“  person but what has been rated 1s., at least, to the last province-tax more than the poll-tax, laid in said town, shall be admitted to vote.” The constable seemed to be a remarkably large part of the executive head in the early days. At “General Court, held at Newtowne, May 14, 1634, Mr. Thomas Mayhew is entreated by the Court to examine what hurt the swine of Charlestown hath done amongst the Indian barns of corn, on the north side of Mystic; and accordingly the inhabitants of Charlestown promiseth to give them satisfaction.” If tradition be true, porcus has long been a singularly troublesome genus to our excellent neighbors. Sept. 3, 1634: Mr. Oldham appointed “overseer of the powder and shot and all other ammunition for Medford.” General Court, March 3, 1635:--
Whereas particular towns have many things which concern only themselves, and the ordering of their own affairs, and disposing of business in their own town, it is therefore ordered that the freemen of any town, or the major part of them, shall only have power to dispose of their own lands and woods, with all the privileges and appurtenances of the said towns, to grant lots, and make such orders as may concern the well ordering of their own towns, not repugnant to the laws and orders here established by the General Court; as also to lay mulcts and penalties for the breach of these orders, and to levy and distrain the same, not exceeding the sum of £ 20; also to choose their own particular officers, as constables, surveyors for the highways, and the like.Sept. 8, 1636: The General Court order, “that hereafter no town in the plantation that has not ten freemen resident in it shall send any deputy to the General Courts; those that have above ten, and under twenty, not above one; betwixt twenty and forty, not above two; and that have above forty, three, if they will, but not more.” This law may explain why Medford was so long unrepresented in the General Court. Nov. 5, 1639: “Ordered that every town have liberty, from time to time, to choose a fit man to sell wine, to be drank in his house; provided that, if any person shall be made drunk in any such house, or any immoderate drinking suffered there, the master of the family shall pay for every such offence £ 5.” Some perplexity and more discontent arose from the fact that the lands of Medford were owned by non-residents to an extent unknown in any other plantation of the Colony.