m. 29 Mar 1623
Facts and Events
Plymouth Colony: Its History and People 1620-1691 Part Two: Topical Narratives Chapter 12: Morality and Sex
xxx As can be seen from the above, the penalties [for fornication] were decreasing as the number of cases increased. And in fact, when there was a previous contract of marriage between the accused couple, the penalty was often less. When the father was unknown, it was customary for midwives at the time of childbirth to get the mother in her weakness to disclose the name of the father. Efforts were made to get the father to marry the mother, and this was not just a matter of morals, but also of economics, so as to prevent the mother and child from becoming public charges. Such a marriage did not always take place, though, as when Elizabeth Warren, a granddaughter of Mayflower passenger Richard Warren, accused Joseph Doty, a son of Mayflower passenger Edward Doty, of fathering her child. Doty put up a bond of 80 on 27 October 1674 to ensure his answering the charges, but no more appears about it in the records; however, Doty was apparently married at the time, and Elizabeth Warren later married William Green. Doty married Deborah Ellis, whose parents, Lt. John Ellis and Elizabeth Freeman, daughter of Sandwich's leading citizen, Edmond Freeman, are mentioned above as being fined themselves for fornication before marriage. In a similar case, Elizabeth Soule, daughter of Mayflower passenger George Soule, and Nathaniel Church, grandson of Mayflower passenger Richard Warren, were fined on 3 March 1662/63 5 for fornication, and on 5 October 1663 Elizabeth Soule sued Nathaniel Church for 200 for failing to marry [p.196] her, with the court awarding her 10. On 2 July 1667 Elizabeth was in court again "for comitting fornication the second time," and this time she was sentenced to suffer corporal punishment by being whipped at the post.