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[202] plantation. Thus the ideas of a true theocracy and a true democracy were here early imparted.

The “plantation” agreed to hire a preacher, who should supply them for six months or a year, and to pay him by individual subscriptions, while they allowed him to reside wherever his other engagements required. Tutors from Harvard College were hired for this purpose.

Oct. 21, 1658, our fathers kept a fast, “on account of God's judgments; to wit, sickness in several families, unfavorable weather, and the appearance of that scourge, the Quakers.”

1660: At this time, the controversy about infant baptism afflicted our early Christians here; and Mr. Thomas Gould's case, in Charlestown, caused great stir at Medford.

Mr. John Hancock, grandfather of the patriot of 1775, who preached here in 1692, consented to remain in the plantation; and the town accordingly voted that “he shall be boarded at Mr. John Bradshaw's for the year ensuing, if he shall continue his ministry so long among us.” The usual price of board was five shillings per week. In November, 1693, Mr. Hancock's ministrations ceased, and the town voted to apply to the government of Harvard College to supply them with a minister for the winter. The town enjoyed, for a considerable time, the ministerial services of Mr. Benjamin Colman (H. C. 1692).

May 13, 1695, the town gave Mr. Simon Bradstreet (H. C. 1693) an invitation to become their permanent pastor; and the record is as follows:--

Voted that Mr. Simon Bradstreet, for his — encouragement to settle amongst us in the work of the gospel ministry, shall have £ 40 in money, for annuity, with his housing and firewood.

This call was not accepted. There were, at this time, only thirty-three male inhabitants who paid taxes on estates. Fifteen shillings was the common price paid, per sabbath, to “occasional preachers.”

March 5, 1694: Voted that the former subscription for the support of the minister should be continued, and that the board of the minister should be five shillings per week; and, if any one refused to pay his share of this, then the Selectmen should “rate him according to his effects.” The town's rate was “one penny in the pound, and twelve pence per head.”

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