The domestic hanky-panky of Michael and Mary, while scandalous, was far from unique, in the Puritan society of mid-17th-Century Middlesex County. I’m interested in the Nevers episode mainly for the context it provides to our main story.
Hannah Gardiner’s father Richard composed a more heartfelt Bill of Costs than did John Ball. Leading off with spiritual intangibles, he made it clear that a child was born of the fornication in question, but that no bastardy bond would be required, because the child died.
|I’ll spare you Hannah’s and Nevers’ conflicting accounts of the encounter: this is, after all, a family medium. Suffice it to say that she claimed rape and he, of course, painted the whole scene (in vivid detail) as consensual. It’s all there, in the court record…|
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William and Mary
Updated Jul 2020
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