, Newburyport, MA


September 28, 2012

A harrowing piece of history

Salisbury families delve into family tree, arrive at Salem witch trials


“I was working on my family’s genealogy when I ran into Mary,” Small said. “A lot of Seabrook residents would find her in their family trees. Former fire Chief Jeff Brown is one of those.”

Brown, a lawyer, was intrigued when told of his famous ancestor.

“That’s really interesting,” he said. “I’m going to go to Salem and look up the trial.”

But as captivating as it might be to find a convicted witch among one’s relatives, the experience was terrifying for Bradbury herself.

Born in Hilmorton, England, to John and Judith Perkins in 1615, Perkins immigrated to America in 1631. Arriving at the age of 16, she married Thomas Bradbury of Salisbury five years later. According to all accounts, Thomas Bradbury was an upstanding citizen, often referred to as “Captain Bradbury,” and both he and his wife were considered prominent citizens in Salisbury before her tribulations.

Beverly Gulazian of the Salisbury Historical Society said her research indicates that Bradbury was living on Mudnock Road in Salisbury, when she was charged with witchcraft.

According to “The Family of John Perkins of Ipswich, Massachusetts,” written in 1882 by George Perkins of Salem, Bradbury was placed on trial because of bitterness attributed to the man she didn’t marry, George Carr, and their long-standing disagreement. Perhaps through his influence, his sons became her accusers, swearing she’d assumed animal form and ominously appeared out of nowhere on troubled ships.

According to Perkins, Richard Carr and Zarubabel Endicott gave testimony that they’d seen a blue boar come from and re-enter her yard and window. This spectral evidence was made even more damning when Richard’s brother, Samuel, told the court he’d seen her perched on the capstan of a ship at sea when things were going badly.

Carr family collusion again comes into the picture, for researchers found that all but one of the depositions against Bradbury were in the handwriting of Sgt. Thomas Putnam, who just so happened to be married to Ann Carr of Salisbury.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Special Features
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive
Special Features