Joseph Dow's History of Hampton: North Hill Parish

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North Hill Parish

In the spring or early summer of 1738 a dispute arose, which seriously threatened the peace of the church and, in fact, continued to vex both church and town for several years.

A considerable number of people living in the north part of the town, having already built a meeting-house there, requested the town to free them from paying taxes for the support of Mr. Cotton, while they had preaching at their own house; but the town refused to grant their request. They therefore had recourse to the General Court the next November, petitioning to be constituted a parish, and were successful in their application. The new parish was called NORTH HILL.[Chap. XI]

In the autumn of the following year, many of the members of the church, who lived in that part of the town, requested a dismission for the purpose of being organized into a church in connection with the new parish. The request having been considered by the church, and a vote taken, was not granted. No reasons are assigned in the record. It may be, that a majority of the church considered the organization of another church unnecessary, and on that account voted against the request; or they may have thought that the support of another minister would prove burdensome to the town.

A second application for dismission having been made in October, the church again refused to grant it -- only fourteen members voting in favor, while thirty-seven voted against it. The North Hill brethren then called a council to consider and act upon the case. The church appointed Jabez Dow, Christopher Page and Samuel Palmer, Jun., to "be a Comittee joyned with their Pastor to send in what we shall think proper to the Council of Churches, which are to meet at ye Desire of N[orth] Hill Brethren."

At another church meeting about North Hill affairs, October 30, -- more than sixty of the brethren being present -- the statement which the committee had prepared to lay before the council, having been read, was approved by the church, and the committee were directed to send it to the council. This having been done, the council sent to the church a "declaration," signed by the North Hill people, which the church would not accept because they "did not think it express & full enough." After this the church voted that they were ready for a conference with a committee of the council. Such a committee met the church and "offered all they had to say . . . and then withdrew." The church, after a reconsideration of the whole matter, passed the following vote: "That we have done what we think right & just in this affair as to not dismissing the brethren and others at North Hill, and that we will not be any farther concerned about these affairs."

The next day the church at North Hill was organized without the consent of this church, and a pastor was ordained.

That the first church soon became reconciled to these acts, is evident from the fact, that they not long afterward, and on several occasions, dismissed persons from their own communion, to unite with the church at North Hill.

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