Order Granting the Farmers’ Petition, 1691

Modernized Transcription

This transcription follows the original text almost word for word, but it observes present-day conventions in spelling, punctuation and capitalization. Where you see text in red, underlined, hovering your cursor on it (no click necessary) will pop up a brief explanation.
Heading (in right margin):
Cambridge Farms allowed a Minister

Body (starting at upper left):
Upon reading of the petition of the farmers, and inhabitants of the farms within the precincts and bounds of the town of Cambridge towards Concord, therein setting forth their distance (the nearest of them living above five miles) from Cambridge meeting house, the place of the public worship; praying that—according to former applications by them several years since made unto this Court—for the advantage of themselves, families, and posterity, they may have this Court’s favor and license in order to the calling of a fit Minister for dispensing the Gospels among them; as also that they may be a distinct village for the ends proposed in their said petition; [and] the selectmen of Cambridge having had a copy of [the] said petition sent them, with a notification of the time for their being heard thereupon, this day, and accordingly attending:

After a full hearing and consideration of what was offered by both parties, it is granted and ordered by this Court that the petitioners be and are hereby permitted and allowed to invite, and settle, an able and orthodox minister for the dispensing of the Gospel among them;

And that all Inhabitants living within the line formerly stated by a Committee of this Court, anno 1684, beginning at the first run of water or swampy place, over which is a kind of a bridge in the way, on the southerly side of Francis Whitmore’s house towards the town of Cambridge aforesaid, across the neck of land lying between Woburn Line and that of Watertown side upon a southwest and northeast course, do pay unto the Minister’s maintenance there, and are hereby empowered annually to choose three or five meet persons to assess their inhabitants for the support and maintenance of their minister, as also a constable or collector to gather the same by warrant from the said assessors—the said farmers not being hereby discharged from paying their proportion as formerly unto all public charges in the town, except what refers to the ministry, so long as they maintain an able minister among themselves.