Do you know How Prides Corner got its name? In 1649 Oliver Cromwell and General Thomas Pride beheaded King Charles 1st in a pivotal event in British History. It was the death of the absolute Monarchy. After Cromwell's death the Royalists came to power again in the form of Charles the second. They proceeded to hang, draw and quarter the body of the deceased Oliver Cromwell and all his followers they could find. Thomas Pride, a signatory of Charles's Death Warrant (He also arrested one third of parliament to create the "rump parliament"), was dead himself by this time (See Prides Purge in Wikipedia) but his son, Joseph, had also been deeply involved in the revolution. Chased by Red Coats hot on his heels, he ran down the pier and jumped into the water and swam for the last longboat to the ship sailing for America. He ultimately settled in Prides Corner and thus its name.
Prides Corner is more than just a Drive in Theater, it is the American refuge of a prominent "Regicide". The site of the Grave of Joseph Pride and descendants is just above Highland Lake just off Prides Farm Road Hidden in the woods. (There are two small plots a mile apart, rapidly degrading and disappearing).
The graves in the small cemetery are now ill tended and nearly forgotten. Some headstones are missing. It is a shame, it is such a fantastic piece of true Americana, it deserves remembrance. The theater, the most prominent area landmark, should consider sponsoring some event to mark it... perhaps a Regicide celebration? Showing several movies of Oliver Cromwell on the 4th of July? We could all honk our horns when it comes to the part of cutting off the Kings head (as Oliver Cromwell put it... "with the crown on it") :) Maybe an afternoon of volunteers spritzing up the small cemetery which deserves more attention that it has had in recent years? Surely this uniquely American story should not pass eon after eon unnoticed.
Daniel C Pride
Note: Joseph Pride's Great Great Grandson appears in George Washington's 1790 census as an old man, His Great Great Great Grandsons Joseph and Thomas both appear in the 1820 census. The Names Thomas and Joseph repeat in the family history for another 200 years for obvious reasons. (How many get to hang a King :)) http://www.danielpride.com/1790Falmouth.tiff http://www.danielpride.com/1820Census.tiff See Also... Mark Noble, Lives of the Regicides George Bate, Lives of the Prime Actors and Principal Contrivers of the Murder of Charles I and on line at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Pride http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pride%27s_Purge
Altho Lewis in his 1968 work claimed the Prides arrived in 1726, a death record for an infant Joseph Pride in 1686 in the Prides Corner area conclusively refutes this. (Lewis had to do everything by hand in 1968 :)
Joseph Pride Birthdate: December 12, 1686 Death: Died 1686 in Falmouth, Cumberland Co., ME
Its probably a safe bet that if the Royalists were out to hang you you picked a pretty "out of the way" spot to hang your hat,... and probably didn't formally request any land grants from the crown for a good long time :) (Like the Casco Bay Treaty of 1726...)