Joseph Dow's History of Hampton: MARSHES DIVIDED INTO SHARES -- TWO BOARDS OF LOT-LAYERS -- SAMUEL DALTON'S DEATH; A NEW TOWN CLERK CHOSEN
MARSHES DIVIDED INTO SHARES
Near the close of the year 1680, a new feature was introduced into the management of the common meadows and marshes, which, historically considered, is important, as indicating progress. Hitherto, the sweepage of these grounds had been controlled by the town, the income from them being divided among the proprietors, in proportion to their several interests. It was not ordered, that they should be divided into shares, and assigned by lot to individuals, according to their respective rights, to be held for six years, and then exchanged, or rather a new assignment made for the next six years, and so on, till a difference arrangement should be agreed upon. The meadows, however, were still to lie unfenced, as before.
Henry Roby and Sergt. Joseph Dow were appointed to lay out these common lands into shares, and it was agreed, that those persons to whom Alder Meadow and Hassocky Meadow 1[Alder Meadow lies on the upper road to Little River, commonly called the Lobb's Hole road; and extends thence easterly to the Twelve Shares, so called. Hassocky Meadow is that, on the border of which, a shingle-mill formerly stood, on the road to Little river, which begins at the school-house in the east part of the town.] should fall, might have the privilege of clearing them by flowing, or in some other way, at their option. As both these meadows lay on Nilus brook, it would be easy to flow them by building dams across that stream at the lower side of each.