Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Did Thomas Pell, First Lord of the Manor of Pelham, Act as an Attorney?

It is well documented that Thomas Pell had some form of medical background and served as a surgeon supporting troops during the Pequot War in the 17th Century. There also is evidence that he dabbled as a tobacco trader using a barque that plied the waters between New Haven and Virginia. We know, as well, that Pell was a land speculator and acquired from local Native Americans the lands that became today's Pelham and surrounding areas. But, is it possible that Pell also acted as an attorney?

Evidence suggests that he did on at least three occasions. Records of Court sessions held in New Haven on September 7, 1642, November 2, 1642 and December 7, 1642 suggest that Pell appeared before the Court as "attournay" for the executors of the estate of Richard Jewells. The complete Court records, published in 1857, are transcribed immediately below:


Tho: Pell and attournay for the executor of Richard Jewell, demaunded the remainder of the tearme of nine yeares wch Thomas Toby late servant to Jerymy Whitnell, wch bound by covenant to serve wth the said Richard Jewell as appeared by his indenture, wherevpon the Court wth the consent of the ptyes [parties], referred to Captaine Turner and Mr. Evance to consider of and sett downe what damage the said Richard Jewell might have in his disbursmts and adventures about the said Thomas Toby, thatt what appeares to be equall may be retourned to the executors of the said Rich: Jewell out of the wages of the said Tho: Toby."

Source: Records of the Colony and Plantation of New Haven, from 1638 to 1649, p. 77 (New Haven, CT: 1857) (available via Google Books).


Whereas there hath beene two attatchments out, in the hands of Mr. Gregson, the one in the behalfe of Mr. Pocock, and the other on the behalfe of Mr. John Evance of Newhaven, concerning some goods left here by Mr. Owen, Itt is therefore ordered thatt those attatchments shall nott take away the said goods from this place, untill this Court have seene and determined the equity of those attatchments.

Att the request of Mr. Malbon, Itt is ordered that an attachmente be sent forth to detaine all the goods left in the hands of Captaine Turner by Mr. Owen, vntill the Court have ordered concerning them.

Forasmuch as the causway to the west side beyond the bridge is damaged by the cowes goeing thatt way, before the workemen had full finished the same, Itt is therefore ordered, that John Wakeman, Josuah Attwater, John Clarke and Anthony Thompson shall veiw the damage, and sett downe whatt in their judgmts they conceive is for the workemen to have in way of satisfactio.

Itt is ordered thatt if their be any goods due to John Woollen in the marchants hands in reference to Delaware Bay, there shall be 3 l detained to secure a debt to Mr. Bryant of Milforde till things be cleared betwixt John Woollen and him.

Itt is ordered thatt Mathew Hitchcock shall either pay 20 s to Mr. Perry wch he vndertooke in the behalfe of his brother, or else sell so much of his brother's goods as will satisfie the said debt.

Itt is ordered thatt John Mason, Sam: Higginson and George Badcoke shall pay to Thomas French the su of 20 s for takeing his cannow wthout leave, according to an order in thatt case.

By a letter from Mr. Marshall to Mr. Hill of Winsor, bearing date the 7th of Aprill 1636, and a letter to Goodma Mansfield, dated the 13 of October 1641, itt is evidenced to this Court thatt some of the cattell goeing under the name of Mr. Trobridge doth belong to Mr. Marshall as his pp goods, namely a white cow, red sparkled, a heifer, white and red sparkled, and one white and blacke sparkled; Henry Gibbons testimony allso concuring wth the aforesaid letters.

Jervas Boykin is ordered to pay vnto George Badcocke the su of 20 s for taking his cannow wthout leave.

Mr. Gregson affirmed thatt he hath nott received paymt for the passage of Thomas Toby, wherevpon Mr. Pell as attournay for Richard Jewells executours undertooke to see him satisfied.

The difference betweene Mrs. Stolyo and Mr. Eliz: Goodma wth their owne consents is refered to Mr. Goodyeere and Mr. Gregson to determine."

Source: Records of the Colony and Plantation of New Haven, from 1638 to 1649, pp. 79-80 (New Haven, CT: 1857) (available via Google Books).


Forasmuch as John Owne hatt had some damage done in his corne by hogs, occasioned through the neglect of Mr. Lamberton, John Bud and Will. Preston in nott makeing vp their fence in season, itt is therefore ordered thatt the said Mr. Lamberton, John Bud and Will. Preston shall make satisfactio to the said John Owne for the damage done, (viz) eight dayes worke and two pecks of corne, wch is to be payd according to the severall pportios of fence vnsett vp respectively.

Mr. Evance delivered into the Court an awarde betweene Goodma Whitnell and Tho: Toby on the one pt, and Mr. Pell, attournay for the executor of Richard Jewell on the other pt, wherein Thomas Toby is awarded to pay vnto Mr. Pell three pounds six shillings and fower pence, wch Goodman Andrewes and Goodma Whitnell vndertooke to pay in his behalfe. And itt is ordered thatt the said Thomas Toby shall be bound apprentice for three yeares, (from the end of his formr tearme wth Goodman Whitnell) to them, the said Goodma Andrewes and Goodman Whitnell, who are to finde him foode and rayment convenient, till the said three yeares be expyred."

Source: Id., p. 81.

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