Richard and Lucretia's son, John, gained a reputation in his character that is referenced in numerous records. As a young man, he appeared in court for a sexual relationship outside of marriage. His daughter, Eleanor, and her daughter, Sarah Churchwell, carried on that family tradition with court appearances of their own for similar offenses. John balked often at authority and had a price put on his head.

Saco and Biddeford, York County, Maine: Town History

A sense of the injustice of the Mass. claim and a deep-rooted aversion to the principles of that colony, operated strongly on many of the inhabitants, and led them to express an open contempt of its assumed jurisdiction. John Bonython , together with Mr. Jocelyn of Black-point , and Mr. Jordan of Spurwink , were so active in their opposition, that an order was issued for their arrest. The two latter were required to give bonds for their appearance before the General Court. Bonython escaped, whereupon a decree of outlawry was published against him.

Messrs. Jordan and Jocelyn appeared in 1657 before the General court, and had their recognizances discharged; and Bonython , the following year made his submission as follows: "Whereas the General Court have taken great offence against me as appears by their proclamation sent out the last court holden at Boston , for several offences therein expressed; Now by what you their Commissioners have spoken in reference thereunto, and also having had time to reflect upon my former actions, I do freely acknowledge my great miscarriage therein, and especially by my rash provoking letter sent to the magistrates or Gen. Court, for which I am heartily sorry, and do humbly and thankfully accept of the act of indemnity and oblivion passed by your Worships, this present court, with special respect to my particular case, having first testified my submission to the authority of the Mass. jurisdiction. John Bonython . At a Court holden at Falmouth , July 14, 1658 ."

"Colony of Massachusetts Bay . At a general court held 1658 . Whereas the town of Saco , within the line of our patent, in or near the bounds whereof John Bonython liveth, have generally submitted themselves and their lands to the government and jurisdiction of the Massachusetts : and whereas there are great and frequent complaints made to this court, by several credible persons, that the said Bonython , attending no government, doth molest both his neighbours, and others that occasionally traffic or fish in those parts, and by his outrageous carriages hath maimed some, and put others in danger of their lives, by his lawless and imperious actions. And whereas legal courses have been taken, and much patience has been used for his reducement into some tolerable demeanor, hitherto not only in vain, but instead of complyance, he hath sent contemptuous and rayling returns to this government or authority here. Whereupon, this court considering the premises, doth declare the said Bonython a rebel, or common enemy, and intend to proceed against him accordingly; yet because this court is very loth to use extremities, if it may stand with justice, our peace and honor, to exercise some further delay, therefore this court doth hereby express themselves willing to give the said Bonython time till the first day of August next, peaceably to render himself into the hands of the governor, and such other of the magistrates as shall then be in or near Boston , that his case being duly and seasonably considered, there may be such an issue put to the same, as shall be meet; which clemency thus tendered, if neglected or contemned, it is resolved by this court, to proceed against him as a rebel or common enemy, to the people of these parts of New England and this government, in special to the people inhabiting near unto the place of his residence. And further this court doth impower any person that hath submitted to this government after the first of August , to apprehend the said Bonython by force, and bring him, alive or dead, to Boston , declaring and proclaiming, that whosoever shall so do, shall have twenty pounds paid him for his service to the country, out of the common treasury, which may be levied, with other charges, upon the said Bonython 's estate."

The Commissioners forthwith issued the following proclamation: "Whereas John Bonython for several offences mentioned in a proclamation of the last general court, had time afforded him for his yielding himself into the hand of authority; and to give satisfaction touching the same, otherwise after the first of September to stand in peril of his life, as by the said proclamation doth appear, and whereas the court sent us their commissioners, whose names are hereunder written, invested with power, amongst other things, to grant protection and immunities, and to settle the government in Yorkshire to the utmost extent of their line; the said Bonython did personally appear before us, sitting in open court, and after some time spent in setting forth the evils of such miscarriages, and provoking offences, as were set forth in said proclamation mentioned, he the said Bonython , made his full acknowledgement under his hand, and yielded, and subscribed his subjection to this government, whereby any man may now have his legal course in any civil action against him. The people of these parts also having fully submitted themselves unto the government of the Massachusetts ; wherefore we thought it necessary forthwith, to make this matter known throughout the country, that the dangers of the life of the said John Bonython may be prevented, which if henceforth any should attempt it, is contrary to the intent of the general court, the end being obtained which was intended, namely, his reducement; and we hereby declare his discharge." Signed by the commissioners.

John was sued by his two brothers-in-law, Richard Cummings and Richard Foxwell, after tearing down the family home and attempting to appropriate their property. But some notes of good character also appear.

He married Agnes whose last name was perhaps Gavrigan (a surname found in their homeland in Cornwall and given to one of their sons). They had five known children: Thomas, who died without heirs; John who suffered with his eight children in the Indian wars; Eleanor who married Arthur Churchwell and whose daughter Sarah was involved in the Salem witchraft trials; Gavrigan, who drowned and left no heirs; and Winifred who married Robert Nichols or Nicholson and of whom I can find no additional information.

He and his children lived in Maine during the Indian wars. His son John, his wife and four of his children were carried off by Indians and apparently never seen again. The The surviving members of the family moved to Essex County in Massachussetts, and we find records of his grandchildren, Richard, Mary, and Patience married using the spelling "Benighton."


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