What Was Found?
The pipeclay statuette was recovered in two pieces in adjoining test units
from a large filled pit feature (Feature 12) at Site 18ST704 at Naval Air
Station (NAS) Patuxent River. This statuette, 5.82 in. (14.8 cm) in height,
holds in his left hand an orb with cross, and wears the ermine robe of a
British monarch. He is dressed in early to mid-seventeenth century style
armor, and holds a short sword in his right hand.
The statuette is nearly identical to another
example, preserved from shoulders to feet, recovered from excavations
of a pit (with sixteenth
- early eighteenth century artifacts) at “Canute’s Palace” in
Southampton, England (Platt and Coleman-Smith 1975:Cat. No. 1959), although
the English piece is less than half the size (3.86 in [9.8 cm]) of the
one from Site 18ST704. Another example of similar type, but only preserved
from the just above the knees to the feet, was recovered from 1690-1730/60 “garden
soils” at Portergate, Norwich in England (Margeson 1993:219); this
fragment measures 2.09 in (5.3 cm) in height, and appears to be of similar
size to the example from NAS Patuxent River.
Unfortunately, the absence of the head from all three examples precludes
a definitive identification of the monarch. Charles I is a possible identification
because of the period of the armor (although such armor also appears
in tin-glazed depictions into the early eighteenth century). Another
possibility is that the figurine may be a royalist depiction of Charles
II, prior to his ascending the throne in 1660. It has been suggested
that had the person represented already ascended the throne he would
likely be holding the royal scepter rather than a fighting sword (Horne
1999: personal communication). Because of the Catholic faith of the Sewall
owners of the property during this period, James II also appears to be
Where Was It Found?
The context of the statuette’s recovery, Site 18ST704, lies within the
1648 patent of William Eltonhead, who was executed after the Battle of the
Severn in 1655. In 1668, Charles Calvert awarded his wife Jane Sewall Calvert
a patent for the Eltonhead Manor property under the new name of Charles’ Gift.
The estate was later in the possession of her son from her previous marriage,
Major Nicholas Sewall, until his death in 1737; he held the offices of
Secretary of the Province, a member of the Governor's Council and Deputy
Sewall ownership continued until 1836. During Sewall ownership, the property
two depredations from British forces, once during the Revolution, and once
in 1814, when the house was burned. Indications are that the house was
reconstructed around 1817. This house was demolished by the Navy in 1943.
Feature 12 - Configuration
Feature 12, the pit from which the statuette was recovered, was roughly
rectangular with an extension on its southern side. Measurements
along its longest axes reached 23.5 by 40 ft (7.2 x 12.2 m), and the
encompassed 640 sq. ft (59.5 sq. m). A 22.9% (146.6 sq. ft [13.6
sq. m]) sample of this feature was excavated. The feature appeared
ranging from 1.2 - 1.5 ft (0.37 – 0.46 m) below the modern ground
surface, with a disturbed upper layer, underlain at depths ranging
from 1.5 - 2.3 ft (0.46 – 0.70 m) below surface by intact
deposits that extended to depths of up to 5.0 ft (1.52 m) below
Feature 12 – Artifact Assemblage
The pit was filled with a large amount of artifacts. A total of 21,810
artifacts were recovered from the intact portions of Feature 12. Architectural
and kitchen-related items comprised 45.2 and 36 per cent of the assemblage,
respectively. Most important among the architectural materials were large
numbers of window leads (n = 185) and window glass (n = 1,982), suggesting
that the fill had originated from a house, and that it, in fact, represented
the remains of a house that had been demolished.
Kitchen-related items included a large amount
of faunal material, as well as high quantities of ceramics and glass.
North Devon wares were
the dominant ceramic types. North Devon gravel tempered ware represented
50 per cent of the total ceramic assemblage, North Devon thin 12.7 per
cent, and North Devon sgraffito 12.3 per cent. Twelve different vessel
types were represented, including “milk pan”, storage jar,
pipkin, chafing dish, baking pan, chamber pot, jug, bowl, porringer/cup,
and dish shapes.
Other ware types included tin-enameled earthenware, Westerwald stoneware,
Buckley-type earthenware, redware, early Chinese porcelain, a sherd of
North Italian red marbleized earthenware, and a fragment of a Merida
micaceous II olive jar (Pope 1986). Three sherds of later wares -- whiteware,
pearlware, and later porcelain-- were recovered, but by their isolation
and much later date than the rest of the assemblage, clearly were intrusive.
Glassware included ubiquitous wine bottle glass, as well as less common
table glass fragments. The dominant wine bottle forms fit with types
illustrated by Noel Hume (1976) as dating from between 1661 and 1687
and between 1688 and 1704. Case bottles and pharmaceutical phial fragments
also were recovered. Table glass included opaque white wine glass fragments,
one with a prunt, and stem fragments.
Tobacco pipe fragments were prominent in the
assemblage. A total of 379 ball clay pipe fragments (378 of English
origin and 1 possibly of
Dutch origin), and 1 red clay pipe fragment were recovered. Marked pipes
included 9 “LE” (Llewellin Evans), 1 “WE” (Wil
Evans), 1 “IP”, 1 “RS”, 1”WK”, and
1 “AA” examples. The majority of pipe stems with measurable
bore diameters fell in the 7/64 inch (55.6 per cent) and 6/64 inch (27.1
per cent) categories.
Other important finds included a bodkin, a pendant,
and a book clasp. The large copper alloy bodkin with a silver wash
4.8 in (12.5 cm) in length, and had a maximum width of approximately
0.19 in (0.5 cm) at the eye. This needle was engraved near the eye with
the initials “SS”, probably for Susanna Sewall, the wife
of Nicholas Sewall. The pendant consisted of a thin, cast piece, made
of copper, perhaps with a silver wash, and cast into a star-like shape.
This example was a one part casting depicting eight interlocking five
pointed stars joined in a circular pattern with a roughly circular attachment
disk projection, which appears to have been drilled after the piece was
cast. The book clasp consisted of a thin one-part cast copper alloy piece
in the shape of a truncated diamond flanked top and bottom by two rectangular
shapes with a curled hole for attachment to a pin. The other end had
a small flange to allow the clasp to be clipped onto the back of the
book. This example measured approximately 1.1 in (2.8 cm) in length by
approximately 0.39 in (1.0 cm) in width at its widest point.
Feature 12 Filling Date
The material recovered from the intact fill deposits appears to provide a well-defined
filling date for the feature. Excluding the intrusive sherds, the mean ceramic
date for the feature was 1708.8. The mean date for the tobacco pipe bore
diameters was 1669.37. The window leads dating to 1682 provided a terminus
post quem. A terminus ante quem was suggested by the absence of certain ceramic
types that were found elsewhere at the site but not in Feature 12 contexts.
These wares include early white stonewares, which become prevalent at Anglo-American
sites during the 1720s, Staffordshire slipware and manganese mottled ware,
which were manufactured beginning in 1685 and became prevalent during the
early 1700s, and English Brown Stoneware, which is commonly found at Anglo-American
sites after 1690. The absence of these types, especially the Staffordshire
and English Brown ceramics, makes a pre-1700 terminus ante quem likely.
The only potential problem for a post-1682 to
pre-1700 range for the filling of Feature 12 was the presence of the
Buckley-like sherds. The
date of 1720 is initial date commonly used for advent of Buckley coarse
earthenware on North American sites (Noel Hume 1969). However, excavation
of kiln sites in the Buckley area of Wales by P.J. Davey and A. Amery
(Amery and Davey 1979, Davey 1987) suggested that the manufacture of
the Buckley coarse earthenware dates as early as 1640. Amery and Davy
(1979:81) concluded that Buckley vessels with the reddish-purple fabric,
date to as early as 1640. The term “Buckley” used to describe
the black, lead-glazed coarse earthenwares with reddish to purple fabric
with creamy colored streaks (lamina) and/or nodule inclusions.
It is typically held that seventeenth-century examples have less yellow
and more nodules than lamina. Although the majority of the Buckley-like
sherds from Feature 12 exhibited a reddish to purplish fabric with some
streaky off-white agatized clay blended in, the fragments were noticeably
thinner, exhibited fewer streaks, and appeared to have been fired at
a lower temperature than the typical eighteenth-century wares attributed
to the Buckley potteries. In addition, the amount of inclusions of lighter
clay appears to be fairly random, and is not a good indicator of date
(Longworth 1999:personal communication). Finally, the glaze on the majority
of the fragments recovered from Feature 12 was a rich, shiny black as
opposed to the more common, semi-gloss eighteenth-century black lead
glaze. Thus, the Feature 12 examples comfortably fit a late seventeenth-century
date, and do not conflict with the other chronological data for the filling
date of the large pit.
Feature 12 – What it Represents
Cross-mending ceramic sherds spanned the horizontal and vertical range
of the feature. In terms of horizontal distribution, some cross-mends
between units as much as 10 - 12 ft (3.04 – 3.66 m) apart. Vertically,
in two cases, mendable sherds came from widely divergent strata and depths,
in one case separated by at least 1.27 ft (0.39 m) in depth, in the other
by at least 1.64 ft (0.5 m) in depth. This vertical and horizontal distribution
of mending sherds suggests that the entire feature was filled rapidly
from common sources of material, with no significant chronological difference
between its strata.
By its horizontal and vertical dimensions, and especially because of
its southward bulkhead-like projection, Feature 12 was suggestive of
a filled cellar. However, the units excavated into this feature failed
to yield the evidence for the structural supports that would have confirmed
this hypothesis, and the presence of the structural remains in the upper
and middle portions of the feature, surrounded above and below by cross-mending
kitchen material does not support a scenario of pushing an overlying
superstructure into a cellar pit.
An alternative explanation is that it originated as a large borrow pit
to provide clay for construction of an ultimately 41 x 51 ft (12.5 x
15.5 m) brick foundation just to its northeast. Excavations in and around
the footprint of this brick structure suggest that its earliest foundations
date from the late seventeenth century.
Outside of the southern end of the structure wall, fill layers from
twentieth century demolition capped a remnant yard midden deposit that
yielded temporally diagnostic materials that ranged in date from the
late seventeenth to the mid-eighteenth centuries. The mean date for the
assemblage was 1730. The presence of the five molded white salt-glazed
sherds suggests that the midden ceased accumulation sometime after 1740.
Inside the southern end of the structure, excavations revealed 1940s
demolition fill and debris underlain by a sheet midden layer that terminated
its accumulation when the structure was built. These interior midden
deposits produced an assemblage of material that fit well with that recovered
from Feature 12, and as a result, is probably datable to the late seventeenth
century. The presence of North Devon sgraffito ware in this assemblage
suggests a pre-1710 date, as does the absence of early white stonewares,
which occur in the midden deposits just outside the structure. As in
the case of Feature 12, no English Brown Stoneware or Staffordshire earthenwares
were recovered in the interior midden deposits.
Thus, it would appear that the construction date for at least part of
the brick foundation is linked very closely in time with the filling
of Feature 12. The clear implication of this is that once the building
represented by the brick foundation had been completed, the large borrow
pit that Feature 12 may have represented, would have served its purpose,
and could have been filled with the demolition debris from an earlier,
but now unnecessary, nearby dwelling.
Why Was It Found? – Possible Reasons for the Statuette’s
The ouster of King James II and the ascension of the Protestant monarchs
William and Mary to the throne of England in late 1688 galvanized Protestant
to the Catholic proprietary interests in Maryland. The colony’s Protestants
formed an “Association for the Defense of the Protestant Religion” to
assert the right of William and Mary to rule the Province of Maryland. Thereafter,
accusations and rumors began to fly, and tensions heightened across the colony.
Every incident, real or imagined, was attributed by the Association to a conspiracy
among members of the Catholic faction in power. Incidents such as the murder
of Christopher Rousby, a royal collector of the revenue (and, coincidentally,
a neighbor of Nicholas Sewall’s), by George Talbot, Lord Baltimore’s
nephew and acting head of the Council (Walsh and Fox 1974:24), increased political
Even more serious were rumors that members of
the Catholic-dominated Council were trafficking with the Seneca Indians
to attack Protestant
settlers along the upper Patuxent River. Nicholas Sewall was specifically
accused of conspiring with these “northern Indians” (Proceedings
1689:160). Henry Jowles, a resident of the upper Patuxent area, charged
that 10,000 Seneca Indians were “enforting” at the head of
the River (Proceedings 1689:72, 84). Such rumors gained further credence
when reports surfaced that Council members had appropriated arms and
ammunition designated for the common defense of the colony, in effect
disarming the general population and depriving them of the means of defending
themselves. Members of the Association promptly organized and armed themselves.
Designating John Coode of Charles County as their military leader, they
eventually cornered the Council members in the garrison at Mattapany
in July of 1689. Council members were offered surrender terms, including
guarantees of safe conduct and security back to their homes or dwellings
Not surprisingly, Nicholas Sewall, William Joseph,
and several others fled for safety, reportedly taking with them public
arms and ammunition
(Proceedings 1689:127). Sewall himself indicates that he fled to Virginia
in October 1689 (Proceedings 1692:307). Where the refugees stayed in
Virginia is a matter of conjecture. Nathaniel Bacon, President of Virginia’s
Council, claimed that Sewall and his entourage were housed at the plantation
of Col. William Diggs, a Protestant resident of Maryland who also owned
properties in Virginia (Proceedings 1690:176). For his part, John Coode
claimed that Sewall, Joseph, and the “priest Hubbard” had
taken refuge at “his Popish patrons, Mr. Brents,” in Stafford
County, an apparent reference to George Brent’s Woodstock Plantation
at Aquia Creek.
Sewall periodically returned to his plantation
on the Patuxent River to attend to his estate and “take some provisions for his Support
in Virginia” (Proceedings 1692:307). During one of these visits,
in January of 1690, Sewall’s private vessel, which was anchored
off his plantation in the river, was accosted by an armed party led by
John Payne, collector of revenue for the lower Patuxent River. Payne
and his party apparently boarded Sewall’s private “Yatch,” which
was being guarded by four of Sewall’s “Papist Confederates” while
Sewall was ashore “in his Bed at his own Plantation,” according
to Sewall himself (Proceedings 1692:308). Sewall’s associates were
John Woodcock, a mason; George Mason, a laborer; William Burleigh, a
carpenter; and William Aylewood, a “gentleman” (Proceedings
1691:243). In the ensuing exchange of gunfire, Payne was killed. Thereafter,
Sewall and his companions fled back to Virginia.
Accounts of Payne’s death, of course, are biased, depending on
who is telling the story. The Virginia authorities claimed that Payne
and his party were warned to “stand off and not come on board,
for if they did they would fire at them. . . .”(Proceedings 1690:176).
Coode and the new (Protestant) Maryland Council termed the action a deliberate
act of murder, indicted all five men for the crime (Proceedings 1691:243),
and launched a series of attempts to get the Virginia authorities to
extradite the accused back to Maryland to stand trial. In this they were
partially successful. Ayleward, Woodcock, Mason and Burleigh were returned
to Maryland, and tried in April 1691. Ayleward was acquitted, but the
other three were found guilty and sentenced to death. Woodcock was executed
later in 1691; Mason’s and Burleigh’s punishments were postponed
pending appeal, and they were later pardoned.
Sewall stayed in Virginia, and in November 1691,
petitioned the King in Council for clemency for himself and his two
Mason and Burleigh. In his petition, Sewall stated that “without
Your Majestys Especial Grace and Protection, (I) cannot hope to return
and live peaceably with (my) Wife and Children, who are daily great Sufferers
by Your Petitioners Absence from them & his Estate. . . .” (Proceedings
1692:308). Sewall then appears to have returned to Maryland to stand
trial, and he petitioned the Captain General of Maryland, Governor Lionel
Copley, for bail in April 1692, stressing the disastrous effect that
his “confinement” (apparently his imprisonment pending trial)
was having on his Maryland properties and on his family. He stated that
he “hath much suffered in his Estate” (Proceedings 1692:311).
Sewall was tried and acquitted in Maryland’s Provincial Court
in September 1692 (Carr and Jordan 1974:94). In 1694, Sewall apparently
was visited at his house by Sir Edmond Andros, who was Governor of Maryland
during 1693, and again during 1694 (Proceedings 1694:158). This allusion
suggests that Sewall had once again take direct charge of his affairs
at Charles’ Gift, and given his acquittal in September 1692, it
is likely that he had returned there shortly after that trial. Nicholas
Sewall died at Charles’ Gift in 1737.
The historical circumstances of Sewall’s complete exile from at
least January 1690, after the death of Payne, until sometime between
September 1692 and 1694, and his April 1692 notation that he “hath
much suffered in his Estate” strongly suggest that after Sewall’s
return his original dwelling may have been damaged or dilapidated sufficiently
so that he needed to build another house. Thus, his return would have
been the occasion for the excavation of Feature 12 in order to begin
construction of his new house, and that house’s completion, sometime
between September 1692 and ca. 1700, became the occasion for the demolition
of the old house and its deposition into Feature 12.
That the statuette was one of the thousands of
domestic and personal artifacts that were deposited into the Feature
12 pit, along with the
remains of that earlier house, is highly significant. One does not
destroy or dispose of an image of a British monarch lightly. It is extremely
tempting to connect the breakage of this image and its subsequent disposal
with the events of 1689 to 1692, during which the owner of the statuette,
Nicholas Sewall, was part of the losing Proprietary establishment during
the Protestant uprising, fled to Virginia, was accused of murder, and
had to stay away from his Maryland estate until sometime after September
1692. It is not unreasonable to suppose that Sewall’s estate
was ransacked at some point during this troubled period, and that an
of one of the Stewart kings, especially the displaced James II, would
have suffered as a result.
Even if such a supposition cannot be proven, the
statuette and other artifacts recovered from Feature 12 at Site 18ST704
represents a “snap-shot” of
Maryland life during these troubled times immediately following the “Glorious
Revolution” in Britain, and the intimate connection of colony to
motherland during that period. Indeed, the Feature 12 assemblage is closely
connected with one of the major protagonists, on the Proprietary side,
during the “Revolution”, and appears to have reached its
depositional destination, at the very least, as an indirect result of
events related the “Glorious Revolution” and its aftermath
in Proprietary Maryland.
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1979 Post-Medieval pottery from Brookhill, Buckley, Clwyd (Site 1). In
Medieval and Late Pottery in Wales, No. 2.
Carr, Lois Green, and David William Jordan
1974 Maryland’s Revolution of Government 1689-1692. Ithaca and
London: Cornell University Press.
Davey, P. J.
1987 Further Observations on a Post-Medieval Kiln Group from Pinfold Lane,
Buckley. In Studies in Medieval and Later Pottery in Wales.
1999 Interview, London (June 12, 1999)
1999 Letter (October 27, 1999)
1993 Norwich Households. East Anglican Archaeology 58.
Noël Hume, Ivor
1969 A Guide To Colonial Artifacts of America. New York: Alfred A. Knopf,
Platt, Colin and Richard Coleman-Smith
1973 Excavations in Medieval Southampton 1953 – 1969. Leicester
Pope, Peter Edward
1986 Ceramics from Seventeenth Century Ferryland, Newfoundland (Cg Af-2, Locus
B), Unpublished M.A. Thesis, Department of Anthropology, Memorial University
Provincial Council of Maryland
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