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Proceedings of the Provincial Court, 1666-1670
Volume 57, Preface 22   View pdf image (33K)
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        xxii                 Introduction.

        requested to do so, presented himself for trial at the February, 1669/70, court,
        and no one appearing to testify against him, he was cleared by proclamation
        (p.  609). At the same time John Bailey of St. Mary's was indicted, because
        after he had been sworn foreman of a coroner's jury, he left before the verdict
        was rendered. For this he was fined a thousand pounds of tobacco (p. 613).
          When any of the processes of the law, which were ordinarily performed by
        the sheriff, had to be directed against the sheriff himself, the coroner by law
        was called upon to execute them. In a Kent County land dispute, Thomas
        Ringgold vs. Thomas Hynson and Henry Parker, it was necessary to summon
        a jury of inquest to determine the boundary lines of land in controversy. The
        court at its October, 1666, session ordered a venire facias to be issued to
        Coronor Thomas Vaughan to summons a jury of twelve, because Hynson, the
        then sheriff, was disqualified to act in this case (p. 188). Again when Dr.
        Richard Tilghman, sheriff of Talbot, was charged with making a false return
        of a writ, the cniirt at its December, 1669, session ordered the coroner of Talbot
        to bring Tilghman before it (p. 616). Incidentally it may be added that the
        charges against Tilghman were dismissed.
          The record shows that the deputy sheriffs were appointed by the sheriff
        under whom they served, or, as he was often called, the High Sheriff. Thus
        on May 5, 1669, John Jarbo, High Sheriff of St. Mary's County, appointed
        Thomas Winn of Snow Hill, his deputy (p. 446-7).
          The county courts from time to time, submitted to the Governor and Council,
        or to the Provincial Court, the sundry items for which inclusion in the public
        levy was asked. Thus at the April, 1670, court session, the Sheriff of St. Mary's
        County presented the levy, which the higher court was asked to examine and
        allow (p. 536).
          Horses and cattle running at large in the woods were a serious menace to the
        planters' crops growing in ill-fenced fields. They were difficult to catch and
        when caught, it was equally difficult to establish their ownership. Complaints
        lodged against this nuisance brought action at the December, 1668, session,
        when the court took measures which savored more of what these same men
        sitting as members of the Council might have been expected to do in that
        capacity, rather than as members of a judicial body. It was ordered, that as
        many persons made it their business to range the woods on the pretense of
        finding their own cattle, but really for the purpose of marking with their
        cattle mark unmarked animals which really belonged to others, that thereafter
        all persons must repair to the Sheriff and establish their ownership before
        marking any animals whatsoever (p. 373). Two years earlier a license had
        been issued of one year's duration to Thomas Snow to kill any unmarked wild
        cattle or hogs at large anywhere on the north side of Chester River, the hides
        and tallow to be reserved for the Lord Proprietary's use, Snow to reserve the
        meat for himself (p. irs).
          All cattle and hogs were required by law to be marked with a distinctive
        mark, registered or recorded either in the Provincial Court or in a county
        court. Ordinarily such live-stock marks were recorded in the local courts,
        but residents of St. Mary's County and of the nearby counties, frequently

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Proceedings of the Provincial Court, 1666-1670
Volume 57, Preface 22   View pdf image (33K)
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