Thomas and Mary Bradbury lived for a short time in York, Maine but by 1640 they had settled in the new plantation of Salisbury. They were a successful couple, Thomas was a schoolmaster, town clerk, clerk of courts and a military commander. Mary had a successful butter business, making enough butter to sell to the sailing ships. They raised a family, losing some children along the way, as did most families of that period. All in all a respectable life, one in which I assume, they believed would continue until their deaths. Then came the hysteria of the Salem Witch Trials.
"In the yeare aforesaid and divers other dayes and times as well before as after Certaine Detestable arts called Witchcraft & Sorceries Wickedly Matllitiously and felloniously hath used practiced and Exercised At and int eh Township of Andivor in the County of Essex aforesaid in upon & against one Timothy Swann of Andivor In the County aforesaid Husbandman -- by which said Wicked Acts fthe said Timothy Swann upon the 26th day of July Aforesaid and divers other days & times both before and after was and is Tortured Afflicted Consumed Pined Wasted and Tormented, and also for Sundry other Acts of Witchcraft by the said Mary Bradbury Comitted and done before and since that time against the peace of our Sov'r Lord & Lady the King and Queen theire Crowne and dignity And the forme Of the Statute In that case made and Provided."Witnesses: Mary Walcott and Ann Puttnam
The Answer of Mary Bradbury in the charge of Witchcraft or familliarity with the Divell :
I doe plead not guilty.""I am wholly inocent of any such wickedness through the goodness of god that have kept mee hitherto. I am the servant of Jesus Christ & Have given my self up to himas my only lord & saviour: and to the dilligent attendance upon him in all his holy ordinances, in utter contempt & defiance of the divell, and all his works as horid & detestible;; and accordingly have endevo'red to frame my life; & conversation according to the rules of his holy word, & in that faith & practise resolve by the help and assistance of god to contineu to my lifes end:" For the truth of what I say as to matter of practiss I humbly refer my self, to my brethren & neighbors that know mee and unto the searcher of all hearts for the truth & uprightness of my heart therein: (human frailties, & unavoydable infirmities excepted) of which I bitterly complayne every day:" Mary Bradbury
|Picture of the actual plea|