◆   Anno Domini 1639, & Anno Domini 1640   ◆

These 2 years I Join together, because in them fell not ^out^ many things more than the ordinary passages, of their common affairs, which are not needful to be touched. [231] Those of this plantation, having at sundry times granted Lands for several townships, and amongst the rest to the Inhabitants of Scituate (some whereof Issued from themselves). And also a large tract of land was given to their 4 London partners in that place, viz. Mr. Sherley, Mr. Beauchamp, Mr. Andrews, & Mr. Hatherley; At Mr. Hatherley’s request, and choice It was by him, taken for himself and them in that place (for the other 3 had Invested him with power, & trust to choose for them).1 And this tract of land extended to their utmost limits that way; and bordered on their Neighbours of the Massachusetts; who had some years after, seated a town (called Hingham) on their lands next to these parts. So as now there grew great difference between these 2 townships, about their bounds, and some meadow grounds that lay between them; they of Hingham presumed, to allot part of them to their people, and measure, & stake them out; the other pulled up their stakes, & threw them. So it grew to a Controversy between the 2 governments, & many letters and passages were between them about it; And it hung some 2 years in Suspense; The court of Massachusetts appointed some to range their line, according to the bounds of their patent, and (as they went to work) they made it to take in all Scituate, and I know not how much more; Again on the other hand, according to the line of the patent of this place it would take in Hingham, and much more within their bounds.

In the end both courts agreed to choose 2 Commissioners of each side, and to give them full, & absolute power, to agree and settle the bounds between them; and what they should do in the case should stand Irrevocably. One meeting they had at Hingham, but could not conclude; for their commissioners stood stiffly on a clause in their grant; That from Charles River, or any branch or part thereof, they were to extend their limits, and 3 miles further to the Southward; or from the most Southward part of the Massachusetts Bay, and 3 mile further. But they chose to stand on the former term for they had found a small river, or brook rather, that a great way within land trended southward, and Issued into some part of that river taken to be Charles River, and from the most southerly part of this, & 3 mile more Southward of the same, they would run a line east to the Sea (about 20 mile), which will (say they) take in a part of Plimoth itself. Now it is to be known that though this patent, & plantation were much the ancienter; yet this Enlargement of the same (in which Scituate stood) was granted after theirs, and so theirs were first to take place, before this Enlargement. Now their answer was ^first^,2 that however according to their own plan, they could no way come upon any part of their ancient grant. [232] 2ly, They could never prove that to be a part of Charles River, for they knew not which was Charles River, but as the people of this place, which came first, Imposed such a name upon that river, upon which since Charlestown is built (Supposing that was it, which Captain Smith in his map, so named).3 Now they that first named it, have best reason to know it, and to explain which is it; but they only took it to be Charles River, as far as it was by them navigated, and that was as far as a boat could go. But that every runlet or small brook, that should far within land, come into it, or mix their streams with it, and were by the natives called by other, & different names from it; should now by them ^be^ made Charles River, or parts of it they saw no reason for it. And gave Instance in Humber, in old England, which had the Trent, Ouse, and many others of lesser note fell into it, and yet were not counted parts of it; and many smaller rivers & brooks fell into the Trent, & Ouse, and no parts of them, but had names apart, and divisions, & nominations of themselves. Again it was pleaded that they had no east line in their patent, but were to begin at the Sea, and go west by a line, &c. At this meeting no conclusion was made, but things discussed, & well prepared for an Issue; The next year4 the same Commissioners had their power continued or renewed, and met at Scituate, and Concluded the matter, as followeth.

The Agreement of the Bounds betwixt Plimoth, and Massachusetts

Whereas there were two commissions granted by the 2 Jurisdictions, the one of Massachusetts Government, granted unto John Endecott gentleman, and Israel Stoughton gentleman. The other of New Plimoth Government to William Bradford Governour and Edward Winslow gentleman. And both these for the setting out, settling, & determining of the bounds, & limits of the lands between the said Jurisdictions, whereby not only this present age, but the posterity to come may live peaceably & quietly in that behalf. And forasmuch as the said commissioners, on both sides have full power so to do, as appeareth by the records of both Jurisdictions. We therefore the said commissioners above named, do hereby with one consent, & agreement conclude, determine, and by these presents declare, that all the marshes at Conahasett, that lie of the one side of the river next to Hingham, shall belong to the Jurisdiction of Massachusetts plantation. And all the Marshes that lieth on the other side of the river next to Scituate, shall belong to the Jurisdiction of New Plimoth; excepting 60 acres of marsh at the mouth of the river, on Scituate-side next to the sea. Which we do hereby agree, conclude, & determine shall belong to the Jurisdiction of the Massachusetts. And further we do hereby agree, determine, and conclude, that the bounds of the limits between both the said Jurisdictions, are as followeth. Viz. from the mouth of the brook that runneth into Conahasett5 marches (which we call by the name of Bound Brook) with a straight, & direct line, to the middle of a great pond, that lieth on the right hand, of the upper path, or Common way, that leadeth between Weymouth, and Plimoth close to the path as [233] we go along, which was formerly named (and still we desire may be called) Accord Pond6 lying about five ^or 6^ miles from Weymouth southerly; and from thence Which is Charles River may still be questioned.with a straight line to the Southermost part of Charles River, & 3 miles southerly inward into the Country according as is expressed in the patent granted by his Majesty to the company of the Massachusetts plantation. Provided always and nevertheless concluded, & determined by mutual agreement between the said commissioners, that if it fall out, that the said line from Accord Pond to the southermost part of Charles River, & 3 miles southerly as ^is^ before expressed, straiten, or hinder any part of any plantation begun, by the Government of New Plimoth, or hereafter to be begun within 10 years after the date of these presents. That then notwithstanding the said line, It shall be lawful for the said Government of New Plimoth to Assume on the northerly side of the said line, where it shall so Entrench as aforesaid, so much land, as will make up the quantity of eight miles square, to belong to every such plantation begun, or to [be] begun as aforesaid; which we agree, determine, & conclude to appertain, & belong to the said Government of New Plimoth. And whereas the said line, from the said brook which runneth into Conahasett7 saltmarsh (called by us Bound Brook, and the pond called Accord Pond [)] lieth near the lands, ^belonging to the townships of^ Scituate, & Hingham; we do therefore hereby determine, & conclude, that if any divisions already made, and recorded, by either the said townships, do cross the said line, that then it shall stand, & be of force according to the former Intents, and purposes of the said town granting them (the marshes formerly agreed on excepted). And that no town in either Jurisdiction shall hereafter exceed, but contain themselves within the said lines expressed. In witness whereof we the Commissioners of both Jurisdictions do by these presents Indented, set our hands, & seals the ninth day of the 4[th] month in 16[th] year of our Sovereign Lord King Charles; and in the year of our Lord 1640.

William Bradford, Governour

John Endecott

Edward Winslow

Israel Stoughton

Whereas the patent was taken in the name of William Bradford (as in trust) and ran in these terms to ^him^, his heirs, and associates ^& assigns^. And now the number of freemen being much Increased; And diverse Townships established, and Settled in several quarters of the Government. As Plimoth, Duxbury, Scituate, Taunton, Sandwich, Yarmouth, Barnstable, Marshfield. And not long After, Seekonk (called afterward at the desire of the Inhabitants, Rehoboth) And Nauset. It was by the Court desired that William Bradford should make a Surrender of the same Into their hands. The which he willingly did, In this manner following.

Whereas William Bradford, and diverse others the first Instruments of God in the beginning of this great work of plantation, together with such as the all-ordering hand of God in his providence soon added unto them; have been at very great charges to procure the lands, privileges, & freedoms from all Entanglements, as may appear by diverse, & sundry deeds, Enlargements of grants, purchases, and payments of debts, &c. By reason whereof the title, to the day of these presents [234] remaineth in the said William Bradford his heirs, Associates, and assigns. Now for the better settling of the estate of the said lands (contained in ^the^ grant or patent), the said William Bradford, and those first Instruments termed, & called in sundry orders upon public record “the Purchasers,” or “Old Comers,” Witness 2 in special, the one bearing date the 3[rd] of March 1639, the other in December the 1[st], Anno 1640, whereunto these presents have special relation, & agreement. And whereby they are distinguished from other the freemen, & Inhabitants of the said corporation. Be it known unto all men therefore by these presents, that the said William Bradford for himself, his heirs, together with the said purchasers, do only reserve unto themselves, their heirs, and assigns those 3 tracts of land, mentioned in the said resolution, order, and agreement bearing date the first of December 1640, viz. first from the bounds of Yarmouth; 3 miles to the Eastward of Namskaket,8 and from Sea, to sea, cross the neck of land. The 2[nd] of a place called Acoughcus,9 which lieth in the bottom of the Bay adjoining to the west side of Point Peril, and 2 miles to the western ^side^ of the said river, to another place called Acushnet10 River, which entereth at the western end of Nacata,11 and 2 miles to the eastward thereof, and to extend 8 miles up into the country. The 3[rd] place from Sowamsett River, to Pawtucket River (with Cawsumsett neck,12 which is the chief habitation of the Indians, & reserved for them to dwell upon), extending into the land 8 miles through the whole breadth thereof.13 Together with such other small parcels of lands, as they, or any of them are personally possessed of, or Intressed in, by vertue of any former ^titles or^ grant whatsoever. And the said William Bradford doth by the free, & full consent, approbation, and agreement, of the said Old Planters, or Purchasers, together with the liking, approbation, and acceptation of the other part of the ^said^ Corporation; surrender into the hands of the whole court, consisting of the freemen of this corporation of New Plimoth, all that other right, & title power, authority, privileges, Immunities, & freedoms granted in the said letters patents, by the said right Honourable Council for New England. Reserving his, & their personal right of freemen, together with14 the said Old Planters aforesaid, except the said lands before excepted, declaring the freemen of this corporation, together with all such, as shall be legally admitted into the same; his Associates. And the said William Bradford for him, his heirs, & assigns, do hereby further promise, and grant, to do & perform whatsoever further thing, or things, act, or acts, which in him lieth, which shall be needful, and expedient, for the better confirming, and establishing the said premises, as by counsel learned in the laws, shall be reasonably advised and devised, when he shall be thereunto required. In Witness whereof the said William Bradford hath in public Court surrendered the said letters patents actually into the hands, & power of the said Court, binding himself, his heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns to deliver up, whatsoever specialties are in his hands, that do, or may concern the same. [235]

In these 2 years they had sundry letters out of England to send one over to end the business and account with Mr. Sherley; who now professed he could not make up his accounts without the help of some from hence, especially Mr. Winslow’s. They had serious thoughts of it; and the most part of the partners here, thought it best to send; but they had formerly written such bitter, and threatening letters, as Mr. Winslow was neither willing to go, nor that any other of the partners should; for he was persuaded if any of them went, they should be arrested, and an Action of such a sum laid upon them, as they should not procure bail, but must lie in prison, and then they would bring them to what they list; or otherwise they might be brought into trouble by the Archbishop’s means, as the times then stood.15 But notwithstanding they were much Inclined to send, & Captain Standish was willing to go; but they resolved, seeing they could not all agree in this thing, and that it was weighty, and the consequence might prove dangerous; to take Mr. Winthrop’s advice in the thing, and the rather, because Mr. Andrews had by many letters acquainted him with the differences between them, and appointed him for his assign to receive his part of the debt (And though they denied to pay him any as a debt, till the controversy was ended, yet they had, deposited £110 in money in his hands for Mr. Andrews, to pay to him in part as soon as he would come to any agreement with the rest). But Mr. Winthrop was of Mr. Winslow’s mind and dissuaded them from sending; so they broke off their resolution from sending; and returned this answer, that the time[s]16 were dangerous as things stood with them, for they knew how Mr. Winslow had suffered formerly, and for a small matter was clapped up in the Fleet, & It was long before he could get out, to both his, & their great loss, and damage, and times were not better, but worse in that respect. Yet that their equal, & honest minds might appear to all men, they made them this tender; to refer the case, to some gentlemen, and merchants in the Bay of the Massachusetts, such as they should choose, and were well known unto themselves (as they perceived there were many of their acquaintance and friends there, better known ^to^ them than the partners here). And let them be Informed in the case by both sides, and have all the evidence that could be produced, in writing, or otherwise; and they would be bound to stand to their determination, and make good their award though it should cost them all they had in the world. But this did not please them, but they were offended at it, without any great reason for aught I know (see^ing^17 neither side, could give in clear accounts; the partners here could not, by reason they (to their smart) were failed by the accountant they sent them, and Mr. Sherley pretended he could not also), save as they conceived it a disparagement to yield to their Inferiours, in respect of the place, and other concurring circumstances; so this Came to nothing; and afterward Mr. Sherley writ that if Mr. Winslow would meet18 him in France, the Low Countries, or Scotland, let the place be known, and he [236] [would] come to him there; but in regard of the troubles that now began to ^arise in^ our own nation,19 and other reasons, this did ^not^ come to any effect. That which made them so desirous to bring things to an end; was partly to stop the clamours, and aspersions raised, & cast upon them hereabout; though they conceived themselves to sustain the greatest wrong, and had most cause of complaint; and partly because they feared the fall of Cattle, in which most part of their estates lay; And this was not a vain fear; for they fell indeed before they came to a conclusion; and that so suddenly, as a cow, that but a month before, was worth £20 and would so have passed in any payment, fell now to £5 and would yield no more; and a goat that went at £3 or 50s would now yield but 8 or 10s at most. All men feared a fall of cattle, but it was thought it would be by degrees; and not be from the highest pitch, at once to the lowest as it did, which ^was^ greatly to the damage of many, and the undoing of some. Another reason was, they many of them grew aged (And indeed a rare thing it was that so many partners should all live together so many years as these did), and saw many changes were like to befall; so as they were loath to leave these Entanglements upon their children, and posterity. Who might be driven to remove places, as they had done; yea themselves might do it yet before they died. But this ^business^ must yet rest; the next year gave it more ripeness, though it rendered them less able to pay for the reasons aforesaid.