This Month In County History

1743 : Church warning on loose morals

September 02, 2005

Churches have long been a central part of Howard County life, at times taking a stern role in enforcing the moral standards of the community. Take, for example, this account of proceedings on Sept. 6, 1743 at a meeting of the vestry of Christ Church, near what is now the Village of Owen Brown in Columbia.

The vestry heard the complaint of John Reynolds, a blacksmith, that one William Busell was too familiar with Reynolds wife, and Thomas Barge complained of improper conduct of one Richard Johnson with Barges wife Margaret, which had caused him to leave his said wife.

In this case, the guilty parties were admonished and warned of the evil consequences of their acts.

Source: Origin and History of Howard County Maryland, Charles Francis Stein, Jr.

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