Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The (Harvard) College Lands identified in 1699 map


The College Lands

Excerpts from "History of Framingham 1640-1880" by J.H. Temple
(Read from book:

    In a codicil to his will, Mr. Danforth, under the heading "Deeds of gift," specifies: "To the College three tenements on lease to Benjamin Whitney, John Whitney, Isaac Bowen, situate at Framingham, on such conditions as I shall name." These three tenements were the sixty acres granted to Richard Wayte, and purchased of him by Mr. Danforth, lying northeast of Waushakum pond, and extending to the Beaver dam. This tract was leased by Mr. Danforth to the parties above named, who built three houses near each other, on the road northeast from the pond. The Sturtevant house occupies the place of Benj. Whitney's, which was the middle one of the three. After Mr. Danforth's decease the lessees paid the rents to Harvard College. Mr. Bowen sold his lease to Moses Haven, who (or his sons) bought out the Whitneys. Prof. Pierce, in his History of Harvard College, states that the College sold its Framing- ham lands to Mr. Haven for ;!^ioo in 1764. But in the valuation of 1771, Dea. Moses Haven is taxed ^3 on College land; and in 1772 the town voted that the constable be directed not to distrain those persons that occupy College land for their Province tax levied on said lands, till further orders from the town. This vote was reversed at the May meeting same year.

Overlay of College Lands and present streets

(p. 112)

Probably Benjamin and John Whitney came upon the lands near Washakum pond, and Simon and Thomas Mellen and John CoUer took possession of the lands west of Farm pond in 1687. But leases were not given to the former till 1693, and to the latter till 1696. The lease to the Whitneys has not been found on record. The rents and reversion of this estate were devised to Harvard College, as before stated. The material parts of the lease to the Mellens is here copied, as a sample of the forms of conveyance used at that date, and as a specimen of Mr. Danforth's prudence and exactness in his business transactions. "This Indenture made the twenty fifth day of March, 1696, between Thomas Danforth of Cambridge in the County of Middlesex, Esq"" of the one part, and Simon Mellen of Framingham in the County aforesaid, yeoman on the other part, Wittnesseth that the said Thomas Danforth, for himself, his heires and assignes on the condi- tions and covenants hereafter expressed, hath demised granted let & to Farm letten, to the s'^ Simon Mellen & Thomas Mellen and to theire heires Exec'"'* AdnT's and assignes, all that his messuage or tenement now occupied by them situate lying and being within the Township of Framingham aforesaid, containing two dwelling houses, one barn & orchard plow lands, meadow lands and pasture lands adjoining, by estimation three hundred acres, be the same more or less, being butted & bounded on the East by a pond, called Farm Pond, Northwardly by a brook coming out of said pond, and running into the river, Westwardly by lands demised by said Tho^ Danforth to Joseph White & Joseph Buckminster as run by the line. Southwardly Lease to Me liens. 1 1 3 by lands of Jn° Collar & Jn" Haven or however otherwise bounded; also six acres of meadow land, lying upon Marlborough Brook or river that leads into Sudbury river, whereof the said Simon Mellen & Tho^ Mellen are now also possessed, as also priviledge in common with the rest of the inhabitants of said Framingham upon all those lands which said Tho^ Danforth hath reserved to lye for free common- age of herbage

Framingham Plantation Map 1699

Wood and timber for the use of all those who are his tenants in said Framingham : To have and to hold the above letten messuage or tenement & lands, with all the priviledges & appurten- ances to the same belonging, to them the said Simon Mellen & Tho^ Mellen, and to their heires, & assignes, from the said twenty fifth day of March in the year aforesaid unto the full end and terme of nine hundred and ninety and nine years to be from thence fully compleat & ended, to their only proper use and behoof. Rendering Yeilding & Paying during s"^ term and until the same be fully compleated and ended, to him the said Tho^ Danforth, his heirs and lawfull assignes, or to some or one of them, seven pounds pr annum, the one moiety or half part of each annual payment to be made on or before the last day of October annually, the other moiety or half part at or before the twenty fifth day of March next following, and the place of payment to be the now dwelling house of said Tho^ Danforth in Cam- bridge, unless the said Tho^ Danforth, his heires or assigns shall otherwise assign, and all the said annual rents shall be paid in money; and in default of money, said tennants shall or may pay said annual rent in good merchantable corn (not exceeding one sixth part in Indian corn or oats) butter, well fatted Beife and Pork (boars and bulls excepted) at the currant money price, as he the said Tho^ Danforth, his heirs or assigns can do or may put ofif the same for money at the time of payment, and to be delivered in like manner, as is above provided, without charge or trouble to him the said Tho^ Danforth, his heirs, or assigns. "And the said Simon ]\Iellen and Thomas Mellen joyntly and severally, for themselves, their heirs, and assigns by these presents do covenant, promise and grant to and with the said Thomas Danforth, his heirs and assigns that the said Simon Mellen and Tho^ Mellen or their heirs exec, adm''^ or assigns or some or one of them shall and will from time to time during all the said nine hundred, ninety and nine years, well and truly make payment unto the said Tho^ Danforth his heirs, or assigns or some or one of them the annual rent as is above conditioned, and provided, without any defaulcation, deduction or abatement of any part or parcell thereof for any tax or taxes, assesments, rates, contributions or other impositions or charges whatsoever ordinary or extraordinary. And further the said Simon ...

For additional information re College Lands, see "History of Framingham" 1857 by William Barry: