BY JOHN D. LONG.
HINGHAM is one of the oldest towns in Massachusetts. There were settlers here as early as 1633. Its first name was Bearcove or Barecove, more likely the latter, in view of the exposure of almost its entire harbor at low tide, and as appears also in the spelling of the name in the order of the General Court referred to below. So far as it had any legislative incorporation, it was incorporated, and this has been the usual statement of writers, Sept. 2, 1635, only eleven towns having in that respect all earlier date. Perhaps, however, the term incorporation is not appropriate in this connection, the brief order which the General Court, consisting of the Governor, assistants, and deputies, adopted and entered on that day being as follows,a form used before, and afterwards, in the case of several other towns:"The name of Barecove is changed and hereafter to be called Hingham."
Who was the first settler, or at what exact date he came, it is impossible to say. Mr. Solomon Lincoln, the historian of the town in 1827, gives the following interesting facts:
"The exact date at which any individual came here to reside cannot be ascertained. Among the papers of Mr. Cushing, there is a 'list of the names of such persons as came out of the town of Hingham, and towns adjacent, in the County of Norfolk, in the Kingdom of England, into New England, and settled in Hingham.' From this list we are led to believe there were inhabitants here as early as 1633, and among them Ralph Smith, Nicholas Jacob with his family, Thomas Lincoln, weaver, Edmund Hobart and his wife, from Hingham, and Thomas Hobart with his family, from Windham, in Norfolk, England. During the same year Theophilus Cushing, Edmund Hobart, senior, Joshua Hobart, and Henry Gibbs, all of Hingham, England, came to this country. Cushing lived some years at Mr. Haines's farm, and subsequently removed to Hingham. The others settled at Charlestown, and in 1635 removed to this place. In 1634 there were other settlers here, and among them Thomas Chubbuck; Bare Cove was assessed in that year. To 1635, at the May court, Joseph Andrews
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