Tuesday, June 13, 2017


I love the Essex County Court Case Files;I have found so many stories in them involving my ancestors over the years!

Here's one involving my 8x great grandfather Isaac Woodbury, a runaway servant  and a ship
captain who let the servant slip away.

Nov 1679
Isaack Woodbery v. Roger Rose. Verdict for defendant. Agreed, and judgment satisfied.*

*Writ: Isaack Woodbery v. Roger Rose; for not returning Edward Alfrey, servant of said Woodbery, according to promise made to the constable of Pascattaque, which servant said Rose carried away from Salem to Pascattawaye without knowledge of his master; dated 7:8: 1679; signed by Hilliard Veren,f for the court and for the town of Salem; and served by James Powllen,f constable of Salem. Bond of Roger Rose,f with Dom. Whitef as surety.

Rodger Rose's bill of cost, 3li. 14s.

Warrant, dated 19 : 6 : 1679, to the constables of Salisbury, Hamton, Exeter, Dover and Porshmoth, for the apprehension of Edward Alfry, servant of Isaac Woodbury, who broke open a closet door and stole four or five pounds, "he is about 20 years of age, a midle stature, shorne curld black hair, a short darke Jacket," he went away in Roger Rose's boat, etc., signed by Wm. Hathorne,* assistant.

Warrant, dated Portsmouth, Aug. 21, 1679, to Rodger Rose to carry back Edward Alfrey to Salem whence he brought him and deliver him to the next authority, signed by Richard Martyn,* commissioner.

Jo. Woodbridge,* commissioner, on Oct. 6, 1679, ordered the constable of Newberry to assist Edward Alfry with what help he needed and his master would pay the charge.

William Hathorne,* assistant, ordered the keeper of the Salem goal, 6:8: 1679, to take Edward Alfry into his custody.

Letter of attorney, dated Nov. 6, 1679, given by Isaac Woodberyf of Salem to Mr. John Clifford of Salem. Wit: Richard Stower* and Edmond Bridges.* Sworn before William Browne,* commissioner.

George Deane, aged about forty years, deposed that being at Pascataque river mouth about three months ago Roger Rose of Boston came on board the vessel of which he was master, informing him that he had a young man aboard of his vessel who was put aboard as a runaway by the authority of Pascataque. Rose asked deponent to take him, as deponent belonged to Salem, but he would not unless he were delivered by authority. Sworn, 27 :9 : 1679, before Ed. Batter,* commissioner in Salem.

Tho. Hayward, aged about twenty-six years, deposed that he being a passenger with Rodger Rose at Salem when he was bound for Pescataqua, two men came aboard when he was under sail. They were called William Craift and Edward Albry. Rose doubted his right to take Albry for he thought he might be someone's servant, but Craift, the joiner, declared that he was no man's servant. Sworn, 24 : 7 : 1679, before Edward Tyng.*

John Grafton, aged about fifteen years, testified that he being on board his master, Roger Rose's, vessel, the two men came on board. His master was in his cabin and came out and asked them what they were. Alfry replied that he was a seaman and no man's servant. Rose said if he was a servant he could not carry him. This discourse was when they were outside of Winter Island in Salem. Sworn, Nov. li, 1679, before Edward Tyng,* assistant.

Steph. Griggs, aged about forty years, and Fran. Grant, aged about forty-two years, deposed that in Allfrey's absence they caught 8,000 fish, of which if he had been with them he would have had his share. Sworn, Nov. li, 1679, before William Browne,* commissioner.

Nicolus Maning, Samuell Beadal, and Edmond Bridges testified that they heard Rose say that the men came on board the vessel between Winter Island and Backar's Island. They brought some pork and some clothes, and at Puscattaque, Alfry was seized by a hue and cry and given by authority to Rose to return to Salem, but Rose confessed that he carried him to Salsberry, where he took a freight of hay to Pascataque again, leaving the runaway with one Mr. Huck of Salsberry. He delivered his hay and sailed for Boston, thence to Newbery, where he accidentally spied said Alfry aboa

rd of Doil's ketch. Sworn, Oct. 13, 1679, before William Browne,J commissioner pp306-307

Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts, Volume 7 1678-1680
Essex Institute, Salem, Ma. 1919

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