Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Minutes of Provincial Council of Pennsylvania in 1703

This is probably the oldest excerpt yet posted on Papergreat. It's a short passage from:

of the
Provincial Council

From the Organization to the Termination of the
Proprietary Government.
Published by the State.
Vol. II.
Containing the Proceedings of Council From December
18, 1700, to May 15, 1717.

The edition I'm excerpting from was printed by Theophilus Fenn in 1838 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The passage concerns some folks who might have performed some marriage ceremonies that they weren't supposed to:

At a Council held at Philadelphia, the 31st 11 mo., 1703-4.
John Guest, Thomas Story,
Samuel Carpentr, Griffeth Owen.

Andrew Bankson, according to order of ye last Council, appearing before this Board, was questioned concerning his being present at a late marriage of Tho. Murray & Rebeckah Richardson, contrary to Law, and countenancing it as a Justice of ye Peace; upon wch he declared that he was wholly ignorant of its being illegal, & was heartily sorry for what was done, promising that whether he should continue in Commission, or otherwise, this should be such a caution to him as to prevent him of committing the like for ye future, & being severely checked, was dismissed.

George Lowther, also was sent for & questioned concerning a License said to have been granted by ye Lord Cornbury, for marrying ye sd persons in ye Province of Jersey, upon a letter from ye sd Lord, a Copy of wch was produced,) by Rebeckah Shippen, assuring her that he had heard of no application for that purpose, & should not grant one if applied for But the sd George Lowther, Sending forth the sd. License, produced it, & being viewed carefully, it appeared to be authentique.
Many of the passages in the book are, frankly, pretty boring — comparable to the uneventful municipal meetings that we're used to three centuries later. But there is some compelling stuff about negotiations with various Indian tribes in the years 1709 to 1711 that I might delve into in a future post.

If you're interested in this topic, let me know and I might dive back into it even sooner!

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