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Proceedings of the Provincial Court, 1670/1-1675
Volume 65, Preface 25   View pdf image (33K)
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                          Introduction.                xxv

        But Jones had not been unopposed in Worcester and Somerset, and when
      he appeared before the Court, he tried to accuse his accusers first. He offered
      the Governor and Council (who were, be it remembered, also the justices of
      the Court) “Articles of Complaint . . . agt Henry Smith one of his Lord-
      ships Justices of peace for Somrset & also Worcester Countyes”. Smith, who
      had been justice for Somerset and a member of the quorum since February 9,
      1669/70 (Archives, V, 61) was said to have “obstinately & Contemptuously
      Kept an unlicensed Ordinary” for two years or more. He had also, having
      arrested one Stephen Whitman for speaking seditious words, kept him so
      carelessly that he had. escaped and fled the Province. He had for two months
      kept a runaway servant working for him, instead of returning him to his Vir
      ginia master. He had openly declared that he would not obey the military, and
      so had encouraged desertion from the military forces. Surveyor Francis
      Jenkins of Worcester County, being ordered to lay out a town at the Whore
      Kill, had refused to follow the orders of the county commissioners, and had,
      instead, surveyed for Smith six hundred acres where the town should have
      been. But the Court returned to Jones' information an ignoramus or no true
        In their turn, Smith and Jenkins, who were members of the grand jury
      (post, p. 34) brought charges against Jones, charges on which the grand jury
      returned a true bill. Jones, with six or seven men, had gone up to the Whore
      Kill and had tied up all the Dutchmen he found there. He then opened their
      chests, took several furs and blankets and drank their aniseed water. On
      August 22, 1672, Jones had brought into the guard “Deere skins Wampum
      Peake Blankets Trading cloth powder pipes Knives looking glasses with severall
      ifurs . . . to the vallue of sixty pounds sterling”. The day before this, Jones
      rode up to Robert Catlin, drew his sword, called Catlin scurrilous names and
      ran his sword through Catlin's clothing to his skin, all because he had acci
      dentally taken Jones a little out of their way. When someone complained to
      Smith that Jones had taken and not returned a pound of gunpowder from an
      Englishman, Jones called Smith a liar, and refused to show him his commis
      sion as Indian trader. Smith charged also that, on August 24, 1672, Jones had
      ordered Constable Daniel Browne to seize “two of my Mares with severall
      others Notwithstanding they had been there as by information at least two
      yeares” (post, p. 38). If these mares seized from Smith were the same as those
      Jones told the Court he had seized at the Whore Kill in August, it would be
      easy to understand Smith's feeling about Jones. Smith was, himself, something
      of a hothead. While he was a member of the grand jury, he called Raymond
      Staplefort, foreman of a later grand jury, a hog stealer, and for this abuse he
      was fined by the Court four hundred pounds of tobacco (ibid., p. 45). Jones,
      being sheriff of Somerset, had refused to attend the county court, and had
      refused to execute an order that court had directed to him (ibid., pp. 37-38).
      A choleric fellow, that Thomas Jones.
        Upon the finding of the true bill against Jones, the Provincial Court ordered
      that a copy of the amended information be sent him, and that he plead to it.
      The next day, October 7, 1672, Jones reported to the Attorney General that

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Proceedings of the Provincial Court, 1670/1-1675
Volume 65, Preface 25   View pdf image (33K)
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