Here is the next document off the stack. I think this is the most important one we have seen so far and probably the most significant one I obtained in New Jersey. I say this because it appears to me that the obligatory bill is an original document, signed by both Samuel Bonnell, Sr. and Samuel Bonnell, Jr. Although I have sent other obligatory bills related to these individuals, the other ones appear to be transcriptions by the scribe, since the bill is written on the same piece of paper as a later court order and the handwriting is unchanged throughout the document. This document, in contrast, is on its own sheet of paper. Additionally, the two signatures appear to be distinct from one another and are both followed by a unique "seal" figure.
I had hoped that distinguishing between the signatures would help distinguish which Bonnell was the juror in the 1764 case. Unfortunately, I can't tell. The signature on the 1764 document has attributes of both signatures on this document.
I continue to be intrigued and somewhat baffled by the details on court
documents. In this case, both Bonnells signed the 1755 obligatory bill, but
the 1756 collection case is only against the senior Samuel Bonnell. As
before, it seems like the penalty for not paying your debts was severe. In
this case, the original debt was for twelve pounds, but the cost of not
paying on time was to incur a twenty-four pound penal debt. This would put
modern loan sharks to shame...
Transcription of Middlesex Court Case #47 (1756): Stout, Zacharia v. Bonnill, Samuel, Sen’r
Middlesex Inferior Court
of Common Pleas ~
Zacharia Stout } Narr
V } in
Samuel Bonnill Sen’r } Debt
Of July Term 1756
Filed December . 8 . 1756
Deare D Clk
Middlesex Inferior Court of Common Pleas
July Term, in the year of our Lord One
Thousand Seven Hundred & Fifty Six
Middlesex fs, Samuel Bonnell Otherwise Called Samuel Bonnill Sener of The Township of Windsor and County of middlesex and province of New Jersey was Summoned To Answer Zacharia Stout of Aplea That he Render unto him The Sum of Twenty Four Pounds ~ Proclamation money Which To him he Owes and from him Unjustly Detains &ca and whereupon The said Zacharia by William Pidgeon his Attorney saith, That whereas the said Samuel The Twenty Ninth Day of June, In The year of our Lord One Thousand and Seven Hundred and Fifty Five , at Perth Amboy in the County of Middlesex, and Within the Jurisdiction of This Court by his Certain Bill Obligatory Did Acknowledge himself To be Justly Indebted Unto the said Zacharia in the Sum of Twelve Pounds Money Af’d To be paid To the said Zacharia at or before The first day of November Then Next Ensuing The Date Thereof, And For the true Payment Thereof the said Samuel Bound himself in The Penal Sum of Twenty Four pounds, Money Afores’d And The said Zacharia in fact Saith, That he the said Samuel Did not Pay Unto him the said Zacharia The said Sum of Twelve Pounds, at or before The said first day of November Which to him at or before That Same day he Ought to have Paid, According To the Form and Effect of the Bill Obligatory Afores’d Whereby an Action hath Accrued unto him The said Zacharia To Require and have of him The said Samuel The Said Sum of Twenty Four Pounds, Nevertheless The Aforesaid Samuel Altho Often Required &c’a The Afores’d Twelve Pounds unto him The said Zacharia hath not as yet Paid, but The Same To him as yet To Pay he the said Samuel hath altogether Refused and Still doth refuse and Unjustly Detain &c’a To the Damage of him the said Zacharia Stout Ten Pounds and Thereof he bring This Suit &c’a And brings hereunto Court The Bill Obligatory Aforesaid Which The Debt Aforesaid in Form Aforesaid Wittnesseth the Date Whereof is the Same day and year Aforesaid &c’a
W. Pidgeon Quer’t } Plegy &c’a
Middlesex fs, Zacharia Stout Puts in his Place William Pidgeon his Attorney Against Samuel Bonnel Otherwise Called &c’a In Aplea of Debt &c’a.
Sam’l Bonnill Sen’r }
Sam’l Bonnell Jun’or } Oyer
To } Bill
Zacharia Stout }
Know all men by these Presents That we Samuel Bonnell Juner and Samuel Bonnell Sener both of the Township of Windsor and County of Middlesex and province of New jarsay do Stand Justly Indebted unto Zacharia Stout of Hopewill in the County of Hunterdon and Province abovesaid In the Just & full Sum of Twelve Pounds Proclamation To the Which Payment well and Truly to be made & Done we bind our Selves our heirs Ex’rs & adm’rs and Every of Them in the Penal Sum of Twenty Four Pounds Money aboves’d and That at or before The First day of November Next Ensuing The date hereof as Wittness our hand and Seals This 29th day of June Iny’e year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty Five
Wittness Presents Sam. Bonnill Ju’r