Sarah Pease (Unknown) (c.1629 - 1704) MP

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Nicknames: "Not Sarah Goodell"
Birthplace: of, Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts
Death: Died in Peabody, Essex County, Massachusetts
Managed by: Susi Jacobo
Last Updated:

About Sarah Pease (Unknown)

During the 1692 witch trials, Sarah Pease, wife of Robert Pease, the weaver, was accused of witchcraft.

Sarah's husband, Robert, emigrated from England in 1634 at the age of about 4 years old with his father Robert and his uncle John Pease. Her family name and origin is unknown until the time of her marriage to Robert in 1658. Of her trial, the following is excerpted from the article:

She was accused on Monday, 23 May 1692 of "sundry acts of Witchcraft committed on the bodys of Mary Warren, Abigaile Williams and Eliz Hubbard." She was accused along with Benjamin Procter and Mary Derich. A warrant for her arrest was issued and she was arrested that day. The following day was set aside for examinations and the proceedings were recorded by Nathaniel Cary of Charlestown. He and Mrs. Cary had come to observe and to face Mrs. Cary's accuser, Abigail Williams. He writes of the prisoners, one of whom surely was Sarah Pease:

The Prisoners were called in one by one, and as they came in were cried out of, etc. The prisoner was placed about 7 or 8 foot from the Justices, and the Accusers between the Justices and them; the Prisoner was ordered to stand right before the Justices, with an Officer appointed to hold each hand, least they should therewith afflict them, and the Prisoners Eyes must be constantly on the Justices; for if they look'd on the afflicted, they would either fall into their Fits, or cry out of being hurt by them; after Examination of the Prisoners, who it was afflicted these Girls, etc., they were put upon saying the Lords Prayer, as a tryal of their guilt; after the afflicted seem'd to be out of their Fits, they would look steadfastly on some one person, and frequently not speak; and then the Justices said they were struck dumb, and after a little time would speak again; then the Justices said to the Accusers, "which of you will go and touch the Prisoner at the Bar?" then the most couragious would adventure, but before they made three steps would ordinarily fall down as in a Fit; the Justices ordered that they should be taken up and carried to the Prisoner, that she might touch them; and as soon as they were touched by the accused, the Justices would say, they are well, before I could discern any alteration..."

Sufficient evidence must have been found against Sarah because she was sent to Salem jail on 25 May 1692. Although testimony was brought against her again on August 5th, Sarah Pease escaped the condemnation of the judges, who sentenced 15 people to the gallows in September. By the late fall of that year the tide of hysteria had abated, and sympathy was turning from the "victims" to the accused. Sarah survived the winter and was released in May of 1693, after suffering a year in jail.

Parentage

According to Elaine K. Pease, Sarah [Sedgwick?] was born about 1630, perhaps in Salem, Massachusetts. Her parents were probably not Major General Robert Sedgwick and Joanna Blake because Robert’s daughter Sarah married Governor John Leverettt about 1644 in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts. Some sources state her parents were Richard Goodale and Catherine Killim, but their Sarah married someone else. Sarah Pease was living in 1704.

Sources

  • Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, Salem Possessed (New York, DaCapo, 1977), p 639, 655-5.
  • George L. Burr., ed., Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases, 1648-1706 (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1914; reprind ed., New York: Barnes and Noble, 1946), p. 350.
  • Pease, Elaine K. "Goody Pease of Salem Town". Essex Genealogist, August 1994.
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Sarah Pease's Timeline

1629
1629
Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts
1647
1647
Age 18
<Salem Ma>
1660
June 11, 1660
Age 31
Salem, Essex, MA
1662
August 20, 1662
Age 33
Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
1664
October 6, 1664
Age 35
Salem, MA, USA
1671
November 30, 1671
Age 42
Salem, MA, USA
1671
Age 42
Bristol, Somertshire, England
1673
January 18, 1673
Age 44
Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
1678
February 28, 1678
Age 49
Salem, MA, USA
1704
1704
Age 75
Peabody, Essex County, Massachusetts