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North Carolina Higher Court Minutes
Source: NC Higher Court Minutes; Vol. 5. (1709-1723)
Abstracted by Wm. S. Price from North Carolina Colonial Records (Second Series)

July 1716


Sarah WILLIAMSON has come to Court to have an order reversed by her Attorney Thomas SWANN

Currytuck SS: At Court held in home of Wm. PARKER 2nd Tuesday in August. Justices present: Wm. REED, Wm. SWANN, Thos. VANDERMULIN, Thos. TAYLOR, William NICHOLLSON, Wm. BELL

    Sarah WILLIAMSON having a Mulatto Child being a bastard, Sarah being convict before the Court, It is ordered that Thos. TAYLOR a church warden for the Parish of Currytuck in accordance with the Act of Assembly made and provided against Women having Mulatto children, said Thomas TAYLOR made sale of woman and child in open court to Wm. PARKER and Joanah his wife. Ordered by court that Sarah WILLIAMSON is to serve William PARKER and Joanah his wife and their heirs etc. for a term of Five Years, and her child to serve William PARKER and Joanah his wife and their heirs etc. the full term of Thirty One years.
        Testis Joseph WICKER     Clericus Curiae

  It is said that the Court Erred
   1)  It does not appear that the Court had Cognizance of the same cause
   2) By record and process it doth not appear that said Sarah was Lawfully in Court
   3)  There was no Law or Act of Assembly in force in the Government at time of passing of Order warranting the sale of Sarah or her child, as the order untruly suggests.
   4) It does not appear in the Record or Process, how and after what manner the said Sale was made, neither is the time established for the servitude of the child, because it doesnít appear of what age the child was at time of sale.

    It is because of these Errors contained in the Records and Process that the said Sarah is praying for the order to be set aside and held invalid, and for her and her child be returned to their previous freedom they held before the passing of this order.
    After the Court examined and fully reviewed the order it found that there was Error. The Court granted that the said Judgment passed in Currytuck be Reversed and Annulled against Sarah WILLIAMSON and her Child.


Benjamin TULL late of Currytuck Precinct called to answer charge of Trespass by David AMBROSS

David AMBROSS by his Attorney Thomas SWANN sayeth that he had Speech and Communication with Benjamin TULL, on October 25 day 1715, at Currytuck Precinct in the County of Albemarle, concerning the price and purchasing of one bobb tail cow and year old that belonged and was running on the Plantation of TULLAMBROSS states that the agreement was that in exchange and price of one large double breasted Cloath Coat, the summ of three pounds and ten shillings, TULL would sell and deliver to AMBROSS the cow and year old together with their future increase to AMBROSS for Fifty shillings in part of pay for the said Coat.

And AMBROSS in fact Saith that trusting to the many fair promises of the said TULL the day and Yeare above mentioned did sell and deliver unto the said TULL the abovesaid Coat of the price of Three Pounds 10 shillings. Yet the said TULL his promise and assumption not regarding out of his Evil mind and malevolent Intention falsly most Wickedly and Deceitfully Contrive him the AMBROSS to deceive, he the said TULL unto the said AMBROSS the aforesaid Cow and Year Old together with their increase hath not delivered altho he, AMBROSS  saith that the said cow since the purchase of her, hath increased by bringing one young calf. But the same to deliver unto AMBROSS doth as yet gainsay to AMBROSS damage of Seven Pounds Sterling and thereupon he brings this suit etc.

And the said TULL being solemnly called came not neither did the Marshall make returne of bond or Security taken for the said TULL appearance as by Law he ought to have done wherefore AMBROSS was put to his choice either to have an Order against the Marshall with Stay of Execution till the next Court, or an Attachment against TULLs Estate.

Order vs. Marshall. And AMBROSS aforesaid making Choice of an Order against the Marshall. It is therefore Ordered that the Provost Marshall of Albemarle have the body of said TULL at the next Generall to answer to the aforesaid AMBROSSís Otherwise Judgement to be confirmed against the Marshall for the aforesaid Debt with Cost.

Whereupon the Marshall prayed an Attachment against the Estate of the said Benjamin TULL for the debt and cost aforesaid so as to Compell him to appear etc. which was Granted.


Benjamin TULL of the Precinct of Currytuck was Attached to Answer to David AMBROSS of the same precinct of a Plea of Trespass.

    Whereupon David AMBROSS by Thos. SWANN his Attorney, complains against Benjamin TULL, whereas David AMBROSS on or about the 20th day of May last past was seized and possessed of three head of cattle, which was one cow and calf and one young year old steer for the price of four pounds currant money as of his own proper goods and chattells and being thereof so possessed, AMBROSS the day and year aforesaid the said cattle out of hands and possessions casually lost which said cattle afterwards on or about the 30th day of the said month of May to the hands and possession of TULL by finding came, and TULL well and sufficently knowing the said cattle to be the cattle of AMBROSS and to him of right to belong and appertain but devising and craftily intending the said AMBROSS of the said cattle to defraud and deceive tho often requested the same hath not restored to AMBROSS but the same to restore doth yet gainsay to AMBROSSís damage 8 pounds sterling and therefore this his suit is produced.
    TULL being solemnly called came not neither did the Marshall make return of bond or security taken for the said TULLís appearance as by Law he ought to have done wherefore AMBROSS was put to his choice either to have an order against the Marshall with Stay of Execution till the next Court, or an Attachment against TULLís estate.

Order vs. Marshall

And AMBROSS aforesaid making the choice of an Order against the Marshall, it is ordered that the Provost Marshall of the County of Albemarle have the body of Benjamin TULL at the next generall against the Marshall for the aforesaid debt with cost.

Whereupon the Marshall prayed an Attachment against the Estate of TULL for the debt and costs aforesaid so as to compell him to appear etc. which was granted.


John WOODHOUSE of the Precinct of Currytuck, Planter, was summoned to answer unto Henry GIBSON of the same precinct, Planter, in a plea of Trespass upon the case.

Whereupon the said Henry by Thos. SWANN his Attorney complains that he the said Henry the first of February which was in the year of our Lord 1714/5 was seized and possessed of one certain Plantation or tract of land scittuate lying and being in Currytuck within the Jurisdiction of this Court containing Three Hundred Acres as his own proper lawfull and rightfull Estate and inheritance and being thereof so seized and possessed as aforesaid the said Jno. Afterwards on the tenth day of the said month of Febry. With force of Armes the same did enter and him the said Henry thereof did deseize, and the timber and lightwood thereon standing and growing with certain oxen horses and carts did splitt pick up and bear away to the value of Fourteen pound and other things enormous to him did against the Peace of our Sovereigne Lord the King that now is and to his grevious damage Twenty Pounds and thereof this his Suit is produced.

Imparlance. And the said John in his proper person prayeth Special Lycence to Imparle untill the next Court to be holden the last Tuesday in October next to answer to the said Henry  of the Plea aforesaid and he hath it the same day is also given to the said Henry.

Permission kindly given by Donna E. Kelly, Administrator Historical Publications Section N.C. Office of Archives and History Department of Cultural Resources, Raleigh, NC.  Be sure to visit their publications site at:  These records were submitted by Judy BrickhouseNo part of these records may be used for any commercial purposes. However, please feel free to copy any of this material for your own personal use and family research.




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