Nielsen Hayden genealogy

William Brown

Male 1615 - 1706  (91 years)


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  • Name William Brown  [1
    Born 1615  Salisbury, Wiltshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Gender Male 
    Baptised 23 Nov 1615  St. Edmund's, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Died 24 Aug 1706  Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Person ID I5615  Nielsen Hayden genealogy
    Last Modified 24 Dec 2015 

    Father George Brown,   d. Aft 22 Aug 1633, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother Christian Hibbert,   d. 28 Dec 1641 
    Married 30 Sep 1611  St. Edmund's, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Family ID F3266  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Elisabeth Murford 
    Married 25 Jun 1645  [2, 3
    Children 
    +1. Mary Brown,   b. 17 Jun 1647, Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 19 May 2017 09:44:39 
    Family ID F3228  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Constable of Salisbury in 1675. Testified against Susannah (North) Martin in her 1692 trial for witchcraft, following which she was hung.

      From Massachusetts and Maine Families in the Ancestry of Walter Goodwin Davis, citation details below:

      "That he did not share the place held by his two brothers in public life may perhaps be attributed to the sad fact of the insanity of his wife, who lost her reason about the year 1660. The story can best be told in the words of William Brown himself, in his deposition agains Susanna Martin used in 1692 at the trial of that strong and spirited woman, to whose witchcraft his demented wife laid her affliction:

      "'The deposition of William Brown of Salisbury, aged seventy years, who, testifying, saith: That about one or two and thirty years ago Elizabeth, his wife, being a very rational woman and sober, and one that feared God, as was well known to all that knew her, and as prudently careful in her family, which woman going upon a time from her own house towards the mill in Salisbury, did there meet with Susanna Martin, the then wife of George Martin, of Amesbury. Just as they came together the said Susanna Martin vanished away out of her sight, which put the said Elizabeth into a great fright; after which time the said Martin did many times appear to her at her house, and did much trouble her in many of her occasions; and this continued until about February following, and then, when she did come, it was as birds pecking her legs or pricking her with the motion of their wings; and then it would rise up into her stomach, with pricking pain, as nails and pins; of which she did bitterly complain, and cry out like a woman in travail; and after that it would rise up to her throat in a bunch like a pullet's egg, and then she would turn back her head and say "Witch, ye sha'n't choke me." In the times of this extremity the church appointed a day of humiliation, to seek God on her behalf, and thereupon her trouble ceased, and she saw goodwife Martin no more for a considerable time, for which the church, instead of a day of humiliation, gave thanks for her deliverance. She came to meeting and went about her business as before. This continued till April following, at which time the summonses were sent to the said Elizabeth Brown and goodwife Osgood by the court to give their evidences concerning the said Martin; and they did, before the grand jury, give a full account. After which time the said Elizabeth told this deponent that, as she was milking her cow, the said Susanna Martin came behind her and told her that she would make her the miserablest creature for defaming her name at the court, and wept grievously as she told it to this deponent. About two months after this deponent came home from Hampton, and his said wife would not own him, but said they were divorced, and asked him whether he did not meet with one Mrs. Bent of Albury, in England, by whom he was divorced. And from that time to this very day she has been under a strange kind of distemper and frenzy, incapable of any rational action, though strong and healthy of body. He further testifyeth that when she came into that condition this deponent (got) Doctors Fuller and Crosby to come to her for her release, but they did both say that her distemper was supernatural, no sickness of body, but that some evil person had bewitched her.'

      "Sworn the 11th of May, Anno Domini 1692, before me, Robert Pike, Assistant."

  • Sources 
    1. [S629] The Ancestry of Lydia Harmon, 1755-1836: Wife of Joseph Waterhouse of Standish, Maine, by Walter Goodwin Davis. Boston: Stanhope Press, 1924.

    2. [S528] Massachusetts and Maine Families in the Ancestry of Walter Goodwin Davis (1885-1966), by Walter Goodwin Davis. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1996.

    3. [S526] The Old Families of Salisbury and Amesbury, Massachusetts, With Some Related Families of Adjoining Towns and of York County, Maine, by David W. Hoyt. Providence, Rhode Island, 1897-1916.