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Maj Robert Pike

Maj Robert Pike

Birth
Landford, Wiltshire Unitary Authority, Wiltshire, England
Death 12 Dec 1706 (aged 90)
Salisbury, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial Salisbury, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA
Memorial ID 6622964 · View Source
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Robert Pike was living in Salisbury, Massachusetts, by 1637. According to David W. Hoyt's "Old Families of Salisbury," Robert Pike was one of five men given "full powers to order all the affairs of the town" in 1643. He was wealthy enough to have "paid the largest tax in 1652" and socially prominent enough that he and his wife were first on the membership list of the Salsibury church in 1687. Prior to the witchcraft controversy of 1692, he had represented Salisbury at the Massachusetts General Court for several years, held the colonial office of Assistant for 10 years, and had been justice of the peace for several years. Simply put, "he was the most prominent citizen of Salisbury during the last half of the 17th century." Pike is especially known for his role in the witchcraft controversy of 1692, when he was in his late 70's. His office resulted in his recording most of the testimony against Susannah Martin, who was later executed. However, when the accusation was leveled against Mary (Perkins) Bradbury (whose son was married to his daughter), he defended her. In fact, Hoyt says Pike was credited in general with being the "power which squelched the witchcraft delusion." In August 1692, he wrote a letter protesting against the unreliability of the evidence upon which witchcraft convictions had been based, saying that "the Devil is accuser and witness." The trials continued (Mary Bradbury was tried on September 9, but ultimately his view prevailed.

Bio by: Maxine Stansell


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Maxine Stansell
  • Added: 20 Jul 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6622964
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Maj Robert Pike (17 Mar 1616–12 Dec 1706), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6622964, citing Salisbury Colonial Burying Ground, Salisbury, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .