Boston (Mass.). Record Commissioners.

Second report of the record commissioners of the city of Boston : containing the Boston records, 1634-1660, and the book of possessions online

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Clough, or a son of the same name, seems to have remained the
owner in 1740, when Holyoke street was laid out through it;
a street also called Clough street, and now Tremont street. —

C. 10. Robert Walker. [His second lot, with W. Talmage
east, the street north, J. Cranwcll west, and J. Eliot south. This lot
seems to have passed to Thomas Downes prior to 1674. and to have
been exchanged by him with his brother-in-law, Capt. Jacob Eliot.
Eliotgave it, 19 March, 1678-9, to his son-in-law, Eliziir Holyoke,
when the lot was about 60 feet wide and 132 feet deep. I have
been obliged to assume various unrecorded divisions of the Eliot

64 City Document No. 46. — Part 2.

lands among the various branches of the family', in order to make
anj' sense out of the existing deeds. — AV.H.W.]

C. II. John Cranwell. [House and garden, with Robert Walk-
er east, the street north, R. Root west, and on the south two acres
belonging to the same ; which two acres had the garden north, Mr.
Roe east, R. Croychle}' w-estand south. Cranwell's lots went to his
brother, Richard C. of Woodbridge, in the county of Suffolk, who
in 1642 made his brother-in-lavv, Thomas Marrett of Cambridge,
hisattorne3\ Marrett sold, in 1652, to Margery, widow of the first
Jacob Eliot. In fact Dea. Eliot had bargained for the lot before
he died, and left it bv will to his daughter Hannah, who married
Thoophilu s Erary .— "W . H . W . ]

C. 12. Ralph Roote. [House and garden, with J. Cranwell
east, J. Cranwell and R. Croychley south, W. Salter west, and the
street north. This lot was sold in March, 1659-60, to James
Balston.— W.H.W.]

C. 13. William Salter. [House and garden, with R. Roote
east, the street north, J. Eliot and R. Croychley south, the Com-
mon west. This was the end lot, on the south side of Boylston
street. In 1689, at a division of Salter's land, this lot was as-
signed to his son Jabcz, when it bounded north and west on the
highway to Fox Hill, south on J. Eliot, east on the marsh in the
occupation of the heirs of John Leverett. I suspect that there had
been an encroachment by the sea between Salter's land and
Roote's lot, as Ihis marsh on the east seems new. Frog Lane
" turned southerly to the sea," in 1708, according to the list of
streets ; and we know the " Round Marsh " was the old terminus
of the road.— W.H.W.]

C. 14. William Salter. [His lot No. 2, being an acre in Mr.
Colborne's field, with the Common north, the Bay west, J. Eliot
south and east. This lot w^as sold in 1678 by Mary, widow of
William Salter, to John Leverett.— W.H.W.]

C. 15. Richard Croychley. [His lot No. 2, being two acres in
Mr. Colborne's field, with J. Eliot east and west, R. Parker south,
W. Salter north. This lot he held in right of his step-children, he
having married Alice, widow of William Dinely. This lot of 2^
acres seems to have been sold in 1669 by Father-gone Dinely to
Jacob Eliot, when the south bound was on lands of .John Leverett,
who seems to have the Parker lot. Perhaps Dinely exchanged
with Eliot, for in 1675 D. sold to Leverett 2i acres '' latel}' bought
of J. P'.liot," with Colborne's heirs south, Eliot north and east, the
sea west. All of Ihese Leverett lots seem to have passed to
Elisha Cook, son-in-law of J. Leverett.— W.H.W.]

C. 16. Richard Parker. [Lot not in the Book, but mentioned
in the bounds of C. 15. UndoubtedU' it passed to Eliot or Leverett.
— W.H.W.]

C. 17. Sir. Roe. [Lot mentioned as east of Cranwell's lot, C.
11, but not otherwise mentioned.

20lh, 4 mo., 1646, land at Mount Wallaston was laid out for
Owen Roe (or Rowe) of London, " having a house and town's lott
among us and certain cattell." He never came here, and doubtless
this lot passed to some resident. — W.H.W.]

Appendix. 65

C. i8. William Colborn. [His field not laid down in the Book,
though cited in C. 15. Croycliley's lot was the great end grant.
By a decision of our Supreme Court, in 184U (Sparhawk vs.
Bullard, 1 Met., 9a), it was fixed that Colborn's south line was the
north side of Castle street. If, as I suppose, John Cornish was
an heir of Colborn, then the Dincly lots were the north bound of
the Colborn field. The subsequent liistory of this land is connected
with that of the Eliot property, in the hands of Eliots, Frar3-s,
Lillics, Belchers, and others. — W.II.AV.]

AVinsor writes, " Here, upon what was later known as Hollis
street, upon land given by Governor Belcher, who lived in the
neighborhood, a small wooden meeting-house was built in 1732, in
which Mather Byles was the first minister. This building stood
upon the present site of the church till 1787. Byles lived in a
house whose site is partly covered by Tremont street, opposite
where Shawmnt avenue enters it. Belcher lived on the easterly-
side of the main street, on the lot between the present Harvard
and Bennett streets. (Drake's Boston, 585.) Belcher's mansion
was bought in 17G5 by Thomas Amory, the lo\-alist.. For the
grants south of Castle street see Gleaner Articles, No. 13."

C. ig. [Not located on map. This is William Davies, Sr.'s,
lot No. 3, thus described : " One acre bounded with Jacob Eliot
east and south, Mr. Colbourne west, and the sea on the north. This
lies in Mr. Colborne's field." {Book of Possessions, p. 57.)
description is ver}' bevvildering, for there is no part of Colborne's
field where the sea is north. Possibly it means some lot on the
east side of Washington street, but it must be studied up care-
fully. — W. II. W.]

C. 20. Lots not located. [It seems that 27th, 7 mo., 1G41,
" there is a house-lott graunted to John Search neare unto the
house-lott of Robert Walker." Again, 29tli, 7 mo., 1G45, '' there
is graunted unto Arthur Clarke ahowse-lot next unto the house-lot
of John Search, to be layd out by Wm. Colbron and Jacob Eliot."
In the Book of Possessions, p. 05, William Blaintain's lot No. 2
is "' a house-lott, bounded with John Serch west, William Brisco
cast, the street south, and the Common north." But on the 30th,
1 mo., 1G4G, " William Brisco, Tho. Buttolfe, [Jacob] Leager,
William Blanton, John Search, Robert Woodward, that hath hows
lots unbuilt on them, shalbe warned to the next townse niettinge."
As Cotton Flack, 29th, 4 mo., 1G40, had a house lot granted liim
in the way from Mr. Coleboriie's house to the sea, next to Goodman
Briscoe's, which he held afterwards, and as Blaintain's grant
would have l)een this very lot, and Serch was west of that, and
Clark next to Serch, it seems extremely probable that these tlu-ee
grants were " unbuilt on," because Mr. Flacic protested. We may
safel}' assume that they came to nought. — W.II.W.]

Map D, or No. 4.

MAP D, OR NO. 4.

Tlie outline given herein is that of the Common, and of the part
which was probably never granted. As already shown by Map C,
there was a row of house-lots on the north side of Boylston street,
which the town long afterwards bought back. It would be useless
to tr}- to fix the extreme norih boundaries of these, as thej' have
again been merged in Boston Common.

The island herein shown is Fox Ilill, a small eminence long
since dug down, but which was probably near the site of the pres-
ent pond in the Public Garden. The lower part of the Common
was a marsh, and this hill must have been quite small in size. It
was, however, sometim'es utilized. In lG4{)Leonaid Buttall was
allowed to burn lime there, and in 1G41 to have a second Uibi,
" provided that he shall have no propriet}' of land by virtue
thereof." In 1G49 Thomas Painter was allowed to set up a mill
there at forty shillings rent.

3d, 2 mo., lGo2. " Ensign James Oliver and Sargent Peter
Oliver are granted liberty for to set up a wind mill on the top of
the hill between the town and the hill called Fox Hill ; which said
mill they are to fence in from harm and damage unto any cattle,
and to pay unto the treasurer of Ihe town the sum of 12d. per year
to be paid yearly on the forfeit of 5s. for every quarter of a year
which it shall not be paid into the treasurer, it being demanded in
due season, the time to begin the first day that the said mill shall
grind, and to continue to be paid unto the town so long as the mill
shall there stand.

" Also, — the chief military commander of this town, and also the
chief commander of the regiment hath power at anytime oflheir
military exercise whether of the town or regiment for to cause the
mill to stand still, — within the grant of this liberty to set up this
mill, is reserved as a condition to be performed by the owners for
employers of the said mill."

Feb. 2G, 1GG5, the selectmen made a lease to Gov. John Leverett
of a parcel of land lying and lacing in Boston aforesaid, calh d or
known by the name of Fox Mill, with all the marsh about the same
as far as the salt water flows, bounded with the Plighway south,
with the Town's Commons cast and north, and with the Beach and
Sea west. It was to be for a term of forty j'ears, at an annual
rent of thirty shillings, with liberty reserved for the inhabitants to
fetch sand or clay from the hill.

Fox Ilill continued to figure on our maps to the beginning of the
present century, sometimes marked as a promontory, but once at
least as an island.


Map E, or No. 5.


MAP E, OR NO. 5.

E. I. John Cogan, ^ acre. Cogan's executrix sold to Joshua
Scottow, 1G59, and lie to Colonel Samuel Shrimpton, in 1G70,
and he in turn to John Oxenbridge, in 1671, who left it to his
daughter, wife of Richard Scott, and they conveyed it to her sis-
ter's husband, Peter Thacher, in 170G. It then passed, in 1707,
to Samuel RIyles ; in 1728, to George Cradock, and, in 1733, to
John Jeffries (son of the emigrant David Jeffries), from whom it
passed to Samuel Eliot. {Gleaner Articles, No. 33.)

[It was his lot No. 2, about half an acre, with Mr. Bellingham
north, Mr. Wilson south, the burying-place east, and the New
Field west. — W.H.W.]

E. 2. Rev. John Wilson's garden-plot, divided by the street,
when laid out in 1G40; and the portion north of the street, in
16.58, belonged to Elder James Penn, of the First Church, who
devised the estate to his kinsman. Colonel Penn Townsend, whose
executor, in 1750, sold it to Samuel Sturgis, and thence the title
passed through John Erving, Gilbert Deblois, Nathaniel CofRn,
and John Amory, to Samuel Eliot, and became his mansion estate.
(^Gleaner Articles, No. 33.)

[James Brown, Book, p. 41, has a half acre in the new field,
with Mr. Wilson's garden north-east, A. Messenger north-west,
the Common south. — W.H.W.]

E. 3. James Pen. [I cannot find that this lot was mentioned
in the Book of Possessions. It was the hill-side, with the summit
rising high above it, and was undoubtedl}' considered valueless at
this date. The changes made b}' cutting down the hill and open-
ing streets make it almost impossible to fix an}' lines on a map.
Bowditch gives all the information attainable, and even he has to
generalize. I cannot agree with Winsor (see his Map F, Nos. 15
and IG), that William Kirkby or Richard Sanford owned here.
Penn owned here as early as 1658, says Bowditch, having the cor-
ner lot (the "Albion"), in all 70 feet, on Tremont street; he
probably acquired of Coggan or Wilson. — W.H.W.]

E. 4. Robert Turner. [This great tract, made up of purchases
and possible grants, is not in the Book. Gleaner Art. 36 shows
that in 1665 Turner bought 1^ acres of land of William Pell, hav-
ing Turner east and south ; Bowditch thinks that Turner had some
eight acres, including all the front land on Beacon street from
Penn's lot, or Somerset street, to the State House. The east
bound was five feet west of Somerset street. Turner's son-in-law,
John Fayerweather, died in 1712, owning 124 feet on Beacon street,
at the east portion of the Turner lot, reaching to Freeman place.

70 City Document No. 46. — Part 2.

He had sold the west part, 135 feet on Beacon street, to Pollard,
whence derived James Bowdoin. Other heirs of Turner inherited
other parts. —W.II.W.]

E. 5. Thomas Millard. [His lot No. 2, with the Common
south, N. Eaton north, T. Scottow east, R. Truesdale west. This
calls for a lot for Scottow, east, possibly sold to Turner before this
date; part of his front line wliich Turner owned in IGoo. Joshua
Scottow also has lot No. 2, two acres in the new field, possibl}^
hereabouts. — W.H.W.]

E. 6. Richard Truesdale. [His lot No. 2, three-quarters of an
acre, with the Common south, N. Eaton north, T. Millard east, Z.
Bosworth west. — W.H.W.]

E. 7. [An unrecorded lot of Nathaniel Eaton, north of E. 5
and E. 6, — i. e., as I take it, up the hill towards or beyond Mt.
Vernon street. — W.H.W.]

E. 8. Zaccheus Bosuortii. [His lot No. 2, being two acres in
the New Field, with the Common south, W. Wilson and J. Rug-
gles norlh, R. Truesdale east, J. Parker west. — W.H.W.]

E. 9. Jane Parker. [Her lot No. 2, with Thomas Millard
east, Z. Bosworth, W. Beamsle_y, and R.Sherman norlli-west, Sel-
lick Caappel, Lever and Pepys southerly. — W.H.AV.]

E. 10. These seem to have been granted, lGo7-38, to William
Hudson, Jr., Nathaniel Cha[)pell, and Oliver Mehows. Later,
Chappell was bounded on either hand by David Sellick and Jacob
Leger, when Leger's lot is called about an acre. Francis East
acquired this, and perhaps the other lots later still.

[Thus far I substantially agree with Lamb, except that he puts
Francis East here at the date of the Book, when, in reality, he
seems to be of later date. See Gleaner Article^ No. G6. — W.H.W.]

E. II. Richard Pepys. [Not entered in the Book, but cited
in E. 9. — W.ILW.] it was William Blackstone's reservation of
six acres when he sold his rights to the town, in 1G3I. The orig-
inal release of Blackstone to the town was in 1734, in the Town
Clerk's office, but is not now to be found. The signatures of
Blackstone in the Memorial History, Vol. 2, are from the records
of the university at Cambridge, England, and I owe the tracings
to the kind attention of the Rev. George Phear of Emmanuel Col-
lege. The}' respectively represent his writing at the dates of his
taking his bachelor's and master's degrees. His orchard is indi-
cated on Bonner's map as an enclosure with trees, just east of the
present Louisburg square. The limits of the lot are defined in Bovv-
ditch's Gleaner Ar tides ^ No. 1, quoted in Sewall Papers^ i., 74. It
extended on Beacon street, from Spruce street, " the north-east
corner of Mr. William Blackstone's payles " (Town Records,
March, 1G37-38), to the water, then flowing above Charles street.
(See diagram in Mr. Adams's chapter in Mem. Hist., Vol. 1.)
Richard Pepys bought it, and built a house on it, which William
Pollard occupied for nearly fourteen years, during which time
Blackstone " frequently resorted to it " on his vi?;its from Rhode
Island, as Anne Pollnr(l deposed in 1711. {Sevjall Papers, i., 73.)
Pepys sold it, in 1G55, to Nathaniel Williams, and Williams's
widow marrying Peter Bracket, the latter conveyed it to Williams's

Appendix. 71

children. The original house appears to have been standing, as
Mr. Ilassam points out to me, in 1GG2, when the inventory of the
estate of Nathaniel Williams, led that year, shows this item: " It.
the House and land y' was m' Blackston's. [£]150 : 00 : 00." In
1708-9 the orchard and pasture were sold to Thomas Bannister,
and it appears as "Bannister's Gardens" on Ikugiss's map of
1728. '"Gleaner" traced this descent of the lot in 1828, and
printed the story in the Boston Courier^ and repeated it in the
Transcript in 1855. (See also Gleaner Articles, No. 50.) The lot
was later a part of the possession of John Singleton Coplc}-, the
painter, and from him passed to the Mount Vernon proprietors.


E. 12. Thomas Millard. [His lot No. 3, of one acre, in the
New Field, with Jane Parker west, William Wilson east, Z. Bos-
worth, John Ruggles, and E. Dennis north, south bound blank. —

E. 13. William Wilson. [Two and a half acres in the New
Field, with 11. Parker east, J. Ruggles west, Z. Bosworth south,
AV. Hudson, Sr., north. —W.H.W. J

E. 14. Richard Parker. [Lot unrecorded. —W.H.W.]

E. 15. J(jhn Ruggles. [Lot unrecorded, but mentioned in
other bounds.— W.H.W.]

E. 16. Edmund Dennis. [His lot No. 2, half an acre in the
New Field, with J. Ruggles east, Z. Bosworth west, T. Millard
south, T. Clarke north. — W.H.W.]

E. 17. Zaccheus Bosworth. [Probably his lot No. 3, of an
acre and a half, in the New Field, with T. Millard south, James
Johnson north, E. Dennis east, and R. Sherman west. — AV.H.W.]

E. 18. Richard Sherman. [Lot unrecorded, but see Bos-
worth's west liound in last paragrnpli. — W.H.W.]

E. ig. William Bcamsiey. [Lot unrecorded, but cited in
Jane Parker's bounds, E. 9. — W.H.W.]

E. 20. Robert Wing. [His lot No. 2, half an acre, with the River
west, Mr. Pepys south, J. Everill and east. — W.H.W.]

E. 21. Francis Lyle. [His lot No. 2, of half an acre, in the
New Field, no bounds given. — AV.H.W.]

E. 22. James Johnson. [His lot No. 3, of an acre, in the New
Field, wii;h Z. Bosworth south, J. Biggs north, F. Lyle west, and
T. Clarke east. — W.H.W.]


E. a. John Biggs. [His lot of marsh was on both sides of
Caml)ridge street, — see G. 47. Gleaner, Article 18, seems to think
that Biggs acquired some upland also. — AV.H.AV.]

E. 23. Thomas Clarke. [Lot unrecorded, but cited in E. 22
andE. 24. —W.H.W.]

72 City Document No. 46. — Part 2.

E. 24. Thomas Buttolph. [His lot No. 8, bought of W. Hud-
son, Sr., 16th, 4 mo., 1G4G, of five acres in the New Field, with J.
Johnson west, R. Cooke east, W. Wilson south, and — Davis, the
apothecary, north. Note that tliis is also recorded in the Book,
p. 57, with T. Clarke west. Johnson seems to have bought the
west part of Clarke's lot. In Gleaner's article No. 20 it is shown
that J. Johnson, having bought Lyle's lot also, sold, in 1649, to
Buttolph, 3^ acres in Centry field, thus making Buttolph's lot 8^
acres. Thus enlarged, the Buttolph lot reached from Cambridge
street about 625 feet, to Myrtle street, and from Buttolph street on
the west to Hancock street on the east. — W.H.W.]

E. 25. Richard Cooke. [His lot No. 3, being in the New
Field a certain parcel with William Hudson, Sr. west {i.e., But-
tolph's), and Valentine Hill west. — W.H.W.]

E. h. Valentine Hill. [This is better shown as H. 16, and
thus completes the grantees when the Book of Possessions was
prepared. — W.H. W.J

Map F, ok Xo. G.


MAP F, OR NO. 6.


F. A. John Cogan. His lot is described in Map E. It is the
Albion building, corner of Tremout and Beacon streets.

F. 15. The bnrying-ground, out of which, in Andros' time,
was talcen the lot for the King's Chapel.

F. I. Thomas Scottow, house and garden. His will is in
J\^. E. Hist, and Geneal. Reg., Oct., 1856, p. 362. He sold to the
town, in 1645, the present City Hall lot. The town built a school-
house upon it, and Mr. Woodmansy, the teacher, lived in tlie old
house. Woodmansy bequeathed his " little estate," in 1677, to his
wife Margaret, and his daughters Martha and Bethia. His will is
in N. E. Hist, and Genenl. Reg.., Jan., 1862, p. 55. In 1666
Daniel Henchman was employed to assist Woodmansy. Benjamin
'J'ompson succeeded Woodmans}' in 16()7, acting with Henchman.
Jan. 3, 1671, the celebrated Ezekiel Cheever took the school, and
kept it until 1703. An account of Cheever, by Mr. Ilassam, in
N. E. Hist, and Geneal. Reg.., 1879, p. 175, gives various particu-
lars about the school-house while it was in charge of this master.
Cheever was succeeded by Nathaniel Williams. Thomas Prince
preached Williams' funeral sermon, which was printed in N. E.
Hist, and Geueal. Reg., Oct., 1854, p. 368. Williams died in
1738, and was followed by John Lovell.

Between the teacher's house and the school-house Richard
Cooke was permitted, in 1652, to build, paying a ground rent,
which went for the school-master's salary. In 1703 a new school-
house was built on the spot. The ground now in front of the
City Hall was sold by the town later, and again repurchased.
Just below this there stood, in the provincial times, the dwelling
of Jean Paul Mascarene, a Huguenot, who went to Nova Scotia
in 1711, became Governor there ; but died in Boston, in 1760. A
little further down the street was the "Cromwell's Head Tavern,"
a somewhat famous resort in the provincial period ; and here
Washington lodged when he came to Boston, in 1756. Just above
this inn lived the merchant and wit, Joseph Green.

F. c. Richard Hutchinson. The corner of his lot on School
street shows here, and is fully described as G. 62.

F. 2. Governor Winthrop's. His house stood nearly opposite
the foot of School street. His " green" is now occupied by the
Old South Church. Before his death he deeded the property to his
son Stephen, reserving right of occupancy of one-half for his own
and his wife's life. The property came into the possession of
John Norton, the minister of the First Church, whose will is given
in N. E. Hist, atid Geneal. Reg., October, 1857, p. 342; and his
widow gave it to the Third Church, and upon it their first edifice

76 City Docibient No. 46. — Part 2.

■was built, in 1670, — a wooden structure, wliich gave place, in
1729, to the present building.

F. 3. Athertou Hough, house. This is the point at which
James Boutineau, who married a sister of Peter Faneuil, in the
provincial period, had his mansion. [This is his lot No. 2, street
south. Common west, Mr. Hibbins east, R, Sherman north. —


F. 4. Robert Re3'nolds, shoemaker, house and garden. His
will, 1G58, is in N. E. Hist, and Geneal. Ee(/., April, 1855, p. 137 ;
gives his house and orchard, after his wife's decease, to his son
Nathaniel, wlio removed to Bristol, R.I. A family distinguished
in the medical profession represents the blood in Boston to-day.
[He had the High street west, and the Fort street north. —

F. 5. John Stevenson, house and garden. His widow married
William Blackstone, and the lot passed, in 1646, to Abraham
Page ; and then, same year, to John Hansett, of Roxbury ; but
the spot got its chief glory sixty years later, when Benjamin
Franklin was born here.

F. 6. Nathaniel Bishop, house and garden. A lane was laid
out (Oct. 15,1645; March 23, 1646) west of this lot, running
through to Summer street, nearly the present Hawley street, and
known early as Bishop's alle}-.

[He had a deep lot, having J. Stevenson, R. Waite, and E.
Fletcher west. W. Hudson, 8r., was on his south. — W.H-W.]

F. 7. Nicholas Parker. [House and garden, with the street
north, R. Scott south, N. Bishop west, James Penn east. — W.

F. 8. James Penn. [House and garden, with the street north,
R. Parker west, J. Kenrick east ; no south bound ; but Robert
Scott and Thomas Oliver were on his south, as their lots (F. 37,
and F. 36) show. — W.H.W.]

F. 9. John Kendrick. [House and garden, with the street
north, J. Penn west, W. Dinsdale east; no southbound; but
clearly it was T. Oliver's garden. See his lot F. 36. — W.H.AY.]

F. 10. William Dinsdale. [House and garden, with the street
north, R. Scott south, J. Leverett west, R. Rice east. This west
bound is not explained. — W.H.W.]

F. II. Robert Rice. [House and garden, with the street
north, Capt. Keayne south, W. Dinsdale west, W. Pell east. —

F. 12. William Pell. [House and garden, with the street
north, Capt Keayne south, R. Rice west, and J. Spoore east. —

F. 13. John Spoore. [His lot No. 2, of an acre and a half,
with the street north, R. Turner south, R. Fairbanks east, Capt-
R. Keayne and W. Pell west. See also G. 74, which probably
joined this on the north. — W.H.W.]

Appendix. 77


F. 14. Richard Fairbanks. [His lot No. 4, on the Fort field,
with J. Spoorc west, Mr. Hibbens north-east, R. Turner south-
west, R. Gridley south-east. (Mr. Hibbens' lot is shown in G. 75.)
The street (Fort street, now Milk street) ran through Spoore's
two lots, and seems to have ended against Fairbanks or the Creek.
— W.H.W.] Richard Fairbanks' pasture, 5 a. It was this past-
ure, east of the present Pearl street, that Theodore Atkinson, not
long after 1700, sold to Edward Gra}-, who built ropewalks on it
in 1712. They are seen in Bonner's map in 1722. In 1732 a

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