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Fla Dem

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Gender: Female
Hometown: Boston Area
Home country: USA
Current location: NE Floriduh
Member since: Sun Nov 2, 2003, 11:45 AM
Number of posts: 22,151

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Thanks for the resource link. I have descendants involved in the trials.

William and Joanna (Blessing)Towne immigrated from Great Yarmouth England settling in Salem Ma in 1635. They are my 10th great grandparents.

They had 8 children; Rebecca, John, Susan, Edmund, Jacob, Mary, Joseph and Sarah.

Edmund is our family's direct descendant.

Witchcraft trials.........

Joanna Blessing Towne was accused of witchcraft, but never brought to trial.

Rebecca married Francis Nurse and was hanged as a witch on July 16, 1692.

Mary married Issac Esty (Easty, Estey, Eastick, Eastie, or Estye ) and was hanged as a witch September 19,1692

Sarah was sentenced to prison.

The PBS video, "Three Sovereigns for Sarah" is based on their trial.

This is a true story based on transcripts of the Salem Witch Trials. Sarah (Vanessa Redgrave) and her two sisters are put on trial for suspicion of witchcraft. While her sisters are hanged, Sarah is sentenced to a prison term to be served in a box barely large enough for her to lie down in. When she is released, her family name is cleared and all she is given for all she has suffered are three gold sovereigns- coin of the realm at the time.

Abby Williams, the preacher's niece, starts getting into fortune telling and such illegal activities, as taught to her by the slave Tituba. Other local girls get into it, and then start acting strange. Abby and the girls eventually start to name local people as 'witches' and blame their sicknesses on witchcraft. Hundreds are accused and sent to jail, though there are many who doubt the truth of the accusations. Among these are three sisters, Mary, Rebecca, and Sarah. All are kept in jail for quite some time, until Mary and Rebecca are found guilty, though they pleaded innocent. They are hanged, and due to over crowding, Sarah is sent to a farm until her hearing. She is kept in utter isolation in a chicken coop, getting very sick and lonely, until family comes to save her. The madness is over, though the clever girls, along with one 'afflicted' mother, first succeeded in giving enough 'evidence' so that 19 people were hanged on the count of witchcraft, and one was pressed to death. The story is told to a court 10 years later by Sarah, wanting to clear the family name. Though they can not immediately decide on guilt, or give her compensation, the three judges do give Sarah 3 symbolic sovereigns, one for each of the lives that had suffered.


The movie is on Amazon Prime
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