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of them therof upon the forfeiture of ten shillings a weeke for all such time as any such stranger shalbe soe entertained and stay without the said Information: To be levied on the estate of such house keepers or others that shall neglect to Informe as aforsaid:
And incase the Celect men upon Information as aforsaid shall see cause to either take bonds for every such stranger either; to keep and save the Towne harmles from any damage that may acrew unto the Towne by the stay of such stranger or strangers in the Towne or expell them out of the Towne; the Celect men are heerby Impowered to doe either as they shall see Reason and cause.*
In Middleboro inhabitants were admitted by a vote of the town. One record, June 11, 1695, reads,
“The town jointly agreed together by their vote to accept of certain” persons named “as townsmen and to have the privileges of the same.”ť.
In Roxbury in 1672 it was ordered that no new person should be admitted to any family for more than one week without permission from the selectmen under a penalty of twenty shillings.
The division of lands to inhabitants, the restraint upon alienation of lands, admission of inhabitants and warning out of persons not admitted, are well illustrated in the conduct of the early settlers of Dorchester. The settlers of this town agreed on October 8, 1633, to meet once a month at eight o'clock in the morning, and presently upon the beating of the drum, at the meeting house, there to settle such orders as may tend to the general good.
In November of the same year they ordered that such as desired to have lots should manifest the same upon the monthly meetings, that then the inhabitants present might act upon the same, and, if they
* Records of the Town of Plymouth, Vol. I, pp. 106, 169.
Roxbury Town Records, p. 72.
approved, decide where the lands were to be given in the town. In the next year on November 3 they ordered that no man within the Plantation shall sell his house or lott to any man without the Plantation whome they shall dislike off.
In December, 1658, the town took action as follows:
Whereas the generall Court hath taken care what strangers shall Reside in this iurisdiction and how lisenced as by the law title strangers it doth appeare, but haue taken noe order for families ore p’sons that remoue from one towne in this Jurisdiction to an other: now to p’vent such inconvenience as may come if euery one be at liberty to receive into this towne whom they please. It is ordered therfore by the select men of this towne that if any maner of p’son ore p'sons in this towne shall intertaine any soiornour ore inmate into his or ther house ore habitation aboue one weeke without lisence from the selectmen ore the maior parte of them first had and obtained, shall forfeit five shillings, and for every weekes continuance three shillings foure pence. And if any p’son as afore sayd shall receiue any family into his or ther house ore habitation longer then the time aboue sayd shall forfeit the penaltie of twenty shillings, and for euery weekes continuance 138: 4d: all which fines shall be forth with taken by distresse ore otherways by warent from the select men from time to time.
On December 9, 1664, we find this order:
This same day Clement Maxfild, appeared before the select men, and desired that his Brother John Maxfild, being arrived lately from England, might continue in the Towne with him; and that he would secure the Towne, from any dammage, during his residence here, which was granted that he, the sayd Clement Maxfild, might, entertaine his brother as is aboue expressed, vntill such time, as his Brother, shall otherwise settle himself heere, or elswhere.
The Selectmen of Dorchester doe accept of the Request of the Selectmen of Boston on the behalfe of the widow Collins, and doe grant her liberty to remaine, and reside here amongst us, till the 1. day of May, 1666.
On December 12, 1665, the record shows the following:
There was presented vnto the Selectmen of Dorchester a note from the Select men of Boston, containing a Request from them, that the Widow Collins might be permitted by us to passe the winter here in our Towne and thereby engaging themselues, that her reception should not disoblige them from the duty they owe her, as one of their Inhabitants.
Frances Oliuer came to the Select men and desiered liberty to be an inhabetant in this towne but he refusing to secuer the towne from damedge was not admitted.
In 1667 there is the following order:
Richard Curtice came to the Select men, and desiered ther app'bation to Come into the Towne to liue, which was granted on Condition that he doe make ouer his house and land at Melton for the Towns Security that he be not chargable to the towne. And the same day William Sumner was desiered to speak with the Widdow Hims (who is lately come into this towne) to informe her that she must returne to the place from whence she came.
In April, 1668, Ralph Bradice was admitted as an inhabitant upon the agreement of John Gornell, in whose house he was, that he would be bound to secure the town from any damage therefrom. In the same year we find that
Frances Oliuer Came againe and desiered liberty to stay in the Towne and for that end brought Thomas Bird and Joseph Long to be bound for him but they vnderstanding that they must be bound to Cleere him wholly from the Towne for three months after he was remoued, refused soe to doe and therfore the said Oliuer was againe warned to depart the Town.
Family relations had no effect upon this conduct of the town with regard to inhabitancy. On November 13, 1669, the record shows that
it was agreed that ther should be an order sent to John pope (the Select men vnder standing that a daughter of his is to come from Boston into his famely) that he doe forthwith come to the Select men and giue Securety to saue the Towne harmles from Damedg or els to expect the penalty which the towne order lays vpon such as entertaine Inmats.
In January, 1670, it appears that notice was given to Henery Merrifeild to discharge the towne of his daughter Funnell which hath been at his hous about a weeke; vnless he gitt a note vnder the hands of the Select men of Melton that they will receaue her againe if need be and to looke at her as an Inhabetant of their Towne, notwithstanding her residence at her fathers hous for the p'sent.
On November 14, 1670, Timothy Tilston gave bond to the selectmen to save the town harmless from any damage and charges that might arise by reason of James Bridgman, his father-in-law, “Inhabiting in Dorchester or any of his while he or they remaine in Dorchester.”
Frances Bale was called before the Select men, and his fine demanded for Entertaining his Brother in law phillip Searle and his famely in his house without licence from the Select men, whose answer was that he was speedyly to remoue his dwelling to Rocksbery.
The same day a warrant was Isued out to Constable Tilstone to giue notice vnto Henery Roberts for to depart the towne, who is now abiding at danil Ellens.
The same day petter Lyon being caled before the Select men, and at that time desiered liberty for to entertaine peter Greene of Concord into his famely for one month which was granted him, p’uided he Cleer the towne of him at that time.
On November 4, 1671, the record shows that a warrant was directed to the Constable for to goe vp to Capt. Claps farme wher Henery Merrifeild doe lieue and to enquier whether his daughter which
marryed funnell be abiding at his hous, which if she be, then to demand or take by distress ten shillings for his entertaining her Contrary vnto the towne order.
On the eighth day of the next month the wife of Henery Merrifeild appeared before the Select men, to answer for entertaining of their daughter Funnell, Contrary to towne order, whose answer was, that she was their daughter and Could not turn her out of doars this winter time but she would willingly returne to her husband as soone as a passadg pʻsents; but they weer not approued in entertaining her, but the penalty of the town order the Select men would remitt and would leaue it to the County Court to determine the thing, if in Casse she be not gon before.
In 1672 there is the following record:
The Select men haueing sent for John plum and his daughter Mercy, and finding that his said daughter being marryed to Thomas Chub of Beuerlee, and being alsoe neere the time of her deliuery is not p’uided for by her said husband, nor taken home to him, but continues heer with her father, contrary to good order, and to the hazarding of a charge vpon the towne, doe therfore order and requier, that the said Mercy Chub doe speedily within Six or eight days leaue this towne, and betake herself to her said husband. And doe also warne and order the said John Plum that he noe longer entertaine his said daughter, but hasten her to her husband as aforesaid vpon the penalty by the Town order in that Case p’uided, and of being complained of further to Authorety that soe the towne may be saued harmeless.
John plum was called before the Select men to giue an accompt of his entertaining his Sonne Chub and his wife, whose answer was that his Sonne in law was gon and the Select men ordered him to discharge the towne of his daughter alsoe, forthwith.
In November, 1677, the records show that
Doctor Snellen of Boston Came to the Select men to obtaine libertie for to bring his wife and famely into this towne because of the pox increasing in Boston which libertie was granted him for