Notable Women Ancestors - Depostions against Susanna Martin


The deposition of John Kimball of Amesbury aged 45 or upwards testifying saith, That about 23 years ago this deponent being about to remove from Newbury to Amesbury having bought a piece of land of George Martin of Amesbury for which he was to pay him in cash or goods upon a certain day in March next following, and when the Day of payment was come Martin and hiw wife came for the pay and the said Kimball offered them the choice of three cows and other cattle but did reserve two cows which thy were not free to part with, they being the first that ever they had, and Martin himself was satisfied with other pay but Susanna his wife understanding from this deponent and his wife that they would not part with one of these 2 cows, the said Susanna Martin said (you had been as good you had) for she will never do you any more good (and so it came to pass) for the next April following that very cow lay in the fair dry yard with her head to her side (but stark dead) and when she was floaed [perhaps flayed] no impediment did appear in her for she was a stout lusty cow, and in a little while after another cow died and then an ox, and then other cattle to the value of 30 pounds that spring.

Sworn by John Kimball May the 16 1692.
Before Robt. Pike Assist.
Jurat in Curia

John Kimball of Amesbury aforementioned further deposeth that the same year after he was come to live at Amesbury and was dwelling in the house of Edmund Elliot he was needed to get a dog and hearing that the wife of said George Martin had a bitch that had whelps and this deponent went to her to get one of her, but she not letting him have his choice he did not absolutely agree for any but said he heard one Blesdell had a bitch by which he may supply, but if not there was no one else he would have heed of her price, but being upon that account at said Blesdell's and marked the whelp that I agreed for, George Martin coming by asked me whether I would not have one of his wife's whelps to which this deponent made answer on the negative.

The same day Edmond Elliot said that he was at the house of the said Martins and heard the said Martin ask his wife why this deponent were not to have one of her puppies and she said he have got one at Goodman Blesdell's and he saw him choose it and mark it (to which his said wife said), "If I live I'll give him puppies enough."

Within a few days after this I, this deponent, coming from his intended house in the woods to Edmond Elliot's house where I dwelt about the sunset or presently after and there did arise a little black cloud in the n.w and a few drops of rain and the wind blew pretty hard. In going between the house of John Wood and the meeting house, this said deponent came by several stumps of trees by the wayside. He by impulse he can give no reason of that made him tumble over the stumps one after another through, though he had his ax upon his shoulder which put him in Danger and made him resolved to avoid the next but could not.

And when he came a little below the meeting house there did appear a little thing like a puppy of a darkish color. It shot between my legs forwards and backwards as one that were distract the hay and this deponent being free from all fear used all possible endeavors to cut it with his ax but could not hurt it and as he was thus belaboring with his ax the puppy gave a little jump from him and seemed to go into the ground.

In a little further going there did appear a black puppy somewhat bigger than the first but as black as a coal to his apprehension which came against him with such violence as its quick motions did exceed his motions of his ax. Do what he could and it flew at his belly and away and then at his throat and over his shoulder one way and go off and up at it again another way and with such quickness seized and violence did it assault him as if it would tear out his throat or his belly while he was without fear, but at least I felt my heart to fail and sink under it that I thought my life was going out and I recovered myself and gave a start up and ran to the fence and calling upon God and naming the name Jesus Christ and then it invisibly away my moaning as it looked that out but this deponent made it not known to anybody for fretting his wife.

The next morning Edmond Elliot (as he told aborad and in his own house) said that he was going toward the house of said Martin to look his oxen went in to light his pipe and the said Martin's wife asked him where Kimball was (said Elliot said abed with his wife for aught he knew) (she said they say he frightened last night) with what said Elliot she said with puppies. Elliot replied that he heard nothing of it and asked where she heard of it and she said about the Town which story said Elliot having told it was all the Town over when this deponent came home at night for he had been all day alone in the woods at work at his frame work.

John Kimball made oath to the truth of all that is written on both sides of this paper May the 16th 1692.
Before Me
Robt. Pike Assist.
Jurat in Curia


The deposition of Lt. John Allen of Salisbury aged 45 years testifying saith That in or about the year ____ this deponent was hauling timber for Mr. George Carr for building a vessel at Amesbury at Mr. Goodwin's building place and having done and bout to go hom, Susanna Martin the wife of George Martin desired this deponent to cart staves for them which this deponent refused to do because of his oxen which were weak and neede now to get flesh, but she seemed to be discontent (and as James Freeze and others then present told this deponent) (that she said) I had been as good I had (for my oxen should never do me much more service) upon which this deponent said, dost threaten me thou old witch or words to that effect resolving to throw her into a brook that was fast by which to avoid she flew over the bridge and so escaped. But as he was going home one of his oxen tired that he was forced to unyoke him to get him home. And after they were come home, put the said oxen to Salisbury beach where several othr oxen and cattle usually are put where they had long range of meadow to feed on and where cattle did use to get flesh, but in a few days all the oxen upon the beach we found by their tracks were gone to the mouth of the River Merrimack but not returned from whence we thought they were run into the said river, but the next day sending to Plum Island found their tracks there to be come ashore which tracks they followed to the other end of said island and a considerable way back again and then sat down which being apprised by those that sought them they did use all Imaginable Gentleness to them to some acquaintance which some of them seemed to attend, but all on a sudden away they all ran with such violence as if they their motion had been diabolical till they came near the mouth of Merrimack River and then turned to the right hand and ran right into the sea all but two old oxen (which had before left their company) and all the rest went to sea as far as they could see them, and then one of them came back again with such swiftness as was amazing to the beholders who stood ready to ___ him and help his tired carcass up, but letting him loose away he ran up into the Island and from there through the marshes up into Newbury town and so up into their woods and there was after a while found about Hartechok river over against Amesbury. So that of 14 good oxen only that was saved, the rest were all cast up some at Cape Ann some in one place and some in other of they only had their hides, he further saith that the abovesaid James Freeze did often move the prosecuting of the said Susanna Martin in the case being confident that she was a witch.

Lt. John Allen made oath to the truth of all that is above written June the 7th 1692.
Before Me
Robt. Pike Assist.
Jurat in Curia


The Deposition of Joseph Knight aged about 40 years. This Deponent do testify and say that on the 20th day of October or thereabouts in the year of our Lord 1686 Nathaniel Clark Junior of Newbury together with this Deponent going out into the woods together to fetch up horses there met with Suanna Martin of Amesbury with a little dog running by her side and in my sift she took up said dog under her arm, but coming up near to her she had a keg or a half firkin under the same arm. This deponenet then looked her in the face and told her that that keg was a little dog, but now Nathaniel Clark said so it was and then passing from her we found our horses and brought them to a small causeway but could not get them over, but there being a small knoll of land near our horses ran round about it the greatest part of that day we often bringing them up to the Causeway but then they turned to that knoll and ran about it the same way, but at length there came a young man with a yoke of oxen to go over the Causeway who with some difficulty got them over for although the Causeway was very good yet one of the oxen hung back as though he were frightened, but at length were forced over and then we got over our horses.

Joseph Knight owned this his testimony to be the truth on his oath before the Jurors of Inquest this 29 of June 1692.


Elizabeth Clark who then was the wife of the abovesaid Nathaniel Clark do testify that when my said husband Nathaniel Clark came home he told me this deponent the matter mentioned in Joseph Knight's testimony and he related to me the whole of the matter and all the circumstances related in said testimony excepting that my husband told Joseph Knight that the keg undr Goodwife Martin's arm was or had been a dog. This deponent do further testify that Goodwife Martin abovesaid came to our house the same day mentioned in Joseph Knight's testimony before my husband came home and coming into the house our dog bit her by the leg as she said whereupon she being angry said that he was a churl like his master.

Elizabeth Clark owned this her testimony to be the truth on the oath which she had taken before the Jury for Inquest this 29 of June 1692.

Susanna's Arrest, Trial and Witness Testimony

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