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.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thomas Pell Was Elected a Freeman of Connecticut on October 9, 1662, the Day the Crown's Connecticut Charter Was Read to the Public

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On October 9, 1662, Governor John Winthrop of the Colony of Connecticut presided over The General Assembly or Court of Election at Hartford during an elaborate ceremony in which the new charter of the Colony of Connecticut was read to the Freemen. Thereafter, the freemen each took an oath administered by the Generall Assembly "for ye due discharge of the trust committed to them" as reflected in the charter.

The charter had been issued by the Crown on April 23, 1662. According to some sources, it likely arrived in Connecticut in about September of that year. It was read to the freemen on October 9.

During the same session, the Court announced that Thomas Pell was admitted as a Freeman and further stated that "This Assembly doth order, that for ye future, such as desire to be admitted freemen of this Corporation shal p r sent themselues with a certificate under ye hands of ye major part [170] of the Townesmen where they liue, that they are p r sons of civill, peaceable and honest conversation, and that they attained the age of twenty one yeares and haue 20l. estate, besides their person in the List of estate; and that such persons, soe quallified to ye Courts approbation, shalbe p r sented at October Court yearly, or some adjourned Court, and admitted after ye Election at ye Assembly in May. And in case any freeman shal walke scandalously or commit any scandalous offence, and be legally convicted thereof, he shalbe disfranchized by any of o r civill Courts."

The reference to Pell's election as a Freeman is brief. It reads "Persons admitted to be Freemen, by this Court; -- Mr. Sam ll Talcot, Will m Pitkins, Nathan ll Goodwin, Mr. Tho: Pell, John Olmstead & John Clarke Jun r."

Source: Trumbull, J. Hammond, ed., The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, Prior to the Union With New Haven Colony, May, 1665; Transcribed and Published (In Accordance with a Resolution of the General Assembly,) Under the Supervision of the Secretary of State, with Occasional Notes, and an Appendix, pp. 384 & 389 (Hartford, CT: Brown & Parsons 1850).

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Located at http://www.historicpelham.com/.
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