Highlights from the History of Needham in 100 objects
Extent of Description:
1 document
Scope & Content:
This document is a land deed from Dedham granting John Kingsbury twelve acres in an area which is now part of Needham. It is dated 15 August 1636 (based on the Old (Julian) calendar.
The 15th of ye 6th Month 1636
Dedham graunteth to
John Kingsbery twelve acres more or less as it lyeth betwene ye waest & ye clayepits toward the North and ye river and medowe of the Sayd John towards the South. And abutts upon the swamp of the Sayd John and Mr. Thomas Eaeton towards the East, and upon the claypitts and the high waye leading to the same …

It is not possible to locate these exact boundaries on a modern map of Needham, but the general area can be identified. John Kingsbury's twelve acres lay within the area roughly bounded by West Street (north), Webster Street (east), Great Plain Avenue (south) and Nehoiden Street/Parish Road (west).

Most interesting about this deed, however, is the very early date. The Dedham Grant was one of the first expansions of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, given in October of 1636 in response to the demands of settlers for more land, and to create a larger buffer territory between the Colony and the native tribes. Well before the Dedham Grant was even signed, John Kingsbury, Thomas Eaton, and others had already set their sights northward, over the river, to claim land.

Needham Historical Society Archives
Click to Enlarge
Kingsbury 1636Kingsbury 1636