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Ordered, That said plantation to be settled above Charles river, have three years immunity from public charges, as Concord had from the first day of May next. The name of the plantation to be Dedham. To enjoy all that land on the easterly and southerly side of Charles river, not formerly granted to any town and particular person, and have five miles square on the other side of the river.
LIST OF FREEMEN WHO HAD BEEN ADMITTED INTO DEDHAM BEFORE 1647. Mr. John Allin, John Rogers,
Nicholas Phillips, Samuel Guile,
Joseph Kingsbury John Batchellor, John Dwight,
Nathaniel Colborne, Joseph Morse. Henry Smith,
SUCCESSION IN THE MINISTRY.
Remarks. ordination, decease. John Allin,
|April 24, 1639. Aug. 26, 1671. William Adams, | Dec. 3, 1673. Aug. 17, 1685. Joseph Belcher, Nov. 29, 1693. April 27, 1723. Samuel Dexter, May 6, 1724. Jan. 29, 1755. Jason Haven, Feb. 5, 1756. May 17, 1803. Is dismissed for the purpose Joshua Bates, March 6, 1803. Feb. 20, 1818. of being president of MidAlvan Lamson, Oct 29, 1818.
dlebury college, Vermont, SECOND PARISH, (Incorporated November, 1730. Church gathered June 23, 1736.) Thomas Balch, (June 30, 1736. Jan. 8, 1774. Jabez Chickering, July 3, 1776. Mar. 12, 1812. William Cogswell, April 26, 1815.
THIRD PARISH, (Incorporated January, 1736. Church gathered June 4, 1735.) Josiah Dwight, June 4, 1735.
Dismissed in 1742. Andrew Tyler, Nov. 30, 1743.
Dismissed Dec. 17, 1772. Thomas Thatcher, June 7, 1780. Oct. 19, 1812. John White, April 20, 1814. EPISCOPAL OHUROH IN DEDHAM.
1s ordained by the bishop of Lon
don, and appointed missionary William Clark, Dec. 1768.
here. May, 1777, is carried away by force to Boston, because he was opposed to the revolution. Comes to Dedham, and becomes
rector of the church. July 1818, William Montague, 1791.
is dismissed from office by bishTop Griswold.
Is regularly instituted rector Isaac Boyle, Nov. 22, 1821.
over the church by bishop Griswold.
NEW MEETING HOUSE SOCIETY. Ebenezer Burgess, | Mar. 14, 1821.1
BAPTIST SOCIETY IN DEDHAM AND MEDFIELD,
(Incorporated June 9, 1811.) William Gamel, Over the churches in Medfield and Dedham.
Religious, harmonious, patriotic, suc
(cessful in their enterprises. The town Highest. Fully adequate. jdevoted lands sufficient to support one
school master all the year.
but the town begins to relax in support high. Adequate this year. of Schoois, and is indicted for negleci in
daies refuse the ministry here. Dr. WilLower. Quite inadequate liam Avery gave sixty pounds for a La
tin school, which was not appropriated Ithat purpose.
Disorderly elections, church quarrels, Not sufficient to
bad manners, bad records. Incompe Lower
tent town officers. 1691, the town again still. support one school
indicted for neglect in supporting master six months.
schools. The people are dispersed into parishes.
The character of people nearly the Few could have same. The school farm was sold about Lowest.
any school instruc- this time, and the proceeds thereof mis-
Mr. Damon, and Mr. Dexter, seeing the
make donations to support schools, and to teach good manners.
Eight hundred and We still hear of quarrels in the first 1764 156 Inhabi- Low. fifty-eight children church. Ecclesiastical councils, and distants. under 16 years.
mission of minister in the third parish. 2,000 1784 1150 Inbabi- Rising. Greatly deficient.
There are eleven districts, some quite 650Inha
small. The masters employed are many 1824 $2000 bitants Rising.
of them quite incompetent, as the school taxed.
committee of 1826 found by examination.
OF FUNDS TO SUPPORT PUBLIC WORSHIP. DONORS. Eight shares out of the five hundred and twenty-two shares into which the Dedham common lands were divided in the year 1659, were given to the church to support a teaching church officer, in the town. From the sale of these lands a fund has accumulated which added to the rents of a few house lots, amounts to the annual income of seven hundred and sixty dollars. Other donors to the first parish were doctor William Avery, honorable Samuel Dexter, honorable Edward Dowse, of the clock in the parish steeple. Mr. John Doggett, of interior clock.
The second parish in June 1924, was organized with powers to hold property in trust, for various purposes. It does now hold 'funds to support the communion table, public worship, poor widows, and the gospel ministry.
The annual income of the third parish from lands and money given by many persons amounts to two hundred and eighty dollars. The reverend Thomas Thatcher gave this parish land and money.
Samuel Colburn in the year 1756, by his last will gave one hundred and thirty-four acres of valuable land to the Episcopal church, in Dedham. In 1794 the legislature granted to the rector, wardens, and vestry of the church, a power to lease the land ; and before the year 1918, more than half of the land had been sold and the proceeds spent. Esther Sprague and Elizabeth Sumner were liberal donors of this church.
Present net annual income from rents on long leases is seven hundred dollars.
In the year 1926, the reverend Ebenezer Burgess built at his own expense a spacious vestry to the new meeting house.
It thus appears that funds for pious uses, to a considerable amount, and of ancient origin exist in this town. To a community which has not much recorded experience of the abuses to which funds of this kind are liable, the history of those funds may be instructive.
The funds of the first parish began in 1659, and in three important particulars have been managed or appropriated contrary to what must be the presumed will of the donors.
First, It cannot be believed that when all the inhabitants gave lands, that they intended the benefit of them, should be confined to the oldest and richest society in the town, to the exclusion of four or five other parishes having greater need of them.
Secondly, It cannot be believed that the inhabitants of Dedham in 1659, who made such exertions to establish a pure church, who talked much of their power to open and shut the doors of the church, and who would not permit the town to have any participation in the choice of their two first pastors, could ever have consented to such a method of controuling their funds, as is now adopted, one which virtually gives the parish the power of controuling them in exclusion of the church.
Thirdly, Of all heresies, they probably would have deemed that the greatest, which would place the funds by them given, under the controul of a Unitarian parish, to the exclusion of an Orthodox church as has been done by a change of opinion and laws.
The constitution of the State adopted in 1780, and explained and applied in 1821, in a lawsuit respecting these very funds, has had the effect transfering from the church its property, and giving it to the parish. This must be justified on revolutionary, and not on legal principles But after all perhaps, a christian society will not have much cause to regret these variations from the presumed will of the donors. They have been affected, not suddenly and by a violent revolution in the State, but by a constitutional and general law, rendered necessary by a change in government and opinions. Had not this gradual revolution taken place, it is probable, that some other more violent change would be affected, such as happened when Henry VIII, and other protestant princes, on the conversion of their subjects from popery, permitted their rapacious courtiers to seize the inheritance of the proscribed church for their private uses.
Experience teaches us, that it is not so much the wrong appropriation of church funds that should be feared and guarded against, as the spending of them. The majority in each of the five religious societies in this town have virtually the power to controul the use of their funds, the members of each society would no doubt repel the proposition, to spend the principal of their funds. They would