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some considerable cases, that the three commissioners or more in this county in each town shall have full power to grant letters of administration, receive probates of wills and to order such estates as county courts have power to do in the like cases. Provided when any such acts are put forth by the commissioners of the towns of Scarborough or Falmouth, Mr. Henry Jocelein or Mr. Robert Jordan to be one of the three; for Saco and Cape Porpus, Capt. Nicholas Shapleigh to be one; for Wells, Mr. Abraham Preble to be one.
We do likewise grant the town commissioners of York and Kittery to have the same power therein, and that those particular gentlemen, Mr. Henry Jocelein, Mr. Robert Jordan, Capt. Nicholas Shapleigh, and Mr. Edward Rishworth and Mr. Abraham Preble, or either of them, shall have magistratical power throughout the whole county of Yorkshire for this year ensuing until others are chosen and sworn in their places, and the county courts from time to time have power to grant and renew licenses for ordinaries for selling of wine and strong water, and for keeping of houses of entertainment according to law.
5. And whereas henceforth there will be need of more associates for county courts than formerly. We do give power and order that there shall be five associates chosen yearly, whereas there was but three before, and that they may keep a county court at Saco or Scarborough (as at York) in the month of September yearly, provided the day and place be agreed on under the hands of three of the associates at least signified to the Recor. of the county, so that he may give due notice thereof unto the several towns six weeks before the said court at the least.
Edw, RISHWORTH. A true copy of those articles above mentioned granted unto Scarborough and Falmouth by the commissioners of the General Court unto them; Transcribed out of the original and examined word for word and truly recorded this 9th day of March 1658–59.
Per Edw. RISHWORTH, Recor,
VII. A PETITION
OF EDWARD GODFREY TO THE GENERAL COURT OF MASSACHUSETTS IN 1654.
This and the four following articles are copied from the original documents in the Secretary of State's office, Massachusetts. They have never before been published. 30 Oct. '54. To the Hon. Gov., Deputy Gov., the magistrates
and deputies of the Court now assembled, the humble petition of Edw. Godfrey of the town of York.
Sheweth that he hath been a well willer, incourager and furderer of this Col. of N. E. for forty-five years past and above thirty-two years an adventurer on that design, twenty-four years an inhabitant of this place, the first that ever bylt or settled ther; some eighteen years passed by oppression of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, was forced to goe to Eng. to Provide a Patten from the Councell of N. E. for himself and partners, the south side to Sir Ferdinando Gorges, and onely the North side to himself and divers others his associates. Certain years after some settlement, the inhabitants petitioned to have their lands laid out and deeds for the same, which was granted and by that occasion the whole Bounds of the Pattent were divided as upon Record appeareth, but since that time the inhabitants have been so Bould as amongst themselves to share and divide those lotts and proportions of land as were so long time since allotted being not proportionable and considerable to our great charge, as by a draft of the river and division of the same will appear to this Hon. Court this division was made by order of Court and by all freely allowed in Anno '40 and '41 and since, when wee came under this government confirmed as will appear. And the proportions to be less than many that came servants, all the marshes almost disposed of by the inhabitants and their petitioners, rentes and acknowledgements detayned having not marsh left him to
keepe five head of Cattle, in this cause it pleased the Council to send a Summons to the inhabitants and some of York by name which I heere was faithfully and safe delivered unto them in time which I presume they will obey.
Humbly desireth his cause may be heard and judicated by this hon. Court.
The magistrates desire the case in the petition shall be heard by the whole Court on the fourth day next, desiring their brethren the deputys consent hereto. E. Rawson, Secretary. The dep. consent hereto.
WM. TORREY, Clerk.
A PETITION FROM THE INHABITANTS OF MAINE TO OLIVER CROMWELL, 1656.
To his Highnes Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England,
Scotland and Ireland. The petition of several of the inhabitants of the townes of York, Kittery, Sacoe, Welles, and Cape Porpus, sometime under the provincial government of Maine and Ligonia, now under the Jurisdiction of the Mass. in New England.
Humbly sheweth, Whereas information doth report unto us of several addresses lately made unto your Highnesse by some gentlemen of worth for restitution of their right of jurisdiction over us claymed, by their pattents, the determination whereof we humbly conceive, after a Legall hearing, rests upon your pleasure, wherein ourselves being not so properly concerned as others at present, doe purposely wave, craving leave only to present your highnesse with a true narrative, though implictly of our first and last estate, before and since we had this Gov't. which through God's mercy we are to enjoy to our good satisfaction, and for our continual settlednesse under it we daily pray, for these reasons.
1st. Because of ourselves, we have small power to carry on government, being a people but few in number, and those not competent persons to manage weighty affairs, our weakness occasioning distraction, our paucity, division, our meannesse, contempt, as our own former experience, hath fully evinced to the total subverting of all civill order amongst us.
2dly. Because changes cannot reduce things from Impossibilities to make things of such as are not, to be. The case is ours, the places of our residence admit of but small inlargement,
the generality of the country from us Eastward is so confusedly taken up, being of sterile lands, swamps and rocky mountaynes, as not more than a few shreads are left by the sea shore fitt for Cohabitation, and these already populated by an inconsiderate number of people; How ye wisest of such, who desire superintendency over us can settle a well governed Commonweale upon such basis, we leave to your wisdom to judge.
3dly. Because changes in these times may prove dangerous, where discontented spirits wait for such opportunities, which have not been the least part of that small number amongst us, who were professed Royalists whose breathings that way since our subjecting to theire authoritie bave been so farre stifled as that ye activitie of such spirits cannot find any or the least opportunity of motion.
4th. Because we feare the hurtfulnesse of our changes as our government now is, our persons and estates stand under ye securitie of wholesome laws, watchful Governors, the fathers of our nourishment and peace, whose joyous care not only tollerates but maintaynes us but ye purest institutions, for the encouragement of godly persons both ministers and others, to reside amongst us, but changing, it may throw us back into our former estate to live under negligent masters, ye danger of a confused Anarchy, and such other inconveniences as may make us a fitt shelter for ye worst of men, delinquents and ill affected persons, to make theire resort unto, thereby to exempt themselves from justly deserved punishments.
5thly. Changes are apt to Inihilate, unlesse they prove much for the better, especially in weak bodyes, where heads are farr remote touching such events our former experience hath taught us something else we crave of those gentlemen, who are now so solicitous for government over us, what meant the deepnesse of their silence several years, both in their tongues and penns, as not after our frequency of writing to them they not so much as return us one syllable of answer or afford us the least assistance in government, the want thereof let us sink into great distractions, for our recovery thence several among us petitioners for government unto ye Colony of ye Mass., who after some debate with us and confirmation of some articles of agreement