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Kent County Court Records
Court records from 17th-century Kent County, Maryland, arranged by theme.

Transcribed and compiled by Dr. Alexa Cawley, Ph.D.






Index | Search | Criminal Charges - Sorted by last name of complainant



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Complainant Name



Defandant Name

Deare

John

Court Date

2/7/1657; 8/1/1657

Witnesses

Thomas Bradnox, Robert Dunne, Gregory Murrell, Anne Murell, John Salter, henery Clay, John Ereckson

Type of Charge

cattle theft?

Description 1

discussion at Kent House (an inn or store?) about hides that John Deare brought in that were missing horns and ears; Dearesaid the dogs or wolves ate them; Gregory Murell testified that he was with Deare near Kent Manor in December and Deare asked him to

Description 2

help him kill a bull that was his, he didb't look for the mark until Bradnox came out and then he took note that the ears and horns were missing; Salter was with Bradnox and asked Ann Murell about the hides and she said the cow had Deare's mark on it; the

Description 3

bull had the face, ears and horns cut away; Ereckson said around 12/21 Deare came to his house in the night and Ereckson asked him what was the matter and at first Deare denied it but then said he had killed a "great lusty barrow but he Did not know whose

Description 4

it was; they then carried it to E's house, he was afraid to carry it to greens for fear the sheriff would seize him, after the hog was dressed he gave Ereckson the head; mark given but when Ereckson asked whose it was Deare said he had most right to it

Description 5

8/1/57: complaints of many people that Deare kills cattle old and young and marks calves he pretends are his own, Court orders Deare may not go alone into the woods but must take 2 honest neighbors, Deare consents

Court Findings

jury verdict on 3/2/1657 found not guilty, edward Copedge foreman; Court orders Deare may not go alone into the woods but must take 2 honest neighbors, Deare consents

Source

LIV 88-89, 103, 111



Complainant Name



Defandant Name

Bradnox

Thomas

Court Date

1/20/1650 at St. Mary's

Witnesses


Type of Charge

for felony (death of servant?)

Description 1


Description 2


Description 3


Description 4


Description 5


Court Findings

found not guilty

Source

LIV 3, fol 33,35; Hansen's Old Kent 19-21



Complainant Name



Defandant Name

Burton

Edmund

Court Date

7/1/1656

Witnesses

Robert Dunne

Type of Charge

hog theft??

Description 1

"That yor deponent beeinge at Goodman Martines, sume type in Dessenbr to the best of his knowledge, hee heard Goodman martin say tht Edmund Burton had a sowe at his house, with seauen piggs or more, & wondred hee did not looke after her

Description 2


Description 3


Description 4


Description 5


Court Findings


Source

LIV 65



Complainant Name

??


Defandant Name

Salter

John

Court Date

9/1/1656

Witnesses

William Price

Type of Charge

theft of soap

Description 1

last June Price, Salter, John Ringgold and Thomas Hill Jr. went to Mr. Utie's store at Severn; apy out a hogshead or two of tobacco to buy necessaries, asked for soap and women shoes but there was none to be had, Salter went into store with utie and Price

Description 2

saw him handling a "Chapeknine of a hatt, & the hatts lay upon a box tht was halfe Opne, & about helfe full of soape & as on hand was upon the hatts hee slide the other doene, into the box, which made yor depn duspect hee might take sume soape out of the

Description 3

box, & Cominge out of the store yor depondent loockt upon his pocket & saw it whitt & yor deponent askt him what hee had got in his pocket & hee ansr: I tould mr Utie my wiffe was at great want of soape, * hee verie kindly gaue mee a peece, & puld it out

Description 4

of his pocket & shoed it hun & it was a smal Cake of soeape"; John Ringgold testifies pretty much the same

Description 5


Court Findings

no outcome recorded

Source

LIV 70-71



Complainant Name

Bagar

Williams

Defandant Name

Maine

David

Court Date

2/16/59

Witnesses

1 subpeona

Type of Charge

battery

Description 1


Description 2


Description 3


Description 4


Description 5


Court Findings


Source

LIV 184



Complainant Name

Bradnox

Thomas

Defandant Name

Wickes

Joseph

Court Date

2/1/1655 or 12/1655?

Witnesses


Type of Charge

taking a canoe

Description 1

the complaint was not proved so no order passed

Description 2


Description 3


Description 4


Description 5


Court Findings

not proved

Source

LIV 48; Liber A folio 114



Complainant Name

Bright

Francis

Defandant Name

Carlyen?

Henry?

Court Date

1652

Witnesses

John Gould, 40, servant

Type of Charge

theft

Description 1

Gould testified that "Your deponent did carry home a suit of curtains to Francis Bright, by order from his master, Mr. Carylen; after which time your depondent did see about hald a yard of Francis Bright's stuff at his master's house"

Description 2


Description 3


Description 4


Description 5


Court Findings


Source

LIV 6



Complainant Name

Browne, constable

Edward

Defandant Name

Shembrooke

Francis

Court Date

6/28/1670

Witnesses


Type of Charge

bastard child and master's abuse

Description 1

constable presents her to Court for having bastard child, father is not known; ordered to bring to next court; ordered that she have 20 lashes, but sentence appealed by her master (Meconicon) and some women so punishment remitted;

Description 2

Shembrooke declared at the time of her travail and by oath in court as two women declare it on oath that James Phillips is the father of her child; Phillips ordered to pay security for half maintenance of the child after he is free and his masters (Bishop

Description 3

and Palmer have engaged to enter a bond for him and that the child not be chargeable to the county

Description 4

Shembrooke complained of abuses and ill uses "as bymthe Marks And tokens she hath shewed" against her Master Mr. William Bishop and Robert Palmer, which she proved by 3 witnesses; Court orders they will pay the costs of the suit and also 100 lbs of tobac

Description 5

co for her maintenance until she is able to work;

Court Findings

see above

Source

LIV 291-2



Complainant Name

County


Defandant Name

Jenkins

Hannah

Court Date

10/13/1668

Witnesses


Type of Charge

infanticide

Description 1

information submitted to commissioners that Hannah Jenkins, daugher-in-law of Mr. George Harris, was delivered of a male child; jury of women ordered to search Hannah's body to see if she had a child

Description 2

Jury of women: Mary Vicaris, Rebecka Denny, Christian Ringgold, Elizabeth Coppage, Dorothy Williams, Margrett Jones, Elizabeth Winchester, Hannah Dabb, Katherine Osbourne, Ann Blunt, Mary Southerne, Kathorine Scale (see how many husbands are commisioners

Description 3

jury said she was clear of childbearing; her father in law acted as her attorney in court;

Description 4

Hannah Jenkins then sues Isabella Head for slander, George Harris acts as Jenkins atty,

Description 5


Court Findings

Court ordered her cleared of all charges; Court ordered Head to ask for forgiveness in open court and pay all charges

Source

LIV 250-251



Complainant Name

Court


Defandant Name

Hardiman alias Stoill

John

Court Date

11/1/1659

Witnesses


Type of Charge

adultery, living with Jane Fox as his wife

Description 1

Capt Vaughan questioned Stoill and separated them for not being married, Stoill confessed he lay with Jane Fox but said Mr. Ladamore could prove they are married; Stoill also lay claim for land for transporting Jane Fox

Description 2


Description 3


Description 4


Description 5


Court Findings


Source

LIV 172, 173



Complainant Name

Eliot and Ringgolde

Wm and John

Defandant Name

Price

William

Court Date

1/1/1655

Witnesses

Mrs. Francis Morgan, Margret Balie, Margret Winchester, Henry Morgan, Nicholas Pickard

Type of Charge

hog theft

Description 1

Morgan reported he "went into the woods & had in his Company his own boy & Nicholas Pickard & Wm Price & beeinge in the woods the boy and price parted from them and afterward wee heard a gunne goe off & Conceiued it to bee price tht shott, & in the euenin

Description 2

when wee mett togather at Brounes hous, yr dpoent askt him if he kild any thinge, & hee Ansr no & swore it with bitr Othes. . .

Description 3


Description 4


Description 5


Court Findings

not proved

Source

LIV 42,43,49-51; Liber A folio 110



Complainant Name

Eliot and Ringgolde

Wm and John

Defandant Name

Salter

John

Court Date

1/1/1655

Witnesses

Mrs. Francis Morgan, Margret Balie, Margret Winchester, Henry Morgan, Nicholas Pickard

Type of Charge

hog theft

Description 1

write this one out, very detailed LIV 42-43

Description 2


Description 3


Description 4


Description 5


Court Findings

guilty

Source

LIV 42,43,49-,51; Liber A folio 110



Complainant Name

Eliot and Ringgolde

Wm and John

Defandant Name

Salter

Jane (wife of John)

Court Date


Witnesses

Mrs. Francis Morgan, Margret Balie, Margret Winchester, Henry Morgan, Nicholas Pickard

Type of Charge

hog theft

Description 1


Description 2


Description 3


Description 4


Description 5


Court Findings

guilty

Source

LIV 42,43,49-,51; Liber A folio 110



Complainant Name

Euens

Martin

Defandant Name

Bagar

Williams

Court Date

2/16/1659

Witnesses


Type of Charge

battery

Description 1


Description 2


Description 3


Description 4


Description 5


Court Findings


Source

LIV 184



Complainant Name

Hinson

Thomas

Defandant Name

Ward

Thomas

Court Date

10/1/1656

Witnesses

Joseph Wickes, Nicholas Brodaway

Type of Charge

trespass?

Description 1

Hinson said Ward paid him 1 hh of tobacco, that Hinson marked it with his marke and number and left it at Wards house, Ward "suddenly after, denined the deliuerie thereof, to the plaintfe, who alsoe sent seamen to demaund it, & the lickwise were denied,

Description 2

soe tt the sd Mr Hinson did not only pay dead fraight but lost his market"; Wickes testified that Ward claimed he did not have it; Brodaway confirms Wickes testimony, referenced to next court; Hinson requests that it be sent to Provincial Court

Description 3

is Ward's place on the river and that's why it was left there?

Description 4


Description 5


Court Findings

Hinson asks that case be sent to Provincial Court

Source

LIV 72-73, 76



Complainant Name

Iliue

Isaac

Defandant Name

Salter

John

Court Date

4/25/1655

Witnesses


Type of Charge

theft?

Description 1

Ilive complains that Salter molested him on his plantation, having a bill of sale under Broockes hand and possession "given him by Broockes, as in Court hee hath, acknowledged, & upon thuis accoumpt kept possession, & made usse of sume part of the fruit"

Description 2


Description 3


Description 4


Description 5


Court Findings

Provincial court orders Salter to pay find for dispossessing Ilive of the quiet enjoyment of his plantation; fine of 747 lbs of tobacco in cask

Source

LIV 26



Complainant Name

Leo

Valerus

Defandant Name

Ringgold

James

Court Date

2/7/1657

Witnesses

Thomas South, John Salter, John Ringgold (son), James Rigby, Robert Vaughan

Type of Charge

theft of a sow

Description 1

South said he heard Wickes say he would question Ringgold for stealing a hog from Valerus; Salter said that Ringgold said it wasn't fitting any whore master should sett table there and Wickes replied, better a whore master than a thief; John Ringgold said

Description 2

he was at Bever Necke when Hanson died, Valerus asked to speak w/his father, that he would take the sow that he bought of his father for he thought he wouldn't have enough tobacco to pay his debt "which if he would Take her he intended to go to Mannathos:

Description 3

And Then it may be he might haue A lettell to Carry with him; for he Did not Afect The Countyre"?; Rigby said he was w/Mr. Marsh on 11/12/56 & Ringgold asked him to credit him 300 lbs of tobacco which Valerus owed him for a sow and that he would charge

Description 4

it to his account, in the same month Ringgold again said the the debt must be take of again from the Swedes acct for he must there take his sow again or keep her which debt was taken from his account again; Vaughan said he was at Morgan's house a little

Description 5

before Valerus death and Valerus said that Morgan and his wife had used him well in his time of sicknesss and for her trouble she should have the sow he bought of Ringgold but now heard that Ringgold had killed it; Ringgold promised her satisfaction;

Court Findings

Ringgold admitted killing the sow; outcome?

Source

LIV 85-86



Complainant Name

Lockett

Elizabeth

Defandant Name

Bright

Thomas

Court Date

3/2/ and 4/1/1661

Witnesses

Robert Martine Jr., Francis Nash, Anne Doob, Ann Hill & Catheren Gammer, Sarah Tourson,

Type of Charge

Bastardy

Description 1

Martine: cannot remember that there was any $$ broken between them, Nash: in middle of summer, Nash, Martine and Bright were going toward Martine's house and Nash heard Bright say that there was a piece of $$ broke between him and Elizabeth Lockett

Description 2

Doobe, Gammer and Hill: said Lockett said it was Brights child while in throws of labor (good description); asked what master Dide to hure in the husks in the tobaco house and she answered so well as she could that hur master Did butt tickell hur

Description 3

and we Could hurd into the sheed wheare Mistres bluntm and Ann Doob examiened hure agaynbe and bade hure speake the Trewth and kathren Gammer heard us and all that euer she Confest wase that she neuer knew hur Master but by his face and Hand

Description 4

and that he Child wase goote when hur Master wase att Seuern where that night thomas Bright would not goe to beed butt lay upon the forme and when the seruants wase aslepe he came to the eed to hur and that night the Child wase goote

Description 5

when the Childs heed wase in the Birthmrs Blunt tooke and booke and swore hure & all that she said it was thomas Brights Child; Lockett swears in court that it is Brights and that they broke $$ between them and he promised marriage;

Court Findings

convicted for bastardy, Lockett to get 20 lashed on her back, Court grants indemnity, Bright to pay costs of child and the suit, Elizabeth to pay the charge of Mrs. Conner for keeping the child

Source

LIV 205, 211-212



Complainant Name

Maggison

John

Defandant Name

Pether

Richard

Court Date

3/22/1669/70

Witnesses


Type of Charge

trespass

Description 1

craves reference to next court; at next court plaintiff does not prove his account; court orders, upon request from the defendant, order for abatement and plaintiff to pay costs

Description 2


Description 3


Description 4


Description 5


Court Findings


Source

LIV 285,



Complainant Name

More,

Richard

Defandant Name

Smith

Mathias

Court Date

11/22/1670

Witnesses


Type of Charge

trespass, hog theft?

Description 1

More through his atty Michell Miller; referred to jury after several debate; JURY: Alexander Maxwell, Edward Browne, Dauid Joanes, Richard Nash, Henry Carter, John Winchester, Petter Johnson, William Granger, Arthur Wright, Richard Pether,

Description 2

George Lancaster, Thomas Bright;

Description 3


Description 4


Description 5


Court Findings

jury finds for the plaintiff and orders that the defendant deliver his hogs to the plaintiff, which he hath bought of him, and that he pay the costs of the suit

Source

LIV 301



Complainant Name

Pyne

Francis

Defandant Name

Davis

Will

Court Date

1/25/1670-71

Witnesses

Davis through his attorney Tobyas Wells

Type of Charge

assault and battery; beach of Couenants

Description 1


Description 2


Description 3


Description 4


Description 5


Court Findings

"noe cause of accon being produced the dft craue a non wuit which this Cort doth grant with Costs of sute" on both charges (to plt?)

Source

LIV 307



Complainant Name

Ringgold

Thomas

Defandant Name

Murill

Gregory

Court Date

4/15/1659

Witnesses

Henry Clay, John Salter, John Cowrsey

Type of Charge

common swearer, disturber of peace

Description 1

last winter at Wm Elliots palnataion Clay heard evil words between Murill and Elliot, Murill went toward Elliot with a hammer in his hand and said he would throw it in his face; Salter said he was at Great Thicket plantation with Murill and Murill asked

Description 2

Eliot why he threw down his fence, Eliot denied it and said if he had not come he would have put it up again; hot words, Murill told Elliot he was a traitor or rebel and thief and stole Morgans boat and went over to Severn (Parker?), then swore oath and

Description 3

said he would throw a hammer in his face, didn't throw it; Cowrsey said he was at Ringgold's house and Murill & Ringgold in dispute over steer or ox which Murill said was his or 1/2 of one and if he met with him he would kill him, Ringgold said it was his

Description 4

and Ringgold's party would meet to Murill's to fight, Murill swore a great oath, Ring called his a thief and said he stole his both; Salter was there said Ringgold bought the steer from Abraham Holeman, Murill said half was his and he would kill it, Ring

Description 5

said Murill stole Henry Woolchurch boat, more…

Court Findings


Source

LIV 163-64



Complainant Name

Steuens

John

Defandant Name

Johnson

Jacob

Court Date

6/28/1670

Witnesses

Johnson through his atty Mr. Jo Keeley

Type of Charge

cattle theft, trespass

Description 1

plaintiff petitions for 2 cows, the one with a calf by her side and the other big with calf, which the defendant took from Mr. William Head's plantation without any lawful delivery, and driving them the one being lost the others in his possession:

Description 2

the plaintiff proves his charges

Description 3


Description 4


Description 5


Court Findings

Court order payment of 300 lbs of tobacco for lost cow with costs of suit and delivery of the other cow and calf to the plaintiff

Source

LIV 289



Complainant Name

Winchester

John

Defandant Name

Hodge (a merchant)

Will

Court Date

1/26/1670-71

Witnesses

Abraham Hoise (23)

Type of Charge

broke a gun

Description 1

"one Will Hodges a marchant came to john Winchesters & stayed there a month wanting 2 dayes and tooke John Winchesters Gun out & broke the steele

Description 2


Description 3


Description 4


Description 5


Court Findings


Source

LIV 311



Complainant Name

Winchester

John

Defandant Name

Barnes

Esabela

Court Date

6/1/1661

Witnesses

John Dobbes, John Morgan Jr, John Winchester Jr., Grace and Wm Granger

Type of Charge

sues her at time of his wife Margret's death

Description 1

John Dobbes saud he was in the house for 3 days and nights before she died and there was no ill usage and that she wanted for nothing; John Morgan Jr. said that Goody Barnes and Sarah Raby were there one night, Morgan watched one night til the cocks crow

Description 2

and Winchester and his son watched the other part of the night and she wanted for nothing; Winchester Jr. said there was "sacke and drames and beare in the house and that she had preuons and spice"; Grace Granger said she :wanted for nothinge neither

Description 3

poultry stweed with butter & Currents and she wase shifted and teneded and hur husand wase as kind to hur as any man Could be to his wife", they were there a fortnight and she ahd "sacke and drames and beare to Drinke when she would & Candels and she had

Description 4

a mind to a Duck and John winchester killed on for hur & I Dresed it", Wm. Granger said they went over to Kent and were asked to stay until Winchester's wife was well, one night Margett wanted to go to her husband but Granger felt she was too ill so he

Description 5

said he would tie her to the bed; Hemsley was there the day she died and she said she had "sacke & Drames and neare and seugare plentifull"

Court Findings

referenced to next court

Source

LIV 222-223





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