Joseph Dow's History of Hampton: The Fifth Meeting-house

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The Fifth Meeting-house

Capt. Morris Hobbs' house, before mentioned, in which the congregation had worshipped during the past year, not being sufficiently commodious, preparations were already begun for building a meeting-house. Situated as they were, the undertaking was an arduous one, but it was entered upon with a determination to carry it on to completion. A considerable amount of material and labor was contributed, by members of the society, and many of them furnished besides, more or less lumber at a reduced price.

The frame was raised on the 24th of May and the work was prosecuted so vigorously that the house was in readiness to be occupied in less than six months from that time. To provide the necessary funds seasonably, so that the building committee might not be embarrassed, an early sale of the pews was agreed upon. It was voted that they should be sold by vendue to the highest bidder, under certain regulations adopted by the society. These regulations were, in substance, as follows: No bid less than half a dollar should be received, and no pew should be sold for less than forty dollars. One sixth part of the price of each pew must be paid down, and another sixth in twenty days one-half of the remainder, within six weeks from the day of the sale, and the balance, by the first day of September following. In case any person should fail to make his payments in this manner, he would forfeit the first payment and the pew, to the society. A committee of eight men was then appointed for selling the pews, the sale to take place early in June. As the house was then in an unfinished state, and the pews had not been built, the sales were to be made by a plan already drawn, and accepted by the society.

At the dedication of the meeting-house, November 14, 1797, the pastor of the church preached an appropriate sermon from I Kings VIII: 27. The first prayer was offered by Dr. Mc Clintock, and the last, by Rev. Mr. Buckminster. The next meeting in the new house was on Thanksgiving day, two days after the dedication, when Rev. Mr. Thurston, of North Hampton, preached.

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