The original proprietors of Townshend obtained title from the crown through the Colonial Governor and council of New Hampshire.  The town charter is dated June 20, 1753.  It is in the usual form and we now give only the particulars wherein it is supposed to differ from any township charter executed by the same magistracy.

      The premises conveyed are bounded as follows: “Beginning at a stake and stones, the northeasterly corner of Fane, thence running six miles N. 20°  E.  to a stake and stones, thence W. 10° N. to a stake and stones, thence S. 20° W. to the N. W. corner of Fane, thence E. 10° S. by Fane aforesaid, to the N. E. corner thereof, being the stake and stones begun at.”

      Another portion of the charter is expressed in these words: “The first meeting for the choice of town officers, agreeable to the laws of our said province, shall be held on the last Wednesday in August, next, which meeting shall be notified by John Hazeltine, Esq., who is hereby also appointed the moderator of said first meeting, which he is to notify and govern agreeable to the laws and customs of our said Province, and the annual meeting forever hereafter, for the choice of such officers of said town, shall be on the second Wednesday in March, annually.”

      The ownership of the grant was divided into 74 shares, 69 person whose names are on the back of the charter, took one share each, the other five shares are conveyed in these words: “To his Excellency, Benning Wentworth, Esq., a tract of land to contain five hundred acres, which is to be accounted two of the within shares.  One whole share for the incorporated society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign parts.  One whole share for the first settled Minister of the Gospel in said town.  One whole glebe for the Ministry of the Church of England as by law established.”

      The sixty-nine grantees arranged in alphabetical order comprise the following names:

Theodore Atkinson, Marshall Baker, Moses Baker, Isaac Barnard, Jonathan Barnard, Joshua Barnard, Luke Brown, Abel Chase, jr., Daniel Chase, Moody Chase, Moses Chase, Samuel Chase, Samuel Chase, jr., Alexander Clayton, John Clements, Samuel Daggett, jr., Thomas Denney, John Downing, Joseph Dyer, Elisha Fisk, Ebenezer Fisk, Eleazer Fletcher, Jonathan Fry, Isaac Gale, Josiah Gale, Samuel Gile, Jonathan Hale, David Hall, David Hall, jr., Isaac Harrington, Isaac Harrington, jr., Samuel Hawley, Abner Hazeltine, Silas Hazeltine, Antipas Holland, Jonathan Halman, Solomon Halman, Soloman Halman, jr., James Leland, Phineas Leland, Benjamin Marsh, Isaac Miller, Eliakim Rice, Lemuel Robbins, Abner Sawyer, Sampson Sheafe, Henry Shelburne, Jesse Smith, Samuel Smith, Joseph Sparhawk, John Stowell, Hezekiah Stowell, Jason Wait, Jonathan Wait, Henry Walker, Hezekiah Ward, Daniel Warner, Jonas Warner, jr., James Wellman, John Wentworth, jr., Richard Wibird, Jonathan Wilson, Benjamin Woodbury, Joshua Woodbury, William Joany.  

      Each of the shares, except those of the governor, represents a little more than three hundred and thirteen acres of land.  Records in the town clerk’s office show that Rev. Nicolas Dudley and LukeKnowlton, conveyed the rights which belonged to the governor.  The ministerial right passed to Rev. Nicolas Dudley, and was located where DeaconBelknap afterwards lived.  The glebe seems to have been located upon the steepest part of the rocky hill back of the present residence of Col. Twitchell.

      Nothing is known of what became of the original charter.  In the town clerk’s office there is a copy which is duly authenticated by the Secretary of State of New Hampshire, on the 29th of June, 1774. Upon it is also the following certificate, in compliance likely with some action under a resolution of the General Assembly passed in June, 1779.