Peter Cloyce, Sr.

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Peter Cloyce, Sr.

Birthplace: Charlestown (within present Boston), Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
Death: Died in Framingham, Middlesex County, Province of Massachusetts Bay, (Present USA)
Immediate Family:

Husband of Sarah Towne Cloyce, Salem Witch Trials

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Peter Cloyce, Sr.'s Timeline

May 27, 1640
Charlestown (within present Boston), Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
August 12, 1676
Age 36
(Present Massachusetts), (Present USA)

With the execution of "King Phillip of the Wampanoag" (also known as Chief Metacomet or Pometacom), the bloody King Phillip's War comes to an end. The war had taken the lives of 3,000 warriors and 600 colonists (this amounted to 15 percent of the native population and 1.5 percent of the English population), and involved at least half of the 90 existing English settlements.

The war had been the result of growing tensions over land - having run out of trade goods, the Wampanoag began trading land for tools and weapons. The first casualty of the war was John Sassamon, "The Praying Indian," an early Harvard College graduate who had betrayed King Phillip's plans to carry out a massive surprise attack on several English settlements; he was found under the ice of Assawompet Pond in January 1675. His warning to Plymouth Colony, before his death, was not taken seriously, but after one of three Pokanoket tribesmen confesses on the gallows to King Phillip's involvement in Sassamon's death, the Puritans prepare for war with the Wampanoag.

The timeline of the war:

1675, June 8: Execution of the accused murderers of John Sassamon.
June 20-25: Pokanoket attack and destroy Swansea in Plymouth Colony.
June 28: Combined Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth military expedition march against the Wampanoag town at present Bristol, Rhode Island.
July 8: Wampanoag attacks at Middleborough and Dartmouth.
July 14: Wampanoag attack at Mendon.
August 2: Wampanoag attack at Brookfield.
August 9: Wampanoag attack at Lancaster.
September 9: After a week of Wampanoag attacks on Deerfield, Hadley, and Northfield, the New England Confederation declares war on the tribe. An expedition is sent to collect crops from the fields before winter.
September 18: Wampanoag ambush the Puritan expedition at the Battle of Bloody Brook, near Hadley, routing the English.
October 5, Wampanoag attack Springfield.
October 16, Wampanoag attack Hatfield.
November 2, Plymouth Colony sends militia against the Narragansett, who had sheltered many Wampanoag women and children.
December 16, the Plymouth expedition finds the Narragansett fortress at present South Kingstown, starting the Great Swamp Fight, which burns most of the tribe's winter stores.

1675/76 January: King Phillip attempts to ally with the Mohawk, but being traditional enemies with the Wampanoag, instead carry out raids on undefended isolated Wampanoag and Narragansett communities. The French in Quebec likewise refuse to side with King Phillip.
March 12, after a winter of more than 20 Wampanoag attacks, a combined Narragansett and Wampanoag assault is carried out against Plymouth Plantation. Several other settlements are attacked in a follow-up to this greatest advance by the tribes on the English.
March 29, the abandoned Rhode Island capital of Providence is burned to the ground, as is a portion of Springfield while its militia was chasing away a second war party.
April, Chief Canonchet of the Narragansett is killed in battle.
May 18, William Turner attacks the fishing camp at present Turner Falls, but is killed while withdrawing from the attack.
June 12, the Wampanoag are defeated at Hadley. Later, a large war party is routed at Marlborough.
July, massive Wampanoag desertions and surrenders occur. King Phillip flees to Assowamset Swamp below Providence. Colonists form raiding parties to hunt for him. A party of native scouts led by Captain Benjamin Church and Captain Josiah Standish find the Wampanoag chief, and tribesman John Alderman shoots him dead.
August 12, the body of King Phillips is beheaded, then drawn and quartered. The head is kept on display at Plymouth Colony for the next 20 years.

As a result of the war, many farmers in Massachusetts Bay Colony suffered economic losses, perhaps discouraging further development of remote settlements for a few years. The timing of the war may have had an effect on the timing of the Nurse family's decision to purchase their homestead in Salem Village. Edmund Andros, Governor of New York and head of the New England Confederation, concluded a peace treaty with the surviving tribes on April 12, 1678, eight months later (he would be knighted during the trip to England that followed this event).


June 24, 1682
Age 42
Town of Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
September 12, 1682
Age 42
Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)

From S.J. Walker's research on Edmund Bridges:

The widow of Edmund Bridges and her children were ordered out of Topsfield by the constable, September 12, 1682. She was Sarah Town, daughter of William, and had probably returned to Topsfield after the death of her husband which had occured a few months earlier. She soon became the second wife of Peter Cloyse and was accused of witchcraft but was not executed.
(History of Topsfield)

Age 41
Town of Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
March 19, 1692
Age 51
Salem Village (Present Danvers}, Essex County, Province of Massachusetts Bay, (Present USA)

From "The Salem Witch Trials: A day-by-day chronicle of a community under siege":

March 19, Saturday, Salem Village: Again and again, the specters of Martha Corey and Rebecca Nurse attacked Mrs. Ann Putnam to punish her for refusing to join them. Only God's help, Mrs. Putnam was sure, let her survive this day at all.[56]
Sabbath began at sundown, about quarter to seven, but as visiting the sick was an act of kindness and the parsonage no distance away, Lawson paid a call on Rev. Samuel Parris "in the beginning of the evening." During his visit, Parris' niece Abigail Williams had a spell of running back and forth in the room. She stretched her arms high overhead, flapping them as if flying, and called "Whish, whish, whish" as she ran.

Abruptly, she stopped short and stared into the empty air at the specter of "Goody" (Goodwife Rebecca) Nurse. "Do you not see her? Why there she stands!" But no one else but Abigail could see her or the book that the specter pushed at her. "I won't. I won't. I won't take it!" she shouted. "I do not know what book it is. I am sure it is none of God's book. It is the Devil's book for aught I know."

She charged into the fireplace, threw burning sticks into the room, and ran against the hearth back as if, Lawson thought, she meant to run up the chimney. It was not the first time, the Parrises told Lawson, once things calmed.[59]
Some time around this date another committee visited Rebecca Nurse, a Salem town church member who usually attended the nearer Village Meetings.Israel and Elizabeth Porter "being desired to go," as they later worded it, visited the home of Francis and Rebecca Nurse to speak with her. Also present were Daniel Andrews (Porter's brother-in-law) and Peter Cloyse (Rebecca's brother-in-law). The proper way to deal with scandalous rumors against a member was for the offended party to speak with the suspect party. If that didn't work, the offended party was to try again with two witnesses. Despite the witnesses, and despite the fact that Elizabeth was John Hathorne's sister, the Porters seem to have come more as friends of the suspect.[72]

Seventy years old and hard of hearing, Rebecca Nurse had been frail for years and ill for nearly a week. Despite her illness, she told her visitors she had experienced a good deal of spiritual comfort during her convalescence. Then, without prompting, she mentioned the terrible afflictions in the Village, especially those in Reverend Parris' house. She prayed for the girls, but did not visit them, she explained, because sh too had once been subject to fits. Since her son-in-law, Thomas Preston, had been among those who swore out the first complaint against Tituba (Rev. Parris' slave), Osborn, and Good, she would have been well-informed of the troubles. However, she was still unaware of rumors that had her recuperating from wounds received when the afflicted and others struck her specter. Rebecca Nurse was certain that many of those now denounced were as innocent as herself.[73]

The Porters mentioned that some did accuse her.

She sat there amazed, the Porters noticed, quite unlike Martha Corey, who had seemed to know all ahead of time. "Well," Good Nurse finally said, "as to this thing, I am as innocent as a child unborn, but surely, what sin hath God found out in me unrepented of, that he should lay such an affliction upon me in my old age?"
On this day, the magistrate ordered Essex County Sheriff George Herrick to retrieve Martha Corey for questioning. Also, Rev. Deodat Lawson's arrival from Boston to discuss with the magistrate at Ingersoll's public house details of Tituba's past likely caused enough of a stir that Rebecca's friends sought to warn her of the likelihood of impending charges.
The text of the committee's description of the visit, used in Rebecca's defense, was referred to by S.J. Walker's information on the Nurse family:

We whose names are underwritten being desired to go to Goodman (Francis) Nurse his house to speak with his wife and to tell her that several of the afflicted persons mentioned her; and accordingly we went and found her in a weak and low condition in her body as she told us she had been sick almost a week.

And we asked how it went otherwise with her and she said, blest be God for it, she had more of his presence in this sickness than sometimes she have had but not so much as she desired. But she would with the apostle press forward to the mark and many other places of the scripture to the like purpose. And then of her own accord she began to speak of the affliction that was amongst them and in particular of Mr. Parris his family and how she was grieved for them though she had not been to see by reason of fits that she formerly used to have for people said it was awful to behold. But she pitied them with all her heart and went to God for them. But she said she heard that there was persons spoke of that were as innocent as she was, she believed, and after much to this purpose. We told her we heard that she was spoken of also.

"Well," she said, "if it be so, the will of the Lord be done." She sat awhile, being as it were amazed. And then she said: "Well, as to this thing I am innocent as the child unborn, but surely, " she said, "what sin hath God found out in me unrepented of that he should lay such an affliction upon me in my old age?" And according to our best observation we could not discern that she knew what we came for before we told her."
(Currents of Malice - Persis W. McMillen)
"Rebecca had some powerful friends. Sometime in March (the exact date is not given in the records), she was visited by a deputation consisting of four persons. They were her brother-in-aw Peter Cloyes, still a loyal supporter of the Reverend Samuel Parris, Daniel Andrew, a co-owner with Cloyes of a 400 acre tract of farm land in Salem Village. Daniel Andrew was, in turn, a brother in law of the other two members of the deputation, Israel Porter and his wife Elizabeth. Israel's father, John Porter, had been an early settler of Salem Village and was described as a farmer. By the time of his death, in 1676, he was the largest landowner in Salem. Two of his sons had married daughters of William Hathorne, father of the same John Hathorne with whom we have already become familiar as the presiding judge at the examinations."
(Currents of Malice - Persis W. McMillen)

April 8, 1692
Age 51
Town of Salem, Essex County, Province of Massachusetts Bay, (Present USA)

April 8, Friday, Salem Town: Once word reached Salem that members of Governor William Phips Council of Assistants would attend the next witchcraft hearing, John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin completed the arrest warrant for Elizabeth Proctor and Sarah Cloyse (Rebecca Nurse's sister), and issued it to Marshal George Herrick. The magistrates arranged for court to sit in Salem town for the visitors' convenience and put Samuel Parris in charge of notes.[19]

The spectral Rebecca Nurse continues to torment the "afflicted."

July 18, 1708
Age 68
Framingham, Middlesex County, Province of Massachusetts Bay, (Present USA)