Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Now that Mary Rolfe had her say, it was time for her Newbury neighbors to
give their statements. Reading this it would seem the concern she'd voiced
in her petition over what they'd say is understandable.

Once again I've left the grammar and spelling as they were transcribed.
In these statements, it seems the letter"e" from the ends of some words.
So the phrase "one time"  was spelled "on tim". Also, the term "sack" refers
to a type of wine.

The first statement comes from a William Neafe or Nease:

"Will. Neafe deposed that being at John Emery's that night, which was five nights
after Goodwife Rolfe accused Mr. Grinland, she and Elizabeth went up into the
chamber. After they had been there awhile, Jo. Emery came down and after him
Goodwife Bond, Goodwife Emery and Elizabeth, and a good space after came
Goodwife Rofe and Mr. Grinland. At supper she was so loving that she and Mr.
Grinland ate out of one dish and with one spoon. Sworn in court".

"Greenland when he Cam to John Emery's house got a vesel of strong licker and
often was merie and urged me to drinke and tould me if I would not drinke it he
would poure it in . . . and on tim did: and urged me often.

on tim John Emris wife sonn nathan webster Cam for me and bought a horse for
me I asked the boy what to do I not being willing to go: the boy said he did not
know unless it wer to drinke strong licers betie was ther and had it but I did not

So Henry Greenland liked his liquor and apparently didn't like drinking alone.

"Barbri Elsly deposed that she heard Goody Emeri say that her daughter Elen did
belie her own father and that she could not trust her about anything. Wiliam Ilsly,
aged about sixteen years, testified the same. Sworn in court."

I'm not certain what connection Elen(Eleanor) Emery had to the events at
the Rolfe house.

Peter Cheney was next:

"Peeteer Cheney deposed that being accidentally at Goodwife Rolfe's, she
persuaded him to go with her to talk to Goodman Emory, for she said her mother
knew about Mr. Greenland. When she went in she said "father emorey: if you doe
not stand my freend I am quite ondun: goodman Emory replied: if you haue dunn
so I Cann not helpe it," and she persuaded Goodman Emorey to see her mother,
etc. Sworn in court."

But the most damning incident was this one sworn to by Henry Lesenby: 

"Henri (his mark) Lesenby, aged about eighteen years, deposed that the beginning
of last January, he came by the house of John Rolfe about eleven or twelve o'clock
at night and heard a shriek so he went straight into the house. He asked Goody
Rolfe what was the matter and she said nothing, but he went to the bedside because
he thought there was somebody there. "I saw the hed of a man and felt him and I did
know it was Mr. Greenland so the woman and I went out adore to Consider what was
best to be don so we thought becas he was a stranger and a great man it was not 

best to make an up Rore but to let him go away in a priuat maner and first to speke 
of it to som friends and further s° there was a light in the roome & I knew him by 
his face & saw his clothes lye upon a box by the bedsyde." Sworn in court."

Henry had caught Henry Greenland in the bed of  Mary Rolfe, a married
woman, yet neither he nor Mary want to make an uproar over the incident? 

The popular image of Puritans is that they were sober, pious people. Well,
they probably were pious but  sober might be anther matter:

"Mary Emery, sr., Hester Bond and Elizabeth Webster testified that they were 
together at Goodman Emerye's house and Goody Roaf and Elizabeth Webster 
wagered a quart of sack to be drunk among them. Elizabeth lost and Goody Rolfe 
would have it drunk at her house the next night. Sack was not to be had, and a 
quart of liquor was procured instead, so they went down to Goody Rof's to drink 
the liquor being burnt with water they drank part of it. Then Mary Roafe said 
she would save part of it until Mr. Greenland came home for she said he seemed 
to be a pretty man and she desired to be acquainted with him."


Two more statements dealt with what witnesses heard John and Mary Emery
say about the matter. James Ordway, by the way, was their son in law, He and
Anne Emery are my 8x great grandparents:

"James Ordway deposed that he heard Jo. Emery and his wife exhort Goodwife 
Rofe not to carry herself so lovingly and fondly toward Mr. Grinland. John Emery 
owned it in court.

Mary, wife of Jo. Emery, also deposed.

Sara Knight, aged sixteen years, deposed that being at Goodman Emeris to grind 

some corn to make some samp, Goody Emerie said that Goody Rofe was a lying 
woman and if she had not exclaimed against her husband, nobody would have 
said anything against her. Sworn in court."

So the Emery's had  been heard cautioning Mary Rolfe about her behavior.
But since James Ordway was the Emerys' son in law, was his statement true?
Whatever the truth was, most of the people involved were most definitely
not the stereotypical Puritans. Things did not look good for Mary.

Lucky for her her mother had something to say about all this.

To be continued. 


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