Friday, October 30, 2009


John Stevens’ involvement in the struggle between Thomas Chandler and Job Tyler
began in the fall of 1667 and he had difficulties right from the start:

“Complaint of John Stevens: that when he attached cattle taken by execution from
Thomas Chandler and in the possession of Col. Crowne, the latter abused him,
saying that he would make him an example for all the constables in New England
for attaching cattle in the highway, etc. One Post of Oborne drove them away, etc.

John Stevens, constable, aged about twenty-eight years, deposed that after he
attached the cattle of Job Tyler and recovered them, they came to a stand. Post,
son-in-law of Tyler, who was with Col. Crowne, asked him why he did not attach
the cattle when they were in the yard, etc.” (Records and Files of the Quarterly
Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts Vol 3 Nov 1667 p470)

Now this Col. Crowne had been chosen by Job Tyler as one of the three arbitrators
of the dispute with Chandler, so his action here was as a supporter of Tyler. But there’s
nothing further in the entry about the particulars of this latest incident. Those came
the following spring in March, 1668:

"Job Tyler v. Thomas Chandler. Review. Special verdict found: that there was a bond of
arbitration wherein both agreed to choose two men, and if they did not agree then a third
was to be chosen; that two of the men did agree but the third did not; if two agreed and
the agreement ended the case, they found for defendant, if not, for plaintiff. Court gave
judgment for defendant.*

*Writ, dated Mar. 16, 1667-8, signed by Robert Lord, for the court, and served by John
constable of Andover. George Abbut, sr., surety on bond.

Copy of writ, dated 27 : 3 : 1667, and copy of Ipswich court record, dated Sept. 24, 1667,
made Oct. 15, 1667, by Robert Lord, cleric.

Copy of award of the arbitrators, Edward Denison and Isaac Johnson, copy of letter
Joseph Aldregh, copy of agreement between plaintiff and defendant, and copy of
depositions of John Chandler and William Cleaves, made Mar. 30, 1668, by Robert Lord,

Richard Post of Woburn, aged about forty years, deposed that the marshal general
called at
his house, 24 : 6 : 1667, to have him go to Andiver to levy the execution.
Chandler said
that his land was made over to Mr. Brown of Salem. The day following,
the marshal being
obliged to return home on account of the council sitting, gave
deponent an order to take
the oxen and cows and deliver them to Job Tiler, which
he did. But the marshal declared to
Chandler before Col. Crowne that the cattle must
go to Roxbury upon Chandler's charge
before being delivered to Tiler. Then they all
went homeward as far as Shawshin river
and deponent was left with the cattle.
When Col. Crowne returned, he said that he was to
take the cattle, and when they
reached Samuel Blanchard's house, Chandler and one Stevens,
constable, came
running after them and took the cattle by force, notwithstanding the fact
that he
read his deputation publicly to them, etc.

William Crowne, aged about fifty years, deposed. Sworn, 11:8: 1667, before Simon

William Park testified that he went with Job Tiller to John Chandler's house upon
Mar. 1,
1665, etc.

Joseph Alderegh, aged about thirty-two years, testified that Chandler came to him
with the
summons on Sept. 21 or 22, 1667, as "certanly as I can recken wth out an Almanake," and told said Chandler that Job Tiler did not live there then, for deponent
had asked him to
remove from his house because he needed the room which he used
for corn. "I tould
Chandeler he had noe famyly heere nor certaine place of aboade but
lay some tyme at
one, some tymes an other," but thought he had gone to Roxbury to
his wife, etc.

Sworn, 27 : 1 : 1668, before Elea. Lusher, assistant. (Records and Files of the Quarterly
Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts Vol 4 Mar 1668 p1-2)

I have to admit I was a bit puzzled by this at first. It appears that the cattle were originally
Job Tyler’s taken as surety for the court case by Thomas Chandler. I think they were
then returned to Tyler, but he again lost his case in court and were once more supposed
to be given to Chandler, which is when the confrontation took place between John
Stevens and Col Crowne. I’m also puzzled as to why the marshal general wanted the
livestock driven down to Roxbury. Does “Chandler’s charge” mean at his expense?
And just what was this marshal general’s name and how had he become involved in
this mess? Perhaps this was some circuitous form of revenge on Chandler by some

Lastly, Joseph Alderegh(Aldridge?) stately made me grin when I first read it. Ar
proto-Yankee farmer with a need for an almanac!

This last incident seems to have been the straw that broke the camel’s back, as I’ll
discuss in the final post of this series.

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