Cambridge’s Counterpetition, 1683

Manuscript and Literal Transcription

Letters in the transcription are underlined for one of these three reasons: th is substituted for a written y where it represents the sound th (as in the definite article, which was never pronounced “yee”); F is substituted for ff, a common way of ‘capitalizing’ that letter; or an abbreviation is expanded to the full word.
Cambridge Petition, 1683
To the Honerable the Generall Court assembled in Boston
October the 16th: 1683

Your humble suppliants the selectmen of Cambridge, in Obediense to
to a warrant sent to us, and the Consernes of our Town, doe humbly present
unto your Honors Serious Consideration, In answer to a petition of the
remott farmes of our Town, Some of your Honors may yet remember the
unsetled Condition of this Church when it was about to remove to Matebe
:sick, for the prevention of which the Honored Generall Court held at Boston
in March 1643 was pleased to Grant to this Church a tract of land at
Shawe Shin and another parsell adjoyning to Concord line for the Inlargement
of our boundaryes, and to Inable this Church and towne (withe rest of our
accomidations) to mayntaine the ministry in this place provided the then
Church and elders did continue in this place, which Condition was
accordingly performed, though this Church and Town (as may be demonstrated
was abler to mayntaine the ministry and defraue publike Charges then,
than now it is, by Reason most of our prinsipall men are now
removed from us Some by death and others into England & other Countryes
We alsoe humbly present unto your Honors Consideration the great disinablment
of our Church and town by the vilidg on the south side of the river
breaking of from us which was soe considerable apart of our Town, and bare
a Considerable part of our Charge in the mayntenanse of our Ministry, &
now bares non of that, nor severall other Charges our town is at; whereby
we are greatly disinabled soe Comfortably to mayntaine our Ministry
and discharge our other publike Charges as we wont and ought to doe,
by Reason one prinsipall arme of our town is Cutt off, and our accomadations
for husbandry soe pore and smale, and our trade in this Town soe little
and inconsiderable, that it is even a wonder to our selves, how we doe
subsist and Cary on publike Charg soe well as we doe, though we doe
it not soe well as we should,

We therefor humbly present unto this Honorable Generall Courts most
seriouse Consideration, the great damidge it will be to this pore Church
and town, (that have suffered soe many deminutions already) if the Honord
Courte should Grant our farmers petition to lett them have a ministry of there owne
and soe be wholy taken off from Contributing to ours; but much more should
we be damnifyed if the honored Court should grant any part of our outlands unto
them, we are soe exeedingly straightened in the boundarys of our lands as
we shall playnely demonstrate to the Honored Courte, for the distanse of plase
that our brethren at the farmes are from the publike meeting with us, it
is but the same it was when they first seteled themselves and famelyes there
and they have there other Convenienses with it, and Concord is not farr from
them which in bad wether they may goe unto, if we should have this arme
Cutt off too, we shall be much disinabled to Cary on Gods worke amongst
us both in Church and Commonwealth; that as it hath binn the Care
of the Honored Fathers of our Commonwealth formerly to take care for the
subsistance and well being of this Senior Church of Christ in Cambridge, soe
we still Crave the Continued Care of the Honered fathers of our
Commonwealth now in being, that they would not destroy the parant
for the offspring, we humbly leave our langwishing Condition to
your Honors most Seriouse Consideration; And your suppliants shall
pray as in duty bound &c.

William Manning
Sam:ll Andrewe
Samuell Chamne
In the name of the Town of Cambridg