12. The English Civil War on the Eastern Shore

The Formation of a Society on Virginia’s Eastern Shore 1615-1655 James R. Perry, Published for the Instuite of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia, by the University of North Carolinia Press, Chapel Hill and London, 1990; page 207.

The crisis at the summitof governmental authority in England was felt throughout the political structure. An incident that occurred on the Eastern Shore less than a year after the civil war broke out in England illustrates the repercussions of the conflict at the local level. The ship Reformation was at anchor with Richard Ingle, a supporter of the parliamentary cause, its master. On board were Argoll Yardley, not only a member of the Virginia Council but also the commander of the Eastern Shore, his brother Francis, and several other people. (note WBW one of these was John Wilkins.) According to the testimony of several witnesses, Ingle and Francis Yardley argued "concerning the King and Pariament And the said Ingle told the said Yardley saying All those that are of the Kings side are Rattleheads." Argoll Yardley attempted to calm the two men, but they continued to argue. Ingle grabbed a poleax and cutlass and ordered all Virginians off his ship. At this point Argoll Yardley moved toward Ingle, saying, "I arrest you in the King’s Name And the said Ingle Answeared saying if you had arrested mee in the King and Parliaments name I would have obeyed it for soe it is now." Having opposed the command of one of Virginia’s highest officials and appealed to an authority not recognized in the colony, Ingle was in an untenable position. After threatening Argoll Yardley with his cutlassn he again ordered all Virginians off his ship, weighed anchor, and sailed to Maryland. From there, reports filtered back to the peninsula that Ingle boasted of his opposition to Yardley. The breach of authority was serious, but it was of brief duration because Ingle never returned to the Eastern Shore. His ship continued to ply the waters of the peninsula, and he conducted business there for at least another five years, but attorneys handled his affairs.

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