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[62] pass at the same time, and so poorly put together as to be endangered by every high tide and by floating ice. We can furthermore see that the bridge was placed where the.present one stands; and, lastly, we may say, that to Mr. Mathew Cradock, of London, our fathers were indebted for this great convenience.

The next step of interest, relating to Mystic Bridge, was the appointment of a Committee by the County Court to decide what bridges should be built and maintained. They report as follows, May 15, 1657:--

In obedience to an order of the County Court, held at Charlestown, Dec. 30, 1656, we, whose names are underwritten, meeting at Cambridge, March 2, 1657, to weigh and consider what bridges are fittest to be built and maintained at the county's charge, after due examination of things, we find the bridges of this county, already erected and to be erected (as we conceive), to exceed for number and charge all the other counties within this Colony; and, withal, considering the great necessity of bringing in all that are alike useful, which would amount to such a charge that we question the county's ability to maintain and bear the charge thereof; and having some experimental knowledge that towns will be more cautious in laying out their own costs than the counties, both in building and repairing, do therefore conclude, according to our weak apprehensions, that as few bridges should be built at the county's charge as possibly may be; only those two bridges, i. e., at Billerica and Mistick, to be finished at the county's charge, and for time to come maintained in repair by the towns and precincts in which they are, and those towns that are forced to build bridges more for the passage of others than their own benefit may have help from the county, by this honored Court's appointment; if their burden in building bridges exceed their sister towns, and in case any town shall propound to this honored Court for erecting of bridges contrary to what is here present,--we are ready to give further account to this Court why the county should be no further charged that way. And, whereas it appears to us that Concord, Sudbury, and Lancaster are at a greater charge in bridges for the public use of the country than some other of their neighbor towns, we conceive it meet that they be abated as followeth: Concord and Lancaster all their rates, whether paid or to be paid, to those two bridges above named, and Sudbury the one-half of their rates to the said bridges, and their abatements to be satisfied to the undertakers of those bridges, or repaid again to such as have paid, as followeth: i.e., Chelmsford, two pounds; Billerica, one pound; Charlestown, ten pounds; Meadford, two pounds; and what these shall fall short of satisfying those above-mentioned abatements, made up out of the county stock, either fines or otherwise, as the Court shall please to determine.

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Lancaster (2)
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