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 Mary <I>Towne</I> Easty

Mary Towne Easty

Great Yarmouth, Great Yarmouth Borough, Norfolk, England
Death 22 Sep 1692 (aged 58)
Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA
Memorial ID 8301 · View Source
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Salem Witch Trial Defendant. Born in Yarmouth, England, the daughter of Joanna Blessing and William Towne. The Towne family emigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony between 1638 and 1640. They first settled in Northfields, then, in 1651, they moved to Topsfield. Around 1655, Mary wed Isaac Easty, a farmer and barrel maker; the couple had seven children. The family had in the past reportedly drawn the ire of the Putnam family, hence speculation as to why Mary her sisters Rebecca Towne Nurse, Sarah Towne Cloyce were all accused of witchcraft during the Salem witch hysteria, since Mary had a very good reputation in the village. She was examined on April 21, 1692, calmly pleading innocence. Magistrate John Hathorne even asked the plaintiffs if they were sure they had accused the right person. She was released on her own recognizance on May 18, and all of the accusers, except one, seemed willing to let their accusations ease off. The final accuser, however, went into fits and claimed Mary was trying to kill her. The accuser's fits did not ease until Mary had been returned to prison and placed in irons in a clear demonstration of the power of the accusers. From prison, she and her sister wrote a petition to the magistrates asking for a fair trial, and that the testimony of accusers be dismissed since 'spectral evidence' lacked legality. Their petition was disregarded, and she was convicted and sentenced to hang. A second petition pleaded that "no more innocent blood may be shed" and suggested court strategies to prohibit collusion between accusers. She was herself, however, hanged as a witch. In 1711, the colony passed a bill clearing her name, among others, and paid restitution of £20 to her family for her wrongful execution. In 1957, the state of Massachusetts formally apologized for the witch trials.

Bio by: Iola

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 25 Jan 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 8301
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Mary Towne Easty (24 Aug 1634–22 Sep 1692), Find A Grave Memorial no. 8301, citing Salem Witch Trials Memorial, Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .