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Proceedings of the County Courts of Kent (1648-1676), Talbot (1662-1674), and Somerset (1665-1668)
Volume 54, Preface 28   View pdf image (33K)
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       xxviii              Somerset County.

       mission was Edmund Scarburgh, with Randall Revell and John Elzey as his
       associates. The selection of Scarburgh by the Proprietary was a most extraor-
       dinary one. He was not only a non-resident of Maryland, but held the im-
       portant position of Surveyor-General of Virginia, and was a member of the
       Council and of the Assembly of Virginia. His appointment was undoubtedly
       made in the hope of propitiating and winning over to the Proprietary side this
       powerful leader of the hostile Virginia group, firmly determined if possible to
       wrest from Maryland the thirty-mile strip claimed by Virginia on the basis of a
       fictitious landmark. It was soon to become evident, however, that not only
       was Scarburgh not to be thus won over, but that Revell's loyalty was equally
         Settlers other than Quakers, probably in great part members of the estab-
       lished church, had also settled in Manokin, and this settlement and Annemessex
       had so increased in numbers that on May 2, 1662, the Governor and Council,
       while continuing its commission for granting lands to Scarburgh, Revell, and
       Elzey, also issued a special commission “to keep the peace on the Eastern
       Shore” to Randall Revell, John Elzey, and William Thorne, and Thorne
       was also appointed Commander of the Company of Foot. The powers of this
       court over which Revell presided did not extend to civil suits involving over
       2000 pounds of tobacco, nor are any powers to act in criminal cases mentioned,
       although probably implied (Arch. Md. iii, 452-453). The commissioners were
       also empowered to appoint a sheriff to serve “till a county be erected “, but if
       a sheriff was appointed his name has not been learned. The number of taxables
       at this time was given as fifty, indicating a population of about 175 persons.
         On Feb. 4, 1662/3, power to grant lands as well as to keep the peace was
       entrusted to a single commission, of which John Elzey was made the presiding
       justice, with Randall Revell and Stephen Horsey, associated with him; but on
       Feb. 20, a new commission was issued with Elzey and Horsey “continued”
       and William Thorne and Capt. John Odber “joined “, and with the provision
       that Randall Revell “bee out” (Arch. Md. iii, 469, 471). Scarburgh and
       Revell were now obviously under suspicion. On April 29, 1663, August 15,
       1663, and February 10, 1663/4, the same four commissioners were recom-
       missioned (Arch. Md. iii, 476, 488, 490).
         The Quakers from Northampton, who had begun their trek into Maryland
       in 1660 and 1661, settled themselves in great part in Annemessex, while as
       said before, the Manokin district was apparently largely settled by Virginia
       Anglicans. Judging from the number of land grants the population was rapidly
       increasing. The Virginia Assembly, which met in September 1663, apparently
       upon false representations made to it by Scarburgh, passed an act declaring
       the northern border of that colony to be a line drawn east through the fictitious
       Watkins Point lying some thirty miles north of the true point of this name,
       and ordering all the inhabitants in the disputed territory to submit at once to
       the Virginia authorities (Hening; Statutes at Large of Va., ii, 183-184). The
       act also contained a provision that representatives of the two colonies should
       meet together and mark out a dividing line. This action of Virginia was not
       entirely unexpected, for on February 23, some seven months before, Scarburgh

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Proceedings of the County Courts of Kent (1648-1676), Talbot (1662-1674), and Somerset (1665-1668)
Volume 54, Preface 28   View pdf image (33K)
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