READING. There is probably no family more important to the early history of Hunterdon County than this one, starting with John Reading Sr. and wife Elizabeth who first settled here about 1704-08. Their son, John Reading, Jr., served as acting Governor in 1757. John Sr. and Jr. were active surveyors throughout northwestern New Jersey.
West New Jersey In Debt
The West Jersey Assembly met in May of 1687. The minutes of their meeting are not included in Leaming and Spicer’s Grants and Concessions, so for many years, people thought they had not met at all. We know of two matters undertaken by the Assembly in 1687. The first was the problem of the Province’s debt. Despite the fact that taxes had been levied, they could not be collected. Much of this was due to the scarcity of coin, which had to come from abroad. By May of 1687 the debt had risen to £1,250.Continue reading »
The year 1687 was intense for West New Jersey and for England in matters concerning politics and management of land, but not very much for the families of Gloucester who might have been connected with Samuel Green. If your interests are limited to genealogy, then you must wait for part two of 1687. If the politics of days long gone are your fancy, then this year and the next will be of particular interest.Continue reading »
The Town of Gloucester
Over the years of researching Hunterdon County history, I have often wondered about the early settlers of Gloucester, because many of them became early settlers of or investors in Hunterdon County, chief among them John Reading and Richard Bull. Now, thanks to this blog, I have a chance to learn about this town and how Reading and Bull fit into its history.Continue reading »
Straws in the Wind
In 1686, there were a few events that boded ill for West New Jersey.
The Declaration of Indulgence, which James II issued in March (or April), was James’ attempt to get the Protestant English accustomed to having Catholics and dissident Protestants more visible in daily life. It granted amnesty to those imprisoned under laws against the practice of these religions. Following this, James granted many commissions to Catholics in the army. Seems like a good thing, but it was also a good example of how James misread his subjects, who truly feared that a strong Catholic sovereign like James might turn their country into an appendage of Catholic France.Continue reading »
The New King
On February 2, 1684, Charles II, only 54 years old, suffered a stroke. Perhaps he might have survived it, but given the medical practices of the day, he was doomed to die, which he did four days later. His brother James was now King of England.Continue reading »