Image from page 75 of "A history of Hatfield, Massachusetts, in three parts : I. An account of the development of the social and industrial life of the town from its first settlement. II. The houses and homes of Hatfield, with personal reminiscences of th
Title: A history of Hatfield, Massachusetts, in three parts : I. An account of the development of the social and industrial life of the town from its first settlement. II. The houses and homes of Hatfield, with personal reminiscences of the men and women who have lived there during the last one hundred years; brief historical accounts of the religious societies and of Smith Academy; statistical tables, etc. III. Genealogies of the families of the first settlers
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if anyman did not complete within a specified time the fencingrequired for mutual protection and decreed by commonconsent in town meeting, he was fined and in additionhad to pay any damages arising from neglect. The practice of pasturing the flocks and herds togetheron the undivided common land was begun at an early date,each man taking his turn at herding at first, and eachow ner had an ear mark to distinguish his stock. August 12,1672, the town voted that each man having three or morecattle must take his turn or be fined 2s. 3d. and paydamages arising from neglect. When at a later date, 1680,a cattle keeper was appointed at a fixed rate of pay, theowners had to take turns on the Sabbath to allow theherdsman to attend public worship. The cows and othergood neat stock were taken out by an hour aftersunrise to good pasturage and returned before sundown.The inhabitants took turns in keeping a bull. After thecrops were gathered the cattle were turned loose in the 70 HISTORY OF HATFIELD.
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HISTORY OF HATFIELD. 71 meadows, usually about the first of October. There is atradition that the sheep were folded for several years afterthe settlement in movable hurdles on the farm now ownedby James Breor. A town shepherd was not appointed till1682. In 1684 the land lying between the North Meadowfence and the home lots on the east of the street, with thehills northwest of William Kings homestead near Kingshill, was sequestered by vote of the town to be kept asa pasture and a walk for sheep forever. All rams notconsidered fit for breeders had to be killed by order of thetown. There is no evidence that hogs were kept in sufficientnumbers to require a special attendant, though a hogherdwas a regularly appointed official in some towns in thecolony. The hogs in Hatfield were ringed, to preventtheir doing damage by rooting, and allowed to run at large.Nathaniel Dickinson was excused from holding town officefor keeping a boar. Cattle were used to perform most of the work on thefarm. A si
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