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Proceedings of the Provincial Court, 1666-1670
Volume 57, Preface 61   View pdf image (33K)
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                         Introduction.             lxi

   recently been introduced into Maryland. This was much preferred to the coarse
   wild tobacco indigenous to the middle Atlantic coast. The value of a pound of
   ordinary tobacco was given in 1666 as a penny and a half (p. 52) ; in 1668
   as a penny and three quarters (p. 240) ; and in 1669 as a penny (p. 416).
     In a suit involving the amount of the balance due on a debt which was to be
   paid not in “good sound merchantable tobacco” but “in sweet scented tobacco”
   one pound of the latter was to be valued as the equivalent of the two pounds
   of the former. At the February, 1670, court in the suit of the administrator
   of Richard Attkins against Jenkin Price, a witness deposed that Price had
   brought over from Pocomoke on the Eastern Shore to the Patuxent River three
   hogsheads of tobacco which he had paid to Attkins, and this deponent further
   said that Attkins had told him that this was “the best hoggshead of Sweet
   Scented tobacco he had seen this year” and that “he was to allow him two for
   one for it” (pp. 532-533).
     Attention has been called in an earlier volume to the use of the Broad
   Arrow by the sheriff to mark tobacco and other properties which belonged to the
   Lord Proprietary, or had been seized by the sheriff for rents, fees, or fines due
   to the Proprietary, as authorized by the act of 1642 (Arch. Md. XLIX; xxvi-
   xxvii). This followed the use of the same symbol in England to mark certain
   Crown property. In a case heard at the December, 1668, court, a certain John
   Anderton by John Morecroft, his attorney, sued Thomas Hynson, sheriff of
   Talbot County, for 3000 pounds of tobacco “upon a Note charg'd on the Deft”
   by the Governor. It would appear that the plaintiff objected to the tobacco
   offered him by the sheriff, who averred that it was “sound merchantable to-
   bacco” he had collected in payment of quit rents, and that it was “likewise then
   marked wth the lord Proprs mark and for the use of the said Lord Propr"
   (pp. 373-374). This mark was of course the Broad Arrow. In a criminal
   case before the court at its December, 1670, session Anthony Lecompt of
   Dorchester County, planter, indicted for violating the act of 1663 prohibiting
   anyone from disposing of tobacco paid to the Lord Proprietary for fees, rents,
   etc., or altering or scratching out his mark, was brought before the court for
   trial. He was charged with having purloined two hundred pounds of “neate
   tobacco” out of one of his Lordship's hogsheads. Lecompt was acquitted
   after “much debate” (pp. 622-3).
     Two words, now largely out of current use, found in this record, are
   “blotter” and “waste book”, for a rough account book or waste-book, in which
   entries are first made before posting. In a suit for debt before the December,
   1668, court the defendant by his attorney John Morecroft, sought to avoid pay-
   ment on the ground that “a merchants or shopkeepers Blotter” or “Wast book”
   was not sufficient evidence of a debt, but the court adjudged that as Thomas
   Freeman, against whose administrator the suit had been filed, had died before
   he had time to post his books, the “blotter” was good evidence (pp. 377-378).
   Henry Ward of Baltimore County on February 10, 1669/70, had an allow-
   ance made to him in the public levy of 1090 pounds of tobacco for the accom-
   modation at the “Barrones” of Jerome White Surveyor-General of the Prov-
   ince, and for his expenses at “Amickinn”, as well as for boat-hire and “3 horses
   


 
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Proceedings of the Provincial Court, 1666-1670
Volume 57, Preface 61   View pdf image (33K)
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