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Rankin Family History Project



Elizabeth Thorpe's Miscarriages

Elizabeth Thorpe, daughter of William Thorp, and a friend, Elizabeth Stint, appeared before the Court to answer to charges of "miscarriages with a young man".



At a Gen. Court held at New Haven the 21st Jun 1660

At a meeting of the court at the Governors the 5th of May last, Caleb Horton of Southold complained of John Tod for spreading a slanderous report concerning him, in saying that he saw him in Mr. Feilds yard with two or three maids, and that he threw them down upon heaps and sat on them and that he called upon him to help him, for he could not serve three at once, which Caleb Horton denied to be so.

To prove that John Tod so said, he desiredthat some witnesses might be heard; and first Stephen Bradely testified that John Tod told him that passing my Mr Feilds yard, he saw a young man and three maids together, and the man called to him to help him, for he could not serve three at once;

Stephen further said that he asked John Tod what bad carriage he was among them, to which he answered that he knew not what they were doing, except they were at prayer.

Nathaniel How testified that John Tod told him that he was Caleb Horton throw the maids on heeps, and that he called to him to help him.

John Tod owned what was testified, only that particular of serving three at once he said he spake not, but for that he said about their going to prayer he said he was ashamed of, for he did not so apprehend, but saw the young man throw one maid upon two other maids, and

Samuel Cooke importuned him to stay, saying that the man was offended that he went away and would not help him, but what man it was he knew not; to which Stephen Bradely replied that, though he named him not, yet he said it was the young man that kept at Mr.Feilds.

Samuel Cooke now said that as one of the maids was going home, John Tod came and asked for Moses Mansfeild, and as he went away, Caleb said, what a clownish man this is, that he goes away and leaves him with the maids; but that he said that John Tod would not help him, he heard not.

Christopher Tod said that Moses Mansfeild told him that Caleb asked what the court did with the fines of Jacob Murline and Sarah Tuttle, and that he said he would kiss a maid before the Governors face, to which he replied, then there needs no other witness, which Caleb now could not deny, but endeavoured to evade by putting such an interpretation upon the former part of his speech, which the court was not satisfied with.

Elizabeth Stint said that she was speaking to Mary Browne, as she was milking, and as she was going away Caleb stopped her and would not let her go and that he thrust them one upon another against the rails.

Elizabeth Thorp said that she was going to Mary in the yard, Caleb stopped her and bid her stay until that fellow (viz.: John Tod) was gone, and asked if it were the Constable's son.

The case having been heard, the Governor declared that there is much evil in this business, and that it is spread far, therefore ought not to be ended in private, but he being a stranger, and desirous of a present issue,

The Governor in the name of the court declared that it appears that there was an uncivil and corrupt carriage betwixt them and an unseasonable time, and that Caleb disliked (found fault with) another, as a fool, or a clown, that would not join with him in his evil practice, and not content therewith, he proudly lets fly against the court, saying, what doth the court do with the fines, and that he would kiss a maid before the Governors face;

For which miscarriages Caleb Horton was fined 40 shillings; but that part which concerns the maids (before mentioned) they are to give heir answer the next court, at which time (Caleb was told) that if he see cause to prosecute against John Tod, he may be heard.

Source:  Ancient Town Records 1649-1684

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At a Court held at New Haven the 4th of Sep 1660

Elizabeth Thorp and Elizabeth Stint, being warned to the court to answer for certain miscarriges with a young man in Master Feilds yard, as by the record of the 5th of May doth appear, they were told that their carriage was then uncomely and at an unseasonable time, mixed with some degree of dalliance, concerning which if they had ought to say by way of acknowledgment they might speak;

They both confessed their miscarriage in that matter, and said that they hoped it should be a warning to them; they were told (especially Elizabeth Thorp) that by what she formerly confessed that there was too much compliance in such courses;

They were also told that they both had godly parents and enjoyed precious means for the good of their souls, both which aggravate their sin, and wished to take heed of and to fly the lusts of youth and vain company, especially at unseasonable time, and to harken to the counsel of their parents, and to take heed of sinful dalliance, least they provoke God to leave them to some wickedness that may bring shame and punishment upon them, and to remember that of Solomon, he that is often reproved and hardeneth his neck shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy, with which rebuke and counsel they were dismissed at this time.

Source:  Ancient Town Records 1649-1684

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