Amaziah Harding (1671 - 1734) MP

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Nicknames: "Maziah"
Birthplace: Eastham, Cape Cod, Plymouth Colony
Death: Died in Chatham, Barnstable County, Province of Massachusetts
Cause of death: Hanged for the murder of his wife.
Managed by: Lori Lynn Wilke
Last Updated:

About Amaziah Harding

Added by E.C. Nickerson with Citations. Hannah's murder by Amaziah:

"We hear from Eastham on Cape Cod, That the beginning of last Week, a most barbarous Murder was committed there, on the body of one Mrs. Harding, suppos'd to be done by her own Husband Amaziah Harding; he having for a great while before, as 'tis said, carried it very ill towards her, to the imparing of her Reason; and now being found in the Room alone with her, where she lay dead near him, with her Neck twisted and broke, and about her Mouth and Throat much beat and bruis'd. The hard-hearted Man being thus surpriz'd, and charg'd with the Fact, by those who first discover'd it, endeavoured to put an end to his own Life, by stabing a Knife into his Bowels, which stroke not proving mortal immediately, he went to repeat it, aiming at his Breast, but was prevented by those about him, and on Friday last he was sent to Barnstable Goal." - Boston Weekly News-Letter for 19-26 July 1733

Amaziah's execution:

"We hear from Barnstable, That _____ Harding, a Man of about 70 Years of Age, was Executed there on Wednesday the 5th Instant, for the murder of his Wife. 'Tis said, he deny'd the Fact to the last." - Boston Weekly News-Letter for 6-13 June 1734, 2nd page

Amaziah's will:

Barnstable County Probate files, Volume 5, pp 180-1.

In the Name of God Amen the twentyeth day of April one Thousand seven hundred and thirty four I Maziah Harding of Eastham in the County of Barnstable husbandman being of perfect mind and memory do make and ordain this my Last will and Testament that is to say first of all I recommend my soul into the hand of God that gave it & my body to the Earth &c.

As touching my worldly Estate I give & dispose of it in manner folowing: -

Vis: first my will is that my just debts be paid as I shall here after order. I give & bequeath to my three sons John Nathan & Cornelius & my daughter Elizabeth Fish all my homestead both housing & Land in Eastham together with all my meadow & woodland in said town to them their heirs & assigns forever to be equally divided to & amongst them that is to say to each of them & their heirs the one quarter part & thereof and that John shall have the improvement of Cornelius' part untill Cornelius arrive at twenty one years of age.

My will is

  • that Nathan shall pay out of his quarter part as abo... (illegible word) thirty pounds in manner folowing viz. twenty pounds thereof toward paying my just debts and the other ten pounds to be paid by him to my two daughters Hannah Fish & Phebe Rogers or those who legally represent them; that is to each of them or their heirs five pounds to be paid within five years after my decease which is all I give unto the sd Hannah Fish & Phebe Rogers out of my estate.
  • I give unto my grandchildren Thomas & James sons of my son James each five shillings to be paid at my decease out of my personal estate.
  • I give and bequeath unto my granddaughters Mary & Elizabeth Clark daughters of my daughter Mary Clark each five shillings to be paid at my decease out of my personal estate.
  • My will is that my son John shall have my Right & Interest in Windham in Connecticut if he can make out any title and that he shall have all the grain that he hath planted or sown or shall do this spring upon my land in Eastham and that my son John shall have any or all of the above mentioned lands or meadow in case it be sold he paying therefor the value thereof according as ...(illeg. word) erant persons chosen mutually between and such as may concern shall estimate it in case they themselves cant agree upon the price.
  • My will is that the remainder of my debts shall be paid out of my personal estate & ...of my personal estate I give & bequeath Equally between my three sons John Nathan & Cornelius and my daughter Elizabeth Fish or such as Legally represent them.
  • I constitute ordain and appoint my well beloved son John to be the sole executor of this my last will and testament and I do hereby revoke all former or other wills or bequests. Ratifying and confirming this to be my last will and testament. In witness whereof I the sd Maziah Harding have hereunto set my hand and seal the day & year above written

Maziah Harding (seal)

Signed Sealed published announced & declared by the sd Maziah Harding as his last will and Testament in presents of us

  • Josiah Dimock
  • Benjamin Hopkins
  • Lydiah Dimock

Barnstable: the foregoing will being presented for probate by ye Executor therein named Joseph Dimock and Lydia Dimock witnesses made oath that they saw the subscriber Maziah Harding the Testator sign & seal & heard him publickly declare of same to be the last will and testament that when he signed he was of sound disposing mind & memory according to the deponants best descerning and that they signed as witnesses thereof together with Benjamin Hopkins in the presence of sd testator Dated ye 5th day of July Dom. 1734. M. Bourn.

---

" After raising nine childern and forty years of marriage at the age of 63, Amaziah killed his wife, Hannah Rogers. The original Barnstable court records of the trail were destroyed in a fire, but copy of the deposition made by Mary Freeman survived in the Massachusetts Archives. From this deposition we have hand account by a witness who came to see Amaziah within the hour of Hannah Rogers' death.

From STC Vol. 259; Doc#37237 p.55, Deposition by Mary Freeman and Hannah Freeman.

" Mary Freeman of Lawful age to give Evidence testifies[Information?] came hastily on or about the eighteen day of July 1733 and informed me that my neighbor Maziah Harding's wife was Dead it being something surprising to me to hear so for I was informed by his son Cornelis less than one hour before that shee was well & in health, whereupon I went immediately with my daughter in law Hannah Freeman to sd Maziah Harding's house & when I came ther I met with sd Maziah Harding at the Door of his house.I then ask him if his wife was Dead. He answered yes & he was glad of it, whereupon I went in to sd Harding's house & there I saw his wife's body lay on a bed wrapped up in bed clothes & I looked on her I saw a [proof?]on her cheek & on her throth & lip that the blood was jelled which seemed to me to be occasioned by some bruise or hurt. Then I asked sd Harding how his wife came so suddenly to her end, whether he took notice shee had not been well. He answered shee was well as shee used to be for ought hee knew & he sd shee had drunk her fill of Rum and sat on the Door sill & he laid on the bed & fell asleep & when he awoke he called for her but shee gave him no answer. Then he rose and went into the other room and found her dead on the bed. I took notice that sd Harding was in a strange fram and seemed to be disguised with drink and often Repeated thse words [ to wit?.]. Harding is a man shirt or no shirt every inch of him & he often Declared he was glad his wife was dead. I reproved him and tould him I was sorry to hear him say so & asked him why he was glad of it &sd Harding replyed & sd because shee had been a Plague to him him for above these twenty years past & he hoped now he should git somebody to keep his house & look after his things and many such like expressions & sd Harding further sd his wife was now gone to paradise among the Royal breed & would be clothed in Robes of glory and many such like expressions, & then sd Harding was very urgent with me to help clean linen to bury his wife in & he would help me to do it urging shee might be buried with all speed fore he sd shee was cover with lice, Rags & dirt. I told him I would not meddle with her nor advise any others till a Jurie had pass upon her. Whereupon the sd Harding replied & sd a jurie, then sd he there will arise a Cursed Damnd Mobb & seemed to bee then something surprised & uneasy & [disembled?] and sd there was no occasion of a jurie for others he named had died suddenly & no Jurie on them. Then I told him there was not the like occasion of Jurie for others he named had died when several were present. Then he seened to be more restless in his mind & sd this is the fruite of mens wifes taking their Neighbours parts against their husbands which has brought it to this & uttered many sensurious reflections on his neighbors."

Mary Freeman

Before Me Joseph Doane Justice Peace, Sworn to in his Majestys Courte of Assise at Barnstable May 1734

Attr.T.Tyler Clerk

Dominy Rec[?] Harding

Order for Harding Execution ordered

STC Record Book 1733-86:81

---

From his Thomas Rogers Society page:

http://www.thomasrogerssociety.com/p5.htm#i137

(A)Maziah Harding [1]

  • M,
  • b. 1 November 1671,
  • d. 5 June 1734

(A)Maziah Harding was born on 1 November 1671 at Eastham. He was the son of Joseph Harding and Bethia Cooke.

(A)Maziah Harding was also known as Maziah Harding.

He married Hannah Rogers, daughter of Thomas Rogers and Elizabeth Snow, before 1694. (A)Maziah Harding died on 5 June 1734 at "executed for t he murder of his wife", Barnstable, at age 62.

Children of (A)Maziah Harding and Hannah Rogers

  • 1. Hannah Harding+ b. 15 Feb 1694
  • 2. John Harding+
  • 3. Thomas Harding b. 13 Nov 1699, d. b 14 Dec 1722
  • 4. James Harding+ b. 2 Nov 1702, d. 30 Apr 1732
  • 5. Mary Harding+ b. 2 Apr 1706, d. b Apr 1734
  • 6. Elizabeth Harding+ b. Apr 1708, d. a 1751
  • 7. Phebe Harding+ b. Apr 1710
  • 8. Nathan Harding+ b. 29 Oct 1711, d. 27 Mar 1801
  • 9. Cornelius Harding+ b. 31 Mar 1716/17 [sic]

Citations

  • 1. [S1] Ann T. [Revised by], (Originally compiled by Alice W. A. Westgate) Reeves, Mayflower Families Through Five Generations: Descendants of the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth, Mass. December 1620: Family of Thomas Rogers (Plymouth, MA: General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 2000), p. 19. Hereinafter cited as Rogers-Silver.
view all 17

Amaziah Harding's Timeline

1671
November 1, 1671
Eastham, Cape Cod, Plymouth Colony
1694
1694
Age 22
1694
Age 22
1694
Age 22
Eastham, Barnstable County, Province of Massachusetts
1699
1699
Age 27
Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States
1702
November 2, 1702
Age 31
Eastham, Barnstable, MA
1704
1704
Age 32
1706
1706
Age 34
1706
Age 34
1708
1708
Age 36