Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Philip Smith

Male Bef 1632 - 1685  (> 52 years)


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  • Name Philip Smith 
    Born Bef 25 Nov 1632  [1, 2
    Gender Male 
    Baptised 25 Nov 1632  St. Mary the Virgin, Hadleigh, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4
    Died 10 Jan 1685  Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Person ID I19750  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of DDB
    Last Modified 9 Dec 2018 

    Father Samuel Smith,   b. Abt 1602,   d. Between 28 Sep 1680 and 17 Jan 1681, Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 78 years) 
    Mother Elizabeth Smith 
    Married 6 Oct 1624  St. Margaret's, Whatfield, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Family ID F9172  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Rebecca Foote,   b. Abt 1634,   d. 6 Apr 1701  (Age ~ 67 years) 
    Married Bef 1659  [1
    Children 
    +1. Nathaniel Smith,   b. of Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1740
    +2. Ichabod Smith,   b. 11 Apr 1675,   d. 6 Sep 1746  (Age 71 years)
    Last Modified 9 Dec 2018 
    Family ID F12018  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • He was perhaps the first person in his adopted town of Hadley to be a lieutenant, a deacon, and a representative to the general assembly.

      According to Cotton Mather, he was "murdered with an hideous witchcraft," for which Mary (Reeve) Webster, wife of William Webster (a son of Governor John Webster, also an ancestor of DDB) was accused and aquitted.

      From Magnalia Christi Americana by Cotton Mather:

      Mr. Philip Smith, aged about 50 years, a son of eminently virtuous parents, a deacon of a church in Hadley, a member of the General Court, a justice in the County Court, a selectman for the affairs of the town, a Lieutenant of the troop, and which crowns all, a man for devotion, sanctity, gravity, and all that was honest, exceeding exemplary. Such a man was in the winter of the year 1684, murdered with an hideous witchcraft, that filled all those parts of New England, with astonishment. He was, by his office concerned about relieving the indigences of a wretched woman in the town; who being dissatisfied at some of his just cares about her, expressed herself unto him in such a manner, that he declared himself thenceforth apprehensive of receiving mischief at her hands. Early in January, he began to be very valetudinarious. He shewed such weanedness from the weariness of the world, etc....While he remained yet of a sound mind, he solemnly charged his brother to look well after him. Be sure (said he) to have a care for me....There shall be a wonder in Hadley....In his distress he exclaimed much upon the young woman aforesaid, and others, as being seen by him in the room. Some of the young men in the town being out of their wits at the strange calamities thus upon one of their most beloved neighbors, went three or four times to give disturbance unto the woman thus complained of; and all the while they were disturbing her, he was at ease, and slept as a weary man; yea, these were the only times they perceived him to take any sleep in all his illness. Gally pots of medicine provided for the sick man were unaccountably emptied: audible scratchings were made about the bed, when his hands and feet lay wholly still, and were held by others. They beheld fire sometimes on the bed; and when the beholders began to discourse of it, it vanished away. Divers people actually felt something often stir in the bed, at a considerable distance from the man; it seemed as big as a cat, but they could never grasp it. Several trying to lean on the bed's head, tho' the sick man lay wholly still, the bed would shake so as to knock their heads uncomfortably. Mr. Smith died; the jury that viewed his corpse found a swelling on one breast, his back full of bruises, and several holes that seemed made with awls. After the opinion of all had pronounced him dead, his countenance continued as lively as if he had been alive; his eyes closed as in a slumber, and his nether jaw not falling down. Thus he remained from Saturday morning about sunrise, till Sabbathday in the aftenoon. When those who took him out of the bed, found him still warm, tho' the season was as cold as had almost been known in any age; and a New England winter does not want for cold. But on Monday morning they found the face extremely tumified and discolored. It was black and blue, and fresh blood seemed running down his cheek upon the hairs. Divers noises were also heard in the room where the corpse lay; as the clattering of chairs and stools, whereof no account could be given. This was the end of so good a man.

      From History of Hadley (citation details below):

      Mary Webster, the woman who disturbed Philip Smith, was sent to Boston, tried for witchcraft, and acquitted. The young men of Hadley tried an experiment upon her. They dragged her out of the house, hung her up until she was near dead, let her down, rolled her some time in the snow, and at last buried her in it, and there left her. But she survived, and died in 1696. No inhabitant of Hampshire County was ever executed for witchcraft.

  • Sources 
    1. [S101] The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, Volumes 1-3 and The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England,1634-1635, Volumes 1-7, by Robert Charles Anderson. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1996-2011.

    2. [S2036] Paul W. Prindle, "The Wife of Lt. Samuel Smith of Wethersfield." The American Genealogist 32:202, 1956.

    3. [S101] The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, Volumes 1-3 and The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England,1634-1635, Volumes 1-7, by Robert Charles Anderson. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1996-2011., date and town only.

    4. [S2036] Paul W. Prindle, "The Wife of Lt. Samuel Smith of Wethersfield." The American Genealogist 32:202, 1956., month, year, church, and town only.

    5. [S2451] History of Hadley: Including the Early History of Hatfield, South Hadley, Amherst and Granby, Massachusetts by Sylvester Judd, Lucius Manlius Boltwood, and George Sheldon. Hadley, Massachusetts: H. R. Hunting, 1905.