The constable was a man of great importance. There was but one such town officer during most of the colonial period, although during part of the time in certain places two were found necessary. He was a petty magistrate and enforcer of the law with power over all offenders. He could "apprehend without warrant such as be overtaken with drink, swearing, Sabbath breaking, lying, vagrant persons and night walkers." He was obliged "to take notice of common costers [accosters] unprofitable fowlers, and other idle persons and tobacco takers," and secure "any inhabitant or stranger after tenne of the clock at night behaving themselves deboist [debauched or in debauchery] or that giveth not a reasonable ground to ye constable or watchman, or shall be in drinck " ; to give warning "unto any inhabitants of their town, whether men or women, that live from their husbands or wives, to appear at the said court of ye county to answer for their so doing." The constable's badge of office provided by the town was a black staffe about 5 foote long, tipped at the upper end about 5 or 6 inches with brasse. To John Mudge and a few others (Benjamin Hills, Thomas Burdett, Nathaniel Upham) the town voted, March 16, 1713, permission to build a gallery in the meeting-house," between the two great beams over the front gallery." He was one of the owners of stable room for two horses in the sheds near the meeting-house. The Mudge farm, occupied by the family for some sixty years, was in the south-east part of the town, at what was called Turkey Hill, a tract of 65 acres, previously a part of the lands of Job Lane, builder of the Bell Rock meetinghouse; previously to that it was a portion of the allotment to the Rev. John Harvard, benefactor of the College, then to Leavitt Corbett of Charlestown who resided there till his death in 1855. The house was not torn down until 1893. The land afterwards passed to the Chittendens and is now a portion of the Woodlawn Cemetery property.
From Alfred Mudges' Memorials, we learn the following about John's land dealings:
1Although his will was dated 15 April 1726, it was not proved until 26 November 1733; about one month after his death.
Brown, Abraham English. History of the Town of Bedford, Middlesex County, Massachusetts From Its Earliest Settlement to the Year of Our Lord 1891, Embracing an Account of Indian Claims and Troubles; Colonial Grants; Sketches of Its Heros; Its Past in the Struggle for Independence and the War for Nationality; Its Burial Grounds and Epitaphs; Its Industrial Success; and a Record of Its Whole Progress with a Genealogical Register of Its Old Families. Bedford, MA: By the Author, 1891.
Cutter, William Richard. (ed.) Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts. Vol. 3. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1908.
Crapo, Henry Howland. Certain Comeoverers. Bedford, MA: E. Anthony and Sons, 1912.
Emmerton, James Arthur. Materials Toward a Genealogy of the Emmerton Family. Salem, MA: Privately Printed, 1881.
Hurd, D. Hamilton. History of Essex County, Massachusetts, with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men. Volume 1. Philadelphia: J. Lewis and Company, 1888.
Lawrence, Robert Means. The Descendants of Major Samuel Lawrence of Groton, Massachusetts with Some Mention of Allied Families. Cambridge, MA: Riverside Press, 1904.
Mudge, Alfred. Memorials: Being a Genealogical, Biographical, and Historical Account of the Name Mudge in America, from 1638 to 1868.. Boston: Alfred Mudge and Son, 1868.
Mudge, James. "The Mudges of Malden." "The Register of the Malden Historical Society Malden, Massachusetts.". Number 4. Lynn, MA: Frank S. Witten Printer, 1916.
The Register of the Lynn Historical Society, Lynn, Massachusetts, For the Year 1904. Lynn, MA: Frank S. Whitten, 1905.
Torrey, Clarence Almon and Elizabeth Petty Bentley. New England Marriages Prior to 1700. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1985.
Usher, Edwin Preston. A Memorial Sketch of Roland Greene Usher, 1823-1895 to which is added a Genealogy of the Usher Family in New England from 1638 to 1895.. Privately Printed for the Family, 1895.