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[p. 9]

Jan. 27, 1692-3. ‘The Selectmen of Medford, Maiden, Woburn and Reading, are called upon to repair the northerly half of Mistick bridge, as they have been wont to do, forthwith, and to make report at the next term of Court, on penalty of Five pounds in money, for each towns neglecting to attend to this order of the Court.’

Evidently but little attention was paid to this order of the Court, for on Dec. 12, 1693, the Court orders the respective towns to appear and answer to the defects in the northerly half of Mistick bridge.

Dec. 26, 1693. ‘The Selectmen of Medford, appear in Court, to answer to their presentment respecting a defect in the Northerly half of Mistick bridge, and say that their part of the bridge is in very good repair. The Selectmen of Woburn, Reading and Malden appear and say that they have nothing to do with the repairing of Mistick bridge, nor should concern themselves therewith.’

The above orders of the Court appear to have caused great excitement in the three towns above-named. In Woburn a meeting of the inhabitants was called Jan. 10, 1693-4, to take the subject into consideration, and the said inhabitants declare, ‘that what they had formerly done towards the repairing of Mistick bridge, was only an Act of Charity to help Medford when they were low and poor, and to help those men that had formerly engaged themselves to help repair the same, and now Medford was much increased both in numbers and in estate, and those gentlemen that had formerly engaged themselves as aforesaid, being all dead, now therefore the said inhabitants once more voted, that as by law they were not engaged to help repair Mistick bridge, so that they would do nothing to the same.’ The town of Woburn also voted to employ counsel for its defence, and the town of Reading voted ‘not to repair Mistick bridge unless compelled to by law.’ Malden also took similar action. The town of Medford

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