66 Petition of Elizabeth Dunster

    To the much honoured Court; holden at Cambridge the 5th of Aprill 1664:

    The petition of Elizabeth Dunster humbly shewing. That the gross Miscarriages of her Sonn David (to her Sorrow of heart; and perpetual ground of shame and humiliation before God and man be it spoken) Are too to Evident And Obvious; And for which this Countie Court, Judged Meete to fine him £20. And Allso to Oblige him to save harmless the Town of Cambridge; in relation wherunto your peticioner of her Motherlike Affection became bound in the sum of fiftie pounds as shee remembereth; yet in hope that, that great sentence (though just) was partly in terror that hee and others might heare and feare and flee All such Abominable wickednes. And that shee shold not be holden to the full payment thereof; Nor was it the intent of the honoured Court that then imposed it; As shee hath been informed.

    As it was in your Worrshipps Libertie and power to have set it at less; so is it now in the Libertie and power of this honoured Court. And shee hopeth will be in your hearts to make it less; And to tender her deplorable and disconsolate condicion so farr as to remit the remayne therof; wherby Mercie and Justice, as shee humbly conceiveth may meete together and righteousnes and peace kiss each other.

    Your Worrshipps may please to take notice that your petitioner hath beene at great charge and Expence for him since the death of your Servant his father.

    First in Learning here in hopes of his progress therin about


    2d. his Voyage to England and expence, in hope to setle him thereabout


    3d. to Mr. Stedman toward the Courts sentence


    4th. there is due to his sister out of his estate by Will


    So that it is indeed doubtfull whether he have any cleere estate of his own left; beyond which your petitioner did not understand herself to be ingaged.

    But if your petitioner may not find favour, in your eies so farr as is before expressed (the which she is not willing to Question or be in doubts of) there is then A parcel of Land in Cambridge Neck about two or three Acres which long since Cost £7 10s which she conceiveth may with least damage be spared. And if yet this be not to satisfaction there is Allso A parcel of Land on Roxbury Side Lately Layd out of About five pounds value. But shee hopeth and humbly prayeth, that theis her proposalls may not prejudice or any way obstruct your Worrshipps Compassionate Condiscencion to her most humble petition. So shall the Loyns and Lipps of the fatherless and Widdows be bound to bless you, and to pray dayly for the Blessing of God upon you.

    Your Worrshipps Most humble petitioner.

    Elizabeth Dunster

    Henry Dunster Papers. David Dunster “unfortunately fell under public censure. At the county court, June 17, 1662, being only seventeen years old, he was adjudged guilty of a youthful indiscretion, for which he was sentenced to pay a fine of £20 to the use of the county, or to be whipt, and also to give £50 bond, with sufficient sureties, for defraying the charges which might naturally be expected.” Lucius R. Paige, “Dunster and Wade Families,” New England Historical and Genealogical Register, xxvii (1873), 307.