Thursday, June 25, 2009


The citizenry of Essex County must have had a lot of interesting conversations
about the goings on between Thomas Woodbridge and my 9x great grandfather
Captain William Gerrish in that spring of 1676. They were launching legal missiles
at each other as before the ink was even dry on the writs issued by the court. And
things seem to have come to a head in June of that year.

First, on June 15th, a writ that references the items that had been attached from
Captain Gerrish in the previous case. I must say that Joseph Pike, the constable,
seems to have taken a bit of relish in that duty and I'll ask you, reader, to keep
that thought for later. I also find the list of good interesting because of the
unfamiliar terms and names:

"Capt. Wm. Geerish v. Mr. Tho. Woodbridge. Review. Verdict for plaintiff. Appealed
to the next Court of Assistants. Said Woodbridge bound, with Mr. Dudly Bradstreet
and Ensign Tho. Chandler as sureties.

Writ, dated June 15, 1676, signed by Anthony Somerby, for the court, and served by
Joseph Pike, constable of Newbery, by attachment of the dwelling house, warehouse
and land, all the furniture in the house, which consists of five beds, several pewter dishes,
divers sorts of linens in trunks in the house, several parcels of English goods in the shop,
one bale of goods in the warehouse, salt, lines, cork, feathers, etc., belonging to defendant.

Execution, dated Mar. 30, 1676, against Capt. Will. Gerish to satisfy judgment granted
Mr. Thomas Woodbridge at Ipswich court, signed by Robert Lord, cleric, and served by
Robert Lord, marshal of Ipswich. Copy made by Robert Lord, cleric.

Bought of Mr. Jacob Jesson, Nov. 19, 1675, to pay in pork in two months at money price
at Boston: 28 M. 1-2 6d nailes at 5s., 7li. 2s. 6d.; 50 M. 4d nailes, at 2s. 8d., 6li. 13s. 4d.;
14 M. 10d nailes, 3s., 5li. 12s.; total, 19li. 5s. 10d. Owned by Mr. Woodbridg, 27 : 4 : 1676,
before Hilliard Veren cleric.

Goods delivered the Marshal by execution, 60li. 10s.: 14 pecs serges, 35li.; 1 pece of
5li. 10s.; 69 els of Ossinb., 5li. 15s.; 60 yds. flaning, 6li.; 30 1-2, 37 1-2 of duffills,
15li. 6s.;
42 yds. penistone, 5li. 15s. 6d.; 25 yds. Carsy, 10li 12s.; 2 pecs 1-2 thicke carsy,
11li. 12s. 6d.;
1 pece of carsy, 3li. 10s.; 1 peece of sad carsy, 4li.; 2 pecs of mild serge,
11li. 10s.; 1 pece of
prest serge, 3li. 18s.; 1 pece of serge, 3li.; 1 pec. serge, 3li. 10s.; 1
pece serge, 3li. 18s.;
2 pecs of prewnello, 15li. 10s.; 1 pece of farindine, 6li.; 3 pecs of
stuffe, 8li. 5s.; 1 pece of
serge, 3li. 18s.; silver lace, 3li. 7s. 6d.; 6 pecs of callico, 6li. 2s.;
2 pecs of Lawne, 3li. 12s.;
1 pece of gimpe lace, 11s. 3d.; blew lining, 5li. 14s.; 1 peece
of stuffe, 3li. 10s.; nayls, 27li. 9s.

Capt. Gerrish's bill of cost, to witnesses John Dole, John Atkinson, Henry Tewxsbury,
Thomas Noys, Nico. Noys, Stephen Greinleife, Daniell Lunt, John Kent, Hugh March and
Joseph Gerrish, etc., 9li. 1s. 6d.

Caleb Moody deposed. Sworn, 27 : 4 : 1676, before Wm. Hathorne, assistant.

Elizabeth Gerrish, aged twenty-two years, testified concerning the attachments served by
constable Joseph Pike, she standing at the porch door. He said "I doe attach this Cubbard
this Chaire this table & this dogg," and then went outside and attached three oxen, seven
cows, two yokes, a chain and a dungpot. Then the constable went away with Tristram
Coffin. Sworn, 27 : 4 : 1676, before Wm. Hathorne, assistant.

John Cornelius, aged twenty-five years, deposed. Sworn, June 26, 1676, before Daniel

Ric. Dole, aged about fifty-two years, testified. Sworn in court.

John Knight, sr., testified. Sworn in court.

Tristram Coffin, aged forty-four years, deposed. Sworn in court.

Tristram Coffin and Jno. Dole testified. Sworn in court.

John Wells, aged about thirty-six years, deposed on June 23, 1676. Sworn, June 26, 1676,
before William Stoughton. Copy made by Hilliard Veren, cleric.

John Knight testified that Mr. Woodbridge told him that he had paid Gerrish a part of his
debt and the remainder he would pay at the next coming in of the boat, etc. Sworn in

John Knight, sr., deposed. Sworn in court.

Elizabeth Gerrish, aged about twenty-two years, deposed concerning the goods for
Woodbridge sued her father. Sworn, 26 :4 : 1676, before Wm. Hathorne, assistant.

Moses Gerrish, aged about twenty-years, deposed concerning what Mr. Woodbridge
told his
wife about the goods, etc. Sworn, 27 :4 : 1676, before Wm. Hathorne, assistant."

Now, one would think that having won his case and seen all of Thomas Woodbridge's
belongings attached would have been enough satisfaction for William Gerrish and the
two of them would have moved on with their lives. But only two days later, the pair
were once more back in court over something that had occurred weeks earlier.

This time, it was William Gerrish who was the defendant:

"Mr. Tho. Woodbridg v. Capt. Wm. Gerrish. Unjust molestation. Verdict for plaintif
Writ, dated June 17, 1676, signed by Dudley Bradstreet, for the court and served by J
oseph Pike, constable of Newbury.

Thomas Woodbridge's bill of cost, 17s. 8d.

Theophilus Willson, aged about seventy-five years, testified that about eight days before
the last Ipswich court Capt Gerrish arrested Mr. Woodbridge for slander in an action of
l,000li., and not giving security said Woodbridge was brought to deponent who was
keeper of the prison, and was kept imprisoned eight days. Sworn, June 26, 1676, before
Daniel Denison.

John Knight, aged fifty-one years, deposed that the last spring the constable of Neubery
attached a parcel of iron of Mr. Woodbridge's which the latter shipped aboard Daniell
Lunt's boat. Immediately after the iron was attached, Capt. Gerrish sent deponent to
Woodbridge to tell him what iron he had present use for about his vessel he should have,
weighing it. Sworn in court.

Joseph Pike, aged about thirty-seven years, testified concerning serving the attachments,
the first time on two tons which proved to be Mr. Page's etc. Sworn in court.

Joseph Pike, aged about thirty-seven years, deposed that he weighed out for Ensign
Greenleif 300li. of the iron which he delivered to Woodbridge's men who were employed
on the vessel now called Mr. Dumer's, etc. Sworn in court.

Stephen Grenlef, aged about forty-seven years, deposed that the constable brought the
iron which was attached to deponent's shop, etc. Sworn in court.

Major Denison and Marshal Lord affirmed in court that Woodbridge was put in prison."

And then....well, I don't know. I haven't found anymore records of court preceedings
between Capt. Gerrish and Thomas Woodbridge. And I wish I knew what the
witnesses said in testifying.

But I have found one last case that involves Constable Pike and the Captain, and we'll
discuss that next.

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