Talbot County. xxi
additions to the population came from the group of Puritans who moved from
lower Virginia in 1649-1650, especially from Lower Norfolk and Isle of Wight
counties, and settled principally in Anne Arundel County on the Severn. A
number of these in the next two or three years found their way to Kent Island
and soon became the leading men of both Kent and Talbot counties. To this
group belong Thomas Ringgold, Thomas Hynson, Richard Woolman, and
Thomas South, and in all probability also Joseph Wickes, Robert Dunn, and
the three Coursey brothers, all of whom figure conspicuously in the records of
these two counties.
In the early sixties there were added a number of Quakers who were driven
out of Lancaster and the neighboring counties of Virginia in 1660 by Gov.
Berkeley, and who came to Maryland and settled principally along the shores of
the Patapsco in Baltimore County and on the Choptank in what became in 1662
Talbot County. Richard Gorsuch and Thomas Powell, both justices of Talbot,
and Howell Powell and Walter Dickenson, prominent planters, are examples
of this Talbot Quaker group.
There was also a constant percolation into the upper Eastern Shore coun-
ties of Dutch and Swedes from the settlements along the Delaware River.
Augustine Herrman, although a Bohemian by birth, was identified with New
Amsterdam and was a brother-in-law of the Dutch governor, Peter Stuyvesant.
Cornelius Comegys of Kent was a Dutchman. Andrew Hanson, also of Kent,
was a Swede from the Delaware. These three and many others appear con-
spicuously in the records of this part of the Eastern Shore.
Politically the period from 1662 to 1674 covered by these Talbot County
records was unimportant. Following the Fendall “rebellion” in 1660 the
authority of the Proprietary was firmly established, and Cecilius Calvert could
now afford to appoint to county offices, and thus win over to his side, many
with Puritan leanings whose loyalty during the period of the civil wars had
been more than questionable. Prominent Roman Catholic families on the
Eastern Shore, such as the Sewells, Lowes, Blakes, and Hemsleys, were rela-
tively few, and the county courts there were predominantly in Protestant hands.
A number of the justices on the courts in the sixties had been supporters
of the Commonwealth in the previous decade, and were of the group of Puritans
who had come to Maryland in 1649-1650. Many of these and their descendants
were later to be leaders in the Protestant revolution of 1689.
The first commissioners for Talbot, appointed by the Governor, February
18, 1661/2, were: Lieut. Richard Woolman, presiding justice, William
Coursey, Seth Foster, James Ringgold, Thomas South, and Thomas Hynson,
Jr., of whom Woolman and Coursey were of the quorum; and at the same
time Moses Stagwell was temporarily appointed clerk (Arch. Md. iii, 448).
Of these six we find three—Coursey, Foster and Ringgold—who had been on
the Kent County Court just before the separation from Talbot (pp. 229, 233).
Thomas South may also have been living on Kent Island at the time of the
separation. The Puritan element seems to have dominated in this first court.
An undated commission, possibly issued in 1663 or 1665, added the fol-
lowing justices to the court of Talbot: Simon Carpenter, Thomas Curtis,