Joseph Dow's History of Hampton: DISPUTES ABOUT PARSONAGE LANDS

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By the Hampton Falls records it is shown that, as late as 1745, a meeting of the freeholders and inhabitants was held (September 30), the notification for which contains this remarkable preamble and statement:

"Whereas, there was a town meeting, warned for the freeholders and inhabitants of the town of Hampton to meet at the town meeting house on Monday the 24, day of June last past and although it was for the town as above said yet we of this parish were denied the liberty of voting at said meeting:" therefore this meeting was called to consider what to do "relating to our holding or justifying our right of voting at Said meeting," and to choose a committee to commence an action against those who hindered, and also to defend any freeholder of the Falls parish in any action brought "for appearing at a town meeting in Hampton and for their action or behavior thereat."

The records of the old town for the same time contain the following, dated September 15, 1745: "Voted, that the present selectmen are hereby Impowered to prosecute or cause to be prosecuted all or any of those persons that came into our town meeting on the 24th day of June last past, and behaved in a Riotus disorderly manner to the grate disturbing of the Carying on said meeting."

That this stormy June meeting had reference to the division of the parsonage lands, and that disputes of long standing culminated at this time are apparent from other entries on the records of both towns. Five months after Rev. Ward Cotton was ordained, in 1734, Hampton Falls chose a committee, "to discourse with the selectmen or committee chosen by the old parish to dispose of the parsonage lots in Hampton to see whether they will be willing that the new parish shall have any part with the old parish of lots. Voted, that the committee have power to search the Record at the old parish and to see from whence said lots derived and then to call a parish meeting in the new parish as soon as may be with conveniency." Three years later, Kensington church was organized, taking fourteen members from the old church; [Chap. XXI.] and after one more year, North Hill parish was formed, under protest. [Chap. XXII.] The parsonage property was probably a subject of dispute all this time, till the meeting of June 24, 1745, when two agents were appointed, to "prosecute & Defend any action or actions moved or to be moved for or against the said fiberizers and Inhabitants." Just one week elapsed, when Hampton Falls chose a committee, "to consult with such a committee as may be chosen by Kensington and North Hampton to consider of what method they ;may think best for each parish to come to their proper part of the lands purchased of the Rev. Timothy Dalton by the town of Hampton for the use of th ministry and to make report to the parish as soon as may be." So disputes and jealousies rankled for some years longer, but at length, bitterness died out, and Hampton Falls voted, under date, October 29, 1760, after consideration at several previous meetings, "not to proceed in a course of law to recover some part of the Parsonage or ministerial land."

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