Monday, March 31, 2014


On 19 April 1681 Thomas Robbins filed this document which he'd drawn up
the previous day. In it, he  transfers all his possessions to his nephew by
marriage, William Pinson and William's wife Rebecca, who was Thomas'
niece. In what was a common practice in colonial New England, the
transaction is based on the condition that the Pinsons take care of Thomas
Robbins and his wife for the rest of the older couple's lives:

"19: Aprill:81
To all people to whome this present writing shall come: I Thomas Robbins of ye towne
of Salem in New England, send greeting: Know yee that I ye sd Thomas Robbins, as well for and in consideration of ye natural affection of ye naturall afection wch I have & doe beare unto my Kinsman William Pinson & his wife Rebecka (who is my sister's daughter) as alsoe for divers other good considerations & re moving thereunto, more especially for that ye sd William Pinson hath engaged himselfe, heires, executors, & adminsistrators, as by a bond under his hand bearing date ye date of these presents,more fully will appeere, well & sufficiently to provide for me & my wife Mary, both in sickness & in health, during my naturall life, for ye considerations aforesd. I say I the said Thomas Robbins, have given, granted & by these presents doe give give, grant, & confirm unto ye sd William Pinson & his wife Rebecka all & singular my goods, chattells, lands, housing, cattell, money, plate, dues debts, rings, household stuff, brass, pewter, & all other my substance whatsoever, moveable & imoveable. quick & dead, of what kind & nature soever, condition or qualitty soever ye same may be, either in my owne custody or possession, or in the custody & possession of any other p'son whatsoever: all which aforesaid I say. I, Thomas Robbins doe by these presents give, grant & confirme unto ye sd William Pinson & his wife Rebecka,excepting what I have already given & disposed by my will bearing date the date of these presents. To have & to hold all & singular ye said goods, chattells, debts, & all others ye aforesd premises unto ye only use & behoofe of him ye said William Pinson & his wife Rebecka, their heirs, executors, administrators & assignes forever freely & quietly, without any matter of challeng, claime or demand of me Thomas Robbins, or any other prson or prsons wtsoever by my cause, meanes or procurement & I Thomas Robbins, all or singular, ye aforesd goods, chattells & procurements to ye said William Pinson & his wife Rebecka, theire heirs, executors, administrators or assignes, against all people, will warrant & defend by these presents, & further Know yee yt I ye sd Thomas Robbins, have put ye sd William Pinson & his wife Recka in peaceable & quiet possession of all & singular ye aforesd premises by delivering unto them at the ensealing hereof one coyned peece of silver comonly caled a shilling & in witness of the truth hereof I Thomas Robbins have hereunto sett my hand & seale this eighteenth day of Aprill in ye yeare of our Lord one thousand six hundred eighty one provided & it is to be understood that the true meaning of the above written is to invest William Pinson & his heires in the present continued possession of ye premisses conditionally, that he doe & performe as my executor what is contained in my will, alreddy made, signed & acknowledged before signing, sealing,and delivery of this above written instrument which will beare date the date of these presents."

The document is signed with Thomas Robbins' mark.

It's pretty straight forward: William and Rebecca Pinson received all of Thomas
Robbins' worldly goods in exchange for  taking care of Thomas Robbins in his
old age.

And yet, five years later, Thomas Robbins would be in the Salem Court, charging
William with violating the terms of their agreement.

To be continued.

1 comment:

Miriam Robbins said...

So you have a Robbins' nest in your family tree, eh? I'm looking forward to the next part!