Southampton County Chancery Papers
Pierce’s Heirs vs Pierce, Widow 9/1794
To the worshipful the court of Southampton county in chancery/ sitting, Humbly complaining sheweth unto your worships your/ orators Michael Cobb and Martha his wife, (Spencer Pierce/ (Matthew Pierce), ^Betsy Pierce, Nathaniel Pierce, Peter Pierce, & Bolton / Pierce by Samuel Calvert — their guardian & near/ friend appointed by this court for the express purpose of carrying / into effect the premises) that sometime on or about the / ___ day of ___ in the year of our Lord 1792 a certain Rice Bolton Pierce of this county departed this life intestate/ being seised & possessed at the time of his death of a considerable/ estate both real & personal – Your orators further shew/ that they are the legal heirs & representatives of the decd/ & that they have often applied to Elizabeth Pierce the widow / & relict of the sd decedent to have her thirds in the lands &/ slaves of her sd. husband set apart & alotted her, in order that/ your orators might have a fair & equal distribution of/ the residues between them. – But so it may / it please your worships that the sd. Elizabeth Pierce the / widow & relict of the sd. Rice Bolton Pierce [torn]/ and considering with divers other (whose names when lik [torn]/ ye orators pray may be made defendant to this their bill with of [torn]/ to charge them) hitherto hath refused to comply with [torn]/ ye orators most reasonable request; pretending [torn]/ out in … that your oratores are not entitled to [torn]/ part of the lands & slaves of her late husband will [torn]/ decease — In tender consideration whereof, & [torn]/ much … orators are properly relievable in a court [torn]/ equity … the and therefore that the sd. Elizabeth / may … oath full true & perfect and [torn]/
make to all & singular the allegations of this bill & as fully as/ if the same were repeated & interrogated, but more especially/ whether ye orators are not the legal heirs & representatives of / the sd. Rice Bolten Pierce , did he not die seised & possesed/ of a considerable estate both real and personal & that she/ not refused to take or accept her thirds. had that his / worshipful court may order & secure some fit & able/ persons to alot & set apart her thirds in the lands & slaves/ of which her sd. husband died seized & possessed, & the residue/ of the sd. lands & slaves to be equally divided among your orators or make any further or other decree as my seem/ just & right, is the prayer of sd. orators, & they will/ ever pray &c —
The answer of Elizabeth Pierce widow & relict of Rice/ Bolton Pierce decd. to the bill of complaint of Michael/ Cobb and Martha his wife, (Spencer Pierce, Matthew Pierce/ Betsy Pierce, Mathaniel Pierce, Peter Pierce & Bolton/ Pierce, exhibited against her. This defendant now & at all / times hereafter saving & reserving to herself all & all manner / use of benefit & advantage to the many untruths, imperfec=/ tions, & indeficiences in the complainants sd bill …/ complaint contains, for … thereto, or to …./ she is advised in material for her to make answer unto/ answeres & says, That true it is she is the widow & relict/ of Rice Bolton Pierce decd., & he died somtime/ on or about the time in complainants bill mentioned/ & that he was seised & possessed of a considerable estate/ both real & personal. – This defendant denies/ all combination or that she has any objection/ to have her thirds in the lands & slaves …/set apart to her…. And if there is any other [torn]/ matter or thing in the complainants sd. bill [torn]/ & not answered or denied the respondent is igno [torn]/ of, & pray to have dismissed with her reaso [torn]/ … this be half sustained.
At a court of quarter session held for the county of Southampton/ the 14th day of March 1794
Michael Cobb and Martha his wife, & Spencer Pierce/ Elizabeth Pierce Nath. Pierce Peter Pierce & Bolton/ Pierce (which sd. Spencer Elizabeth Nath. Peter & Bolton/ are under the age of 21 years) by Saml. Calvert their guardian
Elizabeth Pierce widow & relict of Rice B. Pierce decd.
This cause being docketed by consent of the parties/ was this day heard on the bill of the complainants & answer of the / defendant On consideration whereof it is decreed & ordered/ (Saml. Calvert being first apponted guardian to the complainants who/ are infants) that Thomas Gray Saml. Kello Joseph Vick & / Matthew Calvert or any three of them do allot assign & set apart/ the dower of the defendant Elizabeth in the lands & slaves whereof/ Rice Bolton Pierce died seized & possessed and make an equal division of the remaining land and slaves among the compl./ & make report in due order to a final decree.
In obedience to an order of the worshipful court of Southampton/ hereto annexed We the subscribers have alloted and set apart/ the dower of Elizabeth Pierce the widow of Rice B. Pierce decd./ in the slaves of the sd. Rice B. Pierce and divided the remaining / slaves amng the complainants in the following manner
Viz. To Mrs. Pierce her dower (10 slaves) Will Nanny & her child/ Dinah, Jenny, Jacob, Eve, Gaby, Slyvia & Charlotte valued to pds 291..13.4/ & to receive from the complainants pds 1..17.1 1/4 } 293..10.5
To Spencer Pierce negroes Ned & Milbe valued to pds 91..10/ & to receive pds 6..7.1/2 } 97..17.1/2
Michael Cobb & Martha his wife Sampson & Mason valued to pds 107..10/ & to pay 9..12.11 1/2 } 97..17.1/2
Elizabeth Pierce Sam and Bob valued to 87..10/ & to receive 10..7.1/2 } 97..17.1/2
Nath. Pierce Rachael & Adam valued 90/ & to receive 7..7..1/2 } 97..17.1/2
Peter Pierce Betty her child Annita & Ned valued to 102..10/ & to pay 4..12.1 1/2 } 97..17.1/2
Bolton Pierce Easter & Cook valued to 110 / & to pay 12..2.11 1/2 } 97..17.1/2
We further report that after repeated attempts to divide / the lands among the complainants & lay off the dower of / defendant We have not been able to effect owing to the / difficulties atending the diveision & the evidend injustices that/ some of the partis would receive
Southampton May 1794 Sam Kello, Ja. Vick, Matt. Calvert
In obedience to an interlocutary decree passed South-/ ampton August court 1794. We have divided the / land & slaves belonging to the estate of Rice Bolton/ Pierce deceased in the following manner to wit:/ To Bolton Pierce the tract of land known by the name/ of “Calthorpe’s” containing 228 acres & negroe Jacob/ & he to receive twenty one pounds & 4d: – to Spencer/ Peirce the tract of land known the name of/ the “Home tract” containing 226 acres & negro Will/ & he pay seventy nine pound nineteen shilings/ & 8d: – To Elizabeth Peirce the tract of land known / by the name “Spivey’s” & negros Jimmy & Sylvia/ & she receive sixty four pounds & 4d:- / To Nathanial Pierce the tract of land known by/ the name of “North side of Chappels” containing/ 163 acres ^ two negroes Nanny & Dinah & he pays two pounds two shillings & 8d:/ To Michael Cobb the tract of land known by the name / of “the remainder of Chappels” containing 163 & negro/ Eve & pays two pounds two shilings & 8d: – To/ Peter Pierce the tract of land known by the name/ of “Simmon’s tract” containing 162 acres & negros/ Gaby & Charlotte & he to pay fifteen shillings & 8d. Given under our hands this first day of September/ in the year of Christ 1794
Sam Calvert, Tho. Butts, William Willons