Honour Clayton and James Brown

To me, there is something special about Honour Clayton Brown (1662-1731?).

Honour is the daughter of William Clayton, one of the co-founders of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania.

In the records, below, her husband James seems to scurry around the county and get into all kinds of business deals. She seems to have been quiet, until she had to agree to land deals; and as most women did back then, she didn’t contest her husband’s decisions.

This post will give the reader a clearer picture about daily life in seventeenth-century Pennsylvania, which could be duplicated up and down the American seaboard.

Here are the generations, like links in the family chain, at a glance:

William → HONOUR m. JAMES BROWN → JeremiahPatience m. Joshua HadleySimonAnn m. Thomas Leakey → Joel LeakeyAnna S. m. Thomas Gray → Margaret Nancy m. Amonet Washington WilbournWilliam HarveyElla Washington (Rae) (our grandmother)

James is the original immigrant ancestor. He probably traveled on the ship Kent, but his name was not recorded or survived in the passenger list. Honour is also the original immigrant, voyaging across ocean after her father William Clayton or with him. James may have met his future wife on the ship, or he heard about her through her father.

One thing will be clear from the records: James and Honour were involved in their community. He settled in Marcus Hook, which was then located in Pennsylvania, now in Delaware (the border there has been moved around a lot). He worked as a weaver, but also maintained some property, probably with sustenance farm animals like chickens, milk cows, goats, and hogs. Maybe an indentured servant or a free hired hand grew some crops.

James and Honour lived out their days in Chester County, Pennsylvania. He died before Mar. 1, 1715/6, but it is not known when she died. Her siblings died in the late 1720s (except Joseph). One record in 1731 says she is deceased, so we know she died before that record. Five years before? One year? We just don’t know.


Lt. Col. Bellarts, whose Chapter 46 is still the source for the basics here about James and Honour, notes that James Brown possibly came on the same ship as William Clayton: the Kent (not all the passengers’ names were recorded or survived in the documents). He appears to have resided in Marcus Hook, now in Delaware (see map, below). Then he moved to Chester County, probably in the late 1670s, when William Penn offered land.

Thomas Hamm, historian and archivist at Earlham College, also has valuable information, specifically on James and Honour, though he differs from Bellarts on same data (see Sources, section at the end, for the link to Hamm’s online posting).

James Brown was born 27th day, third month, 1656. She was born 29th day, first month, 1662, in Rumbaldswick Parish, Sussex, England. They got married 8th Day, sixth month, 1679 (Aug. 8, 1679), at the Burlington, New Jersey, Monthly Meeting House. He died before 1st day, first month, 1715/6, which works out to March 1 (or 21st or 25th), 1715/6, Nottingham Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania. Honour died before April 9, 1731 (Old Style of dating).

Early on James Brown lived at Marcus Hook, which was in Pennsylvania at the time (now in Delaware), while Honour lived up in Burlington, Chygoes Island, which is no longer an island today. How they met is not clear, except the Quaker community was close-knit, and William Clayton and James Brown were probably on the same ship, the Kent. William may have set things up. Also, Marcus Hook is near the property where William Clayton moved with his family.

The marriage record between James Brown and Honor Clayton reads, in part:

This is to certifie whom it may consirne that James Brown of Marker’s Hook, weaver, & Honnor Clayton of Burlington, having declared their intentions of Marriage . . . & Friends having satisfaction . . . Did permitt them to be joyned in Marriage at a Meeting in Burlington, ye 8th of ye 6th Month 1679” [= August 8, 1679].

“William Clayton, Elder” was recorded below the marriage record to indicate he was there at his own daughter’s wedding.

Source for marriage: Burlington Monthly Meeting Quaker Church Minutes, p. 416 (or 417).

Eventually, James and Honour Brown settled in West Nottingham Township, but they also had land in Chichester. One parcel was called Pudington.

As noted, James died before March 1, 1715/6, when his will was proved in Nottingham Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania. Their daughter Mary’s marriage record may hint when Honour died (see below). Mary was married April 9, 1731 (Old Style of dating), but the church record says James and possibly Honor are deceased. For sure James died before 1715/6.


Once again, Bellarts is the source for most of the data in this section.

  1. James (1681- ?)
  2. William (1681/2-1717)
  3. Claiton (1685, 8TH mo. 1st day)
  4. Jeremiah (c. 1687-1767): He is our direct line.
  5. Marjorie (1691/2-1737/8)
  6. Daniel (? – 1767)
  7. Mary ( ?   )

One online researcher gives those dates for William; he also counts Ann Browne as a child, who was born 1687 in Marcus Hook, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. She married Robert McKay 1700. She died in 1726 in Cecil County, Maryland.


However, since Ann is not named in James’s will, she is not included in this chapter. But that’s not to say categorically she is not theirs. But researchers need to come up with church records for these children or cite other sources.

  1. James

He was born 17th day, first month, 1681, in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania. He married outside the Quaker faith, so he may have been disowned.

More about him:

As far as I know, researchers have not found his marriage record, so that possibly means he married outside of the Friends Church. His daughter may be Abigail, who married Thomas Thornburg, first month, 1740/1. By my way of figuring things, the deed and court records, below, are mostly or exclusively of James’s father, the subject of this chapter. This may indicate James Jr. moved away.

2. William

He married Esther Yearsly in 1704.

More about them:

Here is an abstract of his will – at least it is probable that this is his will:

Brown, William, merchant, Susquehannah Hundred, Cecil Co., 23rd July, 1716; proved 13th Aug., 1716. To wife Hester, extx., and hrs., ½ estate, real and personal. Lands in Balto. Co. to be sold, also those in Cecil, at discretion of extx. To unnamed sons and daus. ––, at 21 yrs. of age, residue of estate. Should wife die during minority of children, brothers Jonathan Brown and Nathan Baker to care for estate and place children with Quakers. Test: James Collins, Jno. Piggott, John Mattason, Sarah Baker. 14. 171.

I didn’t abstract the will, so I don’t know how accurate this abstract is, e.g. brothers Jonathan and Nathan Baker. But the wife certainly has the right name, Hester (Esther).

If that’s his will, then he died before Aug. 13, 1716, which fits another fact in Bellarts’ book: William’s wife married again in 1717 to Samuel Taylor. Also John Piggott, who witnessed the will, is William’s brother-in-law by his sister Margery.

3. Claiton (1685, 8TH mo. 1st day); he apparently died in infancy.

4. Jeremiah: He is our direct line.

He died in 1767. He lived around 80 years, so he was born in about 1687. He married a widow, Mary Coles, née Royale, 2nd month, 1711. She died before Nov. 30, 1769, when her will was probated in W. Nottingham, Chester County, Pennsylvania, and the will says she is the widow of Jeremiah. To be more specific as to when he died, it was before Mar. 20, 1767, when his will was probated, also in W. Nottingham.

5. Marjory

She was born in 1691 or 1692. John Piggott was born about 1680, in England. They got married on the 18th day, first month, 1713, Duck Monthly Meeting, Chester County, Pennsylvania, after the church cleared his eligibility for marriage. He died between 22nd day, 7th month, 1732 (will written) April 17, 1738 (will proved). She died 29th day, first month, 1738.

More about them:

John had been married before, to Rebecca Hardiman, 14th day, third month, 1705 at Concord Monthly Meeting , Chester County, Pennsylvania. They had four children: Mary, Rebecca, Hannah, and an unnamed son who died in infancy.

John and Margery had fourteen children (see Bellarts, Chapter 65, for the details)

Here is a summary of John Piggott’s will:

Piggott, John, Susquehannah Hundred, Cecil County, Maryland; the will was written 22nd day, 7th mo., 1732 and was proved 17th Apr., 1738. To daughter Mary, personalty [sic]. To unnamed wife, extx., ¼ of residue of estate, remaining ¾ to unnamed children by wife, to be paid them as they come of age, or are married. Test: John Clark, John Carsey, Jr., Margret McGlockin (McGlochlin). 14th June, 1738. Thomas Kelly, aged 28, swears to handwriting of John Piggott, and on same date John Piggott, eldest son of testator, assigns equal rights of administration to his brother Samuel. Test: James Baxter, Peregr. Ward. 21. 887.

John wrote his will 22nd day, 7th month, 1732, and it was proved April 17, 1738. So now we know he died before the latter date. Unfortunately, he does not name his wife or most of his children.

His will has been transcribed online and is easily googled.

6. Daniel

He married Elizabeth Kirk (b. 1693) in 1717. It is possible that after she died, Daniel married Susannah Oldham on 11th day, 9th month, 1736 (though one researcher says Daniel’s nephew of the same name married her). She died 6th day, 3rd month, 1751. He died between January 19, 1767 and December 12, 1767.

More about him:

Daniel appears in his father’s will, drawn up “the fifteenth day of the eleventh month, called January, 1715.” It was proved the first day of the first month (= March), 1715/6. He is to get five hundred acres of land, near Droson’s and Robert Williams, and his brother James is to help him build a house on it. Daniel shall help his brother James to plough and sow the land; Daniel is to get a pair of oxen and a cow, and other items, after he departs, by consent (see a transcription of the will, below).

Finally, Daniel left a will, written January 19, 1767 and proved December 12, 1767. So he died between those two dates, and much closer to the latter one.

Here’s an abstract of the will:

Daniel Brown, yeoman, of Upper Chichester, Chester County, Pennsylvania: The will was written January 19, 1767 and proved December 12, 1767. His wife Susanna is to get all real estate in Upper Chichester or elsewhere during life. At her decease, his two daughters Susanna, wife of Nathan Newlin, and Hannah, wife of James Rigby are to inherit it. To his sons Joseph and Nathaniel, 5 shillings each, having done sufficient for them. To his granddaughter Rachel wife of John Dutton, 5 shillings; Executor: Friend Edward Linvill.

Source for will


Church records say she married John Butterfield of E Nottingham Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, son of Thomas Butterfield of Bradford Township, Chester County. Mary is of Cecil County, Maryland, and the daughter of James Brown and Honour (Clayton), late of Nottingham, deceased; they got married April 9, 1731 (Old Style of dating), at E Nottingham Meeting House

More about her:

Since this marriage is so late in Mary’s life, this may be her second one, but more research needs to be done.


Remember William Clayton’s sons-in-law, whom you should watch for in these records:

James Brown (this chapter is about him)

Henry Reynolds

John Beals (Bales / Beales)

William Clayton’s son Joseph Clayton married into the Bezar family

Interesting court cases or decisions, below:

Fifth Month 1684 (Brown is appointed Constable)

Second Month 1685

First Month 1688

Fourth Month 1690

Ninth Month 1698

Upland Court

 Eleventh Month 1681

William Markham, Esq. Gov., President

Mr. William Clayton (his father-in-law and our direct line)

Mr. James Saunderlands

Mr. Robert Wade

Mr. Thomas Fairman

Mr. Robert Lucas

Mr. William Byles

Mr. Lassey Cocke

Mr. Otto Ernst Cocke

Mr. Swan Swanson

Mr. Hendrias Bankson

Mr. John Test, High Sheriff

Mr. Thomas Revell, Clerk

Jurors: William Howes, Wooley Rawson, James Brown, Mouns Stockett, Thomas Nessiter, John Greensell, Michael Izard, Mouns Cocke, Albert Hendrickson, Lassey Lawson, Erick Cocke

Various cases are heard.

The grant previously made from Governor Markham to the inhabitants of Marcus Hook, who attends their request to call the town Chichester, which said grants bears the date 20th day in the 4th month. It was read and published at court, on 13th day in the 6th month, 1682.

June (sic) 1682


William Clayton, President

Mr. James Saunderland

Mr. Otto Ernst Cock

Mr. Robert Wade

Mr. Swan Swanson

Mr. Thomas Fairman

Mr. Andreas Bankson

Mr. Lassey Cock

Mr. John Test, high sheriff

Mr. Thomas Revell, clerk

Jury: Thomas Coburn, William Oxley, William Hewes, Peter Yokeham, George Foreman, William Shoote, Mr. Sylas Crispin, Andreas Peterson, Jeremiah Collett, Mons Peterson, James Browne, Mathias Houlstead

Chester Court

 February (sic) 1682

Justices: John Simcocke (president), Thomas Brasy, William Clayton, Robert Wade, and John Bezer; Thomas Usher (sheriff) and Thomas Revell (clerk)

Jury: William Rawson, Joshua Hastings, James Browne, William Woodmanson, Jeremiah Collett, Thomas Colborne, William Howes, Albert Hendrickson, Walter Martins, Joseph Richards, Nath. Evans, and Edward Carter.

Fifth Month 1684

Justices: Christopher Taylor (President), William Wood, Robert Wade, John Blunstone, George Maris, James Saunderlaine, John Harding, Thomas Withers (sheriff), Robert Eyre (clerk)

Jury: John Minar, Edmond Cartly, Thomas Nesiter, Nicholas Newland, Richard Buffington, John Child, James Browne, William Hues, John Kinsmen, William Browne, William Cloud Jr., and Jeremiah Collett

The expense of the courthouse and prison needs to be defrayed, so every landowner needs to contribute one shilling per hundred acres, every freeman over 16 but not over 60 years old pays 6 pence, artificer 1/6 by the Polo (or pole), and every servant 3 pence, and every non-resident having land in the county should pay the same per hundred acres at the rate of one shilling six pence, per cent.

Names of the Collectors:

For Darby: Thomas Worth and Joshua Ferne;

Chichester: Thomas Usher and Jeremy Collett

Amos Land and Calcoone Hooke: William Cobb and Mons Stackett

Providence: Richard Crosby and Andrew Nelson

William Clayton and James Saunderlaine as attorneys for George Andrews offered to pass over (transfer) the estate of George Andrews to Henry Reynolds, but upon further debate it was ordered to be referred to another examination.

James Browne was chosen constable for Chichester.

Seventh Month 1684

Thomas Withers, sheriff v. William Taylor

James Browne is called at a witness who says Wither’s servant girl is such a liar; he would not believe a word she said. Jury finds for the plaintiff, 29 pounds.

Eighth Month 1684

Justices: Robert Wade (president), John Blunstone, George Maris, Thomas Usher, James Saunderlaine, Thomas Wither (sheriff), Robert Eyre (clerk)

James Browne receives a deed from Walter Martin, by Martin’s attorney Thomas Usher, for sixty acres of land, bearing date 6th day of the 10th Month, 1684.

Second Month 1685

Henry Reynolds v. Justa Anderson, in an action of scandal and defamation

James Saunderlaine testifies that Justa Anderson was in his company at Chester and he said he saw Henry Reynolds beat his servant and the next night she died. Thomas Persons testifies that he was at Henry Reynolds’ and saw him lift his tongs and threaten his maid with them for not eating the victuals provided for her. William Hawkes testifies that he was at Reynolds’ house and heard Justa Anderson say Reynolds beat and struck his maid and then carried her into another room. Wm Cornell testifies that Henry Reynolds beat his maid with a broom staff and afterwards kicked her as she was by the fire “and further saith not.” Wooley Rosen testifies that as he was coming to Henry Reynold’s house Reynold’s maid asked him for some milk, and Reynolds struck her one blow with the broom staff and asked her if there was not enough victuals in the house. Anneka Saunderlaine testifies that she did hear Justa Anderson ask Wooley Rosen whether he did not see Reynolds strike his maid and he said he did, and “further saith not.”

Prudence Clayton testifies that after Henry Reynolds’ maid was dead she was sent for, to lay her out, but did not see any manner of hurts upon her body “and further saith not.”

William Hawkes, coming home from work in the evening, saw Reynolds’ maid by his fireside and afterward had her to bed and sat by her all night “and further saith not.” Robert Moulder testifies that the night the maid died he saw her by the fireplace and some time afterwards she went to bed, after which a relation came to him and told him the maid had died.

James Browne testifies that he and George Stroud met at Wooley Rosen’s house where Justa Anderson was and Stroud asked her why he had scandalized Henry Reynolds, who then replied that he saw Reynolds beat and kick his maid, and he saw her alive no more.

Verdict: for the defendant, with costs and charge of suit and six pence damage

For more about the trial, please read this post about Henry Reynolds.

Third Month 1685

Justices: John Symcocke (President), Robert Wade, John Blunstone, Thomas Usher, Robert Pile, Nicholas Newland, George Maris

Jury: James Browne (foreman), George Price, John Child, John Woorell, John Hulbert, Joshua Hastings, Nathaniell Lamplue, John Mendinghall, William Hues, Randall Maline, Nathaniell Parker, and Richard Crosby

George Foreman v. John Briston, Thomas Powell, and Thomas Jacobs

Fourth Month 1685

Justices: William Wood (President), John Blunstone, Robert Pile, George Maris, Nicholas Newland, Robert Wade, Thomas Usher, Jeremy Collett (sheriff), Robert Eyre (clerk)

Grand Inquest orders a road, sixty feet broad, to be built between Bethel to Chichester, through or near the lands of John Gibbons, Robert Southery (decd), Robert Piles, Joseph Bushel, Francis Smith, Thomas Garrett, Francis Harrison, Jacob Chandler, James Brown (near Naman’s Cr.), Walter Marten, Jeremy Collett, and then going again towards James Brown and William Clayton, Jr.

James Browne was constable of the township of Chichester last year. He made his return and all was well. Francis Chads was appointed in his place. James Browne was appointed supervisor of the highways for the township of Chichester, in the place of Walter Marten.

James Brown and Thomas Wither are “viewers” of fences for Chichester Township.

Seventh Month 1685

William Wood (president), John Simcocke, Robert Wade, George Maris, John Blunstone, Nicholas Newland, Robert Pile, Thomas Usher, Jeremiah Collett (sheriff), Robert Eyre (clerk)

Ordered that James Browne, constable for Chichester, levy the Charges on the premises of Henry Reynolds

Joel Bayley v. Thomas Wither, wage case

Jurors: Edward Beaser, Richard Blunstone, William Cloud Jr., Thomas Worth, Thomas Minkshaw, George Wood, James Browne, Francis Garnall, Thomas Smith, John Smith, Henry Hastings, David Ogden

Jury finds for the plaintiff, 4.11.8

Joel Bayley v. Thomas Wither, assault and battery, same jury, who finds for the plaintiff

Tenth Month 1685

Justices: John Blunstone, John Simcocke, George Maris, Robert Wade, Robert Pile, Thomas Usher, Jeremy Collett (sheriff), Robert Eyre (clerk)

Thomas Clifton made over a patent, 15th day in 3rd month, 1685, to James Browne for a parcel of land lying in the town of Chichester

First Month 1686

Justices: George Maris (president), John Simcocke, John Blunstone, Francis Harrison, Bartholomew Coppocke, Robert Pile, Thomas Usher (sheriff), Robert Eyre (clerk)

James Browne v. Timothy Clement, in an action regarding a debt, upon an attachment of land of Thomas Coburn: continued; the sheriff made a warrant for Timothy Clement, not to be found

Seventh Month 1686

Justices: John Blunston, George Maris, Bartholomew Coppocke, Robert Pile, and Samuel Levis, Thomas Usher (sheriff), Robert Eyre (clerk)

The Grand Inquest: George Foreman, Richard Barnett, James Browne, Richard Coburne, Nathaniel Lamplus, Robert Pennill, Thomas Powell, John Marten, Joseph Cookson, Thomas Marten, Thomas Vernon, George Woodier, Robert Burrows, Peter Dickes, George Wellard, George Stroad, Thomas Moore, William Collett

Tenth Month 1686

Justices: John Blunstone (President), John Simcocke, George Maria, Bartholomew Coppock, Robert Wade, Robert Pile

Grand Inquest: George Foreman, Richard Barnard, James Brown, Robert Pennill, Nathaniell Lamplue, John Marten, Thomas Powell, Thomas Marten, Joseph Cookson, George Woodier, Thomas Vernon, Peter Dicks, Robert Burrows, George Stroad, Thomas Moore, and William Collett

James Browne testifies in a case about a canoe that Jeremy Collett (plaintiff) and Henry Reynolds (defendant) found. Browne says he remembered it being at Jeremy Collett’s landing and then at Henry Reynolds’ house. Verdict for the defendant (Henry Reynolds), which apparently means Reynolds gets the canoe.

Haunce (Hans) Peterson v. Haunce Urine (sic)

Petersons accuses Urine of stealing nails and buying off the witnesses with a pot of rum and slandering him.

Jury: James Browne, Thomas Wither, Thomas Powell, Jeremy Collett, Jacob Symcocke, Richard Crosby, John Bristow, Francis Chadsy, Benj. Mendinghall, Moses Mendingall, Caleb Puzie, John Haliwell

Jury finds for the plaintiff, for 20 shillings, plus costs

Third Month 1687

Justices: John Bristow, John Simcocke, John Blunstone, George Maris, Bartholomew Coppocke, Edward Beasar, Joshua Firne (sheriff), and Robert Eyre (clerk)

James Browne requires his bail bond to be delivered up, Samuel Rowland appearing according to recognizance.

Seventh Month 1687

Justices: John Bristow (president), John Blunstone, John Harding, George Maris, Bartholomew Coppocke, Edward Beasar, Joshua Firne (sheriff), and Robert Eyre (clerk)

Thomas Coburn was bound over to prison for selling rum to an Indian. Isaac Few says he saw an Indian with an empty bottle of rum and asked where he was going, and the Indian replied to Thomas Coburn’s house; Few saw the Indian coming back with two full bottles.

Jury: Thomas Worth, Thomas Coates, James Browne, Nathaniel Evans, Thomas Rawlenson, Geo Churchman, Thomas Smith, Randal Vernon, Samuel Bradshaw, John Howell, Adam Rhodes, Edward Waters

Verdict for the defendant

Tenth Month 1687

John Bristow (president), John Simcocke, John Blunstone, John Harding, George Maris, Bartholomew Coppocke, Edward Beasar, Francis Harrison, Joshua Firne (sheriff), and Robert Eyre (clerk)

Robert Moulder v. William Tally:

The mother of Margaret Johnson was looking for her daughter, and asked James Browne if he knew her whereabouts; he said no, but the next day he said he saw Johnson making hay with the defendant. Johnson ran away, sometimes to look after her parents’ cattle, because the plaintiff abused her. The jury found for the plaintiff, 27 shillings, and the servant to remain with her mother.

Road from Concord to King’s Highway in Chester, crossing through these landowners’ property: Nathaniel Parks, Thomas Moore, John Hannon, George Stroad, John Palmers, William Oburnes (sic) (decd.), John Beasar, Dennis Rochford, William Clayton Jr. to the hamlet of Bethel; then across Edward Beasar, Francis Smith, Robert Eyres, Walter Marten, John Beasar (decd.), John Klugamans, Henry Hastings, Richard Buffington, James Browne, Thomas Withers, Robert Wade, Walter Marten, John Mendenhall, Richard Thatcher, John Kingsman, and William Cloud.

First Month 1688

Justices: John Bristow (president), John Simcocke, John Blunstone, Bartholomew Coppocke, George Maris, Francis Harrison, Joshua Firne (sheriff), and Robert Eyre (clerk).

George Foreman v. James Browne – withdrawn

Nathaniel Thornton is convicted before John Bristow for stolen money, claiming the money had belonged to John Marten. Marten is James Browne’s servant. Thornton had been indicted at this court. Apparently, Marten had stolen the money from Elizabeth Locke, breaking open a box and taking 0.44. Marten pleads not guilty and refers himself to God and the county. The jury finds for the plaintiff Elizabeth Locke, and he is to pay her 0.24, plus the court costs. Marten is arraigned and is due to be lashed 21 times on his bare back at the common whipping post in Chester. Marten asks his master James Browne to pay 5.8 and court costs, and then Browne can dispose of him as he wishes, as seems fit and reasonable.

John Chandler passes over (transfers) a mortgage of a plantation and premise in Chichester, unto James Browne, dated 1st day of the 1st month, 1688.

Fourth Month 1688

Justices: John Simcocke, John Bristow George Maris, Bartholomew Coppocke, Joshua Firne (sheriff), and Robert Eyre (clerk)

Jury: Nathaniel Thornton, John Child, James Swaford, Richard Farr, Joseph Richards, Caleb Pusey, John Worrell, Thomas Robinson, Randall Vernon, Richard Woodworth, John Beales, and William Brown

Henry Jones v. James Browne, for 152.1.4, English Pounds

Jury the same as above, except Philip Roman and Francis Chadsey in for John Beales and William Brown.

Cornelius Emson Isaac Warner, and Thomas Green, for the defendant; various witnesses for the plaintiff testify that James Browne did acknowledge a deal. Katherine Davis, for example, testifies that she heard Henry Jones give orders to Browne to give Zachary Patrick one gallon of rum to make haste with pipe staves and timber at Raccoon’s Cr. Joseph Jones testifies that his father Henry Jones asked Joseph to make bills, and Browne asked the plaintiff how to pay in produce, and the plaintiff said in Indian corn and wheat. Browne then replied he’d sell two plantations and pay in ready money in two weeks.

The verdict is for the plaintiff, and the defendant should pay thirty pounds in timber at 4 ½ d. per foot, and fifty pounds in pipe staves, at 2.10 per thousand, and the remainder to be paid in lawful produce of the country, plus court costs and 0.2 damages.

Here is the transcription: James Brown’s huge debt.

Seventh Month 1688

Justices: John Bristow (president), John Simcocke, Bartholomew Coppocke, George Maris, and John Blunstone, and Joshua Firne (sheriff) and Robert Eyre (clerk)

Petty Jury: John Worrell, Richard Woodworth, Robert Barber, Robert Woodworth, Thomas Vernon, Benjamin Mendenhall, James Browne, Richard Buffington, Robert Chamberlain, John Child, Thomas Rawlenson, and Jonathan Hayes

This jury heard various cases.

The Sheriff made return of an execution granted against James Browne, which was levied, as follows (all amounts in English Pounds):

20,000 pipe staves valued at 50.00

Timber at 4 ½ d. per foot, 30.00

A little parcel of land lying in Chichester, fronting the Delaware River, with one house and one outhouse, 50.00

One hundred acres of land lying by Chichester with a meeting house and one house, 10.00

59 (?) of cotton wool and one gun, 3.11

Total: 149.11

Tenth Month 1688

Justices: John Simcocke (president), John Blunstone, George Maris, Bartholomew Coppocke, Joshua Firne (sheriff), Robert Eyre (clerk)

James Browne passed or handed over a deed dated 4th day of the 10th month 1688, unto William Clayton Sr., Philip Roman, Robert Pile, Jacob Chandler, Joseph Bushell, and John Kinsman, for two acres of land in Chichester Township, for the use therein specified.

James Browne made over a patent by assignment dated 9th day of the 1st month 1687/8 unto John and Jane Chandler for a plantation and land containing 100 acres in Chichester.

A road is laid out from Bethel to Chichester, beginning at Concord St.’s end, which proceeds along a road formerly laid out below Walter Marten’s land, on the southwest side of the Old Road, and from there along an old road formerly laid out to Delaware, by or near James Browne’s place.

Sixth Month 1689

Justices: John Bristow (president), John Simcocke, George Maris, Nicholas Newland, and Francis Harrison; George Foreman (sheriff) and Robert Eyre (clerk)

James Browne petitions that an order of court may be allowed him as to how much time his servant John Marten may serve him or his assignee for the cost and charge issued by the court (see above, First Month, 1688). The court orders that John Marten serve Browne two and a half years after the expiration of his indenture.

First Month 1689/90

John Bristow (president), John Blunstone, Nicholas Newland, Francis Harrison, Samuel Levis, James Saundilands, Joshua Fearnes

James Browne serves on a jury with Peter Taylor, Thomas Powell, Joshua Hastings, Thomas Cartwright, John Baldwin, Philip Roman, William Tally, Thomas Moore, George Woodard and Randall Varnum (sic)

James Browne v. William White, an action regarding a debt – withdrawn

Fourth Month 1690

Justices: John Bristow (president), Nicholas Newland, Francis Harrison, James Sandilands, Joshua Fearnes; George Foreman (high sheriff)

Jury: Thomas Rawlins, Joshua Hastings, Nathaniel Lamplugh, Thomas Varnam (sic), Caleb Pewsey, Philip Roman, John Thomas, Joseph Richards Sr., John Neelde (sic), George Pearce, William Hawkes, and Thomas Cross

John Marten is accused of stealing fourteen dressed deer skins from Thomas Brown John’s house. A shoemaker repaired Marten’s shoes in such a way that two nail prints and clamps at the toes distinguished them from other footprints. James Browne testifies that he saw a courier running past his house. Browne pressed Marten several times to confess whether he stole the skins. Marten appeared to have great color (choler?) in his face, a look of guilt. Marten said if he confesses he would bring great public shame upon himself. William Clayton testifies he and someone else followed the footprints to a hollow tree and found the skins. Then they took the measure of the prints and followed it to James Browne’s house and compared it to Marten’s shoes, and there was a match. Marten seemed surprised when they took his shoes off to compare them.

The jury finds him guilty. He is to receive 39 good lashes on his bare back at the Cart’s Tail; he is to be sold to another province to make good all damages; eight years service should go to Thomas Brown John; the rest in fines and court costs.

James Browne serves on a jury with these men: Thomas Rawlins, Joshua Hastings, Nathaniel Lamplugh, Thomas Varnam (sic), Jonathan Hayes, Philip Roman, John Thomas, Francis Chades, John Neeld (sic), George Pearce, and William Hawkes

Seventh Month 1690

Justices: John Bristow (president), Nicholas Newland, James Sandilance (sic), and Samuel Levis; George Foreman (sheriff); Joshua Fearnes (clerk)

A deed of efoefment delivered by Robert Pile, attorney for James Browne, unto John Kingsman, attorney for Amy Harding, for a certain parcel of land in Chichester Township, with all the building, deed dated 5th day of 4th month, 1690.

First Month 1691

Justices: John Blunstone (president), John Simcocke, John Bristow, Nicholas Newlin, James Sanderlands, and Samuel Levis; George Foreman (sheriff), Joshua Fearnes (clerk)

James Browne serves on a jury with these men: John Hood, Robert Vernan (sic), Thomas Bradshaw, Thomas Balwin, William Garrett, Thomas Vernon, John Holston, Robert Burber, William Hawkes, Thomas Rollinson, and James Standfield

Eighth Month 1691

Justices: John Simcocke (president), John Bristow, John Blunston, Wm Jenkins, George Maris, James Sandilands, Samuel Levis; George Foreman (sheriff) and Joshua Fearne (clerk)

Philip Lambert was bound over to the court in suspicion of stealing goods from James Browne and William Clayton, but nothing fully was proven, so he was dismissed, after paying court costs.

First Month 1691/2

John Bristow (president), John Simcocke, John Blunston, George Maris, Samuel Levis; George Foreman (sheriff) and Joshua Fearne (clerk)

James Browne assigned a deed over to Robert Jeffries, for sixty acres, in Chichester, dated March 8, 1691.

Seventh Month 1692

Justices: John Simcocke (president), John Bristow, Wm Jenkins, George Maris, Samuel Levis; Caleb Pusey (sheriff) and Joshua Fearne (clerk)

James Browne served as a witness for the defendants, with John Hodskins, Joshua Jones, Mary Hodskins, Francis Little, George Simcocke, and Susannah Simcocke; the case involved two men insulting the justices; the defendants were found guilty and ordered to pay a fine.

Court of Quarter Sessions

 September 1693

Justices: Potter Baynton (president), Jeremiah Collett, Thomas Weithers (sic), Jonathan Hayes, Thomas Smyth; Joseph Wood (sheriff) and John Childe (clerk)

James Browne served on a jury covering levy cases in the Court of Common Pleas, with these men: Robert Eyre, Thomas Garrett, Henry Hastings, William Clayton, George Chandler, John Garrett, Henry Hames, Robert Jeffries, William Flowers, John Neals, and Robert Smyth

Court of Common Pleas

 Eighth Month 1694

Justices: Counselor George Foreman (president), Jeremiah Collett, Jonathan Hayes, and Thomas Smyth; Joseph Wood (sheriff) and John Childe (clerk)

James Browne is part of a team of appraisers assessing sold land that fronts the Delaware R. in Chichester Township. These men live in the neighborhood: Edward Bezer, Ephraim Jackson, Abraham Beaks, William Hues, John Eyre, Philip Roman, John Neall, Rodger Jackson, William Clayton, George Grist, Joseph Cloud; land appraised the 26th day of June 1694.

Tenth Month 1695

Justices: John Simcocke, Jasper Yeates, George Foreman, John Blunstone, Jonathan Hayes, and Samuel Levis; Henry Hollingsworth (sheriff) and John Child (clerk)

James Browne serves on a jury in a case of Edward Bezer and William Freemen who assaulted (beat and wounded) Robert Barber, who was carrying out his duties for the county government. The jury, in addition to James Browne: Robert Pile, Andrew Job, Randall Malling, John Worrell, John Cock, Joseph Coeburn, William Browne, Robert Carter, Peter Wood, Thomas Lonshaw, and John Willis; jury finds for the plaintiff

First Month 1694/5

A grand inquest concludes that there is a want (lack) of a road between the broad roads near James Browne’s house in Chichester and Chichester Cr. and from there to Chester Cr. (His neighbors are not named.) The road is ordered to be laid out, along with a bridge over Chester Cr. near the mill.

Eighth Month 1697

Justices: John Simcock, Jasper Yeats, John Blunstone, and Joshua Heyes; John Childes (clerk)

James Browne and Timothy Atkinson appraised some goods of Joshua Norgans (sic), amounting to 2.13. The account was dated January 20, 1697/8 (sic).

Ninth Month 1698

Justices: John Simcocke, John Blunstone, John Heyes (sic), Samuel Levis, Andrew Job (sheriff), John Childe (clerk)

The grand inquest, George Pearce, foreman, says Benjamin Ingram and Jeane Hendrix were unlawfully married at James Browne’s house in Chichester, on January 4, 1698. The inquest presents: John Child, James Brown, Oner (Honor) Brown, Ann Huffington, William Flower, Elizabeth Flower, James Miller, Peter Johnson, Morton Cannoet, Thomas Chandler, William Thomas, and James Browne’s servant maid; they are witnesses to the unlawful marriage, “the ninth of the first month of 1698.”

Eighth Month 1698

James Browne was part of a Grand Inquest that figures out how people died. In his case, John Barstill of New Castle was knocked out of a ferry by a strong gust of wind, and he drowned. The Inquest: Philip Roman, John Fisher, William Clayton, Nathaniel Lamplugh, Robert Carter, John Kinsman, Thomas Varnon (sic), James Hendrixson, William Hewes, John Hendrix, and James Baylis

Fourth Month 1699

James Brown and his wife Honor Brown acknowledge a deed to Walter Martin, for four lots: one fronting the river 40 ft in breadth, and 200 ft. feet back; and three lots fronting the marketplace on Broad St. each one 40 ft breadth, 200 ft back in length; and 10 acres of woodland, all in one deed, bearing the date June 6, 1699.

Court of Quarter Sessions

 Tenth Month 1699

Justices: John Simcocke, John Blunstone, Jonathan Heyes, Philip Roman, Robert Pyle, Caleb Pusey; Andrew Job (sheriff) and John Childe (sheriff)

James Browne and his wife Houner (Honor) acknowledge a deed to James Clempson, for two lots of land in Chichester and four ares of woodland, deed bearing date October 13, 1699.

James Browne acknowledges a deed to William Thomas, for one lot of land in Chichester, on Broad Street, fronting the marketplace; one and a half acres on New Street and bounding the burying ground; and two acres of woodland, deed bearing date December 6, 1699 (sic).

Court of Common Pleas

 First Month 1699 or 1700 (sic)

Justices: John Simcocke, John Blunstone, Caleb Pusey, Philip Roman, Robert Pyle, Andrew Job (sheriff), John Childe, clk.

James Brown and his wife Honor acknowledge a deed to Thomas Baldwin, for two lots of land in Chichester Town, near the marketplace with woodlands, belonging to the same as the deed bearing the date January 5, 1699.

Fourth Month 1700

Justices: John Blunstone, Caleb Pusie, Ralph Fishborne, Philip Roman, Jonathan Hayes, Andrew Job (sheriff), Henry Hollingsworth (clerk)

James Brown acknowledges a deed to Oliver Matthews for two lots of land lying in the township of Chichester, bearing date 8th day in 4th month, 1700, four and a half acres of woodland.

James Brown acknowledges a deed to Joseph Cloud, for two lots of land and four acres of woodland, lying in Chichester, bearing date 8th day in 8th month, 1699.

Chester Court

 Tenth to the Eleventh Months, 1700

Justices: John Blunstone, Caleb Pusey, Ralph Fishborne, Robert Pile, Jonathan Hays

Grand Jury: Robert Byres, Joseph Coburn, Thomas Vernon, James Brown, Anthony Morgan, John Powell, Thomas King, Richard Mills, Nath’l Lamplue, Joseph Edwards, John Evans Jr. William Swafer, John Werile (sic), Thomas Reese, and Francis Werley (sic)

They heard various cases, one of which was for fighting.

James Brown delivered a deed to Roger Jackson, for two lots and two acres of land, in Chichester, bearing date 12th day in 9th month, 1700

James Browne delivered a deed to William Chandler, for a lot in Chichester, dated the 27th day of the 9th month, 1700.

Court of Quarter Sessions

 Twelfth Month 1700/1

James Brown delivered a deed to Jeremy Collett, for a large lot and nine acres of land in Chichester, dated 3rd day of the 1st month, 1701

Twelfth Month 1701/2

Justices: John Blunstone, Caleb Pusey, Ralph Fishborne, Robert Pile, Philip Roman, Jonathan Hayes, John Hoskins (sheriff), Henry Hollingsworth (clerk)

William Cleaton (Clayton) [Will Clayton Sr.’s, now deceased, eldest son]and James Brown, plaintiffs, v. Walter Martin – withdrawn

James Brown delivered a deed to Francis Baldwin for two lots in Chichester, bearing date April 13, 1701.

James Brown delivered a deed to Walter Martin for one lot in Chichester, bearing date March 6, 1700.

Twelfth Month 1702/3

Justices: John Blunstone, Caleb Pusey, Robert Pile, Jonathan Hayes, Philip Roman, John Hoskins (sheriff), Henry Hollingsworth (clerk)

Jeremy Collett Sr. v. James Brown – continued

James Brown by his attorney John Hulbert delivered a deed to Walter Martin for two streets and a road for the use to the town of Chichester, dated 24th day in 2nd month, 1700.

Third Month 1703

Justices: John Blunstone, Philip Roman, Jonathan Hayes, Caleb Pusey, John Hoskins (sheriff), Henry Hollingsworth (clerk)

Jeremiah Collett v. James Brown: judgment granted for £8.16, with costs about 2.104

Eighth Month 1703

Justices: John Guest, Esq., Caleb Pusey, Ralph Fishborn, Philip Roman, Jonathan Hayes, and Nathaniel Newlin; John Hoskins (sheriff) and Henry Hollingsworth (clerk)

James Broun (sic) delivered a deed to Roger Jackson, for a house and a lot and three acres of woodland in Chichester, deed bearing date May 20, 1703.

Twelfth Month, 1703/4

Justices: Caleb Pusey, Ralph Fishborne, Philip Roman, Nathaniel Newlin, Jonathan Hayes, John Hoskins (sheriff), Henry Hollingsworth (clerk)

James Brown by his attorney Philip Roman delivered a deed to John Grub, for ten (sic) lots in Chichester, dated 29th day of 12th month, 1703/4.

Fifth Month, 1704

Justices: Jasper Yeates, Caleb Pusey, Jeremiah Collett, Philip Roman, Jonathan Hayes, John Hoskins (sheriff), and Henry Hollingsworth (clerk)

Road, forty feet wide, to be built from Stony Run, in William Thomas’s land, through or near these men’s property: between William Thomas and John Bezer, Isinglas Mine, Humphrey Johnson, James Brown’s fence, Jeremiah Collett Sr., William Martin, Walter Martin, Johanna Rawson, as it cuts through the division line between County of Chester and New Castle: Jacob Chandler, William Fowler, John Hulbert, Thomas Garrett, James Clemson, and John Gibbons

Eighth Month 1705

James Brown delivered a deed to his son William Brown, for 115 acres of land and all the improvements in Chichester, dated June 21, 1705.

Orphan’s Court in New London

June (sic) 1704

In the house of John Frew

Justices: Elisha Gatchell, William Webb, Abraham Emett, Job Ruston

Mary Sinclair and Elizabeth Sinclair, minor children of Robert Sinclair, decd., choose Thomas Hughes and James Brown as guardians.


Remember William Clayton’s sons-in-law, whom you should watch for in the records, below:

James Brown (this chapter is about him)

Henry Reynolds

John Beals (Bales / Beales)

William Clayton’s son Joseph Clayton possibly married into the Bezar family, but that can’t be confirmed.

1 June 1682

By virtue of warrant from William Penn dated 1 June 1682 to Walter Martin laid out in Middletown on the west side of the Delaware River between the main branch of Naaman’s Creek and lands of Jeremiah Collet, James Brown & John Bezar surveyed 2 June 1682 (A1:B161)

27 Feb. 1684

Deed. Walter Martin to Nathan Thornton. Walter Martin for 13.10 pounds grants to Nathan Thornton a tract bounded by land of James Brown containing 50 acres. Signed Walter Martin. Delivered in the presence of Nicholas White & Thomas Parsons (A1:B138).

1 Mar 1685

Deed. Wolla alias William Rawson of Chichester to James Browne of Chichester. Wolla als (alias) William Rawson for 32.10 pounds grants to James Browne 2 tracts, one bounded by land of William Clayton, Henry Reynolds & William Clayton Jr. containing 87 acres and another tract bounded by land of John Bezar, Henry Reynolds, Chichester Creek containing 15 acres and another tract bounded by Delaware River, Chichester Creek, Henry Reynolds, John Bezar and Woola als (alias) William Rawson containing 7 acres, another tract bounded by Middle Neck Run and land of Widow Johnson containing 8 acres for total of 117 acres. Signed Woola Rawson. Delivered in the presence of John Hichman and George Harold. (A1:B158).

6 Oct 1684

Deed. Walter Martin of Middletowne to James Brown, Walter Martin for 15 pounds grants to James Brown a tract lying in Middletown bounded by Naamon’s Creek, land of James Brown called Pudington, land of Walter Martin containing 690 acres. Signed Walter Martin. Delivered in the presence of Thomas Acher and James Harrison. Recorded 22 Mar 1691/2 (A1:122).

8 Mar 1691/2 James Brown transfers to Robert Jeffries [Norris] 60 acres. Signed James Brown; Delivered in the presence of Edward Bezar & John Eyre. Recorded 22 Mar 1691/2 (A1:B122)

9 Mar 1696

Deed. James Brown of Chichester, weaver, & William Flower of Chichester. James Brown for £9.8 grants to William Flower 2 tracts in Chichester on the Delaware River bounded by land of James Brown, William Flower & Jonas Sandelands now in the possession of Maurie Trent. Other tract bounded by land of James Brown and Jonas Sandelands containing 5 acres. Signed James Brown; delivered in the presence of John Buckley, William Brown and John Child. Recorded 14 June 1698 (A1:B26).

5 Jan 1699

James Brown of Chichester, yeoman, and Honor, his wife, to Thomas Baldwin of Chester, yeoman. James Brown and Honor his wife for £10 grants to Baldwin two lots and four acres in Chichester; the two lots bounded by lots of Walter Martin, James Brown and James Clemson; the four acs. bounded by Chichester Rd. James Clemson’s land; signed James Brown and Honor Brown (A1:B254)

15 Sep 1699

James Brown and Honor his wife, of Chichester, yeoman, to Peter Boss of Philadelphia, merchant, £100, 1 lot, a tract of woodland containing 21 acs., 8 acs. of marsh, all being in Chichester, the lot bounded by the River, land of Jeremiah Collett and James Brown; tract of wood lying in back of town bounded by Chichester Rd., William Flower, James Brown and William Sandelands, 9 acs; woodlands bounded by Walter Martin, James Brown, John Hulbert, and Jonas Sandlands; and 8 acs marsh lands bounded by Walter Martin and widow Johnson and Delaware R.; signed James Brown and Honor Brown (G7:74)

13 Oct 1699 Deed. James Brown of Chichester, yeoman & Honer (sic) his wife to James Clemson of Chichester, black smith. James Brown and Honer his wife for £10 grant to James Clemson 2 lots and 4 acres of wood land in Chichester; the lots are bounded by Broad Street, lots of James Brown and Joseph Cloud. The wood land is bounded by Chichester Road and land of Joseph Cloud. Signed James Brown and Honer Brown. Delivered in the presence of John Child. Recorded 12 Dec 1699 (A1:B239).

12 Mar 1699/1700

Deed. Lawerence Rawson of Chester County, yeoman, to Jasper Yeates. Lawrence Rawson for 47 pounds grants to Jasper Yeates a tract bounded by the house of Lawerence Rawson & the house of Hance (Hans) Justice, containing 100 acres, part of 100 acres granted to Wooley Rawson & Charles Janson by Edmond Andries the then governor dated 28 Mar 1696 & another tract containing 60 acres that Wolley Rawson purchased of James Brown called Rambo Rook, now in the possession of Lawrence Rawson, by deed from Wooley Rawson, his father dated 2 Apr 1696. Signed Lawerence Rawson. Delivered in the presence of John Moore, Francis Baldwin & Joseph Richards. Recorded 20 Mar 1699/1700 (A1:B247).

18 Mar 1699

James Brown of Chichester, yeoman and Honor his wife, to John Howell of Marple, yeoman for £6 grants to Howell 2 lots in Chichester bounded by Broad St. lots of James Brown and Walter Martin; signed James Brown and Honor Brown (A1:B257)

20 June 1699

Deed. William Clayton & James Brown, both of Chichester, to the town of Chichester. William Clayton & James Brown give to the town of Chichester land in Chichester for a public street and market place now called Broad Street. Signed James Brown and William Clayton. Delivered in the presence of Thomas Pennington & Stephen Lobb. Recorded 13 Dec 1699 (A1:B244).

27 Nov 1700

Deed. James Brown of Chichester, yeoman, and Honer (sic) his wife, to William Chandler of Chichester, cordwainer, James Brown for £4.3 grants to William Chandler a lot in Chichester bounded by New Street, lots of James Brown & Walter Martin. Signed James Brown and Honer Brown. Delivered in the presence of Walter Martin and William Thomas. Recorded 10 Dec 1700 (A1:B258).

24 Feb 1702

James Brown of Chichester, yeoman, grants to the town of Chichester the land for two streets and a road on the south side of town, one being laid out from the river to the Back Road called New St. the street from Market Place in Broad St. to New St. called Market Lane and the back road between Peter Boss’s lot and Oliver Matthew’s lot, land of Walter Martin, James Brown, William Flowers’s lot, the burying place, lot of William Thomas, James Swafford’s lot, Joseph Cloud’s lot, Roger Jackson’s and Jonas Sandelands’ land; signed James Brown (H8:401)

21 Feb. 1707/8 Deed. William Brown of Chichester, weaver, to Frances Bowater of Middletown, widow. Whereas William Penn by deed dated 20 Feb 1683 did grant to James Brown a tract in the county of Chester called Pidington (sic) on the west side of the Delaware River bounded by Chichester Creek and land of Jeremiah Collett, containing 115 acres. James Brown by deed dated 20 June 1705 did grant to William Brown the tract called Podington. Now William Brown for 100 pounds grants to Frances Bowater 115 acres. Signed William Brown. Delivered in the presence of Caleb Pussey, Henry Worley and William Pussey. Recorded 28 May 1708 (B2:205).

13 Mar 1713

Deed. John Hoskins, Esq, of Chester County, sheriff, to Sarah Nosseter of Chichester, spinster. Whereas William Flower of Chichester, weaver, at the court of Common Pleas on 26 Nov 1716 recovered against James Brown & Honor his wife, the executors of the will of William Thomas, late of Chichester, yeoman, for a debt of £18.0.5 pounds & 63 shillings and 9 pence adjudged damages. Levied on land & goods of William Thomas at the time of his death, in the possession of James & Honor. By writ of execution seized tract containing 4 acres in Margaret’s Hook & 90 acres in Chichester. Nor for £9 pounds grants to Sarah Nossiter those lots in Chichester, one being bounded by lot late of William Clayton (this is probably William Clayton Jr., Honor’s brother and not our direct line) bank of the river; other parcel bounded by lot of Walter Martin, containing together 2 acres. Signed John Hoskins. Delivered in the presence of Thomas Hayward & John Simcock. Recorded 25 Aug 1717 (D4:111).

Note: James Brown died before March 1, 1715/6, but his name appears in a number of deeds because the land being bought and sold adjoins his old land or his old property is mentioned in a chain of title possession. I include only one here.

14 Oct 1720

Deed. Jonas Sandelands of Chester, Gent. & Mary his wife, to John Humphreys of Chester, clerk. Whereas Henry Reynolds of Chichester, Tailor, & Prudence his wife, by deed dated 10 May 1711, granted to Jonas Sandelands 4 tracts; one in Chichester bounded by the Delaware River & land of James Brown containing 75 acres, another tract bounded by Delaware River, land of Henry Reynolds, John Besoras containing 7 acres; another tract bounded by land of James Brown, Henry Reynolds, Phillip Roman, Thomas Usher bought of Francis Chads, Holla Rawson & Chichester Creek, containing 5 acres, next parcel bounded by land of the late Henry Reynolds and late of Thomas Usher, containing 3 acres. Now Jonas Sandelands & Mary his wife for 150 pounds grant to John Humphreys the above described land. Signed by Jonas Sandelands & Mary Sandelands. Delivered in the presence of George Ross, Josiah Harper & Richard Marsden. Memorandum: On 12 July 1723/24 John Humphreys took peaceable possession of said land in the presence of us, John Bond and John Flowers. Recorded 1725 (D4:293).

James Brown’s Warrant for Land

Minute Book “G,” minutes of property commencing ye 19th 9th Ber., [sic] 1701. This is Book “G” in the Secretary’s Office

Transcription Begins:

At a Session held at Philadelphia 25th 13 mo., 1701.

Signed a Patent to Ellis Jones for part of a Lott, Ordered 21st Ult. Signed a Warrant to John Swift for 16 a’s of Lib. Land, Ord’d 28th Ult. Signed a Warrant to Nicholas Waln for 80 acres of Lib. Land Ordered to-day and 16 a’s Ordered; page 17 and 71. Signed a Warrant of Resurvey to John Swift on 492 a’s, Ordered to-day. Signed a Warrant to David Powel for 400 a’s, Ordered today.

Pursuant to an agreement made the 14th of ye 11 mo. last, pa. 60, with Cornelius Empson, the said Cornelius Requests a War’t for 15,000 a’s upon the terms proposed by the Comm’rs, Viz: £8 p’r 100, to be paid within one Year and an English Shilling quitrent Ever after, or two bushells of Wheat p’r 100 at some Navigable Landing on Dellaware, the first year to be Clear of Quittrent, and accordingly a Warrant was Signed for the said 15,000 A’s, dated 7th 1 mo., 1701-2, to the Persons following: To Cornelius Empson 1,000 A’s, To John Richardson 1,000 A’s, To James Brown 1,000 A’s, to Henry Reynolds 1,000 A’s, to Wm. Brown 1,000 A’s, To John Bales 1,000 A’s, to Edward Beeson 1,000 A’s, to James Cooper, of Darby, 1,000 A’s, to Randal Jenny 1,000 A’s, to Andrew Job 1,000 Acres, to John Churchman 1,000 A’s, to Ebenezer Empson 1,000 A’s, to John Guest, of Philadelphia, Esqr., 1,000 A’s, to Joel Baily 500 A’s, to Robert Dutton 500 A’s, to Samuel Littler 500 A’s, to Meser Brown 500 A’s, And the Proprietary for his Own Proper Use three thousand Acres if the Land will hold out, all in One Tract, with Sufficient Allowance for Roads, according to the Method of Townships, beginning at the Northern Barrens between the main branch of Northeast River and Otteraroe Creek, and bounding it to the Southwards with and East and West Line parallel as near as may be to the Line of the Province, and Northward next the Barrens with a Line Also parallel to the South Bounds and in the said Tract to run Eighteen Several Divisions of 1,000 A’s, Each, to be taken by Lotts, and the Surveyor to Draw the Proprietary’s three.

The Warrant directed to Hen. Hollingsworth.

Signed a Commission for Surveyor of Bucks to Jno. Cutler, dat. 10th Mar. Signed a War’t to the said Jno. Cutler to execute the War’ts directed to P. Pemberton dated 10th 1st Month.

Signed a Warrant to Tho. Oaras for 450 a’s, Ord’d 8th of 10br. last, pa. 18.

Transcription Ends.

Source: Ancestry.com


February 1700

The inhabitants of Marcus Hook, having confirmed to their town by Charter, from the Provincial Council, by order made the 12th mo. [February] 14 1700 of the privilege of holding a Fair and Market at that place, which had been granted to them formerly by Gov. Markham and Council, the people of Chester became alarmed and presented to the Council, on the 7th mo. [September] 23 1701, a petition stating,

“That whereas the Governor and Council about eleven years ago [1690] had granted to the said Town two Fairs to be held every year which to this time they had quietly enjoyed, but now by reason of one fair being granted to Chichester, they were informed one of theirs was to be suppressed, which is likely to prove injurious & much to the damage & disappointment of the said Inhabitants, who, as usual, had made provision for their approaching fair.”

“Ordered, that because of the provision made aforesaid, the fair, which was of course to be held at the beginning of the next 8th month ensuring [October] be still continued be held same time as usual, any Order to the contrary notwithstanding; and that both said fairs, with the weekly market and the streets, etc. of the said Town, be confirmed to the said Inhabitants by Charter, in case they make due application for the same.”

The order of Council referred to as having been made upon a petition of the Inhabitants of Chichester and others as presented to the Council, is endorsed and dated the 14th of 12 mo. [February] 1700. The original can be seen among the Logan Papers in vol. iv. Marked “Roads in the Historical Society of Pa. and is as follows:

The humble petition of William Cleiton [Clayton], James Brown, Walter Marten and the rest of the Inhabitants of Chichester & others to William Penn, Esq., and the Council thereof, Absolute Proprietor and Governor of Pennsilvania and territories thereto belonging, Humbly sheweth that your said petitioners desire your Honors that you would grant two fairs to the town of Chichester to be kept yearly in Broad Street at the time and places hereafter shall be mentioned by your said petitioners William Cleiton, James Brown and Walter Marten. The fairs to be kept in Broad St., Chichester, the first fair to be kept on the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th days of June, the second fair the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th days of September.

Whereas last year your said petitioners did exhibit a petition to the Lieutenant Governor & Council of Pennsilvania, to wit, for a Market to be kept weekly in Broad St. at the town of Chichester, on Friday or the sixth day of each week, as hereafter shall be showed. The said Lieutenant Governor and Council did grant to the town of Chichester a Market to be kept at the time and place as was desired by your said petitioners. We acknowledge ourselves much obliged to them for their kindness to us. Further your said petitioners desire your Honors that you would further confirm our said Market to your said petitioners.

The place laid out by your said petitioners, William Cleiton, James Brown and Walter Marten is on the road coming out of the river side of Chichester between the enclosed fields of William Cleiton and James Brown at the town now being laid out as a street. The situation of the place having a descent two or three ways, and it hath a good prospect to a higher place than the rest and for commodiousness it is on the main Road to the town that goes to the river, being convenient for both town, country, and river. To accommodate the fair place and Market place it is laid out Thus: to begin 200 feet from the River side the place to keep the fair and market house in is 230 feet in length and 140 feet in breadth as by the draught of the plot reference as had thereto doth appear [sic]. Your said petitioners desire that you would grant us our reasonable proposals; that is to say the fair place for men’s merchant goods, wares, produce, and victuals whatsoever is to be kept in the place that is laid out 230 feet in length and 140 feet in breadth, which is the market place, and the fair place for Horses, Cattle, Sheep and all other live goods whatsoever, to be kept in that place that is 500 feet in length and 100 feet in breadth which extendeth to the market place to the bridge. The street from the River side to the bridge is now called Broad St.

Your Petitioners humbly desire your Honors that you would give us a Charter for two fairs to be yearly forever and for our market as it was granted us by the Lieutenant Governor and Council ; that is to say, to be kept weekly on the sixth day of the week as above said, with all the incidents thereto belonging.

We hope that you would grant us our reasonable proposals if you think fit and convenient of them with what privileges and profits may accrue in time to come to your said petitioners in so doing we shall be very much obliged to you for your favor and kindness and shall be ready to serve you in your reasonable demands with our desire for your health, welfare and prosperity shall be continued by your Humble petitioners.

A long list of 112 names is appended, including William Clayton, James Brown and Walter Marten; Thomas Brown and William Brown; John Beazer, Richard Beazer and Edward Beazer.

John Hill Martin, Chester and Its Vicinity, Delaware County, in Pennsylvania, with Genealogical Sketches of Some Old Families (Philadelphia 1877 pp. 92-94).


Will drawn up: fifteenth day of the eleventh month, called January, 1715.

Will proved: First Day of the First Month, 1715/6

Wife: Honor, named executrix, to live on the plantation and to have half its produce, but if she chooses to move elsewhere, James is to give her 10 pounds.

Son James Brown: He is to have half the plantation where his father and mother now live, and 20 pounds.

Son Jeremiah Brown: 20 pounds

Daughter Marjory Pigot: married to John; she is to get 20 pounds.

Son Daniel Brown: five hundred acres of land, near Droson’s and Robert Williams, and his brother James is to help him build a house on it. Daniel shall help his brother James to plough and sow the land; Daniel is to get a pair of oxen and a cow, and other items, after he departs, by consent.

Daughter Mary Brown: a minor, she gets 20 pounds, and a Negro girl named Hannah

Grandchildren: James Brown, son of William Brown; Patience and Jeremiah Brown, daughter (in-law) and son of Jeremiah Brown; Marjorie Pigot, daughter of Marjorie and John Pigot. Each one is to get 5 pounds, when they reach full age of twenty years.

Witnesses: James Wright, William Howell, John Bruss, and Isaac Brown

There is a Mercer Brown in the will, though he is not named as an heir. But nothing is to be done without his consent.

The clerk’s handwriting is very difficult to read. Words were that were too difficult are indicated by underline blanks.

Source for will

Transcription Begins:

James Brown’s Will

I James Brown of the Township of Nottingham in the Province of Pensilvania [sic] yoman [sic], being sick and weak in body, but of sound, disposing mind and memory, do make this my last will and Testament in maner [sic] following:

First my will is that there be an Invent[ory] taken of my estate both Real and personall [sic] & true appraisement thereof made & that all my just debts be pay’d & funeral charges be discharged by my Executors hereafter mentioned as soon as may be after my decease.

Also I give & bequeath unto my sons [sic] William Brown, Jeremiah Brown & Marjory Pigot to each and several of them twenty shillings to be paid a year after my decease;

Also I give and bequeath unto my grandchildren James Brown, the son of William Brown; and Patience & Jeremiah Brown, ye son and daughter of my son Jeremiah Brown; & to Marjory Pigot, ye Daughter of Marjory & John Pigot, to each and several of them, five pounds, the said legacies to be pay’d unto them when they shall arrive to full age of twenty years or in case they dye [sic] during the [blank space] time to remain in the hands of the executors, which shall be hereafter mentioned;

Also I give and bequeath unto my son Daniel Brown [ye] lott [sic] of land lying between Dorson’s & Robert Williams, containing five hundred acres, and my son James Brown shall help him to Get up [?] his House or build a house;

Also my will is that my son Daniel shall help my son James to plough to plough [sic] and sow the land whereon I now dwell, and to be assistant [sic] to him & his mother while _______ ________ as they shall soon ____ by consent to part and at their parting my son Daniel Brown shall have a pair of oxen & a cow with five _____ sows of from [sic] the plantation, start [?] with also bedding _____ out of the house _____;

I do Give and Bequeath unto my Daughter Mary Brown twenty pounds to be pay’d unto her at the age of twenty years; also I give and bequeath unto her my negro girl Hannah after her mother’s decease, but if her mother dyse [sic] before my Daughter Mary arrives to the age of twenty years ye surviving time until ye twenty years be expired to be ____ [served?] unto my son unto my son [sic] James Brown;

Also I Give and bequeath unto my well beloved wife Honor Brown & unto my son James Brown, all and singular, my goods and chattels & Estate & whatsoever & howsoever do hold to them, their heirs and assigns forever, provided that my Executors aforesaid shall well and truly pay the Legacies aforesaid Whether in silver money or in the County produce at money priced [?]

Also my will is that my Loving wife shall have half ye the produce of the plantation during her life or in case she be minded to live elsewhere that then my son James Brown shall allow ten pounds ___ During her Life

And Lastly I constitute and ordain s’d wife and son sole Executors of this my last will & Testament, allowing nothing to be done or ____ or disposed of without [“th” is careted in “without”] the consent of Mercer Brown & my son Jeremiah Brown, in Confirmation whereof I have person[ly?] set my hand and seal dated in Nottingham this fifteenth of ye 11 [careted in: Mo.] called January, one thousand seven & fifteen.

James Brown (seal)

Signed, sealed, published & declared by the above named James Brown to be his last Will and Testament in the presents [sic] of us James Wright, William Howell, John Bruss & Isaac Brown

Chester, First [day] of the first month 1715/6: Then personally appeared James Wright and Mercer [?] Brown, two of the witnesses to the within written will and on their affirmation did declare they saw the Testator within named Sign, Seal, publish & declare y’e within writing to be his last will and Testament and that at the doing thereof he was of sound mind & memory to the best of their understanding.

Coram [= “in the presence of” or “before”] John Simcock D’ Reg’r [Deputy Registrar]

Be it Remembered that on the first day of the first month anno dom. 1715/6, the last will and Testament of James Brown, deceased, was proved in due form of law of probate [?] and Letters of Administration [sic] were granted to his wife Honor Brown and to his son James Brown, sole Ex’t’ors therein named, being first attested, well and truly to administer & to bring in an Inventory of the Deceased’s Estate into the Reg’s office at Chester on or before the Eighth Day of the third month next, and to render a just acct. when required.

Given under ye seal of said office ___

John Simcock, D’ Reg’r

Transcription Ends.


Nobody transitioning from 1600’s to the early 1700s in our family line was involved in as many records as James Brown was. Maybe Simon Hadley (Chapter 5) is an exception, but he was a justice of the peace and judge. Yet not even Simon appears in as many deeds. Though James was a weaver, his sense of community is impressive. On the other side, people who are not judges but appear frequently in legal documents seem to play with fire. Sometimes they get burned.

He accused his servant John Marten of theft. And it appears John did steal things. James seemed to show some level of compassion on him. But he was also firm.

James deserves credit because he is our immigrant ancestor. He must have heard about the opportunity in the New World. He may have heard about the Quaker movement, and decided to live near this peaceful community (I don’t know when he became one). He met and married Honour Clayton, daughter of William Clayton, who, as the previous chapter told us, was a prominent member of the Philadelphia government and Chester County.

James picked up his belongings and went on the ship, probably the Kent with William Clayton. I can’t imagine how else James learned about Honour, unless he knew the right people. They lived far apart.

Speaking of Honour, she comes across as a responsible and mature woman of God. She too appears often in the legal documents. She even assisted in executing the last will and testament of a friend.

All in all, the Browns were involved and committed citizens of the province of Pennsylvania, Chester County, West Nottingham Township (and neighboring townships) and the Society of Friends, the Quakers.


Records of Joseph Clayton

Clayton Land Records in Chester County, Pennsylvania

Clayton Deed Records in New Castle County, Delaware

William Clayton’s Records

The Records of William Clayton, Jr., and Elizabeth Beazer

The Records of Henry Reynolds and Prudence Clayton

Records of John Beales, Chester County, PA

William Clayton and Prudence Lankford

Honour Clayton and James Brown

Henry Reynolds: Accused of Murder in Philadelphia, in 1685;


Carol Bryant, Abstracts of Chester County, Pennsylvania Land Records, vol. 1, 1683-1730, Westminster, MD: Family Line Publications, 1997.

—. Abstracts of Chester County, Pennsylvania Land Records, vol. 2, 1729-1745, Westminster, MD: Family Line Publications, 1997.

—. Abstracts of Chester County, Pennsylvania Land Records, vol. 3, 1745-1753, Westminster, MD: Family Line Publications, 1997.

—. Abstracts of Chester County, Pennsylvania Land Records, vol. 4, 1753-1758, Westminster, MD: Willow Bends, 1998.

Chester County, Pennsylvania Wills, 1713-1825 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA; Chester County Wills, located at the Chester County Archives and Records Service; Abstract of wills for Chester County, 1713-1825 (ancestry.com).

Thomas Hamm, “James Brown and Honour Clayton Info,” Mar. 16, 2001,

Maryland Calendar of Wills: Volume 4

Maryland Calendar of Wills: volume 7

Maryland Quaker Records: Nottingham Monthly Meeting, Cecil County Book F – 1808-1836

Records of the Courts of Chester County, Pennsylvania, 1681-1697, published by the Colonial Society of Pennsylvania, printed by Patterson and White, 1910


5 thoughts on “Honour Clayton and James Brown

  1. My connection is as follows : William Mickel Clayton – Honour Clayton – Margery Brown – James Piggot – Capt James Piggot – Frances Piggot – Benjamin Anthony Quick – Daniel A Quick – John Henry Quick – Henry J Quick – Henry Quick (my grandpa) – Pamela Thompson (my mom) – Ashley Irvin (me)


  2. First. let me say thank you for all the work on this. My line is as follows: William and Prudence Clayton, James and Honour (Clayton) Brown, James and (Possibly) Rachel( Froud )Brown, Abigail (Brown) and Thomas Thornburgh, Thomas and Ruth (Hunt) Thornburgh, Ruth (Thornburgh) and Samuel Wilson, Abigail (Wilson) and Andrew F Evans, Calvin C Evans and Minerva Jane (Wright), Ambrose F Evans and Gertrude (Johnson), Wanda L (Evans) and Everette L Wilson, Sandra L. (Wilson) Smith (me)


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