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Proceedings of the Provincial Court, 1663-1666
Volume 49, Preface 8   View pdf image (33K)
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            xii              Letter of Transmittal.

            by fire. It is probable that these entries have some relation to the suit between
            Thomas Gerard and Marmaduke Snow about Saint Clement's manor, which
            occupied so much of the time of the Provincial Court at this period, and to
            which reference will be made later.
             In at least one respect, however, there can be no question as to the concur
            rent jurisdiction of the Provincial Court and the county courts, and that is in
            the matter of recording deeds for land. It is certain that during the first three
            decades following the settlement, land was ordinarily transferred either by
            assignment on the back of the original patent, which then passed by hand from
            the seller to the purchaser, or by a separate writing, or by livery of seizin with
            turf and twig, or seizin by the rod, with or without the recording of a deed. A
            picturesque instance of transfer of land by seizin in Maryland is thus described
            by the historian Bozman: “A court baron was held at the manor of St. Gabriel
            on the 7th of March, 1656, by the stewart of the lady of the manor, when one
            Martin Kirke took of the lady of the manor in full court, by delivery of the
            said stewart, by the rod, according to the custom of the said manor, one mes
            suage, etc., lying in the said manor, by the yearly rent of, etc., and so the said
            Kirke having done his fealty to the lady, was thereof admitted tenant (Boz
            man's History of Maryland, II, p. 581). In the period covered by this volume,
            among some fifty deeds recorded, we find six in which it is stated that the
            transfer of the land had been made by seizin with turf and twig (pages 135,
            525, 569, 574, 577, and 591). There is one remarkable instance, recorded
            in the Provincial Court in 1665, of delivery by seizin, in which instead of turf
            and twig we find that, as a symbol of ownership, a tin candlestick, or tin fun
            nel was used. A certain Mordecai Hammond in foreclosing a mortgage against
            Pope Alvey, of whom we will hear more later, finds it necessary to prove in
            court delivery of the land to him by seizin. Two witnesses swore as to the
            authenticity of the deed produced in court. One witness testified that he saw
            either a tin candlestick, or a tin funnel, handed to the purchaser by Alvey at the
            time of the delivery of the bond or deed. Two other witnesses swear that
            a tin funnel was used (page 496).
             Although an act introduced at the 1639 Session of the Assembly, requiring
            the register of any court of the Province upon request to record conveyances
            of land in the court records, failed to pass, we find that transfers of land were
            thereafter occasionally recorded in the court proceedings (Arch. Md. I, 61-62).
            In 1663 an act was passed making obligatory the recording of all deeds of
            bargain and sale of land either in the Provincial Court, or in the court of the
            county in which the land was located (Arch. Md. I, 487-8). Up to this date we
            find comparatively few deeds recorded in the Provincial Court, and the f rag
            mentary records of the county courts would indicate that enrollments there
            were also unusual. Beginning with the year 1663, however, the effect of the
            act became apparent and the number of deeds recorded in the Provincial Court
            rapidly increased, so that beginning with the year 1679 it was found advisable
            to keep two separate series of Provincial Court records, one for the court min
            utes and one for recording deeds. In this volume the recorded deeds, which
            number about fifty, will be found scattered throughout the court proceedings.
            


 
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Proceedings of the Provincial Court, 1663-1666
Volume 49, Preface 8   View pdf image (33K)
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