Monday, June 10, 2013


I wasn't sure if this was John Dunham Jr or his son John. At the time  of the incident
in 1665 John Dunham Sr. was still alive, so it's possible it is the grandson who
might have been called "John Dunham the younger" to distinguish him from the
other two.But I think the names of the three men who helped pay the 40
helped me decide it.  Benajah Pratt was married to Persis Dunham, a sister of
John Jr.  Jonathan Dunham was John Jr.'s younger brother. Here's the story from
Volume 4 of  the Plymouth Court Records:

1Aug 1665

In reference vnto John Dunham the younger, for his abusive carriage
towards his wife in contnuall tiranising ouer her, and in pticulare for his late
abusiue and vnciuill carryage in endeauoring to beate her in a deboist manor,
and for affrighting of her by drawing a sword and pretending therwith to offer
violence to his life, hee, the said Dunham, is sentanced by the Court to bee
seuerly whipt ; but through the importunitie of his wife, the execution of
the said centence was respeted for psent vntill the Court shall take furthr
notice of his furute walking, and then to doe therein as occation shall re-
quire ; and for the preuension of future euill in the like kind, the Court sees
cause to require securite for his good behauior vintill the next Generall Court,
and so fron Court to Court vntill the Court shall see cause otherwise to order.

John Dunham the younger acknowlidgeth to owe vnto our sou lord the Kinge the
sum of 20:00:00
George Bonum the sume of 6:13:04
Benajah Pratt the sume of    6:13:04
Jonathan Dunham the sume of 6:13:04
The condition, that if the said John Dunham bee of good behauior towards our sou
lord the Kinge and all his leich people, and in particulare towards his wife in reforming
his former abusiue carryage towards her both in word and deed, and appear att the
Generall Court of his matie to bee holden att Plymouth the first Tuesday in October
next, and not depart the said Court without lycence; that then, &c."   Vol4 p103-104

I had to look up the word "deboist". It seems to have been a synonym for the word debauched

The maiden name of John Jr.'s wife is unknown to me. She's listed only as Dorothy
on the family tree. Frankly, I'm disappointed that she intervened to have the whipping
sentence suspended. I think John Dunham Jr. needed a good whipping for that behavior,
or at least a couple of slaps up the side of the head. 

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