Joseph Dow's History of Hampton: Care of Cows and Calves -- The Grass on the Commons

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An arrangement somewhat different from the one heretofore noticed was made in 1648, about the care of the cows and calves for the season. For convenience, the cows were to be pastured in two separate herds nearly equal, with two keepers to each herd. John Cass, for himself and Isaac Perkins, agreed with the selectmen, carefully to keep one of the herds, or one-half of the cows in the town, from the 18th of April till a fortnight after Michaelmas, or near the middle of October. The keepers were to go in the morning, to the fall-gate near Robert Tuck's [at the angle of the roads on Rand's hill], about half an hour after sunrise, to take charge of the cows, on all days except the Sabbath, and they were also to have the care of them every third Sabbath. For the performance of this service, the selectmen agreed that they should received £15 10s.

In payment, they were to have one pound of butter for each cow in the herd, at 6d. per pound. One half of the remainder was to be paid in wheat, to be delivered the next September, at 4s. 6d. per bushel; and the rest in the following February, in Indian corn, at 3s. 6d. per bushel. In the case of a failure, on the part of any owners, to pay their proportion in due season, it was stipulated that they should pay the keepers 6d. per week, smart money, till be debt should be cancelled.

By a similar agreement made a few days afterward, with William Moulton and John Woding, they were to have the care of the other herd, from the 22nd of April, on precisely the same terms, except that this herd was to be collected at John Moulton's [The Daniel Moulton place, now (1893) owned by Mrs. E. S. Stone.]

Thomas Nudd agreed to have the care of the calves, from the seventh of May to the sixth of October, for £11, to be paid as the other keepers. Persons neglecting to send their calves to the herd till seven days after it had been entrusted to the keeper, were to furnish a person to assist him one day; and extra pay was to be given for all calves not put to the herd till after midsummer. Then calves were to be driven to pasture every day at sunrise.


In the summer of the next year, a regulation was made by the town, for the preservation of the grass growing upon the several commons. No person was to be permitted to cut any of it before the 15th of July, under penalty of 5s. a day for each person found violating the order. To enforce the regulation, the town made choice of William Marston, Sen., and Anthony Stanyan, as their agents, to levy the fines incurred.
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