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Paternal Generation I: William Pinley to Maryland and Virginia

Gleanings & Collected Immigrant Notes

Gleanings from the Documents

Maryland was settled in 1634 as an aristocratic haven for Catholics. The selected chosen of the Calvert family were seated on large plantations resembling feudal manors, but from the beginning they depended largely on poor Protestant servants for labor and survival in the wilderness. Using headrights, the upper class was granted 50 - 100 acres for each servant they transported to Maryland, the acreage depending on the “conditions of plantation” in force at the time of their arrival. The wealthy were soon outnumbered by the servants, as were the Catholics by Protestants which progressively threatened the feudal manor organization since Lord Baltimore’s grant from Charles I included a proviso that no laws could be enacted without the approval of an assembly of all free men in the colony.

From the onset, Governor Leonard was plagued by Virginian Protestant William Claiborne’s previously established fur trading settlement on Kent Island. Open warfare ensued, complete with naval battles, pirates, sword fights and hangings. Subsequent kings, parliaments and courts generally sided with the Calverts against Claiborne, but William Claiborne contested the rulings until his death in 1677. The spurned Claiborne used every opportunity to churn the chaos in Maryland, and did recapture Kent Island twice.

In the 1640’s, the English Civil War spilled over into Maryland. Protestant pirate Richard Ingle arrived in Maryland in 1644 to reduce the colony to the will of Cromwell’s Parliament. Ingle ricocheted between befriending and betraying the Marylanders. Giles Brent arrested Ingle, Cornwallis arranged Ingle’s escape. Brent then recklessly attempted to bully four juries into convicting him of treason. Ingle came back a year later and plundered all of St. Mary’s, with assistance from malcontent servants. It is unclear whether the servant uprising at the Cornwallis estate was inspired by Ingle, or their own suppressed fury. Pinley associates Thomas Sturman and John Hallowes were active participants in the destruction of the Cornwallis estate.

Most historians explain the chaos in Maryland’s early history in terms of William Claiborne’s obsession with Kent Island, and the Puritan Revolution in England. Both certainly played roles in Maryland’s turbulence, though the diversity and success of Maryland’s expatriates just across the Potomac at Chickacoan greatly diminish both excuses.

Cavaliers and Pioneers (Nugent I ) chronicles the earliest Northumberland land grants beginning on page 178. A casual read through those pages exposes some grand names in American History, including the ancestors of Robert E. Lee, George Washington, James Monroe, and their contributing maternal lines such as Pope, Sturman, Ball, Spence, Hardidge, and Broadhurst. Calvert blamed dissidents at Chickacoan and Kent Island for most of his difficulties. It is difficult to believe that the men who took their families to safety at Chickacoan evolved from THUGS to genius architects of a new nation in just three generations.

At Chickacoan, the Puritan Thomas Sturman, the Anglican Andrew Monroe, the Catholics John Hallowes and Walter Broadhurst lived and prospered as neighbors. Catholic Broadhurst witnessed Puritan Ann Sturman's will when she died in 1657. Broadhurst's Catholic widow married her neighbor, Anglican John Washington.

Broadhurst and Gerrard were born rich, Thomas Sturman was a cooper by trade, John Hallowes came as an indentured servant and invented the American Dream. Giles Brent lived alongside the highly touted rebels from Kent Island he had tried to rule for Calvert.

They shrugged off the English Civil War, and managed to appease the Natives. Chickacoan was inaccessible by land from the Jamestown peninsula because of thick forests, and so was essentially self-governed and driven by capitalism, mostly devoid of government regulation for many years.

An excellent study of the famous families who settled this area, many of whom were exiles from traumatized Maryland is found in the article “Washington and His Neighbors”, by Lyon G. Tyler (William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, Vol. 4, No. 1. (Jul., 1895, pp. 28-43.)

The old adage of knowing a person through their playgrounds and playmates can bring great success in genealogy. By study of William Pinley’s associates, and the historical events of his time, a clearer picture emerges of the founder of the American Penleys. The facts of William Pinley’s life are provided in the previous chapter. What follows here is educated speculation, and collected notes about Pinley’s associates and the era. The reader’s skepticism is welcome.

Positive identification of his family in England has not been made, but his education and collections of expensive books are not the indication of a homeless orphan or “street urchin”.

Headrights in Maryland

Walter Broadhurst paid for William Pinley’s transportation to Maryland, and was the original owner of Pinley’s headrights. Broadhurst was born in 1619, his servant, William Pinley was born about 1620. Nearly the same age, they may have attended the same schools in England. Broadhurst was a wealthy Catholic from Lilleshall, Shropshire, England.

"Came into the Province 13th. March 1638. Mr. Richard Lee and his wife, Mr. Owen Phillips, Mr. Egerton. Youth servant to Marmd. Snow, Mr. Walter Broadhurst, with two Servants." Land Notes

July 8, 1642: "The said Walter Broadhurst acknowledgeth that he has assigned over all his rights in the two men and their Conditions of Plantation unto Mr. Thomas Gerard .....the men and he further assigned over his own Rights in Conditions of Plantation for the Transporting himself unto the said Mr. Gerrard." (Maryland Archives)

At one time this research placed huge significance on the three men who owned Pinley’s headrights, those documents provided nearly everything known about our ancestor at that time. The headrights led to the assumption that Pinley was an indentured servant. During the last ten years, additional footprints have been found for William Pinley, and dozens of books have provided rich context and new perceptions of the era.

It is now understood that settlers bought and sold, shuffled and wagered headrights like decks of cards to gain larger estates, headright were worth 50 - 100 acres. Maryland records divulge four different dates for William Pinley’s arrival, his headrights earned land for three men, Walter Broadhurst, Thomas Gerrard and Governor Leonard Calvert.

Thomas Gerard was a documented manipulator of men and records, claiming in one record that Pinley had arrived in 1635 or 1636. Gerard actually used William’s headrights before Walter Broadhurst. After Governor Leonard Calvert grabbed Pinley’s headrights in 1642, Walter Broadhurst documented in court records that he sold Pinley’s headrights to Gerard. That important document indicates that Broadhurst was the original owner of William’s headrights, and denied Calvert’s ownership.

PenleyPearls tends to support the March 13, 1638/9 date because it is not attached to a demand for land, and Walter Broadhurst is documented as the original owner of William’s headrights when he deposed on July 8, 1642 that he sold the Pinley, Gibbons, and his own headrights to Thomas Gerard. The reader may select their favorite date of arrival from the various documents. See the chapter, William Pinley, Immigrant for the various documents.

William Pinley, employee or indentured servant?

No record of indenture has been found for William Pinley, and no record of Pinley earning 50 acres of land at the end of a contract has been found. Indentures were written contracts recorded in courts, not just verbal understandings, but many records were destroyed during Ingle’s raid.

Unlike most indentured servants, William Pinley was literate. Literate settlers were often brought over as employees, secretaries and accountants for wealthy settlers, some were indentured, some were paid wages. Pinley’s records are marked “transported” which indicates that Walter Broadhurst paid for his voyage.

Confessions of Some Jumped Conclusions:

Penley Pearls jumped to the conclusion that William Pinley was one of Claiborne’s men, a Kent Island rebel. That jump was based on facts, just badly interpreted facts. Although the Kent Island research is not regretted because it provided rich context and truly fascinating tales of pirates and swordfights, not one document is now seen as linking William Pinley to Claiborne’s army or the Kent Island rebels. The flawed Claiborne/Kent Island connection caused the research to move in the wrong direction, and the web site information is slowly being corrected.

One item which caused PenleyPearls to assume the Kent connection was that Governor Calvert demanded 5,000 acres on a document which combined Pinley’s headrights with 24 others, including several servants seized from William Claiborne in a raid on Kent Island.

Calvert collected 25 names to earn 5,000 acres from his brother, Lord Baltimore. He abused the headright system just as badly as his subjects did. Of those 25 men, only one, William Harrington, is documented as finishing his indenture with Calvert. Seven of the 25 listed are positively identified as Claiborne servants. Six servants are identified only as being from Virginia, no names given. The other names have such fractured spelling that identification is so far impossible, or only first names were given; this lousy record keeping for a governor may have been intentional.

Another misleading Kent connection was that Thomas Sturman’s first job in Maryland was as an employee of George Evelyn on Kent Island. Thomas Sturman paid his own transportation to Maryland, he worked for George Evelyn on Kent Island as a cooper (he made barrell staves, essential in transporting tobacco), and his son John worked as Evelyn’s bookkeeper. Evelyn supported Leonard Calvert against Claiborne loyalists on Kent, he helped Calvert plan the 1638 raid. Sturman testified against Evelyn’s neglect and abuse of servants on Kent, but he did not stay on Kent Island. By 1641, Thomas Sturman bought a house for his family in St. Mary’s, by 1642 he was elected Burgess for St. Mary’s. Sturman had a particular revulsion to Thomas Cornwallis, he confessed to plundering Cornwallis’ home. He was a supporter of Richard Ingle for a while, he delivered hogs plundered from Thomas Gerard’s estate to Ingle.

Sturman appeared sympathetic to the plight of servants, but no primary source indicates he was loyal to Claiborne, or that he took direction from Claiborne. Claiborne did add the name of Thomas Steerman as a headright for his 1653 land grant (Nugent I, page 245). The list of headright names on that grant is often quoted as a roster of Claiborne’s army, and many of the names are elsewhere documented as Claiborne men. But corrupt use and abuse of headrights in Virginia was just as common as in Maryland, and with Claiborne as Virginia’s Secretary of State, it is sure no one demanded proof of those names. Sturman owned land in Virginia before Northumberland was formed, and his land is mentioned as the boundary of Andrew Monroe’s 1650 land grant in Northumberland. Strangely, Nugent lists no land grant in the name of Thomas or John Sturman, their deed may be lost, or may have been taken in the name of Thomas Sturman’s sons-in-law, Hardidge (Hardwick) or Ewell (Youell)

Alexander Mountney’s name was linked to Kent Island in a 1631 record, and at one time it was believed that Hannah Mountney was Pinley’s mother instead of mother-in-law. The Mountney’s were neighbors of William Claiborne at Elizabeth City in the 1620’s, but William Pinley did not even arrive in America until 1638, long after the Mountneys moved to Accomack/Northampton. At one time Penley researchers took the phrase "6 new hands bought out of Virginia this year" on Calvert’s list of servants as proof that William Pinley had come from Virginia. But there are only 19 names listed on the document, the names of the “6 new hands” are not listed.


William Pinley’s religious preference is not documented, nor easily deduced.

A case could be argued that William Pinley was a Puritan. Hannah Mountney’s father, Richard Boyle, was accused of printing the Puritan Marlprelate tracts written by John Penry back in London. Alexander Mountney was selected to serve on the Vestry of the Anglican church in Accomack, but only attended one meeting of record before he was threatened with a fine for non-attendance and replaced by another man. Phillip Taylor, Mountney’s close associate, was taken to court for refusing to take an oath as a church warden. Pinley was a close associate of Thomas Sturman, whose family was known to be Puritan, including his sons-in-law William Hardwick and Thomas Ewell (Youell).

It could be argued that William Pinley was Catholic because he got on a ship and moved to a colony that was formed to provide a safe haven for Catholics. The wealthy gentlemen and their families were dominataed by Catholics, but their servants were mostly poor Protestants, many were “street-urchins” from over-crowded cities. Walter Broadhurst and Thomas Gerrard were Catholics, but Gerrard’s wife was Anglican. Another close associate of William Pinley was John Hallowes, who was probably Catholic. He came over on the original 1634 Ark and Dove expedition, as the indentured servant of Catholic Thomas Cornwallis, and married Restitute Tue in a Catholic ceremony conducted by Father White, 1639. On one document, it appears he made the sign of a cross + instead of the normal X or his initial H. It is doubtful that White would have conducted the ceremony unless Hallowes was Catholic. William Pinley served as John Hallowes’ attorney in Northampton.

PenleyPearls believes that good evidence points toward the Anglican faith. Virginia and Accomack/Northampton were known for great loyalties to the monarchy and the Anglican faith. Anglican was the official religion of England when William Pinley immigrated in 1638. A book entitled The King’s Meditations was listed on William’s final inventory. That was a new book, just published after King Charles’ execution in January of 1649. It was a sentimental tribute to the king’s last days, and was a favorite among Anglicans, some believe it was written by the king himself. Given the religious polarization of the day, and Puritan Cromwell’s control of the government, it is doubtful that Pinley would have risked owning the book if it did not have emotional value to him.

Pinley’s now famous sedition regarding oysters reveals that he was an employee of Governor William Stone, a devout Anglican. Although Stone did lead 500 Puritans to Maryland, they formed an isolated settlement of Providence (near Annapolis today), and William Pinley left no footprints in that area. All of the found Pinley documents in Maryland are centered around St. Mary’s.

After years of reading primary documents and works by many historians on this era, William Pinley emerges as a moderate in a very polarized era. He was friends with the Puritan Thomas Sturman and the Catholic John Hallowes, and at his end he was employed by the Anglican William Stone. He was trusted to create legal documents and collect debts by important men and women who could not read or write to check his words. He served on juries and wrote wills.

His associates Sturman and Hallowes wound up in court in the aftermath of Ingle’s Rebellion, but William Pinley did not, not even as a witness. He may have moved to Accomack/Northampton before or during Ingle’s 1645 Rebellion. The Northampton dispute over Calvert’s gray horse describes him as being late of St. Mary’s.

April 29, 1646: Capt. Leonard Calvert late Gov’r of Saint Maryes plant and William Pindley late of the same place

He is not accused of stealing the horse, only having it in his posession. The court did not take the horse from Pinley, but told him not to remove the horse from Northampton County until the court at Jamestown decided the case. At this time, Leonard Calvert was living in exile somewhere in Virginia, and Virginian Edward Hill had been elected Governor of Maryland. After Calvert’s triumphant return from exile, Walter Broadhurst was arrested for saying that the only governor he acknowledged was Edward Hill of Virginia. Edward Hill appointed John Hallowes as his attorney to collect money and the horse Calvert owed him. And John Hallowes appointed William Pinley to collect overdue debts from Northampton.

Broadhurst, Hallowes and William Pinley all seemed to rally around a compromise solution to Maryland’s anarchy: Captain Edward Hill of Virginia.

It is intriguing that ex-Governor Hill sued repeatedly for a promised horse and wages Calvert owed him for his tenure as governor. Was it the same horse Pinley was holding?

Could Captain/Governor Edward Hill have been a cousin of William Pinley’s wife, nee Elizabeth Hill. Her father, Edward Hill died at Elizabeth City in the aftermath of the 1622 Indian Massacre, but he had several brothers.

William Pinley, Walter Broadhurst, Thomas Sturman and John Hallowes converged on Maryland from different locations, religions and social class.

The Dutch Connection

Another controversy in Maryland at the time of William Pinley’s death involved the illegal trade with Holland. In 1649, the Maryland assembly banned trade with the Dutch, levying a fine of 10 shillings per year for seven years per each hogshead of tobacco found shipped on Dutch ships, and the law provided for the seizure of any tobacco illegally shipped. William Pinley's associates at Chickacoen were probably avoiding Oliver Cromwell's ships, taxes and conflicts by trading directly with the Dutch.


It is obvious from the inventory of Pinley’s estate in Northampton County that William Pinley had a residence in Virginia, probably on the land leased to the Mountneys for the Common Store. Those leases were set to expire in 1656, and would probably not be renewed to the widow Hannah.

If Pinley had moved his entire family to Maryland, he would have immediately qualified for 50 acres for each person transported. With wife Elizabeth, their three children, himself, and perhaps the widow Hannah, the Pinleys would have earned a plantation of 250 - 500 acres just by rowing across the Chesapeake Bay to Maryland, and paying survey fees. No land grant under William’s name has been found in Maryland. Perhaps he chose not to subject his family to the chaos and controversies he knew in Maryland.

Law required that an estate be settled in the county of the decedent's residence. The inventory in Northampton shows that the household had not made a move to Maryland. At the settlement of his estate, all of his debts were paid to Northampton County landowners, except one to a Mariner.

Collected Notes on Penley Associates

John Hallowes

(also found as Hollows, Hollis, etc.) John Hallowes (1615 - 1657) was an incredible colonial success story, he arrived in Maryland with the original 1634 Ark and Dove settlers as the servant of avid Catholic, Thomas Cornwallis. His loyalties in Maryland are difficult to follow. He owned land and conducted business on both sides of the Potomac. The Hallowes land grants in Virginia were bounded by land belonging to Anglican Andrew Monroe, Puritan Thomas Sturman, and Catholic Walter Broadhurst, all Maryland expatriates. He was married in a Catholic ceremony in 1639, but probably no Protestant minister was available at that time. He supported Governor Edward Hill’s election after Leonard Calvert fled into exile in 1645.

He stood accused of ransacking his former master Thomas Cornwallis’ estate during the Protestant servant uprising in 1645 (part of Ingle’s Rebellion), but his motive in that plunder is buried by Maryland’s anarchy. Protestant Richard Ingle had been arrested for treason by Governor Brent, but the wealthy Catholic Thomas Cornwallis arranged Ingle’s escape from prison and sailed back to England with Ingle. Did the rebels destroy Cornwallis’ estate because he protected Ingle, because Cornwallis was Catholic, or because he was abusive to his servants?

Although he took the requisite loyalty oath to Calvert in 1647, Hallowes served as Edward Hill’s attorney in Maryland court after Calvert’s 1646 return to power. By 1648, he was referred to as Mr. John Hallowes of Appamatucks in court documents., and had appointed attorney George Manners, and later Phillip Land to handle his affairs in Maryland, pay and collect debts. Our William Pinley twice served as Hallowes’ attorney in Northampton Court.

In Maryland law suits between William Claiborne and the Calverts, Claiborne's soldiers and servants on Kent Island are listed by name. Most of those same names were eventually claimed as headrights by William Claiborne in Virginia.

Both John Hallowes and William Claiborne claimed land in Virginia using the headrights of some Kent Island rebels. Headrights are unreliable in determining loyalties. Hallowes may have supported Claiborne, or he may have simply bought the use of the names to qualify for more land.

The Hallowes patent included headrights for Thomas Youell's (Ewell) family, Thomas Sturman's son-in-law, and five Butlers who were probably Claiborne's in-laws from Kent Island. (Nugent, Vol. 1, p. 207) Thomas Sturman's other son-in-law, William Hardidge, claimed 1,000 acres in 1653 bounded by Walter Broadhurst's land. Andrew Munrow (Monroe) took land bounded by the Sturman and Hallowes estates. Eventually, Oliver Gibbons became a servant employed by Hannah Mountney in Northampton.

Governor Stone's Vacation Schedule was in sync with William Pinley's appearances in Northampton:

April 29, 1646, William Pinley was described in the Northampton Court records regarding Calvert’s gray horse, as being “late of St. Mary’s”, perhaps indicating a recent move to Northampton.
December 29, 1646: Jury Duty: Northampton County, Virginia: Palmer/Coghan case.
December 29, 1647: Jury Duty, Northampton County, Virginia: Thomas Gerrard (owned Pinley’s headrights in Maryland) vs. Richard Ingle for damages that took place in Maryland, testimony included actions of Pinley’s friends, Thomas Sturman and John Hallowes. Northampton Commissioner William Stone was local attorney for Richard Ingle. Jury verdict denied damages to Gerard except for one ox and two hogs.
June 4, 1647: Pinley was Attorney for John Hallowes in Northampton court.
August 28, 1648: Randall Revels/Thomas Peakes case
October 12, 1648: Attorney for John Hallowes in Northampton court
November 7, 1648: Jury Duty: Harrington/Warder case
December 26, 1649: Northampton court testimony that he wrote the will of Edward Drew on this date, at the home of Hannah Mountney, Kings Creek, Northampton County.
January 13, 1650: Pinley made "certain revileing speeches