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Six months after the trial and Mehetibal’s extraordinary ride to appeal for mercy to save her husband’s life, the King’s pleasure was known. From London, The Earl of Shelburne wrote a letter dated December 11, 1766, to Sir Henry Moore, the Royal Governor of the Provinc...

Found guilty of high treason and sentenced to die in a multitude of nasty ways, William Prendergast had just a month to live. His wife, Mehetibal, had already made plans to save her husband’s life.

           

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Part III – The Trial of the 18th Century

William Prendergast had led an unsuccessful rebellion against what he and other tenant farmers saw as unfair lease practices of the “Landed Gentry” of the Hudson Valley. By late June 1766, he was in custody and awaiting trial on...

In state court, William Prendergast of Pawling and other tenant farmers unsuccessfully protested claims by the Philipse family to new manorial leases likely to result in tenant farmers being dispossessed. In November 1765, the local farmers met at Samuel Towners Tavern...

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