About Mary Pease (Hobbs)
Mary (Hobbs) Pease (b.1646), wife of Nathaniel Pease, was born in 1646 at Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts. It is believed that the Mary Pease of the Salem witch trials was his wife, though there are no records of her trial. It is unknown if they had children, there being no record of issue.
Several sources, including a Pease family history, state that Mary Hobbs Pease was accused of witchcraft. There are no legal documents extant that support this. It is not known if Mary was a member of the Topsfield Hobbs family that included three accused witches, William, Deliverance, and Abigail, but there certainly is that possibility. If Mary was indeed the sister of Abigail, then William and Deliverance had the unenviable lot of having two strange daughters. Abigail was known for her eccentricities such as sleeping in the woods before her arrest and she admitted to being a witch during her examination.
Mary Hobbs Pease pled guilty to the charges of witchcraft, but this was not her first time in the public eye. She married Nathaniel Pease in 1668. Although her husband was living, she was repeatedly listed in the town records as being kept by Sarah Thorne at the expense of the town during 1685 and 1686. On 12 July 1686, Goody Thorne was given five shillings of a promised ten shillings "for Indevuring to gett Goody peas out of the towne." The records are not specific about what made Mary undesirable but anyone troublesome enough to be encouraged to leave town in 1686 would certainly be a prime candidate in the accusations of 1692.
It is certain that Mary and Sarah were sisters-in-law. There is a possibility that the relationship may have been even closer. Sarah named two of her daughters Deliverance, a name that had not been used in the Pease family up to this time or used again for a century afterward. Deliverance Hobbs, the wife of William and mother of Abigail, was also accused of witchcraft and it is possible that she may have been a relative of Sarah who was remembered in the naming of the Pease daughters.
- Pease, Elaine K. "Goody Pease of Salem Town". Essex Genealogist, August 1994.
- Miner Descent