The Colonial History to the War of the Revolution
Haverford townships, in this county), in laying out lands for other purchasers, not recognized as distinctively Welsh settlers, in such a way as to interfere with the continuity of "the Barony," and because the inhabitants of that territory were summoned to do jury and other public duties in both Philadelphia and Chester Counties, in 1688 a lengthy petition was prepared by them and forwarded by Col. William Markham the same year to Penn in England. It is not known whether the letter was ever received by Penn; at least so far as the writer has information no notice was ever taken by the proprietary of the communication.
The Welsh settlers in Radnor and Haverford, however, declined to recognize the division of the counties of Philadelphia and Chester, and silently refused to pay their proportion of the public taxes to the treasury of Chester County or to serve on juries. The authorities of the latter at length, having exhausted all means at their command to compel recognition of their jurisdiction, presented a petition from the justices and inhabitants of Chester County to the Governor and Council, March 25, 1689, in which they represented that the county was at first small, "not above 9 miles square & but Thinly seated, whereby ye said County is not able to Support the Charge thereoff," and that the Governor in "his Serious Consideration of our Weak Condition was pleased, out of Compassion to us, to grant an Enlargement of ye same," which was subsequently done in the official boundaries before mentioned. To support the allegation that these limits had been approved by William Penn, John Blunstone testified "that a ffew days before Gover Penn left this Province that upon ye bank by John Simcock's house I moved him to Deside this matter that had been so long Discoursed, who then, before me and Others did Declare that ye bounds Should thus runn from the mouth of Bow Creek to Mill Creek, wch should be ye bounds until it come to ye Land of Herford, and then to take in the Townds of Herford & Radnor; from thence to the Skoolkill, and take in his mannour of Springtowne, . . . then I asked him if he would be pleased to give it under his hand, to avoyd ffurther Trouble, who answered he would, if any of vs would Come the next day to Philadelphia, in order thereunto; one was sent, but what then obstructed I am not certaine, but yt ye, Goverr Departed about two days after." Randall Vernon testified that William Howell, of Harford, "Signified unto me" that he had "asked ye Goverr to what County they should be joined or belong unto, & The Goverr was pleased to answer him that they must belong to Chester County." Thomas Usher, sheriff of Chester County, testified that Penn said to him, "Thomas, I perceive that the Skoolkill Creek Comes or runs so upon the back of Philadelphia that it makes ye City almost an Island, so that a Robbery or the like may be there Committed, and ye offender gitt over ye Creek, and so Escape for want of due persute, &c., therefore I intend that ye bounds of Philadelphia County Shall Come about 3 or ffour miles on this side of the Skoolkill, and I would not have thee to take notice or to oppose that Sheriff on ye Execution of his office, about Kingses or the like, but I intend to enlarge this County downwards to Brandywines."1 The Deputy Surveyor-General produced the official map, showing the county lines as before given, and stated that "it so is set out by order of the Governor and Provincial Council." Governor Blackwell and the Council intimated that as the bounds had been published in the map of Thomas Holme, which had been distributed in England, and as land had been sold and located according to that map, to change the boundaries now might result in much confusion to purchasers. Besides, the Welsh settlers had refused to bear any part of the taxes or serve on juries in Philadelphia, as they had done in Chester County, claiming that they were a distinct "barony," and although the Governor and Council intimated that clearly the Welsh Tract was a part of Chester County, yet they refused to announce their final conclusion until the next morning, when, if the Welsh settlers chose to show cause why they should not be part of Chester County, they would be heard. The next morning, Thomas Lloyd and John Eckley appeared on behalf of the Welsh, alleging that Penn had intimated to them that they would form a county palatine; but as they had no written evidence to substantiate that assertion, Council decided that the boundaries already shown to have been established must be confirmed. Thereupon the strong arm of the law was extended to compel the reluctant Welshmen to yield obedience to the decree that had been made. The Court of Chester County appointed John Jerman constable for Radnor, and John Lewis for Haverford, but these recipients of judicial favor failing to present themselves, the justices determined that the dignity of the bench should be maintained. Hence we find that at court held "3d day of lst week, 3d mo., 1689, ordered that Warrants of Con-
|1 Colonial Records, vol. i. pp. 263, 265.|