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Proceedings of the Provincial Court, 1675-1677
Volume 66, Preface 24   View pdf image (33K)
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           xxiv                 Introduction.

           each of them sued the other; Warwick charged Ridgell with unjustly detain-
           ing the clothes and asked 2500 pounds of tobacco; Ridgell charged Warwick
           with trespass upon the case, in refusing to pay his account, and he too asked
           2500 pounds. Both sides prayed a jury trial, and the trial was held. The jury
           found the balance of both actions for each of them, and ordered that each pay
           his own costs (post, 252-254). Six of one and half a dozen of the other.
             Damaris Wyatt, who took Attorney Thomas Bland as her third husband,
           was an approved midwife. She and Nicholas Wyatt, her second husband, with
           a daughter by her first husband, had come from Virginia into Maryland, and
           settled on the Severn River. Wyatt, who may have been a surveyor, had laid
           out for him several parcels of land on the south side of the river, and there
           they lived. He died late in 1672 or early in 1673, for his will was probated
           in January 1673. Damaris went on living in the same place, and, on October 4,
           1673, she took “One Dorothy Bruton into her house who was then very sick
           and bigg with Child” (post, p. 261) and cared for her for three weeks. Edward
           Gardner, whose interest in Dorothy is nowhere explained, had especially asked
           Damaris to do this, and he had “faithfully promise[d] to satisfie the said
           Damoris what she Should reasonably deserve” (ibid.). There may have been
           some connection between Gardner and Dorothy Bruton: she was never called
           Mrs., and never said to have had a husband. When she died, in July 1675, she
           left two daughters, and she made Gardner her executor. When Gardner him-
           self died, in March 1676, he left a plantation to Dorothy and her heirs, though
           she was already dead when his will was drawn up. Besides this, he left land to
           her daughter Mary, and personalty to her daughter Eliza (Will Book V, p. 5).
           But he did not pay Damaris for her care, despite his promise, and she and
           Bland, now her husband, sued his executor, Richard Hill, in the Anne Arundel
           County Court, asking 2100 pounds of tobacco for twenty-one days care. Those
           judges thought this was unreasonable, and Bland then commenced action in
           the Provincial Court against Hill. He asked 1200 pounds of tobacco, but the
           jury and the Court awarded him 400 pounds damages and 1047 pounds costs.
           Hill refused to pay, and in April 1677, Bland got out an execution against
           Gardner's estate, with the unusual provision that if it were not large enough
           to satisfy the execution, the costs should be levyed from executor Hill's own
           estate. And Sheriff John Welsh returned that he had executed a gelding horse
           belonging to Hill. Two days later Hill told his story to the Court. The execu-
           tion had been surreptitious and vicious, and he prayed that it be suspended and
           that this riding horse be returned to him, “Whereupon it . . . [was] granted
           by the Court here that a writ of restitution be granted unto the said Richard
           Hill with costs.” (post, pp. 396-397). Whether Damaris ever got paid is not
           known.

                           SHIPS AND MARINERS

             Although there were no cases heard in admiralty as such at this time, there
           were cases involving ships and mariners, but they were heard by the Provincial
           Court in regular session. On February 10, 1675/6, the Attorney General,
           Vincent Lowe, acting for the Proprietary, brought in an information against
           


 
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Proceedings of the Provincial Court, 1675-1677
Volume 66, Preface 24   View pdf image (33K)
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