Appeals to the Privy Council

Report No. 06_1754_00

Merrill v Proprietors of Bow

New Hampshire 

Case Name Short

Merrill v Proprietors of the township of Bow

Case Name Long

John Merrill v Proprietors of the township of Bow


Acts of the Privy Council, Colonial Series


APC Citation 

v.4 [231] p.239 – 28 March 1754 – entry 1

PC Register Citation 

George II v.15 (1 January 1754 – 31 December 1755) p.86–87, 101–102: PC 2/104/86–87, 101–102


APC Citation 

v.4 [231] p.239–243 – 24 June 1755 – entry 2

PC Register Citation 

George II v.15 (1 January 1754 – 31 December 1755) p.102, 111, 315, 415, 419–423, 454–455: PC 2/104/102, 111, 315, 415, 419–423, 454–455


Colonial Courts

Inferior Court of Common Pleas – Portsmouth – 7 March 1750/51

Superior Court of Judicature – second Tuesday in December 1752

Superior Court of Judicature – first Tuesday in August 1753


Kilby, Christopher, esquire, of St. Martins in the Fields

Merrill, John

Proprietors of the township of Bow

Stephens, Benjamin

Walker, Rev. Timothy

Wentworth, John, Lieutenant Governor of New Hampshire (1727)


Land (“upon an Ejectment,” according to the Privy Council register). The conflict arises from the settling of the boundary of Massachusetts and New Hampshire.




Related to another Privy Council appeal:

    Rolfe v Proprietors of Bow – Report No. 06_1762_00 (APC, v.4 [427] p.527)

See also the petition of the Rev. Timothy Walker, Report No. 06_1753_00 (APC, v.4 [202] p.197), requesting that an appeal to the Privy Council be allowed though the value of the land in question is less than the required minimum since the lands of many others, collectively meeting the minimum, depend upon the outcome.

On the ejectment action involved here, see Additional Research.

References in Smith, Appeals to the Privy Council from the American Plantations

Table of Cases (Merrill v Proprietors of Bow)


Printed Cases


Case of the appellant (Merrill)


[Signed] W. Murray; R. Henley


Law Library of Congress: Sir George Lee collection



Massachusetts Historical Society: 1796 Lib – XLg 7.29f (Manuscript notes limited to “N.B. Judgment for the Appellant”)


New Hampshire Historical Society: 977.8b B784me (Photocopy only)


Case of the respondent (Proprietors of the township of Bow)

ESTC: N473543

[Signed] A. Hume-Campbell; Al. Forrester


Law Library of Congress: Sir George Lee collection (Noted in ESTC? No.)



New York Public Library. Schwarzman Building: Rare Book Collection *KF+++ 1755 (Great Britain. Trade and Plantations Commissioners. John Merrill, appellant) (Includes manuscript notes) (Noted in ESTC? Yes.)

Privy Council Documents in PC 1 at The National Archives at Kew

Not found


Other Documents

Other Documents

The appellant’s printed case at the Massachusetts Historical Society is found in a folder entitled ‘Briefs respecting the Controversy between Massachusetts and New Hampshire’. The folder also includes the respondents’ case in Rolfe v Proprietors of Bow, documents from the earlier royal commission to settle the boundary, and related maps. The maps at the British Library and in the Massachusetts Historical Society have not been compared.


Other Documents

Andrews, Guide to Manuscript Materials, references:



     (1) British Library Additional Manuscripts 15487 f.96–103, Plans and Explanations of plans of Massachusetts and New Hampshire touching the boundary question and the bounds of certain towns as Rumford, Suncook, and Bow; and



     (2) Additional Manuscripts 15489 f.5, which is the deposition in manuscript of B. Rolfe of Rumford regarding extracts from the “Proprietors Book of Rumford”.