Slander and a hog in a barrel

In Chester County in 1686 Mouns Peterson sued Hans Urin for slander. The witnesses presented a damning picture of Urin. Thomas Bowles of Tinicum Island declared that Urin came among his carpenters and stole his nails and gave the carpenters a pot of rum not to call him a thief. (Bowles himself was not a spotless character. The following year he was in court himself for allowing people to be drunk at his house.)

Bowles went on to say that, coming some time after to Tinicum, Urin spread the report that Mouns Peterson had gotten all his estate by privateering and murdering of men and that Bowles should have a care of him. Robert Brothers being attested declared the same. Samuel Weight added that Urin offered him two pigs to stop his evidence.

The jury found for Peterson with twenty shillings damage and plus the cost of the court suit.

Urin must have held a grudge, since the next year he was an accomplice when Morton Mortenson, Mouns Peterson’s son, beat his father bloody with a paddle. Mortenson and Peterson were both neighbors of Urin.

In 1694 Urin sued Mounce Staker, another of his neighbors, for defamation, when Staker called him a rogue and a hog thief. Plenty of witnesses heard Staker say it. It stemmed from an incident when Urin was constable. Henry Taton said that as constable Urin had taken a pig from Mounce Staker and put it in a barrel, and that Staker got a warrant against Urine, and the Justice of the Peace John Blunston ordered Urin to give the pig back to Mounce. In the defamation matter the jury found for Urin with 12d damages, a minimal amount.

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