Everingham Family History Public Record Reprint

James Everingham
Monmouth Court of Common Pleas
New Jersey, March 21, 1770

New Jersey, Monmouth... By order of the Honourable John Anderson, John Taylor and John Wardell, James Lawrence Esqrs, four of the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas for the said County, that James Everingham,

Prisoner for Debt, in said Goal, was this twenty-first day of March, 1770, qualified to the Schedule of his Estate, pursuant to the late Act of Assembly, An Act for the Relief of Insolvent Debtors, made this present tenth year of his Majesty's reign.

  • Now this is to give notice to the creditors of said debtor, that they be together at the Court House of said County, on the 25th day of April next, to show cause, if they have, why the said debtor's Estate should not be assigned for the use of his creditors, and his body discharged from his confinement pursuant to said Act.

    Monmouth Goal, March 21, 1770
    Note; the word "Goal" is GAOL Old English word for Jail.

    N.Y. Journal or General Advertiser, No.1422, April 5, 1770

    also of note:... (From colonial court of common pleas records 1771) "The Judges of the court of common pleas for said county (Monmouth),
    Thomas Stricklan, John Vanderippe, Mathew Woolfe, Abraham Myer, Herman Gibertson, James Everingham, Daniel Robins, Charles Williams and Ann Jones, prisoners for debt in the goal of said county, having been duly sworn and filed their schedules, pursuant to the late act of assembly of said province, entitled, An Act for the relief of insolvent debtors, made in the tenth year of his Majesty's reign, and in the year of our lord 1769.
    Now these are to give notice to the creditors of said debtors, that they be together at the court house of said county, on the sixteenth day of December Annoque Domini 1771, to show cause before the said judges, if any they have, why the said prisoners should not be discharged from their confinement, pursuant to the said act."



    By modern standards, there is no doubt that England's eighteenth century laws were unjust regarding the lower classes. Under old English law, a person could be arrested as an insolvent debtor for an unpaid obligation of only a few shillings.

    Although the colonists, under England's tight control, were unable to make major changes to the laws, they did manage to make reforms in some of England's legal procedures. One of those reforms pertained to insolvent debtors. It did not take a great deal of legal knowledge to realize if the person was confined in jail, he or she could not earn money to pay their creditors.

    "An Act Abolishing imprisonment for Debt," was not approved until February 19, 1830, constituted the first major change to the colonial insolvent debtor laws. Henceforth, no person could be confined in jail for debt, except in cases of fraud.

    research summary by Kevin Everingham, 2014

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