Monday, January 15, 2007

The Blakes' Witch

Andrew & Margaret (Williams) Blake were original settlers of the Oil Creek watershed. (See Nov '06 entry First Settlers ) Most of our ancestors came to the New World in the 1700s, either to the Chesapeake Bay area: to Maryland or Virginia, or to Philadelphia (the Palatine Germans and Swiss mostly came in through Philadelphia.) Andrew Blake's family is unusual in that they came in the 1600s to New England. Several of Andrew Blake's ancestors have interesting stories, but none is more sensational than the story of his 4th-great grandmother1, Mary (Perkins) Bradbury, who was tried and convicted as a witch in the Salem witch trials in the summer of 1692.
This sketch shows a scene from the trial of Mary Perkins Bradbury of Salisbury. Perkins Bradbury was set to be hanged as a witch 320 years ago this month, but her friends broke her out of jail on the eve of the hanging. Courtesy photo/ Paul Turner, Salisbury Historical Society
Mary Perkins was born in 1615 in Warwicshire, at the very center of England. She came to the Boston area with her parents and siblings as a child. Neither she nor her future husband Thomas Bradbury were Puritans.
When she was in her late 70s Mary was accused of witchcraft at the Salem witch trials. Her accusers made some fascinating claims, such as, she would turn into a blue boar and chase around the yard and, she sold a ship's captain 2 tubs of butter but one of the tubs was bewitched.

Find more about Grandma Mary's trial at
an article in the Newbury Port MA News. and
University of Missouri- Kansas City Web Site.
Here is her testimony, transcribed from the original court records.
"The answer of Mary Bradbury to the charge of witchcraft or familiarity with the Devil.
"I do plead not guilty. - I am wholly innocent of such wickedness through the goodness of God that hath kept me hitherto. I am the servant of Jesus Christ and have given myself up to him as my only Lord and Saviour, and to the diligent attendance upon him in al holy ordinances, in utter contempt and defiance of the Devil & all his works as horrid and detestable; and have endeavored accordingly to frame my life & conversation according to the rules of his holy word, and in faith and practice resolve, by the help and assistance of God, to continue to my life's end. For the truth of what I say as to matter of practice, I humbly refer myself to my brethren and neighbors that know me, and to the searcher of all hearts for the truth & uprightness of my heart therein, human frailties & unavoidable infirmaties expected, of which I bitterly complain every day.Mary Bradbury."
Mary was the last suspect tried. Although she was convicted, she was not executed. She died eight years later in 1700.

1.The lineage from Oil Creek settler Andrew Blake to Immigrant and convicted Salem witch Mary (Perkins) Bradbury is as follows:
Andrew & Margaret (Williams) Blakeparents: William & Hannah (Ockletree) Blakegrandparents: Theophilus & Margaret (Kennett) Blakegreat grandparents: Samuel & Ann (Sealy) Blake2great grandparents: Thomas & Mary Ann (Stanyon) Sealy
3 great grandparents:
John & Mary (Bradbury) Stanyon4 great grandparents: Thomas & Mary (Perkins) Bradbury

1 comment:

  1. Sweet I knew I got it from someone.