« PreviousContinue »
nent settlement — which he accepted; and on the 2d of November, 1698, he was publicly ordained as their pastor. They agreed to give him eighty pounds as a settlement, and to pay him the same salary they had given his predecessor, Rev. Mr. Estabrook.
Having settled their minister on terms acceptable to the parties, the attention of the people was again called to their house of worship, and to the accommodation of the worshippers. It seems that liberty had been given to Captain William Reed "to make a sette for his wiffe in ye meeting house one ye mens side in the hindemost seate fiue foote of ye east end of it: and so up to the stayers against it: —was then granted to him for ye use forementioned." The erection of this seat by Captain Reed induced others to make a similar application, and at a meeting held March 6,1698-99, "Liberty was granted to Robert Meriam: Joseph Stone: John Poulter: Jonathan Poulter: John Roe: & : Thomas Meriam: tobuield a seat for thar wifes on the within backe side of the mettinge house from Goodwiffe Reeds seatt: to ye womens stayers."
But these individual efforts failed to meet the public wants, and the parish itself took the matter in hand. At a meeting, September 16, 1700, "it was then agred that they would build tow uper galleries: and put it into the hands of the assessors and Comitte to doe it desently and well and to agre with ye workman for the price of it: thise Comitte is to be understod that that Comitte that Comitte that was chose at the last publique metting In June."
Though the people at the Farms had asked simply to be incorporated as a parish, and gave their first attention and care to the church, they did not entirely overlook the affairs of state. Feeling that they were in danger from sudden incursions of the Indians, and that their distance from the village of Cambridge, where the arms and ammunition were deposited, rendered those supplies nearly useless to them in case of a sudden attack, they directed "Capt: william Reed, Lt: Th: Cutteller & Ensigne simond ware Chosen to petition the town of Cambridge that: that parte of the Publique stock of Amunition In the town which is supposd to beLong to our share: may be Kept In the parish: — & it was also votted yt these thre gentlemen forementioned should take care for: & prouied a place to kep it In."
Nor did the good people of the parish overlook the wants of the rising generation. "It was allso agred & Votted that the town be requested to aLow six pounds out of the town Ratte for ye Incorragm' of a scholle In ye Precinct." Neither did they confine their care to mere intellectual culture such as would be taught in the schools. They saw the importance of moral and religious culture, and felt it their duty to watch over the morals of the children and youth; and hence at a meeting held March 2, 1701-02, "It was allso Votted that Joseph Lock: Jno Laurence: John Mason & Jonathan Poullter: be requested to to take sum pruedent Care that the Chilldren & youth may nott play att metting: and thareby Profane the Lords Day."
And while they were desirous that their children should be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and so become ornaments of His church, and reflect honor upon the religion they professed, they had a just appreciation of the temporal wants of him whom they had chosen as their spiritual guide, and upon whose labors they must depend, in a great degree, in accomplishing that desirable and all-important end. Hence it was "voted that the Reuerend Mr: Hancock his Sallory should be advanct to sixty Pound: Payablle as before: and the quarterly Contrebutions to Continue till further order." It was also voted that Mr. Hancock be allowed to take timber from the parish land to repair his buildings and fences, and wood sufficient to supply his fires.
The meeting-house' erected in 1692, stood at the junction of the Concord and Bedford roads, near the present hay-scales, and was upon land included within the highways; the land which now constitutes the Common being private property. Seeing the propriety of securing a plot near the meetinghouse for a public common, at a meeting held in April, 1711, it was agreed by the inhabitants of the precinct to buy the land about the meeting-house, of Mr. Benjamin Muzzy, and to do it by subscription. A paper was accordingly drawn up and circulated, and the following names and sums were obtained: —
1 Site now marked by a stone pulpit. Ed.
£8 9 0 £15 3 6*
* Also another contribution of 5 Y ; the name is torn, but appears to be "Cutteller." Ed.
This subscription fell a trifle short of the purchase money, which was sixteen pounds, and was undoubtedly made up by individuals. The deed given by Mr. Muzzy, bearing date June 14, 1711, acknowledges the receipt of sixteen pounds, paid by "the Inhabitants of that most Northerly part and precinct of Cambridge Commonly Called Cambridge ffarms towards Concord," and grants " to ye sd Inhabitants and their Successors for Ever, a Certaine parcell of Land, by Estimation one acre and a halfe more or less lying and being Situate in Cambridge ffarms nigh the meeting house, and is bounded Northerly by the said Benjamin Muzzey as the ffence now Stands, and Elsewhere by highways To Have & To Hold sd Land with all the timber Stones Trees Wood & underwood herbage and messuage with all and Singular the profits priviledges and appurtenances thereunto belonging." 1
This land, though bought by individuals of the parish,
1 See, A Sketch of the History of Lexington Common, by C. A. Staples, Proc. Lex. Hist. Soc., Vol. I, p. 17. Ed.