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The verdict in this case was as follows, "the jury find for the plaint, the house and land enclosed, containing foure acres or thereaboute joyning with the said house, and give him eighty pounds for damage, and twelve shillings and six pence for the cost of Courte." The whole court consisting of Thomas Gorges, Henry Jocelyn, Richard Bonighton, Edward Godfrey, and Richard Vines, concurred in rendering judgment, except Vines, who dissented.
This document enables us to fix the time of the settlement of Cleeves and Tucker, upon the Spurwink at 1630, which was probably the first made there ; and from the same record, it appears that as early as 1632, they had buildings erected, and had made preparations there for a permanent establishment. The grant to Trelawny and Goodyeare defeated their plans and drove them to another spot in Casco bay, within the limits of Falmouth.
Winter, now left without interruption, immediately employed himself to bring into action all the resources of the grant. He soon built a ship upon the island, “ settled a place for fishing, and improved many servants for fishing and planting." l* In August, 1632, the general court of Massachusetts in reference to the murder of Bagnall, speak of a plantation existing there, but notice it in such a manner that leads us to infer that it was under no regular government. They say, 2“ in consideration that further justice ought to be done in this murder, the court order that a boat sufficiently manned be sent with a commission to deal with the plantation at the eastward, and to join with such of them as shall be willing thereto for examination of the murder, and for apprehending such as shall be guilty thereof, and to bring the prisoners into the bay.” Winter was in the country at the date of the grant, for, in his defence of the action
1 Prince, vol. ij. p. 36.
before referred to, he speaks of the patent having been sent over to him ; and he had probably made such a representation to the patentees as induced them to procure it. He, as well as Cleeves, came from Plymouth, England. Bradshaw, of whom Tucker is said to have purchased land at Spurwink, could not have occupied it previous to 1630, for he was put into possession of it by Walter Neale, who did not come to the country until the spring of that year. The probability is, that Bradshaw did not long occupy the land, as we find no other notice of him than appears in Cleeves's declaration.
We may suppose that the plantation referred to in the court's order, was composed of Cleeves, Tucker, and Winter, with their servants : we are not able to connect with it at that time any other names. After the ejection of Cleeves and Tucker, in the latter part of 1632, Winter took the entire control of it, and managed it several years for the patentees. In 1634, as early as the first of March, Winthrop says, “seventeen fishing ships were come to Richman's island and the Isle of Shoals."* The fish were undoubtedly cured on the islands and neighboring main, and must have afforded employment to a large number of men. Jocelyn in 1638, says that Winter employed sixty men in the fishing business. The trade in beaver this year in this neighborhood was also very successful; the government of Plymouth colony procured at their trading house on the Kennebec, twenty hogsheads, which were sent to England.2 This was a principal article of commerce in the early settlement of the country; it was a sort of circulating medium or standard of value among the white people and natives, and remittances to the mother country were made by it. About the year 1640, the price of it in Casco, was from six to eight shillings a pound, and it was received in payment for commodities and labor. .
*[Levett also speaks of a large number of fishing vessels in that vicinity, in 1623.] 1 Jocelyn, p. 25.
2 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 138.
Winter, in 1640, was complained of for attempting to keep down the price to six shillings.?
In the spring of 1635, a ship of eighty tons, and a pinnace of ten tons arrived at Richmond's island.? In 1636, Mr. Trelawny alone is mentioned as proprietor of the patent, and March 26th of that year, he committed the full government of the plantation to Mr. Winter, who appears after that time to have had an interest of one-tenth in the speculation ; and in addition to his proportion of the profits, he was to receive from the general fund “forty pounds per annum in money for his personal care and charge."3 After this time the business of the plantation was pursued with great activity until the death of Trelawny, which took place in 1644.* They employed the ship Agnes, the bark Richmond, the ships Hercules and Margery, and one other, whose name is not mentioned. In 1638, Mr. Trelawny sent a ship of three hundred tons to the island, laden with wine. This was probably the proceeds of a cargo of fish sent to Spain or Portugal. Large quantities of wine and spirits were early sent to this coast, and produced as much wretchedness among those who indulged in them then, as they do at the present day. Jocelyn described their effects from personal observation in lively colors; he says the money which the fishermen received, did them but little good, for at the end of their voyage “the merchant comes in with a walking tavern, a bark laden with the legitimate blood of the rich grape, which they bring from Phial, Madera, and Canaries ;” and after they get a “ taster or two,” they will not go to sea again for a whole week, till they get wearied with drinking, “ taking ashore two or three hogsheads of wine and rum, to drink when the merchant
1 York Court Records.
2 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 157. 3 Jordan's Claim, York Records. · *[Robert Trelawny was of a respectable and wealthy family of Plymouth, and represented that borough in Parliament. Moses Goodyeare was also well connected, he married the daughter of Abraham Jennings, of Plymouth, the patentee of Monhegan.]
They often," he adds, “have to run in debt for their necessaries on account of their lavish expense for drink, and are constrained to mortgage their plantations if they have any, and the merchant when the time is expired is sure to turn them out of house and home, seising their plantations and cattle, poor creatures, to look out for a new habitation in some remote place, where they begin the world again.” Such is the description which this voyager gives of the early settlers of our State, and it accounts for the fact which would otherwise seem extraordinary, of the shipment of so large a quantity of wine, as is above mentioned, to plantations then in their infancy.
The merchandise sent to the proprietor in England, consisted principally of pipe staves, beaver, fish, and oil. In 1639, Wintersent in the bark Richmond, sis thousand pipe staves, which were valued here at eight pounds eight shillings a thousand. Some shipments were made directly from the plantation to Spain:and a profitable intercourse seems to have been carried on for the proprietors a number of years, until it was suspended by the death of Trelawny. After that time the want of capital, probably prevented Winter from employing ships on his own account, and Trelawny's heir was but a child of six or seven years old. The commercial character of the plantation declined from that time, and the trade gradually sought other channels, until the mouth of the Spurwink and Richmond's island became entirely deserted. Their mercantile prosperity are now only to be found among the perishable
1 Jocelyn, p. 212. 2 Below we present the autograph of this prominent pioneer, John Winter.
g Fegen zyn for —
John Wynter.) 3 Joran's claim, York Records. Appendix.
and almost perished memorials of a by-gone age. In 1648, after Winter's death, the plantation and all its appurtenances were awarded to Robert Jordan, by a decree of the general assembly of Ligonia, to secure the payment of a claim which Winter's estate had upon the proprietors. Jordan married Winter's only daughter, and administered upon the estate. He presented his claims to the court of Ligonia, in Sept. 1648, by whom a committee was appointed to examine the accounts and make report of the state of them. This committee went into a minute investigation, and reported in detail ; upon which an order was passed, authorizing Jordan to retain “all the goods, lands, cattle, and chattels, belonging to Robert Trelawny, deceased, within this province from this day forward and forever, unless the executors of said Robert Trelawny, shall redeem and release them by the consent and allowance of the said Robert Jordan, his heirs," 1 &c.
Winter died in 1645, leaving a daughter Sarah, the wife of Robert Jordan. Jocelyn says of Winter that he was “a grave and discreet man ;” 2 and his management of the plantation proves him to have been an enterprising and intelligent one. He had much difficulty with George Cleeves respecting the right to the soil both on the Spurwink and on the north side of Casco river, which, although suspended during the latter part of Winter's life, was revived by his successor. Jordan came over about the year 1640, at least we do not meet with his name before that year, as successor to Richard Gibson, the minister of this and the neighboring plantations. The precise time of Gibson's arrival cannot be ascertained. We find him here as early as April, 1637; he went to Portsmouth in 1640, and was chosen pastor of the episcopal church there; in 1642, he was preaching on the Isles of Shoals, and probably the same
1 See Appendix No. 2, for Jordan's petition and the proceedings thereon.
2 Jocelyn, p. 25.