Adams’ Minutes of the Winslow Trial1
Barnstable Inferior Court, Barnstable, December 1767
Winslow qui tam vs. Clark
Hovey. 239. Page. Nusances in Rivers. Natural, usual or common Passage.2
Wm. Robbins. Knows the Brook. Saw Clark make a Ware3 with sticks and stones and Boards. Saw James Clark cat[c]h Fish.
Lt. Freeman. No Water in the guzzell4 when Winslow Gates are down in Herring Time.
1. In JA’s hand. Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 185. Dated from JA, Docket, Adams Papers. See note 1 above. Winslow was a justice of the quorum. Whitmore, Mass. Civil List description begins William H. Whitmore, comp., The Massachusetts Civil List for the Colonial and Provincial Periods, 1630–1774, Albany, 1870. description ends 146.
2. James Hovey, counsel for Winslow, most probably refers to an Act of 1727: “[W]hosoever . . . shall sett up, erect or make any wears . . . or other incumbrances whatsoever, on or across any river for straitning, obstructing or stopping the natural, usual or common passage of fish, in the spring or other proper seasons of the year, without the approbation of the court of general sessions of the peace, shall, for every such offence, forfeit and pay the sum of ten pounds, to be sued for and recovered by plaint, bill or information in any of his majestie’s courts of record within the county where the offence is committed; one half thereof to be to him that shall inform and sue for the same, and the other half to the poor of the town or towns where such incumbrances have been made or set up.” Act of 3 July 1727, 2 A&R description begins The Acts and Resolves, Public and Private, of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, ed. Ellis Ames, Abner C. Goodell, et al., Boston, 1869–1922; 21 vols. description ends 426. The Act appears at p. 239–240 of Acts and Laws of the Province of Massachusetts Bay.
3. That is, a weir, or dam.