Joseph Dow's History of Hampton: The New Church At Rye / Mr. Gookin's Assistants

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The New Church At Rye

In 1726, a church was organized and a pastor settled in the recently incorporated town of Rye, lying north of the easterly part of Hampton. Settlements had been made there many years before, but as no church had been formed, those persons wishing to make a profession of religion united with the neighboring churches. A considerable number were members of the Hampton church. These, with some others living here, near the border of Rye, twenty in all, were dismissed in July, for the purpose of being, with others, organized in a church at Rye. In 1725, and several succeeding years, the town paid Mr. Gookin £20 a year in addition to his regular salary.

In 1728, the selectmen were impowered to let out the hinder seat on the south side of the lower gallery, and to make a pew for the young women, at the east end of the women's lower gallery. The meeting-house, built in 1719, had two galleries, one above the other. The upper gallery was kept closed during the latter part of the time in which this house was occupied.

Mr. Gookin's Assistants

Late in Mr. Gookin's ministry, his health became so much impaired, that he could not perform all the pastoral and parochial labors to which he had been accustomed. His people, aware of this, wished to relieve him as far as they were able. Accordingly, at a meeting of the freeholders, in the summer of 1729, the deacons were instructed to hire an assistant; but who was employed is not on record. About three years afterward, a Mr. Gilman served in that capacity for at least seven or eight months. Preachers were hired after this, three was months at a time, till the annual meeting in 1734. During a part of 1733, Mr. Solomon Page, a native of Hampton, who was, perhaps at that time, a schoolmaster in the town, was the man employed;[Chap. XXVII.] and in the latter part of the same year, Mr. Ward Cotton was the pastor's assistant.
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