Call Her a Name, Apologize in Church - Contributed by Gail M. Walczyk

Walczyk, Frank V., Northampton County VA Orders, Deeds & Wills 1651-1654 Book IV (Coram NY: Petersrow, 1999), p 6.

decimo octano February 1650, Present ut antea
Upon the compliant of Mrs. Grace the wife of Mr. Obedience Robins having made appearance by the oath of Mr. Samuel Sand, surgeon, that Ann the wife of Mr. Thomas Higby hath in a scandalous defamatory name abused the said Mrs. Robins (in saying that she is a gin red person) it is there fore the opinion of the Court thought fit and ordered that the said Mrs. Ann Wilkins shall this present Court and publicly make acknowledgment of her default and upon a Sabbath day likewise in the open congregation.

Upon the motion of Mr. Thomas Higby appeal in the cause was granted for James City to be heard before the honorable the Governor and the worshipful, the counsel upon the sixth day of March Court next provided that the said Mr. Higby put in sufficient security for damages (in case he cast) according to the act of assembly.

On February 28 1650/51 Mrs. Grace Robins, wife of Obedience Robins, came to complain to the Court that Ann Higby called her a "gin red person." (In a later case it was stated that Ann Higby was the former wife of John Wilkins deceased [op. cit., p 8.]).  Ann was ordered to make a public apology on Sunday in the Church. Thomas Higby appealed this case to James City.

There is a type of Gin called "Sloe Gin." This gin is made from the sloe a plum like fruit and is red. By calling Grace Robins a red gin person, Ann could have been calling her a drunk. - Gail Walczyk 

© Copyright 2005-2009 by Gail M. Walczyk

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