Sentencing of Ralph Jones, Robin Sepit, and John Sepit by the Barnstable County Court

Whereas Ralph Jones, John Sepit and Robin Sepit, Indians, was apprehended and brought before Barnabas Lothrop, John Thatcher, and John Gorham, Justices for the County of Barnstable, upon suspicion of taking of a chest with goods cast on shore on Sandwich Beach belonging to Nathaniel Orvis who was drowned and lost in one Paul Miller whose vessel suffered shipwreck some time in November last before they date hereof.1

The above said Indians upon examination by their own acknowledgment are convicted of felonious detaining the said chest and goods by being found in their possession also concealing, embezzling, and spoiling of them to the value of 4 pounds, 10 shillings, 6 pence and are sentenced to pay according to law threefold equally amongst them, the said Indians, which is 13 pounds, 11 shillings,6 pence and the charge of prosecution, which is 2 pounds,5 shillings, 6 pence, not having money to pay or lay down, are ordered to serve two years apiece to such as lay down the money for them or otherwise to be sold by the prosecutor for the time aforesaid.

Joseph Hoxey and Joseph Holley paid down 5 pounds, 6 shillings.  The above Robin Sepit is ordered to serve the said Joseph Hoxey and Joseph Holley, their heirs or assigns the full time of two years.

Mr. Joseph Bartlett paid down 5 pounds, 6 shillings.  The above John Sepit is ordered to serve the said Bartlett, his heirs or assigns the full time of two years.

Edmond Freeman and Ebenezer Hinge jointly paid 5 pounds, 6 shillings.  The said Ralph Jones is ordered to serve the said Edmond Freeman and Ebenezer Hinge, them or either of their heirs or assigns the full time of two year   

January 28, 1696


Slavery in 1695-1696 / King William 3rd2     


A true copy attest Barnabas Lothrop, Justice of Peace / February 13, 1696   

  • 1. In 1692, Miller was the owner and commander of the 20 tunn coasting sloop Endeavor of Boston. Some of the goods he was transporting that year included corn, sheep's wool, tanned hides, fish, pork, beef, beer, wheat, flour, Fayal wines, window glass, rigging, staves and trunks of household goods. The wreck three years later in the winter of 1695 may have been the Endeavor, carrying similar goods. Nathaniel Bouton, ed., Provincial Papers, Documents and Records related to the Province of New-Hampshire, Vol. 2 (Manchester, NH: John B. Clarke, 1868), 77, 78, 81.
  • 2. This text was added in a different hand and likely many years later. There is also a line or two of illegible text in this section of the document which is significantly worn.