Mary Towne Esty was born 12 August 1634 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom to William Towne (1599-1685) and Joanna Blessing (1595-1682) and died 22 September 1692 Salem witch trials of execution by hanging. She married Isaac Esty (1627-1712) 1655 in Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts.


Biography

Mary was a 57-year old mother of seven children and sister to Rebecca Nurse and Sarah Cloyce, who were also falsely accused of witchcraft in Salem 1692.

Childhood

Born in England and migrated with family to Salem, Massachusetts at a very young age. It also appears that she married at a very young age and then had seven children.

Marriage to Isaac Eastey

Mary was the second wife of yeoman farmer, Issac Eastey, and lived with him on the Eastey Farm in Topsfield, Massachusetts. Issac had two children from his first marriage.

There were close bonds of kinship with the Nurse and Townes Families. They were frequently at odds with the Putnam family over farmland boundaries, and this might have contributed to the accusations at the Salem Witch Trials.

Salem witch trials

1876 illustration of the courtroom; the central figure is usually identified as being Mary Walcott

The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693. More than 200 people were accused, nineteen of whom were found guilty and executed by hanging (fourteen women and five men). One other man, Giles Corey, was pressed to death for refusing to plead, and at least five people died in jail. It was the deadliest witch hunt in the history of the United States.

Her sister, Rebecca Towne Nurse (1621-1692), was previously executed at the Salem Witch Trials. Another sister, Sarah Towne Cloyse (1642-1703) was similarly accused but escaped execution.

  • 1692-Apr-21 : Accused by Ann Putnam, Jr of witchcraft and jailed
  • 1692-May-18 : Released from jail after being ignored by the afflicted girls.
  • 1692-May-21 :Thrown back into jail on new witchcraft charges by Mercy Lewis.
  • 1692-Sep-9 : Trial
  • 1692-Sep-22 : Execution



Final state of Mary Eastey, a devout Puritan who affirmed the existence of witchcraft, but strongly condemned the trial proceedings. The Lord above knows my innocency then...as on the great day will be known to men and angels. I petition your honours...if it be possible, that no more innocent blood be shed, which undoubtedly cannot be avoided in the way and course you go in. I question not, but your honors do to the utmost of your powers in the discovery and detecting of witchcraft and witches, and would not be guilt of innocent blood for the world; but by mo own innocency, I know you are in the wrong way. The Lord in His infinite mercy direct you in this great work, if it be his blessed will, that innocent blood be not shed...


Robert Calef reported in his work More Wonders of the Invisible World that immediately before her execution - When she took her last farewell of her husband, children, and friends she was as is reorted by them present, as serious, religious, distinct, and affectionate as could well be expressed, drawing tears from the eyes of all present.

She was among the last to by hanged during the Salem Witchcraft episode.



Children


Offspring of Isaac Esty or Estey and Mary Towne (1634-1692)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Isaac Esty (1656-1714)
Joseph Esty (1658-1739) 5 February 1658 Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts 25 October 1739 Stoughton, Norfolk County, Massachusetts Jane Stewart (1654-1700)
Sarah Esty (1660-1749)
John Esty (1663-1720)
Abigail Esty (1665-1665)
Hannah Esty (1667-1741)
Benjamin Esty (1669-1750)
Samuel Esty (1672-1708)
Jacob Esty (1674-1732)
Joshua Esty (1678-1718)
Jeffrey Esty (1680-1718)

Siblings

References


Residences

Footnotes (including sources)

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