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221   Colonial Massachusetts  $200 $242 $267 3 You must login to place a bid.

#221 - Colonial Massachusetts

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Rare 1695 land deed signed by a Justice of the Peace during the witchcraft hysteria
Description                           Estimate: $2,500 - 3,000          

Manuscript DS, signed “Dudley Bradstreet Justice of peace” and “Jos. Moody, Reg’r,” one page, 12.75 x 16.5, March 28, 1695. Acknowledgment of an antedated land deed in which Samuel Ingolls, Jr., sold Cocks-Hall, a six-mile by four-mile tract of land in Yorkshire County, Maine, to Serjeant Stephen Jacques. In part (grammar and spelling retained): “To all People to whom these Presents shall come I Samuel Ingolls Junr of Ipswich in the County of Essex in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay…Know ye that the sd Samuel Ingolls Junr for divers good Causes & Considerations me thereunto Moving but especially for & in Consideration of a valuable Sum in Hand paid unto me…by Serjnt Stephen Jacques of Newbury in ye County aforesd the Receipt of all & every part thereof I do own my self to have received to my full satisfaction &…do thereby for my self…acquitt exonerate & discharg the sd Serjnt Stephen Jaques his heyrs Execrs and Administs by these Present Have given granted bargained & sold enscoffed and confirmed…two hundred Acres of Land being part of a Tract which my self and divers others as joynt Purchasers purchased of Mr Harlackenden Symonds of Ipswich in the County aforesd which sd Tract of Land is six Miles in length & four Miles in Breadth known by the Name of Cocks Hall in the County of Yorkshire in the Province of Maine.” Signed at the conclusion by Bradstreet as the justice of the peace, and by Joseph Moody as the registrar. In good condition, with staining, small areas of paper loss, and professional reinforcements along partially separated intersecting folds. The son of the accomplished New World poet Anne Bradstreet, Dudley Bradstreet was an attorney and town clerk in the town of Andover, Massachusetts, who found himself in the unenviable position of Justice of the Peace during the witchcraft hysteria. During an eight-week period in 1692, Bradstreet committed some thirty people to prison for supposed witchcraft. When Bradstreet refused to grant warrants for a group of eighteen ‘afflicted’ women just a day later, both he and his wife were accused of witchcraft and were forced to flee the town for a brief time. This document is also noteworthy for the presence of Moody, a minister of the Second Church of York, whose character served as the basis for the veiled Puritan minister in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story The Minister’s Black Veil. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.

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