John Nickson Runs Away (1687)


In this Middlesex County Court decision from 1687, the white indentured servant John Nickson is accused of participation in a conspiracy to run away that included both white servants and black slaves. Nickson’s fate is unknown because the General Court records for this period were destroyed.


Upon Examination of John Nickson a man Servant belonging to Ralph Wormeley Esq. who was Comitted to this Common Goall for having with diverse other ill disposed Servants and others entered into a Disigne and Conspiracy to procure Gunnes powder and Shott and other Armes and to Assemble themselves together with Designe to Runnaway and with Force and Armes as aforesaid to withstand and Oppose all persons that should endeavour to Suppress them; And the same tending to the greate disturbance of his Majesties Peace and the Terrour of his Leige People It is therefore ordered that the said john Nickson bee returned into the said Goall there to bee kept in safe Custody util the next Court held for this County And that in the meane time Strict inquiry bee made after all the Rest of the said Conspirators in order to their Apprehention And being proceeded against with the said Nickson According to Law, and that all person that Can give any Evidence against the said Nickson And his said Accomplishes bee Supened or bound over to appeare to give their Evidence on behalf of our Sovereign Lord the King.

John Nickson is arrested by Middlesex County authorities and charged with leading a conspiracy of servants and slaves on Ralph Wormeley II's plantation. The court decision is recorded in the Middlesex County Order Book, but his fate remains unknown.
APA Citation:
Middlesex County Court. John Nickson Runs Away (1687). (2020, December 07). In Encyclopedia Virginia.
MLA Citation:
Middlesex County Court. "John Nickson Runs Away (1687)" Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (07 Dec. 2020). Web. 12 Apr. 2024
Last updated: 2020, December 07
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