, Newburyport, MA


December 31, 2013

Confessions of a midwife


In the Priscilla Wilson-Samuel Appleton fornication case, midwife Hawthorne gave quite a scandalous testimony. According to her, “the child was the image of Mr. Samuell Appleton from the crowne to the foote” (EC 9:65). No doubt, Appleton was in the doghouse! His new bride was with child and his father on the bench, but Wilson’s father held high rank as well, so a compromise was reached. In the end, Appleton dodged a guilty verdict when the infant died shortly after birth. The court ordered him to pay half of all associated costs, and his wife surely put him on a tighter leash.

All things considered, the Essex County judges should have been grateful that they had lovers making unlawful entry between the sheets rather than on the streets!


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