Saturday, June 29, 2019

Puritan Laws on Witches - Wenlock Christison defends doomed Quakers in 1659

Article from The Salisbury Times (now The Delmarva Times), Salisbury, Maryland 
by Dr. William H. Wroten, Jr.

"In the middle of the 17C, religious freedom was not a major characteristic of Puritan New England; in fact, persecutions were being committed; and Massachusetts was on the threshold of her witchcraft period. In September, 1659, three Quakers, Mary Dyer, William Robinson and Marmaduke Stevenson counting martyrdom were banished from Massachusetts. All three, however, returned and the two men were hanged. Mrs. Dyer, after having her hands and legs bound, face covered and the rope adjusted about her neck was reprieved. When she returned again in the spring of 1660, she was executed. Later in the same year Quaker William Leddra was to suffer the same fate...
"Massachusetts theocracy was fighting a hopeless battle. The suffering of the Quakers was winning sympathy from thousands who were not necessarily interested in the Quaker doctrine. Shortly before the execution of Leddra, Wenlock Christison walked into the office of Governor John Endicott, and looking him straight in the eye said, "I came to warn you that you should shed no more innocent blood, for the blood that you have shed already cries to the Lord for vengeance to come upon you."

"For his action, Christison was brought to trial but the magistrates were not sure what should be done, for public sentiment was turning against the cruel persecutions. Yet there was one among the group who was not hesitant, and that was Governor Endicott. Pounding on the table, the good governor exclaimed, "You that will not consent, record it. I thank God I am not afraid to give judgment." Governor Endicott had his way and Christison was condemned to death, but the sentence was never carried out. Partly from fear of interference by the King and also because of the growing opposition by the people, persecution began to take milder forms.

"Before this at Plymouth, Christison had been robbed of his waistcoat, had his Bible taken to pay for his fines, and suffered a whipping. Later he was banished from Boston and threatened with the death penalty should he return - but return he did, and on this occasion was told to renounce his religious principles or be executed. Although it was at this time that Christison saw Leddra hanged, he refused to change his faith or in any other way seek mercy from the court... 

"Back, by way of Salem, Wenlock Christison in June, 1664 met two other Quakers, Mary Thompson and Alice Gary, who recently had arrived from Virginia where they had been persecuted. Christison was shortly arrested on the old charge, and along with the women once again banished form the colony. Only this time all three were stripped to the waist, fastened to a cart and whipped through Boston, Roxbury and Dedham. Christison received ten lashes and the two ladies 6 lashes in each of the towns.

"Finding no haven in Rhode Island, (probably the only colony in all New England which could claim any religious toleration at this time) the three came back to Boston supposedly under the protection of the King's Agents. But again there was trouble, a trial and the sentence that they should be whipped out of the province. However, shortly after this all three sailed to the Caribbean region - never to return to New 1670 Wenlock Christison and Alice Gary were in Maryland. Dr. Peter Sharpe of Calvert County turned over to Christison 150 acres of land in Talbot County - a plantation fittingly named in Christison's case, the "Ending of Controversie."  The Quaker records of Talbot County show that a daughter, Elizabeth, was born to Wenlock and Mary Christison in 1673. 

"Christison soon rose to a position of trust in Maryland; he was one of the first Quakers to have the honor of holding public office. He became a member of the House of Delegates from Talbot County in 1676 and served in that body at St. Mary's City until his death in 1679." 

Post Script: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow recreated Christison's 1661 trial in John Endicott, one of 3 dramatic poems in a collection called New England Tragedies.

Friday, June 28, 2019

1658 The Male-Dominated British American Colonies - Evolving from Territories to a Hub of Commerce

Trafique, Commerce, and Trade are those great wheels that by their circular and continued motion turn into most Kingdoms of the Earth the plenty of abundant Riches that they are commonly fed withall: For Trafique in his right description is the very soul of a Kingdom...George Alsop, English indentured servant in Maryland, 1666.
What George Alsop called in 1666 "the very soul of a kingdom" had become a century later the central tie between Great Britain and her mainland Atlantic colonies. True, the pursuit of wealth was goal #1 for founding most colonies in the Americas, but in the 1600s Britain's primary focus was Europe—winning wars and gaining territory, influence, and "market share" — not America, where the commercial promise of its colonies stagnated.

Then the events of 1688 to 1713 changed everything, at least for males, in Britain and her American colonies. With the Glorious Revolution, the 1707 union of England and Scotland, and victory in the inter-colonial wars (creating a massive national debt), the "United Kingdom of Great Britain" became a first-class power. Militarily, its navy dominated the seas. Economically, its banks and financiers replaced the Dutch as the source of capital: working money. Commerce became the "soul of the kingdom," and Britain took a new look at North America. "By giving a new priority to overseas expansion," writes historian Alan Taylor, "the English committed their empire to maritime commerce rather than to European territory—a dramatic shift that elevated their American colonies to a new importance."

Alsop is remembered for a significant 1666 work on colonial Maryland: A Character of the Province of Mary-Land, wherein is Described in four distinct Parts, (Viz.) I The Scituation, and plenty of the Province. II The Laws, Customs, and natural Demeanor of the Inhabitant. III The worst and best Usage of a Mary-Land Servant, opened in view. IV The Traffique and vendable Commodities of the Countrey. Also a small Treatise on the wilde and naked Indians (or Susquehanokes) of Mary-Land, their Customs, Manners, Absurdities, & Religion. Together with a Collection of Historical Letters.(London, 1666).
George Alsop by William Sherwin National Portrait Gallery, London, After a 2-year apprenticeship, Alsop left London in 1658, due to a hatred for its local Puritans, according to his own account. Alsop worked as an indentured servant for 2 years. His master, Thomas Stockett (1635-1671), was one of 4 brothers who immigrated from England in 1658, settling in Baltimore County, Maryland. At the end of George Alsop's service to Thomas Stockett, he grew ill and returned to England. He then published his book on Maryland, asserting that his goal is to encourage European and English emigration to America. Alsop's eagerness to praise every aspect of Maryland dominates his work which does seem to be a fairly reliable historical source of information for early Baltimore County, Maryland, and the Native Susquehannock.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Making hay while the sun shines...

In both Britain & her American colonies, women & men often worked side-by-side to gather the hay.  Of course, the danger with having men & women working together is clear from the couple taking a break in the background enjoying each other in the shelter & shade of the haystack.
Is this an example of making hay while the sun shines?  The expression dates back many centuries, and has changed little in form. Meaning - Make the most of one's opportunities while you have the chance.

Origin - This proverb is first recorded in John Heywood's "All the Prouerbes in the Englishe Tongue"  1546:
Whan the sunne shinth make hay. Whiche is to say.
Take time whan time cometh, lest time steale away.

Many proverbs exist in other languages, but this one doesn't, and it's a reasonable surmise that the phrase is of English Tudor origin.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

New York Mohawk Catherine Tekakwitha 1656-1680 Converts to Catholicism

Catherine Tekakwitha (1656-1680), Mohawk convert to Catholicism, sometimes know as “The Lily of the Mohawks,” was born either at the Mohawk “castle” (village) of the Turtle clan, Ossernenon, on the south side of the Mohawk River near present-day Auriesville, N.Y., or at neighboring castle of Kaghnuwage (Gandaouaga). Her name is also found as Tegakwita, Tegah-Kouita, or Tegakouita.

Her mother, a Christian Algonquin who had been taken captive at Three Rivers, Canada, by a raiding band of Mohawks, escaped slavery or death through marriage to a native warrior. Two children were born of this union, Tekakwitha and a brother. A smallpox epidemic of about 1660 carried away both parents and the boy. The orphaned Tekakwitha recovered, but her eyesight was badly impaired and her face remained pockmarked. Adopted by her paternal uncle, she learned the usages and practices of the Mohawks.

Repeated forays for the Mohawk warriors against the French and their Indian allies culminated the French counterinvasion in 1666, which devastated the Mohawk country, forcing the inhabitants of Kaghnuwage to build a new village, Caughnawaga (Gandaougue), a half-mile to the west of present Fonda, N.Y.

The Mohawks sued for peace, which the French granted on condition that the Mohawks permit Jesuit missionaries to preach the Gospel in their villages. Three missionaries arrived in 1667. They were accommodated for three days at Caughnawaga in the longhouse of Tekakwitha’s uncle, the “foremost captain” in the village, before setting out to visit the other Mokawk villages.

In 1669 preparations were made for the construction of a chapel, dedicated to St. Peter, in Caughnawaga. Despite the opposition of her uncle, Tekakwitha, during 1675, requested to be instructed in the Christian faith, and on Easter Sunday, Apr. 18, 1676, she received baptism in St. Peter’s chapel and was given the name Catherine (rendered in the Mohawk tongue as Kateri)
One of the oldest portraits of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha by father Claude Chauchetière around 1696

Many Mohawks, however, opposed the missionary effort, and Tekakwitha was subjected to threats and maltreatment because of her new faith. She was stoned for refusing to work in the corn fields on the Sabbath. She therefore determined to join a group of Christian Mohawks who had migrated to the mission of St. Francis Xavier at Sault St. Louis (Lachine Rapids) in Canada, on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River.

In 1677, three Christian natives from that mission visited relatives at Caughnawaga, one of them a relative of Tekakwitha. Taking advantage of the temporary absence of her uncle, she left the Mohawk village and returned with the visitors to Sault St. Louis.

It was at Sault St. Louis that the religious and public life of Tekakwitha developed to such a degree that she was revered by all as a saintly woman. Contemporary biographies attest that this Indian maiden exercised every virtue in an extraordinary degree. Her love of God was manifested in frequent prayer and by daily visits to the mission chapel. By exterior conduct she revealed that he mind and heart centered upon God, seeing to do always what would be more pleasing to Him.

To the astonishment of the missionaries, Tekakwitha determined not to marry and confirmed that resolve by a vow of virginity will full knowledge that she would become dependent upon others for her support. She practiced charity toward all without exception, prudence in recognizing that prayer and labor each had its appropriate time, voluntary fastings and penances.

She died at Sault St. Louis at the age of twenty-four and was buried east of where the Portage River empties into the St. Lawrence. Spontaneous reverence caused Christian Indians and neighboring French inhabitants of Montreal to visit the grave of Tekakwitha, where they sought her intercession with God for themselves. This reverence, continued through generations, induced the Catholic Church to authorize in 1932, an investigation of the “Cause of Catherine Tekakwitha” for possible beautification and canonization.

See: Notable American Women edited by Edward T James, Janet Wilson James, Paul S Boyer, The Belknap Press of Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 1971.
Beauchamp, W.M. “Mohawk Notes,” Journal of American Folk-Lore, vol. 8, Boston, 1895
Béchard, Henri, S.J. The Original Caughnawaga Indians. Montreal: International Publishers, 1976.
Béchard, Henri, S.J. "Tekakwitha". Dictionary of Canadian Biography (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1966)
Cholonec, Rev. Pierre. "Kateri Tekakwitha: The Iroquois Saint". (Merchantville, NJ: Evolution Publishing, 2012)
Fenton, William, and Elisabeth Tooker. “Mohawk,” in Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 15: Northeast, edited by Bruce G. Trigger. Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1978.
Greer, Allan. Mohawk Saint: Catherine Tekakwitha and the Jesuits. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005
Hewitt, J.N.B. “The Iroquoian Concept of the Soul,” Journal of American Folk-Lore, vol. 8, Boston, 1895
Lecompte, Edward, S.J. Glory of the Mohawks: The Life of the Venerable Catherine Tekakwitha, translated by Florence Ralston Werum, FRSA. Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing Co., 1944.
Litkowski, Mary Pelagia, O.P. Kateri Tekakwitha: Joyful Lover. Battle Creek, Michigan: Growth Unlimited Inc., 1989.
O Connell, Victor. Eaglechild Kanata Publications, Hamilton, Ontario 2016
Sargent, Daniel. Catherine Tekakwitha. New York and Toronto: Longmans, Green and Co., 1936.
Shoemaker, Nancy. "Kateri Tekakwitha's Tortuous Path to Sainthood," in Nancy Shoemaker, ed. Negotiators of Change: Historical Perspectives on Native American Women (New York: Routledge, 1995), p. 49–71.
Steckley, John. Beyond their Years: Five Native Women's Stories, Canadian Scholars Press 1999
Weiser, Francis X., S.J. Kateri Tekakwitha. Caughnawaga, Canada: Kateri Center, 1972.

Monday, June 24, 2019

1656 John Hammond's Defense of Servitude for Women in Virginia

19C Depiction of Females Arriving In Jamestown, Virginia's Indentured Servants

Source: John Hammond. Leah and Rachel, or, The Two Fruitful Sisters Virginia and Maryland: Their Present Condition, Impartially Stated and Related (1656)

It is the glory of every Nation to enlarge themselves, to encourage their own foreign attempts, and to be able to be able to have their own, within their territories, as many several commodities as they can attain to, that so others may rather be beholding to them, than they to others...

But alas, we not only fail in this, but vilify, scandalize and cry down such parts of the unknown world, as have been found out, settled and made flourishing, by the charge, hazard, and diligence of their own brethren, as if because removed from us, we either account them people of another world or enemies.

This is too truly made good in the odious and cruel slanders cast on those two famous Countries of Virginia and Mary-land, whereby those Countries, not only are many times at a stand, but are in danger to moulder away, and come in time to nothing...

The Country [Virginia] is reported to be an unhealthy place, a nest of Rogues, whores, dissolute and rooking persons; a place of intolerable labour, bad usage and hard Diet, &c. To Answer these several calumnies, I shall first shew what it was? Next, what it is?

At the first settling and many years after, it deserved most of those aspersions (nor were they aspersions but truths).... Then were Jails emptied, youth seduced, infamous women drilled in, the provisions all brought out of England, and that embezzled by the Trustees (for they durst neither hunt fowl, nor Fish, for fear of the Indian, which they stood in awe of) their labour was almost perpetual, their allowance of victual small, few or no cattle, no use of horses nor oxen to draw or carry, (which labours men supplied themselves) all of which caused a mortality; no civil courts of justice but under a martial law, no redress of grievances, complaints were repaid with a word all and the worst that tyranny could inflict...

And having briefly laid down the former state of Virginia, in its Infancy, and filth, and the occasion of its scandalous aspersions: I come to my main subject, its present condition of Happiness (if anything can be called happy in this transitory life)...

The usual allowance for servants is (besides their charge of passage defrayed) at their expiration, a year's provision of corn, double apparel, tools necessary, and land according to the custom of the Country, which is an old delusion, for there is no land customarily due to the servant, but to the Master, and therefore that servant is unwise that will not dash out that custom in his covenant and make that due of land absolutely his own, which although at the present, not of so great consequences; yet in few years will be of much worth...

When ye go aboard, expect the Ship somewhat troubled and in a hurlyburly, until ye clear the lands end; and that the Ship is rummaged, and things put to rights, which many times discourages the Passengers, and makes them wish the Voyage unattempted: but this is but for a short season, and washes off when at Sea, where the time is pleasantly passed away, though not with such choice plenty as the shore affords.

But when ye arrive and are settled, ye will find a strange alteration, an abused Country giving the lie to your own approbations to those that have calumniated it....

The labour servants are put to, is not so hard nor of such continuance as Husbandmen, nor Handicraftmen are kept at in England, I said little or nothing is done in winter time, none ever work before sun rising nor after sun set, in the summer they rest, sleep or exercise themselves give hours in the heat of the day, Saturdays afternoon is always their own, the old Holidays are observed and the Sabbath spent in good exercises.

The women are not (as is reported) put into the ground to work, but occupy such domestic employments and housewifery as in England, that is dressing victuals, right up the house, milking, employed about dairies, washing, sewing, &c. and both men and women have times of recreations, as much or more than in any part of the world besides, yet some wenches that are nastily, beastly and not fit to be so employed are put into the ground, for reason tells us, they must not at charge be transported then maintained for nothing, but those that prove so awkward are rather burthensome than servants desirable or useful....

Those Servants that will be industrious may in their time of service gain a competent estate before their Freedoms, which is usually done by many, and they gain esteem and assistance that appear so industrious: There is no Master almost but will allow his Servant a parcel of clear ground to cut some Tobacco in for himself, which he may husband at those many idle times he hath allowed him and not prejudice, but rejoice his Master to see it, which in time of Shipping he may lay out for commodities, and in Summer sell them again with advantage and get a Pig or two, which any body almost will give him, and his Master suffer him to keep them with his own, which will be no charge to his Master, and with one years increase of them may purchase a Cow Calf or two, and by that time he is for himself; he may have Cattle, Hogs and Tobacco of his own, and come to live gallantly; but this must be gained (as I have said) by Industry and affability, not by sloth nor churlish behavior.

And whereas it is rumoured that Servants have no lodging other then on boards, or by the Fire side, it is contrary to reason to believe it: First, as we are Christians; next as people living under a law, which compels as well the Master as the Servant to perform his duty; nor can true labour be either expected or exacted without sufficient clothing, diet, and lodging; all which their Indentures (which must inviolably be observed) and the Justice of the Country requires.

But if any go thither, not in a condition of a Servant, but pay his or her passage, which is some six pounds: Let them not doubt but it is money well laid out...although they carry little else to take a Bed along with them, and then few Houses but will give them entertainment, either out of courtesy, or on reasonable terms; and I think it better for any that goes over free, and but in a mean condition, to hire himself for reasonable wages of Tobacco and Provision, the first year, provided he happen in an honest house, and where the Mistress is noted for a good Housewife, of which there are very many (notwithstanding the cry to the contrary) for by that means he will live free of disbursement, have something to help him the next year, and be carefully looked to in his sickness (if he chance to fall sick) and let him so covenant that exceptions may be made, that he work not much in the hot weather, a course we always take with our new hands (as they call them) the first year they come in.

If they are women that go after this manner, that is paying their own passages; I advise them to sojourn in a house of honest repute, for by their good carriage, they may advance themselves in marriage, by their ill, overthrow their fortunes; and although loose persons seldom live long unmarried if free; yet they match with as dissolute as themselves, and never live handsomely or are ever respected...

Be sure to have your contract in writing and under hand and seal, for if ye go over upon promise made to do this or that, or to be free, it signifies nothing.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

The Female Witch Myth - New England's Early 1656 Witch Trial

History of Witches and Wizards, 1720 or The history of witches and wizards: giving a true account of all their tryals in England, Scotland, Swedeland, France, and New England; with their confession and condemnation / Collected from Bishop Hall, Bishop Morton, Sir Matthew Hale, etc. By W.P. 1720

Trials for witchcraft in New England did not begin in 1692.  In The Salem Witch Trials: a Reference Guide by K. David Goss, he recounts the trial of Anne Hibbins who was hanged in 1656. Anne Hibbins (1656) was censured by Boston church leaders for her contentious behavior in repeatedly accusing a local craftsman of overcharging for his labor. She was furthermore charged with supplanting her husband’s position in dealing with this problem, violating the Puritan belief that wives should submit themselves to the leadership of their husbands. 

For this offense, she was unrepentant. She was removed from membership in the Boston church and found guilty of witchcraft in 1654, after the death of her husband. Although the magistrates denied the initial verdict, a 2nd trial was held before the Massachusetts Great and General Court. Anne Hibbins was convicted a 2nd time of witchcraft and executed in 1656. In his assessment of this tragedy, Governor Thomas Hutchinson (1711-1780), in his "History of Massachusetts," places the blame for this conviction upon the people of Boston who disliked Anne Hibbin’s contentious nature. He wrote that the trial and the condemnation of Anne Hibbins for witchcraft was "a most remarkable occurrence in the colony," for he found that is was her temper and argumentative nature, that caused he neighbors to accuse her of being a witch.


The Female Witch Myth was strengthened by English Jurist Matthew Hale (1609-1676), whose writings & court rulings on women were/are far-reaching & long-lasting. In 1662, he was involved in one of the most notorious of the 17C English witchcraft trials, where he sentenced 2 women to death for being witches. The judgment of Hale in this case was extremely influential in future cases in England & in the British American colonies, & was used in the 1692 Salem witch trials to justify the forfeiture of the accused's lands. As late as 1664, Hale used the argument that the existence of laws against witches is proof that witches exist.

Perhaps English Jurist Matthew Hale (1609-1676) read Malleus Maleficarum 1486 (translated by Montague Summers 1928 - see Google Books) Written in Latin & first submitted to the University of Cologne on May 9th, 1487, the title is translated as "The Hammer of Witches." Written in 1486 by Austrian priest Heinrich Kramer (also Kraemer) & German priest Jakob (also James) Sprenger, at the request of Pope Innocent VIII. As the main justification for persecution of witches, the authors relied on a brief passage in the Bible (the book of Exodus, chapter 22, verse 18), which states: "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." The Malleus remained in use for 300 years. It had tremendous influence in the witch trials in England & her North American colonies, & on the European continent. 

The Malleus was used as a judicial case-book for the detection & persecution of witches, specifying rules of evidence & the canonical procedures by which suspected witches were tortured & put to death. Thousands of people (primarily women) were judicially murdered as a result of the procedures described in the book because of having a strange birthmark, living alone, mental illness, cultivating medicinal herbs, or simply because they were falsely accused (often for financial gain by the accuser). The Malleus serves as a chilling warning of what happens when intolerance takes over a society.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Puritan Laws on Miscellaneous Sexual Offences - 1653-1683

Punishments for Miscellaneous Sexual Offences

June 9, 1653 An order was likewise passed from the Court requiring that Teag Jones & Richard Berry, & others with them, bee caused to part theire vnciuell liueing together, as they will answare it.

May 1, 1660 Att this Court Henery Howland, being summoned, appeered to answare for his entertaining another mans wife in his house after complaint made to him by her husband, & for permitting a Quakers meeting in his house, & for entertaining a forraigne Quaker contrary to order of Court. The first particulare hee stifely deneyed, & the euidence did not appeer to make it out...

October 5, 1663 Ralph Earle, for drawing his wife in an vnciuell manor on the snow, is fined twenty shillings.

March 1, 1663/1664 Timothy Hallowey, of Taunton, for misdemenor in frequent kising the wife of John Hathewey, & for being att the house of the said Hathewey att vnseasonable time, & for neglecting to appeer att Court according to summons, fined twenty shillings.

June 7, 1665 In reference vnto diuers complaints made conserning John Williams, Junior, his disorderly liueing with his wife, & his abusiue & harsh carriages towards her both in words & actions, in speciall his sequestration of himselfe from the marriage bed, & his accusation of her to bee a whore, & that especially in reference vnto a child lately borne of his said wife by him denied to bee legittimate, the Court saw cause to require bonds for the appeerance of the said Williams att this present court, & likewise sent for his wife to this Court; & after the hearing of seuerall thinges to & frow betwixt them, the said Williams being not able to make out his charge against her, they were both admonished to apply themselues to such waies as might make for the recouering of peace & loue betwixt them; & for that end the Court requested Isacke Bucke to bee officious therin, & soe dismised them from the Court for that time.

August 1, 1665 Att this Court, John Arther appeered, according to summons, to answare for abusiue speeches & for entertaining of the wife of one Talmon & the wife of William Tubbs; but the said Afther pretending hee could procure euidence to cleare him in some of the particulares charged, hee engageing to appeer att October Court, is for the present released.

October 3, 1665 Wheras Elizabeth, the wife of John Williams, hath bine openly traduced & scandulised in her name, & by false reports & reproaches rendered as if shee were a dishonest woman, & that the child shee brought forth into the world was not legitimate, these are to declare openly before the countrey, that the Court, haueing had sundry occations to heare & examine particulars sundry times relateing to the premises, can find noe cause of blame in her in such respects, but that shee hath behaued herselfe as one that hath faithfully obserued the bond of wedlocke, & that shee & her friends hath bine much wronged by such reports.

May 1, 1666 Att this Court, John Williams appeered to make answare for his continued abusing of his wife, by vnaturall carriages towards her both in words & actions, by rendering her to bee a whore, & for persisting on his refusing to performe marriage duty towards her according to the law of God & man; & forasmuch as the said Williams desired to bee tried in reference to the premises by a jury, the Court gaue him libertie soe to doe, either att this Court or att the Court to bee holden att Plymouth in June next; the said Williams desired it might bee att the last named, & heerby engageth to supply his wife in the mean time with money & other nessesaries withich shee shall stand in need of, & hath expressed himselfe to bee willing that shee shall stand in need of, and hath expressed himselfe to bee willing that shee shall or may repaire to her frinds vntill then, and then and att that time to attend the issue of the case on the fift day of the said Court weeke.

June 3, 1668 Att this Court, vpon the oftens and earnest suite of William Tubbs to be diuorsed from his wife, shee haueing for a longe time sequestered herselfe from him, and will not be perswaded to returne to him, the Court haue directed letter the Road Iland to the gouernment there, in whose jurisdiction shee now is, to request them to take course that shee may be informed of the Courts pleasure & determination, that incase shee, the said Marcye Tubbs, the wife of William Tubbs, doe not returne vnto her said husband between this date & the Court of his magesteries to be holden att Plymouth the first Tusday in July next, that then hee, the said William Tubbs, shalbe diuorced from her. [Divorce granted on July 7, 1668]

March 2, 1668/1669 Att this Court, Mary, the wife of Jonathan Morey, & her son, Benjamine Foster, appeered, being summoned to answare a complaint against the said Mary, for that shee, by her crewell, vnnaturall, & extreame passionate carriages soe exasperated her said son as that hee oftentimes carryed himselfe very much vnbeseeming him & vnworthyly towards his said mother, both by words & otherwise; yea, soe was her turbulent carriages towards him, as that seuerall of the naighbors feared murder would be in the issue of it; shee, the said Mary, being examined respecting the premises, & owned her fault, & seemed to bee very sorry for it, & promised reformation; the youth, her son, likewise owned with teares his euill behauior towards his mother, which gaue the Court such satisfaction as they passed his fault by with admonition; & in reference to the said Mary Morey, the Court, vpon her engagement of better walkeing, are willing to take further tryall of her, & therfore condecended to lett her son remaine with her vntill the next June Court, & then further to doe in the case as occation shall require.

July, 1683 Wheras Awashunkes, & her daughter Bettey, & her son Peter, were brought to this Court on sispition of theire haueing a hand in the murthering of a young child the said Bettey had, this Court, on examination of the case, the said Awashunkes [&] her said daughter sollemly affeirming the said child to be dead before it was born, & nothing as yett appeering to the contrary vnto the Court, they therfore were dismised; yett in regard to theire ill carriage in the management of that affaire concerning a woman to be whippt for reporting said Bettey was with child, when soe it afterward appeered to be really soe, the Court therfore order, that the two Indian squaes, that were appointed to serch the said Bettey, affeirming that shee was not with child, wherby Sames wife was whipt for the report aforsaid, shall pay, each of them, ten shillings in good currant pay to the said Sames squaw; & the said Bettey to pay to her the summe of twenty shillings in good pay; & each of the three, namely, Awashunkes, Bettey, & Peter, twenty shillings a peece towards the charge of theire bringing & imprisonment; & the said Bettey to be whipt by the Indians att Sconett, for her fornicatino; & the Indians there to doe what they can to find out any further grounds of suspition of said suspected murder, & if there appeer further just grounds of such a fact committed by any of them, them to cecure & send to the English authoritie, to be dealt with according to law.

Bradford, William.  Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647. Ed. by Samuel Eliot Morison. New York: Knopf (1952).

Dayton, Cornelia Hughes.  Women Before the Bar: Gender, Law, [and] Society in Connecticut, 1639-1789. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press (1995).

Demos, John.  A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony. London: Oxford University Press (1970).

Fischer, David Hackett.  Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America. London: Oxford University Press (1989).

PCR.  Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England. Ed. by Nathaniel Shurtleff and David Pulsifer. New York: AMS Press. 12 v. in 6.

Stratton, Eugene Aubrey.  Plymouth Colony: Its History [and] People, 1620-1691. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing (1986).

Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher.  Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650-1750. New York: Vintage Books (1980).

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

1629 Food in early New England

A Short and True Description of New England
by the Rev. Francis Higginson, written in 1629 
Printed for Michael Sparke, London, 1630.

Francis Higginson (1588-1630) was an early Puritan minister in Colonial New England, and the first minister of Salem, Massachusetts.

In our plantation we have already a quart of milk for a penny, but the abundant increase of corn proves this country to be a wonderment. Thirty, forty, fifty, sixty are ordinary here. Yea, Joseph’s increase in Egypt is here outstripped with us. Our planters hope to have more than a hundred fold this year, and all this while I am within compass — what will you say of two-hundred fold and upward? It is almost incredible what great gain some of our English planters have had by our Indian corn. Credible persons have assured me, and the party of it himself announced the truth of it to me, that from the setting of 13 gallons of corn, he hath had an increase of 52 hogsheads, every hogshead holding seven bushels of London measure, and every bushel was by him sold and trusted to the Indians for so much beaver as was worth 18 shillings, and so of this 13 gallons of corn which was worth 6 shillings 8 pence, he made about £ 327 of it the year following, as by reckoning it will appear; wherefore you may see how God blesseth industry in this land. There are not such beautiful and great ears of corn I suppose anywhere else but in this country, being also of variety of colors as red, blue and yellow, etc. And of one corn there springeth four or five hundred. I have sent you many ears of divers colors that you may see the truth of it. Little children here by planting of corn may earn much more than their own maintenance.
They have tried our English corn at new Plymouth plantation, so that all our several grains grow here very well, and have a fitting soil for their nature.

Our governor hath store of green peas growing in his garden as good as ever I ate in England. This country aboundeth naturally with store of roots of great variety and good to eat. Our turnips, parsnips and carrots are here bigger and sweeter than is ordinarily found in England. Here are also store of pumpkins, cucumbers, and other things of that nature which I know not. Also, divers excellent pot-herbs grow abundantly among the grass, as strawberry leaves in all parts of the country and plenty of strawberries in their time, and pennyroyal, wintersavory, sorrel, brooklime, liverwort, carvel and watercresses, also leeks and onions are ordinary, and divers medicinal herbs. Here are also abundance of other sweet herbs delightful to the smell, whose names we know not, etc., and plenty of single damask roses very sweet and two kinds of herbs that bear two kinds of flowers very sweet, which they say, are as good to make cordage or cloth as any hemp or flax we have.

Excellent vines are here up and down in the woods. Our governor hath already planted a vineyard with great hope of increase. Also, mulberries, plums, raspberries, corrance, chestnuts, filberts, walnuts, smalnuts, hurtleberries and haws of whitethorn near as good as our cherries in England, they grow in plenty here...

For beasts there are some bears, and they say some lions also; for they have been seen at Cape Anne. Also here are several sorts of deer, some whereof bring three or four young ones at once, which is not ordinary in England. Also wolves, foxes, beavers, otters, martins, great wild cats, and a great beast called a molke (moose) as big as an ox. I have seen the skins of all these beasts since I came to this plantation excepting lions. Also here are great store of squirrels, some greater, and some smaller and lesser. There are some of the lesser sort, they tell me, that by a certain skin will fly from tree to tree though they stand far distant...

Of the waters of New England with the things belonging to the same. New England hath water enough both salt and fresh, the greatest sea in the world, the Atlantic sea, runs all along the coast thereof. There are abundance of islands along the shore, some full of wood and mast to feed swine; and others clear of wood, and fruitful to bear corn. Also we have store of excellent harbors for ships, as at Cape Anne, and at Massachusetts Bay, and at Salem, and at many other places; and they are the better because for strangers there is a very difficult and dangerous passage into them, but unto such as are well acquainted with them, they are easy and safe enough. The abundance of sea-fish is almost beyond believing, and sure I should scarce have believed it except I had seen it with mine own eyes. I saw great store of whales, and crampus, and such abundance of mackerels that it would astonish one to behold, likewise codfish abundant on the coast, and in their season are plentifully taken. There is a fish called a bass, a most sweet and wholesome fish as ever I did eat. It is altogether as good as our fresh salmon, and the season of their coming was begun when we came first to New England in June, and so continued about three months space. Of this fish our fishermen take many hundreds together, which I have seen lying on the shore to my admiration. Yea, their nets ordinarily take more then they are able to haul to land, and for want of boats and men they are constrained to let many go after they have taken them, and yet sometimes they fill two boats at a time with them. And besides bass we take plenty of skate and thomback, and abundance of lobsters, that the least boy in the plantation may both catch and eat what he will of them. For my own part I was soon cloyed with them, they were so great, and fat, and luscious. I have seen some myself that have weighed 16 pounds, but others have had divers times so great lobsters as have weighed 25 pounds, as they assured me. Also here is abundance of herring, turbot, sturgeon, cusks, haddocks, mullets, eels, crabs, mussels and oysters...

Monday, June 17, 2019

Puritan Author Sarah Symmes Fiske 1652-1692

Sarah Symmes Fiske was born in 1652, in Charleston, Massachusets, and died in 1692, in Braintree, Massachusetts. Sarah, only 40 when she died, was the grandaughter of Zachariah Symmes, a noted New England minister. Her father William Symmes held the respected position of justice of the peace for the county of Middlesex, Massachusettes, and died just one year before his daughter. Her mother, also named Sarah, died when baby Sarah was only a year old.

Sarah married Harvard graduate and the new minister of the Braintree congregation in Norfolk County, Moses Fiske, when she was 19; and then she delivered 14 babies in 17 years. Moses, the son of clergyman John Fiske and Ann Gipps who had immigrated to the colonies from Suffolk, England, was ten years older than Sarah.

The huge family lived in a house on 6 acres of fenced land in Quincy. It was a hectic and frugal life. Her husband's stipend was paid partially in corn and wood. The congregation's meeting house was stone and furnished with a bell plus benches for seating women on one side and men on the other. There were 71 families in the Church of Braintree. During Fiske's ministry 147 members were added to the church. Sarah would not live to see three of her surviving sons attend college like their father, or her surviving daughters marry.

When she was 25 and in the midst of raising her young family, Sarah made time to write her spiritual autobiography like many others preparing for admission into membership in the church congregation. The minister's wife's document A CONFESSION OF FAITH: OR, A SUMMARY OF DIVINITY. DRAWN UP BY A YOUNG GENTLE-WOMAN, IN THE TWENTY-FIFTH YEAR OF HER AGE impressed the congregation, her family, friends and the wider community; and it was passed among members of her church for years after her death in 1692, before it was published in 1704. Writings by 17th and 18th century women were often not published until some time after their death.

Many spiritual autobiographies penned by New Englanders in the 17th century were dramatically written to convey the emotional turmoil of the congregant's wrenching quest for personal salvation. But Sarah Fiske decided to approach the mandatory confession in an impersonal, reasoned fashion. Because she married a minister at 19 and her grandfather was a minister, she was familiar with Ramist logic, the system of religious reasoning used by the New England Puritans in their theological discourses.

She presented a thoughtful religious examination topic by topic writing about the Bible; God's Creation; Man's Fall from Grace; The Punishments of Sin and Death; Grace and Predestination, and the promise of Jesus Christ. According to Sarah, all of these factors exhibited the overall redemptive plan of a great God.

Her work reflected on the organization of the contemporary church and the symbolism and importance of the sacraments. She concluded her examination with her brief vision of the apocalyptic end of this world reminiscent of the book of Revelations in the Bible.

Her work is important not just because of its analytical approach, but also because she was a woman writer deemed worthy of publication.

I Believe, That the Holy Scriptures, the Books of the Old & the New Testament, Penned by the Pro|phets & Apostles, are the Infallible Word of God, the Subject of true Divinity; That only Rule of Faith & Manners, teaching what man ought to Believe concerning God, and what Duty God requires of man.

I Believe, GOD is a most Pure, Powerful, Eternal, Un|changeable Being, Independent, Incomprehensible, Invsii|ble & Glorious; in whom all Fulness dwells, both of Holi|ness & Righteousness, Grace & Mercy, Wisdome & Truth.

I Believe, That there is but ONE God, and that there are Three Persons in the God-head; The Father, the Son, & the Holy Ghost. The Father is of Himself; The Son of the Father; and the Holy Ghost from the foregoing Persons in the Trinity.

I Believe, The Decrees of God are His Determinate Purpose of Effecting all things, by His Allmighty Power, according to the Counsel of His Will.

I Believe, God doth Execute His Decrees, in the works of Creation and Providence.

I Believe, The work of Creation is that, whereby God made the world & all things therein, of nothing, and very good.

I Believe, The Providence of God is that, whereby He accom|plisheth in His Creatures, what He intended in his Counsel.

I Believe, That as Man at first, was formed of the Dust of the Earth, consisting both of Soul & Body, being made Up|right, Cloathed with the Image of God; the Effects where|of, were a sweet and blessed Harmony of Union and Com|munion with God; so from this estate of happiness, all men fearfully Fell in Adam, thro' wilful Disobedience, in contradicting the Express Commandment of God, by Eat|ing the Forbidden Fruit. The Act of this Transgression, was compleated by our First Parents Eating that forbidden Fruit; in the Guilt of which Act, all the natural Posterity of Adam, are by the just imputation of God involved. The principal (blameable) cause was their abusing their Free|will: The helping cause was the Devil. Altogether un|blameable was the Command of God, against which Adam dashing himself, as a stately Vessel against a mighty Rock, made Ship-wreck of his whole estate. The Consequents whereof, were Guilt, Filth, and Punishment.

Guilt, is that Obligation, whereby the sinner is tyed to undergo due Punishment.

Filth, is that Spiritual Pollution, whereby the sinner is made void of all comeliness and honour, and is become vile.

Punishment, is the Reward of Evil, inflicted upon the sin|ner because of sin; which is, Death, both Spiritual & Corporal.

I Believe, That the sin which follows this Fall, is either Original, or Actual.

Original Sin, is an habitual inclination to walk contrary to the Law of God.

Actual Sin, is a continual Exercise of the Act, in going contrary to the Command of God. This comprehends both Sins of Omission and Commission.

The inchoation of Corporal Death, lies in a miserable pri|vation of the good things of this Life; the consummation whereof, is the separation of Soul and Body.

Spiritual Death, is a miserable privation of the comforta|ble life and happiness [especially] of the inner man. The Inchoation whereof consists in a desperate privation of the sweetness of Gods favour and presence. The Con|summation whereof is a final Dejection from the face of God, into Hell; of the Soul immediately after the First Death, & of the Soul & Body, joyned together at the day of Judgment.

And tho' all are thus fallen, yet,

I Believe, That there are some, (tho' but a few,) their number and names, being only known unto God, who shall be everlastingly saved from sin and sorrow, and freely re|ceived into everlasting life; being such as the Lord in His infinite wisdom hath made choice of, before the world was, to be His Militant Servants on Earth, & to be His Triumphant Saints in Heaven, thro' Riches of, Grace in Christ Jesus.

Restitution, is that whereby a man is lifted up, from a state of Sin and Death, into a state of Grace and Life. The parts whereof are Redemption and Application.

Redemption is that, whereby a man is freed from the Bon|dage of Sin & Satan, thro' the satisfaction of a Redeemer.

I Believe, That this Redeemer is the Lord Jesus Christ, by in ineffable Generation, the Eternal Son of God, whom the Father hath appointed from all Eternity, to purchase the Salvation of all the Elect of God; who willingly gave up himself to be a Sacrifice, for the sins of his People, & in order hereunto, took upon Him our Nature, in every thing made like to us, Sin only excepted, & the manner of His subsist|ing; and therefore He was made a fit, and suitable Re|deemer, both in respect of His Person in that He was God|man, and His Offices which he hath freely taken upon him, accomplishing from time to time, his Prophetical, Priestly, and Kingly Mediatorship. His Prophetical, in Revealing to man the deep things of the Wisdom and good Pleasure of God. His Priestly, in Expiating for Sin, and purchasing Favour with the Father, and making continual Intercession for us. His Kingly, whereby he leads men to the attain|ment of Holiness & Blessedness by an uncontroulable Power: Conquering his & our Enemies, & at last Raising us from the Dead. Thus Christ Redeems his Elect both by his Humi|liation and Exaltation. His Humiliation, in that Abasement of Christ, whereby he became subject to satisfy Divine Justice, for our Offences, and to merit life & happiness. His Exaltation, whereby he obtains a stately Victory, full of Glory and Triumph, over His and our Enemies.

I Believe, That the Effectual & saving Application of Christ and all his purchased Grace, in a Gospel way, is Exhibited in due season, to every one that belongs to the Election of Grace; which consists in Vnion and Communion with Christ.

Vnion with Christ, is the consent and agreement, whereby a Believer is joyned to Christ, as his Spiritual Head. This Union is begun, in the powerful Ministry of the Law, whereby the Soul is convinced of Sin, & the necessity of a Saviour; but it is accomplished in Vocation, which is a fruit of the Covenant, whereby the Lord powerfully accompanying his Word by his Spirit, doth not only graciously Invite, but effectually Draw the Soul to accept the Tender of Grace, and to embrace Fellowship with Christ Jesus. The special Graces here required are, Repentance and Faith.

Faith is that Grace of God, whereby the Soul is brought to confide, and acquiess in the Lord Jesus Christ, both for the Grace it stands in need of here, and for Glory hereafter.

Repentance is a turning of the whole man, from Sin unto God, with a resolution of, and endeavours after New Obedience.

Communion with Christ, is that whereby the People of God do participate with him, in all his Benefits revealed in Scripture▪ having his Righteousness imputed, together with his Active & Passive Obedience, for their Justification; and withal, the Priviledges of Son-ship or, Adoption, the Im|press of Christs likeness, upon their Souls in Sanctification; made Perfect in the Heavenly world, in a state of Glorification.

Justification is an Act of Gods free Grace; whereby he blots out all the Debts and Arrearages, of every believing sinner, for Christ his sake, and withal gives him a Bill of Dis|charge, from all the Accompts, that were between God and his Soul, receiving him as Righteous in his sight, both for the satisfaction of his Justice, & glory of his Mercy.

Adoption is that Grace of God, whereby he receives every believing sinner, in owning Himself to be their Father, and they to be His Children, and consequently, that they have right unto, and in due time shall have the possession of the promised Inheritance, which appertains to such a Relation. The effects whereof are Freedom from Sin, and Boldness to approach before God in Prayer.

Prayer is a going to God in the Name of Christ, by the help of the Spirit, whereby we present our desires before him, for things according to his Will.

I Believe, That Sanctification is a Work of Gods power, whereby sinners are translated from the pollution of sin unto the perfection of the Image of God; which is begun

in a state of imperfection in this life, made perfect & com|pleat in the world to come. The parts whereof, are Mor|tification, and Vivification. Mortification is a putting off the Image of Adam, by applying the Death of Christ. Vivifi|cation is a putting on, the Image of Christ, by applying the power of His Resurrection.

I Believe That Glorification is that perfecting Grace of God, whereby the number of his Elect, having compleated their warfare & work in this world, according to the will of God, are freely discharged of their sin and the events thereof, forever; and made Fellow-heirs with Christ, of all the promised Inheritance.

I Believe, the Church, the Subject of this blessing, is either General or Particular.

I Believe, That there is but one General, Universal, Invisible Church of the Saints, in which is contained, the whole num|ber of Gods Elect, that one Mystical Body, Christs Bride; the particular Members whereof, have the same Father, the same Christ, the same Spirit, the same Faith & Baptism. This Church is not compleated here, at one and the same time; for it is partly Militant, & partly Triumphant.

I Believe, That a Visible Particular Church, is a Society of Faithful ones, with their Seed, who are in Ecclesiastical Confaederation with God, and one with another. Or, a convenient Number of Faithful ones, Saints & their Seed, Order|ly, Solemnly, & Religiously, Covenanting with God, & each other, for the advancement of the Kingdom of God, and their own mutual Edification, by the improvement of all those means that are appointed to that end.

I Believe, This Church being compleat, consists of Officers and Members.

The Officers are Pastors Teachers, Ruling-Elders, & Deacons.

The Office & Work of a Pastor, is that whereby he bends himself, especially to apply the Word to the hearts of his Hearers, according to their several occasions & necessities.

The Labour of the Teacher is that, whereby he bends himself, especially to open the Scriptures, & divine principles, refuting errors

The Work of a Ruling-Elder, consists in waiting at the Doors of the Sanctuary, watching over the Church, and wayes of Church-Members.

The Office of a Deacon is to collect & distribute, the outward Estate of the Church, providing for the Table of the Lord,  Ministers, & the Poor, & that with all Chearfulness & Fidelity.

I Believe, That this Church thus constituted, & thus fur|nished, hath a right of Administring, both Seals & Censures.

The Seals are Baptism, and the Lords Supper. The former of Initiation the other of Education.

I Believe, That Baptism is that washing of the Flesh with wa|ter, in the Name of the Father, Son & Holy Ghost, whereby is signified, Christ in the promise, by whom we are washed from Sin, & made Righteous, deliverd from Death, & restored to Life.

I Believe, That the Lords Supper, is the second Sacrament of the New Testament, instituted by Christ, wherein by the signs of bread & wine, & the actions that concern the same, is shewed forth his death; and God doth signifie, seal, & exhibit the body & blood of Christ, with all the benefits of his Death & Passion, to every worthy receiver, for his Spiritual Nou|rishment, and Growth in Grace.

The Censures are Admonition & Excommunication. Admonition is that whereby a Brother openly offending, or not hearing his Brethren in private, is convinced, that he may be gained. Excommunication is that, whereby a Brother offending, and not hearing the Church, is excluded from the Communion of the Saints, for the cure of his Spirit, and the preserva|tion of the Church.

I Believe, That as the world had a beginning, so it shall have an end: At what time, both those that are Dead, and Alive, shall be gathered together before the Lord Jesus Christ to Judgment, at the sound of the last Trumpet; where every one shall receive a full Reward of their works: The Sheep being set at his right hand, are acquitted of sin, & re|ceived into glory; but the Goats at his left hand, are Sen|tenced irrevocably to suffer Everlasting Torments, with the Devil and his Angels, in the Lake of Unquenchable Fire and Brimstone. 


Sunday, June 16, 2019

1651 Women's Scarves run afoul of the Fashion Police in Massachusettes

Colonial Laws of Massachusetts, 1651
Sumptuary Laws - Regarding What a Colonist May or May Not Wear
The Freake Limner (American Colonial Era Painter, active 1670-c 1680) Mrs Elizabeth Freake and Baby Mary 1674

Among people of mean condition, to the dishonor of God, the scandal of our profession, the consumption of estates, and altogether unsuitable to our poverty...
1670 New England Portrait of Alice Mason, by an unknown artist

And also to declare our utter detestation and dislike...women of the same rank to wear silk or tiffany hoods, or scarves which, though allowable to persons of greater estates or more liberal education, we cannot but judge it intolerable. . . .

It is therefore ordered by this Court...that no person within the jurisdiction, nor any of their relations depending upon them, whose visible estates, real and personal, shall not exceed the true and indifferent value of £200, shall wear...scarves, upon the penalty of 10s. for every such offense and every such delinquent to be presented to the grand jury.

And forasmuch as distinct and particular rules in this case suitable to the estate or quality of each perrson cannot easily be given...whosoever they shall judge to exceed their ranks and abilities in the costliness or fashion of their apparel in any respect, especially in the wearing of ribbons or great boots (leather being so scarce a commodity in this country) lace, points, etc., silk hoods, or scarves...

Friday, June 14, 2019

Fashion Police - Massachusettes 1651 - Women of mean condition should not wear gold or silver lace, or silk hoods

Colonial Laws of Massachusetts, 1651
Sumptuary Laws - Regarding What One May or May Not Wear

ALTHOUGH SEVERAL DECLARATIONS and orders have been made by this Court against excess in apparell, both of men and women, which have not taken that effect as were to be desired, but on the contrary, we cannot but to our grief take notice that intolerable excess and bravery have crept in upon us, and especially among people of mean condition, to the dishonor of God, the scandal of our profession, the consumption of estates, and altogether unsuitable to our poverty.
And, although we acknowledge it to be a matter of much difficulty, in regard of the blindness of men's minds and the stubbornness of their wills, to set down exact rules to confine all sorts of persons, yet we cannot but account it our duty to commend unto all sorts of persons the sober and moderate use of those blessings which, beyond expectation, the Lord has been pleased to afford unto us in this wilderness.

And also to declare our utter detestation and dislike that men and women of mean condition should take upon them the garb gentlemen by wearing gold or silver lace, or buttons, or points at their knees, or to walk in great boots; or women of the same ran to wear silk or tiffany hoods, or scarves which, though allowable to persons of greater estates or more liberal education, we cannot but judge it intolerable. . . .

It is therefore ordered by this Court, and authority thereof, that no person within the jurisdiction, nor any of their relations depending upon them, whose visible estates, real and personal, shall not exceed the true and indifferent value of £200, shall wear any gold or silver lace, or gold and silver buttons, or any bone lace above 2s. per yard, or silk hoods, or scarves, upon the penalty of 10s. for every such offense and every such delinquent to be presented to the grand jury.

And forasmuch as distinct and particular rules in this case suitable to the estate or quality of each perrson cannot easily be given: It is further ordered by the authority aforesaid, that the selectmen of every town, or the major part of them, are hereby enabled and required, from time to time to have regard and take notice of the apparel of the inhabitants of their several towns respectively; and whosoever they shall judge to exceed their ranks and abilities in the costliness or fashion of their apparel in any respect, especially in the wearing of ribbons or great boots (leather being so scarce a commodity in this country) lace, points, etc., silk hoods, or scarves, the select men aforesaid shall have power to assess such persons, so offending in any of the particulars above mentioned, in the country rates, at £200 estates, according to that proportion that such men use to pay to whom such apparel is suitable and allowed; provided this law shall not extend to the restraint of any magistrate or public officer of this jurisdiction, their wives and children, who are left to their discretion in wearing of apparel, or any settled militia officer or soldier in the time of military service, or any other whose education and employment have been above the ordinary degree, or whose estate have been considerable, though now decayed.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Quakers in America 17C-18C (1651-1660)

Hugh Barbour and J. William Frost, The Quakers (1988).

The Society of Friends, or Quakers, began at the tail end of Europe’s Protestant Reformation in the 17th century. The missionary efforts of the earliest Friends took them to North America, where they became heavily involved in Pennsylvania politics before reversing their views on government participation in the mid-1750s. The Society became the first organization in history to ban slaveholding, and in the 1800s Quakers populated the abolitionist movement in numbers far exceeding their proportion of all Americans.

Because the Protestant reformers of the 16C attempted to eliminate intermediaries between God and people, the Society of Friends, or Quakers, may be regarded as the fullest expression of the Reformation. Most reformers rejected some sacraments and priestly offices of the Roman Catholic church, but the Quakers omitted them all, including baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and any ordained, paid clergy. Quakers instead relied upon the direction of what they called “Christ within” or the Inner Light. Their worship consisted of waiting in silence until the Inner Light led members to share their religious concerns with the brethren.

To most Protestants, this primary reliance on inward inspiration depreciated the authority of the Bible, the centrality of the historical Jesus and the Atonement, and hierarchy within church, state, and family. The earliest Quakers (in England, 1651-1660) seemed to confirm the worst suspicions of their critics by proselytizing with abandon and adding thousands to their numbers. Then and later, they were persecuted as “ranters” or anarchists. Even within the Society of Friends the significance of the Atonement and the Bible remained an unsettling question, causing schisms, especially in the nineteenth century. But Quakers enjoyed a complementary freedom from biblicism that permitted the Society uniquely to innovate and change radically over the centuries. Quaker abolitionism was one such innovation.

The missionary efforts of the earliest Friends, including founder George Fox, took them to North America where, as in England, they were persecuted. Massachusetts Bay Colony executed four. Quaker colonization of America, however, offered the prospect of a refuge and more. In contrast to other radical offspring of the Reformation, such as the Amish, Quakers believed that government was divinely instituted and virtuous men and women must help make it operate as God intended. No Quaker did more to enlist his brethren into public service than William Penn. In Pennsylvania, a responsive government of virtuous men would encourage peace, justice, charity, spiritual equality, and liberty for the benefit not just of Quakers but also of Native Americans and non-English refugees from Europe. It was to be a “Holy Experiment” and, in its way, as much a “City on a Hill” as New England.

Although the reality fell short of Penn’s utopian hopes, it still succeeded mightily in the opinion of immigrants and posterity. Ambition, envy, and avarice produced thirty years of tumultuous politics in the new province and left Penn convinced that his experiment had failed. But at the same time, Pennsylvania gained a reputation as the “best poor man’s country,” free of feudal elites, established churches, tithes, discriminatory oaths, high taxes, compulsory military service, and war. While Pennsylvania prospered, Quakers prospered more than others. They always composed the majority of the elite merchants of colonial Philadelphia as well as the most prosperous farmers of the eastern counties.

Although at odds with each other politically, Quakers nevertheless dominated the government of Pennsylvania. By 1740 Quaker politicians had become sufficiently anxious about their ever-declining proportion of the population and their more aggressive political enemies that they closed ranks and formed possibly the most formidable Whig political organization in colonial America, the Quaker party.

Ironically, political hegemony and social and economic preeminence raised dissenting voices among Friends, and in the 1750s they determined to reverse the direction the Society had taken since 1682. They believed that Quaker participation in government had brought with it intolerable compromises in such Quaker beliefs as pacifism and that many Friends, especially wealthy ones, had assimilated “worldly” secular behavior. After another generation there would be nothing left of Quakerism but the name, lamented one dissenter. To restore the integrity of the Society, reformers insisted on strict enforcement of all its mores, especially endogamy, and in the violence brought to Pennsylvania by the French and Indian War, they demanded that Quakers resign from public office rather than become bellicose. On the social front they moved quickly against deviancy, expelling more than one in five Friends by 1775, but not until the more intense public crisis of the Revolution did all Friends leave public office and the Holy Experiment completely end.

This sectarian revival in the Society brought with it an outburst of philanthropy and testimonies that have become synonymous with Quakerism. From 1755 to 1776, the Society became the first organization in history to ban slaveholding, and Quakers created abolition societies to promote emancipation. In the next century, Quakers populated the abolitionist movement in numbers far exceeding their proportion of all Americans. Some labored for such gradual solutions as the colonization of freedmen, while more conspicuous Quaker abolitionists espoused immediate emancipation. The latter were critically important to organizations like the American Anti-Slavery Society, the Philadelphia Anti-Slavery Society, and the Female Antislavery Society, and to active resistance such as the “underground railway” in Pennsylvania and the Midwest. Following the example of eighteenth-century abolitionist Anthony Benezet, Friends showed an interest in the education and social progress of blacks. During Reconstruction, American and English Quakers raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for freedmen’s relief and established scores of schools for freedmen.

Penn’s legendary friendship with Native Americans partly underlay Quakers’ renewed pacifism during the French and Indian War and their concurrent departure from government. Thereafter they continued to pursue justice and charity for Native Americans and in the post-Civil War era lobbied and cooperated with the federal government in the administration of Indian affairs in the trans-Mississippi West.

Women Friends shared in all these testimonies and philanthropies. Since the 1650s when Margaret Fell invaluably aided George Fox, whom she later married, women’s role and status in the Society of Friends more closely approached equality with men’s than in any other Christian church. Preaching and ministering to mixed audiences, traveling extensively unaccompanied by men, regulating the lives of fellow Quaker women without men’s assistance (such as in church discipline and marriage arrangements), Quaker women knew a sphere of activity and attained a range of skills that surpassed those of their non-Quaker cohorts. Not surprisingly, historian Mary Maples Dunn found that in nineteenth-century America Quaker women comprised 40 percent of female abolitionists, 19 percent of feminists born before 1830, and 15 percent of suffragists born before 1830.

Although Quakers never returned to public office in any great number after 1776, they never retreated from politics. They believed that out of office, immune to the verdict of the ballot box, they could serve as democracy’s conscience better than ever before.

Although a more regimented Society emerged from the 18C reformation, the Society almost never disciplined a Friend over theology. That tolerance ended in the nineteenth century, however. In 1827 the venerable Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Friends split into an evangelical group (called the “orthodox”) and a liberal group (called “Hicksite”). In succeeding years, divisions increased, spreading to other areas and yearly meetings of America and also subdividing already fractured meetings. Anxiety over Unitarian theology, languishing membership, industrialization, and the disciplinary powers of meetings, among other things, contributed to the splits. Quaker energies and voices, which had been better focused since the 1750s, became dissipated in intramural recriminations. Quakers continued to practice antislavery, pacifism, and their traditional philanthropies, but not as one body.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Women in America Timeline 1651-1670

Timeline Of Events Directly Affecting Women

Copies of complete documents may be found by clicking on highlighted descriptions.

Immigrants moving south from Virginia settle the coast of present-day North Carolina. A governor is appointed in 1664, but the first town is established by the arrival of the French Huguenots in 1704.

Slave Francis Payne of Northampton County, Virginia, paid for his freedom about 1650 by purchasing three white servants for his master's use. Francis Payne was married to a white woman named Amy by September 1656, when he gave her a mare by deed of jointure.

First Indian Reservation is created near Richmond, Virginia.

Rhode Island enacts the first law restricting slavery in the colonies and declares slavery illegal for more than 10 years.

Massachusettes requires all black and Indian male servants to receive military training

Boat with twenty-three Jews, mostly refugees from Recife, Brazil, arrives in New Amsterdam (New York), marking the beginning of Jewish communal settlement in North America.

A Virginia court allows African Americans to hold slaves.

Jews in New Netherlands are granted rights to trade, travel, and stand guard.

Elizabeth Key, daughter of a slave, sues for her freedom and wins in Virginia. (See blog for further information.)


Members of the Religious Society of Friends, commonly referred to as Quakers, arrive in Boston from England. While springing from the same religious turmoil that gave rise to the Separatist movement, the Quakers lack respect for hierarchy and believe in man’s ability to achieve his own salvation. Tenets so contrary to orthodox Puritanism quickly turn most New Englanders against them.

Massachusetts Bay Colony Puritans whip, imprison, & banish the first Quakers to arrive in the colony. Legislation in 1658 bars the Quakers from holding their services, called "meetings."

On 22 September 1656 in Maryland, an all-woman jury, the first in the colonies, acquits Judith Catchpole on charges of murdering her unborn child.

The small number of Quakers in Plymouth Colony congregate primarily in Sandwich on Cape Cod and in Scituate. Laws are passed forbidding any to transport Quakers into the colony, to give them “entertainment” (housing) or to attend a Quaker meeting. Punishments include fines, whipping, imprisonment or banishment. A number of people are brought before the courts on these charges.

The Massachusetts Bay Colony passes a law fining any person b
ringing a Quaker into the colony £100. A Quaker returning to the colony, after being expelled, will have their ears cropped and their tongues bored with hot iron.

Jews in New Netherlands are granted rights to own property and to establish a Jewish cemetery.

Virginia passes a fugitive slave law strong

At Oliver Cromwell's death, the English Commonwealth soon dissolves. The late monarch's heir is brought out of exile to rule as Charles II in 1660. The decades following the reestablishment of the monarchy are marked by a surge of artistic, literary, and dramatic output.

Three Quakers each lose an ear after returning to Massachusetts. The Boston authorities pass a new law with the penalty for expelled Quakers returning to the colony being death.

Long Island passes a similar anti-Quaker law.

Quakers William Robinson & Marmaduke Stephenson are hanged for refusing to leave Massachusetts. Mary Barrett Dyer, a follower of Anne Hutchinson & later a Quaker, is scheduled to hang with them but is reprieved at the last minute.

Mary Barrett Dyer is executed on Boston Common for her Quaker proselytizing & for defying an expulsion order by returning to Boston. She is one of four Quakers hanged between 1659 and 1661.

The English Crown approves a Navigation Act requiring the exclusive use of English ships for trade in the English Colonies & limits exports of tobacco and sugar & other commodities to England or its colonies.

An Act for Supressing the Quakers is passed in Virginia.

Charles II, King of England, orders the Council of Foreign Plantations to devise strategies for converting slaves and servants to Christianity.


The first native Africans were brought to Virginia in 1619. They were hired, with rights of contract, for work on large plantations of tobacco, rice, & indigo. By the 1660s, plantation owners change the laws & revoke contracts, so that African men, women, & children cannot earn their freedom.

After her husband's death in 1660, Margaret Hardenbrook de Vries (later Philipse) takes over his business as a merchant buying furs and shipping them to Holland in return for Dutch products, which she sells in New Amsterdam. Although she remarries, she continues to run the business until she dies in 1690. 

Massachusetts continues to punish Quakers by hanging those who refuse to leave the colony. After a royal edict requires Massachusetts authorities to release imprisoned Quakers & return them to England, the authorities allow them to leave for other colonies. Corporal punishment for Quakers & other dissenters is suspended in the Massachusetts Bay colony by order of Parliament.

Virginia General Assembly declares children of enslaved women to be slaves.

Massachusetts reverses a ruling dating back to 1652, which allowed blacks to train in arms. New York, Connecticut, and New Hampshire pass similar laws restricting the bearing of arms.

The Carolinas. King Charles II of England grants a charter for the Carolina colonies to 8 loyal supporters. The Province of Carolina was divided into North Carolina & South Carolina in 1712. (Both colonies became royal colonies in 1729.)

A Declaration and Proposals of the Lord Proprietor of Carolina, Aug. 25-Sept. 4

Navigation Act of 1663 requires that most imports to the colonies must be transported via England on English ships.

In Gloucester County, Virginia, the first documented slave rebellion in the colonies takes place.

Maryland legalizes slavery.

The British take control of New Amsterdam & New Netherlands, introduce English constitutional forms. The Dutch settlers were able to retain their properties & worship as they please. The Colonial Dutch style of art & life remains pervasive in New York throughout the 18th century.

The Concession and Agreement of the Lords Proprietors of the Province of New Caesarea, or New Jersey, to and With All and Every the Adventurers and All Such as Shall Settle or Plant There; February 10

Grant of the Province of Maine; March 12

The Duke of York's Release to John Ford Berkeley, and Sir George Carteret; June 24

Anne Bradstreet’s MEDITATIONS DIVINE AND MORALL is a collection of her prose devotional writings written for her son Simon, which draw on her daily experiences. Probably written between 1655-1665, but found after her death in 1672.

Maryland is the first colony to take legal action against marriages between white women and black men.  Maryland, 1664: The first colonial "anti-amalgamation" law is enacted (amalgamation referred to "race-mixing"). Other colonies soon followed Maryland's example.

The State of Maryland mandates lifelong servitude for all black slaves. New York, New Jersey, the Carolinas, and Virginia all pass similar laws


Legislation in several states tightens the bonds of slavery. English law provides that slaves may be freed if they convert to Christianity and establish legal residence, but Maryland, New York, New Jersey, the Carolinas, and Virginia pass laws allowing conversion & residence without freeing any slaves.

Concessions and Agreements of the Lords Proprietors of the Province of Carolina

Charter of Carolina; June 30

Great Plague of London begins.

Maryland passes a fugitive slave law.

Virginia declares that Christian baptism will not alter a man or a woman's status as a slave.

Virginia, 1667: Christian baptisms would no longer affect the bondage of blacks or Indians, preventing enslaved workers from improving their legal status by changing their religion.
New Jersey passes a fugitive slave law.

The Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina : March 1

The State of Virginia prohibits free blacks and Indians from keeping Christian (i.e. white) servants.

Yale Law School, The Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History, and Diplomacy. New Haven, CT.


HISTORY MATTERS. American Social History Project / Center for Media and Learning (Graduate Center, CUNY) and the Center for History and New Media (George Mason University). Internet.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

1650s Virginia Court Records - Elizabeth Key - Slave or Free?

Elizabeth Key or Kaye Greensted, called Black Bess, was the daughter of a slave black mother and a free white father. In 1636, her father either sold or transferred ownership of Elizabeth to another white settler, whom she supposedly would serve for 9 years before being released from bondage. During the 9 years, her ownership was transferred again, this time to a justice of the peace.

When this owner died in 1655, Elizabeth, through her lawyer, petitioned the court, asking for her freedom. By this time she had already served 19 years. The court granted her her freedom, but the decision was appealed to a higher court. That court overturned the lower court's ruling, declaring that Elizabeth was a slave. Elizabeth & her lawyer didn't stop there. They petitioned the Virginia General Assembly, which appointed a committee to look into the matter. The committee sent the case back to the courts for retrial. Elizabeth was ultimately freed.

Her attorney, William Greensted argued that her conditon was determined by her father, a free white man, and not by her slave mother. They win the case, and former slave Key marries her white attorney, William Greensted, by whom she already has two children.

The tangled web does not end there. In 1662, Virginians enact a law specifically stipulating that a child's condition is determined by that of the mother. The offspring of a master and his slave will remain slaves. In 1661, Maryland law makes all blacks in the colony slaves and declares all newborn African Americans are slaves regardless of their parents status. In 1664, Maryland outlaws marriage between white women and black men.

The Case of Elizabeth Key
from Northumberland County, Virginia, Record Books, and the Northumberland Counry, Virginia, Order Book. 

The Court doth order that Col. Thomas Speke one of the overseers of the Estate of Col. John Mottrom deceased shall have an Appeale to the Quarter Court next att James Citty in a Cause depending betweene the said overseers and Elizabeth a Moletto hee the said Col. Speke giving such caution as to Law doth belong. Wee whose names are underwritten being impannelled upon a Jury to try a difference between Elizabeth pretended Slave to the Estate of Col. John Mottrom deceased and the overseers of the said Estate doe finde that the said Elizabeth ought to be free as by severall oathes mightappeare which we desire might be Recorded and that the charges of Court be paid out of the said Estate. Memorandum it is Conditioned and agreed by and betwixt Thomas Key on the one part and Humphrey Higginson on the other part that the said Thomas Key hath put unto the said Humphrey one Negro Girle by name Elizabeth for and during the term of nine yeares after the date hereof provided that the said Humphrey doe find and allow the said Elizabeth meate drinke & apparrell during the said tearme And allso the said Thomas Key that if that if the said Humphrey doe dye before the end of the said time above specified that then the said Girl be free from the said Humphrey Higginson and his assignes Allsoe if the said Humphrey Higginson doe goe for England with an Intention to live and remaine there that then hee shall carry said Girle with him and to pay for her passage and likewise that he put not off the said Girle to any man but to keepe her himselfe In witness whereof I the said Humphrey Higginson Sealed and delivered in the presence of us Robert Booth, Francis Miryman. 20th January 1655, this writing was Recorded.

Mr. Nicholas Jurnew aged 53 yeares or thereabouts sworne and Examined Sayth That about 16 or 17 yeares past this deponent heard a flying report at Yorke that Elizabeth a Negro Servant to the Estate of Col. John Mottrom deceased was the Childe of Mr. Kaye but the said Mr. Kaye said that a Turke of Capt. Mathewes was Father to the Girle and further this deponent sayth not. signed Nicholas Jurnew 20th January 1655. Jurat in Curia ("sworn in court")

Anthony Lenton aged 41 yeares or thereabouts sworne and Examined Sayth that about 19 yeares past this deponent was a servant to Mr. Humphrey Higginson and at that time one Elizabeth a Molletto nowe servant tothe Estate of Col. John Mottrom deceased was then a servant to the said Mr. Higginson and as the Neighbours reported was bought of Mr Higginson with the said servant both himself and his Wife intended a voyage for to England and at the nine yeares end ( as the Neighbours reported ) the said Mr Higginson was bound to carry the said servant for England unto the said Mr. Kaye, but before the said Mr Kaye wen this Voyage hee Dyed about Kecotan, and as the Neighbours reported the said Mr. Higginson said that at the nine yeares end hee would carry the said Molletto for England and give her a portion and lett her shift for her selfe And it was a Common report amongst the Neighbours that the said Molletto was Mr Kays Child begott by him & further this deponent sayth not the marke of Anthony Lenton 20th January 1655. Jurat in Curla

Mrs. Elizabeth Newman aged 80 yeares or thereabouts sworne and examined Sayth that it was a common Fame in Virginia that Elizabeth a Molletto nowe servant tothe Estate of Col. John Mottrom deceased was the Daughter of Mr. Kay; and the said Kaye was brought to Blunt-point Court and there fined for getting his Negro woman with Childe which said Negroe was the Mother of the said Molletto and the said fine was for getting the Negro with Childe which Childe was the said Elizabeth and further this deponent sayth not. The marke of Elizabeth Newman 20th January 1655. Jurat in Curia

John Bayles aged 33 yeares or thereabouts sworne and Examined Sayth That at the House of Col. John Mottrom, Black Besse was tearmed to be Mr Kayes Bastard and John Keye calling her Black Bess Mrs. Speke Checked him and said Sirra you must call her Sister for shee is your Sister and the said John Keye did call her Sister and further this deponent Sayth not. The marke of John Bayles 20th January 1655. Jurat in Curia

The deposition of Alice Larrett aged 38 yeares or thereabouts Sworneand Examined Sayth that Elizabeth which is at Col. Mottroms is twenty five yeares of age or thereabouts and that I saw her mother goe to bed to her Master many times and that I heard her mother Say that shee was Mr. Keyes daughter and further Sayth not. The marke of Alice Larrett. Sworne before Mr. Nicholas Morris I Jan. 1655. 20th January this deposition was Recorded

Anne Clark aged 39 or thereabouts Sworne and Examined Sayth that shee this deponent was present when a Condition was made betweene Mr. Humphrey Higginson and Mr. Kaye for a servant called Besse a Molletto and this deponent's Husband William Reynolds nowe deceased was a witness but whether the said Besse after the Expiration of her time from Mr Higginson was to be free from Mr Kaye this deponent cannot tell and Mr Higginson promised to use her as well as if shee were his own Child and further this deponent Sayth not. Signum Ann Clark. 20th January 1655. Jurat in Curia Elizabeth Newman aged 80 yeares or thereabouts Sworne and Examined Sayth that shee this deponent brought Elizabeth a Molletto, Servant to the Estate of Col. John Mottrom deceased, to bed of two Children and shee layd them both to William Grinsted and further this Deponent Sayth not. Elizabeth Newman Her marke. 20th January 1655 Jurat in Curia

A Report of a Comittee from an Assembly Concerning the freedome of Elizabeth Key. It appeareth to us that shee is the daughter of Thomas Key by severall Evidences and by a fine imposed upon the said Thomas for getting her mother with Child of the said Thomas. That she hath bin by verdict of a Jury impannelled 20th January 1655 in the County of Northumberland found to be free by severall oathes which the Jury desired might be Recorded. That by the Comon Law the Child of a Woman slave begott by a freeman ought to bee free. That shee hath bin long since Christened. Col. Higginson being her Godfather and that by report shee is able togive a very good account of her fayth. That Thomas Key sould her onely for nine yeares to Col. Higginson with severall conditions to use her more Respectfully then a Comon servant or slave. That in case Col. Higginson had gone for England within nine yeares hee was bound to carry her with him and pay her passage and not to dispose of her to any other. For theise Reasons wee conceive the said Elizabeth ought to bee free and that her last Master should give her Corne and Cloathes and give her satisfaction for the time shee hath served longer then Shee ought to have done. But forasmuch as noe man appeared against the said Elizabeth's petition, wee thinke not fitt a determinative judgement should passe but that the County or Quarter Court where it shall be next tried to take notice of this to be the sence of the Burgesses of this present Assembly and shall appear to be executed and reasons [original torn] opposite part Judgement by the said Court be given Charles Norwood Clerk Assembly. James Gaylord hath deposed that this is a true coppy. James Gaylord. 21 July 1656. Jurat in Curia

20th of March 1655 Ordered that the whole business of Elizabeth Key be returned to the County Court where the said Elizabeth Key liveth. This is a true copy from the book of Records of the Order granted the last Assembly Ateste Robert Booth 21th July 1656 This Order of Assembly was Recorded Upon the petition of George Colclough one of the overseers of Col. Mottrom his Estate that the cause concerning a Negro wench named Black Besse should be heard before the Governor and Councell. Whereof in regard of the Order of the late Assembly referring the said caise to theGovernor and Councell at least upon Appeale made to them. These are therefore in his Highness the Lord Protector his name to will andrequire the Commissioners of theCounty of Northumberland to Surcease from any further proceedings on the said Causeand to give notice to the parties interested therein to appear before the Governor at the next Quarter Court on the fourth day for a determination thereof.

Whereas Mr. George Colclough and Mr. William Presly, overseers of the Estate of Colonell John Mottrom deceased, were Summoned to theis Court at the suite of Elizabeth Kaye both Plaintiffe and Defendant being present and noe cause of action at present appearing, The Court doth therefore order that the said Elizabeth Kaye shall be non-suited and that William Grinsted, Atturney of the said Elizabeth, shall by the tenth of November next pay fifty pounds of tobacco to the said overseers for an non-suite with Court charges else Execution. Whereas the whole business concerning Elizabeth Key by Order of Assembly was Referred to this County Court. According to the Report of a Comittee at an Assembly held at the same time which upon the Records of this County appears, It is the judgment of this Court that the Said Elizabeth Key ought to be free and forthwith to have Corne Clothes and Satisfaction according to the said Report of the Comittee. Mr. William Thomas dissents from this judgment.

These are to Certifie whome it may concerne that William Greensted and Elizabeth Key intends to be joyned in the Holy Estate of Matrimony. If any one can shew any Lawfull cause why they may not be joyned together lett them Speake or ever after hold their tongues Signum William Greensted Signum Elizabeth Key 21th July 1656. This Certificate was Published in open Court and is Recorded.

I Capt. Richard Wright administrator of the Estate of Col. John Mottrom deceased doe assigne and transfer unto William Greensted a maid servant formerly belonging unto the Estate of the said Col. Mottrom commonly called Elizabeth Key being nowe Wife unto the said Greensted and doe warrant the said Elizabeth and doe bind my Selfe to save here and the said Greensted from any molestation or trouble that shall or futurely arise from or by any person or persons that shall pretend or claime any title or interest to any manor of service from the said Elizabeth. Witness 21 July 1659. Test William Thomas, Richard Wright, James Austen.