Prudence Reynolds (Clayton)

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Prudence Reynolds (Clayton)

Birthplace: Lewes (near Chichester), Sussex, England, (Present UK)
Death: Died in Chichester Township, Chester County, Province of Pennsylvania, (Present USA)
Immediate Family:

Daughter of William Clayton and Prudence Clayton
Wife of Henry Reynolds
Mother of Prudence Moulder; Margaret Moulder; Mary Sharp; Francis Reynolds; Deborah Reynolds and 7 others
Sister of William Mickel Clayton; Honour Browne (Clayton); Joseph Mickel Clayton; Mary Jane Beals (Clayton); Elizabeth Clayton and 2 others

Managed by: Jocelynn Elaine Oakes
Last Updated:

About Prudence Reynolds (Clayton)

Interesting story about the temper of her husband and how she was called on to clean up a beaten to death indentured servant.

Chester on the 7th day of Second month, 1685, and at that time aroused intense public feeling, due, largely, to the prominent social position of the parties litigant, as also the serious matter involved. As the case terminated, it would have been better for the plaintiff if he had never instituted the action. Henry Renolds, of Marcus Hook, who became a resident there early in 1680, was a publican, keeping a tavern in the village (at which he sold liquor with license when he could get the court's approval, but whether he obtained that permission or not he persisted in vending ardent spirits), seems to have been a man of quick temper, which would often cause him to do that which was of the utmost disadvantage to him. At the court held at the date stated, Renolds sued Justa Anderson for scandalous and defamatory words, in that he had reported that Renolds had beaten his servant-girl and the next day she died. The plaintiff showed by James Sandelands, James Brown, William Hawkes that Justa Anderson had asserted that he saw Henry Renolds "beat and kicke his maide and that he saw her alive no more." The defendant was able to show by Thomas Pearson that when he was at Renolds' house he saw the latter lift "up the tongs" and threaten to strike his maid-servant "for not eating such things as was provided for her," while Wooly Rosen, who lived just below Naaman's Creek, in New Castle County, testified that while he was at Renold's the girl asked him for some milk, which angered her master, - she was an indentured servant, - and be struck her "one Blow with a broome Staffe, asking her whether there was not vituals enough in the house?" William Cornell declared that he saw Renolds "Beate his maide with a Broome staffe and afterwards kicked her as she was by ye fire." While Robert Moulder related a marvelous story that the night the girl died "he see the maide sleeping by ye fireside, and sometimes afterward shee went to bed, after which a 'revelation' came to him that the maide would dye that night." Prudence Clayton, Renolds' mother-in-law, who, after the girl died, had been sent for "to lay her out, did not remember that shee did see any manner of hurt about her." The jury found, however, for the defendant, and the case had aroused such public attention that James Kenneily, the first coroner of whom we have record in Chester County, intervened in the matter. This we learn from the order of the court, held 1st 3d day of Seventh month, 1685, that "Execution be granted against Henry Renolds for ye Crowner's fees, charges of Inquest & taking up ye said Renolds' maide, with all other charges whatsoever thereunto belonging." The sheriff in this execution levied on an ox, and Renolds at the next court had to pay £4 10s., when "the court ordered him his Oxe againe."

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Prudence Reynolds (Clayton)'s Timeline

August 20, 1657
Lewes (near Chichester), Sussex, England, (Present UK)
November 10, 1678
Age 21
Burlington, (Present Burlington County), Province of New Jersey, (Present USA)
May 25, 1680
Age 22
Probably England
September 13, 1682
Age 25
Burlington Mm, Burlington Co., Nj
August 15, 1684
Age 26
Chester County,Pennsylvania
June 20, 1687
Age 29
Chester CO,Pennsylvania
April 16, 1689
Age 31
Chester County,Pennsylvania
May 30, 1691
Age 33
Chester, Pennsylvania
August 16, 1693
Age 35
Chicester, Chester County, Province of Pennsylvania
December 21, 1695
Age 38
Chester County,Pennsylvania