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H[enry] R[ead] McIlwaine (1864-1934), ed, Minutes of the Council and General Court of Colonial Virginia, 1622-1632, 1670-1676, with Notes and Excerpts from Original Council and General Court Records, into 1683, Now Lost (Richmond : The Colonial Press, Everett Waddy Co., 1924).


8 daie of Aprill Ao Dmi 1629

A CORT at James Citty the 8th daie of Aprill Ao Dmi 1629 present

John Pott Esqr Gouernor &c Capt: Smyth.

At this Court was heard a difference depending betweene Gilbert Whitfeild plt against Robte Poole defendt and it appeared that Robte Poole was indebted unto the said Gilbert in the some of 19411 of tobaccoe and nyne barrells of Eares. Whereuppon it was agreed betweene them and the cort have thought fitt that the said Robte Poole shall give security to the said Whitfeild for the paymt of the said Tobaccoe at the next cropp and to paie the Corne at or before the first of May next.

A comission was graunted unto Robte Poole to goe a trading for Corne to the Easterne Shore.

At the Cort a Controversie depending between Musick[?] William[?] and Richard Bennett[?] was . . . Concerning a granting of a leafe of Certaine land in Warrosquoaiche[?] and for that there was not witnes produced to prove anything on eyther partes the Cort hath referred the examinacon of the Contest to Capt Baffe[?] and hath retourned to same to the Gouernor and Councell at the next Quarter Cort heare holden.

George Vnwise aged thirty yeares or thereabouts sworne and exaied sayth that Dorcas Howard his maide being at worke in the grounde on Monday the two and twentieth daie of March last past, as this exaite taketh it, shee began to complaine that she was not well and being come into the howse shee fell very sick Whereuppon this dept demaunded of her what shee ayles who answered I am very ill in my body, and wished that her dame were wth her for her dame could give her ease, then this dept demaunded of her if she were wth Childe to wch she answered noe whereuppon this dept threatned to beat her if shee would not tell him the truth why she was so payned and then presently she confessesd she was wth Childe and that Robte Gage was the ffather And [then] this exaite bade her goe to bed and asked her [to] call some weomen to her, but shee intreated [that] hee would not And in the morning (the said Dorcas being in bed) this exaite demaunded of her how shee did who answered I have had a mischance, And then presently hee came to his wife and tould her of it and asked her what hee should doe who bade him goe backe and call some weomen to view the Child. Whereuppon this dept sent for one Moorecocks wife who came and looked uppon it but whether it were borne alive or deade this dept knoweth not, nor more to this matter cann hee depose.

Elizabeth Moorecocke the wife of Reiginald Moorecocke of the age of thirty yeares or thereabouts sworne and exaied sayth that George Vnwin came to this exaiats howse and tould her that her [his] maide was broughte a bed and had Carried out the Childr but had not buried it and desired this dept to come and view it whereuppon this depont went wth him and looked uppon the Childe wch was a boy, and the mould of the head was bruised, but for anyother thing this dept could perceave the Childe might bee borne alyve, and this is all this dept can depose in this matter.

This Re was continewed till March Qrter Co.

At this Cort George Vnwin planter did acknowledge to owe unto our soveraigne Lord the King 4011 soveraigne englishe wth condicon Dorcas Howard shall appeare at the Quarter Cort to Holden at James Citty

At this Cort the Church wardens of the parishe of the lower partes of Eliz Citty did present that William Capps and John Sipse parishioners there doe not repaire nor frequent the said parishe Church to hear dyvine service according to the lawes and orders of this Colony in such cases provided, It is therefore ordered that for soe long tyme as it shall be proved that the said Capps and Sipse have been absent from the said Church, that they shall pay such fines as by an actte therefor made are provided to be paid: the said fines to be levied at the next Crop by way of distresse.


Exaicons taken before John Pott Esqr gouernor the 25th day of March Ao [1629]

ffrancis England of the age of twenty yeares or therabouts sworne and exaied faith That Thomas Hall (being exaied by Cap: Baffe wether hee were man or woeman (as himselfe did confesse to this exaite) toulde this exaite that hee answered Capt: Basse that hee was both man and woeman And this exaiate further sayth that the said Hall being at Atkins arbor one Nicholas . . . asked him why hee went in woemans aparell the said Hall answered in the hearing of this dept I goe in woemans aparell to gett a bitt for my Catt And he further sayth that there was a Rumor and Report that the said Hall did ly wth a maid of Mr Richard Rodes being at the upper plantacon after it had beene rumored that the said Hall was a man and that hee was put in mans apparell the said Hall being then there with them, the said Rodes tould Hall thou hast beene reported to bee a woman and now thou art proved to bee a man, I will see what thou carriest, Whereuppon the said Rodes laid hands uppon the said Hall, and this exaiate did soe likewise, and they threw the said Hall on his backe, and then this exaiate felt the said Hall and pulled out his members whereby it appeared that hee was a perfect man, and more hee cannot depose.

John Atkins of the age of 29 yeares or thereabouts sworne and exaied deposeth and sayth That Mr Stacy having reported that Hall now a servante unto this exaiate was as hee thought a man and woeman, not long after, the said Hall (being then servante to Robte Eyros and John Tyos) and being at Nicholas Eyros his howse Alice Longe Dorothye Rodes and Barbara Hall being at that tyme in the said howse, uppon the said Report did search the said Hall and found (as they then said) that hee was a man but the said Tyos swore the said Hall was a woeman (as the said Dorothy Rodes did often affirme unto this depot Whereuppon Cap: Basse exaied the said Hall in the presence of this depte whether hee were man or woeman, the said Hall replyed hee was both only hee had not the use of the mans parte . . . was a peece of fleshe growing at the . . . belly as bigg as the topp of his little finger [an] inch longe whereuppon Capt: Basse Commanded [him] to bee put in woemans apparell, but the aforesaid searchers were not fully resolved, but stood in doubte of what they had formerly affirmed, and being (about the twelveth of february) at this exaiates howse the said Hall dwelling then wth him, and finding the said Hall asleepe did againe search him and then allsoe found the said Hall to bee a man and at that present[ly] called this exaiate to see the proof therof, but the said Hall seeming to starre as if shee had beene awake this exaiate lefte him and at that instant Could see nothing But the Sunday following, those serchers being againe assembled and the wife of Allen Kinaston and the wife of Ambrose Griffen being in Company wth them were againe desirous to search the said Hall, and having searched him in the prnce [presence] of this Deponent did then likewise finde him to bee a man Whereuppon this exaiat asked him if that were all hee had to wch hee answered I have a peece of an hole and thereuppon this dept commanded him to lye on his backe and shew the same And the said woemen searching him againe did againe find him to bee a man Whereuppon the sd exaiate did Comaunde him to bee put into mans apparell And the day following went to Captaine Basse, and tould him that the said Hall was founde to bee a man and desired that hee might be punished for his abuse And this dept further sayth that the said Hall (as this dept hath heard) did question the said Alice Long for reporting that hee had layen wth a mayd of Mr Richard Bennetts, to wch shee answered I reported it not, but Penny [?] Tyos his man reported soe much And this is all this exaiate can say.


Thomas Hall exaied saith that hee being borne at or neere Newcastle uppon Tyne was as hee hath beene often tould Christned by the name of Thomasine and soe was called and went Clothed in woemans apparell there untill the age ot twelve yeares at wch age the said Exaiats mother sent him to his Aunte in London and there hee lyved ten[?] ye[ares] untill Cales Accon, at wch tyme a brother of his being pressed for that service this exaiate Cut of his heire an Changed his apparell into the fashion of man and went over as a souldier in the Isle of Ree bing in the habit of a man, from whence when he was retorned hee came to Plymouth, and there hee changed himselfe into woemans apparell and made bone lace and did other worke wth his needle, and shortly after Shipping being ready for a voyage into this Country hee Changed againe his apparell into the habit of a man and soe came over into this Country.

It was thereuppon at this Cort ordered that it shall be published in the plantacon where the said Hall lyveth that hee is a man and a woeman, that all the Inhabitants there may take notice thereof and that hee shall goe Clothed in mans apparell, only his head to bee attired in a Coyfe and Croscloth[?] wth an Apron before him And that hee shall finde suerties for his good behavior from Quarter Cort to Quarter Cort untill the Cort shall dischardge him and Capt Nathaniel Basse is ordered to see this order executed accordingly.

ffor as much as Edward Waller did at this Cort comence his suit against John Johnson about the sale of a sowe and the taking away of a peece, and because Johnson testified to this Cort that hee sent a pigg in parte of satisfaccon and the peece by Richard Dolphenby to the said Edward Waller the wch the said Waller affirmed hee never receaved And for that the said Mr Waller hath dyvers wintesses to examine in this Cause wch at this Cort were not present It is ordered that the Captain Smyth shall examine the said Dolphenby uppon his oath Concerning the same, and the Cause is referred to bee determined at the next Quarter Cort

It is ordered that every comaunder wthin the severall plantacons of this Colony shall take a generall muster of all the inhabitants men woemen and Children as well Englishe as Negroes inhabiting wthin the same and Retorne a lift of their names to the Governor and Councell at the next Quarter Cort to bee here holden.

John Virgo being bound by Recognizance to appear this Cort hath made default whereby hee hath forfe[yted] to the Kings Matie 40li sterling.

Charles Waller beeing bound by Recognizance to appear at this Cort hath made defaulte whereby hee hath forfeyted 401i sterling to the Kings Matie

* * *

June 4, 1640.

Upon the petition of Hugh Gwyn gent wherein he complained to this board of three of his servants that are run away to Maryland to his much loss and prejudice and wherein he hath humbly requested the board that he may have liberty to make [10] the sale or benefit of the said servants in the said Maryland which the Court taking into Consideration and weighing the dangerous consequences of such pernicious precident do order that a letter be written unto the said Governour to the intent the said servants may be returned hither to receive such exemplary and condign punishment as the nature of their offence shall justly deserve and then to be returned to their said master

June 30, 1640.

The court hath granted that a commission shall be drawn for John Mattrom and Edward ffleet authorizing them to levy a party of men, or more if need require, out of the trained band for Charles river county with arems and ammunition to go in persuit of certain runaway negroes and to bring them in to the governor. And it is further ordered that such men as shall be pressed for this expedition shall receive their pay and satisfaction for their pains at the public charge of the counties from whence such negroes are runaway and likewise for any boat or boats that shall be taken for the said service.

[14] Upon the petition of Henry Hawley for keeping a ferry at the mouth of Hampton river in Sequotan for the ease of inhabitants and passengers in or about their occasions which the court taking into consideration as a matter tending to the great benefit of the inhabitants and others have granted unto the said Hawley a patent for the same during his natural life and the said patent to pass under the hand of the governor and the seal of the colony; the said Hawley not exacting above one penny for the ferriage of any of the said inhabitants or passengers according to his offer in his said petition.

Whereas Capt Thos Willoughby Esqr represented to this court that he had lent one barrel of gunpowder containing one hundred weight to accomodate the funeral of Captain  ffrancis Hook the late commander of the fort at Point Comfort and one of his majestys councillors for Virginia, the court hath therefore ordered that the said Captn Willoughby shall be satisfied the same from the present captain of the fort out of the powder belonging to the public.

9th Of July, 1640

Whereas Hugh Gwyn hath by order from this Board Brought back from Maryland three servants formerly run away from the said Gwyn, the court doth therefore order that the said three servants shall receive the punishment of whipping and to have thirty stripes apiece one called Victor, a dutchman, the other a Scotchman called James Gregory, shall first serve out their times with their master according to their Indentures, and one whole year apiece after the time of their service is Expired. By their said Indentures in recompense of his Loss sustained by their absence and after that service to their said master is Expired to serve the colony for three whole years apiece, and that the third being a negro named John Punch shall serve his said master or his assigns for the time of his natural Life here or elsewhere.

 [11] July 22, 1640.

Whereas complaint has been made to this Board by Capt Wm Pierce Esqr that six of his servants and a negro of Mr Reginolds has plotted to run away unto the Dutch plantation from their said masters and did assay to put the same in Execution upon Saturday night being the 18th day July 1640 as appeared to the Board by the Examinations of Andres Noxe, Richd Hill, Richd Cookeson and John Williams and likewise by the consession of Christopher Miller, Peter Wilcocke, and Emanuel the foresaid Negro who had at the fore said time, taken the skiff of the said Capt Wm Pierce their master, and corn poweder and shot and guns, to accomplish their said purposes, which said persons sailed down in the said skiff to Elizabeth river where they were taken and brought back again, the Court taking the same into consideration, as a dangerous precident for the future time (if unpunished) did order that Christopher Miller a dutchman (a prince agent in the business) should receive the punishment of whipping and to have thirty stripes, and to be burnt in the cheek with the letter R and to work with a shakle on his legg for one whole year, and longer if said master shall see cause and after his full time of service is Expired with his said master to serve the colony for seven whole years, and the said Peter Wilcocke to receive thirty stripes and to be Burnt in the cheek with the letter R and, after his term of service is Expired with his said [12] master to serve the colony for three years and the said Richd Cookson after his full time expired with his master to serve the colony for two years and a half, and the said Richd Hill to remain upon his good behaviour until the next offence and the said Andrew Noxe to receive thirty stripes, and the said John Williams a dutchman and a Chirugeon after his full time of service is Expired with his master to serve the colony for seven years, and Emanuel the Negro to receive thirty stripes and to be burnt in the cheek with the letter R. and to work in shakle one year or more as his master shall see cause, and all those who are condemned to serve the colony after their times are expired with their masters, then their said masters are required hereby to present to this board their said servants so condemned to the colony

7th Of Oct., 1640.

Whereas Thos Pursell servant unto Robt Brassure for the term of four years hath petitioned to the board for his freedom, it being denied unto him by the sd Brassure in regard the said Pursell has absented himself from his said service for the space of three months or there-about the Court hath therfore ordered that the said Pursell shall be discharged from his said master but shall losse his right in apparel and corn due unto him at the Expiration of his time in respect of his absence from his service as aforesaid & that the said Brassure shall Deliver [9] unto the said Purcell such apparel beding and what other goods do already belong unto him and are remaining in the custody of the said Brassure


13th of Oct., 1640.

The Court hath ordered that Wm Wootton and John Bradye as principall actors and contrivers in a most dangerous conspiracy by attempting to run out of the country and Inticing divers others to be actors in the said conspiracy to be whipt from the gallows to the Court door and that the said Bradye shall be Branded with an Iron in the shoulder, and Wotton in the forehead each of them to serve the Colony seven years, the service due from the [13] said Wotton to the said Mr Sanderson being first performed, each of them to work in Irons during the time of the said censure for the rest of these that are freemen (viz) John Tomkinson and Ricr West for consenting and concealing the said plott that they shall be whipt and serve the colony two years and those that are servants (viz) John Winchester, Wm Drummer Robt Rouse and Robt Mosely to be whipt only as also Margarett Beard, and that the masters of the said servants shall pay the fees due from the servants to the sheriffs and the servants shall make good the same, at the Expiration of their time by a years service apiece to their said masters and that none of them shall be released from their Irons without order from this Board.


Oct. 17, 1640.              

Wheras we are daily given to understand of divers servants that run away from their masters whereby much loss and prejudice doth ensue to the masters of such servants, the court therefore conceiving it to be the most necessary and speedy course to apprehend the said servants doth order that upon complaint thereof made unto the sheriffs of the counties where any such servant or servants doth run away that the sheriff thereof or his deputies shall hereby have power to hire boat and hands to persue the said runaways and that the charge thereof shall be borne and defrayed by the said county.


2009.  Thomas D. Russell
Last modified:  18 November 2009