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declare their names and explain their motives, and that servants should bring testimony of good character before being permitted to abide in the town.*
In Watertown it was voted that “no foreigner of England or some other plantation shall have liberty to sit down amongst us, unless he first have the consent of the freemen of the town.” †
In 1680 an inhabitant was brought before the selectmen to answer for entertaining one of his sisters who was newly married, and required to give a bond for forty pounds in behalf of his sister and her husband that they should not become chargeable to the town. I
In 1644 it was ordered by the townsmen of Cambridge that no person with his family shall come as an Inhabitant in to of Towne, with out the consent of the major part of the Townsmen for the time being, under the penalty of 209. for eu'ie weeke.
In Lancaster it was ordered that "for the better preserving of the puritie Religion and ourselves from the infection of Error not to distribute allotments and to receive into the plantation as inhabitants any excommunicate or otherwise profane and scandalous (known so to be) nor any notoriously erring against the doctrine and discipline of the churches and the State and Government of this Commonweale." ||
In Groton, June 2, 1669, we find the record to be that "the towne did solemlie determine to take in no more but a taylear and a smith,” and later that "it was the towne's mind” that “onely a smith and no other” could be admitted.**
* Worthington, History of Dedham, pp. 32, 33.
† MacLear, Early New England Towns, Columbia University Studies, Vol. XXIX, No. 1, p. 134.
$ Cambridge Town Records, p. 50. || Early Records of Lancaster, p. 28. **Green, Early Records of Groton, pp. 25, 26.
In Braintree, Massachusetts, it was ordered in 1641, that no inhabitant should sell or dispose of any house or land “to any one that is not received an inhabitant into the town” without it was first offered to the selectmen, and, in case it was not bought by them within twenty days, then it might be sold, but only “to such as the townsmen shall approve."
In March, 1681, it was ordered that no inhabitant should entertain any stranger without leave from the selectmen upon penalty of ten shillings for every three days of such entertainment. *
In Weymouth in 1646 a vote was passed forbidding any inhabitant from receiving as an inmate any stranger without giving the town an indemnity bond against damage under a penalty of a fine of five shillings per week; and no inhabitant could sell or let to any stranger either house or land without having first tendered the same to the town at a training, lecture, or other public meeting. †
The early settlers of Medfield in 1650 signed an agreement, the preamble to which is interesting:
Forasmuch as for the further promulgation of the Gospell the subdueing of this pt of the earth amongst the races given to the sonns of Adam & the enlargmt of the bounds of the habitations formerly designed by God to som of his people in this wilderness it hath pleased the Lord to move and direct (etc.).
The third article of the agreement was that
We shall all of us in the said Towne Faithfully endeavour tht onely such be receaved to our societie & Township as we may have sufficient satisfaction in, that they ar honest, peacable, & free from scandall and eronious opinnions.
In Saco it was voted by the townsmen, September 27, 1653, that Roger Spencer and “his heirs forever”
* Bates, Braintree Town Records, pp. 2, 20. † Nash, History of Weymouth, p. 32.
should have liberty to set up a saw-mill, provided he did so within a year, and on condition that all townsmen should have boards twelvepence in a hundred cheaper than any stranger, and also that townsmen should be employed in the mill before a stranger, “provided they doo their worke so cheap as a stranger."
In a similar grant in January, 1654, to one John Davis, it was a condition of the grant that he should employ townsmen before others, strangers, and buy provisions of townsmen before strangers at price current, and that the town was to have boards for their own use at tenpence a hundred under current price.
In 1654 it was ordered “that if any outner desire to come into towne to inhabite they shall put in sufisient security not to be chargeable to the towne."*
In Billerica, in November, 1654, the town adopted
Sertin Orders made by vs the present inhabitantes of the Towne of Billericey, for ye weall of ye [town]:
ily. (That wh]at person or persons soever (shall] propound themselves to be sinhabi]tantes amongste vs, to p'take of (the prsiviledges of the comons, devitions (of la]ndes, &c., if not known to vs, he or they shall bring with them a certificate from the place from whence they come, such a testimony as shall be satisfactory to of towne, or select p'sons of the same, before they shall be admitted as inhabitants amongste vs, to p'take of any priviledges as aforesaid with vs; and after their Admission they shall subscribe their names to all the orders of the Towne, with oʻselves, y are or shall be made for the public good of the place, as also for baring vp their proportions in all publique charges, in Church, Towne, or comon weall, with those persons that came vp at the first, and so shall have their priviledges in equall proportion.f
In Chelmsford an order was passed as early as 1656 that no person should own land until he had been approved and admitted as an inhabitant by a majority
* Folsom, History of Saco and Biddeford, pp. 99, 100.
vote at a public town meeting. In the same year an inhabitant was admitted and granted land, “provided he set up his trade of weaving and perform the town's work.” Another inhabitant was admitted and given a grant of land, “provided he set up a saw-mill and supply the town with boards at three shillings a hundred, or saw one log for the providing and bringing of another.” This inhabitant, Samuel Adams, was also granted other land in consideration of his putting up a corn-mill, and the town passed an order “that no other corn-mill shall be erected for this town, provided the said Adams keep a sufficient mill and miller.”*
In 1657 the selectmen of Salem cautioned the inhabitants of that town to comply with the colony ordinance of 1637 with regard to admitting inhabitants, upon a penalty of twenty shillings a week during its violation.
In 1660 two persons were fined in Salem for entertaining a stranger. In 1669 two persons were fined twenty shillings apiece for entertaining a Quaker, who was warned to depart, but persevered and subsequently became an inhabitant. In 1670 a person was appointed and instructed to goe from house to house aboute the towne, once a moneth, to inquire what strangers are come, or haue priuily thrust themselues into towne and to giue notice to the Selectmen in beinge, from tyme to tyme, and he shall haue the fines for his paynes or such reasonable satisfaction as is meet.
In Rowley, in 1660, it was ordered:
That no land be sold or granted by the Town unless twice published to the Town in open meeting on different days previous to the day the grant is made. The consent of adjoining owners is also required. The towns are not to exchange any land but in the same way. No tenant is to be taken into any house but by consent of the Town on penalty of 19 shillings per month. No man is to sell house or land to a stranger without first offering it to the Selectmen to be appraised by indifferent men on penalty of 19 shillings per month for each parcel.*
* Allen, History of Chelmsford, pp. 17, 18.
In Hadley it was voted, October 8, 1660, that no person should be owned for an inhabitant or have liberty to vote or act in town affairs until he should be legally received as an inhabitant.f
In Andover in 1660 persons were prohibited to build upon any house lots not granted to them for that purpose upon a penalty of twenty shillings a month, the records stating that “the town having given houselots to build on to all such as they have received as inhabitants of the town.”I
In 1661 it was ordered by the town of Sandwich that two persons have power to take notice of such as intrude themselves into the town without the town's consent and prevent their residing here.
On December 3, 1668, the town of Plymouth voted that
The Celect men shall hensforth have full power to Require any that shall Receive any stranger soe as to entertaine them into theire house to give Cecuritie unto them to save the Towne harmles from any damage that may acrew unto them by theire entertainment of such as aforsaid, and also voted that “John Everson be forthwith warned to depart the towne with all Convenient speed.”
On August 22, 1681, the town passed an order that
Noe houskeeper or other in this Towne Resideing in the Towne shall entertaine any stranger into theire houses above a fortnight without giveing Information to the Celect men or some one
* Gage, History of Rowley, p. 140.