17th Century New England, with special emphasis on the Salem Witchcraft Trials


Salem Quarterly Court Records and Files

June 1683

pp. 52-55

Frances Nursse v. Mr. Zarrubabell Endecott. Trespass. Verdict for the defendant. Appealed to the next Court of Assistants. Plaintiff bound, with Samuell Nursse and John Ralvill as sureties.*


Writ: Frances Nursse v. Zarrubabell Endecott; trespass, for cutting and carrying away wood and timber from plaintiff's land in Salem near Crane river, which he had bought of Mr. James Allen; dated June 19, 1683; signed by Hilliard Veren * for the court; and town of Salem; and served by Henery Skerry, * marshall, by attachment of land near defendant's house.

Copy of papers in a similar action brought 18:4:1678, in Salem court and in an action Sanford vs. Putnam. June, 1674 in Salem court, made by Hilliard Veren, * cleric.

Bill of cost of Francis Nurse, 3li. 10s. 6d.

Mr. Endicott's bill of cost, 1li. 14s. 6d., including 6s. for his attorney attending court three days.

Copy of the records of the Court of Assistants at Boston, Sept. 3, 1678, in an action of appeal, Nurse v. Endicott, with verdict for the defendant; confirmation of the former judgment. Copy made by Edw. Rawson, * secretary.

Copy of deed, dated 6:8:1641, from Townsend Bishop of Salem to Henery Chickering of Dedham, the farm which was granted to him by the town of Salem in 1635 as expressed in the town book, "Mr Townsend Bishop his farm of three hundred acres graunted the 28 of the 10 month Anno 1635 buttes upon Mr Endecotts at the Easter end 400 pole in length & six score pole in breadth that is to say six score & fower pole at the wester end, and an hundred sixteene pole at the easter end, bounded by the water bettwixt Mr Skeltons executors and him at the northeast corner of his farme, & hath there allowed from Mr. Endecotts farme eight acres for a highway, is bounded againe at the South west corner by the brooke," except a certain neck of land belonging to the farm at the southwest corner towards Mr. Endecotts containing eight acres not sold to said Henery with the farm, with the edifices, yards, gardens, enclosures, timber, wood, etc. Wit: John Fiske, John Woodbery and William Dodge. Copy made Jan 13, 1664, by Robert Howard, * notary public of the Colony of Massachusetts.

Copy of a record of a court at Boston, July 3, 1632, made by Edward Rawson, * secretary: "There is a necke of land lying about three miles from Salem conteyning about three hundred ackers of land granted to Captaine John Endicot to enjoy to him & his heires forever called in the Indean tonge wahquamesehcok in English Birchwood bounded on the southside with a River called in the Indean tongue soewamapenesset, comonly called the Cowhouse River bounded on the north side wth a river called in the Indean tongue Conamabsuooncant comonly called the duck River// Bounded on the east wth a Ryver// leading up to the two former ryvers which is called in the Indean tongue Oekhussunt otherwise knowne by the name of wooleston River bounded on the west with the majne land."

"Att a generall Court held at New Towne ye 2d of the 9 mo. 1637 Mr. John Endecot hath 40 or 50 acres of meadow granted him where it may not prejudice a planation. "Copy made by Edward Rawson, * secretary.

John How* and John Dale*, Mar. 20, 1682-3, appraised the damage to Nurs at 47s., there having been forty-seven trees felled and carted away from land near Cran river easterly from the road, some two and three feet over and others smaller. Sworn Mar. 20, 1682-3, before William Browne, * assistant.

Edmond Grover aged seventy-eight years, testified that above forty-five years ago he worked much upon Governor Endecott's farm called Orchard and helped to cut and cleave about 7,000 pallisdoes and was the first to make improvement by breaking up the ground and planting Indian corn. Also the whole neck between Crane river and Cowhouse river, much as the country road now runs, taking in the swamp called the pine swamp, was possessed by Governor Endecot. Sworn 10:8:1678, before William Browne, * associate.

Stephen Hascol, aged about forty-three years, testified that about four years ago he bargained for the Bishop farm which was then in possession of Robert Sanford and in litigation between the latter and Nathaniel Putnam. He asked Putnam if he thought he might safely buy it, and his answer was, "you may let him have that land in Controvery between me and Sanford and you may take twice as much from Mr. Endecot and an acre of that land is worth two of the land which was then in Controversy." Sworn 26:4:1678, at Salem court.

Isreal Porter, aged thirty years, and Isacke Cooke, aged forty-two years, testified that upon request of Mr. Zerubabel Endecot they ran the straight line of the neck of land granted to Governor Endecot, "from Cow house river begininge where the tide doth usually flow we went upon a strayt lyne to the sayd duck river where the tide doth usually flow upon credible information that is to say where the bridge is upon the Contry road below the hemlock tre which tre is by several attested to be the bounds betweene chickerings and Governour Endecots farme We found that bound erected by the last Comitte being a stake wth several rocks and credible information to be the bounds erected by the sayd comittee we found the sayd bounds to be erected sixty Eight Rods within the strayght line betweene the sayd rivers." The bounds erected by the first committee were found to be fourteen rods within the line of the two rivers. John Procter, age fifty years, and Joseph Hutchinson, aged forty-eight years, were also present and testified to the same. Sworn Mar. 24, 1682-3, before William Browne, * assistant.

John Porter, aged forty-eight years, Joseph Porter, aged about forty years, and Isreal Porter, aged about thirty-three years, testified that "havinge lived neare neighbors to Gouor: Endecots farme now in the possession of Mr Zerrubabel Endecot for the space of above thirty yeares we doe testefy that the hemlock tree now fallen upon the saw mil frame standinge in Crane River was Reputed the bound tre between the farme of Gouor Endecot and the farme called Chickerings or Bishops farme being Reputed the South east Corner bounds of the sayd Chickerings farme and all the land butting upon the brooke to the Crotch of the brooke or above the sayd Crotch was Reputed to belong to the sayd Chickerings farm & always Claymed by Gour Endecot or his assignes and the sayd Gover Endecot or his assignes was never molested by any pson in the quiet possession thereof til Nathaniel Putnam layd clayme to the sayd land and that was since the sayd Gour Endecot Removed to Boston." Sworn Nov. 4, 1678, before William Browne, --* commissioner.

Hugh Jones, aged forty-six years, and Alexius Reinolds, aged twenty-five years, testified that being desired by Mr. Zerubabel Endecot to cart up some wood for his winter firewood, they went "with our teams wch was 4 oxen and a horse and there we met with several other teams of our neighbors wch were upon the same account that is to say to helpe to cart up Mr. Endecot some wood for his winter firewood and when we had loaded our sleads Thomas Preston and John Tarbel came in a violent manner and haled the wood out of our slead. Francis Nurse beinge present demanded whose men were were, Mr. Endecot being present Answered that they were his men. All the firewood carted was to the southward of the line from the hemlock tree to the red or black oak upon the plain. Sworn Mar. 24, 1682-3, before William Browne* assistant.

John Porter testified to the same. Sworn in court.

Richard Hutchinson, aged eighty years, testified that he bought 150 acres of land of Mr. Stileman and sold half of it to Nathaniel Putnam. When they divided it they did not go below the crotch of the brook where the two brooks meet, neither did he sell him any land below the crotch. Sworn Feb. 11, 1681-2, before Bartho.Gedney, * assistant.

Thomas Preston, aged about forty years, and John Tarball, aged about thirty years, testified as to Mr Zerubabell coming with his men to cut trees, at one time carrying away twenty-one trees, and at another time twenty-six. Samuel Nurse and Francis Nurse, jr were present also and heard Endecot declare that the land was his. Sworn Apr. 4, 1683, before Bartho. Gedney,* assistant.

Isacke Cooke, aged forty-two years, and Willyam Osburne, aged thirty-six years testified that they ran the bounds of the farm with Nathaniel Ingersol, James Hadlock and Sammll.


[This must continue on page 56 -- I will get it the next time I'm in Salem... Oops! --Margo]


* autograph


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This page was last updated 07/04/11 by Margo Burns, My email address.