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An American Family History

Richard Morris

  also spelled Maurise, Morice, Moris  
The first European settlements in Maryland were made in 1634 when English settlers created a permanent colony.
A society's legal system reveals much about it. A broad spectrum of behavior was considered criminal in Colonial Maryland and punishment was harsh.

Richard Morris was born about 1637 in Charles County, Maryland. He was a planter in Charles County, Maryland

In April, 1656 Richard and William Heard were assigned the rights to 200 acres from Christopher Cornell. They assigned the same land to John Morris and Giles Tomkins in July of the same year.

In 1659 he, and others, petitioned the court for payment "for trouble & paynes wee tooke in taking Mr Hutts Vessell." He was paid 20 pounds of tobacco a day for four days work.

In 1660 Giles Tomkins assigned a patent to Richard.

In 1661, when he was 21, he testified in a court case between Josias Fendall and Mary Vanderdunk who married Hugh O'Neale.

In 1661-1663 he was involved in land exchanges for land in Charles County including Johnson's Town, Moore Towne, and Mate's Dale,

His first wife was named Alice (Ales). They married before October, 1662 when they assigned land to William Codwell.

In 1664 he was constable and the

Charles County Court ordered that Agnes Taylor be by the Constable Richard Morris and at the whipping post in the public view given 20 lashes on her bare back for having played the whore, having been before accused of the like crime.

On September 12 1667 Richard's son was born, died and buried.

In 1668 he patented Morris His Hope.

In 1671 and 1672 he registered James Piper, age 11 and William Kekley, age 10, as servants In 1676 he registered Annas Morris, age 18, as a servant

In 1679, Richard Smoote. Jr. (1663 - 1734) chose Richard as his guardian.

He married Penelope Theobald. Their children and life together are described in detail in the section on Penelope and Richard Morris.

Richard Morris died in 1686.

Fendall's Rebellion
In March, 1660 Josias Fendall attempted to overthrow the proprietary government of Maryland. It was a bloodless coup.

Planter is an archaic term for a settler. Plantation was a method of colonization where settlers were "planted" abroad. A plantation is also the kind of large farm that was the economical basis of many American Colonies and owners of these farms were also called planters.

Charles County is in south central Maryland and was created in 1658. The first settlers were mainly English tobacco planters, their indentured servants and enslaved people. Many of of the settlers were Roman Catholic. The county, as originally laid out, also included parts of present day Calvert, Prince George's and St. Mary's Counties.

The Potomac River flows into the Chesapeake Bay and is about 405 miles long.

 

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Bee it knowne unto all men by thees Presants that I Gils Tornkins [Giles Tomkins, Sr.] doe assigne and make over from mee my heirs unto John Morris his heirs or Assignes all my right and titell of this Pattent for ever as witnes my hand
this 17th of March A Dni 1660
Giles A Tornkins his marke.
Test Georg Newman, Walter Hall.
And acknowledged to the sayd Morris now in open Court:

When a mark is used for a signature, the person was probably illiterate, but may not have been able to sign because of age or infirmity.

 
 
 

Colonial Maryland used the headright system to encourage settlement. Land was granted to anyone who would pay fthe transportation costs of a laborer.

Johnson's Towne
from Charles County Court, Liber B
Patent to Daniel Johnson and Richard Morris who have due to them 700 acres of land;
450 by assignment from the rights of William Bouls
and 250 by right of assignment from Heugh Neale, Thomas Jarvis, William Codwell, Margery Codwell, William Craffort a parcel of land called Johnson's Towne on the north side of the Potomac River and the west side of the main fresh of the Wicokomeco River adjoining the land laid out for John Clarke;
/s/ Philip Calvert
Endorsement on back: Richard Maurise (mark);
wit. William Marshall (mark), Samuell Dobson

A land patent is an exclusive land grant made by the government. The certificate that grants the land rights is also called first-title deed and final certificate. In the United States, all land can be traced back to the original land patent.

Lord Baltimore, Cecil Calvert (1605 -1675), 2nd Baron Baltimore was the first governor of Maryland.
Phillip Calvert (1626–1682), was the 5th governor from 1660 to1665.
Charles Calvert (1637 – 1715), 3rd Baron Baltimore inherited the colony in 1675.
The first European settlements in Maryland were made in 1634 when English settlers created a permanent colony.
 
 
 

Patent due Daniell Johnson and Richard Morris, planters, have due to them 750 acres of land by assignment from Hewgh Neale, Thomas Garvise, William Codwell, Margery Codwell, William Crafford; a parcel of land called Johnson's Towne lying on the north side of the Potomac River and the west side of the main fresh of Wicokomeco River adjoining land formerly laid out to John Clarke, Gent.
/s/ Philip Calvert

 
 
 
 

9 Oct 1662; Richard Morris and Ales Morris, his wife, assign title in 350 acres of Johnson's Towne to William Codwell
/s/ Richard Morris (mark);
wit. William Marshall, Samuell Dobson

 
 
 
 

4 Nov 1662; Daniell Johnson and Richard Morris assigned rights to 100 acres of land to William Codwell

 
 
 
 

5 Nov 1662; Assignment of Johnson's Towne to William Codwell acknowledged in open court by Richard and Ales Maurise

 
 
 
 

Moore Towne
Charles County Court, Liber B
Patent: Daniell Johnson and Richard Morris, planters, have due to them 200 acres of land by assignment for transporting several person; a parcel of land called Moore Townebounded by John Clarke
/s/ Philip Calvert

Planter is an archaic term for a settler. Plantation was a method of colonization where settlers were "planted" abroad. A plantation is also the kind of large farm that was the economical basis of many American Colonies and owners of these farms were also called planters.

 
 
 
 

Dec 1662; Endorsement: Daniell Johnson assigns his rights in Moore Towne to Richard Maurise
/s/ Daniell Johnson;
wit. George Thompson

 
 
 
 

4 Jan 1663
Richard Morrise; assgns his rights in Moore Towne to Alexander Smith
/s/ Richard Morris;
wit. George Thompson

 
 
 
 

Mate's Dale
Charles County Court, Liber B
10 Jul 1663; Patent to Daniell Johnson and Richard Morrise; due them 100 acres for transportation of 2 persons a parcel of land called Mates Dale lying on the west side of Wicokomeco River and Zachary Swamp and adjoining 200 acres formerly laid out for them
/s/ Charles Calvert

 
 
 
 

4 Jan 1663; Endorsement on back; Daniell Johnson and wife Elisabeth Johnson assign their rights in Mates Dale to Richard Morrise
/s/ Daniell Johnson, Elisabeth Johnson (mark)

 
 
 
 

4 Jan 1663; Richard Morris assigns rights in Mates Dale to Alexander Smith
/s/ Richard Morris

 
 
 
 

Charles County Court, Liber B
12 Jan 1664
Charles County Court ordered that Agnes Taylor be by the Constable Richard Morris and at the whipping post in the public view given 20 lashes on her bare back for having played the whore, having been before accused of the like crime.

 
 
 
 

Charles County Court (Land Records)
12 Sep 1667;
a son of Richard Morris was born.20 Sep 1667;
a son of Richard Morris, b. 12 Sep 1667 was bur.

 
 
 
 

Morris His Hope
Charles County Land Records
, Liber C#2,
[patent] dated 15 May 1668
to Richard Morris for
75 acres called
Morris His Hope
in the Manor of Chaptico.

 
 
 
 

Recorded at the request of Cornelius White:
8 Aug 1705;
Indenture from Richard Morris, planter, son and heir of Richard Morris, planter, dec'd, to Cornelius White, Gent.;
for 5s and other considerations; a tract called Morris, His Hope;
now in the possession of Corneius White formerly in tenure of John Long and others;
on the west side of Budds Creek, formerly in St. Mary's Co.;
bounded by John Vawdry; laid out for 75 acres
signed - Richard Morris
wit. - Wm. Harbert, Walter Story
ack. in open court 9 Sep 1707
Cornelius White paid alienation on 75 acres.

 
 
 
 

Charles County Court (Land Records), Liber E

1671/2; James Piper, age 11, servant of Richard Morris
1672; William Kekley, age 10, servant of Richard Morris

Bound children were indentured servants whose master provided training in a craft, board, lodging, and clothes for seven years or until the child came of age.


 
     
 

Charles County Court (Land Records), Liber F

1676; Annas Morris, age 18, servant of Richard Morris

 
 
 
 

Charles County Court Land Records Sep 1672;

Indenture from Richard Morris, St. Mary's Co., planter, to Alexander Smith;
for 3,000# of tobacco;
a parcel of land on the west side of Wicomico fresh adjoining land of William Barton, Jr. formerly sold by Daniel Johnson, dec'd, to Richard Morris;
bounded by John Clark;
laid out for 200 acres
/s/ Rich Morris;
wit. Meverall Hulse, Jonathan Marlow (mark)

 
 
 
 

Charles County Court (Land Records)
1679; Richard Smoote; s/o Richard, dec'd; chose Richard Morris as guardian.

 
 
 
 

Maryland Calendar of Wills: Volume 2
Morris, Richard, Chas. Co.
22nd Jan. 1685
14th May, 1686.
To wife Penelope, extx., personalty.
To child., viz., Richard, Christopher, Mary, and Penelope, personalty.
Test: Jas. Lemaire, Thos. Rigg, Edw. Potter.

Personal property can be called personalty (personality), goods, chattels, articles, or movable property. It includes both animate or inanimate property.