Thursday, October 01, 2009


This is the second in a series of posts speculating whether the Edward Berry married
to Beatrice was the same as Edward Berry the widower of Elizabeth Hardy Berry.

As I showed in the last post, Beatrice had a bit of a rowdy past herself during her
marriage to her first husband, William Cantlebury. And besides the fights with
the Rowden family, Beatrice was also chastised for criticizing her son in law
Benjamin Woodrow in a most improper manner:

"Bettrice, wife of Wm. Cantlebury, was fined upon her presentment for wicked
and reviling speeches toward her son-in-law, in wishing the devil might pick
his bones, and for telling her daughter if she had such a husband, she would
give the devil one limb to fetch away the other; also for endeavoring to
withdraw the affections of his wife from him.*

*Mary Felton, aged thirty-five years, deposed that several times in her hearing,
the wife of Willm. Cantlebury had endeavored to alienate the affections of her
daughter from her husband, using many reproachful speeches in deponent's
hearing against said husband. Her daughter was weeping and praying her to
be contented, for she had him that God had appointed for her and she was
better contented with him than she should have been with those her mother
nominated unto her. Deponent told the mother to be contented, as by the
providence of God they were brought together, and to do what she could by
good counsel and encouragement, that they might live lovingly together.
The mother replied that there was no finger of God in bringing them together,
but it was the mere act of the devil, and that the husband deserved to be
hanged, with many other reproachful carriages and speeches. Once at
deponent's house, she spit at him and told her daughter " that she would
have scorned she should have touched the hemme of her coat they both
being present." Sworn in court.

Elisabeth Buxton, aged thirty-eight years, testified that the wife of Willyam
Cantlebery and her daughter Woodrow, were at deponent's house, and the
latter heard her say to her daughter that Woodrow was both a rogue and a
thief. Her daughter said she must prove it, and she said he was a thief
because he had stolen the best flower in her garden, and a rogue because
he had brought her to shame. Deponent told Goodwife Cantlebery that she
did not well to speak to her daughter against her husband, but that she
should do him the best good she could and give him good counsel, for now
he was her son. Cantlebery's wife answered that the " divel should picke
his bones before she would owne him to be her son." Sworn in court,
13: 10: 1661, before Hillyard Veren, cleric.

Samuel Eburne, aged fifty years, deposed that, being at the house of Willm.
Cantlebery, his daughter Woodrow came in and her mother asked her where
her husband was. She answered that he had gone to the doctor for physic
for her father. Her mother used many reviling Opeeches against Woodrow,
saying he was no man. Deponent was much grieved and desired her to forbear
such opprobrious terms, and that seeing that they were married, she should
endeavor to maintain love and unity between them. Her daughter wept
bitterly and prayed her mother to forbear charging her husband with such
untruths, but still she went on in bitter reviling and said she wondered how
she could love such a wretch. Sworn in court, 13: 10: 1661, before Hillyard
Veren, cleric.

Summons also served on Anthony Buxstone and Mary Rowden, as witnesses."

-Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts
Volume II 1656-1662 (p340-341) Oct 1661

Notice that one of the witnesses was one of the Rowden family!

And talk about mother in law trouble! Poor Mr. Woodrow certainly had plenty of it.

So given this past history, it's not completely surprising that the Court initially
had no sympathy for Beatrice Berry and that it ordered she and Edward to
move back in together. But that was not the end of the matter.

To be continued.

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