study, and diligent comparison of the quaint expression, and almost phonetic spelling, the writer felt as one becoming introduced to the men and people of the Medford
of long ago. So
long ago was it, that it is well to take a look beyond the strip of land bordering the river, ‘and extending back a mile in all places,’ that comprised the Medford
of those days, making the thirty-one years ye olde meeting-house was used.
A. D. 1693, William and Mary had been for five years the reigning sovereigns and the town meetings were called ‘in their majesties names.’
The witchcraft delusion at Salem
had just run its length and subsided without thrusting its baleful presence and influence into Medford
Beyond the sea in old England
, John Bunyan
, the immortal dreamer, and Richard Baxter
, the voluminous writer, had but just passed away.
The ‘Pilgrim's Progress’ of the one, and ‘Saint
's Rest’ of the other were beginning to reach these shores.
, the poet and translator of ‘Virgil,’ and John Locke
, the mental philosopher of that age, were just completing their life work, while the great architect, Sir Christopher Wren
, was in his prime.
But four years had passed since Sir Edmund Andros
had been sent home to England
, and one Medford
man is credited with saying, ‘If Andros
comes to Medford
we'll treat him not with shad and alewives but with swordfish
Possibly if this ancient Medfordite could now return, he would find a different taste prevailing in the matter of a fish diet; and Parson Porter
would find that potatoes (unknown in Medford
when he came as minister) afforded more palatable and nourishing food if the roots were cooked, instead of balls that grew upon the vines.
' successor wasn't much more heartily welcomed, though the people were loyal to the king who had granted the new charter.
Less than nine years before, the general court in answer to the people's inquiry, had declared ‘that Meadford hath ’