Archiver > APPLEGATE > 2007-12 > 1197518311

From: Pat Mount <>
Subject: [APPLEGATE] Thomas - Gravesend
Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2007 22:58:31 -0500

On 17 December 1646, the town council of Gravesend included Tho. Aplegate in
the list of those required to keep twenty poles for a fence to be erected
between the various lots (Gravesend, 1:9). Thomas failed to keep up his part
of the fence. On 13 April 1647, the town council decided to "hyer a man to
doe it" and have Thomas chared with the costs (Gravesend, 1:10). Later, in
February 1648, Thomas agreed to help fence the common pasture.

At Gravesend, both Thomas and Elizabeth were caught up in court cases as
they were apparently strong minded and believers in free speech. According
to Stillwell, "this brought them (the Applegates) oppressive punishment
from their neighbors. But such was the habit of the times. Few or none
escaped from conflict of this sort. Their isolated life gave small
opportunity on mental development on wholesome and broad lines, and their
talk degenerated into gossip of a dangerous, personal nature, readily
embellished and circulated over the convivial cup at the tavern. The habit
grew in the community till it became customary to air the most petty
grievances in court, and the contest savored much of a pastime. So great a
nuisance did it became, that the court finally for its own protection,
passed a rule laying the expenses of a suit upon the plaintiff in the event
of his failure to successfully prosecute his case".

12 Sep 1648":Ambrose London plaintive agt:ye wife of Tho: Aplegate defent
in an action of slander for saying his wife did milke her Cowe"

"The defent saith yt shee said noe otherwise but as Penellopey Prince tould
her yt Ambrose his wife did milke her Cowe"

"Rodger Scotte being deposed saith yt being in ye house of Tho: Aplegate hee
did heare Pennellopy Prince saye yt ye wife of Ambrose London did milke ye
Cowe of Tho: Aplegate"

"Tho: Greedye being deposed saith yt Pennellope Prince being att his house
hee did heare her saye yt shee and Aplegates Daughter must com as witnesses
agat: Ambrose his wife milking Aplegates Coew"

"Pennellope Prince being questationed adknowled her faulte in soe speaking
and being sorrie her words she spake gave sattisfaction on both sides."
source: Gravesend Town Book, vol. 1, Sept 12, 1648. (Note: According to
Stout, Claude D., Richard and Penelope Stout : a critical analysis of an
important period in American history. Palmyra, Wis.: Tom's Print Shop,
1974?, 50 pgs. Pg. 11. These were the first records of Penelope after her
release from the Indian village.)

One such reference is the following: (Diggs, The Two Baxters of New
Amsterdam, NYG & BR 8, 70). "One Thomas Applegate of Gravesend owned a farm
there but seems to have spent much of his leisure in the public stocks on
the outside of Lady Moody's door. Scarcely had Stuyvesant returned from
Hartford with his suite when Applegate was brought up for trial on a charge
of slander. Sergeant Hubbard, who had accompanied George Baxter on several
expeditions against the Indians, was 'plaintiff in ye behalf of his wife
against Thomas Aplegate in an action of slander in saying ye plaintiff hath
but half a wife'. 'Aplegate thee utterly denied that hes ever spake such
wordes'. Thus the issue was joined and the Court consisting of George Baxter
and his two fellow magistrates, call for the witnesses. Robert Clarke (whose
daughter Bridget married Thomas Baxter) being deposed saith that Thomas
Aplegate, Sr., being some time at Manhattan, there waiting three days to
have ye company of ye said Robert Clarke to ye plantation of Gravesend, on
ye way as thee, his wife and said deponent come long, ye said defendant
said: ' Heare' said thee, 'ye Governor Stuyvesant hath raved out your
daughter for Ensign Baxter, but I hope you will be wiser'. 'Why' said ye
depone". Ye defendant replyed saying: 'thee is a beggerly scabb and most of
his maintainance he hath in the place we are going to; and when he is there
ye Serjant Hubbard hath but half a wife. Ye wife of Mr. Clarke of ye age of
48 being deposed witnesses the same. The defendant being questioned by the
Court why and wherefore thee had given forth such slanderous reports and
where tree could prove the truth of it, thee answered and said that thee
never spoke ye words.

Notwithstanding this, the Court directed him to stand att ye Public Post
during ye pleasure of ye Court with a paper on his breast mentioning the
fact that thee is a notorious slandalous person. 'Now is Open Court hee has
confessed ye wrong done her in raising reports and was sorry for it and
desired her to remitt it and pass it by; and she did and he gave her

The magistrates who sat at this trial were George Baxter, Nicholas
Stillwell, Sergeant Hubbard, and Robert Clarke, all interested persons.
Poor Thomas Applegate did not have a chance; he gave a bond of 500 guilders
to speak no more scandal. Furman (Furman, J. P. 1983. Thomas and Elizabeth
Applegate of Gravesend. mss.) has analyzed the court cases of Thomas while
in Gravesend. He concludes there is some evidence that Driggs overstated
both Thomas' offenses and his penalties.

The very next record (1650) in this court is another complaint against Mr.
Aplegate for slander, charged by Nicholas Stillwell who claimed that he had
been maligned since Aplegate stated that if he (Stillwell) paid all his
debts, he would have nothing left.

On Jan. 8, 1651, he was again before the magistrates, charged by Mrs. Robert
Clarke with slander for saying Governor Stuyvesant took bribes. Mr. Robert
Clarke, assistant magistrate, testified: Thomas said, 'I cannot have my
rights, ye Governor is bribed'; but said hee, 'now the Governor is going in
to ye North (to Hartford) and if time would permit, I would goe in to ye
North and I would lay him up fast and there I should have justice though I
could have none here'. This being at ye same time ye Governor was in
Hartford. "Bridget Baxter (Mr. Robert Clarke's daughter) being deposed
witnesseth that this Thomas Aplegate, Sr., said in effect as her father
above said hath declared. Ye defendant said he never spake any such words.
The court therfore do adjudge ye said Aplegate deserves to have his tongue
bored through with a read hot iron and to make a public acknowledgment of
his great transgression therein, and never to have credit in way of belieff
in any testimony or relation and meantime to lye in prison until further
order from ye Governor.

The above sentence being publicly read in our General Court in ye presence
of most of ye inhabitants, ye said Aplegate did then and there publiquely
acknowledge and confess he had slandered ye Governor in his untrue charging
of him, and took ye blame and ye shame of it upon himself and did humbly
request forgiveness of ye said Governor and that ye Court and ye town would
intercede for him hoping it would be a warning to him and to others not to
offend in like kind".
Fortunately for Thomas, he was pardoned by the Governor.
On 06 October 1651, Richard Gibbons filed suit against Thomas for
"violateing ye gates belongeing to ye common field" (Gravesend, 1:90). On 09
November 1651, Thom. Aplegat Senior sued William Auldridge for a debt of 9
guilders 7 stivers. William Vowne said he would try to pay the devt in a
weeks time "if he can pcure ye money to see it pd." The court ordered
Auldridge to pay it in 14 days if Vowne did not pay (Gravesend, 1:92). On
the same day, Thomas brought suit against William Goulder for a devt of 35
guilders 10 stivers.

Thomas was in trouble again for his fence on 08 January 1651. He failed to
maintain it so the town repaired it and charged him for the costs
(Gravesend, 1:61). On the same day, son John was at Thomas' house. The court
sent for John to pay his fine for breaking of the peace. John refused and
told the court to "doe theyer worste" (Gravesend, 1:61).

The last reference I have found for Thomas is 15 January 1656 when he
appraised the estate of John Morris (Gravesend, 3:445). Thomas' wife,
Elizabeth, and sons, Bartholomew, John and Thomas appear as freeholders of
land in Gravesend in 1657 (Thompson, B. J. 1962. History of Long Island 3rd
ed. 3 vols. 3:117). Thomas Sr. may have died sometime in the years
1656-1657. Those listing his death in 1652 are mistaken.

Thomas married Elizabeth (Wall(?)). He purchased land from John Ruckman, one
of the 39 original lots into which Gravesend was divided in 1646. On Dec.
29, 1650, he sold half of his farm in Gravesend to Thomas Southard and his
wife, Anna Van Salee. He apparently died either late in 1656 or early in
1657 as his wife was listed in the tax records in 1657.

Memorial History of the State of New Jersey, Edited by Francis Bazley Lee
Volume 1, New York, Lewis Historical Publishing, 1910, Page 719

"He married, February 9, 1648, Elizabeth, daughter of Charles Morgan,
magistrate of Gravesend, 1657-63."
8/8/04 - Had not seen this entry before and have no idea where he found his

Some sources:

American Ancestory. Date unknown. v. 8, p. 41.

Barnhart, Clarence L., ed. 1954. New Century Cyclopedia of Names.
Appleton-Century-Crafts, Inc. New York. v. 1.

Bergen, Tennis. 1881. Early Settlers of Kings County. S.W. Greens & Sons
Printer, Long Island.

Reaney, P.H. 1961. A Dictionary of British Surnames. Routledge and Kegan
Paul, London.

Salter, Edwin. 1890. Salters History of Monmouth and Ocean Counties N.J.
E. Gardner & Son, Bayonne, N.J.

Savage, James. 1860. Generalogical Dictionary of New England. Little
Brown & Co., Boston. v. 1, p. 60.

Scott-Giles, C.W. 1962. Looking at Heraldry. Roy Publishers, New York.

- harling (2002)
...move to the more liberally conducted settlements of Rhode Island, where
the name, "Applegats Plaine" was given to their land and which their son,
"Bartholomew Appel," then of New Amsterdam, subsequently empowered Henry
Timberlake, of Rhode Island, to occupy and which he alluded to, as formerly
the property of my, (Appel's), deceased father. By this I [Mr. Stillwell,
the author] infer that Bartholomew Appel was the eldest son and heir of
Thomas Applegate. From Rhode Isand Thomas Applegate came to the Dutch
settlement of New Amsterdam, and, upon the creation of the English town of
Gravesend, on Long Island, he became one of its earliest settlers.
(Stillwell, "Hist. & Genea. Misc.", vol. iii, pg.2)
The first division of lots at Gravesends was given up owing to the Indian
wars, and the settlers took refuge with the Dutch at the fort at New
Amersfoort, later known as Flatlands.

In 1646 a second division was made, laying out the town into 40 lots.

The second division at Gravesend
1 Lady Deborah Moody 14 Thomas Greedy 27 Charles Morgan
2 Sir Henry Moody 15 Thomas Spicer 28 Thomas Morrell
3 James Hubbard 16 Walter Wall 29 John Thomas
4 George Baxter 17 John Cooke 30 Roger Scott
5 John Morrell 18 James Grover 31 Randall Huett
6 Richard Ussell 19 Ambrose London 32 William Compton
7 John Tilton 20 John Rinkman 33 Enium Bennum
8 James Ellis 21 Francis Weeks 34 Samuel Chandler
9 Cornelius Swellinant 22 Ralph Cardell 35 Peter Simpson
10 Edward Browse 23 Robert Pennoyer 36 Thomas Cornwall
11 Richard Stout 24 William Wilkins 37 William Musgrove
12 Thomas Cornish 25 Thomas Applegate 38 Thomas Whitlock
13 George Holmes 26 William Goulding 39 Richard Gibbons
40 Lady Moody

This thread: