Joseph Dow's History of Hampton: Vessels, Built Or Owned At Hampton

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Vessels, Built Or Owned At Hampton

It is known that vessels were owned in Hampton within a few years after the settlement was begun. Some of them were probably for the fishing business, though whale-boats and wherries were more frequently used for the shore fisheries. The commercial high-road to Boston was on the sea. Vessels for this service were usually of small tonnage, requiring but two men each to manage them, receiving and discharging freight often, perhaps generally, on Brown's river, near the site of the Perkins mill, of later date. The larger vessels usually sailed from the place known as The Landing, reaching the ocean through the many windings of Taylor's river, and so down through the main river and over the bar. On the banks of Taylor's river, at a place still known as The Ship Yard, numerous vessels were built, some of them ships of many tons burthen. One of the bends in this river was called The Mooring Turn, where, as our records state, the vessels "do usually ride at anchor."

The names and ownership of a few of the ancient vessels shave come down to us:

In 1682, James Philbrick became one-fourth owner of barque Adventure, bought of Thomas Cram.

1699, October 31, -- Brigantine Increase, forty tons, lately built at Hampton Common Landing Place -- owned by Thomas Dearborn, John Dearborn Sr., Abraham Drake Jr., Morris Hobbs Jr., Samuel Dow, Philemon Blake, Jonathan Elkins and Samuel Nudd. Said Nudd was, by the others authorized to sell their part of it and make conveyance thereof. The vessel then lay at the Landing Place.

1705, November 13, -- Sloop, New Design, sixteen tons, lying in Boston Harbor -- sold to Peter Garland and Samuel Nudd, mariners, for £106. This sloop was run between Hampton and Boston, and is said to have arrived at the usual landing-place here on six successive Saturday nights, having performed the round trip each week, a remarkable feat for thos slow days. A clearance papers of this vessel, dated at Hampton, June 23, 1707, states that she had "no guns," was navigated with two men, Samuel Nudd, master, and that she "hath here loaden and taken on board pine boards and staves."

1714, September 15, -- sloop, May-Flower, thirty-five tons, sold to Caleb Shaw and Samuel Nudd, mariners, for £130, by William Bailey, of Scituate, Mass.

1723, July 25, -- Brigantine, Friend's Adventure, built at Hampton, by Joshua Wingate, Samuel Nudd, John Hobbs and Benjamin Hilliard; to the last three of whom, Wingate sold his one-fourth, at the above date, for £90. She was then riding at anchor in Hampton river; David Horney, Master.

Col. Christopher Toppan was a large ship owner. Some of his losses are noticed elsewhere; [pp. 213, 214; see also p. 209.] but no paper to be found, show the extend of his shipping interests. Among later builders, John Johnson and David Nudd have been most conspicuous. The former generally commanded his own vessels for one voyage or more.

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