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[p. 53]

It was a tract of land four miles along this side the river and about a mile wide, which they occupied. They were called his servants, workmen of various trades, and in 1634 the tract was granted to their employer as his farm or plantation. They gave it the manorial name of Mead-ford or Medford (from his English country seat) and the principal building became known as Meadford house.

Its owner never came over from England and so never saw his New England possession. It, and his business affairs were managed by his agents, Mayhew, Davison and lastly Edward Collins, and who, some years after Cradock's death, purchased the whole farm of the heirs.

Now, as I have told thus of those long ago times and place, have you formed a mental picture of how this neighboring territory we call Medford square looked then, and of the few people here located along the banks of the Mystic river?

In those days the place was also called M-i-s-t-i-c-k, from the Indian name of the river Missi-tuk, which meant great tidal river. But there was nothing mystical or mysterious about it. It was the Englishman's way of pronouncing the Indian word—and by and by he spelled it M-y-s-t-i-c-k-e, and later, abbreviated into our common Mystic. I trust you have also seen that those early comers of Cradock's venture antedated the Puritan settlers of Charlestown and Boston by one—perhaps two—years. I know our town seal said Medford— Condita—1630, but Cradock's men came in 1629 or 1628.

But with the coming of Governor Winthrop with King Charles' charter, their squatter sovereignty ceased and all were under the authority of the Great and General Court.

I really wish the first mention of Medford in the authentic records of that Court was of a pleasanter nature to quote, but I remember that the late James Hervey said, ‘if we are to be historical we must tell the truth.’

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