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Browsing: Legal Papers of John Adams, Volume 1


Docno: ADMS-05-01-02-0008-0005-0003

Author: UNKNOWN
Date: 1769-12

Record1

Plymouth Court of General Sessions, Plymouth, December 1767

Plymouth Ss. At his Majesty's court of general sessions of the peace, began and held at Plymouth within and for the county of Plym• { 323 } outh on the second tuesday of december being the eighth day of said month, in the eighth year of our Sovereign Lord George the third by the Grace of God of Great-Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. annoque Domini 1767.
Jane Doten [Dotey] a late resident in Duxborough in the county of Plymouth single woman, appeared at this court and confessed that she had been guilty of the crime of fornication. The court having considered her offence (she being poor) sentence her to pay a fine of twelve shillings to his majesty, or be whipped ten stripes on her naked body, to pay costs of prosecution, and stand committed until sentence be performed.
At said court Jane Doten late residing in Duxborough in the county of Plymouth single woman appeared, who having while pregnant, and now before this court made oath that Manuel Esseane was the father of the bastard child born of her body in September last. And after a hearing of the parties in the case. It is considered by the court that the said Manuel Esseane be adjudged to be the reputed father of the said child, that he stand charged with the maintenance thereof, that he pay the sum of three pounds, it being one half of the charge of her lying in, &c., for the first month. And also that he pay the sum of twenty one shillings, it being for keeping said child to the eleventh of december instant, that he pay costs of prosecution taxed at one pound, thirteen shillings and two pence. And also that the said Manuel enter into recognizance with two sureties in the sum of forty pounds that he shall pay quarterly until the further order of said court, at the rate of three shillings a week towards the support of said child. And also that he recognize in the like sum of forty pounds with sureties to secure and save harmless the towns of Plymouth, Duxborough and Marshfield from all charges and damages that may arise by said child. And that he stand committed until sentence be performed.
1. SF 142245. Subscribed: “A true copy of record examined per Ed. Winslow Junr. Cler.” In the MS the numbers of the paragraphs are written in the margin.

Docno: ADMS-05-01-02-0008-0005-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1768-04

Adams' Assignment of Errors1

Plymouth Superior Court, Plymouth, April 1768

In the Case of Jane Dotey vs. Manuel Essane heard and adjudged at the Court of General Sessions of the Peace held at Plymouth within and for the County of Plymouth on the <first> second Tuesday of December being the Eighth day of said Month in the Year of our { 324 } Lord 1767, the Errors assigned by said Manual, on the Certiorari are as follow viz.
1st. It does not appear by the Record of the Judgment or Sentence of said Court of General Sessions of the Peace in said Case that Manual Essane was ever accused by the said Jane, to be the Father of the Bastard Child born of her Body, in September last, before the said Child was born.
2d. It does not appear by the Record of said Judgment or Sentence, nor by any other Record of any Proceedings in the Case, that the said Jane, continued constant in her Accusation, of the said Manual to be the Father of said Bastard Child.
3d. It does not appear by said Record of said Sentence, or Judgment, that said Jane was ever examined upon oath while she was pregnant with said Bastard Child, nor that she was put upon the Discovery of the Truth in the Time of her Travail, all of which by Law ought to have appeared.
4. The said Court have, by their Sentence aforesaid, ordered the said Manual, “that he pay the sum of Three Pounds it being the one half of the Charge of her lying in &c. for the first Month, and allso that he pay the sum of Twenty one shillings, it being for Keeping said Child to the Eleventh Day of December,” in which the said Court have exceeded their Jurisdiction they not having Authority by Law to make such an order, and if they had such Authority, in this Case the order is uncertain, insensible and void, the said Court not having ordered the said Manual to pay the aforesaid Sums to any Person whatever in certain.
5. The said Court has ordered the said Manual to enter into Recognizance with two sureties, &c. which the said Manual was then and still is by Law incapable of doing as he then was and still is an Infant under the Age of Twenty one Years
6. The said Court have by the sentence aforesaid ordered the said Manual, that he recognize in the sum of Forty Pounds with two sureties to Secure and Save harmless the Towns of Plymouth, Duxborough and Marshfield from all Charges and Damages that may arise by said Child which the said Court had no Authority by Law to do, for it does not appear by said sentence, or any Record in said Case, that said Bastard Child was born in any of those Towns, and if it did, it would still be certain that said <Town> Child could not be born in more than one of said Towns, and therefore in that Case, said Manual could be obliged only to give security to Save that Town harmless where said Bastard Child was born.
{ 325 }
Where fore the said Manual prays that the aforesaid order, Sentence, Judgment, and Proceedings of the said Court of Sessions may be quashed.
[signed] John Adams for said Manual
1. In JA's hand. SF 142245.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/