Edward Bishop, "the Tavern Keeper"

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Edward Bishop, Jr.

Also Known As: "Byshop spelling on Salem", "Mass death record"
Birthplace: Salem, Essex, Massachusetts
Death: May 12, 1711
Rehoboth, Bristol, Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Son of Edward Bishop, Sr., of Salem and Hannah Bishop, of Salem
Husband of Sarah Bishop
Father of Edward Bishop, Ill, Escaped Salem Witch; David Bishop; Sarah Jorden; Benjamin Bishop; John Bishop and 6 others
Brother of Hanna Bishop and Mary Colburn

Occupation: accused of witchcraft
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Edward Bishop, "the Tavern Keeper"


Edward Byshop was baptized February 23, 1648 at Salem, Essex, MA. ( Vital records of Salem, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849 .. by Salem (Mass.) Published 1916 Topics Registers of births, etc. -- Salem, Mass. [from old catalog)

Much of their estate was confiscated during their imprisonment, leaving their large family practically homeless.

From "History of the town of Leeds, Androscoggin County, Maine, from its settlement June 10, 1780" (Lewiston Journal Co. 1906) at 64

Edward third was born in Salem in 1648. He married Sarah Wildes ; was a farmer, a native of Salem, in which place he lived. He was present at the hearing in April, 1692, given Sarah Cloyce accused of witch-craft ; and hearing John, an Indian servant in the family of Samuel I'arris, the minister, who was her accuser, give false testimony against her, cured that servant by a good flogging and declared his belief that he could likewise cure the whole company thus afflicted. For this both he and his wife were imprisoned. With the overthrow of that tyrant, priestly power, they were released, and in 1693 moved to Rehoboth, Mass., where he died May 11, 1711. In his will mention is made of Jonathan fourth, born in the year 1686. He married Abigail Avery. The date of his death is unknown to the w^riter but his will was probated April 7, 1725.


  1. Wildes Family in America PDF document


After being subjected to the "Salem Delusion" as it became known, the Bishops remained in New York until the spring of 1693, at which time they moved to Rehoboth, Massachusetts, near Providence, Rhode Island. The center of Rehoboth at that time is now Rumford, Rhode Island. Fifty years earlier, a schism within the Puritan church at Hingham drove many to Rehoboth. Perhaps the Bishops felt the residents of that place would be more tolerant of them, in spite of the family's lack of commitment to the Puritan church and of their notorious involvement in the witchcraft trials. In any case, the Bishop family prospered. It is said they had at least 12 children.

By 1706, Edward Bishop had received a license to serve strong drinks and established an inn in what is now East Providence. He purchased a good deal of land and served as a juror in 1705. The innkeeper was not without his legal problems, though. In 1707, he lost his license to serve liquor. Evidently, Bishop corrected the problem as it was reissued in 1708.

On May 11, 1711, Edward Bishop made a will, which was probated May 28 of that year. It was witnessed by Deacon Samuel Newman, Moses Read, and Daniel Carpenter.

Edward named the following individuals in his will:

Sarah Bishop: Wife. Executor. 

Edward Bishop: Eldest son. Samuel Bishop: Son. William Bishop: Son. Jonathan Bishop: Son. Joseph Bishop: Son. David Bishop: Son. Benjamin Bishop: Son, adding, "if he lives to come home." John Bishop: Son. Ebenezer Bishop: Son. Priscilla Day: Daughter. Sarah Jorden: Daughter. Samuel Day: Son-in-law. Edward Day: Grandson, under age 21. John Day: Grandson, under age 21.

Sarah Bishop died in 1725. Bristol County Probate Records Vol. 5, p. 157, records that the Court appointed Samuel Bishop of Attleboro the administrator of his late mother's estate. She died intestate. The appointment was dated September 4, 1725.

Bristol County Probate Records, Vol. 5, pp 224-225, references the division of the estate of Mrs. Sarah Bishop of Rehoboth on February 15, 1725/6 between her children, namely:

Edward Bishop, eldest son. 

Samuel Bishop, second son. Jonathan Bishop, third son. William Bishop, fourth son. David Bishop, deceased. John Bishop, fifth living son. Ebenezer Bishop, sixth son. Priscilla Day, daughter; wife of Samuel Day. Sarah Jorden, youngest daughter.

The committee members were Abiah Carpenter, John Robinson, and Daniel Carpenter.

David Bishop died sometime before or near the time of his mother Sarah Bishop's passing. Bristol County, Massachusetts Probate Court records (Vol. 5, p 199) indicate that on December 21, 1725, Samuel Bishop of Attleboro was appointed guardian of the children of David Bishop, late of Ashford, Hartford County, Connecticut, namely:

Rachel Bishop, over age 14. 

John Bishop, over age 14. Ebenezer Bishop, over age 14. David Bishop, over age 14. Rebecca Bishop, under age 14. Mary Bishop, under age 14.

Samuel Bishop died sometime between the writing of his will on June 6, 1726 and its probate filing on August 16, 1726. The witnesses were Isaac Bucklin, Ebenezer Robinson and Noah Carpenter. Samuel Bishop named the following as benefactors to his estate:

Mary Bishop: Wife. 

Samuel Bishop: Son and Executor. Daniel Bishop: Son. Joseph Bishop: Son, under age 21. Benjamin Bishop, "under age." Edward Bishop. Gideon Bishop. Thomas Bishop, under age 16. Mehetibel Carpenter, Daughter. Mary Follet, Daughter. Hannah Bishop, Daughter. Sarah Bishop, Daughter.

Samuel Bishop directed his son and Executor, Samuel Bishop, to "...bind out my three sons namely: Benjamin, Edward & Gideon to good trades."

Samuel Bishop may be the same Samuel Bishop of Attleboro, Massachusetts, who wrote a will, dated October 19, 1739 and probated June 17, 1740. An Elizabeth Bishop was named his wife. Samuel Bishop, his son under age 21, and daughter Mehitbel Bishop were named, along with "...the Child unborn My Wife Now Goes With..." Witnesses were Timothy Tingley, Benjamin Day, and Noah Carpenter. Wife Elizabeth was named Executor by her husband. (Vol. 9, pp 434-436).


The source for the probate records is from Abstracts of Bristol County, Massachusetts Probate Records, 1687-1745 by Peter Rounds, available online at Ancestry.

Abstracts of Bristol County, Massachusetts Probate Records, 1687-1745

Abstracts of Bristol County, Massachusetts Probate Records, 1745-1762

Source: http://allgenealogy.blogspot.com/2008/09/surviving-salem-witch-trials-bishop.html


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Edward Bishop, "the Tavern Keeper"'s Timeline

February 23, 1648
Salem, Essex, Massachusetts
February 23, 1648
Salem, Essex, Massachusetts
Age 21
Salem Village, Massachusetts
Age 23
Massachusetts, USA
Age 25
Massachusetts, USA
Age 32
Massachusetts, USA
May 24, 1685
Age 37
Bristol, Massachusetts, USA
Age 37
Essex, Massachusetts, USA
July 17, 1687
Age 39
Massachusetts, USA