HOLDERNESS • A BRIEF EARLY HISTORY
In 1751 the township of Holderness had been asked for and granted. On October 15th, in that year, His Excellency, Benning Wentworth, laid before the council a "petition of Thomas Shepard and others, inhabitants of the Province, praying for a grant of His Majesty's lands of the contents of six miles square on Pemidgwasset river, to which the Council did advise and consent. Thomas Shepard's petition was signed by sixty-four persons, to whom accordingly the grant was made. The decisive defeat of the French at Quebec, in 1759, removed that terror from this region. The land was open for safe occupation. In 1761 Governor Benning Wentworth issued grants for eighteen townships. It was under one of these grants that Holderness was finally settled. It incorporates into a township a piece of land six miles square. In Holderness it amounted to eight hundred acres. The charter gave the township thus erected the name of New Holderness.
The first settler of New Holderness was William Piper and his wife Susanna. She was John Shepard's daugher. John Shepard had been a ranger with Robert Rogers, and eloped with Susanna Smith. When the War of Independence came on, he purposed to remain neutral, but was arrested by overzealous patriots and put on parole at Exerter. This so altered his ideals of neutrality that on being released he prompltly donned the uniform of the British service. He was killed in action on shipboard off the Grand Menan. His daughter Susanna, on her marriage to William Piper, had her father's lot for dowry. It lay between Squam Lake and White Oak Pond, on the west side of the connecting brook. There, in 1763, they build a cabin and set up housekeeping, and thus began the actual settlement of Holderness.