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[p. 39] 1656, the plantation was under one ownership. All taxes levied, or fines imposed upon the plantation, or upon any of the servants therein employed, were paid by the owners thereof. There was nothing in any way resembling a town government. As has been before stated, the General Court, in 1641, called Meadford a farm, and a farm or plantation it continued to be, until the time when it was divided and sold to different parties. That a change took place in the status of the farm or plantation soon after Mr. Collins sold one thousand two hundred acres of his land to Mr. Russell, is shown by the orders of the County Court, which were issued for the first time to Meadford. June 25, 1658. ‘Meadford is enjoined to repair their Highways before the next term of Court. on penalty of forty shillings.’ Also, ‘the 8th of the 10th month 1664, the inhabitants of Meadford were summoned into Court, to answer to complaints about Mistick Bridge. Golden Moore returned that the bridge is repaired.’ The question then arose, ‘What proportion of the taxes levied, and fines imposed upon the plantation or farm, should be paid by each individual owner?’ For the settlement of these questions it became necessary that the several owners should meet together to consult in regard to their common interests, and thus the nucleus of a town government was formed, a peculiar, as the General Court termed it.1 There was no authority for calling these meetings, and the business pertaining to their common interests were, no doubt, transacted by committees. No record was kept of their proceedings. This condition of affairs continued until the increased liabilities of the plantation demanded that an organization resembling a town government should be formed, and persons chosen to take charge of their prudential affairs. The first recorded meeting of the inhabitants of the Meadford plantation was held the first Monday in February, 1674, and Mr. Nathaniel Wade was chosen

1 “The word peculiar, in Colonial and Provincial Massachusetts, meant a parish, precinct or district not yet erected into a town,” [Register, Vol. 9, p. 25.]

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