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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Middlesex Court Case #59 (1760): Brown, Preserve v. Bonnell, Samuel, Sr.


Continuing to work backward through these documents, here is another writ
involving Preserve Brown and the Windsor Township Bonnells, this one from 1760.  There are
several notable take-aways from this document.

First, this writ and the documents from 1762-7163 case #63 (Brown estate vs.
Samuel Bonnell) appear to all relate to the same case.  I say this because
this document says that Samuel Bonnell is to be present in the April 1760
court.  The latter case includes a bill signed on 8 April 1760 by Samuel
Bonnell, promising to pay a portion of the debt before the end of the year
(which apparently, he was unable to do).

Second, this writ clearly identifies the defendant as Samuel Bonnell,
Senior.  I also assume, therefore, that the 1762-1763 case also involved the
elder Samuel Bonnell, although there is always the chance that the elder
could have died and the executors were now suing the Samuel Bonnell, Junior
as the heir.  I think it more likely that the executors were just pursuing
the case against the original plaintiff in an attempt to settle the Preserve
Brown estate as quickly as possible.

Third, the case appears to have originated in debt, as the outside of the
writ describes, even though the charge is "Tresspass" in the language of the
writ.  Having looked at a variety of these, it seems that trespass is a
catch all for any type of affront.  As we have seen in the past, the action
seems to be to recover proclamation money rather than the principal for the
debt, so this may indicate that there is previous documentation on this

Fourth, this case resulted in a Cepi Copus in Custody, so Samuel Bonnell Sr.
was still standing in defense of himself at this stage.  To add this to our
running list, we now have:

Jacob Wright -     1761 (v. Brown Estate) - Cepi Corpus
        July 1766 (v. Richard Brown) - Non Est

Samuel Bonnell, Sr. -     April 1760 (v. Brown ) Cepi Corpus in Custy
            April 1761 (v. Watson) Cepi Corpus
            April 1762 (v. Brown estate) Cepi Corpus in Custy
            October 1762 (v. Brown estate) Cepi Corpus in Custy

Samuel Bonnell, Jr. - 1761 (v. Watson) Non Est

Samuel Bonnell (undefined) -     January 1749 (v. Kearny) Non Est Inventus
[same definition as Non Est]
                October 1764 (v. Reed & Pettit) - Cepi
Corpus in Custodia

John Bunnell

Transcription of Middlesex Court Case #59 (1760):  Brown, Preserve v. Bonnell, Samuel, Sr. 
Middlesex Common Pleas
Preserve Brown } Cap’e in 
V } Case Dam’s
Sam’l Bonnell Sen’r } £20

Returnable to April term 1760 

Cepi Corpus in Cust
W’m Crawford Sherr

Middlesex fs. George the second by the Grace of God of great Britain France, and Ireland King defender of the faith &c  to our sheriff of our County of Middlesex Greeting we Command you that you take Samuel Bonnell Sen’r (late of the County afores’d) if he may be found in your bailywick and him safely keep so that you may have his body before our Judges of our Inferior Court of Common Pleas to be held at Perth Amboy in and for our County of Middlesex on the third Tuesday in April next then and there to answer Preserve Brown of a Plea of Tresspass upon the case & to his damage twenty Pounds proclamation money /as is said/ and have you then and there this Writt  Wittness James Hude Esq’r Judge of our said Court at Perth Amboy aforesaid the fifteenth day of January in the thirty third year of our Reign ~
Pidgeon Att’y Smyth Clk

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