It was ordered by the House of Representatives May 20, 1644, that from that time forward, the existing towns and also those that should afterwards be "erected" in Massachusetts, should rank "according to their antiquity," or as it is expressed in the order, should "take theire places of prcedencie both in ye transactinge of ye affayers of this howse, as also in all other such occasions as may fall out wth in this colony respecting such prcedency of place." In the list of towns in connection with this entry in the court records, Hampton occupies the sixteenth place. The quiet of the town had for some time been disturbed by party feelings. The differences among the people were partly, perhaps principally, though not entirely, ecclesiastical. Petitions from the different parties-one signed by Christopher Hussey and eighteen others, another by William Howard, and still others by other persons-were sent to the General Court in June, asking for legislative interference in the settlement of their difficulties. The court appointed a committee with full power to hear the parties and determine everything in controversy among them. The committee were Mr. Bellingham, Mr. Saltonstall and Mr. Symonds. Among other difficulties to be adjusted by them were those that had arisen concerning a new plantation. But of the nature of these difficulties, or the place and circumstances of the plantation, we are not informed, as this is the only allusion to it that we have found; and not having met with the report of the committee, we are ignorant of the measures adopted for the attainment of the object of their appointment. Concerning one of the petitions, we find in the records of the court, the following entry : "It is ordered, in ansr to Liftt Howards peticon, that his charges alowed him to be pd him by ye towne of Hampton, bee forborne untill ye foregoeing
comittee of magsts doe end ye differences betweene ye inhabitants of the said towne."