Charles Mahoney v. John Ashton. Deposition of Ann Cooke


Charles Mahoney
John Ashton

Petition for freedom in the General Court


The Deposition of Anne Cooke aged about seventy three years being sworn on in the above suit on the holy Evangels of Almighty God answered the several questions as follows.

1st Quest Being asked if he knew the parties in the above suit.

Answers, She has seen Mr Ashton and has been at his Chapel but has no acquaintance with him. she never saw Charles Mahony untill this day to know him.

2d Quest Being asked if she knew a woman by the name of Ann Joyce who formerly belonged to Henry Darnall and who is said to have died at the Wood Yard. Answers she remembers being at her Grand father Hills when she was a small Girl when the Cook came in and told her Grandmother that Joyce was come, her Grandmother sent for her in and talked with her, she appeared to be an elderly Mulatto Woman, she never heard that Joyce had any pretentions to freedom, nor did she know with whom she lived.

3d Quest Being asked, if she had heard that Francis Hall of Prince Georges County deceased or his father Benjamin Hall in his lifetime; at anytime; And when; did say, that Joyce before mentioned was free or entitled to be free; and for what reason, and to relate any conversation that she may have heard from them or either of them or any other person upon the subject.

Answers, she never heard a syllable mentioned about it.

4th Quest Being asked, If she knew or had heard and from whom that Joyce or Ann Joyce the woman alluded to in the second question came from England and when and whether she ever resided in England and how long and if she recollected ever to have heard who were passengers with the said Joyce at the time she came from England.

Answers, she never heard any thing of it


5th Quest Being asked, Do you know & have you heard and from whom that the before mentioned Joyce was ever adjudged in Prince Georges County Court to serve for a term of years for having Bastard Children

Answers, No she never did

6th Quest Being asked, Do you know or have heard and from whom; how many Children the said Joyce had; what were their Names and in whose possession did they respectively die, and when, and did you or do you know any of the Grand Children of said Joyce and to whom did they or do they belong respectively.

Answers. She has seen a mulatto man & woman named Johnny & Nelly who lived with her Grandfather Hill, likewise a Woman named Polly that lived with Basil Warring also another woman named Sue that belonged to old Mrs Carroll, that she has been informed with in these Twelve months Past were Grand Children of Joyce. also a mulatto woman named Sue that lived with William Digges which she has been told lately was the Daughter of Joyce.

7th Quest Being asked, Do you know or have you heard of any conversation which was at anytime passed respecting Charles's right or the right of his mother Grandmother or Great Grand Mother or any of his ancestors to freedom, when and between whom, what was the conversation, relate it fully & freely.

Answers, she has heard that some of Doct Smith's negroes were trying to obtain their freedom; and she has heard in different Companies that there were others doing the same.

8 Quest Being asked. Do you know and from whom that one of the children of Ann Joyce by the name of Ann Joyce Cross was bound to John Chaplan in the year 1701 by Prince Georges County Court.

Answers, she never heard a Word of it.

9 Quest Being asked. Do you know and have you heard and from whom what became of Ann Joyce Cross mentioned in the proceeding   Question and how and for what reason and on what account she was bound out by Prince Georges County Court.

Answers, She never heard there was such a person as Ann Joyce Cross until this summer she has heard her name mentioned

10th Quest Being asked have you any further knowledge concerning the right of the Petitioner or any of his ancestors to freedom if you have related it fully and freely

Answers, she knows nothing further.

Sworn before me the Subscriber one of the Justices of the Peace for Prince Georges County this 17th day of October 1792.

Sam Hepburn

True Copy
Jno Gwinn Clk


7 1/2

Ann Cooke's Deposition

1 depo No 9.

No 17

Deposition No A to be inserted before No 9.