The Indenture of 1839
Whereas, A controversy has arisen between the town of Hampton and the Congregational society in said town, in relation to certain alleged violations of the indenture of 1803; and whereas, Simon Towle, Jr., David Page and Ebenezer Lane, selectmen of the town, have been appoint by the town to settle the controversy, and Samuel Batchelder, Josiah Dow, Jr., and Thomas Ward have been appointed by said society for a like purpose; now therefore, it is agreed by the said town and society, that the town hereby convey to the society all the promissory notes, contained in the annexed schedule, and which have been this day endorsed and delivered to said society;
And the society, on their part, acknowledge the receipt of said notes, together with $254.90 from the town, which, together with the account of judgment recovered by them at the Court of Common Pleas, holden in and for the county of Rockingham on the first Tuesday of September, A. D., 1839 (which judgment was rendered on an agreement of the parties), are received by said society in full satisfaction for all parsonage lands sold by the town and all damage on account of the same; and in full discharge of all the claims of the society to the funded stock of the United States, mentioned in said indenture, and of all the rents and income of said lands, and interest and proceeds of said funded stock, except so much thereof as may have been invested in stocks in the Exeter Bank; and in consideration thereof, the society do hereby release and quitclaim to the town all their right and claim to any and all of the lands conveyed by the town, as aforesaid.
And it is further agreed between the parties, that so much of said indenture as relates to the home parsonage, containing fifty acres, more or less; and so much as relates to two other tracts of land [which are described], shall remain in force.
And it is further agreed between said parties, that they are joint owners of twenty shares of the capital stock of the Exeter Bank, which was bought with the proceeds of said United States stock; and, as soon as may be, the certificate thereof shall be surrendered to the Bank and separate certificates issued to each of said parties for one-half of said shares; and that each of said parties received one-half of any dividends now remaining due on said stock.
This instrument, duly signed, sealed and witnessed, was now the compact between the two long-contending parties. The promissory notes conveyed to the society amounted, principal and interest, to $3,330.08. The following year (March 30) the town treasurer was directed to transfer to the selectmen so many of the notes, held by the town against certain individuals, for money loaned out of the surplus revenue, as might be necessary to cancel all the notes held against the town to pay the execution in favor of the Congregational society, and that the selectmen, with these notes, or with money received for them, cancel all the above-named obligations of the town within twelve days.
At another meeting, April 20, the town voted to unite with the Congregational society, in the appointment of a disinterested committee of three men, not residing in Hampton, to appraise the home parsonage, so called, and sell and convey their half of it to the society, agreeably to the appraisal; and chose John Johnson, Uri Lamprey and Ebenezer Lane to carry this vote into effect.
The same day, the society held a meeting, passed a similar vote for appraisal, voted to buy the town's half, and chose Joseph Philbrick, David Page and Thomas Ward, to join with the town committee, in the accomplishment of this end.
The town also voted to pay all the expenses of the recent lawsuit between town and society, for which the town was liable, and that then all the ministerial funds in the town's possession, after settling with the Congregational society, be divided between the Baptist and Methodist societies in the proportion of three-fifths and two-fifths respectively.
In this manner, after two hundred years' control, the management of church affairs passed from the town forever.