Thursday, May 30, 2013
JONATHAN BARNES: "...COMITTED TO PRISON,,,"
John Barnes' son Jonathan was born 3Jun 1643 and as I'll show later was
involved in his father's merchant business. But this post is about his one
appearance at Plymouth Court for an offense that resembled some of his
father's drinking exploits.
In 1666 the twenty three year old Jonathan had been married for a year
to his wife Elizabeth Hedges. This particular case involved two of his
wife's brothers; Abraham Hedge was a co-defendant and Elisha was a
witness. The third co-defendant Thomas Starr was already in hot water
for some statements criticizing the colonial government.
It also didn't help matters that Anthony Thacher was a deputy to the
General Court from Yarmouth.
The following is from the Plymouth Court Records:
Att this Court, Mr Anthony Thacher complained against Thomas Starr,
Jonathan Barnes, and Abraham Hedge for abbusive carriages towards him in
his house ; in reference whervnto the said Starr, Barnes, and Hedge were
sentenced to pay vnto the said Mr Thacher the sume of fkiue pounds, viz :
the said Thomas Starr the sume of forty shillings, Jonathan Barnes the sume
of forty shillings, and Abraham Hedge the sume of twenty shillings; and in
reference vnto theire rietus carriages att the same time in breakeing the
Kings peace, for the which bonds were taken of each of then vntil this Court,
the court sentences them to bee comitted to prison, and theire to remaine
during the pleasure of the Court ; which accordingly was pformed, and the
next day after their comittment were sett at libertie, and theire bonds
deliured to them.
And in reference vnto the said Thomas Starr and Jonathan Barnes theire
abusiue carriage to Francis Baker att the same time, they, the said Starr and
Barnes, were sentanced by the Court to pay vnto the said Baker, each of them,
the sume of twenty shillinges.
And in reference vnto the said Francis Baker and John Casley theire breach of
the peace att the same time, they were fined by the Court, each of them, the
sume of three shillinges and four pence to the vse of the collonie.
And whereas Elisha Hege hath giuen testimony that the said Baker and Casley
were drunke att the same time, incase any concurrent testimony shall appear
to cleare vp the truth thereof, they shallbee lyable to suffer the penaltie of the
law for the same. pp115-116
The stay in prison might have been the Plymouth equivalent of spending the night
in jail to sleep it off and ponder the error of your ways. If it was, it seems to have
worked for Jonathan as this was the only instance I can find of him misbehaving.