(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "An old deed, May 31, 1675"

HoIIinger 



^5>5>'7^5>:'>^5'>:.^,5>:^ 






r 



n 



MAY 31 



iV ^ — 



Richard Guy John hmkk Thomas Pyfe 



AN OLD DEED 



MAY 31 1675 



Richard Guy John Fenwick Thomas Pyle 



EDWARD S. SHARPE. M. D. 

PRESIDENT 



READ BEFORE THE SALEM COUNTY HISTORICAL 
SOCIETY ON DECEMBFR 8. 1908. 



PRESS OF STANDARD AND JER5EY 



The Society 



V\^-[ 






AN OLD DEED. 



In compiling tlie following paper relat- 
ing to the very first sales of lands in j 
Fenwick's Colony, 1 take the oppor- 
tunity of calling the attention of this 
Society to an "Old Deed," the oldest of 
several very rare and valuable parch- 
ment manuscripts in my possession, 
bearing date nearly one year anterior to 
that of one already exhibited— belonging 
to a series known as the William Penu 
Deeds witli autographic signatures of 
Wm. Penn, Gawau Laurie, Nicholas 
Lucas and Edward ByUinge. 

It was executed the thirty-first day 
of May 1675, and conveyed to Richard 
Guy teuthousand acres of land in this 
county of Salem, in what is now the 
Tewnship of Pilesgrve, and "located in 
the upper part of Salem tenth where the 
township of Pilesgrove is now." 
(Shourds.) 

The price paid by Guy for this large 
tract of land, was fifty pounds Stirling, 
about two hundred and fifty dollars in 
our currency. The deed is signed by I 
Fen wick and endorsed: — 

"Inroled in tlie Register Liber A 

belonging to Fenwick's Colony in the 

Province of New Cesarea or New 

Jersey in America, tlie XVIII th day 

of June MDCLXXV. 

per J. Garfield." 

There is also a separate piece of parch- 
ment attached to this remarkable scrip- 
tory airtique, upon which is written in 
exquisite caligrapliy a receipt for tlie 
above fifty pounds sterling, signed by 
Fenwick also by ten witnesses, whose 
names are again written on the back of 
the deed, viz: — 

"John Smith. Samuel ,ic-holson. Rich- 



ard Mergan. Peter Hoff. Edward Champ- 
neys, Edward Wade Thomas Anderson, 
Edmund Warner, Richard Noble and 
James.. Garfieldser." 

The property conveyed was one of a 
numerous category, sold by Fenwick be- 
fore he sailed for America, to be lo- 
cated after' nis arr'ival there. 

iA^lthough the name of tire purchaser 
is ostensibly Richard Guy, it was actually 
Thomas Pyle, a citizen of London, for 
whom he oought it. on the same day 
he acquired for himself and wife. Bridg- 
ett Guy, a deed for one thousand acres 
of land af'erward located in Klsinboro. 
Salem county. 

Most of tlie above signers of the deed 
and receipt for the money given liy Fen- 
wick afterward emigrated to Anrei'ica. 
The last on the li?t, james Garfieldser. 
did not, the final letters of the sur- 
nanre. s. e. r. are supposed to represent, 
not family senority, but to be an abbi-e- 
vi;i,tJoiiI of his professional title, that of 
a scij^n?nei'. and he probably wiote this 
vei't* deed, the chirography being thai 
of an old man. Indeed he did not long 
survive the period we refer to. as Maiy 
Fenwick in a letter to her husband 1678. 
Aug. 27th, announces his death in terms 
Of affectionate regai'd; in the interval. 
liDwexer, he signed his name to docu- 
ments coirnected with the litigation al 
that time pending between Fenwick and 
Eldr'dge and Warner in the City of 
T.,ondon. 

The Townsh'p of Pilesgrove did not 
derive its name from the ten thousand 
acre tract, deeded to Richard Guy in its 
entirety, but only from a part of It. 
where Thoma? Pyle. (whose surname is 



IH'ipctuated by it) built his liome. Tliis 
is sliowr. liy tlie following deed ma le 
by William Hall to John Hopman, in 
wbicli he reserves half an acre that was 
i-.sed as a private cemetery and from 
this circumstance we assume that it w.is 
the original homstead of Pyle, viz: — 

••1()9:!, Oct. 3, Deed. William Hall, of 
Salem Town, W. J., yeoman, and wife, 
Eiizabetli, to John Hopman, of Rattcoon 
Creek. Glossester Co., l-.usbandman. for 
the Plantation called Pile Grove. 3S0 
acres, between the branches of Salem 
Creek adjoining Joseph White, excepting- 
1 a If a. used as a burying place." (Salem 
Deeds. No. G.) 

This deed was for a part of the de- 
n^ense— manor house witli land— com- 
l)rising two thousand acres, part of 
which liad been previously deeded to 
W lliam jiall, viz: — 

••ir93. June 15th, Deed. Thomas Pyle, 
of Pile Grove. Salem Co., gentleman, to 
W'lliam Hall, of Salem Town, yeoman, 
for 1000 acres, the upper half of the 
2000 acre iract called Pile Grove."' 
(S'lem Deeds, No. 6.) 

This is probably the final conveyance 
executed by Tliomas Pyle, as his last 
v.-ill and testament only two months, less 
two days laier indicates; and we know 
I'e certainly died before October lltli. 
1C95. 

It has bee:i stated that Pyle became a 
very considerable land owner in Fen- 
wick's Colony by sundiy purcliases of 
real estate besides tlie large tract al- 
ready referred to. I have failed to 
confirm this; finding in my researches 
nothing bou.ght, but numerous s'ales as 
well as gifts of tracts originally parts 
of the purchase made by Richard Gu.y. 
Tlie gifts were mostly of his daughter 
and lier husliand, William Hall, one of 
waich. tlie largest, I quote, viz: 

"1('02. Aug. 17, Deed. Thomas Pile (as 
before) to William Hall and wife, Eiiza- 
betli. daughter of said Thomas, for 4.0U0 
.-icros of the preceding lO.oiiii and after 



his death 2,000 more." (Salem Deeds, 
No. 5.) 

Richard Guy doubtless came over to 
America in the ship "Griffith" with John 
j Fenwick in 1675 and the following year 
we find this Warrant of Survey, viz: 

"167(5, 12d,'9m (Nov.) Warrant of Sur- 
vey to Richard Guy of 1,000 acres at or 
near the point formerly called Elsiii- 
burge Fort and Now Guy's r-oiiit, form- 
erly granted to John Townsend, said 
name having been sused fictitionsly." 
(Salem Surveys l(i7G.) 

He was early an active participant in 
the affairs of the Colony and wneii "John 
Fenwick took the oath of office as Gov- 
ernor of -'enwiek's Colony, 1676, June 21," 
the same day "Richaid Guy of Guys 
Point, Township of New Salem, Fen- 
wick's Colony, planter, (likewise) took 
the oath as member of the Governor's 
Council." (Salem Surveys 1676.) 

Thomas Pyle's wife, nee Sarah Can- 
non, was a daughter and namesake of 
Sarah Cannon, who owned land In the 
Town of New Salem, which she be- 
queathed to said Sarah Pyle, as appears 
from the following Power of Attorney, 
which is interesting from the light it 
tlirows on the residence of Samuel Car- 
penter in 16S.. viz:— 

"16.S6, April 23d. Sarah Pile, of Pile 
Grove, by her Attorney, William Hall.. 
of the same place. Salem Tenth, AV. J., 
yeoman, to Samuel Carpenter, of Elsin- 
boroug.i, said tenth, merchant, for :;2 
acres in the Town of Salem, on Fen- 
wick's River, and the highway from 
Salem Landing. be(|ueatlied to said Sai-an 
by lier motlier, Sarah Cannon, who 
bought the lot of John Smith, June 4. 
1683." (Salem Deeds, No. 4.) 

From the dates of -he preceding com- 
mission we know that Sarah Cannon 
died before the year 1686. About one 
vcar previously. Samuel Carpenter, then 
residing in Philadelphia. bought tlie 
Guy's Point Estate and hau removed to 
Elsinboro as shown by the followin,g 
deed, viz: — • 




" THE CAPITALL HOUSE " 

William Hall. 1691. Joshua Bradway. 1791. 



"1685, May 13th. deed. Richard Guy, 
late of Elsiiibiirgh, Salem Tenth. W. J., 
yeomon and wife, Bridgett, to Samuel 
Carpenter, of Philadelpiiia. merchant, 
for 812 acres at Elsinburgii." (Salem 
Deeds, No. 6.) 

The words "UUe of Elsinburgh" imply 
the removal of Richard Guy, after a 
residence of ten years— h.is old friend. 
tie Proprietor, having been dead about 
two years— from Salem to Burlington, 
wliere he made his will, 1689. September 
■22. leaving "wife, Bridgett, sole heiress 
and executrix of real and personal es- 
tate." "proved December 2. 1693." In- 
cluded in the inventory of his estate 
is "a moi-tgage of £ 300. on a plantation 
al E!?inborrow due by Samuel Capen- 
ter." Bridgett Guy survived her hus- 
band about five years, dying in 1698. 
Samuel Carpenter was named one of her 
executors. In the deed to the latter from 
Sarah Pyle of the 22 acres "on the high- 
way from Salem Landing" it is said her 
mother. Sarah Cannon, "bouglit the lot 
of John Smith, June 4th, 1683," and on 
llie same day Samuel Carpenter came 
in'o possession of the said twenty and 
two acres. April 12, 1686, he assigned it 
to "William Kylle," of Salem. W. J., 
and five years later lacking eleven days, 
this same lot became the property of Wm. 
l-;all. who previou.sly sold it to Samuel 
Carpenter as Attorney for Sarah Pyle, 
viz — 

"1691. A pill 2d. William Kelly, of Salem 
Town, weaver, to William Hall, late of 
Pile Grove, now of Manneton Creek, W. 
J., yoeman. and wife, Elizabeth, for 22 
acres in the Town of Salem, sold by 
said Hall to Samuel Carpenter, April 13, 
16S6, and assigned by said Carpenter on 
the same day to present grantor." 
(Salem Deeds, No. 5.) 

The exact location of the Smith, Can- 
non. Carpenter, Kelly, Hall Town Lot is 
definitely settled, by its being named in 
the following memorandum of sale, as 
thp place whene a certain payment of 
nionev wa.« to be made, viz: — 



"1685-16, 22d, 12th m. (February), Mem. 
of Sale. Wm. Groome to Richard Mar- 
shall of 200 acres in AUoways Creek, 
bought of Marcus Elger. of Middle Neck, 
Salem Tenth, who is to give deed, the 
land adjoins Dennis ffishers 500 a. — "pur- 
chase consideration to be delivered at 
Wm. Kelly's house at Salem Town 
landing." (Salem Surveys. No. 8.) 

In the year 1701 Samuel Carpenter, 
then a merchant of Pliiladelphia, sold to 
"Rothro" Morris, of Salem Co.. W. .1.. 
yeoman, the plantation of twelve him- 
dred acres in Elsinboro, viz:— 

"1701, Nov. 20. Do, Samuel Carpenter, 
of Philadelphia, merchant, and wife, 
Hannah, to "Rothro" Morris, of Salem 
Co.. W. J., yeoman, for the planta- 
tion of 1200 acres in said county called 
Elsinburg." (Salem Deeds.) 

Thus we find that Carpenter owned 
property in Fenwick's Colony from 1085 
to 1701. sixteen years and resided there 
part of that time. 

John Smythe, the original owner of the 
lot he sold to Sarah Cannon, was deed- 
ed sixteen acres of the two and twenty 
by John Fenwick, that being the size 
of the Town Lots, inclusive, awarded 
to each purchaser of one thousand acres; 
the additional six acres having been ac- 
quired by a separate deed, also from the 
Proprietor 'In verba magistri' jurare." 
(To swear by the words of a master). 
— Edson Saulbbury Jones, Esq.. of Port 
Cliester, N. Y., who in his valuable paper 
read before this Society December 10, 
1907, has ably discussed the present sub- 
ject, says it "was deeded to him by 
Fenwick in 1679." (Town Grants P. 5.) 

He conveyed both lots to Sarah Can- 
non, viz: — 

"1683, June 4, Joliu Smith, of Mon- 
m.outh R, alias Alloways Creek, W. J.. 
gentleman, and wife, Martha, to widow 
Sarali Cannon, of New Salem, 'W. J., for 
22 acres in New Salem Township, 16 
thereof along the highway and ffen- 
v.-iek's River, the other 6 on the road 



from Salem Landing." (Salem Deeds, 
No. 2.) 

We observe from the above deed that 
only six acres of the two and twenty 
conveyed to Sarali Cannon were "on the 
road from Saiem Landing." 

The Warrant for the Survey of the 
sixteen acre lot for John Smythe reads 
as follows, viz: — 

"1G76, Sept. 19th. Do Do. to John Smytlic 
for a liome lot of 16 acres in New 
Salem." (Salem Surveys, 1676.) 

" Note: The like warrant for 

Roger Huckings, Samuel Nicholson, Ed- 
ward Champneys, Edward Warner, Wm. 
Hancock, Edward Bourne of the same 
date." (New Jersey Colonial Docu- 
ments.) 

We have mentioned that John Fen- 
wick took the oath of office as Gover- 
nor of his Colony 1676, June 21; and after 
his decease, in 1685-6 we find in a deed to 
William Wilkensen a reference to the 
"Governor's lot." (Town Grants Liber 
A. Page 343.) 

The inference from the following ab- 
stract, naturally is, that Governor Fen- 
wick had an official residence in the 
Town, which may explain in a measure, 
the designation "Governor's House," 
which lias been associated with the so 
called "Bradway House," at the foot of 
West Broadway in this city, viz:— 

"1685-6, Jan. 20, do same to William 
Wilkinson, of New Salem, planter, for 
10 a. there on the street to the Gover- 
nor's Lot." (Town Grants, liber A. Page 
343.) 

In the Archives of the State we meet 
with tlie names "Broadaways street" also 
"Bradaways street" also "Brod street," 
earlier "Main street" and "The High- 
way." in 1701 it was called "Salem street." 
viz: — 

"1679, May 15, do same to Christopher 
Sanders, of New Salem, yeoman, and 
wife, Mary, for Sanders Lot 14 acres on 
"Bradaways street N. E. Robitnson's 
riantation" and "Tnrolled May 30. 1G79. 
Patent. Same to Richard Robinson, of 



New Salem, yeoman, and wife. Elinoi-, 
for a lot on Broadaway's St.. 10 a.'' 
(Archives P. 34.) 

Again 1692, August 17, do Jonatlian 
Beei-e, of Salem Town, yeoman, aiul 
wife. Mary, to Henry Hurley, of tli(> 
same place, weaver, for a lionsc and lot 
of 14 acres there, at the corner ol" Krad'i- 
way's street along said street to the S. 
W. side of Robinson's plantation, grant- 
ed by John Fenwick to Christopher San- 
ders and wife, Mary, May 22, 1679" and 
by them conveyed to grantors. October 
9tb. 1686." (Salem Deeds. No. 5.) 

The preceding compilation from the 
published Archives of New Jersey are 
included in this paper on account of their 
possible relation to one of the original 
or very early names of what is now 
known as West Broadway, one of the 
principal streets of the City of Salem 
and of late year's long known as Brad- 
way street. In fact Shourds in his val- 
uable "History of Fenwick's Colony" 
says that in "1693 the Town of Salem 
was incorporated into a bor-ough and 
the authorities of the town changed the 
name of Wharf street to Bradway street 
in honor of Edwai-d Bradway," who, 
although the owner of valuable pr-opeily 
in the Town of New Salem, clearly 
pointed out by Mr. Jones in his paper 
alr-eady referred to, never, as far as 1 
have been able to learn resided there, 
except as Mr. Jones says "though un- 
doubtedly he fir-st lived there, as in the 
Meeting Records a minute is found show- 
ing that a committee of four was ap- 
pointed on 12 mo. 1679. (February 2. 1679- 
SO) ti) view liis house and see if it was 
suitable fdi- ii meeting house. As earl.v 
as June 6, 1680 he was of Alloways Cr'eek 
(Salem Deeds 5,34.1) and such was the 
sepcified abode at all later times." And 
there he died 1693, his will being dated 
Dec. 6, 1693, in which his residence is 
given as follows, viz:— 

"1693, Dec. 6th. Bradway Edward, of 
Monmouth River-, Salem Co., yeoman." 

Thei-e was however a street in New Salorir 




PENNY HILl. SALEV, N. J. 



s 



iirtined "Edward Bradway's street." bin, 
it was apparantly situated in auotlier 
part of the Town now or recently known 
as "Penny Hill" and is mentioned in the 
following deed:— 

"16S9, May 27, Do. John Ireson, of 
Salem Town, tanner, to Richard Marshall 
of Salem Co., planter, for 10 acres in the 
Town, on Edward Bradways street, lately 
in the tenure of Charles Bagley." 
(Salem Deeds, No. 5.) 

As the incorporation of the Town of 
Salem into a borrough did not take place 
until li59o, the date of the above deed 
conflicts with the statement of Thomas 
Shourds, informing us that four years 
previous to that event, i e— in 1689 "Ed- 
ward Bradways street" was one of the 
tlioroughfares of the village, and there- 
fore the conferring of the honor, of the 
naming of the street, on Edward Brad- 
way, by tlie "Authorities of the Town," 
is apparently incorrect, nor Is it probable 
that such an obvious impropriety under 
the circumstances, as the changing of 
the name to Salem street, doubtless 
years before 1791. could have been per- 
mitted by "the rude forefathers of the 
Hamlet." 

"We may be able to form conclusions 
as to the general bearing of the street 
named after him and other property of 
Edward Bradway by another and the last 
deed pertaining to his subject to which 
I invite your attention, viz:^ 

"1685, 25th d. 6th m. (August) Do Rich- 
ard Wilkinson, of New Salem, laborer, 
to Richard Johnson, of the same place, 
carpenter, for that part of the 16 a. lot, 
bought of Edward Bradway (Supra P. 
22.) lying on the N. W. side of a line 
drawn from tlie outermost bounds of 
grantee's 10 a. lot by the highway lead- 
ing from Salem Town to Ihi' Mill Creek." 
(Archives P. 582.) 

Finally m tne cimveyances. divers and 
sundry. from John Smythe through 
Sarah Cannon. Samuel Carpenter. Wil- 
liam Kelly to William Hall we ai'e un- 
;ihh> to trace an.\- ownerships to this 



property, except those already included 
in this paper, the evidence being con- 
clusively in favor of the statement of 
Mr. Jones that "Thei-e is every reason 
to believe that the house which bears 
upon its East gable the date 1691, was 
built by William Hall and that he had 
established it as his inn by 1692. His will 
dated .Api'il 10th. 171", devised to his son. 
William, the "Capital! house," where 
the testator dwelt, with all the lots 
bought of William Kelly." 
T am of the opinion that we have found 
1 no valid reason for re.iecting his con- 
I elusions, together with his infoi-mation, 
j that— "Salem records do not show that 
Edward Bradway ever owned a home or 
lot on the North side of Broadway be- 
I tween tlie wharf and Market street." 
I Still, there is no doubt that the de- 
scendants of Edward Bradway did afte:'- 
ward become seized of the very property 
now (after the lapse of so many years) 
ill controversy, which finally came into 
the possession of John S. Wood. Esq.. 
of Jericho. Cumberland county, by his 
marriage with Sarah Ann Bradway. 
daughter of Thomas and Isabella ^Dun- 
lap Bradway, the husband lieing a son 
of Thomas Bradway. .only son of Aaron 
Bradway by his second wife. Saraii 
Smith, widow of John Smith, grandson 
of John Smith, of Smitn..-.d. Aaron 
Bradway was a grandson of Edward 
Biadway. the emigrant. By his first wife 
he had a son, Jo^^hua. who bought the 
Hall property, at the foot of West 
Broadway from Joseph Hall, a grandson 
of William Hall, the emigrant. March 
2d, 1791. So just one hundred years after 
the "Capitall House" was built it thus 
passed from tl.e Hall to tlie Bradw:i\- 
family. 

The late Tliomas Wood., of tliis Citv, 
son of John S. and Sarali Ann M'ood. 
built the frame dwelling house nn tin- 
corner of Front street and West Broad- 
way, and resided there several years. 

Tlie unusjal circumstances srrroundiii.« 
tli(» lun-chfise bv Richard Guy from Jolin 



l-'euwick, in 1(575, of the ten thousaiul 
acre tract afterward called "Pile Grove," 
with inoiiex- tiirnished by Thomas Pyle, 
iiivdlved tile necessity of a subsequent 
I<i;al ii-aiisrei- ui which we will pres- 
riitlx- refer. AVe do not know even ap- 
liroximatelv- when tlie latter inimig'rated 
to America, but may be guided by the 
following "Return of Survey," June 20, 
KSL', not having any information of his 
movements, during the intervening seven 
.\ears. fiom the iate of i)iircha.--e \v 
proxy, and the following transaction, 
viz: — 

"16S2, ,June 20. Return of Survey to 
Thomas Pyle. of I^ondnn, citizen and 
upliolstei-er. of 10,000 acres, bought by him 
in the name of Richard Guy. of the 
Parish of Stepney Co., of Middlesex, 
Cheesemonger, who, by a deed of trust, 
( onveyed the same to John Eldridge, 
.loseph Kemseley, Richard Noble. Ed- 
ward Champneyes and Edmund Warner, 
of said tract 7,905 a. are bounded by 
Fenwick's River. Cannon's Creek, whicli 
.goes through part of it; P.vle's Mount. 
Masacksy, alia.s 01dman"s. alias Berkely 
Creek. Pyle's Bounder Creek .the bal- 
ance in Necomusses Neck. between 
Necomusses" run now called Fenwick's 
Grove Run and Fenwick's River" (Fen- 
wick's Surveys 1676-1703) ; also by a 
"Deed of Gift from Sarah, wife of 
Thomas Pde. of Shadwell, England, up- 
holsterer, to her daughter. Elizabeth 
Pile, and William Hall, both of Piles- 
grove, jurisdiction of New Salem, for 
all her personal estate, and her title to 
10.(X)0 acres of land, on condition of mak- 
ing certain payments to Sarah Canuoi>, 
the mother, son, Ephraim Pile, daughter, 
Sarah Gibson ami son-in-law, Simon 
Gibson" (dated Jaiiuaiy 10th, lti,S3-4) also. 
viz:— 

"16S.">, 15th d. 9th m. (Nov.) Deed of 
Gift from Sarah Cannon, of New Saler>i, 
widow, to hei' daughter, Sarah Pile, 
of Shadwell Co., of Middlesex, (Eng- 
land) for all her personal property." 
(Salem Wills. A. P P 2-7.) 



"The preceding two deeds of gifts, so 
called in the record, are evidently in- 
tended to be last wills and testaments." 

If the above surmise, of the compiler 
of the Archives, together with the asso- 
ciated dates ai-e correct, Thos. Pyle's wife, 
Sarah, did not emigrate from London io 
West Jersey, unless several years elapsed 
between the making of her last will and 
testament and her demise, or if she did, 
must have returned to England before 
her death, which we infer from the date 
of the inventory of her estate occurred 
in March 1683-4, although the "Deed of 
Gift" from her mother, Sarah Cannon, 
dated November 15, 1685, implies that slie 
was living at that time. She left for 
those times, quite a considerable per- 
sonal estate, viz:— "£290.11 incl., a boy 
servant, Richard Wheat, £7, a maid 
servant, Mary Harrington, £7, a negro 
woman £14, 43 oz. of plate, £10.05, an old 
watch 12s. and debt? (all desparate)" said 
to be due from some of the most re- 
spectable and perfectly responsible citi- 
zens of Fenwick's Colony such as— 
"Samuel Hedge," "Richard TindaU." 
"Major Fenwick," "Samuel Carpenter," 
and many others, indicating another in- 
stance of gross inaccuracy in tlie publish- 
ed chronicles we possess. 

In her "Deed of Gift' 'to her daughter, 
Elizabeth, and William Hall, she speak.s 
of "her personal estate and her title to 
10,000 acres of land." Are we to infer, 
from this in connection with the indirect 
purchase by Richard Guy, that she was 
the original and actual owner of part 
if not all of the Pilesgrove estate ? If 
she died in 1683-4, which she evidently 
d:d not, but which the inventory of her 
property," made by Com. Braithwaite 
and Samuel Hedge," both residents of 
the Colony would imply, her husband 
survived her more than twelve years, 
he left a small personal estate, viz:— 

"£49.16.11 incl books £1. a gold ring 
IS. s. made by Jona Beere and Samuel 
Hedge" all of which together with his 
real pi-operty he left to his daughter, 




FAMOUS OLD OAK 
West Broadwaky, Salem, New Jersey 



Elizabeth Hall." Sou-in-law, William jj 
Hall, executor." (Salem Wills A. P. 173.) |j 

Ephraim Pyle. the son, died August i 
iT). 1685, about one year and seven months 
after what we suppose to have been the 
date of the demise of his mother. "Ad- 
ministration on the estate granted to his 
brother-in-law, William Hall," who about 
one pear perviously, i e.— May 21st, 1684. 
had married his sister, Elizabeth Pyle. 

There was beside the latter, another 
(laughter, Sarah Gibson, wife of Simon 
Gibson, who also had a claim by the 
•"Indenture Tripartite" of 1675. June 16th. 
in which wa.s awarded "one-half to the 
use and behoff of Simon Gibson, of the 
Parish of St. Paul, Shadwell Co., of 
Middlesex, carpenter. du'Mng the life of 
hi.s wife, Sarah; the othei half in trust 
for said Thomas Pyle and wife during 
their lives, the whole to go finally to 
Ephraim, son and Elizabeth, daughter, 
of said Thomas and Sarah Pyle." 
As we find no further reference to Sarah 
Gibson, we conclude that her husband, 
Simon, survived her and therefore her 
share of the property according to the 
provisions of the "Indenture Tripartite," 
fiuoted above. Ephraim being dead, re- 
verted to her sister, Elizabeth Hall. (New 
Jersey Colonial Documents, Salem No.l.) 

The only example of the hand writing 
of Ephraim Pyle, whose premature death 
we have noted, is his autograph, spelled 
"Epraim Pyle." as witness to the nun- 
cupative wnll of Thomas Knowles, of 
New Salem, planter, wherein he devises 
lo Elizabeth Pyle. .spinster, as a tri- 
bute doubtless to her worth, virtues, and 
possible personal attractions, the singular 
U gacy of "a heifer in the hands of 
Charles Bagley and makes James Nevill 
and Sarah Pyles. executors." The in 
ventory of his personal estate, amounting 
to £17.7.2. made by Thomas "^'oodruff. 
SheriiT. and Edward Lumley. planter, is 
dated April 2. 1682, and from the fact 
that Sarah Pyles" was one of the execii- 
toi-s. we mu?t, regardless of our former 
I jiinion— that she remained in England 



declining to emigrate— in view of the 
above circumstances, admit that she was, 
nevertehless, at that particular time, 
"in propria persona," here. 

The last hour of Knowles, within the 
mortuary chamber of his humble home, 
as he uttered the words disposing of his 
small estate, to which "Epraim Pyle" af- 
fixed his signature as witness, must in- 
deed have been a time lugubrious 
Imagination can transport us also there, 
to mingle with the faithful friends gath- 
ered around him, and hear him with lal- 
tering accents utter his last wishes. A 
mysterious influence pervades the room, 
which tells us that spirits uncanny are 
hovering near— are already there. >'t 
seems a haunted spot. 
"O er all there hung the shadow of a 

fear. 
A sense of mystery the spirit daunted. 
And said as plain as whisper in the ear. 
The place is haunted." 

The Parcae, the weird sisters, the un- 
relenting fates have come and now are 
busy with their horrid work: — 

"Sororem fila trium patiunter atra." 

Although invisible we are aware of 
their presence, the painful concentration 
of the exalted sense rendering there 
movements audible, when, the pen of 
the scrivener ceasing, and the frigid ton- 
gue of the expiring mortal forever silent, 
we iiear the clashing shears of Atropos 
sever the black worsted cord of sorrow, 
which frees the spirit, escaping from th,-r 
desolation and unavailing grief it leaves 
beh'nd. curable only by the antidotal medi- 
caments of resignation, of time, and of 
eternal hope. 

It 's indeed a dark and gloomy hour, 
without one lucid ray, save when tho 
anticipated arrival of the heifer, led by 
the hand of the ubiquitous Bagley, sheds 
a gleam of humor across the final scen.^. 

On opening this "Old Deed" and read- 
ing its contents, one cannot fail to real- 
'ze. the comparative permanence and 
ms^'ability of inorganic matter and or- 
gfinir life. Coming down through eight 



generations of my family, without espe- 
cial care, until witliin a few years, aftei 
the lapse of more than two hundred and 
thirty years, it is apparently in as good 
a state of preservation as when it was 
written, signed, conveyed and witnessed 
in 1675. But where are the hearts and 
hands of those twelve men, whose mem- 
ory is embaaned within the body of the 
Instrument ? Long since crumbled intc 
dust. Those liearts which then responded 
to the impulses of expectation and of 
h.ope, those brave hands, whose deft pre- 
hensile fingers with psycologic transmu- 
tation changed intuition into visible form 
and made it stay, for centuries, save in 



tlieir progeny and finished work, hava 
vanished from the scenes of life, utterly 
disappeared and "like (an) insubstan- 
tial pageant faded left not a rack be- 
hind" and were it not for this treasured 
manuscript, miglit be forgotten now. 

But though they are gone, one of their 
creations, this sheepskin with is written 
message, a legacy of long ago, rescued 
by their cunning art from disintegration 
and decay, still lives, as it were eter- 
nal, alike defying and escaping tlie ro- 
dent "tooth of time and razure of obli- 
vion." 

E. S. S. 
Salem, N. jersey, December 3d, 1908. 






W$^i(