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 Francis Nurse

Francis Nurse

Bristol, England
Death 22 Nov 1695 (aged 77)
Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial Unknown, Specifically: Unknown
Memorial ID 50647036 · View Source
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"On account of the witchcraft delusion in Salem, [Francis] and his wife became historical characters. The name of Rebecca Nurse (or Nourse) is perhaps the best known of all of its unfortunate victims.

Francis Nourse was an early settler in Salem, and was a proprietor of the town 1647. He lived for forty years near Sperry's, on North River Street, between the main village and the ferry to Beverly. He was a woodworker, called a tray-maker. In those days, wooden trays and dishes were the rule; there was little pewter, less silver and china, and the plates, trays and trenchers of wood were the ordinary dishes.

He was a skilled workman, and a respectable man of great stability and strength of character. He was called frequently as umpire and arbitrator in cases of dispute over land boundaries. He served on local committees to lay out grants and highways, and on juries. He bought the Bishop farm of some three hundred acres at Salem village, April 29, 1678, and settled there. His sons all built their homesand lived on it, and were men of influence in town and church; were prosperous, and it is believed that their success in acquiring a large estate, paying for it and prospering, was the cause of the charges against wife and mother, Rebecca Nourse.

The story of her trial is well known. She was arrested and protested her innocence on the charge of witchcraft. With steadfast dignity and unwavering patience she bore the ordeal of her trial. Thirty-nine of her friends among the highest and most respectable in the town, signed a statement testifying to her blameless character and faithfulness to the church. These names have been inscribed on a tablet on the memorial recently erected over her grave in Danvers.

They jury found her not guilty, but the court reversed the verdict and condemned her to death. She was hanged on Witch Hill, and buried in the little cemetery at Danvers.

Francis Nourse married [Rebecca] on August 24, 1644...She and her husband were members of the First Church of Salem, and he was a deacon."

--- "Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts"; William Richard Cutter Published in 1908 (Page 1489).

--- Provided by Gone Too Soon [47644196]

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  • Created by: Ed Poulin
  • Added: 4 Apr 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 50647036
  • Chris Knowland
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Francis Nurse (18 Jan 1618–22 Nov 1695), Find A Grave Memorial no. 50647036, ; Maintained by Ed Poulin (contributor 47263733) Unknown, who reports a Unknown.