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an intent to reside here, butt shall give notice thereof to the Selectmen of the towne for their approbation within 8 dayes after their Cominge to the towne upon penalty of twenty shillings.
It is farther ordered that no Inhabitant shall farme, lett, or putt to sale to any person any howse or howses within this towne, without first acquaintinge the select men of the town theirwith.
In December, 1652, appears the first entry of the admission of a person as a townsman or inhabitant upon security. The record is:
Att a metting of all the Seleckt men, William Gilford, Brikelayer, is admitted a Townsman. M'. Richard Bellingham ingageth to secur the town from all dammag by Receiving of hime for one whole yeare.
At the same meeting “M'. Pighogg, a Chururgeon, is admitted a Townsman,” “John Lewes is fyned 5s. for Intertaining of Francis Burges without libertie of the seleckt men,” and “Good" Watters is fyned tenn shillings for Intertaining of Roger Sowers without libertie form the seleckt men.”
On June 28, 1654, William Bruff was admitted as an “Inhabytant, William Wenbourne standing bound to the towne that he shall nott be Chargeable thereto."
(Again, February 25, 1655) Nathaneell Woodard is admitted an inhabitant, and Thomas Harwood bound in a bond of 201. to secure the towne from any charge that may arise by the sayd Wodard or his family.
On March 31, 1656, the following record is made, which is the first record, I think, of any warning out in New England:
Richard Pittman is fined twenty shillings for nott giving security to save the towne from charge, and to depart the towne forthwith if hee put nott in security.
Numerous entries follow of fines imposed for entertaining persons without consent of the town, of which these are illustrative:
[March 26, 1657) George Burrill, Cooper, is fined ten shillings for intertaining Jno Gilbert into his family, withoutt consent of the towne. ... Ralph Hutchinson is fined ten shillings for intertaining Jno. Gilbert into his family, withoutt the townes mens consent. ... John Hart is fined ten shillings for intertaining Jno. Gilbert into his family, withoutt the townesmens consent.
On April 27, 1657, there are the following records, showing the manner in which security was given for persons admitted into the town:
Richard Way is admitted into the Town, provided that Aron Way doe become bound in the sum of twenty pound sterll. to free the Town from any charge that may accrew to the town by the said Rich'. or his family.
Richard Smith is admitted into the Town, being Comended to the Town by M'. Jno. Willson, senr., provided that Henry Blague and John Pease, become bound to the Town in the sum of twenty pounds sterll.
We, William Blague and John Pease, doe heerby bind our selves, our heires, executors, &c., joyntly and severally in the full sum of twenty pound sterll. unto the select men of Boston and their successors, to secure the Town from all charge from tyme to tyme from the said Rich" Smith and his family: and hereunto put our hands.
On June 29, 1657, there is the following entry, which, I think, is the first with regard to support by the towns
It is ordered that Ensigne Jno. Web shall suply Richard Sanfurd with such necesary support as the little infant Mary Langham or the nurse thereoff either have or shall expend, untell the Town take further order.
It appears that on December 29, 1657, Richard Seward was admitted an inhabitant, Nat Fryar being bound in a bond of twenty pounds to secure the town from charge. Derman Mahoone was fined twenty
shillings for “intertaining two Irish women contrary to an order of the towne, in that case provided and is to quitt his house of them forthwith att his perill.”
On January 25, 1657, it was recorded that
Elizabeth Blesdale hath liberty to reside in the towne, and William Beamsley is bound in a bond of twenty pounds to save the towne from any charge that may arise by her during her said residence, which is acknowledged by William BEAMSLEAY.
At this time, admission as an inhabitant upon the security given by some person to save the town harmless from any charge that might afterwards arise seems to have become general, and the bond of security was ordinarily twenty pounds.*
In 1659 the entertainment of persons not admitted as inhabitants seems to have reached such an extent that a general order for the protection of the town was deemed proper, and the following order was passed June 13, 1659, at a general town meeting:
Whereas sundry inhabitants in this towne have nott so well attended to former orders made for the securing the towne from charge by sojourners, inmates, hyred servants, journeymen, or other persons that come for help in physick or chyrurgery, whereby no litle damage hath already, and much more may accrew to the towne. For the prevention whereof Itt is therefore ordered, that whosoever of our inhabitants shall henceforth receive any such persons before named into their howses or employments without liberty granted from the select men, shall pay twenty shillings for the first weeke, and so from weeke to weeke, twenty shillings, so long as they retaine them, and shall beare all the charge that may accrew to the Towne by every such sojourner, journeyman, hired servt., Inmate, &c., received or employed as aforesaid. Provided, alwayes, that if any person so receiving any shall, within fifteene dayes, give sufficient security unto the select men that the Towne may be secured from all charges that may arise by any person received, and that the persons so received bee not of notorious evill life and manners, their fine abovesaid shall bee remitted or abated according to the discretion of the select men. And itt is further ordered that if after bond given by any, they give such orderly notice to the select men that the towne may bee fully cleared of such person or persons so received according to law, then their bonds shall be given in againe. *
* See Boston Town Records, 1634-1660.
In Woburn no one was allowed to become an inhabitant without first producing evidence of his peaceable behavior, and by consent of the selectmen or the town at a public meeting. One of the original town orders provided that no person should entertain any inmate in his family, whether married or otherwise, for more than three days without the consent of four selectmen, under penalty of sixpence for the use of the town for every day.
These orders were rigorously enforced by fines for a long series of years.†
In 1648 a stranger was admitted an inhabitant of Woburn and permitted to buy land for his convenience, “provided he unsettle not any inhabitant and bring testimony of his peaceable behaviour which is not in the least measure questioned.” 1
In Scituate it was provided in 1673 that no one should have any interest in the undivided lands "that is not allowed and approved as an inhabitant of the
* See Boston Town Records, 1634-1660, p. 152.
This was but doing in New England what was done at the same time to some extent in England. March 13, 1664, the Steeple-Ashton vestry voted as follows:
"Item, Whereas there hath much poverty happened unto this parish by receiving of Strangers to inhabit there and not first securing them against such contingencies, and for avoiding the like occasions in time to come,-It is ordered by this Vestry that every person who shall let or set any housing or dwelling to any Stranger, and shall not first give good security for defending and saving the said inhabitants from future charge as may happen by such Stranger coming to inhabit within the said parish, shall be rated to the poor to 20s. monthly, over and besides his monthly tax.”
† Sewall, History of Woburn, pp. 47, 48.
town of Scituate.” And in 1667 the town voted that, if any person should entertain a stranger after being admonished by a committee appointed for that purpose, he should be punished by a fine of ten shillings for each week.
At the same meeting the town voted “that Mr. Black should depart the Towne presently." *
In Springfield there were very full orders in regard to the admission of inhabitants. In 1638 it was provided that no man should sell his lot to another inhabitant that had a lot, and that no man should possess two lots without the consent of the town till he had been an inhabitant five years; and that, if any man desired to sell his lot to a stranger, he might do it if the town did not “disallow of ye sd stranger," and, if it did disallow the admission of the stranger, then it should buy the lot at an appraisal within twenty days, or it should be deemed that the town allowed purchase by the stranger. This order was later changed so as to provide that no inhabitant should sell or let his land to any stranger without notifying the selectmen who the stranger was, and they allowing the admission of the stranger as an inhabitant, under penalty of twenty shillings or forfeiting the land, and, if the townsmen disallowed the admission of the purchaser, then the town might within thirty days buy the land at an appraisal, or, if they did not, then the land might be sold to the stranger who “should be esteemed as entertained or alowed of by the towne as an inhabitant.”
In 1642 the following vote was passed :
It is agreed with the generall consent and vote of the Inhabitants of Springfield: That if any man of this Township shall under the
* Deane, History of Scituate, pp. 11, 110. † Green, History of Springfield, pp. 48, 49.