Friday, March 12, 2021 Nic Butler, Ph.D.

The last six years in the life of Charles Shinner (ca. 1710–1768) unfolded like the plot of a Dickens novel: An obscure, middle-aged Irish lawyer assisted a wealthy English client, whose influential family nominated him for a prestigious post in a distant colony. As Chief Justice of South Carolina in the early 1760s, Shinner shared the fruits of his expanding fortune with a young second family. A growing wave of political opposition opened cracks in the façade of his professional life, however, unmasking frailties of mind and body. By the end of 1765, Shinner’s career and family life collapsed into an inexorable downward spiral.

My interest in the biography of Charles Shinner stems from a long-standing fascination with a peculiar court case that he adjudicated in the spring of 1766. The Irish Chief Justice forms an important part of my unfinished book on that topic, and I’ve spent several years searching for information about his life and career. Shinner is remembered mostly for his significant role in the local theater of a national political drama known as the Stamp-Act Crisis of 1765–66. In the aftermath of that tumultuous episode, a number of South Carolinians—including elected officials, lawyers, merchants, and average citizens—asserted that Shinner was professionally unqualified for his office and personally unfit for polite society. Historians writing about this important era have used those complaints to portray Chief Justice Shinner as the poster-child of Britain’s mismanagement of the colonies in the years leading up to the American Revolution, and to characterize his tenure in office as a period of judicial disgrace.

The evidence I’ve collected is somewhat contradictory, however, or at least seems to portray a largely misunderstood man whose legacy has been clouded by generations of political bias. As a result of this research, I began to wonder about the real story of Charles Shinner. Was he really as ignorant and obstinate as his contemporaries described? If he was truly unqualified to serve as Chief Justice of South Carolina, what favors did he perform in England to secure the post? Was his career on the bench really as embarrassing as historians have asserted? To what degree—if any—did the prevailing anti-Irish sentiment in Great Britain and her colonies during the 1760s (and beyond) motivate the complaints leveled against him?


Surviving government records of the mid-1760s contain a robust volume of information about Charles Shinner’s professional activities as Chief Justice of the colony and as a member of the governor’s cabinet of advisors, called His Majesty’s Council for South Carolina. A full discussion of the verbose contemporary complaints about his judicial performance and behavior, and the verbose rebuttals he penned in his own defense, would require several hours of sedulous attention. In an effort to promote a better understanding of this much-maligned figure, I’ve condensed the evidence into a two-part narrative, tracing first the rise and then the fall of Chief Justice Shinner. To this arcing trajectory of professional activity I’m going to add personal details that reveal a bit of the human story behind the judicial robes.

The most useful clues to Shinner’s personal life and background are found in the writings of his last true friend, an Englishman named Charles Woodmason (1720–1789).[1] Woodmason came to South Carolina in the 1750s with aspirations to become a planter, but he eventually became an Anglican priest on the colony’s western backcountry. The two men apparently became friends in the early 1760s, and Woodmason probably facilitated Shinner’s keen interest in learning more about the colonial frontier. Sometime after the death of Charles Shinner in February 1768, Woodmason wrote a biographical “Memorandum” of the deceased chief justice whom he considered a worthy but flawed man. This brief posthumous sketch of Shinner’s life, which was transcribed and published by Woodmason’s own biographer in the early 1950s, contains a few errors of fact and chronology, but it is otherwise a useful profile of a colorful forgotten figure. Let’s begin with an excerpt from Woodmason’s “Memorandum”:

“Charles Shinner Esq. was a Gentleman of Ireland—born (I think) in Limerick and bred to the study of the law in Dublin under some eminent gentleman in that faculty.[2] He was concern’d in a large branch of business at Limerick, where he lived in all that festive hospitality, freedom, and generosity, so peculiar to the gentry of Ireland. Here he shone for several years—beloved, esteemed and regarded: But by associating with the nobility, the gentry of larger fortune than his own, he quickly exhausted his patrimony. His younger days were spent in that idle dissipation that marks the present times. His person was tall, robust, and not inelegant, his complexion fair: Address smooth—and manners very graceful and winning. No wonder he became a fav’rite of the ladies, with whom he had many near intimacies, and a strict connexion with one most beautiful and engaging, of one of the best families on the [River] Shannon. By her he had several natural children that grew up to full age, and were well married. One of his daughters visited him at Charlestown.

At length we find him when about 50 years of age, a barrister at law in some employment in the Court of Chancery and House of Peers in Ireland—In which station he acquitted himself with much reputation, as his fidelity and integrity were unimpeachable and conspicuous, and in the light and character of a man strictly honest in his profession—not to be bribed or bias’d: In whom the greatest confidence might be plac’d, and the utmost dependence placed—We find him entrusted with the writings and concerns of a long and tedious law suit of the Montagu family litigated in the Court of Chancery in Dublin, and afterward removed by appeal to the House of Lords in England—Betwixt London and Dublin we find him going ev’ry session, carrying over witnesses, depositions & taking interogatories—and performing all the offices of a Dep’ty Master in Chancery.

During these journeys we find him the sedate, and moral man—the pious and sincere Christian—having seen much of human life, he heartily despis’d its follies, and was weary of its emptiness. We hardly find a more reform’d, or truly religious person. He ever was a strict Protestant: Would he have married into a Roman Catholic Family [in Ireland,] it might greatly have proved to his Benefit. But no man more detested Popery—and few understood better the true principles of Christianity.

After living to be an old Batchelor [sic; or widower?] he married a young woman in London. And at [the] termination of the law suit, Lord Halifax was so pleas’d with his uprightness and integrity, as to think that such a man would shine on the bench as a judge and prove a blessing to society.”[3]


In this biographical sketch, no doubt recalled from personal conversations with the subject, Woodmason provided two small clues that point to the machinations behind Shinner’s judicial appointment. These clues are corroborated by a scathing newspaper article published in 1766, which we’ll discuss in the second part of this narrative. Prior to coming to South Carolina, Shinner had apparently worked in a legal capacity for Lady Anne Montagu (1715–1766), the daughter of George Montagu, 1st Earl of Halifax (ca. 1684–1739), and his second wife, Lady Mary Lumley (1690–1726). At some point in the 1740s, Lady Anne Montagu married Joseph Jekyll (1714–1752) of Dallington in Northamptonshire. With her husband, and after his death in 1752, Lady Anne became one of the principal litigants in a protracted legal struggle to recover large sums of money from the estate of Sir Joseph Jekyll (1662–1738), the namesake of Jekyll Island on the Georgia seacoast. The suit involved more than a dozen legatees and their respective heirs spread across the landscapes of England and Ireland in the middle of the eighteenth century. Like the fictional Chancery case in the Dickens novel, Bleak House, the Jekyll case involved decades of tedious litigation that no doubt consumed much of the money in question.[4]

The legal contest over the estate of Sir Joseph Jekyll stretched from 1747 through 1774, but, for some unknown reason, attorney Charles Shinner became detached from the suit in late 1760 or early 1761. Around that time, Lady Anne apparently asked her brother if he could find a position for the middle-aged Irish lawyer who had faithfully assisted her and her late husband’s family for many years.[5] The brother in question was George Montagu-Dunk, the 2nd Earl of Halifax (1716–1771), who at the time was President of the Board of Trade for Great Britain and was an influential member of the king’s government. On the Feast Day of St. Patrick in 1761, Lord Halifax nominated Charles Shinner to fill the vacant office of Chief Justice of South Carolina. King George III approved his nomination and issued a formal commission for Chief Justice Shinner on April 14th. A few weeks later, on May 22, the king issued another warrant appointing Shinner to serve on His Majesty’s Council for South Carolina.[6]

According to Woodmason’s “Memorandum,” the honors extended by Lord Halifax to Charles Shinner were “unsolicited and unsuspected by him. It surpriz’d, it griev’d him: well knowing, that he had neither genius [n]or talents adequate to this employ—and he foresaw at one view all the evils and troubles which afterward befell him.” Shinner realized that Halifax had thrown him into the unenviable position of a “placeman” in the colonies. As a mildly-qualified candidate for a position of great trust and dignity, Shinner knew that the qualified local candidates residing in South Carolina, and perhaps the citizens in general, would resent the appointment of a stranger who owed his position to the whim of a British official. “But he dar’d not refuse the kindness of his noble patron,” said Woodmason in reference to Lord Halifax, “who too little knew the situation of affairs in America and the temper of those people to whom he was consign’d.”[7]

Four weeks after being appointed Chief Justice of South Carolina, Charles Shinner was admitted to one of the ancient institutions of legal training in London, Gray’s Inn. Some South Carolina historians have assumed Shinner’s affiliation with this institution marked the beginning of his legal education, but that’s not an accurate conclusion.[8] Gray’s Inn also functioned, as it still does today, as an elite professional association for practicing barristers, so Shinner’s admittance was likely motivated by a desire to add social polish to his existing career.[9] South Carolina Chief Justice Benjamin Whitaker (1698–1751) had acted similarly a generation earlier. Whitaker practiced law in Charleston for more than twenty years before he became Chief Justice in 1739, and for many of those years held the post of Attorney General. Nevertheless, he applied to London’s prestigious Middle Temple by mail in 1732 and briefly journeyed there in person the following year to secure his admission. This expensive endeavor provided no immediate boost to Whitaker’s legal career in South Carolina, but it raised his social standing and in 1739 made him a successful candidate for the colony’s highest judicial office.[10]

“With great reluctance and forebodings,” wrote Woodmason, “he embark’d with his family for Charlestown.”[11] Charles Shinner and his younger, pregnant wife, Frances, set sail from London in late 1761 with a large convoy of ships shepherded by the Royal Navy during a time of warfare with France. They arrived in Charleston during the first week of 1762, and on January 10th Charles took the necessary oaths of offices confirming his allegiance to the Church of England.[12] Professional business required the Chief Justice to maintain a residence close to the colonial capital, so the Shinners rented from Jonathan Badger a genteel brick house on a large lot in the Charleston suburb of Ansonborough. The property, which covered three-quarters of an acre at the southeast corner of King and George Streets, included hundreds of orange trees, a “handsome garden and fish pond,” and various outbuildings for animals and enslaved servants.[13] Shortly after settling into their new home, Frances Shinner gave birth to a daughter, Martha, who was baptized at St. Philip’s Anglican Church on June 7th and then, four weeks later, buried there on July 11th.[14]

Despite suffering a tragic loss in their new home, Mr. and Mrs. Shinner went on to have other children and other residences in South Carolina. Charles received his first land grant three weeks after his arrival in the colony, providing 600 acres on the Wateree River in rural Craven County.[15] On this land, near the village of Pine Tree (now Camden), the Chief Justice built a “summer villa” at a time when most wealthy Charlestonians travelled to the Northern colonies to escape the summer heat. Judge Shinner received three additional backcountry land grants in 1765 totaling 500 acres in the vicinity of Boonesborough and Long Canes Creek, some of which ended up in the hands of the Calhoun family before the end of the eighteenth century.[16]

Charles Woodmason, who also resided in Craven County, recalled that his friend was passionate about promoting the interests of South Carolina’s inland backcountry, and used his position on His Majesty’s Council to lobby for improvements. “Mr. Shinner labour’d to get new parishes laid out—churches and chapels built—schools founded—bridges built—roads and ferries constructed, the arts cultivated, the culture of tobacco hemp flax cotton silk, vine, madder &c. introduced and promoted. His efforts to this end were great and laborious. [He] himself made roads, causeys, bridges, mills &c. for [the] benefit of the back settlers.”[17]

Despite his interest in South Carolina’s rural interior, the Chief Justice was obliged to spend most of his time in Charleston, the seat of all courts of law during the 1760s. Few details of Shinner’s professional life have survived from his first three years in the colony, but apparently he attracted a growing amount of criticism. In late 1764, for example, South Carolina’s Provost Marshal, Roger Pinckney, complained to his superior in England about Judge Shinner. Pinckney’s exact words do not survive, but he apparently mentioned arguing with Shinner in court and reported that many in South Carolina were unhappy with the behavior of their Chief Justice. Pinckney directed his comments to Richard Cumberland (1732–1811) in England, who was not only the patentee (owner) of the office of Provost Marshal of South Carolina, but also secretary to Lord Halifax and a budding playwright. Cumberland was not surprised by the news from Charleston about Judge Shinner. “I do not wonder that the Province are dissatisfied with their Chief Justice,” wrote Cumberland from Downing Street in early 1765, “for the little I saw of him [before he sailed to South Carolina] did not give me advantagious [sic] impressions.”[18]

Rather than boast of his friend’s intellectual prowess, Charles Woodmason frankly acknowledged that the Chief Justice was not the sharpest attorney to pass the bar. When Shinner departed from England in 1761, said Woodmason, he traveled with “two valuable and sensible gentlemen of the law, to be his support and counsellors in all emergencies with several faithful domestics and followers. But alas! the deadly climate of Carolina swept them all off within three years.”[19] I haven’t found any contemporary records that confirm the identity of Shinner’s legal advisors, but they must have been James O’Brien and Bennet Oldham, a pair of attorneys from Ireland and England, respectively, who practiced briefly in Charleston during the mid-1760s. In the midst of a dispute with Judge Shinner in the summer of 1766, for example, Provost Marshal Roger Pinckney referred to "Mr. O'Brien & Oldham" as "two persons then his domesticks, and who call'd at my house sometimes with his Honour [the Chief Justice] as he passed & repassed.”[20] “While these gentlemen lived,” continued Woodmason, “Mr. Shinner went on with great spirit, and supported his station with dignity and applause. But when deprived of the props that supported his understanding—his weakness of judgment and deficiency in points of law, and judicial matters, soon render’d him contemptible in the eyes of the Carolinians, a proud and ignorant people.”[21]

It’s important to note that Shinner’s erstwhile biographer, Charles Woodmason, was an ardent loyalist to the British crown during the American Revolution, and was strongly opposed to the rebellious spirit of home-rule that characterized the decade preceding the outbreak of war in 1775. The language of his “Memorandum” is filled with contempt for the men who both opposed Charles Shinner and ultimately rebelled against British authority. That Shinner apparently shared Woodmason’s view is understandable, as his livelihood was predicated on subservience to the crown rather than investment in the colony. But while Woodmason fled in 1774 and spent the remainder of his life in England, Judge Shinner was not so fortunate. A dark cloud descended over his colonial career immediately after the death of Shinner’s legal advisors, which occurred around the year 1766. “Having none to assist him to repress the insolence of the lawyers,” wrote Woodmason, “the court was often disgrac’d by disputes, altercations, and debates betwixt him, the barristers, and Crown officers. To add to his vexations, he had not one assistant judge to succour, advise, or support him.”[22]

The frustration Shinner faced in the courtroom was exacerbated by political divisions within the elite sphere of His Majesty’s Council for South Carolina. As Woodmason describes in a very biased but nevertheless illuminating passage of his “Memorandum,” Shinner’s efforts to promote the poor backcountry settlements were repeatedly squashed by a “Junto” of wealthy and haughty Lowcountry planters who dominated the colony’s political landscape:

Nor was he less unhappy in his political capacity, than his judicial. For he ever was oppos’d at Council board by Mr. [Othniel] Beal[e], the Lt. Governour [William Bull] and other members—who would thwart and oppose him right or wrong, in all things he proposed or engaged in for service of the crown—good of the people, and interest of the Church of England. Never had the King or Church so good an advocate, so faithful a friend, as was Mr. Shinner. Nor the people of Carolina ever so valuable a Patriot—for his whole study and labour was, to improve and enrich their country by improving and extending its natural advantages. But these public benefits clashed with the contrary notions—the jobbs [sic]—the contracts—the self-interestedness of these gentlemen. For as most of their estates lay in or contiguous to C[harles]. T[own]. ev’ry thing propos’d for the good of the country was overruled as prejudicial to the interest of the metropolis. And nothing was ever done for [the] benefit of the public by the then legislatures (as they then stood modelled [sic]) but wherein something peculiar or beneficial resulted to C[harles]. T[own]. consequently to themselves. As the parishes next to, and surrounding C[harles]. T[own]. were comparatively very small (tho’ richer) than the inland parishes, yet they sent treble the number of members—so that the metropolis and 2 or 3 other adjacent parishes, could always make a majority, and divert the public money as they thought proper. Mr. Shinner was determined to break this Junto and accordingly pointed out this evil to government at Home [in England], and plans for correcting it were sent over, but always baffled by the arts and cunning of the Republican Party [that is, the nascent revolutionary party]—against whom Mr. Shinner set his face with great steadiness—consequently brought on himself all the malice, malignity, and persecution of that party.”[23]


But Woodmason’s narrative is getting ahead of our story line. Let’s back up to a point in time just before the Chief Justice became the object of so much scorn. Charles Shinner reached the pinnacle of his career and family life during the autumn of 1765. Supported by his two legal advisors, he maintained a reasonably good reputation in the court room and sparred amicably with his elite opponents on His Majesty’s Council. Shinner’s expanding household on George Street included a young daughter, seven enslaved servants, and a few Irish domestics. The provincial government had just rewarded the family’s prosperity by granting them 500 acres in the backcountry, and now Mrs. Frances Shinner was expecting her third child. The nation was at peace, and the only matter of local political debate concerned a new British tax on paper goods that was due to commence on November 1st.

It’s impossible to say whether or not Charles Shinner could have predicted the firestorm of protest that arose against the implementation of the Stamp Act in the autumn of 1765. The strong rhetoric in the newspapers that summer might have provided a warning, as did the angry public demonstrations in late October. As soon as the new tax on paper goods came into force in November, however, duty to king and country thrust the Chief Justice into the center of a furious political debate. In the final chapter of his life, Charles Shinner became the target of scathing insults and violent threats that shattered his peace of mind and destroyed his young family. Join me next week when we’ll follow the paper trail of political contempt and personal tragedy that marked the precipitous fall of a forgotten Irishman in Charleston.



[1] According to the database England Births & Baptisms 1538–1975, Charles Woodmason, son of Benjamin and Susannah Woodmason, was baptized on 23 October 1720 at Gosport, Hampshire, England. According to the parish register of Holy Trinity Church, Gosport, Hampshire, England, 1735–1777, Charles Woodmason and Hannah Page were married on 2 February 1745/6 (see Portsmouth History Center, CHU 23/1A/5). According to the database England Deaths & Burials 1538–1991, Rev. Charles Woodmason was buried at Sedbergh, York, England, on 30 March 1789 in the 70th year of his age. All of these electronic resources were accessed via the subscription website on 26 March 2020.

[2] Shinner’s surname is frequently misspelled as “Skinner” in both primary and secondary sources. According to the Irish Ancestors website of John Grenham, Shinners (with an “s”) is an Anglo-Norman surname, analogous to Skinner, but probably derived originally from a place name. The name is found predominantly in the Limerick area. The Gaelic spelling is Sionúir or de Sionúir.

[3] Richard J. Hooker, ed., The Carolina Backcountry on the Eve of the Revolution: The Journal and Other Writings of Charles Woodmason, Anglican Itinerant (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1953), 291–92.

[4] The case in question concerned the settlement of the estate of Sir Joseph Jekyll (1662–1738) and his wife, Elizabeth Somers Jekyll (d. 1745). The couple had had no children, so Sir Joseph bequeathed part of his estate to the seven children of his nephew, John Jekyll of Boston (1674–1732/3) and five other relations. Sir Joseph devised the bulk of his estate, however, to the Exchequer as a sinking fund to help retire the national debt of Great Britain. Parliament’s 1747 repudiation of Jekyll’s bequest inaugurated a chain of complex litigation that continued until 1774, in which the legatees (named Jekyll, Montagu, et al.) sought to recover the funds devised to the Exchequer. See “An Act to enable his Majesty to allow to the Residuary Legatees of Sir Joseph Jekyll Knight, late Master of the Rolls, deceased, Part of the Legacy given by his Will to the Use of the Sinking Fund” (22 Geo. 2, ch. 34); “An Act for vesting the undivided twelfth Part of Ann [sic] Jekyll, an Infant, in the Real Estate of Sir Joseph Jekyll, Knight, deceased, in Trustees, to enable them to convey the same to the Purchasers thereof, under a Decree of the Court of Chancery” (26 Geo. 2, ch. 19); “An Act to enable the Lords of the Treasury to discharge the Executors of Lady Anne Jekyll from a debt due to His Majesty for the use of the Sinking Fund, upon payment of the same into the Exchequer” (12 Geo. 3 c. 53); “An Act to enable His Majesty to allow the administrator, with the will annexed, or other the personal representative of Sir Joseph Jekyll, Knight, deceased, to sell £10,000 South Sea Stock, part of a legacy given by him to the use of the Sinking Fund, and to receive the dividends due thereon, as also on £10,000 East India Stock; and for applying the same as therein is mentioned” (14 Geo. 3 c. 89). The 1753 case of Jekyll v. Jekyll, abstracted in Edward D. Ingraham, ed., Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the English Ecclesiastical Courts, volume 5 (Philadelphia: Nicklin and Johnson, 1835), 397–402, provides a valuable summary of the early litigation. The summary contained in Emily J. Climenson, “Jekylliana,” Gentleman’s Magazine 291 (1901): 346–66, contains some flawed genealogy.

[5] South Carolina Gazette and Country Journal, 6 May 1766, quoting from “The St. James’s Chronicle, or the British Evening Post. From Saturday, Aug. 14th, to Tuesday, Aug. 27 [1765], No. 699.” Charles Shinner may have worked for the London attorney Samuel Baldwin (died 1760), who represented Joseph Jekyll (1714–1752), the husband of Lady Anne Montagu Jekyll. Baldwin was also the husband of Tryphena Jekyll Baldwin (ca. 1695–1785), one of the original legatees of the Jekyll estate in question. Because the Jekyll litigation continued beyond Shinner’s departure for South Carolina, there must have been some reason for Lady Anne to recommend him to her brother in 1760–61. I suspect that the death of Samuel Baldwin in 1760 might have disrupted Shinner’s traditional employment and placed him in a position of professional distress.

[6] K. H. Ledward, ed., Journals of the Board of Trade and Plantations: Volume 11, January 1759–December 1763 (London, 1935), Folios 193, 212, 245, 246; London Gazette, 11–14 April 1761; The warrant appointing Shinner to the Council appears in South Carolina Department of Archives and History (hereafter SCDAH), Journal of His Majesty’s Council for South Carolina, December 1761–December 1762 (Sainsbury copy), 447–48 (11 January 1762), and was recorded in SCDAH, Miscellaneous Records (Main Series), LL: 440.

[7] Hooker, Carolina Backcountry, 292–93.

[8] For example, Edward McCrady, in South Carolina Under the Royal Government, 1719–1776 (New York: Macmillan, 1899), 465, said Shinner “was a vulgar bully and blackguard, and had not the redeeming quality of the least professional education.” David Duncan Wallace, in “Colonial and Revolutionary South Carolina,” Sewanee Review 9 (October 1901): 437, described Shinner as “morally wicked, violent, unfair, ignorant of law.” Walter B. Edgar, in “Robert Pringle and His World,” South Carolina Historical Magazine 76 (January 1975): 10, called Shinner “arbitrary and mentally unstable.”

[9] Joseph Foster, ed., The Register of admissions to Gray’s Inn, 1521–1889 (London: Hansard, 1889), 383 (16 April 1761).

[10] Henry F. MacGeagh and H. A. C. Sturgess, comp., Register of Admissions to the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, volume 1 (London: Butterworth & Co. for the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, 1949), 313.

[11] Hooker, Carolina Backcountry, 293.

[12] SCDAH, Journal of His Majesty’s Council for South Carolina, December 1761–December 1762 (Sainsbury copy), 447–48.

[13] Jonathan Bader advertised the house in South Carolina Gazette, supplement to 20 February 1762: “To be Lett [sic] on least for two or three years, and may be entered upon within a short time, A convenient brick house with a good kitchen, and all necessary out houses, a large yard for poultry, &c. a handsome garden with a fish pond, and near three hundred orange trees; situated in Ansonburgh [sic], upon the road [i.e., King Street], Enquire of Jonathan Badger.” Following Shinner’s death in 1768, Badger described the same property as Shinner’s former residence: South Carolina and American General Gazette, 20–27 February 1769: “The subscriber intending to leave this province is the spring, will sell the House where he now resides, in Ansonborough, being the same sometime occupied by the late Chief Justice Shinner: the land belonging to it measures 160 feet in front on the broad Road [King Street], and 200 feet in depth on George Street; the situation is known to be pleasant, and the building commodious. . . . For further particulars, enquire to Mr. Daniel Legare, jun. Josiah Smith Jr., or Jonathan Badger.”

[14] D. E. Huger Smith and A. S. Salley Jr., eds., Register of St. Philip’s Parish, Charles Town, or Charleston, S.C., 1754–1810 (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1927), 52, 302.

[15] SCDAH, Journal of His Majesty’s Council for South Carolina, December 1761–December 1762 (Sainsbury copy), 452 (2 February 1762).

[16] SCDAH, Colonial Plat Books (copy series), vol. 7: 460; vol. 8: 39. SCDAH, Colonial Land Grants (copy series), vol. 12: 536; vol. 13: 250–51. SCDAH, Memorial Books (copy series), volume 8: 16; vol. 9: 25. Plats of this property were made at the time by a frontier settler named Patrick Calhoun (1727–1796), and 200 acres of Shinner’s land later passed into the hands of John Ewing Colhoun (1749–1802), and then to his daughter, Floride (1792–1866), who married Senator John C. Calhoun (1782–1850). See the will of John Ewing Colhoun, dated 20 May 1802, recorded in SCDAH, Will Book D, (1800–1807), 361; WPA transcript volume 29: 445–50.

[17] Hooker, Carolina Backcountry, 294; SCDAH, Journal of the South Carolina Commons House of Assembly, No. 37, part 1, page 357 (9 April 1767).

[18] Richard Cumberland to Roger Pinckney, 8 February 1765, in Plowden Charles Jennett Weston, ed., Documents Connected with the History of South Carolina (London: n.p., 1856), 106, 110, 112.

[19] Hooker, Carolina Backcountry, 293.

[20] Letter from Roger Pinckney to the Board of Trade, dated 30 August 1766, transcribed in BPRO vol. 31: 236–48. The deposition of James O’Brien (dated 15 September 1766) and the declaration of Bennet Oldham (no date), both concerning Shinner’s 1766 dispute with Pinckney, were included with a letter dated 19 September 1766 sent by Governor Charles Greville Montagu to the Board of Trade, and are transcribed in Records in the British Public Record Office Relating to South Carolina, 1663–1782, volume 31: 259–63. All of this material is now part of CO 5/378 at the National Archives of the United Kingdom. The committee report on Shinner’s conduct, presented to the Commons House on 9 April 1767, mentioned “one Mr. Obrien an attorney at law, who lived [past tense] with the Chief Justice”; see SCDAH, Journal of the South Carolina Commons House of Assembly, No. 37, part 1, page 353). Both O’Brien and Oldham were admitted to practice in the South Carolina Court of Common Pleas by 1763, and both later petitioned to practice in the South Carolina Court of Chancery. See their respective petitions in SCDAH, Petitions to Practice Law (Court of Chancery), box 1, items 11 (Oldham, 9 February 1764) and 19 (O’Brien, 30 October 1765).

[21] Hooker, Carolina Backcountry, 293.

[22] Hooker, Carolina Backcountry, 293.