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1677 TO 1877


Providence: J. A. & R. A. REID, Printers and Publishers, 1877.




      The Town of East Greenwich dates from 1677, having been incorporated October 31st of that year. In June, 1678, the name of the town was changed to that of Dedford, but the former name was restored in 1689.
      The boundaries of the township were nearly the same as at present, with the exception of the western line, which extended further than the present line runs. The settlement of the village was begun at an early period after the incorporation of the township. The excellence and safety of the harbor was a strong inducement for men of energy and business habits to settle on its shores.
      At the General Assembly held for the Colony at Newport, May, 1667, it was
      "Ordered that a certain tract of land in some convenient place in the Narragansett country, shall be laid forth into one hundred acre shares, with the house lots, for the accommodation of so many of the inhabitants of this Colony as stand in need of land, and the General Assembly shall judge fit to be supplied.
      "In pursuance of said act of the General Assembly, this present court do enact and declare, that the said tract of land be forthwith laid forth to contain five thousand acres, which shall be divided as follows: Five hundred acres to be laid in some place near the sea, as commodious as may be for a town, which said five hundred acres, shall be divided into fifty equal shares or great divisions, and that each person hereafter named and admitted by this Assembly, to land in the said tract, shall have and enjoy to him and his heirs and assigns forever, in manner and form and under the conditions hereafter expressed, one of the said house lots, and one great division, containing in the whole one hundred acres.
      "And further this Assembly do enact, order and declare, for the services rendered during King Philip's war, the persons here named that is to say:

John Spencer
Thomas Nichols
Clement Weaver
Henry Brightman
George Vaughn
John Weaver
Charles Macarty
Thomas Wood
Thomas Frye
Benjamin Griffin
Daniel Vaughn
Thomas Durgin
John Pearce
Stephen Peckham
John Crandal
Preserved Pearce
Henry Lilly
John Albro
Samuel Albro
Philip Long
Richard Knight
John Peckham
Thomas Peckham
William Clarke
Edward Day
Edward Richmond
Edward Calvery
John Heath
Robert Havens
John Strainge
John Parker
George Browne
Richard Barnes
Samson Balloo
John Remington
Jonathan Devell
Benjamin Mowrey
Joseph Mowrey
William Wilbore
James Eyles Pearce
James Battey
Benjamin Gorton
Henry Dyre
John Knowles
Stephen Arnold
John Sanford
William Hawkins
John Houlden
are the persons unto whom the said tract of land is granted, and who shall possess the same, their heirs and assigns according to the true intent and meaning of this present grant.
      "And to the end, that the said persons, and their successors, the proprietors of the said land, from time to time may be in the better capacity to manage their public affairs, this Assembly do enact and declare that the said plantation shall be a town, by the name and title of East Greenwich, in his Majesty's Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, with all the rights, liberties, and privileges whatsoever, unto a town appertaining; and that the said persons above mentioned, unto whom the said grant is made are by this present Assembly and the authority thereof, made and admitted the freemen of the said town, and they, and so many of them as shall be then present, not being fewer than twelve on the said land, required and empowered to meet together upon the second Wednesday next, and constitute a town meeting, by electing a Moderator and a Town Clerk, with such Constables as to them shall seem requisite; and also to choose two persons their Deputies to sit in General Assembly, and two persons, one to serve on the Grand Jury, and one on the Jury of Trials in the General Court of Trials, and so the like number and for the said Court.
      "And to the end that the said Plantation may be speedily settled and improved according to the end of this present in the granting thereof; be it enacted and ordained that each person mention in this present grant, shall, within one year after the publication thereof, make on his house lot, by building a house fit and suitable for habitation; and in case any person who hath any of the said house lots shall neglect or refuse, by himself or assignee to build accordingly, he shall forfeit both the house lot and great division, to be disposed of by any succeeding Assembly as they shall see cause.
      "And further, this Assembly do enact and declare, that if any person unto whom the said land is granted, by this present act, shall at any time within one and twenty years after this hereof, sell, grand, make over, or otherwise dispose of any land or lands hereby granted until him, or unto any other person or persons interested in the said plantation, that then the said person or persons whatsoever, without liberty had been obtained from the General assembly, that then the said person or persons so selling or disposing of the said land shall lose all other lands whatever, that he is possessed of in the said plantation, and also the lands so disposed of, to be and remain to this Colony.
      "And further, it is enacted by this Assembly, that the freemen of said town shall make, and lay out convenient highways from the bay up into the country throughout the whole township, as shall be convenient for the settlement of the country above and about the said township."

Pages 13 & 14:

In the year 1709 the boundaries of East Greenwich were enlarged by an addition of thirty-five thousand acres of land on our western border, which this old deed will show was acquired by purchase:
"Know all men by these presents, that we Weston CLARKE and Randal HOLDEN, Richard GREENE and Philip TILLINGHAST being a Committee appointed and fully empowered by the Governor and Company of this her Majesties Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations to dispose and make Saile of the vacant lands in the Narragansett country belonging to said Colony, have for and in consideration of the sum of One Thousand and one hundred pounds Current Money of New England in hand already well and truly paid to us who have Received the same, in behalf and for the use of the Governor and Company aforesaid of and at the hands of Benjamin BARTON, Thomas FRY, James CARDER, John SPENCER, Benjamin GREENE, Pardon TILLINGHAST, John WATERMAN, Thomas NICHOLS, John NICHOLS, Malachy ROADS, James GREENE and Simon SMITH, all inhabitants of Warwick and East Greenwich in the Colony above said, have bargained, sold conferred, made and passed over from the Governor and Company aforesaid, and their successors forever a certain tract or parcell of land being part of the vacant lands belonging to this Colony, lying in the Narragansett Country, within the Jurisdiction of this Colony, westward of East Greenwich, butted and bounded on the north by Warwick's south bounds; bounded on the East by East Greenwich bounds, and JONES his purchase bounded on the South beginning at the Southwest corner of JONES his purchase and so to run due West, parallel with Warwick's South bounds aforementioned until it comes to the Colony line that divides this Colony from Connecticut Colony, and bounded on the West by the said dividing line between said Colonys, containing by Estimation, thirty-five thousand acres, be the same more or less, all which together with the priviliges and appertanences within the bounds abovesaid we have sold as abovesaid unto the afore named persons, to them and every of them, their and every of their heirs, Executors and Administrators, and assigns forever jointly and severally to have and to hold forever the which we will warrant forever against the Governor and Company of the Colony above said and their successors or any other person or persons whatsoever lawfully laying claim to the above bargained premises or any part or parcel thereof, by, through or under them the said Governor and Company or their successors under what pretence sover, in witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands and seales this thirtieth day of June, in the eighth year of her Majesties reign Ann by the grace of God queen of Great Brittain, Ireland and France, Anno que Domini Nostri, 1709.

Weston CLARKE           
Randal HOLDEN           
Richard GREENE           
Philip TILLINGHAST           

"Signed, sealed and delivered
in the presence of us,
Joseph SMITH
Samuel SWEET

"The day and year above written the Committee acknowledged this to be their act and deed before me,
                        John ELDRED, Clerk."

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