REV. FRANCIS JOHN DANE was born 1615 in England,
Christening Place: Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, England, and died February 17, 1695/96 in Andover, Essex, Massachusetts. He was the son of JOHN DANE and FRANCES BOWYER. He married (1) ELIZABETH INGALLS, daughter of EDMUND INGALLS and ANN TRIPP. She was born 1622 in England, and died June 09, 1676 in Andover, Essex County, Massachusetts. He married (2) HANNAH CHANDLER, daughter of WILLIAM CHANDLER. She died June 1711 in Andover, Essex County, Massachusetts.
Children of FRANCIS DANE and ELIZABETH INGALLS are:
i. ELIZABETH3 DANE, b. Abt. 1642, Andover, Essex County, Massachusetts; m. STEPHEN JOHNSON, November 05, 1661, Andover, Essex County, Massachusetts.
ii. NATHANIEL DANE, b. Abt. 1645; d. April 14, 1725, Andover, Essex County, Massachusetts; m. DELIVERANCE HAZELTINE, December 12, 1692; b. Abt. 1654; d. July 15, 1735, Andover, Essex County, Massachusetts.
iii. HANNAH DANE, b. 1648; m. WILLIAM GOODHUE, November 14, 1666, Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts.
iv. PHEBE DANE, b. Abt. 1650; m. JOSEPH ROBINSON, May 30, 1671.
v. ABIGAIL DANE, b. October 13, 1652, Andover, Essex, Massachusetts; d. February 05, 1729/30, Andover, Essex, Massachusetts; m. FRANCIS FAULKNER, October 12, 1675, Andover, Essex County, Massachusetts; b. May 1651, Andover, Essex, Massachusetts; d. September 19, 1732, Andover, Essex, Massachusetts.
vi. FRANCIS DANE, b. December 08, 1656, Andover, Essex County, Massachusetts; d. November 08, 1738, Andover, Essex County, Massachusetts; m. HANNAH POOR, November 16, 1681; b. May 06, 1660, Andover, Essex County, Massachusetts.
In 1658 when the subject of witchcraft first came to his attention, he came down decidedly against the concept. When John Godfrey was charged with injuring the wife of Job Tyler by "Satanic acts", Dane judged against the probability.
Around 1680, when Francis Dane was about sixty-five years of age, church members became concerned about his ability to fulfill his role leading the church and requested that a younger minister be sent to them. In January 1682, Rev. Thomas Barnard, a recent graduate of Harvard, arrived. Shortly following Barnard's arrival, Francis Dane's salary was stopped. Dane petitioned the General Court in Boston to have it reinstated. The town complied, but split the salary of 80 pounds a year so that Dane received thirty pounds and Barnard received fifty. Neither man was pleased with the solution.
Dane had lived in Andover for forty-four years, and he was seventy-six years old when the Salem Witch Trials began. On October 18, 1692, Francis Dane, Thomas Barnard, and twenty-three others wrote a letter to the governor and to the General Court publicly condemning the witch trials. Dane and his family were in danger as half a dozen family members stood accused, including Francis Dane himself. Another minister, George Burroughs, had been hanged, and thus Dane's status did not guarantee protection. He warned that his people were guilty of blood for accepting unfounded accusations against covenanted members of the church.
Two of Francis Dane's daughters, Elizabeth Dane Johnson and Abigail Dane Faulkner, and his daughter-in-law, Deliverance Dane, were all arrested. Abigail Dane Faulkner's two daughters, Abigail Faulkner and Dorothy Faulkner, were also accused of witchcraft.
Dane's daughter, Abigail Faulkner Sr., was convicted and condemned in September 1692 but given a temporary stay of execution because she was pregnant. She was later pardoned by the governor and released. Although Dane's extended family had the most accused of any family, none of his immediate family members was executed, except Elizabeth Jackson Howe (executed July 19, 1692), wife of James Howe, Jr. (or How). Martha Carrier, Dane's niece was also executed as a witch August 19, 1692.