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[p. 99] later at Kittery, Me. In 1698 he came to Medford as a candidate on probation. March 28 of this year the inhabitants, at a general town meeting properly adjourned from a meeting regularly called two weeks before, voted that, ‘when legally settled amongst us in the work of the ministry,’ Mr. Woodbridge ‘should have forty pounds in money, fifteen cords of wood, and strangers' money, for annuity,’ and he seems to have accepted this proposition as if it had been a regular and legal call to become the settled minister of the town. But that the town understood it otherwise is evident from the fact that in September, 1701, the town again voted that he should still continue as their minister, and two persons were chosen ‘to discourse Mr. Woodbridge, and know his mind concerning settling in the town in the work of the ministry.’ At the same meeting it was further voted that ‘the town would give him thirty pounds for his encouragement toward the building a house and settling as aforesaid; said money to be raised either by subscription or by way of rate; and further it is understood that the thirty pounds should be returned by Mr. Benj. Woodbridge to the town if he did not settle and continue with us in the work of the ministry, aforesaid.’ In 1703, while building his house, Mr. Woodbridge had a controversy with the workmen who were employed by him; the difference was referred to four prominent ministers of the province, who decided ‘that his contention was a serious impediment to his settling, and his treatment of the workmen pronounced contrary to a good conscience.’ In May of this year the selectmen assessed a rate of forty-five pounds and three shillings for the cash and the value of the firewood due Mr. Woodbridge, and apportioned the same among the tax-payers. He construed this act of the selectmen as evidence that he was the legally settled minister. But the town thought otherwise, and, as we shall see, was sustained by the
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