The employment of a minister and the payment of his salary was a constant source of trouble in these times, and the changes were frequent until Rev. Benjamin Woodbridge
appeared on the scenes in 1697, and during his term as minister, which continued until his death, January 15, 1710, dissension and legislation relative to his service and the payment for it were continuous.
The records through these years are filled with lists of tax rates, each year seeming to have several different ones.
I hardly know what our feelings would be now to receive a tax bill every two or three months when we feel an annual one to be a burden—and the law provided that if these taxes were not paid within a certain time that the delinquent should be committed to the ‘Common Goall of the county there to remain until he shall have paid the same.’
March 6, 1799, it was voted to give Mr. John Johnson
three pounds toward the building of a sufficient horse bridge over the weirs, with a rail on each side, and so constructed as to leave a free passage underneath for boats and rafts.
At the same meeting it was voted to build a gallery in the meeting-house with stairs at each end, the seats in the same to be parted in the middle so that one half should be for the men, and the other half for the women.
On page 73 may be found the record of the deed in full from Thomas Willis
to the selectmen as trustees for the inhabitants of Medford
of the land on which the meeting-house was located, under date of March 6, 1699.
On December 6, 1700, a vote was passed to petition the General Court for liberty to build a ‘corne mill’ at gravelly bank near ‘Mistick Bridge,’ and also to raise ‘twenty pounds in money & levy the fame on there Jnhabitents by atowne Rate to buy bords & other meterials to be Jmproved for the building a house in there towne for the ministry’; this was afterwards changed to thirty pounds and spent for the purpose voted.
At this period there is frequent legislation relative to