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[95] that a certain number of settlers or families should, within a stated time, build and settle upon the same; or that the gospel should be regularly preached, or a church gathered upon the granted premises. In this manner, forty-four towns were constituted and established within the Plymouth and Massachusetts Colonies before the year 1655, without any more formal act of incorporation. Among the oldest are the following: Plymouth, 1620; Salem, 1629 ; Charlestown, 1629; Boston, 1630; Medford or Mystic, 1630; Watertown, 1630; Roxbury, 1630; Dorchester, 1630 ; Cambridge or Newton, 1633; Ipswich, 1634; Concord, 1635; Hingham, 1635; Newbury, 1635; Scituate, 1636; Springfield, 1636; Duxbury, 1637; Lynn, 1637; Barnstable, 1639; Taunton, 1639; Woburn, 1642; Malden, 1649.

London, May 22, 1629: On this day “the orders for establishing a government and officers in Massachusetts Bay passed, and said orders were sent to New England(.”

Although, in the first settlement of New England, different sections of country were owned and controlled by “Companies” in England, yet the people here claimed and exercised a corporate power in the elections of their rulers and magistrates. This was the case with Medford.

To show what form of government our ancestors in Medford recognized and supported, we subjoin the following records:--

Oct. 19, 1630: First General Court of Massachusetts Colony, and this at Boston: Present, the Governor, Deputy-Governor, Sir Richard Saltonstall, Mr. Ludlow, Capt. Endicott, Mr. Nowell, Pynchon, Bradstreet. Since their arrival here, the first form of their government was that of Governor, Deputy-Governor, and Assistants; the Patentees with their heirs, assigns, and associates, being freemen. But now, in this General Court, they agree on a second form, as follows; proposed as the best course: For the freemen to have the power of choosing Assistants, when they are to be chosen; and the Assistants, from among themselves, to choose the Governor and Deputy-Governor, who, with the Assistants, to have the power of making laws, and choosing officers to execute the same. This was fully assented to by the general vote of the people and the erection of hands.

May 25, 1636: Mr. Bishop, as magistrate, appointed to keep the county court at Salem.

1643: Massachusetts Colony had thirty towns, and was

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