foregoing charter and bounds of the several towns, (Halifax, Marlborough,
and Newfane) are recorded (in the first book of New Hampshire charters,
from page 20 to 28.
Col. John Hazeltine procured the granting
of the township, and the first settlers used to relate that he had names
of his neighbors and acquaintances entered as grantees on back of the charter
without their knowledge; that soon after the town was granted, he went
round and called upon these unadvised proprietors, saying to each: “What
shall I give you for a quit claim of your right in Townshend?” The
invariable reply was, “I don’t know as I have got any right, or interest
there.” This answer brought out the inquiry, “what is it worth to
you then, and what will you take for it?” The satisfactory reply
was, “Oh, give us a mug of tod, and I will deed you all the right I have
to anything up there.” The liquor would soon be furnished, and under
its inspiration a deed would be executed. There may be more fact
than fiction in the story, for our land records show that within nine months
for date of charter, Col. Hazeltine became owner of sixteen rights for
the consideration of one shilling each, which is the sum he would have
paid for the toddy, had it been brought in when a deed of one of the rights
was delivered to him.
The proprietor’s book of records shows
what was done by the original grantees to effect a division in severalty
of this land, and to forward a settlement of the town; it also contains
the pitches of land made by the proprietors, and laid out by committees
appointed for that purpose; but no conveyance from grantor to grantee was
We now present a copy of the proprietor’s
record prior to the year 1755.
and proceedings of first meeting of the proprietors.
the subscriber, being appointed by the governor and council of New Hampshire
government to notify the grantees of a new township, viz:
attend the first meeting on the last Wednesday of August in this present
year: you are hereby notified to attend the first meeting of the grantees
of Townshend, in the Province of New Hampshire, said meeting to be held
at the house of Mr. Luke Brown, innholder, in Worcester, at ten of the
clock in the forenoon of the last Wednesday of Aug. 1753; to choose town
officers for said
Townshend, agreeably to the laws of the Province of New
Hampshire; and likewise to choose proprietor’s officers for the township
of Townshend; and also to transact any other affairs, matters or things
that the said proprietors or grantees shall think proper to encourage,
promote and forward the settlement of the said town of Townshend.
At a meeting of the grantees
of the township in the Province of New Hampshire, regularly assembled and
met at the house of Mr. Luke Brown, on the last Wednesday of August, at
ten of the clock in the forenoon, in the year 1753. Said meeting
was authorized and appointed by his excellency, the governor, and the honorable
council of said Province of New Hampshire, in and by the charter of said
Townshend; and likewise John Hazeltine appointed moderator of said meetings;
at said meeting the following votes were passed, or the things hereafter
mentioned were transacted.
William Young, chose town clerk for said Townshend, and likewise clerk
for said grantees in land affairs, and sworn to the faithful discharge
of his office in the meeting.
John Hazeltine, Esq., Isaac Barnard, Esq., and Mr. Benjamin Woodbury, Benjamin
Marsh, and William Young, chosen selectmen.
William Young and Thomas Denney, chosen assessors.
Jonathan Haile, chosen treasurer, and was sworn to the faithful discharge
of said office in said meeting.
Abner Hazeltine, chosen constable and collector.
Voted, that the above named selectmen to be a committee to prosecute affairs
respecting the settlement of said Townshend, and agreeable to such directions
as shall be hereafter given them.
Voted, that the committee proceed to run the lines or bounds of said township,
agreeable to the charter, as soon as may be; likewise that tract of land
noted in the charter of which each grantee is to be allotted one acre.
Voted, that said committee then proceed and lay out seventy-two lots, each
lot to contain as a standard either forty or fifty acres, as said committee
upon viewing said township shall judge convenient or most proper: and that
said lots be laid out quantity for quality: and also five hundred acres
in one tract for his excellency, Benning Wentworth, agreeably to the charter.
Voted, that a tax of two dollars be assessed on each right, and that said
tax be paid to the treasurer at or before next meeting for drawing of the
lots. Voted, also, that any of the grantees which shall neglect or
refuse to pay said tax as above shall be secluded the privilege of drawing
his or their lot or lots.
that the above named committee be a committee to appoint meetings of said
grantees for the future; and that they notify all such meetings as they
shall appoint by posting up notifications in writing, 14 days before the
meeting, at the dwelling houses of Mr. Luke Brown in Worcester, Jonathan
Haile and Samuel Buck in Sutton; and that in said notifications be
inserted the time when and place where, of such meetings, together with
the articles to be acted upon by said grantees when met.
that the charges or expenses of this meeting, viz; five pounds, five shillings
and three pence, old tenor, be paid by the treasurer, Mr. Jonathan Haile,
out of the public money of said society of grantees.
Then said meeting was dissolved.
WILLIAM YOUNG, P. Clerk.