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WITCH TRIALS
Page 6


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SUSANNA (NORTH) MARTIN
ACCUSED OF BEING A WITCH,
SUSANNA WAS HANGED AT SALEM, MA
ON JULY 19, 1692


born: abt 1621, England
baptised: 30 September 1621, at Olney, Buckinghamshire, England
married: 11 August 1646 at Salisbury, MA
died: 19 July 1692 at Salem, Essex, MA

Susanna North and Sarah Elizabeth Rose
are first cousin 11 times removed,
through their common ancestor, John NORTH



photo of susannah martin's tombstone

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Susanna was baptized in Olney, Buckinghamshire, England September 30, 1621.
She was the daughter of Richard and Joan (Bartram) North. While she was
still young her mother died. She came to America with her father, stepmother,
and at least one sister. She married George Martin, a blacksmith, August
11, 1646 at Salisbury, MA and had eight children. During the first 23 years
of her marriage, Susanna's name appears twice in public records. In 1647
or 48 she was fined 20 shillings for an unnamed offense and in 1667 her
husband George objected to her seat placement in the meeting house. Perhaps
he felt it was below her station.

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In 1669 Susanna was required to post 100 pounds bond to appear in court on a
charge of witchcraft, a capital offense. At the same time George Martin
sued William Sargent, Jr. for slander for saying that "...said Martyn's
wife had a child at Capt. Wiggins and was wringing its neck in Capt. Wiggins'
stable, when a man entered, and she took him by the collar and told him
she would be the death of him if he told"; he sued William Sargent "...for
saying his wife was a witch and he would call her a witch." George also
sued Thomas Sargent "...for saying that his son George Marttin was a bastard
and that Richard Marttin was Goodwife Martin's imp," (a witch's familiar.)

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Charges were dropped against Thomas Sargent, William Sargent, Jr.. was found
guilty of accusing Susanna of " fornication and infanticide" and George
was awarded (in what appears to be a public insult) the amount of "a white
wampam peague (colonial currency) or the eighth part of a penny damage" by
the magistrates. William Sargent (Sr?) was acquitted of witchcraft slander,
although, "the Court did not agree." The records of Susanna's first trial
for witchcraft have not survived, but as she was around for another 23 years,
we might assume that she was acquitted.

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In October, 1669 George Martin was sued by Christopher Bartlett because Susanna
had called him a liar and a thief. The verdict was against George and Susanna
but they had other problems to deal with. At that same court session, their
son Richard was " presented by the grand jury at the Salisbury Court, 1669,
for abusing his father and throwing him down, taking away his clothes and
holding up an axe against him." The court found him guilty and sentenced
Richard to be "whipped ten stripes."
In 1671, George and Susanna (her sister Mary Jones would join them later) became
involved in lengthy litigation over Richard North's estate. In October 1674,
their inheritance would be lost when the court found against them.

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Descriptions of Susanna say that she was short, slightly plump, active, and "of
remarkable personal neatness." She was also said to be very outspoken, contemptuous
of authority, and defiant in the face of slander which had followed her for years.

The Rev. Cotton Mather said about Susanna, "This woman was one of the most impudent,
scurrilous, wicked creatures of this world; and she did now throughout her whole
trial discover herself to be such a one. Yet when she was asked what she had
to say for herself, her chief plea was that she had led a most virtuous and holy
life." Mr. Merrill, in his History of Amesbury described Susanna differently---------- "The
idea of snatching this hardworking, honest woman from her home to be tried for
her life by those who never knew her , and witnesses who were prejudiced against
her....is almost too much for belief. ...Allowed no counsel, she was her own
lawyer, and her answers are remarkable for independence and clearness. She showed
herself to be a woman of more than ordinary talent and resolution."

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On April 30, 1692 a warrant was issued for Susanna's arrest on a charge of witchcraft
and she was arrested an May 2nd. "When she saw Orlando Bagley approaching on
the morning of her arrest, little did she dream of his errand. He was a personal
friend of long standing, and we can but faintly imagine her surprise when..." he
read the warrant.

During her preliminary examination the at same day, she vigorously answered the
charges against her. When the " afflicted girls" began having fits, she laughed
out loud. When the magistrates asked why she laughed, she responded, "Well I
may at such folly." She refused to express any thoughts on what may have ailed
the girls but bluntly stated that she didn't think they were bewitched. Her further
testimony show that she realized the seriousness of her situation and she adamantly
maintained her innocence.

"The mental anguish and suffering of the two and a half months while she lay
in Salem jail...is beyond our power of description." Susanna Martin underwent
the indignity of a physical examination on June 2 1692. She examinations were
intended to discover whether the accused had any physical abnormalities, especially
anything that could be used to suckle a familiar or even the devil himself. Susanna
was examined twice during the same day; at neither examination was any abnormality
discovered, but at the first her breasts appeared to be full and at the second
slack. Doubtless the magistrates found this apparent indication that she had
actually suckled even more satisfactory than an abnormal "witch's teat."

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On June 26, 1692 her trial began. Susanna pleaded not guilty, but in the end
she was found guilty and condemned to death.

On Tuesday, July 19, 1692 Susanna Martin, Sarah Good, Rebecca Nurse, Sarah Wilde,
and Elizabeth Howe were taken from their cells, put into a cart and driven up
the rocky road to Gallows Hill. While Rebecca Nurse prayed, Rev. Nicholas Noyes
exhorted Sarah Good to confess saying, "You are a witch, and you know you are
a witch." She replied, calling him a liar and saying that she was no more a witch
than he was a wizard and...if you take away my life, God will give you blood
to drink." Tradition says that Rev. Noyes died of an internal hemorrhage, bleeding
profusely from the mouth.

"The bodies...were thrust into a shallow grave in a crevice of felsite." There
is historical evidence that the body of at least one of these women, Rebecca
Nurse, was secretly removed and given Christian burial; "this was the hour and
the power of darkness when a son could not say where he had buried his mother."

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In 1711, the General Court granted compensation to many of the victims or their
heirs, but Susanna's children made no application to the authorities and they
received nothing. Susanna was not among those whose attainder was lifted.

A plaque dedicated to her reads:
"Here stood the house of Susanna Martin. An honest, hardworking,
Christian woman. Accused as a witch, tried and executed at Salem, July 19, 1692.
A martyr of superstition."

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TEXT COMPILED BY BONNIE JOHNSON from :
http://www.rootsweb.com/~nwa/sm.html

(Thank you for sharing your research with us, Bonnie)

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PAGE 1
WITCHTRIALS
MARY
(PERKINS)
BRADBURY
PAGE 2
WITCHTRIALS
MARY
BRADBURY
Part 2
PAGE 3
WITCHTRIALS
ELIZABETH
KNAPP
PAGE 4
WITCHTRIALS
ELIZABETH
KNAPP
Part 2
PAGE 5
WITCHTRIALS
SUSANNAH
(NORTH)
MARTIN
PAGE 7
WITCHTRIALS
REBECCA
(TOWNE)
NURSE
PAGE 8
WITCHTRIALS
MARY
(BLISS)
PARSONS
Part1
PAGE 9
WITCHTRIALS
MARY
PARSONS
Part 2
PAGE 10
WITCHTRIALS
SARAH
WILSON
SR. & JR.
Part 1
PAGE 11
WITCHTRIALS
SARAH
WILSON
Part 2
PAGE 12
WITCHTRIALS
MARY
(TOWNE)
ESTEY
PAGE 13
WITCHTRIALS
INFANT DAUGHTER
DEWOLF
PAGE 14
WITCHTRIALS
SARAH
(TOWNE)
CLOYCE
Part 1
PAGE 15
WITCHTRIALS
SARAH
CLOYCE
Part 2
PAGE 16
WITCHTRIALS
ELIZABETH
(HUTCHINS)
HART
PAGE 17
WITCHTRIALS
ANNE
PUTNAM
PAGE 18
WITCHTRIALS
EARLY
CT
LAWS



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