Joseph Dow's History of Hampton: THE GRAY RAT -- CONSTABLES
THE GRAY RAT
Several years later, the town tried the experiment of setting up this office by vendue to the lowest bidder. In this way it became known who would accept the office, and on what terms. The town then went through the formality of electing a constable by vote. This was the customary course for many years, though in the opinion of some of the voters, its legality was questionable.