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Proceedings of the Provincial Court, 1666-1670
Volume 57, Preface 58   View pdf image (33K)
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        lviii                introduction.

        the beneficiary of the forfeiture (pp. 10, 11, 12). Isaac Bedloe, the purchaser
        of the Hopewell, although here described as “a free denizen and inhabitant”
        of Maryland, was really a New York ship owner; it is of interest that he owned
        Bedlow's Island upon which the Statue of Liberty stands.
          A year later at a special court held at Mattapany, Calvert County, on March
        19, 1666/7, a similar fate befell the ketch Hope, 16 tons, William Gard, master,
        and the barque William, John Therise, master, both vessels described as of New
        England and at anchor in the Patuxent River. The two cases were tried at
        the same time. Gard of the Hope was charged, in violation of the navigation
        acts, with unloading goods without first filing a complete inventory or lading
        invoice, showing the origin of the cargo, and Therise was charged with having
        taken on board at Patuxent two hogsheads of tobacco without first giving bond
        that these would be carried only to England, Ireland, Wales, or Berwick, or to
        some English plantation. The ship masters asked the court that they “have
        an attorney admitted them”, and John Morecroft then appeared for both.
        When the defendants pleaded not guilty and made a general defense, “The
        Court denys it is on theire part to prove the breach of the said Act but that
        in such Case Onus Probandi shall lie upon the Owner or Claimer of such
        Goods &: as is exprest in the Act of Parliament Entituled an Act for Prevent-
        ing frauds and Regulating abuses in his Maties Custom”. It was declared for
        the defendants that Gard had sent to the Governor a partial inventory of lading
        inserted in a letter from John Pius, the consignee, but admitted that the full
        inventory was not delivered to the Governor until bulk had been broken. Therise
        asked that he be tried by court, and Gard, who had at first requested a jury
        trial, then changed his plea and requested that he also be tried by the court.
        It was shown that the vessels had been eleven days at the port of Choptank
        where John pltts, the consignee, lived, and that bulk had been broken before
        the inventory was given to the Governor. The Court then adjudged that the
        ketch Hope be forfeited, and that the barque William, together with its cargo,
        which was of the production and manufacture of Europe, be also forfeited;
        and further adjudged that one-third of the confiscated property go to the Lord
        Proprietary, one-third to the Governor, Charles Calvert, and one-third to Wil-
        liam Calvert, the informer, who as Attorney-General had prosecuted the cases
        (pp. 158-164). The court records show that later, on April 13, 1668, Governor
        Calvert sold the confiscated ketch Hope for a valuable consideration to Richard
        Morris of London, merchant (pp. 290-292). The record, however, does not
        disclose what became of the William. The forfeiture of ships and cargoes to
        the benefit of those who sat in judgment upon the case, as well as the award of
        one-third to an informer who had also, as Attorney-General, acted as prosecu-
        tor, certainly leaves an unpleasant impression upon one's mind. It doubt-
        less was as the result of such episodes as these which led to the forfeiture
        of three vessels, that caused the Governor and Council, acting under instruc-
        tions from the Proprietary in England, to issue a declaration and an ordinance.
        under dates of June 5, 1668, and April 20, 1669, respectively, designating
        certain ports in the Province which alone were to be used by ships for the
        loading or unloading of merchandise, and the conditions under which the

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Proceedings of the Provincial Court, 1666-1670
Volume 57, Preface 58   View pdf image (33K)
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