
called, upon said lot" (Essex Deeds, book dxxi., leaf 269) . 


and adjoining the same, " the said Paul Adams also being an 
overseer of said society, chosen by the Seabrook Monthly 
Meeting," gave to Josiah Little, of Newbury, a quitclaim deed 
" of the lot of ground on High street in said town on which the 
Friends meeting house now stands," with the building thereon, 
" being the same land which the Society of Friends have oc- 
cupied for a meeting house lot for eighty years past." * 

At or soon after that date a meeting-house was built just 
beyond the limits of Newbury, in the neighborhood of Turkey 
hill, for the use of the Society of Friends. March 4, 1-829, 
Robert Brown, of West Newbury, " in consideration of that 
good will & affection I bear to my well respected friends Ed- 
ward Gove, Jun.and Ezekiel Jones, overseers of the Society of 
Friends in Seabrook Monthly Meeting " conveyed to the said 
overseers, and their successors in office, land in West Newbury 
on which a meeting-house was then standing, "so long as the 
said society shall improve it for a meeting house and hold a 
meeting for the worship of God." f 

May 21, 1855, Josiah Little, of Newburyport, sold to 
" David Sawyer and Robert L. Brown, overseers of the So- 
ciety of Friends in West Newbury," about one acre of land 
" on the road leading from Newburyport to West Newbury by 
Turkey Hill," which has been since that date used by the 
members of the society as a burying-ground.J 

A private school was kept by Miss Upham for several 
years in the meeting-house on High street after it came into 
the possession of Josiah Little, Esq. The second quarter of 
the school was advertised in the Newburyport Herald "to 
commence August 31, 1825." 

Miss Upham was a sister of Thomas C. Upham, Professor 
of Mental and Moral Philosophy in Bowdoin College, Bruns- 
wick, Me. In 1827, she announced that "The French and 
Italian languages, Painting and other branches of Education 
usual in Female Seminaries " § would be taught in her school 
at Belleville. 

Some years later the old meeting-house was used as a ves- 

* Essex Deeds, vol. cexxxviii., leaf 141. t Ibid., vol. cclii., leaf 239. } Ibid., vol. dlxiv., 
leaf 281. 

§ See advertisement in Newburyport Herald, April 3, 1827. 


try for the Fourth Parish church in Newbury, now the Belle- 
ville Congregational church of Newburyport. In 1857, it 
was removed to a lot of land on the northeasterly side of 
the ferry road, a few rods in a southeasterly direction from 
Meeting-house lane, now Noble street, Newburyport, and con- 
verted into a dwelling house to take the place of one — owned 
and occupied by Mr. Charles Bartlett — destroyed by fire Feb- 
ruary 24, 1857. It is still standing, and is now the property 
of Mr. George A. Menut, Newburyport. 


In 1827, Rev. William French, of Sandown, N.H., visited 
Newbury, and induced some of the people living near the 
" Great Rock " to form a class for the study of the Bible, 
with special reference to the doctrines and principles of the 
Christian religion as taught by the Methodist church. For 
several years he came at regular stated intervals to aid and 
assist in the work, and encourage the weak-hearted and 

In 1830, a small chapel was built near the "Great Rock," 
and services were held there on Sundays by Methodist 
preachers from the neighboring towns. In 1831, Rev. Philo 
Bronson was appointed to the work of the ministry there by 
the New England Conference. In 1832, Rev. Joseph Brown 
supplied the pulpit for three or four months, and Rev. Thomas 
W. Gile for the remainder of the year. The church as well 
as the parish was organized during the pastorate of Rev. Mr. 
Gile, under the name of " The First Parish of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church for the towns of West Newbury and New- 
bury," and Micajah Poor was chosen clerk. 

Rev. Samuel W. Coggshall was appointed pastor of the 
church in 1833. He was succeeded by Rev. Hezekiah 
Thatcher, who remained in charge of the parish until 1838. 
After that date, services were conducted by occasional 
preachers from Ipswich, Rowley, Salisbury, and other towns 
in the neighborhood until 1846, when the church was placed 
in chargfe of the officers and members of the Methodist so- 


cicty in Newburyport, and a vigorous effort was made to in- 
crease and strengthen its work and influence. 

In 1855, during the pastorate of Rev. John L. Trefren, the 
chapel was removed to its present location, near the Boston 
& Maine Railroad station, in Byfield parish, Newbury, and 
subsequently remodelled and enlarged.* Most of the minis- 
ters appointed to carry on the work in the new chapel, follow- 
ing the rule or custom of the Methodist church, remained 
only one year. Several, however, were retained for a longer 
term of service. Rev. O. S. Butler occupied the pulpit from 
1858 to 1861 and again from 1863 to 1866. In 1868, during 
the pastorate of Rev. Garret Beckman, the church was again 
remodelled and enlarged. 

Rev. William W. Bowers was appointed pastor of the 
church April 14, 1900, and still retains that office. In the 
month of September, 1901, the meeting house was removed 
and a new one erected on the same site. It was dedicated to 
the worship of God, Sunday, June 15, 1902. 

* Land was purchased July 24, 1855, and March 21, 1859. (See Essex Deeds, book dxvii., 
leaf 88; book dlxxxiv., leaves igg, 300.) 



Anthony Somerby came to New England in 1639 in the 
ship "Jonathan." * He was probably the first school-teacher 
employed by the town of Newbury. 

There was granted unto Anthony Somerby in the year 1639 for his 
encouragement to keepe schoole for one yeare foure Akers of upland 
over the great river in the necke, also sixe Akers of salt marsh next to 
Abraham Toppan's twenty akers, the which twenty Akers lyes on the 
south side of it.f 

Soon after the removal of the inhabitants of Newbury from 
Parker river to the new settlement on Merrimack river, 
Anthony Somerby was chosen town clerk, which office he held 
for more than thirty-eight years. The new meeting-house 
erected " upon a knowle of upland by Abraham Toppan's 
barne " was used as a school-house until a more suitable 
building was provided. Taxes were assessed for the main- 
tenance and support of the school, which was established by 
vote of the town, and placed under the supervision of the 
committee named in the following certificate : — 

At a town meeting Nov. 29 1652 There was voted by the major part 
of the towne that there should be a convenient house built for a schoole. 
There was also voted that there should be twenty pounds a yeare allowed 
for to maintaine a schoolmaster out of the Towne rate. There was also 
voted that M"" Woodman, Richard Kent, Junr, Lieut: Pike & Nicholas 
Noyes should be a committee for manageing of the business of the 
the schoole &c 

At a generall meeting of the town May 14, 1653 (?) there was ordered 
& voted that the towne should by an equall proportion according to 
mens estates by way of rates pay foure and twenty pounds by the yeare 

* New England Historical and Genealogical Register, vol. xxxii. , p. 411. 
tTown of Newbury Records, p. 34 ; also, Proprietors' Records, p. 47. 



to maintain a free schoole to be kept at the meeting house & the master 
to teach all such inhabitants children as shall be sent to him so soon as 
they know their letters «S: begin to read. 

A true coppy taken out of the Towne Book 

pr Anthony Somerby.* 

The General Court, in order to encourage and promote the 
dissemination of knowledge, ordered, November 11, 1647, 
every town having fifty householders to appoint a suitable 
person to teach reading and writing in that town, and further 

. . . yt where any towne shall increase to ye numb"" of 100 families or 
household's they shall set up a grafher schoole, ye mr thereof being able 
to instruct youth so farr as they may be fited for ye University, prvided 
yt if any towne neglect ye pformance hereof above one yeare, yt every 
such towne shall pay 5^ to ye next schoole till they shall pforme this 

For non-compliance with this law the inhabitants of New- 
bury were compelled to answer at the court held at Ipswich 
May 6, 1658. 

Newbury upon their presentment for want of a latin scoole is to pay 
five pounds to Ipswich lattin scool, unless they by the nexte court 
provyde a lattin scoole master according to law. j 

Whether the fine imposed by the court was paid or a 
"lattin scoole master " employed within the time named is 
uncertain, as the town records for several years subsequent to 
that date have been lost or destroyed. 

At a legal meeting of the inhabitants of Newbury held 
October 5, 1675, "it was voted to have a schoolmaster got to 
teach to write & read & cypher & teach a gramer schoole " ; § 
and, November 10, 1675, the selectmen voted "That whereas 
the Law requires that our Towne should maintaine a Gram- 
mer schoole & a schoole master to teach to recite & read, the 
Selectmen agreed with Henry Short to be the schoolmaster 
and to have for this first halfc yeare five pounds to be paid 
out of the Towne Rate and to have sixpence a week for every 
scholar." J^ 

* Ipswich Court Files, vol. iv., leaf 21. 

t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. ii,, p. 203. X Ipswich Court Records, vol. i., leaf 68. 

§Town of Newbury Records. 


June 21, 1676 the selectmen agreed with Henry Short to keep schoole 
for this yeare from the first Day of May last past (which time untill now 
he hath taught children) & he is to teach untill the first day of May next 
& the selectmen Do engage to pay him ten pounds out of the next Towne 
Rate and if the number be about twenty scholars & upwards he is to 
teach them at the watch house.* 

At a legal meeting of the inhabitants of the town held 
September 21, 1677, Daniel Pierce, jr., and Nicholas 
Noyes were chosen " to get a .schoolmaster and agree 
with him to teach children, and the Towne voted for in- 
couragement to give twenty pounds for a yeare besides what 
they shal agree upon for the children that shall come to 
schoole to him." * 

November 22, 1678, the town again voted to give twenty 
pounds a year to maintain the schoolmaster, and April 1 3, 
1680, voted to pay twenty pounds out of the town rate "to 
M'' Emerson for to keep school." 

In answer to the petition of several of the inhabitants of 
Newbury the General Court authorized the selectmen of the 
town, June 11, 1680, to raise the sum of sixty pounds annually 
" for the encouragement of learning & Maintenance of the 
schole master there." f Taking advantage of this order of 
the court, Mr. Emerson demanded an increase of salary ; but 
the town answered that it had no further use for his services, 
and dismissed him. On the fourteenth day of September fol- 
lowing, a committee was appointed to see if he would accept 
twenty pounds a year for keeping the school. He declined 
the offer, and claimed that the notice of dismissal was illegal.^ 

October 13, 1680, the General Court ordered that Mr. 
Emerson should continue to be schoolmaster at Newbury until 
the next session of the court, and that threescore pounds 
should be paid him for his services. § The town, however, 
voted to employ Mr. Baily to keep a school in the watch- 
house, and appointed a committee to settle with Mr, Emerson, 
if possible. The question of salary could not be satisfactorily 
adjusted, although repeated attempts were made to accomplish 

•Town of Newbury Records. t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. v., p. 272. 

jTown of Newbury Records ; see also " Ould Newbury," p. 105. 
§ Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. v., p. 299. 


that result. At a town meeting held May 4, 1681, the sub- 
ject was again considered. 

Sergeant Tristram Coffin and Joseph Pike were desired by the Towne 
to treat with Mr John Emerson about his wages for keeping schoole this 
last yeare past from May in the yeare 1680 untill this present May: 
whereupon the said M^ Emerson did promise and engage to us above 
mentioned that in case the Towne pay or give security for the payment 
(to the said M"" Emerson) of twenty pounds in merchantable come or 
mault by the twentieth of this Instant May, and by the last of October 
next forty pounds more in the like merchantable corne & mault that the 
said Ml" Emerson do engage to desist from keeping schoole in Newbury 
forthwith upon such engagement. 

This proposal or agreement was accepted without further 
delay, and the following order was then adopted : — 

The Towne having heard & received Mr Emersons answer to the 
said Sergeant Coffin & Joseph Pike do consent thereunto and do hereby 
grant the same and do hereby order and empower the Selectmen to make 
a rate of sixty pounds for the settlement [with] Mr Emerson according 
to the said agreement, to be levied on the Towne in part, and the rest 
on the schollars that have been Instructed by the said Mr Emerson this 
last yeare, according to theire discretion.* 

The following petition was presented to the General Court 
for the repeal of the order requiring the town of Newbury to 
raise the sum of sixty pounds annually for the support of a 

To the Honoured Generall Court now assembled at Boston May 11, 
1 68 1. 
The Humble petition of the Selectmen of Newbury in the behalf of 
the Towne Humbly Sheweth 

That whereas this Honoured Court was pleased to order our Town 
to pay sixty pounds pr Annum to a schoolmaster this may certify this 
Honoured Court that according to their order wee have taken a course 
for the paying of the said sixty pounds unto Mr Emerson who was then in 
the place to his satisfaction. And the Towne hath agreed with a 
schoolmaster and taken order for his maintenance, who is an able ortho- 
dox man. Therefore wee humbly desire this Honoured Court that they 
wil bee pleased to repeale the order for the payment of the said three 
score pounds pr Annum and leave our Towne to the same Liberty to 
make a bargaine for a school as the rest of the Townes in the Country 

* Town of Newbury Records. 


are, we are all now agreed and if that order should stand we feare it 
may make a breach amongst us, not doubting but that you will be 
pleased to consider and grant our humble request we humbly pray 

Nicholas Noyes ^ 
Samuel Plumer 
Granted by the deputies Joseph Pike J^- Selectmen* 

Consented to by the magistrates George March 

Edward Rawson Secretary Moses Gerrish ) 

In ansr to the petition of Nicholas Noyes, Samuel Plumer &c select- 
men of Newbury, humbly desiring that, being agreed, the late order for 
the payment of sixty pounds p anna to their then schoole master, may 
be repealled, the Court judgeth it meet to grant the peticon.f 

A statement of Mr. Emerson's account, with the following 
voucher, was recorded, with other transactions of the town, a 
few months later: — 

Received of Joseph Pike constable of Newbury according to accord- 
ing to the severall sums above mentioned, the full and just summe of an 
hundred & ten pounds in satisfaction in full for whatsoever is due to me 
from the towne of Newbury for keeping schoole in the said towne of 
Newbury, and I do hereby acquit & discharge the said Constable »S: 
Towne from all debts «& demands on that account from the begining of 
the world to this present day dated February 22, 168 1-2 As witness 
my hand Jno Emerson.J 

On the ninteenth day of October, 168 1, the town of 
Newbury voted " that the selectmen shall make a rate of 
twenty pounds for the Towne pay' for Mr Baily. And that 
the yeare begine for M"" Baily schooling this day October 19, 

Mr. Baily was probably employed as schoolmaster until his 
successor, Mr. Edward Tomson, was appointed. In 1684, 
there was due from the town of Newbury " To M"" Edward 
Tomson for keeping school this year £,'^0'' § 

March 28, 1687 The Towne voted that y^ selectmen should agree 
wtli Mr Tompson to keepe scoole for the Towne one quarter of a year 
from this time, provided he will be pleased to keepe ye schoole y^ s^ 

•Massachusetts Archives, vol. Iviii., p. 107. 
t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. v., p. 316. 

{Town of Newbury Records. Mr. Emerson subsequently laught school in Salem from 1699 
to 1712. (See Felt's Annals of Salem, p. 354.) 
§ TowTi of Xewbury Records (1680-92). 


quarter of a yeare for seven pounds & ten shillings. \*^ scholars to pay 
pr week as formerly.* 

September 6, 16S7, The Towne considering the great advantage & 
benefit that have been & may be to ye Towne by promoting of Learn- 
ing among us do desire ye Rev^d Mr Richardson and y^ selectmen to 
procure an able schoolmaster for us for ye Teaching of children to Read 
write & cipher and to ffit them for the Colledg and for ye [maintenance] 
of a schoolmaster we do promise to give twenty pounds for ye first yeare 
in good country pay, besides what the schollers shall give, and also five 
pounds for this yeare to each end of ye Towne to be disposed of by ye 
selectmen according to y discretion to such schoolmasters as shall be 
improved for ye teaching of children to Read, write & cipher. But if 
ye ends of the Towne shall neglect to procure a schoolmaster to teach to 
reade, write & cypher as aforesd that then ye whole thirty pounds shall 
go to ye Latin schoolmaster.* 

On the eighteenth day of October following, the committee, 
consisting of Rev. Mr. Richardson and the selectmen, re- 
ported as follows : — 

Whereas ye Towne of Newbury at a meeting of theys Sept. 6 last 
past did imploy us ye subscribers a committee for ye procuring of a school- 
master as in the said vote may appear : We have accordingly now agreed 
wth Mr Seth Shove to be ye lattin schoolmaster for ye Towne for this 
present year & to performe sd worke of a Lattin schoolmaster for read- 
ing, writing and cyphering according to sd vote. 

Jno Richardson 
Daniel Pearce 
Tristram Coffin 
Nathl Clarke 
Richard Bartlet 
Joseph BAYLEV.f 

December 25, 1689 voted that IVT'' Seth Shove should have twenty 
pounds for this last y for keeping schoole & after y< proportion if he 
hath kept schoole above a ye since the first year.J 

April 22, 1690 the Towne voted to give M"" Seth Shove twenty five 
pourrds in Townes pay for this present year & the pay of the schollers 
according to custom, provided he keeps a Lattin schoole amongst us 
according to Law and a schoole for teaching to rede, wright & 
cypher. J 

In May, 1691, the town voted to pay Mr. Seth Shove 
thirty pounds upon the following conditions, namely, that for 

*Town of Newbury Records (1680-92) , vol. ii., p. 71. 
t Town of Newbury Records ; " Ould Newbury," p. 107. 
+ Town of Newbury Records. 


one year he would teach " readers free, Latin scholars six- 
pence per week, writers and cypherers four pence per week, 
to keep the school one third part of the year at the middle of 
the new towne, one third part at the school house, and the 
other third part about middle way between the meeting house 
and old town ferry." * 

May lo, 1693 voted that Mr. John Clarke be called to assist Mr 
Richardson in the work of the ministry at the west end . . . and also to 
keep a grammar schoole.* 

At a meeting of the legal voters of the town held March 
26, 1694, a petition presented by "Cap' Dan" Peirce, Esq., 
Cap' Thomas Noyes, Lieu' Moses Gerrish, M"" Joseph Wood- 
bridge, M'' Nathaniel Coffin & Benjamin Morse in the behalfe 
of them selves & neighbors for liberty to erect a little house 
by the Rock between the end of Cap' Noyes lane & M"" 
Woodbridge for the accomodation of a good & sufficient 
schoole dame " || was granted upon condition that the land 
should revert to the town if the building was used for any 
other purpose than a school-house. This land was laid out 
by the lot-layers July 24, 1704, "upon the little Hill between 
the end of L' Col. Noyes his lane & Mr. Woodbridges 
house according to s'^ grant as it is bounded w"' the comon 
on every side being about forty foote square." f 

June 5, 1695, Mr. Christopher Toppan was invited to 
assist Rev. Mr. Richardson in the work of the ministry ; and 
the town voted to give him " thirty pounds a year so long as 
he shall keep a grammar and a writing schoole, the scholars 
to pay as they did to M'' John Clarke." * 

July 29, 1696 for the encouragement of M' Nicholas Webster for 
keeping of a Gramer school heer in Newbury the Town voted to give 
to him the said Mr Nicholas Webster thirty pounds for one year in 
country pay, provided he demand but four pence per weeke for Lattin 
schollers and teach all the Towns children that come to him to read 
write & cipher freely, without pay.* 

May II, 1697 voted that the agreement made with Nicholas Webster 
July 29, 1696 about keeping school be renewed for the year ensuing.* 

* Town of Newbury Records. 

t Town of Newbury (Proprietors') Records, p. 31. 


December i8, 1699 Lieut Coffin, Lieu' Noyes «& Dec" William Noyes 
were desired to discourse w«ii Mr Toppan & Mr Richard Browne for 
Mr Browne to preach a lecture once a month & once every sacramt day 
and to keepe y*-" Grammer Schoole and to help M^ Toppan or Mr Bel- 
cher in preaching in case of sickness, and if Mr Browne accept of the 
call, then to give Mr Webster a quarter of a years warning to Leave ye 

Mr. Richard Brown was employed March 18, 1 700-1, 
" to keep the Grammer Schoole for the year ensuing on the 
same conditions as last year " ; and two years later his salary 
was fixed at thirty pounds per annum.* 

March 7, 1709-10, the inhabitants of Newbury voted to 
employ Mr. Brown to keep the grammar school for another 
year, and the selectmen were authorized to expend twenty 
pounds at their discretion " for y^ promoting of writing & cy- 
phering in the remote parts of y^ Town." * 

March 13, 1710-1, Mr. Brown was again engaged to keep 
the grammar school ; and it was also " voted that he is to have 
liberty to leave it when he pleases." * The same day he was 
re-elected town clerk. In the month of October following, 
having decided to remove to Reading, w^here he was after- 
wards ordained as a minister, he wrote on a fly-leaf of one of 
the town books as follows : — 

I have served Newbury as schoolmaster eleven years and an half and 
as town clerk about five years and have been repaid with abuse, con- 
tempt and ingratitude. I have sent nigh as many to college as all the 
masters before me since the reverend and learned Parker. Those I have 
bred think themselves better than their master (God make them better 
still) and yet they may remember ye foundation of all their growing 
greatness was laid in the sweat of my brows. 

I pray that poor unacknowledging Newbury may get them that may 
serve them better and find thanks when they have done. 

If to find a house for ye school two years, when ye town had none, 
gratis, if to take the scholars to my own fire when there was no wood at 
school as frequently, if to give records to the poor, and record their 
births and deaths gratis deserves acknowledgements, then it is my due, 
but hard to come by. 

Est aliqua ingrato meritum exprobare voluptas 
Hoc fruar, haec de te gaudia sola feram. 

R. Brown. t 

* Town of Newbury Records. 

t See Record of Births, Marriages, and Deaths in the town of Newbury for tlie years 1635-1735. 


October 9, 171 1 Mr. Joshua Moody was chosen to keep ye Gramar 
School y^ remainder, of y« present year . . . also voted that ye gramar 
school be removed to (jreenleafs Lane or near there abouts provided a 
convenient place be forthwith provided by ye selectmen and the master 
be willing to keep it there until the town meeting in March next* 

March 11, 1711-12 voted that a house for ye keeping ye Gramer 
school in, shall be bilt and set up near ye middle waye, between ye old 
school house & ye little old house now standing by ye way near frog 
Pond and that the Gramer schoole master shall have fifteen pounds in 
money and fifteen pounds as money for keeping the Schollers to learn 
Lattin & to write & cypher for the year ensuing.* 

March 10, 171 2-3, John Woodbridge, son of Rev. John 
Woodbridge, was chosen to keep the grammar school at a 
salary of twenty-five pounds.* He was elected annually 
for eighteen years. In 1718, his salary was raised to forty 
pounds per annum, and in 17 19 sixty pounds additional was 
raised " for maintaining schools in the remote parts of the 
town."* March 9, 1730-1, the town voted that Mr. John 
Woodbridge " shall have forty five pounds for his service and 
shall have none but Latin scholars." * 

Reading and writing schools for the instruction of children 
living in the Second parish in Newbury were established 
February 12, 17 16-7; and the assessors were authorized "to 
agree with four schoolmasters to teach to write and cypher, and 
to keep schoole in four places in the precinct, viz : one below 
Artechoak River and one neere the meeting house, one neere 
Joseph Hills and one neere Capt Hugh Marches, each schoole 
to have an equal share of the ten pounds which is allotted by 
the Town for y^ schools." f 

After the organization of the Third parish in 1725, the town 
voted March 11, 1728-9, to raise for the maintenance of 
schools in the First parish thirty pounds, for the Second 
parish thirty pounds ; and for the Third parish, the same 
amount ; " also fifteen pounds for Newbury's part of the Falls 
parish." * • 

At that date schools were kept in private houses, or in 
other buildings conveniently Itjcated, as well as in the school- 

• Town of Newbury Records. 

t Newbury (.Second Parish) Records, p. 53. 


house then standing near the First Parish meeting-house. In 
1 69 1 Mr. Seth Shove was employed to teach "at the new- 
town " one-third of the year, ** at the school house " one-third 
of the year, and at a place, to be agreed upon, " between the 
meeting house and old town ferry," for the remainder of the 
year. Subsequently the amount appropriated annually by the 
town for the support of schools was divided among the 
parishes, and they were authorized and instructed to provide 
convenient school-rooms and suitable teachers. 

April 22, 1729, the inhabitants of the Second parish voted 
" to hire a gramer school master to keep school in y^ parish 
and to keep ye school half ye year at y^ easterly end of y^ 
parish as neer y^ middle, between Indian river and Thomas 
Bartlets as may be, and y^ other half of y^ year as neer y® 
middle of y^ West part of y^ parish, between indian river and 
Bradford, as may be." * 

At a meeting of the inhabitants of the First parish held 
March 13, 1729-30, it was voted that the school be kept in 
the First parish, at the usual place, for nine months, until the 
last day of November, at the "old town" for the next two 
months (December and January), and at the " Farms " for the 
month of February. f 

March 17, 1729-30, the inhabitants of the Third parish 
voted to build a school-house on High street, between Fish, 
now State street, and Queen, now Market street, Newbury- 

Evidently, the arrangements made in some of the parishes 
were not satisfactory to the legal voters of the town ; and the 
location of the schools was frequently criticised and con- 
demned. It was voted May 12, 1732, "that ye grammer 
scool shall be kept at y^ Towns house by y^ meeting House 
in y^ first parish, this year." 

Voted March 13, 1732-3 that the school house now standing neer ye 
meeting House in ye first parish is given to those that live remote in 
said parish, provided they will repair it & keep it so, for them to keep 
in on Sabath days.§ 

* Newbury (Second Parisli) Records, p. 65. + Newbury (First Parish) Records. 

X "Ould Newbury," p. 433. §To\vn of Newbury Records. 


Stephen Sewall was chosen schoolmaster March 13, 
1732-3; and the town voted to keep the grammar school 
'* for the ensuing year at or near Chandlers lane." * 

March 12, 1733-4 voted to raise forty pounds toward ye support of a 
gramer scoole master for ye year insuing to be kept on ye west side of 
Artechoak River & to be a free scoole for lattin scollers & no other use, 
provided some suitable persons in that part of ye Town do git a suitable 
person as ye Law directs to keep said scoole for this Towne & take care 
sfi scoole be well & faithfully kept, ect. and if ye people above Arte- 
choak River do not timely provide a man to keep scoole as above said, 
then ye selectmen are desired to provide a gramer scoole master for ye 
Towne for ye year insuing.* 

March 11, 1734-5, the town voted to pay forty pounds 
toward the cost of keeping a grammar school at Newbury 
Falls (Byfield) ; and March 9, 1735-6, a like sum was voted 
for the support of a grammar school between Chandler's lane 
and John Weed, jr.'s, house. f The location selected for the 
last-named school was evidently unsatisfactory. On the 
tenth day of May following the town voted to pay forty pounds 
" to y^ inhabitants of y^ first parish, provided they get & keep a 
good & suitable man to keep a free gramer school, in such 
place or places in said parish as they shall agree, the year 
ensuing." * The inhabitants of the Third parish were granted 
forty pounds March 8, 1736-7, "provided they do procure a 
suitable man for to keep a free scoole for the Towne for y^ year 
insuing." * 

For twenty-five or thirty years after that date the grammar 
school was annually changed from parish to parish, in order 
that all who desired to attend might have opportunity. June 
2, 1742, the town voted that the school "shall be kept in y'^ 
scool House near y* meeting House in y^ first parish," and 
on the twenty-second day of September following voted that 
" it shall be kept in the third parish y^ year ensuing at y*= 
charge of this town." * 

May 15, 1744 voted that ye gramer school shall be kept this year at 
such place or places as may best acomodate ye second & fourth 
parishes. * 

*Town of Newbury Records. 

t John Weed's house was on the southwesterly side of High street, nearly opposite the head 
of Lime street, Newburyport. (See " Ould Newbury," pp. 135-13S.) 


May 14, 1745 voted that the gramer school be kept in the first parish 
for one year next ensuing.* 

May 26, 1746 voted that ye gramer school shall be kept in ye 3d 
parish ye year insuing.* 

May 19, 1747 voted that the Gramer School be kept until March 
next in that part of Byfield parish as may be most convenient for the 
inhabitants thereof.* 

March <S, 1747-8 voted to employ a suitable person to teach the 
gramer school in the second & fourth parishes for the year insuing.* 

May 14, 1752 voted to continue the town school at Byfield until the 
inhabitants of that parish, in the judgment of the selectmen, have had 
their proportion of the money appropriated.* 

March 13, 1752-3 voted to provide a school for reading and writing 
to be kept in the first parish this year, in the second parish next year, 
and in the third and fourth parishes the years next following ; also voted 
that the grammer school be kept in the most convenient place for the 
town, and that the selectmen be instructed to provide a good place and 
a good teacher.* 

October 20, 1 763 voted to build a house to keep the Gramer School 
in at or near the head of Fish street.* 

March 9, 1779 voted that the unanimous thanks of the town be 
given to Samuel Moody, Esq. for his generous donation of one hundred 
pounds at this time, and of twenty pounds some time past for the 
purpose of a growing fund for a grammar school being in the town for 
the instruction of youth.* 

In 1792 the town was divided into school districts; and a 
committee, consisting of Ebenezer March, Es^., Stephen 
Hooper, Esq., Dudley A. Tyng, Esq., Enoch Sawyer, Esq., 
and Mr. Jeremiah Pearson, with the ministers and selectmen 
of the town, was appointed to supervise and inspect the 
schools. At the annual meeting held March 13, 1 792, the 
overseers of the poor were instructed to provide clothing for 
destitute children, and also for their regular attendance at the 
public schools. 

The school-houses erected in Newbury previous to the 
Revolutionary war were square wooden buildings, with win- 
dows on all four sides. They were well and substantially 
built, with a low, hip roof, and a door opening from the 
street into the school-room. The teacher's desk was on a 
raised platform nearly opposite the door ; and the benches 

•Town of Newburj' Records. 


on which the scholars sat were arranged in rows at the right 
and left of the desk, facing the stove that stood in the centre 
of the room, between the teacher's desk and the door. Pupils 
attending school paid sixpence weekly, in addition to the 
amount appropriated by the town or parish for the support of 
the schoolmaster. Young beginners were taught to read 
and spell from hornbooks imported, probably, from England. 
These books consisted of a single leaf or page, on which the 
alphabet, the syllables " ab, eb,' ib, ob," etc., the benediction, 
and the Lord's Prayer were printed. To a thin piece of 
wood, four or five inches long and two inches wide, with a 
short handle at the lower end, the printed page was securely 
fastened, and covered with a thin sheet of horn, through which 
the letters could be seen and read. A narrow strip of brass, 
nailed to the edges of the wood, held the horn in place. 

From these hornbooks children learned the letters of the 
alphabet at home, and then were sent to school to learn to 
read and spell. Judge Sewall, in his diary, under the date 
of April 27, 1691, wrote as follows : — 

This Afternoon had Joseph to school to Capt Townsend's mother's, 
his Cousin Jane accompanying him, carried his Horn-book.* 

The first edition of the New England Primer was published 
probably in 1695. It rose rapidly in popular favor, and 
before the middle of the eighteenth century it had practically 
supplanted the hornbook in the schools of Newbury. Many 
editions of this favorite text-book were published in Boston, 
New York, Philadelphia, and elsewhere, including one by 
John Mycall, of Newburyport, in 1795. It contained, in 
addition to the alphabet, a table of easy syllables, a morning 
and evening prayer for children, grace to be said before meat, 
and the familiar rhymes beginning 

" In Adam's fall 

We sinned all," 
and ending with 

" Zaccheus he 

Did climb a tree 

His Lord to see." 

* Samuel Sewall's Diary, vol. i., p. 344. 


For more than a century after the settlement of Newbury, 
the Bible and the Catechism were the only reading-books 
used in the schools. Penmanship was taught, but proficiency 
in the art of writing was acquired by practice, and not by 
study. Pupils imitated to the best of their ability copies set 
for them by the schoolmaster. Although considerable time 
and attention was devoted to spelling, the principles of ety- 
mology and orthography were unsettled, and the combination 
of letters used to form words Varied, apparently, according to, 
the idiosyncrasies and peculiarities of the teacher. When a 
word was given out, the pupils were expected to pronounce it 
and spell it in a loud voice, all speaking together. On warm 
summer days, when the windows were open, the sound of 
their voices could be heard a long distance. 

Arithmetic was taught without the aid of text-books. Sums 
in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division were 
copied, at the dictation of the teacher, into books consisting 
of a few blank sheets of paper ; and, without assistance, pupils 
were required to give the correct answer. The first arithme- 
tic published in America was compiled by Nicholas Pike, of 
Newburyport, in 1786. It contained over three hundred and 
sixty rules, many of them ambiguous and abstruse ; but only 
a few of the most difficult were carefully and intelligently ex- 

Latin grammar was taught advanced scholars, but there 
was no text-book devoted to the art of writing or speaking the 
English language. The first English grammar used in the 
public schools of Newbury was " The Young Lady's Acci- 
dence, or a Short and Easy Introduction to English Grammar, 
designed principally for the use of Young Learners, more 
especially for those of the Fair Sex, though Proper for Either." 
It was a small book of fifty-seven pages, about the size of the 
New England Primer, written by Caleb Bingham, a school- 
teacher of Boston, and published in 1789.* 

When the old school-house that stood in the First parish 
in Newbury was removed, a new brick building, similar in 

* Caleb Bingham subsequently published several other school-books. Two of them, "The 
American Preceptor" and "The Columbian Orator," were exceedingly popular, and passed 
through many editions. 



size and shape, was erected to take its place, on " the trayne- 
ing green," near the pond. 

The half-tone print on this page gives a view of the brick 
school-house as it was thirty years ago. It is taken from an 
oil painting now in the possession of Hon. Luther Dame, of 

Moses Atkinson, in his will dated December 7, 1807, and 
proved July 5, 18 14, gave several lots of land and other prop- 


erty to " School District Number Two in Newbury," where he 
had lived for many years, " for the support of a school for 
reading, writing, arithmetic and English grammar." With 
the income from this fund an evening school was kept two or 
three months every year in the school-house on Pillsbury's 
lane, now Ashland street, Newburyport. 

April 23, 1849, the inhabitants of Newbury voted to build 

* Mr. Dame was for several years a teacher in the school-house described above. He painted 
the sketch after the building was taken down in 1873. 


a school-house on land owned by Rev. Leonard Withington, 
adjoining the First Parish burying-ground. 

This building was erected for the accommodation of the 
high school, established by order of the General Court. 
Subsequentl}' the law requiring the town to maintain a high 
school was amended; and June 23, 1853, the selectmen were 
authorized to sell one-half the high-school building to the 
ladies of the First Parish church. June 25, 1853, Daniel 
Lunt, treasurer of the town of Newbury, conveyed by deed 
to Mrs. Leonard Withington, Miss Matilda Plumer, Mrs. 
George Little, Mrs. Nathan N. Withington, and Mrs. John 
Alter, a committee representing the ladies of the P'irst parish 
in Newbury, " the Basement half of said school house together 
with half the attic and half the cellar beneath the same." * 

October 19, 1854, the town voted to sell all its right, title, 
and interest in one undivided half of the land and building ; 
and on the twenty-eighth day of October following, Daniel 
Lunt, treasurer, conveyed to Edward Dole, David S. Cald- 
well, George Adams, Isaac Adams, and Luther Noyes all the 
interest that the inhabitants of Newbury then had " in a 
certain tract of land bought of Leonard Withington and his 
wife Caroline November 24, 1849," and also in the high- 
school building standing thereon. f 

After the act establishing the city of Newburyport had 
been accepted in 185 1, a committee, consisting of the mayor, 
Hon. Caleb Gushing, Alderman Joseph Roberts, and Council- 
men Zacheus P. Thurlow, Philip K. Hills, and John Currier, 
jr., was appointed to adjust and settle the claims to property 
in " School District Number Two," formerly in the town of 
Newbury. December 6, 1851, the inhabitants of that dis- 
trict voted " that school district No. 2 formerly a part of the 
town of Newbury, but now a part of the city of Newbury- 
port, give and convey to the said city of Newburyport the 
schoolhouses and lands under and adjoining the same, be- 
longing to and owned by the said district to be kept and used 
by said city for the purposes that they were kept and used by 
said district, viz : — For schooling purposes, said district re- 

* Essex Deeds, book cdlxxix., leaf 199. t Ibid., book dii., leaf 264. 


scrvini;' the use of the old house for the purpose of keeping 
the Atkinson fund school in said city agreeing to keep the 
said property in repair so long as said district belongs to and 
is a part of the said city of Newburyp'ort." 

For the purpose of carrying the above vote into effect, a 
committee, consisting of Andrew W. Miltimore, George W. 
Jackman, jr., and Nathaniel Boardman, was appointed to con- 
fer with the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, and make such 
arrangements for the transfer of the property as they con- 
sidered advisable. 

March 11, 1852, Daniel Lunt, treasurer of the town of 
Newbury, and Caleb Gushing, mayor of the city of Newbury- 
port, signed an indenture, or contract, conveying certain lots 
of land formerly in the town of Newbury, with the school- 
houses standing thereon, to the inhabitants of the city of 
Newbury port.* 

The General Statutes of the Commonwealth of Massachu- 
setts provided in 1859 for the support and management of 
public schools, and also granted certain rights and powers to 
the inhabitants of towns, as follows : — - 

A town may, at any time, abolish the school districts therein, and 
shall there upon, forthwith, take possession of all the school houses, land, 
apparatus and other property owned and used for school purposes, which 
such districts might lawfully sell and convey.f 

March 24, 1869, school districts were summarily abolished 
by the General Court ; and subsequently the selectmen of 
towns were authorized to take possession of the property used 
for school purposes in the towns where they resided.:): In 
1870, however, the school district system was re-established. § 
When the Public Statutes were enacted, to take effect Feb- 
ruary I, 1882, the law establishing school districts was 
amended to read as follows : — 

A town in which the school district system exists may abolish the 
same by vote. No town which has so abolished said system shall there- 
after re-establish school districts. || 

•Essex Deeds, book cdlxi., leaf 34 : book cdlxvi., leaf 203. 

t General Statutes, chap 39, sect. 3. 

J Acts and Resolves, 1869, chaps, no and 423. § Ibid., 1870, chap. 196. 

II Public Statutes, chap. 45, Sect. 2. 


The inhabitants of Newbury voted March 21, 1882, to ex- 
ercise the authority conferred upon them by the Pubhc Stat- 
utes, and on the thirteenth day of April following appointed 
a committee of three disinterested persons, one from George- 
town, one from Rowley, and one from West Newbury, to ap- 
praise the property owned by the several school districts, and 
determine the amount that should be paid for the same by the 
town. The valuation agreed upon by the committee was ac- 
cepted, and the transfer of the property was legally completed 
during the summer of 1882. Since that date public schools, 
maintained by the town, have taken the place of district schools. 
in Newbury. 



For several years after the incorporation of Newbury the 
roads leading from the settlement at Parker river were only 
narrow, winding paths through the primeval forest. As early 
as September 5, 1635, the General Court ordered the inhabi- 
tants of Ipswich and Newbury to mend the highways between 
the two towns. April 19, 1638, John Baker and Nicholas 
Holt were chosen " Surveyors of the highways " in Newbury, 
but were evidently unable or unwilling to make the repairs 
needed ; and therefore complaint was made to the quarterly 
court held at Cambridge June 5, 1638, and "The towne of 
Newbury was fined 6* 8^^ & enjoyned to repaire y'-" defects 
[in highways] before the Court in September." * 

A similar fine was imposed upon the town of Ipswich at the 
same court. November 5, 1639, a more comprehensive act in 
relation to the laying out of highways was passed by the Gen- 
eral Court, which reads as follows : — 

Whereas the highwayes in this jurisdiction have not bene layd outwth 
such conveniency for travellers as were fit, nor was intended by this 
Court, but that in some places they are felt too straite, & in other places 
travellers are forced to go farr about, it is therefore ordered that all 
high wayes shall bee layd out before next Generall Court, so as may bee 
wth most ease and safety of travellers ; & for this end, every towne shall 
choose 2 or 3 men who shall joyne wth 2 or 3 of the next towne, «& these 
shall have power to lay out the high wayes in each towne where they 
may bee most convenient &c.f 

Under the provisions of this act the way between Newbury 
and Rowley was relocated and graded, then the way between 
Rowley and Ipswich, and afterwards between Ipswich, Salem, 
and Boston. 

At a very early date, probably previous to the year 1640, 
the inhabitants of Newbury voted 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 233. t Ibid., p. 280. 


. . . that the lott layers shall have the power and authority to lay out 
all convenient highwayes about the Towne Provided the Towne make 
satisfaction for any lands w^h shall be out of any of the Inhabitants 
Proprietys taken and used for a generall high vvaye for the Towne, but 
if any land shall be taken out of any p'rtcular persons propriety ffor 
others p'ticular benefit & advantage then the p'sons reaping benefitt & 
advantage shall find p'sent satisfaccon to him or them from whom such 
land shall be taken.* 

At a meeeting of the inhabitants of Newbury held April 
19, 1649, the way wardens were instructed to impose a fine, 



not exceeding ten shillings, upon any person who failed to 
comply with the requirements of the law or declined to work 
upon the highways a certain number of days annually. At 
that date the laying out and grading of streets in the new 
town on the Merrimack river required much time and atten- 
tion. The' country road, now High street, was then a narrow 
path or way leading to the ferry at Carr's island. Under the 
direction of the way wardens, or surveyors of highways, it 
was laid out, four rods wide, for a distance of si.x miles from 

*Town of Newbury Records, vol. i. 


the north bank of the Parker river. Recently the road-bed 
has been greatly improved by reducing the grade in some 
places, and laying a firm and solid foundation of broken rock, 
covered with a finer coating of the same material, nearly 
the whole length of the road. When the work is completed, 
this ancient thoroughfare will be under the care and control of 
the Board of Highway Commissioners appointed by the state. 

On the westerly side of this ancient highway, between 
"Little," or "Gravel," hill and " trayneing green," is a wall 
of earth and stone, built more than two centuries ago, that 
separates the travelled way from the cultivated fields beyond. 
The outlines of this interesting memorial of the seventeenth 
century, now overgrown with grass and moss, can be seen in 
the photographic view on the opposite page. 

The grist-mill built at Little river in 1646, or possibly a 
year or two later, near what is now known as Four Rock 
bridge, was conveniently located ; and the town provided, at a 
very early date, for laying out a way to the mill, and also to 
the farming district afterwards known as the Byfield parish. 

At the meeting May 19, 1650 Mf Woodman, Henry Short, Nicholas 
Noyes & Richard Knight was chosen to lay out a fitt highway to the 
mill from all parts of the Towne & also to the farms.* 

Edmund Moores, in consideration of "his yealding up into 
the Towns hands a parcell of land being four rods broad thru 
his lot for a way going towards the mill," was granted six 
acres of salt marsh. f 

John Knight, sr., and John Knight, jr., in considera- 
tion of " their yealding up into the Townes hands a parcell of 
land which was formerly Mr Spencers of four rod broad for 
the country way to the Mill as it is laid out " were granted 
eight acres of salt marsh, J and also two additional acres in 
consideration of " theyr yeilding up a parcell of upland Joyn- 
ing to the way going to the Mill on the West side and Joyning 
to Richard Petengalls land on the north to lye for comon." % 

In consideration of Richard Pettingell yielding up into the towns 
hands a part of his land for a way in the most convenient place ap- 

• Town of Newbury (Proprietors') Records, p. 5. t Ibid., p. 54. + Ibid., p. 22. 


pointed by Henry Shorte, Nicholas Noyes & Richard Knight, which he 
doth by these presents acknowledge, there was granted to the said 
Richard Pettingell fourteene akers bee it more or less, to him & his 
heires forever.* 

To the court held at Ipswich, March 28, 1648, the <^rand 
jury reported the following indictment : — 

Wee doe present the town of Newbury for the want of a bridge over 
the falls river : in the way betwixt Newbury and Andiver. Witnesses 
John Osgwood Richard Barker of Andyver.f 

On the eighteenth day of October following, the General 
Court appointed commissioners to lay out the highways from 
Andover to Newbury, Rowley, and Ipswich. 

Upon the request of the inhabitants of Andover, Nath : Boyse of 
Rowley, [Henry] Shorte of Newberry, Ensigne Hovvlet of Ipswich & 
John Osgood of Andover, these, or any three of them [are] to set out the 
highwayes from Andover to Newberry, from Andover to Rowley, & 
from Andover to Ipswich. J 

Four years later, the subject was again brought to the at- 
tention of the General Court, and the following order was 
passed : — 

Whereas the common highwayes betwixt Andover & Ipswich, An- 
dover & Newberry, Andover & Rowley, are not yet layd out, by reason 
whereof passengers doe suffer great p'judice & inconvenience & the 
wayes vncapable of being mended, because vnknown where they wilbe 
layd forth, it is therefore ordered that a committee consisting of one or 
two persons from each town shall lay out said highways under penalty 
of five pounds in case of neglect. § 

May 18, 1653, the committee appointed to lay out the way 
from Andover to Newbury, and to the other towns named 
above, reported that they had attended to the duty assigned 
them. The closing paragraph of the report reads as fol- 
lows : — 

. . . the way from Andevour to Newbery goes on the old cart way 
leaving Rowley way at the begining of a playne by a little swampe 
called Berbery Swampe & so on the old way to the Falls River & from 
thence straight vpon the north side of Richard Thorlyes feild, as it is 

•Town of Newbury (Proprietors') Records, vol. i., p. 52. 

t .Salem Court Files, vol. i., p. 97. 

t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. ii., p. 258. § Ibid., vol. iii., p. 283. 


now fenced & so to Jolin Hulls bridge & so over the end of John Hulls 
playne unto Mr Woodmans bridge, neere the Mill at Newberry.* 

At the county court held at Ipswich in March, 1654, the 
town of Newbury was presented for defects in the highway 
" near goodman Adams farm." f 

September 21, 1654 John Emery Senior was chosen to answer at the 
next court at Ipswich concerninge the p'sentment about the waye to 

September 26, 1654 The Towne of Newbury being p^sented the last 
court for defect in the highwayes the Court ordered if it be not mended 
by next court to pay 40s. § 

July 5, 1673, Robert Adams claimed damages "for land 
taken for the country highway through his farme " ; and Sep- 
tember 6, 1673, the selectmen appointed " Samuel Moody and 
the lot-layers to go to goodman Adams' farm and settle with 
him for the land taken." % 

Subsequently a more direct way to Andover was needed. 
A committee appointed to make the necessary changes re- 
ported as follows : — 

Wee whose names are hereto subscribed being A Committee chosen 
by the townes of Newbury and Andover for the setling of a highway 
beetween the said townes in the bounds of Newbury aforesaid, have 
mutually agreed that the Rode shall go along by James Smiths & so 
'by Georg March his farme on the southerly of the said farme and from 
thence to the said Georges high field and from thence by marked trees 
to falls River, upon as straight a lyne as can bee made and in wittness 
that this is our mutual! agreement wee have hereto set our hands the 
2ot'i of June 1682. Our meaneing is that it shall be as straight as the 
ground will admit, by making bridges & causewayes, but not to be put to 
the inconvenience of making such, only, wa\es passable as may be in 
a direct lyne. 

Newbury Andover 

Nathaniel Clarke Dudley Bradstreet 

FFRANCis Brown John Osgood 

Given in to be Recorded June 2otii by two of the selectmen. 

Nathaniel Clarke. 
James Ordway.J 

*■ Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iii., p 305. t Salem Court Files, vol. ii., leaf 130. 
tTown of Newburj- Records. § Ipswich Court Records, vol. i., p. 47. 


Fet)iuary 15, 1654 at a meeting of the Townsmen select It is or- 
dered that Richard Knight & John Pike shall stake out a convenient 
way & passage for the Towns Cattell to make use of the Spring of water 
by Henry Shorts wcl> is reserved for thepublicjue use of the Towne.* 

This spring is about thirty rods in a southwesterly direc- 
tion from the way, now known as Low street, extending from 
Hay street to Pkimmer street in Newbury. 

September 21, 1654, the inhabitants of the "old towne" 
were granted liberty " to make a fence and hang a gate across 
the way about Anthony Shorts or John Knights provided they 
hinder not the cattell from going into the commons there." f 

November 19, 1654, Richard Knight, John Cheney, and 
John Pike were appointed to " lay out the way from Merri- 
macke Street to the necke on the east side of the old town 
& through the said necke to the marshes there." :|: On the 
twenty-ninth day of November following, the way was laid 
out. It is still in use, and extends from the easterly end of 
the Lower Green, so called, to a sandy cove or beach on the 
Parker river, where the first settlers of Newbury landed. § 

May 26, 1647, Tristram Coffin was authorized by the 
General Court to keep the ferry over Merrimack river from 
the Newbury side, and George Carr was granted " liberty to 
keep his boate going on Salsberry side." At that date 
probably the way to the ferry had not been definitely^ 
decided upon or laid out. March 28, 1648, the grand jury 
presented to the court held at Ipswich " the towne of 
Newbery for the want of a convenient safe way from the 
new towne to the fferry side. Witnesses Tristram Coffin of 
Newbury, John Stevens of Salisbury." || 

Poore's lane previous to 1655 extended from the country 
road, now High street, Newburyport, to the Merrimack river, 
and was the way to the old ferry between Newbury and 
Salisbury, first granted to George Carr in 164 1. A portion 
of this lane, running in an easterly direction from the country 
road, is now Woodland street, Newburyport ; while another 
detached portion, near the river side, is known as Merrimack 

*Tuwn of Newbury (Proprietors') Records, p. 5. t Ibid., p. G2. 

t Coffin's copy of Newbury Records. §" Ould Newbury." pp. 18-20. 

II Salem Court Files, vol. i., p. g?. 


February 10, 1655-6 there was granted unto Lionell Worth In 
Consideration of his resigning up to the towne five akers of land for a 
highway to Salisbury ferry by his house where hee dwelleth which land 
he formerly purchased of Mr [Tristram] Cofifin [Sen.] which was M«" 
Rawsons land, there was laid out to Lionell Worth eight akers of 
upland beyond the new towne &c.* 

Land was also taken from John Kent, jr., for the new 
highway, now Jefferson street, Newburyport, extending from 
the ferry landing opposite Carr's island to the country road, 
now High street. 

March 20 1665 uppon John Kent Junr his summoning of the Towne 
for to give him satisfaction for the land the Towne hath taken from him 
for the Country highway to M^ Carr's fferry The Towne voted that the 
Selectmen should give him satisfaction and accordingly the selectmen 
and John Kent agreed that the said John Kent should have y' parcell of 
land by the old ferry place which was the old way and taken out of his 
ffather's land, so long as the Country makes use of the way that now is. 
Provided that John Kent allow free egress & Regress for his neighbors 
for carting or sledding up of Wood, hay &c and to fetch water or to 
water theyre cattell so they do him no damage by theyr cattells feeding 
on his land or by leaving Downe his ffences. 

per Anthony SoMEi?BY.t 

As early as 1649 "Isaac Buswell and George Carr were 
chosen to call on Newbury to lay out the country roade from 
the Island to Mr. Clarks farme." \ 

December i, 165 1, "John Clark of Boston Chirurgeon " sold 
his farm in Newbury to Matthew Chaffey ; and the same day 
the land with the buildings thereon was conveyed to Richard 
Thorlay.§ Previous to May 3, 1654, Richard Thorlay had 
built a bridge over the Parker river, near this farm. Soon 
after that date, the inhabitants of the towns of Hampton, 
N.H., and Rowley, Mass., petitioned the General Court "for 
a highway from Mr Carrs ffery to M"" Clarkes farme." May 
23, 1655, this petition was referred to the next session of 
the court ; and the deputy from Newbury was " ordered 
to give notice to that town that they may have liberty to 
speake in the case." || 

♦Coffin's copy of Town of Newburj' Records. 

tTown of Newbury (Proprietors') Records, vol. i., p. 9. 

X Histor\' of Amesbury (Merrill), p. 41. § See note, chap, ii., ante, p. 67. 

II Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iii., p. 389. 


, The road was probabl)' built soon after that date. James 
Carr, in a petition to Sir Edmund Andros, Knight, governor of 
New England, in regard to his claims to the ferr}- between 
Newbury and Salisbury, granted his father, George Carr, in 
1655, makes the following suggestion : — 

That for the ease, speed & Convenience of Travellers if yC Excel- 
lency shall thinke fit that the highway may be laid From the IJridge by 
Thomas Thurrells in Newbury to George Marches and from thence to 
M"" Woodmans which will save near three miles Riding of what it is in 
the usual Road & be much better way and effected with a very incon- 
siderable charge to a publique benefit and advantage: Sept. 27, 1687.* 

In 1647, the town of Newbury granted Richard Kent, jr., 
one hundred and seventy acres of upland and marsh land on 
the island over Little river, now known as Kent's island. A 
way over the marsh to the island was laid out b}' order of the 
court held at Ipswich March 25, 1656, as follows: — 

Richard Kent pi' agst John Cheny in an action of the case for fenc- 
ing a p'sell of the Towns comons wdi is p' of a highway. By consent of 
ptyes referred to the lotlayers to laye out a convenient highway accord- 
ing to ye originall grant.f 

At a meeting of the selectmen of Newbury held January 
26, 1656-7, Henry Short and Nicholas Noyes stated that 
there was a way "through Richard Kents Island from the 
w^ay that is laid out thru' John Chenys land to the way that 
is laid out over the marshes." \ 

The bounds and limits of this way through land belonging 
to John Cheney were somewhat vague and indefinite, and led 
to a legal contest that was referred for settlement to Nich- 
olas Noyes and Henry Short at the court held at Ipswich 
September 29, 1657. 

Richard Kent pi' ag-^' John Cheny in an [action] of the case for denye- 
ing him a way where it is Layd out & interrupting & opossing him in 
the sayd waye. Both pty^s agreed that John Chenye should make the 
way layd out by the Towne Sufisient as Mr Nicolas Noyse & Henry 
Short should judge sufisient & to beare the action between them. § 

* Massachusetts Archives, vol. cxxvii., p. 163. t Ipswich Court Records, vol. i., p. 54. 
t Town of Newbury (Proprietors') Records, vol. i., p. 16; also. Coffin's History of New- 
bury, p. 4S, 

§ Ipswich Court Records, vol. i.. p. 63. 


At a meeting of the inhabitants of the town of Newbury 
held November 10, 1663, "' It was voted that the country way 
by Richard Thorlays Bridg should be by the Mill Bridg." * 

It was also ordered that Daniell Pierce, sen"", Thomas Hale, Senr, & 
archelaus Woodman are chosen to be a committee to make the country 
way (according to court order) from mill bridge to the utmost extent of 
our bounds to Rowley &c.t 

March 14, 1663-4 It was also agreed betweene the Towne & Daniell 
Peirce Sen"" & Thomas Hale Seni" 

In consideration of their making a sufficient country way to answer 
the countrys ends for cart and horse, over the marsh from the Bridg 
towards Rowley with stone and earth & to maintaine it so long as they 
live, the Towne engaged to pay to them, in a towne Rate, thirty pounds, 
one halfe between this & the last day of October in wheat and barly, 
and the other halfe in March next in good merchantable pay, corne or 
cattle, and five shillings a peice yearly as long as they live, and if they 
trespass upon Mr Sewalls land the Towne shall beare the damag & they 
engaged to maintaine it, if they can get moveable stone within sixty Rods 
of any part of the Marsh. f 

December 21, 1668 In answer to the petition of Rowley village men 
for a way from this town to Rowley, Ensign John Knight & Abell 
Somerby chosen to lay out the way ; also to lay out a way from Goodwins 
ferry [at the mouth of Powow river] to [Aymsbery] mill with Amesbury 

March 6, 1672-3 It was agreed that M^ Peirce & Tho : Hale Senr 
should be released of their bargaine of maintaining the causy provided 
that the said M"" Peirce attend the making vp of the said causy sufficient 
that the towne may not suffer damag & bestow his owne labour freely & 
bring in a particular account to the Towne. f 

March 8, 1665-6, the lot-layers, with Archelaus Woodman 
and John Merrill, were chosen " to lay out a way & to give 
satisfaction for a way to Salisbury new towne." % 

This way was laid out December 21, 1668, and extends 
from the ferry landing, opposite the mouth of Powow river, to 
High street at its junction with the Bradford road, now Storey 
avenue, Newburyport. 

According to our commission from the town, March 8t'> 1665, we 
have laid out a country way unto Salisbury new towne of four Rod 
broad, begining at Merrimack River side, running through Christopher 

*Town of Newbur>' Records ; also, Coffin's History of Newbury, pp. 63. 68. 
tTown of Newbury Records. + Coffin's copy of Town of Newbury Records. 


Bartletts land sixty rods and likewise through Archelaus Woodmans 
land, sixteen Rod at the North end of Caleb Moodys land and through 
Robert Cokers land about 17 or 1 8 Rods. Richard Kxight 

John Knight 
Richard Dole 
being selectmen did give order to have this recorded 

per Anthony Somerby.* 

September 21, 1677 Henry Jaques and Abraham Merrill chosen . . . 
to make the way passable to Emsbury ferry upon Munday next.* 

At a legal meeting of the inhabitants of Newbury held 
October 21, 1686, Capt. Daniel Pierce, Lieut. Stephen Green- 
leaf, Lieut. Tristram Coffin, Ensign Nathaniel Clark, Sergt. 
John Emery, Joseph Pike, and Henry Short were appointed a 
committee to lay out and divide, among the freeholders of the 
town, six thousand acres of land in the " upper woods," so 
called. This committee was also authorized to lay out a high- 
way through this undivided land to Bradford ; and on the 
twenty-sixth day of November they reported in favor of taking 
"the whole breadth of. land between the stakes of the second 
division of freehold lotts & Emery s land," from Artichoke 
river to Lowell's brook, for the highway, but recommended 
that for the remainder of the distance from Lowell's brook to 
the Bradford line the highway should be " four Rods wide & 
no more." f 

It is evident, however, that the proposed way was not com- 
pleted until several years later. 

March 27, 1704 Coll Thomas Noyes, Esq. Joseph Woodbrig Esq. 
& Henry Short [were] chosten to be a comitte to lay out the High way 
to Bradford and also take notice of incroachm's on the highways & lay 
out any other highwayes especially in the upper woods in Newburj'.J 

A wooden bridge, built soon after that date on the Brad- 
ford road where it crosses the Artichoke river, was subse- 
quently removed, and replaced by the stone bridge shown in 
the half-tone print on the opposite page. 

At a legal meeting of the inhabitants of the town of New- 

* Town of Newbury Records, vol. i. 

t Newbury (Proprietors') Records, vol. ii., p. 22. 

X Town of Newbur)' Records, vol. iii., p. 107. 



bury held December 13, 1686, a committee was appointed "to 
lay out a convenient highway of such breadth as they shall 
see meet thro' the plaines to Sergeant Emereys Mill." * This 
way, now known as the Curzon Mill road, extends from the 
Bradford road, now Storey avenue, Newburyport, to the mill 
at the mouth of the Artichoke river. 

After the division of the "upper Commons," on the west- 
erly side of Artichoke river, in 1686, and the laying out of 
the Bradford road, it became necessary to erect gates across 


the highways to prevent horses and cattle from straying 
"from the upper to the lower commons." 

March 20, 1 690-1 The proprietors of the new feild above Harti- 
choak River desired of the Towne that they might have Liberty to keepe 
up the fence across the highway that runs from Bradford Rode to Mer- 
rimack River for this p^sent year. [ ] it was granted by a voate.f 

March 7, 1692-3 Granted Liberty to ye propriefs of ye field above 
Artichoake To fence all cross ye highway at the upr end of s^ way for 
This prsent year provided they hinder no p^son in carting on s^ way.f 

At the Court of General Sessions held at Ipswich March 
29, 1 709, liberty to place gates " on ye road from Newbury 

•Town of Newburj' Records, vol. i. tTown of Newbury Records. 


to Bradford near Pilsburys, one, att M"" Atkinsons Corner, 
one, at ye Mill Bridge, one, on ye rode to ye ferry near M"" 
Knights, one," was granted in answer to the petition of Capt. 
Stephen Greenleaf in behalf of the town of Newbury.* 

John Emery, Archelaiis Woodman, Stephen Emery, and 
Benjamin Sawyer petitioned the town " for liberty to set up a 
fence across the way to Turkey hill that we may keep our 
sheep from running away before we have sheared them." 
This petition was granted March 14, 1714-5.! 

" Col Noyes, Major James Noyes & Lieu^ Stephen Jaques " 
were granted liberty, March 10, 1718-9, to hang a gate at 
the eastern side of their land on the road leading to Brad- 

Nathaniel Coffin was granted liberty, March 14, 173 1-2, to 
hang gates across South street, near the residence of John 
Coffin ; and the same day liberty was granted John Huse and 
others to hang gates across the way near Brown's Gardens, 
so called. f 

Samuel Bartlet and John Bartlet agreed, March 19, 1686-7, 
to lay out a way through their own land, in order to facilitate 
the landing and carting of hay, wood, or bark from the north- 
west side of Bartlett's cove to the ''Bark House," used for 
storing bark needed for the tanning of leather. | 

This way from the ferry road, now High street, to Bart- 
let's cove, was not laid out until 1698. It is now within the 
limits of the city of Newburyport, and is known by the name 
of Spring lane. The order adopted by the selectmen laying 
out this road or way reads as follows : — 

Newburv, June 3, i6gS. 

We the Subscribers Selectmen of the Towne of Newbury, having re- 
ceived a petition signed by twenty one persons Inhabitants of the West 
end of the Towne of Newbury in which petition said Inhabitants Do re- 
quest & desire the selectmen to lay out a High way for to be and re- 
maine for the use & Benefitt of the Towne from Merremack River 
Running from Bartletts Cove between said Bartletts lands & the land 
of John Ordway up to Almsbury Highway. And we have laid it out six 
Rods wide by the River side from John Bartletts lime kill six Rods 

*Town of Newbury (Proprietors') Records, vol. ii., p. 126. 

tTown of Newbury Records. 

t This agreement was recorded in the Town of Newbury Records in the month of May, 1694. 


easterly to a stake & a stone in the Ground and so running up the Hill 
to a stake & a stone in the ground the way at that place is three Rods 
& a half wide & from thence as it is bounded wt''. stakes & stones three 
Rods wide up to Samuell Bartletts way by John Bartletts fence & from 
the northeast corner of John Bartletts fence the way is laid out all a long 
by John Bartletts fence five Rods wide up to Almsbury high way as wit- 
ness our hand the day & year above said. 

Henry Short T. Clerk. 

Given to be record'' pr ye selectniens order June 4''' 1698.* 

On the westerly side of the Artichoke river a way extend- 
ing from the Bradford road to the mill at the mouth of that 
river was laid out in 1695 by a committee appointed by the 
town of Newbury for that purpose. 

Whereas John Emery Sen"" did agree that the Towne should have a 
way through his land from the coiiion to the mouth of Artichoak River 
in the most convenient place for passing and repassing, And according 
to the power comitted to us, the subscribers, by the Towne to go uppon 
the spott for to determine where the way shall be through said land, 
and we did this day, the 31st day of January 1694-5, take a view of it 
and do judg the most convenient way is uppon the high land running 
from Bradford Rode up by the east end of John Emerys Barne & so 
running by the fence, that is now standing, down to the dwelling house 
where John Emery Sen"" did live and so by the house downe the Hill to 
the pasture land and from thence to the poynt at the River as the way 
goeth which was formerly made use of, as witness our hands this 3 1 st 
Day of January 1694-5. Daniel Peirce 

Tristram Coffin 
Richard Bartlet.I 

This way is now within the territorial limits of the town of 
West Newbury. It was probably left ungraded for many 
years, and it may possibly have been closed to public travel 
during a portion of that time. 

May I, 1787, the inhabitants of Newbury "voted to open 
the way to Stephen Hooper's mill through the land of Stephen 
Emery, Esq."; and October 11, 1787, they "voted to 
accept the report of the committee chosen to open the way 
from Bradford Road to Stephen Hooper's mill dam." f 

*To\vn of Newbury Records, 

t Town of Newbury Records ; also, Proprietors' Records, vol. i., p. 27. The mill at the 
mouth of Artichoke river was built by John Emery previous to 1686* and was purchased by 
Stephen Hooper June 2, 1786. See " Ould Newbury," pp. 271-273. 


The way between Brown's gardens, so called, and Brown's 
farm was relocated, March ii, 1739-40, upon condition that 
Thomas Brown, the petitioner, " do accept y*^ old way in full 
satisfaction for the new way that is laid out upon said 
Thomas Browns land." * 

Mr. Brown accepted the terms named, and signed an agree- 
ment to that effect, which was duly recorded by the town 

April 4, 1 710, voted to give eight pounds towards ye procuring of a 
way proposed for thru' ye Little field provided yt sd way be laid out two 
rods wide the whole length from Ezra Cottles house to ye way by Henry 
Clarks next Merrimack River according to a vote of ye Town Decemb'' 
iStii, 1695.1 

This way, called Cottle's lane, now Bromfield street, New- 
buryport, was laid out, March 6, 17 18-9, from High street, by 
Ezra Cottle's dwelling-house, to the dwelling-house of Joseph 
Knight, jr., on the highway near Merrimack river. f 

March 7, 1709-10, a committee was chosen by the in- 
habitants of Newbury " to discourse with Benjamin Rolfe 
about purchasing the lane called Rolfe' s lane, in order to 
make it a highway for the town's use." f This lane extended 
from " trayneing green " to Merrimack river, and is now 
known as Ocean avenue. It was not legally laid out and 
accepted by the town of Newbury until December 24, 17354 

A highway two rods wide was laid out March 11, 17 14-5, 
from Kent's lane, now Kent street, Newburyport, along the 
river side to James Ordway's malt-house, and thence to the 
landing-place at the foot of Ordway's lane, now Market 
street, Newbury port. f 

September 20, 1 763, the selectmen laid out " a way at ye 
end of Woodmans lane [now Kent street, Newburyport], 
Begining thirty feet above y^ lane, in land formerly belong- 
ing to John & Richard Kent, Exchanged for the Better accom- 
dating the landing there," six rods wide, extending to the 
river, f 

•Town of Tfewbui"}' Records (1731-85), p. 45. 

tTown of Newbury Records. X " Quid Newburj-," pp. 795-9. 


May II, 1725, the town of Newbury was divided into seven 
highway districts, in conformity to a law enacted by the Gen- 
eral Court the previous year ; and way wardens, or surveyors, 
were chosen for each district, and instructed to keep the 
highways in good repair.* 

March 11, 1739-40, Thomas Pike, John Brown, and Joseph 
Titcomb, selectmen, laid out the way " near Merrimack river 
from peirces farm up to Ordways Lane formerly so caled " ; f 
and the same day they laid out a two-rod way on the south- 
westerly side of the meeting-house, then standing in Market 

The way from Water street, near the foot of Greenleaf's 
lane, now State street, Newburyport, to the lower ferry land- 
ing-place was probably laid out May 12, 17 19, "bounded on 
the northwest by Nathaniel C larks grant, now in y^ posses- 
sion of Hugh Pike, and y^ southeast side is bounded at y^ 
Roade by John Calefs dwelling house & from the North cor- 
ner thereof running straight with the west corner of y^ Road 
twenty foot and at Lowater mark thirty foot." * 

July 5, 1763, a landing-place for the use of the public was 
laid out by the selectmen at the lower end of King street, 
now Federal street, Newburyport, from Water street to the 
Merrimac river ; and the same day " The way known by the 
name of Elbow lane in Newbury Running Between the Dwell- 
ing house of Samuel Sweasy & the House of Joshua Norton 
& so Northwesterly to the house of Moses Todd & y^ house 
owned by the heirs of Jonathan Dole late of Newbury Dec'^ 
& South Westerly to the New Lane " was laid out. 

The selectmen in their report state that " the said Lane is 
not accepted of the town, nor Recorded as a publick highway, 
tho' it has been used as such for near thirty years." * This 
lane is now within the limits of the city of Newburyport, 
and extends from Market square to Liberty street. In 1763 
it probably continued through what is now Centre street to 
New lane, now Middle street. 

September 23, 171 5, a way "from the country road 
through M"" Thirrills [Thorlay's] farme to M"" William Moodys 

•Town of Newbury Records. t Town of Newbury (Highway) Records. 


land," in the Falls village, and from thence to the parsonage 
of Byfield parish, was laid out ; and May lo, 1727, the select- 
men were authorized to lay out another way, two rods wide, 
from the country road near Lieut. Gov. Dummer's house 
to the parsonage in Byfield.* October 24, 1739, the inhabi- 
tants of Newbury voted to raise the sum of thirty pounds " to 
help pay for a stone bridge sufficient for carting over ye falls 
River" between Deacon S'amuel Moody's mill and his mill 

May 12, 1 7 19, Lieut. Col. Henry Somerby, Capt. Thomas 
Hale, and Major James Noyes were chosen to settle and de- 
termine the bounds and measurements of the highways in the 
town of Newbury. On the twenty-eighth day of May the 
committee reported the result of their investigations, and rec- 
ommended some changes that were subsequently adopted. 
The country road from Parker river, along the ridge, to " trayne- 
ing green," four to six rods wide, was called " Merrimack 
street"; from " trayneing green" to Queen street, now 
Market street, Newburyport, it was called " Norfolk street " ; 
and from Queen street to the Amesbury ferry landing, " High 

From High street to Artichoke river, the way now known 
as Storey avenue, Newburyport, was called " Church street." 
It probably received its name from the fact that Queen Anne's 
chapel, the first Episcopal church in Newbury, was erected on 
land adjoining this street early in the summer of 171 2. 

The continuation of Church street from Artichoke river, 
over Lowell's brook, at or near the place now known as 
Brown's springs. West Newbury, to the Bradford line was 
called by the committee "the Bradford Road." f 

In 1726, several streets and ways in the upper parish, now 
West Newbury, were laid out by a vote of the town ; and 
during the same year the following streets in the first and 
third parishes were relocated and renamed : — 

Marlborough street, two rods broad, from Norfolk street 
" down by Joseph Muzzles into Merrimack street " (now Water 
street), Newburyport. 

* Town of Newbury Records. tTown of Newbury (Highway) Records. 


King street, now Federal street, Newburyport, four rods 
broad, from Norfolk street " down by the Prison into Merri- 
mack street" (now Water street). 

Fish street, now State street, Newburyport, four rods 
broad, from Norfolk street " down by the house formerly 
Capt Greenleafs into Merrimack street " (now Market square). 

Queen street, now Market street, Newburyport, four rods 
broad, from Norfolk street " down by Joseph Morses into 
Merrimack street." 

Low street, now within the limits of the city of Newbury- 
port, " four rods broad running from Norfolk street by Will- 
iam Titcombs and Peter Godfreys and so along to the 

Union street, now Toppan street, Newburyport, "a way as 
it is now improved, running by Abraham Toppans, from High 
street to Low street." 

Sandy street, now North Atkinson street, Newburyport, 
" a way as it is now improved, running by Stephen Sawyers 
from High street to Low street." 

A landing-place, or driftway, at the foot of what is now 
Ashland street, Newburyport, was laid out, May 11, 1733, by 
Joseph Gerrish, Joshua Moody, and Charles Peirce, " begin- 
ing near the corner of Josiah Pilsburys garden fence & from 
thence on a straight line ranging with the south west corner 
of M"" Morgradges dwelling house to the Brook and down by 
said Brook to Merrimack River, and in breadth on the bank of 
said River Six Rods." * 

At a meeting of the inhabitants of Newbury held 
March 12, 1 750-1, a petition relating to the alteration 
and relocation of several highways and landing-places was 
opposed by a committee of the proprietors, who claimed that 
the said ways and landing-places were the property of the 
proprietors, and had never been conveyed to the town.* 

Boardman street, now within the limits of the city of New- 
buryport, was laid out "from ye Country Road [now High 
street] Down to the two rod way by Merrimack river" as 
stated in the following letter from Mr. Offin Boardman : — 

•Town of Newban' Records. 


To the inhabitants of the town of Newbury, Gentlemen : — 

As I have laid open a high way through my land from ye Country 
Road Down to the two rod way by Merrimack river I hereby Give that 
way to the Town for their use as a town way & Desire they would ac- 
cept it. The way is one Rod & three Quarters in Breadth 

Newbury March 12, 1754. (3ffin Boakdman.* 

The above way was accepted at our annual meeting held March ye 
12, 1754 & ordered to be recorded & called by the name of Boardman's 

March 9, 1774-5, a way was laid out through the land of 
Joseph Pilsbury and George Burroughs to the land of John 
Poore, " which way opens into a highway leading to Newbury- 

April 7, 1783 voted to accept the road or highway leading from 
Joseph Pilsburys to a Barn that belongs to the heirs of John Poor as 
exhibited on the plan upon the following page.f 

From the plan made and recorded at that date, it appears 
that this way extended from the foot of Pilsbury's lane, now 
Ashland street, Newburyport, to the barn, owned by the 
heirs of John Poor, then standing between the foot of Poor's 
lane, now Woodland street, Newburyport, and the way lead- 
ing to Merrimack river, now known as Merrimack court, 
Newburyport. It was laid out four rods wide in answer to 
the petition of Josiah Little, John Atkinson, Jacob Merrill, 
Joshua Little, Joshua Ordway, Samuel Moody, George 
Burroughs, and others, and now forms a part of Merrimack 
street which extends from Market square to the Essex Mer- 
rimack bridge, Newburyport. The last and longest section 
of this street or way, extending from the foot of Ashland 
street to the bridge, was laid out and graded in compliance 
with an order adopted by the inhabitants of Newbury at a 
meeting held December 13, 1802. 

•Town of Newbury (Highway) Records. t Town of Newbury Records. 



As early as 1643, John Riisse had charge of the ferry, 
established and maintained for more than a century at or near 
the place where the Parker River bridge now stands. He 
was living in Newbury in 1637,* and his name appears in the 
list of freeholders who were entitled to share in the common 
and undivided lands belonging to the town on the seventh 
day of December, 1642.! Two years later he presented the 
following petition : — 

To the honored Courte now assembled at Boston. 

The humble peticon of John Russe ferryman of Newbury, Humbly 
Sheweth ; 

That for upwards of two years in obedience to an order of ye 
generall Courte he has transported several member^ of ye generall 
Courte with their horses, as some of y^ honored magistrate going to the 
Courte at Dover & severall Deputies of Hampton, Strawberry bank, 
Dover & Salisbury, whc'i comes to fourteen shillings whch yr poor 
peticoner humbly desires, by some order from this Courte to ye treas- 
urer, he may be satisfied and wh^h will encourage y peticoner to all 
farther readines to serve you & pray for yr prosperity & remain at y 
service. John Russe.J 

May 14, 1645, the General Court passed the following 
order : — 

In ansvv to John Russe his peticon for 14s for fferrage for ys 
magisfs & deputs to Dover & Boston itts granted yt ye Treasurer shall 
pay it to ye said John Russe & call for ye one halfe thereof againe from 
ye inhabitants of Dover. § 

The next year, however, the law regulating the transporta- 
tion of passengers was modified ; and all ferr^-men within the 

•Proprietors' Records, vol. i., p. 35. Edward Woodman and John Russe testified in 
regard to the sale of a house lot March ij, 1637. 

t Ante, p. 84. t Massachusetts Archives, vol. xlviii., leaf 6. 

§ Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iii., p. 15. 


limits of the colony were required to take deputies on their 
way to and from the General Court, with all necessary 
attendants, including horses, etc., free of charge.* 

John Russe, soon after the enactment of this law, removed 
to Andover, where he died in 1692. Samuel Plummer probably 
succeeded him in the management of the ferry. October 1 7, 
1649, the General Court granted "the petition of Samu : 
Plum"", ferryman of Newbury, for to ha' 2^ p passing', for 
their transportation."! May 18, 1664, Samuel Plummer was 
granted liberty " to take one penny more than formerly for 
the passage of each person & each beast that he shall trans- 
port over that ferry," in order to compensate him for the loss 
of travel occasioned by the building of Thorlay's bridge over 
Parker river. J 

When soldiers were needed, during King Philip's war, for 
the expedition against the Indian fort at Narragansett, many 
Newbury men were pressed into the service ; but the General 
Court, October 17, 1676, "In ans"" to the peticon of Samuel 
Plumer ferryman at Newbury . . . ordered that himself & his 
son Ephraim be freed from the press" ; § and in compliance 
with this order he was allowed to pursue his vocation un- 

March 13, 1693-4, the town of Newbury "voted y' y^ 
selectmen shall demand y^ fferry of Samuel Plumer y* he now 
keeps for y^ use of y^ Towne & bring report of what they do 
in this matter to y^ Towne." || 

Notwithstanding this peremptory vote, no change was made 
in the management of the ferry ; but Mr. Plummer was in- 
structed by the selectmen to provide larger and more sub- 
stantial boats for the better accommodation of passengers. 

The river over which this ferry was maintained for more 
than fifty years was called by various names until August, 
1697, when the selectmen voted 

. . . that the river called by the Indians Quasacuncon, and since 
called by divers names, as Newbury River, Oldtown River, etc. Be from 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. ii., p. 154. t Ibid., vol. ii., p. 2S3. t Ibid., vol. iv., 
part ii., p. 103. § Ib.d., vol. v., p. 127. I! Town of Newbury Records. 


this time called by the name of the River Parker in remembrance of the 
worhty, learned & Reverend minister, Mr Thomas Parker, who was a 
first planter & Pastor of y<; church of Newbury & learned School- 

August 21, 1700, Samuel Plummer was granted the use and 
profit of the ferry during his natural life, upon condition that 
he carry free of ferriage all persons having occasion to use the 
ferry on public business, including jurymen coming from or 
going to the court at Ipswich or Salem, and that he provide 
good boats with good attendants for the accommodation of 
the public. t 

Mr. Plummer died in 1702 ; and on the sixteenth day of 
September of that year "corp" Richard Jackman proposed 
to keep y^ ferry over Old-Towne River alias y^ River Parker." f 

March 9, 1703 voted to let the ferry over the river Parker for four 
years at four pounds a year to corporal Richard Jackman who is to 
carry all the court officers, going and returning from court, all town 
officers when employed by the town, and all rams belonging to the town, 
ferry free.f 

November 28, 1707, the General Court passed a resolve, 
*' allowing and paying three pounds out of the Province 
Treasury to Richard Jackman in full for ferrying done for 
the Province to date." % 

March 9, 1707-8, the selectmen were authorized to lease 
the old town ferry to some suitable person; and March 11, 
171 1-2, they were ordered to make up the account with 
Richard Jackman about the ferry over the river Parker and 
" lease the ferry for the year ensuing on such terms as they 
think best." f 

March 9, i 713-14 It was voated that Capt Thomas Hale & Daniel 
Thirston, Jonathan poore & Jonathan Plummer & their families shall be 
carried over y^ river parker ferriedge free on Sabath days, lecter days & 
training days.f 

May II, 1 7 1 4, the town voted to lease the ferry over 
Parker river for three years to William Dole, on condition 
that he carry the inhabitants of the town of Newbury and 

* Records of the Selectmen of Newbury. t Town of Newbury Records. 

+ Province Laws, vol. viii., p. 252. 


their horses free, and give a bond to keep and tend the ferry 
as the law directs, " the said Dole or his heirs to have the 
refusal of the ferry after the expiration of his lease provided 
he pay as much as any one else." * 

March 12, 171 6-7, William Dole was granted liberty to 
keep the ferry over the river Parker, " provided he pay five 
pounds per year for the same and carry ferry free the inhabi- 
tants of Newbury residing on the neck." * 

September 18, 1722, the inhabitants of Newbury voted to 
grant Richard Dole the ferry for three years at six pounds 
per year, "■ he to carry the neck men ferry free " ; and Septem- 
ber 21, 1725, he was granted liberty to keep the ferry three 
years longer on substantially the same terms.* 

May 19, 1729, Benjamin Plummer agreed to pay the select- 
men of Newbury forty shillings for the use of the Parker 
river ferry for one year from that date.* 

In 1734, the town of Newbury gave its consent to the 
erection of a bridge over the river, at or near the place' where 
this ferry was kept, upon certain specified conditions ; but it 
was found impossible to raise the money necessary to defray 
the cost of the proposed structure, and the plan was tempo- 
rarily abandoned. The ferry was not discontinued until 1758, 
when the bridge was built, under the supervision of Mr. 
Ralph Cross, with funds raised by a lottery authorized by the 
General Court. | 


Communication with Colchester (Salisbury), Winnacunnett 
(Hampton), Piscataqua (Portsmouth), and other settlements 
farther to the eastward was maintained by means of a ferry 
from Newbury over the Merrimack river, through the narrow 
passage between Carr's island and Ram island, to the SaUs- 
bury shore. This ferry was probably conducted as a private 
enterprise for several years before it was legally established 
by the General Court. The following order was adopted 
May 13, 1640: — 

•Town of Newbury Records. t" Ould Newbury," pp. 530-532- 


Mr. Edward Woodman, Mr Christo : Batt, & John Crosse are ap- 
pointed (when the way is settled) to settle the fferry where they thinke 

July 3, 1640, the freemen of Salisbury granted George Carr 
" the Island where he now dwells ... it being the greatest 
Island w''Mn the Towne bounds in the river Merrimack." In 
the note-book of Thomas Lechford, a prominent lawyer in 
Boston at that date, is the following memorandum : — 

George Carre of Salisbury in N. E. Shipwright, releaseth Thomas 
[coccrey] his apprentice of the remaining time of his service &c. 

Thomas [coccrey] is to be bound unto G. C. in 40^ condiconed that 
T. C. shall not intermedle in the ferry on Merrimacke river w'^out the 
consent of G. C. iSicf 

This memorandum indicates that George Carr had charge 
of the ferry over Merrimack river at that time, and had taken 
legal advice in regard to the best method of restraining an 
active competitor in the business. The date is uncertain ; but 
it must have been previous to August 3, 1641, when Lech- 
ford, having become dissatisfied with the condition of affairs 
in Boston, sold his books and household effects, and sailed 
for England. 

George Carr was evidently appointed ferryman early in the 
year 1 64 1 . 

At a court holden at Ipswich the 28t'i of [the first?] month [March?] 
1 64 1. 

Geo. Carr is appointed to keep the Ferry at Salisbury at the Island 
where he now dwelleth for the space of three years, p'vided that he 
finde a sufficient horse boat and gives diligent attendance. The ferries 
are as foUoweth. 

iz : For a man present pay 


Calves & yearlings each 


For a horse 


Goats each 


For great cattle each 


hogs each 


If present pay be not made that he must book any ferries then a penny 
apiece more. If any be found to swim over their Horses for want of a 
great boat they shall pay nothing.:]: 

•Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i. p. 292. The first person named on this committee 
was from Newbury, the second from Salisbury, and the third from Hampton, 
t Lechford's Note Book, p. 393. + Ipswich Town Records, vol. i. 


Among the presentments made to the grand jury at the 
court held in Ipswich, 1641, is the following 

Item, We present George Carr for not keeping the ferry but suffer- 
ing people to stand wayting at the water side three houres to the 
prejudice of their health and for taking 4^ a head for cattell swyming 
over the ferry, he not affording them his lielp. Jo : Sanders, Grand 
jury man, witness.* 

At the Court holden at Ipswich 29«'i day of the first month 1642. 

George Carr, presented last Court for defect in keeping the ferry at 
Salisbury is fined Vs.* 

On the nineteenth day of April, 1641, the town of Hampton, 
then under the jurisdiction of the Colony of Massachusetts 
Bay, appointed Christopher Hussey and John Moulton "to goe 
^yth y[x Dalton & John Crosse on this day fortnight to 
confer of y^ fferie place. "f 

At the Quarterly Court held at Salem, January 1 1, 164 1-2, 
" George Carr of Salisbury " brought a suit against William 
Harper for interfering with the ferry. The suit was decided 
in favor of the plaintiff : — 

His servant to pay according to agreement iqs for defalt of his ser- 
vice & Losse of his tyme & iqs costs & to be restrained from ffollowing 
ye fferry as his calHng & that the Indentures be made according to ye 
custom of ould England. J 

September 24, 1 644, George Carr was " appointed to keepe 
y^ ferrie att Salisbury att the Hand where hee now dwelleth 
for y^ space of three years " § This appointment probably 
gave him control of the ferry on both sides of the Merrimack 
river. May 26, 1647, the General Court authorized Tristram 
Coffin to keep the ferry on the Newbury side, and George 
Carr was granted " liberty to keepe his boate going on Sals- 
bury side." 

This arrangement was not satisfactory to Mr. Carr ; and two 
years later, in order to secure exclusive control of the ferry, 
he offered to build a floating bridge to connect the island 
where he resided with the Salisbury shore. April 9, 1650, 
the " Courte at Salisbury" settled and disposed of "ye whole 

* Ipswich Town Records, vol. i. t History of Hampton (Dow), vol. i., p. 26. 

t Court Files (Salem), vol. ii., p. 100. § Massachusetts Archives, vol. cxxi., p. i. 


ferry on both sides ye River to y^ s^ George Carr, his heirs & 
assigns from such time as y^ said Bridge shall be Built & 
Finished & so long as it is sufficiently maintained & repaired 
& no longer." 

The bridge was not completed until June, 1655. Mean- 
while the inhabitants of Newbury, at a meeting held March 
21, 1652-3, ordered 

. . . that the ferry over Merrimack should be kept in the old place thru 
the Gutt and that the way for driving Cattell should suddenly be layd 
out and that Mr Coffin should still continue fferry man conditionally he 
keep sufficient men & Boates and to carry the passengers of our Towne 
for two pence a person out and two pence Back and four pence a beast, 
and he shall have it so long as the Towne shall see cause.* 

At a meeting of the Townsmen (December 27, 1653) It was agreed & 
ordered that Samuel Poor should keep the fferry over Merrimack dur- 
ing the time he doth carefully & faithfully attend it and Keep sufficient 
Boates provided that the Inhabitants of the Towne shall pass over for half 
ferriage & that he keep the fferry thru' the Gutt when it may be, if not, 
yet to use all means possible to convey passengers over.* 

In 1 64 1, when George Carr was first appointed ferryman, 
travellers on their way to Salisbury, Hampton, Portsmouth, 
and Dover followed the country road, from Parker river to 
Poore's, afterward Moody's, lane, now Woodland street, New- 
buryport, and thence through what is now Merrimack court, 
to a point of rocks, subsequently known as Moggaridge's 
point, where they found boatmen to convey them through the 
narrow channel, between Carr's island and Ram island, to the 
Salisbury shore. 

When the floating bridge was completed, connecting Carr's 
island with Salisbury, Hon. Samuel Symonds, one of the 
judges of the county court, announced that " the ferry on 
either side doth of right henceforth belong unto him [George 
Carr], and, therefore, the other ferryman is hereby required 
to cease his ferriage usually unless he be employed by the 
said George Carr and for his use." f 

A new way, now known as Jefferson street, leading from 
the country road, now High street, Newbury port, to the ferry 
landing opposite Carr's island, was laid out soon after the 

* Proprietors' Book, vol. i., p. 5. fOuld Newbury," p. 61. 


bridge was built in 1655. This highway was taken in part 
from the farm owned by Lionel Worth, " formerly granted by 
the town of Newbury unto M"" Edward Rawson." 

February 10, 1654-5, there was granted lyonel Worth, in considera- 
tion of his resigning to the Towne live acres of land for a High way to 
Salisbury ferry by his house where he now dwelleth wdi land he formerly 
purchased of Mr Coffin, next to Mr Rawson's land . . . eight acres of 
upland beyond the new Towne * 


The plantation on the northerly side of the Merrimack river, 
first called Colchester and afterwards Salisbury, was settled 
in 1639. It covered a large extent of territory, and included 
land on both sides of the Powow river. The first settlers 
located on the easterly side of that river ; but, previous to 
1654, a few families had removed to the westerly side, and 
made preparations to organize a new town there. Early in 
the year 1668 an effort was made to establish a ferry over 
the Merrimack river, to connect the new settlement with the 
town of Newbury. 

May 27, 1668. In ansr to the petition of the inhabitants of Salis- 
bury, new towne, humbly desiring the favc of this Court that their 
towne may be named Emesbur}', the Court grants their request. 

In a further answer to their request to have liberty granted them to 
keepe a ferry ouer Merremack Riuer, about Mr Goodwin's house, the 
Court judgeth it meet to grant that there shall be a ferry kept as is 
desired & leaue it to the next Court of that county to appoint both the 
person that is to keepe it & also to appoint the price. f 

The County Court held at Hampton ye 13th of ye gt'i mo 1668, Mr 
Edward Goodwin being presented by ye Selectmen of ye town of Ames- 
bury to ye Court to keep ye ferry over Merrimack river above ye mouth 
of ye Powous river where ye s^ Goodwin now dwelleth this Court do 
allow & approve of ye s^ person for one year next following and until 
ye Court shall take further orders there in and for ye prices to be as 
foUoweth so for every single passenger two pence, for a horse and man 
six pence, and for all great cattle four pence per head & for sheep and 
other small cattle under two years old two pence p^ head. J 

•Town of Newbury (Proprietors' Records), vol. i., p. 60. For a more extended account of 
the ferrj' at Carr's island see " Ould Newburj'," pp. 55-80. 
t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part ii., p. 376. 
+ History of Amesbury (Merrill), p. 92. 


A few days later, George Carr appealed to the General 
Court to abolish, or place under his care and control, the new 
ferry that had been established without his knowledge or 

November 7, 1668 In ans"" to the peticon of George Carr the Court 
on pervsell of the same together wth severall court orders referring 



thereunto & also such allegations as the peticoner presents of what 
charges he hath been at in erecting of a bridge : Vnderstanding, also, 
that the sajd peticoner hath convenient accommodation of land at or 
neere the place where the new ferry is to be kept, the Court judgeth it 
meete to advise the Court of that County, to whom it was referred, that, 
in regard it is not disposed of for longer than one yeare, that the sajd 
fferry may be vpon the sajd Carr, he keeping of it vpon as equal termes 
as any other will doe.* 

•Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., partii., p. 413. 


December 21, 1668, the selectmen of Newbury laid out a 
way to this ferry, bei;'innin<:j at the lancling--place on the Mer- 
rimack river, and running southeasterly through land of 
Christopher Bartlett and others to the Bradford road.* 

In the month of May, 1669, George Carr again petitioned 
the General Court to grant him exclusive control of the 
ferries over the Merrimack river. The deputies and magi.s- 
trates, after careful investigation, adopted the following 
order : — 

In ansr to the petition of George Carr, the Court, having heard his 
allegations & pervsed seuerall Court orders referring to the case, doe 
declare that the peticoner ought to haue his couenant made good accord- 
ing to the order of Salisbury Court, 9^0, 1650, to haue the whole dis- 
pose of the said ferry on both sides of the river there being no Com- 
plaint of deficiency of the bridge or of Carrs attendance by boat or 
otherwise but, contrary wise, desires from from seuerall selectmen of 
the Continuance thereof in his hands & therefore can see no ground 
to allow of the setting vp of another fferry there, but judge liberty may 
be granted to sett a ferry or ferryes in other places on that riuer vsefull 
for the country, the said George Carr having the refusall of keeping the 
tferry at or about Powwaws Riuer, he keeping & attending on it for the 
ease of the country & on the same ternies that it was granted to him 
that now keeps it, by order of the County Court at Hampton or Salis- 
bury, liberty of magistrates & deputies to passe free, as it was by law 
settled before the agreement the sajd carr made about the sajd fferry, 
which he excepted not then against.f 

In compliance with this order of the General Court, the 
ferry was placed under the care of George Carr. He re- 
tained possession of it until his death, April 4, 1682. It 
was afterwards kept and maintained by his heirs until Feb- 
ruary 8, 1695-6. At that date, Richard Carr sold to Capt. 
John March, of Newbury, " The Ferry commonly known by 
ye name of Almesbury ferry together with all ye privileges to 
ye same belonging which s^ Ferry was by ye Town of Almes- 
bury Granted to my Honoured Father, Mr. George Carr, late 
of Salisbury, deceased, and confirmed by ye General Court, 
allsoe ye ferry boates, allsoe a freehold commonage or common 
right in ye Township of Almesbury, as my said Father, M*" 

• " Ould Newbury," p. 394. t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part ii., p. 429. 


George Carr, was a free Commoner in s^ Towne as y* Towne 
Bookc will make appeer." * 

At the Court of General Sessions held at Newbury Septem- 
ber 25, 171 1, " Richard Goodwin of Almsbury was licensed to 
keep a ferry over Merrimack river nigh ye mouth of Powow 
river to continue two years." f 

At the court held September 27, 171 5, Capt. Humphrey 
Hook was licensed to keep the ferry for five years.f He was 
a son-in-law of Capt. John March, and served as ferryman 
until his death in 1754. During his life, and for many years 
after his death, the ferry was called " Hook's ferry." 

May 19, 1766, the town of Amesbury objected to the 
granting of certain privileges to the ferryman, and appointed 
a committee to inquire into the town's right to the ferry. J 
On the thirtieth day of September following, at the Court of 
General Sessions held at Newburyport, Humphrey Currier, 
grandson of Humphrey Hook, was Hcensed to keep the ferry. § 
Two months later, a committee was chosen in the town of 
Amesbury " to recover the town's right in the Ferry and 
prosecute the same in law." || After a prolonged legal con- 
troversy the suit was withdrawn ; and Mr. Currier and other 
members of his family remained in charge of the ferry until 
1792, when the Essex Merrimack bridge was built, and the 
ferry was discontinued. 


January 21, 1679-80, Hugh March, for many years an inn- 
keeper in Newbury, conveyed all his real estate and personal 
property to his son, John March, who was subsequently li- 
censed to keep an ordinary at the place known as the Blue 
Anchor Tavern.^ Two or three years later, owing to some 
disagreement with his father, John March removed to a house 
then standing near the lower end of Greenleaf's lane, now 

* Essex Deeds, Ipswich Series, book ii., leaf i6o. t Court Records (Salem), 1696-1718. 

+ Town of Amesbury Records, vol. i., p. 341. 

§ Court of (ieneral Sessions Records, 1764-1777, p. 107. 

II Town of Amesbury Records, vol. i., p. 342. f " Quid Newbury," pp. 175-188. 


State street, Ne\vbur)p()rt, nearly opposite Ring's island, 
where he was licensed by the court held at Ipswich in Sep- 
tember, 1682, "to keep an ordinary and draw wine and 

Soon after the ai^pointment of Sir Edmund Andros as 
governor of the provinces in New England, John March ap- 
plied for permission to keep a ferry over the Merrimack river, 
from warehouse point, so called, in Newbury, to Ring's island 
in Salisbury. At a meeting of the council held September 
23, 1687, the following petition was read: — 

To his Excellence S"" Edmund Androsse Knt : Captaine Generall & 
Governour in Cheife in & over the Territory & Dominion of New 

The Humble petion of John March Sheweth. That yo«" petitioner is an 
inhabitant of the Towne of Newberry, in ye County of Essex within this 
Territory, and keeps the Ordinary there. That yo:"" petitioner liveing 
Conveniently near ye water side hath beene frequently soUicited & is 
dayly by Gentlemen travelling that way & also by the inhabitants of y^ 
Said Towne & the Townes adjacent to Obteine yo:'' Excellencys Grant 
for the keeping of a fferry from ye s^ Towne of Newberry to ye Towne 
of Salisbury which will be a Comon Convenience to all such Travellers 
as shall passe that way & likewise a considerable advantage to the sd 
Townes Of which yo:"" petitioner hopes yo:"" Excellence will be more 
pticulerly informed by severall Gentlemen who have lately rode that 
way & Experienced the Convenience such a fferry will be, Therefore 

May it please yo:"" Excellence to Grant unto yo:"" petitioner Liberty to 
keep such a fferry from ye sd Towne of Newberry to the sd Towne of 
Salisbury which yo:"" petitioner Pposes to Doe for halfe the Charge of 
the old fferry and yo:"" petitioner shall ever pray &c 

John March.* 

A copy of the above petition was sent to James Carr, who 
controlled the ferry established by his father, George Carr, in 
1640. He was notified to appear and show cause why the 
prayer of the petitioner should not be granted. On the day 
appointed for the hearing he presented a brief statement of 
his case, in which he claimed that the new ferry would seriously 
interfere with his rights and privileges, and prove impassable 
at certain seasons of the year. Notwithstanding his objec- 
tions, however, the following order was passed : — 

•Massachusetts Archives, vol. cxxvii., p. 157 ; Province Laws, vol vii., p. 404. 


Att a Councill held att the Councill Chamber in Boston on Wednes- 
day the 2Sti> day of September 1687, 

His Excellencye S^ Edmund Andres K"< &c. 
Joseph Dudley 1 Peter Bulkley ^ Nath Gierke 1 

Wm Stoughton ^ Esqrs John Usher I Escp Edw Randolph L Esq^s 
Robert Mason J John Hincks J Fran: Nicholson J 

Upon reading this day in Councill the Peticbn of John March of 
Newbury about a new Ferry from Newbury to Salisbury to be kept by 
him neere his dwelling. As alsoe the Peticon of James Carr of Salis- 
bury about his right to the swing bridge and old Ferry there. 

Referred to the Justices of the Peace in the County of Essex to ex- 
amine the offers and allegacons of both the Petitioners and forthwith to 
report to this Board what they conceive therein to be most suitable and 
convenient for Travellers and the publique service of the country.* 

William Browne, jr., John Hathorne, Jo: Woodbridge, and 
Philip Nelson, justices of the peace, reported October 6, 1687, 
that the proposed ferry would be convenient and of great 
advantage to the public, " provided the s^ John March (or 
whom Y Excellency shall please to grant the keep of s'^ ferry 
unto) be obliged to make a good causeway on Salisbury side 
to the Place where they take Boat and that at the Particular 
Charge of the s*^ undertaker of the ferry." f This report was 
read and approved, and the following order passed : — 

At a Council held at the Council Chamber in Boston on Tuesday y^ 
25''i day of October 1687, 

Present His Excellency S"" Edmund Andross, Knt &c. 

Nathl Clarke "^ 

Walter Newbury 1 
Esqrs Edward Randolph \- Esq"" 

Francis Nicholson 

Joseph Dudley 
Wm Stoughton 
Robert Mason 
Jno Usher 
Jona Tyng 

Upon Reading this Day In Council ye Report made by ye Justices of 
ye County of Essex about a new ferry from Newbury To Salisbury ye 
same was approv'd off — And Ordered That it be kept & maintained by 
John March of Newbury accordingly, provided That James Carr of 
Salisbury Do on notice given him by ye said Justices refuse to under- 
take & keep ye same and y* ye said Justices do & are hereby authoriz'd 
to Lay out ye ways & causeway & Regulate ye said ferry and take such 

* Province Laws, vol. vii., p. 405 : Massachusetts Archives, vol. cxxvii., p. 157. 
t Massachusetts Archives, vol. cxxvii., p. 212. 


security or caution as to y'" shall seem meet for y^ making thereof & 
keeping and maintaining ye same in Good order and repair. 
By order in Council &c. 

John West Depty Secry* 

On the fourteenth clay of November, John Appleton, 
Richard Dummer, and PhiHp Nelson, three of the justices of 
the peace for Essex county, made a tender of the new ferry 
to James Carr, as required by the order of the governor and 
council. The offer was declined ; and the franchise was then 
assigned to Mr. John March, who gave bonds, in the sum of 
one hundred pounds, to provide boats and keep the ferry ac- 
cording to law. 

Know all men by these presents that John March of Newbury, Taverne 
Keeper, living in the County of Essex in New England doth owe unto 
our soveraigne Lord the King the full and just somme of one hundred 
pounds of good and lawful money of New England, to be levied upon 
his house, lands and chattells and to the true payment thereof he doth 
bind himself, his heirs exequitors administrators and assignes unto our 
saide Soveraigne Lord the King his heirs and successors, in witnes 
whereof the saide John March hath hereunto set his hand and seale this 
fourteenth day of November, and in the third year of his majesties 
raigne. Atiiioque Domini 1687. 

The condition of this obligation is such that if the above bounden 
John March doth provide a good and sufificient boate for the carriage 
over of horses and men over the ferry granted to him by his Excellency 
and Counsell at or before the sixteenth day of this Instant November 
and doth also dewly attend the ferry granted to him by carriinge over 
horse and man for six pence, a single person for two pence, and doth 
allwayes while he doth hold the saide ferry keepe his boate or boates in 
good repaire fit for the service of the Country, then this obligation is to 
be voide and of no effect, or else to remaine in full force and vertue, and 
the time of Keepinge this ferry and standinge bound as aforesaid is as 
long as the ferry shall be confirmed to him by an authoritie. 

Signed Sealed and delivered John March 

in the presence of us 
Caleb Moody 
D. Davison. t 

In order to make the way to the ferry, on the Salisbury side 
of the river, convenient and serviceable, it became necessary 

* Essex Deeds, vol. xv., leaf 214; Suffolk County Court Files, No. 2471 ; Province Laws, 
vol. vii. , p. 406. 

t Massachusetts Arcliives, vol. cxxvii., p. 231 : Province Laws, vol. vii., p. 406. 


to build a substantial road over the low, marshy land that con- 
nected Ring's island with the upland beyond. The work was 
begun and probably completed under the following agreement 
made by John March with the town of Salisbury : — 

The Proposition of John March to ye town of Salisbury now mett ye 
22d day of Novemb'' 1687 To ye town of Salisbury, Gentlemen you have 
been Informed yt there is a new way from Merrimack river to your town 
Laid out by authority for ye use of ye country & is Insufficient for per- 
sons to pass & there is a ferry granted to me by Authority Therefore 
my Request is yt you would be pleased to make ye way Sufficient for ye 
use of ye Country for wch it is Laid out, But I John March do Engage 
for Quietness Sake to make ye way from Merrimack river to ye South 
Side of ye creek & half ye Bridge over ye Said Creek. This proposition 
of John Marches with his condition annexed so far as it Refers to ye 
town is voted on ye affirmative & s^ Marches hand signed & owned to 
ye performance of what he hath engaged himself In Reference to ye 
above Country way as above manifested John March 

As attest Robert Pike, IMod^ 

George Carr & William Carr enter their contra Decents 
Left William Buswell enters his Contra Decent 

A true copy taken out of the town Book 

As attest Willm Bradbury T. Clerk * 

During the winter of 1687-8, complaints were made that the 
boats used by John March for the transportation of passen- 
gers were not able to withstand the rough weather of that 
season, and that in the month of January they were prevented 
for ten consecutive days from crossing the river on account of 
the ice. Taking advantage of the dissatisfaction that existed 
on account of these interruptions and delays, James Carr 
again petitioned the governor and council, under the date of 
June 13, 1688, "to order the Ferry to be stated & settled as 
formerly, and the late Ferry set up by John March, which is 
of so little benefit to the publique & very detrimental to yo:"" 
Pef to be laid down." With this petition Mr. Carr filed the 
following certificate : — 

These are to Certify whom it may or shall concerne that wee ye sub- 
scribers hereof Beeing at Newbury ; and our occations vrgently requir- 
ing vs to goe for Salisbury : therevpon wee have repaired ourselfes for 

* Essex Deeds, book xv., leaf 214 ; also, Province Laws, vol. vii., p. 407. 


passages over the ferry w^h Jno March vndr tooke to keepe for passages 
but could [not] get any notwithstanding wee stay'd about 4 or 5 houres 
and at that tim Mr Mercer that now Lives at Bescataqa came over but 
could not bring his horse for there was noe Boat but a hay Boat and that 
nobody would venture there Lives at such weather as then was : and 
then after c Long and tedious staying at mr Marches wee came to m^s 
Carr and got over without any difficulty at all ye same day beeing ye 2 of 
December 1687 as witnese o'' hand 

Thomas Jackson of Redding 
Henry Williams of Boston 

cum multis alts 

Mercer, A Jersy man 

of Bescatahqua * 

The prayer of the petitioner was not granted ; but, after the 
seizure of Governor Andros in Boston, and his return to Eng 
land in 1689, Mr. Carr petitioned the provisional government 
of the colony of Massachusetts bay, still asserting his claim 
to the management and control of the ferries between New- 
bury and Salisbury, and complaining of the illegality of the 
grant made to John March and the injurious competition 
resulting therefrom. The General Court, having care- 
fully considered the whole subject, passed the following 
order : — 

May 20, 1691 In Answer to the Petition of James Carr of Salisbury, 
complaining of wrong and Injury done him by Capt John March of 
Newberry, in keeping up a ferry upon Merrimack river betwixt New- 
berry and Salisbury, in prejudice of a grant formerly made by the Gen- 
eral Court unto Mr George Carr Father of the Said petitioner, and his 
Heirs &c The petitioner is referred to seek his remedy by Course of 
Cornon Law.f 

At that date John March was captain of a company en- 
listed to serve in an expedition to Canada. He evidently 
made arrangements with Capt._ Edward Sargent to take 
charge of the newly established ferry and of the tavern where 
he was licensed to sell wine and beer. 

August 29, 1693, James and Richard Carr commenced a 
suit to recover damages from Capt. Edward Sargent for tak- 
ing passengers over Merrimack river without legal authority. 

* Province Laws, vol. vii., p. 408. 

t Council Records, vol. vi., p. 183 ; Province Laws, vol. vii., p. 408. 


In the writ of attachment, they made the following declara- 
tion : — 

... ye sd Sargent for near two yeares last past hath Exercised and prac- 
tised ye Coirion Carrying and Transporting of men horses and goods 
over ye River Merrimack in ye County aforesaid between ye Towns of 
Newbury and Salisbury upon Hire and for Reward to ye Great Dis- 
turbance nusance and Damage of ye s^' James Carr and Richard Carrs 
ferry over ye s"* River.* 

At an Inferior Court of Pleas held in Newbury, September 
26, 1693, Capt. Sargent asked for a continuance of the case 
on the ground that " Capt March y^ proper owner of y^ ffery " 
was engaged in the king's service on the eastern frontier- 
By the consent of both plaintiff and defendant, the case was 
continued to the next court to be held in Salem, in the month 
of December following. Meanwhile, December 5, 1693, the 
General Court passed the following order : — 

That all suits and actions now depending between any persons and 
the said Capt John March, referring to any matter or controversy about 
the ferry or ferries over the river of Merrymack between Newbury and 
Salisbury, be suspended ; and that the Court of Salem be directed to 
continue any action or actions so depending there until the general 
assembly have determined and resolved upon the settlement of the said 
ferry or ferries; and that the heirs of George Carr be notified that they 
may appear on the sixth day after the begining of the next sessions of 
the general assembly, and there offer what plea and objections they 
have to make against the confirmation of the said ferry to the said Capt. 
John March. t 

No record of the hearing appointed for the sixth day of the 
session, beginning February 14, 1693-4, has been found ; and 
probably no definite action was taken in regard to the settle- 
ment of the claim of James and Richard Carr at that time. 
Edward Sargent continued to serve as ferryman ; but in 
1 70 1 the way leading to the ferry on the Salisbury side was 
so defective that on the thirtieth of September of that year 
the Court of Sessions ordered the parties interested to repair 

* Province Laws, vol. vii., p. 408. 

Capt. Edward Sargent came from Saco to Portsmouth, and thence to Newbury, previous to 
1693. His first wife died in December, 1718; and he married June 9, 1719, Sarah, widow of 
Dr. Humphrey Bradstreet. His will, dated February 12, 1735-6. was proved September 6, 

t Province Laws, vol. vii., p. 35. For further details of this controversy see " Ould New- 
bury," pp. 65-73. 


it according to their contract. Tliis order was evidently un- 
heeded ; and, in consequence, the ferry was neglected, and at 
length temporarily abandoned. 

March 9, 1702-3, Major Daniel Davison was authorized 
and instructed by the inhabitants of Newbury to present a 
petition to the Court of General Sessions, in behalf of the 
town, "in relation to the lower ferry ov^er Merrimack river." * 
March 30, 1703, the court at Ipswich appointed Major Francis 
Wainwright, Capt. John Whipple, and Capt. Joseph Boynton 
a committee to examine the causeway in Salisbury, and report 
upon the expediency of laying it out anew, and at the same 
session passed the following order re-establishing the ferry : — 

There having been for Several Years last past Many complaints 
Made to this Court for want of a ferry duely stated over Merrimack 
River Nigh Capt. Edward Sarjeants betwixt Newbury & Salisbury & 
Sundry motions made from time to time Referring to the Same & now 
renewed applications Made by Newbury & Salisbury that a ferry be kept 
at ye place afores^ and yt the keeping &: profit thereof might be stated & 
Settled upon the said Townes & a Boat to be constantly kept on each 
side duely to attend ye said ferry viz: One by Newbury & ye other by 
Salisbury. This Court having Considered ye necessity & Conveniency 
of the premises do approve of the same in manner following. 

1. That there be a ferry kept over Merrimack River hence forward 
from Newbury to Salisbury Nigh where Capt. Serjeant now dwells. 

2. That there be Two Sufficient & Suitable ferry Boats for the Trans- 
porting of Men and horses ye one kept at Newbury & the other at Salis- 
bury side provided & Maintained respectively by said Townes & Suffi- 
cient skillful Men Constantly to ply in the same and yt each Town do 
on their Shoars respectively make Convenient Causeways or other 
Commodious places for ye Safe & easy boarding & landing horses & 
men & y' each Town do give Two hundred pounds for Two sufficient 
men for ye performance of this Court order according to ye true intent 
& meaning thereof that the publick may be faithfully Servi. 

3. That the profits of the said ferry shall redound to the s^ Townes 
as their own particular boats shall Earn. 

4. That the fare of said ferry be four pence for a horse & Two pence 
for a man & proportionable for other things. 

5. That inasmuch as Newbury Comon Land or high way comes to 
ye ferry afores^i so yt they have no Occasion to purchase a way thro anv 
proprieties & it being otherwise on Salisbury side wherefore in regard 
Newbury hath halfe the benefit of ye ferry. Therefore they shall pay 

•Town of Newbury Records. 


ye one lialfe of ye first purchase of ye high Way on Salisbury side as it 
shall h& laid out from said ferry to ye Coiiion Road in Salisbury where 
it may lay thro any particular proprieties as it shall l)e apprised accord- 
ing to Law but shall not be obliged to pay any part of making or re- 
. pairing ye said way passable either now or hereafter.* 

April 12, 1703, the town of Newbury appointed the board 
of selectmen, with Major Daniel Davison and Mr. Thomas 
Moody committee, to provide a ferry boat and let out the 
ferry to some responsible person. f April 19, "the committee 
having charge of the ferry, near Capt. Sargents, lately granted 
to Newbury and Salisbury," were authorized to prosecute any 
person or persons transporting man or beast over said ferry 
contrary to law.f 

When Lieut. Col. John March, who was engaged, with 
the troops under his command, in repelling the attacks 
of the French and Indian forces at Casco bay, was informed 
of what had occurred in his absence, he applied to the Court 
of Sessions for a new order or decree, restoring his rights and 
privileges, and placing the ferry under his care and control. 
His petition was granted March 28, i 704, upon condition that 
he keep in repair the way and bridge on the Salisbury side, 
and pay to the towns of Newbury and Salisbury such sum or 
sums as they advanced while the ferry remained in their pos- 

There seems to have been some disagreement between 
Lieut. Col. John March and the selectmen of the towns named 
in regard to the transfer of the ferry and the amount of money 
to be paid. May i 5, 1 704, the inhabitants of Newbury au- 
thorized the selectmen, with Major Daniel Davison and Mr. 
Thomas Moody, " to provide for the keeping of the ferry over 
Merrimack River near Cap' Sargents and to let out said ferry 
at their discretion." | 

September 26, 1704, the Court of General Sessions ap- 
pointed a committee to confer with the selectmen of New- 
bury and Salisbury, examine the accounts submitted by them 
showing the expenses incurred and the tolls recei\ed from 
the ferry, and report the result of their investigations in the 
month of November following. J 

* Province Laws, vol. viii., p. 634. + Ibid., p. 635. 

t Town of Newbury Records. 


December 6, i 704, the town of Newbury authorized Lieut. 
Col. Thomas Noyes, Major Daniel Davison, and the 
selectmen "to make a settlement with Lieu*. Col. John 
March in regard to the ferry over Merrimack river." * 

March 26, 1705 : Voted that Maj'' Daniel Davison Esq. and Mr Wil- 
liam Titcomb are cho.sen attorneys for the Towne of Newbury to answer 
in behalf of .s^ Towne to a notification from ye sessions of ye peace dated 
March 2, 1 704-5 with respect to a ferry over the river Merrimack near Capt 
Sargents House as also that they shall have full power to appoynt attor- 
ney or attornyes under them to y^ end afore s^ as also they shall have 
full power to make a final agreemt with Lieut March or his attorneyes 
about said ferry in the Towns behalf according to their discretion 
as they shall se cause.* 

July II, 1705, Lieut. Col. Thomas Noyes, Major 
Daniel Davison, Mr. William Titcomb, and Lieut. Joseph 
Little were appointed a committee to make final agreement 
with Col. John March ; and on the twenty-third day of 
July he conveyed " for & in consideration of y^ sum of Two 
Hundred & forty Pounds . . . to y^ afores"^ committee for 
y^ said Town of Newbury " all his right, title, and interest 
" in or to the ferry Comonly Called Marches ferry over 
Merrimack River near the place where Cap* Edward Serjeant 
Now Dwells, . . . Excepting y^ ferridges of my self & my 
perticular family & Horses & Cattle," which were to be free 
for a term of twenty-two years.f 

With the consent of all the parties interested, the report of 
the committee appointed by the Court of Sessions September 
26, 1704, was not taken into consideration until the twenty- 
fifth day of September, 1705, when the court ordered that 
Col. March, having sold all his right and interest in the 
ferry to the town of Newbury, the inhabitants of said town or 
their agents "have y^ use and income of said Ferry by virtue 
of said Purchase until by further Order it be more fully and 
amply settled at y^ next sessions of y^ Peace." % 

September 30, 1705, the town authorized the committee 

*To%vn of Newbury Records. % Province Laws, vol. viii., p. 636. 

t Essex Registry' of Deeds, book xix., leaf 48; " Ould Newbury," p. 185. A copy of 
this deed of conveyance from Lieut. Col. John March will be found in the Court Files for 
Sufielk County, No. 6552. 


appointed to settle with Col. John March to offer one- 
half the ferry to the town of Salisbury for the sum of one 
hundred and twenty pounds, that being one-half the purchase 
money agreed upon. 

At or about this time, Richard Carr presented another 
petition to the General Court, setting forth his claim to the 
ferries over Merrimack river. A hearing was appointed and 
held June 5, 1706, before the whole court; but no definite 
action resulted.* 

There was evidently some reluctance on the part of the 
town of Salisbury to accept the offer of one-half the ferry on 
the terms and conditions named. Possibly the friends and 
supporters of Richard Carr were opposed to the purchase, and 
were numerous enough to delay and, perhaps, defeat the 
project altogether. At all events, Edward Sargent, who had 
formerly kept the ferry under a lease from Lieut. Col. 
March, proposed, February 19, 1705-6, to take the inhabi- 
tants of Salisbury, with their horses and cattle, over the 
Merrimack river free of charge forever, and keep the high- 
way and bridge leading to the ferry in good order and con- 
dition, provided the town would agree to pay one hundred 
pounds in four payments, " that is to say twenty five pounds per 
year for four years," and surrender all its right, title, and in- 
terest in or to the ferry. f This proposition was accepted, and 
a committee was appointed to complete the agreement and 
receive the bond that Captain Sargent was required to 

March 5, 1705-6, the town of Newbury appointed Lieut. 
Col. Thomas Noyes, Major Daniel Davison, and Capt. 
Henry Somerby a committee to see what arrangements could 
be made with the town of Salisbury in regard to the purchase 
of one-half the ferry for one hundred and twenty pounds, and 
also to lease that part of the ferry belonging to Newbury. J 

March 27, 1706 Lieu' Col Thomas Noyes, iMajor Daniel Davison and 
Capt Henry Somerby, all of Newbury, being a committee chosen and ap- 
pointed by the freeholders and inhabitants of the said town of Newbury 

• Province Laws, vol. viii., pp. 146 and 538. t Ibid., p. 637. 

% Town of Newbury Records. 


at a legal meeting held March 5'h, current, to make an agreement with the 
town of Salisbury about the ferry over Merrimack river, between Newbury 
and Salisbury, near by Capt Serjeants, in consideration of one hundred 
and twenty pounds, sold and conveyed to Cap' Edward Serjeant and Mr 
Thomas Moody, both of Newbury, one half of the right, title and 
interest which the freeholders or inhabitants of the town of Newbury 
may or ought to have in or to the ferry commonly called Marches ferry 
over Merrimack river, near the place where the aforesaid Capt Edward 
Serjeant now dwells, which ferry was granted by Sir Edmund Andros 
and his Council unto Col. John March, October 25, 1687, confirmed and 
setded by the justices of the County of Essex November 14, 1687 and 
again confirmed unto him at a General Session of the Peace held at 
Ipswich, March 28, 1704.* 

Having thus acquired one-half of the ferry by purchase 
from the town of Newbury, and settled with the inhabitants 
of Salisbury for whatever claim they might have in or to the 
franchise granted by the Court of Sessions, March 30, 1703, 
Edward Sargent resumed his occupation as ferryman, and evi- 
dently carried on the business in his own name, although 
Thomas Moody was for many years part owner of the property 
with him. 

The ferry was conveniently located, and on many important 
occasions was employed by the provincial authorities for the 
transportation of troops and special post riders. September 
3, 1 703, the governor and council passed an order allowing 
Edward Sargent thirty-five shillings and two pence " For 
Ferriage of Souldiers and Posts in the year 1 702 and for the 
refreshment of Posts." -f 

On the sixth day of November, 1 706, the General Court 
passed a " Resolve for allowing and paying five pounds out of 
the Province Treasury to Edward Sargent for transporting 
Soldiers and Horses over Merrimack river at Newbury" in 
the years 1703, 1704, 1705, and 1706.$ 

November 28, 1707, another "Resolve for allowing and 
paying three pounds four shillings and ten pence out of the 
Province Treasury to Edward Sargent in full for ferrying 
done, etc., for the Province to date," was passed by the Gen- 
eral Court and paid by the treasurer of the province. § 

•Essex Registry of Deeds, book xxix., leaf 231. A c»py of this deed will be found in the 
Court Files for SuSolk County in Pemberton Square, Boston. No. 6716. 
t Province Laws, vol. viii., p. 633. + Ibid., p. 201. § Ibid., p. 252. 



The town of Newbury, having sold only one-half the ferry 
to Edward Sargent and Thomas Moody, retained possession 
of the other half, and June i8, i 708, authorized the selectmen 
to lease it for three years on the best terms possible.* 

Meanwhile the highway leading from the ferry to the com- 
mon road on the Salisbury side of the river was laid out anew 
and rebuilt. A small lot of land belonging to Mary Dole and 
John Dole was taken at its appraised value ; and April 22, 
1709, John March received from the selectmen of Newbury 


" five pounds ten shillings in full for w' w^ allowed by ye Court 
for Newburys part of y^ highway on Salisburys side to the 
ferry & for y^ Landing places, I say in full for my own part, 
Mrs. Doles part & Mr. John Doles part." * 

June 26, 171 1, a suit was brought against Edward Sargent 
"for lack of suitable attendance at the lower ferry." The 
Court of General Sessions held at Salem, on that day, ordered 
that two boats should be kept, one on the Salisbury side and one 
on the Newbury side, as required by the order issued March 
30, I 703 ; f and September twenty-fifth the court at Newbury 

*Town of Newbury Records. 

t Records of the Court of General Session.s (1696-1718). 

FERK/ES 455 

licensed Capt. Edward Sari^ent to keep the boat on the New- 
bury side and Capt. Humphrey Hook on the Sahsbury side. 
At a meeting of the inhabitants of the town of Newbury, 
hekl May 3, 171 5, objections were made to the reappoint- 
ment of Capt. Sargent. 

It was voated that ye ferre caled Serjeants ferry viz : Newburys halfe 
thereof : should be rented to Mr Benjamin Woodbridge, provided he 
will give as much as any man for s^ halfe of s^ ferry for ye term of one 
year next after Capt Hooks term is out in sd ferry.* 

September 27, 171 5, the Court of General Sessions, held at 
Newbury, licensed Benjamin Woodbridge to keep the ferry on 
the Newbury side and John Dole on the Salisbury side for one 
year from that date. December twenty-seventh Capt. Edward 
Sargent asked to be reinstated as ferryman, but his petition 
was dismissed by the court. 

September 12, 1716, the town of Newbury authorized the 
selectmen " to let the Newbury halfe of Serjeants ferry for 
one year to any person whom the court will allow";* and 
September twenty-fifth the court licensed Benjamin Wood- 
bridge to keep the ferry on the Newbury side and Capt. Ed- 
\varcl Sargent on the Salisbury side for five years. f 

June 18, I 71 7, It was voted that whereas Cap' Serjant is sewed in an 
action of trespass by James Carr & Richard Carr of Salisbury for carry- 
ing passingers (and taking pay for it,) over ye River Merrimack at ye 
ferre neer Capt Serjants. Sd ferre being owned ye one halfe by ye Town 
of Newbury & ye other halfe by s^ Serjant & Thomas Moodey ; that ye 
Town of Newbury shall & will pay to s^ Edward Serjant one halfe of 
ye necessary charges which ye sd Serjant shall be at in defending against 
the sd Carrs in the above sd action.* 

September 18, 1722, Voted that M"" Benjamin Woodbridge shall 
have ye ferre (near his house) for ye tearm of three years, he giving bond 
to ye selectmen of ye Towne to pay as rent for sd ferre nine pounds a 
year yearly during sd tearm.* 

Five years later, Capt. Sargent, who had charge of the 
ferry on the Salisbury side, asked to be released from his 
obligation to keep the causeway in repair. The town of 

*Town of Newbury Records. 

t Records of the Court of General Sessions (1696-17 iS), p. 323. 


Salisbury granted his request upon the following terms and 
conditions : — 

Agreement made December 19, 1727 between Mr. William Brad- 
bury, esq., Mr. Isaac Morrill, Capt. Jeremiah Stevens, Lt. John Morrill, 
Mr. William Smith, Mr. Jarvis Ring and Mr. Joseph French, all of 
Salisbury, as a committee and agents of Salisbury, and Capt. Edward 
Sargent, esq., of Newbury: Witnesseth that whereas the town of Salis- 
bury did formerly grant to said Sargent all their right and interest in ye 
lower ferry between Newbury and Salisbury then commonly called 
March's or Sargent's ferry with ye wharf, boat and ^100 in money 
towards his purchasing the one-half of Col. John March's pretended 
right in said ferry upon condition that said Sargent his heirs and suc- 
cessors in said ferry should from time to time and at all times forever 
carry ye inhabitants of said Salisbury over said ferry as their occasions 
require ferry free and also make and maintain the highway, causeway 
and bridges from ye old burying place in said Salisbury down to said 
ferry as is more fully set forth in said grant bearing date Feb. 19, 
1705-6, and in the ^1000 bond or conditions of it formerly given by 
said Sargent to Salisbury under the hand of said Edward Sargent and 
Thomas Moody as security for ye faithful performance of the said con- 
ditions bearing date March 11, 1706, both on record in said Salisbury 
town book ; and said Sargent after .so long experience of ye ferry com- 
plaining of it as too hard a bargain and too burdensome for him to be 
at ye charge of the causeways, bridges, lic, desiring ye town to take 
that upon themselves that so he may be ye better enabled and encour- 
aged cheerfully and faithfully to fulfill and perform ye other conditions 
of said grant, therefore said committee on behalf of Salisbury agree 
that in case said Sargent and his heirs and successors performs the con- 
ditions to carry over the inhabitants of Salisbury their persons and 
families, their horses, cattle and other necessaries usually transported 
over ferries ferry-free at all times as their occasion may require, they 
will acquitt and discharge y^ sd Edward Sargent his heirs and assigns 
of and from the whole care and charge of making, repairing and main- 
taining ye highway, causeway and bridge from ye old burying place in 
sd Salisbury Down to y» ferry and that the town of Salisbury shall and 
will take the sole care thereof upon themselves.* 

On the same day, Edward Sargent conveyed to the town of 
Salisbury all his interest " in y* lower ferry over Merrimack 
river," provided, however, that, if the said Sargent faithfully 
complies with the conditions of the agreement made with 
the committee named above, then the deed of conveyance 

* Essex Registry of Deeds, vol. ixvii., leaf 9. 


" is to be void and of none effect or else to stand and abide 
in full force and vertue forever." * 

May 8, 1729, the inhabitants of the town of Newbury 
" Voted to grant Edward Serjant Newburys part of the lower 
ferry over Merrimack river, for the term of three years, upon 
condition that he carry all the inhabitants of Newbury, ferry 
free, and give a bond to the selectmen that he will keep the 
ferry according to law." f 

Evidently this offer was not accepted by Capt. Sargent ; for, 
on the eighteenth day of June following, the town " voted 
that John Lunt shall have the lower ferre, over Merrimack 
river, that is to say, Newburys part of it, until next October, 
paying down five pounds and five pounds more next October. 
He to keep one good & suitable boat for Newburys part of 
said ferre and give a bond for the faithful discharge of his 
duties as ferry man." f 

September i o, 1 729, the town leased the ferry to Joseph 
Greenleaf, for ten pounds per annum, for the term of seven 

He having agreed to give a bond to make & maintain a good & suit- 
able waye downe to the River at ye Easterly end of his now dwelling 
house at his owne cost & charge during said tearm & that this Town 
shall have y^ use of said way to take in & put on shore such persons 
& things as shall want to be carried over said ferre (after said seven 
years is ended) for so long a time as said ferre is kept at said place. t 

September 18, 1734, Col. Richard Kent and HenryJLolfe, 
Esq., were appointed a committee to attend the Court of Gen- 
eral Sessions " to be held at Newbury on the last Tuesday in 
September," to look after the town's interest at a hearing to 
be held on a petition relating to the care and management of 
" Sargents ferry." f 

September 24, 1734, the court licensed Joseph Greenleaf 
to keep the ferry on the Newbury side of the river, and 
Elias Pike and Jarvis Ring on the Salisbury side, " during the 
pleasure of the court." % 

September 21, 1736, the inhabitants of the town of New- 
bury agreed to lease the ferry for seven years. 

• Essex Registry of Deeds, vol. Ixvii, leaf lo. t Town of Newbury Records. 

X Records of the Court of General Sessions (1696-1718), p. 346. 


Mr lienjamin Woodbridge, Junr, for & in consideration of the sum of 
thirty and six pounds a year, & so yearly, shall have Newburys part of 
ye lower ferre, comonly caled Sergeants ferre, for ye tearm of seven 
years time next after Mr Joseph Greenleafs lease is out. The said 
Woodbridge to give a bond to the Selectmen of the town to provide 
good & suitable attendance.* 

September 28, 1736, the Court of General Sessions, in an- 
swer to a petition from the inhabitants of Newbury, decided 
that the wharf owned by Benjamin Woodbridge, jr., should be 
"for seven years" the landing-place for the ferry on the 
Newbury side of the river. f 

At a town meeting held June 2, 1742, Joseph Maeres (.-') 
presented a petition 

. . . Concerning a ferry boat which he said was carried a way by ye 
ice & to help make up said Maeres (?) his loss & damage it was voted 
ye Town wold give twenty pounds in ye olde tenor, which twenty pounds 
shall be abated out of ye rent which is due from Mr Benjamin Wood- 
bridge for ye ferre.* 

March 13, 1743-4, the selectmen were authorized to lease 
" Sargent's ferry " for a few years on sucli terms as they 
shall judge best for the good of the town and convenience of 

May 19, 1747, a committee was appointed to take charge of 
the ferry, provide suitable boats and attendants, and petition 
the Court of General Sessions for liberty to raise the rates of 

When Newbury port was set off and incorporated as a sepa- 
rate town in 1764, all the right, title, and interest that New- 
bury had in " March's or Sargent's ferry " was transferred to 
the new town. It remained under the care and control of the 
selectmen of Newburyport for many years. 

After the bridge over the Merrimack river, connecting 
Newburyport with the town of Salisbury, was built and opened 
to the public in 1827, the boats used for the transportation of 
cattle, horses, and carriages, were withdrawn and replaced with 
smaller ones, suitable for foot passengers only. In this modi- 
fied form, the ferry was maintained for more than fifty years. 

* Town of Newbury Records. 

t Records of the Court of Cleneral Sessions (1726-44), p. 460. 


In 1880, Mr. Joshua M. Pike was appointed ferryman. He 
continued to serve in that capacity until the close of the year 
1885, when, owing to the lack of patronage, he decided to 
give up the unprofitable business, and devote his time to other 
industrial pursuits. Since that date, there has been no attempt 
to keep the ferry established by Capt. John March in 1687. 


At a meeting of the freeholders and inhabitants of Newbury, 
held March 26, 1694, John Kelly, sr., presented a petition 
for liberty to keep a " ffery over the river Merrimack in the 
place where he now dwells," provided the neighboring towns 
and the authorities of the province give their consent " for s"^ 
fferry to be granted to the Towne of Newbury." 

June 5, 1695, Capt Thomas Noyes, Cornt George March, Abraham 
Merrill & Henry Short [were] appoynted by the Towne to vew a con- 
venient place for a ferry over Merrimack River near the now dwelling 
house of John Kelly, Senr, together w^h a Rode thereto© and bring re- 
port to ye Towne at j-e next meeting.* 

Two weeks later, the selectmen of Newbury were authorized 
to petition the next General Sessions of the Peace to be 
held at Salem for liberty to establish a ferry over the Mer- 
rimack river near the dwelling-house of John Kelly, sr., 
and to appoint the said John Kelly, sr., keeper of it " until 
the towne see cause to other wise dispose of it." * The se- 
lectmen were also instructed to ask " for the continuation of 
the fferry so long as the Towne shall judg it beneficiall, the 
price of s^ fferr}' to be sixpence money for horse and man and 
two})ence for a single man, and for our owne Towne Inhabi- 
tants sixpence in pay for horse and man & twopence in pay 
for a single person." f 

The petition presented to the Court of General Sessions, 
June 25, 1695, was by agreement referred to the next term 
of the court. 

On the twenty fourth day of September following the court ordered 
that the town of Newbury have liberty to keep a ferry over Merrimack 

*Town ot Newbur\' Records. 

tTown of Newbury (Proprietors') Records, vol. i., pp. 22, 23. 


river near ye house of John Kelley where they are to keep a suitable 
boat a float with a hand ready to transport passengers, horses and 
cattle as need may require and ye fare of said ferry is hereby appointed 
to be a penny for a man and five pence for a horse and so proportionable 
for other creatures allwaies provided that ye town of Newbury do at 
their own cost and charge make and maintain a sufficient highway from 
ye river up to ye country road way, and ye town of Almesbury do ye like 
on their side of ye river.* 

At a meeting of the inhabitants of the town of Newbury 
held October 18, 1700, the selectmen were authorized to lay 
out a highway near the residence of John Kelly, sr. 

It was also voted y« in order to a Convenient way to the fferry corn- 
only known by the name of Kellys fferry the Towne voted yt a Bridg 
should be made over the swamp leading to sd ferry to be made and main- 
tained by the Towne so long as the Towne see cause. f 

April 12, 1703 upon the request of John Kelly, Sen"" John Kelly Jum, 
Abiel Kelly, Jonathan Kelly & John Swett, Jun"", to make & maintain a 
good & sufficient bridg or way over the swamp at the end of John Kelly, 
Senr, his field for the space of four years & thereby be aquitted from 
making or maintaining any other of the Highways of Newbury, the 
Towne grants theyr proposition on the conditions aforesd provided yt It 
be used so long for a public highway to ye ferry now Kept by sd John 
Kelly, Senr. J 

At the Court of General Sessions held in Newbury Sep- 
tember 25, 171 1, John Swett, jr., of Newbury was licensed 
to keep the ferry over Merrimack river, near Holt's rocks, for 
the term of seven years. § September 3, 171 2, the inhabi- 
tants of the town of Newbury again ordered the selectmen 
" to lay out the way from the Bradford road to Swett's 
ferry " ;|| and, on the thirtieth day of December following, the 
Court of General Sessions appointed a committee " to view 
the way leading to the Ferry under the care of John Sweat 
junior of Newbury." § Twelve months later, the selectmen 
of Newbury applied to the General Court for liberty to keep 
the ferry and pay over annually to the treasurer of the town 
the amount received for ferriage. 

In answer to the Petition of the Select Men of Newbury Praying 
that the Profits of the Ferry lately granted, by the Gen^ Sessions of the 

* Court Records (Salem), 1692-1709. 

tTown of Newbury Records, vol. iii., p. 65. % Ibid. (»693-i7S7), p. gg. 

§Court Records (Salem), 1696-171S. I! Town of Newbury Records. 

FEKR/ES 461 

Peace, to be kept over Merrimack River above Holts Rocks between 
Newbury and Haverhill may be settled upon the Town of Newbury. 

Ordered [June 10, 1714] that there be a Ferry stated over Merrimack 
River in the Place mentioned in the Petition, the Profits of the said Ferry 
to be to the Towns of Newbury & Haverhil> in equall Proportion; this 
Grant being limited for ye Space of forty Years next coming.* 

March 4,171 8-9, the following petition was presented to 
the inhabitants of the town of Haverhill : — 

John Sweet petitioning to the Towne as foUoweth, — 

To the inhabitants of Haverhill this day convened at the meeting 
house in Haverhill : The petition of John Sweet of Newbury humbly 

Whereas there has been a Ferry granted by the Court to the Towns 
of Haverhill and Newbury for the term of Forty years where I now 
keep it. 

I humbly now request that I may have this Towns interest therein 
during the whole term, and I will carry over the inhabitants of this 
Town one single person for a penny per time, and a horse & man for 
four pence & oblige myself to keep good conveniences for the transport 
of passengers, for which liberality & kindness your petitioner as in duty 
bound shall always pray John Sweet. 

This petition granted in the terms imposed therein, f 

February 22, 1730-31 Deacon Caleb Moody, Mr Ezekil Hale & M' 
Joshua Bailey were chosen to let out ye Towne of Newburys part of ye 
Ferry^aIed~Swets Ferre for foure years next insuing ye date hereof, f 

March 9, 1 730-1, the selectmen of Newbury received from 
Mr. John Swett of Haverhill the sum of four pounds for the 
use of the ferry for the two preceding years.§ March 5, 
1732-3, they received from Mr. Joshua Bailey three pounds 
for the use of the ferry for the year 1731, and subsequently 
received from him three pounds annually for the years 1732, 
1733, and 1734. § 

March 1 1, 1734-5, the inhabitants of the town of Newbury 
passed the following order : — 

Our Townes part of ye ferre called Swetts ferre is granted to Joshua 
Bailey upon his giveing to ye selectmen a bond to se said ferre be well 
tended & also to pay four pound a year, yearly, for three years insuing 
for ye use of ye Towne of Newbury. || 

•Province Laws, vol. ix., chap, xxiv., p. 356; General Court Records, vol. ix., p. 354. 

tTown of Haverhill Records. +Town of Newbury Records. 

§ Records of the Selectn\en of Newbury. II Town of Newbury Records (1731-S5), p. 21. 


The settlement on the north shore of the river, now known 
as Rock's village or East Haverhill, was at that time quite a 
busy and prosperous place. Salmon and other fish were 
caught in large numbers in that locality, and an extensive 
trade with the West India islands was established and main- 
tained for many years. 

March 9, 1755-6 David Chase was granted liberty to build a wharf 
at his own cost at Swetts ferry.* 

March 12, 1782, the selectmen of Newbury were author- 
ized '* to let that part of Sweats ferry belonging to Newbury 
and defend the same against the claim made by the town of 
Haverhill." f 

When the " Merrimack bridge," afterwards known as the 
"Rock's bridge," was built in 1795, the ferry established by 
John Kelly, sr., near Holt's rocks, in 1695, was discontinued. 


July 24, 1735, M"" Samuel March & Lieut John Emery were chosen 
for to joyne with those that are chosen by ye Town of Almsbury in us- 
ing proper means to have a ferre granted & settled over Merrimack 
River near Savages Rock, so called, between Almsbury ferre & Swetts 
ferre. J 

Savage's rock is on the southerly side of Merrimack river, 
between Rock's bridge and the mouth of Indian river. West 
Newbury. On the opposite shore is that part of Amesbury 
now known as Merrimackport. 

October 16, 1735, the Court of General Sessions held at 
Newbury," in answer to the petition of Newbury & Almsbury 
praying that a ferry be established over Merrimack river at or 
near a place called Savages Rock," granted the prayer of the 
petitioners, and appointed Thomas Stephens, of Amesbury, to 
keep the ferry " so as not to interfere with or prejudice the 
right of Humphrey Hook of Almesbury his heirs or assigns to 
the right of Ferriage if any he has," — the said Stephens to 
keep a good ferry boat and provide two able and experienced 
ferrymen to attend upon the same.§ 

♦Town of Newbury Records (1731-85), p. 103. % Ibid., p. 24. 

frown of Newbury Records. § Court of General Sessions (1696-1718), p. 4oq. 

FERA'/ES 463 

Humphrey Hook, who had the management and control 
of the ferry at the mouth of Powow river, was in Htigation at 
that time with the town of Amcsbury in regard to the rights 
and privileges that he claimed in the transportation of men, 
horses, and carriages from the Newbury shore. The case 
was warmly contested, and finally settled by compromise 
several years later. 

March 8, 1736-7, the selectmen of Newbury were desired 
" to agree with M"" Thomas Stephens relating to y^ ferre at 
Savages Rock " ; * and, in 1743, the town of Amesbury leased 
the ferry " to Deacon Stevens for five years at forty shillings, 
old tenor." f 

March 26, 1764 It was also voted to remove ye Ferry that is kept 
near Savages' Rock to Sargent's Creek so Called and Capt Robert Sar- 
gent was appointed ferryman. J 

The ferry was probably discontinued soon after the bridges 
at Holt's rocks and Deer island were built. 


March 10, 1761, the town of Newbury granted a peti- 
tion for a ferry from the middle of Bartlett's cove to Salis- 
bury, on condition that the petitioners " obtain a license for 
the same from the Court of General Sessions." * This grant 
was not confirmed by the court. 

Subsequently, several attempts were made to secure a license ; 
but no definite action was taken until September, 1789, when 
the court ordered " that Joseph Swasey and John Webster be 
licensed to keep a ferry over Merrimack River at or near Jona- 
than Moulton's dwelling house in Newbury in said County, 
and from thence to the opposite side of said river in Salis- 

It is said that Washington was taken over this new ferry 
in a barge specially prepared for the occasion, on his way 
from Newburyport to Portsmouth, October 30, I789.§ In 
his diary, published in 1858, he wrote : 

•Town of Newbury Records. t History of Amesbury, p. 206. 

t Town of Amesbury Records, p. 334. The entrance to Sargent's creek, from Merrimack 
river, was at Merrimackport. 

§ Putnam's Historical Magazine for March, iSg5, p. 77. 


Left Newburyport a little after 8 o'clock (first breakfasting with M"" 
Dalton) and to avoid a wider ferry, more inconvenient boats, and a 
piece of heavy sand, we crossed the River at Salisbury. 

It is possible, however, that the older ferry, known as 
Amesbury ferry, was the one used on that occasion, and that 
Washington landed at the mouth of the Powow river in 
Amesbury, as some local historians assert, and then proceeded 
along the river road through Salisbury point to the Rocky 
Hill meeting-house, where several companies of soldiers were 
drawn up to receive him.* 

The new or middle ferry, as it was sometimes called, under 
the management of Joseph Swasey, of Newburyport, and John 
Webster, of Salisbury, was successfully maintained until 1 792, 
when the Essex Merrimack bridge was built across the Merri- 
mack river at Deer island, and the ferry was discontinued 
for lack of patronage.f 

* History of Amesbury (Merrill), p. 304. 

t For a more extended account of this ferry see " Ould Newbury," pp. 239-246. 



November 5, 1639, ^^''^ General Court of the Colony of 
Massachusetts Bay passed the following order : — 

For preventing the miscarriage of letters, — It is ordered that notice 
bee given that Richard FairJDanks, his house, in Boston is the place 
appointed for all letters which are brought from beyond the seas, or are 
to be sent thither: — are to bee brought unto him and he is to take care 
that they bee delivered or sent according to their directions, and hee is 
allowed for every such letter i<^ and must answer all miscarriages 
through his own neglect in this kind ; provided that no man shall bee 
compelled to bring his letters thither except hee please.* 

Some years later, it was customary to leave letters at the 
exchange or the town hall, " so that who will may take 
them up" and forward them; but "letters of great moment 
were frequently lost." 

Francis Lovelace, governor of New York, established 
postal communication between that state and New England 
early in the year 1673. In a letter dated "Fort James 2j^^ 
December 1672," he wrote to John Winthrop, governor of 
Connecticut, that the postman would set out from New York 
on the first Monday of each month, 

. . . and is to return within the month from Boston to us again. The 
mail has divers bags, according to the towns the letters are designed to, 
which are all sealed up, till their arrivement, with the seal of the Sec- 
retary's office, whose care it is on Saturday night to seal them up ; only 
by-letters are in an open bag to disperse by the ways. Thus you see the 
scheme I have drawn to promote a happy correspondence. I shall only 
beg of you your furtherance to so universal a good work : that is, to 
afford him directions where and to whom to make his application to 
upon his arrival at Boston, as likewise to afford him what letters you 
can to establish him in that employment there. It would be much 
advantageous to our design if in the interval you discourse with some of 

* Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 281. 


the most able woodmen to make out the best and most facile way for a 
post, which in process of time would be the King's best highway, as 
likewise passengers and accommodation at rivers, fords, or other neces- 
sary places.* 

The General Court of Massachusetts bay ordered, January 
6, 1673-4, that every messenger or post-rider carrying offi- 
cial despatches should be paid threepence a mile for his 
services, including the use of his horse ; and innholders were 
prohibited from charging such messengers more than two 
shillings a bushel for oats and fourpence for the hay required 
to keep a horse one day and one night. f 

May 23, 1677, a petition was presented to the General 
Court, requesting the appointment of a suitable person " to 
take in and convey Letf^ according to direction." | On the 
first day of June following, the court " made choyce of 
M"" John Hayward, the scrivener, to be the person for that 
service." § 

June 1 1, 1680, In ans^ to the peticon of John Hayward, it is ordered, 
that he be continued for postmaster to receive in letters & take care for 
the sending of them to the ownes according to superscription, till this 
Court take other order ; and that all masters of ships or other vessells 
doe, vpon their arrivall, send their letters that come in the bagg to the 
said post office except as they shall particularly take care to deliver w'h 
their oune hands: that the said Hayward, or postmaster, be allowed 
for euery single letter one penny in money, & for euery packet of two 
or more two pence in money. || 

These orders and regulations were evidently intended to 
apply to the collection and delivery of foreign letters only. 
Other written communications, relating to business or domestic 
affairs, were conveyed from town to town by the hand of 
friends or occasional travellers. 

Strictly speaking, there was no postal service in New Eng- 
land until after the repeal of the colonial charter and the 
establishment of the province of Massachusetts bay. Gov. 
Andros wrote, under date of November 23, 1687, to the 
secretary of the Connecticut colony that he proposed to send 

* Massachusetts Historical Society Collections, vol. ix., Fifth Series, p. 84. 

t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. iv., part ii., p. 574. 

+ Province Laws, vol. vii., p. 430. 

§ Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. v., p. 147. II Ibid., vol. v., p. 273. 


letters once a month from Boston to Hartford during the 
winter. The secretary rephed, December 5, 1687: 

I believe Perry will undertake once a month to pass from Fairfield to 
Boston in the winter, and once in three weeks in the summer, or oftener 
if your Excellency desire it, and the charge of it upon the whole will be 
no great matter. Should it be put upon letters at first, I believe it will 
not answer the charge to satisfy the post. But if it were tried one year 
by a salary the better guess may be given for a future settlement of it.* 

After the overthrow of Sir Edmund Andros, King WilHam 
and Queen Mary issued, February 17, 169 1-2, letters patent 
to Thomas Neale, Esq., granting him full power and authority 
to establish offices in the colonies of North America " for the 
receiving and dispatching of letters and pacquets." Andrew 
Hamilton was appointed deputy postmaster-general " to 
govern and manage the said general post office for and 
throughout all their majesties' plantations and colonies on the 
mainland or continent of America, and the islands adjacent 
thereunto, pursuant to the directions of the said letters 
patent." f 

John Usher, deputy governor of the province of New 
Hampshire, wrote from Boston, March 25, 1693, to the mem- 
bers of his council : 

Gentl" : — The Poste Master General being here in Boston & giving 
account yt he has settled a poste from Virginia to Boston once a week, 
he is very desirous to know whatt you will be pleased to allow either as 
a yearly sallary, or how much a letter for postage of a single Letter from 
Piscataqua to Boston . . . Itts desired you would likewise signifye 
whether you would have a poste once a week or once in two weeks. t 

June 9, 1693, the province of Massachusetts bay passed an 
act establishing a general letter office in Boston for receiving 
and despatching letters "from their majesties dominions be- 
yond the seas" to any colony or province in New England. § 

♦Connecticut Colony Records, vol. iii , p. 398; and Palfrey's History of New England, note 
on p. 54S. 

t Province Laws, vol. vii., note p. 431. 

+ Papers relating to the Province of New Hampshire, vol. ii., p. loo. 

Samuel Allen, a London merchant, having purchased all the land, within the limits of the 
province of New Hampshire, belonging to the heirs of Capt. John Mason, obtained permission 
to organize and maintain a permanent government there. He appointed his son-in-law, John 
Usher, deputy governor, August 13, 1692. Although frequently called to New Hampshire 
on official business, Mr. Usher continued to reside in Boston until his death, September 5, 1726. 

§ Province Laws, vol. i., p. 115. 


The second section of this act provided that the postage on a 
single letter from New York to Boston should be twelve- 
pence, from Salem to Boston threepence, from Ipswich, New- 
bury, and other places eastward of Salem, within the province 
of Massachusetts bay, fourpence, and from Piscataqua 
(Portsmouth) to Boston sixpence. 

This act was declared to be inconsistent with the letters 
patent granted Thomas Neale by King William and Queen 
Mary ; and, November 5, 1696, it was disallowed by the pri\y 
council. While it remained in force, however, Duncan 
Campbell was appointed deputy postmaster of Boston, by and 
with the consent of Andrew Hamilton, deputy postmaster- 
general. On the twenty-third day of November, 1693, 
Campbell applied to the General Court for compensation for 
his services; and, June 20, 1694, he was granted an annual 
allowance of twenty-five pounds for two years. 

On the twenty-fifth day of October following, " an Act for 
Regulating P'erries " was passed. This act expressly pro- 
vided "that the general post that is settled for their majesties 
and the countrys service be readily dispatched and set over 
by all ferry men where they shall come, without delay." * 

The following year, Campbell appealed to the governor and 
council of the province of New Hampshire " for such assist- 
ance as in their wisdom shall be judged reasonable." 

May 21, 1695, in ans-wer to the petition of Duncan Campbell for al- 
lowing a salary for encouragement of the Post, a bill past both Houses 
for allowing £\z for this year, provided the Post be kept.f 

Duncan Campbell died in 1 702 ; and John Campbell, who 
succeeded him as postmaster in Boston, petitioned the Gen- 
eral Court of Massachusetts, May 26, 1 703, for compensation 
for his services, stating that, since the disapproval of the act 
passed for the encouragement of the post-office in 1696, 
" there has been no action on the part of the province of 
Massachusetts Bay to regulate and control the postal service." 

On the second day of June, this petition, with the memorial 
accompanying it, was referred to a committee who subse- 

* Province Laws, vol. i., p. 183. t New Hampshire Provincial Paper.s, vol. ii., p. 156. 


quently submitted a report which was accepted, allowing Mr. 
John Campbell the sum of " p^20 for all time past and £,a,o 
for y'^ year ensuing " for his encouragement and support in 
the transmission of public letters, and providing " that the 
said Campbell be freed from Impresses, Trainings & watches 
dureing his employment of Post Master." This report was 
amended by making the compensation ten pounds instead of 
twenty, and twenty pounds in place of forty, and as amended 
was agreed to by the governor and council July 22, 1703.* 

On the ninth day of September, the following- order, passed 
by the governor and council, was concurred in by the House 
of Representatives : — 

Every Master of any ship or vessell arriving from any Foreign parts 
shall deliver in all his Letters to the Post Office at the Port of discharge, 
or shall deliver them at any other place where he happens first to ar- 
rive : The Post Master demanding the Same: In which case they shall 
be forthwith expressed to ye Post office in Boston. And all masters 
shall be paid by the Post Master a half penny a Letter for Every & 
so many Letters as he shall put into the office: and the Post Master 
shall be paid & receive the accustomed Rates & Prices now paid for 
Letters by him delivered out: The Collector and Naval Officer, respec- 
tively, to Give Notice of this order to all masters. f 

Newbury, at that date, was a town of considerable commer- 
cial importance, having an extensive trade with the West India 
islands and also with the continent of Europe. The collec- 
tion and transmission of letters from foreign lands required 
constant care and attention. Post-riders from Boston passed 
through Newbury on their way to Portsmouth, and were often 
delayed, especially in the winter season, by bad travelling and 
severe snow-storms. The Boston News Letter, published by 
John Campbell, postmaster, makes the following announce- 
ments : — 

The Eastern and Piscataqua Post sets out from Boston everv Mon- 
day night at seven of the clock and all Persons are desired to bring their 
Letters to the Post Office before six a clock. % 

The Eastern Post came in on Saturday and sets out on Monday 
night, who says, There is no Travailing with Horses, especiallv beyond 
Newbury, but with snow shoes which our People do much use now that 

* Province Laws, vol. viii., p. 285. t Ibid., vol. i., p. 420. X November 13 to 20, 1704. 


never did before. The Western Post came then also in, and sets out 
on Tuesday morning, who likewise says 'Tis very bad Travailing.* 

March 25, 1 716-7, the snow was five feet deep in the 
woods, and in some exposed places the roads were covered to 
the depth of fifteen or twenty feet. The "post boy," travel- 
hng on snow-shoes, was nine days in making his trip from 
Salem, Mass., to Portsmouth, N.H., and eight days in return- 
ing, the distance between the two towns being about forty 

Lord Cornbury, in a letter dated New York, July i, 1708, 
to the commissioners for trade and plantations, in England, 
says : 

. . . We have but two safe ways of sending into England, which are 
the Virginia Fleet and the Mast Fleet from New England. . . . From 
Boston there is a Post by which we can hear once a week in summer 
time, and once a fortnight in winter, so that we have a sure conveyance 
by the Mast Fleet. The conveyances by the West Indies have proved 
very uncertain for several of our vessels have been taken Every Year 
during the War, besides that several of the Packet Boats from England 
have been likewise taken. % 

" A new and Exact map of the Dominions of the King of 
Great Britain on y^ continent of North America, By Herman 
Moll, Geographer," was published in 171 5. On the margin 
of this map is a notice of the arrival and departure of the 
mails, from which the following paragraph is taken : — 

. . . the Post from Boston to Piscataway, being 70 miles, leaves Let- 
ters at Ipswich, Salem, Marblehead and Newbury. . . . There are offices 
kept at Burlington and Perth Amboy in New Jersey, New London and 
Stonington in Connecticut, at Rhode Island, Bristol, Ipswich, Salem, 
Marblehead and Newbury, and ye 3 Great offices are at Boston, New 
York & Philadelphia. 

It is evident that the postal service between Boston and 
Portsmouth was well established when the above announce- 
ment was made ; and Jonathan Plummer, in a deed dated 
April 16, 17 1 6, is described as " Postmaste"" in y^ township of 

♦January 29 to February 5, 1704-5. t " Historic Storms " (Sidney Perley), p. 55. 
X New York Colony Manuscripts, vol. v., p. 55. 



Newbury." * There are no records to show who was post- 
master in Newbury previous to that date, but Josepli Lunt 
probably "rode post" as early as 1708.! 

" The Boston Weekly Post Boy," a newspaper published 
from October, 1734, to December, 1754, has the picture of a 
ship under full sail, on the left hand side of the title, at the 
top of the first page ; and the following appropriate device, 
on the right hand side, representing a postman, on horse- 
back, sounding his horn 4 

POST-RIDER — 1734. 

The following items relating to newspapers and post-riders 
were recorded by Rev. Matthias Plant. 

July I, 1735, I received ye news letter from ye Postman. 

January 26, 1 741-2 Then Paid to Mr Gerrish, Postman, for 2 years 
& a quarter for news Paper carrying & for taking my horse from Salem 
to Mr. Watts at Winnisimet w'' horse I hired there 1.9.6. 

June 18, 1742 then pd Mr. Fleet for news paper 1.4.0. 

May 30, 1746 I pd Mr. Fleet att Boston for ye News Paper for ye 
year 1745. 1.8.0. 

* Essex Deeds, book liv., leaf 67 ; also, book xxxvi., leaf 49. 
t Coffin's Histon- of Newbury, p. 173. 

X Reproduced from an original copy of "The Boston Weekly Post Boy " in the Boston Pub- 
lic Library. 


June 13, 1748 I paid Mr Fleet for 2 years News Papers 3.0.0. 

March 23, 1749-50 then I paid to post Gerrish for bringing News 
Papers 9. years 4.9.0. 

Then pd by post Cierrish to Mr. Fleet for News Papers 2. years 

In 1753, Benjamin Franklin, residing in Philadelphia, and 
William Hunter, of Virginia, were commissioned by the gov- 
ernment of England to take charge of the postal service in 
America. During the summer of that year, Franklin set out 
on a tour of inspection, and visited almost every post-office in 
the country.* In November, 1754, he was in Newbury, and 
undoubtedly improved the opportunity to examine the books 
and accounts of the postmaster, and confer with the post- 
riders in regard to the safe and speedy transportation of 
letters intrusted to them. Newspapers were not considered 
mailable matter at that time, and it was only by rewarding 
the post-riders that a place was made for them in the mail 

In 1756, packet boats were first employed to carry the 
mail between Falmouth, now Portland, Me., and New York, 
" the postage of each single letter to be four penny weights 
of silver." It was not until about the year 1760 that regular 
weekly communication was established between Portsmouth 
and Portland. Before that time, letters were not sent until 
a sufficient number were collected to pay the cost of trans- 

In I 761, "the first stage, or passenger chair in America" 
was started from the stables connected with the tavern kept 
by John Stavers in Portsmouth, and under his management 
and that of his brother Bartholomew Stavers continued to 
make weekly trips through Newbury, Ipswich, and Salem to 
Boston, carrying the mail as well as passengers for many 

Bulkeley Emerson was probably postmaster at Newbury 
when this stage was first used in the postal service. He was 
a bookseller and stationer ; and as early as March 14, 1754, 
he and his brother Samuel bought a house with a small lot of 

• Parton's Life of Franklin, vol. i., p. 330. 



land "on the main street in Newbury," where he probably 
sold books and received and distributed the letters transmitted 
by mail.* The stage made only one trip weekly between 
Portsmouth and Boston ; but the mail was sent on other days 
by post-riders, as heretofore. January 17, 1763, the follow- 
ing advertisement was published in the Boston Evening 
Post : — 

Giles Alexander, Eastern Post Rider, Hereby informs the Public 
that when he is in town, he puts up at the Sign of Admiral Vernon, in 
King Street, from whence he sets out, for the future, on Monday Even- 
ins: at 6 o'clock. 

- CV^k^L 


December 4, 1770, Benjamin Hart announced in the 
Essex Gazette, a newspaper published in Salem, " that he has 
left riding the single horse post between Boston and Ports- 
mouth and now conveys passengers from Boston to any town 
between it and Portsmouth and back again, in the same Post 
Stage lately improved by John Noble." % 

Bulkeley Emerson retained, under the provincial govern- 
ment, his office as postmaster at Newbury and Newburyport 
until May 13, 1775, when he was appointed to the same 

♦"Essex Registn- of Deeds, book cxv., leaf 195. % .Annals of Salem (Kelt), 1S27, p. 479. 
t From an advertisement now in the possession of the Essex Institute, Salem, Mass., an- 
nouncing the arrival and departure of stages. 



office by the provisional government organized in Massachu- 
setts at the beginning of the Revolutionary war. This 
appointment was confirmed by the Continental Congress in 
the month of December following. Mr. Emerson died April 
19, 1 80 1. Mis son Joseph Emerson succeeded him as post- 

In 1818 the mail was taken daily to and from Boston by 
the Eastern Stage Company. This arrangement was con- 
tinued from year to year until June 26, 1838, when the char- 
ter of the company expired by limitation. Two months later, 


the Eastern railroad was completed from East Boston to 
Salem ; and from the last-named town the mail was for- 
warded by stage to Portsmouth, and thence to other towns in 
Maine and New Hampshire. In June, 1840, the road was 
extended from Salem to Newbury port. Since that date 
letters sent to or from Newbury have reached their destina- 
tion through the Newburyport office. 

* From an advertisement now in the possession of the Essex Institute, Salem, Mass., an- 
nouncing the arrival and departure of stages. 



A SHIP of three hundred tons burthen, built by Richard 
Holhngsworth in Salem, was launched in the month of June, 
1 64 1. This was probably the first ship built in Essex county. 
At Medford and other towns in the colony, however, the 
building of small sloops and shallops had been carried on to 
some extent for several years. For the protection of ship 
owners and builders the General Court passed the following 
order, October 7, 1641 : — 

When any ship is to bee built w'hin this jurisdiction, it shalbee lawful 
for the owners to appoint «S: put in some able man to survey the worke 
& workemen, from time to time, as is usual in Eno^land . . . and upon 
complaint to the Governor, or Deputy, or any 2 magistrats, they shall 
appoint 2 of the most sufficient ship carpenters of this jurisdiction & 
shall give them authority from time to time, (as needs shall require) to 
take view of every such ship & all worke thereto belonging & see that it 
bee pformed & carried on according to the rules of their arte ... & 
these viewers shall have power to cause any bad timbers, or other in- 
sufficient worke, or materialls to bee taken out & amended & all that 
they shall judge to bee amisse to bee reformed at the charge of them 
through whose default it growes.* 

As early as 1650 small vessels were built and owned in 
Newbury; and April 25, 1655, the town granted "captain 
Paul White a parcell of land not exceeding half an acre, 
about Watts his cellar, for to make a dock, a wharf and a 
warehouse, provided he do build a dock and warehouse as 
aforesaid." f 

George Carr and his son Richard Carr were early engaged 
in ship-building on Carr's island; and in 1675 Jonathan 
Woodman had a building-yard at the foot of Woodman's lane, 
now Kent street, Newburyport.J 

•Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. i., p. 336. 
t " Ould Newbury," p. 151. + Ibid., pp. 273-285. 



The ship "Salamander" was built by Mr. Woodman pre- 
vious to March 23, 1675-6 ; for on that day he brought a suit, 
in the Court of Admiralty at Boston, to recover the amount 
due him for labor and materials used in its construction. 
Capt. Bartholomew Stratton and other owners of the ship 
protested against the payment of the sum claimed, and in- 
sisted that the law of the colony providing for the inspection 
of vessels had not been complied with. The court decided in 
favor of the defendants, and fined Mr. Woodman ten pounds. 
In a petition to the General Court, asking to be released from 
the payment of this fine, Mr. Woodman stated that the mas- 
ter and owners had compelled him to pay twenty pounds for 
not launching the ship at the time agreed upon, although two 
carpenters employed by him were taken for the country's ser- 
vice, and he was unable to find men to fill their places in 
Rowley, Ipswich, Salem, or Boston. He also claimed that 
the ship was surveyed by a carpenter, " as the custom is with 
us," before she was planked, and asserted that the owners 
had forced him to take up the deck when partially laid, and 
raise it four feet higher.* 

October 17, 1676, In answer to the petition of Jonathan Woodman, 
humbly desiring the remittment of the fine of tenn pounds imposed on 
him for not surveying the ship Salamander &c the Court judgeth it meet 
to grant his request & his fine is remitted accordingly.! 

In order to regulate and control the importation of mer- 
chandise, ports of entry were established by the General Court. 

February 9, 1682-3 : . . . the port of Boston to which Charlestown is 
annexed, and the port of Salem to which Marblehead, Beverly, Glocester, 
Ipswich, Rowley, Newbery and Salisbury are annexed as members, are 
and shall be lawfuU ports in this colony where all ships & other vessells 
shall lade or unlade. $ 

This arrangement was not satisfactory to the ship-owners 
and merchants of Newbury ; and in the month of May, 1683, 
they prepared and signed the following petition : — 

• Massachusetts Archives, vol. lix., p. 132. 

t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. v., p. 127. X Ibid., vol. v., p. 383. 


To the honored general court now sitting in Boston, the humble 
petition of some of Newbury : 

Wee humbly crave the favour that your Honors would be pleased to 
consider our litle Zebulun * and to ease us of that charge w^'i at present 
we are forced unto by our going to Salem to enter our vessels and 
thereby are forced to stay at least two days before we can unloade 
besides other charges in going & coming. That some meet person 
might be appointed to receive the entryes of all vessels coming in here 
and to act and do according as the law directs in that case, and we shall 
be bound ever to pray for yo"" Honrs (S:c 

Caleb Moody 
Thomas Noyes 
John Kent 
Joseph Dole 
Benaiah Titcomb 
William Noyes 
William Titcomb 
Penuel Titcomb 
Henry Jaques 
Henry Wheeler 
D. Davison 
Referred to the next general court. f 

In May, 1684, when the subject was again under consid- 
eration, the following petition was presented to the General 
Court : — 

... it being very inconvenient for vesels that arive at the towne of 
Newbury to make entry at Salem it often is greatly predudiall & charg- 
able to persons concerned : it is humbly ofered to this Courts considera- 
tion & desired that this Court would pleas to apoint som person in New- 
bury where they may make their entry & not be put upon such great 
inconvenience as to go as far as Salem. 

ofered by mee Richard Bartlet 

in behalf of the town of Newbury the 7*^ of May 1684.^ 

At the same session, some of the inhabitants of Salisbury 
petitioned as follows : — 

To The Honored Generall Court Now Sitting In Boston May the 
7th 1684 The Humble Request of Severall in Habitants of Salisbury 
whose names are hearto subscribed : — 

That wheras by the p^videnc of god wee have some smalle trade 
whereby vessells are sent A Brode out of Merrimack River Who Accord- 

* " Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea ; and he sliall be for a haven of ships, and his 
border shall be unto Zidon." Gen. xlix : 13. 

t Massachusetts Archives, vol. Ixi., p. 254. + Ibid., p. 262. 


ing to Law Ar bound to Duty at going forth & Returning home which 
by Reson of ye Remoteness from the place of entry grows extreme pre- 
judisial & by ye Loss of A day or two many times by Reson of 111 wether 
proves to our Great damage : our humble Request therefore to this 
Honored Court Is That thay would bee pleased to Impower som one 
p'son att Newbury or Salisbury to take entrys & to give clearing And 
your suplyants thankfully Acknowledging the same shall Ever pray 

Thomas Mudgett 
John Allix 
Jacob Merill 
Richard Hubbard 
Henry Wheeler* 

May 15, 1684, the deputies and magistrates granted the 
prayer of the petitioners, and " ordered that Nathaniel Clarke 
be the naval officer for Newbury and Salisbury ports." f 

During the excitement and confusion that resulted from the 
revolutionary proceedings in Boston, April 18, 1689, and the 
imprisonment of Sir Edmund Andros, governor of the col- 
onies in New England, vessels employed in the coasting trade 
were exposed not only to the danger of the sea, but were 
liable to capture by bold and lawless buccaneers. 

In a deposition made by Thomas Pound, who, with Thomas 
Hawkins and others, was executed for piracy in 1689, is the 
following statement : — 

. . . about the Eighth or Tenth day of August last past, in the pres- 
ent year, 1689, this Examinant togetlier with twelve men more . . . went 
off from Boston in Thomas Hawkins his Boat, tooke water at the South 
End of the Town neer the Signe of the Bull, haveing agreed and com- 
bined together to take the first vessell they should come up with and go 
away to the West Indies to make a voyage against the ffrench. . . . 
wee then sayled to Martyn's Vineyard Sound, and on or about the 
twentyeth day of August met with a Briganteen belonging to Newbury, 
John Kent, master, from New Yorke, and sent the Boat with ffour or 
ffive hands on board said Briganteen, and brought her neer to o' sloop's 
side, out of which Briganteen wee tooke Eighteen halfe barrells of 
Flower, two hogsheads of Sugar and one hogshead of Rhum, and three 
small arms, and so dismist the Briganteen. . . . 

From thence wee removed to Tarpolin Cove, there lay about fforty 
Eight houres intending for Corazo, and upon ffriday tlie ffourth day of 

* Massachusetts Archives, vol. xli., p. 261. 

t Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. v., p. 439. 


October, instant, Cap"^ Samuel Pease, Coiriander of a Sloop from Bos- 
ton, came up towards us, and wee came to Saile and stood away, but 
Cap"e Pease out sayled us and fired severall shot towards us but 
did not strike our vessell, wee descried their king's Jack before they 
fired : after wee had received severall shot from the s^ Sloop there was 
a red ftiag put up at the head of our mast, and our men fired at them, 
and we continued fireing one at another about the space of an hour : 
this Examinant received two shot one under his Ribs and an'^ther in 
the Arme, ffour of our men were slain and nine wounded.* 

June 27, 1692, the General Court passed an act providing 
for the appointment of a naval officer at Boston, Salem, 
Ipswich, Newbury, and other ports, to enter and clear vessels 
arriving or sailing from the ports named and collect the fees 
due from them. This act, however, was disallowed by the 
privy council ; but the governor, under the new charter of the 
province of Massachusetts Bay, was authorized to take such 
steps as might be necessary to protect and encourage trade, 
and prevent the illegal importation of merchandise. 

Many favorable locations along the river side, owned in 
common by the proprietors or freeholders of Newbury, were 
taken by ship-builders, and used without permission. 

December 13, 1692, the town ordered that whosoever shall build any 
vessels on the towne common shall pay to the town three pence per ton 
for the use of the building yard that they shall improve.f 

Mr. Thomas Johnson, ship-wright, having built a house & .sett up a 
ship or ships uppon the Towns Comons next adjoining to the River 
Merrimack between sd River & Mr Peirces land, the s^ Johnson doth by 
way of Rent for the improving of the Towns land as above s^ acknowl- 
edg himself indebted to the selectmen of Newbury the sum of two shill- 
ings money whereunto the s^i Johnson hath sett to his hand this 30th of 
Sept, 1695. Thomas Johnson. 

Tristram Coffin, \ 

George March, ( witnesses. \ 

Henry Short, ^ 

Ezra, son of William Cottle, was born in Newbury May 5, 
1662. He married Mary Woodbridge July 6, 1695. In the 
town records, under the date of 1698, is the following mem- 
orandum : — 

• New England Historical and Genealogical Register, July, xSgi, pp. 216, 217. 
t Town of Newburj' Records. 


This year Ezra Cottle commenced ship building at or near the foot 
of Chandler's lane [now Federal street, Newburyport] where Mr. Will- 
iam Johnson built.* 

March 18, 1700-1701 John Stickney desir'ng liberty of the Town to 
build a vessel uppon the Bank by Merrimack River, near the place 
where Mr Johnson built a vessel, at the lower end of Chandlers Lane, 
The town grants his proposition with this proviso, yt he damnify not the 
highway there and that he pay one shilling to the town as a rent by way 
of acknowledgement if demanded of him.* 

July II, 1705 Granted liberty to M^ William Johnson to build a ves- 
sel neer the end of Chandlers Lane at or neer the place wher Mr John- 
son formerly built a shipp.* 

Among the vessels registered, "according to directions of 
the Act of Parhament passed in the seventh and eighth year 
(1696- 1 697) of the Reign of King WilHam the Third," was 
" The Briganteen Endeavour of Boston, Edward Ashley, Mas- 
ter ; a square sterned vessel of about 20 tons, built at New- 
bury, in 168 1." f 

From November 23, 1697, to October 5, 17 14, one hun- 
dred sloops, ketches, brigantines, and ships built in New- 
bury, "whereof Proof hath been made upon oath," were 
granted registers, and allowed to engage in the coasting trade 
or take lumber and merchandise to foreign ports. | 

In 1697 the town of Andover 

Granted libertie to Maj. John March of Newbury to take what 
timber is convenient for ye building of two vessels not exceeding fifty 
tons apiece, provided he build such vessels in Andover and to use noe 
timber that is fitt for ye building of houses or making of posts, . . . what 
timber is to be felled and carted for sd vessels, Andover men shall have 
ye benefit of, provided they will work with themselves & teems as 
reasonably as in other places they doe.§ 

Probably the vessels were not built at that time, and in 
171 1 the town of Andover passed the following order : — 

. . . that Coll John March shall have libertie of trying the experiment 
of building a sloop in some convenient place for launching into Merri- 
mack River and to have the benefit of what timber can be found already 

*Town of Newbury Records. 

t Massachusetts Archives, vol. vii., p. 125; also, History of Ship-building on Merrimack 
River, by John J. Currier, 1877, p. 46. 

X Massachusetts Archives, vol. vii., pp. 85-523. § History of Andover (Bailey), p. 58. 


felled, and also if need be to supply him with tlie liberty of cutting half- 
a dozen sticks for some choyse use for the vessel if Timber for such use 
cannot be found already felled.* 

Col. March was unable to make the contemplated "experi- 
ment " on account of ill-health. He died previous to August 
25, 1 712. Subsequently, Lieut. John Aslebe was granted 
"liberty to make use of the timber which was voted for Coll. 
John March to build a sloop in Andover of about 40 tons." * 

March 11, 171 1-2, the inhabitants of Newbury voted 
" that Major Henry Somerby, Cap* Sergant & Lieu' Titcomb 
shall have power to let y^ building yard near Watts cellar {so 
called) unto Col Patridge and M"" Fawn Clement and M"" 
Hodge on such terms as they agree for." f 

This yard was known as the Middle Ship-yard. It was sold 
March 5, 1768, to Samuel Gerrish by the proprietors of the 
town of Newbury. I 

The ship-owners and merchants of Newbury had established 
a profitable trade with Barbadoes and other islands of the 
West Indies previous to the beginning of the eighteenth 
century. June 28, 1714, the town clerk recorded the marks 
and description of twelve horses, " to be shiped on board a 
Brigantine belonging to Cap' Pits of Boston, whereof Cap' 
Elsee is master, bound to Barbadoes." || 

Subsequently, similar items were recorded, apparently with- 
out order, possibly in compliance with some rule or regulation 
adopted by the town. A memorandum, dated June 30, 1716, 
states that six horses " are to be shipt for Antega § on board 
y*^ sloop Ann, whereof M"" Benajah Titcomb sen"" is master." || 

August 4, I 716 eight horses shipped on the brigantine now lying in 
the harbor of Newbury, bound for Antega, Michael Hodge, master. || 

August 14, 1 716 shipped six horses on ye ship Pegge, whereof Mr. 
John Davis is present master & now riding at anchor in the harbor of 
Newbury & bound for Barbadus.|| 

May 30, 1 724 shipped two horses on board ye sloop dove bound to 
ye Leeward Islands, Mr. Michael Hodge master. || 

♦History of Andover (Bailey), p. 58. 

t Town of Newbury Records. J " Ould Newbury," p. 2S1. 

II Recorded on a tiy-leaf of the Town of Newbury Records. 

§ Antigua, one of the Leeward Islands, included in the group known as the Lesser Antilles. 


February 4, 1724-5 shipped two horses by the sloop Dove now at 
anchor in the Merrimack bound for the West Indies, Michael Hodge, 

September 1 728 Shipped four horses on board ye sloop called the 
Friends Adventure, bound for the West Indies.* 

March 4, 1 730-1 shipped two horses on board a ship now riding at 
anchor in ye River Merrimack caled the Falmouth bound to Antega, 
William King, master.* 

October 25, 1736 shiped on board ye good sloope Elizabeth, now rid- 
ing at anchor in ye River Merrimack & by ye grace of God bound for 
Antega, Mr. Thomas Johnson, master, twelve horses from four to eight 
years old.* 

Liberty to build a wharf and dock " about Watts his cellar " 
was granted Capt. Paul White in 1655 ; and similar grants 
were made to Richard Dole, Nathaniel Clark, Stephen Green- 
leaf, Daniel Davison, and others previous to January i, i/OO.f 

March 9, 1 730-1 the town granted liberty to William Johnson and 
nine others to build a wharf at the foot of Chandlers lane [now Federal 
street, Newburyport] on condition it be built within four years and that 
the inhabitants of Newbury may fasten their hay boats or gondolas to 
said wharf without paying for it. J 

On the same day, Abiel Somerby and others were granted 
liberty to build a wharf at the foot of Queen street, now 
Market street, Newburyport, on similar conditions. The 
wharf at the foot of Chandler's lane was probably built within 
the time named in the grant ; but Abiel Somerby and the 
men associated with him failed to comply with the conditions 
imposed upon them, and May 18, 1738, Joseph Atkins, Joseph 
Titcomb, John Ordway, and many others were granted liberty 
to build the wharf "at the lower end of Queen street." % 

At that date there w^as a ship-yard near the foot of Muzzey's 
lane, now Marlboro street, Newburyport, occupied by Gideon 
Wood well and afterwards by his son and grandson. Ralph 
Cross had a yard between Muzzey's lane and Chandler's lane, 
at or near the lumber yard now owned and occupied by 
Edward Perkins & Co., Newburyport ; and Samuel Moggaridge 
was engaged in ship-building nearly opposite the southeasterly 

* Recorded on a fly-leaf of the town of Newbury Records. 

t" Ould Newbury," pp. 151-163. J Town of Newbury Records. 


end of Carr's island, at the foot of what was then Poore's, 
afterwards Moody's, lane, now Merrimack court, Newbury- 

Robert Barrett boui;ht of Thomas Bartlett, in 1732, about 
an acre of land in the vicinity of Bartlett's cove, where he sub- 
sequently built several small vessels.* In the inventory of 
his estate, dated September 30, 1742, his dwelling-house, 
workshop, " and Timber, Plank and other stuff in His Build- 
ing Yard," were appraised at ^300, and carpenter tools at 

Samuel Moggaridge agreed, November 30, 1741, to build a 
vessel for Witter Cummings and Benjamiif Harris,:j: to be 
paid for on the following terms and conditions : — 

Three hundred pounds in Cash, three hundred pounds on good ships 
in Boston, two- thirds money; four hundred pounds by orders up the 
river for timber and plank, ten barrels of flour, fifty pounds weight of 
loaf sugar, one Bagg of cotton wool, one hundred bushels of corn in 
the spring : one hhd. of Rum, one hundred weight of cheese ; the 
remaining part to be drawn out of the said Cummings & Harris' shop. . . . 
Three thousand pounds lawful money of New England to be paid by 
the defective party. § 

For more than twenty years, Samuel Moggaridge was a 
prominent ship-builder in Newbury. He owned several negro 
slaves, and was evidently interested in agricultural pursuits. 
He had farms in Salisbury, Dracut, and Pelham, and was also 
the owner of a large tract of land in Narragansett township. 
In his will, dated October 30, 1753, and proved April 8, 
1754, he gave to his wife the use of the dwelling-house where 
he then lived, with one-quarter part of the income of his real 
estate in Newbury and Salisbury. To his son Samuel he 
gave the farm in Dracut and a silver punch-bowl, " to be kept 
in the family from generation to generation." Silver tea- 
spoons, silver tongs, and other silver utensils were divided 
among the children, " son Stephen excepted." || 

* Essex Deeds, book Ixi., leaf 263. t Probate Records, book cccxxv., p. 71. 

+ Messrs. Cummings and Harris resided in Newburj-, and were large importers of foreign 
merchandise. They were prominent members of St. Paul's church at its organization in 1738, 
and were elected wardens or vestrj-men of the church for m.iny years. (" Ould Newbury," 
pp. 398-400.) 

§ History of Newburyport (Mrs. E. Vale Smith), p. 72. 

II Essex Probate Records, vol. cccxx.\ii., p. 183. 


Oak and pine timber, suitable for ship-building, was sent 
from Newbury to England in the form of rafts, skilfully con- 
structed and equipped with masts and sails, and manned by 
a crew of courageous seamen. The following notice, pub- 
lished in an English paper in 1770, announced the arrival of 
one of these rafts at London : — 

The Newbury, Capt Rose, from Newbury, in New England, lies at 
the Orchard House Blackwall. The above is a raft of timber, in the 
form of a ship, which came from Newbury to soundings in twenty-six 
days, and is wortliy the attention of the curious.* 

Ship-building iOn the Merrimack river was very active at 
that date, and several new ship-yards were established in that 
part of Newbury known as " Belleville." 

Benjamin Coffin bought of Moses Coffin, June 6, 1763, 
about eight acres of land " on y^ Lane commonly called 
Coffins Lane," now Jefferson street, Newburyport, and built 
several vessels there. f 

April 17, 1770, Isaac Freese sold to Stephen Coffin land 
in Newbury "joyning to Benjamin Coffins Building yard, so 
called, by Merrimack River"; and April 8, 1774, EHzabeth 
Freeze sold " to the said Stephen Coffin, land on a way lead- 
ing to Carrs ferry, so called," bounded northwesterly "on 
Benjamin Coffins Building yard." % 

The statement that Stephen Coffin built two gunboats for 
the United States government in 18 13 is probably incorrect, 
as he became financially embarrassed in 1807, and was 
obliged to dispose of his real estate and personal property. § 

At the close of the Revolutionary war, Jacob Coffin was 
engaged in ship-building at or near Moggaridge's point. 
April 5, 1 78 1, he bought of Joseph and Samuel Poor land 

♦Coffin's History of Newbury, p. 236. 

t Essex Deeds, book cxii., leaf 192. $Ibid., book cxxviii., leaf 153 ; and book cxliii., 
leaf 178. 

§ Essex Deeds, book clxxxi., leaf 226; also, book clxxxv., leaf 113. The gunboats were 
probably built in the vicinity of Boston. The Newburyport Herald and Country Gazette, pub