m.1. 1645 Priscilla Gould (b.c.1625, d. 16 Apr. 1663 Topsfield, MA)
2. 23 Nov. 1663 SARAH (5) AVERILL (b.c.1635, executed 19 July 1692 Salem, MA)
3. 26 June 1693 Mary ______ (m.1. George Jacobs, hanged for witchcraft 19 Aug. 1692)
d. 14 May 1705 Topsfield, MA
John and his brother William emmigrated from England on the Elizabeth and settled in Rowley, MA before moving to Ipswich. John gave his age as seventeen when he registered with the authorities of the port of London for the voyage to New England on 11 Apr. 1635. Also on the Elizabeth was William Whitredd, his wife, son, and three other young men. Whitredd was a carpenter as were the Wildes brothers. Perhaps John was Whitredd's apprentice.(1) In 1646 William Whitred sued Michael Cartrick and the verdict was that the plaintiff should pay John Wild 30/, the defendant 30/, and that John Wild was to pay the other 20/ to himself.(2)
About 1645 he moved to Topsfield probably due to the influence of his wealthy father-in-law Zaccheus Gould. His house stood on Perkins Row at the fork in the road coming from Mile Brook Bridge at a pear orchard. The house was demolished in 1835. In 1660 he bought a 100 acre lot adjoining his land from Richard and Jane Swaine of Hampton. Jane's first husband had been John Bunker of Topsfield.(3)
In 1698/9 John testified that he had sold a parcel of land to Francis Bates fifty years before (1649). He granted 20 acres of land to Robert Andrews in 1654. In 1663 John sold to William Acie of Rowley 32 acres at Bushy Hill and 8 acres of meadow, formerly Thomas Dorman's, at Snookes Hole in Topsfield for £35. John French purchased 30 acres from him in 1672, Thomas Perkins 20 acres "in the first division of lots" in 1674, and William Perkins Sr., 4 acres in 1685/6.(4) given the above and the lack of many deeds to John, he must have had grants from the town, but, the earliest book of town records was destroyed by fire in 1658. However, on 7 Mar. 1664 the town ordered that 500 acres of common land "on the other side of the river which is to remaine common to perpetuity" be divided "by John Wiles Willi Averill Thomas Baker & Edmond Towne or either three of them" into three equal proportions. (5)
In 1637, before the move to Topsfield, John was involved in the Pequot war and received 3/ for his service from the town of Ipswich. In 1639 he received 12/ per day for his service during the war. John was one of twenty soldiers from Ipswich who in Sept. 1642 were involved in an expedition to disarm Passaconway, Sachem of the Merrimac.(6)
In 1659 and 1686 John was one of a committee to settle the boundary between Salem and Topsfield, and in later years he was often employed to decide town boundaries and lay out lots. He was constable in 1661 and 1662, juryman in 1679-80 and tythingman in 1682/3. In 1669 the town owed its largest debt to John, £14/16, probably for carpentry. Given John's carpentry skills it is very possible that he was involved in the construction of the Parson Capen House which is one of the oldest surviving examples of 17th century English architecture in the United States having been built in 1683.
John was on committees to negotiate with Mr. Danforth to act as minister in 1680/1, "to discourse" with Mr. Capen in 1681, to lay out land for Mr. Capen and to seat the people in the meetinghouse in 1682. In 1689/0 "father John Wilds" was collecting the arrears in Mr. Capen's salary. John's second wife Sarah is on Mr. Capen's list of those who were already members of the church when he began his ministry. John, however, was not admitted to full communion in the church until 1697.(7) John testified against Thomas Baker for "laughing in meeting" in 1678. In 1679 parson Jeremiah Hubbard sued Judith Dorman for slander and Sarah Wildes testified for the minister.(8)
William Paine, an Ipswich merchant, sued John for a shop account in 1652 and attached his house.(9)
In 1654 the two younger children of widow Elithorp of Rowley were to be paid their portions into the hands of John Wyldes and John Picard, Thomas Elithorp's executor brought John's receipt into court. This curious transaction indicates that John was possibly related to Elithorp.(10)
John and his second wife began having problems with his first wife's brother Lt. John Gould and her sister Mary Reddington. This situation first became evident in the will of John Wild Jr. regarding his inheritance from his grandfather Zaccheus hoping that his father might not be troubled by any claims made by his uncle Gould. The problems worsened and in 1686 John Wild testified against Lt. John Gould on the charge treason. This is an interesting fact given that John Wild was one of five Topsfield men who signed a declaration that they were uterly unwilling to yield either to a resignation of the Massachusetts charter or anything that should be equivalent, the same sentiments that Lt. Gould expressed. Shortly after this episode Mary Reddington began to spread witchcraft stories about Sarah throughout the town and it is to her authority that most of the evidence against Sarah may be traced. John threatened to sue John Reddington for slander as he could not sue Mary as in that time the husband was responsible for all his wife's actions. Mary denied her previous statements but the damage had already been done. Ann Putnam asserted that "a woman who told me hir name was willds... has most grevously tortored and affected me with a variety of tortureses as by pricking and pinching me and almost choaking me to death..."(11) John was hated by the Putnam's for his decision against them in surveying the boundary between the Putnams' of Salem Village and the Townes of Topsfield. On 21 Apr. 1692 a warrant was issued concerning the charge of witchcraft:"Warrant vs. Sarah wild and als.
There being complaint this day made by Thomas Putnam and John Buxton of Salem Village Yeoman in behalfe of theire Majes'ts for themselves and also for severall of theire neighbours against William Hobs husbandman, Deliv'e his wife, Nehemiah Abot junior weaver, Mary Eastey, the wife of Isaac Eastey, and Sarah Wilds the wife of John Wilds, all of the town of Topsfield or Ipswich, and Edward Bishop husbandman and Sarah his wife of Salem Village, and Mary Black a negro of Leut. Nath. Putnam's of Salem Village also, and Mary English the wife of Phillip English merchant in Salem, for high susption of sundry acts of witchcraft donne or committed by them lately upon the body's of Anna Putnam and Marcey Lewis belonging to the family of ye abovest Thomas Putnam complaint and Mary Walcot ye daughter of Captain Jonathan Walcot of sd Salem Village and others, whereby great hurt and dammage hath benne donne to ye bodys of said persons above named therefore craved justice. You are therefore in theire Majes'ts names hereby required to apprehend and bring before us William Hobs husbandman and his wife, Nehemiah Abot Junr Weaver, Mary Eastey the wife of Isaac Eastey, and all of the abovenamed tomorrow about ten of the clock in the forenoon at the house of Lieut. Nath. Ingersolls in Salem Village in order to theire examination relating to the premises abovesaid and hereof you are not to faile. Dated Salem, April 21st 1692.Jonathan Corwin John Hathorne Assists
To George Herrick, Marshall of Essex, and any or all ye Constables in Salem or Topsfield or any other Towne." (15)Warrant for Arrest of Sarah Wild- 21 Apr. 1692
George Herrick arrested Sarah on the morning of 22 Apr. and her son Ephraim, who was constable of Topsfield, arrested William and Deliverance Hobbs, Mary Easty and Nehemiah Abbot.
In general the procedure used in witchcraft cases involved the afflicted person complaining to the Magistrate about a suspect sometimes doing so through another person. A warrant was then issued for the arrest of the accused who were brought before two or more Magistrates who examined the evidence and sent the accused to jail where they were re-examined. The case was then presented to the Grand Jury at which time depositions were introduced as evidence by the accusers. If the accused was indicted by the Grand Jury they were tried before a jury sitting with the Court of Oyer and Terminer, a special court commissioned on 25 May 1692 to try the witchcraft cases. This court was set up by Sir William Pitts the newly appointed governor of Massachusetts.
On the day of her arrest Sarah was examined by Justices Hathorne and Corwin at the Salem meetinghouse. When she entered the room the "afflicted" girls and women fell into their usual hysterical fits, stating that she was not at the bar but, "on the beam" which ran across the room. Abigail Hobbs, daughter of William Hobbs of Topsfield, a juvenile delinquent who had been arrested and examined and had "confessed" several days before, said that Sarah had brought her the Devil's book to sign. Sarah replied "I am not quilty, sir... I never saw the book in my life and I never saw these persons before"."The examination of Sarah Wilds At a Court held at Salem Village ( )1692
Examination of Sarah Wildes, p. 2
"Indictment v. Sarah Wilds
Anno Regis et Reginae Willm et Mariae nunc Angliae &c Quarto
Essex ssThe Jurors for our sovereigne Lord and Lady the King and Queen pr'sents That Sarah Willes wife of John Willes of Topsfield Husbandman the Twenty Second Day of Aprill in the forth Year of the Reigne of our Sovereigne Lord and Lady William and Mary by the Grace of God of England Scottland France and Ireland King and Queen Defenders of the faith &c and divers other Dayes and times as well before as after, certaine Destestable Arts called Witchcrafts and soceries wickedly and felloniously hath used Practised and Exercised at and within the Towneship of Salem in the County of Essex aforesaid in upon and against one Marcy Lewis of Salem Village Single Woman by which said wicked Acts the said Mercey Lewis- the Twenty Second Day of Aprill aforesaid in the forth Year aboves'd and Divers other Dayes and times as well before and after, was and is Tortured Afflicted Pined Consumed wasted & Tormented and also for Sundery other Acts of Witchcraft by said Sarah Willes, Committed and Done before and since that time ag't the Peace of our Sovereogne lord &Lady the King and Queen, and ag't the form of the Statute in the Case made and Provided.
Summons for the arrest of Sarah Wildes- 12 May 1692 (21)
On 13 May 1692 Sarah was sent to the Boston Gaol in fetters and handcuffs to await further trial. During her imprisonment John and Ephraim traveled back and forth to see that Sarah was fed and clothed and to give her such comfort as they could as the jail authorities supplied nothing."John Wilds for Sarah Wilds
John Wiells testifieth that he did hear that Mary the wife of Jno Reddington did raise a report that my wife had Bewetched her and I wentto the saide Jno Reddington& told him I would arest him for his wifes defaming of my wife but the said Reddington desired me not to doe it for it would butt waste his Estate & that his wife would a don w'th it in tyme: and that he knew nothing she had as'dt mye wife- after this I got my Bro: Averell to goe to the said Sarah Reddinton & my s'd Bro'r told me that he told the said Sarah Reddinton that if she had anything ag'st my wife he would be a means & would help her to bring my wife out: and that the said Sarah Reddinton replyed that she knew no harm mye wife had done her: yet" (17)
Testimony of John Wilds and Ephraim Wilds for Sarah Wilds
She was returned to Salem and stood trial at the June 29th sitting of the Court of Oyer and Terminer. Deliverance Hobbs testified that she was present at a meeting of witches in Mr. Parris' meadow at which Mr. George Burroughs preached and Goody Nurse and Goody Wildes administered a sacrament of blood and red bread."Ann Putnam Jr v. Sarah Wilds
The Deposition of Ann putnam jun'r who testifieth ans saith I have been affected ever sence the beginnung of march with a woman that touldme hir name was willds and that she came from Topsfeild but on the 22 april 1692 Sarah willd did most greviously torment me dureing the time of hir Examination and that I saw that Sarah willds was that very woman that tould me hir name was willds and also on the day of hir Examination I saw Sarah willds or hir Apperince most greviously tortor and afflict mary walcott, Mircy lewes and Abigail williams and severall times sence Sarah wilds or hirs Appearance has most greviously tortored and afflected me with varieth of tortures as by pricking and pinching me and almoat choaking me to death
Ann Putnam Jun'r declared: the above written: evidence: to be truth: before the Jury of inquest: June30'th 1692: upon oath."
"Mary Walcott v. Sarah Wilds
The Deposition of mary walcott aged about 17 years who testifieth and saith that in the begining of Appril 1692 there came to me a woman which I did not know and she did most greviously torment me by pricking and pinching me and she tould me that hir name was wilds and that she lived at Topsfeil and she continewed hurting me most greviously by times tell the day of hir Examination which was the 22 day of Appril 1692: and then I saw that Sarah wildes was that very same woman that tould me hir name was wildes and sarah wilds did most greviously torment me dureing the time of hir Examination for when ever she did but look upon me she would strick me down or almost Choak me to death: also on the day of Examination I saw sarah Wilds or hir Appearance most greviously tormant and afflect mercy lewes Abigail Williams and Ann putnam Jun'r be stricking them down and almst Choaking them to death. also severall times sence Sarah willds has most greviously tormented me with variety of tortor and I verily beleve she is a most dreadful witch
Jurat in Curia
Mary Walcott declared to the Jury of inquest: that the above written evidence is the truth: upon oath: June 30'th 1692"
"Nathaniel Ingersoll v. Sarah Wilds
The Deposition of Nathaniell Ingersoll agged about 58 years and Thomas putnam aged about 40 years who testifieth and saith that wee haveing been conversant with severall of the afflected parsons as namely Mary walcott mercy lewes Abigail williams and Ann putnam jr we have often seen them afflected and hard them say that one gooddy wilds of Topsfeild did tortor them: but on the 22 April 1692 being the day of Examination of Sarah wilds of Topsfeild: the affore mentioned parsons ware most greviously tortored dureing the time of hir Examination for if she did but look on them she would strick them down or allmost choak: them and if she did clinch hir hands or hold hir head asid the afflected parsons above mentioned ware in like maner tortored: andseverall times senec wee have seen the aforementioned parsons tortored and have sen the marke in ther flesh which they said Sarah wilds did make by tortoring them and wee beleve that sarah wilds the prisoner att the barr has severall times Afflected and tormented the afore named parsons by acts of wichcraft:
Jurat in Curia"
Elizabeth Symonds in her deposition said that Goodwife Wilds in the shape of a cat had lain on her breast all of one night and that the presence of Goodwife Wilds on a lecture day had cause her so much pain that she fell down unconscious."Elizabeth Symonds v. Sarah Wilds
The Depotion of Elizabeth Symons aged about 50 yeares Whoe testifieth and saith that about twelve or thirteene yeares sence theire abouts being in Company With mt Mother Androus, after a Lecterin topsfeild my mother and I ware agoeing to give Goodwife Redington a Visiat and as weewnet we over tooke Goodwife Wilds and my Mother fell into discourse about a syee that my Brothers John and Joseph Androus had boreded of Goodman Wilds for one day: and my mother tould Goodwife wilds howJohnand Joseph Androus ware troubled about gitting home a Load of hay then good-Wife Wilds replied and said allthat might bee and i know nothing of it, then my mother replied and said to her whie did ye threaten them and tould them thay had better aLet it aLone then she did threaten my mother and tould her that she would make her prove it and then my mother Coaled to mee and bid mee bare Witnes Elizabeth what she saith, and then she did Looke bake apon mee and Emedatly I did fale into such atrembling condition that I was as if all my joynts did knoke togather so that I could hardly goe along, and that noght faling after I was a bed I did see something stand between the Wale and I, I did see something stand theire and I did Looke apon it a consideradabell time so Long that I afraid to Ly one that sid of the bed and asked my husban to Let mee Ly one the other side of the bed and he did, and then I did feele it come apon my feete as if it had bin a cat and Crope up to my breast and Lay apon mee and then I Could not move netherhand not foot nether Could I speake a word I did strive to cale to my husban but Icould not speake and so I Lay all night, and in the morning I Could speeake and then I tould my husban thay thalke of the old w( ) but I thinke she has ride mee all this night and then I tould ( ) husban how it had bin with mee all the night, we had a Lector once a month in Topsfeild and the next lectter dayafter the first above named, as I was sitting in my seate Goodwife Wilds Coming by the end of the seeat I sat in I was Emedatly taken with such apayn in my back that I was not abell to bare it and fell doune in the seeat and did not know wheaire I was and some pepall tooke me up and did Caried mee out of the meeting house but I did not know nothing of it tell afterwords when I Came to my selfe I did wonder how I Come theire up to mr Hubbard house and when I did Come to my selfe and a great many pepall Come about mee to aske mee what was the matter with mee Goodwife Wilds Come and stood at the End of the tabell and I Replied and said theire she is and my mother bid mee goe and serve her but I Could not sture, and so i have Continued at times Ever senc some times with paynes in one plase and som times in another plase soe as i ahve not bin abell to doe any thing in my famelery ay severall times I have bin at the Docters but they cannot give mee any thing that doe mee any good this is in short of what I Can say being heire in the heart of what I Can speeake too. I am verey Willing to Come and atest to all above wrighteen and if the Lord give mee streanke but at present I am not abell to come
Jurat in Curia
Elizabeth Symons ag't Sarah wiles to be Sumoned Abraham Reddington Sen. Joseph Bixbey Jun'r"
Lt. John Gould testified that when his sister Mary Redington was coming from Salem about fifteen years ago Goodwife Wilds, in spirit form, pulled her backward off her horse, also that hens given to her by Goodwife Wildes "went moping about till they died". He also testified that after Zacheus Perkins, for whom he was fetching loads of hay, told him to load it fast or else his Aunt Wilds would not let John carry it for she was angry with him, the loads slipped off and "I did thinke that it was done by Withcraft"."John Gould and Zacceus Perkins v. Sarah Wilds
The Depotion of John Gould aged about 56 yeares or theire about Testifieth and saith that some time sence whether it be fivfteen or sexteene yeares agoe I amsarting butt I take it to be theire abouts sister Mary Redington tould mee as she was Coming from Salem With her Brother Redington that GoodWife Wildsdid strive two or threetimes to pl her doune of her horse one time she did strive to pul her doune in a brooke but she did set her selfe with all her strenke she Could and did git out of the brook and soone after she was got out of the brooke she said that GoodWife Wilds did pul her doune bakwords of her horse and held her doune so she Could not helpe her selfe tell her Brother Redington and Sarg't Edmon Townes did Come and helper, and my sister did desier mee to Come and Wright what she Could say how GoodWife Wilds did a flocte her for she would Leafe it in Wrighting so as it might be seene when she was dead and I did goe doune to wright it once or twice but when I was redy to wright it sister was taken so as she Could not declare any thing, also sister Mary tould mee that When Johanthan Wilds was ele at her house in astraing maner so as he Could goe out at the Chimey tops into the barne hed git her henes and put them in his briches and kiled them, sister Mary did aske GoodWife Wilds to take som of the dead henes and Let her have som Liveing henes and she did but sister said they went moping about tell they died and so shall I said sister Redingtonand the Last worrds I herd sister Redington say was that it was GoodWife Wilds that brought her into that Condition she did stand to it tell her death forder I doe tetifie that as I was afeching two or three Load of hay Zacheus perkins, the s'd perkins tould mee that I must Lay the hay fast or eles his ant Wilds would not Let mee Cary it for she was angrey with him and as I went with one Load it did slipe doune in plaine way and I Lay it up againe and then I Came almost at home with it it fell doune againe and I Went and feched him another Load and when I Came wheare the first Load sliped the seckond did slipe doune then I got some of our frinds to helpe me Up with itand wee bound it with two Cart ropes but it did slipe Up and doune so as I did never see hay doe soe in my Life and when I Came wheare I Left the first Load the hay went all of the Cart upon the ground and did bring the Cart over and it was rising ground I did thinke that it was don by WichCraft.
Jurat in Curia
Zacheus Perkins made Oath to the latter part of this Evidence relating to the Hay"
Thomas Dorman said that after Goodwife Wilds asked him " How do your geese thrive?" they pined away so that they were good for little."Thomas Dorman v. Sarah Wilds
The deposition of Thomas Dorman aged 53 yers saith goody wils was arnest with me to be one hive of beese and sins goodwife wils had thes beese I last many Creturs and she Came to my hou one day and said She how doth your geese thrive and she went tothe pen whare they were fatting, and thay were very fat and we we cept them a grat while longer feding them with Corne and thay pind away so as thay were good for litle and I lost six brave Cattle Six yere agoe which was frozen to death inthe midell of Jenewary: now sum time this summer my wif went to Salem vilidg and my wife tould me that an putnam the afflicted parsun tould hur that good wif wils had whoried away my Cattell and I wondered an putnam should know I lost my Cattle so long agoe."
Humphrey Clark told of a spectral visit at midnight by a woman who seemed to be Goodwife Wilds."Humphrey Clark v. Sarah Wilds
the deposiyion of humpry Clark aged about 21 yere saith that about a yere agoo I was asleep and about midnight the bed Shook & I awaked and saw a woman stand by the bed side which when I well Looked semed to me to be goodwif wills which jumpid to tother corner of the house & then I saw hir no more.
Jurat in Curia"
John and Joseph Andrews of Boxford had borrowed young John Wild's sythe in 1674 although his stepmother was unwilling to lend it. Having cut and loaded their hay their six oxen refused to draw, a wheel mired and they unloaded the hay for they said to one another that it was vain to strive for Goody Willes was in the cart."John Andrew and Joseph Andrew v. Sarah Wilds
The deposition of John Andrew aged about 37 years and Joseph Andrew agged about 33 years: both of Boxford who testifieth andsaith that in the year 1674: we were mowing to gether and one of us broak our sith and not haveing oppertunity jest then to mend that nor by another we went to the house of John willes sen'r of Topsfeild to borrow a sith: but when we came there there was no man att whom: but the said willes wife who is now Charged with ares of witchcraf: was with in: and we asked hir to lend us a sith but she said had nosiths to lend: but one of hir neighbors being also there said to us there is John willes jun'rs sith hanging in that tree which stood by the house you may take that and spake with him as you goe to your work for he is at worke neare the way as you goe along: and accordingly we took down the sith out of the tree and tould the old woman that we would ask leave of John willes jun'r for his sith before we used it but she was very angry and siad it was a brave world that every one did what they would, however, we went away with the sith: but we had not been gon very fare from the house but a litle lad coame affter us whose name was Efraime willes: and tould us that his mother said we had best bring the sith back againe: or Elce it should be a deat sith to us: however, we went on our way with the sith and asked the Right owner of it leave for it before we used it and went to our work and cutt down as much grass that day as made about three load of hay: and Returned the sith to the owner: and afterwards went to carting of our hay and went into the meadows and loaded up one load very well and caried it whom: and went againe into the meadow and loaded a second load and bound it and went to Drive it whom: but when we came to drive our oxen wee could not make them stire the load tho we had six good oxen and the Two foremost oxen ware onthe upland and the meadow very firme where we carted constantly: but we strived awhile to make our oxen goe butt could not fit them along: att last one of our wheales fell in up to the stock altho the meadow was feirme: then we threw allmost all the hay ofe our cart and thought to trie to git out the cart with sum hay upon it but we could not then we said one to another it wasin vainto strive for we thought gooddy willes was in the cart and then we threw of all the hay and then we tried to make our oxen draw out the emty cart which at first they could not doe: but att last the whele jumpt up at once we knew not how almost redy to thro down our oxen ontheir knees then againe we loaded up our load of hay very well and bound it: and away wee wnet with it very well tell we came near to a very dangeros hill to goe down with a load of hay: and then I the said joseph Andrew was by the foremost oxen and saw sumthing about as bigge as a dogge glance from a stump or root of atree along by me and the oxen beganto jump: but I could not stirefrom the place for I know not howlong" and I the said JohnAndrewbeing by the hindmost oxen saw nothing but the oxen begining to jumpI cast hold of one of the oxen boxes & cas caried down violently that dangerouse hill I know not how: where was a brooke at the bottom of it with a bridge and a ford: and the oxen ran into the ford and over thrue the load of hay their: and when I came to To understand where I was and saw the oxen ware all well I began to bethinke my selfe of my Brother Jopseph: and Immediatly called him but he gave no answer. and I began to be trobled for him and went backward to wards the place where the oxen were affrighted and I called severall times but he gave me no answer at last I called and said the load is overthron then Immediatly he answered me and came unto me: but how the load should keep upon the wheles runing so violently down that dangerous hill" & being over throne whare it was we can give no account unless it was do by summ diabolicall art: then againe we gott up our cart and loaded up our hay very firme resolving to gitt hom our load if we could tho it was night and when we had loaded we went to bind our load: but by all the Skill and strength we had we could now wayes bind our load with our Cart rope but it would hand lose on our load: however we went away whom with our load and it laid very well for all it was night and our load unbound: also before we got whom many of our fiends and neighbors meet us being consarned for us because we ware solatte & they also saw our cart Rope hand lose and tould use of it, and wee tould them what mishap we had that day: and they tried to fasten the Ropebut could not: all which made usthen to think and ever sence have thought: and still dow thinke that Goody willes who now stands Charged with High suspition of severall acts of wicthcraft had a hand in our Mishap at that time.
Jno Andrew: and Joseph Andrew declared: the evidence written on these two sides to: be the truth on: their oates: declared: before the Jury og inquest: June 30.92"
Rev. John Hale of Beverly testified that Goody Reddington "opned her griefs" to him, saying that Goody Wiles, her neighbor, bewitched her and afflicted her many times, and that Goody Wiles' stepson, John, had said that he believed his mother Wiles was a witch."Rev. John Hale v. Sarah Wilds
I John Hale of Beverly aged 56 years being sumoned to appear & give evidence against Sarah Wiles of Topsfeild July 2.1692; Testify that about 15 or 16 yeares agoe came to my house the wife of John Hirrek of Beverly w'th an aged woeman she said was her mother. Goody Reddington of Topsfeild come to me for counsel beeing trouble of spirit. When the said Reddington opned her greifs to me thir was one that she was assaulted by witchcraft that Goody wiles her neighb'r bewitched her & afflicted her many times greiviously, telling me many particular storys how & when she troubled her, w'ch I haveforgotten. She said allso that a son in law of said Wiles did come & visit her (shee called him an honest young man named John as I take it) & did pitty her the said Reddington, signifying to her that he beleived his mother wiles was a witch & told her storys of him mother. I allso understood by them, that this Goody Wiles was mother in law to a youth named as I take it Jonathan Wiles who about twenty yeares agoe or more did act or was acted very strangly Insomuch that I was invited to joyn with Mr Cobbet & others at Ipseich to advise & pray for the said Youth; whome some thought to counterfeit, others to be possessed by the devill. Bit I remember Mr Cobbet thought he was under Obsession of the devil. Goody Reddingtons discourse hath caused me to have farther thoughts of the said Youths case whether he were not bewitched.
Jarat in Curia"
Sarah's son Ephraim, the Topsfield Constable, testified in her behalf telling the court that Deliverance Hobb's testimony against his mother was motivated by spite since he had arrested her and brought her to Salem. Elizabeth Symonds who had signed a disposition against his mother did so because he broke his engagement to her daughter several years before, and that Mary Reddington, a sister of his father's first wife Priscilla was still angry about the fact that his father had married his mother before an appropriate year of mourning after his first wife's death, and that she was a simpleminded person. Also, upon hearing that Elizabeth Symonds believed that his mother had done her a wrong he questioned her and she replied that she had no reason to believe any harm of his mother except what Goody Reddington had said. When faced with a threat of a suit for slander by Ephraim and John Wild, Mary Reddington stated at church services the following Sunday that Sarah Wild was a fine Christian woman who had never been in any way involved with the devil. Ephraim said of his mother: "She hath awlwais instructed me well in the Christian religion and the wais of God ever sence I was abell to take instruction."Ephriam Wilds For Sarah Wilds
The tesitmony of Ephraim Wildes Eged about 27 or theabouts testifieth and saith that a bout fouer yers a gow there, was som likly hode of my haveng one of goodiey Simonds daugters and as the maid towld me har mother and father were veriey willing I should have hare: but after some time I had a hint that goodiey Simonds had formerlly she beleved my mother had done har wrong and I went to hare and took marke how that is now ded who dyed at the Estward: along with me and before both of us she denied that ever she had eniey grounds to think eniey harme of my mother only from what goodiey Redington had siad and afterwards I left the hous and went no mor and ever sence she bene veriey angriey with me and now she will re ward mee
Ephraim Willdes" (17)
Testimony of John Wilds and Ephraim Wilds for Sarah Wilds
"Ephraim Wilds for Sarah Wilds
This may inform this Honred cort that I: Ephraim Wildes being constabell for topsfelld this yere and the marshall of sallem coming to fetch away my mother he then shued me a warrant from athority derected to the constabell of topsfelld wherin was william hobs and deliveranc his wife with maniey others and the marshall did then re quire me forth with to gow and aprehend the bodies of william hobes and his wife which a cording ly I ded: and I have had serous thoughts maniey tims sence whether my mother there by in some mesuer to be re venged of me the woman did show a veriey bad sperit when I sesed: on might all most se revenge in her face she looked so molishsly on mee: as for my mother I never saw aniey harm by har upon aniey sutch a cout naither in word nor action as she is now a used for she hath awlwais in structed me well in the crision religion and the waisof god ever sence I was abell to take in structions: and so I leve it alltho this honred cort to consider of it
Ephraim Willdes" (18)
Order of Ephraim Wildes for Sarah Wilds
All of the efforts made by John and Ephraim to save her went for naught. She was convicted of being a witch and the warrant for her execution was signed on 19 July 1692.(19) On the same day she was driven from the jail to Gallows Hill, standing in a cart along with Rebecca Nurse, Goody Good, Elizabeth Howe and Susanna Martin, where they were hanged.Death Warrant for Sarah Good, Rebecca Nurse, Elizabeth Howe, Susanna Martin and Sarah Wildes.
The persons who had entered evidence against her eventually confessed in church that they had lied. This did little good for Sarah except to clear her name. In 1711 £598/12 was appropriated by the court to recompense the families of those who were executed for witchcraft. Ephraim received £14 in compensation. He stated that this could not compensate "for the los of so dere a friend which can not be made up".(12)"Topsfield Septem 11, 1710
To the honered Jentell men of the commitey greeting:it having pleased the great and Jeneral cort to a piont your honars a comitte to inquire who may be proper to bee Justifiedin the bill refering to the taking ofe the attainder and what loss and damedg hes been sustained by reason ofthe tryalls which were for witchcraft in the yer 1692 under which soroful triall my mother Sarah Wild was Condemnd &executed: my father being now disseced and only my self left I here apere to give in som short acount of the cost and damedg we sustained in them times: my mother was carried to Salem prison sum time in Epral we ware at the cost of it and chardg of ceping har there a considerabl whille and after wards she was removed to boston prison we wer at the cost of it and chardg of cepting of hare ther for about towmonths and then from boston she was removed back to Ipswech prison we ware at the cost of that and after a swhill she was removed to Salem again we ware in all the cost both of caring and providing for her maintance whill in all these prisons: be side ether my father or my slef went once a wek to see how she deed and what she wanted and some tims twis a weke which was a grat cost and damedg to our estate my father would often say that the cost and damedg we sustained in our esteate wase twenty pounds and I am in the mind he spok les then it was: besidsthe los of so dere a frind which cannot be med up::all which I leve to your honers consideration: I remin you honers humbel sarvant
yet not withstanding twas twenty poundsdamedg to our Estate considering our nams maybe repaired I am willing to take forten pounds" (20)
Ephraim's Letter to the General Court- 1710
"Province of the Massachusetts Bay: Anno Regni Anna Reginae Decimo.
An Act to reverse the attainders of George Burroughs and others for Witchcraft
Forasmuch as in teh year of our Lord one Thousand six hundred ninety two several Towns within this Province were Infested with a Horrible Witchcraft or Possession of devils; And at a Special Court of Oyer and Terminer holden at Salem in the County of Essex in the same year 1692. George Burroughs or Wells, John Procter, George Jacobs,John WIllard, Giles Core, and Martha his wife, Rebecca Nurse and Sarah Good all of Salem aforesaid Elizabeth How of Ipswich, Mary Eastey, Sarah Wild and Abigail Hobbs all of Topsfield, Samuel Wardell, Mary Parker, Martha Carrier, Abigail Falkner: Anne Forster, Rebecca Eames, Mary Post and Mary Lacey all of Andover, Mary Bradbury, of Salisbury, and Dorcas Hoar of Beverley Were severally Indicted convicted and attainted of Witchcraft and some of them put to death, others lying still under the like sentance of the said Court, and liable to have the same Executed upon them.
The Influence and Energy of the Evil Spirits so Great at that time acting in and upon those who principal accuser and Witnesses proceeding so far as to cause a Prosecution to be had persons of known and good reputation, which caused a great disatisfaction and stop to be put thereunto until theire Majesty's pleasure should be known therein: And upon a Respresentation thereof accordingly made her late Majesty Queen Mary the second of blessed memory by Her Royal Letter given at her Court at Whitehall the fifteenth of April 1693. was Graciously pleased to approved the care and Circumspection therein; and to Will and require that in all proceedings ag't persons accused for Witchcraft, or being possessed by the devil, the greatest Moderation and all due Circumspection be used, so far as the same may be without Impediment to the Ordinary course of Justice.
And some of the principal Accusers and Witnesses in those dark and severe prosectutions have since discovered themselves to be persons of profligate and vicious conversation.
Upon the humble Petition and suit of several of the s'd persons and of the children of others of them whose Parents were Executed. Be it Declared and Enacted by his Excellency the Governor Council and Represtatives in General Court assembled and by the authority of the same That the several convictions Judgments and Attainders against the said George Burroughs, John Procter, George Jacobs, John WIllard, Giles Core, and Martha Core, Rebecca Nurse, Sarah Good, Elizabeth How, Mary Easty, Sarah Wild, Abigail Hobbs, Samuel Wardell, Mary Parker, Martha Carrier, Abigail Falkner: Anne Forster, Rebecca Eames, Mary Post, Mary Lacey, Mary Bradbury and Dorcas Hoar, and every of them Be and hereby are reversed made and declared to be nulland void to all Intents, Constructions and purposes whatsoever, as if no such convictions, Judments and attainders or either of them had or Incurrd.
Any Law Usage or Customs to the contrary notwithstanding. And that no Sheriffe, Constable,Goaler or other officer shall be Liable to any prosecution in the Law for anything they then Legally did in the Executionof their respective officers.
Made and Pass's by the Great and General Court or Assembly of her Majestys Province of the Massachusetts: Bay in New England held at Boston the 17th day of october, 1711"
Salem Witches Memorial
Monument to Sarah Wildes at Gallows Hill
John's son Jonathan was a somewhat peculiar person. His uncle John Gould testified at the witchcraft trial that when Jonathan was ill "in a straing maner" at the house of his aunt Mary Reddington, she said he would go out at the chimney tips into the barn where he would kill her hens." Rev. John Hale in a deposition said that Jonathan "did act very strangly Insomuch that I was invited to join Mr. Cobbet & others at Ipswich to advise & pray for ye said youth, whom some thought to counterfeit, others to be possessed by ye Devil. But I remember Mr. Cobbet thought he was under Obsession of ye Devil".(13)
On 9 Apr. 1690 John Wild, carpenter, transferred to his son Ephraim his possessions as follows:
"In consideration of seven years service that I had of him when he could have been for himself, I hereby transfer to my son Ephraim Wild all my housing, lands and meadows together with all my stock of cattle, sheep, swine, carts, ploughs, household stuff of all sorts and kinds whatforever."The farm was bounded as follows:
"With lands of John Ofrancher on ye west and lands of Mr. William Perkins towards ye south and with lands formerly John Reddington toward ye east and with lands formerly Robert Andrews and Mr. Baker towards ye north."(14)Issue- first eight children by Priscilla, last child by Sarah
(1) The Ancestry of Dudley Wildes- p.7
(2) Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County- per index
(3) Ipswich Deeds- I, 649
(4) Ibid- IV, 271,376; V, 291
(5) The Averell, Averill, Avery Family- p.105
(6) The Ancestry of Dudley Wildes- p.7
(7) The Ancestry of Dudley Wildes- p.8
(8) Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County- per index
(11) In Essex County- Willard DeLue, The Boston Daily Globe, 25 Jan. 1952, p.15
(12) Collections of the Topsfield Historical Society- Vol. XIII, all surviving documents relating to Sarah will be found here verbatim.
(13) The Ancestry of Dudley Wildes- p.14
(14) Essex Deeds- Vol.13, p.39
(15) Essex County Court Records- Vol. I, p. 163
(16) Ibid- p. 164
(17) Ibid- p. 166
(18) Ibid- p. 165
(19) Ibid- Vol. II, p. 135
(20) Mass. Archives- Vol. 135, p. 118
(21) Mass. Historical Society- Salem Witchcraft Papers- document 25
A Wildes Genealogy- Douglas Cruger, pp.1-4
The Wildes Genealogy- N.P. Apr. 1984, pp.1-5
Essex Institute Hist. Coll.- Apr. 1906, p.134ff
Averell, Averill, Avery Family- C.A. Avery, pp.104-14
Genealogical And Family History of the State of Maine- Little, p.1522
New England Marriages- p.815
b. Feb. 1665 Topsfield, MA
m. 18 Mar. 1689/0 MARY (3) HOWLETT (b. 17 Feb. 1671, d.17 May 1758)
d. 2 Apr. 1725 Topsfield
Ephraim lived on the family homestead in Topsfield which his father deeded to him in 1690 in consideration for his services Most of his later purchases and sales of land were of small parcels between him and his Perkins and French neighbors. In 1718/9 he, along with three others, sold for £40 to Jacob and Edmund Towne Jr., town grants which had been made to their fathers in 1661 and 1664. In 1724 he and Daniel Reddington sold to David Balch two "cottage lots" on the south side of the Ipswich River in Topsfield which had been laid out in 1722.(1)
Ephraim was one of the Selectmen of the town of Topsfield in 1697/8, 1714, 1719/0 and 1721/2. He was the thythingman in 1702/3 and in 1714/5 and was overseer of the poor in 1719. He was a juror in 1705/6 and in 1708, a grand juror in 1712, 1718, 1721, and 1722. Ephraim was a corporal in the train-band in 1708 and was promoted to quartermaster by 1718. In 1718 he was on the committee to seat the people in the meetinghouse. Ephraim, along with Mr. Isaac Peabody and Mr. Simon Bradstreet, was paid £25 by the town for building the bridge over the Ipswich River. In 1692 he became the town treasurer and constable. Ephraim, as constable, had a difficult time collecting the minister's rate from an Irishman named Nealand who lived on the boundary line between Topsfield and Ipswich. Whenever Ephraim called, Nealand was always found in the Ipswich side of his house. Finally Ephraim and several others visited Nealand's pig pen and the minister received his rate in pork. Soon after this the town sued Nealand for defaming the town of Topsfield.
The story of his connection with the witchcraft histeria shows him to have been a man of truly noble character in light of the fact that anyone taking part in defending those accused of witchcraft were usually dragged into being also accused.
In his will 2 Apr. 1725 Ephraim left his wife Mary all his household goods, two cows, the use of one end of his house and the improvement of one-third of all his land. If she married again she whould be paid £20 by his sons and executors, John and Ephraim, and resign her dower to them. John and Ephraim received all his land and rights in common land, the rest of his cattle, his sheep, tools of husbandry, and his horses. They were to pay his debts and other legacies. His son Elijah received a black colt. His sons Jonathan, Jacob, Samuel, Nathan, Amos, and Elijah received £60 each to be paid two years after his decease. His daughters Mary Perkins, Susannah Town, Dorothy Perkins, and Priscilla received £20 each and his daughter Hannah received £30 at the age of 21 years or upon her marriage. The will was witnessed by John Howlett, Joseph Andrews, and Jacob Peabody.(2)
Mary made her will 28 Apr. 1758 and left her son Ephraim her old loom, the cupboard and the great table as "he hath ever found me with flax and wood". Her son Jonathan received 5/. Her daughters Priscilla Averell and Hannah Averell received the residue of her estate. She also mentioned the money she had lent to her son Nathan during his life. The executor was her son-in-law Jacob Averell. The will was witnessed by Elisha Wildes, Martha Wildes, and Zebulon Wildes.(3)Issue- all children born in Topsfield, MA
(1) Essex Deeds- Vol. 35, p.270; Vol. 42, p.264
(2) Essex Co. Probate- Vol.315, pp.235-6
(3) Ibid- No. 29842
A Wildes Genealogy- pp.5-10
The Ancestry of Dudley Wildes- pp.16-9
Essex Institute Hist. Coll.- July 1906, p.277
New England Marriages- p.815
3XI. SAMUEL (JOHN 1, EPHRAIM 2)
b. 2 Mar. 1708 Topsfield, MA
m. 24 July 1734 Greenland, NH ELIZABETH (3) MORGAN, d. by 30 Dec. 1763 Arundel, ME
will 6 Mar.- 9 July 1760 Arundel, ME
The Death of Fr. Ralle
Samuel was at the capture of Norridgewock in 1724 with his brothers Ephraim, Jacob and Jonathan. The Norridgewock under the influence of the French Jesuit Fr. Sebastian Ralle, had become a threat to the English settlements. In August 1724 four companies of men including Samuel and his brothers, went from Fort Richmond up the Kennebec River to attack the village. Forty men were left to guard the whaleboats at Taconick and the rest marched to the village. Capt. Moulton and his men marched directly into the village and Capt. Harman and his company went by way of the Indian's fields. Moulton's company did the fighting with Harman's company arriving after it was over.
" The 23d of August 1724 (12 Aug. OS), eleven hundred men, part English, part Indians, came up to Norridgewock. The thickets, with which the Indian village was surrounded, and the little care taken by the inhabitants to prevent a surprize, caused that the enemy were not discovered, until the very instant when they made a general discharge of their guns and their shot had penetrated all the Indian wigwams. There were not above fifty fighting men in the village... The noise and tumult gave Father Ralle notice of the danger his converts were in. Not intimidated, he went to meet the enemy, in hopes to draw their attention to himself... As soon as he appeared, the English set up a great shout, which was followed by a shower of shot, and he fell down dead near to a cross which he had erected in the midst of the village, seven Indians, who accompanied him to shelter him with their own bodies, falling down dead around him. Thus died this kind shepherd, giving his life for his sheep, after a painful mission of thirty seven years... The English, finding they had nobody to resist them, fell first to pillaging and then burning the wigwams. They spared the church, so long as was necessary for their shamefully profaning the sacred vessels and the adorable body of Jesus Christ, and then set fire to it..."(1)
On 16 Aug. 1724 the English arrived back at Fort Richmond and Harman went to Boston and received a promotion for what Capt. Moulton evidently had accomplished!(2)
Jacob, Jonathan and Samuel stopped in Arundel on their return to Topsfield to visit their sister Mary Perkins and settled there. Arundel had a large colony of people from Topsfield.(3) Samuel purchased 100 acres of land in Arundel from Jonathan Philbrook in Dec. 1728.(4)
"At a Generall Town Meeting at Arundall March ye 25 1732... Samll Wildes & George March was Chosen Haywards or field Drivers for the year Ensuing..."(5)
"At a Lawfull Town Meeting September ye 2d 1734... the following bills of Charge was allowed for work Don abought Mr. Prentises Garrison viz... Samll Wildes three days work of himself at 6/day 00=18=00"(6)
On 15 Dec. 1736 Samuel Wildes of Arrundel, housecarpenter, sold for £10 to Jonathan Stone of Arundel, marriner, one acre of Salt marsh "on the west Side of Turbots Creek Joyning to a great Rock that lays by Said Creek... with a Convenient Way from the County Road to said Marsh to Carry off the Hay..." The deed was witnessed by Jesse Town and Simon Larett.(7)
Samuel was employed as the schoolmaster in 1741, 1743, 1745 and 1746.(8)
"At a Lawfull Town Meeting April ye 24th 1746 Then mr. Samuel Wildes was Chosen Moderator for that Meeting and Then voted the swine goe at Large for the year Ensuing, Voted mr. Samuel Wildes Twenty Shillings old Tenner for his serving as Scoole Master for the year 1745.." He was given another 20/ on 17 Mar. 1746/7 for his services for 1746.(9)
Samuel was elected one of the Surveyors of the highways 11 Mar. 1745/6 and again in 1752, and 1753.(10) He was a tithingman in 1749, fenceviewer and sealer of weights and measures in 1750, and constable in 1755.(11)
Samuel purchased land on the Saco Road in Arundel in July 1748 from his sister-in-law Rebecca Morgan (see Huff) which belonged to her brother Samuel Morgan who died in the Portsmouth Gaol before Jan. 1731/2.(12)
"In the Name of God Amen, the 6th day of March 1760- I Samuel Wildes of Arundel... yeoman...
first I Do give to my two sons Samuel & John Wildes all my Real Estate both Lands & marsh Except six acers of Land to be Equally Divided between them when they come to the age of twenty one years, only I do order my son Samuel to pay out of his part what I owe to Rishworth Jordan, Esq.
2dly I do give to my three Daughters mary Hannah & Sarah Eight pounds a peice Lawfull money out of my Estate to be paid them when they come of age by my two Sons Samll & John the one to pay the one half & th other the other half
and I do ordan my Sons Samuel & John to pay Equally between them four pound Lawfull money to my grand child Susanna Weeks when she comes of age3dly I give to my Daughter Elisabeth Deshon Six acers of Land...
4thly I do give & bequeath to my Dear & Loving Wife Elisabeth (During her widowhood) all my moveable Estate both within doors & without that is the Improvement of it for the Bringing up my children & paying my just Depts & if my Pasnal Estate will not pay my just Depts then my will is that my two sons Samuel & John pay them out of the Real Estate & my will is that my wife have the Improvement of one third of all my Real Estate (Durring her widowhood) and I do hearby make & appoint my Dear & well Beloved Wife Executrix & Thomas Perkins of Arundel aforsd Executer to this my Last Will & Testament...In witnes Whareof I have heerunto set my hand & SealSigned & Sealled in
"By vertue of a warrent from the Honorable Jeremiah Moulton Esqr Judge of the Probate... for Devideing the Real Estate of Samuel Wilds Late of Arundell Deceast Equilly Between his two sons Both Land and marsh Except Six acers of Land Given his Daughter Elisabeth Deshon we have accordingly Lett to the eldest Son Samuell wilds forty five acers of Land and marsh Bounded as followeth.... to a Burch tree Near turbitts Bridge So Called then Running as the Crick Runs... near the thatch Islands... and three acers and half of a Grant Laid out in a place Called Button wood Swamp with all the Buildings Belonging to Sd Estate...
2dly Sett of to John wilds the youngest Son fifty five Acors of Land Beginning att the Norwest Corner of Nathaniel Wilds... then Running... by the Land of Samuel wilds... in the marsh by the Side of a Crick Near the thatch Islands then as the Crick Runs to the marshs of Jonathan Stone Late of Arundell Deceast... with twelve Acers of a Grant Laid out att a place Called Button wood Swamp...Dated Arundel March ye 28 1764
Samuel Wildes' Will- Page 1, Page 2, Division of Estate- Page 1, Page 2
On 30 Dec. 1763 John told the court of his mother's deathbed wish that he be brought up in the household of his cousin Nathaniel Wilds.(14)Issue-
(1) The History of the Colony and Province of Massachusetts Bay- Thomas Hutchinson, Vol.2, pp.234-5
(2) A Wildes Genealogy- p.16
(3) History of Kennebunk Port- Charles Bradbury, Kennebunk, 1837, p.285
(4) York Deeds- Vol.15, p.211
(5) Kennebunkport Town Records- Book I, p.97
(6) Ibid- p.107
(7) York Co. Deeds- Vol.19, p.69
(8) Kennebunkport Town Records- Book I, pp.124,128,131
(9) Ibid- pp.132,134; History of Kennebunk Port- Charles Bradbury, Kennebunk, 1837, p.174
(10) Kennebunkport Town Records- Book I, pp.131,149,155
(11) Ibid- pp.137,139,159
(12) Genealogical Dictionary of Maine & New Hampshire- p.492
(13) York Probate- No. 20405
(14) A Wildes Genealogy- p.19
York Deeds- Vol.48, p.19; Vol.90, p.186; Vol.112, pp.1,107
The Wildes Genealogy- N.P. Apr. 1984, pp.13-4
Essex Institute Hist. Coll.- July, 1906, p.288
4I. SAMUEL (JOHN 1, EPHRAIM 2, SAMUEL 3)
b. after 1739
m. OLIVE (2) DESHON, d. after 1818 Arundel, ME
d. before 24 Mar. 1788
Samuel was a proprietor in Arundel in 1763. On 14 Dec. 1771 Samuel sold to Thomas Wiswall, mariner, for £1/6 an acre and 100 rods of land bounded by Gideon Walker and Samuel Perkins. The deed was witnessed by James Deshon Jr. and John Lewis.(1)Samuel was elected field driver and hog reeve in 1771, 1772 and 1774.(2)
Samuel was in the Revolutionary War and was drafted in Oct. 1776. He served in the 3rd Regiment of the Massachusetts Militia commanded by Col. Israel Chapin. He is listed on the muster roll for October and November 1779 at Albany, NY having re-enlisted on 15 Oct. 1779 for a term of one month and six days.(3)Samuel Wilde's Military records
On 8 August 1782 an English brig with 18 guns and an English schooner with 10 guns came into Kennebunkport harbor and seized an American schooner and sloop owned by a man named Newbury. Samuel was outraged. He jumped into his canoe, paddled out to the side of the British brig and demanded that the English captain surrender the captured vessels and leave. Sam may have been out of his mind making such a demand but he had lost his brother John and also a son in the war. When the British mocked the wild man in his canoe and ordered him to come aboard, Samuel cursed the British and their cause and paddled away. The English shot him in the knee leaving him lame for life. When he got ashore he was unable to stand from loss of blood and he remained in critical condition for some time. While Sam had been harrasing the British other citizens went to Goat Island which was in range of the British ships. The English sent a 17 man landing party to capture the rebels and the island, however the Kennebunkport men killed 16 of the 17 with a barrage of musket fire. They then brought up two cannons and commenced firing upon the British ships which were about 70 yards away, driving them out of the harbor.(4)The following comes from a contemporary account of the battle as printed in the New England Chronicle for 3 Oct. 1782:
Arundel, August 14, 1782
Please to insert the following in your paper, and you'll gratify the pub'ic. On the 8th inst. early in the morning, the enemy from the eastward appeared off Cape Porpoise harbour in a large Brig of 16 guns, and a top-sail schooner of about 12 guns. Their design seems to have been to take out a large sloop loaded with lumber, with a schooner then in the Cape harbour; and also to plunder the cattle and sheep on the nearest island. Accordingly the brig sent in her boat with about 36 to 38 men to take out said vessel. As soon as the sloop perceived their design they directly made them a present of the contents of her cannon and immediately they turned and landed upon a small island which forms the eastern chops of the cape harbour, known by the name of Goat-Island, with two pieces of cannon. The brig then came into the harbor and fired upon the sloop, which immediately returned the fire, the schooner came to the mouth of the harbor and did likewise. When the men in the sloop apprehending their efforts would be in vain, putting into the boats, quitted the sloop and went ashore. The enemy then took possession of the sloop and the schooner, the latter of which they carried out, and sent off. A southern breeze suddenly arising drove the sloop ashore on the southwesterly point of the island, and the ebbing tide rendered all means ineffectual to get her off. An alarm was immediately made in the town, and the militia collected as soon as possible on a large island near to, but separated from said Goat-Island, by a narrow channel, known by the name Trots-Island, with two pieces of cannon, within fair musket shot of the enemy, and began to fire upon them therewith. Many shots were then exchanged. The enemy perceiving the militia had cannon, began to think it would be impracticable to get out the sloop, and therefore set her on fire. The militia then thought proper to move on to Goat-Island, where the enemy had landed, and accordingly forded the channel, some to their middle and others to their arms, exposed to the whole force of the enemy's fire, which was furiously hurled in vollies of manifold death on their centre and rear, from the schooner traveling without the mouth of the harbour; which when the enemy on the island perceived, they fled precipitately to their boat. The militia arrived just as the enemy were putting off from the shore, and poured in their fire upon them with a brisk and lavish hand, while the whole force of the enemy's artillery was levelled at them, and the cannon ball, grape shot and musquetry flew thick around them like showers of hail, which they heroickly sustained, and continued their fire with unremitting vigour and activity on the enemy for five or six hours. By reason of wind and tide against them, the brig could not go out, but by towing and warping, amidst the continual fire of the militia on the island; and did not accomplish it until just before night, and with great difficulty got under sail with the schooner without the harbour. By several of our people who were near enough to make observations, and by one whom the enemy had taken some time before, and who was on board the schooner, an eyewitness of the whole affair, we learn, that there were 14 killed in the boat, and 20 wounded, six of whom died of their wounds soon after they were carried on board the schooner; and but three of the whole crew over the gunwale of the brig unhurt; besides four or five killed in a boat carrying out the anchors to warp out the brig. The gracious care of divine providence through the whole day was really very remarkable, and ought to be very gratefully acknowledged, in covering the heads, and preserving the lives and limbs of many of our people, so long and so greatly exposed to the numerous and manifold [snares] of death, which flew so thick in quick succession, around them, having no intrenchment, but the sea-wall for their defense. Among 40 of the militia voluntarily appearing, and sustaining the burden of the engagement with 150 of the enemy, but one man was hurt. Captain James Burnham, about 46 years of age, was killed, in the close of the engagement, with a musquet ball through his breast, which brought on instant death. In him the town mourns the loss of a steady, judicious, faithful honest man, his aged parents of a dutiful son and his bereaved family, of an affectionate friend and patron. The militia did honour to themselves, while they conducted with that prudent, steady, unshaken courage and resolution, which demonstrated them worthy of the free and peaceful enjoyments of those invaluable rights and privileges which Britain has feloniously endeavored to wrest from this injured country.
Please to insert the following in your paper, and you'll gratify the pub'ic.
On the 8th inst. early in the morning, the enemy from the eastward appeared off Cape Porpoise harbour in a large Brig of 16 guns, and a top-sail schooner of about 12 guns. Their design seems to have been to take out a large sloop loaded with lumber, with a schooner then in the Cape harbour; and also to plunder the cattle and sheep on the nearest island. Accordingly the brig sent in her boat with about 36 to 38 men to take out said vessel. As soon as the sloop perceived their design they directly made them a present of the contents of her cannon and immediately they turned and landed upon a small island which forms the eastern chops of the cape harbour, known by the name of Goat-Island, with two pieces of cannon. The brig then came into the harbor and fired upon the sloop, which immediately returned the fire, the schooner came to the mouth of the harbor and did likewise. When the men in the sloop apprehending their efforts would be in vain, putting into the boats, quitted the sloop and went ashore. The enemy then took possession of the sloop and the schooner, the latter of which they carried out, and sent off. A southern breeze suddenly arising drove the sloop ashore on the southwesterly point of the island, and the ebbing tide rendered all means ineffectual to get her off. An alarm was immediately made in the town, and the militia collected as soon as possible on a large island near to, but separated from said Goat-Island, by a narrow channel, known by the name Trots-Island, with two pieces of cannon, within fair musket shot of the enemy, and began to fire upon them therewith. Many shots were then exchanged. The enemy perceiving the militia had cannon, began to think it would be impracticable to get out the sloop, and therefore set her on fire. The militia then thought proper to move on to Goat-Island, where the enemy had landed, and accordingly forded the channel, some to their middle and others to their arms, exposed to the whole force of the enemy's fire, which was furiously hurled in vollies of manifold death on their centre and rear, from the schooner traveling without the mouth of the harbour; which when the enemy on the island perceived, they fled precipitately to their boat.
The militia arrived just as the enemy were putting off from the shore, and poured in their fire upon them with a brisk and lavish hand, while the whole force of the enemy's artillery was levelled at them, and the cannon ball, grape shot and musquetry flew thick around them like showers of hail, which they heroickly sustained, and continued their fire with unremitting vigour and activity on the enemy for five or six hours. By reason of wind and tide against them, the brig could not go out, but by towing and warping, amidst the continual fire of the militia on the island; and did not accomplish it until just before night, and with great difficulty got under sail with the schooner without the harbour. By several of our people who were near enough to make observations, and by one whom the enemy had taken some time before, and who was on board the schooner, an eyewitness of the whole affair, we learn, that there were 14 killed in the boat, and 20 wounded, six of whom died of their wounds soon after they were carried on board the schooner; and but three of the whole crew over the gunwale of the brig unhurt; besides four or five killed in a boat carrying out the anchors to warp out the brig.
The gracious care of divine providence through the whole day was really very remarkable, and ought to be very gratefully acknowledged, in covering the heads, and preserving the lives and limbs of many of our people, so long and so greatly exposed to the numerous and manifold [snares] of death, which flew so thick in quick succession, around them, having no intrenchment, but the sea-wall for their defense. Among 40 of the militia voluntarily appearing, and sustaining the burden of the engagement with 150 of the enemy, but one man was hurt. Captain James Burnham, about 46 years of age, was killed, in the close of the engagement, with a musquet ball through his breast, which brought on instant death. In him the town mourns the loss of a steady, judicious, faithful honest man, his aged parents of a dutiful son and his bereaved family, of an affectionate friend and patron.
The militia did honour to themselves, while they conducted with that prudent, steady, unshaken courage and resolution, which demonstrated them worthy of the free and peaceful enjoyments of those invaluable rights and privileges which Britain has feloniously endeavored to wrest from this injured country.(9)
The Battle of Cape Porpoise- mural by Louis D. Norton in Judge Luques' Home
At a town meeting 24 Mar. 1788 it was: "Voted that the Town Pay the taxes of Samuel Wields Estate untill Further order of the Town".(5)
On 1 May 1808 Olive Wildes, widow of Samuel Wildes, deceased, and her living children, sold 3/4 acre in Arundel to Ebenezer Perkins, mariner for $15.00(6)
"Know all men by these Presents that we Olive Wildes, widow of Samuel Wildes late of Arundel, deceased, Rufus Russ of said Arundel, mariner, attorney to Samuel Wildes of Georgetown... mariner, John Wildes and Jacob Wildes Jr. of said Arundel, mariners, Henry Flanders of said Arundel and Olive his wife in her right, John Rhodes Jr. and Persis his wife in her right, Benjamin Adams Jr. and Sarah his wife in her right, Hannah the wife of said John Wildes, Elizabeth the wife of said Samuel and Hannah the wife of said Jacob in consideration of one dollar to us paid by Isaac Wildes of said Arundel... lot #4", 25 Dec. 1818. The date on this deed is probably in error as Olive and Henry Flanders had died by 1808. The deed was not recorded until 3 Nov. 1849 and I suspect that the date should read 1808 instead of 1818.(7)
Olive died before 5 June 1819 when her son John sold land adjoining land "set off to the widow Olive Wildes, now deceased".(8)Issue- all children baptized in Arundel
(1) York Deeds- Vol.42, p.43
(2) Kennebunkport Town Records- Book II, pp.161,166,174-5
(3) Military service records- National Archives, card number 37100180
(4) History of Kennebunk Port- Charles Bradbury, Kennebunk, 1837, pp.170-2
(5) Kennebunkport Town Records- Book II, p.259
(6) York Deeds- Vol.137, p.80
(7) Ibid- Vol.208, p.392
(8) Ibid- Vol.112, p.106
(9) New England Chronicle- Vol. XV, iss. 761- p. 1
The Wildes Genealogy- N.P. Apr. 1984, pp.15-6
Essex Institute Hist. Coll.- July 1906, p.295
6VII. JACOB (JOHN 1, EPHRAIM 2, SAMUEL 3, SAMUEL 4)
bpt. 3 Dec. 1775 Arundel, ME
m. 18 June 1795 Arundel, HANNAH (2) LEWIS
d. before 1820
Jacob was elected hog reeve on 4 Apr. 1796.(1)
Hannah renewed her covenant in the Arundel church 19 Aug. 1803.
Jacob is listed as head of the household in the 1810 census for Arundel. Hannah is listed as head of the household for 1820.
"Know all men by these Presents that we Ephraim, Samuel, Jacob and Benjamin Wildes all of Kennebunkport... mariners, Benjamin Tarbox and Sophia his wife and Esther Wildes of Roxbury in the state of Mass. in consideration of $14 dollars paid by James Wildes of said Kennebunport, mariner... by the widow Hannah Wildes dower... containing one acre... the same lot on which said James Wildes house and barn now stands." 25 Dec. 1833.(2)Issue- all children born in Arundel
(1) Kennebunkport Town Records- Book II, p.294
(2) York Deeds- Vol.147, p.14
The Wildes Genealogy- N.P. Apr. 1984, p.20
7III. JACOB (JOHN 1, EPHRAIM 2, SAMUEL 3, SAMUEL 4, JACOB 5)
bpt. 12 June 1807 Arundel, ME (b.c.1800)
m.1. 22 Sept. 1827 Limerick, MARY/POLLY (6) MADDOX (b. 1801, d. 7 Jan. 1869 Kennebunkport)
2. 25 June 1870 Elizabeth Eldridge of Wells (d.10 Apr. 1876 Kennebunkport)
d. before Apr. 1877 Kennebunkport
Susanna Burnham of Saco sold to Jacob and his brother Ephraim 6 or 7 acres on the north side of the road from Kennebunkport harbor to Cape Porpoise which was bounded by Thomas Huff, Jacob and Ephraim Wildes. The deed is dated 9 Oct. 1830.(1)
On 12 Nov. 1833 Ephraim, Samuel, Benjamin and Jacob Wildes, mariners, Sophia and Benjamin Tarbox, and Esther Wildes sold to their brother James Wildes, mariner, for $14.00, land in Kennebunkport next to Jason N. Langdon and widow Hannah Wildes' dower land.(2)
On 10 Feb. 1837 Jacob and Ephraim Wildes of Kennebunkport sold to James Wakefield Jr. of Kennebunkport, fisherman for $7.50 a lot on the north side of the road from Kennebunkport harbor to Cape Porpoise bounded by the land of Benjamin Lewis. The deed was signed by Jacob and Mary Wildes and Ephraim and Mary Ann Wildes.(3)Jacob and Mary were living in Kennebunkport at the time of the 1850 census with their children "Lowring", Oliver, Pamelia, Sarah and Jacob.(9)
In the 1860 census Jacob, age 60, farmer, and Mary, age 59, were living next door to their son Loren along with their daughter Sarah D., age 20, a factory operator and Jacob T., age 18, fisherman. His real estate was valued at $700.00 and his personal estate at $70.00.(4)
On 1 Nov. 1866 Samuel and Olive Wildes, James and Hannah Wildes, Ephraim and Mary A. Wildes, Cynthia J. Wildes, Jacob and Mary Wildes, Joseph and Eunice Adams, Benjamin Rhodes, Esther King, Joseph Wildes, Jesse T. Adams, Sarah Bickford, and Harriet Worth all of Kennebunkport sold for $1725.00 to John B. Hughes, John H. Williams, George Smith, John E. Dow, John Stinchcomb, Edward Goodwin and Jott Grant all of Portland and Sylvestor Brown of Kennebunkport two lots on New Cape Road bounded by Samuel Wildes in Buttonwood Swamp. The deed made reference to the division of the estate of John Wildes.(5)By the 1870 census Mary had died and Jacob was living by himself.
Jacob sold to his son Jacob T. Wildes a house lot on the Old Cape Road for $50.00 which was bounded by Ephraim Huff and Jacob T. Wildes. The deed is dated 24 Dec. 1873.(6)
Jacob and Elizabeth Wildes sold to William H. Cluff, carpenter for $150.00 the field bordered by Cluff, Jacob's home, Jamess Wakefield, Ephraim Huff, and Enoch Cousens. The deed is dated 22 Jan. 1874.(7)
Jacob and Elizabeth sold their house on the Old Cape Road to their daughter Sarah Hutchins for $1.00. Jacob and Elizabeth were to be able to live there for the rest of their lives. Signed Jan. 1874.(8)Issue-
(1) York Deeds- Vol.157, p.234
(2) Ibid- Vol.147, p.14
(3) Ibid- Vol.157, p.233
(4) 1860 Census for Kennebunkport- pp.11-12, house 93
(5) York Deeds- Vol.301, p.360
(6) Ibid- Vol.337, p.466
(7) Ibid- p.505
(8) Ibid- Vol.345, p.498
(9) 1850 census for Kennebunkport- p. 223
The Wildes Genealogy- N.P. Apr. 1984, pp.21-2
8I. LOREN (JOHN 1, EPHRAIM 2, SAMUEL 3, SAMUEL 4, JACOB 5, JACOB 6)
b. Oct. 1828 Kennebunkport, ME
int. 25 Nov. 1852 HANNAH (7) FRYE (b. 28 Apr. 1829 Fryeburg, d. 31 Jan 1895 Kennebunkport)
d. 9 May 1896 Kennebunkport
bur. Turbatts Creek Rd. Cemetery, moved to Arundel Cemetery
Loren, age 31, carpenter, and Hannah F., age 31, are listed in the 1860 census (page 2) for Kennebunkport along with their children Ellen, Maryetta and Rosella. Their real estate was worth $150.00 and their personal estate $50.00.(1)
On 2 Mar. 1865 Jacob and Loren Wildes of Kennebunkport mortgaged the house and barn Loren was living in which was bounded by the highway, the land of James Wakefield and the lane which led to the home of Ephraim Wildes. Jacob was considered the owner of all the land as Ephraim had taken up more than his share in the land of his father. The deed was signed by Jacob and Mary Wildes, and Loring and Hannah F. Wildes with Jacob signing by mark.(2) The mortgage was released by Ira and Mary M. Grant of Kennebunkport 26 Oct. 1868.(3) Evidently Jacob assisted his son Loren by cosigning the mortgage but it is implied that there was some difficulty with Jacob's brother Ephraim concerning ownership of the property.
Loren then mortgaged his house again on 4 Dec. 1868 to William F. Moody for $200.00.(4) On 25 May 1871 Loren and Hannah mortgaged their property to Alfred G. Prentiss.(5)
The family evidently moved to Saco as they are listed in the 1870 census for that town with Loren listed as being a carpenter and their daughter Ellen was working in the cotton mill. Charles and Anna Pierce were also living with them.(6)By the 1880 census Loren and Hannah were back in Kennebunkport with Walter, Emma and "Bradford" living at home. However, Bradbury evidently moved in that census year as he was listed as living with his cousin Joseph and Margaret Manuel and his occupation was given as laborer. Joseph's occupation was listed as being a sailor.(7)
Hannah Frye Wildes
Issue- all children b. in Kennbunkport
(1) 1860 Census for Kennebunkport- pp.11-12, house 92
(2) York Deeds- Vol.312, p.68
(3) Ibid- p.69
(4) Ibid- Vol.311, p.285
(5) Ibid- Vol.326, p.248
(6) 1870 Census for Saco- p.22, house 150
(7) 1880 Census for Kennebunkport- from FamilySearch.org
The Wildes Genealogy- N.P. Apr. 1984, pp.24-33
9IV. BRADBURY DAY (JOHN 1, EPHRAIM 2, SAMUEL 3, SAMUEL 4, JACOB 5, JACOB 6, LOREN 7)
b. 10 Jan. 1861 Kennebunkport, ME
m. 1 May 1882 ELLA MAY (3) FLETCHER (b. 27 Sept. 1860 Saco, d. 18 Apr. 1943 Kennbunkport)
d. 9 Aug. 1933 Kennebunkport
bur. Arundel Cemetery
Bradbury Wildes and Ella May Fletcher Wildes
Bradbury was a shipbuilder and carpenter and worked at the Kittery Naval Shipyard as well as at a shipyard in Kennebunkport. He and Ella owned a country store next to their home in Kennebunkport which was built by his father Loren. Bradbury built the Wildes District School as well as several houses in Kennebunkport.Bradbury and Ella May (Fletcher) Wildes
Bradbury and Ella are listed in the 1900 census along with their children Violet, Eugene, Mary, Fred, Hartley, Clyde and Gertrude. Bradbury was a carpenter. Ella listed her mother as being born in Canada. (2)
At the time of the 1910 census the family was still living on the Wildes District Rd. and they were running a general store out of their house. Eugene, Mary, Fred, Hartley, Richard, Gertrude, Clifford and Leslie were all living at home.(3)
By the 1920 census only Gertrude and Leslie were living at home and the family was still running the store with Bradbury being the "proprietor" and Gertrude listed as being a clerk in the grocery store. Ella listed her mother as being French Canadian. Their daugher Mary and her husband Stephen Perry were living next door with their children.(4)
Bradbury and Ella were listed in the 1930 census still running the store and living next door to Ernest and Gertrude Nunan and Stephen and Mary Perry.
Bradbury D. Wildes Store- Wildes District, Kennebunkport
Bradbury & Ella Wildes
In his will 16 Mar. 1922 Bradbury left his whole estate to his wife Ella. He mentions his children Eugene A. of 6 Montvale Rd., Wellsley, MA; Frederick H. of 1365 E. 35th St., Brooklyn, NY; Hartley J. of 24 Adamson St., Allston, MA; Richard C. of Braintree, MA; Bradbury Jr. of 20 Goodnough St., Brighton, MA; Leslie A. of 61 Whitmore St., Hartford, CT; Violet Perry of 30 Ross St., Medford, MA; and Mary Perry and Gertrude Nunan of Kennebunkport. His real estate was worth $1250.00.(1)Issue-
(1) York Co. Probate- #65472
(2) 1900 census for Kennebunkport, York Co.- supervisor's district 109, enumeration district 238, sheet no. 15
(3) 1910 census for Kennebunkport- supervisor's district 1, enumeration district 245, sheet no. 13A
The Wildes Genealogy- N.P. Apr. 1984, pp.34-45
1900 Census for Kennebunkport- house 367