Monday, March 21, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - "...still go on Wasting and Embezzling..."

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started a Monday blog theme many months ago called Amanuensis Monday. What does "amanuensis" mean? John offers this definition:

"A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another."

The subject today is an agreement made by Christopher Champlin and his second wife, Elizabeth (--?--) (Davol) Champlin with respect to relieving bondsmen of their responsibility defined by the will of Elizabeth's first husband, William Davol. 

On 21 August 1722, Christopher Champlin and his second wife, Elizabeth (--?--), widow of William  Danell, made an agreement.  It reads (transcribed from "Westerly (Rhode Island) Town Council and Probate Records, 1699-1888," Volume 2, Pages 74-5, on FHL Microfilm 0,930,805, very difficult to read):

"To all Christian people to whome these presents shall come Know ye that whereas there is a Legacy Given to Elizabeth Champlin wife to Christopher Champlin Senr who was formerly Relict to Mr. William Danell deceased & he being of the town of Westerly in his Majesties Colony of Rhoad Island and Providence Plantations in New England (Viz.)

"Twenty Pounds mony twenty Loads of wood & the keeping of four Cretures ?? ?????? and yearly and every year during the whole course of her naturall life to be paid by the Son William Danel of sd Town & Colony as may appear by the last Will & Testament of the sd William Danel deceased who did make by sd last Will make and ordain William Danel her son an Executor to sd Last Will and testament and upon probation of sd will before the town Counsel of the town of Westerly the sd Councel did Require Bond of sd Danel with two sureties for his ??? Administration and performance of sd will & In Compliance with the sd Request Samuel Clark and Christopher Champlin Junr Both of the said town and Colony were both bound with the sd William Danel unto the aforesd Counsel as may appear by their Bond of two thousand pounds Currant mony of New England which is upon Record for the due performance of sd will the Bond haves date March the thirteenth day in the year one thousand seven hundred and Eighteen Coming nineteen & for the Better Securing the sd Sureties or bondsmen Clark and Champlin their Estates Heirs & Succesers which is altogether Requisite and needfull by Reason that it ????? Evident that the aforesd William Danel hath ??paid a Great part of his Estate & doth Still go on Wasting & Embezzling of the same Reference being had to the above written precept and Every Article & Clause yrof ???? of one Sd Elizabeth Champlin having Considered the Difficulty that may arise to said Bondsmen by ???? [an unreadable line inserted] of these presents for Ever Exhonorate Requit and Discharge the aforesd Samuel Clark and Christopher Champlin Jr and their heirs Executors and admr for Ever of and from all and Every part and parcel of the Legacy of twenty pounds mony twenty Loads of wood and keeping of four Cretures that is to say I do for Ever Requitt and Discharge the sd Clark and Champlin their heirs and Succesors from all that hath been due unto me by the above mentioned will from the begining of the world to the Date of these presence and from the Date of these presents to the end of the world. I the Sd Christopher Champlin Senr do by these presents allow and confirm all the above writen premises and in token and Confirmation that this is our lone and voluntary act and deed we have hereunto Sett our hands and seales this twenty first day of August Annoq Domini 1722.
Signed Sealed and Delivered his
in the presents of us  .................................... Christopher CC Champlin (seal)
Edward Greenman mark
Robert Austin her
Joanna Champlin  ........................................ Elizabeth EC Champlin  (seal)
G Davisson mark

"Mr. Christopher Champlin and Mrs. Elizabeth Champlin the Subscribing both presents appeared in Westerly this 29 Day of August 1722 and acknowledged the above writen instrument to be their voluntary act and deed before me, Joseph Stanton, Justice."

This document seems to describe Elizabeth's son, William Davol (called "Danell" throughout the document) who was required, by his father's will, to provide 20 pounds, 20 loads of wood, and the keeping of four creatures every year until his mother's death.  Christopher Champlin, Junior (son of the Christopher Champlin who married the widow Elizabeth) and Samuel Clark posted bond to ensure that William Davol's wishes were carried out.  But Elizabeth's son, William Davol, apparently has been wasting and embezzling the estate, and his mother (and her husband, father of one of the bondsmen) decided that she would agree to relieve the bondsmen of their responsibilities.  Elizabeth is probably saving her step-son some money and time by agreeing to this release, not knowing how her son will end up.

Was there a period anywhere in that second paragraph until the very end?  I didn't see one, or a logical break for one.  Perhaps there was one or more periods in the unreadable parts!

There is one interesting line in this document that I've never seen before:  "from the begining of the world to the Date of these presence and from the Date of these presents to the end of the world."  Isn't that interesting?

A researcher can sure find interesting, and sometimes unreadable, things in town council and probate records, eh?

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