........ Conjecture, noun, the formation of judgments or opinions on the basis of incomplete or inconclusive information. Source: Encarta Dictionary

Friday, May 31, 2013

What is an Indentured Servant?

An indentured servant was a person who signed a contract (also known as an indenture or a covenant) by which he agreed to work for a certain number of years in exchange for monetary compensation upfront. The term was often four to seven years for adults and younger for children if they were apprenticed to learn a trade. Often the monetary compensation paid off a debt or paid for transportation to America. I was not previously aware that indentured servitude was common in England at the time but that explains why no one thought it unusual for bringing workers to America.

Below is the format that Lord Baltimore recommended to use for indentured servants coming to Maryland. He suggested 5 years as a typical length of service.

The Indenture made the ____ day of ____ in the ____ yeere of our Sovereign Lord King Charles, etc between ______ of the one party and ________ on the other party, witnesseth that the said _____ doth hereby covenant promise and grant to and with the said ____ his Executer and Assinge, to serve him from the day of the date hereof, untill his first and next arrival in Maryland, and after for and during the term of ____ years in good service and employment, as the said ________ or ssigns shall him empoy him, according to the custome of the country. In consideration whereof, the said _______ doth promise and grant, to and with the said ______ to pay for his passage and to find him with Meat, Drinke, Apparell and Lodging with the necessaries during the said term; nad at the end of the said time, to give him one whole yeeres provision of Corne, and fifty acres of land, according to the custome of the Country. In witness whereof, the said _____ hath put his hand and seale, the day and yeere above written.
Sealed and delivered in the presence of __________
The most common problem with the whole process was cruel treatment (such as whippings and poor food) by the master (owner of the contract), thus leading to numerous runaways. The common punishment for runaways was more beatings and extension of the period of service.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

More information on Kent Island

The Facebook Group Penelope Stout Descendants is having a vigorous discussion of Kent Island and indentured servant Penelope Prince (who may or may not be famous Penelope of Sandy Hook), who was transported by Captain Robert Vaughan in 1644, who sold her contract to William Cox. She ran away in 1646.
From the following source, I have extracted detailed information about William Clayborne, Robert Vaughan and William Cox. This reference doesn't shed much light about the Times of Troubles on Kent Island around 1646-48, but does provide other background information.  

George A. Hanson. The Eastern Shore of Maryland: Notes Illustrative of the Most Ancient Records of Kent County, Maryland. Baltimore, 1876.


1627-29: The governor of Virginia authorized William Clayborne, “the Secretary of State of this Kingdom,” to explore the Chesapeake Bay.

During 1627-1630: Clayborne established a trading post and brought in settlers as a part of Virginia.

May 1631: King Charles I gave Clayborne a license to trade in the Chesapeake Bay area.

June 20, 1632: King Charles I granted a charter for Maryland to Cecilius Calvert (Lord Baltimore).

July 1633: King Charles rejected the complaints of Clayborne and Virginia that Kent Island was part of Virginia.

March 27, 1634: An expedition led by Leonard Calvert (Lord Baltimore’s brother) founded a settlement at St. Mary's. Until 1650 the whole of the Western Shore was called "St. Mary's," to distinguish it from the Eastern Shore, or Kent. 
Sept 1634: Maryland established jurisdiction over Kent Island and confiscated Clayborne’s properties. Clayborne fled to Virginia and then to England.


December 30, 1637: Governor Calvert appointed his "good friend Captain George

Evelyn to be “Commander” of Kent Island.

April 22, 1638: Governor Calvert appointed William Brainthwayte to be Commander.

April 1638: King Charles re-affirmed Maryland’s jurisdiction over Kent Island
February 25, 1638/9: Two delegates, representing the 24 male heads of families of Kent Island, were accepted into the Maryland assembly. This implies a population of about 120 residents.
1639: Maryland refused Clayborne’s request for restitution.
February 3, 1639/40: Capt. Giles Brent became Commander.
August 14, 1640: William Brainthwayte became Commander again.
July 10, 1641: Governor proclaims it lawful to kill any Indians found on Kent Island.
1642: King Charles appointed Clayborne Treasurer of Virginia.

December 16, 1642: Giles Brent became Commander and chief captain in all matters of warfare. Robert Vaughan was appointed one of 3 commissioners.

1 Dec 1644: Governor Calvert proclaimed William Clayborne and Richard Thompson enemies of the Maryland for attempting to stir up the Indians.
Jan 1, 1644/5: William Brainthwayte became Commander again. Robert Vaughan and William Cox were commissioners.
1644: Clayborne persuaded the Indians to make war on Maryland. Then Clayborne occupied Kent Island while his associate Richard Ingle militarily drove Governor Calvert from Maryland and took over the western shore.
April 16, 1647: The inhabitants of Kent Island either fled or swore loyalty to Maryland.

April 18, 1647: Robert Vaughan became Commander. William Cox became a commissioner.

April 20, 1647: Governor Calvert ordered property of “late rebels” to be taken into protective custody.

June 9, 1647: Leonard Calvert died at St. Mary’s.
Jan 30, 1648/9: The puritans beheaded King Charles I.
1649: Capt. Robert Vaughan was Kent Island representative to Maryland legislature
Sept 1651: Lord Protector Cromwell authorizes Clayborne to conquer Maryland.
March 1651/2: Clayborne with help of English warships conquers Maryland.
July 1652: Clayborne allowed Governor Stone to have the western shore while Clayborne kept the eastern shore.
August 1652: Thomas Ward was arrested upon “suspicion of felony.” A servant had run away several times. Mrs. Ward whipped her with a peach tree rod and afterwards salted her. The court fined the Wards 300 pounds of tobacco for "unreasonable and unchristian-like punishment … considering her weak estate of body” but didn’t find them guilty of the maid’s death.
Edward Coppedge was fined 600 pounds of tobacco for "living in" with Elizabeth Kisby, who received 15 lashes.
Capt. Robert Vaughan was fined for insulting the “Puritan” court.
April 1, 1653: Robert Vaughan apologized and his fines were remitted.
Uncertain date: “In the year 1652, Mark Benton " petitioned against Robt. Vaughan for order from the Court for his freedom, with corne and clothes." The Court decided in his favor.”
Late 1654: Lord Baltimore claimed all of Maryland.
March 25, 1655: Clayborne defeated Governor Stone in battle.
1658: Governor Stone re-establishes permanent control of Kent Island.
genealogy notes: Major James Ringgold, of Huntingfield, " lord of the 
manor on Eastern Neck," son of Thomas Ringgold, was twice 
m. By his 1st wife he had one son, Thomas Ringgold. His 
2d wife was Mary Vaughan, dau. of Capt. Robert Vaughan, 
the Commander of Kent from 1647 to 1652,
January 26, 1668/9: Mrs. Mary Vaughan, the Relict of Capt. 
Robert Vaughan, brought a suit against John Muggison.
To the above, we can add from other sources that indentured servant Penelope Prince was transported to Kent Island in 1644 and ran away in 1646. The above reference doesn't shed much light about the Times of Troubles on Kent Island around 1648-48, but does provide other background information.