Benjamin Chase.

History of old Chester [N. H.] from 1719 to 1869 online

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be Committed to said house, that they may be Kept to
work and be Proceeded with as the Law Directs."

Probably this was never carried into execution.

1764. It was " voted that James Fullerton's Rates be
given him for the year past. The Congregational parish
also abated their tax against him. He lived in Raymond.
" It was on account of his house being burnt."

John Robie, Nathan "Webster and Andrew Jack were
chosen a committee to settle about highways in Raymond
and make return. They made return March 6, 1766.

" This day agreed upon by us the Subscribers, being
Chosen by the Town of Chester and Parrish of Raymond
as Committees to settle the Debates about the Highways
and all things that was Debatebell from the Beginning of
the world to this Dav : viz., that Ravmond is to have all
the Reserves that is left in that Parrish for Highways to
convert them to that use, ajid to Pay all Demands made
and to be made for Highways in Said Parrish ; and Like-
wise that the Parrish of Raymond is to Have their pro-
portion of money that was in Bank when they were
Incorporated as a Parrish. as "Witness our hands. The
line between Chester and Raymond is Excepted.

" John Cram, ""

Ezekel Lane, 1 Committee for Chester

John Robie, [ and Raymond."

Nathan Webster, J

"Voted, That the Parrish of Candia shall have the
Priviledge to Dispose of all the Common Land left for


highways within the said Parrish as they see Cause as fully
as the Town authority to do, on Condition that the Said
Parrish shall Pay all the Demands for the Highways
already Laid out in Said Parrish, and Lay out and Support
all for the future ; and that the selectmen of Chester take
Security of the selectmen of Candia for their Performing
the above mentioned."

1765. " Voted, That the Parrish of Candia shall Have
their proportion of the money that was in Bank when they
•were Incorporated by the Court act Lito a Parrish."

There were votes passed by the Congregational parish
respecting seating the meeting-house, and the singers sit-
ting together, for which, see the Ecclesiastical History.

The Presbyterians voted to fence their graveyard.

1766. The town voted that the j)arisli of Candia should
have their proportion of the money that was in bank when

Standard weights and measures were obtained this year
at a cost of <£6.

Mr. Flagg's salary, wood and all, was <£60 lawful money.

Samuel and Daniel Martin's taxes abated. They lived
at Martin's Ferry.

Appended to the warning for the Preshyterian parish
meeting was, " Tlie Parish is desired to Consider what they
will do In Regard to some Person to take Care to sweap
the meeting-house and shut the Doors for time to come."
Mr. Wilson's salary was to continue to be .£800, old
tenor, or .£40 lawful money. . Mr. Wilson was to preach at
the Long Meadows, as formerly.

"Voted, that william White, Junior, John Moors,
James mills, Robert mills, Thomas White, James Gra-
ham, mark Karr, Hugh Shirlee, James Grims at the long
meadow, John mac farland, moses mac farland, Daniel
witherspoon, Alexander withers])Oon, Joshua moors, Jon-
athan moors, David wilson, Joseph Dunlap, James Dunlap,
Cliarles moors, Robert fursyth, John wilson, william Shir-
ley, John frain, is to have Liberty to Build Salts or Pews In
the Gallery Beginning at the north Corner, & from thence
all along the west Eend next the wall. Clear a Cross to the
south west Corner, from thence along the south side next


the wall as far as the Post that goes up from the south
East Corner of major Tolford's Pew."

1767. There is nothing of note on the records this year.

1768. In the warning for the annual meeting of the
Congregational parish was an article " to See if the parish
will Grant moses marshal and the other Petitioners thair
Request in this article (viz.), to See if the parish will vote
that the meeting house Doors Shall be opened to any ortho-
dox minister to Preach in the Pulpit when Providentially
passing throw the town, and Desired by a number of Peo-
pel to preach, or when Sent for by a number of Persons to
Preach when it Does not Interfere upon y^ Rev'' mr. Flagg's
Stated Exercise." Passed in the negative.


1769. Up to this time the province had not been divided
into counties, but the records were kept and all the courts
were held at Portsmouth. There was quite an exciting
discussion on the subject, in which the old contest between
the prerogatives of the crown and the rights of the people
came up. August 21, 1767, the House resolved to divide
the province into four counties, and establish courts. The
Council said two counties were enough, and that it was the
prerogative of the King's Governor to establish courts. Each
house proposed lines of division which the other nega-
tived. The King was appealed to, and he gave leave to
have the House pass a bill subject to his revision, and
recommended five counties, which was finally agreed to.
Then there was a contest about the places of holding the
courts, Portsmouth claiming all in this county, and Exeter
claiming a part ; and there was a dispute in Hillsborough
county between Amherst and Merrimack. There was a
petition with seventy-six signatures, sent from Chester just
before the passage of the bill, praying to be annexed to
Hillsborough county, which the House was inclined to
grant, but the Council rejected. There was a like petition
from Londonderry, and some other towns. Finally April
27, 1769, a bill passed, though the counties were not
organized until 1771.


1770. At the annual town meeting,

" Voted, that tlie upper part of the Town Next to Pem-
brook Have the Liberty to build a Pound where it shall
best siiit the Inhabitants, Provided they Do it upon their
own Cost and Charge, and from time to time support and
maintain the Same Without any Cost or Charge to the said

The following is a copy of a warrant to a surveyor of

highways :

To M^ James Wilson Servayer of the Highways for the
town of Chester :

We order you to repair and Keep in good repair the High-
ways (viz.), From Dr. John ordways Barn Down the old rode
to Sandown line, and that rode ])y James waddels to Sandown
line ; and that rode between Jethro Colbys and Hugh Wil-
sons land, round by widow longs to widow worthcns, and
that rode by Timothy Wells to the main rode, with the
Hands tliat live in said rodes.

by order of us,

John Robee, ^ Selectmen.
And''' Jacke, > of

Chester Apr. 16, 1770, Nath. Webster, ) Chester.

All the men in town were rated to pay one or the other
of the ministers. This year Samuel Martin, Daniel Mar-
tin, John Martin, Caleb Dolton, and Daniel Foster, all of
whom lived near Martin's Eerry, had their parish rates
given in, on account of living so far from the meeting-

1771. At the September term of the Superior Court,
1771, Andrew Jack, Nathan Webster, and John Robie,
selectmen of Chester, were indicted for not having a gram-
mar school, Chester having more than one hundred fami-
lies. March term, 1772, Jack and Webster were fined
£10, and costs <£7 12.

This year the corn Avas nearly large enough to weed, and
was cut down by frost, the first day of June.

1772. At the annual town meeting, March 11**^,

" Voted, That for the Repair of Highways the present
year, tlieir shall Be Raised Seventy five pounds Lawful


" Voted, that the wages of Labour on the Highways shall
be two shillings per day."

The Congregational parish at their annual meeting,
March 28"',

" Voted to Buld a new meeting house by the parish
within two years from the Date of this meeting.

" Voted to Build a meeting house sixty feet long and
forty-five feet wide, and a suitable height, and that it be
built by the pews, so far as they shall go.

" Voted, that there shall be a Committee to Sell Said
pews within a convenient time, Sold for Bords, Shingle,
timber. Labour, or any article that is wanting for Said
meeting house, at cash price."

John "Webster, Esq., Jabez French, Saml. Emerson, Esq.,
Saml. B,obie, and Jabez Hoyt, were chosen to sell the pews
and build the house.

At a meeting, October 16th,

" Voted, to build a steple and porch to the New meeting
house, agreeable to the Plan.

"Voted, to Set the New meeting house upon the Land
that the Rev'^ mr. Flagg gave for that youse."

The house was built on land which Mr. Flagg bought of
Gov. Wentworth — his home lot. The deed is recorded,
Lib. 124, fol. 120, dated Oct. 15, 1772, and conveys
twenty-four square rods of land. The house faced the
southwest, the posts twenty-eight feet, I think, the steeple
at the northwest end some fifteen feet above the roof, and
and a spire, with a weather-vane in the form of a gilt
rooster, being more than one hundred feet high. The
windows were forty panes, seven-l)y-nine glass.

It was heavily timbered, and of first-rate materials, and
the work done in a thorough and workmanlike manner.
Over the pulpit was a sounding-board. In front of the
pulpit was a pew called the elders' seat, and in front of
that the deacons' pew, the occupants facing the congrega-
tion. On each side of the broad alley from the deacons'
pew, about half the width of the house, were seats some
fifteen feet long, made of plank, which were common or
free seats. The remainder was built into pews about six












feet square, and as high as a man's shoulders while sitting
on the seat. The pews were panel-work, with a row of
turned balusters about eight inches long near the top.
Three sides of the pews were seated, so that the congrega-
tion faced, sat sideways and back to the minister. The
seats turned up for convenience of standing during
prayers. At the close of the prayer there was quite a re-
freshing clatter by the falling of these seats. Nobody at
that day thought of sitting during prayers, excepting some
ver}^ infirm old woman, and she would arise before the
amen was pronounced. In the gallery there was a
tier of pews all around the walls of the house on three
sides, and one pew in the front of the gallery at each end
on the back side of the house. There was one pew at each
end of the southwest side of the door, for a negro pew,
which was not ornamented by balusters. The remainder
of the gallery was seated with long common seats. The
northwest end was for the men, the southeast end was
for the women.

There were on the ground floor forty-four pews, which
sold for £607 los. The highest was bought by Col. John
Webster for XoO ; the next by Abner Hills, for £25 16s.
Col. Webster bought four pews. In the gallery were
t.venty-two pews, which sold for £100 14s.

The house was a noble structure, and did credit to the
parish, the committee and the workmen.

At a parish meeting, March 30, 1774,

*' Voted to accept of the Committee's accompt that was
to build the New Meeting house.

" Voted, that the Rev'^ Mr. Eben"^ Flagg shall preach in
the New meeting house for the futeur.

" Voted, that the Rev'^ mr. Eben'' Flagg shall preach in
the New Meeting house the Next Sabbath Day."

A petition was preferred to the General Court by John
Patten and others, showing,

" That the Subscribers Being in Number the greatest Part
of a District or Parish Commonly Called the Long Mead-
ows, and that by a Vote of the Town at there Anuel Meet-



ing in the Month of March, A. D. 1753, Voted of for a
Parish By Certain Limited Bounds More Clearly Set forth
in Said Vote, the Coppy of Which Being Ready to Be Pro-
duced, Humbly Prayeth that Your Excellency & Honors
would be Pleased to Confirm & Establish Said Vote &
Bounds, and Grant Unto us all Parish Priviledges, with full
Power to Hier a Gospel Minister to Preach Unto us, or to
Settle & Ordain one over us for the Better Convenicncy of
our attending the Public Worship of God ; and your Peti-
tioners as in Duty Bound will Ever Pray.

Jolui Fatten,
Nath' Liim,
Robert Craig,
Jolin Orr,
Samuel Dinsmer,
Wells Chase,
Barnaid Bricket,
Stephen Dearborn,
Nathaniel Wood,
Joseph Calfe,
Samuel Bluut,

Mansfield McDoffy,

Daniel Witharspoou,
Anthony Stickney,
Robert Witharspoou,
David AVhitc,
William Letch,
!Moses Underbill,
Sam" Aiken,
Rob' Calf,
Hugh Crombie,
Thomas Sharley,
James Sharley, .
Samuol Sharley,
Wm. Brown, Junior,

Joseph Linne,
Caleb Hall,
Moody Chase,
Moses Hills,
David Witharspoou,
Peter Aiken,
James AVitherspoon,
Thomas Fowler,
Thomas Fowler, Junior,
Hugh Mc aflee,
Nath' Presby,

James -(- Horn,


Benja, Pierce,
Sam Pierce,
Robert McKinley,
Stephen Morel,
William McMaster,
Robert Gilcrest,
Joseph Dearborn,
Moses McFarland,
William Grimes,
John Grimes,
Adam Willson,
James Grimes."

"In Council Dec. 19, 1771. The foregoing Petition was
read and ordered to be sent down to the Hon'"'*^ Assembly.

Geo. King, Dep. Sec."


There was an order of notice upon this petition. Objec-
tions were made as follows :

It is answered by Andrew Jack, Henry Moore & 'Rob-
ert Wilson, in behalf of the Presbyterian Parish, That the
Petitioners joined with the rest of s*^ Parish in the Choice
of Rev. John Wilson for their minister, & voted him a
certain yearly salary ; and have been, and still are, satisfied
with his life and Doctrines, but for other Reasons desire to
be set off as a distinct Parish, altho they are convinced that
it is their duty to perform their contract with Said minister,
and did at a legal meeting held in Chester, mutually agree
with the rest of s** Parishioners in the lower End of the
Parish to have one half the Preaching for nine months
yearly, from the last day of March to the first day of De-
cember, during the time the said minister was able to
preach, and the remainder of his Preaching should be to
the People of the lower end of said Parish ; and that the
said Petitioners pay the sum of twenty pounds lawful
money Yearly during the ministry of said John Wilson,
and collect their part of the money themselves ; and the
Parishioners at the lower End of said Parish Then agreed
with the Petitioners to pay s'' Minister Twenty five pounds
like money Yearly during said Term, and collect the same

Now, we in behalf of the lower End of said Parish
have no objection to the prayer of said Petition being
granted, so far as respects their being set off as a distinct
parish, provided they continue to fulfil their agreement
before mentioned by paying s*^ minister duly, the said sum
by them agreed to pay him.

But inasmuch as the lower end of the Parish is utterly
incapable of maintaining a minister themselves, they pray
that the said Petitioners may not be freed from paying the
sum aforesaid agreeable to their before ment*' contract.

May 21, 1772.

Jan. 7, 1773, another petition was preferred by twenty-
nine of the former petitioners in which they repeat the
prayer of their former petition.

March 11, 1773, a counter petition, of which the fol-
lowing is an abstract, was preferred, showing that they had
formerly signed a petition, and that at a late public meet-
ing of the inhabitants of that part of the town voted almost


unanimously that the former petition should lie dormant ;
that it would not relieve them of their present troubles ;
that, instead of having the gospel preached twice a mouth,
they should not have it at all ; that the former petition was
clandestinely propagated among the inhabitants by design-
ing men. Therefore, they supplicate that the General
Court will view the former petition as propagated by a few
persons to gratify their own humor, <fec. Signed by

James Sharlay, Sam' Blunt,

John mcfarland, "William Craig,

James Litch, John Craig,

Manslield mcaffe, Thomas Sharley,

John Craford, Jermia Coner,

Moses Uuderhill, David Dinsmore,

Jolni Orr, Arthur Dinsmore,

William Yancc, Robert Dinsmore,

Matthew Templeton, Thos. mcmaster,

Robert Craig, Thos. McMaster, Jr.

Robert McKinly, "VVm. McMaster,

Stephen Merril, David Dickey,

Stephen Derben, Aaron Rollings,

Moody Chase, William Gilchrist,

Nathaniel wood, William Miller,

Joseph Derben, James Miller,

Moses Hills, Michael Gordon,

David Uuderhill, Andrew McFarland,

Da\'ld Cunningham, James McFarland.

In the House of Representatives May 13, 1773, this peti-
tion was heard, considered and dismissed.

•The following are the proceedings of the Presbyterian
parish in regard to the division of the parish. In a warn-
ing for a meeting of the Presbyterian parish, April 16,
1772, was an article " To Se if the Parish Will Chuse a
Committe, one part From the Lower End of the Parish,
and another part From the Uper End, to Endeavor to Settle
that the Parish May be one as formerly. That If this
Comitte Dos not agree, to Se if the Perish Will Chuse a
Committe To Opose the Petition latly caried into the Gen-
eral Cort, and to Act and Doe What They May think Best
for the Benefit of the Perish."



" Yoted, That thair Should be five men Chose as a Com-
mitte to settle the Parish.

" Matliew Forsaitli,
Thomas McMaster,
Robert Wilson,
Henry INIoor,
Joseph Lin,



For the

y Prisbetairen



" Agread Upon By the Subscribers Chosen as A Com-
mitte for the Prisbetairen Perish in Chester, Part from the
Lower End of the Town and part from the Long meadows,
So Caled ; Yiz., that the Long meadows part, So Caled, is
to have the one half of the Preaching for Nine Months
from the First of March to the First of December, During
the time that the Reverand John Wilson is Abel to Preach,
and the Remainder to the Lower End of the town ; and
that the Long Medows Party is to pay the Snme of twenty
pound Lawfull Money Yearly, During the Reverand John
Wilson's Minisstrey, and Colect That part of the Money
themselves, and the Lower End of the town to Pay twenty
five pound and Colect thair own Money themselves.

" Chester, Aprile the 20^\ 1772.

"N. B. Each Party Bound in Bonds to Perform the
above a Greemint, or aply to the Generil Cort to Estabelish
The agreement acording to the above Themselves.


For the

" Mathew Forsaith,
Thomas McMaster,
Robert Wilson,
Henery Moor, I Parish."

Joseph Lin, J

1773. The town " Yoted that their shall be a sufficient

Pound Built, and that the pound be set on the south side of

the Highway Near Dustin's shop." Col. Moses Dustin,

afterwards of Candia, was a blacksmith ; probably his

shop was somewhere to the south of the meeting-house.

" Yoted, That the Pound shall be at Least Thirty feet in
Length, and Twenty four feet in w^idth, and Seven feet
High ; the Sils and posts to be white oake, lined Six by
Eight, or Eight by Six ; the Rails to be Chesnut, Hued
four by five ; and the plates of yellow pine, Hued 6 by 8 ;
Braced at Each Corner from the sills to the Plates, and a
good gate to it."


It was voted that the town should pay jurymen one shil-
ling and sixpence per day, while attending the several
courts. The town voted to raise one hundred and five
pounds to repair highways.

There was an article in the warning " To see if the Town
will Raise any thing by vote on Houses, as their is no Law
for it without a vote of the town to tax them." Passed in
the negative.

Dec. 27, Thomas Wells, having in some way interfered
in some difficulty between John Tolford, son of Dea. Wil-
liam, and Betty Waddel, Tolford shot and killed him.
March term, 1774, he was tried, plead insanity, and acquit-
ted. He was so insane afterwards that he was kept in a
cage about forty years.


FROM 1774 TO 1800.

In a warning for a meeting, to be held July 19, 1774,
was this article : " To Chuse and Impower one or more
persons in our behalf to meet at Exeter the Twenty-first
Day of this Instant July, at ten of the Clock in the fore-
noon, To Joyn in the Choyes of Delegates for the Generell
Congress, to be holden at Philadelphia the first Day of
September next, to Devise and consider what measures will
be most advisable to be taken in order to Effect the Desired
End for the Establishment of our rights and Libertes upon
a Just and Soiled foundation ; and for the restoring of
union and harmony Between the mother Country and the
Colanies ; and to Contribute our proportion of the Ex-
pence of Sending ; that the Same may be Raised by Sub-
scriptions or other wise, and if Convenient Sent by the
person of our Town appoynted to Goe to Exeter. Our
proportion is five pound Eighteen Shillings Lawfull


"Voted, John "Webster, Esq., moderator for said meet-


" Voted, That their Shall be Two men Chosen to meet
at Exeter Tuesday next for the Ends mentioned in the
warning of said meeting.

" Voted, That John Webster, Esq^ and Cap* Robert Wil-
son Shall be the men.

" Voted, that their Shall be Raised by a Rate npon the
Inhabitents, as the Law Directs, the Sum of five pound
Eighteen Shillings Lawfull money to Defray the Charge of
the Deligates as mentioned in the warning."

1775. In a warning for a meeting to be held January
*23, 1775, were the following articles ;

" To See who the Town Will Chuse for Deputies in their
Behalf to meet at Exeter on Wednesday, the 25"" Day of
this Instant January, for the Choyes of Delegates to Rep-
resent this Province at Such Intended Congress as is above
mentioned ; and also to Impower Such Deputies when so
meet to Chose a Committee of their Body to proportion
the Sum Each Town ought to Pay Toward Sending Such

" To See if the Town will Vote to Pay the money that
was our proportion to Pay for the Charge of Sending Dele-
gates to the Continential Congress held at Pheledelfia Last
September, 1774.

" To see if the town Will appoynt a Committee to See
that the agreement of the american Continential Congress
be Strictly adheared to and faithfully Executed."

" Voted, John Webster, Esq., moderator for Said meet-

" Voted, That there Shall be sum men Sent as Deputies
to meet at Exeter the 25'^ Day of this Instant January, To
Chuse Delegates in order to Represent this province at the
Intended Congress to be held at Phelidelfia the Tenth Day
of may next, agreeable to the warning of Said meeting.

" Voted, That John Webster, Esq^, Capt. Rob* Wilson,
Cap* Sam^ Robie, Deacon Forsaith, major French and
Robert Calfe Shall be the men.

" Voted, That the above Deputies, when meet, have
power to Chuse a Committee out of their Body to propor-
tion Each Town's part or portion what they ought to pay.

" Voted, That what money was our proportion to Pay
for Sending Delegates To the Congress held Last Septem-


ber, at Phelidelfia, Shall be Raised of the Town with the
other Taxes.

" Voted, That a Committee be chosen to see that the
agreement of the american Contenentell Congress Shall be
Strictly adheard to and faithfully Executed.

" Voted, That Cap' Dearborn, Amos Emerson, William
"White, Jacob Chase, John Patten, Simon Bailey, Pearson
Richardson, Jethro Colby, Doctor ordway, Josiah Bradley,
Robert Calfe, Leut. Hoit, John Hesseltine, Cap* Wilson,
Capt. Robie, Deacon Forsaith, Stephen merrill, John San.
Dearbon, Abner Hills, Sam" Brown, William Sherley,
John Lane, Jun'., Jacob Hills, Thomas Sherley, Isaac

This was called a committee of inspection or safety.

March 30th, 1775,

" Voted, That the Town Pay our proportion of the
charge of Sending Delegates to the Contingntial Congress,
to be held at Phelidelfia Next May, if Nescecry.

"Voted, That one Hundred and fifty pound L money
be Raised for the Repare of Highways the present year,
at the same Wages as Last year."

" At a meeting of the Committee of Inspection held at
Chester, at the house of John Webster, Esq"", the 15"" Day
of march, 1775 : They have Requested to Know the minds
of the People of this Town whether they will Consider any
thing at our Town meeting (Viz.), What Incouragement
they will Give Voluntears that Will hold themselves in
Rediness upon the Shortest notice to goe against our Ene-
mies that Shall Presume to Invade us ; and upon the Com-
mitee's Request this meeting is called.

" Voted, John AVebster, Esq"", moderator for Said meet-

*' Voted, that this meeting Shall be adjourned Till

Online LibraryBenjamin ChaseHistory of old Chester [N. H.] from 1719 to 1869 → online text (page 11 of 60)