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Proceedings of the Provincial Court, 1677-1678
Volume 67, Preface 26   View pdf image (33K)
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             xxvi                Introduction.

             borow, who was, in fact, a servant to Peter Archer of Calvert County, peti
             tioned the Court that he had come into the Province through an agreement be
             tween his father and Charles Gosprit of London. James was to he an assistant
             to Mr. Gosprit's son in Maryland, and he was presumably to learn the business.
             Father Disborow had paid his son's passage and had provided him with food
             for the voyage, but when James arrived in the Province, he had been disposed
             of as a servant. John Harris, master of the Dover, on which young Disborow
             had come in, was summoned to appear and testify whether the boy was a
             servant or not, and the vessel was not to be cleared for sailing until he had done
             so (post, p. 26). Nothing more is heard of this case now.
              Even when the Court accepted the fact that someone was a servant it might
             and often did consider his wellbeing. Many Marylanders had themselves been
             servants in their day. On November 28, 1676, Mary Jones, wife of Morgan
             Jones, asked for and got an order protecting her against her husband's ill usage.
             Now, on February 13, 1677/8, she reported to the Court that he had refused
             to obey the order and had forced her from the plantation on which they lived,
             a plantation which she said had come to her from the father of her child. The
             Court now ordered that Morgan give good security to abide by the order, but
             it ordered also “that the peticonr Mary give good security to this Court that
             she shall not criple maim or lame ffrancis Brown who was allowed by the afore
             said order to fetch her wood & water” (post, p. 226; Archives LXVI, p. 315).
             Did the Court think that Mary was of the same cruel sort as her husband? Nor
             was Francis Browne the only servant for whom the Court showed considera
             tion. June 13, 1678, Thomas Bland petitioned the Court that Edward Dorsey
             had entered his dwelling plantation and had taken away three of his servants.
             One of the three, John Booth, ran away from Dorsey and drowned himself.
             Another, a maidservant named only Alice, “was by the said Dorseys misusage
             brought to a dangerous sicknes”, and when she was “in her extremity of sick
             nes”, Dorsey told Bland to come and take her away “which he refused to doe.”
             Apparently Dorsey recognized Bland's right to the servant, but when Bland
             refused to take her away, Dorsey got a warrant from Richard Hill, one of the
             Anne Arundel County justices, and had Bland imprisoned in “the said Justices
             house then & still a publick Ordinary” for five days. There was already bad
             blood between Bland and Hill (Archives LXVI, pp. xxiv, 396-397) and be
             tween Bland and Dorsey (ibid., pp. 421-422). Bland was not set free from
             the ordinary-and-jail until he signed a recognizance for 10,000 pounds of to
             bacco to behave well toward the servant Alice, to carry her away from Dorsey's
             house, and to leave Justice Hill harmless. Bland now asked the Court to dis
             charge him from the recognizance, and it was “Ordered by the Court here that
             the aforsaid Recognizance be Cancelled & made void.” (Archives LXVI,
             pp. 114, 421; post, pp. 420-421). No one knows what happened to Alice.
              In spite of the cruelty of Dorsey, and the suspected cruelty of Mrs. Morgan
             Jones, there were few cases now comparable to those of former years. John
             Grammer (Archives XLIX, pp. 307-312), and Captain and Mrs. Bradnox
             (Archives LIV, pp. 224-226) were all dead; Pope Alvey, though alive (and
             litigious) no longer appears charged with stealing or with murdering his serv

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Proceedings of the Provincial Court, 1677-1678
Volume 67, Preface 26   View pdf image (33K)
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