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Sarah Rist (Clark)

Also Known As: "Sarah (Clark) Davis Rice"
Birthdate: (78)
Birthplace: England
Death: May 3, 1698 (78)
Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Lt. William Henry Clarke and Katherine Clarke, Accused Witch
Wife of Capt. George Davis; Capt. George Davis, of Lynn & Reading and Nicholas Rist
Mother of Elizabeth Wiley; Joseph Noah Davis, Sr.; Benjamin Davis; Hannah Boutwell; Sarah Cole and 4 others

Managed by: Gwyneth McNeil
Last Updated:

About Sarah Rist

Sarah Clark

  • b: 1620 - England probably
  • Death: May 3 1698 - Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts
  • Parents: sister of Thomas Clarke of Reading
  • Married: George Davis, Nicholas Rist AKA. Nicholas Rice
  • Children: Mary Davis, Joseph Davis, Hannah Davis, John Davis, Susannah Davis, George Davis, Sarah Davis, Elizabeth Davice, Joseph Rist

Sarah Clark, born 1620 in England, settled in Lynn, Essex Co., MA; died May 3, 1698 in Reading, Middlesex Co., MA

Sarah married George Davis, a weaver and ship owner, with whom she had 8 children. When their youngest was 5, George died. Soon after, Sarah married Nicholas Rist of Reading and had one child:

Joseph Rist, born about 1671 in Reading, MA; died April 19, 1740 in Uxbridge, Worcester Co., MA; married to Phebe Richardson May 20, 1703 in Reading.

When Sarah’s oldest son, Benjamin Davis, died in 1679, he willed his estate to Sarah, with the exception of two acres, which went to Benjamin’s sister.

On May 28, 1692, a warrant for Sarah’s arrest on charges of witchcraft was issued at Salem, MA, evidently at the request of her husband, Nicholas Rist. In those days, the husband of a woman with property could snatch that property away by having her declared either insane or a witch. If she and Nicholas were not getting along, he may have tried this trick to get her land. Although Sarah was never tried for the crime, she was sent to prison in Boston along with Capt. John Alden, Jr. Four months later, in October, 1692, Nicholas must have had a change of heart, since he petitioned for her release. She was released and lived with her husband for another 5 ½ years until her death.

Sarah’s will, written September 20, 1697 and probated May 15, 1698, refers to “the worldly estate that my former husband George Davis and my son Benjamin Davis gave to me by their last wills for to dispose of, give and devise the same as follows: to grandson Joshua Davis, all ye Homestead…that is ye same that I now dwell in… with all the lotts, divisions and dividends…thereto belonging, Joshua to pay to my daughters the legacies hereafter mentioned: to daughter Sarah Cole, to daughter Hannah Boutell, to son-in-law Timothy Wylye, to daughter Mary Damon, to Susannah Richardson.”


Sarah Clarke, b. 1662 at Kent, England and d. 14 July 1698 at Reading, Massachusetts, American Colonies. Sarah Clarke, m. 1643 to George Davice at Lynn, Massachusetts, American Colonies. After the death of George Davice in 1667, she re-married to Nicholas Rist. Sarah (Clarke) Davice, m. 1669 to Nicholas Rist at Reading, Massachusetts, American Colonies.

She was assested for WitchCraft on 24 May 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts, American Colonies and was imprisoned in Boston, Massachusetts, American Colonies. on 31 May 1692. She was released from prison on the Petition of Nicholas Rist on 19 October 1692.


(Petition of Nicholas Rice) To the honoured Generall Court now Sitting in Boston

The humble Petition of Nicholas Rist of Reading Sheoweth that whereas Sara Rist wife to the petition'r was taken into Custody the first day of June last and ever Since laine in Boston Goal for witchcraft, tho in all this time Nothing has been made Appear for w'ch shee desur'd Imprisonment or death, the petition'r has been a husband to the Said woman above Tweinty years, in all w'ch time he never had reason to accuse her for any Impietie or witchcraft, but the Contrary Shee lived w'th him as a good Faithfull dutifull wife and alwise had respect #[to the respect] to the ordinances of God while her Strength Remain'd and the petition'r on that Consideration is Obliged in Conscience and Justice #[oblige] to use all lawfull means for the Support and preservation of her life, and it is deplorable that in old age the poor decriped woman should ly under Confinment so long in a Stinching Goal when her Circumstances rather requires a Nurse to Attend her. May it therefore please yo'r hon'rs  to take this matter in to yo'r prudent  Considerations.and derect Some  speedy Methods whereby this ancient  decriped person may not for ever ly  in such Miserie wherein her life is  made more afflictive to her than death,  and the petition'r Shall as in dutie bound  Ever pray

Dated the 19'th october 1692 (Reverse) 1692 The humble petition of Nicholas Rist of Reading

( Mass. Archives Vol. 135 No. 63 )

view all 14

Sarah Rist's Timeline

Age 23
Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts
May 31, 1648
Age 28
Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts Colony
Age 28
Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts
October 1, 1651
Age 31
Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts
January 16, 1654
Age 34
Reading, Middlesex County, Massachusetts
February 16, 1658
Age 38
Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States
July 20, 1660
Age 40
Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts
Age 40
Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States