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Doctor Richard Hill,


    * Samuel Preston, Richard Hill (uncle to Dr. Richard Hill), and Isaac Norris, the sons-in-law of Thomas Lloyd, were all men of distinction in their day.  The following anecdote illustrates the character of the two former: "At the instance of Governor Evans, a fort had been erected by the territories at Newcastle, avowedly for the protection of the river, but really, as the provincialists inferred, from its use to vex the trade of the province.  All vessels navigating the Delaware were compelled to report themselves, under a penalty of five pounds, and a specific sum for every gun fired to bring them to.  Inward bound vessels, not owned by residents, were subjected to the duty of half a pound of powder per ton of the capacity of the vessel.  The provincialists remonstrated against this abuse in vain.  At length Richard Hill, William Fishbourne, and Samuel Preston, Quakers, distinguished by their private character and public services, resolved to resist the imposition.  Hill and his companions, embarking on board a vessel of the former, dropped down the river and anchored above the fort.  Fishbourne and Preston went ashore and informed French, the commander, that their vessel was regularly cleared, and demanded that they might pass uninterruptedly.  This bing refused, Hill, who had been used to the sea, stook to the helm, and passed the fort with no other injury than a shot through his mainsail.  French pursued in an armed boat, and was alone taken on board, and his boat cut from the vessel, falling astern, he was led prisoner to the cabin; who, now seeing his situation, pleaded his indisposition of body; upon which Hill asked him, 'if that was really the case, why did he come there?'  Lord Cornbury, Governor of New Jersey, and as such claiming to be Vice-Admiral of the River Delaware, happened at that time to be at Salem, a little lower down, on the Jersey side of the river; to him the prisoner was brought, to give an account of his conduct.  In this place, after French, in a coarse manner, had been sufficiently reprimanded by Lord Cornbury, upon a suitable submission and promises made, he was at length dismissed, but not without marks of derision from some of the attendants.
    "This put a finishing stroke to these proceedings at the fort of Newcastle, and thus ended the enterprise, in which Hill's friends, especially his anxious wife, a person of note and high esteem, who, at Philadelphia heard the report of the guns, could not but be particularly concerned, fearing lest his resolution should be attended with bad consequences; but they were soon agreeably relieved from their apprehensions of that kind; and his conduct in this affair made an open way for others.
    "But Richard Hill did not suffer the affair to rest here; for, accompanied by a large number of the inhabitants of Philadelphia, he attended the General Assembly, and, by petition, in such manner laid the affair before them, that it produced an address to the Governor, from the House, without so much as one dissenting vote, dated the 10th of May, 1707, highly resenting these proceedings, on the River Delaware, and at Newcastle, which I do not find were afterwards continued."* (footnote) {Tradition says that Richard Hill's wife, hearing the sound of the firing below, was so much alarmed for the safety of her husband, that her hair completely changed to white in one night.}Proud's History of Pennsylvania, i. pp. 473, 474.
    Proud says that Isaac Norris was a party in this transaction, but Gordon, on the authority of the Logan MSS., says it was William Fishbourne, and not Norris.  The characters of these brothers-in-law are thus given by Proud:(Continuation...)

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