Chapter 10: civil History.
It has already been stated, that the General Court, March 3, 1635-6, “Agreed, that Newe Towne bounds should run eight myles into the country from their meeteing howse,” and that large farms, near theeight mile line were soon afterwards granted by the town; among which grants was one to Richard Harlakenden of “six hundred acres of upland and meadow, at the place called Vine Brook, in the midway between Newtowne and Concord,” on certain conditions, Jan. 2, 1636-7. This tract of land was in the central portion of the present town of Lexington. The conditions of the grant not being performed by Richard Harlakenden, the land was subsequently granted to his brother, Roger Harlakenden, who died in 1638. Herbert Pelham married the widow of Harlakenden, and became the owner of his real estate; he bequeathed this property to his son Edward Pelham, who conveyed by deeds, Oct. 28, 1693, to Benjamin Muzzey 206 acres in Cambridge, towards Concord, being a part of “Mr. Pelham's farm,” and to John Poulter 212 acres of the same farm. Precisely when the first houses were erected and actual settlements commenced at the “Farms,” so called, does not appear on record; but as early as 1682, about thirty families were there, generally styled “Farmers.” They had then become so numerous and so strong, that they desired a separation from the parent town; but they petitioned at first to be made a distinct parish. Although they were unsuccessful for nine years, and did not fully accomplish their purpose for more than thirty years, their petition and the reply to it are inserted, as they indicate the condition of the people at that period.