Unusual bastardy bond

Discussion in 'Illegitimacy' started by Stafford, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. Stafford

    Stafford Well-Known Member

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    To me anyway.

    " Bond of Thomas Hartopp of Keysoe, yeoman, and Sarah Fisher of Keysoe, widow, to Churchwardens and Overseers, in the sum of £40, to indenify the parish against charges for a bastard child likely to be born to Mary Coles of Keysoe, "now great with child", of which Thomas Hartopp is the reputed father. To pay 40s. for lying-in, and 1s. 6d. a week for maintenance, support, clothing, and education of the child. P48/15/9 15 May 1795"
    National Archives http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a/records.aspx?cat=004-p48&cid=11#11

    Why was Sarah Fisher required to pay? Was this an unusual occurrence?
     
  2. PeterG

    PeterG Well-Known Member

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    I think she was just a bondswoman - she was guaranteeing that Thomas Hartopp would cough up the money. She would only have to contribute if Thomas did a bunk or otherwise failed to pay up.
     
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  3. Philippa

    Philippa Always a lady.

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    Like people who pay bail now - or even "then" I imagine?
     
  4. Stafford

    Stafford Well-Known Member

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    I hadn't considered that. I thought she may have been held 'morally' responsible. Thank you Peter.
     
  5. PeterG

    PeterG Well-Known Member

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    It would to interesting to know whether Thomas and Sarah were related.

    Ah ha! On FamilySearch I can see a Sarah Hartopp marrying an Abraham Fisher in Keysoe in 1783. That's as far as I can be bothered to look but I bet Sarah was Thomas' sister.

    Presumably as a widow, she was OK to do that as widows inherited a lot of men's rights which she wouldn't have had as a married woman.
     
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