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The Story of William Chew 1671 to 1709
Posted by: William Pierpoint (ID *****4471) Date: October 01, 2003 at 16:42:57
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I am descended from William Chew, whose daughter Sidney Chew married Charles Pierpoint. Charles is in my direct male line of descent.

William Chew's father, Samuel Chew, was a prominent citizen, a member of the Council of Maryland and a Justice of the Provincial Court. William, on the other hand,...

On 24 Oct 1692, William Chew petitioned the Council of Maryland to have the tract of land known as Popinjay (about 500 acres) resurveyed by Edward Batson, the Surveyor of Calvert County. William, along with his brothers Benjamin, John, and Caleb, had equally inherited this land from their father, Samuel Chew. Their neighbors were encroaching on their land and they asked that the neighbors be present when the land was resurveyed. The council agreed and ordered that the land be resurveyed in the manner and form petitioned.[1]

In the beginning of 1696/7, possibly to pay off his own debts, William Chew had to bring some court actions to collect on debts he was owned. In Jan 1696/7, Chew sought an arrest warrant against Barnett Clapcoate to collect on a debt of 2000 pounds of tobacco.[2] On March 23 1696/7, the Prince Georges's County Court ordered that the Sheriff bring Mathew Mockeboy into Court to answer a complaint from Chew.[3]

On 3 Dec 1697, the Council of Maryland was investigating possibly wrongdoing by Robert Mason, High Sheriff of St. Marys County, regarding the debts of John Cood. As part of the investigation, Mason sold a number of deerskins to William Chew. Chew was asked by the Council to provide a written answer as to the number of skins Mason sold him and what was provided to Mason in return. Chew wrote that he received 100 deerskins and in return he provided gunpowder and swan shot.[4]

In the night of 17 Oct 1704, the Maryland State House in Annapolis was burned and many of the records destroyed. This calamity was followed the next year by a fire which destroyed the court house, to which the remaining records had been moved, and several other buildings. These fires were believed to be the work of conspirators who wished to destroy the evidence of their indebtedness. Their ringleader, Richard Clarke, was tried for this and other heinous offences, found guilty, and executed.[5]

In March of 1708, just a month prior to the hanging of Richard Clarke, John Duvalls had a conversation with William Chew in which Chew was quite upset over the fate of Clarke. Chew said that he thought Clarke was a notorious rogue, but that justice would not be served by hanging him, and if he was hung, the State had better do it in private. When Duvalls asked Chew what he meant by this, Chew said he didn't care to speak further of it. However he then added that 300 men of Baltimore County were so intent on this matter that they were scouring up arms, even old rusty pistols.

William Chew was unfortunate in two regards. First, John Duvalls reported the conversation to the Council of Maryland which issued an arrest warrant to bring Chew in for questioning. Secondly, the Council received Duvalls' testimony just before they questioned Clarke, so they probably asked Clarke about Chew.[6]

The "Archives of Maryland Online" are silent about what happened to William Chew. But since Chew died about 28 Feb 1709, at only 37 years of age and less than a year after Richard Clarke's execution, he may well have received the same fate as Clarke.

Sources:

1. Archives of Maryland Online, Proceedings of the Council of Maryland, 1687/8-1693, Vol 8, Pp 405-6.

2. Archives of Maryland Online, Court Records of Prince George's County, Maryland 1696-1699, Volume 202, Pp 109 & 157.

3. Archives of Maryland Online, Court Records of Prince George's County, Maryland 1696-1699, Volume 202, Pp 162.

4. Archives of Maryland Online, Proceedings of the Council of Maryland, 1696/7:1698, Volume 23, Pp 331-7.

5. Archives of Maryland Online, Proceedings of the Council of Maryland, 1698-1731, Volume 25, Preface 10.

6. Archives of Maryland Online, Proceedings of the Council of Maryland, 1698-1731, Volume 25, Pp 237-8.


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