Joseph Dow's History of Hampton: COMMISSIONERS FOR SMALL CAUSES

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The General Court, in the spring session of 1665, in consideration of the trouble and expense to which the people of the county of Norfolk were subjected, by reason of their remoteness from any magistrates, ordered that Capt. Robert Pike, of Salisbury, and Mr. Samuel Dalton, of Hampton--or either of them--should be "empowered as commissioners to take the acknowledgment of deeds; to administer oaths in all civil cases; to issue warrants to seach for stolen goods; to take notice of and punish defects in watching; to punish for drunkenness, excessive drinking, and such like crimes of an inferior nature, according to law; to bind over offenders to the county court; to solemnize marriages to persons duly published; and all this during the court's pleasure."

Before that year closed, Moses Coxe and Alexander Denham were engaged for the next year as keepers of the dry cattle in the pasturage "about the Great Pond."

It was ordered that no cattle but milch cows and working oxen should be put upon any part of the cow common on the north side of Taylor's river, and that no inhabitant on the north side should keep any cattle on the commons on the south side, on any pretext whatsoever.

The town had previously ordered, as already related, that the Great Ox-Common should be enclosed with a sufficient fence. The question was now raised (May 12, 1666), What should be considered a sufficient fence? and it was determined that the main river and the branch called John Brown's river should be accounted a sufficient fence about the common from the mouth of the river, and so westward up to the branch just named; thence up this branch on the north and northeast side of the common to the fence that goes over the beach near the Great pond--now called Beach pond--on the north side of the Great Boar's Head.

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