From the Files of the Rochester Historical Society

One of the maps in our current exhibit shows the Lothrop-Thomson Purchase of 1673. The purchase of 1800 acres was made by John Tomson, Joseph Lothrop and Barnabus Lothrop. They paid 10 pounds to Native Americans, William Wetispaquin, Assaweta, Tobyss and Beevat for the tract of land. The acreage in part bordered Snipatuit Pond and was in the area that became North Rochester.

            This purchase of land predated the purchase of the lands of Sepecan and the creation of the town of Rochester. Because of this, the land in the Lothrop-Tomson purchase was not located in any town or county.

            Papers found at the museum show that Barnabus Lothrop petitioned the Governor of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England and the honorable council and House of Representatives in the General Court on the 29th of May in 1706. In his petition, he represented himself and the heirs of Joseph Lothrop and John Thomson who were deceased. He wrote that their lands “are situate lying and being within the farthest colonies of New Plimoth” and are “not yet put within any town nor county which is found to be very prejudicial and inconvenient to us”.

            He sent a second letter on October 18, 1706, repeating his concerns and adding that not being in any county “we know not how to prosecute those that cut and carry away our timber off from our land.” There is a lot more flowery language and prayers to God that a “righteous” decision will be made.

            This second letter or petition did the trick and in October, 1706, the council ordered that the tract of land “therein mentioned be annexed to the county of Barnstable and at present put under the constablwick of Rochester until this counsil shall see cause otherwise to order”. Hopefully, this put an end to the thefts of his timber.

By Connie Eshbach

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