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.

Friday, December 08, 2006

An Interesting Power of Attorney Executed in Favor of Thomas Pell on October 29, 1651 Plus Other Records

Records of real estate transactions for the County of Suffolk, Massachusetts contain a number of interesting references to Thomas Pell, often described as "First Lord of the Manor of Pelham". The first such record is a power of attorney executed on October 29, 1651 by a man named Edmond Leach appointing Thomas Pell his business agent throughout that part "of America called New England".

The document is particularly interesting because it refers to Pell as a "chirurgion" [surgeon -- i.e., physician]. Pell, of course, is known to have acted as a surgeon for the brutal Mason-Underhill expedition against the Pequots at Mystic that resulted in a massacre of Native Americans on May 26, 1637. The inventory of that portion of Pell's estate located within the province of New York taken shortly after his death in late September 1669 included a couple of medical texts: "Culpeper's dispensatory" and "2 of Cra dock's works in quarto". (Late in his life, Pell lived, worked and died in Fairfield.) Much has been written of Pell's work as a surgeon. See, e.g., Roberts, M., et al., Thomas Pell (1613-1669), Connecticut's First Physician and Surgeon, Conn. Med., Vol. 37, Issue 7, pp. 363-64 (Jul. 1973); Roberts, M., Connecticut's First Surgeon: Thomas Pell, Conn. Med., Vol. 40, Issue 12, pp. 856-57 (Dec. 1976); Bell, Blake A., Thomas Pell and the Legend of the Pell Treaty Oak, pp. 4-5 (NY, NY: iUniverse, Inc. 2004); Thoms, Herbert, The Beginnings of Medical Practice in New Haven Colony, Yale-New Haven Medical Center Web Site (visited Nov. 15, 2006).

The 1651 power of attorney suggests that Pell continued to work as a physician for the fifteen year-period after the attack at Mystic -- in other words, for much of his adult life. It is quoted immediately below.

"I Edmond Leach gent doe heereby. constitute Appointe and ordajne Thomas Pell chirurgion (living and Inhabiting in that pte of America now Called New England my lawfull Attorney to Recejve for me and in my name and to my Vse all goods. wares marchandizes and Comoditjes to me belonging or any wajes appertajning or acrewing from any person or persons whatsoeuer living in that sajd pt of America called New England aforesajd. And also I doe further authorize him there to sue for and Recouer the same by : by one or more action or actions against them or either of them, or by any other lawfull wajes or meanes whatsoeuer, and to Recejve all and singular such. debts, dutyes sume and sumes of money or other things as are or shall be due, or owing to to me the sajd Edmond Leach by any pson: or. psons whatsoeuer as Aforesajd And vppon the Receipt of any such summe or sumes of money or other things as aforesajd to my Vse to be. Recejved. of any such person : or psons aforesajd to make seale and deliuer as my. deed or deeds acquittances or other lawfull discharges for the same for me and in my name and to Acte. and doe all. and. euery other thing and things which shall be needefull and necessary. to be donne in or about the p'misses. and whatsoeuer my sajd Attourney shall lawfully doe or Cawse to be donne in the p'misses I p'omise to Allow Confirme performe and establish. And I doe hereby Authorize my sajd Attorney to depute any vnder him to doe and execute all and euery thing which I have before Authorized him to doe or pforme to or for the vse before mentioned In wittnes whereof I have herevnto sett my hand & seale this nine & twentieth day of october. one thousand sixe hundred fifty & one

Edm: Leach & a seale

Sealed & deliuered in the p'sence of
Adam Houghton
Joseph ffish. f
frauncis Brewstar.

This was acknowledged to be mr leache his acte & deed to mr Pell by the sajd Tho: Pell ye day of entry : Entred & Recorded 28th may 1652

p Edward Rawson Recorder."

Source: Suffolk Deeds. Liber I., pp. 205-06 (Boston, MA: Rockwell and Churchill, City Printers, 1880) (County of Suffolk, Massachusetts Registry of Deeds).

The same records also reflect that in 1652 a man named "Thomas Pell" (likely Thomas Pell of Fairfield) was involved in unspecified business transactions that required the preparation and recording of certain powers of attorney and receipts. The records are transcribed immediately below:

"Bee it knowne vnto all men by these p'sents. that I Joshua : Woolnough Cittizen. and merchant taylor of London have Assigned, ordajned and made & in my and place. by these p'sents putt & Constituted Captajne John Leuerett [210.] of Boston. in new England merchang my true & lawfull deputy : & Attorney for. me, & in my name and to my vse to Aske, demand levy Sue for recouer & Receive of the heires execcutrs. Administrators, Goods and chattells of John. Duncumbe. of London. merchaunt the some of fiffty. and one pounds. nine shillings and tenn pence of lawfull money of England : due by one bil [ ] or. writing vnder the hand and seale of the sajd John Duncumbe bearing date the five and twentjeth day of february. now last past Giving and by these prsents graunting vnto my sajd Atturney my full and whole power Interest and Authoritje to and In the premises therein to doe say sue pursue Arest Attach. Impleade Imprison & Condemne and out of Prison. to deliuer and to Receive Compound and Agree and there vppon. acquittances or other discharges for me & in my name to make enseale. & deliuer and gennerally to doe. execute & pforme all and whatsoeuer. further. or other lawfull. and Reasonable acts and things shall be. meete and Requisite to be donne to & in the prmisses, and that in as large ample. and effectuall manner and forme to all Intents & purposes as I myselfe might or Could doe were I. then & there prsent and did the same personally Rattifying and by these prsents Confirming all & whatsoeuer my sajd Atturney shall lawfully doe. or Cawse to be donne to in & for the Recouery & Receipt of the prmisses by these prsents In wittnes whereof I have heerevnto sett my hand and seale dated the seven & twentieth day of october In the yeare of our Lord God one thousand sixe hundred fiffty & one.

Joshua Woolnough. & a seale

Sealed & delieuered in the prnce of
John Birt Ja: Needler. srvnts to Chist Townsend notr: publ.

This was Recorded at the Request of Thomas Pell. Capt John Lenerett acknowledging it to be the letter of Attourney he Recd from Joshua Woolnough. by virtue of which : he Recd mony of mr Thomas. Pell. Recorded. 29. June 1652.
p Edward Rawson Recordr.

Bee it knowne vnto all men by theise prnts that I John Duncombe of London marchan [ ] doe owe and Acknowledge myselfe to be Indebted Vnto Joshua Woolnough. Cittize[ ] and marchant Tayler of London. the some of fifty one pounds nine shillings and tenn pence of Currant and lawfull money of England to be pajd to the sajd Joshua Woolnough. his heires execcutrs Administrators or Assignes. at or vppon the seventeenth day of August. next ensuing the date heereof to the which pajment well and truly to be made and done the Aforesajd John Duncombe. doe binde me my heires execcutors Administrators firmely by these prnts in the paenall some of one hundred pounds In wittnes whereof I have heerevnto. sett my hand & seale this twenty fift day. of. february in the yeare of our Lord God one thousand six hun[ ]red & fifty :

Sealed & deliuered in the psnce of. vs :
Alex: Harbyn.
Robt. Gilpin.
who doe wittnes this to be a true Copie of a sealed bill in the hands of the sajd Joshua Woolnough.

Receved this 26 : of June. 1652 of mr Thomas Pell Assigne of John Duncom [ ] deceased the some of fifty one pounds nine shillings and tenn pence halfe pe[ ] by Virtue of A letter of Atturney from mr Joshua Woolnough. to whom the sajd Duncombe was Indebted the sajd some. by bill. of which this is a Copie. as sent from London. to me. I say Receaved. p me. Jno. Leuerett.

Wittnes Thomas Clarke. Edward Preston.

This Receipt was Entred & Recorded at the Request of mr Thomas Pell & acknow[ ]ged by Capt Jno. Leuerett. to be his act 29 June 1652.

p Edw: Rawson Rec [ ]"

Source: Suffolk Deeds. Liber I., pp. 209-10 (Boston, MA: Rockwell and Churchill, City Printers, 1880) (County of Suffolk, Massachusetts Registry of Deeds).

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