Monday, January 07, 2013


The testimony continued in John Rolfe's lawsuit against Henry Greenland
over the latter's advances on Mary Rolfe. My ancestor John Emery and his
stepdaughter Betty once more figure in the case:

"Grenland sent Betie to Mary Rolfe to meet him in the barn and asked her
to mitigate her charges, saying that if she would do so, he would bring no
evidence against her. "I tould him I could not Do it I Could not go bac from
 anie thing I had said he asked me why I said it being nothing but the truth
 and given upon oath: he said I might because it was not sworn before the
bench and yet he would leve it upon my Consideration and meet him and
give him an answer: but I would not meet him but sent him word the next
day I Could not for I would not go from what I had said nor meet him anie


"Thomas Silver deposed that a day or two before he heard of the uncivil
behavior of Mr. Greenland toward Mary Rolfe reported about the town,
Goody Bishop, being at Mary Rolf's was very angry with deponent for
reporting that Mary Rolf entertained company that was to his disturbance.
She further said that he might have taken an axe and knocked one of her
cows in the head as to take away her daughter's good name. Goodman
Emery, sr., came in also and spoke in commendation of Mary Rolfe and
said that for his part he knew no hurt by her and threatened to present
deponent as an eavesdropper for reporting such a thing of her. Deponent
answered that he reported nothing but what he heard in his own house."

-Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts
, Volume 3 (Google eBook) Essex Institute, 1913 p88-90

Another piece of testimony puzzled me at first.

"Peter Cheney of Newbery, aged about twenty-five years, deposed that
Mary Rofe, wife of John Rofe, late of Newbery, told him that one evening
the last winter John Adkins came to her house; that said Mary and Elizabeth
 Webster were together in the house and said Adkins tarried there until
very late, so that Mary and Elizabeth went to bed, etc. Sworn in court."

So there was a third male pursuing Mary Rolfe. Then I recalled that in the
testimony submitted against Greenland the previous Spring Mary had
testified that apparently one of her encounters with Greenland had resulted
in some bruising and he'd said to blame it on "the hatter". Could this
John Adkins be that hatter?

I searched the rest of Volume 3, and found this a few pages later:
"John Attkinson bound his house and land for his appearance at the next
Ipswich court for further examination about his presentment.

Elisabeth Webster, aged twenty-one years, deposed that when she was at
John Rofe's house, about last Feb., 1662, John Adkinson, hatter, living in
Newberie, came there and sat talking with Marie Rofe until late in the night.
Deponent went to bed and, being awakened, she heard Marie Rolf tell said
Adkinson to go away, but he did not go, when it was daylight, he dressed,
and not being able to find his stocking, Marie said she must lend him one
of her uncle's stockings, which she did. Then said Adkinson went away.
Elizabeth Webster affirmed to the truth of the foregoing, before Robert
Lord, cleric."


So what am I to make of all this, and what happened to the people involved

I'll discuss that next in the final post about the case


In Black and White: Cross-Cultural Genealogy said...

Hi Bill! You've just been nominated for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award! Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and post comments. You can find the post here:

Bill West said...

Thank you for the award, Debra!