Well, the men might have their seats raised and their ornamental banesturs
if they liked, but
for the women to come down from their seats in the fore-gallery
was too much to be endured in silence.
The echoes of the indignant protest that the men of Medford town heard in February come down to us in the vote of March 3, 1700, ‘to part the front gallery in the midst, the one halfe for men, and the other halfe for women notwithstanding
any former vote to the Conterary
This momentous question settled, the pew of Major Wade
After making void a former vote, the major was granted ‘liberty to build a pue at the northeast corner of the house taking a part of the pue that’ (his brother's widow) ‘Madam Wade
sits in, soe much of it as shall range with the alley and soe run through said pue on the one side and come out on the other side pue so far as to take in halfe of the window, said pue to be built the same hight with the former pue adjoining.’
This was on March 3, and conditioned on being finished by the middle of the next May.
The major being provided for, Left.
Peter Tufts was next in order.
He was to have ‘liberty’ to build a pew that took one-half the room between Major Wade
's and a point one foot and a half from the window under the stairs into the gallery on the women's side.
Then Thomas Willis
was given liberty to enlarge his pew so far as the window, and the same height as before.
Notice these extracts from the town records contain often the word liberty
. It is somewhat ominous and prophetic of the day that came seventy-five years later, when Capt. Hall
and the Medford Minute Men
marched up High street to Lexington
Another thing; the preciseness of the record and the detail of description furnish the data from which we are able to furnish a plan of ‘ye Olde Metinghouse.’
The Rev. Charles Brooks
, in the History of Medford
(1855), gives (I think) a mistaken impression of it, both as to its size and appearance.