Settled and named 1710, formerly called New Scituate. || This town was first settled in 1710. Incorporated, 1714. It is watered by several small streams which afford a water power for one cotton and three woollen factories. The surface of the town is rough and stony, but excellent for grazing. The number of sheep in this town is about 5,000. It lies 31 miles E. from Hartford, and 14 N.W. from Brooklyn. Population, 1830, 2,660. The following is said to have occurred in this town, and is told to illustrate the manners and customs of ancient times. "A concourse of people were assembled on the hill in front of the meeting house, to witness the punishment of a man who had been convicted of neglecting to go to meeting on the Sabbath for a period of three months. According to the existing law for such delinquency, the culprit was to be publicly whipped at the post. Just as the whip was about to be applied, a stranger on horseback appeared, rode up to the crowd of spectators, and enquired for what purpose they were assembled. Being informed of the state of the case, the strange gentleman rose upright in his stirrups, and with emphasis addressed the astonished multitude as follows: 'You men of Ashford, serve God as if the D---l was in you! Do you think you can whip the grace of God into men? Christ will have none but volunteers.' The people stared, while the speaker, probably not caring to be arraigned for contempt of court, put spurs to his horse, and was soon out of sight; nor was he ever more seen or heard of by the good people of Ashford." Col. Thomas Knowlton was a native of this town. He was at the battle of Bunker Hill, and fell at Hærlem [sic] Heights, in 1776. Washington termed him, in a general order after his death, "the gallant and brave Col. Knowlton, who would have been an honor to any country." — John Hayward, The New England Gazetteer, 1839.