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Little Offender
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"But the men of Weare were " obstinate," and maybe, " notorious offenders." They did not come.
Warrants against them were put into the hands of Benjamin Whiting, Esq. of Hollis, sheriff of the county, who had already made himself hateful to the people, and he was sent to make arrests in the name of the king. He went to Weare, April 13th, with his deputy, John Quigley, of Francestown, for Ebenezer Mudgett, the chief of these offenders, who lived on the north road from Clement's mill, now Oil Mill, to South Weare.
It was late in the day when they found him ; he said he would give bail the next morning, and the sheriff and his deputy went to Aaron Quimby's inn, near by, for the night. The news that the sheriff had come for Mudgett spread like wild fire. Scores of men said they would bail him.
They met at his house and made a plan how to give it. Mudgett went to the inn at dawn, woke the sheriff, burst into the room and told him the bail was ready. Whiting rose, chid Mudgett for coming so early, and began to dress. Then more than twenty men rushed in, faces blacked, switches in their hands, to give bail. Whiting seized his pistols and would have shot some of them, but they caught him, took away his small guns, held him by his arms and legs up from the floor, his face down, two men on each side, and with their rods beat him to their hearts' content. They crossed out the account against them of all logs cut, drawn and forfeited, on his bare back, much to his great comfort and delight. They made him wish he had never heard of pine trees fit for masting the royal navy. Whiting said : They almost killed me."
Quigley, his deputy, showed fight; they had to take up the floor over his head and beat him with long poles thrust down from the garret to capture him, and then they tickled him the same way.
Their horses, with ears cropped, manes and tails cut and sheared, were led to the door, saddled and bridled, and they, tlie king's men, told to mount; they refused, force was applied; tliey got on and rode off down the road, with jeers, jokes and shouts ringing in their ears.
They were mad ; said it was a high-handed outrage and that they would give the Weare men a dose of martial law. They went to Cols. John Goffe, of Derryfield, and Edward Goldstone Lutwytche, of Merrimack, and from their two regiments got a posse comitatus, which, armed witli muskets, marched to Weare. But the rioters had fled to the woods, and not a soul of them could be found. Matthew Patten, who set out to go to old " Hailstown," perhaps to act as a justice in the case, says in his journal that he met the soldiers in Goffstown, April 17th, coming home.
But Sheriff Whiting did not let the matter rest. One of the rioters was soon caught and put in jail ; the rest gave bail to come to court.
At the September term, eight men were indicted. They were Timothy Worthley, Jonathan Worthley, Caleb Atwood, William Dustin, Abraham Johnson, Jothara Tuttle, William Quimby, husbandmen, and Ebenezer Mudgett, yeoman. These names are very familiar in the early history of Weare, and Caleb Atwood, as we have seen, was a worthy member of the Baptist church, and had been a brave soldier in the old French and Indian war. They were charged with being rioters, routers, disturbers of the peace and with " making an assault upon the body of Benjamin Whiting, Esq., sheriff, and that they beat, wounded and evilly intreated him and other injuries did so that his life was despaired of, he being in the execution of his office," " against the peace of our Lord the King his crown and dignity." There were present, holding the court, "The Honorable Theo dore Atkinson Esq'., Chief Justice," and The Honorables Meshech Weare, Leverett Hubbard and William Parker Esq"., Justices."
They were arraigned before this august tribunal and severally pleaded that they " would not contend with our Lord the King but submit themselves to his grace." They were ordered to pay a fine of twenty shillings each, and costs of prosecution, "standing committed till sentence be performed."
It was a very light fine. Such a slight punishment for so great an outrage on the sheriff of the county, when serving a legal process, seems to show that the court had more sympathy for the men who cut the logs, and regard for popular sentiment, than for the sheriff and the odious pine tree law.

-William Little, History of Weare, New Hampshire 1735-1888 (published 1888)

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