A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Robert Treat Paine Papers, Volume 4

From Timothy Frost
Frost, Timothy RTP
York Jany. 12th 1783 Hond. Sir,

The Six complaints handed in at octr. Court last at Biddeford the Law with regard to confiscating the Estate of certain persons commonly called absentees was not to be found in that Quarter therefore the Court thot. it advisable to continue them to Jany. Inst. & then ordered them to be Published in the News Papers as you live at Boston & am acquainted with the Printers1 I2 thot. it best to Send the notification to you to have the Same Published as you See fitt as youl. See Inclosed and am with Great Esteam.

Yr. Most obedt. Very Humble Servt. Timo. Frost

RC .


These complaints were filed against Charles Ward Apthorp of New York; Sylvester Gardiner, late of Boston; Lewis Deblois, late of Boston; William Brattle, late of Cambridge; Joseph Green, late of Boston; and William Starks, late of Dunbarton, N.H. The notices were published in the Independent Chronicle (Mar. 6, 1783) and the Boston Evening Post (Mar. 15 and 22, 1783). The case was continued to the Apr. court.


Timothy Frost (1742–1783) of York, Maine, was clerk of the Court of Common Pleas for York County.

From Samuel Freeman
Freeman, Samuel RTP
Falmouth Jany. 22. 1783 Dear Sir,

I had the Honor, some time since, by Mr. Frothingham, to receive your favour of the 6th Current1 & am much obliged to you for your directions relative to the form of the Judgment on the Libels. When you meet with the form of the Writ of Possession, should be obliged to your Honor to send it. Inclosed are copies of the Two Claims filed last Term. I know nothing about Kirkwoods, but the other I take to be exhibited upon the ground viz.

Barbara Robinson2 was the Owner of the Land libell’d, when she was a Widow. Upon her marrying Thomas Ross, They joined in a Deed of it to one James Wildridge, & then Wildridge reconveyed it to Mr. Ross 245 alone, who built the House now standing on the Land (which is an elegant House opposite to Mr. Codman’s). The Deed from Wildridge to Ross is on Record & refers to the other Deed (viz that from Ross & his Wife, to Wildridge) which is not on Record. McLellan considers it therefore as still belonging to Mrs. Ross & her Heirs & claims it in Right of his Wife who was Mrs. Ross (formerly Barbara Robinsons) Daughter. Should this Claim be supported, I suppose the House (which never was Mrs. Robinsons) will go to her Daughter with the Land) and the Creditors of Capt. Ross of which Mr. Codman is the Chief, & a large one, must lose their Debts. Mr. Codman has been otherwise greatly injured by Mr. Ross, and as a Friend to him I hope you will attend the Tryal—But he will doubtless write your Honor on this Head himself. At present he is confined—by illness—having lately burnt his feet & otherwise receivd cold, by endeavouring to extinguish a Fire in his House which lately in a surprising was in Flames & miraculously saved from total Destruction.

This comes by Mr. Child by whom I shall send to the Committee on Accts. an account of Entries &c of the Libels which I doubt not you will vouch if necessary.3 Mr. Child will apply to the Genl. Court for leave to sell some of Waldos Land to reimburse the charges he has been at & to pay the Creditor. If it should lay in your way to serve him I wish your Honour would.

I am with Respect. Your Honor most huml. serv. Saml. Freeman

RC ; addressed: "Honble. Robert Treat Paine Esqr."; endorsed.


Not located.


Barbara Sutherland was married in 1754 to Samuel Robinson, a Scot originally from the Orkney Islands but then living in Falmouth (now Portland), Maine. They had two children, Alexander (who served aboard a man-of-war during the Revolution but never returned) and Jane (who married Capt. Arthur McLellan in 1777). After Robinson’s death, his widow married Thomas Ross in 1763. Captain Ross moved Robinson’s original one-story house and erected a two-story one on the same spot, which was the subject of this case (William Willis, The History of Portland from Its first Settlement [Portland, Maine, 1833], 2:305).


Multiple properties belonging to Charles Ward Apthorp of New York were listed in the newspaper notice in the Boston Evening Post, Feb. 15, 1783.