Lower Chichester Township.
Chester on the 7th day of Second month, 1685, and at that time aroused intense public feeling, due, largely, to the prominent social position of the parties litigant, as also the serious matter involved. As the case terminated, it would have been better for the plaintiff if he had never instituted the action. Henry Renolds, of Marcus Hook, who became a resident there early in 1680, was a publican, keeping a tavern in the village (at which he sold liquor with license when he could get the court's approval, but whether he obtained that permission or not he persisted in vending ardent spirits), seems to have been a man of quick temper, which would often cause him to do that which was of the utmost disadvantage to him. At the court held at the date stated, Renolds sued Justa Anderson for scandalous and defamatory words, in that he had reported that Renolds had beaten his servant-girl and the next day she died. The plaintiff showed by James Sandelands, James Brown, William Hawkes that Justa Anderson had asserted that he saw Henry Renolds "beat and kicke his maide and that he saw her alive no more." The defendant was able to show by Thomas Pearson that when he was at Renolds' house he saw the latter lift "up the tongs" and threaten to strike his maid-servant "for not eating such things as was provided for her," while Wooly Rosen, who lived just below Naaman's Creek, in New Castle County, testified that while he was at Renold's the girl asked him for some milk, which angered her master, - she was an indentured servant, - and be struck her "one Blow with a broome Staffe, asking her whether there was not vituals enough in the house?" William Cornell declared that he saw Renolds "Beate his maide with a Broome staffe and afterwards kicked her as she was by ye fire." While Robert Moulder related a marvelous story that the night the girl died "he see the maide sleeping by ye fireside, and sometimes afterward shee went to bed, after which a 'revelation' came to him that the maide would dye that night." Prudence Clayton, Renolds' mother-in-law, who, after the girl died, had been sent for "to lay her out, did not remember that shee did see any manner of hurt about her." The jury found, however, for the defendant, and the case had aroused such public attention that James Kenneily, the first coroner of whom we have record in Chester County, intervened in the matter. This we learn from the order of the court, held 1st 3d day of Seventh month, 1685, that "Execution be granted against Henry Renolds for ye Crowner's fees, charges of Inquest & taking up ye said Renolds' maide, with all other charges whatsoever thereunto belonging." The sheriff in this execution levied on an ox, and Renolds at the next court had to pay £4 10s., when "the court ordered him his Oxe againe."
The other case was heard at a court held at Chester on the 1st day of 3d week, Fourth month, 1690, when John Martin, a weaver, was tried for having stolen from the house of Thomas Brown fourteen dressed deer-skins, of the value of thirty shillings. Thomas Brown, the plaintiff, testified that the accused had acknowledged the theft, but the interesting feature of the case was presented in the manner in which the crime was traced to the prisoner. It appeared from the evidence of Francis Chads, who, before his removal to Birmingham, was a shoemaker in Chichester, that he had mended the shoes worn by Martin, and that he had done so" with 2 nails & 2 plates towards ye towes of his shoes." William Clayton stated that he and Thomas Brown, Jr., while the prisoner and Thomas Brown, Sr., were talking, had gone to the house of Thomas Brown, Sr., where Martin lived, "and there we saw the print of a shoe, and we followed it, and we perceived it to be print with nails & a pleat with nails, & we followed it to the swamp & there in a hollow tree we found the skins, and afterwards we took the measure & went to James Brownes & compared the measure with the prisoners. It seemed to be the very same." George Foreman, a justice, testified that on the morning of the theft Brown told him of his loss, that his house had been broken open, and asked for a search-warrant, which he issued. He also states, after the search had been made, that he told Brown to "go to his house & see if there were no tracks of anybody. He went & returned shortly after, saying there was a print of a foot. Then I went to his house myself & saw the window open, & upon the ground the print of a shoe with nails & clamps of iron. We followed the tracts down to the side of the fence, & then along the swamp until we came upon Wm. Clayton's new cleared field, and there in a swamp, in a hollow tree, we found fourteen drest skins. Then we went to James Brown's house & took along with us the measure of the print of the shoe & measured John Martin's, and it seemed to us to be the very same. Martin seemed to be startled at my taking his shoes off." The jury convicted the prisoner, and he was sentenced to be sold for eight years to another province, to make good all damages to the party aggrieved, and his master's charges, - he was an indentured servant, - amounting in all to £17 7s. 9 1/2d., and to "receive 39 lashes well Laid on his Bare Back at ye Cart's Tayl."
If tradition be accepted as authority, at the conclusion of the seventeenth and the first and second decades of the eighteenth century the pirates which then infested the Atlantic coast from New England to Georgia would frequently stop at Marcus Hook, where they would revel, and when deep in their cups would indulge in noisy disputation and broils, until one of the streets in that ancient borough from that fact was known as Discord Lane, which name the same thoroughfare has retained for nearly two centuries. Blackbeard, who for many years kept the coast in alarm, with his crew it is said often visited Marcus Hook, where at the house of a Swedish woman there, to whom he gave the title of Marcus, although her name was really Margaret, he was ac-