It is entirely within the bounds of possibility to believe that the site of this bridge was selected as early as the year 1631, if not before.
The first reference to this bridge in the records of the General Court is in the year 1639:
At the General Court held in Boston the 22nd.
of the 3rd.
month (called May) 1639. Mr. Mathew Cradock is freed of rates to the County by agreement of the Court, for the year ensuing from this day in regard to his charge in building the bridg1639. Mr. Mathew Cradock is freed of rates to the County by agreement of the Court, for the year ensuing from this day in regard to his charge in building the bridge, and the county is to finish it at the charge of the public, Mr. Davidson and Lieut. Sprague to see it done and to bring in their bill of charges.
This action of the General Court shows that, although Mistick bridge was first commenced by Mr. Cradock as a private enterprise, yet it so commended itself to the Court as a public benefit that Mr. Cradock was reimbursed for what he had previously done towards its construction, by freeing him from County rates for one year; and it was ordered to