An American Family History

Robert Robins Sources


from Archives of Maryland, Volume 4, Court and Testamentary Business, 1649-50. Page 535 January 8 1649.

Robert Robins aged 31 yeares or there abouts at the request of Lt Willm Evans the Attorney of Anne Tompson [Thompson] deposed saith, that this will was signed and sealed by Willm Tompson afore his death in this deponts presence And that it is the onely true Will of the said Willm Tompson

And further that the Acknowledgmt of the said Willm Tompson touching the Plantacõn and bearing date with the foresaid Will is the just Acknowledgmt of the said Wm Tompson as afore And further hee saith not Robert Robins
Jurat coram me [sworn before me]
Wille Bretton

A deponent (dept, dpnt) gives testimony under oat.


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.

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

from Archives of Maryland; Court and Testamentary Business, 1657; Liber B; No. 3. p. 276;

At a Provinciall Court held at Putuxent the 14th of may [16]57

William Hinson [Hanson] Sworne and Examined in open Court aged 28 or thereabouts,

Saith That he this depont being in William Marshalls field, heard Robert Robins Say to William Herde,

Herde you Rogue, you Swived your Sister from tree, to tree, and I will have you to the Court

Whereupon Herde made answer

I will See her hang'd before I Come to Court about her,

And farther Saith not
William I Hinson

The Deposition of William Marshall aged fifty yeares or thereabouts Sworne & Examined in open Court Saith,

That in Easter Weeke he this Depont being at Pukewaxen at Goodman Boells [Edward Bowles] where Robert Robins was,

he this Depont Said to the Said Robert Robins that it was a pityfull thing for him and his wife to live Soe,

whereupon the Said Robins made reply;

what would you have me doe, for She is a Common whore, and I have Good Wittness that William Herde, rid her from Stump to Stump,

farther this Dept Sayth

tht ffrancis Pope tooke Samll Parker, ? of his wife
& further Saith not
William X [his mark] Marshall

Thomas Michell aged 43 years or thereabout Sworne and Examined in open Court Saith,

That in June 1655 being at the house of Robert Robins in Company with Some others, there fell a difference betwixt the wife of Robert Robins, and Robert Hunley, whereupon Robert Robins was angry with his wife,

I this Depont went away from the house and left them, and went to Robert Hunleys house, and presently after

She Came over with her Smoke Sleeve torne to her Shoulders, quite off, Crying,

So Robert Robins Came to her & desired her to go home:

She made him answer

She would not She would dye first,

with that he tooke up a Tobacco Stick and gave her a blow or two, but Still She Said the Same, and that She would be revenged of the Said Hunley
and farther Saith not,
Tho: Michell

William Hinson aged 28 yeares or thereabout, Sworne and Examined in open Court, Saith That he this Deponent did hear Elizabeth Robins Say to her husband Robert Robins, that he Spent his meanes upon whores, and that She Came to take Share with him, and Called him Rogue and Rascall,
And farther Saith not
William X [his mark] Hinson

A society's legal system reveals much about it. A broad spectrum of behavior was considered criminal in Colonial Maryland and punishment was harsh.

Goodman was a courtesy title before the surname of a man not of noble and Goodwife or Goody was the courtesy title for a married woman not of noble birth.

Maryland was established with religious freedom for Catholics. The colonial economy was based on tobacco cultivated by Africans who had been enslaved.

from Archives of Maryland, Volume 10, Court and Testamentary Business, 1657. Page 502 Liber B, No. 3, p. 273

Rob: Robns-Elizab. Rob:

Whereas Elizabeth Robins arrested to this Court her husband Robert Robins in an Action of the Case, and the Said Robins desiring a Reference untill the next Generall Court, in regard he had not Sufficient Evidence for his defence,

The Court hath ordered that the Cause depending be referred untill the next Generall Court

and at the request of the Said Robins doth hereby Authorize mr John Hatch to take the Depositions of Such Wittnesses, as Shall be Supened before him in the premisses,

and the plft & Defendt to have Notice, that they may if they will be present at the Examinacõns of Such Wittnesses, wch the Consent of both plft & def t are appointed, to be heard before the Sd mr Hatch the 28th of this Instant [the current month] may.

The spelling cõn is the same as tion.

Mister ( Mr.) was derived from master and Mrs. and Miss were derived from mistress. They indicated people of superior social status in colonial America.

A plaintiff (plt, plte, plt) or orator is the person who brings a case against another.
A defendant (def tf) is a person accused of a crime or someone challenged in a civil case.

The first European settlements in Maryland were made in 1634 when English settlers created a permanent colony.

Alcohol played a significant role in the daily lives of colonists; even children. They feared polluted water and believed in alcohol's nourishing and medicinal properties.

Provincial Court Proceedings, 1658

Thomas Wills examined sayth uppon Oath,

That sometime in May last, Hee this Dept being aboard Mr Hunnifords Vessell, Elizabeth the Wife of Robt Robins came on board, wth some poeple of New-Towne (as this Dept thinketh) two or three howers before night,

& there stayd drinking in the Vessel all tht night. The foresd Hunniford assigning her his Cabbin to lye in, & did lye downe privately by her, for the space of halfe an howre,

And whilst they were thus together This Dept heard the sd Elizabeth utter words to this effect. Bidding Mr Hunniford be quiett for Mr Wills was awake yett,
& further Sayth not
Jurat Coram me
Willm Bretton.

Tho: Wills Subpoen. (att the request of Robt Robins) to warne Christopher Goodwicker to be att the next Provinciall Court 26 Aprill to testify his knowledge Concerning the sd Robins & his Wife.

In contracts and pleadings usually people and things mentioned before are designated by the term said (sd ) for clarity. Aforesaid (afd, afsd, aforesd ) means it was already mentioned.


from Volume 10, Page 555

Whereas Robert Robins having by former Informacõn informed this Court that his wife Elizabeth Robins (who had long time lived from him the sd Robt Robins) was with Child,

And againe he the Said Robins Informing this Court, that according to order the Said Elizabeth Robins being Searcht by a Jury of women and that She is found with Child,

The Court doth order that the Sheriffe be Impowered to apprehend the Said Elizabeth Robins, and her Safely keep till She put in Sufficient Securitie to answer the information of her husband Robert Robins in march Court next and the Said Robert Robins to prosecute his Informacõn at the Court aforesaid.


Sept 1757 Elizab: Rob: and Robert Robins deft

Whereas Elizabeth Robins had a reference in a Suit depending between her as plantiff and her husband Robt Robins defendant, unto this Court upon the mocõn & affirmation of William Whittell who testifyeth to the Court that the Said Elizabeth Robins is So Sicke that She Cannot appeare at this present Court,

The Court doth order that the Suit depending be referr'd unto the next Provinciall Court.


from Volume 41, Page 20 Provincial Court Proceedings, 1657-8; Lib. B. No. 3 p. 384

Proprietary v. Robins

We whose Names are underwritten according to our oathes taken by mr Lawson, and by an order of the last Court to Search the body of Elizabeth Robins do return our opinions and Answer The Jury of women upon Elizabeth Robins

We found the Said Elizabeth in a very Sad Condition and in a Condition not like to other women, & Confessed that She had twice taken Savin [an herb made with juniper];

once boyled in milk and the other time Strayned through a Cloath,

and at the taking thereof not Supposing herself with Child as She Sayeth, takeing it for wormes not knowing the Vertue thereof any other wayes,

farther Confessed that She Supposeth her Self to have a dead Child within her.

and if a Child, that the true begetter of it was her husband Robert Robins.
Signum Mary X Wright
Signum Margaret M Banks
Signum Ann A Smith
Signum Darcos D Lawson
Signum Barbara Johnson
Signum Jane X Robinson


from Charles County Court Proceedings, 1658-1662, Volume 53, Page 4 At A Countie Court Held at Humpherie Atwikses the 4th of June Ad 1658;

Elisabeth Robins Plt: Robert Robins Deft;

petitioneth the court that she may have privilige to choose an Aturnie to pleade her cause which was granted her

and she not finding nor naming any Aturnie the court proceeded

and Robin Robins housband to the said Elisabeth Robins taxeth her with adulterie and divers depositions biing read concerning the said buisnes which doe not declare any such thing as she is taxed with by her sayd husband

it is thear for ordered by the Court that the sayd Robert husband to the said Elisabeth his wife that he take the sayd Elisa his wife againe, & provid for her & her childeren

and further it is ordered that in case the sayd Robert Robins shal make apeare by testimonie that shee hath formerlie confessed that the child now in her Armes was not begotten by her sayd housband but by some other

that then hee shal not bee charged either to mayntaine her or her Sayd Child


from Charles County Court Proceedings, 1658-1662; Volume 53, Page 33 Liber A, [p.39] The 18th of June Ao 1659

Robert Robins and his wife Elisabeth Robins did Come to the office of the Records of Charleses Countie and before Josias Fendall Governour and Mr John Hatch and the Clarke of the sayd office did macke this their Particular declaratione which was taken in wrighting by mee George Thompson Clarke of Charleses Countie which the sayd Robert Robins Caused to bee Recorded

I Robert Robins doe hearby disclayme my wife Elizabeth Robins forever to acknowledge her as my wife and I doe hear oblige myself and everie one from mee never to molest or trouble her any further.

I Elisabeth Robins doe hearby disclayme my husband Robert Robins forever to acknowledge him as my husband and I doe hear oblige my selfe and everie one from mee never to Molest or trooble him any further for mayntainance or any other necessaries

This to bee their owne declaration is affirmed by mee George Thompson


The spelling cõn is the same as tion.

Tobacco is a native American herb that is cultivated for its leaves which are prepared for smoking, chewing or snuff. In parts of colonial America, it was used as money. Tobacco plantations in the colonial south fueled the need for enslaving people.

In 1663
Daniel Wind
aged 21 yeares or thereabouts sworne & examined [p. 258] in a difference depending betweene Robert Robins and Richard Dod [Dodd, b. 1633] in an accõn of the Case of Trouer and Conversion sayth that

the Mare that was called Robert Robines hee faught out of the tobacco howse and that she was afterwards sadled and bridled and that Richard Dod afterwards had her into his Custody and that hee never see the Mare returne againe

& further sayth that the Mare was put up in the tobacco howse for Robert Robinses Use and the Widdow Weekes

and further sayth that Robert Robins did desire Rich. Dod to call att Capt Jenkinses for a Rope to secure the Mare,

and att prseflt Remembreth not and further sayth not—

Jno Nevill [Neville, 1612-1664] aged 50 yeares or thereabouts sworne & examined in a difference depending betweene Robert Robins and Richard Dod in an accõn of the Case of Trouer and Conuersion sayth that

hee saw a mare that was loose in the woods by Thomas Bakers fence and as they say hee had not come up wth the Mare but the Widw Weekes lent it him and to the best of this deponants sight the said Dod did endeavoure to Catch the said Mare, and the said Dod did desire John Blackwell to helpe him Catch the said Mare and the said Blackwell went after her and did turne her and they could not Catch her
and further sayth not

Sarah [Bonner] Doughlas Sworne and Examined in a difference depending betweene Robert Robins and Richard Dod in an accõn of Trouer and Conversion sayth that

ther was a discourse about the Mare att this deponts howse and that Rob: Robins asked Richard Dod whether hee would looke after the Mare and the said Dod replyed that hee would not take her up if hee see her att his Doore
and further sayth not

Elioner Morrice [Morris] aged 21 yeares or thereabouts sworne and examined in a difference depending betweene Robt Robins and Richard Dod in an accõn of trouer & Conuersion sayth that

she was a liver in Thomas Bakers howse and that she did see a Mare or a horse or some such thinge and Richard Dod went to Catch this Mare and that hee carryed 2 eares of Corne wth him to Catch the Mare but could not Catch her,

Mr Nevill asked him whose Mare it was and hee said Dod said it was Robert Robins Mare and further saith that Richard Dod did say that either Rob: Robins or the Widdw Weekes did lend it him but which of them it was this Deponant remembreth not
And further sayth not

The deposition of Edmund Lindsey Sworne this 9th ffeb: 1663 This Deponant sayth that

about 2 yeares and a halfe agoe hee Came to Mr Gerrards plantacõn att West Wood to looke after a Mare that went away from Mr ffowkes

and the Servants and Overseere there told this Deponant that they saw this Deponants Mare that hee looked after, and Rob: Robins Mare and another horse of Mrs ffowkses alitogether, and they told this deponant that the next morning they would send some with hime this Deponant and helpe him to Catch them that hee might bring them home

And the next morning goeing they prsently found them all and Robert Robins Mare was then wth them and giving her the said Robins Mare Come this depont caught her by the foretopp, but she flowng away from him and soe catcht none of them

And hee never heard or could see any of the said Mares till Aug following

and then Mr Trumane cormming to Mr ffowks formerly Mr Chandlers told this deponant that hee saw such strawed Mares att Petuxent where John Cornelius lived and happyly they may bee the Mares, this deponant enquiring after

and goeing along with Mr Truman they found the Mares there and Robert Robins Mare had a Mare ffoale wth her the Mare was a darke Bay, and the ffoale of a mouse Culler

and the mare had a little slitt or a little bitt taken of, of one of her Eares as neere as this deponant could Guesse and now remembers,

But hee this Depont brought Mr ffowkes Mare home wth hime leaving Rob: Robins Mare there and never saw her since and further this deponant sayth not

Juro Cormee
the marke of Wm Bretton
Edmund X Lindsey

The defendt Craves to know whether any of the plantiffs evidences can or doe Sweare soe positively (or rather desperately) that, that was Robert Robins Mare that hee pretends to have lent us,

and not that Mare Rob. Clarke Esq recovered of him hee the said Robins himselfe the Pretended Owner affirming it to bee his, and the very Same hee alleadged wee had of his in Our possession

The defendt likewise humbly requesteth this honble board that the plaintiffe may bee enforced to prove that wee have his mare and that wee Convert her to our owne use as hee hath declared agt Us in his declaracon

Wee humbly Conceiues Our Selves to be acquitted and by the said Robins sufficiently discharged from any Claime the said Robins hath or ever had against us for a Mare by the said Robins himselfe as more att large will appeare by the Oath of
Mr Tho: Hussey
Henry Neale and
Wm Gether [Gaither]

After much Controversie the Board thought good to impannell a Jury to take into theire Consideracõns the whole Bussiness depending betweene Rob.Robins and Richard Dod

Warrt to sherriffe to impannell a Jury ret forthwth sherriffe returnes his writt & warned
fforernan Walter Peake
John Anderton
Rob: Hendley
ffran: Riggs
Francis Armstrong
Geo: Newman
Geo: Beck with
James White
James Veitch
Rob: Chysicke
Samuell Garland


A plaintiff (plt, plte, plt) or orator is the person who brings a case against another.
A defendant (def tf) is a person accused of a crime or someone challenged in a civil case.



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