I am a(n) researcher and archivist.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

My Tribute To Thomas Leonard, With A Document From 1698, On The 300th Anniversary Of His Passing

Major Thomas Leonard, a Veteran of King Philip's War (1675 - 1676), passed away on this day 300 years ago. November 24, 1713 to November 24, 2013 ... a full three centuries since Thomas Leonard passed on. He is certainly a little-known Military Veteran from an extremely overlooked Conflict. In honor of this day, I went into the archive and dug out a court document from the year 1698. Thomas signed it twice. The court case involved a guy named Jabez Pratt. His crime? A little bit of fornication prior to marriage. A very hard to find item from Colonial Massachusetts in the era referred to as the "Pilgrim Century". American documents from the 1600s are exceedingly difficult to locate.

The url of the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaG_L4sHVGk

I transcribed it exactly as it was written:

Memorandon that on the ffirst day of September 1698 in the tenth
year of his majesties reign Jabez Prat of Taunton in said County
came before me Thomas Leonard Esquire one of his Majesties Justices
for said County and acknowledges himselfe Indebted to our Sovereign
Lord the King his heirs & Successor the ffull sum of ten pounds Lawfull
money to be levyed on his Estate, Goods & chattels if default herein be
The condition of this Recognizance is such that if the above bounden
Jabez Prat do make his personal appearance at the next Session of
the peace to hold at Bristoll on the second Tuesday in October next to
then and there Answer before his Majesties Justices for himselfe and his
wives committing ffornication before marriage, and abide and per=
forme the sentence of the Court  then this present Recognizance to
be voyd and of no force, or else to remain in its ffull fforce strength
and virtue. The said Jabez Prat was bound as above said
                                    Coram me Thomas Leonard Justice

Jabez Pratt above named confessed matter of fact

Two Notes: 1.) Coram is Latin for "Before" or "In The Presence Of". 2.) The final sentence was written in another hand.

Here are some photographs of the document ...

 photo ThomasLeonardDocument1_zpsf864229f.jpg
 photo ThomasLeonardDocument2_zps1e2c557b.jpg
 photo ThomasLeonardDocument3_zpse2e8725d.jpg

The reverse:
 photo ThomasLeonardDocument4_zpsb5e3399a.jpg

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I am a(n) researcher and archivist.