PATRICK'S LIFE

February 28, 1699/1700 a

Patrick Hanbrugg servant to William Hammock is adjudged Sixteen yeares of age but pretending to have Indentures A Months Liberty is granted him according to Law to produce them which if hee then faile to perform, It is Ordered hee serve his said Master according to Law (Westmoreland County Order Book 1698 – 1705, Part 2 1700 – 1701. p. 72a.)

Comments

It is extremely likely that this is, in fact, Patrick Hamrick shortly after his arrival in Virginia. An indenture is simply a contract. Court appearances for the purpose of establishing the age of imported indentured servants was required by law. They had to appear within "two courts" (two months) of their arrival. (William Waller Hening. Hening’s Statutes At Large, Vol II, 1660 - 1682. Charlottsville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1969. p. 240.) Henry Hanbrugg and Roger Guy appeared in Court on the same day for the same purpose as Patrick. The only differences in their individual entries are the boys’ names, their ages, and the fact that each entry lists a different master. Henry was adjudged 12 years of age and was bound to Robert Ball. Roger was adjudged 16 years of age and was bound to Francis Self.

Indentured servitude was a common means for paying passage to America at that time. The contract specified that the individual would provide labor for a certain number of years in exchange for the passage. After the specified number of years, the obligation was fulfilled and the individual was free to pursue his own endeavors.

The original Westmoreland County court records from this period were copied to the books that can be found in the clerk’s office today by a court clerk sometime during the latter part of the eighteenth century. Unfortunately, the originals were subsequently destroyed. (Westmoreland County Clerk. July 22, 1997.) Between the freedom utilized in spelling names during the colonial period and the flourishes that were commonly contained in handwriting making it difficult to read, it is entirely possible that errors in copying resulted in ""Hamrick" or "Hambrick" ( or "Hambrook") becoming "Hanbrugg" and "Day" becoming "Guy".

As subsequent entries and comments will show, Roger Day was Patrick's cousin and played a key role in Patrick acquiring land later in his life. Henry is presumed to be a younger brother or perhaps another cousin who came to America with Patrick and Roger. There is very little information on Henry in colonial Virginia records, so it is presumed he did not live far into adulthood.

Supporting the possibility that the court record is actually referring to Roger Day is the fact that, in 1704, Francis Self claimed lands "for the importation of two persons into this Colony, John Garner and Roger Day, and assigned them to Mr. George Eskridge (Westmoreland County Order Book 1678 - 1705, Part 4 1703 – 1705. p. 236a.) Also to be considered is the fact that Robert English gave a deposition in King George County in 1739 stating that Patrick and Roger Day were "cousen[s] & shipmate[s]". REF: September 3, 1739 Based on the knowledge that they were shipmates, it is a compelling argument that the Patrick who appeared in court to be adjudged in age alongside Roger Day was, in fact, Patrick Hamrick.

Another widely known fact to be considered is that, in June 1706, Benjamin Harrison Junr. obtained 4,583 acres in Prince George county based on head rights for 92 individuals. (Virginia Patents No. 9 1697 – 1706. pp. 740 - 742.) 47 of the individuals were named, including Roger Day (in Cavaliers and Pioneers, Vol. III, p. 109, this name was transcribed as Deg, but upon examination of the original, it is Day) and Henry Hambrok. [This is the last apparent record of Henry that has been found in Virginia records, although there are several Henrys that are prevalent in subsequent Hamrick generations. It is entirely possible that Henry died during his indentured servitude. Malaria, typhoid, and dysentery were all common causes of death among non-immune newcomers to America during this period; particularly among children. (Thad W. Tate and David L. Ammerman. The Chesapeake in the Seventeenth Century: Essays on Anglo-American Society. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 1979. p. 96 - 124.) For certain, Henry had died by 1725. (REF: September 3, 1739 comments)

 

Although there are 3 separate Patricks among the names listed in Benjamin Harrison Jr’s. grant in 1706, each surname differs substantially from ‘Hamrick’. The actual names as they appear (although not one after the other) are:

As best determined, these names are Patrick Annimer, Patrick Nastor and Patrick Hatfield. A note below the 47 names listed reads "Forty five rights more paid for to mr auditor Byrd".

It is very doubtful that Patrick (or Roger and Henry) served their indentured servitude with Benjamin Harrison, Jr. on this property, as several Hamrick family researchers have advocated. The Harrisons were a prominent family in early Virginia and Benjamin Harrison, Jr. speculated in land, as many members of prominent families did during that time. (One extreme example of this was when Benjamin Harrison, Jr., along with members of the Carter family and others, acquired 50,212 acres in Stafford County "on Chenandoak Cr. of Potomak R. on upper side of the Blew Ridge" during 1730.) (Northern Neck Land Grants, Book C. p. 77.) Prince George county is considerably south of Westmoreland County, where Patrick, Henry, and Roger arrived in America. Prince George County borders the southern shore of the James River, southeast of Richmond. Chances are that Benjamin Harrison, Jr. was "borrowing" names of imported individuals for the purpose of obtaining this tract of land under the head right law. Schemes of this nature were not unusual. (Phillip Alexander Bruce. Economic History of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century, Volume I. New York: Peter Smith, 1935. p.523.) The speculation that Patrick, Roger, and Henry did not serve their indentured servitude with Benjamin Harrison, Jr. on this property is based on these specific observations:

1) It is evident that Patrick, Roger, and Henry arrived in Virginia via the Potomac River port at the mouth of the Nomini River in Westmoreland county. If Benjamin Harrison Jr. had really imported them to work this land for him, it seems more likely that they would have arrived at a port along the James River, in much closer proximity to Prince George County, where the land was located.

2) The fact that Harrison paid the head right for 45 of the 92 individuals was not unusual (or even illegal after a law enacted in 1705), but does make the transaction suspect in terms of being a shady deal. This practice of granting patents upon payment of a fee was an abuse of the system that was commonly utilized by influential land speculators. (Bruce. pp. 518-526.)

3) The transaction becomes further suspect based on the fact that George Eskridge, a prominent citizen in the Northern Neck and the person to whom Francis Self had "assigned" John Garner and Roger Day, received a grant in April 1706 (prior to Harrison’s) for 2,350 acres in nearby Northumberland County for the transportation of 47 individuals. George Eskridge also owned land in Westmoreland County, near the mouth of the Yeocomico River. (David W. Eaton. Historical Atlas of Westmoreland County Virginia. Richmond. The Diety Press, 1942. p. 74.) The list of names for Eskridge’s grant in Northumberland County reads nearly identical to those claimed by Benjamin Harrison, Jr., including Roger "Dey" and Henry "Hanbrooke", as well as Patrick "Sarchfeild", Patrick "Naster", and Patrick "Anninner". (Linsay O. Duvall. Virginia Colonial Abstracts - Series 2, Vol. I: Northumberland County, Virginia 1678 - 1713. Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, 1979. p.105.)

4) After their indentured servitude periods, it is evident that both Patrick and Roger Day were in the Northern Neck area for a number of years. Indications are that indentured servants most commonly remained near the area where they had served their masters because, during their servitude, they had made acquaintances among the planters in the vicinity that proved to be beneficial to them after they were freed. (Abbot Emerson Smith. Colonists in Bondage. Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith, 1965. p. 291.) Because they were the same age, both Patrick and Roger would have been freed from indentured servitude by 1708. REF: 1708 Patrick remained in the Northern Neck area until he went to Prince William County in 1740. REF: January 10, 1739/40 Roger’s continued presence in Westmoreland County after his servitude period is first indicated by the fact that he witnessed the will of Rose Newton in December 1712. (Westmoreland County Deeds and Wills, No. 5 1712 – 1716. pp. 123 -124.) By 1719, Roger was in nearby Stafford County, near Aquia Run. REF: January 7, 1724/25 comments In 1724, he received a land grant in what is now Prince William County. REF: January 7, 1724/25

Based on these facts, it does not seem likely that Patrick or Roger spent their indentured servitude years in Prince George County.

The term "pretending to have indentures" means that Patrick believed he had a servitude agreement with someone other than William Hammock. (Henry and Roger were also claiming to have other agreements.) This was not an unusual occurrence, evidenced by the fact that there was a law that stipulated the one month period for producing pretended indentures. (Hening. Vol II, 1660 - 1682. p. 297.) Many indentured servants who came to America did not have written agreements, although they may have embarked on the venture based on what they believed to be an attractive and valid verbal agreement with the merchant who shipped them. When they arrived, they found that the colony did not recognize and enforce such verbal agreements. Instead, the new arrivals discovered that because the merchant had paid their passage, they could be bound under a different agreement to a person who purchased their servitude from the merchant. (Smith. p. 19.)

 

Such questionable practices resulted from the fact that trade in indentured servants was a very lucrative business for the merchants. A servant was typically transported to Virginia at a cost of around £6 to £8 and sold upon arrival at around £40 to £60. (James Curtis Ballagh. White Servitude in the Colony of Virginia. New York: Burt-Franklin, 1969. p. 41.) Even so, the servant had the right to try to prove the original indenture and that is what young Patrick, Roger, and Henry were apparently doing during this court appearance. However, Patrick (or Roger or Henry) never reappeared in court over subsequent months so it is difficult to firmly fix the identity of the person he actually served during his indentured servitude.

Absent absolute factual information, circumstances seem to indicate that after the specified 30 day period, Patrick did, in fact, remain bound to William Hammock. Area records show several land transactions and court proceedings involving William Hammock in the years prior to Patrick’s arrival, particularly within Richmond County. Of significance is the fact that William Hamock "of Richmond County" received a 300 acre grant on the west side of Totaskey Creek in Richmond County in December 1694. (Northern Neck Land Grants, Vol. 2, 1694 – 1700. p. 100.)

NOTE:  In June 1697, what proves to be another William Hammock received a land grant for a 161 acre parcel in Westmoreland County. (Northern Neck Land Grants, Vol. 2, 1694 – 1700. p. 272.) A subsequent deed, in April 1698, reveals that this William Hammock, identified as "of Youcomco", had actually acquired 131 acres of the parcel for another individual, with 30 acres being "for the plantation of me". (Westmoreland Deeds and Wills, Book No. 2, 1690 – 1699. pp. 190 - 190a.) In addition, this deed indicates that this Hammock was a cooper (barrel maker). The Yeocomico area is the region along the eastern boundary of Westmoreland county, directly adjacent to Northumberland County. (Walter Biscoe Norris, Jr. Westmoreland County Virginia: 1653 - 1983. Montross, VA: Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors, 1983. p. 619.) In January 1699, this Hammock received another grant for 214 acres within "Yeoacomics forrest" in Westmoreland County. (Northern Neck Land Grants, Vol. 2, 1694 – 1700. pp. 309 - 310.) Based on the identified bordering property owners, both of these parcels were located at the extreme southeastern corner of Westmoreland County, adjacent to both Richmond County and Northumberland County. (Eaton. p. 74.) The fact that there were two William Hammocks becomes clear in an April 1710 deed when "William Hammock the Elder of the Pish. of Cople and Westmoreland County" purchased 100 acres of the 300 acre plantation adjacent to Totaskey Creek in Richmond County from "William Hamock the Younger of the Pish. of North Farnum in the County of Richmond". (Richmond County Deed Book 5, 1708 – 1711. pp. 179 - 181.) (William Hamock the Younger proves to be the son of the Richmond County William Hammock who had received the 300 acre grant. (See continuing comments.)

Richmond County records reveal that the William Hammock who owned 300 acres on Totaskey Creek died sometime between March 1699/1700, when he made an appearance during a court case that involved his son Richard (Richmond County Orders 1699 – 1701. p. 17.) and October 1700, when an attachment was granted to a claimant against his estate. (Richmond County Orders 1699 – 1701. p. 67.) (This timeframe was only a few months after Patrick had been bound to Hammock.) Richard was Hammock’s oldest son, born in 1674. Hammock’s other son, William, Jr. was born in 1688 and, therefore, only 12 years old when his father died. (George Harrison Sanford King. North Farnum Parish Register 1663 - 1814 and Lunenburg Parish Register 1783 - 1800. Fredericksburg, VA: American Society of Genealogists, 1966. p.78.) However, William left his land to his son William and only one shilling to Richard. He also specified that William was to be of age at 18. (Richmond County Wills and Inventories, 1699 – 1709. p. 26.) (The reason he left Richard only one shilling was most likely due to Richard’s impropriety with a female servant; a situation apparent in the court proceedings of previous months.) With young William being only 12 years old, chances are that Richard actually managed the land during the period of Patrick’s servitude. This is evident in one particular circumstance and the situation introduces an individual who Patrick came to know fairly well.

In February 1701/02, Richard appeared in court defending himself in a lawsuit initiated by Patrick Maggee. (Richmond County Orders 1699 – 1701. p. 134.) Maggee had apparently made a deal with Richard’s father to plant a crop of tobacco on Hammock’s plantation in 1699. William Hammock died "before the finishing of the crop" and Richard evidently took it over as his own. Tobacco seeds were sown in beds about the middle of January, transplanted to the fields beginning around early May, and cut and hung to dry in October. (Bruce. pp. 439 - 441.) These facts serve to reinforce the timeframe of William Hammock’s death. What is important, however, is the fact that this situation provides a circumstance whereby Patrick Hamrick could come to know Patrick Maggee. It is important because later, in 1725, Patrick Hamrick was among those appointed to appraise the estate of Patrick Maggee, (REF: February 5, 1725/26) a task that was commonly assigned to long time acquaintances of the deceased.

With scant facts, but no other reasonable alternatives, it seems rational that Patrick Hamrick did, in fact, spend his indentured servitude period on William Hammock’s Totaskey Creek plantation in eastern Richmond County.

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