Bassett Family Association Database

Elizabeth Bassett

Female 1650 -

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  • Name Elizabeth Bassett 
    Born 1650  Lynn, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    _UID 21CD097F74E7474889C6B5720EA4E00B73C8 
    • Mary Warren, one of the silly, hysterical girls responsible for the witch trouble at Salem Village, was a servant in the household of John and Elizabeth Proctor, and it was she who accused her mistress of being a witch. When Elizabeth was arrested her husband staunchly defended her, and said publicly that the foolish girls should be sent to the whipping post. Shortly thereafter he was denounced as a wizard. There were so-called trials, and both were condemned to death, along with a number of others. John Proctor was hanged on 19 Aug 1692, but Elizabeth was given a reprieve "on account of her peculair circumstances", or, until her child could be born. By that time the terrible trials had been stopped, although one of the judges stubbornly insisted that all those condemned should be executed. Nineteen men and women had been hanged and one man pressed to death with rocks. Governor Phipps refused to sign the order for further executions, so Elizabeth Proctor and others were eventually released. Her child was born in prison on 27 Jan 1693. The records have been preserved in the Essex County Archives, with the complete account of the trials, the petitions signed by citizens of Ipswich to protest John Proctor's condemnation, and his own letter of appeal.
      Their tragic story can be found in "The Devil in Massachusetts" by Marion Starkey, 1949, a fine, authentic account of the Salem witch trials. Shirley Jackson's "Witchcraft in Salem Village" is similar, but written for younger readers. John and Elizabeth Proctor are the central characters of Arthur Miller's play, "The Crucible", but the author admits it is not historically accurate as far as individuals are concerned, and that liberties were taken in fusing various characters. According to records, John Proctor was quite unlike the man portrayed in the play.
      When Elizabeth (Bassett) Proctor was set free she, her children and stepchildren were impoverished, for she had lost everything. Her home had been looted and most possessions taken even before John Proctor's death. Because she had been condemned to death she was considered legally dead, and therefore could make no claim for her husband's property. Restitution was made to many of those accused of witchcraft, but Elizabeth received nothing until the General Court paid her 150 pounds in 1703. She must have gone back to Lynn to live after her release, possibly to the home of her parents, for there is a record of intention to wed declared 22 Sep 1699 for Elizabeth Proctor and Daniel Richards. In her father's will she is called Elizabeth Bassett, alias Richards.

      WILL OF WILLIAM BASSETT, proved and allowed 22 May 1703
      "In the name of God everlasting Amen: I William Bassett Senr. of Lyn in ye County of Esex in Newengland being of good & perfect memory & Rationally Disposed And having attained to ye years of a good old age & being very sensable of ye decay of nature & ye many Distempers & Infirmities that do attend my outward (mein?) not knowing how soone my great & last chang may come have therefor taken this opportunity to settle ye affaires of my family & so leave this as my last will and testament. Impr: as for my precious mortall soul I freely resign it to him that gave it & to my Redeemer Jesus Christ which by his precious blood hath ransome my soul from Death. as for my body which is fraile I comend it to ye dust willing a decent Interment thereof suitable to my Rank & quality. Although worms my skin destroy yet in my flesh I shal see God - Amen. As for the disposall of my outward Estate which God of his Goodness hath given me - my will is that after my funerall charges & lawfull debts bee paid I bequeathe to my deare & loving wife who hath bin carefull of mee & industrious in her place for ye procurement of what outward Estate I have I bequeath unto her the Improvement of my whole Estate during her naturall life and all the moveable estate in my house which is mine to be at her disposall - as shee shall see cause: Item: I give to my eldest son willm Bassett all ye housing land meddowes marshes and movalbes within y bounds of Lyn township or Elsewhere to bee at his absolut disposall: further it is to bee under stood that my son willm Bassett is to pay out of such Estate all such Legasies as I shall give to ye rest of my children as followeth: Item: I give to my son John Bassett five pounds in mony: Item: I give to my son Elisha Bassett fivetie shillings in mony: Item: I give to my son Samuel Bassett fivetie shillings in mony: Item: I give to my daughter Elizebeth Bassett allias Richards forty shillings in mony: Item: I give to my daughter Sarah Elwell fortie shillings in mony: Ittem: I give to my daughter Merriam Sandy fortie shillings: Ittem: I give to my daughter Mary Ruck fortie shillings in mony: Ittem: I give to my daughter Rachel Silsbe fortie shillings in mony: Ittem: I give to my daughter Rebeckah Bassett fortie shillings in Mony: Ittem: I give to my Hannah Lille fortie shillings in mony -- and if any of ye above named Children Except my son Willm should then to be divided Equaly amongst them all. It is to be understood that these legasies are to be paid with-in a one yeare after my disease and my wives and my will is that neither str? nor waste be made But to the end foresaid. Ittom my will is that my son William Bassett bee sole Executtor to this my last will and testament. Heare unto I have sett to my hand and seale this tenth day of february in the yeare of our 1701. Sighned William Bassett with a seale--Wittnessed by Before sighning it is to be understood that my son William Bassett is to have my whole Estate as is above mentioned to him & his heirs for ever."
      Witnesses: Samuel Johnson, Lois Rogers, Ezekiel Rogers.

      Will of Ann (Holland) Bassett Burt, mother of William Bassett
      (Written 8 Jun 1664; Rcords and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County)
      My will ist that William Bassett Jr. should have one of my cows, and John Bassett should have one cow, and Elisha Bassett should have on cow, and that Samuel Bassett should have the steer. And it is my will that these children should have the profit of these cattle and the principal when they be 18 years old, and I give to Elizabeth Bassett a new feather bed, a bolster and a pillow and a pillow bear (case), a blanket and a rug, and I give Sarah Bassett my old feather bed, a bolster and pillow and pillow bear, a blanket and a tapestry covering, and I give to Merriam Bassett, a copper kettle, a table cloth and 1/2 dozen napkins and a ewe sheep, a hand towel, and I give to Mary Bassett my biggest iron pot, a long table cloth and 4 napkins and a hand towel, a ewe sheep; to Hannah Bassett 2 iron pots and a warming pan and a pair of sheets and a pair of pillow bears and a ewe sheep; to Ellen Bartrom, a ewe lamb and to Hannah Bartrom, a ewe lamb and I give to the wife of William Bartrom my black broadcloth suit and one pewter basin, and I give to Liddi Burrill 5 shillings or a ewe lamb, and my will is that their goods should not be used until the children doth reserve them and that these girls should have the profit of their sheep and the principal when they come to age. Witnesses: Francis Burrill and William Crofts.
      The inventory included household items, one cow and 10 sheep. Total value 47 pounds, 2 shillings, sixpence.
    Person ID I9  4B William Bassett of Lynn, Massachusetts
    Last Modified 15 Jun 2012 

    Father William Bassett,   c. 30 May 1624, Dorking, County Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 31 Mar 1703  (Age ~ 78 years) 
    Mother Sarah Burt 
    Married Abt 1646 
    Family ID F4  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family John Proctor,   d. 19 Aug 1692, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 1 Apr 1674 
     1. William Proctor,   b. 6 Feb 1675
     2. Sarah Proctor,   b. 28 Jan 1676
     3. Samuel Proctor,   b. 11 Jan 1685/1686
     4. Elisha Proctor,   b. 28 Apr 1687,   d. 11 Nov 1688  (Age 1 years)
     5. Abigail Proctor,   b. 27 Jan 1689
     6. John Proctor,   b. 27 Jan 1693,   d. 1774, Danvers Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years)
    Family ID F12  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart