Archive:Plymouth Colony

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Stratton, Eugene Aubrey, FASG, Plymouth Colony: Its History and People 1620-1691 (Salt Lake City, UT: Ancestry Incorporated, 1986).


Part Two: Topical Narratives

Chapter 10: Land and Inheritance

John Barnes, an early Plymouth resident who arrived no later than 1633, was not a Purchaser, but he became a freeman by 1636/37. He was a general merchant engaged in many commercial activities, and like Doty he was also engaged in frequent legal disputes. He was disenfranchised for drunkenness in 1659. His land transactions, rather numerous even for Plymouth, will be treated only briefly. In 1633/34 he sold Richard Higgins a house and twenty acres of land in Plymouth for £10 plus twenty acres of land in Scituate. In 1637 he was granted seven acres of land in Plymouth. In June 1639 Barnes bought four acres of land from John Winslow for £8, and in July 1639 he sold the same land to Robert Hicks for £9/15. In November 1639 he bought two acres of meadow from Edward Holman for forty shillings. The court in June 1640 granted Barnes 100 acres of upland and ten acres of meadow. In August 1640 he bought from John Combes and Phineas Pratt two acres of upland for £3. In October 1640 he bought a house, garden, upland, and two acres of marsh meadow from Josias Winslow for £52. One month later, in November 1640, Barnes bought a house and land at Eel River from Mark Mendlove for £12. In January 1640/41 Barnes paid £20 to Thomas Hill for a house, garden, and land at Wellingsley. In February 1640/41 he sold a house and lands he had bought from Mark Mendlove to William Baker for £18_seemingly a large profit for three months, though he let Baker pay the money over a four-year period. In December 1642 Barnes sold Edward Edwards the properties he had purchased both from Thomas Hill and from Combes and Pratt for £16. Whether he took a loss on this transaction is hard to say, for the earlier Hill transaction involved a number of fruit trees which Barnes could have sold separately. Barnes was a shrewd merchant, and surely the idea occurred to him that he could have sold off property attached to real estate, such as fences, timber, or household goods in his other businesses. In the Edwards transaction, the deed provided that Edwards was to pay Barnes money, stockings, shoes, or other merchantable commodities. In October 1644 Edwards sold the same lands to Thomas Whitney for £9/2/6, which Whitney was to pay to Barnes. In 1649 Barnes sold some land at Eel River formerly belonging to Mark Mendlove to George Bonham for £3, and it is possible that when he sold Mendlove's house to Baker, he might not have included all the land.17

Chapter 11: Man and Master

One important source of servants was the practice of some families of "putting out" one or more children. Samuel Eddy, for example, although the son of an English minister and university graduate, did not seem to prosper in Plymouth, and he and his wife, "by reason of many wants lying on them," were forced to put out several children as servants. So, too, Samuel Eaton and Benjamin Eaton, after the death of their father, Mayflower passenger Francis Eaton, were placed out by their stepmother and were apprenticed respectively to Widow Bridget Fuller and John Cooke, Jr. On 13 August 1636 Mary Moorecock, by her own voluntary will, and with the consent of her stepfather, was apprenticed to Richard Sparrow for nine years. Six-year-old Elizabeth Billington, with consent of parents, on 18 April 1642 was apprenticed for fourteen years to John and Mary Barnes. Sarah Hoskins was apprenticed on 18 January 1643/44 with the consent of her father, to Thomas and Winifred Whitney until she became twenty years old. Thomas and Anne Savory put their five-year-old son Thomas Jr. out on 2 August 1653 as an apprentice with Thomas Lettice, carpenter, until he reached twenty-one. Young Thomas was to receive meat, drink, apparel, washing, lodging, and all other necessities, and was to be taught the trade of a house carpenter, and be taught to read the English langauge. In turn he was to give his master faithful and respectful service, not absent himself by day or night without license, not marry or contract marriage during his term, not embezzle, purloin, or steal any of his master's goods, nor give away any of his secrets, and to be obedient. On completing his term, he would be given two suits of clothes and various specified carpenter's tools. The same Thomas and Anne Savory in November 1653 put out their nine-year-old son Benjamin to John and Alice Shaw until he reached twenty-one, and the father was to receive thirty shillings. Benjamin was to be taught to read and write, and at the end of his term he would get £5 or a cow.12 [p.183]

Part Four: Appendices

Appendix J: The 1643 Able to Bear Arms (ATBA) List


. . .
Thomas Whitney
. . .
Jeremiah Whitney
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