Monday, January 23, 2017

Our Salem Witch Connection- First Accused- Ann Holland

     Ann Holland was born in England about 1603. Researchers have claimed she was the daughter of Richard Holland and Winifred Pearse.  Ann married Roger Bassett at St. Martin's Church on April 27,1623  in Dorking (now in Surrey county) England. They had at least one child, William Bassett baptized at the same church on May 30, 1624.  Roger died when William was young. as we find that Ann has married Hugh Burt sometime between Oct 1628  and June 17, 1635, the date the Burt family registered for passage on the ship"Abigail".  The Shipmaster Robert Blackwell (or Hackwell?), listed Hugh Burt, Mrs. Anne Burt, Edward Burt, and William Bassett on the passenger list  and Hugh Burt Jr. was listed on July 1,1635.

     The Burt family settled at the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  Hugh Burt Sr. was granted 60 acres in 1638 and was listed as "husbandman" meaning farmer.

       Ann Burt was a Quaker and that was not a popular religious choice.   Researchers claim she was both a midwife and a talented healer. This  may have been her first bit of trouble was when she was mentioned in  Dec 1643 when "Auld Churchman of Lynn" was presented ( chastised?) for living without his wife for seven or eight years, and "for having the wife of Hugh Burt locked with him alone in his house". A few months later on 4 Aug 1644, Hugh Burt appraised the estate of this same Hugh Churchman, in whose will Burt's son Edward was bequeathed 10 shillings. (TL NOTE  Could Ann have been there to care for the man while he was ill?)

        Hugh Burt died in 1661.  In November 1669, there was a charge of witchcraft brought against "Goodwife Burt".  Several people testified against her, yet there is no indication that the court made any decision on the matter. This was one of the first if not the first witchcraft charge in in Lynn,Massachusetts records

"Bethiah Carter, aged 23 years, deposed that she heard Sarah Towsan say when she was a maid & lived with Goodwife Burt that the latter told the said Sarah if she could believe in her God she would cure her body and soul, but Goodwife Burt said she could not cure her own husband because he would not believe in her God, but her maid did and was cured. Since then the said Sarah has been sorely afflicted with sad fits 'Crying out and Rayling agaynst me sayin My father carryed me to boston but Carryed her to Lin too an auld wich'. Sarah told her further that she had seen the said Burt appear often at her bed's feet in the day and night."

"Phillip Reade, Physician, aged about 45 years, deposed that he had been sent for several times to see Sara Townsan and her sister Carter, both being very ill. 'Sd Sara townsend being in a more sadder Condiccion he had noe oppertunyty to Examine her Condiccion but did playnly perceive there was no Naturall caus for such unnatural fits but being sent for the 4th time and finding her in a meat Capassity to Give information of her agreunac and Caus of her former fits she tould me the abovesd Burt had afflickted her and if ever she did Relate it to anyone she would afflict her wors one however after had a sadder fit than evar sha had afore: then I askt her who afflict her Now abd what the matter was she Replide with a great scrich she had tould me already and she did Now Suffer for it.' "

"John Knight, aged about 47 years, deposed that he 'was goinge to fetch some things for his wife and he saw old goody burt coming out of the swamp and shee was in her smok sleeves and a blake hancacher and black cap on her head and hee looked upp and suddenly shee was gone out of sight and I looked aboute and could not see her, when I came into the house I found her in the same habit as I saw her and he said unto her did I not see you in the swamp even now and she said noe I was in the house and he tould her she was a light headed woman.' "

"Maddelene Pearson, aged about 50 years, deposed that she heard Sarah Pearson say when her father had her down to Goodwife Burts to be cured of her sore that the first night she was there the said Burt put her to bed..... Burt said 'Sarah will you smokit and giving of the pipe she smokit', and Sarah fell into fits again and said Goodwife Burt brought the devil to torment her."

The full text of the "Records and files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County"  can be found in volume four (starts on page 207)  at this web site

Anne Burt wrote her will on June 8, 1664 and appears to have died about late 1672 to early 1673.   The estate was divided between her son William and her grandchildren.  This is the iventory list of her possessions:
Inventory of the estate of Anne Burt, taken Mar. 18, 1672-3, by William Crofts and Francis Burrill:
one petecot & wastcott, £1 10s.the Remene of her wooling aperill, £5 12s.too fether Beds, too Boulsters, too Pillos, three Blankits, one tapeistre Coverin, £2 18s.more weareing aparill, £1 6s.too cortings, Bibil & one other Booke, 6s.fiue peare of shets & one sheet, £3 11s.a rable Cloth & 8 napkins, £1three pillowbeares & other small things, 7s.three shifts, 8s.small linin, £2 10s. 7d.peuter & tin, 2d.Bras & Iron, £2 18s.too yeards of Peniston, 8s.3 Chists, too boxes, one trunk, £1too wheeles, too cheirs & other lumber, £1one couw, £3ten shep, 5£sillver, £2 10s.due to her £3total £47 2s. 6d.
Attested 26d:4m:1673 by William Bassett.
[Essex County Quarterly Court Files, volume 20, leaves 48, 49Essex Probate, volume 2, pp. 361-362]

FAMILY PATH Turner to Tompkins, to Wilburn, to Wallen, to Bassett, to Holland

1 comment:

  1. The principal accuser of Ann Burt and Margaret Gifford was my great (etc.) grandfather, Dr. Philip Reade, so I found this interesting. Looks like he and Margaret's husband had a running feud. Anyway, I'm glad to see both women beat the rap. My ancestor comes across as a bit of a hothead.