|CHAPTER XXXIII. REHOBOTH. Geographical-Indian
Purchase-Original Bounds-The First Purchase -The Second Purchase~--The
North Purchase-Tile First White Settlers-First Meeting of Original
Planters-Valuation of Original Lands-Names of Proprietors-Early
Townsmen-Documentary History-Deed from King Philip-Names of Inhabitants in
The town of Rehoboth lies in the western part of Bristol
County, and is bounded as follows: On the north by Attleborough and
Norton, on the east by Taunton, Dighton, and Swansea, and on the south by
Swansea. The original town of Rehoboth embraced, in addition to its
present territory, the present towns of Seekonk, Pawtucket, Attleborough,
East Providence, Cumberland, and that part of Swansea and Barring- ton
which was called by the Indians Wannainoiset.
The first purchase of land was made of Massasoit in
1641, and embraced a tract ten miles square, comprising the present towns
of Rehoboth, Seekonk, Pawtucket, and East Providence. The second purchase
was the tract called by the English Wannamoiset, forming a part of Swansea
and Barrington. The third and last purchase was a tract embracing the
present towns of Attleborough, Mass., and Cumberland, R. I. This was known
as the " North Purchase."
The town retained its original area until 1667, when
Swansea (Wannamoiset) was incorporated, including, besides the present
town, that of Somerset, Mass., Cumberland, R. I., and the greater part of
Warren, R. I. In 1694 it was further decreased by the incorporation of
Attleborougb, and in 1812 Seekonk was set off.
The first white settler within the bounds of the
original town of Rehoboth. was William Blackstone, in what is now
Cumberland, R. I. He was a Non-Conformist minister of England, who fled
from his native land and sought an asylum in the wilds of America. He
was the first white man who lived on the peninsula where the city of
Boston now stands. The next white settler here was the famous Roger
Williams. He, however, remained but a short time, and subsequently became
the founder of Rhode Island. The real founder of the original town of
Rehoboth was the Rev. Samuel Newman, who came With numerous other
persons from Weymouth and settled here (Seekonk) in 1644. The records,
however, show that as early as 1642 one John Hazell was residing at "
Seacunck." "John Hassell" (afterwards written Hazell in the
town records) " doeth acknowledge himself to owe the king, to be levied
of his lands, goods and chattels, &c. XXX. if he fayle in the
condicon following: The condition that the said John Hassell shall either
take the oath of allegiance to the King, and fidelitie to the Government,
betwixt this ana March Court next, or else renove his dwelling from
Seacunk." [Plyrn. Col. Ree., vol. ii. p. 67.] The twenty pounds which
he acknowledged him- self to owe the king was a fine for contempt of
court, as appears from the following: " August 2, 1642. It is ordered
that a warrant be Sent to fetch John Hassell, that lives at Sickuncke, to
answer his contempts at the General Court: which was made and signed by
all the assistants present." [Plyrn. Col. Rec., vol. ii. p. 55.] John
Hazell continued to reside at "Seacunk," where he bad lands
granted him in 1.669. And lie appears to have owned largely before, for
in describing the bounds of the grant mention is made of " his other
allotment, being six hundred acres, bounded on the east with his fresh
meadow and a little run of water and R cedar swamp; on the west side
Patucet River; on the north side the -woods; on the south side the towne
land; only the Island and little up- land above mentioned is part of the
six hundred acres." [Plyin. Col. Rec., vol. ii. p. 193.] "
Seacunck," we have seen, was first granted to people of Hingham, but
they were soon joined by Mr. Newman and a majority of his church at
Weymouth, in their projected settlement ; and it is even possible that
some of the people of Weymouth were among the original grantees of 1641,
though none of them are among the names mentioned. It appears, however,
that those whose names are given were a committee acting for "
themselves and divers others."
The first meeting of the original planters of Rehoboth
to be found on record is dated at " Weirnoth the 24th of the 8th
month [October], 1643." The record is as follows: " At a general
meeting of the plantores of Seacunk, it was ordered : " (1) That the
[illegible] lottes shall not exceed the number of sixty and five, and in
case anny of those that have these lottes granted al- ready fale, that
Goodman [illegible] of Cambridge to be admitted if he please; and in case
so manny fale as may limit to sixty then not to ex- ceed sixty lottes."
11 (2) It is agreed that the ground that is most fit to be planted and
hopefull for corne for the present to be plunt~d and fenced by such as
possess it according to [Ulegible.]" (3) It is ordered that those
that have lottes granted and are [illegihkble] inabitants shall fence the
one end of their lottes and their part in the comon fence, in the game
time, by the 20th day of April next, or #12; else forfit their lottes to
the disposal of the plantation; and likewise to remove themselves and
family to i nhabit [torn off] by this time twelves- month, or else forfite
their lottes againe to the plantation, allowing them their necessary
improvements, as they in their discretion shall think meet." "
(4) That if anny damages shale fale out by anny man's particular fence,
the owner of the fence shale pay the damage, and if [torn off] general
fence, then those persons that one the fence to pay [torn off.]"
[Rehoboth Rec. vol. i. p. 1.] The next meeting of the proprietors was eld
at Weymouth, "the 10th day of the 10th month" [December], when
regulations were made as to the planting of corn. The teacher to have a
certain portion from each settler. Servants after four years to be in-
habitants and entitled to their privileges. Richard Wright employed to
build a corn-mill. During the year 1643, and probably before any other
division of land bad been made other than for house-lots, the proprietors
were required individually to give in the value of their estates, in order
that the allotments of land might be made accordingly, as appears from the
Proprietors' Records: " About the year 1643, a joynt agreement was
made by the inhabitants of Seaconk alias Rehoboth, for the bringing in of
their estates; that some men's allotments might be taken up according to
person and estate, as also for the carrying on of all public charges both
for. present and future; furthermore the means and interest of what is here
expressed is that by which lands, now granted by the Court of Plymouth to
the town, is to be divided according to person and estate, as is expressed
in this following list: ..........;e s.
d. 1. Mrs. Bur 100 00 00 Ruth Ingram accepted in her
place. 2. Widdow Walker 50 00 00 3. John Read 300 00 00 4. John Cooke 300
00 00 which still is in the town's hands. 5. The Schoolmaster 50 00 00 6.
Will Cheesbrook 450 00 00 7. Mr. Winchester 195 00 00 8. Richard Wright
834 00 00 9. Mr. Newman 330 00 00 10. Will Smith 196 10 00 11. Walter
Palmer 419 00 00 12. James Clark, now John Perrum's 71 00 00 13. Ralph
Shephard, now Jas. Redewaye's 121 10 00 14. Zachariah Roads 50 00 00 15.
John Mathewes 40 00 00 16. John Perrum 67 00 00 17. John Millar 69 10 00
18. Saml. Butterworth 50 00 00 19. George Kendrick 50 00 00 20. Abram
Martin 60 10 00 21. The Teacher 100 00 00 2.2. Edward Seale 81 00 00 23.
John Browne 60 00 00 24. Mr. Howard 260 00 00 25. Mr. Peck 535 00 00 26. Mr. Obed. Holmes, now Robt. Wheaton's. 100 00 00 27.
Smith 252 00 00 28. Job Lane, now Robert Abell's... 29. Thomas 10,0, 020
o`0 30. James Walker, now Job Fritche's 50 00 00 ........;C a. d. 31.
Thomas Blyss 153 00 00 32. The Governor's lot, now Richard Bullock's
.200 00 00 33 1 sack Martin, now Thomas Wilmot's 50 00 00 34. Robert
Morris 94 10 00 35. Ed. Bennet, now Richard Bowen's, Jr 134 10 00 36. The
Pastor 100 00 00 37. Mr. Henry Smith .... 260 00 00 38. Mathew Pratt 239
00 00 39. John Megg's 120 00 00 40. Thom. Clifton, now Stephen Payne's Jr
160 00 00 41 Joseph Torry, now Peck's 134 00 00 42. Thomas Cooper
367 00 00 43. Robert ffullur 150 00 00 44 - John Allen 156 0000 45. Ralph
Allen 27(l 00 00 46. Ed. Gillman, now Joseph Peck's 306 00 00 47. Thomas
Houlbrook 186 10 00 48. William Carpenter 254 10 00 49. John Houlbrook,
now Nicholas Ide's 186 10 00 60 Robert Titus, now Robert Jones's 156 10 00
51. William Sabin 53 00 00 62. Stephen Payne 535 00 00 53. Mr. Browne 600
00 00 64. Ed. Patterson, now John Woodcock's 50 00 00 55. Peter Hunt 327 00
00 56. Robert Martin 228 10 00 57. Robert Sharp, but now Rice Leonard's
106 00 00 58. Richard Bowen 270 00 00