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An American Family History

Elizabeth Grafton Saunders Kitchen

Women played an essential role in American society as mothers and homemakers.

Elizabeth Grafton Saunders Kitchen was born about 1625. Her father was Salem sea captain, Joseph Grafton.

Her first husband was seaman, John Saunders, Sr. On October 3, 1640, Elizabeth Saunders was admitted to the First Church.

Elizabeth and John had a son, John Saunders.

John, Sr. died in 1643.

Her second husband was John Kitchen. Their children and life together are described in detail in the section on John and Elizabeth Kitchen

Elizabeth suffered in Puritan Salem for her Quaker beliefs. She was presented for absence from the Puritan Church and while she was riding with a man on the highway at Strong Water, Edmund Batter and Contable Roots seized her horse by the reins and demanded she dismount. They called her a "base quaking slut." She miscarried after the incident.

Elizabeth died in 1678.

Children of Joseph Grafton:
  • Elizabeth Grafton
  • Priscilla Grafton Gardner
  • Joseph Grafton
  • John Grafton
  • Nathaniel Grafton
  • Children of John Kitchen
    and Elizabeth Grafton

    Robert Kitchen
    Benjamin Kitchen
    Abigail Kitchen Guppy
    Priscilla Kitchen Hunn

    Salem is in Essex County, Massachusetts and was a significant seaport in early America. John Endicott obtained a patent from England and arrived there in 1628. Salem originally included much of the North Shore, including Marblehead. Salem Village also included Peabody and parts of Beverly, Middleton, Topsfield, Wenham and Manchester-by-the-Sea.

    The Society of Friends (Quakers) began in England in the 1650s, when they broke away from the Puritans. Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn, as a safe place for Friends to live and practice their faith.

    To be presented to the court meant to be charged or indited.
     

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    Essex Institute Historical Collections, 1915

    Now on 10-3-1640, Elizabeth Saunders was admitted to the First Church, and after her name is written, evidently later on, i. e. Kitchen."

    On 8:5 mo. 1661,

    John Kitchen, shoemaker, and John Saunders seaman, son in law [step-son] to ye said John Kitchen,

    sold land to John Williams of Salem in the North Fields. The will of John Sanders, dated on 12 Oct., 1643, proved 28 : 10 mo. 1643, mentions "my father in law Joseph Grafton."

       
    Early Quakers were persecuted. In the Massachusetts Bay colony, Friends were banished on pain of death.

    Priscilla Kitchen, Quakeress of Salem, Mass., and Kent County, Del., and Her Family by George Valentine Massey II, New England Historical and Genealogical Register Volume CVI January 1952, pp. 38-50

    . . . Elizabeth Kitchen (Priscilla's mother) was presented for absence from the Puritan Church. Elizabeth Kitchen was riding horseback along the highway on a pillion before a male companion. At Strong Water Brook that zealous Puritan saint, Edmund Batter, and Roots, a constable who needed a good horse, seized her horse by the rein and Batter demanded she dismount, calling her a "base quaking slut". (He suspected she was coming from a "quaking" meeting.) Elizabeth's words, not on record, were dignified, perhaps? Like those of Quakeress Mary Prince who called the magistrates "hirelings, Baals, and seed of the serpent". Elizabeth refused to dismount. Edmund and the constable dragged her and her companion to the ground and the constable rode off on her horse.

    This ruffianly assault caused Elizabeth, who was big with child, to miscarry. Witnesses testified to Batter's slurring words, two constables declared Edmund did not touch her, nor was he in a passion. Batter confessed he called Mrs. Kitchen a quaking slut, and asked if she had not been "uparoaring" as he supposed she was coming "From a quaking meeting". For all this he was simply admonished. . .

    Understand the Puritans better:
     

    After the death of his first wife, Elizabeth, whose surname is not known, he married Elizabeth (Grafton) Saunders (1625-living 1678/9), after 28:10:1648 when the will of her first husband, John Saunders, seaman, was proved.

    Elizabeth's father, Joseph Grafton, was a successful Salem sea captain and merchant who had a ketch of forty tons which on 17 May 1640, make a voyage to Pemaquid,

    brought back some twenty cows, oxen, &c. with hay and water for them to the bay.

    Later Grafton got mixed up in the La Tour, D'Aulnay controversy, lost his ship and suffered severely.

     
         
     

     

    Bauman & Dreisbach
     
     
     

    ©Roberta Tuller 2017
    tuller.roberta@gmail.com