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Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 13. 2 0 Browse Search
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Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 13., Ancient legal contentions in upper Medford. (search)
s of a little different character from either of the other two already cited. It indicates how closely bound together were the church and the people, and how the former insisted, as much as possible, in doing all the thinking for the people, especially in church and religious matters. But some of our ancestors had commenced to think for themselves, and no amount of coercion or court proceedings could stop them. The case now under discussion was that of the church at Charlestown against Ursula Cole, wife of John Cole of Charlestown, who is recorded as being one of the owners of a Waterfield farm, now Winchester. The complaint was, that Mrs. Cole indulged in defamatory talk against the Rev. Zachariah Symmes, who was also a Waterfield and, later, a Medford, land owner, besides being minister of the Charlestown church. After a long trial and many witnesses were examined, the said Ursula Cole was found guilty and fined Five Pounds and costs of court, to be paid by her husband, or to b