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DAVID THOMPSON'S INDENTURE

1622

[Published from the original manuscript by permission of the Massachusetts Historical Society. This indenture between David Thompson and his partners Abraham Colmer, Nicholas Sherwill and Leonard Pomery, all gentlemen of Plymouth, England, is one of the most important documents relating to New Hampshire. It was written on parchment and was in duplicate; this being David Thomson's own copy had the seals and signatures of his three partners, while their copy which has not been preserved had his signature and seal. The seals three in number are little slips of parchment, considerably longer than broad, but broad enough to write one's Christian name on, these were inserted or interwoven through several incisions into the parchment instead of being stuck to the same with sealing wax, and in signing the document, the Christian name was written on the seal or slip and the surname after it on the parchment instead of before the seal as now. The seal or slip of Abraham Colmer has been taken out, consequently his Christian name does not appear in his signature. Later we shall publish the wills and other documents relating to Abraham Colmer, Nicholas Sherwill and Leonard Pomery, and it will be found that they were engaged in a thriving fishing and trading business, along the shores of New Hampshire and in the Piscataqua river, which at that time was the center of the salmon fishery. A certain cove in that river was for many years called Pomery's Cove.]

Articles of Covenants Indentid made and agreed on; the foureteenth daye of December, in the twentieth yeare of the raigne of our Soueigne Lord James by the grace of god of England Frannce and Ireland King Defender of the faith &c. And of Scotland the Sixe and fiftieth Betweene Dauid Thomson of Plymouth in the County of devon gentleman of thone Parte, And Abraham Colmer Nicholas Sherwill, and Leonard Pomery of Plymouth aforesaid marchants of th'other parte.

Imprimis whereas the Councell established, by the said Kings Maties Lres patents, for the ruling, orderinge & disposing of the terrytories and affayres of Newe England in America, have grannted vnto thaboue named Dauid Thomson, his heires and assignes, for ever, Sixe Thousand acres of land, and one Iland lyeing & being in & vpon tile coaste of Newe England aforesaid, wth dyuers Royalties, ymmunities priveledges franchises and liberties, As by the same grannt, bearinge date the Sixteenth daye of October laste paste more at large, it dothe & maye appeare, And farther wheareas also the said Dauid Thomson by his deed Indentid beareing date wth these prsents hath freely and absolutely grannted the foureth parte of all the said Iland wth thappurtennes therevnto belonging or in any wise apperteyninge, vnto thaboue named Abraham Colmer Nicholas Sherwill and Leonard Pomery their heires & assignes forever, wth Covenannts also therein expressed, to grannte and convey, vnto them their heires and assignes in ffee simple, the foureth parte of the before recyted Sixe thousand acres of land and other the premysses wth thappurtennes, As by the said deed thereof Indentid to them made more plainely and at large it doth & maye appeare, In Consideracon whereof it is fullie couenannted & agreed by and betweene the said parties to these presents in manner and forme followings, that is to saie

First, that they the said Abraham Colmer Nicholas Sherwill, and Leonard Pomerie their heires and assignes, shall and will at their owne proper costes & charges, this present yeare prouid and send, two men, wth the said Dauid Thomson, in the good shipp called the Jonathan of Plymouth aforesaid (by gods permission) to be landed in Newe England aforesaid, wth soe muche victualls & prouisions, as shall suffice them, till they be their landed, And yf they land there, wthin the space of three moneths, after the said shipp shall passe Ramehed, The residue of the three moneths victualls (yf any be) shall be delyuered to the said David Thomson, at his landing there, the said men and victualls, there to be disposed of by the said David Thomson, as well towards the findings, of a fitt place for thintended plantacon there, as also to begin the same

Item, that they, the said Dauid Thomson, Abraham Colmer, Nicholas Sherwill, & Leonard Pomerie, their heires and assignes, shall and will this present yeare, at their owne proper costes & charge, find prouide and send, three men more, in the good ship called the Prouidence of Plymouth aforesaid, yf they maye be so sonne gotten, Or in some other shipp wth the first expedicon that maye be, To be also (by god his permyssion) landed in Newe England, there to be disposed of as aforesaid, the Charges of weh men lastlie mencoed are to be paid and borne equallie betweene them the said parties to theis prsents

Item, it is farther agreed, by and betweene the said parties to theis pnts, that two men more (ouer & aboue the former three) shal be this prsent yeare, prouided & sent, in the aforesaid shipp the Jonathan; wth their victualls prouisions, To be likewise (by gods permyssion) landed in Newe England aforesaid, the charge of Weh two men lastlie mencoed soe to be sent, shalbe equallie borne and paid, betweene the said Dauid Thomson, Abraham Colmer, Nicholas Sherwill, and Leonard Pomerie

Item, it is farther agreed by and betweene the said parties to theis pnts, that after suche tyme, as the said Dauid Thomson, And the foresaid Seaven men or any of them, shall be soe landed in Newe England as aforesaid The said persons soe landed, shall and will vse their best Endeavor, (by the dirreccon of the said Dauid Thomson), wth as muche conveniencie as may be, to find oute some fitt place or places there, for the choise of the said Sixe thousand acres of land, accordinge to th'intent of the grannt aforesaid; And also of some fitt place, to settle and Builde, some houses or buildings for habitacons, On weh they are to begyn, wth as muche expedicon as they maye, To the lymits and precincts of weh habitacons or buildings soe intented to be there erected, there shalbe allotted, of the landes next thereunto adioyninge, at or before thend of five yeares, next ensuing the date hereof, the full quantitie of Sixe hundred acres of land, or i-neere thereaboutes, Wth said Sixe hundred acres of land, Wthall and singular the tenemts and buildings, that maye be raised thereupon, duringe the said space of five years, together wth the Seas, Riuers harbor or harbors ports creeks, and all and singeler other the premysses whatsoeu, conteyned wthin the said sixe hundred acres of land, with the seas Anent the same, shall at thend & expiracoii of the said five yeares, Be equallie deuided, betweene them the said David Thomson, Abraham Colmer, Nicholas Sherwill, and Leonard Pomery by lotts, And that all costs chargs and disbursments whatsoeuer, to be paid & layde forth, from and after the landing of the said men or any of them in Newe England aforesaid, towards the finding oute of the said sixe thousand acres of land, or for the buildinge planting and husbanding, of the said six hundred acres of land, shall During the said five yeares be equallie borne and paid, betweene all the said parties to theis prsents The residue of the said sixe thousand acres of land, to be also in such convenient tyme as maye be Deuided betweene them the said parties in foure parts, and by lots as aforesaid, wth all the seas & Riuers Anent the same, and all other the premysses to the same belonging. Whereof the said Dauid Thoiuson his heires an assignes, are to haue three Quarters, And the gaid Abraham Colmer Nicholas Sherwill & Leonard Pomerie, their heires & assignes, One quarter accordinge to the true intent & meaning of the last before recyted grannt, to them thereof to be made by the said Dauid Thomson his heires & assiynes

Item, it is farther agreed, by and betweene the said parties to theis prsents, that the said lland wth the grounde Soyles, Hauens, Rivers ports, Creeks, wth thappurtennes therevnto belonging at thend of the said five yeares, shall alsoe be Devided amongste them, the said parties in foure partes, by lotts as aforesaid, Whereof the said Dauid Thomson his heires & assignes are to haue three of the said foure partes, And the said Abraham Colmer, Nicholas Sherwill and Leonard Pomerie, their heires and assignes, thother foureth parte, accordinge to the true intent & meanings, of the laste before recyted grannt thereof to them made

Item, farther it is fully couenated & agreed by and betweene the said parties to theis pnts, That all costes, chargs, expenses, and disbursmts whatsoeu weh shall happen to be expended laid forth or disbursed for and towards the planting & husbanding of the said lland wth thappurtennes, And for and towards the Erecting of habitacons or buildings there Vntill the same be divided as aforesaid, shalbe borne and paid betweene the said parties, in this sorte (viz), three partes, by the said Dauid Thompson, his heires and assignes and the other fouretli parte, by the said Abraham Colmer, Nicholas Sherwill & Leonard Pomerie their heires and assignes.

Item, it is farther agreed by and betweene the said parties to theis prsents, that all benefitts and profitts wbatsoeuer, that shall or may, duringe the said terme of five yeares happen to accrewe arise & growe oute of or upon the said sixe hundred acres of land, be it more or lesse, and of the Seas and Rivers therevnto belonging, or by trading, fishing, Setting & Setling of the same landes & tenements, or any parte of them, or by any other industrie waies or meanss whatsoever (the fishing of such shipp or shipps of the said Abraham Colmer Nicholas Sherwill & Leonard Pomerie, or of either or any of them or of either or any of their assignes, sett forth onely at their costs & charges, and wherein the said Dauid Thomson, doth not, or will not, put in his parte of the coste and charges, onely excepted & foreprised,) shall also be equallie divided betweene them the parties to these presents parte and parte alike

Item, it is also agreed by and betweene the said parties to theis prsents, that all benefitts & profits, that shall or maye, duringe the said terme of five yeares, happen to accrewe aryse and growe, oute of or vpon, the residue of the said, sixe thousand acres of land wth thappurtennes or oute of, or upon the said Iland wth thappurtennes shall be devided into foure parts Whereof the said Dauid Thomson his heires and assignes shall haue three partes, And the said Abraham Colmer Nicholas Sherwill, and Leonard Pomery their heires & assignes shall haue th'other foureth parte, And that every of them, shall and will vpon reasonable request, delyuer to th'other a iuste & perfect ,accompt of his receipts & payments concerning the premisses And for the true performance of all and singular, the said Covenannts and agreements, either of the said parties bindeth himself to th'other firmly by these presents

In wittness wheareof the said parties interchangablie, to theis prsent covenants Indented, their handes and Seales haue sett heoven the daye and yeare ffirst aboue wrytten.

Annog. Dm 1622

P me [Abraham) Colmer P me Nicholas Sherwill Leonard Pomery
Sealed and delyuered in prsents of
John ffowell
Teste me Tho. Cruse
Teste Hugoe Bull
Michael Herring


In reference to the indenture...

This indenture, as will be seen, recites a grant from the Council for New England to Thomson, under date of 16th of October 1622. The records of the Council show no grant to him under that date: but under 16th of November we read,"Mr. Thomson's patent was this day signed by the above said Council." It may have been drawn in the previous month, and the date inserted, but not signed till later.

The three persons named in this covenant are persons well known in the history of Plymouth in England.

Abraham Colmer (or Colman) was Mayor of that town in 1615 and in 1627, and Alderman in 1626. Nicholas Sherwell was Mayor in 1618, 1628, and 1637. In 1625, "Thos. and Nic. Sherwell erected, founded, and established the Hospitall of Orphan's Aid" in that City. Leonard Pomeroy was a member ofthe Council in 1612, and Mayor in 1623. On the 22nd of March, 1630, the ship "Johnathan of Plymouth," of 150 tuns, is mentioned as owned by Nicholas Sherwell and Abraham Colmer. "Mr. Fowell," probably John, one of the witnesses to the sealing and delivering of the indenture, was "Town Clarke" of Plymouth in 1612.

Source: The New Hampshire Genealogical Record, Vol. II; Dover, NH; July 1904
Contributed by Genevieve Fraser
FraserGenevieve@gmail.com


Notes on a recently discovered indenture relating to David Thomson of Piscataqua and Massachusetts Bay in New England  Deane, Charles, 1813-1889. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Library, 2005


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Updated: 16 Jan 2017 12:51 PM