On January 25, 1770, Matthew Patten, a justice of the peace in Bedford, New Hampshire, recorded the following entry in his day book:
“..I went to Mary Riddells in the evening to talk with her about takeing (sic) her examination of Bastardy but
did not do it..”
Over several decades as justice of the peace, Matthew Patten would be involved in the examination of six bastardy cases. His commentary
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