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Judicial and Testamentary Business of the Provincial Court, 1649/50-1657
Volume 10, Preface 5   View pdf image (33K)
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                             PREFACE.

      

      

         The present volume, being the second of the Provincial Court series,

       continues the record without any manifest break down to 1658. The

       rule of the commissioners under Parliament, after the battle on the

       Severn and surrender of Stone, is marked by proceedings against the

       Catholics, several of whom make confession of their faith in open court,

       and are fined, ostensibly on the ground of complicity with Governor

       Stone in his endeavor to hold the Province for the Proprietary.

         There is here the same remarkable absence of crimes of violence that

       we noticed in the former volume. There are but two cases of homicide

       one of which was by Indians, and in the other, the evidence hardly

       seems to warrant the conviction, though the culprit, Dandy, no doubt,

       richly deserved hanging, if not for the murder of his servant, at least for

       the murder of the Indian recorded in the previous volume; and it would

       have been an economy had he been hanged then.

         On page 374, and elsewhere, there are references to allowances of

       tobacco “out of the Dutch customs.” The act of 1649 provided that

       all tobacco shipped in Dutch bottoms to any other than British ports

       should pay to the Proprietary a duty of ten shillings per hogshead. Of

       this revenue one-half was to be applied to paying claims for services

       rendered in recovering the Province from Ingle's brigands.

         On page 336 we find one Symon Groves of New England designating

       himself as a “tobacco-roller.” This would seem to be one whose busi-

       ness it was to roll casks of tobacco from the plantations to, the landings;

       which was done by fitting the cask with an axle and a pair of shafts.

       Old “rolling-roads” still exist in some parts of the State, bearing witness

       to the excellence of colonial coopers.

         One of the oddest records is a formal agreement, or articles of court-

       ship, entered into between Peter Sharpe, the stepfather of Elizabeth Gary,

       and John Harwood. It appears that the party of the second part was

       an old suitor of Elizabeth, but had not found favor in the eyes of her

       parents, upon which he let his tongue wag rather too freely, and an

       action of defamation was brought. To hush all scandal, the parties

       indent that the damsel is to be removed to neutral ground, and that

       there the said Harwood is to have full liberty to tender his affections

       and press his suit in honorable fashion, one or more of the neighbors,

       however, being present all the time; and the said Harwood paying the

      



 
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Judicial and Testamentary Business of the Provincial Court, 1649/50-1657
Volume 10, Preface 5   View pdf image (33K)
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