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Barnstead Charter

Province of New Hampshire

George, by the grace of God, of Great Brittain, France and Ireland, King Defender of the Faith~

To all People to whom these Presents shall come~ Greeting

Know ye, That we of our special knowledge and meer motion, for the due encouragement of setling a New Plantation.

By and with the advice and consent of our Council have given & granted, and by these Presents as far as in us lies, do give, and grant in equal shares unto sundry of our beloved subjects whose names are entered in a Schedule hereunto annexed that inhabit or shall inhabit within the said grant within our said province of New Hampshire ~ All that tract of land within the following bounds VIZT. To begin on the head of the Town of Barrington, on the southwest side of the Town of Coulraine and running by said Town of Coulraine ~ Eight Miles ~ And from the said Town of Coulraine ~ to run on the head of Barrington line ~ Southwest forty two degrees, six miles ~ and then Northwest Eight Miles ~ then on a straight line to the Head of the first eight miles ~ and that the same be a Town Corporate by the name of Barnstead to the persons aforesaid forever ~

To have and to hold the said lands to the said grantees and their heirs and assigns forever ~ and to such associates as they shall admit upon the following conditions~

1stly That every proprietor build a dwelling=house within three years ~ and settle a family therein ~ and break up three acres of ground and plant and sow the same within three years and pay his proportion of the town charges, when and so often as occasion shall require the same.

2ndly That a meeting house be built for the public worship of God within the term of four years.

3rdly That upon default of any particular proprietor in complying with the conditions of this Charter, upon his part such delinquent proprietor shall forfeit his share to the other proprietors, which shall be disposed of according to the major vote of the said commoners, at a legal meeting.

4thly That a proprietors share be reserved for a Parsonage & another for the first Minister of the Gospel that is there settled and ordained ~ and another proprietors share for the benefit of a school in the town.

Provided nevertheless that the peace with the Indians continue for the space of three years. ~ And if it should happen that a war should commence before the expiration of the aforesaid term of three years~ then the said term of three years shall be allowed to the proprietors after the expiration of the war, for the performance of the aforesaid conditions rendering and paying therefore to us our Heirs and Successors or such officers or officer as shall be appointed to receive the same, the annual quit rent or acknowledgement of one pound of Hemp in the said town on the Twentieth day of December yearly forever (if demanded) reserving also unto us our Heirs and Successors the Mast trees growing on said tract of land~

According to the Acts of Parliament in that case made and provided ~ And for the better order, rule and government of said town ~ We do by these Presents for ourselves, our Heirs and Successors, grant unto the said Men and Inhabitants or those that shall Inhabit the said town that yearly and every year upon the last Tuesday in the month of March forever shall meet to Elect and chuse by the major part of them present Constables, Selectmen and other Town officers according to the Laws and Usages of our aforesaid Province ~

And for the calling of the First Town Meeting, We do appoint John Downing Junr, John Fabyan and John Knight to be the first Selectmen ~ And they to continue in said respective office as Selectmen until the last Tuesday in the Month of March which shall be in the year of our Lord 1728 ~ And untill other Selectmen shall be chosen and appointed in their stead in such manner as is in these Presents expressed ~

In Witness whereof we have caused the Seal of Our said Province of New Hampshire to be hereunto affixed~

Witness ~ John Wentworth
True copy ~ Attest ~ Richard Downing, Proprietors Clerk

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