Saturday, June 13, 2015

Laying Down The Law - 52 Ancestors #24

In the early 17th century, the areas of southern Maine and New Hampshire had been granted to John Mason and Ferdinando Gorges, respectively. Massachusetts Bay authorities also laid claim to part of the area, but the settlements had no representation in the General Court and were generally left to their own devices without much formal governance. Brian Pendleton moved into this environment when he settled at Strawberry Bank in 1651. Shortly after he settled in, he presented a petition requesting that the town be put under the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Bay officials and that they set up courts to meet twice a year to deal with "abuses."

"We may have here & at Dover two Courts every yeare with two magistrates and their assistants, whereof this Barer Mr. Bryan Pendleton to bee one of the Assistants Chosen for this place; And whereas by reason of divers shipping & others coming into this harbour, as likewise some of our owne Inhabitants, several abuses are committed & noe Magistrate neere at hand to administer justice uppon the parteys soe offending, that before justice can be done many depart hence without punishment, & others suffer rather that seek so farre for justice, Humbly praye that Mr. Pendleton may have more than ordinary power what other assistants have for the rectifying & punishing such abuses to be Committed." 

The wording suggests that Brian Pendleton would be the law in the area. The Court granted the request and Pendleton became an Associate Justice in 1651 and was re-appointed in 1652.

In 1652, Pendleton and others again successfully petitioned the Court and changed the name from Strawberry Bank to Portsmouth.

Brian Pendleton - 11th great-grandfather
Mary Pendleton
Pendleton Fletcher
Pendleton Fletcher, Jr.
Sarah Fletcher
Gibbins Edgecomb
Thomas Edgecomb
Mary Edgecomb
Benjamin Perley Philbrick
Lizzie Philbrick
Ray Everett Cotton
Fern Lyndell Cotton - my grandmother

Brian Pendleton and His Descendants, 1599-1910, With Some Account of the Pembleton Families of Orange County, N.Y., Ostego County N.Y., and Luzerne County, Pa., and Notices of Other Pendletons of Later Origin in the United States, Everett Hall Pendleton, compiler; accessed on 

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