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Early Vermont map showing Pocock and nearby townships

Bristol, Vermont
Proprietors' Grants

by Robert S. Raymond

The township of Bristol was originally granted by Benning Wentworth 26 June 1762 to Samuel Averill and sixty-two associates or proprietors. Wentworth was the first Royal Governor of New Hampshire from 1741 to 1766 under King George III. Starting in 1749, Wentworth sold to speculators townships or large parcels of land in what would become Vermont, despite claims to the land by New York. Each grantee or proprietor typically paid Wentworth about 20 each. Claims of corruption and complaints by purchasers of worthless swampland and mountainsides eventually drove Wentworth from office.

The charter deed of Bristol contained the usual restrictions incident to the Wentworth grants, and the usual reservation of public lands for the use of schools, propagation of the gospel, and the governor himself. There is some evidence that as early as 1784 efforts began to divide the township (known then as Pocock) into lots. By 1788 three divisions had been made and a 4th contemplated. However, at a proprietors' meeting in May 1788, it was decided the previous divisions and surveys were not legal and new divisions should be made. The first division lots were subsequently made containing 90 acres each. The second division lots were 110 acres each; the third, 100; the fourth, 50; and the fifth, 20 acres.



Map of Original Proprietors' Grants
Proprietors Names 1st
Div.
2nd
Div.
3rd
Div.
4th
Div.
5th
Div.
Samuel Averil 21 11 23 50 17
Samuel Hungerford 28 30 13 9 41
James Trip 74 12 8 38 38
Zebulan Seaman 54 40 2 33 5
Samuel Willis 85 20 26 55 23
Samuel Lyon 17 24 38 20 24
Francis Nash 75 22 30 28
Joseph Burr 41 63 12 57 6
Joshua Hutchings 90 43 6 34 14
Albert Baker 89 29 3 35 45
Uriah Field 61 27 24 48 50
Edmond Brown 79 49 9 40 4
John Hallock 26 56 48 29 18
Joseph Sherwood 76 26 25 37 29
William Crooker 64 50 18 23 7
Robert Crooker 66 38 42 11 53
John Carnell 31 1 56 15
Silas Mead 56 60 27 13 9
Stephen Field 36 28 33 19 36
John Tripp 18 17 30 46 1
Daniel Tooker 24 21 17 7 43
Benj Clapp 11 31 22 12 27
Elias Palmer 49 19 20 42 2
John Clapp 34 10 15 4 38
Elnathan Hall 3 15 21 6 54
Seth Hall 45 2 36 1 46
John Hees 91 18 45 52 31
John Cornwall 51 68 37 26 51
Richard Titue 52 13 57
Samuel Willitts 16 6 1 5 11
Theophilus Anthony 60 9 19 41 39
John Lawrence 43 34 16 25 19
Joseph Underhill 62 46
James Parsons 5 47 55
James Fairlee 53 36 39 24 37
Samuel Franklin 68 33 57 8 47
James Bown 14 53 29 54
Nicholas Anthony 86 23 32 39 16
Wm Kennedy 63 62 46 22 30
James Fairlee Jun 55 51 44 3 42
Robert Fairlee 70 54 47 45 52
Thomas Franklin Jun 8 43
Wm Field 31 57 31 2 26
Francis Field 7 8 33
Wm Field Jun 88 7 53 31
Wynant Vanzant 4 45 10 53 25
Joseph Lawrence 47 5
Joseph Parsoll 72
John Burling 69 44 40 27 8
Richard Cornwall 35 41
Henry Hider 2 55 51 36 12
Edward Burling Jr 6 3 7 17 34
Henry Bogart 58 59 52 15 44
Daniel Parrish 65 42 35 44 40
Townsend Parrish 87 4 28 23 21
John Parrish 10 67 50 49 10
Edward Lawrence 42 32 11 18 49
Caleb Hyatt 57 37
Zebulan Seaman 2d 19 52 54 10 48
Joseph New March Esq 13 63 5 51 35
James Havens Esq
Wm Temple 39 61 41 16 20
Capt George Frost 48 58
School Lot 9 16 49 21 22
Minister Lot 78 64 34 47 3
Propagation Society 20 39 14 38 33
Glebe Lot 15 43 43 13

Map of Original Proprietors' Grants

In 1824 the legislature transferred a portion of the lots in the southeast corner of Bristol into Lincoln township. Second division lots numbered 22, 23, and 26 through 63 became part of Lincoln.

Topography of the Bristol Lots

After searching unsuccessfully for a map relating the Bristol lots to modern landmarks, Stuart Thro (a fellow researcher of Bristol Raymonds) mentioned plotting the Bristol lots on a topographical map. Following Stuart's idea, I've overlaid the lot map and a 1905 USGS topographical map. I'm sure I've introduced lots of errors, but this should give you a sense of how various lots related to the terrain.


Sources

Sunday, 18-Jul-2004 22:52:43 MDT