Historic Pelham

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

1648 Notarial Record by Boston Merchant Providing Power of Attorney to Collect Debt from Thomas Pell of New Haven

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Between 1876 and 1909, the City of Boston prepared and published a 39-volume set of records relating to the early history of the City. Among those records was an interesting notarized power of attorney executed by a local merchant appointing others to collect a debt owed by a group that included Thomas Pell of New Haven. The record is transcribed in its entirety immediately below. A full citation to the source appears immediately after the excerpt, taken from Volume 32 of the records.


[Page 175.] . . .

5 (12). 1648 Bee it knowne unto all men by these pntes [i.e., presents] that I Wm Tanner of Coggeshall in the Countie of Essex clothier have assigned ordained & made & in my steed & place by these pntes putt & constituted my loving frend Tho: Lake of Boston in N: England Merch t & Joseph Magot of Harford in N. England afores d Mercht my true and lawfull deputies & Atturneys joyntly & severally for mee & in my name & to my use, to aske demand leavie sue for, recov r & receive of Edmund Leach & Thomas Pell of New Haven in N: E. merch ts. & David Selleck of Boston aforesaid or els where in N: E: mercht. and of all other psons in N: E: aforesaid as well the effects & pceeds of all goods wares & merchandises of and belonging to me the sd Wm Tanner, in theire or any of theire hands, as also all other summe & summes of money debts duties & demands whatsoever to mee due & oweing by any bond bill booke account contract way or meanes what soever, giveing & by these pnts granting unto my s d Att rs my full & whole power interest & Authoritie to & in the prmisses, therein to doe say sue pursue arrest attach implead imprison & condemne & out of prison to deliver, & to receive, compound & agree, & thereuppon acquittances or other discharges for mee & in my name to make enseale & [Vol. 32 Page 193 / Vol. 32 Page 194] deliver, & generally to doe execute & pforme all & ever further or other lawfull and reasonable

[Page 176.]

acts & things w ch shalbe meete & requisit to be done to & in the premisses in as large ample & effectuall manner & forme to all intents & purposes as I my selfe might or could doe were I then & there present & did the same psonally, ratifying & by these p r sents confirming all & what soever my said Att rs shall lawfully doe or cause to be done to in & for the recovery & receipt of the pr misses by these pnts. In witnes whereof I the sd Wm Tanner have hereunto sett my hand & seale. Dat. the 17th day of March Ano. Dni 1647. & in the 23th yeare of the reigne of o r soveraigne Lord Charl s by the grace of God King of England Scotland ffrance & Ireland defender of the faith &c:

Wm Tanner & a seale.

Sealed & dd in pnce of me
Chr: Townsend Noty publ. 1647
John Burt his secret:

5. (12) 1648. I attested a Copie of Edmund Leaches bond to Mr Wm Tanner. And also a copie of his Account."

Source: A Volume of Records Relating to the Early History of Boston Containing the Aspinwall Notarial Records from 1644 to 1651, Vol. 32, pp. 5, 192-94 (Boston, MA: Municipal Printing Office 1903).

This brief record is interesting for a host of reasons. It suggests that in the 1647/48 time frame, Thomas Pell had some sort of business relationship with Edmund Leach (also of New Haven) and David Selleck (of Boston). It seems that the group was engaged in one or more transactions with a "clothier" from Coggeshall in Essex County named William Tanner. At about this time Thomas Pell was running at least one ship up and down the east coast engaged in trading activities, so it seems likely that this power of attorney reflects a dispute arising from such activities.

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