Marriage of Jacob Milborne and Mary Leisler 1691 Part IV

MARRIED_February 3, 1691, Jacob Milborne to Mary Leisler.

On the 16th of March Leisler issued his formal protest against the aggressive acts of Ingoldsby and his forces; and all forces acting with him, raised in this province, were ordered to disperse at once on pain of being treated as enemies. This mission being delivered to Ingoldsby, and an evasive answer returned, the guns of the fort were turned upon the town, and firing commenced, which was continued until evening, and was returned by the opposing forces. Several were killed and wounded in the town, but none in the fort were injured. The action then ceased by passive consent of both parties. Three days afterward (on the 19th of March) the long expected vessel was descried entering the harbor. The governor hastened to land, and the scene of warfare closed, but only to open on one more melancholy than any that had yet transpired. The blood of Leisler and Milborne was demanded.

The culmination of the exciting events above narrated by the commencement of actual war and the shedding of blood for the moment paralyzed the action of both parties, although vigorous preparations were silently going forward for a final contest for the possession of the government, in case the loss of the governor's vessel should be verified.

Three days thus passed in preparation, but without further action, when on the 19th of March the lookouts on the headlands reported a vessel in the offing. All hearts beat high with expectation. It was the last hope for the maintenance of peace, and proved indeed to be its harbinger. The vessel sailed into the harbor surrounded by the welcoming streamers of the various crafts then in the port and moored opposite the fort. Within that edifice all was silence, and generally the Leislerians observed the stately proceedings attendant upon the reception of the representative of the crown with a sense of foreboding. Meantime the barges of the war vessel were manned, the aquatic procession was formed without delay, and landed in the vicinity of the City Hall, to which the public concourse directed its way. The governor was led to the court chamber, and having called his councilors around him, published his commission, and the establishment of civil government was once more recognized in the province.

In the fort at the same time Leisler was surrounded by his councilors and military officers, all desirous of relieving themselves of the cares of office, and of retiring with dignity from its responsibilities. Upon information of the proceedings at the City Hall, and that the governor's commission had been promulgated, a subordinate officer was dispatched from the fort to arrange with the governor for the formal transfer of its possession. His mission being announced to that dignitary, the messenger was at once placed under arrest amidst the exulting plaudits of the anti-Leislerians. So also all further attempts on the part of Leisler to be treated with respect.

It was apparent that, so far as official action was concerned, the popular party was to be crushed down and stamped upon, but the loyalty of that party was consistently maintained ; they offered no resistance to the royal representative, and on the demand of an officer sent with a squad of soldiers to take possession of the fort its gates were thrown open. Leisler's soldiers marched out, but himself and all the officials of government by whom he was surrounded were placed in the dungeons of the fort.

While these momentous events were transpiring the fortunes of the leaders of the popular party were more closely allied by the marriage of Milborne with Leisler's daughter. The king's ships, which first arrived, were arrayed opposite the fort, and the outlawry of the popular leaders was plainly foreshadowed. They knew that the triumphant faction, which had been held down by them with unsparing rigor, thirsted for their blood. The alliance which took place under these circumstances can only be regarded as the devotional act by which these two men testified their mutual attachment. Fate seemed to have thrown these two characters of different nationalities, creeds, habits, and associations into such close communion as that the relation of father and son seemed a fitting close of their record. Thus amid the storms of war, pent up in their citadel, this melancholy marriage, in short anticipation of the death of the parent of the bride and of the bridegroom, was solemnized.

The final catastrophe is well-known matter of history. The execution upon the scaffold of Leisler and Milborne took place on Saturday, the 8th day of May, 1691, amid a conflict of the elements, only equaled by the prostration of the hearts of much the largest portion of their fellow-citizens.

Website: The History
Article Name: Marriage of Jacob Milborne and Mary Leisler 1691 Part IV
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


BIBLIOGRAPHY: From My Collection of Books: Manual of the Corporation of the City of New York; Joseph Shannon 1869
Time & Date Stamp: