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THIS town was granted by the general court, in 1752, to the Hon. Messrs. Hubbard, Erving, Royal, Otis, and others.
The grant was known by the name of Royalshire, until its incorporation in 1765, when it was called Royalston, in
compliment to the late Col. Isaac Royal. one of the original proprietors. Before the last French war, some who
intended to settle at the place began to work upon their lands. but the breaking out of the war put a stop thereto.
Towards the close of that war, some people began to work there again, and in 1762 several families moved into the
place, the first of which came in June. its progress in improvement was very rapid, for in less than three years
from that time it was incorporated with distinct town privileges. In 1766 a Congregational church was organized
in the town, and in 1768 Rev. Joseph Lee was ordained their pastor. Mr. Lee continued an able and faithful pastor
more than 50 years. His successor, Rev. Ebenezer Perkins, was ordained in 1819. Among the first settlers there
were about 10 Baptist families. Their first teacher was Rev. Elisha Rice, who continued but a short time. He was
succeeded by Rev. Whitman Jacobs, installed in 1770.
The land in this town consists generally of hills and valleys, and the soil is excellent, being suitable for tillage
or grazing. It is watered by Millerís river and its tributary waters, upon which is much good meadow. Several small
streams, one of which has upon it a perpendicular fall of 20 feet, and descends 100 feet in 40 rods, unite and
form Tully river, which pours into Millerís river a great quantity of water. These various streams afford a number
of good mill sites. Population, 1,629. Distance, 34 miles from Worcester, and 70 from Boston. In 1837 there were
two woollen mills, 6 sets of ma. chinery; 72,000 yards of cloth were manufactured; value, $72,000; males employed,
34; females, 34; there were 129,000 palm leaf hats manufactured ; value, $16,225; three manufactories of chairs
and cabinet ware; value of articles manufactured, $15,041; hands employed, 17; there were 11 saw mills; value of
lumber, $18,165; hands employed, 22.
Historical Collections Relateing to the
History and Antiquities of
Every town in Massachusetts with
By John Warner Barber.
Published by Warren Lazell.