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Exchequer, Duke of Newcastle, Harry Pelham esq. Earl of Winchelsea, Thomas Winnington, esq., Earl of Wilmington, George Wade, esq., Lord Cartaret.
Upon reading this day at the Board the humble Petition and appeale of His Majesty's Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England from the determination of the commissioners appointed by His Majesty to settle the Boundary of the Colony of Rhode Island Eastwards, with the said province of Massachusetts Bay and humbly praying that a day may be appointed for hearing the said appeale, and that the determination of the said commissioners may be reversed, and such other determination made instead thereof as shall be agreeable to the petioners' claim exhibited before the said commissioners—It is ordered by his Majesty in council that the said petition and appeale (a copy whereof is hereunto annexed) be and it is hereby referred to the Right Honorable the Lords of the committee in council for hearing appeals from the Plantations to hear the same and report their opinion thereupon to His Majesty at the Board.
A true copy.
I. B. LENNARD. Collated with the original entry in the Council Registry, 18 of Jan’y, 1845.
[Ordered in council, dated 28th May, 1746. Council office. Council Register. Geo. II, No. 10, p. 493.]
AT THE COURT OF KENSINGTON,
the 28th day of May, 1746. Present the Kings Most Excellent Majesty in Council
Upon reading at the Board a Report from the Right Honourable the Lord of the committee of council for hearing appeals from the Plantations dated the 11th of December, 1744, in the words following vizt.
Your Majesty having been pleased by Your Order in council of the 29th of July, 1742, to refer unto this committee the humble petition and appeale of the Governor and company of the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in New England in America, from several particular parts of the determination of the commissioners appointed by your Majesty to settle the Boundarys of said colony eastwards with the Province of Massachusetts Bay and humbly praying that the particular parts of the said commissioners' determination appealed from may be reversed, and such other determinations made instead thereof, as shall be agreeable to the true construction of the Boundarys continued in the Royal Charter under which the petitions claim—and your Majesty having been also pleased by another order in council of the 15th of September, 1742, to refer unto this committee the humble Petition and appeal of your Majesty's Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England parte of the said determination of the said commissioners, and humbly praying that the same may be reversed and set aside and that instead thereof Your Majesty will be graciously pleased to give such judgment and determinations as shall be agreeable to the petitioners' claim exhibited before the said commissioners. The Lords of the committee in obedience to your Majesty's said orders of Reference, have met several times, and taken both the said Petitions of Appeale into their consideration, and having examined into the Proceedings of the said commissioners, do find that they pronounced their judgements or determination on the 30th of June, 1741, in the words following:
The court took into consideration, the charters, Deeds and other Evidences, Claims Pleas and allegations produced and made by parts refering to the controversy before them and after mature advisement, came to the following Resolutions: That there is not any one Evidence proving that the Water between the Main Land on the East, and Rhode Island on the West, was ever at any time called Naragansett River, that though there be evidence that the place where the Indian called King Philip lived near Bristol, was called Pawconoket, and that another place near Swanzey was called Sowams or Sowamsett, yet no evidence has been produced of the extent of the Pawconoket country to Seaconk, or Pawtucket River, as it runs to the line of the late Colony of the Massachusetts Bay, for tho' there be some evidence that the Indians at enmity with King Philip, or with other Indians in enmity with him, lived on the west side of the said River, and that the Indians subject to King Philip, or in amity with him, lived on the East side of the said River there is no Evidence that all the Indians subject to, or in amity with King Philip, lived in the Pawconoket Country. That the Province not having produced the Letters Patent, constituting the council of Plymouth, nor any copy thereof, the Recital of said Letters Patent in the deed from the council of Plymouth, to Bradford and his associates, is not sufficient evidence against the Kings Charter. That the council of Plymouth being a Corporation, could not create another corporation, and that no Jurisdiction within the Kings Dominions in America can be held by Prescription or on the Foot of Prescription. That the determination of the boundarys of the colony's of Rhode Island and New Plymouth by the Kings Commissioners in the year 1664 appear to have been only a temporary order for preserving the Peace on the Borders of both Colonys without determining the Rights and Titles of either. Upon the whole nothing appears whereby the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence plantations can be barred or hindered from extending their Jurisdiction Eastward towards the Province of the Massachusetts Bay according to the true intents and meaning of their charter. But some dispute having arisen between the Partys as to the true construction and meaning thereof, the court is of opinion, That the Narragansett Bay is and extendeth itself from Point Judith in the west to Seaconet Point on the East and including the Islands therein, layeth and extendeth itself unto the mouth of the River which runnith towards the town of Providence and that as it so lies or extends, it has and may be considered as having one Eastern Side as the Eastern coast of the said Bay runs up northerly from Seconets Point,-and one other North Eastern Side from near Mount Hope to Bullocks Neck, as the said Bay runs up North Westerly towards the Town of Providence and that the land adjacent to the said North Eastern and Eastern Coasts and including within the following lines and the said Bay are within the Jurisdiction of the Colony of Rhode Island; Vizt on the North East side of the said Bay-one line running from the south west corner of Bullocks Neck, Northeast three Miles. One other line running from the Northeast extremity of the said line until it be terminated by a line three miles Northeast from the northeasternmost part of the Bay on the west side of Rumstick Neck, and one other line from the termination of the west line to the Bay at or near Towoset Neck, running so that it touch the North East extremity of a line running three miles North East from the North East corner of Bristol Harbour, and on the Eastern side of the said Bay; One line from a certain point on the Eastern side of the said Bay opposite to the southernmost part of the Shawmuts Neck, and four hundred and forty Rods to the Southwards of the Mouth of Fall River running East three miles; One other line running from the Easternmost extremity of the said line till it be terminated by the Easternmost end of a line three miles East from the Easternmost part of a cove in the said Bay which is to the southward of Nawquaket and one other line from the termination of the last line to the sea, running on such course, as to be three miles East from the Easternmost part of the Bay adjoining to Scitchuwest on Rhode Island, and that the said Distances of three miles East and Northeast, are to be measured from high Water Mark, and this court doth hereby settle, adjust and determine, that the Eastern Boundary of the said Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, towards the Massachusetts Bay, is, shall be and runs from a certain Pointe (where a Meridian line passing through Pawtuckets Falls, cuts the South Boundary of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay), south to Pawtuckets Falls, Then southerly along the eastward side of Seaconk River, and the River which runnith towards the Town of Providence, to the Southwest corner of Bullock's Neck, then Northeast three miles; and then along the aforesaid lines running at three miles distance from the Easternmost parts of the said Bay to the sail Bay, at or near Towoset Neck. Then as the said Bay runs to the southernmost point of Shawmuts Neck, and then in a straight line to the aforesaid point opposite to the said Neck. Then East three miles and then along the aforesaid lines, running at three miles distance from the Easternmost parts of the said Bay, to the sea. All which lines are to be run by making the proper allowance for the variation of the Magnetic Needle from the Meridian. And for the better understanding of the description of the lines before mentioned; the Court hath caused the Boundary lines of the lands adjacent to the said most eastern and Northeastern points of the Said Bay, to be delineated on the Map or Plan of the said Bay and countries adjacent now in court, and the same are distinguished on the said Map or Plan, by A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H.
The Lord of the Committee having considered the whole matter and heard all partys concerned therein by their Council learned in the Law, Do agree humbly to report to your Majesty as their opinion, That the said Judgment or determination of the said Commissioners should be affirmed and both the Petitions of Appeal therefrom dismissed.
His Majesty this day took the said Report into consideration and was pleased with the advice of the Privy Council to approve thereof, and to order, that the said Judgment or Determination of the said Commissioners, Be, and it is hereby Affirmed And both the said Petitions of Appeal therefrom dismissed.
Whereof the Governor or the Commander in Chief of Ilis Majesty's Province of the Massachusetts Bay, The Governor and Company of the colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations for the time being, and all others whom it may concern, are to take notice and govern themselves accordingly. A true Copy.
I. B. LENNARD.
Collated with the Original entry in the Council Register, 18 January, 1745.
Under the foregoing decree the line was run by commissioners appointed for the purpose, whose report was as follows, viz:
We, the subscribers, appointed commissioners by the general assembly of the colony aforesaid, to mark out the bounds of said colony eastward towards the province of Massachusetts Bay, agreeable to His Majesty's royal determination in council, the 28th day of May, 1746, did in pursuance thereof, on the second day of December last past, meet at Pawtucket Falls, in expectation of meeting with commissioners that might be appointed by the province of the Massachusetts Bay, for the purpose aforesaid; and after having there tarried till the afterpart of said day, and no commissioners in behalf of the said province appearing, we proceeded to run a due north line from Pawtucket Falls to the south boundary of the aforesaid province of the Massachusetts Bay, in manner following, viz: From a certain point on the southern side of Pawtucket Falls, where we erected a monument of stones, with a stake thereon, we run a meridian line which directly passed through said falls, to a walnut tree on the northerly side of said falls; then to a pitch pine tree; then to a small white oak; then to a grey oak; then to a small bush; then to another small bush with stones about it; then to a heap of stones with a stake thereon; then to a black oak tree; then to another black oak; then to a small pitch pine; then to a black oak; then to a large white oak near the river, called Abbot's Run; then to a poplar tree; then to a heap of stones with a stake thereon; then to a large rock with stones thereon; then to a small black oak tree; then to a walnut tree; then to a black oak; then to divers other marked trees in the said course, to the extremity of said line; and when we came near the termination of the said line made a monument of stones, there being no noted south boundary of the said province near the said line, and therefore, for
the discovery of the south boundary of the said province, upon the best information we could obtain, proceeded to Wrentham Plain, at or near to a place where was formerly erected a stake, called Woodward's and Saffery's stake, as one remarkable south boundary of the said province, and from thence run a west line, making an allowance of eight degrees and a half as the west variation of the magnetic needle from the true meridian, it being the course of the south line of the said province, according to their charter (as we apprehended), and then we extended the said north line from the aforesaid monument till it intersected the said west line, and upon the point of its intersection erected a monument of stones with a stake thereon, as the northeast boundary of that tract of land commonly called the Gore.
After which we proceeded to Bullock's Neck, and on the southeast corner thereof erected a red cedar post, marked with the letters J. H. C. R., with the figure of an anchor thereon, and from thence running a line northeast, making the same allowance for the variation aforesaid, to a black oak tree marked with the letters G. C. C. R., then to a large white oak marked with the letters G. B. C. R., then to a white oak post, set in the ground with a heap of stones around it, marked with the letters G. W C. R., with the figure of an anchor thereon, being three miles distant from Bullock's Neck aforesaid.
After which we proceeded to the northeasternmost part of the bay on the west side of Rumstick Neck, and from a point where a locust post was erected run a line three miles northeast, with the same allowance for the variation and at the extremity of the said line erected a monument of stones, from which we run a line to the northeast extremity of that line drawn from the southwest corner of Bullock’s Neck aforesaid, the course whereof being west thirty-eight degrees north, according the magnetic needle, the distance of nine hundred and fifty-five rods, marking trees and making other boundaries in the course of said line. After which we proceeded to the northeast corner of Bristol Harbour, and from high-water mark, which was some rods distant northeast from the bridge leading to Swanzey Ferry, we ran a line three miles northeast, still making the same allowance for the variation, and at the extremity of which line we erected a monument of stones; then we ran a line from the northeast extremity of the line drawn from Rumstick aforesaid, the course whereof being south twenty-five degrees east, till it met with the termination of the line drawn from Bristol Harbour aforesaid, the distance whereof being nine hundred and twentyseven rods; and from thence to a straight line to the bay at Towoset Neck, making proper
boundaries in the course of said line. After which we proceeded to the eastern side of the Narragansett Bay, and on the easternmost part of a cove in the said bay, which is southward of Nanequachet, ran a line three miles east (still making the same allowance for variation), at the extremity whereof we marked a grey oak tree with the letters C. R., with the figure of an anchor thereon.
After which we proceeded to the mouth of Fall River, and from thence measured four hundred and forty rods southerly on the shore, as the said shore extendeth itself from the mouth of said Fall River, and from the point where the said four hundred and forty rods reached, being east thirty-five degrees south of the southernmost point of Shawomet Neck, we ran a line three miles east, with the same allowance for the variation; in the course whereof we marked divers trees, and came to a large pond, on the west of which was a small oak between two large rocks, and from thence measured over the said pond to a bunch of maples, two whereof we marked with the letters I and F, standing on a place called Ralph's Neck, being the extremity of the said three miles; from thence we ran a line south twenty degrees west, two thousand one hundred and twenty-three rods (making proper boundaries in said line), till we met the termination of the three-mile line, ran from the cove southward of Nanequachet aforesaid.
After which we proceeded to a place called Church's Cove, in said bay, and ran a