Everett Schermerhorn Stackpole.

History of the town of Durham, New Hampshire : (Oyster River Plantation) with genealogical notes online

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petitions. The first is signed by persons living nearer to the
Falls and was read 11 November 17 15:

To the Hon"!'' Geo. Vaughan, Esq., Lieut. Gov, Councill & representatives,
convened in General Assembly; The Humble Petition of his Maj»'«« good
subjects, ye Inhabitants of that part of the town of Dover commonly
called Oyster river. Most humbly shewcth:
Whereas by mutuall agreem* the Inhabitants of Oyster River have, for
many years past, made choice of their own Minister & paid his salary, accord-
ing to y conditions of s"* agrcem» as it appears in Dover town book of records,
reffcrence thereto being had, & that y selectmen of y town in generall, (two
whereof have been annually chosen W-in y» district of Oyster River) have all



along made rates for y« severall ministers & taken care that the same be paid
to yf sd ministers according to the sallaries they have been agreed w"" for,
untill of late (viz.) y« last year's rate is either by y= neglect of y Constable
or y^ selectmen, or both, so retarded, that y= minister wants subsistence;
nor can we understand that y selectmen have or are ab« to make any rate this
year for y minister; so that, either some few of us must maintain a minister
or we must be W'out one & return to Dover again, w«'' was thought a hardship
more than forty years ago; & a liberty granted as above; & much more hard
will it be now we are increased to double the number we then were; so that
we most humbly pray yo^ Hon" will please to send for y Constable & select-
men to answer for y= neglect as above, & that we may have pow granted us,
as yo' Hon" were pleased at first to grant unto y Parish of Newington, (viz.)
to chuse three or five p'sons annually, w^t being chosen by a majority of voices
present at such election, may assess & tax y Inhabitants of our s^ Parish pro-
portionably in a rate for y« discharging such a sallary as the Parish shall agree
to settle upon any minister of the Gospell that we at p'sent have, or hereafter
may be fixed amongst us; Likewise, that we may have pow to choose & settle
a schoolmaster upon such terms as we shall agree, w^iout any other regard
to the town in generall than that y^ Constable annually chosen at the general
town meeting for collecting ye Prov: tax in our district, may also collect our
Parish dues; And yo^ Petitioners shall ever pray, as in Duty bound,
Presented by Nath. Hill in behalf of ye subscribers.

Jeremiah Burnham

Stephen Jones
Elias Critchett
Sampson Doe
Joseph Dudey
John Burnham
David Davis
Abraham Bennick
John X Gray, — mark
John Rawlins
James Bickford
Sami X Perkins — mark
Will-X Duly,— mark
John Doe
John York
Joseph Chesley
John X Cromell, — mark
John Buss, jun.
Philip Chesley
Joseph Davis
John Tompson, sen.
John Smith
Will " Jackson
David Kincaid
Jonathan Chesley
\^alentine Hill
Ichabod Chesley, jun.
Thomas Alin

Elias Critchet, jun.

James Nock

John Tompson

Joseph Jones

John Chesley

John x Sias, — mark.

Job Renholds

Sami Chesley, jun.

Sam ' X Chesley, — mark

Cornelius Drisco

Rob' Burnham

Peter Mason

Jon a Simpson

Rob* Tompson

Sam« Hill

John X Renalls, — mark

Josh» X Davis, — mark

Moses Davis, jun.

Will" Leathers

Francis Pitman

Ely Demeritt

Naphtali Kincaid

James Jackson

Tho: Wille

James Burnham

Rob' Hugglns

Jon» Woodman

[N. H. Province Papers, Vol. Ill, pp. 606-07..


As a result of the above petition the assembly ordered that the
selectmen of Dover should "call to an account Jos. Davis, ye
last years Constable for that town, in ye district of Oyster River"
and see that he pay the money which he was obliged by the town
warrant to collect, and that the selectmen see that a sufficient
amount should be assessed for the support of the present minis-
ter, Mr. Buss, "untill another minister shall be called and settled
in his room." This shows that John Buss had been regularly
installed and had just claims upon the parish.

The following counter petition was presented by persons living
nearer to the Point :

To the Honourable Governour Councell and Representatives Convened in
Generall Assembly-

Whereas there is a petition Laid before your honours By part of the Inhabi-
tants of oyster River Expecting thereby to Serve their own Interest though
it be with much hardship to their Neighbours

We the Subscribers being Residents or free holders within those districts
as in petition mentioned do humbly Referr to your Consideration these things
as Reasons of objection against the said petition

1 That we ought to have had knowledge and to have Conferred with them
about the said petition and whereas they kecpt it private from us it Showeth
a Secret plotting and Contriving against our Interest

2 That Some of their Subscribers as we Suppose are neither Residents
nor freeholders within the said districts

3 That Some of their Subscribers do denye part or all the petition

4 That if your honours Should See good to grant the Said Petition we being
farmars Shall then be So bound up within those districts not haveing Room
to advance our Estates — that we Shall not be able to subsist our familyes
and to mentain a minister honourai^Iy

5 That a Settled Schoolmaster will be of no Service to us in teaching our
Children because we do Live so Remote and are also divided with a River and
Creeks — but rather as we have hitherto done to hire a Schoolmaster for our-
selves and our adiacant neighbours

6 We are very well Satisfyed with our towns general Election of Select men
Seeing we have two within our districts who are well acquainted with our affairs
and we do count it hardship to be denyed our former privilidg

these Reasons we give haveing many others which we are Loath to trouble
your honours withal — we humbly hope that you will not grant their petition —
Except it be only to the petitioners and pleas to grant us the Libcrtyes that
our fathers had first Settled in this place



We Remain your most

1 Thomas Edgerley Sen

2 John Meder Sen

3 Edwerdus Wakeham

4 Thomas Drew

5 John Daniell

6 Joseph Meder

7 Ichabod foUet

8 Joannes bunker

9 John Williams

10 Nathancal Laimmos

11 william hill

12 Henry Rines

13 John Edgerley

14 Francis Malhes

15 Richard denbo

16 thomas Rines

17 Samuel Williams

18 Beniamen bodge

19 Sam" Smith

20 John meder Ju

21 nicoles meder

22 Jno ambler

23 Moses davis Juner

24 John daves Sen

25 timmothy davis

26 Stephen Jonsones
2"] John Bickford

28 beniamin mathes

29 Joseph Edgerly

30 John willes Senior

31 John Rand

32 John wille juner

33 John Pender

34 Beniamen Pender

Humble Servants

35 John footman sener

36 John Smith jun^


37 william X durgin


38 James Thomas

39 Sallathan denbo

40 John: Smith Jun^

41 Samuill wille

42 francies Mathes Jun'

43 william pitman

44 John Rand

45 Samuel Edgerley

46 Joseph Kent

47 Thomas footman

48 Joseph Stevenson

49 William Glines

50 Batholomew Stevenson

his mark

51 James F Lingley

52 william wormwood

53 Eleazar Bickford

54 Amos pinkham

55 James Davis Juner


56 John M Mondro


57 Thomas Davis

58 Danel Mishorve

59 Daniel Davies

60 Joseph ginkens

61 James Davis the Son of Moses

N. H. Town Papers, XI, 567.]

This petition was probably presented to the Council by Messrs.
Jn° Meader and John Ambler, 20 December 1715, or 6 January
1715/6, when they appeared to prosecute the "Counter Petition."
It was followed by further petitions which are here presented :


To the Honbi« Geo: Vaughan Esq L» Gov & Command' in Cheif, to ye Hon*'*
the Council! & representatives of his Maj""' Prov: of N. Hamp", Con-
vesned in Gen' Assembly: —
The Petition of his Maj»'«' Good Subjects sundry y« Inhabitants of y« Parish

of oyster river, w'l" in the township of Dover —

Most Humbly sheweth —


That, Agreeable to yo' hoir resolve (in Janr last for allowing y Inhabitants
of ye Parish of oysterivcr till y° first sessions, of y Gen': Assembly, after
y» tenth of March next ensuing y s^ Jan^y in ord^: to a friendly agreement &
settlem' of y differenc"es among themselves,) We, the Subscrib" being In-
habitants of ye sii Parish of oyster river, or y maj' part of us, have had a meet-
ing in s"* Parish, at vv'' time & place, we chose a Committe, & impowered
them ye s^ Committe, as far as in us lay, to meet & treat w"" a Committe
from our adverse Pho in ord"^ to y reconciling all misunderstandings iS: differ-
ences in s<i Parish. The s^ Committes had a meeting accordingly: tho alto-
gether ineffectual & to no purpose, as we find by y* return of y« s^ Committe
on our behalf: Wherefore, we Psume once more to Address yo"' hon" for yo'
resolves on this matter as soon as yo' hon" in yo^ wisdom shall see meet:
(viz') y we may be impowered to call a Parish meeting, in ord' to y doing
wh« may be necessary & proper for y obtaining & Settling a minist"- W' in our
s"! Parish: for y y« means Pscribed by yo"' Hon" for a reconciliation to be
made among ourselves, has proved of none effect, & we plainly seeing y a
further suspension of yo - Hon" determination of this matter will much rather
widen, than narrow this breach. Inasmuch, as our cheif end & design is y«
speedy settlem' of a learned & authordox minist' among us, that we may no
longer be sheep without a shepherd, but y we may be in the use of means for
ye Promotion of Christianity; web jg what our neighbours in ye low part of our
Parish are mainly making their Court against, w"^ is plainly demonstrable
by their overtures made, which they so strenuously stand to, for a complyance
w"', (viz«) y a minister be treated w"" to preach at both meeting houses,
alternately w">in s"" Parish, wet ig go forreign from reason y y" is no unpre-
judiced rationall man but w^ will condemn so impracticable a project. — Our
Neighboring Parish, in y same town w"" our selves are now destitute of a
minist"- as we are, who not long since had a settled ordained minisf among
them, & who lost them upon no other consideration than for being urged &
solicited to preach at two Places, wet he said was so unnreasonable & hard upon
him, as he could not Comply w't thereupon lost them: Now can it be reason-
able to expect one man to settle und'- such disadvantages & hardships wet
was ye Pure cause of ye removal of another; & again y requesting a minist'
to preach at two places, is so rare y tis scarce to l)c heard of, once in an age,
& then you are as certain to hear a denyal as y y thing was asked w-^^ Consid-
eration (in our opinion) might have been a Sufiicient disswasive to our Counter
Petitioners, from insisting on so unreasonable a point: & thus ye case stands.

May it Please yo' Hon".

We who have been at ye charge of ye new meeting house, so far as ye same
is built (S finished, have offered it to be a Parish house, w't this Proviso, y
all ye Inhabitants wf in s<i Parish Joyn w"- us in ccjuall proportion complcatly
to finish it & agree constantly to maintain ye Publick worship of God therein
On ye Lords day, wet s<i house stands in ye most convenient & proper place
w<tin sd Parish for ye accommodation of all ye Inhabitants in Gen': that now
are, or hereafter may be settled w"'in the same: — As to any information wei"
y Hon" may have had relating to y Scituation of S'' meeting house, its being
near y« head line of our Parish, they are false suggestions, for tis a positive
truth, & in no wise to be doubted, y our new meeting house stands nearer to



y« low part of s-i Parish, or next y sea, by two miles, than ic doth to our head
line, so y if y s^ house is not well situated tis because it is not far upw<i enough
towd our head line, & tis certain y' what further settlemi't' there will be in s**
Parish, or besure most of them will be above s^ meeting house w^*" is argued
from y« far greater quantity of land's being above, than w' is below s^ house,.

Nath> Hill

Ichabod Chesle

Jaramiah Burnham

Samuel Cheslie

Stephen Jones

Samuel Ches'le Juner

Joseph Jones

John Chesle

Jonathan Woodman

William Letheres

his mark

John Smith

James davis

Philip Chesle

Elias Critchett Ju

William Jackson

Elias Critchett

Volintine Hill

Abraham bennick

John Footman

Eley demeret Jun'- .

Samson Doo

James Jakson

Cornalus Drisco

Thomus Wille

David Lyntard

Peter Mason

James Thomas

James Burnum


John § Gray

Thomas Allen



Job Renels

John Crommet


Robard Burnnuni

Joseph Davis

John Burnum


John York

William X Durgin

timothy Connor


his mark


John s munsie

Jonathan Chesle

his mark


Timothy T Moses

John Buss Juner

Joseph Daniel

John J Sias

Edward Letheres Siner

James Bikford


John Doo

Joseph Chesle

William duly

James durgin

Robert Huckins

James Nock

Samuel X Wille

Robart tomson

John Rawlings


John tomson

John Davies

Joshua Davis

William burly

Josep Dudy



John + Runals

frances X footmarL




"A Petition Psened by John Ambler In behalf of sundry the

Inhabitants of Oysteriver May 2*^ 1716." Evidently written

b\- Elder Ambler himself in a neat quaint handwriting with

small characters.

To the Honourable Lif' Gouernour Councell and Representatiues conuened
in generall Assembly:

May it please your honours

Whereas our brethren and neighbours with whome we would gladly haua
had the oppertunity of agreeing according to your honours aduice haue now
made their Second address to your honours by way of petition as if they are
Rather willing to Inuade our priuiledg than to Comply by a brotherly or neigh-
bourly agreement

We therefore his Maiestyes good and orderly Subjects do humbly Answer
and Reply against their Second petition — as also Intimateing against their
disorderly Carryings on — thus —

First — If our Late pastor at douer haue Left his Flock and people for Ends
best known between god and himself and haueing Some Infermity of body did
according to his thoughts declare that he supposed that his present Infermity
might come by Reason of his often going between the two meeting houses
we Referr this to your honours Consideration — whether his body was brought
down by trauell — or whether the fatness and grossness of his body might
not rather signifye to us that more Bodily Exercise might haue been helpfull
against his Disease — it may be necessary therefore that we may all Consider
the hand of god in it — that when the people began to trouble one another
and to Inuade one anothers priuiledg then it pleased our god to Send our pastor
away — for the great Shepherd & Command is that his pastor Sheep should
Liue in Loue — therefore we do humbly hope that your honours will not
account this any Reason why their petition Should be granted.

2 Where.\s the Honoured Gouernour and Councell was pleased to alow
us time to make ofTers of agreement to one another — we did offer to our neigh-
bours ouerlooking their disorder in their building of their meeting hous — that
if they would help us to build a ministers house on the personage that we
would agree that the meeting should he Every other Sabbath day at the old
meeting house untill Such time as we do build a new one and then to haue the
meeting continued by turns att the two new meeting houses — and now whereas
we haue ofTered so friendly and Brother Like to our neighbors whodo Endeauour
to Inuade our priviledg we humlily hope that your honours may Consider
that our ofTer to them is not only fair but that we do Condescend and stoop
to them in the same — and therefore that you will not see good to put us to
any hardship or hazards by granting their petition —

3 Where.\s our brethern and neighbors with whome we would gladly all
along haue Joyned if they had gone to work orderly — and had placed their
meeting hous something for our Conueniency and had not Set it so unreason-
ably beyond the Center of the Inhabitants haue now petitioned for a parish
meeting we do with Submition to your honours humbly answer that as they
haue without order or government built themselves a meetinghouse we do
not desire to Inuade their priuiledg in the ^ame neither are we willing to
agree or Consent to a parish meeting in order to the Establishing of that
meeting house that is Erected and built without either gouerment or order —
but as we haue followed ihe order of our town and haue Closed with douer



and haue theieby met with the advantage of mentaining our own piiuiledg
also at oyster Riuer Lowei meeting house by the Condecention and Labours
of the reuerend and faithfull Mr mathew Short — we do therefore humbly
hope that your honours will not see good to deny or deprive us of our priuiledg
and our Choyc till Such time as our neighbours minds do come down to a
Christian Complyance

1 FFRANCEs Mathes ] in behalf

2 Jno Ambler I of

3 Joseph Meder | the
Aprill ye y<-*' 1716. 4 John Williams J Rest

We being conuened Together February ye 20"" I7xf

These are to Certifye al men whom it may Ccncern That we the Subscribers
together with the men whome we do make Choyse of do Endeauor to stand
by our priuiledge in the ministry of the gospell in the Lower part of oyster
River and we the subscribers do meke choyce of and appoint four men or so
many of them as Shall be needfull. namely Seig Joseph Meder jur Frances
Mathes John Williams and John amblei to try to agree with our neighbours
at the head of the Riuer in order to an honourable agreement between us and
our neighbouis. That we may by the blesing of god haue the gospell settled
amongst us

John Maider
his X mark
Thomas Edgerley
William pirkins
his mark
Joseph Kent
John Wille
Thomas Footman
Thomas Drew
Moses Dauis Jun.
James Langle
James Dauis Jun"^
Stephen Jenkens
John Bickford
John Kent
Beniamin Finder
Beniamin Mathes
William Pitman
William Wille
Joseph Stephenson
Samuell Wille
John Daniall
Samuel Edgerle
Francis Mathes
John Dauis sen
John Wille Jun
Edward Wakeham
timothy daues
Nicolas Meder
peter denmor
Eleazar Bickford
William Clay

John Edgerly
William glines
John rand
Ichabod follet
Thomas Dauis
daniel dauis
Joseph hix
Beniamin bodge
William Hill
Samuel Williams
Thomas Rines
Joseph Bickfort
William Wormwod
Salathan Denmoor
Abraham mathes
John pinder
abraham Stephenson
Joseph Edgerley
Samuel Adams
Daniel Misharve
Napt. Kinkct
PI— (illegible)
Philip Duly S
Philip Duly J
Joseph Meder Jun
John Williams
John footman
Robard Kent
Beniamin footman
Joseph footman
Joseph Danel iunr
Joseph Jenkins


This petition was copied from the original document lent by
Isaac W. Hammond — the original orthography preserved.

The original is now in possession of New Hampshire His-
torical Society.

The House voted, 4 May 17 16:

That y<^ agreement of y< towns of Douer \v"> ye part of y« loun called Oyster
river ab' maintaining a minister among them at their own cost and charge be
confirmed; & that y" new meeting house buill there be y° place of y public
worship of God in that District, and esttiblisheda Distinct parish with all rights
and privileges belonging to a Parish, wi" full power & authority to call & settle
a minister theie & make assessm' for y paym< of his Sallary & all other Parish
charges, equally on y» several inhabitants within y district & annually to
chuse five p'sons, freeholders wMn said Parish, to make y« tax & manage all
affairs of the Parish, & y p'sons so chosen, %'"> a Justice of the Peace of this
Province shall, whenever they see cause, call a Parish meeting to transact any
matt" concerning y« Parish, & y y first meeting be on Monday y« 14th instant,
at y« afoiesd New meeting-house, & y John Thompson, y present Constable
of that distiict, notify y inhabitants y« of; and further, that all p'sons that
have of late years paid to y minister there, shall continue to pay y proportion
to him y shall succeed in s<i office.

By order of the house of Representatives,

Theo Atkinson, Cler.

Another petition, presented in 17 17 and favorably considered
was as follows :

The Petition of sundry of the Inhabitants of Oyster River in Dover, most
humbly sheweth: That, Whereas sometime about a year and a half agoe, a
Petition was then preferred to the General Assembly then sitting at Ports-
mouth, by several of our neighbors in said place to be made a District of them-
selves, — which being wrongly represented unto said Assembly, a vote thereupon
was passed in both Houses, which being very prejuditial unto the Interest of
the whole: —

Your Petitioners therefore do' humbly Pray that as there was only a vote,
but no Act passed, that there may be a fair hearing of the whole matter before
your Excellency in Council, that in \ our wisdom you may see good to Reverse
the same; and that a reasonable proportion of land may be allotted us from
the township of Dover, for a more amicable agreement between each other
in carrying on the Worship of God; And seeing we have two meeting houses,
we humbly pray that in wisdom you will so determine, that the Inhabitants



may go to each of them every other meeting day; And your petitioners shall
ever pray.

Thomas Edgerly
Thomas Drew
John Pinder

William Gloyns

Joseph Edgerle
Joseph Kent
John Footman
John Danel
John Kent
Samuel Edgerly
Benjamin Pinder
Benjamin Footman
Robert Kent
John Davis
Joseph Danel
Eleazer Bickford
Stephen Jenkins
Benjamin Mathes
James Langle
Francis Mathes, jun.
Nathaniel Randal
Samuel Davis
John Williams, jun.
Joseph Hix
Benjamin Body
James Davis, junr.
Samuel Williams
Bartholomew Stephenson
Zacharias Edgerly

Moses Davis, jun:
John Rand
Edward Graham
[Wakeham] -
Abraham Mathes

John Bickford
William Wormwood
Joseph Bickford
Thomas Footman
Joseph Stephenson
Joseph Footman
Thomas Davis
Francis Mathes
William Hill
Daniel Misharve
Joseph Jenkins
Henery Rines
Daniel Davis
Thomas Rains
James Davis
Abraham Stephenson
John Edgerle
Solomon Davis
Salathiel Denbo
William Clary
Ichabod Follet
William Rains
Samuel Smith
Philip Duly
John Williams
John Ambler

Joseph Nudder

In consequence of this petition we find the following voted
9 May 1718,

Whereas, the Parish of Oyster River, in Dover, have by a petition p'ferred
to the Geni Assembly prayed that the ministry W-in s<i Parish may be settled,
so as may best accommodate the inhabitants of s-^ Parish,

Voted, That the Minister for the time being do preach at both the old and
new Parish meeting-houses alternately in s^ Parish, excepting the three winter
months, w'' shall be left to the choice of s^ minister. [Provincial Papers, III,

The Rev. Hugh Adams records, under date of 8 June 1718,
"Lord's day (at my first preaching in the old meeting house,


by order of the Government) baptized Abraham Ambler, son of
Bro. John Ambler of Quochecho Ch," and again, under date of
19 October 1718, "at the old meeting house, then and there, he
being propounded in the Congregation publicly, the preceding
Sabbath for the same Office, and no person objecting in the mean
time, John Ambler, one of the Brethren of the Church, by the
Major votes, was chosen Deacon thereof." "The parsonage
lot where the old meeting house formerly stood" is mentioned in

A public parish meeting, held i April 1717, voted that Rev.
Hugh Adams should be their minister at a salary of £100 and use
of the parsonage, and ten acres of land granted by the town,
and £70 for his settlement to be paid within two years. The
committee met Mr. Adams soon after above date "in the eastern
chamber of Capt. Hill's house" and agreed with him for a salary
of £104. half of which was to be paid at the end of each six
months, according to depositions made by Joseph Davis, senior,
and Abraham Bennick, senior, in 1733. [See Court Files at Con-
cord, N. H.]

The church at the Falls was organized and the Rev. Hugh
Adams was installed 26 March 1718, though Mr. Adams had been

Online LibraryEverett Schermerhorn StackpoleHistory of the town of Durham, New Hampshire : (Oyster River Plantation) with genealogical notes → online text (page 16 of 34)