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                              1          1666                   67


           a Record of Cases in ye Church of Rowley since Nov: 15. 1666


    Robert Swanne. brought before the church Jan: 8 1665. upon suspicion of theft, the

    fact was - his by Night filching of Corne in ye sheafe five shockes (by his acknowledging)

    from of a piece of his ground, plowed & sowed by his neighbor Webster of Haverhill

    the corne ō wch land of Webstr claimed, & had procured a sentence for theft from

    court. R. Swanne pleaded yt it was his own corne, & though he had done foolishly

    to take it by Night for wch the Court had passd such a sentence, yet it was his own

    & being ō his own land it must seem be made appeare by Webster the Contrary - and

    he pleaded that he intended (being so able) to proove Webster had so acknowledged

    The Church not seeing convicting proofe, warned Him from litigis Courses &c:


    Robert Swan  accused of his ffather for a Letter contayning (as he sayd)

    sundrey th:s false (an accursed Lettr) (as he sayd) the matter was first

    heared in private & ye sense of ye Elders about it was given to ye church

    some dissenting, ye matter was propounded to ye Revd. Mr Cobbet, Mr Hubbard

    & Mr Whipple who issued it thus yt  (we doe conceive[)] yt Robt Swan did

    ought to acknowledge yt he did ill in writing such a Lettr contayning some

    expressions of Undutyfulln: & Irreverence wch might justly grieve any

    one Xtiā ffather who had in any measure answerd ye Duty of yt  Relation

    (as we know not but Rich: Swan hath) And yt his ffather ought

    (it was sayd privately) (for peace sake) accept such acknowledgemt

    & to wthold no pledge of his fatherly Love, for ye future, and yt

    ye Letter & Coppy (of wch ye offence did arise[)] be burned.]

     This Council was approoved (all things considred) by or selves o. 2.[59] and

    submitted Unto by ye Father and Sonne ––––

    Mem: that this mr was disorderly mentioned i.e. publickly in a Church

    meeting at first. 2. it was disorderly handled 1st by a Committee 3 [-] 4

    Brethren joyned wth ye Elders . 3. many then in ordr to issue it and

    prepare it for ye Church. 3. There were many th:s sayd & no Care

    to proove till no witnesses produced at all to many things sayd

    & those wch were prooved we had many Meetings before men would

    take Care to bring ym. 4 ye Bretheren under No Rule about

    speech & silence. NB that it was quasi a principle amo[ngst][60]

    that Every Brother must Speake. 5. That ye Church had

    Voted & yet ye Church had forgotten whither it was so or no –-

    6. a Censure of Admonition was agreed upō & One meeting

    & ommitting to pronounce it prsently ō ye offendour, was

    delayed at his Disire to have patience tryed. & ye affect

    of it was yt the next meeting, the Church retracted yt

    judgmt deserted ye Elders, & ye offendor was now hard to

    Deale wth then Ever.   7. That it was a principle of

    Pitty to Robt: in ye Consciences of all bad or feared to be so,

    & some Envy to ye ffather & prejudice, they were afrayd

    the son should be made worse yn  he was, & unwilling ye

    ffather should be so good accounted worse yn he seemed


    July 28. the paper was read to ye Cong Church under the hands of ye

    Councill (supra) & accepted Nomine Contradicente [illeg.][61]


    [59] Possibly shorthand.

    [60] Conjecture where edge of MS is damaged.

    [61] “None contradicting” The remainder of the line is obscured by MS damage.