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Samuel Bartlett, son of Robert and Ann Bartlett, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1639. Samuel had two wives. First he married Mary Bridgeman in 1672. Mary was the daughter of James Bridgeman and Sarah Lyman Bridgeman. The marriage only lasted 2 years and ended with Mary's sudden death in 1674.

The second wife of Samuel was Sarah Baldwin who was the daughter of Joseph Baldwin and Hannah Whitlock. Sarah had 10 children with Samuel. Sarah Baldwin Bartlett died 17 January 1717 in Northampton. at the age of 63. Samuel died in Northampton on 26 February 1712 at the age of 77. Both are buried at The Bridge Street Cemetery in Northampton where their headstones still exist in readable condition.

Northampton, Massachusetts

Little is know about Samuel Bartlett and his life in Northampton beyond the witch accusations. In 1686 he received permission to erect a grist mill at the falls of the Manhan river. The father of Samuel, Robert died on March 14, 1676. On March 29, 1676 the inventory of Robert Bartlett's estate was presented to the court by his widow Ann which totalled 658 pounds. Administration of the estate was awarded to Ann and her son Samuel. Ann Bartlett died a few months later in May. Ann's will is as follows:

"To son Samuel an ox; to son Nathaniel a cow, twenty shillings and an assortment of household goods; to grandchild Hannah Stebbins twenty shillings and an assortment of household goods; to "the rest of my grandchildren that are by my daughter Stebbins, all but Hannah, twenty shillings apiece, and so also to my son Samuel's daughter and my daughter Cole's three children"; to daughter Stebbins and to daughter Cole's an assortment of household goods; to "my daughter Bartlet" a pair of stockings and a petticoat; to William Jeanes twenty shillings; son Samuel Bartlett to be executor."

On the same day, Samuel presented to the court his father's will. Samuel's purpose was to state that his brother Nathaniel, a recipient of the wills of both their parents was incompetent to handle his inheritance. The court appointed Samuel and Medad Pomeroy to oversee Nathaniel's estate. Below is extracts of the court records.

At this same court the will of "Ann Bartlet of Northampton" widow, dated 21 May 1676, was proved; she bequeathed to son Samuel an ox; to son Nathaniel a cow, twenty shillings and an assortment of household goods; to grandchild Hannah Stebbins twenty shillings and an assortment of household goods; to "the rest of my grandchildren that are by my daughter Stebbins, all but Hanah, twenty shillings apiece, and so also to my son Samuel's daughter and my daughter Cole's three children"; to daughter Stebbins and to daughter Cole's an assortment of household goods; to "my daughter Bartlet" a pair of stockings and a petticoat; to William Jeanes twenty shillings; son Samuel Bartlett to be executor.

" Also on 26 September 1676, whereas "Sam[ue]ll Bartlite of Northampton presented to this Court a paper whereon was drawn up something in way of distribution of the estate of his father Rob[er]t Bartlitt deceased & the third part of the lands which were the widow Ann Bartlit's being now likewise deceased & so her part of the said Rob[er]t Bartlit's lands being with the rest of his estate to be divided among the children which widow's part of his lands was about £140 & her part of the movables being about £60 which movables she disposed by her last will & testament when she died, the rest of the estate as aforesaid being thus divided, viz: to Sam[ue]ll Bartlitte £227 3d. in lands, houses & movables & to Nath[anie]ll Bartlitt £141 18s. in lands & movables; to Abigail [Stebbins] £113 10s. 1ęd. in lands & movables, to Deberah Cowles £113 10s. 1ęd. in lands & movables, this court judge meet that £12 be added to the said Nath[anie]ll Bartlitt's share or portion viz: out of the said Sam[ue]ll Bartlett's share £6 and out of the two daughter's shares or portions viz: Abigail Stebbins & Deberah Cowles £3 apiece to be deducted out of their shares & together with £6 from Bartlett's share as aforesaid & added to Nath[anie]ll's share & then the distribution of [shares is?] viz: to Sam[ue]ll Bartlit £221 3d., to Nath[anie]ll Bartlit £153 18s., to Abigall Stebbins £110 10s. 1ęd. & to Debarah Cowles £110 10s. 1ęd.," the additional £12 for Nathaniel Bartlett to be put into the hands of the two persons previously ordered to manage his estate."

Witchcraft Accusations

The first wife of Samuel Bartlett was Mary Bridgman who was the daughter of James and Sarah (Lyman) Bridgman. Samuel and Mary were married in 1672 and in 1674 Mary died suddenly under mysterious circumstances. Samuel, his father Robert, the parents of Mary and others were so mystified they believed her death was caused by witchcraft. Mary (Bliss) Parsons (wife of Joseph Parsons) was accused of the crime and sent to Boston for trial. It would become one of the most well documented and unusual trails of the witch trial era. The accusations were probably borne out of previous accusations made by the Bridgman family years before which resulted in The Parsons Family suing Sarah Bridgeman for slander.

Samuel Bartlett's complaint stated he "strongly suspect[ed] that [his wife] died by some unusuall meanes, viz, by means of some evell Instrument." On January 5, 1675, Mary Bliss Parsons was summoned to appear before the county authorities where the magistrates decided the case should be presented to the courts in Boston. The courts in Boston sent her to jail to await her trial for witchcraft on March 2, 1675. On May 13, 1675 she was found innocent of the charges and released. Mr. and Mrs. Parsons returned to their home in Northampton. On March 7, 1678, John Stebbins died under mysterious circumstances. John Stebbins was the husband of Abigail Bartlett, the sister of Samuel. This time, charges were filed against Mary Parsons and her son. Another trail resulted from which Mary Parsons was again found innocent. Shortly after that the Parsons family left Northampton and returned to Springfield.




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