Joseph Dow's History of Hampton: Culler of Steves -- "Dry Cattle"

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In the early part of this year, Thomas Philbrick, Sen., was chosen culler of staves. This was then an office of considerable importance, for great quantities of staves were taken by the town in payment of taxes assessed upon the inhabitants, and these must all pass through the hands of the culler. Persons might, of course, at any time, make staves from timber taken from their own land; but timber for this purpose might also be taken from the commons, under certain regulations, as those adopted in November, 1652, already noticed. In May, 1653, all persons were forbidden to fell any trees on the commons, for bolts or staves, unless they had been licensed by the selectmen, who were authorized to grant license to such persons only, as were able to show that there was timber due to them.

The next year, liberty was given to any inhabitant to make 500 staves for each share of commonage owned by him; but the staves must all be made before the 29th of September, following.


Measures were likewise adopted at that time, to enforce a regulation made some time before, concerning the dry cattle owned in the town. Goodman [Godfrey] Dearborn, Anthony Taylor, Morris Hobbs and Henry Dow, jr., were appointed, to see that they were placed under the care of the keeper provided by the town. If any persons after due notice from the committee, should be found neglecting to drive their cattle of this description to the place where the keeper was to receive them, they would subject themselves to the fine of 6d. a head for all the cattle which they should thus fail to drive. That this order of the town might not be evaded, through any negligence on the part of the committee, they, too were made liable to a fine of 2s. each, for any failure in the performance of their duty.
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