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[61] that the county would let the bridge go to ruin. No penalty for non-performance of duty was imposed. Mr. Cradock's agent, therefore, sent his petition, the nature of which can be ascertained only by the following reply:--“General Court, 28th of the 7th mo., 1648: In answer to the petition of Nic. Davison, in the behalf of Mr. Cradock, for the repairing and maintaining of Mistick Bridge by the county, the said Mr. Davison being sent for, the evidence he can give being heard and examined with the records of the General Court, it appears that the General Court did engage for an exemption from rates for that year, and finishing the same on their own charges, which accordingly hath been done.”

We may infer from these proceedings, that the bridge was very likely to be out of repair, and that Mr. Cradock's workmen and business required it to be strong and safe. Five years roll away, and the county appears to have done little for the safety of the bridge. The indefatigable Mr. Davison, urged on doubtless by Mr. Cradock, appeals once more to the supreme authority. That the General Court should now feel determined to put an end to this standing annoyance, we cannot wonder. Probably by consultation with Mr. Davison, they came to the following financial conclusion: “28th of 3d mo., 1653: Upon a petition presented by Mr. Nicholas Davison, in the behalf of Mr. Cradock, in reference to Mistick Bridge, it is ordered by this Court, and hereby declared, that, if any person or persons shall appear that will engage sufficiently to build, repair, and maintain the bridge at Mistick at his or their proper cost and charges, it shall be lawful, and all and every such person or persons, so engaging, are hereby authorized, and have full power, to ask, require, and receive of every single person, passing over the said bridge, one penny, and for every horse and man sixpence; for every beast twopence, and for every cart one shilling; and this to continue so long as the bridge shall be sufficiently maintained, as aforesaid.” This order of Court proves to us, that the county had not kept the bridge in repair; that Mr. Cradock probably used it much in transporting heavy loads; and, finally, that the bridge was at first constructed to allow the passage of heavy burdens in ox-teams.

Put all these legislative orders together, and the inferences drawn from them, and we have a very satisfactory history of the first bridge in Medford. We can see, in our mind's eye, a rude structure, sufficiently wide to allow but one cart to

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