Priscilla Wildes

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Priscilla Wildes (Gould)

Birthplace: Great Missenden, Buckingham, England
Death: Died in Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Zaccheus Gould and Phebe Gould
Wife of John Wild, of Topsfield
Mother of Jonathan Wildes; Sarah Bishop; John Wildes, Jr.; Elizabeth Jones; Phebe Day and 4 others
Sister of Francis Gould; Phebe Perkins; Martha Newmarch; Capt. John Gould, of Topsfield and Henry Gould

Managed by: Private User
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About Priscilla Wildes

Priscilla Gould Wildes (1620 - 1663) - Priscilla Gould, daughter of Zaccheus Gould (1589 - 1668) and Phoebe Deacon (1597 - 1663), was born circa 27 September 1620 at Great Missenden, Buckingham, England; she died 16 April 1663 at the age of 42 in Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts. She married John Wild aka John Wildes (1618-1705), parentage unknown, with whom she had nine known children.

Marriages and Children

  1. Marriage of John to Priscilla Gould on 23 November 1642 Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts
    1. Jonathan Wildes (born 1645 Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts)
    2. Margaret Catherine Wilde (born 1646)
    3. Sarah Wildes (born 1647 Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts)
    4. John Wildes, Jr. (born 1648 Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts)
    5. Phebe Wildes (born 1653 Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts)
    6. Elizabeth Wildes (born 1653 Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts)
    7. Priscilla Wildes (born 6 April 1658 Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts)
    8. Martha Wildes (born 13 May 1660 Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts)
    9. Nathan Wildes (born 14 December 1662 Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts)


  • The ancestry and posterity of Zaccheus Gould of Topsfield : a condensed abstract of the family records (1872)
  • THOMAS GOULD, of Bovingdon, in the parish of Hemel Hempsted, and county of Hertford, seems to have been born as early as the year 1455. His last will and testament is dated 1520, August 29, and was admitted to probate Sept. 28, thirty days later. In this will he bequeaths property to his wife Joan, and to seven children, five of whom had not attained the age of legal majority. The eldest two children were sons.
  • RICHARD GOULD, of Bovingdon, was the second son of Thomas, above named, and his wife was likewise named Joan. He was born, apparently, not later than 1478, and died in 1531 ; his will being dated August 25th and proved October 11th of that year. His widow died in 1537.
  • THOMAS GOULD, of Bovingdon, son of Richard and Joan, was born in or before the year 1500. His will is dated in 1546 and was proved in 1547. By his wife, Alice, he had seven children living in the year 1537, and eight at the time of his own death ; only two of them being at that time under eighteen years of age. The first four of these children were sons ; the third being
  • RICHARD GOULD, of Stoke Mandeville, who was born as early as 1530, and married (perhaps as his second wife), Jane, widow of ---- Weden. By her he had two sons, Richard and Henry.
  • RICHARD GOULD, of Bovingdon, born about 1553, was the elder of these sons, and his descendants appear to have been prominent among the early settlers of New England. He was father of
    • 1. Jeremy, who married Priscilla Grover, came to Rhode Island, and after his wife's death returned to England, leaving behind him three sons, the eldest of whom, Daniel, married in 1651 Wait Coggeshall, and became the ancestor of the large and highly respectable family of Goulds of Rhode Island.
    • 2. John, of the "Corner Hall," in Hemel Hempsted, and of King's Langley, — possibly also himself a colonist of New England. His youngest son, Zaccheus, died in New England unmarried, and letters of administration on his estate were granted to his elder sister, Elizabeth, in England. Other children of John also came over.
    • 3. ZACCHEUS, our ancestor, who was born in 1589 and died in 1670 at Topsfleld. The stones may still be seen in the Topsfield cemetery which probably mark the places of burial for himself and his wife Phebe. In company with Messrs. Zaccheus Gould, his descendant of the sixth generation, and Samuel Todd, his descendant in the seventh, I exhumed these stones, hoping to find some inscription, but without success.
  • HENRY GOULD, younger brother of the last named Richard, was born about 1555. His posterity appear to have remained in England, residing mostly in Buckinghamshire, at least for the next three generations.
  • 1. ZACCHEUS GOULD, born about 1589, resided at Hemel Hempsted and Great Missenden, in England, came to New England about 1638, established himself finally at Topsfield, and died there ab. 1670. By his wife Phebe, who died 1663, Sept. 20, he had the following children : —
    • 2. Phebe, bapt. at Hemel Hempsted, 1620, Sept. 27, m. Dea. Thomas Perkins of Topsfield. She was living in 1681.
    • 3. Mary, bapt. at Hemel Hempsted 1621, Dec. 19; m. John Redington of Topsfield.
    • 4. Martha, bapt. at Hemel Hempsted, 1623, June 15 ; m. John Newmarch of Ipswich ; died 1699.
    • 5. Priscilla, m. John Wildes (b. 1620) ; d. 1663, April 16.
    • 6. John, b. 1635, June 10-21; m. 1660, Oct. 12, Sarah Baker; d. 1709-10, Jan. 26.
  • 2 PHEBE2, dau. of Zaccheus Gould, m. Dea. Thomas PERKINS of Topsfield. He was the son of John and Judith Perkins of Ipswich, was born ab. 1616, and died 1686, May 7, aet. 70. Their children were : [see Geneal. Reg. x. 213, 4.]
    • 7. .... etc.
  • 3 MARY2, dau. of Zaccheus Gould, m. John REDINGTON, of Topsfield, selectman in 1661. He died 1690, Nov. 15. His children were: [see Gen. Reg. ii, 157.]
    • 15. .... etc.
    • 17. Martha, m. as his 2d. wife, John Gould, Jr. [b. 1648, Aug. 5 ; d. 1712, Jan. 24], son of John and Joanna Gould of Charlestown, Upper Village. This alliance between persons residing so widely apart suggests the possibility of some kinship between the Goulds of Topsfield and those of Stoneham. The children of this marriage were Samuel, Abraham, b. 1692, and Isaac. (See Vinton's "Giles Memorial," p. 170.)
    • 18. .... etc.
  • 4 MARTHA2, dau. of Zaccheus Gould, m. Johu NEWMARCH of Ipswich, whose will, made 1697, Feb. 14, was proved 1697, April 26. He seems to have been a resident of Ispwich as early as 1638. Their children were :
    • 19. .... etc.
  • 5 PRISCILLA2, dau. of Zaccheus Gould, m. John WILDES of Topsfield, b. 1620, the same whose second wife, Sarah (Averill) married, 1663, Nov. 23, suffered in 1692 from the witchcraft persecutions. [See Gen. Reg. viii, 167.] Their children were :
    • 25. John.
    • 26. Sarah.
    • 27. Elizabeth.
    • 28. Phebe.
    • 29. Priscilla, b. 1658, April 6, m. 1681, May 9, Henry Lake; d. 1688, March 23.
    • 30. Martha, b. 1660, May 13.
    • 31. Nathan, b. 1662, March 17.
    • 32. Ephraim.
  • 6 JOHN2 GOULD, born 1635, June 10-21, only son of Zaccheus, m. 1660, Oct. 12, Sarah, dau. of John Baker. She was born 1641, March 9, died
  • 1708-9, Jan. 20. For an account of his imprisonment for alleged treason against the government of Dudley, see 3 Mass. Hist. Coll. viii, 150-154. Children :
    • 33. .... etc.


  • The family of Zaccheus Gould of Topsfield By Benjamin Apthorp Gould
  • Pg. iii
  • During the past summer the family name of Phebe, the wife of Zaccheus Gould, was unexpectedly discovered, and consequently the error of the surmise regarding the "Grandfather Deacon," alluded to by the second John Gould, as mentioned on p. 26 of this volume. Phebe was a daughter of Thomas and Martha Deacon of the Corner Hall in Hemel Hempstead. A slab in the floor of the vaulted chamber of the church of that parish, marks the burial place of her unmarried brother, Thomas, Bachelor of Arts, whom it commemorates by a curious inscription.
  • Pg.iv
  • At p. 46 is a similar reproduction of a bond given by Capt. John Gould in 1664, before his father's death, promising to pay £24 to each of the five daughters of his sister Priscilla (Wildes) upon their attaining the age of 21 years. Priscilla had died nearly fourteen months before, and Wildes was already married again to the unfortunate Sarah Averill. This bond is witnessed by John and Thomas Baker, brothers-in-law of John Gould. Upon the reverse of the same paper is a receipt by Timothy Day for the share of his wife Phebe (No. 32).
  • .... etc.
  • Pg.16
  • 38. RICHARD4 GOLD, of Bovingdon and Stoke Mandeville* (Bucks), son of Thomas and Alice, born about 1530. Wife Jane, widow of ____ Weeden.
  • In his will, dated Stoke Mandeville 1558 Dec. 4, and proved Oct. 10, he desires to be buried at Bovingdon, mentions wife Jane, sons Henry and Richard, daughters Alice and Jane Weeden. Witnessed by Thomas Gold and others. The will is somewhat decayed, and a portion of it is destroyed.
  • Pg.17
  • Children :
    • 48. HENRY, of Chalfont St. Peter, d. 1605; wife Alice
    • 49. RICHARD
  • The will of his widow Jane, dated Stoke Mandeville 1559 June 26 and proved 1560 March 29, makes bequests to her son William and three daughter's, not named. She was probably a second wife of Richard, and not the mother of his children.
  • Pg.18
  • 49. RICHARD5 GOULD, born about 1553, son of Richard of Stoke Mandeville, is recorded as of Bovingdon, in the parish register of Chesham, co. Bucks, in 1604 ; there deceased.
  • Children :
    • 60. RICHARD, b. about 1578, d. 1629, married Mary
    • 61. JEREMY, " 1581, d. 1654?, married 1604 Priscilla Grover
    • 62. JOHN, b. about 1584, d. 1650, married Judith
    • 63. ZACCHEUS, b. 1589, d. 1668, married Phebe
  • Pg.21
  • 63. ZACCHEUS6 GOULD, of Hemel Hempstead and later of Great Missenden, co. Bucks, where he was assessed in 1629. Born 1589 according to his own deposition; died 1668. Wife Phebe died at Topsfield 1663. His baptism probably recorded in the lost registers of Bovingdon.
  • Children :
    • 101. PHEBE, bapt. at Hemel Hempstead 1620 Sept. 27
    • 102. MARY, " " " " 1621 Dec. 19
    • 103. MARTHA," " " 1623 June 15
    • 104. PRISCILLA, probably born at Great Missenden
    • 105. JOHN, b. 1635 June 21, probably at Great Missenden
  • Pg.47
  • 1. ZACCHEUS1 GOULD, born 1589, resided at Hemel Hempstead and Great Missenden ; came to New England about 1638 ; probably lived for a short time at Weymouth, and then at Lynn; but established himself finally at Ipswich (Topsfield) where he died in 1668.
  • 2. By his wife PHEBE, who died 1663 Sept. 20, he had the following children :
    • 3. Phebe2, bapt. at Hemel Hempstead, 1620 Sept. 27 ; married, about 1640 Dea. Thomas Perkins of Topsfield. She was living in 1691.
    • 4. Mary2, bapt. at Hemel Hempstead, 1621 Dec. 19 ; m. John Bedington of Topsfield.
    • 5. Martha2, bapt. at Hemel Hempstead, 1623 June 15 ; m. John Newmarch of Ipswich ; d. 1699.
    • 6. Priscilla2, m. John Wildes ; d. 1663.
    • 7. John2, born 1635 June 10-21 ; m. 1660 Sarah Baker ; d. 1709-10 Jan. 26.
  • .... etc.
  • Pg.49
  • 6. PRISCILLA, dau. of Zaccheus Gould; m. John WILDES of Topsfield (b. 1620 ; d. 1705 May 14). She died 1663 Apr. 16, and he m. 2) 1663 Nov. 23 Sarah Averill, the same who suffered in 1692 from the witchcraft persecutions.(*) Children :
    • 29. John d. going into the army. In will dated 1676 Oct. 22, proved 1677 Sept. 25, he left legacies to sisters and to bro. Ephraim.
    • 30. Sarah
    • 31. Elizabeth
    • 32. Phebe m. Timothy Day.
    • 33. Priscilla, b. 1658 Apr. 6 ; m. 1681 May 9 Henry Lake (b. 1635; d. 1733 May 22) ; d. 1688 March 23. They had two sons and two daughters.
    • (*) Ephraim Wildes, b. ab. 1665 (wife Margery) was son of the second wife Sarah [Averill]. Being constable of Topsfield in 1692, he was called upon by the constable of Salem to arrest sundry persons, among whom were William Hobbs and wife Deliverance, upon charge of witchcraft. It would appear that Goody Hobbs, in order to save herself and be revenged upon the man arresting her, confessed her guilt but denounced his mother as the instigator; at least so he distinctly intimates in his affidavit. All defence was unavailing; for, two months later, she was condemned, and on Tuesday July 19 was executed, stoutly maintaining her innocence to the last, unlike many of her fellow-sufferers, who were terrified into confession.
    • Pg.50
    • 34. Martha, b. 1660 May 13.
    • 35. Nathan, b. 1662-3 Mar. 17 ; d. 1662 Dec. 14.


  • Genealogical and personal memoirs relating to the families of Boston and eastern Massachusetts (1908) Vol. II
  • Pg. 773
  • Thomas Gould, earliest ancestor of this family of which there is any definite knowledge, was born probably not later than 1455. He spelled his name Goold, and we find various spellings, Golde, Goold, Goolde, Gowle, and Gould, the present form of the surname. He lived at Bovingdon, a small village of Hertfordshire, England, still a chapelry in the parish of Hemel Hempstead, about twenty-four miles northwest of London. His will was proved September 28, 1520, at the Archdeacon's court at Huntingdon, now Peterborough. He married Johan ---- , who was co-executrix of his will, and who was perhaps his second wife, as five children were minors in 1520. Children: I. Thomas, born about 1477; executor 1520; overseer 1537; witness 1545. 2. Richard, born about 1479; mentioned below. 3. John, born about 1500. 4. Alice, born about 1502. 5. William, born about 1504; married Margaret ---- . 6. Henry, born about 1506. 7. Joan, not nineteen in 1520.
  • (II) Richard Gould (Gowle), son of Thomas Gould (1), lived at Bovingdon and Stoke Mandeville, a village about twelve miles distant. His will was dated April 25 and proved October 11, 1531. There is a tablet in Bovingdon church to the memory of him and his wife Joan, whose will was made January 12, 1536-37, and proved February 7 the same year. Children: 1. Thomas, born about 1500. mentioned below. 2. John, born about 1504; married Alice ---- ; died without issue.
  • (III) Thomas Gould (Goolde), son of Richard Gould (2), was born about 1500, and was named in his father's will. He lived at Bovingdon. His will was dated June 28, 1546, and proved November 23, 1547. He married Alice ---- . Children: 1. Thomas, .... etc.
  • Pg.774
  • born about 1521; executor 1546; died 1561; married Alice (Clerke?). 2. John, the elder, in his father's will, 1546, and in his uncle's, 1559- 3. Richard, born about 1530; mentioned below. 4. Joan, of age 1546. 5. Agnes, of age 1546. 6. Elizabeth, born before 1537. 7. Bridget, not eighteen in 1546. 8. John, the younger, born about 1538.
  • (IV) Richard Gould (Gold), son of Thomas Gould (3), was born about 1530. He lived at Bovingdon and Stoke Mandeville. His will was dated December 4, 1558, at Stoke Mandeville, and signifies his desire to be buried at Bovingdon. He married Jane, widow of ---- Weeden. Children: 1. Henry, of Chalfont St. Peter, died 1605; married Alice ---- . 2. Richard, mentioned below.
  • (V) Richard Gould, son of Richard Gould (4), was born about 1553 and is recorded as of Bovingdon. Children: 1. Richard, born about 1578; died 1629; married Mary ---- . 2. Jeremy, born about 1581 ; died 1654 ( ?) ; married, 1604, Priscilla Grover. 3. John, born about 1584; died 1650; married Judith ---- . 4. Zaccheus, mentioned below.
  • (VI) Zaccheus Gould, son of Richard Gould (5), was born in 1589, according to his own deposition. He lived in Hemel Hempstead and later in Great Missenden, county Bucks, where he was assessed in 1629. He was the immigrant ancestor of the Gould family. He came to America with his family, and the first record of him is in Weymouth, Massachusetts, in 1639, when he bought land of his brother Jeremy, who had undoubtedly preceded him to this country. He was one of the executors of the will of Henry Russell, of Weymouth, same year. He removed to Lynn, and in 1640 owned a mill on the Saugus river. He rented lands here in 1640, the rent being payable in rye, wheat, barley, oxen, cows, heifers, calves and mares. In the same year he signed a petition to the governor for exemption from training during seedtime and harvest, and during haying. He removed to that part of Ipswich which became Topsfield about 1644, and was one of the petitioners for the setting off of Topsfield as a town in 1650. He purchased from William Paine the homestead in Topsfield where he lived and died. He took the oath of fidelity September 30, 1651, but was never admitted a freeman. An amusing incident occurred in 1659, which showed his independence. He was up before the Ipswich court for disturbance in public worship. He was said to have "sat down on the end of the table about which the minister and scribe sit, with his hat full upon his head and his back toward all the rest. Although spoken to by the minister and others, he altered not his posture. He spoke audibly when the minister was preaching." The order of the court was that the defendant be admonished. He was fined also for entertaining Quakers. The farm in Topsfield was in the Gould family for several generations. The first house was a block-house to defend the inhabitants from the Indians, and a garrison was kept in it for some time. The third house was built in 1724 or soon after, and was destroyed by fire in 1878. On its site a fourth house was erected, which is or was lately occupied by David Pingree. Zaccheus Gould died in 1668. He married Phebe ---- , died September 20, 1663. Children: 1. Phebe, baptized at Hemel Hempstead, September 27, 1620, married Deacon Thomas Perkins, of Topsfield. 2. Mary, baptized at Hemel Hempstead, December 19, 1621 ; married John Redington. of Topsfield. 3. Martha, baptized at Hemel Hempstead, June 15, 1623; married John Newmarch, of Ipswich; died 1699. 4. Priscilla, married John Wildes; died 1663. 5. John, born June 10-21, 1635, mentioned below.


  • Genealogical and personal memoirs relating to the families of Boston and eastern Massachusetts (1908) Volume 1 By William Richard Cutter
  • Pg.166
  • Thomas Goold was born probably not later than 1455, and is the first of this name of whom there is any definite knowledge. The name was spelled in many ways — Goold, Golde, Goolde, Gowle, Gold and Gould being some of the forms, the last being the present spelling. He lived at Bovingdon, Hertfordshire. England, still a chapelry in the parish of Hempstead, about twenty-four miles northwest of London. His will was proved September 28, 1520, at the archdeacon's court of Huntington, now Peterborough. He married Joan ---- , who was co-executrix of his will, and perhaps his second wife, as five children were minors in 1520. Children: 1. Thomas, born about 1477; executor 1520; overseer 1537 : witness 1545. 2. Richard, born about 1479: mentioned below. 3. John, born about 1500. 4. Alice, born about 1502. 5. William, born about 1504 ; married Margaret ---- . 6. Henry, born about 1506. 7. John, not nineteen in 1520.
  • (II) Richard Gowle, son of Thomas Goold, lived at Bovingdon and Stoke Mandeville. His will was dated April 25, and proved October 11, 1531. There is a tablet at Bovingdon church to the memory of him and his wife, Joan, whose will was made January 12, 1736-7, proved February 7 of the same year. Children: 1. Thomas, born about 1500; mentioned below. 2. John, born about 1504; married Alice ---- ; died without issue.
  • (III) Thomas Goolde, son of Richard Gowle, born about 1500, was named in his father's will. He lived at Bovingdon. His will was dated June 28, 1546, and proved November 23, 1547. He married Alice ---- . Children: 1. Thomas, born about 1520-1 ; executor 1546; died 1561; married Alice (Clerke?). 2. John, the elder, in his father's will 1546, and in his uncle's 1559. 3. Richard, born about 1530; mentioned below. 4. Joan, of age 1546. 5. Agnes, of age 1546. 6. Elizabeth, born before 1537. 7. Bridget, not eighteen in 1546. 8. John, the younger, born about 1538.
  • (IV) Richard Gold, son of Thomas Goolde, was born about 1530. He lived at Bovingdon and Stoke Mandeville. His will, dated December 4, 1558, at Stoke Mandeville, signified his desire to be buried at Bovingdon. He married Jane Weeden, widow. Children: 1. Henry, of Chalfont, St. Peter ; died 1605 ; married Alice ---- . 2. Richard, mentioned below.
  • (V) Richard Gould, son of Richard Gold, born about 1553, is recorded as of Bovingdon. Children: 1. Richard, born about 1578; died 1629 ; married Mary ---- . 2. Jeremy, born about 1581 ; died 1654?; married Judith ---- . 3. Zaccheus, mentioned below.
  • (VI) Zaccheus Gould, son of Richard Gould, was born in 1589, according to his own deposition. He resided in Hemel Hempsted and Missenden prior to his emigration to New Eng-
  • land about 1638. He settled first in Lynn, then Ipswich. His brother Jeremy settled in Weymouth, and removed to Rhode Island. Zaccheus removed finally to Topsfield, Massachusetts, being one of the original settlers, and acquired a large landed estate. He died in 1670. He married Phoebe Deacon, who died November 20. 1663. Children: 1. Phebe, married Thomas Perkins. 2. Mary, married John Reddington. 3. Martha, married John Mewmarch. 4. Priscilla. 5. John, mentioned below.
  • (VII) Captain John Gould, son of Zaccheus Gould, was born in England, June 10-21, 1635. He was prominent in public afifairs, and was imprisoned for his outspoken opposition to Governor Andros. He married October 12, 1660. Sarah Baker. born March 9, 1641, daughter of John Baker. He died January 20, 1708-9. Children: .... etc.


  • Priscilla Gould Wildes
  • Birth: Sep. 27, 1628 Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England
  • Death: Apr. 16, 1663 Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Family links:
  • Parents:
  • Zaccheus Gould (1589 - 1668)
  • Phebe Deacon Gould (1597 - 1663)
  • Spouse:
  • John Wildes (1618 - 1705)
  • Siblings:
  • Francis Gould (1620 - 1676)*
  • Pheobe Gould Perkins (1620 - 1691)*
  • Priscilla Gould Wildes (1628 - 1663)
  • John Gould (1635 - 1710)*
  • Burial: Unknown
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 102326925
  • From:


  • WILDES, John
  • b. 1620 England
  • d. 23 NOV 1663 Topsfield, Essex, Mass.
  • Family:
  • Marriage: ABT 1648
  • Spouse: GOULD, Priscilla
  • b. ABT 1625 England
  • d. 16 APR 1663
  • Parents:
  • Father: GOULD, Zaccheus
  • Mother: Phebe,
  • Children:
    • WILDES, Sarah
    • WILDES, Priscilla
    • WILDES, Martha b. 15 MAY 1660 Topsfield, Essex, Mass.
    • WILDES, Nathan b. 17 MAR 1661/2 Topsfield, Essex, Mass.
  • From:


  • Sarah (Averill) Wildes (1627 – July 19, 1692) was executed by hanging for witchcraft during the Salem witch trials. She was later exonerated.
  • Sarah was one of seven children born to William Averell[note 1] and Abigail Hynton, immigrants from Chipping Norton, England.[1] She married English immigrant John Wildes (born 1616) and had a son, Ephraim. Ephraim held the positions of town treasurer and constable during the period of the conspiracy.[2] They were residents of Topsfield, a neighboring town of Salem, in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Two of her step-daughters, Sarah (Wildes) Bishop and Phoebe (Wildes) Day, and a step-son-in-law, Edward Bishop Jr., were also accused of witchcraft.
  • Sarah had a reputation as a nonconformist in Puritan Massachusetts, with prior offences which may have made her an easy target for accusations of witchcraft. She was sentenced to be whipped for fornication with Thomas Wordell in November 1649, and later, in May of 1663, charged with wearing a silk scarf.[3] Also, because she married John so soon after his first wife's death, John's former in-laws held something of a grudge against her. John Wildes testified against his first wife's brother, Lieutenant John Gould, in a treason trial, which further angered the family. Shortly after, John's ex-sister-in-law, Mary Goulds Reddington, began circulating rumors that Sarah was a witch. When John threatened to charge her with slander, she retracted her claims, however, the groundwork was laid for future charges of witchcraft. The Goulds were related to the Putnam family, the central accusers during the Salem Witch Trials.
  • Constable Ephraim Wildes was ordered by the Marshall, George Herrick, to arrest Deliverance Hobbs. Hobbs, whether through coercion or not, made a jailhouse confession and implicated Sarah Wildes as a witch. Ephraim himself testified that he seriously believed Hobbs' accusation to be vengeance against him for arresting her.[2]
  • Ann Putnam testified:
    • I have been afflected ever sence the begi[n]ing of march with a woman that tould me hir name was willds and that she came from Topsfeild but on the 22 April 1692 Sarah willd did most greviously torment me dureing the time of hir Examination and then I saw that Sarah willds was that very woman that tould me hir name was willds and also on the day of hir Examination I saw Sarah willds or hir Apperince most greviously tortor and afflect mary walcott, Mircy lewes and Abigail willia [ms] and severall times sence Sarah wilds or hirs Apperance has most greviously tortored and afflected me with variety of torturees as by pricking and pinching me and almost choaking me to death.[2]
  • Sarah was condemned by the Court of Essex County for practicing witchcraft. She was executed by hanging in Salem, Massachusetts, along with Elizabeth Howe, Susannah Martin, Sarah Good, and Rebecca Nurse, on July 19, 1692 at 65 years of age.
  • All those convicted have since been formally pardoned of the hysterical accusations and subsequent convictions. The Salem Witch Trials Memorial includes a bench inscribed with Sarah's name.
  • From:


  • The Averell-Averill-Avery family : a record of the descendants of William and Abigail Averell of Ipswich, Mass. (1914)
  • The children of William and Abigail Averell were "seven" (order not ascertained) :
    • 2. i. WILLIAM2, b. —, 16—; m. — 1661, Hannah Jackson.
    • 3. ii. THOMAS2, b. —, 16 —; m. — 1657, Frances Collins.
    • 4. iii. SARAH2, b. —, 16 —; m. — 1663, John Wildes.
    • 5. iv. JOHN2, b. —, 16 —; his name appears in old Ipswich Records (among Essex Co. Ct. R.) , vols. 1-4, p. 159, as John Avery, dep. 1654; and in the same volume, p. 212, as John Averell, 1656, charged with striking Thomas Twigs in the meeting house in the time of public ordinances on the Sabbath. This was after his father's death, and he was not the only youth in Ipswich guilty of such insubordination. See the similar entry about Edward Cogswell and Thomas Bragg.
    • 6. v. ———2, (name unknown).
    • 7. vi. ———2, (name unknown).
    • 8. vii. ———2, (name unknown).
  • .... etc.
  • .... There were some circumstances which may have strongly influenced William and Hannah Averell to settle in Topsfield. First, John Wildes, one of the earliest settlers of that town, had married in 1663 for his second wife, Sarah Averell, a sister of William2 ; secondly, Francis Peabody [b. 1614] who was originally from St. Albans, Hertfordshire, Eng., and who appears as a settler at Ipswich in 1636, had married Mary Foster, dau. of Reginald Foster, an old friend, neighbor, and associate of William1 Averell, as well as of William2 [It is said that Reginald Foster or Forster's family is honorably mentioned in Scott's "Lay of the Last Minstrel" and "Marmion." See the Peabody Genealogy.]
  • .... etc.
  • 4. Sarah2 Averell, called Averill, Averie, Avery (William1), was b. probably between 1630 and 1635, and was one of the seven children mentioned in her father's will.
  • She passed her youth at Ipswich, Mass. Nov. 23, 1663 (Ct R.), she became the second wife of John Wildes (Wild, Wilde, Wiles, Wyles) of Topsfield, Mass., whose first wife, Priscilla Gould (dau. of Zacheus) had d. April 16, 1663 (Topsfield V. R.), leaving a large family. John1 Wildes was b. abt. 1615 (by dep, made 30.11.1677, when he was 62 years of age). He sailed from London, England, by the ship "Elizabeth," in July, 1635. The ship's passenger list included three Wilds; "William Wild, aged thirty (30) : Alice Wild, aged forty (40) : John Wild, aged seventeen (17) :" who came together. Ages were often incorrect in those passenger lists, so that the difference between 17 and 20 years is not of importance.
  • In 1639 Mr. Wildes took up land with Endicott, Simon Bradstreet and others at what was then called New Meadows, and about ten years later (1648), Topsfield. He became a prominent citizen of that town, holding many important offices such as juryman of trials in the County Court, etc., as shown
  • by the published records cf the town in The Historical Collections of the Tops field Historical Society.
  • In these published records his name first appears Dec. 4, 1643: Jo. Wilds (paid) 3s. for serving against the Indians the previous year; and March 25, 1659, as John "Wildes," and not long after we find this entry:
  • "At a lawful Towne Meeting the 7 March 1664: It is ordered that the timber of the five hundred acres of common lands on the other side of the riuer which is to remaine common to perpetuity is to be deuided by John Wiles Willi Auerell Thomas Baker & Edmond Towne or either three of them into three equall proportions as two foure and six according to that rule to be deuided. Voted."
  • Apart from the marriage of his sister Sarah, this is the first association of William Averell and John Wildes which we find recorded ; but many others appear later in their common committee work for the public good, as those published records prove.
  • William Wild or Wildes, John's uncle, settled at Ipswich in 1635. He died in 1668, and as the quit claim deed of Edward Bishop and others, heirs of William Wild or Wildes, recites, William gave his lands to his nephew John, son of his brother John, and said John, deceased, made conveyance to John Harris, locksmith.
  • The children of John (Wild) in this deed, quit claimed to Harris their interest in the house and an acre of land sold to Harris Dec. 14, 1685. Apr; 15, 1690, John "Wills" and Sarah Wilds witnessed the will of Sarah's brother William Averell; and June 30, 1690, they both made oath in Court at Salem that they were the said witnesses (See Will, pp. 86 and 87), and saw him sign the will. The following year, in the month of March, 1692, in the Village of Salem (now Danvers), came the climax in New England of those incredible delusions which Cotton Mather called "a prodigious possession of devils, which it was then generally thought had been by witchcraft introduced;" and Sarah Averell Wildes became one of the first victims of the accusations made at that time.
  • The belief in witchcraft was prevalent everywhere in Europe as well as in America at this time; and sporadic cases were recorded in New England from 1648 down to this "Salem
  • Witchcraft" period, and later in the Southern portion of our country.
  • .... etc.
  • "The 18 of April warrants were out against Giles Corey and Mary Warren both of Salem Farms, Abigail Hobb (dau. of William Hobbs, of Topsfield) , and Bridget Bishop, wife of Edward Bishop of Salem ;" they were committed to prison, and two days after, April 21, warrants were issued against William Hobbs and Deliverance his wife ; Nehemiah Abbott, Jr., Mrs. Mary Easty, wife of Isaac Easty, and Mrs. Sarah Wilds, the wife of John Wilds, all of the town of Topsfield or Ipswich; and Edward Bishop and Mrs. Sarah Bishop his wife (dau. of John Wilds of Topsfield), of Salem Village, and Mary Black a negress of the Village, and Mrs. Mary English, wife of Philip English of Salem.
  • Our Sarah Averell Wildes found herself in an elect company and proved herself by her patience, fortitude, and Christian virtues quite worthy her companions, she at no time weakening or retracting her first denial of guilt and affirmation of innocence, and meeting her dreadful end in a way that elicited no hostile public comments from those who were only too willing to see evil in all the accused.
  • It is now known that many of the accused belonged to the better classes instead of the lowest as first thought. Six of those accused April 21, belonged to good families of Topsfield. Mrs. Easty's husband and Mrs. Wildes' husband were associated in the affairs of that town and in connection with the division line between it and Salem in 1686. Mr. Hobbs and Mr. Abbot were old residents of the place. Mrs. Wildes' son, Ephraim, was filling the then very important office of Constable of Topsfield. Sarah Wildes Bishop was his step-sister
  • and therefore the step-daughter of Mrs. Wildes (Jonathan Bishop, son of the above Sarah Bishop, m. about 1699 Abigail Averell, the niece of Sarah Averell Wildes and dau. of William Averell of Topsfield). As Mrs. Nurse and Mrs. Cloyce were sisters of Mrs. Easty, in so limited a town as Topsfield they must have been well known to Mrs. Wildes, apart from her knowledge of Salem Village people through her daughter-in-law's residence there. Upham also implies a relationship between either Sarah Averell Wildes or Sarah Wildes Bishop and Rebecca Nurse which we have not yet been able to verify or disprove. Mrs. Bridget Bishop was of course well known to Mrs. Wildes as being the step-mother of Edward Bishop. Elizabeth How, wife of James How, Jr., of Ipswich, was the daughter of William and Joan Jackson of Rowley and prob. related to Sarah Averell Wild's sister-in-law, Hannah Jackson, wife of William2 Averell.
  • .... etc.
  • John Wildes by his wife Sarah2 (Averell) Wildes had but one child:
  • Child:
    • i. Ephraim3 Wildes, b. ——— 1665, at Topsfield; m. March 18, 1688-9, to Mary Hewlett.
      • MEMORANDA.
  • The children of John Wilde by his first wife, Priscilla Gould were:
    • i. John3, b. 16 — ; lived at Topsfield; was a soldier; made his will Oct. 22, 1676, when going into the army, and in that document mentioned his five sisters and one brother, namely: Sarah (w. of Edward Bishop) ; Elizabeth (w. of Benjamin Jones) ; Phebe (w. of Timothy Day) ; Priscrlla (w. of Henry Lake) ; Martha
    • He d. before 1677. (Will Essex Co. Probate.)
    • ii. Sarah3, b. between 1648-56; m. before 1685. Edward Bishop of Salem.
    • iii. Elizabeth3, b. betw. 1648-56; m. Benj. Jones of Gloucester.
    • iv. Phebe3, b. betw. 1648-56; m. Timothy Day of Gloucester.
    • v. Priscilla3, b. Apr. 6, 1658, at Topsfield; m. May 9, 1681, Henry Lake of Topsfield.
    • vi. Martha3, b. May 13, 1660, at Topsfield.
    • vii. Nathan3, b. Dec. 14, 1662, at Topsfield; d. Mar. 17, 1662-3, at Topsfield.
  • (See T. H. C.)
  • Ephraim3 Wildes (Sarah Averell2, William1), b. 1665, at Topsfield, Mass., m. Mar. 18, 1689 (Ch. R.), Mary Hewlett(*) (dau. of Samuel Howlett(f) of Topsfield, and Sarah Clarke(f) his wife), prob. the Mary b. Feb. 17, 1671 (-2), Ct R. at Topsfield (V. R.). "He served his father seven years, probably as an apprentice, after which he received all the Wildes Estate in Topsfield,"(*) both of his brothers having died many years before. He was Constable of Topsfield in 1692, when his Mother was accused of Witchcraft (see p. 110), and testified twice on her behalf, stating that she had always instructed him well in the Christian religion and the ways of God ever since he was able to take instruction. (When the passion and blindness of that
    • (*) Data given by W. G. Davis of Portland, Me., 1899.
    • (f) See T. H. C. (pub.) ; The Howletts and Clarks, Vol. xi. p. 53.
  • time had passed he named a dau. after her [1699] ) . He was again Constable in 1693-4, and Treasurer of Topsfield, and filled other positions of trust in the service of his native town (see T. H. C.) . He was Selectman 1689, and also Quartermaster, as the record of his death in Topsfield V. R. shows : "Quartermaster Ephraim Wildes Departed this Life April 2, 1725." His will made the day of his death provides plentifully for his wife and children.* .... etc.


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Priscilla Wildes's Timeline

September 27, 1620
Great Missenden, Buckingham, England
September 27, 1620
Great Missenden, Bucks, England
November 23, 1642
Age 22
Topsfield, Essex, Massachusetts
Age 24
Topsfield, Essex, Mass
Age 25
Age 26
Topsfield, Essex, Mass
Age 27
Topsfield, Essex, Massachusetts
Age 32
Topsfield, Essex, Massachusetts
Age 32
Topsfield, Essex Co, Massachusetts,
April 6, 1658
Age 37
Topsfield, Essex, Massachusetts, USA