So here are three names of one and the same place, all cotemporary: first, Medford
, from the colony record; second, Mr. Cradock's farm
, also from the colony record; third, Mistick
, from Josselyn
, is of Indian origin.
The second was proprietary, but would of necessity be in time outgrown and disused.
The third was official and remains.
But why Medford
Towns are named by official, i.e
., by governmental, executive or legislative action, in honor or memory of persons or places, as well as peculiarities.
In those early days the incorporating words were few; as witness, ‘Charlestown Village is called Wooburne,’ ‘Sagust is called Linn
But we search the colony records in vain to find that Mr. Cradock
's farm is called Medford
; and literally speaking, the early Medford
was never incorporated.
Like Topsy, she simply ‘growed.’
Still the fact remains that in September, 1630, a tax of three pounds had been laid upon a place designated by the General Court as Medford
and again we ask ‘why Medford
When and by whom previously?
There are no local
records to search—really none till 1674.
Neither were there any dictagraphs in those early days to can the words of the godfather who named the town, calling it Medford
, and to be laid away in the garret of the ‘ferme-house’ long since gone.
We can only answer the query by the result of reason and research.
We have already noted the geographical situation of Mr. Cradock
's farm, the early Medford
The seventeenth of June, 1630, is commonly accepted, and two hundred and seventy-five years after was celebrated, as the time of settlement, and again we may ask why. Because Governor Winthrop
wrote, ‘We went up Mistick river about six miles.’
did not settle in Medford
but in Charlestown
, on the other side of the river.
However, as seen in Deputy Governor Dudley
's letter (of March 28, 1631) to the Countess
, of those coming from Salem
, some ‘found a good place
,’ ‘which we named Meadford
Here then is the earliest authentic account we have of the