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being Persons disinterested; which Free-holders, or any Two of set up and fix them, being first sworn by the said Affiftant or Justice of the the bounds, Peace, to act with impartiality therein, shall have power, and are hereby empowered, to set up and fix fuch bounds between them ; and the Bounds which shall be so fixed, shall be entered in the Records of the Town where such Lands lie, and remain the Bounds of such Lands; and the whole Charge that shall arise by the settling such Bounds as aforesaid, shall (being allowed by such Afiftant or Justice of the Peace)be recovered if need be,by Distress granted by the said Afliftant or Justice, against such Proprietor or Proprietors as shall make Application as aforesaid.
2. Provided nevertheless, That if any such Proprietor or Proprietors of Land be dissatisfied with the Bounds so fixed, nothing in this Act or any Proceedings thereon, shall be understood to hin.
Provife. der such Proprietor from bringing any Action whatsoever, for the maintaining of his Right to, or recovering the Poffeffion of such Land, as by the setting up fuch Bounds as aforesaid, shall be taken br with-held from him.
3. Provided also, That when the Bounds so set up shall happen to take
Land from any Proprietor, which he has for any Time held Possession of against the other Proprietor ; nothing in this Act, or any Thing done therein, shall be taken to disseize such Provins. Poffeffor, but whenfoever any Action is brought against such Poffeffor, by the other Proprietor, to recover from him Possession of faid Land; if such Poffeffor shall not prove upon the Trial, that the Bounds, or Line which he Claims to hold to, are the just and true Bounds, Judgment in the said Action shall be given for the faid Proprietor to recover the Possession, according to the Bounds set aforesaid.
4. And it is further enaĉed, That the said Three Free-holders Freeholders fhall take this following Oath, Viz.
to take an
oath. 7OU A. B. and C. being appointed to renew, revive, and set up
Bounds between the Land of D. E, and F. G. at according to the true, real, and just Right of the said Parties : You and each of you do swear by the Name of the Everliving GOD, that having heard the Pleas of the said Parties and Evidences given the form. in by them relating to the said Bounds; all Prejudice and Partiality being laid aside, you will erect the said Bounds according to the true and just Right of the said Parties, by your best Skill and Judgment. So help you God.
An Ad concerning Witnesses to Wills.
548 E it enacted by the Governor and Council, and House of Reprefen- Wills to be
tatives, in General Court assembled, That no Wills or Testa- witnefred by ments bearing Date at any Time after the first Day of January three witneir. next ensuing the End of the present Sessions of this Assembly, es, in presence
of the teftator, wherein there shall be any Devise cr Devises of real Estate, shall
Lands held REit enacted by the Governor and Conncil, and House of Repre.
Lands. or elle void, be held good and allowed for any such Devise or Devises, if they as to devises
are not witnessed by Three Witnesses ; all of them figning in of real estate.
Presence of the Testator.
[ENACTED IN MAY 1720.
which have been, and still are held by several Perfons in Partnership Preamble, or es Tenants in Common, or in Joint-Tenancy : And it hath often.
fo fallen out, that one of the Partners or Tenants have died before any
Which to prevent :
Representatives, in General Court affembled, That minors to the Guardians of all Minors shall, and are hereby (with the Afliftmake division ance of such Perfons as the Court of Probate shall for that end
apof lands with point) fully empowered to make Division of any fuch Land with surving part- the surviving Partners or Tenants as fully and amply as the origi
nal Partners and Tenants might or could have done : And all fuch Minors, their Heirs and Assigns shall be firmly bound and
concluded by any Court of pro
such Division made by their Guardians. bate to apo
2. And the several Courts of Probate are hereby directed, upon point persons the Application of such Partner or Tenant, or Guardian to any to a flist guar. Minor, to appoint any suitable Persons to aflist such Guardians in dians, &c.
making Division as aforefaid. All perfons, 3. And all Persons having Right in any such Land, upon such
Appointment, shall forthwith come to a Division of the fame,
An A&t for the Partition of Lands, &c.
[EXACTED IN OCTOBER 1720.]
sentatives, in General Court assembled, That all Persons having to be divived' or holding ; or that fhali at any Time hereafter have or hold any by writ of Lands, Tenements, or Hereditaments as Coparceners, Joint-Tepartition. nants, or Tenants in Common, may be compelled by Writ of Par
tition to divide the fame, where the Partners cannot agree to make
Partition among themselves. Proviro. Provided always, That this Act extend not to Town-Commons
or sequestered Lands.
An Act for preventing Trespaffes on the Lands of this
[ENACTED IN OCTOBER 1722.] WHEREAS this Affembly have been informed, that notwithstanding the ancient Laws of this Colony to the contrary, fome Perfons have pretended to purchase of Indians their Rights as Natives of many Preamble. considerable Tracts of Lænd lying within this Colony : And although all such Deeds when obtained without the Leave and Consent of this Afsembly, are by the faid Law declared to be ipso facto, void. Yet under colour of such Deeds, Persons un acquainted with the faid Laws may be imposed upon, deceived, and greatly wronged, as well as the Settlement of fuch Lands in Plantations, pursuant to the End expreffed in our Charter, hindred.
For the prevention whereof : PAR. 1.
E it enaĉted by the Governor and Council, and House of
Representatives, in General Court assembled, That Penalty of whosoever shall' presume to purchase any Lands within the 167 dol. to Bounds of this Colony, of any Indians whatsoever, without the presume to Leave of this Afferbly hereafter first had and obtained, under purchase land colour or pretence of fuch Indians being the Proprietors of said of Indians. Lands by a Native Right ; or shall having purchased of
any dians, Lands in such manner, without leave of this Affembly firft had, or the Confirmation of this Assembly afterwards obtained, presume to make any Sale of, or any Settlements upon any Lands. to purchafed, every person who shall in any such manner tranf-. grefs, and be thereof convicted in the County Court, or in the Superior Court of that County where such Lands shall lie, shall. incur the Penalty of One Hundred and Sixty Seven Dollars to the Treafury of this Colony.
2. And whatsoever Person or Persons fhall suffer any wrong by Persons who Means of such Sale or Settlement, as aforesaid, shall recover
are wronged 'either of the said Courts, upon Proof of such wrong by him suffer- by such sales, ed, Treble Damages against the Person, or Persons, so wronging to receive of him.
treble dama ges.
An Act for the better establishing and Confirmation of
the Titles of Land anciently obtained in Townships, according to the manner or custom heretofore used; and for preventing Contentions about the same.
[ENACTED IN, MAX: 1723.]. WHERE AS it was anciently customary for Towns to be settled, and the Lands in thein contained, to be disposed of by Divifon, or other. wife, to particular Perfons, or special uses by the Inhabitants of the Preamble. jaid Towns in Town-Meeting asembled, after which custom or Man. ner, particular Perfons obtained to themselves, certain Quantities of
the faid Land, which they held and dispofed of as their own proper E-
And whereas it was afterwards thought needful that the Properties
By means of which Deeds or Patents fo granted to such Perfons, who were also according to the ancient Custom or Manner of difpofing of Lands in our Town-Meetings, the true and lawful Owners and Poffeffors of fuch Eftates, the said Lands which they held in such Towns, either in severalty or in common, became both by Cuftom, and by Seal of this Colony, an undoubted lawful Estate of Inheritance, to them and their Heirs ; and the undivided and common Lands in such Towth, such Proprietors might have divided immediately among themselves, or otherwise disposed of agreeably both to the ancient Custom, and the Tin tle ratiñed and confirmed by the faid Deeds or Patents, and not suffered
any other Persons to have part in them or any Right or Title to
And whereas notwithstanding the said Deeds or Patents obtained, the
particular Properties, to themselves and their
faid Proprietors, would be contrary to the true intent and meaning of the faid Proprietors, and prove very prejudicial to those Perfons or their Heirs, who have been brought into them with the real Confent of the faid Proprietors, by which real Çonfent, feid Proprietari
and all that hold under them, ought to be eftopped and barred against
E it therefore enafted by the Governor and Council, and
House of Representatives, in General Court assembled, That Grants, &c. all such Grants, Divisions, or Dispositions of such common Lands, of Lands, made according to ancient Custom in any Town Meetings, shall heretofore
made at town : be held and taken to be good and lawfil, to all Intents, and as ef- meetings, to
fe&tual in Law as if the full and ample Consent of the faid Pro- be good and
2. And it is hereby Enacted, That they shall be accepted and
3. And it is hereby alfo further Declared and Enacted, That whatsoever Part or Intereft the aforesaid Proprietors, by Custom as And to be well as Deed, have in any common or undivided Lands in any held such, as Towns, which they have not by their free Consent as before ex. if, &c. pressed, or otherwise disposed of, or suffered to be divided or difposed of, is and shall be allowed, and taken to be their proper Estate: And that no Person whatsoever by becoming an Inhabitant of such Town, or by any other Means against or without the Consent of such Proprietors, shall be taken or esteemed to have any Estate, Title, Right or Interest therein,
4. And all such Proprietors of any re.naining common or undivided Lands in any Town or Place whatsoever, or such as le
Undivided gally represent them, are hereby allowed to have their Meetings lands to be in such respective Towns, to choose their Clerk, to enter and re- long to the cord their Votes and Doings, who shall be sworn before an Aflift. proprietors. ant or Justice of the Peace : And all Records of their Votes and Doings, attested by him, be admitted as lawful Evidence. And the faid Proprietors in such Meetings, shall have full Power (after the ancient Custom and Manner in Towns) by their major Votes in such their Meetings, (to be reckoned according to their Interest in such Common Land,) to regulate, improve, manage and divide luch Common Land, in such Manner and Proportion as they shall see good.
5. Provided, That where the Proprietors in any Torn have by any Vote of theirs upon Record in their Town, obliged them
Proviso. selves to act for the future, in any other Method in dividing the undivided Land in such Townships, such Vote being the A&t of faid Proprietors, shall be and remain valid and binding against Such Proprietors, and their Heirs; and the undivided Lands referred to in said Vote, divided and held according to such Vote; any Thing in this A& to the contrary notwithstanding,