LIEUT. ROBERT PIKE
The court, so far from granting the prayer of the petitioners, considered them highly censurable; and, in the language of the record, did "deeply resent, so many persons, of several towns, conditions and relations, should combine together to present such an unjust and unreasonable request," since Lieutenant Pike had been fully proved guilty of defaming the court, and charging the members with a breach of oath. "In this extraordinary case," commissioners were appointed, to call together the petitioners in the several towns, and "require a reason of their unjust request, and how they came to be induced to sign the said petition."
At the next session of the General Court, in 1654, Capt Thomas Wiggin, the commissioner for Hampton, reported that the petitioners from this town--more than thirty in number--had, with two exceptions, acknowledged their offence and humbly asked the court to pass it by. Christopher Hussey and John Sanborn, having refused to give any satisfactory answer, were put under bonds of £10 each, to keep the peace. In relation to these proceedings, Joshua Coffin justly remarks: "The whole case is a very instructive one. It exhibits, on the one hand, the watchful jealousy of the people in consequence of any supposed, or real, encroachment on their civil or eccestial rights; and, on the other hand, the determination of the magistrates not to have their authority lightly called inquestion."
At a town meeting in the spring of 1654, Richard Swaine, William Marston, Sen., and Thomas Ward were chosen, to consider and determine some method of estimating the value of lands for taxation, that would make the taxes more equal and satisfactory for the future, than they had been in former years.