By , May 24, 2012 10:17 am

Sixteen Shillings is Mark Belanger on guitar/vocals and Rob Dragunas on mandolin/vocals and various stringed instruments. Like us on Facebook, follow us Twitter, or on Google+.

Rob has played in a number of bands – everything from hard rock to celtic and has a degree in sound engineering. Mark played in Horti Izoto in the late 70’s, Brompton’s Mixture in the early 80’s and The Skidds up to the early 90’s. He came out of musical hiatus in 2005 to join a bluegrass band and then played solo for a couple of years before hooking up with Rob in 2011. Their similar musical history and love of old time, bluegrass, folk, celtic, and classic rock quickly led to a large eclectic set list and a performance style that features inspired instrumental interplay.

The name – Sixteen Shillings – is a nod to the history of the area both musicians live in. A large portion of Middleboro and Lakeville Massachusetts was bought from local indians in 1675 in a transaction known as the Sixteen Shilling Purchase.

Correction: I received the following email recently:

I really like the idea of the group’s name, but there’s more to it than that. Actually, the 16-Shilling Purchase of May 1675 subtended very little of what is now Middleboro, just three small parcels on the eastern side of the Great Ponds; and only the parts of present-day Lakeville lying south of Rte. 79 and east of a line running roughly from Long Pond at Robbins Lane to Precinct Village. The Purchase did, however, cover all of East Freetown. It contained in all about 41 square miles altogether, for which 33 pounds were paid. It it were 41.25 sq. mi., the price would have been exactly 16 shillings per square mile! For exact details and historical references please see pp. 11-12 of “The Beechwoods Confederacy 1709-1809” by Kenneth C. Leonard, Jr


We will update this page as we get more historical information on the Sixteen Shilling Purchase.


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