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Biography of Isaac Esty

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(II) Isaac, son of Jeffrey Esty, was born probably in England before 1630, and came to Salem with his father when very young. He was a cooper by trade, and is designated as such in the first record of him, dated April 5, 1653. At that time, he bought a house and land in Salem. Before 1660, he settled in Topsfield, Massachusetts. In 1661, he was one of the commoners appointed to share in the common land on the south side of Ipswich river. In 1664, he was rated at nineteen shillings, six pence, which was the minister’s rate for that year and entitled him to a proportionate share in the division of the common land. In 1669, he was given the fifteenth share. In 1672, with five others, he was granted all the swamp meadow lying upon Ipswich river, within certain bounds, for a consideration of fifty pounds. He was prominent in the political affairs of the town; in 1680-82-86-88, he was selectman; in 1681-84-85, juryman at Ipswich, in 1691-96, grand juryman; he also served as tything man, surveyor of fences and highways, and was a member of different committees of the town. In 1689, he was called “Sargent” Esty. He was a member of the church, and was twice a member of the committee chosen to secure a minister. In 1684, he with his wife and family were members in full communion. He died at Topsfield, in 1712 and his will was probated June 11, 1712. He married Mary, daughter of William and Joannah (Blessing) Towne, of Topsfield, born at Yarmouth, Norfolk county, England, and baptized at St. Nicholas church, August 24, 1634. She was a victim of the witchcraft delusion which spread over Salem and vicinity in 1692. April 21, 1692, she was arrested, and kept in jail until May 18, then released. On May 21, she was again arrested, taken to jail and placed in chains. She was tried, found guilty and condemned to death, and September 1692, with seven others, she was executed. She was a woman of sound judgment and exalted character, and far in advance of her age in intelligence. While in prison she sent a petition to Sir William Philips, in which she begged not for her own life but for others. For this unselfishness, she was called “the self-forgetful.” After her execution, her husband did all in his power to rescue her name from reproach and his children from disgrace, and after twenty years, he was in a measure successful. His petitions were recognized, the verdict annulled, and he was given twenty pounds, in acknowledgement of the injustice of the original decision. Children: Isaac, born about 1656, mentioned elsewhere; Joseph, February 5, 1657-58; Sarah, June 30, 1660; John, January 2, 1662-63; Hannah, 1667; Benjamin, April 29, 1669; Samuel, March 25, 1672; Jacob, January 24, 1674-75; Joshua, July 2, 1678.

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