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“ [410] in a very short period, appear to have been very unequally distributed between Medford and Marblehead.”

The diversity in the several years was owing to accidental occurrences, such as supporting the expedition against the Pequods; also for service-money, to prevent the effort in England to withdraw the charter of Massachusetts, and to liquidate charges in London.

The rates and prices were distinguished as follow:--

It is ordered, that, in payment, silver plate shall pass at five shillings the ounce; good old Indian corn, growing here, being clean and merchantable, at five shillings the bushel; summer wheat, at seven shillings the bushel; rye, at six shillings and eightpence the bushel; and, for horses, mares, cows, goats, and hogs, there is a committee appointed to value them under their worth, rather than above their worth.

At this time (1644), Medford began to pay its tax to Harvard College. Each family was required to send one peck of corn annually, for the support of poor students.

Until 1646, the poll-tax of each man in Medford was one shilling and eightpence. On real estate, one penny on the pound.

The above data show how heavily or lightly Medford was taxed during the first ten years of its history. The grants of land made, in 1634, by the General Court, to Rev. Mr. Wilson, of Boston, Mathew Cradock, Esq., of London, and Mr. J. Nowell, were exempted from taxation; and, as some of them laid within the limits of Medford, it made this town an exception. In the records of the General Court, April 4, 1641, we find the following:--

It is ordered, that all farms that are within the bounds of any town shall be of the town in which they lye, except Meadford. “” Meadford declared a peculiar town, Oct. 15, 1684.

While it was right in the General Court to make gifts of land, tax-free, to such distinguished benefactors of the Province, it deprived Medford of so much annual income as said districts would have paid. No complaint was made on this account; and our fathers struggled through nobly, notwithstanding their small means, and yet smaller numbers. The above record of taxes tells a tale of deep interest. We can see how a handful of first settlers, in a wilderness district, who could only pay three pounds towards a provincial tax, must live from year to year. Fed by what they could raise from

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