Susannah Martin (North) (1621 - 1692) MP

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Nicknames: "Susannah North Salem Witch"
Birthplace: Olney, Buckinghamshire , England
Death: Died in Salem Village [present Danvers], Essex County, Massachusetts
Cause of death: execution by hanging
Occupation: Accused witch
Managed by: Michele McAffee
Last Updated:

About Susannah Martin (North)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susannah_Martin

Susannah (North) Martin (baptized September 30, 1621 – July 19, 1692) was a woman executed for witchcraft during the Salem witch trials.

Martin was the fourth daughter, and youngest child, of Richard North and Joan (Bartram) North. Her mother died when she was a child. Her stepmother was named Ursula. She was baptized in Olney, Buckinghamshire, England on September 30, 1621. Her family first moved to Salisbury, Massachusetts around 1639. On August 11, 1646 at Salisbury, Susannah married the widower George Martin, a blacksmith with whom she had eight children, including daughter Jane, the great-great-great-great grandmother of Chester A. Arthur. In 1669, Susannah was first formally accused of witchcraft by William Sargent Jr.. In turn, George Martin sued Sargent for two counts of slander against Susannah, one for accusing her of being a witch, and another for claiming one of her sons was a bastard and another was her "imp." Martin withdrew the second count, but the Court upheld the accusation of witchcraft.[1] A higher court later dismissed the witchcraft charges.

By 1671, the Martin family was again involved in legal proceedings dealing with the matter of Ursula North's inheritance, most of which Ursula had left to her granddaughter, Mary Jones Winsley. The court sided against Susannah and George, though Susannah was able to bring five further appeals, each being decided against her.

George died in 1686, leaving Susannah an impoverished widow by the time of the second accusation of witchcraft in 1692. Inhabitants of nearby Salem Village, Massachusetts had named Susannah a witch and stated she had attempted to recruit them into witchcraft. Susannah was tried for these charges, during which process she proved by all accounts to be pious and quoted the Bible freely, something a witch was said incapable of doing. Cotton Mather countered Susannah's defence by stating in effect that the Devil's servants were capable of putting on a show of perfect innocence and Godliness.

Susannah was found guilty, and was hanged on July 19, 1692 in Salem.

Some interesting excerpts from the transcript of Susannah's trial are below: (spelling, punctuation, capitalization as original)

"To the Marshall of the County of Essex or his lawful Deputies or to the Constable of Amesbury: You are in their Majesties names hereby required forthwith or as soon as may be to apprehend and bring Susanna Mertin of Amesbury in y county of Esses Widdow at y house of Lt. Nathaniel Ingersolls in Salem village in order to her examination Relating to high suspicion of sundry acts of Witchcraft donne or committed by her upon y bodies of Mary Walcot, Abigail Williams, Ann Putnam, and Mercy Lewis of Salem village or farms whereby great hurt and damage hath been donne to y bodies of said persons.... etc"

At the preliminary trial for the crime of "Witchcraft and sorcery" Susanna pled not guilty. The original court record book has been lost, but the local Puritan minister, Cotton Mather, recorded the testimony. Susanna and the others accused were not allowed to have council.

"As soon as she came in, Marcy had fits"

Magistrate: Do you know this woman?

Abigail Williams saith it is goody Martin, she hath hurt me often.

Others by fits were hindered from speaking.

Marcy Lewis pointed at her and fell into a little fit.

Ann Putnam threw her glove in a fit at her.

................ Susanna laughed ................

Magistrate: What! Do you laugh at it?

Martin: Well I may at such folly.

Mag: Is this folly? The hurt of persons?

Martin: I never hurt man or woman or child.

Marcy: She hath hurt me a great many times and pulls me down.

Then Martin laughed again.

Probably the worst indignity that Susanna was twice forced to submit to was the physical examination for evidence of a "witch's tit or physical proturberance which might give milk to a familiar." No such deformity was found in Susanna but it was noted that "in the morning her nipples were found to be full as if the milk would come," but by late afternoon "her breasts were slack, as if milk had already been given to someone or something." This was an indication that she had been visited by a witch's familiar, and was clear evidence of guilt. .[2]

Lone Tree Hill, a famous historical site, bore a tablet on its westerly side marking the site of George and Susannah's home. The boulder which marked their homestead has been moved to make room for a highway, and it can be found on the map where the highway crosses Martin Road. The marker lies nearby. George was one of the largest landowners in Amesbury. The inscription on the marker reads: "Here stood the house of Susannah Martin. An honest, hardworking Christian woman accused of being a witch and executed at Salem, July 19, 1692. She will be missed! A Martyr of Superstition. T.I.A. 1894"

In the 19th century, poet John Greenleaf Whittier composed "The Witch's Daughter" about Martin.

"Let Goody Martin rest in peace, I never knew her harm a fly,

And witch or not - God knows - not I?

I know who swore her life away;

And as God lives, I'd not condemn

An Indian dog on word of them."

One verse

and chorus.wav (822K).ra (399K)

RealAudio Player "Susanna Martin" is performed by Liza Kay

Please refer to Cantaria's Copyright information

Susanna Martin was a witch who dwelt in Amesbury

With brilliant eye and saucy tongue she worked her sorcery

And when into the judges court the sheriffs brought her hither

The lilacs drooped as she passed by

And then were seen to wither

A witch she was, though trim and neat with comely head held high

It did not seem that one as she with Satan so would vie

And when in court when the afflicted ones proclaimed her evil ways

She laughed aloud and boldly then

Met Cotton Mathers gaze

"Who hath bewitched these maids," he asked, and strong was her reply

"If they be dealing in black arts, ye know as well as I"

And then the stricken ones made moan as she approached near

They saw her shaped upon the beam

So none could doubt 'twas there

The neighbors 'round swore to the truth of her Satanic powers

That she could fly o'er land and stream and come dry shod through showers

At night, twas said, she had appeared a cat of fearsome mien

"Avoid she-devil,"they had cried

To keep their spirits clean

The spectral evidence was weighed, then stern the parson spoke

"Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live, 'tis written in the Book"

Susanna Martin so accused, spoke with flaming eyes

"I scorn these things for they are naught

But filthy gossips lies"

Now those bewitched, they cried her out, and loud their voice did ring they

saw a bird above her head, an evil yellow thing

And so, beneath a summer sky, Susanna Martin died

And still in scorn she faced the rope

Her comely head held high

Susanna Martin was a witch who lived in Amesbury

With brilliant eye and saucy tongue she worked her sorcery

And when into the judges court the sheriffs brought her hither

The lilacs drooped as she passed by

And then were seen to wither >>

--------------------

Susanna Martin was one of the many women and men sentenced to death during the infamous Salem Witch trials. She and the other girls that were executed on July 19, 1692 have memorials that are landmarks and now tourist attractions in Salem, MA.

June 29-30, 1692, Rebecca Nurse, Susannah Martin, Sarah Wildes, Sarah Good, and Elizabeth Howe are tried, pronounced guilty and sentenced to hang.

July 19, 1692: Rebecca Nurse, Susannah Martin, Elizabeth Howe, Sarah Good and Sarah Wildes are hanged at Gallows Hill.

On October 31, 2001, acting governor of Massachusetts, Jane Swift, signed a law that formally pardoned Susanna Martin, Bridget Bishop, Alice Parker, Margaret Scott, and Wilmot Redd.

Let Goody Martin rest in peace, I never knew her harm a fly,

And witch or not - God knows - not I?

I know who swore her life away;

And as God lives, I'd not condemn

An Indian dog on word of them.

- John Greenleaf Whittier

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nwa/sm.html

http://www.spelwerx.com/swtlinks.html

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~susannahmartin/

--------------------

Hung during Witchcraft histeria Salem Village, MA 1692

--------------------

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~colby/colbyfam/b637.html#P2434

Susanna NORTH was christened/baptized on 30 SEP 1621 in Olney, Buckinghamshire, England. She died on 19 JUL 1692 at Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts. She has Ancestral File Number 8JDG-CF.

Susanna evidently spoke out harshly against a neighbor woman who eventually suffered severe mental problems. The woman's husband blamed Susanna for his wife's trouble and Susanna was accused and found guilty of witchcraft while her husband was still alive..

At a later trial, there were at least fifteen adult males among the hostile witnesses. A former neighbor, John Kimball, dredged up an old story dating back to her first trial, 23 years earlier. He remembered how Susannah had insisted that he live up to his part of the bargain whereby he would pay cash or goods in return for land owned by her husband, George Martin. When Kimball offered the Martins three cows, but now two others which he particularly wanted to keep. "Martin himself was satisfied, but not the wife who threatened that if they would not part with one of the two cows, "she will never do you any more good". And sure enough, one month later that very cow lay dead in the yard, though careful examination revealed no reason. And in a little while after, another cow died, and then an ox, and then other cattle to the value of 30 pounds sterling that spring. In other words, anger over a property dispute combined with the chance deaths of several farm animals to mark Susannah Martin as a witch. She was tried, convicted and hung, together with nineteen others, in 1692.

NOTE: 5 "witches along with Susannah were exonerated on 31 Oct 2001, with the signing of a bill by Acting Mass. Gov, Jane Swift.. A Memorial service was held 9 June 2002, in Salem, for the 5 (Susannah, Bridget Bishop, Alice Parker, Margaret Scott, Wilmot Rudd--Anne Pudeator was exonerated in 1957)

Susanna Martin was an ancestor of President Chester Alan Arthur.

THE AMERICAN GENEALOGIST

Vol 58, #4; October 1982

SALEM WITCHES III: Susanna Martin

By DAVID L. GREENE, Ph. D.

When Susanna Martin, an Amesbury, Massachusetts widow was arrested on May 2, 1692 for alleged witchcraft, the authorities took into custody a woman who had been suspected of that crime for some thirty years and one who may have used her reputation in order to get her own way with some of her credulous neighbors. Modern commentators have found her one of the more noteworthy victims of the Salem witchcraft hysteria, probably because at her preliminary hearing she defended herself with vigor and without respect for authority.

Testimony against Susanna Martin in 1692 indicates that she was accused of witchcraft as early as 1660 or 1661. On May 11, 1692, William Browne of Salisbury, aged 70 or thereabouts, deposed that thirty-one or thirty-two years ago his wife Elizabeth had seen the apparition of Susanna Martin and thereafter was frequently tormented physically until the church appointed a day of "humilling" on her behalf. After Elizabeth complained to a Grand Jury that Goody Martin was the one who had bewitched her, Susanna made vague threatening comments to her. About two months later, Elizabeth became insane, a condition in which she continued in 1692. No record of proceedings on Elizabeth's charges against Susanna has been found.

In 1669, another accusation was brought against Susanna: at Salisbury Quarterly Court, April 13, 1669, "Susanna Martyn, wife of Georg Martyn, was ordered to be commited to prison unless she give bond for l00 li. for appearance at the next Court of Assistants upon suspicion of witchcraft". At the same session of the Quarterly Court, George Martyn sued William Sargent, Jr., for slander, for "saying that said Martyn's wife had a child at Capt. Wiggin's and was wringing its neck in Capt. Wiggin's stable, when a man entered, and she took him by the collar and told him she would be the death of him if he told"; he also sued Thomas Sargent "for saying that his son Gorge Marttin was a bastard and that (his son) Richard Marttin was Goodwife Marttin's imp," that is, a witch's familiar. These suits against the gossiping Sargents did not go well for the Martins. The suit against Thomas Martin was withdrawn; that against William Sargent brought a verdict for the defendant, although the court did not concur, an empty gesture, since the same court session committed Susanna on a charge of witchcraft." Witchcraft was a capital crime, which meant that it fell under the jurisdiction of the Court of Assistants, the records of which, at least so far as they have been published, are inadequate for this period and do not include anything about the charge against Susanna.

Perhaps while that charge was still pending, Susanna was again in legal difficulty. At Hampton Quarterly Court, Oct 12, 1669, Georg Martyn was sued by Christopher Bartlet because Susanna had said that Bartlett was "a liar and a thief and had stolen leather"; the verdict was for the plaintiff.

That suit was nothing compared with the charges brought against the Martin's son Richard at the same court session. Richard had been "presented by the grand jury at the Salisbury court, 1669, for abusing his father and throwing him down, taking away his clothes and holding up an axe against him." The court found him guilty and sentenced him to be whipped ten stripes at Hampton Meeting House on Oct 14, 1669.

The Martins continued to supply scandal. Susanna's father, Richard North, died at Salisbury March l, 1667/8, apparently leaving a will dated Jan 26 1648/9. This will, the authenticity of which was later questioned, left L5 to daughter Mary Jones, wife of Thomas Jones; L5 to grandchild Ann Bates, child of daughter Sarah, "pvided shee bee aliue att my decease"; to daughter Susanna Martune, wife of George Martyn, "twenty shillings & the tenn pound which hir husband the said George Martyn doth owe vnto mee for cattle which hee receiued of mee"; and the residue to "deare & welbeeloued wyfe Vrsula North," who was made executrix.

The original document did not indicate later additions, but calls North's granddaughter Ann Bates, even though she did not marry Bates until some years later; and it leaves Susanna a debt owed by her husband to his father-in-law even though that debt had not been contracted when the will was supposedly executed.

On April 30, 1692, six years after her husband's death, another warrant was issued for Susanna Martin's arrest for witchcraft, this time as part of the hysteria that had begun several months earlier at Salem Village through the accusations of several "afflicted girls" who claimed that they were being tormented by witches. Susanna was arrested on May 1, and a preliminary examination on the same day was noteworthy for the vigor of her answers and for the lack of respect she showed for the presiding magistrates. She laughed when the "afflicted girls" went into a fit and when asked why she did so, she responded, "Well I may at such folly." When she was asked what ailed the girls, Susanna said: " I do not desire to spend my judgm't upon it." She stated bluntly that she did not think the girls were bewitched. Her answer to the request that she provide her thoughts about them was impertinent: "Why my thoughts are my own, when they are in, but when they are out, they are anothers." Other replies show that she was aware of the seriousness of her situation and that she denied guilt fervently. But she kept her sharp tongue even at the end of the examination: "Do you not see how God evidently discovers you?" "No, not a bit for that." "All the congregation think so." "Let them think w't they will."

The jurors thought what they would and indicted her.

Susanna's lack of respect for authority was not, of course, the main reason that she was indicted, though it can hardly have prejudiced the magistrates in her favor. The Rev. John Hale, minister of the Beverly Church, who had supported the trials but had second thoughts after his wife was accused, states, rather clumsily, that Susanna was one of those who "had been suspected by their Neighbours several years, because after quarrelling with their Neighbours, evils had befallen those Neighbours".

In several instances, depositions indicate that Susanna was given to muttering enigmatic phrases that could be--and were, at least by hindsight--interpreted as threats. The evidence that any accused witch uttered such threats is weakened by the tendency of the superstitious to create something ominous out of nothing, but the cumulative effect of testimony against many accused witches throughout several centuries suggests that some consciously fostered suspicions about themselves in order to get their way in village dealings or simply to increase their own sense of importance.

Among the more interesting depositions against Susanna is that of William Brown, who believed that his wife Elizabeth had been driven insane by Susanna some thirty years earlier. John Pressy testified that about twenty-four years previously, he had followed a light "about the bignes of a half bushell" and gave it "at Lest forty blows." Later he saw Susanna and decided that she was the source of the light, to the modern mind an obvious ignis fatuus. Joseph Ring, aged 27, deposed that he had seen several "mery meettings" with "most dreadfull shapes noyses & scretching" and that among those present was Susanna Martin, testimony that suggests that for him superstition was handmaiden to mental imbalance. In comparison, the deposition of Joseph Knight is tame: he believed that around Oct 20, 1686, Susanna had picked up a dog running at her side and changed it into a "Kegg or halfe feirkin".

The most famous accusation against Susanna merits quotation in full:

Sarah Attkinson aged forty Eight years or thereabouts testifieth thatt Some time in the Spring of the year about Eighteen years Since Susanna Martin came unto our house att Newbury from Amsbury in an Extraordinary dirty Season, w'n She came into our house I asked whether she came from Amsbury a fot She Sayd She did I asked how She could come in this time a foott and bid my children make way for her to come to the fire to dry her selfe She replyed She was as dry as I was and turn'd her Coats on Side, and I could nott pceive thatt the Soule of her Shows were wett I was startled att itt that she should come soe dry and told her thatt I should have been wett up to my knees if I Should have come So farr on foott she replyed thatt She scorn'd to have a drabled tayle.

The hint is, of course, that Susanna flew from Amesbury to Newbury. This testimony has frequently been cited as the main reason for Susanna's troubles in 1692. Other testimony, especially Joesph Ring's about witches's meetings, was almost certainly more significant, but it is easy to see why Sarah Atkinson's description of a simple incident has struck modern commentators. In it, we hear Sarah's volubility and Susanna's sharp-tongued response, with its implied insult that Sarah had let fester for eighteen years.

Susanna Martin underwent the indignity of a physical examination on June 2, 1692. Such examinations were intended to discover whether the accused had any physical abnormalities, especially anything that could be used to suckle a familiar or even the devil himself. Susanna was examined twice during the same day; at neither examination was any abnormality discovered, but at the first her breasts appeared to be full and at the second slack. Doubtless the magistrates found this apparent indication that she had actually suckled even more satisfactory than an abnormal "witch's teat."

At her trial held at Salem on 29 or 30 June 1692, Susanna pleaded not guilty but was convicted and hanged at Gallows Hill on July 19, with four others tried at the same time: Sarah Good, Elizabeth How, Sarah Wildes, and the famous Rebecca Nurse. Cotton Mather choose her case as one of the five that he detailed in his "Wonders of the Invisible World" (1693), a defense of the proceedings that, as modern scholars have shown, he would rather not have made. Mather clearly considered these five the most obviously guilty, and he commented that Susanna "was one of the most Impudent, Scurrilous, wicked creatures in the world; and she did now throughout her whole Trial discover herself to be such an one. Yet when she was asked, what she had to say for her self? her Cheef Plea was, That she had Led a most virtuous and Holy Life!" I suspect that her scorn of authority led Mather to this outburst, for Cotton Mather--the son of the Rev. Increase Mather and the grandson of two other prominent Puritan divines, Richard Mather and John Cotton--never, in his own estimation, received fully from the third generation of Puritans the respect that he thought his position and ancestry merited.

But we must acknowledge that no one had leapt to Susanna's defense. When the venerable Lt. Robert Pike marshalled opposition to the trials, it was in behalf of Mary Bradbury, not of Susanna Martin, who was left to defend herself, unsuccessfully but with a sharpness of tongue that makes her personality still vivid after nearly 100 years.

With her execution, Susanna Martin disappears from contemporary records. In 1711, the General Court granted compensation to many of the victims or their heirs, but Susanna's children made no application to the authorities and they received nothing. Susanna was not among those whose attainder was lifted.

See Whittier's Poem, "The Witch's Daughter".

Parents: Richard NORTH and Joan BARTRAM.

Spouse: George MARTIN. George MARTIN and Susanna NORTH were married on 11 MAR 1646 in Salisbury, Essex County, Massachusetts.

Children were: Richard MARTIN, George MARTIN, John MARTIN, Esther MARTIN, Jane MARTIN, Abigail MARTIN, William MARTIN, Samuel MARTIN.

-------------------- According to the "Genealogical and Family History of Western New York", Vol. 1, pg. 264, published in 1912 (compiled under the editorial supervision of William Richard Cutter, A. M):

.....in reference to John Peaslee....

He married (first), March 1, 1705, Mary Martin, at the house of Thomas Barnard, "Where a meeting was held for the occasion." Mary was a daughter of John, son of George and Susanna (North) Martin. Susanna North Martin, after the death of her husband, George Matin, was arrested for witchcraft, April 30, 1692, tried at Salem, June 29, and executed July 19, 1692. The story of the giref of her daughter is told by Whittier in his poem, "The Witch's Daughter." A full account of the trial is found in "Merrill's History of Amesbury." --------------------

Susannah (North) Martin (baptized September 30, 1621 – July 19, 1692) was a woman executed for witchcraft during the Salem witch trials.

Martin was the fourth daughter, and youngest child, of Richard North and Joan (Bartram) North. Her mother died when she was a child. Her stepmother was named Ursula. She was baptized in Olney, Buckinghamshire, England on September 30, 1621. Her family first moved to Salisbury, Massachusetts around 1639. On August 11, 1646 at Salisbury, Susannah married the widower George Martin, a blacksmith with whom she had eight children, including daughter Jane, the great-great-great-great grandmother of Chester A. Arthur. In 1669, Susannah was first formally accused of witchcraft by William Sargent Jr.. In turn, George Martin sued Sargent for two counts of slander against Susannah, one for accusing her of being a witch, and another for claiming one of her sons was a bastard and another was her "imp." Martin withdrew the second count, but the Court upheld the accusation of witchcraft.[1] A higher court later dismissed the witchcraft charges. By 1671, the Martin family was again involved in legal proceedings dealing with the matter of Ursula North's inheritance, most of which Ursula had left to her granddaughter, Mary Jones Winsley. The court sided against Susannah and George, though Susannah was able to bring five further appeals, each being decided against her. George died in 1686, leaving Susannah an impoverished widow by the time of the second accusation of witchcraft in 1692. Inhabitants of nearby Salem Village, Massachusetts had named Susannah a witch and stated she had attempted to recruit them into witchcraft. Susannah was tried for these charges, during which process she proved by all accounts to be pious and quoted the Bible freely, something a witch was said incapable of doing. Cotton Mather countered Susannah's defence by stating in effect that the Devil's servants were capable of putting on a show of perfect innocence and Godliness. Susannah was found guilty, and was hanged on July 19, 1692 in Salem==

Since 1445, a pancake race has been run in the town on many Pancake Days.[7] Tradition records that back in 1445, on Shrove Tuesday the "Shriving Bell" rang out to signal the start of the Shriving church service. On hearing the bell a local housewife, who had been busy cooking pancakes in anticipation of the beginning of Lent, ran to the church, frying pan still in hand, still in her apron and headscarf.

The women of Olney recreate this race every Shrove Tuesday (known in some countries as Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday) by running from the market place to the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, a distance of about 380 metres. The traditional prize is a kiss from the verger. In modern times, Olney competes with the town of Liberal, Kansas in the United States for the fastest time in either town and winner of the "International Pancake Race". There is also a children's race, run by children from the local schools. The children have to run a distance of about 20 metres. This competition has been run every year since 1950==

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Susannah Martin's Timeline

1621
September 30, 1621
Olney, Buckinghamshire , England
September 30, 1621
Olney, Buckinghamshire, England
September 30, 1621
Olney, Buckinghamshire, England
September 30, 1621
Olney, Buckingham, England
September 30, 1621
Olney, Buchingham, England
September 30, 1621
Olney, Buckingham, England
September 30, 1621
Olney, Buckinghamshire, England, United Kingdom
September 30, 1621
Olney, Buckinghamshire, England
1640
1640
Age 18
Emigrated with father from Romsey, Eng
1647
June 29, 1647
Age 25
New England, Hettinger, North Dakota, USA