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Matthew Phripp of Norfolk, who, in his extremity, had taken Lord Dunmore' s Oath


Thursday, January 4, 1776.

Ordered, That the Committee appointed to inquire into the security offered by John Bowyer, gentleman, be discharged from proceeding therein

Mr˙ Holt, from the Committee to whom the Petition of Matthew Phripp was referred, reported, that it appeared from the testimony of Daniel Hutchings, that the said Phripp was extremely active in encouraging the people of Norfolk to make themselves acquainted with military discipline, and to prepare for defending their country; that the said Phripp was chosen Colonel of that Borough, and was twice elected Chairman of the Committee; that the said Phripp took up arms against Lord Dunmore, on his taking the type from the printer in Norfolk, but that, on the people refusing to join him, he declined to act any longer as their Colonel; that it appeared, from the depositions of Paul Loyal and Christopher Calvert, that the said Matthew Phripp, during Lord Dunmore' s stay in and about Norfolk, demeaned himself as a friend to his country; and it does not appear that the said Phripp hath assisted Lord Dunmore, with either money, provisions, or vessels, or advised or persuaded any person lo join him or take his oath; that it appears to them that the said Phripp, being deserted by the people in that part of the country, in danger of being delivered up to, and having much of his property in, the power of Lord Dunmore, was compelled, by his situation, to take the oath prescribed by his Lordship; and that


it appeared to them that the said Phripp' s visit to Norfolk proceeded from the pressing invitation of his aged and infirm father. And that they had come to the following Resolution thereupon; which he read in his place, and afterwards delivered in at the Clerk' s table, where the same was again twice read, and agreed to:

Resolved, That the said Matthew Phripp hath uniformly shown himself the firm and steady friend of American liberty, until his unfortunate visit to Norfolk, in consequence of the invitation of his aged parent, at which time, falling into the power of Lord Dunmore, he had only the alternative of submitting or exposing his life and fortune to his Lordship' s resentment; that, in his extremity, he yielded and took the oath; but, as the said Matthew Phripp soon after manifested his willingness to support the common cause, we think, upon the whole, he ought to be restored to the confidence of his countrymen.