Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Oct 20 23:42:30 UTC 2008

In a book published in 1891 (1st ed. 1871), the author writes of the
central section of Boston in the early 17th century, that in that
area "dwelt the notables of the town,---the governor, the elder of
the church, the captain of the artillery company, and the most
needful of the craftsmen and artificers of the humble plantation; and
at a short distance from it were the meeting-house, the market-house,
the town-house, the school-house, and the ever-flowing spring of pure water."

Am I right in understanding "needful" here as adj.1, sense 1,
"Requisite, necessary, indispensable, essential." -- that is, where
one today might say "needed, necessary, essential" -- rather than
sense 2, "Of a person: poor, needy; lacking the necessities of life."?


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