General Court's Two Responses, 1683

Magistrates' and Deputies' First Response, 1683
The General Court again used the margin of the Farmers' petition to respond after considering the Cambridge petition and hearing representatives from both sides. As the picture at the left shows, this time they turned the page sideways and used a good deal of the wide left margin. Once again, the large buttons above will show you the contents.

Having read both petitions, and hearing what representatives of the two sides had to say, the Deputies, first to respond in a note dated October 20, 1683, came down heavily on the side of the Farmers, proposing that they be granted immediate permission to build a meetinghouse and call a minister. The Deputies even added a provision requiring the town of Cambridge to pay for the minister’s support until the town and the Farms negotiated a different arrangement. But the Magistrates vetoed this action by withholding consent.
Magistrates' and Deputies' Second Response, 1683
A few days later, both houses responded again. There was very little room left on the petition, but the Court diligently made use of it. The Magistrates, who went first (on October 24, a few days after the first response) squeezed their brief proposal into the only space remaining at the bottom. The deputies had to make do with a tiny bit of the left margin. The picture at the right shows the positions.

The Magistrates' proposal was fortunately brief. As in the previous year, they called for a postponement until the next year’s spring session, and the deputies duly consented. The reason for the delay was different this year, since Cambridge had now been heard from. These brief notes give no hint of what that reason was, but an action taken in the first 1684 session (the next in this succession of documents) makes it clear.