Friday, December 05, 2014


One of my best sources of information about my Essex County, Massachusetts ancestors
has been the Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts
free ebook editions on Googlebooks. I've gained some insight into the lives and
characters of ancestors from them, as wel as some great stories. This latest discovery
concerns the family of my 9x great grandparents Thomas and Hannah Chandler, in
particular a violent incident between their son William and a  neighbor, Walter
Wright. Remember, the grammar and spelling is exactly as written by the court clerks:   

Court Held At Ipswich, Nov. 6, 1678, By Adjournment.
Upon complaint against Walter Wright for drawing his knife and offering to stab William Chandler, he was fined.*

*Warrant, dated Oct. 29, 1678, for appearance of Walter Wright, upon complaint of Ensign Chandler that he had lately assaulted and wounded his son William Chandler with a knife, also for witnesses, William, Hannah, Thomas Chandler and John Carleton, signed by Daniel Denison,f for the court, and served by Thomas Ossgood,f constable of Andover, by attachment of house and land of said Wright.

Thomas Chandler's bill of cost, Hi. 14s.

William Chandler, aged about nineteen years, deposed that a month ago Goodman Right early in the morning came up to his father's house and deponent being in the yard, he said to him, "Will, I will shoot your horse: I said to him why: because sd he: he hath ben in my lot to night I replyed I ame sorre for that: for I did for git to fetter him to night: but I hop I shall doe so no more: but Goodman Right replyed and sd you will always forgit it: but I will goe home and charge my gun and shoot him for he hath don me forty shillings worth of hurt this sumer: then I replyed knowing how falce the thing was that it was more like to be forty lyes then Right replyed sarar I scorne to lye as littell as you or your father ether: upon his retorting upon my father I was provoked and went to him and tuck him by the coler and sayd to him if he wod not hold his tonge about my father I whould make him and so only at that time gave him a shuf from me but did not then strike him upon which the sd Right caled me Roge and in grat violenc dru his knife and sd I I voe Il stabe you and accordinly stroke me with his knife twise upon the brest or belle be for I cold stop him then I stroke up his heles and lyeing over him to take his knife from him before I could command his hand his knife was in he indeauered as I thoght to cut my throt: which althogh throgh the goodnes of god he did not doe yet he came very nere it and cut a long deep gaus on my ceeke which came very nere my throt as may apere nowe by the scare only ocasiond by that cut as also stabd on deep wonde in my hand besid fiue or six other smaler cuts about my hand: but at length altho I could not get his knife out of his hand yet I brake it in his hand and so let him rise and then I confese I did giue him a smale crack behind and a box of the ere." Hanah Chandler, aged about forty-nine years, and Thomas Chandler, aged about fourteen years, testified to the same. Sworn in court.

Thomas Chandler, aged about fifty-one years, testified that he was not at home when his son was injured but found him very bloody when he arrived, etc. John Carlton told him that Goodman Right was afterward at his master's shop, etc. Sworn in court.

Roger Marke, aged about thirty-five years, deposed that after Wright had cut Chandler he was passing Joseph Willson's shop and talking with John Carlton, who was a little distance from the shop shaving hops, Wright came to the door of the shop and said that he did not care a twopence if he had killed Chandler. Sworn in court.

John Carleton, aged about seventeen years, deposed that he saw Chandler's mother also lay hold of Wright, etc. Sworn, Nov. 5, 1678, before Nath. Saltonstall,* assistant.

Return Johnson, aged about twenty-five years, testified that he told Chandler that in the interest of peace, said Johnson would cure the scratch. Ensign Chandler said that was the best way, for as he and Wright were neighbors they must live together in harmony and deponent cured the wounds for nothing. Sworn, Nov. 5, 1678, before Nath. Saltonstall,* assistant.

Christopher Lovejoy, aged sixteen years, deposed. Sworn, Nov. 5, 1678, before Nath. Saltonstall,* assistant.

Elner Phelps, aged twenty-three years, deposed. Sworn Nov. 5, 1678, before Nath. Saltonstall,* assistant.

William Lovejoy, aged about twenty-one years, testified that before the quarrel, Chandler told him that he met Wright on the highway on horseback, and took his horse by the bridle, commanded him to stand and challenged him down from his horse to fight. Wright not wishing to fight, Chandler struck him with a staff. This happened between Wright's and Chandler's houses. Sworn, Nov. 5, 1678, before Nath. Saltonstall,J assistant.

John Ballard, aged about twenty-five years, deposed. Sworn, Nov. 5, 1678, before Nath. Saltonstall,J assistant. pp95-97

Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts, Volume 7 (Google eBook) Massachusetts. County Court (Essex County), George Francis Dow
Essex Institute, 1919

To be continued...

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