Saturday, November 24, 2012


The consequences of the case presented in Court in March 1663 began to be
felt two months later in the May session:

Ipswich 5May 1663
"Elizabeth Webster, for taking a false oath, was ordered to stand at the meeting
house door at Newbury next lecture day, from the ringing of the first bell until
the minister was ready to begin prayer, with a paper on her head written in
capital letters, "For taking a false oath in Court," the constable to see it done,
or else to pay a fine of five pounds to the treasurer and to be disabled for
taking an oath. She made choice to stand at the door."

And the object of Henry Greenland's advances didn't escape unscathed, either"

"Mary Roffe, upon her presentment for several miscarriages, was ordered to pay
a fine and was bound to good behaviour.§"

The footnote went into more detail as to what those miscarriages were:

"§The wife of John Rofe was presented for reporting a scandalous lie that John
Emery, sr., brought the doctor to her house unknown to her, when she herself
came and invited them. Wit: Jo. Emery, sr., and his wife, Hester Bond and Elizabeth
Webster. For putting fig dust in Mr. Greenland's bed and reporting it was Elizabeth
Webster, and said Greeneland being in the cellar where his medicines were, and
the maid going to draw beer, said Mary Rofe shut the door upon the maid, stood
before it and bade the maid remember her love to all she saw and kiss all she met.
Wit: Jo. Emery, sr., and his wife, and Ebenezor Emery. For coming to John Emerie's
house five nights after the time that she said Mr. Greeneland had assaulted her,
laid down on his bed and the same night put a couple of stones in his bed, and
since said Greenland was bound to good behavior she had sought his company
both in their house and barn. Wit: Jo. Emery and his wife, Elizabeth Webster,
William Neffe and Hester Bond. For keeping company at unseasonable hours
of the night at her house to the disturbance of the neighbors. Wit: Tho. Silver
and his wife. For riding with Mr. Cording at unseasonable times in the night,
since as she says he offered that attempt of uncleanness. For reporting that Mr.
Fuller would have committed a rape with her had he not been hindered by their
coming in. Wit: Peeter Cheny, Hester Bond and Elizabeth Webster."

"Fig dust", by the way appears to be small pieces of tobacco. I'm not sure if this
was some sort of signal or if it was a Puritan variation of short-sheeting.

This was the same court session in which my ancestor John Emery was accused of
entertaining Quakers in his house. One of the witnesses against him was Mary
Rolfe's husband, John. Remember, Rolfe had asked John Emery to watch out for
Mary Rolfe while Rolfe was away. The two families were neighbors and the fact that
Rolfe asked Emery for his help seems to indicate there was trust and friendship
between them. But when John Rolfe returned to Newbury sometime in April 1663
he found his wife involved in a scandal that probably was the talk of all of Essex
County. I suspect he was looking to settle some scores, beginning with John Emery.
So he testified that:

"I doe testifie that I being at John Emerys Sr house about 3 weeks after that time
did see two Quakers there & I herd him say to them & som others that were there
y' Joseph Noyce came to his house & told him that ther were two quakers coming
towards his house & wisht him not to entertaine them, he sayd if they came to his
house they should be welcom & he would not forbid them there they were when
I cam in & there I left them I was there upon occasion neare an houer & there were
prsent in goodman Emerys house wiliam Ilsly Sr & John muselwhitt."

There were still the two men who'd pursued Elizabeth to deal with: Richard
Cording had already left Essex County,but Greenland was still about town in

John Rolfe hired a lawyer.

To be continued.

1 comment:

Teri Emery Armiger said...

Hello, Bill! Would love to connect with you regarding your research. I also descend from John Emery (by way of mystery) and am trying to solve said mystery. My email is and my name is teriemeryarmiger. My brother, Frank Emery and I have been researching for decades, and my second cousin, Calvin Emery, whom did extensive, widely published online research regarding our mystery ancestor, Jacob Emery b. 1759. Hope you are well and Frank and I would love to connect. Teri Emery Armiger