Benjamin Chase.

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

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— the three pines. The McClentos were probably within
the bounds of Tyngstown. It was from these settlers, un-
der a Massachusetts grant, that the proposition came to
settle the line, which Chester so summarily rejected. (See
Potter's Manchester, pp. 190-212.) The settlement of the
Province line in 1741 ended the Tyngstown claina.



CHAPTER V.

SETTLING MINISTERS, PRESBYTERIAN CONTROVERSY, AND CLOS-
ING THE PROPRIETORS' AFFAIRS.

1723. The first meeting of the proprietors, under the
charter, was held the 28th day of March, 1723. The
names of the officers are given in the list of town officers.
It was " Voted, That forty shillings be paid by each pro-
prietor by the 15*^^ of June next, besides the Ten shilP w"^^
is given to those that have settled." Forty acres of land
were granted to Thomas Brown, but for what consideration
does not appear. It was laid out on Londonderry line. A
home lot was granted to Clement Hughes in consideration
of his serving the town as surveyor the year past.

1724. The annual meeting for 1724 was held at the
house of Samuel Ingalls, in Chester, and adjourned to the
house of Joshua Wingate, in Hampton, the second Tues-
day in June. Votes were passed about drawing their addi-
tional lots and paying arrearages, on penalty of expulsion.
Also, admitting Rev. Theo. Cotton in the room of Samuel
"Welsh, and Thomas Smith and William Couch in the room
of Jacob Stanyan. This year is memorable on account of
the capture of Lieut. Thomas Smith and John Karr by the
Indians, the only hostile incursion in Chester. An account
of it is given in a biographical notice of Lieut. Smith, on
a subsequent page.



70 HISTORY OF CHESTER.

1725. The annual meeting for 1725 was held at the

house of ]\[rs. Susannah Small, in Portsmouth, the 25th of

March. Adjourned to the house of Thomas Webster, of

Exeter, the 24th of May.

"Voted, To those that live at Chester the Sum of twenty
pounds to hire two Souldiers to guard them four months
next ensuing."

In Samuel Ingalls' account is a credit, " By the hire of
two soldiers as per vote, ,£20." There was also a vote
passed forbidding proprietors cutting or carrying away any
timber on penalty of forty shillings, and a committee
chosen to prosecute offenders.

1726. A similar vote was passed March, 1726, and re-
peated again at an adjournment in June, and a committee
chosen to prosecute and another committee " to present
this vote to y^ next Court of Quarter Sessions for their al-
lowance."

The account current for 1726, including the former ])al-
ance of X34 16s. 9d., is £92 4s. lOd. ; Cr., 126 proprietors
6th payment, 10s. each, <£63. Balance due, <£29 4s. lOd.

1727. The annual meeting was held the second Thurs-
day of April, 1727.

" Voted, That y'^ Surveyors hire men to repair the ways,
y® wages not to Exceed 4s per day nor the sum of £10.

" Voted, That each Proprietor pay Ten Shillings to y®
Selectmen to defray the Town Charges By y" Second
Thursday in May next."

The Account Currant for y^ year 11-21 .

To y* ballance of last years acct
To Sam' Ingalls, 49i days work on y« ways, 4s.
To do. for laying out laud as pr acct
To James Whiting for his assistance per do. .
To Clem' Hughes for sundry payments per do.
To Robert Smith as Selectman, 3i d' a 6s,
To John Sanborn as ditto, 2i d'
To Selectmen, expences p"^ per Clement Hughes to
;Mi-. Ludd and Mr. Ingalls





Dr




. £29


4


10


9


18


00


. 17


2


09


3


16


00


. 28


7


6


1


1







15


00





11


10


£90


16






PROPRIETARY HISTORY. 71

Ut Supra. Ck.

By rate on 126 Prop"^ at 10s pr £63

Ballance due from the Prop" 27 16 1

£90 16 1

This is the last account contained in the records. Up to
this time, and in 1728, and probably longer, the money
was raised by a tax on the proprietors' shares, resident and
non-resident. So far, a large portion of the officers have
been non-resident proprietors, but in 1728 there is a
change, — all the toivn officers are residents.

The annual meeting was held at Chester, March 28th.
Eldad Ingalls was chosen town clerk, and Capt. Henry
Sherburn, Capt. Joseph Sherburn and Thomas Packer
were chosen to " make up accompts w^ Chester's Old
Town Clerk, M' Clement Hughes, and to Receive y^ town
Book and Deliver it to Eldad Ingalls y^ present town
Clerk."

" A vote was past at y® Anp^ Meeting in Marcli that all
y^ propr' of Chester should pay ten Shillings apiece at y*
adjournment of the ann' meeting, which will be y*" second
Tuesday of June next, concerning y*-' hiring a Minis'" for
this Year."

Eldad Ingalls was chosen town treasurer, and the con-
stable was to gather the rates, and deliver it to the treas-
urer.

There was a vote passed at the adjournment, that if any
settler settling on lands laid out should be molested by
non-proprietors, the expense of trying the title should be
paid by the proprietors.

There was a meeting held, Nov. 12, 1728, at the house
of Samuel Ingalls. It was

" Voted, that y'^ Stating y^ plan for y^ Meeting house
should be left in consideration till next March Meeting."

But the meeting was adjourned to Hampton, on the last
Tuesday in December, and there

" Voted, That y^ place called y® Center where four prin-
cipal Roads meet, being near y^ Minis'"' lott, be y* place for
Setting up the meeting house."



72 HISTORY OF CHESTER.

1729. The Annual Meeting was held at the house of
Samuel Ingalls, and after choosing officers, adjourned until
June 10, and a new meeting called at the same time and
place, " To make Choice or give a call unto M'' John Tuck
of Hampton to settle w"' us in y^ work of y° Ministry, and
to see what encouragement we shall give him for his main-
tainance with us."

At the meeting it was

" Voted, That Mr. John Tuck of Hampton is Chosen to
settle w"' y^ Inhabitants of Chester in work of y'' Min-
istry.

" Voted, That 120 pounds be Raised for y'' support of y®
Gospel Ministry (amonge us) by y'' Inhabitants and prop''*
according to their settlement for live years ensuing, and
then be Raised as the law directs.

" Voted in y** affirmative.

" Voted, Samuel Ingalls, Dr. Edmond Toppin and Wil-
son, are chosen a Committee to wait on Mr. John Tuck to
Invite him to y" work of y" Ministry in Chester."

Meeting adjourned to the third Tuesday of September,
at Capt. Joshua AVingate's at Hampton.



MR. tuck's answer.

Hampton, Oc' 7% 1729.

To y^ prop" of y® town of Chester this day met at Capt.
Wingates in Hampton.

Crentlemen,

Whereas you, w*'' y*" freeholders of y° town of Chester,
Did somtime ago Invite me to y'' work of y*" Ministry in
Chester ; now these are to Signifie, that for Weighty
Reasons I Decline settling there. I wish you a happy set-
tlement in God's good time. This from

Your Hum*"^^ serv*

Jo" Tucke.

At the adjournment, Sept. 16th, adjourned again to Oct.
7th.

" Voted, That Mr. John Tuck be paid thirty shillings
per Sabbath for fourteen Sabbaths last past.

" Voted, That there shall a Committe be chosen to look



PROPRIETARY HISTORY. 73

out and get a minis'" to preach at Chester in order to his
Settlement there.

" Voted, That Sam" Ingalls & Jacob Sargent he a Com-
mitte chosen to look out for a suitable orthodox good man
y* shall be aproved by y* Neighl^oring Minis'^.

" Voted, That there shall be a meeting house built ac-
cording to these Dimensions: Imp''*, fifty foot in length, and
thirty-live foot wide & twenty foot post, and finish it com-
pletely, both inside & outside, to y*" turning of y*" key, and
set upon y® place appointed and before voted.

" Voted, That a Committee be chosen to agree w'^ y"
Carpenter or Carpenters to build a Meeting liouse accord-
ing to y* Dimentions before mentioned, and that Dr.
Edmond Toppin, & Sam' Ingalls & Nathaniel Heally, be y"
Committee to agree w"" y*" Carpenters in y^ behalf of y°
prop'^* of Chester.

" Voted, That there shall be Raised forty shillings in
Money on Every full prop""* share in Chester to be paid unto
ye town treasurer (Jacob Sargent is chosen), at y® next
prop"'* meeting towards y^ building of a meeting house in
Chester to be drawn out by the Committee as tliere shall
l)e Occasion ; viz., Dr. Edmond Toppin and Sam" Ingalls &
Nathaniel Haley, a Committe.

" Voted, That there shall be Raised twenty Shillings
in money on Every full propr^ lott in Chester for y*' paying
the town Debts, to be paid untoy'' Constable for y*" town's
use at y^ next prop'^ Meeting in Chester."

In regard to the location of the meeting-house, it sat on
the ten-rod way. James Varnum bought of the town five
rods in width of the ten-rod way, where Mr. Batchelder
lives, so that the north side would be not far from where
the north side of the street is now. When the Rev.
Mr. Hale sold to the Rev. Mr. Flagg, the corner was
described to be about eight rods northerly of the meet-
ing-house. Jabez French bought five rods of the ten-rod
way ; so the corner of the church is now probably near
where the corner of the lot was, and eight rods from
there would nearly correspond with the tradition that the
house stood where the liberty-pole now stands.

At a meeting Nov. 19, 1729,

" Voted, That Capt. Thomas Pierce be a Collector for



74 HISTORY OF CHESTER.

Portsmouth, and Dr. Edmond Toppin for Hampton, Jon-
athan Emerson for Haverhill & Bradford, Mr. Will"' Blunt
for Andovcr, Mr. John Calf for Newberry ; and the Ai)ove
named to Collect and gather y'' Rates off those that are
propr" in Chester and lives in the aboves'' precincts."

1730. At a meeting held January 15, 1729-30,

" Voted, That y® Rev. Mr. Moses Hale is chosen to settle
w"* us in y'^ work of y*^ Ministry in Chester.

" Voted, That there shall be 120 pounds in Current
money or bills of Credit be Raised for y*^ Support of y^ gos-
pel minisf^' amonge us, to be paid by the inhabitants &
prop""- of y^ town of Chester, to y*^ Rev''. Mr. Moses Hale, out
of y*" town treasury annually as long as he Shall Continue to
be our minis"' ; & Said money to be Raised by y'' prop''^ &
Inhabitants acording to their interests for five years Ensu-
ing, <fe then to be Raised as the law Directs ; and y' a^ money
be paid annually, according to y*^ Same Value that it pas-
seth for at this present year.

" Voted, That Lieut. Tliomas Smith, M' Ebenezer Dear-
bon, Nath" Webster, Will'" Willson & Sam" Ingalls, be a
Committe to treat w"' the Rev. ^Mr. Moses Hale, & to ac-
quaint him w''' what y*^ town hath done, & to Invite him
into the work of y'' Minis''^ among us in Chester, and to
Receive his ans^^r and to make Return thereof to the
town."

At the annual meeting March 26, 1730,

"Voted, That y'' Proprietors of Chester pay two hundred
and twenty pounds to defray y^ Charges for y'' year en-
sewing.

" Voted, That y^ Rev'' Mr. Moses Hale have twenty shil-
lings apiece of each full propriator's share, which amounts to
one hundred and twenty seven pounds, to be payed y® pres-
ent year insewing in Money or labor.

" Voted, That the meeting-house be set on the plan it
hath bene formerly agreed on and voted for, agreeable to
the vote in 1728 entered in the town Book in page 104.

" Voted, That Mr. Will"> White, Xathan We])ster, Eben-
ezer Derbon, a committe to agree with a carpender or
carpenders to build a meeting house acording to the de-
menshins formerly agreed on and entered in y*" town book.

" Voted, A gristmill priviledge to John Aiken." (See
History of John Aiken's Mill.)

At an adjournment June 9th,



PROPRIETARY HISTORY. 75

" Voted, That Doct. Rodgers, Mr. Hughes, Rich^^ Ward,
Bonj. Riiss, be allowed there accounts in suppressing the
Ryiot in 1726, five days a man at 6s. per day.

" Voted, Whereas there was formerly a vote past that
the meeting house should be bulte 35 fete in width, that s'*
meeting house shall be bulte thirty eyght fete in width, and
that the coniite chosen last meting, Namely, Mr. William
White, Nath" Webster, Ebez'' Derben, be fully impowered to
agree with any Parson or Parsons to build s'' meeting
house ; and whatever Covenent or agreement they in thero
capasity shall make, the propriators will Ratify and Coii-
firme."

At a meeting July 15, 1730, there was a committee
chosen "to deliver the minister's lot to Rev. Mr. Moses Hale
as soon as he becomes qualified to receive the same," with
a proviso that should he be at any expense on it and not be
settled, it should be repaid. There was another committee
to provide a parsonage.

1731. At the annual meeting held at the meeting-house
March 25, 1731, adjourned to May 12, they chose a com-
mittee to sell all delinquents' shares.

There was an act passed by the General Assembly April
29, 1731, the preamble of which says, " Whereas the towns
of Chester, Nottingham and Rochester labour under incon-
veniences in carrying on y® publick affairs, especially sup-
orting the gospel ministry," enacting that lands of non-
residents may be assessed and taken on execution if the
taxes be not paid ; to continue in force three years.

" Voted to Rais money for finishing the meetin hous,
£230 ; and for ordaining the minister the present year,
X30 ; and for the minister's salary this year, £120."

There is a memorandum as follows :

The money raised in the town of Checherin the year
1729, by Samuel Ingalls, Nathan Webster and Wil-
liam Wilson, theh'pi-esent Selectmen, and Commit-
ted to Constable Haseltine to Colec and gather . 378 00 00

S-i Constable Heseltine has paid 219 00 00

Remains iu s"^ Constabel's hands unpaid . . .159 00 00



76 HISTORY OF CHESTER.

The money Eaised in the town of Chester in the year
1730, by Cap' Samuel Ingalls, Ebenezer Dearbon
and Nathan Webster, the Present Selectmen and
Committee to Constabel John Tolford to Collect
and gather is 282 00 00

which S*^ selectmen have not Counted for.

Given under our hands a Comite to Call s'^ selectmen.



Ichabod Robie, ? Cn^y^•^ia

Moses Leavit, < ^^mite.



march the 24"^, 1730-1.



There is an advertisement calling a meeting July 21,
1731:

" 1. That the Committee that Stand Ingaged to the Car-
pendors for Building the meeting hons want their money
and must have it this meeting, or Else they are Liabel to
be Sued.

" 2. To Lett y" know that the Lands of several that have
Leatly been put to sale to pay their Charges, and they that
do not pay theirs at this mcethig may Expect the same."

At the meeting,

" 2. Many things proposed but nothing acted."

The meeting-house was built, probably by contract, by
Thomas Cochran and Peter Cochran of Londonderry, and
was so far finished that the annual meeting in March of
this year was held in it ; but it seems that it was not paid
for until 1737, when forty-six acres of land were sold to
Thomas Cochran to pay what was due to him and Peter
Cochran for building the meeting-house.

At the same meeting June 7, 1737,

" Voted, That Thomas Cochran and Peter Cochran have
some gratuity to make up their loss, agreeable to their Peti-
tion, and that the Same be to the Value of fifty pounds."

This was laid out in 1743 on the west side of Massabesic
pond.

At a meeting held September, 1731,

" Voted, That the Reverend Mr. Brown of Haverhill,
E,ev. Mr. Phillips, and tlie Reverend mr. Barnard of And-
over, be a comitty to take for gathering and Setling a Church
in Chester and ordaining the Reverend Mr. Hail.



PROPRIETARY HISTORY. 77

" Voted, that Insign Jacob Sargent, mr. Ebenezer Dear-
born, Enoch Colby, Captin Samuel Ingalls, Samuel Emer-
son, be a Commity to take Care for provishan of the ordina-
tion."

The ordination is said to have been October 20.

1732. There was a provision in the charter that every
proprietor should " build a dwelling house within three
years and settle a family therein, and break up three acres
of ground, and plant and sow the same within four years,
and pay his proportion of the town charge when and so
often as occasion shall require." At a meeting August 2d
there was a committee chosen to enquire and report on this
subject. August 23,

" Voted, that there shall be a Comite Chosen, and fully
Impowered to here and Determine the pleas of those pro-
prietors that are brought in Delinquent in their settlements
by the Comitee, Lt. Ebenezer Dearborn, Ins. Jacob Sargent,
& Capt. Samuel Ingalls, and to allow or disallow of their
pleas for Settlement as they shall see Just Reason, and to
grant them sutabel time to perform their settlements, pro-
vided they speedily pay their arrears, and that Comite make
report of their proceedings to the proprietors of Chester at
their next meeting.

"Voted, Moses Leavite, Esq., Deacon William White
and Samuel Ingalls be the Comite."

1733. At an adjournment of the annual meeting May
28, 1733,

"Voted, to Rais 127 pounds to be paid this year towards
the meeting hous and to Defray other necessary town
Charges."

At a meeting September 25, 1733,

" Voted that Doct. Nathaniel Rogers of Portsmouth is
Chosen & fully Impowered to Prefer a Petition to the
General Court at their next session to get them to make an
act in behalf of the Proprietors that are Settled in the
town of Chester pursuant to the first article in the Warn-
ing."

That is, in regard to delinquents not settling in town.
" Voted, Lt. Ebenezer Dearborn, mr. Xathan Webster



78 HISTORY OF CHESTER.

& Capt, Samuel Ingalls, to agree with and liier a minister
to Preach with us a Quarter of the year."

Mr. Hale's health failed and he hecame deranged in
mind, so that he performed very little ministerial duty in
Chester.

1734. At the annual meeting March 28, 1734,

" Voted, that there shall be a Counsell Called to Dissolve
the pastoral Relation Between Mr. Hale and the Church in
Chester." ^

At a meeting held June 27, 1734,

" Voted, that there shall be men chosen to wait on the
ministers at their next associate meeting to urge a Counsel
for the Dissolving the pastoral Relation between mr. Hale
and the Clnirch in Chester."

At a meeting held August 15, 1734,

" Voted, that the first "Wednesday in September next be
lield as a day of fasting and Prayer for advise for another
minister.

" Voted, that there shall be 5 men Chosen to receive the
advise of the ministers at the fast.

" Voted, that Capt. Samuel Ingalls, Lt. Ebenezer Dear-
born, Lt. Thomas Smith, Mr. John Calfe, John Sherala
and Jolni Aken be tlie men.

" Voted, that Lt. Smith and Mr. John Calfe wait on the
Rev** Mr. Thompson of Londonderry to acquaint him when
the fast will be.

" Voted, tliat mr. nathan Webster wait on the other min-
isters to acquaint them when the fast Avill be."

At an adjournment September 1, 1734,

" Voted, that the Result or Determination of the Councell
be Excepted by the proprietors.

"Voted, that after three sabbath Days from this time,,
that then the pulpit Shall be Supplied three months at the
publiclv Charge of the proprietors."

The Presbyterians, who were the Scotch L-ish settlers,
had previous to this hired the Rev. John Wilson, and ten
of them protested against paying for the support of another
minister.



HISTORY OF CHESTER. 79



THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE COUNCIL.

At an Ecclesiastical Council held at Salisbury, August
13, 1734, consisting of the Elders and messengers of the
Churches following, viz. :

Churches. Elders. 3£essengers.

Salisbury P' chh, mr. Caleb Cashing, mr. Justes Bradbury.

Salisbury 2^ chh, mr. Joseph Persons, Deac° Jabez True.

Exeter, mr. John Odlin, Deac"^ Joseph French.

Hampton Falls, Mr. Joseph Whipple, Dea. oniseferos Page.

Bradford, Mr. Jos Persons, jun"" Dea. Jona. Woodman.

Newbury, m'' John Lowel, Dea. Edw'd Emerson.

Kingston, mr. Ward Clark, Dea. moses Elkius.

Aniesbury, 2=* chh, mr. Paiu AYhiget, Dea. Joseph Bartlet.

Being Regularly assembled by virtue of letters sent from
the cldi. in Chester to the aforesaid Churches to here, advise
and direct the said Clih. of Chester what mav be most
proper for them to do under their present difficult circum-
stances, by Reason of the Revr'' mr. moses Hale the Pastor
being wholly Disabled from Serving them in the work of
the ministry, and having made due inquiry into the Case
and circumstances of the said minister and people, we find
that the said mr. Hale, Having done Lettel or no service
among them, and being by the Providence of God brouglit
under greate disorder of body and distraction of mind,
and for a time bereaved of his reason and understanding,
and thereby Rendered uncapabell of Discharging the work
of tlie ministry among them, and so Remaining witliout any
present appearance or prospect of being restored to his
ministry, and tlierefore we Judge and determine that it is
the wisdom and Duty of the chh. and people of Chester to
proceed in Regular steps to Call and Settle a gospel minis-
ter among them, that so they may no Longer be Destitute
of the word and ordinances of Christ ; and would also ad-
vise and direct the said chh. and people of Chester that be-
sides allowing the said mr. Hale the town Right which
accrued to him upon settlement and what also was then
given him to Incourage his settlement, they should not for-
get their obligations to be Redy to Contribute to his sup-
port and Relief according to their power and ability. So



80 HISTORY OF CHESTER.

Commending tliem to the God of grace and' peace we sub-
scribe jour Brethren in Christ.

Caleb Cushing, moderator.

John Odlin, Scribe.

In the name and behalf of the Council.

1735. The annual meeting held March 28, adjourned to
May 14, 1735.

" The matter, after it was fairly set forth Relating to mr*
Hale's circumstances, It was put to vote whether mr. Hale
had given satisfaction that he was Qualified for taking the
full Charge of the ministry and whether the people Could
Receive him as such, it past in the negative.

" Voted, that the proposals made by mr. Hale, Feb"" 6"*,
1734, Shall be a Direction to us ; and forasmuch as by Vote
of the town mr. Hale appears not to have given satisfaction
to the people, we with mr. Hale do apply to the Elders and
messengers of the Churches therein mentioned, who are
Desired to Consider and Determine all matters Relating to
mr. Hale and us as in their wisdom they Shall Judge Right.

" Voted, that the Elders and messengers meet at the
hous of Deacon Dearborns in Chester the first Wednesday
in June next at one o'Clock in the afternoon."

This council proljably dismissed Mr. Hale.

At another adjournment held June 10*^, 1735,

" Voted that the town of Chester apply to the Neighbor-
ing towns for help in our Difficulties by a brief for paying
mr. Hale's arrears."

John Calfe, Capt. Samuel Ingalls and Lieut. Ebenezer
Dearborn were chosen for that purpose.

" Voted that Lieut. Ebenezer Dearborn, mr. Nathan
"Webster be Chosen and Impowered to take Care and pro-
vide a gospel minister to suply the pulpit, and also for
a further SujDly in order for settlement when occasion shall
be."

Sixteen of the Presbyterians entered their protest against
" hireing, calling or settling any other minister in this town
than what we now have." At the request of a major part
of the church a meeting was called and held November 6,
1735.



PKOPRIETARY HISTORY. 81

" Voted the Rev^ mr. Timothy White Chall be the min-
ister of the town of Chester."

A salary of X120 was voted, and a committee, consisting
of Deacon Ebenezer Dearborn and Messrs. Nathan Web-
ster and John Calfe, chosen to treat with Mr. White and
receive his answer.

At an adjournment held November 27, 1735,

"Voted, that whereas there was 120 Pounds Voted for
Mr. White's Salery per annum, so long as he should Con-
tinue the minister of the town, it is Intended by it that
the money Shall be accounted at the same Value that [ta-
per money was when the agreement was made with mr.
Hale."

The money to pay the minister and all other purposes
had been voted and raised by the " Proprietors," by the
"Proprietors and inhabitants," and now "the Freeholders
and inhabitants " are warned to meet. The proprietors
of the common and undivided land held separate meetings
distinct from the town after this time ; but the money to
support the minister was raised from the whole town.

In building the meeting-house and supporting Mr. Hale,
the Presbyterians were active; but they now have their
own minister, and claim that a proviso in a certain statute
legally exempts them from paying a minister tax, and at
the meeting of Nov. 6th they enter another protest, signed
by thirty-one men.

At a meeting, held June 23, 1736,

" Voted, That the Rev"^ Mr. Ebenezer Flagg shall be the
minister of the town of Chester.



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