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PLANTATION OFFICE WHITEHALL July 21, 1732. The foregoing papers are true Coppies from the books of this Office.
Richard Wharton died in London in May 1689, leaving a widow, an elder son Wiiliam and five daughers by his two wives. One of the daughters married a Cotta of Boston, the others remained unmarried. Mr. Wharton held a large estate in Boston and was highly esteemed. He was the son of Lord Wharton and died insolvent.
2-DEPOSITIONS. When Mr. Wharton took his deed of Mr. Purchas's heirs, we may well suppose that he would collect what evidence he could find to prove that his grantors had a title to the land at Pejenscot. I suppose the following affadavits were taken for this purpose. They appear to have been taken the same year of the date of Mr. Whartons deed.
John REDING about 30 years, maketh oath, that ever since the Deponent can remember Mr. Purchas lived at Pejepscot and that he had heard his Father say, that for many years he lived upon Mair point, by sufferance of Mr. Purchas, and his said Father had served him in sundry employments ; and that the land both sides of Androscoggin river for many miles, and down Kennebec river as far as Merrymeeting and to Maquoit in Casco Bay were the said Mr. Purchas'. And the Deponent saith that about three years before the Indian war the Deponent was employed with Mr. Lawson and others upon the salmon and sturgeon fishing below the falls near Mr. Purchas' home, and that they saved in about three weeks about 39 bbls of Salmon, besides what they spoiled for lack of salt, and about 90 kegs and many bbls of Sturgeon, and that if they had been fitted with salt, and apt and skilful men, they might have taken
abundance more, and your Deponent saith by report of Indians and others at Androscoggin Falls upon the same river, there is much better fishing for Salmon, and that this river is accounted the best salmon river in all the Eastward parts of the country. In coram Veria Copia
S. BRADFORD Gov. As Attest John Raymond Not. Pub. Francis NE ALE Gent Deposcth that about 30 years since he went to live near Casco Bay & that Mr. Thomas Purchase then lived at Pejepscot in a fair stone house, and as the Deponent was informed had there lived for many years and had been one of Sr Ferdinando Gorges Commrs & a Justice of the Peace for the Province of Maine & that he had often heard that Mr. Purchase seated himself and settled that Plantation by vertue of an Ancient Patent or Grant from the King or Councill of Plymouth to Mr. George Way of Dorchester and the said Mr. Purchase ; and that by consent when Mr. Purchase came over, committed the said Patent to one Francis Ashley & that his Duplicate or coppy was burned in Mr. Purchase's house at Pejepscot many years before the Depont. came into that country as he is informed ; And this Mr Purchase claimed by said Patent down the river near thirty miles, the Depont. being present with him as a Witness when he demanded possession of some Land w'ch Mr Lake & Major Clark improved which were at least Twenty miles from Mr Purchase's dwelling house, but how far Mr Purchase claimed up Damrose Coggan river above the lower falls, the Depont. knows not, but that Mare point & Maquoit were claimed by & reputed Mr Purchase's. further the Depont. saith that about thirty years since when the Depont. came into these parts Mr Purchase was then Magistrate, Justice of Peace and was so for many years before, as he is informed, & so continued till the Massachusetts took part of said Province into their Jurisdiction, and that he never heard that either Sr. Ferdinando Gorge, Mr Rigby nor any of their Agents or Commrs. or other Pattentees nor the Colony of the Massachusetts ever disturbed or disputed Mr Purchase's right to any of the Lands afore said. And the Depont. saith that he hath had greatt intimacy with Mr Purchase for many years and that Mr. Purchase gave the Depont. to understand that he had been servant to King Charles the first of blessed memory about the beginning of his Reign, & gave the Depont. a coppy of the Commmissn. by which he held his place, which, that Depont. being then Recordr. put upon record.
Francis Neale personally appearing before us & made Oathi to the truth of what is on the other side written & also to what is on this side.
JOSEPH DUDLEY Boston Nov. 17, 1683. Natal. SALTONSTALL
assistants of his Maj. Coll.
of the Massachusetts. RICHARD COLLICUT aged about Fourscore years, Testifies upon Oath that it is about thirty five years since he first knew Mr. Thomas Purchase & that ever since during his life he was well acquainted with him, & that ever since the Depont. knew the said Purchase till the late Indian war broke out, which is about eight years since, the said Mr. Purchase lived at a place called Pejepscot, and many years before as the Deponent understood both by information & the improvements & settlement made by the said Purchaso, who possessed and claimed a very large portion or tract of land, lying on both sides Androscoggin river & upon the outward side of Kennebec river as far as a place called Merrymeeting, and that said Mr. Purchase's Land reached to and was bounded by Casco Bay, Maquoit being within his bounds; and by common fame he said Purchase possessed said Lands by vertue of an ancient Grant or Patent from the King or Councill of Plymouth, made to Mr. George Way of Dorchester in the Kingdom of England & himself; and the said
Deponent further Testifies that he rather believes the same because said Purchase hath told him that when he came from England, he left the original Patent or Grant there ; and above six years since the Depo Ant brought said Mr. Purchase from the eastward to Boston in his vessel, from whence he took passage quickly after for England, as he said, purposely to look after and secure said patents ; And the Deponent saith that he hath known Mr. Purchase a Magistrate or Commr. for Sir Ferdinando Gorge, & afterwards for Mr. Rigby when he claimed part of the Province of Main, & although the Depont. was a constant trader in these parts from the time he first knew Mr. Purchase till the late Indian war, yet he never heard or understood that either Sir Ferdinando George, Mr. Rigby, or Mr. George or any of their Agents or Comm’rs or any other person ever disturbed Mr. Purchase in his possession or claimed or disputed his right in the said Tract of Land. Taken upon Oath in Boston New England, Nov• 21st. 1683. before us JOHN RICHARDS,
Asst's Vera Copia
PHILIP LEWIS aged about Thirty seven years maketh oath that the Depont. hath lived ever since he can remember, and as his Parents informed him was born at Casco in the province of Main and that ever since that Depont, can remember, Mr. Purchase lived at Pejepscot in said Province and was accompted Proprietor of a large territory reaching to Merrymeeting in Kennebec river to Maquoit in Casco Bay, and many miles up Androscoggin river on both sides, and that he this Depot: was present with said Purchase & Mr. Joslyn, and Mr. Monjoy, when they went up the said river Ten or twelve miles above Mr Purchase his House, where a Trading house was then building, which Mr Purchase forbid ; and that Depot. saith that he hath heard his Father say that he lived with said Mr. Purchase
at Pejepscot many yrs. before the Depont. was born, and the Depot. saith he never heard or knew that Mr. Purchase his title was ever disputed or questioned but that he continued in quiet and peaceable possession till the late Indian war; And the Depont. saith that the said Andross Coggin is reputed the best river for Salmon and Sturgen in New England, and further saith not.
December 5th. 1683 Vera Copia
Jus. Cor'me S. BRADSTREET Govr. As. Attests
JOHN HAYWARD Not. Pub.
THE INDIAN PEREPOLE'S DEPOSITION. I Perepole of Lawful age testify and say that the Inden Name of the river was Pejepscook from Quabacook what is now called Meremeeting bay up as far as amitgonpontook what the English call Harrises falls and all the river from Harrises falls up was called ammoscongon and the Largest falls on the river was above Rockamecook about twelve miles, and them falls have got three Pitches, and there is no other falls on the river like them and the Indens yousd to catch the most Salmon at the foot of them falls, and the Indens yousd to say when they went Down the river from Rockamecook and when they gat Down over the falls by Harrises they say now come Pejepcook