About Mary Tyler, Accused Witch
Mary Tyler Born: 31 JAN 1669 at: Worcester Co., Massachusetts
Martha Tyler Born: ABT 1676 at: Massachusetts
Daniel Tyler Born: AFT 1676 at: Massachusetts
John Tyler Born: 19 FEB 1677 at: Massachusetts
Hannah Tyler Born: AFT 1677 at: Massachusetts
JoAnna Tyler Born: 21 NOV 1681 at: Essex Co., Massachusetts
James Tyler Born: 28 DEC 1683 at: Essex Co., Massachusetts
Hopestill Tyler, Jr. Born: ABT OCT 1685 at: Essex Co., Massachusetts
Mehitable Tyler Born: 4 JAN 1687 at: Essex Co., Massachusetts
Abigail Tyler Born: 2 JAN 1688 at: Essex Co., Massachusetts
STORY OF MARY TYLER'S CONFESSION
The following is a digest of the " recantation " obtained from Hopestill Tyler's wife by the Rev. Increase Mather, the same being followed by Bailey's Sketches of Andover, pp. 222 and 223.
" Goodwife Tyler did say, that when she was first apprehended, she had no fears upon her, & did think, that nothing could have made her confess against herself. But, since, she has found to her great grief, that she had wronged the truth & falsely accused herself." When she was being taken from her home in Andover to prison in Salem, her brother-in-law Bridges rode beside her; and, during the memorable ride, told her that she must be a " witch," because the afflicted were raised out of their fits " by her touch." She stoutly denied the accusation, and begged him not to urge her to confess. But, arrived at Salem (shall we not rather say, temporary " Pandemonium"?), she had to combat, not only a stubbornly misguided brother on one side, but also on her other side, " John Emerson "; which latter stoutly took up the cudgel of accusation, on calling her a witch, declaring he could see the Devil before her eyes, whereupon, with his hands, he proceeded to beat him off. In short, her persecutors so harassed her for confession, that she would have "preferred a dungeon," to their presence. Finally, they threatened to leave her; declaring that, in such event, she would be undone body and soul forever. To their reiterations, that she " could not lie by confessing," she retorted, " I shall lie, if I confess; and then, who shall answer unto God for my lie? " Their final resort always was, " You will be hanged, if you do not confess! " In short, they so protracted their unmerciful treatment, that the poor woman began to doubt her very life and reason: whereupon they proceed to have her " agree to say " what they should " suggest." But, in her real " confession" to Rev. Mather, she insisted, " she wronged her conscience in so doing, was guilty of a great sin in belying herself & desired to mourn for it so long as she lived." And the said Mather adds, " Her affliction, sorrow, relenting, grief and mourning, exceeds any pen to describe and express the same."
VERDICT ON MARY TYLER
MARY TYLER wife of Hopestill Tyler of Andover, Blacksmith, being Indicted by the Jurors for or Soveraigne Lord and Lady the King and Queen upon these Oaths. try these Severall Indictments. That is to say; 1st—For that shee the said Mary Tyler wife of Hopestill Tyler of Andover in the County of Essex, Blacksmith, about seaven Years since in the Town of Andover aforesaid wickedly Malitiously and ffeloniously a covenant with the Devill did make and signed the Devills Book, and promised to serve the Devill as long as she lived &c. &c. The Jury went out to agree on their verdict, who returning did then and there in open Court deliver their Verdict. That the said Mary Tyler was Not Guilty of the ffellony by witchcraft for which shee stood Indicted in & by the said Indictments, and each of them. The Court ordered Mary Tyler aforesaid to be discharged paying her ffees.
The Tyler Family and the Salem Witchcraft Trials
In 1692 the Tyler family of Andover found itself both victim and accuser in the witchcraft hysteria centered in Salem Village (now Danvers, Massachusetts - not present day Salem). The web site, WITCHCRAFT IN SALEM VILLAGE, http://etext.virginia.edu/salem/witchcraft contains on-line the accusations, confessions and other original documents related to the witchcraft trials. This account is taken from those documents.
Two Tyler women were caught in the web of suspicion that swept out of Salem Village and into surrounding towns and villages, until more than 150 persons found themselves accused of witchcraft. The two Tyler women were Mary (Lovett) Tyler, wife of Hopestill Tyler, and Johanna (Hannah) Tyler, Hopestill’s daughter. Hopestill Tyler was the son of immigrant ancestor Job Tyler.
During the Andover scare, Moses Tyler and Joseph Tyler, son and grandson of Job Tyler accused three men and two women of Andover of witchcraft. Not much else is known about their part in the witchcraft hysteria that came to Andover.
WITCHCRAFT IN SALEM VILLAGE gives the following brief account of the start of "The Witchcraft Delusion."
"In early 1692, Rev. [Samuel] Parris’s 9-year-old daughter Elizabeth, 12-year-old niece Abigail Williams, as well as other neighborhood girls began to fall into horrid fits. Their parents tried to discover what was causing their distress, and village doctor William Griggs gave his opinion that the girls were the victims of witchcraft. Put upon to tell who was causing their afflictions, the girls finally accused three village women, and warrants were sworn out for the arrest of Sarah Osburn, Sarah Good and Parris’s slave, Tituba.
"On March 1, 1692, magistrates John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin conducted an examination at the Meeting House. Sarah Good and Sarah Osburn were separately examined and as they answered the questions put to them, the "afflicted" girls went into horrific fits. To all present, the girls were obviously victims of these women’s witchcraft. Though the two protested their own innocence, Tituba unraveled a confession of meeting with the devil and stating there were still other witches in the neighborhood. This evidence was sufficient for the magistrates, and the three women were jailed. The girls’ afflictions did not abate, however, and still more villagers became "afflicted."
"Soon more accusations were made, and by the end of March Church members Martha Cory and Rebecca Nurse were also arrested, examined and jailed. No longer were just the lowly being accused, but people formerly in good standing in the community. By May, scores of "witches," both men and women, had been examined in Salem Village, and jails were being filled with up to 150 accused persons from many towns including Salem, Topsfield and Andover. Dozens of people under excruciating religious, civil and family pressures found themselves confessing to being witches.
"In May, Governor William Phips called a special court to try the cases of those accused witches who had not confessed. Convening in Salem in June 1692, the court quickly condemned Bridget Bishop to death. During July, August and September 18 people, including Nurse, Good and Cory were hanged. In addition, one man, Giles Cory of Salem Farms, died under torture. At least 5 others including Sarah Osburn died in jail. By the new year the colony was becoming exhausted with the witchcraft frenzy, and learned persons were speaking against the validity of "spectral evidence" being used in court. When the trials resumed, this former evidence was disallowed and proof was insufficient to condemn any other accused. The witch horror was over. Of the 19 people who were executed during this tragic yet heroic period, 12 came from the Salem Village area, dying rather than confessing to what they had not done."
Mary Tyler, Accused Witch's Timeline
January 1, 1651
Braintree, Norfolk, Massachusetts Bay Colony
September 31, 1668
Mendon, Worcester, MA, USA
Roxbury, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States
April 9, 1676
Roxbury, Suffolk County, Massachusetts
February 19, 1677
Boston, MA, USA
Andover, Tollnd, Massachusetts, USA
December 28, 1683
Andover, Essex County, Massachusetts
October 16, 1685
Andover, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States