Friday, June 14, 2013


These last cases dealing members of the Dunham family involve a son and
grandson of my ancestor John Dunham Sr. of Plymouth Colony.  The first two
are about my 8x great grandfather Joseph Dunham, who seems to have been
somewhat of a rake by the standards of our Pilgrim fathers. But remember,
they considered things like kissing your own wife in public "lascivious behavior".
One thing that does have me wondering over the first case is just what did some
one say about Mary Cobb of Taunton. I'm also struck by the fact that Taunton once
more figures into bad behavior by a Dunham son. Did they think that Taunton was
far enough away from home to kick up their heels there a bit?

5Mar 1660-1
Josepth Dunham. for diuers laciuiouse carriages, was sentanced by the Court to
sitt in the stockes, with a paper on his hatt on which his fact was written in
capitall letters, and likewise to find surties for his good behauior.
Joseph Dunham oweth vnto our sou lord the Kinge the sume of 20:00:00 shillings
John Dunham. Senir, the sume of                                                     10:00:00
Nathaniell Morton the sume of                                                        10:00:00

The condition, that if the said Josepth Dunham shalbee of good behauior towards
our sou lord the Kinge and all his leich people. and appeer att the Generall Court
to bee holden att Plymouth the first Tuesday in June next, and not depart the said Court without lycence ; that then, &c.

It was ordered by the Court, that Mary, the wife of Edward Cobb, of Taunton, should
bee sumoned to appeer att the Court to bee holden att Plymouth the first Tuesday in
May next, to answare for her miscarriages, as appeers by a deposition giuen in to the
grand enquest against Josepth Dunham.
Vol3 p210

Seventeen years later the by now forty something year old Joseph still had a bit of
a wild streak but the Court was a bit more lenient on this occasion:

5Mar 1677-8
Joseph Dunham, for laciuouse carriages vsed toward Elizabeth Ringe. fined
twenty shillings, to the vse of the collonie.
Vol5 p253

John's son Samuel seems to have stuck to the path of righteousness but his
son Samuel Jr. carried on the family tradition of brief brushes with the law.
In 1674 he and his cousin John Rickard mistreated an Indian. Samuel Jr. was about
twelve years old at the time of the incident :

7Jul 1674
John Rickard, the son of John Rickard, and Samuell Dunham, the son of Samuell
Dunham, for abuseing an Indian, and therin breaking the Kings peace, was fined,
each of them, three shillings and four pence
.Vol5 p152

Considering the relations between the colonists and Indians were beginning to
deteriorate, this was not exactly the brightest thing for the young men to do.

That's the last record I found of a Dunham man skirting the law in early Plymouth.
There were a few civil suits that I'll discuss later.

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