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“They make one very handsome Mirkin amongst them”: Gossip and Church Politics in Mid-Seventeenth-Century Virginia

Chapter

Abstract

In October 1658, Elizabeth Woods, along with Johanna Poynter and Elianor Cooper, plotted to post a libelous document on the Marston parish church door. As recorded by the county court clerk, Woods wrote:

Gentlemen this is to give you all notice that we have a new fine trade come up amongst us. One of our Vestrymen is turned Mirkin maker. Thomas Bromfield by name, and also his wife and goodwife Cobbs, one of our Churchwarden’s wife, they make one very handsome Mirkin amongst them and sent it to ye neighbors.1

Keywords

Seventeenth Century Corporal Punishment Court Record Political Voice Good Wife 
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Notes

  1. 3.
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    Laurel Thatcher Ulrich minimizes the gendered nature of gossip and instead focuses on its importance for both men and women and the dynamics of community formation. See Ulrich, Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650–1750 (new York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1982).Google Scholar
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© Kathleen A. Feeley and Jennifer Frost 2014

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