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Lot 90: 1716 Colonial Court Document Plymouth, Mass. Profane Swearing + for Fornication!
Historic Autographs, Civil War Encased Postage Stamps, Colonial, Revolutionary War, Federal Era, Coins, Currency, Medals
December 10, 2016
Rancho Santa Fe, CA, USALive Auction
1716 Early Colonial Court Document from Plymouth, Mass "Cursing Wishing by God That ye Indians Were in hell..."
March 7, 1716-Dated Early Colonial Period, Manuscript Document Signed, "John Foster, fore man" 1 page, measuring 7.5" x 12" with Integral Transmittal Leaf attached, Fine.
This great Document is also Signed, "John Foster, fore man" on verso beneath a short witness statement, Plimouth. With integral leaf attached. It reads, in part: "Presentments made and Exhibetted by The Grand Jury for ye Body of ye County of Plimouth To his Majestys Justises of ye Quarter Session of ye same as follows." Seven names of Witnesses follow, with each statement beginning: "Wee Present...". It reads, in part, "for Breach of Sabath For vainly Spending ye Sabath..." "Profane Swearing by his maker and for Cursing Wishing by God That ye Indians Were in hell. This was some time in January 1715... ye Wife of Eliazir Harlow for Fornication for haveing a... Born of her Codus Within five of six months of her Marriage...". An 8th name appears on verso.
John Foster (1642-1732), the foreman of this Grand Jury, was a blacksmith, and early permanent resident in Marshfield, Plymouth County. Mashfield was officially set off from Plimoth Plantation as a separate town in 1640. Much of the land in Marshfield was orginally granted to the Pilgrims, their family members or to the investors in the Pilgrim settlement at Plymouth. Foster served his townsmen at selectman 1690, but declined to be their representative in the general court when they elected him to that office. He was elected as deacon of the first church in Marshfield in 1700 and was ordained Deacon in the Church on July 20, 1701.