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Re: [ScottishWarPrisoners] George Gray and fornication

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  • Eleanor Hall
    Dave, I heard or read somewhere that sex before marriage was not uncommon in Colonial days. Eleanor Hall ... === message truncated ===
    Message 1 of 12 , Jan 15, 2007
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      Dave,

      I heard or read somewhere that sex before marriage was
      not uncommon in Colonial days.

      Eleanor Hall



      --- Dave Fisher <fishrdnc@...> wrote:

      > Eleanor,
      >
      > Court records might be interesting, separating
      > knavery from
      > nobility. Here's a little tidbit regarding my
      > Battle of Dunbar
      > ancestor after he had been in America for a while:
      >
      > "Wee present Geo. Gray and Saraih his wife for
      > liveing in fornication
      > before they came into the bands of Wedlocke. Jury.
      > The Court fines
      > the Delinquents three pounds and oficers fees or to
      > receive 10
      > stripes apiece. Att a County Court houlden at Wells
      > (Maine) the
      > secund day of July 1672 presentments made and given
      > in to the sayd
      > Court by the Grand Inquest."
      > Pg 239 [4:2:10] York County Court Book Two.
      >
      > BTW, in 1672 Sarah was 14 and G.G. about 50. I
      > guess they got over
      > it, as they well populated New England with Grays.
      > Looks like they
      > were jumping-the-gun a little.
      >
      > Dave
      >
      > --- In ScottishWarPrisoners@yahoogroups.com, "Mark
      > Sutherland-Fisher"
      > <msf10@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > Eleanor,
      > > I dont know if they are online or not. The
      > Guildhall in London
      > houses the
      > > court records for the period pre 1775 dealing with
      > the Criminal
      > Assizes
      > > throughout England, giving details of accused
      > persons, their
      > alleged crimes,
      > > appointments and reappointments of judges and
      > juries, notes on the
      > trials
      > > (not transcripts of evidence) and where convicted,
      > sentence and
      > then details
      > > of transportation including often ship, captain,
      > to whom in america
      > they had
      > > been sold (i.e. estate owner) and for how much.
      > >
      > > When I last examined these around 8 years ago, it
      > was the original
      > documents
      > > and I had to wear gloves to avoid acid from my
      > fingers damaging the
      > velum
      > > paper on which they were written.
      > >
      > > I suggest you look at the guildhall website, which
      > you should get
      > from
      > > Google.
      > > Hope this helps
      > > Mark
      > >
      > >
      > > >From: Eleanor Hall <eleahall@...>
      > > >Reply-To: ScottishWarPrisoners@yahoogroups.com
      > > >To: ScottishWarPrisoners@yahoogroups.com
      > > >Subject: RE: [ScottishWarPrisoners] Finding
      > criminals who were
      > transported
      > > >Date: Sun, 14 Jan 2007 20:28:16 -0800 (PST)
      > > >
      > > >Mark,
      > > >
      > > >Interesting insights. You mention "court papers
      > in
      > > >London of their ancestor's far from noble reason
      > for
      > > >transportation." Where are these papers? Are any
      > of
      > > >them online, and if so, how can they be accessed?
      > > >
      > > >Eleanor Hall
      > > >
      > > >--- Mark Sutherland-Fisher <msf10@...> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > > Dave,
      > > > > Your search is effectively before most
      > ordinary
      > > > > people were recorded so
      > > > > unless you stumble across his baptism in one
      > of the
      > > > > few parishes with
      > > > > legible records pre 1700 or you find him in
      > some
      > > > > military muster roll, it is
      > > > > highly unlikely you will find any reference to
      > him
      > > > > in Scotland.
      > > > >
      > > > > Earlier there was an email about a couple who
      > > > > emigrated in 1685. It was from
      > > > > Brenda and this is the reply I tried to send
      > to the
      > > > > list then:
      > > > >
      > > > > Brenda,
      > > > >
      > > > > I am sorry to say but I think your family
      > folklore
      > > > > has been invented by some
      > > > > of your ancestors to make their ancestors
      > sound more
      > > > > interesting.
      > > > >
      > > > > Firstly Oliver Cromwell fought the armies of
      > King
      > > > > Charles I 40 years before
      > > > > they emigrated so if he had been in Cromwell's
      > army
      > > > > he would have been a
      > > > > very old man in his 60's at the time of
      > emigration
      > > > > to America. Secondly, it
      > > > > is unlikely that Protestants would have left
      > England
      > > > > and move to Scotland.
      > > > > Cromwell's England was staunch Protestant like
      > > > > Scotland. Given that Cromwell
      > > > > slaughtered a Scottish army under Charles II
      > at
      > > > > Worcester on 3rd September
      > > > > 1651 and Cromwell was hated in Scotland so I
      > cannot
      > > > > see supporters of
      > > > > Cromwell fleeing to Scotland. Far more likely
      > your
      > > > > ancestors were simple
      > > > > economic migrants which would explain why they
      > paid
      > > > > for their passage. They
      > > > > sound Dutch so they may have come to England
      > or
      > > > > Scotland when Charles II
      > > > > came back from exile in 1660.
      > > > >
      > > > > Sorry if it spoils a good story.
      > > > >
      > > > > I know it is hard for those of you in North
      > America
      > > > > to understand but
      > > > > generally when someone left Scotland or
      > England to
      > > > > emigrate or as either a
      > > > > common criminal or "political prisoner" being
      > > > > transported, the general
      > > > > attitude was good riddance and thank goodness
      > that's
      > > > > one or more less mouths
      > > > > to feed. Most people were too concerned with
      > the
      > > > > problems of just surviving
      > > > > from day to day in what was a relatively poor
      > > > > country (even most aristocrats
      > > > > in Scotland were very poor by comparison with
      > their
      > > > > English or French
      > > > > counterparts) so people leaving or being
      > transported
      > > > > was really only of
      > > > > interest to their immeidate families.
      > > > >
      > > > > However on the other side of the pond it was a
      > > > > different matter and most of
      > > > > the immigrants wanted to record somewhere who
      > they
      > > > > were and where they came
      > > > > from. However unless as is the case with your
      > > > > ancestor, who was recorded as
      > > > > a "political prisoner", a Royalist, being
      > > > > transported, in my experience the
      > > > > overwhelming majority who claim to have been
      > > > > transported or exiled for
      > > > > supporting this king or that religion were
      > simply
      > > > > making it up and were
      > > > > either economic migrants or common criminals
      > given
      > > > > the chance to be
      > > > > transported rather than hung. As I have said
      > to many
      > > > > disappointed American
      > > > > descendants when confronting them with the
      > court
      > > > > papers in London of their
      >
      === message truncated ===
    • Rom
      Common or no don t mean tweren t illegal. Or summat. ... ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ If you aren t someone s villain,
      Message 2 of 12 , Jan 15, 2007
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        Common or no don't mean tweren't illegal. Or summat.


        > I heard or read somewhere that sex before marriage
        > was
        > not uncommon in Colonial days.
        >
        > Eleanor Hall


        ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
        "If you aren't someone's villain, you aren't defined well enough." - Tom
        "I'm beginning to see why the others fear you." - Carolyn
        "Oh, Bob? Do we have any openings this man might fit?" - Madeline Kahn
        ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++



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      • Mark Sutherland-Fisher
        Eleanor, Sex before marriage was the norm in Scotland and probably England as well until Queen Victoria and her German morals kicked in! At a time when divorce
        Message 3 of 12 , Jan 16, 2007
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          Eleanor,
          Sex before marriage was the norm in Scotland and probably England as well
          until Queen Victoria and her German morals kicked in!

          At a time when divorce was only for the rich and powerful, the only reason a
          couple married was to have children and the only way they would know if they
          could ahve children togther was to try. The normal practice in Scotland was
          for a courting couple to have premarital sex and then as soon as the girl
          discovered she was pregnant, they married. If they got the timing wrong,
          they just announced that they had entered into an irregular marriage and if
          they could afford it, paid the fee to the Kirk and then had their irregular
          marriage recognised by the Kirk.

          The majority of people pre Victorian times entered into irregular marriages
          and as both marriages and baptisms had to be paid for to be recorded, the
          great majority of ordinary people didnt register their marriages and
          childrens births, which is why often people cant trace ancestors entries
          inthe OPR in years where there are not gaps in the records.

          Remember entire generations of men were regularly culled on the battlefield
          and disproportionately large numbers of women died either in or as a
          consequence of childbirth. A widower with young children would almost
          immediately remarry, often to his wife's younger sister or cousin to provide
          a new mother for his children and would then probably saddle the poor woman
          with another handful of her own and if she died, he would get another. A man
          was often having children with several wives over a 30 or 40 year period and
          frequently was still fathering children when his older children were
          themselves already having children.

          The converse was also true. Often a widow left with young children perhaps
          in her 20's or even as late as early 40's would acquire a new husband, often
          a man young enough to be her son, who would have his eye on her farm or
          property which would become his on marriage and then proceed to have even 2
          or 3 children by her. I have seen cases of women previously widowed with
          several children in their 40's having more children by their husbands in
          their 20s and unsurprisingly such women rarely lived to be old and a few
          years later the younger husband would be taking another wife after her
          premature death, often as a consequence of a very late pregnancy or
          childbirth. Within my own family I have numerous cases of multiple marriages
          in both sexes where there wasn't a single divorce. that is why it is
          essential you carefully analyse who the witnesses to any child's birth were.
          almost always they were specially chosen by the father/parents.
          Mark

          _________________________________________________________________
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        • Dave Fisher
          My guess is that the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the York County Court (then part of the MBC) took a dimmer view of what the Scottish ex-prisoners took as a
          Message 4 of 12 , Jan 16, 2007
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            My guess is that the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the York County
            Court (then part of the MBC) took a dimmer view of what the Scottish
            ex-prisoners took as a norm. The court proceeding fell about halfway
            between the establishment of the Puritan colony and the later Salem
            witch trials.

            Dave

            --- In ScottishWarPrisoners@yahoogroups.com, "Mark Sutherland-Fisher"
            <msf10@...> wrote:
            >
            > Eleanor,
            > Sex before marriage was the norm in Scotland and probably England
            as well
            > until Queen Victoria and her German morals kicked in!
            >
            > At a time when divorce was only for the rich and powerful, the only
            reason a
            > couple married was to have children and the only way they would
            know if they
            > could ahve children togther was to try. The normal practice in
            Scotland was
            > for a courting couple to have premarital sex and then as soon as
            the girl
            > discovered she was pregnant, they married. If they got the timing
            wrong,
            > they just announced that they had entered into an irregular
            marriage and if
            > they could afford it, paid the fee to the Kirk and then had their
            irregular
            > marriage recognised by the Kirk.
            >
            > The majority of people pre Victorian times entered into irregular
            marriages
            > and as both marriages and baptisms had to be paid for to be
            recorded, the
            > great majority of ordinary people didnt register their marriages
            and
            > childrens births, which is why often people cant trace ancestors
            entries
            > inthe OPR in years where there are not gaps in the records.
            >
            > Remember entire generations of men were regularly culled on the
            battlefield
            > and disproportionately large numbers of women died either in or as
            a
            > consequence of childbirth. A widower with young children would
            almost
            > immediately remarry, often to his wife's younger sister or cousin
            to provide
            > a new mother for his children and would then probably saddle the
            poor woman
            > with another handful of her own and if she died, he would get
            another. A man
            > was often having children with several wives over a 30 or 40 year
            period and
            > frequently was still fathering children when his older children
            were
            > themselves already having children.
            >
            > The converse was also true. Often a widow left with young children
            perhaps
            > in her 20's or even as late as early 40's would acquire a new
            husband, often
            > a man young enough to be her son, who would have his eye on her
            farm or
            > property which would become his on marriage and then proceed to
            have even 2
            > or 3 children by her. I have seen cases of women previously widowed
            with
            > several children in their 40's having more children by their
            husbands in
            > their 20s and unsurprisingly such women rarely lived to be old and
            a few
            > years later the younger husband would be taking another wife after
            her
            > premature death, often as a consequence of a very late pregnancy or
            > childbirth. Within my own family I have numerous cases of multiple
            marriages
            > in both sexes where there wasn't a single divorce. that is why it
            is
            > essential you carefully analyse who the witnesses to any child's
            birth were.
            > almost always they were specially chosen by the father/parents.
            > Mark
            >
            > _________________________________________________________________
            > MSN Hotmail is evolving – check out the new Windows Live Mail
            > http://ideas.live.com
            >
          • bob gillis
            ... I think that the Puritans had a lot to do with it also. bob gillis
            Message 5 of 12 , Jan 16, 2007
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              Mark Sutherland-Fisher wrote:

              >Eleanor,
              >Sex before marriage was the norm in Scotland and probably England as well
              >until Queen Victoria and her German morals kicked in!
              >

              I think that the Puritans had a lot to do with it also.

              bob gillis
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