Sunday, June 17, 2012

Who's Your Daddy?

I found this story while looking for information on my ancestor, William Pinson. While some online trees have Edward and Sarah (Dexter) Pinson as the parents of William, I have been unable to find any documentation to back up that claim. Still, it's a good story so I thought I would share.

Edward Pinson was a "seafaring man" according to his burial record. He was the son of William and Mary Pinson and from this record it appears that he was buried 17 March 1701 in St. Martin, Ludgate, London.

Sailors have a reputation of being risk-takers of questionable morality and Edward seems to have lived up to that stereotype. Sarah Dexter was engaged or expected to marry Obadiah Bridges when Edward came into her life. It is likely that Sarah was enticed by Edward's money and the promise of a life in London. Sarah's father, Richard Dexter, warned Edward to stay away from her but the determined couple put up marriage banns which were later torn down. Then while her parents were at Sunday meeting, Edward and Sarah eloped. When they returned four days later as a married couple, Richard called Edward a "rogue, bastard dogg and son of a whore" and Sarah's mother, Bridget, beat her out of the house. It was later revealed that the couple used a forged letter of parental consent to convince the magistrate in Lynn to conduct the marriage. All that seems scandalous enough but...

Edward was not Sarah's first sailor lover...she had "lost her virginitie being overcome in Boston by a man who promiseth her marriage but afterwards went off to sea and since she heard he had a wife in England." Sarah, it turns out, was pregnant when she married Edward...with this other man's child....

Sex in Middlesex: Popular Mores in a Massachusetts County, 1649-1699 by Roger Thompson, pages 60-61.

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