(Maps are an approximate)
Province Laws 1771/2 July 1771. Vol. 5 Page 164.
An act for erecting the new plantation called No 2 in the County of Berkshire into a town by the name of Partridgefield.
Whereas; the erecting of the new Plantation called No 2 in the County of Berkshire into a town will greatly encourage and forward the further settlement thereof and remove many difficulties the inhabitants already settled there labor under.
Be it therefore enacted by the Governor. Council and of Representatives;
Sect 1: That the new Plantation called No 2 in the County of Berkshire bounding easterly partly on Worthington and partly on No. 6. westerly on Ashuelot Equivalent and partly on the new Township called Hartwood; northerly partly on the new township called No 4 and No. 5 and southerly on said Hartwood, (being the township which was a committee of this court in the year 1762 sold at publick vendue to Elisha Jones Esqr in behalf of himself and others)be and hereby is made a town by the name of Partridgefield; and the inhabitants thereof are hereby invested with all the powers privileges and immunities that the inhabitants of other towns within this province enjoy.
And whereas the said Elisha Jones Esqr. purchased the lands of said township from the province for himself. Sir Francis Bernard. Bart, and Oliver Partridge Esqr. to hold the Same in the following proportions viz; the said Sir Francis Bernard one third part thereof; the said Elisha Jones one third part thereof; and the said Oliver Partridge one third part thereof; and by deeds between themselves mutually executed settled the same among themselves in that proportion, excepting three public rights or three sixty-third parts of said township and also 300 acres not yet divided; and the said purchasers have surveyed and laid out great part of said lands into 150 acre and 200 acre lots; and in order to bring forward and complete the settlement of the same lands and for the fulfillment and performance of the conditions of the grant thereof, the said purchasers have each of them been disposing and conveying such lots to persons who have engaged to settle thereon, and have covenanted with said original purchasers respectively, to do the duty of settlers and to pay certain proportions of the cost and damage of building a meeting house and settling a minister and making necessary roads there:
Be it Enacted
Sect. 2: That the inhabitants of said town, each of them as have undertaken to settle such rights and to contribute any part or proportion towards the building a meeting house and settling a minister and making roads as aforesaid, together with such of the original purchasers of said lands who have not engaged a sufficient number of settlers in proportion to their original share in said town. be, and they are hereby empowered at a meeting to be called for the purpose agreeable to the directions of an act of this province made in the twelfth year of the reign of her late majesty Queen Anne, entitled "An Act directing how meetings of proprietors of lands lying in common may be called to choose a clerk, treasurer, assessors, collector and committee, and any other officer or officers that proprietors of common lands may choose: the votes always to be collected according to the interest and at such meeting at or any future meeting, called agreeable to the directions of the act aforesaid may agree upon and grant any sum or sums of money they may think proper for any of the purposes aforesaid. to be assessed upon the several original purchasers or their assignees, of the lands there, as aforesaid according to their several interests therein and the contracts and obligations they have made thereabout.
And to the end that the proportions of the several purchasers aforesaid in said lands and the assignees to whom they have respectively conveyed any part of the same under contract of doing any share of the settling duties thereof. may be better known in said town.
Be it Enacted
Sect. 3: That each and every of the original proprietors aforesaid their agents or attorneys shall file with the clerk of said town, within three months after his choice and acceptance of said office, an account of each original proprietors share, and a list of the names of the several persons to whom he has conveyed any part of his lands there under contract of doing any settling duties there, with an account of what proportion of such duties each assignee has engage to perform and that such account and list shall be the rule by which the assessors shall proceed in making such assessments against such persons as or assignees of said original purchasers. and if any such original purchasers their agents or attorneys shall not make return to such clerk of such a number of assignees engaged to do and perform such duties of settlement as shall be his proportion of duties according to his share of said lands there. the assessors shall assess what remains on his own lands, till such original purchaser, his agent or attorney. shall make further return to such town clerk, of any other or new assignee of any of his lands who shall have engaged the performance of any part of his duty of settlement in which case such part, for the future, shall be set upon such assignee.
And be it further enacted.
Sect. 4: That if any such original purchasers or any of their assignees shall refuse or neglect to pay any taxes that may be set on them or their lands agreeable to this act for either of the purposes aforesaid, the assessors of such taxes, that shall be from time to time, shall be and are hereby empowered to make sale of any such delinquents lands there, for the payment thereof they conforming therein to the directions and regulations specified and contained in an act of this province now expired that was made in the second year of his present; majesty's reign. entitled "An Act to subject the unimproved lands within this province to be sold for payment of taxes assessed on them by order of the great and general court and votes and agreements of the proprietors thereof. add, to enable proprietors of new plantations to levy province and county taxes laid upon them" reserving to all the said proprietors whose lands may be sold as aforesaid whether living within this province or otherwise their heirs and assigns, a liberty of redemption of such their lands that paying for the purposes in this act mentioned, within one year from and after such sale made the payment thereof, they conforming therein to the directions and regulations specified and contained in an act of this Province, now expired, that was made in the second year of his present majesty's reign entitled "An Act to subject the unimproved lands within this province to be sold for payment of taxes assessed on them by order of the great and general court and votes and agreements of the proprietors thereof, add to enable proprietors of new plantations to levy province and county taxes laid upon them reserving to all the said proprietors whose lands may be sold as aforesaid, whether living within this province or otherwise their heirs and assigns, a liberty of redemption of such their lands, that paying for the purposes in this act mentioned, within one year from and after such sale made, the same for which such lands shall have been sold, with double damages until the same shall be redeemed. And to prevent any injustice to any of the inhabitants of the said town, or other proprietors of lands there, by means of any false return against him by any original purchaser. as his assignee liable and subject, by contract, to do any duty of settlement, which he has not undertaken, and thereby being subjected to an unreasonable assessment upon him in consequence of any such false return.
Be it enacted
Sect. 5. That if any such original purchaser shall falsely return any person as his assignee of any lands in said town, and as liable und engaged to do any duty of settlement on his behalf, which such person shall by such means, be subjected to any unjust assessment, against the true design of this act, and shall actually suffer any damages or loss thereby, he shall be and is hereby entitled to treble the damages he shall so suffer; to be recovered with costs against such original purchaser, by action of debt, to be brought by virtue of this act. .
And be it further enacted.
Seat 6. That William Williams Esqr. be and hereby is empowered to issue his warrant directed to some principle inhabitant of said town, requiring him to call a meeting of said inhabitants, in order to choose such officers, as by law, towns are empowered to choose, in the month of March, annually at which said first meeting all the then present inhabitants shall be admitted to vote.
Passed July 4, 1771. :