Benjamin Chase.

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

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admit Such as they Shall Think proper till the afore^" num-
ber of ninety be Completed.

" 9"^'y, Voted, That Three men Shall be kept upon the
spot at the charge of the Society."

At a meeting of the Society for settling the Chesnut
Country, held at Hampton the 20th of December, 1719,

" Voted, That in case of a warr with the Indians before
the Three years Limited for the Settling of the Chesnut
Country be Expired, the Same Time of Three years shall
be allowed after a conclusion of a Peace with the Indians
for the s'^ settlement."

" At the Same Time the Propri" drew their home Lotts."
The home lots of twenty acres had been laid out since the
October meeting, but the list of those who drew does not
contain any names of the Massachusetts men who after-


wards became proprietors. There are the names of eighty-
nine persons who drew their home lots at this time, eleven
of which are erased as having sold out, or forfeited their

Joseph Small died, — his wife was a daughter of Col.
Thomas Packer, and her husband's right was voted to her,
and her home lot exchanged for one near her father's. Thus
came a woman to be a proprietor. She kept a public house
in Portsmouth, and many of the committee meetings were
held there. There is a deed on the Rockingham records.
Book 14, page 20, in which Thomas Packer conveys to
Susannah Small one " negro girl."

There is recorded in another place in the Proprietors'
records, those " Propriety y' did not draw for their Home
Lotts at the first." The list contains thirty-nine names, a
large portion of whom were those taken into the Society
from Massachusetts.

[Council Records, Sep. 24, 1719, p. 388.]

" Mr. Clement Hughes prefered a petition to this board
directed to His Excellency the Gov' and council, signed by
ab"^ 100 Persons, praying for a township above Kingstown as
on file, which Ijeing read, it was resolved that the Same
should be considered when His Excellency comes next into
this province."

At a meeting of the Proprietors of the Chesnut Country,
held at Greenland the 16th day of March, 1719-20 :

" I'y, Col. Packer Chosen moderator.

" 2'^', Joseph Tilton Chosen Clark.

" 3'^', The form"^ Committe are Confirmed in their place
w^ the Same power as formerly.

" 4'^', The former Lott Layers are confirmed.

"5'^, Capt. Sherburne chosen Receiver.

" 6'^', That whereas there was a petition formerly prefered
to the Governm* for the Granting the Chesnut Country for
a Township to the Society, That the same be withdrawn
and another prefered when there is a convenient Season.

" 7'^, Voted, That our Annual meeting to chuse prudential
men Shall be on the third Wednesday in March, yearly."


At a meeting of tlie Committee, April 25, 1720,

" Voted, That a home Lott and a Farm of five hundred
acres be given to His Excellency our Govern"", or fifty
pounds in money.

" Voted, Also a home Lott and a Farme of five Hundred
Acres to his Honn"^ our Lt. Govern^"

By the Council records this company seems rather to
have the preference over the others, yet it was deemed wise
policy to hold out this inducement, which looks a little like
bribery. But we do not know the inducements offered by
the other parties.

[Council Records, April 28, 1720, p. 148.]

" The petition Prefered by Mr. Hughes at the Sessions in
September last, signed l)y about 100 persons, and suspended
till this Time, and also another signed by Capt. Henry
Sherburne and Mr. Clem' Hughes and comp^ as a Suj^ple-
ment To the aforesaid petition, prefered this day, was read
at the board, praying for a Township in the waste land ad-
joining Kingstown, (tc.

" Ordered, that the Clerk give notifications to Such per-
sons as have claim upon the Said land or have anything to
object against the making a Township according to the
tenor of the above petition. To appear before His Honor the
Lieut. Gov"^ and Council, to whom the matter is referred."

[Council Records, May 24, 1720, p. 154.]

" The Petition of Clement Hughes and Henry Sherburne
prefered last session in behalf of themselves and sundry
others, praying for a township at a Place called Cheshire,
read at y® board ; also another petition from sundry persons
of Exeter and Haverhill, praying to be joined with the first
jjetitioners in the settlement of the township, was read as
on file."

[Proprietors' Records, May 24, 1 720.]

" This day the Committee (agreeable to a vote of the
Society of y'^ 16th of March last) prefered a Petition to the
Govern"' and Council for withdrawing the form"^ Petition and
a grant of a Township in the Chesnut Country of ten miles
Square, w*" Lys under consideration till next Term."


[Council Records, August 26, 1720, p. 169.]

" The petition of Messrs. Henry Sherburne, Clement
Hughes and comp*, prefered May 24, praying for a town-
ship <fcc.,is granted, and Col. Hunking, Capt. Wibard, Capt.
Henry Sherburne and Capt. Tilton appointed to lay out the

I have made an examination at the Secretary's office for
the foregoing petitions, but without success. There are pe-
titions relating to Chester, bound up in a volume with
other towns back to 1726, but none of these are among
them. The old files are in a very confused condition, every
thing mixed together, — due partly, probably, to their being
removed to rebuild the State-House, — so that it would be
almost an impossibility to make a thorough examination.
The following (apparently genuine) is copied from Bell's
" Facts in relation to the history of Chester " in N. H.
Hist. Soc. Coll., Vol. VH, p. 403.

[From the Council Records of 1719.]

A petition for a township in y° Chestnutt County, signed
by about 100 hand, preferred by Mr. Hughes, Sept. 24,
1719. Minuted— Read again, Apr. 28, 1720.

To his Excellency Samuel Shute, Esq., Cajit. Gen" & Com-
man'^'^in Chief in an over His Majesty's Province of Xew
Hampshire, ^c, and the Hon'''*^ the Council, now sitting
in Council at Pourtsmouth, in and for said Province :

The humble petition of sundry of the Inhabitants of s*^
Province Humbly sheweth That y"" Petitioners have asso-
ciated themselves together to settle a certain tract of waiste
land containing Eight miles square, laying in the Province
of New Hampshire afores*^, and adjoining on the East to
Kingston and Exeter, and on the South to Haverhill, and
on the West and North to y" woods.

And forasmuch as y"" Petitioners are informed that sun-
dry persons belonging to severall Towns in the Province of
the Massachusetts Bay design to petition y"^ Excellency &
Hon"^ to have the same lott of land granted to them for a



Your Petitioners therefore most humbly pray that they
may have the preference (having been at a vast expense
of blood and treasure to maintain the same against the
Enemy), and that the said tract of land may be granted a
township to them, and as many more as are willing to set-
tle the same, so as to make up the number of one hundred
(and twenty five) persons, under such limitations for the
settling of it as y'' Excellency & Hou'^ will in your great
wisdom see convenient for the speedy settling thereof, and
y'' Petitioners ever will pray as in duty bound.

Sept. 24, 1719.

Tlio« Phipps,

Jos. Pierce,

Tho. Packer,

Joseph Tilton,

Natli" Batchelder, jr.,

John Cram,

Philemon Blake,

Jacob Stan van,

Robt. Row, Sen"",

David Tilton,

Reuben Sanborn,

John Morrison,

Sam" Blake, jr.,

Nath' Healey,

Nath" Sanborn,

Joseph Batchelder,
John Sealy,
Jethro Tilton,
Ichabod Robie,
Edward Sanborn,
John Prescott, jr.,
Zachariah Clitford,
Joseph Batchelder, jr.,
Sam" Blake, senr.,
Edward Gilman,
John Searll,
William Godfree,
Nehem'' Leavitt,
John MoiTison,
Sam" Elkins,
Rob* AVade, jr.,
Jeremiah Sanborn,
Daniel Tilton,

Henry Sluu'burne,
Benj. Gambling,
Jos. Sherburne,
Clement Hughes,
Sam' Plaisled,
Elez' Russell,
Samuel Hart,
Eph"^ Dennett,
John Preston,
Benj. Sanborn,
Joseph Sanborn,
James Prescott,
Jonathan Prescott, jr.,
Ricliard Sanborn,
Richard Clifford,
George Veazi, jr.,
Jonathan Sanborn,
Nathan Longfellow,
Sam" Sanborn,
Jacob Green,
Henry Dyea,
Benj. Fifield,
Sherburne Tilton,
Benj. Fogg,
Joseph Love,
Jacob Gilman,
Joseph Young,
Ephraim Hoit,
Abraham Sanborn,
Israel Blake,
"William Healey,
Charles Stuart,
Enoch Sanborn,



Thomas Yeazi,
Joshua Prescott,
John Cass,
Daniel Ladd,
Abner HeiTiman,
Sam" Prescott,
Nath" Bachelder, senr.,
John Ladd,
Oliver Smith,
Edward Fifield,
John Gilman, jr.,
John Knowles,
Sam" Yeazi,
Benj. Yeazi,
Thomas Yeazi, jr.,
Nicholas Xorris,
John Xorris,
Nicholas Seavy,
Thomas Rollins,
Joseph Lorrane,
John Roberts,
Moses Norris, senr.,

Daniel Lovering,
Ebenezer Lovering,
Jona° Robinson,
Reuben Smith,
Thomas Yeazi, jr.,
Nath" Stevens, jr.,
James Leavit,
AVm. Stevens, Porch*,
Jona° Plummer,
John Smith,
Benj. Tole,
Caleb Tole,
Abraham Drake,
Sam>i Smith,
Thomas Garton,
James Purckins,
Jacob Moulton,
Jonathan Nason,
Elisha Smith,
Jonathan Dearborn,
Thomas Leavitt,
James Fogg.


Whereas we the subscribers were Ordered and directed
by the Committee appointed by His Excellency the Govern'^
and Council to Lay out a new Town adjoyning to Haver-
hill, Kin<2;ston & Exeter, Pursuant to the afors*^ Directions
we have ru)i the following Lines, viz. : We begun at a
white pine Tree marked R. W., H. S., I. T., W. B., Stand-
ing on the Supposed Kingston line, where Haverhill Sup-
posed Line Cutts it, and run Ten miles upon a W. N. W.
Line to a pitch pine Tree notcht on four Sides ; Then we be-
gun again at the afors'' white pine Tree and run Three
miles, along Kingston Supposed head Line to the Supposed
Kingston North Corner Bounds next to Exeter ; And from
thence Seven miles upon a X. b E. Line to a Hemlock Tree
marked R. W., H. S., I. T. the other two Lines being run
parralell to those two Lines will make a Tract of Ten
miles Square, Agreable to the Petition preffered by Capt.


Henry Sherburne, Clem' Hughes & Comp^ to and Granted
by His Excellency the Governour & Council. Dated at

Jan^' 4'% 1720-1.

Tho^ Pierce,
Eph'" Dennet,
George Pierce,
Jo^ Tilton.

Prov. of )
N. HamJ)^ S Whereas, we the Sul)scribers were appointed
by His Excellency the Govern'' & Council a Comittee to
Lay out a Tract of Land of Ten miles Square adjoyning to
Haverhill & Kingston & Exeter, for a Township, and after
having duly considered how the Said Tract of Land ought
to be Layd out Consonant to the Petition prcfered to His
Excellency the Gov"^ and Council by Henry Sherburne,
Clem' Hughes <fe Comp^, and that the Land may not In-
fringe on any Former Grant, and having Chosen Capt. Jo*
I'ilton, Capt. Tlu/ Pierce, m"" Ephraim Dennet, m'^ George
Pierce, m'' Ich'^ Roby <fc mr. Jacob Stanyaii to run the Lines
for y*" bounds of y^ above Township, we did order and direct
them the s'* Capt. Tilton, <fec., to run the Lines as is Ex-
pressed in their return on y*" other side ; & being persuaded
y' y*" same will not Infringe on any former Grant, we do al-
low & Confirm y*^ s*^ return as far forth as it Lyes in our
Power, and pray that y" same may be allowed and Con-
firmed by His Excellency the Governour & Council.

The corner bound of Chester, next to Londonderry, near
Mr. Tenney's, down to 1801 was a beech tree, which is ex-
pressly mentioned in the charter of Londonderry, June
21st, 1722. In this survey they commenced at a white
pine, but if the points were not identical they were not
far apart, for a range of the home lots laid out in 1719
certainly commenced near the present corner. This return
runs on Kingston line three miles (probably to the corner
near David Lane's) and " next to Exeter," whereas Exeter
corner was finally established more than two miles farther
east. The lines were all uncertain, as we shall see when
we come to the settlement of the lines. This was merely
a grant of the land, not the charter of a town, and whether


satisfactory or not, the bounds of the charter were essen-
tially different, inckiding much more land. The Society.
seem to have made great efforts, and spent time and
money to secure their object. They built a possession fence
around the country. The committee had a meeting June
15, 1720, and examined and allowed various accounts, includ-
ing an account of " Mens days Fencing the Chesnut Country
& going there to Oppose the Haverhill people." Tliere
were 484 days allowed, at an expense of X144, 18s. This
could hardly have been expended since the October meet-

AVhether the claim of the Haverhill people was merely
an effort to get a grant, or a claim under the charter of
Haverhill from Massachusetts, or both, I do not know.
"When I was surveying on the additional lot No. 31, in
1819, Mr. Peter Hall and Mr. Abraham Sargent were
present, and they said that they had seen a monument
near there, said to have been erected by Haverhill people.
Their tradition was that the charter of Haverhill began at
" Holt's Rocks " (so called), and was to run thence N. W.
to Merrimac river ; that they started at the Rocks and run
twenty miles ; failing of provisions and liquor they erected
their monument and went home. They were probably
right in regard to the monument, but wrong in regard to the
explanation, as the following, which is taken from a copy
in the case of French vs. Morse, before the Court of Ap-
peals in the Secretary's Ofiice, will show ;

" Haverhill, July y« 4"', 1674.

At the Request of the Selectmen of Haverhill, the
Bounds of Said Town were perfected as followeth : From
Holts Rocks we run due northwest according to the Com-
pass, not allowing any variation, allowing almsbury their
full and just bounds, as hath been determined by the hon-
oured General Court ; all the other line on the west Side of
the Plantation we run from Merrimack River due North
until it cutt with the first line, where we erected a great
Pillar of Stones, this last line was Set out & begun to
run by Ensign Noyes and Sargeant John Parker at eight
miles distance from Haverhill meeting [house], upon a due


west Line, which is according to the grant of the General
Court, the Running lines on both Sides of s*^ Plantation
were bounded by markt trees and heaps of stones, laid out
by Jonathan Danforth, Survey^ Bilereca 12 3m., 1675.

The Court approves of the Return, as attests Edwd. Raw-
son, Secretary."

This pillar of stones was probably the one seen by Mr.
Hall and Mr. Sargent. Capt. David Shaw tells me that
there used to be an oak tree by the poor farm which was
called " Haverhill bounds." Margaret Shirley and Mrs.
Cowdery recollect the tree. By looking at the map it will
be seen that the northwestern line from the corner of
Chester and Derry (the road over Walnut Hill and down
Jack's Hill) does not correspond with the northeastern end
of the additional lots at and above the poor farm, and the
question may arise. If they intended in laying out the home
lots to follow Haverhill line, how came the offset? In
answer, we may suppose that Haverhill line was not well
defined ; that if trees were marked in 1075 many of them
were down ; and that they started at the supposed intersec-
tion of Haverhill and Kingston lines, and on the supposed
course, and run on to near Three Camp meadow, and then
offset about sixty rods to keep clear of the meadow to the
road through Hall's Village. The line of the liome lots
over the hill, if extended, would be about the northeast
line of home lot 124, on which John Shirley settled, where
Mr. Cowdery now lives. They then found that they were
about sixty rods northeast of the old Haverhill line, the
oak tree and perhaps other monuments, and they run that
range of lots to the line, and then continued on as far as
the home lots extend.

This is corroborated by the fact that, accompanying a
petition of Richard Hazzen, Jr., and others, to the Council
of Massachusetts in 1728, complaining of the encroach-
ments of the people of Londonderry, was a plan in which
the line running northwest passes over the corner of Ches-
ter, and extends into Chester, so as nearly or quite to cor-
respond to this monument. A reduced copy of this plan is


inserted in Chase's History of Haverhill, page 290. And
further, the first settlers of Londonderry obtained a deed,
dated Oct. 20, 1719, from John Wheelwright (a grandson
of the original grantee.of the Wheelwright claim), of " A
certain tract of land bounded as followeth, not exceeding
the quantity of ten miles square : beginning at a pine tree
marked, which is the southwest corner of Cheshire, and
running to tlie northwest corner of the said Cheshire, and
from the northwest corner running a due west line unto
the River Merrimack, and down the River Merrimack, until
it meets with the line of Dunstable, and there turning east-
ward upon Dunstable line until it meet with the line of
Dracut, and continuing eastward upon Dracut Line untill it
meets with the line of Haverill, and Extending northward
upon Haverill until it meets with the line of Cheshire, and
then turning westward upon the said Line of Cheshire unto
the pine tree first mentioned where it began."

This line of Haverliill is probably the one on Hazzen's
plan, but stopped at the line of Cheshire running west north-
west, according to the grant of 1720, — which had prob-
ably been previously surveyed, — and not up to the northwest
line to the monument seen by Mr. Hall and Mr. Sargent.
It would probably intersect the Londonderry line not far
from the Derry road.

At any rate, there was a line of Haverhill run up into
Chester, and the proprietors or lot-layers, in laying out the
home lots in 1719, did not intend to trespass on Haverhill,
and began on what they supposed to be the intersection of
Haverhill and Kingstown lines, and run north-west the
course of the supposed Haverhill line ; and the gore, be-
tween these lots and Londonderry line as established by
the charter, was laid out into additional lots in 1726.

The return says : " We the subscribers have lay*^ out an
additional lot of fifty acres to Each home lott, beginning first
at y'' south-east corner of y*" town next Haverhill, Running
westerly along Derry line, called the first Range."

There was allowed at the same time, June 15, 1720,
" For time about the Law suits, 9 days, £2 — 14s." Also of



" Money expended on the Law Suits &, paid by Capt.
Henry Sherburne the Receiver for the Prop''*."

It would seem from the Proprietors' records that they
had lawsuits, but who the parties were, and what legal
authority any body had, does not appear. There is a credit
March 30, 1723 : " So much recovered of Jarvis Ring,
£2 12." I have examined the Court records of that period,
but have found no such cases.

Paid to Mr. Acmiity for pleading .
to Cap' Phipps, do. Sundry times
to Mr. AValdron
to Mr. JeflVies ....
to Jno. Pray, serving a writ .
to Michael Whiddeu, for do

£ s. d.

. 1 10 00

2 10 00

1 00 00

1 00 00

2 00 00

15 00

In 1723, there is credit given for cash recovered of Jarvis
Ring, <£2 12. There is also "an account of men's Labor
Since the Lotts were drawn," amounting to £47 10, giving
the inference that the other was before the lots were laid

£ s. d.

To Lot-layers 24 10 00

to Committee 8 2 00

to Committee's expenses G 00 00

Clement Hughes'' charges.

To drawing- a petition

to cash paid the Clerk of the Council ....
to Drawing articles for the Society to Signe .

to do. a plat for the Society

to Copy of an Indian Deed (probably the deed to
Stephen Dudley)

S. (1.

5 00
10 00

6 00

5 00

6 00

There is also a charge for " 4^ gallons of rum, 6 lbs. of
sugar of Capt. Sherburne, w*^^ was given y® men at work in
the Country," £1 16 6. The whole amount of their ac-
count current, June 15, 1720, was £247 7 6.

" At a meeting of the Committee the following persons



were admitted proprietors in the Town of Checher agree-
able to the Desire of the Govern', viz :

"William White,
Jona. Emerson,
Jiio. Packer,
Jona. Kimball,
Stcph. Webster,
Thos. Silver,
Sam'. Ingalls,
James Fales,
Jno. Littlehale,
Eph. Guile,

Jona. Clough,

Thos. Whiting,

Jno. Jaquish,

Wm. Daniels,

Step. Johnson,

the Rev. Thos. Simms,

Rich"^ Haselton,

Kathan AVebster, of Bradford,

Richard Jaquish."

At a meeting of the committee Nov. 20, 1720, tlie fol-
lowing persons were admitted proprietors, viz. :

"Capt. Henry Sloper,
James Boid,
Benning Wentworth,
Wm. Crosswait,
Clem' ^NFishervey,

Jacob Oilman,
Ed. Oilman,
Thos. Smith, in the
Room of Richard Swain,
Robert Ford,

the Rev-i Xath' Rogers,
Samuel Sherburne, in y^
Room of Wm. Stivens,
Jos. Young,

Amos Cass,
Ebeu'' Eastman,
Luther Morgan,
Samuel Thompson."

The first, and a part of the second list, were Massachu-
setts men, and a part were Exeter men, including probably
the petitioners mentioned May 21, 1720, and was a matter
of compromise and put an end to the contest with Haver-
hill people.

" At a General Meeting of the Proprietors of the Town
of Checher held at Hampton the 11th day of January,

" Voted, Col" Packer moderator.

" Voted, Tiiat eacli prop'' that does not Settle pay ten
Shillings per year during three years, the whole to be
Divided yearly among them that Settles.

"Voted, To Coll'' Packer, Coll^' Wiar, Caleb Tole and
Sam" Ingalls the whole Priviledge of the upper Falls on the
great Brook forever, to build a Sawmill or mills on, and
also ten acres of land gratis on Each Side of s'^ falls for the


s'^ mills conveniency, with condition that the s"^ mill shall
be fitt to Cutt boards in a Twelve month from this time and
that they shall saw at halves the Prop™ Loggs, So much
as they shall have Occasion for, for Building.

" And those prop'"Hliat Shall have Occasion to buy boards
shall be supplied with So many as they shall have occasion
for at the Rate of thirty shillings per thousand del'' at the

" And if the making of a pond or ponds for s*^ mill dam-
nific any of the prop''% the Town shall make good the

" Voted, that as soon as Thirty Householders are set-
tled there Shall be a minister of the Gospel maintained by
the whole proprietary ; and as soon as fifty families are
Settled there shall be a meeting House for the Publick
Worship of God built by the ^Yhole Proprietary."

This was a grant of the privilege of the " Old " (Has-
elton's) sawmill. Samuel Ingalls was one of the grantees,
and the Haverhill people were quieted before this.

Thus early, too, was provision made for preaching, and a

At a meeting of the Committee, Jan^ 25, 1720-1,

" Voted, that whereas the number of proprietors is con-
[a part of this word is torn off] and no provision made
for a school master, that the next proprietor that shall
Forfeit his Lott the Same Shall [be] appropriated for a

At a meeting of the Committee, March 15, 1720-1,
" The following acco*^ were rec'' & allowed of. Ac' of charges
about y® bridge the first time." There are the names of
persons and the days worked amounting to sixty-two days.

" Acco' of Charges about the Bridge the Second time,"
eighteen days. " The third time," twenty seven days, the
whole amounting to <£134 10s.

This was on the bridge between Sandown and Danville,
which was always called " Cheshire Bridge."

" Acco' of time Searching the Country," thirty days by
five persons, <£9.

" Ace' of Charges in Running the Line." There were


.twelve men five days each ; seven hands four days each,
and one man three days, — <£38 16s.

" Acco' of Charges Looking and cutting the way,* and
keeping possession, <fcc." There were twelve men five days
each ; fifteen men four days each ; seven men six days
each ; amounting to X48 12s.

The committee had a bill for settling, from three to ten
days each, X16 6s., besides collecting the assessments, (fee.

Joseph Tilton charges " six days attending the Gov"" &

" Acco* of Time laying out y® Haverhill mens lots," — four
men six days each, £9 12s.

" Account of Charges Repairing the possession fence," —

Online LibraryBenjamin ChaseHistory of old Chester [N. H.] from 1719 to 1869 → online text (page 2 of 60)