We can well imagine that the raps and pokes of the wand carried by this official might raise personal prejudices.
On February 12, 1682-3 ‘it was agreed upon, that all generall meetings for the time to come shall be att eight of the clock in the morning & whossoeuer shall faill shall pay a fine of fix pence pr hour & if absent the whole meeting two shillings.’
Evidently it was as difficult a work to get out the voters then as it is found to be in more recent times, but the measures taken to accomplish the object were of a different nature; possibly at the present time a fine for absence instead of the methods used might have an effect on the size of the vote cast.
On October 13, 1684, the following action was taken:— ‘it was agreed opon at A generall meting of the Jnhabitants by a uote to petition to the Generall Court
to grant us power and priuilidge as other Towns for the ordering of prudentialls amongst us.’
The next entry reads.
‘at A generall court held at Boston
15th october 1684 in Answer onto yepetition of mr Nathaniell
wade & peter Tufs in behalf of the Jnhabitents of meadford ye Court Grants there Requ[est] [and] decla[res] that meadford hath bene & is A peculiar & have power as other Towns as to prudentials &c = that this is A true coppy taken out of the Courts
records as attest Edward Rawsson Secretary This is atrue coppy of the coppy aboue sd as attest Stephen willis clark’
It is to be noticed that in the petition as above presented the word ‘town’ is used for the first time in the records; although not calling Medford
directly a ‘town
,’ by inference it does so, as it asks for the power and privileges as other towns.
Previous to this time in every instance the reference to Medford
is as a ‘Plantation;’ after this, as a ‘town.’
A word in regard to this action by the General Court.
in his history gives the above grant, but instead of giving it correctly says, ‘medford hath bene & is A peculiar “town” ’ inserting the word ‘town
,’ and in the text of his history further on,