Elizabeth M. Leach (Elizabeth May Leach) Rixford.

Three hundred colonial ancestors and war service, their part in making American history from 495 to 1934 online

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forming a chaplet."

Also, "A wolf's head, couped, ppr." The Lawrences of Ives Co., Buckingham,
and of St. Ives Co., Huntingdon, had, "Argent, a cross raguly gules; on a chief
of the second a lion pass, guard, or, "The crest," "a stag's head erased sa, platte
attired or ducally gorgedor."

Five grandfathers and five grandmothers of the author of this
book were the same as George Washington's, the first President of
the United States.

Proceeding with the successive generations of ancestry, we have
in order of time, the first — Sir Robert Lawrence, of Ashton Hall.

The Second Generation

Sir Robert, a son, and the immediate successor of the Knight
of the Crusades, to the estate of Ashton Hall, married a daughter
of James Trafford, Esq., of Lancashire; by whom he had a son and
heir, James Lawrence.

188 Three Hundred Colonial Ancestors and War Service

The Third Generation

James, of Ashton Hall, married, in 1252, Matilda de Washing-
ton, daughter of John de Washington, an heiress. A son by this
marriage, and the successor of James of Ashton Hall, was John
Lawrence, said to have been living in the thirty-seventh year
of Henry III.

Respecting the names of "Lawrence " and "Washington," it
may be noted that Lawrence Washington, a brother of the first
President of the United States, was one of the earliest proprietors
of Mount Vernon.

The ancestral Hneage of John Lawrence, of Watertown, Mass.,
was descended from an old and distinguished English family.
As traced and determined, it originates in and derives from one,
Robert Lawrence, of Lancashire, England, who attended his sov-
ereign, Richard Coeur de Lion, to the war of the Crusades in the
Holy Land, and so distinguished himself in the siege of Acre, that
he was knighted "Sir Robert, of Ashton Hall," and obtained for
his arms, "Argent, a cross raguly gules," A. D. 1191. These armg
were also those of the Lancashire branch generally.

The line of ancestry of Sir Robert Lawrence to the grand children
of the author of this book may be thus summarized :

1. Sir Robert, of Ashton Hall, Knight of the Crusades.

2. Sir Robert, a son, and the immediate successor of the Knight of the Cru-

sades, to the estate of Ashton Hall, m. a dau. of James Trafford, Esq.,
of Lancashire, by whom he had a son James.

3. James, of Ashton Hall, m. it is said, "in 1252," MatUda de Washington, dau.

of John de Washington, an heiress. Had son John.

4. John, of Ashton Hall, m. Margaret, dau. of Walter Chesford; by whom he

had a son John.

5. John, m. EUzabeth Holt, of Stably, in Lancashire, and d. A. D. 1360. He

had a son Robert.

6. Sir Robert, of Ashton Hall, m. Margaret Holden, of Lancashire, and had

Robert, Thomas, William and Edmund.

7. Sir Robert, of Ashton Hall, m. AmphUbis, dau. of Edward Longford, Esq.,

of Longford, and had: 1. James; 2. Robert; 3. Nicholas.

8. Nicholas, of Agercroft, who m. and had Thomas, Nicholas, Robert, John,

William, Henry, Oliver.

9. John, of Agercroft, ancestor of the Lawrences of St. James Park in Suffolk ;

he d. in 1461, leaving Thomas, of Rumburgh, in Suffolk.

10. Thomas, of Rumburgh, in Suffolk, he m. and had John, Richard, of St. Ives.

The will of Thomas Lawrence is dated July 17, 1471.

11. John, m. Margery ; d. 1504; wife d. 1507. Had son Robert.

12. Robert, m. and had son John.

13. John, of Rumburgh, m. Elizabeth , by whom he had Henry, John,

Agnes, Margaret, Katharine, William and Richard.

14. John, of Wisset, in Suffolk, and m. Agnes . They had issue: John,

Richard, d. 1596; Susan, Elizabeth and Margaret. His wife d. Jan. 22,
1583. He was bur. at Rumburgh, May 21, 1590.

15. John, of Wisset, m. Johan • , and had Henry, Robert, Margery and

Katherine. Will of John dated June 2, 1606. He was bur. Jan. 16,

16. Henry, son of John and Johan Lawrence, m. Mary ; by whom he had

John, h. at Wisset, in Suffolk, and bapt. Oct. 8, 1609. The wiU of John
Lawrence, of Wisset, father of Henry, refers to him as having removed





























, 1







Three Hundred Colonial Ancestors and War Service 189

from Wisset to New England, and settled in Charlestown, Mass., in
1635, is the name of Henry LawTence.

17. John Lawrence, bapt. Oct. 8, 1609, in England; d. 1667, Groton, Mass.;

m. Elizabeth , who d. 1663, Groton.

18. Enoch Lawrence, b. Jan. 5, 1648-9; d. Sept. 28, 1744; m. Mar. 6, 1676-7,

Ruth (Whitney) Shattuck, who was b. Apr. 15, 1645, and d. Mar. 6,

19. Capt. Daniel Lawrence, b. Mar. 7, 1681; d. 1777; m. Sarah , who

d. probably at Canaan, Conn.

20. Isaac Lawrence, Sr., b. Feb. 25, 1704-5; d. Dec. 2, 1793; m. Lydia Hewitt,

who d. Nov. 14, 1765.

21. Isaac Lawrence, Jr., of Canaan, Conn., m. May 8, 1760, Mary Brown,

7th child of Dea. Samuel Brown.

22. Ltdia Lawrence, b. 1761-2; d. Sept. 20, 1813; m. at New Haven, Vt.,

Phineas Phelps, b. Apr. 10, 1767; d. Apr. 20, 1813.

23. Nash David Phelps, b. Oct. 4, 1796; d. Apr. 15, 1884; m. Apr. 20, 1821,

Elizabeth Hungerford, b. Feb. 7, 1798; d. Jan. 7, 1878.

24. Caroline Alexandria Phelps, b. July 3, 1840; d. Mar. 29, 1921; m. Sept.

8, 1863, at Stanbridge, Que., Horace Brayton Leach, b. Sept. 25, 1836;
d. May 6, 1919.

25. Elizabeth May Leach, b. Jan. 7, 1866; living Jan. 1, 1932; m. at Sheldon,

Vt., Sept. 8, 1889, Oscar Herbert Rixford, b. Dec. 27, 1859; d. Sept.
11. 1926.

26. Oscar Adelbert Rexford, b. Aug. 4, 1890; m. Jan. 18, 1919, Montreal,

Que., Mary Carolyn Hefflon, b. June 6, 1899; both living Jan. 1, 1932.
They have two children (living Jan. 1, 1932) :
Oscar Theodore, b. July 21, 1925.
Mary-Elizabeth Lenora, h. Oct. 6, 1922.

References: 1 to 18 generations — "Colonial Families," 1928.

19 to 27 generations— "Watertown, Mass., Bond," Vol. 1, 2nd

22 to 26 Family Record.
"Gen. Conn.," Vol. 2, pages 831-832.
"D. A. C," Lineage of EUzabeth M. Rixford.
"General Washin^on Family," by Albert Wells.

The Name

Of Lawrence, as a personal and family name, it is sufficient to
say, as to the orthography, that it is now almost universally spelled
and written Lawrence, and not Laurence or Lawrance, as formerly
was the case.

The derivation of this name of men may be traced to the Latin
word Laurus — Laurentius. Its signification has been thus given on
the Town Records of Hingham, Mass., first page : "Christian names
for men now most used with the signification, Lawrence — flourish-
ing like a bay-tree."

Archbishop Lawrence

The first individual of this name who lived in England, yet ascer-
tained, was Lawrence, the monk. Collier, in his Dictionary, has
the name Laurentius. In Harris's "History of Kent," it is Lawrence.
He came from Italy with Austin, who was sent to Britain for the
propagation of Christianity in the island.

Upon the death of Austin, he succeeded him to the Archbishopric
of Canterbury. He is said to have been both learned and pious;
and, at his death, was buried in the Abbey of St. Austins, A. D. 916.

190 Three Hundred Colonial Ancestors and War Service

The Ancestral Lineage of John Lawrence, of Watertown,


The lineal ancestry of this stock of Lawrences in America, now
found quite numerous in New England and other parts of the
country, has been at length very satisfactorily ascertained. As
traced and determined, it originates in and derives from one Robert
Lawrence, of Lancashire, England; born probably as early as
A. D. 1150, and the ancestor of the earliest families of the name in
England. Attending his Sovereign, Richard Coeur de Lion, to the
war of the Crusades in the Holy Land, he so distinguished himself
in the siege of Acre, that he was knighted, "Sir Robert of Ashton
Hall," and obtained for his arms, "Argent, a cross raguly gules,"
A. D. 1191.

(1) John Lawrence, progenitor of Isaac Lawrence, probably
came from England in the company which came over with Governor
Winthrop, in 1630. The place of his birth is not known; but as
Governor Winthrop was from the county of Suffolk, it may be that
Mr. Lawrence was from the same county.

The first account of him that can be relied upon as certain, is,
that he was an inhabitant of Watertown, Mass., as early as 1635.
The name of his wife was Elizabeth. Whether they were married
in England or not, has not been ascertained. They had twelve chil-
dren born at Watertown. He afterwards removed to Groton, Mass.,
at an early period of its settlement, his name being found in the
records there in 1663. His wife died in Groton in 1663. He then
married a widow — Susanna Batchelder, of Boston — the ceremony
of which took place at Charlestown, November 2, 1664. By her he
had two children. He died at Groton, July 11, 1667. He left
children :

1. John, b. 14 d. 1 mo. 1635. 8. Samuel.

2. Nathaniel. 9. Isaac.

3. Joseph. 10. Elizabeth.

4. Jonathan, d. young. 11. Jonathan.

5. Maby. 12. Zachariah.

6. Peleg. 13. Abagail.

7. Enoch. 14. Susanna.

Second Generation

(2) Enoch Lawrence (7-7), born 5 d. 1 mo. 1648-9, was married
March 6, 1676-7, to Ruth, the widow of John Shattuck. Her
maiden name was Ruth Whitney. Her husband was drowned
in crossing Charlestown ferry, September 14, 1675. He died Sep-
tember 28, 1744. He left children:

1. Nathaniel. 3. Zachariah.

2. Daniel, b. Mar. 7, 1681. 4. Jeremiah.

Third Generation

(3) Daniel Lawrence (16-2), (Daniel Lawrence, father of
Isaac and Daniel, lived and died in Canaan about seventy years
ago. It is supposed that at the time of his death, he was with a son,

Three Hundred Colonial Ancestors and War Service 191

John, who has since died in Norfolk. Isaac gave the use of a farm
to his half-brother John as compensation for taking care of their
father). Married Sarah . He left children:

1. Daniel, b. Apr. 22, 1702.

2. Isaac, h. Feb. 25, 1704-5 (4).

The foregoing facts in relation to the ancestors of Isaac Law-
rence, have been chiefly derived from Butler's "History of Groton,"
recently published, and which is a highly valuable work, giving an
account of about thirty families of the name of Lawrence which have
lived in Groton. See Vol. I, for fourth to twenty-sixth Generations.

Isaac Lawrence and His Descendants
Fourth Generation

(4) Isaac Lawrence (20-2). It has always been said by his
descendants that he came from Plainfield, Conn., to Canaan;
but as there are no records in Plainfield to show that he or any of
his family were ever there, the following facts are produced in proof
of the assertion. — Groton was a frontier town, and much exposed
to Indian depredations. The suffering was so extreme that the
inhabitants became discouraged, and many of them removed from
the town. Several families went to Plainfield, Conn., and others
contemplated going to the same place. Among the latter was Daniel
Lawrence, Joseph Lawrence, uncle of Daniel, and Zachariah Law-
rence, who was uncle or brother of Daniel. This took place in 1707,
while Daniel, Jun., and Isaac, sons of Daniel, were young children.
(Daniel Lawrence, Jun., was the grandfather of Mr, Isaac Fellows,
on the maternal side. He was great-grandfather of Dea. Anson
Lawrence and Nathaniel Lawrence.) As no record of them can be
found in Groton after this event it may be taken as conclusive cor-
roboration of the general belief on this point.

"Watertown, Mass., Gen.," by Bond, says on page 124 — Capt.
Isaac Lawrence — Isaac and his family removed to Hineshoro, Vt.;
which is an error, he moved to Hinesburg, Vt.

While he and his family were on their way to Canaan with a
team composed of a yoke of oxen and a horse, they left the last house
in New Hartford, about twenty-five miles from the place of their
destination. The greater part of this distance they were obliged
to cut their way through a heavily timbered forest. For several
days after their arrival the family took up their quarters under a
large oak tree, and slept in their wagon. Near this tree, which was
on the south side of the river, near where the saw mill now stands
(1848) and a few rods east of the house where Mr. Silas Beckley
now lives, he built the house that he first occupied. He also built
the house on the north side of the river, long known as the Lawrence
tavern stand, where he died in the year 1751.

There is in the Dunham family a loom which was made of the
identical oak tree under which Isaac Lawrence and his family took
up their temporary residence on their first arrival. He arrived on
June 2, 1738, and was one of the first settlers of the town.

192 Three Hundred Colonial Ancestors and War Service

He married Lydia Hewitt, born Nov. 4, 1707, Stonington; married
Dec. 19, 1727 Isaac Lawrence. On the doorstep of the Lawrence
House, built 1751, and mentioned in Nathaniel Hawthorne's
"American Note Book," are the names of their children. The date
of his death was December 2, 1793. His wife died November 14,
1765. His children were:

1. Jonas, b. 1728; m. Tryphena Lawrence, of Littleton, Mass., who d. Jan.

21, 1795, at West Stockbridge (5).

2. Stephen, b. ; d. in infancy.

3. Isaac, Jun., m. Mary Brown, Mar. 18, 1760 (6).

4. Asa, d. in infancy, July 24, 1750.

5. William, d. young, Jan. 5, 1750.

6. Elijah, d. young.

7. Solomon, d. young, July 21, 1750.

8. AzuBAH, m. Samuel Hvde, of Norwich, Conn., Oct. 25, 1750.

9. Lydia, b. Dec. 2, 1747'; d. Aug. 4, 1750.

10. Amy, m. EUjah Cobb, Mar. 30, 1760.

11. Hannah, b. May 25, 1750; m. Willard Kingsbury.

Immortal Sailor
The shortest and most desperate sea battle of the War of 1812, was fought
off Boston Light, June 1, 1813. It was over in fifteen minutes. The "Chesa-
peake" struck her flag, but not before nearly aU her officers were killed or wounded.
Captain Lawrence had been but recently assigned to this boat. Mortally wounded,
he said, "Tell the men to fire faster and not to give up the ship; fight her till she
sinks." He was taken to Halifax a prisoner and died there, June 5.

(5) Isaac Lawrence, Jun. (23-3), married Mary Brown, March
18, 1760. He removed from Canaan to Vermont, near Onion River,
about 65 years since (1848). He had, before he left Canaan, four
or five sons, namely: EHjah, Samuel, Isaac and Henry. Also several
daughters, one of whom was named Lydia. Elijah, Samuel and
Isaac, removed from Vermont to lower Canada, 40 or 50 years
ago (1848) where it is supposed their families now reside. Their
children were :

1. Lydia, b. Sept. 2, 1761 (or 2).

2. Elijah, b. Oct. 17, 1763.

3. Samuel, b. Nov. 19, 1765.

4. Isaac, 3rd., b. Nov. 22, 1767; m. Debby Root.

5. Mary, b. May 4, 1770.

6. Apame, b. Dec. 7, 1772.

7. Henry, b. Feb. 25, 1778.

8. Erastus, b. Mar. 11, 1780.

9. Pamelia, b. May 17, 1782.

Children of Phinneas Phelps and Lydia Lawrence — 6th in descent
from John Lawrence:

David, m. Miss EUzabeth Hungerford. Pamelia.
Polly, m. Joseph Wright. Teresa.

Elkanah, m. Miss Chappell. Lawrence.

Caroline, m. William Norton. Daniel.

References: "Genealogy of the Ancestors and Posterity of Isaac Lawrence,"
by F. S. Pease, page 14.

"Colonial Daughters of the 17th Century;" "Daughters of the American
Colonists," page 30, 1931.

"Nash Genealogy," and "Phelps Genealogy," by Phelps & Servin, page 252,
"FamUies Directly Descended from all the Royal Families in Europe."

Three Hundred Colonial Ancestors and War Service



The Coat of Arms of the fainily has
upon it three crowns, and the significance
of these crowns is this: On one occasion,
about the year 1358, John Leach had the
EngUsh Kmg, Edward III, and his two
prisoners, King David of Scotland and
King John of France, as his guests, and
as a token of the incident, on leaving,
King Edward handed to Leach three
crowns. Afterwards, when the King
granted him a large landed estate, three
crowns were placed on his Arms.

The author has in her possession an
old English deed of the Leach Family
written in old English on sheepskin and
given during the reign of Charles the II.

Lawrence Leach, with his wife, Elizabeth, and sons, John,
Richard and Robert, came from England to Salem, Mass., in 1629,
in the "fleet" with Rev. Francis Higginson. Lawrence Leach was
descended from an ancient family in the west of England, and one
of his ancestors was Dr. John Leach, surgeon to King Edward III.

Lawrence Leach held many important offices in the new colony;
for years he was one of the seven chosen men who conducted the
public affairs of Salem, and had among his colleagues Gov. John
Endicott, William Hawthorne, Roger Conant, John Woodbury
and John Balch. He was one of the Founders of Mass. Bay Colony.

As a historian has said of Lawrence Leach, so it may be said of
many of his descendants. 'The usefulness of his life gained respect
for his memory. (See Journal of American Gen., 1928.)

Lawrence Leach hved on the southerly side of what is now Elliot
Street, on Rial Side, about on the site of the barn of the late William
Putnam, and he gave his farm to his son Richard about 1643. Nov.
15, 1693, the selectmen appointed a committee, consisting of John
Putnam, Sr., Israel Porter and Samuel Gardner, to lay out a road
from his house to the country road (now Conant Street), and the
road is where Elliot Street now runs to Foster Street, and then
through the latter street to Conant, The next day, the committee
"laid out a highway twenty feet wide from the place where Capt.
Richard Leach did hve straight unto the Country road near unto
the dwelling house of John Flint upon the northeast side of John
Trask, Jr., his land. Said Trask hath liberty to hang a gate on that
end of said way next the country road if he see cause." The house
of John FHnt stood on the other side of Conant Street, on the south-
erly corner of Burley Street. Timothy Norman^ lived here in

194 Three Hundred Colonial Ancestors and War Service

1693. Besides John Robert and Giles herein mentioned, Clement
hved in England, Lawrence Leach had the first iron foundry in


Giles, the founder of the Leach family of Bridgewater, Mass.,
was the youngest son of Lawrence and Elizabeth Leach, of Salem,
Mass. He was born in 1632. The earliest record of him is under
date of 20 February, 1656/7, on which day he married Anne Nokes,
who at that time resided with the family of Deacon Samuel Bass, at
Braintree, in the same colony. At this date, he was probably him-
self residing at Weymouth, where he participated in a division of
lands in 1662 and 1663, At about the same time, he purchased one
of the fifty-six proprietary rights in Bridgewater, to which town
he removed, as did Dr, Nicholas Byram, and other of his fellow
Weymouth townsmen, Bridgewater was the first inland town
settled in Plymouth Colony, and as it was the home for some
generations of a large number of the descendants of Giles Leach, it
must ever be a place of interest to the entire race descended from

His position in the church. In the first mention of him in the Bridgewater rec-
ords (1662) he is styled "Goodman," which fact suggests that he was then a
prominent and esteemed member of the Bridgewater Church, Further evidence
on this point is furnished by the action of the Town Meeting held 17 December,
1674, at which it was voted: "That Goodman Bayley should sit in the second
seat (of the Chiu-ch) and Lieut. Hayward and Goodman Alden, Jr, the third seat
and that Goodman Hayward and WUlias should sit with the Deacon, and that the
Elder's wife and old Goodman Hayward's wife and Deacon's wife should sit in
the foreseat by the pulpit and that Goodman Leach head man of the 4th seat, and
that Nathaniel Hayward in his imcle Willis' his pew." The seats here mentioned
were places of honour in the sanctuary, and when it is borne in mi n d that places
of distinction were not assigned in those early days to the imdeserving, or out
of favoritism, it is apparent that Giles Leach ranked among the first inhabitants
of the town. The town records also bear testimony to the fact that he took an
active part in municipal affairs, and was entrusted with important pubhc matters.
The following entries appear on such records: "Jan. 8, 1668, it was voted at town
meeting that Arthiu- Harris and Giles Leach be appointed a committee to 'see
to the execution of and order that boards and bolts not to be carried out of Town
from Commons.' " February, 1668, "It was agreed that the Town make choice of
Elder Samuel Edson, Ensign Hayward, Giles Leach, and John Carey, to nm out
the westerly line (west 4 mile line) being the foiu- miles from the centre and to be
paid for their trouble." November 24, 1671, "The Town made choice of Giles
Leach, Samuel Edson, Mark Lathrop and Thomas Snell to look to the swamps
that none be found falling or drawing out any timber out of the swamp, on the
penaltie of five shillmg for every such default," On 10 May, 1681, Giles Leach
and John Washburn were chosen surveyor of highways, and in 1683, he was
chosen a member of a commission to "Divide the great cedar swamp on the south-
erly side of the town." On 27 May, 1689, he and Edward Mitchell were elected
constables, a position of large importance in early New England, and on 20 May,
1690, he was again chosen surveyor of highways, his fellow surveyor being Joseph
Alden, a son of John Alden, the noted Mayflower passenger. In 1695, he was
chosen a member of the Grand Inquest of the Colony,

His residence. Mr, Leach resided in the immediate vicinity of Satucket
Pond, the haunt of King Philip and of his tribe. He was on friendly terms with
King Philip, and in 1680, he conveyed to an Indian named Robm, a "Twenty
acre lot situate within the township of Bridgewater lying near imto that pond
called Satucket pond and bounded on the one side by ye lands of John Washburn
& by lands of Samuel Lombards on ye other side." By virtue of his proprietary

tJ s

P s

u a.

U (L)

K c


Three Hundred Colonial Ancestors and War Service 195

right in Bridgewater, he became a large land holder. His possessions in 1705
consisted of the following tracts, which were surveyed to him that year: "Upland
and meadow in Town of Bridgewater — 1st, 11 acres upland s. side Town River,
where he now liveth; 6 acres of it being a garden plot, which six acres butt on said
river, & is bounded by the lands of John Ames to the West, & Samuel Edson's
to the East.

"5 acres of upland on same side of river, butting on land of Samuel Edson
and Samuel Wadsworth.

"20 acres, lot s. side river bounded by land of Wm. Snow to the south, &
Thomas Gannetts to the North W.

"50 acres on Taunton road, adj. Samuel Edson, Sr. on S. E. & Thomas Gen-
netts, N. W.

"Meadow land adjoining John Carey, Jr. Meadow land adjoining Elder
Brett & Samuel Edson, Sr. Meadow land adjoining Thomas Gennett & Frances

"Fifty acres on Southern side of Nunketnuct Pond.

"10 acres at Cutting Cove river, adj. Elihu Bretts.

"83^ acres at head of his 50 acres lot on Taunton road, lying upon head butts
house to the highway that is at the head of Goodman Ames.

"20 acres at Indian Field, & Bounded at the upper corner next to John
Aldrich's house by land of Edward Fobes.

"L and |<i acres at head of his land where his house stands boimded by Good-
man Ames his range, and the head range is bounded by white oak sapling.

"10 acres for Giles Leach laid out Feb. 1701, which he sold to Henry Hersey
for 10 years from the date of the deed, which 10 acres lies Easterly of Comfort's
Saw Mill.

"823/^ acres laid out on E. side of 50 acre lot which butts on the pond, bounded
on easterly side by Nathaniel Packard's lane."

The date of the death of Giles Leach has not been ascertained, he was living
in 1705, but probably died shortly after that year.

Children of Giles and Anne (Nokes) Leach. Mitchell's History
of Bridgewater gives the following children and says: "perhaps they
had others."

1. Sarah, b. at Wejmaouth, Mass., 1656/7; m. John Aldricb.

2. Elizabeth, b. at Weymouth, Mass., 1662; m. John Emerson, 1693.

3. Samuel, b. at Weymouth, Mass., 1662; m. Dr. Nicholas Byram.

4. David, b. at West Bridgewater, Mass.

5. John, b. at West Bridgewater, in 1665.

6. Ebenezer, b. at West Bridgewater.

7. Benjamin, b. at West Bridgewater.


John Leach (Giles^, Lawrence^), was b. at West Bridgewater,

Mass. in 1665; died 1743; married Ahce . He was a farmer

and lived in the South part of the town. March 13, 1701/2, the
Selectmen were ordered to lay out a highway from the Taunton
road on the other side of the four-mile brook, to John Leach's

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