John Fuller of Newton

Separation from Cambridge, 1678 Petition

1678 Petition as quoted from the 1854 Jackson Book(1):

(1)  Francis JacksonHistory of the Early Settlement of Newton, County of Middlesex, Massachusetts: From 1639 to 1800 – with a Genealogical of its Inhabitants prior to 1800,  “of Boston, a Native of Newton”, Boston: Printed by Stacy and Richardson, 1854.

Page 50/53 1678. Nearly all the freemen of the Village signed the following petition, which was no doubt drawn up by Mr. Edward Jackson, Senior.

“To the Honored Governor, Deputy Governor, together with the Hon. Magistrates now sitting in Boston:”

“The humble petition of us, the inhabitants of Cambridge Village, on the south side of Charles river, showeth, that the late war, as it hath been a great charge to the whole Colony, and to us in particular, both in our estates and persons, by loss of life to some, and others wounded and disabled for their livelihood, besides all our other great charges, in building our Meeting-house, and of late enlargement to it, and also our charge to the minister’s house, and as you know the Lord took the worthy person from us in a little time, and now in great mercy hath raised up another in the place, who hath a house in building for him, which requires assistance; as also, we are now, by the great mercy of God, so many families, that a school is required for the education of our children, according to law, besides our public charge of the place ; yet, notwithstanding this, last year the townsmen of Cambridge have imposed a tax upon us, amounting to the sum of three Country rates, without our knowledge or consent, which we humbly conceive is very harsh proceeding for any townsmen, of their own will and power, to impose upon the inhabitants what taxes they please, and to what end, without even calling the inhabitants- to consider about such charge; yet, nevertheless, for peace sake, the inhabitants of our place did meet together, and jointly consent to give the town of Cambridge the sum of £100, and to pay it in three years, without desiring any profit or benefit from them, of wood, timber, or common lands, but only for our freedom, being content with our proprietary, which some of us had before Cambridge had any site there, which tender of ours they having rejected, as also to grant to us our freedom from them.”

“We do most humbly commend our distressed condition to the justice and mercy of this honored Court, that you will please to grant us our freedom from Cambridge, and that we may be a township of ourselves, without any more dependence upon Cambridge, which hath been a great charge and burthen to us, and also, that you will please to give the place a name, and if there should be any objection against us, that the honored Court will admit our reply and defence. So, hoping the Almighty will assist you, in all your concerns, we rest your humble petitioners.”  [52 in all]


Mr. Edward Jackson,

Captain Thomas Prentice,

John Fuller, Senior,

John Kenrick, Senior,

Isaac “Williams,

John Ward,

Joseph Miller,

Thomas Prentice, Jr.,

John Kenrick, Jr.,

John Mason,

William Robinson,

Thomas Greenwood,

John Parker,(south,)

Humphrey Osland,

Joseph Bartlett,

Isaac Bacon,

Jacob Bacon,

Samuel Trusedale,

Simon Onge,

Jonathan Fuller,

John Parker, (east,)

Job Hyde,

Widow Jackson,

Edward Jackson, Jr., ,

Daniel Pay,

Thomas Prentice, Jr.,

Jonathan Hyde, Senior,

Thomas Park, Senior,

James Trowbridge,

Noah Wiswall,

Thomas Hammond,

Jonathan Hyde, Jr.,

James Prentice, Senior,

David Meade,

Vincent Druce,

John Hyde,

Ebenezer Wiswall,

Elijah Kenrick,

Sebas Jackson,

Samuel Hyde, Jr.,

Neal McDaniel,

John Fuller, Jr.,

Joshua Fuller,

John Alexander,

John Prentice,

Nathaniel Hammond,

Abraham Jackson,

Stephen Cook,

Pichard Park,

Joseph Fuller,

Isaac Beach,

Peter Stanchet.


Freemen in the Village who did not sign this Petition. [12.]

Rev. Nehemiah Hobart,

Elder Thomas Wiswall,

Dea. Samuel Hyde,

Daniel Bacon,

John Spring,

Daniel McCoy,

John Woodward,

Henry Seger,

Thomas Park, Jr.,

John Park,

Samuel Hyde, son of Jona.,

James Prentice, Jr.