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East Nottingham Township History

A Proposal by the Members of the East Nottingham Township Historical Commission

Concerning the Adoption of May 27,1718 of the Date of Origin of

East Nottingham Township

Submitted May 10,2005 at the Meeting of Supervisors

Two of the duties assigned to the members of the East Nottingham Township Historical Commission (ENTHC) are to "Research the history of the Township from the native Americans to the present day " and "Prepare written documentation recording the history of the Township".

While it is true that East and West Nottingham Townships trace their origins back to the "Nottingham Lotts" of late 1701, these "Lotts" were never recognized as such as a legal entity. The earliest extant tax record for Chester County is that of 1715 and New Garden the nearest identified township. It is unclear where, or if, the Nottingham residents paid their taxes that year. The next extant tax list does not occur until 1718. It was not until February 28,1715/16 (1715 old calendar,1716 new calendar) that the area from the Nottingham Lots north to New Garden Township was recognized as Nottingham Township. On this date, at the Quarter Session of Chester County (held February, May, August and November each year), Mercer Brown was designated the first constable of "Notingham". The name Nottingham does not appear in earlier records. Mercer Brown continued as constable until August 27,1717 when replaced by John Bayls (Beals,Bales). John Bayls continued until the Quarter Session meeting of May 27,1718.

Quarter Session records of May 27,1718 clearly indicate that John Bayls was expected to continue as constable of "Notingham" Township as his name is written in as such. However, the name of John Bayls is crossed out and above is written in Samuel Littler followed by the word East and below is written Hugh Sidwell followed by the word west. It appears that at this meeting some sort of request was brought forth calling for separate constables and recognition for the Townships of East and West Nottingham to assume separate identities. Nothing in the records indicates a reason for the separate designation. In the same year the two townships are separated in the tax lists and have continued as such to this date. Historical records indicate a possible division in the Nottingham Quaker Meeting during 1718 with recognition of West Nottingham Meeting in early 1719 (History of Chester County by Cope and Futhey). Additional research is needed on this possibility.

Throughout at least the next five years the constables were drawn from the Calvert (East Nottingham) and Rising Sun (West Nottingham) regions.

Chester County currently identifies the date of origin for East and West Nottingham Townships as 1718 based solely on their first appearance in the tax lists (County archivist). It appears that something occurred at the May 27,1718 meeting of the Quarter Session of Chester County calling for Nottingham Township to be divided in East and West. Based upon this evidence, the members of the East Nottingham Township Historical Commission proposed to the Supervisors of East Nottingham Township that they officially adopt the date of May 27, 1718 as East Nottingham Township’s date of establishment and separation from Nottingham Township established circa February 28,1716. On May 10, 2005 The East Nottingham Township Board of Supervisors adopted May 27,1718 as the date of Establishment for the township.

Records of the Quarter Session of Chester County

List of Constables appointed leading up to East Nottingham Township’s formation

1714-1723

Compiled by Ralph Denlinger April 2005

It appears that the Nottinghams were first under jurisdiction from Kennett and then New Garden. West Nottingham was centered at that time on the Quaker meeting not far from Rising Sun, Md. and East Nottingham was centered on the area around Brick Meeting House at Calvert, Md. Most, if not all, of the Nottingham constables listed below were residents of what would now be Maryland.

Double dates in February refer to the dual dating system in effect at that time. The second year would correspond to today’s calendar. [ brackets ] indicate editor’s notes and guesses at name identification due to difficulties reading some of the handwriting.

1714 May 25 Kennett Isaac [Slow?] Josa Hearn
1714 Aug 31 Kennett Isaac Slow
1714 Nov 30 New Garden Jno Renfro
1714/15 Feb 22 New Garden Jno Renfro Thos Garnet
1715 Jun 20 New Garden Jno Renfro Wm Flower
1715 Aug 30 New Garden Thomas Garnet
1715 Nov 29 New Garden Thomas Garnet absent
1715/16 Feb 28 Nottingham Mercer Brown
[First mention of Nottingham as a Township.]
1716 May 29 Nottingham Mercer Brown
1716 Aug 28 Nottingham Mercer Brown
1716 Nov 27 Nottingham Mercer Brown
1716/17 Feb 26 Nottingham Mercer Brown
1717 May 28 Nottingham Mercer Brown
1717 Aug 27 Nottingham Mercer Brown John [Bayley?]
1717 Nov 26 Nottingham Jno Bayls [Bales,Beals]
1717/18 Feb 25 Nottingham Jno Bayls
1718 May 27 East Nottingham Jno Bayls Samuel Littler
West Nottingham High Sidwell
[First mention of East and West Nottingham. "East and West" were added to left of Nottingham as if a correction or update. John Bayls name was crossed out and replaced with Samuel Littler and Hugh Sidwell.]
1718 Aug 26 East Nottingham Samuel Littler
West Nottingham Hugh Sidwell
1718 Nov 25 East Nottingham Samuel Littler
West Nottingham Hugh Sidwell (fined for some reason)
1718/19 Feb 24 East Nottingham Samuel Littler Benjamin Chandler [Chandlee?]
West Nottingham Hugh Sidwell William Brown
1719 May 26 East Nottingham Benjamin Chandler
West Nottingham William Brown Jr
1719 Aug 25 East Nottingham Benjamin Chandler Henry Reynolds
West Nottingham William Brown Jr John [Bayles]
1719 Nov 24 East Nottingham Benjamin Chandler
West Nottingham William Brown
1719/20 Feb 23 East Nottingham Benjamin Chandler Wm Hugg
West Nottingham William Brown Jos [Rich]
1720 May 31 East Nottingham Wm Hugg
West Nottingham Jos [Rich]
1720 Aug 30 East Nottingham Wm Hugg
West Nottingham Jos [Rich]
1720 Nov 30 East Nottingham Wm Hugg
West Nottingham Jos [Rich]
1720/21 Feb 28 East Nottingham Wm Hugg
West Nottingham Jos [Rich]
1721 May 30 East Nottingham John Churchman
West Nottingham Samuel [Hinley]
1721 Aug 29 East Nottingham John Churchman
West Nottingham Samuel [Hinley]
1721 Nov 28 East Nottingham John Churchman
West Nottingham Samuel [Hinley]
1721/22 Feb 27 East Nottingham John Churchman
West Nottingham Samuel [Hinley]
1722 May 29 East Nottingham Aaron Coppock
West Nottingham John [Sidell] [Sidwell?]
1722 Aug 28 East Nottingham Aaron Coppock
West Nottingham John [Sidell] [Sidwell?]
1722 Nov 27 East Nottingham Aaron Coppock
West Nottingham John [Sudle] [Sidwell?]
1722/23 Feb 26 East Nottingham Aaron Coppock
West Nottingham John [Sudle] [Sidwell?]
1723 May 28 East Nottingham William Bealey [Bayley?]
West Nottingham Jeremiah Brown
Record book of the Quarter Sessions ends at this point.