The book Abstracts of the Testamentary Proceedings of the Prerogative Court of Maryland, Volume X: 1704-1707, Liber 19C:35 (page 75), lists a “bond of James Maddox administrator of Cornelius Maddox (pauper),” dated 7 March 1705/6, and explains that “Mary Maddox the widow renounced administration, in favor of the eldest son James Maddox,” dated 25 February 1705/6. Benjamin Adams secured the bond.
The title “pauper” is jarring, given Cornelius’ success in planting, his known property, his marriage into a well-to-do family, the support system that his large family could offer, and his sons’ primogeniture-based land ownership. But it’s very likely that this refers to our Cornelius. Our Cornelius did die around the time that this bond is recorded (Cornelius’ estate was inventoried on 9 March 1705/6), his first son was named James, and Cornelius’ widow’s name was Mary (Smallwood) Maddox.
Reviewing Cornelius’ March 1706 inventory, the list of property would not place him in the pauper category. Beyond the necessities – tables, chairs, featherbeds, soap, buckets and more – that would support a small household, there were luxuries, including a silk petticoat, 5 books, wigs, pewter plates and utensils, and more. His estate was sold off at a profit for the family. It’s likely that the term pauper was applied in a court document simply to flag what were probably disproportionate debts, since he died mid-career and unexpectedly.