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“ [38] free inhabitant, his and their heirs and assigns, of such estate of inheritance, or as they shall have in any such houses, lands, or frank-tenements.” (See History of the Indians.)

Mr. Wm. Wood, who resided some years in the Colony, published, in 1634, the following description of Medford:--

Towards the north-west of this bay is a great creek, upon whose shore is situated the village of Medford, a very fertile and pleasant place, and fit for more inhabitants than are yet in it.

We omit the descriptions of Newton and Watertown here introduced. The writer then says:--

The next town is Mistick, which is three miles from Charlestown by land, and a league and a half by water. It is seated by the water's side very pleasantly: there are not many houses as yet. At the head of this river are great and spacious ponds, whither the alewives press to spawn. This being a noted place for that kind of fish, the English resort hither to take them. On the west side of this river the Governor has a farm, where he keeps most of his cattle. On the east side is Mr. Craddock's plantation, where he has impaled a park, where he keeps his cattle, till he can store it with deer. Here, likewise, he is at charges of building ships. The last. year, one was upon the stocks of a hundred tons; that being finished, they are to build one twice her burden. Ships, without either ballast or loading, may float down this river; otherwise, the oyster-bank would hinder them which crosseth the channel.

The Hon. James Savage, in his edition of Winthrop's Journal, vol. II. p. 195, has the following note concerning Medford:--

Of so flourishing a town as Medford, the settlement of which had been made as early as that of any other, except Charlestown, in the bay, it is remarkable that the early history is very meagre. From several statements of its proportion of the public charges in the colony rates, it must be concluded that it was, within the first eight years, superior in wealth at different times to Newbury, Ipswich, Hingham, Weymouth, all ancient towns, furnished with regular ministers. Yet the number of people was certainly small; and the weight of the tax was probably borne by the property of Governor Cradock, there invested for fishing and other purposes. When that establishment was withdrawn, I suppose, the town languished many years. Simon Bradstreet and James Noyes preached. The consequence of their subsequent destitution of the best means of religion were very unhappy. The town was poorly inhabited, the people much divided, occasionally prosecuted for their deficiencies, and long in a miserable condition. A long period of

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