II. History before the establishment of the Precinct.
Paige, History of Cambridge, 1630-1877, mentions farms granted to inhabitants of Cambridge in 1635, in the territory now embraced in Arlington and Lexington (p. 36). A ‘highway to Menotomy’ from the ‘Town’—now Old Cambridge—existed prior to 1636 (pp. 15,16); and a weir to catch alewives on Menotomy River in the bounds of this town was made in 1636 (p. 38). In the Proprietors' Records of Cambridge-see Paige, 21-22— mention is made of the ‘new lots next Menotomy,’ as early as 1638. Instance William Cutter, who had one house and garden in the ‘town,’ of Mr. Santley; and had also ‘in the new lots next Menotomy,’ three acres planting land; highway to Menotomy, west. William Patten had also in ‘new lots next Menotomy,’ two acres planting ground at this period.
William Cutter was a wine-cooper and made freeman April 18, 1637, and member of the Artillery Company in 1638. He had estates in Cambridge and Charlestown, and resided at different periods in both places (see Paige, XVI. 487, 521, and Wyman, 260); and by 1653 returned to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in England, where he originated, and whence a letter he wrote to Mr. Henry Dunster, President of Harvard College in Cambridge in New England, in 1654, has been preserved (see Hist. Cutter Family of N. E., p. 368). He was appointed ‘assisting water-serjeant’ at Newcastle, Eng., and sworn June 23, 1657.—Brand's History of Newcastle, II. p. 24. His mother Elizabeth Cutter, widow, and brother Richard Cutter, cooper, both settled in Cambridge, and his sister Barbara Cutter married Mr. Elijah Corlet, the memorable old school-master in Cambridge. The brother Richard Cutter had many descendants here, but William probably left no posterity. Richard Cutter had four acres land in the Menotomy neighborhood, bounded John Brewer east, William Towne west, Charlestown line north, and Common south, in 1645. Mention is made of the Menotomy Bridge and Menotomy River in the Proprietors' Records, in 1642. William Patten was an early resident of Cambridge, who agreed to take charge of a part of the town herd of cattle, and resided on the easterly side of North Avenue (in the present Cambridge), opposite the Common.—Paige. Some of his descendants have resided in the Menotomy precinct.