History of Gilmanton
Written by: Daniel Lancaster
Published in 1845
On the 10th of March, 1801, the town met for the transaction of the annual business, and the following was adopted as a By-law of the town of Gilmanton.
"Whereas travelers and teamsters are greatly incommoded in the winter season by neat cattle, sheep and swine, which are suffered to go at large on the highways and to eat and destroy the hay and provender given to the horses and cattle of such travelers and teamsters, when they stop near Meredith Bridge, the Academy, the dwelling house of Mr. Emerson Porter, and the dwelling house of Cotton Gilman, in the town of Gilmanton; and whereas the inhabitants of said town and others, who attend public worship in sleighs on Sundays at the several meeting houses in said town, during the winter season, are much troubled by the neat cattle and sheep, which usually range about the said several meeting houses and eat the hay and straw out of the sleighs of such attendants during the times of public worship. Therefore, to prevent which, it is voted by the inhabitants of said town, that the following regulation be received and adopted as a standing by-law of said town as soon as the same shall be approved by the Court of Common Pleas in the County of Strafford, viz. That from and after the 20th day of November to the last day of March, in each year, no neat cattle, sheep or swine, shall be suffered to go at large on any highway in said town, within one third part of a mile from Meredith Bridge, the Academy, the dwelling house of Mr. Emerson Porter, or the dwelling house of Mr. Gilman, nor shall any neat cattle or sheep be suffered to go at large on Sundays between the said 20th and the said last day of March, in each year, within the like distance from any meeting house in said town, where public worship is usually performed on the Lord's day, (excepting and reserving in all cases the necessary time for neat cattle and sheep to go to water and return,) on penalty that the owner or owners thereof, or the person having the care of such neat creature or creatures, sheep or swine, forfeit and pay one dollar for each offence to be recovered by action of debt before any Justice of the Peace in the County of Strafford, by any person who will sue for the same, with costs of prosecution, unless it shall appear that such creature or creatures, sheep or swine, were going at large without the knowledge or negligence of the owner or person having the care of the same as aforesaid. Provided, nevertheless, that no action shall be sustained for any penalty accruing from this by-law, unless the writ be issued out and legally served within thrifty days from the time of committing the offence."