Society Land
Hillsborough County, New Hampshire

     Below are transcripts of documents related to Society Land, transcribed, by Ann Mensch, from the source below.  Spellings, punctuation, etc. are typed as they appear in the source.
State of New Hampshire.  Township Grants of Lands in New Hampshire included in the Masonian Patent, issued Subsequent to 1746 by the Masonian Proprietary, Arranged and Presented in Alphabetical Order and Comprising All from N to W Inclusive, with Plans, Bibliographical Citations, and Complete Indexes.  Albert Stillman Batchellor, Editor of State Papers.  (Compiler).  Concord : Edward N. Pearson, Public Printer, 1896.

     [This tract of land originally comprised all the territory now included in the towns of Deering, Antrim, Hancock, Bennington, Francestown, and the north part of Greenfield.  The name probably arose from the fact that this territory was not granted in townships, but was reserved and divided equally among the members of the "society" or syndicate of proprietors of the Masonian Patent.  The name Cumberland was also sometimes applied to it.

     Francestown was the first town in the Society Land district to be incorporated.  This was done June 8, 1772, and New Boston Addition was included within its lines.  Then followed Deering, Jan. 17, 1774; Antrim, March 22, 1777; and Hancock, Nov. 5, 1779.  These towns covered the entire tract except a small piece in the southern part, and this was combined with Lyndeborough Gore and enough of Peterborough and Lyndeborough to make a small township, and incorporated as Greenfield June 15, 1791.  Bennington was composed of parts of Greenfield, Francestown, Deering, and Hancock, and was incorporated Dec. 15, 1842.  It lies nearly in the centre of the original Society Land.]
 

+ Petition of Peter Prescott and Others, 1752 +

+ Plan of Society Land, 1753 +

+ Draft of Lots, 1753 +

+ Petition for Bridge, 1774 +


 

[Petition of Peter Prescott and Others, 1752.]
[Masonian Papers, Vol. 7, p. 176.]

   To the Proprietors of ye Right of John Tufton Mason Esqr in ye
Province of New Hampshire--
   Gentlemen--
     Wee the Subscribers and associates to ye Nomber of One Hundred
being Desireous of Removing into this Province and Making Settle-
ment of Some of ye waste, within your Patent, applyed our Selves to 
The Hon'ble Joseph Blanchard Esq who Encouraged us to Succeed
in our Desires If Two Towns could be found Capable of Settlement 
within the Line of Towns by you Authorized for him to Grant, Where-
upon at a Considerable Expence we have Made Search and find yt on 
that Line further then is already Granted, is not Capable of Settle-
ment, unless Some Stragling Farms.  But Still Desireous to pursue
our first Intentions, Could there be a place had, capable of Making a
Good Settlement in time, have made Inquiry, & at Present hear yt
there is a tract of Land Lying on ye East and adjoyning to Monad-
nock No 6 : and No 7 : tho Something Broaken yet Probable to Make
a Settlement on for two Small Towns could we obtain a Grant on
Reasonable Conditions (and inasmuch as Sundry of us had purchased
before the Settlement of ye Province Line) Many Rights in ye New
Towns Now fallen in this Province, with Expectation to Make Settle-
ment had it not been for that Disappointment which for Charge and
Purchase has Cost Sundry of us Much Mony which Reasons give us
the freedom to ask at this time and are Ready on your Approving of
our Request within Nine Months after ye Grant to Allot out the
whole Land Granted Ready to Draw the Lotts and Settle in Each
Town Thirty famelys within two years after ye Grant and the Remain-
ing Fourty famelys in Such reasonable time afterwards as you Shall
Direct.--And in as much as ye Distance & Expence of Travil is Such
yt must attend our Personal application, Desire that this our request 
may be offered by ye Abovesd Joseph Blanchard on our behalf, and
that you will favour us with an answer by him And beleive us to be
Sincere in our application and Give Leave to Subscribe our Selves
Gent
                                             Your very Humble Servts
                                                         Peter Prescott
                                                         John Fox
                                                         Stephen Hosmer Jur
                                                         Charles Bulkeley 



 

[Draft of Lots, 1753.]
[Masonian Proprietors' Records, Oct. 17, 1753, and Masonian Papers, Vol. 7, p. 180.]

     Mr Robert Fletcher having agreable to a Vote of this Propriety of
ye 8th November 1752, by the Direction of Joseph Blanchard Esqur
Surveyed and divided the Tract of Land lying Westerly on the Man-
adnocks No 6, & No 7, northerly on the South line of the Line of
Towns so called Easterly on Wear's Town & New Boston Southerly
on Salem Cannada Peterborough & Manadnock No 3, and having this
day returned his Plan of Said Survey therein particularly describing
the Several lines of the Several Divisions and the Same having been
laid before the Proprietors at this Meeting---
     Voted--That the Said Plan and the Several Divisions therin by
the Several lines described be and hereby is approved & accepted and
to Ascertain the Said Several Divisions to the Respective Proprietors
in Severalty,--Therefore
     Voted that the Same be drawn for im'ediately in one Draft, by
Lott, and that when So drawn for, that each Proprietor be and her-
by is entituled in Severalty, to the Lots (being of ye two Divisions)
drawn by, or to him, agreable to the Several Numbers as entered on 
Said Plan,--
     Pursuant to the next preceeding Vote The Draft of Lots of the
Divisions in the Tract of land described in said Vote, are drawn for,
to Said Proprietors as follow's--vizt
   1st drawn Lots No 13--To Mr John Rindge
   2        .        .     .     5--To Danll Peirce Esqur & Mary Moore
   3       .        .     .     11--To John Thomlinson & John Tufton Mason 
                                          Esqur
   4        .        .     .    12--To Thomas Packer Esqur
   5        .        .     .     4--To John Wentworth Esqur
   6        .        .     .    15--To Richard Wibird Esqur
   7        .        .     .     9--To the Right of Jotham Odiorne Esqur Deced
   8        .        .     .    14--To Theodore Atkinson Esqur --
   9        .        .     .     1--To Mark Hunking Wentworth Esqur
  10        .        .     .     2--To Samuel Solly & Clement March Esqur
  11        .        .     .     6--To George Jaffrey Esqur
  12        .        .     .     3--To Nathll Meserve Joseph Blanchard Esqur
                                           mr Joseph Green & Paul March--
  13        .        .     .     8--To Thomas Wallingford Esqur
  14        .        .     .     7--To John Moffatt Esqur
  15        .        .     .    10--To Joshua Peirce Esqur


 

[Plan of Society Land, 1753.]

Plan of Society Land, 1753 [map]

This Plan of the Royal Society Lands copied from a survey originally taken by Robert Fletcher Esqr          John Parker junr

Portsmouth May 1778 

     Pursuant to the Request & Desire of Coll Blanchard Esqr I have laid out into fifteen Equal shares all that Land on Contoocook River between the place called Keyshis Farm on the North & the great FAlls so called against the Crotched Mountain on the South in the following manner (Viz).  The Interval Land divided for Quantity & Quality into fifteen equal shares & so much upland adjoyning as to make up the quantity of Five hundred Acres to each share and where the land is not so good there is added so much in Quantity as is equal to five hundred acres of the best which is marked & delineated herein, & the Interval Lotts on Contoocook River & the upland adjoyning, belonging to the same share is numbred with the same Number which Numbers are from one to fifteen, And all the Land comprehended within the following bounds (viz) Westerly on  Menadnock Number six & Number seven Northerly on the South line of the line of towns so called Easterly on Weare's Town and New Boston--Southerly on Salem Canada and Petersborough is Divided into fifteen equal shares for Quality and numbred one to fifteen, The first Number of said shares begining on the west side of Contoocook River joyning to Peterborough North line, And the number of said shares succeed in order to Number seven.  Northwardly to the South Line of the Line of Towns, And the other Eight shares being on the East side of the River, Number eight on the Eat side of Contoocook River adjoyning upon the North Line of Peterborough West of New Boston, And the number of the other shares suceed Northerly to the said South Line of the line of Towns.  The Crotched Mountain lying in Number eight & number Nine is left as common, it is no part of said shares--
     Portsmouth October ye 17th 1753 by me                                                  Robert Fletcher Surveyer

     This is a Copy of the Plan of the Society land (So called) as rendered by Robt Fletcher Surveyor October 17th 1753--attest
     N. B. the mountains Rivers and Brooks are not exactly of ye Size nor laid just as in ye original, by nearly so-- 
                                                                                                                          Geo :  Jaffrey Proprs Cl :


 

[Petition for Bridge, 1774.]
[Masonian Papers, Vol. 7, p. 182.]

                                                               October ye 12th 1774

     To the Honorable The Lord Proprietors of Society Land So 
called A petition Humbly Shewing the Whereas a Number having
begun to make Settelments on the West side of Contookook River
have been at great cost Clearning a Road from Francess Town line
over Sd River thro' No 5 N. W. cosing No 7 & 9 & 10 thro the great
right to the mills on Esqr Jaffreys Lot also from No. 5 West thro' the
great Right No 3 to Limrick Road it being the Straight course betwixt
the County Towns from Amharst to No. 4 Crossing near the Center
of Sd land A bridge is absolutly Needed at that place as it is about
half way betwixt Petersborrough and Hillsborrough and will best Sute
the publick & the major part of the inhabetents and advance your
intrests It belonging wholly to the few Setlers to build sd Bridge we
depend upon your generous assistance to enable us without appression
to Compleat the Same
     This is the earnst request of your Petitioners
 
 

William Smith

James Aiken

John Duncan

Joseph Boyd

Robert Anderson

John Anderson

William Anderson

William Gregg

Archibald Macmurphy

James Aiken Junr

George Gregg

Joseph Gregg

James Gormon

John Archibald

John Mackay

John Aiken

Henry Parkinson

Robert Macmurphy

George Duncan Junr

Jonathan Adams

David Brewster

William Betty

Thomas Craig

William Adams

Abiel Upton

Jacob Basford

Andrew Todd

William Severns

Charles Cooe

Jonathan Reed

John Duncan

George Duncan

John Duncan Junr

William Duncan

William Duncan Junr

Abraham Duncan

James Duncan Junr

Daniel Macmillan

Isaac Brewster

James Neysmith

Benjamin Gregg

James Miltimor

Samuel Gregg Junr

Rober Dinsmoor

James Gregg

John Cochran

Matthew Dickey

Alexander Huchinson

James Gregg Junr

John Mackeen

Thomas Christy

Robert Macfarland

John Mackeen Junr

Robert Mackeen

Samuel Taylor

David Mackeen

George Moor

George Moor Junr

John Hall

Isaac Cochran

Isaac Butterfield

William Miltimor

Robert Adams

John Hunter

William Clark of Ackworth

George Duncan Ackwth

John Duncan Ditto

Jonathan French Do

John Marsh

[Endorsed]  Febr 22   To lay for farther Consideration


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