Rough draft

In 1623, William and Edward Hilton sailed about 8 miles up the Pisscataqua, north of where David Thomson settled at Odirone, on a neck of land that was called Winnichahannat. They called it Northam.

The settlers later named it the Cocheco Plantation, adopting its Abenaki name, making Dover the oldest permanent settlement in New Hampshire, and seventh in the United States. In 1630, The Council of New England granted the area of the Piscataqua to Edward Hilton and his associates, and contained the towns Dover, Durham, Stratham, and parts of Newington and Greenland. Captain Thomas Wiggins was appointed agent for the grantees of the patent. (17)

One of the colony’s four original townships, it then incluced Durham, Madbury, Newington, Lee, Somersworth, and Rollinsford.

"in a little tyme following (we) settled up-  on the River Pascataqua with Mr. Edw. Hilton, who  (Edward and William) were the first English settlers  there. They had much intercourse with ye Indians by  way of trade and mutual giving and receiving; amongst  whom was one Tahanto, Sagamore of Penacooke (who)  for diverse kindnesses received from your petitioner's  father & himself, did freely give unto ye aforesaid Wil-  liam Hilton, Seniour & William Hilton, Juniour, six  square miles of land lying on ye River Penneconaquegg,  being a rivulett running into ye river Penacooke, to ye  eastward, etc., etc." (1)

(1) https://archive.org/stream/piscataquapionee00pisc/piscataquapionee00pisc_djvu.txt

Is the Wheelwright Deed 1629 Authentic? Being a settlement from this early, 1623, is a big deal, and here was debate on whether Hilton’s Point Dover was actually founded as far back as 1623, until this discovery seemed to confirm it:

a discovery in the Court files of Suffolk County of the Petition of William Hilton, sou of the first settler of that name, dated June i, 1660,  to the Honored General Court then assembled in Boston, in  relation to some lands bought by him and his father of the  Pennacook Indians in 1636. In this petition William Hilton  says, that "your petitioner's father, William Hilton, came  over into New England about the year Anno Dom. 1621,  and 3^our petitioner came about one year and a half after, and  771 a little time follozvins; settled ourselves upon the rive?- of Pis-  cataqua with Mr. Ed7v. Hilton, -who icere the first English  planters there.'' 

Edward Hilton obtained an important grant in his own name on March 12, 1630 and this solidified its place in history. The grant included present day Dover, Durham, Stratham, and parts of Newington and Greenland. To the natives, it was called Wecanacohunt.

People of interest:

CANNEY, THOMAS, 1600—1678. He was born 
in England and came to New England in 1631. He 
was a member of Capt. John Mason's company that 
commenced the settlement of Strawberry Bank. He 
came to Dover in 1634, having land in what is now 
Newington, then called Bloody Point-in-Dover. His 
farm was on the bank of the Pascataqua River, at the 
cove called Canney's Cove, the cove taking its name 
from its ownership of the surrounding land. He sold this land to John Seeley, and Seeley sold it to James Rawlins in 1661. Canney removed to Dover Neck before 1650, and resided there the remainder of his life.
 
The present shipyard in Newington is located on part of Thomas Canney's farm. Probably he never anticipated such a use of his shore line. Mr. Canney was a very active man in business affairs, also he was a stanch supporter of the First Church in the time when the Quaker women gave the Church so much trouble, after 1662. In 1670 Thomas Canney renewed his deed of prop-  erty to son Joseph; ''My late dwelling house and land,  bounded E. by Fore River; N. by a cove ;W. by ye Great  Streete On Dover Neck; S. by land of Joseph Austin.  Also a lot on Dover Neck, bounded N. by John Roberts ;  W. by a cove; S. by land lately Richard Pinkham's.  Also 4 acres on Dover Neck, bounded N. by common.  Also 30 acres west of Great Bay, except 3 acres of  marsh already laid out to son Thomas. Also 80 acres  on the north side of Cochecho Marsh. Also one-eighth  of Cochecho Point, bounded (undivided) by Cochecho  River, Newichawannoch River and Nechewannick Path  from Fresh Creek to St. Albans Cove." Acknowledged  6 October, 1670. Jabez Foye, Hatevil Nutter, Job  Clement, Sen., were witnesses. 
GIBBONS, AMBROSE, first comes to view as 
steward of Capt. John Mason at Newichawannock, 
though it has been asserted that he began a settlement 
at Cape Ann in 1621. In 1634, land was granted to 
him at Sanders Point, between Little Harbor and Saga- 
more Creek. He soon moved to Oyster River, in Dover. 
He is mentioned as Captain in 1642. He was one of the 
Selectmen of Dover in 1647 and 1648. He died 11 July,  1656. His wife's name was Rebecca; she died 14 May,  1655. Their only child, Rebecca, m. 13 Nov., 1637,  Henry Sherburne. She died 3 June, 1667. He was an  honest, capable and faithful steward, and knew better  than his employer what the plantation needed.  The land that he bought at Oyster River was the  farm known as the Robert Burnham farm, of which see  an account under Mr. Burnham's name in this book. It  may have been the same place where the old cellar now  is that he built his house ; probably it was the Gibbons  house that Burnham at first lived in. (It is an inter-  esting fact, too, that there once lived Capt. John Ma-  son's steward who came over in 1631.) His only daugh-  ter, Rebecca, m. Henry Sherburne of Portsmouth; to  their son, Samuel, grandfather Gibbons gave the farm  at Oyster River, and Samuel sold it to Robert Burnham,  as elsewhere noted. This is one of the historic farms  of Durham.