Joseph Dow's History of Hampton: TOWN AFFAIRS -- NATURAL PHENOMENA -- RYE, 1708-1736 I)

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The Return of the laying out of the New Plantation had been lost; and as sundry persons claimed land there by virtue of grants from the commoners to themselves, or to persons under whom they claimed, it was considered important to ascertain the validity of these claims. The commoners, therefore, on the 17th of June, 1708, appointed for this purpose a committee, consisting of John Stanyan, John Gove, John Sanborn, Sen., Dea. Samuel Shaw, Benjamin Batchelder and Jonathan Marston, who, together with the lot-layers, were to state the bounds of the Plantation as nearly as they could, by considering the terms of the grant formerly made; and divide the whole anew into four ranges, as formerly, and then assign to every person to whom grants had been made, his proper proportion. Those who claimed land there were to be at the charge of surveying the lots, and were also to defend the same at their own cost and charge. Any individual, upon satisfying the committee of the justice of his claim, might have his lot or share bounded out to him, so far as the town had a right to do it, he having first paid the committee, the lot layers and the surveyor, for their services.

The committee, lot-layers and surveyor were also required to measure such land as had been unlawfully fenced in, or built upon,by any person, on any part of the cow common, and report to the selectmen, to whom full power was given to prosecute such trespassers; the charge to be borne equally by the commoners and those to whom they had made grants. The next year, more lenient measures were adopted, allowing compromise or sale, in case of small trespasses.


At this meeting, Joseph Taylor informed the commoners that he was about fencing in a way passing across his lot, unless they would let him have an equal number of rods at the east end of his lot. In that case, he would let the way still remain for their use. Ens. Thomas Robey and Josiah Sanborn were chosen, to examine the case, and, if they should think it expedient, "to lay him out rod for rod." This way was a part of what is now called the "Back Road," leading to the sawmills, on Little river.

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