[Transcribed by Dale H. Cook]
but when he arrived, or in what ship, or who his parents were, or his brothers or sisters, if any, were, or when he first went into possession of this house and land, does not appear. The town had employed one Mr. Bunker to serve them as minister for 1660, 1661, and perhaps a part of 1662. He then declined to accept their invitation to settle among them. The town had previously, without reference to any particular minister, agreed to give their minister a purchase right, with all privileges.
In support of the above history of this house, we present the following extracts from the first volume of our town records; and a copy of the inventory of the Rev. James Keith, recorded in the fourth volume of probate court records at Plymouth, page 185.
Volume I, page 30. "It is agreed upon by the town; meett together the sixt-and-twentieth of Desember (1661), that there shall be a house built for a minister upon the town's lands, where it shall be thought most convenient, and that the said house and grounds is to be freely given to that minister yt shall liue and die amongst us, being called by the towne to the work of the ministry, or by a church gathered according to the order of the gospel, with the consent of the towne; as also a compleat purchase, with uplands and meadow lands, according as other townesmen haue."
This record further provides for the contingency of death, a short time of service and inability to serve, and occupies the last half of said page.
This house was probably built in 1662, in pursuance of the town's agreement on the twenty-sixth day of December, 1661, but not finished May 13, 1664, when the town employed two persons to finish the chimnies and glass the windows, as followsforty-fourth page:
"An agreement made between the towne and John Willis, seynior, and John Ames, for the finishing of the chimnies, backs, hearths and ouen belonging to the minister's house. And they are to find all and draw all, both clay, stones and 200 bricks, for the aforesaid chimnies, backs, and ouen and hearths, and to do it sufficiently; and the towne, for their paines, are to pay to them next haruest, twenty bushells of good marchandable corne, and the work to be finished by the last of August insuing; the date hereof being now the 13th thirteenth of May, 1664, to be paid when Indyan corne is marchantable."
The roof was probably a thatched roof at first, and the house unoccupied and neglected at first; and on the eleventh of October, 1664,
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