Sunday, November 04, 2012


My 9x great grandfather John Emery was an innkeeper  in Ipswich, Ma
and seemed not to care what the towns people thought about what
sort of guests he kept at his house. Quakers were not welcome in 17th
century Massachusetts and associating with them was a criminal offense.
So at the court session held at Ipswich on 5May 1663 John was brought
upon the following charge:

"John Emery's presentment for entertaining Quakers was referred
to the next court, || and upon his presentment for entertaining a
stranger, he was fined four shillings."

That double bar demotes a footnote, and a long one it was indeed:

"ll Henry Jaques, aged about forty-four years, deposed that he heard Joseph
Noyes say that after the Quakers had their meeting at John Emry's house,
the latter bade them welcome. Further he said that Joseph Noyce said that
John Emry had entertained Quakers both for board and table, and this said
Noyce testified before the church at Newbry. John Emery and his wife
acknowledged it, saying that they would not put them fron their house,
and used argument for the lawfulness of it. Sworn in court.

John Rolfe, aged about twenty-eight years, deposed that whereas John Emery,
sr., affirmed before the honored court that he had not entertained any Quakers
in his house since the meeting when Mr. Parker was sent for and came to them,
"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." Sworn in court.

Joseph Noyes, aged twenty-six years, deposed that as he was going to Goodman
Emeries, sr., he overtook two women Quakers, and supposing that they would call
at said Emmery's house, he cautioned him not to entertain them. While he was
talking, they went into the house and stayed until he went away. Goodman Emmery
was in the chamber, because he heard him call out to his wife, the latter being in
the same room with the Quakers. Said Emmery had also entertained two men
Quakers "very kindely to bed and table, & John Emmerie shook ym by y* hand,
and bid ym welcome." Sworn, 24:4:1663, before Simon Bradstreet."

 Constable Jacques wasn't quite done though. He had more to add:

"Henry Jaques, constable of Newbury, acquainted the Ipswich court with the
following: "For as much as John Emerie senr is on of our grand Juri men this Last
yere for our Towne of Newbery and he him selfe having Broken the Law as I do
understand in Entertaining of Travilers and quakere in to his house and on mr
Grenland in all which disorder he haue bouldly Insisted wherby Reproch and
scandall is Com upon our Towne to the dishonor of god and damag and hurt to
som of our Naibours: for which acording to my dutie I am bound to Enform the
honored Court of such disorder and Likewise of Mr Grenland being a stranger
lately Com in to the Countrie and in to our towne for not having licenc according
to the law in paig 73 and 74 and Likewise I do Enform the honored Court of a
quaker Elaacom Aldrous' wife of Hampton Came part naked in to our meeting
house on a lords Day a litl before meeting began."

pp66-68 Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts
(Essex Institute 1913)

That last line is interesting since I believe it's a misspelling of Eliakim Wardwell
whose wife  Lydia was the infamous "Naked Quaker". In fact, her case was the
first heard at this same court session.

Two further points:
One is I was bemused at how many times the name Emery was misspelled in this
record, and the number of different ways it was done.

The second was the inclusion of a statement from John Emery's neighbor John Rolfe,
since the Rolfes would figure in the next court case involving the Emerys.

1 comment:

Heather Wilkinson Rojo said...

I descend from John's brother, Anthony Emery. John Rolphe was the father-in-law of another ancestor, Sarah Mooers. Lydia (Perkins) Wardwell "The Naked Quaker" is a 2nd cousin 11x removed. Your blog post does an excellent job of tying all these characters together! Thanks, Bill!