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Salem Witchcraft Papers

Case Files

SWP No. 131

Martha Tyler

( See also: Dorothy Faulkner -- Confession; Johanna Tyler -- Recognizance )

SWP No. 131.1

( Rev. Increase Mather's Report of his Conversation in Prison with Martha Tyler )

Goodwife Tyler did say, that when she was first apprehended, she had no fears upon her, and did think that nothing could have made her confesse against herself; but since, she had found to her great grief, that she had wronged the truth, and falsely accused herself: she said, that, when she was brought to Salem, her brother Bridges rode with her, and that all along the way from Andover to Salem, her brother kept telling her that she must needs be a witch, since the afflicted accused her, and at her touch were raised out of their fitts, and urging her to confess herself a witch; She as constantly told him, that she was no witch, that she knew nothing of witchcraft, and begg'd him not to urge her to confesse; however when she came to Salem, she was carried to a room, where her brother on one side and Mr. John Emerson on the other side did tell her that she was certainly a witch, and that she saw the devill before her eyes at that time (and accordingly the said Emerson would attempt with his hand to beat him away from her eyes) and they so urged her to confess, that she wished herself in any dungeon, rather than be so treated. Mr. Emerson told her once and again, `Well, I see you will not confesse! Well, I will now leave you, and then you are undone, body and soul, forever.' Her brother urged her to confesse, and told her that, in so doing, she could not lye: to which she answered, `Good brother, do not say so, for I shall lye if I confess, and then who shall answer unto God for my lye?' He still asserted it, and said that God would not suffer so many good men to be in such an errour about it, and that she would be hang'd if she did not confesse, and continued so long and so violently to urge and press her to confesse, that she thought verily her life would have gone from her, and became so terrifyed in her mind, that she own'd, at length, almost any thing that they propounded to her; but she had wronged her conscience in so doing, she was guilty of a great sin in belying of herself, and desired to mourn for it so long as she lived: This she said and a great deal more of the like nature. and all with such affection, sorrow, relenting, grief, and mourning, as that it exceeds any pen to describe and express the same.

(Charles W. Upham, Salem Witchcraft [Boston, 1867] II, 404-405.)


SWP No. 131.2

(Recognizance for Martha Tyler and Johanna Tyler )

Memorandum

That on the Thirteenth day of Jan'ry 1692, in the Fourth year of the Reigne of our Sovereigne Lord & Lady William & Mary by the Grace of God of England &c & Queen Defenders of the faith &c Personally appeared before W'm Stoughton Esq'r Cheife Justice of their Maj'ies Province of the Massachusets bay in New England Hopstill Tyler & Jno Bridges both of Andiver Blacksmiths in the County of Essex & acknowledged themselves to be joyntly & severally indebted unto our sd Sovereigne Lord & Lady & the survivor of them their Heires & Successers in the Sum of one Hundred Pounds to be levied on their or either of their Lands and Tenniments goods, & Chattles for the use of our sd: Soverigne Lord & Lady the King & Queen or Survivor of them on Condition that Martha Tyler & #(Abigale) Johana Tyler haveing stood Committed for Suspition of Witchcraft shall make their [pbar ]sonall appearance before the Justices of our sd Lord & Lady the King & Queen at the next Court of Assizes & Generall Goale Delivery to be holden for the County of Essex then & there to answer to all Such matters & things as shall in their Maj'ties behalfe be alleadged against them & to do & receive that which by the sd Court shall be then & there Injoyned them & thence not to departe without licence

Attest'd

*Jona Elatson Cle[rbar ]

(Reverse)

Recog Hopestill Tyler &

Jno Bridges

May 10 Appear ]

Martha #(for) Tyler & #(Abigall) Johana Tyler

( Mass. Archives, Vol. 135 No. 1 )