Posted By:Cheri Thompson
Subject:Re: Mary BROCKETT married Thomas BARNES
Post Date:October 29, 2003 at 18:55:29
Message URL:
Forum:Brockett Family Genealogy Forum
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Hello Pat,
Here's the information on Mary Brocket

GRIEBLING-(MCKAY) PARKER to 1416 England at Rootsweb
Entries: 9282 Updated: Wed Jan 2 10:30:07 2002 Contact: William Griebling

ID: I87325024
Given Name: Mary
Surname: Brockett
Sex: F
Birth: Abt. 1620 in Farmington CT
Death: Feb 1661/62 in Hartford, Hartford County CT
REFN: 6717
Thomas Barnes was one of six who joined the Congregation on 30 Janu ary 1653; thereafter, two sons were baptized there, but the church recordscontain no mention of his wife. Mary Brockett Barnes was put to trial and hung a the gallows of Hartford Connecticut in 1662. From a historyof "Thoma s Barnes of Hardford and Farmington Connecticut," written byFrederick R. Barnes, thef ollowing is noted: Little is know of Mary or her parentage and chi ldhood. She was apparently a free-thinker and not as devoted to church-going as other women in town, even though her husband was one of the church elders . Though thereis record of only three children at the time of her conviction , it is likely tha t she and
her husband had more, because large familes wer e the norm for the time, usually for economicreasons. It is quite possible that other children died of one of the many epidemics of the time, because he had donated a plot of l and for a burying-ground. Such a rapidly recurring series of deaths could have caused extreme emotioal upset in a mother who was hysterically inclined and she may have begun to display behavior that, to her "captious neighbors would seem queer." Grief over the loss of herchildren and the unkind gossip of her neig hbors may well have put herover the edge. She became even more reclusive and, probably, more bizarre in her behav or. In those times , the "Bible was taken l iterally, word
for word, cover to cover," and those who did not believe and practicestrong religous beliefs were suspect, perhaps even thought to be "on familiar terms with that old delucer, Satan." Of significance is that onDecember 1, 1642, the General Court promulgated a list of ten capital crimes: idolatry, witchcraft, blaspheny, murder, sodomy, adultery, rape, kidnapping, falsewitness and treason. St emming from the trials for witchcraft in England and Europe, suspicousness mounted toward those who gave any sign
of not being of the f ith. The first wit chcraft case resulted in a hanging in 1647 in Hartford and ot hers were soon to follow. Mary Barnes was indicted for witchcraft on January 6 , 1662 . She pleaded not guilty
and asked for a jury trial. Her husband,either too busy with work orbelieving in his wife's possession, apparently did not offer her strong support. A jury of her peers returned a verdict of guilty in early 1662.
Following this, on the same day, Elizabeth wife of Richard Seager was tried on the same charge and found not guilty. So it is unlikely the jury was caught up in witchcraft hysteria. Just a week before, a jury
made up of ten of the same men, (the other two were replaced by others onthe Barnes jury) had convicted Nathaniel Green smith and his wife Rebecca of witchcraft, and Rebecca had confessed her guilt in open court! [Coll.of Conn. Hist. Soci ety, 22:259, 258]. There is no record of the actual
execution of Mary Barnes , although a diary of William Goffe, who was in hiding and under suspicion himself at the time , made notation in his diary ... "Jan. 20, 1662, three witches were condemned a =t Hartford Fe b.24, 1662." It is believed one of these was Mary Barnes.It is also assumed that she was hung "up past Thomas Barnes old time Hartfordhomesite , near a prolongation of a northwesterly road alongside the Cow Pasture. Th is site was about a mile from the jail and a little back from a main road into the country. This was perhaps the Via Dolorosa of Mary Barnes' last earthly journey for it was believed she had sold her soul to Satan. She left three childr en, undoutbedly interror of these events. Her crime... she did not attend church; this verdict from those who had fled religious persecution in Europe. An irony to be sure!
There are sources which list a number of other children of Mary andThomas Barnes:
Mercy b. 1643
Marth b. 1645
John b. Apr 1648 New H av

I have not found the parentage of Mary. Perhaps her family disowned her.