Notable Women Ancestors - Depositions against Susanna Martin


The testimony of John Pressey of Amesbury aged 53 years or thereabouts taken before me at my house at Salisbury the eleventh day of May: Ano: Dom. 1692 is as followeth. That about twenty four years ago, he this deponent was at Amesbury Ferry upon a Saturday in the evening near about the shutting in of the daylight (which was about three miles From his house) and as he was going home a little beyond the field of George Martin at a hill called Goodal's hill this deponent was bewildered and lost his way and having wandered a while he came back again to the same place which he knew by stooping trees in that place, which perceiving he set out again and steered by the moon which shone bright, and was again lost and came back again to the same place.

And then set out the 3rd time in like manner and was bewildered and came back but not so far as before but knew where he was and so set himself in his way as before and in Less than half a mile going he saw a light stand on his left hand about two rod out of the way; it seemed to be about the bigness of a half bushel, but this deponent kept on his way and left it and in a matter of seven or eight rod going it appeared again at the like distance from him as before and so it did again the 3d time, but the deponent passed on his way and in less than twenty rod going the same or such another light lay in his way and he having a stick in his hand did with the end of it endeavored to stir it out of the place and to give it some small blows with it and the light seemed to brush up and move from side to side as a turkey cock when he spreads his tail, but went not out of the place, which perceiving this deponent laid it on with his stick with all his might he thinks he gave her at least forty blows, and so was a going away and leave it but as he was going his heels were struck up and he laid on his back on the ground and was sliding into a deep place (as to him seemed) but taking hold of some brush or brushes and so recovered himself and having lost his coat which he had upon his arm went back to the light, saw his coat and took it up and went home without any more disturbance there.

He farther say he do not know any such pit to be in the place that he was sliding into. He also saith that when he did strike at the light he did certainly feel a substance with his stick. He further saith that after striking it and his recovering himself and going on his way as aforesaid, when he had gone about 5 or 6 rod he saw Susanna Martin then wife of George Martin of Amesbury standing on his left hand as the lights had done. There she stood and looked upon him and turned her face after him as he went along, but said nothing nor did nothing to this Deponent, but that he went home as aforesaid. Only he again over went his own house but knowing the ground that he was upon returned and found his own house, but being then seized with fear could not speak till his wife spoke to him at the door and was in such condition that his family was afraid of him, which story being carried to the Town the next day it was upon inquiry understood, that the said Goodwife Martin was in such a miserable case and in such pain that they swabbed her body (as was reported). This deponent further saith that these things being noised abroad, Major Pike sent for this deponent and had an account of the case, but seemed to be troubled that this deponent had not told him of it in season that she might have been viewed to have seen what her ail was. John Pressey aforesaid made oath to the truth of what is written in these two sides of the paper the eleventh day of May Anno Dom 1692.

Before Me
Robt. Pike Assist.
Jurat in Curia


The deposition of John Pressey aged 53 and Mary his wife aged 46 or thereabouts testifying saith that some years after that the said John Pressey had given his evidence against the said Susanna Martin she, the said Martin, came and took these deponents to do about it and reviled them with many foul words saying we had took a false oath and that we should never prosper and that we should never prosper for our so doing particularly that we should never have but two cows and that if we were never so likely to have more yet we should never obtain it. We do further testify that from that time to this day we have never exceeded that number, but something or other has prevented it, tho never so likely (to obtain it) though they had used all ordinary means for obtaining it by hiring cows of others that were not their own, this for twenty years' space. John Pressey made oath to the truth of all that is above written at my house in Salisbury the eleventh day of May Ano Domino 1692
Before Me
Robt. Pike Assist.
Mary Pressey testifieth to all the above Except Susanna her threatening of the not raising above two cows.
Jurat in Curia by both


The deposition of Bernard Peach aged 43 or thereabouts, who testifying saith, That about six or seven years past this deponent living at the house of Jacob Morell in Salisbury being in bed on a Lord's Day night he heard a scrabbling at the window, he this deponent saw Susanna Martin wife of George Martin of Amesbury come in at the window and jumped down upon the floor. She was in her hood and scarf and the same dress that she was in before at meeting the same day. Being come in she was coming up towards this deponent's face, but turned back to his feet and took hold of them and drew up his body into a hoop and lay upon him about an hour and half or 2 hours in all which time this deponent could not stir nor speak, but feeling himself beginning to be loosened or lightened he beginning to strive he put out his hand among the clothes and took hold of her hand and brought it up to his mouth and bit three of the fingers (as he judge) to the breaking of the bones. Which done the said Martin went out of the chamber down the stairs and out of the door.

And as soon as she went away this deponent called to the people of the house and told them what was done and that said Martin was now gone out of the door this deponent did also follow her but the people did not see her (as they said) but without the door there was a bucket of ___ on the left hand side and there was a drop of blood on the handle too, more upon the snow for there was a little flight of snow and there were the print of her two feet about a foot without the threshold, but no more footing did appear.

He further deposeth that some time after this as he supposeth about 3 weeks after, the said Martin desired this deponent to come and husk corn at her house the next Lord's Day night, say that if I did not come it were better that I did, but this deponent did not go being then living with N___ Osgood of the said Salisbury and that night lodged in the barn upon the hay and about an hour or 2 in the night, the said Susanna Martin and another came towards this deponent. He having a quarter staff made a blow at them but the roof of the barn prevented it and they went away, but this deponent followed them and as they were going toward the window made another blow at them and struck them both down but away they went out at the shop window and this deponent saw no more of them. And the rumor went that the said Martin had a broken hand at that time but the deponent cannot speak to that upon his own knowledge.

Sworn May the eleventh 1692
Before Me
Robt. Pike Assist.

Susanna's Arrest, Trial and Witness Testimony

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