Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Awhile back I posted "My Ancestor the Knave?" which contained Sara Loring
Bailey's account of an incident involving my ancestor Thomas Chandler, his
apprentice Hopestill Tyler, and Job Tyler, Hopestill's father. In brief, Job
Tyler had apprenticed his son to Chandler to learn the blacksmith's trade, then
for some reason wanted to nullify the contract. Tyler stole the documents and destroyed
them, but then Chandler sued and won back his apprentice. A series of legal battles
between Tyler and the Chandlers, culminating in a ruling ordering Tyler to publicly
apologize for slandering Chandler's good name.

Recently I found the court record transcriptions of that first case as well for several of
the subsequent ones, all of which I will post here to my blog. Here's the first case
file. Notice the description of how the Tylers stole the indenturement papers:

"June 1662

Thomas Chandler v. Job Tyler. For taking away his apprentice Hope Tyler, and detaining
him out of his service. Verdict for plaintiff, the boy to be restored to his master.J

Writ, dated June 15, 1662, signed by Daniel Denison, for the court, and served by Robert
Lord, marshal of Ipswich, by attachment of a calf and six swine of defendant.

Search warrant, dated June 23, 1662, issued by Daniel Deniison, to the constables of
Ipswich or Wenham, for the apprehension of " Hope Tiler a youth of about 13 yeares
of age, who is run away from his Mr Thomas Chandler of Andouer who as I am
informed is entertained by Richard Coy," and to bring him to the court at Salem, if
sitting, or before said Denison to be proceeded with according to law. Theophilus Wilson, constable of Ipswich, on June 23, 1662, appointed Robert Lord, sr., his deputy.

Thomas Chandler's bill of charges, 31i. 7s.

Nathan Parker, aged about forty years, testified that about four years since, Job Tiler and
Thomas Chandler desired deponent to make a writing to bind Hope Tiler, son of Job,
apprentice to Thomas Chandler, which he did according to his best skill. This writing,
Mr. Bradstreet afterward saw and perused and adjudged it to be good and firm. The
term of years mentioned was nine years and a half and said Chandler was to teach him
the trade of a blacksmith, to read the Bible and to write so far as to be able to keep a book
so as to serve his turn or to keep a book for his trade, and to allow him meat, drink,
lodging and clothes. Deponent was to keep said writing safely, which he did for about three years, and Job Tiler often asked deponent to let him have it, but he refused, because it was agreed by both parties that deponent should keep it. Finally Moses Tiler
came with John
Godfrey to deponent's house, as his maid servant and children told him,
when deponent,
his wife and his maid were not in the house, and sent the elder of the
children out of doors.
As the younger child told deponent when he returned, they took
the writing down, which
he had stuck up between the joists and the boards of the
chamber, and the child thought
they burned it in the fire. And when deponent returned,
he feared the writing was lost,
because he certainly knew it to have been there when he
went out of the house about an
hour or two before, as he had taken it from his pocket
when he came from Mr. Bradstreete's.
He had also warned his children not to meddle
with it, which he verily believed they could
not, for he himself was forced to stand up
in a chair to raise up the board to put it under. The
elder boy before he was sent out of
doors by said Moses, saw said Tiler and Godfrey look
up to the place where the writing
stuck and he told them that they must not meddle with the
writing for their father had charged them not to do so. Deponent had never seen the writing since, and asking said
Tiler and Godfrey for it, they did not deny that they had taken it
down, but said they
did not have it and did not know where it was, etc. Sworn, June 16, 1662,
Daniel Denison.

Georg Abbott, aged about fifty years, deposed. Sworn in court.

Wiliam Balard, aged about forty-five years, deposed that about six weeks since, the house
of Job Tyler being burned, he gave said Tyler's wife leave to come with her family for a t
ime and live at his house. Her husband at that time was not at home. She accordingly did
so and there remained to this date.

John Godfre deposed that he saw Moses Tyler, Goodwife Tyler being there also, take down
the indenture in Nathan Parker's house. Deponent went with them to their farm, and Moses
said to him, " Godfre I haue got my Brothers indentuers and nowe lat Chandler don what
he can wee will take away hope frome him and that night I see the indentuer by moes
burned in the sight of his father and then he said now father you may take away hop when
you will from Chandler and lat him proue a righting if he can and thay gratly Tryemped."
Sworn in court."- (Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County,
Vol II pp404-405)

Job Tyler seems to have been an argumentative man. He would be involved in more
legal disputes and ironically enough many of them were with the same John Godfrey
who been involved in getting the papers from Mr. Parker's house. That would culminate
during the Witch Trials some 25 years later.

And as we'll see, there would also be more court appearances in the ongoing dispute
with Thomas Chandler.

1 comment:

Apple said...

The apprentice system was interesting. I haven't researched it much but it seems that it could be harsh if you didn't get a good master.