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directed to observe the same rules relative thereto as they are ordered to do in managing the estates of other absentees.”
October, 1778: The General Court order agents of estates of absentees to lay before them an account of all the property of such persons; and, furthermore, resolve that none of the real estate shall be sold to pay their debts.
Feb. 1, 1779: The General Court resolved that all moneys received from rent or sale of the land of absentees be put into the treasury of the State.
May 1, 1779: The Court resolved to direct all agents to warn out the present possessors, and give possession to the new lessees of the State.
May, 1779: The General Court appointed a Committee to sell at auction the confiscated estates of certain absentees. Sir William Pepperell, the son-in-law of Colonel Royal, is named in the list; but Colonel Royal is not.
October, 1782: The General Court resolved that the estates of absentees ought to be held to pay the just debts of said persons; and therefore they order that the moneys received from the sale of such estates shall go to pay the creditors, deducting three per cent to the State for expenses.
The mode of restoring the estate of Colonel Royal to his heirs, and their disposition of it, may be learned from the following documents.
Extract from the deed given by Henry Hutton and Elizabeth Royal Hutton, of England, to Mr. Robert Fletcher, of London, dated London, Feb. 25, 1806. It refers to the powers granted by the Legislature:
“ And whereas, by an act of the Legislature of Massachusetts, passed on or about the 31st January, 1805, it was enacted or resolved that the Hon. James Sullivan, Attorney-General of said Commonwealth, and the Hon. Christopher Gore, or the survivors of them, should be, and they were, thereby authorized to make and execute a deed of conveyance of the said lands, messuages, and tenements, formerly belonging to the said Isaac Royal, to the said Robert Fletcher, his heirs and assigns, in fee simple, in manner and form, as was provided by the act passed on the 8th of March, 1792, entitled 'An act for providing a more easy and simple method than was then in use for barring estates in tail in lands, and for making the same liable for the payment of the debts of tenants in tail;' and that such deed, executed and acknowledged by the said James Sullivan and Christopher Gore, Esqrs., or the survivors of them, and recorded in the Registry of Deeds, in the Counties of Middlesex and Norfolk respectively, should be as good and sufficient in law, and should have the same force and effect, as though the same were made, executed, and acknowledged by Charles Henry Hutton, the eldest son of the said Henry Hutton and Elizabeth Royal, his wife, when of full age and in possession of the said premises.
“And that, for and notwithstanding any act, matter, or thing done by them, or either of them, they have good right and lawful authority to sell and convey the said houses, lands, tenements, pew, and hereditaments, with their appurtenances, unto and to the use of the said Robert Fletcher, his heirs and assigns.”
The deed was for “five hundred acres of land, on the west side of Mystic River, with the mansion-house;" for all which Mr. Fletcher agreed to pay £16,000.
These legislative acts and public documents show that Colonel Royal's property in Medford was dealt with at last after the manner of other absentees; that it came into legal possession of the State, and was put under the care of the Medford « Committee of Inspection,” and all the rents and incomes paid into the treasury of the State. For twentyseven years it continued in this situation, when a petition or claim of the heirs of Colonel Royal was preferred. The records of these details we have not been able to find ; but the final results are seen in the legislative grants of 1805.
We take leave of our townsman with the remark, that he was so generous a benefactor, so true a friend, so useful a citizen, and so good a Christian, that we forget he was a Tory, - if he was one. Happy would it be for the world, if at death every man could strike, as well as he did, the balance of this world's accounts.
1630: The first tax levied on the inhabitants of Medford was the sum of £3, for the paying of two instructors in military tactics. The hostile Indians, and the more hostile wild animals, soon placed guns, swords, powder, and ball among the necessaries of life. To be “a good marksman ” became one of the first accomplishments.
The legal equipment of a soldier was as follows:
“A musket (firelock or matchlock), a pair of bandoleers, a powder-pouch, with bullets, a sword, a belt, a worm, a scourer, a rest, and a knapsack. His pay 18s. a month, and diet, and pillage; and his town to provide him with a month's provisions; viz., thirty pounds of biscuits, twelve of pork, twenty of beef, one half-bushel of pease or meal. The leader to receive 40s. per month. The towns to bear their share of the loss of arms. A list of the men and their arms to be handed in to the Court.”
The men of Medford, Cambridge, and Charlestown formed one company. We can see exactly how one of our Medford soldiers looked in his military array in 1635. The bandoleer was a large leathern belt for supporting the gun. It passed over the right shoulder, and under the left arm. The two kinds of guns used by our fathers were called “firelock” and “ matchlock.” The first kind had a flint, which struck fire into the pan; the second was without a flint, and therefore required a match to be applied to the powder.
It will give us some idea of the habits and customs of the people in Medford when we read the following law, passed July 26, 1631:
“Ordered that, every first Friday in every month, there shall be a general training of them that inhabit Charlestown, Mistick, and the Newtown, at a convenient place about the Indian wigwams; the training to begin at one of the clock in the afternoon.”
“March 22, 1631: General Court Ordered that every town within this jurisdiction shall, before the 5th of April next, take especial care that every person within their town (except magistrates and ministers), as well servants as others, be furnished with good and sufficient arms.”
Aug. 7, 1632: It is ordered that the captains shall be maintained (on parade-days) by their several companies.”
“ March 4, 1635: It is ordered that, from this day forward, the captains shall receive maintenance out of the treasury, and not from their companies."
“ Nov. 20, 1637: It was ordered that training should be kept 'eight times in a year, at the discretion of the chief officers. Magistrates and teaching elders are allowed each of them a man free from trainings; and the deacons of the several churches are freed in like manner.”
The first rule was this: “ Their meetings shall begin with
At this early period, none were allowed to vote for military officers except freemen, and they “who have taken the oath of residents.” Freemen had a right to vote in these elections, although they were not enrolled as members of the trainband. Officers must be freemen, since none others were eligible to offices in the State.
The captain was required to take oath. The fines gathered were to be expended in buying drum-heads for the company, and arms for poor men. Ship-carpenters, fishermen, and millers were excused from training. Millers were excused, because, in tending tide-mills, they were often obliged to be at work through the night.
Certain persons were appointed in Medford as watchers of the Indians and wild beasts. March 9, 1637: –
“ All watchers shall come to the public assemblies with their muskets fit for service."
“No person shall travel above one mile from his dwelling-house without some arms, upon pain of 12d. for every default.”
In 1637, two hundred men, as warriors, were to be raised in Massachusetts. The following towns furnished numbers in proportion to their population: Boston, 26; Salem, 18; Saugus, 16; Ipswich, 17; Newbury, 8; Roxbury, 10; Hingham, 6; Meadford, 3.
May 14: “ Ordered that there shall be a watch of two a night kept in every plantation till the next General Court.”
June 2, 1641: “Ordered that all the out-towns shall each of them have a barrel of gunpowder.”
Sept. 15, 1641: On this day began a “muster,” which lasted two days: twelve hundred soldiers. And though there was “ plenty of wine and strong beer,” yet “no man drunk, no oath sworn, no quarrel, no hurt done.” Can so much be said now?
Sept. 7, 1643: The General Court thus say:
“It is agreed that the military commanders shall take order that the companies be trained, and some man, to be appointed by them, in each town, to exercise them.”
“Arms must be kept in every family." These warlike preparations would lead us to infer that our Medford ances
tors belonged not only to the church militant, but also to the state militant. To show the extremest care of our first settlers on this very point, we need quote only the following order:
“May 14, 1645: Ordered that all children within this jurisdiction, from ten to sixteen years of age, shall be instructed by some one of the officers of the band, or some other experienced soldier whom the chief officer shall appoint upon the usual training-days, in the exercise of arms, as small guns, half-pikes, bows and arrows, according to the discretion of said officer.”
1647: “ Persons unable to provide arms and equipments for militia duty, on account of poverty, if he be single, and under thirty years of age, shall be put to service, and earn them. Musqueteers, among their articles of equipment, are to have two fathoms of match.
“Whoever refuses to do duty, when commanded, shall be fined five shillings."
May 2, 1649: The General Court issue the following:
“ It is ordered that the Selectmen of every town within this jurisdiction shall, before the 24th of June, which shall be in the year 1650, provide for every fifty soldiers in each town a barrel of good powder, one hundred and fifty pounds of musket bullets, and one-quarter of a hundred of match."
May 26, 1658 : The General Court say:
“ In answer to the request of the inhabitants of Meadford, the Court judgeth it meet to grant their desire; i. e., liberty to list themselves in the trainband of Cambridge, and be no longer compelled to travel unto Charlestown."
As several of Mr. Cradock's men were fined at different times for absence from training, we infer that the military exercises required by law were very strictly observed in Medford ; and how it could have been otherwise, after so many special laws and regulations, we do not see. It seemed a first necessity of their forest-life to protect themselves from the wily Indian and the hungry bear. These military preparations were not suspended for a century. As late as Aug. 4, 1718, the inhabitants of Medford voted £10 to buy powder for their defence against the Indians.
“Every person enlisting in the troop is required to have a good horse, and be well fitted with saddle, &c.; and, having listed