Note: On May 6, 1684, a Benjamin Maple of Ipswich, County of Suffolk, England, aged 21, signed an indenture to John Smith, merchant of London, for service of 4 years as a husbandman on arrival in Barbados. He was to be transported in the vessel "Friendshipp". commanded by Captain William Bodding, The original, known as a plantation indenture, is in the keeping of the Greater London Record Office (Middlesex Records). Queen Anne's gate buildings, Dartmouth Street, London SW1. Benjamin Maplin & Elizabeth Lee solemnized their marriage at the house of Thomas Revell in the County of Burlington June 4, 1695, before Tho, Revell Justice and these witnesses: Tindall Math, Champion, Robert Chapman, Robert Pearson, Hugh Hutchin, William Wardell, Willm Spenser, John Dickson, Roberta Chapman, Eliz Bingham & Alice Bingham. The next record we have of Benjamin Maple is a deed of March 18, 1688-9 by Jeremiah Base and Thomas Revell, as agents of the West Jersey Society, to a group of men, all of Maidenhead, Burlington County, for 100 acres there, of the society's 15,000 acre tract above the Falls of Delaware, to be used for a meeting house, burying ground and schoolhouse. Among those listed is "Benjamin Maple" the name of the town of Maidenhead was changed to Lawrenceville in 1816, by act of the NJ Legislature, to honor Captain James Lawrence, of Burlington, NJ, who in 1813, while commanding the Frigate Hornet "captured the British Ship "Peacock", for which action he was promoted to Captain and given command of the Frigate "Chesapeake." He engaged the British Ship "Shannon" of Boston Harbor, was defeated and while lying mortally wounded enjoined "Don't give up the Ship." He died June 5, 1813. The will of Thomas Smith of Maindenhead, Burlington County, was made October 8, 1702. An inventory of the estate dated November 14, 1702 mentions "debts due from Benjamin Maple." The next notice we have of Benjamin Maple is the record of a subscribed to the formation of a new County. Benjamin Maple of New Brunswick, County of Middlesex, Province of New Jersey, Weaver made his will May 13, 1727. The will was proved September 8, 1727. His wife Elizabeth was named executor. Children named were his son Benjamin, eldest daughter Ruth Ashley and youngest daughter Catherine Mellot (Marlett). He made a bequest to his "Son-in-Law" David Lee, who was also named co-executor. Witnesses were David Bayles, Rugne Ronnion and Thomas Broderick. His plantation of 100 acres together with house and barn was left for the use of his widow Elizabeth and on her demise to go to his son Benjamin. The will was signed by mark, a sort of vertical cross placed next to a dot that was, no doubt, made by the scribe to show him where to place his mark and is very similar to the mark used to sign the plantation indenture. When a hill was filed for probate, it was usual for an inventory of the deceased's personal estate to be ordered taken. However, no inventory is listed in the NJ archives. That he was a Weaver reinforces the belief that he is the Benjamin Maple of the 1684 indenture. Ipswich was an important center for the wool and cloth trade in the 14th and 15th centuries. This was later superseded by sailcloth manufacture. Weaving was still a cottage industry until the middle of the 18th Century and Benjamin probably learned his craft as a youth. A period of eleven years elapsed between signing the indenture and his marriage. After serving 4 years of indentured service. seven years remain unaccounted for. These were likely spent accumulating funds for the purchase of land and construction of a home, before he could afford to marry. The reason for the misspelling of his surname in the marriage record is not known.
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